Board Policies Vol. 10: 9000s

9100s

9200s

9300s

9500s

9600s

9700s


9140.1 Staff Complaints and Grievances

(under Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act)

This policy and accompanying regulation (9140.1-R) provide grievance procedures for those employees not covered by collective bargaining agreements or whose negotiated agreements do not include grievance procedures. Staff complaints that are not covered under the General Municipal Law, or cannot be resolved under procedures of Title IX and Section 504 or the ADA shall be subject to the discretion of the Board as to the method by which the complaint may be brought.

Grievance procedures are designed to resolve conflicts that may arise among various members of the staff. These procedures are defined in collective bargaining agreements. Staff members have the right to present complaints and grievances in accordance with the established procedures free from coercion, interference, restraint, discrimination or reprisal.

The district shall implement a multi-stage grievance procedure and an appellate stage for the settlement of grievances pursuant to the General Municipal Law. In addition, the district shall implement procedures and regulations and designate an employee to carry out the responsibilities under Title IX and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Annual Notification

At the beginning of each school year, the district shall publish a notice of the established grievance procedures for resolving complaints of discrimination due to sex and/or disability to employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement. The public notice shall also be available on the district website: www.guilderlandschools.org and:

1. inform eligible employees that educational programs are offered without regard to sex, race, color, national origin or disability;

2. provide the name, address and telephone number of the person designated to coordinate activities concerning discrimination due to sex and/or disability; and

3. include in announcements, bulletins, catalogues, and applications made available by the district.

Ref: Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 USC 12111-12117; 12210

General Municipal Law, Article 15-c

Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972, 20 USC Chapter 38; 45 CFR Part 86

Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 504; 29 USC 794

Civil Service Law, Article 14

Matter of Gatje, 24 EDR 191 (1984)

Adopted November 29, 2005

Adopted June 19, 2012

Revised and Adopted March 3, 2020

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9140.1-R Staff Complaints and Grievances Regulation

Definitions

1. Grievant shall mean an employee who alleges that there has been a violation of Title IX, Section 504 or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) statute or regulations which affect him/her.

2. Grievance shall mean any alleged violation of Title IX, Section 504 or ADA statute or regulations.

3. Compliance Officer shall mean the employee designated by the Board of Education to coordinate efforts to comply with and carry out responsibilities under Title IX, Section 504 and the ADA.

4. Representative shall mean any person designated by the grievant as his/her counsel or to act in his/her behalf.

This regulation and accompanying policy (9140.1) provide grievance procedures for those employees not covered by collective bargaining agreements or whose negotiated agreements do not include grievance procedures. The resolution of staff complaints alleging any action prohibited by Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the ADA shall be dealt with in the following manner:

Stages

A. Stage I–Compliance Officer

1. Within thirty (30) days after the events giving rise to the grievance, the grievant shall file a grievance in writing with the Compliance Officer. The Compliance Officer may informally discuss the grievance with the grievant. He/She shall promptly investigate the complaint. All employees of the school district shall cooperate with the Compliance Officer in such investigation.

2. Within fifteen (15) days of the receipt of the grievance, the Compliance Officer shall make a finding in writing that there has or has not been a violation of Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the ADA. In the event the Compliance Officer finds that there has been a violation, he/she shall propose a resolution of the complaint.

3. If the grievant is not satisfied with the finding of the Compliance Officer, or with the proposed resolution of the grievance, the grievant may, within fifteen (15) days after he/she has received the report of the Compliance Officer, file a written request for review by the Superintendent.

B. Stage II–Superintendent of Schools

1. The Superintendent may request that the grievant, the Compliance Officer, or any member of the school district staff present a written statement to him/her setting forth any information that such person has relative to the grievance and the facts surrounding it.

2. The Superintendent shall notify all parties concerned as to the time and place when an informal hearing will be held where such parties may appear and present oral and written statements supplementing their position in the case. Such hearing shall be held within fifteen (15) days of the receipt of the appeal by the Superintendent.

3. Within fifteen (15) days of the hearing, the Superintendent shall render his/her determination in writing. Such determination shall include a finding that there has or has not been a violation of Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the ADA, a proposal for equitably resolving the complaint.

4. If the grievant is not satisfied with the determination of the Superintendent, the grievant may, within fifteen (15) days after its receipt, file with the Clerk of the Board of Education, a written request for review by the Board.

C. Stage III–Board of Education

1. When a request for review by the Board has been made, the Superintendent shall submit all written statements and other materials concerning the case to the President of the Board.

2. The Board shall notify all parties concerned of the time and place when a hearing will be held. Such hearing will be held within fifteen (15) school days of the receipt of the request of the grievant. Each party may submit a written summary statement in support of their arguments at the time of the hearing but the decision by the Board of Education will be based upon the record as presented to the superintendent.

3. The Board shall render a decision in writing within ten (10) school days after the hearing has been concluded and direct the Superintendent to take appropriate steps to implement the resolution.

Reviewed November 15, 2005

Reviewed June 19, 2012

Revised and Reviewed March 2, 2020

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9260 Conditional Appointment & Emergency Conditional Appointment -Student Safety

The Board of Education recognizes that there may be instances in which it is necessary, upon recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools, for the Board to make a conditional appointment or an emergency conditional appointment of a prospective employee. To provide for the safety of students who have contact with an employee holding a conditional appointment or an emergency conditional appointment, the Board adopts the following policy.

No district employee who holds a conditional or emergency conditional appointment shall be in contact with students other than to provide the specific instruction or other services for which the employee was hired, except as deemed appropriate by the Building Principal.

In no event shall such employee be left alone with an individual student.

The Building Principal or his/her designee shall provide heightened administrative supervision of such employees while on school district property during the period of their conditional or emergency conditional appointment including, for example, unannounced visits to classrooms, walking the hallways, and/or any other activities the Principal determines to be appropriate.

In addition, the district will ensure that all conditional and emergency conditional appointed employees have received required training regarding the prohibition against child abuse in an educational setting and of their responsibility for reporting any such abuse at the commencement of their conditional or emergency conditional appointment.

Failure to comply with this policy will result in appropriate disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

For purposes of this policy, the terms “conditional appointment” and “emergency conditional appointment” shall refer to any employee holding conditional or emergency conditional appointment, as defined in Section 1709 of the Education Law.

The District shall provide further results of fingerprint examination notification when they become available.

Ref: Education Law §§1125-1133; 1604; 1709; 1804; 2503; 2554; 3035

8 NYCRR §§100.2 (hh); Part 87

Adopted May 22, 2007

Revised and Adopted June 18, 2013

Revised and Adopted March 3, 2020

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9320 Drug-Free Workplace

The Board of Education prohibits the illegal, improper or unauthorized manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of alcohol or any controlled substances in the workplace. The use of alcohol in the workplace is prohibited at all times. “Workplace” shall mean any site on school grounds, at school-sponsored activities including field trips, or any place in which an employee is working within the scope of his/her employment or duties. “Alcohol or other controlled substances” shall include all drugs which are banned or controlled under federal or state law, including but not limited to alcohol, inhalants, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP, amphetamines, heroin, steroids, look-alikes, and any of those substances commonly referred to as “designer drugs.” Designer drugs are those substances which have been designed and synthesized to mimic the intended effects and usages of, and which are chemically substantially similar to, substances controlled by federal and/or state law as exemplified above.

These controlled substances shall also include those for which a physician’s prescription is required and over-the-counter drugs as well as any other chemical substance which is deliberately ingested to produce psychological or physiological effects, other than accepted foods or beverages.

The Superintendent or his/her designee shall implement related regulations which outline the requirements of the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.

Cross-ref: 3230, Organization Chart

9610, Staff Substance Abuse

Ref: Drug-Free Workplace Act (DFWA), P.L. 100-690

Controlled Substances Act, 21 USC 812

21 CFR 1300.11-1300.15

34 CFR Part 85 (U.S. Dept. of Ed. Regulations under the DFWA)

Civil Service Law §75

Education Law §3020-a

Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers v. Board of Education,

70 NY2d 57 (1987)

Adopted October 9, 2001

Re-adopted February 9, 2010

Revised, Adopted November 7, 2012

Reviewed and Adopted March 3, 2020

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9320-R Drug-Free Workplace Regulation

1. The Superintendent of Schools shall certify to any federal agency making a direct grant to the district that the district will provide a drug-free workplace, in accordance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.

2. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall establish a drug-free awareness program to inform employees about:

a. the dangers of drug abuse in the workplace;

b. the district’s policy of maintaining a drug-free workplace;

c. any available drug counseling, rehabilitation, and employee assistance programs; and,

d. the penalties that may be imposed upon employees for drug abuse violations.

3. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall publish a statement notifying district employees that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the workplace (as defined by district policy). The statement shall specify the actions that will be taken against employees for violations of such prohibition. Each employee shall receive a copy of this statement and the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.

4. Each employee, as a condition of employment on any direct federal grant, shall:

a. abide by the terms of the statement; and

b. notify his/her immediate supervisor, who shall notify the Superintendent, of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace within five (5) days of such conviction.

5. The Superintendent shall notify the Board of Education of any such conviction(s), and shall notify the agency overseeing any grant within 10 days after receiving notice of such conviction(s) from any source.

6. Within 30 days of such conviction(s), the district shall initiate appropriate disciplinary action against any employee so convicted in the manner provided for by law, up to and including dismissal, and/or require his/her satisfactory participation in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by a federal, state, or local health, law enforcement or other appropriate agency.

7. The district shall make a “good faith effort” to continue to maintain a drug-free workplace through implementation of these regulations.

Note: Prior regulation, Policy Manual, 428, revised

Reviewed September 25, 2001

Reviewed January 5, 2010

Reviewed March 3, 2020

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9320-E Drug-Free Workplace Exhibit: Notice to Employees and Volunteers Engaged in Work on Federal Grants

Download and print the notice to employees and volunteers engaged in work on the federal grants.

If you are unable to access this file, please email communications@guilderlandschools.net to receive the information in an alternative format.


9520 Family and Medical Leave Policy and Procedures

Consistent with the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), the Board of Education of the Guilderland Central School District recognizes the right of eligible employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave in a defined 12-month period for specified family and medical reasons in accordance with the provisions of the FMLA. Eligible employees are entitled to take up to twelve (12) workweeks of unpaid leave under the FMLA during the defined 12-month period described below. However, an eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a covered service member is entitled to a total of 26 workweeks of unpaid, job protected leave in a single 12-month period under the FMLA to care for the service member who is seriously ill or injured in the line of duty. Intermittent FMLA leave may also be available to an employee of the District subject to the provisions of the FMLA.
To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must have been employed by the District for at least twelve months and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the prior twelve months. For the purposes of measuring the twelve month period referenced above, the District has adopted the “rolling 12-month period measured backward.” Under the rolling 12-month period measured backward, each time an employee takes FMLA leave, the remaining leave entitlement would be the balance of the 12 weeks which has not been used during the immediately preceding 12 months.
In addition to the reasons referenced above, FMLA leave shall be granted for the following circumstances subject to the provisions of the FMLA:

1. The birth and care of a newborn child of the employee;
2. The adoption or foster placement of a child;
3. Due to a serious health condition (as defined by law) that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of the employee’s job;
4. To care for an employee’s spouse, parent, or son or daughter who has a serious health condition (as defined by law); or,
5. For a qualifying exigency as defined in law and regulation, arising out of the fact that the spouse, son, daughter, or parent of the employee is on active military duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty).

The FMLA and its associated regulations define many of the terms set forth above.
When an employee returns following a leave of absence, he/she will be returned to the same or equivalent position of employment. The Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee may reassign a teacher to a different grade level, building or other assignment, so long as the assignment is consistent with the employee’s certification and tenure area and consistent with any applicable collective bargaining agreement. The District also shall ensure that all eligible employees who are absent from work on FMLA leave shall have their health benefits continued on the same terms as if they were not on leave and shall not have any previously accrued benefits altered. An employee may also elect to use accrued paid sick, personal or family leave concurrently while on FMLA leave when the use of such leave is appropriate under established District policies and/or collective bargaining agreements. An employee is not entitled to accrue seniority during unpaid FMLA leave.

An employee seeking FMLA leave shall notify the District of his/her request for leave, if foreseeable, at least 30 days prior to the date when the leave is to begin. If such leave is not foreseeable, then the employee shall give the District notice of the need for leave as soon as the employee becomes aware of the need for leave. When a request for leave is submitted, the District may require the employee to provide a certification from an appropriate health care provider if medical leave is requested for the employee’s own serious health condition or for the serious health condition of a spouse, parent, son or daughter. If the necessity for leave because of a qualifying exigency arising from the fact that a family member is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call to active duty is foreseeable, the employee shall give such notice to the district as soon as is reasonable and practicable. The School Board may require that a request for leave because of a qualified exigency arising from the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call to active duty be supported by a certification issued in accordance with regulations.
The District shall post on its website and in other conspicuous places a notice prepared or approved by the Secretary of United States Department of Labor stating the pertinent provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act, including information concerning the enforcement of the law.

Adopted May 26, 2015

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9610 Staff Substance Abuse

The Board of Education, recognizing that students are often influenced by teachers and other members of a school’s staff, impresses upon staff members the importance of maintaining a high level of professionalism appropriate to their position, which, in turn, shall set a positive example for students.

Since substance abuse has become a national concern, particularly among children and teenagers, the Board believes that school employees should be role models in the workplace for a drug-free lifestyle. “Workplace” shall mean any site on school grounds, at school-sponsored activities including field trips, or any place in which an employee is working within the scope of his/her employment duties. The Board will therefore not permit the consumption, sharing and/or selling, use and/or possession of alcohol or “other substances” which refers to all substances including but not limited to alcohol, inhalants, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP, amphetamines, heroin, steroids, look-alike drugs, and any synthetic version thereof (whether or not specifically illegal or labeled for human consumption), commonly referred to as “designer drugs”. Designer drugs are those substances which have been designed and synthesized to mimic the intended effects and usages of, and which are chemically substantially similar to, substances controlled by federal and/or state law as exemplified above. The inappropriate use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs shall also be disallowed.

The district shall maintain an employee awareness program, including information regarding substance abuse rehabilitation programs provided by local agencies.

If an employee is found to have violated the terms of this policy, he or she may be subject to a range of penalties up to and including dismissal. Information about any drug and alcohol counseling and/or rehabilitation programs shall be made available to employees. An employee may be required to participate in a substance abuse rehabilitation program as part of disciplinary action.

Employee Assistance Program

The Board of Education recognizes that the problems of alcohol and controlled substance use and abuse affect every segment of society. Therefore, in collaboration with district collective bargaining units, the Board will maintain an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that will provide appropriate and confidential prevention, intervention, assessment, referral, support and follow-up services for district staff. Staff members will be informed of such services and shall be encouraged to seek help either voluntarily or as part of disciplinary action.

In general, the Board of Education will not intervene unless the employee’s personal problems adversely affect job performance. However, drivers subject to the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 must be referred to a substance abuse counselor for evaluation and treatment if the employee has tested positive for controlled substances, have an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater, or refused to take a test.

Drug-Testing of Employees

No employee, except drivers in the district’s Transportation Department, shall be subjected to urinalysis or other form of drug testing without reasonable individualized suspicion

that the employee has been using an illegal drug(s). The school attorney shall be consulted before any implementation of such testing. Failure to submit to required drug testing based upon reasonable individualized suspicion that the employee has been using an illegal drug(s) is grounds for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

In its effort to maintain a drug-free environment, the district shall cooperate to the fullest extent possible with local, state and/or federal law enforcement agencies.

Cross-ref: 9320, Drug-Free Workplace

Ref: Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (20 USC §§3171 et seq.)

Civil Service Law §75

Education Law §3020-a

Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers v. Board of Education,

70 NY2d 57 (1987)

Adopted October 9, 2001

Re-adopted February 9, 2010

Revised, Adopted November 7, 2012

Revised and Adopted March 3, 2020

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9610-R Staff Substance Abuse Regulation

In the event that district supervisory personnel determine that a staff member has a potential problem related to alcohol or other substance use/abuse which adversely affects his/her job performance:

1. the supervisory personnel will attempt to compile information and/or document actions that have resulted in unsatisfactory job performance that may be related to the employee’s alcohol or other substance use/abuse, including any observable signs of alcohol or substance use/abuse;

2. if the problem may adversely affect the employee’s position, the district supervisory personnel will schedule a meeting with the employee to discuss possible employment concerns. Written notification regarding reasons for the meeting will be given to the employee. The employee will be entitled to have representatives of their association present;

3. the district supervisory personnel will then review the information with the employee. The employee may be subjected to urinalysis or other form of drug testing if there exists reasonable individualized suspicion that the employee has been using an illegal drug(s) or has an alcohol related problem;

4. the employee may be asked to cooperate with an Employee Assistance Program representative; and

5. after exhausting the avenue of treatment and prevention, and if the problem still exists, it may be necessary to proceed to issue a:

a. verbal reprimand;

b. written reprimand; and/or commence

c. legal action.

The procedures set forth in this regulation will be subject to state law, civil service law and regulations, as well as terms of negotiated agreements.

Staff Development

The Board of Education recognizes that if the administrative, instructional, and non-instructional staff are to be responsible for understanding, implementing and modeling the district’s substance abuse policies and regulations, they must be trained about the components of an effective alcohol and other substance prevention program. Staff training shall be an on-going process including:

1. For all staff:

a. an understanding of why individuals use and abuse alcohol, tobacco and other substances;

b. their role in implementing this regulation, including how to identify students who exhibit high risk behaviors or who are using/abusing alcohol and other substances, and how to refer these students to the appropriate services;

c. awareness of personal risk factors for alcohol and other substance use/abuse so they may identify personal use/abuse problems and seek assistance; and

d. awareness of the special needs of students returning from treatment.

e. appropriate staff training to ensure they have the necessary knowledge and skills to support the application of prevention concepts through programming targeted at the school, home, and community.

2.For teachers: the knowledge and skills necessary to implement the district’s grades 5-12 alcohol and other substance prevention curriculum.

3. For intervention staff(guidance counselors, social workers, school nurses, etc): appropriate staff training for those identified to carry out the intervention function to ensure their assessment and referral skills support the needs of high-risk, using, and abusing youth.

Ref: Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (20 USC §§3171 et seq.)

Civil Service Law §75

Education Law §3020-a

Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers v. Board of Education,

70 NY2d 57 (1987)

Reviewed September 25, 2001

Reviewed January 5, 2010

Revised, Reviewed October 23, 2012

Reviewed March 3, 2020

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9620 Child Abuse in an Educational Setting

Board of Education recognizes that children have the right to an educational setting that does not threaten their physical and emotional health and development. Child abuse by school personnel and school volunteers violates this right and therefore is strictly prohibited.

Allegations of child abuse by school personnel and school volunteers shall be reported in accordance with the requirements of Article 23-B of the Education Law.

Mandated Reporters

Any person holding any of the following positions shall be required to promptly report written and oral allegations of child abuse by an employee or volunteer in an educational setting:

  • school administrator
  • teacher
  • school nurse
  • school guidance counselor
  • school psychologist
  • school social worker
  • other school personnel required to hold a teaching or administrative license or certificate
  • licensed and registered physical therapist,
  • licensed and registered occupational therapist,
  • licensed and registered, speech-language pathologist,
  • teacher aide,
  • school resource officer,
  • school board member, and
  • any staff whose duties involve direct student contact and who is paid either by a school district or contracted to provide transportation services to children; or
  • who is an employee of a contracted service provider or worker placed within the school under a public assistance employment program, pursuant to title nine-B of article five of the social services law.

For purposes of this policy, persons holding these positions shall be referred to as “mandated reporters.”

Definitions

“Administrator” or “school administrator” shall mean a principal of, or the equivalent title, in a public school, charter school or board of cooperative educational services, or other chief school officer.

“Child” means a person under the age of 21 enrolled in a school.

“Child abuse” means any one of the following acts committed in an educational setting by an employee or volunteer against a child: (a) intentionally or recklessly inflicting physical injury, serious physical injury or death, or (b) intentionally or recklessly engaging in conduct which creates a substantial risk of such physical injury, serious physical injury or death, or (c) any child sexual abuse as defined in this section, or (d) the commission or attempted commission against a child of the crime of disseminating indecent materials to minors pursuant to article two hundred thirty-five of the penal law.

“Educational setting” means the buildings and grounds of the school, the vehicles provided by directly or by contract the school for the transportation of students to and from school buildings, field trips, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities both on and off school grounds, all co- curricular and extra-curricular activity sites, and any other location where direct contact between an employee and volunteer and a child has allegedly occurred.

“Employee” means any person who is receiving compensation from a school district. Additionally, for the purpose of this policy, one whose duties involve direct student contact and is receiving compensation from any person or entity that contracts with a school to provide transportation services to children or is an employee of a contracted service provider or worker placed within the school under a public assistance employment program, pursuant to title nine-B of article five of the social services law, whereby such services performed by such person involve direct student contact.

“Law enforcement authorities” means any officer or office of municipal, sheriffs, or division of the state police department.

“Parent” means either both of a child’s parents or other persons legally responsible for the child.

“School” generally means any school district, public school, charter school, non-public school board of cooperative educational series or special act school district and additional entities as defined by section 1125(10) of Education Law.

“Volunteer” means any person, other than an employee, who has direct student contact and provides services to a school or school district which involve direct student contact and who provides services to any person or entity which contracts with a school to provide transportation services to children

Reporting Requirements

In any case where a written or oral allegation of child abuse by an employee or volunteer in an educational setting is made to a mandated reporter, the mandated reporter shall:

If the allegation involves a child who was allegedly abused by an employee or a volunteer of a school in another school district, the mandated reporter must promptly forward the report form to the Superintendent of the district of attendance and the Superintendent of the school district where the abuse allegedly occurred (if different).

If an allegation is made to a school bus driver employed by a person or entity that contracts with a school to provide transportation services to children that a child has been subjected to child abuse by an employee or volunteer in an educational setting, such driver shall promptly report to his or her supervisor.

If an allegation is made to a supervisor of a school bus driver employed by a person or entity that contracts with a school to provide transportation services to children, that a child has been subjected to child abuse by an employee or volunteer in an educational setting, such supervisor shall promptly complete a written report on the attached form (9620-E.1) and shall personally deliver it to the school district superintendent employed by the school district where the child abuse occurred.

If an allegation is made which involves a school that is not a school district or public school, the appropriate school administrator or administrators, in addition to any appropriate superintendent of schools, shall be notified of the allegation.

Upon receiving a written report, the Principal shall determine whether there is reasonable suspicion to believe that an act of child abuse has occurred. In those circumstances where the Superintendent receives the written report directly, he or she will be responsible for making the reasonable suspicion determination.

In any case where the employee the allegation is being made against is the superintendent or the administrator, the report of such allegations shall be made to the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources.

If the Principal/Superintendent determines there is reasonable suspicion to believe that an act of child abuse has occurred, he or she shall promptly notify the parent of the alleged child victim (assuming that the parent is not the person who originally reported the alleged abuse) that an allegation of child abuse in an educational setting has been made and promptly provide the parent with the written statement setting forth parental rights, responsibilities and procedures prepared in accordance with the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

If the person making the allegation of abuse is someone other than the child or the child’s parent, the Principal/Superintendent shall contact the person making the report to learn the source and basis for the allegation.

The Principal shall also promptly provide a copy of the written report to the Superintendent and send a copy to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. In no event shall the Principal delay in sending the report to law enforcement because of an inability to contact the Superintendent.

The Superintendent shall send to the Commissioner of Education any written report forwarded to the local law enforcement authorities where the employee or volunteer alleged to have committed an act of child abuse holds a certification or license issued by the department.

Rights of Employees and Volunteers

Any employee or volunteer against whom an allegation of child abuse has been made and against whom the district intends to take adverse action shall be entitled to receive a copy of the report and to respond to the allegations. In addition, such persons are entitled to seek disclosure of reports involving them under the Freedom of Information Law.

Confidentiality

All reports, photographs, and other written material submitted pursuant to this policy and Article 23-B of the Education Law shall be confidential and may not be redisclosed except to law enforcement authorities involved in investigating the alleged abuse or except as expressly authorized by law or pursuant to a court-ordered subpoena. The Principal and Superintendent shall exercise reasonable care to prevent unauthorized disclosure.

Willful disclosure of a written record required to be kept confidential to a person not authorized to receive or review such record is a class A misdemeanor.

Penalties

Willful failure of an employee to prepare and submit a written report of alleged child abuse required by Article 23-B of the Education Law shall be a class A misdemeanor.

Willful failure of any Principal or Superintendent to submit a written report of alleged child abuse to an appropriate law enforcement authority, as required by Article 23-B of the Education Law, shall be a class A misdemeanor. In addition, the Commissioner of Education may, following an administrative determination, impose a civil penalty of up to five thousand dollars on any administrator who fails to submit a report of child abuse to an appropriate law enforcement authority.

The law further prohibits any Principal or Superintendent from agreeing to withhold from the appropriate law enforcement authorities, a superintendent or the Commissioner of Education, where appropriate, an allegation of child abuse in an educational setting on the part of any employee or volunteer as required by law, in return for the resignation or voluntary suspension of the alleged perpetrator. Violation of this prohibition can result in a class E felony charge and a civil penalty of up to $20,000.

Record Retention

Any report of child abuse by an employee or volunteer that does not result in a criminal conviction shall be expunged from the records kept by the district with respect to the subject of the report after five years from the date the report was made.

Training

The Superintendent shall be responsible for establishing and implementing on an ongoing basis a training program for all current and new mandated reporters on the procedures required under Article 23-B. The program shall include at a minimum information regarding the physical and behavioral indicators of child abuse and maltreatment, reporting requirements including but not limited to, when and how a report must be made, what other actions the reporter can and should take, the legal protections afforded reporters, and the consequences for failing to report, and any other elements as specified in Commissioner’s regulations.

Further, all persons employed on or after July 1, 2019 as a school bus driver employed by any person or entity that contracts with a school to provide transportation services to children shall be required to complete two hours of coursework or training (from an approved provider) regarding the identification and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment. The coursework or training shall include information regarding the physical and behavioral indicators of child abuse and maltreatment, reporting requirements including but not limited to, when and how a report must be made, what other actions the reporter is can and should take, the legal protections afforded reporters, and the consequences for failing to report. Each employee in such titles shall provide the school administrator of the school with documentation showing that he or she completed the required training. In addition, each school bus driver shall provide such contracting person or entity with documentation showing that he or she completed the required training. The department shall be authorized to request such records on a periodic basis and may publish a list of any persons or schools who are not in compliance with this subdivision on its website.

The coursework or training required by this section shall not apply to those persons already required to undergo coursework or training regarding the identification and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment pursuant to sections three thousand three and three thousand four of this chapter of Education Law section 1132 in Article 23-B.

Ref: Education Law §§1125-1133 Penal Law §§130, 235, 263

8 NYCRR §100.2 (hh) (Reporting of Child Abuse in an Educational Setting)

Appeal of S.S., 42 EDR 273 (2003)

Adopted November 19, 2019

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9620-E.1 Child Abuse in an Educational Setting Confidential Report of Allegation Form

Please download and print the child abuse in an educational setting confidential report allegation form.

If you are unable to access this file, please email communications@guilderlandschools.net to receive the information in an alternative format.


9620-E.2 Child Abuse in an Educational Setting Exhibit – Notice/Reporting Requirements

Duties of Employees

The law imposes reporting requirements on school administrators, teacher, school nurse, school guidance counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, other school personnel required to hold a teaching or administrative license or certificate, licensed and registered physical therapists, licensed and registered occupational therapists, licensed and registered, speech-language pathologists, teacher aides, school resource officers, school board members, any staff whose duties involve direct student contact and who is paid either by a school district or contracted to provide transportation services to children, or who is an employee of a contracted service provider or worker placed within the school under a public assistance employment program, pursuant to title nine-B of article five of the social services law.

When these employees of the district or to a school bus driver employed by a person or entity that contracts with a school to provide transportation services receive an allegation of child abuse by an employee or volunteer in an educational setting, they must take the following steps:

  • Upon receipt of an oral or written allegation of child abuse in an educational setting, the employee must promptly complete the “Child Abuse in an Educational Setting” report form (attached).
  • Upon completion of the report form, the employee must personally deliver it to the school building administrator of the school in which the child abuse allegedly occurred.
  • If the allegation(s) involves a child who was allegedly abused by an employee or a volunteer of a school in another school district, the employee must promptly forward the report form to the superintendent of schools of the school district of attendance and the school district where the abuse allegedly occurred.

Duties of School Building Administrators

In all cases, upon receipt of a report form, the school building administrator must review the form and determine if there is reasonable suspicion to believe that an act of child abuse, as defined by law, has occurred. If he or she finds reasonable suspicion to believe that an act of child abuse has occurred, additional steps must be taken which differ depending upon the individual who has made the allegation.

Child makes the Allegation

  1. Promptly notify the parent of the child that an allegation of child abuse in an educational setting has been made.
  2. Promptly provide the parent with the written statement setting forth parental rights, responsibilities and procedures prepared in accordance with the Commissioner’s regulations (8 NYCRR §100.2(hh)).
  3. Promptly provide a copy of the completed report form to the superintendent.
  4. Promptly forward a copy of the completed report form to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. The report to law enforcement may not be delayed by reason of inability to contact the superintendent.

Parent Makes the Allegation

  1. Promptly provide the parent with the written statement setting forth parental rights, responsibilities and procedures prepared in accordance with the Commissioner’s regulations (8 NYCRR §100.2(hh)).
  2. Promptly provide a copy of the completed report form to the superintendent.
  3. Promptly forward a copy of the completed report form to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. The report to law enforcement may not be delayed by reason of inability to contact the superintendent.

Person other than the Parent or the Child Makes the Allegation

  1. Promptly notify the parent of the child that an allegation of child abuse in an educational setting has been made.
  2. Promptly provide the parent with the written statement setting forth parental rights, responsibilities and procedures prepared in accordance with the Commissioner’s regulations (8 NYCRR §100.2(hh)).
  3. Ascertain from the reporting employee the source and basis for the allegation and complete that portion of the report form.
  4. Promptly provide a copy of the completed report form to the superintendent.
  5. Promptly forward a copy of the completed report form to appropriate law enforcement authorities. The report to law enforcement may not be delayed by reason of inability to contact the superintendent.

Duties of Superintendents

In most cases, the school building administrator will receive the completed report form from an employee and make the reasonable suspicion determination. However, there are situations in which the superintendent will receive the report form directly and he or she will be responsible for making the reasonable suspicion determination such as:

  1. Where the school building administrator receives the oral or written allegation and is required to complete the report form;
  2. Where it is alleged that a child was abused by an employee or volunteer of a school other than a school within the school district where the child attends.

In addition, a superintendent may receive an oral or written allegation of child abuse in an educational setting from local law enforcement officials or from child protective services. In these cases, the superintendent would be responsible for completing the report form and, subsequently, making the reasonable suspicion determination.

If the superintendent finds reasonable suspicion to believe that an act of child abuse has occurred, as defined by law, additional steps must be taken which differ depending on the individual who has made the allegation.

Child makes the Allegation

  • Promptly notify the parent of the child that an allegation of child abuse in an educational setting has been made.
  • Promptly provide the parent with the written statement setting forth parental rights, responsibilities and procedures prepared in accordance with the Commissioner’s regulations (8 NYCRR §100.2(hh)).
  • Promptly forward a copy of the completed report form to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

Parent Makes the Allegation

  1. Promptly provide the parent with the written statement setting forth parental rights, responsibilities and procedures prepared in accordance with the Commissioner’s regulations (8 NYCRR §100.2(hh)).
  2. Promptly forward a copy of the completed report form to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

Person other than the Parent or the Child Makes the Allegation

  1. Promptly notify the parent of the child that an allegation of child abuse in an educational setting has been made.
  2. Promptly provide the parent with the written statement setting forth parental rights, responsibilities and procedures prepared in accordance with the Commissioner’s regulations (8NYCRR §100.2(hh)).
  3. Ascertain from the reporting employee the source and basis for the allegation and complete that portion of the form.
  4. Promptly forward a copy of the completed report form to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

In all cases where a completed report is forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement authorities and the employee or volunteer alleged to have committed an act of child abuse holds a certification or license issued by the Department, the superintendent must also refer such report to the Commissioner of Education.

Expungement

A report that does not, after investigation, result in a criminal conviction shall be expunged from any record which may be kept by a school or school district with respect to the subject of such a report after a period of five years from the date of the making of such report or at such earlier time as such school or school district determines.

Penalty Provisions

The requirements set forth within the law are mandatory. Willful failure of an employee to prepare and submit a report form as required by the law is a Class A misdemeanor. The law also provides that a willful failure of a school building administrator or superintendent to forward a copy of the report form to the appropriate law enforcement authority is a Class A misdemeanor. In addition, the Commissioner of Education can also fine a school building administrator or a superintendent up to $5,000 for failure to forward a copy of the completed report form to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

Immunity Provisions

The law provides immunity from civil liability for employees, volunteers, school building administrators and superintendents who reasonably and in good faith make a report of child abuse in an educational setting in the manner described in the law. The law also provides immunity from civil liability to school building administrators and superintendents who reasonably and in good faith forward a copy of the report form to a person or agency as required by law and in the manner described in the law.

Confidentiality of Records

In general, the only persons authorized to receive the written report form and any related materials are the school building administrator and the superintendent. The law requires that all reports, records, photographs and other material submitted remain confidential and may not be disclosed except to law enforcement authorities involved in the criminal investigation of child abuse in an educational setting or as expressly authorized by law or pursuant to a court–ordered subpoena. Willful disclosure of a written record required to be confidential, to a person not authorized to receive or review such record is a class A misdemeanor. The law requires that school building administrators and superintendents exercise reasonable care to prevent unauthorized disclosure.

Duties of District Attorneys

Where a criminal investigation is undertaken in response to a report forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement authorities, the district attorney must notify the superintendent of the school district where the acts of child abuse occurred and the superintendent of the school district where the child attends, if different, of the following:

  • an indictment;
  • the filing of an accusatory instrument;
  • the disposition of the criminal case; or,
  • the suspension or termination of the investigation.

Where a criminal conviction is obtained for a crime involving child abuse in an educational setting by a licensed or certified school employee, the district attorney is required to notify the Commissioner of Education, as well as the superintendent of the school district in which the acts of child abuse occurred and the superintendent of the school district where the child attends, if different.

Duties of the Commissioner of Education

Upon receiving notification of conviction from a district attorney, the Commissioner of Education must begin proceedings against the convicted individual pursuant to Part 83 of the Commissioner’s regulations to determine whether the individual possesses good moral character.

The determination may result in additional action taken against the individual related to his or her license or certification.

The Commissioner has also issued the attached form that must be used for the recording and transmission of allegations of child abuse in educational settings.

The Commissioner and the Board of Regents also promulgated §100.2(hh)(2), which sets forth the training requirements relating to child abuse in an educational setting.

Unreported Resignations or Voluntary Suspensions

The law prohibits school building administrators or superintendents from agreeing to withhold from the appropriate law enforcement authorities, a superintendent or the Commissioner of Education, where appropriate, an allegation of child abuse in an educational setting on the part of any employee or volunteer as required by law, in return for the resignation or voluntary suspension of the alleged perpetrator. Violation of this prohibition can result in a class E felony charge and a civil penalty of up to $20,000.

Adopted November 19, 2019

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9645 Disclosure of Wrongful Conduct (Whistle Blower Policy)

The Board of Education expects officers and employees of the district to fulfill the public’s trust and to conduct themselves in an honorable manner, abiding by all district policies and regulations and by all applicable state and federal laws and regulations.
However, when district officers or employees know or have reasonable cause to believe that serious instances of wrongful conduct (e.g., mismanagement of district resources, unethical behavior, violations of law or regulation, and/or abuse of authority) have occurred, they should report such wrongful conduct to the Board or one of its designated officers.
For purposes of this policy, the term “wrongful conduct” shall be defined to include:

• theft of district money, property, or resources;
• misuse of authority for personal gain or other non-district purpose;
• fraud;
• actions that compromise the security and integrity of the district’s or state’s testing program;
• violations of applicable federal and state laws and regulations; and/or
• serious violations of district policy, regulation, and/or procedure.

Disclosure and Investigation

Employees and officers who know or have reasonable cause to believe that wrongful conduct has occurred shall report such mismanagement, fraud or abuse to the Superintendent of Schools, the School Attorney or the Independent Auditor. Each of these Board-designated officers, upon receiving a report of alleged wrongful conduct, shall take immediate steps to conduct an investigation.
If you have been a witness to fraud or abuse within the Guilderland Central School District, we encourage you to call the New York State Comptroller’s Office toll-free fraud and abuse hotline at 1-888-OSC-4555 (1-888-672-4555) or log on to http://osc.state.ny.us/investigations. The Office of the New York State Comptroller provides a confidential and anonymous reporting system to help organizations comply with government mandates and build ethical workplace environments.
By calling or logging on to http://osc.state.ny.us/investigations, school employees and community members can report fraud and abuse confidentially and anonymously. The hotline is staffed Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by experienced investigators from the Investigations Unit of the Legal Services Division of the Office of the State Comptroller.

Staff members who suspect that a violation of state testing procedures has occurred by a certified educator, or non-certified individual involved in the state testing program, must report their concerns to the State Education Department (SED) in the manner prescribed by the Commissioner of Education, and must also report concerns to the Superintendent or Board of Education. Any Building Principal receiving such a report shall relay this information to the Superintendent.
The Superintendent, School Attorney or the Independent Auditor shall maintain a written record of the allegation, conduct an investigation to ensure that the appropriate unit (auditors, police, SED, etc.) investigates the disclosure, and notify the Board when appropriate to do so.
Except as otherwise provided in either state and/or federal law, the Board-designated officer shall make all reasonable attempts to protect the identity of the employee making the disclosure in a confidential manner, as long as doing so does not interfere with conducting an investigation of the specific allegations or taking corrective action.
The district shall not take adverse employment action against an employee who has notified the district of wrongdoing, allowing the district the opportunity to investigate and correct the misconduct. The district shall not take adverse action against an employee who has reported misconduct when mandated to do so by federal or state law or regulation.

Complaints of Reprisal

An employee who has been subject to an adverse employment action based on his or her prior disclosure of alleged or actual wrongful conduct may contest the action by filing a written complaint of reprisal with the Board President. The Board President, or his/her designee, will review the complaint expeditiously to determine:

• whether the complainant made a disclosure of alleged wrongful conduct before an adverse employment action was taken;
• whether the responding party could reasonably have been construed to have had knowledge of the disclosure and the identity of the disclosing employee;
• whether the complainant has in fact suffered an adverse employment action after having made the disclosure; and
• whether the complainant alleges that adverse employment action occurred as a result of the disclosure.

If the designee determines that all of the above elements are present, he or she shall appoint a review officer or panel to investigate the claim and make a recommendation to the Board. At the time of appointment, the designee shall inform the complainant and the respondent, in writing, of:

• the intent to proceed with an investigation;
• the specific allegations to be investigated;
• the appointment of the review officer or panel; and
• the opportunity of each party to support or respond, in writing, to the allegation.

Once the review officer or panel has conducted a review and considers the investigation to be complete, the officer or panel will notify the designee of its completion. From the date of that notice, the review officer has 30 days to report his or her findings and make any recommendations he or she deems appropriate to the designee. The designee, in conferral with the appropriate administrator shall issue a letter of findings to both the complainant and the respondent.
The decision of the review officer or panel is binding.
Nothing in this policy is intended to interfere with legitimate employment decisions.
The Superintendent of Schools shall establish regulations necessary to implement this policy.
This policy and accompanying regulations shall be published in employee handbooks, posted in employee lounges and given to all employees with fiscal accounting and/or money handling responsibilities on an annual basis.
The Superintendent of Schools, the Auditor, the School Attorney and others involved in implementing this policy shall meet with the Board once a year to evaluate the effectiveness of this policy and to make appropriate adjustments, if any, to the policy and accompanying regulations.

Adopted July 1, 2015

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9700 Staff Development

The Board of Education believes that staff training and development help ensure the success of educational programs and improve the efficiency of the district. Therefore, the district will provide development opportunities to staff to increase their effectiveness and job performance. The Superintendent of Schools shall be responsible for implementing and administering staff development programs for the district’s employees.

Administrators

All administrators in the school district will receive appropriate training and professional development in accordance with law, regulation or any applicable collective bargaining agreement. The Superintendent will be responsible for providing such training and development.

Teachers

All teachers will be provided with substantial professional development opportunities directly related to student learning in accordance with any applicable collective bargaining agreement and the district’s Professional Development Plan. Level III teaching assistants and long-term substitute teachers (employed for more than 40 days in a school year) shall have the opportunity to participate in the district’s professional development program. The plan shall include:

 A needs analysis, goals, objectives, strategies, activities and evaluation standards for professional development in the district and a description of how the district will provide all teachers substantial professional development activities directly related to student learning needs identified in school report cards and other sources.
 A description of how the professional development provided will align with New York standards and assessments, teacher capacities and student needs, including linguistic, cultural diversity and special needs. Activities must be articulated across grade levels and subject areas and show how they will be provided and measured in a continuous manner.
 A description of how it will provide teachers and Level III teaching assistants with opportunities to maintain their certificate in good standing by successfully completing 100 hours of professional development every five years.
 A mentoring program to provide support for new teachers in order to ease the transition from teacher preparation to practice, thereby increasing retention of teachers in the public schools, and to increase the skills of new teachers in order to improve student achievement.
 Unless granted an exemption by the Commissioner of Education, a description of how the district will provide professional development to teachers and Level III teaching assistants to address the needs of English Language Learners.

The Board shall establish a Professional Development Team to review and revise the district’s Professional Development Plan annually. The Board shall appoint members to the team at the first regular Board meeting in September.

The Professional Development Team shall meet on or before October 1. The Superintendent or his/her designee will serve as the chair of the team and will be responsible for ensuring the timely review and revision of the district’s Professional Development Plan.
The Professional Development Team will submit any recommended revisions to the Professional Development Plan to the Board by May 1. The Board will consider the recommendations at its first regular meeting thereafter. The Board may accept or reject the recommendations of the team in whole or in part. The Board may also request any additional information or data needed to evaluate the success of the program in achieving its objectives.
Any further changes in the plan must be submitted to the Board by June 1. The Board will consider and act on the revised plan by July 31st. The Board reserves the right to make changes to the revised plan.

Other Professional Staff and Support Staff

Holders of professional certificates in educational leadership service (i.e., school building leader, school district leader, school district business leader) are required to complete at least 100 hours of continuing education during every 5 year registration period. Unless the district is granted an exemption by the Commissioner of Education, at least 15 percent of those hours shall address the language acquisition needs of English Language Learners.
The district will provide staff development activities for other professional staff and support staff within the financial constraints of the district budget and in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements.

Other Staff Development Opportunities

The Board recognizes that many staff development opportunities are provided through non-school district sources. Within budgetary restraints, district employees may attend conferences, workshops, study councils, in-service courses, summer study grants, school visitations, and other relevant staff development opportunities.
Released time and reimbursement for such activities will be available upon approval of the Superintendent and in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements. The Superintendent may establish regulations pursuant to this policy to establish the circumstances under which such released time and reimbursement may be available. Staff members who attend such activities will be required to prepare a report or summary of the activity attended.

Adopted January 23, 2018

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9720 Professional Research and Publishing

The Board of Education recognizes the value of educational research conducted by staff members. Through this policy, the Board wishes to encourage educational creativity and to define and safeguard the rights of the district and district employees.
A district employee who develops materials which may be copyrightable is required to cooperate with the district in defining and establishing rights to the materials. This obligation extends to any materials made on district time or using district facilities. When materials have been generated, the employee will promptly provide the Superintendent of Schools, or his/her designee, with a statement describing the circumstances under which the materials were produced.
Books, materials, devices, programs or products created as part of the employee’s professional responsibilities will be the property of the Board. The Board will patent or copyright all such materials in its own name; however, such items will bear the name of the creator. All royalties from the production of this material or program will be returned to the school. In order to stimulate future creations, the Board may agree to distribute a proportion of the royalties to the innovator(s) and producer(s) of the material or programs.
If the employee has developed the materials on his/her own time, but while using school facilities, the employee shall permit the district to use the material without the payment of royalty.
When the materials or programs are created solely by an employee on her/his own time, the copyright will be the property of the individual employee if the material has been created solely at the author’s expense on his/her own time. Any written material or patentable projects in the development form may be prepared at school expense and sold through the bookstore at the cost of production and handling if used in district classes.
The Superintendent shall establish regulations to administer the Board’s principle and policies concerning the development of copyrightable materials for research and publication.
Adopted December 13, 2011
Adopted April 12, 2016

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9720-R Professional Research and Publishing Regulation

The following regulations shall define and safeguard the rights of the district and its employees in the development of copyrightable and patentable materials and/or programs:

1. Employees shall report all research and writing proposals as well as ideas and offers to do research and writing, to the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee.
2. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall be responsible for approving and overseeing the development and use of copyrightable and patentable materials or programs developed by staff.
3. When such materials have been generated, the employee will promptly provide the Superintendent or his/her designee with a statement:
a. identifying the sponsor, if any, of the project or program;
b. stating whether the activity resulting in development of the materials is within the originator’s normal activities and responsibilities with respect to his/her district employment;
c. indicating the extent to which equipment or physical facilities provided by the district were used in developing the material; and
d. noting the existence of any agreement between the employee and the district with respect to the material.
4. Materials, publications or projects created as part of the employee’s job responsibility will become the property of the Board:
a. the Board will patent or copyright all such materials or programs in its own name; however, such items will bear the name(s) of the employee;
b. all royalties derived from any licensing or use of the material or program will be paid by the publisher, producer or agent to the Board; and
c. in order to reward and stimulate such creativity, the district may enter into an agreement to distribute and return to the employee a percentage of the royalties agreeable to both the district and the employee.
5. When the employee has developed the material or program on his/her own time, but while using school facilities, the employee shall agree in writing to permit the district to use the material or program without payment of royalty.
6. When materials or programs are created by an individual employee on his/her own time and without use of district property:
a. copyright and royalties are the property of the employee;
b. such materials or programs in the development form may be prepared at school expense and sold through the bookstore at the cost of production and handling for use in district classes.

Reviewed November 15, 2011
Reviewed April 12, 2016


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