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Middle School Handbook

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

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

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.

Keys To Success

Be prepared.

Respect yourself, other students, and the school staff.

Arrive at school and your classes on time.

Investigate something interesting.

Note your assignments.

Try your best.

Review your work and revise your writing.

Engage in class discussions.

Eat breakfast.


Meet your after-school responsibilities.

Identify your goals.

Do your homework.

Don’t endanger yourself or other students.

Lock your locker.

Experience after-school activities.


Study for quizzes and tests.

Cooperate with the teachers and staff.

Have fun.

Organize your notebook.

Organize your time.

Learn how to study.

Seek out extra help.

General School Information

Bell Schedule

  • Students Enter Building, 7:43 AM
  • Students Go To Lockers, 7:53 AM
  • Homeroom Period, 8:02-8:07 AM
  • Block 1, 8:10-8:54 AM
  • Block 2, 8:57-9:41 AM
  • Block 3, 9:44-10:28 AM
  • Block 4, 10:31-11:15 AM
  • Block 5, 11:18-2:51 PM
  • Lunch & Sustained Silent Reading
    • A 11:15-11:37 AM
    • B 11:40-12:02 PM
    • C 12:05-12:27 PM
    • D 12:30-12:51 PM
  • Block 6, 12:54-1:38 PM
  • Block 7, 1:41-2:25 PM
  • Extra Help Session Begins*, 2:30 PM
  • End of After-School Session, 3:10 PM
  • Late Bus 3:15 PM

*Extra help session from 2:30 – 3:10 is considered part of the school day.

*Only students with official school business should be in the building at this time.


School Calendar

 

2018-2019 School Calendar

Important Dates

  • Friday, October 5 - Midterm 1
  • Friday, November 9 - End Term 1
  • Friday, December 14 - Midterm 2
  • Monday, January 28 - End Term 2
  • Friday, March 8 - Midterm 3
  • Tuesday, April 9 - End Term 3
  • Friday, May 17 - Midterm 4
  • Wednesday, June 19 - End Term 4

Building Security / Visitors

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.

Guidance

In order to best serve our students, each student will have the same guidance counselor throughout middle school. All students are encouraged to use the services of the guidance department. Personal conferences are scheduled with each student yearly to discuss such things as study habits, educational progress, course selections, and personal and social concerns. In addition, counselors can also help students resolve conflicts with other students. Other services provided by counselors include testing and evaluation, dissemination of occupational and vocational information, orientation programs, and conferences with parents/guardians and referral agencies.

Media Centers

Our school has a very fine media center staffed with a certified media specialist. The media specialist will issue a pamphlet of regulations concerning the use of the center. The center is open on a rotating basis before school and after school. Students are encouraged to use the media center at this time.

No School - Delay

School is canceled only in severe weather conditions. Occasionally the opening is delayed for one or two hours to allow conditions to improve. Students and parents/ guardians will be notified through our automated message system. In addition, local radio and television stations carry cancellations.

Emergency Dismissals

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.

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

School Nurse and 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 in connection with the total 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.

All 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. A parent/guardian may give permission for their child to be transported by cab. However, transportation costs are the responsibility of 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 with the transportation department and all before and after school programs/clubs including sport teams.

A doctor’s certificate is required for any student returning to school (or returning to PE class, extracurricular activities, etc.) under the following conditions: a prolonged or acute illness, an operation, an accident, or any restrictions on activity (e.g. sling, cast, crutches). Medical certification may also be required after an absence of five or more consecutive days.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires that all students entering grade seven must have a recent complete physical examination and up-to-date immunizations. In the fall of grade six, two health forms are mailed home to parents/guardians. This allows parents/guardians nearly a year to schedule a doctor’s appointment so that all requirements will be fulfilled prior to entering grade seven. For prompt, safe delivery, parents/guardians should mail completed physicals to the school nurse.

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.

Postural screening is a mandated program. It commences sometime in the spring in grades 5 – 9. 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.

Body Mass Index (BMI) Screening

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.

Medications taken in school

When a student must take a 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.

State regulations prohibit students from having any medication in their possession in school, on school property, or at any school sponsored event. Students are not allowed to keep any medication on their person, in their lockers, backpacks, pocketbooks, etc. This applies to all prescription and over-the-counter medications with the following two exceptions. Students prescribed an inhaler to treat asthma or an Epi-Pen to treat allergic reaction may carry them on their person only if (1.) they are properly labeled, (2.) the parent/guardian has notified the health office in writing and (3.) the parent/guardian has provided the required physician documentation. It is strongly recommended that a second set of medication be left in the health office in case the student forgets his/her inhaler or Epi-Pen.

Any student who has been prescribed an Epi-Pen to treat a life threatening allergy must provide the medication and a completed Epinephrine Emergency Action Plan, signed by the student’s physician, to the school nurse on or before the first day of school.  Without the appropriate paperwork and Epi-Pen, your child may be excluded from school until the requirements are met, in order to ensure and provide a safe and healthy environment for the children.  (All medical forms may be downloaded from the middle school’s website or obtained from the health office.)

Regulations Pertaining to Student Records

Section 34F of Chapter 71 of the General Laws gives parents or guardians, with certain restrictions, the right upon request to inspect any and all records in a public school that pertain to the individual student.

1.01 Rules Application of Rights These regulations are promulgated to insure parents' and students' rights of confidentiality, inspection, amendment and destruction of student records and to assist local school systems in adhering to the law. These regulations should be liberally construed for these purposes.

1.1 These rights shall be the rights of the student upon reaching 14 years of age or upon entering the 9th grade, whichever comes first.

1.2 If a student under the age of 14 and has not yet entered the 9th grade, these rights shall devolve to his or her parent.

School Food Service Information and Policies

The cafeteria provides a nourishing meal at a very reasonable cost. Students may bring lunches from home and purchase juice drinks, milk, chips, ice cream, and dessert separately. Correct change is appreciated but not necessary. The Braintree School Food Service Department provides Meal Prepayment Plans for students for all breakfast, lunch and ala carte items. Students will use their School identification number in accessing their lunch accounts. We strongly urge parents/guardians to take advantage of this service.Students will be told when their balance is getting low. Students are not allowed to charge any ala carte or snack items which would result in a negative lunch account balance.

Parents and students will receive forms for free and reduced lunch and prepayment information from the Food Service Department prior to the start of school in August or September. Forms are also available in the School Office and online at www.braintreeschools.org under the “School Lunch Program” link. For further information, contact Ms. Megan Ahrenholz, Food Service Director, 781-794-8473.

Cafeteria Rules

Students are expected to use good manners. In addition, there are three important rules that students should adhere to:

  1. Students may not leave the cafeteria without permission.
  2. Lunches must be eaten in the cafeteria. Students are not allowed to leave the cafeteria with any food or drink items of any kind.
  3. Students may not throw food, paper, or anything else – even across the table.

So that lunch is a pleasant time for all, students should adhere to the following procedure:

  1. Pass in a quiet and orderly manner through the corridors on the way to and from lunch. Remember that other classes are in session.
  2. Form a line; do not cut in or encourage anyone else to do so.
  3. Sit at the table of your choice, but once seated remain at that table.
  4. Talk in a quiet, pleasant manner.
  5. Clean up what you spill; ask for help if you need it.
  6. Return dishes, silverware, and trays to their proper place; dispose of all paper, plastic, etc. in the waste containers.
  7. At the end of lunch, quiet down and remain seated until a supervising staff member dismisses you.
  8. Leave your table and eating area clean.

Cafeteria Privileges may be Revoked for Improper Behavior.

Middle School Administration

East Middle School

305 River Street

Telephone number: 781-380-0170

Fax number: 781-848-4522

www.braintreeschools.org/east

 

John Sheehan, Principal 
john.sheehan@braintreeschools.org

Andrew Curran, Assistant Principal
andrew.curran@braintreeschools.org

 

South Middle School

232 Peach Street

Telephone number: 781-380-0160

Fax number: 781-380-0164

www.braintreeschools.org/south

 

Damon Rainie, Principal
damon.rainie@braintreeschools.org

Elaine Pagliarulo, Assistant Principal
elaine.pagliarulo@braintreeschools.org

 

School Committee

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

District Administration

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

Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities

STUDENT RIGHTS

  • I have a right to be happy and to be treated with care in my school. This means that others will not tease me, laugh at me, or intentionally hurt my feelings.
  • I have the right to be myself in my school. This means that no one will treat me unfairly because of my race, color, sex, religion, or national origin.
  • I have a right to be safe in my school. This means that no one will do such things as hit me, kick me, push me, threaten me, or physically hurt me.
  • I have the right to expect that my personal property will be safe and secure in my school.
  • I have a right to do my schoolwork in clean and pleasant surroundings.
  • As part of the learning process, I have the right to hear and be heard in my school. This means that no one will yell, scream, shout, make loud noises, or otherwise disturb me.
  • I have the right to learn about myself and others in my school. This means I will be able to express my opinions and feelings without being interrupted or ridiculed.
  • I have a right to expect that others will be encouraged to learn self-control and will be corrected if they abuse my rights.
  • I have a right to expect that all these rights will be mine in all circumstances.

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES

  • I have the responsibility to treat other people with care. This means I will not tease or laugh at others, or try to intentionally hurt the feelings of others.
  • I have the responsibility to see others as individuals. I will not treat others unfairly because of their race, color, sex, religion, or national origin.
  • I have the responsibility to help make my school a safe place for all. This means that I will not do such things as hit anyone, kick anyone, push anyone, threaten anyone, or physically hurt anyone.
  • I have the responsibility to ensure the safety and security of all personal property by not damaging or stealing the property of others.
  • I have a responsibility to keep my school a pleasant place by picking up litter and by not defacing or destroying school property.
  • I have the responsibility to help maintain a calm and quiet school. This means that I will not yell, scream, shout, make loud noises, or otherwise disturb anyone around me.
  • I have the responsibility to see that others can learn about themselves and others in my school. This means I will not interrupt or ridicule others when they express their opinions and feelings.
  • I have a responsibility to learn self-control, and I will expect to be corrected if I abuse the rights of others.
  • I have the responsibility to protect my rights and the rights of others by fulfilling my responsibilities in all circumstances.

Study Skills and Techniques

Effective study skills, techniques, and habits are very important to student success.

Know What is Expected of You.

  • Copy your assignments correctly.
  • Know when your assignments are due.
  • Read and follow directions carefully.
  • Know what to study for quizzes and tests.
  • Ask the teacher for clarification if you are confused.
  • Listen for phrases like “This is important” and “Don’t forget.”

Participate Fully in Class.

  • Complete your assignments.
  • Study for quizzes and tests.
  • Be respectful and cooperative.
  • Take an active part in class discussion.
  • Come to class with the proper materials.
  • Take neat, organized notes on important ideas.
  • Listen carefully to your teacher and classmates.
  • Ask questions when you don’t understand something.

Take Pride in Your Work.

  • Check for errors.
  • Use the proper heading.
  • Put forth your best effort.
  • Make sure your work is neat, well organized, and complete.

Organize Yourself.

  • Use your assignment notebook every day.
  • Keep your notebook, locker, and home study area neat.
  • Keep a notebook or part of a loose-leaf binder for each subject.
  • Have a place at home where you can file old reports, tests, notes, etc.
  • Use a monthly calendar; list due dates, practices, games, lessons, etc.

Plan Your Homework Time.

  • Arrange your work in order of importance.
  • Set aside enough time to be able to finish your work.
  • Have a study buddy you can call if you need some help.
  • Choose a convenient time and try to stick to it each night.
  • Select a relatively quiet place with a desk or table for writing.
  • Be prepared with textbooks, notes, a dictionary, and writing materials.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to study for a test or complete a project.
  • Don’t get distracted by computers, games, telephone calls, television, or music.
  • Spend the time concentrating on your homework but give yourself several short breaks.

Take Advantage of After School Extra Help and Make-up Sessions.

Share Your School Work with Your Parents/Guardians.

Academic Information

Cheating

The school promotes an environment where honesty is valued and where students are constantly encouraged to put forth their best effort. Cheating is considered to be any attempt to gain credit for knowledge or work not genuinely a student’s own.

In certain situations, such as homework, group work, and projects, classroom teachers have the responsibility for defining appropriate and inappropriate sharing of information. However, cheating on any academic exercise will result in a loss of credit for that exercise, and parents/guardians will be so notified by the teacher.

Students should be aware that plagiarism is considered a form of cheating. Plagiarism is the intentional presentation of another’s words, research, or ideas as one’s own.

Homework Policy

Middle School Homework Policy

Revision Approved: Braintree School Committee – May 9, 2011

Introduction

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

Homework Policy Guidelines for Students

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

Homework Policy Guidelines for Parents

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

Homework Policy Guidelines for Teachers

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

Homework Policy Guidelines for Administrators

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

Time Frame of Homework Assignments

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

  • Grade 6: 15 – 20 minutes of homework per course, per night, not to exceed one and one-half hours*
  • Grade 7: 20 – 25 minutes of homework per course, per night, not to exceed two hours*
  • Grade 8: 20–30 minutes of homework per course, per night, not to exceed two and one-half hours*
  • * If a student is experiencing difficulty, parents/guardians have the option of signing off at the upper time limit for a course’s daily homework if the student has worked studiously and has produced quality work.

Honor Roll

Honor Roll - Grades 7 and 8 Only

A student will be placed on Honor Roll if he or she earns at least a grade of B- in all subjects. The Honor Roll will be posted on the bulletin board outside of the main office. The Honor Roll will not be published in the newspaper. At the end of the school year, students who made the Honor Roll for the four consecutive marking periods will be recognized.

Human Sexuality Education

Human Sexuality Education (Approved by School Committee 6/23/97)

Parent Notification Law re: Human Sexuality Education

In accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 71, Section 32A, an Act Relative to Human Sexuality Education, the Braintree School Committee provides this notification to parents/guardians regarding curriculum which primarily involves human sexuality education or human sexuality issues. This notification, provided through the student handbooks at the middle school and high school levels, and through the newsletter at the elementary level, allows parents/guardians to exempt their child/children from any and all portions of the said curriculum through written notification to the school principal. No child exempted shall be penalized in any fashion, and will be given alternate assignments that comply with the time and learning requirement. Program materials will be made reasonably accessible to parents, guardians and others to the extent practicable.

Parents/guardians wishing to inspect and review program materials may contact the Health Education Coordinator, at Braintree High School.

Make-Up Work

Students who are absent a day or two should get their assignments by calling a friend or by accessing Aspen Parent Portal. 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.

Physical Education Requirements

  1. 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.
  2. Required Clothing: Sneakers, socks, pants or shorts, T-shirt or sweatshirt.
  3. Unexcused lack of participation and/or failure to change into appropriate clothing will result in a loss of credit for that day.

Concussions and/or Head Injuries

The Braintree Public Schools Athletic Department has established protocols for the prevention, training, management and return to activity decisions regarding students who incur head injuries while involved in extracurricular athletic activities including interscholastic sports. The protocol will be disseminated to all student athletes and band members and will be updated as appropriate.

Program of Studies

The middle schools run on a six-day cycle. Courses run for six days or for three out of the six days. Grade seven Reading, Writing, and Research and grade seven Health are semester courses.

Grade Six:

  • English, 6 Blocks per cycle
  • Math, 6 Blocks per cycle
  • Science, 6 Blocks per cycle
  • Social Studies, 6 Blocks per cycle
  • Pre-Algebra, 3 Blocks per cycle
  • Physical Education, 3 Blocks per cycle
  • Computer, 3 Blocks per cycle
  • Chorus, Band, or Orchestra, 3 Blocks per cycle
  • Art, 3 Blocks per cycle
  • Health, 3 Blocks per cycle

When recommended:

  • Reading, 3 Blocks per cycle
  • Math Connections, 3 Blocks per cycle
  • English Connections, 3 Blocks per cycle

Grade Seven:

  • English, 6 Blocks per cycle
  • Math, 6 Blocks per cycle
  • Science, 6 Blocks per cycle
  • Social Studies, 6 Blocks per cycle
  • Spanish/French, 3 Blocks per cycle
  • Physical Education, 3 Blocks per cycle
  • Reading, Writing, Research, 3 Blocks per cycle
  • Chorus, Band, or Orchestra 3 Blocks per cycle
  • Art, 3 Blocks per cycle
  • Health. 3 Blocks per cycle

When recommended:

  • Reading, 3 Blocks per cycle
  • Math Connections, 3 Blocks per cycle
  • English Connections, 3 Blocks per cycle

Grade Eight:

  • English, 6 Blocks per cycle
  • Math, 6 Blocks per cycle
  • Science, 6 Blocks per cycle
  • Social Studies, 6 Blocks per cycle
  • Spanish/French, 6 Blocks per cycle
  • Physical Education, 3 Blocks per cycle
  • Writing Workshop, 3 Blocks per cycle
  • Chorus, Band, or Orchestra, 3 Blocks per cycle
  • Art, 3 Blocks per cycle

When recommended:

  • Reading, 3 Blocks per cycle
  • Math Connections, 3 Blocks per cycle
  • English Connections, 3 Blocks per cycle

Progress Reports

Progress reports are issued at mid-term four times during the school year. They communicate the student’s current grade and homework grade in each class along with relevant comments on the student’s effort, behavior, participation, and other matters pertaining to classroom success. They must be signed and returned to the school 24 hours after their issue. Parent/guardian cooperation is requested and appreciated. Parents/guardians are encouraged to monitor their children’s progress using their access to Aspen Parent Portal.

If parents/guardians wish to contact a teacher or guidance counselor about their child’s progress, they may do so via a telephone call, note or email. Teachers are most willing to accommodate parents/guardians and encourage communication with the home.

Promotion Requirements

Students who fail English or math must take the course in summer school. Students with two or three failures in the academic subjects (English, math, science, social studies) will be recommended for retention unless two courses are made up in summer school. The passing grade for summer school courses is C-. Students who fail all four academic subjects will be automatically retained.

Report Cards

Report cards are issued four times during the school year. The purpose of these reports is to inform parents of student achievement. Grades are grouped according to the following assessments:

  • Superior: A, A-
  • High honors: B+
  • Honors: B, B-
  • Work of acceptable quality: C+, C, C-
  • Work of poor quality but passing: D+, D, D-
  • Unsatisfactory work – Failing: E, F
  • Withdrawn: W
  • Medically Excused: ME, M
  • Incomplete: INC, I

Report cards must be signed and returned to the school 24 hours after their issue. Parent/guardian cooperation is requested and appreciated.

Rules We Live By

After School Sessions

The school day ends at 2:25 PM for students who have fulfilled all of their obligations. If asked to do so by a teacher, students are responsible for reporting after school for extra help, to make-up work, and to serve teacher detention for behavioral issues. Failure to report after school is a serious offense; those who fail to report will be referred to the office and will be subject to office detention or demerits and will still owe the original time after school with their teacher.

Attendance Responsibilities

Absence

Students who are absent from school are required to bring in a note signed by a parent or guardian giving the date of absence and the reason for the absence. The note should be given to the homeroom teacher on the day the student returns to school.

Students who fail to bring in absence notes are subject to penalties. It is the policy of the Braintree School Department that the attendance officer will check absences. Parents/guardians are urged to cooperate with the school by sending notes promptly.

It is the policy of our schools that no student will be allowed to take part in any school activity, social or otherwise, if he or she has not attended school on that day.

Perfect Attendance: Religious holidays do not count against a student’s perfect attendance.

Excessive Absence

Research shows that academic success is closely related to student attendance. When students are absent from school, they cannot benefit from the direct instruction, the classroom discussions or the collaborative activities that are offered during the school day. Thus, it is essential the students attend classes.

Consequences for Excessive Absences

Excessive absence is defined as missing 10% or more of the days that school has been in session. After all regular avenues of communication have been exhausted, the following consequences will apply:

Students will not be allowed to participate in academic experiences such as field trips and non-academic activities such as team days, after-school activities, grade 7 and 8 ski trips, and end of the year field trips. During these times the students will remain in a structured, supervised setting where they will complete their academic assignments.

If a student’s attendance does not improve, he/she may face disciplinary action. Repeated truancies will result in a parent/guardian meeting with the principal, a meeting with the school resource officer, suspension, and/or referral to outside social agencies or the Norfolk County Probation Department.

Tardiness

Students who enter the building after the 8:02 bell are tardy and must report to the office. Students will be penalized for excessive tardiness. Repeated tardies will result in a parent/guardian meeting with the principal, a meeting with the school resource officer, suspension, and/or referral to outside social agencies or the Norfolk County Probation Department.

Students are expected to report to each class on time. Failure to do so may result in a disciplinary consequence. Students who have an excuse for being late must arrive with a pass.

Homeroom

At the 7:53 bell students should go directly to their lockers and then to homeroom. Students who have not checked in with their homeroom teacher by 8:02 are considered tardy. If it is necessary to do an errand during this time, students should get permission in advance from their homeroom teacher.

Dismissal

  1. 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. The note should be brought to the office before homeroom.
  2. 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.
  3. In case of illness, the nurse or the office will release the student with the parent/guardian’s consent.
  4. If the student returns to school later in the day, he/she must sign in at the office before going to class.

Truancy

Students are required to attend school unless they are ill. Students who are absent without permission are considered “truant” and will be subject to disciplinary action. Students who are truant receive a failing mark for any missed work and are not permitted to make up any of the work missed. Repeated truancies will result in a parent/guardian meeting with the principal, a meeting with the school resource officer, suspension, and/or referral to outside social agencies or the Norfolk County Probation Department.

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, this absence cannot be treated in the same manner as the case above or as one for illness, a family emergency, or a unique educational experience. The loss of critical learning time in the classroom caused by extended absence and the necessity to comply with the state regulation on school attendance become even more serious concerns under the circumstances. Accordingly, the student will have the same loss of privileges as other students who are absent for unauthorized reasons. That is, he/she will not to be allowed to take any tests or receive credit for any work which was scheduled during the absence. The administration will, however, request teachers to provide a description of the class work that will be missed during the absence in order that the student will have an opportunity to keep abreast of what will be covered in each of the subjects.

Parents/guardians in all of these circumstances should inform the principal of the school involved well in advance of the intended absence, and students should inform their teachers at least two weeks in advance of the absence in order to give them adequate time to prepare a description of what will be covered in class during the absence.

Backpacks

For safety reasons, backpacks cannot be used in the corridors or left on the floor in classrooms. Therefore, backpacks must remain in students’ lockers. Students have many opportunities during the day to go to their lockers for books and supplies.

Beverages

Students are not permitted to bring open containers of beverages of any kind into the building. All drinks must be consumed in the dining hall at lunch.

Dress Code

Students are reminded that school is a learning environment and a place of business. Students are expected to exercise maturity and responsibility in all matters including their dress and personal grooming habits. Students must meet normal standards of cleanliness and modesty, and may not pose a health or safety threat to the school in a way that disrupts the academic process. Students should take pride in their appearance, dress appropriately, and dress for success.

If a student is wearing an item of clothing not permitted by the Handbook 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/her regular schedule until his/her clothing is modified.

Specific dress code regulations:

  1. Students are not permitted to wear hats in the building
  2. Shirts, tops, and all dresses may not expose the midriff, navel, shoulders, back or show any cleavage. For example: tank tops, tube tops, and spaghetti straps are not permitted.
  3. Accessories which could reasonably be considered detrimental to student health and safety are not permitted in school.
  4. 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.
  5. Pants and shirts must be worn in such a way as not to reveal undergarments or expose skin normally covered by undergarments. Undergarments may not be worn as outer clothing.
  6. The length of shorts, skirts, dresses, etc. must be no shorter than the length of the longest fingertip with the arms fully extended.

Although a student with offensive clothing may have inadvertently been allowed to attend one or more classes, this does not mean that a student cannot be referred for a dress code violation later in the day.

Electronic Devices

Students are not permitted to use or carry cell phones, Mp3 players, iPods, CD/radio headsets, pagers or any other type of electronic equipment during school hours, except with specific permission from a staff member. While we realize that cell phones have become an important way for parents to keep in touch with their children, these items can be a distraction in the classroom. Use of devices for photography or text messaging is prohibited. Devices should be turned off and left in the students’ lockers during the school day. The school cannot assume responsibility for lost or stolen personal property.

If a student is found to be using an electronic device during the school day, the item will be confiscated and held in the office until the end of the day, or the student will be sent to the office. This infraction will be treated as a disruption in the classroom or a failure to follow school policy, and disciplinary action will be taken.

Eligibility Policy

In order to participate in interscholastic sports, the school play, and student council, students may not have a grade of F in any subject on the previous report card. A student becomes eligible or ineligible for interscholastic sports or an activity when report cards are issued and the report card can be checked by the coach or supervising faculty member. A student who is ineligible for interscholastic sports may not practice with the team.

Fire & Safety Drills

Fire drills are held frequently during the school year. To ensure everyone’s safety, students should follow this procedure:

  1. Students file out of the building under the direction of their teachers. The proper exits to use are posted in each room.
  2. In the event of a blocked exit, students should file quickly to the nearest exit.
  3. Once outside, students should move to a point 100 feet from the building.
  4. Students who are not in classrooms should use the nearest exit.
  5. Students should walk, and no talking is allowed.
  6. Students should not take classroom materials with them.

For lockdown/remain-in-place drills, an announcement will be made over the PA.

  1. Students and staff who are not in a classroom should quickly report to the nearest designated safe room.
  2. All doors and windows should be locked.
  3. Fire alarms should be ignored unless instructed otherwise.

Gum

Students are not permitted to chew gum in school.

Hallways/Corridors

  1. At all times students should walk in an orderly fashion on the right-hand side of the corridor. Any unsafe behavior will be referred to administration, including—but not limited to—running, jumping, pushing/shoving, tripping, and dumping books.
  2. Students may not loiter in the corridors or bathrooms between classes.
  3. Students in the corridors during class time must have a pass.

Lockers

Homeroom teachers will assign each student a locker and a lock on the first day of school. Only school issued padlocks may be used.

Students are expected to adhere to the following:

  1. Lockers are to be kept locked at all times.
  2. Lock combinations are not to be shared with others.
  3. Lockers should not be defaced or damaged.
  4. Locker doors should not be forced open or shut.
  5. Any difficulties with locks or lockers should be reported to the office.
  6. Locks that are lost must be replaced at the current replacement cost.
  7. Lockers should be kept neat. Lockers are inspected periodically.

Lockers are the property of the Braintree Public Schools. Students should understand that they are not considered private property, and, as a result, a duly authorized administrator may inspect lockers at any time. In addition, lockers are subject to search when there is a reasonable suspicion that the search will reveal evidence of a violation of law or school rules, or the possession of obscene or other inappropriate material.

School Assemblies

Assemblies provide one of the few opportunities in school to learn formal audience behavior. Courtesy demands that students be respectful and appreciative.

  1. Do not take books or coats unless otherwise instructed.
  2. Proceed quietly and promptly.
  3. Sit in the seats designated by school staff.
  4. Quiet down immediately when asked to do so.
  5. Be courteous at all times. There should be no talking, whispering, whistling, stamping of feet, or booing.
  6. Applause should be generous and courteous.
  7. Do not leave the assembly until dismissed.

Skateboards, Rollerblades & Bicycles

For safety reasons, students are not permitted to use skateboards, rollerblades, scooters, or bicycles as a means of transportation to or from school. In addition, the unauthorized use of skateboards and rollerblades on school property at any time is prohibited.

Student Activities

School activities provide opportunities for students to nurture their curiosity and creativity, to develop their talents and leadership qualities, and to serve their school and community. Students are encouraged to participate in after school activities; however, they may do so only after their classroom obligations for the day are completed, and only if they are in school on the day of the activity. In order to participate in any activity, a student must be a member in good standing of the school community. Participation is a privilege, and as such, inappropriate or irresponsible behavior in school or during activities could result in the privilege being rescinded.

Activities other than those that follow vary from school to school and from year to year depending on the interests of faculty and students.

Student Council

The student council meets regularly during the school year under the direction of a faculty member. Student Council members represent and serve their fellow students in the conduct of the various activities sponsored by the Council and the school. Standards of scholarship and citizenship must be maintained consistently if a student is to remain eligible for membership in the Council.

School Dances

Students attending dances must obey the rules of the individual school. In addition, the following guidelines must be adhered to:

  1. No visitors or guests are permitted.
  2. Students must remain inside the building.
  3. Once students leave, they will not be permitted to return.
  4. Students may leave early only if a parent/guardian comes in to get them.

Field Trips

Students who go on in-state and out-of-state field trips are representatives of the school and of our community. Field trips may include, but are not limited to the following: music festivals, museums, plays, science activities, tours, cultural trips, or exchange programs. To participate, students must have written parental permission. Due dates for permission slips are determined by the staff member in charge.

All field trips are a privilege, and as such, inappropriate or irresponsible behavior could result in the privilege being rescinded. Students who are excluded from field trips are expected to attend school on the day of the trip.

Please note that other than for behavior reasons, all students are required to attend this school day activity.

Sports

Intramural sports which are offered in the fall, winter, and spring are open to all students and may include soccer, flag football, cross country, floor hockey, basketball, volleyball, softball, and track.

Currently interscholastic sports are limited to boys and girls basketball and soccer. See the eligibility policy in this section.

Student Safety

Students arriving in the morning and those waiting for the late bus in the afternoon must remain on school property. Students may not leave the building during the school day unless they are properly dismissed. Students are not to remain after school unless they have teacher permission or are participating in an extracurricular activity.

When they are in the building, students must be under the direct supervision of a staff member. Students may not enter the building in the morning except to report directly to a teacher or to a designated location. During the day, students must report to class on time. They may not linger in the hallways or the bathrooms. Students may not leave a room without the permission of the teacher. Students who are ill must report directly to the nurse’s office.

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 middle 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.

Telephone

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.

Textbooks

Students are responsible for all textbooks issued to them.

  1. Teachers will keep a record of the number and condition of each book.
  2. Student and teacher names must be written on the inside cover of each book.
  3. Books must be covered within 48 hours after issuance.
  4. All damaged or lost books must be paid for.

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.

Visitors

Students are not permitted to have guests during the school day or at school-sponsored activities.

Discipline Code

A school cannot accomplish its goals unless there exists an atmosphere of cooperation and respect among students and between students and staff. In addition, learning can only take place in an environment that promotes a sense of order, safety, and security. It is our responsibility to provide an atmosphere that promotes socially appropriate behavior. Our students are expected to be courteous and polite, and to respect the rights and privileges of all members of the school community.

The ultimate goal of good discipline is to turn unacceptable conduct into acceptable behavior. Therefore, it is our task to assign consequences that are fair, consistent, and appropriate for middle school students.

Administration of the Discipline Code

The following factors will be considered when determining a consequence for undesirable behavior:

  1. Age and grade level of the student
  2. Frequency of misconduct by the student
  3. Level of seriousness of the particular misconduct
  4. Attitude evidenced by the student
  5. Any other relevant factor
  6. The I.E.P. for every special needs student will indicate whether the student can be expected to meet the regular discipline code or if the student’s handicapping condition requires a modification. Any modification will be described in the I.E.P and students on 504 plans.

Possible administrative actions that may be taken upon notification of a discipline issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Verbal admonition
  2. Contact parent/guardian
  3. Suspension from an individual class or team/grade activity
  4. Referral to guidance
  5. Referral to peer mediation
  6. Conflict resolution
  7. Hallway restriction
  8. Loss of dining hall privileges
  9. Loss of extra-curricular privileges
  10. Loss of field trip privileges
  11. Loss of leadership position
  12. Teacher detention
  13. Office detention
  14. Student/teacher/administrator conference
  15. Parent or guardian/teacher/administrator conference (with or without student)
  16. Demerits
  17. In-school suspension
  18. Out-of-school suspension
  19. Referral for counseling
  20. Referral to assistant superintendent
  21. Referral to outside agencies: DCF, police
  22. Expulsion

Detention

Detention is a consequence that requires a student to stay after school. Students are expected to meet their after school obligations. Failure to do so will result in further disciplinary action.

Teacher detention may be assigned for infractions of classroom rules, school rules, or other unacceptable behavior. The length of each detention and the number of afternoons will be determined by the teacher. Failure to report to teacher detention will result in additional detention and/or a referral to the office.

Office detention is assigned by the principal or the assistant principal. It begins at 2:30 and ends at 3:10 pm. Office detention takes precedence over all other school related obligations except reporting to a teacher. Students who miss detention must produce a note with an acceptable excuse from a parent/guardian or teacher. Failure to secure an excuse for missing detention or failure to report for detention will result in additional detention, demerits, or suspension.

Demerit System

Assigning demerits (or points) is a way to keep track of serious infractions of school rules. The principal or assistant principal assigns demerits after witnessing or uncovering inappropriate conduct or after receiving a discipline referral slip from a staff member. Demerits are assigned on an individual basis, and very few infractions carry a prescribed number of demerits thus allowing for flexibility of circumstances. An office referral is sent home describing the behavior and listing the assigned number of demerits. The referral must be returned to school with a parent/guardian’s signature.

A running tally of demerits is kept. Should a student accumulate twenty-five demerits, a hearing by the principal or his designee will be held to determine whether suspension is in order.

Just as demerits may be assigned for misbehavior, so too can they be removed if the student shows an improvement in the type of behavior for which the demerits were assigned.

Suspension

Any act which is not in to the best interests of the school and its community may result in immediate suspension by the principal or assistant principal. Suspension is a very serious consequence for a violation of school rules.

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.

Student Responsibilities

Students are expected to be truthful and to take responsibility for their choices and actions. Lying in the course of an investigation is a serious offense and could result in serious disciplinary consequences.

Students are expected to make up the work they miss during their suspension.

In-School Suspension

Students spend the day in the in-school suspension room. They are required to bring a lunch. During the day the student will be provided with school work by his/her teachers. The assigned work must be completed by the end of the day.

Out-of-School Suspension

Students spend the suspension time at home.

Suspendable Offenses

A student may be suspended for a specific offense, for multiple violations of the same school rule, for violent or repeated opposition to authority, or when the example of the student is injurious to, or subversive of discipline in the school. In addition, any repeated behavior already addressed with the student and parent/guardian may result in suspension.

It should be noted that it is impossible to foresee all infractions, and the school administration reserves the right to impose penalties for all acts contrary to proper behavior not expressly stated herein.

Students cannot participate in any school activity from the time they are suspended until they are reinstated.

Non-violent Behavior

  1. Theft
  2. Forgery
  3. Leaving class or school property without permission/skipping class
  4. Gambling: No cards are permitted in school.
  5. Extortion: Obtaining money, goods, or favors by threats of personal harm
  6. Vandalism: Writing on, defacing, or breaking/destroying property that is not your own.
  7. Truancy (repeated occurrences)
  8. Verbal or written disrespect or abuse of others with regards to gender, race, culture, religion or physical type, or any other form of discrimination.*
  9. Improper, profane, vulgar, or obscene language - spoken or written – in assignments, notes, on books, notebooks, etc.*
  10. Threatening language*
  11. Vulgar or obscene behavior, including gestures
  12. Defiance: Students are expected to comply with requests or directives from school personnel in a timely manner.

    *Including electronic communications to staff members or students

    Jeopardizing the Safety of Others
  13. Threatening behavior or intimidation
    Nor will students instruct other students to threaten or harm another student or staff member
  14. Throwing objects of any kind
  15. Possession of matches, lighter, or anything flammable in school or on school property
  16. Possession of a laser pointer
  17. Inciting a fight: Encouraging/instructing another student or students to do harm or fight
  18. Fighting
  19. Physical abuse or any other behavior which jeopardizes the safety of others, including, but not limited to, pushing, tripping, shoving, hitting, play-fighting or play-scuffling

    Illegal Acts (Please see Policies and References for a full explanation.)
  20. Hazing
  21. Harassment/Sexual harassment/Discrimination
  22. Use or possession of fireworks or other explosive/incendiary devices+
  23. Use or possession of drugs (including medications)+
  24. Use or possession of alcohol+
  25. Use or possession of a weapon (or anything that may be perceived as a weapon)+
  26. Use or possession of any tobacco product
  27. Assault of a staff member+
  28. False alarm+
  29. Bomb threat+
  30. Crank call

    “Possession” means having the item on your person, or having the item(s) in your locker, in your purse, in your backpack or book bag, or in your books or notebooks.

    + Offenses which are considered sufficiently severe that expulsion may be considered. Expulsion means the student will no longer be able to attend any school in the Braintree School District.

Hazing

Hazing is any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization/group, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. This includes any treatment or activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress.

Harassment

Whenever ANY person or persons, interfere by threats, intimidation or coercion, or attempt to 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. Students should inform their parent(s) and school administrator immediately if they feel they have been the victim of such actions. The law strictly forbids the mental or physical harassment of secondary school youngsters. Such behavior will not be tolerated and will be dealt with promptly. No form of harassment will be tolerated.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is unwanted and unwelcomed sexual behavior which interferes with your right to get an education or to participate in school activities. Sexual harassment may result from words or conduct of a sexual nature that offends, stigmatizes, demeans, frightens, or threatens you because of your sex.

In school systems, sexual harassment 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

By law, the victim defines sexual harassment. What one person may consider acceptable behavior may be viewed as sexual harassment by another person. Therefore, in order to protect the rights of both parties, it is important that the victim make it clear to the harasser that the behavior is bothering him or her.

Physical harassment is any unwelcome contact such as bumping, touching, hugging, kissing, or pinching. Visual harassment is unwelcome exposure to sexually explicit photos, drawings, notes, or graffiti, and staring. Verbal harassment consists of unwelcome spoken words or sounds directed toward another, such as lewd or suggestive remarks, off-color jokes, comments on a person’s appearance, or gender-specific name-calling.

The harassment does not have to be directed at the victim, so long as the victim is affected by the conduct or communication and feels that it creates a hostile working environment. For example, a student sits between two others who continually make suggestive remarks or noises. If the middle student is offended, then he or she is said to have been subjected to a hostile environment.

Use or possession of fireworks or other explosive /incendiary devices

Possession or use of fireworks or other flammable materials of any type at school, on the grounds, on the buses, or at any school function is sufficient grounds for suspension from school.

Use or possession of drugs or alcohol

The use, possession, or sale/distribution of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances is forbidden by school policy and state law. The regulations are in effect during the school day, at all extracurricular activities, and all school functions. For a full explanation of the policy and the consequences, see the Memorandum of Agreement in Policies and References.

Use or possession of a weapon

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 school bus stops, during loading and unloading procedures or on the way to or from school.

Violations 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 firearm as defined by Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 269, Section 10, will be reported to the Braintree Police Department and referred to the School Committee.

Use or possession of tobacco products

The consequences for middle school students found using or possessing tobacco products, nicotine products, and/or paraphernalia (such as pipes, electronic cigarettes, etc.) are as follows:

First Offense:

  • Three-day out-of-school suspension
  • $50 fine in the form of a “ticket”, or participation in Smoking Cessation Program run by the school nurse
  • Parent/guardian conference with administration

Second Offense:

  • Three-day out-of-school suspension
  • $100 fine
  • Mandatory Smoking Cessation Program (If not opted for prior)
  • Parent/guardian conference with administration

Third Offense:

  • Five-day out of school suspension
  • $100 fine
  • Mandatory meeting with parent/guardian and administration
  • Court referral (per G.L. C.40 Sec. 210)

Students found in the presence of the use of tobacco products, nicotine products, and/or paraphernalia may be subjected to search & seizure, and disciplined under the above policy.

MA General Laws, Chapter 71

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.

A student being suspended for any other reason, pursuant to G.L. Chapter 71, §37H¾, shall be entitled to due process as shown below:

1. Except for Emergency Removals, prior oral and written notice of the charge shall be provided to the student, and to the student’s parent. The student shall be given the opportunity for a meeting/hearing with the principal before the suspension takes effect.

2. If the primary language of the student’s home is not English, the notice(s) shall be translated into the primary language spoken in the home.

The principal will make reasonable efforts to include the parent(s) in the meeting/hearing.

  1. If the principal notifies the student and student’s parents of intent to impose a long-term suspension (more than ten (10) days), the student shall have the following rights:

a. In advance of the hearing, the opportunity to review the student’s record and the documents upon which the principal may rely in making a determination to suspend the student or not;

b. the right to be represented by counsel or a lay person of the student’s choice, at the student’s/parent’s expense;

c. the right to produce witnesses on his or her behalf and to present the student’s explanation of the alleged incident, but the student may not be compelled to do so; and

d. the right to cross-examine witnesses presented by the school district;

e. the right to request that the hearing be recorded by the principal, and a copy of the audio recording provided to the student or parent upon request

  1. A parent attending the meeting/hearing for any suspension may request that the proceeding is audiotaped. All parties in attendance will be notified that the proceedings are being recorded.
  2. Following meeting/hearing, the principal will provide a written decision.
  3. If the principal imposes a long-term suspension, the student and/or parent may appeal the decision to the Superintendent of Schools.

Transportation Policy

TRANSPORTATION POLICY

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.
2.The Safety Officer and the Braintree Police Department coordinate the school transportation program with the local safety and traffic enforcement plan.
3.The School Committee, in accordance with State statues 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 PASSES

1.Students will have their passes ready to show the bus driver each time they get on the bus.
2.A student who does not have a pass will not be allowed to ride on a school bus.
3.Any student losing a pass must report the loss to the school office; a temporary pass will be issued for one ride home. Students are allowed 5 temporary bus passes for the entire school year.
4.The student will be given a replacement on payment of one dollar ($1.00) along with a note from a parent/guardian.
5.Any student transferring a pass to another person will automatically lose his or her transportation privilege for a period of one week.

E. 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.There must be absolute quiet when approaching a railroad crossing stop.
8.In case of a road emergency, children are to remain on the bus unless requested to leave by the driver of the bus.
9.The School Department will condone only walking designated routes.
10. Late buses are only for students who remain after school for supervised activities.

Students are not permitted to loiter after school, nor are they permitted to leave school grounds and then return to take the late bus.

F. 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

a. Do not wait on private property or in the street.

b. Do not engage in any discourteous or unsafe behavior.

c. Do not move toward the bus until it has stopped.

d. Board the bus without pushing or crowding.

2. On the Bus

a. Sit where you are told.

b. Do not stand or change your seat until you arrive at your stop or at school.

c. Keep your hands, arms, feet, and head inside the bus.

d. Do not open or close windows, doors, or emergency exits.

e. Do not throw anything on the bus or at passing vehicles or pedestrians.

f. Do not contribute to any unnecessary confusion. (No shouting or singing.)

g. Do not litter.

h. Do not deface, damage, or tamper with any bus equipment.

i. Keep books, bags, packages, coats and other objects out of the aisle.

k. No open food or drink containers are permitted on the bus.

l. Smoking, eating, drinking, or transporting any illegal substances is forbidden.

3. Afternoon Disembarking: If it is necessary to cross the street:

a. Cross immediately after getting off the bus.

b. Cross at least ten feet IN FRONT OF THE BUS.

c. Check for oncoming traffic in both directions.

d. Be alert to danger signals from the driver.

4. Extracurricular Trips

a. The above rules and regulations apply to any trip with school sponsorship.

b. Students must respect the wishes of chaperones appointed by the school.

G. 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:

a.Assign a student to a specific seat.
b.Return disruptive students to their school to be left in charge of school authorities for that afternoon.
c.File a written report with the school administration within two days of a violation of these bus regulations.

2. The school administration will:

a.Review the report with the student.
b.Determine the appropriate penalty if the complaint is valid.
c.Inform the student’s parent or guardian of the offense and penalty by a phone call followed by a note.

3. Penalties

a. Damage to the bus or any bus equipment will be paid for by the offender.

b. Bus conduct infractions will be dealt with in the following manner:

1. First offense – Loss of bus privileges for one week
2. Second offense – Loss of bus privileges for one month
3. Third offense – Loss of bus privileges for remainder of the school year

Policies, References & Consequences for Behavior Involving Legal Issues

Attendance

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.

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

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

Network & Technology Responsible Use Policy

Network & Technology Responsible Use Policy Printable IJNDB, Network & Technology Responsible Use Policy Word Version Printable IJNDB, Network & Technology Responsible Use Policy PDF Version

1. Introduction

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

2. User Responsibilities

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

A. BPS Computer Network Administrator Responsibilities

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

B. BPS Computer Network Educator Responsibilities

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

C. BPS Computer Network Student Responsibilities

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

3. Acceptable and Unacceptable Uses

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

It is unacceptable for users to use these resources for:

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

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

4. Privacy Protections beyond BPS

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

5. No Expectation of Privacy within BPS

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

6. Passwords

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

7. Violations

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

7. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Uses

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

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

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

8. Disclaimers

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

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

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

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

Website and Social Media Policy

Website and Social Media Policy

Approved by School Committee 4/10/18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State of MA Nondiscrimination Policy

State of Massachusetts Nondiscrimination Policy

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 Headmaster/Principal of the school’s grievance procedures and will, upon request, receive a copy of these procedures.

Tobacco Products

In conjunction with the Board of Health, the Braintree Public Schools has developed the following policy as it relates to the use or possession of tobacco products, nicotine products, or paraphernalia (such as pipes, electronic cigarettes, etc.) [hereinafter referred to as “tobacco products”].

The Braintree Public Schools prohibit the use and /or possession of tobacco products in school buildings, facilities, school buses, on school grounds, and at school sponsored functions. Administrators will notify the parent or legal guardian and sports and activity directors of each infraction, mandate the confiscation of tobacco products, and require tobacco cessation programs.

The faculty and staff of the middle schools are committed to providing the students with a smoke-free environment. This policy hopefully will serve as a deterrent to those students who presently smoke. Additionally, an educational component is available to all students who are interested in learning about the dangers of smoking or needing assistance in stopping the use of tobacco products; the educational component is mandatory for those students that accumulate two tobacco products infractions.

It is important to understand that being in the possession of tobacco products—such as cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, or any other form of tobacco or nicotine product—is subject to confiscation and considered an infraction under the policy. Administrators will return the confiscated tobacco product to the violator’s parent or legal guardian upon request.

Students found in the presence of tobacco products may be subjected to search and seizure. If in possession of tobacco products, students will be disciplined by the conditions stated in the tobacco policy.

As a result of being in violation of the State Education Reform Law, State Fire Department Regulations, Braintree Board of Health Regulations, as well as town bylaws pertaining to Fire Prevention Regulations, students will be issued a citation by school administrators and must pay the imposed fine at the office of the Board of Health within 14 days, or they may contest the fine by requesting in writing a hearing in front of the Board of Health within 7 days after the citation has been served; if necessary, the Board will bring action to the court of jurisdiction.

Braintree school officials have been designated by the Braintree Board of Health to be their agents for this purpose and shall be responsible for the enforcement of this regulation.

The consequences for middle school students found using or possessing tobacco products are as follows:

First Offense

  • Three day out-of-school suspension
  • $50 fine in the form of a “ticket” or participation in Smoking Cessation Program run by the school nurse
  • Parent/guardian conference with administration

Second Offense

  • Three-day out-of-school suspension
  • $100 fine
  • Mandatory Smoking Cessation Program (If not opted for after first offense)
  • Parent/guardian conference with administration

Third Offense

  • Five-day out-of-school suspension
  • $100 fine
  • Mandatory meeting with parent/guardian and administration
  • Court referral (Site G. L. C40 Sec. 210)

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 school bus stops, during loading and unloading procedures or on the way to or from school.

Violations 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 firearm as defined by M.G.L., Chapter 269, Section 10, will be reported to the Braintree Police Department and referred to the School Committee.

Title 18 - United States Code "Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990"

It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess ...or discharge or attempt to discharge...a firearm at a place the individual knows or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone ...except on private property not part of the school grounds or licensed to do so by the State in which the school zone is located. School Zone means within 1,000 feet from the grounds of a public, parochial or private school... Violators shall be fined not more than $5,000, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both. The term of imprisonment shall not run concurrently with any other term of imprisonment imposed under any other provision of law.

Massachusetts General Law - Chapter 269, S. 10 - Prohibition against Firearms in Schools

Whoever, not being a law enforcement officer, and notwithstanding any license obtained by him under the provisions of chapter one hundred and forty, carries on his person a firearm as hereinafter defined, loaded or unloaded or other dangerous weapon in any building or on the grounds of any elementary or secondary school, college or university without the written authorization of the board or officer in charge of such elementary or secondary school, college or university shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. For the purpose of this paragraph, "firearm" shall mean any pistol, revolver, rifle, or smoothbore arm from which a shot bullet or pellet can be discharged by whatever means.

Information for Parents & Student Regarding Assaultive Behavior, Alcohol, Drugs & Weapons

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

Approved by School Committee August 8, 2011

Statement of Purpose:

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

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

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

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

Reportable Acts:

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

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

Procedures and Responsibilities:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Procedures:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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