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Plans & Policies

Plans

Substance Use Prevention, Deterrence and Intervention Plan-Approved 10/24/16

Substance Use Prevention, Deterrence and Intervention Plan Printable Substance Use, Prevention, Deterrence and Intervention Plan Word Version Printable Substance Use, Prevention, Deterrence and Intervention Plan PDF Version

I. Introduction

The Plan will be the school's or district’s blueprint for enhancing the capacity to prevent and respond to issues of substance use within the context of other substance use initiatives. The Committee met and established subgroups to complete various tasks such as assessing needs and identifying resources to inform the development of the plan.

On October 7, 2016, all subcommittees met to report on their activities and findings. From those findings, a draft plan was developed that was presented on October 13, 2016 to the Braintree Alliance for Safe and Healthy Youth, which is co-chaired by the Director of Physical Education and Health and the Director of School Nursing Services; and is made up of the Assistant Superintendent of Schools, principals, a school committee member, nurses, school resource officers, a representative from the District Attorney’s office, and a representative of the Braintree Board of Health. From those findings, a draft plan was also presented to the School Committee Policy Sub Committee on October, 13, 2016 to get feedback from school committee members about substance use. It will then be presented to the school committee on October 24, 2016.

II. Leadership

Leadership at all levels will play a critical role in developing and implementing the Substance Use Prevention, Deterrence and Intervention Plans (“the Plan”) in the context of other whole school and community efforts to prevent and educate students around substance use. Leaders have a primary role in educating students about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in relation to their overall well-being (physical, social, emotional, intellectual, occupational, environmental and spiritual), with an emphasis on non-usage by the school age student. Leadership should be defined by the district or school, depending on existing roles and responsibilities and locally identified priorities for this initiative. In adopting or updating policies, the school committee will work in conjunction with district and school leaders in developing clearly defined goals to prevent and address substance use and abuse among youth. This leadership should result in strong links between identified local needs and prevention program/system designs. Leadership is responsible for setting priorities and for staying up-to-date with current research on ways to prevent and effectively respond to substance use. It is also the responsibility of leaders to involve representatives from the greater school and local community in developing and implementing the Plan. Comprehensive substance use prevention programs involve the use of multiple strategies that include education and training; social competency skill development; social norms with expectations for behavior; policies, procedures and protocols; and problem identification and referral services. District and school administrators play a key role in implementing and overseeing these programs.

Planning and oversight: The Substance Prevention Deterrence and Intervention Plan along with the supporting policies will be reviewed annually and updated as needed. The Committee will review data to determine the effectiveness of curriculum and activities and professional development and training. The Committee will also serve as the clearinghouse of information, about professional development opportunities and resources for school staff, students and parents.

Developing priority statements: Priority statements will be used to communicate the school’s or district’s vision in creating and implementing its substance use prevention and intervention strategies within the Plan. The priority statements of Braintree’s position on substance use are explicit in the Substance Prevention Deterrence and Intervention Plan policy and in supporting policies:

These policies are an integral part of the District’s comprehensive efforts to prevent substance use and serve as a deterrent to enable students to achieve their personal and academic potential and become successful citizens in our increasingly diverse society.

A student shall not, regardless of the quantity, use, consume, possess, buy/sell, or give away any beverage containing alcohol; any tobacco product (including NA or near beer, e-cigarettes, VAP pens and all similar devices); marijuana; steroids; or any controlled substance on school grounds and at any school event. It is not a violation for a student to be in possession of a legally defined drug specifically prescribed for the student’s own use by his/her doctor. (Please note that carrying prescription medication is a violation of the Braintree High School Medication Policy except as noted: Students are not allowed to carry any medication on their person, in their lockers, backpacks, pocketbooks, etc. with the exception of an inhaler to treat asthma and/or an Epi-Pen to treat an allergic reaction and/or if wearing an insulin pump to treat diabetes. Students prescribed these medications may carry them on their person only if they are properly labeled and the parent/guardian has notified the Nurse's Office in writing and has provided the required physician documentation. It is strongly recommended that a second set of medication be left in the health office in case the student forgets his/her inhaler or Epi-Pen).

Braintree Public Schools prohibits and does not tolerate the use or possession of drugs including alcohol. The Alcohol Detection Policy supports the Braintree High School Chemical Health Policy and the Memorandum of Understanding. Students exhibiting signs of alcohol consumption such as glassy eyes, slurred speech, unsteadiness on the feet, or the emission of an alcoholic odor may be required to take a test using an alcohol detection device administered by a school administrator. If a student tests positive for alcohol consumption he or she will receive two additional opportunities to take the test. Students who test positive for alcohol consumption or students who refuse to take the test upon determination that there is reasonable cause to suspect they have consumed alcohol, will be disciplined under the Braintree High School Chemical Health Policy.

Braintree Schools, in accordance with the MA Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA), recognizes the use of chemicals as a significant health problem for adolescents, resulting in negative effects on behavior, learning, and development. Braintree Schools, in order to participate in MIAA athletics, is required to adopt the MIAA Chemical Health Policy as a minimum standard for its athletes.

In order to provide disciplinary equity for all students, Braintree High School has adopted its own, more comprehensive Chemical Health Policy. The Braintree High School Chemical Health Policy is intended to provide meaningful consequences for illegal and harmful activities, with the hope that families affected by these consequences will use their experience as an opportunity to teach and learn alternative healthy lifestyle choices.

It is a violation of this policy for any administrator, teacher or other employee, or any student to engage in or condone the use of illegal drugs, including alcohol and any tobacco product or failure to report or otherwise take reasonable corrective measures when they become aware of any incident.

Any adult shall not, regardless of the quantity, use, consume, buy/sell, or give away any beverage containing alcohol; any tobacco product (including e-cigarettes, VAP pens and all similar devices); marijuana; steroids; or any controlled substance while on school grounds or at any school event.

It is the responsibility of every employee to recognize acts of use, consumption, possession, buying/selling, or giving of any beverage containing alcohol; any tobacco product (including NA or near beer, e-cigarettes, VAP pens and all similar devices); marijuana; steroids; or any controlled substance on school grounds and at any school event and take every action necessary to ensure that the applicable policies and procedures of this school district are implemented.

In an effort to respond to a potential opioid overdose the district has a policy for responding. (See Appendix A Braintree Public Schools Policy and Procedures for School Nurse, Athletic Director and Athletic Trainer Management of Potential Life Threatening Opioid Overdose Program)

Further, all reasonable efforts shall be made to maintain the confidentiality and protect the privacy of all parties, but proper enforcement of this policy may require disclosure of any or all information received to appropriate administration staff.

The Building Principal/Designee, guidance, and nurse shall be responsible for assisting employees and students seeking guidance and support in treatment with substance use and addressing matters relating to substance use treatment. This policy is not designed or intended to limit the school’s authority to take disciplinary action or take remedial action when such substance use occurs out of school, but carries over into school, or, is disruptive or substantially interferes with an employee’s work, personal life, a student’s school work, or participation in school related opportunities or activities.

When a reported incident involves the principal or the assistant principal the Superintendent or designee shall be responsible and if the Superintendent is involved, the School Committee, or its designee shall be responsible for assisting employees and students seeking guidance or support in addressing matters relating to substance use.

III. Professional Development

Staff training of the Plan: Training will be provided for all staff, including but not limited to, educators, administrators, counselors, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, athletic trainers, advisors to extracurricular activities, and paraprofessionals.

The training will include early warning signs and behaviors that indicate a student maybe experiencing substance use problems, and should be aware of building base referral systems and other protocols to follow. Qualified staff will be identified and trained to administrate a verbal screening tool to screen students for substance use risk or related problems. Staff who are responsible for implementing substance use prevention curricula will be provided with appropriate training and professional development regarding effective strategies for preventing substance use.

Professional development will build the skills of staff members to prevent, identify, and respond to substance use.

Professional development will also address ways to prevent and respond to substance use for students with disabilities that must be considered when developing students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).

Written notice to staff: The school or district will provide all staff with an annual written notice of the Plan by publishing information about it in the school or district employee handbook and the code of conduct.

IV. Access to Resources and Services

Identifying Resources: School staff can play a key role in identifying and referring students with substance use related problems and working with their families. Educators, nurses, and school counseling personnel will work in collaboration with substance use counseling professionals and mental health specialists to meet the needs of those students most at risk. School counseling personnel have access to information and strategies necessary to facilitate referrals to community services for the wide variety of mental health problems that students experience, including substance use. A resource list is available for the network of services available through the agencies in the area.

Collaboration among schools and community behavioral health providers can address student-specific issues, including interventions such as small group, individual supports, and school re-entry plans. These efforts can support school staff including consultation on general as well as student-specific challenges and plans for school and community provider responses when necessary.

Personnel immediately available to assist or refer students with substance use or related problems are as follows:

  • Principal at each school
  • School psychologists and guidance counselors in each school
  • School nurse/nurses in each school
  • Screening, Brief, Intervention, Referral Treatment (SBIRT) team members in each middle school and high school
  • Safety Officers for each school
  • Braintree Police Department
  • Behavioral Health Providers

Resources will be made available and may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Publications
  • Books
  • Video tapes and/or DVDs
  • Websites
  • Interpreter services
  • Various resources from Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

School Newsletters, school handbooks and websites will be used to keep parents/guardians informed of the system-wide strategies that are implemented to assist all students:

Braintree Public Schools has a protocol for referring students and families to outside services. Each individual school has clear protocols with list of community agencies that help students and families access appropriate and timely services. Guidance counselors, school psychologists and nurses communicate and collaborate several times yearly to update and evaluate the community referrals.

V. Academic and Non-Academic Strategies

Braintree Public Schools is currently engaged in reimagining and reconstructing its five year strategic plan, and to date, the mission statement has been reexamined and once again committed to, as it has served us very well and continues to be relevant to our future:

The mission of the Braintree Public Schools (BPS), in partnership with parents and community, is to prepare all students to become responsible and contributing members of a diverse and global society. We motivate and enable each student to develop intellectually, physically, socially, and emotionally through a rigorous and supportive educational program within an inclusive and safe environment that nurtures creative and critical thinking, the development of values and the pursuit of lifelong learning.

In an effort to achieve even greater focus and become more effective in addressing the needs of our students and our changing school-community, we have honed our previous 7 strategic goal areas down to four:

  1. Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment;
  2. Culture of Learning and Innovation;
  3. Family and Community Engagement, and
  4. Wellness

The development of these four goals areas, with the inclusion of Wellness recognizes the need to help our children and their families develop the necessary habits of body and mind to stay physically, socially and emotionally well throughout their lives. As with the other goal areas, Wellness reaches beyond our student population as we work to ensure an environment in which the well-being of our staff, parents and community is supported. Our five year plan is in development this year (2016-2017), and the Wellness goal area will address our continued efforts to expand and extend our grades 5-12 substance prevention programming.

In accordance with state and federal law, Braintree Public School provides age-appropriate, developmentally appropriate evidence-based alcohol, tobacco, and drug education and prevention programs in grades 5-12; however, we recognize that more work needs to be done to ensure appropriate programmatic sequencing and support, particularly at grade 5. The overarching goals of the Braintree Public Schools health education programs are for students to be able to:

  • Make decisions to maintain or enhance health
  • Analyze multiple influences on their attitudes and behaviors
  • Advocate for themselves and others
  • Effectively communicate in order to maintain or enhance health

The health curriculum addresses the legal, social, and health consequences of using alcohol, tobacco and other drugs through the drug education and prevention units and programs. Included in our curriculum is instruction as to the effects of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs upon the human system; the emotional, psychological and social dangers of such use with emphasis on non-use by school age children and the illegal aspects of such use. We also include information about effective techniques and skill development for delaying and abstaining from using alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs, as well as effective techniques and skill development for resisting peer pressure to use alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs, which includes programming at the younger grades specific to good decision making.

School psychologists, guidance counselors, nurses and other outside mental health professionals work directly with young people who are identified as being at risk. Each school has designated at least one staff member as the point of contact and support for students who are considered to be at risk.

General teaching approaches that support substance use prevention efforts: In addition to the curriculum that is used, several non-academic activities are in place to prevent substance use.

Specific substance use prevention approaches: Substance use prevention curricula will be informed by current research. Initiatives will also teach students about the student-related sections of the Substance Use Prevention Deterrence and Intervention Plan at the beginning of the school year.

General teaching approaches that support substance use prevention efforts: The following approaches are integral to establishing a safe and supportive school environment. These underscore the importance of our substance use intervention and prevention initiatives:

  • setting clear expectations for students and establishing school and classroom routines;
  • creating safe school and classroom environments for all students, including students with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender students, and homeless students;
  • using appropriate and positive responses and reinforcement, even when students require discipline;
  • using positive behavioral supports;
  • using motivational interviewing;
  • encouraging adults to develop positive relationships with students;
  • modeling, teaching, and rewarding pro-social, healthy, and respectful behaviors;
  • using positive approaches to behavioral health, including collaborative problem-solving, conflict resolution training, teamwork, and positive behavioral supports that aid in social and emotional development;
  • using the Internet safely;
  • supporting students’ interest and participation in non-academic and extracurricular activities, particularly in their areas of strength.

VI. Policies and Protocols

Braintree Public Schools has policies prohibiting substance use, on school grounds, and at any school-sponsored or school-related activity, function, or program whether on or off school grounds. The policies include discipline and enforcement provisions, intervention provisions, and treatment opportunities for students and staff. Students should be informed of the consequences for violating the policies. School staff discuss the policies annually with students.

Policies related to the use of verbal screening tools to screen pupils for substance use disorders are well defined and publicized, including opt-out provisions.

Policies include guidelines for working with at-risk students, communication with students, staff, parents/guardians, and confidentiality. Included are procedures for re-integrating students who have been absent and/or in recovery.

At the beginning of each school year, the school or district will provide the school community, including , but not limited to, educators, administrators, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to extracurricular activities, paraprofessionals, students, and parents or guardians, with written notice of its policies for substance use.

Steps will be taken by the principal or designee to protect students and staff members, who report an act of substance abuse or provides information during an investigation, from retaliation. Attempts at retaliation will be punished accordingly.

VII. Collaboration with Families

Families are essential partners in schools’ efforts to prevent substance use. Parental input, particularly from parents of students with substance related-problems, help identify and prioritize the needs of the school community. Ways in which Braintree collaborates and communicates with families may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • individual and group meetings with parents and guardians to engage parental support and to reinforce the substance use curricula and the importance of school-community-home collaborations in weaving together the resources for comprehensive, multifaceted approaches to preventing substance use and abuse.
  • providing parents/guardians with information regarding the district’s and school’s Substance Use Prevention and Abuse Education policy.
  • posting the policy on the district website and in student handbooks, both of which contain information on district policies, procedures and protocols. This information will also be made available through Parent Teacher Associations/Organizations, parent engagement programming, and other related programs.
  • Braintree Schools in collaboration with the Braintree Community Partnership on Substance Use will increase awareness of substance abuse within the community and enhance communication between youth, parents, educators and residents utilizing evidenced based data in order to promote education, encourage prevention and provide access to resources. The Braintree Association for Safe and Healthy Youth (BASHY) is open to students, parents, guardians and community members. BASHY provides effective evening education programs for parents/guardians that promote modeling appropriate skills and attitudes at home regarding substance abuse which support the prevention component of the school initiative.

VIII. Appendix

Appendix A: Braintree Public Schools Policy and Procedures for School
Nurse, Athletic Director and Athletic Trainer Management of Potential Life
Threatening Opioid Overdose Program

Appendix B: Braintree High School Chemical Health Policy

Appendix C: Memorandum of Understanding between the
Braintree Public Schools and the Braintree Police Department

Appendix D: Rules and Regulations Affecting the Use or
Possession of Tobacco Products and Nicotine Delivery Products on School Property

Appendix E: Policy of Braintree Public Schools Relative to Illegal
Distribution, Use, and Possession of Drugs

Appendix F: Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71,
Sections 37H, 37H ½, and 37H3/4 and Expulsion Policy)

Appendix G: Expulsion Policy

Appendix H: Braintree Public Schools Services Protocol
for the implementation of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health SBIRT
(Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment) program for the implementation of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health SBIRT
(Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment) program

Appendix I: Verbal Screening Tools

Appendix

A

Appendix A

Policy and Procedures for School Nurse, Athletic Director and Athletic Trainer Management of Potential Life Threatening Opioid Overdose Program

Policy

In order to recognize and respond to a potential life threatening opioid overdose as part of the MDPH opioid overdose prevention pilot program, the Braintree Public Schools will maintain a system-wide plan for addressing potential life threatening opioid overdose reaction.  This plan shall include:

  • Building-based general medical emergency plan
  • The Director of School Nursing Services will have the responsibility for the development and management of the naloxone administration program in the school setting in accordance with MDPH protocols.
  • The school physician will provide oversight to monitor the program and ensure quality improvement and quality control.
  •  Training per MDPH protocols will be provided for all School Nurse, Athletic Director and Athletic Trainer responders.
  • Integration with the local emergency medical services (EMS) system will be included in the implementation of this program.

 Background

It is strongly recommended by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, that School Nurses, Athletic Director, and Athletic Trainer have access to Nasal Naloxone medication in the school setting to ensure its immediate availability to students, staff and building visitors.

Recognizing that fatal and non-fatal overdoses from opioids play an increasing role in the mortality and morbidity of Massachusetts residents, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health launched the Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution (OEND) prevention program using intra-nasal Narcan (naloxone) in an attempt to reverse this trend. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist which means it displaces the opioid from receptors in the brain. An overdose occurs because the opioid is on the same receptor site in the brain that is responsible for breathing. Naloxone usually acts dramatically, allowing slowed or absent breathing to resume. It is both safe and effective and has no potential for abuse. Naloxone has been used by paramedics in ambulances and by emergency room clinicians for decades. While not a controlled substance, naloxone is what is known as a “scheduled” drug and therefore does require a prescription.

The Department of Public Health is operating a naloxone distribution program as a pilot program in accordance with M.G.L. c. 94C and DPH/Drug Control Program regulations at 105 CMR 700.000. The distribution of naloxone by approved trainers is authorized by the Department of Public Health and the standing orders issued by the Medical Director of the naloxone pilot.

What are Opioids

Opioids are chemicals that are either derived from the opium poppy or are synthetically manufactured by pharmaceutical companies. Whether synthetic or naturally occurring, opioids all act in similar ways at specific sites in the body. They are depressants, and slow down the central nervous system. At high levels, opioids reduce consciousness and decrease breathing (respiratory depression). Opioids attach to specific receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract and block the transmission of pain messages. They induce euphoria and users generally report feeling warm, drowsy, and content. Opioids relieve stress and discomfort by creating a relaxed detachment from pain, desires, and activity. They also cause slow heart rate, constipation, a widening of blood vessels, and decrease the natural drive to breathe.

Severe Opioid Reaction (Overdose)

Description:   An overdose occurs when the body has more drugs in its system than it can handle, resulting in potentially life threatening dysfunction. People can overdose on many different substances including other drugs or alcohol. During an opioid overdose there are so many opioids or a combination of opioids and other drugs in the body that the victim becomes unresponsive to stimulation and/or breathing becomes inadequate. Those experiencing an overdose become unresponsive, or unconscious, because opioids fit into specific brain receptors that are responsible for breathing. When the body does not get enough oxygen, lips and fingers turn blue. These are the signs that an overdose is taking place. A lack of oxygen eventually affects other vital organs including the heart and brain, leading to unconsciousness, coma, and then death.

With opioid overdoses, the difference between surviving and dying depends on breathing and oxygen. Fortunately, opioid overdose is rarely instantaneous; people slowly stop breathing after the drug was used. There is usually time to intervene between when an overdose starts and a victim dies. Furthermore, not all overdoses are fatal. Without any intervention, some overdose victims may become unresponsive with slowed breathing, but will still take in enough oxygen to survive and wake up.

Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Overdose:

  • Blue skin tinge- usually lips and fingertips show first
  • Body is very limp
  • Face is very pale
  • Pulse (heartbeat) is slow, erratic or not there at all
  • Throwing up
  • Passing out
  • Choking sounds or a gurgling/snoring noise
  • Breathing is very slow, irregular or has stopped
  • Unresponsive

Assessing for Responsiveness and Breathing

  • In order to determine if the individual is experiencing an overdose, the most important things to consider are presence of breathing and responsiveness to stimulation. There are some relatively harmless ways to stimulate a person. These strategies are:
  • Yelling their name
  • Rubbing knuckles over either the upper lip or up and down the front of the rib cage called a sternal rub
  • If an individual responds to these stimuli, they may not be experiencing an overdose at that time. It is best to stay with the person, to make sure the person wakes up and is ok. It is possible that the person could become unresponsive and require further assistance.
  • Continued attempts at stimulation will waste valuable time in helping the individual breathe.

Responding to an Opioid Overdose:

  • Call 911 to get help
  • Perform rescue breathing to provide oxygen
  • Administer Naloxone
  • Stay with the person until help arrives
  • Individuals who overdose can die because they choke on their own vomit (aspiration). This can be avoided by putting the individual in the recovery position. The recovery position is when you lay the person on his or her side, his or her body supported by a bent knee, with his or her face turned to the side. This position decreases the chances of the individual choking on his or her vomit. If you have to leave the person at all, even for a minute to phone 911, make sure you put them in the recovery position.
Recovery Position

Procedures:

The School Nurse, Athletic Director and Athletic Trainer when the school nurse is not available, will respond to any member of the school community when on school property with a life threatening opioid overdose in the school setting.  The management of a Life Threatening Opioid Overdose takes a multidisciplinary approach of collaboration between school community, emergency responders, and law enforcement officers.  Awareness, prevention and emergency preparedness are crucial elements in the management of a person with a potential Life Threatening Opioid Overdose.

School Nurse, Athletic Director and Athletic Trainer Responsibilities

The school nurse is the key resource for medical direction, assessment and response to a potential Life Threatening Opioid Overdose.  The school nurse or the athletic director and athletic trainer when there is no school nurse available, MUST be contacted as soon as a potential Opioid overdose is identified.  The Athletic Director and Athletic Trainer are the key resource at athletic events when the school nurse is not present and can act under the Good Samaritan Law and administer nasal Naloxone at athletic events when a potential Opioid overdose is identified.

Call 911

It is important to report to the dispatcher if the victim’s breathing has slowed or stopped, he or she is unresponsive, and the exact location of the individual. If Naloxone was given and if it did/did not work, this is important information to tell the dispatcher.

Perform rescue breathing

For a person who is not breathing, rescue breathing is an important step in preventing an overdose death. When someone has stopped breathing and is unresponsive, rescue breathing should be done as soon as possible because it is the quickest way to get oxygen into the body. Steps for rescue breathing are:

  1. Place the person on his or her back and pinch their nose or use Ambu bag to administer rescue breaths
  2. Tilt chin up to open the airway. Check to see if there is anything in the mouth blocking the airway. If so, remove it.
  3. Give 2 slow breaths.
  4. Blow enough air into the lungs to make the chest rise.
  5. Assess each breath to ensure the chest is rising and falling. If it doesn’t work, tilt the head back more.
  6. Breathe again every 5-6 seconds

Administer Nasal Naloxone (Narcan). Naloxone is a medication that reverses overdose from heroin or other opioids. Naloxone is the generic name for Narcan.

Nasal Naloxone may work immediately, but can take up to 8 minutes to have an effect. The effect of the naloxone will last for about 30 to 90 minutes in the body. Because most opioids last longer than 30 to 90 minutes, the naloxone may wear off before the effects of the opioids wear off and the person could go into an overdose again. This depends on several things, including:

  • the quantity and purity of opioids used
  • the presence of other drugs or alcohol
  • the effectiveness of the liver to filter out the drugs
  • if the victim uses opioids again once the naloxone is administered
  • Naloxone administration may be repeated without harm if the person overdoses after the first dose wears off. Due to the complex nature of each of these medical emergencies, it further highlights the necessity of calling 911.

Bleeding from the nose

If the person overdosing has substantial nasal bleeding, naloxone may not work because the blood will interfere with absorption of the naloxone. Call for help and rescue breathe.

How to assemble nasal naloxone device and administer nasal naloxone:

Naloxone Administration

  1. Pop off two yellow caps and one red (or purple) cap. 
  2. Hold spray device and screw it onto the top of the plastic delivery device.
  3. Screw medicine gently into delivery device
  4. Administering Naloxone (Narcan): Spray half of the naloxone (1 ml) up one side of the nose and the other half (1 ml) up the other side of the nose. If there is no breathing or breathing continues to be shallow, continue to perform rescue breathing while waiting for the naloxone to take effect. If there is no change in 3-5 minutes, administer another dose of naloxone (use another box) and continue rescue breathing until the person breathes for themselves or help arrives.
  5. Monitor the victim

Naloxone blocks opioids from acting so it can cause withdrawal symptoms in someone with opioid tolerance. Therefore, after giving someone naloxone, he or she may feel withdrawal symptoms and want to use again. It is important that the victim does not use opioids again after receiving naloxone so that an overdose does not re-occur. If possible, the bystander who administered the naloxone should stay with the person who overdosed.

 Key Points: School Nurse, Athletic Director and Athletic Trainer will respond to an opioid overdose

  1. Call 911
  2.  Perform rescue breathing
  3. Administer nasal naloxone
  4. Place the person in the recovery position
  5. Stay with the victim

Storage: Nasal Naloxone Hydrochloride will be kept in the emergency First Aid bag when the trained school nurse is in the building and then placed into the locked medication cabinets in each school nurse's office when the school nurse is not in the building. For the Director of Athletics and Athletic Trainer: the Nasal Naloxone hydrochloride will be kept on the Athletic Director and Athletic Trainer person when attending athletic events and then it will be locked in the Athletics’ Trainers locked room at Braintree High School at all other times.

School Nurse, Athletic Director and Athletic Trainer yearly Training:

Training of Naloxone Administration by (School) Nurses and Director of Athletics:

A school nurse, as defined by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, may be trained by Massachusetts Department of Public Health (aka "the Department") approved trainers to administer naloxone by nasal administration in a life-threatening situation when first responders are not immediately available. Athletic Director and Athletic Trainer approved trainer to administer nasal naloxone under the Good Samaritan Law, may be trained by the Department approved trainers to administer naloxone by nasal administration in a life threatening situation when first responders and school nurse are not immediately available.

Department planning and implementation:

  1. The Department approves policies, curriculum and procedures for training.
  2. In consultation with the prescribing physician, designated school nurses, Athletic Director, and Athletic Trainer, including “approved trainers” are trained and tested for competency in accordance with standards and a curriculum established by the Department.
  3. Approved trainers arrange for trainings of school nurses, athletic director and athletic trainer in local communities, in accordance with standards and curriculum established by the Department.
  4. The school nurse, athletic director, and athletic trainer will document the training and testing of competency, in accordance with standards and curriculum established by the Department.
  5. The training, at a minimum, will include:           
    • Procedures for risk reduction;
    • Recognition of the symptoms in an individual with an opiate overdose;
    • The importance of following the prescribed method of medication administration;
    • Proper use of the nasal administration method 
    • The requirement to call local emergency services prior to administration, and
    • Requirements for proper storage and security, notification of appropriate persons following administration, and record keeping.
  6. The Director of nursing shall maintain and make available upon request by the Department a list of all licensed individuals trained to administer naloxone by nasal administration if any.
  7.  All trainings in the administration of naloxone will be done in accordance with prescribed methods.  The Director of nursing will keep record of yearly training of all trained staff and documentation of completion of competency test and performance.
  8. Priorities for trainings will be in communities where individuals most at risk have been identified.
  9. he Director of nursing will be notified of any administration of naloxone by trained staff and will submit a report to the Department of Public Health School Health Unit each time training and naloxone administration is completed.
  10. All other medication administration procedures will hold forth including:
  • reporting of any medication errors per 105 CMR 210.00
  • proper disposal of a used naloxone administration delivery system.                

Policy Review and Revision

            Review and revision of these and procedures shall occur as needed but at least every two years.

B

Appendix B

Braintree High School Chemical Health Policy

Overview

Braintree High School, in accordance with the MA Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA), recognizes the use of chemicals as a significant health problem for adolescents, resulting in negative effects on behavior, learning, and development. Braintree High School, in order to participate in MIAA athletics, is required to adopt the MIAA Chemical Health Policy as a minimum standard for its athletes.

In order to provide disciplinary equity for all students, Braintree High School has adopted its own, more comprehensive Chemical Health Policy. The Braintree High School Chemical Health Policy is intended to provide meaningful consequences for illegal and harmful activities, with the hope that families affected by these consequences will use their experience as an opportunity to teach and learn alternative healthy lifestyle choices.

Policy

The MIAA Chemical Health Policy states: From the earliest fall practice date, to the conclusion of the academic year or final athletic event (whichever is latest), a student shall not, regardless of the quantity, use, consume, possess, buy/sell, or give away any beverage containing alcohol; any tobacco product (including e-cigarettes, VAP pens and all similar devices); marijuana; steroids; or any controlled substance. This policy includes products such as “NA or near beer”. It is not a violation for a student to be in possession of a legally defined drug specifically prescribed for the student’s own use by his/her doctor. (Please note that carrying prescription medication is a violation of the Braintree High School Medication Policy. Please see page 78 for further details.)

The practical application of the Braintree High School policy is carried out in partnership with the Braintree Police Department. By law, any underage person in the presence of the above described substances is deemed to be “in possession”. The police have the right to criminally charge students who have been deemed in possession, and these students are listed on a police report prepared by the officers at the scene

Braintree High School considers the police officer(s) at the scene to be a credible witness to events that take place outside of school. Information detailed in a police report is the basis for determining when the consequences of the Chemical Health Policy will be imposed.

Chemical Health Policy Consequences

Those students who have violated the Chemical Health Policy will be subject to the following disciplinary consequences:

  • For offenses occurring on school grounds or at school sponsored events:
    • Suspension for a period of 1-10 days
    • Social probation
    • MIAA consequences
  • For offenses outside of school:
    • Social Probation
    • MIAA consequences

Alcohol Detection Policy

Braintree High School prohibits and does not tolerate the use or possession of drugs including alcohol. The Alcohol Detection Policy supports the Braintree High School Chemical Health Policy (page 40) and the Memorandum of Understanding, printed on pages 73-76. Students exhibiting signs of alcohol consumption such as glassy eyes, slurred speech, unsteadiness on the feet, or the emission of an alcoholic odor may be required to take a test using an alcohol detection device administered by a school administrator. If a student tests positive for alcohol consumption he or she will receive two additional opportunities to take the test. Students who test positive for alcohol consumption or students who refuse to take the test upon determination that there is reasonable cause to suspect they have consumed alcohol, will be disciplined under the Braintree High School Chemical Health Policy (page 40) and the Memorandum of Understanding as outlined on pages 73-76.

Social Probation

Overview

Social Probation means that a student may not attend or participate in any school sponsored or related function or activity. This includes, but is not limited to, clubs, athletics, competitions, dances, proms, trips, banquets, and graduation.

Offenses for which Social Probation may be assigned:

  • violation of the Braintree High School Chemical Health Policy (page 40)
  • violation of the Memorandum of Understanding (pages 73-76)
  • any violation of the discipline code
  • disruption or disturbance of any school sponsored activity or public assembly
  • any action that threatens safety and security or disrupts the school environment not listed herein, which the administrator deems appropriate for Social Probation. This may include information received from the Braintree Police Department, per the Memorandum of Understanding, with regard to incidents that occur within them community, outside of the school day

Social Probation Guidelines:

  • A student who is under Out-of-School suspension is automatically under Social Probation from the moment it is assigned by the administration until the morning of the return date or date assigned by the administrator
  • For offenses not involving suspension, social probation is for a period of three (3) weeks from the date that the school notifies the student and parent/guardian; subsequent offenses will be six (6) weeks social probation.
  • Social Probation may carry over to the following school year
  • Any student who violates the terms of his or her Social Probation will receive an Out-of-School Suspension and will be placed on Social Probation indefinitely.
  • Students who are in a position of leadership may jeopardize their privilege to serve in that capacity. See next section for specific guidelines.
  • These rules are in effect seven days a week, 24 hours a day, from the first day of school to the conclusion of the academic year

 Social Probation & MIAA Disciplinary Consequences

For athletes: In accordance with MIAA Rule 62.1, students involved in sports may practice but will not be allowed to participate in games or scrimmages during the social probation period. Rule 62.1 is explained in detail by the BHS Athletic Department and below. In addition, athletes who are team captains will not be allowed to hold their team leadership positions if they are in violation of the BHS Chemical Health Policy.

If a student is unable to participate in interscholastic sports due to injury or academics, the penalty will not take effect until that student is able to participate again.

  • First Violation: When the Principal confirms, following an opportunity for the student to be heard, that a violation occurred, the student shall lose eligibility for the next consecutive interscholastic contests totaling 25% of all interscholastic contests in that sport. No exception is permitted for a student who becomes a participant in a treatment program. It is recommended that the student be allowed to remain at practice for the purpose of rehabilitation. All decimal part of an event will be truncated i.e. All fractional part of an event will be dropped when calculating the 25% of the season.
  • Second and Subsequent Violations: When the Principal confirms, following an opportunity for the student to be heard, that a violation occurred, the student shall lose eligibility for the next consecutive interscholastic contests totaling 60% of all interscholastic contests in that sport. All decimal part of an event will be truncated i.e. All fractional part of an event will be dropped when calculating the 60% of the season. See chart on following page.
  • If after the second or subsequent violations the student of his/her own volition
  • becomes a participant in an approved chemical dependency program or treatment program, the student may be certified for reinstatement in MIAA activities after a minimum of 40% of events provided the student was fully engaged in the program throughout that penalty period. The high school principal in collaboration with a Chemical Dependency Program or Treatment Program must certify that student is attending or issue a certificate of completion. If the student does not complete program, penalty reverts back to 60% of the season. All decimal part of an event will be truncated i.e. All fractional part of an event will be dropped when calculating the 40% of the season. See chart on following page.
  • Penalties shall be cumulative each academic year, but serving the penalty could carry over for one year. Or, if the penalty period is not completed during the season of violation, the penalty shall carry over to the student’s next season of actual participation, which may affect the eligibility status of the student during the next academic year. (e.g. A student plays only football: he violates the rule in winter and/or the spring of same academic year: he would serve the penalty [ies] during the fall season of the next academic year.
  • If, while serving a penalty for violation of the Chemical Health Policy and the beginning of a new athletic season coincide, the student will be granted the opportunity to try out for an athletic program.

1st Offense - 25%

# of Events / Season

# of Events / Penalty

1-7

1

8-11

2

12-15

3

16-19

4

20 or over

5

 

2nd Offense - 60%

# of Events / Season

# of Events / Penalty

1-3

1

4

2

5-6

3

7-8

4

9

5

10-11

6

12-13

7

14

8

15-16

9

17-18

10

19

11

20 or over

12

 

2nd Offense w/Dependency Program – 40% if in the program throughout the penalty period

# of Events / Season

# of Events / Penalty

1-4

1

5-7

2

8-9

3

10-12

4

13-14

5

15-17

6

18-19

7

20 or over

8

 

Students who are members of the National Honor Society or Student Government may attend regularly scheduled meetings but will not be allowed to participate in other school sponsored activities during the period of the Social Probation. In addition, these organizations have internal ethics committees that will determine if students who hold leadership positions will be allowed to continue in their leadership role after the period of Social Probation has ended. A factor in the decision making process would be whether or not loss of leadership position would prevent the student from participating in the club or activity as a general member.

Students involved in Theatre Guild productions may rehearse but will not be allowed to participate in the production if the play/musical is within the dates of the Social Probation.

Students involved in any other school sponsored clubs and activities may attend regularly scheduled meetings but will not be allowed to participate in other school sponsored activities during the period of the Social Probation. The club advisors in conjunction with BHS administrators will determine if students who hold leadership positions will be allowed to continue in their leadership role after the period of social probation has ended. A factor in the decision making process would be whether or not loss of leadership position would prevent the student from participating in the club or activity as a general member.

C

Appendix C

Memorandum of Understanding between the Braintree Public Schools and the Braintree Police Department

Statement of Purpose:

We agree that crimes committed by young people are a national and societal problem reaching into our community of Braintree.  To maximize the effectiveness of our efforts to achieve a crime-free community, we recognize the coordination and cooperation of the community as a whole are essential.  Therefore, the Chief of Police, with support of the Mayor and the Superintendent of Schools, with the support of the School Committee, pledge to follow the agreed upon procedures for communicating criminal activity.

We further agree to coordinate our efforts, when appropriate, with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

An agreement such as this is necessary since administrators, teachers, and other staff members are increasingly relied upon to monitor student behavior and to report unusual behavior that may indicate involvement with criminal activity.  In these instances, the rights and responsibilities of school personnel and students and the role of police officers and law enforcement must be clearly understood.

This memorandum of understanding is an internal document between the parties and does not confer any rights, privileges or obligations nor is it enforceable against the parties hereto in any court, administrative hearing, or other forum.   Any written or oral communication between the parties of the memorandum of understanding will be protected by all laws relating to privacy and confidentiality.  This memorandum of understanding is in addition to, and does not supplant, policies of the Braintree Public Schools with regard to disciplinary procedures and codes of students conduct which are now or may be formulated and published in any student handbook.

 

Reportable Acts:

This memorandum of understanding concerns the report of mandatory reportable acts, which include assaultive behavior, the possession of weapons, a case where a student is believed to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a case where a student is believed to be in a possession of or distributing any controlled substance.  School personnel are not protected under any privilege statutes of the Commonwealth and, if called on to testify in court, they would be obligated to reveal any information relating to a crime, even if voluntarily confided to them by a student.

This memorandum of agreement also concerns the response of law enforcement agencies to criminal activity in a school setting.

Procedures and Responsibilities:

1.0   The School Superintendent designates the School Principal as the responsible school official in each school for handling all reportable acts.  The Chief of Police designates the School Resource Officer or, in his or her absence, the Detective Bureau Commander, as the official responsible for handling all reportable acts.  (The term “drugs,” where used in this document, includes alcohol and controlled substances.)

2.0   All individuals who are involved in this memorandum of understanding agree to the following:

2.1   All school staff members are under obligation to report any and all incidents of violence to the School Principal.  The School Principal shall be responsible for reporting all serious incidents of violence to the School Resource Officer.  A serious incident of violence shall include, but not be limited to, any actual or threatened assault involving at least one student against another student, teacher, administrator, or employee or member of the school community, which involves the infliction or threat of serious bodily assault or any actual or threatening physical assault, or bullying injury or psychological harm.  The Braintree Police Department shall determine and pursue appropriate measures to hold alleged offenders accountable and to help maintain school safety as warranted.

2.2   The Braintree Public Schools, through its principals or their designees, shall continue to promptly notify the BPD liaison of any information regarding any “serious act of violence”.  Serious acts of violence shall include, but not be limited to, (any sexual assault or any actual or threatened physical assault, or bullying) involving at least one student against another student, teacher, administrator or employee, occurring in a school facility or in connection with a school function, which results in bodily injury or psychological harm, or involves the possession or use of a weapon or is a civil rights incident.

2.3   The Braintree Public Schools, through its principals or their designees, shall continue to promptly notify the BPD liaison of any instance where a “weapon” is possessed by or taken from a student on school grounds or in connection with a school function.   A weapon includes any item as defined in Massachusetts General Laws chapter 269, section 10, and any other object that BPD, in its discretion, feels warrants further attention by BPD.

2.4   The Braintree Public Schools, through its principals or their designees, shall continue to promptly notify the BPD liaison of any information regarding the possession, use or distribution of alcohol or drugs within a school facility or at any school function.

2.5   The BPD will likewise promptly report to the principal any incident of underage drinking, possession, use or distribution of alcohol, drugs, weapons, or acts of bullying or violence occurring within the Town of Braintree during school hours and non-school hours.   The BPD shall assign an officer to serve as liaison to the Braintree Public Schools.  The BPD shall continue to make the School Resource Officer available to the Braintree Public

Schools during school hours.  The School Resource Officer shall receive reports from the Braintree Public Schools principals or their designees regarding serious acts of violence, bullying, the possession or use of weapons, or the possession, use or distribution of alcohol or drugs occurring in a school facility or at any school functions.

D

Appendix D, Page 1

 

Appendix D, Page 2

Appendix D, Page 3

​​​​Appendix D, Page 4

​​​​Appendix D, Page 5

​​​​Appendix D, Page 6

E

Appendix E

Policy of Braintree Public Schools Relative to Illegal Distribution, Use, and Possession of Drugs:

3.0  Selling Drugs or Possession with Intent to Sell During Regular School Day or at Any School Sponsored Function:

3.1 Any student found selling, or in possession of a quantity of a controlled substance with intent to sell, shall be subject to expulsion by the Principal.  The student shall be notified in writing of an opportunity for a hearing and have the right to representation, along with the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses at said hearing.  Any student expelled shall have the right to appeal to the Superintendent of Schools.  The student shall have ten days from the date of the expulsion in which to notify the Superintendent of his/her appeal.  The student shall have the right to counsel at a hearing before the Superintendent.

4.0 Uses and/or Possession of Drugs or Alcohol during Regular School Day or at a School Sponsored Function:                                     

4.1  First Offense:

Any student found using and/or in possession or constructive possession of any form of drugs or alcohol during the regular school day or at school sponsored or related events, including athletic games, shall be subject to suspension or expulsion from school by the Principal.  The student shall be notified in writing of an opportunity for a hearing and have the right to representation, along with the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses at said hearing.  Any student expelled shall have the right to appeal to the Superintendent of Schools.  The

student shall have ten days from the date of the expulsion in which to notify the Superintendent of his/her appeal.  The student shall have the right to counsel at a hearing before the Superintendent.  A student who is suspended shall not participate in any extracurricular school activities for a period of three weeks, as outlined in the Chemical Health Policy in the Student-Parent Handbook.  Student athletes will also be subject to an athletic suspension in accordance with the MIAA/Braintree High School Chemical Health Policy.

4.2  Second Offense:

Any student found using and/or in possession or constructive possession of any form of drugs or alcohol during the regular school day or a school sponsored or related event, including athletic games, shall be subject to suspension or expulsion from school by the Principal.  The student shall be notified in writing of an opportunity for a hearing and have the right to representation, along with the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses at said hearing.  Any student expelled shall have the right to appeal to the Superintendent of Schools.  The student shall have ten days from the date of the expulsion in which to notify the Superintendent of his/her appeal.  The student shall have the right to counsel at a hearing before the Superintendent.  A student who is suspended shall not participate in any extracurricular school activities for a period of six weeks, as outlined in the Chemical Health Policy in the Student-Parent Handbook.  Student athletes will also be subject to an athletic suspension in accordance with the MIAA Braintree High School Chemical Health Policy.

5.0   Use and/or Possession of Drugs or Alcohol Outside of the Regular School Day and Off School Grounds

5.1  Regardless of where any student is found using and/or in possession or constructive possession of alcohol or a controlled substance, or the distribution or intent to distribute a controlled substance takes place, paragraphs 4.1 and 4.2 will be followed as if the offense took place on school property with the exception that no suspension from school will be imposed.

Other Procedures:

6.0   The Principal or his/her designee will turn over to the School Resource Officer all confiscated illicit drugs and paraphernalia and weapons on the day that the violation took place and with a report.  A written description of the confiscated material, which is signed and dated by the receiving police officer, will be given to the school official.

7.0   The Principal or his/her designee will report any illegal or criminal conduct, not outlined in Section 2.0 to the School Resource Officer.  In such cases, students may be subject to disciplinary action and/or prosecution in the normal course, but in addition may be eligible to be diverted from prosecution in appropriate circumstances.

Any crime is a violation of school rules and is governed by this memorandum if it occurs in the school building, on school grounds, at school sponsored events, at activities or events which may be conducted off school grounds, on school buses, and at or around the school bus stops, during loading and unloading procedures or on the way to or from school.

8.0 The Braintree Police Department’s School Resource Officer will coordinate the Police Department’s action in cases of students found to be in possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia committing criminal activity.  The BPD Detective Commander will coordinate record-keeping functions for the Police Department.

9.0   The Principal of the school will report to the parents and to the School Resource Officer all incidents of students found to be under the influence of drugs.

9.1   Reports of such incidents will be maintained by the Braintree Police Department as well as by the Principal.

10.0  The Braintree Alliance for Safe and Healthy Youth shall meet at least once each school year for the purpose of reviewing policies and procedures contained herein and for the purpose of assessing local conditions regarding illegal drug use and distribution of controlled substances.

11.0 The Braintree Police Department, through the School Resource Officer, shall report any violation of any drug law involving any student in the Braintree Schools to the Superintendent of Schools or the Principal of the student’s respective school.

12.0 This memorandum shall become part of the Codes for Student Conduct established in each school.

13.0 Every precaution will be taken by school officials and the Police Department to insure that the educational program of students is not disrupted.

Peter A. Kurzberg                                     Paul H. Frazier                             Joseph C. Sullivan
Superintendent of Schools                       Chief of Police                              Mayor

 

Appendix A, Role of the Office of the Norfolk District Attorney

The Norfolk District Attorney’s Office shall coordinate reported matters involving students with the Braintree Police Department and its designated liaison (school resource officer, police prosecutor) and the Braintree Public Schools and its designated liaison (school principal, school resource officer) as appropriate.  The Norfolk District Attorney’s Office shall endeavor to consult with the Braintree Police Department regarding conditions of release, sentencing recommendations and other appropriate information that may enhance school and community safety, and the ability of the Braintree Public Schools and the Braintree Police Department to monitor court ordered conditions.

When a youth from the community has been charged with a felony, the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office will endeavor to confirm that information for the Braintree Public Schools and the Braintree Police Department that the youth has been notified of the charges and arraigned.

The Norfolk District Attorney’s Office shall participate in regular school safety (juvenile justice roundtable) forums with the Braintree Public Schools and the Braintree Police Department.  Through these confidential forums, the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office shall bring together school administrators, police officers, prosecutors and representatives from the Departments of Probation, Youth Services and Children and Families, as appropriate, to share information about court-involved and at-risk youth, to the extent permitted by law.  These professionals shall work together to maintain school and community safety by developing early intervention strategies, linking appropriate services, monitoring student progress and ensuring compliance with court ordered conditions.  The Norfolk District Attorney’s Office shall endeavor to inform roundtable members, as necessary, of victims within the Braintree Public Schools to facilitate safety planning and enforcement of court ordered conditions.  Any information discussed during such meetings shall be considered confidential and subject to privacy restrictions established by law.

Michael W. Morrissey, Norfolk District Attorney

F

Appendix F

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71, Sections 37H, 37H1/2 and 37H3/4

In order to maintain an environment conducive to teaching and learning we will declare unequivocally that weapons, illegal drugs, alcohol, and violent acts have no place in an academic setting.

The Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 was signed into law on June 18, 1993.  This law has a direct impact on some student discipline policies and procedures. The information contained below details policy and procedural changes that are now in effect in all schools in Massachusetts.  The Massachusetts Education Reform Act supersedes pertinent discipline policy and procedures that are outlined in the student handbook.  These policies and procedures include:

Chapter 71, Section 37H:

       A.             Possession of Weapons / Drugs

       B.             Assault on School Personnel

It is important for students and parents to understand and be mindful of the information listed below:

Section 37H. The superintendent of every school district shall publish the district's policies pertaining to the conduct of teachers and students. Said policies shall prohibit the use of any tobacco products within the school buildings, the school facilities or on the school grounds or on school buses by any individual, including school personnel. Said policies shall further restrict operators of school buses and personal motor vehicles, including students, faculty, staff and visitors, from idling such vehicles on school grounds, consistent with section 16B of chapter 90 and regulations adopted pursuant thereto and by the department. The policies shall also prohibit bullying as defined in section 37O and shall include the student-related sections of the bullying prevention and intervention plan required by said section 37O. Copies of these policies shall be provided to any person upon request and without cost by the principal of every school within the district.

Each school district's policies pertaining to the conduct of students shall include the following: disciplinary proceedings, including procedures assuring due process; standards and procedures for suspension and expulsion of students; procedures pertaining to discipline of students with special needs; standards and procedures to assure school building security and safety of students and school personnel; and the disciplinary measures to be taken in cases involving the possession or use of illegal substances or weapons, the use of force, vandalism, or violation of a student's civil rights. Codes of discipline, as well as procedures used to develop such codes shall be filed with the department of education for informational purposes only.

In each school building containing the grades nine to twelve, inclusive, the principal, in consultation with the school council, shall prepare and distribute to each student a student handbook setting forth the rules pertaining to the conduct of students. The student handbook shall include an age-appropriate summary of the student-related sections of the bullying prevention and intervention plan required by section 37O. The school council shall review the student handbook each spring to consider changes in disciplinary policy to take effect in September of the following school year, but may consider policy changes at any time. The annual review shall cover all areas of student conduct, including but not limited to those outlined in this section.

Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, all student handbooks shall contain the following provisions:

(a) Any student who is found on school premises or at school-sponsored or school-related events, including athletic games, in possession of a dangerous weapon, including, but not limited to, a gun or a knife; or a controlled substance as defined in chapter ninety-four C, including, but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, may be subject to expulsion from the school or school district by the principal.

(b) Any student who assaults a principal, assistant principal, teacher, teacher's aide or other educational staff on school premises or at school-sponsored or school-related events, including athletic games, may be subject to expulsion from the school or school district by the principal.

(c) Any student who is charged with a violation of either paragraph (a) or (b) shall be notified in writing of an opportunity for a hearing; provided, however, that the student may have representation, along with the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses at said hearing before the principal.

After said hearing, a principal may, in his discretion, decide to suspend rather than expel a student who has been determined by the principal to have violated either paragraph (a) or (b).

(d) Any student who has been expelled from a school district pursuant to these provisions shall have the right to appeal to the superintendent. The expelled student shall have ten days from the date of the expulsion in which to notify the superintendent of his appeal. The student has the right to counsel at a hearing before the superintendent. The subject matter of the appeal shall not be limited solely to a factual determination of whether the student has violated any provisions of this section.

(e) Any school district that suspends or expels a student under this section shall continue to provide educational services to the student during the period of suspension or expulsion, under section 21 of chapter 76. If the student moves to another district during the period of suspension or expulsion, the new district of residence shall either admit the student to its schools or provide educational services to the student in an education service plan, under section 21 of chapter 76.

(f) Districts shall report to the department of elementary and secondary education the specific reasons for all suspensions and expulsions, regardless of duration or type, in a manner and form established by the commissioner. The department of elementary and secondary education shall use its existing data collection tools to obtain this information from districts and shall modify those tools, as necessary, to obtain the information. On an annual basis, the department of elementary and secondary education shall make district level de-identified data and analysis, including the total number of days each student is excluded during the school year, available to the public online in a machine readable format. This report shall include district level data disaggregated by student status and categories established by the commissioner.

(g) Under the regulations promulgated by the department, for each school that suspends or expels a significant number of students for more than 10 cumulative days in a school year, the commissioner shall investigate and, as appropriate, shall recommend models that incorporate intermediary steps prior to the use of suspension or expulsion. The results of the analysis shall be publicly reported at the school district level.

Chapter 71, Section 37H ½ - Felony Complaints and Felony Convictions

Section 37H1/2. Notwithstanding the provisions of section eighty-four and sections sixteen and seventeen of chapter seventy-six:

(1) Upon the issuance of a criminal complaint charging a student with a felony or upon the issuance of a felony delinquency complaint against a student, the principal or headmaster of a school in which the student is enrolled may suspend such student for a period of time determined appropriate by said principal or headmaster if said principal or headmaster determines that the student's continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. The student shall receive written notification of the charges and the reasons for such suspension prior to such suspension taking effect. The student shall also receive written notification of his right to appeal and the process for appealing such suspension; provided, however, that such suspension shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing conducted by the superintendent.

The student shall have the right to appeal the suspension to the superintendent. The student shall notify the superintendent in writing of his request for an appeal no later than five calendar days following the effective date of the suspension. The superintendent shall hold a hearing with the student and the student's parent or guardian within three calendar days of the student's request for an appeal. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony on his behalf, and shall have the right to counsel. The superintendent shall have the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the principal or headmaster, including recommending an alternate educational program for the student. The superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal within five calendar days of the hearing.

Such decision shall be the final decision of the city, town or regional school district with regard to the suspension.

(2) Upon a student being convicted of a felony or upon an adjudication or admission in court of guilt with respect to such a felony or felony delinquency, the principal or headmaster of a school in which the student is enrolled may expel said student if such principal or headmaster determines that the student's continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. The student shall receive written notification of the charges and reasons for such expulsion prior to such expulsion taking effect. The student shall also receive written notification of his right to appeal and the process for appealing such expulsion; provided, however, that the expulsion shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing conducted by the superintendent.

The student shall have the right to appeal the expulsion to the superintendent. The student shall notify the superintendent, in writing, of his request for an appeal no later than five calendar days following the effective date of the expulsion. The superintendent shall hold a hearing with the student and the student's parent or guardian within three calendar days of the expulsion. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony on his behalf, and shall have the right to counsel. The superintendent shall have the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the principal or headmaster, including recommending an alternate educational program for the student. The superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal within five calendar days of the hearing. Such decision shall be the final decision of the city, town or regional school district with regard to the expulsion.

Any school district that suspends or expels a student under this section shall continue to provide educational services to the student during the period of suspension or expulsion, under section 21 of chapter 76. If the student moves to another district during the period of suspension or expulsion, the new district of residence shall either admit the student to its schools or provide educational services to the student under an education service plan, under section 21 of chapter 76.

Section 37:  Section 37L of said chapter 71 General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following paragraphs:

In addition, any school department personnel shall report in writing to their immediate supervisor an incident involving a student’s possession or use of a dangerous weapon on school premises at any time.

Supervisors who receive such a weapon report shall file it with the superintendent of said school, who shall file copies of said weapon report with the local chief of police, the department of social services, the office of student services or its equivalent in any school district, and the local school committee.  Said superintendent, police chief, and representative from the department of social services, together with a representative from the office of student services or its equivalent, shall arrange an assessment of the student involved in said weapon report.  Said student shall be referred to a counseling program; provided, however, that said counseling shall be in accordance with acceptable standards as set forth by the Board of Education.  Upon completion of a counseling session, a follow-up assessment shall be made of said student by those involved in the initial assessment.

A student transferring into a local system must provide the new school system with a complete school record of the entering student.  Said record shall include, but not be limited to, any incident reports in which such student was charged with any suspended act.

Chapter 71, Section 37H3/4 – Requirements for Long and Short-Term Suspensions

Section 37H3/4. (a) This section shall govern the suspension and expulsion of students enrolled in a public school in the commonwealth who are not charged with a violation of subsections (a) or (b) of section 37H or with a felony under section 37H1/2.

(b) Any principal, headmaster, superintendent or other person acting as a decision-maker at a student meeting or hearing, when deciding the consequences for the student, shall exercise discretion; consider ways to re-engage the student in the learning process; and avoid using expulsion as a consequence until other remedies and consequences have been employed.

(c) For any suspension or expulsion under this section, the principal or headmaster of a school in which the student is enrolled, or a designee, shall provide, to the student and to the parent or guardian of the student, notice of the charges and the reason for the suspension or expulsion in English and in the primary language spoken in the home of the student. The student shall receive the written notification and shall have the opportunity to meet with the principal or headmaster, or a designee, to discuss the charges and reasons for the suspension or expulsion prior to the suspension or expulsion taking effect. The principal or headmaster, or a designee, shall ensure that the parent or guardian of the student is included in the meeting, provided that such meeting may take place without the parent or guardian only if the principal or headmaster, or a designee, can document reasonable efforts to include the parent or guardian in that meeting. The department shall promulgate rules and regulations that address a principal's duties under this subsection and procedures for including parents in student exclusion meetings, hearings or interviews under this subsection.

(d) If a decision is made to suspend or expel the student after the meeting, the principal or headmaster, or a designee, shall update the notification for the suspension or expulsion to reflect the meeting with the student. If a student has been suspended or expelled for more than 10 school days for a single infraction or for more than 10 school days cumulatively for multiple infractions in any school year, the student and the parent or guardian of the student shall also receive, at the time of the suspension or expulsion decision, written notification of a right to appeal and the process for appealing the suspension or expulsion in English and in the primary language spoken in the home of the student; provided, however, that the suspension or expulsion shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing. The principal or headmaster or a designee shall notify the superintendent in writing, including, but not limited to, by electronic means, of any out-of-school suspension imposed on a student enrolled in kindergarten through grade 3 prior to such suspension taking effect. That notification shall describe the student's alleged misconduct and the reasons for suspending the student out-of-school. For the purposes of this section, the term ''out-of-school suspension'' shall mean a disciplinary action imposed by school officials to remove a student from participation in school activities for 1 day or more.

(e) A student who has been suspended or expelled from school for more than 10 school days for a single infraction or for more than 10 school days cumulatively for multiple infractions in any school year shall have the right to appeal the suspension or expulsion to the superintendent. The student or a parent or guardian of the student shall notify the superintendent in writing of a request for an appeal not later than 5 calendar days following the effective date of the suspension or expulsion; provided, that a student and a parent or guardian of the student may request, and if so requested, shall be granted an extension of up to 7 calendar days. The superintendent or a designee shall hold a hearing with the student and the parent or guardian of the student within 3 school days of the student's request for an appeal; provided that a student or a parent or guardian of the student may request and, if so requested, shall be granted an extension of up to 7 calendar days; provided further, that the superintendent, or a designee, may proceed with a hearing without a parent or guardian of the student if the superintendent, or a designee, makes a good faith effort to include the parent or guardian. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony, cross-examine witnesses and shall have the right to counsel. The superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal in writing within 5 calendar days of the hearing. That decision shall be the final decision of the school district with regard to the suspension or expulsion.

(f) No student shall be suspended or expelled from a school or school district for a time period that exceeds 90 school days, beginning the first day the student is removed from an assigned school building.

G

Appendix G

Expulsion Policy

Certain offenses are considered sufficiently severe that expulsion will be considered.  Among these offenses are:

  • possession of a dangerous weapon, included but not limited to a firearm, knife, chain, studded bracelet, rear-gas canister, and “metal star”
  • possession of a controlled substance, included but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine or heroin (Massachusetts General Law Chapter 71, Section 37 H)
  • assault on a staff member (Massachusetts General Law Chapter 71, Section 37 H)
  • causing a major school disruption; i.e. pulling a false fire alarm
  • falsely reporting the existence of an exploding device
  • any other act that is deemed by the administration as serious enough in nature including being arrested for a felony even though it occurred off of school grounds.( Massachusetts Education Reform Act 37H 1/2)

Those students who have violated any of the above infractions may be subject to the following disciplinary action:

  • Suspension from school for a period of 1-10 days for those offenses occurring on school grounds or at a school-sponsored events
  • Social Probation from all school activities for a period of three weeks from the date of the infraction
  • Expulsion hearing with the Headmaster
  • Expulsion from school
  • Referral to local law enforcement for criminal complaint 

Procedural due process for expulsion includes:

  • Written notice of the charges and adequate time to prepare for a hearing
  • The right to be represented by a lawyer or other advocate at the hearing
  • The right to present and question evidence and witnesses
  • The right to a reasonable prompt, written decision, including specific grounds for the decision

Any student who has been expelled by the Headmaster shall have the right to appeal to the Superintendent

Approved by the Braintree School Committee August 8, 2011

H

Appendix H
Braintree Public Schools Health Services Protocol for the Implementation of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment) Program

Purpose:  The purpose of this policy is to ensure the proper management and implementation of the SBIRT screening program, keep all students healthy and provide appropriate prevention, intervention and referrals as determined necessary.

Goal: The goal of the SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment) Screening Program is to provide education for prevention and early intervention of substance use to middle school and high school students through use of the CRAFFT II screening tool, and to keep students mentally and physically healthy.  Students found to be currently using substances, or at risk to use substances, will be referred for a brief intervention by a guidance counselor or school nurses and receive follow up counseling and referred for evaluation and treatment as needed.  Students who are not identified as using substances will have their healthy choices reinforced by positive feedback.

The Opioid Bill: The Opioid Bill signed by Governor Baker on March 14, 2016, mandates a verbal screening for substance use (also known as Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment – SBIRT).  /Bills/189/House/H4056. An Act relative to substance use, treatment, education and prevention Section 15, and under that Section 97:

(a) Subject to appropriation, each city, town, regional school district, charter school or vocational school district shall utilize a verbal screening tool to screen pupils for substance use disorders. Screenings shall occur on an annual basis and occur at 2 different grade levels as recommended by the department of elementary and secondary education, in consultation with the department of public health. Parents or guardians of a pupil to be screened pursuant to this section shall be notified prior to the start of the school year. Verbal screening tools shall be approved by the department of elementary and secondary education, in conjunction with the department of public health. De-identified screening results shall be reported to the department of public health, in a manner to be determined by the department of public health, not later than 90 days after completion of the screening.

(b) A pupil or the pupil’s parent or guardian may opt out of the screening by written notification at any time prior to or during the screening. A city, town, regional school district, charter school or vocational school district utilizing a verbal screening tool shall comply with the department of elementary and secondary education’s regulations relative to consent.

(c) Any statement, response or disclosure made by a pupil during a verbal substance use disorder screening shall be considered confidential information and shall not be disclosed by a person receiving the statement, response or disclosure to any other person without the prior written consent of the pupil, parent or guardian, except in cases of immediate medical emergency or a disclosure is otherwise required by state law. Such consent shall be documented on a form approved by the department of public health and shall not be subject to discovery or subpoena in any civil, criminal, legislative or administrative proceeding. No record of any statement, response or disclosure shall be made in any form, written, electronic or otherwise, that includes information identifying the pupil.

(d) The department of elementary and secondary education shall notify each school district in writing of the requirement to screen students for substance use disorders pursuant to this section. School districts with alternative substance use screening policies may, on a form provided by the department, opt out of the required verbal screening tool. The form shall be signed by the school superintendent and provide a detailed description of the alternative substance use program the district has implemented and the reasons why the required verbal screening tool is not appropriate for the district.

(e) No person shall have a cause of action for loss or damage caused by an act or omission resulting from the implementation of this section.

SECTION 64. The department of elementary and secondary education, in consultation with the department of public health, shall create a notice and opt out form relative to substance use disorder screenings required by section 97 of chapter 71 of the General Laws.

Retrieved from: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/House/H4056, on May 19, 2016

  1. Management of the SBIRT Screening Program in the Braintree Public Schools:Braintree Public School Nurses, guidance counselors and all those participating in the program must attend an initial training session given by the Department of Public Health prior to implementing the screening process. A yearly refresher training course will be required.  Upon successful completion of the training session the identified staff will be able to effectively screen students for substance use, and/or risk of substance use using the CRAFFT-II screening tool.
  2. The screeners will include: nurses, guidance counselors, school psychologist and other identified SBIRT trained staff and the Program Coordinator for the Braintree Public School System.  The SBIRT Coordinator will be responsible for: 
    In order to fulfill the scope of service for the SBIRT program in Schools, each school district must meet the following components:
    • Appoint/hire a program coordinator for the SBIRT Planning grant in your district.
    • View online SBIRT in Schools modules prior to attendance at SBIRT in Schools Training program, and provide a certificate of participation.  It is required that this program be viewed, at a minimum, by the school principal and SBIRT Coordinator in the district. It is recommended that all school personnel involved in the SBIRT planning process view this program prior to the attendance at the SBIRT in Schools Training program.
    • Attend SBIRT in Schools Training as required and complete evaluation to receive a certificate of attendance.
    • Identify resources in region and plan for linkage of students to behavioral/mental health programs (as needed) within the school or through an outside referral; to be noted on final work plan.
    • Collaborate/consult/network with local community substance abuse agencies and coalitions.
  3. Each Screener, and those Participating in the Program, will be responsible for:
    • Maintaining student confidentiality.
    • Reporting participation numbers and results to the Program Coordinator as needed for reports to be submitted to the Department of Public Health

Confidentiality of Student Health Information

School health records are temporary records governed by the Massachusetts Department of Education's record regulations: Student Records, 603 CMR 23.00. Maintaining and accessing school health records must also adhere to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). In addition, certain transactions may have Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) implications.

Not all health information belongs in the student health record. While it is appropriate practice for a nurse or other health professional to document observable facts with respect to a health condition, health needs, treatment plan, and the care provided, some information is not sufficiently related to the educational progress of a student to be appropriate for documentation in the student record. In addition, health professionals may have an ethical and legal duty to protect certain medical information which they possess. Placement of medical information in the school record, where persons other than the school nurse may see it, may violate this duty.

Given these statutes concerning confidentiality, it is recommended that information of the types covered by the statutes (and other sensitive material) be placed in a nurse's or guidance personal files and regarded as confidential. According to Department of Elementary and Secondary Education regulations, 603 CMR 23.04, information maintained in the personal files of a school employee, if not accessible to or revealed to school personnel or third parties, is not considered part of the school record. Such information may be shared with the student, parent, or a temporary substitute of the maker of the record but otherwise should be released only with proper consent or court order. Such records should be kept in a separate locked file, accessible only to the nurse, guidance or the nurse's, guidance substitute. Federal regulations provide that once information in a nurse’s or guidance personal files is disclosed to a third party, it must afterwards be included as part of the student’s health record and will subsequently be subject to all the provisions of 603 CMR 23.00

State and Federal Laws that Govern Minor Rights to Confidentiality of Information Shared with Health Care Providers:

Laws/Regulations Concerning Drug and Alcohol-Related Treatment

Under Massachusetts law (M.G.L. c.112, s.12E), drug-dependent minors may consent to medical treatment related to their drug dependency. The law states:

“A minor twelve years of age or older who is found to be drug dependent by two or more physicians may give his consent to the furnishing of hospital and medical care related to the diagnosis or treatment of such drug dependency. Such consent shall not be subject to disaffirmance because of minority. The consent of the parent or legal guardian of such minor shall not be necessary to authorize hospital and medical care related to such drug dependency and, notwithstanding any provision of section fifty-four of chapter one hundred and twenty-three to the contrary, such parent or legal guardian shall not be liable for the payment of any care rendered pursuant to this section. Records shall be kept of such care. The provisions of this section shall not apply to methadone maintenance therapy.”

In instances such as drug overdose, M.G.L. c.112, s.12F, which governs emergency treatment of minors, also applies. Section 12F states:

“No physician, dentist or hospital shall be held liable for damages for failure to obtain consent of a parent, legal guardian, or other person having custody or control of a minor child, or of the spouse of a patient, to emergency examination and treatment, including blood transfusions, when delay in treatment will endanger the life, limb, or mental well-being of the patient.”

It is important to note that under M.G.L. c.111B, s.10, the consent of the minor and a parent may be needed for some substance treatment programs.

Federal medical privacy rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) allow adolescent health care providers to "honor their ethical obligations to maintain confidentiality consistent with other laws". For example, HIPAA only allows parents to have access to the medical records of a minor child if that access does not conflict with a State or other confidentiality law.

Additionally, federally funded treatment centers are subject to the Code of Federal Regulations (42 CFR Part 2), which protect the confidentiality of records on and drug use of minor patients. These records cannot be shared with anyone - including a parent or legal guardian - without written consent of the minor patient.

Notification of Parents/Guardians:

A letter of notification will be mailed to the student’s home with details describing the screening process.  Parent/guardian have the right to opt out their child if they so desire.  To opt out of the SBIRT screening, the parent/guardian will be required to notify Laurie Melchionda, Director of Health Services by written notification. Additionally, screening is voluntary and students may choose not to answer any or all of the screening questions.

Space and Confidentiality:

A space providing privacy and confidentiality will be determined to complete each individual screening. Each student will complete the CRAFFT-II interview form and will be screened in private by an SBIRT trained staff member. Results will be reviewed, remain confidential and will be destroyed after the screening process has been completed. 

CRAFFT-II Screening Interview Tool:

Using the CRAFFT-II Screening Tool

A paper screening tool will be utilized and the screening will be performed face to face in a private area. The Guidance Counselor or School Nurse will review the answers with the student. The student will receive educational materials and resources.  The screening document will remain with the screener to be shredded at the end of the session.

Screening using the CRAFFT-II tool begins by the provider asking the adolescent to answer the following questions honestly:

During the last 12 months, on how many days did you:

  1. Drink more than a few sips of beer, wine, or any drink containing alcohol?
  2. Use any marijuana (for example, pot, weed, or hash) or “synthetic marijuana” (for example          “K2” or “Spice”)?
  3. Take a prescription medication or pill that was NOT prescribed to you or MORE than was prescribed to you (for example, prescription pain pills or ADHD medications)?
  4. Use anything else to get high?  (for example, other illegal drugs, over-the-counter medications, and things that you sniff or “huff”)

If the student answers “no” to all four questions in Part A, the screener only needs to ask the first question on the CRAFFT-II tool Part B. If the student answers “yes” to any 1 or more of the first 4 questions in Part A, then the screener asks all 6 CRAFFT-II questions in Part B:

  1. Have you ever ridden in a CAR driven by someone (including yourself) who was “high” or had been using alcohol or drugs?
  2. Do you ever use alcohol or drugs to RELAX, feel better about yourself, or fit in?
  3. Do you ever use alcohol or drugs while you are by yourself, or ALONE?
  4. Do you ever FORGET things you did while using alcohol or drugs?
  5. Do your FAMILY or FRIENDS ever tell you that you should cut down on your drinking or drug use?
  6. Have you ever gotten into TROUBLE while you were using alcohol or drugs?

Each question is scored 1 point. Those students who report no use and score a “0” on the CRAFFT-II will receive praise and encouragement from the screener. A student who reports use but scores a 0 or 1 on the CRAFFT-II will receive brief advice on the health risks of use and encouragement to stop. This advice would be done immediately, or if there are time constraints, a brief follow-up meeting with the school nurse or guidance counselor later that day or the next day will take place. A score of 2 or greater is a positive screen and will result in a referral to the school guidance counselor, school nurse or psychologist for further assessment of risk, counseling, and if appropriate, with student consent, parents will be contacted and/or a referral to outside treatment sources as needed.

Documenting results:

Screened students will be tracked via a check off list and a separate anonymous data collection sheet will be kept for recording and reporting screening results to the DPH.  The only demographic identifiers will be student’s age and gender for which they identify as belonging. No individual identifying information is to be collected, documented in any form (written, electronic or otherwise) or reported to any state agency.

Students with positive screening results will be referred to a guidance counselor, nurse or school psychologist for brief intervention and counseling, and referral to treatment if necessary.

Preparation: time/place/letter/”which brain” education and resources for both parents and students

Follow-up

Absentees

Students who were not screened because of absence will be identified and assigned a SBIRT trained staff to be screened at a later time when they return to school.

At the end of each screening session we will have a “debriefing” meeting with TEAM members to make sure all staff feel confident and have no questions or concerns.  No student identifiers will be discussed during the “debriefing” meeting.

Dear Parent or Guardian,

On Monday, March 14, 2016, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a new set of rules designed to combat the opioid addiction crisis. One of the requirements of the new law is that each city, town, regional school district, charter school, or vocational school district shall utilize a verbal screening tool to screen pupils for substance use disorders. Adolescent Health Survey data has consistently demonstrated that a small number of our students try alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs and, by the end of high school, many more report substance use. Research has shown that our brains are continuing to develop during adolescence and substance use in the early years can substantially alter brain functioning for a lifetime.

This year, we are initiating a screening program, at BHS, related to the use of alcohol, marijuana and other substances. Screening Brief Intervention Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is evidence-based screening to promote prevention and identify early risk for substance use in adolescents.  Our goal is to let the students know that we are available to reinforce healthy decisions and to assist them in obtaining support if needed for substance-use related problems. BHS nursing, counseling, and health education staff will be providing an interview-based screening for the 9th grade students about the use of alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs. This screening utilizes the most commonly used substance use screening tool for adolescents in Massachusetts, the CRAFFT.  Student screening sessions will be brief (approximately 5 minutes) and conducted confidentially in private, one-on-one sessions by the school nurse, guidance counselor, or health education teacher. Students who are not using substances will have their healthy choices reinforced by the screener. The screener will provide brief feedback to any student who reports using substances, or is at risk for future substance use.  If needed, the student will be referred to our guidance department for further evaluation. Results of the screening will not be included in your student’s school record, nor will the results be shared with any staff other than the SBIRT Team. The SBIRT Team is composed of the nursing staff, guidance counselors, and health education teachers. All students will receive some educational material and a resource list at the time of the screening.

As with any screening you have the right to opt your child out of this screening. Please contact Laurie Melchionda, Director of Nursing Services, via email at lmelchionda@braintreema.gov if you wish to exclude your child from this screening by December 22, 2016.  Additionally, screening is voluntary and students may choose not to answer any or all of the screening questions and may choose not to participate.

Screening will be conducted during your child’s Physical Education class during the month of January or February.

Together, schools and parents/guardians can make a difference for the youth in Braintree. We encourage all parents/guardians to talk with their child about substance use. For ideas on how to begin these conversations, please refer to the parent resources included in this packet.

For more information on the SBIRT screening program please feel free to join us early on October 6th Freshman Parent Orientation Night at 6pm. We will have computers set up in the lobby for you to view the screening process and staff available to answer your questions.

Thank you,
Headmaster

See Resources below

 

Resources

  • The Massachusetts Substance Abuse Helpline
    1-800-327-5050   www.helpline-online.com
    Free and confidential. It links callers and online visitors with comprehensive and current information about treatment and prevention services throughout Massachusetts.
    Services are available Monday through Friday from 8am-11pm and on Saturday and Sunday form 9am-5pm.  Language interpreters are available.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous & Narcotics Anonymous
    617-426-9444      www.aaboston.org         
    www.na.org
  • A New Way Recovery – 85 Quincy Avenue, Quincy Mass,
    Marisol Hernandez- 617-302-3287
    A peer to peer recovery centers are a safe place of support and resources for those 18+ and their families, but does have limited referral for adolescent.  Does assist with referrals and does refer Adolescents to Gavin Foundation Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach.
  • The Addiction Recovery Management Services (ARMS) (MGH)
    Laurie Moise-617-643-4699
    Provides rapid access to information and support combined with outreach and care management for youth ages 15-25 and their families suffering from substance-related problems- Limited adolescent services but does refer.
    ARMS supplements the traditional inpatient and outpatient continuum and bridges the gaps in disjointed systems of treatment with leading expertise and high quality care management.
    Building on the Massachusetts General Hospital medical, clinical, and addiction research resources within the MGH Center for Addiction Medicine, ARMS facilitates comprehensive, research-informed, care maximizing the chances for youth recovery.
  • Gavin Foundation, Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach, Assertive Continuing Care (A-CRA/ACC)
    Nicole DeYoung 857-415-9898 or 857-445-8521
    Holistic approach to addiction treatment ages 14-22. Three types of sessions which include adolescents alone, parents/guardians alone, and adolescents and parents/guardians together 17 different procedures based on individual need Community engagement Pro-social activities and hobbies
    The Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach and Assertive Continuing Care (A-CRA-/ACC) program is a 3-6month outpatient service for Norfolk County you ages 14-22 with DSM-5 substance- use disorders.  The overall goal of the A-CRA program
  • Adolescent Substance Abuse Program (ASAP).  Boston Children’s Hospital
    www.childrenshospital.org     617-355-2727
  • Youth Central Intake and Care Coordination
    Jennifer Riskin  617-661-3991        
  • Bay State Community Services, Quincy
    Rebecca Fidler  617-471-8400  www.baystatecs.org
    Provides community based outpatient treatment for all ages.  The Intensive Recovery Program for adolescents operates M/W/F from 3pm – 5pm for 4 weeks

Family Support

  • Learn to Cope Support Group
    Anonymous support group and membership, predominantly parents of children with addiction to prescription drugs and heroin.  Their mission is to support with kindness, care, compassion and empathy.  Treatment resources, meeting chapters.
    Quincy Peer Recovery Center, 85 Quincy Ave., Quincy, MA 02170
    Learn to Cope meets Tuesdays from 7p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    • Merielle Paul • 774-256-4268 • Covers the Chapters of Brockton, Quincy, Yarmouth, New Bedford, Taunton and Norwell
    • Marcy Julian • 508-404-3539 • Covers the Chapters of Pittsfield and Holyoke
    • Terri Nabulsi • 508-404-6699 • Covers the Chapters of Gardner, Framingham and Worcester
    • Kathy Day • 508-245-1050 • Covers the Chapters of Cambridge, Tewksbury, Lowell, Gloucester and Salem
      www.learn2cope.org
  • ALANON/ALATEEN- support group meetings available by town/community- see website for locations and details.
  • ALANON/ALATEEN- support group meetings available by town/community- see website for or call 1-888-425-2666
    or visit al-anon.org
    www.ma-al-anon-alateen.org
  • SMART Recovery Family & Friends
    SMART Recovery Family and Friends is a science based, secular alternative to Al-Anon.  Their method is based on the tools of SMART Recovery and CRAFT (Community Reinforcement Approach & Family Training). Their purpose is to provide resources and support for those who are affected by the addictions of a loved one.
    www.smartrecovery.org/resources/family.htm
    Contact SMART Recovery
    SMART Recovery
    7304 Mentor Avenue Suite F
    Mentor, OH 44060
    Toll free: 866-951-5357
    Tel: 440-951-5357
    Fax: 440-951-5358

I

Appendix I

VERBAL SCREENING TOOLS

State law provides that by the 2017-2018 school year, and subject to appropriation, public schools shall utilize a verbal screening tool to screen students annually, at two different grade levels, for substance use disorders. The relevant sections of the statute read as follows: Braintree will begin verbal screening to all 9th grade students school year 2016-2017 using the CRAFFT II screening Tool. Mass. General Laws chapter 71, section 97 (as amended by St. 2016, c. 52, s. 15): Section 97.

(a) Subject to appropriation, each city, town, regional school district, charter school or vocational school district shall utilize a verbal screening tool to screen pupils for substance use disorders. Screenings shall occur on an annual basis and occur at 2 different grade levels as recommended by the department of elementary and secondary education, in consultation with the department of public health. Parents or guardians of a pupil to be screened pursuant to this section shall be notified prior to the start of the school year. Verbal screening tools shall be approved by the department of elementary and secondary education, in conjunction with the department of public health. De-identified screening results shall be reported to the department of public health, in a manner to be determined by the department of public health, not later than 90 days after completion of the screening.

(b) A pupil or the pupil’s parent or guardian may opt out of the screening by written notification at any time prior to or during the screening. A city, town, regional school district, charter school or vocational school district utilizing a verbal screening tool shall comply with the department of elementary and secondary education’s regulations relative to consent.

(c) Any statement, response or disclosure made by a pupil during a verbal substance use disorder screening shall be considered confidential information and shall not be disclosed by a person receiving the statement, response or disclosure to any other person without the prior written consent of the pupil, parent or guardian, except in cases of immediate medical emergency or a disclosure is otherwise required by state law. Such consent shall be documented on a form approved by the department of public health and shall not be subject to discovery or subpoena in any civil, criminal, legislative or administrative proceeding. No record of any statement, response or disclosure shall be made in any form, written, electronic or otherwise, that includes information identifying the pupil.

(d) The department of elementary and secondary education shall notify each school district in writing of the requirement to screen students for substance use disorders pursuant to this section. School districts with alternative substance use screening policies may, on a form provided by the department, opt out of the required verbal screening tool. The form shall be signed by the school superintendent and provide a detailed description of the alternative substance use program the district has implemented and the reasons why the required verbal screening tool is not appropriate for the district.

(e) No person shall have a cause of action for loss or damage caused by an act or omission resulting from the implementation of this section.

Guidance on School Policies Regarding Substance Use Prevention

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

September 2016 Section 63 of St. 2016, c. 52, reads as follows:

Each city, town, regional school district, charter school or vocational school district shall implement the verbal substance use disorder screenings required by section 97 of chapter 71 of the General Laws by the 2017-2018 school year.

Further, Mass. Gen. Laws c. 71, s. 97, is subject to appropriation, which means schools and districts may voluntarily implement the actions described, but they are not required to do so unless and until funding is appropriated.

In short, the requirement to conduct verbal screenings of students for substance use disorder does not take effect until the 2017-2018 school year, and even then is subject to appropriation of funding for this purpose. ESE is working with the Department of Public Health on guidance for schools concerning these verbal screenings, and will publish it within the next several months to assist schools in planning.

If you have questions or comments on this guidance document, please contact ESE’s Office of Student and Family Support via achievement@doe.mass.edu.

Policies

AA-Braintree School District Legal Status-Adopted 9/25/17

AA-Braintree School District Legal Status

The legal basis for public education in the District is vested in the will of the people as expressed in the Constitution of Massachusetts and state statutes pertaining to education.

Under the General Laws of Massachusetts,

"... Every town shall maintain... a sufficient number of schools for the instruction of all children who may legally attend a public school therein."

The Braintree Public School (BPS) Department is a department of the Town of Braintree operated under laws pertaining to education and under regulations of the Massachusetts Board of Education. The geographic area served by the BPS falls exclusively within the boundaries of the Town of Braintree.

Legal Refs.: Constitution of Massachusetts, Part II, Chapter V, Section II & M.G.L. 71:1

Cross Ref.: BB, School Committee Legal Status

Source: MASC

ADDA-Background Checks-Adopted 1/23/17

ADDA- Background Checks

I. Criminal History Records Information (CHRI) Checks

It shall be the policy of the Braintree Public Schools (BPS) that, as required by law, a state and national fingerprint criminal background check will be conducted to determine the suitability of full or part time current and prospective school employees, who may have direct and unmonitored contact with children. School employees shall include, but not be limited to any apprentice, intern, or student teacher or individuals in similar positions, who may have direct and unmonitored contact with children. The Braintree School Committee (BSC) shall only obtain a fingerprint background check for current and prospective employees for whom the BSC has direct hiring authority. In the case of an individual directly hired by a school committee, the chair of the BSC shall review the results of the national criminal history check. The Superintendent shall also obtain a state and national fingerprint background check for any individual who regularly provides school related transportation to children. The BSC , Superintendent or Principal, as appropriate, may obtain a state and national fingerprint criminal background check for any volunteer, subcontractor or laborer commissioned by the BSC, school or employed by the city or town to perform work on school grounds, who may have direct and unmonitored contact with children. School volunteers and subcontractors/laborers who may have direct and unmonitored contact with children must continue to submit state CORI checks.

The fee charged by the provider to the employee and educator for national fingerprint background checks will be $55.00 for school employees subject to licensure by DESE and $35.00 for other employees, which fee may from time to time be adjusted by the appropriate agency. The employer shall continue to obtain periodically, but not less than every 3 years, from the department of criminal justice information services all available Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) for any current and prospective employee or volunteer within the school district who may have direct and unmonitored contact with children.

Direct and unmonitored contact with children is defined in DESE regulations as contact with a student when no other employee who has received a suitability determination by the school or district is present. “Contact” refers to any contact with a student that provides the individual with opportunity for physical touch or personal communication.

This policy is applicable to any fingerprint-based state and national criminal history record check made for non-criminal justice purposes and requested under applicable federal authority and/or state statute authorizing such checks for licensing or employment purposes. Where such checks are allowable by law, the following practices and procedures will be followed.

Requesting CHRI (Criminal History Record Information) Checks

Fingerprint-based CHRI checks will only be conducted as authorized by state and federal law, in accordance with all applicable state and federal rules and regulations. If an applicant or employee is required to submit to a fingerprint-based state and national criminal history record check, he/she shall be informed of this requirement and instructed on how to comply with the law. Such instruction will include information on the procedure for submitting fingerprints. In addition, the applicant or employee will be provided with all information needed to successfully register for a fingerprinting appointment.

Access to CHRI

All CHRI is subject to strict state and federal rules and regulations in addition to Massachusetts CORI laws and regulations. CHRI cannot be shared with any unauthorized entity for any purpose, including subsequent hiring determinations. All receiving entities are subject to audit by the Massachusetts

Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS) and the FBI, and failure to comply with such rules and regulations could lead to sanctions. Federal law and regulations provide that the exchange of records and information is subject to cancellation if dissemination is made outside of the receiving entity or related entities. Furthermore, an entity can be charged criminally for the unauthorized disclosure of CHRI.

Storage of CHRI

CHRI shall only be stored for extended periods of time when needed for the integrity and/or utility of an individual's personnel file. Administrative, technical, and physical safeguards, which are in compliance with the most recent CJIS Security Policy have been implemented to ensure the security and confidentiality of CHRI. Each individual involved in the handling of CHRI is to familiarize himself/herself with these safeguards.

In addition to the above, each individual involved in the handling of CHRI will strictly adhere to the policy on the storage, retention and destruction of CHRI.

Retention and Destruction of CHRI

Federal law prohibits the repurposing or dissemination of CHRI beyond its initial requested purpose. Once an individual's CHRI is received, it will be securely retained in internal agency documents for the following purposes only:

  • Historical reference and/or comparison with future CHRI requests,
  • Dispute of the accuracy of the record
  • Evidence for any subsequent proceedings based on information contained in the CHRI.

CHRI will be kept for the above purposes in a secure location in the office of the superintendent. When no longer needed, CHRI and any summary of CHRI data must be destroyed by shredding paper copies and/or by deleting all electronic copies from the electronic storage location, including any backup copies or files. The shredding of paper copies of CHRI by an outside vendor must be supervised by an employee of the district.

CHRI Training

An informed review of a criminal record requires training. Accordingly, all personnel authorized to receive and/or review CHRI at the district will review and become familiar with the educational and relevant training materials regarding SAFIS and CHRI laws and regulations made available by the appropriate agencies, including the DCJIS.

Determining Suitability

In determining an individual's suitability, the following factors will be considered: these factors may include, but not necessarily be limited to: the nature and gravity of the crime and the underlying conduct, the time that has passed since the offense, conviction and/or completion of the sentence, nature of the position held or sought, age of the individual at the time of the offense, number of offenses, any relevant evidence of rehabilitation or lack thereof and any other factors deemed relevant by the district.

A record of the suitability determination will be retained. The following information will be included in the determination:

  • The name and date of birth of the employee or applicant;
  • The date on which the school employer received the national criminal history check results; and,
  • The suitability determination (either "suitable" or "unsuitable").

A copy of an individual's suitability determination documentation must be provided to another school employer, or to the individual, upon request of the individual for whom the school employer conducted a suitability determination.

Relying on Previous Suitability Determination

The school employer may obtain and may rely on a favorable suitability determination from a prior employer, if the following criteria are met:

  • The suitability determination was made within the last seven years; and
  • The individual has not resided outside of Massachusetts for any period longer than three years since the suitability determination was made; and either
  • The individual has been employed continuously for one or more school employers or has gaps totaling no more than two years in his or her employment for school employers; or
  • If the individual works as a substitute employee, the individual is still deemed suitable for employment by the school employer who made a favorable suitability determination. Upon request of another school employer, the initial school employer shall provide documentation that the individual is still deemed suitable for employment by the initial school employer.

Adverse Decisions Based on CHRI

If inclined to make an adverse decision based on an individual's CHRI, the Braintree Public Schools (district) will take the following steps prior to making a final adverse determination:

  • Provide the individual with a copy of his/her CHRI used in making the adverse decision;
  • Provide the individual with a copy of this CHRI Policy;
  • Provide the individual the opportunity to complete or challenge the accuracy of his/her CHRI;

and

  • Provide the individual with information on the process for updating, changing, or correcting CHRI.

A final adverse decision based on an individual's CHRI will not be made until the individual has been afforded a reasonable time depending on the particular circumstances not to exceed thirty days to correct or complete the CHRI.

If a school employer receives criminal record information from the state or national fingerprint-based background checks that includes no disposition or is otherwise incomplete, the school employer may request that an individual, after providing him a copy of said background check, provide additional information regarding the results of the criminal background checks to assist the school employer in determining the applicant's suitability for direct and unmonitored contact with children, notwithstanding the terms of General Laws chapter 151B, S. 4,( 9,9 ½). Furthermore, in exigent circumstances, a school employer may, pursuant to the terms of DESE regulations (see specific regulations in legal references), hire an employee on a conditional basis without first receiving the results of a national criminal background check. After exhausting several preliminary steps as contained in the above referenced regulation the district may require an individual to provide information regarding the individual's history of criminal convictions; however, the individual cannot be asked to provide information about juvenile adjudications or sealed convictions. The superintendent is advised to confer with legal counsel whenever he/she solicits information from an individual concerning his/her history of criminal convictions.

Secondary Dissemination of CHRI

If an individual's CHRI is released to another authorized entity, a record of that dissemination must be made in the secondary dissemination log. The secondary dissemination log is subject to audit by the DCJIS and the FBI.

The following information will be recorded in the log:

  • Subject Name;
  • Subject Date of Birth;
  • Date and Time of the dissemination;
  • Name of the individual to whom the information was provided;
  • Name of the agency for which the requestor works;
  • Contact information for the requestor; and
  • The specific reason for the request.

Reporting to Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education

Pursuant to state law and regulation, if the Braintree Public Schools dismisses, declines to renew the employment of, obtains the resignation of, or declines to hire a licensed educator or an applicant for a Massachusetts educator license because of information discovered through a state or national criminal record check, the district shall report such decision or action to the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education in writing within 30 days of the employer action or educator resignation. The report shall be in a form requested by the Department and shall include the reason for the action or resignation as well as a copy of the criminal record checks results. The superintendent shall notify the employee or applicant that it has made a report pursuant to the regulations to the Commissioner.

Pursuant to state law and regulation, if the BPS discovers information from a state or national criminal record check about a licensed educator or an applicant for a Massachusetts educator license that implicates grounds for license action pursuant to regulations, the Superintendent shall report to the Commissioner in writing within 30 days of the discovery, regardless of whether the district retains or hires the educator as an employee. The report must include a copy of the criminal record check results. The school employer shall notify the employee or applicant that it has made a report pursuant to regulations to the Commissioner and shall also send a copy of the criminal record check results to the employee or applicant.

II. Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Requirements

C.O.R.I. Requirements

It shall be the policy of the district to obtain all available Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) from the department of criminal justice information services of prospective employee(s) or volunteer(s) of the school department including any individual who regularly provides school related transportation to children, who may have direct and unmonitored contact with children, prior to hiring the employee(s) or to accepting any person as a volunteer. State law requires that school districts obtain CORI data for employees of taxicab companies that have contracted with the schools to provide transportation to pupils.

The Superintendent, Principal, or their certified designees shall periodically, but not less than every three years, obtain all available Criminal Offender Record Information from the department of criminal justice informational services on all employees, individuals who regularly provide school related transportation to children, including taxicab company employees, and volunteers who may have direct and unmonitored contact with children, during their term of employment or volunteer service.

The Superintendent, Principal, or their certified designees may also have access to Criminal Offender Record Information for any subcontractor or laborer who performs work on school grounds, and who may have direct and unmonitored contact with children, and shall notify them of this requirement and comply with the appropriate provisions of this policy.

Pursuant to a Department of Education regulation, “‘Direct and unmonitored contact with children’ means contact with students when no other employee, for whom the employer has made a suitability determination of the school or district, is present. “ Contact” refers to any contact with a student that provides the individual with opportunity for physical touch or personal communication. The school employer may determine when there is potential for direct and unmonitored contact with children by assessing the circumstances and specific factors including but not limited to, whether the individual will be working in proximity with students, the amount of time the individual will spend on school grounds, and whether the individual will be working independently or with others. An individual shall not be considered to have the potential for direct and unmonitored contact with children if he or she has only the potential for incidental unsupervised contact in commonly used areas of the school grounds.”

In accordance with state law, all current and prospective employees, volunteers, and persons regularly providing school related transportation to children of the school district shall sign an acknowledgement form authorizing receipt by the district of all available CORI data from the department of criminal justice information services. In the event that a current employee has a question concerning the signing of the acknowledgement form, he/she may meet with the Principal or Superintendent; however, failure to sign the CORI acknowledgement form may result in a referral to local counsel for appropriate action. Completed acknowledgement forms must be kept in secure files. The School Committee, Superintendent, Principals or their designees certified to obtain information under the policy, shall prohibit the dissemination of school information for any purpose other than to further the protection of school children.

CORI is not subject to the public records law and must be kept in a secure location, separate from personnel files and may be retained for not more than three years. CORI shall be shared with the individual to whom it pertains, pursuant to law, regulation and the following model policy, and in the event of an inaccurate report the individual should contact the department of criminal justice informational services.

Access to CORI material must be restricted to those individuals certified to receive such information. In the case of prospective employees or volunteers, CORI material should be obtained only where the Superintendent had determined that the applicant is qualified and may forthwith be recommended for employment or volunteer duties.

The hiring authority, subject to applicable law and the model policy, reserves the exclusive right concerning any employment decision.

The Superintendent shall ensure that on the application for employment and/or volunteer form there shall be a statement that as a condition of the employment or volunteer service the school district is required by law to obtain Criminal Offender Record Information for any employee, individual who regularly provides transportation, or volunteer who may have direct and unmonitored contact with children. Current employees, persons regularly providing school related transportation, and volunteers shall also be informed in writing by the Superintendent prior to the periodic obtaining of their Criminal Offender Record Information.

The Superintendent shall amend employment applications to include questions concerning criminal records which the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination has determined may be legally asked of prospective employees. Any employment application which seeks information concerning prior arrests or convictions of the applicant shall include the following statement: “An applicant for employment with a sealed record on file with the commission of probation may answer ‘no record’ with respect to an inquiry herein relative to prior arrests or criminal court appearances. In addition, any applicant for employment may answer ‘no record’ with respect to any inquiry relative to prior arrests, court appearances and adjudications in all cases of delinquency or as a child in need of service which did not result in a compliant transferred to the superior court for criminal prosecution.”

Records sealed pursuant to law shall not operate to disqualify a person in any examination, appointment or application for public service on behalf of the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof.

The Superintendent shall revise contracts with special education schools and other providers to require a signed statement that the provider has met all legal requirements of the state where it is located relative to criminal background checks for employees and others having direct and unmonitored contact with children.

Legal Refs.: M.G.L.6:167-178; 15D:7-8; 71:38R, 151B, 276:100A

P.L. 92-544; Title 28 U.S.C. § 534; Title 28 C.F.R. 20.33(b)

42 U.S.C. § 16962

603 CMR 51.00

803 CMR 2.00

803 CMR 3.05 (Chapter 149 of the Acts of 2004)

FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Security Policy

Procedure for correcting a criminal record

FAQ – Background Checks

Source: MASC October 2014

Note: The Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS) has adopted regulations requiring that it maintain a model CORI policy and that any written policy must meet the minimum standards as found in the model. Therefore, MASC recommends that school districts retain both the school district specific policy incorporated here and the DCJIS model policy attached as ADDA-R.

Adopted by the Braintree School Committee, 1/23/2017

BB-Braintree School Committee Legal Status-Adopted 9/25/17

BB-Braintree School Committee Legal Status

The Braintree School Committee (BSC) is the governing board of the Town of Braintree’s public-school system. Although it functions as a duly elected Committee of town government, the School Committee has, unlike other town boards, autonomous and absolute authority within limitations established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Town of Braintree Charter to carry out the educational policies of the state and guide the educational process.

School Committee

  1. Composition, Term of Office - There shall be a school committee which shall consist of 7 members. Six of these members shall be nominated and elected by and from the voters of the town at large. The mayor shall serve, by virtue of office, as the seventh member of the school committee with all of the same powers and duties as the members elected by the voters as school committee members.
  2. Term of Office - The term of office for the 6 school committee members elected by the voters shall be for 4 years each, beginning on the first business day of January in the year following their election, and until their successors have been qualified. The terms of office shall be so arranged that 3 terms shall be filled at each regular town election.
  3. Eligibility - A school committee member shall at the time of election be a voter. If a school committee member removes from the town during the term for which elected, the office shall immediately be considered vacant and filled in the manner provided in Braintree’s Town Charter in section 4-6.

Legal Refs.: M.G.L. 41:1 and 71:37 specifically, but powers and duties of School Committees are established throughout the General Laws of Massachusetts Relating to School Committees

Cross Refs.: AA, School District Legal Status
BBA, School Committee Powers and Duties

Town of Braintree Charter, January 2009, ARTICLE 4, Section 4-1

Source: MASC

Adopted by Braintree School Committee: 9/25/2017

BBA-Braintree School Committee Powers and Duties-Adopted 9/25/17

BBA - Braintree School Committee Powers and Duties

The Braintree School Committee (BSC) is the governing board of the Town of Braintree’s public-school system. Although it functions as a duly elected Committee of town government, the School Committee has, unlike other town boards, autonomous and absolute authority within limitations established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Town of Braintree Charter to carry out the educational policies of the state and guide the educational process.

The BSC has all the powers conferred upon it by state law and must perform those duties mandated by the state. These include the responsibility and right to determine policies and practices and to employ a staff to implement its directions for the proper education of the children of Braintree.

The BSC takes a broad view of its functions. It sees them as:

  1. Legislative/policymaking. The BSC is responsible for the development of policy as guides for administrative action and for employing a Superintendent who will implement its policies.
  2. Appraisal. The BSC is responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of its policies and their implementation.
  3. Provision of financial resources. The BSC is responsible for the yearly development and adoption of a budget that will enable the school system to carry out the BSC’s policies, which is to be recommended to the Mayor as defined by the Town of Braintree Charter.
  4. Public relations. The BSC is responsible for providing adequate and direct means for keeping the local citizenry informed about the schools and for keeping itself and the school staff informed about the needs and wishes of the public.
  5. Educational planning and evaluation. The BSC is responsible for establishing educational goals and policies that will guide the BSC and staff for the administration and continuing improvement of the educational programs provided by the BSC.

Personnel Matters

The Superintendent shall be appointed by vote of the BSC and shall directly report to the BSC as provided by law and perform all the duties that are prescribed by law and such other duties, not inconsistent there to, as a majority of the BSC may direct.

The BSC shall appoint, upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Assistant/Associate/Deputy Superintendent(s), School Business Administrator, Special Education Administrator, School Physician, School Nurses, and the Supervisor of Attendance. Such positions shall not report directly to the BSC.

Source: MASC July 2016

Legal Ref.: M.G.L. 71:37 specifically, but powers and duties of School Committees are established throughout the Massachusetts General Laws.

Cross Ref.: BB, School Committee Legal Status

Adopted by School Committee: 9/25/2017

BBAA-Braintree School Committee Member Authority-Adopted 9/25/17

BBAA - Braintree School Committee Member Authority

Authority

Because all powers of the Braintree School Committee (BSC) derived from state laws are granted in terms of action as a group, members of the BSC have authority only when acting as a Committee in a duly called and posted session of the full Committee.

The BSC will not be bound in any way by any statement or action on the part of an individual member except when such statement or action is a result of specific instructions of the Committee.

No member of the Committee, by virtue of his/her office, will exercise any administrative responsibility with respect to the schools or command the services of any school employee.

The BSC will function as a body and all policy decisions and other matters, as required by law, will be settled by an official vote of the Committee sitting in formal session.

Guiding Principles

  1. To become familiar with the General Laws of the Commonwealth relating to education and School Committee operations, regulations of the Massachusetts Board of Education, policies and procedures of this School Committee and School Department.
  2. To keep up-to-date on new laws and the latest trends in education.
  3. To have a general knowledge of the goals, objectives, and programs of the Braintree Public Schools.
  4. To work effectively with other Committee members without trying either to dominate the Committee or neglect his/her share of the work.
  5. To respect the privileged communication that exists in executive sessions by maintaining strict confidentiality on matters discussed in these sessions, except that which becomes part of the public record, once it has been approved for release.
  6. To vote and act in Committee impartially for the good of students.
  7. To accept the will of the majority vote in all cases, and to remember that he/she is one of a team and must abide by, and carry out, all Committee decisions once they are made.
  8. To represent the Committee and the schools to the public in a way that promotes professionalism, interest and support.
  9. To refer questions and complaints to the proper school authorities.
  10. To comply with the accepted code of ethics for School Committee members.

Legal Refs.: M.G.L. 41:1 and 71:37 specifically, but powers and duties of School Committees are established throughout the General Laws of Massachusetts Relating to School Committees

Cross Refs.: BBA, School Committee Powers and Duties

Source: MASC

Note: MASC code of ethics is intended to be a guideline for School Committee members. The code is not binding by law.

Adopted by the Braintree School Committee: 9/25/2017

BBBA-School Committee Member Qualifications/Oath-Adopted 1/8/18

BBBA - School Committee Member Qualifications/Oath of Office

To serve on the Braintree School Committee, an individual must be a registered Braintree voter, must be elected or appointed, and must take an oath of office as required by law and the Braintree Town Charter.

Elected officials shall, on the first business day in January of each even-numbered year, meet and be sworn to the faithful discharge of their duties. The oath may be administered to the mayor by the town clerk, or by a judge of a court of record, or by a justice of the peace. The oath may be administered to elected school committee members by the mayor, after the mayor has been duly sworn, or by any of the above-named officials.

A certificate that said oath has been taken shall be entered into the meeting minutes of the school committee and recorded with the Braintree town clerk. In case of the absence of an elected school committee member on the day the oath of office is administered, the oath may at any time thereafter be administered to that person. A certificate of each oath subsequently taken shall be entered into the meeting minutes of the school committee and recorded with the town clerk.

School committee members will, by law, receive, and sign a receipt for a copy of the Massachusetts open meeting law governing the conduct of Committee meetings and executive sessions.

Members will also receive and sign a receipt for a copy of the Massachusetts Ethics Commission's Summary of the Conflict of Interest laws. As municipal employees, all School Committee members shall receive a copy of said summary annually. All School Committee members shall, within 30 days of taking office, and every 2 years thereafter, complete the Massachusetts Ethics Commission's online training program, and/or training as provided by the Town of Braintree. Upon completion of the online training program, members shall provide notice of such completion to be retained for 6 years by the Braintree town clerk.

Source: MASC July 2016

Legal Refs.:M.G.L. 30A:20; 41:1; 41:107; 76:5; 268A:27-28; Town of Braintree Charter, Section 8-10: Oath of Office of Elected Officials

Adopted by School Committee 1/8/2018

BCA-Braintree School Committee Member Ethics-Adopted 9/25/17

BCA - Braintree School Committee Member Ethics

Preamble

The acceptance of a code of ethics implies the understanding of the basic organization of School Committees under the Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The oath of office of a School Committee member binds the individual member to adherence to those state laws which apply to School Committees, since School Committees are agencies of the state.

This code of ethics delineates three areas of responsibility of School Committee members in addition to that implied above:

  1. Community responsibility
  2. Responsibility to school administration
  3. Relationships with fellow Committee members

Community Responsibility

A School Committee member in his/her relations with his/her community should:

  1. Realize that his/her primary responsibility is to students.
  2. Recognize that his/her basic function is to be policy making and not administrative.
  3. Remember that he/she is one of a team and must abide by, and carry out, all Committee decisions once they are made.
  4. Be well informed concerning the duties of a Committee member on both a local and state level.
  5. Remember that he/she represents the entire community at all times.
  6. Accept the office as a Committee member as means of unselfish service with no intent to "play politics," in any sense of the word, or to benefit personally from his/her Committee activities.

Responsibility to School Administration

A School Committee member in his/her relations with his/her school administration should:

  1. Endeavor to establish sound, clearly defined policies that will direct and support the administration.
  2. Recognize and support the administrative chain of command and refuse to act on complaints as an individual outside the administration.
  3. Give the Superintendent full responsibility for discharging his/her professional duties and hold him/her responsible for acceptable results.
  4. Refer all complaints to the appropriate administrative staff for solution and only discuss them at Committee meetings if such solutions fail.

Relationships with Fellow School Committee Members

A School Committee member in his/her relations with his/her fellow Committee members should:

  1. Recognize that action at official meetings is binding and that he/she alone cannot bind the Committee outside of such meetings.
  2. Realize that he/she should not make statements or promises of how he/she will vote on matters that will come before the Committee.
  3. Uphold the intent of executive sessions and respect the privileged communications that exists in executive sessions.
  4. Not withhold pertinent information on school matters or personnel problems, either from members of his/her own Committee or from members of other Committees who may be seeking help or information on school problems
  5. Make decisions only after all facts on a question have been presented and discussed.

Legal Refs.: M.G.L. 41:1 and 71:37 specifically, but powers and duties of School Committees are established throughout the General Laws of Massachusetts Relating to School Committees

Cross Refs.: BBA, School Committee Powers and Duties

BBAA, School Committee Member Authority

Source: Massachusetts Association of School Committees Code of Ethics

Note: MASC code of ethics is intended to be a guideline for School Committee members. The code is not binding by law.

BDA-School Committee Organizational Meeting-Adopted 1/8/18

BDA - School Committee Organizational Meeting

Elected officials shall, on the first business day in January of each even-numbered year, meet and be sworn to the faithful discharge of their duties. The oath may be administered to the mayor by the town clerk, or by a judge of a court of record, or by a justice of the peace. The oath may be administered to elected school committee members by the mayor, after the mayor has been duly sworn, or by any of the above-named officials.

As soon as practicable after the school committee members-elect have been qualified following each regular town election, as provided under section 8-10 of the Town of Braintree Charter, the school committee shall organize by electing one of the persons elected to the office of school committee member to serve as school committee chair, one of the persons elected to the office of school committee member to serve as school committee vice-chair, and one of the persons elected to the office of school committee member to serve as secretary until the next regular town election.

If the town clerk is unable to preside during this election, the member senior in years of service on the school committee shall preside during the election. If two or more members are equally senior in years of service on the school committee, the member senior both in years of service and age shall preside. The chair and the vice-chair shall be sworn by the town clerk, or, in the case of the absence of the town clerk, by any person qualified to take oaths or affirmations.

Any vacancy among the officers occurring between organizational meetings will be filled by a member elected by the school committee. The election will be conducted as described above.

Following election of officers at its organizational meeting, the school committee may proceed into such regular or special business as scheduled on the agenda.

Source: MASC

Legal Refs.: Town of Braintree Chrter, Section 8-10: Oath of Office of Elected Officials

Adopted by School Committee 1/8/2018

BDB-School Committee Officers-Adopted 1/8/18

BDB - School Committee Officers

Duties of the Chair

The school committee chair shall preside at all meetings of the school committee, regulate its proceedings and shall decide all questions of order. The school committee chair shall appoint all members of all committees of the school committee, whether special or standing. The school committee chair shall have the same powers to vote upon all measures coming before the school committee as any other member of the school committee. The school committee chair shall perform such other duties consistent with the office as may be provided by charter, by ordinance or by other vote of the school committee, including:

  1. Sign the instruments, acts, and orders necessary to carry out state requirements and the will of the committee.
  2. Consult with the superintendent in the planning of the committee's agendas.
  3. Confer with the superintendent on crucial matters that may occur between committee meetings.
  4. Call special meetings of the committee as found necessary.

Duties of the Vice-Chair

The vice-chair of the committee will act in the absence of the chairperson as presiding officer of the committee and will perform such other duties as may be delegated or assigned to him/her by the chair or by vote of the school committee.

Secretary

The secretary will keep, or cause to be kept, an accurate journal of all committee meetings; will review drafted committee minutes prior to distribution and consideration by the committee; will comply with state law and committee policy regarding notification of meetings; and will render, or cause to be rendered, such reports as may be required by the state or the town.

Source: MASC

Legal Ref.: M.G.L. 71:36; Town of Braintree Chrter, Section 4-2: School Committee Chair

Adopted by School Committee 1/8/2018

BEDH-Public Comment at School Committee Meetings-Adopted 7/17/17

BEDH - Public Comment at School Committee Meetings

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 30A Section 20(f) governs public participation at open meetings of public bodies. A School Committee Meeting is a business meeting at which members of the body deliberate over school related matters in public session. The Braintree School Committee (BSC) welcomes the attendance of members of the Braintree community to view the BSC as it conducts its regular business meeting. All regular and special meetings of the BSC are open to the public. Executive sessions will be held only as prescribed by the Statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The BSC believes that the Braintree community should have an opportunity to comment on issues that affect the Braintree Public Schools (BPS) that are within the scope of the BSC’s responsibilities. In order that all citizens who wish to be heard before the Committee have a chance and to ensure the ability of the Committee to conduct the District's business in an orderly manner, the following rules and procedures are adopted:

  1. Public Comment will, generally, be included on the agenda of all regularly scheduled BSC meetings and shall be for a period of five (5) minutes, which may be extended at the discretion of the presiding Chair.
     
  2. Generally, topics for public comment will be limited to those items listed on the BSC agenda for that meeting. Items brought forth by the public at the time of the meeting will be allowed at the sole discretion of the Chair. Copies of the Agenda are available for the public to 48 hours prior to the meeting, and are posted by the Braintree Town Clerk at Town Hall and the BPS website.
     
  3. The BSC will not hear personal complaints about school personnel or any member of the school community. Under most circumstances, administrative channels are the proper means for disposition of legitimate complaints involving staff members. Improper conduct and remarks will not be allowed, and defamatory or abusive remarks are always out of order. If a speaker persists in improper conduct or remarks, the Chair may terminate that individual's privilege of address, as provided by M.G.L. Chapter 30A: 20.
     
  4. Any citizen wishing to speak before the BSC shall sign in with the BSC Chair prior to the meeting and identify the agenda item on which they wish to comment. When the meeting progresses to the “Public Comment” item on the agenda, the Chair will verbally confirm the sign-up list in the event that any members of the public who may have arrived late may request to speak to an agenda item. When recognized by the Chair during the public comment section of the agenda, they will identify themselves by name and address. No citizen may speak more than once without permission of the Chair. All citizens shall speak to the full Committee through the Chair and shall not address individual members or BPS employees.
     
  5. Any BSC member may direct questions to the speaker through the Chair in order to clarify comments of the speaker.

Requests to Present

Any citizen who wishes to make a presentation to the BSC on an item that is of interest to him/her and within the scope of the BSC’s responsibilities may request to be placed on a BSC agenda through the Administrative Assistant to the School Committee. Such requests must be in writing and explain the scope and intent of the agenda item and include all items the presenter wishes to distribute. If it is in the Chair’s opinion that the matter should be brought forward to the BSC, a mutually convenient date will be arranged.

Source: MASC July 2016

Adopted by Braintree School Committee 7/17/2017

BIA - New School Committee Member Orientation-Adopted 12/11/17

BIA - New School Committee Member OrientationIn accordance with the requirements of law, each new School Committee member elected to the School Committee is required to complete, within one year of their election or appointment, at least eight hours of orientation training.This orientation shall include, but is not limited to, a review of School Finance, the Open Meeting Law, Public Records Law, Conflict of Interest Law, Special Education Law, Collective Bargaining, School Leadership Standards and Evaluations, and the Roles and Responsibilities of School Committee Members.
 

The School Committee and Superintendent shall assist each new member to understand the Committee's functions, policies and procedures of the Committee as soon after election as possible. Each new member shall be given or provided direct online access to the following materials:

  1. A copy of the School Committee policy manual
  2. A copy of the Open Meeting Law
  3. A copy of the Ethics/Conflict of Interest Regulations
  4. A copy of the district's budget
  5. Collective bargaining agreements and contracts
  6. Student and staff handbooks

Each new member shall also receive any other materials the Chair and/or the Superintendent determine.

The Chair and/or Superintendent shall also clarify policy:

  1. Arranging visits to schools or administrative offices
  2. Requesting information regarding school district operations
  3. Responding to community requests/complaints concerning staff or programs
  4. Handling confidential information

Whether appointed or elected, new members should be advised that they are also members of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, Inc. and should be encouraged to utilize the services and resources MASC provides by attending meetings or workshops specifically

designed for new Committee members. Their expenses at these meetings or workshops will be reimbursed in accordance with established School Committee policy.

Source: MASC July 2016

Cross Ref.: BBBA/BBBB School Committee Member Qualifications/Oath of Office

Legal Ref.: M.G.L. 71 :36A

Adopted by School Committee 12-11-2017

EFC-Lunch Charge Policy-Adopted 8/28/17

EFC- Braintree School Lunch Charge Policy

The purpose of this policy is to establish age appropriate procedures allowing meal charges so students will not be denied access to a meal during the school day.

Responsibilities

Food & Nutrition Services will be responsible for maintaining accurate charge records and notifying the parent/guardian as well as the school district of any outstanding balances.  Parents/guardians and students will receive forms for Free and Reduced Price School Meals and prepayment information from the Food & Nutrition Services prior to the start of the school year. Those forms will also available at each school’s main office, in each House Office at BHS, and online at www.braintreeschools.org

Students will be told by the cashier when their balance is getting low. Parents will be notified of a low or negative account balance either by e-mail or, at the elementary level by printed letters (“charge notes”) sent home with the student. These notes will be generated by the Food & Nutrition Services Department and will be given to a child’s homeroom teacher to be distributed.

High School Students

Students at BHS will not be allowed to charge any food service purchases resulting in a negative account balance, unless otherwise arranged through the food service director. If a student needs to charge, he or she must contact the Director of Food & Nutrition Services, and the parent/guardian of the student will be notified that day that the student has charged a meal. The student will be provided a meal of their choice that day, but will not be allowed to charge any ala carte purchases.

Middle and Elementary Students

Students at the middle and elementary levels are not allowed to charge any ala carte or snack items which would result in a negative lunch account balance. Charging for reimbursable meals is also strongly discouraged. However, students may charge up to five (5) meals if needed. If a student has money to pay for a lunch that day, even if a charge is owed, a meal of the child’s choice will be provided that day. Attempts may be made to contact parents/guardians via e-mail, phone calls or “charge notes” when a student has a large outstanding balance. Any payments that come in to the kitchen will be applied to outstanding lunch balance before a student will be allowed to purchase ala carte items. If a student brings in payment for a meal, and that student has a negative balance on their account, any change from that payment will be applied to the outstanding meal balance instead of being given back to the student.

Collections

If repeated attempts are made to contact a parent/guardian of a student who owes money, and those attempts do not result in payment of the meal debt, the Director or Manager may notify the Principal at the child’s school. The Principal or his/her designee will then also reach out to the Parent/Guardian to attempt to collect payment.

All attempts at collecting school meal debt may also include encouragement for the Parent/Guardian to complete a Free or Reduced Price School Meals application, and paperwork may be sent home for completion.

In early May, the Administrative Assistants in each House at the high school will be given a list of senior students who owe school meal debt. The debt must be paid prior to graduation. Any student who has positive balances upon graduation may be contacted so they may request a refund or request that the funds be transferred to a younger sibling.

FF-Naming Facilities-Adopted 1/8/18

FF - Naming Facilities

For the purpose of this policy, school district facilities are defined as all interior portions of school buildings, grounds, or portions of grounds owned by Braintree Public Schools.

Naming a school district facility is an important matter that deserves thoughtful attention. Personal prejudice or favoritism, political pressure, temporary popularity or grieving a death should not be an influence in choosing a name for a school district facility.

The Braintree School Committee (BSC) prefers to name school district facilities for physical locations, geographical areas consistent with the current names of all active Braintree public school buildings, and/or groups of significance or distinction (i.e. “Veterans, “Alumni”, etc.).

Occasionally, a portion of school district facilities may be named for an individual who is significant to our community or a distinguished local, state or national leader whose name will lend dignity and stature to the school. Consideration of naming a school district facility for an individual will be given no sooner than 5 years from the end of their service to the community. In the case of a deceased individual, a full 5 year waiting period will be required from the time of death.

The following procedure will be used when proposing that a portion of a school district facility is named for an individual(s):

  1. The proposal will detail in writing the contributions to society and to the Braintree Public Schools in particular that the individual has made.
  2. The proposal to name a school district facility or a portion of a school district facility will be submitted in writing to the chairman of the school committee for placement on the school committee agenda as a first reading.
  3. After discussion and acknowledgement of the first reading of the proposal, a second reading will be scheduled where action will be taken.
  4. Should the school committee vote to name the school district facility or portion of a school district facility for the proposed individual(s), the written proposal will be added as an appendix to this section of the Braintree School Committee Policy Manual.
  5. The plaque displaying the named portion of the school district facility must be approved by the School Committee. All plaques will be uniform in style, size and quality and will be provided by the school department.
  6. An offer of a financial contribution to the School District may accompany the naming request, but the School Committee is not obligated to accept or reject a name based upon financial considerations alone.

Source: MASC

Adopted by School Committee 1/8/2018

FFA-Memorials-Adopted 1/8/18

FFA - Memorials

The School Committee recognizes that the death of a student, member of the staff, or prominent community member is deeply felt by the school community. As places designed primarily to support learning, school sites should not serve as the main venue for permanent memorials.

Permanent memorials within the schools shall be limited in form to perpetual awards or scholarships.

Any permanent memorials in existence before the adoption of this policy can only be removed by a vote of the School Committee.

Source: MASC August 2016

Adopted by School Committee 1/8/2018

GBGF-Family and Medical Leave-Adopted 1/23/17

GBGF - Family and Medical Leave

The Braintree Public Schools shall comply with the mandatory provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. The Superintendent shall issue, and from time to time amend, procedures setting forth the rights and procedures granted by the Act, and shall ensure compliance with those procedures either personally or by delegation.

Source: MASC December 2016

Legal Refs.: P.L. 103-3, "Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993"

Adopted by the Braintree School Committee, 1/23/2017

GCG-Substitute Professional Staff Employment-Adopted 2/13/17, 6/12/17

Policy GCG - Substitute Professional Staff Employment

The Braintree Public Schools will employ substitute teachers, to the extent possible, who meet the requirements for teacher appointments and will assign teachers substitute-teaching positions on the basis of their areas of competence. When the supply of substitutes in a particular subject is too limited to meet school department needs, there will be active recruitment for substitutes in those areas. All substitute teachers will be expected to provide educational services, rather than to assume merely a student-supervisory role. Substitutes will be provided with as much support as possible by building administrators and teachers.

The Braintree School Committee (BSC) will set the daily rate of pay for substitute teachers, including extended-term substitutes. The latter will be granted such additional benefits as approved by the BSC.

Adopted by the Braintree School Committee, February 13, 2017


The following is an approved change to substitute teacher qualifications as of April 2017 and substitute rate of pay as of September 1, 2017:

I. Substitute teacher qualifications:

Substitute teachers require at least an Associate’s Degree or the equivalent, although a Bachelor’s Degree is preferred.

II. Substitute teacher rate of pay:

Substitute Teacher Pay, Effective 9/1/2017

Days 1 – 30, $90/day

Days 31 – 89, $125/day (**if in same assignment)

Days 90* – Beyond, $230/day, licensed teacher (**if in same assignment)

Retired Braintree teachers, who are currently on the substitute list, are eligible to receive the $230/day rate for an assignment of 31 days or more.

*Teacher substitute must hold a valid teaching license for 90 day or longer assignments.

**If length of time is known ahead of time, rate is paid starting day one.

If length of absence is not known ahead of time, rate is paid on the 31st or 90th day.

Adopted by the Braintree School Committee, June 12, 2017

IJND-Internet Safety Policy-Adopted 6/12/17

IJND - Internet Safety Policy

As required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), this policy certifies Braintree Public Schools’ implementation of technology protection measures to block or filter Internet access to pictures that are: (a) obscene; (b) child pornography; or (c) harmful to minors (for computers that are accessed by minors).

As outlined in the BPS Network & Technology Responsible Use Policy, users have no expectation of privacy within the BPS system (Sections 5 & 7); this provision allows for the monitoring of minors’ online activities in accordance with CIPA. Additional components of CIPA compliance addressed in the district’s Network & Technology Responsible Use Policy include:

  • Access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet; (Sections 2 & 3)
  • The safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications; (Section 4)
  • Unauthorized access, including so-called “hacking,” and other unlawful activities by minors online; (Section 3)
  • Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors; (Section 4)
  • Measures restricting minors' access to materials harmful to them (Section 2).

As required by the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act, Braintree Public Schools (BPS) provides for educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including but not limited to the appropriate online behavior for interacting with other individuals via email, on social networking websites, and in chat rooms. In addition, BPS educates students in age-appropriate awareness of cyberbullying and both an individual user’s response and BPS educators’ and administrators’ responses. This policy provides for the education of minors about appropriate online behavior.

Adopted by the Braintree School Committee, 6/12/2017

IJNDB-Network & Technology Responsible Use Policy-Adopted 6/12/17

IJNDB - Network & Technology Responsible Use Policy

1. Introduction

This document formalizes the policy for responsible use of the Braintree Public Schools’ (BPS) computer network and computing devices owned by BPS or used on the BPS campus. All users, including students, teachers, staff, administrators, and organizations are covered by this policy and are expected to be familiar with its provisions.

2. User Responsibilities

The BPS computer network and all related technology systems are designed and maintained in compliance with state and federal law, including the Children’s Internet Protection Act and Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act Amendment. All use of the network to access the Internet is filtered via a firewall, and network activities harmful to minors or non-compliant with educational uses are prohibited (see Section 3). It is the responsibility of any person using BPS computer network resources to read, understand, and follow these guidelines. In addition, users are expected to exercise reasonable judgment in interpreting these guidelines and in making decisions about the appropriate use of BPS computer network resources. Any person with questions regarding the application or meaning of these guidelines should seek clarification from the BPS technology director or central office. Use of BPS computer network resources shall constitute acceptance of the terms of these guidelines. When a user is no longer a member of the BPS community, he or she shall no longer have user rights to network and technology resources.

A. BPS Computer Network Administrator Responsibilities

The administrator is responsible for making certain that all users understand and abide by the Acceptable and Unacceptable Uses as stated in this document (Section 3). If the BPS computer network administrator has reason to believe that any user is misusing the system, the administrator has the right to access the user’s account in order to review its use. It is also the responsibility of the administrator to report any misuse of the system to district administrators.

B. BPS Computer Network Educator Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of educators who are using BPS computer network tools with students to teach students about safe and responsible use of the Internet and the network (see also BPS Internet Safety Policy). Educators are responsible for monitoring students’ use of these resources and must intervene if students are using them inappropriately. Educators should make sure that students understand and abide by the Acceptable and Unacceptable Uses as stated in this document (Section 3). It is also the responsibility of the teacher to report any misuse of the system to his/her building administrator.

C. BPS Computer Network Student Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of students who are using BPS computer network tools to learn about safe and responsible use of the Internet. They are responsible for using these resources appropriately. They must abide by the Acceptable and Unacceptable Uses as stated in this document (Section 3). If a student is misusing the system, educators must follow appropriate disciplinary protocols, including but not limited to reporting the misuse to the BPS computer network administrator, who has the right to discontinue his/her use of the system.

3. Acceptable and Unacceptable Uses

The resources available to BPS computer network users are to be used for educational purposes. Users should not use BPS computer network to store any files that are not educational. BPS will educate all students about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and response (see also BPS Internet Safety Policy).

It is unacceptable for users to use these resources for:

  • furthering any political or religious purpose
  • engaging in any commercial or fundraising purpose that is not relevant to or approved by the district
  • sending threatening or harassing messages
  • gaining unauthorized access to computer or telecommunications networks
  • interfering with the operations of technology resources
  • accessing or sharing sexually explicit, or obscene materials
  • intercepting communications intended for other persons
  • attempting to gain unauthorized access to the BPS computer network
  • logging in through another person’s account or attempting to access another user’s password or files, except where necessary for a teacher or administrator to do so
  • sending defamatory or libelous material concerning a person or group of people
  • furthering any illegal act, including infringing on any intellectual property rights
  • researching, storing, or sending information regarding weaponry, except in bona fide research as required by the district’s curriculum (for example, an assignment studying a war)
  • downloading, uploading, or distributing any files, software, or other material that is not specifically related to an educational project
  • downloading, uploading, or distributing any files, software, or other material in violation of federal copyright laws

As with any other form of communication, these systems may not be used to transmit or store messages or other data that are prohibited under existing BPS policies, such as those prohibiting sexual harassment, protecting civil rights, and maintaining a safe school environment. Users should take all reasonable precautions against receiving or downloading messages, images, or other data of this sort.

4. Privacy Protections beyond BPS

In compliance with state and federal privacy laws for minors accessing the Internet using school resources, BPS maintains a list of sites and services, along with the personally identifiable data on students that might be included as part of the terms of use for that site or service. Parents of children 13 and under retain the right to opt their students’ out of participation in services that require use of personally identifiable data. BPS administration expects staff and students to adhere to the list of approved sites and services when selecting educational resources for use in the classroom (see also Section 8).

5. No Expectation of Privacy within BPS

BPS computer network resources are the property of the Braintree Public Schools and are to be used in conformance with these guidelines. BPS administration retains the right to inspect any user’s virtual hard drive, school-owned computer, Internet history, or email (whether through a town server or through Google Apps for Education/G Suite) if a suspected violation of the network technology policy or any other district policy has occurred. In keeping with state and federal laws regarding public records, users should be aware that data and messages are regularly archived, even if they appear to have been deleted locally. In addition, an Internet firewall automatically checks all data moving between the local area network and the Internet and logs the sending and receiving destinations. Use of BPS Computer network technology resources constitutes consent for the BPS computer network staff to monitor and/or inspect any files that users create, any messages they post or receive, and any web sites they access should a disciplinary or safety situation warrant such access.

6. Passwords

Each user shall be required to use and maintain passwords that conform to BPS computer network guidelines. Users must take precautions to maintain the secrecy of their password so that other users will not be able to utilize that password for malicious purposes. If a user suspects that someone has discovered his or her password(s), the user should change the password(s) or contact technology services via the Help Desk for assistance in changing the password(s) immediately. BPS computer network users are responsible for all activity under their accounts.

7. Violations

Failure to observe these guidelines may subject users to termination of their BPS computer network accounts, including Google Apps for Education/G Suite accounts, email accounts, and accounts with other district-provided services. BPS administrators will be notified of any inappropriate activities by users, and users will be subject to recourse through other existing BPS policies as applicable. BPS administrators will also advise law enforcement agencies of illegal activities conducted through the BPS computer network and will cooperate fully with local, state, and/or federal officials in any investigation related to illegal activities conducted through the BPS computer network.

7. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Uses

The use of personal electronic device(s) on a school site is a privilege, not a right, that the Braintree Public Schools grants to any student who is willing to assume the responsibility of abiding by the guidelines as set forth in this Braintree Public Schools’ Technology Acceptable Use Policy. Noncompliance with applicable regulations may result in suspension or termination of privileges and other disciplinary action consistent with district policies.

Any student who receives approval from his or her classroom teacher to bring in an electronic device is also responsible for physically securing their device within the school site. Braintree Public Schools assumes no responsibility or financial liability for any damage the student or parent suffers, including but not limited to theft, physical damage, and loss of data or software malfunctions of the personal electronic device. If an electronic device appears to have been stolen, the student should immediately report the incident to the school administrator.

  • Students (who have received permission) may connect wirelessly to the BPS network for educational purposes. Personal electronic devices may not be used for entertainment, including but not limited to games, messaging, social media, streaming movies, music, or video viewing, while connected to the BPS network, unless instructed to do so.
  • Students must follow additional guidelines which a classroom teacher or BPS staff member might impose. The use of the electronic device(s) may in no way disturb the learning environment.
  • Students are strictly prohibited from using peer-to-peer file sharing software and messaging programs unless instructed by a teacher to do so.
  • Any student who is suspected of violating the Network & Technology Responsible Use Policy or any other BPS policy must yield their personal electronic device(s) to any Braintree Public Schools staff member upon request. Authorized personnel may inspect the system to determine whether any policies have been violated.

8. Disclaimers

The Braintree Public Schools make no warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied, for BPS computer services and resources. BPS is not responsible for any damages incurred, including but not limited to the following: loss of data resulting from delays or interruption of service, loss of data stored on BPS computer network resources, or damage to personal property used to access BPS computer network resources. BPS is not responsible for the accuracy, nature, or quality of information stored on BPS computer network resources or gathered through BPS computer network or the Internet. BPS is not responsible for unauthorized financial obligations incurred through BPS computer network-provided access. BPS accepts no liability for users who willfully ignore or violate terms of use on an Internet site or service via the BPS network. All provisions of this agreement are subordinate to local, state and federal statutes.

This policy is in compliance with state and federal telecommunications rules and regulations, including the Children's Internet Protection Act, the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act Amendment, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment.

Acknowledgements: Sections of this document were adapted from Quincy Public Schools, Hanover Public Schools, and Burlington Public Schools, the Massachusetts Office of Digital Learning, FCC and FTC recommendations, and federal laws.

Adopted by the Braintree School Committee, 6/12/2017

IJNDD-Website and Social Media Policy-Adopted 4/9/18

IJNDD:  Website and Social Media Policy

  1. IntroductionThis document formalizes the policy for the professional and personal use of websites and social media by Braintree Public Schools’ (BPS) employees in a responsible manner.  All users, including students, teachers, staff, administrators, and organizations are covered by this policy and are expected to be familiar with its provisions.

    For purposes of this policy, “Official Social Media” is understood to be content created by individuals or groups representing Braintree Public Schools, using accessible, expandable, and upgradable publishing technologies, through and on the Internet. Examples of Official Social Media include but are not limited to, district, school, club, team, PTO, or class websites, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, blogs, YouTube videos/channels, LinkedIn, Snapchat, NextDoor, and Flickr.

    For the purposes of this policy, “Personal Social Media” is understood to be content created by individuals for non-work related activities (e.g., a staff member establishing a Facebook page or a Twitter account for his or her own personal use). District employees should not use personal social media sites to communicate with students.

    For purposes of this policy, “Content” includes comment, information, articles, pictures, videos, or any other form of communicative content posted on official or personal social media sites.
     
  2. User Responsibilities for Official BPS Websites and Social MediaOfficial BPS Social Media sites will be used solely for communicating information about the Schools, including projects, events, and services. Examples include announcements; newsletters; emergency notifications; Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO), sporting, fundraising, or club events and activities; or meetings. School employees and representatives with website access through organizations such as PTO or Special Education Parents Advisory Council (SEPAC) may not engage in private messaging over official social media accounts. Official Social Media cannot be used to post political information or viewpoints; religious information or viewpoints; commercial information; information pertaining to an employee’s or school representative’s personal activities, matters, or interests; information which consists of content which is sexual, pornographic, or adult in character; or information which advocates or promotes the use of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco.
    • BPS Social Media Administrator ResponsibilitiesOfficial Social Media sites for individual schools and PTOs shall be administered and monitored by principals and their site administrators approved by [the principal and Superintendent or designee].  Usernames for these accounts shall be created using official school email addresses and shall be maintained through the Technology Department.

      Official Social Media sites for classes, other student groups, clubs, and athletic teams shall be administered and monitored by principals or their designees, the athletic director, coaches, club advisors, and their site administrators approved by [the principal and Superintendent or designee].  Usernames for these accounts shall be created using official school email addresses and shall be maintained through the Technology Department.

      Each administrator of an Official Social Media site will confirm with the appropriate principal and/or director that they have read and understand this policy.  It is the responsibility of each principal and director to provide a copy of this policy to their respective users.

      Principals, their designees, and site administrators shall monitor Official BPS Social Media sites for content requesting responses from the Schools. Site administrators may direct such requests to the principal or director for response. Site administrators shall monitor Content posted on Official BPS Social Media sites for Content in violation of this Social Media Policy.

      If a site administrator has reason to believe that any user is misusing the site, it is the responsibility of the administrator to report that potential misuse of the site to district administrators.
       
    • BPS Social Media Educator ResponsibilitiesIt is the responsibility of educators who are using Official BPS Social Media tools with students to teach students about safe and responsible use of social media (see also BPS Network and Technology Responsible Use Policy and Internet Safety Policy).  Educators are responsible for monitoring students’ use of these resources and must intervene if students are using them inappropriately. Educators should make sure that students understand and abide by the Acceptable and Unacceptable Uses as stated [below].  It is also the responsibility of the teacher to report any misuse of the Official BPS Social Media to his/her building administrator.

      Each administrator of an Official Social Media site will confirm with the appropriate principal and/or director that they have read and understand this policy.
       
    • BPS Social Media Student ResponsibilitiesIt is the responsibility of students who are using Official BPS Social Media tools to learn about safe and responsible use of these sites.  They are responsible for using these resources appropriately. They must abide by the Acceptable and Unacceptable Uses as stated in Section 9, Part C of this policy.  If a student misuses the resources, educators must follow appropriate disciplinary protocols, including but not limited to reporting the misuse to building administrators, who have the right to discontinue a student’s access to the official social media.
  3. Site and Account Requirements
    • Staff members will treat professional social media space and communication like a classroom or professional workplace.  The same standards expected in district professional settings are expected on professional social media sites. If a particular type of behavior is inappropriate in the classroom or a professional workplace, then that behavior is also inappropriate on the professional social media site.
       
    • Whenever possible, when establishing professional social media sites, users will consider the intended audience for the site and consider the level of privacy assigned to the site. The site should be a private network limited to a particular class or particular grade within a school. It is recommended practice for professional social media sites to be private networks, unless there is a specific educational need for the site to be a public network.
       
    • Staff members may only create professional social media accounts (i.e., accounts used exclusively for educational purposes) on district approved websites and platforms.
       
    • Staff will obtain their supervisor’s approval using the “BPS Social Media Registration Form” prior to setting up a professional social media presence. The form can be downloaded from:  []
       
    • All Official BPS Social Media channels must link to our Disclaimer page, located at [braintreema.gov/disclaimer.html].
       
    • All Official BPS Social Media sites should link back to the respective Page(s) on the BPS website where relevant information is available.
       
    • All social media sites are subject to Massachusetts public records and record retention laws, rules, regulations, and policies. Any content maintained in an online format (Social Media/Website) that is related to Town Business, including posted communication and communication submitted for posting, may be subject to public disclosure. The site administrators will maintain records in accordance with Massachusetts public records retention laws, rules, regulations and policies.  Site administrators will use the following guidance in order to comply with state and federal laws:
      • Except for inappropriate postings, staff shall not delete any message posted on a social media site, webpage, blog, homework page, etc. In cases of inappropriate postings, the posting is to be copied and sent to an administrator using your district email account. The posting is then to be deleted from the site.
         
      • Staff shall save all direct messages and communications conveyed through district affiliated social media sites. All email sent or received by district email accounts is archived for a minimum of seven years.
         
      • Staff shall comply with applicable copyright laws when posting information produced by another person or entity and shall cite all third-party sources of information posted or shared.
    • When a School employee or representative responds to a comment, in his/her capacity as a School employee or representative, the employee or representative should do so in the name of the School or organization, and the employee or representative shall not share personal information about himself or herself, or other School employees or representatives except as required for official business.
       
    • When posting to Social Media sites, school employees and representatives must do so in a way that is not defamatory. Defamatory communications are those that cause harm to the reputation of another person or cause that person to be ridiculed, held in contempt, or lowered in the estimation of the community. Defamatory statements will not be tolerated. Defamatory statements fall within conduct that is outside the scope of your employment and therefore, the Town of Braintree will not defend you from the consequences of your personal actions, nor will the Town indemnify employees against defamation-like suits that are determined to be in violation of this policy.
       
    • BPS employees and representatives may not use Official Social Media to post material which is illegal, which is in violation of federal or state laws regarding discrimination, or which constitutes criminal conduct. BPS employees and representatives may not use Official Social Media to post material which constitutes an unauthorized disclosure of proprietary or confidential information of BPS, personnel or student records or non-public labor relations information.
       
    • Site administrators must ensure that they have the right to post any Content being used on Official BPS Social Media.   This includes compliance with copyright laws, and federal privacy laws, particularly for images of students or students’ personally identifiable information.
       
    • Procurement and ethics laws largely prohibit municipal employees or agencies from endorsing products, businesses, or vendors. In addition, School resources, such as Official BPS Social Media entities should not be used for political purposes.
       
    • Any posted Content on Official BPS Social Media sites, including articles, pictures, photographs, likenesses, and images cannot under any circumstances identify children under the age of 18 by full name.  Individuals who do not wish to be depicted in images must return the form which expressly prohibits the Braintree Public Schools from using such image and likeness online. If such a prohibition exists, the picture, photograph, likeness, or image must be blurred in such a manner that the person cannot be identified or recognized. If that is not possible, the material cannot be used at all.  The following additional guidelines apply to posting photos or images of students: 
      • Images of individual students should not be posted.
         
      • Images of groups of students (three or more) are permissible, as long as the parents/guardians have provided media release permission to the school.
         
      • Students depicted in images are not to be identified by name.
    • Content posted to Official BPS Social Media sites shall conform with accessibility requirements detailed in Level A and Level AA Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements in WCAG 2.0 (incorporated by reference, see 702.10.1).  This standard is available for reference at: https://www.w3.org/.
       
    • Employees or representatives are prohibited from posting communications that could reasonably be construed as creating a hostile environment, defamatory comments, threats, intimidation, or harassment by any member of the public or BPS employees. Postings must be in conformance with all BPS Policies, including but not limited to, those concerning harassment, bullying, ethics and all state and federal law.
       
    • BPS reserves the right to deny access to any Official BPS Social Media sites to any person who violates the district’s Website and Social Media Policy, at any time and without prior notice.
       
    • Active communication and outreach may lead to increased inquiries from the media. If the site administrator for an Official BPS Social Media site is contacted directly by a reporter, he or she should refer media questions to the Principal’s or Superintendent’s office.
  4. Privacy Protections in Media beyond BPSIn compliance with state and federal privacy laws for minors accessing the Internet using school resources, BPS maintains a list of sites and services, along with the personally identifiable data on students that might be included as part of the terms of use for that site or service.  Parents of children 13 and under retain the right to opt their students’ out of participation in services that require use of personally identifiable data.  BPS administration expects staff and students to adhere to the list of approved sites and services when selecting educational resources for use in the classroom (see also Disclaimers in Section 7).
     
  5. No Expectation of Privacy within BPSOfficial BPS Social Media resources are the property of the Braintree Public Schools and are to be used in conformance with these guidelines. BPS administration retains the right to inspect any user’s Official Social Media account if a suspected violation of the Website and Social Media Policy or any other district policy has occurred.  In keeping with state and federal laws regarding public records, users should be aware that data and messages are regularly archived, even if they appear to have been deleted locally.  Use of Official BPS Social Media resources constitutes consent for school and district administrators to monitor and/or inspect any files that users create, any messages they post or receive, and any websites they access should a disciplinary or safety situation warrant such access.
     
  6. ViolationsFailure to observe these guidelines may subject users to termination of access to BPS Social Media and websites. BPS administrators will be notified of any inappropriate activities by users, and users will be subject to recourse through other existing BPS policies as applicable.  BPS administrators will also advise law enforcement agencies of illegal activities conducted through Official BPS Social Media sites or accounts and will cooperate fully with local, state, and/or federal officials in any investigation related to these activities.
  7. DisclaimersThe Braintree Public Schools make no warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied, for Official BPS Social Media websites and resources.  BPS is not responsible for unauthorized financial obligations incurred through Official BPS Social Media access.  BPS accepts no liability for users who willfully ignore or violate terms of use on an Internet site or service via a BPS Social Media account.  All provisions of this agreement are subordinate to local, state and federal statutes.
     
  8. Personal Social Media Guidelines for Staff
    • As a recommended practice, BPS employees are encouraged to use appropriate privacy settings to control access to their personal social media sites. However, be aware that there are limitations to privacy settings. Private communication published on the Internet can easily become public. Furthermore, social media sites can change their current default privacy settings and other functions. As a result, employees are responsible for understanding the rules of the social media site being utilized.
       
    • In order to maintain a professional and appropriate relationship with students, staff may not communicate with students who are currently enrolled in the District on personal social media sites.  This provision is subject to the following exceptions:  (a) communication with relatives and (b) if an emergency situation requires such communication, in which case the BPS employee should notify his/her supervisor of the contact as soon as possible.
       
    • Communication directly with students related to academic issues should occur in class or be directed through District-provided email accounts.
       
    • It is not recommended that staff members post or tag photos of other employees, volunteers, vendors or contractors on personal social media sites without prior permission of the photographed employee.
       
    • The posting or disclosure of personally identifiable student information or confidential information via personal social media sites, in violation of federal law, state law, or district policy is prohibited.
       
    • BPS employees should not use the BPS logo or make representations that their personal social media sites speak in an official BPS or school capacity. Use of the BPS logo that is automatically populated on personal social media sites, such as LinkedIn, is permitted.
       
    • The district has multiple policies regarding student and staff conduct which overlap with this regulation. It recognizes that the use of electronic communication technology in an educational setting presents new challenges to appropriate student and staff conduct. However, behavioral expectations will not be diminished in these settings and appropriate professional boundaries shall be maintained at all times and through all means of communications. As such, the District retains the right to moderate and restrict student and staff use on District-related pages. The District expects staff and students to maintain the same level of decorum in electronic communications, including the use of social media, as in face-to-face interactions. This regulation is intended to supplement existing regulations, not to supersede them.
  9. Personal Social Media Guidelines for Students
    • Students using personal social media should be aware of privacy laws and websites’ privacy policies.  Most information posted digitally can never truly be withdrawn and made private again.  Many popular social media sites require users to be 13 or older because they collect, and potentially sell or distribute, data in manners not compliant with federal law (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) for students under 13.  Students should be aware that if a website asks for a birthdate, this is usually a clue that it tracks a significant amount of user data, and that this tracked data may follow them as a digital footprint for years to come.
       
    • Students using personal social media should be aware of formal and informal voices, and the audience which may access or receive the post, comments, photo or image.  The manner in which students interact with peers on social media may reasonably differ from expectations for interaction with Official BPS Social Media accounts.  Students are expected to maintain the same level of decorum in electronic communications, including the use of official BPS social media, as in face-to-face interactions with teachers, staff, and classmates.
       
    • Students who use personal social media to interact with Official BPS Social Media must adhere to all school handbook policies regarding behavior.  Interaction with Official BPS Social Media is treated as a school setting.  This regulation is intended to supplement existing regulations, not to supersede them.
      • Acceptable uses of students’ personal social media to interact with official BPS social media include commenting on posts, posting pictures with permission, “following” official accounts, re-sharing official posts in their original form, and posting content to which students have the rights under copyright law.
         
      • Unacceptable uses of students’ personal social media to interact with Official BPS Social Media include all negative behaviors noted in BPS school handbooks, including but not limited to posting communications that could reasonably be construed as creating a hostile environment, defamatory comments, threats, intimidation, or harassment of any member of the public or the BPS community.  Students must not interact with Official BPS Social Media to post political information or viewpoints; religious information or viewpoints; commercial information; information pertaining to an employee’s or school representative’s personal activities, matters, or interests; information which consists of content which is sexual, pornographic, or adult in character; or information which advocates or promotes the use of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco.

This policy is in compliance with state and federal telecommunications rules and regulations, including the Children's Internet Protection Act, the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act Amendment, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment.

Acknowledgements:  Sections of this document were adapted from Town of Braintree, Gill-Montague Regional Schools, Pembroke Public Schools, the NYC Department of Education, and federal laws.

Adopted by School Committee 4-9-2018

Social Media Account Request Form

IJOA-Field Trips-Adopted 5/7/18

File:  IJOA – Field Trips

Field trips can bring the school and the community closer together, which can result in real life experiences that enrich the curriculum for students and also bring about better public relations.  The School Committee will also encourage field trips as an integral part of the instructional programs in the schools.

A field trip is student travel away from school premises that is approved by the school district through established procedures for the purpose of curriculum-related study, co-curricular activities, or interscholastic programs.

  1. Types of Field Trips
    • Curriculum-related: a classroom-associated learning experience to afford students the opportunity to gain insight, information or knowledge, such as, but not limited to, a walk on conservation land, a visit to a historic site or museum, or attendance at a cultural performance
       
    • Co-Curricular: school-sponsored experiences associated with school groups that normally meet outside regularly scheduled classes, such as, but not limited to, clubs, student organizations, or academic-related teams.
       
    • Interscholastic: in-district or out-of-district events in which students participate as representatives of the Braintree Public Schools, such as, but not limited to, athletics, cheerleading, band, or the performing arts.
  2. Duration of Field Trips
    • Day Trip: is a trip within the school day
       
    • Extended Day Trip: is a trip which is beyond the school day with no overnight  stay or travel

The Superintendent will establish regulations to ensure that:

  1. All field trips will be reviewed for consideration of approval prior to the date of the trip from the appropriate administrator;
     
  2. All students have parental permission for trips.
     
  3. All trips are properly supervised.
     
  4. All safety precautions are observed.
     
  5. All trips contribute substantially to the educational program.
     
  6. All curriculum-related, day trips allow student access without regard of family ability to pay.
     

Cross Ref.:  JJH, Policy Relating to Student Travel

Sources: 

  • MASC October 2016
  • IJOA, Abington
  • JJH, Danvers 2006

First Reading 3/19/18

Adopted by School Committee 5/7/2018

IKF-Graduation Requirements-Adopted 5/7/2018

IKF- Graduation Requirements

To earn a diploma from Braintree High School a student must earn 115 credits and successfully meet the following requirements:

Department

Credits

Number of Year-long Courses

Additional Requirements

English

20

4

 

Mathematics

20

4

Must Complete Algebra II

Science

15

3

Must complete 3 lab-based courses

Social Studies

15

3

Must complete American History, World History, and American Government

World Language

10

2

Must complete 2 years of the same World Language

Creative/Applied Arts

5

1

 

Physical Education

8

4

8 Semester Courses that meet 2 days per cycle

Electives

22

 

22 additional credits must be obtained through selection of elective courses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Requirements

  1. All students must carry five major courses each semester plus Physical Education. A major course is defined as a course that meets six times or more per cycle. In addition, freshmen will also be scheduled to take Health Education.
     
  2. Completion of one of the following two conditions in both the English Language Arts and Mathematics MCAS to earn a competency determination:
    • Meet or exceed the Proficient scaled score of 240 on the English Language Arts and Mathematics grade 10 MCAS test,

      Or
       
    • Meet or exceed the Needs Improvement scaled score of 220 on the English Language Arts and Mathematics grade 10 MCAS tests and fulfill the requirements of an Educational Proficiency Plan
  3.  In addition to the above requirements, students must attain a minimum of Needs Improvement (scaled score of 220) on one of the high school end of course science MCAS tests in Biology, Chemistry, Introductory Physics, or Technology/Engineering to meet their science competency determination.
     
  4. All academic, discipline, financial, and/or procedural obligations must be fulfilled two school days before graduation.

Adopted by School Committee 5/7/2018

IKFB-Graduation Ceremony-Adopted 5/7/2018

IKFB:  Graduation Ceremony

Students who have completed all requirements for graduation listed in Policy Section IKF are eligible to participate in graduation exercises, including students who have been determined to have met the requirements identified in their Individual Education Program (IEP) by the IEP Team.

At the annual graduation ceremony, members of the Braintree School Committee will present diplomas to the graduation class.

If a member of the Braintree School Committee has a family member graduating, that school committee member may present the diploma to that graduating senior.  Former members of the Braintree School Committee, who have family members graduating, may be permitted to present the diploma to the graduating senior with permission from the Superintendent of Schools. Permission will generally be granted as long as the diploma presentation does not disrupt the general flow of the ceremony.

Adopted by School Committee 5/7/2018

ILD-Notification of Rights Under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment-3/19/18

ILD:    Notification of Rights Under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)

PPRA affords parents of elementary and secondary students certain rights regarding the conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams.  These include, but are not limited to, the right to:

  • Consent before students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas (“protected information survey”) if the survey is funded in whole or in part by a program of the U.S. Department of Education (ED)–
  1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent;
  2. Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
  3. Sex behavior or attitudes;
  4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
  5. Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
  6. Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;
  7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student’s parent; or
  8. Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.
  • Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of
  1. Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding;
  2. Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under State law; and
  3. Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others. (This does not apply to the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the exclusive purpose of developing, evaluating, or providing educational products or services for, or to, students or educational institutions.)
  • Inspect, upon request and before administration or use –
  1. Protected information surveys of students and surveys created by a third party;
  2. Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes; and
  3. Instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum.

The Braintree Public Schools has developed and policies, in consultation with parents, regarding these rights, to implement the PPRA:

Protections of Student Privacy:   The Superintendent will insure that procedures are in place to protect student privacy in the administration of protected information surveys and in the collection, disclosure or use of personal information for marketing, selling or other distribution purposes.

Notice of Rights: The Superintendent or designee will arrange for direct notice to parents/guardians and eligible students of this policy at the beginning of each school year, either through handbooks, email or U.S. Mail, and will provide updates within a reasonable time period after any substantive changes. The Superintendent may also include notice of this policy along with other routine legal notices in one or more local newspapers.

Notice of Activities: The building Principal will arrange for direct notice to parents/guardians and eligible students at least annually at the beginning of the school year of the activities or surveys identified in the PPRA that the Braintree Public Schools anticipates conducting. For surveys and activities scheduled after the school year starts, parents/guardians will be provided reasonable notification of the planned activities and surveys listed below and be provided with consent forms or the opportunity to opt a child out of activities, if applicable. These rights transfer from the parent/guardian to a student who is 18 years old or an emancipated minor under state law.

Inspection of Materials:   Parents/Guardians or eligible students who wish to exercise their right to inspect surveys and instructional materials as identified in the PPRA may do so by sending written notice to the Superintendent of Schools or the School Principal at least 10 calendar days prior to the administration of the survey. Opportunity for inspection of applicable materials will be provided at the school or district administrative offices.

Parents/guardians who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with the Superintendent of Schools. Complaints may also be filed with:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C.  20202

LEGAL REF.:  Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, 20 U.S.C. § 1232h. Regulations: 34 CFR Part 98.

SOURCE: MASC February 2018

Easton Public Schools June 2017

Adopted by School Committee 3/19/2018

JCFBZ-Flexible Boundary Zones & School Enrollment-Adopted 6/13/17

JC‐FBZ - Flexible Boundary Zones & School Enrollment

While students have a right to attend the elementary school in the school district where they reside, the Braintree School Committee endorses a policy of Flexible Boundary Zones (FBZ) for the enrollment of students new to the Braintree Public Schools effective for the 2016‐2017 school year. The purpose of the FBZ policy is to ensure even utilization of individual building resources and staff throughout the school system, and to protect the educational well‐being of all students.

Flexible Boundary Zones are defined areas (neighborhoods, streets, etc.) for which individual addresses may be assigned to more than one elementary school. Parent/guardians of students residing in a FBZ must request one of the designated elementary schools in the FBZ. Requests will be granted based on space availability. Students in FBZ do not have a designated home school until such time as they are assigned a school by school administration. The assignment of the home school for students in FBZ is not subject to appeal.

With respect to the assignment of new families residing in buffer zones:

  1. The preference of the family will be considered in making the initial assignment.
     
  2. Once a family in an elementary buffer zone has been assigned a school for one child, other siblings who follow will also be enrolled in that elementary school unless the parent/guardian requests a different elementary school. Their request for a different school will be considered on a space available basis.

Adopted by the Braintree School Committee, 6/13/2016

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JF-Residency, School Admissions and Entrance Age-Adopted 8/28/2017

JF - Residency, School Admissions and Entrance Age

School Admission/Residency Requirements

All children of school age who actually reside in the Town of Braintree will be entitled to attend the Braintree Public Schools. “Actual residence” shall mean that the Town of Braintree is the place which is most closely connected with the primary purpose of a dwelling and is the place where the child and his/her parents intend to remain permanently. Temporary residence in a motel, hotel, or any other building in the Town of Braintree does not constitute “actual residence”. In such circumstances, however, the child may be allowed to enroll in accordance with the requirements and limitations of state and federal laws and regulations.

A student between the minimum and maximum ages established by established by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education who has not received a diploma or certificate from a secondary school shall be eligible to attend the schools if:

  • Kindergarten student is 5 years of age on or before August 31st of the enrollment year. Grade 1 student is 6 years of age on or before August 31st of the enrollment year. Exceptions to Grade 1 age requirement will be considered in accordance with Braintree Public Schools early admission to first grade protocol.
     
  • The student permanently, not temporarily or sporadically, resides in Braintree with his/her parent(s) or legal guardian.
     
  • The student actually resides in Braintree with someone other than his/her parent(s) or legal guardian for the purpose of attending the schools and tuition for such student is paid in accordance with this policy.
     
  • The student actually resides in Braintree with someone other than his/her parent(s) or legal guardian for the purpose of temporarily ameliorating personal extreme hardship, and may attend the schools at the discretion of the Superintendent and with a completed and notarized Caregiver Affidavit Form.
     
  • The student, regardless of place of residence, has been selected to attend the schools under a statutory program for the education of non-resident students, duly accepted by the School Committee.
     
  • The student, regardless of place of residence, meets the requirements of “Admission of Non-Residents” section of this policy.
     
  • Prior to entry, the student has met all MA Department of Public Health immunization requirements in accordance with 105 CMR 220.

Determination of Eligibility

The Superintendent, or his/her designee(s), shall determine whether a student is eligible to attend the Schools. In determining whether a student actually resides in Braintree for purposes of this policy, the following factors shall be considered:

  • Whether the student physically occupies a dwelling in Braintree, regardless of whether such occupancy is based upon ownership, lease, or consent of a person legally entitled to occupy the dwelling;
     
  • With whom the student lives, such as parent(s), legal guardian, custodial parent after a divorce, relative, or other person and the duration of such living arrangement;
     
  • If a student resides with someone other than his/her parent(s), legal guardian, or the parent with physical custody after a divorce, the reasons for doing so;
     
  • The amount of time actually spent by the student in the dwelling in Braintree;
     
  • Whether the student's physical belongings are stored at the dwelling;
     
  • Whether mail concerning the student, such as mail from doctors, etc., is addressed to the dwelling;
     
  • Whether the residence is the center of the student’s domestic, social, and civic life;
     
  • Whether the student was included as an occupant of the dwelling for purposes of the town census;
     
  • Such other information as the Superintendent or his/her designee(s) may deem relevant to determining where a student actually resides including, but not limited to, a fully completed Affidavit of Occupancy and proof of residency documents requested during registration process.

Non-Resident Students

Except as expressly provided for herein, non-resident students shall not be admitted to the Braintree Public Schools (BPS). The Superintendent may, in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations, permit a non-resident student to attend the schools as follows:

  • A student whose family provides satisfactory evidence that he/she will be residing in Braintree within a grading period and would be eligible to attend the schools under policy JF may, in accordance with regulations adopted by the Superintendent, and with the permission of the Superintendent, attend the Schools prior to actually residing in Braintree.
     
  • The Superintendent may permit a non-resident student to attend Braintree High School for not more than one year under a reciprocal arrangement with the Schools in the Town in which the student resides pursuant to M.G.L. Ch. 76, Sec 12, where such temporary attendance is (i) in the best educational interests of the student, (ii) there is no reason to believe that the student presents any risk to other students or employees of the Schools.
     
  • Students who are entitled to attend the BPS under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
     
  • BHS seniors already enrolled in the BPS, who move out of the Town on or after the first day of school in a given school year, may complete the current school year provided they have made the Superintendent of Schools aware of the move in writing within thirty (30) business days of such move. Other students, in any school, who move out of the Town of Braintree on or after April 1st of a given school year may complete the current school year provided they have made the Superintendent of Schools aware of the move in writing within five (5) business days of such move. In all of the foregoing circumstances, students are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from school after they move out of the Town of Braintree.
     
  • Students officially enrolled in the BPS through the METCO program.

Transportation of Non-Residents

Except as otherwise provided in state and federal laws and other policies, transportation of a non-resident student to and from school shall remain the responsibility of his/her parent(s) or legal guardian.

Enforcement

Should a question arise concerning any student’s residency elsewhere while attending Braintree Public Schools, the student’s residency will be subject to further inquiry and/or investigation. Such questions concerning residency may arise on the basis of incomplete, suspicious, or contradictory proofs of address; information provided to administration; correspondence that is returned to the Braintree Public Schools because of an invalid or unknown address, or other grounds.

The Superintendent may request additional documentation, may use the assistance of the Braintree Police Department’s Community Service Officer and/or may obtain the services of an investigative agency to conduct investigations into student residences. All reports will be provided to the Superintendent, who shall make the final determination of residency.

Upon initial determination by the Superintendent that a student is actually residing in a city or town other than Braintree, the student’s enrollment in Braintree Public Schools shall be terminated immediately.

Penalty

Only students who qualify under this policy shall be eligible to attend the BPS. Any person who knowingly misrepresents facts concerning a student's actual place of residence or reasons for residing in Braintree, or any other material facts concerning a student's eligibility to attend the schools under this policy in order to enroll a student in the schools or to avoid paying tuition may be liable for the consequences. BPS reserves the right to recover restitution based upon the costs of educational services provided during the period of non-residency from the parent(s), guardians, or caregiver.

Adopted by School Committee: 8/28/2017

JIH-Search and Seizure-Adopted 3/21/16

JIH - Search and Seizure

Students and their personal belongings are subject to search by school personnel if there are reasonable grounds for believing that a search will reveal evidence that the student has violated the law or school rules.

The Braintree school administration reserves the right to search vehicles on school property, back packs, gym bags, and/or other articles of student clothing when a determination has been made that such a search would be in the interest of the safety and/or health of that student and/or other students and adults. Searches and subsequent seizure of substance and/or contraband will be conducted based on reasonable suspicion as a result of reliable reports from credible sources, personal observations of students engaging in prohibited conduct, and observations of suspicious behavior. Such searches will not be performed in an arbitrary or capricious manner. Except as otherwise necessary due to urgent circumstances, searches will be conducted by a member of the Braintree school administration in the presence of another adult. In all cases, the nature of the search must be reasonably related to the object sought and not excessively intrusive in light of the age and gender of the student. In the event of the search of a student or his/her belongings, parents will be notified as soon as practicable after the search has been concluded.

Lockers and student desks, as well as the student parking areas at Braintree High School are the property of the Braintree Public Schools. Students should understand that they are not considered public property and, therefore, such areas and items may be subject to random and canine searches by school officials, in coordination with the Braintree Police Department.

In the event that a student is found to be in possession of an illegal object or substance, the object or substance will be given to the Braintree Police Department. Other objects or substances that are prohibited by school rules, or are otherwise disruptive to the school environment, may be retained by school officials for later return to the student’s parents/guardians.

Interrogations by Police

The Braintree Schools have legal custody of students during the day and during the hours of approved extracurricular activities. When law enforcement officials find it necessary to question students during the school day or periods of extracurricular activities, the school Principal or his/her designee will be present. Every reasonable effort will be made to contact the student’s parent or guardian so that the responsible individual may be notified of the situation and be present for police questioning of the student. Except as otherwise necessary due to urgent circumstances, police questioning of students under the age of 18 will not be conducted without the presence of a legal guardian.

Legal Ref.: New Jersey v. T. L. O. (1985) S. Ct 733.

Adopted by the Braintree School Committee: March 21, 2016

JJF-Student Activity Agency Accounts-Adopted 6/12/17, Revised 11/13/17

JJF - Student Activity Agency Accounts

Student funds may be raised to finance the activities of authorized student organizations. Student activity funds are considered a part of the total fiscal operation of the District and are subject to policies established by the School Committee and the Office of the Superintendent. The funds shall be managed in accordance with sound business practices and will adhere to the procedures outlined in the Braintree Public Schools Student Activity Guidelines and Procedures Manual.

In compliance with Massachusetts General Law Chapter 71, Section 47; the School Committee:

  1. Authorizes the Superintendent, or his/her designee, to approve the establishment of all club/student organizations based on the procedures outlined in the Braintree Public Schools Student Activity Guidelines and Procedure Manual.
     
  2. Authorizes the Principals and the Principals' designee to accept money for recognized student activity organizations, which currently exist, or as from time to time may be revised. A Student Activity Agency Account(s) shall only be used for monies raised by approved student club/organizations and expended by those students for their direct benefit.
     
  3. Authorizes the Town Treasurer to establish and maintain a Student Activity Agency Account(s) which is to be audited as part of the Town's annual audit.
    • The interest earned and any audited undesignated fund balance in each school's student activity fund shall remain in the account and be recorded as a separate line item by the building principal. These funds shall be used to cover the following expenditures without requiring further approval from the School Committee:
      • To cover the cost of periodic outside audits of the accounts;
      • To purchase forms and supplies related to maintaining the Student Activity Agency Account by the school;
      • To pay for any banking fees associated with the accounts, or the acceptance of credit cards, or other online payment option that may become available; and
      • To cover the cost of a student(s) attending a class or school function when students are charged for such but the district financial assistance policy determines the family is unable to cover such expenses.
  4. Authorizes Student Activity Checking Accounts for use by the Principals with specific maximum balances established for each school by School Committee policy.
    • The school principal will be provided with a checking account for expenditure purposes.
    • The maximum balance a school is allowed to have in its checking account at any time is as follows:
      • East Middle School - $50,000
      • South Middle School - $50,000
      • High School - $75,000
    • Deposits into the checking account shall only be made by the Town Treasurer.
       
    • Principals may delegate to Assistant Principals, Housemasters, or other designee the authorization to sign withdrawal forms from various clubs and activities or other forms or permissions. However, the Principal may not delegate signature authority on the checking account. The Principal must sign all checks and their corresponding withdrawal authorizations with an original signature. Signature stamps are not permitted.
  5. Directs Principals to provide the Treasurer with a bond in an amount agreeable to the Treasurer.
     
  6. Authorizes the disposition of class funds as follows:
    • Funds raised by and for a particular class as defined by their high school graduation date, shall remain in a sub-account designated for that class through the last day of school of the class's graduation year.
      • Funds held on behalf of graduating classes are to be held within the Student Activity Checking Account for the High School. Such funds shall be designated by the class' Year of Graduation, such as Class of 2017, etc. Once a class has graduated from High School, their funds should be removed from the High School Student Activity Checking Account no later than six months from the date of graduation. It is the responsibility of the class officers to arrange for these funds to be removed from the High School Activity Checking Account. When requested, and once all outstanding financial obligations of the graduating class have been met, the remaining balance should be removed from the fund by check transfer payable to the Class of XXXX. Checks payable to individual members of the graduating class are not permitted.
         
      • Should the class officers not request to have their funds removed from the Student Activity Checking Account within six months of their graduating, the funds will be forfeited by the class and transferred into the undesignated fund of the Student Activity Agency Account.
         
      • Class officers should be given a copy of this policy during the course of their senior year to ensure their knowledge of their obligations to perform under this policy.
    • Such transfer of available balances from outdated graduated class accounts shall occur after: a) documented efforts have been made to contact at least two of the four class officers, and b) written permission from at least one class officer has been received authorizing the transfer, or c) if after failing to receive any type of response from either class officer that a notice is posted in a local newspaper that said transfer will be completed within thirty (30) days.
  7. Authorizes the disposition of student activity funds as follows:
    • Any student activity organization inactive for a period of three (3) years or more, and for which there has been no receipts or disbursements recorded on their behalf, shall require the following action:
      • Written notification by the advisor or student officer/treasurer to the Principal or other authorized administrator that the particular activity will cease to be a viable account. If an advisor or student officer/treasurer is not available, the Superintendent or his/her designee shall authorize such discontinuance.
    • All assets of the student activity organization shall be determined and stated in writing.
       
    • The Superintendent, or his/her designee, shall determine any disposition of assets of an inactive student activity organization, but in no case shall the disposition benefit specific individuals. The primary goal in disposition should be to benefit the students.
  8. Authorizes the Principals to take remedial action whenever a deficit in a Student Activity Agency Account exists. Deficits in Student Activity Agency Accounts are not permitted under this policy and should be avoided. If unforeseen circumstances result in a deficit, funds from either the school's interest income account or general student activity fund may be used to cover the shortfall. If there are insufficient funds in either of these accounts to cover the deficit, the Superintendent may approve the use of budgetary funds to cover the deficit.
     
  9. Commissions: Any monies paid to the school or to a student activity organization as commissions belong to the students. At no time shall such commission be used to benefit staff. Commissions should be spent in support of student clubs and co-curricular activities (source: vending machines, yearbooks, class rings, student pictures) or be deposited to the specific student activity sub-account (example: yearbook, senior class) for use by the student organization.

JK-Student Discipline-Adopted 1/23/17

JK – Student Discipline

The Massachusetts General Laws require the School Committee to adopt written policies, rules and regulations not inconsistent with law, which may relate to study, discipline, conduct, safety and welfare of all students, or any classification thereof, enrolled in the public schools of the District.

The implementation of the general rules of conduct is the responsibility of the Principal and the professional staff of the building. In order to do this, each school staff in the District shall develop specific rules not inconsistent with the law nor in conflict with School Committee policy. These building rules shall be an extension of the District policies by being more specific as they relate to the individual schools.

The purpose of disciplinary action is to restore acceptable behavior. When disciplinary action is necessary, it shall be administered with fairness and shall relate to the individual needs and the individual circumstances.

Students violating any of the policies on student conduct and control will be subject to disciplinary action. The degree, frequency, and circumstances surrounding each incident shall determine the method used in enforcing these policies. Most of the situations which require disciplinary action can be resolved within the confines of the classroom or as they occur by reasonable but firm reprimand, and/or by teacher conferences with the student and/or parents or guardians.

If a situation should arise in which there is no applicable written policy the staff member shall be expected to exercise reasonable and professional judgment.

Legal Refs..: M.G.L. 71:37H AND 37L; 76:16 AND 17
Chapter 380 of the Acts of 1993
Chapter 766 Regulations, S. 338.0

Adopted by the Braintree School Committee, 1/23/2017

KBA-Parent Communication Policy (PCP)-Adopted 3/19/18

KBA:  Parent Communication Policy (PCP)The Braintree School Committee (BSC) recognizes that the importance of effective communication between the school system and all parents. It is the goal of the Braintree Public Schools (BPS) to foster relationships with parents, which encourage cooperation between the home and school in establishing and achieving common educational goals for students.

While parents are individually responsible for their children, the BPS provides educational and supervision services for students during the time they are within the care of school personnel.  Consistent with these shared responsibilities, and as appropriate to the maturity of the student, members of the school staff will communicate with parents regarding student progress and development.

Additionally, parental involvement in the schools is encouraged through regular communication with the school Principal and staff, the parent/teacher organizations, and other relevant and appropriate opportunities for participation in school activities and programs.

In the effort to maintain clear lines of communications, the BSC recognizes those parents of Limited English Proficiency and establishes the following guidelines to ensure that they receive the meaningful communication in the language in which they can fully understand the information:

  1. During the registration process, new families to the district will be asked to complete a Home Language Survey, in their own language, which will ask whether they would like notices and information regarding their child’s school in a language other than English.  The completed survey will become part of the student’s information file.
     
  2. Braintree Public Schools (BPS) will provide parents/guardians, who request information in a language other than English, written or oral translations of the following:
    • Information about Special Education matter under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
    • Report cards and progress reports
    • Information about disciplinary processes (unless there is an immediate discipline notice that must be provided to the parent initially in English with interpretation and/or transition to follow as soon as possible
    • Requests for parent/guardian permission for student participation in district/school sponsored programs and activities
    • Promotional materials and announcements distributed by the school to students that contain information about school and district activities for which notice is needed to participate (e.g. parent teacher conferences, open houses, activities requiring application)
    • Parent handbooks
    • Enrollment/Registration documents
    • Documents concerning academic options and planning
    • Information related to public health and safety, unless there is an immediate health or safety emergency, at which time information may be initially distributed in English with interpretation and/or translation to follow as soon as practicable.
    • Any other written information describing the rights and responsibilities of parents/guardians or students and the benefits and services available to parents/guardians and students.
  3. When reasonably and specifically requested, the district will provide written or oral translation of other information that is not considered “essential”.
  4. If a BPS employee needs to communicate orally with an LEP parent regarding essential information, that communication will be provided in the language the parent can understand via a qualified interpreter, which will be provided without undue delay.

Through this policy and the guidelines established herein, the BSC affirms its mission to partner with parents in the education of their children through effective communication with all members of the Braintree Public School Community.

Adopted by School Committee 3/19/2018

KE-Public Concerns-Adopted 12/11/17

KE– Public Concerns

Although no member of the community will be denied the right to bring their concerns to the Committee, they will be referred through the proper administrative channels for solution before investigation or action by the Committee. Exceptions may be made when the concern involves Committee actions or Committee operations.

The Committee believes that concerns are best handled and resolved as close to their origin as possible, and that the professional staff should be given every opportunity to consider the issues and attempt to resolve the problem prior to involvement by the Committee. Therefore, the proper channeling of concerns involving instruction, discipline or learning materials will be as follows:

  1. Teacher/Employee
  2. School building administrator
  3. Superintendent
  4. School Committee

If a concern, which was presented to the Committee and referred back through the proper channels, is resolved before it comes back to the School Committee, a report of the disposition of the matter will be made to the Committee and then placed in the official files.

Concerns about school personnel will be investigated fully and fairly. However, before any such concern is investigated, the complainant must submit his/her concern in writing. Anonymous concerns will be handled at the discretion of the Superintendent.

Matters referred to the Superintendent and/or School Committee must be in writing and should be specific in terms of the action desired.

The Committee expects the professional staff to receive concerns courteously and to make a proper reply to the complainant.

Source: MASC October 2016

Legal Refs.: MG.L. 76:5 603 CMR 26.00

Adopted by School Committee 12-11-2017

KF-Community Use of School Facilities-Adopted 9/25/17

KF - Community Use of School Facilities

It is the School Committee's desire that use of school property be enjoyed by the townspeople. It is the Committee's intent that such use will maintain safe conditions and preserve the property for school program use.

Use of school buildings and other facilities by organizations will be permitted only when a worthy educational, civic, or charitable purpose will be served.

School facilities will be used according to the regulations and rental fee schedules recommended by the Superintendent and approved by the School Committee.

Permission for the use of facilities must be obtained through the office of the Director of Finance & Operations (Business Manager), or designee, where applications are available for this purpose.

Eligibility

School facilities will be available for the following:

  1. Public school activities
  2. Parent-teacher activities
  3. Official town public hearings and political activities
  4. Meetings and activities sponsored by the School Committee and school personnel
  5. Local nonprofit and noncommercial organization activities
  6. The activities of other organizations when approved by the School Committee

School and Town Preference

Requests for use of school facilities will be prioritized as follows:

  1. School activities
  2. Town Meetings and elections
  3. Town department needs
  4. All other community activities

Legal Refs.: M.G.L. 71:71; 71:71B; 272:40A

Adopted by the Braintree School Committee: Monday, September 25, 2017

KF-R-Community Use of School Facilities-Adopted 9/25/17, Revised 6/18/18

KF-R - Community Use of School Facilities Administrative Procedures

Facility Rental Checklist

  • Complete Building Permit Form.
  • Include any deposit(s) with Building Permit Form.
  • Return Building Permit Form and deposit (if applicable) to:

If requesting Braintree High School

Janis McLarnon
Building Permit Office
Braintree High School
128 Town Street
Braintree, MA 02184

If requesting another school

Principal's Office at the requested school

Confirmation of the event is established upon receipt of Building Permit from the School Business Office. NO ADVERTISING OF ANY KIND is permitted prior to receiving the Building Permit.

  • Obtain Insurance Binder in the amount of $1 million liability.

Binder MUST list as the certificate holder:
The Town of Braintree
1 JFK Memorial Drive
Braintree, MA 02184

  • Return binder no later than three (3) days prior to scheduled event to:

Braintree Public Schools
Business Office
348 Pond Street
Braintree, MA 02184

Adopted by Braintree School Committee: September 25, 2017
Revised by Braintree School Committee:  June 18, 2018


Facility Rental Fee Schedule

Braintree School Facilities

Braintree
High School

East
Middle School

South
Middle School

Elementary
Schools

Auditorium

400.00

400.00

300.00

N/A

Classroom

200.00

200.00

200.00

200.00

Gymnasium

400.00

400.00

300.00

200.00

Cafeteria

300.00

300.00

200.00

200.00

Kitchen

200.00

200.00

200.00

200.00


Please Note:

  1. Above fees are based on a 4-hour minimum charge. After 4 hours, an additional prorated fee will be charged based on the above Facility Rental Fee Schedule. There will also be a $1.00 per seat charge for auditorium and gymnasium use for any event for which an admission fee is charged (Braintree High School auditorium seat charge $350.00, gymnasium seat charge $1,400.00; East Middle School auditorium seat charge $525.00, gymnasium seat charge $400.00; and South Middle School auditorium seat charge $273.00 are the maximum charges). Less will be charged with proof of gate receipts.
     
  2. For profit camps (e.g., school vacation weeks: athletics, arts, etc.): basketball, baseball, and soccer camps):  A flat fee of 2.5% of gross revenue will be charged for camps serving students and children, provided in the estimation of the District this covers reasonable costs of the facility. If the District determines this is not the case, a higher percentage fee will be negotiated, or the rental will be refused. If additional facilities beyond the camp site (e.g. field) are utilized, the normal rental fee for that facility will be added above and beyond the flat fee. Renters are required to provide the District with revenue detail including, but not limited to, participant information and all applicable fees charged.

  3. Additional charges for required services are subject to change:
    • Braintree Police Detail - 4 hr. minimum – contract and pay Braintree Police Dept. directly.
    • Braintree Fire Detail - 4 hr. minimum – contract and pay Braintree Fire Dept. directly.
    • Custodial charges are based on the custodian’s rate of pay at time and one half on weekdays and Saturdays and at double time on Sundays and holidays.
    • When a school kitchen is used, a kitchen worker must be employed.
  4. No rental fee will be charged to Braintree Public School programs, regular meetings of PTO’s, and School Councils.
     
  5. No rental fee will be charged to youth programs sponsored by Braintree organizations; e.g., Braintree Youth Basketball, Scouts, and other Braintree youth programs. Custodial charges will be assessed as needed.
     
  6. All building permit requests must be accompanied by a $50.00 security deposit. A larger security deposit may be requested.
     
  7. The Braintree School Committee reserves the right to amend these rental fees and may establish other rental fee rates for the long-term use/lease of facilities.
     
  8. Rental of school facilities on holidays or certain other days may not be possible because of the unavailability of service personnel required by School Regulations.

     

Rules and Regulations for use of School Building

General

  1. The person or organization granted the use of a school facility shall assume full liability for any loss or damage to school property or equipment. The School Department requires prior assurance that there will be adequate and responsible adult supervision.
     
  2. Permits will not be issued to minors or to any individuals or groups unable to assume full liability. The lessee must have insurance coverage to cover any personal and/or property claims resulting from the event.
     
  3. Use of school property, including buildings, athletic fields and grounds is permitted to recognized local groups for educational, recreational, civic, charitable, and similar purposes but not solely for any individual’s personal gain. For-profit organizations may be charged a higher fee.
     
  4. School gymnasiums will not be rented for non-school sponsored dances or functions.
     
  5. Facilities will not be available when there is any conflict with school activities.
     
  6. No firm commitment of dates will be made before October 1 to allow schools to submit and reserve their schedules.
     
  7. Application for use of school facilities must be submitted to the Business Office accompanied by a $50.00 security deposit ten days in advance of the date of use. Rental fees must be paid by the rental date. Please make checks payable to the “Braintree Public Schools.”
     
  8. Field day programs requiring the installation of booths, amusements, or special equipment, must first be reviewed and approved by the Braintree School Department.
     
  9. Cafeterias and kitchens are under constant inspection by the Board of Health and must be thoroughly cleaned after use to ensure that our sanitary standards are not lowered. No kitchen equipment may be used unless a regular school lunch worker is employed for that specific purpose.
     
  10. At least one policeman may be required for a function to which the public is invited. Arrangements for this protection must be made in advance with the Braintree Police Department.
     
  11. Organizations are responsible for cost involved for custodial set-up and clean-up time.

Specific

  1. The School Principal and Head Custodian shall act as the official representatives of the School Department in connection with arrangements at the school.
    • Very Important: Please notify the custodian within 48 hours regarding use of equipment or any special arrangements. If cancellation is necessary, it is the responsibility of the applicant to notify the School Department Office and the Custodian.
  2. According to the Massachusetts General Laws, there shall be No Smoking, No Alcoholic Beverages or Controlled substances, in any school building or on school property.
     
  3. Use of candles or materials, which may be considered by school authorities to be a fire or safety hazard, are not permitted.
     
  4. At all schools, parking of automobiles is the responsibility of the renter and must be supervised so that driveways and fire lanes are open to all emergency and public safety vehicles. If necessary, additional police must be hired to enforce these regulations.
     
  5. Use of equipment in the auditorium – stage scenery and lighting controls are to be operated only by the Head Custodian (or a person certified by him). All imported scenery or equipment must be removed by 7:30 a.m. the next morning. The School Department assumes no responsibility for renter’s property or equipment in regard to breakage, theft, damage, impairment, fire, or other adversity while on school property or in the process of being moved to or from that property.
     
  6. Pianos may not be moved into or from any school or to a different level within a school except by professional movers after obtaining prior approval.
     
  7. Supervision in gymnasium: The person signing the application is responsible for all conditions and regulations enclosed herein. There must be provision for adequate and responsible adult supervision to insure proper use of school facilities, locker rooms, and/or gyms. No soft drinks or refreshments may be served except in the lunchroom. The School Department may require additional custodial support depending upon the size of the group and/or nature of the event.
     
  8. All three signatures must be on the request for it to become a valid permit.

     

Building Permit

Application form for rental of school building must be submitted and a security deposit paid ten (10) days in advance of the effective date.

The application must be signed by the individual acting for the organization whom accepts responsibility for supervision of the function in accordance with the Rules and Regulations and submitted with a $50.00 security deposit to the school requested for rental.  The application will then be forwarded to the School Department Business Office for approval.  One approved copy will be returned to the applicant and will serve as the Permit.

Homework Policy, High School

Homework Policy (9-12)

Introduction

Teachers at Braintree High School share in the belief that homework is intended to reinforce and extend learning initiated in the classroom and can be used by students as a tool to prepare for discussions, lessons, and assessments. The frequency and length of homework assignments varies by teacher and subject but should always be designed with these objectives in mind. Teachers will attempt to vary assignments in accordance with the needs of the class and ensure that these assignments are related to classroom instruction. Completion of homework is considered necessary for success in a class and therefore teachers should incorporate the completion of homework for no less than 5% and no more than 15% of a student’s final term grade.

Homework Policy Guidelines for Students

  • Always do your best work
  • Record directions for homework in an assignment notebook. 
  • Understand assignments clearly before leaving class
  • Bring home the proper materials to complete the assignments 
  • Hand in completed assignments on time
  • Budget time properly for long-term assignments
  • Complete any work missed due to absence from class
  • Talk to your parents and teacher if you are having difficulty with homework
  • Successful completion of homework will count no less than 5% - and no more than 15% of the term grade in individual subjects. 

Homework Policy Guidelines for Parents

  • Be familiar with the philosophy and guidelines of the homework policy
  • Provide a time and place to do homework assignments with limited interruptions (i.e., cell phone; television; video games; instant messaging)
  • Actively supervise homework completion, assisting, but not doing the work
  • Oversee completion of long-term assignments to assist in understanding time management
  • Contact the teacher with questions or concerns especially if your child exceeds the allotted time frame
  • Successful completion of homework will count no less than 5% - and no more than 15% of the term grade in individual subjects. 

Homework Policy Guidelines for Teachers

  • Assign homework on a regular basis in keeping with the homework policy
  • Students are to understand clearly all homework assignments
  • Require that each student have an assignment book
  • Homework may take the form of class, group, or individual assignments
  • Group projects should not be assigned as homework, unless students can work on their individual parts independently
  • Teachers should coordinate assignments, tests, and projects with other teachers, as appropriate, to avoid overburdening students.
  • Assignments should be discussed, checked and when appropriate, corrected and returned to students
  • Specific policies/practices of teachers are to be submitted to the principal and clearly communicated to students and parents
  • Teachers have the responsibility to communicate with parents of students who are falling behind in completing homework assignments
  • Successful completion of homework will count no less than 5% - and no more than 15% of the term grade in individual subjects. 

Homework Policy Guidelines for Administrators

  • Include this homework policy in all teacher, parent and student handbooks
  • Require teachers to communicate homework policy to students and parents
  • Make certain that teachers are implementing the homework policy consistently and uniformly
  • Assist teachers, when necessary, in implementing this homework policy
  • Observe use of homework during classroom visits
  • Review homework samples and assignments periodically
  • Give suggestions to teachers, when necessary, on how assignments could be improved
  • Develop homework incentive programs/practices with teachers and parents to assist and enhance homework completion

Time Frame of Homework Assignments

If your child is having difficulty on a consistent basis completing assignments within the time frames established, please contact your child’s teacher for assistance.    

Approved:  Braintree School Committee – January 25, 2016

Homework Policy, Middle School

Homework Policy (6-8)

Introduction

Homework in the Braintree Public Schools is an essential part of the school program.  Assignments will vary in accordance to the needs of the class and will relate to classroom instruction.  Homework assignments are intended to reinforce and extend learning initiated in the classroom and serve as a tool for teachers to assess student understanding of classroom instruction.  Completion of routine homework can motivate students to develop good work habits, while increasing the opportunity for individual initiative and responsibility.  Homework can also stimulate creativity, critical thinking and awareness that learning can take place outside of the classroom.  The guidelines below indicate how students, parents, teachers and administrators all have a responsibility for the success of homework.

 Homework Policy Guidelines for Students

  • Always do your best work
  • Record directions for homework in an assignment notebook. 
  • Understand assignments clearly before leaving class
  • Bring home the proper materials to complete the assignments 
  • Hand in completed assignments on time
  • Budget time properly for long-term assignments
  • Complete any work missed due to absence from class
  • Homework will count for 10-15% of the student’s grade.  A separate grade will also be included for homework.
  • Talk to your parents and teacher if you are having difficulty with homework
  • Homework will not be assigned during school vacation except for the completion of previously assigned long-term projects.

Homework Policy Guidelines for Parents

  • Be familiar with the philosophy and guidelines of the homework policy
  • Check your child’s assignment notebook
  • Provide a time and place to do homework assignments with limited interruptions
  • Actively supervise homework completion, assisting, but not doing the work
  • Oversee completion of long-term assignments to assist in understanding time management
  • Contact the teacher with questions or concerns especially if your child exceeds the allotted time frame
  • Homework will count for 10-15% of the student’s grade.  A separate grade will also be included for homework.
  • Homework will not be assigned during school vacation except for the completion of previously assigned long-term projects.

Homework Policy Guidelines for Teachers

  • Assign homework on a regular basis in keeping with the homework policy
  • Assignments may be on a daily basis or of a long-term type, such as a report
  • Students are to understand clearly all homework assignments
  • Require that each student have an assignment book
  • Homework may take the form of class, group, or individual assignments
  • Group projects should not be assigned as homework, unless students can work on their individual parts independently
  • Teachers should coordinate assignments, tests, and projects with other teachers, as appropriate, to avoid overburdening students.
  • Assignments should be discussed, checked and when appropriate, corrected and returned to students
  • Specific policies/practices of teachers are to be submitted to the principal and clearly communicated to students and parents 
  • Teachers have the responsibility to communicate with parents of students who are falling behind in completing homework assignments
  • Homework will not be assigned during school vacation except for the completion of previously assigned long-term projects.
  • Homework will count for 10-15% of the student’s grade. A separate grade will also be included for homework.

Homework Policy Guidelines for Administrators

  • Include this homework policy in all teacher, parent and student handbooks
  • Require teachers to communicate homework policy to students and parents
  • Make certain that teachers are implementing the homework policy consistently and uniformly
  • Assist teachers, when necessary, in implementing this homework policy
  • Observe use of homework during classroom visits
  • Review homework samples and assignments periodically
  • Give suggestions to teachers, when necessary, on how assignments could be improved
  • Develop homework incentive programs/practices with teachers and parents to assist and enhance homework completion

Time Frame of Homework Assignments

While it is understood that the time it takes to complete homework assignments may vary with each child, the times below are the general guidelines for each grade level.  If your child is having difficulty on a consistent basis completing assignments within the time frames established, please contact your child’s teacher for assistance.   The amount of work brought home may be impacted by any opportunities to complete assignments in school.  Teachers will be aware of grade specific or school-wide evening commitments for students and adjust homework accordingly.  Studying for quizzes/tests and work on long-term projects will be figured into the time guidelines.

Grade Homework Time Frame
6 15-20 minutes of homework per course, per night, not to exceed one and one-half hours*
7 20-25 minutes of homework per course, per night, not to exceed two hours*
8 20-30 minutes of homework per course, per night, not to exceed two and one-half hours*

 

*If a student is experiencing difficulty, parents/guardians have the option of signing off at the upper time limit for a course's daily homework, if the student has worked studiously and has produced quality work

Revision Approved:  Braintree School Committee – May 9, 2011

Homework Policy, Elementary School

Homework Policy (K-5)

Introduction

Homework in the Braintree Public Schools is an essential part of the school program.  Assignments will vary in accordance to the needs of the class and will relate to classroom instruction.  Homework assignments are intended to reinforce and extend learning initiated in the classroom and serve as a tool for teachers to assess student understanding of classroom instruction.  Completion of routine homework can motivate students to develop good work habits, while increasing the opportunity for individual initiative and responsibility.  Homework can also stimulate creativity, critical thinking and awareness that learning can take place outside of the classroom.  The guidelines below indicate how students, parents, teachers and administrators all have a responsibility for the success of homework.

Homework Policy Guidelines for Students

  • Always do your best work
  • Record directions for homework in an assignment notebook. 
  • Understand assignments clearly before leaving class
  • Bring home the proper materials to complete the assignments 
  • Hand in completed assignments on time
  • Budget time properly for long-term assignments
  • Complete any work missed due to absence from class
  • Understand how homework will affect your class grade
  • Talk to your parents and teacher if you are having difficulty with homework
  • Homework will not be assigned during school vacation except for the completion of previously assigned long-term projects.

Homework Policy Guidelines for Parents

  • Be familiar with the philosophy and guidelines of the homework policy
  • Check your child’s assignment notebook
  • Provide a time and place to do homework assignments with limited interruptions
  • Actively supervise homework completion, assisting, but not doing the work
  • Oversee completion of long-term assignments to assist in understanding time management
  • Contact the teacher with questions or concerns especially if your child exceeds the allotted time frame
  • Homework will not be assigned during school vacation except for the completion of previously assigned long-term projects.

Homework Policy Guidelines for Teachers

  • Assign homework on a regular basis in keeping with the homework policy
  • Assignments may be on a daily basis or of a long-term type, such as a report
  • Students are to understand clearly all homework assignments
  • Require that each student have an assignment book
  • Homework may take the form of class, group, or individual assignments
  • Group projects should not be assigned as homework, unless students can work on their individual parts independently
  • Teachers should coordinate assignments, tests, and projects with other teachers, as appropriate, to avoid overburdening students.
  • Assignments should be discussed, checked and when appropriate, corrected and returned to students
  • Specific policies/practices of teachers are to be submitted to the principal and clearly communicated to students and parents
  • Teachers have the responsibility to communicate with parents of students who are falling behind in completing homework assignments
  • Homework will not be assigned during school vacation except for the completion of previously assigned long-term projects.

Homework Policy Guidelines for Administrators

  • Include this homework policy in all teacher, parent and student handbooks
  • Require teachers to communicate homework policy to students and parents
  • Make certain that teachers are implementing the homework policy consistently and uniformly
  • Assist teachers, when necessary, in implementing this homework policy
  • Observe use of homework during classroom visits
  • Review homework samples and assignments periodically
  • Give suggestions to teachers, when necessary, on how assignments could be improved
  • Develop homework incentive programs/practices with teachers and parents to assist and enhance homework completion

Time Frame of Homework Assignments

While it is understood that the time it takes to complete homework assignments may vary with each child, the times below are the general guidelines for each grade level.  If your child is having difficulty on a consistent basis completing assignments within the time frames established, please contact your child’s teacher for assistance.

Grade Homework Time Frame
K
  • Up to 15 minutes of reading* per night, Monday through Thursday
1
  • 15 minutes of reading* per night
  • 15 minutes of homework four nights per week, Monday through Thursday
2
  • 15 minutes of reading* per night
  • 15 minutes of homework four nights per week, Monday through Thursday
3
  • 15 minutes of reading* per night
  • 20 minutes of homework four nights per week, Monday through Thursday
4
  • 40-45 Minutes of homework four nights per week, Monday through Thursday
  • Students may be required to spend time on the weekends for any long-term assignments and required reading
5
  • 45-60 minutes of homework four nights per week, Monday through Thursday
  • Students may be required to spend time on the weekends for any long-term assignments and required reading

 

Students should be encouraged to read for pleasure on weekends and vacations.

*  Reading also includes having adults reading to children.

If a student is experiencing difficulty, parents/guardians have the option of signing off at the upper time limit for completing homework, if the student has worked studiously and has produced quality work.

Approved:  Braintree School Committee – August 13, 2007

Bullying, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, Hate Crimes & Hazing, Rev 9/12/18

Bullying, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, Hate Crimes and Hazing Policy

I. Policy

  1. The Braintree Public School District is committed to providing our students equal educational opportunities where all school community members (students, employees, and visitors) treat each other with respect in a safe learning environment free from any form of bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination and hate crimes.  This policy is an integral part of the District’s comprehensive efforts to promote learning, eliminate all forms of violent, harmful, and disruptive behavior and enable students to achieve their personal and academic potential and become successful citizens in our increasingly diverse society.

    The district prohibits bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, hate crimes, or any other victimization of students in our schools or school-related activities based on any of the following actual or perceived traits or characteristics, including but not limited to: race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, socioeconomic status, homelessness, academic status, gender identity or expression, physical appearance, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability, or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics.
     
  2. It is a violation of this policy for any administrator, teacher or other employee, or any student to engage in or condone bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination or hate crimes or to fail to report or otherwise take reasonable corrective measures when they become aware of an incident of harassment.
     
  3. It is the responsibility of every employee to recognize acts of bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination and hate crimes and take every action necessary to ensure that the applicable policies and procedures of this school district are implemented.
     
  4. Any employee or student who believes that he or she has been subjected to bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination or a hate crime has the right to file a complaint and to receive prompt and appropriate handling of the complaint. Further, all reasonable efforts shall be made to maintain the confidentiality and protect the privacy of all parties but proper enforcement of this policy may require disclosure of any or all information received.
     
  5. The Building Principal/Designee shall be responsible for assisting employees and students seeking guidance or support in addressing matters relating to bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, and hate crimes. This policy is not designed or intended to limit the school’s authority to take disciplinary action or take remedial action when such harassment occurs out of school but carries over into school, or, is disruptive or substantially interferes with an employee’s work, personal life, a student’s school work, or participation in school related opportunities or activities.

    Reports of cyberbullying by electronic or other means, occurring in or out of school will be reviewed and, when affecting work or school, will result in discipline. Parents of students alleged to have engaged in cyber harassment will be required to attend a meeting at which the activity, words or images subject to the complaint will be reviewed.
     
  6. When a reported incident involves the principal or the assistant principal the Superintendent or designee shall be responsible and if the Superintendent is involved, the School Committee, or its designee shall be responsible for assisting employees and students seeking guidance or support in addressing matters relating to bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, and hate crimes.
     
  7. Whenever the evaluation of the Individualized Education Program team indicates that the child has a disability that affects social skills development or that the child is vulnerable to bullying, harassment or teasing because of the child’s disability, the Individualized Education Program shall address the skills and proficiencies needed to avoid and respond to bullying, harassment or teasing. 
     
  8. Braintree Public Schools will provide an annual report to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The following data will be collected and reported to the Department: 1) the number of reported allegations of bullying or retaliation; 2) the number and nature of substantiated incidents of bullying and retaliation; 3) the number of students disciplined for engaging in bullying or retaliation, and 4) other information required by the Department.[1] (The Department is required to analyze the data and to issue a report annually to the legislature which contains statewide aggregated data on the nature and frequency of bullying in schools.)  Additionally, Chapter 86 requires school districts, charter schools, approved private day or residential schools, and collaborative schools,  to administer a Department-developed student survey at least once every four years to assess “school climate and the prevalence, nature and severity of bullying in schools.
     

    [1] G.L. c. 71 §37O(k). The Department is required to analyze the data and to issue a report annually to the legislature which contains statewide aggregated data on the nature and frequency of bullying in schools.

 

II. Definitions

  1. Bullying/Harassment includes but is not limited to: physical contact or injury; threats of harm; demands for money; blackmail; extortion; non-verbal threats; intimidation; crude gestures; stalking; stealing or hiding possessions; excluding; isolating; spreading rumors or sending messages of an embarrassing, slanderous, or intimidating nature; repeated or pervasive teasing, taunting, tormenting, name-calling, belittling, mocking, put-downs, sarcasm, or demeaning humor; unwelcome touching.

    Bullying, which is different than conflict, is the repeated, unwelcome use by one or more students or a member of a school staff of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that: (i) causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target’s property; (ii) places the target in reasonable fear of harm to himself or of damage to his property; (iii) creates a hostile environment at school for the target; (iv) infringes on the rights of the target at school; or (v) materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.  For the purposes of this section, bullying shall include cyber-bullying.

    The behavior must interfere with an employee’s ability to perform his or her duties or with a student’s academic performance or ability to learn, or interfere with a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from services, activities, or privileges:
    1. That are being offered through the school or district; or
       
    2. During any education program or activity; or
       
    3. While in school, on school equipment or property, in school vehicles, on school buses, at designated school bus stops, or at school-sponsored activities, at school-sanctioned events.
       
  2. Cyber-bullying is bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications. Cyber-bullying shall also include (i) the creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or (ii) the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages, if the creation or impersonation creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, of the definition of bullying.  Cyber-bullying shall also include the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution or posting creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, of the definition of bullying.
    1. Cyber-bullying may occur through the use of data, telephone or computer software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, or computer network or any public education institute.
       
    2. As used in this Section, “electronic communication” also means any communication through an electronic device including, but not limited to a telephone, cellular phone, computer or pager.
       
  3. Sexual Harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other inappropriate verbal, written or physical conduct of a sexual nature that takes place under any of the following circumstances:
    1.  When submission to such conduct is made, explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of employment, instruction, or participation in school activities or programs;
       
    2. When submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used by the offender as the basis for making personal or academic decisions affecting the individual subjected to sexual advances;
       
    3.  When such conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual's work, attendance at school or participation in academic or curricular activities, or
       
    4. When such conduct has the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment through severe or pervasive behavior which substantially and materially interferes with work or school opportunities.
       
  4. Discrimination is treating people differently, or interfering with or preventing a person from enjoying the advantages, privileges or courses of study in a public school because of his/her race, color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or disability. A person may not be subjected to discipline or more severe punishment for wrongdoing, nor denied the same rights as others, because of his/her membership in a protected class. 
     
  5. Gender Identity:  The term “gender identity” shall mean a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth. 
     
  6. Hate Crime is a crime motivated by hatred or bias, or where the target is targeted or selected for the crime at least in part because the person is a different race, color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation from the perpetrator or because the targeted person has a disability.  A hate crime may involve a physical attack, threat of bodily harm, physical intimidation or damage to another’s property. 
     
  7. Hostile Environment means, a situation in which bullying causes the school environment to be permeated with intimidation, ridicule or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the student’s education.
     
  8. Hazing:  The term “hazing” shall mean any conduct or method of initiation, even if consented to, into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. 
    1. Such conduct shall include, but is not limited to, whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation.
       
    2. Whoever knows that another person is the target of hazing and is at the scene of such activity, shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such activity to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable.  Whoever fails to report such behavior shall be subject to discipline.
       
  9. .Retaliation: is any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment directed against a student who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying.
     
  10. School Staff includes, but is not limited to, educators, administrators, counselors, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to extracurricular activities, support staff, substitute employees or paraeducators
     
  11. Target: is an individual whom bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation has been perpetrated.

 

III.  Guidelines/Procedures for Dealing with Bullying, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Hate Crimes

In school systems, bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination or hate crimes may cross many lines.  The situation may be an instance of staff member to staff member, staff member to student, student to staff member, or student to student.  Guidelines for dealing with any of these charges are as follows: 

  1. By law, harassment is defined by the target’s perception in combination with objective standards or expectations.  What one person may consider acceptable behavior may be viewed as harassment by another person.  Therefore, in order to protect the rights of both parties, it is important that the target or an administrator to whom a complaint was made or reported make it clear to the harasser that the behavior is objectionable.
     
  2. Staff members must always take every report of bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination or hate crimes seriously and take action immediately.
     
  3. If an instance of student to student bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination or a hate crime is reported to a staff member other than an administrator, the staff member should inform the Assistant Principal/Housemaster or the Building Principal and complete the designated forms.
     
  4. If a situation involving a charge of staff member to student bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination or hate crime is brought to the attention of any staff member, that staff member should notify the Building Principal or Assistant Superintendent immediately. 
     
  5. In a situation involving a charge of student to staff member bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination or hate crime, the staff member should notify the Building Principal or Assistant Superintendent.
     
  6. In a situation involving a charge of staff member to staff member bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, or hate crime, the staff member should notify the Building Principal or the Assistant Superintendent.
     
  7. In all charges of bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination or hate crimes, the target should describe in writing the specifics of the complaint to ensure that the subsequent investigation is focused on the relevant facts.  Oral and anonymous complaints will be reviewed but are inherently difficult to investigate and may not be procedurally fair; as a result no disciplinary action shall be taken on anonymous complaints unless independently verified by clear and convincing evidence.  All other complaints will be reviewed based on a preponderance of evidence standard.
     
  8. Once a charge of bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, or hate crimes has been reported, including charges of physical harassment as well as threats to a person's safety or position in the school or work environment, the following course of action should be taken:
    1. The Building Principal or designee will investigate the charge through discussions with the individuals involved and will use the designated forms for documenting the alleged incident. In situations involving a staff member, he/she should be informed of his/her rights to have a third party present at the time of the discussion.  In situations involving students, the Principal or designee should interview the reporting staff member, target, witness(es)/bystander(s) and student alleged aggressor.  Parents/guardians will be informed of the situation and invited to participate in discussions.  It is important that the situation be resolved as confidentially and as quickly as the circumstances permit.
       
    2. When a reported bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, and hate crimes incident involves the principal or the assistant principal as the alleged aggressor the Superintendent or designee will investigate the charge through discussions with the individuals involved and will use the designated forms for documenting the alleged incident. If the Superintendent is the alleged aggressor, the School Committee, or its designee shall be responsible for investigating the report, and other steps necessary to implement the Plan, including addressing the safety of the alleged target.
       
    3. If the situation warrants, and the harasser and the target are willing to discuss the matter at resolution meeting in the presence of the Principal/designee or superintendent/designee, a supportive faculty member and/or parent should be included in the discussion.  During this discussion, the offending behavior should be described by the target and administration, a request for a change in behavior should be made, and a promise should be made that the described behavior will stop.  If circumstances do not permit a face to face meeting the administration will present the target’s position.  Follow-up verification procedures will be explained.  Failure to comply after a resolution meeting will result in appropriate discipline.
       
    4. The matter shall be documented in a manner consistent with the severity of the behavior, the impact of the behavior on the target and the school, and the disciplinary consequences imposed by the administration.
  9. If after formal discussion with the involved parties, the Building Principal or designee determines that further action must be taken, the following would occur:
    1. In instances involving student to student or student to staff member bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination or a hate crime the student would be held to the discipline code of the school.  Legal action may also be initiated at this point.
       
    2. In instances involving staff member to student and staff member to staff member bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, or hate crimes, findings would be reported to the Superintendent of Schools, or to the school committee or designee when the superintendent is the alleged aggressor for further action.  Legal action may also be initiated at this point.
  10. Retaliation or false accusations against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying shall be prohibited. If it occurs, it could be considered grounds for dismissal of staff personnel and/or removal from the educational setting for a student.  A referral to law enforcement may be made.
     
  11. Problem Resolution: Any parent/guardian of the target wishing to file a claim/concern or seeking assistance outside of the district may do so with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Program Resolution System (PRS). That information can be found at: http://www.doe.mass.edu/pqa, emails can be sent to compliance@doe.mass.edu or individuals can call 781-338-3700. Hard copies of this information is also available at the Superintendent’s office.
     
  12. Confidentiality:  Reports of bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, or hate crime should be kept completely confidential, involving as few people as possible, with the goal of protecting the target and stopping the behavior.
     

The District will respect the privacy of the complainant, the subject(s) of the complaint, and  the witnesses to the extent possible consistent with its obligations under federal and state law and regulations and its Policy to investigate, report, and take appropriate disciplinary and corrective action, and consistent with applicable state and federal confidentiality laws and student record regulations.  

For further information about these guidelines or help with sexual harassment, bullying, or hazing problems, or any other form of harassment, consult: the Assistant Superintendent of Schools at 380-0130, ext. 8479.

Adopted by School Committee 11/18/2013
Revised 6/18/2014 & Revision Approved by School Committee 8/18/2014
Updated 9/12/2018

Legal References

  1. Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Section 703
  2. Title IX of the 1972 U.S. Civil Rights Act.
  3. Chapter 151C, Massachusetts General Laws
  4. M.G.L. Chapter 76 § 5
  5. M.G.L. Chapter 269 § 17, 18, 19
  6. M.G.L. Chapter 71, § 370, 82,84,92
  7. Family and Education Privacy Rights Act
  8. Mass Student Records Laws and Regulations