Parent Notification Guide
Dear Parent/Guardian and Community Member,
This publication is being made available to you as a resource to identify specific policies of the York School Department. This publication is meant to provide you with an overview of the selected policies only and is not inclusive of all School Committee approved policies. The York School Department is required by state and federal mandates to notify parents and the community that these policies exist and have been approved by the York School Committee. These policies represent only a small portion (see below) of the total policies used to govern the York School Department. The full text of the policies is available online. People seeking assistance with these policies may contact the school Principals or the Superintendent of Schools.
School Committee policies are the governing regulations of the York School Department. Each school individually prepares a student/parent handbook that is designed to provide important information to students and parents. The handbook may provide an overview of some of the School Department policies but the student/parent handbook cannot be inclusive of all School Committee policies. School Committee policy will always take precedent in circumstances when there may be a conflict between the handbook and Committee policy.
It is the intent of the York School Department to provide parents and the community with all information necessary to identify School Committee policies.
Lou Goscinski, Superintendent of Schools
Non-Discrimination/Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action: AC
Grievance Procedure for Persons with Disabilities: AC-R
Harassment & Sexual Harassment of Students: ACAA
Student Discrimination & Harassment Complaint Procedure: ACAA-R
Tobacco Use and Possession: ADC
Pest Management in School Facilities and on School Grounds: ECB
Bomb Threats: EBCC
Copyright Compliance: EGAD
Referral Policy: IHBAA
Instructional & Library Materials Selection: IJJ
Student Computer & Internet Use: IJND
Internet Filtering: IJNDF
Graduation Requirements: IKF
Early Graduation: IKFA
System-Wide Student Code of Conduct: JIC
Extra-Curricular and Co-Curricular Activities Code of Conduct for York High School: JICI
Student Dress Code: JICA
Student Substance Abuse: JICH
Weapons, Violence & School Safety: JICIA
Questioning and Searches of Students: JIH
Questioning and Searches of Students-Administrative Procedure: JIH-R
Bullying and Cyberbullying: JICK
Student Allergies: JLCCB
Student Education Records and Information: JRA
Annual Notice of Student Education Records and Information Rights: JRA-E
Student Education Records and Information Administrative Procedure: JRA-R
Parent Involvement with Title I: KBF-E1
Limited English Proficiency Students
Admission of Homeless Students: JFABD
FOUNDATIONS AND BASIC COMMITMENTS
Nondiscrimination/Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action:
York School Committee policy prohibits discrimination against and harassment of students and school employees because of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ancestry or national origin, age, or disability. Further, it directs the establishment of an Affirmative Action Plan, designation of an Affirmative Action Officer responsible for ensuring compliance with all federal and state civil rights laws, and notification of said compliance.
Reference: Policy AC
Grievance Procedure for Persons with Disabilities:
Provision is made for any student/parent or employee who has a grievance concerning any alleged discrimination to obtain counsel and guidance from the Affirmative Action Officer after first attempting to resolve the grievance with the appropriate administrator. The procedure for filing a grievance, and the rules regulating the grievance procedure, are outlined.
Reference: Policy AC-R
Harassment and Sexual Harassment of Students:
Verbal, physical or sexual harassment is prohibited and may constitute illegal discrimination under state and federal laws. Harassment is considered grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including discharge of a school employee or expulsion of a student.
Reference: Policy ACAA
Student Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Procedure:
Any student who believes he/she has been discriminated against or harassed should report the concern promptly to the principal/designee. If any staff member, parents or other adults feel that harassment has taken place, they should report it immediately.
The principal/designee will inform the Superintendent, conduct an investigation and notify the student about the resolution in writing. If the student's parents/legal guardians are dissatisfied with the resolution, they may appeal in writing to the Superintendent within 10 school days. The Superintendent's decision may be appealed in writing to the School Committee within 10 school days after receipt of the decision. The School Committee will consider the appeal in executive session with all parties present. The Committee's decision shall be final.
Reference: Policy ACAA-R
Tobacco Use and Possession:
Selling, distributing or using tobacco in any form is prohibited in school buildings, school vehicles, and on school grounds at all times
Reference: Policy ADC
Identifies such threats as both significant concerns and potential dangers to York Schools. The policy includes the following components:
1. Conduct Prohibited
3. Development of Bomb Threat Procedures
4. Reporting of Bomb Threats
5. Student Disciplinary Consequences
6. Aiding Other Students in Making Bomb Threats
7. Failure to Report a Bomb Threat
8. Staff Disciplinary Consequences
9. Civil Liability
10. Lost Instructional Time
11. Notification through Student HandbookReference: Policy EBCC
The York School Department incorporates Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles and procedures for control of structural and landscape pests. These methods include monitoring improved horticultural, sanitation and food storage practices, pest exclusion and removal including minimized biological control and pesticides.
Reference: Policy ECB
The York School Department expects all students and employees to adhere to the provisions of copyright laws. No student or employee will receive legal and/or insurance protection for willful violations of this policy and administrative procedures set forth in Policy EGAD-R – Copyright Compliance Administrative Procedure.
Reference: Policy EGAD
Referral of students who are suspected of having a disability that requires special education may be made to the Pupil Evaluation Team by professional school staff, parents or by other persons knowledgeable about the child’s educational needs.
Reference: Policy IHBAA
Instructional and Library Materials Selection:
Responsibility for the selection of instructional and library materials is delegated by the School Committee to the Library Media and instructional program professionally trained personnel. Specific selection criteria and procedures are provided to insure that a wide range of materials is made available to enrich and support education programs. Recognizing that occasional objections may be raised concerning specific materials, procedures are outlined for the filing of a complaint.
Reference: Policy IJJ
Student Computer and Internet Use:
To support the educational mission of the schools and enhance curriculum and learning opportunities, computers, networks and Internet access are made available for student use. Such use is considered a privilege, not a right, and students are expected to comply with the policy and rules governing computer and Internet use. Annually students and parents are required to sign and return the Computer/Internet Access Acknowledgement. Violation of the policy and/or rules may result in loss of computer privileges as well as possible disciplinary and/or legal action.
Reference: Policy IJND
Provision is made to protect students from the Internet’s inappropriate content without unduly limiting their access to its valuable educational content. The filter may be disabled “for bona fide research” with permission of the teacher originating the assignment. Should a student wish to appeal a denied request, a procedure is given and the required form is provided in Policy IJNDF-R – Student Request to Disable Filter.
Reference: Policy IJNDF
York has adopted a proficiency-based system of learning consistent with Maine law adopted during the Second Regular Session of the 127th Maine Legislature, which means that after January 1, 2021, the awarding of a diploma will be contingent on the demonstration of proficiency in the content areas and Guiding Principles and the Learning Results rather than the accumulation of credits only. Additionally, the York School Department has identified and shared the standards for achieving proficiency and attaining a high school diploma with students and parents in order to plan and support appropriate, sequential, educational programs to meet this goal. In addition to establishing clear and public targets for learning, the district provides interventions and support systems to assist all York graduates to meet the standards and graduate college and career ready. Reference: Policy IKF
Sets forth the procedure through which a student may graduate before the end of his/her fourth year of high school.
Reference: Policy IKFA
Under Maine Law, parents are responsible for assuring the attendance of students under 15 years of age. Students are considered habitually truant if they have attained the equivalent of 10 full days or seven consecutive days of non-excused absences during a school year. Habitually truant students will be referred to school officials and/or the School Committee.
Reference: Policy JHB
System-Wide Student Code of Conduct:
Identifies student behavior as an essential part of our educational mission. This policy is divided into eight articles, as follows:
Article 1: Standards for Ethical and Responsible Behavior
Article 2: Code of Conduct
Article 3: General Behavior Expectations and Discipline Policies
Article 4: Expectations
Article 5: Removal of Disruptive/Violent/Threatening Students
Article 6: Special Services
Article 7: Referrals to Law Enforcement Authorities
Article 8: Dissemination of System-Wide Student Code of ConductReference: Policy JIC
Student Substance Abuse:
1. Prevention – information and activities focused on prevention of use of controlled substances.
2. Intervention – provision of information and assistance to any student who is chemically involved.
3. Rules and Sanctions – prohibition of consumption, possession, furnishing, sale, receipt, buying, or being under the influence of a controlled substance on school grounds or at a school-related event.Violation of this policy could result in suspension and/or expulsion.
Reference: Policy JICH
Weapons, Violence and School Safety:
Students are prohibited from engaging in any of the following conduct on school property or at any school-sponsored activity:
Possession or use of objects designed to inflict bodily harm; violent or threatening behavior, both verbal and written; willful and malicious damage to school or personal property; stealing; lewd, indecent or obscene behavior or expressions; violations of the school's drug/alcohol/tobacco policies; violations of state or federal laws; any other conduct that may be harmful to persons or property.
Any violation of this policy may result in suspension or expulsion and may be referred to law enforcement. Firearms violations will be referred to law enforcement and may result in a one-year expulsion from school.
Reference: Policy JICIA
Questioning and Searches of Students:
Is designed to maintain a safe and orderly environment in all schools. It indicates that school administration is authorized to question and/or search students and school property when necessary for the operation, discipline, or general welfare of the school.
Reference: Policy JIH
Questioning and Searches of Students Procedures:
Details the guidelines for school administration when questioning of students or searches of students or school property become necessary. It includes five categories, as follows:
B. Searches of Students and/or Personal Property in Students’ Immediate Possession
C. Searches of Lockers, Desks, and Other School Facilities
D. Patrolling of Parking Lots
E. Involvement of Law Enforcement Authorities
Reference: Policy JIH-R
The York School Board recognizes that students may have serious and even life-threatening allergies. While the York School District cannot ensure that the schools will be totally allergen-free, the District will take reasonable steps to work with school personnel, students, their parents/guardians and appropriate health providers to minimize risks and provide an appropriate educational environment for both allergic and non-allergic students.
To this end, the District has developed an administrative procedure to address student allergies in the schools. This procedure was developed in light of generally-accepted research and practices for addressing the needs of allergic students in schools.
Reference: Policy JLCCB
Student Education Records and Information:
Confidentiality of all student education records is maintained by the York School Department as required by both Maine law and FERPA. Directory information about students (name, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of athletes, honors and awards received, and other information that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed) may be disclosed unless written notice refusing permission has been obtained from parent or eligible students.
Reference: Policy JRA
Annual Notice of Student Education Records and Information Rights:
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records.
The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the York School Department receives a request for access.
The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the York School Department to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
Personally identifiable information that has been designated as directory information may be made public without parental consent unless written notice refusing permission has been obtained by the parent or eligible student.
Federal law permits military recruiters and institutions of higher learning to request and receive the names, addresses and telephone numbers of high school students upon request unless the student’s parent or eligible student notifies the school that he/she does not want such information released. Reference: Policy JRA-E
Student Education Records and Information - Administrative Procedure:
These procedures were adopted to implement federal and state legislation establishing guidelines governing the manner in which student records are maintained and supervised. The procedures provide definitions to terms used in the policy, the procedure for annual notification of parent rights, the process for inspection and review of education records, the school guidelines for disclosure of education records, the procedure for requesting to amend education records, student rights, procedure for obtaining a waiver of rights regarding confidentiality of educational records, the fees required for obtaining copies of education records, procedures for destruction of education records and the complaint procedure.
Reference: Policy JRA-R
The Federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 includes the requirement that school districts receiving Title I funding notify parents of their right to request information about the qualifications of their children's teachers. Each York building principal has specific information about the Highly Qualified Teacher status of each faculty member, and this information is available at parent request. (Public Law 107-110)
York faculty members are required by Federal law to demonstrate that they are "Highly Qualified Teachers" (HQT).
Parents may request information on the HQT status of their children's teachers through the schools' principals. (Public Law 107-110)
Parent Involvement with Title I:
The value of parent involvement in supporting student success and academic achievement is recognized in Title I as it is in all areas by establishing effective communication, developing strategies to enable parents to participate actively in their children’s education and by keeping parents informed about their child’s services and progress.
Reference: Policy KBF-E1
In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which protects individuals from discrimination based on their disability, the York School Department takes responsibility to identify, evaluate, and if the child is determined to be eligible under Section 504, to afford access to an appropriate education.
Limited English Proficiency Students:
In accordance with the Equal Education Opportunity Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. 1703, the York School Department will identify all students whose primary language is other than English, who have or may have difficulty performing ordinary class work in English, and who cannot learn or achieve on parity with their English dominant peers. Such students will be placed in specifically designated language support programs that are consistent with all federal and state acts, mandates and policies which relate to the education of limited English and National Origin Minority students.
In accordance with the McKinney-Vento Act and Title I Provisions the York School Department ensures educational rights and protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness.
Reference: Policy JFABD