- 1100 Public Information Regarding School Program
- 1120 School District Records
- 1130 Media Relations
- 1131 Communications From The Schools
- 1145 Communication Through Students
- 1200 Community Involvement
- 1220 Relations with Community and Business Organizations
- 1221 Parent-Teacher Association
- 1222 Relations with Booster Club Organizations
- 1223 Senior Citizen Identification Card
- 1230 Public Participation at Board Meetings
- 1400 Public Complaints
- 1420 Public Requests for Reconsideration of Curriculum or Instructional Material
- 1440 Complaints Concerning School Personnel
- 1500 Community Use of School Facilities / AR1500 Use of District Facilities
- 1510 Public Sales on School Property
- 1511 Advertising in the Schools
- 1512 Soliciting Funds from School Personnel
- 1530 Smoking on School Premises
It is essential that effective two-way communication be maintained between the school district and the community. Responsible Board of Education stewardship requires that current information about educational practice and philosophy be presented to the community on a continuing basis. It is also necessary that a representative Board of Education understand the needs and desires of the community in establishing educational policy.
The District’s community relations program is based on the following principles:
- The community should be encouraged to participate actively in planning for the future of the school district.
- All appropriate means should be used to foster effective two-way communication.
- Special attention shall be given to effective internal communication among the Board, administration and other members of the staff, to assure the full understanding of existing programs and to elicit reports and recommendations on those in effect, as well as those which should be considered.
The Board is devoted to the development and maintenance of a comprehensive year- round community relations program to assure a full appreciation of the educational program and the problems of the district, and to provide for the broadest participation of all – Board, staff and community – in seeking the solution to problems and in promoting the continuing improvement of the education available to the residents of the community.
Reviewed April 1997
The annual district meeting shall be held on the third Tuesday in May unless otherwise changed by action of the Board of Education.
The District Clerk shall publish a notice of the time and place of the annual meeting four times within the seven weeks prior to the meeting. The first publication of the notice shall be at least forty-five (45) days prior to the meeting in a newspapers having general circulation within the district.
Copies of the budget must be available in each district school building for taxpayers upon request at the time of the annual meeting and seven (7) days (other than Saturday, Sunday and holidays) prior to the meeting. Notice of the availability of copies of the budget must be included in the notice of the annual meeting. Additionally, the announcement of candidates for the Board will be made as well as the presentation and explanation of any special propositions contained in the notice of the annual meeting. At a Board meeting held before the annual meeting, the Board shall appoint assistant clerks and election inspectors necessary for the annual meeting and election.
The Education Law contains provisions relating to submission of petitions to the Board to place propositions on the ballot with the annual budget – propositions which may amend the budget. Pursuant to those provisions, the Board established the following guidelines:
- Petitions for the submission of a proposition must contain a minimum of twenty-five (25) signatures of qualified voters of the district, or five percent (5%) of the number of voters at the last annual election, whichever is greater.
- Petitions must be presented to the District Clerk at least thirty (30) days prior to the annual meeting to facilitate the preparation and printing of the ballots.
- Wording of a petition must comply with legal requirements. If not, it may be changed or altered by the Board, or the Board may reject a petition for failure to comply.
Propositions received in accordance with these specifications will be placed on the ballot as amendments and will be voted upon by the voters in the same manner as the proposed budget, except that the Board shall not be required to place any proposition on the ballot which is within the exclusive province of the Board, or otherwise forbidden by law.
Revised March 2009
Renumbered from P9380 – September 2015
The Board of Education shall maintain a continuing public information program in order to promote widespread understanding of the school program and to gain the support and participation of the community in the school system. Citizen attendance and participation at Board of Education meetings will be encouraged. The Superintendent of Schools shall coordinate the activities of the building principals to ensure their direct involvement in the public information program. Each school, through its faculty and staff, should contribute to a public understanding of the schools by disseminating information and by planning events and programs aimed at involving the citizenry in school district activities.
Parents and citizens wishing to obtain information should inquire first through the appropriate principal or school official, then through the Superintendent, and finally through the Board. The district will post current information on the district website.
Revised May 2007
The public will have the opportunity to inspect and copy school district records in accordance with Chapters 578, 579, and 580 of the Laws of 1974 (Freedom of Information Law), Section 2116 of the Education Law, and Civil Practice Law and Rules #4507.
The school district will maintain a current list by subject matter of records produced after September 1, 1974, that are available for public inspection and copying. These records will be made available to the public at the district office at 88 Lakehill Road in Burnt Hills during regular business hours on regular working days upon completion of a written application form.
The Clerk of the Board of Education will serve as Records Access Officer to whom written applications for public access to records may be presented. The responsibilities of the Records Access Officer will include the following: (1) to provide assistance to the applicant in identifying the records sought; (2) upon locating the records, to review such records and delete any information which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy and thereafter make the record promptly available for inspection, or schedule an appointment for inspection, or deny access to the record; (3) after assessing the appropriateness of the request, to make copies available upon payment of an established fee, ($.25 per page), or when facilities for reproduction are unavailable, to permit the applicant to hand-copy the appropriate records; (4) upon request, to certify to the correctness of the records copies; (5) if the record cannot be located, to either certify in writing that the record of which the school district is the legal custodian cannot be found or to certify that the school district is not the legal custodian for such record.
The District Treasurer will serve as Fiscal Officer. The Freedom of Information Law prescribes that it is the responsibility of the Fiscal Officer upon request by a bona fide member of the news media on a form provided by the Comptroller of the State of New York to permit inspection of payroll records and provide a certified copy of the appropriate items listed on the application form.
Any individual denied access to a school district record may appeal such denial to the Superintendent of Schools. When the request is first denied the Records Access Officer will provide applicant with written notice of such denial and inform the applicant that he/she has the right of appeal to the Superintendent of Schools. The applicant may initiate his/her appeal by delivering a copy of his/her application and the denial notice to the District Office. The Superintendent of Schools will either grant access to the records as requested or issue a written opinion within seven days explaining the reason for his/her denial of the appeal.
RETENTION OF DISTRICT RECORDS
The Clerk of the Board of Education shall be responsible for maintaining and disposing of official school district records in a manner prescribed under provisions of section 65-b of the New York State Public Officers Law or by regulations developed for the administration of programs sponsored by the federal government. Upon application to, and approval by the Clerk of the Board, school records which have been retained for the length of time specified by the Records Retention and Disposition Schedule No. 1-S-1 published by the New York State Education Department may be disposed of. Additional records which have been retained for the specified period of time under various federal regulations may be, with the approval of the Clerk of the Board, disposed of according to those regulations.
Reviewed April 1997 (P1120)
Reviewed January 2008
Renumbered from P7570 – September 2015
The Board of Education invites and welcomes the active participation of all forms of mass media in promoting the cause of good education within the school district and elsewhere. The Board encourages suggestions and advice from representatives of the media as to how best to facilitate the flow of information to them from the Board and others within the school system.
All publicity concerning school affairs, except reports of athletic contests, must be cleared by the Superintendent of Schools, the School Information Specialist, or the Superintendent’s designee. To maintain a consistent policy with regard to school publicity and to avoid duplication, contacts to arrange for newspaper stories or pictures or for radio or television coverage must also be made through the Superintendent of Schools or the School Information Specialist.
School personnel are encouraged to contact the Information Specialist about potential news or feature stories that highlight the educational values derived from a particular student or staff project. Names of students and staff members involved should be included.
Reviewed April 1997
The Superintendent of Schools will be responsible for all communications which deal with the school district and the general public. Building Principals will be responsible for all communications that refer to activities or events within their building. School personnel, PTA, and other groups will clear all communications intended for parents in general or the larger school community with their Building Principal.
Reviewed April 1997
Any information to be sent home via students regarding activities beyond school sponsored functions must be approved by the Superintendent of Schools.
Revised May 2007
Renumbered from P1140 – September 2015
The Board of Education is committed to a comprehensive community relations program to assure a full appreciation of the educational program and to promote broad participation of Board members, staff, students, and community in seeking solutions for problems and in promoting the continuing improvement of the school program.
To this end the Board establishes the following goals for community involvement:
- To promote a genuine spirit of cooperation between the schools and the community at large.
- To establish an active partnership between the school and the community, in which educators and community members work together toward the improvement of the total educational program.
- To make arrangements to share resources with community organizations in support of programs designed to benefit youth specifically and the community at large.
- To foster understanding of the need for constructive change, and solicit public advice on how the district can best achieve its educational goals.
- To promote staff interest in community needs and encourage volunteer participation by students and staff to make the community a better place to live. 6. To involve citizens, business and community agencies in the work of the schools.
Reviewed April 1997
The Board of Education recognizes the potential benefits of community and business partnerships with school districts. The Board and district staff shall therefore cooperate with those organizations which may provide support in improving the educational, vocational, counseling and/or extracurricular opportunities in the district. The Board of Education may seek to maintain regular interaction with community and business leadership, both on a formal and informal basis.
Partnerships with these organizations may include mentor and/or apprenticeship programs, pilot projects, grants, off-campus counseling services and volunteer services, in addition to or as part of the district curriculum.
Revised April 1997
The Board of Education appreciates the long history of Parent-Teacher Association service to children and the schools. The Board and all school personnel will cooperate as fully as possible with the PTA so long as such cooperation is not in conflict with school policy or the operation of the schools. The Board will assign a Board member to each PTA unit to act as liaison between the Board and the PTA. The Board will ask each PTA unit to appoint a representative to act as a liaison between PTA and the Board of Education.
Reviewed January 2007
Renumbered from P1230 – September 2015
“Booster” clubs are parent or community organizations created to foster community support and to raise funds for a specific extracurricular activity (eg. athletics, musical groups, drama, etc.). As such, booster organizations can be a valuable means of stimulating community interest in the aims and activities of the schools.
Booster-proposed plans, projects and other activities must be evaluated and promoted in light of their stated contribution to the academic as well as the extra-curricular school programs. Careful consideration should be given to the total value of the contribution to all students, and not just to specific student groups. The Board of Education retains final responsibility and authority on all activities which have an impact on students, school programs, and/or school-owned property.
Should a booster organization wish to make a contribution of money, service time, or tangible property (e.g. equipment or supplies), a representative of the organization should meet with the Superintendent or his/her designee. The Superintendent, or his/her designee, should identify the District’s conditions for accepting such a gift. If mutually acceptable conditions can be established, the matter of accepting the gift will be included on a Board of Education meeting agenda. The Board of Education will have final responsibility for determining whether or not it is in the school district’s best interest to accept the gift.
See Policy P1800
Reviewed January 2007
Renumbered from P1240 – September 2015
Senior citizens have played a major role in the development of a sound school system in a progressive community and should be recognized for their contributions. Accordingly, any resident of the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District who has reached his 60th birthday or who is receiving retirement disability pay may apply at the district office for a non-transferable Senior Citizen Identification Card.
This non-transferable identification card will entitle the senior citizen to free admission to all district sponsored school events. These events shall include all “home” interscholastic athletic events, concerts, plays, talent shows, use of the pool, etc. In addition, the identification card will permit the senior citizen to enroll free of charge in all continuing education courses that have sufficient paid enrollment to permit the course to operate on a self-supporting basis. The Senior Citizen Identification Card is available at the District Office.
Revised May 2007
Renumbered from P1280 – September 2015
The Board of Education encourages public participation on school related matters at Board meetings, as outlined in this policy. To allow for public participation, a period not to exceed 30-minutes shall be set aside during the first part of each Board meeting for public comment, with priority given to comments on items on the meeting’s agenda. This period may be extended by a majority vote of the Board. A second 30-minute period may be added at the end of the meeting by a majority vote of the Board.
Persons wishing to address the Board shall advise the Board President prior to the scheduled starting time of the meeting. The request shall be made in writing on a form provided by the district and shall include the name of the speaker, the address, telephone number, name of organization represented (if any), and a brief description of the topic to be addressed. Any group or organization wishing to address the Board is encouraged to identify a single spokesperson.
Presentation should be as brief as possible. No speaker will be permitted to speak for longer than 5 minutes. Speakers may comment on matters related to agenda items specifically or district matters generally.
The Board will not permit in public session discussion involving individual district personnel or students. Persons wishing to discuss matters involving potentially sensitive information regarding individual district personnel or students should present their comments and/or concerns to the Superintendent during regular business hours. In special circumstances, the Superintendent will consult with the Board President to make arrangements for an individual to address the board in executive session.
All speakers are to conduct themselves in a civil manner. Obscene language, libelous statements, threats of violence, statements advocating racial, religious, or other forms of prejudice will not be tolerated.
Persons making presentations at a Board meeting will address remarks to the President and may direct questions or comments to Board members or other district officials only upon the approval of the President.
Board members and the Superintendent shall have the privilege of asking questions of any person who addresses the Board. The Board will make every effort to ensure that someone from the district responds to questions or concerns within two business days.
Questions and comments from the public concerning matters which are not on the agenda will be taken under consideration and referred to the Superintendent for appropriate action. Persons wishing to have matters included on the agenda shall contact the Superintendent in accordance with Policy 2342, Agenda Preparation and Dissemination.
The President shall be responsible for the orderly conduct of the meeting and shall rule on such matters as the time to be allowed for public discussion and the appropriateness of the subject being presented, as outlined in this policy and applicable provisions of law and regulation, and subject to the Board’s parliamentary procedure. The President shall have the right to discontinue any presentation which violates this policy.
Cross-ref: 2342, Agenda Preparation and Dissemination
Ref: Matter of Martin, 32 EDR 381 (1992) Appeal of Wittneben, 31 EDR 375 (1992) Matter of Kramer, 72 EDR 114 (1951) NYS Department of State, Committee on Open Government, OML-AO-#2696 (Jan. 8, 1997), OML-AO-#2717 (Feb. 27, 1997), OML-AO-#4292 (Dec. 6, 2006)
Renumbered from P9340 – September 2015
Revised February 2016
The school and the community should not be considered separately but as working as a unified whole in the educational process. Through the participation of staff in community activities, many avenues may be opened for building community support.
In the interest of community relations, and in order to foster community support for educational programs, the Board of Education may encourage district personnel to participate in community activities and to take an active part in community affairs.
School personnel strengthen the credibility of responsible service to the school through participation in associations of service to the community. In particular, there are many positive benefits to be gained by the community participation of the Superintendent, as the educational leader of the school district, and the school principals as the leaders of the district schools.
Teachers and other employees of the district have a dual role in their relations with the public as employees of the school system and as members of the community. The Board of Education is advised to be sensitive to differences of opinion which may arise concerning goals or operations of the schools and school district. Employees as other citizens have First Amendment rights to comment on issues of public concern which must at all times be respected. The Board should attempt in those cases to resolve differences in a manner to benefit the school district as well as school-community relations.
Reviewed April 1997
The Board of Education recognizes the right of community members to register individual or group concerns regarding instruction, district programs, materials, operations, and/or staff members. The main goal of the district is to resolve such concerns specifically with the parties involved, whenever possible.
Public complaints about the school district will be directed to the proper administrative personnel. Complaints regarding the district’s implementation and administration of Title I funds are addressed in the section below. Complaints about specific classroom practices shall be directed to the teacher concerned. If the matter is not settled satisfactorily, the complainant shall then contact the Building Principal; if there is no resolution on this level, the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee shall be contacted. The Superintendent shall refer the issue to the Board for final resolution, if necessary.
All matters referred to the Superintendent and/or the Board shall be in writing. Concerns registered directly to the Board as a whole or to an individual Board member shall be referred as soon as is reasonably possible to the Superintendent for investigation, report, and/or resolution.
Complaints Regarding Title I of the ESEA or Academic Intervention Services
Any person or entity representative alleging the district has not upheld its responsibilities under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as well as the district’s responsibilities for Academic Intervention Services under the Commissioner’s regulations section 100.2(ee), may submit a complaint in writing to the Superintendent. After 30 days, any decision of the Superintendent which is unsatisfactory to the complainant, or the district’s lack of a response to the compliant, may be appealed to the State Education Department (SED).
All such complaints to SED must, as outlined by SED.
1. Be submitted in writing to New York State Education Department, Title I School & Community Services Office, Room 320 EB, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234;
2. Be signed by the person or agency representative filing the complaint;
3. Specify the requirement of law or regulation being violated and the related issue, problem, and/or the concern;
4. Contain information/evidence supporting the complaint;
5. State the nature of the corrective action desired;
6. Contain a copy of the original signed complaint; and
7. Contain a copy of the district’s response to the original complaint, or a statement that the district failed to respond or resolve the issue within 30 business days.
The district shall disseminate this complaint procedure to parents of students in Title I funded programs, as well as school officials at nonpublic schools for which the district administers or implements Title I funds or programs.
Ref: 20 USC §7844 (ESEA) 34 CFR §§299.10 – 299.12 [299.11(d) – LEAs must disseminate, free of charge, adequate information about the complaint procedures to parents of students, and appropriate private school officials or representatives.] 8 NYCRR §100.2(ee) (Academic Intervention Services)
PUBLIC REQUESTS FOR RECONSIDERATION OF POLICIES
Suggested changes regarding school board policies should be directed to the Superintendent of Schools. Complaints shall be in writing, stating the specific objections to the specific policy(ies).
The Superintendent shall review any complaint and conduct whatever study or investigation he/she deems appropriate. The Superintendent shall then submit the complaint and his/her recommendation to the Board. The Board shall then review the policy, amend or repeal the policy, if appropriate, and notify the complainant of the action taken.
Revised April 1997 (P1400)
Reviewed January 2007
Renumbered from P1410 – September 2015
Revised October 2018
The Board of Education recognizes students’ rights of free access to many different types of books and instructional materials and the right of teachers and administrators to recommend books and other materials for selection by the Board in accord with best practices in education, and to make them available in the schools.
The Board’s aim is to provide materials that present different points of view concerning the problems and issues of our times, international, national and local. Books and other reading matter shall be chosen for values of interest and enlightenment of all students in the community. A book shall not be excluded because of the race, nationality, political or religious views of its author. Books and other reading matter of sound factual authority shall not be precluded from nor removed from the library or classrooms because of partisan, doctrinal approval or disapproval. Criteria for the selection of instructional materials are described in Administrative Regulation 6600.
Procedures for Handling Challenged Materials:
All complaints concerning textbooks, library books and other instructional material shall be submitted to the Building Principal. If the concern is still not resolved, the complaint shall then be submitted to the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction. The Superintendent shall promulgate regulations (see AR6600) subject to Board approval establishing a complaint procedure which shall include:
- an opportunity for an informal conference with the complainant;
- the submission of formal written complaints on a prescribed form;
- the formation of an instructional material review committee by the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction. The committee shall make recommendations to the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction concerning the disposition of any complaint;
- a decision by the Assistant Superintendent; and
- an appeal to the Board of Education. The decision of the Board shall be final.
Revised May 2007
Complaints concerning school personnel will be referred to the administrative official in charge of the operation or person.
The building principals will have immediate jurisdiction over any complaint concerning situations arising in their buildings. The building principal will refer other complaints to the proper person.
If a satisfactory solution is not reached, the complainant may appeal to the Superintendent of Schools. If a satisfactory solution is still not reached, the complainant may appeal to the Board of Education.
Revised May 2007
Renumbered from P1430 – September 2015
District residents are encouraged to use school facilities for activities which are educational, cultural, social, recreational or civic in nature, primarily for the benefit of district residents and consistent with all applicable state laws. Any such use, however, shall not be deemed an endorsement of the activity or the purpose for which the facilities are used. All meetings must be non-exclusive and be open to the general public.
The Superintendent shall prescribe regulations, subject to approval by the Board, for the use of any school facility. The Superintendent shall designate a supervisor of operations to schedule the use of school facilities, ensure that economical and efficient use is made of the time and space available, and issue permits.
In addition to compliance with all applicable state laws, the regulations must:
- Assure the protection of school property.
- Provide for the health and safety of all people involved in the activity.
- Establish guidelines to determine when a fee should be charged for an activity or the use of a school facility.
- Provide fee schedules for when the use of a facility is to be charged to the user.
- Require payment for any damage or loss, whether or not a fee for use has been charged.
- Require that the user maintain adequate insurance to protect the district.
The Superintendent has the right to request the following information when an application is submitted:
- Constitution of the organization
- By-laws currently in effect
- Names of officers
- List of members
All permits for the use of any school facility will be issued for specified hours, are nontransferable, and are restricted to the specified purposes for which issued.
The Superintendent, or his designee may revoke any permit at any time. The Superintendent may make interim changes in the regulations in appropriate situations, but must tender notice to the Board. Permanent changes in the regulations must be approved by the Board.
APPLICATION AND APPROVAL FOR USE OF FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT
The use of all facilities in the district during non-school hours must be approved by the facilities coordinator.
Applications may be picked up at any school and forwarded to the facilities coordinator. All applications should be sent two weeks prior to the event being scheduled.
Any application requiring insurance or payment of fees will be processed with a copy sent to the involved party. Proof of insurance needs to be in writing before the event and fees should be paid in a timely manner.
All groups using the school facilities will have a responsible adult in attendance. The school district will in turn make sure that the facilities are in good order and that the contract is carried out. Responsibility for damage is given to the users of the facility. The Facilities Coordinator may cancel or refuse facility use for non-compliance of contract.
Contracts may be altered or cancelled when school activities dictate such actions.
The facilities coordinator may cancel or refuse facility use for non-compliance of the contract.
Revised May 2007 (P1500)
Revised May 2007
Renumbered from P1510 – September 2015
AR1500: USE OF DISTRICT FACILITIES
I. ELIGIBLE GROUPS AND USES
- Groups having more than 50% of their membership composed of district residents or groups who propose uses which will result in a direct educational benefit to the district’s youth may apply to use district facilities identified as available for community use.
- Schools may be used as polling places for municipal primaries and elections and registration of voters.
- Use of a district facility by a political organization must be authorized by a vote of the electorate at a district meeting as stipulated in Education Law 414-1e.
- District facilities may not be used for educational activities for which tuition or fees are charged to resident pupils when sponsored by individuals or organizations other than the district without approval from the Superintendent of Schools.
- Applications by other groups or individuals, or for uses not described above, must be authorized by the Superintendent of Schools.
- All district facilities will be made available to eligible groups and for eligible uses subject to, but not limited, considerations of district need for use of the facility, potential risk of harm to participants, potential damage to district facilities, and district abilities to provide staffing to maintain opening and closing of building.
- Workshops, science labs, and other similar specialized facilities are not appropriate for public use.
- Requests for use of a particular facility shall be consistent with the activity and the number of persons who will use the facility. No gymnasium will be available to less than 15 participants. Fields may not be used by non-school groups when school is session.
The schools may not be used for:
- Meetings and entertainments where the meetings are under the control of, and the proceeds benefit, a fraternal, secret or exclusive society, association or organization. However, meetings and entertainments may be held in the schools by and for the benefit of veterans’ organizations and volunteer fire companies.
III. CONDITIONS OF USE
All non-District groups or individuals desiring to use district facilities must apply to the district for permission to use district facilities. Such application shall be made in writing at least two (2) weeks in advance of the proposed use. Such applications shall set out at least:
- The name, phone number and address of the organization or individual making application (hereafter referred to as “the applicant”). Individuals applying must participate in a program orienting them to school district policies, regulations and expectations regarding facility use prior to just use.
- The name, address and phone number of the adult persons who will be directly supervising the activity (at least 2 persons must be listed).
- The basis of the applicant’s eligibility to use district facilities.
- A detailed description of the proposed use, including the time, date, and duration of such use.
- The facilities to be used.
- The potential number of participants.
- The approximate age range of the primary participants.
- A description of any fees to be charged to participants.
- Requests for district staff (e.g. custodians, food service workers, etc.) required by the applicant or the district.
- Any other information requested by the district.
Application for use of any athletic facility or field shall be made to the Facilities Coordinator.
B. Approval of Application; Facilities Use Contract
The Facilities Coordinator shall grant or deny preliminary approval of the application. Denials of applications may be appealed to the Superintendent of Schools. Upon preliminary approval of an application, the applicant shall be required to enter into a Facilities Use Contract, supplied by the district, between the applicant and the district, which shall:
- Incorporate the application.
- Establish all conditions of use of the particular facility involved.
- Include an agreement by the applicant to indemnify and hold harmless the District for any liability resulting from the use of district facilities (see Section C below).
- Establish an agreement by the applicant to pay any facility use fees (see “Fees” Section below).
- Establish an agreement to reimburse the district for any damage caused to district facilities as a result of the use.
- Include any other terms required by the Assistant Superintendent for Support Services.
At least two weeks in advance of the proposed use, the executed Facilities Use Contract and application shall be forwarded to the Facilities Coordinator who shall review the same for compliance with all district policies and for submission of appropriate liability agreement documents. The Facilities Coordinator shall grant or deny final approval of the application. Denials of applications may be appealed to the Superintendent of Schools.
C. Liability agreement
1. An organization will be required, as a condition of the use of facilities, to defend the district and hold it harmless against any liability or loss arising out of the organizations use of the facilities. To meet this requirement, the organization must provide the district, at least 14 days in advance of the use of the facilities, with an acceptable evidence of insurance coverage (Certificate of Insurance) of not less than
$1,000,000 each occurrence
$2,000,000 general aggregate
The Certificate of Insurance must name Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District, PO Box 1389, Ballston Lake, NY 12019, as Certificate Holder and Additional Insured and include the following wording:
“On a primary and non-contributory basis with a waiver of subrogation and with a 30-day notice of cancellation as respects to the Commercial General Liability coverage.”
GROUPS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO USE THE DISTRICT FACILITIES UNLESS A VALID CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE IS ON FILE.
2. Applicants are responsible for the damage or loss to district facilities resulting from use by the applicant. The Facilities Coordinator at the recommendation of the Building Principal or the Physical Education Department Head may require the applicant to submit an appropriate security deposit in advance of the proposed use date to cover any potential damage to facilities.
3. Changes to these liability requirements can only be made with specific permission of the Superintendent.
D. Conditions for use of special facilities:
- Gymnasium: Facilities of the district approved for public use will be cared for to the satisfaction of the Director of Physical Education, The Supervisor of Buildings & Grounds, and the Building Principal. Gym users must wear appropriate gym shoes or sneakers. Locker and shower rooms may be used at added expense for custodial care. Towels will not be supplied.
- Auditorium: Special sound, lighting, stage curtains, and other equipment will be operated only by members of the staff or persons approved by the principal as competent and responsible.
- Kitchen: Sanitary conditions require a school lunch employee of this district to be hired at the appropriate rate to supervise the activities. This cost is in addition to any rental fee and custodial care that may be required.
- Swimming Pool: This area will be used only under the direct supervision of qualified school personnel or a person qualified and approved by the Physical Education Department Head to direct aquatic events.
- Interscholastic Sports Interscholastic athletics will use the pool every day after school starting August through March for practice. The team will be able to conduct home meets and showcase the pool and the swimming/diving program by hosting events such as sectionals and select invitational meets.
- Community Use of the Pool The Facilities Coordinator provides opportunities for lap swims, swim lessons, aquatic aerobics, life guard training. We also rent to the Schenectady Swim Club. BH-BL Central School District is now renting to other community and non-resident groups, as pool time allows.
- Requesting Pool Rental To request rental of the swimming pool, groups must fill out a building use form and submit completed, signed form with specific dates/times to the Athletic Director. For more information, you may contact him at 518-399-9141 ext. 83309 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lifeguards must be hired through BH-BL and the Athletic Director will decide how many lifeguards are required for a specific program. All regular facility use regulations apply.
E. GENERAL RULES FOR FACILITY USE
The use of any school facility is permitted only by a license issued by the school district. Users must adhere to rules applicable to space for which license is granted.
- District need for facilities will always take precedence over other uses. In the event it becomes necessary for a district function to be scheduled at a time and place previously assigned to an applicant, the district function shall take precedence. If the applicant cannot reschedule the activity, any fees or deposits paid will be refunded by the district. In no event shall the district be liable for any losses or damages incurred by such a change.
- The district requires a member of its staff to be on the premises whenever a facility is in use. Additional specialized staff may be required if school equipment will be used. Custodial service will be required for all applicant uses at the same level as for district functions (approximately one custodian staff person for 200 individuals).
- Use of district facilities must be directly supervised by two or more adults attending the activity at all times. Group Contact Person: each group using school facilities must designate one person (and one alternate) who will serve as the contact for communication from and to district staff. The “Group Contact Person” will also assume certain responsibilities for enforcing district regulations:
- Scheduling of activities, communication with group members and the school district, the conduct of the group members, the proper use of school property, and the payment of any fees due.
- Each facilities license should include the name and phone numbers of the group contact person, coaches for the group and youth group team parents, as well as the participated schedule of activities.
- In conjunction with the SAVE legislation and for the safety of our students, no building’s doors should be propped open, and the group contact person should assure that all doors are properly closed after each group enters the building and after each group leaves for the night. Each group is responsible for evacuating its members in case of an emergency.
- For any group using facilities more than occasionally, the group contact person or any other responsible members (coaches/team parents) shall attend a meeting at the beginning of each school year outlining the agreement between the district and the group concerning expected behavior and procedures for using BH-BL facilities. Each facility license should include the name and phone numbers of the group contact person, coaches for the group and youth group team parents who will assume responsibility for supervision of the youth while on district property), as well as the anticipated schedule of activities.
- At any given event or activity, if it is expected that the usual number of participants will be exceeded by 25% prior approval by the designated school administrator must be received. The number of persons admitted to a function must not exceed room capacity.
- The group contact person or his/her designee is expected to be aware of special circumstances, such as emergency weather conditions. He/she is expected to obtain building closure information via the BH-BL website (https://bhbl.org/). If necessary, the group contact person will take responsibility for making participants aware of any cancellation of activities if schools are unexpectedly closed.
- As a general rule, buildings are closed to outside users by 10:00 pm. Licenses will not be approved for outside groups use past 10:00 pm without prior approval of the principal.
- No alcoholic beverages are allowed on school property.
- Smoking is not permitted in or on school property in accordance with State and Federal laws.
- No applicant may alter, add to, or subtract from the equipment of facilities in place without specific written authorization from the Assistant Superintendent for Support Services and under the supervision of a qualified district employee. Staff assistance shall be limited to ordinary day-to-day functions, and persons so employed by the District shall not be responsible for the supervision of the participants.
- Applicants may charge admission fees to offset costs of facility usage or to be applied toward educational or charitable purposes. No fees may be charged to benefit the purposes of any society, association, or organization of a religious sect or denomination, or a fraternal, secret or exclusive society organization. Any other fees must be approved by a vote of the Board of Education.
- Each group is expected to leave each facility in the condition in which it was found. In the event of misuse of facilities, misconduct of individuals, or other abuse of the privileges, the district will take appropriate action. This action includes, but does not limited to, suspension of license to use facilities, requiring replacement of Group Contact Person, requiring reimbursement for damages or extra expenses incurred, and denial of future requests for use of the facilities.
F. MAINTENANCE OF PUBLIC ORDER ON SCHOOL PROPERTY
It is our expectation that every member of the BH-BL community will contribute to and accept responsibility for an orderly and respectful climate while in our school buildings and on our school grounds, as described in the Code of Conduct for the Maintenance of Order on School Property (Board Policy 1500).
No person, either singly or in concert with others, shall on school district property:
- Intentionally cause physical injury to any other person, or threaten to do so for the purpose of compelling or inducing any other person to perform or refrain from performing any act.
- Engage in threats, intimidation and/or extortion of any other person.
- Physically restrain or detain any other person, nor remove such person from any place where he is authorized to remain.
- Use, possess, or distribute alcoholic beverages or tobacco.
- Willfully damage or destroy property of the school district or property under its jurisdiction nor remove or use such property without authorization.
- Engage in theft of, or damage to, or defacement of any school district property or property of any other person.
- Enter into and remain in any building, facility, office or room for any purpose other than its authorized uses or in such manner as to obstruct its authorized use by others. – Obstruct the free movement of persons and vehicles in any place to which these rules apply.
- Refuse to leave any building or facility after being required to do so by any person responsible for the maintenance of order in a building or facility.
- Loiter in school buildings or on school grounds. Loitering is remaining in or near school buildings and grounds with no reason for being there and with no authority or written permission to remain.
- Willfully set fire to school district property, tamper with or obstruct any safety measures such as fire extinguishers, alarm systems, posted fire regulations, water sprinklers, and fire doors, fail to conform to fire drill procedures or tamper with any communications, heating, lighting or power systems.
- Make or cause to be made bomb threats, false alarms or false reports of school closing or cancellation of events.
- Deliberately disrupt or prevent the peaceful and orderly conduct of classes and meetings or other activities taking place in school buildings or on school grounds or deliberately interfere with the freedom of any person to express his views, including invited speakers.
- Use language or gestures that are profane, lewd, vulgar or abusive.
- Knowingly have in his/her possession any weapon including a firearm upon any premises to which these rules and regulations apply. A firearm is any weapon (including a starter gun) which can fire a projectile (bullet).
- Gamble on school district property.
- Violate school District rules and regulations concerning the use of motor vehicles on school district property and school district parking regulations.
- Cause disruption or interference with the operation of school district buses.
- Fail to comply with directions of school district officials acting in the performance of their duties.
- Willfully incite others to commit any of the acts herein prohibited with specific intent to procure them to do so.
- Sexually harass any person. Sexual harassment is all unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature which forces a person to cooperate as a condition of participation, or which creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive situation. Any alleged incident should be reported promptly.
- Any person who violates the provisions of Board Policy 1500, Public Use of School Facilities, will not be allowed to remain on school grounds or at an activity and will be directed to leave the premises. If the violator refuses to leave, he/she may be subject to arrest. A group’s building use license may also be revoked.
- Participants are responsible for: – Their own behavior, – Being respectful of all other participants, and to respect the values and views of others, – Being positive members of the school community with regard to themselves, others and property.
- Participants are expected to: – Listen and follow the directions of their coaches, group leaders and all school district personnel, – Behave in a way that will promote a safe and productive environment for all.
- Parents are expected to: – Play a key role in the maintenance of good discipline in all BH-BL buildings and grounds, – Support school district staff through awareness, understanding and support of the rules of facility use, – Model appropriate behaviors expected of our students.
G. ABUSE OF FACILITIES
In the event that misuse of facilities or equipment, misconduct of individuals or groups, or other abuse of the privileges extended is reported to the building principal and the Facilities Coordinator, the district may take action considered appropriate. This may include but is not limited to: suspension of license to use facilities, requiring replacement of the group contact person, requiring reimbursement for damages or extra expenses incurred and denial of future requests for use of school property.
H. EVENT PROFIT
All admissions received by any organization for activities using the school facilities must be dedicated to educational and/or charitable purposes within the geographical limitations of the district. Admission fees are monies collected at the event to gain entrance to the premises. They are not the same as a fee or dues paid by an individual to belong to or participate with an organization. Profit-making organizations/businesses are only allowed to use the facilities for charitable purposes within the local area.
I. FOOD SERVICE
The district strongly encourages all outside groups and school affiliated groups to use the District Food Service for catering all activities held on/in district facilities.
A. Use fee
- District-sponsored groups, PTA, Community Not-For-Profit, Travel & Rec Programs proposing uses which will result in an educational benefit may use district facilities according to the fee schedule.
- Groups exempt from paying a use fee for their own activities may not extend their exempt status to applicants that would otherwise be charged a fee.
- Fee Considerations:
- Class level of user
- Purpose of event (meeting, fundraiser, etc.)
- Type of facility needed (auditorium, gymnasium, classroom, field)
- Length of use
- Day of use (i.e. Monday, Saturday, etc.)
- Number of participants.
- Class levels:
- Group I : School Events, PTA and/or Booster Club Meetings, Clubs, Teacher Use, Business meetings ONLY, Community Education
- Group II : Community Based Groups Community Not-for-Profit and/or Travel/Rec Programs, Rotary, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Rec Soccer, Basketball, Any fundraiser, Student and Adult Recreational Groups, local town events, 501 ( c) 3 event
- Group III : Non-Residents Not-for-Profit with area membership, Recreational groups, towns and other agencies, college, not located within Burnt Hills- Ballston Lake boundaries, Music groups (i.e. Music Co.) Union College
The Board of Education recognizes that the general prohibition against commercial activity on school property allows activities in furtherance of an educational or charitable purpose.
Accordingly, the Board hereby authorizes the use of school buildings and property for public sales and other functions when the proceeds are to benefit educational or charitable purposes. Permission may be issued for commercial activity conducted on school property during non-school hours, provided that such activity or a portion of the proceeds there from also serves school or charitable purposes.
Activities in which commercial vendors keep all their profits may not be conducted on school property.
Admission fees, collection of money, solicitation or acceptance of donations, or other fund-raising activities shall not be permitted unless specifically approved and conducted according to Board of Education regulations and state law.
Schools and parents associations are authorized to raise funds by use of sales and other fund-raising activities on school grounds, subject to the approval of the school principal. Fund-raising activities which involve the use of students during school hours shall be limited to a maximum of one per year by the school and two per year by the parent teacher organizations. Proceeds from school-sponsored fundraising activities shall accrue to the school’s treasury; proceeds from parent-sponsored fund-raising activities to the parent association treasury.
These limitations do not apply to the school sale of crackers, milk, refreshments, publications, or student government and school club activities.
A commercial photographer who is taking school photographs on school premise for a school purpose may advise students, by means of a card, brochure or other appropriate device, that copies may be purchased directly from the photographer. The solicitation of orders for and the sale of class rings on school premises is permissible.
The Superintendent is hereby granted the authority to approve activities in cooperation with any individual or organization which are of general public interest and which promote the education or other best interests of the students. Exhibitions and sale in schools of any books, articles, apparatus, films, or other educational material shall be judged on the basis of their actual educational values.
All outside groups must obtain permission to use a school building for public sales or similar events. Applicants are responsible for adhering to all Board of Education rules and regulations. All uses must be in accord with law and Board of Education policies.
The Superintendent is authorized to promulgate such regulations and directives as are necessary to implement the provisions of this policy.
FUNDS SOLICITATION AND SELLING
Staff members will not use their positions to sell non-educational material or educational material not used as a part of the educational program. They should not solicit pupils or other staff members, outside their own professional groups, for funds.
Revised May 2007
Renumbered from P1550 – September 2015
Reviewed June 1999
Renumbered from P4460 – September 2015
Staff and school children shall not be employed in any manner for advertising or otherwise promoting in the schools any commercial, political, or non-school agency, individual or organization.
Canvassing, soliciting of funds or selling of any items by any outside agency shall not be permitted on the school premises. School personnel may not participate during school hours or on school grounds, in the solicitation of orders, the distribution of advertising materials, or the collection of charges. The Superintendent is authorized to issue a list of suggested vendors to meet district prescribed standards, e.g., for photographs or musical instruments, while allowing parents to make their own arrangements on any terms they wish, where the arrangement does not involve the use of school personnel.
A commercial photographer who is taking school photographs on school premises for a school purpose may advise students, by means of a card, brochure or other appropriate device, that copies may be purchased directly from the photographer. The solicitation of orders for and the sale of class rings on school premises is permissible.
The Superintendent is hereby granted the authority to approve activities, in cooperation with any individual or organization which are of general public interest and which promote the education or other best interests of the students. Exhibitions and sale in schools of any books, articles, apparatus, films, or other educational material shall be judged on the basis of their actual educational values.
In the case of colleges, universities, armed service agencies, corporations businesses and public service agencies, it is the policy of the Board that access to schools shall be encouraged to bring career and occupational information to students. The Superintendent shall ensure that such activities are carefully monitored to restrict any commercial advertisement.
Contracts which purport to authorize private individuals or corporations to promote the sale of products and services through commercial advertisements aimed at public school students are expressly prohibited.
Nothing in this policy shall be construed to limit the authority of the Board under law to authorize the broadcast of high school games and other events by radio and TV stations even though the broadcast is commercially sponsored.
Revised May 2007
Renumbered from P1520 – September 2015
School personnel should be protected from undue pressure to contribute to various fund drives. This does not mean, however, that teachers should be excluded from solicitation for recognized community fund drives.
Reviewed January 2007
Renumbered from P1360 – May 2015
Due to the health hazards associated with smoking, and in accordance with federal and state law, the Board of Education prohibits smoking or other tobacco use in all school buildings, on school property, or at school-sponsored activities.
The district’s smoking policy shall be prominently posted in each building. The Board designates the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee as agent responsible for informing individuals smoking in a non-smoking area that they are in violation of Article 13 of the Public Health Law and/or the federal Pro-Children Act of 1994.
EMPLOYEE SMOKING PROHIBITION
All smoking is strictly prohibited inside all school district buildings or on school district grounds, as required by the provisions of Section 1043 of the final “Pro-Children Act of 1994 (Title X, Goals 2000, Educate America Act, Part C). SMOKING PROHIBITION The Board of Education, recognizing health hazards associated with smoking, and in accordance with federal and state law, prohibits smoking and all other tobacco use in all school buildings, on school grounds, and in any vehicle used to transport children or personnel.
The policy shall be prominently posted in each building, at designated outdoor locations on school premises (e.g. athletic fields) and in all district vehicles. The Board designates the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee as agent responsible for informing individuals smoking anywhere on school premises or in district vehicles that they are in violation of Article 13 of the Public Health Law and/or Section 409 of the Education Law and/or the federal Pro-Children Acts of 1994 and 2001.
Reviewed January 2011
Renumbered from P5322 – September 2015
Reviewed June 1999
Renumbered from P4450 – September 2015
Reviewed January 2007
Renumbered from P1560 – September 2015
The Board of Education will assist and cooperate with governmental agencies and schools within the framework of the Educational and Civil Laws.
- Police Department: A building principal or designee may not allow a pupil to be questioned by a police officer other than our School Resource Officer (SRO) unless the principal is present. The principal should ensure that the pupil’s legal rights are protected. The building principal shall notify the parent/guardian prior to questioning by police.
- Fire Department: The Building & Grounds Supervisor will be present at all fire department inspections and take the necessary action to see that all infractions of the fire laws are corrected. The building principal must see that all fire exits are in usable condition. The teachers or staff member with current responsibility for the pupils will be responsible for the safe exit of their pupils from the school building in accordance with the prescribed plan. The building principal will see that lanes for fire apparatus are kept open at all times when school is in session.
- Health Department: Where drinking water tests are necessary, it will be the responsibility of the Building & Grounds Supervisor to see that these are taken. In cases where the health of a pupil is being endangered by neglect, it will be the responsibility of the building principal to see that the proper officials are notified.
- Welfare Department: Where the welfare of a child is in danger, all professional staff are mandated reporters.
- State Government: All requests for services from governmental agencies of the state should be arranged for through the office of the Superintendent of Schools. Requests for information or other requests from state government agencies should be channeled through the office of the Superintendent of Schools.
- Federal Government: The Superintendent of Schools will designate when necessary an individual or individuals who will be responsible for the organization and implementation of federally sponsored programs. All programs requiring expenditure of district funds must be approved by the Superintendent of Schools and the Board of Education. The Business Office will be responsible for the accounting of all federal funds.
Revised May 2007 (P1600)
The Board of Education shall ensure that children instructed at home are taught by a competent instructor and receive an education substantially equivalent to that offered in the district’s schools.
Parents/Guardians who wish to educate their children at home must submit to the district an individual home instruction plan (IHIP), outlining the educational goals to be met and the course materials and syllabi to be used each year for the child’s learning process. The district may accept or deny an IHIP. Parents/Guardians must submit quarterly reports which will provide the district with the necessary information to make determinations of substantial equivalency and competency of instruction on an ongoing basis.
Parents/Guardians may appeal to the Board a determination by the Superintendent of Schools or designee that an IHIP is not in compliance with the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. Parents/Guardians shall have the right to appeal the final determination of the Board to the Commissioner of Education within 30 days of receipt of such determination.
A student with an IHIP, who is a resident of the school district and has a disability, or is suspected of having a disability, is eligible to receive services from the school district, in accordance with law, regulation and district policy (4321 et. seq.). A parent/guardian must request special education services in writing to the Board by June 1st, unless the child is first identified or moves into the district after June 1st. In that case, the parent/guardian must request the services within 30 days of being identified or of moving into the district.
Special education services will be provided on an equitable basis compared to programs and services provided to other students with disabilities attending public or nonpublic schools within the district. The Board will determine the location where services will be available to home schooled students.
Participation in Extracurricular Activities
Students instructed at home by their parents are not entitled to participate in interscholastic or intramural sports. However, such students may participate in those school-sponsored extracurricular activities that do not have academic or school attendance requirements, as determined by the school principal. In order to be eligible to participate in school sponsored extracurricular activities, students instructed at home are required to be current in their academic work on quarterly reports, as described above. A student health information form and proof of vaccination (or an approved medical immunization exemption form) must be on file with the nurse’s office of the building in which the activities are being held. Participation of any home-schooled students must receive prior approval of the Superintendent.
The Board authorizes the Superintendent to loan instructional materials, if available, to students receiving home instruction. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall determine the availability of resources and develop appropriate procedures.
Cross ref: 4321, Programs for Students with Disabilities, et seq.
- Education Law §§ 3204(2); 3210(2)(d); 3602-c (2-c)
- 8 NYCRR §§ 100.10; 135.1; 135.4
- Appeal of Ponte, 41 EDR 174 (2001)
- Matter of Abookire, 33 EDR 473 (1994)
- State Education Department Memorandum, “New Requirements for the Provision of Special Education Services to Home-Instructed (“Home-Schooled”) Students, July 2008
- State Education Department Memorandum, “Home Instruction Questions and Answers,” http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/homeinstruction/homeschoolingqanda.html, Sept. 2016
Adopted October 2019
Only the Board of Education may accept for the school district any bequest or gift of money, property or goods, except that the Superintendent of Schools may accept on behalf of the Board any such gift valued at less than $250 or a gift designated as a scholarship.
The Board reserves the right to refuse to accept any gift which does not contribute towards the achievement of the district’s goals or the ownership of which would tend to deplete the resources of the district.
Any gift accepted by the Board or the Superintendent shall become the property of the district, may not be returned without the approval of the Board, and is subject to the same controls and regulations as are other properties of the district.
It shall be the policy of the district to accept a gift, provided it is made within the statutory authority granted to school districts and has received the approval of the Board of Education. It shall be the policy of the district to not accept a gift from an individual or entity with which the District has or is considering having a contractual or vendor relationship, including a District employee. Exceptions to this policy will only be considered if the exact relationship of the donor to the district and the reason for the gift is disclosed and discussed publicly at a regular meeting of the Board of Education.
In granting or withholding its consent, the Board will review the following factors:
- 1. The terms of the gift must identify: a. the subject of the gift b. the purpose of the gift c. the beneficiary or beneficiaries if any d. all conditions or restrictions that may apply.
- 2. The gift must not benefit a particular or named individual or individuals.
- 3. If the purpose of the gift is an award to a single student, the determination of the recipient of such award shall be made on the basis that all students shall have an equal opportunity to qualify for it in conformance with federal and state law.
- 4. If the gift is in trust, the obligation of the investment and reinvestment of the principal shall be clearly specified and the application of the income or investment proceeds shall be clearly set forth.
- 5. No gift or trust will be accepted by the Board or on behalf of the Board unless:
a. it is in support of and a benefit to all or to a particular public school in the district, or
b. it is for a purpose for which the school district could legally expend its own funds, or
c. it is for the purpose of awarding scholarships to students.
Any gift rejected by the Board shall be returned to the donor or his/her estate within 60 days together with a statement indicating the reasons for the rejection of such gift.
Cross-ref: 2160, School Board Officer and Employee Ethics
Ref: Education Law §1709(12)
Reviewed April 1997
Revised May 2017
Gifts to school personnel are not encouraged. Under no circumstances is any member of the staff to accept gifts which would be construed to be influential to the manner in which he/she performs his/her function. Excluded from this would be the common practice of tokens of appreciation by the children (and their parents). The Superintendent will be the sole judge as to whether or not any gifts received by members of the staff are either (a) tokens of appreciation, (b) attempts to influence.
The Board of Education considers gifts to students, other than those earned during the normal course of their activities, inappropriate.
Reviewed April 1997 (P1810)
The Board of Education believes that positive parent and family engagement is essential to student achievement, and thus encourages such involvement in school educational planning and operations. Parent and family engagement may take place either in the classroom or during extra-curricular activities. However, the Board also encourages parent and family engagement at home (e.g., planned home reading time, informal learning activities, and/or homework “contracts” between parents, family members and children). The Board directs the Superintendent of Schools to develop a home-school communications program in an effort to encourage all forms of parent and family engagement.
Title I Parent and Family Engagement- District Level Policy
Consistent with the parent and family engagement goals of Title I, Part A of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) and its reauthorization in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Board of Education will develop and implement programs, activities and procedures that encourage and support the participation of parents and family members of students eligible for Title I services in all aspects of their child’s education. The Board also will ensure that all of its schools receiving Title I, Part A funds develop and implement school level parent and family engagement procedures, as further required by federal law.
For purposes of this policy, parental involvement refers to the participation of parents in regular, twoway, and meaningful communication, involving student academic learning and other school activities.
At a minimum, parent and family engagement programs, activities and procedures at both the district and individual school level must ensure that parents and family members:
- Play an integral role in assisting their child’s learning;
- Are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s education at school; and
- Are full partners in their child’s education and are included, as appropriate, in decision-making and on advisory committees to assist in the education of their child.
The federal definition of the term “parents” refers to a natural parent, legal guardian or other person standing in loco parentis (such as a grandparent or stepparent with whom the child lives, or a person who is legally responsible for the child’s welfare).
District and school level Title I parent and family engagement programs, activities and procedures will provide opportunities for the informed participation of parents and family members (including those who have limited English proficiency, parents and family members with disabilities.
As further required by federal law, parents and family members of students eligible for Title I services will be provided an opportunity to participate in the development of the district’s Title I plan, and to submit comments regarding any aspect of the plan that is not satisfactory to them. Their comments will be forwarded with the plan to the State Education Department. Parents and family members also will participate in the process for developing either a comprehensive or targeted “support and improvement plan” when the school their child attends by the State as needing this plan.
Parent and family member participation in development of district wide Title I plan
The Board, along with its superintendent of schools and other appropriate district staff will undertake the following actions to ensure parent and family member involvement in the development of the district wide Title I plan:
- Hold stakeholder meetings that are well advertised and accessible to all parents;
- Survey parents regarding needs within the District.
Development of school level parent and family engagement approaches
The superintendent of schools will ensure that all district schools receiving federal financial assistance under Title I, Part A are provided coordination, technical assistance and all other support necessary to assist them in planning and implementing effective parent and family engagement programs and activities that improve student achievement and school performance. As appropriate to meet individual local needs, the superintendent will authorize:
- Parent Organizations in every building
- Parent University Programs
- Parent Volunteers
- School District Membership in BH-BL BPA
- Junior Achievement Programs
- Community Service Activities
- Career Days
Building capacity for parental involvement
To build parent capacity for strong parental involvement to improve their child’s academic achievement, the district and its Title I, Part A schools will, at a minimum:
1. Assist parents in understanding such topics as the state’s academic content challenging academic standards, state and local academic assessments, Title I requirements, how to monitor their child’s progress and how to work with educators to improve the achievement of their child. To achieve this objective, the district and its Title I schools will:
- provide written notification of eligibility for services and regular reporting on student progress;
- present Board of Education Program Reviews on student achievement.
2. Provide materials and training to help parents work to improve their child’s academic achievement such as literacy training and using technology (including education about the harms of copyright piracy). To achieve this objective, the district and its Title I schools will:
- provide a partnership with public library and literacy programs;
- provide one-to-one technology and accessible programs in literacy and math;
- maintain a District web page;
- implement Community of Readers, One School, One Book Project
3. Educate its teachers, specialized instructional support personnel, principals and other school leaders, and other staff, with the assistance of parents, in understanding the value and utility of a parent’s contributions and on how to:
- reach out to, communicate with, and work with parents as equal partners;
- implement and coordinate parent programs; and
- build ties between parents and the schools.
To achieve this objective, the district and its Title I schools will insure the:
- District PD Plan Committee involves a parent; and
- Building Councils include parents.
4. Ensure that information related to school and parent-related programs, meetings and other activities is sent to the parents of children participating in Title I programs in an understandable and uniform format, including alternative formats, upon request, and to the extent practicable, in a language the parents can understand.
Coordination of parental involvement strategies
The district will coordinate and integrate strategies adopted to comply with Title I, Part A parental involvement requirements with parental involvement strategies adopted in connection with other Federal, State, and local programs, including public preschool programs.
Review of district wide parent and family engagement policy
The Board, along with its superintendent of schools and other appropriate staff will conduct, with the meaningful involvement of parents and family members, an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of this parent and family engagement policy in improving the academic quality of Title I schools, including the identification of barriers to greater participation by parents in activities under this policy, and the revision of parent and family engagement policies necessary for more effective involvement
Ref: 20 USC §§6318(a)(2); 7801(38), Every Student Succeeds Act (§1116 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) U.S. Department of Education, Parental Involvement, Title I, Part A, Non-Regulatory Guidance, April 23, 2004
Adopted – November 2017
The Board of Education recognizes that those District parents with hearing impairments which prevent a meaningful participation in their child’s educational program must be afforded an opportunity equal to that afforded other parents to participate in meetings or activities pertaining to the academic and/or disciplinary aspects of their child’s education. Accordingly, and pursuant to law, the school district will provide an interpreter for hearing-impaired parents for school-initiated academic and/or disciplinary meetings or activities, including, but not limited to:
- Parent/teacher conferences
- Child/study or building level team meetings
- Planning meetings with school counselors regarding educational progress
- Career planning
- Suspension hearings or other conference with school officials relating to disciplinary actions.
The school district will provide an interpreter for the hearing-impaired parent if a written request for the service has been submitted to and received by the District within 5 school days prior to the scheduled meeting or activity. If an interpreter is unavailable, the district will then make other reasonable accommodations which are satisfactory to the parents (e.g., notetaker, transcript, decoder, or telecommunication device for the deaf). These services will be made available by the District at no cost to the parents.
The Board directs the Superintendent of Schools to maintain a list of available interpreters and to develop procedures to notify parents of the availability of interpreter services, the time limitation for requesting these services, and of the requirement to make other reasonable accommodations satisfactory to the parents should an interpreter not be available.
Hearing-impaired parents should submit a letter of request to the Superintendent to accommodate their disability.
Revised May 2007 (P1925)