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Student and Family Handbook

Student and Family Handbook

Revised July 2019


NEW HAVEN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

2020- 2021 Board of Education

Yesenia Rivera, President • Matthew Wilcox, Vice President

Dr. Edward Joyner, Secretary • Mayor Justin Elicker

Darnell Goldson • Larry Conaway • Dr. Tamiko Jackson-McArthur

Lihame Arouna • Anthony Fiore 

Important Phone Numbers

Superintendent

(475) 220-1000

Parent Engagement

(475) 220-1063

School Choice/Enrollment

(475) 220-1430/31

Transportation

(475) 220-1600

Youth, Family, & Community Engagement

(475) 220-1734

Communication

(475) 220-1591

Pre-Kindergarten

(475) 220-1463/1482

Adult Education

(203) 492-0213

Special Education

(475) 220-1760

School Volunteers

(475) 220-1373

College & Career Pathways

(203) 946-8821

School Nursing/ Bureau of Nursing

(203) 946-7301

Stay Connected!

More information – www.nhps.net

School Nursing https://www.newhavenct.gov/gov/depts/health/divisions/nursing.htm 

United Way of Connecticut Free Infoline – Dial 211

New Haven Promise - www.newhavenpromise.org

NHPS App – Search “New Haven Public Schools” (iTunes or Google Play)

  NewHavenPublicSchools

New Haven Public Schools is committed to providing an open, welcoming, safe and supportive environment for all students, parents and families. To this end, we encourage all of our families to communicate with us and to play a role in shaping positive school climates that foster learning and personal growth of children, regardless of background, language, or immigration status. The district and our schools are committed to treating all students and parents with fairness and respect and will not discriminate against family members for any reason.

ALLNEW HAVEN PUBLIC SCHOOLS/FACILITIES ARE DRUG-FREE ZONES

UP TO ONE THOUSAND (1,000) FEET IN ALL DIRECTIONS FROM THE BUILDING

LEGISLATIVE SECTION 845A OF TITLE 21, UNITED STATES CONGRESS SEC. 21a 267, CONNECTICUT GENERAL STATUTES

Text Telephone/Teletype (TT/TTY) services for the deaf and hearing impaired: Dial 7-1-1

Upon request, pertinent publications will be enlarged for the visually impaired.

Please be advised that policy and procedures may be updated during the course of a school year. A current copy of the Student-Parent Handbook will be available upon request from the school principal.


New Haven Public Schools

This handbook has been developed to provide students and parents with a summary of important New Haven Board of Education policies and procedures.  This handbook is not intended to be all inclusive and does not contain all of the rules, regulations, directives and policies of the New Haven Board of Education.  The entire policy manual is on file at each school and is available for review upon request of the Principal.  All violations will be investigated and appropriate disciplinary action will be dispensed if needed, including the possibility of suspension, and/or expulsion, and/or referral to police and/or other appropriate agencies. All policies, including the newly developed Unified Code of Conduct, are in compliance with the Constitution of the United States, the State of Connecticut, Federal and Local policies. Please contact your school principal or the office of the superintendent for further information.  

Text of Relevant Laws

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Federal)

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Federal)

“It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer

(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of such individual’s sex or,

(2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee because of such individual’s sex.”

It is the policy of the New Haven Board of Education not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin (in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964), sex (in accordance with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972) or handicap (in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1972) in any of its vocational educational programs or regular academic programs or activities.  

The following vocational programs are offered; technology education, business technology, life management, school to career opportunities, and health assistance.

Connecticut Human Rights and Opportunities Act -

(Connecticut General Statutes Section 46a-60(a)) -

“It shall be a discriminatory practice in violation of this section:

“(8) For an employer, by the employer or the employer’s agent, for an employment agency, by itself or its agent, or for any labor organization, by itself or its agent, to harass any employee, person seeking employment or member on the basis of sex or gender identity or expression.”

A summary of course offerings, vocational opportunities and admission criteria

 is available from the Guidance Department at the high schools.

Table of Contents

GENERAL INFORMATION

Admission and Registration

Where is the Office of School Choice & Enrollment and what are the office hours?

What do I need to register my child for school?

If l move, how do I change my child’s address?

How do I transfer my child to a different school?

How does Pre-K Registration happen?

How does Kindergarten Registration Happen?

Annual Notification of Obligations

Annual FERPA Notification for the New Haven Public Schools

ACADEMIC INFORMATION

Common Core State Standards

Grading

K-8

High School

Grading Scale for Report Card Marks:

High School/Mastery Based Grading

Grade Scale

Honor Roll

Graduation Requirements

Course Level and Grade Weighting

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Weighted GPA:

Unweighted GPA:

Rank in Class

Honor Diploma

Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Homework

Homework Tips

Homework Policy K-8

Homework for Student Absence

Homework for Suspended Students

Promotion/Retention

Promotion (Grades 7 and 8)

Retention Policy

Grade K-3 Legislation (Retention Policy)

Testing Program

Warning of Failure to Parents (K-12)

STUDENT HEALTH / SAFETY

Health Assessments and Immunizations

Mandated Health Policies

Medication

Nursing Services

Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect

School-Based Child Health Program

Suicide Prevention/Intervention

Tuberculosis Screening

STUDENT LIFE

School Climate

Bullying

Sexual Harassment

DEFINITION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

LGBTQ Protections & Supports

Cell phones/Electronic Devices/Computers/Internet

Dress and Grooming

Hats/Coats/Dress Code

School Activities

Dances

Field Trips

School Food

School Meal Program

Healthy Meals

Food Allergies and Special Dietary Needs

School Policies and Procedures

Early Dismissals Requested By Parent/School

Emergency Closings/Late Openings

Freedom of Speech/Expression

Gang Activity or Association

Guidance

Loitering or Causing Disturbance

Military Recruitment

Petitions

Pupil Personnel Services

Recess Policy

Smoking

Student Complaints, Grievances, and Petitions

Textbooks and Library Books

Transportation

Student Discipline and Truancy

Detention

Process for Absences

Definitions:

School-based Coordination and Parental Engagement

Questioning and Apprehension

Sale/Distribution of Controlled Substances

Student Searches

Search of Desks and School Lockers

Suspension/Expulsion; Due Process

Notification to Parents or Guardian

Annual Student Notification of Board of Education Policies and Regulations

Definitions

Removal from Class

Standard Governing In-school Suspension, Suspension and Expulsion

Suspension/Expulsion; Due Process.

In-School Suspension/Suspension Procedures

Expulsion

Connecticut General Statutes Section 10-233d(j)

Special Education Students

Reasonable Physical Force to Control a Situation

Weapons and Dangerous Instruments

PARENTS AND FAMILIES

Family Engagement and Empowerment

New Haven Promise

School-Community Associations

Visits to the School and Volunteering in the Schools

Fundraising By Parent And/Or Community Organizations

District Level / Title I Parent Involvement Policy

Responsibilities of the New Haven Public Schools:

Responsibilities of Parents:


GENERAL INFORMATION

Admission and Registration

New Haven Public Schools (NHPS) operates one of the largest school systems in the state of Connecticut, with many different educational options and alternatives for students at all age levels. This includes pre-kindergarten programs, magnet school programs, and neighborhood schools at all age levels. The materials below provide general information about registration into New Haven Public Schools. For more detailed information and up-to-date policies, please consult the Office of School Choice & Enrollment and/or the review the Enrollment section of the district's  website at : www.nhps.net 

Admission and Registration Information

Where is the Office of School Choice & Enrollment and what are the office hours?

The Office of School Choice & Enrollment is located on the First Floor of the Board of Education Central Offices at 54 Meadow Street, New Haven, CT. This office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 - 4:30. Dedicated staff are available to register new students into our schools and to assist parents with enrollment questions.

What do I need to register my child for school?

The required documents are documents that will verify the age and residency of the child. Acceptable documentation for proof of age includes, but is not limited to, the child’s birth certificate (long form). Proof of residency documents include a current (received within 30 days) utility bill (electricity, home phone, gas, or cable bill), tax bill, a rental lease agreement or mortgage papers in the name of the parent, legal guardian or person having care and/or control of the school aged child that verifies that the child is a resident of New Haven.

The child’s Social Security number is optional. This sensitive information is not required to register a child.

In accordance with Connecticut State law, children MUST have up to date physical examinations and immunization records (in some cases, up to date health records are required for initial placement (i.e. Headstart Pre-K). At the time of registration and anytime before the school year, completed Physical Health and Immunization Records can be delivered to The Bureau of Nursing Office, 54 Meadow Street, 1st Floor.  Please note:  students will not be allowed to attend school if they do not meet their grade level health requirements.

If l move, how do I change my child’s address?

In order to change the address of a child, proof of residency documents must be provided which include a current utility bill (electricity, home phone, gas, or cable bill), a rental lease agreement or mortgage papers in the name of the parent, legal guardian or person having care and/or control of the school aged child that verifies that the child is a New Haven resident.  The documents may be brought to the child’s school or the Office of School Choice & Enrollment.

How do I transfer my child to a different school?

It is important that students have a consistent school experience. Therefore, transfers during the school year are granted only for extenuating and urgently necessary circumstances.  To apply for a transfer for the child’s next school year, parents need to visit the Office of School Choice & Enrollment to apply for an intra-district transfer for their child(ren). Transfers may be granted if space is available at the school the parent requests and require the approval of one of the following central office administrators: Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, Director of School Choice & Enrollment.  Transferring schools in the middle of the school year can be harmful for a student’s progress.  Parents cannot transfer their children between January 1 and June 30 unless approved by a Director. These transfers may only occur under circumstances deemed most necessary.

How does Pre-K Registration happen?

The New Haven Public Schools operates one of the largest preschool programs in the state of Connecticut serving almost 3,000 students. Pre-Kindergarten, or Pre-K, is an exciting and important way for young students to start their education. NHPS offers Pre-K through three distinct programs: magnet school pre-kindergarten, Head Start and School Readiness. These Pre-K programs operate in a variety of public schools and free-standing early childhood sites around New Haven. There are Pre-K programs in New Haven for 3 and 4 year olds. Magnet Pre-K’s are open to New Haven and suburban residents, and students must be accepted through a lottery application process. Head Start Pre-K’s are designed for low-income families and School Readiness programs, which operate both in NHPS schools and in independent sites, and have a sliding fee scale for New Haven residents.

The application processes are different for the three different Pre-Kindergarten programs

-         To enroll in Magnet Pre-K programs for the next year, families must apply through the NHPS school placement (lottery) process, with applications due in the winter of each year and placements made shortly thereafter. More information is available at: www.Newhavenmagnetschools.com  and www.nhps.net .

-         To enroll in Head Start or School Readiness Programs, families must apply in person with the NHPS Early Childhood Office. To make an appointment to ask a question, call 475-220-1482 or 475-220-1463. Placements in Head Start and School Readiness are awarded first-come first-served as families complete applications. More information is available on the website, www.nhps.net.

How does Kindergarten Registration Happen?

There is ONE enrollment process and ONE lottery for all Magnet Schools, Charter Schools, and Kindergarten seats in district operated schools. Applications and School Choice booklets complete with information about all school options are generally available in January of each school year. The school choice placement process takes place in the winter/spring of each year. Families who move to New Haven after the lottery has happened should contact the Office of School Choice & Enrollment at 475-220-1430 or 475-220-1431.

Annual Notification of Obligations

Connecticut law requires that the New Haven Public Schools provide you with this written notice of your obligations under Connecticut General Statutes Section 10-184. This law provides that each parent or other person having control of a child five years of age and older and under eighteen years of age is obligated to cause the child to attend school regularly during the hours and terms public school is in session, unless such parent or other person shows that the child is elsewhere receiving equivalent instruction. The parent or person having control of a child sixteen or seventeen years of age may consent to withdraw the child from school. Parent/guardian must appear at the district office to sign a withdrawal form. Connecticut General Statutes Section 10-185 provides that each day’s failure to comply with these requirements is a separate offense, punishable by a $25.00 fine.

Regular student attendance is essential to the education process. Any child, even under age five who is attending the New Haven Public Schools will be subject to the school district policies, including the attendance policy. So that we may seek to inform you if your child is absent without explanation, the law also requires that we obtain from you telephone numbers or other means of contacting you during the school day.

Parents of all students in the New Haven Public Schools are notified annually of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) by the publication of these rights in a handbook distributed to parents by district personnel in the beginning of the school year. The annual notification of rights informs eligible students and parents that they have a right to:

  1. Inspect and review the student’s educational records;
  2. Request the amendment of the student’s educational records to ensure that the records are not inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights or other rights;
  3. Consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA regulations authorize disclosure without consent;
  4. Disclose educational records to officials of another school, school system or institution of postsecondary education for which the student seeks or intends to enroll;
  5. File a complaint with the United States Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the New Haven Public Schools to comply with FERPA regulations, and;
  6. Obtain a copy of the New Haven Board of Education policies for student education records. Copies of the policies are located in the office of the Superintendent of Schools and in the principal’s office of each school in the district.

Annual FERPA Notification for the New Haven Public Schools

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, et seq., affords parents and eligible students (i.e., students over 18, emancipated minors, and those attending post-secondary educational institutions) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records.  They are:

(1)        The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within forty-five (45) calendar days of the day the New Haven Public Schools (the “District”) receives a request for access.

Parents or eligible students should submit to the school principal a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect.  The principal will make arrangements for access and notify the parents or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

(2)        The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parents or eligible student believe are inaccurate or misleading, or otherwise violate the student’s privacy rights.

Parents or eligible students who wish to ask the District to amend a record should write the school principal, clearly identify the part of the record the parents or eligible student want changed, and specify why it should be changed.

If the District decides not to amend the record as requested by the parents or eligible student, the District will notify the parents or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment.  Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parents or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.

(3)        The right to privacy of personally identifiable information in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to a school official with legitimate interests.  A school official is a person employed by the District as an administrator, supervisor, instructor or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the Board of Education; a person or company with whom the District has outsourced services or functions it would otherwise use its own employees to perform (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a parent, student, or other volunteer assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.  A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

Upon request, the District discloses a student’s education record without consent to officials of another school, including other public schools, charter schools, and post-secondary institutions, in which the student seeks or intends to enroll, or is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes of the student’s enrollment or transfer. Further, and in accordance with state and federal law and guidance, the District may disclose education records to another school for enrollment purposes, which may include exploration of educational placement options by the District or educational placement decisions made by a planning and placement or Section 504 team, or in order to explore placement options for the provision of alternative educational opportunities.

(4)        The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the District to comply with the requirements of FERPA.  The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

        Family Policy Compliance Office

        U.S. Department of Education

        400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.

        Washington, DC 20202-8520

Unless notified in writing by a parent or eligible student to the contrary within two weeks of the date of this notice, the school district will be permitted to disclose “Directory Information” concerning a student, without the consent of a parent or eligible student.  Directory Information includes information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.  It includes, but is not limited to, the parent’s name, address and/or e-mail address, the student’s name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, photographic, computer and/or video images, date and place of birth, major field(s) of study, grade level, class lists, enrollment status (full-time; part-time), participation in school-sponsored activities or athletics, weight and height (if the student is a member of an athletic team), dates of attendance, degrees, honors and awards received, the most recent previous school(s) attended and student identification numbers for the limited purposes of displaying a student identification card.  The student identification number, however, will not be the only identifier used when obtaining access to education records or data.  Directory information does not include a student’s social security number, student identification number or other unique personal identifier used by the student for purposes of accessing or communicating in electronic systems unless the identifier cannot be used to gain access to education records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the user’s identity, such as a PIN or password.

The school district may disclose directory information about students after they are no longer in enrollment in the school district.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, the district will continue to honor any valid objection to the disclosure of directory information made while a student was in attendance unless the student rescinds the objection.

An objection to the disclosure of directory information shall not prevent the school district from disclosing or requiring a student to disclose the student’s name, identified or institutional email address in a class in which the student is enrolled.  Parents and/or eligible students may not use the right to opt out of directory information disclosures to prohibit the school district from requiring students to wear or display a student identification card.

The written objection to the disclosure of directory information shall be good for only one school year.  School districts are legally obligated to provide military recruiters and institutions of higher learning, upon request, with the names, addresses and telephone numbers of secondary school students, unless the secondary student or the parent of the student objects to such disclosure in writing.  Such objection shall be in writing and shall be effective for one school year.  In all other circumstances, information designated as directory information will not be released when requested by a third party unless the release of such information is determined by the administration to be in the educational interest of the school district and is consistent with the district’s obligations under both state and federal law.


ACADEMIC INFORMATION

Common Core State Standards

The Common Core State Standards are a set of learning standards for reading and math designed to help students master the skills necessary to succeed in college, compete globally for the best jobs, and become our future leaders.

The new standards raise the bar for all students, so that no matter what school a child goes to or where a child lives, that child is held to the same high standards and is challenged to read critically, understand math more deeply and learn how to solve problems.

Along with the new standards comes a new test, called SBAC, which stands for Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. The SBAC test is a computer-based test that has replaced the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) and Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT).

The CMT science test, in grade 5 and 8, and the CAPT science test, in grade 10, will continue to be given in the spring.

With Common Core, the emphasis is on critical thinking and problem solving. Students are asked to go deeper into literature and nonfiction texts and to use evidence to support their writing. In math, students must fully grasp one concept before moving on to the next, so the foundation of understanding is stronger.

Parents can help by reading with their children and asking them to talk about and explore ideas about what they read, work with children on vocabulary, and encouraging them to learn new words and try them out in sentences.

Grading

Student grades are intended to be a measure of student progress in the skills and concepts that are taught in each of their courses of study. While the individual components used to calculate students’ grades will vary between schools, subjects, and teachers, the intention behind those grades remains to inform students and their families of their growth, progress, and achievement. Parents are encouraged to monitor their child’s grades on the PowerSchool Parent Portal.

K-8

High School

Grading Scale for Report Card Marks:

A+

=

97-100

C+

=

77-79

A

=

94-96

C

=

74-76

A-

=

90-93

C-

=

70-73

B+

=

87-89

D+

=

67-69

B

=

84-86

D

=

64-66

B-

=

80-83

D-

=

60-63

F = 59 and below

I= Incomplete*

*Incomplete grades are given only for specific reasons: illness for a long period of time; emergency or by arrangement with the teacher and the guidance office. Missed work must be made up within four weeks of the date the incomplete was issued and is the responsibility of the student. Failure to make up work may result in a grade of “F”.

High School/Mastery Based Grading

Mastery Based grading is an alternative approach to assessment and grading. Grades are indicated in terms of relative mastery of learning goals rather than traditional letter grades. Mastery based grading is a way to grade kids on their understanding of specific skills within a subject.

Grade Scale

Our standards-based grading scale is consistent with the 4.0 scale used in many colleges:

A = Advanced Demonstration of Mastery

B = Strong Demonstration of Mastery

C = Developing Demonstration of Mastery

NR = Not Ready to Demonstrate Mastery

Other notations that appear on progress reports and report cards:

IN = Incomplete. Students with an excused medical or personal absence can qualify for more time and support beyond the end of a course.

NG = No Grade. Students who are Not Ready at the end of a course and who have a Not Ready in Responsibility in the course get no grade for that course. These students must demonstrate mastery of course standards in a different semester or year, or successfully complete a different course to take its place.

Honor Roll

Making the honor roll in any school is a great achievement. The New Haven Public Schools has the following set of guidelines for determining honor roll status:

High-Honors-Students are determined by their B+ or above average. No grade of C or below is allowed in any subject.

Honors-Students are determined by a B- or above average. No grade of C or below is allowed in any subject.

Graduation Requirements

The New Haven Board of Education mandates that high school students complete the following credit requirements:

English        4 credits

Mathematics        4 credits

Science        3 credits

Social Studies        3 credits

World Language        2 credits

Fine Arts        1 credit

Technology/Integrated Arts and/or Careers        1 credit

Physical Education        1 credit

Project/Senior Capstone/Service        1 credit

Health        0.5 credits

Open Electives        3 credits

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math)-1 elective beyond required        1 credit

Humanities – 1 elective beyond required        1 credit

Also, please be informed that each high school mandates additional courses and community service hours for graduation based on the uniqueness of their program design. Parents/guardians are requested to check with their child/children school(s) to get the information regarding graduation.

Course Level and Grade Weighting

New Haven Public Schools assigns levels to all academic courses in high school for the purpose of differentiating course weighting and calculating weight grade points. Levels assigned to courses communicate the degree of academic challenge inherent in each course to students and their parents. Added grade points are the weights that are assigned to courses in order to communicate their differing academic challenge. Advanced Placement courses will be distinguished with 1.0 added grade points, and honors courses will be distinguished from other college preparatory courses with 0.5 added grade points for the determination of the weighted GPA. Courses available to NHPS High School students are classified as one of the following levels:

• Level 4: Advanced Placement or College Course

• Level 2: College

• Level 3: Honors

• Level 1: Basic

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Students are provided with a weighted and unweighted Grade Point Average (GPA). Unweighted GPAs range from 4.33 to 0; weighted GPAs range from 5.33 to 0. In each case, the higher the student’s numeric GPA, the more successful the academic performance.

Weighted GPA:

Weighted Grade Point Average is calculated as the arithmetic average (total grade points divided by credits) of all weighted courses taken. Grade point allocation by grade earned and level is as follows:

Standard Weighting

Honors Weighting

AP/College Weighting

Mark Received

Level 2 and 1

(College and Basic)

Level 3

(Honors)

Level 4

(AP / College Course)

A+

4.33

4.83

5.33

A

4.00

4.50

5.00

A-

3.66

4.16

4.66

B+

3.33

3.83

4.33

B

3.00

3.50

4.00

B-

2.66

3.16

3.66

C+

2.33

2.83

3.33

C

2.00

2.50

3.00

C-

1.66

2.16

2.66

D+

1.33

1.83

2.33

D

1.00

1.50

2.00

D-

0.66

1.16

1.66

F

0.00

0.00

0.00

Unweighted GPA:

Unweighted GPA applies the Standard Weighting to all courses, regardless of level and is calculated as the arithmetic average (total points divided by credits taken) of all courses taken.

Note: Some non-academic courses are not assigned a level and are not included in GPA calculation. This applies to the following courses: Physical Education, Community Service, Teacher Assistant, and Work Study/Internship.

Rank in Class

Class rank is the calculation of a student’s standing in his or her class. Class rank is determined based on a student’s weighted GPA. Only students who have been enrolled in New Haven Public Schools for 3 or more years will be included in the calculation of class rank.

Honor Diploma

To receive an Honor Diploma, a student must have received honors for four years and achieved a weighted grade point average of 3.5. New Haven High School honor standards will apply in assessing the transcripts of transfer students. The grade points for any year in the New Haven School System will be determined by the Assistant Principal of Pupil Personnel Services or designated counselor in each of the schools. When cases of student and/or parent appeal arise relative to transcript assessment, the high school principal, supervisor of guidance, appropriate subject supervisor and director of instruction - high schools will be convened as the Hearing Panel.

Valedictorian and Salutatorian

The valedictorian is usually the student in the graduation class who ranks highest in academic achievement. This student generally delivers a valedictory or farewell speech at the graduation ceremony. To be selected, a student must have attended high school in this school district for a minimum of two years and attained academic standing in the top two (2) of the graduating class. In addition, the student must have been involved in extracurricular activities that may include, but are not limited to, athletics, peer mediation, student council, cheerleading and/or community volunteerism as a representative of the school district. The salutatorian generally is a student selected to deliver an address of welcome at the commencement exercises. This student will be selected based on the same criteria used for selecting the valedictorian.

Homework

Homework provides an opportunity for reinforcement and practice of the skills and concepts that are taught during the school day. While not a requirement of all courses, students should expect to receive homework assignments in their courses. The amount of homework assigned will vary based on the requirements of each school, course, and teacher. It is expected that students complete assigned homework and that scored homework will be part of a student’s total grade. Parents are encouraged to monitor their children’s completion of homework.

Homework Tips

•        Set up a well-lit homework area in your home.

•        Keep supplies (pencils, paper, ruler, scissors, glue sticks, etc.) close by.

•        Keep distractions to a minimum (radio, TV, phone conversations, etc.)

•        Require students to complete their assignments on their own.

•        Be available for encouragement, questions or concerns.

•        Check completed homework.

Homework Policy K-8

Students at all levels are required to perform assignments and tasks beyond those performed during regular school hours. Homework will be corrected and given appropriate ratings on the student’s report card and permanent record card. This includes both regular and bilingual classes.

Incomplete homework assignments may result in additional assignments and/or detention. Parents will be notified of such occurrences. Incomplete homework may also impact a student’s grades.

Homework for Student Absence

It is the responsibility of the student to follow up on all missed assignments and make up work after an absence. Teachers are always ready to help pupils do their work.  Students must not hesitate to make arrangements with the teacher as soon as possible.

Homework for Suspended Students

Homework will be given for an absence of 3 days or longer.

Suspension Form and Homework Notification Form will be sent home with student and/or parent.

Promotion/Retention

Promotion (Grades 7 and 8)

The New Haven Board of Education has academic expectations for all students and has set forth the following minimum criteria for promotion in grades seven and eight:

  1. Students must pass three of four major subjects (English, mathematics, science and social studies);
  2. Students can fail no more than one major and one enrichment subject (art, music, physical education, technology education, world language, etc.);
  3. Students can fail no more than three enrichment subjects;
  4. Students’ attendance at school must be in compliance with the Board of Education’s attendance policy;
  5. Students must pass at least one year of English and one year of mathematics prior to being promoted to a senior high school.

Retention Policy

Our goal is to have all regular education students reading at grade level by the end of grade 3. In order to achieve this, critical intervention steps are necessary. Over the past several years we have developed the following interventions to provide support for students in reading.

• After School Reading Programs        • Birth to Three Program        • Early Childhood Program

• Parent Support Workshops        • Summer School Reading Programs

• Paraprofessionals in K, Grade 1        • Literacy Mentor Support

Grade K-3 Legislation (Retention Policy)

Section 10-265 g (b) of the Connecticut General Statutes states that each priority school district, which includes New Haven, must evaluate all kindergarten students at the end of the school year and Grades 1-3 students at the beginning, middle and end of the school year. The statute further states, “A student shall be determined to be substantially deficient in reading based on measures set by the State Board of Education.”

The intent of this legislative requirement is to identify students who are the most at risk of failing to read on grade level by the end of each grade (Grade K through grade 3) and to provide immediate and ongoing intervention for identified students until they are reading at a level determined to be proficient. The legislation requires that if a student’s reading level is found to be “substantially deficient ” then the school shall notify the parents or guardians of the student of such result. Additionally, an Individual Reading Plan (IRP) that outlines additional instructional support and monitors progress must be completed for each student failing in the substantially deficient range.

Furthermore, state legislation requires students in Grades K-3 who are determined to be substantially deficient in reading at the end of the school year, to attend mandatory summer school. If a grade K-3 student fails to attend summer school, the school may not promote the student to the next grade level.

Testing Program

Throughout the school year, the New Haven School System conducts testing programs to better assess students’ progress and plan for their academic programs. In 2013, New Haven Public Schools replaced the CMT and CAPT tests for Reading and Math with a new assessment called SBA, or the Smarter Balanced Assessment, which is aligned with the Common Core State Standards. In 2015, the SAT replaced Smarter Balanced for students in grade 11. In November 2015 the Connecticut State Board of Education adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) so we will transition from CMT/CAPT Science in grades 5, 8 and 10 to an NGSS aligned assessment beginning in 2018-19 for grades 5, 8, and 11.

The following assessments will be administered to students:

Warning of Failure to Parents (K-12)

Warning and failure notices will be sent to the parents of those students who are in danger of failing for specific marking periods. These notices will be sent home at the middle of each marking period and must be signed by the parent and returned to the school.  

School staff are also encouraged to inform parents when a student’s performance is positive.


STUDENT HEALTH / SAFETY

Health Assessments and Immunizations

In accordance with Connecticut State law, all students in New Haven Public Schools must meet minimum health requirements required for school attendance.  New students must present a current physical and immunization requirements prior to school entry.  Current students will be required to present updated physical examination and immunization records prior to admission to pre-k, kindergarten, 7th grade and 10th grade.  Students qualify for school enrollment if documentation is presented that (1) proof of all required immunizations have been received in writing and (2) a current health assessment record (HAR-3 blue form) has been completed, dated, and signed by a healthcare provider. Any student who fails to provide this documentation as required shall not be allowed in school.

Please contact the Bureau of Nursing at 203-946-7301 with any questions on this policy.

Mandated Health Policies

The New Haven Health Department Bureau of Nursing is the agency responsible for providing school nurses, maintaining student health records and ensuring compliance with State and local law. Students who cannot show proof of proper immunizations cannot enroll in school until all necessary immunizations are completed.

Students who are ill with any type of communicable disease cannot return to school without a doctor’s note stating that the student is well and able to return. It is the responsibility of the parent to notify the school nurse of any allergies or medical conditions that may hinder their child’s education and to provide proper documentation and medication for that condition.

Inquiries concerning services should be made through your school principal or, for children younger than 5 years of age, by calling the Early Childhood Assessment Team.

Medication

Connecticut law permits, under specific circumstances, oral, topical, inhalant or injectable medications as ordered by the student’s prescribing provider to be administered to individual students by the school nurse or other designated school personnel. The Board has resolved that it is appropriate to permit during school hours the application of this law for schools under its jurisdiction; i.e., authorization may be granted for administration of medication including controlled drugs currently listed in the Connecticut General Statutes. In the absence of the school nurse, school personnel, permitted to do so under existing Connecticut General Statutes with proper training and school-based health clinic nurses are authorized to administer medications as prescribed for individual students.

Self-administration by students may occur under certain circumstances. The student’s healthcare provider must provide orders and permission for self administration.  The parent/guardian must also give permission for self administration. The school nurse will give final authorization after review provider orders/permission and parent permission are received and reviewed and an evaluation of student readiness for self-administration has been performed. Students may not carry medication with them without authorization by the school nurse.

Nursing Services

School nursing services are provided through the New Haven Health Department Bureau of Nursing.  Each school nurse has a schedule based on the needs of the student population of the school. Please contact the Bureau of Nursing at 203-946-7301 with any questions on your school nurse’s schedule.  

The school nurse is responsible for confirmation of compliance with health requirements, maintaining health records, managing emergencies and minor injuries/sickness.  The school nurse will contact parents of ill or injured students and manage other health-related matters.

Students who must take medication must consult the school nurse. A special procedure is involved. School personnel cannot give medication to anyone without following the necessary procedures as outlined by the school nurse. Consult your school if these circumstances affect you and your child.

Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect

It is the New Haven Board of Education’s policy to implement and comply with all the state law mandates concerning the reporting and prevention of suspected child abuse and neglect.

It is the Board’s policy that when there is reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a child under the age of eighteen years has been abused or neglected, has had non-accidental physical injury, or injury which is at variance with the history given of such injury, or is placed at imminent risk of serious harm, all mandated reporters are required to report suspected abuse to the proper authorities in accordance with state law and this policy.  

As defined by state law, all school employees are mandated reporters and this includes the superintendent, administrators, teachers, substitute teachers, guidance counselors, psychologists, social workers, nurses, physicians, paraprofessionals and coaches either employed by the Board or working in one of the Board’s schools, or any other person who, in the performance of his or her duties, has regular contact with students and who provides services to or on behalf of students enrolled in the Board’s schools.

It is the Board’s policy that a school employee and all other mandated reporters shall make an oral report either by telephone or in person to the Commissioner of Children and Families or a law enforcement agency as soon as possible, but no later than twelve hours after the school employee has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a child has been abused or neglected.  The mandated reporter shall inform the building principal or the principal’s designee that he or she will be making such a report.  Not later than forty-eight hours after making an oral report, the mandated reporter shall submit a written report to the Commissioner of Children and Families or the commissioner’s designee. The mandated reporter shall also give a copy of the written report to the building principal or the principal’s designee.

School-Based Child Health Program

The Medicaid program was established under Title XIX of the Social Security Act and is jointly funded by the Federal and state governments to provide medical assistance to certain individuals with low income and resources. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), formerly called the Education of the Handicapped Act, authorized Federal funding to states for programs that impact Medicaid payment for services provided in schools. Under Part B of IDEA, school districts must prepare an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for each child, which specifies all special education and “related services” needed by the child. The Medicaid program will pay for some of the “health related services” included in the IEP, if they are among the services specified in Medicaid law and included in the state’s Medicaid Plan.

In Connecticut, the Department of Social Services (State agency) is responsible for administering the Medicaid program. The State agency’s Medicaid Plan includes School Based Child Health (SBCH) services and allows for reimbursement of these services that are provided by or through a Local Education Agency (LEA) to students with special needs pursuant to the IEP.

Suicide Prevention/Intervention

The Board directs that all school employees who have knowledge of a suicide threat or attempt must report this information to the school principal who will notify the appropriate emergency services, staff members, and student’s family.

Tuberculosis Screening

All students undergoing a health assessment (1) at any of the times mandated by state statute or (2) at the time of first entry into the New Haven Schools must have an assessment performed of their risk of exposure to tuberculosis as recommended by the CT Department of Public Health Guidelines. Furthermore, all students assessed to be at high risk of exposure to tuberculosis whose PPD status is not already known, must be tested and the interpretation of their testing reported to the Bureau of Nursing before they are permitted entry. All students testing positive should have a written management plan submitted to the school nurse and the Department of Health. Failure to submit a written management plan is a basis for exclusion from class.


STUDENT LIFE

School Climate

New Haven Public Schools is committed to providing an open, welcoming, safe and supportive environment for all students, parents and families. To this end, we encourage all of our families to communicate with us and to play a role in shaping positive school climates that foster learning and personal growth of children, regardless of background, language, or immigration status. The district and our schools are committed to treating all students and parents with fairness and respect and will not discriminate against family members for any reason.  Each school has a designated Title IX Coordinator who is responsible for handling and addressing issues related to bullying, harassment and sexual harassment including harassment based on LGBTQ status and other Title IX concerns. The list of Title IX coordinators is located in Appendix A.

Bullying

Bullying is defined as repeated acts by any student in the New Haven Public School district against another student in the district that causes physical or emotional harm to a student or such student’s property, places a student in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself or of damage to his or her property, creates a hostile environment at school for such student, infringes on the rights of such student at school, or substantially disrupts the educational process.

Bullying may include but is not limited to, acts based on actual or perceived differentiating characteristics: gender, gender identity and expression, ethnicity, national origin, race, sexual orientation, physical, mental, developmental or sensory capacity, academic status, physical appearance, or religion. Bullying extends to hostile written, verbal or electronic communication or physical acts or gestures against any student(s) associated with an individual or group who has or is perceived to have one or more of the above perceived differentiating characteristics, including physical appearance, gender identity and expression, socioeconomic status, academic status, developmental or sensory disability.

 

Cyberbullying is the use of technology, including but not limited to email, cellular mobile telephone, instant messaging, web pages, and digital photos, to harass or bully someone.

The New Haven Board of Education will not tolerate any form of bullying of members of the New Haven Public School community by students, parents, visitors or employees of the New Haven Public Schools, while on school grounds, school buses, at a school bus stop or school related activities. Bullying occurring outside of the school setting is also prohibited and will not be tolerated if such bullying creates a hostile environment at school for the targeted student, infringes on the targeted student’s rights at school, or substantially disrupts the educational process or the orderly operation of school.

The New Haven Public Schools requires students, staff and/or parents to report all cases of bullying immediately, to the school’s administrator, Title IX coordinator, administrator’s designee, or director. Discrimination and retaliation against an individual who reports or assists in the investigation of an act of bullying are prohibited.  Teachers and other school staff who witness or receive reports of bullying are required to notify the appropriate administrator immediately.  The notification must be made in writing.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination.  Sexual harassment and sexual violence are prohibited under both Federal and State Title IX laws.

Should sexual harassment be alleged, it is the policy of the New Haven Board of Education that the allegations(s) shall be thoroughly investigated, that there shall be no retaliation against the victim of the alleged harassment, and that the issue shall be expeditiously and appropriately addressed. Teachers and other school staff who witness or receive reports of sexual harassment are required to notify the appropriate administrator within one (1) school day.  No form of sexual harassment will be tolerated in the New Haven Public Schools.

DEFINITION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome sexual advances or request for sexual favors or any verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or academic environment; when submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual; or submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, or her/his academic status or progress. Sexual harassment is not limited to prohibited behavior by a male toward a female, or by a supervisory employee toward a non-supervisory employee, or a teacher to a student. Harassment may be student to student, teacher to student, student to teacher or teacher to teacher. The victim does not have to be the opposite sex of the harasser. The gender of the complainant and/or the alleged harasser is irrelevant, even if they are of the same gender. Sexual harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity is also prohibited under State law. Sexual harassment can involve staff members, students, vendors, independent contractors, volunteers, or parents.

LGBTQ Protections & Supports

NHPS is committed to providing safe, inclusive spaces for all students and staff.

Pursuant to the guidance provided by the state of Connecticut,  as a general rule, schools may not separate or otherwise distinguish students on the basis of their sex, including gender identity or expression, in any school activities or the application of any school rule. State and federal laws, however, do permit school districts to provide single-sex restrooms, locker rooms, shower facilities, and athletic/physical education activities. School districts have certain obligations in protecting the rights of their transgender students with respect to single-sex facilities and activities.

A school’s obligation to provide transgender and gender non-conforming students with equal access to educational programs, activities and facilities, including restrooms and locker rooms, applies irrespective of concerns or objections raised by other students, parents, staff or community members. A desire to accommodate others’ discomfort is not a permissible basis for failing to treat students consistent with their gender identity or expression.

While the objections of others cannot serve as the basis for failing to provide access to facilities consistent with the student’s gender identity, as noted above, appropriate accommodations must be provided for any student seeking additional privacy. Schools may find it helpful to note the availability of the private option in addressing objections from students, parents/guardians or staff.

Students have the right to be addressed by a name and pronoun that the student prefers and corresponds to their gender identity even if education records or identification documents indicate a different name or sex. Using the student’s chosen name and pronoun is important not only for legal compliance but also for ensuring the student’s dignity and well-being. If school staff are unsure what name and pronoun to use, privately asking students what their preferred gender pronouns and names are in an age-appropriate manner is the best place to start. It is important to remember that some students may not identify as male or female but, instead, consider themselves non-binary (i.e., otherwise not conforming to gender binary references to the two categories of male and female). Using these terms may be unfamiliar at first and it may take time for school staff to become accustomed to new terminology on gender identity, but, as with any new term or usage, these terms will become familiar with practice, appropriate training and support.

If any of these protections are violated contact your School Title IX Coordinator and complete the external bullying form. If you are not satisfied that the situation is being addressed contact the District Title IX Coordinator.  External Bullying Report Form

Cell phones/Electronic Devices/Computers/Internet

If students bring electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, iPods, mp3 players, etc. to school, the devices should be secured in a locker so as not to disrupt the educational process. Cell phones and other electronic devices may be permissible if the classroom teacher indicates they are acceptable for classroom use. Without permission from a teacher, electronic devices may be confiscated and returned to parents. Schools will not be responsible for lost or stolen electronic devices. Students may be suspended from school if they persist in using electronic devices inappropriately in the school building. As the district considers new and innovative uses for technology in the classroom, this policy could be updated.

The purpose of providing Internet and computer network access in this district is to promote the exchange of information and ideas with the global educational community. All network use must be consistent with the policies and goals of this school district. Inappropriate use of district technology will result in the loss of technology use, disciplinary action, and/or referral to legal authorities. All Internet and other computer network users will be expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette.

Dress and Grooming

Students should be well-dressed and well-groomed at all times. Students’ attire considered distracting or inappropriate will not be permitted. When students’ attire is considered inappropriate, the principal may require the students to return home to change to suitable attire.

Hats/Coats/Dress Code

One’s dress and appearance will foster a healthy and conducive environment for learning. In addition, proper dress and grooming promotes good health and personal hygiene. For safety reasons, students are not permitted to wear “hats, caps, coats, or hoods” in school buildings, unless for medical or religious reasons or otherwise approved by the building leader. In the case of medical or religious reasons, proof must be submitted to an appropriate administrator. Students failing to comply with this directive will be considered insubordinate. Principals are instructed to take all the necessary steps in ensuring that this directive is communicated to their respective parent group, student body and staff.

*Students who attend any school with a dress code/uniform code must be in compliance with the school’s dress or uniform code.  

School Activities

Dances

School dances are held only for students who attend the respective school. Invited guests are permitted only by the consent of the principal. Other social activities will be scheduled to enhance the social development of students. School dances must be approved by the school principal.

Field Trips

A field trip is defined as a visit to an area away from the school grounds by a group of students under faculty supervision. Field trips are considered part of the school program and are related to the curriculum being studied. A permission slip must be signed by a parent for a student to go on a field trip. Requests for all overnight/foreign land trips must be submitted in writing to the Curriculum Committee of the Board of Education for approval at least two months prior to the scheduled trip.

School Food

School Meal Program

New Haven Public Schools offers free breakfast and lunch at all New Haven Public Schools.

Healthy Meals

New Haven Public Schools is committed to serving your student meals that meet or exceed the federal meal standards. NHPS participates in the CT Nutrition Standards (CNS) for food and the CT Healthy Food Certification (HFC). The CNS applies to all sources of food sold to students on school premises. This includes school stores, vending machines, school cafeterias, and any fundraising activities at the school.

Food Allergies and Special Dietary Needs

It is the policy of the Board of Education to follow the guidelines developed and promulgated by the Connecticut Department of Health and Connecticut Department of Education for students within the district with life-threatening food allergies. Such guidelines include (1) education and training for school personnel on the management of students with life threatening food allergies, including training related to the administration of medication with a cartridge injector, (2) procedures for responding to life-threatening allergic reactions to food, (3) a process for the development of individualized health care and food allergy action plans for every student with a life-threatening food allergy, and (4) a process for the development of individualized health care  and glycogen storage disease action plans for every student with glycogen storage disease and such plan shall include, but not limited to, the provision of food or dietary supplements by the school nurse or by any school employee approved by the school nurse, to a student with glycogen storage disease provided such plan does not prohibit parent/guardian or a person so designate, to provide food or dietary supplements on school grounds during the school day, (5) develop a communication plan for school personnel, families, students and relevant community partners.

The entire NHPS Policy on Students with Specific Health Care needs may be found in its entirety under policies 5141.25.

All student meal modifications for children participating in the USDA School Nutrition programs require that a medical statement be received to allow the school food authority to understand the extent of the student’s special dietary needs. Forms are available on the NHPS.net website and at the school nurse office.

School Policies and Procedures

Early Dismissals Requested By Parent/School

Any time it is necessary for a student to be dismissed from school before the regular dismissal time (sickness, canceled after school programs, etc.), the parent will be notified in advance by either phone, written notice, or messenger. In order to ensure students’ educational experiences, parents are encouraged to schedule doctor appointments after school hours.  If a parent must pick up a student prior to the end of the day, she/he must notify the school. In such cases, it is necessary for a responsible designated adult to personally come to school and pick up the student from the main office.

Emergency Closings/Late Openings

On rare occasions, schools may have to be opened late, dismissed early, or even cancelled for bad weather, power failure or other reasons. In the event of such an emergency, the superintendent will have this information announced (late openings and cancellations between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.) on any of the following radio or TV stations: WTNH (News8), WVIT (NBC), WFSB (3), FoxCT, WTIC Radio

 Parents must make provisions for their children in the event of emergency closings. The Board will also endeavor to make all closing/late opening announcements by posting such notices on the Board website, www.nhps.net, Facebook, New Haven Public Schools smartphone app and through the Parentlink telephone system when practicable.

Freedom of Speech/Expression

The school board recognizes and protects the rights of student expression. In order to protect the educational process and school environment, printed material produced or distributed within the confines of school district property shall meet the following criteria:

  1. Material shall be noncommercial.
  2. Material shall not contain libelous or obscene language.

The school district shall assume no responsibility for the contents of any written material.

Gang Activity or Association

The use of hand signals, graffiti, or the presence of any apparel, jewelry, accessory, or manner of grooming which, by virtue of its color, arrangement, trademark, symbol, or any other attribute that indicates or implies membership or affiliation with such a group, presents a clear and present danger. Any student wearing, carrying or displaying gang paraphernalia, or exhibiting behavior or gestures which symbolize gang membership, or causing and/or participating in activities will be subject to disciplinary action.

Guidance

Guidance and counseling services are available to students. Many problems concerning both school and one’s personal life may be helped by counseling. The school counselor or your teacher will be happy to help you with these problems. Appointment procedures will be covered in school meetings at individual schools. Individual student records must be kept up to date. Changes in address, telephone number, etc., must be reported to the school.

Loitering or Causing Disturbance

All parents/visitors must sign in with School Safety Officers, as well as register in the school office. Staff members should be alert to the possibility of unauthorized visitors and promptly report any concerns to the principal. Any person shall be considered loitering on school grounds when he/she loiters or remains in or about a school building or grounds, without any reason or relationship involving custody of or responsibility for a student or any other license or privilege to be there. Any disturbances caused by parents or visitors may result in banning from the school and legal action. Threats against school personnel, students, or others may result in a person being banned from the school and shall be reported to the principal immediately for appropriate action.

Military Recruitment

The high schools shall provide the same directory information and on campus recruiting opportunities to representatives of the armed forces of the United States of America and state armed services as are offered to nonmilitary recruiters, recruiters for commercial concerns and recruiters representing institutions of higher education. Directory information or class lists of student names and/or addresses shall not be distributed without the knowledge of the parent or legal guardian or by the student if he or she has turned 18. The school administrator may make the determination of when and where the recruitment meetings will take place and reserves the right to deny such meeting when it will materially and substantially interfere with the proper and orderly operation of the school.

Petitions

Students may collect signatures on any petition they support provided they follow the school’s established guidelines in not interfering with the orderly process of the school day. When such petitions relate to school matters, they may not be libelous or obscene. An acceptable petition may express legitimate criticism of school activity or governance, or request redress of actual student grievances. Students have a right to present such petitions to school officials.

Pupil Personnel Services

The Department of Pupil Personnel and Special Education Services provides services in two (2) general categories:

  1. Guidance, psychological, social work, and speech and language.
  2. Identification and programming for students identified as disabled, mentally and/or physically challenged and/or Talented and Gifted.

Recess Policy

In addition to physical education classroom time, the NHBOE requires principals to provide PreK-6 students with at least 20 minutes a day of supervised recess (not including transitions) to encourage physical activity and socialization.

Smoking

The following rules shall apply to all facilities operated by the Board of Education. As used here, “smoke” or “smoking” shall mean the lighting or carrying of a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe or similar device (e-cigarettes).

  1. No person shall smoke in any room of any school district facility.
  2. Students are not permitted to smoke in any school district facility or on school grounds at any time, nor while under school supervision away from the school facilities, nor while on a school bus.
  3. E-cigarettes are considered a tobacco product. No student is permitted to use this device on school grounds, school facilities, nor while on a school bus.

Student Complaints, Grievances, and Petitions

A grievance shall mean a complaint by a student that he/she has been treated unfairly or inequitably by any teacher or administrator in the interpretation or application of the provisions of the Board’s statement on Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Any student may bring a grievance using the following procedures:

Step 1:         A student shall first discuss the problem with the school official serving as the teacher’s immediate superior (i.e., department head, house master, assistant principal or principal).

Step 2:         If the school principal is the subject of the complaint or if the complaint is not satisfactorily resolved within a week at the school level, the student may appeal, in writing, to the appropriate director for a meeting, setting forth specifically the basis of the grievance.

Step 3:         The district director shall convene a meeting within a reasonable time and shall decide the issue within a reasonable time of such meeting.

Textbooks and Library Books

Textbooks and library books are very important to the educational program. The Board of Education accepts the responsibility for providing students with appropriate instructional materials. The Board also recognizes the importance of students assuming the responsibility for books assigned to them. It is, therefore, the policy of the Board to hold parents financially liable for the cost of lost and/or damaged textbooks and library books assigned to students. Fee schedules for lost or damaged books may be obtained from the main office in your school.

Library books, textbooks, and other educational materials are loaned to the students for their use, and shall be returned when requested by school authorities. To minimize the extent to which textbooks and library books are lost or damaged and to allow the Board to utilize allocated book funds to expand and enhance the educational program rather than to continually replace lost or damaged books, the following policy will be in effect:

  1. Students and their parents will be held financially liable for all textbooks and library books assigned in the student’s name when such books are lost or damaged as a result of the student’s carelessness when a student failed to return books assigned to them, or when books are not returned in proper condition.
  2. An appropriate fee will be charged taking into consideration cost and condition of the books;
  3. A student’s report card, transcripts and grades will be withheld, and/or the student, where applicable, will not be allowed to participate in graduation exercises if students or parents do not make financial restitution;
  4. Until restitution is made for lost or damaged books assigned, students will only be allowed use of school materials in supervised settings administered at school level.

Transportation

The New Haven Public Schools has established the following guidelines in reference to the busing of pupils to and from the assigned schools. Transportation will be provided for students in grades:

However, the right to free transportation is dependent on the student’s good behavior while waiting for and riding on school buses. Suspension and/or termination can be a consequence of poor behavior. For further information, please review the Transportation Handbook or contact your school.


Student Discipline and Truancy

New Haven Public Schools is in the process of reviewing disciplinary policies and is considering student discipline strategies that move away from traditional zero-tolerance policies that exclude the student from school through suspensions and expulsions.

A team of educators, leaders, parents and community partners is working on a plan around restorative practices, which is a strategy that aims to:

1.        Foster learning through positive relationships and interactions with peers;

2.        Help educators recognize the importance of keeping the social and emotional health of their students a deliberate and central focus of learning;

3.        Ramp up efforts to strengthen safe and supportive schools, address conflict, improve school climate, and build a positive school culture; and

4.        Recognize the impact of trauma and loss on our youth; and the need to use restorative strategies that includes consequences and accountability for those who have caused harm and restorative justice to repair the harm for those who have suffered from destructive actions.

We will provide an opportunity for public discussion of any new discipline policies around restorative practices and will update the handbook when changes occur.

Detention

Detention is sometimes an effective and appropriate means of disciplinary action taken by a teacher or administrator for minor infractions. If the parent cannot be contacted, a letter will be sent or a phone call will be made to the home that evening informing the parent that the student will have detention the next day.

Process for Absences

Definitions:

The Connecticut State Board of Education policy states: A student is considered to be “in attendance” if present at his/her assigned school, or an activity sponsored by the school (e.g., field trip), for at least half of the regular school day. According to this policy, a student who is not “in attendance” is considered absent. The definitions of excused and unexcused absences apply only to those absences that meet the standards of the State Board of Education guidelines for excused and unexcused absences.

Truant – according to C.G.S. section 10-198a, a “truant” is a student who has four unexcused absences in a month (period of time, not specific months named in a calendar) or 10 unexcused absences in a school year. Habitual Truant - according to C.G.S. section 10-198a, a “habitual truant” is a student age five to eighteen, inclusive, who is enrolled in a public or private school and has twenty unexcused absences within a school year.

Defiant - a student who has been continuously and overtly defiant of school rules.

School-based Coordination and Parental Engagement

The Youth Service Bureau Referral for Truancy and Defiance of School Rules Form is designed for districts and communities to use as a replacement for the FWSN complaint form for issues related to truancy and defiance of school rules. Prior to filing a referral form, districts and schools are encouraged to ensure that the following two requirements (as previously outlined in the FWSN process) are completed before referring a student to the Youth Service Bureau.

  1. The school must hold a meeting with a parent of a student who is truant not later than 10 days after the student’s fourth unexcused absence in a month or 10th unexcused absence in a school year. Documentation of the meeting is required to make a referral to the community hub.
  2. The school must have a policy and procedure for coordinating services with and referrals of students to community agencies providing student and family services. Documentation of efforts to contact and include families and provide early intervention is critical to the acceptance of truancy referrals by the community hub and successful outcomes for the student.

If these two requirements have not been met, the referral may be returned without any further action. A referral should only be filed after ALL other attempts to improve the student’s attendance have been exhausted. If a family is engaging with district personnel to develop and implement a plan to improve the student’s attendance and the interventions have improved the student’s attendance, a referral to the hub for community-based services would not be appropriate.

A form should be submitted if collaboration with the parent/guardian has not resulted in improved outcomes.

Documentation of efforts to contact and include families and provide early intervention is necessary to ensure that the community hub will accept the referral.  

Questioning and Apprehension

When a student becomes involved with law enforcement officers, the following steps shall be taken to cooperate with the authorities:

  1. The officer shall properly identify himself/herself;
  2. Parents are notified immediately, if possible. The principal should make every effort to inform parents or guardians of the interest of the police authorities;
  3. The student’s parent or guardians unless the right is waived by the parent or guardian, must be present if the conference is held in the school. If no parent or guardian is present, the principal or the principal’s designee must be present.

If a student is arrested or taken into custody at a school, the school officials shall take immediate steps to notify the parent, guardian or responsible relative of the minor regarding the release of the minor to such officer, and regarding the place to which the minor is reportedly being taken.

In all of these situations, every possible step should be taken to insure a minimum of embarrassment or loss of class time for the student.

Sale/Distribution of Controlled Substances

The possession, use, and sale of controlled substances is a violation of the State Statutes and the use of illicit drugs and unlawful possession and use of alcohol is wrong and harmful. Students found in possession and/or use of a controlled drug or alcoholic beverage in school or on school property are subject to suspension and/or expulsion and arrest. Whenever a student is expelled for the sale or distribution of drugs or alcohol, the student will be referred for counseling and rehabilitation.

1.        First Offense

A.        The parent and the police are notified that the student is in possession of narcotics/alcohol. A Case Incident Report is filled out by the appropriate administrator.

B.        A list of appropriate licensed agencies that can assess and treat drug and/or alcohol abuse will be given to the parent and student. This list will include:

i.        Name of Agency      ii.          Contact person       iii.   Telephone number

C.        The parent and the student informed that if alleged substance is tested and proved to be a controlled substance, student will be suspended for ten (10) days and referred to the police for further investigation.

2.        Second Offense - Same steps are taken as above, but instead of suspension, the student will be recommended for expulsion.

A.        Parent and police are notified of sale. A Case Incident Report is filled out by the appropriate administrator.

B.        The parent and the student will be informed that, if the alleged substance is tested and proved to be a controlled substance, the student will be suspended for ten (10) days, arrested by the police, and considered for expulsion.

The directive does not apply to special education students who will be treated in accordance with the due process procedures of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Student Searches

  1. A student may be searched if there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the rules of the school. The scope of the search must be reasonably related to the objectives of the search and not excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student and the nature of the infraction.
  2. All searches of students shall be conducted or authorized by the principal or another designated administrator in the presence of a witness.
  3. When the need to search a student arises, the student may be asked to give his or her consent to the search, but in no event shall the student be threatened with harsher punishment or treatment for refusing to consent, nor shall he or she be coerced or induced to give consent in any other manner. The consent, if given, shall be put in writing. If the student is unwilling to give free and voluntary consent, the school administrator may bring insubordination charges against the student as stipulated in applicable school regulations.
  4. Searches should be no more intrusive than necessary to discover that for which the search was instigated.
  5. A search of a student’s handbag, gym bag or similar personal property carried by the student may be conducted if there is “reasonable grounds” for suspecting that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the rules of the school.
  6. Locker searches shall be conducted in the presence of another staff member and in the presence of the student responsible of the contents of the locker, if possible.
  7. Searches may include, if school authorities think necessary, a frisk or pat down of student clothing. Frisk or pat down searches shall be conducted by a member of the same sex as the student and in the presence of another staff member.
  8. At no time should school officials conduct a search which requires a student to remove more clothing than his/her shoes or jacket. If school authorities are convinced that a more intrusive search is required to expose contraband they should advise the proper law enforcement agency.
  9. A search of a student’s person, or a search of a group of students where no particular student within the group is suspected, may be conducted only if there is a reasonable suspicion of conduct immediately harmful to students, staff or school property. “Strip searches” of students by employees of the this school district are prohibited.
  10. In the event that a student search discloses evidence of criminal wrongdoing, the school principal or his/her designee shall determine whether or not police officials should be notified of the fruits of the search. If police officials are notified the student’s parents should be advised of this fact as soon as possible.
  11. Students shall be informed annually that board policy allows student search and school desk/locker search.

Search of Desks and School Lockers

Desks and school lockers are the property of the schools. The right to inspect desks and lockers assigned to students may be exercised by school officials to safeguard students, their property and school property with reasonable care for the Fourth Amendment rights of students.

The exercise of the right to inspect also requires protection of each student’s personal privacy and protection from coercion. An authorized school administrator may search a student’s locker or desk under the following conditions:

  1. There is reason to believe that the student’s desk or locker contains contraband material;
  2. The probable presence of contraband material poses a serious threat to the maintenance of discipline, order, safety and health in the school;
  3. The student has been informed in advance that school board policy allows desk and lockers to be inspected if the administration has reason to believe that materials injurious to the best interests of students and the school are contained therein.

Suspension/Expulsion; Due Process

Notification to Parents or Guardian

The parents or guardian of any minor student who has been either given in-school suspension, suspension or expelled shall be given notice of such disciplinary action as soon as possible by telephone but in any case written notice must be mailed within twenty-four (24) hours of the decision to institute in-school suspension, suspension or expulsion.

Annual Student Notification of Board of Education Policies and Regulations

The principal shall, within thirty (30) days of school opening each year and at other times deem necessary, provide a copy of Board policies and regulations governing student conduct to student and their parents or guardians.

All school district employees share responsibility for supervising the behavior of students to help them meet standards of conduct established by the Board of Education or the school administration.

In working with the students, emphasis shall be placed upon developing effective self-discipline as the most effective disciplinary approach. Physical force may not be used as a disciplinary measure.

Definitions

“Exclusion” shall be defined as any denial of public school privileges to a student for disciplinary purposes.

“Removal” shall be defined as an exclusion from a classroom for all or part of a single class period, provided such exclusion shall not extend beyond ninety (90) minutes.

“In-School Suspension” shall be defined as an exclusion from regular classroom activity for no more than five (5) consecutive school days, but not exclusion from school, provided such exclusion, shall not extend beyond the end of the school year in which such in-school suspension was imposed. Class attendance is not permitted except to take a test or review for a test at a teacher’s request Students who are on in-school suspension are not allowed to participate in extracurricular activities.

“Suspension” shall be defined as an exclusion from school privileges for no more than ten (10) consecutive school days, provided such exclusion shall not extend beyond the end of the school year in which suspension was imposed.

“Expulsion” means the exclusion from school privileges for more than ten (10) consecutive school days and shall be deemed to include, but not be limited to, exclusion from the school to which such student was assigned at the time such disciplinary action was taken, provided such exclusion shall not exceed one calendar year. Such period of exclusion may extend to the school year following the school year in which the exclusion was imposed.

“Emergency” means a situation under which the continued presence of the student in school poses a danger to persons or property or a disruption of the educational process. A hearing will be held as soon after the exclusion of such student as is possible.

“Days” shall mean days when school is in session.

“School-sponsored activity” means any activity sponsored, recognized or authorized by the Board of Education and includes activities conducted on or off school property.

Removal from Class

Each teacher shall have the authority to remove a student from class when such student deliberately causes a serious disruption of the educational process within the classroom. The teacher shall immediately inform the principal or designee upon removal of a student and shall give the name of the student and the reason for such removal No student shall be removed from class more than six (6) times in any year nor more than twice in one week unless such student is referred to the principal or his/her designee(s) and granted an informal hearing in accordance with the provisions specified in Number 3 of the In-School Suspension/Suspension Procedures” of this policy.

Standard Governing In-school Suspension, Suspension and Expulsion

A student may be given in-school suspension, suspension, or expelled for one or more of the following behaviors or actions on school property or at school activities, including but not limited to:

  1. Conduct which endangers persons or property or is seriously disruptive of the educational process. Included within such prohibited behavior are the following:
  1. Conduct causing a threat of danger to the physical well-being of himself/herself or other people;
  2. Physical assault on another person which is not reasonably necessary for self-defense;
  3. Taking, or attempting to take, personal property or money;
  4. “Willfully causing, or attempting to cause, substantial damage to school or personal property,
  5. Knowingly possessing a firearm or deadly weapon in or on the real property comprising any public school or at any school-sponsored activity as defined in Connecticut General Statutes Section 10-233a. A firearm, as currently defined in Connecticut General Statutes Section 53a-3, includes any sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver, or other weapon whether loaded or unloaded from which a shot may be discharged. A deadly weapon, as currently defined in Connecticut General Statutes Section 53 a-3, is any weapon, whether loaded or unloaded from which a shot may be discharged, or a switchblade knife, gravity knife, billy. blackjack, bludgeon, or metal knuckles.
  6. Knowingly possessing or using a dangerous instrument in or on the real property comprising any public school or at any school activity as defined in Connecticut General Statutes Section l0-233a. A dangerous instrument, as currently defined in Connecticut General Statutes Section 53a-3, includes any instrument, article, or substance which, under the circumstances in which it is used or attempted or threatened to be used, is capable or causing death or serious physical injury and includes a vehicle as defined in subdivision (8) of Connecticut General Statutes Section 53a-3.
  7. Participation in or intentional incitement which results in an unauthorized occupancy of any part of a school or school premises or other school district building, and failure to leave promptly after having been directed to do so by the principal or other person then in charge of such building or facility; participation in, or intentional incitement to participate in any form of disruptive demonstration. The school administration shall recognize pupils’ rights to express points of view as long as such expression is not disruptive of the educational process.
  8. Possession, use, transmission or being under the influence of any narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana, alcoholic beverage, or intoxicant of any kind;
  9. Knowingly being in the presence of those who are in possession or using, transmitting, or being under the influence of any narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana, alcoholic beverage, or intoxicant of any kind;
  10. Violation of any Federal or State law which would indicate that the violator presents a danger to any person in the school community or to school property;
  11. Violation of any other Board policy, dealing with- student conduct, including conduct on school buses. Students receive a copy of the Administrative Procedures Handbook and the Transportation Handbook at the beginning of each school year.
  1. Open defiance, including verbal abuse, obscene or profane language or gestures, of the authority of any teacher or person having authority over the student.
  2. Intentional and successful incitement of truancy by other students.
  3. Possessing and/or using tobacco.
  4. Knowingly using or copying the academic work of another and presenting it as his/her own without proper attribution.
  5. Falsification of school records.
  6. Other serious misconduct determined by the school principal.

Students are subject to discipline, up to and including suspension and expulsion for misconduct, even if such misconduct occurs off-school property and during non-school time. Such discipline may result whether: 1) the incident was initiated in the school or on school grounds, or 2) even if the incident occurred or was initiated off-school grounds and non-school time; if after the occurrence there was a reasonable likelihood that return of the student would contribute to a disruptive effect on the school education or its process by threatening:

  1. The school’s orderly operations;
  2. The safety of the school property; or
  3. The welfare of the persons who work or study there.

Examples of the type of such off-school misconduct that may result in such discipline include but are not limited to:

  1. Use, possession, sale, or distribution of dangerous weapons;
  2. Use, possession, sale, or distribution of illegal drugs; or
  3. Violent conduct.

Where any such activity has the reasonable likelihood of threatening the health, safety or welfare of school property, individuals thereon, and/or the educational process.

Suspension/Expulsion; Due Process.

For example, if it is determined that a student’s use, possession, or sale of drugs in the community has a reasonable likelihood of endangering the safety of students or employees because of the possibility of such sales in the school; or if violent conduct in the community presents a reasonable likelihood of repeating itself in the school environment; or if any similar type of misconduct in the community has a reasonable likelihood of being continued or repeated in school or of bringing retaliation or revenge into the school for such off-school misconduct, the Board may impose discipline up to and including suspension and/or expulsion.

In-School Suspension/Suspension Procedures

1.         Each principal or his/her designee shall have the authority to invoke in-school suspension or suspension, for one or more of the reasons stated in the section “Reasons Leading to In-School Suspension, Suspension or Expulsion From School” in accordance with the procedure outlines in Number 3 below. However, the administrator or the Superintendent of Schools or designee shall have the authority to immediately suspend a student from school when an “emergency” exists, and tinder those conditions, the hearing outlined in number 3 of this section shall be held as soon after the suspension as possible.

2. In the case of in-school suspension or suspension, the principal or designee shall notify the Superintendent of Schools or designee as soon as possible, but in any case within twenty-four (24) hours of the in-school suspension or suspension as to the name of the student who has been suspended and the reason therefore. Suspended student shall have an opportunity to complete any class work, including, but not limited to examinations, missed during the period of his/her removal from classes.

3.        Except in the case of an “Emergency,” a student shall be afforded an opportunity to meet with the principal or designee(s) to discuss the charges against him/her prior to beginning any period of in-school suspension or suspension. If at such meeting the student denies the charges, the student may at that time present his/ her version of the incident(s) upon which the in-school suspension or suspension is based. The principal or designee(s) shall then determine, in his/her judgment, whether in-school suspension or suspension is warranted. In determining the length of a suspension period, the administration may consider past disciplinary problems which have led to removal from a classroom, suspension or expulsion of the student.

Whenever a student is suspended, notice of the suspension and the conduct for which the student was suspended shall be included on his/her cumulative educational record. Such notice shall be expunged from the cumulative record by the Board if the student graduates from high school or is not expelled or suspended again one or more times during the two-year period commencing on the date of his/her return to school from such a suspension.

4.  No student shall be suspended more than ten (10) times or a total of fifty (50) days in one school year, whichever results in fewer days of exclusion, unless a hearing as provided in number 3 of the “Expulsion” section of this policy is first granted. (Connecticut General Statutes Sections 4-176e — 4-180a of the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act) Suspension form 5135 shall be filled out and sent to central office.

5.  No student shall be placed in in-school suspension more than fifteen (15) times or a total of fifty (50) days in one school year, whichever results in fewer days of exclusion. Form 5135 shall be filled out and sent to central office.

Connecticut General Statutes 10-233c(e) For any pupil who is suspended for the first time pursuant to this section and who has never been expelled pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Section 10-233d, the administration may shorten the length of or waive the suspension period if the pupil successfully completes an administration-specified program and meets any other conditions required by the administration. Such administration-specified program shall not require the pupil or the parent or guardian of the pupil to pay for participation in the program. Connecticut State Department of Education Regulation Section 10-76d-7:

In accordance with this state regulation, a prompt referral to a planning and placement team (PPT) meeting for any child who has been suspended repeatedly or whose behavior attendance or progress in school is considered unsatisfactory or at a marginal level of acceptance.

Expulsion

1.        The Superintendent of Schools may recommend to the Board of Education the expulsion of any student for one or more of the reasons stated in “Reasons Leading to Suspension or Expulsion from School” if, in the Superintendent’s judgment, such disciplinary action is in the best interest of the school system.

        The Superintendent shall recommend an expulsion hearing if there is reason to believe a student possessed a firearm or other dangerous weapon in or on the real property comprising any public school or at any school-sponsored activity as defined in Connecticut General Statutes Section 10-233a.

Unless an emergency exists, the procedures outlined in numbers 2 and 3 below shall be followed prior to expulsion. If an emergency situation exists, such hearing shall be held as soon after the expulsion date as possible.

2.         Upon recommendation of expulsion by the Superintendent, the Board of Education shall notify the student concerned and his/her parents or guardians, or the student if he/she has attained the age of eighteen (18), and in accordance with current statutes appropriate notice shall be given, of any board hearing, to the student and his/her parent/guardian. The Board of Education at a meeting at which three or more members of the Board are present, or if the Board of Education so chooses, an impartial hearing board (appointed by the Board of Education) consisting of one or more persons none whom are members of the Board of Education shall hold a hearing in accordance with the hearing procedure as set forth in paragraph Number 3 below. The date for such hearing may be extended by agreement of the parties or because of unavoidable emergencies.

3.         The procedure for any hearing conducted under this section shall be in accordance with current statutes and as determined by the hearing officer or Board Chairperson as appropriate, but shall at least include the right of the student to the following:

A.         Notice of the proposed hearing which shall include a statement of the time, place, and nature of the hearing, and a statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held,

B.         A short and plain statement of the matters asserted, if such matters have not already been provided in a statement of reasons requested by the student. The statement may be limited to a statement of the issues in detail at the time such notice is served. Thereafter, upon request from a student concerned, a more definite and detailed statement of the issues shall be furnished.

C.         A list of names of accusing witnesses, if any, at least five (5) days prior to the hearing.

D.         The opportunity to be heard in his/her own defense.

E.        The opportunity to present witnesses and evidence in his/her defense.

F.         The opportunity to cross-examine adverse witnesses. In exceptional circumstances the Board or impartial hearing panel may refuse to allow a witness against the accused student to appear, when the Board or panel believes that fear on the part of the witness would prevent accurate testimony.

In such cases, a verbatim statement of the witness’s testimony must be given to the student.

A witness’s unsubstantiated desire to remain anonymous is not an exceptional circumstance and shall not justify dispensing with direct testimony and cross-examination.

G.         The opportunity to be represented by counsel or other representation of the student’s choice.

H.         The prompt notification of the decision of the Board of Education or hearing board which decision shall be in writing.

I.         A statement which points out that under provisions Connecticut General Statutes Section 10-233 (d) in certain circumstances the Board does not have to offer an alternative educational opportunity to students between the ages of 16-18.

J.         The services of a translator, to be provided by the Board of Education, whenever the student or his/her parent or guardian do not speak the English language.

K.         At his/her own expense, a copy of the verbatim record of the hearing.

4.         The record of any hearing held in an expulsion case shall include the following:

A.         All evidence received and considered by the Board of Education.

B.         Questions and offers of proof, objections, and ruling on such objections.

C.         The decision of the Board of Education rendered after such hearing. If the student is found to have possessed a firearm or other dangerous weapon in or on the real property of a school or at any school-sponsored activity as defined in Connecticut General Statutes Section 10-233a, he or she must be expelled.

D.         A copy of the initial letter of notice of proposed expulsion, a copy of any statement of reasons provided upon request, and a statement of the notice of hearing.

5.         Rules of evidence at expulsion hearing shall include the following:

A.         Any oral or documentary evidence may be received by the Board of Education but, as a matter of policy, irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence may be excluded.

B.         The Board of Education shall give effect to the rules of privilege by law.

C.         In order to expedite a hearing, evidence may be received in written form, provided the interest of any part is not substantially prejudiced thereby.

D.         Documentary evidence may be received in the form of copies or excerpts, if the original is not readily available provided, however, that any party to a hearing shall be given an opportunity to compare the copy with the original.

E.         A party to an expulsion hearing may conduct cross-examination of witnesses where examination is required for a full and true disclosure of the facts.

F.         The Board of Education may take notice of judicially appropriate facts in addition to facts within the Board’s specialized knowledge provided; however, the parties shall be notified either before or during the hearing of material noticed, including any staff memoranda or data, and an opportunity shall be afforded to any party to contest the materials so noticed.

G. A record of any oral proceedings before the Board of Education at an expulsion hearing shall be made provided, however, that a transcript of such proceedings shall be provided only upon request of a party with tie cost of such transcript to be paid by the requesting party. Findings of fact made by the Board after an expulsion hearing shall be based exclusively upon the evidence adduced at the hearing.

6. Any student expelled from school shall be offered an alternative educational opportunity during the period of expulsion, except that such alternative education is the Board of Education’s option if the student is between the ages of sixteen and eighteen and is found to: (1) have possessed a firearm or other dangerous instrument or weapon in or on the real property of a school or at a school-sponsored activity, as defined in Section 10-233 a or (2) is found to have offered for sale or distribution on school property or at a school-sponsored activity a controlled substance (as defined in subdivision (9) of Connecticut General Statutes Section 21a-240) whose manufacture, distribution, sale, prescription, dispensing, transporting, or possessing with the intent to sell or dispense, offering, or administration is subject to criminal penalties under Connecticut General Statutes Sections 21a-277 and 21a-278.

When a student is expelled, for the sale or distribution of a controlled substance, the Board of Education shall refer the student to an appropriate state or local agency for rehabilitation, intervention or job training, or any combination thereof, and shall inform the agency of its action. Further, the Board shall give the name of the student, and a summary of the Board’s action in referring a student, to the Commissioner of Education within thirty (30) days after the student is expelled.

7.         Subsequent to a hearing, before three (3) or more members of the Board of Education or an impartial hearing panel, to determine whether the grounds for expulsion by the previous district would also warrant expulsion under the policies of the Board, the Board may adopt the decision of a student expulsion hearing conducted by another school district.

Whenever a student withdraws from school while involved in an expulsion hearing before a decision is rendered, (1) notice of the pending expulsion hearing shall be included on the student’s cumulative educational record and (2) the Board shall complete the expulsion hearing and render a decision. The receiving district may not exclude the student from school pending completion of the expulsion hearing in the sending district unless an emergency exists. The receiving district may also conduct its own expulsion hearing on the student actions in his/her previous district. Whenever a student is expelled, notice of the expulsion and the conduct for which the student was expelled shall be included on the student’s cumulative educational record. Such notice shall be expunged from the cumulative educational record by the Board if the student graduates from high school or is not suspended or expelled again during the two-year period from the date of his/her return to school from the expulsion.

Connecticut General Statutes Section 10-233d(j)

An expelled pupil may apply for early readmission to school. Except as provided in this subsection, such readmission shall be at the discretion of the local or regional board of education. The Board of Education may delegate authority for readmission decisions to the superintendent of schools for the school district. If the board delegates such authority, readmission shall be at the discretion of the superintendent. Readmission decisions shall not be subject to appeal to Superior Court. The board or superintendent, as appropriate, may condition such readmission on specified criteria.

Special Education Students

1.         If a PPT determines that the special education student’s inappropriate behavior or actions are deemed not to be the result of the student’s handicapping condition, suspension or expulsion procedures shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this policy for non-special education students.

2.         If such behaviors are actions deemed to be caused by the student’s handicapping condition, no suspension or expulsion shall ensue. Instead, the PPT will attempt to modify the student educational program to prevent recurrence of the undesirable behavior or actions for the protection of other students or the special education students.

However, if a situation exists in the judgment of the Director of Pupil Personnel services, the principal, and the Superintendent of Schools under which the continued presence of the student in the school imposes such a danger to persons or property that a temporary suspension is necessary, for the safety of other district students or other special education students, to allow the district adequate time for developing an alternative program and/or placement for the special education student, such special education student may be excluded until such alternative program and/or placement is determined. Homebound instruction shall be offered for the student until an alternative program and/or placement is effected.

Reasonable Physical Force to Control a Situation

Reasonable physical force may be used, to the extent that a teacher or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor for school purposes believes it necessary to:

A.        Protect him/herself or others from immediate physical injury.

B.        Obtain, possession of a dangerous instrument or controlled substance, upon or within the control of such student.

C.        Protect property from physical damage.

D.        Restrain student or remove student to another area to maintain order.

Weapons and Dangerous Instruments

The Board of Education is concerned for the safety and welfare of all students and school personnel in school and at school-sponsored activities. For this reason the Board prohibits student possession and/or use of weapons or other dangerous instruments in any school building on school grounds, in any school vehicle, or at any school-sponsored activity. Possession and/or use of any dangerous weapon by a student is grounds for suspension and expulsion of the student.


PARENTS AND FAMILIES

Family Engagement and Empowerment

As part of the New Haven Board of Education’s School Change strategy, the work of the school system will be as aligned as possible with the parents, community organizations and agencies who work on behalf of our students – who together build community investment for the promise of college.

New Haven Promise

New Haven is home to an innovative college scholarship and support program for students who live within city boundaries and attend New Haven Public Schools or approved public charter schools. New Haven Promise scholarships provide up to full tuition to 2- and 4-year public universities and college in Connecticut and up to $2,500 to private, nonprofit in-state universities and colleges.

SCHOLARSHIP REQUIREMENTS

• Minimum 3.0 cumulative high school grade-point average

• No more than 72 absences during high school career

• At least 40 hours of community service

• Enrollment & residency since at least freshman year

THE PROCESS BEGINS

• Scholars should pledge between sixth and 11th grade at app.newhavenpromise.org.

• High school seniors will be able to apply for the New Haven Promise scholarship and Passport to Promise beginning in the fall.

To learn more, visit www.NewHavenPromise.org

School-Community Associations

The Board of Education recognizes school-community groups such as Parent Leadership Teams and Councils and Parent-Teacher Organizations and Associations as integral parts of the school community, which can promote better educational and non-academic support programs. The Board of Education encourages parents and community members to be engaged in schools through these groups and through schools’ School Planning Management Teams (SPMT) and School Governance Councils (SGC). In addition, the Board encourages parents to participate in citywide parent organizations, including the Citywide Parent Leadership Team, the Title I Advisory Council and District-wide Parent Involvement Team, the Parent Partnership Council, Grandparents on the Move, as well as in other opportunities and working groups that may arise.  

Visits to the School and Volunteering in the Schools

The Board of Education and school personnel welcome and strongly encourage parents, adult members of the community and other interested persons to visit the schools.

The Superintendent shall establish regulations which:

  1. Encourage parents/visitors to observe our schools;
  2. Ensure that staff will greet and assist the parents/visitors;
  3. Channel expressions of approval and constructive criticism to the Board as appropriate;
  4. Strongly suggest that, to the extent possible, parents/ visitors make an appointment prior to coming to the school. This will ensure that public visits will not hinder the educational program;
  5. Require all-parents/visitors to register in the school’s office upon arrival at school and state the purpose of the visit.
  6. Exclude parents from school if they cause a disruption to the education environment.
  7. Outline procedures for parents and adult members of the community to become volunteers, including background checks and protocols.

Fundraising By Parent And/Or Community Organizations

The New Haven Board of Education supports the concept of fundraising by parent and community organizations for school-related activities. Such activities must operate within the regulations and guidelines of the New Haven Department of Education.


District Level / Title I Parent Involvement Policy

It is the policy of the New Haven Public Schools to promote maximum parent involvement in its schools. The New Haven Public Schools recognizes the important role parents play in their children’s education and realizes that school success increases as parents become more involved in the daily education of their children. The New Haven Public Schools recognizes that the district, parents and the community have a mutual responsibility to ensure the success of our students.

Responsibilities of the New Haven Public Schools:

  1. The New Haven Public Schools will make information available to parents regarding:
  1. The New Haven Public Schools will allow parents to participate in the joint development and review of school wide plans by: including parents in designing each school’s Comprehensive Improvement Plan; including parents on school leadership and decision making teams; collaborating with parents to design and implement enrichment programs for families and in the allocation of Title I parent funds; and including parents in the drafting and review of school based parent involvement policies and school-parent compacts.
  2. The New Haven Public Schools will notify all parents of children eligible for Title I services of the nature of the Title I programs available and their rights to be involved and consulted regarding the planning, development and operation of such programs, as well as a copy of this parent involvement policy.
  3. The New Haven Public Schools will support parents’ efforts through training of parents and by providing support and resources as needed.
  4. The New Haven Public Schools will create a welcoming environment in its schools to encourage parent involvement.
  5. The district will encourage parents to volunteer, mentor and spend time in the school building.
  6. The New Haven Public Schools will, to the extent practicable, ensure that information related to school and parent programs, meetings and other activities is sent to parents in a format and language the parents can understand and that coordination and integration of parent involvement programs and activities take place to the extent that it is feasible and appropriate.
  7. The New Haven Public Schools will make information available upon request regarding the qualifications of teachers and paraprofessionals in its schools.
  8. The New Haven Public Schools will strive to educate all staff on the importance, value and utility of parental involvement, the contribution of parents, and how to reach out to, communicate with, and work with parents as partners.

Responsibilities of Parents:

  1. Parents will take an active role in their child’s education by reinforcing, at home, the skills and knowledge the student has learned in school.
  2. Parents will actively communicate with school staff.
  3. Parents will attend orientation, report card conferences and attend school functions and meetings.
  4. Parents will promote education and learning by setting high expectations for their child and their child’s school.
  5. Parents will be aware of rules and regulations of the school.
  6. Parents will utilize opportunities for participation in school activities.
  7. Parents will be active partners with their child’s school to create a positive, effective learning environment by volunteering, participating in the Parent Teacher Organization and spending time in the school building.
  8. Parents will complete and return the annual School Climate Survey.

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