Code of Conduct

Section IV: Essential partners and positive behavioral supports

Student rights and responsibilities

The Code of Conduct also describes specific behaviors that are unacceptable at school and explains the consequences that will be assigned to you when your conduct does not meet expected standards of behavior. The district’s Code of Conduct and student’s rights and responsibilities extends to the digital classroom.

The district is committed to safeguarding the rights of all students under state and federal law. In addition, to promote a safe, healthy, orderly and civil school environment, you have the right to:

  • Get a quality education that will make you college or career ready;
  • Have a school environment that is safe, promotes learning and encourages respect;
  • Be treated fairly, with respect by fellow students and school staff;
  • Participate and be engaged in district activities regardless of race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation or gender/gender identity;
  • Be heard when facing a disciplinary issue through the processes and procedures described in the Code of Conduct;
  • Have access to information concerning substance abuse, as well as access to individuals or agencies that can help you or your family members;
  • Be protected from intimidation, harassment, or discrimination based on factors which include, but are not limited to, actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, sex, gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability on school property or at a school-sponsored event, function or activity.

Personal conduct

  • Attend school regularly and on time.
  • Accept directions, requests, feedback and support respectfully from adults.
  • Be truthful about and accountable for your words and actions.
  • Be familiar with and follow school district rules.
  • Meet the standards of behavior in the Code of Conduct.
  • Contribute to maintaining a safe and orderly school environment that supports learning and shows respect to other persons and to property.
  • Conduct yourself to the highest standards of conduct, behavior and sportsmanship.
  • Demonstrate self-discipline by making responsible behavioral and academic choices.
  • Accept consequences when behavioral expectations are not met or school rules are violated. 
  • Make an effort to correct and improve unsafe behavior with the support of your teachers and staff.
  • Dress appropriately for school and school functions.

Learning

  • Attend school every day unless legally excused.
  • Be on time to class.
  • Work to the best of your ability in all academic and extracurricular activities.
  • Strive towards your highest level of achievement possible.
  • Seek help when needed.
  • Ask questions when you do not understand.
  • Be prepared to learn.
  • Challenge yourself.
  • Do your best and work hard.
  • Bring an open mind and positive attitude to learning every day.

Cooperating and treating others with respect

  • Treat others with kindness, care and respect.
  • Be polite.
  • Express your thoughts and opinions in ways that are polite, respectful and courteous.
  • Use a polite tone of voice and appropriate body language.
  • Listen politely when others are speaking to you.
  • Respect others’ personal space and keep your hands to yourself.
  • Work with others cooperatively in large and small groups.

Respecting property

  • Respect the property that belongs to other students, adults, or the school. 
  • Use school technology appropriately as directed by adults. 

A safe school community

  • Help make school a community free of violence, intimidation, bullying, harassment and discrimination.
  • Ask for assistance when you need help resolving conflicts and differences.
  • Report violations of the Code of Conduct or other school rules.
  • Contribute to the safety and well-being of our community. 
     

Parent/guardian rights and responsibilities

A parent, guardian or caregiver has the right to:

  • Be involved in your child’s education;
  • Be treated courteously, fairly and respectfully by all school staff and principals;
  • Receive timely information about the policies of the City School District of Albany Board of Education and procedures that relate to your child’s education;
  • Receive information and prompt notification of inappropriate or disruptive behaviors by your child and any disciplinary actions taken by principals or school staff;
  • Receive information and prompt notification about incidents that may impact your child;
  • Receive information about due process procedures for disciplinary matters concerning your child, including information on conferences and appeals;
  • Receive information from school staff about ways to improve your child’s academic or behavioral progress, including, but not limited to: counseling, tutoring, after-school programs, academic programs and mental health services within the school district and in the community;
  • Receive information about services for students with disabilities and English language learners;
  • Be contacted immediately if it is believed that your child has committed a crime and police are summoned;
  • Receive regular reports, written or oral, from school staff regarding your child’s academic progress or behavior, including but not limited to report cards, behavior progress reports and conferences.
  • Collaborate with the school in the education of your child;
  • Help your child understand that in a democratic society appropriate rules are required to maintain a safe, orderly environment;
  • Provide updated contact information to the school district’s Central Office and your child’s individual school;
  • Ensure your child attends school regularly and on time and that any absences are excused (Board of Education Policy #5100 Student Attendance);
  • Ensure your child follows the dress code;
  • Know school rules and help your child understand them;
  • Help your child deal with peer pressure;
  • Inform school officials and/or staff of changes in the home situation that may affect student conduct or performance;
  • Partner with the school to support expectations of academic achievement and appropriate behavior in school and in the community;
  • Support your child in ways that maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity or sex in accordance with Dignity for All Students Act;
  • Tell school officials about any concerns or complaints in a respectful and timely manner;
  • Work with principals and school staff to address any academic or behavioral problems your child may experience;
  • Read and become familiar with the policies of the Board of Education, administrative regulations and the City School District of Albany Code of Conduct;
  • Encourage your child to complete their homework by asking about homework, checking homework and making an area for your child to do their homework without interruption (e.g., a quiet corner; space in a bedroom; a clear kitchen table);
  • Be respectful and courteous to staff, other parents/guardians and students while on school premises.

School staff rights and responsibilities

School administrators and school staff members have the right to:

  • Work in a safe and orderly environment;
  • Be treated courteously, fairly and respectfully by students, parents or guardians and other school staff;
  • Communicate concerns, suggestions and complaints to the school district’s Office of Human Resources;
  • Receive supportive professional development and training;
  • Receive the necessary resources to deliver quality instruction.

All district teachers are expected to:

  • Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity or sex, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn;
  • Be prepared to teach;
  • Demonstrate interest in teaching and concern for student achievement;
  • Know school policies and rules, and enforce them in a fair and consistent manner;
  • Maintain confidentiality in conformity with federal and state law;
  • Clearly communicate:
  • Progress to students and parents in a timely manner;
  • Marking periods and grading procedures;
  • Assignment due dates;
  • Expectations for students;
  • The progressive classroom discipline plan to students and parents;
  • Course objectives and requirements;
  • Regularly with students, parents and other teachers concerning growth and achievement.
  • Participate in school-wide efforts to provide adequate supervision in all school spaces, in conformity with the Taylor Law;
  • Address issues of harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any student, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a school function;
  • Address personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students in the school or classroom setting.

All district student support service staff are expected to:

  • Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity or sex;
  • Assist students in coping with peer pressure and emerging personal, social and emotional problems;
  • Initiate teacher/student /counselor conferences and parent/teacher/student/counselor conferences, as necessary, as a way to resolve problems;
  • Regularly review with students their educational progress and career objectives.
     
  • Promote a safe, orderly and stimulating school environment, supporting active teaching and learning for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity or sex;
  • Ensure that students and staff have the opportunity to communicate regularly with the principal/administrators and have access to the principal/administrators for redress of grievances;
  • Maintain confidentiality in accordance with federal and state law;
  • Evaluate on a regular basis all instructional programs to ensure infusion of civility education in the curriculum;
  • Support the development of and student participation in appropriate extracurricular activities;
  • Provide support in the development of the Code of Conduct, when called upon;
  • Disseminate the Code of Conduct and anti-harassment policies;
  • Be responsible for enforcing the Code of Conduct and ensuring that all cases are resolved promptly and fairly;
  • Participate in school-wide efforts to provide adequate supervision in all school spaces;
  • Address issues of harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any student, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a school function;
  • Maintain safe and orderly schools by using prevention and intervention strategies by following the code;
  • Be respectful and courteous to students, parents and guardians, serving as role models for students;
  • Be knowledgeable about the policies of the Board of Education and administrative regulations and rules, and enforce them fairly and consistently.
  • Be knowledgeable about federal and state laws and regulations about the disciplinary process for students with disabilities.
  • Communicate policies, expectations and concerns, and respond to complaints or concerns from students and parents or guardians in a timely manner in understandable language.
  • Refer students to the appropriate committees, departments, offices, divisions, agencies or organizations when outside support is necessary.
  • Inform parents and guardians of student academic progress and behavior, create meaningful opportunities for their participation, and provide regular communication in a language they understand.
  • Provide alternative education and makeup work for students with lawful absences, including those students who are absent for disciplinary reasons.
  • Participate in required professional development opportunities.
  • Maintain and encourage a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, or sex, with an understanding of appropriate appearance, language, and behavior in a school setting, which will strengthen students’ self-image and promote confidence to learn.
  • Follow up on any incidents of discrimination and harassment in a timely manner that are witnessed or otherwise brought to the principal’s attention in a timely manner in collaboration with the Dignity Act coordinator (DAC).
  • Address personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students in the school or classroom setting.
  • The principal, superintendent or the principal’s or superintendent’s designee shall lead or supervise the thorough investigation of all reports of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination, and ensure that such investigation is completed promptly after receipt of any written reports. When an investigation verifies a material incident of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination, the superintendent, principal or designee shall take prompt action, reasonably calculated to end the harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, eliminate any hostile environment, create a more positive school culture and climate, prevent the recurrence of the behavior and ensure the safety of the student or students against whom such behavior was directed. 
  • The principal, superintendent, or their designee shall notify promptly the appropriate local law enforcement agency when it is believed that any harassment, bullying or discrimination constitutes criminal conduct. 
  • The principal shall provide a regular report, at least once during each school year, on data and trends related to harassment, bullying and/or discrimination to the superintendent.
  • Collect and report data on the implementation of the Code of Conduct, including but not limited to, data on the use of in-school and out-of-school suspension by student demographic characteristics.
  • Ensure that students and staff have the opportunity to communicate regularly with the school administration and approach the administration for redress of grievances.
  • Evaluate on a regular basis all instructional programs.
  • Set the expectation for all students and staff that inappropriate conduct will not be tolerated in school.
  • Report and document violations of the Code of Conduct as per policy and procedures.
  • Protect the legal rights of school staff, principals, students and parents or guardians.
  • Provide a broad-based and varied curriculum to meet individual school needs.
  • Ensure the protection of legal rights of students with disabilities.
  • Provide staff training to meet the needs of students.
     
  • Support a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity or sex, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn.
  • Confront issues of discrimination and harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any student, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a school function.
  • Report, respond to and document violations as per policy and procedures.
  • The principal, superintendent or the principal’s or superintendent’s designee shall lead or supervise the thorough investigation of all reports of harassment, bullying and/ or discrimination and ensure that such investigation is completed promptly after receipt of any written reports. When an investigation verifies a material incident of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination, the superintendent, principal or designee shall take prompt action, reasonably calculated to end the harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, eliminate any hostile environment, create a more positive school culture and climate, prevent the recurrence of the behavior and ensure the safety of the student or students against whom such behavior was directed.
  • The principal, superintendent or their designee shall promptly notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency when it is believed that any harassment, bullying or discrimination constitutes criminal conduct.
  • Confront issues of discrimination and harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any student, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a school function.
  • Report and document violations as per policy and procedures.
  • Maintain confidentiality in conformity with state and federal law.
  • Promote a safe, orderly and stimulating school environment, supporting active teaching and learning.
  • Review with district administrators the policies of the Board of Education and state and federal laws relating to school operations and management.
  • Inform the board about educational trends relating to student discipline.
  • Work to create instructional programs that minimize problems of misconduct and are sensitive to student and teacher needs.
  • Work with district administrators in enforcing the Code of Conduct and ensuring that all cases are resolved promptly and fairly.
  • Inform the community, students, parents or guardians, school staff, principals and school board about board policies and educational trends, including student discipline.
  • Address all areas of school-related safety concerns.
  • Review data on the implementation of the Code of Conduct and make recommendations on improvement when needed to reduce the use of suspensions.
  • Take appropriate measures where violations of the Code of Conduct occur.
     
  • Collaborate with student, teacher, administrator and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel to develop a Code of Conduct that clearly defines expectations for the conduct of students, district personnel and visitors on school property and at school functions.
  • Adopt and review at least annually the district’s Code of Conduct to evaluate the code’s effectiveness and the fairness and consistency of its implementation.
  • Lead by example by conducting board meetings in a professional, respectful and courteous manner.
  • Support a climate of mutual respect a dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity or sex, which will strengthen students’ self-concept
  • Confront issues of discrimination and harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any student, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a school function. Report and document violations as per policy and procedures.
  • Appoint a Dignity Act coordinator in each school building. The Dignity Act coordinator will be thoroughly trained to handle human relations and will be accessible to students and other staff members for consultation and advice related to the Dignity Act.
  • Review data and the recommendation of the superintendent on the implementation of the Code of Conduct, including, but not limited to, the use of in- and out-of-school suspensions with student demographics and implement reforms if needed.