Special Education Middle and High School Code of Conduct

We are committed to providing students a positive, trauma sensitive culture and climate where teaching and supports emphasize students’ strengths. Teams will work collaboratively to create a safe, pro-social learning environment where students learn to take responsibility for their actions with an emphasis on building, nurturing and repairing relationships

Students, parents and school personnel all have a role in making school safe and implementing this Code of Conduct. 

Each BOCES site, whether it is located in a public school setting or one of the separate sites, is expected to promote a positive school climate and culture that provides students with a supportive environment in which to grow both academically and socially. Parent, students and school personnel are responsible for addressing behaviors that disrupt learning.

This Code of Conduct applies to all students, school personnel, parents and other visitors when on school property or attending school functions.

Student Rights

Students are guaranteed the right to:

  • Take part in all BOCES/district activities on an equal basis regardless of race, weight, color, creed, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, gender or sexual orientation or disability.
  • Organize, promote and participate in student organizations and clubs, as part of the formal education process or as authorized by the school principal.
  • Present their version of the relevant events to school personnel who are authorized to impose a disciplinary penalty.
  • Express opinions, support causes, organize and assemble to discuss issues and demonstrate peacefully and responsibly in support of them.

Student Responsibilities

All students are expected to know school rules, understand them, and obey these rules. Students have a responsibility to:

  • Be open to active participation in resolving conflicts through a
    restorative process.
  • Accept responsibility for your actions and work to build and repair relationships.
  • Attend school regularly and punctually and make every effort to achieve in all areas of their education. 
  • Be prepared for class with appropriate materials, proper textbooks and other school equipment.
  • Follow school regulations regarding entering and leaving the classroom and school building.
  • Help keep school free of weapons, illegal drugs, controlled substances
    and alcohol.
  • Behave in a way that makes school a safe and supportive learning
    environment and does not interfere with other students’ right to learn.
  • Tell school officials about anything that may endanger the health, welfare or
    safety of members of the school community.
  • Respect the dignity and equality of others/ not engage in in behaviors that deny the education or rights of others.
  • Work to manage their anger.
  • Respect school property and respect the property of others, both private and public.
  • Be polite, courteous and respectful toward others regardless of actual or perceived age, race, weight, creed, color, gender, gender identity, gender expression, religion, national origin, citizenship/immigration status, sexual orientation, physical and/or emotional condition, disability, marital status and political beliefs, and refrain from making slurs based on these factors.

Student Discipline Options

Students and staff are expected to work together in an atmosphere of respect
to ensure a safe and productive learning environment. We all know that
consequences are most effective with students when they deal directly with
the problem and in a way that students view as fair and impartial.

Restorative practices will be promoted as a response to student actions that violate the dignity, safety or well-being of others. This is done by connecting the person responsible for the harm with the individual/those who have been harmed in order to reach a resolution. This approach helps guide and assist the person responsible for the harm in accepting responsibility, apologizing for the harm, making meaningful reparation and improving relationships for parties.

The goal is to prevent a recurrence of negative behavior by helping students
learn from their mistake by helping them:

  • Understand why the behavior is unacceptable and the harm it has caused.
  • Understand what they could have done differently in the same situation to
    create a logical and balanced resolution.
  • Take responsibility for their actions and address the needs of others involved in an incident.
  • Be given the opportunity to learn pro-social strategies and skills to use in the future.
  • Understand the progression of more stringent consequences if the behavior reoccurs.

When students are disruptive or act inappropriately, school staff and principals respond logically, appropriately and consistently. As a general rule, discipline will be progressive, meaning that a student’s first violation will usually merit a lighter penalty than subsequent violations.

The BOCES Code of Conduct describes levels of possible response to inappropriate and disruptive behavior. These levels range from classroom- and administrative interventions to short term or extended suspensions with referrals for additional supports for the students, school and families.

The Code of Conduct lists and describes the inappropriate and disruptive behaviors that are unacceptable in school settings and it includes prevention and intervention strategies to be used, as appropriate, with any discipline response.

The range of penalties may include, but is not limited to:

  • Participation in resolving conflicts through a restorative process..
  • Warnings (verbal or written)
  • Verbal or written notification to parent
  • Lunch detention
  • Suspension from social or extracurricular activities
  • Parent conference
  • Suspension of other privileges
  • In-School Suspension (ISS)
  • Removal from classroom by teacher
  • Out of School Suspension (OSS)
  • Permanent suspension from BOCES

Administrators at the Capital Region BOCES retain the discretion to reduce or increase the recommended penalties in the Code of Conduct if there are factors that should be considered and/or if the student’s record of disciplinary issues warrants consideration. BOCES personnel may impose a more severe penalty for a first violation depending on the specific facts and circumstances of the incident.

Bullying/Cyberbullying

Bullying, like other disruptive or violent behaviors, is conduct that disrupts both a student’s ability to learn, an educator’s ability to teach and threatens classroom and school safety. We will not tolerate bullying of any kind on school grounds (including school transportation) or at school – sponsored events or functions, including those that take place outside of the school. BOCES staff investigate bullying incidents as per the Dignity for All Students Act.

Visitors

The BOCES works to provide an orderly, respectful environment that is conducive to learning. All persons on school property or attending a school function shall conduct themselves in a respectful and orderly manner.

Discipline of Students with Disabilities 

Students identified as having a disability or presumed to have a disability may be suspended or removed from school in a manner consistent with New York State Regulations of the Commissioner of Education (Part 200 and Part 201).

Student Dress Code

All students are expected to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to dress appropriately for school and school functions. Teachers and other BOCES personnel should model and reinforce acceptable student dress and help students develop an understanding of appropriate appearance in school. Attire that is disruptive to teaching and learning is prohibited.

Exceptions may be made to the dress code for religious, cultural or medical reasons. Exceptions shall be authorized prior to the occurrence of a dress code violation.

Personal Electronic Devices

Teachers and administrators can confiscate student cell phones that are being used in violation of the board’s cell phone policy (Section VI/Student Conduct, Code of Conduct Policy #5300)

Personal electronic devices shall not be used in any way that threatens, humiliates, harasses or intimidates students, school personnel or visitors, or otherwise violates district policies and regulations or local, state or federal laws. Students are prohibited from sending, sharing, viewing, or possessing pictures, text messages, emails or other material of a sexually explicit nature on their personal electronic devices while on school premises, at school-sponsored events activities, or on school transportation.

Students are responsible for the security of the personal electronic devices brought to school. The district is not responsible for lost, stolen, damaged or unauthorized use of personal electronic devices.

Where To Get Help

Students with concerns about their relationships with peers or staff can always get help from your school counselor and/or social worker. Often these staff members can help students resolve issues that could turn into arguments or fights in or out of school.