Student Handbook and Code of Conduct
Welcome to the 2018-19 school year! It is my hope that this school year will provide us with exciting opportunities for learning, personal growth, and new experiences. The student agenda is provided as a tool to assist you in being successful in school, and you are required to bring it with you to classes. Pass sheets are also included in the agenda and you are required to have your agenda when traveling in the halls.
The Student Handbook within the Agenda contains information that will be important for you to review throughout the year. Student activities, clubs and organizations are described, and I invite and encourage you to participate in these opportunities. Important information regarding grading and scheduling is outlined for your review. Special services and programs offered at our high school are also described. Procedures for acceptable use of computers and the internet are included, and you are required to become familiar with these policies. A listing of student government officers and important dates to assist you with planning a successful year are in your handbook.
The Student Code of Conduct begins on page nine of the handbook. It is our expectation that you will behave in an appropriate manner that will not disrupt your learning process or your classmates. With your cooperation, we will provide you with a safe and healthy environment in which to learn. Please read the Code of Conduct carefully and return the tear-off page with the specified signatures to your homeroom teacher by September 21.
Thank you for your cooperation. I am looking forward to working with you to make this a rewarding school year.
High School Principal
Student Handbook Preface
The following rules are designed to create and maintain a school climate in which all of us can work and learn effectively. The Code of Conduct summarizes items of law, Board of Education policy, and administrative regulations. It is intended to ensure that each student has the opportunity to achieve as much as possible, that the educational program is free of interruptions, and that the rights and personal property of all individuals in the building will be respected.
Discipline is the positive direction of behavior toward established standards of conduct, fully understood and based on reason, judgment, and the rights of others. Ideal discipline is self-directed and self-controlled. The school, community, and parents share the responsibility for helping students develop self-discipline. Discipline is necessary to ensure an orderly environment in which each person may live and learn to his or her full capabilities in harmony with society.
Those acts of an individual that are illegal in society are subject to the same penalties and procedures when they occur in school as when they occur in other locations. School authorities will request police assistance and will cooperate in the investigation of incidents occurring on school premises. The school authorities’ effectiveness in detecting and penalizing persons responsible depends heavily on the willingness of responsible student citizens to provide information and to assist authorities when needed. No loyalty is owed to such offenders by other students.
The effectiveness of any set of rules is limited in any society by the degree of acceptance by the members of the society and their cooperation in observing and enforcing them.
The school conduct and discipline codes are part of New York State SAVE legislation. This handbook constitutes the required SAVE notification.
Student Code of Conduct
The most important indicator of success in school is good attendance. Our “block” schedule makes good attendance very important since classes meet every other day.
Absence Classification: The student shall be present on each scheduled school day and attend all classes. Legal absences for which the teacher will assist with makeup work include:
- Personal illness or death in the family
- Approved college visitations – Grades 11 and 12 only, limit of three days – administrative approval required for additional days
driver’s road test
- Obligatory religious observance
- Music lessons
- School field trips
- Other school activities
All legal absences should be kept to a minimum. Excessive absences may have an impact on your ability to pass a course.
All other absences are illegal or truant. Illegal absences (those with parent permission, but not for one of the reasons mentioned above) require the student to request work missed. A student who is truant or cuts a class will receive zeros for work missed and will not have the opportunity to make up assignments.
Parents / Guardians should notify the school in advance about all absences by calling 399-9141, ext. 83310. Students returning from an absence are required to bring a written note from their parent / guardian on the first day back to school. The note should state the reason for and date of the absence and include a phone number for the parent / guardian and the student’s Homeroom number. The note should be given to the Attendance Clerk before school; who will issue a re-admittance slip. The Clerk may also call the parent / guardian to confirm the absence.
Since the school is responsible for all students during school hours:
If a student will be tardy to school, parents / guardians should call the Attendance Office at 399-9141 (ext. 83310). Students arriving late to school must have a note signed by a parent or guardian, stating the reason the student is late. Notes should also include the date and the time the student should be signing in, along with a phone number for the parent / guardian and the student’s Homeroom number. Students who are tardy to school should report to the Attendance Office when he/she arrives to school in order to sign-in. Students who fail to follow these procedures or are marked with an unexcused tardy will be subject to disciplinary action by an Assistant Principal.
- Students who become ill or injured during the school day must report to the nurse. The nurse cannot give medication, but she can administer first aid, evaluate the situation, and make arrangements with parents for such treatments or transportation as may be necessary.
- Students who need to be released for an appointment during the school day must present a note to the Attendance Clerk by the end of Block 2 (10:54). This note needs to be signed by a parent or guardian, and should state when and why the student is to be excused. This note should also include a phone number for the parent / guardian and the student’s Homeroom number. The student should report to the Attendance Office in the morning to be given a dismissal pass. The student should return to school with his/her dismissal pass to sign back in at the Attendance Office. Administrative approval will be required for any note submitted after 10:54. Parents may be required to sign students out directly if the above procedures have not been followed.
- Students needing to leave the building without a note must be approved by an administrator upon verbal confirmation from a parent or guardian.
Leaving school property without first receiving permission will be considered a violation of the code of conduct and will result in:
- 1st Offense – Internal suspension with parent notification.
- 2nd Offense – External suspension and loss of driving privileges. A parent conference may be required for readmission.
Attendance and Homeroom: The homeroom attendance check is the official atten¬dance record for the day. Students must be in homeroom in order to receive attendance credit for the day.
TO BE ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN ANY EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITY (INCLUDING REHEARSALS, ATHLETIC PRACTICES, ETC.) STUDENTS MUST BE IN ATTENDANCE FOR THEIR ENTIRE DAY, INCLUDING HOMEROOM. Any modification must be approved by the principal in advance.
Excessive legal absences from a class will result in a phone call from the counselor to the parent. Students who must be absent for more than ten (10) days because of ill health are entitled to home tutoring. Information and arrangements can be made with the student’s counselor.
Religious absence obligations should be met in out-of-school hours as much as possible. In cases where a student must leave school to attend services, a note from home must be submitted to the attendance office in advance.
Tardiness to School: Each student is expected to report promptly to school, all classes and homeroom. Students who are tardy to class may be required by the teacher to report for detention after school. Students who arrive after 7:50 a.m. must sign in with the Attendance Clerk. Students who are tardy to school without a note will not be given a pass to class. They can expect consequences to be assigned by their teacher and Assistant Principal.
Makeup Work: Work missed due to legal absence must be made up. Makeup work is expected during the (AAP) Academic Assistance Period (2:25-3:15 p.m.). Requests for homework resulting from prolonged absence should be made to the student’s counselor with 24-hours’ notice.
Truancy from Class: High school students who are truant (absent without permission) from a class will be given a zero for any work missed.
- The first time a student is truant from a class, the teacher or assistant principal will communicate with the student’s parent/guardian by telephone to inform them of the truancy. Immediately following the communication, the teacher or assistant principal will provide a written confirmation to the student’s guidance counselor that the communication took place. Detention will be assigned by the teacher or an administrator.
- The second time a student is truant from a class, the student will be assigned to internal suspension, and the parent/guardian will be notified.
- Subsequent truancy will result in referral to the principal and the superintendent for appropriate action.
FVO-TEC Attendance: The VO-TEC Program is considered part of our high school. Regular attendance is expected. Excessive absences will result in a parent conference and may result in the student being dropped from the program. VO-TEC students who miss the bus are to report directly to Mr. Weinlein or the appropriate Assistant Principal. These students may not drive without Administrative approval. They will be placed in a supervised study situation for the duration of their VO-TEC Program time that day.
Student Motor Vehicles
Although use of student transportation is not encouraged, it will be granted to all seniors who apply. Juniors and sophomores with special needs may be granted driving privileges with Principal’s approval. Students requesting parking permits are required to submit a copy of their valid driver’s license and a copy of the registration of the vehicle being used.
- All student motor vehicles must be registered by purchasing a parking tag ($10.00) at the Main Office.
- Student motor vehicles are to be parked only in the rear parking area according to established parking patterns without obstruction to other traffic, building exits, or fire lanes.
- School buses are to be given the right of way on grounds at all times.
- No student driving or parking is permitted in front of the school. Students should enter and exit school grounds through the Lakehill Road exit only.
- Students may not leave the school grounds by car without permission from a building administrator before the end of the school day.
- Students may not loiter in or around vehicles at any time. Cars are not to be used as a locker. Students cannot access cars during the day without administrative approval.
Student vehicles that are parked on district property may be searched by school officials in the event reasonable suspicion exists with respect to student conduct violating the handbook.
Any violation of the above regulations, as determined by school district officials, may result in student suspension, the loss of the privilege to drive and park on school grounds, the car being towed at the owner’s expense and/or additional disciplinary actions as determined by school officials.
ANY STUDENT DRIVING IN A MANNER THAT ENDANGERS THE SAFETY OR PROPERTY OF OTHERS AS DETERMINED BY SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICIALS, OR FAILING TO PROPERLY REGISTER THEIR MOTOR VEHICLE AS REQUIRED, WILL RESULT IN THE LOSS OF DRIVING AND PARKING PRIVILEGES.
Additional Student Responsibilities
- All students will be assigned to a study hall for all periods in which they are not scheduled for a class. A study atmosphere will be maintained at all times. Students may go to the library, cafeteria, etc. with a pass. More detailed rules and regulations will be supplied by Study Hall teachers.
- An Academic Assistance Period is provided on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 2:25 – 3:15 PM. Students who remain in the building during Academic Assistance Period (AAP) are required to be with a teacher or in the library. Students must receive a bus pass from the last teacher they were with in order to ride the AAP dismissal bus.
- Seniors with Late Arrival and Early Release permission should sign in and/or out with the lobby monitor at the gymnasium entrance. Students are not to be in academic corridors without passes during class periods.
Leaving school without permission is a safety and security concern.
Acts of Vandalism, Theft, or Destruction of Property
Students will be subject to disciplinary action when they engage in acts of vandalism, theft, or destruction of school or another individual’s property. A student shall not be involved in willful or malicious destruction or defacing of school property or the property of others. A student shall not be a part of any theft or unauthorized possession of school or another individual’s property. For each offense, student’s parent/guardian will be notified. In-school suspension or out-of-school suspension may be assigned. If applicable, police notification will be made, and restitution required.
Dignity for All
Bullying is a conscious, willful, deliberate activity intended to harm in which the bully uses power to cause pain/and or misery. It can be verbal, physical, electronic and/or relational; may include as its focus but is not limited to:
- Physical attributes
- Mental ability/disability
- Religious practice
- Sexual orientation (or perceived sexual orientation)
- Social-economic status
- Other differences (perceived or real)
It includes all forms of hazing and cyberbullying that may have an effect on our school environment. It can be and often is continuous and repeated over time, but does not have to be. Once is enough to constitute bullying.
Any form of bullying by, between or among students will result in disciplinary action. This may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Verbal warnings
- Communication with parent(s)
- Loss of privileges
- AAP detention
- Internal suspension
- External suspension
- Notification and involvement of outside law enforcement agencies
- Any other consequence or disciplinary action as outlined by the Student Code of Conduct
Any student who believes that he or she has been subjected to bullying, whether by a teacher, other student, or any individual on school grounds or school activities should report the alleged misconduct immediately to an administrator or a faculty/staff member.
Threats and/or Acts of Violence
Threats of violence will not be tolerated. Students shall not make any threats, suggestions or predictions of violence against any person or group of persons or to the school building orally, in writing, or electronically. Any threats or threats of violence (for example, texting, Facebook etc.) — whether or not made during school hours or on school grounds — shall result in immediate suspension from school. Threats of violence are prosecuted in accordance with New York State Legislation.
All students are asked to report any and all threats of violence, including jokes and threats of suicide.
All students involved in a physical altercation, (fighting, etc.) may be subject to external suspension.
The district reserves the right to hold the student responsible for any costs and/or damages incurred by the district because of a threat.
The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District defines “weapon” broadly, based on intent and potential to harm another person.
In accordance with Federal law, students may not have knives, guns, explosives, fireworks, sprays, or other possibly dangerous articles or facsimiles of such articles in their possession in the school building, on the grounds, at school sponsored events, or on buses. Students should be aware that building administrators or their designee has the right by law to search students and/or lockers, cars, or personal possessions when there is reasonable suspicion of a violation. Violations will result in police involvement and possible suspension from school for one (1) calendar year.
Use of Tobacco
In accordance with State and Federal law, use and/or possession of tobacco, tobacco related products and smoking paraphernalia is prohibited on school property, school grounds and school functions. A student is in violation of the smoking policy if found smoking; holding a lighted cigarette; warning smokers of the impending arrival of a staff member; possessing tobacco, including smokeless products; and possessing smoking paraphernalia such as a cigarette lighter, matches, packaging, containers, etc.
- 1st Offense – Internal suspension.
- 2nd Offense – External suspension for one day.
- Subsequent Offenses – External suspension, 1-5 days with a possible Superintendent’s hearing.
Tobacco products should not be brought to school. Students should expect them to be confiscated.
Students should be aware that building administrators or their designee has the right by law to search students and/or lockers, cars, or personal possessions when there is reasonable suspicion of a violation.
Drugs & Alcohol
All school properties are designated as “Drug-Free School Zones.” Legal penalties for violators will be doubled in these zones.
Possessing, consuming, selling, buying, distributing, exchanging (or the attempt to do any of the above) alcohol beverages or illegal substances or being under the influence of is strictly prohibited on school property or at any school sponsored function at any time.
The term “illegal substances” includes, but is not limited to inhalants, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP, amphetamines, heroin, steroids, look-a-likes, and any substances commonly referred to as “synthetic or designer drugs” or drug paraphernalia. Examples of drug paraphernalia include (but are not limited to) pipes, bowls, electronic cigarettes, vapor pens, juul devices, hookah pens, etc. The inappropriate use or sharing of prescription, over-the-counter drugs, and cough remedies is also prohibited.
Violation of these regulations may result in an automatic suspension from school up to five (5) days and a possible readmission hearing through the Superintendent of Schools. The student may also be scheduled for three (3) sessions with the school Social Worker or Psychologist. Additional terms or conditions may be assigned.
This penalty will apply to students who are in possession of or are determined to be under the influence of alcoholic beverages or illegal substances on school property or at a school sponsored event and to students who are part of a group where it has been determined that either drugs or alcohol were being used.
Students should be aware that building administrators or their designee has the right by law to search students and/or lockers, cars, or personal possessions when there is reasonable suspicion of a violation.
Students will be subject to disciplinary action, (loss of privileges, detention, ISS, OSS, etc.) when they engage in insubordinate conduct. Insubordinate conduct includes but is not limited to: failure to comply with reasonable directions of teachers and school personnel, leaving school without permission, failure to attend detention, and expressions or gestures of disrespect including use of profanity and degrading, offensive language, or otherwise demonstrating disrespect.
Academic Integrity requires students to take full responsibility for their own work. The Burnt Hills- Ballston Lake High School attaches importance to the development of work skills and ethics needed for success in an academic setting, the world of work and the civic community. Honesty and integrity are essential in the development of good character. Dishonesty in any form is wrong and will not be tolerated.
What does acting with academic integrity look like?
- Independently completing your own work, assignments, quizzes, tests, lab reports, etc. and not allowing others to copy from you.
- Group work: When teacher-directed collaboration is authorized for the learning process, each student’s answer(s) should demonstrate individual thought process and reflect work generated by the group.
- Citing of Sources: When another work, in any form, is directly used or paraphrased, it must have proper citation.
- Reporting observed or known violations of plagiarism and/or cheating.
Violations of Academic Integrity include:
- Copying or reproducing someone else’s work (homework, lab reports, tests, quizzes, essays, projects, etc.) with or without consent.
- Plagiarizing: taking information from a source or sources without giving credit.
- Recycling/Multiple Submissions: reusing class work, assignments or tests from other students, from other classes or from previous years.
- Unauthorized collaboration: For example, turning individual assignments into group work or soliciting group input in the completion of an individual assignment.
- Cheating: taking credit for work you did not do.
- Aiding: knowing, actively, or directly allowing someone to copy from you, or providing the means to do so.
- Using technology to engage in any of the above activities.
Students who engage in these activities should expect one or more of the following penalties as determined by the teacher and administrator:
- Academic referral/parent notification
- Lowered grades, including zeros, for the work in question
- A redo / resubmission of the assignment with a limited grade
- Loss of privileges (Early Release, Late Arrival, Parking privileges, etc.)
- In-School Suspension (ISS)
- Out-of-School Suspension (OSS)
- Possible denial / loss of course credit
- Disqualification for and/or loss of membership in Honor Societies and various student organizations
- Impact on official transcript
- Possible negative college recommendations
Students are reminded of the seriousness of these types of violation during the Local and Regents exam period. Engaging in these activities may result in course failure and denial of credit. In addition, this type of violation may have an impact on graduation, including a student’s participation in the graduation ceremony.
For the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School Consequences for Cheating and Plagiarism, go to:
Responsible use of Technology
The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District will use electronic resources as powerful and compelling tools for students to further understand all subjects and apply skills in relevant and rigorous ways. It is the District’s goal to provide students with rich and ample opportunities to use technology as individuals do in workplaces and other real-life settings. The District’s technology will enable educators and students to communicate, learn, share, collaborate and think and solve problems, manage their work, and take ownership of their lives.
These regulations are written to promote positive and effective digital citizenship among students and staff. Digital citizenship represents more than technology literacy: successful, technologically fluent digital citizens live safely and civilly in an increasingly digital world. They recognize that information posted on the Internet is public and permanent and can have a long-term impact on an individual’s life and career. Expectations for student and staff behavior online are no different from face-to-face interactions. Access to the school’s technology resources is a privilege. All activities conducted using BH-BL resources are subject to monitoring by the District.
If a student is unsure whether a contemplated activity may be in violation of stated policies, he/she should contact his/her teacher to ensure that this activity can be implemented.
District technology resources include (but not limited to) the transmission infrastructure, wired and wireless equipment, files and storage, e-mail and Internet content (blogs, web sites, web mail, groups, wikis, etc.). The District reserves the right to prioritize the use of, and access to, all technology resources.
All use of district technology resources must support academic or classroom activities, educational research and other learning opportunities consistent with the educational mission of the District.
All student personal devices must be authenticated on the District’s network. Personal devices must be equipped with up-to-date virus software, compatible network card and configured properly. Non-compliant devices will be removed. Connection of any personal electronic device is subject to all guidelines in this document. Expectations for responsible use remain the same, whether a personal or district device is used. The District will not be responsible for personal property that is lost, stolen or damaged. The District will not be responsible for unauthorized financial obligations resulting from District-provided Internet access.
Acceptable uses of technology resources by District students include:
- Creation of files, projects, videos, web pages and podcasts using network resources in support of educational research.
- Participation by students in District-approved blogs, wikis, bulletin boards, social networking sites and groups and the creation of content for podcasts, and web pages that support the mission of the district.
- Publication online of original educational material, curriculum-related materials and student work. Sources outside the classroom or school must be sited appropriately.
Unacceptable uses of technology by district students include but are not limited to:
- Cyber bullying or cyber threatening material, either in the form of text or images, posted on personal web sites, social networking sites, blogs, or transmitted via email, discussion groups, message boards, chat rooms, instant messages, or via cellular phones is prohibited.
- The use of the District’s Internet system, cellular devices on school district property, cellular devices not on district property or the use of an internet system not owned or operated by District to bully or harass other students, faculty and staff is prohibited.
- Off-campus cyberbullying or cyber threats – regardless of the form in which the message is transmitted endangering the health, welfare or safety of students, faculty or staff within the District or adversely affecting the educational process is prohibited. Students engaging in this type of conduct will be disciplined according to the District’s Code of Conduct or as outlined within this policy.
- Using network resources for personal gain, commercial solicitation and compensation of any kind.
- Downloading, installation and use of inappropriate games, audio files, video files, or other applications (including shareware or freeware) without permission or approval from a building administrator.
- Supporting or opposing ballot measures, candidates and any other political activity.
- Hacking; cracking; vandalizing; introducing viruses, worms, trojan horses, time bombs; and changing hardware, software, and monitoring tools.
- Attempting unauthorized access to other district computers, networks and information systems.
- Posting, sending or storing information online that could endanger others, (e.g. bomb construction guides, drug manufacture guides).
- Changing, copying, renaming, deleting, or otherwise accessing others’ files.
Any efforts at unlawful surveillance-recording and/or photographing students, faculty, and/or staff (video, audio, electronic, etc.) without specific permission.
Accessing, uploading, downloading, storing and/or distributing of obscene or pornographic material; and
- Attaching unauthorized equipment to the district network.
The District will not be responsible for any damages suffered by any user, including but not limited to, loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, mis-deliveries or service interruptions caused by its own negligence or any other errors or omissions.
Internet Safety: Personal Information and Inappropriate Content
Contributions to the Internet leave a digital footprint for all to see, therefore:
- Students should not reveal personal information including a home address and phone number on websites, blogs, podcasts, videos, wikis, e-mail or as content on any other electronic medium.
- Students should not reveal personal information about another individual on any electronic medium.
- Students who encounter dangerous or inappropriate information or messages should notify the appropriate school authority.
Filtering and Monitoring
Filtering software is used to block or filter access to visual depictions that are obscene and all child pornography in accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Other objectionable material could be filtered. The determination of what constitutes “other objectionable” material is a local decision.
Filtering software is not 100% effective. While filters make it more difficult for objectionable material to be received or accessed, filters are not a solution in themselves. Every user must take responsibility for his or her use of the network and internet and avoid objectionable sites;
Any attempts to defeat or bypass the District’s Internet filter or conceal Internet activity are prohibited. This includes but is not limited to: proxies, https, special ports, modifications to district browser settings and any other techniques designed to evade filtering or enable the publication of inappropriate content. E-mail inconsistent with the educational and research mission of the District will be considered SPAM and blocked from entering District e-mail boxes.
Network Security and Privacy
Passwords are the first level of security for a user account. System logins and accounts are to be used only by the authorized owner of the account for authorized district purposes. Students are responsible for all activity on their account and must not share their account password.
These procedures are designed to safeguard network user accounts:
- Change passwords according to district policy;
- Do not use another user’s account;
- Do not insert passwords into e-mail or other communications;
- Be sure to keep passwords out of sight if you write them down.
- Do not store passwords in a file without encryption:
- Do not use the “remember password” feature of Internet browsers; and
Log off if leaving computer.
No Expectation of Privacy
The District provides the network system, e-mail and Internet access as a tool for education and research in support of the District’s mission. The District reserves the right to monitor, inspect, copy, review and store, without prior notice, information about the content and usage of:
- The network;
- User files and disk space utilization;
- User applications and bandwidth utilization;
- User document files, folders and electronic communications;
- Internet Access; and
- Any and all information transmitted or received in connection with network and e-mail use.
No student user should have any expectation of privacy when using the District’s network. The District reserves the right to disclose any electronic message to law enforcement officials or third parties as appropriate.
All users of the District’s electronic resources are required to comply with the District’s policy and regulations and agree to abide by the provisions set forth in the District’s Responsible Use Agreement. Violation of any of the conditions of use explained in the District’s Responsible Use Agreement or in these procedures could be cause for disciplinary action, including arrest, suspension or expulsion from school and suspension or revocation of network and computer access privileges.
BH-BL One-to-One Technology Guidelines
All BH-BL High School students will be issued one Chromebook to be used both at school and home for the 2018-2019 school year. The device is BH-BL property.
Users must follow district and school policies and procedures including the Acceptable Use Policy and the Acceptable Use Guidelines outlined previously in the Student Code of Conduct. These same policies govern home use of school-issued Chromebooks.
Students are expected to bring their Chromebooks to school fully charged. Chargers should be kept at home, as they are easily misplaced and can also easily damage the Chromebook in transit. Students will be financially responsible for replacing lost/damaged chargers. Students should take care and precaution when inserting cables/cords into the device, to prevent damage.
Students are not to borrow or use another student’s Chromebook. If a device is not working, students should report to student “help-desk”, which will be available in the library and/or Room 105 throughout the day.
Students should take reasonable precautions to keep the Chromebooks safe and functional.This includes but is not limited to: Making sure the Chromebook is never left unattended, in an unlocked, unsupervised area. The Chromebook should be kept in an impersonalized state. No stickers or permanent markings should be placed on the Chromebooks.
Cases (provided by students) can be decorated with luggage tags, ribbons, identification (in provided insert space) and any other non-permanent modifications.
In case of theft, an official police report will be required. Students should see their Assistant Principal for additional information.
- All students in grades 9-12 are issued a BH-BL email.
- Students are responsible for messages sent from their accounts.
- Student email is provided by the district and is district property. BH-BL reserves the right to archive, monitor and/or review all use of its email system, and users should not have any expectation of privacy in any electronic message created, sent or received on the District’s email system.
- Listening to music on your device is subject to your teacher’s and parent’s discretion.
- Online gaming must be in support of the district’s educational program and directed by teacher(s)/staff. All other gaming is prohibited.
- Watching movies/YouTube videos on the device is only allowed with permission from a teacher or parent/guardian for educational purposes.
- All web content must remain school appropriate and will be filtered via the district’s web filter.
- Use of the school-issued Chromebook at home will require students to access the internet through the district’s web filter.
Knowing or intentionally accessing emails, websites, social media, or other forms of electronic communication from any individual a student knows, or reasonably should know, or is found to have knowledge originating from a person who promotes, promulgates, or solicits expressly illicit acts, intentions, or ideology while using school district property for a non-educational or unethical purpose whether stated or not, whether on school grounds or not, shall be considered a violation of the district’s technology code of conduct and subject to appropriate consequences or disciplinary action.
Damage to Chromebook
In the event of damage, students should notify their Assistant Principal or contact the Student Help Desk so that the proper procedure can be initiated. Loaner Chromebooks will be available for sign-out in the library while repairs are being conducted.
Students will be financially responsible for accidental damage to their Chromebook. Students who cause intentional damage to a Chromebook (theirs or that of another student), will be financially responsible for the damage and also face disciplinary action. Insurance for the Chromebook can be purchased – paperwork regarding this insurance will be distributed with the Chromebooks at the start of the year. While not required, purchasing insurance is encouraged as it covers the cost of most incidental damages.
To the School Staff:
It is expected that teachers and students will work together toward a common goal with mutual courtesy and respect. Teachers and staff are charged with the responsibility of enforcing school rules. STUDENTS MUST OBEY REASONABLE DIRECTIONS FROM ANY STAFF MEMBER. Failure to do so will be considered insubordination and will result in disciplinary action.
To the School Building:
It is everyone’s responsibility to help maintain a clean, safe building. Students should not throw waste on the floors and in the corridors; they should discard cafeteria refuse when finished eating. Lockers are the property of the school. Students who deface lockers or walls, display inappropriate pictures, or commit acts of vandalism should expect to be assigned cleaning responsibilities and/or pay for any damage. Students will also be billed for damages or loss occurring to books, equipment, or vandalism resulting from any unreasonable actions.
- Dress and appearance
- Dress and appearance must be within the limits of decency, cleanliness and safety.
- Dress should not be lewd, vulgar or offensive.
- Clothing should not create a hazard in performance of school activities nor be disruptive of the learning environment.
- Safe footwear is required at all times.
- The wearing of hats is not permitted in class except for medical or religious purpose.
The following is not permitted to be worn in school: Clothing or attire which has an expression (phrase, word or words) or insignia (picture, symbol, patch or pin) which:
- Is obscene or libelous (that is, which contains objectionable language, including insults, whether directed to themselves or others);
- Advocates racial or religious prejudice;
- Depicts drugs, including alcohol, drug paraphernalia or drug use;
- Displays known gang colors or identification.
Students will also be asked to remove:
- Spiked collars and bracelets
- Choke chains
- Nose, eyebrow, belly or other rings which may cause safety concerns.
Undergarments should be covered at all times. Students shall not wear clothing that is revealing or see-through (including those that expose one’s midriff and/or back or otherwise potentially expose private parts of the body, such as tube tops, halters, and similar garments.)
Students dressed inappropriately will be asked to change their attire and may be subject to additional consequences for repeat offenses.
Students may be asked to wear protective gear in certain classes.
Display of affection: Displays of affection are to be kept within the bounds of good taste.
Sexual harassment: The district is committed to safeguarding the right of all students to learn in an environment that is free from all forms of harassment including sexual harassment. Conduct is deemed to be sexual harassment when the student perceives such behavior as unwelcome, such as inappropriate touching, verbal comments, sexual name calling, spreading sexual rumors, gestures, jokes, pictures, blocking a student’s movement, rape or attempted rape.
Any student who believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment, whether by a staff member, other student, or any individual on school grounds or at school activities, should report the alleged misconduct immediately to the high school administration. A complaint form is available from the Main or Guidance offices; the form requires a response with parent reaction.
Buses: Students are to be at bus stops on time, be seated promptly, obey all directions from the driver, and refrain from any type of conduct which endangers others or distracts the driver’s attention from the road. A BUS PASS IS REQUIRED IN ORDER TO RIDE AN ACTIVITY BUS. A driver has the right to assign seats.
Electronic Devices: Include but are not limited to: cell phones, IPODS, MP3 players, or any electronic devices.
- Are not required and the school is not responsible for their loss.
- Use of cell phones is not permitted in any classroom, the library, or the gymnasium. Cell phones may only be used in hallways between classes and the cafeteria during non-instructional times. Cell phones should be turned off and kept out of sight.
- Students should not have both ear buds / headphones in at any point during the school day. It is important that students are able to hear announcements, instructions, and/or directions.
- Use of an electronic device during class will result in the confiscation of the device.
- At the discretion of the administration, confiscated devices may be held until a parent comes in to pick it up or until the end of the school year.
Backpacks: Students are strongly encouraged to leave backpacks in their lockers during the school day. Expect that some classes may use a “no backpack” procedure.
Lockers: Lockers are the property of BH-BL. Students should not deface inside or outside of the locker. Students who willfully destroy, damage, or deface school and/or staff property shall be subject to disciplinary actions, and such student and/or his/her parents or guardians shall be required to pay the District for the value of the damaged property up to the limit of the law.
Students have no reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to student lockers, desks, and other school storage places, and school officials retain complete control over them. This means that these areas may be subject to search at any time by school officials, without prior notice to students and without their consent. Students are reminded that all items of value should be locked in gym lockers and not left in locker room area.
Skateboards, in-line skates, scooters etc.: Possession or use of skateboards, in-line skates, scooters, etc. is NOT permitted on school property at any time.
Gambling: Any form of betting games are prohibited on school property at all times.
Medication: Parents of a student who must take prescribed medication during the school day are required to inform the nurse, and parents should leave the medication (in its original container) in the nurse’s office.
Insurance: The school carries only general liability insurance. The school provides coverage secondary to the family’s coverage.
Student Visitors: Prior approval for student guests must be obtained from the Principal one week prior to the visit. Student visitors must be of high school age and not have school in order to visit. All visitors must register at the window in the Main Lobby and be issued a visitor’s ID which must be worn at all times. Visitors should sign out at the registration window.
Fire, Evacuation and Bus Drills: The school is required to hold a specified number of practice drills for these emergencies. Students are expected to give their complete cooperation during these drills and obey all directions promptly. A procedure for fire drills is posted in each room and will be discussed by your class.
Pulling a fire alarm, discharging a fire extinguisher, or causing a building evacuation, except in an emergency, will result in suspension from school and prosecution as state law prescribes.
School Citizenship, Interscholastic, & Extra-curricular
Students who participate in extra-curricular and interscholastic activities are expected to exhibit a high level of school citizenship. Behavior that may cause a bad image or be construed as unbecoming to a participant in one of these activities may deny him/her the opportunity to be a participant in the activity.
Use of alcohol and other illegal substances will result in suspension from interscholastic and extra-curricular activities. A separate “Athletic Code of Conduct” applies to all student athletes. Copies are available in the Physical Education office.
Penalties for Failure to Follow School Rules
- Detention: A student may be assigned detention by any administrator or in a classroom by a teacher. He or she is to report promptly to the detention room or to a classroom as directed. After-school detention runs from 2:25-3:15 PM.
- Suspension: Suspension from school indicates a more serious situation exists that cannot be immediately resolved between the student and school staff. A record of the incident or problem becomes a part of a case history in the event of continued problems.
INTERNAL SUSPENSION: The student may not attend regular classes or interscholastic or extra-curricular activities and must report to Room 101 for the entire day. The student may be required to write a Plan to Correct Behavior which must be found acceptable by an administrator. A guidance counselor will confer with the student’s parents in an effort to prevent recurrence.
EXTERNAL SUSPENSION: A student may be suspended for as long as five (5) days by the principal for: insubordinate conduct, endangering the safety of others, possession or use of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia, smoking, excessive tardiness or illegal absence, theft, fighting, use of profane language, threatening a teacher or other employee, or conduct detrimental to the educational process. In some cases a monitored external suspension may be served at an alternate site. A suspension for at least one (1) calendar year will occur for the possession of a weapon on school property.
Education Law Section 3214 – Chapter 16, Title IV, Article 65, Part I
Education Law Section 3214 – Chapter 16, Title IV, Article 65, Park I
The principal has the power to suspend a pupil who is insubordinate or disorderly or violent or disruptive, or whose conduct otherwise endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others. The principal shall have the power to suspend a pupil for a period not to exceed five school days. In the case of such a suspension, the suspending authority shall provide the pupil with notice of the charged misconduct. If the pupil denies the misconduct, the suspending authority shall provide an explanation of the basis for the suspension. The pupil and the person in parental relation to the pupil shall, on request, be given an opportunity for an informal conference with the principal at which time the pupil and/or person in parental relation shall be authorized to present the pupil’s version of the event and to ask questions of the complaining witnesses. The aforesaid notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place prior to suspension of the pupil unless the pupil’s presence in the school poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process, in which case the pupils notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place as soon after the suspension as is reasonably practicable.
No pupil may be suspended for a period in excess of five school days unless such pupil and the person in parental relation to such pupil shall have had an opportunity for a fair hearing, upon reasonable notice, at which such pupil shall have the right of representation by counsel, with the right to question witnesses against such pupil and to present witnesses and other evidence on his behalf. Where a pupil has been suspended in accordance with this subdivision by the superintendent of schools, the superintendent shall personally hear and determine the proceeding or may, in his discretion, designate a hearing officer to conduct the hearing. The hearing officer shall be authorized to administer oaths and to issue subpoenas in conjunction with the proceeding before him. A record of the hearing shall be maintained, but no stenographic transcript shall be required and 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 will lie from the decision of the superintendent to the board of education that shall make its decision solely upon the record before it.
Permanent Suspension: A student whose conduct seriously endangers the safety or educational opportunity of others, or who refuses to comply with school regulations may be permanently removed from school by action of the Superintendent and Board of Education. Such a student is entitled to a written statement of charges against him/her, is entitled to a hearing before school authorities, and is entitled to be represented by legal counsel.
Student Rights & Responsibilities
The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Board of Education, recognizing that the achievement of a proper balance between responsibility and freedom is one of the more complex issues confronting secondary education today, wishes to establish policies that promote an orderly educational community, one which reflects democratic values, constitutional principles, and responsible citizenship.
We support the right of dissent and the expression of student opinion within accepted limits. Students are encouraged to express various points of view in a responsible manner. The right of free speech will be supported. Slander or vilification will not be tolerated.
Compliance with the following guidelines established by the Committee on Student Freedom and Responsibility will be required and enforced:
- The Board of Education is the only group that may take a stand representing the school as an institution.
- The right to use school avenues of communication including newspapers, announcements, and bulletin boards is limited to student or staff personnel. The restrictions in Section C also apply to bulletin boards.
- Students have the right to publish materials provided they are (a) free of obscene language and reference, (b) accurate in fact, (c) free of personal attacks, (d) not advocating illegal action or violation of school regulations, (e) free of derogatory references to people of any race, sect, or religion, (f) not designed for the purpose of commercial venture or financial profit of any individual or non-school organization. Students shall be allowed to distribute leaflets, newspapers, and other literature with the prior consent of the building principal at times and locations which in his opinion do not interfere with school operation.
- Students have the right to take action provided it does not create a public safety hazard, hinder the lawful rights of other persons, hinder access to any portion of the building and grounds, or interfere with the normal conduct of the school program.
- Absence from school or classes to attend special events must be arranged according to the usual procedures for excused absences.
- In the event that actions of pupils or others occur that in the opinion of the principal pose a threat to the personal safety of building occupants or risk of serious property damage beyond his ability to control, he will request immediate police assistance.
Grading & Scheduling
- Minimum course load: A student is expected to carry a minimum of six (6) classes including physical education. Students enrolled in fewer than six (6) classes must request special status from the Principal. Except in unusual cases, student-initiated schedule changes will not occur during the first five weeks of school.
- Graduation Requirements
English 4 credits
Social Studies 4 credits
Math 3 credits
Science 3 credits
Art/Music 1 credits
Health 0.5 credits
Foreign Language 1 credits
Phys. Ed. 2 credits
Electives 3.5 credits
Total Credits: 22
- Grading system: Grades are reported numerically. Quarterly grades are based on class average and test or assessment basis. Final grades are obtained by averaging the four quarterly grades and the final exam (school or Regents) in full-year courses. Grades for half-year courses are determined by doubling the two report card grades, adding the final exam, and dividing by five. Exceptions to these procedures are made in those courses where the nature of the program requires a different method of evaluation. For such courses the instructor will inform his/her students within the first week of classes.
- The Grade Point Average (GPA) will be computed by averaging numerical grades. Courses are averaged to calculate GPA, with half-year courses weighted appropriately. The GPA will be used to determine academic standing.
In recomputing the GPA when a Regents exam has been retaken, the higher score will be used.
Incompletes will prevent calculation of a GPA. Incompletes must be made up within five (5) weeks.
- Credits needed for class placement: The following are used to determine class placement: 5.5 credits to be a Sophomore; 11 credits to be a Junior; 16 credits to be a Senior. Homerooms are assigned according to class placement. Credit status will be reevaluated after 1st semester with changes made and new homerooms assigned as appropriate.
- Program changes: Requests for program changes will not be accepted until the Monday of the second week of school. Changes of sections cannot be made solely on the basis of personal preference or convenience. Changes which involve selection of different courses from those originally planned will require written parental approval and will be processed only during academic assistance periods.
- Withdrawing from a course: A student may not withdraw from a course without the approval of the teacher, parents, and the guidance counselor. Until the “Request to Drop a Course” form has been processed, the student remains a member of the class and must attend. Students will be notified when the drop is official by their guidance counselor. A student who withdraws in the first 10-week period from a full-year course (or in the first 5 weeks of a one-semester course) will be removed from the rolls, and the course will not show on the student’s transcript.
For those withdrawals that occur after the first 10-week period of a course, a Drop/Pass (DP) or a Drop/Fail (DF) will be recorded on the student’s transcript at the time of withdrawal. No student may withdraw after 15 weeks for a one-semester course or 35 weeks for a full-year course without a recorded Drop/Fail (DF).
- Honors: Students with failing or incomplete grades are not eligible for the honor roll. Honors recognition requires an 85 average. High Honors recognition requires a 90 average. Principal’s recognition requires a 95 average.
In order to be considered as Valedictorian or Salutatorian, a student must be enrolled at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School for four years.
- Late arrival/Early release: With parental permission, Seniors are eligible for an early release card or a late arrival card if their schedules permit and they are in good academic standing. Students with early release privilege are expected to leave the building. Late arriving students should remain in the cafeteria until homeroom. Failure to do so will result in termination of the privilege. Late arrival and/or early release will be revoked if the student has any academic concerns or issues.
Special Services & Programs at BH-BL HS
- Academic Intervention Services: Academic Intervention Services will be provided to those students who need assistance in passing required courses and/or state exams. Parents of students who qualify for these services will be notified.
- Academic Support Center: The Academic Support Center provides academic assistance to students across the disciplines. Students can obtain individual help with academic courses during non-class time. The center is open throughout the day. Teacher referrals, parent request, less than satisfactory academic performance, and self-referral are avenues by which students receive this assistance.
- Pupil Assistance Team: The Pupil Assistance Team is composed of the principal, two assistant principals, guidance counselors, the school nurse, school social worker, psychologist, special education department representative, and AIS coordinator. They meet every Monday to share information concerning students who may be experiencing unusual situations in their lives. Students with problems are referred to the proper resource, and when appropriate, teachers are made aware of the problem. Questions regarding the Pupil Assistance Team should be directed to the student’s Assistant Principal or Guidance Counselor.
- Work Experience Program: The BH-BL Work Experience Program provides work experience for those students who could benefit from assistance in making the transition to the world of work. The program includes both on-site supervision and classroom seminars.
- Driver Training: A Driver Education course is offered after school during the Fall and Spring semesters. Driver Education is also available during Summer School. Seniors are given priority in each session. The cost is $300.00 per student.
- Job Match: Job Match is a youth employment service which helps students find temporary short-term jobs by putting them in touch with people interested in hiring teenagers for such work as baby-sitting, snow shoveling, lawn care, etc. Job Match is located in the Counseling Office every Thursday.
- Mandatory Assistance Period (MAP): The goal of the MAP program is to allow students to develop the skills they need to be successful, to encourage students to make the necessary effort to pass their classes and to seek additional help as it is needed. MAP follows the same procedures as a Study Hall (students are expected to report on time and attendance is checked). This program is held each Academic Assistance Period. Students may leave with a pre-signed pass, by teacher request, or through confirmation that a teacher is available. Students with academic difficulties or concerns are assigned to MAP by their Assistant Principals based on recommendations from classroom teachers and Guidance Counselors. Students who have demonstrated significant progress may be removed from the MAP program.
Building Use: Any student group wishing to use the school for activities should submit a building use form to the Main Office. In addition a brief description of the activity and any special arrangements should be submitted to the Assistant Principal and signed by the advisor of the student group.
Fund-Raising: A calendar to register in-school sales of candy, etc. is kept in the Assistant Principal’s office. Board of Education policy prohibits out-of-school sales. Fund-raising activities that require the use of the building also needs to be coordinated with the main office calendar of activities.
Student Government Officers
President – Andrew Pohl
Vice-President – Hannah Ashcraft
Secretary – Hannah Shell
Treasurer – Elliot Howard
Advisors – Mrs. Summersell, Mr. Bucci
Senior Class Officers (Class of 2019)
President – Jacob Shell
Vice-President – Rory Graham
Secretary – Haley Casale
Treasurer – Isabelle Cataldo
Class Senators – Hannah Keatly and Hannah Straub
Advisors – Mrs. Jones, Ms. Manning
Junior Class Officers (Class of 2020)
President – Mikhail Troyan
Vice-President – Paul Sausville
Secretary – Patrick Mongan
Treasurer – Cameron Brunson
Class Senators – Paige Kenneally & Edison Roberts
Advisors – Mrs. Austro, Mrs. Grassmann
Sophomore Class Officers (Class of 2021)
President – Prudence Miller
Vice-President – Ammon Smith
Secretary – Juliet Hulln
Treasurer – Annaliese Blowers
Class Senators – Julia Ettkins & Anna Nikiforov
Advisors – Mrs. Gorr, Mrs. Stein
Freshman Class Officers (Class of 2022)
President – Nicholas Clark
Vice-President – Amelia Cataldo
Secretary – Jaleel Joseph
Treasurer – Kaci Owens
Class Senators – Blake Dingley, Zachary Kenney, Rhiannon Lara & Mattingly O’Rourke
Advisors – Mrs. Dalbec, Mrs. Durant & Mr. Kane
Title IX of the 1972 Amendments
The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, national origin or handicap, in employment practices or the educational programs it operates. Complaints should be sent to:
Burnt Hills – Ballston Lake CSD
P.O. Box 1389
Ballston Lake, NY 12019
Library Media Center
The Library Media Center is open to all students and teachers on Mondays and Fridays 7:40-2:20 and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 7:40-3:20, when school is in session.
Students may use the library before school, during study halls, and after school during academic assistance period. A study atmosphere is encouraged. Students using the library are expected to have work to do, be considerate of others, and act appropriately. Cell phone use and food are restricted.
The high school library has a collection of more than 13,000 items selected to supplement and reinforce the curriculum. Along with books, we offer an extensive database collection, which includes access to academic journals, periodicals, newspapers, reference books, images and videos. In addition, the library has a growing collection of e-books and audiobooks available for borrowing using the OverDrive platform. Students can use their own device, such as a laptop, tablet, MP3 player, smartphone or e-reader, to borrow and download items. The library also can loan students an e-reader or MP3 player. All electronic resources, including Destiny, the library’s catalog, are accessible from computers in school and at home by going to the library homepage. To access many of these resources remotely, however, passwords are required. Students can pick up a password sheet in the library.
A Librarian or clerk is available at all times, and students are encouraged to ask for assistance in finding and using materials and digital resources. Research lessons are given to students throughout the school year: individually, on an as-needed basis, or for a class, in conjunction with a specific teacher assignment. Library orientations are given to all ninth grade students in September.
As provided by state and federal regulations, at the beginning of each school year district parents/guardians are hereby notified of their rights under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) regarding access to student records.
Parents of students and eligible students may inspect and review the student’s education records upon written request. Access will be provided within 45 days of the date the written request is received. Further information about this procedure is available from the student’s guidance counselor.
Certain information in student records is considered directory information and may be released as appropriate unless objection is indicated in writing. This includes: name, address, telephone number, date of birth, school awards and recognition, participation in student activities and athletics, weight and height of members of athletic teams, and dates of attendance.
The purpose for release of directory information is to allow its use in school publications or local news media. Examples include: A playbill, yearbook, honor roll or other recognition lists, graduation program, sports activity sheets, and the district website.
Parents/guardians who do not want their child’s directory information disclosed or their child’s likeness to be used on the district website or in photos or film taken by district staff or the media for school-related purposes should notify the Principal in writing by September 26.
The Congress of the United States mandates release of student directory information to military recruiters. Information is limited to student names, addresses, and telephone listings. Parents who do not want such information released should notify the Principal in writing by September 26.
All other information is confidential and will not be released without authorization.
This paragraph constitutes required FERPA notification.
Communications with Parents
High School parents are urged to pay attention to all communications that come from our school and our school district. Here are some key information sources for parents:
- Calendar: The printed district calendar that is mailed to each BH-BL household in late August contains much more than dates. The calendar contains the day / letter rotation for the high school for the entire year. Please look through the 10 pages of prose at the front of the calendar too. There is much information here of value to parents.
- Website: Please check the district website at www.bhbl.org often, especially the High School homepage. The website is a great information source for everything from bus routes to the High School Daily Announcements. Also please note that the website can be your BEST information source in an emergency or unexpected situation because we can post updated announcements there as often as necessary.
- School closings: When circumstances require that classes be canceled or delayed due to bad weather or an emergency, announcements are posted on our website at www.bhbl.org and on local TV stations. Announcements will normally first be given between 6:00 and 6:45 AM. Unless otherwise noted, all scheduled use of the schools is canceled on a day when schools are closed for emergency or weather-related reasons. Parents may find that our website provides more information than the TV stations since there is no space limitation on the website. Also, although we rarely need to do this, all parents should instruct their children where to go if schools are dismissed unexpectedly during the day.
- BH-BL School News Notifier: Please consider signing up for our “School News Notifier” email service through the website. SNN e-mails are currently the only means that the district is using to notify parents when the police inform us that a level 2 or level 3 sex offender has moved into our district. You can also sign up to receive automatic SNN emails to whatever e-mail address(es) you provide when school is closed unexpectedly. Go to www.bhbl.org and click on the SNN logo on the right-hand toolbar to sign up or get more information. (Note: parents without email are welcome to view sex offender notices received to date in a notebook in the principal’s office).
- Parent Portal: Parents can utilize the BH-BL Parent Portal to help monitor student progress. The portal can be accessed at https://esd-parentportal. neric.org or the Mobile Parent URL at https://esd-connect.neric.org/Mobile/Parent . Feel free to contact a school administrator or guidance counselor for additional information regarding the Parent Portal.