AMESBURY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
The health offices are staffed by certified School Nurses. They follow the policies and procedures outlined below. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the nurse at the health office in your school.
If an accident or illness occurs, first aid will be administered and parents notified when necessary. No care beyond basic first aid will be given by the school nurse or other properly trained school personnel. First aid is defined as immediate temporary care. If further attention is necessary, care and movement of the student will be directed or provided by the parent. If the parent or designee cannot be located and immediate emergency medical attention is needed, 911 will be called and the student will be transported to the nearest emergency facility.
Only those designated on the Health Emergency Cards will be contacted or allowed to pick up a student. Please keep your child’s emergency card updated with current information.
If it is necessary for your child to receive medication during the school day, please adhere to the following Medication Policy:
Prescription Drug Procedures
Any student who is required to take medication during the school day must comply with the following regulations:
- Written orders from a physician detailing the name of the drug, dosage, and time interval,
is to be given. A properly labeled medication bottle from the pharmacy with the student’s name printed on the label is acceptable for short term medication. Student’s requiring long term medication, should have a medication administration plan on file.
- Written permission from the parent/guardian of the student requesting that the school
system comply with the physician’s order must be given.
- Medication MUST be brought to school in a container appropriately labeled by the
pharmacy or physician.
- Each medication given on an ongoing basis must be recorded, which includes date, time and initials of person giving the medication.
Non-prescription Drug Procedures
- Written permission from the parent/guardian must be provided and include the name of the drug, frequency and indications for administration.
- The school system physician will approve certain over the counter medication with parent/guardian permission. Administration of the medication shall be recorded on the individual’s health log.
Parents should take advantage of a service offered by local pharmacies. Medications can be divided into two separate containers, one for home and one for school use. Over the counter medications can also be dispensed provided it is received in its original container. No medications will be administered that is not provided in its original container. Empty pharmacy bottles will be sent home with your child for refilling. Prescription medications must be brought to school by a parent/guardian. Consent forms may be obtained from the health office as needed. All medications must be picked up in the health office by the end of the school year. Any remaining or discontinued medications will be discarded.
Massachusetts immunization regulations specify minimum immunization requirements for enrollment in school (105 CMR 220.000). These regulations are revised periodically to incorporate any changes in the requirements. The law provides for exclusion of students from school if immunizations are not up to date, but permits exemptions for students covered under the McKinney-Vento Act, medical and religious reasons. The Amesbury Public Schools are required to follow the state laws governing immunization (see Chapter 76, Section 15 of Massachusetts General Laws). Children will not be allowed to attend Amesbury Public Schools unless the following requirements are met upon registering. Parent/guardian will be expected to supply current immunization documentation, a copy of a current physician’s examination of the student and a signed release to obtain immunization records from the previous school. Documentation of non-compliance will be referred to the building principal for follow-up.
Non-Exclusionary Protocol Concerning Head Lice
The Amesbury Public Schools is committed to maximizing students’ academic performance and physical wellbeing in a healthy and safe environment. The District recognizes that head lice infestations do not pose a health hazard, are not a sign of uncleanliness, and are not responsible for the spread of any disease. However, archaic policies cause unnecessary absences from school with potential negative effects on academic performance. Misinformation about head lice causes anxiety for parents and school staff.
The District defines a healthy and safe environment as one in which adults work together to provide the following environmental factors established by current research as necessary for the health and wellbeing of students with head lice:
Educating staff, students, and parents/guardians about head lice.
Establishing evidence based management for students with head lice.
The goals of providing a healthy and safe environment for students with head lice are to:
Manage head lice based on scientific and medically justified evidence
Minimize absence due to unnecessary exclusion of students with head lice
Maximize academic performance
Body Mass Index (BMI)
The Body Mass Index (BMI) Screening Program is for grades 1, 4, 7 and 10. BMI is a measure that is calculated using a formula that includes an individual’s height and weight. A BMI can be a useful tool in identifying possible health risks including abnormal lipids, high blood pressure, and diabetes. BMI information collected on students is intended to be a screening tool and is not a diagnosis of under or overweight.
Students must stay home if they have the following:
- A severe rash or skin condition not diagnosed by a physician
- A fever that causes chills, sweats, or muscle aches or a temperature of 100 within 24 hours.
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Inflamed eyes, with yellow or green drainage
- Bacterial infection not treated for less than 24 hours, for example, strep throat.
ALLERGIES IN THE SCHOOL SETTING JHCA
The Amesbury Public Schools is committed to providing a safe and healthy school environment for all students. Allergies can be a significant health problem or life threatening for some students. The presence of food in all classrooms with the exception of classrooms that teach cooking as part of the curriculum is not permitted. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the building principal. Open food is not allowed on busses or vans.
Successful allergy management is a partnership among the parent/guardian(s), the student, the prescribing physician and the school system. It is the responsibility of the parent to notify their child’s school of their child’s allergies at the beginning of each school year. The student's physician must be involved in the diagnosis and treatment plan that the school will follow for students with allergy intolerance while in the school or at any school-sponsored event. The plan must be reviewed annually and revised as needed. No student will be excluded from school activities based solely on his/her allergies.
Legal Issues in School Health Services
Revised: 2003, 2007, 2008
EXCERPTS FROM (SEE FULL POLICY ON WEBSITE)
ALLERGIES IN THE SCHOOL SETTING JHCA-R
The Amesbury Public Schools are considered “peanut sensitive/peanut aware.” We recognize that it is not possible to eliminate all possible exposures. The purpose of these guidelines are to minimize the risk of exposure to allergens that pose a threat to the students in the Amesbury Public schools, provide all students, through necessary accommodations where required, the opportunity to participate fully in all school programs and activities, and to educate the school community about life-threatening allergies (LTAs). The focus of this district-wide allergy management plan is prevention, education, awareness, communication and emergency response.
The consumption of food on routine bus routes is prohibited. Food may be allowed on longer trips with appropriate supervision by school personnel and for students with special health needs requiring the consumption of food at non-meal times. School nurses may provide food to students when a student’s medical status indicates a need.
ROLE OF PARENT/GUARDIAN:
- Inform the school nurse of your child’s allergies prior to the opening of school (or as soon as possible after a new allergy is diagnosed). Notification of student allergies is accomplished through the Student Emergency cards, which are sent home at the start of the school year or when a new student enters the district. Cards are completed by the parent/guardian.
- Provide the school nurse with the medical documentation from your primary care provider with medication orders before your child enters school, or immediately after a diagnosis of life threatening allergy is made.
- Provide the school nurse with written permission to share this information with appropriate staff.
- Participate in developing an Individualized Health Care Plan (IHCP) and Allergy Action Plan (AAP) with the school nurse. Include a recent photograph of the child for the AAP. This plan can include a mechanism for ongoing communication with school staff.
- Provide the school nurse with at least annual updates on your child’s allergy status.
- Provide the school nurse with written permission to communicate with the child’s health care provider.
- Provide the school with at least two up-to-date epinephrine auto-injectors.
- Provide the school nurse with the licensed provider’s statement if student no longer has allergies.
- Provide the school with a way to reach you (cell phone, beeper, etc.).
- Provide a list of foods and ingredients to avoid.
- Consider providing a medical alert bracelet for your child.
- Investigate field trip destinations for potential issues that may pose a risk, and inform child’s teacher if you have any concerns.
- Review the list of student responsibilities with your child and be sure he/she understands his/her role.
Remember – the ultimate goal is that our children eventually learn to keep themselves safe by making good choices and advocating for themselves. 0
ROLE OF TEACHER:
- Participate in district’s annual education program on life threatening allergies.
- Maintain a list of all students in classroom with LTAs.
- Keep accessible the child's emergency plan with photo (where possible) in classroom (with parent's permission) or keep with lesson plan.
- Inform volunteers, student teachers, aides, specialists and substitute teachers about the child's food/other allergies and necessary safeguards by both verbal communication and in an organized, prominent and accessible written format.
- Coordinate with the parent/school nurse on providing a lesson plan about food allergies for the class and discuss anaphylaxis in age appropriate terms, with child's permission.
- Inform parents about events involving food and secure written permission for their student’s involvement.
- Provide school nurse with adequate warning about school-sponsored off-site activities.
ROLE OF STUDENT:
- Should not trade food with others.
- Should not eat anything with unknown ingredients or known to contain any allergen.
- Should be proactive in the care and management of their food allergies and reactions based on their developmental level.
- Should notify an adult immediately if they eat something they believe may contain the food to which they are allergic.
- When self-administration is allowed, students should agree to keep their emergency medications on their person or immediately under their control and supervision at all times.
105 CMR 210.000
Legal Issues in School Health Services
Revised: 2007; 2008
The Amesbury School District, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has decided, with parent permission, to make Potassium Iodide (KI) available to staff and students prior to evacuation to our designated host facility which is Methuen High School. The school committee has given approval for this distribution.
Participation of students in the distribution is VOLUNTARY. Student participation will require parental/guardian signature on the consent forms. Trained school personnel will administer the Potassium Iodide pills.
This consent form is reviewed annually. If you have any questions, please contact this office, the school nurse in your building and/or call Robert Walker at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health at 617-727-6214. We strongly urge you to read the Emergency Public Information Calendar that was distributed by Massachusetts Emergency Management Association (MEMA), visit the website at www.state.ma.us/dph/rep, or call MEMA at 800-982-6846.
Reason for Taking Potassium Iodide
In case of an accident at a nuclear power plant or what is known as a radiological emergency, radioactive iodine will be released into the air. The material may be inhaled or ingested and enter the thyroid gland where it can cause cancer and/or disease. Children and infants are the most vulnerable to this occurrence. When taken by pill, Potassium Iodide (KI) floods the thyroid with non-radioactive iodine and prevents the thyroid from absorbing the radioactive material. Potassium Iodide needs to be given before or shortly after exposure to radiation. Potassium Iodide works only to prevent the thyroid from absorbing radioactive iodine.
Potential Side Effects of Potassium Iodide
It is possible to experience any or all of the following side effects when taking Potassium Iodide:
- Upset stomach
- Allergic Reaction
Risks of Taking Potassium Iodide
Taking Potassium Iodide is safe for most people. Potassium Iodide should not be taken if someone:
- Is Allergic to iodine
- Has Graves Disease
- Has any other thyroid illness
- Takes thyroid medication
Administration of Potassium Iodide
Potassium Iodide will only be given:
- In case of a radiological emergency
- If it is recommended by public health officials
- If a parent/guardian signs a consent form for a child
FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT (FERPA)
FERPA is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
Pursuant to 603CMR 23 and under The Family Educational Right and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. 1232g. 34CFR Part 99) student records may be reviewed and released under the following conditions:
- Log of access shall be kept as part of each student’s record. The log shall indicate all persons who have obtained access to the student record stating: name, position and, if a third party, the affiliation, if any, of the person who is to receive the information; the date of access; the parts of the record to which access was obtained; and the purpose of such access. Unless student information is to be deleted or released, this log requirements shall not apply to:
- Authorized school personnel who inspect the record;
- Administrative office staff and clerical personnel who add information to or obtain access to the student record; and
- School nurses who inspect the student health record.
- Access of Eligible students and parents.
- Access of Authorized School personnel
- Access of third parties. Except for the provisions of 603 CMR 23.07 (4)(a) through 23.07.(h), no third party shall have access to information in or from a student record without written consent from parent/guardian except:
- School release of director information provided that the school gives public notice of types of information it may release and allows parents/guardians reasonable time that information not be released.
- Upon receipt of a court order or lawfully issued subpoena.
- Receipt of request from Department of Children and Family Services, probation office, court justice, or Department of Youth Services.
- Federal, state and local education officials and their authorized agents.
- Health or safety emergency necessary to protect the health or safety of student or other individuals.
- Upon notification of law enforcement that a student or former student has been reported as missing.
- Authorized school personnel of the school to which the student seeks or intends to transfer to.
- School health personnel or local and state health department personnel shall have access to student health records, including but not limited to immunization records.
- Access procedures for Non-Custodial Parents.
- A non-custodial parent is eligible to obtain access to student records unless:
- parent has been denied legal custody based on a threat to the safety of the student or to the custodial parent, or
- the parent has been denied visitation or has been ordered to supervised visitation, or
- the parent’s access to the student or custodial parent has been restricted by a temporary or permanent protective order.
- In order to obtain access, the non-custodial parent must submit a written request for the student record annually. The initial request must include the following:
- A non-custodial parent is eligible to obtain access to student records unless:
- a certified copy of the court order or judgment relative to the custody of the student that the requesting parent is eligible to receive access or a court order that specifically orders that the records be made available to the non-custodial parent, and;
- an affidavit from the non-custodial parent that said court order or judgment remains in effect and that there is no temporary or permanent order restricting access to the custodial parent.
- The non-custodial parent must submit a written request for access each year.
- Upon receiving the request the school must immediately notify the custodial parent, in the primary language that it will provide the non-custodial parent access after 21 days, unless the custodial parent provides the principal with documentation that the non-custodial parent cannot have access to the records.
- The school will delete the address and telephone number of the student and custodial parent from the student records provided to the non-custodial parent. The records will be marked to indicate that they cannot be used to enroll in another school.
- Upon receipt of a court order which prohibits the distribution of information the school will notify the non-custodial parent.
Student records information can be obtained by setting up an appointment by calling your child’s school. A school adjustment counselor and administrator will assist you in obtaining the records in the guidance reception area. If any copying of any or all of the record is involved, the school has the right to charge for copies that are being requested.
PROTOCOL FOR COMPLYING WITH RESTRAINING ORDERS IN SCHOOLS
Restraining Order Procedure
- All restraining orders must be presented to a principal or his/her designee
- Copy of restraining order will be kept on file
- Does not become part of a student’s permanent file
- As needed, student avoid student schedules can be arranged
- Staff with direct contact with students involved are notified without releasing confidential information
PROTECTION OF PUPIL RIGHTS AMENDMENT (PPRA)
PPRA governs the administration to students of a survey, analysis, or evaluation that concerns one or more of the following eight protected areas:
- political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent;
- mental or psychological problems of the student or the student’s family;
- sex behavior or attitudes;
- illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
- critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;
- legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;
- religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student’s parent; or
- income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).
PPRA also concerns marketing surveys and other areas of student privacy, parental access to information, and the administration of certain physical examinations to minors.
PPRA applies to surveys that contain questions about one or more of the eight protected areas listed above. Prior written consent will be attained from parents/guardians before students are required to submit to the survey. Parents/Guardians will be given an opportunity to opt his or her child out of participating.
Parents/Guardians have the right to review, upon request, any survey that concerns one or more of the eight protected areas, any instructional materials used in connection with any survey that concerns one or more of the eight protected areas, and any instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum for the student.
SCHOOL BUS TRANSPORTATION EEAA
- Kindergarten students will be transported free of charge
- Grades 1 to 6 students who reside outside 2.0 miles of their assigned school will be transported free of charge
- Grades 1 to 6 students who reside within 2.0 miles and all grade 7 through 12 students must pay a fee to ride the school bus
- In accordance with M.G.L. 71:68, families who are eligible for free and reduced meals
will be transported free of charge
The standard of 2.0 miles shall be measured by a standard mapping program and/or the distance measured by a school department vehicle from the school’s front door to where the student’s private way meets the public road.
Based on the above eligibility, the cost to ride the school bus is as follows:
- $250 per year for the first child in any one family
- $450 cap, no matter how many other children are in the same family
The School Committee reserves the right to revise fees as necessary.
After September 1st the cost of fees for families new to the district will be pro-rated from the first day their child rides the bus.
The following factors will be considered when allocating seats on a fee basis, if space is available, at the discretion of the Superintendent:
- Students living farthest from school will receive preference
- Siblings will receive preference, and
- Younger students will receive preference over older students
All decisions related to any of the foregoing matters will rest with the Superintendent of Schools.
Legal Refs.: M.G.L. 71:68
Cross Refs.: EEAB
Revised: 1995; 1998; 2002; 2005; 2007; 2008; 2010; 2013
STUDENT BEHAVIOR ON SCHOOL BUSSES EEAC
The right of students to ride a school bus is contingent upon their good behavior and observance of established regulations.
The driver of a school bus shall be responsible for the safety of students while riding a bus both during the ride and while students are entering or leaving the vehicle. It is the bus driver’s responsibility to notify the principal of the student involved in violation of the established regulation. The School Committee recognizes the right of principals to suspend bus privileges as a consequence of student misbehavior relating to bus transportation. If a student loses his/her bus transportation privilege, the transportation fee will not be refunded. Responsibility for transportation then rests with parents/guardians.
In the interest of supporting principals and bus drivers the School Committee authorizes the use of audio/video monitoring devices on school busses. Tapes from these devices may be used exclusively to aid in the investigation of incidents. Only those involved in the investigation, including parents, will have access to the tapes. Otherwise, all tapes will be erased within seven (7) school days of taping. Notification of the use of these devices will be included in student handbooks and/or in writing to parents/guardians.
In order to ensure the safety and welfare of student riders further, the Superintendent will provide a school safety program that will include the following:
- Children will be instructed in the proper procedure for boarding
and exiting a school bus and the proper and safe conduct while
- Emergency evacuation drills will be conducted at least twice a
year to acquaint student riders with procedures in emergency
- All vehicles used to transport children will be inspected periodically
for conformance with state and federal safety requirements; and,
- Classroom instruction on school bus safety will be provided.
LEGAL REFS: M.G.L. c.90:7b as amended by c.246 Acts of 1986 M.G.L. 90:1 et seq; 713:2; 713:7L Highway Safety Program Standard No. 17
Revised: 2002; 2003; 2008
STUDENT CONDUCT ON SCHOOL BUSSES: REGULATIONS EEAC-R1
Any student using school provided transportation shall be subject to appropriate regulations. School principals are required to establish specific rules and regulations that apply to their individual schools based upon School Committee policy. While individual or unique incidents of disruptive behavior may occur, the regulations related to student behavior, applicable to all student riders, which are expressly stated by the School Committee, include, but are not limited to, the following:
Procedures for Drivers, Administrators, and Parents
- In case of misconduct on a bus, the incident will be reported to the school principal on the proper form. The school principal will report the incident in writing to the parent/guardian concerned, with a copy to the Superintendent of Schools. Based on the reported incident, the principal may suspend the individual student’s bus privileges.
- In case of repetition by the same student, the principal may suspend the student’s transportation privileges until a conference with the student’s parent/guardian is held to discuss the individual student’s behavior.
- If a satisfactory solution to the student’s behavior, which provides for the safety and welfare of other student bus riders, cannot be reached, the student’s transportation privileges may be terminated. The responsibility for transporting the student to school will then rest with the parent/guardian.
Loading and Unloading at Bus Stop
- Riders must be on time. Bus drivers will not wait.
- Riders will enter or leave the bus at regular stops only.
- Orderly behavior and respect for private property will be required.
- Instructions and directions of the driver must be followed by the riders.
Required Conduct Aboard the Bus
- Riders must remain in seats or in place when the bus is in motion.
- Whistling and shouting are not permitted.
- Profanity and obscene language are forbidden.
- Smoking and eating are prohibited.
- Prohibitive disturbances include but are not limited to the following:
Pushing or wrestling;
Annoying other passengers or disturbing their possessions;
Disturbing the driver;
Throwing objects within the bus or out of windows;
Climbing over seats;
Opening or closing windows;
Leaning out of windows;
Littering the bus; and
Any other disorderly behavior.
- Parents will be held responsible for any defacing or damaging of the bus.
Parents and students will be informed of these regulations at the beginning of each school year, and parents will be asked to return signed forms indicating that the regulations have been received and read.
Reviewed: 2002; 2003; 2008
SNOW DAYS/DELAYS AND EMERGENCY CANCELLATIONS
If school is cancelled due to inclement weather conditions or another emergency, each
household will receive one phone call through an automated system. This will also
happen if there is a delay to the beginning of school. In addition, information
regarding cancellations or delays will appear on television stations: WBZ, WCVB,
WHDH, FOX25, Cable Channel 18, Amesbury school department website as well as
verbal notification on radio station WNBP.
In the unlikely event that school needs to be dismissed earlier than the normal
dismissal time, the automated calling system will be used to call emergency phone
numbers as well as some or all of the tools stated above for cancellations.
FIELD TRIPS IJOA
The Amesbury School Committee recognizes that firsthand learning experiences provided by field trips are a most effective and worthwhile enhancement to the curriculum. It is the desire of the committee to encourage field trips as part of and directly related to the total school program and curriculum. Despite this, participation in field trips is voluntary and in the case of minor children, is subject to parental consent.
Specific guidelines and appropriate administrative procedures shall be developed to screen, approve, and evaluate trips and to ensure that all reasonable steps are taken for the safety of the participants. These guidelines and procedures should be developed by the Administration and reviewed and approved by the school committee.
These guidelines and appropriate administrative procedures shall ensure that all field trips have the approval of the principal and that all overnight trips have the prior approval of the superintendent and the school committee.
This policy applies to all student trips including:
- Day trips that occur during regular school hours
- Extended long distance or overnight trips that extend beyond normal school hours during the day or which require an overnight stay of at least one night
- International trips
- Trip Approval Process
- All field trips require advance approval
- The approval process shall be completed prior to engaging students in fundraising activities or other preparations for the trip.
- Overnight trips should offer significant educational benefits to students that clearly justify the time and expense of the trip. Such trips should be appropriate for the grade level.
- Teachers and other school staff are prohibited from soliciting privately run trips through the school system. The trip approval process applies only to school-sanctioned trips.
- Policies and procedures for trip approval will take into account all logistical details involving transportation, accommodations, fundraising required of students, and the educational value of the
trip in relation to its costs.
- B. Transportation
- The use of vans or private automobiles for trips planned to include late night or overnight student travel should generally be avoided. Such trips should generally use commercial motor coaches.
- Principals should ensure that the selected carrier is licensed for passenger transportation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
- The contract with the carrier shall prohibit the use of a subcontractor unless sufficient notice is given to allow verification of the subcontractor’s qualifications.
- C. Trip Scheduling
- Overnight accommodations will be made in advance with student safety and security in mind. The trip schedulers will avoid planning student travel between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., due to the increased risk of vehicular accidents during this time period.
- Whenever possible, overnight trips should be scheduled on weekends or during school vacations to minimize lost classroom time.
- Trip itineraries must leave enough time for drivers to rest in conformity with federal hour-of-service requirements and common sense.
- Trip scheduling will take into account the likelihood of delays due to weather, traffic, stragglers, and other
- The amount of time to be devoted to fundraising should be reasonable and commensurate with students’ obligations for homework, after-school activities, and jobs.
- Group fundraising activities are preferred. Students should not be assigned individual fundraising targets.
- If students are charged individual fees for participation, the district should make every effort to provide scholarships where needed.
- Any money, tickets, or reservations made through fund raising activities become the property of the Amesbury Public Schools
- Chaperone Ratios
The following are suggested guidelines. Actual ratios will depend on the nature of the field trip subject to the approval of the principal.
PreK to Grade 4 1 adult/8 students
Grades 5-8 1 adult/10 students
Grades 9-12 1 adult/12 students
- Regular day field trips require a signed parent permission slip with the exception of students over the age of 18 who may sign for themselves.
- All field trips require a signed permission and release from liability form
*All field trips may be cancelled by the principal or superintendent up to the time of departure
Revised: 2006; 2011
DISABLED STUDENT TRANSPORTATION EEAB
The Amesbury School Committee authorizes the Superintendent, and/or his designee, to arrange transportation for those permanently and temporarily disabled students who attend public or special education programs in or outside of Amesbury.
Legal Refs.: M.G.L. 71B:8
Reviewed: 2002; 2003; 2011
DISABLED STUDENT TRANSPORTATION DROP-OFF PROCEDURE EEAB-R
In the event that a parent/guardian or designated person is not at a student’s designated drop-off location, van drivers are required to do the following:
- Call the parent, using the home phone number provided on the van’s schedule
for the run. If there is no answer, the van driver must leave a message indicating
that the student has been retained on the van and that the student will be returned
to the school of origin when the van’s route is complete.
- Call the school of origin using the telephone number provided on the
Important Phone Number list. Inform the school of origin that the student
will be returned to the school when the van’s route is complete.
If a student cannot be left at the designated address by the van driver, the school of origin is responsible for the student. The school of origin will contact the police department if no other family contacts are successful.
This procedure shall be used for all students K-5 unless a parent has requested otherwise. Dependent upon the needs articulated in the IEP, this procedure may be implemented for older special education students.
Legal Refs.: M.G.L. 71B:8
SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS – DISCIPLINE JBA
The disciplining of students with disabilities eligible for special education is governed by federal and state special education laws and the regulations promulgated there under. These laws include the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1401 et seq., its implementing regulations 34 C.F.R. 300 et seq.; and Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 71B and its implementing regulations 603 C.M.R. 28.00.
Students with disabilities who violate school rules are subject to removal from their current educational placement for up to ten (10) school days per year, to the extent that such a removal would be applied to students without disabilities, without a prior determination as to whether the misconduct is related to the student’s disability.
School personnel may order a change in educational placement of a child with a disability to an appropriate Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES) that provides the student with a free appropriate public education for the same amount of time that a child without a disability would be subject to discipline, but not for more than forty-five (45) calendar days if the student:
- Carries or possesses a weapon to or at school, on school premises, or to or at a school function;
- Knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs at school, a school function, or school
sponsored event; or
- Sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance while at school, a school function, or a school sponsored event.
Anytime school personnel seek to remove a student from his or her current educational placement for more than ten (10) school days in any school year, this constitutes a “change of placement.” A change of placement invokes certain procedural protections under the IDEA, the federal special education law. These include, but are not limited to:
- If the school did not conduct a functional behavioral assessment and implement a behavioral intervention plan for such student before the behavior that resulted in the discipline, the school shall convene an IEP meeting to develop an assessment plan to address the behavior, or if the child already has a behavior intervention plan, the IEP Team shall review the plan and modify it, as necessary, to address the behavior.
- A review by the IEP Team of the relationship between the child’s disability and the behavior subject to the disciplinary action, which is often referred to as the Manifestation Determination.
School personnel may also seek an order from the Department of Education Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) placing a student in an IAES for up to forty-five (45) calendar days.
Parents/guardians and/or students, where appropriate, may request a hearing at the Bureau of Special Education Appeals regarding a disciplinary action described above to challenge the interim alternative educational setting or the manifestation determination.
For a copy of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education brochure on Special Education Parents’ Rights available in many languages, visit www.doe.mass.edu/sped/parents or contact the Director of Special Education.
Legal Refs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.
Regulations 34 C.F.R. 300 et seq.
M.G.L., chapter 71B, regulations 603 C.M.R. 28.00
Adopted: 2006 Revised: 2008
Frequently Asked Questions
o Who Can Report?
o Student o school employee
o Parent o independent contractor
o Teacher o community member
o school volunteer
o Bully vs. Peer Conflict?
- Participants blame each other
- Participants are of equal social status
- The behavior may be a single incident
- Target is afraid to blame the aggressor and may deny there is an issue
- There is a social power imbalance between participants
- This behavior is a pattern
o How Do You Report?
o Anonymous reporting acceptable, but no disciplinary action will take place.
o Fill out a Harassment/Bullying Reporting Form JFCB/GBCBC-E1
o The Form is available in all district school Main Offices, on the District’s main page as
well as on each school’s individual webpage.
o Call Bullying Hotline
o AHS 978-388-4800 ext. 4231
o AMS 978-388-0515 ext.5555
o AES 978-388-3659 ext.115
o CES 978-388- ext.
o What Happens Next?
o The School Principal or the District’s Equity Coordinators are responsible for receiving
o AHS Elizabeth McAndrews or Roy Hammond
o AMS Michael Curry or Principal’s Designee
o AES Walter Helliesen or Principal’s Designee
o CES M. Louise Charette or Principal’s Designee
o What is the school’s responsibility?
o Ensure the safety of the target
o Follow Amesbury Public School District’s policy regarding investigations
o Make a determination based on the specifics of each situation
o Provide a written report to the parties involved
o What can parents do to help?
o Monitor all technology – computers, phones, Facebook, texting, etc.
o Be aware that there are usually two sides to the story.
o When you have questions, please call and ask the person in charge of the investigation
or receiving reports.
o Don’t assume that nothing is being done.
o What can I expect as far as communication during an investigation?
o Your child’s safety to be addressed immediately
o Information about changes that impact your child
o Sometimes minimal communication is essential to determine the veracity and the
extent of the incident.
o Upon conclusion of the investigation, you will hear that the investigation is over and
receive a written summary of the findings and next steps (if aggressor) to be taken.
o What do I do when I think the school has done nothing?
o Due to 603 CMR 49.07 (1) A principal or designee may not disclose information from a
student record of a target or aggressor to a parent unless the information is about the
parent’s own child.
o Remember that the intent of the Bullying Law is to educate our students so that they
make better choices and understand that their behavior is unacceptable. The methods
of education may or may not be visible. A wide range of disciplinary actions, within and
outside of the school, are viable options and may be assessed depending on the
specifics of each case.
o What do I do if the bullying behavior continues?
o Immediately contact the person who conducted the investigation.
PROMOTING CIVIL RIGHTS AND PROHIBITING HARASSMENT, SEXUAL HARASSMENT, HAZING, BULLYING, CYBER BULLYING, SEXTING, DISCRIMINATION, AND HATE CRIMES JFCB/GBCBC
The Amesbury Public School District is committed to providing our students equal educational opportunities and a safe learning environment free from harassment, bullying, discrimination, and hate crimes, where all school community members treat each other with respect and appreciate the rich diversity in our schools. This Policy is an integral part of the District's comprehensive efforts to promote learning, eliminate all forms of violent, harmful, and disruptive behavior and enable students to achieve their personal and academic potential and become successful citizens in our increasingly diverse society.
The District will not tolerate any unlawful or disruptive behavior, including any form of harassment, bullying, discrimination, or hate crimes in our schools or school-related activities. The District will promptly investigate all reports and complaints of harassment, bullying, discrimination, and hate crimes, and take prompt, effective action to end that behavior and prevent its reoccurrence. Action will include, where appropriate, referral to a law enforcement agency. The District will support this Policy in all aspects of its activities, including its curricula, instructional programs, staff development, extracurricular activities, and parental involvement.
- GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY
The Amesbury Public School District prohibits all forms of harassment, discrimination, and hate crimes based on race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, age, or disability. The civil rights of all school community members are guaranteed by law, and the protection of those rights is of utmost importance and priority to our School District. The District also prohibits bullying of school community members or other harmful conduct for reasons unrelated to race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, age, or disability. The District will also not tolerate retaliation against persons who take action consistent with this Policy.
This Policy applies to all sites and activities that the District supervises, controls, or where it has jurisdiction under the law, including school grounds, property immediately adjacent to school grounds, or at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function or program, at a school bus stop, on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased or used by the District, or through the use of technology or an electronic device owned, leased, or used by a school district or school. The bullying policy applies to any location, activity, function or program that is not school-related or through the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased or used by the district, if the act or acts in question create a hostile environment at school for the target, infringe on the rights of the target at school or materially and substantially disrupt the education process or the orderly operation of the school. It applies to all students, school committee members, school employees, independent contractors, school volunteers, parents and legal guardians of students, and visitors to District schools. Nothing in this Policy, however, is designed or intended to limit the District's authority to discipline or take remedial action under General Laws Chapter 71, §37H or other authority, or in response to violent, harmful, or disruptive behavior, regardless of whether this Policy covers the conduct.
- DISCIPLINARY AND CORRECTIVE ACTION
Violation of this Policy is a serious offense. Violators will be subject to appropriate disciplinary and/or corrective action to correct and end the conduct, prevent its reoccurrence, and protect and restore a sense of safety for the complainant and other similarly-situated individuals from harassment, discrimination, hate crimes, retaliation, and bullying in the future.
The definitions of terms used in this Policy, including descriptions of conduct this Policy prohibits, appear in the "Glossary of Terms."
- Each School Community Member is responsible for:
- complying with this Policy, where applicable;
- ensuring that (s)he does not harass, discriminate against, or commit a crime against another person on school grounds or in a school-related activity because of that person's race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, age, genetics or disability;
- ensuring that (s)he does not bully another person;
- ensuring that (s)he does not retaliate against any other person for reporting or filing a complaint, for aiding or encouraging the filing of a report or complaint, or for cooperating in an investigation of harassment, bullying, discrimination, or a hate crime; and
- cooperating in the investigation of reports or complaints of harassment, bullying, discrimination, retaliation, or a hate crime.
- Each School Employee, Independent Contractor and School Volunteer is ALSO responsible for:
- responding appropriately when witnessing harassment, bullying, discrimination, retaliation, or a hate crime on school grounds or in a school-related activity;
- cooperating with the District's efforts to prevent, respond effectively to, and eliminate harassment, bullying, discrimination, and hate crimes; and
- promptly reporting all information s(he) knows concerning possible harassment, bullying, discrimination, retaliation, or a hate crime to a designated school official when (s)he witnesses or becomes aware of that conduct.
- PROTECTION AGAINST RETALIATION
The District will take appropriate steps to protect from retaliation persons who take action consistent with this Policy, or who report, or file a complaint or cooperate in an investigation of a violation of this Policy. Threats or acts of retaliation, whether person-to-person, by electronic means, or through third parties, are serious offenses that will subject the violator to significant disciplinary and other corrective action.
- REPORTING AND RESOLUTION PROCESS
- DESIGNATED OFFICIALS FOR REPORTING
- In Each School Building
The school principal or the District's Equity Coordinator are responsible for receiving reports and complaints of violations of this Policy at the school level. A report or complaint of a violation of this Policy may be filed with the Equity Coordinators, Lyn Jaques, 5 Highland Street, Amesbury, MA, 978-388-0507.
- For the Central Administration
The District Equity Coordinator is responsible for receiving and addressing reports or complaints of violations of this Policy at the district level. A report or complaint involving the District Equity Coordinator should be filed with the Superintendent; a report or complaint involving the Superintendent with the School Committee.
- REPORTING PROCEDURES
- Any school employee, independent contractor, or school volunteer who becomes aware or has a reasonable belief that harassment, bullying, discrimination, retaliation, or a hate crime has occurred or may have occurred must promptly report the alleged incident(s) to a designated official.
- Any student or other person (who is not a school employee, independent contractor or school volunteer) who becomes aware or has a reasonable belief that harassment, bullying, discrimination, retaliation, or a hate crime has occurred or may have occurred is strongly encouraged to and should promptly report the incident(s) to a designated official. In situations where a student or other person does not feel comfortable reporting the incident to a designated official, (s)he may report it to a trusted school employee, who must promptly transmit the report to a designated official.
- Any school community member may also report possible incidents of harassment, bullying, discrimination, retaliation, or a hate crime directly to a Principal, the District Equity Coordinator or to the Superintendent. Students or other persons may also make anonymous reports.
- Upon receipt of a written or oral report or complaint, the principal (or his/her designee) and the District Equity Coordinator will promptly notify one another of the facts alleged and any initial action taken.
- When a report or complaint involves physical injury, the principal (or his/her designee) will promptly report the incident to the Superintendent.
- All complaints or reports about a violation of this Policy must be documented on the District's "Reporting/Complaint Form". The form is available at the front office of each school and at the central office. If a complainant or reporter is either unwilling or unable to complete the District's Reporting/Complaint Form, the school principal (or designee) who receives the oral complaint or report will promptly prepare a written report, by filling out the District's Reporting/Complaint Form, using, to the extent practicable, the reporter's or complainant's own words to describe the potential violation.
- On the District's Reporting/Complaint Form, the principal (or designee) will summarize any initial action taken and forward a copy to the District Equity Coordinator.
- Reporting Sexual Abuse and Other Serious Criminal Conduct
- General Laws Chapter 119, Section 51A, makes administrators, teachers, school nurses, guidance counselors and other school staff members mandated reporters for purposes of reporting child abuse and neglect to the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Under G.L. c. 119, Section 51A, a school staff member who has reasonable cause to believe that a student under the age of 18 years is suffering physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, or neglect, by a parent, guardian, school staff member, or other caretaker, must immediately report the abuse or neglect either directly to the DCF or to the person designated by the school to accept those reports, who, in turn, must promptly report the abuse to the DCF.
- The principal, Equity Coordinator and/or Superintendent will report certain forms of sexual harassment and conduct (i.e., unwanted sexual touching or sexual assault) that may constitute a crime to the local police.
- The principal, Equity Coordinator and/or Superintendent will report physical injury, destruction of public property, potential hate crimes, certain bullying conduct and other acts of a criminal nature to the local police for criminal investigation.
- FILING A COMPLAINT OR REPORT
- The complainant or reporter files a written complaint or report with a designated official, using the District's Reporting/Complaint Form, identifying the name(s) of the subject of the complaint, if known; describing the facts and circumstances of the incident or pattern of behavior; providing the time(s) and date(s) of the incident(s); and identifying any witnesses and relevant documentary information.
- A complainant or reporter may also file an oral complaint or report. In those circumstances, a designated official will complete the District's Reporting/Complaint Form based on the oral information, using, to the extent practicable, the complainant or reporter's own words. The complainant will sign the Reporting/Complaint Form.
- The designated official will separately meet in a timely manner with the complainant and the subject of the complaint. If a student is involved, the parent(s) or guardian(s) will be notified and may be invited to attend the meeting. The official will talk about the formal process, explain the prohibition against retaliation, and determine the corrective action the complainant seeks. The designated official will also explain that the investigation will be kept as confidential as possible, but that the District cannot promise absolute confidentiality, and may not be able to withhold the complainant's identity from the subject of the complaint, since such a promise could interfere with the District's ability to enforce its Policy, conduct a fair and thorough investigation, or impose disciplinary or corrective action.
- A designated official will conduct an investigation in accordance with the procedures described in Section E, Investigations.
- The designated official, in consultation with the District Equity Coordinator, will determine whether the allegations have been substantiated, and whether the Policy, or if the subject of the complaint is a student, the Student Code of Conduct, has been violated. If the complaint is substantiated, the designated official, in consultation with the District Equity Coordinator, will decide, based on the investigative findings, on the appropriate action. If legal issues arise, the designated official will seek the advice and guidance of legal counsel for the District.
- The designated official, in consultation with the District Equity Coordinator, will prepare a written report that includes the investigative findings, the investigative steps taken, and the reasons for those findings. These findings will specify whether the allegations have been substantiated, whether the Policy, or if the subject of the complaint is a student, the Student Code of Conduct, has been violated, and any decision for disciplinary and corrective action.
- The principal, the employee's supervisor (if the subject of the complaint is an employee), or the Superintendent will impose any disciplinary or corrective action. The disciplinary actions will balance the need for accountability with need to teach appropriate behavior. The disciplinary actions will be consistent with the Student Code of Conduct, and state and federal law.
- The designated official will promptly notify the complainant and the subject of the complaint in writing to let them know whether the complaint has been substantiated. If the complaint is substantiated, the designated official will also promptly notify the complainant of any non-disciplinary corrective action imposed to protect him/her from future Policy violations. If the complaint is substantiated and the offender remains a student in the school, the designated official will meet with the offender and his/her parent or guardian, to describe the disciplinary and/or corrective action imposed, the school's expectations for future behavior and the potential consequences for retaliation or future violation of the Policy.
- If a complaint is substantiated, a report of the incident and its resolution will be placed in the offender's applicable student record or employee personnel file.
- File Retention: If the incident occurs at the school level, the principal (and if the principal is the subject of the complaint, the District Equity Coordinator), will (a) maintain in a separate confidential file the original completed Reporting/Complaint Form, investigatory interview notes and reports, findings made, the results of the investigation, including any decision for action, and other relevant investigatory materials, (b) provide a copy of the file to the District Equity Coordinator, and (c) maintain a copy of the file in the applicable student record or employee personnel file. If the complaint occurs at the district level, the District Equity Coordinator will maintain the original documents.
- If the District's investigation results from a third party report, the designated official will inform that person that the District has taken steps consistent with the Policy, while not providing information about any disciplinary action imposed or any other information that would violate applicable state and federal confidentiality laws or student record regulations.
- Any disciplinary or corrective action against a student or employee must conform to the due process requirements of federal and state law.
- A designated official will monitor the situation, and will follow-up with the complainant at least weekly for two months to determine whether there are further incidents or concerns, and whether the corrective action imposed has been effective. The designated official will maintain a written record of the follow-up.
- The complainant may ask the District Equity Coordinator to review, and, if appropriate, revise any non-disciplinary corrective action imposed through a Formal Proceeding, if the complainant believes that the corrective action is not adequate to protect him/her from future harassment, discrimination, bullying, retaliation, or a hate crime.
- Any right of appeal from a disciplinary decision is governed by the Student Code of Conduct, the school's disciplinary code, applicable collective bargaining agreements, and Massachusetts and federal law.
- Prompt and Thorough Investigations: The school or District, through a designated official, in consultation with the District Equity Coordinator, will promptly investigate all reports or complaints of an alleged violation of this Policy (even where the offender is unknown), as set forth below. The nature and duration of an investigation will depend on the circumstances, including the type, severity and frequency of the alleged conduct. The goal of an investigation is to obtain an accurate and complete account of all incidents and circumstances deemed relevant to the allegations of the complaint. No complaint is considered frivolous; on the other hand, culpability is never presumed. These procedures are intended to protect the rights of a target and the rights of a wrongfully accused individual.
- Emergencies: School officials will immediately call 911 in case of a threat of imminent physical harm or actual physical harm to a school community member or where police, fire, medical, or other emergency assistance is needed.
- Opening Investigations: Upon receipt of a report or complaint, a designated official, in consultation with the District Equity Coordinator, will promptly undertake an investigation or authorize a third party designated by the District or school to undertake an investigation.
- Investigative Procedure: The designated official investigating the incident will gather and preserve evidence, and identify all involved parties and witnesses. If the incident involves physical injury, destruction of public property, or other acts of a serious criminal nature, the designated official will confer with the local police department or other law enforcement agencies prior to gathering or preserving evidence to determine if the incident requires law enforcement involvement. Until the designated official confers with the local police, however, s(he) will secure the evidence from contamination or removal. The investigation will generally consist of personal interviews with the complainant, the subject(s) of the complaint and others who witnessed or may have potentially relevant knowledge about the alleged incident or circumstances giving rise to the report or complaint. Interviews will be conducted in a manner that protects the privacy of individuals to the extent practicable under the circumstances. The designated official should take notes during interviews, or prepare them soon thereafter, for the purpose of maintaining accurate records. The designated official will also generally review and evaluate any other information or document, including video recordings, voice mails, e-mails, instant messages, information regarding any prior incident(s) committed by the subject of the complaint, or any other item deemed relevant to the allegations.
- Communication During Investigation: Throughout the investigatory and complaint resolution process, the designated official will make reasonable efforts to regularly inform the complainant and the subject of the complaint and their parent(s) or guardian(s) of the status of the complaint, and the anticipated timing for concluding the investigation, and making a determination. The designated official will notify each person interviewed or made aware of the investigation that the investigation is confidential and should not be discussed with other students or District employees. The designated official will tell them that the District will not tolerate retaliation against the complainant or reporter, or anyone else who cooperates with the investigation. The District will notify the parents or guardians of a target of the action taken to prevent any further acts of harassment, bullying, discrimination or retaliation.
- Time for Investigations: The designated official will complete his/her investigation as soon as practicable after (s)he receives the complaint or report.
- Ensuring Safety During Investigation: The designated official, in consultation with the District Equity Coordinator, will take any step s(he) determines is necessary and/or advisable to protect, to the extent practicable, the complainant, witnesses, and other individuals from further incidents or from retaliation pending the outcome of the investigation. Those steps for students may include, but are not limited to, ordering interim disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct, appropriate adult supervision, reassigning classroom seating, temporarily transferring the student subject of the complaint from his/her class(es) with the complainant or to an alternative school assignment, instructing the subject of the complaint to avoid communication or contact with the complainant and to maintain a safe distance (for example, fifteen feet) from the complainant while on school property or in school-related activities, and monitoring compliance and reporting non-compliance of protective orders issued by a court. Prior to a resolution of the complaint or report, the designated official will make reasonable efforts to monitor the success of the interim measures in achieving their goals. At the discretion of a school and/or District administrator, a student complainant may also temporarily transfer classes or schools, where available, but only where the student and his/her parent or guardians voluntarily consent to the transfer.
- Target Assistance: The designated official (or his/her designee) will make appropriate referrals for target assistance, including counseling and crisis intervention, if requested, or as needed.
- Target Non-Cooperation: Where a violation of the Policy has been reported by a third party, and the alleged target fails to cooperate with the investigation, or denies the incident occurred, disciplinary and corrective action may by precluded, or limited, depending on the circumstances and the availability of information from other sources.
- False Charges: Any person who makes knowingly false charges or brings a malicious complaint is subject to disciplinary and/or corrective action.
- BASIS FOR DETERMINING WHETHER POLICY VIOLATED
A designated official, in consultation with the District Civil Rights Coordinator, will determine whether a particular action or incident constitutes a violation of this Policy. The determination will be based on all the facts and surrounding circumstances, including the context, nature, frequency and severity of the behavior, how long the conduct continued, where the incident(s) occurred, the number of persons involved in the wrongful conduct, the ages of and relationships between the parties, past incidents or patterns of behavior, and whether the conduct adversely affected the education or school environment of the target or other school community members or materially or substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of the school.
The District will respect the privacy of the complainant, the subject(s) of the complaint, and the witnesses to the extent possible consistent with its obligations under federal and state law and regulations and its Policy to investigate, report, and take appropriate disciplinary and corrective action, and consistent with applicable and state and federal confidentiality laws and student record regulations.
- DISCIPLINARY AND CORRECTIVE ACTION
- IMPOSING DISCIPLINARY AND CORRECTIVE ACTION
If a designated official, in consultation with the District Equity Coordinator, concludes that the subject of the complaint has violated this Policy, the District will in a timely manner impose disciplinary measures and/or corrective action reasonably calculated to end the complained of conduct, deter future conduct, and protect the complainant(s) and other similarly situated individuals. In imposing disciplinary and corrective measures the District will take into account harm the target and other members of the school community suffered and any damage to school climate or property. The decision whether discipline is imposed and the nature of any disciplinary action must comply with the District and school's disciplinary policies and state and federal law.
- ACTION CONCERNING STUDENTS
Disciplinary and corrective action concerning a student may include, but is not limited to, a written warning; classroom or school transfer; short-term or long-term suspension; exclusion from participation in school sponsored functions, after-school programs, and/or extracurricular activities; limiting or denying access to a part or area of a school; exclusion, expulsion, or discharge from school; adult supervision on school premises; parent conferences; an apology to the target; awareness training (to help students understand the impact of their behavior); participation in empathy development, cultural diversity, anti-harassment, anti-bullying or intergroup relations classes; mandatory counseling, or any other action authorized by and consistent with the Student Code of Conduct, school disciplinary code, or state and federal law. In appropriate cases, the District may contact law enforcement agencies or other state agencies.
Discipline for Students with Disabilities
The District will comply with the federal and state law requirements that apply to the discipline of students with disabilities, including the federal "Individuals with Disabilities Education Act" ("IDEA"). Students who receive their education pursuant to an IEP may not be removed from his or her current placement for more than 10 school days without a determination as to whether or not the behavior that forms the basis of the disciplinary action is related to the student’s disability. The District Director of Special Education will be notified regarding the discipline of any student with a disability. For more information regarding the discipline of students with disabilities please contact the Director of Special Education, Mary Houde at 978-388-0531.
Discipline for Students with a 504 Plan
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal statute which prohibits a qualified individual with a disability from being excluded from the participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance because of his/her disability. 29 U.S.C. § 794 and its implementing regulations, 34 C.F.R. 104 et seq. School personnel may not suspend a student on a 504 plan for more than ten (10) school days without first conducting a manifestation determination. For more information on the discipline of students on 504 plans, contact the Equity Coordinators, Lyn Jaques at 978-388-0507.
- ACTION CONCERNING SCHOOL EMPLOYEES
Disciplinary and corrective action concerning a school employee may include, but is not limited to, a written warning, suspension, transfer, demotion, removal from certain duties, employment termination, supervision, training, and counseling.
- ACTION CONCERNING INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS
Disciplinary and corrective action concerning an independent contractor may include, but is not limited to, a request to the employer of the independent contractor to warn, suspend or terminate its employee; limiting or denying the individual contractor access to school premises or school-related activities; terminating the contract with the District or school, and training.
- ACTION CONCERNING SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS
Disciplinary and corrective action concerning a school volunteer may include, but is not limited to, a written warning, suspending or terminating the volunteer relationship, limiting or denying access to school premises or school-related activities, supervision and training.
- ACTION CONCERNING OTHER SCHOOL COMMUNITY MEMBERS
Corrective action concerning any other school community member, including parents and legal guardians of students, and visitors to District schools may include, but is not limited to, a warning; counseling; and limiting or denying the parent, guardian or visitor's access to school premises or school-related activities.
- PREVENTION AND REMEDIATION
The District will employ a variety of prevention and remediation strategies to maintain to the extent practicable a safe school climate conducive to learning, and ensure that all school community members assume responsibility for their behavior and its consequences.
- ACTION CONFORMING TO LAW AND APPLICABLE CONTRACTS
Any disciplinary or corrective action taken for violation of this Policy will be consistent with the requirements of applicable collective bargaining agreements, Massachusetts and federal law, and District policies. The District will contact law enforcement agencies if and as appropriate.
VII. ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS
- OVERSIGHT OF DISTRICT'S COMPLIANCE WITH POLICY
The District designates Lyn Jaques as the District Equity Coordinators who, under the supervision of the Superintendent, will ensure the successful administration of and compliance with this Policy. The District will post conspicuously in the central office and in each school the District Equity Coordinator's name and his/her mailing address, telephone number and email address. The District Equity Coordinator's responsibilities include:
- Maintaining complaint and investigation records under this Policy and of Informal and Formal Proceedings;
- Maintaining and regularly analyzing documentation of incidents of harassment, bullying, discrimination, retaliation, and hate crimes throughout the District;
- Advising and assisting with and/or conducting investigations of complaints and reports of violations of this Policy;
- Regularly assessing the need for and arranging training of school and District personnel and students on the requirements of and compliance with this Policy;
- Assisting the Superintendent in regularly reviewing the effectiveness of the District's efforts to correct and prevent harassment, bullying, discrimination, retaliation, and hate crimes and proposing improvements in those efforts, consistent with 603 CMR 26.07 (1) & (4);
- Ensuring that appropriate District and school officials are informed about violations of this Policy and the adequacy of the response;
- Reviewing this Policy annually for compliance with state and federal law and updating it as necessary; and
- Ensuring that s(he) and the District and school Title II, Title VI, Title IX and Section 504 coordinators are provided appropriate training to serve in this capacity and receive regular updates on changes in laws, regulations, policies and procedures concerning harassment, bullying, discrimination, retaliation, and hate crimes.
- POLICY DISSEMINATION
- At the beginning of each school year, the District will distribute this Policy to all school employees, provide a summary of the Policy to volunteers and independent contractors, and publicize the Policy within the school community.
- The District and its schools will incorporate a summary of this Policy in the Student Handbook and in each school's code of conduct, and explicitly state that a violation of this Policy is subject to disciplinary action under the school's code of conduct. These documents will be provided to students, parents and guardians each year and will inform them of this Policy in the same manner that they inform parents and students of other policies. The Superintendent will publish disciplinary polices in Student Handbooks, which shall prohibit bullying and shall include the bullying prevention and intervention plan required by Chapter 71, §37O of the Laws of the Commonwealth. Student handbooks shall include age-appropriate summaries of the student-related sections of the district’s bullying prevention and intervention plan.
- The District will ask each student (if in grade 5 and over) and his/her parent or guardian to provide written confirmation that they received, read and understand the Student Handbook that includes a summary of this Policy, and agree to comply with the Handbook's provisions.
- To the extent practicable, the District will translate a summary of the Policy into the non-English languages spoken at home by a significant number of parents or guardians of District students.
- The District will post this Policy and a summary of the Policy on its District's website and conspicuously in each school building in areas easily accessible to students and staff.
- TRAINING OF SCHOOL EMPLOYEES AND STUDENTS
- The District will provide in-service training at least annually for all school employees, independent contractors, and school volunteers regarding the prevention and appropriate methods for reporting and responding to harassment, bullying, discrimination, retaliation, and hate crimes; their responsibilities under the Policy; requirements imposed by state and federal civil rights and education laws, including CMR 26.00; and the District's mission, goals and requirements under this Policy.
- The District will provide education at least annually for all its students in the fifth through twelfth grades regarding how to identify, report and file a complaint or report under this Policy; their rights and responsibilities under civil rights and education laws; and the District's goals and requirements under this Policy. The District will also provide instruction at least annually to all students in kindergarten through fourth grade regarding how to identify and report harassment and bullying.
- The Superintendent will develop administrative guidelines and procedures for implementation of this policy, consistent with the requirements of M.G.L. Chapter 71 §37O and related guidelines issued by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Any school community member may also pursue legal remedies or other avenues of recourse, including filing a complaint with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Problem Resolution System), at (617) 338-3000; the Massachusetts Office of Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, at (617) 727-2200; the Office of Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education, at (617) 223-9662, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, at (617) 727-3990 or (413) 739-2145; or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, at (617) 565-3200; filing a civil lawsuit; or pursuing criminal prosecution.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Bullying is the repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that: (a) causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target’s property; (b) places the target in reasonable fear of harm to himself or of damage to his property; (c) creates a hostile environment at school for the target; (d) infringes on the rights of the target at school; or (e) materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. For the purposes of this policy and related procedures, bullying shall include cyber-bullying. (See Student Code of Conduct for how the District addresses bullying not covered by this Policy.)
A person who complains about conduct covered by this Policy who is the alleged target of the conduct, and if a student, their parent or guardian.
Cyber-bullying is bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications. Cyber-bullying shall also include (a) the creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or (b) the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages, if the creation or impersonation creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (a) to (e), inclusive, of the definition of bullying. Cyber-bullying shall also include the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution or posting creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (a) to (e), inclusive, of the definition of bullying.
A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (a) where the person has such an impairment, (b) has a record of such an impairment, (c) is regarded as having an impairment, or (d) has an individualized education program (IEP).
Treating people differently, or interfering with or preventing a person from enjoying the advantages, privileges or courses of study in a public school because of his/her race, color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, or disability. A person may not be subjected to discipline or more severe punishment for wrongdoing, nor denied the same rights as other students, because of his/her membership in a protected class.
Harassment is oral, written, graphic, electronic or physical conduct on school property or at a school-related activity relating to an individual's actual or perceived race, color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, or disability (i.e., protected status), that is sufficiently severe, pervasive or persistent so as interfere with or limit a student's ability to participate in or benefit from the district's programs or activities, or to interfere with or limit an individual's employment, by creating a hostile, humiliating, intimidating, or offensive educational or work environment. For purposes of this Policy, harassment shall also mean conduct, if it persists, that will likely create such a hostile, humiliating, intimidating or offensive educational or work environment. A single incident, depending on its severity, may create a hostile environment.
Harassment based on a person's protected status may include, but is not limited to:
- Degrading, demeaning, insulting, or abusive verbal or written statements;
- Taking personal belongings, taunting, teasing, name-calling, or spreading rumors;
- Drawing or writing graffiti, slogans, visual displays (such as swastikas), or symbols on school or another person's property (e.g., books or backpacks);
- Telling degrading or offensive jokes;
- Unwanted physical contact of any kind;
- Physical violence, threats of bodily harm, physical intimidation, or stalking;
- Threatening letters, e-mails, instant messages, or websites;
- Defacing, damaging, or destroying school (e.g., desks, lockers or school walls) or another person's property; or throwing objects (eggs, paint).
The term "hazing" shall mean any conduct or method of initiation, even if consented to, into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Such conduct shall include, but is not limited to, whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation. Whoever knows that another person is the target of hazing and is at the scene of such activity, shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such activity to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. Whoever fails to report such behavior shall be subject to discipline.
Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit photos, images, or messages electronically, primarily by cell phone and/or the Internet.
Examples of Specific Types of Harassment (depending upon the circumstances):
- Unwelcome verbal, written or physical conduct directed at a person based on his/her disability or perceived disability, including damaging or interfering with use of necessary equipment, imitating manner of movement, using slurs like "retard," or invading personal space to intimidate.
National Origin Harassment
- Unwelcome verbal, written or physical conduct directed at a person based on his/her national origin, ancestry, or ethnic background, such as negative comments about surnames, customs, language, accents, immigration status, or manner of speaking.
- Unwelcome verbal, written or physical conduct directed at a person based on his/her race or color, including racial slurs or insults based on characteristics of a person's race or color, racial graffiti or symbols, hostile acts based on race, nicknames based on racial stereotypes, negative comments about appearance, imitating mannerisms, taunting, or invading personal space to intimidate.
- Unwelcome verbal, written or physical conduct directed at a person based on his/her religion, including derogatory comments about religious beliefs, traditions, practices (includes non-belief), or religious clothing.
Sexual Orientation Harassment
- Unwelcome verbal, written or physical conduct, directed at a person based on his/her actual or perceived sexual orientation, such as anti-gay slurs or insults, imitating mannerisms, taunting, or invading personal space to intimidate.
Sexual Harassment: (refer to Amesbury Public Schools Policy GBCBD/JFCD)
A crime motivated by hatred or bias, or where the target is targeted or selected for the crime at least in part because the person is a different race, color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation from the aggressor or because the targeted person has a disability. A hate crime may involve a physical attack, threat of bodily harm, physical intimidation, or damage to another's property.
Indicators that a crime may constitute a hate crime include:
- Use of racial, ethnic, religious or anti-gay slurs;
- Use of symbols of hate, such as a swastika or burning cross;
- Similar behavior toward others who are members of the same protected class;
- The aggressor's protected class is different from the target's;
- The incident occurs while the target was promoting a racial, religious, ethnic/national origin, disability, gender or sexual orientation group, such as attending an advocacy group meeting, or participating in a students' gay-straight alliance, or a disability rights demonstration.
Any person, organization, or company who contracts with and/or provides goods, supplies, or services to the District or a school, and who is not a school employee and is not under the direction or control of the District (for example, bus drivers and school vendors).
A person's ancestry, country of origin, or the country of origin of the person's parents, family members or ancestors.
Any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment by a school community member directed against another school community member for reporting or filing a complaint, for aiding or encouraging the filing of a report or complaint, for cooperating in an investigation under this Policy, or for taking action consistent with this Policy.
A person reporting an incident who is a third party and not the target of the alleged conduct that violates the Policy.
SCHOOL COMMUNITY MEMBER
Any student, District or school employee, school committee member, independent contractor, school volunteer, parent or legal guardian of a student, or a visitor on school premises or at a school-related or school-sponsored function or activity.
Any District or school administrator, teacher, school counselor, nurse, secretary, librarian, and any other professional or support staff member employed by the District, and subject to the District's direction or control (and who is not a school volunteer).
Any school-sponsored activity, such as a field trip or an athletic competition; any school-related function or event, such as a PTO meeting; where school officials have supervisory responsibility for students; or where students are using school transportation or are at a designated school bus stop.
Any person who without compensation provides goods, supplies, or services to the District or its schools on a one-time or an ongoing basis, and who is not a school employee or independent contractor.
 Whenever this policy refers to any time frame, it shall mean as soon as practicable under the circumstances.
 Any other conduct harmful to school climate and subject to discipline is governed by the Student Code of Conduct and other District policies. This Policy only covers conduct directed at a target because of his/her race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability, or to bullying behavior. See Glossary of Terms.
 Where there is a felony complaint or conviction of a student involving reported or complained-of conduct in violation of this Policy, the principal of the school where the student is enrolled may decide to proceed under the requirements of General Laws Chapter 71, § 37H 1/2.
 Pursuant to state law, bullying is the repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that: (a) causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target’s property; (b) places the target in reasonable fear of harm to himself or of damage to his property; (c) creates a hostile environment at school for the target; (d) infringes on the rights of the target at school; or (e) materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. For the purposes of this policy and related procedures, bullying shall include cyber-bullying.
Legal Refs: M.G.L. c.71, §37H & 37H 1/2
M.G.L. c.119 §51A
Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973
29 U.S.C. §794
34 C.F.R. 104 et. seq.
603 CMR 26.07 (1) & (4) & CMR 26.00
Replaces: JFCB/GBCBC & GBCBC/JFCB
Revised: 2006; 2007; 2008; 2010; 2011; 2012
SEXUAL HARASSMENT JFCD/GBCBD
The Amesbury Public School District prohibits all forms of harassment, discrimination, and hate crimes based on race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or disability. The civil rights of all school community members and guaranteed by law, and the protection of those rights is of utmost importance and priority to our School District. The District also prohibits bullying of school community members or other harmful conduct for reasons unrelated to race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or disability. The District will also not tolerate retaliation against persons who take action consistent with this Policy.
The Amesbury Public School District prohibit sexual harassment of school district employees, applicants for employment, or students by any employee, student, or non-employee who conducts business with the school district. This policy applies to conduct during and relating to school, school sponsored activities, and school district business. The Amesbury Public Schools consider sexual harassment in the work and educational environment to be inappropriate and offensive.
Definition of Sexual Harassment
Prohibited sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, in any form such as e-mails, instant messages, sexting via cell phone or websites, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature made by someone from or in the work or educational setting when:
- Submission to the conduct is made, either expressly or by implication, a term of condition of any individual’s employment or educational program;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for an employment or educational decision affecting the individual;
- The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment or of adversely affecting the employee’s or student’s performance, advancement, assigned duties or any other condition of employment, career development, or educational programs;
- Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct by the individual is used as the basis for any decision
affecting the individual regarding benefits and services, honors, assignments, programs or
activities available in the work environment or through the educational institution.
Examples of conduct which may constitute sexual harassment, whether committed by a supervisor, any other employee of the schools, student, or any non-employee doing business with the Amesbury Public Schools, include but are not limited to:
- Leering, staring, sexual flirtations or propositions
- Sexual slurs, epithets, threats, verbal abuse, derogatory comments or sexually degrading description
- Graphic verbal comments about an individual’s body or overly
- Sexual jokes, stories, drawings, pictures or gestures via cell phone or
any other electronic form (sexting) that disrupt the educational or work environment
- Spreading sexual rumors
- Touching an individual’s body or clothes in a sexual way
- Cornering or blocking of a sexual nature of normal movements
- Displaying sexually suggestive objects in the educational or work environment
Any student who engages in the sexual harassment of anyone in the school setting may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. Any employee who permits or engages in the sexual harassment of students may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Any employee who receives a complaint of sexual harassment from a student and who does not act promptly to forward that complaint to the principal and District Equity Coordinator shall be disciplined appropriately.
The Amesbury School System’s ability to discipline a non-employee will be limited by the degree of control that the Amesbury Public Schools has over the alleged harasser or employer of the alleged harasser.
- The Amesbury Public Schools encourages and expects employees and students to report incidents of sexual harassment to their building principal and/or designee and the District Equity Coordinators for the Amesbury Public Schools, Lyn Jaques, 5 Highland Street, Amesbury, 01913, 978-388-0507.
- Any building principal or designee who receives a complaint, verbally or in writing must notify the District Equity Coordinator within twenty-four (24) hours or within a reasonable extension of time thereafter for good cause.
- No complainant shall be required to report an allegation of sexual harassment to the individual who is the harasser.
- It may be possible to resolve an offensive situation informally without an extensive and involved investigation. However, any involved parties may request a formal investigation at any time. Based on the seriousness of the charge, the District Equity Coordinator may decide that a formal investigation is most appropriate to address the issues. Also, the informal procedure may be inappropriate for subsequent allegations of similar conduct by the same individual. Steps taken under this informal procedure will be documented by the District Equity Coordinator.
- Upon receipt of an allegation of sexual harassment, an investigator will initiate an investigation into the complaint within forty-eight (48) hours.
- The Amesbury Public Schools will designate specific employees at each school who are trained to investigate sexual harassment complaints. All complaints will be resolved within thirty (30) days.
- Verbal reports of sexual harassment will be put in writing by the individual complaining or by the person who receives the complaint
- Each complaint of sexual harassment shall be promptly investigated in a way that respects the privacy of all parties concerned to the extent permitted by law and to the extent practical and appropriate under the circumstances
The investigation will consist of personal interviews with the complainant(s), the individual(s), against whom the complaint is filed, and others who may have knowledge of the alleged incident(s) or circumstances giving rise to the complaint. The investigation may also consist of any other methods and documents deemed pertinent by the investigator.
In determining whether “alleged conduct” constitutes a violation of this policy, the Amesbury Public Schools shall consider the surrounding circumstances: the nature of the behavior, past incidents or past or continuing patterns of behavior, the relationship between the parties involved and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. Whether a particular action or incident constitutes a violation of this policy requires a determination based on all facts and surrounding circumstances.
- The complaint investigator will put his/her findings in writing and will forward a copy to the Title IX Compliance Manager within one week or a reasonable extension of time thereafter for good cause after concluding the investigation.
- The investigator will communicate his/her findings to the complainant and the alleged harasser as expeditiously as possible.
- Results may be indeterminate. If so, the matter will be recorded as unresolved and the record of the investigation will be maintained by the Amesbury Public Schools separate and apart from any student or personnel file.
A party may appeal the Title IX Compliance Manager’s decision in writing to the Superintendent within fifteen (15) school days of receipt of the findings of the formal procedure. The Title IX Compliance Manager’s decision will be reviewed to ensure adequacy of the investigations and conclusions. Parties will be given an opportunity to submit additional relevant information. The Superintendent will make a decision and provide it in writing to involved parties within thirty (30) school days.
Upon completion of an investigation and substantiation of the alleged harassment the Amesbury Public Schools will take appropriate corrective action. Such action may include, but is not limited to, an apology, direction to stop the offensive behavior, counseling or training, warning, suspension, exclusion, expulsion, transfer, remediation, termination of employment.
The Amesbury Public Schools district action taken for violation of this policy will be consistent with requirements of applicable collective bargaining agreements, Massachusetts and federal laws and Amesbury Public School policies.
The result of the Amesbury Public School’s investigation of each complaint filed under these procedures will be reported in writing to the complainant by the Amesbury Public Schools in accordance with state and federal laws regarding data or records privacy.
The result of the Amesbury Public Schools’ investigation of each complaint filed under these procedures will be reported in writing to the alleged harasser by the Amesbury Public Schools in accordance with state and federal law regarding data or records privacy.
Any employee who retaliates against any individual who has made a complaint of sexual harassment or participated in an investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
Any student who retaliates against any individual who has made a complaint of sexual harassment or participated in an investigation of any complaint of sexual harassment will be subject to disciplinary action up to an including expulsion.
Any non-employee doing business with the Amesbury School District who retaliates against any individual who has made a complaint of sexual harassment or participated in an investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment will be disciplined subject to the extent that the Amesbury Public Schools has control over the non-employee or his/her employer.
Right to Alternative Complaint Procedures
These procedures do not deny the right of any individual to pursue other avenues of recourse which may include filing charges with the Massachusetts Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education, Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Dept. of Education,, J. W. McCormack, POCH, Room 222, Boston, MA 02109, telephone: 617/223-9662, initiating civil action or seeking redress under criminal statutes and/or federal law.
Sexual Harassment as Child Abuse
Under certain circumstances, alleged sexual harassment may also constitute abuse or neglect under M. G.L. c.119 51A. If so, the requirements for mandatory reporters still apply.
Legal Refs. Title VI, Civil Rights Act - 1964
Title IX, 1972 Education Amendments to Civil Rights Act
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act - 1973
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act
c.622 of Acts of 1971
M.G.L. c.151B and c151c. M. G.L. c.119 51A
Reviewed: 2003; 2004
Revised: 2007; 2008; 2010; 2011; 2012
TECHNOLOGY AND EMPLOYEE EMAIL POLICY IJNDB
The Amesbury Public Schools shall provide access for employees, students and others to the District's electronic networks, including connections to external networks, for limited educational purposes. Educational purposes shall be defined as classroom activities, career and professional development, and high quality self-discovery activities of an educational nature. The purpose of the network is to assist in preparing students for success in life and work by providing access to a wide range of information and the ability to communicate with others. The network will also be used to improved productivity and to increase communication among staff, parents, the community, governmental organizations, and businesses.
The Superintendent or designee shall implement, monitor, and evaluate the district's network for instructional and administrative purposes.
Access to the network is a privilege, not a right. All users shall be required to acknowledge receipt and understanding of all regulations and procedures governing acceptable use of the network and shall agree, in writing, to comply with such regulations. Noncompliance with these policies and procedures may result in suspension or termination of user privileges and may be subject to restitution for costs associated with hardware, software, and system restoration, as well as other disciplinary actions consistent with the policies of the Amesbury Public Schools. Violations of law may result in criminal prosecution as well as in disciplinary action by the Amesbury Public Schools.
As members of a networked community, users have specific responsibilities with regard to the efficient, ethical and legal utilization of computer devices, as well as all networked and Internet resources. All users must strictly adhere to the following guidelines and conditions of use.
- Users are responsible for the proper use of accounts issued to them, such as email, Internet or access to software, and must not provide or display their passwords and login information to anyone, nor leave an application open when unattended.
- Users should change their passwords regularly and make efforts to use passwords that are unique and not easily guessed.
- Users are responsible for all activity under their account.
- Attempts to compromise the security, integrity, or functionality of the system, or possession of tools, while on school or district property, designed to do so, is a violation of this policy. This includes, but is not limited to:
- intentional uploading or creation of computer viruses
- unauthorized use of another user’s credentials
- deletion or alteration of another user’s files or applications
- removing protection to gain access to restricted areas
- unauthorized blocking of access to information, applications, or areas of the network
- Any user identified as a security risk may be subject to severe restriction of, or cancellation of, privileges.
- It is a federal offense to break into any security system. Financial and legal consequences of such actions are the responsibility of the user.
- If you feel you have identified a security problem on the network, notify the MIS Department. Do not demonstrate the problem to other users.
- It is a violation of this policy to introduce or attach any software or hardware that is not owned by the Amesbury Public Schools, or specifically authorized by the MIS Department, to technology used in the Amesbury Public Schools.
- No modification to any hardware or software owned or managed by Amesbury Public Schools may be made without specific authorization by the MIS Department.
System resources are limited and are intended to support the educational objectives of the Amesbury Public Schools.
- The use of technology systems must be consistent with and support educational objectives. Therefore activity on the network, such as Internet sites accessed, communications via email, listservs, forums or chat rooms must support the District's objectives.
- File space has its limits and users should regularly review and delete unnecessary files and email messages on the network.
- Users should make a conscientious effort to conserve district resources. Use of high-bandwidth resources, such as video-conferencing, online music, or streaming video must be related to educational goals and authorized by the MIS Department at the school or district level.
- Users are responsible for backing-up copies of documents that are important to their jobs. The District will not be responsible for loss of data.
Communications, including voicemail messages, email, attached documents and images are not private. In theory, all records (except those specifically excluded by law), whether in electronic or hardcopy form, are subject to the Freedom of Information Act and open to public inspection.
- Amesbury Public Schools reserves the right to examine, restrict, or remove any material that is on or passes through its communication systems.
- Users are asked to use judgment and caution in communications concerning students and staff to ensure that personally identifiable information remains confidential.
- Users may not reveal home addresses, personal e-mail addresses or personal phone numbers of colleagues or students.
The Internet provides access to schools, people and informational sites all over the world. The educational potential is limitless; however, users must understand that neither the Amesbury Public Schools nor any Amesbury Public Schools employee controls the content of the information available on the systems. The school district does not condone the use of controversial or offensive materials and cannot be held responsible for such use. The Amesbury Public Schools is in compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Filtering services are in use on all computers with access to the Internet.
- Users are expected to take individual responsibility for their appropriate use of the Internet
- Student use of the Internet must be supervised and adults must be aware that filtering does not guarantee that students will not access inappropriate sites
- All communications must be polite and use appropriate language. Swearing and vulgar language are considered inappropriate and are a violation of this agreement.
- Messages relating to, or in support of, illegal activities may be reported to local law enforcement authorities.
- Employees and students, under the direction of a teacher, may publish materials on the Internet on District approved sites that support the school district's objectives and are relevant to school-related activities. In publishing information on the Internet, users must adhere to all previously stated conditions and guidelines as well as the following:
- An Internet web page may include pictures of students or items of student work, provided that (a) the students are not identifiable or (b) if permission from the students’ parents/guardians have been received.
- No web page will be linked to a personal web address on another server without permission from the respective employee's or student's principal.
- Copyright laws must be adhered to. Permission to copy or use materials must be obtained from the copyright owner and must be cited. The failure of a site to display a copyright notice may not be interpreted as permission to copy the materials.
- The unauthorized installation, use, storage, or distribution of copyrighted software or materials on district systems is prohibited.
- Some examples of unacceptable use of district systems include:
- Conducting commercial activities, product advertisement, political lobbying, or unethical/illegal solicitation.
- Supporting illegal activities, such as the illegal sale or use of drugs or alcohol, criminal gang activity or threats, intimidation or harassment of any other person or for any activity prohibited by district policy.
- Accessing, distributing or selling files or web sites that contain pornographic or obscene pictures, videos, stories, or other material; or exposing others to such material.
- Purchasing goods or services, without authorization, that requires one to submit a credit card number, or obligates the school or district to another party. The School District will not be held responsible for any financial obligations for goods or services purchased over the Internet or via telephone conversation without appropriate authorization.
- Responding to any messages, files, or web sites that solicit personal information about you or someone else, or request a personal contact with you or another user.
The Amesbury Public School District (Amesbury Public Schools) provides electronic mail resources (email system) to its staff members. Email is defined as any document created, transmitted and/or received through the Amesbury Public Schools’ email system using either a personally-owned electronic device or a device owned by the school district. It is the intent of the Amesbury Public School District to maintain the privacy and integrity of email created using the email system. However, employees should be aware that any and all email transmitted or received by any staff member is considered public record, and subject to the Massachusetts Public Records law, M.G.L. Chapter 66. (For more information, go to: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/arc/arcrmu/rmubul/bul199.htm)
Email correspondence may be subject to public inspection and may be requested during evidentiary discovery in legal actions. Employees should also know that while every attempt will be made to secure the email system, Amesbury Public Schools does not guarantee the privacy of email sent, received, or stored.
Acceptable Use of the Email System
The purpose of the email system is to provide Amesbury Public Schools’ authorized users with the ability to communicate through email for educational purposes and other school business. Communication with peers for academic or school-related business purposes is acceptable, as well as email to students, parents, and the community. Employees should be aware, however, that any written communication is considered to be a legal document and is subject to M.G.L. Chapter 66 above.
Unacceptable Use of the Email System
- Allowing an unauthorized user to access the system. This includes sharing of email passwords that allows another person to access your account.
- Using email for personal monetary gain.
- Harassing other authorized users or generating harassing email to anyone.
- Sending information that violates copyright laws, such as copied images, documents and music files.
- On-line gambling, including sports pools.
- Distribution of pornographic or other offensive materials or images.
- Advocating for products or services
- Advocating for political issues and/or candidates
- Generation of email using a false identity, or pretending to be someone else (spoofing).
- Generation of junk emails, chain letters, or SPAM.
- Forwarding of jokes, prayers, etc.
- Any unauthorized use of the system, including but not limited to, attempt of disruption of services, interception of other users’ emails, or attempt to breach the security of the mail system.
Rights of Amesbury Public School District
The Amesbury Public School District, as owner of the email system, has the right to obtain, copy, and archive all documents or communications created using the system. These documents may be subject to public inspection under the Massachusetts Public Records Law. Deleting a document from a personal mailbox only removes the electronic pointer to the document stored on the server. Even if documents are deleted from users' mailboxes, they continue to be stored on the mail system and are retrievable from the archive.
Amesbury Public Schools may also monitor any email communication at any time for the purpose of maintaining the integrity and continued operation of the email system without providing notification to the employee. To the extent of the law, Amesbury Public Schools also retains the right to disclose the contents of an employee’s mail without the consent of the employee. Disclosure of email would occur if requested by authorized personnel or law enforcement officials, as a response to a request for information in an investigation of unacceptable use or misconduct. All users should be aware that the content of their email is subject to review at any time by authorized personnel.
Notwithstanding the Amesbury Public Schools’ right to retrieve and read any electronic mail or Internet messages or material, such messages or material should be treated as confidential by other users and accessed only by the intended recipient. Users are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of material on the systems. Certain departments may have additional confidentiality obligations regarding records, for which additional policies will be implemented. Without prior management authorization, users are not permitted to retrieve or read email messages that are not sent to them; with prior management authorization, the contents of such electronic mail, Internet access, voicemail messages or materials are subject to being accessed and/or disclosed to others.
The Amesbury Public Schools makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the service it is providing. The Amesbury Public Schools will not be responsible for any damages you suffer. This includes loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, misdirected deliveries, or service interruptions caused by system upgrade or repair, its own negligence, or your errors or omissions. Use of any information obtained via the Internet is at your own risk. The Amesbury Public Schools specifically denies any responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through its services.
The guidelines and conditions outlined in this policy in no way limit the school district's prerogative to manage its technology systems as it sees fit, or restrict its authority to take any actions it deems necessary to adequately supervise, protect, and, if necessary, discipline its users. The district reserves the right to revise this policy at any time, and all revisions will take effect immediately as per district governance.
The signing of this Acceptable Use Policy indicates the party who has signed has read the terms and conditions carefully and understands their significance.
I have read and understand the Amesbury Public Schools Technology Systems Acceptable Use Policy. I am aware that district technology, including the Internet and network access, is designed for educational purposes. However, I also recognize it is impossible for the Amesbury Public Schools to restrict access to all controversial materials, and I will not hold the District responsible for materials acquired on the network. I further understand that the provisions of this policy are subordinate to local, state and federal statute and that violations are unethical and may constitute a criminal offense. Should I commit a violation my access privileges may be revoked and I may be subject to other disciplinary actions prescribed by law or other school policies.
CELL PHONES AND PORTABLE COMMUNICATION DEVICES EGAF
The School Committee recognizes that today’s society is different from previous generations. Cell phones and portable communication devices (PCDs) play in important part in employee and student safety and communications. Cell phones and PCDs are defined as current and emerging technologies that are wireless units that send and/or receive electronic communications in an analog or digital data transmission. The possession or use of cell phones and PCDs are prescribed for employees and students as follows:
- Employees of Amesbury Public Schools are granted permission to possess and use cell phones and PCDs in the official job capacity consistent with their job descriptions.
- Employees who possess and use cell phones and PCDs in their official job functions will be provided a cell phone owned by the Amesbury Public Schools. The use of these units is for school business only. Any personal calls may be charged against the employee if the call causes a financial
charge to the district.
- Administrators and designated employees who are issued school-owned cell phones should keep their phones on and charged during the school day and while conducting school business/events.
- Employees who own a personal cell phone and/or PCD must ensure that the device does not ring or interrupt the academic classroom environment or the job performance of the employee. Employees
must take pro-active steps to ensure that the cell phones do not ring during their instructional hours.
- The school committee may review employee phone call records and charges for any school owned cell phone or PCD at any time.
- Students may possess and carry cell phones and PCDs; however, these units must be turned off during the academic school day to ensure that disruptions and interference of the instructional and academic climate of the school do not occur. Please refer to building-specific policies as noted in student handbooks.
- The school administration may, in its sole discretion, grant exceptions for cell phones and PCD use based upon critical need and appropriate documentation.
- Students who violate this policy may face disciplinary actions by the administration. Additionally, cell phones that are used during the day will be confiscated; students may pick them up after school. Repeated infractions may result in parent notification.
- Amesbury Public Schools will not be liable for any property not picked up within 2 school days.
III. Public Meetings
- During all public meetings, any communication devices must be put in
the “silent” mode. In case of an emergency interruption, an individual must excuse themselves from the meeting and communicate in a private location.
DRUG AND ALCOHOL USE BY STUDENTS JFCH
The Amesbury School Committee recognizes that the use of alcohol and other drugs and the problems associated with it are becoming increasingly commonplace in our society and among youth. One’s own chemical use or that of a family member or friend can have serious and lifelong consequences.
The Amesbury School Committee recognizes that students often need education, assistance and support because of their own drug use or because of drug-related problems in peers and family. The school system is committed to providing education and assistance to any student in need. Also, many students require support for their decision to remain drug free.
The Amesbury School Committee believes that to take steps to promote, enhance and maintain a drug free school system and student body is in the best interest of the community. Together with parents and the community at large, it shares responsibility for helping students remain drug free.
The possession, use, delivery, transfer, or sale of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances including synthetic drugs by students, while in school, prior to or during school sponsored events, or within a radius of 1,000 feet of school property, is illegal and is expressly forbidden.
The Amesbury Public Schools and the Amesbury Police Department jointly execute the conditions set forth in the Memorandum of Understanding, signed annually.
Legal Ref: M.G.L. c94c:31
PL 101-226; 5145 Drug-free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989
Revised: 1993, 1996, 2006, 2013
Reviewed: 1998, 2003
ALCOHOL and OTHER DRUG USE BY STUDENTS JFCH-R
*All violations are accumulated through a student’s high school career.*
- VIOLATIONS AND CONSEQUENCES
FIRST OFFENSE: Parents and law enforcement will be contacted immediately upon verification of the violation of this policy in school or at a school sponsored event. The student will be suspended for up to five (5) days and will be ineligible for participation in all co-curricular activities for a period of two (2) weeks or according to the MIAA chemical health rule when applicable. The principal may reduce the suspension and the loss of co-curricular eligibility, but not MIAA consequences, if:
1 Student agrees to see a designated Intervention Team (IT) member and follow
his/her recommendations satisfactorily; OR
- The student and family agree to an Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse
(AODA) assessment provided at a State approved AODA agency in the
community and conducted by a certified AODA counselor and follow
SECOND OFFENSE: Parents and law enforcement will be contacted immediately upon verification of the violation of this policy in school or at a school sponsored event. A second offense will result in a suspension up to ten (10) days. Any reduction in suspension days is at the discretion of the principal. Appearance before the school committee for disciplinary action will be at the discretion of the building principal. The principal will require that:
- The student agrees to see a designated IT member and follow
his/her recommendations satisfactorily; OR
- The student and family agree to an AODA assessment provided at a State
approved AODA agency in the community and conducted by a certified
AODA counselor and follow his/her recommendations.
THIRD OFFENSE: Parents and law enforcement will be contacted immediately upon verification of the violation of this policy in school or at a school sponsored event. Upon the recommendation of the principal, a Ch. 71, s37H ½ hearing may take place and may result in an expulsion.
Because of the potential dangers to the student presented by his/her acute intoxication with alcohol or other drugs, students exhibiting evidence of acute intoxication, incapacitation or a drug overdose in school or at a school sponsored event will be transported immediately to the local hospital, followed by immediate notification of parents and police. Following his/her return to school this policy guideline will be implemented.
Reductions in length of suspension or extracurricular ineligibility, or of withholding expulsion may be revoked whenever a student fails to demonstrate compliance with expectations of or satisfactory progress in the IT Program.
All school staff is expected to refer to the IT in their building:
- any student who they witness in violation of the above policy;
- any student who exhibits a definite and repeated pattern of unacceptable school performance which does not respond to usual and customary attempts to correct it (IT referral forms attached herewith);
3 any student exhibiting signs, symptoms or indications of an AODA related
- any student who’s self-disclosed AODA related behavior places them or others at risk or imminent danger.
- INTERVENTION TEAM PROGRAM
Referral of a student to the IT by itself does not constitute an allegation that a student has an AODA related problem.
- Students may also be referred to the IT through self-referral or referral by peers, parents, or community representatives.
- An essential feature of the program is that students and their family members are encouraged to contact the building administrators and/or the IT for help with AODA related problems, with the assurance that such contacts will be handled sensitively and confidentially.
- Upon referral to the IT, he/she may consult with the student, parents, and/or staff members in an attempt to assess the nature and scope of the student’s problem. This initial screening will result in one or more of the following recommendations:
- No apparent personal or performance problem at this time; no further action is necessary at this time;
- No apparent AODA related problem at this time; however, referral to other in school or community services is appropriate;
- Further assessment interviews with the IT are needed;
- The student needs to contract for specific behavioral changes in AODA related behavior, monitored through regular meetings between the student and the IT;
- The student needs to satisfactorily complete an IT recommended support group after which additional recommendations will be made;
- The student requires an in-school assessment, involving the student, parents, and IT staff, conducted by a certified AODA counselor for an approved AODA agency in the community;
- The student requires referral to an approved AODA agency for a professional assessment;
- Assessment information supports the need for chemical dependency treatment in an inpatient or outpatient program in the community;
- The student requires involvement in other community services, such as Alateen, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc.
- Except for violations reported under Section 1, a student who self-refers to the IT Program and who is making satisfactory progress in following IT recommendations will not be liable to suspension, extracurricular ineligibility, or other disciplinary action for behavior which occurs prior to self-referral unless:
- the student discloses conduct already reported under Section 1, as a witnessed violation; OR
- the student fails to follow the IT recommendations or to make satisfactory progress in the IT Program.
- Evaluations concerning “satisfactory progress in the IT Program” will be made by the building IT in consultation with the building administrator, and support group facilitators as necessary.
- Participation in the IT Program is voluntary. At all times it is the prerogative of the student and/or parent to accept or reject referral to the IT coordinator/counselor or to community-based services.
- Regardless of whether a student accepts or rejects assistance, it remains his/her responsibility to bring school performance up to acceptable levels or face such corrective or disciplinary actions as may be warranted.
- If a student accepts treatment for chemical dependency, that fact will be considered as it would for any other illness with respect to the student’s rights, benefits and privileges.
- When either the student or parent(s) do not wish to cooperate in making needed assistance available, the student’s status in school may have to be reevaluated, taking into account the best interest of the student, the nature of the problem, and the health, safety, welfare, educational opportunity, and rights of other students and staff.
- Any student judged by the building administrator to present a risk of imminent danger to himself/ herself or others may be removed from the school pending the results of a professional evaluation.
- The school district regards chemical dependency to be a chronic, progressive illness which is fatal if left untreated. Consequently, refusal by parent to seek treatment for a chemically dependent child will result in a report to the Department of Children and Family Services for suspected child abuse/neglect under Section 41A of MGL.
- No records of the student’s participation in the IT Program will become part of the student’s permanent record or cumulative file. Diagnostic labels such as “drug abuser” or “chemically dependent”, in addition to pejorative labels, are never to be used in documents referring to a student. Additionally, professional discretion should be exercised in conversation about the student with third parties by any staff member.
- The use of prescription medications [Medication administration Form] is to be considered an exception to this policy when used by the individual for whom they are prescribed, when used in the manner and amounts prescribed, and when used in accordance with other school policies governing student medications.
- Parents of all students participating in a drug or alcohol intervention IT Program will be specifically notified of their child’s involvement at some point.
- Parents will be informed of their child’s involvement in the IT Program immediately in case of violations of this policy.
- In cases where students participate in the program through self-referral
or other avenues (Section 4), parents will be notified as soon as practical. The IT staff will document reasons behind their decision to postpone parent notification and involvement.
- Prior parent notification and consent will be required in all cases before student contact with any certified AODA counselor who is from an approved AODA community agency and who is not a school district employee.
- The school committee’s protection from liability will be extended to all staff to the extent that they act in accordance with this policy and observe the procedures consistent with it established within their respective buildings.
- The responsibility for operating the IT Program will be in the hands of each building administrator, or designee, who will interpret the district’s policy to students, staff, parents and the community.
- Final decisions regarding disciplinary action and the consequences of other violations of this policy will be made by the building administrator in consultation with the IT and other members of the building core team.
- It shall be the responsibility of each building administrator, or designee, in conjunction with the IT, to develop procedures consistent with this policy and to permit the staff training and in-service necessary for their implementation.
- The school committee will make available resources sufficient for personnel and training necessary for the implementation of this policy.
- Community referrals will be available to students, parents and staff in each school.
Legal Refs.: M.G.L. Ch. 71, s37H and 37H ½
Reviewed: 1998; 2003
Revised: 2006; 2013
TEEN DATING VIOLENCE JFCV
The Amesbury Public Schools is committed to creating a school climate that is supportive, respectful and safe. It is further committed to a climate that is free of violence and harassment among students, staff and visitors in its schools.
The Amesbury Public Schools will not tolerate any displays of teen dating violence in its schools, on school grounds or at school functions. Acts of violence will be dealt with promptly and consequences will be based on the nature and history of the act. If an incident of dating violence occurs, interventions will include disciplinary actions up to and including expulsions. Additionally, recommendations may be made for counseling.
In the event of a dating violence incident, the following persons will be notified: the principal or his designee, caretakers of victim, caretakers of offender, guidance counselor and school nurse. Additionally, notification to outside resources may include: the police, hospital, Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center, District Attorney and Department of Social Services.
Teen dating violence is a pattern of coercive control one person exercises over another. It mirrors adult domestic violence in terms of it existing on a continuum of controlling behaviors. Such behaviors include the actual or threatened psychological, physical, sexual, or economic abuse of an individual by someone with whom they have or have had an intimate relationship. The specific behaviors may range from verbal and emotional abuse, physical assault, to murder and rape. In addition, teen dating violence is seen by some as a stage in intergenerational cycle of violence, linking witnessing or experiencing violence during childhood to perpetrating or experiencing intimate violence in adulthood.
Because teens lack experience with intimate relationships, those in abusive relationships, often have difficulty in defining abuse as problematic. Incidents of the adolescent victim using physical violence toward his/her partner occur with more frequency than between adult victims toward adult perpetrators. Young people may perceive possessive jealousy and controlling behaviors as loving devotion.
Abusive teen dating relationships, similar to adult domestic violence, generally exhibit a pattern. The major elements include the following:
- violence that affects people from all socio-economic, racial, and ethnic groups
- repeated violence that escalates
- violence that increases in severity the longer the relationship continues
- violence and abusive behaviors that are interchanged with apologies and promises to change
- increased danger for the victim when trying to terminate the relationship
- occurrence in heterosexual and gay and lesbian relationships
A complaint of dating violence may be filed by a victim, student, parent or staff member. The complaint may relate to verbal, nonverbal, written, physical or sexual behaviors which are observed, reported or experienced. The complaint may be filed verbally or in writing using the harassment complaint form, to the principal, his/her designee or equity coordinator. A prompt inquiry of the allegations will be initiated following the protocol for sexual harassment investigation as outlined in the student handbook. The investigation will maintain confidentiality to the extent consistent with a fair and full investigation whenever practicable.
Civil Rts. Act - 1964
Title IX, Educational Amendments - 1972
Mass. Gen. Laws: Chapters 265, 209A, 119 Section 51A, 151B, §3A
Policies JFCB/GBCBC and GBCBC/JFCB Anti-Bullying Policies
Revised: 2008; 2013
TEEN DATING VIOLENCE REGULATION JFCV-R
Interviews will be conducted with the victim and person filing the complaint to determine if the behaviors are dating violence or other forms of harassment. The alleged offender will be interviewed separately. When the investigation is complete, parties involved will be informed, to the extent appropriate, of the results.
Investigations involving teen dating violence involving a minor will require parent/guardian notification. In addition, contact may be made with the police, Department of Children and Family Services, under Massachusetts Law Chapter 119, Section 51A and District Attorney’s office.
If it is determined that teen dating violence has occurred, it will be acted upon promptly to eliminate the offending behavior and, as appropriate, impose disciplinary action in accordance to the student handbook. Law enforcement and parents will be notified immediately upon verification of incident the consequences may range from verbal warning/education to suspension/expulsion.
PROVISION OF SUPPORT SERVICES
The principal, in collaboration with selected support staff (equity coordinator, guidance counselor, nurse, teachers) will be responsible for development and implementation of a safety plan for the victim. Counseling and/or other referrals will be made available within both the school and community. Referrals for discipline/diversion/remediation programs will be made to the offender, either in school or to agencies with whom the school system has an agreement to provide such service.
PROTOCOL FOR RESTRAINING ORDERS
The parents/guardian, student or police will notify the school system that a Restraining Order (209A) has been issued. The principal or designee will hold separate meetings with each student and his/her parents/guardian to review the order and its implications.
The Principal, or his designee, in collaboration with counseling staff and school nurse, will develop and implement a safety plan. (attached form) The safety plan should include, but not be limited to:
- A review of the victim’s needs, concerns
- Identification of support and safe staff should violations occur
- schedule changes and issues
Follow up meetings will be scheduled to review the status of the plan as needed.
With the named defendant, who is a student, a meeting will be held to review the terms of the order, expectations for appropriate behavior and the consequence for violation of the order. Violation of a restraining order is a criminal offense and will be reported to police. The onus of the restraining order is on the defendant. A victim cannot violate the restraining order.
With the named defendant who is not a student, description and/or photograph will be kept on record. Police contact will be made to coordinate monitoring of the student victims safety and defendants behavior on or near school property and at school functions.
Civil Rts. Act - 1964
Title IX, Educational Amendments - 1972
Mass. Gen. Laws: Chapters 265, 209A, 119 Section 51A, 151B, §3A
Revised: 2008; 2013
SCHOOL WELLNESS POLICY JLA
The Amesbury Public School district is committed to establishing a school environment that helps students learn and maintain lifelong healthy eating and lifestyle habits. This commitment recognizes that good nutrition and physical activity are essential for students to maximize their full academic potential, reach their physical and mental potentials, and achieve lifelong health and well-being. Improved health optimizes student performance potential and ensures that all children have the opportunity to excel.
It is the goal of the Amesbury Public Schools to promote the student’s physical, emotional and social wellbeing through a coordinated and comprehensive school health program. This includes providing a healthy physical and psychological environment, school nurse services, counseling services, nutritious school meals, health education, Family and Consumer Science education and opportunities for physical education and activity. It is the intent of this policy to enable students to become independent and self-directed learners by taking initiative to meet their own health and nutritional needs as is developmentally and individually appropriate.
The purpose of this policy is to provide direction to the school system for promoting student wellness through nutrition education, physical activity, and the selection of nourishing foods and beverages, fulfilling the requirements of Public Law 108-265, Section 204, June 30, 2004, Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004.
This policy is reflective of the Amesbury Public Schools’ mission statement:
The Amesbury School District is unconditionally committed to every child, ensuring that all students experience success through the development of attitudes and skills necessary for lifelong learning by providing the highest quality staff, meaningful learning experiences, and a vitally involved community.
The wellness policy will be made available at each school building and on the district website for parent review.
Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004; Public Law 108-265
Section 204 of Public Law 108-265—June 30, 2004.
Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, (42 U.S.C.1758(f)(1), 1776(a)
Health and Wellness Administrative Guidelines
The Health and Wellness Advisory Committee is responsible for establishing and measuring the implementation of the district’s Local Wellness Policy. Committee members will work collaboratively and offer multiple perspectives to assure the Local Wellness Policy is consistent with district educational and budgetary goals, designed to optimize the health and well-being of students, and fulfills the requirements of Section 204 of The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-265).
Members shall include but not be limited to Nurse Leader – (Chair), parent(s), student(s), food service director, physical education and health curriculum faculty, and family and consumer science faculty. If possible, representation from administrative, school board and community health professionals is advisable.
The Board responsible for drafting this revised Wellness Policy shall remain engaged in monitoring the policy’s implementation and presenting recommendations to the School Board. Established quality indicators will be used to measure the implementation of the policy. These measures shall include, but not be limited to, an analysis of nutrition education; nutritional content of meals served; student participation rates in school meal programs; any sales of non-nutritious foods and beverages in fundraisers or other venues outside the District’s meal programs; feedback from food service personnel, school administrators, school health councils, parents/guardians, students, and any other appropriate persons; analysis of physical education/activity and wellness communication and promotion.
- Nutrition Education and Promotion
- Program Design
- The Health curriculum and Family and Consumer Sciences curriculum shall be revised and updated, as needed, to comply with state standards and mandates that ensure instructional strategies reflect current best practice. Nutrition topics shall be integrated at every grade level.
- Staff responsible for health and nutrition education shall be adequately prepared and certified to implement through best practice and through participation in continued professional development activities.
- Food Services shall work with Family and Consumer Science to integrate nutrition learning in both the cafeteria and classroom.
- Physical Activity and Physical Education
- Physical Education
- Physical education classes are taught by state certified instructors.
- Physical education will be held in an environment where students learn, practice and are assessed on developmentally appropriate motor skills, social skills and knowledge.
- The district will incrementally adjust the physical education opportunities for student to meet the optimum level of instruction as recommended by the National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE).
- Physical education will include the instruction of individual activities as well as competitive and non-competitive team sports to encourage life-long physical activity.
- Recess Breaks
- Recess for elementary grades will be scheduled before lunch when feasible so that children will come to lunch less distracted and ready to eat.
- Physical Activity Opportunities Before, During and After School
- Students will be given opportunities for physical activity during the school day through daily recess periods, physical education (P.E.) classes, walking programs, and the integration of physical activity into the academic curriculum. Schools will promote an environment supportive of physical activity.
- Students will be given opportunities for physical activity through a range of after-school programs including intramurals, interscholastic athletics, and physical activity clubs, depending on available space.
- Physical Activity and Punishment
- Physical activity (e.g. running laps, pushups) will not be used as a form of punishment.
APS believes that physical activity is an integral part of a child’s day. Staff in the Amesbury
School District shall judiciously limit the use of withholding physical activity as a
punishment. This guideline does not apply to extracurricular sports teams.
- All schools in the district will provide a physical and social environment that encourages safe and enjoyable activity for all students, including those who are not athletically inclined.
- Incorporating Physical Activity into the Classroom
- Opportunities beyond regular physical education class and recess should be incorporated into the classroom as part of their learning or energizing breaks.
- Nutrition Standards for School Foods and Beverages
- Menu Choices
- Foods and beverages available to students at District schools should support the health curriculum and promote optimal health.
- The school meals program will operate in accordance with the National School Lunch Program standards and applicable laws and regulations of Massachusetts. Schools will offer a variety of age appropriate healthy food choices that are consistent with the federal government’s current Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This will include but not be limited to:
- Fresh fruit and vegetables
- No trans-fat foods
- No high fructose corn syrup
- No fried foods
- Increased vegetarian choices
- Increased whole grain foods
- Drink choices to include water, low-fat milk, flavored low-fat milk, skim milk and 100% juices in appropriate serving sizes. (Massachusetts Action for Healthy Kids Report, 2005 and American Beverage Association)
- Menus will be planned with input from students, family members, and other school personnel.
- Food pricing strategies and food marketing programs will be designed and used to encourage students to purchase nutritious meals.
- When possible, contract with local farms for produce.
- School Food Services should recognize and reasonably accommodate individual students’ dietary concerns related to religious practices.
- With appropriate medical documentation, modified meals shall be prepared for students with food allergies or other special dietary needs.
- School meals will be prepared in a way that maximizes nutrient density and reduces fat and sodium.
- Parents and caregivers are encouraged to support a healthy school environment by providing a variety of nutritious foods if meals or snacks are sent from the home.
- Families shall receive educational information that encourages healthful eating and physical activity.
- To encourage consistent health messages between the home and school environment, Health Services, the Advisory Committee and/or faculty may disseminate health information to parents/guardians through district or school newsletters, handouts, parent/guardian meetings, the district or school web site, and other communications. Outreach to parents/guardians shall emphasize the relationship between student health and academic performance.
- Foods and beverages sold at school in the cafeteria and vending machines shall comply with USDA federal and state guidelines.
- Foods and beverages provided through federally reimbursable school meal programs shall meet or exceed federal regulations and guidance issued pursuant to 42 USC 1758(f)(1), 1766(a), and 1779 (a) and (b), as they apply to schools. (Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act)
- All a la carte snacks and beverages offered for sale to students during the school day comply with USDA regulations prohibiting the sale of “foods of minimal nutritional value.”
- FMNV: Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value: Refers to the four categories of foods and beverages (soda water, water ices, chewing gum and certain candies) that are restricted by the U. S. Department of Agriculture under the child nutrition programs.
- FMNV Exemptions: These guidelines do not apply to school nurses using FMNVs during the course of providing health care to individual students.
- Competitive Foods
- Nutrition information for a la carte snacks and beverages offered in snack bars, meal service lines, vending and school stores is readily available to students, parents and the school community.
- Guidelines for Snacks:
- No more than 200 total calories per package
- No more than 35% calories from fat
- No more than 10% calories from saturated fat
- No more than 480 mg sodium
- No more than 35% sugar by weight
- Excludes fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and nut butters.
- Food Environment
- Students should be encouraged to eat a healthful breakfast.
- Students should be provided adequate time for lunch.
- Students participating in after-school programs should be encouraged to eat a healthful snack that follows the guidelines ion this policy.
- Drinking water should be available to students throughout the school day.
- Hand-washing facilities and supplies will be conveniently located, and students are taught the importance of frequent hand washing.
- Food Safety and Security
- For the safety and security of the food and facility, access to the food service facilities is limited to authorized personnel.
- Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points* (HACCP) plans and guidelines shall be implemented to prevent food borne illness.
- At least one manager at each site shall be Serve Safe Certified* and will have completed a Life Threatening Allergy awareness program.
- Local Board of Health inspections shall occur at least twice annually per National School Lunch Program.
* HACCP is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.
*SERVSAFE is a certification program developed by the National Restaurant Association (NRA). The focus of this program is to train foodservice handlers about general food safety principles and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) concepts. The ServSafe program has become the industry standard in food safety training.
- Nutrition Practices in Classrooms
- If and when beverages are consumed in the classroom, they should be limited to water, 100% juice and milk.
- Snacks are encouraged to be healthy and in appropriate portion sizes.
- Food should not be used as either an incentive or a reward for good behavior or academic performance.
- School personnel shall not withhold student access to snacks as punishment.
- The district recognizes that classroom parties and celebrations are a tradition at school. School staff and parents are encouraged to include healthy food offerings at school parties and events to support a healthy environment throughout the district.
- Food and beverages for classroom parties and celebrations will conform to the same standards as competitive food sales. Class parties or celebrations shall be held after the lunch period when possible.
- Fund Raising Activities
- Non-food promotions activities, especially those involving physical activity, are encouraged following the District’s Nutritional Standards. Fundraising activities involving food items should attempt to abide by the same nutritional standards.
- Staff as Role Models/Staff Wellness
- School staff is encouraged to model the components of the wellness policy.
- Amesbury Public Schools highly values the health and well-being of every staff member and will plan and implement Employee Wellness activities and policies that support personal efforts by staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
REVISED: 2010, 2011
Non-Violent Crisis Intervention/Physical Restraint of Students JKAA
All schools and programs within the Amesbury Public Schools strive to maintain safe learning environments for all students and staff. As part of a comprehensive approach to safety, all schools have a physical restraint policy in place with procedures which follow the Department of Education Regulations (766 Reg. 603 C 46.00). If a student’s behavior poses a threat of imminent harm, he/she may be restrained until safe.
Physical restraint is defined as the use of bodily force to limit a student’s freedom of movement. Physical restraint shall only be used as a behavior management tool when other less intrusive alternatives have failed or been deemed inappropriate. In the event that physical restraint is required to protect the safety of school community members, the Amesbury Public Schools has enacted the following policy and procedures to ensure the proper use of restraint and to prevent or minimize any harm to the student as a result of the use of restraint. These procedures shall be annually reviewed, provided to school staff, and made available to parents of enrolled students. None of the foregoing paragraph or the policy/procedures which follow, precludes any teacher, employee or agent of the Amesbury Public Schools from using reasonable force to protect students, other persons or themselves from assault or imminent, serious physical harm.
603CMR s46, MGL c71:37G
Reviewed: 2007; 2009
CHAPTER 622/TITLE IX GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
The law reads as follows: No person shall be excluded from or discriminated against in admission to a public school of any town, or in obtaining the advantages, privileges, and courses of study of such public schools on account of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, ability, religion, or national origin.
Grievance complaint forms are available in the main office. The complaint will go to the principal or designee. The principal or designee will respond in writing within ten days of receiving the complaint. All grievances should be forwarded to Elizabeth McAndrews and Roy Hamond, Title IX Coordinators, Amesbury Public Schools, 978-388-4800.
VEHICLE IDLING REDUCTION EEAEB
Idling vehicles pollute the air and present several health and environmental hazards. Gasoline and diesel vehicles produce carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Carbon monoxide causes respiratory distress and in high concentrations can be lethal; carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming; and VOCs and NOx and form ozone, ground-level smog and impair lung function. In addition, diesel exhaust contains fine particulate matter, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has designated as a likely carcinogen. The elderly, chronically ill and children are all particularly vulnerable to these health effects because their lung function is respectively decreased, impaired or still in development.
In addition, Massachusetts General Law (MGL Chapter 90, Section 16A) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) idling reduction regulation (310 CMR 7.11(1)(b) both prohibit unnecessary vehicle idling by stating that the engine must be shut down if the vehicle will be stopped for more than five minutes. Exemptions include: 1) the vehicle is being serviced and the idling is required to repair the vehicle; or 2) the vehicle is making deliveries and needs to keep its engine running (to power refrigerators, for example); and, 3) the vehicle’s accessory equipment needs to be powered, such as a fork lift or a truck’s rear dump bed, or a wheelchair lift in a bus or van.
In order to reduce the health and environmental effects of vehicle exhaust, comply with the state’s idling reduction regulation and law, and decrease our use of fuel by reducing unnecessary idling, the following actions shall be implemented to the maximum extent practicable:
The school system will make idling reduction a common practice by inserting
the law and this policy into all future contracts with bus vendors, place signs
in appropriate school spaces, and inform the community of our standards through
school-based discussions, school committee meetings, and our website.
Legal Refs: MGL Ch.90,§16A, DEP 310 CMR 7.11(1)(b)
CHAIN OF COMMUNICATION FOR PARENT/GUARDIAN KE
Although no member of the community will be denied the right to bring their concerns to the School Committee, they will be referred through the proper administrative channels for solution before investigation or action by the Committee. Exceptions will be made when the issues concern Committee actions or Committee operations only.
The Committee believes that concerns are best handled and resolved as close to their origin as possible, and that the professional staff should be given every opportunity to consider the issues and attempt to resolve the problem prior to involvement by the Committee.
Means of communication may be in the form of a telephone call or written correspondence. Electronic email may be used with the understanding that all emails are considered public documents. The proper channeling of concerns will be as follows:
- Concerns from parent/guardian regarding academic, behavioral or discipline issues should use the following chain of communication as a means of problem solving:
- School building administrator (assistant principal/principal)
- Central Office (different individual depending on specific issue)
- Director of Finance and Operations
- Director of Teaching and Learning
- Director of Student Services
- Concerns from parent/guardian regarding athletic issues should us the following chain of communication as a means of problem solving:
- Coach of the Team
- Head Coach
- Athletic Director
- Concerns from parent/guardian regarding transportation issues should use the following chain of communication as a means of problem solving:
- Bus Company
- Assistant Principal (if applicable)
- Central Office
- Director of Student Services (if applicable)
- Director of Finance and Operations
- Concerns from parent/guardian regarding all other staff issues should use the following chain of communication as a means of problem solving:
- Central Office
- Director of Student Services (if applicable)
- Director of Teaching and Learning
- Director of Finance and Operations
As one moves further along the chain of communication, the staff is less directly involved and, therefore, will need time to research the situation before they can give an answer or solution. If a response is not received within 48 hours (two school days), it is recommended to move to the next level in the chain of communication. The Committee expects the professional staff to receive complaints courteously and to make a proper reply to the complainant.
Matters referred to the Superintendent and/or the Committee must be in writing and should be specific in terms of the action desired.
The Committee may address concerns only after they have been explored by the appropriate administrative level according to the above sequences.
LEGAL REFS.: MG.L. 76:5
603 CMR 26.00