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Series 4000

Student Learning Objectives and Instructional Goals

Equivalence In Instructional Staff and Materials 4010
Organization of Instruction 4100
School Calendar 4110
School Year 4111
Curriculum Development 4200
Pilot Projects 4220
Curriculum Guides and Course Outlines 4240
Curriculum 4300
Basic Instructional Program 4310
Citizenship Education 4311
Display of the Flag 4311.1
Values Education 4311.2
Teaching About Religion 4313
Occupational Education 4314
Health Education 4315
AIDS Instruction 4315.1
Physical Education 4316
Teaching About Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco 4317
Science and Math Instruction 4319
Reading Policy 4320
Programs for Students with Disabilities Under IDEA & NYS Education Law Article 89 4321
Provision of Special Education Services in the Least Restrictive Environment 4321.1
School-Wide Pre-Referral Approaches and Interventions 4321.2
Allocation of Space for Special Education Programs 4321.3
Independent Educational Evaluations 4321.4
Confidentiality and Access to IEPs, IESPs, and SPs 4321.5
Availability of Alternative Format Instructional Materials for Students
with Disabilities
Districtwide and Statewide Assessments of Students with Disabilities 4321.7
Impartial Hearing Officer Appointment and Compensation 4321.8
Declassification of Students with Disabilities 4321.9
Public Report on Revisions to District Policies, Practice and
Procedures Upon A Finding of Significant Disproporationality
Use of Time Out Rooms 4321.12
Preschool Special Education 4321.13
Special Education Personnel 4321.14
Programs for the Gifted and Talented 4322
Programs for the Pregnant Student 4324
Academic Intervention Services 4325
Limited English Proficiency Instruction 4326
Homebound Instruction 4327
Alternative School Programs 4328
Summer School 4331
High School Credit for College Courses 4334.1
Adult Education Programs 4340
Grouping for Instruction 4410
Student Schedules and Course Loads 4430
Instructional Materials 4510
Instructional Technology 4510.1
Textbook Selection and Adoption 4511
Library Materials Selection 4513
School Libraries 4524
Instructional Computer Network 4526
Internet Safety Policy 4526.1
Acceptable Use Policy 4526.2
Field Trips and Excursions 4531
School Volunteers 4532
Guidance Programs 4600
Grading Systems 4710
Student Progress Reports to Parents 4712
Parent Conferences 4714
Testing Programs 4720
Homework 4730
Honor Rolls 4740
Promotion and Retention of Students 4750
Make Up Opportunities 4760
Graduation Requirements 4770
Teaching About Controversial Issues 4810
School Ceremonies and Observances 4821
Assemblies 4830
Animals and Plants in the School 4850




The mission of the Sachem school community is to graduate students who will be motivated, respectful, life-long learners, well prepared to succeed and contribute to their society.   The Board of Education is committed to working with the Superintendent of Schools, district staff, parents and students for the development of a quality educational program designed to accomplish this mission.   Therefore, the Board adopts the following objectives and instructional goals for students in the district:

            Objective 1:   All students will demonstrate the ability to engage in effective, analytically critical, and socially acceptable communication, including the skills of speaking, listening, writing and reading.

            Objective 2:             All students will demonstrate the ability to understand, interpret and apply mathematical information to other areas of learning, and to perform the mathematical processes that are needed in daily life.

            Objective 3:             All students will demonstrate the ability to think logically, critically and creatively, including the ability to use knowledge constructively, and to attack problems intelligently, giving due respect to honest differences of opinion.

            Objective 4:             All students will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to incorporate physical fitness into their daily lives.

            Objective 5:             All students will demonstrate the ability to understand, use and appreciate the life-enriching insights and perspectives that are provided in the various subject areas of learning, including language arts, science, math, technology, history, social studies, technical and occupational studies, second languages, arts, music and humanities, physical education and home and career skills.

            Objective 6:             All students will demonstrate the ability to plan for, assess progress toward and strive toward success in the variety of inter-related roles they will assume during their lives including those involving post-secondary education or careers, family and/or parenting responsibilities, maintenance of physical, mental and emotional health and management of personal resources.

            Objective 7:             All students will be afforded the opportunity to graduate with a regular high school diploma.

            Objective 8:             All students will demonstrate competence in all core academic subjects, at all grade levels.

            To facilitate achievement of the Board's articulated learning objectives and instructional goals for all students, the District's administration and staff will be guided by the following:

1.All students will be subject to high academic standards and high academic performance expectations.

2.The District will implement measurable effective instructional strategies for closing the achievement gap among all students.

3.The District will align its core academic subject curricula with the State learning standards, and offer appropriate support services to enable all students to succeed.

4.The same core academic subject curricula will be used in all schools district-wide.

5.The District will use multiple general education approaches, including response to intervention strategies in accordance with the Commissioner's Regulations, to improve the academic performance of all students.

6.The District will utilize scientific research-based instructional materials.

7.Instructional and professional development activities will be coordinated to reduce student failure rates in core academic subjects at all grade levels.

8.Steps will be taken to identify and address the cause(s) of student drop-out, and to reduce the student drop-out rate.

9.The District will recruit, hire and retain highly qualified staff.

10.Staff professional development will be designed to enable achievement of the Board's articulated learning objectives and instructional goals.

11.The District will implement a process of ongoing review to identify and address any obstacles to the achievement of the Board's articulated learning objectives and instructional goals.

Cross-Ref :             0000, Mission Statement and Vision

Ref:                         7 NYCCRR 100.2(ii)

Adoption Date: January 20, 1998

Revision Date: January 15, 2008







In accordance with federal regulations, the Board of Education will ensure equivalence among district schools in teachers, administrators, and auxiliary personnel; and in the provision of curricular materials and instructional supplies.  The Superintendent of Schools shall follow the State Education Department guidelines in determining such equivalence on an annual basis, and report to the Board on the status of district schools with regard to equivalence.


Cross-ref:        1900, Parental Involvement

                        4325, Compensatory Education

                        6231, Title 1/PSEN Programs and Services


Ref:     34 CFR §200.43(c)(1)(i) (ESEA Title 1 Program in Local Educational Agencies)

State Education Department, Office of School Improvement Grants Management and Compliance, Consolidated Application and Applicant's Guide and Instructions for Consolidated Application


Adoption date: January 20, 1998




                                 ORGANIZATION OF INSTRUCTION


The Board of Education believes that effective instruction is organized according to a plan which makes full use of district resources, including instructional time, materials, and personnel.  These resources shall support a K-6, 7-8, 9-12 program of instruction. 


To capitalize on these valuable district resources and increase student learning time, the Board encourages district administrators and personnel to observe the following guidelines:


  1. limit announcements and other administrative interaction with students and teachers to passing time and “homeroom;”
  2. streamline non-instructional classroom procedures, such as attendance accounting;
  3. show sensitivity to changing community needs and values;
  4. seek input from district personnel in determining the length of the school day and formulation of the school calendar; and
  5. review scheduling periodically to ensure that the maximum amount of school time is devoted to instruction.


The district should discuss all proposed changes in instructional organization with appropriate members of the collective bargaining units, shared decision-making teams, parent-teacher organizations, community members and student representatives.  Administrators are also encouraged to review and implement current research findings in these areas, and submit related recommendations to the Board periodically.


Adoption date: January 20, 1998




                                              SCHOOL CALENDAR


The school calendar for the ensuing year will be developed by the Superintendent of Schools and presented to the Board of Education for approval in the spring of each year.  The number of days scheduled for students will meet or exceed the requirements of state law.


Ref:     Education Law §§3015(2); 3101(3); 3204(4); 3604(7-8)

            8 NYCRR Part 175


Adoption date: January 20, 1998




                                                   SCHOOL YEAR


The Superintendent of Schools will develop and present to the Board of Education school year schedules that fulfill state requirements and comply with the collective bargaining agreement(s) currently in effect within the district.


Adoption date: January 20, 1998





                                    CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT


In order to achieve its annual instructional goals, the Board of Education supports a collaborative approach to district curriculum development.  Such an approach must recognize the interrelation of curriculum and effective instructional processes, as well as interdisciplinary applications and articulation of programs from one level to the next.


A curriculum will include basic content area knowledge and related skills, with the realization that such information needs continuous updating.  Curricula will also be designed to encourage transferrable concepts/skills, including critical thinking skills leading toward successful completion of the district’s graduation standards.  The Board is committed to providing district students and staff with appropriate instructional materials to implement curricula.  In addition, all students are assured equal access to courses of study, regardless of national origin, race, color, religion, creed, marital status, sex or disability.  However, courses shall not be designed to appeal to or meet the needs of students exclusively on the basis of the above-mentioned criteria.  Course titles shall not reflect an orientation toward students on the basis of the above-mentioned criteria.


The Superintendent of Schools shall work with other district administrators to integrate current educational theory and research on curricula design, and successful instructional strategies practiced by successful districts.  Teachers and program directors are directed to use state syllabi, supplemental materials and handbooks for general curricular guidelines; however, the Board encourages instructional staff to create individualized, flexible curriculum guides and original instructional materials.  Such materials shall reflect a sensitivity to district students, their concerns, learning styles, and changing developmental abilities/needs.


Parents and members of the community are also encouraged to provide feedback on district curricula and instruction.  The Superintendent will consult with Building Principals, teachers, students and the community in order to develop a responsive curriculum, and to promote a continuing review and upgrading of such curriculum.  To this end, the Superintendent shall periodically invite community input using a curricula assessment questionnaire or other means.


Curriculum changes will take into consideration the results of state and local testing/classroom evaluations, reflect at a minimum the requirements of the state, and address further needs of the community and student population.  The Board expects administrators and staff to work together in evaluating the educational program and recommending changes or additions in courses, programs, instructional methodology, and/or staff development activities which are necessary to implement such changes and/or additions.






At its meetings, the Board will hear regular reports on curriculum-related matters, such as instructional programs, the work of curriculum committees, and periodic evaluation of specific curriculum areas.  The Superintendent will also be responsible for implementing curriculum studies, including pilot projects, as authorized by the Board.




Cross-ref:        4319, Science and Math Instruction


Ref:     Education §§1709(3); 1711(5)


Adoption date: January 20, 1998




                                                 PILOT PROJECTS


In order to provide for constructive and responsive change and innovations in the schools, the Board of Education shall encourage the development of pilot projects aimed at improving the educational program.


A pilot project is defined as the introduction of a new educational program, strategy, material or equipment on a trial basis.  The pilot project will be implemented for a specified period of time deemed to be sufficient for fair evaluation of the project's feasibility and success in meeting a district need.


Proposals for pilot projects must include a statement of the project goals, anticipated expenses, staffing provisions, synopsis of implementation strategies, and plans for evaluation of the projects.  Proposals should be submitted to the department chairperson, where appropriate, or to the Building Principal.  The proposal will then be referred to the Superintendent of Schools for administrative review.  All pilot programs will be recommended by the Superintendent to the Board for approval prior to implementation.


The Superintendent will submit periodic reports to the Board on all ongoing projects and evaluations.  The Board may, at its discretion, terminate a pilot program at any time. 


Adoption date: January 20, 1998






The Board of Education encourages the development of curriculum guides and course outlines at all educational levels.  These materials shall be reviewed annually and recommendations made by the Superintendent of Schools or designee for revision and modification.  The curriculum shall be designed to show the developmental sequence of content and skills.


It is a professional responsibility to plan in advance for the instructional program offered to students.  For this purpose, planbooks should be used.  Written plans should be prepared for an entire week, and planbooks should be made available to the Building Principals.


Adoption date: January 20, 1998






Curriculum will be designed to carry out the instructional goals of the district and provide for the continuous intellectual growth of all students.  The Board of Education believes that there must be close coordination between curriculum development and instructional processes as well as continuity between educational levels, if instructional goals are to be reached.


To this end, curriculum will be developed by the Superintendent of Schools and submitted to the Board for adoption.  Curriculum will reflect minimum state requirements and address further needs of the community and student population.  The Board expects administrators and staff to work together in evaluating the educational program and recommending changes or additions in courses, programs, instructional methodology, and/or staff development activities which are necessary to implement such changes and/or additions.


New courses and programs will be recommended by the Superintendent and adopted by the Board.  In addition, the Board will hear regular reports on curriculum-related matters, such as instructional programs, the work of curriculum committees, and periodic evaluation of curriculum areas.  In addition, the Superintendent will also be responsible for authorizing curriculum studies as requested by the Board.


Ref:     Education Law §§1709(3); 1711(5); 801 et seq.

            8 NYCRR §§100.1 et seq.


Adoption date: January 20, 1998




                                BASIC INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAM


The basic instructional program shall include all those courses of instruction required by the Education Law, the Rules of the Board of Regents and Regulations of the Commissioner of Education as well as such other courses and programs which the Board of Education determines to be beneficial to the students of the district, within the restrictions imposed by limited district resources.


Cross-ref:        4319, Science and Math Instruction


Ref:     Education Law §§801; 802; 803; 804; 804-a; 806; 808; 3204

            8 NYCRR §§100.1 et seq.; 108.1; 135.4(c)


Adoption date: January 20, 1998




                                         CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION


It is the belief of the Board of Education that students must gain an understanding of and appreciation for our democratic society, the roles and responsibilities of the individual citizen, and the relationship between citizens of the United States and those of other societies and cultures.  To this end, and in compliance with statutory and regulatory mandates, the district will offer instruction and related activities in citizenship education.  Such instruction and activities will be made available to all students in the district on a regular basis and in keeping with appropriate grade level instruction as it is practiced throughout the district.


Cross-ref:        4311.1, Display of the Flag


Ref:     Education Law §801

            8 NYCRR §100.2(c)(1)


Adoption date: January 20, 1998




                                           DISPLAY OF THE FLAG


The Board of Education believes that the flag of the United States is a symbol of the values of our nation, the ideals embedded in our Constitution and the spirit that should animate our district.


The district shall purchase a United States flag, flag staff and the necessary appliances for its display upon or near every school building.  There shall be a flag on display in every assembly room of every school.


The flag shall be flown at full- or half-staff pursuant to law.  In addition, the flag may be flown at half-staff to commemorate the death of a present or former Board member, student, or employee.


Consistent with national and state law and regulations and this policy, the Superintendent of Schools shall develop rules and regulations for the proper custody, care and display of the flag.


Cross-ref:        4311, Citizenship Education


Ref:     Education Law §§418; 419; 420; 802

            Executive Law, Article 19

            8 NYCRR Part 108

            Lapolla v Dullaghann, 63 Misc 2d 157 (1970)


Adoption date: January 20, 1998






The Board of Education recognizes that one of the most important functions of schools is to reflect and reinforce character and civic values of our society within the schools. Values such as honesty, integrity, responsibility, hard work and respect for others reflect the principles upon which the survival and vitality of our society and all individuals depend.


Therefore, the Board shall ensure that its policies and procedures embody these community values and reflect the principles of fairness and justice necessary for their equitable application. The Board further directs the Superintendent of Schools to ensure that school practices and discipline are in accord with these values.


Board members, administrators and staff serve as role models for the students and, as such, are expected to exemplify and consistently enforce high standards of respect and responsibility.


The Superintendent shall ensure that values are emphasized throughout the school environment. The teaching of civic values shall be incorporated and taught as part of courses in civics, literature, and history and exemplified in the conduct of all curricular and extracurricular activities and sports.


Adoption date: January 20, 1998






The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to teach students about religion and its role as a vital force in the development of civilizations, as well as to foster a respect for religion and religious beliefs.  In addition, the Board believes that it is the duty of the school district to ensure that every student fully understands the principle of religious freedom that is part of this country's heritage.


To fulfill these acknowledged responsibilities, the Board encourages factual and objective teaching about religion.  Instructional programs will be encouraged that: (1) focus on the role that religion has played in history or in the development of a society or culture, and (2) educate students about the principle of religious liberty as one of the central elements of freedom and democracy.


Ref:     U.S. Constitution, First Amendment

            Education Law §3210


Adoption date: January 20, 1998





The Board of Education shall provide secondary school students and district adults access to programs of occupational education, commensurate with the interests and capabilities of those desiring and having a need for preparatory training.  The district will develop programs with sensitivity to present and projected employment opportunities, based upon work force needs in existing and emerging occupations.


Occupational training or retraining may be provided for persons enrolled in secondary schools, as well as for persons who have graduated or left high school, for adults who have entered the labor market, and for persons who have academic, socioeconomic and other disabilities that prevent them from succeeding in regular occupational education programs. Classes for out-of-school youth 16  years of age and over and for adults may be conducted during the day and/or evening.


In accordance with Regulations of the Commissioner, district occupational instruction shall:


  1. be related to the occupation or fields for which students are being trained or retrained and suited to the needs of those engaged in or preparing to engage in such occupations;
  2. admit persons to classes and provide instruction for each type of occupational education or occupational field on the basis of their interest and potential for achieving competence in the occupation;
  3. include in the total program of instruction both general and occupational education in which the preparatory portion shall develop minimum competencies and skills to permit initial employment while providing a basis for future learning on the job or through continuing education;
  4. appropriately define all instruction as of high school grade so as to avoid interpretation as advanced programs or courses;
  5. be sufficiently extensive and inclusive within a scheduled unit of time to enable students to develop competencies for entering, advancing or continuing in an occupation or occupational field;
  6. be conducted and supervised by persons meeting established certification requirements; and
  7. in the absence of a suitable state syllabus or curriculum guide for basic and remedial subjects, establish part-time employment programs for youth who need income and experience, and administer a program of essential ancillary services.


Ref:     Education Law §§1001 et seq.; 2045(2); 3602(17)(34); 3602-c; 4601 et seq.

            8 NYCRR §§100.2(h); 141 et seq.


Adoption date: January 20, 1998





The Board of Education believes that health is a unified concept and that it must be approached with consideration of the total human being and the complexity of forces that affect health behavior.  The Board is concerned with the health attitudes and behavior of the individual, the family and the community, and with health behavior, generally.


The Board also believes that the only effective way in which the district can fulfill its responsibility for meeting the health needs of youth is through a comprehensive program of health education in grades K-12.  Such a program will establish the organizational framework for meeting the health needs, interests, and problems of students as well as preparing them for their role as adults.  The district will comply with the laws and regulations which require health education instruction in the schools.


The district's health education curriculum is designed to accomplish three basic aims:


  1. to develop wholesome health skills and practices;
  2. to encourage sound attitudes towards good health and wellness; and
  3. to acquire up-to-date and scientific health knowledge.


Certified teachers of health education will be hired to implement the secondary health education program in district schools.


In recognition of the parent’s options, the Board, subject to the regulations of the state Board of Regents, shall excuse a student from required study of AIDS prevention lessons and the family living health curriculum component, if such study will be conducted at home.


Ref:     Education Law §§804; 804-a

            8 NYCRR §§135.3; 135.6


Adoption date: January 20, 1998





In compliance with the regulations of the Commissioner of Education, the district will provide classroom instruction concerning Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) as part of a sequential and comprehensive health program for all students, K-12.  Instruction must be offered during regularly scheduled classes.  Such instruction will be age-appropriate, and include the following information:


  1. the nature of the disease;
  2. methods of transmission of the disease; and
  3. methods of prevention of the disease (stressing abstinence as the most effective and appropriate protection against AIDS).


A student may be excused from that segment of AIDS instruction regarding methods of prevention of the disease if his/her parent/guardian files a request with the Superintendent of Schools.  The request must give assurance that such instruction will be given at home.


The Board shall establish an advisory council which shall be responsible for making recommendations on content, implementation, and evaluation of the AIDS instructional program. The advisory council must consist of Board members, appropriate school personnel, parents and community representatives, including representatives from religious organizations.


Cross-ref:        2260, Advisory Committees

                        5191, Students with HIV-Related Illness


Ref:     Education Law §3204(5)

            8 NYCRR §§16.2; 135.3

            Ware v. Valley Stream High School District, 75 NY2d 114 (1989)

            New York State School Boards Association v. Sobol, 168 AD2d 188 (1991)

            Matter of Ware,  28 EDR 415 (1989)


Adoption date: January 20, 1998




                                           PHYSICAL EDUCATION


The Board of Education in accordance with the Commissioner’s Regulations shall provide every student with an opportunity for wholesome and enriched physical educational experiences.  It is the Board's belief that the following basic aims and objectives of the physical education program shall contribute to this goal:


  1. to aid the development of the entire student so that a well-trained mind may function properly in a healthy body;
  2. to encourage student participation in vigorous physical activity while in school and to teach the skills of those activities so that they will have a carry-over value for later activities in everyday life;
  3. to increase appreciation of physical fitness and its importance in regard to good health; and
  4. to impress upon students the importance of integrating one's mind, body, and attitude in preparing to face the obligations of a complex society.


With these objectives in mind, the district physical education staff will work together with administrators to develop a physical education program that develops each student's flexibility, agility, coordination, strength and endurance incorporating a progression of skills and activities from the simple to the more complex.  This program must be flexible enough to accept each student with his/her own pattern of growth and development and include activities that assure both individual and group development throughout the student's school years.  Provisions shall be made for students who require a special or adaptive physical education program.


Each student in grades 9-12 shall be required to successfully complete the physical education course during each year of attendance in the district high school in order to qualify for graduation. Two units of physical education are mandated for graduation by the regulations of the Commissioner of Education, and these units are in addition to the 18 1/2 credits necessary for a Regents or local high school diploma.  These credits shall be awarded as 1/4 unit per semester.  A student who graduates in fewer than eight semesters is not required to continue enrollment in high school for the sole purpose of completing the physical education requirement; however, the student must have successfully fulfilled the physical education requirement each semester up to that time.


Students who are temporarily or permanently unable to participate in the regular physical education program will be provided with adapted activities/courses. Temporary or short-term adaptations shall be made by the physical education teacher in consultation with appropriate medical personnel.  Permanent or long-term program adaptations shall be based upon recommendations from the family physician.




Students with disabilities, as classified by the Committee on Special Education (CSE), who are unable to safely or successfully participate in the activities of the regular physical education program will be provided with adaptive physical education.  The written individualized education program (IEP) for each such student shall include a prescriptive physical education program.  The physical education teacher shall be involved in the development of the IEP.


School personnel shall have the responsibility of determining the activities appropriate for each student.  In no case should the activity exceed the ability level of the student.



Ref:     34 CFR §106.34(c)

            Education Law §§803; 3204(5)

            8 NYCRR §135.4


Adoption date: January 20, 1998





The Board of Education views with grave concern the serious implications of alcohol, drug, and tobacco use by people, specifically young people, all over the United States and especially in the school district.  In keeping with its primary responsibility--the education of youth--the Board directs the professional staff of the district to continue to investigate the causes of student involvement with drugs, tobacco and alcohol, and to develop suitable preventive measures however and whenever feasible.


The Board and the professional staff shall continue to seek ways to educate students and school staff of the district about the dangers of the illegal use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol and tobacco.  Instruction will include sessions about the causes and effects of drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse, especially in young people. In addition, all high school students will receive instruction on the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.


The following objectives must be realized if the goal of minimizing drug, tobacco and alcohol abuse is to be achieved:


  1. students shall be encouraged to identify the problem and its causes and to determine solutions;
  2. they should understand the nature of legal and illegal drugs and tobacco;
  3. they shall be encouraged to develop a set of values and behavioral insights which shall give them a deeper understanding of themselves and society;
  4. they shall be encouraged to identify the variety of alternate forms of behavior, other than drug or alcohol abuse and tobacco use, which are available to satisfy their needs; and
  5. they shall be encouraged to make constructive decisions concerning the use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.


While the Board in no way condones the abuse of illegal or harmful substances, it is in the interest of student and staff health that a climate be created in the schools so that individuals with problems may seek to receive help without fear of reprisal.


Cross-ref:        5312.3, Smoking


Ref:     Education Law §804

            8 NYCRR §§100.2(c)(3)


Adoption date: January 20, 1998



                               SCIENCE AND MATH INSTRUCTION


The Board of Education believes that instruction in science and mathe­matics is crucial for student success in today's rapidly changing and competitive world, which increasingly demands higher levels of scientific and mathematical skills, as well as experience in technological applications.  The Board therefore supports an interdisciplinary instructional program which en­courages and expects basic literacy in science and math, and prepares interested students for further study and/or careers in these fields.


Basic literacy in science and math includes instruction in a "core" body of information, but also emphasizes problem-solving and critical inquiry processes.  Students shall be encouraged to apply such skills to contemporary concerns and problems facing the school and the community in a "hands-on" learning environment (i.e., recycling projects, energy conservation projects, etc.).


The Board directs the Superintendent of Schools to oversee the develop­ment of a flexible science and math curriculum, which takes into considera­tion new developments in all related fields and emphasizes the world's chan­ging needs.  Such curriculum shall include the following:


  1. basic knowledge and skills in science and math, and the opportunity to develop such skills and apply them to societal and individual problems;
  2. opportunities and encouragement for all students to participate in appropriately challenging courses of study;
  3. opportunities for students to develop an understanding of and appreciation for the relationships between science, mathematics and technology through interdisciplinary study;
  4. opportunities for students to develop a positive attitude towards science and mathematics and a spirit of inquiry towards the natural world;
  5. information on career opportunities in science and mathematics;
  6. opportunities for students to develop confidence in their ability to apply and develop scientific/mathematic knowledge and skills;
  7. individual and group problem-solving experiences and enrichment activities;
  8. student participation in a variety of experiences and course-related materials, including field trips, laboratory and classroom experiments and use of computer-based technology; and
  9. evaluation of student progress in assimilating and applying scientific/ mathematical knowledge and skills, and periodic feedback to students regarding such progress.


The Superintendent shall inform the Board of all curricular changes, and advise the Board of necessary and up-to-date instructional materials to proper­ly implement such curriculum.  The curriculum should be designed to proper­ly prepare all students for their role in society, and ensure district compliance with the curricular requirements of the State Education Department.





Cross-ref:        4200, Curriculum Development

                        4310, Basic Instruction Program

                        4510.1, Instructional Technology

                        4526, Computer Network for Education


Ref:     8 NYCRR §§100.2-100.5


Adoption date: January 20, 1998





Language arts education is the study and use of language and literature in all its aspects.  Through comprehensive study, students will read, write, listen and speak for information and understanding, for literary response and expansion, for critical analysis and evaluation, and for social interaction as defined in the New York Learning Standards in English Language Arts.


The Language Arts program is researched-based and encompasses the essential elements of reading as identified in the National Reading Panel Report; phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and text comprehension.  Instruction is driven by on-going assessment, building and expanding upon the student's prior knowledge and includes teacher modeling, demonstration and direct instruction.  It also includes a balance of word recognition and comprehension strategies using graphophonic (letter-sound), semantic (context) and syntactic (structural) cues within the context of reading and listening to connected, informative and engaging text.


Students have the opportunity respond to quality literature and to engage in other meaningful activities that foster reading, writing, speaking and listening enabling them to become proficient, confident, life-long learners who can think, respond, analyze and make informed choices.



Adoption Date:  November 16, 2004




The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to ensure that students with disabilities eligible for special education programs and services under the IDEA and Article 89 of New York's Education Law receive those services in the least restrictive environment appropriate to meet their individual educational needs.

Therefore, the District will not place students with disabilities in special classes or separate schools, or otherwise remove them from the regular educational environment unless the nature or severity of their disability is such that their education cannot be achieved satisfactorily in regular classes, even with the use of supplementary aids and services.   In addition, the District will provide special services or programs to enable students with disabilities to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum, to the extent appropriate to their needs.

To fulfill its responsibility to educate students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment, the District will implement the provisions of Section 200.6 of the Commissioner's Regulations.   The Superintendent will establish a process for ensuring that the CSE or CSE Subcommittee Chairperson, as appropriate, obtains an up-to-date copy of those provisions at the beginning of each school year, and copies of any amendments that become effective during the school year.

Students with disabilities placed together for purposes of special education shall be grouped by similarity of individual needs; placements shall include the following considerations:

-The range of academic or educational achievement of the students must be limited to assure that instruction provides each student with appropriate opportunities to achieve his/her annual goals.   The learning characteristics of the students in the group shall be sufficiently similar to assure that the range of academic or educational achievement is, at minimum, maintained.

-The social development of each student must also be considered in making placement decisions to assure that the social interaction within the group is beneficial to each student, contributes to each student's social growth and maturity, and does not consistently interfere with the instruction being provided.

-The levels of physical development of the students may vary, so long as each student is provided appropriate opportunities to benefit from instruction.

-The management needs of the students may vary, so long as environmental modifications, adaptations, or human or material resources required to meet the needs of each student are provided and do not consistently detract from the instruction being provided.

The Board also recognizes that the least restrictive environment requirements established by applicable law and regulations also extend to nonacademic settings.   Therefore, the District will provide students with disabilities the opportunity to participate with non-disabled students in school-sponsored cocurricular and extracurricular activities, to the maximum extent appropriate to each individual student's needs.   The District also will provide students with disabilities with supplementary aids and services the CSE or CSE subcommittee, as applicable, determines to be appropriate and necessary for the students to participate in such activities.

Ref: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 20 USC Sections 1400 et seq

            34 CFR Sections 300.114-120

            8 NYCRR Sections 200.2(b)(4); 200.6

Adoption Date: January 15, 2008




The Sachem Central School District (District) has established the following procedures for obtaining independent educational evaluation(s) (IEE(s)) for children who are classified by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or Committee on Preschool Education (CPSE) as having a disability or who are suspected of having a disability.

Parents with children who have been classified with a disability or children who are suspected of having an educationally related disability have the right under Federal and State regulations to obtain an IEE at public expense under certain conditions. Regulatory standards are outlined in New York State Regulations of the Commissioner of Education § 200.5(g) and Federal Regulations 34 CFR § 300.502. Additionally, A Parent’s Guide to Special Education: Your Child’s Right to an Education in New York State and the Procedural Safeguards Notice, published by the New York State Education Department, detail IEE requirements. These documents are available from the Sachem School District Special Education Office for parents who desire to review them.

An independent educational evaluation (IEE) means an evaluation conducted by qualified examiners as defined in § 300.502(a) (3) (i) who are not employed by the District.
If a parent or guardian disagrees with the evaluation conducted by the District, the parent or guardian may have the right to obtain one IEE at public expense for each District evaluation. If a parent requests an IEE at public expense, the District must, with unnecessary delay, either: (a) file a due process complaint to request an impartial hearing before an impartial hearing officer to contest the IEE for failure to comply with the District’s criteria and/or to defend the appropriateness of the evaluation conducted by the District, or (b) provide the IEE at public expense. If the impartial hearing officer determines that the District’s evaluation is appropriate, the parents/guardian would not have the right to a publicly funded IEE or the right to reimbursement for the IEE.

A parent may request an IEE at public expense from the District at any time. However, a parent is entitled to only one IEE at public expense each time the District conducts an evaluation of his/her child with which he/she disagrees. If a parent unilaterally obtains an evaluation at private expense and wishes to submit the private evaluation to the District for reimbursement as an IEE at public expense, the parent will have up to ninety (90) days from the date of the private evaluation to request IEE reimbursement from the District. A copy of the private evaluation report and an itemized invoice must be attached by the parent to the request for IEE reimbursement.

Requests should be in writing to:

Coordinator of Student Services
Sachem Central School District
51 School Street, Lake Ronkonkoma, NY 11779

If the parent requests an IEE, the District may ask why the parent objects to the evaluation of the child done by the District. The District may not require an explanation and may not unreasonably delay either providing the IEE at public expense or filing a due process complaint to request an impartial hearing to contest the IEE and/or defend the evaluations conducted by the District.

Public Expense
Public expense means that the District either pays for the full cost of the IEE or ensures that the evaluation is otherwise provided at no cost to the parent/guardian. The District shall provide reimbursement for evaluations at the rate customary in the community, as evidenced by the rates charged by Eastern Suffolk BOCES for such evaluations. The District’s special education office shall maintain a list of the particular evaluations, and the rates charged by Eastern Suffolk BOCES for such evaluations. This list shall be revised annually.

The District may pay for an IEE only if conducted by an individual who possesses current license or certification from the New York State Education Department in the area of the evaluation. The maximum allowable fees set by the District will be high enough to permit parents to choose among qualified professionals within a 50-mile radius of the District. Requests for exception to the maximum allowable fees may be allowed by the District if justified by the student’s unique circumstances. Any request for such an exception should be forwarded in writing to the Coordinator of Student Services.

Parents may select any professional who meets the criteria stated previously. The District has established a list of qualified professionals who are in private practice or employees of other public agencies to whom parents may go to secure an IEE. It is the responsibility of the independent evaluator to contact the District to arrange for payment, dates of classroom visitations and discussions with school staff. The independent evaluator is also responsible for sending a copy of his/her current NYS certification/license to the Coordinator of Student Services.

The District has the responsibility to designate the geographic area in which the parents would be limited in their search for an independent evaluator. The District will consider for public funding evaluations conducted within a 50-mile radius of the district. The District is not responsible for travel expenses and/or mileage to and from the evaluation site. Requests for exception to this geographic area limitation may be allowed by the District if justified by the student’s unique circumstances. Any request for such an exception should be forwarded in writing to the Coordinator of Student Services.

Cross-Ref: 4321, Programs for Students with Disabilities under IDEA and Article 89

Ref: New York State Regulations of the Commissioner of Education §200.5(g) and Federal Regulations 34 CFR § 300.502
A Parent’s Guide to Special Education: Your Child’s Right to an Education in New York State – NYSED
34 CFR § 300.502(a)(3)(i)

Adoption Date:   January 15, 2008
Revised Date:   June 18, 2009 





The Board of Education recognizes that it may be appropriate to declassify some students with disabilities.   A student may mature and develop skills such that they no longer require the special program, support services or accommodations offered by an Individualized Education program (IEP), Individualized Education Services Program (IESP) or Services Plan (SP).   The Committee on Special Education (CSE), the CSE Subcommittee or, the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE), as applicable, is responsible for making this judgment, while adhering to the requirements of federal and state law and regulation.


Prior to determining that a student is no longer eligible for special education services and should be placed in a full-time regular education program, the CSE, CSE subcommittee, or CPSE, as applicable, will conduct a declassification evaluation of the student in accordance with the process and procedures prescribed for the evaluation and reevaluation of students with disabilities, by applicable law and regulations.   However, the CSE, CSE subcommittee, or CPSE members may determine after reviewing existing evaluation data that no additional information is needed to determine the student's continued eligibility for services.

When a determination is made that no additional data is needed for reviewing a student's continued eligibility for special education services, the CSE, CSE subcommittee, or CPSE Chairperson, as applicable, will notify the student's parents of that determination and the reason for it, and of their right to nonetheless request an assessment.   Unless the student's parents make such a request, the district will not conduct any further assessments.

The district will provide the student's parents with a copy of the reevaluation report and documentation regarding the eligibility determination.

Consistent with applicable law and regulation, the district will not conduct a declassification evaluation if the reason why a student is determined to be ineligible for special education services is that he or she has either:

  1. Graduated with a regular high school or Regents diploma; or
  2. Exceeded the age of eligibility for services.

However, in such an instance the district will provide the student with a summary of his or her academic achievement and functional performance that also includes recommendations on how to assist the student in meeting his or her post-secondary goals.  

Declassification Support Services

It is the goal of the Board of Education to provide an opportunity for the student to succeed in the transition to the regular education program.   In order to facilitate that success, the CSE/CPSE may offer educational and support services for a period of time, not to exceed one year.   Declassification support services may include:

1.For the student, psychological services, social work services, speech and language improvement services, non-career counseling, and other appropriate support services.

2.For the student's teachers, the assistance of a teacher aide or a teaching assistant, and consultation with appropriate personnel.

The CSE/CPSE will ensure that the appropriate teachers and service providers are informed of the need for the transition services, and will specify the nature and duration of those services.

Cross-Ref : 4321, Programs for Student with Disabilities

Ref : 8 NYCRR 100.1 (q); 200.2(b)(8), 200.4(b)(4-6),(c)(3)

Adoption Date: January 15, 2008




Purpose :

A time out room is an area for a student to safely deescalate, regain control, and prepare to meet the expectations to return to his/her education program.   Time out rooms are used in conjunction with a behavioral intervention plan in which a student is removed to a supervised area in order to facilitate self-control or to remove a student from a potentially dangerous situation.   For the purpose of this policy, a potentially dangerous situation is an unanticipated situation that poses an immediate concern for the physical safety of a student or others.

Description of Time Out Room :

A time out room shall provide a means for continuous visual and auditory monitoring of the student.   District staff shall continuously monitor the student in a time out room.   Staff must be able to see and hear the student at all times.

The room shall be of adequate width, length, and height to allow the student to move about and recline comfortably.   Wall and floor coverings should be designed to prevent injury to the student.   There shall be adequate lighting and ventilation.   The temperature of the time out room shall be within the normal comfort range and consistent with the rest of the building.   The room shall be clean and free of objects and fixtures that could be potentially dangerous to a student.   All local fire and safety codes shall be observed.

The time out room must be unlocked at all times and the door must be able to be opened from the inside.   Under no circumstances may a locked room or space be used for the purposes of a time out.

Behavioral Management :

A time out room will only be used as part of the District's behavior management.   A student's individualized education program shall specify when a behavioral intervention plan includes the use of a time out room, including the maximum amount of time a student will need to be in a time out room as a behavioral consequence.   Such maximum amount of time shall be determined on an individual basis based on the student's age and individual needs.   Except for potentially dangerous situations described above, the time out room shall be used only in conjunction with a behavioral intervention plan that is designed to teach and reinforce alternative appropriate behaviors.

The District shall inform the student's parent(s) or guardian(s) prior to the initiation of a behavioral intervention plan that will incorporate the use a time out room.   The District shall further give the parent(s) or guardian(s) the opportunity to see the physical space that will be used as a time out room and provide the parent(s) or guardian(s) with a copy of the District's policy on the use of such rooms.

Factors Precipitating the Use of a Time Out Room :

The District may place a student in a time out room when:   (1) the student's behavior affects the teacher's ability to teach and/or the ability of the other students in the classroom to learn and the student's removal is necessary to maintain or restore control over the classroom; (2) the student's behavior poses a threat to him/herself or another individual; (3) the student requests a break in the time out room to regain his/her composure or self-control; or (4) a potentially dangerous situation arises.   Except in the event of a potentially dangerous situation, the placement of a student in a time out room shall be in conjunction with that student's behavioral intervention plan.

Recordkeeping :

The District shall establish and implement procedures to document the use of the time out room, including information to monitor the effectiveness of its use to decrease specified behaviors.   The District shall review the data collected through such monitoring and make any needed changes to its time out procedures, as is appropriate.

Staff Training :

The District shall provide staff training to those staff members who may be called upon to implement time out interventions.

Ref: 8 NYCRR § 200.22(c)

Adoption Date:   April 17, 2007

Revised Policy Number:   January 15, 2008




The Board of Education recognizes the value of early intervention to address the needs of preschool children with disabilities. The Board further recognizes its responsibility to ensure that all resident preschool children with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in preschool programs, approved by the Commissioner of Education, from which they may benefit educationally. The Board authorizes the Superintendent of Schools to establish administrative practices and procedures which shall include:

  1. locating, identifying, evaluating, referring and placing all preschool children (generally ages three and four) with disabilities. The register of children eligible to attend a preschool program is to be maintained and revised annually by the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE);
  2. ensuring that the parents(s)/guardian(s) of preschool age children with disabilities have received and understand the request for consent for evaluation of their child;
  3. developing an individualized education program (IEP) for each preschool age child with a disability;
  4. appointing appropriately qualified personnel to the CPSE, and ensuring that preschool education providers with whom the district contracts have appropriately trained and qualified personnel.
  5. maintaining lists of impartial hearing officers and of State Education Department-approved special education programs within the county and adjacent counties in which the district is located;
  6. preparing and keeping on file summary reports of student data including the number of preschool students with disabilities served, as well as students referred but not served and the reasons why they are not served; and
  7. reporting to the State Education Department the data on preschool children with disabilities as required, on a form prescribed by the Commissioner.

The duties described above will be carried out within the timeframes established by statute and regulation.

The Board of Education hereby establishes the CPSE as required under the Education Law. Its responsibilities will include the evaluation and recommendation for placement in appropriate approved programs and the provision of appropriate special education programs and services for each preschool child with a disability. The CPSE shall review, at least annually, the status of each preschool child with a disability. It is ultimately the responsibility of the Board to arrange for the appropriate approved preschool program and services for the district’s children. Should the Board disagree with the CPSE’s recommendations, it shall send the recommendation back to the CPSE so that they may schedule a timely meeting to review the Board’s concerns and to revise the IEP, as deemed appropriate.

In the event that a parent/guardian files a due process complaint, a meeting must be convened between the parent/guardian and representatives of the district to try and resolve the complaint within 15 days of receiving the notice, and before the initiation of an impartial hearing. Parents/guardians and the district will jointly determine who should be present at this meeting.

If an agreement cannot be reached, parent/guardians shall be offered mediation to resolve complaints regarding the education of preschool children with disabilities at the same time notice of the availability of an impartial hearing is provided.

The CPSE shall make an annual report on the status of each preschool child with a disability and report on the adequacy of preschool special education programs and services to the Coordinator of Student Services.

The Board directs the Superintendent to develop and maintain a plan which incorporates information concerning the provision of services for preschool children with disabilities, pursuant to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

Cross ref:

4321 Programs for Students with Disabilities
4321.3 Allocation of Space for Special Education Programs
4321.4 Independent Educational Evaluations
4321.5 Confidentiality and IEP Distribution
4321.8 Hearing Officer Appointment and Compensation
4321.14 Special Education Personnel


Education Law § 4410
8 NYCRR Part 200, 200.2, 200.5, 200.16

Adoption Date: December 17, 2008




The Board of Education encourages educational programs which challenge and promote the realization of individual potential in all students.  The Board also recognizes that further efforts are necessary to extend educationally and in a cost-effective manner the allocation of resources towards appropriate programs for students identified as gifted and talented.  Consistent with district efforts to develop a continuum of learning experiences which addresses the special gifts and talents of students, the Superintendent of Schools, with input from appropriate school personnel, will develop a district plan for education of the gifted and talented.  The Superintendent will submit to the Board a status report on an annual basis which will include:


  1. the criteria for student participation in programs;
  2. status of ongoing programs;
  3. recommendations for new programs;
  4. the identification and allocation of resources for all ongoing and recommended programs;
  5. provisions for staff development to promote effective implementation of programs; and
  6. provisions for ongoing monitoring and evaluation of students and programs.


The Board believes that programs traditionally viewed as for the gifted and talented greatly benefit the entire school program and encourages programs that provide enrichment opportunities for all students.  The Board also recognizes the value of community support for program success and encourages the use of community resources for special programs and periodic reporting of activities through the district newsletter.


The negotiable aspects of this policy will be adopted and implemented in conformity with the Taylor Law and agreements negotiated with the individual bargaining units representing staff.


Ref:     Education Law §§3602(23); 4451-4453

            8 NYCRR  Part 142;  §§117.3(c)(3),(f)


Adoption date: January 20, 1998





The Board of Education recognizes the need to provide pregnant students with a flexible school program. Students are encouraged to continue in their scheduled program of study. However, at the discretion of the school district, they may attend alternative programs offered at regional BOCES facilities.  That decision will be made by the Student Services Personnel Director in conjunction with the student’s physician in a cooperative effort to meet individual student’s special needs.  Home teaching should be made available to pregnant students when necessary.


Homebound or BOCES instruction will be provided through June 30 of the school year in which the student/parent gives birth.


Cross-ref:  5620, Pregnant Students


Adoption date: January 20, 1998

Revision date: September 21, 1999

4325 Academic Intervention Services: Click the link to the left to view revised policy 4325





4326 Limited English Proficiency Instruction: Click the link to the left to view revised policy 4326








Homebound instruction is a service provided to students who are unable to attend school due to medical, emotional or disciplinary problems. To the extent  possible, secondary students shall be offered home instruction for two hours per day and elementary students shall be offered home instruction for one hour per day.  Students receive credit for their work while on homebound instruction.


The district makes provisions for homebound instruction upon referral from the Medical Director or the Coordinator of Student Services following the guidelines established by the Superintendent of Schools for placing a student on homebound instruction.


Cross-ref:        5100, Student Attendance


Ref:     Education Law §§1709(24); 4401 et seq.

            8 NYCRR §175.21


Adoption date: January 20, 1998




                               ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL PROGRAMS


Students who are unable to benefit from the learning experiences offered with the regular school program will be offered an alternative school program.


The alternative school program will be staffed by personnel skilled in dealing with students who have difficulty in adjusting to traditional school routine.  The alternative program will include opportunities for students requiring various approaches to learning, and will provide for the student’s participation in determining his/her individual educational program.


A Building Principal may recommend that a student be assigned to the program if, in the Principal’s judgment, the student’s conduct (including discipline problems) raises a question as to the student’s ability to benefit from the regular school program (and the Principal believes that the student would benefit from an alternative school program). No student who has been identified as having a disability will be placed in an alternative school program.


A student in the alternative school program may return to the regular program at the beginning of the next school year when he/she and the program staff agree that he/she is ready to return.


Adoption date: January 20, 1998

Revision date: September 21, 1999




                                                SUMMER SCHOOL


Any student in middle school who fails a major academic subject (Mathematics, English, Science and Social Studies) shall follow the procedure outlined below in order to satisfy requirements for promotion:

  1. If a student fails two academic subjects, he/she must attend summer school and pass at least one of the failed subjects.
    2. If a student fails three academic subjects, he/she must attend summer school and pass at least two of the failed subjects.
    3. If a student fails four academic subjects, he/she must attend summer school and pass at least three of the failed subjects.

All students and parents are entitled to due process rights and, therefore, parents of students not meeting the above requirements can meet with the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee to review that student's placement for the following year.

Only courses required for graduation will be offered in summer school. This pertains to English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Art, Health Education, and such courses as required for seniors for August graduation. Courses with insufficient enrollment may not be offered.

The Administration will develop a plan to notify parents as soon as a failure of a course or Regents examination is determined so as to enable timely registration. A special registration for examinations will be held during summer school. Students should take adequate steps to prepare themselves for the exam. Dependent on budgetary constraints, the District may offer specific exam review sessions.

The decision to offer summer school each year shall be made by the Board of Education as part of the annual budget development process. If budget constraints do not allow for summer school to be offered, students may satisfy requirements in neighboring districts' programs.


Adoption date: January 20, 1998
Revision date: July 2, 2007






The Board of Education recognizes the value that college courses can add to a student’s educational program. Accordingly, high school credit will be awarded to students who enroll in approved college courses pursuant to the following criteria:


  1. The number of college courses a student may participate in each school year shall be subject to the approval of the high school Principal. The course content, equivalency of instruction, and time requirements shall be approved in advance by the Assistant for Curriculum and Instruction and the Superintendent. In the case of students with disabilities, the above must also be approved by the Committee on Special Education (CSE).
  2. For purposes of this policy, a “unit” is a year’s work in a subject requiring 180 minutes of instruction per week throughout the school year or the equivalent.
  3. The costs for any and all such higher education shall be borne by the individual student.
  4. Students who wish to participate in college courses must meet specific academic, grade level and coursework requirements as set forth by the Superintendent.


Students with Disabilities


The Board recognizes its responsibility to provide students with disabilities a free appropriate public education and recognizes its responsibility to provide all such children with any and all of the same opportunities that other children are provided, including the opportunity to participate in college courses when appropriate.


Cross-ref:        4321, Programs for Students with Disabilities


Ref:     Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, as amended 29 USC 974

            Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC 1401 et seq.


Adoption date: January 20, 1998

Revision date: September 21, 1999






The Board of Education shall endeavor to establish an adult education program that provides the community with a broad scope of courses, activities, and services. These courses, activities and services will be offered to meet the intellectual, social, vocational, and recreational needs of the community.


The mission of the district’s adult education program shall be as follows:


  1. to promote life-long learning as a component of an individual’s growth;
  2. to provide activities which enable people to develop their full potential;
  3. to provide a learning environment that encourages personal growth, autonomy and self-confidence;
  4. to contribute to the development of an aware and responsible community.


The Board shall appoint a committee composed of community residents. The Superintendent of Schools shall appoint a member of the staff to coordinate the adult education program. The coordinator and the committee shall be charged with recommending to the Board policies and programs for the effective operation of the adult education program.                                                                                                     

The Community Education program will be administered by the Superintendent or his/her designee and those programs shall be self-supporting through the collection of appropriate fees as well as through state and federal aid.


Ref:     8 NYCRR §§157.1; 157.2

            Education Law  §§4602; 4604

            20 USCA  §§1203 et seq.


Adoption date: January 20, 1998




                                    GROUPING FOR INSTRUCTION


All children in grades K-6 are grouped heterogeneously for instruction. Any decision pertaining to grouping for instruction will be made for the express purposes of increasing instructional effectiveness and maximizing the use of resources available.  Grouping will be used to enhance a student's ability to learn, to offer intellectual challenges to students of all ability levels and to facilitate planning and instruction for the teacher.


Grouping should accommodate different types of learning and instruction.  Decisions on grouping shall be based on consideration of:


  1. the student's best opportunity for school success;
  2. the educational achievement level of each student; and
  3. the needs and interests of each student.


Grouping arrangements should promote flexibility to meet students' changing needs and achievements.  The Building Principal shall confer with parents, teachers and other appropriate staff when placement of a student in a particular instructional group is under consideration.


Within a classroom, teachers are encouraged to informally group students for special projects and interests, or to better address different instructional levels within a content area.


Ref:     8 NYCRR §200.6


Adoption date: January 20, 1998






The Board of Education believes that district administrators should have final responsibility in determining the parameters for student schedules and course loads.  All student schedules must conform to state requirements and work to enhance student learning opportunities and improve individual academic achievement.


The Board encourages course scheduling designed to accommodate teaching styles and subject materials which may not readily conform to traditional 40-60 minute class periods.  Scheduling which makes provision for team teaching and inter-disciplinary arrangements is also encouraged.


When making changes in district scheduling, administrators are encouraged to balance district budgetary concerns with overall instructional goals to achieve a system which is both flexible and cost-effective.


Cross-ref:        4740, Honor Rolls


Ref:     Education Law §§801 et seq.; 3204


Adoption date: January 20, 1998




                                     INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS


The Board of Education affirms its basic responsibility to ensure district students are given a full opportunity for a comprehensive educational program based upon free inquiry.  Therefore, the Board asserts its basic responsibility to provide the following materials for all district students and teachers:


  1. instructional materials necessary to assist in the fulfillment of the goals of all district-approved programs;
  2. resource materials which will enrich and support district-approved educational programs;
  3. support materials which stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, cultural heritage, aesthetic values, and ethical-moral standards;
  4. varied sources of information which will contribute to thoughtful, intelligent, and meaningful decision-making;
  5. a balance of materials which appropriately cover opposing sides of controversial issues for the purpose of critical analysis; and
  6. materials representative of the many historical, political, social, ethnic, religious, and social groups which contribute to American and world heritage.


The selection of all district materials shall be made by the appropriate certified instructional personnel, under the coordination of the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, who shall recommend such materials to the Superintendent of Schools for submission to the Board for its approval.


The Board authorizes the Superintendent to establish any and all rules, regulations, and procedures necessary to implement and maintain this policy.


Adoption date: January 20, 1998




                                  INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY


The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to ensure that district staff and students have access to up-to-date technological materials and equipment.  As used in this policy, "technology" refers principally to electronic materials and equipment, such as computers, multimedia kits, cd-roms, printers, networking components, file servers, telecommunication devices, lasers and robotics, as available.


The following reflect the district's goals for students regarding instructional technology:


  1. to foster an atmosphere of enthusiasm and curiosity regarding new technology and its applications;
  2. to heighten each student's familiarity and/or working knowledge of current technological materials/equipment;
  3. to provide equal access to district technological materials/equipment and to instruction in their implementation;
  4. to ensure that the various technologies are utilized in a variety of applications, and are not restricted to one subject area or one location in the schools; and
  5. to promote district educational goals through the use of such technology(ies).


In order to achieve the above-stated goals, the Board shall seek the advice of representatives from groups utilizing technology in pursuit of district goals (i.e., Board members, administrators, teachers, support staff, parents, and students).  In addition, the Board directs the Superintendent of Schools to equip district schools with appropriate and up-to-date hardware/software, to schedule "hands-on" inservice activities for district staff, and to implement suggestions from the above representatives and the instructional materials planning committee, within budgetary constraints.


Cross-ref:        4319, Science and Math Instruction


Adoption date: January 20, 1998




                           TEXTBOOK SELECTION AND ADOPTION


The Board of Education is responsible for the selection and designation of all textbooks to be used in the district schools.  The Superintendent of Schools shall recommend suitable lists of textbooks to be used in the schools for the Board's consideration.


Texts, once approved by the Board, shall not be superseded for a period of five years, except by a three fourths vote of the Board.


The Superintendent shall establish procedures for the selection and recommendation of textbooks and a method for selecting staff members who shall serve in the selection and recommendation process.


The following criteria are to be considered in the selection of textbooks:


  1. textbook or material should have been copyrighted within the past five years;
  2. qualifications of the author(s) on the subject;
  3. adaptability to existing instructional program;
  4. accuracy of the information presented;
  5. sufficient scope to meet the requirements of the curriculum as developed locally and approved by the State Education Department;
  6. objectivity and impartiality in treatment of subject matter and freedom from bias and prejudice on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, religion, age, economic status, marital status, or disability;
  7. high quality format in respect to typography, arrangement of materials or pages, cover design, size and margins;
  8. appropriateness to grade level as to vocabulary, sentence structure, and organization;
  9. textbook series should meet grade-to-grade requirements. They should contain supplementary aids to learning, when desirable and necessary, such as a table of contents, introduction, study activities, exercises, questions, problems, selected references, bibliography, index glossary and appendices;
  10. texts should include appropriate illustrative materials--pictures, maps, charts, graphs, diagrams, etc., which clarify the text and enrich the content;
  11. materials should fairly represent the many ethnic and cultural groups and their contribution to American heritage pursuant to policy 4350; and
  12. a reasonable balance of viewpoints regarding controversial issues should be presented.


The following criteria are to be considered in the selection of literary works for classroom use in teaching literature, as well as the assignment of such works to particular grade levels:


  1. use of a compositional style which contributes to the reader's critical and appreciative understanding of the work;
  2. sophisticated use of literary devices (i.e., metaphor, point of view, tone) to further student understanding of written concepts;




  1. levels of student maturity and experience necessary for empathic reading of literature;
  2. capacity of a work to capture student interest;
  3. thematic treatment which promotes sound and healthy values for students;
  4. intrinsic qualities that establish a work as a significant part of the literary heritage; and
  5. variety to avoid duplication of theme, plot, setting, etc., unless such duplication affords opportunities for comparison and contrast or serves to reinforce understanding.


Cross-ref:        1420, Complaints about Curricula or Instructional Materials


Ref:     Education Law §§701 et seq.; 1711; 2508; 2566


Adoption date: January 20, 1998

Revision date: September 21, 1999





                                 LIBRARY MATERIALS SELECTION


The Board of Education, as the governing body of the school district, is legally respon­sible for the selection of library materials, including the selection and approv­al of printed and non-printed materials and on-line databases.  Since the Board is primarily a policy-making body, it delegates to the following professional person­nel of the district the authority for the selection of a wide range of resources: library media specialists, teachers, Principals, etc., under the leadership of the Superintendent of Schools.


In order to provide the Superintendent and his/her staff with guidance in the acquisition of instructional resource material, such as library books, references, computer software and on-line databases, etc., the Board endorses the guidelines ap­proved by the American Library Association.  Selection of resources should take into consideration intellectual content, characteristics of the user and the philosophy and goals of the Sachem School District by selecting resources that will:


*          provide information that will enrich and sup­port the curriculum, taking into considera­tion the varied interests, abilities, and maturity levels of the students served;

*          provide information that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and ethical standards;

*          provide information that will enable stu­dents to make intelligent judgments in their daily lives;

*          provide information on opposing sides of controversial issues so that young citizens may develop under guidance the practice of critical reading and thinking;

*          provide information representative of the many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups and their contributions to our American heritage; and

*          place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the selection of materials of the highest quality in order to ensure a comprehensive collection ap­propriate for library users.


The Superintendent shall designate the Library Media Specialist responsible for the selection of resource materials within the aforesaid guidelines and for the determination of factual accuracy, readability, authoritativeness, integrity and quality of format.  To assist in the selection process, reputable, unbiased professionally prepared aids (such as School Library Journal, Elementary Library Collection, High School Library Collection, Technology Connection, Classroom Connect, etc.) shall be consulted as guides.  Selection may also be ascertained from teachers’ and/or administrators’ requests.


In order to respond to any complaints about, or challenges to, the selection of library materials, the district has adopted regulations (1420-R, Complaints About Curricula or Instructional Materials Regulation) establishing a complaint procedure and providing for a committee to review such complaints or challenges.




If any person wishes to permanently remove materials from a school district library, he/she must seek the formal approval of the Board.  The Board may determine that such materials should be removed.  Such determination must not be based upon official suppression of ideas, but rather upon the educational suitability of the materials in question. Only the Board and/or the Superintendent may authorize said permanent removal of instructional materials, pursuant to the decision of the Board.



Cross-ref:        1420, Complaints about Curricula or Instructional Materials


Ref:     Education Law §§1709(15); 1711(5)(f)

            Board of Educ., Island Trees UFSD v Pico,  457 US 853 (1982)


Adoption date: January 20, 1998




                                              SCHOOL LIBRARIES


The Board of Education acknowledges its responsibility to ensure the maintenance of the school library media center.  The Board recognizes that a school library is an essential and integral part of the school system.  Therefore, the Board shall strive to provide adequate library facilities, resources, certified personnel for all elementary and secondary students in the district’s schools.


The school library shall be established and maintained pursuant to the regulations of the Commissioner of Education.


In order to provide the Superintendent of Schools and the library staff with guidance in the acquisition of instructional resource materials such as library books, references, computer software and on-line databases, etc., the Board endorses the guidelines approved by the American Library Association.


The library media specialist will work cooperatively with building staff members to interpret and guide the application of the policy in making day‑to‑day selections.  While the Superintendent has the authority to veto any selection he/she deems inappropriate, final responsibility to make decisions concerning selections remains with the Board.


Complaints from parents or students regarding library materials shall be handled via a procedure established by the Superintendent and approved by the Board and contained in Regulation 1420‑R.   The Board shall retain final authority regarding the permanent removal of materials from the school library.  The Board will not remove any library materials for the purpose of suppressing ideas but  may remove materials if the Board has determined that they are vulgar or obscene or are educationally unsuitable.


The expenses of the school library shall be included in the annual district budget.


Participation in the Eastern Suffolk BOCES School Library System will be  in accordance with the regulations of the Commissioner of Education.


Cross-ref:        1420, Complaints about Curricula or Instructional Materials


Ref:     Education Law §274; 275; 277; 278; 279; 283; 310; 1709 (8);  2503 (4) (b); 2576

            8 NYCRR §90.7; 91.1; 91.2

            Library Bill of Rights, American Library Association

            Island Trees UFSD v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853 (1982)

            Bicknell v. Vergennes Union School Board of  Directors, 638 F.2d 438          (1980)


Adoption date: January 20, 1998




                          INSTRUCTIONAL COMPUTER NETWORK


The Board of Education is committed to the optimization of student learning and teaching.  The Board considers an instructional computer network to be a valuable tool for education, and encourages the use of computers and computer-related technology in district classrooms.


The Board encourages instructional computer network use as an integral part of the curriculum.  Through software applications, online databases, bulletin boards and electronic mail, the network will significantly enhance educational experiences and provide statewide, national and global communications opportunities for staff and students.


The Board directs the Superintendent of Schools to designate an Administrative Assistant for Instructional Technology to oversee the use of district computer resources.  The Administrative Assistant for Instructional Technology  will prepare inservice programs for the training and development of district staff in computer skills, and for the incorporation of computer use in appropriate subject areas.


The Superintendent, working in conjunction with the designated Purchasing Agent for the district, the Administrative Assistant for Instructional Technology and the instructional materials planning committee, will be responsible for the purchase and distribution of computer software and hardware throughout district schools.  They shall prepare and submit for the Board’s approval a comprehensive multi-year technology plan which shall be revised as necessary to reflect changing technology and/or district needs.


The Superintendent shall establish rules and regulations governing the use and security of the district’s instructional computer network.  Failure to comply with district policy and regulations for use of the network may result in disciplinary action as well as suspension and/or revocation of computer access privileges.


Cross-ref:        4319, Science and Math Instruction


Adoption date: January 20, 1998

Revision date: September 21, 1999







View Revised Policy 4526.1 here





View Policy 4526.2 here








The Board of Education believes that field trips are a valuable part of a student’s educational experience. The District encourages teachers to plan and coordinate field trips to enhance the students’ experiences. Each student must secure the permission of his/her parent or guardian before participating in such an activity.


Field trip request forms should be filled out and forwarded to the Superintendent of Schools or designee preferably at least one month prior to the trip date. Trips out of State must be approved by the Superintendent. Overnight trips must be approved by the Board of Education and scheduled in a manner to minimize the loss of instructional time. Request for overnight trips should be made at least three months in advance of the planned event.


Any trips to New York City may have a security officer assigned to the trip at the request of the building principal. Any elementary field trip out of State shall have the option of requesting a security officer at the discretion of the principal. Teachers and/or administrators will provide the appropriate supervision. Parent chaperones may assist teachers but the teachers/administrators must assume full responsibility for students’ safety.


On all overnight trips, there must be enough chaperones to supervise students to ensure that students are in their assigned rooms.


Students may eat or shop on their own if the trip is in a confined area where adequate supervision can be ensured.


A list of students assigned to each bus must be given to the principal and to the teachers/chaperones.

Adoption Date: January 20, 1998
Revision Date: November 19, 2008



                                           SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS


The Board of Education recognizes that the use of volunteers strengthens school/community relations through positive participation, builds an under­standing of school programs among interested citizens, and assists employees in providing more individualization and enrichment opportunities in instruction.


Volunteers may come from all backgrounds and age groups and may include any persons willing to give their time for the purpose of helping children through planned auxiliary services.  Volunteers may be involved in many facets of school operations, from mentor/tutor relationships to clerical tasks.  School personnel who are responsible for tasks or projects that will make use of volunteers will identify appropriate tasks and time schedules for such activities, as well as make provisions for adequate supervision, inservice programs, and evaluation.  Volunteers will not be used to provide transportation for school-sponsored activities.


Services of volunteers may be accepted by the Board, the Superintendent of Schools, central office administrators, Building Principals or persons designated by the Board and/or the Superintendent to handle this responsibility.  All volunteers may be subject to the same screening procedures used for regular school employees, including but not limited to the following:


  1. Volunteers may be required to provide references, who will be contacted before the volunteer begins services on school grounds.
  2. The district reserves the right to request information on previous criminal convictions.


The district may maintain complete records of any information obtained through any of the above procedures.


Adoption date: January 20, 1998




                                           GUIDANCE PROGRAMS


Students will receive the same formal and informal vocational exploration experience and counseling services regardless of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, religion, age, economic status, marital status, or disability.


Guidance programs for district students K-6 shall include the following:


  1. preparing students to participate effectively in their current and future educational programs;
  2. helping students with attendance, academic, behavioral or adjustment problems;
  3. educating students to avoid sexual abuse and other forms of child abuse; and
  4. encouraging parental involvement in their children's education.


Programs for district students in grades 7-12 shall include the following:


  1. an annual review of each student's educational progress and career plans;
  2. advisory services for curriculum options, educational and career plans, at­tendance, academic, behavioral and adjustment problems;
  3. counseling services for curriculum options, educational and career plans, attendance, academic, behavioral and adjustment problems;
  4. career instruction at each grade level, 7-12; and
  5. encouragement of parental involvement.


Ref:     8 NYCRR §100.2(j)


Adoption date: January 20, 1998





The Board of Education recognizes that the classroom teacher has the primary responsibility to evaluate students and determine student grades.  The Board considers grading to be a positive tool to indicate and measure growth, achievement and development of students in each class or subject area in which a student is enrolled.


The district will utilize uniform grading systems appropriate to elementary and secondary students.  All students will be eligible to earn a grade from the entire range of grades available, regardless of the level of the course.  Classroom teachers will evaluate students and assign grades according to the established system. 


It is to be recognized that a student is an individual with his/her own abilities and capabilities.  It is also recognized that an individual is part of a society which is achievement‑oriented and competitive in nature.  Hence, when a student’s achievement is evaluated, attention should be given to his/her unique characteristics and to accepted standards of performance in the educational setting.  Grades in special subjects in elementary self contained special education classes, and secondary skills classes, will reflect the measure of performance in terms of the ability of the student.


All students are expected to complete the assigned class work and homework as directed.  Students are also expected to participate meaningfully in class discussions and activities in order to receive course credit.  If work is missed due to absence, the student is expected to make up the work.  No distinction may be made between legal and illegal absences for makeup work purposes.  The student and/or the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) should discuss with the student’s teacher an appropriate means of making up the missed work.  With the possible exception of absences intended by the student as a means of gaining an unfair academic advantage (e.g., to secure more time to study for a test), every effort will be made to provide students with the opportunity and assistance to make up all work missed as a result of absence from class (see 4760, Makeup Opportunities).


A weighted grading system may be used to reflect levels of difficulty within and among different courses.  The Board recognizes that the traditional grading system may be inappropriate for students with certain disabilities.  The grading of students with disabilities shall take into consideration the student’s disability, actual achievement and potential.


The following guidelines will be observed:


  1. Students and their parents will be provided with information regarding grading, classroom attendance/participation and course credit policies for each course upon their admission to school and at the beginning of the school year.




  1. Report cards will be used to communicate the progress and growth of students to parents. Parents will receive report cards regularly, at least four times a year with the exception of kindergarten where they will receive them twice.  An opportunity for fall and spring conferences is available to discuss student progress.
  2. The use of marks and symbols will be appropriately explained.
  3. Grading will not be used for disciplinary purposes, i.e., giving lower grades for unexcused absences, as opposed to giving lower grades for lack of class participation. A student may not be given a lower grade for failing to complete an assignment if the assignment is not given a point value and computed into the quarterly or final grade.  However, a student’s misconduct     that is directly related to his/her academic performance (e.g., plagiarism, cheating on a test, avoiding an exam to secure more time to study), may be reflected in the student’s grade.
  4. Grading will be based, in part, upon student improvement, achievement, and participation in classroom discussions and activities.
  5. A grade for classroom participation will account for a percentage of the student’s overall grade in each class. Classroom work missed due to absences from class and the failure to make up the work missed, will be factored into the attendance grade in accordance with this policy. In consultation with Building Principals, teachers will develop procedures for the make up of work missed due to any absences from class.
  6. Absences due to attendance at school‑sponsored functions or programs that are directly related to the class work missed as a result of such absence, shall not be counted as an absence for purposes of this policy.
  7. The parent(s) or guardian(s) shall be regularly notified when a student misses class work due to excessive absences. Communication with parent(s) or guardian(s) regarding a student's performance in classroom work and activities is generally encouraged.
  8. All students shall be graded in the same manner without differentiation based on race, color, creed, sex, national origin, religion, age, economic status, marital status, or disability.


The professional judgment of the teacher should be respected.  Grade changes after the report card has been issued may only be made by the teacher or the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.


The Superintendent and/or his/her designee shall promulgate regulations concerning grading systems.  Exceptions to this policy will be approved by the Superintendent or his/her designee.


Cross-ref:        4712, Student Progress Reports to Parents

                        5100, Student Attendance

                        5160, Student Absences and Excuses





Ref:     Education Law §§3202; 3205 et seq.

            Matter of Ackert, 30 EDR 31 (1990)

            Matter of Augustine, 30 EDR 13 (1990)

            Matter of Boylan, 24 EDR 421 (1985)

            Matter of Burns, 29 EDR 103 (1989)

            Matter of Chipman, 10 EDR 224 (1971)

            Matter of Dickershaid, 26 EDR 112 (1986)

            Matter of Fitchett‑Delk, 25 EDR 178 (1985)

            Matter of Gibbons, 22 EDR 134 (1982)         

            Matter of LaViolette, 24 EDR 37 (1984)

            Matter of MacWhinnie, 20 EDR 145 (1980)

            Matter of McClurkin, 28 EDR 136 (1988)      

            Matter of Reid, 65 Misc 2d 718 (1971)

            Matter of Rivers, 27 EDR 73 (1987)

            Matter of Shamon, 22 EDR 428 (1983)


Adoption date: January 20, 1998

Revision date: September 21, 1999






An important aspect of the instructional program of the school is reporting student progress to parents.  The goal is to communicate as often as is necessary and as effectively as possible with the parents of each child, and to encourage parents to communicate with the school.


In accordance with the provisions of Title I, parents/guardians shall be provided with reports on their child's progress.  In addition, the parents/guardians of PSEN students shall be provided with semi-annual progress reports.  Copies of letters sent to parents/guardians relating to a particular situation or problem will be kept in the student's folder.


Each student who receives Title I or PCEN services will be monitored and evaluated frequently for academic progress.


The district's formal reporting system includes report cards and/or forms developed by the professional staff and issued periodically, scheduled conferences between parents and teachers, and interim reports issued as needed or required.  Parents are urged to visit the school and to confer with guidance counselors and teachers as deemed necessary.


Staff members are urged to maintain informal contact with parents through telephone calls and notes.


Cross-ref:        1900, Parental Involvement

                        4710, Grading System


Ref:     34 CFR §200.34(c)(l)(i) (ESEA Chapter I Program in Local Educational Agencies)

            8 NYCRR Part 149, subparts 149-1; 149-3


Adoption date: January 20, 1998





                                          PARENT CONFERENCES


The Board of Education encourages parent conferences with teachers as an effective means of communication between the home and the school.  These conferences provide opportunity for open communication regarding administrative procedures, instructional programs, goals and objectives, and pertinent information regarding student progress.


Teachers have a responsibility to meet with parents to discuss student problems and progress.  When a parent requests a conference with a teacher, the teacher shall make every effort to arrange a mutually convenient time.  Such conferences should be scheduled around the school day so as not to interfere with the instructional process.


Adoption date: January 20, 1998




                                             TESTING PROGRAMS


The Board of Education believes that standardized testing programs can provide a meaningful source of information about the curriculum and overall student achievement.  The Board, therefore, authorizes a program of testing to help accomplish the following objectives:


  1. to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of the current curriculum and methods of instruction;
  2. to provide one means to evaluate student growth through individual, interdistrict, and intradistrict comparison;
  3. to provide teachers with diagnostic information which will enable them to better address the instructional needs of their students; and
  4. to provide a basis for longitudinal study of student achievement.


Information gained through the use of  testing programs will be used to design educational opportunities for students to better meet their individual and collective needs.  The Board views this purpose to be a primary function of schools.


The Board recognizes that tests provide only a limited source of information, and will therefore be used only in conjunction with all other information known about a student or to assist the student in improving his/her work.


Records of the results of standardized tests shall be maintained in accordance with the Board’s policy on student records.


New York State Required Tests


Pupil Evaluation Program Tests (PEP)


These tests are given each year to third and sixth grade students in reading and mathematics, to fifth grade students in writing, in social studies to students before the end of the sixth grade and in eighth grade, and in science before the end of sixth grade.   The results can be used to compare achievement of one group of students with another and to measure the effectiveness of new instructional materials and techniques.  The tests shall also be used to make decisions about remedial instruction for students scoring below the statewide reference points.  It shall be the responsibility of the Building Principal to notify the parents or guardian when remedial instruction is required and of the plan for such remediation.


Preliminary Competency Tests (PCT)


These tests in reading and writing are used to determine need for remedial instruction in order for students to meet the competency test standard in high school.  The Principal shall be responsible for notifying the student and parent(s) or guardian(s) of such student of the test results and plan for remediation.




Regents Competency Tests (RCT)


These tests are the measure of basic skills in mathematics, reading,  writing, science, global studies and American history and government that a student must pass in order to receive a high school diploma.


Students may meet competency test requirements by passing Regents examinations in mathematics, English, science, American history and government, and global studies, or by having appropriate scores on College Board Scholastic Aptitude Tests or American College Tests.  Special testing provisions are made for students with disabilities and non‑English speaking students.                                                          


Other State Testing Programs


Regents Examinations


These examinations provide a basis for evaluating the quality of learning and instruction.  Students must pass these examinations, for which they have completed appropriate course work, in order to receive credit towards a Regents High School diploma.


Proficiency Examinations


These examinations are given in the areas of foreign language and occupational education.  In foreign language, proficiency examinations are intended primarily for students in grade eight who have completed two units of second language study or one unit of accelerated study in which to earn one unit of high school credit in second language instruction.


In occupational education, proficiency examinations are achievement exams designed to measure a student’s knowledge and understanding of performance objectives and supporting competencies in occupational education state syllabi used in grades nine through twelve.


Ref:     8 NYCRR §§100.3(b)2; 100.4(d)1; 100.5(a)4; 100.5(b)5; 100.5(c)5


Adoption date: January 20, 1998






Homework is recognized and encouraged as an extremely valuable activity and as an appropriate extension of classroom instruction. Homework provides excellent opportunities for developing good study habits, providing for individual differences and abilities, and encouraging self-initiative on the part of the student.


Teachers are cautioned to avoid overloading students with excessively lengthy homework assignments or with overly brief and empty assignments.  Planning homework assignments should be given as much care as the planning of any other aspect of a lesson.  An assignment important enough to be done must be considered worthy of teacher evaluation.


Homework shall be assigned according to these guidelines:


  1. Homework should be a properly planned part of the curriculum extending and reinforcing the learning experience of the school.
  2. Homework should help children learn by providing practice in the mastery of skills, experience in data gathering and integration of knowledge, and an opportunity to remediate learning problems.
  3. Homework should help develop the student's sense of responsibility by providing an opportunity for the exercise of independent work and judgment.
  4. The number, frequency, and degree of difficulty of homework assignments should be based on the abilities, activities, and needs of the student. However, the grade given for the homework is dependent on the student's performance.
  5. As a valid educational tool, homework should be clearly assigned and its product carefully and promptly evaluated.


The Board of Education believes that parental involvement in students' homework is essential to making homework an integral part of the educational program. Parents are expected to encourage and monitor homework assignments and, to the extent possible, provide conditions that are conducive to their successful completion. 


Adoption date: January 20, 1998




                                                   HONOR ROLLS


The development of student intellectual ability, desirable traits of character and qualities of leadership are all achievements the school system desires to encourage and foster. In recognition of outstanding student achievement far in excess of the minimum requirements, the Board of Education supports academic recognition programs.  These programs may include honor rolls, honor societies, and special awards.


The Board shall encourage the certified staff to develop criteria and procedures for these recognition programs. In all cases, the relationship between the honor and the relevant goal of the school shall be made explicitly clear.


Cross-ref:        4430, Student Schedules and Courses Loads


Adoption date: January 20, 1998






It is essential that each child experience both challenge and success from school activities.  Grade placement should enhance this possibility. The concept of grade placement is based on the premise that each teacher will provide appropriate experiences for children at particular stages of physical, emotional and academic growth.


District curriculum guides indicate goals for achievement by the "average" student at each grade level. However, academic growth, like physical growth, does not take place at the same pace or time for all individuals. Certain students may achieve mastery in a shorter period, while others need additional time. Promotion and retention are methods of meeting the needs of such children.


Promotion or retention of a student will be considered according to the following criteria in grades K-8:


  1. a. academic achievement as compared to district curriculum guides;
  2. social and emotional development of the child;
  3. age of the child; and
  4. physical growth (size) of student.
  5. No child will be retained more than once in the elementary school and/or once at the junior high school level.
  6. Retention is not to be considered a failure or a repetition of a grade. Experiences provided during the period of a retention will be beneficial to the student's academic and social growth.
  7. All recommendations concerning grade placement must be made to the Principal by the teacher after full notification of the consultation with the parents. Parents and/or teachers may request a psychological evaluation of the child to aid in the formulation of recommendations.
  8. Final authority for grade placement rests with the Superintendent of Schools or designee.


Ref:     Education Law §§1709; 2503(4); 3202

            8 NYCRR §100.4

            Isqwith v Levitt, 285 App. Div. 833; 137 N.Y.S.2d 497 (1955)

            Matter of Eckert, 13 EDR 270 (1979)

            Op. Counsel, 1 EDR 775 (1952)


Adoption date: January 20, 1998

Revision date: September 21, 1999




                                        MAKEUP OPPORTUNITIES


Students who are absent shall be given reasonable time to make up assignments missed during their absence.  When necessary and applicable, assignments may be sent home and teachers shall be available to render necessary assistance.  Students whose misconduct is directly related to the student's academic performance (e.g., plagiarism) may be denied the opportunity to make up work.


It is the student's responsibility to request all makeup assignments from subject teachers following absence from class. The student must request assignments early enough to allow adequate time for completion prior to the end of the marking quarter.


In grades 9, 10 and 11 if a student fails English, social studies, math or science; and does not successfully complete a makeup in a duly authorized summer school, the student must retake the same course again the following year.  Students will not be permitted to double up until the senior year in order to make up failed courses.


Ref:     Matter of Augustine, 30 EDR 13 (1990)

            Matter of Shannon, 26 EDR 218 (1986)

            Matter of Falcigno, 22 EDR 599 (1983)


Adoption date: January 20, 1998







As a natural part of preparation for assuming an adult role in society, matters of a controversial nature will arise and may be dealt with as part of the student's learning experience.


The Board of Education recognizes that controversial issues deal with matters about which there are varied levels of opposing views, biases, emotions and/or conflict.  Therefore, it is essential that the classroom teacher have guidelines in order to prepare and execute lessons that will be as objective as possible while considering the nature of the subject matter.  It is important that students and staff recognize the following responsibilities:


  1. In the classroom, matters of a controversial nature shall be handled as they arise in the normal course of instruction and not introduced for their own sake. Such issues shall be neither sought nor avoided.
  2. When presenting various positions on a controversial issue, the teacher shall take care to balance major views and to assure that as many sides of the issues as possible are presented in a fair manner, with no position being espoused by the teacher as the only one acceptable.
  3. When materials dealing with controversial topics are to be used, assigned or recommended, such materials must:
  • balance major views and provide as many sides of the issue as possible in a fair manner, with no position presented as the only one acceptable;
  • be appropriate to the maturity level of the students; and
  • not adversely affect the attainment of the district's instructional goals or result in substantial disruption of the normal operation of the classroom.


Prior to presenting materials on such an issue, the classroom teacher shall present the materials to the Department Chairperson for prior approval.  The Chairperson will review the materials pursuant to the guidelines above.


  1. Before a guest speaker is permitted to address the students, approval must be granted by the Building Principal, who must be informed of the scheduling of all guest speakers at least three (3) days prior to their presentation.


Ref:     Education Law §414

            Hazelwood v Kuhlmeier, 484 US 260 (1988)

            Tinker v Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 US 503 (1969)

            Board of Ed., Malverne UFSD v. Morgan,  3020-a panel decision; Howard C. Edelman, Esq., chairman (Feb. 2, 1990)

            Matter of Morgan,  29 EDR 363 (1990)

            Malverne v. Sobol  (RJI # 01-90-ST2690) Sup. Ct., Albany County, G. Cobb, J.S.C., 4/1/91


Adoption date: January 20, 1998






The Board of Education recognizes the value of certain ceremonies and observances in promoting patriotism and good citizenship among the students.  Therefore, activities in schools commemorating national holidays such as Memorial Day, Thanksgiving and President's Day are encouraged.


The Board remains impartial with regard to religion and seeks neither to advance nor inhibit religion.  Students, faculty and administration are reminded of the pluralism of religious beliefs and are urged to be conscious of and respect the sensitivities of others.  Therefore, no religious celebrations including organized prayer, bible reading or other activities performed in a religious context may be held on public school property.


Notwithstanding, the Board recognizes that activities related to the celebration of religious holidays present an excellent opportunity to teach about religion and foster respect and understanding among students.  In addition, educational goals motivated by secular purposes cannot always filter out religious aspects, and sometimes requires the presentation of material with religious themes. Therefore, activities related to the observance of religious holidays will be permitted to the extent that they are conducted in an unbiased and objective manner and focus on the origins of the holiday, its history, and the generally agreed upon meaning of the holiday observance.


In planning activities related to a religious holiday or theme, special effort should be made to ensure that the activity is not devotional and students of all faiths can join without feeling that they are betraying their own beliefs.  Therefore,


  1. school and class plays shall not be overtly religious and church-like scenery will be avoided;
  2. religious music shall not entirely dominate the selection of music; and
  3. program notes and illustrations shall not be religious or sectarian.


The display of religious objects or symbols is also prohibited except to the extent that they are used as a teaching aid or resource to provide examples of cultural and religious heritage within the context of a short-term study in the curriculum such as world religions, art or history. Symbols which are secular and seasonal in nature can be displayed in a seasonal context.


Students shall be given the option to be excused from participating in those parts of a program or curriculum involving a religious theme which conflicts with their own religious beliefs.




Ref:     Lee v . Weissman, 112 S. Ct. 2649, 120 L. Ed. 467 (1992)

            Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971)

            Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668 (1984)

            County of Allegheny v. American Civil Liberties Union of Greater                Pittsburgh Chapter, 492 U.S. 573 (1989)

            Florey v. Sioux Falls School District; 619 F2d 1311 (8th Cir., 1980)

            Matter of Rosenbaum, 28 EDR 138 (1988)

            Matter of Cromwell, 72 EDR 116 (1951)


Adoption date: January 20, 1998






The Board of Education encourages assemblies to be conducted in each school as part of the overall educational process.  School assemblies, at all instructional levels, shall also be held to provide recognition of student accomplishments by peers, parents and staff members.  All assemblies shall require the approval of the Building Principal and Superintendent.


Staff shall remind students of proper conduct at assemblies to ensure responsible audience participation.


Adoption date: January 20, 1998




                          ANIMALS AND PLANTS IN THE SCHOOLS


The Board of Education endorses animal and plant dissections as an educational activity for all students who are not opposed to such dissections because of strong religious or moral beliefs, or other grounds.


When warranted by the curriculum, all science staff members must make dissection available to students.  Students will not be denied the experience associated with laboratory dissections.


If a student has a strong objection to dissection substantiated in writing by his/her parent(s)/guardian(s), alternatives will be explored on an individual basis.  The following alternatives do not preclude the possibility of any other viable alternative which is not intended as a punishment for non-participation and which offers the student the opportunity to learn the important knowledge for which the laboratory dissection was designed.  The student may:


  1. observe the dissection as it is made by members of the student’s laboratory group;
  2. observe video presentations of dissections;
  3. review resource materials;
  4. work with text with appropriate diagrams;
  5. seek out and use library reference materials;
  6. the student may use computer program simulations; and
  7. work with three dimensional models.


Students who use an alternative to dissection are expected to complete all parts of that exercise.  Students shall be responsible for the completion of the lab exercise and for all related quiz and test materials dealing with the topic connected with the dissection.


Students may sit in another area of the classroom or be sent to another room for completion of the laboratory assignment.


Students who fail to complete or submit the dissection alternative assignment will receive no credit for the laboratory assignment.  Successful completion of the laboratory assignment is one of the requirements used for determining the student’s eligibility to take the Regents Examinations.


The science staffs of the secondary schools will be made aware of the sensitivity that some students have towards animal dissections.  An annual department meeting will be devoted to the exploration of the moral issues concerning this laboratory activity.  Staff members will have the opportunity to explore with their colleagues how to best handle, with sensitivity, a student’s request to be removed from a dissection lab.  Each teacher who has a laboratory science shall be expected to promote participation in dissection activities while also meeting the needs of students desiring an alternative experience.


Adoption date: January 20, 1998