Family/Student Handbook


Gowanda Middle School                         Gowanda High School

   Grades 5, 6, 7 & 8                                       Grades 9, 10, 11 & 12






By the raging Cattaraugus,

On its western bank, stands our noble Alma Mater,

She’s the first in rank.



Lift the chorus, speed it onward,

Loudly we profess,

Hail to thee, our Alma Mater,

Hail to GCS


Here Gowanda’s sons, and daughters,

As their ranks they swell,

Louder than the raging waters,

Proud her honors tell.



Lift the chorus, speed it onward,

Loudly we profess,

Hail to thee, our Alma Mater, Hail to GCS.


This handbook is prepared for the use of students, teachers, parents,
and others interested in the Gowanda Middle and High Schools.  It will
answer many questions concerning the personnel of the school district
and the policies of the school.

Mission & Vision


Our Mission is to engage students in learning through the development and use of communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.



Our Vision is to create a student-centered, collaborative environment that prepares all students for the 21st century through an engaging and goal-oriented learning environment.



I. ACADEMICS        8

Diploma Types        8

Regents Diploma        8

Regents Diploma with Honors        8

Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation        8

Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation with Mastery in Math and/or Science        8

Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation with Honors        8

Honor Roll:  Eligibility        10

Honor Roll Calculation        10

Progress Reports        11

Equivalent Instruction        11

Attendance At An Approved Summer Education Program        11

Course Add/Drop        11

Academic Course Load        11

Course Challenges        11

High School Credit or Unit        11

Major Sequence        12

Electives        12

High School Weighted Grades        12

Middle School Unit of Study        12

Middle School: Accelerated/Honors Program        12

Middle School: Removal from Accelerated/Honors Program        13

Valedictorian, Salutatorian & Class Rank        13

Promotion and Retention Philosophy        13

Promotion and Retention: High School        14

Promotion - 9th Grade to Graduation        14

Additional Requirements—Commencement        14

Promotion and Retention: Middle School        14

Moving to the Next Grade at the End of August        15

Moving to the Next Grade in January        15

Homebound Instruction/Tutoring        15

NCAA Eligibility        16

GCS Wellness Policy        16

Summer School        16

On-line Courses        17

High School: Homework Requests        17

II. ATTENDANCE        17

Student Attendance Policy        17

Requirements        17

Grades 5-12:        18

Special Education:        18

Excused Absences        18

Unexcused Absences        19

Tardy to School        19

Legal Tardiness        19

Tardiness to Class        20

Tardiness as an Absence        20

Readmission Slips        20

Early Dismissal        20

Notes concerning early dismissal for doctor’s appointments must include:        20

Suspension and Detainment        21

Written Excuse For Absence        21

Leaving the Campus During School Hours        21

Intervention Strategies        21

Make-Up Work        21

Appeal For Excessive Unexcused Absences:        22

Annual Review by School District        22


Student Rights and Responsibilities        23

Bus Regulations        24

Bus Conduct Reports        24

Bus Passes        24

Automobile Parking        25

Automobile Searches        25

Backpacks        25

Bicycle Parking        26

Dress Code        26

Electronic Devices and Cellular Phone Restrictions        26

Lockers: High School        27

Lockers: Middle School        27

Gym Lockers        27

Locker Searches        28

Searches and Interrogations        29

Surveillance Cameras        29

IV. PROCEDURES        29

Admission to School        29

After-School Social Activities (GHS)        30

Passes        30

Conference Slips and Lavatory/Locker Passes        30

Loss of Pass Privileges        31

Cafeteria Behavior        31

Lunch Accounts        31

Community Eligibility Provisions (CEP)        31

Emergency Drills        32

Emergency Telephone Messages        32

High School Eligibility To Run For Class Office        32

Medication Procedure        32

Library Books        33

Technology Use        33

Parent Notes        33

Daily Student Expectations for Devices        34

Student Use of Devices        34

Filtering        35

Communication        36

Damage/Care        36

Accounts        37

Student Fees, Fines and Charges        37

Visitors        38

Safety        39

Sales        39


Scope of Policy        39

Definitions of Improper Student Conduct        39

Arson (V)        39

Assault with Physical Injury (III)        39

Assault with Serious Physical Injury (IV)        40

Bomb Threat (V)        40

Burglary (IV)        40

Classroom Misconduct (I)        40

Controlled Substance (possession/use) (IV)        40

Controlled Substance (distribution/sale (V)        40

Criminal Mischief (IV)        40

Disorderly Conduct (III)        40

Distracting Devices (possession/use) (II)        41

Drug Paraphernalia (IV)        41

False Alarm (IV)        41

Fraud/Forgery/Cheating (II)        41

Gambling (I)        41

Harmful Device (III)        41

Inappropriate Displays of Affection (I)        41

Inappropriate Use of School Computers (III)        41

Insubordination:        41

Larceny or Other Theft Offenses (III)        42

Leaving The Campus During School Hours        42

Loitering (III)        42

Minor Altercations (III)        42

Peer Abuse: Student Discrimination, Harassment, and Bullying Prevention (IV)        42

Harassment        42

Bullying        43

Hazing        43

Reporting        44

Noxious Materials (possession/use) (IV)        44

Repeated Commissions of Violations        44

Reckless Endangerment (IV)        45

Robbery (IV)        45

School Misconduct (I)        45

Sexual Harassment (IV)        45

Sexual Offenses (V):        46

Skipping Administrative Assigned Extension/Accumulation of Extensions (IIB)        46

Smoking/Tobacco (Use and/or Possession) (III)        46

Tardiness to: (I):        46

Truancy (II)        46

Under the Influence (IV)        46

Unauthorized Absence From Class (II)        46

Unauthorized Electronic Recording (III)        46

Verbal Abuse/Inappropriate Language/Obscene Gestures (III)        47

Weapons Or Explosives (possession/use) (V)        47

Actions not defined        47

VIOLATIONS:        47

Penalties        48

Penalties        49

Personal Liability/or District Property        50

Police Notification        50

Community Service        50

Range of Penalties        50

Extension Program        50

Suspension        50

Probation        50

Teacher Removal of a Disruptive Student        51

Internal Suspension        51

External Suspension        52

Superintendent's Hearing        52

Family Court        52

Due Process of Law        52

Due Process: Informal Process        52

Due Process: Formal Process        53

Superintendent's Hearing Under School Law        53

Board of Education Review        53

High School/Middle School Discipline Plan        53


Curricular Activities        54

Extracurricular Activities:        54

Parent Drug and Alcohol Forum        55

Deportment Requirement        55

Cardinal Participation Rule        55

First Violation        55

Second Violation        56

Credit Requirements        56

Participation In All Extracurricular School Activities        56

Academic Eligibility Criteria        57

Attendance Requirement        57

Gowanda HS/MS (5 -12): Restrictions on Loss of Eligibility        57

Co-Curricular Participation Card (Red Card)        57

General Participation Rules        57

Co-Curricular Participation Card (“Red Card”)        59

Students’ Right to Appeal        60

Specific Requirements for Athletic Participation        60

Athletic Injuries        61

Concussion Management        61

School Insurance        62

School Pictures        62


Attendance        63

Academic Expectations        63

Leaving Campus        63

Medication        63

Lunch        63

Transportation Schedule        64

School Closure        64

Superintendent Conference Days        64

School Delays        64

January Regents Week        64

Activity Days        64


School Closing or Delays        65

School Messenger System        65


2019-2020 Academic Calendar        67


Diploma Types

Regents Diploma

For students to earn this diploma, all required Regents examination grades must be at least 65%. The required Regents exams for graduation are English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, and 1 Pathway. In addition, the student must earn a passing average in all required courses, earning a minimum of 22 units of credit. There are specific requirements for credits in the Arts, physical education and health.

Regents Diploma with Honors

For students to earn this diploma type, students must earn a computed average of at least a 90 on the Regents examinations applicable to either a Regents diploma or a Regents diploma with advanced designation. No more than 2 Department approved alternatives can be substituted for a Regents examination. The locally developed Checkpoint B LOTE examination is not included in the calculation.


Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation

Depending on the pathway a student chooses, the Regents diploma with advanced designation assessments requirements may be met in multiple ways. Students seeking the Regents diploma with Advanced Designation may choose from the following assessment options:


Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation with Mastery in Math and/or Science

A student meets all of the Regents requirements with advanced designation AND earn a score of 85 or better on 3 math Regents examinations and/or 3 science Regents examinations.

Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation with Honors

 For students to earn this diploma type, students must achieve an average of 90% in all Regents exams required for a Regents diploma. Also, students must earn 22 units of credit.

Source: NYSED Diploma Requirements as of January 2019


Honor Roll:  Eligibility

To qualify for the honor roll, a student must be enrolled in numerically graded courses, scheduled at Gowanda High/Middle School.

Honor Roll Calculation

High School: All courses receiving a numerical grade will be used in calculating honor rolls.

Averages will be based upon numbers not “rounded up.” Honor Roll designation will be             according to grade point average earned as follows:

                    95-100         High Honor Roll                            

                90-94.99         Honor Roll

                85-89.99         Merit Roll

Middle School
: For the honor roll calculation purposes, the following classes will be weighted at 1.05: Accelerated Math 7/8 & Science 7/8, English 8 Honors, Regents Algebra I, Regents Living Environment, Regents US History and Government. 

Progress Reports

A progress report can be sent to parent/legal guardian by the teacher at any time during the school year as deemed necessary. More specifically, progress reports are sent for students at weeks 5, 15, 25 and 35 of the academic year.  Progress reports may also be viewed using the Parent/Student Portal.

Equivalent Instruction

Students, who, with permission, attend class at an institution of higher learning and receive substantially equivalent instruction, may be granted credit towards a diploma. An example of equivalent instruction would be those courses taken at Fredonia State's 3-1-3 program. Passing course grades for equivalent instruction will be applied to graduation requirements where applicable and are used in determining honor roll eligibility.


Attendance At An Approved Summer Education Program 

Students who are recommended for retention but successfully complete a NYSED summer school program will be promoted for courses successfully completed. Subsequently, they will be subject to application of the promotion policy.

Course Add/Drop

No course adds or drops will be permitted unless there is a need to meet graduation requirements after the second week of class of the first semester for a yearlong course or second week each semester for a semester course.


Academic Course Load

Each student will be scheduled to take a minimum of 6.5 credits per year.

Course Challenges 

Many high school courses have prerequisites.  These prerequisites are purposeful to ensure that students are placed in the appropriate class. However, from time to time, a student may wish to take a course but did not meet these prerequisites. In this circumstance, there is a course challenge form in the counseling office to be completed in order for the student to enroll.  Students are always encouraged to challenge themselves.


High School Credit or Unit

A credit or unit indicates that a student has taken a subject for a full (1 credit) or half year (1/2 credit) and passed the course.  The final passing grade is 65% or above (earning credit) in high school courses.  The final grade is calculated as follows:

Full Year Course: Each quarter average plus final Regents or local exam divided by 5.  

Semester Course:  Each quarter 40% + 20% final exam = final average.

Final class grades cannot exceed 100%. Weighted grades are calculated when course is completed (Family/Student Handbook, p.12).

The final grade for a full year courses will be computed by combining four marking periods, final exam, and dividing by five.  If the student’s final average for the course is less than a 65%, the student has failed the course.

Major Sequence

 Five (5) credits or units taken in on one subject area, e.g. business, where follow one another in sequence.


Are credits or units earned in courses that a student chooses.  These are in addition to the “required” subjects are needed to earn the 22 credits or units for graduation.

High School Weighted Grades

Courses will “count” differently toward a student’s grade point average (GPA), giving students in our most challenging courses additional points on the grade earned toward the GPA. It is important because as we expect our children to work harder, we also acknowledge the equity and motivation issues involved and hope that the weighted grades procedure will help with both.

            Algebra II                

*Please Note: Students enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) courses are expected to take the associated AP exam at the end of the course.

Middle School Unit of Study

Middle school students will receive instruction that is designated to facilitate their attainment of the State intermediate learning standards pursuant to the Commissioner’s Regulations.  When appropriate, final grades are calculated as follows:  each quarter is worth 22% and final exam is 12%.  

Middle School: Accelerated/Honors Program

Middle school students have opportunities to earn high school credit and/or exposure to advanced course work by taking accelerated or advanced/honors classes while in middle school. By doing so, students would have the opportunity to take other advanced classes, including college classes while in high school.  Admission criteria for any accelerated class is as follows: 92% or higher average in the content area from the year prior, teacher recommendation from the content class, and student/parent agreement to participate in the programs. Please note: Regents exams: Algebra 1, Living Environment, and U.S. History final grades are calculated as follows: each quarter is 20% and the Regents final exam is 20%.

Note: These college-level, advanced opportunities are available to all high school students whether they were in accelerated/honors classes while a middle school student.  Please discuss these decisions with school counselor as well. Students who take accelerated classes are taking high school courses, which, in turn, will impact High School class rank.

Middle School: Removal from Accelerated/Honors Program

A student enrolled in an accelerated class is expected to maintain an average of 85%. If a student in an accelerated class earns a report card average of 85% or below, the student will be placed on academic probation for that class.  The student will be given an opportunity to improve their class average by the following progress report (5 weeks after the report card).  If at the 5-week mark, the student’s average is still below the required minimum of 85%, the student will be removed from that class.  This is on a class by class basis. A student enrolled in more than one accelerated class, will only be removed from the class where the average is below 85%.  In any situation, which involves extenuating circumstances to be considered for maintaining a student in an accelerated program, the principal and/or superintendent will reserve the right of determining a final decision where appropriate documentation, evidence, and rationale have been provided.    

Valedictorian, Salutatorian & Class Rank

Valedictorian status is awarded to the student(s) earning the highest weighted grade point average in the graduating class. Salutatorian status is awarded to the student(s) earning the second highest weighted grade point average in class. This ranking will be based on any and all completed credit-bearing course, including those which receive the weighted grade point factor. Final Valedictorian(s) and Salutatorian(s) status and class rank for ALL seniors will be determined at the end of the seventh semester with the students’ grade point average being rounded to the nearest one hundredth.        

Promotion and Retention Philosophy 

Experiencing the challenges and success from school activities is essential for a student’s academic growth.  Grade placement should enhance this growth.  The concept of grade placement is based on the premise that each teacher will provide appropriate experiences for children at particular stages of physical, emotional and academic growth. District curriculum guides indicate goals for achievement by the “average” student at each grade level; however, academic growth, like physical growth, does not take place at the same pace or time for all individuals.   Certain students may achieve mastery in a shorter period.  Promotion and retention are methods of meeting the needs of such children.


Promotion and Retention: High School

High School students in grades 9 through 12 receive units of credits for courses that are passed (65% or higher). These units or credits count toward fulfilling the requirements for graduation. To graduate a student needs 22 units or credits. Only 9th through 12th grade courses apply toward graduation; however, students may earn a unit(s) or credit(s) for accelerated high school classes or a foreign language that were successfully completed during the 8th grade.


Promotion - 9th Grade to Graduation

In the Gowanda High School, grade level is determined by the number of earned credits. Students must earn the following credits in order to be promoted to the next grade:

Grade 9: To be promoted to 10th grade must earn five (5) units of credit.

Grade 10: To be promoted to 11th grade must have accumulated a total of eleven (11) unit credit.

Grade 11: To be promoted to 12th grade must have accumulated a total sixteen and a half (16½

                   units of credit.

Grade 12: To graduate must have accumulated twenty-two (22) units of credit. Students who plan to graduate early (prior approval required) will be placed in senior class if having earned 16 ½ + credits; students with less will remain in junior class or credit equivalent grade level.

Additional Requirements—Commencement

Promotion and Retention: Middle School

It is expected that all students within GMS will meet the following educational requirements to be promoted.

Students in grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 who fail two or more core classes (ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies) during the academic year will have the opportunity to attend summer school to improve their academic standing and be possibly promoted to the the succeeding grade.  Any student who fails two or more classes during the academic year and does not attend summer school, will not be promoted to the succeeding grade. In any situation, which involves extenuating circumstances either for or against the promotion/retention of any student, the principal and/or superintendent will reserve the right of determining a final decision where appropriate documentation, evidence, and rationale have been provided.  A minimum passing grade of 65% is required (in core and encore).

Any student in grades 5-8 who has an overall average of less than 65% will not be promoted to the succeeding grade.


Moving to the Next Grade at the End of August

If a student attends summer school and earns credits, the student may move to the next grade at the start of school provided the student earned enough credits.


Moving to the Next Grade in January

If a student does not earn enough credits to move to the next grade in June or August, the student may move to the next grade in January providing that the student has earned enough credits by that time.

Grades 5-8: Students may not be absent (excused and/or unexcused) more than 24 days during the school year. In addition, a child may not pass an individual course in which he/she has more than 24 absences (12 for half year course). The total will be comprised of excused and unexcused absences.  In extenuating circumstances, an administrative review will take place and the final decision concerning promotion will rest with the principal.

Core Classes:

Grades 5 & 6– English Language Arts (ELA), Math, Science, Social Studies

Grades 7 & 8– English Language Arts (ELA), Foreign Language, Math, Science, Social Studies

Encore Classes:  Art, Band/Chorus, Health, Home and Careers, Music, Physical Education, Technology and Basic Computers.

Homebound Instruction/Tutoring

 Homebound Instruction, also called home tutoring, is provided on a temporary basis by Gowanda High/Middle School when a student is unable to attend school because of a short-term physical, mental, or emotional illness. When such health issues arise and would require a prolonged absence from school (per NYSED a prolonged absence = two weeks plus), homebound instruction (tutoring) would be appropriate.

In order for homebound instruction/tutoring to begin, a prescription from a medical professional with the reason, start date, and end date along with a completed Physical Education Medical Restriction Form must be submitted to the school by the parent/guardian.  It is the school’s responsibility to prescribe the curriculum.  Homebound instruction/tutoring consists of 10 hours of off campus instruction at a neutral location (2 hours per day school is in session). Missed tutoring sessions count as a school absence and must be documented with an accepted reason as defined by NYS. The assigned tutor will make contact to arrange the homebound instruction and will serve as a liaison between the student and school.  Students are expected to work independently outside this time to ensure completion of the curriculum material.  Please note that homebound instruction/tutoring is designed for education on a temporary basis, not long term; and prolonged reliance on this form of instruction will impact high school completion.  For further information discussing particular requirements, please see the Homebound Instruction Guide.

NCAA Eligibility

NCAA schools require college-bound student-athletes to build a foundation of high school courses to prepare them for the academic expectations at Division I, II, and III colleges.  High school graduation requirements may or may not meet the NCAA college expectations. Those students (and families) interested in pursuing college athletics should inform their school counselor as soon as possible and visit the NCAA eligibility center ( to ensure eligibility requirements are understood and potentially satisfied.

GCS Wellness Policy

All students in the District shall possess the knowledge and skills necessary to make nutritious food selections and enjoyable physical activity choices for a lifetime. The school will provide nutrition education, physical activity, and nutritious school meals.  Foods sold outside of school meals will adhere to NYS and federal laws governing when food can be sold.  Fundraising and food/beverage sold or served at school events outside of school day will support healthy eating requirements and physical activity.  In addition, GHS/GMS encourages parents to send healthy treats/snacks for daily student meals and classroom celebrations. Teachers are encouraged to use non-food rewards in the classroom. For further information, please refer to GCS BOE policy #5415 (Wellness Policy).

Summer School

When possible summer school will be offered in both high school and middle school. Summer school, with selected course offerings, is for District students and students formally enrolled by July 1. A summer course is designed to improve an existing grade or make up an incomplete or failed course or provide remediation.  Please see additional requirements for middle school students (MS Promotion and Retention, p. 14).  For the high school: The final grade will factor both summer and regular school grades.  A summer makeup course may be taken by a student who took a course during the regular school year but failed the course with a deficiency level that can be adequately addressed in summer school.  A student who enrolled in a regular school year course but did so poorly or no work, will have to repeat the course and be denied summer school enrollment.  Academic eligibility for summer school is designated as a final cumulative regular school grade of no lower than 50% [50% - 64%]. This eligibility requirement applies to new school enrollees as well.  

On-line Courses

If available, high school students are able to take select on-line courses based on circumstance and with permission of the Director of Counseling and the building principal. Course work must be completed no later than the day prior to graduation/commencement in order to be applied to the current school year.

High School: Homework Requests

Homework can be requested from the counseling office when a student misses three or more consecutive days by contacting 532-3325 (x6016).  Absences less than three days should be arranged with individual teachers upon students return to school.  Parent/guardian must call before 8 a.m. to have homework ready after 2 p.m. for pickup or may pick up following day.  Homework requests will only be honored for students who attend class on a regular basis.  Please be advised, at time of request, if student does not have access to internet to complete physical education assignments.


Student Attendance Policy

School attendance is both a right and a responsibility.  The compulsory education law of New York State requires the regular attendance of all students enrolled in Gowanda Central Schools.  Regular school attendance is a prerequisite for satisfactory academic performance.  The entire process of education requires a regular continuity of instruction, classroom participation, learning experiences and student interaction.



A minimum of 87% attendance is required for all students to receive course credit and grade level promotion along with regular continuity of instruction, classroom participation, learning experiences and students’ interaction.


Attendance: Students will be considered in attendance if:

1.  Physically present in the classroom or working under the direction of the classroom teacher  

     during the class scheduled meeting time.

2.  Working pursuant to an approved independent study.

3.  Receiving alternative instruction.

4.  Tardiness or early dismissal of more than 15 minutes to class will count as an absence for that

     particular class


Excessive absences will be a major consideration when discussing promotion (see Promotion Policy #4750). Notification for grades 5-12 will occur on the 6th day, 12th day, 18th day and 24th day.  The student and the student’s parent/ legal guardian will be notified throughout the year at appropriate times when absence appears to be excessive.


If a student exceeds the number of allowable absences, the parent/legal guardian will be notified that the student will not receive credit for the course.  At that time the parent/legal guardian may request an appeal through the school counselor on the denial of credit.

A student who becomes ineligible for credit according to the policy during the academic year may not participate in further extracurricular activities, including athletics, during the balance of the year (see section VI: Extracurricular Participation for further details).

Grades 5-12:

A student may not be absent (excused and/or unexcused) for more than 24 days during the school year.  For classes on a A/B block schedule and/or semester class, absences cannot exceed 12. The total will be comprised of excused and unexcused absences.


Special Education:

The student who is identified with a disability by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) and who has not met the attendance requirement will adhere to the following procedure:

Step 1: Parent/legal guardian and/or student request an appeal to the student’s school counselor. The school counselor will review the records and recommend an appeal, when warranted, to the principal.

Step 2 (when necessary): Parent/legal guardian and/or student requests a hearing with CSE or 504 committee to determine if the excessive absences are related to the child’s disability.

Step 3 (when necessary): The CSE will advise and recommend their findings to the appropriate building principal.

Step 4: The appropriate building principal will make final determination on attendance.

Excused Absences

Excused Absence from school (as defined by New York State) includes the following reasons:

 Personal Illness

 Illness or death in the family

 Medical or dental appointments with note from doctor brought back to school

 Impassable roads

 Religious observance

 Required to be in court


 Health Clinic appointment, with note from clinic

 Military obligations

 Approved college visits (pick up form in GHS office and get principal’s signature prior to visit)

 Cooperative work programs approved by the principal

 Approved school sponsored activities, and

 Emergency– with notification to building principal


Absence from class due to participation in a school-sponsored activity (e.g. field trip, music lesson) is not considered an absence from school and/or class. Should a student fail to make up work, he/she will receive a zero (0) for the day.


Unexcused Absences

Unexcused Absence from school includes (this is not an all inclusive list):





 Needed at Home



 Hunting or fishing

 Trip with or without parents

 Personal, Personal Reasons, Personal Business or similar non-specific reason                                                

 Obtain learner’s permit or taking a driver’s test

 Missing the bus

 Truancy: absence from school with or without parental permission, and

 Medical, dental, health clinic, without documentation


If a student has been truant (including individual class skips) or has been out of school for family vacations or any other reason not designated by New York State Education Law as a legal reason for non-attendance, a successful appeal for extenuating circumstances, in most cases, will not be granted by the principal.

Students who exceed the attendance limit will be placed on the ineligibility list which would disqualify the student from participation in all extracurricular activities for the remainder of the school.

Tardy to School

A student is tardy if not in assigned room at the scheduled school time. School begins at 7:32 am. Arriving after 7:32 am, a student must report to the appropriate office. Tardiness will be handled directly by the classroom teacher. The appropriate school administrator will handle excessive tardiness.

Legal Tardiness

If a student is tardy because of illness or some other legal reason (see “Excused Absences”), the student must bring a note, signed by the parent/legal guardian stating the date and the reason for the tardiness, upon his/her return to school.  Oversleeping or missing the bus is not excused absences.

Tardiness to Class

This will be handled by each classroom teacher, who may assign a teacher’s extension for the following day to any student who is tardy to his/her class. After the third class tardiness, all subsequent infractions may be referred to the appropriate administrator.

Tardiness as an Absence

Tardiness or early dismissal of more than 15 minutes to class will count as an absence for that particular class.

Readmission Slips

When a student returns to school after an early dismissal, he/she must sign back in at the main office before returning to his/her remaining classes.

Early Dismissal

Early dismissals will be granted for the same reasons that are allowable in cases of excused absences. When it is absolutely necessary for parents/legal guardians to request that students leave school early, students must bring a written note to school signed by a parent/legal guardian requesting this permission in advance of early dismissal.


The note must include a specific statement of the reason for dismissal.  General terms such as personal, personal reasons, personal business or similar non-specific reasons will not be accepted as reasons for early dismissal.

Notes concerning early dismissal for doctor’s appointments must include:

        a) Doctor’s name or name of clinic

        b) Doctor’s office or clinic telephone number, and

        c) Time of appointment

Students returning from a doctor’s appointment or a clinic appointment must bring a card or slip signed by the doctor verifying the student’s presence at the appointment to the main office upon returning to school.  Failure to submit this item will result in the student being truant for the time out of school and the appropriate penalties will be applied.

NO student will be dismissed without a written note. The written note is to be brought to the main office prior to the morning homeroom attendance period.  The student will receive an early dismissal slip, which is to be signed by the teacher from whose class the student leaves.  The student is to leave this slip at the office when he/she leaves the building and pick up the dismissal slip if he/she returns the same day.

Suspension and Detainment

In School Suspension (ISS) and Out of School Suspensions (OSS) will not count as an absence. Should a student fail to complete assigned work,  he/she will receive a zero (0) for the day.  Being detained by an administrator will not count as an absence.  However, the student is responsible for completing all work missed. Should a student fail to make up the work, he/she will receive a zero (0) for the day.

Written Excuse For Absence

All excuses for absences must be signed by the parent/legal guardian stating the dates and reason for the absence.  This excuse must be presented the day the student returns to school.  Failure to provide an excuse within five (5)* school days after returning to school will result in the student absences being counted as unexcused and with referral to the appropriate administrator for truancy.  Students are not authorized to write or sign excuses even with parent/legal guardian’s knowledge. *Please note: A physician’s statement will be required when a student is absent five (5) or more days for an illness.


Leaving the Campus During School Hours

Students will NOT leave campus for any reason (including illness) without permission.  Permission to leave the school building and grounds must be obtained from the appropriate administrator. Leaving the building of school grounds without permission is a Class IIIA violation.

Intervention Strategies

Make-Up Work

 After Absences: Students must meet with their teachers upon returning to school, get missed assignments, and make arrangements for completing any missed work or tests.

 After Suspensions and Truancy: No academic penalty will be given to the suspended or truant student providing all class work, homework and examinations are made up at the teacher's convenience and within a reasonable amount of time as established by the teacher.  This is the student’s responsibility.  After school make-up sessions take precedence over all extra-curricular and non-school activities, including employment.

Appeal For Excessive Unexcused Absences:

When a student’s absences exceeds twelve (12) days for a semester course, or twelve (12) days for a block A/B scheduled course, or twenty-four (24) days for full year course for each individual class of excused or unexcused absences, the parent/legal guardian may request an appeal to determine whether the student has complied with the school’s attendance policy. The appeal process will adhere to the following procedure:


 Step 1:  Parent/legal guardian and/or student request an appeal to the student’s school counselor. The school counselor will review the records and recommend an appeal, when warranted, to the principal.

 Step 2 (when necessary):  The parent/legal guardian or student may appeal the principal’s decision to the superintendent within ten (10) calendar days. A copy of the superintendent’s decision will be sent to the parent/guardian and student from the superintendent within ten (10) school days.

 Step 3 (when necessary):  The parent/legal guardian or student may appeal the superintendent’s decision to the Board of Education within thirty (30) calendar days. A copy of the Board’s decision will be sent to the parent/legal guardian and student from the Board of Education within thirty (30) calendar days.

 Step 4 (when necessary):  The parent/legal guardian or student may appeal the Board of Education’s decision to the New York State Commissioner of Education within thirty (30) calendar days.

Annual Review by School District

The Board of Education shall ensure that there is an annual review by the building level administrator of attendance records and if such records show a decline in student attendance, revisions to the attendance policy deemed necessary to improve student attendance will occur.




All students have the right to


These rights will be insured to the best of the district's ability in accordance with current law.


All students have the responsibility to…


Student Rights and Responsibilities

In accordance with Board Policy 5020.1: “The school district does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the educational programs or activities which it operates as required by Title IX.”

In accordance with Board Policy 5020.2: “The Board of Education is committed to safeguarding the rights of all students within the school district to learn in an environment that is free from racial discrimination, including racial harassment.”

In accordance with Board Policy 5311.3, students have the right to file individual complaints and grievances alleging violations of any action prohibited by Title IX, Section 504 or the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Bus Regulations

1.  Students should be waiting at the designated bus stop for the bus.

2.  The principal may suspend a student from riding the bus for recurring or serious misbehavior. If this occurs, it is the parent/legal guardian's responsibility to get the student to school until such time as he/she has been reinstated by the principal.

3.  Radios, CD and other personal entertainment devices are NOT recommended in the school or on bus. Any child who brings these items is doing so at his/her own risk. GMS/GHS are not responsible for policing for replacing lost or stolen items.

4.  As an aid in ensuring safe bus behavior, all buses have been equipped with a video camera surveillance system. This system may be in operation at any time.

The following rules are posted on all buses and must be followed at all times:

        1.        Obey the bus driver. Do what you are told the first time.

        2.        Stay in seat while bus is in motion.

        3.        Talk at a reasonable level.

        4.        Be courteous. Use proper language.

        5.        Keep hands to yourself - not on others or other's things.

        6.        Board and disembark bus properly. Cross road only with driver's signal.

        7.        Observe same conduct as in the classroom.

        8.        Keep head, hands, and feet inside the bus.

        9.        Bus driver is authorized to assign seats.

        10.        Keep the bus clean. Do not be destructive. Do not eat, drink, smoke, or light matches on the bus.


Bus Conduct Reports

A written bus conduct report is given to the building principal when verbal reprimands are no longer effective. Misconduct on the bus will be considered the same as misconduct in school and penalties will be imposed (Code of Pupil Discipline).


Bus Passes

Effective for the 2017-2018 school year, the transportation office will no longer allow daily bus changes. If an emergency arises it is up to the parent/guardian to make outside arrangements for someone to be at your child’s regular stop or they must be picked up at Parent Pick-Up.


Automobile Parking

The school parking lot is one that is provided for use of students and is available under the following conditions:



Automobile Searches

Students are permitted to park on school premises as a matter of privilege, not of right.  The school retains authority to conduct routine patrols of student parking lots and inspections of the exteriors of student automobiles on school property. The interiors of student vehicles may be inspected whenever a school authority has reasonable suspicion to believe that illegal or unauthorized materials or contraband are inside. Such patrols and inspections may be conducted without notice, without student consent, and without a search warrant. The entire search and interrogation policy as with all district policies, is available upon request to the building or district office.


Backpacks are increasingly becoming a hazard in classrooms.  The need for a backpack is reduced with the 1:1 Chromebook initiative. Backpacks are permitted to bring items to school. Once in school, the backpack should remain in the student’s locker until the end of the day.  Backpacks will not be permitted in the classrooms or at athletic events.

Bicycle Parking

Students riding their bicycles to school are asked to place them in the bike racks located at each main entrance. At the end of the school day, these same students are asked to leave IMMEDIATELY, following good bicycle safety rules, so as not to interfere with the loading and departing of school buses. If students are 14 years of age or younger, they must wear a bike helmet.

Dress Code

Student dress reflects on school quality, conduct, and schoolwork.  All students are expected to dress and to groom neatly wearing clothing that is clean, decent and safe for school activities.

Clothing which is unclean, libelous, obscene, bizarre, or which advocates racial or religious prejudice will not be permitted. Clothing and apparel styles, which would be in violation of one or more of the above categories and would be considered to be disruptive to the educational setting are therefore prohibited. Below, please find specific dress guidelines:

Electronic Devices and Cellular Phone Restrictions

Middle School: The use of cell phones and electronic devices are strictly prohibited during the entirety of the instructional school day. Cell phones and electronic devices in use will be confiscated and submitted to the main office. In the middle school, the principal or designee will keep the confiscated cell phone until the end of the day and issue a warning for a first offense possession. In the second incident, cell phone will be confiscated and returned to only the parent or guardian of the student on the same day or at the earliest convenience of the parents/guardian. In the third offense, cell phone will be confiscated and maintained in the school safe for one week and returned to the parents/guardian after the week. Kindles, iPad, or e-readers may be permitted for educational purposes only as approved by the teacher/staff.

High School: The use of cell phones and electronic devices is strictly prohibited during the entirety of the instructional school day. Cell phones and electronic devices are only permitted in study hall and lunch or with special permission given by classroom teacher.  Those using these devices when not permitted will have their cell phone or electronic device confiscated and ONLY returned to the parent/ legal guardian at their convenience; however, students will also face disciplinary consequences.  

In both the middle and high school, refusal to turn over a cell phone and/or electronic device is considered to be gross insubordination.  If cell phones or electronic devices are brought to school, students are directed to secure the item in their assigned locker (high school) or secure the item (turned off) in their belongings, e.g., backpack (middle school). Please note that the school is not responsible for lost or stolen cell phones or electronic devices.


Unauthorized use of an electronic device’s camera/recording function are prohibited at all times when on school grounds or at a school sponsored activity.  Prohibited acts include, but are not limited to, those that violate one’s personal privacy and/or copyright laws.  Furthermore, prohibited acts include those that promote violence, drug and alcohol use, and/or contribute to the disruption of the educational environment.


Lockers: High School

Each student is assigned a locker. The locker MUST be locked at all times. The locker is school property and may be inspected by school officials at any time deemed appropriate. However, the student is fully responsible for locking the locker and for all articles, personal and school owned, that are placed in lockers. GHS is not responsible for stolen items. Combination locks are provided by the school. Lockers are to be kept clean (including no writing inside or outside of locker) and free from collections of rubbish at all times. Students are warned not to leave valuables such as wallets, purses, watches, rings, musical instruments, etc. in lockers at any time. The school district cannot guarantee the security of items left in any locker; locked or not.  Students should not leave valuable items or cash in lockers.


The high school provides locks for student use. All personal locks will be removed. In the event of a special circumstance requiring a personal lock, the combination and/or key must be given to the main office.

Lockers: Middle School

Lockers are school property and may be inspected by school officials at any time deemed appropriate. For safety of contents, students may bring a lock and have the homeroom teacher keep on file the combination or an extra key. This is optional, but highly recommended. Students are responsible for the contents of their locker. The middle school is not responsible for stolen items.  Personal locks are permitted but combination and/or key must be given to the middle school main office.

Gym Lockers

At the beginning of the school year, a student may select any unclaimed small locker and attach his/her own lock to the locker. The large lockers may be used during gym class but may not be permanently claimed and locked by a student. Gym clothing is not to be left in lockers overnight and/or over weekends unless the student locks his/her locker. The student is fully responsible for the security and safekeeping of any articles put in a gym locker. Any locks left on a large locker may be cut off by school staff. If it is necessary for school personnel to open a locker and the student is not available to unlock the lock or the situation is of an emergency nature where the locker must be opened immediately, the lock will be cut off. In such cases the school is not responsible for replacing the cutoff lock. If a student has any valuables such as a watch, ring, wallet, etc., such valuables should always be left with the physical education teacher and NOT stored in the locker.

NOTE: The student is reminded that failure to provide for locker security does not excuse him/her from gym class or changing into prescribed gym clothing for class sessions.    


Locker Searches

Students shall be informed by the administration that school lockers are not their private property but the property of the district and that as such may be opened and subject to inspection from time to time by school officials.  While recognizing the right to inspect student’s school lockers without the necessity of obtaining student's consent is inherent in the authority granted school boards and administrators, school officials will exercise every safeguard to protect each student’s constitutional rights to personal privacy and protection.


A student’s person and/or personal effects (e.g., purse, book bag, etc.) may be searched whenever a school official has reasonable suspicion to believe that the student is in possession of illegal or unauthorized materials.  If a pat down search of a student’s person is conducted, it will be conducted in private by a school official of the same sex and with an adult witness of the same sex present, when feasible. If a more intrusive search of a  student’s person is required due to an extreme emergency condition, such a search may only be conducted in private by a school official of the same sex, with an adult witness of the same sex present, and only upon the approval of the principal or his/her supervisor.


However, if the health or safety of students will be endangered by the delay which might be caused by following these procedures, the adherence to these personal search procedures may be curtailed or eliminated.

The superintendent or his/her designee is authorized to utilize canines whose reliability and accuracy for sniffing out contraband has been established to aid in the search for contraband in school owned property and automobiles parked on school property.  Canines shall not be used to search students.  The canines must be accompanied by a qualified and authorized trainer who will be responsible for the dogs' actions.  An indication by the dog that contraband is present on school property or in an automobile shall be reasonable cause for a further search by school officials.

Searches and Interrogations

In recognition of certain societal problems which present themselves from time to time in schools, the Board of Education authorizes school officials to conduct searches and interrogations of students and their possessions for contraband or matter which otherwise constitutes a threat to the health, safety, welfare or morals of students attending Gowanda Central School. School officials are defined as, but not limited to, the superintendent, building principals, and the Dean of Students, working under the direction of any of the former officials.


In authorizing such searches, the Board acknowledges both state and federal constitutional rights which are applicable to personal searches of students and searches of their possessions (e.g., pocket contents, book bags, handbags, etc.). In regards to student’s lockers, desks, and other school storage places, students have no reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to these places and school officials retain complete control over these areas.  This means that students’ lockers, desks, and other school storage places may be subject to search at any time by school officials, without prior notice to students and without their consent, however, searches shall not conducted unless founded upon by reasonable suspicion.

Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance cameras are used for school safety considerations in the common areas of school, e.g. hallways, corridors, and cafeteria. Any observed activity that is in violation to the Family/Student Handbook guidelines will be subject to disciplinary action.  Also, in these common areas there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.



Admission to School

The Board of Education has set up the following regulations concerning entrance requirements according to New York State regulations:

A. Other Level Placement: Transfers from other schools will be considered individually and, in general, in accordance with transcripts from other school systems and placement testing in the Gowanda Central School District.

B. No child may be admitted to school or allowed to attend school in excess of fourteen (14) days without appropriate certification of immunization against diphtheria, polio myelitis, measles, rubella and mumps. The fourteen (14) days may be extended by the principal to thirty (30) days for an individual pupil if the student is transferring from out of state or another country (Public Health Law 2164).


C. A school needs proof of three (3) diphtheria injections, three (3) oral polio dosages, two (2) measles, one (1) rubella, and one (1) mumps injection, or a physician's statement of proof that the child has had the disease.  If students fail to meet health immunization standards, they may be denied school entrance or attendance. However, such a denial can be appealed to the COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION [(Public Health Law 2165 (7) (6)].


After-School Social Activities (GHS)

All school dances are closed events and intended only for the students for whom the event is scheduled and their guests. All students and guests, except where special permission has been granted by the school principal, must be students at Gowanda High School. In addition, the following regulations shall be applicable to the conduct of school dances and other social affairs:


A. To be admitted, a student must be eligible per eligibility policy.

B. Students who leave the school building during the event will not be readmitted.


Please note: The only exception to this procedure will be made by the head supervisor when it is determined that it is necessary for a student to leave and return in order to maintain the proper functioning of the program.


Any student who is in the hall during class time must have a valid pass.  The student is only permitted to go to the sole destination indicated on the pass.


Conference Slips and Lavatory/Locker Passes

A student is not allowed to leave a room other than during the 3 minute passing times without a conference slip or a lavatory/locker pass or signed student agenda.  It is the student’s responsibility to bring all necessary materials to class. ANY STUDENT WHO IS IN THE HALL MUST HAVE A VALID PASS. A pass with more than one student’s name appearing on it will be deemed invalid. The student is permitted to go only to the destination indicated on the pass. The student must account for his/her whereabouts when he/she is not in his/her assigned class.  Any student, who does not, will be considered insubordinate.

If a student is to be with a teacher, school counselor, activity advisor, etc., during an assigned study hall, the student must obtain a conference slip prior to the study hall period. The teacher involved must fill out the conference slip completely. The student must report to the study hall - ON TIME. The study hall teacher will sign the student out, and the student may then proceed to the designated area. It is the student’s responsibility to return to study hall, with the conference slip, prior to the sounding of the bell that signals the end of the period.


The teacher has the option of clearly indicating on the conference slip if the student is to remain the entire period, without returning to study hall. No passes are to be laid on desks at the study hall or placed in a mailbox.  NO EXCEPTIONS. Conference slips will be issued by staff for all designations other than lavatory and locker.


Loss of Pass Privileges

Any student abusing the use of a pass or conference slip may have his/her pass privileges suspended for an extended period of time.  Pass privileges may also be revoked at the discretion of the building administrators when deemed necessary.

Cafeteria Behavior

The breakfast/lunch program is a part of our total educational program. Students should spend their time eating and visiting quietly with each other in a relaxed manner so that breakfast/lunch can be an enjoyable experience. The following are suggested student behaviors to be demonstrated while in the cafeteria:

        1.        Move calmly through the service line (no pushing or shoving).

        2.        Follow the monitor's directions for seating.

        3.        Use common courtesies when speaking with monitors and fellow students.

        4.        Do not waste, throw food, or take food from another's tray.

        5.        Use quiet voices when speaking (no shouting is necessary).

        6.        Observe quiet when lights are turned off.

        7.        Do not leave your seat unless instructed to do so by a monitor or teacher.

        8.        Raise your hand to signal a monitor if there is a question or problem

        9.        Do not take food from the cafeteria.

        10.        Eat neatly and leave your area clean; when your breakfast/lunch period is over    

                        pick up papers and clean up any spills.

Lunch Accounts

Money can be deposited online via Lunch accounts must be kept current, no negative balances are allowed. Students with negative lunch balances will be placed on the obligation list and subject to extracurricular activity procedure (Family/Student Handbook, p. 57)

Community Eligibility Provisions (CEP)

Gowanda Central School District is participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).  All students attending classes within the Gowanda Central School District, regardless of income level, are eligible to receive a healthy school breakfast and school lunch at no charge each day. No further action is required of you. Your child(ren) will be able to participate in these meal programs without having to pay a fee or submit a meal application.  Additional meals, ala carte items and additional beverages may be purchased.

Emergency Drills

New York State requires emergency drills and exercises, such as fire, lock-down, evacuation, and shelter-in-place, each year as component of the school’s emergency response plan. Students are to refrain from talking from the moment the fire alarm rings until they return to their classrooms. Students are to proceed quickly, quietly, and in an orderly way to the outside of the building and beyond to a safe distance, following prescribed classroom routes. Cellphone/electronic device use is prohibited as this may impede emergency communications.

Emergency Telephone Messages

Students will not be called from classes for telephone messages except for extreme emergency situations. The office will attempt to get other important messages to students by the close of the school day. The office must have emergency telephone numbers plus current home addresses and telephone numbers in order to allow necessary communication between school and home.  Custody papers must be on file in the counseling office and must be updated. We cannot refuse a parent/guardian access to his/her child without legal papers specifying that condition.


High School Eligibility To Run For Class Office

The following are criteria, which preclude the privilege of running for any position as a class officer:

Medication Procedure

No medication may be given to any student during school hours without following the procedures outlined by the New York State Education Department:

1.  A written order from the prescribing physician stating:

2.  Over the counter medication requires the same procedures as prescription medications. Over the counter medications must be in the original manufacturer's container with the student's name affixed to the container.

3.  A written request from the parent/legal guardian to administer the prescribed medication.

4.  The parent/legal guardian must deliver the medication to the nurse and must NOT send it with the student.  

Do NOT send pills or medication of any kind, including cough drops, with students because they will NOT be administered. These procedures must be followed for the safety of all students. Any special circumstances will be reviewed by the principal and school nurse.

Library Books

If library books or materials are lost by students, they are responsible for the replacement cost of that book or material. If library books or materials are damaged during the time a student has these materials signed out, the students will pay a pro-rata basis fee determined by how extensive the damage is. If a student has an outstanding library charge at the end of the year, the student will not receive his/her report card until the obligation is paid.

Technology Use

Each student in the Gowanda Central School District will be assigned a specific device that they will be responsible for while in school. Students in Grades 5 and 6 are to house their Chromebooks in school, while students in grades 7-12 are expected to transport their Chromebook home daily.  Devices are owned by the school for academic use. It is each student’s responsibility to care for his/her device and use it to better his/her learning. It is to be treated with great care.

Parent Notes

Daily Student Expectations for Devices

Student Use of Devices


GCS has filtering for its devices in place while the device is being used both in and out of school. While filters catch a great deal of inappropriate material, none is foolproof, and some content may get in. Faculty and family members may submit specific websites to be filtered by the district. Recommendations should be made via e-mail to the Technology Department and will be evaluated by the Technology Committee.

Particular students may require having more restrictive filtering. Causes for individual restrictions:

  1. Request of the parent
  2. Chronic off-task behavior in school.
  3. Bullying
  4. Failing Grades
  5. General device mistreatment

Faculty will have the ability to monitor, view, and screenshot students’ screens in action during a lesson. They will not have access to the webcam or microphone at any time.


All communication should pertain to school-related topics. If any inappropriate language or content is found, disciplinary action will be taken.


Students are responsible for their device, charger, case, and sleeve. Proper care of the assigned materials is necessary for the longevity of the device.


Student usernames and passwords have no spaces and are not case sensitive.

        Password is always gcsd and lunch code                        gcsd1234

Student Fees, Fines and Charges

Students are expected to exercise reasonable care in the use of school equipment. Any damage done to library books, textbooks, workbooks, musical equipment, chromebook and district-issued technology, or other school equipment due to misuse or negligence must be paid for by the student.

If a workbook is lost or destroyed, full price is required for replacement.


If library books or materials are damaged during the time a student has these materials signed out, the student will pay a fee based on the extent of the damage. If library books or materials are lost by students, they are responsible for the replacement cost of that book or material. School records will not be issued to students who have outstanding obligations, such as unpaid books or fines.

Students who participate in the school band or orchestra are required to sign a music contract and pay a non-refundable fee for the use of musical equipment.  The superintendent has the authority to waive the musical instrument fee in extenuating circumstances.


Other school equipment which is damaged should be reported to the building principal, who will determine if negligence or willful action on the part of the student was the cause of the damage. If so, the student will be expected to pay for such damage.


The Board encourages parents/legal guardians and other district citizens to visit the district's schools and classrooms to observe the work of students, teachers and other staff. Since schools are a place of work and learning, however, certain limits must be set for such visits. The building principal or his/her designee is responsible for all persons in the building and on the grounds.


For these reasons, the following rules apply to visitors to the schools:

  1. Anyone who is not a regular staff member or student of the school will be considered a visitor. Prior to building entry, visitors will be required to “buzz in” and state the purpose of the visit.
  2. Once a district employee authorizes access to the building, all visitors must report directly to the Greeter/Door Monitor’s desk. The visitor must present photo identification. This ID will be scanned into a visitor management system (RAPTOR). The greeter/door monitor will issue a visitor badge, which must be worn at all times while in the school or on school grounds.
  3. All visitors must sign out and return their visitor badge to a Door Monitor or Front Office desk.
  4. Visitors attending after school functions (after 2:15pm) that are open to the public, such as parent-teacher organization meetings, sporting events, or public gatherings, are not required to check in with the Door Monitor.
  5. Any unauthorized person on school property will be reported to the principal or his/her designee and the School Resource Officer. All unauthorized persons will be asked to leave. The police may be called if the situation warrants police intervention.
  6. All visitors are expected to adhere to the school's code of conduct while on school property.
  7. Parents/legal guardians or citizens who wish to observe a classroom while school is in session are required to arrange such visits in advance with the classroom teacher (s), so that class disruption is kept to a minimum.
  8. Teachers are expected not to take class time to discuss individual matters with visitors.


All doors will be locked during school hours. All visitors must check in at the main office.


No one may sell anything in the school without permission of the principal.



Scope of Policy

The following guidelines encompass major discipline problem areas and the action to be taken when students do not abide by the rules and regulations of the Gowanda Central District.


Definitions of Improper Student Conduct

The following actions are deemed to be inappropriate student conduct which is subject to the disciplinary penalties specified in the Class I, Class II, Class III, Class IV, and Class V violations hereof:


Arson (V)

Deliberately starting a fire with intent to damage or destroy property by using matches, lighters or other devices capable of producing sufficient heat (e.g. magnifying glass) to ignite other combustible items, including, but not limited to, paper, linens, clothing, and aerosol cans. Property includes any object belonging to the school, students, school staff or visitors to the school, including personal items of the arsonist.


Assault with Physical Injury (III)

Intentionally or recklessly causing physical injury (not serious) to another person, with or without a weapon, in violation of the school district code of conduct. Physical injury means impairment of physical condition or substantial pain. Physical injury includes, but is not limited to, black eyes, welts, abrasions, bruises, black and blue marks, cuts not requiring stitches, and swelling. Substantial pain includes, but is not limited to, severe headaches, joint, or muscle pain.


Assault with Serious Physical Injury (IV)

Intentionally or recklessly causing serious physical injury to another person, with or without a weapon, in violation of the school district code of conduct. Pursuant to Penal Law 10, “serious physical injury” means physical injury, which creates a substantial risk of death, or serious and protracted disfigurement or protracted impairment of health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ. Serious physical injury requires hospitalization or treatment in an emergency room and includes but is not limited to, a bullet wound, a serious stab or puncture wound, fractured or broken bones or teeth, concussions, cuts requiring stitches and any other injury involving risk of death or disfigurement.         


Bomb Threat (V)

A telephoned, written, or electronic message that a bomb, explosive, chemical, or biological weapon has been or will be placed on school property.  


Burglary (IV)

Entering or remaining unlawfully on school property with intent to commit a crime.

Classroom Misconduct (I)

Activities in class including, but not limited to, the following examples: unprepared for class activities, non-compliant, disruptive, talking out, failure to pay attention, and sleeping.

Controlled Substance (possession/use) (IV)

Use and/or possession of a controlled substance (a drug which has been declared by federal or state law to be illegal for sale or use) on campus or at a school event.

Controlled Substance (distribution/sale (V)

Distribution and/or sale of a controlled substance (a drug which has been declared by federal or state law to be illegal for sale or use) on campus or at a school event.  

Criminal Mischief (IV)

Intentional or reckless damaging of the property of the school or of another person, including, but not limited to, vandalism and the defacing of property with graffiti.

Disorderly Conduct (III)

Unreasonable noise, disruption to the educational setting that creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition which serves no legitimate purpose; abusive or obscene language or gestures;  Also, includes events not defined that cause substantial disruption of the educational process which place an individual or others in danger or potential danger.

Distracting Devices (possession/use) (II)

Any electronic device or toy that can be disruptive to the classroom environment.  This may include, but is not limited to, cell phones, beepers, pagers, etc.

Drug Paraphernalia (IV)

Refers to any equipment item that is used to grind, produce, conceal, and/or consume illicit drugs.  It includes, but is not limited to, items such as bongs, pipes, roach clips, miniature spoons, and other items not defined.

False Alarm (IV)

Falsely activating a fire alarm or other disaster alarm.


Fraud/Forgery/Cheating (II)

The act or illegal offense of imitating or counterfeiting documents, signatures, works of art, or the attempt to either obtain or give aid during an examination with the intent to deceive.

Gambling (I)

The risking of something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event upon an agreement or understanding that one will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome. Games of chance are prohibited (e.g., card playing, coin flipping, etc.).


Harmful Device (III)

Any device or toy that can cause physical harm or property damage.  This may include, but is not limited to, matches, lighters, laser pens, etc.


Inappropriate Displays of Affection (I)

Embracing, kissing, and other affectionate contact other than holding hands. Exception: stage performances under the direction of the play director.

Inappropriate Use of School Computers (III)

Use of school computers or other electronic devices that is in violation of the acceptable use policy or classroom rules.


*Insubordination (II): Failure to comply with any school rule, regulation or policy (including those relating to attendance).  

*Gross Insubordination (III): Failure to comply with a reasonable directive with blatant or willful disregard for school district personnel or representatives authorized to make such a directive.

Larceny or Other Theft Offenses (III)

Unlawful taking and carrying away of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of property. Permanently or unlawfully withholding property from another.


Leaving The Campus During School Hours

Students may not leave the campus for any reason (including illness) without permission.  Permission to leave the school building and grounds must be obtained from the appropriate administrator.  Leaving the building and or school grounds without permission is a Class IIIA violation.


Loitering (III)

Students may not congregate in any place on school district property for undesirable purposes. More than one student congregating in the lavatory stall at any time is considered loitering. Instances of loitering will be referred to the principal. 

Minor Altercations (III)

Involving physical contact and no physical injury. Striking, shoving, or kicking another person or subjecting another person to unwanted physical contact with intent to harass, alarm or seriously annoy another person, but no physical injury results. Fights that do not result in serious physical injury or physical injury are reported in this category.


Peer Abuse: Student Discrimination, Harassment, and Bullying Prevention (IV)

The Board of Education (Board) of the Gowanda Central School district is committed to providing an educational environment that promotes respect, dignity, and equality.  The Board recognizes that acts of discrimination and harassment, including bullying, taunting, or intimidation are detrimental to student learning and achievement.  These behaviors interfere with the mission of the district to educate its students and disrupt the operation of its schools.  Such behavior affects not only the students who are its targets, but also those individuals who participate in, and witness such acts.

To this end, the Board condemns and strictly prohibits all forms of discrimination and harassment, including bullying, taunting or intimidation, against students by students and/or employees on school property, which includes (among other things) school busses, and at school functions, which means school-sponsored, extra-curricular events or activities.  Further, harassment may also include, among other things, the use, both on and off school property, of information technology, including, but not limited to, email, instant messaging, blogs, chat rooms, pagers, cell phones, gaming systems and social media websites to deliberately harass or threaten others.  This type of harassment is generally referred to as cyberbullying.


The Dignity Act (Education Law §11[7]) defines harassment as the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional, or physical well-being; or would reasonably expect to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety.  Such conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse, includes, but is not limited to conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sex, sexual orientation, or gender (which includes a person’s actual or perceived sex, as well as gender identity and expression).


Bullying is defined by the USDE as unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.  Bullying generally involves the following characteristics: an imbalance of power, the intent to cause harm and repetition. The principal will investigate all reports of bullying incidents that take place before, during, or after school hours (ie. on the bus, during sporting events, etc). Examples of bullying include, but are not limited to:

  1. Verbal:  Name calling, teasing, inappropriate sexual comments, taunting, and threatening to cause harm.
  2. Social:  Spreading rumors about someone, excluding others on purpose, telling other students not to be friends with someone, and embarrassing someone in public.
  3. Physical:  Hitting, punching, shoving, kicking, pinching, spitting, tripping, pushing, taking or breaking someone’s things, and making mean or rude hand gestures.
  4. Cyberbullying: Repeated use of technology including, but not limited to, e-mail, instant messaging, blogs, chat rooms, cell phones, gaming systems, and social media to deliberately harass, threaten or intimidate others.  Sexting is prohibited which is defined as sending, receiving or forwarding sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude photos through text message or email.


The Penal Law defines hazing as a person intentionally or recklessly engaging in conduct during the course of another person’s initiation into or affiliation with any organization, which creates a substantial risk of physical injury to such other person or a third person and thereby causes such injury (Penal Law §120.16).

Under Penal Law, it is also considered hazing, even when physical injury does not occur, if a person intentionally or recklessly engaged in conduct during the course of another’s initiation into or affiliation with any organization, which created a substantial risk of physical injury to such other person or a third person (Penal Law §120.17)


Hazing behaviors include, but are not limited to the following general categories:

a. Humiliation: socially offensive, isolating, or uncooperative behaviors

b. Substance abuse: abuse of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs

c. Dangerous hazing: hurtful, aggressive, destructive, and disruptive behaviors

Within this definition are various forms of physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse which may range in severity from teasing/embarrassing activities to life threatening actions.  Even if hazing victim participates “willingly” in the activity, or there was “no” intent by the hazer(s) to harm or injure another individual, hazing is still contrary to the
Family/Student Handbook and may be in violation of New York State Law.  However, hazing of students does not need to rise to the level of criminal activity for such conduct to violate high school/middle school rules and subject to appropriate disciplinary sanctions as outlined in the Family/Student Handbook. Any hazing activity whether by an individual or group, shall be presumed a forced activities and in violation of policy, regardless of the “willingness” of the student to participate.


Any student who believes that he/she is being subjected to peer abuse shall report the incident to any staff member or the building principal/Dignity Act Coordinator.  An online bullying incident reports is available at (go to Middle School or High School home page; click image “Stop Bullying” to file a bullying incident report). Staff members are to report the incident to the building principal/Dignity Act Coordinator.  The building principal or administrative designee will investigate the complaint or incident and take appropriate action as necessary.  Students who knowingly make false accusations against another individual as to allegations of peer abuse may also face appropriate disciplinary action (BOE Policy #5301).

The building principal/Dignity Act Coordinator shall conduct a prompt, thorough and complete investigation of each alleged incident.  The investigation is to be completed within three school days after a report or complaint is made.  Upon request by the parent/guardian, the principal and/or the principal’s designee shall provide a written report about a bullying or harassment incident that involves that parent/guardian’s child (consistent with state and federal privacy laws and regulations).  All reports on instances of bullying and/or harassment must be recorded by the school personnel for annual data review.

Noxious Materials (possession/use) (IV)

Materials which are harmful to the health, injurious to the individual or disruptive to the school environment, such as smoke bombs and foul odor sprays.

Repeated Commissions of Violations

All effort is to educate and discipline students in an appropriate manner to positively change a student’s behavior; however, repeated commissions of class I and class II violations will result in additional progressive discipline.

Reckless Endangerment (IV)

Subjecting individuals to danger by recklessly engaging in conduct that creates a grave risk of death or serious injury, but no actual physical injury. The following are examples of incidents that did not result in physical injury but should be reported as reckless endangerment:

Robbery (IV)

Forcible stealing of property from a person by using or threatening the immediate use of physical force upon that person, with or without the use of a weapon.

School Misconduct (I)

Disregard for general school rules, such as, but not limited to, rowdiness/horseplay in the hallway/common areas, dress code violations, cell phone use, electronic device use, wearing a hat, and not carrying students agenda/planner, etc.

Sexual Harassment (IV)

Any act of sexual harassment on school property or at school related activities is prohibited. Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to unwelcome flirtation, inappropriate touching of another's body or clothes, sexual advances, verbal abuse of a sexual nature, use of sexually degrading words or gestures and the display of sexually suggestive pictures. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonable interference with a student's academic performance or participation in an educational or extra-curricular activity, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning environment.

Sexual Offenses (V):

Skipping Administrative Assigned Extension/Accumulation of Extensions (IIB)

Smoking/Tobacco (Use and/or Possession) (III)

 Smoking is prohibited at any time in the school building, on school property, on school transportation, or at any school sponsored activity. Student use of tobacco (including, but not limited to, e-cigarettes, lighted/unlighted cigarette, cigar, cigarillo, pipe, bidi, clove, and any other form of smoking product, and spit, spit less or dissolvable tobacco in any form) is prohibited at any time in the school building, on school property, on school transportation, or at any school sponsored activity (BOE Policy # 1530 & Cardinal Participation Rule, Family/Student Handbook, p.55)

Tardiness to: (I):


Truancy (II)

Is the willful violation by a student of compulsory attendance provisions (Article 65) of the Education Law, which requires students to attend school for full-time instruction. A student that leaves the building without permission from the appropriate administrator endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others and/or self.

Under the Influence (IV)

Being under the influence of alcohol, illegal, inappropriate drug/compound, or synthetic cannaboid or any intoxicant on school property, or while under school supervision.

Unauthorized Absence From Class (II)

Not attending all of or a substantial part of class without permission.

Unauthorized Electronic Recording (III)

Unauthorized use of an electronic device’s camera/recording function are prohibited at all times when on school grounds or at a school sponsored activity.  Prohibited acts include, but are not limited to, those that violate one’s personal privacy and/or copyright laws.  Furthermore, prohibited acts include those that promote violence, drug and alcohol use, and/or contribute to the disruption of the educational environment.

Verbal Abuse/Inappropriate Language/Obscene Gestures (III)

Speech or gesture which, by virtue of content and/or existing circumstances, is likely to disrupt the conduct of classes or other school activities  or to undermine the maintenance of discipline within the school setting or school sponsored activities. Use of profane language or obscene gestures or demeaning comments will be considered verbal abuse/inappropriate language.

Weapons Or Explosives (possession/use) (V)

A firearm as defined in the Gun-Free Schools Act.  Any other gun, pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, machine gun, disguised gun, dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, switchblade knife, gravity knife, brass knuckles, sling shot, water pistol/squirt gun, metal knuckle knife, box cutter, cane sword, electronic dart gun, Kung Fu star, electronic stun gun, pepper spray or other noxious spray, explosive or incendiary bomb, or other device, instrument, material or substance that can cause physical injury or death when used to cause physical injury or death.


Actions not defined

This is not meant to be all-inclusive and any student conduct not defined in this policy which constitutes a violation of the statutes of the State of New York or any established rule or regulation of the Gowanda Central School District shall be punishable by penalty to be imposed at the discretion of the appropriate school district administrator.


Class I.

  1. Classroom misconduct; Tardy to Class
  2. School  misconduct; Gambling; Inappropriate Displays of Affection; Tardy to School        

Class II.

                     A.  Unauthorized absence from class

             B.  Truancy; Skipping administrative assigned extension; Five nights of accumulated  


             C.  Forgery/Fraud/Cheating; Insubordination; Distracting Device (possession/use); Repeated  

           commission of Class I violations

Class III.

  1. Leaving campus during school hours; Gross insubordination; Smoking/Tobacco (possession/use); Loitering, Inappropriate Use of School Computers; Unauthorized electronic recording; Verbal Abuse; Repeated Commission of Class II violations
  2. Larceny & other theft offenses; Assault w/ Physical Injury; Harmful Device; Minor Altercations, Disorderly Conduct

Class IV.

               A.   Reckless endangerment; Under the Influence; Illegal drug/Alcohol/Inappropriate Drug/Controlled Substances (possession/use); Possession, sale, consumption or distribution of an alcoholic beverage, or illegal or inappropriate drug, or synthetic cannaboid, or being under the influence of said items on school property, or while under school supervision, False alarm, Criminal mischief , Assault with serious physical injury, Noxious material including synthetic cannaboids (possession, use and/or sale), Drug paraphernalia (possession, use, and/or sale), Peer Abuse: harassment, bullying, and hazing; Sexual Harassment; Robbery, Riot, Burglary; Other violations of Civil Law, Repeated Commissions of Class II and III violations

Class V.

  1. Weapon/explosives (possession and/or use); Controlled substances, including synthetic cannaboids (distribution/sale); Sexual Offenses; Arson; Bomb Threat


Class I.

  1.  1. Teacher administered punishment, possibly including extension and/or parent  


         2.  Principal, Dean of Students, teacher, AND student conference/counseling.

                 3.  Persistent violations will be considered gross insubordination and will be handled as  


  1. Referral to the principal and/or Dean of Students and assignment of extension or other

administrative action.

A Class I first offense may be omitted at discretion of the principal or Dean of Students.

Class II.

  1. 1st Offense : One night extension for each assignment missed and parent contact. Any  

subsequent offense, 1 to 5 days ISS.

            B.  1st Offense: 1 day ISS; any subsequent offense, 1 to 5 days ISS.

            C.  1st Offense: 1 day ISS.

          2nd Offense: 1 to 5 days ISS.

                  3rd Offense:  1 to 5 days OSS.

Students who are continual offenders may be required to attend a superintendent's hearing. Legal action will be initiated when necessary.

Class III.        

             A.  1st Offense: 1 to 3 days ISS.

                   2nd Offense: 2 to 5 days OSS with parent contact.

                   3rd Offense: 2 to 5 days OSS.

                   4th Offense  - Superintendent's  Hearing.

                    B.   1st Offense:2 to 5 days OSS  with parent contact                                                  

                   2nd Offense  -  2 to 5 days OSS.

                   3rd Offense  -   Superintendent's  hearing.


Class IV.   (Law Enforcement may be contacted.)                

  1. 1st Offense : Five days OSS, parent conference required, barred from all extra-curricular          

activities for 20 school days.

           2nd Offense: Superintendent's hearing.  A second offense penalty may be invoked in place

           of the first offense penalty at the discretion of principal and superintendent for any class


Class V.

  1. 1st Offense: Five days OSS, parent conference required, barred from all extra-curricular activities for 20 school days or more; Superintendent’s Hearing required*; and Law Enforcement Notified.

*The Superintendent, after consideration of the particular facts of the case, will determine if it is appropriate to modify the actual penalty imposed. Community service may be required by an administrator for Class III, IV, or V violations.   


Students involved in disciplinary problems will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action including, but not limited to, one or more of the following:

Parent Conference: The student's parent/legal guardian may be contacted for a conference. The conference will include the student, the student's parents or guardians, school personnel and others whose participation is deemed appropriate by the district.

Extension:  Extension may be assigned in appropriate cases.


A.  Internal Suspension: The internal suspension of a student by a principal will serve as an intermediate penalty between extension and external suspension. Internal suspension will necessitate attendance in a designated room from 7:32 am until 2:07 pm, where the student will be expected to work on instructional material from various classes.

B.  External Suspension: The principal may suspend a student from attendance at school for a period not to exceed five (5) school days.  This may be extended by the superintendent. The parent/legal guardian will be notified of such suspension by telephone and a letter.


Superintendent's Hearing: A disciplinary hearing may be scheduled before the Superintendent of Schools. At the conclusion of such hearing, the superintendent may take whatever action is deemed appropriate, including but not limited to, indefinite suspension from school.


Personal Liability/or District Property

The school district may pursue, on behalf of itself or an employee, all available rights and remedies to recover from a student and/or the parents/legal guardians of the student damages to personal property.


Police Notification

 In cases involving criminal conduct, school authorities will refer the matter to appropriate law enforcement authorities.


Community Service

A student may be assigned community service as a part of the disciplinary procedure. This service will not replace the disciplinary actions as defined in the Code of Conduct, but it may be used to reduce the severity of the penalty. Community service will be approved by the student’s parent/legal guardian and supervised by appropriate school personnel.

Range of Penalties

The following range of penalties will be imposed by school authorities upon finding that a student has committed the conduct specified in the Class I -V Violations as follows:


Extension Program

The following general rules shall apply:



Students will be suspended either internally or externally at the discretion of the principal. If a student is internally or externally suspended, he/she forfeits the privilege of participation in any extracurricular practice and/or activity. This includes athletic practice, and participation or attendance at any school activities. An externally suspended student is not to be on school property without administrative approval during school hours or after school hours. The same rule applies to the internally suspended student except that he/she is allowed on school property for attendance in internal suspension.


 In addition to the other penalties imposed for an infraction of rules, a student may be placed on probation. The duration of probation will be determined by the principal.

Teacher Removal of a Disruptive Student

On occasion, a student's behavior may become disruptive.  For purposes of this Code of Conduct, a disruptive student is a student who is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher's authority over the classroom. A substantial disruption of the educational process of substantial interference with a teacher's authority occurs when a student demonstrates a persistent unwillingness to comply with the teacher's instructions or repeatedly violates the teacher's classroom behavior rules.  A classroom teacher may remove a disruptive student from class for up to three days or up to three consecutive class periods.


A teacher must complete a district established disciplinary removal form and meet with the principal as soon as possible.  The principal must notify the student's parents/legal guardians by phone and in writing that the student has been removed from class and why.  The parent/legal guardian will also be informed that they have the right upon request, to meet informally with the principal to discuss the reasons for the removal.  The principal or his/her designee may overturn a removal at any point between receiving the referral form issued by the teacher and the close of business on the day following the 48 hour period for the informal conference, if a conference is requested.  No student removed from the classroom by the classroom teacher will be permitted to return to the classroom until the principal makes a final determination, or the period of removal expires, whichever is less.  Any disruptive student removed from the classroom by the classroom teacher shall be offered continued education programming and activities until he/she is permitted to return to the classroom.

Internal Suspension

The internal suspension of a student will serve as an intermediary between extension and external suspension, giving the external suspension the respect and power it must command. Internal suspensions will also, in many disciplinary cases, prevent the necessity of external suspension due to its unpleasant nature.


A student placed on Internal Suspension will experience the following:

Additional educational packets may be assigned if the student has no work material. Failure to complete the educational packets will result in the student being assigned an additional day of Internal Suspension.


External Suspension

A student on external suspension is not to be on school property without administrative approval during or after school hours. The student may not participate in any extracurricular practice or activity. A student may be externally suspended for five days. An external suspension of over five days requires the approval of the Superintendent of Schools. External suspension is most often served in a school supervised setting from 7:32 am until 2:55 pm in order to provide structure and to continue learning for our OSS students.

Superintendent's Hearing

A Superintendent's Hearing is called in the case of persistent or very serious violations. The superintendent has broad powers of discipline, even including external suspension for the remainder of the school year.

Family Court

In certain instances, the school may ask for a P.I.N.S. Petition (Person in Need of Supervision). If the court grants that petition, it has very broad powers to deal with a student.


Due Process of Law

Every student has the right to have the school treat him/her fairly in all matters. Every student has the right (a) to know the facts of the situation, (If he/she is charged with breaking the rules, the student should know what he/she is supposed to have done wrong); (b) to present his side of the story before a penalty is imposed; and (c) to have someone else consider a matter if he/she genuinely thinks that a decision is unfair.

        Due Process: Informal Process

Most disciplinary problems, complaints, and other matters are handled in an informal, verbal manner. A student or parent/legal guardian may talk to a teacher about any matter in which that student and teacher are involved; they may also talk to the appropriate building principal. In either case, an appointment is usually required. If a student or parent/legal guardian continues to disagree with a teacher and wishes to request a meeting with the building principal, he/she must contact the principal and arrange for such a meeting. If the parent/legal guardian disagrees with the building principal’s decision, he/she may request a hearing with the superintendent and arrange for such a hearing. Unless otherwise requested, all superintendent's hearings will be formal hearings.

Due Process: Formal Process

Occasionally, a student, parent/legal guardian, teacher or principal may want to handle even a rather minor matter in a formal, written fashion. Each has the right to do so and would follow the steps of appealing to the teacher, the principal, and the superintendent. If the principal feels that it is appropriate to suspend a student for more than five days, he must follow the formal, written procedure of a superintendent's hearing under School Law 3214. A third smoking offense, for example, requires such a hearing.  Other serious disciplinary matters mentioned in this handbook suggest such a hearing. A student, parent/legal guardian or a teacher may also request such a hearing.

Superintendent's Hearing Under School Law

The hearing will be held in the superintendent's office or other appropriate designated place at the time and date scheduled. The principal, the student, the parents/guardian and any other persons whose testimony would be important to the hearing should be present at the hearing. The order of activities during the course of the hearing will include the statement of charges by the principal, the presentation of evidence, any refutation, a review of data by the superintendent or his/her designee.

Board of Education Review

If a parent/legal guardian disagrees with the superintendent's decision, he/she may request a hearing by the Board of Education. Such a request should be in writing and should be filed with the Clerk of the Board within a reasonable period of time. After the Board of Education hearing, if the parent/legal guardian disagrees with the decision, the parent/legal guardian may appeal to the NYS Commissioner of Education.

High School/Middle School Discipline Plan

The goal of the staff at Gowanda High School/Middle School is to work with the family to develop appropriate social behavior and skills for students. We realize that students are continuing to develop and grow and that learning to make socially appropriate choices is a lesson that is ongoing. In learning to make these appropriate choices, students are taught conflict and anger management skills and are afforded an opportunity to rectify their actions. Realizing that all people make mistakes, this chance to fix the problem makes the student a “self-disciplined” individual and better serves the student throughout life.




Gowanda Central School believes that interscholastic athletics and extracurricular activities are an important part of the student's school experience. As worthwhile as they are, however, these activities must not take precedence over a student's scholastic and citizenship responsibilities. Participation in these programs is a privilege which should elicit great pride in both the student and his/her family.  It is also acceptance of responsibility which requires an extra commitment from those who wear our school colors and represent their organization, team, coaches, advisors, school, and community.  Standards of behavior are necessarily high and a willingness to meet these standards is a condition for being a member of one of our organizations/teams. These standards include not only school deportment and academics, but also good civic standing.

In order for the student and the parent/legal guardian to understand the rules concerning participation in athletics and extracurricular activities, we urge you to read the following pages thoroughly before affixing your signature to the athletic and extracurricular participation agreement. In addition to the specific requirements for participation, all guidelines/expectations within the Family/Student Handbook apply to the student involved in any athletic and/or extracurricular activity. If there are questions about this agreement, or other concerns regarding the athletic and/or the extracurricular program, please contact the Athletic Director, the specific extracurricular advisor, and/or the building principal.

Definitions: When determining student eligibility for participation in extracurricular activities, the following definitions should be considered:

Curricular Activities

Credit bearing courses defined by NYS Learning Standards, for example Chorus, Algebra 2 Trigonometry, and Creative Crafts.  No student who is academically ineligible should be denied the opportunity to participate in curricular programs and/or activities.  

Extracurricular Activities:

Parent Drug and Alcohol Forum

Any Gowanda High/Middle school student who wishes to participate in extracurricular activities (p.53) must have at least one parent or adult guardian attend a basic alcohol and drug training program sponsored by the Gowanda Central School District.  If a family has more than one student who wishes to participate in extra-curricular activities, the parent/guardian is required to attend the program one time.  These programs will be scheduled and announced to the parents prior to the start of the school year.  Once a parent attends, the training is good for four (4) years. Parents/guardians of students entering 5th grade, 9th grade, or any student who are new or returning to the district must attend the Parent Drug and Alcohol Forum.

Deportment Requirement

Students must adhere to all rules as outlined in the Family/Student Handbook. All Class IV and V violations will result in immediate suspension from participation in extracurricular activities. Repeated violations of Class I, II, and III offenses may also warrant suspension from extracurricular activities (Family/Student Handbook, p. 47-49).

Cardinal Participation Rule

Possessing, selling, and/or using tobacco/e-cigarettes, marijuana, alcohol, narcotics or illegal drugs, or remaining in the unauthorized presence of alcohol, marijuana, narcotics, tobacco/e-cigarettes or illegal drugs, on or off campus, which is observed by a school official (a member of the district administration and teaching staff or district coaching staff); law enforcement official or is determined to have violated the policy after an investigation by school officials, during the entire sports or extracurricular activity season will be considered a violation of the Cardinal Participation Rule.  A student may appeal this decision by following the procedure found in the Family/Student Handbook (p. 55).


First Violation

The student will be suspended from the team or activity for the remainder of that sports or activity season. The minimum suspension period will be 20 school days. Therefore, the suspension period may extend into the next sport season or next activity in which the student participates, even if the next season is the following school year.

The student may choose to receive counseling for a problem related to offenses of the Cardinal Participation Rule. Upon receiving written verification of ongoing counseling from the provider first offense violation will be: The student will be suspended from practice or activity for a minimum of ten (10) practices and will miss 25% of the competition (games or meets) or equivalent extracurricular activity. In the event that the violation occurs near the end of the season, and the student chooses the first violation option, the student must sit out the remainder of his/her suspension period during the next season in which that student participates, even if that season is in the next school year. Letters and awards will not be issued until the student has documented enrollment in the appropriate counseling program.

Second Violation

The student will be suspended from all athletics and/or extracurricular activities for one calendar year beginning with the date of violation. The second violation penalty applies, even if it does not occur during the same school year.


Credit Requirements

Students who wish to participate in extracurricular activities must obtain the following credits from their previous academic years:

                                 10th grade                5 credits

                                11th grade                11 credits

                                12th grade                16 1/2 credits


All students will be eligible for extracurricular activities in the 9th grade.  A student who starts participation in the 9th grade will not be eligible again until they have completed a minimum of 5 credits.  A student who starts participation in the 10th grade will not be eligible again until they have completed a minimum of 11 credits. A student who starts participation in the 11th grade will not be eligible again until they have completed a minimum of 16.5 credits.  Students who have achieved the following credits from their previous academic years may participate but are considered academically ineligible and as such must follow the procedures listed below under Gowanda HS/MS (5-12): Restrictions on Loss of Eligibility (p.57):

Participation In All Extracurricular School Activities


Academic Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility to participate in extracurricular activities is to be based upon the student working at a successful level defined as a minimum grade of 65%.

Attendance Requirement

A student who becomes ineligible for credit due to excessive absenteeism (Family/Student Handbook, p. 17-22) during an academic year may not participate in further extracurricular activities during the balance of that year.


Gowanda HS/MS (5 -12): Restrictions on Loss of Eligibility

Any student failing two or more classes (defined as a grade less than 65%) will be designated as ineligible.  An ineligible student must attend after school study sessions with their classroom teacher, or the learning center, or after school tutoring, in order to continue participating in extracurricular activities during the week of ineligible status. This includes, but not limited to, meetings, activities, and functions that take place during an activity period, during the school day, or after the school day, such as yearbook, school newspaper, student government and club meetings as well as all sports. Students who are ineligible in two or more subjects may attend practices and/or meetings provided they submit proof of receiving academic assistance after school but may not participate in extracurricular events such as athletic competitions, and including, but not limited to, theater performances, club activities, or school sponsored events, e.g. dances, prom, musicals, etc.  Any student failing one class, although still eligible to fully participate, is strongly encouraged to attend after school study sessions with their classroom teacher, or the learning center, or after school tutoring.  Eligibility is from Monday to Sunday

Co-Curricular Participation Card (Red Card)

Students who are placed on the ineligibility list may continue to participate in extracurricular activities and interscholastic athletics by meeting the following four criteria:

*Note: a completed card makes the student eligible for the following Monday-Sunday

General Participation Rules

Co-Curriculur Participation Card (“Red Card”)

Students’ Right to Appeal

When a student is informed that he/she is to be placed on the ineligible list, he/she does have the right to appeal the placement.


The appeal process will adhere to the following procedure:

Specific Requirements for Athletic Participation

In order to be eligible to compete under this program, the student must meet the following conditions:

In addition:


A missed practice or game includes: absence from school, failure to obtain a Blue Slip, internal or external suspension, or missing with the consent of the coach. There is no penalty for a missed practice/game unless they become excessive. After 5 missed practices/games, a student is considered excessively absent. The student and parent will be notified.  After 8 missed practices, a student will be removed from the team. Allowances will be made for extended illness, injury or academic ineligibility.

In addition to the above, a coach may have specific training rules which a player will be expected to follow during a sports season. Coaches have the authority to discipline an athlete for incidents not specifically covered in the training rules agreement. Such incidents could be failure to cooperate as required or jeopardizing the athlete's safety or the safety of others.


The district now has the opportunity to post pictures of our sports teams on various electronic media. This may include team photos as well as individual candid shots. These images may appear on school approved sites such as the District web site and/or If you do not wish any such images of your child to be posted, please indicate so in writing and send to the respective principal of your child’s building.

Athletic Injuries

The school attempts to take precautions against injuries by the use of safe equipment and proper conditioning, but athletes and parent/legal guardians should understand that injuries can and do happen. An injury, which occurs during a practice or a contest, must be reported immediately to the coach who will note the time and the circumstances and report these to the school nurse. The parent/legal guardian will be notified, if practical, before necessary medical assistance is obtained. After an injury which requires medical attention, the athlete must provide the coach with a release from a physician before resuming practice or competition.

Concussion Management

“Concussion is a disturbance in brain function caused by direct or indirect force to the head. Recovery from concussion will vary.” Avoiding re-injury and over-exertion until fully recovered are the cornerstones of proper concussion management.  

While district staff will exercise reasonable care to protect students, head injuries may still occur.  Physical education teachers, coaches, nurses and other appropriate staff will receive training to recognize the signs, symptoms, and behaviors consistent with a concussion.  Any student exhibiting those signs, symptoms, and behaviors while participating in a school sponsored class, extracurricular activity, or interscholastic activity shall be removed from the game or activity and be evaluated as soon as possible; by an appropriate health care professional.  The school nurse or the school staff member assigned to the supervision of the student will notify the student’s parents or guardians and recommend appropriate monitoring to parents and guardians.

If a student sustains a concussion at a time other than when engage in a school-sponsored activity, it shall be the responsibility of the parent/legal guardian to report the condition to the school nurse so that the district can support the management of the condition.

The student shall not return to school or activity until authorized to do so by the student’s primary care provider.  The school’s chief medical officer will make the final decision prior to return to activity including physical education class and after-school sports.  Any student who continues to have signs or symptoms upon return to activity must be removed from play and reevaluated by their health care provider (BOE policy #5416).

School Insurance

The school covers all athletes with a limited accident insurance policy which is secondary coverage to the family's own insurance. Claims should be instituted through the school nurse. 

School Pictures

The district has the opportunity to post pictures of school, sports teams and extracurricular activities on various electronic school approved media including, but not limited to, the yearbook, District/school webpage, school Facebook page, and local print media.  This may include team photos as well as individual pictures.  Photographs taken for this purpose that contain inappropriate subject matter, for example like obscene gestures, will result in discipline and/or restitution if required.

If you do not wish any such images of your child to be posted, please indicate so in writing and send to the respective principal of your child’s building.



If a student is absent, a note should be submitted to the high school main office. The high school office will inform the BOCES site.

Academic Expectations

Students enrolled in high school classes are required to attend these classes. If a student does not attend scheduled high school classes, the student will not be permitted to attend BOCES that day unless with approval from high school principal.  

Leaving Campus

 Students are not permitted to leave the high school campus without permission.  Students are not permitted to go to their cars when returning from BOCES unless permission is given by the high school principal or Dean of Students.


If prescription medication is needed, the prescription medication needs to be brought to the high school nurse (contact 532-3325 x6144) who will transfer items to the BOCES site.  No medication may be given to any student during school hours without following the procedures outlined by the New York State Education Department:


Breakfast and lunch for all students in Gowanda Central School is free this year.                AM Vo/Tech BOCES students have the option of eating lunch at BOCES but at their cost.  Free and reduced lunch forms are available at BOCES – you must fill out the form from BOCES and return it to them.

Transportation Schedule

School Closure

If the Gowanda Central School is closed due to weather, power outage, etc.  There will be NO transportation to BOCES and students DO NOT attend any BOCES program.

Superintendent Conference Days

These are normal days of attendance for BOCES students.  There will be transportation to BOCES on these days from the high school.  Students requiring transportation to/from the high school on these days must notify the high school main office 48 hours in advance to allow for transportation arrangements.

When BOCES is cancelled, students are allowed to leave campus with written parental/guardian permission but are required to attend their scheduled 1st, 11th and 12th period classes for AM BOCES or 1st – 6th period classes for PM BOCES.  If student remains at the high school during their scheduled BOCES time, the student must remain in assigned or prearranged location.

School Delays

PM Vo/Tech students will leave at their normal time and return at normal time.

January Regents Week

These are normal days of attendance for ALL students.  Students taking a NYS Regents exam will be excused from their BOCES program on that particular day if a conflict exists.

Activity Days

Throughout the school year, there are activity days for pep assemblies. Vo/Tech students who wish to attend must provide a written note to the high school main office from a parent/guardian 48 hours prior to the assembly in order to stay at the high school.  Approval from the high school principal or assistant principal is required not to attend BOCES for this reason as a student’s attendance and academic standing will be considered.  


School Closing or Delays

When there is a possibility of school closing or a 1- 2 hour delay,  students are urged to listen to radio stations WBEN (930 AM), WGR (550 AM), WSPQ (1330 AM), WYRK (106.5 FM), WDOE (1410 AM), WNED (94.5 FM, 970 AM), WEDG (103.3 FM), WGRF (96.9 FM), WHTT (104.1 FM) and the television channels WGR-Z, WIVB, WKBW.


School Messenger System

This communication system allows a school administrator to immediately reach all school families with a single phone call, announcing any emergencies or school closings.

District Information Sources:



Please dial 532-3325 to access the Gowanda Central School automated telephone operator.  When instructed, enter the extension of the person or department you wish to speak with.  The following is a partial listing of most frequently used numbers.  If you have any questions, or need further assistance, you may dial “0” at any time.


Superintendent’s Office                                6300, 6305

Business Office                                        6307

High School Main Office                                6002, 6004

Middle School Main Office                                    5002, 5003

Elementary School Main Office                        4005, 4006

Nurse/Health Office

        High School                                            6144

        Middle School                                            5146

        Elementary School                                    4003

School Lunch Program                                5131

Counseling Department:

              High School                                            6014

        Middle School                                            5006

        Elementary School                                    4151

Special Education Office                                6321

Athletic Director                                        6010

Title VI                                        

        High School                                            6009, 6010

        Middle School                                            5126

        Elementary School                                    4103

Transportation Department                                    6600, 6601

BOCES Fredonia                                        1-800-344-9611

Carrier Coach                                                    532-2600

Seneca Nation Education Department                532-3341

Teachers’ extensions are not accessible during school hours. All calls will be forwarded to a voice messaging system.  Please leave a message and the teacher will return your call as soon as possible.

*Please visit for a comprehensive calendar of GHS/GMS events. 

2019-2020 Academic Calendar


Last Revised 6/14/2019