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Elementary Handbook

Mission Statement

Mission Statement

The mission of the Braintree Public Schools, in partnership with parents and the 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.

Values

Values

The Braintree Schools recognize their shared responsibility with parents in developing students’ values. This shared responsibility includes educating the whole child and working toward developing a good and informed citizenry.

In support of the above, the following values are an integral part of the students’ overall education.

Achievement

Creativity

Inclusivity

Respect

Honesty

Courtesy

Courage

Kindness

Integrity

Cooperation

Responsibility

Empathy

Work Ethic

Perseverance

Loyalty

Citizenship

Fairness

Acceptance

Beliefs

Beliefs

Since excellence in instruction and student achievement is our primary objective, we are committed to the following beliefs:

  • Students should acquire a rigorous core of knowledge by thinking critically and creatively and making wise judgments in an inclusive environment that promotes higher level thinking skills across the curriculum.
  • All students can achieve academic proficiency and strive for excellence.
  • All students possess unique talents and gifts and should be encouraged to reach their maximum individual potential.
  • Students should be able to collaborate and communicate effectively through reading, writing, speaking, problem solving, the arts, and technology.
  • Students should acquire the knowledge, skills, and motivation necessary to achieve and maintain optimum health and lifelong wellness.
  • Students should develop a sense of self-discipline, self-respect, and self-reliance and demonstrate Social, civic, and environmental responsibility.
  • Students should acquire skills to adapt to an evolving and technologically advancing society.
  • Students should understand, respect, and appreciate the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of our society and the democratic principles upon which this nation was built.
  • A safe and orderly environment, free of prejudice, drugs, violence, bullying, hazing and harassment of any kind, is essential to promote student learning.
  • Ongoing opportunities for the professional growth and development of staff are essential for improving teaching and learning.
  • Parents, guardians, and caregivers, in partnership with schools, are an integral part of their child’s learning.
  • Community involvement should be actively solicited, encouraged, and developed.

Introductory Letter

Dear Parent:

The Braintree Elementary School Principals have worked together to develop this handbook in order to keep parents and students informed about policies of their schools.

This handbook contains many guidelines and policies that were inspired by the firm conviction that rules are most effective when they are clearly defined and when they are enforced with consistency and fairness.

It is recognized that learning takes place in a school environment that promotes a sense of order and security for children; and where everyone associated with that school environment, students, parents, teachers, support staff and principal, fulfills his or her expected responsibilities. This promotes a safe and productive learning experience for those who attend and whose right it is to receive a quality education.

This document reinforces our beliefs that:

  • All students and parents have the right to expect each school to have a stable, nurturing environment in which excellence of instruction may flourish.
  • All students and their parents have the right to expect prompt action in cases where unacceptable behavior interferes with teaching and learning.
  • Good discipline helps students in their adjustments to school and society.
  • Students need a structured climate for learning.
  • Students need to know the rules and regulations of the school and the penalties for violations of those rules and regulations.
  • Students must be assured that all rules and regulations will be consistently and impartially enforced.
  • Limitations and controls within a school are essential to a student’s personal development and to the smooth functioning of the school.
  • Adults who participate in the discipline process must have a positive attitude toward students and recognition of goals of good discipline.

Please familiarize yourself with this document and to review it with your child from time to time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact your school.

We sincerely hope that your child’s elementary school years will be rich and rewarding.

Elementary School Administration

Archie T. Morrison Elementary
260 Liberty Street
781-380-0230
www.braintreeschools.org/morrison
John Riordan, Principal
Kathy Petrelli, Administrative Assistant

Donald Ross Elementary
20 Hayward Street
781-380-0240
www.braintreeschools.org/ross
Francis McGourty, Principal
Diane Intravaia, Administrative Assistant

Highlands Elementary
144 Wildwood Avenue
781-380-0190
www.braintreeschools.org/highlands
Nancy Pelletier, Principal
Alice Elstermeyer, Administrative Assistant

Hollis Elementary
482 Washington Street
781-380-0120
www.braintreeschools.org/hollis
Timothy MacDonald, Principal
Kathy Bakis, Administrative Assistant

Liberty Elementary
49 Proctor Road
781-380-0210
www.braintreeschools.org/liberty
Tara Boening, Principal
Elaine Couture, Administrative Assistant

Mary E. Flaherty Elementary
99 Lakeside Drive
781-380-0180
www.braintreeschools.org/flaherty
Stacey Soto, Principal
Gail Hulke, Administrative Assistant

Monatiquot School Kindergarten Center
25 Brow Avenue
781-794-8420
www.braintreeschools.org/mskc
Donna Anderson, Principal
Amy Seich, Administrative Assistant

School Committee

School Committee

  • Lisa Fiske Heger, Chairperson
  • Cyril Chafe
  • Tom Devin
  • Jennifer Aborn Dolan
  • George Kokoros
  • Kate Naughton
  • Joseph Sullivan, Mayor

District Administration

District Administration

  • Dr. Frank Hackett, Superintendent
  • James Lee, Assistant Superintendent
  • Jennifer Fay, Director of Personnel & Student Services
  • Edward Cronin, Director of Finance & Operations

Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct

One of the goals in educating young children is to teach them the responsibility of making appropriate choices in their behavior. Rules are developed for individual classrooms as well as the entire building. These rules reinforce the necessity of safety, personal respect and self-discipline.

Parents, teachers, support staff, principals and students all have an important role in the Braintree Elementary Schools. When the following responsibilities are fulfilled by each of the respective members, then learning flourishes in a sound school environment.

Parent Responsibilities

  • To be aware of the physical, emotional, and educational needs of the child.
  • To encourage a positive attitude toward school.
  • To encourage positive hygiene and health habits.
  • To provide the child with adequate and suitable clothing for school.
  • To get the child to school daily and on time and to write a note if the child is absent or tardy.
  • To send a note if there is a change in a child’s dismissal routine.
  • To be aware of classroom activities and rules and to consult with the teacher periodically.
  • To supervise homework and to encourage reading at home.
  • To reinforce learning at home.
  • To encourage respect for the physical, emotional and social rights of others.
  • To encourage children to respect the religious, cultural and ethnic differences of others.
  • To encourage respect for authority and property.
  • To help children become independent, productive and responsible.
  • To become involved in school activities.
  • To provide written permission from a physician and the original prescription bottle for any medication to be taken in school.

School / Teacher Responsibilities

  • To provide a classroom atmosphere conducive to learning.
  • To provide meaningful and challenging instruction and activities to meet the students’ individual needs.
  • To encourage a positive self-image in students and to teach coping skills.
  • To be sensitive to students’ educational, social and emotional needs.
  • To encourage respect for the physical, emotional and social rights of others.
  • To provide a positive role model for the students.
  • To help prepare students to become interdependent, responsible and productive.
  • To provide proper adult supervision of students at all times to ensure safety.
  • To provide activities that promote school pride.
  • To respect the rights of all persons in the school.
  • To encourage respect for the religious, cultural and ethnic differences in others.
  • To encourage respect for authority and property.
  • To provide support and encouragement, direction, and guidance to students and parents.
  • To uphold the homework policy and to encourage reading at home.
  • To be responsive to parental needs and to keep parents informed of students’ progress and behavior.

Student Responsibilities

  • To respect the rights of all members of the school community.
  • To adhere to the school’s safety and behavior code.
  • To display effort, attention, and cooperation in school situations.
  • To familiarize themselves with and follow the Code of Conduct for the school.
  • To care for school property, respect the property rights of others and pay for materials that are lost or broken because of carelessness or misbehavior.
  • To behave appropriately in all learning and social situations commensurate with their emotional and educational level of development.
  • To be prepared for class assignments and to complete homework tasks, commensurate with individual ability.
  • To comply with the Braintree School Committee’s bus regulations.

General Student Behavior

Braintree Elementary School students are expected to conduct themselves in an orderly and respectful manner at all times. In addition, it is required that every Braintree Elementary School student adhere to the following procedures:

Building Procedures

  • All students shall report to their assigned areas upon arrival at school.
  • Tardy students shall report directly to the office.
  • Students are to walk in an orderly manner throughout the building at all times.
  • Vandalism and littering in the building are prohibited in all areas including bathrooms.
  • Students should proceed directly to and from special programs.

Recess Procedures

  • Students are to respect rights of other children playing in the area.
  • Students are to remain in designated areas.
  • There will be no rough playing or fighting or body contact games.
  • Students should not bring playground equipment to school.
  • If trouble arises, assistance should be sought from one of the adult supervisors.
  • No student will leave the playground or go into the building without permission.
  • When the bell rings, children shall line up in a quiet, orderly fashion. There will be no pushing or fighting.

Cafeteria Procedures

  • Students should always behave in a courteous and safe manner – no running, pushing or using food improperly.
  • Students are to eat only in designated areas.
  • All supervisory paraprofessionals, lunchroom personnel, and custodians are to be treated with respect and politeness.
  • Trash should be disposed of as directed by the supervisory paraprofessionals.
  • Considerate behavior in the lunchroom means:
  • Quiet conversations
  • Proper disposal of food in the trash receptacle
  • Keeping the lunch area neat and clean
  • Remaining in seats until permission to leave is given
  • Raising hands to request assistance

Classroom Procedures

  • Each classroom will have some individual rules and regulations to suit its own grade level needs. The following is a list of common rules for all classes:
  • Students are responsible for the proper use and care of books and other school materials and equipment.
  • Students must show respect, courtesy, and consideration for all members of the school community.
  • Bullying and harassment in any form will not be tolerated and will be subject to the discipline policy. (See full policy at www.braintreeschools.org/policies or a hard copy is available upon request from your child’s school.)
  • Toys, animals or personal audio-video equipment are not allowed without permission of the classroom teacher. If parents choose to send children with a cell phone, it must be turned off and kept in a backpack.
  • Students should behave in a way that promotes safety and protects themselves and others.
  • Disrespect, rudeness, improper language or inappropriate gestures are not allowed at any time.
  • Students may not leave a classroom without permission from the adult in charge.
  • Disruptive behavior that infringes on the rights of other children to learn will not be tolerated.
  • Bathrooms and the fixtures in these areas are to be used properly and only with permission.

Harassment

No form of harassment will be tolerated. These include sexual, racial, ethnic and religious harassment. Whenever any person or persons interfere by threats, intimidation or coercion with the exercise or enjoyment by any other person or persons of rights guaranteed under the law, it shall be considered “harassment”.

Nondiscrimination

Chapter 76, Section 5 of the Massachusetts General Laws provides that “Every person shall have the right to attend the public schools of the town where she/he actually resides, subject to the following section. No person shall be excluded from or discriminated against in admission to a public school of any town, or in obtaining the advantages, privileges and courses of study of such public school on account of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation.” Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1974 also prohibits discrimination on the basis of race and national origin. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 also prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. It is the policy of the Braintree Public Schools to abide by all applicable laws prohibiting discrimination.

Any student who believes he/she may have been the victim of discrimination will be informed by the Principal of the school’s grievance procedures and will, upon request, receive a copy of these procedures.

School Bus Regulations

The Braintree School Committee’s policy is to bus all kindergarten students at the end of the morning session and the beginning of the afternoon session and all elementary students who live more than one mile from school. Pupils are entitled to free transportation only when they conduct themselves in accordance with the rules and regulations of the School Committee and do their share to see that conditions on the buses are safe and satisfactory. Damage to school bus equipment shall be paid for by the offender.

A. PURPOSE: The School Committee’s concerns in regard to its school bus transportation operation are as follows:

  1. It should be as safe as possible.
  2. It should be as efficient and economical as possible.
  3. It should be flexible so that students can take part in the full educational program.
  4. It should maintain conditions on the buses which are in the best interest of the students from a mental, moral and physical consideration.
  5. It should promote an understanding by the public of the entire transportation program including safety, efficiency, and high standards of service.

B. RESPONSIBILITY

  1. In order to address these concerns, it is necessary that the school administrators, the bus drivers, and students and their parents/guardians work cooperatively. The Safety Officer and the Braintree Police Department coordinate the school transportation program with the local safety and traffic enforcement plan.
  2. The School Committee, in accordance with State statutes governing school bus operation, those of the Police Department and the Massachusetts Department of Motor Vehicles, has to set up operation rules and regulations.

C. ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility to ride the bus is determined by the School Committee. The guidelines vary depending on the grade of the student, the distance from the school, and whether or not there is a transportation fee.

D. BUS REGULATIONS

  1. Walkers are not permitted to ride a bus for any reason.
  2. Buses will depart on schedule and will not delay departure for tardy students.
  3. Students are permitted to ride only their assigned bus.
  4. Buses will stop only at designated stops.
  5. Students must get on and off their bus only at their assigned bus stop. Drivers will discharge riders only at their regular stops.
  6. Students are not permitted to cross main thoroughfares before getting on or after getting off the bus.
  7. In case of a road emergency, children are to remain on the bus unless requested to leave by the driver of the bus or designee.
  8. The School Department will condone only walking designated routes.

E. STUDENT CONDUCT

Students will be courteous to the driver, to fellow students, and to passers-by. Students must obey the bus driver at all times. Disorderly conduct will not be tolerated at bus stops, while loading or unloading buses, or during the ride to and from school.

  1. Morning Loading
    • Do not wait on private property or in the street.
    • Do not engage in any discourteous or unsafe behavior.
    • Do not move toward the bus until it has stopped.
    • Board the bus without pushing or crowding.

2. On the Bus

    • Sit where you are told.
    • Do not stand or change your seat until you arrive at your stop or at school.
    • Keep your hands, arms, feet, and head inside the bus.
    • Do not open or close windows, doors, or emergency exits, without permission from an adult.
    • Do not throw anything on the bus or at passing vehicles or pedestrians.
    • Do not contribute to any unnecessary confusion. (No shouting or singing.)
    • Do not litter.
    • Do not deface, damage, or tamper with any bus equipment.
    • Keep books, bags, packages, coats and other objects out of the aisle.
    • No open food or drink containers are permitted on the bus.
    • Smoking, eating, drinking, or transporting any illegal substances is forbidden.

3. Afternoon Disembarking

If it is necessary to cross the street (on side streets):

    • Cross immediately after getting off the bus.
    • Cross at least ten feet IN FRONT OF THE BUS.
    • Check for oncoming traffic in both directions.
    • Be alert to danger signals from the driver.

4.Extracurricular Trips

    • The above rules and regulations apply to any trip with school sponsorship.
    • Students must respect the wishes of chaperones appointed by the school.

F. VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES

Students are entitled to transportation only when they conduct themselves in a safe and courteous manner and do their share to see that conditions on the bus are satisfactory.

  1. In order to maintain safe conditions, bus drivers may:
    • Assign a student to a specific seat.
    • Return disruptive students to their school to be left in charge of school authorities for that afternoon.
    • File a written report with the school administration within two days of a violation of these bus regulations.
  2. The school administration will:
    • Review the report with the student.
    • Determine the appropriate penalty if the complaint is valid.
    • Inform the student’s parent or guardian of the offense and penalty by a phone call followed by a note.
  3. Penalties
    • Damage to the bus or any bus equipment will be paid for by the offender.
    • The following guidelines will be used for bus conduct:
      • First offense – A phone call to parent followed by a note from the principal
      • Second offense – Loss of bus privileges for one week
      • Third offense – Loss of bus privileges for one month
      • Fourth offense – Loss of bus privileges for the remainder of the school year

TECHNOLOGY USE

The Braintree Public Schools’ Network & Technology Responsible Use Policy is distributed to students and parents/guardians at the beginning of the school year. In order for elementary school students to use BPS-owned or personal computing devices in school, they must understand the guidelines, and they and their parent/guardian must sign a responsible use contract. The policy includes, but is not limited to, the following prohibitions.

Network Use

All Braintree Public School employees and students are prohibited from:

  1. Using the Braintree Public Schools network access for any personal use
  2. Using any profane, vulgar, threatening, libelous, or criminal language when using the network for school business
  3. Accessing any prohibited sites on the Internet
  4. Overriding or encouraging students to override any firewalls established on the Internet access network
  5. Permitting another individual to use their password
  6. Disseminating any passwords, codes, access telephone numbers, or account numbers
  7. Committing any other action whatsoever which would in any way subject the employee and/or employer to a possible criminal or civil action.

The foregoing list is not all-inclusive and the Braintree Public Schools reserve the right to notify a user of any other impermissible action regarding the use of the Internet.

Computer Use

The computers and computer labs in the Braintree Public Schools are tools to be used for educational purposes. No person or persons shall:

  1. Tamper with or attempt to change any settings on any computer in the system without authorization
  2. Access or attempt to access the network without authorization
  3. Attempt to tamper with or alter any programs or the network on any computer in the system
  4. Attempt to access another student’s or staff member’s files
  5. Remove or tamper with any hardware, such as monitors, keyboards, mice, CPUs, scanners, printers, etc.

A violation of any of the above will result in consequences through the school discipline system and/or the loss of rights to use the computers/computer labs.

Network & Technology Responsible Use Policy, Policy IJNDB

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

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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

Smoking / Tobacco Products

Smoking is detrimental to health. Smoking is forbidden when a pupil is on school grounds and within the schools. This rule applies when pupils are at bus stops or on school buses. If elementary students are observed using tobacco products, nicotine products , and/or paraphernalia (such as pipes, electronic cigarettes, etc.) on school property then the principal will arrange for a parent conference to discuss intervention strategies to prevent a recurrence. Other disciplinary measures may be taken if the violations continue.

Weapons

Possession or use of a knife, gun, or any other object or facsimile which may be considered or used as a weapon is prohibited on school property. School property is broadly defined to include 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. Violation of this policy will be cause for suspension and, if warranted, reported to the Police Department and referred to the School Committee for expulsion. Students found in possession of a fire arm as defined by M.G.L. Chapter 269, Section 10, will be reported to the Braintree Police Department and referred to the School Committee for expulsion.

Alcohol and Drugs

Alcohol and other drug abuse is a national and societal problem reaching into our community of Braintree. To maximize the effectiveness of our efforts to achieve a community free of substance abuse, we recognize that the coordination and cooperation of the community as a whole are essential. Therefore the Chief of Police, with the support of the Office of the Mayor, and the Superintendent of Schools with the support of the School Committee, pledge to work together to address any incidents of drug and alcohol use, possession, and/or distribution. Procedures detailed in the Memorandum of Understanding, which can be found on the Braintree Public Schools website, will be followed.

Discipline

The normal sequence of penalties for violation of Braintree Elementary School Rules and regulations are listed below, although the severity of individual offenses may necessitate changes in this sequence:

Informal Discipline

  1. Verbal warning
  2. Loss of privilege
  3. School/parent conference

Formal Discipline I

A. In-School Suspension.

Assigned to a designated school area under the direct supervision of the Principal or his designee.

B. Out-of-School Suspension.

The school principal may suspend a student for not more than five consecutive (5) school days. When a student is suspended, the following procedures, and any other procedures required by law, will be followed:

    • Students will be suspended only to the custody of the parent(s), guardians(s), or another person designated by the parent(s) or guardian(s).

Suspension Policy

All students must be afforded due process whenever deprived of their education from regular classroom instruction or from other school activities through suspension.

The following steps will be taken upon receiving a complaint or information of possible student misconduct:

  • The administrator in charge will fully investigate the matter.
  • The student will be told the evidence against him or her and be given an opportunity to fully explain his/her side of the story.
  • A hearing with the student, his/her parents, and the administrator will be conducted.
  • If there is evidence that the student has violated a specific standard of conduct, then the administrator in charge may suspend the student by assigning an Out-of-School Suspension.

Decisions for all suspensions will be based on the best interest of the students’ growth and educational development in the opinion of the school administration.

Disciplining Students with Special Needs and 504 Plans

An underlying principle of Chapter 766 is that students with special needs must be treated in a manner that most closely resembles their peers in regular education, while at the same time considering their unique programming needs. The student’s Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan should include appropriate programs and strategies for addressing potentially disruptive behavior. Continuation of these behaviors may indicate that the student’s needs are not being met and a new I.E.P. or 504 may need to be developed.

Schedules

Daily Schedule for Elementary Schools

  • Students Enter Building, 8:35**
  • School Day Begins, 8:45
  • School Day Ends, 2:50 (12:10 on early release days, no lunch)

Daily Schedule for Monatiquot Kindergarten Center

  • Students Enter Building, 8:55**
  • School Day Begins, 9:00
  • Morning Kindergarten Dismissal, 11:30 (10:30 on early release days)
  • Afternoon Kindergarten Begins,12:05 (no afternoon K on early release days)
  • School Day Ends, 2:35 (11:55 on early release days, no lunch)

**Students should plan on arriving at school no earlier than the entrance time to ensure that there will be a staff member to greet them.

Parent Involvement

In Braintree, we believe that active involvement of parents in their child’s education is essential to success in school. Strong home-school partnerships benefit children, parents, teachers and the entire community.

Volunteers

Volunteers provide many invaluable services for our schools; from helping in the classrooms to chaperoning field trips. Notices will be sent home during the year offering a variety of opportunities to assist. All volunteers must have CORI checks (see "Safety" section) and should always be mindful of students’ privacy.

School Council

As mandated by the Education Reform Act of 1993, each elementary school has a School Council comprised of the principal, two teachers, three parents and a community representative. Each member of the Council serves for three years. The Council typically meets six times each year (September, October, January, March, April and May) to discuss school policies and procedures and to develop our School Improvement Plan.

Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)

The PTO is an organization of parents, guardians and teachers. The organization promotes communication, understanding and cooperation between all stakeholders in order to secure for every child the highest advantages in cognitive, physical and social education. The PTO coordinates various fundraisers throughout the year to supplement our teachers and staff with supplies and equipment and to provide cultural arts programs and field trips.

Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC)

The Special Education Parent Advisory Council is a volunteer parent advocacy council whose role is to represent the student population in Braintree with special educational needs. SEPAC information can be found at www.braintreeschools.org/sepac.

Attendance

All students shall report to their assigned areas upon arrival to school.

Absence

Students are expected to attend school unless they are ill or excused due to special circumstance. Excessive absences or tardiness over an extended period of time can diminish a child’s success in school, greatly impeding academic and social success. When your child is absent, please call our absentee hotline before 8:00 to let us know the reason he or she is not in school. If we do not hear from you, you can expect a phone call from school personnel to check on your child’s whereabouts. After an absence we request a note from a parent/guardian or doctor explaining the reason for the absence.

Tardiness

Students who enter the building after the school day begins are tardy and must report to the office. Repeated tardies will result in a parent/guardian meeting with the principal.

Dismissal

When a student is to be dismissed during the school day, a note from home stating the time and explaining the reason should be brought to school by the student on the morning of the dismissal.

In order for the student to be released, a parent/guardian or some authorized responsible adult must report to the front office to be recognized by the student and to sign the student out of the building.

If the student returns to school later in the day, he/she must sign in at the office before going to class.

In case of illness, the nurse or the office will release the student with the parent/guardian’s consent.

After School Programs

If your child is attending an after school program, please provide a note with pick up information or your child will be put on his/her regular bus or sent home as usual.

Family Vacations

If parents/guardians decide to go on a vacation of five days or less when school is in session, the student will be responsible for making up all work and will be allowed to make up tests scheduled during this period. The time limit for completion of all work is twice the number of vacation days.

If parents/guardians decide to take their child out of school for more than five days for what is clearly a vacation, the student will not to be allowed to take any tests or receive credit for any work which was scheduled during the absence. Parents/guardians in this circumstance should inform the principal at least two weeks in advance of the intended absence so the students’ teachers can prepare a description of what will be covered in class during the absence.

The laws of the Commonwealth clearly describe the responsibility of parents and school administrators regarding pupil attendance and what school authorities must do to enforce attendance. The following are two pertinent excerpts from Chapter 76, Section 1 & 2 of the General Laws of Education Relating to School Committees:

1. Regulation of School Attendance – Section 1

“The superintendent, or teachers insofar as authorized by him or by the school committee, may excuse cases necessary absence for the other causes not exceeding seven sessions or fourteen half-day sessions in any period of six months..."

2. Duties of Parents: Penalty – Section 2

“Every person in control of a child described in the preceding section shall cause him to attend school as therein required, and, if he fails to do so for seven day sessions or fourteen half-day sessions within any period of six months, he shall, on complaint by a supervisor of attendance, be punished by a fine of not more than twenty dollars..."

It is the policy of the school department that the Attendance Officer check absences.

Religious Holy Days

Religious holy days may be observed by some students during the school year.

  • Teachers will not give tests or quizzes or have programs which would place absent pupils at a disadvantage on religious holy days.
  • Teachers shall not announce forthcoming tests or quizzes on religious holy days or conduct reviews for tests or quizzes on those days. Tests or quizzes shall not be administered on the day following a religious holy day unless a notification has been given at least four (4) school days in advance of the religious holy day.
  • Teachers should be notified by principals two weeks prior to these holy days, whenever possible, or at the earliest possible date within that period.

No School / Delayed Opening

When school is cancelled or delayed, students and parents/guardians will be notified through our automated message system.  Occasionally, the opening is delayed for one or two hours to allow conditions to improve.  In addition, local radio and television stations carry cancellations.

Emergency Dismissal

On occasion, due to weather conditions or other circumstances, school is dismissed early. Parents/guardians are encouraged to make prior arrangements for the care of their children in the event that an emergency dismissal from school is necessary. Parents/Guardians will be notified through our automated message system.

Communication

Emergency Information

At the start of each school year, each child is sent home with an emergency information form to be filled out by a parent or guardian. This form includes important information on how to contact an adult should the need arise. It also asks for the name of a neighbor, friend or relative to contact should the parent be unavailable. In the case of serious emergencies, the name of the family physician is also needed. If any of this information changes during the school year, please be sure to let the school know.

Newsletter

A school newsletter is electronically distributed every month. Please let the school know when your email address changes, or if you require a printed copy, so that you can stay up-to-date on all school related activities.

Website

Please visit the school website for updated information.

District information can be found at www.braintreeschools.org.

Automated Messaging System

Braintree Alerts is Braintree’s communication system. It allows the Principal or Superintendent to create and send personalized recorded phone messages and/or emails with announcements and notifications.

Please be sure to inform our school office if your emergency contact information, telephone number or email address should change during the school year.

Back to School Night / Open House

Scheduled in early September, Back to School Night provides a brief overview of the school and allows you to meet your child’s teacher and learn about his/her classroom policies. It is not meant to be an individual conference.

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Formal parent-teacher conferences are scheduled in the fall of each school year. We do our best to schedule families with more than one student on the same day or evening. Specific appointments can be made through the classroom teacher by writing a note to the teacher or contacting the teacher directly.

Health Room Policies

The school nurse is on duty each day. Parents/guardians and students are encouraged to see the nurse not only about specific health matters, but also about general physical health development.

Students must report to the health room with a pass from their teacher if they have an accident in school or become ill. Accidents on school premises are treated according to standard first-aid practices. Care beyond first-aid is the responsibility of the parents/guardians. The nurse will notify parents/guardians if further treatment is needed.

Ill students will be evaluated by the nurse who will determine if they should be sent home. Ill students may only be dismissed from school by the nurse. At the beginning of each year, parents/guardians are asked to fill out an emergency card listing both home and work telephone numbers and the name and phone number of an authorized person who can act in their behalf in case their child has to be sent home from school when they are unavailable. Students are not permitted to leave the building during school hours unless escorted by a parent/guardian or person authorized by the parent/ guardian.

It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to share medical information they feel is important to the health and safety of their child.

A doctor’s note/certificate, including when a student can return to PE class, is required for any student returning to school under the following conditions: a prolonged illness, an operation, an accident, and any restrictions on activity such as slings, casts, or crutches or an absence of five or more consecutive days.

Every year students are weighed and measured in their physical education classes. In addition, they are given a vision and hearing screening using methods approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Height and Weight Measurement of Children and Adolescents

Massachusetts regulations 105 CMR 200.500, (2009) for the Physical Examination of Children requires that Braintree Public Schools conduct a height, weight and BMI screening of each student in grades 1, 4, 7, and 10 (or, in the case of ungraded classrooms, by a student’s 7th, 10th, 13th and 16th birthday). BMI results will be calculated using a student’s age, gender, height, and weight. Results will be recorded in each student’s individual health record.

  • Prior notice of the screening and the benefits of the screening will be provided to the parent(s)/guardian(s). Measurement of height and weight will be done by trained Physical Education teachers. Every effort will be made to protect the privacy of the student during the screening process.
  • Parent(s)/guardian(s) may request to receive the screening results through a confidential mailing or other confidential communication method by submitting a written request to the school nurse.
  • School staff will not disclose the height, weight or BMI calculations of an individual student, either verbally or in writing to anyone other than the parent or individual student without written permission from the parent/guardian.
  • Parent(s)/guardian(s) may waive their child’s BMI screening by submitting written notification directly to the school nurse, not the physical education staff.

Fluoride

Grades 3-5 participate in a weekly fluoride mouth rinse program. Participation is voluntary and by parent/guardian permission only. There is no cost for participating.

Hearing & Vision Testing

Students in grades 1-5 participate in vision testing at the beginning of the school year. Additionally, students in grades 1-3 participate in hearing screenings. If a child fails the screening, parents/guardians will be notified and encouraged to have the child further evaluated by an eye doctor or physician.

Medications

When a student must take prescription medication during school, a written order from the student’s doctor and written permission from the parent/guardian is required. These forms are available from the nurse. A parent/guardian or adult designee must deliver the medication to the nurse where it will be counted. The parent/guardian and nurse must then sign that the medication was received. All medications must be in pharmacy or manufacturer labeled containers. The pharmacist will supply a second bottle for the school upon request. The nurse is only allowed to keep a 30-day supply of medication at a time. Students are not permitted to carry any medication with the exception of an insulin pump for treatment of diabetes, emergency epinephrine for a life threatening allergy and/or an inhaler for asthma as long as the nurse has received written physician orders, written parental permission and it is deemed safe for the student to carry these medications.

Tylenol/acetaminophen, Tums and Benadryl/diphenhydramine are the only over-the- counter medications that can be given to your child with only a written parent consent. All other over-the-counter pain relievers, cough medicines etc. must have a doctor’s order as well as parental written consent. It is also required that if you bring in any over- the-counter medication for your child it must be in an unopened package.

Physical Exams

All grade 4 students are required by law to have a physical exam by their physician prior to the start of the school year.

Postural Screening

Grade 5 participates in this mandated program sometime in the spring. It is not a diagnostic service but a program to identify young people who may have early signs of spinal problems and should have further medical evaluation. Parents/Guardians are notified of any unusual findings. Any parent/guardian refusing to allow their child to be screened in school must provide the school nurse with written documentation that the child has been screened by their physician. The documentation should include the date of the screening, the findings, and the signature of the physician.

School Insurance

The school offers accident insurance protection at a nominal cost to parents/guardians as a public service to its students. The insurance supplements other plans and provides protection for accidents occurring:

  1. While going to or returning home from school
  2. During school
  3. During any school sponsored activity and traveling to or from such activity

Safety

The security system requires that all visitors enter the building through the front door. Visitors must press a buzzer and be identified before the door lock is released. Upon entry all visitors must report to the front office to sign in. Visitors must also sign out when they leave.

We conduct regular fire and “remain in place” drills. Students should assume that every alarm is an emergency situation and listen carefully to instructions from administrators and teachers. It is our hope that by practicing these drills we will become better in handling situations and also minimize any fears your child may have during the school year.

Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI)

All volunteers will need to complete a CORI form and give a copy of their driver’s license to our office. This must be done every three years if you are going to volunteer for any school event such as chaperoning a field trip, guest reading, or serving as a classroom helper.

Lunch & Recess

The lunch period is 40 minutes long and includes 20 minutes for lunch and 20 minutes for recess. Students may purchase breakfast and lunch daily in the cafeteria at a very reasonable cost. Students may bring lunches from home and purchase water, milk and snacks separately. If needed, “nut free” tables are available.

Parents and students will receive forms for free and reduced price lunch and information about prepayment from the Food Service Department prior to the start of school. Forms are also available in the School Office and online at www.braintreeschools.org under the “Food & Nutrition” link. For further information, contact the Food Service Director, at 781-380-0144.

We try to get the children out for fresh air unless it is extremely cold or raining. We ask that parents make sure that their children are properly dressed for outdoor play including a warm jacket, hats, gloves/mittens etc. as needed. Additionally, we ask that parents label these items with a dark colored marker so that we can return items if they are lost or misplaced.

Students in full day kindergarten and grades 1 & 2 have an additional recess lasting 15 minutes in the morning. Students in grades K-2 have a daily snack and we ask that, due to the increased number of food allergies, snacks do not contain nut products.

Academic Information

Report Cards

Report cards are issued three times throughout the year for students in grades 1-5. Kindergarten students receive two report cards each year, usually in January and June. Parents/guardians are encouraged to contact their child’s teacher when questions arise regarding student achievement.

Progress Reports

If your child is on an individualized education plan (IEP) they will receive progress reports each marking period. These reports correspond to the benchmark goals established in the IEP.

K-5 Homework Policy

Approved by School Committee August 13, 2007

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.

Kindergarten

  • Up to 15 minutes of reading* per night, Monday-Thursday

Grade 1

  • 15 minutes of reading* per night
  • 15 minutes of homework four nights per week, Monday-Thursday

Grade 2

  • 15 minutes of reading* per night
  • 15 minutes of homework four nights per week, Monday-Thursday

Grade 3

  • 15 minutes of reading* per night
  • 20 minutes of homework four nights per week, Monday-Thursday

Grade 4

  • 40-45 Minutes of homework four nights per week, Monday-Thursday
  • Students may be required to spend time on the weekends for any long-term assignments and required reading

Grade 5

  • 45-60 minutes of homework four nights per week, Monday-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.

Make-up Work

Students who are absent a day or two should get their assignments by calling a friend. For absences of THREE or more days, a parent/guardian may call the school office to arrange for books and assignments to be collected. Calls should be made early in the day, and the materials should be picked up in the front office or the guidance office by the end of the day.

Students returning after an absence are responsible for seeing each of their teachers to check on the status of their work. Students must return for make-up sessions whenever requested to do so by the teacher. Failure to make up missed work will result in a loss of credit for the assignment.

Cheating/Plagiarism

Cheating involves the intentional attempt to pass off the work of another as one’s own and will not be tolerated.

Home/Hospital Instruction

Tutoring in the home or hospital is available when the school receives written confirmation from the student’s doctor that he/she must remain out of school for medical reasons for a period of fourteen school days or more.

Specials and Support Services

Art

An art teacher will instruct students in grades 1-5 once per week. Art appreciation, instruction in painting, drawing and design comprise much of the curriculum.

English Language Learners (ELL)

Students in grades K-5 whose first language is not English may receive special instruction. Eligibility for this service is determined based on a home language survey that a parent completes and teacher recommendation. Students who receive ELL instruction may take state assessments called MEPA and ACCESS.

IIT/Media

Students have weekly lessons that infuse technology into the curriculum. In addition, there is traditional book borrowing.

Music

Our vocal music teacher instructs students in music theory and appreciation and understanding of various types of music. In third grade students learn to play the recorder. Instrumental music lessons are available once per week for fourth and fifth grade students. Lessons are free of charge and occur during the school day. Parents/guardians should be aware that students will be responsible for missed class work that occurs when they are participating in instrumental music.

Physical Education

Students should come to school properly dressed for participation. This includes pants, shorts or skorts and sneakers. All students must take part in physical education classes unless the teacher or nurse receives a written note detailing the reason for being excused from class. If the excuse is for a short duration, a note sent by the parent/guardian is acceptable. For an extended time out of class, the student must be excused by a physician for medical reasons. Permission from the physician is also required in order for a student to re-engage in physical education activities after being excused.

During October and November, grade 4 students run, do sit-ups and push-ups, reach for their toes and stretch and their performance is recorded. This performance is compared to standards that have been set for all children at this age level, not classmates or peers, and reported to parents/guardians via a “Fitnessgram.” The purpose of Fitnessgram is to promote enjoyable regular physical activity and to provide the teacher, student and parent/guardian with information that will help the student maintain or improve his or her level of health related fitness.

Remedial Reading & Math

Specialists work with students in grades 1-5 who need additional assistance in reading and/or math. Support may be provided in the classroom or in small pull-out groups.

School Psychologist

Counseling services are available to help students develop academically, personally, and socially. The school psychologist conducts educational and psychological testing as part of a special education evaluation and coordinates plans for children who qualify for accommodations under Section 504. If you have concerns about your child’s emotional well-being that may be interfering with his or her learning, please feel free to contact the school psychologist.

General Guidelines

Bullying & Harassment*

Our school works very hard to address any issues of bullying. We recognize that bullying and intimidation have a negative effect on school climate. It is unacceptable for students to be made to feel intimidated or anxious because of bullying. We encourage all students to report incidences of bullying to an adult. Parents may also contact the Principal or the classroom teacher if they feel that a bullying incident has taken place at school. We also have a box near the nurse’s office where students can anonymously report an incident of bullying. Each incident is investigated thoroughly.

Grades K-3 participate in the Second Step Program that focuses on social development including empathy training, emotion management and problem solving.

Grades 4-5 participate in Steps to Respect which more directly teaches students how to identify, report and prevent bullying behaviors.

*Full policy can be found in this handbook.

Dress Code

  • Students are not permitted to wear hats in the building.(except on special occasions)
  • Shirts, tops, and all dresses may not expose the midriff.
  • Accessories which could reasonably be considered detrimental to student health and safety are not permitted in school.
  • Shirts, other clothing, or jewelry which displays a message or illustration of a profane nature, sexual connotation, violent advertisement or suggestive statement relating to drugs, alcohol or any illegal substances are unacceptable and may not be worn at school.
  • Pants and shirts must be worn in such a way as to not reveal undergarments or expose skin normally covered by undergarments. Undergarments many not be worn as outer clothing.

If a student is wearing an item of clothing not permitted by these guidelines, parents/guardians will be contacted to bring a change of clothing to school for the student, or the school will provide clothing if needed. The student will not be able to resume his or her regular schedule until his/her clothing is modified.

Field Trips

Field trips are an extension of the instructional program and provide enrichment. Children must return a signed parent permission slip prior to participating.

Invitations

Invitations to various events such as birthday parties should be distributed via the mail, and not on school grounds, unless all members of the class are to be invited. This same policy will be used for Valentine card distribution in February. This effectively eliminates the possibility of excluding children and hurting feelings.

Lost and Found

Please be sure to label all outerwear (jackets, coats, hats, mittens, etc.) and lunch boxes as they are easily misplaced. Check lost and found for items in a timely manner as unclaimed articles will periodically be donated to a worthy cause.

Physical Restraint

For safety reasons, all schools have a physical restraint policy in place that complies with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) regulations. If a student’s behavior poses a threat of imminent, serious, physical harm, they can be held until calm. Specific procedures are carried out by qualified, trained staff and parents are notified.

Student Records

Federal and state laws, including 603 CMR 23.00, provide parents and students with rights of confidentiality, inspection, amendment and destruction of student records. Authorized school personnel of any school to which a student seeks or intends to transfer will have access to a student’s complete record without further notice to, or receipt of consent from, the eligible student or parent. The temporary record of each student will be destroyed no later than seven years after the student transfers, graduates or withdraws from the Braintree Public Schools.

Telephones / Electronic Devices

Students are not permitted to use or carry cell phones, MP3 players, I-pods, CD/radio headsets, pagers or any other type of electronic equipment during school hours. (Cell phone use in classrooms for academic purposes is only allowed with the approval of the principal.) While we realize that cell phones have become an important way for parents to keep in touch with their children, these items have no place in the classroom. They must be turned off and left in the student’s bag, or with his or her teacher, during the school day. It is recommended that all electronic devices be left home, for the school cannot assume responsibility for lost or stolen personal property.

Students who wish to contact their parent/guardian, etc. may use their cell phones after school. If students are staying for an after-school activity, arrangements for a ride home should be made in advance. If necessary, students may use classroom or office telephones with permission of the teacher or office staff.

If found in a student’s possession during the school day, any of these items will be confiscated and held in the office until the end of the day, OR the students will be sent to the office. This infraction of school rules will be treated as a disruption in the classroom or a failure to follow school policy, and disciplinary action will be taken.

Skateboards, Rollerblades & Scooters

For safety reasons, students are not permitted to use skateboards, rollerblades or scooters as a means of transportation to or from school. In addition, their use on school property is prohibited.

Valuables

Valuables should not be brought to school. However, if it should be necessary, students should not leave such valuables in their desks or lockers. Money must be kept on one’s person. We encourage students to bring only the money they need to purchase items during the school day. It is the policy of the Braintree School Committee that the School Department will not accept any responsibility for any personal property. The intent of this policy is to stress that the student must be at all times responsible for the security of personal property that is brought to school. While we feel concern over the loss and theft of a student’s property, we are unable to be responsible for the security of such property. This does not imply that school personnel will not make every effort to assist students in recovering their property, and to punish anyone who is responsible for vandalizing the property of others.

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.

BRAINTREE PUBLIC SCHOOLS BULLYING, HARASSMENT, SEXUAL HARASSMENT, DISCRIMINATION, HATE CRIMES AND HAZING POLICY

Revised June, 18, 2014 & Approved by School Committee August 18, 2014
Approved By School Committee - November 18, 2013

I. POLICY

A. 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, or sensory, disability, or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics.

B. 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.

C. 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.

D. 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.

E. 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.

F. 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

G. 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.

H. 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.

II. DEFINITIONS

A. 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:

    • That are being offered through the school or district; or
    • During any education program or activity; or
    • 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.

B. 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.

    • 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.
    • 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.

C. 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.

D. 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.

E. 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.

F. 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.

G. 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.

H. 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.

I. 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.

J. 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

K. 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:
    • 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.
    • 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..
    • 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.
    • 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:
    • 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.
    • 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.

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