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468 Magee Street, Southampton, New York 11968 631-283-3550

Our Policies

Absentee Ballots:

A Tuckahoe resident who is qualified to vote but unable to participate in any school district vote may wish to utilize an absentee ballot. To arrange for an absentee ballot, an individual should complete the written application form and submit it to the District Clerk, Mrs. Linda Springer, at least 7 days before the vote.

Academic Eligibility Policy:

A student’s eligibility to participate in sports, extracurricular events and school-sponsored social events is subject to satisfactory effort and compliance with our school’s homework, discipline and citizenship expectations. Students in grades 6-8 are able to participate if the student maintains a “C” average (70%) or better in the academic subject areas and is passing all subjects with a grade of 65% or better. Students who fall below this minimum level of achievement will be notified when they are deficient and will be placed on “academic probation.” They will be subject to the following conditions:

1. Upon notification, the student will be given a three week probation period to bring grades up and to complete missing assignments. Students in grades 6, 7, 8 will receive academic intervention. They may take the last bus home. Parents will be notified by the teacher if this is necessary.

2. During the “academic probation” period, the student is not eligible to participate in social/extracurricular activities* but is permitted to continue participation on a Southampton Schools sports team.

3. If the student meets the minimum standards at the end of the probation period, he/she may continue to participate in the sport and/or the next scheduled social/extracurricular event.

4. If the student does not meet the minimum standards at the end of the probation period, he/she will no longer be eligible to participate in the sport or activities for the remainder of the marking period, and will be placed on “academic ineligibility.”

5. Any additional activities may not be undertaken until the student has met the minimum academic/homework standards as set forth above.

6. Any exceptions must be judged on an individual basis by the Superintendent and the affected subject area teacher.

7. Any student participating in a sport at a Southampton School must also meet the eligibility requirements of the Southampton School District.

*Social/extracurricular events include, but are not limited to, school dances, kickline, clubs and intramural sports. Participants in interscholastic sports and extracurricular activities will be expected to maintain behavior that can be viewed as exhibiting the character of a “model citizen” of the school district community. Students participating in interscholastic sports and/or extracurricular activities will be bound by the policies and regulations applicable to all students registered within the Tuckahoe Common School District. Please refer to the Code of Conduct section for further information.

Access to School Records:

In compliance with the New York State Freedom of Information Law, official records of the school district may be reviewed by residents of the school district. Requests to review these records should be made to the District Clerk. Copies of school district records will be made for residents at a cost of 25 cents per page.

Exceptions to this policy are matters of a personal nature regarding school district employees and confidential information regarding pupils.

Alcohol and Substance Abuse:

The use of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs will not be permitted on school grounds, inside the school building, in school operated or sponsored vehicles, on school trips, or any time when students are under the supervision of the school. Use of alcoholic drinks or illegal drugs will not be permitted at any school-sponsored function, on or off school grounds. Use of either may be cause for suspension from school.

Arrival Procedure:

  1. Children who walk to school and children dropped off by parents need to report to the front desk. Students in grades K-4 departing buses should enter through the main entry; students in grades 5-8 should enter through the front doors of the middle school wing, not before 8:05 a.m.
  2. Buses will pull into the front circle, and children will depart the buses at 8:05 a.m.
  3. Elementary grades should line up by their classroom doors. Middle school grades may go to the lockers, then report directly to their homerooms.
  4. If a teacher requests a student to be in school before 8:05 a.m., the student must report to that teacher at the agreed upon time.
  5. Students who arrive late to school must report to the Nurse before going to class.
  6. Bicycle racks are located in the front of the building. Please provide your child with a lock and chain and a “pep” talk on bicycle safety. Parental permission to ride a bike is required (a note in the beginning of the year giving your child permission to ride a bike will suffice for the entire school year). All children, 14 years of age and younger, are required by New York State law to wear a helmet when riding bicycles.

Assembly Programs:

A variety of assembly programs will be scheduled throughout the school year. It is a wonderful experience to be part of a presentation and also very rewarding to be in the audience. Proper listening skills and behavior in the auditorium can open up a wide variety of experiences for all to hear and see. Students are expected to follow auditorium procedures such as entering and exiting quietly, remaining silent during the programs, and giving proper applause.

Attendance:

The ONLY legal excuses for absences or tardiness allowed under the Education Law of the State of New York are the following:

1. personal illness or quarantine
2. illness or death in the family
3. impassable roads or weather making travel unsafe
4. religious observance
5. approved school-supervised trips or work programs
6. required presence in court

Absences for any other reason with a parent’s knowledge and consent will be considered a “parent excused absence.” However, an excessive number of parent excused absences may lead the school to the filing of a petition with the court for potential educational neglect.

All other absences (e.g., class cuts, undocumented absences and tardiness, unapproved early leaves) are considered unexcused absences.

Ten (10) late arrivals to school and or unexcused absences will result in Administrative Intervention. Two instances of tardiness of not more than fifteen (15) minutes each are counted as one absence.

All absences/tardiness must be accounted for. It is the parent’s responsibility to notify the school on the morning of the absence or tardiness and to provide written excuse upon the student’s return to school. The note should contain the reason and date of absence/tardiness. An absence will be considered unexcused until a note of explanation has been received. Please call the school nurse in the morning at 283-3550 x313 or the attendance officer at 283 3550 x301 when your child will be out of school.

From his/her very first day in kindergarten throughout his/her entire school career, each child is taught the importance of regular attendance and punctuality. Good attendance habits formed in these years are essential to steady scholastic progress and will prove invaluable all through life. Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes.

Consistent with the importance of classroom participation, unexcused absences will affect a student’s class participation grade for the marking period as will any work not made up for excused absences. The complete Tuckahoe School Attendance Policy has been sent to all school families and is available in the school office and on the website.

Breakfast, Lunch and Recess:

The Tuckahoe School has a full-service cafeteria that serves hot lunch daily. Free and reduced breakfasts and lunches are available by application and based on eligibility.

Recess is generally held outdoors after lunch except on rainy days, on days when it is excessively hot, cold or when the ground is snowy or muddy. Please have your child dress appropriately for the weather. Provisions cannot be made for students to remain indoors. Exceptions can only be made for students with a temporary medical condition. Parents must provide the Nurse's Office with advance notice and a doctor's note.

Boys and girls are expected to go to the restrooms before they go to recess. Permission will be granted to re-enter the building only if it is an emergency.

Bullying Prevention and Inteverntion Procedures:

Reporting and Investigation

In order for the Board to effectively enforce this policy and to take prompt corrective measures, it is essential that all victims and persons with knowledge of bullying report such behavior immediately to the Principal or the Guidance Counselor as soon as possible after the incident so that it may be effectively investigated and resolved. The school district will promptly investigate all complaints, either formal or informal, verbal or written. To the extent possible, all complaints will be treated in a confidential manner, although limited disclosure may be necessary to complete a thorough investigation.

In order to assist investigators, individuals should document the harassment, hazing, bullying as soon as it occurs and with as much detail as possible including: the nature of the incident(s); dates, times, places it has occurred; name of perpetrator(s); witnesses to the incident(s); and the victim's response to the incident.

If, after appropriate investigation, the district finds that a student, an employee or a third party has violated this policy, prompt corrective action will be taken in accordance with the code of conduct, applicable collective bargaining agreement, district policy and state law. If the reported behavior constitutes a civil rights violation, the complaint procedure associated with either policy 0100 or 0110 will be followed, as applicable.

Confidentiality 
It is school procedure to respect the privacy of all parties and witnesses to complaints of bullying. To the extent possible, the school will not release the details of a complaint or the identity of the complainant or the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed to any third parties who do not need to know such information. However, because an individual's need for confidentiality must be balanced with the district's legal obligation to provide due process to the accused, to conduct a thorough investigation, or to take necessary action to resolve the complaint, the district retains the right to disclose the identity of parties and witnesses to complaints in appropriate circumstances to individuals with a need to know. The staff member responsible for investigating complaints will discuss confidentiality standards and concerns with all complainants.

If a complainant requests that his/her name not be revealed to the individual(s) against whom a complaint is filed, the staff member responsible for conducting the investigation shall inform the complainant that:

  1. The request may limit the school's ability to respond to his/her complaint;
  2. district policy and federal law prohibit retaliation against complainants and witnesses;
  3. the school will attempt to prevent any retaliation; and
  4. the school will take strong responsive action if retaliation occurs.

If the complainant still requests confidentiality after being given the notice above, the investigator will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request as long as doing so does not preclude the district from responding effectively to the bullying and preventing the bullying of other students.

Investigation and Resolution Procedure 
A. Initial (Building-level) Procedure
Whenever a complaint of bullying is received whether verbal or written, it will be subject to a preliminary review and investigation. Except in the case of severe or criminal conduct, the Principal or Guidance Counselor should make all reasonable efforts to resolve complaints informally at the school level. The goal of informal procedures is to end the bullying and obtain a prompt and equitable resolution to a complaint.
As soon as possible but no later than three working days following receipt of a complaint, the Principal or Superintendent should begin an investigation of the complaint by:

  • Reviewing any written documentation provided by the victim(s).
  • Conducting separate interviews of the victim(s), alleged perpetrator(s), and witnesses, if any, and documenting the conversations.
  • Providing the alleged perpetrator(s) a chance to respond and notify him/her that if objectionable behavior has occurred, it must cease immediately and that the individual may be subject to discipline.

Parents of student victims and accused students should be notified within one school day of allegations that are serious or involve repeated conduct.

Where appropriate, informal methods may be used to resolve the complaint, including but not limited to:
a. discussion with the accused, informing him or her of the district's policies and indicating that the behavior must stop;
b. suggesting counseling, skill building activities and/or sensitivity training;
c. conducting training for the department or school in which the behavior occurred, calling attention to the consequences of engaging in such behavior;
d. requesting a letter of apology to the victim;
e. writing letters of caution or reprimand; and/or
f. separating the parties.

Appropriate disciplinary action shall be recommended and imposed in accordance with district policy, the applicable collective bargaining agreement or state law.
The Principal or the Superintendent shall report back to both the victim and the accused, notifying them in writing, and also in person, as appropriate, regarding the outcome of the investigation and the action taken to resolve the complaint. The victim shall report immediately if the objectionable behavior occurs again or if the alleged perpetrator retaliates against him/her.

If a complaint contains evidence or allegations of serious or extreme bullying, the complaint shall be referred promptly to the Superintendent. In addition, where the Principal or the Superintendent has a reasonable suspicion that the alleged bullying incident involves criminal activity, he/she should immediately notify the Superintendent, who shall then contact the school attorney, appropriate child protection and law enforcement authorities.

Any party who is not satisfied with the outcome of the initial investigation by the Principal or the Superintendent may request a district-level investigation by submitting a written complaint to the Superintendent within 30 days.

B. District-level Procedure
The Superintendent or his/her designee shall promptly investigate and resolve all bullying complaints that are referred to him/her, as well as those appealed to the Superintendent following an initial investigation by the Principal. In the event the complaint involves the Superintendent, the complaint shall be filed with or referred to the Board President, who shall refer the complaint to an appropriate individual for investigation.
The district level investigation should begin as soon as possible but not later than three working days following receipt of the complaint by the Superintendent or Board President. Policy Regulation 0115-R 4
In conducting the formal district level investigation, the district will endeavor to use individuals who have received formal training regarding such investigations or that have previous experience investigating such complaints.
If a district investigation results in a determination that bullying did occur, prompt corrective action will be taken to end the misbehavior.
No later than 30 days following receipt of the complaint, the Superintendent (or in cases involving the Superintendent, the Board-appointed investigator) will notify the victim and alleged perpetrator, in writing, of the outcome of the investigation. If additional time is needed to complete the investigation or take appropriate action, the Superintendent or Board-appointed investigator will provide all parties with a written status report within 30 days following receipt of the complaint.

Retaliation Prohibited 
Any act of retaliation against any person who opposes bullying behavior, or who has filed a complaint, is prohibited and illegal, and therefore subject to disciplinary action. Likewise, retaliation against any person who has testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing of a bullying complaint is prohibited. For purposes of this policy, retaliation includes but is not limited to: verbal or physical threats, intimidation, ridicule, bribes, destruction of property, spreading rumors, stalking, harassing phone calls, and any other form of harassment. Any person who retaliates is subject to immediate disciplinary action, up to and including suspension or termination.

Discipline/Penalties 
Any individual who violates this policy by engaging in prohibited bullying will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. Disciplinary measures available to school authorities include, but are not limited to the following:

Students: Discipline may range from a reprimand up to and including suspension from school, to be imposed consistent with the student conduct and discipline policy and applicable law.

Employees: Discipline may range from a warning up to and including termination, to be imposed consistent with all applicable contractual and statutory rights.

Volunteers: Penalties may range from a warning up to and including loss of volunteer assignment.Policy Regulation 0115-R 5

Vendors: Penalties may range from a warning up to and including loss of district business.

Other individuals: Penalties may range from a warning up to and including denial of future access to school property.

Training
All students and employees shall be informed of this policy in student and employee handbooks, on the district website and student registration materials. A poster summarizing the policy shall also be posted in a prominent location at each school.

All employees shall receive information about this policy and regulation at least once a year. Administrative employees and other staff, such as counselors or social workers, who have specific responsibilities for investigating and/or resolving complaints of bullying shall receive yearly training to support implementation of this policy, regulation and on related legal developments.

Principals in each school shall be responsible for informing students and staff on a yearly basis of the terms of this policy, including the procedures for filing a complaint and the impact of bullying on the victim and bystanders.
The school Guidance Counselor and/or Social Worker will be trained in non-discriminatory instructional and counseling methods and handling human relations.

Training needs in support of this bullying prevention and intervention program will be reflected in the district’s annual professional development plan, in curriculum and will be considered in the budget process.

Bus Transportation and Safety:

All Tuckahoe students receive bus transportation to and from school. The Tuckahoe Common School District promotes a “no idling policy” while parked on school grounds. This includes all buses as well as personal vehicles.

Students are encouraged to follow bus safety rules:

  1. Walk to the bus.
  2. Use seat belts.
  3. Talk quietly and remain seated facing the front of the bus.
  4. Remember the bus driver is responsible for everyone on the bus and is to be respected and obeyed at all times.
  5. Follow the directions of the bus driver in an emergency.
  6. Keep hands and heads inside the bus window at all times.
  7. Leave the adjustment of windows to the bus driver.
  8. Remain seated at all times until the bus comes to a FULL STOP AT YOUR BUS STOP.
  9. STUDENTS IN GRADES K AND 1 WILL NOT BE DROPPED OFF UNLESS A PARENT OR ADULT IS WAITING AT THE BUS STOP.
  10. At the bus stop, MOVE AWAY FROM THE CURB AND WHEELS OF THE BUS IMMEDIATELY!

Character Education:

The Character Education Program at Tuckahoe was developed collectively among school constituents. Our program inspires young people to believe that good character is expected and valued. Through a reflective curriculum, and a multitude of student incentive programs including the “Catch-a-Kid Being Good” initiative, we enlighten and engage young people to be leaders who measurably strengthen their community. Our school district also recognizes outstanding character at the end of each quarter by recognizing students on the Citizenship Roll.

Character Education Mission:

The Tuckahoe School, in partnership with parents and the community, will create a safe, nurturing and challenging environment where the spirit is one of open inquiry and pursuit of knowledge and understanding. The district will develop and cultivate the full range of intelligences and capabilities, motivating each individual to strive for academic excellence and developing in students a positive vision of themselves as well as the skills necessary to become socially and intellectually responsible and productive members of society.

The Character Education program revolves around a central theme of respect. There are 7 pillars of character that serve as a guide for adult and student attitudes about the importance of school, mutual respect and taking pride in our individual and joint accomplishments. The following 7 pillars of character will guide our year of all classroom, school-wide activities and events:

CELEBRATION
COOPERATION
HONESTY
FRIENDSHIP
COURAGE
KINDNESS
TOLERANCE

Conduct:

The Superintendent of the Tuckahoe Common School District may determine if a student's conduct or behavior warrants the suspension or the withdrawing of the privilege of participating in interscholastic athletics or extracurricular activities. Students participating in extracurricular activities will be bound by the regulations and policies applicable to all students registered within the Tuckahoe Common School District. In order to participate in an athletic game or practice session, it is necessary that the student attend classes during the day of the game or practice session. A student who is suspended from school on the day of an athletic game or practice session is not eligible for participation that day in a game or practice session.

Those students participating in interscholastic athletics by way of cross-contract with the Southampton UFSD will be subject to the rules and regulations set forth by the Southampton UFSD, the Tuckahoe Common School District and Section XI of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.

Dangerous Weapons in School:

No student shall knowingly have in his or her possession upon school premises any rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver, (or other firearm) explosives, dangerous chemicals, or any object which is not necessary for school activities and which could be used as a weapon. Violation of this policy (5300) will result in an immediate suspension from school, notification of the police department, and a due process hearing, conducted by the Superintendent of the district, to determine further action and intervention.

Discipline Policy/Code of Conduct:

All New York State schools were required to adopt a Code of Conduct (Ed. Law 2801) effective July 1, 2001. A complete copy of this code is available by request. The following is a summary of the Code of Conduct. In addition, your child will receive a Code of Conduct contract and participate in a general assembly to review behavior regulations each September.

One of the most important lessons education should teach is discipline. While it does not appear as a subject, it underlies the whole educational structure. It is the training that develops self-control, character, orderliness, and efficiency. It is the key to good conduct and proper consideration of other people.

It is necessary that children learn to develop self-discipline in order to further their learning. We ask that you discuss with your child the importance of and need for good behavior and a good attitude while at school. Students who break rules continuously will be disciplined. The range of consequences which may be imposed includes the following:

- Verbal warnings/reprimand
- Notification to parents
- Formal documentation of inappropriate behavior
- Time out during lunch/recess (lunch detention)
- Detention after school (to 3:45 p.m.) which will require parent pick up
- Counseling/peer mediation
- Suspension from extracurricular activities
- Suspension of other privileges
- Exclusion from a particular class
- In-school suspension
- Suspension from school
- Suspension from transportation (bus related)

Detention or suspension is assigned for serious and/or repeated disciplinary problems caused by breaking school or classroom rules, and will be explained to the student at the beginning of the school year. Fighting, disrespect toward teachers, obscene language, destruction of school property, harassment of other students, or disruption of a class is not tolerated. Infractions of this nature may result in an immediate suspension out of school for a period of up to 5 days, followed by a disciplinary hearing. A formal detention means staying after school one day until 3:45 p.m. The students will be assigned to a supervised room. Failure to serve detention may result in a one-day out-of school suspension.

Parents will be notified, both verbally and in writing, when their child has detention. In the event of a third detention, the following disciplinary actions will be taken:

1. The third detention may result in a conference between the school’s Discipline Committee, parent, and student to determine an intervention plan. Failure to attend this conference will result in an administrative suspension.
2. The fourth detention may result in a one-day out-of school suspension and a disciplinary hearing with the school’s Discipline Committee to determine further appropriate action/intervention.

For all middle school students (grades 5-8) the following “Step” program will be implemented prior to/in concurrence with the assignment of a detention for inappropriate behavior. The same program will be followed regarding a decline in the student’s academic progress.

Step 1: All teachers meet collectively with the student to inform him/her of the perceived problem(s).
Teachers individually address the student regarding perceived problem(s). The student is reminded that this is step one and is given the opportunity to correct the problem him/herself. The student is also informed of subsequent steps if the problem is not resolved. Expectations are made clear, and an opportunity is granted to the student to speak any concerns, feelings, or questions.

Step 2: All teachers and parent(s) meet with the student to inform the student and parent(s) of the continuation of problem(s).

Step 3: Same as Step 2 above, with added presence of an administrator.

Step 4: An administrative meeting with the student and parents is held.

District Tax Code:

The New York State resident income tax return requires you to enter the name and code number of the public school district where you were a resident on December 31 of the tax year. The correct tax code for the Tuckahoe Common School District is 645.

Early Dismissal for Emergency Reasons:

Early dismissal should be requested in writing by a parent. Parents are urged to make appointments with physicians, dentists, special tutors, etc., AFTER SCHOOL HOURS. If a request is necessary, include date, time and reasons for release. Medical releases are handled through the Nurse's Office. All other releases must go through the Main Office and students must be picked up and signed out at the reception desk. Children cannot be excused without written request by a parent and will be released only to a parent or guardian with the proper identification.

General Playground Rules:

  1. No throwing stones.
  2. No balls against school building walls.
  3. Playground equipment must be used properly in a safe and orderly manner.
  4. Kindergarten students are not permitted on the Humpty Dumpty climber, the seesaw, the tire swings or the climbing wall.
  5. All students must stay on the playground. They are not allowed in wooded areas or near the garage area.
  6. No running in courtyard areas.
  7. No bats (K-8). No hardballs (K-4). Softballs and hardballs can be used only for catching (5-8).
  8. Any other recreational equipment brought in by students will be reviewed for appropriateness by a school official.
  9. One person per swing; no more than 3 children on the tire swing.
  10. Two persons per seesaw.
  11. All slides must be used in a correct manner. Children are not allowed to climb on the outside of the red slide or climb up the slides.
  12. No tackling or rough play.

Handwriting Instruction:

The Tuckahoe Common School District teaches handwriting skills through the use of the Zaner-Bloser handwriting program. Formal manuscript is taught beginning in the kindergarten which is then reinforced throughout the primary grades. Beginning in third grade, students are introduced to cursive writing, which is required come the middle level and high school years. The following details the progression of the program:

Kindergarten: Manuscript is introduced
Grade 1: Manuscript reinforced
Grade 2: Manuscript reinforced
Grade 3: Cursive introduced
Grade 4: Cursive reinforced; students will be able to read and write in cursive
Grade 5: Cursive reinforced; students will be able to read and write in cursive
Grades 6, 7 & 8: Cursive required in reading & writing

Health/AIDS Education:

With the recommendation of the Health and Safety Committee, the Board of Trustees of the Tuckahoe
Common School District has adopted an AIDS curriculum in accordance with the five points in the State regulations. All schools in New York State must provide students with instruction concerning AIDS. The prevention lessons from our AIDS curriculum occur in grades 5-8. The Commissioner's Regulations, Part 136, require:

  1. Instruction providing accurate information concerning the nature of the disease, methods of transmission and methods of prevention;
  2. Instruction stressing abstinence as the most appropriate and effective premarital protection against AIDS;
  3. Instruction be consistent with community values;
  4. Instruction be age-appropriate, and
  5. A complete discussion of lowering the risk of AIDS, stressing abstaining from illegal drug use and sexual activity.

If you are intending to request that your child be excused from the prevention lesson in our AIDS curriculum, you must fill out the proper application at the school. When you do so, you will be asked to deliver the AIDS prevention education to your child/children at home. The district will provide you with the appropriate material for your lesson at home and you will be asked to provide some documentation that would indicate the fulfillment of this requirement.

Home Instruction and Extended Absence:

When a child will be absent for a four-week period or longer, he/she may qualify for home instruction. A doctor's note stating the diagnosed illness and the length of confinement at home must be submitted to the school along with a written parental request for home instruction. Arrangements can be made for instruction through the school office.

Homework:

In general, homework is additional reinforcement of the work taught in school. This includes incomplete assignments and supplementary and/or research work which cannot be completed in school. The actual experience of doing homework is of value to the child. After a child has done his/her very best with parental encouragement, it is better for a child to come to school with less than perfect work than have a complete assignment which does not reflect the child's own ability and creative thinking. The amount of homework necessary will be dependent on the subject, type of class, the individual and many other factors. Parents can assist by establishing a time schedule for completing homework and by showing an interest in the homework to be done. Failure to turn in homework could affect a student's grade, particularly in grades 6, 7 and 8. Please refer to the Academic Eligibility Policy for further details.

Homework is not necessary for a child who is ill for one or two days. The teacher will provide time for make-up. If your child is out for a longer period of time and he/she is capable of working at home, please notify the office and work may be picked up at the school. Please refer to the Academic Eligibility Policy for further details.

Honor Roll:

To qualify for honor status, a middle school student must achieve an average of 85% for Honor Roll, or 90% for High Honor Roll. This average will be based on the five academic subjects of English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science and Foreign Language. In addition, a student must have a minimum average of 75% in each of the other subject areas.

How Parents Can Help Build and Improve Reading:

When it comes to teaching children how to read, parental involvement is very important. Studies indicate that the amount of help parents give tremendously affects a child's reading achievement. The following is a list of suggestions to help your child develop a love for reading:

  1. Read aloud to your child. Reading aloud at home enriches language, increases vocabulary and develops concepts, knowledge and thinking ability. Read a variety of materials to your child. Include poems and prose, fiction and nonfiction, adventure, fantasy, fairy tales, nursery rhymes, myths, legends and folktales. Make the reading/listening period a time for enjoyment and relaxation. It should be informal and last no more than a half-hour. You should not withdraw the reading period as punishment for misbehavior. This is the fastest way to destroy the positive effects of the activity.
  2. When you read aloud to your child, relate the reading to his/her interests. Children will be more interested and sustain attention longer when the subject of the reading is close to their hearts. Encourage your child to pursue his/her individual interests and help your child to develop new interests through new experiences. Help your child find reading material that will arouse his/her interests. Children will be more interested and sustain attention longer when the subject of the reading is close to their hearts.
  3. Supply your child with adequate reading materials. Have books available that will increase interest in reading and will provide practice that the child needs to become a fluent reader.
  4. Give your child the chance to read aloud. This can be materials that he/she brings home from school, books at home or library books.
  5. Ask your child questions about what you are reading or about what he/she has read.
  6. Take your child to the public library. Make regular visits so he/she is familiar with its resources.
  7. Visit your child's teacher and ask how you can help.
  8. If your child is having trouble in some area, learn the skills he/she is having trouble with so you can help.
  9. Praise your child's accomplishments no matter how small they may be. Nothing is more motivating than praise from parents.
  10. Never compare your child's achievement with that of another child. He or she has the right to be an individual and not a carbon copy of an older brother, sister or neighbor's child.

Kindergarten Eligibility:

To be eligible to enter kindergarten, a child must be five years old on or before December 1st of that school year. Registration/screening dates are provided in this calendar. Parents with children of kindergarten age who have recently moved into the community are requested to contact the school immediately for registration and screening.

Lost and Found:

Every year we have numerous items which are unclaimed. Please iron or sew on labels in your child's coat, hat, gloves, sweaters, smocks, etc. Names may be printed on rain gear, school bags, lunch kits, etc. The lost and found area is located in the cafetorium.

Medication:

Policy regarding administration of medicine in school as specified by State Education Law is as follows:

  1. The parent must submit a written request to the school for the student to take medication.
  2. A written request from the family physician in which he/she indicates the frequency and dosage of a prescribed medication must be submitted.
  3. The medication must be brought to school by the parent in a labeled bottle (medication, amount and times given).
  4. The medication will be kept in the Nurse's Office.
  5. The medication will be taken under the supervision of the nurse.
  6. Students will be allowed to take medication only if the above steps are followed.

National Junior Honor Society:

Each year, 7th and 8th grade students are elected by our faculty to this organization. Candidates eligible for election to the chapter shall have a minimum scholastic average of 85% or its equivalent for three out of four semesters. The two semesters of sixth grade can count towards membership. Candidates must also show a high standard of character, leadership, and citizenship along with a willingness to serve the school and community.

No Child Left Behind:

No Child Left Behind: The Tuckahoe Common School District strives to hire and retain all teachers and teacher assistants who are highly qualified as per the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Parents of students attending schools that receive Title I funds may request information regarding the professional qualifications of their child's classroom teachers and assistants.

Parent Conferences:

The responsibility for educating a child has always been fundamentally that of the parent; but as our society became more and more complex, part of this responsibility was delegated to the schools. It is, therefore, essential that people who most directly influence the child's life and development the parents and the teachers can arrive at a harmonious partnership working for the child's best interest.
To this end, the practice of individual parent-teacher conferences is strongly fostered at Tuckahoe School. Parents are always welcome to call the school for a conference appointment with the teacher whenever they feel the need to discuss their child's work. If you receive a progress report indicating a need for a parent conference, please call to make an appointment.

Parent Teacher Organization:

The Tuckahoe Parent Teacher Organization is a vital part of our school community. Please consider joining one of our PTO committees. The Tuckahoe parents have been fantastic in helping our staff and students. Please become an active member of the Tuckahoe Parent Teacher Organization. For information, email: pto@tuckahoecommonsd.com.

Party Invitations:

In the past, many unhappy situations have resulted from home party invitations being distributed to classmates in school. The children who do not receive invitations are often hurt and learning in the classroom is disrupted. To avoid this unpleasant situation, invitations should be conveyed by telephone or through the mail.

Pesticide Notification:

The Tuckahoe Common School District embraces a least toxic approach to pest management and is committed to pesticide use reduction through the use of non-toxic products. Pesticides would only be considered as a last resort when other methods have proven unsuccessful. Even then, only least-toxic and pest-specific pesticides would be used. Under the Pesticide Neighbor Notification law, Section 409-h of Education Law, written notification will be disseminated to all persons that require such notification 48 hours prior to such application. Contact Linda Springer for more information at 283-3550, ext. 317.

Progress Reports:

All students in grades 5-8 will receive a Tuckahoe progress report sent home once quarterly by each of their teachers. Progress reports must be signed by the parent and returned to the teachers by the student within two school days. Parents will be contacted if the progress report is not returned. This procedure will ensure timely communication between the teacher and parent and will also provide an opportunity for the student to correct any deficiency in a subject area.

Qualifications of Voters at District Meetings:

A person shall be entitled to vote at any school meeting for the election of school district officers, and upon all other matters which may be brought before such a meeting, who is:

  1. A citizen of the United States;
  2. Eighteen years of age;
  3. A resident within the district for a period of thirty days next preceding the meeting at which he offers to vote; and
  4. Persons disqualified from voting under the Election Law are ineligible to register or vote at any school meeting or election in a Common School District.

Respectful Conduct:

Please discuss and continually support the following rules with your child:

1. Be polite at all times to other students and adults. “Please” and “thank you” are the proper and respectful ways to respond. Don’t yell to get someone’s attention.
2. Do not interrupt when someone else is speaking.
3. Respect another person’s feelings. This means no name calling or saying anything else that might hurt a person’s feelings.
4. Students should make the wearing of appropriate, neat and clean clothing a matter of habit for personal pride and health. The wearing of logos that promote alcohol, tobacco or express degrading messages is prohibited.
5. Intermediate students are respected and looked up to by the primary students and should set the proper example.
6. Students are to observe the following routines when moving throughout the hallways:
   a. walk at all times;
   b. refrain from loud talking; and
   c. show respect for classes in session.
7. Students must keep books covered at all times and will be required to pay for lost or damaged books. Report cards will not be issued until all payments have been made.
8. To keep our building neat, clean, and in good condition students must adhere to the following:
   a. avoid dropping papers on the floor of classrooms, hallways and playgrounds;
   b. pick up litter and deposit it in a wastebasket;
   c. handle school property with care;
   d. never write on the walls of hallways, classrooms or bathrooms; and
   e. do not touch displays and pictures hanging on the walls.

Smoking:

Smoking and other use of tobacco products is expressly prohibited at any time in the school building, or on school grounds and during school-sponsored activities. Violators will be subject to disciplinary actions.

Special Education:

Services are available in the Tuckahoe Common School District for youngsters who have special education needs. Special classes, resource room, and other services are offered for children with learning disabilities, emotional and mental handicaps, visual impairment, hearing and speech impairments, and/or physical or occupational therapy needs. Services not available within the district are obtained by contracting with other school districts or through Eastern Suffolk BOCES. Parents of children with special educational needs between the ages of 3 through 21 years of age may obtain additional information from the Department of Pupil Personnel Service & Special Education, at 283-3550, ext. 318.

Student Bullying Prevention and Intervention:

The Board of Trustees is committed to providing an educational and working environment that promotes respect, dignity and equality. The Board recognizes that harassment, hazing and bullying is detrimental to student learning and achievement. It interferes with the mission of the district to educate its students and disrupts the operation of the schools. Such behavior affects not only the students who are its targets but also those individuals who participate and witness such acts.
To this end, the Board condemns and strictly prohibits all forms of harassment, hazing and bullying on school grounds, school buses and at all school-sponsored activities, programs and events including those that take place at locations outside the district but that materially and substantially disrupt the educational process of the school environment or impinge on the rights of others.

Definitions 
For purposes of this policy, the term “harassment” is defined as the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by verbal threats, intimidation or
abuse that has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well-being; or conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety. The harassing behavior may be based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sex, sexual orientation, or gender (identity or expression).
In some instances, bullying or harassment may constitute a violation of an individual’s civil rights. The district is mindful of its responsibilities under the law and in accordance with district policy, 0100, Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination and district policies 0110 Sexual Harassment and 0110-R, Sexual Harassment Regulation.

For the purposes of this policy, “bullying” (which is subsumed under the term “harassment”), is understood to be a hostile activity which harms or induces fear through the threat of further aggression and/or creates terror. Bullying may be premeditated or a sudden activity. It may be subtle or easy to identify, done by one person or a group. Bullying is characterized by:

1.Power imbalance - occurs when a bully uses his/her physical or social power over a target.
2.Intent to harm - the bully seeks to inflict physical or emotional harm and/or takes pleasure in this activity.2
3.Threat of further aggression - the bully and the target believe the bullying will continue.
4.Terror - when any bullying increases, it becomes a “systematic violence or harassment used to intimidate and maintain dominance.”

There are at least three kinds of bullying: verbal, physical and social/relational.
• Verbal bullying includes name calling, insulting remarks, verbal teasing, frightening phone calls, violent threats, extortion, taunting, gossip, spreading rumors, racist slurs, threatening electronic communications, anonymous notes, etc.
• Physical bullying includes poking, slapping, hitting, tripping or causing a fall, choking, kicking, punching, biting, pinching, scratching, spitting, twisting arms or legs, damaging clothes and personal property, or threatening gestures.
• Social or relational bullying includes excluding someone from a group, isolating, shunning, spreading rumors or gossiping, arranging public humiliation, undermining relationships, teasing about clothing, looks, giving dirty looks, aggressive stares, etc.
These acts can occur in a school setting and/or outside a school setting, that is severe, persistent or pervasive and has the effect of doing any of the following:
• Substantial interference with a student’s education
• Creation of a threatening environment
• Substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school

In the remainder of this policy and associated regulation the term “bullying” will be used to refer to harassing or hazing behaviors because that is the term most commonly used by students and parents.

Prevention 
The school setting provides an opportunity to teach children, and emphasize among staff, that cooperation with and respect for others is a key district value. A program geared to prevention is designed to not only decrease incidents of bullying, but to help students build more supportive relationships with one another by integrating the bullying prevention program into classroom instruction. Staff members and students will be sensitized, through district-wide professional development and instruction, to the warning signs of bullying, as well as to their responsibility to become actively involved in the prevention of bullying before overt acts occur. The components of such an effort involve the following:

• Learning about and identifying the early warning signs and precursor behaviors that may lead to bullying.
• Gathering information about bullying at school directly from students.
• Establishing clear school wide and classroom rules about bullying.
• Training adults in the school to respond sensitively and consistently to bullying.
• Providing adequate adult supervision, particularly in less structured areas such as in the hallways, cafeteria and playground.
• Raising parental awareness and involvement in addressing problems.
• Providing instruction in civility, citizenship and character education that emphasizes tolerance and respect for others.

In order to implement this program the Superintendent will establish a district wide Task Force on Bullying Prevention. The district-wide task force will assist the administration in developing and implementing specific procedures on early identification of bullying and other preventive strategies. In addition, the program will include reporting, investigating, remedying and tracking allegations of bullying.

Intervention 
Intervention by adults and bystanders is an important step in preventing escalation and resolving issues at the earliest stages. Intervention will emphasize education and skill-building. In addition, intervention will focus upon the safety of the target/victim. Staff is expected, when made aware of bullying, to either refer the student to designated resources for assistance, or to intervene in accordance with this policy and regulation.

Training 
The Board recognizes that in order to implement an effective bullying prevention and intervention program, professional development is needed. The Superintendent and the district Professional Development Team will incorporate training to support this program in the annual professional development plan, as needed. Training opportunities will be provided for all staff, including but not limited to bus drivers, cafeteria and hall monitors and all staff who have contact with students. In accordance with state law, the Superintendent shall ensure that at least one staff member is thoroughly trained in human relations in the areas of race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender and sex.

Reporting and Investigation 
Students who have been bullied, parents whose children have been bullied, or other students who observe bullying behavior are encouraged to make a verbal and/or written complaint to a teacher, coach, bus driver, social worker, counselor, supervisor, or administrator in accordance with the training and guidelines provided. At all times, complaints will be documented, tracked and handled in accordance with the regulations and procedures accompanying this policy, or, if applicable, district policy 0100, Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination or 0110, Sexual Harassment, and the district’s Code of Conduct. Incidents will be included in the Violent and Disruptive Incident Reporting (VADIR) system, when applicable.

Disciplinary Consequences 
While the focus of this policy is on prevention, bullying acts may still occur. In these cases, offenders will be given the clear message that their actions
are wrong and the behavior must improve. Offenders will receive in-school guidance in making positive choices in their relationships with others. If appropriate, disciplinary action will be taken by the administration in accordance with the district’s Code of Conduct, as applicable. If the behavior rises to the level of criminal activity, law enforcement will be contacted.

Non Retaliation 
All complainants and those who participate in the investigation of a complaint in conformity with state law and district policies, who have acted reasonably and in good faith, have the right to be free from retaliation of any kind.

Dissemination, Monitoring and Review 
This policy, or a plain language summary, shall be published in student registration materials, student, parent and employee handbooks, and posted on the district’s website.
Each year, as part of the annual review of the Code of Conduct, this policy will be reviewed to assess its effectiveness and compliance with state and federal law. If changes are needed, revisions will be recommended to the Board for its consideration.
In addition, the Board will receive the annual VADIR data report with particular attention to the trends in the incidence of bullying. Based on the review of the data, the Board may consider further action, including but not limited to modification of this policy and additional training.

Student Records:

In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, a policy has been developed to assure that information regarding individual students is available to parents and is not made a matter of public discussion. Any materials used by the school to make educational judgments regarding a student are available for review by that student's parents or guardians. A qualified professional will be available to assist these parents to fully understand the materials. The privacy of children and parents is protected. Access to student records is specifically denied to unauthorized persons. The Superintendent is obligated to review pupil records with parents within a reasonable time following such a request.

Telephone Use:

Telephones are not available for student use unless there is an emergency situation. This is enforced to encourage students to be more responsible and independent. Every effort should be made for a child to bring his lunch/lunch money in the morning. In an emergency, please leave it with the receptionist. NO child is to use the pay telephone without permission from his/her teacher.

Transportation:

Transportation is provided for students in Kindergarten through Grade 8 living more than 5/10 of a mile from the school. All inquiries regarding busing should be made to the office or to Montauk Bus Service at 874-5300. Parents' cooperation with the school staff in developing good habits in our students when boarding, riding and leaving buses will help to ensure a safe and pleasant trip to and from school. Pupils whose conduct on the buses or at the stops jeopardizes the welfare and safety of themselves or others may be denied bus transportation. All youngsters are expected to remain in their seats and behave properly on school buses. They must heed the instructions of the bus driver. Please emphasize that proper behavior on the bus is essential to the safety of all youngsters.

Transportation to Non Public Schools:

State law requires that parents who are planning to send children to private or parochial schools in September must file an application for special transportation by April 1. Please contact the district office to request this special transportation.

Tuckahoe School Agenda Book:

Students in Grades 3-8 will receive a Tuckahoe agenda book in September, compliments of the school. Lost books will cost $10.00 to replace. Students are required to date this book each day and to record their homework assignments on the dated page. Teachers may also use the same book if they need to get a message home to parents about progress or class assignments. Parents are asked to check this book each night to verify homework and teacher comments. If you do not see your child’s agenda book each night, then your child is not doing his/her part to establish effective home/school communications and you should call his/her teacher. In the same way, we ask parents to establish a routine with their child to check this book and to ensure days do not pass without seeing an important message about school progress. Pages should not be torn out of the book.

Students in grades 7 & 8 will also receive a “Master Notebook” that organizes all subject-area notes and materials. Parents are encouraged to check the organization of the Master Notebook on a consistent basis, as well as their child’s agenda book.

Use of School Buildings:

Non-profit, non-sectarian organizations may be granted the use of school facilities under appropriate circumstances. Applications and inquiries should be made to the District Clerk where application forms containing specific regulations are available.

Visitors to School:

Project SAVE legislation requires all schools to implement security measures designed to secure school premises against intruders. In addition, parents and staff want to provide our students with a safe, uninterrupted, professional learning and teaching environment. To accomplish this, we ask for your cooperation in following these guidelines and procedures:

  1. All visitors, including parents, must use the front door and report to the receptionist's desk where they must sign in and show proper identification. Passes are required for clearance to any area past the front desk and are subject to appointment. Please cooperate as this regulation is for the safety of your child and in accordance with New York State law. Parents are also requested to call ahead for appointments to meet with a teacher. Unnecessary interruptions during teaching time affect the entire class. Please do not disturb classes. The office staff will be glad to assist you.
  2. Please reserve the use of the driveway only for school buses. Do not drive through or park in the circle in front of the school.
  3. All doors to the building are locked; the receptionist will let you into the building. Parents dropping off or picking up students are asked not to congregate in the hallway, but to wait outside the building until students are dismissed. This ensures a safe exit route for students and will be enforced.
  4. Parents are asked to encourage children to come properly prepared for school with lunch or lunch money, musical instruments, textbooks and homework. This will eliminate the need for parents coming to school and delivering items forgotten at home. In addition, it develops a sense of independence and responsibility on the part of the student.

Wellness Initiatives:

The District's Health & Safety Committee works diligently in promoting a healthy and safe building for students and adults. Much of the team's efforts have been focused on healthier school food choices for youngsters, from guiding the food served in our own kitchen to the foods brought in for celebrations.

The Tuckahoe Common School District encourages healthy choices when parents plan for class parties. A detailed list of suggestions is included in the District's Wellness Policy, which is also on our website, and is given out to parents before each school year begins. In addition, no soda or candy is allowed in classrooms. For additional hard copies of the policy, call our school nurse, at 283-3550, ext. 313.