VCHS Student Handbook

CONTENTS

Academic Eligibility| Academic Integrity | Appointments | AssembliesAttendence Policy | Books, Calculators and other School Materials | Bullying | Bus Conduct/Transportation | Cafeteria | Care of Building and School Grounds | Class/Club Activities and Meetings | Closed Campus | Conduct of Students | Cutting | Discipline Code | Dress | Driver Education | Drugs and Alcohol | Early Dismissal | Early Release | Eating | Electronic Devices and Social Media | Evening High School | Examination Procedures | Extra-Curricular Activities Participation | Field Trips | Fighting | Fire and Safety Drills | Fundraising | Grading Policy | Graduation | Gradus Honoris/NHS | Guidance Services | Health Office | Homecoming | Homework | I.D. Tags | Inappropriate Displays of Affection | In School Suspension | Laboratory Requirements | Library | Lockers | Loitering | Lost and Found | Medical Examinations | Medication | Parent Portal | Passes | Post Session | Progress Reports | School Emergencies | School Publications | School Store | Sex-Based Harassment | Smoking | Student Assistance Counselor | Student Discipline Referrals | Student Government Association | Student Parking and Automobiles | Student Rights | Student Searches | Study Hall | Summer School | Suspension Telephone Use | Transportation (School Sponsored Activities) | Truancy | Tutoring | Valuables | Video Surveillance | Violation of Test ProceduresVisitors | Weapons | Withdrawal/Transfer from School | Working Papers | Yearbook

ACADEMIC ELIGIBILITY

In order to implement Board of Education policies #5200 and #5280, the following are the procedures that will guide our secondary schools with establishing Academic Eligibility.

All extra-curricular and co-curricular activities affected by the Academic Eligibility Policies of the Board of Education are listed in this report under the heading of “Student Activity Programs”. New extra-curricular or co-curricular activities added during the school year will also be subject to this policy. Any activity that normally originates from a subject class is NOT included under the Academic Eligibility policies.  School functions that are considered social activities (Proms, Dances, Spectators at school events, pep rally, Senior Trip, etc.) are not included in the Academic Activity procedures.

A student who fails two or more subjects on a report card or five week progress report shall be considered ineligible for participation in all extra-curricular or co-curricular activities. Each five week progress report or quarterly report card will be used to establish the eligibility status for students.  A student who is currently failing or fails two or more subjects may practice or take part in extra-curricular meetings, but cannot participate in any games, trips, or events related to that activity.  This includes traveling to any event or competition away from the Valley Central campus as part of a group or interscholastic team.

After a list of ineligible students is produced by the Academic Advisor, a copy of the list will be distributed to all coaches and advisors.  An academically ineligible student will be informed by his/her coach or advisor. This list will become effective upon distribution.

When a student has failed two or more classes, he/she must wait two (2) weeks, after the ineligible list is distributed, to regain eligibility.  When the two-week period falls within a lengthy vacation (Winter/Spring holiday), the ineligibility period may be extended up to five days.  Incomplete grades will be considered a failing grade until the student makes up the work. An incomplete grade can be converted to a passing grade prior to the end of the two-week probationary period.  If a student drops a course of study and is failing, the student will have to wait until the end of the next grading period to regain eligibility. When a student moves to a lower level of course of study, the grade of the initial class will establish eligibility status.  The teacher of the new level class will have two weeks to evaluate the student for eligibility.

At the end of the two-week period, the student must be evaluated by his/her subject teacher to regain eligibility.  The teacher will establish, at his/her discretion, the appropriate criteria for each individual student to regain eligibility.  Teacher should evaluate the student for the two-week period only.  Said teachers will use a check-off form, provided by the Academic Advisor, indicating satisfactory or unsatisfactory progress for the two-week period only.  Stating the student is making satisfactory progress during the two-week period does not infer that a student is passing the quarter or the subject class. Students must continue to do satisfactory work for the remainder of the report period or find themselves on the ineligibility list.   The student is responsible for picking up and delivering the form to the subject teacher of his/her failing class. This form will be returned by the subject teacher to the Academic Advisor or a designated representative, at the end of the two-week probationary period. It will be the responsibility of the Academic Advisor to inform the coach or advisor of any change in the student’s eligibility status.  
If this student is still failing after the subsequent reporting period, he/she must wait until the next report period five weeks) to regain eligibility.  Practice or participation in all extracurricular/co-curricular activities will be prohibited until the student regains eligibility.

A student who fails two or more full or half-year courses, at the conclusion of a marking period, will be declared academically ineligible.  In order to regain eligibility after failing two or more courses in January or June, a student must demonstrate that he/she is meeting eligibility requirements after a two-week probationary period.  Each teacher must sign a form indicating satisfactory progress after the two-week period. A course of study, failed in June, may be made up by passing an equivalent summer school course at Valley Central or any or valid summer program.  If a course of study is not available at an accredited summer school, the student will be declared ineligible until meeting the above-described procedures. Students returning in the fall will be able to practice and participate without restrictions but are subject to review by the Academic Advisor after two weeks of the new school year (September).

Cross-ref: 5280-R, Interscholastic Athletics Regulation Adoption date:  March 11, 2002

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

The Valley Central School District wants to be very clear on the expectations and standards we have for students concerning academic integrity.  Below are examples of inappropriate activities in regard to written assignments, examinations, and reports.

Valley Central School District has developed the following guidelines in this area:

Students are expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty in their school work. Cheating, forgery and plagiarism are serious offenses. Students are not permitted to share graphing calculators unless the teacher has granted permission. Students found guilty of any form of academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary action and/or academic penalties. This includes inappropriate use of technology resources. Cheating is defined as giving or obtaining information by improper means to meet academic requirements.  At the high school level, there is no excuse for plagiarism. Students are expected to know and demonstrate skills in paraphrasing, documentation, and academic research sufficient to practice academic honesty and to avoid plagiarism in any form.

According to Jane E Aaron’s The Little Brown Compact Handbook (2nd ed. New York: Harper Collins, 1995. p. 217) “Plagiarism…is the presentation of someone else’s ideas or words as your own. Whether deliberate or accidental, plagiarism is a serious and often punishable offense” (emphasis added).

Deliberate Plagiarism

  • Copying a phrase, a sentence, or a longer passage from a source and passing it off as your own by omitting quotation marks and a source citation
  • Summarizing or paraphrasing someone else’s ideas without acknowledging your debt in a source citation
  • Handing in as your own work a paper you have bought, had a friend write, or copied from another student
  • Inputting a phrase, sentence or a longer passage into an electronic translator in English and then copying the phrase, sentence or a longer passage in a foreign language into your sentence, paragraph, essay or project and claiming it as your own work.

Accidental Plagiarism

  • Forgetting to place quotation marks around another writer’s words
  • Omitting a source citation for another’s idea because you are unaware of the need to acknowledge the idea
  • Carelessly copying a source when you mean to paraphrase (Aaron 217)

Plagiarism can involve incidents as blatant as downloading a paper off the Internet or turning in a paper a friend wrote and as incidental as carelessly forgetting to place quotation marks around words or phrases copied from a source.  In whatever form, however, it is serious and results in serious consequences.

Plagiarism will not be accepted or tolerated and may result in an F for the assignment, possibly an F in the course, and potentially suspension from the school, depending on the severity and/or intentions.  Be advised that if formal charges of plagiarism are initiated, they may become a part of your permanent academic record.

Term papers, research papers, and other course requirements are to contain material not previously submitted.  It is expected that students will initiate new research for each paper and that each paper must be the student’s own work.  Students are cautioned that submitting work from an Internet source can and will be checked. Disciplinary action will be taken by the student’s teacher and/or the administrator.

APPOINTMENTS

Notes are also required for medical, dentist, optical, etc., appointments which occur during school hours.  A student may be released early (upon request from parent plus administrative approval) or attend school after the appointment (with a note from parent).  Partial instruction is better than none, and the student will be marked present for the day.

Students must provide a telephone number with the note from parent/guardian so that the authenticity of the excuse can be verified.  When a student is being picked up at school by a parent/guardian, said parent/guardian will be asked to provide identification (driver’s license). The identification may be photocopied.

ASSEMBLIES

Assemblies and class meetings are presented to the student body at various times during the school year. These programs are scheduled and planned to minimize loss of instructional time. They adopt an educational pattern, helping to build school morale and spirit. Attendance at these programs is compulsory for students and teachers. Students must remain with their classroom teachers.

All students are expected to:

  • Maintain proper decorum on the way to and during assemblies.
  • Move to the front of the auditorium and be seated as quickly and quietly as possible.
  • Show respect and attention until the termination of the assembly program.
  • Refrain from eating candy or gum while in attendance at assembly programs.
  • Refrain from inappropriate noise.
  • Leave auditorium as directed by the staff.  Students who do not abide by these rules will be subject to disciplinary action.

ATTENDANCE POLICY

It is the goal of the Valley Central School District to ensure that each student attend school the maximum number of days possible and to afford each student the opportunity to meet his-her potential. We, therefore, institute this policy.

Good attendance and class participation are essential ingredients for academic success.  Any absence from class is detrimental to the learning process. Classroom lessons foster and require social interaction, development of effective communication skills, and critical thinking in addition to subject mastery. Textbook or make-up assignments are not an adequate substitute for classroom attendance and participation.

In order to achieve educational goals and to maintain a true academic environment, students must attend their classes at least the required number of times. Students who fail to meet the minimum attendance and course work requirements will receive no credit for that course.

Attendance Requirements

  • 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 must notify the school in writing beforehand or contact the school at (845) 457-2400, ext. 17507 or 17508.
  • When your child returns to school, you must provide a written explanation for his/her absence, lateness, or early departure.
  • Reasonable make-up 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 observances; attendance at health clinics; approved college visits; approved cooperative work programs; and such other reasons as may be approved by the Commissioner of Education.
  • All notices must be submitted to the school within three (3) school days otherwise it will be considered unexcused.
  • 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.
  • The procedure for student dismissal requires that ALL STUDENTS, regardless of age, must have parent/guardian permission.

Responsibilities

Successful implementation of any attendance policy requires cooperation among all members of the educational community including parents, students, teachers, administration, and support staff.

Students’s Responsibilities

  • Students must attend school daily and arrive on time.
  • Students must attend all classes and be on time.
  • Students who are absent must make arrangements to make up any work missed with the teacher within five (5) days of returning to school.

Parents’/Guardians’ Responsibilities

  • Contact school at 845-457-2400 Ext. 17507 or 17508 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 within 3 school days to be considered excused
  • Provide a written explanation of your child’s early departure the day of with contact information.
  • Make every effort to ensure that your child attends school the maximum number of days possible.

Teachers’ Responsibilities

  • 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.

Administrator’s Responsibilities

  • 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 student.
  • Quarterly notification of excessive absences (based upon the threshold established by New York State), both excused and unexcused will be mailed home.

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 Counselors’ 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.

BOOKS, CALCULATORS, AND OTHER SCHOOL MATERIALS

Every student who is issued a book, calculator or any other school material is expected to return the originally assigned item to the student.  The teacher will keep a record of said item including title, condition and identification number.  

Students should be certain that they exercise care in maintaining school property. Hard-covered texts should be covered by the student immediately after they are issued. A student is responsible for the particular numbered text issued to him/her; and it is this book which must be returned in good condition to the teacher.

The District is not responsible for student owned musical instruments that are damaged and/or stolen.

All book fines are to be paid in the Main Office.  Students will then be issued a receipt which may be brought to the subject teacher. The student is responsible for holding the receipt in case the original book turns up.  All book fines must be paid prior to receiving the final report card in June and prior to registering for summer school.  In the event that fines are not paid by the end of the summer, students will not be eligible to receive uniforms, equipment, or parking permits until restitution is made.

BULLYING

Refer to Code of Conduct/Plain Language Summary (page 7)

BUS CONDUCT/TRANSPORTATION

Bus transportation is provided for those students meeting the requirements set up by the State and the Board of Education. A schedule for each group (AM) and (PM) is available. Students must be at designated loading zones on time. It is the responsibility of those using the bus to behave in an appropriate manner so that the safety and comfort of others are not jeopardized.  A student not adhering to bus regulations and/or directions of the bus driver may lose riding privileges and/or be subject to disciplinary action, the nature of which would be determined based upon the infraction committed. Students will only be allowed to ride a AM/PM bus other than their assigned bus(es), if a signed letter detailing the urgent situation by their parent or guardian is given to the Main Office on the morning of said date. School personnel will confirm the arrangements and forward it to the bus company. Remember that riding a school bus is a privilege not a right. Students must have bus passes to be eligible to ride any post session bus home.

CAFETERIA

Students may attend breakfast from 7:05 AM to 7:20 AM, for the cost of $2. Lunch will cost $3. Students are assigned lunch during either 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th periods.  Hot meals, salads, and sandwiches are available in both North and South Cafeterias. Students are also invited to bring in their own lunches. Food may not be delivered to school from a commercial establishment.

The following regulations govern the use of the cafeteria:

  • After a brief stop at their lockers, students are to report immediately to the cafeteria at the beginning of their lunch period.
  • Students wishing to purchase a lunch must form a single file line at one of the four lunch stations.
  • The throwing of papers, food, cans, etc. is strictly forbidden.  Any objects you drop on the floor must be picked up.
  • No objects are to be left on the table when you leave.  All students are responsible for disposing their own garbage.
  • Students may use the phones in the main office, or use the lavatory facilities only after their table area is cleaned and a pass is obtained.
  • Students are strictly forbidden to leave the building or to be in any area other than those designated.
  • No cutting into the lunch line.
  • No electronic devices including but not limited to: to Smartphones, laptops, iPads, Kindles, are allowed.
  • Stealing food may result in removal from the cafeteria, and/or suspension, and/or arrest.
  • Once food is purchased it cannot be returned.
  • No food is allowed out of the cafeteria unless authorized by the Administration (Gold Pass).
  • Students are not to sit on the lunch tables.
  • Students causing problems will be removed from the cafeteria for a period of time to be determined by an administrator who reserves the right to assign students to a cafeteria at their discretion, or to assign a consequence.
  • Student who desire to meet with teachers during their lunch period may not bring trays of food to a room (bag lunch only).

CARE OF BUILDING AND SCHOOL GROUNDS

One of the many goals of the faculty, staff and administration of Valley Central High School is to create a clean and healthy learning environment.  This can only be accomplished with the full cooperation of the student body. Littering, graffiti, or destruction of school property will not be tolerated.  Any student found engaging in one of these activities is subject to disciplinary action ranging from detention to suspension and/or arrest.

Who owns our school?  Your parents and the residents of the Valley Central District who are legally required to pay taxes that build and maintain schools.  Therefore, any damage done to this building, equipment, buses, or books must be paid for with your family’s money. Help protect your school by reporting vandalism by others. The walls and desks should be kept free from marks. No posters should be attached to painted walls and only masking tape should be used elsewhere. Wastepaper should be deposited in the containers provided.  Snowballs should not be thrown on the school grounds. This is a dangerous practice that frequently results in destruction of property or serious injury. Students who throw snowballs on school grounds may be subject to suspension.

CLASS/CLUB ACTIVITIES AND CLASS/CLUB MEETINGS

Each club is responsible to produce a charter.  Students who desire to start a new club must obtain an advisor and permission from the high school administration.

Each class has its own advisor and meets on a regular basis to plan activities.  All class/club or group activities must be approved by the Assistant Principal in charge of student activities.  Students attending these meetings are responsible to secure teacher permission and make up all work missed.  A schedule of meeting times and places will be made available.  Generally most club meetings take place during post-session.

The scheduling of DANCES must be coordinated by the class or club advisor with the Assistant Principal in charge of student activities.

  • Dances will be no more than 3 hours and will end no later than 10:00 pm with some exceptions.
  • Students must adhere to the mandatory four (4) period attendance rule (Refer to page 16).
  • No students may enter dances after 1 hour unless prior approval is granted by the Assistant Principal in charge of student activities.
  • Once a student leaves a dance, he/she must leave the campus and not return.
  • The rules involving such special events as Homecoming and the Proms will be determined at the discretion of the building Principal.

CLOSED/OFF CAMPUS

Valley Central High School is a closed campus.  Students are not permitted to leave the school during the school day for any reason unless permission is granted by their parents/guardians and the Assistant Principal’s Office is notified. Students are expected to sign out in the main office and exit the building using the front lobby doors.

Valley Central High School does not have supervisory responsibilities for any student who chooses to leave school grounds, including but not limited to before the warning bell, while school is in session or during post session.  Furthermore, if any student at dismissal decides to walk or drive off campus during post-session, they will not be allowed to return to school grounds and/or enter the school until 2:45 p.m. unless the student(s) have an athletic and/or extra-curricular trip/activity departing before said time. If students are observed violating this procedure, consequences may be assigned. Refer to the Loitering and Post Session section of the handbook for further information. Additionally, in the event a student leaves school grounds, the High School still retains the right to discipline that student for any activity the student engages in off-campus during instructional hours that is in violation of the Discipline Code contained within this Handbook.

This provision shall not apply to any student who is attending an education program through the District that is located off school grounds.  However, when the student leaves that program during school hours, this provision shall apply. Emergency exception: This provision does not apply in the event an emergency on school grounds occurs where students would otherwise be allowed and/or required to leave school grounds.

CODE OF CONDUCT

The Board of Education (Board) is committed to providing a safe and orderly school environment where students may receive, and District personnel may deliver, quality educational services without disruption or interference.  Responsible behavior by students, parents, District personnel, and visitors is essential to achieving this goal. The complete Code of Conduct (Code) and supporting Board of Education policies are available at all school sites and Central Office. Please also refer to each handbook for specific details.

CONDUCT OF STUDENTS

Students of Valley Central High School, whether in school, on school grounds, or at a school activity, are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that is appropriate and which reflects respect for themselves and others.  The main purpose of this high school is to provide a quality education in a safe environment. Anyone who interferes with or hinders this process will be subject to disciplinary action. Fighting, destruction or theft of property or disruption of instruction will result in serious consequences. It is the responsibility of each student to report threats of imminent danger to the appropriate school personnel and others. Respect for others is a fundamental responsibility of all persons in this building. If a student feels he/she has been treated unfairly, he/she should report such instances to the Administration.  Arguing, shouting, or creating a scene will do nothing to alleviate the problem.  Every effort will be made to support and respect students’ rights. It must be remembered, however, that no student has the right to:

  • Refuse to comply with any reasonable request by a staff member. (e.g. move when asked, report to the office, sit in a particular seat, stop horseplay, etc.)
  • Refuse to give his/her full name when it is requested by a staff member
    Use language or engage in behavior which is seriously inappropriate

Such behavior may result in the student being disciplined or refused participation in extra-curricular and/or co-curricular activities.  Additionally, students who are repeatedly recalcitrant may be subject to in school or out of school suspension.

CUTTING

Students are expected to be present for all of their daily assignments.  Study halls, library assignments, post session, etc. are viewed in the same manner as classes.  Cutting any of your scheduled requirements may result in detention, assignment to In-School Suspension or Out of School Suspension (if the student is deemed to be insubordinate to previous Administrative directives.)  The penalty will be determined based upon the number of infractions. Disciplinary reports will be used to alert the Assistant Principal about students that are cutting.

DISCIPLINE CODE FOR STUDENT CONDUCT

The Valley Central High School Discipline Code will be enforced in accordance with Education Law §3214, Project SAVE legislation, and the Valley Central School District Code of Conduct.

Discipline is most effective when it deals directly with the problem at the time and place it occurs.  Therefore, before seeking outside assistance, teachers will first use all their resources to create a change of behavior in the classroom.  When the teacher has made every effort to bring about positive behavioral change and has been unsuccessful, the student will be referred to the administration.  At that point, the administration will decide what further action will be taken.  

Disciplinary action, when necessary, will be firm, fair, and consistent so as to be the most effective in changing student behavior.  In determining the appropriate disciplinary action, school personnel authorized to impose disciplinary penalties will consider the following:

  • The nature of the offense and the circumstances that led to the offense
  • The student’s prior disciplinary record
  • Information from parents, teachers and/or others, as appropriate

In Valley Central High School, routine procedures exist for reporting and investigating violations of the Code of Conduct. 

Depending upon the nature of the violation, it is the desire of the Board of Education that student discipline be progressive.  As part of an investigation, officials have the right to search a student when reasonable suspicion is present that a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct or the New York State Penal Law.  That is, a student’s first violation should merit a lighter penalty than subsequent violations. However, individual behavior management plans or severe infractions may preclude a gradual process. Minimum suspensions have been set in place for students that have exhibited “repeated substantially disruptive behavior” (i.e. engaging in conduct requiring the removal from a classroom on four or more separate occasions) or violent behavior.

The Valley Central School District cannot tolerate violence, threats, bullying, and substance abuse.  Students who break the law, use, possess, distribute or facilitate the distribution of illegal drugs, use vulgar language, or exhibit inappropriate behavior will be held accountable not only to the Disciplinary Code, but may also be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.  Additionally, off-campus conduct that affects the health and safety of students or the learning environment of the Valley Central High School will be dealt with according to the Code of Conduct.  

The following lists of prohibited student behaviors have been established to clearly describe a Code of Conduct and to provide for a consistent level of discipline in the Valley Central District.

Under New York State Law Section 8:82, a student may be suspended for the following reasons:

  • A pupil who is insubordinate or disorderly, or whose conduct otherwise endangers the safety, morals,  health, or welfare of others will be considered to be involved in an act of misconduct.
  • A pupil is considered violent if he/she commits a physical act that endangers the health and/or safety of another person.

Students will be informed at the beginning of each year of the regulations concerning the New York State Project SAVE legislation.  This law describes how a student may be removed from class by a teacher.

Level 1 Infractions

These offenses will normally involve the teacher as a decision maker in respect to the severity of the offense and the appropriate penalty.

  • Classroom misconduct (annoying others, fooling around, lack of materials, lack of homework, failure to cooperate, violating testing procedures, tardiness, theft, etc.)
  • Hallway, bathroom, and cafeteria misconduct (excessive noise, rowdiness, running)
  • Inappropriate interaction between peers (including public display of affection, aggression (physical and/or verbal), taunting, harassment, profanity, and obscene gestures)
  • Use of skateboards on school property
  • Cutting class

Teachers will use judgment in determining the severity of the offense, the number of occurrences, and circumstances involved.  Depending upon those factors, any of the following penalties may apply:

  • Verbal reprimand
  • Parent notification
  • Loss of Privileges
  • Referral to Administrator
  • Detention
  • Consult Guidance Counselor

Level 2 Infractions

These offenses will normally involve a school administrator as the decision maker in respect to the severity of the offense and the appropriate penalty.

  • Disrespectful behavior directed toward adults, including, but not limited to, use of profanity, abusive language, obscene gestures/materials
  • Fighting – refusing to stop when requested by an adult
  • Insubordination
  • Bus misbehavior
  • Excessive cutting class/truancy
  • Trespassing; loitering
  • Serious (and/or repeat) instances of Level I infractions
  • Use, possession, sale of tobacco/tobacco products/synthetic tobacco products/lighters/matches
  • Forgery
  • Plagiarism
  • Automobile misuse
  • Use/possession of a laser light
  • Inappropriate use of computer technology/violation of district acceptable use policy
  • Disruption of classroom instruction

School administrators will use judgment in determining the severity of the offence, the number of occurrences, and the circumstances involved. Depending upon these factors, any of the following penalties may apply:

  • Verbal and/or written reprimand
  • Out-of-school suspension
  • Warning
  • Superintendent’s hearing
  • Loss of privileges and/or detention
  • Removal from class by teacher pursuant to the Project SAVE legislation
  • Report to parents
  • Parent conference
  • Restitution    
  • Referral to outside agencies
  • In-school suspension 

Level 3 Infractions

These infractions may involve the Superintendent of Schools in the decision-making process with respect to the appropriate penalties upon referral of Building Administrator:

  • Theft
  • Fighting (when serious injuries occur), and/or refusing to stop
  • Arson
  • Assault
  • Extortion, forging a staff member’s name
  • Use, possession or sale of alcohol and/or drugs and/or drug paraphernalia and/or synthetic drugs
  • Under the influence of alcohol/drugs
  • Use or possession of weapons/imitation or facsimile weapons
  • Use or possession of explosive devices
  • Vandalism (including setting off of fire alarms/AED alarm, fire extinguisher, graffiti)
  • Leaving school grounds without permission
  • Sexual misconduct/harassment
  • Use of racial slurs/epithets; derogatory or inflammatory remarks concerning gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnic or religious association
  • Any action that compromises the health/welfare or safety of another student or staff member.
  • Any other infractions that violate New York State Penal Law or behavior which may otherwise place in jeopardy the safety, morals, health and welfare of students or staff.

Teachers (or appropriate others) will notify the Building Administrator of above infractions. The Building Administrator may apprise the Superintendent of said incident(s) and determination of age-appropriate penalty(ies) including:

  • Loss of privileges and/or detention
  • Report to parent(s)
  • Parent conference
  • Restitution
  • In-school suspension
  • Out-of-school suspension
  • Superintendent’s hearing
  • Referral to appropriate police/authorities

DRESS

Students are expected to attend school in appropriate type apparel.  Halter tops, tube tops, bare midriffs, revealing sheer clothing, tight shorts, short-shorts, low-riding pants, tank tops, tight high-slit skirts, pajamas, tank tops with thin straps worn in a provocative or distracting manner may be considered to be inappropriate for males and females. Chains of any kind, spiked collars, rivets, wrist bands, oversized rings, etc. are PROHIBITED and MAY be confiscated. Students are also PROHIBITED from wearing clothing containing drugs, alcohol, sex-related topics, double meanings, profanity, vulgarity, inflammatory obscene language/ pictures/ symbols.  It is inappropriate to wear a hat/bandana of various colors, visor, or any other type of headwear in a public building. Our school would like to instill this courtesy in all our students. Therefore, students may not wear hats or bandanas in this school other than for religious, cultural or safety purposes. Students will be issued a warning and continued violations of said rule may be met with disciplinary action. Various colored bandanas, worn on belts, pants, pockets, as headbands etc., are expressly forbidden, given their association with gang activity.

Students are PROHIBITED from wearing violence-inspired clothing on school grounds, specifically any dress or appearance which encourages and/or advocates violence and/or illegal and/or violent activities and/or violent crimes. No outer garments should be worn around school (i.e. jackets, coats, 3/4 coats, gloves, etc.) for health and safety reasons. Due to safety concerns, all students are PROHIBITED from wearing the following items but not limited to: face paint, masks, wigs, helmets, full body costumes, and/or other materials or accessories that may prevent school personnel from properly identifying a student.

The standards of dress will prevail at all times including examination periods and other activities planned for inside the building. Be advised that administration reserves the right to challenge any student’s dress or appearance which, in the judgment of a school administrator, may cause a material or substantial disruption to the educational process and/or create a health and safety hazard. In such cases, students will be given an appropriate shirt issued by administrator or may be sent home to change their clothing.  A student who refuses to comply with a principal’s request or designee’s directive may be subject to disciplinary action.

DRIVER EDUCATION

Driver Education will be offered to the students of Valley Central High School.  It will be open to all students who are 16 years of age or older. All 16 year old students must have a learner’s permit. It will also be available to seventeen year old students who have a valid NYS driver’s license. 

Applications for participation are available through the guidance office.  The course will meet for one afternoon per week for 16 weeks. Each session will be 90 minutes in length.  Driving lessons will be established by the instructor.

DRUGS AND ALCOHOL

In order for the school to promote an environment conducive for learning and because of the serious threat that illicit drugs, including alcohol, constitute to a person’s physical and emotional well-being, the possession, use, sale, or being under the influence of these substances in school, on school grounds, or at any school sponsored function is strictly prohibited. Students who are found to be under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol will be referred to Administration and are subject to suspension and a Superintendent’s Hearing.  Over the counter and prescription medications must be registered with the School Nurse.

Students are urged to exercise sound judgment in their own conduct.  It is a student’s responsibility to remove himself/herself from an area in which drug or alcohol use is taking place. Those who remain in close proximity to others who are drinking or using drugs must accept the risk of being held responsible as participants. These rules apply to all Board of Education approved trips.

Students who are involved in extracurricular and co-curricular activities including athletics, should be forewarned that attendance at parties or gatherings where drugs/alcohol is being consumed may jeopardize their participation in these school activities. Trained school officials reserve the right to conduct sobriety assessments utilizing the (ALCO – sensor and/or Drug Recognition exams) should there be reasonable suspicion.

EARLY DISMISSAL

The Main Office must receive parental notification before any student is allowed to leave campus. Students who must leave school prior to dismissal for doctor appointments, etc. must present a note explaining the specific reason for leaving. Early excuse notes will not be accepted on scheduled detention days.  This note must be presented to the office prior to the start of period 1 and include the reason for leaving and the telephone number of a parent or guardian with whom the information can be verified.  If permission is granted/verified student must sign out in the main office prior to leaving the building. Students must be present for four (4) periods of the school day and/or their abbreviated schedule if less than four (4) periods in order to participate in the following activities which include but are not limited to sports, clubs, class activities, etc.  If a student attends any of the following AM programs (C-TEC, BOCES, New Visions) their academic requirements have been met. All other extenuating circumstances must be approved by the building principal. If a student does not follow procedure, he/she may face disciplinary action.

Students who leave school without parental notification and school approval or are found in places other than their assigned class or study hall will face disciplinary action. Parents/guardians who pick up their child must be able to provide proper identification to the personnel in the main office.

EARLY RELEASE

Early release is a privilege given to students who can demonstrate that they are gainfully employed and/or are meeting all the necessary academic requirements for their grade level.  Students wishing to obtain an early release and maintain this privilege must comply with the following regulations:

  • A note from employer verifying employment
  • Consent from a parent or guardian
  • Approved early release schedule from an Administrator
  • Attain special parking permit from Main Office
  • Attain special student identification pass from Main Office
  • All early release students must sign out before leaving
  • All early release students must leave the school building and property upon release. 

Any student found on school grounds after his/her scheduled release time will face revocation of early release privileges

EATING

Students may eat their breakfast/lunch in the cafeteria.  Eating in the halls, gym, stairwells, or lavatories is not permitted.  However, a special permit pass must be obtained from an Assistant Principal in order to eat in classrooms for those with extenuating circumstances. Under NO circumstance will any student(s) or other persons be allowed to order food from the outside to be delivered to them while school is in session.

ELECTRONIC DEVICES & SOCIAL MEDIA

It is recommended that students keep their electronic devices at home and not bring them to school, except when being utilized for classroom instruction.  At no time shall Valley Central High School be responsible for preventing theft, loss, or damage to communication devices brought onto school property.  Students who possess electronic devices shall assume responsibility for their care.

Electronic devices, including but not limited to cell phones, iPods, laptops, smart watches, wearable technology and tablets, are valuable and sometimes necessary tools.  In light of the evolving technology and the ability to photograph and record video, it is our goal to not only foster and support learning, but also to protect the privacy of our students, staff, and the sanctity of the classroom environment. 

Similarly, VCHS will continue to NOT TOLERATE any inappropriate electronic communication.  Individuals whose behavior jeopardizes the safety and/or welfare of school staff and students and has a nexus to a disruption of the educational process will face disciplinary action in accordance with the Code of Conduct. For further information, refer to Board Policy #5312.

Valley Central High School permits students to use their personal electronic devices at specific times during the school day with some  stipulations and exceptions. They are as follows:

Student’s personal electronic devices may be ALLOWED during:

  • Classroom instruction only when the student receives permission from the teacher and/or his/her designee; students MUST begin each period with no devices
  • Lunchrooms and study halls provided the user can hear directions given in a normal voice and the content cannot be heard by anyone else
  • Transition (passing time) from one period to the next

Such will be PROHIBITED when

  • An EMERGENCY DRILL or EMERGENCY ACTION has been enacted (including but not limited to fire, weather, lock down, lock out)Student(s) are in any bathroom and/or locker room and/or the main office where an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy
  • Any school exam and/or any other work is being administered unless authorized by a teacher
  • Any State Exam is being administered (refer below) for further information
    Students entering the hallway during class time for any reason (i.e. nurse, guidance, main office)

Under no circumstances, will students be allowed to use their personal electronic devices to make or take a phone call anywhere in the school building, video/audio record themselves or others, and to use FaceTime, Sanpchat or any other video sharing/chatting.  Anyone observed not complying with these expectations will be subject to electronic device confiscation and/or disciplinary action. For further information, please refer to the Code of Conduct, specifically Board Policy 5312.

Students  MUST be able to hear and respond to directives, announcements, and emergencies given the first time by faculty and staff,  Excuses such as, “I didn’t hear you” or “I had my earbuds in” are not valid excuses for non-compliance. Once again, students who choose to use their electronic devices must maintain appropriate listening volume, Safety and common courtesy should always be exhibited by the student body in regard to their earbud/headphone use.  With such concerns we recommend that every student who walks in the hallways during period transition or is waiting on the cafeteria line USE ONLY ONE EARBUD/HEADPHONE.  Teachers reserve the right to require students use only one earbud/headphone while in a classroom/study hall when permission is given to use such devices.

All students must always remember that cell phone use or any other personal electronic device usage is subject to the discretion of the classroom teacher and/or the guidance/nurses/main office in every period.  Students must wait to be given permission to do so.  If a student did not receive permission and/or his/her electronic device usage creates a distraction or disturbance at any time during school hours, students may be asked by any faculty and staff member or administrator to surrender such device.  The electronic device(s) will be confiscated and will only be returned to a parent and/or guardian. THERE ARE NO WARNINGS!  If any student refuses to surrender said item, this will be considered insubordination and will result in further consequences.  Once again, this device will only be returned to a parent and/or guardian. With this privilege, all students must remember that it comes with great responsibility.  If the student body truly cherishes their personal electronic devices(s), then the students will respect and honor such privilege as stated within these parameters. 

Lastly, students and parents/guardians, should be aware that Administration reserves the right to update and modify the electronic device procedure as necessary to preserve the learning environment and the safety of faculty, staff and students.

State Examinations

Additionally, The State Education Department as of July 2012 has prohibited all students from bringing cell phones and any other electronic devices into a testing area where a NYS Assessment is being administered. Test proctors, test monitors and school officials shall retain the right to collect and hold any prohibited electronic devices prior to the start of the test administration.  Admission to the test shall be denied to any student who refuses to surrender such item. Or if any student decides to keep their electronic device during the state test, the exam will be invalidated and no score will be given. For complete information, please refer to http://www.highered.nysed.gov/. 

Similarly, based on our experience, the use of electronic devices by some students during class time has led to inappropriate communication during assessments which resulted in very serious academic penalties. Therefore, the use of such devices may be considered cheating, and a grade of zero may be issued for that day’s class activity (such as class work, quiz, or examination). Consequences for continued offenses may result in detention(s) or suspension(s). In both cases, it is not worth the risk.

Despite being permitted to use their personal electronic devises, it is recommended that students keep their electronic devices at home and not bring them to school, except when being utilized for classroom instruction. At no time shall Valley Central High School be responsible for preventing theft, loss, or damage to communication devices brought onto school property. Students who possess electronic devices shall assume responsibility for their care.

EVENING HIGH SCHOOL

The Evening High School Program is an alternative education program established to meet the educational needs of our students in an environment and structure in which they can be successful.  It focuses on the New York State curriculum, standards, and assessments while offering a unique alternative to meeting individual student needs. In order for the program and its students to continue to meet the high success rate that it has in the past years, it is important to be cognizant of the procedures that pertain to the program.

Those who are 16 years of age are eligible for enrollment in the program.  If you are interested in entering the Evening High School program, contact your Guidance Counselor.  Your Guidance Counselor will assist you with course offerings, counseling and the application process.  Courses offered may include Social Studies, Science, Math and English, as well as Science labs and Physical Education.  The Evening High School program hours will be announced at a later date.

CODE OF CONDUCT: All school rules and the Valley Central Code of Conduct apply to the Evening High School program.  If you have any questions regarding procedures, feel free to contact the Assistant Principal who supervises Evening High School.

ATTENDANCE:  Attendance is the responsibility of the student.  Students must agree to attendance procedures. Parents will be notified when a student has excessive absences.  Attendance procedures and guidelines will be addressed with each family of Evening High School student participants.  Students are not permitted to leave the building without permission. To report an absence, please call ext. 17500. Tardiness is also a part of attendance criterion.  Review any changes to attendance policy per Board of Education policy.

EXAMINATION PROCEDURES (REFER TO VIOLATION OF TEST PROCEDURES)

Class examinations are given by the individual teacher throughout the school year.  Finals and Regents examinations are given in almost all academic courses.

The final examination for all courses counts as 1/5 of a student’s final grade.  Students are responsible for being in their seats for all school and Regents examinations 15 minutes prior to the start of the test.  Students will be told the times of exams and assigned to exam rooms at least a week before the test. Due to the important nature of these exams, students should make sure that they are well prepared and are aware of all pertinent information and materials needed.  Any students who become aware of a conflict (two exams scheduled during the same period of time) must report this conflict to both of his/her subject teachers immediately. The Main Office will then resolve the conflict. Once in the examination room, the proctor will assign seats to students.  In all cases, the exams will be taken on the scheduled day and in the presence of a proctor unless a student is being home instructed for medical or disciplinary reasons. During Regent Examination weeks, no student is to be in the building unless he/she has a scheduled exam, guidance appointment, or scheduled review class.  There are no make-ups for a State examination.   Students who fail to report for a scheduled exam will receive an absence grade which will be considered a zero for purposes of the final grade.  Students who are legitimately ill should contact their guidance counselor prior to the exam.

EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITY PARTICIPATION

The Valley Central School District recognizes the educational values inherent in the extra-curricular life of the school.  For the purposes of building social relationships, developing interests in an academic area, acquiring a sense for the importance of team play, and gaining an understanding of good citizenship, certain expectations must be met.  Students must be present for four (4) periods of the school day and/or their abbreviated schedule if less than four (4) periods in order to participate in the following activities which include but are not limited to sports, clubs, class activities, etc.

Students who are given special tutoring, post-session or practice time will show increases in academic and athletic performance.  Students should open the channels of communication with a coach in order to develop a positive mind set. A feeling of competence, whether on the playing or practice field or in the classroom, can develop positive educational outcomes.  Students must be present for four (4) periods of the school day and/or their abbreviated schedule if less than four (4) periods in order to participate in the following activities which include but are not limited to sports, clubs, class activities, etc.  If a student attends any of the following AM programs (C-TEC, BOCES, New Visions) their academic requirements have been met. All other extenuating circumstances must be approved by the building principal. If a student does not follow procedure, he/she may face disciplinary action.

STUDENTS ARE ALERTED TO THE FOLLOWING

A code of ethics exists that defines the appropriate behavior expected by students participating in extracurricular activities, including athletics.  Students are reminded that their behavior reflects on their particular extra-curricular activity, both during the activity as well as away from the spotlight.  Student will be held accountable for behavior that negatively reflects on their activity. After an appropriate review, students may be disciplined.

After the start of an athletic season or selection process for an activity, rosters will be printed and distributed to the teaching staff for their perusal upon request.  Students must remain academically eligible in order to participate in all extracurricular/co-curricular activities.

FIELD TRIPS

All students participating in a field trip must return to their advisor/teacher written parental consent.  Permission slips will be distributed by advisor/teacher well in advance of any scheduled trip. Students are reminded that, while on a field trip, they are subject to the same rules of conduct as apply while they are in school.  Students are responsible to make up all work missed in their subject classes.

Students attending overnight trips are reminded that their baggage is subject to search.  Students on academic ineligibility (AI) will not be permitted to attend extra-curricular (academic and non-academic) activities.

FIGHTING

Fighting jeopardizes the safety, health, and welfare of our student body and is strictly prohibited anywhere within the school, campus, or at any school sponsored event/activity.   All students have an obligation to avoid physical confrontations. The school recognizes that provocative language and gestures may result in physical confrontation. These altercations will be considered the same as physical confrontation.  Students will be subject to suspension of up to five days out of school, with a minimum of two days, if involved in a physical confrontation. Repeated acts of aggressive behavior will be referred to the Superintendent.

Students engaged in a fight who refuse to cease the altercation after a directive from a staff member, will be considered insubordinate.  A mandatory 5 day suspension will be enforced. If any staff member is injured during an attempt to stop a physical altercation between students, these students will be referred to a Superintendent’s Hearing where they may be subject to additional Out of School Suspension.

FIRE EVACUATION AND SAFETY DRILLS

Students should familiarize themselves with the fire and evacuation exit route from each class.  These routes are displayed on the bulletin board of each room. If a student is not sure of the correct route to take, he/she is responsible to ask the instructor for details.  

During the fire drill or evacuation, all students are to proceed quickly and quietly to his/her assigned exit.  Students are not to stop at lockers for any reason. Books and notebooks are to remain in the classroom during fire drills.  Pocketbooks may be taken with you. Book bags may accompany students during an evacuation.

Students are to stay clear of all drives surrounding the building.  These areas are to remain open for emergency vehicles. Once in the designated parking area or grassy area, students are to stay together.  Proper behavior is to be maintained at all times.  Any student who does not comply immediately with the instructions of a supervising adult or engages in disruptive behavior will be subject to severe disciplinary action.  

Safety drills (i.e. Lockdown, Lockout, Shelter-In-Place) will be practiced throughout the school year and due to its significance requires that all students adhere to the school’s Emergency Response procedures to ensure the well-being and safety of the entire school community. Failure to comply will necessitate appropriate disciplinary action.

FUNDRAISING

All school organizations and/or school-related organizations must complete a fund raising form and submit it to school administration two (2) weeks prior to the event. Such form can be located on the school webpage and/or the high school’s main office.

Additionally, students are strictly prohibited from fundraising/sales of any type on school grounds and/or at any school activity/function without permission from administration. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in item confiscation and/or disciplinary action.

GRADING POLICY

In accordance with the grading policy each teacher is required to keep a weekly evaluation of each student’s work. These accurate and up-to-date records will be kept in the teacher’s grade book.

Criteria that are used in evaluating a student’s classroom performance may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Attentiveness
  • Willingness to cooperate
  • Degree of class participation
  • Preparedness for class and completion of assigned work
  • Grades on assignments including but not limited to:  test, quizzes, written assignments or projects (exclusive of quarterlies and finals).
  • Weighting of grades (Advanced, Adv. Placement, or College Level Class)

Any student missing a period of instruction in excess of eighteen (18) times for a one-credit course, excess of nine (9) times for a half-credit course, in excess of five (5) times for a quarter-credit course may become ineligible to receive credit for the course unless they make up this missed instruction.  The reason for the absence has no bearing on this policy.

Parents are expected to inform the guidance office if their child has an extended illness or injury. Home instruction will be available when a student is absent for a period of more than 10 days as approved by Central office.  Teacher assignments will be facilitated by the homework coordinator with absences of more than two days. Cases involving unusual and/or extraordinary circumstances may be referred to the building principal for consideration.  Earning a Regents credit will require that the student earn a passing final course average. Regents’ credit will not be granted solely on the basis of a passing Regents examination score.

Students who are scheduled for Advanced (Honors) classes will receive a 5% addition to the grade earned in their class calculated once at the end of the year based on the final grade.  Students who are scheduled for Advanced Placement or College Level courses (including the New Visions Program) will receive a 10% addition to the grade earned in their class calculated once at the end of the year based on the final grade.  The midterm will count as 20% of quarter two grade.

When a student changes a level of instruction (i.e. English 9AD to English 9R), the grade(s) earned and attendance record in the initial class follow the student to the next level.

GRADUATION

The outdoor graduation ceremony will take place on the Saturday of the last week of school beginning at 6 p.m., weather permitting.

In case of inclement weather, the ceremony may be held Saturday morning outside OR inside the gymnasium in the evening. ONLY those guests with OFFICIAL SCHOOL GRADUATION TICKETS will be allowed to enter ANY indoor ceremony. Once the decision has been made, typically by 5 p.m., to hold the ceremony inside or outside, the decision is final! 

Commencement Expectations

Seniors must attend all rehearsals and must be on time.  Failure to attend a rehearsal will result in automatic exclusion from the commencement exercises.
Graduation fee includes the cost of cap, gown and tassel.  Total cost is appropriately $30 which is paid when you pick up your cap and gown.  If paying cash, you must have exact change or checks payable to Valley Central High School.
ALL OBLIGATIONS (scholastic and financial) must be satisfied in order for seniors to participate in the commencement ceremony.  PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE RETURNED ALL BOOKS TO TEACHERS AND THE LIBRARY.

Proper Dress

BOYS

  • Black shoes and dark socks.  NO SNEAKERS
  • ONLY WHITE shirt (no other color)
  • Wear black or navy trousers (no khakis, blue jeans, dungarees)
  • All must have and wear a dark tie (no bow ties)
  • Hair to be trimmed and well-groomed as to easily accommodate the cap
  • No jewelry other than watches and rings.
  • NO FACIAL JEWELRY!

GIRLS

  • Black or navy blue pumps closed in shoes (no sandals or sling backs)
  • Girls must wear dress or shirt, (no cut-offs, shorts, etc.)
  • No jewelry other than watches and rings.  NO FACIAL JEWELRY!
  • No hoop earrings, ankle bracelets or necklaces
  • Hair must be such as to easily accommodate the cap
  • The neckline of the dress should not show above that of the gown
  • No pins or corsages

NO SUNGLASSES
NO CAMERAS
NO CELL PHONES

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate from Valley Central High School students must successfully complete specific requirements.  These requirements are outlined in the student programming booklet “Course Description Booklet” available to all students.

Selection of Valedictorian and Salutatorian

The Valedictorian/Salutatorian of the graduating class will be selected by tabulating the WEIGHTED grades of all prospective graduates up to and including the second quarter of the 12th grade.  Eleventh grade students who receive permission to accelerate to graduate a year early will be considered eligible for all senior awards, accolades and consideration as Valedictorian/Salutatorian.  The Valedictorian and Salutatorian are expected to actively participate in the commencement ceremony. For further information refer to Board Policy #4741.

You can view past years’ Graduation ceremonies here.

GRADUS HONORIS:  NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY

Gradus Honoris is the Valley Central Chapter of the National Honor Society.  To be eligible for consideration, the candidate must show excellence in the four cornerstones determined by the National Organization: scholarship, leadership, service, and character.  Only juniors who have been in attendance for one semester by the end of the second quarter of the junior year will be considered.  Excellence in scholarship is determined by the attaining of a 92% GPA by the aforementioned cut-off period. A discussion and explanation of the four cornerstones will be held at the yearly orientation meetings.  A Gradus Honoris handbook is available in our school library or the Principal’s office if further clarification is needed.

Since membership in the National Honor Society is a privilege, not a right, students do not apply for membership. They are invited to complete a student information questionnaire.  Guidance Counselors will distribute student information questionnaires to those students who have attained the appropriate academic average. At the same time, the Faculty Advisor will distribute to all faculty, a list of prospective candidates.  Faculty will rank each student based upon the cornerstones of leadership, service and character. This information will be collated and brought with the student information packets to the Faculty Committee. This committee comprised of Guidance Counselors, Administrators, Grad advisors and teachers, will discuss each student’s qualifications based upon the guidelines set forth by the National Organization.  Selection for membership is determined by the Faculty Council, which is a group of five teachers appointed yearly by the Principal.

An applicant who was not selected for membership will be notified by the Guidance Counselor.  Any applicant not selected shall have the right to appeal the decision of the Faculty Council.  To appeal, the student will address a formal letter to the Building Principal describing why he/she believes there may have been an oversight.  All letters will address the cornerstones upon which the Council has acted: leadership, service and character. The appeal letter must be submitted to the Building Principal within five school days of notification of rejection.  After consideration of the appeal letter, the Principal will determine whether the appeal merits reconsideration by the Faculty Council. After a decision has been made, the student will be notified of their status. The decision made at this time is final; no further appeals will be considered.  Additionally, if a candidate is not accepted in the first year of eligibility, no further consideration will be given in future years.

GUIDANCE SERVICES

The Guidance Office is organized to assist all pupils in making a satisfactory adjustment in school, planning their educational programs, and in making sound vocational choices.  To achieve these goals, the Guidance Office provides a variety of counseling services including individual and group counseling. Students meet with their counselors to plan their course of study for the subsequent year and to develop an educational plan which will prepare them for their post high school goals.  Advice on colleges, vocational options and training programs, careers, and personal problems is available from the Guidance counselors.

Guidance counselors are available to meet with students throughout the school day.  Students who need to speak with their counselor must stop by the Guidance Office and make an appointment.  Student appointments with counselors should be made during study halls or post-session. Parents may also make appointments by phoning the counselor (457-2400 Ext.(s) 17601, 17602, or 17603).

Scheduling of Classes

By February of each year, a booklet of anticipated course offerings is made available to all students to assist in schedule planning for the following school year.  Beginning in mid-winter, counselors will schedule individual meetings with each student to discuss the offerings which are recommended and answer questions or provide advice.    Parents who wish to change their child’s course selection should call the respective Guidance Counselor.

Schedule Changes

VCHS will enact a three phase procedure that will incorporate all aspects of schedule changes.  The goal is to create a rigorous educational environment that is least disruptive to the start of the school year, and that applies to courses that are both elective and core in nature.

All students have the right to make scheduling changes starting in March through June of the current school year for next school year.  This gives student, parents and counselors ample time to discuss, review and plan accordingly. The ultimate goal for all parties is to maintain academic rigor, achieve 21st century skills and prepare students for their future.

Please take this time to review your student’s courses to make sure they are appropriate!

The guidance office welcomes you to contact them via phone or email to ask questions. They also welcome you to come in to discuss a plan for your student.

Phase I (March – August)

During this time, students and parents can make changes to schedules with no penalty.  We ask that during this time, you review carefully the course descriptions and also match courses to college/career requirements.

Phase II (First day of school – 10 days after start of school)

At this time, no schedule changes can be made unless it is for the following:
If a student wishes to drop a course during this phase, they must do so using a course drop form.  Only if they are approved through administration may they drop the course with no penalty. For second semester courses, the same rule applies with the same amount of days.  Please keep in mind that dropping courses could affect NCAA eligibility, college admissions, preparation for placement tests and more.  We ask that you take extreme caution when coming to this decision.

Phase III (10 days after start of school and on)

At this point, no schedule changes will occur. Only in extenuating circumstances will a total drop of a course take place.  This will result in a student receiving a W/F on their transcript and will require parent, teacher, counselor and administrative approval.

Honors (Advanced) Classes

Students enrolling at Valley Central High School from the eighth grade must have an academic average of 90% or higher in a subject area (i.e. English, Social Studies, Math) in addition to teacher recommendation in order to enroll in an honors (AD) class.  Likewise, students who are currently in Regents level courses in high school who wish to be in Advanced courses must have an academic average of 90% or higher. Students enrolled in high school honors classes (AD) must maintain an average of 88% or higher by the end of the school year and have a teacher recommendation in order to remain in honors level classes the following year.  Students whose grade falls below 88% during the school year may be asked to meet with their counselor to discuss the appropriateness of this placement.

Honor Roll

The Board of Education recognizes the importance of honor rolls to provide recognition to those students who have exhibited superior personal academic achievement.  The Superintendent of Schools will establish guidelines and criteria for student selection to the honor roll at the secondary level. In order for a student to be placed on the academic honor roll, he/she must maintain an 85% average with no grade falling below a 75%.

Students who maintain a 90% average in each of the first 3 quarters, with no grade lower than 75%, no failing or incomplete grades, will be eligible for the high honor roll.

Report Cards

Report cards with the exception of the 4th quarter will be given to the student during the school day and/or be available on the Parent Portal.  The dates for distribution are tentatively scheduled for November, February, April, and June.  Along with individual grades for each subject, the report cards will contain comments describing the student’s status in class and the number of absences he/she has attained.  Students or parents having concerns about any aspect of the report card should contact the student’s teacher and/or Guidance Counselor. Incomplete grades and other grade changes must be adjusted by the next 5 week period.

Senior Information

Students planning to graduate in January, June, or August should note the following information:

  • In order to be considered a senior, students must have already passed the 5 required Regents exams before the end of their Junior year.
  • Be certain your guidance record is up to date.  This is important for college transcripts and job information.
  • Make sure your senior year schedule will enable you to have completed the requirements for graduation as outlined in the Student Course Selection Handbook for a Regents diploma or local diploma or a Regents diploma with distinction.
  • Admission counselors from various colleges will be coming to Valley Central High School.  Announcements of visits and sign-up information will be made to insure proper planning. If you are interested in a particular college, you must obtain a pass in the Guidance Office prior to the college visit.
  • Apply early to college. It is not necessary to wait until you take the SATs as a senior to apply to college. It is the student’s responsibility to submit their SAT/ACT scores directly from the testing site to the colleges they are applying to.
  • The Guidance Office provides services for all students, including the college bound, those planning to go to work or into the military, attend vocational school and others.  If you wish information on careers, advice is available.
  • A FAFSA form must be completed if you are interested in financial aid.  See a counselor or visit the Guidance website and click on financial aid. 
  • SENIORS WHO HAVE NOT MET ALL THE REQUIREMENTS TO RECEIVE A DIPLOMA WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY IN JUNE.
  • The Valley Central Scholarship Council raises money throughout the school year with the intent of offering financial aid to our seniors.  See your Guidance counselor throughout the year for more information on available scholarships.

Current information on SAT and ACT dates are available in the Guidance Office.  Applications can be obtained in the Guidance Office and mailed out directly by students, with the appropriate fee. See your counselor if you have any questions.

HEALTH OFFICE

The Health Office is operated by a registered nurse and a LPN.  It is to be used only for illnesses that have their onset during the school day, minor injuries requiring first aid, physicals and examinations for sports.  The office is to be used only as a temporary stop for students who are not feeling well. Persistent illness will be brought to the attention of a parent or guardian, and the student will be sent home.   Parents are reminded that the nurse must be apprised if a child is taking medication. Only students with passes will be allowed into the Nurse’s Office. A pass must be obtained from your subject teacher and not the Main Office.  If you arrive at the Health Office without a pass and are sent back to class, you will not be issued a late pass for that subject. Students being sent home due to illness must sign out in the attendance office prior to leaving the building.

HOMECOMING

Valley Central has a long tradition of Homecoming activities. Amongst these activities is the Homecoming Dance.  The following rules will apply to this dance:

  • No admission to the dance after 8 p.m. without administrative approval.
  • Semi-formal dress required: no sneakers, jeans or hats.
  • School ID and a ticket are required for admission.
  • Guests must be pre-approved by administration and accompanied by a current VCHS student.  Guests may only be students who graduated from VCHS the previous school year.
  • VCHS is not responsible for personal property brought to the dance.
  • Students must attend four (4) full periods of class and/or their abbreviated schedule if less than four (4) periods.  All other extenuating circumstances must be approved by the building principal. If a student does not follow procedure, he/she may face disciplinary action, including being refused entry to the dance.
  • Drop-off and pick-up must be in a timely fashion.
  • All school rules, including dress code, apply (semi-formal dress required as noted above in #2).
  • VCHS Administration has the right to remove students and guests from the dance for inappropriate, violent and/or insubordinate behavior.
  • The cost of entry will be established by the Student Government Association officers each year.

HOMEWORK

Home preparation is a natural extension of class work and is assigned regularly.  Students are expected to complete assignments promptly and carefully and to plan appropriately for the completion of large projects or term papers. Homework will only be collected by the homework coordinator for a student who is absent at least three consecutive days with a doctor’s note.  Otherwise, it is the student’s responsibility to make up the work.

ID TAGS

Student ID tags will be distributed at the start of the school year and must be in student’s possession at all times while on campus and as required by school personnel.

INAPPROPRIATE DISPLAY OF AFFECTION

Students have an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner which is suitable and reflects their respect for themselves and others.  Inappropriate and excessive display of affection is not considered acceptable conduct in school, or on the school grounds, or during school sponsored field trips, athletic events, overnight excursions, etc.

IN SCHOOL SUSPENSION

If a student is assigned to in school suspension, he/she will be informed by the Assistant Principal to report to the in school suspension room for up to an entire school day.  Students are responsible for requesting work from teachers. Generic assignments may be available. Students must attend the entire length of assigned ISS.  Any time students are not in attendance, they will serve the remaining time in ISS the next available day.

Students who do not adhere to the rules and regulations of ISS may be subject to progressive discipline.  Students removed from a class due to the Project SAVE legislation guidelines, may be assigned to in-school suspension for that period.

LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS

The State Education Department provides a syllabus for each Science Regents course.  These courses have laboratory requirements. The laboratory work which is built into the course is required.  It is the responsibility of the school to collect and retain a written record of the laboratory work. In order for a student to be admitted to the Regents examination, the school must certify that the laboratory work of the student is satisfactorily completed.  All laboratory assignment must be submitted prior to the date of examination with the specific due date to be determined by the Science department.  Parents/Guardians of students who do not successfully complete their laboratory requirement will be informed by mail.  Failure to complete the laboratory assignments will disqualify a student from taking the respective Regents and/or mid-term exams.

LIBRARY

Because of the limited amount of space, the library is to be used only for research, signing out books, computer usage, or reading.  It is not to be used as an alternative to study hall. Students wishing to use the library must use the following procedures:

  1. Obtain a signed library pass from the subject teacher for whom the work is being done.
  2. Have your study hall teacher sign the pass and release you to the library.
  3. Upon entering the library, place your personal belongings on the shelves on the left hand side.
  4. Sign in at the librarian’s desk.  Computers may be assigned at the librarian’s discretion. 

Students should come to the library with school work to do.  Students are expected to follow all library procedures.  The library staff reserves the right to send a student back to a study hall, lunch period, etc. if necessary.  The library should remain a quiet environment to allow students the space to study and complete school assignments.  

Library books are signed out for a 2 week period.  Books can be renewed and library fines will accrue on late returning books.  The library is opened for post session every Tuesday – Friday. Students are admitted on a first come, first serve basis. The library is also available extended hours 2:30 – 5:30 every Tuesday and Thursday.

LOCKERS AND LOCKS

Students are assigned lockers the first day of school. It is required that students PROPERLY secure their hallway lockers with a SCHOOL APPROVED lock. A school approved lock is one that has been purchased from the Middle School store or the High School store/main office.  These locks are currently being sold for $6.00 as no profit will be made from these sales. The reason for this is safety; these locks are specifically ordered from Master Lock and have a key hole in the back so that in case of an emergency the special key can be used by Administration or emergency personnel to access the locker.  The keys are not included with the locks as they are given to us through the company based upon the lock code. Students are continuously informed of this procedure throughout the first weeks of school. If students fail to place the approved school lock on the locker, locks will be removed and contents of the locker safeguarded for the student. If there is a question about whether a lock is school approved, please speak to an Administrator immediately. Students are not allowed to share lockers or place their belongings in any locker other than their own.  If students disregard this procedure, those lockers will be opened with a master key or with a bolt cutter with or without notice. Items will be bagged, labeled and placed in the main office for retrieval.

LOITERING

Students are not to loiter in classrooms, hallways, or on Valley Central school grounds building or grounds before their first scheduled activity of the day or after their last scheduled activity.  The school may not be used as a social gathering place for students who are not scheduled to be here. Students who persist in loitering in the building or on school grounds at times when the are not scheduled to be here may face possible disciplinary action and/or arrest.

LOST AND FOUND

The Main Office at Valley Central High School functions as the school’s lost and found.  Students who find lost articles are asked to bring them there. Items which are not claimed within a reasonable length of time are donated to charity.

MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS

STUDENTS MUST HAVE A MEDICAL EXAMINATION IF THEY:

  • enter the school district for the first time (including Pre-K or Kindergarten)
  • are in grades 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11
  • participate in interscholastic sports
  • are deemed necessary by school authorities to determine a child’s education program
  • all students must have up-to-date vaccination records or they will be denied access to school.

MEDICATION

According to New York State Law, there is a procedure the school nurse must follow before any medication (prescription and/or over-the-counter), can be given during school hours.  Only those medications which are necessary to maintain the student in school and which must be given during school hours should be administered. Any student who is required to take medication during the regular school day or while participating in school sponsored activities (e.g. field trips, athletics) must comply with the following procedures.

A written order from a duly licensed prescriber and written parental permission to administer the medication is required.  All medications, including nonprescription drugs, given in school shall be prescribed by a licensed prescriber on an individual basis as determined by the student’s health status.  Students may not carry medication with the exception of Rescue Inhalers and Epi-pens and those medications must have “self-carry” prescriber orders in the Nurse’s office. Students are prohibited from bringing any over the counter medications to school.

Written orders for prescription and nonprescription medications should minimally include:

  • Student’s name and date of birth
  • Name of medication
  • Dosage and route of administration
  • Frequency and time of administration
  • For prn (as necessary) medications, conditions under which medication should be administered.
  • Date written
  • Prescriber’s name, title, and signature
  • Prescriber’s phone number

Special considerations:

  • Medication orders must be renewed annually or when there is a change in medication dosage.
  • The pharmacy label does not constitute a written order and cannot be used in lieu of a written order from a licensed prescriber.

Parental Responsibility

A written statement from the parent or guardian requesting administration of the medication in school as ordered by the licensed prescriber is required.
The parent or guardian must assume responsibility to have the medication delivered directly to the health office in a properly labeled original container.

Prescription medication: The pharmacy label must display:

  • Student Name
  • Name and phone number of pharmacy
  • Licensed prescriber’s name
  • Date and number of refills
  • Name of medication and dosage
  • Frequency of administration
  • Route of administration and/or other directions

OTC medications must be in the original manufacturer’s container/package with the student’s name affixed to the container.

Medications should not be transported daily to and from school.  Parents are advised to ask the pharmacist for two containers, one to remain at home and one at school.

If these procedures are not followed, students will be subjected to disciplinary action.

FIELD TRIPS AND MEDICATIONS

 Procedures for taking oral, topical or inhalant medications off school grounds or after school hours while participating in a school sponsored activity:

 The school nursing personnel should assure:

  • Oversight of self-administration to:
    Student who is self-directed
    Voluntary staff member who has been appropriately instructed by the school nursing personnel to assist self-directed student. (Note: Consistent with good practice, the employee’s willingness to perform the task should be considered in making the assignment.)
  • Preparation of medication. When medication is to be given to a self-directed student in the absence of a school nurse, the student’s medication must remain in a properly labeled pharmacy container, or original over the counter container, in the possession of a supervising adult; until it is handed to the self-directed student to self-administer on a field trip or other school event.  Children needing medication on extended trips must have their medication in a properly labeled pharmacy container.
  • Administration of oral, topical or inhalant medications to non-self-directed students and injectable medications to anyone must remain the responsibility of the school nurse, licensed practical nurse under the direction of a school nurse, physician, parent or parent designee.
  • Students who have an order to “self- carry and self- administer”, may take non-prescription and prescription medications in the original pharmacy bottle.  If there is concern about sharing, the accompanying adult should hold the meds.
  • For extended field trips, parents should provide the medication (prepared by student’s pharmacy) to the person in charge of the field trip.
  • Parents, whose students will require medications for the trip which they do not require on a daily basis at school, should obtain physician orders and provide the medication.  Chaperones should be notified of any controlled substance.
  • If a chaperone is given a medication at the last minute, it becomes a judgment call on the part of the chaperone and school administration.  Each situation, medical condition, age of the child, kind of student, kind of parent, nature of the medication, nature of potential side effects, and likelihood of further difficulty from the medical condition must be considered.

PARENT PORTAL

The Valley Central School District has implemented a web-based communication tool which allows you to access your student’s academic profiles via the Internet anytime, anywhere. Please access the VCHS section of the district website and click on the link to sign up if you have not done so already. There will be a short delay between initial login and final access. This delay is due to the amount of time necessary for each account application to go through a comprehensive verification process. Parents or legal guardians MUST be the ones to enter contact and student information upon initial sign-up on the Parent Portal website. If parents wish to provide portal access to students after initial sign-up this is a decision that is left to the discretion of each individual family. Any account determined to be student created will be deleted and/or inactivated.  A step-by-step guide for Parents & Guardians about how to login and access student information through the Parent Portal is available via a link on the District website.

PASSES

Students should not be in the halls while classes are in session unless they possess a student permit pass signed by a staff member who indicates the student’s name, the time, date, and the destination.  Any student found in an area not designated on the pass will be considered cutting.  Passes will not be granted the first and last 5 minutes of the period.  Student may be placed on pass restriction for repeated violations of cutting, lateness, truancy, etc.

POST SESSION

Students are encouraged to seek extra help from their teachers either before or after school.  Students should remember that post-session is part of the school day and that each teacher will be available during this period of time.  All school rules are  applicable.  Students who have been assigned post session are required to attend.  Transportation is provided following post session. Bus passes MUST be obtained from supervising teachers. Students who remain for post session, will be taking a specifically assigned post session bus that will leave at 2:30 p.m. immediately following post session dismissal at 2:25 (Amended on 8/22/19).

Post session (Tuesday through Friday) and Double Post session (Tuesday and Thursday) buses will be available at 2:30 PM and 3:30 PM respectively.  There is NO POST SESSION ON MONDAYS due to teacher and/or faculty meetings.  Students are prohibited from loitering during post session.  It is the expectation of the high school administration that students be in their post session room no later than 2:00 PM.  Loitering in the hallways will not be tolerated and violators will be subjected to disciplinary action.

PROGRESS REPORTS

This report is not a formal report card but is designed to enable the teachers to provide the parents with a review of the student’s performance.  It will also serve to notify parents of any difficulties a student may be experiencing in a particular class as well as a grade range. All students will be issued a progress report in the months of October, December, March, and May during the school day.

Attendance for each individual class is included in the progress report.  Parents are encouraged to call the child’s Guidance Counselor if they are unsure of their child’s progress in any subject class.  A grade range for each class will indicate the academic progress of the student. The actual grade may change at the quarter report card.

SCHOOL EMERGENCIES (DELAYS AND CLOSINGS)

In the event of severely inclement weather or mechanical breakdown, school may be closed or the starting time delayed.  The decision as to whether the schools will be open or closed will be made as early as possible. Announcements will be made on the following radio stations as well as the school website and social media sites (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter):  

  • WBNR, Newburgh Dial 1260AM/104.7FM
  • School website
  • WGNY, Newburgh Dial 1220AM/103.1FM
  • WALL, Middletown Dial 1340AM/92.7FM

When school is closed because of inclement weather or some other emergency, the entire operation involving student programs shall be canceled until further notice. This includes play rehearsals, sports games, and/or practices, and other organized school activities.

Be advised that on any morning that there is a two hour delay for Valley Central High School, there will be no morning BOCES classes. Any student enrolled in the AM BOCES program will not have to report to school at Valley Central on that morning until the end of 5th period as shown in the 2 hour delay bell schedule.

SCHOOL PUBLICATIONS

There are three official publications at Valley Central High School including our school newspaper, Revelation, our creative literary magazine, and the school yearbook, Viking Log.  All students are invited to submit material and to become involved as staff members or editors of these publications.  Those interested should see the publication advisor.

SCHOOL STORE

The school store is located across from the South Cafeteria and is operated by the Gradus Honoris.  The store features school supplies, review books, and official school accessories. No candy, soda, or sugar products may be sold during the school day. The school store will be open during designated times.

SEX-BASED HARASSMENT

In order for the Board to effectively enforce this policy and to take prompt corrective measures, all victims of sex-based harassment and persons with knowledge of sex-based harassment are encouraged to report the harassment immediately. The District will promptly investigate all complaints of sex-based harassment, formal or informal, verbal or written. To the extent possible, all complaints will be treated in a confidential manner. Limited disclosure may be necessary to complete a thorough investigation. 

The Board of Education recognizes that harassment of students and staff on the basis of sex, gender and/or sexual orientation is abusive and illegal behavior that harms victims and negatively impacts the school culture by creating an environment of fear, distrust, intimidation and intolerance. The Board further recognizes that preventing and remedying sex-based harassment in schools is essential to ensure a healthy, nondiscriminatory environment in which students can learn and employees can work productively. 

The Board is committed to providing an educational and working environment that promotes respect, dignity and equality and that is free from all forms of sex-based harassment. To this end, the Board condemns and strictly prohibits all forms of sex-based harassment on school grounds, school buses and at all school-sponsored activities, programs and events including those that take place at locations outside the District. 

This regulation is intended to create and preserve an educational and working environment free from unlawful sex-based harassment in furtherance of the District’s commitment to provide a healthy and productive environment for all students and employees that promotes respect, dignity and equality. 

“Sex-based harassment” means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical conduct or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature.  “Gender-based harassment” means verbal, non-verbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility that is based on actual or perceived gender identity or expression.

Sex-based or gender-based harassment occurs when:

  • submission to that conduct or communication is made a term or condition, either explicitly or implicitly, of an employee’s employment or a student’s education (including any aspect of the student’s participation in school-sponsored activities, or any other aspect of the student’s education); or 
  • submission to or rejection of that conduct or communication by an individual is used as a factor in decisions affecting an employee’s employment or a student’s education; or
  • the conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work performance or a student’s academic performance or participation in school-sponsored activities, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment.

Unacceptable Conduct

School-related conduct that the District considers unacceptable and which may constitute sex-based harassment includes, but is not limited to, the following: 

  • rape, attempted rape, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, forcible sexual abuse, hazing, and other sexual and gender-based activity of a criminal nature as defined under the State Penal Law;
  • unwelcome sexual invitations or requests for sexual activity in exchange for grades, promotions, preferences, favors, selection for extracurricular activities or job assignments, homework, etc.;
  • unwelcome and offensive public sexual display of affection, including kissing, making out, groping, fondling, petting, inappropriate touching of one’s self or others, sexually suggestive dancing, and massages;
  • any unwelcome communication that is sexually suggestive, sexually degrading or implies sexual motives or intentions, such as sexual remarks or innuendoes about an individual’s clothing, appearance or activities;
  • sexual jokes; sexual gestures; public conversations about sexual activities or exploits; sexual rumors and “ratings lists;” howling, catcalls, and whistles; sexually graphic computer files, messages or games, etc.;
  • unwelcome and offensive name calling or profanity that is sexually suggestive, sexually degrading, implies sexual intentions, or that is based on sexual stereotypes or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression;
  • unwelcome physical contact or closeness that is sexually suggestive, sexually degrading, or sexually intimidating such as the unwelcome touching of another’s body parts, cornering or blocking an individual, standing too close, spanking, pinching, following, stalking, frontal body hugs, etc.;
  • unwelcome and sexually offensive physical pranks or touching of an individual’s clothing, such as hazing and initiation, “streaking,” “mooning,” “snuggies” or “wedgies” (pulling underwear up at the waist so it goes in between the buttocks), bra-snapping, skirt “flip-ups,” “spiking” (pulling down someone’s pants or swimming suit); pinching; placing hands inside an individual’s pants, shirt, blouse, or dress, etc.;
  • unwelcome leers, stares, gestures, or slang that are sexually suggestive; sexually degrading or imply sexual motives or intentions;
  • clothing with sexually obscene or sexually explicit slogans or messages;
  • unwelcome and offensive skits, assemblies, and productions that are sexually suggestive, sexually degrading, or that imply sexual motives or intentions, or that are based on sexual stereotypes;
  • unwelcome written or pictorial display or distribution of pornographic or other sexually explicit materials such as magazines, videos, films, Internet material, etc.
  • any other unwelcome behavior based on sexual stereotypes or attitudes that are offensive, degrading, intimidating, demeaning, or that is based on sexual stereotypes and attitudes.

 For purposes of this regulation, action or conduct shall be considered “unwelcome” if the student or employee did not request or invite it and regarded the conduct as undesirable or offensive. In addition, in the remainder of this regulation, the term sex-based harassment will refer to both sexual and gender-based harassment. 

Determining if Prohibited Conduct is Sex-based Harassment

Complaints of sex-based harassment will be thoroughly investigated to determine whether the totality of the behavior and circumstances meet any of the elements of the above definition of sex-based harassment and should therefore be treated as sex-based harassment. Not all unacceptable conduct with sexual connotations may constitute sex-based harassment. In many cases (other than quid pro quo situations where the alleged harasser offers academic or employment rewards or threatens punishment as an inducement for sexual favors), unacceptable behavior must be sufficiently severe, pervasive and objectively offensive to be considered sex-based harassment.  For further information refer to the Board of Education policy # 0110.

SEXTING

Refer to Code of Conduct – Plain Language Summary (page 7 of the Handbook)

SMOKING

Due to the health hazards associated with smoking, and in accordance with Federal and State Law, the Board of Education prohibits smoking, the use of e-cigarettes or any other device used to inhale any non-prescribed substance, or other tobacco use in all school buildings, on school property, or at school-sponsored activities.  We ask for students, parents and public cooperation in abiding by the policy which is also consistent with state and federal laws. Students who are found smoking on school grounds will receive disciplinary action; Board Policy #1530

STUDENT ASSISTANCE COUNSELOR

The Student Assistance Counselor’s office is located in room 108.  Confidential counseling and referral services are available to any student who feels he/she may have a problem pertaining to drugs, alcohol use or other personal issues.  Students must request an appointment and receive a pass to go to the Student Assistant Counselor’s office. Passes are to be presented to the period teacher first and then the student may attend counseling.  Students may make appointments before school and/or during post-session.

STUDENT DISCIPLINE REFERRALS

Discipline referrals are written for students who commit infractions of the school’s code of conduct.  These referrals may be generated by teachers, hall monitors, bus drivers, or any adult given the responsibility of supervising students.  The referral is sent to the office of the Assistant Principal for deliberation. The Assistant Principal may then conduct an investigation and will determine the appropriate course of action.

STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION

The Student Government Association is a service organization dedicated to the improvement of the academic and social environment of the school. It also serves as the office of alumni affairs.  The Student Government Association is the official voice of the student body at Valley Central High School.

The direct responsibilities of Student Government are as follows:

  • To coordinate and promote educational and extra-curricular activities.
  • To improve the number and quality of such activities and programs.
  • To promote school spirit and pride in Valley Central High School.
  • To investigate, evaluate, and recommend changes in school policy.
  • To promote student leadership.
  • To facilitate communication within the school and with the community at large.
  • To establish a school calendar providing dates for equitable opportunities for school clubs to receive /provide funds.

Expectations Officers

  • Remain in good academic standing and maintain academic eligibility.
  • Remain in good behavioral standing and maintain a clean disciplinary record.
  • Maintain a good attendance record as outlined by the student handbook and New York State law.
  • Students should arrive to school on time and attend all classes daily. 
  • Attend all mandatory scheduled events outlined by class/SGA adviser.
  • Maintain appropriate interpersonal interactions with all peers (i.e. no bullying and/or teasing and/or harassment and/or exclusion).
  • Taking appropriate steps toward conflict resolution and/or seeking staff support should a conflict arise is expected.
  • Maintain appropriate behavior via technology and social media (including but not limited to text messaging, Instagram (Finsta), Snapchat, Facebook, House Party etc.)
  • Refrain from filling any other elected position i.e. Grad, Yearbook etc. that may hinder your ability to fulfill your SGA/class responsibilities.
  • Follow all policies and procedures as outlined in the Valley Central Code of Conduct, before, during and after school hours including but not limited to some of the most common high school infractions i.e. misuse of passes, insubordination, skipping/late to class, altercations (physical/verbal), cafeteria/classroom misconduct etc.
  • It is important to remember that as a class/SGA officer, you represent the students at Valley Central High School.  It is the expectation that you will portray leadership and honor while serving in this capacity. You will be held to a specific standard and it is anticipated that you will meet the standards placed before you. 

Failure to meet these expectations may result in your immediate removal, suspension and/or probation from your elected office, to be determined by the adviser(s) and school administration.

STUDENT PARKING AND AUTOMOBILES

The following regulations should be observed:

  • All rules of the Valley Central High School discipline code apply and are to be followed.
  • By state law, the speed limit on school grounds is 15 mph.
  • All signs must be obeyed (i.e. STOP, YIELD, ONE WAY, etc.)
  • Excessive noise (i.e. engine revving, loud music, etc.) will not be tolerated and violators may face disciplinary action and/or loss of parking privileges.
  • There is to be no parking in driveways, grassed areas, or in the fire lanes of the parking lot and the main plaza.
  • Student must participate in the free Teen Driver Safety Awareness Course prior to being eligible for a parking permit.
  • Parking is a Senior privilege.  Seniors may obtain a parking application and booklet from July 8, 2019 through August 9, 2019. Completed applications will be accepted beginning July 8, 2019 through August 9, 2019.  Applications will not be handed out again until the third week of the new school year.  At this time, Juniors may apply for parking privileges.
  • Students who attempt to alter or construct forged parking permits will be disciplined.
  • Freshmen and sophomores are prohibited from driving to school.
  • Parking permits will be denied if book accounts are not satisfied.
  • Parking permits will be revoked for violations of the student code of conduct and the VCHS Traffic and Parking Regulations booklet, including academic ineligibility and any unsafe and unwarranted behavior related to the parking area.
  • Students who do not have a school issued parking permit are not allowed to drive and park on school grounds.  Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action and/or ticketing/towing.
  • Students who amass excessive unexcused tardies and or absences (based upon the threshold established by NYS) may have their parking privileges suspended and/or revoked.
  • Students will not be allowed to drive to school on Thursday, November 7, 2019 due to the College Fair and May 19, 2020 due to the Budget Vote.
  • During an off-site evacuation no student will be allowed to drive his/her vehicle off campus.

STUDENTS’ RIGHTS

It is each student’s right to attend school and gain an education as provided by law.  It is each student’s right to learn in an atmosphere free of discriminatory and threatening influence; an atmosphere that encourages students to discuss and debate their attitudes, ideas and opinions, thereby helping to eliminate prejudice and fostering the exercise of reason in forming, understanding and defending beliefs.

The student has responsibilities which are inseparable from his or her rights.  It is a necessary assumption that students will accept the responsibilities associated with their rights and that they will contribute in a positive way to the maintenance of an orderly environment in which learning is not jeopardized by disruption.  Therefore, each student must be responsible to act within the framework of the rules and regulations established by the school district. Such rules and regulations shall be fair, reasonable and for the good of the students and the schools. Our rules and regulations are in effect for all school-related and school-sponsored activities, including transportation and after-school extra-curricular activities.

STUDENT SEARCHES

Be advised that all students may be subject to search should the Administration have reasonable suspicion (New Jersey vs. TLO, 469 US 325, 1985).  These searches may include, but not be limited to, one’s person, locker, automobile, book bag, and other personal belongings. As well, this provision shall apply to all field trips as well as overnight trips approved by the Administration and/or Board of Education.  By extension, while on overnight trips, students are to be advised that their luggage is subject to search prior to leaving for said trip. As well, student hotel rooms are subject to search at any time. Finally, school authorities may confiscate dangerous and/or illegal items, as well as ill obtained items.  Administration has the discretion to not return confiscated items to students and/or parent/guardians. In these instances the School Resource Officer shall be notified. (Gun Free School Act 20 USC § 7151(b)(1)).

STUDY HALL

Assigned study halls are considered a part of the student’s schedule and will be treated like any other class.  Students may use the library or make appointments for remedial work during study hall time. In order to leave study hall, students must procure a signed pass from the teacher they are seeing for remediation and sign out with the appropriate study hall teacher. In regard to bathroom passes, two (2) students will only be allowed to leave study hall at a time.  Guidance appointments may be made during study hall periods.

SUMMER SCHOOL

Students must register for Summer School with their guidance counselor during the last week of school or prior. Select courses will be offered at Valley Central High School during the months of July and August, Monday through Thursday in two morning sessions.

 Parents, guardians and students should be aware that mandatory attendance is based upon Part 104 of the Commissioner’s regulations as it applies to all students enrolled in scheduled instruction during the school year from July 1st through June 30th, including summer school.  Districts, such as Valley Central must use the same board-approved attendance policy for summer that is used during the regular school year. As a result, Valley Central is authorized to adopt minimum attendance requirements.

Final Summer School grades will be based upon 80% Summer School Course grade and 20% Final Course grade for that school year. However, students who enrolled in a regular school year course but did very poorly and/or did no work, may be required to take the entire course over again; that is, such a student may be denied enrollment in a summer course. Students should keep in mind that summer school is a privilege and not a right.  For complete information, please speak to your guidance counselor and/or refer to the Summer School Handbook. Be mindful that the aforementioned information is subject to change.

SUSPENSION

Suspension is an extreme form of discipline and will be reserved for serious and chronic situations.  Out of school suspensions will be utilized when other methods of discipline have proved unsuccessful or when a student’s presence in school constitutes a danger or disruption to himself/herself or others.  Holidays and examination days do not factor in when calculating suspension dates.

Rights and Responsibilities of Suspended Students

During the period of any out of school suspension, students may not remain on school grounds or in school buildings or participate in extracurricular activities. Students will be warned and may be subject to arrest.
Upon return to school, suspended students may arrange to take exams which were administered during their suspension period.
Suspended students may arrange to receive full credit for work completed during their suspension.

Students suspended for more than 2 days and are of compulsory age will be entitled to tutoring (See tutoring).
Students classified by Committee of Special Education regardless of age will be entitled to tutoring.

TARDINESS

To insure an orderly start to our school day and instill the value of punctuality it is the expectation of the high school that students arrive to all of their periods prior to the start of class.  Students with unexcused tardiness may face progressive disciplinary action. The Connect Ed phone system will be utilized to contact parents of students who are either absent and/or tardy to school.

Acceptable Reasons for Tardiness/Absence

  • Personal illness
  • Approved work program
  • Critical illness or death in immediate family
  • Military obligation
  • Impassable roads or weather making roads unsafe
  • Educational visitation
  • Recognized religious holidays
  • School bus is delayed
  • Required attendance in court

ALL ACCEPTABLE REASONS MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A NOTE FROM A PARENT OR GUARDIAN WITHIN 3 SCHOOL DAYS. ANY STUDENT WHO FAILS TO SIGN IN WILL BE SUBJECT TO DISCIPLINARY ACTION.

TELEPHONE USE

Office telephones are for business use and should be used by students only in an emergency.  In all cases, students should limit their use of school phones so that everyone has reasonable access to their use.  Students are not permitted to use classroom telephones unless there is an extreme emergency.

TRANSPORTATION OF STUDENTS FOR SCHOOL SPONSORED ACTIVITIES

The school is responsible for the safety of its students both on school property and to and from all school-sponsored activities where transportation is provided.  The school will provide transportation to and from selected school-sponsored activities which are not held at Valley Central. Teachers, coaches, and chaperones are not to release any of the students under their supervision, except to ride with their own parents.  Requests for this permission must be made in person and in writing by the parent to the supervisor. Phone calls or notes will not be accepted in place of the personal request. Permission will not be given to ride with friends, relatives, or parents of other students.  Violation of this policy may result in a student’s loss of privileges, including team membership or participation in subsequent field trips or other activities held off school property.

TRUANCY

Any student who fails to bring in a note from a parent or guardian within three days after he/she is absent will be considered truant.  The student will receive a zero for all missed work and have an unauthorized absence recorded on his/her attendance record. Appropriate disciplinary action will be considered on an individual basis.

TUTORING

Tutoring will be provided to eligible students who were suspended for more than two (2) days out of school at Valley Central High School.  Work will be collected by the homework coordinator at Ext. 17540.

VALUABLES

Students are advised not to bring large amounts of money or other valuables to school.  In unusual circumstances, if it becomes necessary to bring such items, students may bring their property to the Main Office, and it will be placed in the school safe.  The school, however, can assume no responsibility for such items it holds for students. Under no circumstances should valuables be placed in student lockers.  

All students need to utilize a lock in both locker room and hall lockers to ensure the safety of their belongings.  Students are cautioned that clothing/valuables left outside the gym lockers are susceptible to theft. Hall lockers will be bolted if an appropriate lock is not placed on a locker.  Valley Central is not responsible for lost for stolen items.

VIDEO SURVEILLANCE

Security cameras exist in all district buildings for the protection of students, staff and property.  These cameras may be used for evidence and investigation of student misconduct.

VIOLATION OF TEST PROCEDURES

Any student who is observed talking, passing notes, utilizing prohibited electronic devices or looking at other students’ papers during a test may be considered in violation of test procedures.  This also applies to students who have received information prior to a test or who have forwarded information to other students prior to a test. Any violation may result in the student’s paper being confiscated by his/her instructor and a grade of zero being recorded for the test.  The student may also forfeit his/her right to make up the test and be subject to disciplinary action.

VISITORS

To ensure the safety of persons and to maintain an educational environment free from disruption, all visitors must show a valid photo and obtain a visitor’s pass from the main desk.  No student will be called out of their assigned period to pick up a delivery of any type including but not limited to food, drinks, clothing items, athletic equipment, etc. Exceptions will be made at the sole discretion of administration. Moreover, Administration reserve the right to ask questions about any items being dropped off for students during the school day. If bringing medication for a student, individuals must follow the school procedures set forth in the section labeled “Medication”. Due to insurance reasons, and lack of available space, students may not invite any guests to accompany them to school.  No visitors are permitted during examination periods or when nearby schools are closed and Valley Central High School remains open.

WEAPONS:  GUN FREE SCHOOL ACT

According to Federal Statutes, students are prohibited from possessing weapons which includes, but not limited to, guns, knives of any length, razors, box cutters, explosive devices including fireworks and any object that a student may use to inflict harm on another person.  Students in possession of these objects will be suspended and referred to the Superintendent. The local law enforcement authorities will be informed.

WITHDRAWAL AND TRANSFER FROM SCHOOL

New York State Law requires student attendance until the end of the school year in which they turn 16.  Students contemplating withdrawal or seeking transfer should see their Guidance counselor to be informed of their options.  All students must clear their book accounts, return all school property, and pay any accumulated fines before withdrawal or transfer may not be completed.

WORKING PAPERS

According to New York State Laws, any minor under the age of 18 years, must have working papers in order to secure employment.  To obtain working papers, a student must apply in person to the finance office. A copy of fitness certificate must be signed by the

Nurse at Valley Central High School or a private doctor.  The student must have a Social Security number and if he/she has not had a physical the student must have a physical examination conducted by the family physician within the past year.  Proof of age, a copy of the student’s social security card, and parent’s signature on the application for employment is necessary.

YEARBOOK PHOTOS

The Valley Central High School’s yearbook, The Viking Log, will include class and individual photographs for the purpose of publication in the yearbook and identification tags.

It is the student’s responsibility to be present in school to have their picture taken on picture day, during one of the scheduled make-up days, or to provide a photograph (in the case of seniors only) to the school prior to the deadline for inclusion in the yearbook.