Dear Families,

        Welcome to Williamstown Elementary School.  We are excited to make this another year of nurturing children’s passions, challenging them appropriately for their developmental level, and encouraging and supporting them as they take educational risks that will help them grow as thinkers, learners, and citizens.  We are looking forward to learning and growing alongside your children.

        Communication and partnership with parents are tantamount to our mission at Williamstown Elementary - growing curious and caring students.  To that end, we hope you will use this handbook, developed collaboratively by staff, administrators, School Committee, parents, and community members, as a source of information on school schedules and policies, and that you will refer to it as needed throughout the year.

        Thank you for sharing your children with us and joining us as partners in this most important journey through school.


                                                Joelle Brookner



To inspire in all students a love of learning and challenge them to grow in heart and mind.


We are a community of learners who work collaboratively in a safe and enriching environment.  Our students are confident, caring, and competent individuals prepared to contribute to their world.

At the request of a parent or student whose primary language is not English, a translated student handbook will be made available by the District.

Williamstown Elementary School, in accordance with its non-discrimination policy, does not discriminate in its programs, activities, facilities, employment, or educational opportunities on the basis of race, color, age, disability, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, pregnancy or pregnancy related conditions, or gender identity and does not tolerate any form of discrimination, intimidation, threat, coercion and/or harassment that insults the dignity of others by interfering with their freedom to learn and work.



Our guiding beliefs

Guiding beliefs identify the core values of the Williamstown Elementary School

 We believe……… 

The following is a list of some attributes of our school.  It is not meant to be all-inclusive.


Kimberley Grady, Interim Superintendent  

Joelle Brookner, Principal            

Irene Ryan, Director of Pupil Services

Elea Kaatz, Assistant Principal

TMS, Business Manager

Emily Betti, Secretary to Principal



Emily Beaulieu, Art                    

Pamela Caproni, Speech Therapist

Jenna Dickinson, Reading Intervention

Ashley Flores, Occupational Therapist                              

Susan Kirby, Physical Ed.                          

Carol Francouer                                  

Susan Lynch, Library

Rieko Hatakeyama, Speech Therapist

Carol Kassin, Math Intervention

Christin Gingras

Betsy Reali, Vocal Music

Beth Hayes

Margot Sanger, Instrumental Music

Erin Holland

Cindy Sheehy, Reading Specialist/Title I

Colleen Martin


Wendy Powell, School Psychologist

Carol Stein-Payne, RN                

Noelle Sullivan, Physical Therapist



Rebecca Leonard, Tech Inclusion Teacher                      

Tracey Baker-White

Alison Foehl, Tech Assistant      

Geraldine Shen


SIDE by SIDE                                

Grade 3

Sherry Monte                                                                      

Maureen Andersen                                                              


Sarah Gilooly

Jane Culnane

Susan Langman                                                                    

Bonnie Dingman

Dawn Stewart                                                                        

Christina Doherty

Grade 4

Erin Pengel

Rachel Dunn

Grade 1

Jaime Elder

Katie Galusha

Kate Seid

Traci Lavigne

Grade 5

Greta Noyes

Jennifer Downey

Jane Russett                                                                        

Frani Miceli

Grade 2

Molly Whaley

Corrine Benn

Grade 6

Daniel Driscoll

Tricia Kowalchyk

Kathy Morris

Alexandra Scott

Tracey-Ann Spencer                                                          

Sara Stricker                                                                          


Mia Alpi

Pennie Bopp

Nancy Bottesi

Mindy Buda

Linda Chesney

Kelly Galusha

Kathy George

Wendy Gregory

Lynn Hayden

Nancy LaCasse

Ann Leonesio-Scerbo

Tamara Lewis

Bonnie Nikitas

Jen Jayko

Kim Shand

Kellie Skorupski

Carol Smiel

Maura Sumner

Kayla Tarjick

Eileen Zajac


Travis Burdick

Tammy Forest Jennings

Tammy Jennings  

Judy Turgeon

B & G

Jim O’Brien  

 Lee Verrier

David Vickery


The main office is open from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.



According to Massachusetts State Law, a child will be considered truant if he/she has 7 or more unexcused absences in any period of six months (Mass Law; Chapter 76, Section 2). Williamstown Elementary wants to support families in getting their children to school on a regular basis. We will contact families by phone when children have 5 unexcused absences. At 7 days we will send a certified letter. If the truancy is not resolved, conditional actions may be taken to support the education of the child.

In accordance with Chapter 76, Section 1B, Parent(s)/guardian(s) will be notified by the Principal when a student has at least five (5) days in which the student missed two or more periods unexcused in a school year, or who has missed five (5) or more school days unexcused in a school year so that the Principal and parents can meet to develop an action plan to improve student attendance.

Absences are excused for purposes of illness, religious observance, bereavement or medical appointments. If your child must miss school for one of the above reasons, we ask that you call the main office, x301, and leave a message indicating such. Children who are well enough to attend school are considered well enough to participate in recess and physical education activities, except in unusual circumstances as described by a physician.

Early dismissal from school must be communicated in writing to the teacher.  The main office will call children when the parent arrives.


Weather-related school cancellations and delays will be announced via the school’s social media and RoboCall system and posted on the web site. It will also be broadcast on the following local area radio stations: North Adams/WNAW (also channel 22 on local TV); Pittsfield/WBRK,WUPE,(wupe@wupe.com), and WBEC; Bennington/WBTN; Albany TV stations WNYT (channel 13) and WTEN (channel 10).  On occasion, the beginning of the school day may be delayed when weather and road conditions are expected to clear sufficiently. Morning preschool classes are cancelled on days with announced weather delays.  In the event of a delayed opening of 1-2 hours (9:30 a.m. or 10:30 a.m.) we request that students not arrive any earlier as staff is not available for supervision.


The staff at Williamstown Elementary School is committed to maintaining open home/school communication.  Teachers often send communication home and parents are encouraged to contact their child's teacher by note, phone, e-mail or conference when they have information to share, or have questions.  By maintaining the lines of communication teachers and parents work as a team, ensuring the success of each child.

Please note: requested changes to a child’s after school routine, i.e bus changes for a playdate or being picked up by someone other than a designated caregiver, must be indicated in writing to the classroom teacher. All changes to dismissal are tracked in the main office for safety. All dismissal changes should take place before the start of the school day. We strongly discourage same-day changes once the school day has begun. After the 8:35am bell, teachers and office staff are busy, and email and phone messages regarding same-day dismissal changes may not be seen in time to be communicated to children.


Parents should look for important information that is routinely sent home with the children the first week of school.  The information contains forms that are to be returned to school.  Information and forms pertaining to free/reduced lunch, field trips, lunch menus, and PTO activities are examples of items in this first week news.

Each Friday our PTO and administration produces a newsletter that will be emailed to the address you have provided to us, containing information about upcoming events and reports on school happenings.  


In conformity with federal and Massachusetts law governing the privacy of student information, School District administrators or others acting under the authorization of the Superintendent may, without the prior written consent of a student’s parent or guardian, release directory information on any student attending the Williamstown Elementary School. As used herein, “directory information” shall mean personally identifiable information about a student that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released. Directory information shall include the following personally identifiable student information: (1) name, (2) address, (3) telephone listing, if published, (4) photograph, (5) date and place of birth, (6) dates of attendance, (7) grade level, and (8) participation in officially recognized activities.  A routine letter of notice of the release of student directory shall be given to parent(s)/guardian(s), and parent(s)/guardian(s) shall have a reasonable time after such notice to request that the directory information of their student not be released.  


A parent or guardian who does not wish directory information on her/his child to be released pursuant to either above, or both, may prevent release of that information by providing an annual written notification to the Superintendent or the Principal of her/his child’s school within five (5) days of entering school. The school provides a form at the start of the school year for such purpose.


Students may not distribute invitations to birthdays, play dates, etc. at school.  Since these are not school functions, and do not include all students, invitations must be handled privately from home. Since we cannot give out home phone numbers and addresses, each year we put out a school directory with this information, provided to us by parents who give us permission to do so.  This directory is an excellent tool to contact other families in the Elementary School.


Individuals in organizations wishing to post or distribute material must receive permission from the principal. In general, information not pertaining to a nonprofit organization with relevance to elementary school-aged children will not be approved. Approved notices may be published in the WES PTO weekly electronic newsletter. Please note, individual paper flyers for students will not be approved. The principal must also approve subscriptions or collection of money or items to be exhibited for the purpose of sale.


When children bring money to school we ask that parents place the money in an envelope, include a note inside stating the reason for the money being sent, and include both the child's name and the teacher's name on the envelope.



Each year, the principal and bus company review bus routes and consider such factors as the availability of sidewalks, the speed of traffic, and the location of children’s homes. (Note: Walking routes to school take into account similar factors; the police department will be called upon to help, when necessary, with the establishment of these routes.) Children are assigned to a particular bus for transportation to and from school. Children in kindergarten and first grade will not be let off the bus unless a parent/guardian is there to meet them or an older sibling is traveling with them.

Please note that children need to ride their assigned bus. In order to have a child ride a different bus, a parent will need to send a note to school; the principal or the principal's secretary will then initial this note. (If there is not enough room on a bus to accommodate a change, the parent will be called.) For safety reasons, children will not be allowed to ride a bus other than the one to which they are assigned without a signed note.

Crossing guards are provided at needed locations. These may change from year to year based on the walking routes children use. Guards are always located at Church Street and Cole Avenue, and School Street and Southworth Street. Guards are on duty from 8:15 am - 8:40 am and 3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. on Monday - Friday. On Wednesdays, crossing guards are on duty from 8:15 am - 8:40 am and 1:25 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. If children leave home late, crossing guards may no longer be at the intersection when a child arrives. It is strongly recommended that parents take their children to school if the child leaves late and, as a result, might be crossing an unprotected intersection.


There are two parking lots at the school: the south lot behind the school and the lot to the east of the school.


Since we do encourage community and parent participation in school activities, non-staff members are present in the building on a daily basis.  Visitors are asked to sign in and out at the office and take a visitor lanyard. Staff members generally know who these visitors are. Should any staff member not recognize a visitor, a polite inquiry or offer of assistance will help ascertain the legitimacy of the person's presence in our school. IF THERE IS ANY QUESTION ABOUT A VISITOR OR A VISITOR'S BEHAVIOR, THE OFFICE SHOULD BE NOTIFIED IMMEDIATELY.

In order to minimize interruptions to classes, people wishing to speak with a teacher should call in advance and arrange a time with the teacher that is mutually convenient.  Parents should also call in advance if they wish to visit the instructional program so that a mutually convenient time may be arranged.


Entering and Exiting Procedures

There are two entrances available for parents and visitors to use:

Dismissal and Bus Procedures: School dismissal procedures for Walkers and Bus students:

Emergency Notifications

Williamstown Elementary School uses a school-wide calling system for school emergencies.  In the event of an emergency, where normal radio & TV communication is not adequate, a system whereby each parent/guardian receives a phone call will be used.  The system is computerized, and will call up to three (3) phone numbers provided for each student.  

In order that our emergency database is as up-to-date as possible, parents are asked to notify the main office asap with any changes to contact information.



All children have a fifteen-minute recess period and approximately a thirty-five to forty minute recess/lunch period.  During inclement weather the children may have indoor recess.  The paraprofessionals, in consultation with the administration and teachers, determine whether the children have outdoor play.  Please dress your children in appropriate clothing for changes in weather conditions.  We use a temperature of above 10º (either ambient temperature or wind chill temperature) as the criterion to determine how much time children can spend outdoors.


It is important that children are dressed appropriately for school and recess each day. This includes a warm jacket, snow pants, hat, gloves and boots in winter months; and safe and appropriate shoes and clothing for the playground in other seasons. In warmer weather sunscreen should be applied in the morning before school to protect your child from the harmful effects of the sun.


A lost and found area for clothing, lunch boxes, backpacks, etc., is maintained in the vestibule near the custodial office or the south entrance. Jewelry, watches, wallets, eyeglasses, and money are turned in to the main office.


Student lunches are $2.50.

Reduced lunches are $.40.

Milk is $.50.

The menu will have choices of meals each day, all of which include milk and assorted fruits and vegetables:

An application for free and reduced lunches must be submitted each school year. All students who were on free or reduced lunch last year will automatically be able to receive free or reduced lunch in the current year until an application is submitted or 30 school lunch days have elapsed.


Daily lunches MAY BE PREPAID. We strongly encourage parents to utilize our online payment system, which is accessible on our school’s website. This system allows parents to make payments as well as check balances of their children’s accounts.

Alternatively, payments may be made directly to the cafeteria starting at 8:25 a.m. on weekday mornings.  Make checks payable (one check per family is ok) to "MGRSD."  Checks made out differently will be returned.  On each check, indicate the child's name and the total number of lunches being purchased.

     Number of lunches X $2.50 = $____________

You may also send cash in a sealed envelope labeled with the child's name, teacher, and the number of meals being purchased. You can also go online to our website, www.wlschools.org.


Students are generally expected to ride their assigned bus. Procedures do allow:

Students are held to the same code of conduct standards on the bus as they are in school.  Students who break the rules of conduct as they apply on our school buses may lose their bus privileges.


A student may take out a maximum of three books and keep them for up to two weeks.  For each book returned, another may be taken out.  For any books that are overdue, a notice is sent to the child’s classroom teacher once a month and the child is reminded to return the book(s). Overdue notices are included in the specialist report card twice a year at report card time.  Parents are asked to help children find and return overdue books.

All books must be returned by the last week in May for inventory.  Notices for unreturned books will be mailed home at this time.  This notice should be considered a bill and will indicate the cost of the book.  Replacement cost is charged for newer hardcover books, a $10.00 charge for older books and a $5.00 charge for paperback books.  

In an effort to maintain our library collection and teach our students to be responsible borrowers, parents will be contacted to discuss the replacement of books that have not been returned or paid for before the last week of school.


All students receive two periods of 45 minutes of physical education a week.  Children are expected to participate, unless a note from a physician is provided.  In addition, students should always wear appropriate athletic footwear and clothing.  Proper footwear is absolutely necessary for children’s safety, as well as protection of the floor.

Our elementary physical education program offers experiences for all students, with the goal of developing a healthy self-image and a wholesome, lifetime attitude towards exercise and fitness. Activities are carefully planned so that students obtain knowledge about the value of regular exercise, essential motor development, and the social characteristics which foster citizenship.


Children in grades pre-k to six participate in general vocal music once per week as part of their regular schedule.  Students in grade 6 also participate in chorus once per week, typically, culminating in a musical performance at the end of grade 6.  

Children in grades 4-6 have the option to participate in instrumental lessons, band and orchestra.  Lessons and ensemble rehearsals (band or orchestra) are held during the school day in consultation with the children’s classroom teachers.


Music at WES engages our children in singing, rhythm, creative movement and dance, notational literacy, aural skills, improvisation, dramatic play and musical theatre.  Our students are presented with a colorful array of participatory activities that help to build confidence, encourage compatibility, and promote a community of creativity and wonder.


Every child in grades kindergarten through 6 has art class once a week for 45 minutes.  During each weekly class, the children are introduced to the history of art and the world’s greatest artists through the discussion of reproductions of the artist’s work.  Each grade level has lessons during the school year that are centered around the elements and principals of art.  They also have lessons which are a reflection of our integrated curriculum in art and classroom-based themes. Each year we have an art show in June, in which all children’s work is represented.


Health Services are provided by a full time Registered Nurse with certification from the Department of Education. The goal of the School Nurse is to enhance the educational process by modification or removal of health-related barriers to learning and by promotion of an optimal level of wellness in the student population.


The School Nurse provides the following services:


According to Massachusetts General Law, physical examinations and immunization records are required for entry to preschool, kindergarten and for new admissions. Physical examinations and immunization updates are also required in third and sixth grade.


The Williamstown Public School District is committed to providing a school environment that enhances student learning and the development of lifelong wellness practices. The District, recognizing the relationship between student well-being and learning, as well as the importance of a comprehensive wellness program will strive to address the following goals:

  1. To provide children with access to nutritious, well-balanced and varied selections of food while in the cafeteria.
  2. To promote healthy eating patterns through classroom nutrition education coordinated with the comprehensive health education programs of physical education, health and food services.
  3. To provide children with access to structured, as well as activity-based physical activity during the school day.
  4. To establish this school-wide policy, involving input from the Wellness/Health Committee and a variety of representatives from the school community.


School is for students who are well, and we expect children to participate in school activities in class and recess unless excused by a signed doctor’s note.

In a situation where immediate medical attention is necessary and the school is unable to reach a parent or guardian, the child will be transported to the hospital by ambulance. A school employee will accompany the student to the hospital. The school will continue its attempts to notify the parents or guardians. It is important to update work numbers and emergency contact information each year and when they change.





Students entering kindergarten must be five years old by August 31 preceding their entrance to kindergarten.  The School Committee strongly recommends that the entrance age for new students entering the Williamstown Public Schools should be six by August 31 for students entering grade 1, and seven by August 31 for students entering grade 2.

Along with documentation of residency, we also require evidence of birth date (copy of birth certificate), DPT shots, immunization against polio, measles, rubella, and mumps, Hepatitis B, Varicella, and Hib, lead screening and copy of most recent physical from the doctor's office. These are standard requirements for entrance into kindergarten.  We also appreciate receiving any information concerning health problems.

To the extent practical and as required by law, the Williamstown Elementary School will work with homeless students and their families to provide stability in school attendance and other services. Special attention will be given to ensuring the enrollment and attendance of homeless students not currently attending school. Homeless students will be provided district services for which they are eligible.


Kindergarten registration is held in March at the Williamstown Elementary School.  Parents of children who will be five years old on or before August 31 of the school year should complete registration forms.

Copies of the following documents are needed: proof of residency (lease, copy of relevant pages from purchase & sale or mortgage…) a copy of your child's birth certificate and a copy of your child's immunization records to date.  A current physical and current eye examination from the child’s doctor are also required. In addition to filling out the registration forms, you will meet briefly with representatives from the from the principal’s and health offices.


The Massachusetts Department of Education requires that we maintain accurate and current records of a child’s residency.  Residency is “where a child lives”, as documented by recent property purchase, rental receipt, phone, utility or other similar receipts indicating the child resides within the Williamstown school district. Students with dual households must have a parent or guardian who is a resident of Williamstown. For additional residency procedures, please refer to Appendix D of this handbook.



Each spring, Side by Side holds an application process/lottery to fill vacancies which are anticipated for the following fall.  Interested parents can call Williamstown Public Schools beginning in February to place their child's name in the lottery (458-5707).  Preference is given to Williamstown residents.  


Children must be 3 years old by August 31st of the year they will be starting.


Morning         8:35-11:15

Afternoon        12:30-3:05


Side-by-Side is a five days a week preschool program for all sessions.  We follow the public school's calendar except for the first Wednesday of each month, when Side by Side is closed for staff development.


Williamstown Elementary School participates in School Choice in accordance with Mass. General Law.  Students living in surrounding schools may apply for admission to Williamstown Elementary School.  Specific openings are determined annually for each grade level and enrollment is dependent upon the available openings. Answers regarding Choice and an application may be found here.


Once the School Committee makes a determination as to the number of admissions the school can accept, a public announcement is placed in the local newspapers.  A parent can then apply for the School Choice lottery by completing the designated form posted on the school’s web site.


No.  There are two rounds of admission; the first is conducted between the first and fifteenth of May; and the second, pending available slots, is conducted between the first and the fifteenth of July.  Unless otherwise closed by the Committee, School Choice vacancies will remain open and children will be admitted throughout the summer.  Unless otherwise closed by the Committee, all School Choice slots that are still vacant as of the first day of school will be closed for the remainder of the school year.


No.  Parents will be notified by the Superintendent's office during the summer with the decision.  If the number of applications exceeds the number of openings, admission shall be determined by lottery, with all applications received by April 30 being placed in the pool for the first round of admission.  If additional slots remain to be filled after May 15, the same process shall be conducted between the first and fifteenth of July.


All children entering the Williamstown Elementary School will register at the Principal's Office.  Before entering, proof of immunization must be presented and reviewed by the school nurse.  You will also need proof of residency.  Pupils will ordinarily be placed with other children of the same grade level but may be placed in another group by the Principal with the approval of the Superintendent.

If you are planning to move from Williamstown, please notify the Principal by phone or in writing.  The school office needs to know your new address, school to be attended, and date of leaving.  The Principal's secretary is in charge of sending school records to your child's new school and needs a parent's signature for permission to do so.


Student records are kept in the principal’s office.  Parents and students are guaranteed the right to inspect as well as seek addition to or deletion from all records which are kept, or requested to be kept, by the school department concerning individual students. These records include the student’s transcript and any other recorded information that is identified by the student’s name.  Pursuant to General Law c. 71, s34D and 34F, and the regulations promulgated thereunder, no third party, other than authorized school or Department of Education personnel, shall have access to information in or from a student record without the specific written consent of the eligible student or the parent/guardian.

Upon receipt of a Court order or lawfully issued subpoena, or upon receipt of a request from a Court or the Department of Youth Services for information regarding a student, the school, prior to compliance, shall notify the eligible student or parent/guardian of the order, subpoena or request.

Except for certain limited and specifically defined individuals, i.e.: certain court officers, health officials, and authorized school personnel, no individual or agency may have access to school records of the students without the “specific informed written consent” of the student or his/her parent/guardian.

Authorized school personnel of the school to which a student is transferring may have access to the student’s record without the consent of a parent/guardian.  Complete copies of the state regulations concerning parents’ and students’ rights to records may be obtained in the building Principal’s office.


Massachusetts's law (Chapter 71, Section 34H) specifies detailed procedures that govern access to student records by parents who do not have physical custody of their children.  For more information, please contact the Principal's office at 458-5707.

COPY OF STUDENT RECORDS   (Chapter 71, Section 34D and 34E).  "The board of education shall adopt regulations relative to the maintenance, retention, duplication, storage and periodic destruction of student records by the public elementary and secondary schools of the commonwealth.  Such rules and regulations shall provide that a parent or guardian of any pupil shall be allowed to inspect academic, scholastic, or any other records concerning such pupil which are kept or are required to be kept." (p.71)


Three written progress reports are completed during the academic year; two are reviewed during parent-teacher conferences (November and again in March), and the final report is mailed home on the last day of school.  The teachers will add extra time for appointments when necessary.  In addition to regularly scheduled meetings, parents and teachers are encouraged to arrange other conferences as needed.


The decision to retain a child is a difficult one to make.  It is generally agreed that the earlier the retention, the more effective it will be.  If retention is considered, the best interest and long-range welfare of the child shall be the prime considerations.

The principal shall be responsible for making the final decision on promotion or retention.  The principal will consult closely with teachers and parents before making any decision.  In order for the retention to work, it is generally agreed that both the school and the home should be in agreement that it is the correct decision.  The possibility of retention must be made known to parents well in advance so that the appropriate consultation can be achieved.


We strive to create balanced, sound classes for all the children. Our teachers and principal spend hours in meeting time each spring developing classes for the next grade level.  Balancing academic abilities, creating workable groups, and matching student and teacher support services are just some of the considerations when grade levels meet to create classes for the next school year.  Each grade level revisits the class lists several times, and then are all reviewed by our specialist teachers for their input.  Finally, each grade level meets with the teachers for next year to share important information with the receiving teachers.  All of us have the best interest of the children foremost in our minds.

We do not accept parent requests for classroom placement. However, there is information that can be shared and we can accept from parents. Specific, first-hand circumstances that may complicate a relationship or create a conflict of interest will certainly be considered.  This is information such as:

Other types of information will not be considered as it makes creating classes for the good of all the children nearly impossible.



The Williamstown Public Schools is committed to maintaining a workplace and educational environment free from all forms of harassing conduct.  Harassment in any form will not be tolerated. WES has an anti bullying policy which is reviewed annually. Please refer to Appendix A for the full bullying policy.

CORI (Statewide background checks)

WES values its rich tradition of parent involvement. If you are volunteering for classroom activities, including field trips, we ask that you complete CORI forms (your signed permission for a statewide background check). This effort is a statewide requirement and is designed to keep all children safe.  CORI forms are available in the main office, on the school’s web site, and from your child’s teacher. Please return your completed form to Dolores Burns or Joelle Brookner, and note that picture ID is required (driver's license, student ID card, etc.) in order to process your application.  Thank you for your help and, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to stop in.


In accordance with Title IX of the Education Acts of 1972, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Chapter 622 of the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Williamstown Public Schools affirm that no person shall, on the basis of race, color, sex, age, creed, national origin, gender identity, pregnancy or pregnancy related conditions, or sexual orientation be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in any education program or activity it operates, including employment therein, and admission thereto. Any complaints or inquiries concerning this policy should be directed as follows:  Joelle Brookner, Principal, Williamstown Elementary School, 115 Church Street, Williamstown, MA, 01267 


Williamstown has a comprehensive evaluation process to examine and remedy policies and programs that discriminate or limit educational access due to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, gender identity, pregnancy or pregnancy related conditions, and sexual orientation.

The process practiced is based upon the ongoing multi-year review of all past district policies by the School Committee to check for legal changes/updates, requirements, new DOE regulations, and for discrimination and bias in the existing policies.  Williamstown uses the legally accurate and updated policies recommended by MASC (MA Association of School Committees).  This process of ongoing review and reevaluation is a monthly topic on the School Committee Agenda entitled Policy Review.

An important policy discussed and adopted by the School Committee on November 16, 2004 guides the process and awareness of civil rights issues.  The Policy #JB Equal Educational Opportunities is a guiding principle for Williamstown Elementary School.

Rights Under Section 504

In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Williamstown Public Schools affirm a student with a disability recognized under the Federal statute known as Section 504 (29 USC §794 [a]) is entitled to accommodation of that disability to the extent that it interferes with the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from any educational or other program at Williamstown Elementary School. Section 504 also prohibits discrimination against any student based on such a disability. A student whose disability is recognized under special education law, known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA: see USC §1401 [3]) is entitled to educational programs and assignments that are designed to develop his/her educational potential (M.G.L. c. 71B §1). Section 504 accommodation plans and special education individualized education programs (IEPs) must be developed in accordance with procedures set out in federal and Massachusetts law and regulations. Any complaints or inquires concerning this policy should be directed to Joelle Brookner, Principal.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.  As a parent, FERPA gives you certain rights with respect to your child’s educational records.

You have the right to inspect and review your child’s education records maintained by the school. You also have the right to request that the school correct records that you believe are inaccurate or misleading.  If the Williamstown Public Schools decides not to amend the record, you have the right to a formal hearing before the principal.  The principal will inform you in writing of his/her decision.  If you are not satisfied with the decision, you have the right to place a statement with the record setting forth your view about the contested information.        

The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) applies to programs that receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education. It affords parents certain rights regarding the conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams.

Complete guidelines and information regarding these rights are available upon request in the Principal’s office. Parents who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20202-5901


Please be aware that smoking on school grounds is prohibited.  The use of other tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and vaping devices are also prohibited on school grounds.  This includes outside the school building on the sidewalks, playground, and the playing fields and parking lots. Thank you for your cooperation.


An Elementary Discipline Code must, due to the nature of the varied developmental levels and ages within the elementary school, be flexible and adaptable. The plan is based upon maintaining the dignity of all involved.  Therefore, the following measures, although inclusive of grades Pre-K–6, are adjusted, as needed, according to grade level and prior discipline history.


Students have the right to:

Students have the responsibility to:


Williamstown Elementary students who have a legally recognized disability have protection against discrimination under §504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29U.S.C. §§ 705(20), 794). Specifically, §504 as now written states that “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability., as defined in §705(20) of this title, shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance …,” such as the Williamstown Elementary Public School District.

In accordance with §504, the Federal regulations that implement it (34 C.F.R/ {art 104), and the established policies of the Williamstown Elementary School Committee, the district endeavors to ensure that all aspects of public education at Williamstown Elementary are open and available to students with disabilities.  A student or the parent or guardian of a student who believes that she or he has been the victim of illegal discrimination because of a disability should report that discrimination to the Principal, as the §504 coordinator.  The § 504 coordinator is located at 115 Church Street, Williamstown, MA 01267, phone (413) 458-5707.

Rights and Responsibilities of Students with Special Needs:

Federal law guarantees every student the right to a free and appropriate public education regardless of handicap

or disability. State and federal law will determine school policy and procedures in detailing the rights and

responsibilities of students with special needs. In order to assure compliance with the intent of the state statute,

the Department of Education will require that school districts comply with the following procedures:


The elementary faculty expects all students to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner, with proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students, school personnel, and other members of the school community, and for the care of school facilities and equipment.

The most effective discipline is self-imposed, with students learning to assume and accept responsibility for their own behavior, as well as the consequences of their misbehavior.  The rules of conduct which follow focus on safety and respect for the rights and property of others.  Students who do not accept responsibility for their own behavior and who violate these school rules will be required to accept the consequences of their actions.


A. Engage in conduct that is disorderly.  Examples:

  1. Engage in conduct that is insubordinate or disruptive.  Examples:
  1. Engage in any activity, on school property, which is in violation of any state or federal criminal statute or regulatory code. Examples:

D. Engage in any conduct that endangers the safety, health, or welfare of others (either in person or by electronic means of communication where the behavior influences the school environment).  Examples:

(For the purpose of this section, bullying shall include cyber-bullying. “Cyber-bullying” is bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication.  (Appendix A contains Williamstown Elementary’s Anti-bullying policy and reporting procedures.)

It is crucial that students behave appropriately while riding on the buses to ensure their own and the other students' safety and to avoid distracting the bus driver.  Students are required to conduct themselves on the bus in a manner that is consistent with the established standards for classroom behavior.  Excessive noise, pushing, shoving, and fighting are not tolerated and may result in a student losing bus privileges.  

E. Engaging in any form of academic misconduct.  Examples:


Rules for appropriate cafeteria behavior include:

 Rules for appropriate playground behavior include:


Members of the classroom and the teacher develop classroom rules.  This is a collaborative endeavor designed to develop a responsible, caring classroom community and to teach students to be respectful members of this community.  Rules, consequences, and routines may vary from classroom to classroom, but the expectations will be consistent with the stated School Code of Conduct. Teachers will share this information with parents and students at the start of the school year.


All students are to dress appropriately for school and school functions.  A student's dress, grooming, and appearance shall:


Developmentally appropriate consequences will be firm, fair, and consistent so as to be the most effective in changing student behavior and fostering responsibility, mutual respect, and self-control. In determining the appropriate disciplinary action, the following will be considered:

In general, discipline will be progressive.  This means that a student's first violation will usually merit a lighter consequence than subsequent violations.  However, progressive discipline may not be appropriate for more serious infractions and more severe penalties for a first violation may be imposed.  Teachers and principal will routinely communicate with parents to both inform and work together to prevent minor problems from becoming more serious.

In cases of outright insubordination or physical endangerment a student may be subject to serious consequences for a specific incident.  In cases involving out of school suspensions a conference will be held between the principal and the parents. (See Appendix B.)

Discipline of a student who has been identified as having special needs pursuant to Chapter 766 or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is subject to the requirements of that student's Individualized Education Plan ("IEP").  The IEP for every special needs student should indicate whether the student can meet the requirements of the regular Code of Conduct, or if a modification is necessary.  If a modification is necessary, it must be described in the IEP.


1. If, prior to the disciplinary action, a district had knowledge that the student may be a student with a disability, then the district makes all protections available to the student until and unless the student is subsequently determined not to be eligible.  The district may be considered to have prior knowledge if:

  1. The parent had expressed concern in writing: or
  2. The parent had requested an evaluation; or
  3. District staff had expressed directly to the special education director or other supervisory personnel specific concerns about a pattern of behavior demonstrated by the student.

The district may not be considered to have had prior knowledge if the parent has not consented to evaluation of the student or has refused special education services, or if an evaluation of the student has resulted in a determination of ineligibility.

2.  If the district had no reason to consider the student disabled, and the parent requests an evaluation subsequent to the disciplinary action, the district must have procedures consistent with federal requirements to conduct an expedited evaluation to determine eligibility.

3.  If the student is found eligible, then he/she receives all procedural protections subsequent to the finding of eligibility.


The criterion is related to State Performance Plan Indicator 4. (See http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/spp/.)


34 CFR 300.534


Students who do not follow the Code of Conduct will be subject to one or more of the consequences listed below.  The school personnel identified after each consequence are authorized to impose that consequence. Specifics regarding due process around suspensions and expulsions can be found in Appendix B.


Any school official authorized to impose a disciplinary penalty on a student may question a student about an alleged violation of law or the district code of conduct. School officials are not required to contact a student's parent before questioning the student.  All students will be told why they are being questioned.

School property, including student cubbies, is subject to search by school officials.  Searches may be conducted of students and their belongings if the authorized school official has reasonable grounds, including (but not limited to) personal observation, or a report from a reliable source.  In serious cases (such as possession of a dangerous object or substance), an anonymous report would be considered reasonable grounds.  The authorized official shall be responsible for promptly recording the information related to the search as a part of the record of the investigation.

District officials are committed to cooperating with police officials to maintain a safe school environment.  Before police officials are permitted to question or search any student, the authorized school official shall first notify the student's parents to give the parent the opportunity to be present during police questioning or search.  If the parent cannot be contacted, the questioning or search shall not be conducted.  The Principal or designee will be present during any police questioning or search of a student on school property or at a school function.


Williamstown Elementary School is committed to keeping students safe from harm and is obligated to report to child protective services when we have reasonable cause to suspect that a student has been abused or maltreated.  The district will cooperate with local child protective services workers who wish to conduct interviews of students on school property relating to allegations of suspected child abuse and neglect or custody investigations.


The school will follow definite procedures ("due process") in the event the student is disciplined for violation of school rules.  For any discipline short of suspension, due process consists of notifying the student of the violation (usually verbally) and affording the student an opportunity to respond before the measure is employed.  If being detained after school is part of the disciplinary action, the student is entitled to a verbal or written notice of the violation and an opportunity to respond before detention is assigned.  A 24-hour notice of detention will be given when there is a problem of transportation or safety. Refer to Appendix B for complete Due information.


A parent who is concerned about disciplinary action regarding his/her child should follow this procedure:

  1. Contact the school and speak with the staff member directly involved in making the decision for corrective action.  Parents may contact staff members during the regular workday (8:25 a.m. - 3:05 p.m. for grades Pre-K - 6).  If a staff member is unable to take a telephone call, the call will be returned within 24 hours (i.e., by the next school day) unless illness or absence prevents such contact.
  2. If a parent contacts an administrator about a disciplinary problem, the administrator will check that the parent has first discussed the issue with the staff member involved.  If the staff member has not been contacted, the administrator will inform the staff member about the call and ask the staff member to make contact with the parent.
  3. If this approach does not lead to resolution of the problem, an administrator may be asked to mediate.
  4. The proper channeling of concerns from parents is as follows:


This handbook is the collaborative work of the School Governance Council.  If you have suggestions for improving this handbook, please send them to:

The Principal's Office

Williamstown Elementary School

115 Church Street, Williamstown, MA          

Appendix A – Bullying


The Williamstown Elementary School District (“District”) is committed to providing all students with a safe learning environment free from bullying and cyber-bullying. This commitment is a critical aspect of the District’s comprehensive efforts to promote learning, and to prevent and eliminate all forms of bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation against those reporting bullying and other harmful and disruptive behaviors that interfere with the learning process.

Pursuant to M.G.L. c.71, §37O, the District prohibits any form of bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation in the school building, on or off school grounds or in school related activities. The District will conduct an immediate investigation of all reports and complaints of bullying, cyber-bullying and retaliation and take prompt action to end that behavior and restore a student target’s sense of safety. The District will support this commitment in all aspects of the school community, including curricula, instructional programs, staff development, extracurricular activities, and parent or guardian involvement.

The District expects that all members of the school community, students and adults, will treat each other in a civil manner and with respect for differences. Bullying can create unnecessary anxiety that affects the ability or desire of a student to attend school, learn in school, travel on the school bus, feel safe in school areas such as the playground or cafeteria, or participate in special or extracurricular activities. The failure to address bullying behavior also gives other students the message that it is permissible to engage in negative conduct. This Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan (“Plan”) is a comprehensive approach to addressing bullying and cyber-bullying, and the District is committed to working with students, staff, families, law enforcement agencies, mental health and community agencies to prevent issues of violence. In consultation with these constituencies, the District has established this Plan for preventing, intervening, and responding to incidents of bullying, cyber-bullying, and retaliation. The plan shall apply to students and members of a school staff, including, but not limited to, educators, administrators, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to an extracurricular activity and paraprofessionals. The school principal is responsible for the implementation and oversight of the Plan.


Aggressor. The student or a member of a school staff including, but not limited to, an educator, administrator, school nurse, cafeteria worker, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, advisor to an extracurricular activity or paraprofessional perpetrator of bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation as defined in M.G.L. c.71, §37O. Bullying. As defined in M.G.L. c.71, §37O it is the repeated use by one or more students or members of a school staff, including, but not limited to, educators, administrators, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to an extracurricular activity and paraprofessionals of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that:

  1. Causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target’s property;
  2. places the target in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his/her property;
  3. creates a hostile environment at school for the target;
  4. infringes on the rights of the target at school; or
  5. materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of the school.

Cyber-bullying. As defined in M.G.L. c.71, §37O, cyber-bullying is bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which includes, but will not be limited to any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications.

Cyber-bullying also includes:

Hostile Environment. A situation in which bullying causes the school environment to be permeated with intimidation, ridicule, or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the student’s education.

Retaliation. Any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment directed against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying considered unacceptable behavior within the meaning of the school’s Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook. Such retaliation or intimidation may result in disciplinary action.

Target. A student victim of bullying, cyber-bullying or retaliation as defined in M.G.L. c.71, §37O.

Other behaviors which are rude and hurtful but do not meet the criteria to be termed bullying, may not require reporting under the law, but will be addressed within the school’s Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook. For the purpose of this Plan, whenever the term bullying is used it is to denote either bullying or cyber-bullying.


Bullying is prohibited:

On School Grounds. Including property immediately adjacent to school grounds, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function or program whether on or off school grounds, at a school bus stop, on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased or used by the District, or through the use of technology or an electronic device owned, leased or used by a school district or school.

Off School Grounds. Including at a location, activity, function or program that is not school-related, or through the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased or used by a school, if the bullying creates a hostile environment at school for the target, infringes on the rights of the target at school or materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of the school.


Any Staff Member (i.e. anyone employed by the District) shall immediately report any instance of bullying or retaliation he/she has witnessed or becomes aware of to the principal or designee. Reports of bullying or retaliation may be oral or written. Oral reports made by or to a staff member shall be recorded in writing. Use of an Incident Reporting Form is not required as a condition of making a report. A school or district staff member is required to report immediately to the principal or designee or to the superintendent or designee when the principal or assistant principal is the alleged aggressor or to the school committee or designee when the superintendent is the alleged aggressor. The requirement to report to the principal or designee does not limit the authority of the staff member to respond to behavioral or disciplinary incidents consistent with school or district policies and procedures for behavior management and discipline. Staff member shall include, but is not limited to, an educator, paraprofessional, administrator, school nurse, cafeteria worker, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, advisor to an extracurricular activity, support staff member or substitute teacher.

All Volunteers will immediately report any conduct that may be bullying, cyber-bullying, retaliation, or intimidation when he/she has witnessed it or becomes aware of it to the school principal or designee. Volunteers will be notified of and trained in the reporting requirement.

Parents/Guardians. The District expects and strongly encourages parents or guardians, and others who witness or become aware of an instance of bullying or retaliation involving a student to report it to the principal or designee. Parents or guardians, and others may request assistance from a staff member to complete the written report to the principal or designee. The report to the principal is best if done in immediate direct conversation followed by written communication to allow for immediate assessment of an alleged target’s needs for protection and to restore a sense of safety for that student.

Students. The District expects students who believe they have been subjected to bullying, cyber bullying, or retaliation, or who witness or become aware of an instance of bullying or retaliation involving a student, to report it to the principal or designee. This report may also be made to the student’s teacher, counselor, or any adult staff member. Students will be provided practical, safe,  private and age-appropriate ways to report and discuss an incident of bullying with the principal or designee, or with a staff member. This report is best if done in direct conversation with the staff member, but may also be done by other means or through the student’s parent or guardian, immediately followed by a written report to the principal or designee.

Anonymous Reports of bullying, cyber-bullying or retaliation, or reports by students or parent or guardians who wish to remain anonymous, may be submitted to the principal or designee and will be immediately investigated. No disciplinary action will be taken against a student based solely on an anonymous report.

A Reporting Form will be made available in the principal’s office, on the District’s website as a downloadable PDF file and other locations determined by the principal. This form shall be submitted directly to the principal or designee or sent anonymously to the principal or designee of the school. Even if the target or the target’s family does not fill out the reporting form, the District will immediately begin the investigation of the bullying charge.

False Reports submitted knowingly and alleging bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the school’s Code of Conduct.


Upon receipt of a report of alleged bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation, the school principal or designee will, before fully investigating the allegations of bullying or retaliation, take steps to assess the need to restore a sense of safety to the alleged target and/or to protect the alleged target from possible further incidents. Responses to promote safety may include, but not be limited to, creating a personal safety plan; pre-determining seating arrangements for the target and/or the aggressor in the classroom, at lunch, or on the bus; identifying a staff member who will act as a “safe person” for the target; and altering the aggressor’s schedule and access to the target. The principal or designee will take additional steps to promote safety during the course of and after the investigation, as necessary. In conducting an investigation, the principal or designee, will consider how the bullying behavior might impact the general learning environment of the school or the impact it may have on bystanders or other students in the school. Actions may be necessary, even if the target indicates the aggressor’(s) behavior is permissible.

The principal or designee will immediately conduct an investigation. During the investigation the principal or designee will, among other things, interview students, staff, witnesses, parents or guardians, and others as necessary. The principal or designee (or whoever is conducting the investigation) will remind the alleged aggressor, target, and witnesses that retaliation is strictly prohibited and will result in disciplinary action.

Confidentiality shall be used to protect a person who reports bullying or retaliation, provides information during an investigation of bullying or retaliation, or is witness to or has reliable information about an act of bullying or retaliation.

The principal or designee is required to investigate all reports of potential acts of bullying or cyber-bullying. This obligation exists regardless of requests from reporters to not investigate or talk with certain students or individuals. We encourage reporting, but reporting on the condition that no action will be taken or limits placed on the investigation cannot be accepted.

Steps of the Investigation:

  1. An oral or written report is received.
  2. The target is interviewed, the level of threat is assessed, and actions to protect target and reporters are taken as appropriate. If the target declines to be interviewed the District will continue the investigation without further information from the target.
  3. Interview the individual(s) reporting the alleged bullying or retaliation incident, if other than the target, and note and interview other witnesses (especially adults) or any online involvement.
  4. Interview the alleged aggressor(s).
  5. Determine the merit and plausibility of the report.
  6. Determine the circumstances and establish disciplinary or other consequences, if necessary.
  7. Report to the Williamstown Police Department, if necessary.


If the school principal or designee determines that bullying or retaliation has occurred and consequences are merited, the school principal or designee will:

NOTE: All notice to parents must comply with applicable state and federal privacy laws and regulations. Because of the legal requirements regarding the confidentiality of student records, the principal or designee cannot report specific information to the target’s parent or guardian about the disciplinary action taken unless it involves a “stay away” order or other directive that the target must be aware of in order to report violations.

b. Notify the Director of Pupil Personnel Services if any of the students are on an IEP or on a 504 Plan.

c. Take appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with the District’s disciplinary policies.

d. Notify the local law enforcement agency if the principal or designee has a reasonable basis to believe that the incident meets the definition of bullying or may result in criminal charges against the alleged aggressor.

i. If the local law enforcement is notified, the principal or designee shall document the reasons for the decision.

ii. If the local law enforcement agency is not notified or if it determines that its involvement is not necessary, then the principal or designee shall respond to the behavior as is appropriate within the school’s Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook.

iii. A Memorandum of Understanding on file in the Principal’s and Superintendent’s Office between the District, Williamstown Police Department and Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office will outline the nature of this reporting.

e. If an incident of bullying, or retaliation involves students from another school district, the principal or designee will promptly notify the appropriate administrator of the other school district so that both may take appropriate action.


Bullying behavior can take many forms and can vary dramatically in its seriousness and its impact on the target and other students. Accordingly, there is no one prescribed response to verified acts of bullying and retaliation. Consequences and disciplinary action will be applied in accordance with the school’s Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook. The responses will range from redirection of future behavior to suspension or police involvement and possible expulsion from school. These actions will escalate in severity for repeated offenses or with the severity of the implication of the negative conduct. Actions may be accompanied by the referral to counseling or other therapeutic support. The specific action will be age appropriate, concrete and immediate. The nature and extent of disciplinary action imposed or consequences applied, is a matter within the sound discretion of the building principal/designee. The principal will balance the need for accountability and safety of the target with the need to teach appropriate behavior. Consequences and discipline for acts of retaliation will be imposed at the same, or more severe level as the underlying bullying, cyber bullying or inappropriate behavior.

Students who are not primary participants in the reported act of bullying, cyber bullying, or retaliation but join in, may be subject to disciplinary action or consequences as if they were primarily involved. “Joining-in” is a form of endorsing the behavior. Consequences or disciplinary actions taken in an instance of bullying will be shared with the appropriate school staff members to ensure awareness and follow through.

When it is determined that a target is in fear or is being threatened, the principal will develop a safety plan to take immediate steps to limit and control the behavior of aggressor(s) who are causing the threat. The safety plan will be developed in collaboration with the appropriate staff and shared with staff to ensure enforcement and follow-up. The principal or designee will periodically follow-up with the target(s), and their parents, in an incident to ensure the student believes the situation has improved and that any threat or fear has been significantly reduced or eliminated.

The principal will offer counseling and referral services for appropriate family members for both targets and aggressors.


Annual Staff Training on the Plan. Annual training for all school staff on the Plan will include staff duties under the Plan, an overview of the steps that the principal or designee will follow upon receipt of a report of bullying or retaliation, and an overview of the bullying prevention curricula to be offered at all grades throughout the school. Staff members hired after the start of the school year are required to receive the training during the school year in which they are hired.

Ongoing Professional Development. The goal of professional development is to establish a common understanding of tools necessary for staff to create a school climate that promotes safety, civil communication, and respect for differences. Professional development will build the skills of staff members to prevent, identify, and respond to bullying. As required by M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O, the content of school wide and district wide professional development will be informed by research and will include information on:

Professional development will also address ways to prevent and respond to bullying or retaliation for students with disabilities that must be considered when developing students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). This will include a particular focus on the needs of students whose disability affects social skills development.

Additional areas identified by the District for professional development include:

Written Notice to Staff. The school will provide all staff with an annual written notice of the Plan by publishing information about it, including sections related to staff duties, in the District employee handbook and the school’s Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook.


Parent Education and Resources. The school will offer education programs for parents/guardians that are focused on the parental components of the anti-bullying curricula and any social competency curricula used by the school. The programs will be offered in collaboration with parent groups.

Notification Requirements. Each year the school will inform parents or guardians of enrolled students about the antibullying curricula that are being used. This notice will include information about the dynamics of bullying, including cyber-bullying and online safety. The school will send parents written notice each year about the student-related sections of the Plan and the school's

Internet safety policy. All notices and information made available to parents or guardians will be in hard copy and electronic formats. The school will post the Plan and related information on its website.


The school will provide age-appropriate instruction on bullying prevention in each grade that is incorporated into the curriculum. The curriculum will be evidence-based. The Plan will describe the curriculum to help parents and others understand the District’s bullying prevention efforts. Bullying prevention curricula will be informed by current research which, among other things, emphasizes:

Initiatives will also teach students about student-related sections of the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan.

The following approaches are integral to establishing a safe and supportive school environment. These underscore the importance of the District’s bullying intervention and prevention initiatives:


As required by M.G.L. c. 71B, § 37O, as amended by Chapter 92 of the Acts of 2010, when the IEP Team determines (or as determined by a 504 Plan) the student has a disability that affects social skills development or that the student may participate in, or is vulnerable to, bullying, harassment, or teasing because of his or her disability, the Team will consider what should be  included in the IEP or 504 Plan to develop the student's skills and proficiencies to avoid and respond to bullying, harassment, or teasing. This will include a particular focus on the needs of students whose disability affects social skills development.


In order to monitor the success of the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan and to help determine the effectiveness of interventions, curricula and actions the school will collect, student and staff survey data, parent survey data and the number and nature of bullying, cyber-bullying and retaliation instances. Reports will be forwarded to the superintendent’s office at the end of

each school year. Reports of the data will be presented to the School Committee and made available to the public on the District’s website.

Appendix B –Due Process for Suspension


Except in the case of an emergency removal or disciplinary offense defined under M.G.L. c. 71, §§37H or 37H½ or an in-school suspension as defined by 603 CMR 53.02(6), the school shall provide the student and parent/guardian with written and oral notice of the proposed out-of-school suspension, an opportunity to be heard at hearing, and the opportunity to participate at the hearing. Notice shall set forth in plain language:

The principal shall make reasonable efforts to notify the parent/guardian orally of the opportunity to attend the hearing. In order to conduct a hearing without the parent/guardian present, the principal must be able to document reasonable efforts to include the parent/guardian. Reasonable effort is presumed if the principal sent written notice and documented at least two attempts to contact the parent/guardian in the manner specified by the parent/guardian for emergency situations.

All written communications regarding notice of proposed suspension shall be either by hand delivery or delivered by first-class mail, certified mail, or email to address provided by the parent/guardian for school

communications (or other method agreed to by the principal and parent/guardian) in English, and in the primary language in the home if other than English, or other means of communication where appropriate.


A short-term suspension is the removal of the student from the school premises and regular classroom activities for ten (10) consecutive days or less. Out-of-school short-term suspensions which do not cumulatively over the course of the school year exceed ten (10) days of suspension shall be conducted in accordance with this section.

Principal Hearing. The purpose of the hearing with the principal is to hear and consider information regarding the alleged incident for which the student may be suspended, provide the student an opportunity to dispute the charges and explain the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident, determine if the student has committed the disciplinary offense, the basis for the charge, and any other pertinent information. The student shall have an opportunity to present information, including mitigating facts. A parent/guardian present at the hearing shall have the opportunity to discuss the student’s conduct and offer information, including mitigating circumstances.

Based on the available information, including mitigating circumstances, the principal will make a determination whether the student committed the disciplinary offense, and if so, the consequence. The principal will provide notification in writing of his/her determination in the form of an update to the student and parent/guardian, and provide reasons for the determination. If the student is suspended, the principal shall inform the parent/guardian of the type and duration of the suspension, and shall provide an opportunity for the student to make up assignments and other school work as needed to make academic progress during the period of removal.

If the student is in grades pre-k through 3, the principal shall send his/her determination to the superintendent and explain the reasons prior to imposing an out-of-school suspension, before the short-term suspension takes effect.

All written communications regarding the hearing and principal determination shall be either hand delivery or delivered by first-class mail, certified mail, or email to the address provided by the parent/guardian for school communications (or other method agreed to by the principal and parent/guardian) in English, and in the primary language in the home if other than English, or other means of communication where appropriate.


A long-term suspension is the removal of a student from the school premises and regular classroom activities for more than ten (10) consecutive school days, or for more than ten (10) school days cumulatively for multiple disciplinary offenses in any school year. The purpose of the hearing with the principal is to hear and consider information regarding the alleged incident for which the student may be suspended, provide the student an opportunity to dispute the charges and explain the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident, determine if the student has committed the disciplinary offense, the basis for the charge, and any other pertinent information. The student shall have an opportunity to present information, including mitigating facts, that the principal will consider in determining whether

alternatives to suspension such as loss of privileges, detention, an apology, a student contract, restitution, and/or probation are appropriate.

Additionally, the student shall have the following additional rights:

In advance of the hearing, the opportunity to review the student’s record and the documents upon which the principal may rely in making a determination to suspend the student or not;

Based on the evidence submitted at the hearing the principal shall make a determination as to whether the

student committed the disciplinary offense, and, if so, after considering mitigating circumstances and alternatives to suspension (the use of evidence-based strategies and programs, such as mediation, conflict resolution, restorative justice, and positive interventions and supports) what remedy or consequence will be imposed. If the principal decides to impose a long-term suspension, the written determination shall:

Identify the disciplinary offense, the date on which the hearing took place, and the participants at the hearing;

The long-term suspension will remain in effect unless and until the superintendent decides to reverse the principal’s determination on appeal.

If the student is in grades pre-k through grade 3, the principal shall send his/her determination to the superintendent and explain the reasons prior to imposing an out-of-school suspension, whether short-term or long-term, before the suspension takes effect.

All written communications regarding the hearing and principal determination shall be either hand delivery or delivered by first-class mail, certified mail, or email to the provided by the parent/guardian for school communications (or other method agreed to by the principal and parent/guardian) in English, and in the primary language in the home if other than English, or by other means of communication where appropriate.


A student who is placed on a long-term suspension shall have the right to appeal the principal’s decision to the superintendent if properly and timely filed. A good faith effort shall be made to include the parent/guardian at the hearing. The appeal shall be held within three (3) school days of the appeal, unless the student or parent/guardian requests an extension of up to seven (7) additional calendar days, which the superintendent shall grant.

The student and parent/guardian shall have the same rights afforded at the long-term suspension principal hearing. Within five (5) calendar days of the hearing the superintendent shall issue his/her written decision which meets the criteria required of the principal’s determination. If the superintendent determines the student committed the disciplinary offense, the superintendent may impose the same or a lesser consequence than that of the principal. The superintendent’s decision shall be final.


A student may be temporarily removed prior to notice and hearing when a student is charged with a disciplinary offense and the continued presence of the student poses a danger to persons or property, or materially and substantially disrupts the order of the school and, in the principal’s judgment, there is no alternative available to alleviate the danger or disruption. The temporary removal shall not exceed two (2) school days, following the day of the emergency removal.

During the emergency, removal the principal shall make immediate and reasonable efforts to orally notify the student and student’s parent/guardian of the emergency removal and the reason for the emergency removal. The principal shall also provide the due process requirements of written notice for suspensions and provide for a hearing which meets the due process requirements of a long-term suspension or short-term suspension, as applicable, within the two (2) school day time period, unless an extension of time for the hearing is otherwise agreed to by the principal, student, and parent/guardian.

A decision shall be rendered orally on the same day as the hearing, and in writing no later than the following school day. The decision shall meet all of the due process requirements of a principal’s determination in a long-term suspension or short-term suspension, as applicable.

IN-SCHOOL SUSPENSION UNDER 603 CMR 53:02(6) & 603CMR 53.10

In-school suspension is defined as the removal of a student from regular classroom activities, but not the school premises, for not more than ten (10) consecutive school days, or no more than ten (10) school days cumulatively for multiple infractions over the course of the school year.

A Principal may impose an in-school suspension as defined above according to the following procedures:

The principal shall inform the student of the disciplinary offense charged and the basis for the charge, and provide the student an opportunity to dispute the charges and explain the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident. If the principal determines that the student committed the disciplinary offense, the principal shall inform the student of the length of the student’s in-school suspension, which shall not exceed ten (10) days, cumulatively or consecutively, in a school year.

On the same day as the in-school suspension decision, the principal shall make reasonable efforts to notify the parent orally of the disciplinary offense, the reasons for concluding that the student committed the infraction, and the length of the in-school suspension. The principal shall also invite the parent to a meeting to discuss the student’s academic performance and behavior, strategies for student engagement, and possible responses to the behavior. Such meeting shall be scheduled on the day of the suspension if possible, and if not, as soon thereafter as possible. If the principal is unable to reach the parent after making and documenting at least two (2) attempts to do so, such attempts shall constitute reasonable efforts for purposes of orally informing the parent of the in-school suspension.

The principal shall send written notice to the student and parent about the in-school suspension, including the reason and the length of the in-school suspension, and inviting the parent to a meeting with the principal for the purpose set forth above, if such meeting has not already occurred. The principal shall deliver such notice on the day of the suspension by hand-delivery, certified mail, first-class mail, email to an address provided by the parent for school communications, or by other method of delivery agreed to by the principal and the parent.


The due process notification and hearing requirements in the preceding sections do not apply to the following disciplinary offenses:

Possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of a controlled substance, or assault of staff

A student may be subject to expulsion if found in possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of a controlled substance, or the student assaults a member of educational staff, and the principal determines the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school.

The Principal shall notify the student and parent(s)/guardian(s) in writing of the opportunity for a hearing, and the right to have representation at the hearing, along with the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses. After said hearing, a principal may, in his/her discretion, decide to levy a suspension rather than expulsion. A student expelled for such an infraction shall have the right to appeal the decision to the Superintendent. The expelled student shall have ten (10) days from the date of the expulsion in which to notify the Superintendent of his/her appeal. The student has the right to counsel at the hearing before the Superintendent. The subject matter of the appeal shall not be limited solely to a factual determination of whether the student was guilty of the alleged offense.

Felony complaint or issuance of felony delinquency complaint

Upon the issuance of a criminal complaint charging a student with a felony, or the issuance of a felony delinquency complaint against a student, the Principal may suspend a student for a period of time determined appropriate by the Principal if the Principal determines that the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school.

The Principal shall notify the student in writing of the charges, the reasons for the suspension (prior to such suspension taking effect), and the right to appeal. The Principal will also provide the student and parent(s)/guardian(s) the process for appealing the suspension to the Superintendent. The request for appeal must be made in writing within five (5) calendar days. The hearing shall be held within three (3) days of the request. The suspension shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing before the Superintendent. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony, and the right to counsel. The Superintendent has the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the Principal. The Superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal within five (5) calendar days of the hearing.

Felony conviction or adjudication/admission in court of guilt for a felony or felony delinquency

The Principal may expel a student convicted of a felony, or has an adjudication or admission of guilt regarding a felony, if the Principal determines that the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school.

The student shall receive written notification of the charges and reasons for the proposed expulsion. The student shall also receive written notification of his right to appeal the decision to the Superintendent, as well as the appeal process. The expulsion shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing conducted by the Superintendent.


The student shall notify the Superintendent in writing of his/her request for an appeal the decision no later than five (5) calendar days following the date of the expulsion. The Superintendent hearing shall be held with the student and parent(s)/guardian(s) within three (3) calendar days of the expulsion. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony, and shall have the right to counsel. The Superintendent has the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the Principal. The Superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal within five (5) calendar days of the hearing. Any student expelled from school for such an offense shall be afforded an opportunity to receive educational services and make academic progress.


Appendix C –Allergy, Food Procedures and Medical-Condition Responses



As of 10/3/16



General for all types of allergies:

Specific to food allergies:


General for all types of allergies:

Specific to food allergies:


General for all types of allergies:


General for all types of allergies:

Classroom Activities

Field Trips

(1)  Ensure the EpiPen and glucose monitor and instructions are taken on the field trips

(2)  Ensure that schools provide a communication device for field trips

(3)  Know where the closest medical facilities are located

(4)  Invite parents of a student at risk for anaphylaxis to accompany child on the field trip

(5)  Ensure that child with allergy is with a person trained in use of EpiPen

Substitute Teachers, Volunteers, etc.


General for all types of allergies:

Specific to food allergies:


Specific to food allergies:



General for all types of allergies:


These procedures are not intended to encompass school fundraisers. School Administration will direct such groups to post signs warning that food items sold may contain nuts or nut by-products.


Non-school sponsored extracurricular activities and non-school sponsored after-school programs are not under the control or supervision of the District.  The District is not responsible, and assumes no liability for, such non-sponsored activities and programs.  Parents/guardians are solely responsible for ensuring that appropriate safety precautions are in place should they decide to have their child with life threatening allergies participate in such non-sponsored extracurricular or after-school programs.  

Appendix D - Residency Procedures

Williamstown Elementary Residency Procedures


Before any student is assigned or invited to attend Williamstown Elementary, his/her parent or legal guardian must provide the following required proofs of primary residency to the Guidance Department as part of their registration process. Applications cannot be processed without these documents. A parent/guardian government issued photo ID plus two documents are required for any new student enrollment or to file a change of address.

TWO of the following documents (items cannot be from the same bullet):

*Approved government agencies:  Departments of Revenue (DOR), Children and Family Services (DCF), Transitional Assistance (DTA), Youth Services (DYS), Social Security, any communications on Commonwealth of Massachusetts Letterhead.

These residency procedures do not apply to homeless students.




How is “residency” defined?


In order to attend Williamstown Elementary School, a student must actually reside in the town of Williamstown. “Residence” is the place where a person dwells permanently, not temporarily, and is the place that is the center of his or her domestic, social and civic life. Temporary residence in Williamstown, solely for the purpose of attending Williamstown Elementary School, shall not be considered residency. The residence of a minor child is presumed to be the legal residence of the parent(s) or guardian(s) who have physical custody of the child. This presumption, however, may be rebutted, if there is evidence that the child actually resides elsewhere.



How does Williamstown Elementary School verify residency?


Families applying to register a child at Williamstown Elementary School or submitting a change of address must demonstrate residency by submitting one document from each of two categories listed on registration overview.

The Williamstown Elementary School administration reserves the right to request additional documents and/or to conduct an investigation. Because residency may change during the school year, school officials may require verification of residency at any time. Families who change residency during the year must report such change immediately to the Principal of each school in which their children are enrolled, and must provide verification of continued residency upon request.



What if I don’t have the required proofs of residency with me when I register?


All new applicants must submit two required proofs of residency in addition to government issued photo identification. Applicants who do not have the required documents will be asked to return to the guidance department with the appropriate materials before beginning the registration process.  Guidance staff will not accept any substitutions for items on the list of acceptable proofs of residency.



What can I use for proof of recent rent or mortgage payment?


You may present a copy of a money order, cancelled check, or rent receipt. You also may present a copy of a bank statement that shows an automatic deduction for rent or mortgage payment.



What if I own my home but do not have a copy of the deed?


Contact the financial institution that handles your mortgage or the Berkshire County Registry of Deeds.



What if I own a home but do not pay a mortgage?


If you no longer pay a mortgage on your home, you must submit a copy of the property deed, along with a copy of the discharge of mortgage.



What if I do not pay for utilities or if none of the utility bills are in my name?


If you live in a household where all utilities are listed in the name of your landlord or someone else, AND if this is noted on your lease or landlord/shared tenancy affidavit, then you may submit proof of residency in the name of your landlord or the person who pays the bills. If your lease specifies that all utilities are included, and you do not have a home telephone ("land-line telephone") or cable television, guidance staff will verify this information and your application will be processed.



What if I have recently moved and have not yet received any utility bills?


To fulfill the requirements you may submit a work order from any utility company stating that your service has been ordered or installed.



What if I cannot produce all required proofs?


If your personal circumstances make it impossible for you to provide proof of residency consult the Williamstown Elementary School guidance staff. Bring copies of any proofs of residency you have, and describe the circumstances that prevent you from having the required proofs.



What if I live with a friend or relative?


If you share housing with a friend or relative, you may use the landlord/shared tenancy residency affidavit to fulfill the proof of residency requirement. This form is available at www.mgrhs.org or by calling the main office.  Ask your friend or relative to complete and sign the affidavit to affirm your residence.



What if my family does not have any permanent residence?


The proof of residency requirements do not apply to homeless students and families covered by the McKinney-Vento Act. Contact the Williamstown Elementary School guidance department for assistance with registering your child, if you believe that you qualify as homeless under the Act. If you are staying in a shelter, bring a letter from the shelter staff stating that you are living there.



What if I am an undocumented immigrant?


No child who actually resides within the district will be denied access to school because of his or her immigration status.



Will documents that I submit to prove residency remain confidential?


All documents submitted to prove residency will be marked with the student’s name and considered part of his or her confidential record. The Williamstown Elementary School guidance department will adhere to the standards of confidentiality set forth in state and federal laws governing the maintenance and disclosure of these records.



How can I report a suspected violation of the residency requirements?


Families, staff, students and others can report possible residency violations by calling the Superintendent’s office at 413-458-9582 x155.



What are the consequences of residency fraud?


Any student who is discovered not to reside in district will be dismissed from the school. Additionally, any person who violates or assists in residency fraud may be required to remit restitution to the school for the full educational cost of the student’s improper attendance.  

Any applicant for the Williamstown Elementary who cannot produce a property deed or lease must ask the owner or lessee of the property where the applicant lives to complete and sign this legal affidavit.

It is the responsibility of the applicant (not the person who completes this affidavit) to attach a record of recent rent payment, unless this affidavit affirms in #3 below that the tenancy does not require payment of rent.

I, _______________________________________________ hereby depose and state as follows:

Print Name

(Complete all three items and sign below)

1. I am (CHECK ONE) the [____]owner  [____] lessee of property located in the town of  


    ______________________________________, Massachusetts


Print Address

2. _______________________________________________, who is the parent/legal guardian of

Print Name

   _________________________________________, leases/subleases this property as their principal residence

Print Student’s Name

     from me, without a written lease, in a tenancy at-will, from month to month.


______ I have received within the last thirty (30) days rental payment for the lease/sublease of these premises by the party named above.


______ I hereby state that the party named above resides with me at the address above

with no payment of rent required.

Signed under the pains and penalties of perjury, this _______day of ________, 20____.



Print your name:   ___________________________________________________________

Print your address: __________________________________________________________

According to Massachusetts General Law Chapter 76, Section 5:

Every person shall have a right to attend the public schools of the town where he actually resides, subject to the following section. No school committee is required to enroll a person who does not actually reside in the town unless said enrollment is authorized by law or by the school committee. Any person who violates or assists in the violation of this provision may be required to remit full restitution to the town of the improperly-attended public schools. No person shall be excluded from or discriminated against in admission to a public school of any town, or in obtaining the advantages, privileges and courses of study of such public school on account of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

The information contained in this legal affidavit is subject to verification