Board of Education Policies9000 Community
9120 M | PUBLIC RELATIONS PROGRAM
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PUBLIC RELATIONS PROGRAM
9120 PUBLIC RELATIONS PROGRAM
The Board of Education believes all reasonable means should be employed to keep the community served by the school district informed on matters of importance regarding district programs, finances, personnel, policies, and operations.
The Board will determine which of its official actions have sufficient community impact and interest to warrant special release; the Board alone will release to the news media information about those matters of importance. The Board President may release information regarding Board actions of lesser importance as they have been recorded in the minutes of the Board meetings and upon the request of media representatives. The release of all other publications, photographs, and documents depicting the accomplishments of the pupils and staff of the district shall be approved by the Chief School Administrator or designee.
The school district will not release or publish photographs or release other personal identifying information of an individual district pupil without the prior written permission of the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) or from the adult pupil. Written permission slips for such release from each parent(s) or legal guardian(s) or adult pupil will be obtained by the Principal or designee for the pupils in their school building or by the Program Administrator for pupils in programs where a Principal is not assigned. These written permission forms shall be maintained by the Principal or Program Administrator. Group photographs may be released by the district without permission, but in no event will an individual pupil in a group photograph be identified by name and/or by other personal identifier without written permission from the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) or adult pupil.
The Chief School Administrator shall direct an information program designed to acquaint residents of the community and the public generally with the achievements and the needs of the schools. As a minimum, information shall be disseminated regarding the district’s educational goals; the district’s guarantee of equal educational opportunity; the district’s programs for basic skills improvement, special education, bilingual education, and English as a second language; and summary reports of the administration of statewide assessment tests. Every effort shall be made to foresee and avoid problems caused by misunderstanding or lack of information.
The public information program may include the publication and distribution of a district newsletter, meetings with parent(s) or legal guardian(s) and interested residents, a presentation and interpretation of the proposed annual budget, periodically distributed calendars and notices of events, the Superintendent’s annual report, and a pupil handbook, as well as the release of news and photographs of school activities for publication. Notices, publications, and other written materials may be prepared in languages other than English when necessary and appropriate for understanding.
The Board of Education adopts the following strategies to minimize the cost of public relations as defined in N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-9.3(c)14 in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-5.2.
School district publications shall be produced and distributed in the most cost-efficient manner possible that will enable the school district to inform and educate the target community. The use of expensive materials or production techniques where lower cost methods are available, such as the use of multi-color glossy publications instead of suitable, less expensive alternatives, is prohibited.
The school district will not distribute, via mass mailings or other means to the district community at large, publications that include the picture(s) of any members of the Board of Education within ninety days before any election in which any Board member is seeking any elective office or any election relating to school district operations held in the district. Any publication(s) distributed by the Board via mass mailings or other means to the district community at large within sixty days before any election in which any Board member is seeking any elective office or any election relating to school district operations held in the district must be submitted to the Executive County Superintendent for review prior to distribution to ensure that the public funds are being expended in a reasonable and cost-effective manner.
Public relations activities, such as booths at Statewide conferences, marketing activities and celebrations for opening schools and community events, and TV productions that are not part of the instructional program or do not provide information about district or Board operations to the public, that are excessive in nature are prohibited. All activities involving promotional efforts to advance a particular position on school elections or any referenda are prohibited.
Nothing in N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-5.2 and this Policy shall preclude the school district from accepting donations or volunteer services from community members, local private education foundations and local business owners to conduct or assist in public relations services. Examples include, but are not limited to: providing school district flyers, newsletters, or other materials containing school-related information of public concern to local businesses, public meeting places, or other local organizations to display or make available for dissemination; making school district related information of public concern available to local newspapers to publish related articles; and utilizing volunteered services of local community members, district employees, members of parent organizations or local businesses with expertise in related areas such as printing, advertising, publishing, or journalism.
The Board of Education will establish annually prior to budget preparation, a maximum dollar limit for public relation, as defined in N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-9.3(c)14. In the event it becomes necessary to exceed the established maximum dollar limit for public relations, the Chief School Administrator shall recommend to the Board of Education an increase in the maximum dollar amount for public. Any increase in the maximum dollar amount shall require formal Board action.
Adopted: 20 October 2009
9130 | PUBLIC COMPLAINTS & GRIEVANCES
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PUBLIC COMPLAINTS AND GRIEVANCES
9130 PUBLIC COMPLAINTS AND GRIEVANCES
Any person or group having a legitimate interest in the schools of this district may present a request, suggestion, or complaint concerning district personnel, the educational program, instructional or resource materials, or the operations of the district. The Board directs the establishment of procedures for the hearing and settlement of requests and complaints that provide a means for resolving them fairly and impartially, permit appropriate redress, and protect district personnel from unnecessary harassment.
When a Board member is confronted with an issue, he/she will withhold comment, commitment and/or opinion and refer the complaint or inquiry to the Chief School Administrator, who shall review the complaint according to established procedures.
Only in those cases where satisfactory adjustment cannot be made by the Chief School Administrator and the staff shall communications and complaints be referred to the Board for resolution.
Any misunderstandings or disputes between the public and school district staff should, whenever possible, be settled by direct, informal discussions among the interested parties. It is only when such informal meetings fail to resolve differences that more formal procedures shall be employed. A complaint about a school program or personnel should be addressed to the Building Principal; a complaint about instructional or resource materials should be addressed to the Chief School Administrator.
The Chief School Administrator shall establish procedures for the hearing of requests and complaints regarding district personnel, the educational program, instructional and resource materials, and the operation of the school district. Procedures will be governed by the following guidelines:
- The matter will be resolved initially, wherever possible, by informal discussions between or among the interested parties.
- A matter that cannot be resolved informally may be appealed at successive levels of authority, up to and including the Board of Education.
- The complaint and its immediate resolution will be reduced to writing at the first and at each successive level of appeal.
- A reasonable period of time, not to exceed five working days, will be permitted for the filing of an appeal in writing at each successive level. A decision at each level of appeal must be rendered in writing no later than ten working days after the appeal is filed, except that the Board shall have thirty calendar days to make its decision.
- In the case of complaints about instructional or resource materials, the initial complaint must set forth in writing the author, title, and publisher of the materials as well as those specific portions of the material or the work to which objection is taken; the complainant’s familiarity with the work; the reasons for the objection; and the use of the work in the schools. The Chief School Administrator shall appoint a committee of professional staff members and community representatives to review the challenged material against the standards for the selection of resource materials established by Board policy. The committee will report its findings to the Board. No challenged material may be removed from the curriculum or from a collection of resource materials except by action of the Board of Education, and no challenged material may be removed solely because it presents ideas that may be unpopular or offensive to some. Any Board action to remove material will be accompanied by the Board’s statement of its reasons for the removal.
- A complainant shall be notified that a decision of the Board may be appealed to the Commissioner of Education.
Adopted: 13 November 2008
9150 | SCHOOL VISITORS
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9150 SCHOOL VISITORS
The Board of Education welcomes and encourages visits to school by parent(s) or legal guardian(s), other adult residents of the community, and interested educators. In order for the educational program to continue undisturbed when visitors are present and to prevent the intrusion of disruptive persons into the schools, the Board directs the enforcement of rules governing school visits.
The Chief School Administrator and Building Principal each possess the authority to prohibit the entry of any person into a school of this district or to expel any person from the school when there is reason to believe the presence of such person would be inimical to the good order of the school. If such a person refuses to leave the school grounds or creates a disturbance, the Principal is authorized to request from the local law enforcement agency whatever assistance is required to remove the individual.
Visitors shall be required to register their presence in the school. No staff member shall transact business with or permit the continuing presence in the school of a visitor who has not been duly registered.
No visitor may confer with a pupil in school without the approval of the Principal; any such conference may take place only in the presence of a teaching staff member and/or administrator.
The Chief School Administrator shall develop regulations that will protect pupils and employees of the district from disruption to the educational program and the efficient conduct of their assigned tasks.
N.J.S.A. 18A:17-42; 18A:20-1; 18A:20-34
Adopted: 13 November 2008
9180 | SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS
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9180 SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS
The Board of Education recognizes the services of volunteers can enrich the educational program, assist teaching staff members in the performance of their duties, and enhance the relationship between the school district and the community. The Board authorizes a program for the utilization of volunteer services in the school(s) of the school district.
An unpaid volunteer is not required to complete a criminal history record check.
The Principal or designee shall be responsible for the recruitment and screening of volunteers, may delegate the assignment of volunteers to specific tasks, and must submit their names for Board approval.
Volunteers must be persons of known character, responsibility, and integrity.
Neither the Superintendent nor any Principal shall be obligated to utilize the proffered services of a volunteer whose abilities or interests do not serve the needs of pupils.
Each school volunteer shall be given a copy of this Policy and the rules of conduct.
The following guidelines shall govern the service of school volunteers:
- Volunteers may serve only under the direction and supervision of an appropriately certified or licensed staff member;
- Volunteers should clearly understand their duties and responsibilities and perform no service outside those duties;
- Volunteers serve only in a support capacity; only appropriately certified or licensed staff members are responsible for educational planning and decisions and the teaching of new concepts;
- Volunteers shall respect the individuality, dignity, and worth of each child;
- Volunteers are not permitted access to pupil records;
- Volunteers should exercise discretion in discussing their school activities with others in the community and must maintain confidential any information that if disclosed would violate Federal and State laws;
- Volunteers may consult with the Principal regarding their duties and responsibilities; and
- Volunteers shall receive no financial remuneration from the Board.
N.J.S.A. 18A:6-7.1; 18A:6-7.2
Adopted: 13 November 2008
Revised: 23 June 2015
9200 | COOPERATION BETWEEN PARENTS AND SCHOOL
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COOPERATION BETWEEN PARENTS AND SCHOOL
9200 COOPERATION BETWEEN PARENTS AND SCHOOL
The Board of Education believes that the education of children is a joint responsibility that the Board shares with the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of pupils. To ensure that the best interests of the child are served in this process, a strong program of communication between home and school must be maintained.
It is the position of the Board that parent(s) or legal guardian(s) bear the ultimate responsibility for their children’s in-school behavior, including the behavior of pupils who have reached the legal age of majority, but are still for all practical purposes under parental authority.
The Board directs that cooperation be encouraged by parent-teacher conferences that permit two-way communication between home and school; open houses in district schools that provide parent(s) or legal guardian(s) with the opportunity to see the school facilities, meet the faculty, and observe the program on a first hand basis; meetings of staff members and groups of the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of those pupils having special abilities, needs, or problems; and special events of a cultural, ethnic, or topical nature, which are initiated by parent groups, involve the cooperative effort of pupils and parent(s) or legal guardian(s), and are of general interest to the schools or community.
Adopted: 13 November 2008
9210 | PARENT ORGANIZATIONS
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9210 PARENT ORGANIZATIONS
The Board of Education will encourage and support organizations of parent(s) or legal guardian(s) whose objectives are to promote the educational interests of district pupils.
No parent organization may organize pupils or sponsor school activities or solicit moneys in the name of this school district or of any school in the district without the prior approval of the Board. Such approval must be sought by written application to the Chief School Administrator.
Representatives of recognized parent organizations shall be treated by district employees as interested friends of the schools and as supporters of public education in the school district.
The Board relies upon parent organizations to operate in a manner consistent with public expectations for the schools and reserves the right to withdraw recognition from any parent organization whose actions are inimical to the interests of the pupils of this district.
Adopted: 13 November 2008
9230 | PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES
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9230 PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES
The Board of Education believes that children benefit when parent(s) or legal guardian(s) recognize and discharge a responsibility to encourage and support the learning process.
Parent(s) or legal guardian(s) can help children learn by:
- Requiring that children obey all school rules and by accepting responsibility for a child’s improper conduct;
- Sending children to school with proper attention to health, personal cleanliness, and dress;
- Maintaining an active interest in each child’s daily work and making it possible for the child to complete assigned homework by providing a quiet place and suitable conditions for study;
- Reading communications from the school and signing and returning them promptly when so requested;
- Attending conferences arranged for the exchange of information on the child’s progress in school; and
- Scheduling family matters to minimize interference with school time.
Adopted: 13 November 2008
9240 | RIGHTS OF PARENTS
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RIGHTS OF PARENTS
9240 RIGHTS OF PARENTS
The Board of Education recognizes that the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of each child are ultimately responsible for the care and custody of that child, and that both parent(s) or legal guardian(s) share that responsibility equally. The Board recognizes as well that, where only one parent has legal custody of a child, the rights and responsibilities of the other parent may be limited. The Board believes that the interests of the child are best served by the continuing involvement of both parents in the child’s life and well-being.
The Board will presume that each natural or adoptive parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of a pupil enrolled in this district possesses full parental rights of access to the pupil and to information about the pupil, notwithstanding any separation of the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) or dissolution of their marriage. Accordingly, and in the absence of notice to the contrary, the Board directs that school administrators accommodate the needs of both parent(s) or legal guardian(s) for access to their child, to their child’s teachers, and to information about their child.
Every parent, except as prohibited by federal and state law, shall have access to records and information pertaining to his/her unemancipated child, including, but not limited to, medical, dental, insurance, child care and educational records, whether or not the child resides with the parent, unless that access is found by the court to be not in the best interest of the child or the access is found by the court to be sought for the purpose of causing detriment to the other parent.
The place of residence of either parent shall not appear on any records or information released pursuant to the provisions of this section.
A child’s parent(s), guardian(s) or legal custodian(s) may petition the court to have a parent’s access to the records limited. If the court, after a hearing, finds that the parent’s access to the record is not in the best interest of the child or that the access sought is for the purpose of causing detriment to the other parent, the court may order that access to the records be limited. Proper notice of court action consists of the custodial parent’s sworn affidavit or certification supported by a copy of the pertinent portion of a legal agreement or court order that awards custody and establishes the rights and limitation of the noncustodial parent or terminates the parental rights of the noncustodial parent.
Nothing in this policy shall be construed as limiting in any way the rights of the noncustodial parent whose parental rights have not been terminated to full access to his/her child’s records.
N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.6 et seq.; 18A:47-4; 18A:47-8
N.J.A.C. 6A:32-7.1; 6A:32-7.5; 6A:14-1.3; 6A:14-2.9
Adopted: 13 November 2008
9260 | PARENTAL LIABILITY FOR VANDALISM
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PARENTAL LIABILITY FOR VANDALISM
9260 PARENTAL LIABILITY FOR VANDALISM
The school property held in trust by this Board of Education represents a substantial investment of the taxpayers of the school district; liability for the willful and malicious destruction of that property should be borne by those directly and indirectly responsible.
The Board further believes that parent(s) or legal guardian(s) are ultimately responsible for the supervision and discipline of pupils and that the knowledge that they are vicariously liable for the acts of their children and wards will encourage parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to exercise that responsibility more vigorously.
Where any property, real or personal, owned by this Board has been willfully and maliciously damaged by any minor, whether or not the person is enrolled in this district, the Board shall bring civil action against the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) having legal custody and control of the person at the time the damage was caused, for the full amount of the damage.
Adopted: 13 November 2008
9280 | PARENT CONFERENCES
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9280 PARENT CONFERENCES
The Board of Education endorses the parent-teacher conference as an effective means of permitting parent(s) or legal guardian(s) and teachers to share information about pupils and the educational program in a constructive setting.
The Chief School Administrator is directed to schedule parent-teacher conferences at such times as will permit the maximum attendance of parent(s) or legal guardian(s), including working parent(s) or legal guardian(s); to encourage the participation of parent(s) or legal guardian(s); and to provide in-service training to teachers to assist them in making most effective use of the conference.
The Board believes that the information exchanged in parent-teacher conferences can be of great importance to the pupil’s ability to profit educationally; such conferences are, therefore, an essential part of the instructional program and an integral part of a teacher’s professional responsibility. Accordingly, all teachers are required to attend the parent conferences scheduled for the children assigned to them. A teacher’s failure to observe this policy may be cause for discipline.
The Board regards parent-teacher conferences as non-adversarial meetings in which all persons present are united in a common interest in the educational well-being of the pupil. The parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the pupil may bring to the conference additional persons who share that interest and wish to aid the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) and the teacher. When a parent(s) or legal guardian(s) desires the representation of legal counsel at the conference, however, the Board may wish to be similarly represented. Accordingly, the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) who plans to bring legal counsel to a parent-teacher conference shall notify the school Principal of that intention no later than five working days in advance of the conference in order that the Chief School Administrator may secure such legal representation as he/she may deem advisable.
Adopted: 13 November 2008