BOE Business/Non-Instructional Operations 3000 Series

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Concept and Roles in Business and Non-Instructional Operations 

Budget/Budgeting System 

Transfer of Funds Between Categories; Amendments

Budget Administration

State/Federal Funds

Materials/Service Fees, Charges


Sales & Disposal of Books, Equipment & Supplies

Gifts, Grants and Bequests

School Fund Raising

School District Receipts of Moneys

Purchase Orders

Requesting Goods and Services (Requisitions)

Competitive Bidding and Quotations

Contracts

Payment for Goods and Services 

System of Accounts

Periodic Financial Reports

Annual Audit

Inventory

Monies in School Buildings

School Activity Funds

Energy Conservation

Use of School Equipment or Property

Hazardous Materials Communication

Security of Buildings and Grounds

Information Security Breach and Notification

Technology Purchases

Pest Management /Pesticide Application (Hazardous Material in Schools)

Insurance

Transportation

Participation in the National School Lunch Program


Photocopying, Computer Software Duplication, and Videotaping for Education Purposes

 

Concept and Roles in Business and Non-Instructional Operations

3000

The Board of Education recognizes that finances and financial management are critical to the support of the whole school program. To make that support as effective as possible, the Board of Education shall:

  1. Encourage advance planning through the best possible budget procedures.
  2. Explore all practical sources of financial support.
  3. Guide the expenditure of funds so as to extract the greatest educational returns.
  4. Establish top‑quality accounting and reporting procedures.
  5. Maintain the level of unit expenditure needed to provide high-quality education within the ability of the community to pay.

Non-Instructional Operations

The operation and maintenance of school plant and equipment shall set high standards of safety, to promote the health of students and staff, to reflect prudent management of available resources and to support environmentally the efforts of the staff to provide a good education.

Budget/Budgeting System

3100

I. Superintendent Responsibilities

The school budget shall be made up annually from the best estimates that can be made from the individual school level, with appropriate consolidation as the estimates move upward through higher levels of administration.

The Superintendent will present to the Board of Education, for its consideration, a budgetary needs assessment for the school system for the next fiscal year.

After a budget has been adopted, it shall be the responsibility of the Superintendent to see that all personnel use the budget in a businesslike manner in supporting the adopted educational goals of the school system.

II. Planning the Budget

At special meetings in January and February, the Superintendent of Schools shall present an initial budget proposal for the subsequent year and such revisions as the Board of Education may require. In the preparation of the tentative budgets, the Superintendent of Schools shall confer as appropriate with other staff personnel to make the budget as nearly as possible an expression of the interests of all staff members. 

The Board of Education shall consider informally these preliminary budgets in a manner it so designates.

III. Fiscal Year

The fiscal year shall commence July first and end June thirtieth.

IV. Adoption of Budget

The Board of Education will present an itemized estimated cost for the operation of the public school to the fiscal authority not later than two months preceding the annual meeting at which appropriations are to be made.  The estimated cost of operating the public school, modified, if necessary, by any difference in the amount requested by the Board of Education and the amount appropriated by the town for the operation of the school.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 10-51 Regional schools; budget. 10-222 Appropriations and budget.

Transfer of Funds between Categories; Amendments

3160

The Board of Education may transfer any unexpended or uncontracted-for portion of any appropriation for school purposes to any other item of such itemized estimate, but expenditures shall not exceed the appropriation made by the fiscal authority combined with such money as may be received from other sources for school purposes.

The Superintendent or his/her designee is authorized to transfer funds from any line item in an amount less that $10,000, under emergency conditions if the urgent need for the transfer prevents the Board from meeting in a timely fashion to consider such transfer. All transfers made in such instances shall be announced at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 10-222 Appropriations and budget. Financial information system. (as amended by PA 98-141)

Budget Administration

3170

The Board of Education shall expend funds appropriated to it for the operation and maintenance of the schools and their educational programs. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall direct budget expenditures and budget management and shall keep the Board of Education informed of the status of the budget

No financial expenditure which exceeds the total Town approved annual BOE budget appropriation shall be made. The Superintendent shall expend budgetary funds as close to original administrative planning and Board approval as feasible and shall establish controls and procedures for all budget expenditures. The Board of Education shall be notified in advance, when possible, of projected over expenditures in major account categories along with the Superintendent’s plan for balancing over expenditures through object account transfers. Required object code transfers to balance actual or projected over expenditures of any object accounts will be made by the Board of Education at the recommendation of the Superintendent.

To assist the Board in carrying out its fiscal and general district responsibilities, the Superintendent or his/her designee shall prepare monthly financial statements and shall include in a monthly financial package to the Board:

  1. Amounts budgeted;
  2. Amounts expended and encumbered;
  3. Transfers, if any, made to balance accounts;
  4. Unencumbered balances;
  5. Other financial reports requested by the Board, or which the Superintendent believes would be provided.

The Superintendent may, if necessary in emergency circumstances, make appropriate expenditures for unbudgeted items or services to protect the health, welfare, or safety of students or staff, or to safeguard against facilities damage; at the first available opportunity, the Superintendent shall:

  1. Advise the Board of such administrative actions;
  2. Identify budget areas which equivalent funds have been transferred;
  3. Request, if necessary, that the Board seek a supplementary appropriation at a BOAT meeting.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 10-222 Appropriations and budget. (as amended by PA 98-141)

State/Federal Funds

3220, 3230

State and Federal Aid Eligibility Determination

To provide the best educational opportunities for all children in the district, it is the objective of the Board to seek sources of revenue to supplement funds provided by local taxation and the basic aid offered by the State, provided the additional funds will be used in a manner consistent with the Board’s goals and objectives.

Therefore, the Superintendent should:

  1. Investigate new sources of revenue consistent with the stated goals and objectives of the Board of Education.
  2. Propose new revenue sources and associated programs to the Board of Education for approval.
  3. Implement measures necessary to apply for/receive additional revenues.

The Board authorizes the Superintendent or designee to sign all forms for State and Federal programs following the Board’s approval of the program or its continuation.

The Superintendent shall report annually, as part of budget preparation, on the status of all State and Federal programs, including the financial status of each program. His/her report shall include recommendations to continue, modify, or discontinue each program.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 10-76d Duties and powers of boards of education to provide special education programs and services. State agency placements; apportionment of costs. (as amended by P.A. 99-279 An Act Concerning Programs and Modifications Necessary to Implement the Budget Relative to the Department of Social Services.) 10-220 Duties of boards of education.

Materials/Service Fees, Charges

3250

In accord with Connecticut General Statutes' requirement to provide a free public school education the Board of Education will provide at no cost to students all instructional equipment, books and materials as it deems necessary, needed to maintain the desired instructional program subject to reasonable rules concerning their care and use.

Students shall be charged for damaged or lost textbooks, library/media materials and other educational equipment or materials. Fines and assessments shall be levied, collected and disbursed subject to regulation by the building Principal. The schools are authorized to withhold transcripts, grades, diplomas or report cards until payment for a return of the textbook, library/media, or other educational equipment or material is made.

The Superintendent of Schools shall yearly review fees established for facility rentals and other fees that may be assessed.

Copy of Records

Any person who applies in writing shall receive a copy of any public record. The maximum fee per page allowable under the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act will be charged.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 1-15 Application for copies of public records 10-221 Boards of education to prescribe rules 10-228 Free textbooks, supplies, material and equipment 10-228a Free textbook loans to pupils attending non-public schools 10-229 Change of textbooks

Sales & Disposal of Books, Equipment & Supplies

3260

When equipment, books and materials become worn out, obsolete, surplus, or otherwise unusable in the schools, the Superintendent may authorize their disposal in a manner to the district's best advantage.

Equipment may not be sold directly to individuals. Any proceeds from disposition of equipment or supplies shall be deposited in the town general fund.

The Board of Education may, upon recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools, authorize the disbursement or destruction of outdated textbooks which are no longer useful to the educational program and have been determined obsolete by the professional administrative staff.

When books are sold either to used book vendors or shredders, this money must be returned to the town general fund. If and when such books are given to the PTA, the PTA may dispose of them as they wish.  Any monies received therefrom can be retained in the PTA.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 10‑220 Duties of boards of education. 10‑240 Control of schools. 10‑241 Powers of school districts.

Gifts, Grants and Bequests

3280

The Board of Education may accept on behalf of and for the schools any bequest or gift of money or property for a purpose deemed by the Board of Education to be suitable, and to utilize such money or property so designated.

The Superintendent of Schools shall set up criteria to be met in the acceptance of gifts, and the procedure for examining and evaluating offers of gifts to the district.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 7‑194 Powers. 10‑9 Bequests for educational purposes.

 Fund Raising

3281

Fund raising activities may be approved by the Principal, following consultation with the Superintendent of Schools as necessary, consistent with the following guidelines:

  1. The fund raising is in connection with school sponsored projects or is requested by a recognized community organization.  All such requests from community organizations shall be made and approved, in writing, on the form provided.
  2. There are sufficient educational or financial benefits which will accrue to the school and/or students, either directly or indirectly, from the activity.
  3. The mechanics of procedures of fund raising will neither be an unacceptable burden to teachers or other school staff members nor subject the school to inappropriate risks or responsibilities in handling funds. 

Upon approval by the Principal, information from recognized charitable and other organizations which could eventually result in voluntary student and/or parental activities, contributions, or memberships of benefit to the organization may be distributed through the schools. In these instances, the distribution of materials would be the only involvement on behalf of the organization.

School District Receipts of Money

3293

All moneys received by a town school district shall be deposited with the Town Treasurer except for moneys properly handled within the School Activity Fund or the School Lunch Fund.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 10-248 Payment of school expenses

 Purchase Orders

3320

The Superintendent of Schools, shall develop and administer the purchasing program of the school district such activities as ordering, verifying receipt of orders and distribution of materials received.

The Superintendent is authorized to issue purchase orders upon receipt of requisitions where quotes or formal bids are not required and when purchase orders are for items included in the budget and when sufficient funds are available in the particular budget account.  When purchase orders are for items not included in the budget or for items which would exceed the amount within a budget account, they may only be made with the approval of the Superintendent of Schools who in turn is limited by the provisions of Board Policy.  Overexpenditures of specific budget accounts will be shown on the monthly financial statement.

The purchase order system must be followed as established with exceptions to be made only upon the approval of the Board of Education.

Purchases or contracts made outside of the approved purchasing system shall not be the responsibility of the Board of Education.

Requesting Goods and Services (Requisitions)

3321

Requisitions for budgeted items shall originate from the personnel directly responsible for their use. The Superintendent of Schools shall arrange appropriate administrative review channels in which all requisitions will be examined and approved prior to purchase.

The Superintendent or designee shall receive and process requisitions in a manner most beneficial to the overall purposes of the school.

 Competitive Bidding and Quotations

3323 (a,b)

This policy shall apply to purchases made from any accounts within the Board’s jurisdiction.

The Board of Education shall deal fairly with all vendors and contractors.

Purchase orders or contracts shall be awarded to the lowest responsible, qualified bidder or quoter, consideration being given to the qualities of the articles to be supplied, their conformity with the specifications, their suitability to the requirements of the educational system, the delivery terms, and the past performance of vendors.

Vendor or Contractor Relations

No member or employee of this Board shall accept either directly or indirectly, any gifts from any person, firm or corporation, or desiring to do business with the school district.

Definitions

  1. Quotation: A notice, either orally or in writing, whereby a vendor informs the purchaser of the conditions and price under which he will furnish supplies, materials, equipment, or services to the purchaser.
  2. Bid:A notice, in writing in a sealed envelope, delivered to the buyer by a specific date, to be opened in public at a specified date and time by the purchaser, whereby a vendor or contractor informs the purchaser of the conditions and price under which he will furnish supplies, materials, equipment, or services to the purchaser in response to specifications set forth by the purchaser.

Amount of Purchase and Procedures to Follow:

  1. Less than $2000: Oral or written quotations shall be used as appropriate.
  2. $2001 - $3000: The district shall solicit written quotations unless the nature of the commodity or service prohibits effective competitive pricing if such solicitation is to the advantage of the district.
  3. $3001 - $4,999: The district shall solicit 3 or more written quotes unless the nature of the commodity or services prohibits competitive pricing and if such solicitation is to the advantage of the school district.
  4.  $5,000 and up: All purchases for $5,000 or more shall be bid unless the nature of the commodity or service prohibits bidding, and if the bidding is to the advantage of the school district.  Bids shall be advertised appropriately.  Solicitation for bids shall also be made from the “Mailing List for Bidders” maintained in the business office.  All bids must be submitted in sealed envelopes and marked appropriately on the outside of the envelope.  Bids shall be opened at the time specified.  Bid openings shall be public.  The school district reserves the right to reject any or all bids or quotes and reserves the right to waive any informalities in any bid.
  5. Emergency situation: In an emergency situation, the procedures of sections 2-4 may be eliminated.  Whether a given situation is an emergency situation shall be decided by the Superintendent of Schools with a report to the Board at its next regular meeting. 

Opportunity for Supplies

Opportunity shall be provided to all responsible suppliers and contractors to do business with the district. To this end the Superintendent of Schools shall develop and maintain lists of potential suppliers and contractors for the various types of materials, equipment, supplies, and services. Such list shall be used in the development of a mailing list for distribution of specifications and invitations to bid or provide quotes. Any supplier or contractor may be included in the list upon request. Each June, the Superintendent of Schools shall appropriately publicize the existence of the Mailing List of Supplier and Contractors, and invite persons, forms, or corporations interested in doing business with the school district to register for the Mailing List. In addition, at any time, any person, or corporation may request to be placed on the mailing list by so informing the school. Names shall be removed from the list for the following reasons:

Each June, the Superintendent of Schools shall appropriately publicize the existence of the Mailing List of Supplier and Contractors, and invite persons, forms, or corporations interested in doing business with the school district to register for the Mailing List. In addition, at any time, any person, or corporation may request to be placed on the mailing list by so informing the school. Names shall be removed from the list for the following reasons:

  1. Failure to submit a quotation and/or bid after two successive requests to quote or bid
  2. Failure to live up to terms of previous contracts
  3. Request of vendor or contractor

Statement of General Conditions

A statement of “General Conditions”, as approved by the Board of Education, shall be included with all specifications submitted to suppliers for their bids. These general conditions shall be incorporated in all contracts awarded for the purchase of materials, equipment and supplies.

Contracts

3324.1

All contracts between the District and outside agencies shall conform to prescribed standards as required by law.

All contracts between the District and outside agencies shall be prepared under the supervision of the Superintendent or designee, and where appropriate, subject to approval of the legal adviser to the district.

Affirmative Action

The school district shall not enter into any contract with a person, agency, or organization if it has knowledge that such person, agency or organization discriminates on the basis of race, color, religious creed, age, marital status, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, or physical handicap or disability, either in employment practices or in the provision of benefits or services to students or employees.

Legal Reference: Title VII, Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq. as amended by Title IX, Equal Employment Opportunity Act Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; 42 U.S.C. 1134n et seq. (Higher Education Act) Connecticut General Statutes 10-248 Payment of school expenses

 Payment for Goods and Services

3326

The Superintendent shall approve all invoices for payment prior to designated Board of education representatives signing the cheks.

Checks will be signed by the Chairman of the Board and the Superintendent. in the absence of either the Board Chairman or the Superintendent, First Selectman may sign checks.

Payment of properly approved invoices shall be made at least monthly.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 10‑248 Payment of school expenses.

 System of Accounts

3410

The accounting systems and procedures for the school district shall be set up so as to conform to best business practice and existing guides from the State Department of Education. The Superintendent and business staff will be expected to confer with appropriate specialists of the State Department of Education, school district auditors and any other knowledgeable persons or groups in achieving that objective.

It is understood by the Board that support for the purposes of the school shall be a prime objective of the accounting systems and procedures.

 Periodic Financial Reports

3430

The Superintendent of Schools shall be responsible for accounting for all monies expended from within the school budget, shall keep files of all invoices and payroll authorizations, and shall keep a record for the information of the Board of the expenditures broken down into the same categories and numbered accounts as the budget and the approved accounting system.

The Superintendent shall submit to the Board of Education monthly reports on the status of the budget, showing appropriations and expenditures for the fiscal year to date.

The Superintendent, as agent for the Board of Education, shall be responsible for making annual reports to the Town, the State Board of Education, the Teacher’s Retirement Board, and other such agencies required by law.

Annual Audit

3434

An audit of the accounts of the school system shall be made annually by a qualified accountant. The audit examination shall be conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards and shall include all funds over which the Board of Education has direct or supervisory control.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 7-392 Making of Audits. 7-393 Working papers of accountant; preservation for inspection. 10-260a Auditing of state grants for public education.

Inventory

3440

All school properties shall be inventoried annually prior to the close of the school year.

New acquisitions and disposals shall be entered immediately into inventory records.

Monies in School Buildings

3450

  1. Everyone is to be discouraged from leaving money, personal or school funds in his/her desk or file cabinet. The District cannot accept the responsibility for the disappearance of such funds.
  2. All school funds are to be properly accounted for, including the necessary receipts, deposit slips, bank statements, etc. The prescribed procedure is to make frequent deposits in the approved bank accounts, especially on Fridays and the last business day of the month.

a. No new account will be established without the approval of the Superintendent of Schools
b. All monies collected must be deposited in full and a number receipt must be given to the depositor.
c. All expenditures must be made by a check.
d. All invoice must support any checks written.

3. All thefts of money should be reported promptly in writing to the Superintendent or his/her designee.

 School Activity Funds

3453

The Principal shall be director of the school activity fund which shall cover the financial activities of the schools’ organizations including student groups. All funds collected in the school or for school activities must be deposited into this fund; all monies disbursed must be with fund checks; and all purchases made must be substantiated with documentation. These accounts shall be maintained by the Financial Officer and authorized expenditures shall be signed by the superintendent or Principal.

 Energy Conservation

3513.1

It is the responsibility of Board members, administrators, teachers, students, and support personnel to ensure that every effort is made to conserve energy and natural resources while exercising sound financial management. (cf. 7230.1 - New Construction)

(cf. 7230.1 - New Construction)

Use of School Equipment or Property

3514

School equipment or property may be loaned to community groups for an educational, civic, or charitable purpose when:

  1. The group borrowing the equipment agrees to accept responsibility for repairing or replacing any equipment damaged or lost while in its possession.
  2. The equipment is not unusually expensive and also subject to easy damage.
  3. The equipment is in good condition.
  4. The group will provide a competent operator for equipment loaned.

The school Principal shall be empowered to act within this policy on requests for borrowing school equipment.

Hazardous Materials Communication

3516.11

The Board of Education recognizes the necessity of utilizing hazardous materials in the day-to-day operation of school facilities and in supporting education requirements. The Board realizes that with the use of hazardous materials, responsibility must be taken to ensure personal safety and to protect the environment during use, storage and transportation. There are many areas of the District, from science laboratories and art departments to custodial services and vehicle maintenance, where such a variety of uses is performed.

Hazardous materials include any substance or mixture of substances that poses a fire, explosive, reactive or health hazard. Examples of materials classed as hazardous are: common household cleaning supplies, spray oven cleaners, cleaning solvents, photo chemicals, soldering flux, some ceramic glazes, oils and gasoline.

The Board, through the Superintendent, shall cause to be created, procedures which address the purchase, storage, handling, transportation and disposal of hazardous materials for school facilities and operations including instructional areas.

The goal of the procedures shall be to have in place an ongoing process by which each location in the District will have a program of identifying and managing hazardous materials. The Hazard Communication Program materials will be located in the school office. District personnel shall be encouraged to substitute non-hazardous materials for hazardous substances to the extend possible and to minimize the quantities of hazardous substances stored on school property.

Accident Prevention

3516.3

The practice of safety shall also be considered a facet of the instructional plan of the district schools by virtue of educational programs in traffic and pedestrian safety, fire prevention, emergency procedures, etc., appropriately geared to students at different grade levels.

Each building administrator shall be responsible for the supervision of a safety program for his/her school and the school business manager shall have overall responsibility for the safety program of the district. General areas of emphasis shall include, but not be limited to: in‑service training; accident record‑keeping; plant inspection; driver and vehicle safety programs; fire prevention; school site selection; and emergency procedures and traffic safety problems relevant to students, employees and the community. 

Security of Building and Grounds

3517

Buildings constitute one of the greatest investments of the school district and the community. It is in the best interest of students and taxpayers to protect that investment adequately.

Security includes:

  1. Minimizing fire hazards.
  2. reducing the probability of faulty equipment.
  3. Guarding against the chance of electrical shock.
  4. Keeping records and funds in a safe place.
  5. Protect against vandalism and burglary.

The Superintendent of Schools is directed to establish such rules and regulations as may be needed to provide for security as outlined above.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 29‑389 Stairways and fire escapes on certain buildings.

 Information Security Breach and Notification

3520.1 (a,b)

The Board of Education is concerned about the rise in identity theft and the need for prompt notification when security breaches occur. Therefore, the District will take reasonable security measures to guard against the foreseeable loss or exposure of restricted personal information about staff, students, and parents. The District will consider practices concerning physical, technical and administrative safeguards for both paper and electronic records.

To this end, the Board directs the Superintendent of Schools, in accordance with appropriate business and technology personnel, to establish regulations which:

  • Identify and/or define the types of private information that is to be kept secure.  For purposes of this policy, “private information” does not include information that can lawfully be made available to the general public pursuant to federal or state law or regulation;
  • Include procedures to identify any breaches of security that result in the release of private information; and
  • Include procedures to notify persons affected by the security breach.

Any breach of the district’s data which compromises the security, confidentiality, or integrity of personal information and information pertaining to District security and maintained by the District shall be promptly reported to the Superintendent and the Board of Education. However, good faith acquisition of personal information by an officer or employee or agent of the District for the purposes of the District is not considered a breach of the security of the system, provided that the private information is not used or subject to unauthorized disclosure.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 1-19(b)(11) Access to public records. Exempt records. 7-109 Destruction of documents. 10-15b Access of parent or guardians to student’s records. 10-209 Records not to be public. 11-8a Retention, destruction and transfer of documents. 11-8b Transfer or disposal of public records. State Library Board to adopt regulations.

Connecticut General Statutes (continued) 46b-56 (e) Access to Records of Minors. Connecticut Public Records Administration Schedule V - Disposition of Education Records (Revised 1983). Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act, as amended, added by section 513 of P.L. 93-568, codified at 20 U.S.C.1232g.). Dept. of Education 34 C.F.R. Part 99 (May 9, 1980 45 FR 30802) regs. implementing FERPA enacted as part of 438 of General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g) parent and student privacy and other rights with respect to educational records, as amended 11/21/96. 42 U.S.C. 1320d-1320d-8, P.L. 104-191, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) 65 Fed. Reg. 503 12-50372 65 Fed. Reg. 92462-82829 63 Fed. Reg. 43242-43280 67 Fed. Reg. 53182-53273

 Acquisition and Updating of Technology

3523.1 (a,b,c)

Technology Purchases

The Board of Education encourages the use of technology for any District function where efficiency, reliability or student learning will be improved.

New Programs - Philosophy

New technologies or new applications of technology within the District shall be implemented only after careful and thorough planning by the Technology Committee and administrative staff. Pilot projects shall be established and evaluated for effectiveness whenever possible prior to implementing a new technological program on a school-wide level. Support shall be given only to those new technologies that substantially improve efficiency, reliability or learning beyond current or “traditional” practice.

Whenever resources are allocated for the purchase of new technological hardware or software, resources shall also be allocated for staff training and the necessary supplementary materials and documentation.

Technology Hardware Replacement

Technology significantly impacts the classroom and the operation of the District. The District's technology plan must address all technology-related operations. Primary attention shall be given to the integration of technology into the curriculum and instructional practices. The plan must also relate to the importance of technology in the administration and management of the schools. Moreover, in the selection of new resources, the District must review not only new and desirable technologies, but should also assess existing technologies to determine how they can be integrated with the new. The sophistication of integrated systems can be one of the major strengths of technology for schools.

Students must be technologically literate and acquire skills and knowledge that allow them to function as productive citizens in a technologically-oriented society. To support this goal, hardware purchase and replacement is one of the components requiring attention in an instructional program promoting technology literacy.

Specifications for hardware selection shall be designed to ensure durable, functional and updated equipment. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall work with staff to develop a long-range plan appropriate for instructional technology for pre-school through grade six and for technology usage in the management of the school's facilities and resources.

Guidelines for Technology Purchases

The following policy guidelines have been established because of the District's interest in technology and the need to engage in thoughtful planning prior to purchase.

1. The most important criteria for selection of technology are the needs and objectives of the side where technology will be used.

a. The Technology Committee in conjunction with teachers and administrators involved with identify objectives, site needs and priorities.
b. Software selection and evaluation shall be weighted carefully in light of available technology and projected replacement hardware. All software must be compatible with licensing methods and installed network systems.
c. Hardware purchases shall be the result of consultations with users, demonstration of effectiveness, compatibility with district needs and evaluation of its worth from the standpoint of usability and "instructional merit/" Purchases must also be compatible with currently used configurations and platforms.
d. Consolidation of purchases shall be planned to ensure a more favorable price or bid and the ability to provide continuing hardware and software support.
e. All hardware and software acquisitions shall conform to current Technology Committee goals and initiatives regardless of the source of funding or whether the acquisition resulted from a donation.

2. Equipment and software purchases decisions shall be the result of comparisons and study of the products from a variety of the vendors.

3. Staff involvement in planning before purchase and in-service programs after purchase shall be considered. The goal of the professional development program will be to support staff at the current level of familiarity with technology and provide continuing training as their skills increase by offering mentoring, peer training, personal tutoring, and workshops.

4. A technical resource, hardware or software, shall not be taken out of service until all possible use of the resource within the District is exhausted or support is no longer feasible. 

(cf. 6162.7 - Educational Software)

 Pest Management/ Pesticide Application

3524.1 (a,b,c)

The Board of Education believes that structural and landscape pests can pose significant hazards to people, property and the environment. Pests are living organisms such as plants, animals or microorganisms that interfere with human uses for the school site. Strategies for managing pest populations will be influenced by the pest species and the degree to which that population poses a threat to people, property or the environment. Further, the Board also believes that pesticides can also pose hazards to people, property and the environment. The intent of this policy is to ensure the health and safety of students, teachers, staff and all others using district buildings and grounds.

The goal of this pest management program is to manage pests in order to:

  • Reduce any potential human health hazard and/or to protect against a significant threat to public safety;
  • Prevent loss or damage to school structures or property;
  • prevent pests from spreading in the community or to plant and animal population beyond the site;
  • Enhance the quality of life and to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for students, staff and others.

The school district shall incorporate Integrated Pest Management procedures (IPM) to manage structural and landscape pests and the toxic chemicals for their control in order to alleviate pest problems with the least possible hazard to people, property and the environment. In addition, staff, students and the public shall be educated, at least annually, about potential school pest problems and the IPM policies and procedures to be used to achieve the desired pest management objectives. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is the coordinated use of pest and environmental information with available pest control methods to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means with the least possible hazard.

IPM procedures will determine when to control pests and whether to use mechanical, physical, chemical, cultural or biological means. Chemical controls shall be used as a last resort. The Board establishes that the school district shall use pesticides only after consideration of the full range of alternatives, including no action, based upon an analysis of environmental effects, safety, effectiveness and costs. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall be responsible to implement Integrated Pest Management (IPM) procedures and to coordinate communications with members of the staff who are responsible for pest control, such as maintenance personnel and custodians, and hired contractors when utilized by the district to control a pest problem. The Maintenance Supervisor/Head Custodian shall be designated as the IPM supervisor and shall direct and supervise all IPM procedures to be carried out by assigned maintenance and/or custodial staff.

All district employees who use chemicals to control a pest problem must be trained and shall follow all precautions and application regulations. Effective July 1, 2000, the District will only employ certified pesticide applicators for any necessary and non-emergency pesticide use in school building or on school grounds. Contractors hired to do this work shall give evidence of appropriate training and certification in the proper use of pesticides. Pest control contractors shall be utilized, when deemed necessary, to inspect for conditions conducive to pest problems and to develop appropriate prevention measures. Pest control contractors will be expected to write recommendations for structural improvements or repairs and housekeeping and sanitation measures required to reduce or prevent recurrence of pest problems.

Someone other than a certified pesticide applicator may apply a pesticide in an emergency to eliminate an immediate human health threat when (1) it is impractical to obtain the services of a certified pesticide applicator and (2) a restricted use pesticide is not used.

Whenever it is deemed necessary to use a chemical substance, that school must provide notification to all parents and staff who have registered for advanced notification in conformity with state statutes. Parents/guardians and staff requesting advanced notification must be notified on the day of such use by any method practicable. Notices shall also be posted in designated areas at school at least (suggested) forty-eight (48) hours prior to the application.

At the beginning of each school year and at the time a student is registered, parents/guardians shall be informed of the District’s pest management policy. Those parents/guardians and staff who register a request shall be notified prior to every pesticide application.

Information regarding pesticides used and areas treated shall be maintained for a period of five years at the school site and available to the public and staff upon request. The district shall establish and maintain accurate records of all chemical use and their location. In addition, records of all pest control actions including information on indicators of pest activity that can verify the need for action.

Pesticide applications shall be limited to non-school hours and when activities are not taking place.

Beginning January 1, 2006 the application of lawn care pesticides on the grounds of any schools with students in grade eight or lower must be according to an integrated pest management plan (IPM). Such application is prohibited starting July 1, 2009 except in emergencies. An emergency application may be made to eliminate a human health threat in any school with students through grade eight as determined by the Superintendent of Schools.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 10-231b. Pesticide applications at schools: Authorized applicators. Exception. 10-231c. Pesticide applications at schools without an integrated pest management plan. 22a-46. Short title: Connecticut Pesticide Control Act. 22a-54. Pesticide applicators, certification, classification, notice, fees, reciprocity; financial responsibility; aircraft, tree, public employee applicators. 22a-58. Records to be kept by distributors and applicators. 23-61b. Licensing for arboriculture; examination; fees; renewal; suspension, revocation. Nonresidents. Records. Pesticides. Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) 7 U.S. Code 136 et seq.

 Insurance

3532

The Board of Education shall provide insurance to protect the school district against losses resulting from fire, casualty and fidelity perils as the Board of Education considers prudent.

Kinds of insurance and amounts of coverage shall be determined by the Board of Education annually during budget preparation.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 10-235 Indemnification of teachers, board members, and employees in damage suits; expenses of litigation. 10-236 Liability 10-236a Indemnification of educational personnel assaulted in the line of duty. 14-29 Insurance or bond of public service motor vehicle and service bus owners. 52-557 Injury to children being transported to school.

Liability Insurance

3532.1

The school system shall maintain appropriate limits of liability insurance to protect it, its Board, its employees, students and their parents against possible catastrophic financial loss occasioned by court action brought outside the area of governmental immunity of the school system.

The Superintendent of Schools, or his/her designee, shall seek any needed legal advice in ascertaining areas in which the school system is not protected by governmental immunity.

The school system shall indemnify and hold harmless any member(s) of the Board of Education against whom any action is instituted or any judgment of money damages is obtained for the acts of such member(s) other than those of a reckless nature or which constitute gross negligence.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 10-235 Indemnification of teachers, board members and employees in damage suits; expenses of litigation. 10-236 Liability insurance. 10-236a Indemnification of educational personnel assaulted in the line of duty. 52-557 Injury to children being transported to school.

Transportation

3541 (a,b,c,d,e)

General

It is the goal of the Board of Education to establish for the public schools an appropriate transportation system - one which will enable all qualified children of school age to attend school by school bus wherever transportation is required within guidelines set forth in this policy. The Superintendent of Schools is responsible to the Board of Education for the school transportation system. School bus transportation is for students only.

The transportation system shall be planned and operated in compliance with the General Statutes of the State of Connecticut and all regulations of the State Department of Education and the State Department of Motor Vehicles regarding the operation of school buses and motor vehicles.

Definitions

School Transportation - The procedure by which a student is conveyed to or from his/her residence to or from the school in which he/she is enrolled by the Board of Education at public expense, whether by use of publicly owned equipment or by contract.

Walking Distance - The distance along a prescribed or authorized pedestrian route between the student’s residence and his/her school, from a point on a paved public road or highway nearest the student’s residence to a point at the entrance of the school; or to a safe entrance to the school grounds or to the student’s assigned bus stop.

Walking Route - The assigned or authorized route a student walks to arrive at school or at the designated bus stop.

Riding Time - The time which a student spends on a school bus, or in a motor vehicle, from his/her bus stop to school or from the school to his/her bus stop.

Walking Time - The time in which a student should be expected to traverse, under normal conditions, the walking distance along his/her walking route (waiting time, is excluded from walking time computation.)

Normal Transportation Time - The combination of walking time and riding time under good weather conditions.

Student - Any individual of school age enrolled in a public school within the school district, or a special education student who is the responsibility of the school district, regardless of whether he/she is educated within or out of the school district.  Student shall also mean an individual who attends the schools of Regional School District No. 8 (RHAM Middle and Senior High Schools.)

Grade K - Kindergarten, or a school program appropriate to a beginning student under age six.

Undue Hazard - An unsafe condition affecting the safety of students walking to and from school, or a designated bus pickup area; a possible source of peril, danger, duress or difficulty (cf. Webster), exposure to molestation or attack considered morally degrading or physically harmful. “Undue or unreasonable hazard” means an unsafe condition presenting difficulties or problems the solution of which is beyond the ordinary capability of a student of a given age or attainment.

Guidelines

1. Maximum walking distances for students are: 

a. Students below 10 years of age or enrolled in grades K-3 - up to one mile;
b. Students between 10-12 years of age or enrolled in grades 4-6 - up to one and one-half miles;

2. Normal transportation time shall not exceed one hour and fifteen minutes.

3. Students shall not be required to walk to school or to a designated bus stop when a condition exists along the assigned route to school or to the bus stop which would present an undue hazard to a student. The following shall be considered undue hazards along routes:

a. For students under ten years of age, streets, roads or highways having speed limits over 45 mph and without a safe walkway parallel to the paved roadway;
b. Streets, roads, or highways with speed limits in excess of 45 mph which must be crossed by students under age 10 to arrive at school or at a bus stop, unless the student can cross after the bus has stopped with signal lights flashing; or at a traffic light; or with a crossing guard; or at a stop sign and a marked crosswalk;
c. For all students, any street, road or highway which has no sidewalks or raised walk areas may be deemed hazardous when the sight visibility together with posted speed limits do not permit vehicular braking/stopping in accordance with the Connecticut Drivers Manual or Department of Transportation, Division of Design;
d. For all students, the usual or frequent presence of any nuisance such as open ditches within 25 feet of the walking area, snow plowed or piled on the walk area making walkways unusable, construction including such nuisances which is hazardous or attractive to children;
e. Loading zones where delivery trucks block walking routes;
f. Commercial entrances or exits, not guarded where vehicles cross at more than five miles per hour;
g. A drop of three or more feet per four feet of travel length on either side of the roadway, walkway; or bridge unless there is a suitable fence or other barrier;
h. For all students, any street, road, walkway, or path designated as a walking route for all school students which passes through an area which has a history of aggressive acts of molestation resulting in actual or threatened physical harm or moral degradation during hours when students ordinarily walk to or from school may be deemed hazardous.

4. In cases of appeals, the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee shall furnish evidence satisfactory to the Board of Education that no student has been denied transportation when such Board has been aware of the existence of a hazard of such severity as to be judged dangerous.

Special Education Students

Transportation shall be provided, as a related special education service, as required to implement the individualized education program for each student requiring special education and related services. The following additional guidelines apply to special education students:

  1. Normal transportation time shall not exceed one hour each way to and from a special education facility.  Decisions relating to travel time shall consider the nature and severity of the student’s exceptionality and the student’s age.  If an appropriate placement cannot be made within the one hour travel time limit, written parental consent to longer travel time shall be obtained prior to implementing the transportation service.
  2. Operators of vehicle shall be given in-service training, as necessary, concerning the specific needs of students being transported.
  3. Transportation aides shall be provided by the Board of Education for a student whose individualized education program specifies the need for such an aide
  4. If a parent transports his/her child to and from school, as per the student’s Individual Educational Plan (IEP), the parent shall be reimbursed for the cost of such transportation at a mileage rate approved by the Superintendent of Schools.  No parent shall be required by the school district to provide transportation.

Educational and Extracurricular Trips

Educational and extracurricular trips must be approved by the Superintendent or his/her designee. The general policy of the Board is to use a commercial carrier with full public liability and property damage insurance. Funds may be allotted to the schools for these trips.

Baby-Sitter Requests

Requests to have students picked up and/or dropped off at a baby-sitter’s home must be made in writing to the building Principal. These requests will be honored provided there is an existing bus route assigned to that location in the district and that there is seating space available on that bus. Seating priority will be given to students whose residences are on an existing bus route. Parents should minimize the number of baby-sitters used and the number of changes in baby-sitters during the school year.

Day Care Centers

Transportation to and from day care centers, will be provided only upon written request of the parents. These requests will be honored provided there is an existing bus route assigned to that location and that there is seating space available on that bus. For the purpose of this policy a day care center is defined as one so licensed by the State of Connecticut with an enrollment of 13 or more children. Such written requests must be made to the elementary school by July 7 of each year. Any such request made after July 7 will be addressed on a space available basis.

Exceptions to Transportation Policy

The Superintendent of Schools may grant an exception to this policy if required by factors or combinations of factors which are not covered by this policy. Any exceptions made shall be reported to the Board of Education and appropriate policy changes recommended as needed.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 10‑76d re transportation for special education program services. 10‑97 Transportation to vocational schools. 10‑186 Duties of local and regional boards of education re school attendance. Hearings. Appeals to state board. Establishment of hearing board. 10‑220 Duties of boards of education. 10‑220c Transportation of children over private roads. Immunity from liability. 10‑273a Reimbursement for transportation to and from elementary and secondary schools. 10‑280a Transportation for students in non‑profit private schools outside school district. 10‑281 Transportation for students in non‑profit private schools within school district. 14‑275a Use of standard school bus required, when. 14‑275b Transportation of handicapped students. 14‑275c Regulations re school buses and motor vehicles used to transport special education students. 14‑280 Letters and signals to be concealed when not used in transporting children. Signs on other vehicles. 20 U.S.C. NCLB Act of 2001, P.L. 107-110, Title I, Section 1116 McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act of 2001, P.L. 107-110, 42 U.S.C., Sections 11431-11435

Bus Routes

3541.3

The bus contractor shall develop bus routes for approval by the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee annually by August 1.

Bus routes shall be published prior to the opening of school and parents shall be notified in advance of any changes in routes.

The Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee is authorized to arrange for special education transportation for students as required.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 10-97 Transportation to vocational schools. 10-186 Duties of local and regional boards of education re school attendance. 10-220 Duties of boards of education. 10-220c Transportation of children over private roads. 10-233a and 10‑233c Suspension of students.

Procedures for Emergencies; Safety - Transportation

3541.35

  1. In the event of an accident (any kind of impact) the driver shall contact, by radio or other means as soon as possible, the Office of the Superintendent and inform them of the location and information on injuries, if any, who will then contact the State Police.  If the driver is unable to contact the Office of the Superintendent, he/she shall contact the State Police.  The driver shall remain at the accident scene until a representative arrives from the office.
  2. If necessary, the Office of the Superintendent or State Police will contact emergency medical services. If anyone is in need of immediate medical attention and/or hospitalization, they will be taken to the nearest hospital.
  3. The driver and/or administrators on the scene, will take student names, seating arrangements, and provide police with appropriate information.
  4. Bus drivers are not to release students until directed by an administrator or State Police.
  5. Parents of students in need of medical attention will be notified as soon as possible by an administrator.  An administrator, at an appropriate time, may send written correspondence to parents briefly describing the situation.  However, due to possible litigation, only information pertaining to location, date, time, and seriousness of reported injuries should be transmitted.
  6. The bus company, as directed by the Office of the Superintendent, will arrange, if necessary, alternate transportation from the scene of the accident to home or school as appropriate.

If a school bus is involved in a traffic accident, the following procedures shall be followed:

  1. In the event of an accident, the school office and the Superintendent are to be notified immediately by the bus contractor identifying bus route numbers and location.  Any bus or van involved in an accident will remain at accident scene until a representative from central office arrives.
  2. If the bus is en route to a school, the students will, upon arrival at school, be examined by the school nurse or school physician before returning to class. If injuries require further examination, the students will be immediately transported to the nearest hospital.
  3. If a bus is en route from school and an accident occurs, the students will be returned to school for the examinations by the school nurse.  In the event of a serious accident requiring immediate medical attention and/or hospitalization, the students will be taken to the nearest hospital.
  4. Bus drivers are not to release anybody until all students and drivers have been accounted for and released by appropriate medical staff and school bus supervisor.
  5. All parents of students in need of medical attention will be notified as soon as possible by school officials.
  6. The bus contractor will be responsible for supplying transportation from the scene of accident to home for students who have been released.
  7. The school Principal will be responsible for having staff available on the scene for the purpose of identification of students.
  8. In the event of a serious school bus or school van accident, parents may call the school for further information.

Transportation Equipment

3541.4

All motor vehicles used in transporting school children shall comply with all current regulations of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 14‑257 Crowded seats; riders on outside of vehicle. Aisle seats. 14‑262 Width and length of vehicles. 14‑273 Operation of public service motor vehicles. 14‑274 Hours of operation of public service and commercial motor vehicles. 14‑275 Equipment and color of school buses. 14‑275a Use of standard school bus required, when.

Privately Owned Vehicles

3541.44

The Board of Education recognizes that, in special incidental, unplanned and/or emergency circumstances, district employees may need to use private vehicles for school purposes. In particular, the Building Principal or designee may authorize the transportation of students in private vehicles for the following reasons:

To transport a student or students to a hospital or other medical facility, in the event of a medical emergency; and/or

To transport a student or students to district-sponsored events when regular district transportation is unavailable.

Prior authorization may not be necessary in the event of an emergency. The district assumes no liability unless the employee has prior authorization for such transportation.

District administrators will exercise caution in authorizing transportation of students in private vehicles, since the district potentially assumes liability for any accident claim which exceeds the driver's automotive liability coverage. Any teacher or parent using a private vehicle to transport students on a regular basis must provide evidence of liability insurance, with the district named as an additional insured, in an amount deemed adequate by the Superintendent of Schools or the School Business Administrator.

The incidental, unplanned and/or emergency operation of a motor vehicle by a school employee to transport students does not require the operator to hold an operator’s license endorsement.

(cf. 3541.22 – Drivers) (cf. 4133.1/4233.1 – Use of Board of Education Vehicles or Privately Owned Vehicles)

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 14-1(i) Motor vehicles: definitions. 14-212 (8) Definitions - “Student transportation vehicle.” 14-212 (2) Definitions - “Carrier.” PA 07-224 An Act Concerning Operator’s Licenses Bearing a School Bus Endorsement. Declaratory Ruling, Nov. 16, 2007 - Robert M. Ward, Commissioner, DMV

Use of Private Automobiles on School Trips (by school employees)

3541.44 (a,b)

The Board of Education strongly encourages all transportation of students to be on buses or other transportation vehicles which conform to the requirements of law and regulations of the State Department of Education. The Board also recognizes that on limited occasions, it may be more cost effective and/or responsive for school employees to transport small numbers of students in private automobiles. Private automobiles may be used for school programs to transport students under the following circumstances:

  1. Trip is approved by Principal in advance.
  2. If a field trip, proper field trip form is submitted and approved by Principal and central administration.
  3. Use of private automobile is approved by Principal.
  4. No more passengers, including the driver, may be transported in the private vehicle than the vehicle was designed to carry and the number of seat belts provided.
  5. A limited number of students are involved.
  6. The licensed driver completes the “Verification of Liability Insurance” form prior to the trip.
  7. The Principal will maintain a file of the above noted forms. (Include photocopy of the driver’s license and insurance documentation)
  8. Parent authorization forms must include notification that staff member will be driving other than a school vehicle.
  9. If only one student is involved, a second responsible adult must be present on the trip, except in emergencies or with the permission of the Principal and/or parents.
  10. In an emergency, the Principal can authorize the transportation of student(s) without parental permission.

(cf. 3541.22 – Drivers) (cf. 4133.1/4233.1 – Use of Board of Education Vehicles or Privately Owned Vehicles)

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 14-1(i) Motor vehicles: definitions. 14-212 (8) Definitions - “Student transportation vehicle.” 14-212 (2) Definitions - “Carrier.” PA 07-224 An Act Concerning Operator’s Licenses Bearing a School Bus Endorsement. Declaratory Ruling, Nov. 16, 2007 - Robert M. Ward, Commissioner, DMV

Safety Complaints

3541.5

The Superintendent of Schools will develop procedures for reporting of all complaints relative to school transportation safety.

The school bus contractor is required to maintain a log relative to any complaints regarding school transportation safety and to submit said information to the Superintendent within two weeks after the conclusion of the school year. The Superintendent will submit a written report of any such complaints to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles within 30 days after the conclusion of each school year. The school bus contractor shall immediately notify the Superintendent verbally, and then in writing within 5 calendar days, regarding the circumstances of any accident within its jurisdiction and knowledge involving a motor vehicle and a pedestrian who is a student which occurs at a designated bus stop or in the immediate vicinity thereof. The Superintendent shall submit a written report of any such accidents to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles within 10 calendar days.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 10-221c Development of policy for reporting complaints re school transportation safety.

Bus Drivers

3541.6 (a,b,c)

Annually, the bus contractor will provide the Superintendent of Schools with a list of qualified drivers. The Superintendent of Schools shall require each regular driver to participate at least annually in a first aid seminar provided by the contractor of at least three hours duration. Whenever practical, substitute bus drivers shall also be required to participate in the first aid experience.

Bus Operator

1. The school bus operator must:

a. Hold a proper state driver's license.

b. Have a public service operator's license, or hold a certificate of qualifications from the Board of Education. This should require evidence of:

1. Age

2. Previous driving experience

3. Certificate of physical examination by physician licensed to practice in CT

4. Educational Background

5. Good moral character as shown by reference.

2. The school bus driver must:

a. Know and observe the statutes and rules and regulations pertaining to operation and equipment of school buses.

b. Make a daily inspection before starting out, checking brakes, windshield wipers, stop lights, directional signals, tires and make sure that the windshield, lenses on lights, rear window and inside bus are clean.

c. Follow state regulations in refueling bus.

d. Report promptly the need for repairs or any irregularity in mechanical performance.

e. Be familiar with principals of first aid treatment.

3. The school bus operator should refuse to take out a bus that is known to be in unsafe condition.

4. The school bus operator must:

a. Be in complete charge of the bus and all passengers while the bus is in operation.

b. Report in writing persistent of rules and regulations on the behavior of passengers. Disciplinary measures are the responsibility of school authorities. 

c. Be careful not to exceed the capacity of his/her vehicle.

d. Be aware at al times of the position of his/her bus on the highway.

e. Inspect the bus to ensure that no child is left on board after each bus run.

5. The school bus operator must not stop his/her bus in an intersection to receive or discharge passengers.

6. School bus operators have no control over traffic except that given by displaying traffic signals.

7. The school bus operator must not endanger the children by insistence on right of way, regardless of legality of his/her position.

Bus Contractor

 When the Board of Education contracts for service, the contractor must:

  1. Maintain buses in safe condition in accordance with statutes and Motor Vehicle regulations.
  2. Submit to the Board of Education within one month of the award of a contract, a list of persons who are to operate the school buses.
  3. Employ drivers who are qualified and have a public service license and submit the names of the persons who may drive a school bus for the contractor.
  4. Not substitute non-licensed drivers with or without permission
  5. Provide that no portion of a contract is to be subcontracted without knowledge and consent of the Board of Education
  6. Provide an adequate number of reserve drivers.
  7. Require each driver to hold a public service operator's license, and to be familiar with the rules and regulations concerning the operation of school buses.
  8. Establish a regular schedule for serving buses. indicate items to be covered: oil, grease, tires, battery, etc.Est

 

Legal Reference: United States Code, Title 49 2717 Alcohol and controlled substances testing (Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991) Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49 40 Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs 382 Controlled Substance and Alcohol Use and Testing 395 Hours of Service Drivers Holiday v. City of Modesto (1991) 229 Cal. App. 3d. 528, 540. International Brotherhood of Teamsters v. Department of Transportation 932 F. 2d 1292 (1991) American Trucking Association, Inc. v. Federal Highway Administration, (1995) WL 136022 (4th circuit) Connecticut General Statutes PA 95-140 An Act Authorizing Drug Testing of Drivers of Certain Commercial Motor Vehicle. 10-220 Duties of boards of education Regulations of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles 14-275-32 United States Code, Title 49; Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991

Student Behavior

3541.7 (a,b,c)

School transportation privileges are extended to school children conditional upon their satisfactory behavior on the bus.

Student Responsibility

1. While waiting for the school bus and boarding it:

a. On the way to school students should:

1. Be at the stop at least 5 minutes before the designated time. The bus runs on schedule.

2. Wait for the bus on the shoulder of the highway (or on the sidewalk) and not on the paved roadway.

3. Wait until the bus comes to a full stop before trying to get on board.

4. Wait their turn. There should be no crowding.

b. While riding in the bus students should:

1. Converse quietly. they should not shout at other students or the driver.

2. Not throw objects in the bus.

3. Not destroy or deface seats or equipment.

4. Secure permission of driver before opening windows on teh bus.

5. Use appropriate language on the bus just as carefully as they do in school.

6. Not eat on the bus.

7. Not smoke on the bus.

2. When leaving the school bus:

a. At school students should:

1. Take their turn, and exit in an orderly manner.

2. Go directly to their room or the place previously designated.

b. At the home bus stop students should:

1. Watch their step getting off the bus.

2. If across the highway from home, stand on the shoulder of the road at the road at the front of the bus until the driver signals that it is safe to cross, then cross in front of the bus. 

3. If it is not necessary to cross the highway, stand aside on the shoulder of the road until the bus has moved on, then, when they can see traffic in both directions walk on the shoulder of the road (or on the sidewalk) to their home.

4. At the designation of a trip away from school, students shall obey the instructions of the teacher(s) and the driver.

5. Unsatisfactory student behavior on the bus shall be cause for temporary or permanent suspension of the school transportation privileges.  The Principal may suspend temporarily; permanent suspension shall only be by the Board of Education.

Parent's Responsibility -  STARTS HERE

1. Parents should keep at hand for ready reference the school schedule showing when the bus is due at their stop.

2.  Parents should make sure that children reach the school bus stop five (5) minutes prior to schedule.

3. Parents should accompany younger children to the bus stop.

4. Parents should instruct children to:

a. To walk facing traffic, if they must walk on the highway.

b. To look both ways before crossing a road.

c. To wait on the shoulder, off the pavement.

5. Parents who meet the school bus should wait on the side of the street.

6. Parents should at all times set a good example in observing traffic rules and regulations.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 10-220 Duties of boards of education 10-221 Boards of education to prescribe rules, policies and procedures 10-233a Definitions 10-233b Removal of pupils from class 10-233c Suspension of pupils 4-177 through 4-180 re: contested cases.

 Student Bus Assignments

3541.8

All school buses have a definite approved seating capacity which cannot be exceeded legally. It shall be the policy of the school district that all students who are transported ride to and from school only on buses to which they are assigned. Exceptions will be made only when necessary to implement the educational program of the student. These exceptions must be approved by the school principal who will ensure that the changed bus assignment will not be for such purposes as overnight visits, birthday parties, pajama parties, scout meetings, etc. Bus drivers are instructed to refuse transportation to any student not a regular passenger unless the student has received prior approval from the school principal.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 10-220 Duties of boards of education

Accident Procedure

3541.9

An up-to-date list of children on each bus will be kept on file in the school office and with the bus company.

In case of an accident involving a school bus, the following procedures shall apply:

1. Any accident involving student transportation shall be reported to the Superintendent or his/her designee as soon as possible and not later than twenty-four (24) hours from the time of the accident.  A written report must be submitted to the Board of Education as soon thereafter and. not later than two (2) days after the accident.

2. The determination regarding the need for immediate medical intervention at the site of a school bus accident will be made by the State Police who will be summoned to the scene by the bus contractor.  In the event that the police officer(s) do not determine the need for immediate medical intervention, the students will be subsequently transported to the designated school by a substitute vehicle provided by the bus contractor.

3. School Administrator's Responsibility:

a. Children will be checked against the bus list and absentees verified.

b. In the event that students involved in a school bus accident receive medical intervention as per the decision of the police, the administration using all available resources at his/her disposal will make every effort to contact each student’s parent/guardian as soon as possible.

c. Should a parent or guardian not be reached and the child complains of injury, the school may call a physician to examine the child.

d. If students are transported to Andover Elementary School or RHAM Middle/High School following a bus accident, the administration will have the school nurse examine each child involved in the accident-as soon as possible after they reach school.  Following said examination, the administration will make every effort to contact the parent/guardian informing them of the accident and the nurse’s medical recommendations, if any, as soon as possible.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 10-221c Development of policy for reporting complaints re school transportation safety.

Daily Operations/Accident Procedures

Since all regular transportation bus routes for students are completed prior to 4:00 p.m., school offices are to be open until 4:00 p.m. to cover the period of time when buses are completing their normal transportation routes.

Since late buses complete runs following the close of the business day (4:00 p.m.), parents will be advised by the schools to contact the bus company (phone numbers to be provided) or State Police (phone numbers to be provided) regarding a lost or missing student.  State Police will be provided with a list of administrators to be contacted regarding a late bus emergency.

Bus Emergency Procedures:

Each school administrator is responsible for developing a procedure for identifying, locating and responding to a lost or missing student.  In all circumstances of a lost child - prior to the close of the business day or after the business day - the Building Principal or his/her designee conducts the preliminary investigation regarding a lost child or bus emergency.  In the event that the lost child is not found within fifteen minutes of the inquiry, the parents/guardian is to be notified.

If a student is not found within a reasonable amount of time and the circumstances warrant it, the Building Principal or designee will determines the necessity for notifying law enforcement personnel.  The Superintendent is to be notified of the outcome of the search as well as the need to contact law enforcement.

Accident Procedure:

Bus drivers are to notify the bus depot in the event of a bus accident consistent with the emergency procedures of the carrier. The bus supervisor notifies the school Principal/his or her designee and the Superintendent. To the extent possible Building Principals and his or her designee shall report to the scene of the accident. The Principal is responsible for notifying the Superintendent of Schools. In all emergencies the Superintendent of Schools office should be the spokesperson for dealing with transportation emergencies.

Follow-up investigations of the accident are to be completed by the bus company/State Police and reported it to Superintendent of Schools and Building Principal.

Note in the absence of the Superintendent, the Principal is the contact person.

Free or Reduced Lunches

3542

Participation in the National School Lunch Program

3542.31

Participation in the National School Lunch Program is herewith authorized. Authorization is granted to the Superintendent to act on behalf of the Board for purposes of participating in the National School Lunch Program.

Free meals will be served to children from families whose income falls within the current criteria established by the Secretary of Agriculture under the Federal Lunch Program for free lunches. Special hardship conditions shall also be considered. Such hardship conditions, which could not be reasonably anticipated or controlled by the household include unusually high medical expenses, shelter costs in excess of 30 percent of reported income, special education expenses due to mental or physical condition for a child, and disaster or casualty losses. Children who are placed in foster homes by state welfare and who present eligibility forms shall also be served free meals.

The schools shall not physically segregate or discriminate against any child because of his or her inability to pay for a meal. The names of children eligible to receive free meals shall not be published, posted, or announced in any manner; and there shall be no overt identification of any such children by use of special tokens or tickets, or by any other means.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 10‑215 Lunches, breakfasts and other feeding programs for public school children and employees. 10‑216 Payment of expenses. Title VII, Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, et seq. as amended by Title IX, Equal Employment Opportunity Act. United States Department of Agriculture 7 C.F.R. 15, re nondiscrimination.

Student Nutrition and Physical Activity (School Wellness)

3542.34, 6142.101

The Andover Board of Education recognizes that student wellness is essential to learning and that good nutrition and regular physical activity are key components of student wellness. The Board supports a healthy school environment and promotes good nutrition and regular physical activity throughout the entire school environment. In compliance with state and federal requirements, the Board directs administration to ensure that the following goals and mandates are met:

I. Establishment of a District Nutrition and Physical Activity Advisory Committee (School Wellness Team)

A. The committee shall be responsible for developing guidelines on nutrition and physical activity and shall advise the Board on developing policies related to School Wellness.

B. The members of the committee shall include, but not be limited to, representatives of school administration, school certified staff, the school food authority and the school board, as well as parents, students, and the local community. The committee will consult the school nurse and physical education teacher as appropriate. Health practitioners and mental health care providers also may be consulted.

C. The committee shall be responsible for the implementation of guidelines and policies.

D. The committee shall monitor the implementation of this policy and prepare an annual report to the Board including, but not limited to, the following information:

1. Evaluation of food service menus and meal counts.

2. Description and evaluation of all regularly provided food.

3. Description and evaluation of all physical activity programs and opportunities throughout the school year.

II. Nutritional Guidelines for All Food in Schools

A. School food service menu offerings and kitchen operations shall meet or exceed the standards established by the state and the USDA.

B. School food service should encourage students to make healthy choices by promoting nutritious foods, by providing nutritional information, and by serving wholesome food in an appealing way.

C. Food shall not be made available to students in any way that would conflict with school food service.

D. All food available at the school and at school-sponsored activities, including but not limited to pre- and after-school programs and recreational activities, should meet or exceed the District guidelines.

 E. On all occasions at which food is served in connection with any activity or celebration in the school, providing foods that have high nutritional value should be encouraged and providing foods that have low nutritional value should be discouraged.

III. Nutrition Education and Promotion

A. A comprehensive approach to nutrition education shall be adopted in all grades.

B. Instructional staff shall incorporate nutritional themes in daily lessons when appropriate. The health benefits of good nutritional themes in daily lessons when appropriate. The health benefits of good nutrition should be emphasized. Guidelines from the Connecticut Department of Education Framework or the Connecticut Family and Consumer Sciences Framework should be consulted.

C. Nutrition education should be extended to parents and care providers to encourage consistency in attitudes towards nutrition.

D. The use of food a reward should be discouraged, especially food with low nutritional value.

E. School-sponsored fundraising activities are encouraged to follow district nutrition standards. The sale of non-food items should be encouraged as an alternative to food sales.

IV. Physical Activity

A. Physical activity includes instructional physical education, extra-curricular activities including sports, and recess activities.

B. Physical activity should be a part of every school day.

C. The use of physical activity as a form of disciplinary action shall be discouraged, whether by denying physical activity or by requiring physical activity. 

D. The value of phyiscal activity should be promoted by:

1. Offering opportunities for physical activity as a reward.

2. Providing for after-school community access to school physical activity facilities.

3. Encouraging student participation on physical activities outside the school.

4. Teaching the benefits of physical activity, physical fitness, sports and recreation for health and well-being.

V. Special Events

In accordance with Connecticut Public Act 06-63, will allow the Superintendent to exclude from certification sale of foods to students that do not meet the Connecticut Nutrition Standards at all events where the following three conditions are met: (1) the sale is in connection with an event occurring after the end of the regular school day or on a weekend; (2) the sale is at the location of said event; and (3) the food is not sold from a vending machine or school store.

(cf. 3542 - Food Services) (cf. 3542.33 - Food Sales Other Than National School Lunch Program) (cf. 3542.34 - Nutrition Program) (cf. 3452.45 - Vending Machines) (cf. 6142.6 - Physical Education) (cf. 6142.61 - Physical Activity) (cf. 6142.62 - Recess/Unstructured Time) (cf. 6142.10 - Health Education)

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 10-16b Prescribed courses of study. 10‑215 Lunches, breakfasts and the feeding programs for public school children and employees. 10‑215a Non‑public school participation in feeding program. 10‑215b Duties of state board of education re feeding programs.

Connecticut General Statutes (continued) 10-215b-1 State board of education regulation 10‑216 Payment of expenses. 10-221 Boards of education to prescribe rules, policies and procedures. PA 04-224 An Act Concerning Childhood Nutrition in Schools, Recess, and Lunch Breaks National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program; Competitive Foods. (7 CFR Parts 210 and 220, Federal Register, Vol. 45, No. 20, Tuesday, January 29, 1980, pp. 6758‑6772) The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, Public Law 108-265

Food Service - Charge Policy

3542.43

The goal of the food service program is to provide students with nutritious and healthy foods, through the District’s food services program, that will enhance learning. The school nutrition program is an essential part of the education system and by providing good-tasting, nutritious meals in pleasant surroundings, we are helping to teach students the value of good nutrition.

The Andover Board of Education has an agreement with the Connecticut State Department of Education to participate in one or more school Child Nutrition Programs and accepts full responsibility for adhering to the federal and state guidelines and regulations pertaining to these school Child Nutrition Programs. The Board also accepts full responsibility for providing free or reduced price meals to eligible elementary and secondary students enrolled in the District’s schools. Applicants for such meals are responsible to pay for meals until the application for the free or reduced price meals is completed and approved. All applications for free and reduced price lunch and any related information will be considered strictly confidential and not to be shared outside of the District’s food services program. Meals are planned to meet the specified nutrient standards outlined by the United States Department of Agriculture for children based on their age or grade group.

Although not required by law, because of the District’s participation in the Child Nutrition Programs, the Board approves the establishment of a system to allow a student to charge a meal.

The Board realizes that funds from the non-profit school food service account, according to federal regulations, cannot be used to cover the cost of charged meals that have not been paid.

Moreover, federal funds are intended to subsidize the meals of children and may not be used to subsidize meals for adults (teachers, staff and visitors). Adults are not allowed to charge meals and shall pay for such meals at the time of service or through pre-paid accounts.

Charging is not encouraged by the District but on those occasions that a student does not have money, they will be offered an alternate meal. Examples of alternate meals include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • A peanut butter and jelly sandwich, fruit and milk;
  • A cheese sandwich, fruit and milk; or
  • Cereal, fruit and milk

The cost of providing this alternate meal cannot be incurred by the school food service account and the charge for this alternate meal will be $1.50

Any parent/guardian who anticipates a problem with paying for meals is encouraged to contact the school principal for assistance. The Board encourages all families who may have a child eligible for free or reduced price lunch to apply.

Definitions

“Alternate Meals” are not clearly defined in federal and state regulations. The use of alternate meals refers to any meal served to a student that is different from the day’s advertised reimbursable meal. Alternate meals are most often provided to those students who have forgotten their meal payment(s) or medium of exchange.

“Delinquent Debt” are unpaid meal charges, like any other money owed to the nonprofit school food service account when payment is overdue, as defined by state or local policies.

“Bad Debt” are when unpaid meal charges are not collected and are considered a loss. Such debt must be written off as an operating loss, which cannot be absorbed by the nonprofit school food service account, but must be restored using nonfederal funds.

Elementary Students

The District strongly discourages meal charges, but understands that an occasional emergency makes it necessary at the elementary level. The District/school policy is as follows:

  1. All charges must be paid in 10 days.
  2. Students may not charge more than 2 reimbursable meals.
  3. After the second meal, the school will provide an alternate meal consisting of one or more of the choices listed above.
  4. Parents will be notified and asked for prompt payment.

The District uses MySchoolAccount, an automated prepayment system, which allows parents/guardians to view their child’s meal account balance and purchases, receive low-balance notifications, as well as make deposits to their child’s school meal account. Negative balance status can be avoided by making a payment in the form of cash or check at the school, or by ACH payment to the www.myschoolaccount.com website.

Delinquent Debt and Bad Debt

The District’s efforts to recover from households money owed due to the charging of meals must not have a negative impact on the children involved and shall focus primarily on the adults in the household responsible for providing funds for meal purchases. The school food authority is encouraged to consider whether the benefits of potential collections outweigh the costs which would be incurred to achieve those collections.

Money owed because of unpaid meal charges shall be considered “delinquent debt,” as defined, as long as it is considered collectable and reasonable efforts are being made to collect it. Such debt must be paid by June 30, effective with the 2017-2018 school year.

After reasonable attempts are made to collect the delinquent debt, and it is determined that further collection efforts are useless or too costly, the debt must be reclassified as “bad debt.” Such debt shall be written off as an operating loss not to be absorbed by the nonprofit school food service account but must be restored using the Student Activity Account.

Dissemination of Policy

This policy shall be provided in writing to all households at the start of each school year and to households transferring to the school or school district during the school year.

This policy shall be included in student/parent handbooks, on online portals that households use to access student accounts, placed on the District’s website, on the website of each school, and published at the beginning of each school year at the time information is distributed regarding free and reduced price meals and again to the household the first time the policy is applied to a specific child.

This policy shall be provided to all school staff and/or school food authority staff responsible for its enforcement. In addition, school social workers, nurses, the homeless liaison, and other staff members assisting children in need or who may be contacted by families with unpaid meal charges also should be informed of this policy.

The District’s school food authority shall maintain, as required, documentation of the methods used to communicate this policy to households and school or school food authority-level staff responsible for policy enforcement.

(cf. 3542 – Food Service) (cf. 3542.31 – Free or Reduced Price Lunch Program)

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 10-215 Lunches, breakfasts and other feeding programs for public school children and employees. 10-215a Nonpublic school and non-profit agency participation in feeding programs. 10-215b Duties of State Board of Education re feeding programs. State Board of Education Regulations State of Connecticut, Bureau of Health/Nutrition, Family Services and Adult Education Operational Memorandum No. 4-17, “Guidance on Unpaid Meal Charges and Collection of Delinquent Meal Payments,” Nov. 2, 2016 Operational Memorandum #19-10, State of Connecticut, Bureau of Health/Nutrition, Family Services and Adult Education “Unallowable Charges to No-profit School Food Service Accounts and the Serving of Meals to No-paying Full and Reduced Price Students” National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program; Competitive Foods. (7 CFR Parts 210 and 220, Federal Register, Vol 45 No. 20, Tuesday, January 29, 1980, pp 6758-6772 USDA Guidance: • SP 46-2016, “Unpaid Meal Charges: Local Meal Charge Policies” • SP 47-2016, “Unpaid Meal Charges: Clarification on Collection of Delinquent Meal Payment” • SP 57-2016 “Unpaid Meal Charges: Guidance and Q and A” • SP 58-2016 “2016 Edition: Overcoming the Unpaid Meal Challenge: Proven Strategies from Our Nation’s Schools”

Process for Addressing a Low or Negative Account Balance

Step I: In the event a student has no money, or their account balance is insufficient, the student will be allowed up to three (3) reimbursable meal charges. No snack or a-la-carte items shall be charged. Parents shall be notified by school personnel of any negative balance and asked for prompt payment.

Step II: If the parent or guardian does not promptly deposit sufficient funds into the school meal account, a phone call will be made, stating that, unless the parent or guardian deposits funds into the student’s meal account, then for any such meals following, the student will be served an alternative meal consisting of milk, a piece of fruit and the choice of either a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a cheese sandwich (unless there is a medically documented allergy or dietary restriction). The phone call shall state that such alternative meals shall be charged to the student’s account.

The parent or guardian will be reminded about the National School Lunch Program’s eligibility criteria for free and reduced price lunch and encouraged to fill out an application if they think they qualify.

Step III: If the parent or guardian does not deposit sufficient funds into the school meal account within five days, school personnel shall send a Certified Letter to the parent or guardian reminding the parent or guardian of the need to deposit funds into the student’s meal account immediately. This letter will include additional information for the parent or guardian about the National School Lunch Program’s eligibility criteria free and reduced price lunch along with an additional application for the free and reduced price lunch program.

School personnel shall place a follow up phone call to the parent or guardian reminding the parent or guardian of the lack of funds and the consequences for nonpayment.

Step IV: If the parent or guardian does not deposit funds into the school meal account after the Certified Letter has been sent, the school Principal shall place a third call to the parent or guardian to remind the parent or guardian to deposit funds and to pay any accumulated arrears and to inform the parent that the student’s progress reports and report cards shall be withheld until payment of the arrears has been received and processed by the Food Services Program. If necessary, the Principal shall also schedule a meeting with the parent or guardian to discuss the arrearage.

Sanitary Conditions

3542.46

Sanitary conditions in all phases of the food preparation and serving of food shall be rigidly maintained at all times. All food services staff who handle food shall meet all food handling regulations as prescribed and required by the State of Connecticut. All food service personnel shall be required to have a physical examination at the time of employment and periodically, as requested, by the School Medical Advisor.

Printing and Duplicating Copyrighted Material

Photocopying, Computer Software Duplication, and Videotaping for Education Purposes

3543.11

This policy is intended to mandate restrictions on illegal violations of the fair use doctrine so as to ensure that teacher behavior within these areas of the instructional process is legal and ethical.

The Board of Education recognizes that it is illegal for anyone to duplicate copyrighted printed, audio or visual materials, and computer software unless copying falls within the bounds of fair use. Any duplication of copyrighted materials by District employees, therefore, must be done with permission of the copyright holder or within the bounds of “fair use” as described below. Appropriate administrative regulations shall provide guidelines for employee compliance with this policy.

1. Copyright Law

“Congress shall have the power to promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing to authors and inventors for limited times the exclusive right to their writings and inventions.” (Article I., Section 3, U.S. Constitution)

The following exclusive rights are enumerated by law:

  1. To reproduce the copyrighted work...;
  2. To prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;
  3. To distribute copies of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
  4. ….Perform the copyrighted work publicly; and
  5. ….To display the copyrighted work publicly (17USC106).

2. Fair Use Doctrine

In describing the purpose of “fair use,” Congress specifically mentions education and permits certain uses of copyrighted material without the copyright holder’s permission provided that four criteria are used to consider when determining if the classroom use is “fair.” These four criteria are:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted works as a whole; and
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work (17USC107).

The exclusive rights and fair use doctrine are the same for computer software, and copyrighted television programs as is for other copyrighted works.

(cf. 6162.6 - Use of Copying Devices)

Office Services/Records and Reports

Electronic Communications Use and Retention

3543.31

This policy applies to the retention, storage, and destruction of electronic information and records within the District and does not supersede any state or federal laws, or any other District policies regarding confidentiality, information dissemination, or standards of conduct. Generally, electronic information should be used only for legitimate District business; however, brief and occasional e-mail messages may be sent and received pursuant to policy 4118.4/4218.4 and policy 4118.5/4218.5.

Electronic communications is transmittal of a communication between two or more computers or electronic devices, whether or not the message is converted to hard copy format, whether or not the message is viewed upon receipt or stored for later retrieval, and whether or not the transmittal is through a local, district or global computer network.

Electronic communications, including records made with other software and sent in e-mail, which are sent or received by the Board of Education or District employees pertaining to the business of the schools may be subject to public disclosure and inspection as public records under the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act and discovery in litigation as evidence in support of a claim. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall be responsible for implementing administrative regulations concerning the placing of a “hold” on electronic and paper records that may reasonably be anticipated to be subject of discovery in the course of litigation.

Use of electronic mail should conform to the same standards of judgment, propriety and ethics as other forms of school business-related communications.

The District is obligated to respect and, where necessary, to protect confidential data. The Board recognizes technical and legal limitations may restrict the District’s ability to protect confidentiality. Electronic communication is recognized as similar to a paper document for legal purposes. The Board understands it may be legally compelled to disclose electronic information including business or personal use of e-mail to community members in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. Such information will be disclosed to governmental authorities or, in the context of litigation, to other third parties. E-mail may also contain information that should be retained in the official records of the District.

Electronic communication on District computers or electronic communication systems shall be retained only as long as necessary. The same record retention policy that applies to paper records applies to electronically stored information, including e-mail communications. Therefore, like paper records, the content and function of an electronic record, including e-mail communications, determines the retention period for that document and will be retained in accordance with the Management and Retention Guide for State and Municipal Government Agencies (General Letter 98-1) administered by the Connecticut State Library, Public Records Administrator.

In addition to the Board’s retention guidelines, all District employees have a duty to preserve all paper records and electronic information, including records and electronic information that might otherwise be deleted or destroyed, that relate to any matter that is currently in litigation or may be anticipated to involve litigation. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall develop administrative regulations to preserve such records and electronically stored information that could potentially be related to any matter currently in litigation or which may be anticipated to result in future litigation.

The responsible authority for the maintenance and security of records shall be the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee. The Superintendent shall designate a Records Custodian who will be responsible for implementation of District policies and administrative regulations pertaining to the preservation of paper records and electronically stored information, including e-mails and to respond to requests to inspect electronic mail pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

When security of certain financial, student, and other confidential information must be maintained, employees shall take appropriate security measures such as the use of personal identification passwords and/or encryption codes. Employees shall safeguard the confidentiality of passwords and codes and shall take reasonable steps to insure that computer terminals do not become available for unauthorized use.

Users are responsible for appropriate access to and use of electronic mail systems. Illegal or improper use of the electronic mail systems, including, but not limited to, pornography, obscenity, harassment, solicitation, gambling and violating copyright or intellectual property rights are prohibited.

Use of the electronic mail systems for which the District will incur an expense without written permission of a supervisor is prohibited.

Violation of this policy shall constitute just cause for appropriate disciplinary action.

(cf. 4118.4/4218.4 – Electronic Monitoring) (cf. 4118.5/4218.5 – Acceptable Computer Network Use) (cf. 9327 – Electronic Mail Communications) (cf. 9330 – Board/School District Records) (cf. 5125 – Student Records; Confidentiality)

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes The Freedom of Information Act. 1-15 Application for copies of public records. 1-200 Definitions. 1-210 to 1-213 Access to public records. 1-211 Access to computer stored records. 1-214 Public contracts as part of public records. 1-225 to 1-240 Meetings of public agencies. 7-109 Destruction of documents. 10-15b Access of parent or guardians to student's records. 10-154a Professional communications between teacher or nurse & student. 10-209 Records not to be public. 10-221 Boards of education to prescribe rules. 11-8a Retention, destruction and transfer of documents. 11-8b Transfer or disposal of public records. State Library Board to adopt regulations. 31-48d Employers engaged in electronic monitoring required to give prior notice to employees. 46b-56 (e) Access to Records of Minors. Connecticut Public Records Administration Schedule V ‑ Disposition of Education Records (Revised 1983). General Letters 98-1, 96-2 and 2001-1 of the Public Records Administrator Record Retention Schedules Towns, Municipalities, and Boards of Education. Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act, as amended, added by section 513 of P.L. 93-568, codified at 20 U.S.C.1232g.). Department of Education 34 C.F.R. Part 99 (May 9, 1980 45 FR 30802) regs. implementing FERPA enacted as part of 438 of General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g) parent and student privacy and other rights with respect to educational records, as amended 11/21/96. Rules 34 and 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (2006 Amendments). USA Patriot Act of 2001, PL 107-56, 115 Stat. 272, Sec 507, 18 U.S.C. §2332b(g)(5)(B) and 2331. PL 107-110 “No Child Left Behind Act of 2001” Sections 5208 and 9528.

Retention Guidelines

These regulations provide guidance in the implementation of policy #3543.31 regarding the retention of electronic records and information. These regulations supplement and do not replace District policy and regulations pertaining to student records (#5125).

Content and function of electronic messages determine the message’s retention period. The determination of record status shall be on the same basis as is used for paper records. The District will comply with all of the minimum standards set forth in the Municipal Records Retention Schedule, M8 of the Connecticut Records Administration. Electronic messages sent and received by public officials fall within three broad categories:

  1. Transitory messages, including copies posted to several persons and casual and routine communications similar to telephone conversations.
  2. Public Records with a less than Permanent Retention Period; and
  3. Public Records with a Permanent or Permanent/Archival Retention Period.

Retention guidelines for each of these categories are as follows:

  • Transitory Messages-No Retention Requirement
    • Public officials and employees receiving such communications may delete them at will immediately without obtaining the approval of the Office of the Public Records Administration and State Archives or the District’s Custodian of Records. Transitory messages are not essential to the fulfillment of statutory obligations or to the documentation of district functions.

 

  • Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • Messages that address routine administrative, curricular and co curricular matters, announcements of meetings, schedules of events, etc.
    • Messages that take the place of informal discussion and which if they were printed would not be retained in school records.
    • Messages that transmit generic information and are not specific to a student’s educational program.
    • Messages that address personal matters unrelated to the District.
    • Voice mail is transitory in nature and may be deleted at will.  However, there are times when such messages may require a longer retention period, such as in the case where the message may be potentially used as evidence in a trial, such as a bomb threat, or in some other illegal activity.  Voice mail may also be subject to the discovery process in litigation.

 

  • Less than Permanent Messages-Retention Requirement
    • Follow retention schedule for equivalent hard copy records as specified in the Municipal Records Retention Schedule, M8 of the Connecticut Records Administration, retention schedule.  The record must be in hard copy or electronic format, which can be retrieved and interpreted for the legal retention period.
    • When there is a doubt about the retrievability of an electronic record over the life span of that record, the record should be printed out.
    • The District may delete or destroy the records only after making and retaining a hard copy or after receiving signed approval from the Office of the Public Records Administrator.

 

  • Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • Messages that address significant aspects of a specific student’s educational program including, but not limited to, health, discipline, special education program, interaction with DCF, and communication with parents relating to specific aspects of the student’s interaction with the school district.
    • Messages that address and/or provide information used in making policy decisions, concerning curricular or co-curricular activities, personnel actions, or that relate to the business transactions of the District.
    • Messages that address activities of significant interest in the community relating to the District.

 

  • Permanent or Permanent /Archival-Retention Requirement
    • Records must be retained permanently.
    • Retention may be in the form of a hard-copy printout or stored on microfilm that meets microfilm standards issued in General Letter 96-2 of the Public Records Administrator.  The information must be eye readable without further direction.

 

  • Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • Policy and Procedures manuals
    • Physician’s standing orders
    • Nursing protocols

Public officials and District employees are advised that e-mail messages sent as part of their workdays are not “private” but are discoverable communications and may be subject to FOI. Since messages may be retained at different locations or levels of the system, users must remember that their communications can be retrieved during formal discovery processes.

Discretion, therefore, is an important consideration when using technology to send, record, and/or retain communications.

Maintenance/Retention of Electronic Mail

Records created using an e-mail system and electronically stored information will be saved/archived by the District for their required retention period by one of the following methods approved by the District’s Record’s Custodian:

  1. Print message or record and store in appropriate hard copy file.
  2. Place in computer folders and save on hard drive.
  3. Save to removable disk which is then stored in an appropriate location.
  4. Transfer to an automated records management software application.
  5. Manage at the server by an automated classification system.

A review shall take place periodically, but at least annually, for the purpose of reviewing electronically stored information. The District’s Record Custodian and the District’s Technology Administrator are responsible for this review.

No system wide process for automatic deletion of electronic information will be implemented without notice to any individual who may have such information and each such individual will verify that they have reviewed and archived information that must be retained. Following this review, all e-mails and/or electronically stored information that have not been archived according to District policies and procedures shall be designated for deletion or archiving, and the affected District employees will be notified about the procedures to be followed to implement this process. The Records Custodian or his/her designee shall follow up with notified employees to ensure compliance.

In addition, the Records Custodian, in cooperation with the District Systems Administrator, shall ensure that any process for automatic deletion of electronic information from the system will not delete information stored in folders and/or system locations that have been designated as appropriate for archiving electronically stored information.

Holds on the Destruction of Paper Records and Electronic Information

Upon receipt of notice that the District is involved in litigation as a party to a lawsuit, the District is issued a subpoena by a party to a lawsuit in which it is not a party, or if the District receives information that would lead a reasonable person to anticipate the possibility of litigation, the Records Custodian shall immediately take steps to ensure that paper records and electronically stored information related to the litigation or potential litigation are preserved from deletion or destruction. Action to preserve records and electronically stored information shall include, but are not limited to, the postponing or canceling of any automatic deletion of electronically stored information until relevant information and documents can be identified and stored, notification to employees of a “litigation hold” to prevent the deletion and destruction of documents that might be related to the litigation or potential litigation, and the identification of documents and information that are subject to preservation. This “litigation hold” triggers the duty to preserve documents, such as transitory messages, that otherwise could be deleted under the District’s record retention policy.

The Records Custodian shall issue a “litigation hold” memorandum that specifically describes the types of documents and information that must be preserved and describes how those materials are to be identified, maintained and stored. The memorandum shall specifically state that the duty of preservation is ongoing and that it is the responsibility of employees to continue to identify and preserve relevant documents until notified via a subsequent memorandum that the “litigation hold” is no longer in effect. All employees who are sent a “litigation hold” memorandum are to acknowledge receipt and understanding of the memorandum in writing, which may be in the form of an e-mail response. A copy of any “litigation hold” memorandum shall to be sent to the District Instructional Technology Department.

The Records Custodian shall be responsible for the collection and coordination of the retention of documents that are subject to the “litigation hold,” including electronically stored information. He/she shall work with the District’s Instructional Technology personnel to ensure compliance with the “litigation hold.”

The Records Custodian shall determine the types of electronically stored information that exist and where that information is maintained, identify where both identified paper documents and electronically stored information will be stored, and implement procedures to ensure that District employees are complying with the “litigation hold.” No system wide process for automatic deletion of electronic information will be implemented while a “litigation hold” is in effect without prior notice to the Records Custodian and verification by the Records Custodian that the deletion process will not destroy documents or information that is subject to a “litigation hold.” The Records Custodian shall reissue the “litigation hold” memorandum, as deemed necessary, and will ensure that the “litigation hold” memorandum is provided to new employees who may have access to relevant information. The Records Custodian shall ensure that all steps taken by the District to identify and preserve relevant information are documented.

cf. 4118.4/4218.4 – Electronic Monitoring) (cf. 4118.5/4218.5 – Acceptable Computer Network Use) (cf. 9327 – Electronic Mail Communications) (cf. 9330 – Board/School District Records) (cf. 5125 – Student Records; Confidentiality)

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes The Freedom of Information Act. 1‑15 Application for copies of public records. 1-200 Definitions. 1‑210 to 1-213 Access to public records. 1-211 Access to computer stored records. 1-214 Public contracts as part of public records. 1‑225 to 1‑240 Meetings of public agencies. 7‑109 Destruction of documents. 10‑15b Access of parent or guardians to student's records. 10‑154a Professional communications between teacher or nurse & student. 10‑209 Records not to be public. 10-221 Boards of education to prescribe rules. 11-8a Retention, destruction and transfer of documents. 11-8b Transfer or disposal of public records. State Library Board to adopt regulations.

Connecticut General Statutes (continued) 31-48d Employers engaged in electronic monitoring required to give prior notice to employees. 46b‑56 (e) Access to Records of Minors. Connecticut Public Records Administration Schedule V ‑ Disposition of Education Records (Revised 1983). General Letters 98-1, 96-2 and 2001-1 of the Public Records Administrator Record Retention Schedules Towns, Municipalities, and Boards of Education. Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act, as amended, added by section 513 of P.L. 93‑568, codified at 20 U.S.C.1232g). Department of Education. 34 C.F.R. Part 99 (May 9, 1980 45 FR 30802) regs. implementing FERPA enacted as part of 438 of General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g) parent and student privacy and other rights with respect to educational records, as amended 11/21/96. Rules 34 and 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (2006 Amendments). USA Patriot Act of 2001, PL 107-56, 115 Stat. 272, Sec 507, 18 U.S.C. §2332b(g)(5)(B) and 2331. PL 107-110 “No Child Left Behind Act of 2001” Sections 5208 and 9528.

NOTICE REGARDING A LITIGATION HOLD CONCERNING PAPER AND ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS

3543.31 Appendix

This memorandum places a “litigation hold” on all documents, both paper and electronically stored information, concerning [identify the matter that is subject to the litigation hold]. Materials that fall under this litigation hold include, but are not limited to, e-mail, word processing documents, spreadsheets, databases, calendars, voice mail, internet usage files and network access information [the school district can be more specific in the identification of documents if that information is available]. All District employees are to immediately suspend any and all document destruction, including any scheduled document destruction or electronic information deletion programs, for any materials that might fall within the parameters of this memorandum. If you have questions as to what materials are subject to the litigation hold, you are to contact the Superintendent.

If in possession of materials subject to this litigation hold you shall take steps to preserve and store these materials. Paper documents are to be copied and segregated in a separate hard copy file. Electronic information is to be stored in computer folders and saved on the network drive and/or saved to a removable disk which is to be clearly marked and stored in a safe and appropriate location [the school district can develop its own set of storage guidelines for identified materials]. Under no circumstances are you to destroy or delete materials, documents or electronic information that might be subject to this litigation hold without the written permission of the Superintendent.

You must give prompt attention to the issues addressed in this memorandum, specifically the responsibility to identify and preserve documents and electronic information concerning [the matter that is subject to the litigation hold]. Serious consequences may result from the failure of District employees to take immediate and reasonable precautions to properly preserve information. Therefore, you must acknowledge your receipt and understanding of this memorandum in writing or via e-mail.

The restrictions put into place by this memorandum are ongoing until you receive notice in a memorandum from the Superintendent that the litigation hold is no longer in effect. You are encouraged to direct any questions concerning this memorandum to the Superintendent.