A policy on child abuse has been established in order to implement recent legislative action in the area of child abuse and in recognition of the responsibility of the board of school directors and the professional staff of the Waynesboro Area School District for the welfare and general well-being of the children entrusted to use in our schools each day.
The Child Protective Services Law, Act 124, was enacted for these purposes:
To encourage more complete reporting of suspected child abuse
To establish a county level child protective service to investigate reports
To protect children from further abuse
To create rehabilitative services for children and parents
To help preserve and stabilize family life.
Any person, facility, or agency participating in good faith in the making of a report on suspected child abuse, or in testifying in any proceeding arising out of any instance of suspected abuse, photography, or the removal or keeping in protective custody of a child, shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might result by reason of such actions (Section 11 of Act 124).
The central concern of the school district in cases of family disruption or difficulty is the welfare of the child. We believe even after situations such as separation or divorce, the child can continue to benefit from the involvement of both parents in the education of their child. Both the custodial and the non-custodial parents of a child will be guaranteed the following rights.
The right of access to the child before or after school or during the day for emergency purposes, i.e., medical or dental appointments, family illness, etc.
The right to review school records in the presence of the principal
The right to attend parent-teacher conferences
The right to consent to special class placements under P.I. 94-142
The right to have copies of all school publications such as school schedules, regulations, calendars, etc.
The only case in which these rights will be denied is where the custodial parent has filed with the school principal a true and current copy of a court order or custody agreement barring the non-custodial parent from access to the child’s school records. Letters from attorneys do not fulfill this requirement.
CITIZEN REVIEW OF TEXTBOOKS AND RELATED MATERIAL
To allow for Board and community review of the new textbooks selected, samples of the material to be used are placed in the Waynesboro Area School District central office two weeks prior to the June board meeting. Review procedures and schedules for review are released to the public through various local media sources and in District publications. The Board adopts all new school textbooks for the coming year by the June meeting as indicated in Article VIII, Section 803 of the Public School Code. All challenges of materials selected for instructional use should be made in writing on the printed form provided for this purpose. Challenge forms may be obtained from the principals and may be submitted to any official of this school district. All challenged material will be reviewed again by the curriculum committees and assistant superintendent. The assistant superintendent will make a recommendation to the superintendent concerning the appropriateness of the material questioned.
COMMUNITY USE OF SCHOOL FACILITIES
District Facilities should be made available for community purposes, provided that such use does not interfere with the educational program of the schools. For purposes of this policy, the term “District Facilities” shall include all buildings and any areas therein, structures, athletic fields, lawns or other areas of any kind owned or leased by the Waynesboro Area School District. Please read over Board Policy for Use-Rental of Facilities.
It is the position of the district that while the district and the community’s best interests are served when the district Facilities are responsibly used by community groups, the use of District Facilities for personal or private financial gain is not to be encouraged. Authorization for use of District Facilities shall not be considered an endorsement or approval of a particular group or activity.
Community organizations or groups may rent district facilities to conduct programs of social, educational, civic, recreational or cultural value.
All requests must be made on the Use-Rental of Facilities Form, along with a certificate of insurance as stated on the Facilities use-rental form. This form is then processed for approval of the Athletic Director and Building Principal. All requests are subject to rental fees. All facility use-rental requests must be submitted to the Business Administrator. These requests may not be submitted prior to April 1 of the preceding school year of the event. To assure timely processing, all applications should be submitted ninety (90) days in advance of requested usage date.
Some general provisions are as follows:
organizations assume full responsibility for proper care and use of district property
only authorized school personnel may operate special school equipment
smoking or the presence of alcoholic beverages is not permitted by anyone at any time on school property
Information received from a student in confidence by a guidance counselor, school nurse, or school psychologist in public or private schools while in the course of that person’s professional duties is privileged information to the extent that it cannot be divulged in any legal proceeding, civil or criminal, without the consent of the student, or if still a minor, the student’s parents.
School counselors are basically helpers. They help students, in an understanding way, with educational and career planning as well as personal or social concerns they may have during their school years. They are advocates for students. Counselors address the development of the whole student and support his or her success in school. Counselors work together with parents, teachers, and the community to meet established goals for all students. Qualifications for school counselors vary from state to state. In Pennsylvania, school counselors must have a Master's degree in school counseling and be certified by the state as a school counselor.
Counselors provide specific services according to the age of the student served. However, there are some common services offered at all levels such as:
Referrals for additional services
DISSEMINATION OF STUDENT RECORDS
The school district may, without the consent of parents or students, release a student’s permanent record file to other school officials, the state superintendent or his/her officers or subordinates, and officials of other school systems in which the student intends to enroll, with the caution the student’s parents, shall be notified of the transfer.
Four school nurses provide for the completion of state and local mandated health screening programs as well as emergency coverage. Health assistants cover the building when nurses are not present in a given building. Students are required to have physical exams in kindergarten, grades 6 and 11. Dental exams are required in kindergarten, grades 3 and 7.
Basic parenting skills courses designed for parents of young children will be offered four times during the school year. There will be daytime and evening classes in the fall and spring. Parent to Parent, a video-based course designed to help parents raise children to grow healthy and safe, and targeted for grades five through twelve, will be offered in the daytime and evening in the fall. See the calendar for dates and watch for further announcements.
All six schools have active parent support groups. Information concerning the various organizations will be sent home with students. Election of officers and/or designation of representatives usually occurs in September. Please contact your child's school for additional information. The Waynesboro Area School District encourages parent involvement at all levels and appreciates the active role of the PTO and parent organizations
STUDENT DRIVING REGULATIONS
Students planning to drive a vehicle to school must register in the high school office and obtain a traffic regulation form to be signed by the driver and his/her parents. These signatures indicate that both student and parent understand the regulations and agree to abide by them. Students will be issued tags to hang from the rearview mirror of any vehicles driven to school. No student vehicles will be permitted on school property without this tag. Parking passes may be revoked or suspended for disciplinary reasons.
Vehicles must remain in the student parking lot from the time students arrive at school until dismissal unless special permission is obtained from the principal.
Student records are considered confidential and privileged. These records include anything concerning a student which is maintained in writing, on film or tape. “Private notes” or “working notes” which are only for the use of the collector are not considered part of a student’s record unless they were intended to be made available. Information in a student’s record is classified in one of three ways.
A Liberal access – Minimum personal data for all elementary and secondary students includes the student’s name, address, telephone number, birth date, sex, date of entry, date of withdrawal, academic grades, attendance, class rank, and level of achievement, parents’ names and where they can be reached in case of emergency, family doctor, person to be notified in case of emergency when parents cannot be reached, standardized achievement test scores, participation in school activities, awards and letters of commendation, and teachers’ comments on academic participation. These records are maintained for 100 years.
B. Limited access – Filed separately and used for helping a child or protecting others, includes the student registration form, transportation record, verified reports of serious and/or recurrent behavior problems, copy of referral forms about the student with regard to special services, correspondence to parents, juvenile authorities or teachers that indicate a verified problem the student is having in school, school health record, school dental record, home bound approval forms, suspension notification and reports to the district superintendent, clinical reports such as psychologists’ reports from outside agencies, results of standardized individual tests administered by a school psychologist, and scores from standard intelligence tests.
C. Restricted access – Information that is potentially useful but not yet verified or needed at present time includes anecdotal record for a given incident or series of incidents relative to the child’s attainment in school, authorization for psychological examination, psychological evaluation follow-up report, and all personality tests administered by the school psychologist.
Parents have the right to review liberal, limited, and restricted access data, and may do so by contacting the building principal.
All student information will be reviewed, updated, or destroyed at the beginning of a student’s seventh grade year, and at the end of eighth and twelfth grades before it is sent to another school.
Student cumulative folders will remain active for a period of two years after graduation and then be microfilmed. Limited and restricted access material will be destroyed upon graduation. Files on students who withdraw from school will be placed on an inactive file for two years before being microfilmed or destroyed.
The Board of School Directors has approved a student accident insurance program which includes an option to purchase an accidental treatment benefit. If the insurance is not purchased and a child is injured in any school-related activity, the school will not assume responsibility for any injury-related costs.
Pennsylvania law requires persons under eighteen years of age to have a work permit to be employed. The necessary form may be acquired from the main office secretary in the high school. The work permit must be signed by a parent or guardian and by the physician who performs the required physical exam. The form must then be presented to the high school main office secretary along with proof of age other than school records. The holder of the work permit is to keep the permit with them at all times.