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5000 Students

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5000 Prohibition Against Discrimination

The Board of Education will endeavor to eliminate any physical barriers that affect student's access to a free or public education according to state and federal laws.

Discrimination among students attending our schools with respect to race, color, religious creed, age, marital status, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, or disability is prohibited.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
10-15 Towns to maintain schools
10-15c Discrimination in public schools prohibited.  School attendance by five-year-olds
10-184 Duties of parents.  School Attendance Age Requirements
10-186 Duties of towns and regional school districts.  Hearing.  Appeal (re schooling for persons five and over and under twenty-one)
10-226a Pupil of racial minorities  Section 504, U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. @ 794

Adopted:  February 8, 1988
Reviewed:  April 25, 2007

5110 Student Records: Confidentiality

The Board of Education recognizes the legal requirements to maintain the confidentiality of student records. The procedures for the confidentiality of student records shall be consistent with federal statutes, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and its implementing regulations, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and the Connecticut General Statutes.

Safeguards shall be established by the school administration to protect the student and the student's family from invasion of privacy in the collection, maintenance and dissemination of information and to provide accessibility to recorded information by those legally entitled thereto.

The Superintendent shall be responsible for ensuring that all requirements under federal and state statutes shall be carried out by the district.

For the purpose of this policy:

Student record means any item of information directly related to an identifiable student, other than directory information, which is maintained by a school district or required to be maintained by an employee in the performance of his/her duties whether recorded in handwriting, print, computer media, video or audio tape, film, microfilm and microfiche. Student records include information relative to an individual student gathered within or without the school system and maintained within the school system, regardless of the physical form in which it is maintained. Any information maintained for the purpose of review by a second party is considered a student record.

Student record shall not include informal notes related to a student compiled by a school officer or employee which remain in the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a substitute teacher.

Directory Information includes the following:  the student's name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
1-19(b)(11) Access to public records.  Exempt records.
7-109 Destruction of documents.
10-15b Access of parent or guardians to student's records.                       
10-154a Professional communications between teacher or nurse and student.
10-209 Records not to be public.
10-221b Boards of education to establish written uniform policy re treatment of recruiters.
11-8a Retention, destruction and transfer of documents.
11-8b Transfer or disposal of public records.  State Library Board to adopt regulations.
46b-56(e) Access to records of minors.
Connecticut Public Records Administration Schedule V-Disposition of Education Records (revised 1983).
Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of1974 (section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act, as amended, added by section 513 of P.L. 93-568, codified at 20 U.S.C. 1232g).
Dept. of Education 34 C.F.R. Part 99 (May 9, 1980 45 FR 30802) regs. implementing FERPA enacted as part of 438 of General Educ. provisions act (20 U.S.C. 1232g) parent and student privacy and other rights with respect to educational records, as amended November 21, 1996.
U.S.A. Patriot Act of 2001, P.L. 107-56, 115 Stat. 272, Sec. 507, 18 U.S.C. 2332b(g)(5)(B) and 2331.
P.L. 107-110 No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Sections 5208 and 9528.

Adopted: 5110 February 8, 1988
5120 December 15, 1998
Reviewed: April 25, 2007

Please note that former Policy #5120 is now contained under Policy #5110.

5210 Admission - Entry Ages

Parents have some flexibility concerning entry ages for their children. District schools shall be open to all children five years of age and over who reach age five on or before the first day of January of any school year. Exceptions from routine admission may be made by the school principal on the basis of supporting evidence from physical and psychological examinations.

The parent or person having control of a child five years of age shall have the option of not sending the child to school until the child is six years of age. The parent or person having control of a child six years of age shall have the option of not sending the child to school until the child is seven years of age. The parent or person shall exercise such option by personally appearing at the school district office and signing an option form. The district shall provide the parent or person with information on the educational opportunities available in the school system.

(cf. 6280 - Special Education)

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
10-15 Towns to maintain schools
10-15c Discrimination in public schools prohibited.  School attendance by five-year-olds. 
10-76a-10-76g re special education
10-184 Duties of parents (re mandatory schooling for children ages five to sixteen, inclusive) 
10-186 Duties of local and regional boards of education re school attendance.  Hearings.  
10-233a-10-233f inclusive, re suspend, expel, removal of pupils
10-233k Notification of school officials of potentially dangerous students (as amended by P.A. 01-176)
10-261 Definitions
State Board of Education Regulations
10-76a(1) General definitions (c),(d),(q), (t)
10-76d (7) Admission of student requiring special education (referral)
10-204a Required immunizations (as amended by P.A. 98-243)
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. § 11431, et seq.

Adopted: March 21, 1988
Reviewed: April 25, 2007

5220 Non-Resident Admission

Board policy concerning the admission and attendance of non-resident students in West Hartford public schools is guided by state law, and the Board's interest in maintaining stability for the student and his or her classmates when reasonable.

A non-resident child may enroll in West Hartford schools under the following conditions:

1. When he/she lives in West Hartford with a relative or non-relative and the following conditions prevail:

a. that the placement is permanent;
b. is provided without pay; and
c. not for the sole purpose of obtaining school accommodations.

2. On a tuition basis in special education programs when the local enrollment is below the established desirable class size and by mutual agreement.

3. On a tuition basis for classes of the West Hartford Summer School.

4. When a student is enrolled through the auspices of Project Choice.

A child who becomes a non resident subsequent to his or her enrollment in the district may continue to attend West Hartford schools under the following conditions: 

1. Upon the recommendation of the Superintendent in order to prevent a deleterious interruption of students' educational program within a given school when the family has moved from West Hartford.

2. With the approval of the Superintendent of Schools, a high school student who has completed at least one full school year in a West Hartford high school may be permitted to complete the remaining full school years at that high school on a tuition basis if his/her parents move from West Hartford; except that, with the approval of the Superintendent of Schools, a student who has completed at least the sophomore and junior years in a West Hartford high school when his/her parents move from West Hartford may be permitted to complete the senior year tuition free.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
4-17e through 4-185 Uniform Administrative Procedure Act
10-186 Duties of local and regional boards of education re school attendance. Hearings. Appeals to state board. Establishment of hearing board.
10-253 School privileges for students in certain placements and temporary shelters.

Adopted: March 21, 1988
Reviewed: May 1, 2007

5310 Student Attendance; Truancy

Regular student attendance in school is essential to the educational process.  Connecticut law requires that children ages five through eighteen attend school regularly during the hours and terms that the public school is in session, unless specifically exempted from attendance by law.

Responsibility for assuring that students attend school rests by statute with the parent or other person having control of the child.  To assist parents and others in meeting this responsibility, the West Hartford Board of Education, through its Superintendent, will adopt and maintain procedures to:

  1. Annually notify parents or other persons having control of school-age children ages five through eighteen enrolled in the West Hartford Public Schools of their obligation to assure that such children attend school or show that they are elsewhere receiving equivalent instruction;
     
  2. Provide for obtaining from each parent or other person having control of an enrolled child ages five through eighteen a telephone number or other means of contacting such parent or other person during the school day;
     
  3. Establish a system for monitoring individual unexcused absences of enrolled students ages five through eighteen by school personnel or volunteers and for making a reasonable effort to notify parents or other person by telephone when any such student fails to report to school on a regularly-scheduled school day, if school personnel have not otherwise received indication that the parent or other person is aware of the absence;
     
  4. Identify an enrolled student ages five through eighteen as a truant when he or she has four unexcused absences in any one month or ten unexcused absences from school in any school year;
     
  5. Hold a meeting with the parent or other person having control of a child who is a truant and appropriate school personnel within ten school days of designation as a truant to review and evaluate the reasons for the child being a truant;
     
  6. Require that the Superintendent file a written complaint with the Superior Court alleging that the acts or omissions of any child designated as truant are such that his or her family is a family with service needs; 
     
  7. Require that the Superintendent annually report to the State Department of Education, as may be required, the number of children enrolled in the West Hartford Public Schools who are truants. A copy of the report will be provided to the Board by September 15th; and
     
  8. Provide for coordinating services with and referral of enrolled students ages five through eighteen, inclusive, who are truants to community agencies providing child and family services.

The Superintendent of Schools shall establish such procedures as deemed necessary to determine the causes of truancy, including medical verification for excessive absence, and shall cooperate with other private and governmental agencies in correcting the causes thereof.

(cf. 5210  Admission-Minimum Age
(cf. 6270 - Equivalent Education under Parental Direction)

Legal Reference:    Connecticut General Statutes:
10-184 Duties of parents (re regular attendance of student in school)
10-185 Penalty
10-198a Policies and procedures concerning truants 
10-199 through 10-202 Attendance, truancy in general 
10-221(b) Board of education to prescribe rules Campbell v. New Milford, 193 Conn. 93 (1984)

Adopted:
5310 February 8, 1988
5311 June 24, 1991
Revised:  April 25, 2007

Please note that former Policy #5311 is now contained under Policy #5310.

5320 Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process

The disciplinary policies of the West Hartford school system are intended to protect the rights of all West Hartford students.  Primary among those is the right to a safe school environment and one that is most conducive to the learning process.  The board respects that students have rights they do not relinquish upon entry to school. However, disruptive or destructive activities that interfere with the primary mission of the schools to teach will not be tolerated.

An authorized member of the administrative staff may suspend a student from school privileges or from transportation services whose conduct on school grounds or at a school-sponsored activity, during or outside school hours is violative of a publicized policy of the Board of Education, or is seriously disruptive of the educational process or endangers persons or property, or whose conduct off school grounds is violative of a publicized policy of the Board and is seriously disruptive of the educational process.

Expulsion

The Board of Education may expel any student whose conduct on school grounds or at a school-sponsored activity, during or outside school hours, is violative of a publicized policy of the Board or is seriously disruptive of the educational process or endangers persons or property or whose conduct off school grounds is violative of such policy and is seriously disruptive of the educational process provided that a formal hearing is held under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 4-177 through 4-180 plus 10-233d.

Mandatory Expulsion: It shall be the policy of the Board to expel a student for one full calendar year if the Board finds that the student (a) on school grounds or at a school-sponsored activity, during or outside school hours, was in possession of a firearm as defined in 18 U.S.C. 921, as amended, from time to time, or deadly weapon, dangerous instrument or martial arts weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, as amended; (b) off school grounds was in possession of such a firearm in violation of Conn. Gen. State. § 29-35 or did possess and use such a firearm, dangerous instrument or weapon in the commission of a crime; or (c) on or off school grounds offered for sale or distribution a controlled substance as defined in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 21a-240(9) whose manufacture, distribution, sale, prescription, dispensing, transporting or possessing with intent to sell or dispense, offering or administering is subject to criminal penalties under Sections 21a-277 and 21a-278.  The Board may modify the period of expulsion on a case-by-case basis.

A person is in violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-35 as defined in section 53a-3, as amended, if he/she is in possession of a deadly weapon or firearm without proper permit authorizing 
such possession consistent with federal and state statutes.  As used in this paragraph, a firearm means (1) any weapon that will, is designed to, or may be readily converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (2) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (3) a muffler or silencer; or (4) any destructive device (any explosive, incendiary, poisonous gas, bomb, rocket, missile, mine, grenade or similar device, or any weapon (other than a shotgun or shotgun shell particularly suited for sporting purposes) that will or may be converted to expel a projectile by explosive or other propellant having a barrel with a bore of more than ½" in diameter).  A deadly weapon means any weapon, whether loaded or unloaded, from which a shot may be discharged, or a switchblade knife, gravity knife, billy, blackjack, bludgeon or metal knuckles.  Dangerous instrument means any instrument, article or substance, which, under the circumstances in which it is used or attempted or threatened to be used, is capable of causing death or serious physical injury and includes a vehicle.  Martial arts weapon means a nunchaku, kama, kasari-fundo, octogon sai, tonfa or chinese star.

Mandatory Expulsion: In keeping with the intent of the federal Gun Free Schools Act, it shall be the policy of the Board to expel a student for one full calendar year for bringing a weapon to school.  For the purposes of this paragraph, a weapon is defined to mean (1) any weapon that will, is designed to, or may be readily converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (2) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (3) a muffler or silencer; or (4) any destructive device (any explosive, incendiary, poisonous gas, bomb, rocket, missile, mine, grenade or similar device, or any weapon (other than a shotgun or shotgun shell particularly suited for sporting purposes) that will or may be converted to expel a projectile by explosive or other propellant having a barrel with a bore of more than ½" in diameter.)  The Board may modify the period of expulsion on a case-by-case basis.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
4-177 through 4-180 Contested Cases.  Notice.  Record.
10-233a through 10-233f Suspension and expulsion of students (in general), as amended by P.A. 95-304 and P.A. 96-244.
21a-240(9) Definitions.
21a-277 Controlled Substances.
21a-278 Controlled Substances.
29-35 Definitions.
53a-3 Definitions.
53a-217b Possession of Firearms and Deadly Weapons on School Grounds. 18 U.S.C. 921 Definitions.

GOALS 2000: Education America Act, Pub. L. 103-227.
Title III - Amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Sec. 314 (Local Control Over Violence).

Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965 as amended by the Gun Free Schools Act of 1994.
P.L. 105-17 The Individuals with Disabilities Act, Amendment of 1997.
Kyle P. Packer PPA Jane Packer  v. Thomaston Board of Education.
20 U.S.C. Section 7114, No Child Left Behind Act.

Adopted:  February 8, 1988
Revised:  November 12, 1996
Reviewed:  April 25, 2007

5330 Transfers/Withdrawals - Enrollment Out of Attendance Zone within West Hartford

Enrollment Out of Attendance Zone within West Hartford

A.  A child may attend a school in an attendance zone other than the one in which he/she resides, provided that:

  1. transfer is authorized by the superintendent upon the recommendation of the professional staff.
  2. permission is granted by the superintendent upon the written request of the parent when it can be demonstrated that remaining in his/her own school would be detrimental to the best interest of the child.

B-1.  Middle and high school students whose families move during the school year to another attendance zone in the town may with the approval of the superintendent continue in the school in which they are enrolled for the remainder of that school year provided the students have completed one semester (or 90 days) in the middle school or one semester (or 90 days) in the senior high school.

If the student has completed two years or more at a given middle school or a high school, the student may, with the approval of the superintendent, complete his/her middle or high school career at that school.

B-2.  Elementary school students who have completed the penultimate (fourth) grade at the elementary school whose families move to another attendance zone in the town may, with the approval of the superintendent, continue in that school for the remainder of their elementary school career.

Revised:  November 19, 1996
Reviewed: April 25, 2007

5340 Foreign Exchange Students

The Board encourages international studies.  To that end it allows foreign exchange students on one-year J-I visas, who are residing with families in the community to enroll on a non-tuition basis in the West Hartford Public Schools.  Students who apply must not have the equivalent of a high school diploma from a foreign school system.  Students who are accepted are not eligible to receive a diploma.  Further they must meet those criteria established by the administration in the areas of language competency, residency and deportment.  Only foreign exchange students sponsored by organizations screened by the administration will be accepted. The Board may limit the number of students at each high school who may be accepted for any school year.

Students entering the United States on F-1 visas may enter the local school system, only upon payment of the full, unsubsidized public education costs before entering the United States.  Further, students on F-1 visas may remain in the United States for no more than twelve (12) months.  The local district is prohibited by law from waiving the tuition fee of students on F-1 visas.

Legal References: Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996
Connecticut General Statutes:
10-27 International studies, exchange programs.  Advisory committee. 

Adopted:  September 19, 1988
Revised:  April 25, 2007

5410 Grade Assignment of Students

While the Board of Education recognizes that parents have the right to request a change of grade for their child, student grade placement shall be determined at the school level by the appropriate administrator. The decision shall be based on the student's general achievement, and the mental, physical, emotional and social maturity of the child.

Students will normally progress from grade to grade or level to level. Exceptions may be made when, in the judgment of the certified staff, such exceptions are in the best educational interest of the students. In the case of an exception, the parent or guardian will be notified and will have an opportunity to discuss the decision with a member(s) of the professional staff. The final decision for class placement will rest with the school authorities

Legal reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
10-221(b) Boards of Education to prescribe rules

Adopted: March 21, 1988
Reviewed: May 15, 2007

5420 Promotion and Retention Policy

Student placement and subsequent promotion shall be determined by academic performance and social and emotional maturity. The school administration and faculty shall apply these criteria when determining whether to promote or retain a student. Retention is a very significant measure that should be the result of the combined professional judgment of the school principal, teachers, guidance counselor and/or other support personnel.

Prior notification and explanation to each student's parents and guardian regarding his/her retention shall be given by the principal or his/her designee, but the final decision will rest with the school authorities.

The Superintendent or his/her designee shall be responsible for developing procedures in furtherance of this policy that are designed to foster student achievement and eliminate the incidence of social promotion except in extraordinary cases. Such procedures shall: 

  1. include objective criteria for the promotion and graduation of students,
  2. provide for the measuring of the progress of students against such criteria and the reporting of such information to parents and students,
  3. include alternatives to promotion such as transition programs, and
  4. provide for supplemental services.

Such procedures may require students who have substantial deficiencies that jeopardize their eligibility for promotion or graduation to attend after-school programs, summer school or other programs that are designed to assist students in remedying such deficiencies.

Prior notification to each student's parents or guardian regarding required attendance in compensatory programs shall be given by the principal or his/her designee in a timely manner so as to promote cooperation with the family.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
10-221(b) Boards of education to prescribe rules
10-223a Promotion and graduation policies. Basic skills necessary for graduation, assessment process.

Revised: March 14, 2000
Reviewed: May 15, 2007

5440 Reporting to Parents

Reports will be made to parents or guardians periodically by teachers through conferences and written reports. The teacher will discuss with the parent or guardian his/her evaluation of each student's progress. Final assessment and grading of student performance will be the sole responsibility of the teacher.

The administration will create a system to assign grades to students.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
10-15b Access of parent or guardian to student's records

Adopted: December 8, 1992
Reviewed: May 15, 2007

5450 Awards for Achievement

The Board of Education encourages the professional staff to maintain a set of criteria and procedures for presenting suitable awards to students for scholarship and distinguished service in any school activity. In all cases, the relationship between the award and the relevant goal or goals of the schools should be pointed out.

The professional staff is authorized to review and approve, or reject, proposed trophies, prizes, scholarships or other awards from non-school donors.

Adopted: February 8, 1988
Reviewed: May 15, 2007

5460 Parent-Teacher Communications

The West Hartford Board of Education recognizes that a child's education is a responsibility shared by the school and family during the entire period the child spends in school. To support the goal of the school district to educate all students effectively, schools and parents must work as knowledgeable partners. The Board believes that parents are most knowledgeable when they have regular communication with teachers. Schools will take the lead in developing and sustaining effective partnerships.

Therefore, it is the policy of the Board of Education to encourage parent-teacher communication. The Superintendent, or his/her designee, shall be responsible for developing procedures in furtherance of this policy. Procedures will include an annual report to the Board of Education.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
10-221 Boards of education to prescribe rules, policies, and procedures

Adopted: December 1, 1998
Reviewed: May 15, 2007

5510 Vandalism by Minors and Adult Students

Vandalism by Minors

The parent or guardian of any unemancipated minor who willfully cuts, defaces or otherwise injures in any way any property, real or personal, belonging to the school district shall be held liable for all such damages up to the maximum amount allowed under state law.

The liability provided under Connecticut General Statutes 52-572 does not relieve the minor(s) of personal liability for such damage or injury. This liability of the parent for damages done by a minor child is in addition to any other liability which exists in law.

Vandalism by an Adult Student

An adult student shall be held personally liable for any damage done to any property, real or personal, belonging to the school district. The student may also be subject to disciplinary action.

NOTE: Although not vandalism, the parent or guardian of a minor child shall also be held liable for all property belonging to the school system lent to the pupil and not returned upon demand of the school system. The student may also be subject to disciplinary action.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
52-572 Parental liability for torts of minors.
10-221(c) Board of Education to prescribe rules, policies and procedures.

Adopted: February 8, 1988
Reviewed: May 15, 2007

5520 Tobacco, Alcohol, Drugs

Students – Conduct

Tobacco, Alcohol, Drugs

Student Smoking and Other Tobacco Use and Possession

In accordance with the law and to promote the health and well-being of all, the Board of Education prohibits all students from smoking or using tobacco or tobacco products or from using electronic nicotine delivery systems or vapor products (that may or may not include nicotine) anywhere in school buildings and buses, on school grounds, in the vicinity of the school, or at school-sponsored activities.

Tobacco includes, but is not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, snuff, smoking tobacco, or smokeless tobacco. Nicotine includes, but is not limited to, nicotine, nicotine delivery systems or vapor products, chemicals, or devices that produce the same flavor or physical effect of nicotine substances.

Alcohol and Drugs

Students may not use, possess, sell, or distribute alcohol or any controlled drug anywhere in school buildings, on school grounds, in the vicinity of the school, or at school-sponsored activities.

Use, possession, sale or distribution of alcohol or controlled drugs in other settings, including private homes, may also be grounds for disciplinary action, at the discretion of the district administration. Unless otherwise required by state statute, such disciplinary action will be progressive, will be accompanied by support and education, will include an appeals process, and will be applied uniformly to participants and members in all student activities.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
10-221(d): Policy statement on drugs
19a-342: Smoking prohibited 21a-240: Definitions
53-198: Smoking in school buses prohibited

Revised: January 7, 1997
Revised: September 7, 2010
Revised: May 5, 2015
Reviewed: February 22, 2017

5530 Dress and Grooming

The Board of Education recognizes that each student has his or her personal style of dress and grooming. As such, the rights of students regarding their appearance will not be interfered with except when their choice disrupts the educational process or creates disorder by containing offensive or obscene language or symbols oriented towards violence, sex, drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, or degrades any gender, cultural, religious, or ethnic values.

Adopted: February 8, 1988
Reviewed: May 15, 2007

5540 Weapons and Dangerous Instruments

Except as hereinafter noted, no weapons or dangerous instruments shall be permitted on any school premises, in, about or on school buses, nor at any school-sponsored activity, on or off school premises, except that police officers may carry weapons in performance of their duty. Further, weapons or dangerous instruments may be brought to school by persons licensed to carry such only when authorized by the principal when it pertains to an educational activity scheduled by the administration. In these instances the weapons must be cased, and the Superintendent's office must be informed prior to the event.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
53-206 Carrying and sale of dangerous weapons
53a-3 Definitions
53a-217b Possession of a weapon on school grounds

Adopted: March 25, 1991
Reviewed: May 15, 2007

5550 Safe School Climate Plan—Anti-Bullying

Students

I. PURPOSE

The West Hartford Board of Education is dedicated to promoting and maintaining a positive learning environment where all students are welcomed, supported, and feel socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically safe in school.

II. BULLYING PROHIBITED

A. Bullying is prohibited on school grounds, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function or program whether on or off school grounds, at a school bus stop, on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased, or used by a local or regional board of education, or through the use of an electronic device or an electronic mobile device owned, leased, or used by the local or regional board of education.

B. Bullying is also prohibited outside of the school setting if such bullying results in any of the following: (i) creates a hostile environment at school for the student against whom such bullying was directed, (ii) infringes on the rights of the student against whom such bullying was directed at school, or (iii) substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

C. Any form of discrimination and retaliation against an individual who reports or assists in the investigation of an act of bullying is strictly prohibited.

III. DEFINITIONS

A. “Bullying” means (1) the repeated use by one or more students of a written, oral, or electronic communication, such as cyberbullying, directed at or referring to another student attending school in the same school district, or (2) a physical act or gesture by one or more students repeatedly directed at another student attending school in the same school district, that:

(a) Causes physical or emotional harm to such student or damage to such student’s property,
(b) Places such student in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself, or of damage to his or her property,
(c) Creates a hostile environment at school for such student,
(d) Infringes on the rights of such student at school, or
(e) Substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

Bullying shall include, but not be limited to, a written, oral, or electronic communication or physical gesture based on any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, such as
race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socioeconomic status, academic status, physical appearance, or mental, physical, developmental, or sensory disability, or by association with an individual or group who has or is perceived to have one or more of such characteristics.

B. “Cyberbullying” means any act of bullying through the use of the Internet, interactive and digital technologies, cellular mobile telephone or other mobile devices or any electronic communications.

C. “Mobile electronic device” means any hand-held or other portable electronic equipment capable of providing data communication between two or more individuals, including, but not limited to, a text messaging device, a paging device, a personal digital assistant, a laptop computer, equipment that is capable of playing a video game or a digital video disk, or equipment on which digital images are taken or transmitted.

D. “Electronic communication” means 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.

E. “Hostile environment” means a situation in which bullying among students is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the school climate.

F. “Out of the school setting” means at a location, activity, or program that is not school related, or through the use of an electronic device or a mobile electronic device that is not owned, leased or used by a local or regional board of education.

G. “Safe School Climate Coordinator” means the individual appointed by the Superintendent of Schools from existing staff who is responsible for:

1. Implementing the district’s Safe School Climate Plan;

2. Collaborating with the safe school climate specialists, the Board of Education and the Superintendent of Schools to prevent, identify, and respond to bullying in the schools of the district.

3. Providing data and information, in collaboration with the Superintendent of Schools of the district, to the State Department of Education regarding bullying, in accordance with state law; and

4. Meeting with the safe school climate specialists at least twice during the school year to discuss issues relating to bullying in the school district and to make recommendations concerning amendments to the district’s Safe School Climate Plan.

H. “Safe School Climate Specialist” means the principal of each school, or the principal’s designee, who is responsible for:

1. Investigating or supervising the investigation of reported acts of bullying in the 
school in accordance with the district’s Safe School Climate Plan;

2. Collecting and maintaining records of reports and investigations of bullying in the school; and

3. Acting as the primary school official responsible for preventing, identifying, and responding to reports of bullying in the school.

I. “School employee” means

1. A teacher, substitute teacher, school administrator, school superintendent, guidance counselor, psychologist, social worker, nurse, physician, school paraprofessional or coach employed by a local or regional board of education or working in a public elementary, middle, or high school; or

2. Any other individual who, in performance of his or her duties, has regular contact with students and who provides services to or on behalf of students enrolled in a public elementary, middle, or high school, pursuant to a contract with the local or regional board of education.

J. “School climate” means the quality and character of school life with a particular focus on the quality of the relationships within the school community between and among students and adults.

IV. SAFE SCHOOL CLIMATE PLAN

The district’s Safe School Climate Plan consists of this policy as well as the administrative regulations developed by the Superintendent of Schools to implement this policy. This policy clarifies the legal mandates regarding the district’s response to bullying in its schools. The administrative regulations shall address the broader topic of school climate and may incorporate the National School Climate Standards or other applicable evidence-based standards. Revisions to any part of the Safe School Climate Plan shall be approved by the Board of Education.

A. Reporting Procedures

  1. Any student who believes he or she has been the victim of bullying may report the matter to any school employee. Students may anonymously report acts of bullying to school employees.
     
  2. Parents or guardians of students may also file written reports of suspected bullying.
     
  3. School employees who witness acts of bullying or receive reports of bullying are required to orally notify the safe school climate specialist (or another school administrator if the safe school climate specialist is unavailable), not later than one school day after such school employee witnesses or receives a report of bullying, and to file a written report not later than two school days after making such oral report.

B. Investigation

  1. The safe school climate specialist shall investigate or supervise the investigation of all reports of bullying and ensure that such investigation is completed promptly after receipt of any written reports and that the parents or guardians of the student alleged to have committed an act or acts of bullying and the parents or guardians of the student against whom such alleged act or acts were directed receive prompt notice that such investigation has commenced.
     
  2. The safe school climate specialist shall review any anonymous reports. No disciplinary action shall be taken solely on the basis of an anonymous report.
     
  3. The investigator shall assess whether there is a necessity to take immediate measures to prevent further allegations of bullying or retaliation of any kind while the investigation is pending.
     
  4. The investigator shall remind involved parties that any form of discrimination and retaliation against an individual who reports or assists in the investigation of an act of bullying is strictly prohibited.
     
  5. After a prompt investigation, the investigator should ascertain whether the alleged conduct occurred and whether such conduct constitutes bullying as defined by this policy.

C. Response to Verified Acts of Bullying

  1. If it is determined that bullying has occurred, the school will take prompt corrective action that is reasonably calculated to stop the bullying and prevent any recurrence of such behavior. As part of such remedial action, the offender may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action which may include, but is not limited to, one or a combination of the following: counseling, awareness training, warning, reassignment, transfer, suspension, or expulsion.
     
  2. Each school shall notify the parents or guardians of students who commit any verified acts of bullying and the parents or guardians of students against whom such acts were directed not later than forty-eight hours after the completion of the investigation. This notification shall include a description of the response of school employees to such acts and any consequences that may result from the commission of further acts of bullying.
     
  3. Each school is required to invite the parents or guardians of a student [who commits any verified act of bullying and the parents or guardians of the student] against whom such act was directed to a meeting to communicate to such parents or guardians the measures being taken by the school to ensure the safety of the student against whom such act was directed and policies and procedures in place to prevent further acts of bullying. This invitation shall include a description of the response of school employees to such acts and any consequences that may result from the commission of further acts of bullying. 
     
  4. Each school is required to invite the parents or guardians of a student who commits any verified act of bullying to a meeting, separate and distinct from the meeting in section 3 above, to discuss specific interventions undertaken by the school to prevent further acts of bullying.
     
  5. A student safety support plan shall be developed for any student against whom an act of bullying was directed. The plan shall address safety measures that the school will take to protect such students against further acts of bullying.
     
  6. Case-by-case interventions shall be developed to address repeated incidents of bullying against a single individual or recurrently perpetrated bullying incidents by the same individual that may include both counseling and discipline.
     
  7. The principal of a school, or designee, shall notify the appropriate law enforcement agency when such principal, or designee, believes that any acts of bullying constitute criminal conduct.

D. Prevention and Intervention Strategy
Students shall be provided with a variety of prevention and intervention strategies which may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Implementation of positive behavioral interventions and supports process or another evidence-based model approach for safe school climate or for the prevention of bullying identified by the State Department of Education;
     
  2. School rules prohibiting bullying, harassment, and intimidation and establishing appropriate consequences for those who engage in such acts;
     
  3. Adequate adult supervision of outdoor areas, hallways, the lunchroom and other specific areas where bullying is likely to occur; 
     
  4. Inclusion of grade-appropriate bullying education and prevention curricula in kindergarten through high school;
     
  5. Individual interventions with the bully, parents, and school employees, and interventions with the bullied child, parents, and school employees;
     
  6. School-wide training related to safe school climate;
     
  7. Student peer training, education and support;
     
  8. Promotion of parent involvement in bullying prevention through individual or team participation in meetings, trainings and individual interventions;
     
  9. Culturally competent school-based curriculum focusing on social-emotional learning, self-awareness and self-regulation.

For purposes of this section, “interventions with the bullied child” includes referrals to a school counselor, psychologist or other appropriate social or mental health service, and periodic follow-up by the safe school climate specialist with the bullied child.

E. Documentation and Record Keeping

1. Safe school specialists shall establish a procedure for each school to:

a. Document and maintain records relating to reports and investigations of bullying in such school.

b. Maintain a list of the number of verified acts of bullying in such school and make such list available for public inspection. The public list must not contain any personally identifiable information about any student or information that might reasonably lead to the identification of any student.

2. The district’s safe school climate coordinator shall annually report the number of verified acts of bullying in the district’s schools to the Department of Education in such manner as prescribed by the Commissioner of Education.

F. Training

  1. All school employees must annually complete training on the prevention, identification, and response to bullying and the prevention of and response to youth suicide. The training will be provided to teachers, administrators, and pupil personnel who hold the initial educator, provisional educator, or professional educator certificate via in-service training. All other school employees shall receive such training as provided by the State Department of Education.
     
  2. As part of the prevention and intervention strategies, schools may also implement school-wide training related to safe school climate and student peer training, education, and support.

G. Safe School Climate Committee
For the school year commencing July 1, 2012, and each school year thereafter, the principal of each school shall establish a committee (or designate at least one existing committee in the school) to be responsible for developing and fostering a safe school 
climate and addressing issues relating to bullying in the school. Such committee shall include at least one parent or guardian of a student enrolled in the school appointed by the school principal. Parents or guardians who serve on such committee shall not participate in the activities described in subparagraphs (1) and (2) below or any other activity that may compromise the confidentiality of a student. The safe school climate committee of each school shall:

1. Receive copies of completed reports following investigations of bullying;

2. Identify and address patterns of bullying among students in the school;

3. Review and make recommendations to amend school policies relating to bullying;

4. Review and make recommendations to the district safe school climate coordinator regarding the district’s safe school climate plan based on issues and experiences specific to the school;

5. Educate students, school employees, and parents and guardians of students on issues relating to bullying;

6. Collaborate with the district safe school climate coordinator in the collection of data regarding bullying, in accordance with the law;

7. Perform any other duties as determined by the school principal that are related to the prevention, identification, and response to school bullying for the school.

H. Periodic Assessment of School Climate

  1. On and after July 1, 2012, and biennially thereafter, each school in the district shall complete an assessment using the school climate assessment instruments, including surveys, approved and disseminated by the State Department of Education so that the state can monitor bullying prevention efforts over time and compare each district’s progress to state trends.
     
  2. Assessment tools may also be used by Safe School Climate Committees to review and make recommendations for revisions to the district’s Safe School Climate Plan.

I. Notice Requirements

  1. At the beginning of each school year, each school will provide all school employees with a written or electronic copy of the school district’s Safe School Climate Plan.
     
  2. Students and the parents or guardians of students shall be notified at the beginning of each school year of the process by which students may make reports of bullying.
     
  3. Students shall be provided with notice of the definitions of bullying, cyberbullying, and the potential consequences of engaging in such acts by the inclusion of language in student codes of conduct concerning bullying.
     
  4. The district’s Safe School Climate Plan shall be made available on the Board’s and each individual school’s Internet web-site and ensure that such plan is included in the school district’s publication of rules, procedures, and standards of conduct for schools, and in all student handbooks.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
10-15c Discrimination in public schools prohibited
46a-58 Deprivation of rights
10-145a Certificates of qualification
10-145o Teacher education and mentoring program
10-220a In-service training
10-222d Policy on bullying behavior
10-222g Prevention and intervention strategy re: bullying
` 10-222h Analysis of bullying policies
P.A. 11-232 “An Act Concerning the Strengthening of Bullying Laws” 
United States Code:
20 U.S.C. 1400 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
20 U.S.C. 1681 Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
29 U.S.C. 794 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
42 U.S.C. 2000d Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
42 U.S.C. 12101 Americans with Disabilities Act

Adopted: February 4, 2003
Revised: November 21, 2006
Revised: January 20, 2009
Revised: December 20, 2011 
Reviewed: May 19, 2015

5610 Administration of Medications by School Personnel

Students –Welfare

A.    ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICINE BY SCHOOL PERSONNEL

(1)  No medication, including nonprescription drugs, may be administered by any school personnel without: (a) the written medication order of an authorized prescriber, including a physician, dentist, physician assistant, advanced practice registered nurse; and (b) the written authorization of the student’s parent or guardian.

(2)  The school personnel authorized to administer medicine include a school nurse or, in the absence of such nurse, a Connecticut-licensed practical nurse, principal, teacher, or qualified personnel properly trained in the administration of medication and designated by the school nurse to administer medications.   

(3)  The authorized administration of medication shall be under the general supervision of the school nurse. 

B.     ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICINE BY STUDENTS

(1)  A student who meets the requirements of subsection A (written medication order and written authorization) will be allowed to possess and self-administer asthma medication by inhaler, including rescue asthma inhalers; epinephrine in a cartridge injector for medically diagnosed allergies; and insulin, provided all of the following conditions are met:

(i)  the school nurse has assessed the student’s competency for self-administration and deemed it safe and appropriate, including that the student: is capable of identifying and selecting the appropriate medication by size, color, amount or other label identification; knows the frequency and time of day for which the medication is ordered; can identify the presenting symptoms that require medication; administers the medication appropriately; maintains safe control of the medication at all times; seeks adult supervision whenever warranted; and cooperates with the established medication plan;

(ii) the principal, teachers, and other appropriate school personnel are informed the student is possessing and self-administering prescribed medication;

(iii) such medication is transported to school and maintained under the student's    control in accordance with this policy.     

 (2)   Secondary students attending off-campus travel programs, including overnight and international travel opportunities, who meet the requirements of subsection A (written medication order and written authorization) will be allowed to possess and self-administer medications, provided a medication plan is approved by the school nurse in advance and such plan is otherwise in accordance with state law and applicable regulations.

C.      DOCUMENTATION AND RECORD KEEPING

(1)  All authorization forms for administering medication shall be for the current school year only. The school shall keep a record of the administration of all medication.

(2)  Where applicable, the school shall only keep a maximum of forty-five (45) day supply of a medication for a student.

(3)  All medications, except those approved for keeping by students for self-medication,   shall be kept under lock and key in the school nurse's office.

Legal References:  Connecticut General Statutes: Section 10-212a 
Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies:  Sections 10-212a-1 through 10-212a-10, inclusive

Adopted: October 17, 1994
Reviewed: October 20, 1998  
Reviewed: June 20, 2007
Revised: September 17, 2019   

5611 Prohibition on Recommendations for Psychotropic Drugs

The Board of Education prohibits school personnel from recommending the use of psychotropic drugs for any child. For the purposes of this policy, the term 'recommend' shall mean to directly or indirectly suggest that a child should use psychotropic drugs.

Psychotropic drugs are defined as prescription medications for behavioral or social-emotional concerns, such as attentional deficits, impulsivity, anxiety, depression and thought disorders and includes, but is not limited to, stimulant medications and anti-depressants.

However, school health or mental health personnel, including school nurses or nurse practitioners, the District's Medical Advisor, Director of Special Services, school psychologists, school social workers, and school counselors may recommend that a student be evaluated by an appropriate medical practitioner.

Nothing in this policy shall be construed to prohibit a planning and placement team from discussing with parents and/or guardians of a child the appropriateness of consultation with, or evaluation by, medical practitioners; or to prohibit school personnel from consulting with appropriate medical practitioners with the consent of the parents and/or guardians of a child.

Parents or other persons having control of a child can refuse to administer or consent to the administration of any psychotropic drug to the child unless such refusal causes the child to be neglected or abused as defined in Connecticut General Statute 46b-120.

The Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee shall promulgate this policy to district staff and parents/guardians of students annually and upon the registration of new students.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
10-212b Policies prohibiting the recommendation of psychotropic drugs by school personnel (as amended by PA 03-211)
46-120 Definitions
10-76a Definitions. (as amended by PA 00-48)
10-76b State supervision of special education programs and services.
10-76d Duties and powers of Board of Education to provide special education programs and services. (as amended by PA 97-114 and PA 00-48)
10-76h Special education hearing and review procedure. Mediation of disputes. (as amended by PA 00-48)
State Board of Education Regulations.
34 C.F.R. 3000 Assistance to States for Education for Handicapped Children.
American with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, 29 U.S.C. 794.

Adopted: October 16, 2001
Reviewed: June 20, 2007

5620 Immunizations

The Board requires evidence of state-required immunizations prior to enrollment in a West Hartford Public School. Failure to provide such evidence shall mean the student will not be enrolled.

Exceptions' Immunization requirements shall be satisfied if a student:

  1. presents a certificate from a physician or a local health agency stating that initial immunizations have been given to the student and additional immunizations are in process under guidelines and schedules specified by the Commissioner of Public Health; or
  2. presents a certificate from a physician stating that in the opinion of the physician, immunization is medically contraindicated because of the physical condition of the student; or
  3. presents a statement from the parents or guardian of the student that such immunization would be contrary to the religious beliefs of the student; or
  4. in the case of measles, mumps or rubella, presents a certificate from a physician or the Director of Health in either West Hartford or the student's previous town of residence stating that the student has had a confirmed case of such disease; or
  5. in the case of hemophilus influenzae type B has passed his/her fifth birthday; or
  6. in the case of pertussis, has passed his/her sixth birthday.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statues:
10-204a Required immunizations.

Adopted: February 8, 1988
Reviewed: June 20, 2007

5630 Health Assessments

The Board requires a health assessment prior to the pupil's initial enrollment in a West Hartford Public School.  Subsequent to the initial enrollment the Board shall require each pupil enrolled in the public schools to have health assessments in grades six or seven and nine or ten.  Additional health assessments may be required at the discretion of the Board's medical advisor.  Failure to adhere to these requirements may result in exclusion.

Health assessment requirements are waived if the parent or legal guardian of the pupil or the pupil (if he or she is an emancipated minor or is eighteen years of age or older) notifies the school personnel in writing that the parent, guardian or pupil objects on religious grounds.

No record of any pupil's medical assessment may be open to the public.

Legal Reference:  Connecticut General Statutes:
10-205 Appointment of school medical advisors
10-206 Health assessments
10-206a Free health assessments
10-207 Duties of medical advisors
10-208 Exemption from examination or treatment
10-209 Records not to be public.  
              Provisions of reports of schools.
10-214 Vision, audiometric and postural screenings.
              When required; notification of parents re defects; 
              record of results.

Adopted:   October 15, 1990
Reviewed:  June 4, 1996
Reviewed:  November 18, 2008

 

5631 Wellness - Physical Activity and Nutrition

The West Hartford Public School District is committed to providing school environments which promote and protect children’s health, well-being and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity.  This commitment is demonstrated through the West Hartford Board of Education’s policy of promoting the health and well-being of district students.

In furtherance of this policy, the Board directs the West Hartford Public Schools Health Advisory Council to annually review any available state or federal guidance on wellness issues and to assist in formulating recommendations for specific goals and guidelines aimed at promoting lifelong wellness practices among district students.  The Health Advisory Council will include parents, teachers, students, school food service provider representatives, school administrators, nurses, a representative of the Board of Education and members of the public.

The Board also directs the administration to develop, in collaboration with the Health Advisory Council, Administrative Regulations on the following:

  1. Goals for nutrition education, physical activity and other school-based activities that are designed to promote student wellness;
     
  2. Nutrition guidelines for all foods available to students at each school during the school day with the objectives of promoting student health and reducing childhood and adolescent obesity;
     
  3. Assurances that guidelines for school meals are at least as restrictive as regulations and guidance set by the USDA;
     
  4. A plan for measuring the implementation of this wellness policy, including the designation of one or more persons charged with operational responsibility for ensuring that each school meets the local wellness policy standards.

Legal Reference:  42 U.S.C. § 1751

Adopted:  May 16, 2006

5635 Student Welfare - Physical Activity and Student Discipline

It is the policy of the Board to promote the health and well-being of district students by encouraging healthy lifestyles including promoting physical exercise and activity as part of the school day.

For elementary school students, the Board includes a time of not less than twenty (20) minutes in total for recess during the regular school day to be devoted to physical exercise, except that a planning and placement team (“PPT”) may develop a different schedule for students requiring special education and related services.

In an effort to promote physical exercise, the Board prohibits school employees from disciplining elementary school students by preventing them from participating in the recess time devoted to physical exercise during the regular school day, except in instances where the student’s behavior poses a health and/or safety concern.

For all students, the Board prohibits school employees from disciplining students by requiring students to engage in physical activity as a form of discipline during the regular school day.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
10-221o Lunch periods. Recess. Boards to adopt policies addressing the limitations of physical exercise
10-221u Board to adopt policies addressing the use of physical activity as discipline.

Adopted: January 17, 2017

5640 Emergency Treatment

Nurses, teachers and other staff members shall provide first aid treatment of pupils in emergency situations. In an emergency that does not require treatment of pupils by a physician, the school nurse shall give or supervise first aid treatment of pupils, whenever possible.

In an emergency requiring treatment of pupils by a physician, the parent shall be reached at once. If it is not possible to get in touch with the parents, the student's physician or school medical advisor or another licensed physician shall be called upon to administer treatment.

Students who are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation by the American Red Cross or American Heart Association are not prohibited from providing emergency assistance to other students or staff.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
10-207 Duties of medical advisors
10-212 School nurses and nurse practitioners. 
Administration of medications by parents or legal
guardians on school grounds.

Adopted: February 8, 1988
Revised: December 2, 2008

5650 Communicable Diseases

Students - Welfare

It shall be the responsibility of the school nurse to report to the parent or guardian any pupil having symptoms of a communicable disease and to arrange with the principal for the return of the pupil to his/her home.  Teachers shall cooperate in reporting any such symptoms to the school nurse.  Pupils having any of the communicable diseases listed in the accompanying regulation shall be excluded from school and shall be readmitted to school in accordance with said regulation.

Children excluded from school with any of the health problems in the accompanying regulation must be evaluated by the school nurse before returning to the classroom.  Parents shall be notified if recovery is not complete.  Other children in the family who have not had the disease may attend school.  The school nurse shall watch for symptoms.

(cf. 5310 - Admissions)

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
10-212 School nurses and nurse practitioners. Administration of medications by parents or guardians on school grounds.

Adopted: February 8, 1988
Revised:  December 2, 2008

5660 Students with HIV, ARC or AIDS

There is no evidence to support the notion that the HIV virus can be transmitted through ordinary school or household activities, e.g., coughing, sneezing, hugging, sharing of utensils or food, or shaking hands.

The anonymity of individuals with HIV infection or AIDS is protected by law.  Moreover, individuals with HIV infection or AIDS are protected from discrimination by both federal and state laws.  Neither attendance at school nor employment may be denied to an individual with HIV infection or AIDS.  It is the policy of the District that no student or staff member with HIV infection or AIDS may be prohibited from attending school/ employment unless there is an immediate risk of injury or harm to the individual or to others.

Because the diagnosis of HIV infection or AIDS is a confidential matter between the individual student and his or her physician, the District may be unaware of the diagnosis.  Consequently, the school district has implemented a procedure of 'universal precautions' which protects all students and staff from contact with blood and body fluids of others.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
10-154a Professional communications between teacher or nurse and student
10-207 Duties of medical advisors
10-209 Records not to be public
10-210 Notice of disease to be given parent or guardian
19a-221 Quarantine of certain persons
19a-581-585 AIDS testing and medical information
20 U.S.C. 7906, No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

Adopted: March 21, 1988
Reviewed:  June 4, 1996
Revised:  December 2, 2008

5660.1 Instruction - HIV and AIDS - Exemption

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) - Exemption

Parents or guardians may exempt their children from those units of classroom instruction which deal with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Students 18 years of age may exempt themselves from those units of classroom instruction. The request must be made in writing to the Principal.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
10-19 Teaching about alcohol, nicotine or tobacco, drugs and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. 
Training of personnel.

Adopted: May 8, 1989
Reviewed: January 25, 1993
Reviewed: November 18, 2008

5670 Sports Accident Insurance

Students - Welfare

The Board of Education shall provide sports accident insurance coverage for all middle and senior high school students participating in the interscholastic and intramural athletic programs.

Adopted: February 8, 1988
Revised:  May 4, 2010

5680 Reporting Child Abuse

Students

Connecticut General Statutes § 17a-101 requires school teachers, school principals, school guidance counselors, school paraprofessionals, licensed nurses, psychologists, social workers and coaches of intramural or interscholastic athletics who have reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a child has been abused, neglected, or placed in imminent risk of serious harm to report such abuse and/or neglect. 

Furthermore, it is the policy of the Board of Education to require all personnel who have reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a child has been abused or neglected to report such cases to the building principal or his/her designee or other professional staff, who must then proceed in accordance with the law, Board policy and administrative regulations.

Legal reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
17a-101 Protection of children from abuse. 
Mandated reporters. 
Educational and training programs.
17a-106 Cooperation in relation to prevention, identification and treatment of child abuse and neglect.

Adopted: June 18, 1990
Revised:  December 2, 2008

5690 Suicide Prevention

Students - Welfare

Any school employee who may have knowledge of a suicide threat must take the proper steps to promptly report this information to the building principal or his/her designee who will, in turn, promptly notify the appropriate officials, the student's family, and/or appropriate resource services.

The Board of Education recognizes the need for youth suicide prevention procedures and has established program(s) to identify risk factors for youth suicide; procedures to intervene with such youth; referral services; and training for teachers, other school professionals, and students to provide assistance in these programs. The Superintendent manages these programs and procedures by continually updating them to reflect current mental health practices.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statute:
10-221 Boards of Education to prescribe rules, policies, and procedures

Adopted: June 18, 1990
Revised: May 4, 2010

5691 Assurances - Sexual Harassment

It is the policy of the West Hartford Board of Education to maintain a learning environment free from discrimination and harassment where all students are treated in all respects without discrimination or harassment. Sexual harassment is forbidden by federal and state law and will not be tolerated in any form. All employees and students are on notice that any such behavior is inappropriate in the school setting. Individuals have different personal standards and sensitivities in regard to behavior and comments of a sexual nature. Therefore, it is best to avoid any conduct which is sexual in nature.

Sexual harassment shall include, but not be limited to:

  • unwelcome sexual advances
  • direct or indirect demands or requests for sexual favors
  • direct or indirect sexual comments, gestures or other physical conduct of a sexual nature
  • implied or explicit threats related to sexual harassment

All reported incidents of sexual harassment will be promptly and thoroughly investigated in an appropriately confidential manner.

Each administrator and teacher shall be responsible for promoting understanding and acceptance of, and assuring compliance with, state and federal laws, and board policy and procedures governing sexual harassment within his or her school and department.

Legal Reference: 
Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000-e2(a)
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Policy 
Guidance N-915.035)
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 34 CFR 
Section 106
Meritor Sav. Bank, FSB v. Finson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986)
Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998)
Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998)
Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School Dist., 524 U.S. 
274 (1998)
Davis v. Monroe County Bd. Educ., 526 U.S. 629 (1999)

Connecticut General Statutes:
46a-60 Discriminatory employment practices prohibited
Constitution of the State of Connecticut, Article 1, Section 20

Adopted:   December 19, 1994
Reviewed:  November 18, 2008

5710 Questioning and Apprehension

Students' Civil & Legal Responsibilities 

Board policy seeks to protect the school community in two ways: first, to insure that school authorities have the tools necessary to protect everyone's safety, including students, faculty, staff, and volunteers; and second, to protect the rights of students.

School administrators must be sensitive to the needs of students as well as police in matters of questioning and apprehension. Reasonable efforts should be made to cooperate with police seeking to question or apprehend a student for a serious offense or who is suspected of involvement in acts of violence. If a police officer must question a student on school premises, the administration shall immediately make every effort to inform the student's parents or legal guardian of the situation.

Adopted: February 8, 1988
Revised: May 4, 2010

5720 Search and Seizure

Students – Civil & Legal Responsibilities

Search & Seizure

Desks, School Lockers, and Automobiles

Desks and school lockers are property of the schools. Parking personal vehicles is a privilege afforded to students. The right to inspect desks and lockers assigned to students, and personal automobiles parked on school property may be exercised by school officials to safeguard students, their property and school property, with reasonable care for the Fourth Amendment rights of students.

The exercise of that right to inspect also requires protection of each student’s personal privacy and protection from coercion. An authorized school administrator may search a student’s locker, desk, or personal automobile parked on school property under the following conditions:

  1. There is reason to believe that the student’s desk, locker, or personal automobile contains contraband material.
     
  2. The probable presence of contraband material poses a serious threat to the maintenance of discipline, order, safety, and health in the school.
     
  3. The student has been informed in advance that school board policy allows desks, lockers, and personal automobiles parked on school property to be inspected if the administration has reason to believe that materials injurious to the best interests of students and the school are contained therein.

A student may be searched if there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the rules of the school. The scope of the search must be reasonably related to the objectives of the search and the nature of the infraction. Breathalyzers and Passive Alcohol Screening Devices Use of breathalyzers and other passive alcohol screening devices may be used only on the express authorization of the Superintendent, in accordance with such procedures as the Superintendent may devise.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statute:

10-221 Boards of Education to prescribe rules, policies, and procedures New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985). Safford Unified School District #1 v. Redding, 129 S.Ct. 2633 (2009)

Revised: February 26, 1992
Revised: October 6, 2009
Revised: February 21, 2018

5730 First Amendment Rights

Students - Civil & Legal Responsibilities

The intent of the Board's policy is to encourage student expression in school sponsored, classroom, and other activities.

The Board of Education recognizes that students have the right to express themselves verbally, in writing, and by posting of materials in the schools.  Such expressions shall be subject to review by the appropriate authority to determine that the content and the form are not obscene, libelous, vulgar or substantially disruptive to the educational process.

Legal Reference: Tinker v. Des Moines Independent
Community School District, 
393 U.S. 503 (1969).
Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeir,
494 U.S. 260 (1988). 

Adopted:  March 21, 1988
Revised:   June 6, 2006 

5740 Pledge of Allegiance

Students

In accordance with the Connecticut Statutes 10-230(c), the Board of Education shall ensure that a period of time is set aside each school day for students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. This policy shall not be construed to require any person to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statues:
10-230(c) Pledge of Allegiance

Adopted: December 3, 2002
Reviewed: October 19, 2010

5750 Student Privacy

5800 School Attendance Lines

Upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, the Board of Education shall establish attendance lines for schools within the Town, revising such boundaries from time to time as necessary to balance enrollments in the various schools. Children shall attend the school in the attendance zone in which they reside except as provided in the regulations of this manual.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
10-15 Towns to maintain schools
10-15c Discrimination in public schools prohibited.  
            School attendance by five-year olds
10-184 Duties of parents
10-186 Duties of local and regional boards of education re school attendance.  Hearings.  Appeals to state board. Establishment of hearing board.
10-233a-10-233f re: suspension, expulsion, removal of pupils
State Board of Education Regulations:
10-76a-1 General definitions (c), (d), (q), (t)

Adopted:   February 8, 1988
Reviewed:  November 18, 2008