Dear Intermediate and Junior High School Students,
Welcome back to school! The 2022-23 School Year will be exciting, fulfilling, and enjoyable, but the degree of excitement, fulfillment, and enjoyment will depend on how willing you are to participate in our school community and how ready you are to open your minds to learning and exploring. This planner should serve as an important organizing tool. Even us principals understand that a solid organization plan is essential for success. Beyond serving as an organizer, this planner also contains loads of valuable information that would certainly add to great conversation at the dinner table or among your friends.
Here are just some of the tidbits of useful information that are found in the planner:
- A colorful map of North America, including all the state capitals and a map of the world
- A school calendar with your vacation days listed! By looking at it, you won’t show up here any day you are scheduled for vacation. (downloaded version only)
- A portion of the code of conduct (along with a sheet for students to rip out and return after you and your parents sign, downloaded version only)
- A statement about bullying and some important questions for “the bystander”
- A Periodic table of Elements
- A list of all the United States Presidents
- A page on ways you can help save our environment
- A study skills page to help you stay on top of homework and how to listen better
- Your academic planner month by month with …
- Scenic pictures from around the world
- Little known facts
- Historical references to date
- Words of Wisdom
- A place to keep notes about the week
- Tips for writing essays and correct research format
- Basic grammar, punctuation, spelling rules
- Useful vocabulary words
- Mathematics – Angles and geometric figures, order of operations, basic algebra
- A Diagram of the Solar System
- Branches of Government and the Bill of Rights
- A place to write down your daily schedule
Look around your new building! As we write this letter, our school is under construction and by the time you receive this planner, you will be surrounded by newness everywhere – new lockers, new windows, new gym floor, new roof, new doors, new lights, new cafeteria, and new lecture hall, just to name a few. This new building and this planner should help you start a new school year with a positive attitude and great energy.
We are one community and throughout the year, we will learn how to better understand and respect each other. Doing the right thing when nobody is looking is something we want all of you to experience; this is especially important when we look out for each other – not only our friends but those who may need our support and encouragement.
We look forward to another exciting and rewarding year together!
Mr. Lee Cutler
Intermediate School Principal
Ms. Victoria Saffioti
Junior High Principal
Mr. Stephen Protoss
The Rondout Valley Central School District is committed to maintaining high standards of education for all students in our schools. Essential to this commitment is a safe and respectful school climate that is rooted in community, interconnectedness, inclusiveness, and clear expectations of all school community members. We believe that a code of conduct should clearly outline the rights and responsibilities of students and staff and should reflect accountability but also caring and a belief that all discipline should have an educational component that helps members of the community grow. All members of the school community, including students, parents and guardians, principals, school staff, and the district office, have rights and responsibilities that support a strong school community. To that end, disciplinary responses should focus on promoting positive relationships, intervention strategies, and the use of suspensions only as a disciplinary measure of last resort.
School Climate and Culture
School climate is defined as the elements in a school that are related to relationships, teaching and learning, physical environment and safety. Positive relationships are critical to creating a positive school climate. It is the firm belief of the Rondout Valley Central School District that school leaders set the tone and expectations for an entire school community, paving the way for all members of our community to take simple yet meaningful steps to improve school climate.
Schools with a positive climate and culture have:
- An atmosphere of inclusiveness where every student and staff member feel welcome, appreciated, valued, and seen.
- Vast opportunities for community members to grow together through conflict resolution and cooperation.
- Opportunities for all community members to practice and learn how to make restitution to those they may have harmed.
- Opportunities for those harmed by someone else to feel that justice has been served making forgiveness thereby possible.
- Positive relationships with all stakeholders: parents, students, teachers, and school staff.
- Training and resources to resolve conflict peacefully and respectfully.
- Supports for students who are experiencing emotional crisis, trauma, or serious challenges in their homes and communities.
- Engaging academic and extracurricular activities for students that meet social-emotional and academic needs.
- Effective communication among staff, students, parents, and communities.
- Clean and well-maintained physical environments that clearly demonstrate school pride and a love of learning.
- A learning environment where students and staff feel physically and emotionally safe.
Code of Conduct Principles
The following five principles serve as an important foundation to guide behavior, both individually and in interpersonal relationships. If students abide by these principles, the learning environment in all schools will be strengthened.
- My words, actions, and attitude demonstrate respect for myself and others at all times.
- I seek to correct harm that I have caused to others in the school community.
- I demonstrate pride in myself, in my future, and in my school by arriving on time, dressed appropriately, and prepared to focus on my studies.
- I always seek the most peaceful means of resolving conflict and obtain the assistance of my peers, teachers, administrator, or school staff when I am unable to resolve conflicts on my own.
- I look out for my fellow classmates and speak out when I see injustice, unfairness, or bullying.
Restorative and Inclusive Practices
The Rondout Valley Central School District is committed to restorative, inclusive, and community-centered practices as an integral component of our discipline code and conflict resolution process. These practices have the potential to create a more inclusive culture as they work to connect students to their community. Rondout Valley Central School District considers these approaches as an essential component of progressive discipline. The following describe the tenets of the Rondout Valley approach:
- Inclusive and community centered approaches are based on respect, responsibility, accountability, relationship-building and relationship repairing.
- Our school community focuses on mediation, conflict resolution, and collaboration.
- Inclusive and community-centered practices that keep our students in school and create a safe environment conducive to learning.
- Discipline is viewed as an opportunity to learn, grow, and most importantly connect offenders with other community members in meaningful and long-lasting ways.
Restorative approaches originate from common practices that reflect our shared humanity and the need we all have to connect with others. This is a proactive approach that works best when woven into a positive school culture. While the use of these practices is situational, there are some basic questions that would be asked of both the offender and victim and serve as a simple foundation of all restorative practices:
|For The Offender||For The Victim|
|• What Happened?
• What were you thinking at the time?
• What have you thought about since?
• Who has been affected by what you have done? In what way?
• What do you think you need to do to make things right?
• What did you think when you realized what happened?
From the International Institute of Restorative Practices
The Rondout Valley Board of Education is committed to implementing an inclusive and community-centered approach to discipline
district-wide. While it is important to note that this kind of restorative-centered philosophy is a significant part of our approach to discipline, and may replace traditional disciplinary consequences in certain cases, there will be times when traditional consequences will be used in addition to or in lieu of restorative practices.
Rondout Valley Central School District’s goal for establishing a Code of Conduct is to empower students to become responsible, respectful, involved, and caring citizens within their community. The Board of Education is responsible for ensuring that essential regulations are established, and an understood Code of Conduct is in place to both support a positive school climate and to promote and develop the social, emotional, and educational growth of all students.
Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities
The Rondout Valley Central School District believes in the right of each student to receive a free and appropriate education. All students in this state between the ages of six and the school year through which he or she becomes 16 are required by law to regularly attend school, either in the public schools, non-public schools that are approved for equivalency of instruction by the appropriate school authorities, or in the home in accordance with the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.
The right to a free public school education extends to all students, including those with disabilities. However, this right is not unconditional. As long as due process of law requirements are met, a student may be removed from the classroom, suspended temporarily, or suspended permanently from school. Only students within the compulsory education ages (age six through the school year in which the student turns 16) are entitled to alternative, equivalent instruction following suspension.
The Rondout Valley Central School District recognizes that students are guaranteed certain rights by law and believes that students are more likely to accept responsibility for following the rules and regulations of the school when these rights are understood, and students are treated fairly. Students are encouraged to work with the administration and the faculty in the development of school policy and should help with its enforcement.
The school is a community and the students, as well as the faculty and administration, are responsible for the atmosphere of the school. With this in mind, the Administration of Rondout Valley Central School District advises students that they possess the following rights:
- All students who have not received a high school diploma are entitled to a free public education until they attain the age of 21.
- Students have the right to free speech, provided that it does not interfere with the orderly conduct of classes and is not libelous, slanderous, or obscene.
- Students have the right to wear display buttons, arm bands, or other badges of expression as long as they do not interfere with the orderly conduct of classes or contain material that is prejudicial, libelous, slanderous, or obscene.
- No student shall be discriminated against on the basis of gender, race, disability, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status, or veteran status.
- All students have the right to distribute literature on school grounds as long as it does not interfere with normal school procedures and is not obscene, libelous, slanderous, or disruptive to the education process. The Board of Education has the right to establish guidelines for such distribution. The current guidelines can be found in the Board Policy Manual and must be consulted before any material is distributed.
- No student will be searched by school district personnel unless the administration has determined reasonable cause to do so. Lockers and desks remain the property of the school district to be used by students, and therefore, may be subject to inspection at any time.
- In cases where police or school officers enter the school, students have the same constitutional protections that they would have if they were not in school. Students have the right to a hearing prior to suspension unless the student's actions are deemed to be dangerous to self or others.
- The Principal may suspend a student for a period not to exceed five school days. Only the Board of Education or the Superintendent has the power to suspend a student for more than five school days. In all cases of suspension, the student and the student’s parent(s) have the right to a meeting where they shall be informed of the charges against the student, and they shall be allowed to question the complaining witnesses. No student shall be suspended for more than five school days without the opportunity to have a hearing, to be represented by counsel, and to cross-examine witnesses
- No person shall be disqualified from any high school athletic team by reason of that person's sex unless specifically disqualified by the State Commissioner of Education Regulations.
- No student shall be denied the right to participate in any of the activities of the school because of pregnancy, marriage, or parenthood.
- No student shall be denied a free public education because of a disability.
- All students have equal access to all communications resources of the school, subject to the rules and regulations.
- Student Dress – All students are expected to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to dress appropriately for school and school functions. Students and their parents have the primary responsibility for acceptable student dress and appearance. Teachers and all other district personnel should exemplify and reinforce acceptable student dress and help students develop an understanding of appropriate appearance in the school setting. A student's dress, grooming, and appearance, including but not limited to hair style/color, jewelry, makeup, and nails, shall:
a. Be safe, appropriate, and not disrupt or interfere with the educational process.
b. Recognize that extremely brief garments are not appropriate.
c. Ensure that underwear is completely covered with outer clothing.
d. Include footwear at all times. Footwear that is a safety hazard will not be allowed.
e. Not include items that are vulgar, obscene, libelous, or denigrate others on account of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
f. Not promote and/or endorse the use of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs and/or encourage other illegal, violent, or gang related activities.
g. Hats and backpacks are to be stored in a designated locker or approved alternative location except when entering or leaving school for the day.
Each Principal or the Principal’s designee shall be responsible for informing all students and their parents of the student dress code at the beginning of the school year and any revisions to the dress code made during the school year.
Students who violate the student dress code shall be required to modify their appearance by covering or removing the offending item and, if necessary or practical, replacing it with an acceptable item. Any student who refuses to do so shall be subject to discipline, up to and including inschool suspension for the day. Any student who repeatedly fails to comply with the dress code shall be subject to further discipline, up to and including out of school suspension.
14. Student Records – A parent or any student who has attained the age of 18 has the right to inspect the student’s records provided procedures requesting this examination have been followed.
These rights have been adapted from the New York State Education Department publication “Guideline for Students Rights and Responsibilities”. If you feel you have been denied any of the rights mentioned above, you should discuss it with your student organization representative, your guidance counselor, Assistant Principal, or Principal.
15. Student Government – Students are encouraged to participate in the various student governmental bodies which have been or may be established in our schools. It shall be the duty of the student governmental body to establish reasonable standards for qualification of candidates to serve in offices of the government. Elections for student government shall be conducted in accordance with the principles of our democracy, and elected student representatives shall work with the faculty, administration, and student body in identifying cooperatively those areas of appropriate student responsibility. All student governmental bodies shall have a faculty advisor and shall be organized pursuant to a specific written constitution which the students shall participate in formulating.
16. Student Clubs and Other Student Organizations – The District encourages students to participate in extracurricular activity clubs and/or organizations. To the extent that the District authorizes meetings of non-curriculum related clubs or organizations, the same shall be subject to the constitution of the student government and shall be conducted in accordance with any applicable federal or state law, as well as Board of Education policy and regulations.
17. Student Grievances and Complaints – If a student has a grievance or a complaint about a school-related matter, a school employee, or other school official; the student may submit it, in writing, to the Principal of the school who shall respond within ten (10) school days with a written answer or proposed resolution. Grievances or complaints may be appealed in writing to the Superintendent of Schools if the Principal’s answer or proposed resolution is not deemed satisfactory by the student. The Superintendent of Schools shall respond to all grievances and complaints within a reasonable period of time following receipt of the written appeal document.
Responsibilities of Students
A school becomes a microcosm of the community and within the Rondout Valley Central School District community each student is an active participant in forming and defining its culture and climate. All students are accountable for their behavior within this community. It is the expectation that students will treat each other with respect, and that all students can expect the same treatment in return. With this in mind, each student is expected to do the following:
1. To recognize that they are part of a learning community and have a responsibility to accept every other member of that community.
2. To work within the community to take ownership of their actions and to understand that what they say and do affects others.
3. To respect the rights of others within an inclusive and safe environment.
4. To attend school regularly and on time.
5. To be an active participant in the learning process.
6. To respect school property.
7. To contribute toward establishing and maintaining an atmosphere that generates mutual respect and dignity for all.
8. To become familiar with this code and seek interpretation of parts not understood.
9. To encourage appropriate behavior of other students and to follow proper protocol in reporting misbehavior when encouragement is not enough.
10. To adhere to reasonable directives made by a staff member.
11. To identify themselves when requested by a staff member.
12. To use appropriate language and to engage in behavior that does not disrupt the educational environment of others.
Students of the Rondout Valley Central School District, whether in school, or on school grounds, or at school activities, are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which is appropriate and which reflects respect for themselves and others. The main purpose of our schools is to provide a quality education in a safe environment. Anyone who interferes with or hinders this process will be subject to progressive discipline.
The Role of Parents
A cooperative relationship between home and school is essential to each student's successful development and achievements. To achieve this wholesome relationship, parents are urged:
1. To show an enthusiastic and supportive attitude toward school and education.
2. To insist on prompt and regular attendance.
3. To listen to the views and observations of all parties concerned.
4. To recognize that teachers merit the same consideration and respect from students that parents expect from their children.
5. To assist their child to follow the Rondout Valley Central School District dress code.
6. To insist that their child promptly bring home all communications from school.
7. To cooperate with the school in jointly resolving any school related problem.
8. To provide a place conducive for study and completion of homework assignments.
9. To provide support and positive reinforcement to their child.
NOTE: Parents should be aware that they are responsible for any financial obligations incurred by their child in school. This includes lost books, damage to property, etc. Examples include but are not limited to: damaged property, iPads, or lost books.
The Role of School Personnel
School personnel play an important role in the education of students. In view of this responsibility, school personnel are expected to:
1. Promote a climate of mutual respect and dignity which will strengthen each student’s positive self-image.
2. Teach the common courtesies by precept and example.
3. Treat students in an ethical, respectful and responsible manner.
4. Help students to reach their maximum potential.
5. Demonstrate desirable standards of behavior through personal example.
6. Report violations of the Code of Conduct to the building Principal, acting building Principal, or Superintendent of Schools, if necessary.
7. Immediately report and refer violent students to the Principal or Superintendent of Schools.
The Role of Teachers
Teachers shall familiarize themselves with the requirements of this code, including their rights and responsibilities in removal of disruptive students; referrals of "violent" students as defined in the code; as well as reporting a dangerous situation.
All of our teachers know that they work every day with this nation's most precious commodity – the future generation. In view of this responsibility, teachers are expected to:
1. Promote a climate of mutual respect and dignity which will strengthen each student’s positive self-image.
2. Plan and conduct a product of instruction that will make learning challenging and stimulating.
3. Recognize that some disciplinary problems are caused by a student’s personal and academic frustrations.
4. Utilize classroom routines which contribute to the total instructional program and to the students' development of civic responsibility.
5. Seek to develop close cooperative relationships with parents for the educational benefit of the student.
6. Distinguish between minor student misconduct best handled by the teacher and major problems requiring the assistance of the administrator.
7. Teach the common courtesies by precept and example.
8. Handle individual infractions privately and avoid punishing the group for the misbehavior of one or two.
9. Remove a student who seriously interferes with the instructional program of the classroom.
10. Treat students in an ethical and responsible manner.
11. Help students to reach their maximum potential.
12. Serve as a surrogate parent in matters of behavior and discipline in accordance with New York State School Education Law.
13. Explain and interpret the discipline process to students.
14. Demonstrate desirable standards of behavior.
15. Know the support services available to students and refer students who are in need of such services.
16. Comply with state laws regarding corporal punishment and mandated reporting of suspected child abuse and child abuse in an educational setting.
17. In the event of removal from class, inform the student and the Principal of the reason for the removal.
18. Immediately report and refer violent students to the Principal or Superintendent of Schools.
The Role of Building Administrators
As the educational leaders of the school, the Principal and the Principal’s assistant(s) set the disciplinary climate for the school, not only for students, but for staff as well. Therefore, they are expected to:
1. Seek to develop a sound and healthful atmosphere of mutual respect.
2. Evaluate the program of instruction in their school to achieve a meaningful educational program.
3. Help their staff self-evaluate their procedures and attitudes in relation to the interaction within their classrooms.
4. Develop procedures which reduce the likelihood of student misconduct.
5. Provide the opportunity for students and staff to approach the Principal directly for redress of grievances.
6. Work with students and staff to formulate school regulations.
7. Assist staff members to resolve problems which may occur.
8. Work closely with parents to establish a wholesome relationship between home and school.
9. Utilize all appropriate support staff and community agencies to help parents and students identify problems and seek solutions.
10. Establish necessary building security.
11. Assume responsibility for the dissemination and enforcement of the Code of Conduct and ensure that all discipline cases referred are resolved promptly.
12. Insure that students are provided with fair, reasonable, and consistent discipline.
13. Comply with pertinent state laws governing hearings, suspensions, and student rights.
14. Develop behavior guidelines and appeals procedures specific to each assigned school in harmony with this Code of Conduct.
15. Demonstrate desirable standards of behavior
The Role of District Administrators
As the educational leaders of the school system, the Superintendent of Schools and central administrators are expected to:
1. Reinforce and extend the indicated responsibilities of the Principals and make them applicable to the school system for grades K-12.
2. Recommend to the Board of Education appropriate policy, regulations, and actions to achieve optimum conditions for positive learning.
3. Develop and implement an effective Code of Conduct supportable by students, parents, staff, and community.
4. Demonstrate desirable standards of behavior.
5. Provide each teacher with a copy of the Code of Conduct.
The Role of Other District Personnel
The Role of the Board of Education
As the elected officials in charge of our schools, the Board of Education:
1. Adopts the policies governing the District, including this Code of Conduct.
2. Ensures that the Code of Conduct contains clear behavioral expectations and disciplinary consequences for students, staff, and visitors.
3. Ensures that the Code of Conduct is clearly communicated to students, parents, staff, and the school community.
4. Ensures that the Code of Conduct is implemented and enforced in a consistent, reasonable, fair, and equitable manner.
5. Annually reviews the Code of Conduct and updates it as necessary after a public hearing.
Public Conduct on School Property
In an effort to maintain a safe and healthy educational environment, all visitors to the District must sign in at the Main Office of the building visited.
The Board of Education recognizes that the primary purpose of the school district is to provide a superior atmosphere for learning. Any action by an individual or group(s) aimed at disrupting, interfering with, or delaying the education process or having such effect, is prohibited. The Board also recognizes its responsibility to protect school property and declares its intent to take any and all legal action necessary to prevent its damage or destruction. The Board will also seek restitution from and prosecution of any person or persons who willfully damage school property.
These rules govern the conduct of students, parents, faculty and other staff, other visitors, licensees, invitees, and all other persons, whether or not their presence is authorized, upon district property, and also upon or with respect to any other premises or property (including school buses) under the control of the District and used in its instructional programs, administrative, cultural, recreational, athletic, and other programs and activities, whether or not conducted on school premises.
No person, either singly or in concert with others, shall:
1. Willfully cause physical injury to any other person, or threaten to do so, for the purpose of compelling or inducing such other person to refrain from any act which that person has a lawful right to do, or to do any act which is unlawful.
2. Intimidate, harass, or discriminate against any person on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, or disability.
3. Physically restrain or detain any other person or remove such person from any place where that person is authorized to remain.
4. Willfully damage or destroy property of the District or property under the District’s jurisdiction, or remove or use such property without authorization.
5. Without permission, expressed or implied, enter into any private office of an administrative officer, member of the faculty, or staff member.
6. Enter upon and remain in any building or facility for any purpose other than its authorized uses or in such manner as to obstruct its authorized use by others.
7. Without authorization, remain in any building or facility after it is normally closed; refuse to leave any building or facility after being requested or directed to do so by an authorized administrative officer, member of the faculty or staff member, or member of the Board of Education.
8. Obstruct the free movement of persons and vehicles in any place to which these rules apply.
9. Deliberately disrupt or prevent the peaceful and orderly conduct of classes, lectures and meetings, or deliberately interfere with the freedom of any person to express their views, including invited speakers.
10. Knowingly have in their possession upon any premises to which these rules apply any rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver, or other firearm or weapon without authorization of the chief administrative officer, whether or not a license to possess the same has been issued to such person.
11. Willfully incite others to commit any of the acts herein prohibited with specific intent to procure them to do so.
Penalties and Procedures
A person who shall violate any of the provisions of these rules shall be subject to the following penalties and procedures:
1. If a licensee or invitee, their authorization to remain upon the grounds or other property shall be withdrawn and they shall be directed to leave the premises. In the event of failure to do so, they shall be subject to ejection and/or arrest.
2. If a trespasser or visitor without specific license or invitation, they shall be subject to ejection and/or arrest.
3. If they are a student, they shall be subject to disciplinary action as the facts of the case may warrant, as prescribed by Section 3214 of the Education Law and the Student Code of Conduct.
4. If an administrator or faculty member, they shall be subject to disciplinary action as prescribed by and in accordance with procedures of the Education Law and the collectively negotiated agreement.
5. If a staff member in the classified service of the civil service, they shall be subject to disciplinary action as prescribed by Section 7.5 of the Civil Service Law and be subject to ejection.
6. If a staff member other than one described above, they shall be subject to discipline in accordance with law and any applicable collectively negotiated agreement.
The Superintendent of Schools shall be responsible for the enforcement of these rules, and they shall designate the other personnel who are authorized to take action in accordance with such rules when required or appropriate to carry them into effect.
1. In the case of any apparent violation of these rules by such persons which, in the judgment of the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee, does not pose any immediate threat of injury to person or property, such officer may make reasonable effort to learn the cause of the conduct in question and to persuade those engaged therein to desist and to resort to permissible methods for resolution of any issues which may be presented. In doing so such officer shall warn such persons of the consequences or persistence in the prohibited conduct, including their ejection from any district properties where their continued presence and conduct is in violation of these rules.
2. In any case where violation of these rules does not cease after such warning and in other cases of willful violation of such rules, the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee shall cause the ejection of the violator from any premises which they occupy in such violation and shall initiate disciplinary action hereinbefore provided.
3. The Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee may apply to the public authorities for any aid which they deem necessary in causing the ejection of any violator of these rules, and they may request the Board's counsel to apply to any court of appropriate jurisdiction for any injunction to restrain the violation or threatened violation of such rules.
This code and the penalties set forth herein are not considered to be inclusive or to preclude in any way the prosecution and conviction of any person for the violation of any federal or state law or local ordinance and the imposition of a fine or penalty provided for therein.
In the event that the Superintendent is the subject of the complaint, the Board of Education shall be responsible for the enforcement of these rules.
1. Spectators are an important part of the game and should at all times conform to accepted standards of sportsmanship and behavior.
2. Spectators should show respect for officials, coaches, and players.
3. Enthusiastic and wholesome cheering is encouraged.
4. Disrespectful remarks should be avoided.
5. Bells or noisemakers of any kind are not acceptable for indoor athletic activities.
6. During the free throw in basketball, spectators should refrain from making excessive noise.
7. Spectators should encourage all people to observe the Code of Ethics of the Mid-Hudson Athletic League (MHAL). Those who do not respond should be reported to the proper school authorities immediately.
8. Spectators should observe and obey the rules and regulations of the school concerning smoking, food and soft drink consumption, use of lavatory facilities, and parking of cars.
9. New York State law prohibits alcoholic beverages of any kind on school property. The law further prohibits any person under the influence of alcohol to be on school property.
10. Spectators should respect and obey all school officials, state police, county sheriff department personnel, and police at all athletic contests.
11. For flagrant and/or repeated violation of this code, spectators will be evicted from the area and denied the privilege of attending all future extracurricular activities for the balance of the school year. Student violators of this denial of spectator privilege will be subject to discipline, including suspension from school.
12. No smoking is permitted on school grounds.
13. Parking is permitted only in designated spaces.
14. Only designated lavatories may be used.
15. Follow food and drink guidelines designated for the area. No food or drink is permitted in any gymnasium.
16. No dogs are permitted on school grounds.
Prohibited Student Conduct
The Board of Education expects all students to conduct themselves in an appropriate and civil manner; with proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students, district personnel, and other members of the school community; and for the care of school facilities and equipment.
The best discipline is self-imposed, and students must learn to assume and accept responsibility for their own behavior, as well as the consequences of their misbehavior. District personnel who interact with students are expected to use disciplinary action only when necessary and to place emphasis on the students' ability to grow in self-discipline.
The Board recognizes the need to make its expectations for student conduct while on school property or engaged in a school function specific and clear. The rules of conduct listed below are intended to do that and focus on safety and respect for the rights and property of others. Students who will not accept responsibility for their own behavior and who violate these school rules will be required to accept the penalties for their conduct.
Students may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension from school when they:
1. Engage in conduct that is disorderly. Examples of disorderly conduct include:
a. Running in hallways.
b. Making unreasonable noise.
c. Using language or gestures that are profane, lewd, vulgar, or abusive.
d. Obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
e. Engaging in any willful act which disrupts the normal operation of the school community.
f. Trespassing. Students are not permitted in any school building, other than the one they regularly attend, without permission from
the administrator in charge of the building.
2. Engage in conduct that is insubordinate. Examples of insubordinate conduct include:
a. Failing to comply with the reasonable directions of teachers, school administrators, or other school employees in charge of students or otherwise demonstrating disrespect.
b. Lateness for, missing, or leaving school without permission.
c. Skipping detention.
3. Engage in conduct that is disruptive. An example of disruptive conduct includes: a. Failing to comply with the reasonable directions of teachers, school administrators, or other school personnel in charge of students.
4. Engage in conduct that is violent. Examples of violent conduct include:
a. Committing an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, punching, and scratching) upon a teacher, administrator, or other school employee or attempting to do so.
b. Committing an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, punching, and scratching) upon another student or any other person lawfully on school property or attempting to do so.
c. Possessing a weapon. Authorized law enforcement officials are the only persons permitted to have a weapon in their possession while on school property or at a school function.
d. Displaying what appears to be a weapon.
e. Threatening to use any weapon.
f. Intentionally damaging or destroying the personal property of a student, teacher, administrator, other district employee or any person lawfully on school property, including graffiti or arson.
g. Intentionally damaging or destroying school district property.
5. Engage in any conduct that endangers the safety, morals, health, or welfare of others. Examples of such conduct include:
a. Lying to school personnel.
b. Stealing the property of other students, school personnel, or any other person lawfully on school property or attending a school function or the property of the school district.
c. Defamation, which includes making a false statement or representations about an individual or identifiable group of individuals or planting false evidence that harm the reputation of the person or the identifiable group by demeaning them.
d. Discrimination, which includes the use of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, housing status, immigration status, or disability as a basis for treating another in a negative manner.
e. Harassment, which includes a sufficiently severe action or a persistent, pervasive pattern of actions or statements directed at an identifiable individual or group which are intended to be or which a reasonable person would perceive as ridiculing or demeaning. This includes sexual harassment.
f. Intimidation which includes engaging in actions or statements that put an individual in fear of bodily harm.
g. Hazing which includes any intentional or reckless act directed against another for the purpose of initiation into, affiliating with, or maintaining membership in any school sponsored activity, organization, club, or team.
h. Selling, using, or possessing obscene material.
i. Using vulgar or abusive language, cursing, or swearing.
j. Smoking a cigarette, cigar, pipe, electronic cigarette, vaping, or using chewing or smokeless tobacco.
k. Possessing, consuming, selling, distributing, or exchanging alcoholic beverages, harmful inhalants, or illegal substances or being under the influence of either. "Illegal substances" include, but are not limited to, amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, inhalants, LSD, marijuana, PCP, prescription drugs, steroids, look-alike drugs, and any substances commonly referred to as "designer drugs".
l. Inappropriately using or sharing prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
m. Gambling or wagering.
n. Indecent exposure, that is, exposure to sight of the private parts of the body in a lewd or indecent manner.
o. Initiating a report warning of fire, bomb, violence, or other catastrophe without valid cause, misuse of 911, or discharging a fire extinguisher.
6. Engage in misconduct while on a school bus. It is crucial for students to remain in their seats at all times and otherwise behave appropriately while riding on district buses to ensure their safety and that of other passengers and to avoid distracting the bus driver. Students are required to conduct themselves on the bus in a manner consistent with established standards for classroom behavior. Excessive noise, pushing, shoving, and fighting will not be tolerated.
7. Engage in any form of academic misconduct. Examples of academic misconduct include:
d. Altering records.
e. Assisting another student in any of the above actions.
8. Computer and Internet Use
The following prohibited use of cell phones, computers, computer drives, internet links, iPads, network facilities, and tablets may give rise to disciplinary action against users of such equipment and/or facilities:
a. E-mail or other electronic communications created by a student or another individual at a student's request, which originate from the school premises or is received at the school premises that:
i. Is lewd, vulgar, obscene, indecent, or inappropriate for student recipients of certain ages.
ii. Conveys an imminent threat of violence, including sexual violence, to a specific individual or individuals or the school district.
iii. Constitutes a state and/or federal crime.
iv. Is the cause of or a substantial contributing factor to a substantial interference with the orderly functioning of the school(s).
v. Attributes the text of e-mail or other electronic communications to school officials or that the text is school endorsed, unless there is such official endorsement or consent from school officials.
vi. Video-taping peers without their permission or in situations when there would be a reasonable expectation of privacy.
vii. Video-taping peers in the locker rooms and video-taping peers fighting.
b. Internet use that circumvents access restrictions placed upon the District’s computer systems by the Board of Education or its administrative designee(s).
c. Computer and/or internet use that is not school related or is unauthorized.
d. Permitting the use of a student’s computer access code by any other person; any such student doing so shall be responsible for occurrences in violation of this Code of Conduct that occurs under the student’s access code number.
Emails or other electronic communications created by a student or another individual at a student’s request which originates from an off-campus computer or site and which is received at the school premises or by one or more district students or staff members at their homes or other off-campus sites which conveys threats of violence to a specific individual or individuals or to the school district may give rise to disciplinary action against such student.
All students are expected to promptly report violations of the Code of Conduct to a teacher, guidance counselor, the building Principal, or the building Principal’s designee. Any student observing a student possessing a weapon, alcohol, or illegal substance on school property or at a school function shall report this information immediately to a teacher, the building Principal, the Principal's designee, or the Superintendent. Any student who receives information about a threat of violence including, but not limited to, bomb threats or threats to person or property by oral, written, or electronic means, who does not report such threat shall be subject to discipline.
All district staff that are authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions are expected to do so in a prompt, fair, and lawful manner. District staff who are not authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions are expected to promptly report violations of the Code of Conduct to their supervisor, who shall in turn impose an appropriate disciplinary sanction, if so authorized, or refer the matter to a staff member who is authorized to impose an appropriate sanction.
Any weapon, alcohol, or illegal substance found shall be confiscated immediately, if possible, followed by notification to the parent of the student involved and the appropriate disciplinary sanction if warranted, which may include permanent suspension and referral for prosecution.
The building Principal or the Principal’s designee must notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency of those code violations that constitute a crime and substantially affect the order or security of a school as soon as practical, but in no event later than the close of business the day the Principal or the Principal’s designee learns of the violation. The notification may be made by telephone, followed by a letter mailed on same day as the telephone call is made. The notification must identify the student and explain the conduct that violated the Code of Conduct and constituted a crime.
The building Principal or the Principal’s designee will report any violations of the Code of Conduct which constitute a crime when the individual is under the age of 16 to the appropriate human services agencies. When necessary, the District will file a juvenile delinquency petition or a person in need of supervision (PINS) petition in Family Court.
Disciplinary Penalties & Procedures
- General Guidelines
- Student Suspensions
- Suspension of Student with Disabilities
- Disciplinary Measures
Discipline is most effective when it deals directly with the problem at the time and place it occurs and in a way that students view as fair and impartial. School personnel who interact with students are expected to use disciplinary action only when necessary and to place emphasis on the students' ability to grow in self-discipline.
Disciplinary action, when necessary, will be firm, fair, and consistent so as to be the most effective in changing student behavior. In determining the appropriate disciplinary action, school personnel authorized to impose disciplinary penalties will consider the following:
1. Teacher Disciplinary Removal of Disruptive Students
A student's behavior can affect a teacher's ability to teach and can make it difficult for other students in the classroom to learn. In most instances the classroom teacher can control a student's behavior and maintain or restore control over the classroom by using good classroom management techniques. These techniques may include practices that involve the teacher directing a student to briefly leave the classroom to give the student an opportunity to regain their composure and self-control in an alternative setting. Such practices may include, but are not limited to:
a. Short-term "time out" in an elementary classroom or in an administrator's office.
b. Sending a student in to the hallway briefly.
c. Sending a student to the Principal's office for the remainder of the class time only.
d. Sending a student to a guidance counselor or other district staff member for counseling.
Time-honored classroom management techniques such as these do no constitute disciplinary removals for purposes of this code.
On occasion, a student’s behavior may become disruptive. For purposes of this Code of Conduct, a disruptive student is a student who is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher's authority over the classroom. A substantial disruption of the educational process or substantial interference with a teacher's authority occurs when a student demonstrates a persistent unwillingness to
comply with the teacher's instructions or repeatedly violates the teacher's classroom behavior rules.
The Rondout Valley Central School District has determined that certain acts of misconduct interfere with instruction and/or the safety and welfare of students and staff. Although some incidents of misconduct may require removal from the classroom or suspension from school, effort will be made to deal with misconduct without removal from the classroom or suspension from school. This is in keeping with the District’s goal of avoiding consequences that interrupt or interfere with learning. However, no child will be allowed to continue disrupting the instruction of the class or interfering with the safety of the school, its staff, students, and visitors.
Teachers shall have the authority to remove a student from their classrooms whenever the student substantially disrupts the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom. Substantially disruptive shall mean that the course of instruction has to be discontinued more than momentarily such that it breaks the continuity of the lesson to address the disruptive conduct of the student. Substantially interferes with the teacher's authority over the classroom shall mean that the student has been insubordinate to the teacher in the presence of the class and has failed to obey the teacher’s directives to cease and desist (e.g., at least two directives).
A teacher may remove a student for the remainder of the class upon the first event and for two days of class upon the second or third event. Upon the occurrence of a fourth event, a Principal’s suspension shall occur. Notwithstanding the above, in light of circumstances that warrant suspension, a Principal's suspension for substantially disruptive behavior may be implemented in addition to or in lieu of removal of the student from
the classroom by the teacher.
Once the teacher determines that the student has been substantially disruptive or substantially interferes with the teacher's authority over the classroom:
i. The teacher must confront the student in class (or within 24 hours of removal where the student is unmanageable at the time of initial removal) to inform the student of the reason(s) for the removal.
ii. Prior to removal from the classroom (or within 24 hours of removal where the student presents an ongoing threat of disruption or a continuing danger at the time of removal), the teacher shall inform the student of the basis for the removal and allow the student to informally present the student’s version of the relevant events.
iii. The building Principal or designee must be notified immediately in writing by the teacher of the student’s removal from the teacher’s class.
iv. The teacher must inform the student’s parent of the removal and the reasons therefore within 24 hours of the student’s removal.
v. Upon request, the student and the student’s parent(s) must be given an opportunity for an informal conference with the Principal or designee to discuss the reasons for removal. If the student denies the charge(s), the Principal or designee must provide an explanation of the basis for the removal and allow the student and the student’s parent(s) an opportunity to present the student's version of the relevant events within 48 hours of the student's removal. The teacher must develop an academic plan of action for the removed student.
The Principal or designee may not set aside the removal unless they find that the charges against the student are not supported by substantial evidence or the student's removal otherwise violates law or the conduct warrants suspension from school and a suspension will be imposed.
The Principal's or designee's determination on whether or not to support the teacher's removal of the student shall be made by the close of business on the day succeeding the 48-hour period for the informal Principal's removal conference. The teacher who causes the removal may be required to attend the Principal’s conference at the Principal's discretion.
In the event a student is removed from a classroom for an act or acts of repeated misconduct, the student shall not be readmitted until the teacher and the building administrator have had an opportunity to discuss the problem and a course of action is determined.
The District shall provide continued educational programming and activities for students who are removed from their classrooms.
An appeal brought by the parent or student over the age of 18 of a Principal's removal decision must be presented to the Superintendent of Schools prior to any further appeal. Appeals must occur within 7 calendar days of the removal.
The Board of Education, District Superintendent, Superintendent of Schools, a building Principal or in the absence of the building Principal, an acting building Principal, may suspend a student from school where it is determined that the student:
1. Is insubordinate or disorderly, or exhibits conduct which endangers the safety, morals, health, or welfare of others.
2. Exhibits a physical or mental condition(s) which endangers the health, safety, or morals of the student or of other students.
3. Is removed from a classroom for substantially disrupting the educational process or substantially interfering with the teacher’s authority in the classroom four or more times in one semester.
In addition to the statutory grounds for suspension from school for conduct or health condition, students shall also be subject to suspension based upon a violation of the specific disciplinary infractions listed below.
a. Pre-suspension Process – Prior to being suspended from school, the student shall be confronted by a school official empowered to suspend, as referenced above, at which time the evidence upon which the decision to suspend is based shall be stated to the student, and the student shall be given the opportunity to explain their version of the facts. The student shall also be afforded the right to present other persons to the suspending authority in support of their version of the facts. If the student’s presence in the school poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process, such confrontation shall occur following suspension, as soon thereafter as is reasonably practicable. In all other cases, there shall be no suspension until after the informal Principal’s conference, unless waived.
b. A minimum suspension period may be assigned for students who are repeatedly disruptive of the educational process or substantially interfere with the teacher’s authority over the classroom provided that the suspending authority may reduce such period on a case-by-case basis to be consistent with any other federal or state law. For purposes of this section, the definition of "repeatedly are substantially disruptive" shall be determined in accordance with the regulations of the commissioner.
Where a student engages in conduct which would define that student as "repeatedly substantially disruptive" (i.e., engaging in conduct requiring removal from classroom on three or more occasions during a semester), the minimum suspension period will be 5 days from the high school and the middle school and 3-5 days for the elementary schools. (Subject to modification on a case-by-case basis based upon the particular circumstances present.)
c. A minimum suspension period for acts that would qualify the violent pupil to be defined as a violent pupil.
Pursuant to section 3214 (2-a) of the education law, provided that the suspending authority may reduce such period on a case by case basis to be consistent with any other state and federal law.
Where a student engages in conduct which would define that student as " violent" as defined in section B of this code, the minimum suspension period will be 5 days for the high school, middle school, and elementary schools (subject to modification on a case by case basis based upon the particular circumstances present.)
d. Short Term Suspension Process – Prior to a proposed suspension from school for between one and five days by a building Principal or an acting Principal in the absence of the building Principal, the student and the student’s parent(s) shall be notified, in writing by personal delivery, express mail, or overnight service and by telephone, if possible, within 24 hours of the decision to propose suspension. Such written notice shall include a description of the incident(s) resulting in the suspension and shall inform the parent of their right to request an immediate informal conference with the Principal at which the student and/or the student’s parent(s) may present the student’s version of the event and ask questions of complaining witnesses. Upon such request, an informal conference with the Principal and other parties involved shall be convened as soon as possible, at which time the evidence, including the witness(es) relied upon by the Principal in making the suspension determination, may be questioned by the parent or guardian. The right to an informal conference with the Principal shall also extend to a student if 18 years of age or older. If the student's presence in the school poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process, the notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place as soon after the suspension as is reasonably practicable.
Any appeal brought by the parent or student over the age of 18 of a Principal's suspension must be presented to the Superintendent and then the Board of Education prior to filing any further appeal.
e. The Long-term Suspension Process – Suspension for More than Five Days – Any suspension from school in excess of five school days shall be considered a long-term suspension. Unless there is an agreement between the person requesting the suspension and the parent, a long-term suspension may be done only after the Superintendent of Schools or the Board of Education has conducted a hearing.
When a student is subject to a long-term suspension, a hearing shall be conducted by the Superintendent if the building Principal, acting building Principal, or the Superintendent has made the original suspension or before the Board where that body has made the original suspension. The Superintendent of Schools or the Board of Education may designate a Hearing Officer to make findings of fact with respect to the charges of infractions under this Code of Conduct, as well as penalty recommendation pursuant to the penalty parameters described herein.
f. Notice of Hearing – In the event of the suspension of a student under the age of 18 years, the notice of suspension will be mailed or delivered to the parent, who shall have a minimum of 48 hours’ notice of the time and place of the hearing, as well as the nature of the charges and the facts.
In the event of the suspension of a student over the age of 18, the notice, as described above, shall be delivered or mailed to the student as well as to the student's parent(s), if any. Emancipated minors shall be entitled to the same notice rights as a student beyond the age of 18 years.
All notices of long-term suspension hearings shall contain provisions indicating that the student has the right to be represented by an attorney or lay counsel, that a transcript of the hearing will be prepared (tape recording or stenographic record), and that the student has the right to subpoena witnesses or otherwise present witnesses in their defense. The time, date, and location of the hearing shall also be prominently set forth in the notice.
If the student is 18 years of age or older, the letter described above will be mailed to the student as well as the student’s parent.
g. The Long-Term Suspension Hearing – The hearing shall be conducted by the Superintendent or a designated Hearing Officer in the event of a suspension by a building Principal, acting building Principal, or the Superintendent. The hearing shall be conducted by the Board or its designated Hearing Officer in the event that the suspension originated by Board action. At the beginning of the hearing, the Hearing Officer shall inform the student and the student's representative(s):
1. That the District's and the student's representatives shall have the right to examine and cross-examine witnesses.
2. That the student has the privilege against self-incrimination, but that if the student does testify, the student shall be subject to cross-examination.
3. That the District has the burden of proving the charges by a preponderance of the credible evidence.
4. That a transcript of the proceedings shall be maintained and made available to the student's
representative upon request.
5. That the hearing shall be private or open to the public, as determined by the student's representative.
The person conducting the hearing shall not have intimate knowledge of the details of the charges to assure an impartial, unbiased hearing of the case.
The Hearing Officer shall inform the parties:
1. That the case will proceed by having the District present its evidence through witnesses and
other evidence first.
2. That the District's witnesses shall be subject to cross-examination by the student’s representative.
3. That the student will then have the opportunity to present witnesses on their behalf, subject to cross-examination by the District's representative.
Following the conclusion of the testimony and the introduction of other evidence matters, the parties shall be
afforded the opportunity to present oral arguments to the Hearing Officer indicating the reasons why the charges
should be sustained or dismissed. The Hearing Officer shall then reach findings of fact upon the charges.
In the event that one or more of the charges is sustained, the Hearing Officer shall then entertain statements from the parties regarding the appropriate penalty outcome. In the event that the parent and/or the student, in an appropriate case, have been served with a copy of the student's past disciplinary anecdotal record in a timely fashion (at least 48 hours before the hearing) for consideration at the hearing, such record may be considered by the Hearing Officer in determining an appropriate penalty. The incidents contained within the past anecdotal record shall be subject to proof to the extent that they are denied by the student, as expressed by the
student's representative. The Hearing Officer, upon the conclusion of the portion of the proceedings dealing with penalty determinations, shall make findings of fact and penalty recommendations, if any, to the person or body which designated the Hearing Officer immediately upon the conclusion of the long-term suspension hearing.
The Superintendent or Board, whichever designated the Hearing Officer, shall make its own findings of fact and penalty decision, by adopting those of the designated Hearing Officer, where applicable, in whole or in part, or by reaching independent findings of fact and penalty determinations. This process shall be concluded within the five school day period from the time of the initial suspension if the student is to be continuously suspended. The decision may be communicated to the student's representative and/or student (where over the age of 18) beyond the five school day period in cases where the student has been reinstated to attendance in school pending the final determination on the charges and penalty by the Superintendent or the Board, in cases to be decided by them, respectively.
h. Alternative Instruction – Pursuant to the Education Law, no student shall be suspended from school in their regularly scheduled classes without being provided alternative equivalent instruction, either in the form of home instruction or instruction in an alternative setting. Such instruction shall be of an equivalent nature to that provided in the student’s regularly scheduled classes. A good faith effort shall be made to provide such alternative instruction immediately. In the event that a student is within compulsory education age, alternative education shall be provided for the duration of the suspension, 1 hour per day (K-6) or 2 hours per day (7-12) or the equivalent time.
i. Appeals Process – The decision of the Superintendent with respect to the findings of fact sustaining charges in a long-term suspension hearing and/or penalty determination may be appealed to the Board of Education. The Board shall review the record of the proceedings before the Superintendent or the designated Hearing Officer, including a review of the transcript of the proceedings, documentary evidence, and written arguments of the representatives of the respective parties, if any. The Board does not provide the representatives of the respective parties with the opportunity either to present evidence not previously in the record or to make arguments in person before the Board. In the event that the initial long-term suspension hearing was conducted by the Board or its designated Hearing Officer, or where the Board has ruled on an appeal from a Superintendent's long-term suspension hearing, the matter may be further appealed to the Commissioner of Education.
j. Off-Campus Misconduct – A student may be subject to discipline for conduct constituting a crime which is committed off school premises or at non-school sponsored activities to the extent that the Superintendent of Schools or Board of Education believes that the continued attendance in school of the student would adversely affect the education process or constitute an endangerment to the health, safety, welfare, or morals of the student and/or others in our schools.
k. Suspension from Transportation Service – Students may be suspended from transportation services for an infraction or infractions listed herein upon the conducting of an informal hearing by the Superintendent of Schools or the Superintendent’s designee, at which time the student's parent/guardian or other representative shall be allowed to confront the witnesses relied upon by the District in determining the appropriateness of such suspension of service. If such informal hearing is conducted before the Superintendent’s designee, the designee shall make a recommendation to the Superintendent as to the action to be taken.
l. Suspension from Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Activities and School Functions – A student may be suspended from participating in extracurricular or co-curricular activities (including a sports team) for an infraction of any of the provisions herein, for violating a code of conduct issued to participants in the activity by the activity supervisor or for fighting at games. Upon the request of the student's parent/guardian, the building Principal shall allow the parent/guardian or other representative of the student the right to appear before the building Principal informally to discuss the conduct which led to suspension from the activity.
m. Participation in Extracurricular Activities – If a student is suspended from school pursuant to Section 3214 of the Education Law, the student shall not be permitted to participate in any extracurricular or co-curricular activities, as well as any other school events or activities which take place on the days of suspension (including intervening weekends).
n. Provisions setting forth the procedures by which local law enforcement agencies shall be notified of code violations which constitute a crime. In accordance with consultation with local law enforcement, it is the District's understanding that the following types of conduct are generally referable to law enforcement as crimes:
1) forcible sexual offenses
2) use or possession of weapons
3) drug offenses
4) assaults resulting in serious physical injury
5) serious threat which a reasonable person would perceive as placing persons in imminent danger
o. Provisions setting forth the circumstances under and procedures by which a complaint in criminal court, a juvenile delinquency petition or Persons In Need of Supervision (PINS) petitioned as defined in articles three and seven of the family court act will be filed.
The District will observe all applicable procedures under the Family Court Act for filling of PINS petitions. Juvenile delinquency petitions would follow the appropriate sections of penal law and criminal procedure law and other statutes for filling criminal complaints.
Suspension of Student with Disabilities
A Principal may suspend a student with an educational disability for a short term (5 school days or less) in the same manner as nondisabled students may be suspended. A Principal’s designation of an interim alternative educational setting must be made in consultation with the student's special education teacher.
In the event that a student has a known disability or when school officials can be deemed to know, in accordance with law, that a student has a disability, the District will first proceed to conduct a 3214 disciplinary proceeding for any suspension of more than five days. The 3214 disciplinary proceeding will be held in two parts, first to determine the student’s guilt or innocence on the charges and the second to determine the penalty.
If guilt is determined, before a penalty may be imposed, the following rules shall apply:
1. Section 504/Title II ADA Disability
Before discipline may be meted out for a student with a disability or suspected disability founded solely under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (hereinafter 504)/Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (hereinafter the ADA), the 504 multi-disciplinary committee (hereinafter the 504 Committee) must make a determination of whether the conduct underlying the charge(s) was a manifestation of the disability.
a. If a nexus is found between the disability and the conduct underlying the charges, the 3214 proceeding must be discontinued and the matter placed under the jurisdiction of the 504 Committee for any further consideration. The 504 Committee must register a referral and bring about an evaluation of a student with a suspected disability or, if the student is already eligible under 504, it must consider possible program modification and disposition on a non-disciplinary basis
b. If no nexus is found, yet a disability is indicated or has been identified, discipline may be imposed upon remand to the 3214 Hearing Officer. Students whose sole disabilities are founded under 504 and for whom no nexus is found shall be disciplined in the same manner as their non-disabled peers.
Any penalty imposed may not be based on past behavior for which a nexus determination was not made.
The District must continue to provide a free appropriate public education to students who have been suspended from school as required by the regulations implementing 504 (34 CFR 104 et. seq.) until the end of the school year in which the student reaches the age of 21.
2. IDEA Disability
Before discipline may be meted out for a student classified or deemed to be known as having a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (hereinafter IDEA) [a student with an educational disability], the Committee on Special Education (hereinafter the CSE) must make a determination of whether the conduct underlying the charges was a manifestation of the disability:
a. If the conduct is found to be a manifestation between the disability and the conduct, the 3214 proceeding must be discontinued (except for weapons, drugs, and dangerous behavior) and the matter placed under the jurisdiction of the CSE for any further consideration. The CSE must register a referral and bring about an evaluation in the case of a student who may be deemed to be known as having a disability or, if the student is already classified under IDEA, it must consider possible program modification and disposition on a non-disciplinary basis.
b. If the conduct is not a manifestation, disability is indicated or has been identified; discipline may be imposed upon remand to the 3214 Hearing Officer. The relevant disciplinary procedures applicable to children without disabilities may be applied in the same manner in which they would be applied to children without disabilities, as long as the child continues to receive a free appropriate public education during any such term of suspension.
c. Where no manifestation finding is made and no suspected disability is determined to exist, the matter shall be remanded to the 3214 Hearing Officer for a determination of penalty.
Any penalty imposed may not be based on past behavior for which a nexus determination was not made. The District must continue to provide a free appropriate public education to students who have been suspended from school. The Superintendent's determination of an Interim Alternative Educational Setting must be made in consultation with the student's special education teacher.
3. Suspensions Beyond Ten (10) School Days
A student with a disability or suspected disability founded solely under 504/Title II of the ADA may not be suspended for more than 10 school days unless the 504 Committee has conducted a nexus determination and found that the behavior underlying the disciplinary charges was not a manifestation of the student’s disability.
A student classified or deemed to be known as having an educational disability under IDEA may not be suspended for more than 10 school days unless:
a. The CSE has made a determination that the student’s misconduct was not related to the student’s disability.
b. The District obtains a court order authorizing the suspension.
c. The disciplinary charges involve the carrying of a weapon to school or a school function or the knowing possession, use, or sale of illegal drugs at school or a school function.
d. The parent or student 18 years of age or older gives their consent in writing.
In determining a disciplinary outcome, a 3214 Hearing Officer and/or decision making authority may not consider incidents in the past anecdotal record of a student with a disability under 504/Title II ADA and/or IDEA, or suspected of being a disability unless there has been a negative manifestation determination regarding such incident(s) by the 504 Team or CSE, respectively.
4. Suspensions for Misconduct Involving Weapons and/or Drugs
A student classified or deemed to be known as having an educational disability under IDEA may be suspended and placed in an interim alternative educational setting for up to forty-five (45) calendar days (less if the discipline is for a non-disabled student would be less), if the student carries a weapon to school or a school function, or knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs, or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance while at school or a school function.
a. In accordance with law, the term weapon means a weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for or is readily capable of causing death or serious bodily injury, except that such term does not include a pocket knife with a blade of less than 2.5 inches in length.
b. In accordance with law, the term illegal drugs means controlled substances but not those legally possessed or used under the supervision of a licensed health care professional or other permitted authority under the Federal Controlled Substances Act or under any other provision of federal law. Controlled substances are drugs and other substances identified under schedules set forth in applicable federal law provisions.
Before a student is suspended and placed in an interim alternative educational setting for up to 45 calendar days as determined by the Superintendent of Schools via 3214(3) Education Law proceedings, for behavior involving weapons and/or drugs, the CSE must conduct a manifestation determination and a functional behavioral assessment, as well as implement a behavioral intervention plan that addresses the behavior underlying the disciplinary proceeding or review any such pre-existing plan for modification, if necessary.
1) Placement in an interim alternative educational setting as a result of conduct involving weapons and/or drugs is not contingent upon a CSE determination that the misconduct is not related to the student’s disability.
2) It is up to the CSE to determine what would constitute an interim alternative educational setting that would meet the requirements of the student’s IEP and enable the student to participate in the general curriculum (although in another setting). Such decision shall be communicated to the Superintendent of Schools for the implementation of the discipline.
The exception allowed for the suspension/removal of students with educational disabilities for up to 45 calendar days for conduct involving weapons and/or drugs does not apply to students whose disabilities are founded solely upon 504/Title II ADA.
Such an interim alternative educational setting shall be deemed the student’s "stay put" placement during the pendency of any due process proceedings contesting the interim alternative educational setting for the duration of the interim placement.
5. Dangerous Students
To continue the suspension of a student classified or deemed to be known as having an educational disability under IDEA for more than 10 school days, the District may initiate a hearing before a special education impartial hearing officer who can order the placement of the student in an interim alternative setting for up to 45 calendar days.
a. The CSE must conduct a manifestation determination within 10 school days of the initial disciplinary action. Placement in an interim alternative educational setting as a result of dangerous behavior is not contingent upon a CSE determination that the misconduct is not related to the student’s disability.
b. It is up to the CSE to determine what would constitute an interim alternative educational setting.
c. The hearing officer may grant such if maintaining the student in the current placement is substantially likely to result in injury to the student and/or others, and the District has made reasonable efforts to minimize the risk of harm in the current placement. The hearing officer must also consider the appropriateness of the student’s current placement and whether the interim alternative educational setting meets all the requirements of the student’s IEP, including continued participation in the general curriculum
(although in another setting) with an appropriate behavioral component.
Such an interim alternative educational setting shall be deemed the student’s "stay put" placement during the pendency of any due process proceedings contesting the interim alternative educational setting for the duration of the interim placement.
6. Declassified Students
In accordance with law, the CSE must conduct a manifestation determination in the case of a student with an educational disability who has been declassified if the disciplinary matter involves behavioral problems.
Discipline of students shall be appropriate to the age/developmental level of the students.
The Rondout Valley Central School District’s discipline philosophy is one of progressive discipline. In addition inappropriate behavior is seen as an opportunity to teach social skills. The Principals, teachers, and counselors strive to use disciplinary strategy alternatives like along with working with the parents to improve consistency between school and home. At the secondary level the philosophy continues to be use disciplinary measures as opportunities to improve students' social skills. However, a more traditional approach is taken to assigning consequences to behavior. All elementary schools shall be consistent in their approach with one another. The elementary and secondary student handbooks and disciplinary measures shall be consistent with the district Code of Conduct. The athletic Code of Conduct shall also be consistent with this district code.
The following range of possibilities which may be imposed for violations of the student disciplinary code includes the following:
1. Warnings (oral or written).
3. In-school suspension.
4. Suspension from school for up to five (5) school days.
5. Suspension from school in excess of five (5) days.
6. Suspension from school for at least one (1) year for possession of a weapon pursuant to the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994 (subject to the right of the Superintendent to modify such penalty) or, in the case of a student with a disability whose possession of a weapon is determined not to be related to the student’s disability, placement in an interim alternative educational setting for a period of up to fortyfive (45) days.
7. Placement in an interim alternative educational setting for a period of up to forty-five (45) days in the case of a student with a disability whose knowing possession or use of illegal drugs or sale or solicitation of the sale of a controlled substance at a school or a school function is determined not to be related to the student’s disability.
8. Permanent suspension (Expulsion).
*In certain cases, where there is a victim and an offender, those in conflict may have the option of meeting face to face led by a facilitator in order to gain an understanding or appreciation of each other’s experience with the conflict. In these cases, the offender may agree to do things to make things right with the victim and this will become a plan going forward if all parties agree. This could be in lieu of the above consequences or in addition to them, as determined by the school administration.
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e-mail listed, followed by @rondout.k12.ny.us