Annual Notifications

Index


Annual Professional Performance Review

APPR stands for Annual Professional Performance Review, and it is the process by which teachers and principals are evaluated in New York state. The purpose of APPR is to empower educators to improve the quality of instruction in schools and, in turn, to improve students’ performance and readiness for colleges and careers. APPR plans must meet strict state guidelines and are negotiated with local unions. Under state guidelines, APPR takes into account classroom observations, student test scores, and a variety of achievement and assessment measures – many of which are decided at the local level. Teachers and principals across New York ultimately receive a number grade every year, which equates to an effectiveness rating.

All parents/guardians have the right to obtain the APPR quality ratings and composite effectiveness scores for their child’s teacher(s) and principal(s) once the scores are officially available in accordance with state law. Parents/guardians who wish to request teacher/principal APPR quality ratings and composite effectiveness scores must do so by filling out and submitting a request form.

Please fill out this Request for Teacher or Principal APPR Score & Effectiveness Rating form and return it to the district office.


Asbestos Management Plan

As required by the EPA, the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District has kept Asbestos Management Plans for the district. This notification must be given annually, stating that the Asbestos Management Plans are on file in each Principal’s office and collectively at the Facilities & Operations Office. These records are available for review during normal business hours. As required, periodic surveillances are conducted every six months.


Attendance Policy

Being present in school is essential for students to make academic progress. The objective of the district’s comprehensive attendance policy is to promote student attendance and identify the process used to address issues related to unexcused absences, incidents of tardiness and early departures. The district utilizes a variety of strategies to encourage student attendance, including sharing information with students and families, celebrating exemplary attendance, family outreach and imposing sanctions when needed. Communication about attendance expectations and addressing attendance issues is an important part of the policy.

In general, the following types of absences, incidents of tardiness or early departures are considered excused: personal illness, illness or death in the family, impassable roads due to inclement weather, religious observance, quarantine, required court appearances, attendance at health clinics, approved college visits, approved cooperative work programs, military obligations or other such reasons as may be approved by the Board of Education.

An absence, tardiness or early departure is considered unexcused if the reason for the lack of attendance does not fall into the above categories (e.g., family vacation, hunting, babysitting, haircut, obtaining learner’s permit, road test, oversleeping, etc.)

The school will notify parents/guardians when unexcused attendance issues reach specific thresholds identified in the policy. This notification includes letters, phone calls and potentially household visits, depending upon the extent of the attendance issues.

School principals work with staff members to regularly review student attendance and develop building- and individual plans to address any issues in partnership with students and families.


BMI Reporting to NY State

As part of a required school health examination, a student is weighed and his/her height is measured. These numbers are used to figure out the student’s body mass index or ‘BMI’. The BMI helps the doctor or nurse know if the student’s weight is in a healthy range or is too high or too low. Recent changes to the New York State Education Law require that BMI and weight status group be included as part of the student’s school health examination. A sample of school districts will be selected to take part in a survey by the New York State Department of Health. If Fonda-Fultonville is selected to be part of the survey, we will be reporting to New York State Department of Health information about our students’ weight status groups. Only summary information is sent. No names and no information about individual students are sent. However, you may choose to have your child’s information excluded from this survey report.

The information sent to the New York State Department of Health will help health officials develop programs that make it easier for children to be healthier.

If you do not wish to have your child’s weight status group information included as part of the Health Department’s survey this year, please contact your school nurse.


Child Abuse Hotline Notification

If you suspect a child is being abused or maltreated (neglected), report it by calling 1-800-342-3720, a toll-free 24-hour hotline operated by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. If you believe a child is in immediate danger, call 911 or your local police department. Information about reporting child abuse and maltreatment (neglect) is available online at http://ocfs.ny.gov/main/cps/.


Code of Conduct

Under requirements of the New York State SAVE Act, the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District is providing this summary of its Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct applies to ALL students, school personnel, parents and other visitors when on school property (including school buses/vehicles) or attending a school-sponsored activity. The code contains information pertaining to possible actions/consequences to be taken by the classroom teacher or staff member in order to handle an offense. The classroom teacher/staff member may use the consequences as a guideline and he/she is not limited to the suggested action/consequences outlined in the code.

Included with the Code of Conduct is the Bill of Student Rights and Responsibilities, which outlines issues such as:

  • Prohibited acts
  • Student activities
  • Rights of privacy
  • Search of student lockers
  • Alternative Education policies
  • Maintenance of public order on school property
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Enforcement and penalties

Procedures for disciplinary measures and the appeal process are also included in the Code of Conduct. Please be aware that all students will be informed of the Code of Conduct as a requirement of the SAVE legislation.


Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

The Dignity For All Students Act says NO student shall be subjected to harassment or discrimination by employees or students on school property or at a school function based on their actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, transgender or sex.

For our students: You should feel safe at school and at all school activities. The words and actions of others should not keep you from concentrating on your schoolwork.

Everyone is different, and no one should be harassed or threatened because of those differences. It is against school rules for anyone to make you feel threatened or unsafe, or for you to do the same to anyone else. The Dignity for All Students Act protects you and helps everyone feel safe at school so they can learn. If you need help, are a victim or witness someone else being harassed or bullied, talk to your teacher or the DASA coordinator right away.

DASA coordinators are the school principals: Darcy Williams, David Zadoorian and Aaron Grady.


Disclosure to the Military

Pursuant to federal law, the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District must disclose to military recruiters, upon request, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of high school students. Parents/guardians or students age 18 or older who do not want this information released to military recruiters should contact the district office.


Equal Opportunity/Non-Discrimination Policy

The district hereby advises students, parents, employees and the general public that it does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, national origin, religion, age, economic status, marital status, military status, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics or sexual orientation in its educational programs, activities or employment practices.

This policy of nondiscrimination includes, but is not limited to: (a) access by students to educational programs, counseling services, course offerings, student athletics, student employment assistance, extracurricular activities and other school resources; and (b) recruitment and appointment of employees, as well as their compensation, benefits, opportunities for advancement and/or terminations.

Further, the district, its officers, employees and agents shall not discriminate against students on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sex; sexual orientation, or gender (including gender identity and expression).


Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), parents and students who are over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) have the right to inspect and review the student’s educational records. Such a request must be sent in writing to the main office of your school.

FERPA letter
FERPA form

Contacts:

Arrangements will be made to provide access to such records within 45 days after the request has been received.

Parents also have the right to request the amendment of the student’s education records believed to be inaccurate or misleading by writing to the Assistant Superintendent for Business, identifying the record and specifying what they believe is inaccurate and why.

They have the right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information in a student’s education record, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. It is the district’s policy to disclose personally identifiable information from student records, without consent, to school district officials with legitimate educational interests (i.e., to fulfill professional responsibilities) and, upon request, to another school district or institution in which a student seeks enrollment. School officials include administrators, supervisors, instructors and support staff employed by the district; Board of Education members; a person or company (e.g., attorney, auditor or therapist) with whom the district has contracted to perform a special task; or a parent or student serving on an official committee or assisting another school official in performing duties. Parents who believe the district has not complied with FERPA requirements may file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC, 20202-4605.


Fire Inspection Report

Notice is hereby given that the annual inspection for 2017 of the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District for fire hazards that might endanger the lives of students, teachers, employees therein, has been completed and the report is available at the district office for inspection by all interested persons.


Free & Reduced-Price Lunch Program

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and New York State understand the importance of healthy meals for growing children. We encourage all district families to apply and see if they qualify for free or reduced-priced meals at school. Please note that all information received on applications is strictly confidential and students’ who receive a benefit are never identified.


Grade Promotion & Placement

Decisions about student promotion and placement are at the discretion of the building principal or administration. These decisions are guided by recommendations of teachers and staff members, past academic performance, and parent/guardian input. Past academic performance refers to a variety of indicators of student achievement and growth. Promotion and placement decisions are not based solely on student performance on New York state assessments in grades 3-8 English language arts or mathematics. The district’s promotion and placement policy was adopted by the board of education following a review by the district administration.


Health Information Privacy (HIPPA)

The district’s policy regarding Health Information Privacy is detailed in Policy No. 7514.


Homeless Student Policy

All programs and services of the district are available to homeless students and unaccompanied youth. Whenever a homeless child or unaccompanied youth seeks to enroll in the district, and at least twice annually, while the child is enrolled, the parent and child will be informed of their rights. Some of these rights include the right to attend the school they previously attended or to attend school in the district of current location, the right to be enrolled even though the admission requirements have not been completed and prior student records are not available, and the right to transportation to and from school.


Idling Buses on School Grounds

State law requires school districts to take steps to minimize the idling of the engines of school buses and other school vehicles on school grounds. While students are boarding and departing school buses, the engine should be turned off. Students should be instructed about the importance of getting on and off buses in an orderly and efficient fashion to minimize loading and offloading time. Bus engines should also be off while parked at sporting events and other school activities. Exceptions to this “no idling” policy can be made in cases of emergency, mechanical issues or for necessary heating.


Meal Charging

The meal charging policy at Fonda-Fultonville includes a grace period during which students may charge – but will not be permitted to exceed – a limit of $10, as set forth by the FFCS Board of Education Policy 5660. Students will not be permitted to exceed that limit until any outstanding charges are paid in full.

In order to permit students to have a meal when they have not brought money to pay
for lunch, the following procedures will be followed:

  • Students are permitted to charge a full lunch when they have not brought lunch to school.
  • No charges are permitted on ala carte or snack food items.
  • Our Food Service Department will notify families of any charges that result in a negative balance on meal accounts using our automated phone/email system. If balances remain delinquent, follow-up phone calls, and/or letters by Food Service Coordinator may occur.
  • Delinquent charging is defined as $10. At this point, no further charges will be allowed. The student will be given a peanut butter/jelly sandwich, fruit and milk. Substitutions will be made in situations where food allergies exist. This meal will be charged to the student’s account at the normal rate for each building.

Parents are responsible for the charges of their children, and will be held accountable for delinquent charges. If not paid, appropriate action will be taken by the district.


Integrated Pest Management

New York State Education Law requires the district to provide written notification to all persons in parental relation, faculty and staff regarding the potential use of pesticides periodically throughout the school year. The district is required to maintain a list of persons in parental relation, faculty and staff who wish to receive 48-hour prior written notification of certain pesticide applications. Please contact the district office at (518) 853-4415 if you would like to be added to this list.

The following pesticide applications are not subject to prior notification requirements:

  • A school remains unoccupied for a continuous 72 hours following an application;
  • Anti-microbial products;
  • Nonvolatile rodenticides or insecticidal baits in tamper resistant bait stations, silica gel and other nonvolatile ready-to-use pastes, foams or gels in areas inaccessible to children;
  • Boric acid and disodium octaborate tetrahydrate;
  • The application of EPA designated biopesticides or exempt materials under 40CFR152.25;
  • The use of aerosol products with a directed spray in containers of 18 fluid ounces or less when used to protect individuals from an imminent threat from stinging and biting insects including venomous spiders, bees, wasps and hornets.

Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security

The Fonda-Fultonville Central School District is committed to ensuring student privacy in accordance with local, state and federal regulations and district policies. To this end and pursuant to U.S. Department of Education (DOE) regulations (Education Law §2-d), the district is providing the following Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security:

  • A student’s personally identifiable information cannot be sold or released for any commercial or marketing purposes.
  • Parents have the right to inspect and review the complete contents of their child’s education record, including any student data maintained by the Fonda-Fultonville School District. This right of inspection of records is consistent with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Under the more recently adopted regulations (Education Law §2-d), the rights of inspection are extended to include data, meaning parents have the right to inspect or receive copies of any data in their child’s educational record. The New York State Education Department (SED) will develop further policies and procedures related to these rights in the future.
  • State and federal laws protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information and safeguards associated with industry standards and best practices, including but not limited to, encryption, firewalls and password protection, must be in place when data is stored or transferred.
  • A complete list of all student data elements collected by the state is available for public review in an Excel file at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/sirs/documentation/NYSEDstudentData.xlsx. Parents may also obtain a copy of this list by writing to the Office of Information & Reporting Services, New York State Education Department, Room 863 EBA, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, N.Y. 12234.
  • Parents have the right to have complaints about possible breaches of student data addressed. Complaints should be directed to: Jarrod Baker, Network Systems Coordinator, Fonda-Fultonville Central School District, 112 Old Johnstown Road P.O. Box 1501, Fonda, NY, 12068-1501. Complaints to SED should be directed to: Chief Privacy Officer, New York State Education Department, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234; the e-mail address is cpo@mail.nysed.gov. SED’s complaint process is under development and will be established through regulations from the department’s chief privacy officer, who has yet to be appointed.

Right to Know

As a parent of a student in the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District, you have the right to know the professional qualifications of the classroom teacher(s) who instruct your child. Federal law allows you to ask certain information about your child’s classroom teacher(s) and requires us to give you this information in a timely manner if you ask for it.

Specifically, you have the right to ask for the following information about each of your child’s classroom teacher(s):

  • Whether the NYS Education Department has licensed or qualified the teacher for the grades and subjects he or she teaches.
  • Whether the NYS Education Department has decided that the teacher can teach in the classroom without being licensed or qualified under state regulation because of special circumstances.
  • The teacher’s college major and whether the teacher has any advanced degrees and, if so, the subject of the degree.
  • Whether any paraprofessionals provide service to your child and, if they do, their qualifications.

Please contact the district office at (518) 853-4415 if you wish to access this information.


Student Directory Information

Student directory information (defined as name, grade, school, town of residence, photograph, participation in activities and/or sports, and any honors or awards received) may be released for publicity purposes to the media or other organizations and/or used in school district publications or on the official district website. Parents/guardians who object to the release of their child’s directory information should notify in writing both the superintendent of schools and their child’s building principal within 14 days of the start of each school year.


Student Privacy

The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment provides parents/guardians with certain rights regarding the conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams.  In particular, if a survey is funded in whole or part by the U.S. Department of Education, parents/guardians have the right to consent before students are required to complete a survey that asks about any of the following protected areas:

  • Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parents/guardians;
  • Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
  • Sexual behavior or attitudes;
  • Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
  • Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
  • Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;
  • Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student’s parent; or
  • Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.

Parents/guardians will also receive a notice and an opportunity to opt students out of the following:

  • Any other survey that asks about the above protected areas;
  • Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attending school or school functions, with the exception of physical exams or screenings required or permitted by state law (e.g. hearing, vision, or scoliosis); and
  • Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.

Parents/guardians have the right to inspect any surveys that ask about the above protected areas, as well as surveys created by third parties that are used to collect personal information from students for marketing purposes, and instructional materials used as part of the curriculum.

The school district will directly notify parents/guardians of its student privacy policy at the start of each school year and after any substantive changes. Parents/guardians will also be provided with reasonable notification of specific activities or surveys covered by this policy and the ability to opt their child out of such activities.

These rights transfer from the parents/guardians to a child who is at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor.

Anyone who believes their rights have been violated may file a complaint with: Family Policy Compliance Office; U.S. Department of Education; 400 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, D.C.  20202.