Student Handbook

Bookworms

View Middletown Public Schools District Elementary Parent and Student Handbook Look here for any questions you may have. Call us if you don't find what you need. (860-632-2158)



This handbook is updated regularly.

WELCOME to a new school year. We anticipate an exciting and productive year with strong relationships and connections among our students, staff, and parent community. A school is a reflection of the community it serves, so we want to emphasize the positive relationships that all stakeholders have with each other as we strive to support all children's academic, social, and personal growth.

Please take the time to read the following important information. Many school procedures, policies, and expectations are outlined below. You may need to refer to this letter in the future; therefore, we ask that you keep it in a safe place.

 

Primary Goals for 2018 - 2019

  • Involving children in meaningful and appropriately challenging learning activities that develop their abilities to think, reason, and problem solve
  • Instill a love of reading while developing children as critical readers who can comprehend a variety of texts
  • Promote positive behavior and daily attendance
  • Children learn to take ownership of own learning and reflect and create goals
  • Promote increased and active parent involvement and a sense of community
  • Increase use of communication through technology

Arrival Times and Procedures:

Parent Drop Off: All children who are dropped off in the morning must report to the cafeteria door. All students must be dropped off between 8:45 – 8:55 a.m. Teachers are not on duty prior to 8:45, so for the children's safety, please keep them in your car until you see a teacher helping students. Children will enter the cafeteria and will walk to their classrooms.

If you are dropping off your child in the morning, please follow the signs to the designated drop off area. Please stay in one line - do not double park. A staff member will be present at the drop off area to greet students so parents do not need to exit their vehicles. This will allow the drop off process to move efficiently. Please wait for the staff member to be present before letting your child out of the car. Students should exit the vehicle on the sidewalk side and not on the street side. Please be advised that if you drop your child off later than 8:55 a.m., you must walk him/her to the main office and sign him/her into school.

Your child will be considered tardy to school if not in class by 9:00 a.m.

Buses: Teachers will help unload buses and children will enter through the main entrance and walk directly to class.

Breakfast: Lawrence School offers breakfast to children on a daily basis. Any child can have a breakfast if he/she brings the appropriate money to school and notifies the teacher that they want breakfast the day before. Breakfast is free for some children.

$1.25 full breakfast price 30 cents for children who qualify for reduced pricing

Breakfast is served between 8:50 – 9:00 a.m. in the classrooms. It is important that children arrive to class on time for breakfast.

Absences from School: If a child will be kept home from school for any reason or if a child will be late to school by more than 30 minutes, a member of the child's family should call the school to inform the office staff. The office staff typically arrives every day by 8:00 a.m., so families should be able to reach someone at that time by calling 860-632-2158. The school nurse typically arrives at 8:45 a.m., so if one wishes to speak with her, please call after 8:45 a.m.

FOR ANY ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL, YOUR CHILD WILL NEED TO BRING A NOTE FROM HOME TO EXPLAIN THEIR ABSENCE. This is critically important because all absences need to be accounted for so that children are not considered truant.

Long-term Absences & Family Vacations: If you know that your family or your child will be out of school for more than one day, please call the office and inform the school secretary. The school does not advocate removing children from school for family vacations since there will be a great deal of instructional time lost for your child. Please take this into consideration when making plans. A note from a parent or guardian is required.

Excessive Absences: if a child is absent from school for more than 10% of the school year, the child will be considered for retention. Retention is an appropriate consequence, especially if a child's academic progress is negatively affected by the absences. It is important for children to try and attend school every day.

Dismissal Procedures: School officially ends at 3:25 p.m. All parents picking up students at dismissal should arrive at 3:25 p.m. and report to the outside cafeteria door. A teacher will open the cafeteria door when it is time to pick up the children. Parents will be asked to sign out their children and may need photo identification. Only adults listed on the Dismissal Form will be allowed to sign out the children from school.

We ask every family to complete the purple Student Dismissal Authorization Form so that Lawrence staff has a documented record of how every child should be going home each day. Only the people listed on the form can pick up your children from school, so it is important that the form is completed.

If children are dismissed before 3:25 p.m. because of an arranged appointment, teachers should be notified in the morning with a note from home. Children who are released early will be called to the office to meet his or her parent/guardian once the adult arrives. Please do not call the school and ask for your child to be waiting in the office. Parents/guardians should report to the office and sign out their child.

Any changes in dismissal (i.e. change of bus for the day, parent pick-up when a child normally takes the bus, etc.) MUST BE DONE IN WRITING. Please send a note to your child's teacher when you make alternate plans for dismissal. Without a note, your child will go home as they regularly do. Do not send an email regarding pick up since teachers are not able to check their emails during instructional time. In case of a last minute change, please call the office before 2:30 p.m., if at all possible. The safety and well- being of our students comes first and we thank you for your cooperation and support in this matter.

Early Dismissal: There are many days throughout the year when children will be dismissed early from school. Lunch is served every day, even on planned early dismissal days. There are six days set aside for parent conferences. On all six days, children will be dismissed from school at 1:15 p.m. On one-session days (ex: the last day of school), children are dismissed at 1:45 p.m. When children do not have a full day of school, recess will be cancelled for that day.

Please read the school calendar carefully for early dismissal Mondays.

 

COMMUNICATION:

Inclement Weather – School Cancellations, Early Dismissal, and Delayed Opening

An unscheduled early dismissal is usually because of bad weather. Due to the fact that poor weather can occur at any time during the day, the times for early dismissal will be announced on the day of the dismissal. Parents can find the times on the Middletown Public Schools website: www.middletownschools.org. In the event of poor weather, school cancellations or delays will be announced on Channel 3 News, Channel 8 News, and Channel 30 News.

Updated Phone Numbers: please make sure that the school has your updated phone numbers so that the school can contact you in case of an emergency. Middletown uses an automated phone system to call families when there are early dismissals, late openings, or important news.

Tuesday Folders: children in kindergarten – grade 5 receive Tuesday folders every week. Inside the red folders are important notices from the school about upcoming events, the PTA, and community news. Please look for this red folder every week, as it is an important communication tool between school and home.

Communicating with your child's teacher: If you have any questions or concerns about your child's educational program, please speak with your child's teacher. Our students must know that there is a strong partnership between home and school in order to ensure their academic and social success at Lawrence School. It is not a good time for teachers to have meaningful conversations with parents/guardians at arrival and dismissal times. Teachers need this time to attend to students, so please call or email the teacher to schedule a mutually convenient time to meet with your child's teacher. All teachers have an email address similar to the one below:

Jim Gaudreau gaudreauj@mpsct.org

Attendance: School officially begins at 8:50 a.m. and ends at 3:25 p.m. Please make every effort to see that your child has arrived to school by 8:50. If your child is not in his/her classroom by 9:00 a.m., he/she will be marked tardy. Tardiness disrupts the morning flow of work in the classrooms, so please be sure your child is at school on time every morning. Notes after an absence: Please send a note to school when your child returns after an absence. We would greatly appreciate your calling the school to report an absence before school hours. Please do so by calling the school office and leaving a message on the answering machine (860-632-2158).

Medical: State law requires a written order from your physician or dentist for all medication, including over-the-counter preparations (ex: Tylenol, Dimetapp, Sucrets cough drops). A parent or guardian's signature is needed for a nurse to administer prescribed medication in school.

Children are not to carry medication at any time! The parent, guardian, or other designated adult must bring medication to and from school.

Emergency Information: it is important that the office have updated phone numbers, email addresses, and contacts on file. The only people who are allowed to sign your children out of school and pick them up in an emergency are the people on your contact list. Office staff has the right to ask for a photo ID when people come to sign out children.

Please update your contact information (especially phone and email). If you go to our website, click on the link to Online Returning Student Enrollment 2016-2017 (upper right hand corner).

Please keep your phone numbers and e-mail addresses updated, as families will receive messages from the school by phone and e-mail. If a family does not wish to receive messages by phone and e-mail, please notify the office or principal in writing. Thank you!

Lunch and Procedures: Children may opt to bring lunch from home or purchase the hot lunch that is served at school. To purchase lunch, it is recommended that families bring in cash or a check for a week's worth of hot lunch each Monday or they can pay on line. Every child from kindergarten – grade 5 will be assigned a PIN number. This PIN number will be used daily by the children when they are getting their lunch and breakfast (optional). Families can choose to pay for meals on line by using your child's PIN number. Details on this method of payment will be sent to all families in the mail.

Prices: $2.50 full price lunch .40 cents for reduced lunch

It is expected that children will pay for their lunch every day. If not, the children will be issued an IOU and will receive a substitute lunch (cheese sandwich). The children will have approximately 20-25 minutes to eat lunch every day.

Flow of Traffic: When dropping off children in the morning, please drive into the main parking lot and drop off your child at the designated drop off area. Signs and arrows are posted in the parking lot. It is extremely critical for the safety of our school community that you obey all the signs and arrows daily. Please be careful not to block others from exiting the parking lot or parking in the spaces. Cars are not allowed in the driveway in front of the main office because this area is reserved for buses and emergency vehicles.

Possessions Not Allowed in School:

We do not allow cell phones, pagers, radios, DVD players, electronic games, or other electronic valuables as they can be disruptive to the learning environment and can easily be stolen or broken. If these are brought to school, they may be held by the classroom teacher or principal until a parent picks them up. In addition, these devices cannot be used on the school bus. The bus driver has the authority to take the electronic device and give it to the school principal. These are very important rules to respect, as valuable items tend to get stolen, borrowed, or lost.

We do not allow toy weapons at school, as they can be used inappropriately and could possibly scare or harm someone. Examples of toy weapons include but are not limited to toy swords, guns, water shooters, martial arts props, slingshots, etc. If these are brought to school, they will be immediately confiscated and held in the principal's office until a parent picks it up.

The Middletown Board of Education has adopted specific policies regarding items not allowed in schools and the appropriate consequences when children bring those items to school. Board of Education policies are clearly explained at the website below. This can be accessed at www.middletownschools.org.

Visitors & Safety/Security: All parents and visitors must sign in at the office and receive a visitor's pass before entering any section of the building. Even if an adult is a regular visitor to the school, a visitor's badge should be worn. Only the front entrance of the building may be used for entry. This entrance will be monitored by a video camera and is opened once the bell has been rung and you have identified yourself. Only Lawrence Staff and students are allowed on the playgrounds before school and during recess, unless the parent is wearing a visitor badge and has signed in at the office.

All outside doors are kept locked at all times during the school day for the children's safety. All visitors should only enter the building by the office and may be asked to provide identification if the office staff does not know the person.

 

SAFETY DRILLS:

Fire Drills: We are required to have ten fire drills throughout the school year. These practice drills are designed to give the children practice in case of a real emergency. The children do not usually receive notice prior to the drill.

Lock Down: There may be circumstances that require the school to go on lock down. Lock down is a precautionary measure that is put in place when potentially harmful situations take place near or inside of Lawrence School which may put the children or staff in danger.

Teachers have been instructed on how to keep children safe and calm. In the event of a real lock down, the police department is in charge and makes all decisions regarding where parents should wait for the children and when the lock down is over. The school staff is not allowed to communicate with people outside of the school, so parents and families should direct all correspondence to the police. Once the lock down is over, children will be dismissed to their parents and families in a structured system that the principal supervises.

Extended Evacuation Drills: These are practiced once a year. In the event of an emergency where the students need to vacate The Lawrence School premises, we will gather at Keigwin School on Spruce Street, a few blocks away. The students may need to walk to this facility and will be accompanied by all staff. A member of the school staff will be on hand at the facility to assist in the communication of information regarding The Lawrence School students. First we take care of students, then report to parents by School Messenger, and or a phone call to parents/guardians as soon as possible.

Appropriate Attire for Students: Appropriate dress is expected at all times including safe shoes that are securely fastened.

  • Shorts and skirts no shorter than 2” above the knee are suggested.
  • No shirts with the mid-section showing may be worn.
  • No flip-flops or heelys (shoes with a wheel on the bottom)
  • No hats are to be worn in the building.

We want our children to be comfortable in school, but we do not wish for a child's attire to be distracting or take away from the learning process. Please be sure that your child is wearing sneakers on the day of the week when he/she has Physical Education.

Birthday/Party Invitations:

All party invitations, including birthday parties, may be passed out in school ONLY if there is an invitation for:

  • All of the students in the class, or
  • All of the boys in the class, or
  • All of the girls in the class.

Otherwise, invitations will not be passed out to the students and will be returned home.

Library Visits: The children are brought to the library once a week for book exchange. They are encouraged to read books at school and at home. Families will be required to pay for library books that children lose or ruin.

Report Cards: Report cards are distributed to children three times throughout the year. The report cards are designed to give all families a clear picture of a child's growth and progress. A parent does not need to wait until report cards to find out how a child is performing. A parent may call a teacher at any point in the school year for an academic update.

Bus Safety Expectations: Bus safety expectations are outlined in the Middletown Public Schools Elementary Handbook. All students are expected to follow these expectations to ensure that all children arrive to school safely and arrive home safely. Parents will be notified of any concerns that might arise regarding your child's conduct on the school bus. Most importantly,

  • Stay seated at all times on the bus
  • Do not change seats or stand on the bus
  • Do not throw things inside or outside of the bus
  • Be kind and respectful to all children and adults on the bus
  • Speak using inside voices; no screaming or loud noises

No child who is scheduled to ride a bus may walk to or from school without written permission from his/her parent. If your child needs to ride a bus to which he/she is not assigned, please send a note to your child's teacher. Children cannot ride a bus that they are not scheduled to ride without a parent's consent.

Promoting Positive Discipline

Discipline is a shared responsibility between home and school. We will not hesitate to ask you for assistance and feedback if issues arise involving your children. Our primary goal is that children respect others and treat people with kindness and fairness.

Lawrence has adopted a common set of values that all staff members want to encourage children to demonstrate. The values are listed in our school's chief acronym: PAWS.

Pride: have pride and respect for yourself, your school, and the community.

Acceptance: accept and value the similarities and differences in others.

Watch: watch out for one another and always be kind.

Safety: walk, sit, and play safely.

These values are consistently reinforced with children, as children receive tickets when they demonstrate these behaviors in positive ways. Monthly awards ceremonies are held to acknowledge children for their good behavior.

The Middletown Elementary School Handbook is more detailed than the highlights described here. Please refer to that for more specifics on school rules and procedures that apply to all 8 elementary schools. This can be found on our district website at: www.middletownschools.org. Select Lawrence School under “Our Schools”, then select “Student Handbook.”

Questions or Concerns: Please do not hesitate to call the school if you have any questions or concerns. You can reach us at 860-632-2158. The school office is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

5131.911

Appendix A

ANNUAL BULLYING NOTICE

Bullying behavior by any student in the Middletown Public Schools is strictly prohibited, and such conduct may result in disciplinary action, including suspension and/or expulsion from school. “Bullying” means the repeated use by one or more students of a written, oral or electronic communication, such as cyberbullying, directed at or referring to another student attending school in the same school district or a physical act or gesture by one or more students repeatedly directed at another student attending school in the same school district that:

  1. A. Causes physical or emotional harm to such student or damage to such student's property,
  2. B. Places such student in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself, or of damage to his or her property,
  3. C. Creates a hostile environment at school for such student,
  4. D. Infringes on the rights of such student at school, or
  5. E. Substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

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

Students who engage in any act of bullying, on school grounds, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function or program whether on or off school grounds, at a school bus stop, on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased or used by the Board of Education, or through the use of an electronic device or an electronic mobile device owned, leased or used by the Board of Education, and outside of the school setting if such bullying:

  1. A. Creates a hostile environment at school for the victim,
  2. B. Infringes on the rights of the victim at school, or
  3. C. Substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

Students and/or parents may file verbal or written complaints concerning suspected bullying behavior, and students shall be permitted to anonymously report acts of bullying to school employees. Any report of suspected bullying behavior will be promptly reviewed. If acts of bullying are verified, prompt disciplinary action may be taken against the perpetrator, consistent with his/her rights of due process. Board policy and regulation #5131.911 set forth this prohibition and the related procedures in detail, and are available to students and their parents/guardians upon request.

If you believe your child is being bullied, please contact your child's teacher and/or the principal so that the conflict can be immediately addressed. Children and adults can report anonymous reports to the school principal.

Statement of Title VI, VII, and Title IX

In compliance with regulations implementing Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1973, and applicable state laws, the Board of Education prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religious creed, age, marital status, military or veteran status, national origin, sex, ancestry, sexual orientation, or past or present physical or mental disability. Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, direct or indirect demands or requests for sexual favors, sexual comments, gestures or other physical actions of a sexual nature when:

submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's educational success;

submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for educational decisions affecting such individual; or such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment.

The coordinator for Titles VI and VII is James Misenti, Director of Adult and Vocational Education, Middletown, CT 06457; Telephone 860-343-3866.

The coordinator for Title IX is Marco Gaylord, Director of Operations, 311 Hunting Hill Avenue, Middletown, CT 06457; Telephone: 860-638-1485.

Inquiries may be directed to the coordinator or to the Boston Office:

Region I - Boston (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont)
Peter Chan, Regional Manager
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Government Center
J.F.Kennedy Federal Building - Room 1875
Boston, MA 02203
Voice phone (800) 368-1019
FAX (617) 565-3809
TDD (800) 537-7697

Grievance procedures are available which provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging violations of Titles VI and VII and Title IX. These procedures are available to all participants, students and employees in the Middletown School System and are contained in this handbook.

Notification of Grievance Procedures

Please be informed that the Middletown Board of Education is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, age, marital status, military or veteran status, national origin, sex, ancestry, sexual orientation, or past or present physical or mental disability in any of its education programs, activities or employment policies.

Further, in compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1974, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the following grievance procedure is presented.

The purpose of this procedure shall be to settle equitably, at the lowest possible administrative level, issues which may arrive with respect to possible discrimination regarding sex, handicap, or vocational programming within the Middletown School System. The grievance proceedings will be kept as informal and confidential as may be appropriate at any level of the procedure.

A. Level One - Principal or Immediate Supervisor

Any participant in the school system - parent, student or employee - with a grievance or dispute shall first discuss it with his/her school principal or immediate supervisor with the objective of resolving the matter informally. The grievance may be communicated orally or in writing for this purpose.

B. Level Two - Coordinator for Section 504/Americans with Disabilities Act, Title IX, or Titles VI and VII Activities

In the event that such aggrieved participant in the school system is not satisfied with the disposition of his/her grievance at Level One, or in the event that no decision has been rendered within five (5) school days after presentation of the grievance, he/she may file a written grievance directly to the Coordinator.

This use of the Level Two process may be initiated at any time during the school fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) in which a Level One decision is unacceptable to the aggrieved party.

C. Level Three - Board of Education

In the event that the aggrieved participant in the school system is not satisfied with the disposition of his/her grievance at Level Two, or in the event no decision has been rendered within five (5) school days after the meeting with the Coordinator, he/she may file a written grievance indicating such dissatisfaction, with the Chairperson of the Middletown Board of Education.

The use of the Level Three process may be effected at any time during the school year (July 1 - June 30) in which a Level Two decision is unacceptable to the aggrieved party. Within twenty (20) school days after receiving the written grievance, the Board of Education shall meet with the aggrieved party and the Coordinator for the purpose of resolving the grievance. The Board of Education must render a decision in writing regarding the grievance within five (5) school days of the Level Three meeting.

Parents' Rights/Responsibilities

All parents are entitled to

Inspect and review their child's educational records during regular business hours.

Consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's educational record.

Request the amendment of the student's educational records to ensure that the records are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights or other rights.

Billing Medicaid for Health-Related Services in Student's Individualized Education Program (IEP)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) allows certain services provided under an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to be covered by Medicaid. Medicaid funds help pay for the costs of providing these services.

To learn more, please go to the Middletown Public Schools Special Education website.

NOTICE OF PARENT/STUDENT RIGHTS UNDER SECTION 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (commonly referred to as “Section 504”) is a nondiscrimination statute enacted by the United States Congress. The purpose of Section 504 is to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability and to assure that disabled students have educational opportunities and benefits equal to those provided to nondisabled students.

The term “disability” with respect to an individual means: (a) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; (b) a record of such an impairment; or (c) being regarded as having such an impairment. “Major life activities” include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working. A major life activity also includes the operation of a major bodily function, including, but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine and reproductive functions.

Many students will be eligible for educational services under both Section 504 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), but entitlement to services under the IDEA or other statutes is not required to receive services under Section 504.

The following is a description of the rights and options granted by federal law to students with disabilities under Section 504. The intent of the law is to keep you fully informed concerning decisions about your child and to inform you of your rights if you disagree with any of these decisions. You have the right:

  1. To be informed of your rights under Section 504;
  1. 2. To have your child take part in and receive benefits from the Middletown School District's education programs without discrimination based on his/her disability.
  2. 3. For your child to have equal opportunities to participate in academic, nonacademic and extracurricular activities in your school without discrimination based on his/her disability;
  3. 4. To be notified with respect to the Section 504 identification, evaluation, and educational placement of your child;
  4. 5. To have an evaluation, educational recommendation, and placement decision developed by a team of persons who are knowledgeable of your child, the assessment data, and any placement options;
  5. 6. If your child is eligible for services under Section 504, for your child to receive a free appropriate public education. This includes the right to receive reasonable accommodations and services to allow your child an equal opportunity to participate in school and school-related activities;
  6. 7. For your child to be educated with peers who do not have disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate;
  7. 8. To have your child educated in facilities and receive services comparable to those provided to non-disabled students;
  8. 9. To review all relevant records relating to decisions regarding your child's Section 504 identification, evaluation, and educational placement;
  9. 10. To obtain copies of your child's educational records at a reasonable cost unless the fee would effectively deny you access to the records;
  10. 11. To request changes in the educational program of your child;
  11. 12. To an impartial hearing if you disagree with the school district's decisions regarding your child's Section 504 identification, evaluation or educational placement. The costs for this hearing are borne by the local school district. You and the student have the right to take part in the hearing and to have an attorney represent you at your expense.
  12. 13. To file a court action if you are dissatisfied with the impartial hearing officer's decision or to request attorney's fees related to securing your child's rights under Section 504.
  13. 14. To file a local grievance with the designated Section 504 Coordinator to resolve complaints of discrimination other than those involving the identification, evaluation or placement of your child.
  14. 15. To file a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.

The Section 504 Coordinator for this district is:

Ann Perzan
311 Hunting Hill Avenue
Middletown, CT 06498
Telephone: 860-638-1428

For additional assistance regarding your rights under Section 504, you may contact:

Peter Chan, Regional Manager
Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Government Center, J.F.Kennedy Federal Building - Room 1875
Boston, MA 02203
Voice phone (800) 368-1019
FAX (617) 565-3809

Connecticut State Department of Education
Bureau of Special Education and Pupil Services
P.O. Box 2219
Hartford, CT 06145
Telephone: (860) 807-2030

School and District Climate Plans

The Board is committed to creating and maintaining a physically, emotionally, and intellectually safe educational environment free from bullying, teen dating violence, harassment and discrimination. In order to foster an atmosphere conducive to learning, the Board has developed the following Safe School Climate Plan, consistent with state law and Board Policy. This Plan represents a comprehensive approach to addressing bullying, cyber bullying and teen dating violence and sets forth the Board's expectations for creating a positive school climate and thus preventing, intervening, and responding to incidents of bullying and teen dating violence.

Bullying behavior and teen dating violence are strictly prohibited, and students who are determined to have engaged in such behavior are subject to disciplinary action, which may include suspension or expulsion from school. The district's commitment to addressing bullying behavior and teen dating violence, however, involves a multi-faceted approach, which includes education and the promotion of a positive school climate in which bullying will not be tolerated by students or school staff.

I. Prohibition Against Bullying, Teen Dating Violence and Retaliation

A. The Board expressly prohibits any form of bullying behavior and teen dating violence on school grounds; at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function or program whether on or off school grounds; at a school bus stop; on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased or used by a local or regional board of education; or through the use of an electronic device or an electronic mobile device owned, leased or used by Board of Education.

B. The Board also prohibits any form of bullying behavior outside of the school setting if such bullying (i) creates a hostile environment at school for the student against whom such bullying was directed, (ii) infringes on the rights of the student against whom such bullying was directed at school, or (iii) substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school;

C. The Board further prohibits any form of teen dating violence outside of the school setting if such violence substantially disrupts the educational process;

D. In addition to prohibiting student acts that constitute bullying, the Board also prohibits discrimination and/or retaliation against an individual who reports or assists in the investigation of an act of bullying.

E. Students who engage in bullying behavior or teen dating violence in violation of Board Policy and the Safe School Climate Plan shall be subject to school discipline, up to and including expulsion, in accordance with the Board's policies on student discipline, suspension and expulsion, and consistent with state and federal law.

II. Definition of Bullying

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

1. causes physical or emotional harm to such student or damage to such student's property;

2. places such student in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself, or of damage to his or her property;

3. creates a hostile environment at school for such student;

4. infringes on the rights of such student at school; or

5. substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

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

III. Other Definitions

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

B. "Electronic communication" means any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo-optical system;

C. "Hostile environment" means a situation in which bullying among students is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the school climate;

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

E. "Outside of the school setting" means at a location, activity or program that is not school related, or through the use of an electronic device or a mobile electronic device that is not owned, leased or used by a local or regional board of education;

F. "Prevention and intervention strategy" may include, but is not limited to, (1)implementation of a positive behavioral interventions and supports process or another evidence-based model approach for safe school climate or for the prevention of bullying identified by the Department of Education, (2) school rules prohibiting bullying, harassment and intimidation and establishing appropriate consequences for those who engage in such acts, (3) adequate adult supervision of outdoor areas, hallways, the lunchroom and other specific areas where bullying is likely to occur, (4) inclusion of grade-appropriate bullying education and prevention curricula in kindergarten through high school, (5)individual interventions with the bully, parents and school employees, and interventions with the bullied child, parents and school employees, (6) school-wide training related to safe school climate, (7) student peer training, education and support, and (8) promotion of parent involvement in bullying prevention through individual or team participation in meetings, trainings and individual interventions.

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

H. "School employee" means (1) a teacher, substitute teacher, school administrator, school superintendent, guidance counselor, psychologist, social worker, nurse, physician, school paraprofessional or coach employed by a local or regional board of education or working in a public elementary, middle or high school; or (2) any other individual who, in the performance of his or her duties, has regular contact with students and who provides services to or on behalf of students enrolled in a public elementary, middle or high school, pursuant to a contract with the local or regional board of education.

I. “School-Sponsored Activity” shall mean any activity conducted on or off school property (including school buses and other school-related vehicles) that is sponsored, recognized or authorized by the Board of Education.

J. “Teen dating violence” means any act of physical, emotional or sexual abuse, including stalking, harassing and threatening, that occurs between two students who are currently in or who have recently been in a dating relationship.

IV. Leadership and Administrative Responsibilities

A. Safe School Climate Coordinator

The Superintendent shall appoint, from existing school district staff, a District Safe School Climate Coordinator (“Coordinator”). The Coordinator shall:

1. be responsible for implementing the district's Safe School Climate Plan (“Plan”);

2. collaborate with Safe School Climate Specialists, the Board, and the Superintendent to prevent, identify and respond to bullying in district schools;

3. provide data and information, in collaboration with the Superintendent, to the Department of Education regarding bullying;

4. meet with Safe School Climate Specialists at least twice during the school year to discuss issues relating to bullying the school district and to make recommendations concerning amendments to the district's Plan.

B. Safe School Climate Specialist

The Principal of each school (or principal's designee) shall serve as the Safe School Climate Specialist. The Safe School Climate Specialist shall investigate or supervise the investigation of reported acts of bullying and act as the primary school official responsible for preventing, identifying and responding to reports of bullying in the school.

V. Development and Review of Safe School Climate Plan

A. The Principal of each school shall establish a committee or designate at least one existing committee (“Committee”) in the school to be responsible for developing and fostering a safe school climate and addressing issues relating to bullying in the school. Such committee shall include at least one parent/guardian of a student enrolled in the school, as appointed by the school principal.

B. The Committee shall: 1) receive copies of completed reports following bullying investigations; 2) identify and address patterns of bullying among students in the school; 3) implement the provisions of the school security and safety plan, if applicable, regarding the collection, evaluation and reporting of information relating to instances of disturbing or threatening behavior that may not meet the definition of bullying, 4) review and amend school policies relating to bullying; 5) review and make recommendations to the Coordinator regarding the Safe School Climate Plan based on issues and experiences specific to the school; 6) educate students, school employees and parents/guardians on issues relating to bullying; 7) collaborate with the Coordinator in the collection of data regarding bullying; and 8) perform any other duties as determined by the Principal that are related to the prevention, identification and response to school bullying.

C. Any parent/guardian serving as a member of the Committee shall not participate in any activities which may compromise the confidentiality of any student, including, but not limited to receiving copies of investigation reports, or identifying or addressing patterns of bullying among students in the school.

D. The Board of Education shall approve the Safe School Climate Plan developed pursuant to Board policy and submit such plan to the Department of Education. Not later than thirty (30) calendar days after approval by the Board, the Board shall make such plan available on the Board's and each individual school in the school district's web site and ensure that the Safe School Climate Plan is included in the school district's publication of the rules, procedures and standards of conduct for schools and in all student handbooks.

VI. Procedures for Reporting and Investigating Complaints of Bullying

A. Students and parents (or guardians of students) may file written reports of bullying. Written reports of bullying shall be reasonably specific as to the basis for the report, including the time and place of the alleged conduct, the number of incidents, the target of the suspected bullying, and the names of potential witnesses. Such reports may be filed with any building administrator and/or the Safe School Climate Specialist (i.e. building principal), and all reports shall be forwarded to the Safe School Climate Specialist for review and actions consistent with this Plan.

B. Students may make anonymous reports of bullying to any school employee. Students may also request anonymity when making a report, even if the student's identity is known to the school employee. In cases where a student requests anonymity, the Safe School Climate Specialist or his/her designee shall meet with the student (if the student's identity is known) to review the request for anonymity and discuss the impact that maintaining the anonymity of the complainant may have on the investigation and on any possible remedial action. All anonymous reports shall be reviewed and reasonable action will be taken to address the situation, to the extent such action may be taken that does not disclose the source of the report, and is consistent with the due process rights of the student(s) alleged to have committed acts of bullying. No disciplinary action shall be taken solely on the basis of an anonymous report.

C. School employees who witness acts of bullying or receive reports of bullying shall orally notify the Safe School Climate Specialist or another school administrator if the Safe School Climate Specialist is unavailable, not later than one (1) school day after such school employee witnesses or receives a report of bullying. The school employee shall then file a written report not later than two (2) school days after making such oral report.

D. The Safe School Climate Specialist shall be responsible for reviewing any anonymous reports of bullying and shall investigate or supervise the investigation of all reports of bullying and ensure that such investigation is completed promptly after receipt of any written reports. The Safe School Climate Specialist shall also be responsible for promptly notifying the parents or guardians of the student alleged to have committed an act or acts of bullying, and the parents or guardians of the student against whom such alleged act or acts were directed, that an investigation has commenced. In order to allow the district to adequately investigate complaints filed by a student or parent/guardian, the parent of the student suspected of being bullied should be asked to provide consent to permit the release of that student's name in connection with the investigation process, unless the student and/or parent has requested anonymity.

E. In investigating reports of bullying, the Safe School Climate Specialist or designee will consider all available information known, including the nature of the allegations and the ages of the students involved. The Safe School Climate Specialist will interview witnesses, as necessary, reminding the alleged perpetrator and other parties that retaliation is strictly prohibited and will result in disciplinary action.

VII. Responding to Verified Acts of Bullying

A. Following investigation, if acts of bullying are verified, the Safe School Climate Specialist or designee shall notify the parents or guardians of the students against whom such acts were directed as well as the parents or guardians of the students who commit such acts of bullying of the finding not later than forty-eight hours after the investigation is completed. This notification shall include a description of the school's response to the acts of bullying. In providing such notification, however, care must be taken to respect the statutory privacy rights of other students, including the perpetrator of such bullying. The specific disciplinary consequences imposed on the perpetrator, or personally identifiable information about a student other than the parent/guardian's own child, may not be disclosed except as provided by law.

B. In any instance in which bullying is verified, the Safe School Climate Specialist or designee shall invite the parents or guardians of the student against whom such act was directed to a meeting to communicate the measures being taken by the school to ensure the safety of the student/victim and policies and procedures in place to prevent further acts of bullying. The Safe School Climate Specialist or designee shall also invite the parents or guardians of a student who commits any verified act of bullying to a meeting, separate and distinct from the previously described meeting, to discuss specific interventions undertaken by the school to prevent further acts of bullying. The invitation may be made simultaneous with the notification described above in Section VII.A.

C. If bullying is verified, the Safe School Climate Specialist or designee shall develop a student safety support plan for any student against whom an act of bullying was directed. Such support plan will include safety measures to protect against further acts of bullying.

D. A specific written intervention plan shall be developed to address repeated incidents of bullying against a single individual or recurrently perpetrated bullying incidents by the same individual. The written intervention plan may include counseling, discipline and other appropriate remedial actions as determined by the Safe School Climate Specialist or designee, and may also incorporate a student safety support plan, as appropriate.

E. Notice to Law Enforcement

If the Principal of a school (or his/her designee) reasonably believes that any act of bullying constitutes a criminal offense, he/she shall notify appropriate law enforcement. Notice shall be consistent with the Board's obligations under state and federal law and Board policy regarding the disclosure of personally identifiable student information. In making this determination, the Principal or his/her designee, may consult with the school resource officer, if any, and other individuals the principal or designee deems appropriate.

F. If a bullying complaint raises a concern about discrimination or harassment on the basis of a legally protected classifications (such as race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability or gender identity or expression), the Safe School Climate Specialist or designee shall also coordinate any bullying investigation with other appropriate personnel within the district as appropriate (e.g. Title IX Coordinator, Section 504 Coordinator etc.), so as to ensure that any such bullying investigation complies with the requirements of such policies regarding nondiscrimination.

VIII. Teen Dating Violence

A. The school strictly prohibits, and takes very seriously any instances of, teen dating violence, as defined above. The school recognizes that teen dating violence may take many different forms and may also be considered bullying and/or sexual harassment.

B. Students and parents (or guardians of students) may bring verbal or written complaints regarding teen dating violence to any building administrator. The building administrator shall review and address the complaint, which may include referral of the complaint to the Safe School Climate Specialist and/or Title IX Coordinator.

C. Prevention and intervention strategies concerning teen dating violence shall be implemented in accordance with Section X below. Discipline, up to and including expulsion, may be imposed against the perpetrator of teen dating violence, whether such conduct occurs on or off campus, in accordance with Board policy and consistent with federal and state law.

IX. Documentation and Maintenance of Log

A. Each school shall maintain written reports of bullying, along with supporting documentation received and/or created as a result of bullying investigations, consistent with the Board's obligations under state and federal law. Any educational record containing personally identifiable student information pertaining to an individual student shall be maintained in a confidential manner, and shall not be disclosed to third parties without written prior written consent of a parent, guardian or eligible student, except as permitted under Board policy and state and federal law.

B. The Principal of each school shall maintain a list of the number of verified acts of bullying in the school and this list shall be available for public inspection upon request. Consistent with district obligations under state and federal law regarding student privacy, the log shall not contain any personally identifiable student information, or any information that alone or in combination would allow a reasonable person in the school community to identify the students involved. Accordingly, the log should be limited to basic information such as the number of verified acts, name of school and/or grade level and relevant date. Given that any determination of bullying involves repeated acts, each investigation that results in a verified act of bullying for that school year shall be tallied as one verified act of bullying unless the specific actions that are the subject of each report involve separate and distinct acts of bullying. The list shall be limited to the number of verified acts of bullying in each school and shall not set out the particulars of each verified act, including, but not limited to any personally identifiable student information, which is confidential information by law.

C. The Principal of each school shall report the number of verified acts of bullying in the school annually to the Department of Education in such manner as prescribed by the Commissioner of Education.

X. Other Prevention and Intervention Strategies

A. Bullying behavior and teen dating violence can take many forms and can vary dramatically in the nature of the offense and the impact the behavior may have on the victim and other students. Accordingly, there is no one prescribed response to verified acts of bullying or to teen dating violence. While conduct that rises to the level of “bullying” or “teen dating violence,” as defined above, will generally warrant traditional disciplinary action against the perpetrator of such bullying or teen dating violence, whether and to what extent to impose disciplinary action (e.g., detention, in-school suspension, suspension or expulsion) is a matter for the professional discretion of the building principal (or responsible program administrator or his/her designee). No disciplinary action may be taken solely on the basis of an anonymous complaint of bullying. As discussed below, schools may also consider appropriate alternative to traditional disciplinary sanctions, including age-appropriate consequences and other restorative or remedial interventions.

B. A specific written intervention plan shall be developed to address repeated incidents of bullying against a single individual or recurrently perpetrated bullying incidents by the same individual. This plan may include safety provisions, as described above, for students against whom acts of bullying have been verified and may include other interventions such as counseling, discipline, and other appropriate remedial or restorative actions as determined by the responsible administrator.

C. The following sets forth possible interventions which may also be utilized to enforce the Board's prohibition against bullying and teen dating violence:

i. Non-disciplinary interventions

When verified acts of bullying are identified early and/or when such verified acts of bullying do not reasonably require a disciplinary response, students may be counseled as to the definition of bullying, its prohibition, and their duty to avoid any conduct that could be considered bullying. Students may also be subject to other forms of restorative discipline or remedial actions, appropriate to the age of the students and nature of the behavior.

If a complaint arises out of conflict between students or groups of students, peer or other forms of mediation may be considered. Special care, however, is warranted in referring such cases to peer mediation. A power imbalance may make the process intimidating for the victim and therefore inappropriate. In such cases, the victim should be given additional support. Alternatively, peer mediation may be deemed inappropriate to address the concern.

When an act or acts of teen dating violence are identified, the students involved may be counseled as to the seriousness of the conduct, the prohibition of teen dating violence, and their duty to avoid any such conduct. Students may also be subject to other forms of restorative discipline or remedial actions, appropriate to the age of the students and nature of the behavior.

ii. Disciplinary interventions

When acts of bullying are verified or teen dating violence occurs, and a disciplinary response is warranted, students are subject to the full range of disciplinary consequences. Anonymous complaints of bullying, however, shall not be the basis for disciplinary action.

In-school suspension and suspension may be imposed only after informing the accused perpetrator of the reasons for the proposed suspension and giving him/her an opportunity to explain the situation, in accordance with the Board's Student Discipline policy.

Expulsion may be imposed only after a hearing before the Board of Education, a committee of the Board or an impartial hearing officer designated by the Board of Education in accordance with the Board's Student Discipline policy. This consequence shall normally be reserved for serious incidents of bullying and teen dating violence, and/or when past interventions have not been successful in eliminating bullying behavior.

iii. Interventions for bullied students and victims of teen dating violence

The building principal (or other responsible program administrator) or his/her designee shall intervene in order to address incidents of bullying or teen dating violence against a single individual. Intervention strategies for a bullied student or victim of teen dating violence may include the following:

  1. a. Referral to a school counselor, psychologist or other appropriate social or mental health service;
  1. b. Increased supervision and monitoring of student to observe and intervene in bullying situations or instances of teen dating violence;
  1. c. Encouragement of student to seek help when victimized or witnessing victimization;
  1. d. Peer mediation or other forms of mediation, where appropriate;
  1. e. Student Safety Support plan;
  1. f. Restitution and/or restorative interventions; and
  1. g. Periodic follow-up by the Safe School Climate Specialist and/or Title IX Coordinator with the bullied student or victim of teen dating violence.

iv. General Prevention and Intervention Strategies

In addition to the prompt investigation of complaints of bullying and direct intervention when acts of bullying are verified, other district actions may ameliorate potential problems with bullying in school or at school-sponsored activities. Additional district actions may also ameliorate potential problems with teen dating violence. While no specific action is required, and school needs for specific prevention and intervention strategies may vary from time to time, the following list of potential prevention and intervention strategies shall serve as a resource for administrators, teachers and other professional employees in each school. Such prevention and intervention strategies may include, but are not limited to:

a. School rules prohibiting bullying, teen dating violence, harassment and intimidation and establishing appropriate consequences for those who engage in such acts;

b. Adequate adult supervision of outdoor areas, hallways, the lunchroom and other specific areas where bullying or teen dating violence are likely to occur;

c. Inclusion of grade-appropriate bullying and teen dating violence education and prevention curricula in kindergarten through high school, which may include instruction regarding building safe and positive school communities including developing healthy relationships and preventing dating violence as deemed appropriate for older students;

d. Individual interventions with the perpetrator, parents and school employees, and interventions with the bullied student, parents and school employees;

e. School-wide training related to safe school climate, which training may include Title IX/Sexual harassment training, Section 504/ADA Training, cultural diversity/multicultural education or other training in federal and state civil rights legislation or other topics relevant to safe school climate;

f. Student peer training, education and support; and

g. Promotion of parent involvement in bullying prevention through individual or team participation in meetings, trainings and individual interventions;

h. Implementation of a positive behavioral interventions and supports process or another evidence-based model approach for safe school climate or for the prevention of bullying and teen dating violence, including any such program identified by the Department of Education;

i. Respectful responses to bullying and teen dating violence concerns raised by students, parents or staff;

j. Planned professional development programs addressing prevention and intervention strategies, which training may include school violence prevention, conflict resolution and prevention of bullying and teen dating violence, with a focus in evidence based practices concerning same;

k. Use of peers to help ameliorate the plight of victims and include them in group activities;

l. Avoidance of sex-role stereotyping;

m. Continuing awareness and involvement on the part of school employees and parents with regards to prevention and intervention strategies;

n. Modeling by teachers of positive, respectful, and supportive behavior toward students;

o. Creating a school atmosphere of team spirit and collaboration that promotes appropriate social behavior by students in support of others;

p. Employing classroom strategies that instruct students how to work together in a collaborative and supportive atmosphere;

q. Culturally competent school-based curriculum focusing on social-emotional learning, self-awareness and self-regulation.

D. In addition to prevention and intervention strategies, administrators, teachers and other professional employees may find opportunities to educate students about bullying and help eliminate bullying behavior through class discussions, counseling, and reinforcement of socially-appropriate behavior. Administrators, teachers and other professional employees should intervene promptly whenever they observe mean-spirited student conduct, even if such conduct does not meet the formal definition of “bullying.”

E. Funding for the school-based bullying intervention and school climate improvement strategy may originate from public, private, federal or philanthropic sources.

XI. Improving School Climate

 

Please see the Middletown Public Schools individual school websites for each school's climate plan. The district plan is included in the policy section of the district website. The climate plan will be updated and shared with the school community and public annually http://www.middletownschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=93739&pageId=171364 Annual Safe School Climate Strategies.

XII. Annual Notice and Training

A. Students, and parents or guardians of students shall be notified annually of the process by which students may make reports of bullying.

B. The Board shall provide for the inclusion of language in student codes of conduct concerning bullying.

C. At the beginning of each school year, each school shall provide all school employees with a written or electronic copy of the school district's safe school climate plan and require that all school employees annually complete training on the identification, prevention and response to bullying as required by law.

D. After July 1, 2014, any person appointed by the district to serve as district safe school climate coordinator shall complete mental health and first aid training offered by the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

XIII. School Climate Assessments

Biennially, the Board shall require each school in the district to complete an assessment using the school climate assessment instruments, including surveys, approved and disseminated by the Connecticut State Department of Education. The Board shall collect the school climate assessments for each school in the district and submit such assessments to the Connecticut State Department of Education.

Regulation adopted: June 5, 2012 (adopted by BOE state mandated) Plan adopted: September 9, 2014

MIDDLETOWN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

SAFE SCHOOL CLIMATE PLAN

Approved by Middletown Board of Education April 17, 2012

The district will have a shared vision and plan for promoting, enhancing, and sustaining a positive school and district climate.

High-Leverage Adult Work (Tier II)

Middletown will implement the National School Climate Standards to increase pro-social behavior (e.g. student engagement) and reduce anti-social behavior (discipline issues).

Indicator: If prosocial behavior improves and antisocial behavior decreases, then achievement for all students will increase and the achievement gap will narrow as all students improve.

Priority Students Outcomes (Tier I)

The number of overall discipline referrals will decrease by 15% over the three year period of the DIP and by 25% for targeted subgroups (e.g. Hispanic and African American Males).

Students will increase prosocial behaviors and decrease antisocial behavior by 10% on report card standards. (Baseline beginning of year 4 with 10% increase by end of year 4)

Students will report increased prosocial feelings (e.g. emotional safety) of 5% on annual surveys. (Year one baseline data collection)

Action Plan Strategies:

District will implement National School Climate Standards Self-Assessment

  1. District will implement annual school climate surveys to students, teachers, and stakeholders.
  2. District will implement a standards based report card for social emotional and behavioral indicators.
  3. District will implement National School Climate Standard 3. The school communities' practices are identified, prioritized to (a) enhance engagement in teaching and school-wide activities: (b) address barriers to learning and teaching and reengage those who have become disengaged; and (c) develop and sustain an appropriate operational infrastructure and capacity building mechanisms for meeting this standard.
  4. District will implement national School Climate Standard 5.1 Students and staff model responsive and ethical behavior. This reflects continuous learning that builds knowledge awareness, skills and the capacity to identify, understand and respect the unique beliefs, values, customs, languages and traditions of all members of the school community.
  5. District will review/revise its current policy on Bullying to meet the standards outlined in PA-11-232.

Statement of Non-Discrimination

The Middletown Board of Education is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, and it does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, age, marital status, civil union, military or veteran status, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity or expression*, sexual orientation, or past or present physical or mental disability in any of its education programs, activities, or employment policies. All educational programs and offerings, including vocational education and extracurricular activities, subscribe to this policy. Elizabeth K. Nocera, Director of Grant Services, has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the district non-discrimination policies and may be reached at 311 Hunting Hill Avenue, Middletown, CT 06457; phone (860) 638-1414.

* "Gender identity or expression" means a person's gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's physiology or assigned sex at birth.