District Code of Conduct

I. Introduction

The Board of Education of The Guilderland Central School District is committed to providing a safe and orderly school environment where students may receive and District personnel may deliver quality educational services in a consistent and caring school environment as described in our District Priorities and Core Values.  Responsible behavior by students, teachers, other District personnel, parents and other visitors is essential to achieving this goal.  The District has a long-standing set of expectations for conduct on school property and at school functions.  These expectations are based on the principles of civility, mutual respect, citizenship, character, tolerance, honesty and integrity.

The Board of Education believes that each student can reasonably be expected to be responsible for his/her own behavior.  The school administration shall develop and disseminate rules of conduct, focusing on personal safety and respect for the rights and property of others, to be consistently applied in the classrooms and throughout the school.  Students who fail to meet this expected degree of responsibility and violate school rules may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, counseling, and more regulated supervision.

The Board of Education, its officers and employees, shall not discriminate in its programs and activities on the basis any protected classification under State or Federal Law such as race, color, weight, national origin, creed, religion, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, disability or predisposing genetic condition.

Discipline is most effective when it deals directly with the problem at the time and place it occurs, and in a way that is viewed as fair and impartial by the student.  Therefore, before seeking outside assistance, the staff member will first attempt to create a change of behavior.  When the staff member has made every reasonable effort to bring about positive behavioral change, and has been unsuccessful, the staff member will bring the matter to the attention of the administration.  The staff member and an administrator will develop a strategy for dealing with the problem.

The Board recognizes the need to clearly define these expectations for acceptable conduct on school property, to identify the possible consequences of unacceptable conduct, and to ensure that discipline when necessary is administered promptly and fairly.  To this end, the Board adopts this Code of Conduct (“Code”).  Unless otherwise indicated, this code applies to all students, school personnel, parents, and other visitors when on school property or attending a school function.  (Reference Board of Education Policy 5310 – Student Discipline)

II. Definitions

For purposes of this code, the following definitions apply.

Disruptive Student

an elementary or secondary student under the age of 21 who substantially interferes with the education of other students and with the teacher’s authority over the classroom.

Parent

parent, guardian or person in parental relation to a student.

School Property

in, on, or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground, parking lot or land contained within the real property boundary line of a public elementary or secondary school, or in or on a school bus, as defined in Vehicle and Traffic Law §12.

School Bus

Every motor vehicle a)owned by the school district for the purpose of transporting pupils, children of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity, to or from school or school activities, or, b) a privately owned and operated-for-compensation for the transportation of pupils, children of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity, to or from school or school activities (N.Y. Vehicle and Traffic Law §142)

Disability

means (a) a physical, mental or medical impairment resulting from anatomical, physiological, genetic or neurological conditions which prevents the exercise of a normal bodily function or is demonstrable by medically accepted clinical or laboratory diagnostic techniques or (b) a record of such an impairment or (c) a condition regarded by others as such an impairment, provided, however, that in all provisions of this article dealing with employment, the term must be limited to disabilities which, upon the provision of reasonable accommodations, do not prevent the complainant from performing in a reasonable manner the activities involved in the job or occupation sought or held (Education Law §11[4] and Executive Law §292[21]).

School Function

any school sponsored extra-curricular event or activity

Violent Student

a student under the age of 22 who:

  • Commits an act of violence on school property upon a school employee, or attempts to do so.
  • Commits, while on school property or at a school function, an act of violence upon another student or any other person lawfully on school property or at the school function, or attempts to do so.
  • Possesses, while on school property or at a school function, a weapon.
  • Displays, while on school property or at a school function, what appears to be a weapon.
  • Threatens, while on school property or at a school function, to use a weapon.
  • Knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys the personal property of any school employee or any person lawfully on school property or at a school function.
  • Knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys school district property.
  • Is posing an imminent threat to himself or others.

Weapon

means a firearm as defined in 18 USC §921 for purposes of the Gun Free Schools Act.  It also means any other gun, BB gun, pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, machine gun, disguised gun, jewelry with weapon-like design, dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, switchblade knife, gravity knife, brass knuckles, sling shot, metal knuckle knife, box cutter, cane sword, electronic dart gun, Kung Fu Star, electronic stun gun, pepper spray or other noxious spray, explosive or incendiary bomb, or other device, instrument, material or substance that can cause physical injury or death when used to cause physical injury or death.

Harassment

the “creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well-being.

Sexual Harassment

means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical conduct or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature which causes either a hostile environment or constitutes quid pro quo sexual discrimination in which sexual conduct is part of any proffered beneficial treatment.

Gender-based Harassment

means verbal, non-verbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility that is based on actual or perceived gender identity or expression.

Sexual Orientation

means actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality (Education Law §11[5]).

Gender

means actual or perceived sex and includes a person’s gender identity or expression (Education Law §11[6]).

Gender Identity and Expression

Means having or being perceived as having a gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior or expression whether or not that gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior or expression is different from that traditionally associated with sex assigned to that person (N.Y. AB 5039/SB 2873 (2011) “GENDA”)

Employee

means any person receiving compensation from a school district or employee of a contracted service provider or worker placed within the school under a public assistance employment program, pursuant to title nine of article five of the Social Services Law, and consistent with the provisions of such title for the provision of services to such district, its students or employees, directly or through contract, whereby such services performed by such person involve direct student contact (Education Law §§11[4] and 1125[3]).

Complainant

an applicant, employee, student or vendor who alleges that they have been subjected to discrimination, which may be a violation of this policy, as well as a violation of federal or state law or associated regulations, which has affected him/her.

Complaint

shall mean any alleged act of discrimination which may be a violation of this policy, which may also violate federal and state civil rights laws or associated regulations.

Controlled Substance

means a drug or other substance identified in certain provisions of the federal Controlled Substances Act specified in both federal and state law and regulations applicable to this code of conduct.

Illegal Drugs

means a controlled substance except for those legally possessed or used under the supervision of a licensed health-care professional or that is legally possessed or used under any other authority under the Controlled Substances Act or any other federal law. “Illegal substances” include, but are not limited to:  inhalants, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP, amphetamines, heroin, steroids, look-alike drugs, and any substances commonly referred to as “designer drugs.

Bullying

Is understood to be a hostile activity that is intentional, repeated and which harms or induces fear through the threat of further aggression and/or creates terror.  Bullying may be premeditated or a sudden activity that may happen in person or through the use of technology(s).  It may be subtle or easy to identify, done by one person or a group.  Bullying often includes the following characteristics:

1.      Power imbalance:  occurs when a bully uses his/her physical or social power over a target.

2.      Intent to harm:  the bully seeks to inflict physical or emotional harm and/or takes pleasure in this activity.

3.      Threat of further aggression:  the bully and the target believe the bullying will continue.

4.      Terror:  when any bullying increases, it becomes a “systematic violence or harassment used to intimidate and maintain dominance.”

III. Student Rights and Responsibilities

A. Student Rights

The Guilderland Central School District is committed to safeguarding the rights given to all students under state and federal law.  In addition, to promote a safe, respectful, healthy, and orderly school environment, all district students have the right to:

1.         Take part in all District activities on an equal basis regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, creed, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, gender, sexual orientation or disability or any other categories of individuals protected against discrimination by federal, state, or local law.

2.         Tell their side of the story regarding relevant events to school personnel authorized to impose a disciplinary penalty in connection with the imposition of the penalty.

3.         Access school policies, regulations, rules and, when necessary, receive an explanation of those rules from school personnel.

B.  Student Responsibilities

All District students have the responsibility to:

1.            Contribute to maintaining a safe, supportive and orderly school environment that is conducive to learning and to show respect to other persons and to property.

2.            Be familiar with and abide by District policies, rules and regulations dealing with student conduct.

3.            Attend school every day unless they are legally excused, and be in class, on time, and prepared to learn.

4.            Work to the best of their ability in all academic and extra-curricular pursuits and strive toward their highest level of achievement possible.

5.            React to direction given by teachers, administrators and other school personnel in a respectful, positive manner.

6.            Work to develop strategies to resolve problems, conflicts, and manage anger.

7.            Ask questions when they do not understand.

8.            Seek help in solving problems.

9.            Dress appropriately for school and school functions.

10.        Accept responsibility for their actions.

11.        Conduct themselves as representatives of the District when participating in or attending school sponsored extra-curricular events and to hold themselves to the highest standards of conduct, demeanor, and sportsmanship.

IV.  Essential Partners

The Guilderland Central School District believes that appropriate student behavior is a result of cooperative efforts among students, parents, staff, administration and the Board of Education.  The district therefore recognizes the following essential partners as being critical to the safety and success of students in our schools.

A.    Parents are expected to:

1.            Recognize that the education of their child(ren) is a joint responsibility of the parents and the school community and collaborate with the district to optimize their child’s educational opportunities.

2.            Send their children to school ready to participate and learn.

3.            Ensure their children attend school regularly and on time.

4.            Ensure authorized absences are excused.

5.            Insist their children be dressed and groomed in a manner consistent with the student dress code.

6.            Help their children understand that in a democratic society appropriate rules are required to maintain a safe, orderly environment.

7.            Know school rules and help their children understand them so that their children can help create a safe and supportive school environment.

8.            Convey to their children a supportive attitude toward education and the District.

9.            Build positive, constructive relationships with teachers, other parents and their children’s friends.

10.        Help their children deal effectively with peer pressure.

11.        Inform school officials of changes in the home situation that may affect student conduct or performance.

12.        Provide a place for study and ensure homework assignments are completed.

B.     Teachers are expected to:

1.            Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (identity or expression), or sex, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn.

2.            Confront issues of discrimination and harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any student, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a school function.

3.            Be sensitive to, and address as needed, personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students in the school or classroom setting.

4.            Report as soon as possible, incidents of harassment and discrimination that are witnessed or otherwise brought to a teacher’s attention.

5.            Be prepared to teach.

6.            Demonstrate interest in teaching and concern for student achievement and social-emotional growth and well being.

7.            Know school policies and rules, and enforce them in a fair and consistent manner.

8.            Communicate to students and parents:

a.       Course objectives and requirements

b.      Marking/grading procedures

c.       Assignment deadlines

d.      Expectations for students

e.       Classroom discipline plan and/or behavior expectations

9.            Communicate regularly with students, parents and other teachers concerning growth and achievement.

10.        Participate in school-wide efforts to provide adequate supervision in all school spaces in conformity with the Taylor Law.

C.    Coaches are expected to:

1.            Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (identity or expression), or sex, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn.

2.            Confront issues of discrimination and harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any student, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a school function.

3.            Be sensitive to, and address as needed, personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students in the school, classroom or athletic setting.

4.            Report as soon as possible, incidents of harassment and discrimination that are witnessed or otherwise brought to a Coach’s attention.

5.            Plan, coordinate and supervise all activities in their respective sport.

6.            Support the Director of Athletics in conducting all activities related in that particular sport and team.

7.            Establish training rules and procedures beyond the administrative regulations of the school district and to enforce them in a fair, consistent manner.

8.            Review and discuss with team members, parents, and assistant coaches prior to the first practice:

a.    Hazing Policy

b.   Bullying Prevention Policy

c.    Harassment Policy

d.   Administrative eligibility rules

e.    Training rules, attendance (school, team, coaches) policies

f.    Criteria for earning awards

g.   Expectations for student-athletes

h.   Transportation policies

i.     All-state and section policies (i.e., NYSPHSAA)

9.            Establish good public relations and good working relations with parents, district administrators, faculty and staff, community members and the media.

11.        Abide by the guidelines in the Coach’s Commitment.

D.   School Counselors are expected to:

1.            Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (identity or expression), or sex, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn.

2.            Confront issues of discrimination and harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any student, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a school function.

3.            Be sensitive to, and address as needed, personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students in the school, classroom or other setting.

4.            Report as soon as possible, incidents of harassment and discrimination that are witnessed or otherwise brought to a Counselor’s attention.

5.            Assist students in coping with peer pressure and emerging personal, social and emotional problems.

6.            Participate in teacher/student/counselor conferences and parent/teacher/student/ counselor conferences, as necessary, as a way to resolve problems.

7.            Regularly review with students their educational progress and career plans.  Meet in grade 8 with parents.

8.            Provide information to assist students with career planning.

9.            Encourage students to benefit from the curriculum and extra-curricular programs.

10.        Assist in students’ or building crisis.

11.        Act as a liaison between school, home and outside agencies.

12.        Participate in school-wide efforts to provide adequate supervision in all school spaces in conformity with the Taylor Law.

13.        Maintain confidentiality in accordance with federal and state law.

E.    Social Workers are expected to:

1.            Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (identity or expression), or sex, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn.

2.            Confront issues of discrimination and harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any student, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a school function.

3.            Be sensitive to, and address as needed, personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students in the school, classroom or other setting.

4.            Report as soon as possible, incidents of harassment and discrimination that are witnessed or otherwise brought to a Social Worker’s attention.

5.            Act as a liaison between school, home and outside agencies.

6.            Meet with students individually and in groups helping to develop social and coping skills.

7.            Provide information on a student’s emotional development to staff and families and assist in the assessment of a student’s emotional well being.

8.            Assist in a student or building crisis.  Do risk assessments for suicide and violence potential.

F.    Nurses are expected to:

1.        Overview issues of school health such as immunizations and public health issues.

2.        Communicate with students and parents regarding absences due to illness.

3.        Help educate students understand health issues.

4.        Maintain health records for students.

5.        Assist in a student or building crisis.

G.    Director of Athletics is expected to:

1.         Plan, schedule, and coordinate supervision of  interscholastic, extramural, and intramural day, evening and weekend events.

2.         Administer and direct coaches to ensure that they follow administrative procedures and enforce eligibility and training rules.  Oversee regulations in the Coach’s Commitment.

3.         Administer and participate in the preparations of athletic events.

4.         Represent the school district at athletic meetings at the league and section level.

5.         Interpret and recommend the enforcement of all athletic regulations as specified by the state, section, and league associations, as well as school district policies.

6.         Communicate regularly with student-athletes, fellow administrators, faculty and staff, community members and the media to create good public and working relations.

7.         Supervise and direct coaches to ensure that they communicate and enforce the district’s bullying and hazing policies.

H.    Principals/Building Administrators/Instructional Administrators are expected to:

1.         Promote a safe, caring, orderly and stimulating school environment that supports active teaching and learning.  Support programs preventing bullying and harassment.

2.         Ensure that students and staff have the opportunity to communicate regularly with the principal/administrators and approach the principal/administrators for redress of grievances.

3.         Evaluate on a regular basis all instructional programs to ensure infusion of civility education in the curriculum.

4.         Support the development of and student participation in appropriate extra-curricular activities.

5.         Be responsible for enforcing the Code of Conduct and ensuring that all cases are resolved promptly and fairly.

6.         Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (identity or expression), or sex, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn.

7.         Confront issues of discrimination and harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any student, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a school function.

8.         Be sensitive to, and address as needed, personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students in the school, classroom or office setting.

9.         Report as soon as possible, incidents of harassment and discrimination that are witnessed or otherwise brought to an instructional Administrator’s attention.

10.     Maintain confidentiality in accordance with federal and state laws.

11.     Provide support in the development of the Code of Conduct when called upon.  Disseminate the Code of Conduct and anti-harassment policies.

I.   Transportation Supervisor/Assistant Supervisor is expected to:

1.         Oversee all aspects of the Transportation Department including drivers, bus aides,  mechanics, 19-A personnel, office staff, fleet supervisor and secretaries.

2.         Evaluate all staff members and offer training to drivers.

3.         Develop transportation routes for all district schools as well as private/parochial and special needs students.

4.         Process student discipline forms.

5.         Monitor road conditions during winter and make recommendations to the superintendent regarding school delay or closing.

6.          Respond to concerns and complaints from the public.

J.  Bus Drivers are expected to:

1.      Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (identity or expression), or sex, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn.

2.      Maintain a safe, orderly environment on school buses to help to prevent bullying and harassment.

3.      Oversee practice drills for bus safety.

4.      Use student discipline forms when necessary.

5.      Maintain positive communication with students and parents.

6.      Confront issues of discrimination and harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any student, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a school function.

7.      Be sensitive to, and address as needed, personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students in the school or on the school bus.

8.      Report as soon as possible, incidents of harassment and discrimination that are witnessed or otherwise brought to a Driver’s attention.

K.  Support Staff are expected to:

1.      Promote a safe, caring, orderly school environment.

2.      Notify administration promptly of any concerns for student behavior or building safety.

3.      Participate in school safety training.  Maintain positive relationships with students.

4.      Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (identity or expression), or sex, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn.

5.      Confront issues of discrimination and harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any student, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a school function.

6.      Be sensitive to, and address as needed, personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students in the school, classroom or any other setting.

7.      Report as soon as possible, incidents of harassment and discrimination that are witnessed or otherwise brought to an employee’s attention.

L.  Superintendent is expected to:

1.      Promote a safe, orderly and stimulating school environment that supports active teaching and learning for all students regardless of actual or perceived race or color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practices, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.

2.      Review with District administrators the policies of the Board of Education and state and federal laws relating to school operations and management.

3.      Inform the Board about educational trends relating to student discipline.

4.      Work to create instructional programs that minimize problems of misconduct and are sensitive to student and teacher needs.

5.      Work with District administrators in enforcing the Code of Conduct and ensuring that all cases are resolved promptly and fairly.

6.      Maintain confidentiality in accordance of federal and state law.

7.      Participate in school-wide efforts to provide adequate supervision in all school spaces.

8.      Address issues of harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any student, school employee, or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a school function.

9.      Address personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students and staff.

 M.  Board of Education is expected to:

1.    Promote a safe, orderly and stimulating school environment, supporting active teaching and learning for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.

2.   Maintain confidentiality in accordance with federal and state law.

3.   Develop and recommend a budget that provides programs and activities that support achievement of the goals of the code of conduct.

3.   Collaborate with student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel to develop a code of conduct that clearly defines expectations for the conduct of students, district personnel and visitors on school property and at school functions.

4.   Adopt and review at least annually the district’s code of conduct to evaluate the code’s effectiveness and the fairness and consistency of its implementation.

5.   Lead by example by conducting Board meetings in a professional, respectful, courteous manner.

6.   Address issues of harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any student, school employee, or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a school function.

7. Address personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students and staff.

N.    Dignity Act Coordination

1.     Promote a safe, orderly and stimulating school environment, supporting active teaching and learning for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.

2.   Oversee and coordinate the work of the district-wide and building-level bullying prevention committees.

3.   Identify curricular resources that support infusing civility in classroom instruction and classroom management; and provide guidance to staff as to how to access and implement those resources.

4.   Coordinate, with the Professional Development Committee, training in support of the bullying prevention committee.

5.   Be responsible for monitoring and reporting on the effectiveness of the district’s bullying prevention policy.

6.   Address issues of harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any student, school employee, or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a school function.

7.  Address personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students and staff.

V. Student Dress Code

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 hair style/color, jewelry, make-up and nails, shall:

A.       Be safe, appropriate and not disrupt or interfere with the educational process.

B.        Be free of items that are vulgar, obscene, and libelous or denigrate others on account of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (identity or expression), or sex.

C.        Be free of the promotion and/or endorsement of the use of alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs and/or encouragement of other illegal or violent activities*.

D.       Recognize that extremely brief garments, revealed midriffs and see-through garments are not appropriate and are distracting to the educational setting and mission of the District and its students.

E.        Ensure that underwear is completely covered with outer clothing.

F.         Wear footwear at all times.

Each building principal or his or her 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, replace it with an acceptable item.  It may be necessary to counsel students and notify their families as to the inappropriateness of chosen dress and/or item.  Any student who refuses to do so shall be subject to discipline, up to and including in-school suspension.  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.

VI. 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.  (Reference Board of Education Policy 5300.30)

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 consequences for their conduct.

Students may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension from school, when they:

A.    Engage in conduct that is disorderly.  Examples of disorderly conduct include but are not limited to:

1.      Running in hallways.

2.      Making unreasonable noise.

3.      Using language or gestures that are profane, lewd, vulgar or abusive.

4.      Obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

5.      Engaging in any willful act which disrupts the normal operation of the school community.

6.      Trespassing.  Students are not permitted in any school building, other than the one they regularly attend, during regular hours of attendance without permission from the administrator, teacher, coach, or advisor in charge of the building.

7.      Computer/electronic communications misuse, including any unauthorized use of computers, software, cell phones or internet/intranet account; accessing inappropriate websites; or any other violation of the District’s acceptable use policy.  (Reference Board of Education Policy #4510.2)

B.     Engage in conduct that is insubordinate.  Examples of insubordinate conduct include but are not limited to:

1.         Failing to comply with the reasonable directions of teachers, school administrators or other school employees in charge of students or otherwise demonstrating disrespect.

2.         Lateness for, missing or leaving school without permission.

3.         Skipping detention.

C.     Engage in conduct that is disruptive.  Examples of disruptive conduct include but are not limited to:

1.      Failing to comply with the reasonable directions of teachers, school administrators or other school personnel in charge of students.

2.      Being late for school or class frequently.

3.      Being frequently unprepared for class.

D.    Engage in conduct that is violent.  Examples of violent conduct include but are not limited to:

1.      Committing an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, punching, biting, hair pulling, spitting and scratching) upon a teacher, administrator or other school employee, or attempting to do so.

2.      Committing an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, punching, biting, hair pulling, spitting and scratching) upon another student or any other person lawfully on school property, or attempting to do so.

3.      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.  (Reference Board of Education Policy #5312.2)

4.      Displaying what appears to be a weapon.

5.      Threatening to use any weapon, or do bodily harm.

6.      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.

7.      Intentionally damaging or destroying school District property.

E.     Engage in any conduct that endangers the safety, physical or mental health or welfare of others.  Examples of such conduct include but are not limited to:

1.         Subjecting other students, school personnel or any other person lawfully on school property or attending school functions to danger by recklessly engaging in conduct which creates substantial risk of physical injury.

2.         Stealing the property of other students, school personnel or any other person lawfully on school property or attending a school function.

3.         Defamation, which includes making false or unprivileged statements or representations about an individual or identifiable group of individuals that harm the reputation of the person or the identifiable group by demeaning them.

4.         Discrimination, which includes the use of race, color, creed, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation or disability as a basis for treating another in a negative manner.

5.         Discrimination which may be based on a student’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religious practices, disability, sexual orientation, or gender.

6.         Harassment, which includes a sufficiently severe action or 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.  Harassment is also the creation of a hostile environment.  (See policy, 0115, Student Harassment and Bullying Prevention and Intervention for a more complete definition.)

7.         Intimidation, which includes engaging in actions or statements that put an individual in fear of bodily harm.

8.         Bullying, which may be a hostile activity which harms or induces fear through the threat of further aggression and/or creates terror. (See policy 0115 for a more complete definition.)

9.         Hazing, which includes an induction, initiation or membership process involving harassment (see policy 0115 for a more complete definition).

10.     Selling, using or possessing obscene material.

11.     Using vulgar or abusive language, cursing or swearing.

12.     Smoking a cigarette, cigar, electronic/smokeless cigarettes, pipe or using chewing or smokeless tobacco.

13.     Possessing, consuming, selling, distributing or exchanging alcoholic beverages or illegal substances, or being under the influence of either.

Illegal substances –     include, but are not limited to, inhalants, marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine, LSD, PCP, amphetamines, heroin, steroids, look-alike[GHS1]  drugs, and any substances commonly referred to as “designer drugs.”

14.        Inappropriately sharing prescription drugs and inappropriately using or sharing over-the-counter drugs.

15.        Gambling in all forms.

16.        Indecent exposure, that is, exposure to sight of the private parts of the body in a lewd or indecent manner.

17.        Initiating a report warning of fire or other catastrophe without valid cause, misuse of 911, or discharging a fire extinguisher.

18.        Lying to school personnel which put others at risk.

F.      Engage in misconduct while on a school bus.  Students must 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.
G.    Engage in any form of academic misconduct.  Examples of academic misconduct include but are not limited to:

1.      Plagiarism.

2.      Cheating.

3.      Copying.

4.      Altering records.

5.      Assisting another student in any of the above actions.

H.  Engage in off-campus misconduct that interferes with, or can reasonably be expected to substantially disrupt the educational process in the school or at a school function. Examples of such misconduct include, but are not limited to:

1.   Cyberbullying (i.e., inflicting willful and repeated harm through the use of electronic text).

2.   Threatening or harassing students or school personnel over the phone or other electronic medium.

VII. Reporting Violations

All students are expected to promptly report serious violations of the Code of Conduct to a teacher, guidance or school counselor, social worker, school psychologist, the building principal or other school administrator.  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, other school administrator or the superintendent.  (See section XII, Page 61)  Any weapon, alcohol or illegal substance found shall be confiscated as soon as possible by appropriate authorities.  If possible, such confiscation will be followed by notification to the parent of the student involved and the appropriate disciplinary sanction if warranted, which may include permanent suspension, referral or prosecution.

All District instructional staff that is authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions is expected to do so in a prompt, fair and lawful manner.  Non-instructional district staff that is not authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions is 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.

The building principals or their designee must notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency of those code violations that may 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 on the day when the alleged violation becomes known by the administration.  The notification may be made by telephone.  Parent notification is necessary as well with a follow-up letter.  The notification must identify the student and explain the conduct that violated the Code of Conduct and constituted the alleged crime.

VIII.  Disciplinary Penalties, Procedures and Referrals

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.  (Reference Board of Education Policies #5313.1, 5313.2, 5313.3)

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.      The student’s age.

2.      The nature of the offense and the circumstances which led to the offense.

3.      The student’s prior disciplinary record.

4.      The effectiveness of other forms of discipline.

5.      Information from parents, teachers and/or others, as appropriate.

6.      Other extenuating circumstances.

As a general rule, discipline will be progressive.  This means that a student’s first violation will usually merit a lighter penalty than subsequent violations.

If the conduct of a student is related to a disability or suspected disability, the student shall be referred to the Committee on Special Education and discipline, if warranted, shall be administered consistent with the separate requirements of this Code of Conduct for disciplining students with a disability or presumed to have a disability.  (See Section X, Page 54).

A.     Penalties

Students who are found to have violated the District’s Code of Conduct may be subject to the following penalties, either alone or in combination.  The school personnel identified after each penalty are authorized to impose that penalty, consistent with the student’s right to due process.

1.         Oral warning – any member of the District staff.

2.         Written warning – bus drivers, hall and lunch monitors, coaches, school counselors, teachers, principal, building administrators, superintendent.

3.         Written notification to parent – bus driver, hall and lunch monitors, coaches, school counselors, teachers, principal, building administrators, superintendent.

4.         Return to class/Teacher

5.         Detention – teachers, building administrators, principal, superintendent.

6.         Suspension from transportation – director of transportation, building administrators, principal, superintendent.

7.         Suspension from athletic participation – coaches, building administrators, director of athletics, principal, superintendent.

8.         Suspension from social or extra-curricular activities – coaches, advisors, building administrators, principal, superintendent.

9.         Suspension of other privileges – building administrators, principal, superintendent.

10.     In-school suspension – building administrators, principal, superintendent.

11.     Removal from classroom by teacher – teacher, building administrators, principal.

12.     Short-term (five days or less) suspension from school – principal, superintendent.

13.     Long-term (more than five days) suspension from school – superintendent, Board of Education.

14.     Permanent suspension from school – Superintendent, Board of Education.

B.     Procedures

The amount of due process a student is entitled to receive before a penalty is imposed depends on the penalty being imposed.  In all cases, regardless of the penalty imposed, the school personnel authorized to impose the penalty must inform the student of the alleged misconduct and must investigate, to the extent necessary, the facts surrounding the alleged misconduct.  All students will have an opportunity to present their version of the facts to the school personnel imposing the disciplinary penalty in connection with the imposition of the penalty.

Students who are to be given penalties other than an oral warning, written warning or written notification to their parents are entitled to additional rights before the penalty is imposed.  These additional rights are explained below:

1.      Detention

Teachers, principals and the superintendent may use after school detention as a penalty for student misconduct in situations where removal from the classroom or suspension would be inappropriate.  Detention will be imposed as a penalty and appropriate transportation home following detention will be provided.

2.      Suspension from Transportation

If a student does not conduct himself/herself properly on a bus, the bus driver is expected to bring such misconduct to the building principal’s attention. (Referral Form C)  Students who become a serious disciplinary problem may have their riding privileges suspended for up to 5 days by the building principal or his or her designee or the superintendent or higher designees.  In such cases, the student’s parent will become responsible for seeing that his or her child gets to and from school safely.  Should the suspension from transportation amount to a suspension from attendance, the District will make appropriate arrangements to provide for the student’s education.

A student subjected to a suspension from transportation is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214.  However, the student and the student’s parent will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with the building principal or the principal’s designee to discuss the conduct and the penalty involved.

3.      Suspension from Athletic Participation, Extra-Curricular Activities and Other Privileges.

A student subjected to a suspension from athletic participation, extra-curricular activities or other privileges is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214.  However, the student and the student’s parent will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with the District official imposing the suspension to discuss the conduct and the penalty involved.

4.      In-School Suspension

The Board recognizes the school must balance the need of students to attend school and the need for order in the classroom to establish an environment conducive to learning.  As such, the Board authorizes building principals or designees and the superintendent to place students who would otherwise be suspended from school as the result of a Code of Conduct violation in “in-school suspension”

A student subjected to an in-school suspension is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214.  However, the student and the student’s parent will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with the District official imposing the in-school suspension to discuss the conduct and the penalty involved.

5.   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 his or her composure and self-control in an alternative setting.  Such practices may include, but are not limited to: (1) short-term “time out” in an elementary classroom or in an administrator’s office; (2) sending a student to the principal’s office for the remainder of the class time only; or (3) sending a student to a guidance counselor or other District staff member for counseling.  Time-honored classroom management techniques such as these do not 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 the 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.

At the elementary level the length of the removal will be determined by the principal, his or her designee, and the teacher.  For K-5 students, a procedure has been developed to assist teachers in handling disruptive and potentially violent students (a copy of this procedure can be found in the appendix).  An emphasis is placed on prevention and support through the use of the IST.

At the secondary level, which includes the middle and high school, the techniques mentioned above should be used by teachers:  1) consultation with student, 2) being sent to the principal’s office, 3) being sent to guidance.  A classroom teacher may remove a disruptive student from class for up to two class sessions if these techniques do not work and a more formal process is needed.  The removal from class applies to the class of the removing teacher only.

If the disruptive student does not pose a danger or on-going threat of disruption to the academic process, the teacher must provide the student with an explanation for why he or she is being removed and an opportunity to explain his or her version of the relevant events before the student is removed.  Only after the informal discussion may a teacher remove a student from class.

If the student poses a danger or ongoing threat of disruption, the teacher may order the student to be removed immediately.  The teacher must, however, explain to the student why he or she was removed from the classroom and give the student a chance to present his or her version of the relevant events to an administrator or designee within 24-hours.

The teacher must complete a District-established disciplinary form (Form A or F) and meet with the principal or building administrator, or his or her designee as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the school day, to explain the circumstances of the removal and to present the disciplinary form (Form B).  If the principal or building administrator is not available by the end of the same school day, the teacher must leave the form with the secretary and meet with the principal or building administrator prior to the beginning of classes on the next school day.  Within 24 hours after the student’s removal, the principal or another building administrator designated by the principal must notify the student’s parents by direct contact, that the student has been removed from class and why.  The direct contact will inform the parent that he or she has the right, upon request, to meet informally with the principal or the building administrator to discuss the reasons for the removal.

Written notice will also be provided to the parent and/or guardian in a timely manner.  The principal may require the teacher who ordered the removal to attend the informal conference.

If at the informal meeting the student denies the charges, the principal or the principal’s designee must explain why the student was removed and give the student and the student’s parents a chance to present the student’s version of the relevant events.  The informal meeting must be held within 48 hours of the student’s removal.  The timing of the informal meeting may be extended by mutual agreement of the parent and principal.

The principal or the principal’s designee may overturn the removal of the student from class if the principal finds any one of the following:

a.       The charges against the student are not supported by substantial evidence.

b.      The student’s removal is otherwise in violation of law, including the District’s Code of Conduct.

c.       The conduct warrants suspension from school pursuant to Education Law §3214 and a suspension will be imposed.

The principal or building administrator may overturn a removal at any point between receiving the referral form issued by the teacher and the close of business on the day following the 48-hour period for the informal conference, if a conference is requested.  No student removed from the classroom by the classroom teacher will be permitted to return to the classroom until the principal makes a final determination, or the period of removal expires, whichever is less.   (Form E)

Any disruptive student removed from the classroom by the classroom teacher shall be offered continued educational programming and activities until he or she is permitted to return to the classroom.

Each teacher must keep a complete log (Form A) for all cases of removal of students from his or her class.  The principal must keep a log of all removals of students from class.  (Form B)

Removal of a student with a disability, under certain circumstances, may constitute a change in the student’s placement.  Accordingly, no teacher may remove a student with a disability from his or her class until he or she has verified with the principal or the chairperson of the Committee on Special Education that the removal will not violate the student’s rights under state or federal law or regulation.

6.   Suspension from School

Suspension from school is a severe penalty, which may be imposed only upon students who are insubordinate, disorderly, violent or disruptive, or whose conduct otherwise endangers the safety, health or welfare of others.  The Board retains its authority to suspend students, but places primary responsibility for the suspension of students with the superintendent and the building principals.  Any staff member may recommend to the superintendent or the building principal that a student be suspended.

In the case of violent students, all staff members must immediately report and refer a violent student to the principal or the superintendent for a violation of the Code of Conduct (Form F).  All recommendations and referrals shall be made in writing unless the conditions underlying the recommendation or referral warrant immediate attention.  In such cases a written report is to be prepared as soon as possible by the staff member recommending the suspension.

The superintendent or principal, upon receiving a recommendation or referral for suspension or when processing a case for suspension, shall gather the facts relevant to the matter and record them for subsequent presentation, if necessary.  (Form G)

a.       Short-term (5 days or less) suspension from school

When the superintendent or principal (referred to as the “suspending authority”) proposes to suspend a student charged with misconduct for five days or less pursuant to Education Law §3214(3), the suspending authority must immediately notify the student orally.  If the student denies the misconduct, the suspending authority must provide an explanation of the basis for the proposed suspension.  The suspending authority must also notify the student’s parents directly that the student may be suspended from school.  The written notice will be provided to the parent within 24 hours.

The suspending authority shall provide a description of the charges against the student and the incident for which suspension is proposed and shall inform the parents of the right to request an immediate informal conference with the principal.  Both the notice and informal conference shall be in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the parents.  At the conference, the parents shall be permitted to ask questions of complaining witnesses under such procedures as the principal may establish.

An opportunity for an informal conference shall take place before the student is suspended unless the student’s presence in school poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process.  If the student’s presence does not pose such danger or threat of disruption, the notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place as soon after the suspension as is reasonably practicable.

After the conference, the principal shall promptly advise the parents in writing of his or her decision.  The principal shall advise the parents that if they are not satisfied with the decision and wish to pursue the matter, they must file a written appeal to the superintendent within five business days, unless they can show extraordinary circumstances precluding them from doing so.  The superintendent shall issue a written decision regarding the appeal within 10 business days of receiving the appeal.  If the parents are not satisfied with the superintendent’s decision, they must file a written appeal to the Board of Education with the District Clerk within 10 business days of the date of the superintendent’s decision, unless they can show extraordinary circumstances precluding them from doing so.  Only final decisions of the Board may be appealed to the Commissioner within 30 days of the decision.

b.      Long-term (more than 5 days) suspension from school.

When the superintendent determines that a suspension for more than five days may be warranted, he or she shall give reasonable notice to the student and the student’s parents of their right to a fair hearing.  At the hearing the student shall have the right to be represented by counsel, the right to question witnesses against him or her and the right to present witnesses and other evidence on his or her behalf.

The superintendent shall personally hear and determine the proceeding or may, in his or her discretion, designate a hearing officer to conduct the hearing.  The hearing officer shall be authorized to administer oaths and to issue subpoenas in conjunction with the proceeding before him or her.  A record of the hearing shall be maintained, but no stenographic transcript shall be required.  A tape recording shall be deemed a satisfactory record.  The hearing officer shall make findings of fact and recommendations as to the appropriate measure of discipline to the superintendent. The report of the hearing officer shall be advisory only, and the superintendent may accept all or any part thereof.

An appeal of the decision of the superintendent may be made to the Board that will make its decision based solely upon the record before it.  All appeals to the Board must be in writing and submitted to the District Clerk within 10 business days of the date of the superintendent’s decision, unless the parents can show that extraordinary circumstances precluded them from doing so.  The Board may adopt in whole or in part the decision of the superintendent.  Final decisions of the Board may be appealed to the Commissioner within 30 days of the decision.

c.   Permanent suspension.

Permanent suspension is reserved for extraordinary circumstances such as where a student’s conduct poses a life-threatening danger to the safety and well being of other students, school personnel or any other person lawfully on school property or attending a school function.

C.    Minimum Periods of Suspension

1.      Students who bring a weapon to school.

Any student, other than a student with a disability, found guilty of bringing a weapon onto school property will be subject to suspension from school for at least one calendar year.  Before being suspended, the student will have an opportunity for a hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214.  The superintendent has the authority to modify the one-year suspension on a case-by-case basis.  In deciding whether to modify the penalty, the superintendent may consider the following:

a. The student’s age.

b. The student’s grade in school.

c. The student’s prior disciplinary record.

d.   The superintendent’s belief that other forms of discipline may be more effective.

e. Input from parents, teachers and/or others.

f. Other extenuating circumstances.

A student with a disability may be suspended only in accordance with the requirements of state and federal law.

2.      Students who commit violent acts other than bringing a weapon to school.

Any student, other than a student with a disability, who is found to have committed a violent act, other than bringing a weapon onto school property, shall be subject to suspension from school for at least five days.  If the proposed penalty is the minimum five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parents will be given the same notice and opportunity for an informal conference given to all students subject to a short-term suspension.  If the proposed penalty exceeds the minimum five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parents will be given the same notice and opportunity for a hearing given to all students subject to a long-term suspension.  The superintendent has the authority to modify the minimum five-day suspension on a case-by-case basis.  In deciding whether to modify the penalty, the superintendent may consider the same factors considered in modifying a one-year suspension for possessing a weapon.

3.      Students who are repeatedly substantially disruptive of the educational process or repeatedly substantially interfere with the teacher’s authority over the classroom.

Any student, other than a student with a disability, who repeatedly is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom will be suspended from school for at least five days.  For purposes of this Code of Conduct, “repeatedly is substantially disruptive” means engaging in conduct that results in the student being removed from the classroom by teacher(s) pursuant to Education Law §3214(3-a) and this code on four or more occasions during a semester.  If the proposed penalty is the minimum five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parents will be given the same notice and opportunity for an informal conference given to all students subject to a short-term suspension.  If the proposed penalty exceeds the minimum five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parents will be given the same notice and opportunity for a hearing given to all students subject to a long-term suspension.  The superintendent has the authority to modify the minimum five-day suspension on a case-by-case basis.  In deciding whether to modify the penalty, the superintendent may consider the same factors considered in modifying a one-year suspension for possessing a weapon.

IX.  Alternative Instruction

When a student of any age is removed from class by a teacher or a student of compulsory attendance age is suspended from school pursuant to Education Law §3214, the District will take immediate steps to provide alternative means of instruction for the student.  This alternative instruction will be 10 (ten) hours at secondary level and 5 (five) hours at elementary level.

X.  Discipline of Students with Disabilities

The Board recognizes that it may be necessary to suspend, remove or otherwise discipline students with disabilities to address disruptive or problem behavior.  The Board also recognizes that students with disabilities are afforded certain procedural protections whenever school authorities intend to impose discipline upon them.  The Board is committed to ensuring that the procedures followed for suspending, removing or otherwise disciplining students with disabilities are consistent with the procedural safeguards required by applicable laws and regulations.

This Code of Conduct affords students with disabilities subject to disciplinary action no greater or lesser rights than those expressly afforded by applicable federal and state law and regulations.

A.  Authorized Suspensions or Removals of Students with Disabilities

1.      For purposes of this section of the Code of Conduct, the following definitions apply.

·         A “suspension” means a suspension pursuant to Education Law §3214.

·         A “removal” means a removal for disciplinary reasons from the student’s current educational placement other than a suspension and change in placement to an Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES) ordered by an impartial hearing officer because the student poses a risk of harm to himself or herself or others.

An “IAES” means a temporary educational placement for a period of up to 45 days, other than the student’s current placement at the time the behavior precipitating the IAES placement occurred, that enables the student to continue to progress in the general curriculum, although in another setting, to continue to receive those services and modifications, including those described on the student’s current individualized education program (IEP), that will enable the student to meet the goals set out in such IEP, and include services and modifications to address the behavior which precipitated the IAES placement that are designed to prevent the behavior from recurring.

2.         School personnel may order the suspension or removal of a student with a disability from his or her current educational placement as follows:

a.       The Board, the Superintendent of schools or a building principal may order the placement of a student with a disability into an IAES, another setting or suspension for a period not to exceed five consecutive school days and not to exceed the amount of time a non-disabled student would be subject to suspension for the same behavior.

b.      The superintendent may order the placement of a student with a disability into an IAES, another setting or suspension for up to 10 consecutive school. days, inclusive of any period in which the student has been suspended or removed under subparagraph (a) above for the same behavior, if the superintendent determines that the student has engaged in behavior that warrants a suspension and the suspension or removal does not exceed the amount of time non-disabled students would be subject to suspension for the same behavior.

c.       The superintendent may order additional suspensions of not more than 10 consecutive school days in the same school year for separate incidents of misconduct, as long as those removals do not constitute a change of placement.

d.      The superintendent may order the placement of a student with a disability to an IAES to be determined by the Committee on Special Education (CSE), for the same amount of time that a student without a disability would be subject to discipline, but not more than 45 days, if the student carried or possessed a weapon at school or at a school function, or the student knowingly possessed or used illegal drugs or sold or solicited the sale of a controlled substance while at school or a school function.

1.      “Weapon” means the same as “dangerous weapon” under 18 U.S.C. §930(g)(w) which includes “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…[for] a pocket knife with a blade of less than 2½ inches in length.”

2.      “Controlled substance” means a drug or other substance identified in certain provisions of the federal Controlled Substances Act specified in both federal and state law and regulations applicable to this policy.

3.      “Illegal drugs” means a controlled substance except for those legally possessed or used under the supervision of a licensed health-care professional or that is legally possessed or used under any other authority under the Controlled Substances Act or any other federal law.

4.      Subject to specified conditions required by both federal and state law and regulations, an impartial hearing officer may order the placement of a student with a disability in an IAES setting for up to 45 days at a time, if maintaining the student in his or her current educational placement poses a risk of harm to the student or others.

B.  Change of Placement Rule

1.         A disciplinary change in placement means a suspension or removal from a student’s current educational placement that is either:

a.    for more than 10 consecutive school days; or

b.   for a period of 10 consecutive school days or less if the student is subjected to a series of suspensions or removals that constitute a pattern because the cumulate to more than 10 school days in a school year and because of such factors as the length of each suspension or removal, the total amount of time the student is removed and the proximity of the suspensions or removals to one another.

2.         School personnel may not suspend or remove a student with disabilities if imposition of the suspension or removal would result in a disciplinary change in placement based on a pattern of suspension or removal.  However, the District may impose a suspension or removal, which would otherwise result in a disciplinary change in placement, based on a pattern of suspensions or removals if the CSE has determined that the behavior was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, or the student is placed in an IAES for behavior involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances.

C. Special Rules Regarding the Suspension or Removal of Students with Disabilities

1.     The District’s Committee on Special Education shall:

a.    Conduct functional behavioral assessments to determine why a student engages in a particular behavior, and develop or review behavioral intervention plans whenever the District is first suspending or removing a student with a disability for more than 10 school days in a school year or imposing a suspension or removal that constitutes a disciplinary change in placement, including a change in placement to an IAES for misconduct involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances.

If subsequently, a student with a disability who has a behavioral intervention plan and who has been suspended or removed from his or her current educational placement for more than 10 school days in a school year is subjected to a suspension or removal that does not constitute a disciplinary change in placement, the members of the CSE shall review the behavioral intervention plan and its implementation to determine if modifications are necessary.

If one or more members of the CSE believe that modifications are needed, the school District shall convene a meeting of the CSE to modify such plan and its implementation, to the extent the committee determines necessary.

b.      Conduct a manifestation determination review of the relationship between the student’s disability and the behavior subject to disciplinary action whenever a decision is made to place a student in an IAES either for misconduct involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances or because maintaining the student in his current educational setting poses a risk of harm to the student or others; or a decision is made to impose a suspension that constitutes a disciplinary change in placement.

2.  The parents of a student who is facing disciplinary action, but who has not been determined to be eligible for services under IDEA and Article 89 at the time of misconduct, shall have the right to invoke applicable procedural safeguards set forth in federal and state law and regulations if, in accordance with federal and state statutory and regulatory criteria, the school District is deemed to have had knowledge that their child was a student with a disability before the behavior precipitating disciplinary action occurred.  If the District is deemed to have had such knowledge, the student will be considered a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes.

a.    The superintendent, building principal or other school official imposing a suspension or removal shall be responsible for determining whether the student is a student presumed to have a disability.

b.   A student will not be considered a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes if, upon receipt of information supporting a claim that the District had knowledge the student was a student with a disability, the District either:

i.         conducted an individual evaluation and determined that the student is not a student with a disability, or

ii.         determined that an evaluation was not necessary and provided notice to the parents of such determination, in the manner required by applicable law and regulations.

If there is no basis for knowledge that the student is a student with a disability prior to taking disciplinary measures against the student, the student may be subjected to the same disciplinary measures as any other non-disabled student who engaged in comparable behaviors.  However, if a request for an individual evaluation is made while such non-disabled student is subjected to a disciplinary removal, an expedited evaluation shall be conducted and completed in the manner prescribed by applicable federal and state law and regulations.  Until the expedited evaluation is completed, the non-disabled student who is not a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes shall remain in the educational placement determined by the District, which can include suspension.

3.  The District shall provide parents with notice of disciplinary removal no later than the date on which a decision is made to change the placement of a student with a disability to an IAES for either misconduct involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances or because maintaining the student in his/her current educational setting poses a risk of harm to the student or others; or a decision is made to impose a suspension or removal that constitutes a disciplinary change in placement.

The procedural safeguards notice prescribed by the Commissioner shall accompany the notice of disciplinary removal.

4.  The parents of a student with disabilities subject to a suspension of five consecutive school days or less shall be provided with the same opportunity for an informal conference available to parents of non-disabled students under the Education Law.

5.   Superintendent hearings on disciplinary charges against students with disabilities subject to a suspension of more than five school days shall be bifurcated into a guilt phase and a penalty phase in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Commissioner’s regulations incorporated into this code.

6.   The removal of a student with disabilities other than a suspension or placement in an IAES shall be conducted in accordance with the due process procedures applicable to such removals of non-disabled students, except that school personnel may not impose such removal for more than 10 consecutive school days or for a period that would result in a disciplinary change in placement, unless the CSE has determined that the behavior is not a manifestation of the student’s disability.

7.   During any period of suspension or removal, including placement in an IAES, students with disabilities shall be provided services as required by the Commissioner’s regulations incorporated into this code.

D.  Expedited Due Process Hearings

1.  An expedited due process hearing shall be conducted in the manner specified by the Commissioner’s regulations incorporated into this code, if:

a.       The District requests such a hearing to obtain an order of an impartial hearing officer placing a student with a disability in an IAES where school personnel maintain that it is dangerous for the student to be in his or her current educational placement, or during the pendency of due process hearings where school personnel maintain that it is dangerous for the student to be in his or her current education placement during such proceedings.

b.      The parent requests such a hearing from a determination that the student’s behavior was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, or relating to any decision regarding placement, including but not limited to any decision to place the student in an IAES.

i.   Durng the pendency of an expedited due process hearing or appeal regarding the placement of a student in an IAES for behavior involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances, or on grounds of dangerousness, or regarding a determination that the behavior is not a manifestation of the student’s disability for a student who has been placed in an IAES, the student shall remain in the IAES pending the decision of the impartial hearing officer or until expiration of the IAES placement, whichever occurs first, unless the parents and the District agree otherwise.

ii.  If school personnel propose to change the student’s placement after expiration of an IAES placement, during the pendency of any proceeding to challenge the proposed change in placement, the student shall remain in the placement prior to removal to the IAES, except where the student is again placed in an IAES.

2.     An expedited due process hearing shall be completed within 15 business days of receipt of the request for a hearing.  Although the impartial hearing officer may grant specific extensions of such time period, he or she must mail a written decision to the District and the parents within five business days after the last hearing date, and in no event later than 45 calendar days after receipt of the request for a hearing, without exceptions or extensions.

E.  Referral to Law Enforcement and Judicial Authorities

In accordance with the provisions of IDEA and its implementing regulations:

1.         The District may report a crime committed by a child with a disability to appropriate authorities, and such action will not constitute a change of the student’s placement.

2.         The superintendent shall ensure that copies of the special education and disciplinary records of a student with disabilities are transmitted for consideration to the appropriate authorities to whom a crime is reported.

XI. Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment is any act of physical force upon a student for the purpose of punishing that student.  Corporal punishment of any student by any District employee is strictly forbidden.

However, in situations where alternative procedures and methods that do not involve the use of physical force cannot reasonably be used, reasonable physical force may be used to:

A.    Protect oneself, another student, teacher or any person from physical injury.

B.     Protect the property of the school or others.

C.     Restrain or remove a student whose behavior interferes with the exercise and performance of school District functions, powers or duties, if that student has refused to refrain from further disruptive acts.  The District will file all complaints about the use of corporal punishment with the Commissioner of Education in accordance with Commissioner’s regulations.

XII.   Student Searches and Interrogations

The Board of Education is committed to ensuring an atmosphere on school property and at school functions that is safe and orderly. To achieve this kind of environment, any school official or other employee such as a teacher, administrator, or SRO may question a student about an alleged violation of law or the District code of conduct. Students are not entitled to any sort of “Miranda”-type warning before being questioned by school employees, nor are school employees required to contact a student’s parent before questioning the student. However, school employees will tell all students why they are being questioned.

The Board authorizes the superintendent, building administrators, the school nurse, and District security officials (such as the School Resource Officer) to conduct searches of students and their belongings if the authorized school employees has reasonable suspicion to believe that the search will result in evidence that the student violated the law or the District Code of Conduct. Searches will be limited to the extent necessary to locate the evidence sought.  Searches may be conducted following the consent of the student or upon reasonable suspicion

Whenever practicable, searches will be conducted in the privacy of administrative offices and students will be present when their possessions are being searched. Searches will be conducted in the presence of two adults whenever possible. If a student is subjected to a search, the building administrator will attempt to contact the parent as soon as is practicable after the search has been conducted.

a.       Student Lockers, Desks, and other School Storage Places

The rules in this code of conduct regarding searches of students and their belongings do not apply to student lockers, desks, other school storage places, or any location in which the student would not reasonably have an expectation of privacy.  Students have no reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to these places and school officials retain complete control over them. This means that students’ lockers, desks, and other school storage places may be subject to search at any time by school officials, without prior notice to students and without their consent.

b.      Student Vehicles or other Personal Devices on School Property

Students are informed that personal vehicles or other personal devices, such as computer diskettes or other storage devices, while these items are on school property, may also be subject to search upon consent and/or reasonable suspicion. School officials may search these items at any time upon consent of if there is a reasonable suspicion that the belongings may contain items which may be in violation of this Code of Conduct or a lawful violation.

c.       Strip Searches

Under no circumstances will any school personnel conduct a strip search of any other person. For the purposes of this section, requiring the removal of an outer coat or jacket, or shoes and socks, shall not constitute a strip search. In the unlikely event that such a thorough search is warranted, the police should be summoned to the scene.

d.      Documentation of Searches

The authorized school official conducting the search shall be responsible for promptly recording the following information about each search:

1. Name, age, and grade of student searched

2. Purpose of search (that is, what item(s) were being sought)

3. Scope of search

4. Person conducting search and his or her title and position

5. Witnesses, if any, to the search

6. Time and location of search

7. Results of search (that is, what items(s) were found)

8. Disposition of items found

9. Time, manner, and results of parental notification

The building principal or the principal’s designee shall be responsible for the custody, control, and disposition of any illegal or dangerous item taken from a student. The principal or his or her designee shall clearly label each item taken from the student and retain control of the item(s), until the item(s) is turned over to the police. The principal or his or her designee shall be responsible for personally delivering dangerous or illegal items to police authorities.

e.       Police Involvement in Searches and Interrogations of Students

District officials are committed to cooperating with police officials and other law enforcement authorities to maintain a safe school environment. The Board authorizes the superintendent, building administrators, the school nurse, and District security officials (such as the School Resource Officer) to conduct searches of students and their belongings if the authorized school official has reasonable suspicion to believe that the search will result in evidence that the student violated the law or the District Code of Conduct.

Police officials, who are not the School Resource Officer have limited authority to interview or search students in schools or at school functions, or to use school facilities in connection with police work. Police officials may enter school property or a school function to question or search a student or to conduct a formal investigation involving students only if they have:

1.  A search or an arrest warrant; or

2.  Probable cause to believe a crime has been committed on school property or at a school function; or

3.  Been invited by school officials.

Except in exigent circumstances involving an ongoing crime or serious health and safety situation (e.g. bomb threat, etc.), before police officials are permitted to question or search any student, the building principal or his or her designee shall first try to notify the student’s parent to give the parent the opportunity to be present during the police questioning or search. If the student’s parent cannot be contacted prior to the police questioning or search, the questioning or search shall not be conducted. The principal or designee will also be present during any police questioning or search of a student on school property or at a school function.

f.       Child Protective Services Investigations

Consistent with the District’s commitment to keep students safe from harm and the obligation of school officials to report to child protective services when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a student has been abused or maltreated, the District will cooperate with local child protective services workers who wish to conduct interviews of students on school property relating to allegations of suspected child abuse, and/or neglect, or custody investigations.

All requests by child protective services to interview a student on school property shall be made directly to the building principal or his or her designee. The principal or his or her designee shall set the time and place of the interview. The principal or designee shall decide if it is necessary and appropriate for a school official to be present during the interview, depending on the age of the student being interviewed and the nature of the allegations. All proceedings will be kept in complete confidence by school officials.  If the nature of the allegations is such that it may be necessary for the student to remove any of his or her clothing in order for the child protective services worker to verify the allegations, the school nurse or other District medical personnel must be present during that portion of the interview. No student may be required to remove his or her clothing in front of a child protective services worker or school District official of the opposite sex.

A child protective services worker may not remove a student from school property without a court order, unless the worker reasonably believes that the student would be subject to danger of abuse if he or she were not removed from school before a court order can reasonably be obtained. If the worker believes the student would be subject to danger of abuse, the worker may remove the student without a court order and without the parent’s consent.(Reference Board of Education Policy 5330)

XIII. Visitors to the Schools

The Board encourages parents and other district citizens to visit the district’s schools and classrooms to observe the work of students, teachers and other staff. Since schools are a place of work and learning, however, certain limits must be set for such visits. The building principal or his or her designee is responsible for all persons in the building and on the grounds. For these reasons, the following rules apply to visitors to the schools:

A.    Anyone who is not a regular staff member or student of the school will be considered a visitor.

B.     All visitors to the school during school hours must report to the office of the principal upon arrival at the school and receive permission to visit. There they will be required to sign the visitor’s register and will be issued a visitor’s identification badge, which must be worn at all times while in the school or on school grounds. The visitor must return to the principal’s office before leaving the building to sign out of the visitor’s register.

C.     Visitors attending school functions that are open to the public, such as parent-teacher organization meetings or public gatherings, are not required to register.

D.    Parents or citizens who wish to observe a classroom while school is in session are required to arrange such visits with the classroom teacher(s) at least 24 hours in advance, so that class disruptions are kept to a minimum.

E.     Teachers are expected not to take class time to discuss individual matters with visitors.

F.      Any unauthorized person on school property will be reported to the principal or his or her designee. Unauthorized persons will be asked to leave. The police may be called if the situation warrants.

G.    All visitors are expected to abide by the rules for public conduct on school property contained in this code of conduct.

XIV.    Public Conduct on School Property

The district is committed to providing an orderly, respectful environment that is conducive to learning. To create and maintain this kind of an environment, it is necessary to regulate public conduct on school property and at school functions. For purposes of this section of the code, “public” shall mean all persons when on school property or attending a school function including students, teachers and district personnel.

The restrictions on public conduct on school property and at school functions contained in this code are not intended to limit freedom of speech or peaceful assembly. The district recognizes that free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the objectives of the district. The purpose of this code is to maintain public order and prevent abuse of the rights of others.

All persons on school property or attending a school function shall conduct themselves in a respectful and orderly manner. In addition, all persons on school property or attending a school function are expected to be properly attired for the purpose they are on school property.

A.    Prohibited Conduct

No person, either alone or with others, shall:

1.            Intentionally injure any person or threaten to do so.

2.            Intentionally damage or destroy school district property or the personal property of a teacher, administrator, other district employee or any person lawfully on school property, including graffiti or arson.

3.            Commit an act of violence or attempt to do so upon a teacher, administrator, other school employee, student or any other person lawfully upon the school property or while attending a school function.

4.            Harass, bully or coerce any other person.

5.            Disrupt the orderly conduct of classes, school programs or other school activities.

6.            Distribute or wear materials on school grounds or at school functions that are obscene, advocate illegal action, appear libelous, obstruct the rights of others, or are disruptive to the school program.

7.            Intimidate, harass, threaten or discriminate against any person on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, weight, creed, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or any other categories of individuals protected against discrimination by federal, state, or local law.

8.            Enter any portion of the school premises unless such entry is made in connection with official business with the district or to attend an activity or school function. All visitors must report to the main office to receive permission, sign-in and obtain a visitors pass during scheduled school hours. Only authorized persons are to remain in any building or facility after it is normally closed.

9.            Obstruct the free movement of any person in any place to which this code applies.

10.        Violate the traffic laws, parking regulations or other restrictions on vehicles;

11.        Possess, consume, sell, distribute or exchange alcoholic beverages, controlled substances, or be under the influence of either on school property or at a school function.

12.        Possess, use, or threaten to use weapons or ammunition in or on school property or at a school function, except in the case of law enforcement officers or except as specifically authorized by the school district.

13.        Loiter on or about school property.

14.        Gamble on school property or at school functions.

15.        Refuse to comply with any reasonable order of identifiable school district officials performing their duties.

16.        Willfully incite others to commit any of the acts prohibited by this code.

17.        Use tobacco products of any kind in or on school property or while attending a school function.

18.        Violate any federal or state statute, local ordinance or Board policy while on school property or while at a school function.

B.  Penalties

Persons who violate this code shall be subject to the following penalties:

1.         Visitors. Their authorization, if any, to remain on school grounds or at the school function shall be withdrawn and they shall be directed to leave the premises. If they refuse to leave, they shall be subject to ejection.

2.         Students. They shall be subject to disciplinary action as the facts may warrant, in accordance with the due process requirements.

3.         Tenured faculty members. They shall be subject to immediate ejection and/or arrest, and disciplinary action as the facts may warrant in accordance with Education Law §3020-a or any other legal rights that they may have.

4.         District Employees in the classified service of the civil service entitled to the protection of Civil Service Law §75. They shall be subject to immediate ejection and to disciplinary action as the facts may warrant in accordance with Civil Service Law §75 or any other legal rights that they may have.

5.         Staff members other than those described in subdivisions 3 and 4. They shall be subject to immediate ejection and/or arrest, warning, reprimands, suspension or dismissal as the facts may warrant in accordance with any legal rights they may have.

6.         Other(s). Their authorization, if any, to remain on school grounds or at the school function shall be withdrawn and they shall be directed to leave the premises. If they refuse to leave, they shall be subject to ejection and or arrest.

C.  Enforcement

The building principal or his or her designee shall be responsible for enforcing the conduct required by this code.  When the building principal or his or her designee becomes aware of an individual engaged in prohibited conduct, which in his or her judgment does not pose any immediate threat of injury to persons or property, the principal or his or her designee shall tell the individual that the conduct is prohibited and attempt to persuade the individual to stop.

The principal or his or her designee shall also warn the individual of the consequences for failing to stop. If the person refuses to stop engaging in the prohibited conduct, or if the person’s conduct poses an immediate threat of injury to persons or property, the principal or his or her designee shall have the individual removed immediately from school property or the school function. If necessary, local law enforcement authorities will be contacted to assist in removing the person.

The district shall initiate disciplinary action against any student or staff member, as appropriate, with the “Penalties” section above. In addition, the district reserves its right to pursue a civil or criminal legal action against any person violating the code.

XV.     Dissemination and Review

The Board will work to ensure that the community is aware of this code of conduct by:

1.         Providing copies of summary of the code to all students at the beginning of each school year.

2.         Providing a plain language summary to all parents at the beginning of the school year, and thereafter on request.

3.     Posting the complete code of conduct on the district’s website.

4.     Providing all current teachers and other staff members with a copy of the code and a copy of any amendments to the code as soon as practicable after adoption.

5.     Providing all new employees with a copy of the current code of conduct when they are first hired.

6.     Making copies of the complete code available for review by students, parents and other community members.

The Board of Education will review this code of conduct every year and update it as necessary. In conducting the review, the Board will consider how effective the code’s provisions have been and whether the code has been applied fairly and consistently.

The Superintendent may appoint an advisory committee to assist in reviewing the code and the district’s response to code of conduct violations. The committee will be made up of representatives of student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, and other school personnel.  Before adopting any revisions to the code, the Board will hold at least one public meeting at which school personnel, parents, students and any other interested party may participate.

The code of conduct and any amendments to it will be filed with the Commissioner no later than 30 days after adoption.

XVI. Code of Conduct for Athletics

The athletic program at Guilderland Central Schools is founded on the principle that the playing field is indeed an extension of the classroom and the athletic experience contributes to the growth of mind and body.  The cornerstones of the Dutchmen tradition were laid generations ago by some of the community’s most respected student athletes, many of whom continue to be involved in the athletic program as supportive parents and sports boosters.  While the names change from year to year, the principles they embodied remain the same–dedication and desire, cooperation and compassion, and the importance of working collectively toward a common goal.  These are just some of the ideas that echo across the Guilderland playing fields and gymnasiums.

The establishment of this athletic handbook is a reflection of the school district’s concern for safety, well being, and conduct of its athletes.  The rules and regulations that are contained in this athletic handbook are in the athlete’s best interests.

The creation of such rules necessarily carries the responsibility for enforcement.  Such enforcement requires cooperation between the school and the home.  Together we can work toward our mutual concerns of reducing the risks and possible penalties that could occur if the provisions of this handbook are not followed.

Philosophy of Interscholastic Athletics

Participation in interscholastic athletics is an elective activity and therefore a privilege, not a right.  Athletics should be a broadening experience in which harmony of mind and body functions is created through striving for physical and mental excellence.  A well-coordinated program is vitally important to the morale of the school and our community.

Everyone involved in the delivery of athletics possess a unique opportunity to teach positive life skills and values.  Desire, dedication, self-discipline and responsibility need to be developed in order to ensure the commitment and personal sacrifice required by athletes.  Making such a commitment helps nurture integrity, pride, loyalty, and overall character.  The final outcome is a better citizenry carrying these values throughout their life.

Athletic competitors naturally strive for victory.  However, the number of victories is only one criterion when determining a team’s success.  Guiding the team to attain maximum potential is the ultimate goal.  To this end, the coaching staff must teach student/athletes to prepare their minds and bodies in order to reach maximum potential, and then to be modest in victory and steadfast in defeat.

Code of Ethics

It is the duty of all concerned with school athletics:

·         To emphasize the proper ideals of sportsmanship, ethical conduct and fair play.

·         To eliminate all possibilities which tend to destroy the best values of the game.

·         To stress the values derived from playing the game fairly.

·         To show cordial courtesy to visiting teams and officials.

·         To establish a happy relationship between visitors and hosts.

·         To respect the integrity and judgment of sports officials.

·         To achieve a thorough understanding and acceptance of the rules of the game and the standards of eligibility.

·         To encourage leadership, use of initiative, and good judgment by the players on the team.

·         To recognize that the purpose of athletics is to promote physical, mental, moral, social, and emotional well-being of the individual players.

·         To remember that an athletic contest is only a game–not a matter of life and death for player, coach, school, official, fan or community.

Section II: Sportsmanship Policy For Athletes

1.      Learn and understand the rules of your sport.  Play hard, play to win, but play fairly within the rules.

2.      Do not allow your temper to distract you from the fundamentals of good sportsmanship.  Maintain self-control.

3.      Respect your opponent.  Never taunt.  Congratulate him or her at game’s end.  Acknowledge good play.

4.      Respect the integrity and judgment of officials.  Never question the decision of an official.

5.      Be an example for your school, teammates and opponents.

A player who is disqualified from a contest for un-sportsmanlike behavior by an official is prohibited from playing in the next regularly scheduled contest, as per NYSPHSAA rules.

A player who strikes or otherwise physically assaults an official will be subject to an extended suspension from athletic competition.  A physical confrontation with an official is any incident which a player either strikes, bumps, or otherwise physically intimidates an official prior to, during or after a contest or game.

Section II: Code of Behavior For Spectators

1.            Spectators are an important part of the games and are encouraged to conform to accepted standards of good sportsmanship and behavior.

2.            Spectators should at all times respect officials, visiting coaches, players, and cheerleaders as guests in the community and extend all courtesies to them.

3.            Enthusiastic cheering for one’s own team is encouraged.

4.            Booing, whistling, stamping of the feet and disrespectful remarks shall be avoided.

5.            There will be no ringing of bells, sounding of horns, or other noisemakers at indoor contests during play.  Anyone who does not abide by this rule will be asked to leave the premises.

6.            Pep bands or school bands, under the supervision of school personnel, may play during time outs, between periods, or at halftime.  Bands must coordinate their play so as not to interfere with a cheerleading squad on the floor or field.

7.            The throwing of debris, confetti, or other objects from the stands is prohibited.  Offending individuals will be asked to leave the premises.

8.            During a free throw in basketball, all courtesies should be ex-tended.

9.            Spectators will observe the rules of the local school concerning smoking, food and drink consumption, littering, and parking procedures.

10.        Spectators will respect and obey all school officials and supervisors at athletic contest.

Any Inappropriate Spectator Behavior Directed At The Coaches, Players, And Officials, Could Result In Disciplinary Action Including Permanent Suspension From Athletic Events.

Suburban Scholastic Council Sportsmanship Code

IN THE BELIEF that good sportsmanship on the part of spectators at high school athletic contest is as important as good sportsmanship on the part of athletes, the following guides for conduct are suggested as a means of continuing and strengthening the ties that exist between competing schools.

Basic Philosophy: Visiting team members, students and adult spectators are guests to be accorded all the courtesy and consideration that a friendly, well mannered and well-intentioned host would normally give.  The visitors, in turn, are to act as invited guests, using the home school’s facilities with care and respecting the rules and customs of the home school.

It Is Expected that all spectators and participants will follow this code:

·   Athletic opponents and officials are guests and should be treated as such.

·   Spectators should watch the game from those areas designated by each school as spectator areas.

·   It shall be the responsibility of authorized school personnel attending    games, either at home or away, to make sure students from their school conduct themselves appropriately.

·   Officials are the proper authorities to make decisions regarding rules and their interpretation; these decisions should be accepted.

·   Cheering should be in support of either team and should not be directed toward creating unfriendly rivalries among athletes or fans.

·   Any spectator who evidences poor sportsmanship will be requested to leave and may be denied admission to future contests.

Spectators, athletes and coaches must recognize that their conduct plays an important role in establishing the reputation of their schools and that their positive actions can relate directly to the success of their teams.

Conduct of An Athlete

THE CONDUCT OF an athlete is closely observed in many areas of life; on the field, in the classroom and in the community.  Take pride in yourself, your team and your school.  You should always project a positive image.  Winning or losing is not as important as your reaction to winning or losing.  Your reaction is what people will remember–not the score.  You should be gracious in defeat and modest in victory.

On The Field – In the area of athletic competition, a real athlete does not use profanity or illegal tactics, and learns fast that losing is a part of the game and that you should be gracious in defeat and modest in victory.  It is always courteous to congratulate the opponent on a well played game after the contest, whether in defeat or victory.

The school is interested in each athlete as an individual, and the coaches will do all they can to help each achieve the highest level he or she is capable of achieving.  However, each student-athlete must accept the responsibility that goes with being a member of a team.  Our teams represent the Guilderland community.  The following rules of conduct have been developed for all our modified, freshman, junior varsity, and varsity team members.  The school realizes that in order for these rules to be adhered to, the athletes must believe in them and discipline themselves to abide by them, sometimes sacrificing personal pleasure for a team to which they have committed themselves.  Parents are requested to do all they can to support the Code of Conduct and help their son or daughter to live up to this code.

Academics

Athletics, generally speaking, have a positive effect on the athlete’s performance in the classroom and feelings toward school.

Parents are responsible for determining whether their athlete will continue participation if marks are below what they feel to be acceptable, and consult with their athlete’s guidance counselor or coach if they have questions about grade and athletic competition.

Students are responsible to make arrangements to receive regularly scheduled help in any subject in which they are failing.

A.    Team Standards

In addition to the regular school policies that are in effect at all times, athletes must:

1.      Attend all practices and contests unless excused by the coach.

2.      Demonstrate respect for fellow teammates, coaches, game officials and opponents.

3.      Demonstrate loyalty to team and coaches.

4.      Demonstrate control over emotions and speech.

5.      Demonstrate constant effort to improve.

6.      Report to locker room at designated time for practice and behave in a responsible manner.

7.      Poor Sportsmanship – Student athletes, whether participants or spectators, will observe courteous behavior during all sporting events.  Booing, whistling, name calling, obscene gestures, fighting or arguing with the referee etc. will not be tolerated.

8.      Stealing of any kind, including athletic clothing belonging to Guilderland or our opponents, will not be tolerated.

9.      Ride the team bus to and from all away athletic contests.  Under some circumstances, an athlete may receive permission from his/her coach to ride home from a contest with his/her parents.

10.  Be in attendance by 10:00 a.m. on the day of a week day or night contest.  Athletes absent from school on the Friday preceding a Saturday contest may be eligible to participate if parent calls the school nurse and explains the reason for the absence.

The school nurse will then notify the coach that the athlete may participate if physically able.

Violation of the above standards may result in disciplinary action, including suspension ranging from one game to all games remaining on the schedule.  The coach will recommend a penalty to the Director of Athletics.

B.     Self Reporting

Any code violation that is self or family reported to any Guilderland Athletics staff member, PRIOR to staff awareness of the violation, will result in a 50% reduction of the normal suspension penalty. This will only be honored one time during the student athlete’s career.

C.    Implementation of Code

The intent of the code is for student/athletes to follow the guidelines throughout the year.  The formal code is in effect for each sports season and must be signed by all athletes as soon as the final squad is selected.

D.  Use of Tobacco, Alcohol, Marijuana and Other Controlled Substances

1.  Smoking

Possession of, or use of tobacco, will not be permitted.  This includes smoking items, chewing tobacco, smokeless tobacco and snuff.

2.   Drugs, Alcohol, Marijuana and Other Controlled Substances

Possession of or use of the above are not permitted.  It should be noted that the use of wine in traditional religious celebrations is not in violation of the code of conduct.

3.  Constructive Possession

Student athletes who are found to have been voluntarily associating with others who are illegally using, possessing or distributing drugs, drug paraphernalia or alcohol, and who do not attempt to remove themselves in a reasonable amount of time (constructive possession) are in violation of the code of conduct.  This regulation applies to circumstances that take place on or off school grounds and does not apply to circumstances where the student athlete is present at places where alcohol is being legally consumed.  The consequence for the first violation of constructive possession shall be suspension from one competition.

4.  Hosting of Drinking/Drug Parties

Student athletes hosting a party that provides alcohol, drugs, marijuana or other controlled substances will be suspended from participation in athletics for one calendar year from the date of the party.

5.  Offenses Resulting in Arrest or the Filing of Formal Charges in Court

In the case of the arrest for a criminal offense or filing of charges for a criminal offense, the athlete shall be removed from the team until the matter is effectively reviewed by school officials.  Charges include, but are not limited to: Sexual assault, being convicted of a felony, hazing, and possession of a weapon.  If the District has adequate and competent evidence that the student participated in the offense for which he or she is charged, it shall be considered as a 1st offense at a minimum. A penalty shall be immediately imposed pursuant to the Athletic Code of Conduct regulation prior to completion of the criminal proceeding. The District reserves the right to prefer stricter disciplinary consequences, including suspension in future seasons upon the completion of the criminal proceeding.  It should be noted, that the facts of an incident may warrant immediate removal from the team if the Director of Athletics and the building principal believe that the offense committed by the student athlete warrants such action.

6.      Penalties: Guilderland Student Code of Conduct Violations

Any violations of the Guilderland Student Code of Conduct resulting in internal or an out-of-school suspension will result in progressive levels of discipline under this code.

a.       First Offense – Beginning on the date of the offense the athlete will be suspended from the team for a minimum of 1/5 of the team’s contests that season.  A conference involving the coach, the athletic director and the athlete will be held to inform the athlete of his penalty and role on the team during the suspension.  During the suspension the athlete will be referred to appropriate school personnel for counseling.

b.      Second Offense – A second offense will result in immediate suspension for the remainder of the season.

c.       Sale of illegal drugs, marijuana and other controlled substances will result in an athlete being suspended for one calendar year from the date of the sale.

d.      School Policies – Student athletes are treated as any other student when school policies are violated and will receive the appropriate school penalty.  If the violation is also an athletic code violation the student, in addition, will receive the consequences as outlined in the Code of Conduct.

7.      Due Process

Prior to imposition of any penalty under the Code, the building principal and the Director of Athletics will notify the student athlete of the nature of the infraction and the student will be given an opportunity to explain his or her side of the story.

Appeal Procedure

The student and/or parent/guardian have the right to appeal penalties imposed under the code to the building principal and Director of Athletics.  Appeals must be made in writing within three school days of assignment of a penalty for a code violation.  A response to the appeal will be provided within three school days after receipt of the letter by the building principal and the Director of Athletics.

Dropping from the team

Quitting is an unacceptable habit and one that is counterproductive to the traits interscholastic athletics instill.  On occasion, however, a student athlete may find it necessary to drop a sport for a good reason.  No student may quit one sport and then participate in another once the teams have been selected.  If he/she has been cut from one team, it is legitimate to try-out for another.  All legitimate requests for changing sports must be made through the Director of Athletics.

Hazing/Initiation Policy

The Guilderland Athletic department enacts this policy to ensure and maintain a safe learning environment for students that is free from hazing.  The Guilderland athletic department shall not tolerate any hazing of students and hazing at all times.

Definition: Hazing is defined by any conduct or method of initiation into any interscholastic team or organization, whether on public or private property, which deliberately or recklessly exploits a less powerful student, physically, emotionally and/or socially.  Such conduct characteristically takes place where/when an unfair advantage is being exerted on said person.  This conduct includes but is not limited to; shaving, shower pranks, whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, forced consumption of food, alcoholic beverages, drugs or any other substances.  Moreover, any other cruel treatment or forced physical activity that is likely to unfavorably affect the physical health and/or safety of a Guilderland Central School student.

Discipline

The athletic department will discipline or take appropriate action against any student, coach, volunteer or any other district employee who is found to have violated this policy.  Such action may include but is not limited to a warning, suspension, expulsion, remediation or discharge.

Social Media Policy

As an organization with a commitment to quality of education and the safety of our students, as well as the preservation of our outstanding reputation as a school, the standards for appropriate online communication are equally as high.  It is important that student athletes recognize the power of public media domains and the potentially negative image that they can portray about other student athletes, coaches, the athletic program and the school district.  While we respect the right of student athletes to utilize the variety of social media options available (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, blogs, etc.), we ask that the following guidelines be met by our student athletes at all times.

1.      Refrain from posting material, including pictures, that is threatening, harassing, illegal, obscene, defamatory, slanderous, promoting illegal activities or hostility towards any individual or entity.

2.      Refrain from posting email addresses or other confidential information of students, faculty or any other person other than yourself.  If you choose to post your own contact information for any reason, please be aware that the information will be available to the public and is, therefore, subject to misuse.

3.      Be aware that college recruiters or future employers are starting to access information placed online on social networking sites.  The information you post is considered public information.  Protect yourself by maintaining a self-image that you can be proud of years from now.

Any inappropriate activity that is in violation of the above guidelines, including first time offenses, is subject to investigation by the school district as well as civil authorities and can be disciplined under the code of conduct.

Student Eligibility

According to the Commissioner’s Regulations, a pupil shall be eligible for inter-school competition in a sport during a semester, provided that he/she is a bona fide pupil, enrolled during the first 15 days of such semester, is registered in the equivalent of three regular courses, is meeting the physical education requirement, and has been in regular attendance 80 percent of the school time, bonafide absence caused by personal illness accepted.

Each individual team has its own regulations concerning daily attendance at practices and the minimum number of practices before being eligible for competition.  Your coach will inform you of these rules.

Physical Education Requirement

Athletics is an outgrowth of Physical Education. Athletes who are illegally absent from or do not participate in physical education classes WILL NOT be permitted to attend practices or contests on the day of the absence.  The NYSPHSAA & The Commissioner of Education, 135.4 Regulation states that a student must be enrolled in physical education to participate in athletics.

A senior athlete who has demonstrated exemplary participation throughout their high school career may opt out of physical education during their season of participation only.  A waiver is available from their physical education teacher.

Attendance: Regular Practices

Practices are essential for proper conditioning, improvement of techniques and acquisition of teamwork skills.  Therefore, athletes are required to attend scheduled practices.  Athletes who are absent from school are excused from practice on the same day as the absence.  Athletes who are suspended from school may not participate in the practices or competition during the suspension.

Attendance: Family Vacations

Practice schedules and attendance rules are set by coaches in a consistent and fair manner and are approved by the Director of Athletics before implementation.  When parents/guardians and student athletes choose to take their family vacation during the sport seasons, it must be understood that the time missed by the student-athlete can affect team chemistry and personal conditioning.  Athletes who do not train during an extended vacation could be seriously injured if allowed to participate under highly competitive game conditions.  Teams cannot be developed to their fullest potential when all members are not present.  Student athletes who miss practices or competitions for any reason will likely have their position and/or playing time adjusted. The athlete and/or parent/guardian MUST personally inform the coach PRIOR to the tryout period of their vacation plans. The coach will share the plan with the athlete at that time.

Transportation

Student/athletes will be transported to away contests by school authorized vehicles only.  Under some circumstances, an athlete may receive permission from his/her coach to ride home from a contest with his/her parents.  This should be cleared with the coach.  The parent should give the coach a written note after the game before taking the student.  All squad members are expected to conduct themselves in a fashion that will ensure the safety of all passengers.  All safety rules must be followed.  All regulations are in effect during charter trips.

Sports Physicals

Sports physicals will be given by a NYS board approved Physician and/or the District School Physician.  The physicals conducted by anyone other than the District Physician must also be cleared by the appointed School Physician before a student is allowed to begin practice or participate in a game.  The sports physical is in force for one calendar year; however, after 30 days a sport physical update form needs to be filled out by the parent and turned in to the nurse for each team you join each session.

All athletes who are seen by a doctor must be released (signed statement) by that doctor in order to resume participation with their team.  This release must be filed with school nurse.

Injuries

It is extremely important to report any injury to your coach and/or athletic trainer immediately.  Medical expenses resulting from any injury must first be submitted to your own insurance carrier and then any remaining balance can be submitted to the School Accident insurance carrier.  NOTE: The school accident insurance provides only excess coverage according to a fee schedule.

Risk Factor In Sports

Participation in sports involves a certain degree of risk for injury.  Before going out for the team, we want you to be aware of the risk so you will be better able to reduce your changes for injury.  Pre-season conditioning, learning, the skills and techniques, and knowledge of rules and safety factors will enable you to have a healthy season.

Concussion Management

During the spring of 2010, the Guilderland Central School District Athletic Department launched an important new initiative relating to the safety of our student-athletes.  We utilized an innovative concussion management program called ImPACT (Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing).  This is a web-based software program is designed to assess baseline neurocognitive functioning.

Developed in the early 1990’s by Dr. Mark Lovell and Dr. Joseph Maroon of the University of Pittsburgh, ImPACT is utilized throughout the professional, collegiate and high school athletic programs.  It is fast becoming the “Gold Standard” in recognizing and managing head injuries.  Additional information can be found at www.impacttest.com.

ImPACT is administered by our certified athletic trainer (ATC) or by a trained member of our concussion management team.  The test itself takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and will be given to student-athletes prior to their season in order to obtain a baseline measurement.  The program measures multiple aspects of cognitive functioning, including:

Section I – Subject Profile and Health History Questionnaire
Section II – Current Symptoms and Conditions
Section III – Neuropsychological Tests (Baseline and Post-Concussion)
Module 1 – Word Discrimination
Module 2 – Design Memory
Module 3 – X’s & O’s
Module 4 – Symbol Matching
Module 5 – Color Match
Module 6 – Three Letters
Section IV – Injury Description
Section V – Graphic Display of Data

If a student-athlete is believed to have sustained a concussion during competition, the test is taken again and the data is compared to the baseline exam.  This information will then be used as a tool to assist the treating physician, athletic trainer (ATC) and coaching staff in determining the extent of the injury, monitoring recovery and developing a return to play strategy.  If an injury of this nature occurs, we will be in contact with the parent/guardian throughout the process. Moving forward, a new baseline test will be given to our student-athletes every two years.  This is due to the changes that occur in an adolescent brain.

Issuing of School Clothing and Equipment

The athlete is responsible for returning all issued clothing and equipment to the coach.  Failure to do so will result in the athlete being financially responsible for the missing articles.  Athletes not paying for the missing articles will forfeit their right to receive any school equipment or clothing in the next sport season or be eligible for any certificate, pin, or letter.  A list of all violators will be sent to the Director of Athletics office and forwarded to the building principal involved.  Student athletes caught stealing school issued equipment will receive additional consequences.

Outside Team Rule

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association allows outside competition (AAU, CYO, Travel, Club etc).  Guilderland athletes must understand that commitment to the in-season school team comes first, and outside participation should not be detrimental to an individual or to a Guilderland team.  There will be many circumstances where a student should not participate in an outside activity due to the possible effect on the team.  Do not participate until you check with the individual coach involved with the school team.

NCAA Information

Any senior student-athlete planning to enroll in college as a freshman and who wants to participate in Division I or Division II athletics must be certified by the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse.  Applications may be obtained in the guidance office.

Modified Program Philosophy

This program is available to all students in the seventh and eighth grades between the ages of 12 to 15.  A student reaching age 16 during a sports season may complete that season and must play freshmen, junior varsity or varsity the next sports season.  Sports activities offered are determined by the existence of leagues, student interest, and the relationship to the high school program.  At this level, the focus is on learning athletic skills and game rules, fundamentals of team play, socio-emotional growth, physiologically appropriate demands on the adolescent body, and healthy competition.  The modified program is designed to offer students the opportunity to engage in more highly organized competitive experience than what is found in intramural/extramural programs but not as involved as those found in varsity and junior varsity interscholastic competition.  A competitive program such as this will not always guarantee each team member equal participation in contests.

Selection Classification

Guilderland participates in the New York State Education Department approved program that can provide the opportunity for seventh and eighth grade students to participate on varsity, junior varsity, and freshman teams.  This program has been designed for the exceptional few in each school who would be served by playing on a higher level team than age and grade might indicate.  Very few students are expected to participate under this program.  Information must be collected and evaluated by the Director and Assistant Director of Athletics before a student may tryout for a team.  Selection into this process is initiated by the coaching staff, physical education staff, and/or athletic administrators.

Athletic Awards: Letter Award Qualifications

A letter is not the right of each individual on a team; rather it is an honor that must be earned by the individual student-athlete.

The coach will set forth specific criteria outlining performance as a means of achieving a letter.  The criteria will give meaning to the letter awards.  A starter who is injured before he or she can complete the requirements shall be given consideration for receiving a letter.  An athlete who does not complete the season in good standing shall not receive a letter or certificate, i.e. an athlete who quits the team, is removed for disciplinary reasons or for a training rule infraction.  A senior, who has participated in the same sport for 4 years, shall receive a varsity letter in that sport regardless of the requirements, as long as he or she completes each season as a team member in good standing.
The coach will determine who will receive a letter.

General Requirements For All Awards

Certificates: Varsity, Junior Varsity and Freshman certificates shall be awarded to all athletes who complete the season in good standing.  The athlete must exhibit attributes befitting a hard-working loyal team member throughout the entire season.

Letters: The same standards are applied to each level–Freshman, Junior Varsity, and Varsity.  One Letter only shall be awarded at each level.  Sport pins will be issued for varsity awards earned in the first year and a service bar will be issued in subsequent years in the same sport.

Note: Situations needing special considerations shall be left up to the discretion of the coach after consultation with the Director of Athletics.

Awards Banquets

Alcohol and alcoholic consumption by all persons at Guilderland Central Athletic events and awards banquets are against school district policy.  Whenever possible, banquets should be held in a facility where alcohol cannot be sold during the function and at no time can alcohol be available in the banquet room.  Smoking or use of tobacco products is similarly prohibited.

Parent/Coach Relationship

Both parenting and coaching are extremely difficult endeavors.  By establishing an understanding of each position, we are better able to accept the actions of the other and provide greater benefit to children.  As parents, when your child becomes involved in our program, you have a right to understand what expectations are placed on your child.  This begins with clear communication from the coach of your child’s program.

Communication you should expect from your child’s coach:

1.      Philosophy of the coach.

2.       Expectations the coach has for your child, as well as all of the players on the squad.

3.      Locations and times of all practices and contests.

4.      Team requirements (i.e., fees, rules, and special equipment)

5.      Procedure should your child be injured during participation.

6.      Discipline that results in denial of your child’s participation.

Communication coaches expect from parents:

1.   Concerns expressed directly to the coach.

2.   Notification of any schedule conflicts well in advance.

3.   Specific concern in regard to a coach’s philosophy and/or expectations.

As your children become involved in the Guilderland Interscholastic Athletic Program, they will experience some of the most rewarding moments in their lives.  It is important to understand that there also may be times when things do not go the way you or your child wishes.  At these times, discussion with the coach is encouraged.

Appropriate concerns to discuss with the coaches:

1.   The treatment of your child, mentally and physically.

2.   Ways to help your child improve.

3.   Concerns about your child’s behavior.

Accepting that your child has less playing time than you had anticipated is very difficult.  Coaches are professionals.  They make judgment decisions based on what they believe to be the best for all students involved.  As you have seen from the list above, certain things can and should be discussed with your child’s coach.  Other things, such as those following, must be left to the discretion of the coach.

Issues not appropriate to discuss with coaches:

1.   Playing time

2.   Team strategy

3.   Play calling

4.   Other student/athletes

There are situations that may require a conference between the coach and the parent.  These are to be encouraged.  Both parties involved should have a clear understanding of the others’ position.  When these conferences are necessary, the following procedure should be followed to help promote a resolution to the issue of concern.

Procedure to follow to discuss a concern with a coach:

1.   Call to set up an appointment with the head coach.

2.   Guilderland High School 861-8591, ext. 4000

If the coach cannot be reached, please call the Director of Athletics at the number above and his office will arrange the meeting for you.

Please do not attempt to confront a coach before or after a contest or practice.  These can be emotional times for both the parent and the coach.  Meetings of this nature do not promote resolution.

The next step:

What can a parent do if the meeting with the coach did not provide satisfactory resolution?

1.      Call to set up an appointment with the Athletic Director.  The parent/guardian, coach, and Director of Athletics will meet to discuss the problem.

2.      At this meeting, the appropriate next step can be determined.

Parents are encouraged to discuss issues and problems with the Director of Athletics.  However, if a parent has specific complaints regarding the coach, then the coach must have the opportunity to be present to meet with the parent.

Parent and Student’s Awareness

Participation On A Guilderland Athletic Team is a privilege which should elicit great pride in both the athlete and the parent.  Standards of behavior are high and a willingness to live up to these standards as part of being a member of a team.  For this reason, each athlete will be required to sign the athletic card indicating the athlete’s personal commitment.  This signature will recognize the athlete’s responsibility to the team and their willingness to set a positive example, adhere to basic concepts of good citizenship and follow proper training practices.

We have read and understand the guidelines, procedures, and training rules, as well as the Code of Behavior for Spectators, and the Suburban Council Sportsmanship Code.

 

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