CHAPTER 1000 – COMMUNITY RELATIONS

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Concept, Goals and Roles in Community Relations

The Governing Board recognizes that the community, defined broadly as the state and specifically as the area served by the school system, determines the quality of education. It is imperative that members of the community and the school personnel cooperate in planning, developing policy, implementing programs and evaluating results.

School-community relations are not merely reporting and interpreting. Rather, they are part of a public enterprise in which community members and school personnel play their respective roles in the best interests of the ACES district.

The Board of Education establishes the following goals for the community relations program:

  1. To increase public understanding of the school system.
  2. To increase community confidence and interest in the school system.
  3. To promote effective dissemination of information concerning school activities.
  4. To solicit community opinions about the school system.
  5. To encourage the sharing of resources among civic and community organizations for the benefit of the school system.

 


Table of Contents

Communications with the Public

1110.1 Parental Involvement and Responsibilities
1112 News Media Relationships
        News Media Regulations
1112.3 Access to Information
1112.5 Media Access to Students
1112.6 Videotaping of Staff/Students
1120 Governing Board Meetings
1140 Distribution of Materials by Students (Use of Students)
1140.1 Distribution of Non-school Literature/Publications
1150/1160 Communications with the Public
1170 Recognition of Students, Citizens, Staff Members, and Members of the Governing Board
1210 School-Community Associations
1212 School Volunteers
1250 Visits to the Schools
1300.1 Community Engagement

1302.12 Head Start Performance Standard
1312 Public Complaints
1313 Gifts to School Personnel
1314 Solicitation of Funds
1316 Relations Between Public and School Personnel
1316.1 Public Conduct at School Activities
1324 Soliciting Funds/Distribution of Materials To and By Students
1325 Advertising and Promotion
1327 Relations with Youth Organizations
1330 Use of School Facilities
1331 Smoke Free Environment
1360 Awards and Scholarships
1411 Relations with Law Enforcement Agencies
1700 Otherwise Lawful Possession of Firearms on School Property


 

1110.1 Parental Involvement and Responsibilities

The ACES Governing Board recognizes parents are important participants in the education of children. Parent involvement in a child's education is a major factor in improving school effectiveness, the quality of education, and a child's academic success. Therefore, ACES will promote an environment in which parents are valued as primary influences in their children's lives and are essential partners in the education of their children.

The ACES Governing Board will involve parents in the development of a Title I plan and the process of school review and improvement. This will be accomplished by holding school meetings at varying times during the day and varying locations. These plans will be shared with parents through written communications and meetings, which allow input from parents. The district's administrators will work to plan effective parent involvement activities. At District Wide Meetings, Principals will share information about their school's activities to improve student academic achievement and school performance.

All parents/families and educators should make family involvement in education a priority. Thus, the Governing Board commits to providing support, coordination and training for school staff and parents to implement and sustain appropriate parent involvement. The District shall also provide information and training to staff on the contribution parents can make to the educational process.

Teachers, parents and administrators need to work together to ensure the success of all students. Communication is a key component in this collaboration. Thus, the Governing Board commits to the establishment of effective two-way communication between all parents/families and schools, respecting the diversity and differing needs of families. The Governing Board established a Home-School-Community Partnership Program to provide coordination, technical assistance and other support necessary to facilitate parental involvement activities and communication.

Conditions in the home significantly influence a child's achievement in school. Parents and family members, as their primary teachers, play a vital role in the intellectual, social and emotional growth of their children. Thus, the Governing Board is committed to support parent involvement programs, which include parent education, providing materials and activities that will assist parents/families in supporting classroom learning and their children's achievement. Assistance will be provided for parents in understanding the State's academic standards, assessments and how to monitor a child's progress.

Families need to be included in the workings of schools in many different ways, to make them feel an essential part of the educational process. Thus, the Governing Board will commit to seeing that the schools develop new and more meaningful ways for parents to be actively involved in their children's education.

Improved student achievement must be the shared responsibility and ultimate goal of parents, teachers, the school system as a whole and the community at large. ACES will follow a course of action that will make parent involvement an ongoing process that is viewed as a valuable resource in all children's education.

The Board will annually review this policy with Administrators and parents and survey all partners to evaluate its content and effectiveness. Principals will present their efforts throughout the year and discuss plans for the upcoming year. Principals and parents will discuss barriers to parent involvement along with possible solutions. Special attention will be paid to identify and involve any group of parents not participating. These discussions and findings may be used to revise this policy.

The District shall ensure that information communicated to parents is in an understandable format and is adaptable if needed. Parents will be consulted in order to achieve this goal.

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1112 News Media Relationships

Schools are public institutions serving the educational needs of the community. Therefore, it is important that information be disseminated concerning programs, activities, and significant school events. The Board recognizes the important role the media serves in reporting information about the ACES program, services and activities. Therefore, ACES will make reasonable efforts to provide media access to ACES.

To ensure that publicity is coordinated with a common effort and purpose, the following shall be followed with news media:

Media representatives shall be required to report to the administration for prior approval before accessing students involved in instructional programs and activities not attended by the general public.

School administrators are authorized to grant permission and set parameters for media access to students in their respective schools.

The media may interview and photograph students involved in instructional programs and school activities including athletic events if authorized by the Principal provided that their presence will not be unduly disruptive.

If, in the judgment of the administration, the presence of any photographer, broadcaster, or news journalist causes such disruption that orderly conduct of the activity becomes unfeasible, access by these individuals may be limited to the extent necessary to remove disruption.

News media personnel who intend to photograph, broadcast, or record for broadcast student activities shall provide appropriate identification to the school administrator, if requested, prior to access.

Only news media personnel employed by a newspaper, radio or television broadcasting company, or personnel of a recognized student news medium assigned to cover the activity shall be permitted to photograph, broadcast, or record for broadcast, such activity.

Media representatives wishing to photograph or identify particular students, must obtain parental or guardian approval as well as school administrator permission.

In the case of photographs, videotapes, and/or articles referring to students involved in athletic events parental or guardian permission may be provided on an annual basis.

Parents who do not want their student interviewed, photographed or videotaped by the media shall inform the school Principal accordingly. Parents who do not want their student interviewed, photographed or videotaped by the media shall inform the school Principal accordingly. Parents who do not want their student interviewed or photographed by the media should direct their child accordingly.

Legal Reference:  Connecticut General Statutes
     1-226 Recording, broadcasting or photographing meetings

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News Media Relations - Regulations

Recognizing that an open relationship should exist between school administrators who are charged with the responsibility of conducting public business, and the news media who has the responsibility of reporting the actions of government to citizens, the Executive Director is authorized to provide to the members of the press information which is a matter of record and public information.

Members of the press, television and radio stations may be directed by the Superintendent of Schools to the administrator directly responsible for the information they seek.

Information released to the media shall be that which is public information as covered by statute. It is recognized that there is information of a confidential nature which shall not be released. Information provided to the media should be factual and should not involve speculation or assumptions.

Administrators may release any information which has been previously generated. This does not include, however, generating new information at the request of a member of the press. All communications by school officials to the press shall be "on the record." Press releases are to indicate the administrator's name and title.

The Principal has the right to restrict interaction with students on school property if he/she deems it interferes or disrupts the educational process.

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1112.3 Access to Information

The Governing Board acknowledges the need for an informed citizenry and, at the same time, recognizes the public's right to access information regarding the operations of the school system. The Governing Board, therefore, will make available statistics and other studies reported at public meetings and disseminated to the media. This will be accomplished through information-sharing meetings, through presentations at regular Board meetings, and at Board Committee meetings, and through meetings of parent organizations.

Moreover, in complying with Section 1-210 of the Connecticut General Statutes, and continuing to fulfill its obligation and desire to keep the public informed, while at the same time attempting to eliminate excessive expenditures of staff time in the compilation, assembly, and distribution of information pertaining to public school operation, the Governing Board has adopted the following procedures to assist in determining access to information.

The Executive Director is responsible for developing regulations to implement this policy consistent with all applicable Federal and State Statutes and Regulations and in keeping with the Board's policy intent.

Legal Reference:  Connecticut General Statutes
     1-210 Access to public records. Exempt records

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1112.5 Media Access to Students

The Board recognizes the important role the media serves in reporting information about ACES programs, services and activities. Therefore, ACES will make every reasonable effort to provide media access to students.

School administrators shall be authorized to grant permission and set parameters for media access to students in their respective schools. The media may interview and photograph students involved in instructional programs and school activities including athletic events provided their presence will not be unduly disruptive and shall comply with Board policies and district goals.

Media representatives shall be required to report to the administration for prior approval before accessing students involved in instructional programs and activities not attended by the general public.

Media representatives wishing to photograph or identify particular students, must obtain parental or guardian approval as well. Such permission shall not be required before photographs, videotapes, and/or articles referring to students involved in athletic events may be published.

Parents who do not want their student interviewed, photographed or videotaped by the media shall inform the school Principal accordingly.

Information obtained by media representatives directly from students does not require parental approval prior to publication by the media. Parents who do not want their student interviewed or photographed by the media may direct their student accordingly.

ACES employees may release student information to the media only in accordance with applicable provisions of the education records law and Board policies governing directory information and personally identifiable information.

Parents will be advised of ACES’ media access to student’s policy at the time of the student’s registration and each fall in the student/parent handbook.

(cf. 5125 - Student Records; Confidentiality)

Legal Reference:  Connecticut General Statutes
     1-213 Access to public records. Exempt records. 10-209 Records not to be public.
     Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Sec. 438, 20 U.S.C. Sec 1232g (1988).
     Title I - Amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Act. (PL 105-17)

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1112.6 Videotaping of Staff/Students

Videotaping and filming of ACES’ employees shall have the prior written consent of the Building Principal and the participating employees. If any student is to be filmed or videotaped and will be identified or a primary subject of the filming or videotaping, prior written consent/release/waiver shall be obtained from the student’s lawful custodian. Additionally, if a student is disabled or exceptional and if such student will be identifiable as such on the film or videotape, prior written consent/release/waiver shall be obtained from the student’s lawful custodian. If film or videotape is to be used for any purpose other than the purpose set forth on the employee consent form, then release/waiver forms shall be obtained from each participating employee and his/her Principal.

(cf. - 1112 News Media Relationships)

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1120 Governing Board Meetings

The regular and special meetings of the Governing Board are open to the public and representatives of the press except that a part of any meeting may be designated an executive session as provided by law. (See 9322 for details)

The Governing Board welcomes participation of interested organizations and individuals. Advance announcement of all regular and special meetings of the Governing Board is made through the posting of the agenda and notices to newspapers and directly to citizens and community and professional organizations who specifically request such notification. A reasonable charge may be made for those persons or organizations requesting advance announcements of meetings and agenda backup materials.

Legal Reference:  Connecticut General Statutes
     1-225 Meetings of government agencies to be public.
     1-226 Broadcasting or
     photographing meetings.
     19a-342 Smoking in public meetings in rooms of public building prohibited.
     1-227 Mailing of notice of meetings to persons filing written request. Fees.
     1-230 Regular meetings to be held pursuant to regulation, ordinance or resolution.      
     1-232 Conduct of meetings.
     1-206 Denial of access to public records or meetings.
     10-238 Petition for hearing
     by board of education.

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1140 Distribution of Materials by Students (Use of Students)

Printed materials may be distributed to parents by students as inexpensive means of mass communications. At the same time this procedure can prove objectionable to parents and the school district if overdone.

To provide the most effective use of this technique without exploitation of staff or students, the Executive Director or his/her designee may approve such distribution providing:

  • The materials relate to the school, community, local recreational or civic activities.
  • The materials do not relate to any religious belief or activity, or promote private gain, or political position.
  • The materials do not promote any political party or candidate.

All requests from groups or individuals to have students distribute materials to people in the community, with the exception of requests from school-connected organizations like parent-teacher organizations or Board appointed citizens' ad hoc advisory committees, will be referred to the office of the Executive Director to determine whether the requests comply with overall school purposes and policy.

Use of Students

The Board prohibits the use of students during normal school hours in activities which are not part of the normal educational and planned curriculum process. Permission for use of students in activities of a non-educational nature must be obtained from the Executive Director or his/her designee who will ensure that the student's rights in terms of voluntary activities are maintained and that students are not exploited either knowingly or unknowingly.

The Executive Director or his/her designee shall interpret this policy strictly. In case of differences regarding the decision, the decision of the Executive Director will be final in order that the best interests of the students will be served.

Budget/Referendum Materials

Information concerning a budget or referendum, specifying only the time, date, location, and question or proposal may be disseminated through the students. This information may not contain statements, or be written in a manner which may advocate a position on the budget or on a referendum question.

(cf. 3152 – Spending Public Funds for Advocacy)

Legal Reference:  Connecticut General Statutes
     
9-369b Explanatory text relating to local questions.

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1140.1 Distribution of Non-school Literature/Publications

Definitions

“Distribution” means the circulation of more than one printed copy of material from a source other than from ACES or school. (Alternate: more than ten printed copies.) Further, the distribution involves the circulation or dissemination of materials by means of offering free copies, selling or offering copies for sale, accepting donations for copies, or posting or displaying materials, or placing materials in book bags, backpacks, or other items belonging to students.

“Nonschool sponsored material” or “unofficial material” includes all materials or objects not funded, sponsored, or authorized by ACES or school intended for distribution, except school newspapers, homecoming buttons, literary magazines, yearbooks and other publications funded and/or sponsored by the school or ACES. Examples of nonschool sponsored materials include, but are not limited to, leaflets, brochures, flyers, petitions, posters, and underground newspapers whether written by students or others.

The Governing Board recognizes that activities such as distributing literature, displaying signs, petitioning for change, and disseminating information concerning issues of public concern are protected by the First Amendment.

The schools of ACES may impose time, place, and manner regulations and may reserve its facilities for their intended purposes, communicative or otherwise, as long as the regulation on speech is reasonable and not an effort to suppress expression merely because public officials oppose the speaker’s view.

ACES or its schools may not require prior review before permitting non-disruptive distribution of written materials on matters of public concern at a parents/adults-only school-sponsored meeting after school hours.

Distribution on School Campus

Written or printed materials, handbills, photographs, pictures, films, tapes, or other visual or auditory materials over which the school does not exercise control shall not be sold, circulated, or distributed by persons or groups not associated with the school or a school support group on any school premises in the school without permission in accordance with this policy.

ACES’ classrooms are provided for the limited purpose of delivering instruction opportunities to students. Hallways in school buildings are provided for the limited purpose of facilitating the movement of students between classes and allowing access to assigned lockers. Classrooms and hallways shall not be used for the distribution of any materials over which the school does not exercise control.

The administrator in charge of each school area in which the school has individual employee mailboxes shall designate an area near the mailboxes where materials that have been approved for distribution, as provided below, may be made available or distributed to students or others in accordance with any time, place, and manner restrictions developed and approved by the Executive Director.

Distribution in Classrooms and Hallways

ACES’ classrooms during the regular school day are provided for the limited purpose of delivering instruction to students in the courses and subjects in which they are enrolled. Hallways in school buildings are provided for the limited purpose of facilitating the movement of students between classes and allowing access to assigned lockers. Classrooms and hallways shall not be used for the distribution of any materials over which the school does not exercise control.

Area of Distribution

The school Principal shall designate an area where materials that have been approved for distribution by students in accordance with this policy may be made available or distributed. The Principal may develop reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions regarding the distribution of materials at designated areas.

Prior Review

All written material over which the school does not exercise control and that is intended for distribution on school property shall be submitted for prior review to the Principal or designee for prior review according to the following procedures:

  • Materials shall be submitted to the Executive Director or designee or school Principal for review.
  • To be considered for distribution, materials shall include the name of the organization or individual sponsoring the distribution.
  • Using the standards below at “Limitations on Content” the Executive Director, Principal or designee shall approve or reject submitted material within four school days of the time the material is received.
  • The requestor/student may appeal the decision of the Principal to the Executive Director.

Students who fail to follow these procedures may be disciplined in accordance with the District policies pertaining to conduct and the Student Code of Conduct.

Limitations on Content

The school or ACES shall not prohibit student expression solely because other students, teachers, administrators, or parents may disagree with its content.

Non-school materials shall not be distributed if:

  • The materials are obscene, vulgar, or otherwise inappropriate for the age and maturity of the audience.
  • The materials endorse actions endangering the health or safety of students.
  • The distribution of such materials would violate the intellectual property rights, privacy rights, or other rights of another person.
  • The materials contain defamatory statements about public figures or others.
  • The materials criticize Board members or school officials or advocate violation of school rules.
  • The materials substantially interfere with school activities.
  • The materials substantially interfere with the rights of other students or teachers, or staff.
  • The District/school can demonstrate reasonable cause to believe that the expression would engender such material and substantial interference.
  • The materials advocate imminent lawless or disruptive action and are likely to incite or produce such action.
  • The materials include hate literature that scurrilously attacks ethnic, religious, or racial groups, and similar publications aimed at creating hostility and violence.

Non-school materials approved for distribution shall contain a disclaimer specifying the name of the individual organization responsible for the material so that it is clear to the public that the information/materials do not represent the District or its schools.

(cf. 1140 – Distribution of Materials by Students)
(cf. 1330/3515 – Community Use of School Facilities) (cf. 3543.13 – Mail and Delivery)
(cf. 4118.21 – Academic Freedom)
(cf. 6144 – Controversial Issues)
(cf. 6145.31 – Underground Publications)
(cf. 6153.2 – Student Participation in Election Process)

Legal Reference:
     
Hazelwood Sch. Dis. V. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260, 265 (1988)
     Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist., 393 U.S. 503 (1969)
     Bethel Sch. Dist. No 403 v. Fraser, 478 U.S. 675 (1986)
     Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network, 519 US. 357, 117 S. Ct. 855 (1997)
     Boos v. Barry, 485 U.S. 312, 108 S. Ct. 1157 (1988)
     Meyer v. Grant, 486 U.S. 414, 108 S. Ct. 1886 (1988)
     Perry Educ. Ass’n. v. Perry Local Educators’ Ass’n., 460 Us. 37, 103 5.t. 948
     (1983)
     Chiu v. Plano Indep. Sch. Dist., 339 F.3d 273 (5th Cir. 2003)

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1150/1160 Communications with the Public

It is the responsibility of each Board member, as well as each employee of the district, to exercise care when answering questions about the public schools. Individuals should answer questions only when they have full and complete understanding of the point about which they have been asked. If the employee or Board member is not prepared to answer accurately and fully, he/she should refer the inquirer to a staff member who would have the appropriate information.

All school personnel and Board members are encouraged to be informed on Governing Board policy and school policies and programs in order that they may better advance public understanding of the schools.

(cf. 4118.2 - Professional Responsibilities) (cf. 4118.21 - Academic Freedom)

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1170 Recognition of Students, Citizens, Staff Members, and Members of the Governing Board

The Governing Board is committed to recognizing and honoring citizens, students, staff, and groups whose distinguished or exceptional achievements have benefited or which benefit the school system. The Board may act through recognition at Board meetings, meetings, letters of recognition, or other appropriate methods.

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1210 School-Community Associations

The Governing Board recognizes school-community groups such as Parent-Teacher Associations or Parent-Teacher Organizations as integral parts of the school community which can promote educational programs.

The Governing Board encourages active support of and cooperation with school-community organizations.

Among the many services which such associations can offer, the Governing Board endorses support for parent/citizen volunteer programs in our schools.

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1212 School Volunteers

The Governing Board recognizes that volunteers can make many valuable contributions to our schools. The Board endorses a program encouraging community residents to take an active role in improving schools and to become school volunteers in schools subject to suitable regulations and safeguards.

Legal Reference:  Connecticut General Statutes
     10-4g Parent and community involvement in schools; model programs;
     school- based teams
     10-235 Indemnification of teachers, board members, employees and certain
     volunteers and students in damage suits; expenses of litigation.
     54-254 Registration of person who has committed a felony for a sexual purpose.

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1212 Form

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AREA COOPERATIVE EDUCATION SERVICES

North Haven, Connecticut
 

Volunteer Information Form and Waiver of Liability

Only one form needs to be completed by a volunteer each school year. Please print clearly in ink:

 

Information Form

Name:                                                                                                                                            
Last First Middle Telephone
         
Address:                                                                                                                                            
  Street City State Zip Code


 

                                                                                                                                                               
Personal Physician: Phone:
   
                                                                                                                                                               
Emergency Adult Contact Phone:
   
Are you now or have you ever been a school volunteer? Yes                 No           
   
At which school?                                                                       
   
The name of any child or ward attending this school:                                                                       

 

Criminal Conviction Information

Are you a sex offender? Yes                 No           
   
Have you ever been conviced of a felony? Yes                 No           
   
If you answered YES, list all offences  
Offence(s) Date(s) Place(s)
                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                               
If requested, are you willing to consent to a criminal background investigation? Yes                 No           


Waiver of Liability

The School District does not provide liability insurance coverage to non-district personnel serving as volunteers for the School District. The purpose of this waiver is to provide notice to prospective volunteers that they do not have insurance coverage by the School District and to document the volunteer’s acknowledgment that they are providing volunteer service at their own risk. However. C.G.S. 10-235 provides that the district must indemnify and hold harmless volunteers from civil liability in most situations as long as the volunteer is approved by the Board of Education to carry out a duty prescribed by the Board and performs services under the direction of a certified teacher. Therefore the district must pay any damages awarded to a plaintiff in an action brought alleging negligence or other act resulting in injury, including infringement of that person’s civil rights.

By your signature below:

  1. You acknowledge that the School District does not provide insurance coverage for the volunteer for any loss, injuries, illness, or death resulting from the volunteer’s unpaid service to the School District.
  2. You agree to assume all risk for death or any loss, injury, illness or damage of any nature or kind, arising out of the volunteer's supervised or unsupervised service to the School District agree to waive any and all claims against the School District, or its officers, Board Members, employees, agents or assigns, for loss due to death, injury, illness or damage of any kind arising out of the volunteer's supervised or unsupervised service to the School District.
                                                                                                                                                   
Date Signature of Volunteer
   
                                                                                                                         
  Printed Name of Volunteer


For School Use Only

General description of assignment(s):

  • supervising students as needed by a teacher
  • supervising students during a regularly scheduled activity
  • assisting with academic programs
  • assisting at the resource center or main office
  • other                                                           

 

                                                                                                   
Name of supervising staff member  
   
                                                                                                                                            
“Sex offender list” checked by: Date checked (mandatory)


Is a criminal background check a necessity (the individual will be working over a long period of time in direct contact with students where no staff member is continuously present or in other situations where a check would be prudent)? (to be answered by Principal)

If “yes,” and provided the individual authorized the check,

  • the date on which the check was requested?                                                                                                       
  • the date on which it was received and reviewed.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                   
Review by  
   
                                                                                                                                            
Signature Date

 


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1250 Visits to the Schools

The Governing Board and staff of ACES welcome and strongly encourage members of the community and other interested persons to visit the schools.

The Executive Director shall establish regulations which:

  • Encourage school visitations.
  • Provide for appropriate hospitality for visitors.
  • Channel expressions of approval and constructive criticism to the Governing Board.
  • Ensure that public visits will not hinder the educational program.
  • Require all visitors to register in the principal's office upon arrival at the school.

Although Governing Board members are encouraged to visit schools independently, they have authority only in regularly called meetings of the Governing Board, or when delegated specific tasks by specific Governing Board action.

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1300.1 Community Engagement

The purpose of community engagement is to create a collaborative environment in which students, parents/guardians, families, residents, businesses and community organizations are encouraged and invited to be involved stakeholders in the ACES community. Such engagement strengthens broad-based community support for the District’s mission, goals, operations and educational programs.

Community engagement is defined as an ongoing collaborative process in which ACES works with the public to build understanding, guidance, and active support for the education of students in the community.

Therefore, the Board of Education endorses the concept that community engagement is essential for ACES and the community to maintain mutual understanding, respect and trust, and to work together to improve the quality of education for ACES students. The Board intends, through this two-way communication, to identify the community’s concerns, needs and suggestions, and to be responsive to the community through the Board’s actions.

The Board also recognizes that the public offers resources of training and experience useful to ACES’ schools. The quality of ACES’ operations and programs can be strengthened when these resources are used in an advisory capacity.

The Board directs the administration to develop and implement a planned program of community engagement that regularly provides opportunities for students, parents/guardians, families, residents, business and community organizations to participate in dialogues related to district-wide and school-based issues.

The administration shall develop and use varied, effective communication methods to ensure that all community members receive information about ACES and school programs and the available opportunities to become actively involved.

The Board and administration will consider the input received from the community. When evaluating the community’s suggestions, the Board and administration will consider the impact of the ACES’ goals, operation, educational programs, and financial resources. Recommendations made by the community shall not reduce the authority or the responsibility of the Board, which may accept or reject such recommendations.

ACES shall communicate to the community the Board’s decision and its rational regarding an issue involving community engagement.

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1302.12 Head Start Performance Standard

A program must establish written policies and procedures that describe all actions taken against staff who intentionally violate federal and program eligibility determination regulations and who enroll pregnant women and children that are not eligible to receive Early Head Start or Head Start services. The regulations emphasize that such policies will also protect staff members from allegations of fraud in the case of inadvertent or mistaken enrollments.

Policy

Monitoring and tracking are a part of ACES Middlesex County Early Head Start’s standard practice. The program has implemented policies and procedures on the eligibility process directly guided by performance standards ensuring compliance with eligibility determination. In the event it is discovered that a family or families have been enrolled that do not meet eligibility requirements, the Director of the program will discuss findings with the ERSEA staff member and determine a course of action.

 

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1312 Public Complaints

The Governing Board welcomes comments and suggestions for improvement from the citizens whom it serves. Constructive criticism of ACES is welcome whenever it is motivated by a sincere desire to improve the quality of the educational program or to allow the schools to do their tasks more effectively. However, the Board has confidence in its professional staff and desires to support their actions in order that they be free from unnecessary, spiteful or negative criticism and complaint. Therefore, whenever a complaint is made directly to the Board as a whole or to a Board member as an individual, it will promptly be referred to ACES administration for study and possible solution.

Since individual Board members have no authority to resolve complaints, other than by formal Board action, Board members shall refer persons making complaints about ACES to the most immediate level at which the problems can be resolved and, as may be necessary, through lines of organization to the Executive Director. The Board expects that the administration will develop a procedure for receiving complaints courteously and that it will take steps to make a proper reply to the complainant.

Anonymous complaints provide no avenue for response or redress of the complaint. Therefore, it is the policy of the Board that such complaints will not be pursued. An unsigned complaint will not be read or acted upon at any meeting of the Board and anonymous telephone complaints will not be brought to the Board by any individual Board member, administrator or other ACES employee. The administration will not act on any anonymous complaint.

Citizens and parents should be made aware of the proper channels of communication and appeal. Complaints for which specific resolution procedures are provided shall be directed through those channels. The decision of the Administration regarding a student must include notice to the parents of the next step of appeal. Any appeal from the decision of the Executive Director to the Board shall be in writing and signed.

Complaints should be resolved at the lowest possible level of authority. If the complaint cannot be resolved at the building level, either party is encouraged to bring the matter to the attention of the Executive Director.

If all other remedies have been exhausted and a complaint cannot be satisfactorily resolved, the complaint may be appealed to the Governing Board. No appeal will be heard by the Board and no charges or accusations against an employee will be investigated unless the accusations are reduced to writing, signed by the party making the complaint, and presented to the Board through the Executive Director.

The Board will not consider or act upon complaints that have not been explored at the appropriate level or complaints for which specific resolution procedures have been established that do not include Board review. If the Board decides to hear the complaint, the Board shall make a decision which shall be sent to all interested parties. The Board’s decision is final.

Challenged Material

A procedure for processing and responding to criticism of approved materials shall be established and followed. This procedure shall include a formal, signed complaint of standard format and an appointed committee to re-evaluate the material in question.

In all cases, the decision to retain or reject shall be made on the basis of whether the material represents life in its true proportions, whether circumstances are realistically dealt with, and whether the material has literary or social value. Factual material shall be included in all instructional material collections.

(cf. 5145.2 - Freedom of Speech/Expression) (cf. 6144 - Controversial Issues)
(cf. 6161 - Equipment, Books, Materials: Provision/Selection)

Legal Reference:             
     Keyishian v. Board of Regents 385 U.S. 589, 603 (1967)
     President's Council, District 25 v. Community School Board No. 25 457 F.2d 289 (1972), cert. denied 409 U.S. 998 (1976)
     Minarcini v. Strongsville City School District, 541 F. 2d 577 (6th  Cir. 1976).
     Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 v. Pico,  457 U.S. 853 (1982).
     Academic Freedom Policy (adopted by Connecticut State Board of Education, 9/9/81).

Connecticut General Statutes
     
10-238 Petition for hearing by board of education.

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1313 Gifts to School Personnel

Gifts from Suppliers and/or Contractors

The members of the Governing Board and its employees wish to avoid any conflict between their personal interests and the interests of the school district in dealing with suppliers, contractors and all organizations or individuals doing or seeking to do business with the school district.

Although it is customary for some suppliers to give gifts to customers' employees at different times which are not of more than nominal value, and are not intended to influence in any manner the school district's procurement practices, the Governing Board requests, in view of the possible adverse publicity that might arise from such practice on the part of the suppliers, that suppliers or potential suppliers do not include the name of any individual connected with the school district on their gift lists.

Gifts to Board Members

No Board member or employee shall directly or indirectly solicit any gift; or accept or receive any gift having a value of fifty dollars ($50) or more, whether in the form of money, services, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality, thing or promise, or any other form, under circumstances in which it could be reasonably inferred that the gift was intended to influence the Board member or employee in the performance of his/her official duties or was intended as a reward for any official action on his/her part.

Gifts between Students and Teachers

Gifts between students and teachers shall be discouraged. (cf. 3313 - Relations with Vendors)

(cf. 9270 - Conflict of Interest)

Legal Reference:  Connecticut General Statutes
     
7-479 Conflicts of interest.

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1314 Solicitation of Funds
(see also 1324)

The objective of this policy is to provide the acceptance criteria and application method for soliciting gifts, grants, and bequests conducted by school-sanctioned parent organizations, ACES employees, and students of ACES.

The Governing Board recognizes that certain types of fundraising activities will enhance the relationship between school and community and will contribute to the improvement of the school program. The Board also recognizes that businesses, cultural, and community organizations hold an interest in the quality of public education and, from time to time, offer to support that interest with a variety of contributions to the school district. School districts, however, are public institutions fully supported by taxes and the Board has a clear responsibility to protect students, staff, and their families from exploitation by special interests including, but not limited to, economic, environmental, and political exploitation. The Board also recognizes that exploitation works both ways. A potential donor may feel unduly pressured, either directly or indirectly, when solicited to contribute to a program promoted by a school system. Therefore the Governing Board establishes the following acceptance criteria.

Solicitation of Funds from and by Students, Staff and School Sanctioned Parent Organizations

  • There shall be sufficient educational or financial benefits to the school and/or students, either directly or indirectly, to justify the fundraising activity.
  • Fundraising shall be in good taste and appropriate for ACES.
  • Fundraising shall be limited to approved activities by the Principal and Executive Director; activities sponsored by faculty, students, and school-related parent organizations for nonprofit school benefits; or educational and recreational activities sponsored by agencies of the town government.

Solicitation of funds from businesses or other outside organizations shall be with the understanding that public recognition for contributions shall be appropriate and balanced.

  • Funds raised from the activity will be applied to a specific school system-related project.
  • The fundraising mechanics or procedures will not unacceptably burden staff or subject the school to unnecessary risks or responsibility.
  • Instructional time will not be used to conduct or promote fundraising activities except in cases where it is an integral part of the curriculum.
  • School employees will not be approached during school hours for the purpose of soliciting funds or selling goods.
  • Handling and accounting of fundraising material shall be the responsibility of the sponsoring group, not the school or staff.

Solicitation of Funds from and by Students

  • The following additional criteria shall be applied to solicitation by students:
  • Elementary school students will not participate in door-to-door sales or canvassing.
  • Elementary or middle school fundraising will not result in profit or advertisement for any commercial enterprise except when profits are realized in conjunction with the following events:
  • Annual all-school fundraising events of one week or less (e.g., fairs, bazaars).
  • Fundraising activities designed to acquire funds for approved field trips.
  • Class pictures.
  • Under no circumstances shall students be required to solicit and no mandatory quotas shall be imposed upon them.
  • Commercial enterprise for private profit will be allowed at the high school only for the purchase of goods and services deemed necessary by the Executive Director for normal student activities.
  • Activities related to fundraising shall not occur during normal school hours.

Application Procedure

All requests to conduct fundraising shall be submitted in writing at least 15 days prior to the proposed activity through the Executive Director.

The request shall identify the name of the school, name of the individual submitting the request, name of sponsoring individual or organization, fundraising activity dates, purposes of the fundraising activity, nature of the fundraising activity, anticipated expenses and profits.

At his or her option, the Executive Director may refer specific cases to the Board for decision.

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1316 Relations Between Public and School Personnel

Conduct on School Property

The Governing Board expects mutual respect, civility and orderly conduct among all individuals on school property or at school events. ACES’ staff will treat parents and other members of the public with respect and expect the same in return. The Board is committed to maintaining orderly educational and administrative processes in keeping schools and administrative offices free from disruptions and preventing unauthorized persons from entering school/district grounds.

This policy promotes mutual respect, civility and orderly conduct among Board members, ACES’ employees, parents and the public. It is not intended to deprive any individual of his/her right to freedom of expression, but only to maintain to the extent possible and reasonable, a safe, harassment-free environment for students and staff.

In the interest of presenting Board members and ACES’ employees as positive role models to the students as well as to the community, the Board encourages positive communication and discourages volatile,  hostile or aggressive actions. The Board seeks public cooperation with this endeavor.

Based upon the above, the Board expects that no person on school property or at a school event shall:

  • Injure, threaten, harass or intimidate a staff member, Board member or any other person;
  • Damage or threaten to damage another’s property;
  • Damage or deface ACES’ property;
  • Violate any Connecticut law or town/city ordinance;
  • Smoke or otherwise use tobacco products;
  • Consume, possess, distribute, or be under the influence of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs, or possess dangerous instruments or weapons;
  • Impede, delay, or otherwise interfere with the orderly conduct of ACES’ educational program or any other activity occurring on school property;
  • Enter upon any portion of the school premises at any time for purposes other than those which are lawful and authorized by the Board;
  • Operate a motor vehicle in a risky manner or in violation of an authorized ACES’ employee’s directive; or
  • Violate other ACES’ policies or regulations or an authorized ACES’ employee’s directive.

(cf. 1110.1 - Parent Involvement)
(cf. 1120 - Public Participation at Governing Board Meetings)
(cf. 1250 - Visits to Schools)
(cf. 1312 - Public Complaints)
(cf. 1330 - Use of School Facilities)
(cf. 1700 - Otherwise Lawful Possession of Firearms on School Property) (cf. 6145.71 - Use of Alcohol by Adults)

Legal Reference:  Connecticut General Statutes
1-225 Meetings of the government agents to be public.
1-232 Conduct of the meeting
10-221 Boards of education to prescribe rule(s), policies, and procedures.
Petition for hearing by Governing Board.
Use of school facilities for other purposes.
53a-185 Loitering in or about school grounds: Class C misdemeanor.

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1316.1 Public Conduct at School Activities

School sponsored or approved activities are an important part of the program and offer students the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities not available during the regular school day. School sponsored or approved activities are provided for the enjoyment and the opportunity for involvement they afford the students.

Spectators are permitted and encouraged to attend these activities as guests of ACES, and, accordingly as a condition of such permission they must comply with the ACES’ rules and policies. Spectators will not be allowed to interfere with the enjoyment of the students participating, other spectators or with the performance of employees and officials supervising the school sponsored or approved activities.  Spectators, like the student participants, are expected to display mature behavior and sportsmanship. The failure of spectators to do so is disruptive and embarrassing to students, ACES and the entire community.

To protect the rights of students to participate without fear of interference and to allow sponsors and officials of such activities to perform without interferences, the following provisions shall be in effect:

  • Abusive, verbal or physical conduct of spectators directed at participants, officials or staff involved in such activities will not be tolerated.
  • Verbal or physical conduct of spectators that interferes with the performance of students, officials or staff involved in such activities will not be tolerated.
  • The use of vulgar, obscene or demeaning expression directed at students, officials or staff participating is such activities will not be tolerated.

If a spectator at an approved or sponsored activity becomes physically abusive, verbally abusive, uses vulgar, obscene or demeaning language or in any way impeded the performance of an activity, the spectator may be asked to leave the event by the school official in charge of the event. The Executive Director or his/her designee may recommend, to the Governing Board, the exclusion of the spectator at future sponsored or approved activities.

Upon the recommendation of the Executive Director, the Board shall cause a notice of exclusion at an ACES sponsored or approved activities to be sent to the spectator involved. The Executive Director or his/her designee shall advise the spectator of ACES’ right to exclude the individual from ACES’ activities and events for the duration of the exclusion. If the spectator disobeys school officials and the ACES’ order, law enforcement authorities may be contacted and requested to remove the spectator. If a spectator has been notified of exclusion and thereafter attends an ACES sponsored or approved activity, the spectator shall be advised that his/her attendance will result in persecution. ACES may seek to obtain a court order to bar the individual from future ACES sponsored or approved activities.

(cf. 1250 – Visits to the Schools)
(cf. 1251 - Loitering or Causing Disturbances)
(cf. 1316 – Conduct on School Property)
(cf. 1330 – Use of School Facilities)
(cf. 1331 – Smoke Free Environment)
(cf. 1700 – Otherwise Lawful Possession of Firearms on School Property)
(cf. 3517.2 – Vandalism)
(cf. 5131.5 – Vandalism)
(cf. 6145.22 – Sportsmanship)
(cf. 6145.71 – Use of Alcohol by Adults)

Legal Reference:  Connecticut General Statutes
     1-225 Meetings of the government agents to be public
     1-232 Conduct of the meeting
     Duties of boards of education
     Boards of education to prescribe rule(s), policies, and procedures
     10-238 Petition for hearing by Governing Board.
     10-239 Use of school facilities for other purposes.
    53a-185 Loitering in or about school grounds: Class C misdemeanor.

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1324 Soliciting Funds/Distribution of Materials To and By Students

The Governing Board recognizes that the students of this system represent a "captive audience" which many companies or organizations would like to reach for their own purposes.

The Board is also aware of the need to make optimal use of instructional time. It therefore wishes to limit interruptions to instructional time or attempts to reach students for other than instructional purposes.

The distribution of materials, the solicitation of funds and/or the sales of merchandise or services, to homes via ACES students is not permitted, unless the Executive Director or his/her designee determines it is in the best interest of the school system or student.

Advertising

There shall be no advertising for the purpose of financial gain in any school or on school property. This includes direct advertising and indirect advertising such as contests or activities sponsored by merchants.

The Executive Director may develop and distribute a list, to be reviewed annually, of organizations and activities which have been approved for the distribution of materials. Organizations on the approved list may distribute materials in a school with the permission of the building administrator. Any organization not on the list, or, if no list has been developed, all organizations must apply to the Executive Director for the distribution of materials in any school or to any student.

School staff and/or teachers shall not distribute free or subsidized material nor offer anything for sale to students without the permission of the Executive Director. This specifically includes any trips or material which constitute direct advertising.

Soliciting by Students

Students shall not be asked to solicit funds unless it is for a school sanctioned activity and under strict guidelines which are to be established by the Executive Director.

No door-to-door solicitation by students is permitted for any school sanctioned activity.

Funds so collected may not be used to replace budgeted funds for existing programs or activities. All funds collected shall be subject to approved school activity accounting procedures and periodic audit.

This policy shall conform to the wellness policy of ACES.

Distribution of Materials

Annually the Executive Director may develop and distribute a listing of non-profit organizations which have pre-approval to distribute materials in the schools. These organizations must provide information or services to youngsters in the system, be non-sectarian, and must not solicit funds from students nor compete with educational programs provided by the schools. Materials submitted to schools from these organizations shall be distributed to appropriate elementary students and posted in secondary schools.

Any group not on the pre-approved list (or all groups if there is no list) should submit to the Executive Director two copies of materials it wishes distributed. Materials must be submitted two weeks prior to the proposed date of distribution or they will not be considered. The groups for which the material is intended and the recommended date of distribution or posting must be included with the request. It must be clear that no funds are being solicited and that the material is of educational interest to ACES’ students. Any Principal may question any item submitted from a group on the pre-approved list and ask that it be referred to the Executive Director for approval.

Building PTAs may distribute material through their respective buildings, with approval of the Principal.

Any fundraising which is approved should not interfere with instructional time, nor lead to door- to-door soliciting by students. Principals are responsible for informing students, parents and sponsoring organizations that door-to-door soliciting by students is not permitted.

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1324 Form

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AREA COOPERATIVE EDUCATION SERVICES

North Haven, Connecticut
 

Fund-Raising Activity Approval Gifts, Grants, and Bequests

 

                                                                                                                                            
School Date                                  
                                                                                                                                                                
Organization
 
                                                                                                                                                                
Contact Person
 
Activity:
                                                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                                                
 
                                                    
Date of fund-raising activity
 
School Sponsored:  Yes              No             
 
Requires Governing Board approval                               Executive Director approval              
 
                                                                                                                                                                
Gift
 
                                                                                                                                                                
Value of gift/donation
                                                                                                                                              
Executive Directors Signature Date                  
   
                                                                                                                                             
Principal's Signature Date

 


 

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1325 Advertising and Promotion

Students must be protected from possible exploitation in advertising or promoting interests of any non-school agency or organization.

No advertising material may be posted or distributed to students which, in the opinion of the Executive Director, would contribute to the personal gain of an individual, business, or company except as follows:

  • Educational material used by staff for education purposes.
  • Samples, calendars, supply catalogs, etc., distributed to staff for examination, testing or review or routine classroom use.

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1327 Relations with Youth Organizations

In order to provide the best possible educational opportunities for all students, the Board may consider properly submitted proposals for activities offering explorations of areas which are adjunct to or outside the ACES’ curriculum. Whenever appropriate, the Board will co-sponsor such activities with a bona fide youth organization.

Proposals shall be judged on their educational value, relevance to student educational levels and interests, and the availability of funds, adequate supervision and transportation.

The Administration will work out each viable proposal in detail with the co-sponsoring organization.

The Board encourages efforts by the staff, students, youth organizations and the community to make the widest possible range of educational experiences available to the students of ACES. Students will be encouraged to take an active part in the planning and implementation of such approved activities.

The Administration, in cooperation with the co-sponsoring organization, will devise and implement procedures to evaluate each approved activity.

(cf. 1330 - Use of School Facilities)

(cf. 3515 - Community Use of School Facilities)

Legal Reference:  Connecticut General Statutes
     
10-215c Discrimination in public schools prohibited.
     10-239 Use of school facilities for other purposes.
     Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. ss 4071-4074

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1330 Use of School Facilities

Since school buildings and grounds are public property, the Governing Board may make them available for purposes other than education when they are not in use for school purposes.

The Governing shall grant the use of school facilities for activities of an educational, cultural, civic, and other non-commercial uses consistent with the public interest when such use does not interfere with the school program or school sponsored activities as permitted under law. The use of school facilities for school purposes has precedence over all other uses. Persons on school property must abide by the conduct rules of ACES at all times.

Groups intended to serve youth under the age of 21 listed in Title 36 of the U.S. Code may use school property upon payment of suitable fees and costs according to the Board approved fee schedule.

  • Types of Activities Which Will Not be Permitted:
  • Activities which are unlawful in nature.
  • Any purpose in conflict with the mission or goals of the school district.
  • Commercial advertising
  • Fund-raising campaigns except as permitted by the Governing Board policy or by special action of the Governing Board. (Option: “except as permitted by the Executive Director.”)
  • Any activity which may be injurious to the buildings, grounds or equipment of the schools.

Consistent with this policy the Executive Director or designee shall approve and schedule the use of school facilities by an individual or group and shall develop guidelines for community use of the schools.

(cf. 6145 – Extra Class Activities: Limited Open Forum)

Legal Reference:  Connecticut General Statutes
     10-239 Use of school facilities for other purposes.
     PA 97-290 An Act Enhancing Educational Choices and Opportunities Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. ss 4071-4074
     Good News Club v. Milford Central School, Sup.Ct., 6-11-01
     20 U.S.C. 7905 (Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act contained in No Child Left Behind Act of 2001)

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1331 Smoke Free Environment

Students

In accordance with law and to promote the health and safety of all students and staff, the District prohibits all employees, students and patrons from smoking or using tobacco or tobacco products in all school facilities, buildings and buses or other District transportation at all times, including athletic events and meetings.  Tobacco includes, but is not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, snuff, smoking tobacco, smokeless tobacco, nicotine delivering devices or vapor products, chemicals or devices that produce the same flavor or physical effect of nicotine substances; and any other tobacco or nicotine innovations. This prohibition extends to all facilities the District owns/operates, contracts for or leases to provide educational services, routine health care, daycare or early childhood development services to children, as well as facilities in which services are not provided to children.

Definitions

Electronic nicotine delivery system means an electronic device that may be used to simulate smoking in the delivery of nicotine or other substance to a person inhaling from the device, and includes, but is not limited to, an electronic cigarette, electronic cigar, electronic cigarillo, electronic pipe or electronic hookah and any related device and any cartridge or other component of such device.

Liquid nicotine container means a container that holds a liquid substance containing nicotine that is sold, marketed or intended for use in an electronic nicotine delivery system or vapor product, except “liquid nicotine container” does not include such a container that is prefilled and sealed by the manufacturer and not intended to be opened by the consumer.

Vapor product means any product that employs a heating element, power source, electronic circuit or other electronic, chemical or mechanical means, regardless of shape or size, to produce a vapor that may or may not include nicotine that is inhaled by the user of such product.

This prohibition does not apply to any private residence or any portion of a facility that is used for inpatient hospital treatment of individuals dependent on, or addicted to, drugs or alcohol in which the District provides services.

In addition, the prohibition does not apply to a classroom where a demonstration of the use of an electronic nicotine delivery system or vapor product is taking place as part of a medical or scientific experiment or lesson.

Breaks by employees to smoke or use tobacco products are considered recreational activities.  If an employee takes a break from work to smoke or use tobacco products or leaves school grounds at any time for any reason other than District business, including to smoke or use tobacco products, he/she will not be considered to be acting within the normal course and scope of employment.

An ongoing program of student support and counseling will be offered to provide support for students who wish to break the smoking habit.

Staff and Public

A program of staff support and counseling may offered to provide support for staff who wish to break the smoking habit.

A sign shall be posted on school premises indicating that smoking, including the use of e-cigarettes is prohibited by state law.

(cf. 1120 Board of Education Meetings)
(cf. 1330 Use of School Facilities)
(cf. 4118.231/4218.231 Employee Smoking, Drinking, and Use of Drugs on School Premises)
(cf. 5131.6 Drugs, Tobacco, and Alcohol)

Legal Reference:   Connecticut General Statutes
     19a-342 Smoking prohibited in certain places. Signs required. Penalties.
     21a-242 Schedules of controlled substances.
     P.A. 14-76 An Act Concerning the Governor’s Recommendations Regarding Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Youth Smoking Prevention.
     P.A. 15-206 An Act Regulating Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Vapor Products.
     PL 107-110, Section 4303, “Non-smoking Policy for Children’s Services’
     20 U.S.C. 7181-7184 The Pro Children Act of 2001.

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1360 Awards and Scholarships

Any award or scholarship proposed for presentation in the ACES Schools which originates outside the school system must be submitted to the Principal or Executive Director for approval. The Governing Board reserves the right to accept or reject any such proposed award or scholarship.

The schools of ACES may establish and maintain a system of awards and scholarships which originate within a school in the system for the purpose of recognizing student achievement or special merit. In each such case, any award or scholarship which originates within a school must be submitted to the Principal or Executive Director for prior approval.

As new awards or scholarships are established by a school within the system, the Executive Director shall be made so aware.

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1411 Relations with Law Enforcement Agencies

Schools are responsible for students during school hours. This responsibility includes protecting each student’s constitutional rights, assuring due process in questioning and arrest, and protecting students from any form of illegal coercion. Because of the many support services that local law enforcement agencies provide to the schools, staff, and students, the State Board of Education supports the best possible relationship with those agencies consistent with the system’s responsibilities to protect legal rights of staff and students.

This policy is intended to balance the needs of school and police officials. The reduction of ambiguity and confusion in how these officials interact will provide an optimal environment for education while ensuring that the public safety needs of the school and community are adequately met.

Interview of Students

Police interviews generally will not take place on school grounds.  However, if the police do indicate that an interview on school grounds is necessary, school authorities may cooperate. When the interview involves a juvenile, a parent must be present. The exceptions to this rule are (a) if the student is being interviewed as a victim and/or (b) if there is an overriding immediate public safety concern. If a student under the age of 16 is being interviewed by the police and the parent/guardian cannot be present, a member of the school staff should be present.

When police are investigating possible criminal acts which occurred, or may have occurred, on school property, or while under the jurisdiction of the school district, they may question students at school when the following procedures are observed:

  • Students will be questioned as confidentially and inconspicuously as possible.
  • An attempt will be made to notify the student’s parents so that they may be present during the questioning. The school Principal, or his/her designee, will be present.
  • Preferably, the officer doing the questioning will wear civilian clothes.

When investigating a possible criminal violation occurring off school grounds or not part of a school program, police will be encouraged to question students in their homes; however, they may be permitted to question students in the schools when the procedures outlined in 1-3 above are observed. Police will make every attempt to minimize distractions or disruption of school routines during the performance of their duties.

Arrest of Students

The decision to call police and request an arrest is within the discretion of the building administrator. The Principal may request the arrest of a student or there are times in which the police may request to pick up a student due to a warrant being issued for his/her arrest. If the school Principal agrees to assist in the arrest of a student, the student should be escorted from class by school personnel and remain in a secured office until the police arrive. The arrested student will be removed from the school in a way that minimizes embarrassment to the student and nay disruption of the school routine.

Weapons

In cases where a student is suspected of carrying a dangerous weapon and there is a safety issue inherent in the search process, the student should be secured in a private area and the police should be contacted to conduct the search.

If a search is conducted by a school official and a weapon is found, weapons that are illegal should be turned over to the police immediately by the school official. Illegal weapons include knives with over a four-inch blade, dirk knives, switchblade knives, martial arts weapons and firearms. Ammunition should also be immediately turned over to the police. Weapons that are not illegal but are a violation of school policy may be retained by the Principal.

Designation of Authority

The Executive Director is authorized to develop procedures regarding this policy, including a process to ensure that appropriate staff has been informed, and to establish lines of communication with local law enforcement agencies to effect necessary cooperation toward ensuring the security of the school facilities, and the safety of students and staff.

(cf. 5145.12 Search/Seizure)

Legal Reference:  Connecticut General Statutes
     10-221 Boards of Education to prescribe rules
     53a-185 Loitering in our about school grounds: Class C Misdemeanor
     54-76j Disposition upon adjudication as youthful offender
     New Jersey vs. T.L.O. U.S. 325 (1985)

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1700 Otherwise Lawful Possession of Firearms on School Property

Notwithstanding the otherwise lawful possession of firearms defined in Section 53a-3 in or on the real property comprising school district property by persons who hold a valid state or local permit to carry a firearm and would otherwise legally traverse school property with an unloaded firearm for the purpose of gaining access to public or private lands open to hunting or for other lawful purposes, such entry onto school property by these persons for these purposes is prohibited by the Governing Board.

The issuance of a permit to carry a pistol or revolver does not authorize the possession or carrying of a pistol or revolver on school district property. The Governing Board prohibits such possession on school property.

Students are prohibited by the Governing Board from possessing firearms for any reason, whether otherwise lawful or not, in or on the real property comprising the public or private elementary or secondary school or at a school sponsored activity as defined in Subsection (h) of Section 10-233a.

(cf. 5114 - Suspension/Expulsion/Exclusion/Removal)

Legal Reference:  Connecticut General Statutes
     29-28 Permit for sale at retail of pistol or revolver.  Permit to carry a pistol or revolver.
     Confidentiality of name and address of permit holder. (as amended by PA 98-129)
     29-33 Sale, delivery or transfer of pistol and revolvers.
     Documentation requirements. Waiting period. Exempted transactions. Penalty. (as amended by PA 98-129)
     52a-3 Definitions.
     53a-217b Possession of a weapon on school grounds: Class D felony. (as amended by PA 01-84)

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