Board Policies Vol. 5: 4000s

4000s

4110s

4300s

4500s

4700s

4800s


4000 Instructional Goals

The development and maintenance of optimal educational programs are the primary functions of the Board of Education. The Board’s instructional goals for district students include the following:

1. to provide each child with fundamental academic skills and knowledge required for his/her maximum educational advancement;
2. to promote the ability to think rationally, critically and logically; to find information and use knowledge constructively; to understand and use scientific methods; and to attack problems intelligently, giving due respect to honest differences of opinion;
3. to nurture and develop basic attitudes, such as good work habits, self-discipline, respect for authority, and sense of responsibility, cooperation, good sportsmanship, and self-confidence;
4. to develop in the students a sense of self-worth, the importance of personal character, and a personal system of values that will enable them, with the necessary guidance, to recognize and use their own capabilities;
5. to develop each student’s social skills, human relations skills, and attitudes so as to ensure his/her adequate participation in school-related group activities of a formal or informal nature, as well as to develop respect and understanding for others as human beings, regardless of individual differences;
6. to provide special services which promote the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of every child. Such services should help develop in students skills and interests which will foster the intelligent use of leisure time and an understanding of the importance of the practice of good health habits;
7. to stimulate each student’s capacity for creative thought and effort via exposure to the arts, sciences, and humanities, through direct instruction in these areas as well as involvement in projects or performances which require creative self-expression;
8. to develop each student’s understanding and appreciation of the principles and practices of democratic government and to develop each student’s skill in democratic decision-making by making operative in each elementary and secondary school models of democratic goal-setting, organization, and action toward student-established goals and student-initiated and -managed projects, so as to prepare each student to function effectively and accept responsibility in his/her role as citizen and his/her future role as voter;
9. to provide each student with a body of general knowledge that will enable him/her to function satisfactorily and successfully in the several subject disciplines represented in secondary curricula and post-high school studies and to develop his/her awareness, through interdisciplinary teaching and other means, of the interrelationships among the various disciplines;
10. to prepare each student to assume increased responsibility for self-motivation and self-direction, whether for use in college studies, remunerative employment, or family and community living, by providing a gradual transition away from a teacher-directed, controlled, and regulated school environment;
11. to prepare each student for his/her life after high school by assisting students to choose rationally among alternatives for high school and post-high school areas of study by providing exploratory and advanced study experiences among varied curricula, by offering individual academic guidance, or individual vocational guidance, as well as studies which emphasize desirable work habits and attitudes, and which build awareness of potential choices among the many career paths and job classifications;
12. to develop sensitivity and awareness on the part of each student for the quality of his/her interaction with the environment and for the dependence of humans on an environment which must be preserved and restored; and to develop in students the skills and willingness to engage in personal acts of environmental preservation and restoration;
13. to nurture a spirit of inquiry which capitalizes on students’ innate curiosity, and reveals to them the excitement found in the search for knowledge;
14. to provide each student with the greatest possible opportunity to use his/her abilities and interests in order to find satisfaction and a sense of purpose in life;
15. to develop literacy and understanding in economic matters, and encourage responsible consumer judgment;
16. to provide a well-balanced extracurricular program designed to promote the intellectual, physical and social growth of students;
17. to promote intelligent regard for and use of the nation’s resources;
18. to develop understanding of social structures and social processes;
19. to infuse curriculum, instructional methods, content, projects and lessons with 21st century education technologies throughout daily delivery of classroom instruction;
20. effectively use technology to access, communicate, apply knowledge and to foster creativity;
21. acquire and use technology and digital literacy skills that will prepare them for the 21st century; and
22. to instill the skills necessary for internet safety, and digital citizenship to protect their online privacy and maintain a positive digital footprint.

Adopted July 1, 1997
Revised, Adopted December 8, 2015

Back to top of the page


4003 Individualization of Instruction

Individualization of instruction in the school district is based upon the belief that instruction must take into account individual differences in order to maximize learning. We know that our students differ according to learning rate and style, interests, abilities, expectations, and needs. Each of these factors is to be considered in organizing, planning and defining goals for learning.

Instruction as defined herein is meant to include establishing goals for learning, planning for learning, developing a nurturing, challenging environment, and using assessment and feedback strategies to enhance and modify instructional methodology, goals, and the learning environment.

Instruction in the school district is to be based upon the belief that learning is maximized as attention is given to differences among individuals. The following conditions will prevail:

1. Appropriate school personnel will determine each student’s abilities and needs, taking into account such factors as:
a. prior knowledge, skills;
b. learning style;
c. interests;
d. personality variables;
e. personal expectations; and
f. unique needs.
2. Curriculum presentation in the classroom shall be organized with the following objectives in mind, so that:
a. each student achieves continuous increase in knowledge, skills, and concepts;
b. a variety of materials and methods are employed to ensure that each student’s most effective learning style is used maximally;
c. individual student interest is consistently used to maximize learning of skills to acquire other tools for learning;
d. maximum opportunity for each student to become engaged in the learning process is provided;
e. the unique motivations of students are given attention;
f. the teacher functions as one who establishes an environment that facilitates student growth toward well-defined objectives;
g. students are allowed to work toward differing objectives;
h. self-assessment, as well as teacher-made and standardized measures, is encouraged and utilized;
i. regular re-examination of goals and procedures occurs;
j. individual students have opportunities to define their own learning objectives; and
k. differing rates of learning and differing degrees of prior knowledge are anticipated and accommodated.

3. Achievement is determined by individual performance. Individual goals which are established, stem from broader program objectives, which in turn, are related to the broad instructional goals of the district. Assessment of a student’s prior knowledge, skills and current needs aid the teacher and the student as they jointly plan objectives for learning.
4. There is an expectation that the learning environment will contain a variety of settings within and outside of the classroom and school. The foundation for creating this environment is a continuous and caring determination that each student is to become an eager and successful learner. This learning environment is to be based upon recognized differences, proven learning theory and successful models of student achievement.

Adopted March 10, 1998
Revised, Adopted April 12, 2016

Back to top of the page


4010 Equivalence in Instructional Staff and Materials

In accordance with federal regulations, the Board of Education will ensure equivalence among district schools in teachers, administrators, and auxiliary personnel; and in the provision of curricular materials and instructional supplies. The Superintendent of Schools shall follow the State Education Department guidelines in determining such equivalence on an annual basis, and report to the Board on the status of district schools with regard to equivalence.

Adopted March 23, 1999
Revised, Adopted April 12, 2016

Back to top of the page


4110 School Year and Calendar

The Superintendent of Schools will develop and present to the Board of Education school year schedules that fulfill state requirements and comply with the collective bargaining agreement(s) currently in effect within the district.

The school calendar for the ensuing year will be developed by the Superintendent of Schools and presented to the Board of Education for approval in the spring of each year. The number of days scheduled for students will meet or exceed the requirements of state law.

Adopted May 27, 1997
Revised, Adopted February 2, 2016

Back to top of the page


4311 Citizenship Education

The Board of Education believes that students must gain an understanding of and appreciation for our democratic society, the roles and responsibilities of the individual citizen, and the relationship between citizens of the United States and those of other societies and cultures. To this end, and in compliance with statutory and regulatory mandates, the district will offer instruction and related activities in citizenship education. Such instruction and activities will be made available to all students in the district on a regular basis and in keeping with appropriate grade level instruction as it is practiced throughout the district.

Adopted November 20, 2012
Adopted June 14, 2016

Back to top of the page


4311.1 Display of the Flag

The Board of Education believes that the flag of the United States is a symbol of the values of our nation, the ideals embedded in our Constitution and the spirit that should animate our district.

The district shall purchase a United States flag, flag staff and the necessary appliances for its display upon or near every school building. A United States flag shall be displayed in front of every school building in the district when school is in session and at such other times as the Superintendent of Schools shall direct. There shall be a flag on display in every assembly room of every school.

The flag shall be flown at full- or half-staff pursuant to law as designated by President of the United States or the Governor during special periods of mourning. With the Superintendent’s approval, the flag may also be flown at half-staff to commemorate the death of an important local official, public servant, or contributor to the school community.

Consistent with national and state law and regulations and this policy, the Superintendent of Schools shall develop rules and regulations for the proper custody, care and display of the flag.

Adopted March 29, 2005
Reviewed June 5, 2007
Reviewed, Adopted November 7, 2012
Reviewed, Adopted June 14, 2016

Back to top of the page


4311.1-R Display of the Flag Regulation

Flags Displayed Out-of-Doors and on Movable Hoists Indoors

A United States flag shall be displayed in front of every school building in the district when school is in session, every election day and at such other times as the Superintendent of Schools shall direct. Unless otherwise stated, the flags shall be flown at full-staff.

Flags shall be flown at half-staff on Pearl Harbor Day (December 7), September 11 Remembrance Day, on days commemorating the death of a personage of great importance, and during periods of special mourning designated by the President of the United States or the Governor, and at the direction of the Superintendent of Schools, on days commemorating the death of an important local official, public servant, or contributor to the school community.

The flag will not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement.

Hoisting of the Flag

The flag shall be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.

In half staffing the flag, it first should be hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag shall be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. The flag shall be put at half-mast in the morning only.

Indoor Flags and Those Not on Movable Hoists

There shall be a United States flag in each assembly room of every school in the district.

It is the duty of the teacher or other person in charge of each assembly room to ensure that the flag in the room is displayed correctly. A flag hanging from a staff placed on the floor is to be to the audience’s right. A flag placed on the platform (or stage) is to the right of the speaker and to the audience’s left.

Note: Regulation added

Cross-ref: 4311, Citizenship Education
4311.1, Display of the Flag

Reviewed March 8, 2005
Revised, Reviewed October 23, 2012
Revised, Reviewed June 14, 2016
Revised, Reviewed November 13, 2018

Back to top of the page


4316 Physical Education

The Board of Education shall provide every student with an opportunity for wholesome and enriched educational experiences. The Board believes that the following basic aims and objectives of the physical education program shall contribute to this goal:

1. to aid the development of a student’s mind by encouraging the development of a healthy body;

2. to encourage student participation in appropriate physical activity while in school and to teach the skills of those activities so that they will carry over to activities throughout their lifetime;

3. to increase appreciation of physical fitness and its importance in regard to good health;

4. to impress upon students the importance of integrating one’s mind, body, and attitude in preparing to face the challenges life presents; and

5. to foster self-respect, self-discipline, and the value of cooperation and teamwork.

With these objectives in mind, the district physical education staff will work together with administrators to develop a physical education program that develops each student’s flexibility, agility, coordination, strength and endurance incorporating a progression of skills and activities from simple to more complex. This program must be flexible enough to accommodate each student’s own pattern of growth and development and include activities that assure both individual and group development throughout the student’s school years. Provisions shall be made for students who require a special or adaptive physical education program.

Students who are temporarily or permanently unable to participate in the regular physical education program will be provided with adapted and/or alternative activities. Temporary or short-term adaptations shall be made by the physical education teacher/supervisor in consultation with appropriate medical personnel including licensed physical or occupational therapists. Permanent or long-term program adaptations shall be based upon recommendations from the family physician.

Students with disabilities, as classified by the Committee on Special Education (CSE), who are unable to safely or successfully participate in the activities of the regular physical education program will be provided with an adaptive and or alternative physical education plan. The written individualized education program (IEP) for each such student shall include a prescriptive physical education program. The physical education teacher shall be involved in the development of the IEP.

School personnel shall have the responsibility of determining the activities appropriate for each student. In no case should the activity exceed the ability level of the student.

Ref: Education Law §§803; 3204(5)
8 NYCRR §135.4
*8 NYCRR §100.5 (a) (3)
District Physical Education Plan (filed with State Education Department, available at the District Office)

*Current Commissioner’s Regulations state:
“In order to qualify for graduation, each student in grades 9-12 shall be required to successfully complete the physical education program prescribed by the district during each year of attendance in the district high school.”

Note: Policy added

Adopted January 27, 1998
Adopted March 6, 2012
Revised and Adopted May 28, 2019

Back to top of the page


4320.2 Music Instrument Program

The primary objective of the instrumental music program is to provide all interested students an opportunity to develop their musical talents and interests through learning to play a band or orchestral instrument and participating in an instrumental performing group.

In achieving this objective, the district recognizes the importance of assisting students and their parents in the choice of instruments. The music department, through teacher/parent informational meetings, will help parents by providing information about the more common instruments including lease and purchase options when instrumental instruction begins.

Students shall not be excluded from participation in the instrumental music program because of an inability to pay for an instrument through a rental or lease program or because of transportation restrictions due to the size of an instrument.

Therefore, the district shall provide to interested students certain instruments that are essential for complete instrumentation in the band or and orchestra. The district shall maintain these instruments for student use, under various conditions, for a small maintenance fee. All school-owned instruments are subject to availability, and students are expected to be responsible for the care of any instrument provided to them by the school. Students may use school-owned instruments in accordance with the provisions of the accompanying regulation.

 

Making available school-owned instruments and providing parents with assistance in choosing instruments for their children should, in turn, help ensure that a balance of instrumentation is achieved. Through these and other efforts, the district hopes to provide students with the opportunity for a true and complete instrumental experience.

Adopted March 14, 2006
Revised, Adopted June 19, 2012
Reviewed, Adopted October 4, 2016

Back to top of the page


4320.2-R Music Instrument Program

School-Owned Instruments

Students may use school-owned instruments in accordance with the following provisions:

1. French Horn, Bassoon, Viola – These instruments, which can be carried on the school bus, are loaned on a yearly basis to students throughout their involvement in the instrumental music program.
2. Tuba, String Bass – These instruments cannot be transported on the school bus, nor can they be rented. Therefore, the district provides one instrument for home-use and one for in-school use only.
3. Cello, Baritone – These instruments are provided by the district free-of-charge, for in-school use only. Students are required to rent or purchase these instruments on their own for home-use.
4. Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Piccolo – These instruments are used at different stages of the program to enhance and complete the instrumentation of the musical groups. Generally, students who play these instruments already own an instrument but are provided a second instrument by the district at no cost.

Reviewed March 14, 2006 Reviewed June 19, 2012
Revised, Reviewed October 4, 2016 Revised, Reviewed October 24, 2017

Back to top of the page


4321 Programs for Students with Disabilities

The Board of Education, in accordance with State Law and Regulations, shall provide all students with disabilities who reside in the district a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. The Board expects that the rights of parents, guardians, and students shall be fully explained. District personnel will seek solutions through accommodation and trust. The Board shall appoint a Committee on Special Education (CSE) to identify, evaluate and recommend placements of students with disabilities who are in need of special services or programs. The Board shall also appoint subcommittees, if necessary, to ensure the timely evaluation of and placement of students.

The Board also shall make available special education and related services to eligible students with disabilities parentally placed in a nonpublic school located within the district, regardless of whether they are residents of the district. However, this obligation does not extend to resident students with disabilities who are placed by their parents in a nonpublic school within district boundaries because of a disagreement between the parents and the school district over the provision of a free appropriate public education. Nonpublic school students with disabilities who are not district residents but who reside within New York State will be provided programs and services in accordance with their individualized education services program (IESP). Nonpublic school students with disabilities who reside out-of-state will be provided services in accordance with their services plan.

In providing a free appropriate public education to students with disabilities eligible under the IDEA and Article 89, the Board will afford the students and their parents the procedural safeguard rights they are entitled to under applicable law and regulations. The Board also will provide them with notice of such rights as required by law and regulation, using the form prescribed by the Commissioner of Education.

Eligible students with disabilities will be entitled to special education and related services until the end of the school year in which they turn 21 or until they receive a local high school or Regents diploma.

Prior to identification as a student with a disability, the student shall be exposed to pre-referral strategies that focus on remediating performance. Each student with a disability shall have equal opportunity to participate in the full range of programs and services of this school district, including extracurricular programs and activities, which are available to all other students enrolled in the district’s public schools.

Pursuant to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, the Board directs the Superintendent to develop and maintain a plan which incorporates information concerning the provision of services for students with disabilities and to establish administrative practices and procedures which shall include:

1. School-wide approaches and pre-referral interventions including, but not limited to Response to Intervention (RtI) services in order to remediate a student’s performance.
2. Identifying and maintaining information about students with disabilities residing in the district including those attending private school;
3. Ensuring that students with disabilities and their parent(s)/guardian(s) receive prior written notice whenever the district proposes or refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation or educational placement of a student;
4. Ensuring that each student with a disability receives a comprehensive, nonbiased evaluation to determine his/her educational needs;
5. Ensuring all appropriate accommodations are provided to students with disabilities for all district and statewide assessments;
6. Developing an individualized education program (IEP) for each student with a disability;
7. Appointing and training appropriate qualified members of a CSE;
8. Ensuring that all staff retained by the district meet the current guidelines for highly qualified status;
9. Providing training as needed for teachers and support staff to help address identified needs of special education students;
10. Providing appropriate declassification procedures for students with disabilities including regular consideration for declassification and providing re-evaluation when appropriate prior to declassification;
11. Maintaining lists of impartial hearing officers and of State Education Department approved special education programs within the county and adjoining counties in which the district is located;
12. Ensuring that adequate and appropriate space is available to meet the needs of students with disabilities;
13. Ensure that parents of students with disabilities placed in residential facilities by the CSE are provided with reimbursement for mileage and tolls for periodic visits to the facility as defined in SED regulations;
14. Annually appointing surrogate parents for students with disabilities whose parents cannot be located or identified, for students who are determined to be an unaccompanied homeless child or a student who is a ward of the state and parental rights have been terminated; and
15. Reporting to the State Education Department the number of children with disabilities that are being served.

The Board is responsible for arranging for the appropriate, approved services recommended by the CSE. Should the Board disagree with the recommendation of the CSE, the Board will either return the recommendation to the original CSE for further consideration or establish a second CSE to develop a new recommendation for the student within the time frames contained in State law and regulations. Placement may be appealed by a parent/guardian to an impartial hearing officer, appointed by the Board. Mediation shall be made available to such parents/guardians to resolve complaints regarding the education of students with disabilities at the same time notice of the availability of an impartial hearing is provided.

The CSE shall annually review and report on the status of each student with a disability through summary reports. The Director for Pupil Personnel Services shall provide the Superintendent with an annual report of special education programs and services.

Locate and Identify Students with Disabilities

The district will conduct an annual census to locate and identify all students with disabilities who reside in the district, and establish a register of such students who are entitled to attend the public schools of the district during the next school year, including students with disabilities who are homeless or wards of the State. The census shall be conducted, and the registry maintained, in accordance with the requirements established in Commissioner’s regulations.

The Superintendent will determine what other activities might be appropriate to help locate and identify students with disabilities. These may include, but are not limited to, the mailing of letters to all district residents regarding the availability of special education programs and services and their right to access such services, and/or the publication of a similar notice in school newsletters and other publications.

(Refer to policy 4321.10, Programs and Services for Parentally-placed Nonpublic School Students with Disabilities under the IDEA and New York’s Education Law Article 89, for more information regarding how to locate and identify nonpublic school students with disabilities).

Evaluation of Students with Disabilities

To initially determine a student’s eligibility for a free appropriate public education under the IDEA and Article 89, the district will conduct a full evaluation of the student in accordance within legally prescribed time lines. As set forth in Commissioner’s regulations, the initial evaluation will include, at least, a physical examination, an individual psychological evaluation unless the school psychologist determines it unnecessary, a social history, an observation of the student in the student’s learning environment to document the student’s academic performance and behavior in the areas of difficulty, and other appropriate assessments or evaluations (including a functional behavioral assessment for a student whose behavior impedes his or he learning or that of others) to ascertain the physical, mental, behavioral and emotional factors that contribute to the suspected disabilities.
Once a student has been determined eligible to receive a free appropriate public education, the district will reevaluate the student with a disability whenever the student’s parent requests a reevaluation, and when the district determines the educational and related services needs (including improved academic achievement and functional performance) of the child warrant a reevaluation. However, a reevaluation must take place at least once every three years, unless the student’s parent and the district agree it is unnecessary.

Parental Consent for Student Evaluations

Before conducting any type of evaluation, district staff will take steps to obtain written informed consent from a student’s parent, as required by applicable law and regulations. They also will keep a detailed record of those attempts and their results, including phone calls and correspondence, visits to the parent’s home and any responses received.

1. If a parent refuses to give consent for an initial evaluation, or fails to respond to such a request, the parent will be given an opportunity to attend an informal conference and ask questions about the proposed evaluation. Unless the referral for evaluation is withdrawn, if the parent continues to withhold consent, the Board will commence due process proceedings to conduct an initial evaluation without parental consent within the time lines established in Commissioner’s regulations.
2. If a parent refuses to give consent for a reevaluation, or fails to respond to such a request, district staff will proceed with the reevaluation without parental consent if it has engaged in documented reasonable efforts to obtain such consent and the parent has failed to respond. If the district cannot document its efforts to obtain consent, the Board will commence due process proceedings to conduct a reevaluation without parental consent.
3. If district staff is unable to obtain consent for the initial evaluation or reevaluation of a home schooled or a parentally-placed nonpublic school student, the Board will not commence due process proceedings to conduct the evaluation without parental consent, and will consider the student as not eligible for special education.

Conduct of Evaluations

In conducting evaluations of students with disabilities, the district will use a variety of assessment tools and strategies, including parent-provided information, to gather relevant functional, developmental, and academic information for determining a student’s eligibility for special education and related services, and the content of the student’s individualized education program or individualized education services program or services plan in the case of nonpublic school students with disabilities (including information related to enabling the student to be involved in and progress in the general education curriculum).

The district also will assess a student in all areas of suspected disability, and the assessment and other evaluation used will not be discriminatory on a racial or cultural basis. In addition, students will be assessed in the language and form most likely to yield accurate information on what the student actually knows and can do academically, developmentally, and functionally, unless it is not feasible to do so.

In the case of students suspected of having a specific learning disability, the district will follow the procedures established in commissioner’s regulations.
The district will notify a student’s parent of any determination that no additional data is needed and the reasons for such a determination. It will also inform the parent of his or her right to request an assessment, notwithstanding that determination.

Eligibility Determination

The CSE or CSE subcommittee will determine whether a student is eligible for special education and related services under the IDEA and Article 89, as well as the student’s educational needs.

The CSE or CSE subcommittee may not determine that a student is eligible for special education and related services if the determining factor is lack of appropriate instruction in the essential components of reading, including phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, reading fluency (including oral reading skills), and reading comprehension strategies; or lack of appropriate instruction in math; or limited English proficiency.

Committee on Special Education

The members of the CSE and CSE subcommittees will include those individuals identified in applicable law and regulations, and their attendance at CSE and CSE subcommittee meetings will be required except as otherwise provided in law and regulations.

The parent of a student with disabilities is one of the mandated CSE and CSE subcommittee members and as such has a right to participate in CSE and CSE subcommittee meetings concerning the identification, evaluation, educational placement, and the provision of a free appropriate public education to their child. District staff will take steps to ensure the parent’s participation, in accordance with the following:

1. CSE and CSE subcommittee meetings will be scheduled at a time and place that is mutually agreeable to the parent and the district.
2. The parent will be given at least five days’ notice of the time and place of a CSE or CSE subcommittee meeting, except as otherwise provided in law and regulation, along with notice of the purpose of the meeting, those who will attend (including name and title), and the parent’s right to be accompanied to the meeting by person(s) the parent considers to have knowledge and special expertise about their child.
3. The parent and the district may agree to use alternative means of participation at CSE meetings, such as videoconferences or telephone conference calls.
4. District staff will take any action necessary to ensure that the parent understands the proceedings at CSE meetings, including arranging for an interpreter for deaf parents or parents whose native language is other than English.

The CSE or CSE subcommittee may meet without a student’s parent only if district staff has been unable to obtain either parent’s participation, and has a record of its attempts to arrange a mutually agreed upon time and place. Similarly, the CSE or CSE subcommittee may make a decision without the involvement of the student’s parent only if district staff has been unable to obtain parental participation, even through the use of alternative means of participation, and has a record of its attempts to ensure parental involvement.

Provision of Services

The Board will arrange for appropriate special education and related services recommended by the CSE or CSE subcommittee within 60 school days of the district’s receipt of parental consent to evaluate a student not previously identified as a student with a disability, or within 60 school days of referral for review of a student with a disability, except as otherwise provided in law and regulations.

All staff responsible for the implementation of a student’s individualized education program, or an individualized education services program or services plan in the case of parentally placed nonpublic school students with disabilities, will be provided information regarding those responsibilities (Refer to policy 4321.5 for more information on this topic).

Parental Consent for the Provision of Services

The Board acknowledges that parental consent for initial evaluation does not constitute consent for placement for the provision of special education and related services. Therefore, district staff will take steps to obtain written informed consent for the initial provision of special education and related services to an eligible student. The Board will be precluded by applicable law and regulations from commencing due process proceedings to override the parent’s refusal to provide such consent or override the parent’s failure to respond to such a request.

Transition Service and Diploma/Credential Options

In accordance with law and regulation, the Board will ensure the provision of transition services, which are a coordinated set of activities for students with disabilities that facilitates movement from school to post-school activities, which may include but are not limited to post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment, continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living or community participation. At age 15, or younger if appropriate, the student’s IEP will include a statement of transition service needs and will include undertaking activities in the following areas:

  • Instruction
  • Related services
  • Community experiences
  • The development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives; and
  • When appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and provision of a functional vocational evaluation.

In developing the plan for transition services, students and parents will be made aware of the range of diploma and credential options available and the requirements associated with each option.

Adopted February 10, 1998
Revised November 17, 1998
Revised March 13, 2007
Reviewed June 22, 2010
Revised, Adopted June 17, 2014
Revised, Adopted October 4, 2016
Revised, Adopted May 1, 2018

Back to top of the page


4321.1 Allocation of Space for Special Education Programs and Services

The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to ensure that appropriate space is available for:

1. Special programs and services provided to meet the needs of students and preschool students with disabilities both within its own facilities, and in programs provided by the board of cooperative educational services (BOCES) and attended by district residents; and
2. Serving students with disabilities in settings with non-disabled peers, as well.

The district will address such space allocation needs as part of its annual budget cycle, during the annual or any more frequent re-evaluation of its long-range educational facilities plan and as part of the district’s special education services plan.
Through the Superintendent, the district also will share with the BOCES District Superintendent information relevant for the BOCES to determine its own facility the regional space needs for serving the district’s resident students and preschool students with disabilities.
As part of the process for ensuring the allocation of appropriate space for special education programs and services and serving students with disabilities in settings with non-disabled peers, the Superintendent, in consultation with appropriate school personnel will, at a minimum:

1. Periodically gather information regarding the number of students and preschool students with disabilities presently participating and anticipated to continue to participate in the district’s special education programs and services, the type of programming they presently receive and may receive in the future, as well as the setting in which those services are and/or will be provided.
2. Review the results of the district’s latest census, and other district child find efforts, including child find activities conducted with respect to parentally-placed nonpublic school students with disabilities.
3. Anticipate any projected increase in the number of students and preschool students with disabilities the district will be responsible for providing special education programs and services to, the anticipated type of services they will be receiving and the settings in which those services will be provided.
4. Based on the above information, review current space capacity, and identify any additional space requirements to meet both current and future needs.

Adopted October 4, 2016

Back to top of the page


4321.10 Provision of Special Education and Related Services to Students with Disabilities Enrolled in Non-Public Schools

Pursuant to applicable federal and State law and regulation, the Board of Education of the Guilderland Central School District hereby adopts the following policies and procedures with respect to the provision of special education and related services to be provided to children with disabilities voluntarily enrolled by their parents in private or parochial (non-public) schools who are seeking services from their districts of residence. This policy is not applicable to students who have been placed in non-public schools by the Committee on Special Education or by the Committee on Preschool Special Education.

1. The District shall offer a free appropriate public education to all children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in non-public schools located in the District pursuant to contracts entered into with the child’s District of Residence except that for children attending such schools who do not reside in the state of New York where an out-of-state district does not provide for such contract, the District shall provide those evaluations and services to the extent required by federal law.
2. Pursuant to N.Y. Education Law Section 3602-c, the District shall arrange for services for children residing within New York in accordance with the following procedures.

The District shall provide those services requested by the child’s school district of residence pursuant to a contract entered into between the parties.

The determination of where the services will be offered shall remain within the discretion of the school district except where the law requires otherwise. In all other cases, the District shall retain its discretion to offer these services (i) at the public school; (ii) at the non-public school or (iii) at another site.
Where the district offers the service at a location other than the non-public school, the District shall provide transportation, where necessary, to enable the student to access these services.

For resident students enrolled in non-public schools outside the District, the District shall contract for provision of services with the District in which the non-public school is located (the District of Location).
3. The decision regarding the location of services offered to a student with a disability enrolled in a non-public school shall be made by the Director of Pupil Personnel Services on a case-by-case basis based on consideration of all relevant factors including financial and efficiency considerations. Under no circumstances shall a decision regarding the location of services obligate the school district to provide the same or similar services at a like location in any other case or in subsequent years.

Furthermore, the district specifically retains the right, in its discretion, to change the location at which services shall be provided at any time.

4. The Board of Education directs the Director of Pupil Personnel Services to notify parents of children with disabilities who may enroll their child in a private school of the June 1 deadline for requesting such services by publishing notice of the deadline in the school calendar or by attaching an addendum to the district’s Notice of Procedural Safeguards.
5. The Board of Education further directs the Director of Pupil Personnel Services to schedule a consultation meeting with representatives of all non-public schools located within the district to meet the following obligations:
a. Advise and document how non-public school personnel or a parent may refer to the public school a resident non-public school student for an evaluation if suspected of having a disability. The district’s activities attendant to its non-public school Child Find obligations shall be comparable to activities undertaken for students with disabilities enrolled in the district.
b. Encourage attendance by representatives of the non-public school at district meetings of the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or Committee on Preschool Education (CPSE) for children enrolled in their schools. The district’s efforts to secure the attendance of representatives of the nonpublic schools for students attending there shall be documented by the Committee chairperson, as appropriate.
c. Discuss the manner in which the district proposes to provide services to students with disabilities enrolled in the non-public schools, and to provide private school representatives and parents enrolled there with a genuine opportunity to express their views regarding how and where services might be provided and how such services will be evaluated.
d. Advise representatives of the non-public school of the June 1 deadline for requesting such services and the parents’ obligation to put such request in writing to the chairperson of the Committee on Special Education.
6. Parental Consent Needed by the School District of Location
Federal law and regulations require the following:
a) If a student with a disability is parentally placed, or is going to be parentally placed in a nonpublic school that is not located in the school district where the student legally resides, parental consent must be obtained by the school district of location before any personally identifiable information about the student is shared between officials in the public school district of residence and officials in the public school district of location. Therefore, parent consent is required before sharing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and other education records between the district of residence and the district of location.
b) If a parent who has placed a student with a disability in a nonpublic school at his/her own expense does not provide consent for the initial evaluation or the reevaluation, or the parent fails to respond to a request to provide consent, the district of location may not use the due process hearing to override lack of parental consent; and the district of location is not required to consider the student as eligible for special education services.

7. The Board of Education directs the Director of Pupil Personnel Services to ensure that monies expended to provide special education and related services to nonpublic schoolchildren meets or exceeds a proportionate amount of federal funds received by the district relative to the number of non-public school disabled students enrolled in private schools by their parents located in the district.

Adopted November 1, 2016

Back to top of the page


4321.11 Public Report on Revisions to District Policies, Practices and Procedures upon a Finding of Significant Disproportionality

The Board of Education recognizes that, despite the district’s best efforts, there may be times when there might be a disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups in its special education programs and services, and/or with respect to the suspension of students with disabilities. To minimize the risk of such an occurrence, the Board has endeavored to adopt policies, practices and procedures for the district that are consistent with the IDEA and Article 89 of New York’s Education Law, and their implementing regulations.
Nonetheless, upon learning of a significant disproportionality either in the suspension, identification, classification and/or placement of the district’s students with disabilities, the Board will immediately review the district’s policies, practices and procedures to determine whether they are fully compliant with the requirements of the IDEA and Article 89, or require revisions. If changes are needed, the Board will take immediate steps to adopt and implement any and all necessary revisions.

The Board will inform the public of any revisions to the district’s policies, practices and procedures undertaken as a result of a finding of significant disproportionality. The Superintendent will notify school personnel responsible for implementing the revisions.

Adopted November 1, 2016

Back to top of the page


4321.12 Use of Time Out Rooms and Physical Restraints

The Board of Education recognizes that students with disabilities sometimes exhibit inappropriate behaviors that impede learning. As a result, students with disabilities may require unique approaches to discipline so that they can continue to benefit from their educational program. The Board further acknowledges that the use of aversive behavioral intervention, as defined in §19.5 of the Commissioner’s regulations, is prohibited.

The use of a time out room or physical restraint will be in conformance with a child’s individual education program (IEP). Staff will adhere to federal and state statue and regulation in the administration of these measures.

Time Out Room

A time out room is a supervised area for a student to safely deescalate, regain control and prepare to meet expectations to return to his/her educational program. The room will only be used in conjunction with a behavioral intervention plan, as part of the student’s IEP, or when it is necessary to remove a student from a potentially dangerous situation in unanticipated situations that pose an immediate concern for the physical safety of a student or others. The location, size and access to the time out room will be in conformance with applicable laws and regulations. The Director of Pupil Personnel Services will be responsible for the development and implementation of regulations covering the use of a time out room, as well as monitoring compliance with those regulations.

The Director of Pupil Personnel Services or designee will inform parents prior to the initiation of a behavioral intervention plan that will incorporate the use of a time out room. Upon request, the parent will be shown the space that will be utilized. In addition, the parent will be provided a copy of this policy.

Physical Restraint: Emergency Interventions

Staff will not use physical restraint as a substitute for systematic intervention to modify inappropriate behavior. Staff who may be called upon to physically restrain a student will be trained on safe and effective ways to do so. Physical restraint may be used in an emergency where no other approach would be effective in controlling the student’s behavior.

During emergencies, immediate intervention by staff involving the use of reasonable physical force may be necessary, either to protect people or property from injury or damage, or to restrain or remove a student whose behavior is interfering with the orderly functioning of the school, if that student has refused to comply with a request to refrain from further disruptive acts.

The district shall document the use of emergency interventions for each student. This shall include the student’s name and date of birth, the setting and location of the incident, the staff members involved, other persons involved, a description of the incident and the intervention used, the duration of the incident, a statement as to whether the student has a current behavioral intervention plan, and details of any injuries sustained by either the student or others as a result of the incident. Documentation of emergency interventions shall be reviewed by school supervisory personnel and, as necessary, the school nurse or other medical personnel. The student’s parents/guardians shall be notified of each incident of emergency intervention.

Training

Training for staff on the policies and procedures related to the use of time out rooms, physical restraint, and related behavior management practices will be provided annually or as needed.

The Director of Pupil Personnel Services will be responsible for implementation and oversight of this policy.

Adopted January 23, 2018

Back to top of the page


4321.12-R Use of Time Out Rooms and Physical Restraints-Regulation

A time out room is a supervised area for a student to safely deescalate, regain control and prepare to meet expectations to return to his/her educational program. Time out rooms may only be used when needed for unanticipated situations that pose an immediate concern for the physical safety of a student or others, or in conjunction with a behavioral intervention plan in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). The district’s use of time out rooms shall conform to applicable state regulations.

1. Physical requirements

Time out rooms shall allow for continuous visual and auditory monitoring of the student. The room shall be large enough to allow a student to move freely and lay down comfortably. Wall and floor coverings shall be designed to prevent student injury where possible, and there shall be adequate lighting and ventilation. The temperature of the room shall be within the normal comfort range, and consistent with the rest of the building. The room shall be clean and free of objects and fixtures that could be potentially dangerous to a student, and shall meet all local fire and safety codes.

2. Monitoring, Observation and Supervision

School staff shall continuously monitor the student in a time out room. The staff must be able to see and hear the student at all times.

3. Prohibition on Locks

Time out rooms or spaces shall be unlocked, and the door must be able to be opened from the inside.

4. IEP Requirements

A student’s IEP shall specify when a behavioral intervention plan includes the use of a time out room for a student with a disability, including the maximum amount of time a student will need to be in a time out room as a behavioral consequence, as determined on an individual basis, in consideration of the student’s age and individual needs. The behavioral intervention plan shall be designed to teach and reinforce alternative appropriate behaviors.

5. Precipitating Factors

The factors that may lead to a student being temporarily placed in a time out room will depend on the particular student. Generally, time out rooms are to be used when a student needs to deescalate, regain control and prepare to meet expectations to return to his or her education program. A student in need of a time out room may be unable to control his/her actions, overwhelmed, overstimulated, exhibiting violent actions, or posing a danger to self or others.

6. Time Limitations

The amount of time a student may spend in a time out room will vary with the student’s age, individual needs, behavioral intervention plan, and the specific circumstances. Students shall spend only as much time in the time out room as is necessary for them to deescalate, regain control, return to their educational programs, or no longer pose a concern for the physical safety of themselves or others. Students shall not be in a time out room for more than the maximum amount of time specified in their behavioral intervention plans. For emergency use, where a time out room is not specified in a student’s behavioral intervention plan, but where such emergency use is not inconsistent with the student’s IEP, the maximum time to be spent in a time out room shall be 30 minutes. If a student is not ready to return to the educational program after that period of time, he/she shall be provided with further interventions consistent with his/her behavioral intervention plan or IEP, or actions reasonably calculated to assist the student.

7. Staff Training

All staff authorized to place a student in a time out room shall receive training on the procedures for placing a student in a time out room, including situations warranting use of a time out room, IEP requirements, continuous monitoring, time limitations, and data collection. Only trained staff authorized by the school principal may place a student in a time out room. Staff not authorized to place a student in a time out room shall receive training on what to do and who to contact if a student is exhibiting behaviors indicating the need for use of the time out room.

8. Data Collection to Monitor Effectiveness

The district shall document the use of time out rooms, and monitor the effectiveness of the use of time out rooms to decrease the behaviors that led to the use of the rooms. Such documentation will include a record for each student placed in a time out room. Each record shall show, for each use of the time out room, the date, time, duration of stay, precipitating factors, staff members involved, and the student’s behaviors/condition before, during and after use of the time out room. Copies of these records shall be sent to the student’s teachers, CSE chairperson, Director of Pupil Personnel Services, and Building Principal. Appropriate staff shall meet regularly as needed to review the effectiveness of the time out room for each student placed in one. Building Principals shall periodically report on the use and effectiveness of time out rooms to the Director of Pupil Personnel Services and Superintendent.

9. Parent/Guardian Rights and Information

The district shall inform parents/guardians prior to the initiation of a behavioral intervention for their child which will incorporate the use of a time out room. Parents/guardians shall be given the opportunity to see the physical space used as a time out room.

Parents/guardians shall be given a copy of this policy and regulation on time out rooms. The district shall notify parents/guardians each time a student is placed in the time out room.

Reviewed January 23, 2018

Back to top of the page


4321.14 Special Education Personnel

The Board acknowledges its responsibility to recruit, hire, train and retain highly qualified personnel, as defined in the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and its accompanying regulations and in Article 89 of New York State Education law and its accompanying regulations, to provide special education programs and services. In addition, the Board is committed to appointing appropriately qualified personnel to the Committee (and subcommittee) on Special Education (CSE) and Committee (and subcommittee) on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).

The Board will fulfill its obligation with regard to special education personnel by taking measurable steps including, but not limited to the following:

1. Actively recruit personnel who possess prior experience working with students with disabilities.
2. Solicit resumes from graduates of institutions of higher education that offer programs in special education.
3. Seek candidates for teaching positions who are dually certified, to the extent possible.
4. Ensure that every member of the professional staff participates in annual professional performance reviews and professional development plans.
5. Provide appropriate on-going training and professional development to CSE and CPSE members, and other special education program and service providers to ensure their continuing awareness of their obligations and responsibilities under the law.

The Superintendent is responsible for ensuring that the professional staff is appropriately certified, licensed and trained and that they meet the “highly qualified” standard established in federal and state law. In the event that highly qualified individuals are not available, despite the best efforts of the administration, the Board recognizes its responsibilities to meet the alternative standards established by the State Education Department.

Adopted November 1, 2016

Back to top of the page


4321.15 Provision of Special Education Services in the Lease Restrictive Environment

The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to ensure that students with disabilities who are eligible for special education programs and services under the IDEA and Article 89 of New York’s Education Law receive those services in the least restrictive environment appropriate to meet their individual educational needs.

Therefore, the district will not place students with disabilities in special classes or separate schools, or otherwise remove them from the regular educational environment unless the nature or severity of their disability is such that their education cannot be achieved satisfactorily in regular classes, even with the use of supplementary aids and services. In addition, the district will provide special services or programs to enable students with disabilities to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum, to the extent appropriate to their needs.

To fulfill its responsibility to educate students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment, the district will implement the provisions of Section 200.6 of Commissioner’s Regulations.

Furthermore, and pursuant to those provisions, students with disabilities placed together for purposes of receiving special education will be grouped by similarity of individual needs including their range of academic achievement, functional performance and learning characteristics, social and physical development, and management needs.

The Board also recognizes that the least restrictive environment requirements established by applicable law and regulations also extend to nonacademic settings. Therefore the district will provide students with disabilities the opportunity to participate with non-disabled students in school-sponsored co-curricular and extracurricular activities, to the maximum extent appropriate to each individual student’s needs. The district also will provide students with disabilities with supplementary aids and services that the CSE or CSE subcommittee, as applicable, determines to be appropriate and necessary for the student to participate in such activities.

Adopted November 1, 2016

Back to top of the page


4321.2 Preschool Special Education

The Board of Education recognizes the value of special education and its responsibility in ensuring that all resident preschool children with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in special programs and services from which they may benefit. The Board authorizes the Superintendent of Schools to establish administrative practices and procedures which shall include:

1. locating and identifying all preschool children with disabilities pursuant to the relevant provisions of the Education Law. The register of children eligible to attend a preschool program is to be maintained and revised annually by the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE);
2. ensuring that the parent(s)/guardian(s) of preschool age children with disabilities have received and understand the request for consent for evaluation of their child;
3. developing an individualized education program (IEP) for each preschool age child with a disability;
4. appointing and training appropriately qualified personnel including the members of a CPSE; and
5. reporting to the State Education Department the number of children with disabilities that are being served.

The Board of Education hereby establishes the CPSE as required under the Education Law. Its responsibilities will include the evaluation and recommendation for placement in appropriate approved programs and the provision of appropriate special education programs and services for each preschool child with a disability. The CPSE shall review, at least annually, the status of each preschool child with a disability.

It is ultimately the responsibility of the Board to arrange for the appropriate approved preschool programs and services for the district children. Should the Board disagree with the CPSE’s recommendations, it shall send the recommendation back to the CPSE so that they may schedule a timely meeting to review the Board’s concerns and to revise the IEP as deemed appropriate.

The Board directs the Superintendent to ensure that the district considers that adequate and appropriate space is made available for such programs and services.

The Board directs the Superintendent to develop and maintain a plan which incorporates information concerning the provision of services for preschool children with disabilities, pursuant to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

Adopted February 10, 1998
Reviewed March 13, 2007
Reviewed June 22, 2010
Revised, Adopted October 4, 2016

Back to top of the page


4321.3 Independent Educational Evaluations

The Board of Education recognizes the right of parents or guardians of a student who has or is thought to have a disability to receive an independent evaluation at public expense if they disagree with the evaluation obtained by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).
The independent examination shall be conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the school district responsible for the child’s education. Upon request, parents will be provided with a list of public and private agencies and professional resources where independent evaluations may be obtained. In addition, the school district will pay for evaluations performed by an employee of any other New York State public school district or BOCES whom the parent chooses to employ as an independent evaluator. These publicly-funded independent evaluations are limited to the same geographic and fiscal limitations as used by the district when it initiates an evaluation (see accompanying regulation).
Parents or guardians should file a written request for an independent educational evaluation with the Director of Pupil Personnel Services, following receipt of the CSE or CPSE evaluation. Acknowledgment to the parent will be in letter form as well as the district’s subsequent decision. If the request is denied, reason(s) must be provided. The district may accept the parental request or can initiate an impartial hearing to demonstrate that its evaluation is appropriate. If the hearing officer determines that the district’s evaluation was appropriate, a parent or guardian is not entitled to reimbursement at public expense.
The Board directs the Superintendent to develop regulations establishing maximum allowable fees for specific tests, required evaluation components, the geographic area in which such evaluations may take place, minimum qualifications of the locally/regional qualified professionals who administer and interpret various tests, and a reasonable timeline for seeking reimbursement.

Adopted: February 10, 1998
Reviewed: March 13, 2007
Revised: March 24, 2009
Reviewed: June 22, 2010
Revised, Adopted: October 4, 2016

Back to top of the page


4321.3-R Independent Educational Evaluations Regulation

An “independent educational evaluation” (IEE) of a student, who has or is thought to have a disability, is an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the School District responsible for the education of the child.

“Public expense” means that the District either pays for the cost of the IEE or ensures that it is otherwise provided at no cost to the parent or legal guardian.
The District’s evaluations include psycho educational evaluations, educational evaluations, speech/language evaluations, occupational, physical therapy evaluations and any other educational evaluations required to develop an Individualized Education Plan as approved by the Committee on Special Education. If a parent or legal guardian disagrees with an evaluation conducted by the District, the parent or legal guardian may request an

independent educational evaluation at public expense.

The District must either ensure that the IEE is provided at public expense or file a due process complaint to initiate an impartial hearing to show that its evaluation is appropriate. If the hearing officer determines that the District’s evaluation is appropriate, the parent or legal guardian has the right to an IEE, but not at public expense.

Request for Independent Educational Evaluations

An “independent educational evaluation” (IEE) of a student, who has or is thought to have a disability, is an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the School District responsible for the education of the child.

“Public expense” means that the District either pays for the cost of the IEE or ensures that it is otherwise provided at no cost to the parent or legal guardian.
The District’s evaluations include psycho educational evaluations, educational evaluations, speech/language evaluations, occupational, physical therapy evaluations and any other educational evaluations required to develop an Individualized Education Plan as approved by the Committee on Special Education. If a parent or legal guardian disagrees with an evaluation conducted by the District, the parent or legal guardian may request an independent educational evaluation at public expense.

The District must either ensure that the IEE is provided at public expense or file a due process complaint to initiate an impartial hearing to show that its evaluation is appropriate. If the hearing officer determines that the District’s evaluation is appropriate, the parent or legal guardian has the right to an IEE, but not at public expense.

Selection of Qualified Professionals

1. Independent evaluations shall be conducted by individuals who possess a current license and/or current certification in the area of evaluation from the State Education Department.

2. The district will not consider for payment at public expense independent evaluators outside the Capital Region. A parent may select any independent evaluator who, at the time the parent submits a request for an independent evaluation, provides that such professional is a certified and/or licensed evaluator. Requests for exceptions to these geographic limitations should be forwarded in writing to the Director of Pupil Personnel Services.
3. Parents may also select a qualified professional of any other public school district or BOCES in New York State. Such licensed or certified individual will be paid at the hourly rate currently assigned to him/her by his/her respective public school district or BOCES.
4. The District has established a comprehensive list of qualified professionals in private practice or employees of other public agencies who meet the District’s location and qualification criteria to whom parents or legal guardians may go to secure an independent evaluation. This list will be provided to parents or legal guardians upon request.

If the District’s list is not exhaustive in terms of those minimally qualified to evaluate the specific needs of all students in the District, parents or legal guardians are free to select an evaluator of their own choosing, as long as the evaluator meets the District’s geographic, qualification and reasonable cost criteria.

When a request for an independent evaluation is approved by the school and a qualified professional is selected by the parent/guardian, such independent evaluator shall then be responsible for contacting the district’s Director of Pupil Personnel Services to arrange for payment, dates of classroom visitations, and discussions with school staff.

Fees

A parent or legal guardian will be provided the opportunity to demonstrate that their child’s unique circumstances justify an IEE outside of the District’s criteria. To be at public expense, the IEE must meet the criteria that the District uses for an evaluation, including the cost of the evaluation, the location of the evaluation and the qualifications of the examiner; to the extent those criteria are consistent with the parent or legal guardian’s right to an IEE. If the total cost of an IEE obtained by the parent or legal guardian exceeds the District’s cost criteria and there is no justification for the excess cost, the IEE will be publicly funded only to the extent of the District’s maximum allowable charge set at the district’s annual organization meeting.

  • an individual psychological evaluation;
  • a physical examination;
  • a social history; and
  • other suitable examinations and evaluations as may be necessary to ascertain the physical, mental, and emotional factors which may contribute to a suspected educational disability.

Exceptions shall be granted to this fee schedule where justified by the student’s unique circumstances, upon written approval by the District’s Director of Pupil Personnel Services.

Reviewed: March 13, 2007
Revised: March 24, 2009
Reviewed: June 22, 2010
Revised, Adopted: October 4, 2016

Back to top of the page


4321.4 Impartial Hearing Process Hearing/Selection of Impartial Hearing Officers

The School District is committed to making every effort to amicably resolve differences involving the educational programs for students with disabilities. Mediation will be available to resolve disputes involving any matter, including matters arising prior to the filing of a request for an impartial hearing. In addition, the District may establish procedures providing the opportunity to meet with a disinterested party from a community dispute resolution center for an explanation of the benefits of the mediation process. For those exceptional circumstances where a more formal method is required, the impartial hearing process will be utilized.

Administrative regulations on impartial due process hearings/selection of impartial hearing officers will be developed in order to explain and detail the selection process and the impartial due process hearing procedures.

Replaced, Adopted October 4, 2016

Back to top of the page


4321.4-R Impartial Hearing Officer Appointment and Compensation Regulation

The Board of Education establishes the following regulation to govern the appointment and compensation of impartial hearing officers (IHO) for special education related impartial hearings pursuant to Part 200 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

Appointment

The updated list of certified IHOs for Albany county promulgated by the New York State Education Department will be used in connection with requests for impartial hearings. The list shall include the names of those other certified IHOs whose names appear on the state list and who have indicated to the district their interest in serving as an IHO in the district.

Upon receipt of a request for an impartial hearing, the Board President, or on the occasion of his/her absence or inability, the Vice President, shall appoint an impartial hearing officer from the district=s alphabetical rotational list previously adopted by the Board. At the next regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting, the trustees will be informed of the appointment.
The District Clerk or other person so designated, under the direction of the Board President, shall initiate the selection process by contacting the impartial hearing officer whose name first appears after the impartial hearing officer who last served. The District Clerk or designee shall canvass the list in alphabetical order as prescribed by the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education until an appointment is accepted. All records of attempts shall be recorded in the Impartial Hearing Reporting System (IHRS).

Upon receipt of a request for an impartial hearing, the rotational selection process for the IHO shall be initiated immediately and always within two (2) business days after receipt of by district of such written request. Should an IHO decline appointment, or if within 24 hours the IHO fails to respond or is unreachable after reasonable efforts by the District Clerk or designee, such efforts will be documented through independently verifiable efforts. The district representative shall then proceed through the list to determine availability of the next successive IHO.

If the IHO is unable to initiate the hearing within the first 14 days of being appointed by the school district, the IHO cannot accept the appointment. The District Clerk shall then proceed through such list to determine availability of the next successive IHO. An IHO appointment is contingent on the acceptance of the district=s compensation policy. The appointed IHO agrees to the following:

  • keep a designated staff member informed of all time extensions and deadlines as required by the IHRS system
  • Conduct the hearing in the most efficient manner possible
  • Issue decisions within the mandated time lines; and
  • bill the district monthly.

Records relating to the IHO process including, but not limited to, the request for initiation and completion of each impartial hearing will be maintained by the district and such information will be reported to the State Education Department as required by Commissioner’s regulations.

Compensation

The district shall compensate an impartial hearing officer for his or her services at the maximum rate established for such purpose by the Director of the Division of the Budget. In addition, impartial hearing officers may be reimbursed for reasonable, actual and necessary expenses for automobile travel, meals and overnight lodging in accordance with the current district reimbursement rate set for district employees. Mailing costs associated with the hearing will also be reimbursed. In the event that the hearing is postponed or cancelled, and the IHO is contacted at least 24-hours prior to the scheduled date by district officials, no compensation shall be provided. If there is a postponement or cancellation, and the 24-hour notification requirement is not met, the IHO will be entitled to the negotiated contract rate plus meal, lodging and travel expenses in accordance with district policies.
The district shall annually notify each impartial hearing officer of this policy and of the current rates set by the district for travel reimbursement, overnight lodging, meal expenses and mailing costs as per district policy.

Adopted March 13, 2007
Revised June 22, 2010
Revised (to be a regulation) October 4, 2016

Back to top of the page


4321.5 Individualized Education Program Distribution

The Board of Education believes that in order for each student with disabilities to receive the full benefit of his/her Individualized Education Program (IEP), individuals responsible for implementing the IEP must be given a copy and be informed of their duties in its implementation..

To this end, this policy aims to establish procedures to ensure that any person responsible for the implementation of an IEP, shall be informed of his/her responsibilities under the IEP, and shall receive or have access to a copy of the student’s IEP, either electronically or on paper, prior to its implementation.

I. IEP Copies

The CSE and CPSE Chairpersons shall ensure that a paper or electronic copy of each student’s IEP is provided to each regular education teacher, special education teacher, special area teachers, related service provider and/or other service provider responsible for implementation of a student’s IEP, prior to its implementation. These individuals responsible for implementing an IEP shall, in turn, ensure that all paraprofessionals (i.e., teacher aides and teaching assistants) and other providers of support staff having ongoing access to the IEP’s of students they assist through the special education teacher, regular education teacher or related service provider.
“Other service provider” means a representative of another public school district, charter school, BOCES program, child care institution school, Special Act school district, State-supported school, approved private in-state or out-of-state school and an approved preschool provider where the student receives or will receive IEP services. The district will take steps to ensure that the parents of the child with a disability receives a copy of the child’s IEP prior to the commencement of the school year and following any meeting where a change of placement is recommended.
If a student is placed by the CSE or CPSE outside the district (e.g., in an approved private school, BOCES, preschool program, or out-of-state residential program), the district’s responsibility is to provide one copy of the student’s IEP, prior to implementation to such programs. It is then the responsibility of these other service providers to implement the requirements of Commissioner’s regulations, including providing copies of the IEP to teachers and related service providers with IEP implementation responsibility, providing ongoing access to the IEP by paraprofessionals and other providers responsible for assisting in the implementation of the IEP and informing all individuals of their specific IEP implementation responsibilities.

II. Notification of IEP Responsibilities

In addition to disseminating copies of a student’s IEP, CSE and CPSE Chairpersons must designate one or more professional employees of the district with knowledge of the student’s disability and program to inform each regular education teacher including core teachers at the middle school and high school, special education teacher, special area teachers, related service providers, other service providers, supplementary school personnel, and other support staff of the responsibility to provide specific accommodations, program modifications, supports and/or services for the student in accordance with the IEP. In selecting the professional staff person(s), the chairperson could select him/herself for this responsibility, another administrator, or a teacher, related service provider or other professional, as appropriate.

III. Confidentiality

All copies of a student’s IEP provided or made accessible under this policy must remain confidential, and shall not be redisclosed to any other person, except in accordance with the Board’s policy governing confidentiality of student records. All IEP copies must remain in a secured location on school grounds at all times. If IEP copies are transmitted and/or provided electronically, security systems (e.g., password protect a file or folder) must be implemented to prevent unauthorized internal and external access to the student’s IEP.

IV. Documentation

For the designated professional employee(s) defined in section II, each person covered by this policy:

1. will attest to the fact that they have read the student’s IEP prior to its implementation, as required under state law and regulation;
2. will be informed of their responsibilities to implement the IEP; and
3. must abide by the district’s confidentiality requirements.

All original copies, past and present, will be maintained in the student’s special education file.

Adopted April 12, 2005
Reviewed March 13, 2007
Revised June 22, 2010
Revised October 4, 2016

Back to top of the page


4321.6 Availability of Alternative Format Instructional Materials for Students with Disabilities Policy

The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to ensure that all the instructional materials used in the district’s schools are made available in a usable alternative format for students with disabilities in accordance with their individual educational needs and course selection at the same time as those materials are available to non-disabled students. In accordance with applicable law and regulations, any such alternative format procured by the district will meet the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard.
For purposes of this policy, alternative format will mean any medium or format for the presentation of instructional materials, other than a traditional print textbook, that is needed as an accommodation for a student with a disability enrolled in the school district, including but not limited to Braille, large print, open and closed captioned, audio, or an electronic file. An electronic file must be compatible with at least one alternative format conversion software program.
The Superintendent will develop a plan to ensure the availability of alternative format materials in accordance with the timeliness requirements of this policy. Such a plan will provide for:

1. Preference to vendors who agree to provide instructional materials in alternative formats, and to reflect this requirement in the bidding specifications used for the procurement of instructional materials. The same preference will be given to vendors of instructional materials ordered for the school library.
2. Consultation with appropriate school personnel regarding how students will access electronic files. The district’s technology staff will be notified of any need to convert electronic files into an accessible format such as Braille, large print, audio, or alternative display.
3. The availability of hardware and/or software a student with disabilities in need of alternative format materials might require to access the instructional material.
4. The purchase of instructional materials to ensure sufficient lead time for obtaining needed alternative format materials.
5. Notification to appropriate school personnel by the CSE, CSE subcommittee, CPSE and Section 504 Committee Chairperson whenever it is determined that a student needs instructional materials in alternative format. Such notice also will identify the particular alternative format needed, and any assistive technology devices or services the student might need to access the alternative format materials.
6. Notification by classroom teachers of the books they will be using in class and any list of required readings with sufficient lead time in anticipation of the district’s timelines for the purchase of instructional materials.
7. Consultation with the school librarian to make sure that specific library resources required by a student in need of alternative format materials to participate and progress in his or her selected courses are made available to the student in an accessible format.
8. Timely request of state assessments in alternative format.

Adopted November 1, 2016

Back to top of the page


4321.6-R Availability of Alternative Format Instructional Materials for Students with Disabilities Regulation

4321.6-R Availability of Alternative Format Instructional Materials for Students with Disabilities Regulation

Identification of the Needs of Students Residing in the District

Teachers will assure the availability of instructional materials in alternative formats by anticipating that there may be students in their classes who will require instructional materials in alternative formats. Advance planning in the selection and ordering of books, developing lists of required reading and providing these lists in advance will help ensure that students with disabilities attending their classes receive their instructional materials at the same time as other students in the classes.
If the Committee on Special Education (CSE) determines that a student needs his or her instructional materials in an alternative format, the individualized education program (IEP) will specify the accommodations for the individual student and any related instruction and/or assistive technology devices needed for the student to access the alternative format materials. If the student needs instructional and assessment materials in alternative formats, the CSE should review the following considerations:

  • What alternative format is needed?
  • What instruction is needed for the student to use the alternative format materials?
  • What assessment technology devices or services are needed for the student to access the alternative format materials?
  • What supports for school personnel may be needed related to the alternative format(s) recommended?
  • What assistance do the parents need to help them acquire skills necessary to support the child/s use of the instructional materials and/or related assistive technology devices?
  • What testing accommodations might a student need related to the alternative formats?

Access to and Conversion of Electronic Files

Instructional materials provided in electronic files can offer many flexible options for a student with a disability to access the curriculum when the files are used with a variety of technology and tools such as computer screens using highlighted or enlarged text, screen readers or Braille printers. Students will have access to appropriate software and hardware in order to provide these materials in an alternative format. This would include but not be limited to computers, printers, scanners, alternative keyboards, Braille note takers, tape recorders, screen readers, speaking browsers, screen magnification devices, scan and read, and Braille translation. The district will also access appropriate agencies and resource centers to assist in the conversion of materials into Braille format.

Ordering Timelines

Braille and large-type test booklets will be obtained from the State Education Department for all N.Y.S. Assessments. The Braille and large-type test booklets requested will be included in the regular shipment to the school. These tests will be ordered at the same time that tests are ordered for non-disabled students. If reproduction and/or reformatting of test booklets are required, written advance permission of the State Education Department will be obtained in sufficient time as to administer the test at the same time as administered to non-disabled students. If Braille or large print conversions are requested, the district will request this conversion at least three months in advance of the exam.

The district will inquire of publisher sales representatives about available formats. If the instructional materials needed by the student cannot be purchased in alternative formats, the district will make reasonable efforts to adapt or convert the materials or provide substantially equivalent materials to the student in a format he or she can access. Consideration will be given as to sufficient time to convert these materials so that the student will be able to participate and progress in the general curriculum.

Selection and Procurement of Instructional Materials

The district utilizes a textbook selection committee when considering the purchase of new textbooks or materials. The committee will be informed of the need to give preference to those vendors who agree to provide materials in alternative formats.
When the district selects any new instructional materials for a course, consideration will be given, as one factor, if such materials are available from the vendor in the alternative format(s) needed by the student. Where different textbooks meet the district’s criteria for a particular subject matter, the district will give preference to the vendor that agrees to provide materials in alternative formats. If competitive bidding is required for the purchase of instructional material, bid specifications will be drafted to allow the district to select the bidder who can provide materials in an alternative formats in a timely fashion by making alternative format availability a specification of the bid.

Procedures for New Entrants During the School Year

When a new student enters the district, the CSE will review the student’s previous IEP to determine if the IEP has specified the need for materials to be provided in an alternative format. If the IEP indicates that the student requires an alternative format, the district will immediately either provide the necessary software or hardware necessary for the conversion or contact the appropriate agency to either purchase or convert the materials.
If a student requires additional materials in an alternative format, the special education teacher or school psychologist will be responsible to provide this information to the Director of Pupil Personnel Services. The Director will be responsible for arranging the provision of materials in an alternative format.

Reviewed November 1, 2016

Back to top of the page


4321.7 Districtwide and Statewide Assessments of Students with Disabilities

The Board of Education of the Guilderland Central School District adopts this policy to assure that:

  • Assessments administered to students with disabilities provide results that
    accurately reflect a student’s ability or achievement level on whatever factors the test purports to measure.
  • Testing accommodations are recommended by the appropriate committee, as required by law, to provide students with disabilities the opportunity to:
    • Participate fully in the instructional and assessment program;
    • Demonstrate their strength, knowledge, and skills without being restricted by their disability, and
    • Provide an accurate measure of the standards assessed.
  • Testing accommodations are only recommended to remove obstacles to the test-taking process and not to change the skills or knowledge tested.
  • The student’s teacher(s) assigned to administer an assessment or test shall ensure that all relevant testing accommodations included on the student’s individualized education program or §504 Plan are implemented to the extent possible.

Adopted November 1, 2016

Back to top of the page


4321.9 Declassification of Students with Disabilities Policy

The Board of Education recognizes the importance of setting appropriate procedures to determine whether or not students should be declassified from special education services. The School District will establish and implement a plan for the appropriate declassification of students with disabilities which must include:

  • The regular consideration for declassifying students when appropriate;
  • A reevaluation of the student prior to declassification; and
  • The provision of educational and support services to the student upon declassification.

Eligibility Determination

The Committee on Special Education (CSE) must evaluate a student with a disability prior to determining that a student is no longer a student with a disability as defined in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations, and the District shall provide a copy of the evaluation report and the documentation of eligibility to the student’s parent/legal guardian. The results of any reevaluations must be addressed by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) in a meeting to review and, as appropriate, revise the student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
Prior to the reevaluation, the School District shall obtain informed written parent/legal guardian consent unless otherwise authorized pursuant to law and/or regulation. Parent/legal guardian consent need not be obtained if the District can demonstrate that it has taken reasonable measures to obtain that consent, and the student’s parent/legal guardians fail to respond. The District must have a record of its attempts to obtain parent/legal guardian consent. Should the student’s parent/legal guardians refuse consent for the reevaluation, the District may continue to pursue the reevaluation by using mediation and/or due process procedures.
The District shall take action to ensure that the parent/legal guardian understands the proceedings at the meeting of the Committee on Special Education (CSE), including arranging for an interpreter for parent/legal guardians with deafness or whose native language is other than English.

Recommendation for Declassification

If the student has been receiving special education services, but the Committee on Special Education (CSE) determines that the student no longer meets eligibility for special education services, the recommendation shall:

  • Identify the declassification support services, if any, to be provided to the student; and/or the student’s teachers; and
  • Indicate the projected date of initiation of such services, the frequency of provision of such services, and the duration of these services, provided that such services shall not continue for more than one (1) year after the student has been declassified.

Declassification Support Services

When appropriate, the District shall provide declassification support services to students who have been declassified in accordance with the recommendation of the Committee on Special Education (CSE).
Declassification support services are services provided by persons appropriately certified pursuant to Part 80 of Commissioner’s Regulations, or holding a valid teaching license in the appropriate area of service.

Procedural Safeguards Notice

The District shall use the procedural safeguards notice prescribed by the Commissioner of Education. The District will further ensure that the procedural safeguards notice is provided in the native language of the parent/legal guardian or other mode of communication used by the parent/legal guardian, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so. If the native language or other mode of communication of the parent/legal guardian is not a written language, the District shall take steps to ensure that the notice is translated orally or by other means to the parent/legal guardian in his/her native language or other mode of communication; that the parent/legal guardian understands the content of the notice; and that there is written evidence that all due process procedures, pursuant to law and/or regulation, have been met.

Adopted November 1, 2016
Revised and Adopted May 1, 2018

Back to top of the page


4321.9-R Declassification of Students with Disabilities Regulation

Reevaluation Prior to Declassification

Only the Committee on Special Education (CSE) is authorized to declassify a student. Prior to recommending declassification, the Committee shall re-evaluate the student.

Prior Notice and Consent to Conduct a Reevaluation

Prior to such reevaluation, the Committee on Special Education shall provide, to the Parent or student, as applicable, prior notice, that a re-evaluation is being sought for the purpose of considering declassification and shall request input and written consent to conduct any formal assessments or tests recommended.
If the initial request for consent is unsuccessful, alternate measures to obtain consent shall be taken and documented. If reasonable documented attempts have been made to obtain consent and no response is received from the parent or student as applicable, the Committee shall re-evaluate the student, upon notice without written consent.

Determination of the Extent of Reevaluation

In order to determine the extent of re-evaluation necessary, appropriate school personnel, members of the Committee on Special Education, with input from the parents and the student, as applicable and other qualified professionals, shall consider and review the existing evaluation data on the student, including evaluations provided by the parents or guardians, current class assessments, observations by teachers, and reports by related service providers and other professionals. This review shall not constitute a Committee on Special Education meeting. On the basis of this review, the Team may conclude that no further data is needed. With proper documentation of notification to the Parents, or student, as applicable, that they have the right to request additional testing and upon their written confirmation that they do not seek further assessment, a meeting of the Committee on Special Education shall be scheduled to consider whether, based on the current reevaluation, to recommend declassification.

Consideration of Regular Education Support and Declassification Support Services

In conducting its review, the Committee on Special Education shall consider and recommend any regular education supports, which may assist the student and shall consider the need for declassification support services. If recommended, the district will specify those services recommended, including the projected initiation date and duration for such services. Declassification services shall be provided for no more than one year following the student’s declassification date.

Consider Need for Continuation of Testing Accommodations and Second Language Waiver

In addition, the Committee on Special Education shall consider the need to continue the student’s testing accommodations and, if recommended, shall ensure that such information is transmitted to appropriate school personnel to ensure that such accommodations are made available to the student. The Committee shall also determine, where applicable, whether to extend the second language waiver.

Consider Need for Referral to the §504 Committee

When the Committee on Special Education declassifies a student under the definition of a student with a disability set forth in Part 200 of the Commissioner’s Regulations, where the student continues to have a physical or mental impairment that requires accommodations and/or modifications that would not be available through the general curriculum, the committee shall consider need for referral to the §504 Accommodation Plan.

Adopted November 1, 2016
Reviewed May 1, 2018

Back to top of the page


4324 Programs for Pregnant Students

The Board of Education recognizes the need to provide pregnant students with a flexible school program. The building principal shall work with a social worker and counselor along with the student and her parents/guardians in a cooperative effort to meet individual student’s special needs. Students are encouraged to continue in their scheduled program of study.

Adopted February 27, 2001
Adopted November 20, 2012
Revised, Adopted June 14, 2016

Back to top of the page


4325 Academic Intervention Services (Replaces Remedial Instruction)

The Board of Education is committed to providing academic intervention services to students at risk of not meeting the state learning standards. Such services may include additional instruction supplementing the instruction provided in the general curriculum and/or student support services such as guidance, counseling, attendance and study skills needed to support improved academic performance.
Eligibility for academic intervention services will be determined based on a student’s performance on state assessment exams and/or in accordance with the uniformly applied district-developed district-adopted procedures. Eligible students will receive services consistent with law and regulations which shall commence no later than the beginning of the semester following a determination that a student is eligible for such services.
Where applicable a response to intervention model will be used in lieu of Academic Intervention Services (AIS). Such RtI will comply with all state and district requirements for AIS.

Parental Notification and Involvement

Notification on Commencement of Services:The Building Principal or designee will notify the parents of a student determined to be in need of academic intervention services, in writing, upon the commencement of such services. Such notification will include:

  • A summary of the academic intervention services to be provided;
  • The reason the student needs such services; and
  • Anticipated duration of intervention provided.

Notification on Ending of Services. The Principal will notify the parent in writing when academic intervention services are no longer needed. Such notification will include:

  • The criteria for ending services; and
  • The performance levels obtained on district selected assessments, if appropriate.

In addition, the district/schools will provide for ongoing communication with parents which must include opportunities to consult with teachers and other professional staff, regular reports on the student’s progress and information on ways to monitor and work with educators to improve the student’s performance.
All parental notifications and communications will be done in English and translated, when appropriate, into the native language or mode of communication of the parents.

Description and Review of Academic Intervention Services

The Superintendent of Schools or designee, in consultation with each Building Principal, shall maintain a description of academic intervention and/or student support services for each school. This description will include any variations in services in schools within the district and will specifically delineate:

  • the district-wide procedures used to determine the need for academic intervention services;
  • the academic intervention instructional and/or support services to be provided;
  • whether instructional services and/or support services are offered during the regular school day or during an extended school day or year; and
  • the criteria for ending services, including, if appropriate, performance levels that students must obtain on district-selected assessments.

Beginning July 1, 2002 and every two years thereafter, the Superintendent shall review and revise the description of academic intervention services based on student performance results and present such revised description to the Board for approval.

Adopted January 8, 2013
Revised, Adopted January 31, 2017

Back to top of the page


4326 English Language Learner Proficiency Instruction

The Board of Education is committed to supporting students who speak another home language. The district will make every effort to support English Language Learner (ELL) students as they work to acquire English and learn the content of the curriculum.
Pursuant to this policy and the regulations of the Commissioner of Education, the Superintendent of Schools is directed to develop appropriate administrative regulations to ensure that ELL students are:

1. carefully and thoughtfully screened with the New York State Identification Test for English Language Learners (NYSITELL) exam for limited English proficiency, in accordance with Part 117 of the Commissioner’s Regulations. Those students who according to their scores are identified as ELL will be annually evaluated by the NYSESLAT Exam (listening, speaking, reading and writing). Included in the evaluation shall be each student’s performance in content areas to measure academic progress via report card;
2. assured of access to appropriate instructional and support services, including tiered support for ELA and math programs; and
3. assured of having equal opportunities to participate in all school programs and extracurricular activities.

The Superintendent shall be responsible for ensuring that the Commissioner is provided with all information required under the Commissioner’s Regulations and that the district provides appropriate school-related information to the parents of ELL students in English, or when necessary, in the language they understand. In addition, the Superintendent shall ensure that all teachers employed for any ESL program are properly certified in accordance with the Commissioner’s Regulations.

Adopted March 27, 2001
Revised, Adopted January 8, 2013
Revised, Adopted May 26, 2015

Back to top of the page


4326-R English Language Learner Proficiency Instruction Regulation

In attempting to ensure that students who are ELL receive appropriate schooling in English and curriculum areas, the school district shall:

1. in accordance with Part 117 of the Commissioner’s Regulations, thoughtfully screen every new entrant to the schools to determine whether they are possibly ELL* in accordance with subdivision 2-a of section 3204 of the Education Law. It will also be determined through NYSITELL screenings when the student comes from a home where a language other than English is spoken as determined by the results of a home language questionnaire, an informal interview in English by the registrar, and NYSESLAT exam;
2. ensure that students diagnostically determined to be ELL are annually evaluated. Such evaluation will include evaluation of each student’s performance in content areas to measure the student’s progress via assessments in ESL and content areas;
3. ensure that all ELL students have access to appropriate instructional and support services, including guidance programs;
4. ensure that all ELL students have equal opportunities to participate in all school programs and extracurricular activities;
5. annually provide the Commissioner with the following documents, in the form and by the dates prescribed by the Commissioner:
a. a copy of the Board of Education’s policy;
b. a report by building of students initially identified and annually evaluated as being ELL in the preceding school year; CR Part 154 report
c. a report by building of the number of teachers and support personnel providing services to ELL students; CR Part 154 report
d. a description by building of the curricular and extracurricular services provided to ELL students; CR Part 154 report and
e. results of the annual evaluation of ELL students, including test data and any additional data required by the Commissioner via SchoolTool and Performance/Plus tracker.

The district will provide an orientation program annually for ELL parents and will meet individually with ELL parents at least once a year, in addition to regular parent/teacher meetings.
In addition, the Superintendent shall ensure that all teachers employed in any Bilingual and/or English as a New Language program are properly certified in accordance with the Commissioner’s Regulations, and that all staff receive appropriate professional development on ELL students.
* A student who by reason of international birth or ancestry, speaks a language other than English, and scores at or below the fortieth percentile on the NYSITELL exam approved by the Commissioner, is to be classified as “ELL”

In order to receive state funds for the education of ELL students, the district shall submit to the State Education Department by September 1 of each year a comprehensive plan to meet the educational needs of such students via CR Part 154.

Such plan shall comply with State Education Department guidelines and may include:

1. the criteria used to place ELL students in appropriate bilingual or ESL programs;
2. a proposed budget for the operation of the state-aided program;
3. a description of the nature and scope of the bilingual and/or ESL services currently available to ELL students;
4. an evaluation plan in the format specified by the State Education Department;
5. a description of procedures for the program’s management, including: staff selection, parental notification, coordination of funds, training, and program planning;
6. an assurance that all regulations and laws governing programs for ELL students will be followed;
7. a description of the support services provided to ELL students;
8. a description of the transitional services provided to ELL students; and
9. a description of the in-service training plan for all school personnel.

English as a Second Language Instruction

1. Instruction which emphasizes listening, speaking, reading, writing, and communicating skills in English; and course content area instruction using ESL methods.

Additional Concerns

The district reserves the right to contract with a Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) or another school district to provide bilingual and/or ESL programs.

Support Services

The district shall provide appropriate support services to students who are participating in ESL programs in order for such students to achieve and maintain a satisfactory level of academic performance. Such services may include, but shall not be limited to, individual counseling, group counseling, home visits, and parental counseling. If appropriate, such services shall be provided in the first language of the students and the student’s parent(s)/ guardian(s).

Transitional Services

The district shall ensure a transition for former ELL students who are transferring from an ESL program into an English mainstream program. Transitional services shall be provided for the first two years after such students are placed in the English mainstream instructional program.

Professional Development

The district shall provide professional development to all personnel providing instruction or other services to ELL students in order to enhance staff appreciation for such students’ home languages and cultures, and the ability to provide appropriate instructional and support services.

Services to ELL Students with Disabilities

If a student’s score on an English language assessment instrument approved by the Commissioner is the result of a disability, the student shall be provided special education programs and services in accordance with the individualized education program (IEP) developed for such student(s). Such students shall also be eligible for all services described above, if such services are recommended in his/her IEP.
Appropriate district personnel shall meet at least twice a year with all parents of ELL students to discuss the students’ needs and progress.

Reviewed March 13, 2001
Revised, Reviewed February 12, 2013
Revised, Reviewed May 26, 2015

Back to top of the page


4327 Homebound Instruction

Homebound instruction is a service provided to students who are unable to attend school due to medical, emotional or disciplinary problems. Secondary students receive instruction for two hours per day and elementary students receive one hour per day. Students receive credit for their work while on homebound instruction.

The school district has a legal and professional obligation to ensure that instruction is provided to homebound students and that such instruction is closely coordinated with that provided in the classroom.

The district makes provisions for homebound instruction upon referral from a School Physician or a designee of the Superintendent following the guidelines established by the Superintendent of Schools for placing a student on homebound instruction.

It is the responsibility of the district to obtain teachers for eligible homebound students. The qualifications of teachers providing homebound instruction shall be as follows:

1. for instruction at the elementary level, at least common branch certification under the rules and regulations of the Commissioner of Education; and
2. for instruction at the secondary level, certification in the subject area being taught.

An hourly rate of compensation for teachers providing homebound instruction shall be determined annually by the Board.

The school district shall maintain such records and periodic evaluations as are necessary to provide adequate assessment and appraisal of the progress made during the period of home instruction and readiness to return to a classroom program.

Homebound instruction will strive to keep the student on pace to rejoin his/her class and maintain academic progress. The Board recognizes that students who are out of school for extended periods of time are at risk of falling behind academically and/or losing connection to the school community. The Board directs the administration to evaluate periodically whether homebound instruction is effective in keeping students on track to graduate, and if not, to take steps to improve instruction and implement approaches and/or offer services that support the transition back to school.

Adopted April 7, 1998
Revised and Adopted October 22, 2013
Revised, Adopted June 17, 2014

Back to top of the page


4329 Implementation of School-Wide Approaches and Pre-Referral Intervention

In accordance with the IDEA and Part 200 of the Commissioner’s Regulations, the District has implemented a plan and policy to establish pre-referral interventions to remediate a student’s educational performance to avoid, wherever possible, inappropriate referrals to the Committee on Special Education (CSE).
In keeping with this policy, it is the responsibility of the building Instructional Support Team (IST) or School Based Support Team (SBST) to investigate all possible avenues of general education support services to enable students to advance academically.
Pre-referral support services may include, but are not limited to,

  • improvement services
  • evaluations
  • individual and group counseling
  • consultation with staff and families
  • curriculum and instructional modifications
  • building level educational support
  • Academic Intervention Services (AIS)
  • Bi-lingual and/or English as a Second Language (ESL) services.
  • Training for faculty and staff to support above services for students.

These services may be provided before, during or after the school day, or in the summer. They must be afforded to all students who do not meet the minimum designated standards on State assessments and to Limited English Proficient (LEP) students who do not achieve the annual Commissioner’s Regulations at 8 N.Y.C.R.R.154 performance standards. Consistent with the District AIS policy, supplemental instruction in English, Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science as well as support services to address barriers to student progress such as attendance, discipline, health, family nutrition, and transient issues will be afforded to students who score a level two or below on State assessments or to students recommended by the IST or SBST.
The District shall provide diagnostic screening for any student who scores below level two on either the third grade English language arts or mathematics assessment for New York State elementary schools.
Diagnostic screening for such students may include, but not be limited to:

1. Vision and hearing screenings to determine whether a vision or hearing impairment is impacting the student’s ability to learn; and
2. A review of the student’s instructional programs in reading and mathematics to ensure that explicit and research validated instruction is being provided in both areas.

Student progress shall be monitored periodically through progress monitoring and/or on-going assessments of the student’s reading and mathematic abilities and skills. If the student is determined to be making sub-standard progress in such areas of study, instruction shall be provided that is tailored to meet the student’s individual needs with increasingly intensive levels of targeted intervention and instruction.
Parents shall be notified regarding information about the performance data that will be collected and the general education services provided; strategies for increasing the student’s rate of learning; and the parents’ right to request an evaluation by the CSE to determine whether the student has a disability.

All school-wide approaches to provide remediation activities to students who are at risk of not meeting graduation requirements will be considered prior to making referrals to the CSE. These school-wide approaches shall serve as pre-referral interventions prior to consideration of CSE support services. One of the school-wide approaches the District may use to remediate a student’s performance prior to referral for special education is a response to intervention (RtI) process. This scientific, research-based instruction will be implemented according to Section 100.2(ii) of the Commissioner’s Regulations.
The referral form to the CSE shall enumerate all pre-referral interventions made available to the student to enable the CSE to determine which of these interventions have been tried or the reason why no such attempts have been made. Each referral shall be reviewed to determine its appropriateness and whether pre-referral interventions have been adequately utilized and if further interventions are deemed necessary.
If a building administrator initiates a referral to the CSE, it shall be forwarded to the CSE Chairperson immediately.
This policy shall remain in full force and effect unless modified by the Board of Education.

Adopted March 7, 2017

Back to top of the page


4510.2 Internet and Computer Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

The Board of Education is committed to the optimization of teaching and student learning. The Board considers computers to be a valuable tool for education, and encourages the use of computers and computer-related technology in District classrooms. The Board encourages computer use as an integral part of the curriculum, and the Board believes that the use of software applications, online databases, online course materials, appropriate interactive curriculum based web applications, web and video-conferencing, and internet research tools significantly enhance a student’s educational experience.

The Board directs the Superintendent of Schools to appoint Coordinators for Technology to coordinate the use of district computer resources. The Superintendent, working with the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Technology Leadership Council, in conjunction with the Technology Liaison Committee, building administrators, and technical staff will prepare and submit for the Board’s approval a comprehensive multi-year technology plan which shall be revised and updated annually. The Superintendent or designee shall ensure the purchase and implementation of a technology protection measure that will block or filter Internet access by:

  • Adults to depictions that are obscene, and
  • Minors to depictions that are obscene or harmful to minors as defined in the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

In line with the District’s mission and goals, the Board extends to the District’s staff and students the privilege of using computers to access the Internet to help perform academic work, to explore educational topics, to conduct research projects and to contact others in the educational world.

Appropriate disciplinary action, including potential restriction of technology in school, will be taken in the event of violations of this policy.

The District takes no responsibility for losses sustained by staff or students as a result of system failure. Also, information stored on the District Computer System (DCS) is not private and may be reviewed or traced by authorized personnel. The Board directs the Superintendent to develop appropriate rules and regulations for use of computers and related technologies in District schools.

The Board also directs the Superintendent to annually publicize this policy and regulations to staff, students and parents.

Cross-ref: 5310, Student Discipline

Adopted October 20, 1998
(Revised by Technology Liaison Committee – November 2005)
Revised and Adopted January 10, 2006
Adopted April 8, 2008
(Revised by Technology Liaison Committee -February 2011)
Revised, Adopted June 6, 2011
Revised, Adopted April 12, 2016
Revised and Adopted May 28, 2019

Back to top of the page


4510.2-R Internet and Computer Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) Regulation

Staff and students are expected to follow these guidelines when using computers at school:

1. School computers may only be used to help perform academic work, to explore educational topics, to conduct research projects, or to contact others for educational purposes.

2. When using school computers, students and staff will be expected to take reasonable care of school equipment and materials.

3. Students and staff are expected to act in a responsible, ethical and legal manner while using school computers and the Internet. They should be polite to other Internet users, and they should act within state and federal laws.

4. Users are responsible for the use of their network account and should safeguard their account from being accessed by others.

5. No personal purchases may be made through a computer owned by the school, or through one of the school’s Internet accounts.

6. Students will be supervised when they access the Internet. The schools will take every reasonable precaution to ensure that a student will not access objectionable materials.

Students will be instructed to notify a teacher if they accidentally access something objectionable from a school computer and should do so immediately.

7. Students will be instructed that they should not provide personal information or agree to meet with strangers that they meet on the Internet. Students should notify a teacher if someone on the Internet requests personal information or asks to meet with them.

8. In accordance with the District’s “opt-out” policy for the use of student directory information, Web page documents on the Internet may include a student’s full name, grade level, photograph, art work, academic interest, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, terms of school attendance and graduation, awards received, etc. unless the district has been notified in writing not to publish this information in any given school year.

9. Information stored on school computer equipment is not private and may be viewed or traced by authorized personnel.

Staff and students must understand that if they violate these rules, their computer privileges may be suspended. Violations of these guidelines will result in a referral to school administration for further disciplinary action.

(Reviewed November 2005 by the Technology Liaison Committee)
Reviewed December 13, 2005
(Revised by Technology Liaison Committee -February 2011)
Reviewed June 6, 2011
Revised and Reviewed December 10, 2013
Reviewed April 12, 2016
Revised and Adopted May 28, 2019

Back to top of the page


4510.2-R.1 Computer Network and Technology Equipment (AUP) Regulation

Staff and students are expected to follow these guidelines when using computers at school:

District Computer System (DCS) includes computers, wired and wireless networks, cabling, servers, printers, and all other technology related devices and systems owned by the District.

1. District Computer System (DCS) is for curricular and school use. Commercial use is prohibited. Personal use should be limited.

2. Use of the DCS which violates any aspect of School District Policies, the Student Discipline Code of Conduct, and any Federal, State or Local laws or regulations is strictly prohibited.

3. No personal software may be downloaded or installed anywhere on the DCS without first having been reviewed by a technician or authorized via the software purchase process.

This includes but is not limited to software packages, program, plug-ins, updates, toolbars, applets, drivers, Apps, extensions.

4. No personal computers and/or equipment or peripherals may be attached to or configured on the DCS. However, students and/or staff may connect USB flash drives or other removable storage devices to district computers to transfer assignments or school related data to district computers when necessary. These data files must be scanned by the district’s antivirus software. Personal devices with wireless capability may access the

Internet through the district’s wireless network for professional purposes only. This will be accomplished through the district’s wireless guest/Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) access that will allow Internet access but will prevent network access. Technicians will be responsible for configuring devices with browser proxy settings and for setting up passwords. Personal devices for professional staff will include laptops, tablets or other approved interactive technologies. Personal cell/smart phones may be granted access to guest/BYOD wireless networks upon request and when used for professional purposes.

5. Do not alter or change the settings or system configurations of the DCS hardware or

software in any way. Exceptions to this may include User Accessibility Settings and default printer designation. Do not remove/move, unplug, alter or add equipment or software to the DCS. No damaging, disabling or otherwise interfering with the operation of any part of the

DCS through physical action or by electronic means. These regulations apply to preconfigured system setups and stationary system setups. However, district laptops that are used for instructional use may be connected to presentation systems or other types of hardware owned by the district. Faculty and staff should be trained by the district’s technical staff before using these special setups.

6. Do not intentionally bypass the security of the DCS for viewing inappropriate Internet sites. Do not attempt to gain access to restricted areas of the DCS, or go beyond authorized access by entering another person’s password or accessing another person’s files or e-mail.

No changing, copying, renaming, deleting, reading or otherwise accessing files or software not created by the owner of the file.

7. Do not violate copyright laws. Information and materials obtained from the DCS and used in work must be properly cited.

8. Do not disclose an individual password to others or use others’ passwords. Do not attempt to gain unauthorized access to any level of the DCS by attempting to log in through another person’s account, or use computer accounts, access codes or network identification other than those assigned to the user.

9. Do not waste school resources by printing excessively or consuming limited hard drive space or network drive space or bandwidth capacity anywhere on the DCS.

10. Do not download software or programs from the Internet to the DCS.

11. Do not create or willfully disseminate computer viruses. Staff and students should be sensitive to the ease of spreading viruses and should take steps to ensure that disks and files are virus free.

12. Do not violate licensing agreements, including the downloading or exchanging of pirated software or copying software to or from any part of the DCS.

13. Information stored on the DCS is not private and may be viewed or traced by authorized personnel.

14. Students will not use district equipment or networks to engage in cyberbullying or cyberstalking. Students will not use digital cameras to take or post inappropriate pictures.

15. In the course of repairs, DCS computers may be re-imaged at any time. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the user to maintain a regular backup of his/her data in a location not on the DCS local computer. Data should be stored on his/her network server where it is backed up on a nightly basis.

Staff and students must understand that if they violate these rules, their computer privileges maybe suspended. Violations of these regulations will result in a referral to school administration for further disciplinary action.

(Reviewed November 2005 by the Technology Liaison Committee)
Reviewed December 13, 2005
(Revised by the Technology Liaison Committee – February 2011)
Revised June 6, 2011
Revised June 18, 2013
Revised and Reviewed December 10, 2013
Revised and Adopted May 28, 2019

Back to top of the page


4510.2-R.2 Computer Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) Web Regulations

Internet access in the Guilderland Central School District provides an opportunity for students, staff, parents, and community to share information. The District’s web site provides information to the community about school curriculum, instruction, school-related activities, and other general information relating to our schools and to our District’s mission. Publishers and creators of web pages need to familiarize themselves with and adhere to the following regulations and responsibilities. Failure to follow these regulations may result in the loss of authoring privileges or other more serious disciplinary measures.

A. District and School Web Pages – The District’s Communications Office, or an identified designee, will develop and post content for all district-level and school web pages. Content will be directly related to the school district, its students, or its educational programming.

  • District staff and school community members are encouraged to submit web content (story ideas, photos, etc.) to the District’s Communications Office. Submitted content may be edited for appropriateness and/or space limitations.
  • Content not directly related to the school district, its students, or its educational programming will not be published.

B. Teacher Web Pages – Any teachers that currently have web pages linked to building sites may continue to publish information on their pages, as long as the information is kept current.

  • Teachers that wish to have web pages hosted on independent sites linked to building sites must submit an application form for site approval to the District’s Communications Office, as obtained from the Educational Technology Liaison in their respective building or in the “Staff Resources” section of the district web site.
  • Teachers that wish to publish new educational web pages within the district web site are encouraged to do so, but must first consult with the District’s Communication Office.
  • Teachers are responsible for the content on their individual web pages. At the bottom of each published teacher page, it is required that there be a link to the e-mail address of the person maintaining the page with this terminology: “This page is maintained according to Guilderland Central School District web publishing guidelines by teacher e-mail address on behalf of the Guilderland Central School District.”

C. Student Web Pages – Students may create a web site as part of a class activity through an outside service provider. Unfortunately, the District will not be able to provide students with access to the District web site. Material presented on a student class activity web site must meet the educational objectives of the class activity. It will not be considered a violation of a student’s free speech to require removal of material that does not meet the educational objectives or that is in violation of the Acceptable Use Policy.

  • Student web pages must include the following disclaimer: “This is a student web page. Opinions expressed on this page shall not be attributed to the District.”
  • Students will not be allowed to submit a user authorization request form and will not be given a user name or password by Capital Region BOCES to publish their student class activity web site.
  • Should a classroom teacher wish to publish a class activity web site for his/her students, the teacher must submit a user authorization request form to the District’s Communications Office. (See item B – Teacher web Pages) The teacher will then be responsible for all content on the student site.
  • Under no circumstances should teachers give students access to their user names or passwords.
  • Student web pages will be removed at the end of the school year unless other arrangements have been made.

D. Extracurricular Organization Web Pages – With the approval of the building principal, extracurricular school organizations may establish web pages.

  • School organizations that wish to have new web pages linked to building sites must follow the same process as outlined above for teacher web pages.
  • Material presented on the organization web page must relate specifically to organization activities.
  • They must display the following disclaimer: “This is a student/school extracurricular organization web page. Opinions expressed on this page shall not be attributed to the District.”

E. PTA Web Pages – With the approval of the building principal, school PTA organizations may establish web pages.

  • PTA groups are encouraged to create a web page through Google sites. The District will house a basic page for the site, including officers, meeting dates, and a calendar of upcoming events, as well as a link to the PTA’s more in-depth web page, if established.
  • PTA groups that wish to have new web pages linked to building sites must submit an application form for site approval to the District’s Communications Office, as obtained from the Educational Technology Liaison in their respective building.

F. Web Page Design – The standards defined in this document along with the Acceptable Use Policy provisions will govern material placed on the web site. Administrators are encouraged to create sites through Google.

  1. Content Standards – Building and District Administrators or their designees are responsible for web page approval. Any individual or group who wants to author a new web page within the district web site should consult with the Communications Office. The District reserves the right to edit content or remove hyperlinks to information that does not adhere to school district policies or the web page publishing standards contained in this document.
  2. Subject Matter – All subject matter should relate to curriculum, instruction, school-authorized activities, or general information that is appropriate and of interest to others. Neither staff nor students may publish personal home pages as part of the District web site. Home pages may not be published for individuals or organizations not directly affiliated with the District.  Staff or student work may be published only as it relates to a class project, course, or other school-related activity. The author of each individual page is responsible for the subject matter contained within that page.
  3. Quality – All web page work must be free of spelling and grammatical errors. Documents may not contain objectionable material or link directly to objectionable sites. Objectionable material is defined as material that does not meet the standards for instructional resources specified by District policies.
  4. Ownership and Retention – All web pages on the District’s web site are property of the School District. Web pages will be deleted when teachers or courses are no longer associated with the District unless prior arrangements have been made with the Communications Office.
  5. Student Safeguards – In accordance with the District’s “opt-out” policy for the use of student directory information, web page documents may include a student’s full name, grade level, photograph, art work, academic interest, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, terms of school attendance and graduation, awards received, etc. unless the district has been notified in writing not to publish this information by September 15 in any given school year. If received, “opt-out” letters are kept on file by both the school building principal and the District’s Communications Office. Documents may not include student phone numbers, addresses, or names of family members and friends. Published e- mail addresses are restricted to staff members or to a general address where arriving e-mail is checked by a staff member.
  6. Technical Standards and Consistency
  • Each web page that is added to the District web site must contain certain design standards to maintain general consistency throughout the site:
  • At the bottom of each primary home page, there must be a link to the e- mail address of the person responsible for maintaining the page with this terminology: “This page is maintained according to Guilderland Central
  • School District web publishing guidelines by page author’s e-mail address on behalf of the Guilderland Central School District.” It will be that person’s responsibility to keep the web page(s) current.
  • On each page, there must be a link that returns the user to the district home page.
  • Any teacher who publishes a web page, for classroom instruction or as part of a curriculum project, will edit and test the page(s) for accuracy of links. They should also verify that the page(s) conform to the standards outlined in this document.
  • Web pages may not contain links to incomplete pages. If additional pages are anticipated, but not in final form, the text that will provide such a link should be included.  However, the actual link should not be made until the final page is actually in place on the web server.
  • All web pages must be given names that clearly identify them. Any graphics, sounds, or video used on web pages will conform to a standardized format established by the Communications Office. All images must adhere to federal accessibility guidelines.
  • Web pages may not contain any student e-mail address links.
  • Web pages will not contain copyrighted or trademarked material belonging to others unless written permission has been obtained from the owner.
  • Web page links may not include entities whose primary purpose is commercial (sales sites) or political advertising.

Updates to the Website Regulations

Given the rapid change in technological advances, some of the standards outlined in this document may require changes in the near future. The District invites and encourages feedback on these regulations so that they can continue to be improved. The Guilderland Central School District Website Regulations will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis or more frequently if required.

Revised March 14, 2011

Revised June 6, 2011

Revised November 19, 2019

Back to top of the page


4511 Textbook and/or Trade Book Selection and Adoption

TEXTBOOK AND/OR TRADE BOOK SELECTION AND ADOPTION

The Board of Education is responsible for the selection and designation of all textbooks and/or trade books to be used in the District’s schools. The Superintendent of Schools shall recommend textbooks and trade books to be used in the schools for the Board’s consideration.

The Superintendent or designee shall maintain a list of approved books.

The Superintendent shall establish procedures for the selection and recommendation of textbooks and trade books and a method for selecting staff members who shall serve in the selection and recommendation process.

The following criteria are to be considered in the selection of textbooks:

  1. a reasonable balance of viewpoints regarding controversial issues should be presented;
  2. high quality format in respect to typography, arrangement of materials or pages, cover design, size and margins;
  3. objectivity and impartiality in treatment of subject matter and freedom from bias and prejudice;
  4. qualifications of the author(s) on the subject;
  5. adaptability and alignment to existing instructional program;
  6. textbook series should meet grade-to-grade requirements. They should contain supplementary aids to learning, when desirable and necessary, such as a table of contents, introduction, study activities, exercises, questions, problems, selected references, digital resources, bibliography, index glossary and appendices;
  7. grade level appropriateness of content, vocabulary, sentence structure, and organization;
  8. texts should include appropriate illustrative materials–pictures, maps, charts, graphs, diagrams, etc., which clarify the text and enrich the content;
  9. materials should fairly represent the many ethnic and cultural groups and their contribution to American heritage;
  10. accuracy of the information presented;
  11. sufficient scope to meet the requirements of the curriculum as developed locally and approved by the State Education Department; and
  12. textbook or material should have been copyrighted within the past five years, whenever possible.

The following criteria are to be considered in the selection of literary works for classroom use in teaching, as well as the assignment of such works to particular grade levels:

  1. capacity of a work to capture student interest and promote critical thinking;
  2. thematic treatment which allows for the development of sound and healthy values for students;
  3. use of compositional style(s) which contribute to the reader’s critical and appreciative understanding of the work;
  4. sophisticated use of literary devices (i.e., metaphor, point of view, tone) to further student understanding of written concepts;
  5. levels of student maturity and experience necessary for empathetic reading of literature;
  6. intrinsic qualities that establish a work as a part of the literary heritage; and
  7. variety to avoid duplication of theme, plot, setting, etc., unless such duplication affords opportunities for comparison and contrast or serves to reinforce understanding.

Cross-ref: 1420, Complaints about Curricula or Instructional Materials Ref: Education Law §§701 et seq.; 1711; 2508; 2566

Adopted January 26, 1999
Revised and Adopted September 10, 2013
Revised and Adopted May 28, 2019

Back to top of the page


4512 Selection and Use of Nonprint Materials for the Classroom

Nonprint media – including streaming, broadcast, cable, satellite, and recorded video, film, CDROM, DVD and Internet, music video, videotape, film, radio, compact disk, and digital hypertext for personal computers are primary sources of information and recreation, as well as emotional and artistic experiences for Americans. Inasmuch as today’s children come to school from homes and communities which provide them with wide exposure to nonprint media, it is crucial that teachers draw upon this background both to recognize their students’ knowledge and to develop their students’ critical thinking about nonprint media. Students must develop the knowledge, critical awareness, and technical skills to become participants in, creators of, thinkers about, and commentators on the nonprint media that are so pervasive an influence on their lives.

This means that teachers often must use materials that, while potentially controversial, need to be examined so students can confront the stereotyping, propagandizing, and editorial gatekeeping so prevalent in the media. These materials are never selected to expose students to gratuitous violence or sexuality. Study of such materials allows students to discover that nonprint media works are constructions of reality, have commercial, ideological, and value-laden messages, and employ aesthetic forms.

PURPOSE

We affirm that the purpose of including these materials is:

  •  to support the development of students’ print literacy and appreciation of print literature by building on students’ formally and informally acquired media literacy skills;
  •  to study artistic and informative works in their own right;
  • to deepen students’ abilities to understand and to critically analyze the powerful nonprint
  • media sources of their daily information and entertainment.

PRINCIPLES

The underlying principles in forming this policy are:

  1. Students’ freedom of speech includes freedom of expression through studying, discussing, and producing nonprint media. Selected media must comply with federal copyright law and the Board of Educations’ copyright policy.
  2. Education at all levels must reflect the diversity and debate inherent in a democratic society. Well-schooled citizens are prepared to consider choices, to raise questions, to consider a spectrum of contingencies, and to develop skills and attitudes of critical analysis. This kind of education must begin early. All classrooms, therefore, need to include a variety of print and nonprint materials for students’ discovery, information seeking, and decision-making.
  3. Media arts can inspire and enlarge students’ ways of perceiving and being in the world.
  4. In a global society, nonprint media can expand students’ understanding of cultures beyond their own. Students must develop their abilities to analyze the ways the mainstream media shape their perceptions of other cultures and encounter a variety of cultural products and perspectives.
  5. Language is the means by which teachers and students construct, examine, and evaluate print and nonprint texts for practical, intellectual, and aesthetic purposes. Therefore, the classroom is an appropriate setting for the technical, aesthetic, and intellectual study of nonprint media.
  6. Selection of nonprint materials for study in schools should be the province of teachers and librarians; the selection should be based on sound educational criteria outlined in the district and school instructional goals and curriculum statements.
  7. The rating system of the Motion Picture Association of America should not be used as the primary guide in selecting films or videotapes for instruction in schools. MPAA ratings are made by the film industry expressly without regard for artistic or educational value.
  8. Intellectual development requires that students learn to dispute civilly. The teacher’s role in discussion of both print and nonprint materials is one of mediating between and among conflicting viewpoints and perceptions. Leading a class discussion of controversial topics or works does not imply endorsement or approval of views or values suggested by those works or expressed by students in discussion of those works.
  9. Research on styles of learning supports the wide use of nonprint materials in the curriculum – including opportunities for analysis and production — especially for students who find visual or auditory works the primary means for learning and personal expression.
  10. As with reading literature, the students’ prior knowledge shapes their perception of a media text; each student thus “sees” a different work. There needs to be class time for expression and discussion of a range of response to the nonprint media work
  11. When possible, artistic nonprint works should be offered to students in their entirety and in the form in which they were intended by their creators. The responsibility for media arts literacy does not rest with the individual teacher alone.

      If students are to be taught to respond intelligently to the nonprint media, the schools and communities must commit a share of their resources to this goal.

      RESPONSIBILITIES

      Responsibilities of teachers in dealing with nonprint materials include;

      1. Working with school media resource centers, librarians, and teacher colleagues to select appropriate nonprint materials for the curriculum from a wide variety of outlets and viewpoints to encourage students’ intellectual and aesthetic development.
      2. Previewing nonprint materials and providing rationales for their use.
      3. Including sufficient introductory preparation in classes dealing with material for which controversy might be expected, including careful explanation of the overriding educational purpose; scheduling time for substantial follow-up activity for students to discuss and clarify their initial responses to a media work in relation to the curricular focus; and promoting inquiry-based classroom strategies.
      4. Helping students to understand the interrelationship of nonprint and print materials, and to study the features of both.
      1. Developing techniques of leading respectful discussion and debate and resolving conflict in the classroom.
      1. Providing a cultural, historical, economic, and social context for nonprint media whenever possible.
      1. Following copyright law as it applies to nonprint media and current fair-use laws of broadcast programming for educational purposes.

      SELECTION CRITERIA

      1. When nonprint materials are used, they will connect clearly and relevantly to the course, enhancing or reinforcing student understanding of aspects of course content.
      2. Further, the nonprint materials will meet one or more of the following criteria
      1. Makes colex concepts more accessible to students than other available materials do.
      2. Generates thought and discussion regarding historical, sociological, or artistic perspectives.
      3. Illustrates techniques of media manipulation.

      3. Any nonprint media used will not contain excessive or gratuitous violence or sexual explicitness inappropriate to the age level of the student.

      PROCEDURES

      Whenever a full-length film or video program or a substantial portion of a film is used, the following procedures will apply.

      Selection Process:

      Using the Selection Criteria, teachers will select film and video programs in collaboration with their colleagues including the teacher leader, supervisor and/or principal. Others who might be involved include librarians, social workers, and parents.

      In making selections, teachers will consider educational and artistic criteria and the experience and background of their students. They will be alert to areas of sensitivity including but not limited to language, violence, drug or alcohol abuse, and sexual issues.

      Parental Notification:

      In cases where a potential controversy has been identified related to language, violence, drug and alcohol abuse or sexual issues, a summary including a brief description of the item and its relevance to the course and selection criteria will be developed.

      Parents will receive notification of all health videos and units before they are shown. Early in the school year or semester, each teacher will compile a list of all films (including MPAA ratings if available) intended for use in his or her class and provide the list and summary to parents for review.

      At all grade levels, this list and summary will be sent home with a request that parents contact the appropriate teacher should they have concerns about their child’s viewing a particular film.

      Should a film or video program that has not been included in the early list be identified as potentially controversial, another notice will be sent home with at least a two-week preview period, if possible.

      Alternatives

      Teachers will make alternative assignments for students who themselves or whose parents do not wish them to view a specific film.

      CHALLENGE PROCESS

      Persons wishing to challenge the use of materials covered by this policy are to refer to the process outlined in Policy 1420 and use the forms appended to it.

      USING EXCERPTS

      At various times, to illuminate an idea or as part of a student report, short nonprint selections may be used. Good judgment should be used in selecting these excerpts and that criteria for use will match that of this policy. While prior parental notification will not be required, students will be informed of content and allowed to briefly and easily excuse themselves from class if they so desire.

      FINAL NOTE

      The faculty and staff of Guilderland Central School District recognize that each of our students has a different level of sensitivity. As well as each teacher tries to know each individual student, we recognize that parents know them better. Therefore, we strongly encourage parents to obtain a copy of the non-print material and to review it. If parents have any questions or concerns, they are encouraged to contact their child’s teacher.

      Cross-ref: 1420, Complaints About Curricula or Instructional Materials
      4510.2, Internet and Computer Acceptable Use Policy
      8650, School District Compliance with Copyright Law

      Adopted: November 15, 1994
      Revised: January 26, 1999
      Revised, Adopted: April 9, 2013
      Revised, Adopted: October 23, 2018

      Back to top of the page


      4513 Library Materials Selection

      The Board of Education, as the governing body of the school district, is legally responsible for the selection of library materials, including the selection and approval of printed and non-printed materials for its use. Therefore, the Board directs the Superintendent to develop procedures for the selection of appropriate materials.

      Further, the Board endorses the guidelines approved by the American Library Association that such resources:

      1. provide information that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, and maturity levels of the students served;
      1. provide information that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and ethical standards;
      1. provide information that will enable students to make intelligent judgments in their daily lives;
      1. provide information and guidance on opposing sides of controversial issues so that young citizens may develop the practice of critical reading and thinking;
      1. provide information representative of the many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups and their contributions to our American heritage; and
      1. place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the selection of materials of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection appropriate for the users of the library.

      These guidelines should be consistent with the district’s Instructional Goals, as stated in Policy 4000.

      Every reasonable effort shall be made to assure that library resource materials represent the most current information available in the subjects represented in the curriculum.

      Complaints or challenges to the selection of library materials should be made in accordance with current Board policy.

      Cross-ref: 1420-R, Complaints about Curricula or Instructional Materials
      Ref: Education Law §§1709(15); 1711(5)(f)
      Board of Educ., Island Trees UFSD v. Pico, 457 US 853 (1982)

      Adopted March 24, 1998
      Adopted September 10, 2013
      Revised, Adopted July 2, 2019

      Back to top of the page


      4526.1 Internet Safety

      The Board of Education in accordance with the Children=s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act requires that the District educate, supervise and monitor the appropriate use by students of the District=s online computer network and access to the Internet.
      All District computers and electronic devices with Internet access to be used by or with students, shall be equipped with technology protection measures or Internet filters. This protection will block or filter inappropriate material or pictures that are obscene, pornographic or images harmful to minors. Internet access to all newly acquired computers and electronic devices will have filtering or blocking technology installed. This shall be configured and documented by the Technology Department. Access to specific websites may be enabled for staff and/or students on an individual basis for bona fide research or other lawful purpose. Requests for access to specific websites that are otherwise blocked shall be made to the Superintendent or his/her designated technology leaders.
      The District, through its staff members, technology and systems reviews, shall monitor online activities of students while in school, including, but not limited to use of e-mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct communication or instant messaging. Monitoring shall also be used for supervision and to prevent hacking and other unlawful activities by students, and to ensure access to materials harmful to minors is denied.
      All District Internet users, including staff and students, are prohibited from the unauthorized disclosure, use or dissemination of personal identification information regarding students.
      Staff shall be responsible for educating students on appropriate online behavior, including safety on the Internet, appropriate behavior while online, on social networking Web sites and in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and response, in accordance with the District’s Acceptable Use Policy (4510.2) for Student Computer and Internet Use.
      Any user who receives harassing, threatening or unwelcome communications shall immediately bring them to the attention of a teacher, building administrator or superintendent, as appropriate.
      Any violation of this policy may result in the revocation of the use of the District’s computer systems and access to the internet, disciplinary proceedings and/or referral to law enforcement officials.
      Adopted December 8, 2015
      Revised, Adopted January 9, 2018

      Back to top of the page


      4526.1.R Internet Safety-Regulation

      The following rules and regulations implement the Internet Safety Policy adopted by the Board of Education to make safe for children the use of district computers for access to the Internet and World Wide Web.

      I. Definitions

      In accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act,

      • Child pornography refers to any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where (a) the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; (b) such visual depiction is a digital image, computer image, or computer-generated image that is, or is indistinguishable from that of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or (c) such visual depiction has been created, adapted or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
      • Harmful to minors means any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that (a) taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion; (b) depicts, describes or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals; and (c) taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors.

      II. Blocking and Filtering Measures

      • The Superintendent or his or her designee shall secure information about, and ensure the purchase or provision of, a technology protection measure that blocks access from all district computers to visual depictions on the Internet and World Wide Web that are obscene, child pornography or harmful to minors
      • The district’s computer network coordinator shall be responsible for ensuring the installation and proper use of any Internet blocking and filtering technology protection measure obtained by the district.
      • The computer network coordinator or his or her designee may disable or relax the district’s Internet blocking and filtering technology measure only for adult staff members conducting research related to their official responsibilities.
      • The computer network coordinator shall monitor the online activities of adult staff members for whom the blocking and filtering technology measure has been disabled or reduced to ensure there is not access to visual depictions that are obscene or child pornography.

      III. Monitoring of Online Activities

      • The district’s computer network coordinator shall be responsible for monitoring to ensure that the online activities of staff and students are consistent with the district’s Internet Safety Policy and this regulation. He or she may inspect, copy, review, and store at any time, and without prior notice, any and all usage of the district’s computer network for accessing the Internet and World Wide Web and direct electronic communications, as well as any and all information transmitted or received during such use. All users of the district’s computer network shall have no expectation of privacy regarding any such materials.
      • Except as otherwise authorized under the district’s Computer Network or Acceptable Use Policy, students may use the district’s computer network to access the Internet and World Wide Web only during supervised class time, study periods or at the school library, and exclusively for research related to their course work.
      • Staff supervising students using district computers shall help to monitor student online activities to ensure students access the Internet and World Wide Web, and/or participate in authorized forms of direct electronic communications in accordance with the district’s Internet Safety Policy and this regulation.
      • The district’s computer network coordinator shall monitor student online activities to ensure students are not engaging in hacking (gaining or attempting to gain unauthorized access to other computers or computer systems), and other unlawful activities.

      IV. Training

      • The district’s computer network coordinator shall provide training to staff and students on the requirements of the Internet Safety Policy and this regulation at the beginning of each school year.
      • The training of staff and students shall highlight the various activities prohibited by the Internet Safety Policy, and the responsibility of staff to monitor student online activities to ensure compliance.
      • The district shall provide age-appropriate instruction to students regarding appropriate online behavior. Such instruction shall include, but not be limited to: positive interactions with others online, including on social networking sites and in chat rooms; proper online social etiquette; protection from online predators and personal safety; and how to recognize and respond to cyberbullying and other threats.
      • Students shall be directed to consult with their classroom teacher if they are unsure whether their contemplated activities when accessing the Internet or Worldwide Web are directly related to their course work.
      • Staff and students will be advised not to disclose, use or disseminate personal information about students when accessing the Internet or engaging in authorized forms of direct electronic communications.
      • Staff and students will also be informed of the range of possible consequences attendant to a violation of the Internet Safety Policy and this regulation.

      V. Reporting of Violations

      • Violations of the Internet Safety Policy and this regulation by students and staff shall be reported to the Building Principal.
      • The Principal shall take appropriate corrective action in accordance with authorized disciplinary procedures.

      VI. Consequences

      Consequences may include, but are not limited to, the revocation of computer access privileges, school suspension in the case of students and disciplinary charges in the case of teachers, and/or referral to law enforcement officers.

      Reviewed/Adopted January 9, 2018

      Back to top of the page


      4531 Field Trips and Excursions

      The Board of Education recognizes that field trips are an educationally sound and important ingredient in the instructional program of the schools.
      For the purposes of this policy, a field trip occurs when students leave school grounds under the supervision of district staff for an educational purpose. There are two types of field trips: curricular and extracurricular. An excursion is a school-related trip that may not necessarily have an educational purpose (class trip, athletic team). A trip organized by an independent agent outside the aegis of the school district is considered a non-school sponsored trip.
      Each student must secure the permission of his/her parent or guardian before participating in such activity. Only Guilderland C.S.D. students may participate in school-sponsored trips.
      Student transportation for all field trips and/or excursions shall be provided for through the use of district owned school buses or licensed public carriers meeting all applicable State regulations.
      At least one bus driver must remain with the school buses at all times.

      Curricular Field Trips

      Curricular field trips are those in which all students are expected to participate as an assignment of the course or class. These trips may occur during or after the school day. Expenses, except for food, are to be paid by the school district.

      Extracurricular Field Trips/Excursion

      All other student trips, which are directly related to a school class, club, or team, are considered extracurricular or excursions. These include trips by an entire grade level, a class, a club, an athletic team, and in some instances, a performing group (band, orchestra, chorus, drama). Expenses associated with these trips may be paid by the school. However, when a trip is beyond the scope of a group’s regular activity, students may be required to provide all or part of the fees and expenses. Occasionally the mode of transportation, facilities, or nature of the trip limits the number of students who may participate. In such a case, a fair and equitable selection process will be established.

      A field trip must be reasonable in terms of time, distance, and cost.

      Field trips are considered a part of the curriculum of the schools and attendance on field trips is governed by the same rules as attendance in regular classrooms activities.

      Field trip support shall be determined annually by the Board of Education during its budget deliberations. Regardless of the fiscal support for field trips, the rules of the District for approval and conduct of such trips shall apply. All overnight and out of state field trips must be submitted to the Superintendent of School at least 30 days prior to the scheduled date of the field trip. Other field trips will be approved by the sponsoring faculty member’s immediate supervisor and/or the building principal. Approval will be based on the following criteria:

      a) The objectives of the trip are specifically related to the curriculum, co-curricular experience or interscholastic events;
      b) The total ongoing school program will not be adversely affected by participation of staff and students participating in the field trip;
      c) The planning of the trip provides for the safety and access of students;
      d) Appropriate educational experiences will be provide for those eligible students who do not participate in curriculum-related field trips on scheduled school days;
      e) The proposed program is feasible within the time allotted;
      f) The financial impact including impact on school community and family resources will be considered. No student shall be excluded from a field trip for financial reasons;
      g) The planning of the field trip provides for appropriate student supervision.

      The Superintendent will develop appropriate procedures pursuant to this policy.

      Code of Conduct

      Each student is expected to comply with all rules and regulations set forth in the Guilderland C.S.D. Code of Conduct and must meet the behavioral standards set forth below to be eligible to participate in field trips:

      1. the student displays responsibility toward property;
      2. the student demonstrates appropriate manners and politeness in group situations;
      3. the student follows directions when instructed; and
      4. the student can be trusted to behave properly.

      In agreement with the building principal, the student’s teacher shall be responsible for determining whether the student meets these criteria. If, in the teacher’s judgment, the student does not meet the standards of behavior, the child=s teacher may deny the student the opportunity to participate on a particular trip if a parent/guardian cannot accompany the student.

      Supervision

      Students must be adequately supervised at all times. The teacher(s) organizing the trip are responsible to communicate clearly to students and chaperones the rules and regulations of the trip.

      The Board of Education does not endorse, support, or assume liability in any way for any staff member who takes students on trips that have not been appropriately approved.
      Travel for the purposes of competition or performance associated with a club or group sanctioned by the District shall not be considered a field trip. Examples of such travel include, but are not limited to participation in interscholastic sports, participation in All-State music performances, academic competitions such as Math League, etc. Such travel shall be subject to Superintendent approval when travel is overnight, out-of-state or over 100 miles, one-way.

      Adopted April 13, 1999
      Revised June 8, 1999
      Revised and Adopted November 27, 2001
      Revised and Adopted July 5, 2011
      Revised and Adopted October 22, 2013
      Revised and Adopted November 1, 2016

      Non-school-sponsored Trips:

      Acting as independent agents outside the aegis of the District, staff members sometimes organize and conduct non-school trips that involve Guilderland students. Requirements for using district facilities for organizing such non-school trips are the same as for other non-school based groups are delineated in the Building Use Policy 1500.

      Back to top of the page


      4531-R Field Trips and Excursions Regulations

      The following guidelines will be used when considering field trip proposals, whether for an extended or day trip:

      1. All curricular and extracurricular trips must have a well-defined educational purpose appropriate to the student group(s).
      2. The itinerary and arrangements shall clearly reflect the purpose of the trip. Expectations for both students and chaperones will be clearly defined before the trip.
      3. School-sponsored activities for students to earn money to pay for an extended trip should be made available so that no student is excluded because of cost. With few exceptions, ordinary (day) field trips will not require fund raising. Typically, fund-raising activities for field trips should take place at times other than the instructional day. (See Policies 1510, Public Sales on School Property, and 5660, Student Gifts and Solicitations.)
      4. Before any trip is scheduled, the school district calendar should be reviewed to avoid conflicts with already scheduled events such as school/grade level testing and review programs, other major school activities and events, and religious holidays.
      5. Appropriate supervision will be provided for each field trip, as determined by the Principal.
      6. Written parental authorization is required prior to participation. This authorization shall include a release for emergency medical treatment.
      7. In the event that existing school district liability insurance is not applicable, additional coverage must be provided by the student=s parents/guardians.
      8. A “Field Trip Request Form” must be submitted to the Principal for approval at least two weeks prior to the trip via the department supervisor before commitments are made for the trip.
      9. Overnight, out-of-state and trips over 100 miles, one-way, must be submitted to the Superintendent of Schools for approval. School-sponsored international trips must be approved by the Superintendent and Board of Education.
      10. Students, staff and chaperones are representatives of the Guilderland Central School District and shall adhere to the rules and regulations in the Guilderland C.S.D. Code of Conduct and conduct themselves in a manner that will bring credit to the school and community. Rules in student and staff handbooks shall apply.
      11. When school-sponsored international trips are planned, the sponsor and building administrator must present all appropriate information to the Superintendent for his/her review and to the Board of Education for approval prior to the collection of any monies and/or commitment required from students or parents.
      12. Recognizing that return times can vary significantly from those published prior to the trips beginning, it is essential that staff members have in place a method to notify parents so that there is a good match between arrival of returning buses and parents at the return site.
      13. When staff act as independent agents outside the aegis of the District to organize and conduct non-school trips that involve Guilderland students (i.e. international travel through travel agents such as EFT Tours), all planning and organizing of these non-school trips must occur outside work hours. If school buildings are used for planning or organizations meetings, approval must be secured through the “Building Use” request process. No school supplies, materials or equipment may be used for preparation or dissemination of trip information. However, informational brochures or posters may be made available in corridors or administrative offices. No school or class records, lists, or rosters may be used in the planning or recruitment process.

      Note: Prior regulation, Policy Manual, Administrative Regulations, revised
      Reviewed March 23, 1999
      Revised July 5, 2011
      Revised November 1, 2016

      Back to top of the page


      4531.1-R Foreign Travel Regulation

      On the recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools, the Board of Education has the authority to approve foreign travel by students and staff in support of academic studies which are supplemental to the curriculum offered at the district. The following administrative procedures shall support and govern the district’s foreign travel program.

      1. Foreign travel desired by staff and/or students will be submitted to the Superintendent prior to the first week of October of an academic year: Plans for the implementation of such travel should not begin until approval is received in writing by the staff member requesting such travel.
      2. Foreign travel by students accompanied by staff will be permitted during the vacation periods of the academic year and shall not cause students to miss more than a total of two school days, either before or after the vacation period.
      3. Foreign travel endorsed by the district under numbers 1 and 2 above will only include students who are enrolled in the district and staff who are employees of the district. Other adults and students may not be a component of such travel.
      4. Regular meetings in preparation of such travel will be developed and held by the teachers who are to be involved with the trip. The coordinator and the Superintendent must be informed of each one of these preparatory meetings and may attend at their discretion. The Superintendent may send a representative to those meetings.
      5. Unless otherwise approved by the Superintendent, each enrollment of 15 students to embark on such travel will be accompanied by one faculty member approved by the administration.
      6. Transportation from the district to the disembarkation airport will be in a similar manner as all field trips are handled during the course of the school year.
      7. In the event that it is essential that a staff member be absent from official days of school to complete such foreign travel commitment, he/she will be responsible for securing the substitute teacher for his/her academic classes. Payment to such substitute will be the responsibility of the school district. The name of the substitute secured must be submitted to the Superintendent for approval 20 school days prior to the day/days of absence anticipated by the staff member.
      8. Students, who of necessity, and approved by the Superintendent, must miss scheduled classes because of such foreign travel, will be held fully responsible for the work completed in such classes during their period of absence. Only students in good academic standing will be allowed access to the provisions of this policy.

      9. Students and/or staff, who must, of necessity, and approved by the Superintendent, miss school days because of such foreign travel will not be charged with a day of absence. Students will be marked as on an educational trip and staff as accompanying such opportunities.
      10. School District Insurance Coverage – Student Travel/Exchange Program

      The district will provide the following insurance coverage to afford the school district appropriate protection in regard to foreign travel for students/staff in accord with this policy.
      a. The district’s existing general and excess liability policies will apply in the same manner to foreign travel, covering the district, board of education, staff and volunteers. If required, a separate liability policy for student travel will be obtained providing the same coverage and limits as the district’s existing liability policies.
      b. The school district’s liability policy will apply on a world-wide basis. The insurance company must receive prior notice from the administration specifically noting the countries to be included. Such notification is to be provided to the insurance company 90 days prior to the embarkation date.
      c. Parents will be notified of any coverage offered by the travel company for their consideration, if the district is so notified.

      Further, parents will be encouraged to contact their health insurance carrier to confirm the coverage for their children in the country to which they will travel.
      d. Insurance coverage, whether for liability or trip accident, applies only to those persons identified in the policies. Other parties are welcome to purchase insurance coverage on their own.
      11. The office of the Superintendent may exercise discretion to limit foreign travel should the circumstances of “world conditions” be evaluated to be “unsafe.”

      Adopted July 5, 2011
      Revised and Adopted October 18, 2011

      Back to top of the page


      4532 School Volunteers

      The Board of Education recognizes that the use of volunteers strengthens school/community relations through positive participation, builds an understanding of school programs among interested citizens, and can assist district employees and benefit students by providing more individualized and enriched opportunities in instruction. Volunteers are defined as individuals who provide assistance in the school setting. The definition does not include visitors who come to the school setting to observe activities and who are covered under Board

      Policy 5300.65. The Board encourages volunteers from all backgrounds and age groups who are willing to share their time, training, experience or personal characteristics to benefit the students of the district.

      Volunteers may be involved in many facets of school operations, from mentor/tutor relationships and clerical tasks to chaperoning field trips. Volunteers shall not be used to provide transportation for school-sponsored activities.

      No volunteer shall be permitted to have unsupervised direct contact with students unless otherwise authorized by the building principal or his/her designee.

      School personnel who are responsible for tasks or projects that involve the use of volunteers shall identify appropriate tasks and time schedules for such volunteer activities, as well as make provisions for adequate supervision.

      Persons wishing to volunteer must contact the Building Principal or classroom teacher and must complete a volunteer application form for the building principal to review and approve.

      Volunteers must also sign a confidentiality statement. The application and confidentiality statement must be completed annually.

      The district shall retain a complete record of all information obtained through the application process for the same period of time it retains information regarding district employees.

      All volunteers are required to act in accordance with district policies, regulations and school rules. Any staff member who supervises volunteers may ask any volunteer who violates district policies, regulations or school rules to leave school grounds.

      School volunteers may not access student personally identifiable information, except if permitted under policy 5500, Student Records.

      Each Building Principal shall be responsible for maintaining a current and complete record of all active volunteers.

      Cross-ref: 5500, Student Records
      4532-E.1 Application for Volunteers
      4532-E.2 Student Privacy and Confidentiality Agreement for District Volunteers
      5300.65 Visitors to Schools
      5300.65-R Visitors to Schools Regulation

      Ref: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, as amended, 20 USC §1232g; 34 CFR 99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)

      Adopted July 2, 2019

      Back to top of the page


      4532-E.1 School Volunteers-Exhibit (Application for Volunteers)

      Download the application for volunteers form.

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


      4532-E.2 Student Privacy and Confidentiality Agreement for District Volunteers

      Download the agreement form.

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


      4533 Policy on Additional High School Course Options

      In addition to the core curriculum option, there are other approaches for students to earn credit toward high school graduation. These include: a) credit by examination; b) independent study; college course work; d) internships and e) credit recovery programs. In addition, a student may with permission choose to audit a course. Prior approval is required to pursue these alternative approaches. School Counselors are encouraged to notify students of these opportunities.

      Auditing a Course

      A course audited is listed on the permanent record as an “audit” with no credit issued. Students may audit courses under special circumstances as classroom space allows. The “Audit Course Request” form is available from the school counselor listing the details and stipulations. This document must be signed by the student, parent, and department supervisor prior to the beginning of the course.

      Credit by Examination

      Students who have not completed the generally expected units of study (based on the traditional seat time and successfully adhering to the course requirements) may be admitted to a checkpoint exam, Regents examination, or for the purpose of demonstrating academic proficiency acquired through independent, out of school, or other study. Students may be admitted to such an examination only upon the determination by the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee, with the understanding that the student will benefit academically by exercising this option.

      Such credit can be included toward the completion of a sequence and graduation requirements.

      In the case of the science Regents examinations, the student must meet the laboratory requirement before admission to the examination. This requirement can be met through industrial and commercial experiences or by completing the necessary number of school laboratory exercises.

      Source: NYS School Administrator’s Manual, 2001 Edition

      Independent Study (Students Not Enrolled in Courses of Study)

      Independent study, for credit will be available to meet special individual needs of students in grades nine (9) through twelve (12). Credit shall be granted only for courses in the approved curriculum. Request for independent study must be made to the teacher and department supervisor, and approved by the student’s school counselor and the high school principal.

      In addition, under New York State guidelines, a student may earn up to a maximum of 6 ½ units of credit without completing the units of study requirement. In order to earn such credit, the student must satisfy each of the criteria listed below:

      Based on the student’s academic performance, the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee, must determine that the student will benefit academically by exercising this alternative.

      The student must pass an oral examination or successfully complete a special project to demonstrate proficiency in the subject area as determined by the principal or his/her designee.

      The student must achieve a score of at least 85, or its equivalent as determined by the Commissioner on a State-developed examination.

      The student must attend school, or have received substantially equivalent instruction elsewhere, in accordance with Section 3202 of the Education Law, until the age of 16, pursuant to Sections 3204 and 3205 of the Education Law.

      Source: NYS School Administrator’s Manual, 2001 Edition

      College Course Work

      Advanced Placement classes and Syracuse University Project Advance (SUPA) courses are offered at Guilderland High School. Depending on the college/ university, college credit may be granted in addition to meeting the high school course requirements. Other college course options may be considered at the student’s request. With permission of the principal, students may also earn high school credit by successfully completing college courses. Final approval from the principal must be granted before enrolling in the specified course.

      Note: The high school principal may consider other enrichment course options offered at colleges/universities for high school credit if requested in advance by students.

      Internships

      The Guilderland High School instructional program does include opportunities for internships. Such possibilities are typically linked, but not limited to programs in Career Exploration Internship Program (CEIP), or other School-To-Career options. Students are encouraged to contact their guidance counselor or cooperating teacher to pursue a structured internship leading to course credit.

      Credit Recovery

      Guilderland High School provides opportunity for students who have failed to achieve the requirements in a course of study with the means to make up pertinent course and learning work. To receive credit, the student shall successfully complete a district approved credit recovery program and demonstrate mastery of the learning standards for the subject.

      Cross References: High School Graduation Requirements (Policy #4770) Annual Guilderland High School Curriculum Guide

      Adopted February 12, 2002

      Revised and Adopted October 22, 2013

      Revised and Adopted November 19, 2019

      Back to top of the page


      4710 Student Assessment and Grade Reporting Systems

      The Guilderland Central School District places strong value on its students and their development as learners. The challenge of creating quality student assessment and reporting systems is to balance reporting needs with instructional purposes. No one method of student assessment and grade reporting serves all purposes well. Under this premise, it is the intent of this policy to have a multi-faceted, comprehensive reporting system. Our approach to student assessment and grade reporting is designed to:

      • communicate the achievements of students to parents and others;
      • give information that students can use for self-evaluation
      • provide incentives for students to learn
      • identify students for different educational options; and
      • evaluate program effectiveness

      The Board of Education realizes that classroom teachers have the primary responsibility to evaluate students and determine student grades and/or progress. Student assessment and grade reporting are intended to be positive tools that indicate to parents, the student, and teaching staff the level of performance and development in each class or subject area in which a student is enrolled. At all levels within our school system, teachers are expected to identify grade level or course expectations, the evidence that they will use to verify that learning has occurred, and what criteria they will use to judge that evidence. This approach should be communicated to students and parents.
      The Board of Education recognizes that students are individuals with their own abilities and capabilities. The district will utilize a local grading or progress monitoring system appropriate to elementary, middle, and high school levels. Information will be reported in a variety of ways. In addition to formal report card grades or progress reports, feedback about student performance will include parent conferences, telephone and/or email contacts, standardized test score results, etc. Student assessment and grade reporting should relate to learning criteria based on the following guidelines:

      a) Product Criteria: Focus on what students know and are able to do at that time, typically through examination scores, quiz results, overall assessments, or other culminating demonstrations of learning.
      b) Process Criteria: Student assessment and grade reporting should reflect not just the final results but also how students got there. This takes into consideration overall effort, homework completion, and class participation.
      c) Progress Criteria: Considers how much students have gained from their learning experiences.

      Adopted December 10, 2002
      Revised and Adopted April 8, 2014

      Back to top of the page


      4710-R Student Assessment and Grading Systems Regulation

      I. Elementary School

      A. General Guidelines

      The elementary school program is designed to develop students’ confidence as learners, to instill a love of learning, and to help them develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to communicate effectively, understand the world around them, and participate fully in a democratic society.

      Elementary progress reports are shared with parents four times per year. The report card is designed to share information about student’s strengths and challenges in performing to high expectations. Our progress report is standards-aligned, which means it describes what a student should know and be able to do at each grade level and in all subjects; it also provides information on students’ work habits, behavior, and effort.

      Parent conferences are held two times per year in Kindergarten, and grades 1 and 2. For grades 3 through 5, conferences are held once in the fall with an additional day in the spring should parents or teachers request it. Parent-teacher conferences may be scheduled at other times of the year as well.

      In addition to progress reports and parent conferences, there are several other sources of assessment that are part of the overall reporting system. These components include grade level testing required by New York State, reading benchmark assessments, writing folders and portfolios, Open House programs, learning fairs where student work is displayed, long-term projects, classroom assessments, daily work samples, etc. Regardless of the form , our assessment and reporting systems is designed to provide important information about each student’s progress so that students, families and teachers can work together to set meaningful goals for improvement and growth.

      II. Middle School

      A. General Guidelines

      1. The Middle School has a numerical grading system based on 0 to 100 point scale with 65% considered passing

      2. Report card grades are based on tests, homework, classroom participation, projects and assignments. Although there is much similarity in the way teachers assess student performance, here are some differences based on value assigned to each of the various grading components.

      3. A comment section relating to student participation in class, attitude toward work and thoroughness in preparation of homework assignments will appear in a separately marked column for the marking period as part of each report card. Additional feedback in the form of specific comments from teachers to their students and parents is strongly encouraged, particularly in cases where students are not performing up to their potential. Completion of this section by the teacher is strongly recommended but not mandatory for each student.

      4. There will be a minimum of ten grades per quarter. Supervised tests and quizzes in class, and in some cases, work to be completed outside of class such as a writing assignment (in English / language arts), an oral report, or a student project may be used. The various tests, quizzes, and projects used in determining the student’s grades will be proportionally averaged so that the final mark is indicative of the student’s achievement in relationship to the objectives of the course. Each teacher will have a written grading policy to be shared with parents and students.

      5. Make-up procedures and incomplete grades:

      • Students who are absent must make special arrangements to complete any work missed;
      • Every effort should be made for students to take a make-up test within one week of the time the student returns to school.
      • Students must complete work in a manner such that incomplete grades can be converted to grades within two weeks after the end of the marking period date. Teachers must enter a grade within this two week window.
      • In the event that a student misses a final exam but will return to school prior to the half- day sessions in June, the teacher should arrange for the student to take the exams.
      • If the student misses a final exam but will not be returning to school, then the teacher must notify the Guidance Office and submit a copy of the final exam, answer key, and any supporting materials. The House Office will arrange make-up times for those students who miss exams after the half-day sessions.

      B. Grading System

      1. Regular Classes

      Some teachers assign numerical grades to each completed piece of student work, then calculate a numerical average for the quarter and for each marking period. Others use a check, check-plus, check-minus system. There is no requirement that one system be used by all. Any system that is fair, explainable and reflective of the relative accomplishment of students is acceptable. Whatever the approach for student grading and assessment, the practice will be communicated to students and parents.

      A student’s growth and progress are assessed on a quarterly basis using a 0-100 numerical scale with 65% considered passing. A minimum of a 50% will be given to all students for the first three quarters in order to promote student academic success.

      Calculating the Final Average: Final grades are determined from the quarterly grades.

      • For year long courses, the final grade is the average of the four marking periods.
      • In classes where final examinations are given, the exams count as 20% of the final ten-week mark. Eighth grade students take several State tests starting in January and ending in June. These are not used in grade computation.
      • Students taking high school courses at the middle school have four quarterly numeric grades. Students taking high school courses at the middle school have four quarterly grades. Whenever a final assessment grade (Regents, Local Final Exam, or Project) is used, it may be applied up to a value of 20% for a final average calculation. This will be consistent with the practice applied for the same course at the high school level. This final mark and the percentage of the final grade will be specified by the department and with approval of the appropriate administrator.
      • In each course, the passing grade is 65%. A minimum grade of 50% will be given for the first three quarters in order to promote student success. Academic intervention support and assistance will be a high priority for these students whose grades are in danger of failing a course.
      • When the final average is computed in June, the computer program will automatically calculate the average based on the grades available. Teachers who wish to override the computer, must fill out an override form documenting reasons and complete the final average themselves.
      • In some rare cases, students/courses are graded with an S/U or Pass/Fail sequence (i.e., some non-English speaking students). The computer will NOT compute final course averages correctly in these cases. A teacher must determine the final average and notify the students House Principal and Guidance Counselor so the resulting “S” or “U” can be noted in the “Average” column.

      2. Additional Grading Systems
      a. Student Assessment in Other Disciplines, grades 6-8
      1. Art, Health, Home and Career Skills, Technology Education, General Music: Courses in these areas vary in length in the different grades. Some courses run for ten weeks, others for twenty weeks.
      2. Interim progress reports (generally at the mid-point) must be sent to students not making an effort in class. The teacher has the option to send Interim Progress Reports for those students who are making an effort and doing well.
      3. At the completion of a ten or twenty-week course, a final grade will be included on the report card.

      b. Student Assessment in Physical Education
      1. In compliance with the district policy on Student Assessment and Grade Reporting Systems and the New York State Physical Education Assessment guidelines, the Farnsworth Middle School Physical Education Department continues to adopt and implement strategies to meet the framework of the NYS Standards.
      2. Understanding the three standards as they apply to physical education, the curriculum is designed to assess student outcomes in alignment with the performance rubrics that are clearly stated for each unit. Performance rubrics are set to assess each child=s skill level, effort/behavior, and knowledge of rules and strategies for each unit taught. A student will receive a numerical grade of a four down to a zero {four being the highest and zero the lowest}, for each performance rubric during every unit. Each unit taught in a particular semester is than calculated giving an overall grade for that semester or year.

      c. Grading of New Entrants
      If grades are available from the former school, these will be interpreted by the guidance department, administration and department supervisor to arrive at ten-week grades compatible with our grading system.

      If there are no grades available for the missing marking periods, no grades will be given for these missing marks until completion of the fourth marking period. At this time, the grades for the marking periods present will be averaged and this average will constitute the grades for the missing period.

      If students are enrolled during a ten-week period and are present for 50% of the time, they will receive a grade based on their achievement while attending Farnsworth Middle School.

      C. Parent Communication
      1. Communication to students and parents about student performance occurs on a regular basis. Report cards are sent home every ten weeks according to the schedule on the school calendar. Interim reports are available at 5 week intervals between report cards. These interim progress reports are only sent home upon parental request. Our School Tool parent portal has weekly assignment grades posted for parent and student view. Interim progress report grades are calculated by averaging daily assignment totals and are made available every five weeks. Questions regarding grades should be addressed to individual teachers.
      2. Conferences: If parents or teachers wish to schedule a conference, they should arrange the dates through the House Principals office. Conferences may be scheduled with individual teachers or the full team. Team planning time will constitute the major portion of time devoted to teacher/parent conferences, especially when all team teachers are at the meeting.
      3. Criteria for Substantial Fall-Off Determination: Each teacher will make contact with a parent whenever any substantial fall-off in a student’s performance or achievement occurs. The purpose is to inform parents of the situation and to consult with them toward a cooperative action to remedy the situation.

      Substantial fall-off in student performance is defined as follows:
      a. When the student’s performance (class participation, homework, projects, assignments, quizzes, reports, and the like) has deteriorated to the extent that there will be a 10 point decline in the student’s class average or
      b. When it appears that the child will receive a 65% or lower during the marking period in which he/she enters a new grade.

      4. These procedures will be followed in contacting parents to report substantial fall-off:
      a. Teacher: Initial contact with the parent should be immediately made by the teacher. The teacher should offer to set up a conference if the parent desires and inform the counselor.
      b. Counselor: The counselor will discuss the student’s fall-off with the teacher to determine appropriate assistance that can be provided.
      c. Department Supervisor: The department supervisor will review the report cards and student fall-off records to ensure that parents have been informed of the drop in student performance.

      D. End of the Year Reporting

      An End-of-the-Year Grade Reporting booklet will be distributed in June to assist teachers in finalizing grades for the year.

      Teachers are to submit all grade books to their department supervisor on the last day of school. Supervisors will forward the books to the Guidance Office. Teachers should CLEARLY LABEL the following:

      a. Fourth Quarter Section;
      b. Final Test Grade;
      c. Final Average.

      In addition, in their grade books, teachers shall clarify their formula for calculating fourth quarter and final grades. The guidance counselor, supervisor, and/or administrator must be able to recalculate a student’s grade from the grade book. Grade books will be clearly marked with the teacher’s name in the upper right corner.

      III. High School

      The school district recognizes that no one method of student assessment and grade reporting system can be all encompassing. The information outlined below is a starting point for the multi-faceted, comprehensive reporting system that we strive to achieve because it is a critical element for students, parents, and staff in the overall educational process. Student assessment and grade reporting is considered a positive tool to measure growth, progress, and the development of the student. One of several important components of student assessment and grading systems is the student’s report card. Another key component for secondary students is the web-based parent portal that provides a secure access point for both parents and students to get current information about students’ progress.

      A. General Guidelines

      All teachers must provide students with a written grading policy within 10 days from the beginning of the course. This information is to be shared with parents as part of the first Open House/Parents’ Night held in the fall. This information will help to solidify the high school’s academic expectations. A teacher’s grading policy should address the following areas: class attendance, class participation, homework, tests, quizzes, projects, working with others, class notes, and, if applicable, extra credit (see sample exhibit 4710-E). Should a student’s performance decline dramatically over a two-week period (generally meant to be a decline of 10 points or in the student’s average), the teacher is expected to make every effort to contact a parent/guardian as soon as possible.
      The following are guidelines regarding averaging and maintaining marks for students:

      1. All marks assigned to students must be arrived at through a justifiable system clearly evident in the teacher’s marking book.
      2. With the exception of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) courses, marks in courses are given in units of one (e.g., 80 or 81 or 82, etc.).
      3. Teachers MUST show at least one grade a week for all students in their grading book. A minimum of nine marks must be evident in computing the nine-week average.
      4. The grade may be the result of tests, quizzes, projects, class participation, or homework.
      5. In computing the final mark for the course, teacher shall observe these guidelines:
      a. Students taking high school courses have four quarterly grades. Whenever a final assessment grade (Regents, Local Final Exam, or Project) is used, it may be applied up to a value of 20% for a final average calculation. This will be applied consistently for all sections of a like course at the high school level. This final mark and the percentage of the final grade will be specified by the department and with approval of the appropriate administrator.

      b. The marks of two marking periods are averaged for semester-length courses. Whenever a final assessment grade(Local Final Exam, or Project) is used, it may be applied up to a value of 20% for a final average calculation. This will be applied consistently for all sections of a like course at the high school level. This final mark and the percentage of the final grade will be specified by the department and with approval of the appropriate administrator.

      6. Comments are to be used on the report cards as often as possible. Additional feedback in the form of specific comments from teachers to their students and parents is strongly encouraged, particularly in cases where students are not performing up to their potential.
      7. A minimum final grade of 65 is required to receive course credit. A grade of 64 is not to be used for a marking period or a final grade.
      8. Students’ overall average (GPA) is calculated before the start of the senior year and again in June of the senior year. Students will be notified of their GPA through a letter from the school counseling staff at those two points in time. Averages are based on all high school courses that are assigned a numerical grade. Each student’s cumulative academic average is computer without regard to weighting. High school credit bearing courses from eighth grade (i.e. mathematics, science, second language, and art) are also included in the computation.

      Parents and students are welcome to visit the Counseling Office at any time to review a student’s cumulative record in planning for the future.

      B. Additional Grading Procedures: Incomplete, Medical, Minimum, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

      1. Incomplete: Students may receive an “INC,” incomplete, as a grade if they have missed classes in the weeks just prior to the end of a marking period, thereby missing assignments or tests during that time.
      a. Purpose: Students need a reasonable amount of time to complete work missed at the end of a marking period without jeopardizing their performance during the new marking period.
      b. Procedure: If students are absent just prior to the end of the marking period and missed tests, quizzes and/or assignments, the teacher may record “I” (incomplete), with appropriate comments, on the report card for that quarter. Students should make up the work as soon as possible, but can have no more than five weeks to make up the work not completed during that time. Third quarter work must be made up within four weeks. Parents can view the completion of incomplete work and the conversion to an actual grade on the portal.

      c. Assignments not made up, may be averaged in as zero for the work not completed to determine the average for the quarter which must be reported to the parents by the end of five weeks.

      2. Medical: “M” may be used to denote medical reasons for a student’s absences which exceed 10 consecutive school days, resulting in the inability to compute a fair grade.
      a. Purpose: In cases where there are long-term illnesses or accidents and students cannot complete the course requirements, an alternative means of grading may be necessary.
      b. Procedure: Students with long-term illnesses (11 days or more) will be given
      “MED,” not a grade, only with the approval of the Principal or his/her designee. In June, the teacher will average the other marking period grades and substitute that average for the “M,” except for seniors, whose substitution will be done at the middle of the 4th quarter for final rank and average.

      If a fair grade can be computed prior to the end of the year, a true grade may be entered for the marking period(s) involved as soon as practicable.
      3. Minimum Grade:

      There may be some students who perform so poorly during the first marking period of a course that they cannot achieve success in the course at a later time regardless of how much they improve in subsequent marking periods. In an effort to provide students with a chance to pass the course without compromising the intent of the grading policy, minimum grade alternative has been established as follows:

      • Grade 9: Minimum Grade: 45
      • Grade 10: Minimum Grade: 45
      • Grade 11: Minimum Grade: 40
      • Grade 12: Minimum Grade: 40

      Minimum grades apply to all four quarters

      4. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory – S/U: Remedial Skills Courses, CEIP, Work Experience and some Independent Study courses are graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) basis. Students taking certain elective courses (band, orchestra, choir, chorus, keyboarding, word processing, some technology education courses or other electives may choose to receive Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) as opposed to numerical grades. (“Satisfactory” is equated with an average of 65 % or better; “unsatisfactory”, less than 65%.)

      a. Purpose: Certain courses chosen as electives can teach students effective skills and encourage broader base skill acquisition. Students who are interested in gaining these skills for personal use should be allowed to do so without having their average be adversely affected.
      b. Procedure: If a student wishes to apply for Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory:
      i. The counselor shall be consulted to determine if the course is needed for a sequence; and
      ii. The student shall file a REQUEST FOR SATISFACTORY/UNSATISFACTORY GRADE and obtain the approval of his/her parent, counselor, teacher, and department supervisor by the end of the 5th week of the course. If the approval is granted, the appropriate grade (S/U) will be assigned following each marking period and on the final exam, if applicable. The teacher will maintain numerical grades in his/her grade book, but record S/U for quarterly marks and the final grade.

      Courses in which S/U may be awarded will be noted in the Curriculum Handbook.

      Reviewed: December 10, 2002
      Revised and Reviewed April 8, 2014
      Revised and Reviewed October 20, 2015
      Revised, Reviewed October 24, 2017

      Back to top of the page


      4712 Reporting Student Progress to Parents

      An important aspect of the instructional program at all levels is reporting student progress to parents. The goal is to communicate on a regular basis with the parents/guardians of each child, and to encourage parents/guardians to communicate with teachers and administrators as well.
      The district’s reporting system includes many components, including report cards and/or other written forms developed by the professional staff, scheduled conferences between parents and teachers, elementary school conference reports, and interim progress reports at the secondary level. Parents are encouraged to regularly log into the district’s secure parent portal for current information about their students’ progress. Parents are also urged to visit the school and to confer with teachers and guidance counselors as deemed necessary. Faculty members are urged to maintain contact with parents through telephone calls, written notes, e-mail messages, and teacher web sites.

      Report Cards

      Report Cards (K-5)

      In each of the five elementary schools report cards and conference reports and are used to provide information to parents about their child’s academic performance and social/personal growth. The purpose of progress reports is to:

      • clearly report student progress toward the achievement of grade level standards, work habits, behavior and effort;
      • utilize the teacher’s extensive knowledge about each child;
      • reflect ongoing assessment occurring in the classroom;
      • focus attention of parents, teachers, and students on individual progress and growth; and
      • set meaningful goals for continuous progress.

      Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled in the fall of each year at the end of the first marking period. During that conference teachers will report on student progress and engage parents in a collaborative goal-setting process for each child. Report cards with be sent to parents at the conclusion of the second, third and fourth marking periods. Parent-teacher conferences may be scheduled during the spring months for additional face-to-face discussion of student progress. Additional conferences may also be scheduled by teachers and/or parents whenever a need arises during the school year.

      Report Cards (Middle School and High School)

      Report cards are issued to all students in grades 6-12 approximately every 45 days at the end of the 10th, 20th, 30th, and 40th weeks of the school year.

      Interim Progress Reports (Grades 6-12)

      Interim progress reports are posted to the secure parent portal for middle and high school students midway between each marking period. Generally, students will receive an interim progress report for all subjects except physical education.
      An interim progress report system listing specific department and general school-wide comments is utilized and is an important tool for sharing information about student performance and/or any changes in work habits, attitudes or grades of a student. The interim report is also an excellent tool by which teachers can recognize commendable work done by students.

      Adopted January 7, 2003
      Revised and Adopted April 8, 2014

      Back to top of the page


      4714 Parent Conferences

      The Board of Education encourages parent conferences with teachers as effective means of communication between the home and the school. These conferences provide opportunity for open communication regarding pupil progress, instructional programs, goals and objectives, and administrative procedures.

      Parent conferences are an integral part of student assessment and grade reporting systems. Teachers have a responsibility to meet with parents to discuss student problems and progress. When a parent requests a conference with a teacher, the teacher shall make every effort to arrange a mutually agreeable time. Parent conferences should take place in a timely manner. Assistance in scheduling such meetings may be provided through the principal’s office (K-5) or through the house office at the Middle School or the student’s counselor at the High School.

      Cross-reference: Policy #4710

      Adopted December 11, 2001
      Revised, Adopted April 9, 2013
      Reviewed, Adopted April 28, 2020

      Back to top of the page


      4720 Testing Programs

      The Board of Education believes that standardized testing programs can provide a meaningful source of information about the curriculum and overall student achievement. The Board, therefore, authorizes a program of testing to help accomplish the following objectives:

      1. to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of the current curriculum and methods of instruction;
      2. to provide a means of evaluating student growth through individual, interdistrict, and intradistrict comparisons;
      3. to provide teachers with diagnostic information which will enable them to better address the instructional needs of their students; and
      4. to provide a basis for longitudinal study of student achievement.

      Information gained through the use of testing programs will be used to design educational opportunities for students to better meet their individual and collective needs. The Board views this purpose to be a primary function of schools.
      The Board recognizes that tests provide only a limited source of information, and will therefore be used only in conjunction with all other information known about a student or to assist the student in improving his/her work.
      Records of the results of standardized tests shall be maintained in accordance with the Board’s policy on student records.

      Adopted February 11, 2003
      Adopted January 6, 2015

      Back to top of the page


      4730 Homework

      Homework is recognized and encouraged as a valuable activity and as an appropriate extension of classroom instruction. Homework provides excellent opportunities for developing good study habits, providing for individual differences and abilities, and encouraging initiative on the part of the student. Homework may follow several formats based on daily assignments, long-term projects or other variations.

      Homework Guidelines

      1. Homework should be a properly planned part of the curriculum, extending and reinforcing the learning experience of the school.
      2. Homework should help children learn by providing practice in the mastery of skills, experience in data gathering and integration of knowledge, and an opportunity to remediate learning problems.
      3. Homework should help develop the student’s sense of responsibility by providing an opportunity for the exercise of independent work and judgment.
      4. The number, frequency, and degree of difficulty of homework assignments should be consistent within academic levels and departments, and based on the abilities, activities, and needs of the student.
      5. Homework should be clearly assigned. Appropriate and timely feedback should be provided to students about the quality of their work.
      6. Students experiencing difficulty with homework are encouraged to seek assistance.

      The Board of Education believes that parental support and encouragement of students completing their assignments is essential to making homework an integral part of the educational program. As a critical component of the home-school communication process, students and parents are encouraged to provide feedback to teachers about homework procedures and assignments.

      Adopted September 9, 2003
      Revised and Adopted October 22, 2013

      Back to top of the page


      4730-R Homework Guidelines Grades

      K-5 Guidelines

      Homework is designed to give students an opportunity to practice the skills they have learned in class, to develop the habit of organizing and using time efficiently, to apply knowledge learned in school, and to prepare for further learning.

      Reading – children are expected to read or be read to at least 20 minutes a night.
      Mathematics – Students will receive some homework nearly every day. The recommended minimum time for math homework is:

      1st grade: 20-30 minutes/week

      2nd grade: 30-40 minutes/week

      3rd, 4th and 5th grades: 50-60 minutes/week

      Students should generally be able to complete their math homework independently.

      Teachers may assign homework in other content areas as necessary.
      Parents are urged to support the development of sound homework habits so that students complete their assignments to the best of their ability. Be positive and assist your child when necessary. If the homework assignments seem too difficult or completing assignments becomes a consistently stressful event, always consult with your child’s teacher.

      Reviewed September 9, 2003
      Revised and Reviewed May 7, 2013

      Back to top of the page


      4730-R Farnsworth Middle School Homework Guidelines

      Purposes and Types of Homework

      Historically, the American education system has acknowledged homework as an adjunct to and extension of the instructional programs offered by its schools. Parents, teachers and students of the Farnsworth community agree that homework should be a meaningful extension of classroom instruction when its purpose is clear and the type of homework is appropriate to achieve the desired outcome.

      The purposes of homework at FMS are to:

      Apply and reinforce concepts and skills learned in the classroom
      Review content previously taught
      Provide independent practice
      Develop responsibility and the ability to study independently
      Learn time management and organizational skills
      Serve as an extension of work originating in class
      To provide background preparation for future class work
      To allow parents direct involvement and/or awareness in their child’s learning

      The types of homework at FMS can be:

      Practice assignments (math problems, vocabulary, spelling, etc.) Reading for preparation and/or exploration
      Writing assignments
      Research and information gathering
      Preparation for quizzes and tests
      Data collection and analysis
      Extension and creative assignments

      Homework should typically take one to two hours of focused study each weeknight. More time may be needed for advanced courses or special situations. If homework is consistently taking longer then two hours or is beyond the student’s capability, parents should contact the child’s teacher.
      The ultimate purpose of homework at FMS is to help our students become skilled, knowledgeable, independent and responsible learners who will achieve and succeed as they meet the demands of the higher grades and beyond.

      Reviewed September 9, 2003
      Reviewed and Reviewed May 7, 2013

      Back to top of the page


      4730-R Guilderland High School Homework Guidelines

      In an effort to be consistent across all grade levels and departments, the Guilderland High School Building Cabinet has established the following guidelines pertaining to homework at the high school.

      • Homework at all times will be a meaningful activity and is intended to enhance the understanding of daily classroom lessons.
      • Students should attempt homework on the day it is assigned. This will allow students, if they do not understand the homework, to seek assistance from their teachers the next day of school prior to the assignment’s due date.
      • Generally speaking, students should expect to spend one to three hours on homework per evening. This varies according to the level of study, the types of courses enrolled in, and whether the homework is a daily assignment or a long-range research project. However, students taking honors and college level courses should expect that they will be required to complete more difficult and time-consuming assignments.
      • Every effort should be made by both teachers and supervisors to have consistency within a department for similar amounts of homework in the same course and level.
      • Homework will be reviewed by teachers and students during class in a timely and educationally beneficial manner.
      • Students will not be required to complete homework assignments solely over an extended vacation period. Ample time will be allowed prior to or following a vacation period for assignment completion. Extended vacations include Thanksgiving recess, holiday recess in December, February recess and spring recess.

      If parents have any questions or concerns regarding homework assignments, they should first contact their child’s teacher.

      Reviewed September 9, 2003
      Revised and Reviewed May 7, 2013

      Back to top of the page


      4750 Promotion and Retention of Students

      Each child should experience both challenge and success from school activities. To this end, the district will make every effort to place each student in the most appropriate learning level for a successful educational experience.
      District curriculum guides indicate goals for achievement by the “average” student at each grade level. However, academic growth, like physical growth, does not take place at the same pace or time for all individuals. Certain students may achieve mastery in a shorter period, while others need additional time. Early identification and intervention, promotion and retention are methods of meeting the needs of such children. In Guilderland, retention will only be considered as a last resort, since extensive research indicates that retention increases the frequency of high risk behaviors, including disengagement from school and dropping out.
      The following guidelines shall govern student progression:

      Early Identification/Intervention

      Classroom teachers are expected to make every effort consistent with the district’s implementation of Response to Intervention (RtI) to identify early those students at risk of failing to achieve grade level expectations. The building principal and the parents/guardian must be notified promptly if a child is at risk of failing, and a special support program shall be designed for that child. Such support services may include, but are not limited to, individualized assistance before, during or after the school day; remedial classes; a change in instructional approach, and, where appropriate, referral to the Committee on Special Education for evaluation.

      Promotion/Retention

      Elementary schools. At the elementary level, students who meet/achieve grade level expectations in all subjects will be promoted. Students who do not make satisfactory progress in one or more basic subjects — Reading, English, Mathematics, Spelling, Social Studies and Science — shall have their cases considered on an individual basis and may, as a last resort be retained. Retention shall be limited to those situations where the best interest of the child is reasonably assured. Consideration should be given to the long-term negative impact of retention; the potential for short term gains should not outweigh these long term risks. Diligent effort shall be made to inform decisions and to use all available resources to determine the child’s appropriate placement.

      Middle schools. Students who pass all subjects but one shall have the failure evaluated and a determination made as to the reason for the failure. The student may be required to repeat the subject, but in typical cases shall be promoted with recommendation for either summer school or assignment to a lower academic ability group. The decision shall be arrived at by consensus from a case conference approach involving teacher, Principal and guidance counselor.
      Students who fail two subjects shall have their cases considered on an individual basis through a case conference approach described above.

      Senior High School. In general, promotion from one class to the next shall be contingent upon the passing of all required subjects and the accumulation of 4 or 5 units of credit at each level.

      Academic standards. Building Principals shall be responsible for ensuring that written standards for student progress at each grade level are available to parents and others upon request. Such academic standards are to be forwarded to the Superintendent of Schools each year.

      Retention. Should circumstances indicate that retention is be considered, the decision to retain shall be arrived at by consensus from a case conference approach involving the teacher, Building Principal, school psychologist, and parent/guardian. Factors to be considered include teacher recommendation; classroom achievement and attitude; standardized test scores; social and emotional development; results of the family conference; and, for identified students, recommendations by the Committee on Special Education while standardized test scores may be considered as part of the decision, they may not be the sole or primary factor in the decision. If a consensus cannot be reached, the decision of the Building Principal shall be final.

      Retention. Should circumstances indicate that retention is be considered, the decision to retain shall be arrived at by consensus from a case conference approach involving the teacher, Building Principal, school psychologist, and parent/guardian. Factors to be considered include teacher recommendation; classroom achievement and attitude; standardized test scores; social and emotional development; results of the family conference; and, for identified students, recommendations by the Committee on Special Education while standardized test scores may be considered as part of the decision, they may not be the sole or primary factor in the decision. If a consensus cannot be reached, the decision of the Building Principal shall be final.

      Adopted January 7, 2014
      Revised, Adopted June 17, 2014

      Back to top of the page


      4770 Graduation Requirements

      In order for students to receive a high school diploma, the Principal must certify that the student has met the following requirements:

      1. The student has completed the requirements for a Regents Diploma, an Advanced Regents Diploma or Advance Regents Diploma with honors, as currently defined by the New York State Education Department and Board of Regents.
      2. Students must complete 22 units of school credit.
      3. Students who have been designated as having a disability must have completed requirements to receive a Regents Diploma, Advanced Regents Diploma, or Skills and Achievement Commencement Diploma as specified in his/her Individualized Education Program (IEP) and approved by the Committee on Special Education (CSE).

      A high school diploma will represent termination of the district’s responsibility to provide additional educational training opportunities as part of the regular day program.  Any student working toward earning a Skills and Achievement Commencement Diploma will be informed in writing of his or her right to attend the public schools of the district until one of the following occurs:

      1. The student earns a high school diploma;
      2. The student attains the age of 21 prior to September 1 of a school year.

      Ref: Commissioner’s Regulations 100.5; 100.9

      Revised and Adopted September 10, 2013
      Revised and Adopted March 24, 2020

      Back to top of the page


      4771 Early Graduation

      The Board of Education recognizes that, in certain instances, students may benefit from early graduation. These students who wish to graduate from high school in less than the ordinary four-year sequence must receive permission from the High School Principal. To be eligible, the student must complete all prescribed graduation requirements. Furthermore, if a student wishes to complete the usual four-year course of studies in three years, then the student will be ranked with that graduating class.
      In regard to individual student requests, the following factors may be considered: the student’s grades, performance in school, the student’s future plans and benefits that would accrue to the student if the request for early graduation were to be approved. The High School Principal shall make the final decision on whether to grant permission after consultation with the individual student’s counselor, the student and parent(s).

      Adopted January 9, 2001
      Adopted April 27, 2010
      Reviewed and Adopted June 16, 2015

      Back to top of the page


      4771-R Early Graduation Regulation

      A student may apply for early graduation when he/she:

      1. has the maturity, desire, and need to pursue further education, a career, or other worthwhile plans ahead of his/her scheduled graduation;
      2. is able to complete all required courses and acquire 23 credits by August 31 of that year; and
      3. has received the approval of his/her parents/guardians.

      In order to graduate early, a student must:

      1. submit a letter of intent as to the reason for acceleration and receive the recommendation of his/her counselor;
      2. be interviewed by the Principal to determine whether acceleration is appropriate and receive the Principal’s approval; and
      3. be enrolled in a full academic program which may not include more than two courses each in English and social studies in any one year at Guilderland High School.

      Reviewed December 19, 2000
      Reviewed April 27, 2010
      Reviewed June 16, 2015

      Back to top of the page


      4772 Graduation Ceremonies

      The Board of Education of the Guilderland Central School District recognizes that students with disabilities, receiving special education and related or other services pursuant to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Commissioner’s Regulations at 200.1(zz), must be afforded an opportunity for participation in graduation ceremonies and activities with their high school graduating class, provided they qualify to receive a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC) or a Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential within four years of commencing high school.

      Definition: High School Graduating Class – for purposes of this policy, a student’s high school graduating class is the twelfth grade class with which the student with a disability entered into ninth grade.

      Criteria: A student with a disability who has (1) completed four years of high school attendance; (2) is receiving special education and related services through an individualized education program (IEP) pursuant to state and federal law; and (3) will continue to receive such services between the ages of 18 and 21, may participate in a district-wide formal graduation ceremony and all related activities with their high school graduating class; provided (4) the student is eligible to be awarded either a skills and achievement commencement credential (SACC) or a career development and occupational studies (CDOS) commencement credential at the time of the graduation ceremony.
      A student may participate (and be identified as a participant in all formal notices and programs) with one school-district wide graduation ceremony. Any future graduation credentials earned will be issued; however the student will not be listed as a member of a graduating member of the school district in a second school-wide ceremony and graduation program announcement.
      Participation in graduation events and activities by a student with a disability with their designated high school graduating class is optional, not mandatory.
      A student with a disability’s participation in graduation ceremonies and events pursuant to this Policy shall not preclude or limit the student’s continuing eligibility to attend school in the District and to receive special education supports, related services and transition services while pursuing their local or regents diploma or other exiting credentials, provided the student remains a resident of the district, continues to be a student with a disability receiving services through an IEP, and has not completed the school year in which he or she turned 21.

      Annual Notification

      Annual written notification will be provided to all eligible students with disabilities and their parents or guardians regarding the District’s policy and procedures regarding graduation
      participation. Such notification will include a reference to this policy. The student and their parent(s)/guardian(s) shall be notified in the fall of the school year in which the student with a disability’s designated high school class will graduate. Such notice shall include applicable deadlines to advise parents and students of the date by which they must indicate their preference to participate in the ceremony with their designated high school class, as well as the manner in which such notice must be made.
      If the student is receiving special education and related and other services pursuant to their IEP within the District’s schools, it shall be the responsibility of the student’s school counselor and case manager to ensure that the student is informed of their rights, and if they request to participate with their designated class, notice of all graduation activities, including, but not limited to: gown fittings, rehearsals, awards ceremonies, and the graduation event itself.
      If the student is placed in an out-of-District program to receive special education and related services pursuant to their IEP, it shall be the responsibility of the Committee on Special Education Chairperson or their designee to ensure that the student is informed of his/her rights, and if they elect to participate in graduation with their designated class, notice of all graduation activities, including, but not limited to: gown fittings, rehearsals, awards ceremonies, and the graduation event itself.

      Adopted May 1, 2018

      Back to top of the page


      4772-E Graduation Ceremonies-Exhibit

      Participation in Graduation Ceremony for Students with Disabilities

      The Guilderland Central School District permits a student with a disability who receives special education and related services through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) under state and federal laws to participate in the high school graduation ceremony and all related activities with their designated high school graduating class, provided that student is eligible to receive a skills and achievement commencement credential (SACC) or a career development and occupational studies credential (CDOS), even if they have not yet completed the required course of study to earn a local or regents high school diploma. A student’s designated high school graduating class is the class of twelfth grade (12th) students with which the student began ninth (9th) grade.

      Notification Deadline

      Timely notice is required to permit the student to receive all notices, information and to participate in events and activities along with their designated graduating class. Participation in graduation ceremonies and activities with your designated high school class is optional. Students with disabilities and/or their parents must provide notice of their preference or intent regarding participation on or by January 31st of the year that the ceremony will be held. Notice must be in writing and should be submitted to the Director of Pupil Personnel Services or his/her designee. If no notice is provided, the District will not plan for the student’s inclusion in the graduation ceremony and events. If you have a question regarding your student’s eligibility to qualify to participate in graduation ceremonies with their designated class, please contact the Committee on Special Education Chairperson for assistance.

      Right to Continue Until Age 21 or Receipt of Local or Regents Diploma

      A student with a disability’s participation in graduation ceremony and events and their receipt of a SACC or a CDOS credential does not automatically limit or preclude the student’s right to continue their education and to receive special education, related services or transition services pursuant to their IEP. Such students remain eligible to receive special education and related services until the student completes the school year in which they turn 21; the student is awarded a local or regents high school diploma (whichever comes first) provided the student continues to meet all other eligibility criteria related to residency and disability; or the student otherwise exits school as permitted by law.
      Please refer to District Policy # 4772 for further information.

      Reviewed: May 1, 2018

      Back to top of the page


      4773 Credential Options for Students with Disabilities

      The District is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities are provided appropriate opportunities to earn a Regents or Local Diploma or other exiting Commencement Credential in accordance with the Commissioner’s Regulations. To this end, graduation and transition plans shall take into account the various pathways available to these students.
      Where appropriate, the District will also award other diplomas and/or credentials that are authorized by and specified in Commissioner’s Regulations, to students with disabilities who earn them.
      The Committee on Special Education will determine the appropriate credential(s) for students with disabilities to pursue and will assure students meet the criteria for such credentials. The high school counselors of students with disabilities will monitor each student’s plan and program to assure the student enrolls in required courses and completes all requirements for the credential he/she has been designated by the CSE to receive.
      Students with disabilities will be provided access to the required courses and testing programs needed for achieving the diploma and/or commencement credentials available to them until they have earned a regular high school diploma or through the end of the school year in which they reach age 21, whichever is earlier.

      Adopted March 13, 2007
      Revised October 4, 2016
      Reviewed May 1, 2018

      Back to top of the page


      4777 Participation in Commencement Ceremony

      The Board of Education recognizes that participation in a commencement ceremony differs from the issuance and receipt of a diploma. The issuance of a diploma indicates that a student is in good standing and has successfully met all local and state requirements to be graduated from high school.
      The Board of Education authorizes the extension of an invitation to participate in the District’s annual commencement ceremony to all students who, by the graduation date in June, are in good standing and who have successfully completed all requirements for the receipt of a diploma. “Good standing” refers to the student’s disciplinary record. The commencement ceremony is a public celebration which is traditionally held in June.
      In addition, the Board of Education authorizes the extension of an invitation to participate in the District’s annual commencement ceremony to all students who are in good standing and who are in a position to complete all graduation requirements prior to August 31st of that year. In general, “being in a position to complete all graduation requirements,” implies that the student has no more than two (2) courses to complete.
      This policy will be published in the high school student handbook which is made available to all students each year.

      Note: Policy added.
      Adopted January 9, 2001
      Adopted April 27, 2010
      Revised, Adopted December 13, 2011
      Revised, Adopted February 2, 2016
      Reviewed May 1, 2018

      Back to top of the page


      4850 Animal Dissection Opt-Out Policy

      The Board of Education recognizes that the study of living things is essential to effective instruction in the life sciences. The primary goals for demonstrations and investigations involving animals are to achieve an interest in and an understanding of the life processes, to demonstrate biological principles, and to teach proper care and handling of animals. Therefore, the Board requires that any such instructional activities, investigations, and projects be well-planned and adequately supervised, and be conducted with a respect for life and an appreciation of the health and safety of both animals and students.
      The Board also recognizes that some students have a moral or religious objection to dissection or otherwise harming or destroying animals. In accordance with state law, students shall have the right to opt out of dissection activities, provided that the student performs an alternative project approved by the student’s teacher. The objection must be substantiated in writing by the student’s parent or guardian.
      At the start of the school year, teachers of courses that include animal dissection shall give notice to the students in those classes of their opt-out rights and responsibilities under the law and this policy. Such notice shall be shared with parents of those students, and also be available upon request in the school office.

      Adopted June 6, 2011
      Adopted February 2, 2016


      Back to top of the page

      The district is not responsible for facts or opinions contained on any linked site. Some links and features on this site require the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. Visit the Adobe website to download the free Acrobat Reader. This website was produced by the Capital Region BOCES Communications Service, Albany, NY. Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.