Upton Student Handbook - Policies & Procedures

Contents

POLICIES & PROCEDURES

 

BULLYING AND OTHER AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR TOWARD STUDENTS

It is the policy of the District to provide a safe and nurturing educational environment for all of its students.

 

This policy protects all students from bullying/aggressive behavior regardless of the subject matter or motivation for such impermissible behavior.

 

Bullying or other aggressive behavior toward a student, whether by other students, staff, or third parties, including Board members, parents, guests, contractors, vendors, and volunteers, is strictly prohibited. This prohibition includes written, physical, verbal, and psychological abuse, including hazing, gestures, comments, threats, or actions to a student, which cause or threaten to cause bodily harm, reasonable fear for personal safety or personal degradation.

 

Demonstration of appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate harassment or bullying is expected of administrators, faculty, staff, and volunteers to provide positive examples for student behavior.

 

This policy applies to all "at school" activities in the District, including activities on school property, in a school vehicle, and those occurring off school property, if the student or employee is at any school-sponsored, school-approved or school-related activity or function, such as field trips or athletic events where students are under the school’s control, or where an employee is engaged in school business. Misconduct occurring outside of school may also be disciplined if it interferes with the school environment.

 

Notification

 

Notice of this policy will be annually circulated to and posted in conspicuous locations in all school buildings and departments within the District and discussed with students, as well as incorporated into the teacher, student, and parent/guardian handbooks. State and Federal rights posters on discrimination and harassment shall also be posted at each building. All new hires will be required to review and sign off on this policy and the related complaint procedure.

 

Parents or legal guardians of the alleged victim(s), as well as of the alleged aggressor(s), shall be promptly notified of any complaint or investigation as well as the results of the investigation to the extent consistent with student confidentiality requirements. A record of the time and form of notice or attempts at notice shall be kept in the investigation file.

 

To the extent appropriate and/or legally permitted, confidentiality will be maintained during the investigation process. However, a proper investigation will, in some circumstances, require the disclosure of names and allegations. Further, the appropriate authorities may be notified, depending on the nature of the complaint and/or the results of the investigation.

 

Reporting

 

No later than September 30, 2015, the District shall submit to the Department of Education a copy of this Policy.

 

The District shall report incidents of bullying to the Department of Education on an annual basis according to the form and procedures established by the Department of Education.

 

Should this Policy be amended or otherwise modified, the District shall submit a copy of the amended or modified Policy to the Department of Education no later than thirty (30) days after adopting the modification.

 

Implementation

 

The Superintendent is responsible to implement this policy, and may develop further guidelines, not inconsistent with this policy.

 

This policy is not intended to and should not be interpreted to interfere with legitimate free speech rights of any individual. However, the District reserves the right and responsibility to maintain a safe environment for students, conducive to learning and other legitimate objectives of the school program.

 

Procedure

 

Any student who believes s/he has been or is the victim of bullying, hazing, or other aggressive behavior should immediately report the situation to the Principal or assistant principal. The student may also report concerns to a teacher or counselor who will be responsible for notifying the appropriate administrator or Board official. Complaints against the building principal should be filed with the Superintendent. Complaints against the Superintendent should be filed with the Board President.

 

A student may also submit a report or complaint to any of the above designated individuals through email, voicemail, regular mail or by leaving a sealed note addressed to the individual at that person's office or desk. The student may submit a report or complaint anonymously, but this may affect the ability to fully investigate the matter, when the complaining student is not available to provide additional information during the course of the investigation.

 

The identity of a student who reports bullying, hazing or aggressive behavior, as well as those students who provide information during an investigation will remain confidential to the extent possible and to the extent allowable by law. Only school personnel directly involved in the investigation of the complaint or responsible for remedying any violations will be provided access to the identity of the complaining student(s) and student witnesses, and then only to the extent necessary to effectively deal with the situation.

 

The identity of the student who files the report or complaint will not be voluntarily shared with the alleged perpetrator(s) or the witnesses unless the student (and his/her parent/guardian) give written permission to do so. Any investigation report will likewise not be voluntarily produced with the names of the reporting student(s) or witnesses. However, under certain circumstances, the District may be required by law to disclose the report and/or the student(s) names. Also, under certain circumstances, the identity of the reporting student may become obvious even without disclosure by school personnel.

 

Every student is encouraged, and every staff member is required, to report any situation that they believe to be aggressive behavior directed toward a student. Reports shall be made to those identified above. While reports may be made anonymously, formal disciplinary action may not be taken solely on the basis of an anonymous report without other corroborating evidence.

 

The Principal (or other designated administrator) shall promptly investigate and document all complaints about bullying, aggressive or other behavior that may violate this policy. The investigation must be completed as promptly as the circumstances permit and should be completed within three (3) school days after a report or complaint is made.

 

If the investigation finds an instance of bullying or aggressive behavior has occurred, it will result in prompt and appropriate remedial action. This may include up to expulsion for students, up to discharge for employees, exclusion for parents, guests, volunteers and contractors, and removal from any official position and/or a request to resign for Board members. Individuals may also be referred to law enforcement or other appropriate officials.

 

If, during an investigation of a reported act of harassment, intimidation and/or bullying/cyberbullying, the Principal or appropriate administrator believes that the reported misconduct may have created a hostile learning environment and may have constituted unlawful discriminatory harassment based on a Protected Class, the Principal will report the act of bullying and/or harassment to one of the Anti-Harassment Compliance Officers so that it may be investigated in accordance with the procedures set forth in Policy 5517 - Anti-Harassment.

 

The individual responsible for conducting the investigation shall document all reported incidents and report all verified incidents of bullying, aggressive or other prohibited behavior, as well as any remedial action taken, including disciplinary actions and referrals, to the Superintendent. The Superintendent shall submit a compiled report to the Board on an annual basis.

 

Non-Retaliation/False Reports

 

Retaliation or false allegations against any person who reports, is thought to have reported, files a complaint, participates in an investigation or inquiry concerning allegations of bullying or aggressive behavior (as a witness or otherwise), or is the target of the bullying or aggressive behavior being investigated, is prohibited and will not be tolerated. Such retaliation shall be considered a serious violation of Board policy, independent of whether a complaint of bullying is substantiated. Suspected retaliation should be reported in the same manner as bullying/aggressive behavior.

 

Making intentionally false reports about bullying/aggressive behavior for the purpose of getting someone in trouble is similarly prohibited and will not be tolerated. Retaliation and intentionally false reports may result in disciplinary action as indicated above.

 

Prevention/Training/Restorative Practices

 

The District shall provide, and all students shall undertake, annual training on preventing, identifying, responding to, and reporting incidents of bullying, cyber bullying and other aggressive behavior.

 

Definitions

 

The following definitions are provided for guidance only. If a student or other individual believes there has been bullying, hazing, harassment or other aggressive behavior, regardless of whether it fits a particular definition, s/he should report it immediately and allow the administration to determine the appropriate course of action.

 

"Aggressive behavior" is defined as inappropriate conduct that is repeated enough, or serious enough, to negatively impact a student’s educational, physical, or emotional well-being. Such behavior includes, for example, bullying, hazing, stalking, intimidation, menacing, coercion, name-calling, taunting, making threats, and hitting/pushing/shoving.

 

"At School" is defined as in a classroom, elsewhere on school premises, on a school bus or other school-related vehicle, or at a school-sponsored activity or event whether or not it is held on school premises. It also includes conduct using a telecommunications access device or telecommunications service provider that occurs off school premises if either owned by or under the control of the District.

 

"Bullying" is defined as any written, verbal, or physical acts, including cyber bullying (i.e. any electronic communication, including, but not limited to electronically transmitted acts, such as internet, telephone or cell phone, personal digital assistant (PDA), or wireless hand held device) that, without regard to its subject matter or motivating animus, is intended or that a reasonable person would know is likely to harm one (1) or more students either directly or indirectly by doing any of the following:

 

substantially interfering with educational opportunities, benefits, or programs of one (1) or more students;

 

adversely affecting the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the school district's educational programs or activities by placing the student in reasonable fear of physical harm or by causing substantial emotional distress;

 

having an actual and substantial detrimental effect on a student's physical or mental health; and/or

 

causing substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school.

 

Bullying can be physical, verbal, psychological, or a combination of all three. Some examples of bullying are:

 

Physical – hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing, pulling; taking and/or damaging personal belongings or extorting money, blocking or impeding student movement, unwelcome physical contact.

 

Verbal – taunting, malicious teasing, insulting, name calling, making threats.

 

Psychological – spreading rumors, manipulating social relationships, coercion, or engaging in social exclusion/shunning, extortion, or intimidation. This may occur in a number of different ways, including but not limited to notes, emails, social media postings, and graffiti.

 

"Harassment" includes, but is not limited to, any act which subjects an individual or group to unwanted, abusive behavior of a nonverbal, verbal, written or physical nature, often on the basis of age, race, religion, color, national origin, marital status or disability, but may also include sexual orientation, physical characteristics (e.g., height, weight, complexion), cultural background, socioeconomic status, or geographic location (e.g., from rival school, different state, rural area, city, etc.).

 

"Intimidation/Menacing" includes, but is not limited to, any threat or act intended to: place a person in fear of physical injury or offensive physical contact; to substantially damage or interfere with person's property; or to intentionally interfere with or block a person's movement without good reason.

 

"Staff" includes all school employees and Board members.

 

"Third parties" include, but are not limited to, coaches, school volunteers, parents, school visitors, service contractors, vendors, or others engaged in District business, and others not directly subject to school control at inter-district or intra-district athletic competitions or other school events.

 

For further definition and instances that could possibly be construed as:

 

Harassment, see Policy 5517;

 

Hazing, see Policy 5516.

 

Revised 3/11/13

Revised 2/10/14

Revised 8/10/15

 

STUDENT HAZING

The Board of Education believes that hazing activities of any type are inconsistent with the educational process and prohibits all such activities at any time in school facilities, on school property, and at any District-sponsored event.

 

Hazing shall be defined for purposes of this policy as performing any act or coercing another, including the victim, to perform any act of initiation or participation into any class, group, or organization that causes or creates a risk of causing mental, emotional, or physical harm. Permission, consent, or assumption of risk by an individual subjected to hazing shall not lessen the prohibitions contained in this policy.

 

Hazing involves conduct such as but not limited to:

 

illegal activity, such as drinking or drugs;

 

physical punishment or infliction of pain;

 

intentional humiliation or embarrassment;

 

dangerous activity;

 

activity likely to cause mental or psychological stress;

 

forced detention or kidnapping;

 

undressing or otherwise exposing initiates.

 

Administrators, faculty members, and other employees of the District shall be alert particularly to possible situations, circumstances, or events which might include hazing. If hazing or planned hazing is discovered, the students involved shall be informed by the discoverer of the prohibitions contained in this policy and shall be ordered to end all hazing activities or planned activities immediately. All hazing incidents shall be reported immediately to the Superintendent. Students, administrators, faculty members, and other employees who fail to abide by this policy may be subject to disciplinary action and may be held personally liable for civil or criminal penalties.

 

The Superintendent shall distribute this policy to all students and District employees, and shall incorporate it into building, staff, and student handbooks. It shall also be the subject of discussion at employee staff meetings or in-service programs.

 

ANTI-HARASSMENT

General Policy Statement

 

It is the policy of the Board of Education to maintain an education and work environment that is free from all forms of unlawful harassment, including sexual harassment. This commitment applies to all School District operations, programs, and activities. All students, administrators, teachers, staff, and all other school personnel share responsibility for avoiding, discouraging, and reporting any form of unlawful harassment. This policy applies to unlawful conduct occurring on school property, or at another location if such conduct occurs during an activity sponsored by the Board.

 

The Board will vigorously enforce its prohibition against discriminatory harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and transgender identity), disability, age (except as authorized by law), religion, height, weight, marital or family status, military status ancestry, or genetic information (collectively, "Protected Classes") that are protected by Federal civil rights laws (hereinafter referred to as unlawful harassment), and encourages those within the School District community as well as third parties, who feel aggrieved to seek assistance to rectify such problems. The Board will investigate all allegations of unlawful harassment and in those cases where unlawful harassment is substantiated, the Board will take immediate steps to end the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects. Individuals who are found to have engaged in unlawful harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

 

For purposes of this policy, "School District community" means students, administrators, and professional and support staff, as well as Board members, agents, volunteers, contractors, or other persons subject to the control and supervision of the Board.

 

For purposes of this policy, "third parties" include, but are not limited to, guests and/or visitors on School District property (e.g., visiting speakers, participants on opposing athletic teams, parents), vendors doing business with, or seeking to do business with, the Board, and other individuals who come in contact with members of the School District community at school-related events/activities (whether on or off School District property).

 

Other Violations of the Anti-Harassment Policy

 

The Board will also take immediate steps to impose disciplinary action on individuals engaging in any of the following prohibited acts:

 

Retaliating against a person who has made a report or filed a complaint alleging unlawful harassment, or who has participated as a witness in a harassment investigation.

 

Filing a malicious or knowingly false report or complaint of unlawful harassment.

 

Disregarding, failing to investigate adequately, or delaying investigation of allegations of unlawful harassment, when responsibility for reporting and/or investigating harassment charges comprises part of one's supervisory duties.

 

Definitions

 

Bullying

 

Bullying rises to the level of unlawful harassment when one or more persons systematically and chronically inflict physical hurt or psychological distress on one (1) or more students or employees and the bullying is based upon one (1) or more Protected Classes, that is, characteristics that are protected by Federal civil rights laws. It is defined as any unwanted and repeated written, verbal, or physical behavior, including any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, by an adult or student, that is severe or pervasive enough to created an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational or work environment; cause discomfort or humiliation, or unreasonably interfere with the individual's school or work performance or participation; an may involve:

 

Teasing;

Threats;

Intimidation;

stalking;

cyberstalking;

cyberbullying;

physical violence;

theft;

sexual, religious, or racial harassment;

public humiliation; or

destruction of property.

 

Harassment

 

Harassment means any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, use of technology, or written, verbal or physical conduct directed against a student or school employee that:

 

places a student or school employee in reasonable fear of harm to his/her person or damage to his/her property;

 

has the effect of substantially interfering with a student's educational performance, opportunities, or benefits, or an employee's work performance; or

 

has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school.

 

Sexual Harassment

 

Pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, "sexual harassment" is defined as:

 

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when:

 

Submission to such conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, or status in a class, educational program, or activity.

 

Submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or educational decisions affecting such individual.

 

Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual's work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one's ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity.

 

Sexual harassment may involve the behavior of a person of either gender against a person of the same or opposite gender.

 

Prohibited acts that constitute sexual harassment may take a variety of forms. Examples of the kinds of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

 

Unwelcome sexual propositions, invitations, solicitations, and flirtations.

 

Unwanted physical and/or sexual contact.

 

Threats or insinuations that a person's employment, wages, academic grade, promotion, classroom work or assignments, academic status, participation in athletics or extra-curricular programs or events, or other conditions of employment or education may be adversely affected by not submitting to sexual advances.

 

Unwelcome verbal expressions of a sexual nature, including graphic sexual commentaries about a person's body, dress, appearance, or sexual activities; the unwelcome use of sexually degrading language, jokes or innuendoes; unwelcome suggestive or insulting sounds or whistles; obscene telephone calls.

 

Sexually suggestive objects, pictures, videotapes, audio recordings or literature, placed in the work or educational environment, which may embarrass or offend individuals.

 

Unwelcome and inappropriate touching, patting, or pinching; obscene gestures.

 

A pattern of conduct, which can be subtle in nature, that has sexual overtones and is intended to create or has the effect of creating discomfort and/or humiliation to another.

 

Remarks speculating about a person's sexual activities or sexual history, or remarks about one's own sexual activities or sexual history.

 

Inappropriate boundary invasions by a District employee or other adult member of the School District community into a student's personal space and personal life.

 

Verbal, nonverbal or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping that does not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

 

Not all behavior with sexual connotations constitutes unlawful sexual harassment. Sex-based or gender-based conduct must be sufficiently severe, pervasive, and persistent such that it adversely affects, limits, or denies an individual's employment or education, or such that it creates a hostile or abusive employment or educational environment, or such that it is intended to, or has the effect of, denying or limiting a student's ability to participate in or benefit from the educational program or activities.

 

NOTE: Sexual conduct/relationships with students by District employees or any other adult member of the School District community is prohibited, and any teacher, administrator, coach, or other school authority who engages in sexual conduct with a student may also be guilty of the criminal charge of "sexual battery". The issue of consent is irrelevant in regard to such criminal charge and/or with respect to the application of this policy to District employees or other adult members of the School District community.

 

Race/Color Harassment

 

Prohibited racial harassment occurs when unwelcome physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct is based upon an individual's race or color and when the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual's work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one's ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity. Such harassment may occur where conduct is directed at the characteristics of a person's race or color, such as racial slurs, nicknames implying stereotypes, epithets, and/or negative references relative to racial customs.

 

Religious (Creed) Harassment

 

Prohibited religious harassment occurs when unwelcome physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct is based upon an individual's religion or creed and when the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual's work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one's ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity. Such harassment may occur where conduct is directed at the characteristics of a person's religious tradition, clothing, or surnames, and/or involves religious slurs.

 

National Origin/Ancestry Harassment

 

Prohibited national origin/ancestry harassment occurs when unwelcome physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct is based upon an individual's national origin or ancestry and when the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual's work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one's ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity. Such harassment may occur where conduct is directed at the characteristics of a person's national origin or ancestry, such as negative comments regarding customs, manner of speaking, language, surnames, or ethnic slurs.

 

Disability Harassment

 

Prohibited disability harassment occurs when unwelcome physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct is based upon an individual's disability and when the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual's work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one's ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity. Such harassment may occur where conduct is directed at the characteristics of a person's disabling condition, such as negative comments about speech patterns, movement, physical impairments or defects/appearances, or the like. Such harassment may further occur where conduct is directed at or pertains to a person's genetic information.

 

Reports and Complaints of Harassing Conduct

 

Students and other members of the School District community and third parties are encouraged to promptly report incidents of harassing conduct to a teacher, administrator, supervisor or other District official so that the Board may address the conduct before it becomes severe, pervasive, or persistent. Any teacher, administrator, supervisor, or other District employee or official who receives such a complaint shall file it with the District's Anti-Harassment Compliance Officer at his/her first convenience.

 

Members of the School District community, which includes students, or third parties who believe they have been unlawfully harassed are entitled to utilize the Board's complaint process that is set forth below. Initiating a complaint, whether formally or informally, will not adversely affect the complaining individual's employment or participation in educational or extra-curricular programs. While there are no time limits for initiating complaints of harassment under this policy, individuals should make every effort to file a complaint as soon as possible after the conduct occurs while the facts are known and potential witnesses are available.

 

If, during an investigation of alleged bullying, aggressive behavior and/or harassment in accordance with Policy 5517.01 – Bullying and Other Forms of Aggressive Behavior, the Principal believes that the reported misconduct may have created a hostile learning environment and may have constituted unlawful discriminatory harassment based on a Protected Class, the Principal shall report the act of bullying, aggressive behavior and/or harassment to one of the Anti Harassment Compliance Officers who shall investigate the allegation in accordance with this policy. While the Compliance Officer investigates the allegation, the Principal shall suspend his/her Policy 5517.01 investigation to await the Compliance Officer's written report. The Compliance Officer shall keep the Principal informed of the status of the Policy 5517 investigation and provide him/her with a copy of the resulting written report.

 

Anti-Harassment Compliance Officers

 

The Board designates the following individuals to serve as "Anti-Harassment Compliance Officers" for the District. They are hereinafter referred to as the "Compliance Officers".

 

Craig Hubble

Principal, Lincoln Elementary School

269-926-3100

3275 Lincoln Avenue St. Joseph, MI 49085

chubble@sjschools.org

 

Denise Reisig

Director of Special Education

269-926-3100

3265 Lincoln Avenue

St. Joseph, MI 49085

dreisig@sjschools.org

 

The names, titles, and contact information of these individuals will be published annually on the School District's website and Central Office bulletin board.

 

The Compliance Officers will be available during regular school/work hours to discuss concerns related to unlawful harassment, to assist students, other members of the District community, and third parties who seek support or advice when informing another individual about "unwelcome" conduct, or to intercede informally on behalf of the student, other member of the School District community or third party in those instances where concerns have not resulted in the filing of a formal complaint and where all parties are in agreement to participate in an informal process.

 

Compliance Officers shall accept complaints of unlawful harassment directly from any member of the School District community or a visitor to the District, or receive complaints that are initially filed within a school building administrator. Upon receipt of a complaint either directly or through a school building administrator, a Compliance Officer will begin either an informal or formal process (depending on the request of the person alleging the harassment or the nature of the alleged harassment), or the Compliance Officer will designate a specific individual to conduct such a process. In the case of a formal complaint, the Compliance Officer will prepare recommendations for the Superintendent or will oversee the preparation of such recommendations by a designee. All members of the School District community must report incidents of harassment that are reported to them to the Compliance Officer within two (2) business days of learning of the incident.

 

Any Board employee who directly observes unlawful harassment of a student is obligated, in accordance with this policy, to report such observations to one of the Compliance Officers within two (2) business days. Additionally, any Board employee who observes an act of unlawful harassment is expected to intervene to stop the harassment, unless circumstances make such an intervention dangerous, in which case the staff member should immediately notify other Board employees and/or local law enforcement officials, as necessary, to stop the harassment. Thereafter, the Compliance Officer or designee must contact the student, if age eighteen (18) or older, or the student's parents if under the age eighteen (18), within two (2) school days to advise s/he/them of the Board's intent to investigate the alleged misconduct, including the obligation of the Compliance Officer or designee to conduct an investigation following all the procedures outlined for a formal complaint.

 

Investigation and Complaint Procedure

 

Any student who believes that s/he has been subjected to unlawful harassment may seek resolution of his/her complaint through either the informal or formal procedures as described below. Further, a process for investigating claims of harassment or retaliation and a process for rendering a decision regarding whether the claim of legally prohibited harassment or retaliation was substantiated are set forth below.

 

Due to the sensitivity surrounding complaints of unlawful harassment or retaliation, time lines are flexible for initiating the complaint process; however, individuals should make every effort to file a complaint within thirty (30) calendar days after the conduct occurs while the facts are known and potential witnesses are available. Once the formal complaint process is begun, the investigation will be completed in a timely manner (ordinarily, within fifteen (15) business days of the complaint being received).

 

The informal and formal procedures set forth below are not intended to interfere with the rights of a student to pursue a complaint of unlawful harassment or retaliation with the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.

 

Informal Complaint Procedure

 

The goal of the informal complaint procedure is to stop inappropriate behavior and to investigate and facilitate resolution through an informal means, if possible. The informal complaint procedure is provided as a less formal option for a student who believes s/he has been unlawfully harassed or retaliated against. This informal procedure is not required as a precursor to the filing of a formal complaint.

 

Students who believe that they have been unlawfully harassed may initiate their complaint through this informal complaint process, but are not required to do so. The informal process is only available in those circumstances where the parties (alleged target of harassment and alleged harasser(s)) agree to participate in the informal process.

 

Students who believe that they have been unlawfully harassed or retaliated may proceed immediately to the formal complaint process and individuals who seek resolution through the informal procedure may request that the informal process be terminated at any time to move to the formal complaint process.

 

However, all complaints of harassment involving a District employee or any other adult member of the School District community against a student will be formally investigated. Similarly, any allegations of sexual violence will be formally investigated.

 

As an initial course of action, if a student feels that s/he is being unlawfully harassed and s/he is able and feels safe doing so, the individual should tell or otherwise inform the harasser that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. Such direct communication should not be utilized in circumstances involving sexual violence. The complaining individual should address the allegedly harassing conduct as soon after it occurs as possible. The Compliance Officers are available to support and counsel individuals when taking this initial step or to intervene on behalf of the individual if requested to do so. An individual who is uncomfortable or unwilling to inform the harasser of his/her complaint is not prohibited from otherwise filing an informal or a formal complaint. In addition, with regard to certain types of unlawful harassment, such as sexual harassment, the Compliance Officer may advise against the use of the informal complaint process.

 

A student who believes s/he has been unlawfully harassed may make an informal complaint, either orally or in writing: (1) to a teacher, other employee, or building administrator in the school the student attends; (2) to the Superintendent or other District-level employee; and/or (3) directly to one of the Compliance Officers.

 

All informal complaints must be reported to one of the Compliance Officers who will either facilitate an informal resolution as described below on his/her own or appoint another individual to facilitate an informal resolution.

 

The School District's informal complaint procedure is designed to provide students who believe they are being unlawfully harassed with a range of options designed to bring about a resolution of their concerns. Depending upon the nature of the complaint and the wishes of the student claiming unlawful harassment, informal resolution may involve, but not be limited to, one or more of the following:

 

Advising the student about how to communicate the unwelcome nature of the behavior to the alleged harasser.

 

Distributing a copy of the anti-harassment policy as a reminder to the individuals in the school building or office where the individual whose behavior is being questioned works or attends.

 

If both parties agree, the Compliance Officer may arrange and facilitate a meeting between the student claiming harassment and the individual accused of harassment to work out a mutual resolution. Such a meeting is not appropriate in circumstances involving sexual violence.

 

While there are no set time limits within which an informal complaint must be resolved, the Compliance Officer or designee will exercise his/her authority to attempt to resolve all informal complaints within fifteen (15) business days of receiving the informal complaint. Parties who are dissatisfied with the results of the informal complaint process may proceed to file a formal complaint. And, as stated above, parties may request that the informal process be terminated at any time to move to the formal complaint process.

 

Formal Complaint Procedure

 

If a complaint is not resolved through the informal complaint process, if one of the parties has requested that the informal complaint process be terminated to move to the formal complaint process, or if the student elects to file a formal complaint initially, the formal complaint process shall be implemented.

 

A student who believes s/he has been subjected to offensive conduct/harassment/retaliation hereinafter referred to as the "Complainant", may file a formal complaint, either orally or in writing, with a teacher, principal, or other District employee at the student’s school, the Compliance Officer, Superintendent, or another District employee who works at another school or at the district level. Due to the sensitivity surrounding complaints of unlawful harassment and retaliation, timelines are flexible for initiating the complaint process; however, individuals should make every effort to file a complaint within thirty (30) calendar days after the conduct occurs while the facts are known and potential witnesses are available. If a Complainant informs a teacher, principal, or other District employee at the student’s school, Superintendent, or other District employee, either orally or in writing, about any complaint of harassment or retaliation, that employee must report such information to the Compliance Officer or designee within two (2) business days.

 

Throughout the course of the process, the Compliance Officer should keep the parties informed of the status of the investigation and the decision-making process.

 

All formal complaints must include the following information to the extent it is available: the identity of the individual believed to have engaged in, or be engaging in, offensive conduct/harassment/retaliation; a detailed description of the facts upon which the complaint is based; a list of potential witnesses; and the resolution sought by the Complainant.

 

If the Complainant is unwilling or unable to provide a written statement including the information set forth above, the Compliance Officer shall ask for such details in an oral interview. Thereafter, the Compliance Officer will prepare a written summary of the oral interview, and the Complainant will be asked to verify the accuracy of the reported charge by signing the document.

 

Upon receiving a formal complaint, the Compliance Officer will consider whether any action should be taken in the investigatory phase to protect the Complainant from further harassment or retaliation, including, but not limited to, a change of work assignment or schedule for the Complainant and/or the alleged harasser. In making such a determination, the Compliance Officer should consult the Complainant to assess his/her agreement to the proposed action. If the Complainant is unwilling to consent to the proposed change, the Compliance Officer may still take whatever actions s/he deems appropriate in consultation with the Superintendent.

 

Within two (2) business days of receiving the complaint, the Compliance Officer or a designee will initiate a formal investigation to determine whether the Complainant has been subjected to offensive conduct/harassment/retaliation. A Principal will not conduct a formal investigation before conferring with the Compliance Officer.

 

Simultaneously, the Compliance Officer will inform the individual alleged to have engaged in the harassing or retaliatory conduct, hereinafter referred to as the "Respondent", that a complaint has been received. The Respondent will be informed about the nature of the allegations and provided with a copy of any relevant administrative guidelines, including the Board's Anti-Harassment policy. The Respondent must also be informed of the opportunity to submit a written response to the complaint within five (5) business days.

 

Although certain cases may require additional time, the Compliance Officer or a designee will attempt to complete an investigation into the allegations of harassment/retaliation within fifteen (15) business days of receiving the formal complaint. The investigation will include:

 

interviews with the Complainant;

 

interviews with the Respondent;

 

interviews with any other witnesses who may reasonably be expected to have any information relevant to the allegations;

 

consideration of any documentation or other information presented by the Complainant, Respondent, or any other witness that is reasonably believed to be relevant to the allegations.

 

At the conclusion of the investigation, the Compliance Officer or the designee shall prepare and deliver a written report to the Superintendent that summarizes the evidence gathered during the investigation and provides recommendations based on the evidence and the definition of unlawful harassment as provided in Board policy and State and Federal law as to whether the Complainant has been subjected to unlawful harassment. The Compliance Officer's recommendations must be based upon the totality of the circumstances, including the ages and maturity levels of those involved. In determining if discriminatory harassment or retaliation occurred, a preponderance of evidence standard will be used. The Compliance Officer may consult with the Board’s legal counsel before finalizing the report to the Superintendent.

 

Absent extenuating circumstances, within ten (10) school days of receiving the report of the Compliance Officer or the designee, the Superintendent must either issue a final decision regarding whether the complaint of harassment has been substantiated or request further investigation. A copy of the Superintendent's final decision will be delivered to both the Complainant and the Respondent.

 

If the Superintendent requests additional investigation, the Superintendent must specify the additional information that is to be gathered, and such additional investigation must be completed within ten (10) school days. At the conclusion of the additional investigation, the Superintendent shall issue a final written decision as described above.

 

The decision of the Superintendent shall be final.

 

The Board reserves the right to investigate and resolve a complaint or report of unlawful harassment/retaliation regardless of whether the student alleging the unlawful harassment/retaliation pursues the complaint. The Board also reserves the right to have the formal complaint investigation conducted by an external person in accordance with this policy or in such other manner as deemed appropriate by the Board or its designee.

 

Privacy/Confidentiality

 

The School District will employ all reasonable efforts to protect the rights of the complainant, the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed, and the witnesses as much as possible, consistent with the Board’s legal obligations to investigate, to take appropriate action, and to conform with any discovery or disclosure obligations. All records generated under the terms of this policy and its related administrative guidelines shall be maintained as confidential to the extent permitted by law. Confidentiality, however, cannot be guaranteed. All Complainants proceeding through the formal investigation process will be advised that their identities may be disclosed to the Respondent.

 

During the course of a formal investigation, the Compliance Officer or his/her designee will instruct all members of the School District community and third parties who are interviewed about the importance of maintaining confidentiality. Any individual who is interviewed as part of a harassment investigation is expected not to disclose any information that s/he learns or that s/he provides during the course of the investigation.

 

Sanctions and Monitoring

 

The Board shall vigorously enforce its prohibitions against unlawful harassment by taking appropriate action reasonably calculated to stop the harassment and prevent further such harassment. While observing the principles of due process, a violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including the discharge of an employee or the suspension/expulsion of a student. All disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with applicable State law and the terms of the relevant collective bargaining agreement(s). When imposing discipline, the Superintendent shall consider the totality of the circumstances involved in the matter, including the ages and maturity levels of those involved. In those cases where unlawful harassment is not substantiated, the Board may consider whether the alleged conduct nevertheless warrants discipline in accordance with other Board policies, consistent with the terms of the relevant collective bargaining agreement(s).

 

Where the Board becomes aware that a prior remedial action has been taken against a member of the School District community, all subsequent sanctions imposed by the Board and/or Superintendent shall be reasonably calculated to end such conduct, prevent its reoccurrence, and remedy its effects.

 

Retaliation

 

Any act of retaliation against a person who has made a report or filed a complaint alleging unlawful harassment, or who has participated as a witness in a harassment investigation is prohibited.

 

Allegations Constituting Criminal Conduct: Child Abuse/Sexual Misconduct

 

State law requires any school teacher or school employee who knows or suspects that a student under the age of eighteen (18) or that a person with a disability receiving services as a student from the school regardless of age has suffered or faces a threat of suffering a physical or mental wound, disability or condition of a nature that reasonably indicates abuse or neglect of a child to immediately report that knowledge or suspicion to the county children's services agency. If, during the course of a harassment investigation, the Compliance Officer or a designee has reason to believe or suspect that the alleged conduct reasonably indicates abuse or neglect of the Complainant, a report of such knowledge must be made in accordance with State law and Board Policy.

 

Any reports made to a county children's services agency or to local law enforcement shall not terminate the Compliance Officer or a designee's obligation and responsibility to continue to investigate a complaint of harassment. While the Compliance Officer or a designee may work cooperatively with outside agencies to conduct concurrent investigations, in no event shall the harassment investigation be inhibited by the involvement of outside agencies without good cause after consultation with the Superintendent.

 

Education and Training

 

In support of this Anti-Harassment Policy, the Board promotes preventative educational measures to create greater awareness of unlawful discriminatory practices. The Superintendent or designee shall provide appropriate information to all members of the School District community related to the implementation of this policy and shall provide training for District students and staff where appropriate. All training, as well as information provided regarding the Board's policy and harassment in general, will be age and content appropriate.

 

Retention of Investigatory Records and Materials

 

All individuals charged with conducting investigations under this policy shall retain all documents, electronically stored information ("ESI"), and electronic media (as defined in Policy 8315) created and/or received as part of an investigation, which may include but not be limited to:

 

all written reports/allegations/complaints/grievances/statements/responses pertaining to an alleged violation of this policy;

 

any narratives that memorialize oral reports/allegations/complaints/grievances/statements/responses pertaining to an alleged violation of this policy;

 

any documentation that memorializes the actions taken by District personnel related to the investigation and/or the District’s response to the alleged violation of this policy;

 

written witness statements;

 

narratives, notes from, or audio, video, or digital recordings of witness interviews/statements;

 

e-mails, texts, or social media posts that directly relate to or constitute evidence pertaining to an alleged violation of this policy (i.e., not after-the-fact commentary about or media coverage of the incident);

 

notes or summaries prepared contemporaneously by the investigator in whatever form made (e.g., handwritten, keyed into a computer or tablet, etc.), but not including transitory notes whose content is otherwise memorialized in other documents;

written disciplinary sanctions issued to students or employees and other documentation that memorializes oral disciplinary sanctions issued to students or employees for violations of this policy;

 

dated written determinations/reports (including summaries of relevant exculpatory and inculpatory evidence) and other documentation that memorializes oral notifications to the parties concerning the outcome of the investigation, including any consequences imposed as a result of a violation of this policy;

 

documentation of any interim measures offered and/or provided to complainants and/or the alleged perpetrators, including no contact orders issued to both parties, the dates the no contact orders were issued, and the dates the parties acknowledged receipt of the no contact orders;

 

documentation of all actions taken, both individual and systemic, to stop the discrimination or harassment, prevent its recurrence, eliminate any hostile environment, and remedy its discriminatory effects;

 

copies of the Board policy and/or procedures/guidelines used by the District to conduct the investigation, and any documents used by the District at the time of the alleged violation to communicate the Board’s expectations to students and staff with respect to the subject of this policy (e.g., Student and/or Employee Handbooks or Codes of Conduct);

 

copies of any documentation that memorializes any formal or informal resolutions to the alleged discrimination or harassment;

 

documentation of any training provided to District personnel related to this policy, including but not limited to, notification of the prohibitions and expectations of staff set forth in this policy and the role and responsibility of all District personnel involved in enforcing this policy, including their duty to report alleged violations of this policy and/or conducting an investigation of an alleged violation of this policy;

 

documentation that any rights or opportunities that the District made available to one party during the investigation were made available to the other party on equal terms;

 

copies of any notices sent to the alleged perpetrator/responding party of the allegations constituting a potential violation of this policy;

 

copies of any notices sent to the complainant and alleged perpetrator in advance of any interview or hearing;

 

copies of any documentation or evidence used during informal and formal disciplinary meetings and hearings, including the investigation report, and any written responses submitted by the complainant or the alleged perpetrator.

The documents, ESI, and electronic media (as defined in Policy 8315) retained may include public records and records exempt from disclosure under Federal (e.g., FERPA, ADA) and/or State law (e.g., R.C. 3319.321) – e.g., student records and confidential medical records.

 

The documents, ESI, and electronic media (as defined in Policy 8315) created or received as part of an investigation shall be retained in accordance with Policy 8310, Policy 8315, Policy 8320, and Policy 8330 for not less than three (3) years, but longer if required by the District’s records retention schedule.

 

Revised 2/10/14

Revised 9/15/14

Revised 12/14/15

 

NONDISCRIMINATION AND ACCESS TO EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY

Any form of discrimination or harassment can be devastating to an individual's academic progress, social relationship and/or personal sense of self-worth.

 

As such, the Board of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation or transgender identity), disability, age (except as authorized by law), religion, military status, ancestry, or genetic information (collectively, "Protected Classes") in its educational programs or activities.

 

The Board also does not discriminate on the basis of Protected Classes in its employment policies and practices as they relate to students, and does not tolerate harassment of any kind.

 

Equal educational opportunities shall be available to all students, without regard to the Protected Classes, age (unless age is a factor necessary to the normal operation or the achievement of any legitimate objective of the program/activity), place of residence within the boundaries of the District, or social or economic background, to learn through the curriculum offered in this District. Educational programs shall be designed to meet the varying needs of all students.

 

In order to achieve the aforesaid goal, the Superintendent shall:

 

Curriculum Content

 

review current and proposed courses of study and textbooks to detect any bias based upon Protected Classes ascertaining whether or not supplemental materials, singly or taken as a whole, fairly depict the contribution of both genders, various races, ethnic groups, etc. toward the development of human society;

 

Staff Training

 

develop an ongoing program of in-service training for school personnel designed to identify and solve problems of bias based upon Protected Classes in all aspects of the program;

 

Student Access

 

review current and proposed programs, activities, facilities, and practices to ensure that all students have equal access thereto and are not segregated on the basis of the Protected Classes in any duty, work, play, classroom, or school practice, except as may be permitted under State regulations;

 

verify that facilities are made available, in accordance with Board Policy 7510 - Use of District Facilities, for non-curricular student activities that are initiated by parents or other members of the community, including but not limited to any group affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America or any other youth group listed in Title 36 of the United States Code as a patriotic society;

 

This language does not prohibit the District from establishing and maintaining a single-gender school, class, or program within a school if a comparable school, class, or program is made available to students of each gender.

 

District Support

 

verify that like aspects of the District program receive like support as to staff size and compensation, purchase and maintenance of facilities and equipment, access to such facilities and equipment, and related matters;

 

Student Evaluation

 

verify that tests, procedures, or guidance and counseling materials, which are designed to evaluate student progress, rate aptitudes, analyze personality, or in any manner establish or tend to establish a category by which a student may be judged, are not differentiated or stereotyped on the basis of Protected Classes.

 

District Compliance Officers

 

The Board designates the following individuals to serve as the District’s "Compliance Officers" (also known as "Civil Rights Coordinators") (hereinafter referred to as the "COs").

 

Craig Hubble

Principal, Lincoln Elementary

269-926-3100

3275 Lincoln Avenue

St. Joseph, MI 49085

chubble@sjschools.org

 

Denise Reisig

Director of Special Education

269-926-3100

3275 Lincoln Avenue

St. Joseph, MI 49085

dreisig@sjschools.org

 

The names, titles, and contact information of these individuals will be published annually on the School District's website.

 

The District will accommodate the use of certified service animals when there is an established need for such supportive aid in the school environment. Certain restrictions may be applied when necessary due to allergies, health, safety, disability or other issues of those in the classroom or school environment. The goal shall be to provide all students with the same access and participation opportunities provided to other students in school. Confirmation of disability, need for a service animal to access the school programming, and current certification/training of the service animal shall be required.

 

The COs are responsible for coordinating the District's efforts to comply with applicable Federal and State laws and regulations, including the District's duty to address in a prompt and equitable manner any inquiries or complaints regarding discrimination, retaliation or denial of equal access. The COs shall also verify that proper notice of nondiscrimination for Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (as amended), Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (as amended), and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 is provided to students, their parents, staff members, and the general public. A copy of each of the Acts and regulations on which this notice is based may be found in the CO’s office.

 

The Superintendent shall annually attempt to identify children with disabilities, ages 0-25, who reside in the District but do not receive a public education.

 

In addition, s/he shall establish procedures to identify students who are Limited English Proficient (LEP), including immigrant children and youth, to assess their ability to participate in District programs, and develop and administer a program that meets the English language and academic needs of these students. This program shall include procedures for student placement, services, evaluation, and exit guidelines and shall be designed to provide students with effective instruction that leads to academic achievement and timely acquisition of proficiency in English. As a part of this program, the District will evaluate the progress of students in achieving English language proficiency in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing, on an annual basis (also see Policy 2225).

 

Reports and Complaints of Unlawful Discrimination and Retaliation

 

Students and all other members of the School District community and third parties are encouraged to promptly report incidents of unlawful discrimination and/or retaliation to a teacher, administrator, supervisor, or other District official so that the Board may address the conduct. Any teacher, administrator, supervisor, or other District employee or official who receives such a complaint shall file it with the CO within two (2) school days.

 

Members of the School District community, which includes students or third parties, who believe they have been unlawfully discriminated/retaliated against are entitled to utilize the complaint process set forth below. Initiating a complaint, whether formally or informally, will not adversely affect the complaining individual's employment or participation in educational or extra-curricular programs. While there are no time limits for initiating complaints under this policy, individuals should make every effort to file a complaint as soon as possible after the conduct occurs while the facts are known and potential witnesses are available.

 

If, during an investigation of alleged bullying, aggressive behavior and/or harassment in accordance with Policy 5517.01 – Bullying and Other Forms of Aggressive Behavior, the Principal believes that the reported misconduct may constitute unlawful discrimination based on a Protected Class, the Principal shall report the act to one of the COs who shall investigate the allegation in accordance with this policy. While the CO investigates the allegation, the Principal shall suspend his/her Policy 5517.01 investigation to await the CO’s written report. The CO shall keep the Principal informed of the status of the Policy 2260 investigation and provide him/her with a copy of the resulting written report.

 

The COs will be available during regular school/work hours to discuss concerns related to unlawful discrimination/retaliation. COs shall accept complaints of unlawful discrimination/retaliation directly from any member of the School District community or a visitor to the District, or receive complaints that are initially filed with a school building administrator. Upon receipt of a complaint either directly or through a school building administrator, a CO will begin either an informal or formal process (depending on the request of the person alleging the discrimination/retaliation or the nature of the alleged discrimination/retaliation), or the CO will designate a specific individual to conduct such a process. The CO will provide a copy of this policy to any person who files a complaint. In the case of a formal complaint, the CO will prepare recommendations for the Superintendent or oversee the preparation of such recommendations by a designee. All members of the School District community must report incidents of discrimination/retaliation that are reported to them to the CO within two (2) business days of learning of the incident/conduct.

 

Any Board employee who directly observes unlawful discrimination/retaliation of a student is obligated, in accordance with this policy, to report such observations to one of the COs within two (2) business days. Additionally, any Board employee who observes an act of unlawful discrimination/retaliation is expected to intervene to stop the misconduct, unless circumstances make such an intervention dangerous, in which case the staff member should immediately notify other Board employees and/or local law enforcement officials, as necessary, to stop the misconduct. Thereafter, the CO or designee must contact the student, if age eighteen (18) or older, or the student's parents if the student is under the age eighteen (18), within two (2) school days to advise s/he/them of the Board's intent to investigate the alleged wrongdoing.

 

Investigation and Complaint Procedure

 

Any student who believes that s/he has been subjected to unlawful discrimination or retaliation may seek resolution of his/her complaint through the procedures described below. The formal complaint procedures involve an investigation of the individual’s claims and a process for rendering a decision regarding whether the charges are substantiated.

 

Due to the sensitivity surrounding complaints of unlawful discrimination or retaliation, timelines are flexible for initiating the complaint process; however, individuals should make every effort to file a complaint within thirty (30) calendar days after the conduct occurs. Once the formal complaint process is begun, the investigation will be completed in a timely manner (ordinarily, within fifteen (15) business days of the complaint being received).

 

The procedures set forth below are not intended to interfere with the rights of a student to pursue a complaint of unlawful discrimination or retaliation with the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights ("OCR"). The Cleveland Office of the OCR can be reached at 1350 Euclid Avenue, Suite 325, Cleveland, Ohio 44115; Telephone: (216) 522-4970; Fax: (216) 522-2573; TDD: (216) 522-4944; E-mail: ocr.cleveland@ed.gov; Web: http://www.ed.gov/ocr.

 

Informal Complaint Procedure

 

The goal of the informal complaint procedure is to quickly stop inappropriate behavior and facilitate resolution through an informal means, if possible. The informal complaint procedure is provided as a less formal option for a student who believes s/he has been unlawfully discriminated or retaliated against. This informal procedure is not required as a precursor to the filing of a formal complaint.

 

The informal process is only available in those circumstances where the parties (the alleged target of the discrimination and individual(s) alleged to have engaged in the discrimination) agree to participate in it.

 

Students who believe that they have been unlawfully discriminated/retaliated against may proceed immediately to the formal complaint process and individuals who seek resolution through the informal procedure may request that the informal process be terminated at any time to move to the formal complaint process.

 

All complaints involving a District employee or any other adult member of the School District community against a student will be formally investigated.

 

As an initial course of action, if a student feels that s/he is being unlawfully discriminated/retaliated against and s/he is able and feels safe doing so, the individual should tell or otherwise inform the person who engaged in the allegedly discriminatory/retaliatory conduct that it is inappropriate and must stop. The complaining individual should address the alleged misconduct as soon after it occurs as possible. The COs are available to support and counsel individuals when taking this initial step or to intervene on behalf of the individual if requested to do so. An individual who is uncomfortable or unwilling to inform the person who allegedly engaged in the unlawful conduct of his/her concerns is not prohibited from otherwise filing an informal or a formal complaint. In addition, with regard to certain types of unlawful discrimination, such as sexual discrimination, the CO may advise against the use of the informal complaint process.

 

A student who believes s/he has been unlawfully discriminated/retaliated against may make an informal complaint, either orally or in writing: (1) to a teacher, other employee, or building administrator in the school the student attends; (2) to the Superintendent or other District-level employee; and/or (3) directly to one of the COs.

 

All informal complaints must be reported to one of the COs who will either facilitate an informal resolution as described below or appoint another individual to facilitate an informal resolution.

 

The School District's informal complaint procedure is designed to provide students who believe they are being unlawfully discriminated/retaliated against with a range of options aimed at bringing about a prompt resolution of their concerns. Depending upon the nature of the complaint and the wishes of the student claiming unlawful discrimination/retaliation, informal resolution may involve, but not be limited to, one or more of the following:

 

Advising the student about how to communicate his/her concerns to the person who allegedly engaged in the discriminatory/retaliatory behavior.

 

Distributing a copy of Policy 2260 – Non-Discrimination as a reminder to the individuals in the school building or office where the individual whose behavior is being questioned works or attends.

 

If both parties agree, the CO may arrange and facilitate a meeting between the student claiming discrimination/retaliation and the individual accused of engaging in the misconduct to work out a mutual resolution.

 

While there are no set time limits within which an informal complaint must be resolved, the CO or designee will exercise his/her authority to attempt to resolve all informal complaints within fifteen (15) business days of receiving the informal complaint. Parties who are dissatisfied with the results of the informal complaint process may proceed to file a formal complaint. And, as stated above, parties may request that the informal process be terminated at any time to move to the formal complaint process.

 

Formal Complaint Procedure

 

If a complaint is not resolved through the informal complaint process, if one (1) of the parties requested that the informal complaint process be terminated to move to the formal complaint process, or if the student elects to file a formal complaint initially, the formal complaint process shall be implemented.

 

A student who believes s/he has been subjected to unlawful discrimination/retaliation (hereinafter referred to as the "Complainant") may file a formal complaint, either orally or in writing, with a teacher, Principal, or other District employee at the student’s school, the CO, Superintendent, or another District employee who works at another school or at the District level. Due to the sensitivity surrounding complaints of unlawful discrimination, timelines are flexible for initiating the complaint process; however, individuals should make every effort to file a complaint within thirty (30) calendar days after the conduct occurs. If a Complainant informs a teacher, Principal, or other District employee at the student’s school, Superintendent, or other District employee, either orally or in writing, about any complaint of discrimination/retaliation, that employee must report such information to the CO within two (2) business days.

 

Throughout the course of the process, the CO should keep the parties informed of the status of the investigation and the decision- making process.

 

All formal complaints must include the following information to the extent it is available: the identity of the individual believed to have engaged in, or be engaging in; the discriminatory/retaliatory conduct; a detailed description of the facts upon which the complaint is based; a list of potential witnesses; and the resolution sought by the Complainant.

 

If the Complainant is unwilling or unable to provide a written statement including the information set forth above, the CO shall ask for such details in an oral interview. Thereafter, the CO will prepare a written summary of the oral interview, and the Complainant will be asked to verify the accuracy of the reported charge by signing the document.

 

Upon receiving a formal complaint, the CO will consider whether any action should be taken in the investigatory phase to protect the Complainant from further discrimination or retaliation, including, but not limited to, a change of work assignment or schedule for the Complainant and/or the person alleged to have engaged in the misconduct. In making such a determination, the CO should consult the Complainant to assess his/her agreement to the proposed action. If the Complainant is unwilling to consent to the proposed change, the CO may still take whatever actions s/he deems appropriate in consultation with the Superintendent.

 

Within two (2) business days of receiving the complaint, the CO or designee will initiate a formal investigation to determine whether the Complainant has been subjected to unlawful discrimination/retaliation. A Principal will not conduct an investigation unless directed to do so by the CO.

 

Simultaneously, the CO will inform the individual alleged to have engaged in the discriminatory or retaliatory conduct (hereinafter referred to as the "Respondent") that a complaint has been received. The Respondent will be informed about the nature of the allegations and provided with a copy of any relevant policies and/or administrative guidelines, including Policy 2260 - Nondiscrimination. The Respondent must also be informed of the opportunity to submit a written response to the complaint within five (5) business days.

 

Although certain cases may require additional time, the CO or designee will attempt to complete an investigation into the allegations of discrimination/retaliation within fifteen (15) business days of receiving the formal complaint. The investigation will include:

 

interviews with the Complainant;

 

interviews with the Respondent;

 

interviews with any other witnesses who may reasonably be expected to have any information relevant to the allegations;

 

consideration of any documentation or other information presented by the Complainant, Respondent, or any other witness that is reasonably believed to be relevant to the allegations.

 

At the conclusion of the investigation, the CO or designee shall prepare and deliver a written report to the Superintendent that summarizes the evidence gathered during the investigation and provides recommendations based on the evidence and the definition of unlawful discrimination/retaliation as provided in Board policy and State and Federal law as to whether the Complainant has been subjected to unlawful discrimination/retaliation. The CO's recommendations must be based upon the totality of the circumstances, including the ages and maturity levels of those involved. In determining if unlawful discrimination or retaliation occurred, a preponderance of evidence standard will be used. The CO may consult with the Board’s legal counsel before finalizing the report to the Superintendent.

 

Absent extenuating circumstances, within five (5) business days of receiving the report of the CO or designee, the Superintendent must either issue a final decision regarding whether the charges have been substantiated or request further investigation. A copy of the Superintendent's final decision will be delivered to both the Complainant and the Respondent.

 

If the Superintendent requests additional investigation, the Superintendent must specify the additional information that is to be gathered, and such additional investigation must be completed within five (5) days. At the conclusion of the additional investigation, the Superintendent shall issue a final written decision as described above.

 

If the Superintendent determines the Complainant was subjected to unlawful discrimination/retaliation, s/he must identify what corrective action will be taken to stop, remedy, and prevent the recurrence of the discrimination/retaliation. The corrective action should be reasonable, timely, age-appropriate and effective, and tailored to the specific situation.

 

The decision of the Superintendent shall be final.

 

The Board reserves the right to investigate and resolve a complaint or report of unlawful discrimination/retaliation regardless of whether the student alleging the unlawful discrimination/retaliation pursues the complaint. The Board also reserves the right to have the formal complaint investigation conducted by an external person in accordance with this policy or in such other manner as deemed appropriate by the Board or its designee.

 

The Complainant may be represented, at his/her own cost, at any of the above-described meetings/hearings.

 

The right of a person to a prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint shall not be impaired by the person's pursuit of other remedies such as the filing of a Complaint with the Office for Civil Rights or the filing of a court case. Use of this internal complaint procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies.

 

Privacy/Confidentiality

 

The School District will employ all reasonable efforts to protect the rights of the Complainant, the Respondent(s), and the witnesses as much as possible, consistent with the Board’s legal obligations to investigate, to take appropriate action, and to conform with any discovery or disclosure obligations. All records generated under the terms of this policy shall be maintained as confidential to the extent permitted by law. Confidentiality, however, cannot be guaranteed. All Complainants proceeding through the formal investigation process will be advised that their identities may be disclosed to the Respondent(s).

 

During the course of a formal investigation, the CO or designee will instruct each person who is interviewed about the importance of maintaining confidentiality. Any individual who is interviewed as part of an investigation is expected not to disclose to third parties any information that s/he learns and/or provides during the course of the investigation.

 

Sanctions and Monitoring

 

The Board shall vigorously enforce its prohibitions against unlawful discrimination/retaliation by taking appropriate action reasonably calculated to stop and prevent further misconduct. While observing the principles of due process, a violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including the discharge of an employee or the suspension/expulsion of a student. All disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with applicable State law and the terms of the relevant collective bargaining agreement(s). When imposing discipline, the Superintendent shall consider the totality of the circumstances involved in the matter, including the ages and maturity levels of those involved. In those cases where unlawful discrimination/retaliation is not substantiated, the Board may consider whether the alleged conduct nevertheless warrants discipline in accordance with other Board policies, consistent with the terms of the relevant collective bargaining agreement(s).

 

Where the Board becomes aware that a prior remedial action has been taken against a member of the School District community, all subsequent sanctions imposed by the Board and/or Superintendent shall be reasonably calculated to end such conduct, prevent its reoccurrence, and remedy its effects.

 

Retaliation

 

Retaliation against a person who makes a report or files a complaint alleging unlawful discrimination, or participates as a witness in an investigation is prohibited. Specifically, the Board will not retaliate against, coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with any individual because the person opposed any act or practice made unlawful by any Federal or State civil rights law, or because that individual made a charge, testified, assisted or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under those laws, or because that individual exercised, enjoyed, aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of any right granted or protected by those laws.

 

Education and Training

 

In support of this policy, the Board promotes preventative educational measures to create greater awareness of unlawful discriminatory practices. The Superintendent or designee shall provide appropriate information to all members of the School District community related to the implementation of this policy and shall provide training for District students and staff where appropriate. All training, as well as all information, provided regarding the Board's policy and discrimination in general, will be age and content appropriate.

 

The District will endeavor to assist the student and/or his/her parents in their access to District programs by providing notices to the parents and students in a language and format that they are likely to understand.

 

Materials approved by the State Department of Education describing the benefits of instruction in Braille reading and writing shall be provided to each blind student’s individualized planning committee. The District shall not deny a student the opportunity for instruction in Braille, reading, and writing solely because the student has some remaining vision.

 

Retention of Investigatory Records and Materials

 

All individuals charged with conducting investigations under this policy must retain all information, documents, electronically stored information, and electronic media (as defined in Policy 8315) created and received as part of an investigation, which may include, but not be limited to:

 

all written reports/allegations/complaints/grievances/statements/responses pertaining to an alleged violation of this policy;

 

any narratives that memorialize oral reports/allegations/complaints/grievances/statements/responses pertaining to an alleged violation of this policy;

 

any documentation that memorializes the actions taken by District personnel related to the investigation and/or the District’s response to the alleged violation of this policy;

 

written witness statements;

 

narratives, notes from, or audio, video, or digital recordings of witness interviews/statements;

 

e-mails, texts, or social media posts that directly relate to or constitute evidence pertaining to an alleged violation of this policy (i.e., not after-the-fact commentary about or media coverage of the incident);

notes or summaries prepared contemporaneously by the investigator in whatever form made (e.g., handwritten, keyed into a computer or tablet, etc.), but not including transitory notes whose content is otherwise memorialized in other documents;

 

written disciplinary sanctions issued to students or employees and other documentation that memorializes oral disciplinary sanctions issued to students or employees for violations of this policy;

dated written determinations/reports (including summaries of relevant exculpatory and inculpatory evidence) and other documentation that memorializes oral notifications to the parties concerning the outcome of the investigation, including any consequences imposed as a result of a violation of this policy;

 

documentation of any interim measures offered and/or provided to complainants and/or the alleged perpetrators, including no contact orders issued to both parties, the dates the no contact orders were issued, and the dates the parties acknowledged receipt of the no contact orders;

 

documentation of all actions taken, both individual and systemic, to stop the discrimination or harassment, prevent its recurrence, eliminate any hostile environment, and remedy its discriminatory effects;

 

copies of the Board policy and/or procedures/guidelines used by the District to conduct the investigation, and any documents used by the District at the time of the alleged violation to communicate the Board’s expectations to students and staff with respect to the subject of this policy (e.g., Student and/or Employee Handbooks or Codes of Conduct);

 

copies of any documentation that memorializes any formal or informal resolutions to the alleged discrimination or harassment;

 

documentation of any training provided to District personnel related to this policy, including but not limited to, notification of the prohibitions and expectations of staff set forth in this policy and the role and responsibility of all District personnel involved in enforcing this policy, including their duty to report alleged violations of this policy and/or conducting an investigation of an alleged violation of this policy;

 

documentation that any rights or opportunities that the District made available to one party during the investigation were made available to the other party on equal terms;

 

copies of any notices sent to the alleged perpetrator/responding party of the allegations constituting a potential violation of this policy;

 

copies of any notices sent to the complainant and alleged perpetrator in advance of any interview or hearing;

copies of any documentation or evidence used during informal and formal disciplinary meetings and hearings, including the investigation report, and any written responses submitted by the complainant or the alleged perpetrator.

 

The information, documents, ESI, and electronic media (as defined in Policy 8315) retained may include public records and records exempt from disclosure under Federal and/or State law (e.g., student records).

 

These investigative records and materials created or received as part of an investigation shall be retained in accordance with Policy 8310, Policy 8315, Policy 8320, and Policy 8330 for not less than three (3) years, but longer if required by the District’s records retention schedule.

 

Revised 3/11/13

Revised 9/15/14 

Revised 8/16/16

 

ATHLETIC CODE

The purpose of this code is to establish and maintain high standards of conduct for Upton Middle School athletes. The athletic department recognizes that pressures and problems can and do arise at home, at school, in social settings, and among team members. The athletic code is intended to guide and help the student and the parents understand the conduct expected of student-athletes at Upton Middle School and also to understand the seriousness with which infractions of the code provision are viewed. It is hoped that this code will avoid the need for disciplinary action.

 

Upton Middle School will provide the best in coaching, equipment, and facilities to help the athletes perform their best. In turn, the athlete is expected to respect and be responsible to those seeking to help him or her learn the skills to be a winner.

 

Because athletes are representatives of our school, their conduct on school property, in public places, or elsewhere must comply with the highest standards of personal integrity and morality. The student-athlete shall obey the rules listed in this code and shall not commit any criminal infractions of the community, state, or elsewhere. Any conduct not consistent with the conduct expected of our student-athletes as specified in this athletic code may result in suspension of the privilege to participate.

 

Athletes are expected to exhibit a competitive spirit and show good sportsmanship in competition. The athlete has a responsibility to demonstrate loyalty to the school and to his or her teammates. If the athlete verbally or physically behaves in a manner that brings disgrace or disrespect to the school or his/her teammates, or that affects team morale, the athlete will face disciplinary action.

 

When questions come up concerning training rules, the athlete is responsible for discussing these matters with the coach.

 

Athletic Eligibility Criteria:

 

Participation in athletics at Upton Middle School is a privilege. A student-athlete is required to maintain academic standards while participating. The following is a guideline to ensure those standards are met.

 

Athletes must maintain a C- (1.667) average.  Eligibility will be checked weekly with coaches and athletes notified on Friday that an athlete will be ineligible the following Monday through Saturday.

If a student-athlete is academically ineligible three times in a season, s/he is removed from the team for the duration of the season.

On the day of competition, the student-athlete must be in school three full class periods, and absences during 4th through 6th hours must only be for an approved reason (medical appointment, funeral, etc.).

Affected Sports:

 

Basketball,

Cheerleading,

Cross Country,

Football,

Pompoms,

Tennis,

Track,

Volleyball, and

Wrestling

Athletic Physicals & Participation Fee:

 

Any student participating in interscholastic athletics is to have a physical examination completed after April 15 of the previous school year. A fee is charged for participation. This fee does not guarantee playing time.

 

General Athletic Rules:

 

The following rules are to be adhered to by all Upton athletes. These rules are in effect 12 months a year. Any infraction of these rules, or serous unethical conduct on the part of the athlete, may result in suspension or termination of athletic privileges for that particular athlete at Upton Middle School. These rules are cumulative and not independent in their application of either a second or third offense.

 

A. Substance Use, Abuse, or Misuse

 

1. Students shall not smoke, chew, or possess tobacco products;

2. Students shall not consume, possess, conceal, distribute, sell, purchase, or abuse any product or substance containing alcohol;

3. Students shall not illegally use drugs or possess illegal drugs. This includes the misuse of legal drugs, or use of stimulants, steroids, counterfeit drugs, the possession, concealment, distribution, sale, or purchase of these substances.

 

B. Penalties for Violation of the Substance Rules

 

1. First offense:

 

Off-Season Infraction – Suspended from the scheduled athletic events for one-third (1/3) of the season. A more severe penalty may be invoked. The penalty may only be applied to a sport in which, during the past year, the athlete had participated. A 7th-grade athlete may apply his or her suspension to the next sport in which he or she participates.

 

In-Season Infraction – Once the athlete has begun a sport (defined as the first official practice), he or she will be suspended for the entire season. A suspended athlete may continue to practice with the team during this period of suspension if the coach wishes the athlete to do so.

 

2. Second offense:

 

Ineligibility for one (1) calendar year from the effective date of the decision. An 8th grade athlete will be ineligible through the end of the 8th grade school year. During this suspension the athlete may, with the coach’s permission, practice until suspension has been lifted.

 

3. Third offense:

 

Termination of athletic privileges at Upton Middle School until the conclusion of the student’s middle school career. If there are extenuating circumstances, the penalty may be less than termination.

 

C. Self Referral

 

A student who:

 

1. Has voluntarily sought assistance for a substance abuse problem and has been admitted to a hospital-based substance abuse program; and

2. Has voluntarily notified the school of his or her admission to such a program prior to being charged with a violation of the athletic code may be exempt from any penalty.

 

Any violation following the admission to a substance abuse program will result in an athletic penalty.

 

D. Transferring Student - A transferring student-athlete carries violation consequences of the previous school’s athletic code.

 

E. Rules of Conduct

 

An athlete may face immediate suspension from competition depending on the severity of the infraction.

 

1. Students shall not commit any theft of goods, equipment, or property belonging to the school or to others.

2. Students shall not commit any vandalism or illegal destruction of property.

3. Students shall not engage in any serious unethical conduct.

4. Students shall obey all laws of the community, state, or otherwise and shall not engage in illegal activities.

 

F. Penalties for Violating Rules of Conduct

 

The coach and athletic director will determine an appropriate penalty commensurate with the seriousness of the infraction, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense and the student’s past record. The penalty may include reprimand, suspension from athletic participation, or termination of athletic privileges altogether.

 

G. Procedures for Violations of General Athletic Rules

 

Student athletes are expected to display honesty and integrity, and whenever a violation of these rules is suspected, they are expected to cooperate with coaches and administrators who investigate the charges. Whenever a violation of these rules is suspected, the athletic director, assistant principal, and the coach will conduct an investigation and will notify the student-athlete of the nature of the charges and provide him or her an opportunity to discuss the matter. Where it is determined that an offense has occurred, the coach and the athletic director will assess the penalty. Parents will be notified within five (5) days after the penalty is imposed.

 

H. Appeal Process

 

Even though participating in athletics is a privilege and not a right, a process of appeal is available when an athlete feels that an unfair decision has been made concerning a violation of the athletic code. The athlete will follow these steps:

 

     1) Appeal the decision to the middle school principal within four (4) calendar days of receiving the penalty.

     2) A second appeal may be made to the superintendent of schools, within four (4) calendar days of the principal’s response.

     3) A final appeal may be made to the St. Joseph Board of Education. Request must be made within four (4) calendar days of the superintendent’s response. 

 

The Board’s decision will be final.

 

Failure to appeal within the time limits will result in a waiver of any further appeal. The purpose of each step in the appeal process is to provide the responsible and affected parties with a full disclosure of the facts and a full opportunity to discuss the issues involved. All meetings will be informal and will be attended only by those immediately affected.

 

I.  Rules for Participation

 

An athlete issued a detention is required to serve that detention prior to attending practice or game. In the event of a detention, it is the student/athlete’s responsibility to notify his/her coach. It is also the student/athlete’s responsibility to discuss an alternative detention with the staff member who issued the detention, should the detention occur on the date of an away game. This should be done prior to the day of the game.

 

If a student-athlete is suspended from school, he or she will not be eligible to participate in athletics during the suspension period. An athlete is expected to set an example of responsibility. When school is in session the day following an evening athletic contest, the participating athlete is expected to be in school.

 

When school is in session, it is mandatory that an athlete is in attendance the day an athletic event or practice is scheduled in which the athlete will participate. “Skipping” class or being unexcused on a game day will disqualify the athlete from participation in that game or practice. Excessive skipping could result in the suspension of that athlete for an extended period of time. In order for an athlete to be eligible to practice or play in a game when ill from school, he must be in attendance at school during the 4th through 6th hours (Doctor appointments, dentist appointments, funerals, etc., are not considered an illness).

 

II. Coaches’ Rules

 

The Athletic Code of Conduct is a set of minimum standards of responsibilities for all athletes in Upton Middle School. Coaches may set additional rules and standards for athletes in their respective sports. These rules will be printed and given out to students.

 

Additional rules set by coaches must be cleared through the athletic director. Once set, these rules are binding and student-athletes must follow these in addition to general athletic rules. In the event that a student-athlete is disciplined by a coach for violations of coaching rules, the coach will notify parents by phone or mail within five (5) school days. The athlete or parent may appeal a coach’s decision to the athletic director. The athletic director’s decision will be final.

 

III. Travel Requirements

 

Students are expected to ride buses home when provided. A student may ride home with his or her parent only upon coach’s receipt of signed note from parent.

 

Athletes are to bring their books, coats, and other belongings to practice with them. The gates may be down and your locker may be inaccessible when practice is over. The coach will issue a gym locker and a lock to the athlete if the student is not a physical education student during that particular sports season.

 

If you are to be picked up after practice, have your ride pick you up PROMPTLY in the back of the gym area. The athletic bus will pick you up in the same area.

 

STUDENT TECHNOLOGY ACCEPTABLE USE AND SAFETY

Technology has fundamentally altered the ways in which information is accessed, communicated, and transferred in society. As a result, educators are continually adapting their means and methods of instruction, and the way they approach student learning, to incorporate the vast, diverse, and unique resources available through the Internet. The Board of Education provides Technology Resources (as defined in Bylaw 0100) to support the educational and professional needs of its students and staff. With respect to students, District Technology Resources afford them the opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge to learn effectively and live productively in a digital world. The Board provides students with access to the Internet for limited educational purposes only and utilizes online educational services/apps to enhance the instruction delivered to its students. The District’s computer network and Internet system does not serve as a public access service or a public forum, and the Board imposes reasonable restrictions on its use consistent with its limited educational purpose.

 

The Board regulates the use of District Technology Resources by principles consistent with applicable local, State, and Federal laws, the District's educational mission, and articulated expectations of student conduct as delineated in the Student Code of Conduct. This policy and its related administrative guidelines and the Student Code of Conduct govern students’ use of District Technology Resources and students’ personal communication devices when they are connected to the District computer network, Internet connection, and/or online educational services/apps, or when used while the student is on Board-owned property or at a Board- sponsor activity (see Policy 5136).

 

Users are required to refrain from actions that are illegal (such as libel, slander, vandalism, harassment, theft, plagiarism, inappropriate access, and the like) or unkind (such as personal attacks, invasion of privacy, injurious comment, and the like). Because its Technology Resources are not unlimited, the Board has also instituted restrictions aimed at preserving these resources, such as placing limits on use of bandwidth, storage space, and printers.

 

Users have no right or expectation to privacy when using District Technology Resources (including, but not limited to, privacy in the content of their personal files, e-mails, and records of their online activity when using the District's computer network and/or Internet connection).

 

First, the Board may not be able to technologically limit access, through its Technology Resources, to only those services and resources that have been authorized for the purpose of instruction, study and research related to the curriculum. Unlike in the past when educators and community members had the opportunity to review and screen materials to assess their appropriateness for supporting and enriching the curriculum according to adopted guidelines and reasonable selection criteria (taking into account the varied instructional needs, learning styles, abilities, and developmental levels of the students who would be exposed to them), access to the Internet, because it serves as a gateway to any publicly available file server in the world, opens classrooms and students to electronic information resources that may not have been screened by educators for use by students of various ages.

 

Pursuant to Federal law, the Board has implemented technology protection measures that protect against (e.g., filter or block) access to visual displays/depictions/materials that are obscene, constitute child pornography, and/or are harmful to minors, as defined by the Children’s Internet Protection Act. At the discretion of the Board or the Superintendent, the technology protection measures may be configured to protect against access to other material considered inappropriate for students to access. The Board also utilizes software and/or hardware to monitor online activity of students to restrict access to child pornography and other material that is obscene, objectionable, inappropriate and/or harmful to minors. The technology protection measures may not be disabled at any time that students may be using District Technology Resources, if such disabling will cease to protect against access to materials that are prohibited under the Children’s Internet Protection Act. Any student who attempts to disable the technology protection measures will be subject to discipline.

 

The Superintendent or Technology Director may temporarily or permanently unblock access to websites or online educational services/apps containing appropriate material, if access to such sites has been inappropriately blocked by the technology protection measures. The determination of whether material is appropriate or inappropriate shall be based on the content of the material and the intended use of the material, not on the protection actions of the technology protection measures.

 

Parents are advised that a determined user may be able to gain access to services and/or resources on the Internet that the Board has not authorized for educational purposes. In fact, it is impossible to guarantee students will not gain access through the Internet to information and communications that they and/or their parents may find inappropriate, offensive, objectionable or controversial. Parents of minors are responsible for setting and conveying the standards that their children should follow when using the Internet.

 

Pursuant to Federal law, students shall receive education about the following:

 

safety and security while using e-mail, chat rooms, social media, and other forms of direct electronic communications

 

the dangers inherent with the online disclosure of personally identifiable information

 

the consequences of unauthorized access (e.g., "hacking", "harvesting", "digital piracy", "data mining", etc.), cyberbullying and other unlawful or inappropriate activities by students online, and

 

unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personally-identifiable information regarding minors

 

Staff members shall provide instruction for their students regarding the appropriate use of technology and online safety and security as specified above. Furthermore, staff members will monitor the online activities of students while at school.

 

Monitoring may include, but is not necessarily limited to, visual observations of online activities during class sessions; or use of specific monitoring tools to review browser history and network, server, and computer logs.

 

Building principals are responsible for providing training so that Internet users under their supervision are knowledgeable about this policy and its accompanying guidelines. The Board expects that staff members will provide guidance and instruction to students in the appropriate use of District Technology Resources. Such training shall include, but not be limited to, education concerning appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social media, including in chat rooms, and cyberbullying awareness and response. All users of District Technology Resources (and their parents if they are minors) are required to sign a written agreement to abide by the terms and conditions of this policy and its accompanying guidelines.

 

Students in grades 6 and up (6-7 domain only, 8-12 all open) will be assigned a school email account that they are required to utilize for all school-related electronic communications, including those to staff members, peers, and individuals and/or organizations outside the District with whom they are communicating for school-related projects and assignments. Further, as directed and authorized by their teachers, they shall use their school-assigned email account when signing-up/registering for access to various online educational services, including mobile applications/apps that will be utilized by the student for educational purposes.

 

Students are responsible for good behavior when using District Technology Resources – i.e., behavior comparable to that expected of students when they are in classrooms, school hallways, and other school premises and school sponsored events. Communications on the Education Technology are often public in nature. General school rules for behavior and communication apply. The Board does not approve any use of its Technology Resources that is not authorized by or conducted strictly in compliance with this policy and its accompanying guidelines.

 

Students may only use District Technology Resources to access or use social media if it is done for educational purposes in accordance with their teacher's approved plan for such use.

 

Users who disregard this policy and its accompanying guidelines may have their use privileges suspended or revoked, and disciplinary action taken against them. Users are personally responsible and liable, both civilly and criminally, for uses of District Technology Resources that are not authorized by this policy and its accompanying guidelines.

 

The Board designates the Superintendent as the administrator responsible for initiating, implementing, and enforcing this policy and its accompanying guidelines as they apply to students’ use of District Technology Resources.

 

Revised 2/9/15 

 

FOOD SERVICES

The Board of Education shall provide cafeteria facilities in all school facilities where space and facilities permit, and will provide food service for the purchase and consumption of lunch for all students.

 

The Board shall also provide a breakfast program in accordance with procedures established by the Department of Education.

 

The Board does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation or transgender identity), disability, age (except as authorized by law), religion, military status, ancestry, or genetic information (collectively, "Protected Classes") in its educational programs or activities. Students and all other members of the School District community and third parties are encouraged to promptly report incidents of unlawful discrimination and/or retaliation to a teacher, administrator, supervisor, or other District official so that the Board may address the conduct. See Policy 2260 – Nondiscrimination and Access to Equal Educational Opportunity.

 

The food-service program shall comply with Federal and State regulations pertaining to the selection, preparation, delivery, consumption, and disposal of food and beverages, including but not limited to the current USDA’s school meal pattern requirements for Americans and the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards, as well as to the fiscal management of the program. In addition, as required by law, a food safety program based on the principles of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system shall be implemented with the intent of preventing food-borne illnesses. For added safety and security, access to the facility and the food stored and prepared therein shall be limited to food service staff and other authorized persons.

 

Substitutions to the standard meal requirements shall be made, at no additional charge, for students for whom a healthcare provider who has prescriptive authority in the State of Michigan has provided medical certification that the student has a disability which restricts his/her diet, in accordance with the criteria set forth in 7 C.F.R. 15(b)(3). To qualify for such substitutions the medical certification must identify:

 

the student's disability and the major life activity affected by the disability;

 

an explanation of why the disability affects the students diet; and

 

the food(s) to be omitted from the student's diet, and the food or choice of foods that must be substituted (e.g., caloric modifications or use of liquid nutritive formula).

 

On a case by case basis, substitutions to the standard meal requirements may be made, at no additional charge, for students who are not "disabled persons", but have a signed statement from a qualified medical authority that the student cannot consume certain food items due to medical or other special dietary needs. To qualify for such consideration and substitutions the medical statement must indentify:

 

the medical or dietary need that restricts the student's diet; and

 

the food(s) to be omitted from the student's diet and the food(s) or choice of foods that may be substituted.

 

For non-disabled students who need a nutritional equivalent milk substitute, only a signed request by a parent or guardian is required.

 

Lunches sold by the school may be purchased by students and staff members and community residents in accordance with the administrative guidelines established by the Superintendent.

 

The operation and supervision of the food-service program shall be the responsibility of the Business Manager and the Food Service Director. Food services shall be operated on a self-supporting basis with revenue from students, staff, Federal reimbursement, and surplus food. The Board shall assist the program by furnishing available space, initial major equipment, and utensils. Maintenance and replacement of equipment is the responsibility of the program.

 

A periodic review of the food-service accounts shall be made by the Business Manager. Any surplus funds from the National School Lunch Program shall be used to reduce the cost of the service to students or to purchase cafeteria equipment. Surplus funds from a- la-carte foods purchased using funds from the nonprofit food service account must accrue to the nonprofit food service account.

 

Bad debt incurred through the inability to collect lunch payment from students is not an allowable cost chargeable to any Federal program. Any related collection cost, including legal cost, arising from such bad debt after they have been determined to be uncollectable are also unallowable.

 

Bad debt is uncollectable/delinquent debt that has been determined to be uncollectable by the end of the school year in which the debt was incurred. If the uncollectable/delinquent debt cannot be recovered by the School Meals Program in the year when the debt was incurred, then this is classified as bad debt. Once classified as bad debt, non-Federal funding sources must reimburse the NSFSA for the total amount of the bad debt. The funds may come from the district general fund, State or local funding, school or community organizations such as the PTA, or any other non-federal source. Once the uncollectable/delinquent debt charges are converted to bad debt, records relating to those charges must be maintained in accordance with the record retention requirements in 7 C.F.R. 210.9(b) (17) and 7 C.F.R. 210.15(b).

 

The Superintendent is authorized to develop and implement an administrative guideline regarding meal charge procedures. This guideline will provide consistent directions for students who are eligible for reduced price or paid meals but do not have funds in their account or in hand to cover the cost of their meal at the time of service.

 

This guideline shall be provided in writing to all households at the start of each school year and to households transferring to the school or School District during the school year.

 

With regard to the operation of the school food service program, the Superintendent shall require:

 

the maintenance of sanitary, neat premises free from fire and health hazards;

 

the preparation of food that complies with Federal food safety regulations;

 

the planning and execution of menus in compliance with USDA requirements;

 

the purchase of foods and supplies in accordance with State and Federal law, USDA regulations, and Board policy (See Policy 1130, Policy 3110, and Policy 4110);

 

complying with food holds and recalls in accordance with USDA regulations;

 

the accounting and disposition of food-service funds pursuant to Federal and State law and USDA regulations;

 

the safekeeping and storage of food and food equipment pursuant to State and Federal law and USDA regulations;

 

the regular maintenance and replacement of equipment;

 

all District employees whose salaries are paid for with USDA funds or non-federal funds used to meet a match or cost share requirement must comply with the District’s time and effort record-keeping policy (See Policy 6116).

 

The District shall serve only nutritious food as determined by the Food Service Department in compliance with the current USDA Nutrition Standards for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs and the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition guidelines. Foods and beverages unassociated with the food-service program must comply with the current USDA Nutrition Standards for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs and the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition guidelines, and may be vended in accordance with Board Policy 8540.

 

The Superintendent will require that the food service program serve foods in District schools that are wholesome and nutritious and reinforce the concepts taught in the classroom.

 

Revised 2/9/15

Revised 12/14/15

Revised 8/16/16

 

FREE AND REDUCED-PRICE MEALS

The Board of Education recognizes the importance of good nutrition to each student's educational performance.

 

The Board shall provide needy children with breakfast and lunch at a reduced rate or at no charge to the student.

 

Children eligible for free or reduced-price meals shall be determined by the criteria established by the Child Nutrition Program. These criteria are issued annually by the Federal government through the State Department of Education.

 

The Board designates the Superintendent to determine, in accordance with Board standards, the eligibility of students for free and/or reduced-price meals.

 

The schools shall annually notify all families of the availability, eligibility requirements, and/or application procedure for free and reduced-price meals by distributing an application to the family of each student enrolled in the school and shall seek out and apply for such Federal, State, and local funds as may be applied to the District's program of free and reduced-price meals.

 

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