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Mason Elementary School

2016-2017

Parent & Student

Handbook

 

 

Revision 1.0

Mason School District

Mason, NH 03048


TABLE OF CONTENTS

PURPOSE  1

PHILOSOPHY  1

MASON SCHOOL DISTRICT ~ School Administrative Unit 89  2

Mason Elementary School Personnel ~ 2016-2017  3

SCHOOL HOURS  4

VISITORS AND VOLUNTEERS                                                                                           _          4

PHOTOGRAPHS AND VIDEOS  4

CUSTODY/RESTRAINING ORDERS  5

STUDENT RECORDS AND ACCESS  5

SCHOOL CLOSURES  7

SCHEDULED DELAYED OPENING   7

SCHOOL DELAY, NO SCHOOL CLOSURE POLICY  7

EARLY RELEASE  8

STUDENT Attendance  9

EXCUSED ABSENSES  9

ABSENCE DUE TO ILLNESS  10

truancy   11

STUDENT ADMISSIONS  12

ENROLLMENT AND AGE OF ENTRANCE  12

NEW STUDENTS  13

ADMISSION OF TUITION AND NON-RESIDENT STUDENTS  13

ADMISSION OF HOMELESS STUDENTS  13

PROCEDURES FOR HOME SCHOOLERS  15

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER 5th GRADE?  15

CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION   16

PARENTS/GUARDIANS’ RIGHT TO KNOW NOTICE  16

COMMUNICATION PROCEDURE  16

HOMEWORK POLICY  17

PARENT HOMEWORK EXPECTATIONS  17

REPORT CARD SCHEDULE  18

STANDARDIZED TESTING   18

 

STUDENT SERVICES  19

Special Education   19

HEALTH OFFICE  19

DISPENSING OF MEDICATION   20

IMMUNIZATIONS  21

PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS OF STUDENTS  22

HIV POLICY  23

ACCIDENT OR INJURY INSURANCE  23

GUIDANCE & School psychologist  23

FOOD SERVICE PROGRAM    24

GUIDELINES  24

FREE AND REDUCED MEALS PROGRAM    25

SCHOOL WELLNESS  25

TRANSPORTATION   27

School bus rules   27

VIOLATION OF BUS RULES  28

BUS EVACUATION DRILLS  28

USE OF PRIVATE VEHICLES TO TRANSPORT STUDENTS  29

FIELD TRIPS  30

SCHOOL SAFETY  31

DRILLS  31

SAFE SCHOOL ZONE POLICY  31

Student conduct  32

Dress code   32

                RECESS GUIDELINES                                                                                                                                                       32

PRINCIPLES OF STUDENT CONDUCT  32

PROHIBITED CONDUCT  33

DISCIPLINARY CONSEQUENCES  35

DETENTION OF STUDENTS  36

SUSPENSION OF STUDENTS  36

SUSPENSION CONSIDERATION   36

SUSPENSION   37

EXPULSION OF STUDENTS  37

EXPULSION   37

MODIFICATION OR REVIEW OF EXPULSIONS  38

STUDENT DUE PROCESS RIGHTS  38

POLICY REFERENCES  39

DRUG/ALCOHOL USE AND POSSESSION   39

TOBACCO PRODUCTS - USE AND POSSESSION Banned   40

SEARCHES OF STUDENTS’ AND OTHER SCHOOL-OWNED PROPERTY  43

WEAPONS ON SCHOOL PROPERTY  44

Acceptable use policy for computers, network and internet access  45

PERSONAL HARASSMENT AND BULLYING   51

SEXUAL HARASSMENT and SEXUAL VIOLENCE  58

CHILD ABUSE REPORTING   59

PARENT/STUDENT RIGHTS IN IDENTIFICATION EVALUATION AND PLACEMENT  61

CONTENT OF NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY  62

TITLE IX NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT  62

 2016-2017 ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ACADEMIC CALENDAR                                      BACK COVER


PURPOSE

The purpose of this handbook is to aid parents, students and teachers in becoming familiar with school policies and procedures.

The handbook has been prepared to answer questions that families may have concerning their child’s school experience at the elementary level.  This book should be used as a guide and reference tool.

Not all of your questions will be answered in this handbook.  Please feel free to call the school at (603) 878-2962, (603) 878-1744, (603) 878-3439 at any time for questions, comments, and concerns.

Information in this handbook is based on current Mason School District policies.  These policies supersede information in the handbook in the event of inconsistency.


PHILOSOPHY

The Mason School District has a primary mission to meet the educational needs of its students. As such, the district commits itself to positive thinking, social awareness, independence, research, and responsibility.  We seek to develop in our students the confidence and ability to adapt in positive and creative ways to the challenging situations that arise in our complex and rapidly changing society.

We believe in an education that incorporates reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies, social skills, unified arts, world language, physical education and technology as well as inquiry into the broad reservoir of human thought and experience.  We foster an integrated curriculum connected to real-world and hands-on experiences.  We believe that this will develop within our children inspiration, imagination, the ability to create, intellectual growth, and well-balanced perspectives. 

We actively promote an atmosphere which emphasizes respect for self-worth and the individual, and which creates opportunities for students to participate in decision-making processes.  We believe in a challenging curriculum which recognizes the merits of both new and conventional methodology in the teaching of basic skills.  We recognize the role of creativity and exploration as primary qualities in the learning process.


 

MASON SCHOOL DISTRICT ~ School Administrative Unit 89

SCHOOL BOARD

OFFICERS

Moderator

Catherine Schwenk

2017

Clerk

Becky Partridge

2017

Treasurer

Susan Schulman

2018

Secretary

Becky Partridge

2017

 

SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS

Chairman

Dr. Christopher Guiry

2019

Vice Chairman

Robert Doyle

2017

 

Timothy Leak

2017

 

Jennifer Schongar

2018

 

Bradley Gilbert

2019

 

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MAILING ADDRESS

Mason School District

School Administrative Unit #89

13 Darling Hill Road

Mason, NH  03048

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PHONE

Main Office (603) 878-2962

  Fax Line    (603) 878-3439

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WEBSITE

mason.sau89.org

 

Mason Elementary School Personnel ~ 2016-2017

Administrative

Staff

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Kristen Kivela

Superintendent/Principal

Jonas Taub

                            Director of Student Services

Heidi DeLorme

Administrative Assistant

Michael O’Neill

Business Manager

Brenda Wiley

Accounts and Business Services

 

 

Professional

Michelle Alton

Integrated Preschool Teacher

Teaching Staff

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Susan Rysnik

 Kindergarten Teacher

Karen Mann

Grade 1 Teacher

Kate Coey

Grade 2 Teacher

Colleen Ringer

Grade 3 Teacher

Laura Hooper

Grade 4 Teacher

Alexcina Leel

Grade 5 Teacher

Jill LaMontagne

Special Education/Title 1 Teacher

Peter Balducci

Technology Teacher

Kristina Levick

Music Teacher

Michelle Jimeno

Art Teacher

Michael Parent

Physical Education Teacher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student Aides

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Pamela Brock

Student Aide

Deborah Cullen

Student Aide

Tracy Williams

General Aide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-K – Grade 5
Student Services

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Danielle Carrier

Nurse

Jonas Taub

Guidance Services

Jonas Taub

School Psychologist Testing

Diana Lewis

Speech/Language Pathologist

Elizabeth Cohen

Occupational Therapist

 

 

 

Facilities &

Operations

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Deborah Holland-Savoie

Food Service Director

Richard Griffith

School Facility Director

 

 

Butler’s Bus Service, Inc

Mason & Milford Transportation

 

Phone # (603)715-2415

 

 

 

SCHOOL HOURS

Regular School Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Students who walk, ride a bike, or are driven to school may arrive NO Earlier Than 8:50 a.m.  Supervision of students is not provided before then.  Upon arrival, children must first check in with their classroom teachers.  Children can proceed to breakfast after they check in.  Buses will wait until 8:50 a.m. before letting children leave the bus to enter the school.

Visitors and volunteers

All visitors at the school must sign in at the main office and get a visitor badge.  Visitors may not interrupt classroom instruction or conference with the teacher or paraprofessional during instructional time.  After your visit, return to the main office, turn in the visitor pass and sign out.

 

At Mason Elementary School we love our VOLUNTEERS.  Our volunteers provide essential support to our school and we encourage parents and community members to become volunteers.  All volunteers are required to be fingerprinted with a criminal background check.  Please sign in at the main office and wear a visitor badge while in the building.  When leaving please return to the main office, turn in your visitor pass and sign out.

PHOTOGRAPHS AND VIDEOS

A form will go home with the children on the first day of school which will allow you to state your preferences in writing regarding photographs and videos.

Photographs and videos taken during school activities may be posted on the school or classroom websites or on bulletin boards and other displays within the school unless a written request to the contrary is filed in the school administrative offices.  This access to photos also applies to all-school group photographs for town calendars and the school website.  Parents/guardians should understand that on field trips and during events such as concerts and plays, we have no control over photographs and videos taken by members of the public or the audience.  Also, we often prepare CDs and DVDs of school photos which we send home to families.  Parents/guardians must let the school know in writing if they do not wish their child’s image to appear publicly, or if the image may appear but the name may not.  If the first name may appear and not the last name, this must also be clearly stated in writing. 

Cameras are not allowed in school or on the bus unless the child has obtained permission from the school office.  This includes cameras and photographic capabilities embedded in electronic games and other devices.

CUSTODY/RESTRAINING ORDERS

Unless the office is in possession of legal documents prohibiting access to a student, students will be released to either parent/guardian or anyone else that you give written permission to.

If there is a restraining order or limited access right against either parent, it is the responsibility of the custodial parent to supply the office with a copy of legal documentation stating this.  If this situation should change, please notify the office in writing.

STUDENT RECORDS AND ACCESS

Students and parents/guardians will have access to their school records.  Students and parents/guardians should know:

1.       The type of records kept;

2.       The procedure for inspecting and copying records;

3.       The right for interpretation;

4.       The right to challenge data thought to be erroneous, the procedures for correcting or expunging erroneous data or inserting a rebuttal statement;

5.       The right to lodge a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if mandates are not adequately implemented.

Additionally, parents/guardians have the right to be notified of the district’s policy on the collection or use of personal information collected from students for the purpose of marketing or selling that information or otherwise providing that information to others for that purpose, including arrangements to protect student policy that are provided by the agency in the event of such collection, disclosure or use.

 

The education records or school records include all materials directly related to a student that a school maintains.  Records and notes maintained by a teacher, administrator, school physician, or school psychologist for his/her own use, and which are not available or distributed to others (except substitutes) are exempt from this definition.

The school will require a prior written consent before information other than directory information may be divulged to third parties.  An exception to this rule exists for school district employees or consultants who have legitimate interests in viewing the records, as well as officials in other schools which the student seeks to enroll.  A school district in which a student is enrolled or is in the process of enrolling in may request the student’s education records from any district in which the student was formally enrolled to ascertain safety issues in incoming students and ensure full disclosure.  The records, including the student’s disciplinary records, will be forwarded to the requesting district within three (3) business days.

When the school transfers records to new educational institutions, the schools must notify parents of the transfer, and of their right to review and contest the material.  An exception exists for material under court order.  Parents/guardians must be notified of such order prior to release.

Except as otherwise required by state or federal law, when compelled by a court order to produce records, the district will make reasonable efforts to notify parents or eligible student prior to compliance with such order.

The district may disclose, without the consent or knowledge of the eligible student or parent/guardian, personally identifiable information in the educational records of a student to the Attorney General of the United States or his/her designee in response to an ex parte order in the connection with the investigation or prosecution of terrorism crimes.  The district is not required to record such disclosure of information and is protected from liability for disclosing such information in good faith.

The district may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless the parent or eligible child has advised the district of the contrary.  Directory information may include such things as the student’s name, participation in officially recognized teams or activities, a student’s class designation, name of the school the student is attending, and achievements, awards, or honors. 

 

 

SCHOOL CLOSURES

SCHEDULED DELAYED OPENING

When there is a delayed opening, school will be opened two hours after the regular starting time.  AM bus pick-ups will operate two hours later than normally scheduled.  Dismissal and PM bus drop-offs will be at the regular time.

                       REGULAR TIME START             DELAYED TIME START

                 9:00 AM                                  11:00 AM

SCHOOL DELAY, NO SCHOOL CLOSURE POLICY

The policy for SCHOOL DELAY or NO SCHOOL is put into place for the safety of the children.  Generally, if buses can operate safely, school will be in session.  However, it is expected that if any parents/guardians do not desire to have their child venture out during inclement weather, it is their prerogative to keep their child at home.  Road agents and transportation contractors make the decision to operate as usual, delay or close.  If it is determined that the road conditions are hazardous, parents and the children will be informed in the following manner:

1.   TV STATIONS

WBZ – TV BOSTON & http://www.wbz.com/

 

WMUR-TV – MANCHESTER CHANNEL 9

                     & http://www.wmur.com/

 

Please be aware that the TV stations don’t always list us, as we are such a small district.

2.   WEBSITE-mason.sau89.org
School delays, early dismissals, and closures will be posted on the home page of the school website.

3.   RECORDED TELEPHONE MESSAGE ON SCHOOL TELEPHONE  LINES
A recorded telephone message will be available on 878-2962, 878-1744 and 878-3439.  This will typically be in place between 6:15 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.

 

4.  I-ALERT – Families will receive an automated call to alert them of the             delay or cancellation.

Should road conditions remain hazardous or worsen, the NO SCHOOL announcement (changing the situation from delayed to no school) will be made over the TV stations listed above as well as at the school’s telephone message. If your child attends Milford Middle or High School, please also check their website for further updates.

EARLY RELEASE

Early release occurs when weather conditions or other situations indicate that students be sent home from school as soon as possible or at a certain time.  If this occurs, we will call every family to notify them.  It is extremely important that telephone numbers on record for us to call be ones which will be answered during the school day hours.  Early dismissals are considered only in extreme circumstances because of child care issues.  Even though early dismissal is rare, parents/guardians must plan for this event.  We advise parents/guardians to consult with child care providers, friends and neighbors and agree on a plan for child care arrangements in the event of an early dismissal.  It is very helpful to us to have this plan on record in the school office.  Equally important, we advise parents/guardians to make children aware of those special arrangements in anticipation of possible early dismissals.

Please note that our school buses are also used to transport middle and high school students to Milford.  There may be occasions when Milford is open and Mason is closed, or when Mason is open and Milford is closed.  Parents of middle and high school students should check with their specific schools as to whether they are open, closed or delayed.  If, for example, Milford is holding school and Mason roads are not considered safe, the buses won’t go to Mason.  In this case, families need to make individual decisions as to whether to drive their middle and high school children to school, or whether to just stay safely at home.  Milford is aware of this situation, and it is our understanding they will provide makeup work for students missing school due to dangerous road conditions in Mason.


STUDENT Attendance

We believe that the school and parents/guardians have a shared responsibility for the care and education of the students attending the school.  We would like to assure parents that their child arrived at school safely and on time. 

If a student is unable to attend school, his/her parents/guardians MUST CALL the school to report the absence.  Parents must call the school to report an absence before 8:50 a.m. on the morning of the absence.  If you wish, you may leave a message as early as the evening before the absence.  Parents of Mason Elementary students must call (603) 878-2962 and leave a message reporting

1.      Your name

2.      Your child’s name

3.      Grade and teacher’s name

4.      Reason for absence

5.      Your telephone number or another way we can reach you

The school will call parents/guardians after 9:00 a.m. to verify the absence of all students for whom we have received no call.

EXCUSED ABSENSES

The Following are considered excused absences:

       1.          Illness

        2.          Recovery from an accident

        3.          Required court attendance

        4.          Medical and dental appointments

        5.          Death in the immediate family

        6.          Observation or celebration of a bona fide religious holiday

        7.          Such other good cause as may be acceptable to the principal or

                     permitted by law.

 

 

The principal may require parents to provide documentation in support of the reported absence, including but not limited to doctor’s notes, court documents, obituaries, or other documents supporting the claimed reason for non-attendance.

Parents who plan to take their children out of school for an extended period of time, for reasons other than illness or injury, must put their intent in writing to the principal, if possible, two weeks prior to the absence. 

When a student is taken out of school by a parent/guardian to go on a trip while school is in session, missed work will be given upon the student’s return to school.  This policy enables the student to enjoy and focus on the trip.  Special arrangements can be made with the teacher as to the time frame and method of getting the work caught up.

 

ABSENCE DUE TO ILLNESS

The time frame for completion of work for children with illness or injuries will be determined on an individual basis.

Students who are absent for reasons of illness (or other circumstances approved by the school) for over 10 days have the right to a tutor. 

Frequent absences may affect a child’s “letter grade” and/or promotion.  In-class instruction and participation are vital to a child’s understanding of the material.  Parents/guardians must weigh the alternatives and decide what is best for their child.

Student absences, tardiness, and early dismissals are part of the official attendance records, which are required by the state of New Hampshire.  If your child is frequently tardy or dismissed early, progress and achievement are affected due to loss of learning time.  Tardiness and early dismissals also affect all students in a class, as they are disruptive to the classroom activity.  Please make good attendance a priority. 

 

 

 

 

 Truancy

The administration closely monitors absences, tardiness, and early dismissals.  Attendance records of all children are reviewed.  According to NH State Law (RSA 189:34), truancy is defined as an unexcused absence from school or class. Ten half days of unexcused absence during a school year shall constitute habitual truancy.  Attendance records of all children are reviewed regularly.  Parents of children with five or more unexcused absences may receive a letter of concern from administration which will be kept on file.  The letter will indicate the need to meet with administration to determine a plan to address attendance concerns.  The Chief of Police shall serve as the designated truancy official for Mason Elementary School.


STUDENT ADMISSIONS

ENROLLMENT AND AGE OF ENTRANCE

Preschool is available to children who are at least age 3 but will not yet be age 5 by September 30th of 2016.  This is an integrated preschool with tuition and space-availability requirements which can be obtained on a case-by-case basis by calling the Main Office. 

Kindergarten is offered to all Mason children who are at least age 5 by September 30th of 2016.  In New Hampshire, kindergarten is required to be offered by the school district, but enrollment in the kindergarten is optional.

Every child between the age of six and sixteen years of age shall attend the school within the district, a public school outside the district to which he/she is assigned, an approved charter school program, an approved home-school program, or an approved private school.

A student may enter grade one if his/her age will be 6 before September 30th of the year of entering school.

A birth certificate must be presented upon registration as proof of the date of birth. The child must enroll under his/her full legal name.  After being entered in the school records, the birth certificate will be returned to the parent/guardian.

In-coming transfer students in grades 2 through 8 will be initially placed in accordance with the date forwarded by the sending District.  Such placement is tentative and subject to reassignment by the Superintendent or his/her designee.

Incoming transfer students in kindergarten or Grade 1 will only be admitted if their age will be 5 or 6 respectively before December 31 of the year of entering school or if previously enrolled in such grades in another community and attending local schools only on a temporary basis (10 months or less).  Such placement is tentative and subject to reassignment by the Superintendent.

 


NEW STUDENTS

All new students, accompanied by a parent/guardian, should register at school before opening day or as early as possible.  Children entering school for the first time must have proof of physical examination, immunization records, a copy of the child’s birth certificate and proof of residency satisfactory to the Superintendent or his/her designee.  The Principal or a designee will meet with new children and parents/guardians to explain school programs.

ADMISSION OF TUITION AND NON-RESIDENT STUDENTS

Non-resident students may attend district schools when their attendance has been approved by the Board.  Tuition will be charged at a rate set by the Board and billed quarterly in advance to the sending district or parent/guardian responsible for payment.  When a sending district is responsible for tuition, approval must be received from the sending district school board.

Under normal circumstances, the district will not provide transportation to and from school for non-resident and tuition students at district expense.  However, the district may assist parents/guardians in finding and procuring transportation services for their children.

ADMISSION OF HOMELESS STUDENTS

The district will work with homeless students and their families to provide stability in school attendance and district services for which they are eligible, including comparable pre-school programs, similar state programs, special education, and bilingual education. 

Per the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, homeless students are those lacking a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence, including

sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing or economic hardship

living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations

living in emergency or transitional shelters

abandoned in hospitals

awaiting foster care placement

living in public or private places not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations for human beings

living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, transportation stations or similar settings

migratory children living in conditions described in previous examples

The Superintendent shall designate an appropriate staff person to be the District’s liaison for homeless students and their families.

To the extent feasible, homeless students will continue to be enrolled in their school of origin while they remain homeless or until the end of the academic year in which they obtain permanent housing.  Instead of remaining in the school of origin, parents or guardians of homeless students may request enrollment in the school in which attendance area the student is actually living, or other schools.

If there is an enrollment dispute, the student shall be immediately enrolled in the school in which enrollment is sought, pending resolution of the dispute.  The parent or guardian shall be informed of the District’s decision and their appeal rights in writing.  Unaccompanied youth will also be enrolled pending resolution of the dispute.

Once the enrollment decision is made, the school shall immediately enroll the student, pursuant to District policies.  If the student does not have immediate access to the immunization records, the student shall be admitted under a personal exception.  Students and families should be encouraged to obtain current immunization records or immunizations as soon as possible, and the District liaison is directed to assist.  Records from the student’s previous school shall be requested from the previous school pursuant to District policies.  Emergency contact information is required at the time of enrollment consistent with District policies.

Homeless students are entitled to transportation to their school of origin or the school where they are to be enrolled.  If the school of origin is in a different district, or a homeless student is living in another district but will attend his or her school of origin in this District, the Districts will make reasonable efforts to coordinate the transportation services necessary for the student.

The District’s liaison for homeless students and their families shall coordinate with local social services agencies that provide services to homeless children and youths and their families; other school Districts on issues of transportation and records transfers; and state and local housing agencies responsible for comprehensive housing affordability strategies.  The district’s liaison will also review and recommend to the district policies that may act as barriers to the enrollment of homeless students.

PROCEDURES FOR HOMESCHOOLERS

 

Requests for Home Schooling should be submitted to the Superintendent.

Reference Mason School District Policy IHBG

Please refer to New Hampshire Department of Education Website: http:/www.education.nh.gov/  for Home Schooling Laws and Regulations as well as any changes in the procedure for establishing a Home Education program and evaluation procedures.

 

 

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER 5th GRADE?

 

After 5th grade, Mason students leave Mason Elementary School and attend Milford Middle School and Milford High School.  Busing to the schools is provided to Mason residents.  Please frequently check the Milford websites for updates, events and newsletters.  Links to the Milford Schools are available on our website: mason.sau89.org

Exceptions can be made for students with certain circumstances and needs and must be pre-approved by the Mason School Board.

 

 


CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION

PARENTS/GUARDIANS’ RIGHT TO KNOW NOTICE

As a parent/guardian of a student in the Mason Elementary School, you have the right to know the professional qualifications of the classroom teachers who instruct your child.  Section 1111 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Title 1 (a federal law) allows you to ask for certain information about your child’s classroom teachers, and requires us to give you this information in a timely manner if you ask for it.  Specifically, you have the right to ask for the following information about each of your child’s classroom teachers

Ø Whether the New Hampshire State Department of Education has licensed or qualified the teacher for the grades and subjects he or she teaches.

Ø Whether the New Hampshire State Department of Education has decided that the teacher can teach in a classroom without being licensed or qualified under state regulations because of special circumstances.

Ø The teacher’s college major, whether the teacher has advanced degrees, and, if so, the subject of the degrees.

Ø Whether any teachers’ aides or similar paraprofessionals provide services to your child and, if they do, their qualifications.

COMMUNICATION PROCEDURE

It is the intent of the school to handle concerns and/or problems that arise during school hours with cooperation among all parties involved. 

If parents or guardians become aware of concerns or problems that happened during school hours in regard to curriculum, behavior and/or policy and procedures, please:

Ø Discuss the concern as soon as possible with the classroom teacher.  We ask that the parent/guardian consult the classroom teacher at a time which will be least disruptive to classroom teaching time.

Ø If either the parent/guardian or teacher is not satisfied with the outcome, or if a settlement has not been agreed upon, the parent/guardian or teacher should contact the Principal.

Ø If the parent/guardian or teacher is not satisfied with the decision of the principal, they may contact the Superintendent.

Ø Should the parent/guardian or teacher involved remain dissatisfied with the outcome, they may contact the Chairman of the School Board.

HOMEWORK POLICY

Homework should relate directly to the purpose of education.  It is an important part of a child’s educational experience.  Well-planned homework assignments that are appropriate to the grade and level of the learner may take many forms, including regular practice and reinforcement of the previously taught skills, independent assignments that enrich the school curriculum, reading to prepare for subsequent class discussions, review and study of materials assembled in class, and student writing in a variety of styles and forms.

Meaningful homework assignments are those that emphasize quality rather than quantity and that are reasonable in length, appropriate for the learner, and purposeful in nature.

We will know that our homework policy works when

Ø Homework is completed by students in a responsible, conscientious and timely fashion.

Ø Parents/guardians give their support and involvement, thereby demonstrating agreement that homework is purposeful and a valuable part of a child’s education.

Ø Homework is reviewed and used by a teacher to diagnose, reinforce and enrich student learning.

It is our belief that it is the responsibility of the parent to assist in making homework useful and successful.  Long-term projects or reports may require that a student spend additional time beyond the “regular” homework time.  The approximate nightly homework should take about:

   Grade 1 – 10 minutes

   Grade 2 - 20 minutes

   Grade 3 - 30 minutes

   Grade 4 - 40 minutes

   Grade 5 - 50 minutes

PARENT HOMEWORK EXPECTATIONS

1.   Help to establish a regular format for learning at home.

2.   Assist students to develop good study habits by providing a comfortable, well-lighted area away from distractions.

3.   Understand that children have different learning styles.  Some need movement when learning or trying to focus.  Movement can take the form of “lounging” on a rug, taking frequent breaks, or – yes – chewing gum!  Some children are “visual learners,” needing to see the written word.  Some are “auditory learners,” doing better when they hear things read aloud.  Some children work better to music, while others require silence and no distractions.  Some children can multi-task, whereas others must finish one thing before they start another.  Becoming aware of one’s learning style is key to learning and understanding.

4.   Encourage students to set a regular time for study.

5.   Monitor and evaluate outside activities (e.g. extracurricular and television) to be sure that the student has sufficient study time.

6.   Recognize that homework is assigned and if necessary require the student to keep an assignment book that can be reviewed at home.

7.   Communicate with the classroom teacher if questions or concerns should arise over homework assignments or practices.

8.   Assist the school in developing, within each child, an attitude that homework is an important student responsibility.

9.   Use time when no specific homework assignments have been given for reading or reviewing notes.

 

REPORT CARD SCHEDULE

Term

Grades Close

Report Cards

First

November 11, 2016

November 22, 2016 / PTC Day

Second

March 3, 2017

March 17, 2017

Third

June 2, 2017

June 16, 2017

 

          ** This schedule may be adjusted due to excessive school cancellations. **

 

STANDARDIZED TESTING

Mason Elementary will administer Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) computer-based testing internally, for use in overall school assessment and in designing instruction, as well as for individual student assessment.  The NWEA Testing will occur in the Fall and Spring for Grades K-3.  As the tests progress, the questions change according to the way the student answers in order to accommodate the broad range of student learning.  Mason Elementary will also be administering Smarter Balanced Testing in the Spring for Grades 3 -5.

 

STUDENT SERVICES

Special Education

You may contact the Mason School District, Director of Student Services with questions or to make a referral.

Parents or guardians of a child with a disability have certain protections under the procedural safeguards of Part B of the IDEA (Section 615 (d)(1)(a). Please contact Student Services to request a copy.

Additional agencies that can provide assistance in understanding the provisions of Part B of the IDEA:

New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH 03301
Telephone (603) 271-3741

 

The Parent Information Center (PIC)
P.O. Box 2405, Concord, NH 03302
Telephone (603) 224-7005

 

State of New Hampshire Health & Human Services
25 Capitol St, Concord, NH. 03301
Telephone (603)-271-4326

 

HEALTH OFFICE

The school nurse is on duty from 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. daily.   Students who have a need to see the school nurse should do so with the permission of their teacher or the teacher on duty at any time during the day.

Responsibilities of the school nurse include, but are not limited to  providing direct health care to students and staff; providing leadership for the provision of health services; promoting a healthy school environment; promoting health; serving in a leadership role for health policies and programs; and serving as a liaison between school personnel, family, community, and health care providers.  Additionally, the school nurse is responsible for developing procedures to address and meet special physical health needs of students.  Such procedures may be developed and implemented on a case-by-case basis.

All injuries or illnesses occurring during the school day are to be reported to the school nurse or the building principal.  Students attending school during the extended day, night, or summer school programs, or any other time when the school nurse is not in the building, are to report to the supervising adult.  The school nurse, principal or designee will notify parents/guardians before a student who is injured or ill is permitted to go home.  Students will not be allowed to leave school without first notifying either the school nurse or principal of his/her injury or illness.  Additionally, parent/guardian notification and authorization is necessary before any student will be released from school due to injury or illness.  Emergency medical care will be provided pursuant to the guidelines of Board Policy EBBC/JLCE.

The school nurse is also responsible for the oversight of other school services, including but not limited to  assessing and responding to student health needs, maintaining accurate health records, screening for vision, hearing and BMI according to national recommendations, participating on 504 and IEP teams (if requested), health promotion, disease and injury prevention initiatives, student wellness, among other responsibilities.

Parents are urged to keep their child home if he/she is not feeling well.  Students who come to school are expected to be healthy enough to play outside.  Exceptions are made only with a written excuse from a physician or with permission from the school nurse.

Please notify the school nurse if your child has a physical concern or allergy.  Please also let the nurse know if an illness or allergy occurred during non-school hours so that we can monitor the situation.

Communication with the nurse may be by telephone between 8:50a.m. to 3:30p.m.   Before or after that time, please call the school office.

Please notify the school if there are changes in the emergency information during the year.

Health records MUST BE RECEIVED PRIOR to the child entering school

DISPENSING OF MEDICATION

If a child is on medicine, prescription or over-the-counter, the school must have

1.   A dated note from the prescribing physician must include:

a.    Student’s name

b.   Name, Signature and Contact numbers of the licensed prescriber

c.    Name, Route, Dosage and Frequency of Time of medication

d.   Diagnosis (If not a violation of confidentially)

 

2.   A physician’s order MUST accompany EVERY medication, including over-the-counter medications.

3.   A note signed by the parent/guardian giving permission for the child to take the medication in school.

4.   No more than one month’s supply of medication should be given to the nurse at one time.

5.   All medication should be sent in the original container with the child’s name written on it.

IMMUNIZATIONS

RSA. 200:38-I.a states: “All children shall be immunized prior to school entrance in accordance with RSA 141-C:20-a”

And the NH Department of Education Administrative Rule ED 311.01 (a) states:

“A parent or legal guardian shall have a child immunized against certain diseases as determined in rules He-P 301.14, Immunization Requirements, adopted by the commissioner of the department of health and human services.”

The Immunizations listed below must be completed prior to school entry.  Documentation of immunizations must include dates on which each vaccine was administered.

Ø VARICELLA (CHICKEN POX)

Pre-School/3-5 years old: One dose on or after age of 12 months

K-7th Grade: 2 doses (Varicella vaccination or laboratory confirmation

           of immunity to varicella.)

8-12th Grade: 2 doses (Varicella vaccination or history of chicken pox

           disease required.)

 

Ø DTaP/DTP/DT/Td/Tdap

Pre-School/3-5 years old: 4 doses (3rd and 4th doses should be separated

       by at least 6 months.)

6 years and under: 4 or 5 doses (with last dose given on or after 4th

       birthday.)

7 years and older: 3 or 4 doses (with last dose given on or after 4th

       birthday.)

11 years and older: One time dose Tdap.  If a child turns 11 on or after the first day of school, they are required to have Tdap prior to first day of next school year. A dose of Tdap at age 10 is acceptable.

 

Ø POLIO

Pre-School/3-5 years old: 3 doses.

Kindergarteners – 4th Graders: 3-4 doses with one dose on or after

          age 4, and the last two doses separated by 6 months.

Grades 5th – 12th: 3 doses with the last dose given on or after the 4th

       birthday, or 4 doses regardless of age at administration.

 

Ø MEASLES-MUMPS-RUBELLA     

Pre-School/3-5 years old: 1 dose on or after age 12 months.

Grades K – 12th: 2 doses required, at lease one on or after the first

           birthday.

Ø HEPATITIS B    

Pre-School/3-5 years old: 3 doses at acceptable intervals

Grades K – 12th: 3 doses at acceptable intervals.

 

Ø HIB(HAEMOPHILUS INFLUENZA TYPE B)

Pre-School/3-5 years old: 1 dose after 15 months of age or 4 dose series with last dose administered on or after 12 months of age.  (HIB is not required for children over 5 years of age.)

 

The vaccines and doses above are the minimum requirements for school attendance.

For the NH Department of Education “Most Requested School Health Services Laws and Rules for Specific Topics”, reference:

Please refer to http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/ for more information

PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS OF STUDENTS

RSA 200:38-II states

“All children shall be examined prior to school entrance to detect symptoms of Tuberculosis and may be periodically examined during his/her school experience.”

TB test (intradermal) within one year prior to school entrance.

Physical examinations, including vision and hearing tests, will be required for all children upon entrance to school.

No child will be allowed to enter school without a physician’s documentation or waiver for relevant reasons meeting the above requirements.

Plans should be made with the family physician or other medical resource to accomplish these requirements prior to a child being admitted to school.

Medical and Religious Exemption information is available: http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/immunization/exemptions.htm

HIV POLICY

HIV is not spread by casual, everyday contact.  Therefore, barring special circumstances (i.e. a serious secondary infection, such as untreated tuberculosis, that may be transmitted to others, or a significant health problem that will permanently restrict his or her ability to attend class), a student who is infected with HIV shall attend the school and classroom to which he/she would be assigned if he/she is not infected.  He/she is entitled to all rights, privileges, and services accorded to other students.

SAU #89 has a procedure to encourage students and/or their parents/guardians to report an HIV infection and to help determine what effect, if any, their HIV infection has upon their continued ability to attend school.  Reporting is voluntary and is made directly to the Superintendent.

 

 

 

ACCIDENT OR INJURY INSURANCE

The school is not liable for any accident or injury occurring on the way to school, during school, on the way home from school, or during athletic or extra-curricular activities.  All students are encouraged to take out accident insurance.  School insurance is offered to all students in the fall and provides coverage for such accidents.

GUIDANCE & SChool psychologist

A school guidance counselor IS available for consultation with students, parents/guardians and teachers for academic as well as social counseling.  Please call the Mason Elementary School to setup an appointment.


FOOD SERVICE PROGRAM

GUIDELINES

1.   Menus:        Mason Elementary School will offer a premium quality hot entrée daily as well as two alternate sandwich and/or entrée salad choices and fruit and yogurt parfaits.  Menus will be sent home monthly and will be posted on the school website.

2.   Method of Payment:     You may send a check with your child made payable to the Mason School District.  Parents are encouraged to send checks as this is our preferred payment.  Cash will also be accepted.   You will be able to obtain statements that allow you to review your child’s account balance as well as the activity that has taken place.  Prepaid monies can be used for any purchases in the cafeteria.  Parents may contact the school food service supervisor and request that prepaid monies be used only for meal purchases.  Lunch and breakfast monies are due into school on Monday mornings (Tuesday if the child is absent).  You are always paying a week in advance.  We welcome payments for two, three, and four weeks in advance.

3.   Credit Policy:   There is a no credit policy in the Mason School District.  In the event students forget or misplace their money or their lunch, a meal will be provided to them and charged to their account.  At this time a letter will be sent home and information will be passed out to the building administrators.  Excessive negative balances will result in the account being turned off and your child listed as a cash only student.

4.   Student Allergy/Special Needs Identification:   If your student has an allergy or special need when it comes to food, please contact your school nurse and have her forward any pertinent information to the food service director. 

5.   Pricing:                                

Breakfast  Full price student breakfast      $1.80  (Includes Milk or Juice)
Reduced student breakfast       $  .30                                                             Staff breakfast             $3.00  (Includes Milk or Juice)

Lunch      Full price student lunch $2.50  (Includes Milk or Juice)
Reduced student lunch $  .40 
Staff lunch                 $4.00   (Includes Milk or Juice)

              Non-Staff lunch           $5.00   (Includes Milk or Juice)

 

Separate milk or juice purchase is $0.50. 

 

Note:       Students allergic to milk or who do not care for milk may make special arrangements with the chef.  

 

FREE AND REDUCED MEALS PROGRAM

All students are sent home with an application for the Free and Reduced Meal Program at the beginning of the school year.  List all of your children on the top of this form and indicate school and grade.  On the lower section of the form you must list all members of your family living in your household and the income they earn.  Please read the instructions carefully.  If the form is incomplete, it will delay approval.  If you do qualify for this program, by law, you must notify the Lunch Program if your income or household size changes during the year.  You can reapply to the Lunch Program at any time during the year.  You may qualify for more help if your circumstances change.  Reduced breakfast is $.30 daily and lunches are $.40 daily.

SCHOOL WELLNESS

The Mason School District recognizes the relationship of proper nutrition, physical activity and the success of our student’s academically.  We are committed to promoting wellness and academic performance in our school through curriculum, activities and life skills.  Our goal, as always, is to also ensure the safety and wellness of all our students.

The school and its staff are responsible for the promotion of the education process, including maintaining the health and safety of all our students.  Healthy snacks are encouraged at Mason Elementary School as a mainstay in the overall promotion of health.  Frequent celebrations with cookies, cupcakes and other treats are not in keeping with these learning goals.

We do have several students and occasionally staff members, with dietary allergies or both dietary and religious restrictions that do not allow them to be able to participate in food related celebrations.  Many parents do not wish their children to be eating items not supplied by them or by confirmed sources.  There is also a potential health risk for illness due to contamination with consumption of homemade items.  Due to this, we have adopted a new procedure that will enable all students to be safe and healthy during any celebrations in the classrooms.

Holiday/Class Parties School Wide:

1.   No foods in classroom as an option for Birthdays.

2.   Specific sign-up sheet for all classroom parties/Holdiays.

     a.  Store bought food with intact labeling in original packaging. (Nothing      comes in homemade.)

     b.  Teacher is responsible for adhering to sign up sheet.

     c.  One sugary treat and the rest healthy treats.

     d. All sugary treats must be in individual servings (ie: cupcakes or cookies.)

3.  Room Parent (party coordinator) will oversee the sign ups and designate parents as to what food they will provide.  Email “reply all” for what is available for foods at party.

4.  One week notice from the sign up sheet.

5.  Teacher is responsible for providing food list to Nurse and/or parent if appropriate for specific health need in classroom.

6.   No food offered as a prize/reward for any occasion.

7.  Non consumption food related activities are restricted, specific to health needs in respective classrooms (ie: counting activities, science projects, etc…).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRANSPORTATION

School bus rules

The responsibility of the school district begins when the child sets foot on the school bus.  The responsibility ceases at the end of the school day when the school bus leaves the child’s bus stop.

Each bus driver is responsible for maintaining order on the bus.  Bus drivers shall maintain the same type of order on buses as teachers maintain in the classroom.

 

The purpose of bus rules and regulations is to allow each student a safe and comfortable ride to and from school.  Riding the bus is a privilege.  Respect and consideration for the bus driver and riders is expected. 

 

Profane language, obscene gestures, excessive noise, fighting, wrestling, or acts of physical aggression will not be tolerated.

1.     For the safety of all, students must keep hands, head, feet, etc. inside the bus.

2.     Students must ride only the bus to which they have been assigned unless other arrangements have been made by parents in writing.

3.     Once a student has boarded the bus, he/she can get off only at his/her destination.  Exceptions will be made only with the permission of the principal or office in writing.

4.     Students will be seated promptly and will not change seats when the bus is in motion.

5.     Eating and drinking on the bus is generally not allowed.

6.     Students will be held responsible for all damages made by them to the bus.

7.     To insure students’ safety, all students will cross the street in front of the bus.

8.     Students should be at their bus stop 5 minutes before the bus is due.

9.     Anything that would create a safety hazard for the passengers of the vehicle is not permitted.

10.  Cameras may not be used on the bus.  Camera capability embedded in electronic games or other electronic devices may not be used. 

11.  Electronic devices capable of accessing the internet may not be used on the bus.

12.  The school is not responsible for loss, damage or theft of electronic or other items on the bus.

13.  The bus drivers are in charge of the bus, and their instructions must be followed.

14.  Only authorized riders will be permitted on the bus.

VIOLATION OF BUS RULES

Proper behavior on the bus is essential to the safety of our children.

Written discipline referrals to the administration from a bus driver will result in the following:

1st referral: Written warning or one to ten day suspension of riding privileges, depending upon offense.  If the offense is very serious and it is deemed necessary, then a twenty-day bus suspension may result, with possible referral to the Superintendent or School Board.

2nd referral:      Written warning or one to ten day bus suspension, depending upon offense.

3rd referral: One to twenty day bus suspension.

4th referral: Referral to the Superintendent.  Possible permanent loss of riding privileges.

Parents will be notified in writing by the principal when the bus company has written a disciplinary referral.  A sealed note will be sent home with the child.  The note must be returned the following school day with a parent/guardian signature, indicating that they have seen the note.  If the note is not returned the following school day, the principal will call the parent/guardian.

 

BUS EVACUATION DRILLS

School bus evacuation drills are conducted semi-annually.  Students are given instruction and experience on how to quickly and safely evacuate the bus in the event of an emergency.

 

 

USE OF PRIVATE VEHICLES TO TRANSPORT STUDENTS

Any use of private vehicles to transport students to or from school, field trips, athletic events, or other school functions, must have prior authorization by a parent/guardian and the superintendent or his/her designee.  The Board specifically forbids any employee to transport students, except the teacher’s own children, for school purposes without prior written authorization by the Superintendent or his/her designee. Individuals providing unauthorized student transportation do so at their own expense and liability.

Any employee or private citizen using their own or a rented vehicle to provide school-authorized student transportation must have automobile liability insurance of not less than $500,000 combined Single Limit and provide a Certificate of Insurance naming the district as an Additional Insured.  The district will maintain liability insurance, which will be in excess of the owner’s primary insurance for authorized student transportation.

Persons under contract with the school district to provide school transportation services must have a valid School Bus Driver Certificate/License in accordance with applicable rules and laws.  All vehicles must be approved by the New Hampshire Department of Safety as meeting all applicable school bus safety standards.  Parents/guardians transporting their own children are exempt from this requirement, per Department of Safety regulations.

Persons providing transportation on an incidental basis, i.e., not specifically as part of a contract to transport, must have a valid driver’s license, and the vehicle used must have a current New Hampshire inspection sticker.  A commercial license is required for any vehicle that has a capacity of 16 or more.

Reimbursement for use of private vehicles may be made, but only if the employee or other person has prior approval of the designated administrator.

Parents/guardians who wish to transport their own child on a field trip must provide the school with a photo copy of their license, registration and the face page of their insurance coverage.

In general, siblings are not allowed on field trips.  However, please check with your child’s teacher as to the sibling policy for specific trips.

 

 

 

FIELD TRIPS

Parents/guardians must sign a Field Trip consent form for each child participating in a field trip away from school grounds.  No child may leave the school grounds on a field trip unless this form has been signed. Arrangements for financing all field trips must be made prior to the trip.  If student contributions are involved, the necessary funds must be in the hands of the school – or alternative arrangements made – before the trip will be taken.

Any overnight or out-of-state field trips must have the prior approval of the School Board.


SCHOOL SAFETY

DRILLS

Mason Elementary conducts a number of different drills including fire drills, reverse evacuation, bomb threat, lock-down, health hazard, medical emergency, intruder drill and shelter-in-place.  

Drills are administered in coordination with the fire department and police department.

SAFE SCHOOL ZONE POLICY

Mason School District in accordance with RSA 193-D, has developed a policy with respect to the establishment of a Safe School Zone.

A Safe School Zone is considered to be the area inclusive of all school property including school buses.

In accordance with RSA 193-D4 - Any public school employee shall report in writing an act of theft, destruction, or violence witnessed by or reported to such employee in a “Safe School Zone” to an immediate supervisor.  A supervisor receiving such a report shall immediately forward it to the school principal.  The school principal shall file a report with the local law enforcement authority within 48 hours.  A copy shall be submitted to the Superintendent of Schools.

An act of theft, destruction, or violence is defined as any first or second degree assault or aggravated felonious assault committed knowingly.  This includes the sale or possession of a fire arm or dangerous weapon.  Simple assault at the elementary school level will be dealt with in the manner described in the Discipline Code of this handbook.

Our school district in conjunction with local law enforcement authorities will establish provisions for reporting violations with the “Safe School Zone”.

Students who violate the “Safe School Zone” policy can be subject to suspension or other disciplinary action.  Any student violating the “Safe School Zone” policy will be allowed due process and appeals in accordance with this policy.

Reference Mason School District Policy ADD

Student conduct

Dress code

Student individual dress is primarily a parental responsibility that should reflect concern for the health and safety of students, staff and others.  When the dress of an individual student constitutes a health problem, is unsuitable for school wear, is a danger to any person, or causes a substantial and material disruption or substantial disturbance, the principal shall take appropriate action to correct the situation.

Specifically, clothing should not be distractible to the education of others and should not make others feel uncomfortable.  Student appearance and dress shall be neat and clean, and appropriate for school.  Students will be given an opportunity to correct improper clothing situations by either changing the clothing, removing the clothing (if appropriate), wearing it inside-out, or other means. 

Students should not share head gear or combs. 

Gum chewing is NOT allowed.

RECESS GUIDELINES

Because recess is an important part of a student’s physical and social education, weather permitting, all students are required to go outside.  Exceptions are made only with a doctor’s note restricting outside play.  The decision to have outside recess during cold weather depends on the temperature and wind chill factor.  Students will be inside when outside recess is not possible.  It is the parent’s responsibility to see that their child comes to school dressed appropriately for the weather each day; i.e. mittens, boots, warm jacket, snow pants, etc. during the winter months.  Boots should not be worn in the classroom; therefore a change of footwear is necessary and maybe left at school.

PRINCIPLES OF STUDENT CONDUCT

The board endorses the following principles of Student conduct

Ø Respect for law and those given the authority to administer it shall be expected of all Students.  This includes conformity to school rules as well as to general provisions of the law regarding minors.

Ø Respect for the rights of others, consideration of their privileges, and cooperative citizenship shall be expected of all members of the school community.

Ø Respect for real and personal property, pride in one’s work, and exemplary personal standards of courtesy, decency, honesty, and wholesome attitudes shall be maintained.

Ø Respect for individual worth is the obligation of the school.  Diligence and a desire to benefit from the opportunity is the obligation of the Student.

The Board expects student conduct to be such as to contribute to a productive learning climate.  Individual rights are to be honored and protected in all instances; however, the rights of one individual shall not take precedence over those of another individual or of the group itself, and all pupils shall have equal rights and equal responsibilities in the classroom or at any school-sponsored activity.

 

The Board further recognizes the right of each school to establish disciplinary procedures in accordance with RSA 19313 and RSA 193-D through the development of administrative, as well as rules and regulations governing student conduct, to be approved by the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee.  Due process and equal protection of the law shall be afforded to any pupil involved in a proceeding which may result in suspension, exclusion, or expulsion.  Students expelled from school may be reinstated by the Board under the provisions of RSA 193-13.

PROHIBITED CONDUCT

The Board expects Student conduct to be such as to contribute to a productive learning climate.  Individual rights are to be honored and protected in all instances however, the rights of one individual shall not take precedence over those of another individual or of the group itself, and all pupils shall have equal rights and equal responsibilities in the classroom, in or upon any school property, or at any school sponsored or sanctioned activity.

In order to fulfill and assure adherence to these principles and goals, rules and regulations governing conduct are imperative.

The following are examples of conduct which is prohibited on school property, on school sanctioned or sponsored events, on and/or while using transportation provided by the School District.  The list is intended to be instructive of the types of conduct prohibited, but is not exhaustive.  In addition to these specific prohibitions, any conduct which violates any of the principles and goals stated above may also subject a student to disciplinary actions.

1.          Using inappropriate language;

2.          Disrupting classes or the school in general;

3.          Causing or attempting to cause damage to school property, or the property of any other person;

4.          Stealing or attempting to steal school property or the property of any other person;

5.          Fighting;

6.          Intimidating, threatening, attempting, or causing physical harm to others;

7.          Interfering with a teacher conducting a class or intentionally defying the valid authority of a teacher, administrator, or any other member of the staff;

8.          Smoking, or possession of cigarettes on school property or at school sponsored or sanctioned activities;

9.          Being truant;

10.      Failing to adhere to the consequences of prior misconduct and/or previously assigned disciplinary action;

11.      Possessing or threatening to use weapons or potential weapons;

12.      False reporting of a dangerous circumstance (e.g. fire alarm, etc.);

13.      Possessing, consuming or selling illegal drugs or alcohol beverages, or attending any school sponsored or sanctioned activity, or being on school property while under the influence of such substances;

14.      Throwing harmful objects (rocks, food, sticks, etc.);

15.      Unsafe operation of any form of motor vehicle, or of any bicycle, scooter, or skateboard, while on school grounds;

16.      Leaving school without permission;

17.      Possessing fireworks or any other illegal substance;

18.      Forgery;

19.      Lying or misrepresentation to school employees;

20.      Plagiarism or other forms of cheating;

21.      Doing another student’s work without the knowledge of the appropriate faculty;

22.      Repeated use and/or possession of electronic devices such as i-pods, cellular phones, pagers, etc.  A first offense may result in confiscation by the Administration or staff.

23.      Public displays of affection beyond the holding of hands or brief hugs;

24.      Engaging conduct constituting personal harassment, sexual harassment,

25.      Sexual violence, as prohibited by Title IX of the United States Code and prohibited by RSA 193-F and Board Policy;

26.      Any other conduct deemed to be inappropriate by school officials and which violates one or more of the principles of student conduct established by the School Board.

 

DISCIPLINARY CONSEQUENCES

Disciplinary matters, or incidents when any violation of school rules and regulations is suspected, will be handled initially at the most immediate level possible.  Violations will subject the student to disciplinary consequences.  A disciplinary consequence may include one or more of the following  warnings; out of school suspension, expulsion, reporting to the criminal authorities, and any other action which the appropriate official deems reasonable and fitting.

The level of disciplinary response for any violation of school rules will depend on a variety of circumstances, including, but not limited to

ü Whether any person was harmed or injured;

ü Whether there was property damage or other loss of property;

ü The level of any class or school disruption caused by the student’s behavior;

ü The number, if any, of prior infractions of school rules and regulations;

ü Whether the student has been previously disciplined;

ü Whether there were illegal substances (for example, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.);

ü Whether the student had been earlier warned about the same or similar conduct;

ü Whether there was a weapon or other dangerous item involved (for example, a smoke bomb, or fireworks); and or

ü Whether the conduct is of the kind also prohibited by criminal law.

 

DETENTION OF STUDENTS

A school administrator or teacher may detain a student for disciplinary reasons during school hours.  Further, a school administrator or teacher may detain a student for disciplinary reasons after school hours, provided the parent has been notified of the detention and in the case of bus students, arrangements have been made for the student’s transportation home.  In cases where transportation is required, 24-hour notice will be given so that transportation may be arranged.

Parents may be asked to arrange for the transportation of the detained student.

Detention on one day is to be limited to 60 minutes.

 

SUSPENSION OF STUDENTS

SUSPENSION CONSIDERATION

When suspension is being considered, the Principal and/or Teacher will meet with the student to explain what rules and/or policies have been violated, and what evidence they have.  Students will be given the opportunity to “tell their side of the story”.

When children are suspended for a serious violation of school rules, their parents are called and the child must be picked up right away.  If the school cannot reach the parent, then the person listed as the emergency contact is called to pick up the child.

The parent is given a copy of the Suspension Form which explains why the student is being suspended.


SUSPENSION

Suspension will be served off school property.  Short term suspensions are any single suspension that last up through ten school days.  A long term suspension is any period of suspension following a short term suspension.   A long term suspension may be of any duration in a single school year.

Although students will not receive credit for any academic work during a suspension period, they will remain responsible for all materials covered and are, therefore, encouraged to keep up with class assignments.  A student will have the opportunity to take any test or examination of major consequence during the suspension period, provided the test or examination primarily covers work which was assigned to prior to the period of suspension.

Students serving a suspension will not be entitled to attend any school event, or school sponsored or sanctioned activity during the term of suspension.  Furthermore, students serving suspension are prohibited from entering school property during the term of suspension; in the event that a student does enter upon school property during a suspension, the Administration may determine to file a criminal trespassing charge with local law enforcement.

EXPULSION OF STUDENTS

EXPULSION

An expulsion is when the School Board has determined to exclude a student from the enrolled student body for any period of time.  An expulsion may be for a stated number of school days, calendar days, the remainder of a school year, term or quarter, or may be permanent.  The School Board may also attach conditions for an expelled student to meet prior to or in conjunction with the student’s re-enrollment.  In the case of expulsions through or longer than the remainder of the school year, the student will have the right to request re-enrollment prior to the commencement of the subsequent school year.  All such requests for re-enrollment shall be made as provided under Mason School district policies.

Students who have been expelled for any period of time are prohibited from attending any school event, or school sanctioned or sponsored activity during the period of expulsion.  Students who have been expelled for any period of time are also prohibited from entering upon school property during the period of expulsion.  In the event that a student does enter upon school property during a period of expulsion, the Administration may determine to file a criminal trespassing charge with local law enforcement.

 

MODIFICATION OR REVIEW OF EXPULSIONS

Pursuant to RSA 19313, IV the Superintendent may, upon written application of an expelled pupil, recommend modification of an expulsion.  In such cases the following shall apply

A.  An expelled pupil has the right to request a review of the expulsion prior to the start of each school year.

B.  A request for review should be directed by the pupil to the Superintendent of Schools and should be received by the Superintendent on or before August 15.  The request shall set forth each and all reasons why the pupil’s right to attend school should be reinstated.  Of particular importance would necessarily be such information as might convince school authorities that the conduct which led to the expulsion would not be repeated.

C.  The Superintendent of Schools and the Principal school shall direct written recommendation to the Board with a copy to the pupil.

D. The expulsion may be continued.  The pupil may be reinstated without conditions; or the pupil may be required to meet certain conditions prior to reinstatement.  A code of conduct and consequences may be established for a reinstated pupil which are stricter than for the general student population.

 

STUDENT DUE PROCESS RIGHTS

Before any disciplinary action that may result in suspension, exclusion, or expulsion is taken against a student, the student has a right to the due process guaranteed him/her by our Constitution.  Any student accused of an action and threatened with punishment for this action that may result in suspension, exclusion or expulsion has the right to request a hearing before the principal or the assistant principal with the student’s parents attending if the student desires.  Decisions of the Superintendent or Principal are appealable to the Mason School Board.  Finally a student may request the State Board of Education to review decisions by the School Board in accordance with RSA 193-13.


POLICY REFERENCES

The following policies are for reference only. 
Please contact the
Mason School District for access to the most current, approved policies.

DRUG/ALCOHOL USE AND POSSESSION

I.  GENERAL PROVISIONS

All medications which a Student has on prescription and carries onto school property for ingestion as prescribed by a doctor, will be kept in the Nurse’s office, or Principal’s office if the nurse is not available.

Taking or possession of illegal drugs is not permitted at any time.  The phrase “illegal drugs” shall include, without limitation, alcohol any prescription medicines not prescribed by a health care professional licensed to prescribe such medicines, as well as any “controlled substances” as defined and prohibited under New Hampshire RSA Ch. 318-B, as said statute may be amended or superseded from time to time.

1)     Violations - Students

Ø Parents will be informed immediately if a pupil is in violation of this policy, and the matter will be brought to the attention of the Board and other proper authorities, including police.

Ø In case a Student appears to be under drug influence, the parent will be notified by school authorities to come for the Student and remove him/her to his home or to medical facilities.

Ø In severe cases, if the parents or school doctor will not come to the school, the Principal is authorized to call an ambulance to remove the Student to the hospital.  Parents will be notified of this action and be responsible for the incurred expenses.

Ø Upon reasonable evidence of the illegal possession and/or use of drugs by any Student on School District property, the Student may be suspended from school.  In most cases, a conference with the parents, child and Principal should be held as soon as possible.

Ø Any Student found selling, distributing, or giving away illegal drugs will be turned over to police authorities immediately and suspended from school pending further disciplinary review, which may include long term suspension or expulsion.

Ø Any Student charged in court for illegally selling drugs on or off school property will be immediately suspended from school pending further disciplinary review, which may include long term suspension or expulsion.

2)  Violations - Employees and other persons  

Any other person, including all employees, for whom there is reliable evidence he or she is under the influence of illegal drugs, will be asked to leave School District property and, if also suspected to be in possession of such substances, will be reported to the proper law enforcement agency.

Reference Mason School District Policy JICI

TOBACCO PRODUCTS - USE AND POSSESSION Banned

I. USE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS STRICTLY PROHIBITED IN/ON ALL SCHOOL FACILITIES AND/OR GROUNDS

A. No person shall use any tobacco product in any facility maintained by the School District, nor on any of the grounds of the District.

B. Definitions

1. “Tobacco products”, includes, without limitation, cigarettes, cigars, snuff, smokeless tobacco, smokeless cigarettes, and any other products containing tobacco in any other form.

2.  “Facility” is any place which is supported by public funds and which is used for the instruction of students enrolled in preschool programs, of for any grade maintained by the District.  This definition shall include all administrative buildings and offices and areas within facilities supportive of instruction and subject to educational administration, including, but not limited to, lounge areas, passageways, rest rooms, laboratories, classrooms, study areas, cafeterias, gymnasiums, maintenance rooms, and storage areas.

C. Signs shall be placed by the District in all buildings, facilities and school vehicles stating that the use of tobacco products is prohibited.

 

 

 

 

 

D. It is the initial responsibility of the building principal(s), or designee, to enforce this policy by requesting that any person who is violating this policy to immediately cease the use of tobacco products.  After this request is made, if any person refuses to refrain from using tobacco products in violation of this policy, the principal or designee may call the local police who shall then be responsible for all enforcement proceedings and applicable fines and penalties.  [this creates a first warning provision for the principal]

II. STUDENTS

A. No student shall purchase, attempt to purchase, possess or use any tobacco product in any facility, in any school vehicle or anywhere on school grounds maintained by the District.

B. Enforcement of this prohibition shall initially rest with building principals, or their designees, who may report any violation to the local police department.  In accordance with state law, the police department shall be responsible for all proceedings and applicable fines and penalties.

C. The principal will develop regulations which cover disciplinary action to be taken for violations of this policy.  These regulations will be communicated to students by means deemed appropriate by the principal.  In addition to disciplinary actions taken by the school, criminal penalties for fines may result from violations of this policy.

III. EMPLOYEES

A. No employee shall use any tobacco product in any facility in any school vehicle or anywhere on school grounds maintained by the District.

B. Initial responsibility for enforcement of this prohibition shall rest with building principals, or their designees.  The principal may report violations to the local police department.  In accordance with state law, the police department shall be responsible for all proceedings and applicable fines and penalties.

C. The principal will develop and implement the appropriate means of notifying employees of the possible disciplinary consequences of violating this policy.  Any employee(s) who violates this policy is subject to disciplinary action which may include warning, suspension or dismissal.

D. In addition, fines or other penalties may result from enforcement of these prohibitions by other law enforcement officials.

IV. ALL OTHER PERSONS

A. No visitor shall at any time use tobacco products in any facility, in any school vehicle, or anywhere on school grounds maintained by the District.

B. Responsibility for enforcement of this prohibition shall rest with all School District employees who may report violations to the local police department.

C. In accordance with state law, the police department shall be responsible for pursuing applicable criminal fines and penalties.

Reference Mason School District Policy JICG


SEARCHES OF STUDENTS’ AND OTHER SCHOOL-OWNED PROPERTY

I.  Searches of Individual Students and a Student’s Property.  A student is subject to search by District staff if reasonable grounds exist to suspect that evidence of a violation of the law or school rules will be uncovered.  A search of a student under this section shall include all personal property which he brings onto or into school property.

School staff shall report a student’s suspicious activity to the principal prior to initiating most searches, except in emergency situations or when the search is minimally invasive.

If a student refuses to cooperate in a personal search, the student should be held until the student’s parents or guardian is available to consent to the search.  If a parent or guardian cannot be reached in a reasonable time, the principal may conduct the search without the student’s consent.

II. Locker and Other School Property Searches.  Lockers, desks, and assigned storage areas are the property of the District and are not property of the students to which they are assigned, such that the student’s use of the locker/desk/storage area is nonexclusive against the school.  Likewise, a student’s use of the parking lot is conditioned upon the student’s acceptance of the District’s right to search the automobile under the same, conditions which would permit a locker search or inspection.

A.    A specific or single student’s desk, automobile, storage area, or locker, or their contents, may be search by District staff if reasonable grounds exist to suspect that evidence of a violation of the law or school rules will be uncovered.

B.     Principals may randomly search or inspect all desks, storage areas, parking lots, or lockers (including contents) without prior notice given to students and without reasonable suspicion that the search will yield evidence of any particular student’s violation of the law or school rules.  Such random inspections can include the use of canine units, or metal or other substance detectors.

C.    Administrative inspections, or health and welfare inspections, may be conducted at any time for the purpose of locating misplaced library books, textbooks or other school property or to ensure that all lockers, desks, or storage areas are being kept clean and free from potential health or safety hazards.  Periodic inspection s of lockers will reinforce the district’s ownership of lockers and the minimal expectation of privacy students have in the contents of their school owned lockers, desks or storage areas.

D.    During a search or inspection conducted under II, A, B, or C above, if the school official conducting the search or inspection discovers any container within a locker, automobile, etc., which may conceal contraband, the container may be searched according to the District’s procedure governing searches of specific students and their property.  A “container” for the purpose of this policy may include, but is not limited to, an article of clothing, a handbag, lunchbox, purse, backpack, gym bag, or any other item within which contraband material may be concealed.

 

III.      Search Methods.  Depending on the circumstances, the District may use any reasonable means to conduct a search or inspection, including, but not limited to, surveillance cameras, breathalyzer, metal detectors, and urinalysis.  The District may also engage the services of other persons or agencies in carrying out searches or inspections.  Although not legally considered a search, the District may from time to time use Canine Units, with properly trained personnel and animals to make random inspections of lockers, buildings and other school property.  Such canine inspections shall be conducted according to Section II above.

IV.       Procedures.  The Superintendent shall establish procedures and guidelines regarding “reasonable grounds” for specific searches, as well as for the parameters and scope of the searches themselves.

Reference Mason School District Policy JIH

WEAPONS ON SCHOOL PROPERTY

Dangerous weapons, such as, but not limited to, “Weapon” means (1) a firearm [see 18 USC Section 921] to include a pellet or BB gun; (2) any object prohibited, licensed, or regulated under RSA 159; (3) a knife, but not a folding pocket knife or cafeteria-issued dining utensil; (4) a bullet; (5) any fireworks, explosive, or other incendiary, (6) club, metallic knuckles, (7) containers containing chemicals such as pepper gas or mace, and/or (8) any other substance or object which, in the manner it is used, intended to be used, or threatened to be used, is known to be capable of producing serious injury, are not permitted on school property, on school vehicles or at school sponsored activities.  Student violations of this policy will result in both school disciplinary action and notification of the police.  Suspension or expulsion from school could result.

Additionally, any Student who is determined to have brought a firearm (as defined by Title 18 U.S.C. § 921) to school will be expelled for not less than one year (365 days). This expulsion may be modified by the Superintendent upon review of the specific case in accordance with other applicable law.  The determination of whether to modify the expulsion shall be left to the discretion of the Superintendent, who in making that determination may consider the following factors:

Ø Whether possession of the firearm was inadvertent in that another person had left the firearm in the pupil’s vehicle; and the pupil had not noticed that he/she was bringing the firearm within the safe school zone; or

Ø Whether the pupil intended to use the firearm for sport immediately before or after school and had no intention to display the firearm to other students.

Ø Whether the pupil is in the fifth grade or lower grade and the pupil did not properly understand the dangers of firearms when the firearm was brought to school.

Ø Whether the firearm was loaded; and whether there was any ammunition reasonably available; and whether the pupil had any intention to display the firearm to other students.

Weapons under control of law enforcement personnel are permitted.

All Students will receive written notice of this policy at least once each year.

Reference Mason School District Policy JICI

Acceptable use policy for computers, network and internet access

 

I.      Statement of Purpose and Intent

The Mason School District ("School District") is providing access for its students and employees to computers, computer networks, and the internet (referred to collectively as the "Computer Systems and Network"). This service allows employees and students to share information, learn new concepts, research diverse subjects, and create and maintain school-based websites.

The School District has adopted this "Acceptable Use Policy" to set guidelines for accessing Computer Systems and Network service provided by the School District.

II.     Required Acceptable Use Policy Agreement

Every year, students (and their parent/guardians), and employees who want access to the Computer Systems and Network will need to sign and return an Acceptable Use Policy Agreement ("AUP Agreement") to the School District. Students who are under 18 must also have their parents or guardians sign the Acceptable Use Policy Agreement. By signing an AUP Agreement, the student, employee, and parent or guardian agree to follow the rules set forth in this Acceptable Use Policy and to report any misuse of the computer systems and network (or any component thereof) to a teacher or supervisor.

Parties agreeing to this Acceptable Use Policy also understand the School District may, in its sole discretion, revise the Acceptable Use Policy at any time the District deems necessary.

Once a student or employee has returned the signed AUP Agreement, the School District will assign an access "Account" to the student or employee. The account may only be used by the account holder, and all other users of said account will be in violation of the AUP.

The Account may only be used during the time the user is a student or employee of the School District. Anyone who receives an Account is responsible for making sure it is used properly.

The School District accepts no responsibility for the supervision of a student's use of computers and/or the internet at home or while not in a school setting. This responsibility lies solely with the student's (parent/guardians).

III.        Acceptable Uses of the Computer Network or the Internet

The Account provided by the School District should be used only for educational or professional purposes. Staff may use the Internet for personal use only if such use occurs during their non-instructional or non-duty time and is otherwise in compliance with the terms of this Acceptable Use Policy.

If a user is uncertain about whether a particular use of the Computer Systems and Network is appropriate, he or she should consult or contact the building principal or designee.

IV.        Privacy Policy

The School District has the authority to monitor all Accounts, including e-mail and other materials transmitted or received via the Accounts. All such materials are the property of the School District. Account users do not have any right to or expectation of privacy regarding such materials.

V.         Unacceptable Uses of the Computer Network and Systems

Paragraph V, A is a list of general categories of unacceptable and prohibited uses of the Computer Systems and Network. Paragraph V, B includes examples of specific conduct and uses which are prohibited under one or more of the general categories. The prohibitions include any use by which the user is intending to accomplish, or that would have a high likelihood of accomplishing, the prohibited use.

   A. General Categories of Unacceptable Uses

1) Uses, or attempted uses, which would violate any state or federal law or municipal ordinance.

2) Uses, or attempted uses, that would involve the accessing, transmitting or downloading of materials which are deemed inappropriate as determined by the School Board or its designate(s) or any other related authority.

3) Uses, or attempted uses, which involve accessing, obtaining, and/or transmitting information either anonymously or under a false name (for example; emails, instant messages, electronic forms).

4) Uses, that cause harm, or which would tend to cause harm, to other persons or their property.

5) Uses which would tend to cause, or which actually cause, damage to the Computer Systems and Network or any part thereof;

6) Uses which allow the user, or which are intended by the user, to access or lead to unauthorized access into accounts of other employees or students; into files of other users; into prohibited areas of the District's networks; or into other computer networks.

7) Commercial uses.

   B. Examples of Specifically Prohibited Uses (including attempts)

1) Selling or purchasing any illegal substance or materials;

2) Accessing, transmitting, or downloading any type of pornography, obscene or lewd depictions, harmful materials, or materials that encourage others to violate the law;

3) Accessing, transmitting or downloading confidential information or copyrighted materials;

4) Accessing, transmitting, or downloading offensive, harassing, or disparaging materials;

5) Threatening, harassing, or making defamatory or false statements to, or about, others;

6) Transmitting or receiving any information through a false name or anonymously;

7) Damaging the Computer Systems and Network, any part thereof, including any files or data stored within the Computer Systems and Network;

8) Using profane, abusive, or impolite language in transmittals;

9) Disguising one's identity, impersonating other users;

10) Using other Account passwords or identifiers of another user, or accessing another user's account;

11) Reading, copying, forging, modifying or forwarding e-mails, files or other data belonging to another user without that user's permission;

12) Interfering with the ability of any other user to access his or her own Account or otherwise use the Computer Systems and Network;

13) Disclosing one's Account password to other users or allowing other users to use one's Account;

14) Disclosing or transmitting any information specifically identifying other students or users without the written authorization of the other person and, if such person is a student under the age of 18, the authorization of the student's parent or guardian;

15) Accessing, transmitting or downloading computer viruses or other harmful files or programs, or in any way degrading or disrupting the performance of any part of the Computer Systems and Network;

16) Accessing, transmitting or downloading large files, including "chain letters" or any type of "pyramid schemes";

17) Accessing, or attempting to access, prohibited parts of the District's Network, or accessing other computer networks without the authorization of both the District and the owner of the other network (authorization may be implied by way of public links on non-prohibited web-sites);

18) Accessing or attempt to access ("hack") into computer systems, files or data, or otherwise attempting   to access information that is protected by privacy laws, irrespective of whether such attempts are within the District's own Computer Systems and Network.

19) Selling or buying anything over the Computer Systems and Network for personal reasons;

20) Using the Computer Systems Network for advertising, promotion, or financial gain;

21) Conducting fundraising or advertising activities relating to non-school sponsored activities, whether such activities are connected to for-profit, or not-for-profit, purposes (for example, soliciting votes, soliciting applicants or participants for a group, employer, camp etc.; advertising for private events, soliciting for religious purposes, or lobbying for political purposes).

VI.        Computer Systems and Network. Safety Safeguards and Monitoring

A. The School District will install software intended to filter or block, or restrict access to internet sites containing any type of pornography, obscene depictions, or other materials harmful to minors, or otherwise unsuitable in a school setting. Most such software works by scanning for objectionable words or concepts, or by blocking access to previously identified sites. However, no software is foolproof, and there are always efforts by outside parties to design new technology or software to evade the filtering/blocking software. Consequently there is always a risk that a user of the Computer Systems and Network may be exposed to a site containing such materials. An Account user who incidentally connects to such a site must immediately disconnect from the site and notify a teacher or supervisor. If an Account user sees another user is accessing inappropriate sites or information, he or she should notify a teacher or supervisor immediately.

B. The School District and its representatives may implement a mechanism to monitor the use of all aspects of the use of the Computer Systems and Network, including, for instance, a user's on-line activities, website browsing, email use, bulletin board use, network file access, etc.. Such a mechanism may lead to discover a user has violated or may be violating this Acceptable Use Policy, the appropriate disciplinary code or the law. The purposes of the monitoring include 1) protection of minors from the inappropriate or harmful materials; 2) better enforcement of the AUP; and 3) protection of the Computer Systems and Network from invasive viruses, worms or other threats to the integrity of the District's property.

C.  The School District specifically reserves the right to access, review, copy, store or delete any electronic communications or files of any user, and to disclose such communications or files to others as the District deems necessary.

D. Account users shall not reveal personal information about themselves or about other persons while on the Internet. For example, Account users should not reveal their full names, home addresses, telephone numbers, school addresses, or parents' names on the Internet.

E. Information concerning student identities shall not be posted or transmitted unless necessary to receive information for instructional purposes, or as otherwise permitted in writing by the student and the student's parent or guardian if the student under 18.

F. Students under the age of 18 shall not meet in person anyone they have communicated with via the Internet without parental permission.

G. Account users will abide by all school district security policies.      VII. Storage Capacity

To ensure that Account users remain within the allocated disk space, users with email accounts should check their email frequently and delete unwanted messages and other files or data that take up excessive storage space. The School District will also routinely delete messages from Account users' inbound and outbound log files, messages saved to the archive folders on the system, and messages posted to the School District's web site.

VIII. Penalties for Improper Use

The use of the Account is a privilege, not a right, and inappropriate use will result in the restriction or cancellation of the Account. Inappropriate use may lead to any disciplinary and/or legal action, including but not limited to suspension or expulsion or dismissal from employment from the School District, or criminal prosecution by government authorities. The School District will attempt to tailor any disciplinary action to meet the specific concerns related to each violation.

IX.       Disclaimer

A. The School District makes no guarantees about the quality of the services provided and is not responsible for any claims, losses, damages, costs, or other obligations arising from the unauthorized use of the Accounts. The School District also denies any responsibility for the accuracy or quality of the information obtained through the Account.

B. Any statement, accessible on the computer network or the Internet, is understood to be the author's individual point of view and not that of the School District, its affiliates, or employees.

C. Account users are responsible for any losses sustained by the School District or its affiliates, resulting from the Account users' intentional or reckless misuse of the Accounts.

For further information, please contact the Superintendent's office.

Reference Mason School District Policy EHAA


PERSONAL HARASSMENT AND BULLYING

RULES AND PROCEDURES IMPLEMENTING BOARD POLICY JICK PERSONAL HARASSMENT AND BULLYING TITLE IX AND RSA 193-F

I.    GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

The Mason School District is committed to providing all pupils a safe, secure and peaceful school environment.  It is the intent of this policy to protect children from physical, emotional and psychological harm by addressing bullying and cyber-bullying of any kind in our district/school, and to prevent the creation of a hostile educational environment .  All pupils are protected under this policy, regardless of legal status.

Conduct constituting bullying or cyber-bullying will not be tolerated, and is prohibited by this policy in accordance with RSA 193-F.  This policy applies to pupils, school district employees, regular school volunteers, coaches, and persons who have contact with pupils in connection with school classes, activities and programs.  Bullying and cyber-bullying outside of school activities or off school premises is subject to this policy as set forth herein.

It shall be a violation of this policy to engage in, or cause others to engage in, the bullying or cyber-bullying of a pupil.

It shall be a violation of this policy to engage in retaliation or false accusations against a victim, witness, or anyone else who in good faith provides information about an act of bullying or cyber-bullying.

There shall be disciplinary consequences or interventions, or both, for a person who commits an act of bullying or cyber-bullying, falsely accuses another of the same as a means of retaliation or reprisal, or otherwise violates this policy.

The Superintendent of Schools is responsible for ensuring that this policy is implemented.

II.   DEFINITIONS.

A.  Bullying: a single significant incident or pattern of incidents involving a written,

        verbal, or electronic communication, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination

        thereof, directed at another pupil which:

    

     1.  Physically harms a pupil or damages the pupil’s property;

     2.  Causes emotional distress to a pupil;

     3.  Interferes with a pupil’s educational opportunities;

     4.  Creates a hostile educational environment;

     5.  Substantially disrupts the orderly operation of the school.

 

Bullying also includes actions motivated by an imbalance of power based on a pupil’s actual or perceived personal characteristics, behaviors, or beliefs, or motivated by the pupil’s association with another person and based on the other person’s characteristics, behaviors, or beliefs.

B.   Cyber-bullying: bullying (as defined above) undertaken through the use of electronic

        devices.

C.  Electronic devices: include, but are not limited to, telephones, cellular phones,

        computers, pagers, electronic mail, instant messaging, text messaging, social media

        (e.g. Facebook, etc.) and websites.

 

D.  Perpetrator: a pupil who engages in bullying or cyber-bullying.

 

E.   School property: all real property and all physical plant and equipment used for

        school purposes, including public or private school buses or vans.    

 

F.   Victim: a pupil against whom bullying or cyber-bullying has been perpetrated.

 

G.  Educational opportunities: the curricular and extra-curricular programs and activities

        offered by the District.

 

H. Interference with educational opportunities: a single significant incident or pattern of

        incidents involving a written, verbal or electronic communication, or a physical act or

        gesture, or any combination thereof which impedes a pupil’s ability to participate in,

        or access, the educational opportunities offered by the District.  The determination as

        to whether an incident or a pattern of incidents interferes with a pupil’s educational

        opportunities shall be made by the person investigating the reported incident(s).

 

I.    Hostile educational environment: a single significant incident or pattern of incidents

        that is so severe and pervasive that it effectively denies a student equal access to the

        District’s educational opportunities.  The determination as to whether an incident or

        pattern of incidents has created a hostile educational environment shall be made by

        the person investigating the reported incident(s).

 

J.    The determination as to whether a single significant incident or a pattern of incidents

        causes a “substantial disruption to the orderly operation of the school” shall be made

        by the person investigating the reported incident(s), and shall be based on the totality

        of the circumstances, and may include disruptions to curricular or extra-curricular

        programs and activities offered by the District.

 

 

 

In accordance with RSA 193-F:4, the District reserves the right to impose discipline or intervention for bullying and/or cyber-bullying that:

 

·    Occurs on, or is delivered to, school property or a school-sponsored activity or event on or off school property; or

·    Occurs off of school property or outside of a school-sponsored activity or event, if the conduct interferes with a pupil’s educational opportunities or substantially disrupts the orderly operations of the school or school-sponsored activity or event.

 

 

III.  REPORTING PROCEDURE

The Principal of each school is responsible for receiving oral or written reports of bullying or cyber-bullying.  The Principal may also designate another school employee to receive oral and written reports of bullying.

 

Student or Parent Reports

 

1.  Any student who believes that he or she has been the victim of bullying or cyber-

     bullying, as defined in Section II, above, should immediately report the alleged

     act(s) to the Principal or designee; however, if the student prefers, he/she may

     inform any school employee or volunteer.

 

2.  Students or parents who have witnessed or who have reliable information that a

     pupil has been subjected to bullying or cyber-bullying shall be available at the

     school office.  Use of the form is encouraged, but not required.  If the Principal or

     his/her designee receives the report verbally, he/she shall reduce the report

     received to writing within forty-eight hours of receiving the information.

 

Reports by Staff, Volunteer, or Employees of a Company under Contract with the School District, or with any school in the District.

 

Any school employee, volunteer, or employee of a company under contract with the District, who has witnessed or has reliable information that a pupil has been subjected to bullying, or cyber-bullying as defined in Section II above, shall report such incident to the Principal or his/her designee as soon as reasonably possible.

 

 

IV.  NOTICE TO PARENTS/GUARDIANS

Within 48 hours of receiving a report of alleged bullying or cyber-bullying, the Principal, or his/her designee, shall give notice of the report of the alleged incident to the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the victim and the perpetrator.  The report shall be made by telephone or in writing; if made by telephone, a record of the report shall be made.  The record should include, at a minimum, the date and time of the call.  Any such notification under this policy must comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), 20 U.S.C. 1232g.  At a minimum, the notice shall advise the individuals involved of the nature of the incident, the date and time the report was received, and the procedures described in this policy.  In accord with FERPA, the notice shall not contain any personally identifiable information obtained from student education records.

 

V.  WAIVER OF NOTIVICATION REQUIREMENT

 

The Superintendent may, within the 48 hour time period referenced in Section IV of this policy, grant the Principal or his/her designee a written waiver from the notification requirement in Section IV of this policy, if the Superintendent or his/her designee deems such waiver to be in the best interest of either the victim or the perpetrator.  The granting of a waiver does not negate the responsibility to follow the other procedures set forth in this policy.

 

VI.  INVESTIGATIVE PROCEDURES

 

1.  The Principal or his/her designee is responsible for investigating reports of

      bullying or cyber-bullying.  The Superintendent reserves the right to appoint

      another individual to conduct the investigation.

 

2.  Investigations shall be initiated within five (5) school days of the date that the

     incident is reported to the Principal or his/her designee, and shall be completed

     within ten (10) school days.

 

3.  If the Principal or his/her designee requires additional time to complete the

     investigation, the Superintendent or his/her designee may extend the time period

     for the investigation by up to seven (7) school days.  Any such extension shall be in

     writing, and the Superintendent or his/her designee shall provide all parties

     involved with written notice of the granting of the extension.

 

4.  Upon completion of the investigation, the Principal or his/her designee shall draft

     a written investigation report.  The report must include, at a minimum, a

     description of the scope of the investigation, the findings, and the actions taken

     (i.e., the response to remediate, discipline, non-disciplinary interventions, etc).

 

5.  Upon completion of the investigation, the Principal or his/her designee shall

     report all substantiated incidents of bullying or cyber-bullying to the

     Superintendent or his/her designee.

 

6.  Within ten (10) school days of the completion of the investigation, the Principal

     or his/her designee shall provide the parents of the alleged victim and the alleged

     perpetrator with written notice of the results of the investigation (i.e., substantiated

 

     or unsubstantiated) and the available remedies and assistance.  The notice shall

     comply with FERPA, and other State and Federal laws concerning student privacy.

 

 

VII. RESPONSE TO REMEDIATE SUBSTANTIATED INCIDENTS OF

        BULLYING OF CYBER-BULLYING

 

The Principal or his/her designee shall develop a response to remediate any substantiated incident of bullying or cyber-bullying.  The response should be designed to reduce the risk of future incidents, and where appropriate, to offer assistance to the victim or perpetrator.  In those cases where a perpetrator or victim is identified as a student with an educational disability, the Principal’s response to remediate any substantiated incident of bullying or cyber-bullying shall be presented to the IEP Team.  The IEP Team is permitted to amend or augment the response in a manner necessary to ensure that the perpetrator and/or victim receives a free, appropriate public education, while still taking appropriate measures to remediate bullying.

 

VIII.  DISCIPLINE AND/OR INTERVENTIONS FOR VIOLATIONS OF

         THIS POLICY

If, after investigating pursuant to Section VI of this policy, the Principal or his/her designee concludes that a pupil engaged in bullying or cyber-bullying, that student may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, which may include alternative disciplinary measures, positive behavioral intervention, loss of privileges (e.g. recess,etc.), loss of buss riding privileges, suspension and expulsion.  Any such disciplinary action shall be taken in accordance to applicable board policy and legal requirements.

 

In addition to imposing discipline under such circumstances, the Board encourages the administration and school district staff to seek alternatives to traditional discipline, including but not limited to early intervention measures, alternative dispute resolution, conflict resolution and other similar measures.

 

IX.  PROHIBITION AGAINST RETALIATION AND FALSE

        ACCUSATIONS

 

1.  Reprisal or Retaliation: The District will discipline and take appropriate action

     against any pupil, teacher, school administrator, school volunteer, or other school

     employee who retaliates against any person who makes a good faith report of

     alleged bullying or against any person who testifies, assists, or participates in a

     proceeding or hearing related to such bullying.

 

The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a pupil, teacher, school administrator, school volunteer, or other school employee who engages in reprisal or retaliation shall be determined by the Principal or designee after consideration of nature, severity, and circumstances of the act, in accordance with the law and Board policies.

 

2.  False Reporting:  A student found to have wrongfully and intentionally accused

     another of bullying or cyber-bullying may face discipline or other consequences,

     ranging from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension and

     expulsion.  Any such disciplinary action shall be taken in accordance to applicable

     board policy and legal requirements.  At the discretion of the Principal or his/her

     designee, students who commit an act of bullying or cyber-bullying or falsely

     accuse another of the same as a means of retaliation or reprisal may, either in

     addition to discipline or in lieu of discipline, receive a non-disciplinary

     interventions.  Interventions are not considered disciplinary in nature.

 

3.  Process to Protect Pupils From Retaliation: If the alleged victim or any witness

     expresses to the Principal or other staff members that he/she believes he/she may

     be retaliated against, the Principal or designee shall develop a process or plan to

     protect that student from possible retaliation.

 

Each process or plan may be developed on a case-by-case basis.  Suggestions include, but are not limited to, stern warning to alleged perpetrators, temporary loss of privileges, or other means necessary to protect against possible retaliation.

 

Nothing in this policy shall supersede the disciplinary procedures of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, including the protections offered through the manifestation determination process.

 

X.  TRAINING

 

The Superintendent shall ensure that the school employees, regular volunteers, and employees of a company under contract with the District, and/or any of the schools within the District, who have significant contact with pupils annually receive training on this policy for the purpose of preventing, identifying, responding to, and reporting the incidents of bullying or cyber-bullying.

 

 

 

The School District shall provide age-appropriate educational programs for pupils and parents in preventing, identifying, responding to, and reporting incidents of bullying or cyber-bullying.

 

XI.         NOTICE OF POLICY

 

The Superintendent or his/her designee shall provide written notice annually of this policy to students, parents, legal guardians, school employees, school volunteers, and employees of companies under contract with the District, or any school within the District, through appropriate references in the student and employee handbooks, by publishing a copy of this policy on the District/SAU website, by providing companies under contract with the District, with a copy of the policy, by providing training on the policy in accord with RSA 193-F, or through other reasonable means.

 

XII.  REPORT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 

The Principal or his/her designee is responsible for reporting substantiated incidents of bullying to the Superintendent or his/her designee.

 

The Superintendent or his/her designee shall, on an annual basis, or as requested, report substantiated incidents of bullying or cyber-bullying to the School Board and/or Department of Education.  The reports shall not contain any personally identifiable information pertaining to any pupil.

 

XIII.  LEGAL REFERENCES WITHIN THIS POLICY

 

·    RSA 193-F

·     RSA 57-8XUAL HARASSMENT and SEXUAL VIOLENCE

 

I.      GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

       Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which violates Section 703 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, et seq. sexual violence is a physical act of aggression that includes a sexual act or sexual purpose.

       It is the policy of the School District to maintain a learning and working environment that is free from sexual harassment and sexual violence.  The School District prohibits any form of sexual harassment and sexual violence.

       It shall be a violation of this policy for any student or employee to harass a student or an employee through conduct or communication of a sexual nature as defined by this policy.

       It shall be a violation of this policy for any student or employee to be sexually violent to a student or employee.

       The School District will act to investigate all complaints, either formal or informal, verbal or written, of sexual harassment or sexual violence and to discipline any student or employee who sexually harasses or is sexually violent to a student or employee of the School District.

Reference Mason School District Policy JBAA

Sexual Harassment and sexual violence

I.      GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

       Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which violates Section 703 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, et seq. sexual violence is a physical act of aggression that includes a sexual act or sexual purpose.

       It is the policy of the School District to maintain a learning and working environment that is free from sexual harassment and sexual violence.  The School District prohibits any form of sexual harassment and sexual violence.

       It shall be a violation of this policy for any student or employee to harass a student or an employee through conduct or communication of a sexual nature as defined by this policy.

       It shall be a violation of this policy for any student or employee to be sexually violent to a student or employee.

       The School District will act to investigate all complaints, either formal or informal, verbal or written, of sexual harassment or sexual violence and to discipline any student or employee who sexually harasses or is sexually violent to a student or employee of the School District.

Reference Mason School District Policy JBAA


CHILD ABUSE REPORTING

Abstract of the reporting law – 169-C : Child Protection Act

REPORTING IS MANDATORY

New Hampshire Law (RSA-169-C:29) requires that any person who has reason to suspect that a child under the age of 18 has been abused or neglected must report the case to the local district office of New Hampshire Division of Welfare.

 

AN ABUSED CHILD IS ONE WHO HAS BEEN

Sexually abused; or

Intentionally physically injured; or

Psychologically injured so that said child exhibits symptoms of emotional problems generally recognized to result from consistent mistreatment or neglect; or

Physically injured by other than accidental means

 

A NEGLECTED CHILD MEANS A CHILD

Who has been abandoned by his parents, guardian, or custodian; or

Who is without proper parental care or control, subsistence, education as required by law, or other care or control necessary for his physical, mental, or emotional health, when it is established that his health has suffered or is very likely to suffer serious impairment; and the deprivation is not due primarily to the lack of financial means of the parents, guardian or custodian; or

Whose parents, guardian or custodian are unable to discharge their responsibilities to and for the child because of incarceration, hospitalization or other physical or mental incapacity; Provided, that no child who is, in good faith, under treatment solely by spiritual means through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination by a duly accredited practitioner thereof shall, for that reason alone, be considered to be a neglected child.

 

NATURE AND CONTENT OF REPORT

Oral - Immediately by telephone or otherwise,

Written - within 48 hours if requested.

Content - if known

Name and address of the child suspected of being neglected or abused.

Name of parents or persons caring for child.

Specific information indicating neglect or the nature or the abuse (including any evidence or previous injuries).

Identity of parent or persons suspected of being responsible for such neglect or abuse.

Any other information which might be helpful or is required by the Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Such files will be destroyed after seven (7) years unless otherwise directed by the Department of Health and Human Services.

 

IMMUNITY FROM LIABILITY (Ref 169-C:31)

Anyone participating in good faith in the making of a report is immune from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed. Any such participant has the same immunity with respect to participation in any investigation by the department or judicial proceeding resulting from such report.

 

PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION (Ref 169-C:32)

“The privileged quality of communication between a professional person and his patient, or client, except that between attorney and client, shall not apply to proceedings instituted pursuant to this chapter and shall not constitute grounds for failure to report as required by this chapter.”

 

PENALTY (ref 169-C:39)

Violation of any part of the New Hampshire Child Protection Act, including failure to report, is punishable by law.  (RSA 169-C39), “Anyone who knowingly violates any provision of this subdivision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

 

 

 

 

PARENT/STUDENT RIGHTS IN IDENTIFICATION EVALUATION AND PLACEMENT

The following is a description of the rights granted by federal law to students with disabilities.  The intent of the law is to keep you fully informed concerning decisions about your child and to inform you of your rights if you disagree with any of these decisions.

You have the right to:

1.   Have your child take part in, and receive benefits from public education program

     without discrimination because of his/her disabling conditions.

2.   Have the School District advise you of your rights under federal law.

3.   Receive notice with respect to identification, evaluation, or placement of your

     child.

4.   Parent consent must be obtained before conducting an initial evaluation and

     placement.

5.   Have your child receive a free appropriate education.  This includes the right to

     be educated with non-disabled students to the maximum extent appropriate.  It

     also includes the right to have the School  District make reasonable

     accommodations to allow your child an equal opportunity to participate in

     school and school-related activities.

6.       Have your child educated in facilities and receive services comparable to those

     provided non-disabled students. 

7.   Have your child receive special education and related services if she/he is found

     to be eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the

     Rehabilitation Act.

8.   Have evaluation, educational, and placement decisions based upon a variety of

     information sources, and by persons who know the students, the evaluation data,

     and placement options.

9.   Have transportation provided to and from an alternative placement setting at no

     greater cost to you than would be incurred if the student were placed in a   

      program operated by the district.

10. Have your child be given an equal opportunity to participate in nonacademic and

     extracurricular activities offered by the district.

11. Examine all relevant records related to decisions regarding your child’s

     identification, evaluation, educational program, and placement.

12. Obtain copies of educational records at a reasonable cost unless the fee would

     effectively deny you access to the records.

13. A response from the School District to reasonable requests for explanations and

     interpretations of your child’s records.

14. Request amendment of your child’s educational records if there is reasonable

     cause to believe that they are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation

     of the privacy rights of your child.  If the School District refuses this request

     for amendment, it shall notify you within a reasonable time and advise you of

     the right to a hearing.

15. Request mediation or an impartial due process hearing related to decisions or

     actions regarding your child’s identification, evaluation, educational program or

     placement.  You and the student may take part in the hearing and have an

      attorney represent you.

16. Ask for payment of reasonable attorney fees if you are successful on your claim.

17 .File a local grievance.


Reference:     Section 504/Subpart D of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

CONTENT OF NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

 SAU #89 has prepared and shall use the following form of notice (the “Notice”)

“It is the policy of SAU #89 not to discriminate on the basis of race, color,

national origin, age, sex, or disability, in its educational programs, activities

or employment policies as required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of

1973, Provision of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age

Discrimination Act of 1967, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972,

The Education of all Handicapped Children Act of 1975, the Individuals with

Disabilities Education Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of

1991.”

Inquiries regarding Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, ADA and 34 C.F.R. Part 104 may be directed to the Superintendent or the State Department of Education, 101 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH 03301.

Any person having inquiries concerning Title IX or the Education Amendments of 1972 and 34 C.F.R. Part 106 may contact the Title IX Coordinator, Department of Education, 101 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH 03301, or the Assistant and/or Regional Director, United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region 1, Boston, MA.

 

Reference Mason School District Policy AC

TITLE IX NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT

It is the policy of the Mason School District not to discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs, activities or employment policies as required by Title IX.  Questions may be directed to Superintendent or the Director of the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Washington, DC.  The Mason School District is an equal opportunity employer and provides equal educational opportunities for all students.

 


            

 

 

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Front Cover  ~  ‘Mason Mustangs’

Designed & Drawn by Kimberly A. Vocell