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OWWMS Handbook

The mission of the Oliver W. Winch Middle School is to develop motivated learners who will demonstrate both social and academic skills, make a successful transition from childhood to adulthood, and become responsible citizens of their local and global community.

At Oliver W. Winch the students and staff:

  • respect themselves, each other, and the rules of the school
  • value the commitment to do their personal best
  • express caring attitudes toward each other
  • expect courtesy from each other
  • work together to make their school better

Parents and guardians, please take some time to review this handbook with your child. It is filled with valuable information that will help your student receive an education of a high standard in an environment that is safe and orderly, and where learning is paramount.  With your help, we can collaboratively work to achieve the goals established in the Oliver W. Winch Mission Statement.

 

BELL SCHEDULES

Daily Bell Schedule

 

1 7:35 – 8:57 a.m.
HR 9:01 – 9:11 a.m.
2 9:15 – 10:37 a.m.
Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8
3 10:41 – 11:11 a.m. Lunch 1 10:41 – 11:23 a.m. 10:41 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.
11:15 a.m. – 12:39 p.m. 11:26 – 11:56 a.m. Lunch 2 12:09 – 12:39 p.m. Lunch 3
11:59 a.m. – 12:39 p.m.
4 12:43 – 2:05 p.m.
Detention: 2:05 – 2:45 p.m.
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday

 

One-Hour Delay Bell Schedule

 

1 8:35-9:43 a.m.
HR 9:46 – 9:56 a.m.
2 9:59 – 11:07 a.m.
Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8
3 11:10 – 11:40 a.m. Lunch 1 11:10 – 11:42 a.m. 11:10 a.m. – 12:18 p.m.
11:43 a.m. – 12:48 p.m. 11:43 a.m. – 12:13 p.m. Lunch 2
12:16 – 12:48 p.m. 12:18 – 12:48 p.m. Lunch 3
4 12:51 – 2:05 p.m.

 

Two-Hour Delay Schedule

 

1 9:35 – 10:30 a.m.
HR 10:33 – 10:37 a.m.
2 10:40 – 11:35 a.m.
Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8
3 11:35 a.m. – 12:05 p.m. Lunch 1 11:38 a.m. – 12:03 p.m. 11:38 a.m. – 12:36 p.m.
12:08 – 1:07 p.m. 12:06 – 12:36 p.m. Lunch 2
12:39 – 1:07 p.m. 12:37 – 1:07 p.m. Lunch 3
4 1:10 – 2:05 p.m.

 

STUDENT BEHAVIOR AND RESPONSIBILITY

ATTENDANCE POLICY

The South Glens Falls CSD Board of Education recognizes that regular school attendance is a major component of academic success. Through implementation of this policy, the board expects to minimize the number of unexcused absences, tardiness, and early departures (referred to in this policy as “ATEDs”), encourage full attendance by all students, maintain an adequate attendance recordkeeping system, identify patterns of student ATEDs and develop effective intervention strategies to improve school attendance.

NOTICE

To be successful in this endeavor, it is imperative that all members of the school community are aware of this policy, its purpose, procedures and the consequences of non-compliance. To ensure that students, parents, teachers, and administrators are notified of and understand this policy, the following procedures shall be implemented:

  • A plain-language summary of this attendance policy will be included in student handbooks and will be reviewed with students at the start of the school year.
  • Parents will receive a plain-language summary of this policy at the start of the school year.
    • When a student is absent, tardy, or leaves early from class or school without an excuse, designated staff member(s) will contact the student’s parent(s) of the specific ATED, remind them of the attendance policy, and review ATED intervention procedures with them.
    • A back-to-school event will be held at the beginning of each school year to explain this policy and stress the parent’s responsibility for ensuring their children’s attendance.
    • School newsletters and publications will include periodic reminders of the components of this policy.
  • The district will provide a copy of the attendance policy and any amendments thereto to faculty and staff. New staff will receive a copy upon their employment.
  • All faculty and staff will meet at the beginning of each school year to review the attendance policy to clarify individual roles in its implementation.
  • Copies of this policy will also be made available to any community member, upon request.
  • The district will share this policy with local Child Protective Services (CPS) to ensure a common understanding of excused and unexcused ATED’s and to work toward identifying and addressing cases of educational neglect.

EXCUSED AND UNEXCUSED ABSENCES

Excused ATEDs are defined as absences, tardiness, and early departures from class or school due to personal illness, illness or death in the family, impassable roads or weather, religious observance, quarantine, required court appearances, attendance at health clinics, approved college visits, approved cooperative work programs, military obligations, or such other reasons as may be approved by the appropriate building administrator.

All other ATEDs are considered unexcused absences.

All ATEDs must be accounted for. It is the parent’s responsibility to notify the school office within 24 hours of the ATED and to provide a written excuse upon the student’s return to school.

 

GENERAL PROCEDURES/DATA COLLECTION

  • Attendance will be taken during each class period.
  • At the conclusion of each class period or school day, all attendance information shall be compiled and submitted on the district student information system.
  • The nature of an ATED shall be coded on a student’s record.
  • Student ATED data shall be available to and should be reviewed by the designated school personnel in an expeditious manner.
  • Where additional information is received that requires corrections to be made to a student’s attendance records, such corrections will be made immediately. Notice of such a change will be sent to appropriate school personnel subject to applicable confidentiality rules.
  • Attendance data will be analyzed periodically to identify patterns or trends in student absences. If patterns emerge, district resources will be targeted to understand and eliminate barriers to attendance.
  • Where consistent with other school practices, teachers and staff shall detain students in the hallways who are absent from a class period without excuse and refer the students to the building principal.
  • Continuous monitoring will be conducted to identify students who are absent, tardy, or leave class or school early. A student will be considered chronically absent if they miss 10 percent or more of the school year. Satisfactory attendance is missing 5 percent or less of school over the course of the year. If a pattern of ATED’s for an individual student is identified, a designated staff person(s) will follow-up in accordance with this policy.

CONSEQUENCES OF EXCESSIVE ATEDS

A designated staff member will contact the student’s parents and the student’s guidance counselor in the event that a student’s record reveals excessive ATEDs, excused and/or unexcused. Excessive ATEDs is defined as: five consecutive absences and/or 10 total absences or tardies. Such staff member(s) shall remind parents of the attendance policy, explain the ramifications of excessive ATEDs, stress the importance of class attendance and discuss appropriate intervention strategies to correct the situation.

Unexcused ATEDs may result in disciplinary action consistent with the district’s code of conduct.  Those penalties may include, for example, detention or denial of the privilege of participating in or attending extracurricular events.

In addition, the designated staff member will contact local Child Protective Services (CPS) if they suspect that the child is being educationally neglected. The designated staff member will provide CPS with the information necessary to initiate a report.  If other staff members suspect education neglect, they must follow the procedures outlined in Board Policy and Regulation 5460, Child Abuse in a Domestic Setting, and advise the building principal.

ATTENDANCE/GRADE POLICY

The Board of Education recognizes an important relationship between class attendance and student performance. Consequently, each marking period a student’s final grade may be based on classroom participation as well as student’s performance on homework, tests, papers, projects, etc.

Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes. Consistent with the importance of classroom participation, unexcused ATEDs will affect a student’s class participation grade for the marking period.

At the high school level, any student with more than nine unexcused ATEDs for one-half year or 18 unexcused ATEDs for a full year will not receive credit for that course. However, students with properly excused ATEDs may make up the work for each ATED, and those ATEDs will not count toward the minimum attendance standard.

To ensure that parents and students are aware of the implications of this minimum attendance requirement, the teacher or other designated staff member(s) will advise the student and contact the parent(s) by telephone and mail at appropriate intervals prior to the student reaching nine or 18 unexcused ATEDs.

In implementing the policy set forth above, students who are unable to attend school or a class on a given day due to their participation in a school-sponsored activity (i.e., music lessons, field trips), may arrange with their teachers to make up any missed work. This also applies to any student who is absent, tardy or leaves early from school or a class due to illness or any other excused reason.

All students with an ATED are expected upon their return to consult with their teachers regarding missed work.

All students with an ATED will be given the opportunity to make up a test or other missed work and/or turn in a late assignment for inclusion in their final grade. Makeup opportunities must be completed by a date specified by the student’s teacher for the class in question.

ANNUAL REVIEW

The board shall annually review building-level student attendance records and, if such records show a decline in student attendance, the board shall revise this comprehensive attendance policy and make any revisions to the plan it deems necessary to improve student attendance.

Cross ref: 4710, Grading Systems
5300, Code of Conduct
5460, Child Abuse in a Domestic Setting
Ref:  Education Law §§1709; 3024; 3025; 3202; 3205-3213; 3225 8 NYCRR §§104.1; 175.6
Social Service Law §34-a
Adoption date:  July 13, 2015

CLOSED CAMPUS AND THE SIGN-IN/SIGN-OUT PROCESS

A student may not leave the building during the school day unless he/she has a written note from his/her parents giving permission to leave for an appointment or an emergency. When a student leaves school for any reason during school hours, the parent who is responsible for that student must sign out the student in the main office. This sign-out log is located in the main office. When a student returns to the building, the student must be accompanied by a parent/guardian and must indicate the return time on the sign-in sheet in the main office. Students not following this process will be subject to disciplinary action.

USE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT CANINES

When a routine, random search of our building is being conducted, the following guidelines must be followed:

  1. Searches will officially start with an announcement over the P.A. system: “The reason for this announcement is to allow a routine, random search of the building to be conducted. The random search is part of our ongoing effort to provide a safe school environment. Illegal drugs and weapons possession will not be accepted in our school. Until further notice, there shall be no hall traffic. An all-clear message will be provided at the end of the search process.”
  2. While the search is being conducted all students, faculty and staff are to remain where they are. Teachers: Please do not dismiss a student, or a class of students, until the announcement saying the search has been completed, even if the bell for the next period rings.
  3. Please plan to conduct your class as usual. An “all clear” announcement will be made when normal hall traffic can resume.

Searches may be unannounced prior to the time and date of the search. Please make the procedure to be followed part of your substitute plans.

NONDISCRIMINATION DISCLAIMER

The South Glens Falls Central School District hereby advises students, parents, employees and the general public that it offers employment and educational opportunities, including career and technical education opportunities, without regard to sex, sexual orientation, race, color, national origin, or disability. Grievance procedures are available to interested persons by contacting the persons listed below.

Inquiries regarding this nondiscrimination policy may be directed to:

Title IX Coordinator (sex discrimination)
Flora Covey
Title IX Coordinator
42 Merritt Road, Suite 1
South Glens Falls, NY 12803
518-793-9617

Section 504 Coordinator (disability discrimination)
Timothy Dawkins
Title IX Coordinator
42 Merritt Road, Suite 1
South Glens Falls, NY 12803
518-793-9617

ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL

Students should not arrive before 7:30 a.m. All students will be allowed to go to their lockers between 7:30 and 7:35 a.m. and then report to the first block. Breakfast is available prior to 7:30 a.m. by entering the cafeteria from the corner of the building on East Sixth Street.

At the 2:05 p.m. dismissal bell, bus students will go to the bus loading area. All non-bus students should exit the building and head directly home. 

Students waiting for a ride must wait on school district property at the front of the building. Student pick-up will take place at the front of the building ONLY and NOT in the side-employee parking lot as our buses exit through that area and cannot be blocked in. 

Under no circumstances, at arrival or dismissal, should students loiter in the neighborhood. Building administrators, as well as local law enforcement officials, will be working together to educate our students with regard to loitering, trespassing, and disorderly conduct issues. Most importantly, we demand that our students show respect for our neighbors and their property.

Parents are asked to drive safely and observe all traffic laws in the school zone. Student and parent cooperation with this process will be greatly appreciated.

 

COUNSELING DEPARTMENT

School counselors are available to help students in a variety of ways. Counselors:

  1. help students resolve problems
  2. are willing to listen and talk with students
  3. may assist students in making decisions and improve problem-solving skills
  4. help students recognize their abilities and interests and select appropriate courses of study
  5. may provide a link between parents and teachers

GRADES, MARKING PERIODS

Number grades will be used. The school year is divided into two semesters, which in turn are divided into four, 10-week marking periods. In June, the four marking period grades and the final exam grade will be averaged to determine a final grade. Marking periods will end as follows: Nov. 10, 2022; Jan. 27, 2023; April 10, 2023; June 23, 2023.

Progress reports may be sent home at the halfway point in each marking period for students doing unsatisfactory work. This is to make the parent aware of a poor grade in time to help the student improve his or her grade.  Progress reports will be issued on or about Nov. 18, 2022;  Feb. 3, 2023; April 6, 2023; and June 27, 2023. No schedule changes will be made after the second marking period.

HONOR ROLL

Grades in all subjects, which meet five times per week, will be included in the computation of the average.  In addition, grades in Art, Music 7, Orchestra, Band, and Chorus will be prorated at one-half the figure for a course meeting five times per week, and computed accordingly in determining the grade point average for a given marking period. A student with an “F” is not eligible for the Honor Roll.

ACADEMIC RECOGNITION LEVELS

  1. Academic recognition listings are as follows:
  • High Honor Roll: 95 to 100
  • Honor Roll: 90 to 94.9
  • Honorable Mention: 85 to 89.9

MARKING PERIOD SCHEDULE 

Marking Period #1

Begins: 9/8/2022

Ends: 11/10/2022

Report Card: 11/18/2022

Marking Period #2

Begins: 11/14/2022

Ends: 1/27/2023

Report Card: 2/3/2023

Marking Period #3

Begins: 1/30/2023

Ends: 4/6/2023

Report Card: 4/6/2023

Marking Period #4

Begins: 4/17/2023

Ends: 6/23/2023

Report Card: 6/27/2023

 

FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT (FERPA)

This section is intended to advise parents, legal guardians and students of their rights with respect to the school records pursuant to the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

You are notified that you have the following rights in relation to student records:

  1. The right to inspect and review a student’s education records;
  2. The right of a student’s parents or an eligible student to seek to correct parts of the student’s education records which he or she believes to be inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student’s rights. These rights include the right to a hearing to present evidence that the records should be changed if the district decides not to alter it according to the parent’s or an eligible student’s request;
  3. The right to report or file a complaint with the Department of Education if the school district violates FERPA or other State or Federal law;
  4. The right to exercise a limited control over other people’s access to the student’s education records;
  5. The right to seek and correct the student’s education records, in a hearing if necessary;
  6. The right to be informed about FERPA rights;

You are further advised:

  1. The school district shall limit the disclosure of information contained in the student’s education records except: 
    1. by prior written consent of the student’s parents or an eligible student;
    2. directory information, or
    3. under certain limited circumstances, as permitted by FERPA.
  2. If either a student’s parents or an eligible student desires to obtain copies of the policy pertaining to student records, notification should be presented to: Flora Covey, Director of Personnel Development, South Glens Falls Central School District, 42 Merritt Road, Suite 1, South Glens Falls, NY 12803.

All rights and protections given to parents under the FERPA and this policy transfer to the student when the student reaches age 18 or enrolls in a post-secondary school. The student then becomes an “eligible student.”

 

STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT

The complete Code of Conduct, which has been approved by the Board of Education, is available in the main office. These policies are subject to change and regular review by the Board of Education.

The Board of Education of the South Glens Falls Central School District (“board”) is committed to providing a safe and orderly school environment where students may receive and district personnel may deliver quality educational services without disruption or interference. Responsible behavior by students, teachers, other district personnel, parents and other visitors is essential to achieving this goal.

The board recognizes the need to clearly define expectations for acceptable conduct on school property, to identify the possible consequences of unacceptable conduct, and to ensure that discipline when necessary is administered promptly and fairly.

The district has a long-standing set of expectations for conduct on school property and at school functions. These expectations are based on the principles of civility, mutual respect, citizenship, character, tolerance, honesty, and integrity. These expectations are clearly defined in the District’s Code of Conduct (“Code”). This Code of Conduct applies to all students, school personnel, administrators, faculty, parents and other visitors when on school property or attending a school function.

The following is a summary of the code. You may obtain a copy of the full code or another copy of this summary from the main office of each district school building and at the District Central Office.

STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

A. Student Rights

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

  1. Take part in all district activities on an equal basis regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation or disability
  2. Present their version of the relevant events to school personnel authorized to impose a disciplinary penalty in connection with the imposition of the penalty
  3. Access school rules and, when necessary, receive an explanation of those rules from school personnel

B. Student Responsibilities

All district students have the responsibility to:

  1. Contribute to maintaining a safe and orderly school environment that is conducive to learning and to show respect to other persons and to property
  2. Be familiar with and abide by all district policies, rules and regulations dealing with student conduct
  3. Attend school every day unless they are legally excused and be in class, on time, and prepared to learn
  4. Work to the best of their ability in all academic and extracurricular pursuits and strive toward their highest level of achievement possible
  5. React to direction given by teachers, administrators, and other school personnel in a respectful, positive manner
  6. Work to develop mechanisms to control their anger
  7. Ask questions when they do not understand
  8. Seek help in solving problems that might lead to disciplinary action
  9. Dress appropriately for school and school functions
  10. Accept responsibility for their actions
  11. Conduct themselves as representatives of the district when participating in or attending school-sponsored extracurricular events and to hold themselves to the highest standards of conduct, demeanor,  and sportsmanship
  12. Refrain from any public display of affection

ESSENTIAL PARTNERS

The Board of Education, administrators, faculty, all school personnel, and parents are essential partners in promoting and providing for a safe, orderly, and successful school experience. These essential partners are responsible for working together to see that students are prepared, supported, and educated in a manner that will enable them to function as successful students and citizens of their school community.

 

DISCIPLINE CODE OF STUDENT BEHAVIOR

The Board of Education expects all students to conduct themselves in an appropriate and civil manner, with proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students, district personnel and other members of the school community, and for the care of school facilities and equipment. The best discipline is self-imposed, and students must learn to assume and accept responsibility for their own behavior, as well as the consequences of their misbehavior.

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

  1. Engage in conduct that is disorderly. Examples of disorderly conduct include but are not limited to:
  1. Running in hallways
  2. Making unreasonable noise
  3. Using language or gestures that are profane, lewd, vulgar or abusive
  4. Obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic
  5. Engaging in any willful act which disrupts the normal operation of the school community
  6. Trespassing: Students are not permitted in any school building, other than the one they regularly attend, without permission from the administrator in charge of the building
  7. Computer/electronic communications misuse, including any unauthorized use of computers, software, or internet/intranet account; accessing inappropriate websites; or any other violation of the district’s acceptable use policy

A student whose actions off-campus affect the safety and well being of students during school will be subject to disciplinary action by school authorities.

  1. Engage in conduct that is insubordinate. Examples of insubordinate conduct include but are not limited to:
  1. Failing to comply with the reasonable directions of teachers, school administrators or other school employees in charge of students or otherwise demonstrating disrespect
  2. Lateness for, missing or leaving school without permission
  3. Skipping detention
  4. Lateness for or cutting class
  1. Engage in conduct that is disruptive. Examples of disruptive conduct include but are not limited to:
  1. Failing to comply with the reasonable directions of teachers, school administrators or other school personnel in charge of students
  2. The use of any device (i.e. smartphones, Ipads and tablets, pagers, CD players, MP3 players, etc.) is prohibited unless it is in compliance with the Handheld Electronic Devices Acceptable Use Policy
  1. Engage in conduct that is violent. Examples of violent conduct include but are not limited to:
  1. Committing an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, punching, and scratching) upon a teacher, administrator or other school employee or attempting to do so
  2. Committing an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, punching, and scratching) upon another student or any other person lawfully on school property or attempting to do so
  3. Possessing a weapon. Authorized law enforcement officials are the only persons permitted to have a weapon in their possession while on school property or at a school function
  4. Displaying what appears to be a weapon
  5. Threatening to use any weapon
  6. Intentionally damaging or destroying the personal property of a student, teacher, administrator, other district employee or any person lawfully on school property, including graffiti or arson
  7. Intentionally damaging or destroying school district property
  1. Engage in any conduct that endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others. Examples of such conduct include but are not limited to:
  1. Lying to school personnel
  2. Stealing the property of other students, school personnel or any other person lawfully on school property or attending a school function
  3. Defamation, which includes making false or unprivileged statements or representations about an individual or identifiable group of individuals that harm the reputation of the person or the identifiable group by demeaning them
  4. Discrimination which includes the use of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability as a basis for treating another in a negative manner
  5. Harassment, which includes a sufficiently severe action or a persistent, pervasive pattern of actions or statements directed at an identifiable individual or group which are intended to be or which a reasonable person would perceive as ridiculing or demeaning. This is inclusive of engaging in acts of sexual harassment as defined in the district’s sexual harassment policies
  6. Intimidation, which includes engaging in actions or statements that put an individual in fear of bodily harm
  7. Hazing, which includes any intentional or reckless act directed against another for the purpose of initiation into, affiliating with or maintaining membership in any school-sponsored activity, organization, club or team
  8. Selling, using or possessing obscene material
  9. Using vulgar or abusive language, cursing or swearing
  10. Smoking a cigarette, cigar, pipe or using chewing or smokeless tobacco, possession of tobacco products or lighter
  11. Possessing, consuming, selling, distributing or exchanging alcoholic beverages, illegal substances, drug paraphernalia (e.g. syringe, rolling paper, pipe, etc.) or being under the influence of either alcoholic beverages or illegal substances. “Illegal substances” include, but are not limited to, inhalants, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP, amphetamines, heroin, steroids, look-alike drugs, and any substances commonly referred to as “designer drugs”
  12. In possession of and/or inappropriately using or sharing prescription and over-the-counter drugs
  13. Gambling
  14. Indecent exposure, that is, exposure to sight of the private parts of the body in a lewd or indecent manner
  15. Initiating a report warning of fire or other catastrophes without valid cause, misuse of 911, or discharging a fire extinguisher
  1. Engage in misconduct while on a school bus. 

It is crucial for students to behave appropriately while riding on district buses to ensure their safety and that of other passengers and to avoid distracting the bus driver. Students are required to conduct themselves on the bus in a manner consistent with established standards for classroom behavior. Excessive noise, pushing, shoving and fighting will not be tolerated.

  1. Engage in any form of academic misconduct. Examples of academic misconduct include but are not limited to:
  1. Plagiarism
  2. Cheating
  3. Stealing (theft of exams, grades, or testing and instructional materials)
  4. Lying (misrepresentation of academic work and/or records)
  5. Copying
  6. Altering Records
  7. Assisting another student in any of the above actions

STUDENT DRESS CODE

All students are expected to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to dress appropriately for school and school functions. Students and their parents/guardians have the primary responsibility for acceptable student dress and appearance. Teachers and all other school personnel should exemplify and reinforce acceptable student dress and help students develop an understanding of appropriate appearance in the school setting. 

A student’s dress, grooming and appearance shall: 

  1. Be safe, appropriate and not disrupt or interfere with the educational process 
  2. Recognize that extremely brief garments are not appropriate
  3. Include footwear at all times. Footwear that is a safety hazard will not be allowed 
  4. Not include items that are vulgar, obscene, libelous, or denigrating to others on account of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, gender expression or identity, sexual orientation, disability, or weight 
  5. Not promote or endorse the use of alcohol, tobacco (including vaping products), or illegal drugs
  6. Not encourage illegal activities or violence
  7. Not have the purpose to be inflammatory toward other people or groups 

Nothing in this policy shall be construed to discipline or limit the ability of students to wear clothing that allows them to express their gender identity. 

Each building principal or his/her designee shall be responsible for informing all students and their parents/guardians of the student dress code at the beginning of the school year and any revisions to the dress code made during the school year. 

Students who violate the student dress code shall be required to modify their appearance by covering or removing the offending item and, if necessary or practical, replacing it with an acceptable item. Any student who refuses to do so shall be subject to discipline, up to and including restorative practices and in-school suspension for the day. Any student who repeatedly fails to comply with the dress code and not cooperate with restorative practices shall be subject to further discipline, up to and including out-of-school suspension. 

REPORTING VIOLATIONS

All students are responsible for promptly reporting violations of the Code of Conduct to school personnel. Any student observing a student possessing a weapon, alcohol or illegal substance on school property or at a school function shall report this information immediately.

All district staff who are authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions are expected to do so in a prompt, fair and lawful manner. District staff who are not authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions are expected to promptly report violations of the Code of Conduct to their supervisor, who shall in turn impose an appropriate disciplinary sanction, if so authorized, or refer the matter to a staff member who is authorized to impose an appropriate sanction.

Any weapon, alcohol or illegal substance found shall be confiscated immediately, if possible, followed by notification to the parent of the student involved and the appropriate disciplinary sanction if warranted, which may include permanent suspension and referral for prosecution.

 

DISCIPLINARY CONSEQUENCES/ PROCEDURES AND REFERRALS

Historically, the discipline of students in schools has focused mainly on handing out punishments based on specific actions. These punishments often include reprimands, loss of privileges, office referrals, detentions and suspensions. 

However, understanding discipline as a “teachable moment” is fundamental to a positive approach to discipline that emphasizes teaching pro-social behavior. Therefore, the board authorizes school personnel to use restorative justice practices where appropriate, including for the following purposes: 

  • To promote conflict resolution 
  • To encourage restitution to those harmed
  • To support student engagement in group, classroom, community, and/or re-entry circles to address misbehaviors, with the ultimate goal of teaching pro-social behavior

This approach seeks concurrent accountability and behavioral change. The main principles of restorative justice are valuing and restoring relationships, repairing the harm done to affected parties, respecting others’ opinions, and reintegrating the person who has been harmed back into the school community.

Under this model, we ask: 

  • Who has been hurt? 
  • What are their needs? 
  • Whose obligations are these? 

Essential to the implementation of restorative justice practices is helping students who have engaged in unacceptable behavior to: 

  • Understand why the behavior is unacceptable and the harm it caused 
  • Understand what could have been done differently in the same situation
  • Take responsibility for their actions
  • Make reparations and or restitution to repair the harm done
  • Be given the opportunity to learn pro-social strategies/skills to use in the future
  • Understand the progression of increasingly punitive consequence(s) that may be imposed if the behavior reoccurs

While there may be more traditional punishments in conjunction with teaching behavior expectations and treating disciplinary matters as teachable moments, this is a more effective approach than merely reacting to specific events unless student behaviors pose an immediate or ongoing threat to the safety of other students and school personnel. 

The board directs school personnel and administration to utilize restorative justice practices where appropriate in addressing student disciplinary issues. 

In the application of restorative principles, the process is always voluntary for the students. Any parent (or student over the age of 18) can request to go the traditional disciplinary route and not participate in the restorative process. This may happen at any time during the process, or if a student is unwilling to accept responsibility for their actions and is not demonstrating willingness to make amends. 

Consequence(s), and if needed, discipline, are most effective when they deal directly with the problem at the time and place it occurs, and in a way that students view as fair and impartial. School personnel who interact with students are expected to use disciplinary action only when necessary and to place emphasis on the students’ ability to grow in self-discipline. 

Consequence(s) and disciplinary action, when necessary, will be firm, fair and consistent so as to be most effective in changing student behavior. In determining the appropriate disciplinary consequence(s), school personnel authorized to impose disciplinary consequence(s) will consider the following: 

  1. The student’s age 
  2. The nature of the offense and the circumstances which led to the offense 
  3. The student’s prior disciplinary record
  4. The effectiveness of other forms of discipline
  5. Information from parents/guardians, teachers and/or others as appropriate
  6. Other extenuating circumstances. As a general rule, discipline will be progressive

This means that a student’s first violation will usually merit a lighter consequence(s) than subsequent violations. However, school personnel are empowered to utilize the consequence(s) most reasonably calculated to ensure the student learns from their behavior and engages in more pro-social behavior in the future. 

If the conduct of a student is related to a disability or suspected disability, the student shall be referred to the Committee on Special Education and discipline, if warranted, shall be administered consistent with the separate requirements of this Code of Conduct for disciplining students with a disability or presumed to have a disability. A student identified as having a disability shall not be disciplined for behavior related to his/her disability, unless the discipline is consistent with the student’s individualized education plan (IEP).

Restorative Justice Practices

Practices that allow educators to address disciplinary matters as opportunities for learning instead of punishment are expected by the board rather than a reliance on increasing punitive measures. When choosing interventions and consequence(s) of a student’s behavior, teachers, administrators and school personnel must balance the district’s dual goals of eliminating school disruptions and maximizing student instruction time. Students who are found to have demonstrated inappropriate behavior may be subject to the following interventions and consequence(s), either alone or in combination. The school personnel identified after each consequence are authorized to assign that consequence, consistent with the student’s right to due process. In conjunction with the list below, administration (with support from counselors) can employ conflict resolution meetings; restitution to those harmed; and group, classroom, classroom community and/or re-entry circle(s). Except in limited circumstances, restorative justice practices will always be considered first in dealing with disciplinary issues. 

STEP SYSTEM

The following Team Discipline Procedure and the Action/Consequence List are an attempt to involve students, teachers, parents, and administrators in the modification of student behavior in a manner that is equitable and recognizes the differences of individual students.

The following procedures will be followed when a student is deficient in daily class preparation or classroom behavior.

  • Step 1 – The student is notified directly by the teacher. Strategies are discussed with individual teacher(s) to solve this issue.
  • Step 2 – The student meets with team teachers. Student and teachers work on a written plan for success with possible parent notification.
  • Step 3 – The student may meet with all team members. The student is placed on restriction immediately. A letter will be sent home to his/her parents/guardians informing them of this issue. The student must return the letter signed by his/her parents/guardians. Two weeks from the time the signed letter is returned, the student may request removal from restriction. The application will state reasons why restriction should be discontinued. The team teachers will review and determine if the student’s behavior merits the lifting of restriction.
  • Step 4 – Restriction continues or is reinstated; a mandatory meeting with the student, parents, team members, and guidance counselor will be held.
  • Step 5 – Should the preceding steps NOT lead to a solution to the problem, the student is turned over to the administrative staff for resolution.

Further intervention may occur anytime. Required parental attendance/supervision, after hours education, participation in the mentor program, giving or receiving peer tutoring, and/or alternative education.

The above is meant to be a general outline of procedures to follow. It should be noted that a staff member may at any time contact parents or refer a student for Pupil Services Team evaluation, school counseling, or outside counseling.

Consequence Can be given by*
Oral Warning Teacher/student conference, parent contact
In-class time out, brief time out of class, loss of classroom privileges Any member of the school personnel
Written warning Bus drivers, hall and lunch monitors, coaches, school counselors, teachers, principal, superintendent
Written notification to parent Bus drivers, hall and lunch monitors, coaches, school counselors, teachers, principal, superintendent
Detention Teachers, principal, superintendent
Suspension from transportation Principal, superintendent
Suspension from athletic participation Coach, athletic director, principal, superintendent
Suspension from social or extracurricular activities Activity director, principal, superintendent
Suspension of other privileges Principal, superintendent
In-school suspension Principal, superintendent
Removal from classroom by teacher Teachers, principal
Short-term (five days or less) suspension from school Principal, superintendent, Board of Education
Long-term (more than five days) suspension from school Superintendent, Board of Education
Permanent suspension from school Superintendent, Board of Education

 

*Principal also includes assistant principals and student conduct coordinators (MS/HS) 

Procedures and Referrals

The amount of due process a student is entitled to receive before a consequence is imposed depends on the consequence being imposed. In all cases, regardless of the consequence(s) imposed, the school personnel authorized to impose the consequence(s) must inform the student of the alleged inappropriate behavior and must investigate, to the extent necessary, the facts surrounding the alleged misbehavior. All students will have an opportunity to present their version of the facts to the school personnel imposing the disciplinary consequence(s). 

Students who are to be given a consequence(s) other than an oral warning, written warning or written notification to their parents/guardians are entitled to additional rights before the consequence(s) is imposed. These additional rights are explained below: 

  1. Detention 

Teachers, principals and the superintendent may use detention as a consequence(s) for student misbehavior in situations where removal from the classroom or suspension would be inappropriate. Once assigned, the student’s parents/guardians will be notified to confirm that the student has appropriate transportation home following detention. 

  1. Suspension from transportation 

If a student does not conduct himself/herself properly on a bus, the bus driver is expected to bring such misbehavior to the principal’s attention. Students who become a serious disciplinary problem may have their riding privileges suspended by the principal or the superintendent or their designees. When a student’s riding privileges are suspended, the student’s parent will become responsible for seeing that his or her child gets to and from school safely. Should the suspension from transportation amount to a suspension from attendance, the district will make appropriate arrangements to provide for the student’s education. A student subjected to a suspension from transportation is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214. However, the student and the student’s parents/guardians will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with the building principal or the principal’s designee to discuss the conduct and the consequence(s) involved. 

  1. Suspension from athletic participation, extracurricular activities and other privileges 

A student subjected to a suspension from athletic participation, extracurricular activities or other privileges is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214. However, the student and the student’s parents/guardians will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with the district official imposing the suspension to discuss the conduct and the consequence(s) involved. 

  1. In-school Suspension 

The board recognizes the school must balance the need of students to attend school and the need for order in the classroom to establish an environment conducive to learning. As such, the board authorizes principals and the superintendent to place students who would otherwise be suspended from school as the result of a Code of Conduct violation in an in-school suspension room or a restorative room, which will be staffed by school personnel. A student subjected to an in-school suspension is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214. However, the student and the student’s parents/guardians will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with the district official imposing the in-school suspension to discuss the conduct and the consequence(s) involved. 

 

  1. Teacher Disciplinary Removal of Disruptive Students 

A student’s behavior can affect a teacher’s ability to teach and can make it difficult for other students in the classroom to learn. In most instances the classroom teacher can control a student’s behavior and maintain or restore control over the classroom by using good classroom management techniques. Such techniques may include, but are not limited to: (1) short-term “time out” in an elementary classroom or in an administrator’s office; (2) sending a student into the hallway briefly; (3) sending a student to the principal’s office for the remainder of the class time only; or (4) sending a student to a guidance counselor or other school personnel for counseling. Time-honored classroom management techniques such as these do not constitute disciplinary removals for purposes of this code. 

Teachers will first use interventions aimed at teaching appropriate and responsible behaviors so students can learn and demonstrate safe and respectful academic, social and emotional behavior. Examples of these include using affective statements, using effective questions, establishing relationships with students, giving positive directives that state expectations and giving positive and specific feedback, etc. 

On occasion, a student’s behavior may become more disruptive than a teacher can manage. For purposes of this Code of Conduct, a disruptive student is a student who is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom. A substantial disruption of the educational process or substantial interference with a teacher’s authority occurs when a student demonstrates a persistent unwillingness to comply with the teacher’s instructions or repeatedly violates the teacher’s classroom behavior rules. 

A classroom teacher may remove a disruptive student from class for up to two consecutive class periods or days. The removal from class applies to the class of the removing teacher only. 

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

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

The teacher must complete a district established disciplinary removal form and meet with the principal or his or her designee as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the school day, to explain the circumstances of the removal and to present the removal form. If the principal or designee is not available by the end of the same school day, the teacher must leave the record with the secretary and meet with the principal or designee prior to the beginning of classes on the next school day.

Within 24 hours after the student’s removal, the principal or another district administrator designated by the principal must notify the student’s parents/guardians via phone call or email, that the student has been removed from class and why. Following this initial contact, written notice will summarize the incident and must also inform the parent that he or she has the right, upon request, to meet informally with the principal or the principal’s designee to discuss the reasons for the removal.

The written notice must be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or some other means that is reasonably calculated to assure receipt of the notice within 24 hours of the student’s removal at the last known address for the parents/guardians. Where possible, notice should also be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting parents/guardians.

The principal may require the teacher who ordered the removal to attend the informal conference.

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

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

  1. The charges against the student are not supported by substantial evidence 
  2. The student’s removal is otherwise in violation of law, including the district’s Code of Conduct 
  3. The conduct warrants suspension from school pursuant to Education Law §3214 and a suspension will be imposed. The principal or his or her designee may overturn a removal at any point between receiving the referral form issued by the teacher and the close of business on the day following the 48-hour period for the informal conference, if a conference is requested. No student removed from the classroom by the classroom teacher will be permitted to return to that classroom until the principal makes a final determination, or the period of removal expires, whichever is less

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

Each teacher must keep a complete log (on a district-provided form) for all cases of removal of students from his or her class. The principal must keep a log of all removals of students from class. 

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

  1. Suspension from school 

Suspensions will be limited to students who pose an immediate or ongoing threat to oneself or others, are repeatedly, substantially disruptive or for whom restorative practices have not been effective. 

Suspension from school is a severe consequence, which may be imposed only upon students who are severely insubordinate, disorderly, violent or severely disruptive, or whose conduct otherwise endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others. 

Suspensions will be used to the minimum degree necessary to improve student behavior and maximize student attendance. 

The Board retains its authority to suspend students, but places primary responsibility for the suspension of students with the superintendent and the principals. Any school personnel may recommend to the superintendent or the principal that a student be suspended. All school personnel must immediately report and refer a violent student to the principal or superintendent for a violation of the Code of Conduct. All recommendations and referrals shall be made in writing unless the conditions underlying the recommendation or referral warrant immediate attention. In such cases, a written report is to be prepared as soon as possible by the school personnel member recommending the suspension. The superintendent or principal, upon receiving a recommendation or referral for suspension or when processing a case for suspension, shall gather the facts relevant to the matter and record them for subsequent presentation, if necessary. 

Students who participate in restorative practices ending in restorative conference and written agreement may be permitted to return to school sooner than those who do not. Early return is entirely at the discretion of the district. 

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

When the superintendent or principal (referred to as the “suspending authority”) proposes to suspend a student charged with misbehavior for five days or less pursuant to Education Law §3214(3), the suspending authority must immediately notify the student orally. If the student denies the misbehavior, the suspending authority must provide an explanation of the basis for the proposed suspension. The suspending authority must also notify the student’s parents/guardians in writing that the student may be suspended from school. The written notice must be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or some other means that is reasonably calculated to assure receipt of the notice within 24 hours of the decision to propose suspension at the last known address for the parents/guardians. Where possible, notice should also be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting the parents/guardians. 

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

The notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place before the student is suspended unless the student’s presence in school poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process. If the student’s presence does pose such a danger or threat of disruption, the notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place as soon after the suspension as is reasonably practicable. 

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Permanent suspension 

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

  1. Procedure After Suspension 

The board may condition a student’s early return from a suspension on the student’s voluntary participation in restorative conference, re-entry circles, counseling or specialized classes, such anger management or dispute resolution. The board retains discretion in offering this opportunity. If and when the student and/or parent/guardian agrees to this option, the terms and conditions shall be specified in writing. However, if the student violates the agreed-upon terms and conditions within a certain time period, the unserved portion of the suspension may be reimposed. 

  1. Minimum Periods of Suspension 
  2. Students who bring or possess certain weapons on school property Any student, other than a student with a disability, found guilty of bringing a gun, knife, explosive or incendiary bomb or other dangerous instrument capable of causing physical injury or death will be subject to suspension from school for at least one calendar year. Before being suspended, the student will have an opportunity for a hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214. The Superintendent has the authority to modify the one-year suspension on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether to modify the consequence, the Superintendent may consider the following: 
  1. The student’s age 
  2. The student’s grade in school
  3. The student’s prior disciplinary record
  4. The superintendent’s belief that other forms of discipline may be more effective
  5. Input from parents/guardians, teachers and/or others
  6. Other extenuating circumstances
  7. A student with a disability may be suspended in accordance with the requirements of state and federal law
  1. Students who commit violent acts other than bringing or possessing certain weapons on school property Any student, other than a student with a disability, who is found to have committed a violent act, other than bringing a gun, knife, explosive or incendiary bomb or other dangerous instrument capable of causing physical injury or death onto school property, shall be subject to suspension from school for at least one day. If the proposed consequence is the minimum one-day suspension, the student and the student’s parent/caregiver will be given the same notice and opportunity for an informal conference given to all students subject to a short-term suspension. If the proposed consequence exceeds five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parent will be given the same notice and opportunity for a hearing given to all students subject to a long-term suspension. The superintendent has the authority to modify the minimum one-day suspension on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether to modify the consequence, the superintendent may consider the same factors considered in modifying a one-year suspension for possessing a weapon. 
  2. Students who are repeatedly substantially disruptive of the educational process or repeatedly substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom any student, other than a student with a disability, who repeatedly is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom will be suspended from school for at least one day. For purposes of this Code of Conduct, “repeatedly is substantially disruptive” means engaging in conduct that results in the student being removed from the classroom by the teacher(s) pursuant to Education Law §3214(3-a) and this code on four or more occasions during a semester. If the proposed consequence is the minimum one-day suspension, the student and the student’s parents/guardians will be given the same notice and opportunity for an informal conference given to all students subject to a short-term suspension. If the proposed consequence exceeds a five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parents/guardians will be given the same notice and opportunity for a hearing given to all students subject to a long-term suspension. The superintendent has the authority to modify the minimum one-day suspension on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether to modify the consequence, the Superintendent may consider the same factors considered in modifying a one-year suspension for possessing a weapon. 
  3. Referrals 
  1. Counseling – The Counseling Office shall handle all referrals of students to counseling. 
  2. PINS Petitions – The district may file a PINS (person in need of supervision) petition in Family Court on any student under the age of 18 who demonstrates that he or she requires supervision and treatment by: 
    1. Being habitually truant and not attending school as required by part one of Article 65 of the Education Law. 
    2. Engaging in an ongoing or continual course of conduct which makes the student ungovernable, or habitually disobedient and beyond the lawful control of the school.
    3. Knowingly and unlawfully possess marijuana in violation of Penal Law §221.05. A single violation of §221.05 will be a sufficient basis for filing a PINS petition. 
  1. Juvenile Delinquents and Juvenile Offenders For students found to have brought either a weapon (defined in 18 USC §930(g)(2) or firearm (defined in 18 USC §921), the superintendent is required to make the following referrals: 
  1. To the Saratoga County Attorney for a juvenile delinquency proceeding before the Family Court 
  2. All students under age 16, except students age 14 or 15 who qualify for juvenile offender status under the Criminal Procedure Law 1.20(42) 
  3. To the appropriate law enforcement authorities:  All students age 16 or older, and all students age 14 or 15 who qualify for juvenile offender status under Criminal Procedure Law 1.20(42)

As a reminder, a dangerous weapon under 18 USC §930(g)(2) is: any weapon, device, instrument, material or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, except for a pocket knife with a blade less than 2 ½ inches long. A firearm under 18 USC §921 is: any weapon which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by an explosive or the firearm or receiver of such weapon or any firearm muffler or silencer; or any destructive device (e.g., bomb, grenade, rocket missile, mine, etc.,) however this does not include antique firearms (e.g. those from 1898 or prior, or certain replicas). 

ALTERNATIVE INSTRUCTION

When a student of any age is removed from class by a teacher or a student of compulsory attendance age is suspended from school pursuant to Education Law §3214, the district will take immediate steps to provide alternative means of instruction for the student. The Board of Education expects students, administrators, teachers and parents/guardians to make every effort to maintain student academic progress in the event of removal or suspension, and support student reentry to the classroom at the conclusion of the disciplinary action

DISCIPLINE OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

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

This Code of Conduct affords students with disabilities subject to disciplinary action no greater or lesser rights than those expressly afforded by applicable federal and state law and regulations. Please see a copy of the complete code for details on the board’s policy for disciplining students with disabilities.

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT

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

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

STUDENT SEARCHES AND INTERROGATIONS

Any school official authorized to impose a disciplinary penalty on a student may question a student about an alleged violation of law or the District Code of Conduct. Students are not entitled to any sort of “Miranda”-type warning before being questioned by school officials, nor are school officials required to contact a student’s parent before questioning the student. However, school officials will tell all students why they are being questioned.

In addition, the board authorizes the superintendent, building principals, and district security officials to conduct searches of students and their belongings if the authorized school official has reasonable suspicion to believe that the search will result in evidence that the student violated the law or the District Code of Conduct.

An authorized school official may conduct a search of a student’s belongings that is minimally intrusive, such as touching the outside of a book bag, without reasonable suspicion so long as the school official has a legitimate reason for the very limited search. Whenever practicable, searches will be conducted in the privacy of administrative offices and students will be present when their possessions are being searched.

  • Student Lockers, Desks, other School Storage Places

      1. The rules in the Code of Conduct regarding searches of students and their belongings do not apply to student lockers, desks, and other school storage places.
      2. Students have no reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to these places and school officials retain complete control over them. This means that student lockers, desks, and other school storage places may be subject to search at any time by school officials, without prior notice to students and without their consent.
  • Police Involvement in Searches and Interrogations of Students

      1. District officials are committed to cooperating with police officials and other law enforcement authorities to maintain a safe school environment. Police officials may enter school property or a school function to question or search a student or to conduct a formal investigation involving students only if they have:
        1. A search or an arrest warrant; or
        2. Probable cause to believe a crime has been committed on school property or at a school function; or
        3. Been invited by school officials.
  • Child Protective Services Investigations

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

VISITORS TO THE SCHOOLS

The complete Code outlines the district’s expectations of visitors and other members of the public who participate in district activities or visit district buildings. As a general rule, members of the public who attend a school function or visit a school building are expected to act in a respectful and orderly manner. In addition, all persons on school property or attending a school function are expected to be properly attired for the purpose they are on school property. Failure to follow district rules may result in the removal of the individual from the school function and/or district property.

RESTRICTION

The term restriction shall include the following parameters.

  1. The student will not be allowed to leave study hall to go to the library or to a computer lab unless they have a class assignment that requires library work or a computer and have obtained a pre-signed pass
  2. The student is not to leave the cafeteria during lunch except for bathroom and only with permission
  3. The student may not attend Teen Towns
  4. The student may continue to attend supervised after school clubs and activities

Restriction may be assigned as a consequence alone or in combination with other penalties or after Late Detention or Out-of-School Suspension.

DIGNITY FOR ALL STUDENTS ACT (DASA)

The board of education recognizes that learning environments that are safe and supportive can increase student attendance and improve academic achievement. A student’s ability to learn and achieve high academic standards, and a school’s ability to educate students, is compromised by incidents of discrimination or harassment, including but not limited to bullying, taunting and intimidation. Therefore, in accordance with the Dignity for All Students Act, Education Law, Article 2 the District will strive to create an environment free of discrimination and harassment and will foster civility in the schools to prevent and prohibit conduct which is inconsistent with the District’s educational mission.

The district condemns and prohibits all forms of discrimination and harassment of students based on actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex by school employees or students on school property and at school-sponsored activities or school events that take place at locations off school property. In addition, any act of discrimination or harassment, outside of school sponsored events, which can reasonably be expected to materially and substantially disrupt the education process may be subject to discipline. This includes the use of hate speech and slurs, either in person, in writing or online.

In order to ensure the safety of all students as well as maintain a respectful environment that encourages learning, OWWMS’s code of conduct is included in this student handbook. While the code does not limit or restrict freedom of speech nor any constitutional or individual right, it does not allow for abuse of individuals, and therefore maintains the academic environment appropriate for our students. The code of conduct applies at all times while students are under the jurisdiction of the South Glens Falls Central School District. This includes on the way to and from school on the bus, attending school-sponsored activities, in the classroom and on the athletic fields. These expectations extend beyond the school setting if they reasonably can be found to be disruptive to the learning environment or if an individual student does not feel safe to fully participate in school-based upon incidents that take place off school grounds (including online cyberbullying).

In compliance with the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), students and adults are not to harass, bully, annoy, bother, tease, or discriminate against another student; nor will they treat a person differently because of how they look or act. This includes someone’s race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex. At OWWMS we will never tolerate the mistreatment of other students, and any reported incident will be thoroughly and immediately investigated.

Any student who feels unsafe or believes that they have been harassed, bullied or discriminated against, or any student who witnesses another student being mistreated for what appears to be their race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practices, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex should immediately tell an adult in the school and, when possible, help that student who is being targeted. In addition to the above prohibited behaviors, the following are also prohibited student conduct:

Prohibited Student Conduct:

  1. Engaging in conduct that is disorderly
  2. Engaging in conduct that is insubordinate (not following directions.)
  3. Engaging in conduct that is disruptive
  4. Engaging in conduct that is violent
  5. Engaging in any conduct that endangers the safety, physical or emotional welfare of others
  6. Engaging in misconduct while on a school bus
  7. Engaging in any form of academic misconduct including cheating
  8. Engaging in off-campus (including online) misconduct that interferes with or can reasonably be expected to substantially disrupt the education process in the school or at a school function

DEFINITIONS OF THE 11 PROTECTED CLASSES UNDER THE DIGNITY FOR ALL STUDENTS ACT

Race – seven categories: (1) Hispanic/Latino; (2) American Indian or Alaskan Native; (3) Asian; (4) Black or African American; (5) Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; (6) White; or (7) Two or more races.

Color – the color of a person’s skin.

Weight – the physical size of a person.

National Origin – where you or your relatives were born.

Ethnic Group – being a part of a group of people who are connected by a shared language, culture and/or common religion.

Religion – religious or spiritual beliefs.

Religious Practices – the expression of your religious or spiritual beliefs.

Disability – a person’s body or mind that does not look or work the same as others.

Sexual Orientation – identifying as gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, questioning or transgender.

Gender Identity – how a person feels about being a male or female, not necessarily how they look.

Sex – the physical differences between men and women.

Oliver W. Winch Middle School DASA Coordinator
Michael Palanza, Assistant Principal
Phone: 518-792-5891 Ext. 20302   Email: palanzam@sgfcsd.org

Please refer to the District’s complete Code of Conduct, located at www.sgfcsd.org for detailed information.

STUDENT LIFE

HOMEWORK: Learning is important and should continue after school hours. Homework is a way of encouraging and extending learning and is key to student success. Homework provides:

  • Practice on learned skills
  • Further learning in areas covered in the classroom
  • An opportunity for students to learn good work habits
  • An opportunity for growth in responsibility

You can make your study habits at home successful by observing the following:

  • Be sure you understand each assignment, and write down all homework assignments in your assignment book.
  • Have all the necessary materials at home with you.
  • Develop the skill of working independently
  • Study in a place that has good lighting and is quiet
  • Strive to do your best at all times
  • Understand that your teachers require homework to be completed and returned
  • Use the Homework Support Clubs.  They are available and often required for students by the teams

DRINKS/FOOD

Students may carry a clear plastic water bottle for use in the classroom. Students will only be allowed to carry water during the school day. Please know that teachers will confiscate any other drinks, including energy drinks, sodas or coffee. In addition, food will only be allowed in the classroom if the student is working with a teacher during their lunch period (for example, no food allowed in Study Hall). Students with 504, safety, or health plans that allow the student to carry specific drinks or foods will be allowed to do so.

HEADWEAR

In addition to the student dress code, students will not be allowed to wear any headwear in the classroom (hats, hoods, bandanas) unless specifically required by religious beliefs. This applies to students of any gender.

LOCKERS, BOOKBAGS, AND COATS

Lockers are the property of the South Glens Falls Central School District. Therefore, all lockers are subject to being opened and inspected by school district administrators and staff at any time. Students should not have any expectation of privacy regarding the contents of the lockers. Periodic inspections will be made by the homeroom teacher and principal to see that lockers are kept clean and orderly. You are responsible for keeping your locker neat and free from writing at all times.  You will have time to find your locker and practice opening it during homeroom on the first day of school.

Please only use the locker assigned to you. Do not allow other students to use your locker. Keep it locked at all times. Do not tamper with another locker or give your combination to another person. All articles left in school lockers are the sole responsibility of the student. 

Students are responsible for arriving in class on time with all necessary books and materials. Teachers will not let you leave class to go to your locker. 

HALL PASSES

  1. Students must have a pass when they are in the hall or the bathroom during class time
  2. You must have your pass visibly with you in the hall
  3. Your teacher must sign your pass for you to leave during class
  4. If you do not have your signed pass while passing in the halls during classes, you will be returned to the point of origin
  5. Students must use the most direct route from their point of origin to the destination as indicated on their pass. Stopping at lockers, the bathroom, etc. is not permitted

BICYCLES

If you ride your bike to school, please bring your own lock. The school is not responsible if your bike is missing or damaged.

All bicycles should be locked while parked in the designated bicycle parking area in front of the building.  Students under the age of 14 are required by law to wear safety helmets.

 

STUDENT HEALTH

EMERGENCY CARDS

All students must have an emergency card on file in the health office with parent’s/guardian’s names and phone numbers. Because of the diverse number of incidents that could happen, we must know where to reach parents during our school day.

MEDICATIONS

New York State Law requires that all prescription and non-prescription medications must be stored and administered in the Health Office. It is the student’s responsibility to report to the health office for the administration of medication. When it is necessary for a student to take medications during school hours, the RN or LPN under the direction of the RN may administer the medication if the parent submits a written request accompanied by a physician’s written request that indicates the frequency and dosage of the medication. Such medication is to be brought to the school Health Office in its original container by the parent (New York State Department of Health and the New York State Education Department).

NEW MEDICATION REGULATIONS

School health offices need written permission from both physician and parent in order to administer acetaminophen, ibuprofen, bactine, first aid cream, caladryl, and antibiotic ointments. Medication permission forms are available for your convenience.

STUDENT ACTIVITIES

  • Activities and Organizations: Student Council, SADD, International Club, Memory Book, Outdoor Club, Ski Club, Book Club, TV Staff, Helping Hands, Drama Club, Art Club, Intramural, and Interscholastic teams comprise some of the many activities offered to students during the school year. Students are encouraged to participate in the extracurricular activities offered.
  • Sport Participation: Interscholastic athletics are offered for grade 7 and 8 students. Prior to the start of tryout sessions or practice at the beginning of each season and within 30 days of the start of the season, a health history form for each athlete must be completed by the parent/guardian. Parents and athletes will also be expected to read the District Athletic Guide and sign the permission slip on the final page and return it to the coach.
  • Teen Town: Only Oliver W. Winch Middle School students may attend. Teen Towns are scheduled from 7-8:30 p.m. Parents are requested to pick up students at 8:30 p.m. sharp. Parents are also encouraged to attend as chaperones. Chaperons should plan to arrive and sign in by 6:45 p.m.
    Students are to enter and exit through the designated entrance at the front of the building. No student is to enter the building after 7 p.m. unless accompanied by a parent. Students may not leave a dance or Teen Town before 8:30 p.m. unless accompanied by a parent. Students involved in interscholastic sports may enter late with permission.
    Students are not permitted on the second floor and are not allowed to go to their lockers. The code of conduct will be enforced.
    Additionally, inappropriate types of dancing are prohibited. Inappropriate dancing includes swinging around, making chains, any type of gymnastics such as forward rolls or getting on another’s shoulders or dancing that involves inappropriate physical demonstration of affection. All refreshments are to be consumed in the lobby area. Students are expected to dispose of trash in garbage cans and to report any spills immediately.
    Any student who is ejected from a Teen Town must leave the building accompanied by a parent/guardian.
    Students who owe money for lunches, library books, etc., will not be permitted to attend Teen Towns until this debt has been paid. Students who are on restriction or who are absent that day are NOT allowed to attend Teen Towns.  Students are not to be on school property if they are not attending the Teen Town.
  • Activity Period: The activity period is 2:05 to 2:45 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. This is a time when students may be required to meet with teachers, attend meetings, participate in extracurricular activities or stay for detention. All students remaining after school must be under the direct supervision of a teacher. Walkers should exit the building upon dismissal. Bus students must report to the cafeteria, sign in, and sit quietly until dismissal to the bus by the monitor. Any student boarding an activity bus must have a bus pass given to them by the supervising teacher. Students who leave school property cannot ride the activity bus. Students cannot return to the building without checking in at the main office.
  • Cafeteria: Students attend lunch by grade levels. Several options for food purchases are available daily and are noted on a monthly calendar distributed by the lunch program supervisor. A computerized point of sale system is available for students. Checks should be made out to the SGF School Lunch Fund.

At lunch, the following behavior is expected and enforced by the lunchroom supervisors:

  • Students must report to the cafeteria on time. A bell will ring to signal the end of the transition from class to lunch.
  • Students should find a chair, at a table, and eat lunch.
  • Students must clean up after themselves.
  • Students should remain seated. If they wish to move to another part of the cafeteria, they should find a seat upon arriving at the new table.
  • Students needing to leave the lunch area must sign out with the lunch supervisor and receive a pass.
  • All food and drink are to be consumed in the cafeteria during the appropriate lunch period. Open containers are not allowed out of the cafeteria. Eating and drinking are not allowed in the halls.
  • Students borrowing money for lunch are expected to make payment the following day.

 

PERSONAL ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT GUIDELINES

Oliver W. Winch Middle School has adopted a policy consistent with the understanding that personal electronic devices are a regular part of our daily lives. As such, procedures have been updated to reflect the opportunity for students to learn responsible and appropriate use while at school. The following policy outlines our expectations for all students during the school day.

  1. The school is not responsible for any student-owned device. Students MUST care for and secure their devices at all times.
  2. The student takes full responsibility for his/her device. When not in use, the device should be securely locked in the student locker.
  3. Violations of any South Glens Falls CSD Board of Education policies, school procedures or rules involving a student’s personally owned device may result in the loss of use of the device in school and/or additional consequences. All rules for academic integrity/plagiarisms apply to student-owned devices.
  4. When asked, the student must comply with a staff request to shut off/down the device or put the screen to sleep.
  5. The student will not be allowed to charge his/her device while at school.
  6. The student may not use the device to record, transmit or post photos or videos of a person or persons on campus. No image or video recorded at school can be transmitted or posted at any time without the express permission of a teacher.
  7. During school hours, (beginning at 7:35 a.m.) the student can only use his/her device to access classroom-related activities in compliance with established school guidelines. Accessing classroom-related activities on a mobile device means:
    1. The device is used only for academic purposes with teacher permission.
    2. The device is not used in a classroom with a substitute teacher.
    3. Devices are not allowed during school emergency situations. This includes fire drills, building lockdowns and/or evacuations.
    4. The bathrooms, locker rooms, and cafeteria are NO DEVICE ZONES.
    5. Earbuds are not allowed except when a teacher gives permission to access audio content in class. If using earbuds, one bud should be left out at all times.
  8. The use/possession of any electronic device, including cell phones, during all New York State Assessments, is expressly prohibited both by this school and the New York State Education Department and may result in the invalidation of an individual or entire classroom tests along with appropriate disciplinary consequences.
  9. Parents should continue to contact students through the office during school hours. Texting during class time is disruptive to the learning environment. Students can always be reached through communication with the main office.