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Annual review of your district’s code of conduct is opportunity to improve school climate

On Board Online • April 14, 2014

By  Courtney Sanik
Policy Consultant

Annually reviewing your district’s code of conduct is not only a legal requirement, but an opportunity for your school board to be sure it is conveying what it expects of students and others on school grounds and at school functions. The code of conduct is considered a board policy and offers a powerful opportunity to communicate messages to the school community about the values of your school district and school climate.

The legal requirements, set forth in section 2801 of the Education Law and commissioner’s regulations (8 NYCRR Section100.2 (l)(2)), involve what needs to be contained in the policy, how it should be developed and adopted, and specific requirements for dissemination.

Your district’s code of conduct can be broken down into 10 general areas including students’ rights and responsibilities, how to report violations, disciplinary procedures and rules for visitors (see sidebar).

Many boards incorporate additional information or policy elements such as a separate section on definitions or information on search, seizure, and interrogations. Some specifically address  corporal punishment. Although NYSSBA’s Policy Department views such elements as desirable if not essential in a comprehensive code of conduct, they are not required.

School boards must also pay attention to requirements regarding  the development of the code of conduct, which boards have the exclusive authority to adopt and amend. However, since 2000, the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education legislation (Project SAVE) has required boards to develop the code in collaboration with student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, as well as school safety personnel and other school personnel.

NYSSBA’s Policy Department believes that involving students in this process is an asset.  “In any environment with rules, people are more likely to adhere if they feel that they were represented as the rules were developed,” said Linda Bakst, NYSSBA’s deputy director for policy services.

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News Releases


FOR RELEASE:  April 22, 2014

CONTACT: Al Marlin
(518) 783-3723 or (518) 527-6933 cell
On Twitter: @nyschoolboards

Who:     School board members, local government officials and elected leaders

What:    Municipal Innovation Exchange Summit

When:   Friday, April 25, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Where:  Holiday Inn Liverpool, 441 Electronics Parkway, Syracuse, NY

With the recent passage of the New York State property tax freeze agreement, local governments and school districts need to further examine efficient ways to consolidate or share services with neighboring municipalities.   These potential cost savings would benefit local taxpayers.

The leaders from four state associations that represent school boards, counties, cities, villages and towns will host a summit to introduce the Municipal Innovation eXchange (MIX), a new collaborative effort to help school districts and local governments expand ongoing efforts to share and consolidate services.


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Where We Stand on the Common Core

CoverWhere We Stand on the Common Core
Let's Move Forward

One of the most challenging aspects of the Common Core Learning Standards dialogue is parsing the differences between its distinct programs and policy changes, all referred to colloquially as “the Common Core.”

Full Report (4 pages - 1.5 MB) 

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The Perils of the Proposed Property Tax Freeze

CoverThe Perils of the Proposed Property Tax Freeze

Read our new report highlighting the consequences that the governor’s proposed property tax freeze would have on school districts across the state. 

Full Report (4 pages - 2.4 MB) 

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Upcoming Events

Municipal Innovation Exchange Summit - Syracuse
Date: April 25, 2014
Time: 9:00 am - 4:15 pm
DIS 213 Student Discipline and Civil Rights Protections
Date: May 14, 2014
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Summer Law Conference - Rochester
Date: July 10, 2014
New School Board Member Academy - Buffalo
Date: July 18 - 19, 2014
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