Use of Personal Communication Devices by Students

†††††††††††† Students may possess cell phones on school property so long as such devices are turned off and stored in backpacks, purses, or personal carry-alls during class time and programs.† Such devices include, but are not limited to, wearable technology such as eye glasses, rings, or watches that have the capability to record, live stream, or interact with wireless technology; cell phones; laptops; tablets; and mp3 players. However, a teacher may grant permission for the use of cell phones to assist with instruction in his/her classroom, and teachers are encouraged to integrate the devices into their course work; however, all approved devices must allow access to the Internet through a fully functional web browser and be capable of accessing the Marshall County School Systemís (MCSS) guest network. The principal or his/her designee may also grant a student permission to use such a device at his/her discretion.† MCSS Policy 6.312

The Marshall County School System/Marshall County Board of Education will not be responsible for damaged, lost, or stolen cell phones.

 

Internet

†††††††††††† All Internet access shall occur using the MCSS guest network. Cellular network adapters are not permitted to be used by students to access the Internet at any time. The device may only be used to access files or internet sites which are relevant to the classroom curriculum. Non-instructional games are not permitted. Students must comply with a teacherís request to turn off the device. Unauthorized use or improper storage of a device during class time or programs will result in confiscation until such time as it may be released to the studentís parents or guardian. A student in violation of this policy is subject to disciplinary action as per board policy #6.316 Suspension/Expulsion/Remand.† MCSS Policy 6.312

 

Notification of Unsafe School Choice Policy

Transfer Option for Students Victimized by Violent Crime at School

Under the Tennessee Board of Educationís Unsafe School Choice Policy, any public school student who is the victim of a violent crime as defined under Tennessee Code Annotated 40-38-111(g), or the attempt to commit one of these offenses as defined under Tennessee Code Annotated 30-12-101, shall be provided an opportunity to transfer to another grade level appropriate school within the district.† Additional information regarding this option may be obtained by contacting the Director of Schools, Mr. Jacob Sorrells at (931)359-1581, Ext. 2017.

 

Notice of Parentís Rights to Notification of Teachersí Qualifications

† In compliance with new Federal Regulations, parents have the right to know the qualifications of their childís instructional staff.† This information can be accessed from the State Department of Education website.

Homeless Students

†††††††††††† In order to ensure that homeless students have equal access to the same free appropriate public education as provided to other students, the following shall apply:† Homeless students are individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence and include the following:

1. Students who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to the lack of

alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals. 2. Students who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designated for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.† 3. Students who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations or similar settings.† 4. Migratory students who meet one of the above described circumstances.

ENROLLMENT- Homeless students shall be immediately enrolled, even if the student is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment (i.e. academic records, immunization records, health records, proof of residency), or missed the districtís application or enrollment deadlines.† Parents/guardians are required to submit contact information to the districtís homeless coordinator.

PLACEMENT- For the purposes of this policy, school of origin shall mean the school that the student attended when permanently housed or the school in which the student was last enrolled, including a preschool/pre-k program. School of origin shall also include the designated receiving school at the next grade level when the student completes the final grade level served by the school of origin.† Placement shall be determined based on the studentís best interest.† At all times, a strong presumption that keeping the student in the school of origin is in the studentís best interest shall be maintained, unless doing so would be contrary to a request made by the studentís parent/guardian or the student in the case of an unaccompanied youth.† When determining placement, student-centered factors, including but not limited to impact of mobility on achievement, education, health, and safety shall be considered.† The choice regarding placement shall be made regardless of whether the student lives with their homeless parents/guardians or has been temporarily placed elsewhere. If it is not in the studentís best interest to attend the school of origin, or the school requested by the parent/guardian or unaccompanied youth, the director or his/her designee shall provide a written explanation of the reasons for the determination, in a manner and form that is understandable to the parent/guardian or unaccompanied youth.† The written explanation shall include a statement regarding the right to appeal the placement decision.† If the placement decision is appealed, the district shall refer the parent/guardian or unaccompanied student to the homeless coordinator, who shall carry out the dispute resolution process as expeditiously as possible and in accordance with the law.† Upon notice of an appeal, the director of schools shall immediately enroll the student in the school in which enrollment was sought pending a final resolution of the dispute, including all available appeals.

RECORDS- Records ordinarily kept by the school shall be maintained for all homeless students. Information regarding a homeless studentís living situation shall be treated as a student education record, and shall not be considered directory information.

SERVICES- The director of schools shall ensure that each homeless student is provided services comparable to those offered to other students within the district, including transportation, special education services, programs in career and technical education (CTE), programs for gifted and talented students, and school nutrition.† The director of schools shall designate a district homeless coordinator who shall ensure this policy is implemented throughout the district. The homeless coordinator shall ensure: 1. Homeless students are quickly identified and have access to education and support services, to include Head Start and district pre-k programs; 2. Coordination with local social service agencies and other entities providing services to homeless students; 3. Coordinate transportation, transfer of records, and other interdistrict activities with other school districts; 4. Coordinate transportation to the school of origin or choice for homeless students; 5. Refer homeless students and their families to health care services, dental services, mental health and substance abuse services, and housing services; 6. Assist homeless students in obtaining immunizations, medical or immunization records, and any additional assistance that may be needed; 7. Public notice of the educational rights of homeless students is disseminated in places frequented by parents/guardians of homeless students, including schools, shelters, public libraries, and soup kitchens; and 8. Unaccompanied youth are enrolled and informed of their status and independent students.

COORDINATOR- The Board designates the following individual to act as the districtís homeless coordinator:

Federal Projects Supervisor

Marshall County Board of Education†

700 Jones Circle†

Lewisburg, TN 37091†

Phone: 931-359-1581 FAX: 931-270-8816†

The director of schools shall develop procedures to ensure that homeless students are recognized administratively and that the appropriate and available services are provided for these students. The director shall ensure professional development is provided to school personnel providing services to homeless students.† MCSS Policy 6.503

 

Section 504 and ADA Grievance Procedures

The Board is committed to maintaining equitable employment/educational practices, services, programs and activities that are accessible and usable by qualified individuals with disabilities.

DEFINITION- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides that: No otherwise qualified individual with handicaps in the United StatesÖsolely by reason of his/her handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.† Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990 provides that: No otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall be discriminated against in regard to job application procedures, the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.

COORDINATOR- The Board shall designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504, including any investigation of any complaint alleging non-compliance with the Acts or alleging any actions that would be prohibited by the Acts.

NOTICE- The Board shall make available the name, office address and telephone number of the ADA/Section 504 coordinator.† Methods of initial and continuing notification may include the posting of notices, publication in newspapers and student and employee handbooks and distribution of memoranda or other written communications.

COMPLAINT PROCEDURE- The coordinator will hear ADA/Section 504 complaints. Complaints may be submitted orally or in writing to the coordinator who will endeavor to accomplish prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action that would be prohibited by the ADA/Section 504. The coordinator will respond to all complaints within twenty (20) days with a written response as well as information on further grievance procedures that may be followed if the complaining party is not satisfied with the coordinatorís proposed resolution.

DUE PROCESS HEARING PROCEDURES- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides the right to an impartial due process hearing if a parent wishes to contest any action of the school system with regard to a childís identification, evaluation, and placement under Section 504.† If a parent/guardian requests a Section 504 hearing, the parent/guardian has the right to personally participate and to be represented at the hearing by an attorney or advocate at the parentís expense. Contested actions or omissions that are appropriate for a Section 504 hearing should involve identification, evaluation, or placement issues involving a child who has or is believed to have a disability.

Request for Hearing - A parent/guardian who wishes to challenge an action or omission with regard to the identification, evaluation, or placement of a student who has or is believed to have a disability as defined by Section 504, shall make an oral or written request for a due process hearing to the Section 504 coordinator. The request shall be submitted on or reduced to writing on a form provided through the Central Office.†

Impartial Hearing Officer- The director of schools or his/her designee shall appoint an impartial hearing officer to preside over the hearing and issue a decision. Such appointment will be made within fifteen (15) days of the date of receipt of a request for a due process hearing. The hearing officer will be hired as an independent contractor at no expense to the parent. The hearing officer that is appointed shall not be a current employee of the school system and shall not be related to any member of the Board of Education. The hearing officer need not be an attorney but shall be familiar with the requirements of Section 504 and the hearing procedures under Section 504. The choice of an impartial hearing officer is final and may not be presented as an issue at the due process hearing since such an issue would not relate to the identification, evaluation, or placement of a disabled child under Section 504. If a parent/guardian disputes the impartiality of the appointed hearing officer, he/she may raise such issue in a review of the hearing officerís opinion by a court of competent jurisdiction or in a complaint to the Office for Civil Rights.†

Office for Civil Rights†

U. S. Department of Education†

61 Forsyth St. S.W., Suite 19T10†

Atlanta, GA 30303-8927†

Telephone: 404-974-9406; TDD: 877-521-2172 †† †††††††††††† †††††††††††† Email: OCR.Atlanta@ed.gov†

Scheduling of Hearing- The appointed hearing officer shall set a date for the hearing within fifteen (15) days of his/her appointment and provide this information in writing to the parent/guardian and the Section 504 coordinator. The hearing shall take place at a mutually agreeable time and place.†

Continuances- Upon a showing of good cause, the hearing officer, at his/her discretion may grant a continuance of the hearing date and set a new hearing date.

Legal Representation at Hearing- If a parent/guardian is represented by a licensed attorney at the due process hearing, he/she must inform the Section 504 coordinator and the appointed hearing officer of that fact, in writing, at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the hearing date, or the hearing can be continued upon the coordinatorís request. The school system shall not have legal representation at the hearing unless the parent provides notice that he/she will have legal representation.†

Pre-Hearing Conference- The hearing officer may order a Pre-Hearing Conference during which the parent/guardian or his/her representative will state and clarify the issues to be addressed at the hearing. The Pre-Hearing Conference will also serve to resolve preliminary matters, clarify jurisdictional issues, and answer the partiesí questions regarding the hearing process. The Pre-Hearing Conference can be held via telephone or in person depending on the hearing officerís decision based on the convenience to both parties.†

Dismissal- If, after the Pre-Hearing Conference, the hearing officer finds that the parent, as a matter of law, alleges and/or raises no factual claims or legal issues that come within his/her jurisdiction as a Section 504 hearing officer, he/she may dismiss the hearing and issue an order to that effect explaining the basis for such finding.

Hearing- The hearing shall be conducted in an informal, non-adversarial manner. The hearing shall be closed to the public unless the parent/guardian requests an open hearing. The hearing officer may reasonably limit testimony and introduction of exhibits for reasons or relevance.

Recording- Instead of a formal written transcript produced by a court reporter, the entire due process hearing will be video recorded. The school system shall provide a copy of the recording to the parent/guardian upon request. In order for an accurate recording to be made, the parties and witnesses shall introduce themselves at the beginning of their presentations. If a parent/guardian appeals the decision of the hearing officer to a court of competent jurisdiction, the school system shall prepare a written transcript of the hearing to be offered to the court as an exhibit.†

Witnesses- Witnesses will present their information in narrative form, without the traditional question and answer format of legal proceedings. Cross-examination of witnesses will not be allowed, but a party may request that the hearing officer, at his/her discretion, ask a witness a certain question.

Format of Presentation- Each side will have an equal amount of time to present their positions as determined by the hearing officer. The parent/guardian will present his/her case first by making an opening statement outlining the issues, calling witnesses, and making a closing argument. The school system will present its side next.† At the end of the school systemís presentation, the parent/guardian may offer a short response. Each side may present personally or through their representatives.†

Submission of Exhibits- As part of their presentations and at the discretion of the hearing officer, the parties may submit any reports, evaluations, correspondence, notes, or any other documents that may support their positions.† Exhibits submitted to the hearing officer by either party must be marked. The hearing officer may, in the exercise of his/her discretion, reasonably limit the number of documents to be submitted for his/her review, as well as the number of witnesses and the length and/or scope of their presentations or statements.

Closing Arguments- The hearing officer may allow or request written closing arguments summarizing and characterizing the information presented at the hearing.†

Decision- The hearing officer may make an oral ruling at the conclusion of the hearing or take the case under advisement and issue a written opinion. Such decision shall address all of the issues raised by the parent/guardian as well as any corrective actions, if any, the school system must take. Any issue or claim raised by the parent/guardian that is left unaddressed by the hearing officer in his/her decision will be deemed to have been denied. The decision must be issued within forty-five (45) days after the date the Request for a Due Process Hearing is received by the district. The hearing officer may not award attorneysí fees as a part of the relief granted to a parent/guardian or the district.

Review Procedure/Appeal- If the parent/guardian is not satisfied by the decision of the hearing officer, he/she may seek review of the decision in a court of competent jurisdiction.† MCSS Policy 1.802

Student Concerns and Complaints

Decisions made by school personnel such as assistants, teachers, or assistant principals which students believe are unfair or in violation of pertinent policies of the Board or individual school rules may be appealed to the school principal or a designated representative. To appeal, students will contact the principalís office in their school and provide their name, the issue and the reason for their appeal in writing at the school office within 24 hours (excluding weekends and holidays). If the principal does not make a decision within two (2) school days following the date of complaint, students or parents may appeal at that time by contacting the superintendent/director or designee at the central office. The information provided should include the studentís name, the school and a description of the problem. An investigation and decision will be made within two (2) school days and communicated to the school principal and student by telephone. A written copy of the decision also will be sent to the student and the principal. If not resolved, the matter may then be appealed to the Board.

DISCRIMINATION/HARASSMENT GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES-

Filing a Complaint- Any student of this school district who wishes to file a discrimination/harassment grievance against another student or an employee of the district may file a written or oral (recorded, if possible) complaint with a complaint manager.

Students may also report an allegation of discrimination/harassment to any teacher or other adult employed in the school who shall inform a complaint manager of the allegation. The complaint should include the following information: Identity of the alleged victim and person accused; location,

date, time and circumstances surrounding the alleged incident; description of what happened; Identity of witnesses; and any other evidence available.

Investigation- Within twenty-four hours (excluding weekends and holidays) of receiving the studentís complaint, the complaint manager shall notify the complaining studentís parent/guardian and the principal who shall inform the director of schools. The parent/guardian shall be given notice of the right to attend an interview of the student in a non-intimidating environment in order to elicit full disclosure of the studentís allegations. This interview shall take place within five (5) days from the time the complaint was first made. If no parent/guardian attends the interview, another adult, mutually agreed upon by the student and the complaint manager, shall attend and may serve as the studentís advocate. After a complete investigation, if the allegations are substantiated, immediate and appropriate corrective or disciplinary action shall be initiated. The complaint and identity of the complainant will not be disclosed except (1) as required by law or this policy; or (2) as necessary to fully investigate the complaint; or (3) as authorized by the complainant. A school representative will meet with and advise the complainant regarding the findings, and whether corrective measures and/or disciplinary action were taken. The investigation and response to the complainant will be completed within thirty (30) school days. Copies of the report will be sent to the student, principal, Federal Rights Coordinator and the director of schools. One copy shall be kept in the complaint managerís file for one (1) year beyond the studentís eighteenth (18th) birthday. The director of schools shall keep the Board informed of all complaints.

Decision and AppealĖ If the complainant is not in agreement with the findings of fact as reported by the complaint manager, an appeal may be made, within five (5) work days to the director of schools. The director of schools will review the investigation, make any corrective action deemed necessary and provide a written response to the complainant. If the complainant is not in agreement with the directorís findings of fact, appeal may be made to the Board of Education within five (5) work days. The Board shall, within thirty (30) days from the date the appeal was received, review the investigation and the actions of the director of schools and may support, amend or overturn the actions based upon review and report their decision in writing to the complainant or designee at the central office. The information provided should include the studentís name, the school and a description of the problem.

APPOINTING COMPLAINT MANAGERS- The director of schools shall appoint at least two complaint managers, one of each gender for the school system. The Federal Rights Coordinator may serve as a complaint manager. The director of schools shall insert into this policy the names, addresses and telephone numbers of current complaint managers. This policy shall be published in the parent/student handbook distributed annually to every student. Building administrators are responsible for educating and training their respective staff and students as to the definition and recognition of discrimination/harassment.

COMPLAINT MANAGERS

*Tres Beasley, Support Services Supervisor at 931-359-1581, ext. 12030 or

*Julie Thomas, Special Populations Coordinator at 931-359-1581, ext. 12010 or

*Ginger Tepedino, Student Services Coordinator at 931-359-1581, ext. 12007

 

All located at 700 Jones Circle, Lewisburg, TN 37091†† †††††††††††† †††††††††††† ††††††††††††

 

 

PLEASE LET THE RECORD SHOW THAT ANY POLICY OR ISSUE THAT IS NOT IN THIS HANDBOOK, WILL BE RULED ON ACCORDING TO THE POLICY OF THE MARSHALL COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION AND THE RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE THAT GOVERN PUBLIC SCHOOLS (TN CODE ANNOTATED).

Personal Communication Devices, Internet, Due Process, etc.