The Federal Asbestos Hazards Emergency Response Act (commonly referred to as AHERA) was signed into law in 1986. AHERA requires both public and private non-profit primary and secondary schools to inspect all buildings that are leased, owned or otherwise used as school buildings for the presence of asbestos-containing building materials. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published regulations and enforces AHERA.
These requirements include, but are not limited to:
Perform an original inspection and periodic re-inspections every three years for asbestos-containing material.
Develop, maintain, and update an asbestos management plan. A copy is kept in the school buildings, as well as the District’s administrative office. The plan is available for review in the office of Buildings and Grounds.
Designate a contact person (also known as the asbestos designee), who in Valley Central is the Director of Facilities, to ensure the responsibilities of the local education agency are properly implemented.
Perform a periodic visual surveillance every six months of all known or suspected asbestos-containing building material.
Provide custodial staff with asbestos awareness training.
The presence of asbestos does not mean that it has to be removed. The asbestos management plan includes actions to manage the asbestos. These include establishing an operations and maintenance plan: encapsulation enclosure, repair, or removal. Work on asbestos (including an asbestos inspection and the development of an asbestos management plan) must be performed in accordance with State Department of Labor Code Rule 56 and only by persons licensed in an appropriate asbestos discipline.
If you have any questions regarding the AHERA program, please call the Director of Facilities at 845-457-2400, ext. 16914.
APPENDIX A: PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY
All students must attend school daily and arrive on time.
ALL absences, lateness, or early departures (excused or unexcused) are counted on a student’s attendance record.
If a high school student exceeds 18 absences for a full- year course or 9 absences for a half-year course AND does not make up assignments, he/she will not receive credit for that course.
If your child is going to be absent, late or leave early during a school day, you should notify the school in writing beforehand or contact the school at 845-457-2400.
When your child returns to school, you must provide a written explanation for his/her absence, lateness or early departure.
Reasonable makeup opportunities will be given to students with absences due to:
- Personal illness;
- Illness or death in the family;
- Impassable roads or weather;
- Military obligations;
- Religious obligations;
- Required Court appearances;
- Attendance at health clinics;
- Approved college visits;
- Approved cooperative work programs;
- Such other reasons as may have been approved by the Commissioner of Education.
When your child is absent, late or leaves early from school without an excuse, and it results in a written disciplinary referral, you will receive a copy of the written disciplinary referral. If you have any questions about this policy, contact the school at 845-457-2400.
Suspect Child Abuse? Report it NOW! 1-800-342-3720 Immediate Danger? Call 911
For more information: NYS Office of Children and Family Services; Child Protective Services CLICK HERE
Sospechoso Abuso Infantil? ¡Reportelo AHORA! 1-800-342-3720 ¿Peligro inmediato? Llama al 911
Para más información: Oficina de Servicios para Niños y Familias del Estado de Nueva York; Servicios de protección infantil HAGA CLIC AQUÍ
Code of Conduct
Code of Conduct- Plain Language Summary
Because of concerns related
to concussions and head injuries, the New York State legislators enacted The Concussion Management and Awareness Act. In compliance with this act, all Valley Central coaches, nurses, and physical education teachers have received special training on concussion management. Our policy (5280), which includes concussion management, is posted on our website with links to information from the State Education Department and the Department of Health.
Dignity For All Students (DASA)
New York Education laws prohibit harassment against students in school, including harassment based on real or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (including gender identity and expression) and sex, and to prohibit discrimination based on these same characteristics.
The Valley Central School District has taken many steps to be compliant with this law. As stated in the Code of Conduct and Plain Language Summary, the definition of bullying is as follows:
“Bullying is generally the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by threats, intimidation or abuse, including cyberbullying, as defined by the Dignity for All Students Act.”
This definition will be used to identify harassment in schools so that the bullying behavior can be stopped and will allow us to implement consequences for this type of behavior. Our Dignity Act Coordinators will oversee bullying prevention measures and address issues surrounding bullying in their buildings. They have been named, trained and approved by the Board of Education and are listed as follows:
ALC at Maybrook—Lisa Strassner, Guidance Counselor, 845-457-2400, ext. 13610
Berea Elementary—Katherine Gusmano, Student Assistance Counselor, 845-457-2400, ext. 11647
East Coldenham Elementary—Alexandra Riker, Student Assistance Counselor, 845-457-2400, ext. 12006
Montgomery Elementary—Melinda Sulzbach, Student Assistance Counselor, 845-457-2400, ext. 14645
Walden Elementary—Diane Cassell-Smith, Student Assistance Counselor, 845-457-2400, ext. 19164
Lydia Pabon-Genovez, Student Assistance Counselor, 845-457-2400, ext. 15650
Middle School—Catherine Heil, Student Assistance Counselor, 845-457-2400, ext. 16241
High School—James Hession, Student Assistance Counselor, 845-457-2400, ext. 17647
Students and parents may go directly to any of these Dignity Act Coordinators should there be concerns. In addition, please encourage your children to talk with any principal, assistant principal(s), teacher or staff member if they feel they are the victim of bullying.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records.
These rights are:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the school receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the school principal a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the school to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the
parent or eligible student when the request is made.
- The right to consent to disclosures or personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. It is the District’s policy to disclose personally identifiable information from student records, without consent, to other school officials within the District whom the District has determined to have legitimate educational interests. For purposes of this policy, a school official is a person employed by the District as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a member of the Board of
Education; a person or company with whom the District has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent of student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official need to review a student record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities. Upon request, the school discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, as well as school officials with a legitimate educational interest or an authorized representative.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the school to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.
- The right to request that Student Directory Information be withheld.
Valley Central has designated the following personally identifiable information contained in astudent’s education record as “directory information” and it may disclose that information without prior written consent, at its discretion.
1) Student’s name
2) Student’s major field of study
3) Student’s participation in officially recognized activities and sports
4) Student’s degrees and awards received
5) Student’s photograph
The purpose of establishing directory information is to avoid the need to obtain individual parental consent each time the District might wish to publicly recognize an individual student or group accomplishments. Directory information is considered public information and may be distributed without obtaining prior parental consent.
Parents or guardians who do not wish to have their child/ren included within the directory information as described above are to annually notify the Office of the Superintendent in writing within 14 days of the publication of this notice in the annual Viking Press newsletter. Parents/guardians may object to any or all of the five items listed above. No information which has been objected to in writing will be distributed without prior consent from the parent or guardian. Additionally, military recruiters, upon appropriate request, will be provided access to secondary school students’ names, addresses and telephone numbers, unless parents notify the District, in writing, at the commencement of the school year, that they do not wish such information to be provided to military recruiters without their prior written consent.
Finally, if you do not want your child’s photograph to be used on a District website, please write a letter to that effect to your child’s Principal within 14 days of the publication of this notice in the annual Viking Press newsletter. This must be submitted annually.
If you have questions regarding access to student information, please contact the Superintendent’s Office at 457-2400, ext. 18511.
Free and Reduced Lunch Information and Application, click here
Board of Education policy recognizes the health hazards associated with smoking and, therefore, prohibits smoking or use of tobacco-related products and e-cigarettes by anyone anywhere on school grounds, in school buildings, or at school-sponsored activities. This includes athletic events, concerts, the Junior Prom, and the Senior Ball. We ask for the cooperation of the students, parents, staff and public in abiding by this policy which is also consistent with State and Federal laws.
The Valley Central School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, religion, marital status, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, or other legally protected status in access to programs and/or employment by the district.
Notification of Equal Opportunity
Students with disabilities residing in the District are provided the opportunity to participate in school district programs to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the student, including extracurricular programs and activities which are available to all other students enrolled in public schools of the District.
Parents’ Bill of Rights
The privacy and security of personally identifiable student data are of paramount importance. A student’s personally identifiable information cannot be sold or released for any commercial purposes. State and federal laws protect the confidentiality of students’ personally identifiable information, and safeguards associated with industry standards and best practices, such as encryption, firewalls, and password protection, must be in place when such data is stored or transferred.
Consistent with the adoption by the New York State Legislature of the Common Core Implementation Reform Act of 2014, all parents have the following rights:
¨ To inspect and review the complete contents of their child’s education record, as defined in the District’s Student Records policy;
¨ To access a complete list of all student data elements collected by the State, which is available for public review at http://www. p12.nysed.gov/irs/sirs/documentation/ NYSEDstudentData.xlsx, or by writing to the Office of Information & Reporting Services, New York State Education Department, Room 863 EBA, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234;
¨ To have complaints about possible breaches of student data heard and determined. Complaints should be directed in writing to the Chief Privacy Officer, New York State Education Department, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234, or by email to the Chief Privacy Officer at CPO@mail.nysed.gov.
* In the event the Commissioner of Education issues an enhanced Bill of Rights and/or promulgates regulations setting forth additional elements to be included in the Parents’ Bill of Rights, the Valley Central School District reserves the right to revise this document accordingly.
Please remember, if you do not park in designated spaces, you may be ticketed by the Town of Montgomery Police. We appreciate your cooperation.
Pesticide Notification Requirements
New York State Education Law 409-H requires all public and non-public elementary and secondary schools to provide written notification to all persons in parental relation, faculty and staff, regarding the potential use of any pesticides in our school buildings. We use an Integrated Pest Management System (IPMS) advocating use of pesticides as a last resort.
Valley Central School District is required to maintain a list of persons in parental relation, faculty, and staff who wish to receive 48-hour prior written notification of certain pesticide applications. To request such notification, please contact our pesticide representative, Mr. Ryan Schmidt, Director of Facilities, in writing, at 15 Middle School Lane, Montgomery, NY 12549. In the event an emergency application is necessary to protect against an imminent threat to human health, a good faith effort will be made to supply written notification to those on the 48-hour prior notification list. Please call Mr. Ryan Schmidt at 845-457-2400 Ext. 16914, if you have any questions regarding this notification.
PRESCHOOL SPECIAL EDUCATION
Preschool Special Education is a system of specifically designed programs and services for youngsters between ages three and five who have been deemed eligible for services and have been classified as a “Preschool Student with a Disability.” Services are provided for these youngsters either in state-approved special education preschools or by related service providers at the child’s home, preschool, or daycare site under the jurisdiction of Orange County, at no cost to parents or guardians.
Parents of preschoolers who have concerns about their child’s abilities (cognitive, speech/language, motor, behavior) should contact the Office of Special Education at 845-457-2400, ext. 18117 for information and evaluation procedures.
Successful implementation of any attendance policy requires cooperation among all members of the educational community including parents, students, teachers, administration and support staff.
¨ Students must attend school daily and arrive on time.
¨ Students must attend all classes.
¨ Students who are absent must make arrangements to make up missed instruction within 5 days of returning to school.
Parents’/ Guardians’ Responsibilities
¨ Contact school at 845-457-2400 or notify the school in writing beforehand if your child is absent, late or must leave early.
¨ Provide a written explanation of your child’s absence, lateness or early departure.
¨ Make every effort to ensure that your child attends school the maximum number of days possible.
¨ Provide make-up assignments when requested by a student.
¨ Notify parent/guardian of attendance problems. At the secondary level, comments on progress reports and on report cards will indicate student attendance.
¨ Forward to Administration any required paperwork or notice indicating student absences.
¨ During September Orientation meetings, administrators will explain the attendance policy to all students.
¨ When a student cuts class or is otherwise absent without excuse, this action may result in a written disciplinary referral.
¨ Notify the student and parent/guardian with a copy of the disciplinary referral from the teacher of the course.
¨ Hold at least one meeting to explain the attendance policy to the school.
¨ Review of Attendance Records:
Each building Principal or designee must review attendance records and initiate appropriate action to address excessive absences, chronic tardiness and habitual early departures.
Attendance records will also be reviewed by the designated Attendance Officer.
Guidance Counselor’s Responsibilities
¨ Counsel students individually when they receive a notification of excessive absences in any subject area. One meeting with the counselor will be sufficient for all subject areas.
¨ Meet with the students to discuss options upon denial of course credit.
Adoption date: June 10, 2002; Revised: June 9, 2014
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act has been with us since 1973. For many years, the main thrust of Section 504 had been in the area of employment of individuals with disabilities, and for members of minority groups. However, within the last several years, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) charged with the enforcement of Section 504, has become proactive in the field of education, as it safeguards the rights of students who are considered to be disabled.
While all students identified as being disabled under IDEA are considered disabled under Section 504, students not identified under IDEA may be considered to be disabled under Section 504 if they meet the definition of a “qualified handicapped person,” which is a person who has or has had a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity, or is regarded as handicapped by others.
Major life activities include, but are not limited to: walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, and performing manual tasks. The disabling condition need only substantially limit one major life activity in order for the student to be eligible.
If a district has reason to believe that, because of a disability as defined under Section 504, a student needs an accommodation in the regular setting in order to participate in the school program, the district must evaluate the student. If the student is determined to be eligible under Section 504, the district must develop and implement a plan for the delivery of accommodations.
If a parent of a student or a student has a question or grievance related to a disability, they may contact the following:
Tamara Ryder ext. 11520
East Coldenham Elementary
Daniel McDonald ext. 12510
Jane Malley ext. 15520
Jedd Beukelman ext. 15520
Middle School Concerns:
Thomas Balducci ext. 16520
Alicia Gannello ext. 16522
High School Concerns:
Michael Conklin ext. 17520
Philip Rodriguez ext. 17522
Allison Simoskevich ext. 17524
If a parent of a student, student, or employee feels that he or she is the victim of harassment based upon their disability, they should contact the Compliance Officer, Mr. Michael Bellarosa, Deputy Superintendent at ext. 18885.
Special Transportation Requests
The deadline for Valley Central School District residents to file a transportation request form for the 2020-2021 school year to transport a child to a private or parochial school is April 1, 2020. These forms are available from the Administration Office, the Valley Central website, or click here, or the private or parochial school.
The deadline for Valley Central School District residents to file a transportation request form for the 2020-2021 school year to transport a child to a certified childcare provider licensed pursuant to Social Services Law, Section 390, which is outside the school’s attendance area is April 1, 2020. This form must be picked up from and returned to the Administration Office.
Sunscreen Use Procedure
Valley Central School District, in accordance with guidance from the New York State Eductaion Department, has developed a procedure for student use of sunscreen. For the procedure and permission form, please go to the District’s website, www.vcsd.k12.ny.us, click here, under Health Office Forms for Parents. Forms must be completed by the parent or guardian and delivered to the health office annually.
The Valley Central School District official responsible for the coordination of procedures related to compliance with Title IX, the statute which prohibits gender-based discrimination, shall be the Deputy Superintendent. The compliance officer, Mr. Michael Bellarosa, can be reached at 845-457-2400 Ext. 18885 if an individual feels that they have a question or grievance related to discrimination based on gender.
U.S. Department Of Education and Third Party Surveys; Inspection of Instructional Materials; And Opting Out of Certain Activities
In accordance with the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, the Valley Central School District hereby enacts the following policy:
U.S. Department Of Education And Third Party Surveys
Parents shall have the right, upon request, to inspect U.S. Department of Education and third party surveys before they are distributed and administered by the District to students, and shall also have the right to opt their child out of participation in such surveys.
In the event that a third party survey contains any of the following types of information:
~political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent;
~mental and psychological problems of the student or the student’s family;
~sex behavior or attitudes;
~illegal, antisocial, self-incriminating, demeaning behavior;
~critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;
~legally recognized, privileged, or analogous relationships such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;
~religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent;
~income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in the program or for receiving financial assistance under such program);
then the District will protect the privacy of the student in the event of administration of such a survey, by allowing parents to inspect the survey prior to administration and by advising the students that their responses should contain no personally identifiable information. The provisions of this paragraph shall
not apply to any survey administered to a student in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Inspection Of Instructional Materials
Parents shall have the right to inspect, upon request, instructional materials used as part of the educational curriculum for students. The request should be made in writing and directed to the Office of the Assistant Superintendent. The response will be provided within a reasonable period of time from the date of receipt of the request. Instructional materials include material provided to a student regardless of format, including printed or representational materials, and materials in electronic or digital formats (such as materials accessible through the Internet). The term does not include academic tests or academic assessments.
Opting Out Of Certain Activities
With regard to administration of physical examinations or screenings that may be administered to students, parents shall have the opportunity to opt out of any non-emergency, invasive physical examination, or screening that is required as a condition of attendance and administered by the school and scheduled by the school in advance and not necessary to protect immediate health and safety of the student, or other students. For these purposes, “invasive physical examination” means any medical examination that involves exposure of private body parts, or any act or such examination that includes incision, insertion or injection into the body, but does not include a hearing, vision, or scoliosis screening.
Additionally, this paragraph does not apply to any examination or screening that is permitted or required by New York State Law, including such examinations or screenings permitted without parental notification.
The District will not provide personal information collected from students for the purpose of marketing or selling.
The District will provide annual notification to parents that they have the right to “opt-out” of third-party surveys as described in paragraph I, or physical examinations or screenings as described in paragraph III, and activities involving the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the purpose of marketing, or for selling the information, or otherwise providing that information to others for that purpose.
Visitors To Schools
The safety of our children, even while in school, continues to be a prime concern in today’s society; therefore, we wish to put the public on notice that all school entrances are locked. All visitors must enter through the designated single point of entry (except in the case of the handicapped entrance being more suitable for a disabled individual), show original photo identification (no photocopies), sign in, and be issued a visitor’s permit (as applicable), which must be displayed at all times. The permit must be returned, and the visitor must sign out at the conclusion of the visit. Please know the same rules and procedures apply to all visitors, including parents, regardless of how long you may have lived in the community. Please do not be offended by this process. It is intended to help to protect our children. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation and for any suggestions you may have to improve our process.
VOTING AT VALLEY CENTRAL
In 2015, voting was centralized at Valley Central High School. Thanks to these changes, the voting process has been streamlined and has operated much more efficiently.
Some concerns remain about transportation to voting. Remember that absentee ballots can be managed by mail if voters plan ahead. If the absentee ballot is not a solution for you, the Town of Montgomery provides Dial-a-Bus.
Please call 845-457-2622 between 9 am and 12 pm to schedule a ride or get information. There is a fee of $1 each way, but the cost is 50 cents for senior citizens and disabled passengers. The buses run from 7:30 am to 4 pm. Please call at least one week ahead of time to schedule a ride.