Student Welfare

SCHOOL HEALTH SERVICES

The District will provide and maintain a continuous program of health services which includes, but is not limited to: 

a) Providing medical examinations and health screenings, designed to determine the health status of the student;
b) Informing parents or other persons in parental relation to the student, pupils and teachers of the individual student’s health condition subject to federal and state confidentiality laws. The District will provide this notice in writing if the District becomes aware that the student has impaired sight or hearing or a physical disability, including sickle cell anemia, or other condition which may require professional attention with regard to health;
c) Where the exigencies warrant (where the parents or persons in parental relation are unable or unwilling to provide the necessary relief and treatment), providing relief in situations where the student would otherwise be deprived of the full benefit of education through inability to follow the instruction offered;
d) Guiding parents, students and teachers in procedures for preventing and correcting defects and diseases and for the general improvement of the health of students;
e) Instructing school personnel in procedures to take in case of accident or illness;
f) Maintaining a program of education to inform school personnel, parents, non-school health agencies, welfare agencies and the general public regarding school health conditions, services and factors relating to the health of students;
g) Providing inspections and supervision of the health and safety aspects of the school plant;
h) Providing health examinations before participation in strenuous physical activity and periodically throughout the season as necessary;
i) Providing health examinations necessary for the issuance of employment certificates, vacation work permits, newspaper carrier certificates and street trades badges; and
j) Surveying and making necessary recommendations concerning the health and safety aspects of school facilities and the provision of health information.

Education Law Article 19
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 136

IMMUNIZATION OF STUDENTS

Every child entering or attending a District school must present proof of immunization in accordance with Public Health Law Section 2164 unless:

a) A New York State licensed physician certifies that such immunization may be detrimental to the child’s health; or
b) The student’s parent, parents, or persons in parental relation hold genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to the requirement. In such cases, the building principal will make a case-by-case determination whether a parent or guardian is entitled to invoke this religious exemption from required immunizations after receiving a written and signed statement from the parent(s) or persons in parental relation to such child.

Except for the above two exemptions, the District may not permit a student lacking evidence of immunization to remain in school for more than 14 days, or more than 30 days for an out-of-state or out-of-country transferee who can show a good faith effort to get the necessary certification or other evidence of immunization.

For homeless children, the enrolling school must immediately refer the parent or guardian of the student to the District’s homeless liaison, who must assist them in obtaining the necessary immunizations, or immunization or medical records.
The administration will notify the local health authority of the name and address of excluded students and provide the parent or person in parental relation a statement of his or her duty regarding immunization as well as a consent form prescribed by the Commissioner of Health. The school will cooperate with the local health authorities to provide a time and place for the immunization of these students.

Parents, guardians or other persons in parental relation may appeal to the Commissioner of Education if their child is denied school entrance or attendance for failing to meet health immunization standards.

The District will provide an annual summary of compliance with immunization requirements to the Commissioner of Health.
For current information regarding immunization requirements, refer to website: http://schoolhealthny.com

For advice on a specialized immunization questions, contact the regional New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) office directly. A complete listing of regional offices can be found on the following website: https://www.health.ny.gov/facilities/cons/more_information/regional_offices.htm

Education Law Sections 310 and 914
Public Health Law Section 2164
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 136
10 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Subpart 66-1

STUDENT PHYSICALS

Health Examination

Each student enrolled in District schools must have a satisfactory health examination conducted by the student’s physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner within 12 months prior to the commencement of the school year of:

a) The student’s entrance in a District school at any grade level;
b) Entrance to pre-kindergarten or kindergarten;
c) Entry into the 2nd, 4th, 7th and 10th grades.

The District may also require an examination and health history of a student when it is determined by the District that it would promote the educational interests of the student.

In addition, the District requires a certificate of physical fitness for:

a) All athletes prior to their first sport of the school year, then only those who were injured or ill during their first sport before participating in a second sport during the school year; and
b) All students who need work permits.

Health Certificate

Each student must submit a health certificate attesting to the health examination within 30 days after his or her entrance into school and within 30 days after his or her entry into the 2nd, 4th, 7th and 10th grades. The health certificate will be filed in the student’s cumulative record. The health certificate must:

a) Describe the condition of the student when the examination was given;
b) State the results of any test conducted on the student for sickle cell anemia;
c) State whether the student is in a fit condition of health to permit his or her attendance at public school and, where applicable, whether the student has defective sight or hearing, or any other physical disability which may tend to prevent the student from receiving the full benefit of school work or from receiving the best educational results, or which may require a modification of such work to prevent injury to the student;
d) Include a calculation of the student’s body mass index (BMI) and weight status category. BMI is computed as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters or the weight in pounds divided by the square of height in inches multiplied by a conversion factor of 703. Weight status categories for children and adolescents will be defined by the Commissioner of Health. BMI collection is mandatory, effective September 2008. Reporting is random, with districts chosen by the NYS Department of Health. Selected districts must report BMI results on-line using DOH’s Health Provider Network (HPN), a secure website;
e) Be signed by a duly licensed physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner, who is authorized by law to practice in New York State consistent with any applicable written practice agreement; or authorized to practice in the jurisdiction in which the examination was given, provided that the Commissioner of Health has determined that such jurisdiction has standards of licensure and practice comparable to those of New York. A certificate signed by a chiropractor is not acceptable except for a scoliosis evaluation.

Dental Certificate

The dental certificate law became effective on September 1, 2008. This law applies to new entrants in Pre-K, K, Grades 2, 4, 7 and 10. In accordance with this law, a notice of request for a dental health certificate will be distributed at the same time that the parent or person in parental relation is notified of health examination requirements, such certificate to be furnished at the same time the health certificate is required. At this time, students will be permitted to attend school regardless of whether or not they have a dental certificate.

The dental certificate will be signed by a duly licensed dentist authorized by law to practice in New York State or one who is authorized to practice in the jurisdiction in which the examination was performed, provided that the Commissioner has determined that the jurisdiction has standards of licensure and practice comparable to New York State. The certificate will describe the dental health condition of the student upon examination, which will not be more than 12 months prior to the commencement of the school year in which the examination is requested, and will state whether the student is in fit condition of dental health to permit his or her attendance at the public schools.

Requests are not to be retroactive (i.e., any physical requested prior to September 1, 2008 does not need to have an additional notice sent requesting the dental certificate). Requests are not required when the student or parent or person in parental relation objects on the grounds of conflict with their genuine and sincere religious beliefs. Within 30 days following the student’s entrance in the school or grade, the certificate, if obtained, will be filed in the student’s cumulative health record.  

Examination by Health Appraisal

The principal or the principal’s designee will send a notice to the parents of, or person in parental relationship to, any student who does not present a health certificate, that if the required health certificate is not furnished within 30 days from the date of such notice, an examination by health appraisal will be made of such student by the Director of School Health Services.

The Director of School Health Services will cause such students to be separately and carefully examined and tested to ascertain whether any such student has defective sight or hearing, or any other physical disability which may tend to prevent the student from receiving the full benefit of school work or from receiving the best educational results, or which may require a modification of such work to prevent injury to the student.
The physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner administering such examination will determine whether a one-time test for sickle cell anemia is necessary or desirable and, if so determined, will conduct such test and include the results in the health certificate.

Unless otherwise prohibited by law, if it is ascertained that any students have defective sight or hearing, or a physical disability or other condition, including sickle cell anemia which may require professional attention with regard to health, the principal or principal’s designee will notify, in writing, the student’s parents or persons in parental relation as to the existence of such disability. If the parents or persons in parental relation are unable or unwilling to provide the necessary relief and treatment for such students, such fact will be reported by the principal or principal’s designee to the Director of School Health Services, who then has the duty to provide relief for such students.

Health Screenings

The District will provide:

a) Scoliosis screening at least once each school year for all students in grades 5 through 9. The positive results of any such screening examinations for the presence of scoliosis will be provided in writing to the student’s parent or person in parental relation within 90 days after such finding;
b) Vision screening to all students who enroll in school including at a minimum color perception, distance acuity, near vision and hyperopia within six months of admission to the school. In addition, all students will be screened for distance acuity in grades kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 10 and at any other time deemed necessary. The results of all such vision screening examinations will be in provided in writing to the student’s parent or person in parental relation and to any teacher of the student. The vision report will be kept in a permanent file of the school for at least as long as the minimum retention period for such records;
c) Hearing screening to all students within six months of admission to the school and in grades kindergarten, 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10, as well as at any other time deemed necessary. Screening will include, but not be limited to, pure tone and threshold air conduction screening. The results of any such hearing tests will be provided in writing to the student’s parent or person in parental relation and to any teacher of the student.

The results of all health screenings (dental, hearing, vision and scoliosis) will be recorded on appropriate forms signed by the health professional making the examination, include appropriate recommendations, and be kept on file in the school. The health records of individual students will be kept confidential in accordance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and any other applicable federal and State laws.

Accommodation for Religious Beliefs

No health examinations, health history, examinations for health appraisal, screening examinations for sickle cell anemia and/or other health screenings will be required where a student or the parent or person in parental relation to such student objects thereto on the grounds that such examinations, health history and/or screenings conflict with their genuine and sincere religious beliefs. A written and signed statement from the student or the student’s parent or person in parental relation that such person holds such beliefs will be submitted to the principal or principal’s designee, in which case the principal or principal’s designee may require supporting documents.

Homeless Students

For homeless children, the enrolling school must immediately refer the parent or guardian of the student to the District’s homeless liaison, who must assist them in obtaining the necessary medical records.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
20 United States Code (USC) Section 1232(g)
Education Law Sections 901-905, 912 and 3217
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 136

ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICATION

The school’s registered professional nurse may administer medication to a student during the school day under certain conditions. For the purpose of this policy, the term “medication” includes both prescription and non-prescription medications. The school must receive the following before medication will be administered to a student:

a) The original written order from the student’s provider stating the name of the medication, precise dosage, frequency and time of administration;
b) A written, signed consent from the student’s parent or person in parental relation requesting the administration of the medication, as prescribed by the physician, to the student in school; and
c) The medication, properly labeled in its original container, must be delivered to the School Health Office by the student’s parent or person in parental relation. The term “properly labeled,” in the context of this policy, means that the container must include the following information: the student’s name, name of medication, dosage, frequency and prescribing physician. A student is not permitted to carry any medication on his or her person in school, or on the school bus, or keep any medication in his or her school locker(s). Exceptions may apply, however, for students diagnosed with asthma or other respiratory illnesses, diabetes, or allergies who will be permitted to carry and self-administer medication under certain conditions.

All medication orders must be reviewed annually by School Health Office personnel or whenever there is a change in dosage.

Students with Asthma or Other Respiratory Illnesses

The District will make a nebulizer available on-site in school buildings where full- or part-time nursing services are provided. Only students with a patient-specific order may have access to the nebulizer. School nursing personnel will clean and maintain the District nebulizer as appropriate.

The District will obtain and stock albuterol metered dose inhalers (MDIs) and/or liquid albuterol from a licensed pharmacy. This stock albuterol is for use in a nebulizer for students diagnosed with asthma whose personal prescription albuterol supplies are empty and while awaiting the parent or person in parental relation to provide the school with a new one. School Health Office personnel will promptly inform parents or persons in parental relation of the need for replacement of the student’s albuterol medication. Students utilizing the school’s stock albuterol must provide a patient specific order for albuterol from their own private health provider, including an order permitting the student to utilize the school’s stock albuterol. Stock albuterol may only be utilized when the school nurse is available to administer the medication. The student’s parent or guardian must also provide the school with written permission allowing his or her child to be administered the school’s stock albuterol in the event that the student’s own prescription albuterol supply is empty. The School Health Office will promptly inform students’ parents or persons in parental relation any time that the school stock albuterol was utilized. 

Personal equipment used to deliver albuterol to a student will be cleaned and appropriately labeled with the student’s name and used solely by that individual student. (Examples of equipment to be cleaned and labeled are nebulizer tubing, facemask, mouthpiece, spacer, etc.)

Self-Administration of Medication

Generally

Each student who is permitted to self-administer medication should have an emergency care plan on file with the District. Further, the school will maintain a record of all written parental consents in the student’s cumulative health record.

School Health Office personnel will also maintain regular parental contact in order to monitor the effectiveness of such self-medication procedures and to clarify parental responsibility as to the daily monitoring of their child to ensure that the medication is being utilized in accordance with the physician’s or provider’s instructions. Additionally, the student will be required to report to the health office on a periodic basis as determined by health office personnel so as to maintain an ongoing evaluation of the student’s management of such self-medication techniques, and to work cooperatively with the parents and the student regarding such self-care management.

Students who self-administer medication without proper authorization will be referred for counseling by school nursing personnel, as appropriate. Additionally, school administration and parents will be notified of such unauthorized use of medication by the student, and school administration may determine the proper resolution of this behavior.

Students with Asthma or Another Respiratory Disease

A student will be permitted to carry and self-administer their prescribed inhaled rescue medication during the school day, on school property, and at any school function if the School Health Office has the following on file:

a) Written order/permission and an attestation from a duly authorized health care provider stating that the student has a diagnosis of asthma or other respiratory disease for which inhaled rescue medications are prescribed to alleviate respiratory symptoms or to prevent the onset of exercise induced asthma; the student has demonstrated that he or she can self-administer the prescribed medication effectively; and the expiration date of the order, the name of the prescribed medication, the dose the student is to self-administer, times when the medication is to be self-administered, and the circumstances which may warrant the use of the medication; and
b) Written consent from the student’s parent or person in parental relation.

Upon written request of the student’s parent or person in parental relation, the school will allow the student to maintain an extra inhaled rescue medication in the care and custody of the school’s registered professional nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or school physician.

Students with Allergies

A student will be permitted to carry and self-administer his or her prescribed EpiPen during the school day, on school property, and at any school function if the School Health Office has the following on file: 

a) Written order/permission and an attestation from a duly authorized health care provider stating that the student has a diagnosis of an allergy for which an EpiPen is needed for the emergency treatment of allergic reactions; the student has demonstrated that he or she can self-administer the prescribed EpiPen effectively; and the expiration date of the order, the name of the medicine, the dose the student is to self-administer, and the circumstances which may warrant the use of the medication; and
b) Written consent from the student’s parent or person in parental relation.

Upon written request of the student’s parent or person in parental relation, the school will allow the student to maintain an extra EpiPen in the care and custody of a licensed nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or school physician.

Students with Diabetes

A student will be permitted to carry and self-administer his or her prescribed insulin through an appropriate medication delivery device, carry glucagon, and carry and use equipment and supplies necessary to check blood glucose and/or ketone levels during the school day, on school property, and at any school function if the School Health Office has the following on file:

a) Written order/permission and an attestation from a duly authorized health care provider stating that the student has a diagnosis of diabetes for which insulin and glucagon through appropriate medication delivery devices, and the use of equipment and supplies to check blood glucose and/or ketone levels are necessary; the student has demonstrated that he or she can self-administer effectively, can self-check glucose or ketone levels independently, and can independently follow prescribed treatment orders; and the expiration date of the order, the name of the prescribed insulin or glucagon, the type of insulin delivery system, the dose of insulin and/or glucagon the student is to self-administer, times when the insulin and/or glucagon is to be self-administered, and the circumstances which may warrant administration by the student. The written permission must also identify the prescribed blood glucose and/or ketone test, the times testing is to be done, and any circumstances which warrant checking a blood glucose and/or ketone level.
b) Written consent from the student’s parent or person in parental relation.

Upon written request of the student’s parent or person in parental relation, the school will allow the student to maintain extra insulin, insulin delivery system, glucagon, blood glucose meter, and related supplies to treat the student’s diabetes in the care and custody of a licensed nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or school physician.

Students with diabetes will also be permitted to carry food, oral glucose, or other similar substances necessary to treat hypoglycemia in accordance with District policy.

Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) permits the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers in schools. The school medical director may approve and permit the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers in the District’s schools without a physician’s order. Parents may provide written notification to the school in the event that they do not wish to have their child use this product.

Sunscreen

Students may carry and use FDA approved sunscreen products for over-the-counter use. The student’s parent or person in parental relation must provide written permission for the student to carry and use sunscreen. This written parental consent will be maintained by the school. A student who is unable to physically apply sunscreen may be assisted by unlicensed personnel when directed to do so by the student, if permitted by a parent or person in parental relation, and authorized by the school.

Storage and Disposal

The District will comply with relevant state laws, regulations, and guidelines governing the District’s receipt, storage, and disposal of medication.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 [Public Law 108-446 Section 614(a)] Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC Sections 1400 et seq.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC Section 794 et seq.
Education Law Sections 902(b), 907, 916, 916-a, 916-b, 919, 921, 6527, and 6908(1)(a)(iv), 6909
Public Health Law Section 3000-a, c, 3309
8 NYCRR 136.6, 136.7

STUDENT HEALTH RECORDS

The School will keep a convenient, accurate, and up-to-date health record of every student. Insofar as the health records include confidential disclosures or findings, they will be kept confidential.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of students’ “education records.” For Pre-K through grade 12 students, health records maintained by the District, including immunization records and school nurse records, generally are considered “education records” subject to FERPA. In addition, records that the District or School maintains on special education students, including records on services provided to students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are considered “education records” under FERPA because they are: 

a) Directly related to a student;
b) Maintained by the School or a party acting for the School; and
c) Not excluded from the definition of “education records.”

Since student health and medical information in education records is protected by FERPA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule excludes such information from its coverage.

Generally, these records may not be shared with third parties without written parental consent unless the disclosure meets one of the exceptions to FERPA’s general consent requirement. One exception permits the disclosure of education records, without parental consent, to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency, if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.

Parents have a right under FERPA to inspect and review those health and medical records that are considered “education records” under FERPA. Individual records may be interpreted by the school’s registered professional nurse to administrators, teachers and other school officials, consistent with law.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1232g Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Public Law 104-191 34 Code of
Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 99
45 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 160, 162 and 164 Education Law Sections 902(b) and 905
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 136  

ACCIDENTS AND MEDICAL EMERGENCIES

Procedures will be established and maintained by the Superintendent for the handling of student injuries and medical emergencies that occur on school property and during school activities.

Student Emergency Treatment

All staff members of the District are responsible to obtain first aid care for students who are injured or become ill while under school supervision.

In most instances first aid should be rendered, and then the parent should be contacted to come to school and transport the student to the family physician. Beyond first aid, the medical care of the student is the parent’s responsibility.

However, the student’s welfare is always the primary concern, and it is the responsibility of school personnel to exercise good judgment and care under all circumstances.

The Board encourages all staff members to become qualified to give emergency treatment through instruction in first aid, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

Transporting an Ill or Injured Student

In the event of an illness or injury to a student, an ambulance may be called if warranted. This solution will be used after other alternatives, including parent or person in parental relation contact, have been made.

Insurance

The Board will approve provisions for all students to be covered by group insurance.

Such student accident insurance policies are to be a co-insurance with family coverage(s) as primary.

Education Law Sections 1604(7-a), 1604(7-b), 1709(8-a) and 1709(8-b)

STUDENTS WITH LIFE-THREATENING HEALTH CONDITIONS

Students come to school with diverse medical conditions which may impact their learning as well as their health. Some of these conditions are serious and may be life-threatening. As a result, students, parents, school personnel, and health care providers must all work together to provide the necessary information and training to allow children with chronic health problems to participate as fully and safely as possible in the school experience. This policy encompasses an array of serious or life-threatening medical conditions such as anaphylaxis, diabetes, seizure disorders, or severe asthma and acute medical conditions such as substance overdose. All students within the District with known life-threatening conditions will have a comprehensive plan of care in place: an Emergency Care Plan (ECP) or Individualized Healthcare Plan (IHP) and if appropriate, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 Plan.

Life-Threatening Conditions

For those students with chronic life-threatening conditions such as diabetes, seizure disorders, asthma, and allergies, the District must work cooperatively with the parent(s) and the healthcare provider(s) to:

a) Immediately develop an ECP for each at risk student to ensure that all appropriate personnel are aware of the student’s potential for a life-threatening reaction;
b) If appropriate, develop an IHP that includes all necessary treatments, medications, training, and educational requirements for the student. If the student is eligible for accommodations based upon the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or the Americans with Disabilities Act, the appropriate procedures will be followed regarding evaluation and identification;
c) Provide training by licensed medical personnel (e.g., registered professional nurse) for all adults in a supervisory role in the recognition and emergency management of a specific medical condition for specific students;
d) Obtain specific medical-legal documents duly executed in accordance with New York State law; appropriate health care provider authorization in writing for specific students that includes the frequency and conditions for any testing and/or treatment, symptoms, and treatment of any conditions associated with the health problem; and directions for emergencies;
e) Secure written parent permission and discuss parental responsibility that includes providing the health care provider’s orders, providing any necessary equipment, and participation in the education and co-management of the child as he or she works toward self-management; 
f) Allow supervised students to carry life-saving medication in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and procedures. The District will also encourage parents and students to provide duplicate life-saving medication to be maintained in the health office in the event the self-carrying student misplaces, loses, or forgets their medication;
g) Assure appropriate and reasonable building accommodations are in place within a reasonable degree of medical certainty.

In addition, the District will:

a) Provide training for transportation, instructional, food service, or physical education staff, as appropriate, in the recognition of an anaphylactic reaction;
b) Have standing emergency medical protocols for nursing or other staff;
c) Maintain or ensure the maintenance of a copy of the standing order(s) and protocol(s) that authorizes them to administer emergency medications such as anaphylactic treatment agents;
d) As permitted by New York State law, maintain stock supplies of life-saving emergency medications such as epinephrine auto-injectors or Naloxone (Narcan) for use, especially in first time emergencies;
e) Allow the school registered nurse, nurse practitioner, or physician to train unlicensed school personnel to administer emergency epinephrine via auto-injector, or emergency glucagon, to students with both a written provider order and parent or person in parental relation consent during the school day, on school property, and at any school function. Such training will be done in accordance with specifications outlined in the Commissioner’s regulations;
f) Ensure that building-level and District-wide school safety plans include appropriate accommodations for students with life-threatening health conditions;
g) Educate students regarding the importance of immediately reporting symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Emergency Medication

Epinephrine Auto-Injectors (EAIs)

The District has entered into a collaborative agreement with an emergency health care provider in order to provide and maintain EAIs on-site in its instructional facilities. This agreement allows for trained school employees, who have completed a New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) course, to administer EAIs to any student or staff member who demonstrates symptoms of anaphylaxis, regardless of whether such person has a prior history of severe allergic reactions. The District will ensure that it has sufficient EAIs available to ensure ready and appropriate access for use during emergencies and will immediately report every use of an EAI in accordance with the collaborative agreement. The collaborative agreement, as defined in Public Health Law Section 3000-c, is required for the District to permit trained school employees to administer stock EAIs to students and staff members who do not have a patient-specific order for such medication.   

Creating an Allergen-Safe School Environment

The risk of accidental exposure or cross-contamination is always present in school, particularly for students with food allergies. The school setting is a high-risk environment for accidental ingestion of a food allergen due to the presence of a large number of students, increased exposure to food allergens, and cross-contamination of tables, desks, and other surfaces.
In an effort to prevent accidental exposure to allergens, the District will monitor the following high-risk areas and activities:

a) Cafeteria;
b) Food sharing;
c) Hidden ingredients in art, science, and other projects;
d) Transportation;
e) Fund raisers and bake sales;
f) Parties and holiday celebrations;
g) Field trips;
h) Before and after school programs.

Medication Self-Management

The District will work toward assisting students in the self-management of their chronic health condition based upon the student’s knowledge level and skill by:

a) Adequately training all staff involved in the care of the child, as appropriate;
b) Assuring the availability of the necessary equipment and/or medications;
c) Providing appropriately trained licensed persons as required by law;
d) Developing an emergency plan for the student; and
e) Providing ongoing staff and student education.

Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 USC § 12101 et seq.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC §§ 1400-1485 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC § 794 et seq.
34 CFR Part 300
Education Law §§ 6527 and 6908
8 NYCRR § 136.7
Public Health Law §§ 2500-h (Anaphylactic policy for school districts) and 3000-a

CONCUSSIONS

Concussion Management

The Board and the Superintendent of Pine Bush Central School District recognizes that concussions and head injuries are commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreation activity and can have serious consequences if not managed carefully. Therefore, the District adopts the following policy to support the proper evaluation and management of head injuries. Concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury. Concussion occurs when normal brain functioning is disrupted by a blow or jolt to the head. Recovery from concussion will vary. A voiding re-injury and over-exertion until fully recovered are the cornerstones of proper concussion management.

While District staff will exercise reasonable care to protect students, head injuries may still occur. Physical education teachers, coaches, nurses and other appropriate staff will receive training to recognize the signs, symptoms and behaviors consistent with a concussion. Any student exhibiting those signs, symptoms or behaviors while participating in a school-sponsored class, extracurricular activity, or interscholastic athlete activity will be removed from the game or activity and be evaluated as soon as possible by an appropriate health care professional. The nurse or athletic trainer will notify the student’s parents or guardians and recommend appropriate monitoring to parents or guardians.

If a student sustains a concussion at a time other then when engaged in a school-sponsored activity, the District expects the parent or legal guardian to report the condition to the nurse or coach so that the District can support the appropriate management of the condition. In the event of a blow or jolt to the head, the affected athlete must be examined and cleared by a physician before returning to practice or play. If the physician determines that further tests are necessary before clearance, he or she will refer the athlete for these tests.

The student will not return to school or activity until authorized to do so by a physician with written authorization. The school physician will make the final decision on return to activity including physical education class and after-school sports. Any student who continues to have signs or symptoms upon return to activity must be removed from play and re-evaluated by their health care provider.

The concussion management team will develop regulations and protocols to guide the return to activity.

Concussion Procedures

Identification

Any student, who is observed to have suffered a significant blow to the head, has fallen from any height or collides hard with another person or object may have suffered a concussion. Symptoms of a concussion may appear immediately or may become evident in a few hours or a few days. Concussions may occur at places other than school; therefore, school staff members who observe a student displaying signs and symptoms of a concussion should refer the student to the school nurse, athletic trainer or contact the parent or guardian if there is not a school nurse or an athletic trainer available. Symptoms of a concussion include but are not limited to: 

a) Amnesia, decreased or absent memory of events prior to or immediately after the injury
b) Confusion or appears dazed
c) Headache
d) Loss of consciousness
e) Balance difficulty or dizziness
f) Double or fuzzy vision
g) Sensitivity to light and/or sound
h) Nausea and/or vomiting
i) Irritability or other changes in personality
j) Feeling sluggish, foggy or groggy
k) Concentration or focusing problems
l) Slowed reaction times

Students who develop any of the following signs, or if signs and symptoms worsen should be seen and evaluated immediately at the nearest hospital emergency room:

a) Headaches that worsen
b) Seizures
c) Looks very drowsy and/or cannot be awakened
d) Repeated vomiting
e) Slurred speech
f) Unable to recognize people or places
g) Weakness or numbing in arms or legs, facial drooping
h) Change in pupil size of one eye
i) Significant irritability
j) Any loss of consciousness longer than 30 seconds

Return to School Activities

Once a student has been symptom free at rest for at least 24 hours, the student’s private provider may clear the student to begin a gradual return to activities. Return to activity should be gradual and occur in a step by step fashion each day. Students should be monitored for any return of signs and symptoms of concussion. A student should only move to the next level of activity if they remain symptom free at the current level. Return to activity should occur with the introduction of one new activity each 24 hours. If any post-concussion symptoms return, the student should drop back to the previous level of activity, then re-attempt the new activity after another 24 hours have passed. The following is a recommended sample return to physical activity protocol:

Day 1: Light aerobic activity such as walking and/or riding a stationary bike.
* If tolerated without return of symptoms proceed to:

Day 2: Moderate aerobic activity such as running and jumping rope. No resistance training. *If tolerated without return of symptoms proceed to:

Day 3: Sport specific non-contact activity. Low resistance weight training with a spotter. *If tolerated without return of symptoms proceed to:

Day 4: Sport specific activity, progress to more contact drills in athletics.
*If tolerated without return of symptoms proceed to:

Day 5: Full contact training drills. Intense aerobic activity.

Guidelines for the Team

Student

Students should be encouraged to communicate any symptoms to school staff and/or parents immediately as a concussion is primarily diagnosed by reported and observed signs and symptoms. It is the information provided by the student about their signs and symptoms that guide the other members of the team in transitioning the student back to activities. The amount and type of feedback reported by the student will be dependent on age and other factors. 

Students should:

a) Immediately report to the coach, athletic trainer or school nurse if you receive a blow to the head.
b) Be familiar with signs and symptoms that must be reported to the coach, school nurse, parent or guardian or other staff.
c) Be made aware of the risk of concussion and be encouraged to tell their coach, parent or guardian or other staff members about injuries and symptoms they are experiencing.
d) Be educated about the very real risk of second impact syndrome and how to avoid it by fully recovering from a concussion prior to resuming normal activities.
e) Follow instructions from their private medical provider.
f) Be encouraged to inform teachers of difficulties they experience in class and when completing assignments.
g) Encourage classmates and teammates to report injuries.
h) Promote an environment where admitting to signs and symptoms of a concussion is considered acceptable.

Parent or Guardian

Parent or guardians play an integral role in assisting their child. The parent or guardian is the person communicating with both the medical provider and the school. Understandably this is during a stressful time for the parent or guardian as they are concerned about their child’s well-being.

Parent or Guardians should:

a) Be familiar with the signs and symptoms of concussions: this may be accomplished by pamphlets and/or meetings prior to their child’s involvement in interscholastic athletics. Additionally parents should be aware of long term complications if concussion symptoms are ignored.
b) Understand why removal from activity and requiring a medical evaluation prior to returning to activity is in the best interest of their child.
c) Provide any forms and written orders from the medical provider to the school.
d) Communicate with the school to assist in transitioning the student back to school after suffering a concussion.
e) Ask the school nurse and school counselors to receive updates on their child and who will contact the parent or guardian on a regular basis with information about their child’s progress at school.
f) Communicate to appointed school staff if their child is experiencing significant fatigue or other symptoms at the end of the day. This information will be useful to school staff in planning the student’s academic day.
g) Communicate to the medical provider on the status of the student and their progress with return to school activity.
h) Follow provider orders for return to activities.

School Administrator

The school administrator should insure that the District’s policies on concussion management are followed. The administrator may choose to designate to a formal concussion management team the responsibility to oversee that District policies are enforced.

Administrators should:

a) Review with all staff the District’s concussion management policy.
b) Arrange for professional development sessions for staff and/or parent or guardian meetings.
c) Consult with the Medical Director, school nurse or athletic trainer before addressing needs of injured students or of a student diagnosed with a concussion.
d) Enforce District concussion management policies and protocols.

School Nurse

The school nurse (RN) can often be the person who communicates with the parent or guardian and collects written documentation and orders from the medical provider. The school nurse also plays an integral role in identifying a student with a potential concussion and assessing the student diagnosed with a concussion in their progress in return to school activities. The school nurse should:  

a) Assess students who have suffered a significant fall or blow to the head or body for signs and symptoms of a concussion. Observe for late onset of signs and symptoms.
b) Assess the student to determine if any signs and symptoms of concussion warrant emergency transport to the nearest emergency room as per District policy.
c) Refer parents/guardians of students with a potential concussion to their primary care provider for evaluation.
d) Provide parent or guardian with written instructions on observing for complications that would warrant immediate emergency care.
e) Inform appropriate staff, in conjunction with the building administrator of a student’s diagnosis of concussion.
f) Use the provider’s orders to develop an emergency care plan for staff to follow.
g) Monitor and assess the student’s tolerance of gradual return to school activities. The nurse can assist the student in the gradual return to activities, assessing the student’s progress with each step and communicating with the medical provider, Medical Director, parent or guardian and appropriate school staff.
h) If a 504 plan is necessary, the school nurse can address the need for accommodations.
i) Additionally, the school nurse can review a private physician’s written statement to clear a student to return to activities.
j) Educate student and staff in concussion management and prevention. 

Director of Physical Education and/or Athletic Director

The Director of Physical Education (PE) provides leadership and supervision for physical education (PE) class instruction, intramural activities and interscholastic athletic competition in the total physical education program. In some schools there may be an Athletic Director solely in charge of the interscholastic athletic competition. The Director of Physical Education and/or the Athletic Director should be aware of school policies regarding concussion management. The Director of PE and/or Athletic Director often act as the liaison between school staff and coaches. The Director of PE and/or Athletic Director should: 

a) Ensure that no student identified as potentially having a concussion is permitted to participate in any athletic activities until written clearance is received from the District Medical Director.
b) Communicate to coaches the District policies on concussions and care of injured students during interscholastic athletics including arranging for emergency medical transport if necessary.
c) Ensure NYSPHSAA (New York State Public High School Athletic Association) or PSAL (Public School Athletic League) policies are followed and enforced for interscholastic activities.
d) Enforce District policies on concussions.
e) If the District Medical Director has authorized the school nurse to review and approve a private provider’s clearance, that policy should be made readily available to the Athletic Director, PE Teachers and Coaches.

Athletic Trainer

A certified athletic trainer can assist the Medical Director and Director of PE by identifying a student with a potential concussion and evaluating the student diagnosed with a concussion in their progress in return to athletic activities. They also plan an integral role in insuring the student athlete receives appropriate post-concussion care as directed by the student’s medical provider. 

Athletic trainers should:

a) When present at athletic events, assist coaches and officials to identify a student who may have had a concussion.
b) Observe student for late onset signs and symptoms of concussion.
c) Provide parent or guardian with written instructions on observing for complications that would warrant immediate emergency care.
d) The trainer can evaluate the student to determine if any signs and symptoms of concussion warrant emergency transport to the nearest emergency room as per District policy.
e) The trainer can assist the student in the gradual return to play protocol, evaluating the student’s progress with each step and communicating with the medical provider, Medical Director, parent or guardian and appropriate school staff. 
f) May perform post-concussion screenings to aid the medical provider and District Medical Director in deciding if student has fully recovered.
g) Educate students and staff in concussion management and prevention.

Physical Education Teacher/Coaches

Concussions occur more often during athletic type activities. Coaches are typically the only school staff at all interscholastic athletic practice and competitions. It is essential that coaches and physical education teachers are familiar with the possible cause of concussions along with the signs and symptoms. Coaches and physical education teachers should always put the safety of the student first. 

a) If a student has taken a significant blow to the head or body they should be removed from play.
b) Game officials or parent or guardian should not be permitted to determine whether a student can continue to play.
c) Any student exhibiting signs and symptoms of a more severe concussion should be sent to the nearest hospital emergency room via emergency medical services (EMS) or as per District policy.
d) The coach should inform the parent or guardian of the need for evaluation by a medical provider. The coach should provide the parent or guardian with written educational materials on concussions along with the school’s concussion management policy.
e) The PE teacher or coach should inform the Athletic Director, athletic trainer and the school nurse and/or Medical Director of the student’s potential concussion. This is necessary to ensure that the student does not engage in activities at school that may complicate the student’s condition prior to having written clearance by a physician.
f) PE teachers and coaches are not to permit the student to participate in any athletic activities until they have written authorization from the Medical Director that the student has been cleared to participate. 

CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT/MALTREATMENT

Familial Child Abuse

The District subscribes to all of the provisions of Title 6 – Child Protective Services of the Social Services Law Sections 411-428. Our purpose is to provide protective services to abused and neglected/maltreated children as described by the law, and to make all school personnel within the District aware of our legal responsibilities under this law.

Regulations will be developed, maintained and disseminated by administration regarding the:

a) Mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect/maltreatment;
b) Reporting procedures and obligations of persons required to report;
c) Provisions for taking a child into protective custody;
d) Mandatory reporting of deaths;
e) Immunity from liability and penalties for failure to report;
f) Obligations for provision of services and procedures necessary to safeguard the life of a child; and
g) Provision of information in recognizing signs of unlawful methamphetamine laboratories for all current and new school officials (i.e., “mandated reporters”) who, as part of their usual responsibilities, visit children’s homes. 

Additionally, an ongoing training program for all current and new school officials will be established and implemented to enable such staff to carry out their reporting responsibilities.

School Officials Required to Report

The definition of a “school official” who is mandated to report cases of child abuse or neglect/maltreatment to the State Central Register (SCR) in accordance with Social Services Law Section 413(1) includes, but is not limited to, school teachers, school guidance counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, school nurses, school administrators or other school personnel required to hold a teaching or administrative license or certificate.

All mandated reporters will make the report themselves and then immediately notify the building principal or his or her designee. The building principal or his or her designee will be responsible for all subsequent administration necessitated by the report.  

Any report will include the name, title and contact information for every staff member who is believed to have direct knowledge of the allegations in the report.

Prohibition of Retaliatory Personnel Action

Social Services Law Section 413(1) also prohibits a school from taking any retaliatory personnel action against an employee because such employee believes that he or she has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is an abused or neglected/maltreated child and that employee makes a report to SCR in accordance with Social Services Law. Further, no school or school official will impose any conditions, including prior approval or prior notification, upon any staff member specifically designated a mandated reporter.

In accordance with Labor Law Section 740(1)(e), “retaliatory personnel action” means the discharge, suspension or demotion of an employee, or other adverse employment action taken against an employee in the terms and conditions of employment.

Report Form

The Revised May 2007 New York State Office of Children and Family Services “Report of Suspected Child Abuse or Maltreatment” Form LDSS-2221A may be accessed at:
http://www.ocfs.state.ny.us/main/cps/

Education Law Section 3209-a
Family Court Act Section 1012
Labor Law Section 740(1)(e)
Social Services Law Sections 411-428

Child Abuse in an Educational Setting

The District is committed to the protection of students in educational settings from abuse and maltreatment by employees or volunteers as enumerated in law.
“Child abuse” will mean any of the following acts committed in an educational setting by an employee or volunteer against a child: 

a) Intentionally or recklessly inflicting physical injury, serious physical injury or death; or
b) Intentionally or recklessly engaging in conduct which creates a substantial risk of such physical injury, serious physical injury or death; or 
c) Any child sexual abuse, defined as conduct prohibited by Penal Law Articles 130 or 263; or
d) The commission or attempted commission against a child of the crime of disseminating indecent materials to minors in accordance with Penal Law Article 235.

“Educational setting” will mean the building(s) and grounds of the District; the vehicles provided by the District for the transportation of students to and from school buildings, field trips, co-curricular and extracurricular activities both on and off District grounds; all co-curricular and extracurricular activity sites; and any other location where direct contact between an employee or volunteer and a child has allegedly occurred.

In any case where an oral or written allegation is made to a teacher, school’s registered professional nurse, school guidance counselor, school psychologist, school social worker, school administrator, Board member, or other school personnel required to hold a teaching or administrative license or certificate, that a child (defined in the law as a person under the age of 21 years enrolled in a school district in this state) has been subjected to child abuse by an employee or volunteer in an educational setting, that person will upon receipt of such allegation:

a) Promptly complete a written report of such allegation including the full name of the child alleged to be abused; the name of the child’s parent; the identity of the person making the allegation and their relationship to the alleged child victim; the name of the employee or volunteer against whom the allegation was made; and a listing of the specific allegations of child abuse in an educational setting. Such written report will be completed on a form as prescribed by the Commissioner of Education.
b) Except where the school administrator is the person receiving such an oral or written allegation, the employee completing the written report must promptly personally deliver a copy of that written report to the school administrator of the school in which the child abuse allegedly occurred (subject to the following paragraph). 

In any case where it is alleged the child was abused by an employee or volunteer of a school other than a school within the school district of the child’s attendance, the report of such allegations will be promptly forwarded to the Superintendent of the school district of the child’s attendance and the school district where the abuse allegedly occurred.

Any employee or volunteer who reasonably and in good faith makes a report of allegations of child abuse in an educational setting in accordance with the reporting requirements of the law will have immunity from civil liability which might otherwise result by reason of such actions.

Upon receipt of a written report alleging child abuse in an educational setting, the school administrator or Superintendent must then determine whether there is “reasonable suspicion” to believe that such an act of child abuse has occurred. Where there has been a determination as to the existence of such reasonable suspicion, the school administrator or Superintendent must follow the notification/reporting procedures mandated in law and further enumerated in administrative regulations including parental notification. When the school administrator receives a written report, he or she will promptly provide a copy of such report to the Superintendent.

Where the school administrator or Superintendent has forwarded a written report of child abuse in an educational setting to law enforcement authorities, the Superintendent will also refer such report to the Commissioner of Education where the employee or volunteer alleged to have committed such an act of child abuse holds a certification or license issued by the State Education Department.

Any school administrator or Superintendent who reasonably and in good faith makes a report of allegations of child abuse in an educational setting, or reasonably and in good faith transmits such a report to a person or agency as required by law, will have immunity from civil liability which might otherwise result by reason of such actions.

Reports and other written material submitted in accordance with law with regard to allegations of child abuse in an educational setting, and photographs taken concerning such reports that are in the possession of any person legally authorized to receive such information, will be confidential and will not be redisclosed except to law enforcement authorities involved in an investigation of child abuse in an educational setting or as expressly authorized by law or in accordance with a court-ordered subpoena. School administrators and the Superintendent will exercise reasonable care in preventing such unauthorized disclosure.

Additionally, teachers and all other school officials will be provided an annual written explanation concerning the reporting of child abuse in an educational setting, including the immunity provisions as enumerated in law. Further, the Commissioner of Education will furnish the District with required information, including rules and regulations for training necessary to implement District/staff responsibilities under the law.

Prohibition of “Silent” (Unreported) Resignations

The Superintendent and other school administrators are prohibited from withholding from law enforcement authorities, the Superintendent or the Commissioner of Education, where appropriate, information concerning allegations of child abuse in an educational setting against an employee or volunteer in exchange for that individual’s resignation or voluntary suspension from his or her position. 

Superintendents (or a designated administrator) who reasonably and in good faith report to law enforcement officials information regarding allegations of child abuse or a resignation as required in accordance with the law will have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, which might otherwise result by reason of such actions.

Education Law Article 23-B and Sections 902(b) and 3028-b
Penal Law Articles 130, 235 and 263
Social Services Law Section 413
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 83

COMPLAINTS AND GRIEVANCES BY STUDENTS

While students have the responsibility to abide by the policies and regulations of the District, they will also be afforded opportunity to present complaints and grievances free from interference, coercion, restraint, discrimination or reprisal. Administration will be responsible for:

a) Establishing rules and regulations for the redress of complaints or grievances through proper administration channels;
b) Developing an appeals process;
c) Ensuring that students have full understanding and access to these regulations and procedure; and
d) Providing prompt consideration and determination of student complaints and grievances.

Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior

The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participated in the investigation of a complaint of discrimination. Follow-up inquiries will be made to ensure that discrimination has not resumed and that all those involved in the investigation of the discrimination complaint have not suffered retaliation.

Complaints and Grievances Coordinator

Additionally, the Board will ensure compliance with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The Superintendent will designate a District employee as the Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator; and regulations and procedures will be implemented to resolve complaints of discrimination based on sex or disability.

Prior to the beginning of each school year, the District will issue an appropriate public announcement which advises students, parents/guardians, employees and the general public of the District’s established grievance procedures for resolving complaints of discrimination based on sex or disability. Included in such announcement will be the name, address and telephone number of the Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator.

The Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator will also be responsible for handling complaints and grievances regarding discrimination based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, age, military status, marital status, or use of a recognized guide dog, hearing dog or service dog.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF STUDENTS

The Board affirms its commitment to provide an environment free from sex-based discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual violence and intimidation. The Board, therefore, prohibits all forms of sexual harassment against students by other students, employees, school volunteers, and non-employees such as contractors and vendors, which occur on school grounds or at school-sponsored events, programs, or activities, including those that take place at locations off school premises.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. It can also be based on a person’s sexual orientation or their gender, including gender identity or expression and failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity. For the purposes of this policy, sexual harassment also includes sexual violence. Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. Sexual violence includes, but is not limited to: rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.

Sexual harassment can originate from a person of either sex against a person of the opposite or same sex, and from students, District employees, or third parties such as visitors or school volunteers.

Prohibited Conduct

Sexual harassment can be verbal, non-verbal, or physical. Examples of such conduct may include, but are not limited to, the following:  

a) Verbal abuse or ridicule, including innuendoes, stories and jokes that are sexual in nature and/or gender-related. This might include inappropriate sex-oriented comments on appearance, including dress or physical features.
b) Direct or indirect threats or bribes for unwanted sexual activity.
c) Asking or commenting about a person’s sexual activities.
d) Unwelcome and unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature including, but not limited to, physical acts such as assault, impeding or blocking movement, offensive touching, or any physical interference with normal work or movement.
e) Displaying or distributing pornographic or other sexually explicit materials such as magazines, pictures, internet material, cartoons, etc.
f) The use of profanity and/or other obscenities that are sexually suggestive or degrading in nature.
g) Unwelcome staring, leering, or gesturing which is sexually suggestive in nature.
h) Unwelcome and/or offensive public displays of sexual/physical affection.
i) Clothing that reflects sexually obscene and/or sexually explicit messages, slogans, or pictures.
j) Demanding sexual favors of a student, insinuating that refusal to acquiesce in such favors will adversely affect a student’s grades, references, academic/scholastic placement, and/or participation in extracurricular activities.
k) Engaging in sexual conduct with an individual who is unable to consent due to his or her age, use of drugs or alcohol, intellectual disability, or other disability.
l) Any other unwelcome and unwanted sexually oriented and/or gender-based behavior which is sexually demeaning, belittling, intimidating, or perpetrates sexual stereotypes and attitudes.

Investigation of Complaints and Grievances

In order for the Board to enforce this policy, and to take corrective measures as may be necessary, it is essential that any student who believes he or she has been a victim of sexual harassment in the school environment, as well as any other person who is aware of and/or who has knowledge of or witnesses any possible occurrence of sexual harassment, should immediately report such alleged harassment. The District recognizes that sexual harassment is a sensitive issue and that students may choose to inform any trusted staff member of suspected discrimination or harassment. Staff members who receive such complaints will immediately inform the Civil Rights Compliance Officer. Where appropriate, the Civil Rights Compliance Officer may seek the assistance of the relevant Dignity Act Coordinator in investigating, responding to, and remedying student complaints of discrimination and/or harassment. In the event that the Civil Rights Compliance Officer is the alleged offender, the report will be directed to another Civil Rights Compliance Officer, if the District has designated an additional individual to serve in such capacity, or to the Superintendent.

The District will act to promptly, thoroughly, and equitably investigate all complaints, whether verbal or written, of sexual harassment and will promptly take appropriate action to protect individuals from further sexual harassment. All such complaints will be handled in a manner consistent with the District’s policies, procedures, and/or regulations regarding the investigation of discrimination and harassment complaints, including Policy #3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District; and Administrative Regulation #3420R — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District. 

Additional information regarding the District’s discrimination and harassment complaint and grievance procedures, including but not limited to the designation of the Civil Rights Compliance Officer, knowingly making false accusations, and possible corrective actions, can be found in Policy #3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District and Administrative Regulation #3420R — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District.

Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior

The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participated in the investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment. Complaints of retaliation may be directed to the Civil Rights Compliance Officer. In the event the Civil Rights Compliance Officer is the alleged offender, the report will be directed to another Civil Rights Compliance Officer, if the District has designated another individual to serve in such a capacity, or to the Superintendent.

Where appropriate, follow-up inquiries will be made to ensure that sexual harassment has not resumed and that all those involved in the investigation of sexual harassment have not suffered retaliation.

Civil Rights Act of 1991, 42 USC Section 1981(a)
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 USC Section 1681 et seq.
34 CFR Section 100 et seq.
Education Law Section 2801(1)
OCR Dear Colleague Letter, April 4, 2011

BULLYING IN THE SCHOOLS

The Board of Education is committed to providing a safe and productive learning environment within its schools. Bullying of a student by another student is strictly prohibited on school property, in school buildings, on school buses, and at school-sponsored events and/or activities whether occurring on or off campus. The Board of Education shall require the prohibition of bullying – along with the range of possible intervention activities and/or sanctions for such misconduct – to be included in the District Code of Conduct for all grade levels.

For purposes of this policy, the term “bullying” among children is defined, in general, as: “a variety of negative acts carried out repeatedly over time. It involves a real or perceived imbalance of power, with a more powerful child or group attacking those who are less powerful.” Bullying can take three forms:

a) Physical (including, but not limited to, hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing, taking personal belongings);
b) Verbal (including, but not limited to, taunting, malicious teasing, name calling, making threats); and
c) Psychological (including, but not limited to, spreading rumors; manipulating social relationships; or engaging in social exclusion, extortion, or intimidation).

Although this Policy focuses on the bullying of a student by another student, it should be noted that bullying against any individual is strictly prohibited. This includes bullying of staff members against students, students against staff members, staff members against other staff members, and bullying by or against any parents, persons in parental relation, volunteers, visitors or vendors who may be on school property or at school-sponsored events as defined above.

Engages in Cyberbullying Behavior

As with other forms of bullying, cyberbullying is an attempt to display power and control over someone perceived as weaker. Cyberbullying involving District students may occur both on campus and off school grounds and may involve student use of the District Internet system or student use of personal digital devices while at school, such as cell phones, digital cameras, and personal computers to engage in bullying.

Cyberbullying includes, but is not limited to, the following misuses of technology: harassing, teasing, intimidating, threatening, or terrorizing another student or staff member by way of any technological tool, such as sending or posting inappropriate or derogatory email messages, instant messages, text messages, digital pictures or images, or website postings (including blogs or social networking sites).  

Cyberbullying has the effect of:

a) Physically, emotionally or mentally harming a student;
b) Placing a student in reasonable fear of physical, emotional or mental harm;
c) Placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to or Joss of personal property; and
d) Creating an intimidating or hostile environment that substantially interferes with a student’s educational opportunities.

Also, cyberbullying that occurs off-campus, that causes or threatens to cause a material or substantial disruption in the school, could allow school officials to apply the “Tinker standard” where a student’s off-campus “speech” may be subject to formal discipline by school officials when it is determined that the off-campus speech did cause a substantial disruption or threat thereof within the school setting [Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Sch. Dist. 393 U.S. 503 (1969)]. Such conduct could also be subject to appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with the District Code of Conduct and possible referral to local law enforcement authorities.

Reports of Allegations of Bullying/Cyberbullying Behavior

Any student who believes that he/she is being subjected to bullying/cyberbullying behavior, as well as any other person who has knowledge of or witnesses any possible occurrence of bullying, shall report the bullying to any staff member or the building principal. The staff member/building principal to whom the report is made (or the staff member/building principal who witnesses bullying behavior) shall promptly, thoroughly and equitably investigate the complaint and take appropriate action to include, as necessary, referral to the next level of supervisory authority and/or other official designated by the District to investigate allegations of bullying. Investigation of allegations of bullying shall follow the procedures utilized for complaints of harassment within the School District. Allegations of bullying shall be promptly and equitably investigated and will be treated as confidential and private to the extent possible within legal constraints.

Prevention and Intervention

The District believes in a “zero indifference” response to name-calling and bullying.

Personnel at all levels are responsible for taking consistent, corrective action to prevent bullying behavior of which they have been made aware at School District sites or activities and/or reporting such behavior to their immediate supervisor. Further, staff training shall be provided to raise awareness of the problem of bullying within the schools and to facilitate staff identification of and response to such bullying behavior among students.

Prevention and intervention techniques within the District to prevent bullying behavior and to support and protect victims shall include building-level and classroom-level strategies and activities as determined by administration. Individual intervention will be provided by appropriate staff members to bullies, victims and their parents to help ensure that the bullying stops.

Rules against bullying shall be publicized District-wide and shall be disseminated as appropriate to staff, students and parents.

Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior (Commonly Known as “Whistle-Blower” Protection)

The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participate in the investigation of allegations of bullying. Follow-up inquiries and/or appropriate monitoring of the alleged bully and victim shall be made to ensure that bullying behavior has not resumed and that all those involved in the investigation of allegations of bullying have not suffered retaliation.

Civil Service Law Section 75-B

HAZING OF STUDENTS

The Board is committed to providing a safe, productive, and positive learning environment within its schools. Hazing activities are demeaning and abusive behaviors that harm victims, are inconsistent with the educational goals of the District, and may constitute criminal conduct. Consequently, hazing of students by other students or groups of students is strictly prohibited on school property, in school buildings, on school buses, by school-sponsored groups, clubs, or teams, and at school-sponsored events and/or activities whether occurring on or off-campus. Hazing is prohibited regardless of the victim’s apparent willingness to participate in the activity.

For purposes of this policy, the term “hazing” is defined as any humiliating or dangerous activity expected of a student to join a group, regardless of their willingness to participate. Acts constituting hazing may range in severity from teasing or embarrassing a student to various forms of physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse. Hazing behaviors include, but are not limited to:

a) Humiliation: socially offensive, isolating, or uncooperative behaviors.
b) Substance abuse: abuse of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs.
c) Other dangerous actions: hurtful, aggressive, destructive, and disruptive behaviors.

Hazing is a form of harassment and bullying, as those terms are defined for the purposes of Policy #7554 — Dignity for All Students, and may constitute discrimination. As such, the District’s response to reports of hazing will be governed by applicable law, the District’s Code of Conduct, and Policy #7554 and its implementing regulations. In the event allegations involve hazing based on a student’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, or disability, the District may utilize the procedures set forth in Policy #3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District, and its implementing regulations.

Education Law Sections 1709-a, 2503-a, and 2801
Penal Law Sections 120.16 and 120.17
8 NYCRR Section 100.2

DIGNITY FOR ALL STUDENTS

The District seeks to create an environment free of harassment, bullying, and discrimination, to foster civility in its schools, and to prevent conduct which is inconsistent with its educational mission. The District, therefore, prohibits all forms of harassment and bullying of students by employees or other students on school property and at school functions. The District further prohibits discrimination against students, including but not limited to those acts based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (including gender identity or expression), or sex by school employees or other students on school property and at school-sponsored activities and events that take place at locations off school property. In addition, other acts of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination which can reasonably be expected to materially and substantially disrupt the education process may be subject to discipline or other corrective action.

The District believes in a “zero indifference” response to name-calling and bullying.

Dignity Act Coordinator

In each of its schools, the District will designate at least one employee holding such licenses and/or certifications as required by the Commissioner to serve as the Dignity Act Coordinator(s) (DAC). Each DAC will be thoroughly trained to handle human relations in the areas of race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (including gender identity or expression), and sex. Training will also be provided for DACs which addresses: the social patterns of harassment, bullying, and discrimination, including but not limited to those acts based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, and sex; the identification and mitigation of harassment, bullying, and discrimination; strategies for effectively addressing problems of exclusion, bias, and aggression in educational settings. All DAC appointments will be approved by the Board.

The District will share the name, designated school, and contact information of each DAC with all school personnel, students, and parents or persons in parental relation. Such information will be provided by:

a) Listing such information in the Code of Conduct, with updates posted on the District’s website; and
b) Including such information in the plain language summary of the Code of Conduct provided to all persons in parental relation to students before the beginning of each school year; and
c) Providing such information to parents and persons in parental relation in at least one District or school mailing or other method of distribution, including, but not limited to, electronic communication and/or sending information home with each student. If such information changes, parents and persons in parental relation will be notified of the changes in at least one subsequent District or school mailing or other such method of distribution as soon as practicable thereafter; and 
d) Posting such information in highly visible areas of school buildings; and
e) Making such information available at the District and school-level administrative offices.

If a DAC vacates his or her position, another school employee will immediately be designated for an interim appointment as DAC, pending approval from the Board, within 30 days of the date the position was vacated. In the event a DAC is unable to perform the duties of the position for an extended period of time, another school employee will immediately be designated for an interim appointment as DAC, pending return of the previous individual to the position.

Training and Awareness

Each year, employees will be provided with training to promote a supportive school environment that is free from harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, and to discourage and respond to incidents of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination. Such training may be provided in conjunction with existing professional development, will be conducted consistent with guidelines approved by the Board, and will:

a) Raise awareness and sensitivity to potential acts of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination;
b) Address social patterns of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination and the effects on students;
c) Inform employees on the identification and mitigation of such acts;
d) Enable employees to prevent and respond to incidents of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination;
e) Make school employees aware of the effects of harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, and/or discrimination on students;
f) Provide strategies for effectively addressing problems of exclusion, bias, and aggression;
g) Include safe and supportive school climate concepts in curriculum and classroom management; and
h) Ensure the effective implementation of school policy on conduct and discipline.

Rules against bullying, discrimination, and/or harassment will be included in the Code of Conduct, publicized District-wide, and disseminated to all staff and parents. Any amendments to the Code will be disseminated as soon as practicable following their adoption. New teachers will be provided a complete copy of the current Code upon their employment, and an age-appropriate summary will be distributed to all students at a school assembly at the beginning of each school year.

Reports and Investigations of Harassment, Bullying, and/or Discrimination

Students who have been subjected to harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, persons in parental relation whose children have been subjected to such behavior, or other students who observe or are told of such behavior, are encouraged and expected to make verbal and/or written reports to the principal, Superintendent, DAC, and/or other school personnel. All District staff who are aware of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, are required to orally report the incident(s) within one school day to the principal, Superintendent, or his or her designee and report it in writing within two school days after making an oral report.
Parents will be notified of all incidents reported under DASA involving their child, including incidents of anti-Semitic harassment, bullying and/or discrimination.

The principal, Superintendent, or the principal’s or Superintendent’s designee will lead and/or supervise a thorough investigation of all reports of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, and ensure that such investigations are completed promptly after receipt of any such reports. All investigations will be conducted in accordance with law, the District’s Code of Conduct, and applicable District policy and procedure. In the event allegations involve harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, or disability, the District may utilize the procedures set forth in Policy #3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District, and its implementing regulations. Where appropriate, the DAC or other individual conducting the investigation, may seek the assistance of the District’s Civil Rights Compliance Officer in investigating, responding to, and remedying complaints of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination.

In the event any such investigation reveals harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, the District will take prompt action reasonably calculated to end the harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, eliminate any hostile environment, create a more positive school culture and climate, prevent recurrence of the behavior, and ensure the safety of the student or students against whom such harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination was directed. Such actions will be taken consistent with applicable laws and regulations, District policies and administrative regulations, and collective bargaining agreements, as well as the District’s Code of Conduct and any and all applicable guidelines approved by the Board.

The Superintendent, principal, or his or her designee will notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency when it is believed that any incident of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination constitutes criminal conduct.

The principal of each primary and secondary school will provide a regular report (at least once during each school year) on data and trends related to harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination to the Superintendent. Such report will be submitted in a manner prescribed by the District.

The District will annually report material incidents of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination which occurred during the school year to the State Education Department. Such report will be submitted in a manner prescribed by the Commissioner, on or before the basic educational data system (BEDS) reporting deadline, or such other date as determined by the Commissioner.

Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior

In accordance with Education Law Section 16, any person who has reasonable cause to suspect that a student has been subjected to harassment, bullying, or discrimination by an employee or student on school grounds or at a school function, who acts reasonably and in good faith and reports such information to school officials, the Commissioner of Education, or law enforcement authorities, or otherwise initiates, testifies, participates, or assists in any formal or informal proceedings, will have immunity from any civil liability that may arise from making such report, or from initiating, testifying, participating, or assisting in such proceedings. Furthermore, the Board prohibits any retaliatory action against any person who, acting reasonably and in good faith, makes a report of harassment, bullying, or discrimination, or who otherwise initiates, testifies, participates, or assists in the investigation of a complaint of harassment, bullying, or discrimination.

Publication of District Policy

At least once during each school year, all school employees, students, and parents will be provided with a written or electronic copy of this policy, or a plain-language summary thereof, including notification of the process by which students, parents, and school employees may report harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination. Additionally, the District will strive to maintain a current version of this policy on its website at all times.

Application

Nothing in this policy or its implementing regulations should be interpreted to preclude or limit any right or cause of action provided under any local, state, or federal ordinance, law or regulation including but not limited to any remedies or rights available under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Law of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Education Law §§ 10-18, 801-a, 2801 and 3214
8 NYCRR § 100.2

NOTIFICATION OF SEX OFFENDERS

In accordance with the Sex Offender Registration Act (“Megan’s Law”), the Board supports the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) in its effort to inform the community in certain circumstances of the presence of individuals with a history of sex offenses, particularly against children, in the school locality. This policy is enacted in order to minimize the possibility that the sex offender will come in contact with school-age children, and to assist law enforcement agencies in preventing further criminal activity from occurring.

Furthermore, the District will cooperate with local police authorities and the local community in promoting and protecting the safety and well-being of its students.

The Superintendent will ensure the dissemination of all information which the District receives from local police authorities in conjunction with Megan’s Law to designated staff members who might have possible contact with the offender during the course of their school duties including, but not limited to: building principals, supervisors, teachers, office personnel, coaches, custodians, bus drivers, and security personnel. The Superintendent reserves the right to automatically disseminate such information to additional members of the staff, designated supervisors of non-school groups that regularly use District facilities and have children in attendance, parents/guardians of District students, and other community residents who, in the opinion of the Superintendent, have an immediate need to be notified of such data in order to protect the safety of our students.

Staff members will be informed of the availability of the information received by the District in accordance with Megan’s Law upon written request to the applicable building principal or designee or supervisor. In order for community members to access the above referenced information, the District will post a link on its website to the New York State online Sex Offender Registry. Community residents may also request information from the District Clerk. Should the District need to inform the community of information in accordance with Megan’s Law, the emergency automated phone call system will be activated directing them to the link on the website.

Special Circumstances Whereby Sex Offenders May Enter Upon School Grounds

As a mandatory condition of the sentence for sex offenders placed on probation or conditional discharge whose victim was under the age of 18 or who has been designated a Level 3 sex offender, the court requires that such sentenced offender refrain from knowingly entering into or upon school grounds or any other facility or institution primarily used for the care or treatment of persons under the age of 18 while one or more of such persons are present.

However, by exception, a sex offender may enter school grounds or facility with the written authorization of his or her parole officer and the Superintendent for the limited authorized purposes. Entrance upon the premises is subject to the following conditions: 

a) The offender is a registered student, participant or employee of the facility;
b) The offender is an employee of an entity contracted by the facility;
c) The offender has a family member enrolled in the facility. or
d) If the school is the offender’s designated polling place and he or she enters solely to vote.

Implementation

Administrative regulations will be developed to implement this policy.

Correction Law Article 6-C Executive Law 259-c(14)
Penal Law 65.10(4-a)
Public Officers Law Section 84 et seq.

SUPERVISION OF STUDENTS

Students working on any activity must be supervised by the teacher or staff member in charge of the activity. This applies to all in school and extracurricular activities as well as sports activities and events. Permission to hold practices or meetings must not be granted unless a teacher or staff member is definitely in charge.

a) District personnel will be fully responsible for the supervision of all students in either their class or their after school activities.
b) Coaches will maintain supervision over the dressing rooms by personally being present during the dressing periods. Coaches are responsible for the supervision of their athletes at the end of practice. This may entail bus duty, or making sure students have transportation home.
c) Teachers and/or assigned school personnel in the elementary grades will be responsible for the playground supervision of all the children under their jurisdiction during the recess periods and before the regular afternoon sessions. The principal will distribute the responsibility so that the playground situation will be properly controlled.
d) Students are not to be sent on any type of errand away from the building.

SAFE PUBLIC SCHOOL CHOICE OPTION TO STUDENTS WHO ARE VICTIMS OF A VIOLENT CRIMINAL OFFENSE

Any District student who is a victim of a violent criminal offense, as defined in accordance with Education Law and Commissioner’s regulations, that occurred on the grounds of the District elementary or secondary school that the student attends, will be allowed to attend a safe public school within the District to the extent required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and state law and regulations.
In accordance with Commissioner’s regulations, a “safe public school will mean a public school that has not been designated by the Commissioner of Education as a persistently dangerous public elementary or secondary school.”

Violent Criminal Offense

The Superintendent will determine if the student has been the victim of a “violent criminal offense.” “Violent criminal offense” means a crime that:

a) Involves infliction of a serious physical injury upon another as defined in New York State Penal Law Section 10.00(10); or
b) A sex offense that involves forcible compulsion; or
c) Any other offense defined in New York State Penal Law Section 10.00(12) that involves the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon.

Determination Whether Student is a Victim

Procedures will be established for determination by the Superintendent of whether a student is a victim of a violent criminal offense that occurred on school grounds of the school the student attends. The Superintendent will, prior to making any such determination, consult with any law enforcement agency investigating the alleged violent criminal incident and consider any reports or records provided by such agency. However, a criminal conviction is not required prior to the Superintendent’s determination that a student has been a victim of a violent criminal offense. The Superintendent may also consult with the school attorney prior to making such determination.

The Superintendent’s determination may be appealed to the Board. However, this determination will not preclude any student disciplinary proceeding brought against the alleged victim or perpetrator of such violent criminal offense.

Notice to Parents or Persons in Parental Relation

A school district that is required to provide school choice in accordance with applicable provisions  of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Education Law and Commissioner’s regulations, will establish procedures for notification of parents of, or persons in parental relation to, students who are victims of violent criminal offenses of their right to transfer to a safe public school within the District and procedures for such transfer. Such notice will be, to the extent practicable, provided in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the parents or persons in parental relation to such student. The District will so notify the parents of, or persons in parental relation to, such student within 24 hours of the determination that the student has been the victim of a violent criminal offense on school grounds at the school he or she attends.

Written notice will be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or equivalent means reasonably calculated to assure receipt of such notice within 24 hours of such determination at the last known address or addresses of the parents or persons in parental relation to the student. Where possible, notification will also be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting parents or persons in parental relation.

However, such notification will not be required where there are no other public schools within the District at the same grade level or a transfer to a safe public school within the District is otherwise impossible. Similarly, procedures for such notification of parents or persons in parental relation to students who are victims of violent criminal offenses will not be required where the District has only one public school within the District or only one public school at each grade level.

Designation of Safe Public School

It will be the responsibility of the District, based on objective criteria, to designate a safe public school or schools within the District to which students may transfer. However, the District is not required to designate a safe public school where there are no other public schools within the District at the same grade level or transfer to a safe public school within the District is otherwise impossible. Similarly, if the District has only one public school within the School System or only one public school at each grade level, the District will not be required to designate a safe public school.

Any student who transfers to a safe public school, in accordance with the provisions of this policy and applicable law and regulation, will be enrolled in the classes and other activities of the public school to which such student transfers in the same manner as all other students at the public school. The receiving school will be identified by the District and must be at the same grade level as the school from which the student is transferring. To the extent possible the District will allow transferring students to transfer to a school that is making adequate yearly progress and has not been identified as requiring school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring. The District will provide transportation for any student permitted to transfer to the safe public school within the District designated by the School System within the transportation limits established in accordance with Education Law Sections 3635 and 4401(4). Any student who transfers to a safe public school will be permitted to remain in such safe public school until the student has completed the highest grade level in the school transferred to, or for such other period prescribed by the U.S. Department of Education, whichever is less.

While the parents or persons in parental relation to the student must be offered the opportunity to transfer their child, they may elect to have the child remain at the school he or she currently attends.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001,
Section 9532
Education Law Section 2802(7)
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 120.5 

Pine Bush Central School District
State Route 302, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Phone: (845) 744-2031
Fax: (845) 744-6189
Tim O. Mains
Superintendent of Schools
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