Policy & Administrative Guidelines
- Administrative Guidelines
Section 100: Foundations
101 Interlocal Agreement
Earlywood Educational Services is a special education cooperative organized under the Indiana Interlocal Cooperation Act in partnership with Edinburgh Community Schools, Franklin Community School Corporation, Greenwood Community School Corporation, NinevehHensley-Jackson United School Corporation, Flat Rock- Hawcreek School Corporation, and Southwestern Shelby Consolidated School District. Earlywood was organized to support the schools in meeting their obligations to identify and provide appropriate educational services to students with disabilities within the member districts under Indiana’s Article 7 and the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
102 Comprehensive Plan
Earlywood Educational Services shall develop a Comprehensive Plan which describes the special education programs provided in cooperation within the member districts. The Comprehensive Plan will be presented and approved by the Governing Board annually.
Series 200: Governing Board
The governing body of this cooperative shall be known officially as the Governing Board of Earlywood Educational Services.
201.2 Legal Status
Earlywood Educational Services is a separate legal entity that may contract, be contracted with may sue and be sued in its own name and capacity in any court with jurisdiction. The supervision of this Cooperative shall be conducted by the Governing Board of Earlywood Educational Services, hereinafter sometimes referred to as the “Board,” which is constituted and is governed by the laws of the State of Indiana.
Series 300: Administration
301.1 GENERAL FUNCTIONS/DUTIES: Due Process
Special Services, Johnson County and Surrounding Schools will coordinate with local school corporations to provide for the following Due Process procedures, outlined in Indiana Administrative Code.
511 IAC 7-44-1 …. Suspension/Expulsion
511 IAC 7-45-1 …. Complaints
511 IAC 7-45-2 …. Mediation
511 IAC 7-45-3 …. Due Process Hearings
511 IAC 7-45-9 …. Due Process Hearing Appeals
303.1 ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF: Qualifications
The Administrative Staff of SSJCSS shall hold a valid Special Education Director’s license or be in the process of earning a Director’s license or other administrative license awarded by the Indiana Department of Education. Extensive knowledge in the field of special education is required.
Series 400: Programs & Services
401.3 GENERAL: Caseload/Class Size Adjustment
The Governing Board of Special Services, Johnson County and Surrounding Schools recognizes that because of the state regulated referral procedures and timelines, class sizes may vary from original projections used to staff programs. Therefore, it shall be the policy of the Governing Board to review recommendations from the Executive Director concerning teachers and/or administrative requests for adjustments necessary because of fluctuations in class size or caseload.
Caseload/Class Size Adjustment procedures are located in the administrative handbook.
401.5 GENERAL: School Calendar
The Governing Board recognizes that the preparation of a calendar for the instructional program at Earlywood Education Center is necessary for orderly educational planning and for the efficient operation of the Cooperative.
The minimum number of days when the Earlywood Education Center will be in session for instructional purposes shall be in accordance with the State law.
All days lost due to snow, fire, epidemics, health conditions, etc. cannot be counted as a part of the minimum days of instruction for State aid and must be made up unless a waiver is obtained from the State Department of Education.
Series 500: Personnel
504 Employment of Professional & Support Staff
The Board recognizes that it is vital to the successful operation of the Cooperative that positions created by the Board be filled with highly qualified and competent personnel.
The Board shall approve the employment, and also, when not covered by the terms of a negotiated agreement, fix the compensation and establish the term of employment for each professional staff member employed by this Cooperative.
All applications for employment shall be referred to the Executive Director.
Relatives of Board members may be employed by the Board, provided the member of the Board involved does not participate in any way in the discussion or vote on the employment.
Should the Board choose to employ a family member as herein defined, both the family member and the Board member must file a conflict of interest statement.
Relatives of staff members may be employed by the Board, provided the staff member being employed is not placed in a position in which s/he would be supervised directly by the relative staff member.
Any professional staff member's intentional misstatement of fact or omission material to qualifications for employment or the determination of salary shall be considered by this Board to constitute grounds for dismissal.
The employment of professional staff members prior to approval by the Board is authorized when their employment is required to maintain continuity in the educational program. Employment shall be recommended to the Board at the next regular meeting.
Wherever possible, positions shall be filled by properly-licensed professionals.
When appropriate, no candidate for employment as a professional staff member shall receive recommendation for such employment without having proffered visual evidence of his/her certification or pending application for certification. Such certification must indicate all of the areas in which the candidate has been certified. No deletions are acceptable.
The Executive Director shall prepare Administrative Guidelines for the recruitment and selection of all professional staff.
506 Employment Contracts with Professional Employees
The Board requires that each employee it employs in a certificated position sign a Regular Teacher's Contract, a Related Services Contract, a Supplemental Service Teacher's Contract, or a Temporary Teacher’s Contract using the form contract promulgated by the Executive Director of Public Instruction pursuant to I.C. 20-28-6-3, unless the teacher is taking a leave of absence or has been employed to serve in the absence of a teacher who is taking a leave of absence.
Contracts employing professional employees shall be approved by a majority of the full Board and shall be signed by the professional employee and the President and Secretary of the Board in compliance with I.C. 20-28-6-5 and I.C. 20-26-4-8. In the absence of either the President or Secretary of the Board, the Vice President shall sign the contracts with the Board officer who is present.
A contract between the Board and a teacher is void if the teacher, at the time of signing the contract, is bound by a previous contract to teach in a public school and the contract is entered into at any time during the school year or less than fourteen (14) days before the day on which the teacher must report for work. Provided, however, that the Board may offer another contract to the teacher that will be effective if the teacher:
A. furnishes the principal a release by the first employer; or
B. shows proof that thirty (30) days’ written notice was delivered by the teacher to the first employer.
A teacher who has entered into a contract with the Board must provide thirty (30) days’ written notice if s/he takes a teaching job with another school district or cooperative after the school year has started or less than fourteen (14) days before the day on which the teacher must report for work.
Series 600: Students
The Governing Board, as an agency of the State, is required to enforce regular attendance of students. The Board recognizes that their presence in the classroom enables the student to participate in instruction, class discussions, and other related activities. As such, regular attendance and classroom participation are integral to instilling incentives for the student to excel.
Attendance shall be required of all Cooperative students, except those exempted by other provisions of State law, during the days and hours that the school is in session.
The Principal of the New Connections Program at Earlywood Education Center may require, from the parent of each student or from an adult student who has been absent for any reason, a written statement of the cause for such absence. The Board reserves the right to verify such statements and to investigate the cause of each:
A. single absence;
B. prolonged absence;
C. absence of more than two (2) days duration; and
D. repeated unexplained absence and tardiness.
An out of school suspension is an excused absence.
An unexcused absence is an absence from school not authorized by School Cooperative rule and is in violation of Indiana Code.
The Board considers the following factors to be reasonable excuses for time missed at school:
B. recovery from accident;
C. professional appointments;
D. death in the immediate family; and
E. observation or celebration of a bona fide religious holiday
Attendance need not always be within the school facilities, but a student will be considered to be in attendance if present at any place where school is in session by authority of the Board.
The Executive Director shall develop administrative guidelines for the attendance of students which:
A. ensure a school session which is in conformity with the requirements of the law;
B. ensure that students absent for any excusable reason have an opportunity to make up work they missed; and
C. govern the keeping of attendance records in accordance with the rules of the State Board;
Such guidelines should provide that a student's grade in any course is based on his/her performance in the instructional setting and is not reduced for reasons of conduct. If a student violates the attendance or other rules of the school, s/he should be disciplined appropriately for the misconduct, but his/her grades should be based upon what the student can demonstrate s/he has learned.
The Executive Director shall ensure that the administrative guidelines on attendance properly address the matter of truancy by including a process which:
A. considers, when appropriate, modification of his/her educational program to meet particular needs which may be causing the truancy; and
B. ensures that truant students are disciplined in accordance with the Cooperative's policies and administrative guidelines on student discipline;
The Executive Director shall also ensure that the Board's policy on attendance and the Cooperative's administrative guidelines are made available to all parents and adult students.
601.2 GENERAL: Dress and Grooming
The Governing Board recognizes that each student's mode of dress and grooming is a manifestation of personal style and individual preference. The Board will not interfere with the right of students and their parents to make decisions regarding their appearance, except when their choices interfere with the educational program of the schools.
Accordingly, the Executive Director shall establish such grooming guidelines as are necessary to promote discipline, maintain order, secure the safety of students, and provide a healthy environment conducive to academic purposes. (See Student Handbook)
The Executive Director may develop administrative guidelines to implement this policy which:
A. designate the principal as the arbiter of student dress and grooming in his/her building; and
B. invite the participation of staff, parents, and students in the preparation of a dress code.
601.5 GENERAL: Reporting Student Progress
The Governing Board believes that cooperation between school and home is a vital ingredient to the growth and education of the whole child. It recognizes its responsibility to keep parents informed of student welfare and progress in school.
Special education law stipulates that the periodic reports on the progress the student is making towards meeting the annual goals will be provided concurrent with the issuance of report cards.
The Executive Director monitors the system of reporting student progress which shall include written reports, parent conferences with teachers, and shall require all appropriate staff members to comply with such a system as part of their professional responsibility.
The Executive Director, in conjunction with appropriate staff members, shall develop administrative guidelines for reporting student progress to parents which:
A. ensure that both student and parent receive ample warning of a pending grade of "failure" or one that would adversely affect the student's status;
B. enable the scheduling of parent-teacher conferences at such times and in such places as will ensure the greatest degree of participation by parents; and
C. ensure a continual review and improvement of methods of reporting student progress to parents.
601.8 GENERAL: Video Surveillance Cameras on School Property or Buses
The Governing Board authorizes the use of video surveillance and electronic monitoring equipment at Earlywood Education Center and on school buses. The video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment shall be used to protect Board property and assets from theft and vandalism, through deterrence and video documentation. The system is not designed nor intended to protect individuals from being victims of violent or property crimes, nor to detect other potentially illegal and undesirable activities that may occur, although such information may be used as evidence in such cases.
The monitoring of actions and behavior of individuals who come onto school property is a significant factor in maintaining order and discipline and protecting students, staff, visitors, and school and student property. Video surveillance/electronic monitoring systems serve to complement other means being employed in the Cooperative to promote and foster a safe and secure teaching and learning environment for students and staff. The Board recognizes that the use of a video surveillance/electronic monitoring system does not replace the need for the ongoing vigilance of the school staff assigned by the building principal to monitor and supervise the school building. Rather, the video surveillance/electronic monitoring systems serve as an appropriate and useful tool with which to augment or support the in-person supervision provided by staff. The building principal is responsible for verifying that due diligence is observed in maintaining general campus security.
The Executive Director is responsible for approving where and when to install and operate fixed-location video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment at Earlywood Education Center and in the Cooperative’s school buses. The determination of where and when to use video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment will be made in a nondiscriminatory manner. Video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment may be placed in common areas in school buildings (e.g., school hallways, entryways, the front office where students, employees and visitors are permitted to freely come and go, gymnasiums, cafeterias, libraries), the school parking lots and other outside areas, and in school buses. Any person who takes action to block, move, or alter the location and/or viewing angle of a video camera shall be subject to disciplinary action.
Legible and visible signs shall be placed at the main entrance to buildings and in the areas where video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment is in use. Signs shall be reasonably designed to notify people that their actions and/or behavior are being monitored/recorded. Additionally, the Executive Director is directed to annually notify parents and students via school newsletters and the Student Handbook, and staff via the Staff Handbook, of the use of video surveillance/electronic monitoring systems in their schools.
Any information obtained from video surveillance/electronic monitoring systems may only be used to support the orderly operation of the school and buses, and for law enforcement, student discipline and employee discipline purposes, and not for any other purposes. As such, recordings obtained through the use of video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment may be used as evidence in any disciplinary proceedings, administrative proceeding or criminal proceeding, subject to Board policy and regulations. Furthermore, such recordings may become a part of a student's education record or staff member's personnel file.
Ordinarily video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment will not be used to make an audio recording of conversation occurring on school grounds or property.
The Board will not use video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment to obtain information for the purpose of routine staff appraisal/evaluation or monitoring.
Recordings of students will be treated as confidential, to the extent allowed by law. Copies of video recordings containing personally identifiable information about students shall not be released except as required or authorized by law. Parents or guardians of minor students, and students who are eighteen (18) years of age or older, who are charged with disciplinary violations, may view relevant portions of any video recording related to the charge upon written request to the building principal. Likewise, school personnel may view relevant portions of any video relating to any disciplinary charge against them, upon written request to the building principal, provided that viewing the recording does not violate State and/or Federal law. Absent a clear legal obligation, confidential recordings will only be released through subpoena or court order.
The Board shall maintain video surveillance/electronic monitoring recordings for a limited period. Any request to view a recording under this policy must be made within seven (7) days of the event/incident. Unless an investigation is being conducted, recordings shall be destroyed after seven (7) days. If, however, action is taken by the Board/administration, as a result of a formal complaint or incident, recordings shall be kept for a minimum of one (1) year from the date of the action taken. Recordings may also be kept beyond the normal retention period if they are going to be utilized for training purposes.
This policy does not address or cover instances where school officials record a specific event (e.g., a play, music performance, athletic contest, graduation, or Board meeting), or an isolated instance where a classroom is videotaped for educational or research purposes. Authorized videotaping for educational, instructional and/or research purposes is permitted and is not addressed by this policy.
The Executive Director is responsible for developing administrative guidelines that address the use of video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment in school buildings, school buses and on property owned and/or operated by the Board.
Video surveillance is to be implemented in accordance with this policy and the related guidelines. The Board will not accept or tolerate the improper use of video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment and will take appropriate action in any cases of wrongful use of this policy.
601.10 GENERAL: Withdrawal from School – Exit Interview
Under Indiana law, any student who is at least sixteen (16) years of age but is not yet eighteen (18) years of age, may withdraw from school prior to graduation after an exit interview with the student's parent or guardian and the student's principal is conducted with the appropriate school employee. Consent of the withdrawal by all three parties is required. A student may not withdraw from school unless the
withdrawal is due to 1) financial hardship and the student must be employed in order to support the family; 2) the student’s illness; or 3) an order of a court with jurisdiction over the student.
The Board of School Trustees for each School Corporation in the SSJCSS Cooperative have designated school personnel to conduct the exit interview of a student enrolled at the specified school who wishes to withdraw from school. In most cases this designated person will be the Principal or Assistant Principal of the student’s home school.*
* It is permissible for the principal to conduct the exit interview without the presence of another designated employee.
601.11 GENERAL: Transportation
Transportation will be provided by the student’s local school corporation in accordance with the student’s IEP. Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis, depending on the needs of the student.
Busses and cars are required to deposit students at the designated doors of the Earlywood Education Center at the designated times determined by the New Connections Program administration.
601.12 GENERAL: Home School Corporation
All students are members of their home school corporations and, to the extent possible, receive direct and support special education services in their home school district.
The individual school corporations have adopted Board Policies and Student Handbooks to guide educational service delivery in each school corporation.
It is the policy of Special Services that all local school corporation policies be followed, in addition to the state and federal special education standards and procedures.
601.13 GENERAL: Care of School Property
Basic to the philosophy of the Governing Board is a respect for the rights of others. Students are urged to exercise this respect in regard to the belongings of others, including school property. Each student should realize that vandalism to school property is costly to repair and is directly related to increased school taxes.
Attempts should be made to teach students respect for property which can be done in connection with the care of textbooks and the use of school materials and equipment.
Students who cause damage to school property shall be subject to disciplinary measures and restitution for damages.
The Board authorizes the imposition of assessment to cover the costs for the loss, damage, or destruction of school equipment, apparatus, musical instruments, library materials, textbooks, and for damage to school buildings.
The Executive Director shall report all incidents involving the destruction of property to the Board. The Executive Director or his/her designee may report to the juvenile authorities any student whose damage of school property has been serious or chronic in nature.
601.14 GENERAL: Student Complaints
The Governing Board recognizes that, as citizens, students have the right to request redress of complaints. Furthermore, the Board believes that the inculcation of respect for lawful procedures is an important part of the educational process. Accordingly, individual and group complaints should be provided for and appropriate appeal procedures implemented.
For purposes of this policy, a student complaint or concern shall be any such that arises out of actions, procedures, and policies of this Board or its employees or the lack of such policy or procedure.
The Board or its employees will hear the complaints of the students of this Cooperative provided that such complaints and grievances are made according to the procedures established by the Executive Director and Indiana law.
602 Behavior and Discipline
602.1 BEHAVIOR AND DISCIPLINE: Drug Prevention
The Governing Board recognizes that the misuse of drugs is a serious problem with legal, physical, and social implications for the entire school community.
Schools should strive to prevent drug abuse and help drug abusers through educational, rather than punitive means.
For purposes of this policy, "drugs" shall mean:
A. all dangerous controlled substances so designated and prohibited by Indiana statute;
B. all chemicals which release toxic vapors;
C. all alcoholic beverages;
D. tobacco and tobacco products;
E. any prescription or patent drug, except those for which permission to use in school has been granted pursuant to Board policy;
F. anabolic steroids;
G. any "look-alike" substances; or
H. any other illegal substances so designated and prohibited by law
The Board prohibits the use, possession, concealment, or distribution of any drug and any drug-related paraphernalia at any time on school property or at any school-related event.
The Executive Director shall prepare guidelines for the identification and regulation of drug use in the schools. Such guidelines shall:
A. emphasize the prevention of drug use;
B. provide for a comprehensive, age-appropriate, developmentally-based drug and alcohol education and prevention program which:
1. addresses the legal, social, psychological, and health consequences of drug and alcohol use;
2. provides information about effective techniques for resisting peer pressure to use illicit drugs and alcohol;
3. assists students to develop skills to make responsible decisions about substance abuse and other important health issues;
4. promotes positive emotional health, self-esteem, and respect for one's body; and
5.meets the minimal objectives as stated in the essential performance objectives for health education as established by the State's Department of Education
C. include a statement to students that the use of illicit drugs, and the unlawful possession and use of alcohol, is wrong and harmful;
D. promote standards of conduct that are applicable to all students which clearly prohibit, at a minimum, the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students on school premises or as a part of any school activity; and
E. include a clear statement that disciplinary sanctions, up to and including expulsion and referral for prosecution, will be imposed on students who violate the school standards of conduct and a description of those sanctions.
These sanctions may include, together with punitive action, voluntary referral to appropriate persons or agencies for screening and assessment. Such referral may only be made to qualified and properly licensed individuals or programs.
The Executive Director shall establish administrative guidelines necessary to implement this policy.
Procedures for the administration of this policy can be found in the student handbook.
602.3 BEHAVIOR AND DISCIPLINE: Student Conduct
Respect for law and for those persons in authority shall be expected of all students. This includes conformity to school rules as well as general provisions of law regarding minors. Respect for the rights of others, consideration of their privileges, and cooperative citizenship shall also be expected of all members of the school community.
Respect for real and personal property, pride in one's work, achievement within the range of one's ability, and exemplary personal standards of courtesy, decency, and honesty shall be maintained in the schools of this Cooperative.
The Principal of the New Connections Program at Earlywood Education Center shall establish procedures to carry out Board policy and philosophy, and shall hold all school personnel, students, and parents responsible for the conduct of students in schools and on school vehicles.
Student conduct shall be governed by the rules and provisions of the Student Code of Conduct.
602.3.1 BEHAVIOR AND DISCIPLINE: Disorderly Conduct
It is the purpose of the Governing Board, acting within the intent and letter of the law of this State, to provide instruction for students at public expense. Any act of any person(s) to interfere with, or to thwart, that purpose is unlawful or is in violation of Board policy. Therefore, actions by a student(s) to interfere materially or substantially with the operations of the School Cooperative by defacing or destroying school property, by rioting, breaking-in, sitting-in, lying-in, smashing-in, or picketing to force students not to cross picket lines are illegal. Students who engage in such activities may be punished to the full extent of the law, Board policies, and Cooperative administrative guidelines.
For the purposes of this policy, the term "disorderly conduct" shall mean any unlawful student assemblage; or group act of violence, disruption, vandalism, or building seizure; or interference with the functioning of school personnel or any student or group of students.
602.6 BEHAVIOR AND DISCIPLINE: Suspension and Expulsion
The Governing Board recognizes that removal from educational programs, whether by suspension or expulsion, is the most severe sanction that can be imposed on a student and one that cannot be imposed without due process because removal deprives a child of the right to an education.
A Student Handbook, approved by the Board, shall specify behavior expectations for students attending the New Connections Program at Earlywood Education Center. When a student has engaged in activity that would warrant suspension or expulsion, the Principal of the New Connections Program at Earlywood Education Center will contact the administrator of the student’s home school. Local due process procedures will be implemented at that time.
Series 700: Fiscal Management
701 Fiscal Planning
The Board shall collect and assemble the information necessary to discharge its responsibility for the fiscal management of the Cooperative and to plan for the financial needs of the educational program. The Board will strive to maintain both short and long range projections of the Cooperative’s financial requirements.
Accordingly, the Board directs the Executive Director to:
A. Include cost estimates of all ongoing financial requirements;
B. Prepare a long range year-by-year plan for the maintenance and replacement of facilities and equipment;
C. Maintain a plan of anticipated local, State, and Federal revenues,
D. Report to the Board any serious financial implications that emerge from the Cooperative’s ongoing fiscal planning.
In addition, the Board directs the Executive Director to maintain annually a detailed three (3) year forecast of estimated expenditures and revenues of the Operations Fund.
702 Budget Preparation
Each year, the Board will have prepared and then review and approve the budget of the Cooperative.
The Board, by resolution, may establish a "rainy day fund" as a part of its budget preparation process. Transfers to the rainy day fund must be made after the last day of the Cooperative’s fiscal year and before March 1st of the subsequent calendar year. The adoption resolution must specify the purposes of the fund as well as the sources of funding for the fund. The rainy day fund is subject to the same appropriation process as other funds for which taxes are raised. The Board may not transfer more than ten percent (10%) of its annual budget for that year to its rainy day fund.
The budget shall be designed to carry out operations in a thorough and efficient manner, maintain facilities properly, and honor continuing obligations of the Board.
The proposed budget requires the critical analysis by every member of the Board prior to approval; once adopted, the budget deserves the support of all members of the Board regardless of their position before its adoption.
The Board directs the Executive Director to present the budget to the Board, along with all available information associated with each Fund, in sufficient time for proper review and discussion and in compliance with Indiana Code.
When presented to the Board for review and/or adoption, the proposed Budget shall include, as appropriate:
A. The proposed expenditure in each financial category for the ensuing year;
B. The anticipated expenditure in each financial category for the current year;
C. The actual expenditure and the approved budget in each financial category for the previous year;
D. An explanation of each item of expense proposed for the ensuing year;
E. The sources and amounts of anticipated revenues;
F. The anticipated cash balance at the end of the current year;
G. An appropriations resolution
Series 800: Operations
801 Management & Maintenance of Property
801.9 : Management & Maintenance of Property: Use of School Facilities
The Governing Board believes that the facilities of this Cooperative should be made available for community purposes, provided that such use does not infringe on the original and necessary purpose of the property or interfere with the educational program of the facility.
The Board will permit the use of Cooperative facilities when such permission has been requested in writing by a responsible organization or a group of citizens and has been approved by the Executive Director.
Cooperative facilities shall be available for the below-listed uses:
A. use directly related to the facility and the operations of the facility
B. use by not-for profit organizations providing child care programs which meet the State requirements and additional conditions established by Board policies and the Executive Director’s guidelines
C. use by groups indirectly related to the facility
D. use for meetings of employee associations
E. use for voter registration and elections
F. use by departments or agencies of the municipal government
G. use by other governmental agencies
H. use by community organizations or groups of individuals formed for charitable, civic, social, educational, political, religious, recreational purposes, and commercial or profit-making organizations but not for profit-making purposes
I. use by commercial or profit making organizations or individuals offering services for profit
J. use by a religious group may be approved by the Board on a temporary basis. Church groups may not rent school facilities for a period of more than one (1) year.
K. If an extension beyond the one (1) year is requested, evidence of significant progress on a new building must be presented to the Governing Board. An extension of rental time may be granted upon evidence of need and progress.
Should all or any part of the Cooperative’s community be struck by a disaster, the Board shall make Cooperative grounds and/or facilities available, no charge, for sheltering victims or potential victims when requested by local, State, or Federal authorities. The Executive Director should meet with the Johnson Co. Emergency Management Director to establish a disaster preparedness plan to ensure that proper procedures are established to minimize confusion, inefficiency, and disruption of the educational program.
The Executive Director shall develop administrative guidelines for the granting of permission to use Cooperative facilities including a schedule of fees. Such guidelines are to include the following:
A. Each user may be required to present evidence of the purchase of organizational liability insurance to the limit prescribed by Cooperative guidelines.
B. Use of the facility equipment in conjunction with the use of Cooperative facilities must be requested specifically in writing, and may be granted by the procedure by which permission to use facilities is granted. The users of facility equipment must accept liability for any damage or loss to such equipment that occurs while it is in their use or a consequence of use. Where guidelines so specify, no item of equipment may be used except by a qualified operator.
C. Users shall be liable financially for damage to the facilities and for proper chaperonage of participants or other individuals associated with the usage.
No liability shall attach to this Cooperative, any employee, officer, or member of this Cooperative specifically as a consequence of permitting access to these facilities.
802.1: Transportation: Transportation
It is the policy of the Governing Board to provide transportation for those students whose distance from their school makes this service necessary. The regulations of the State Department of Education shall govern any question not covered by this policy.
School buses shall be purchased, housed, and maintained by the Cooperative for the transportation of resident students between their home areas and the schools to which they are assigned. Smoking is prohibited on a school bus. A school bus is a motor vehicle that is designed and constructed for the accommodation of at least ten (10) passengers and used for the transportation of school children to and from school, school athletic games or contests, and other school functions. The term "school bus" does not include a privately owned automobile with a capacity of not more than five (5) passengers that is used for the purpose of transporting school children to and from school.
A special purpose bus is any motor vehicle designed and constructed for the accommodation of more than ten (10) passengers that meets the Federal school bus safety standards, except the requirement for stop arms and flashing lights, that are used by the Cooperative for transportation purposes not appropriate for school buses.
A special purpose bus may not be used to provide regular transportation of school children (except for persons enrolled in a special program for the habilitation or rehabilitation of developmentally disabled or physically disabled persons) between their residence and the school.
A special purpose bus may be used to transport students and their supervisors, including coaches, managers, and sponsors to athletic, other extracurricular school activities, and field trips.
If the special purpose bus will be used to transport less than sixteen (16) passengers, the operator must hold a valid operator’s, chauffeurs, commercial drivers, or public passenger chauffeur’s license. If the special purpose bus is used to transport more than fifteen (15) passengers, the operator must meet the requirements of a regular school bus driver.
A special purpose bus is not required to be constructed, equipped, or painted as specified for a regular school bus.
Transportation of eligible vocational or special education children between their home areas and schools outside the Cooperative shall be arranged through the use of Cooperative-owned vehicles, through cooperation with other Cooperatives, through commercial carriers, and/or by other means in the most efficient and economical manner.
The Board shall provide transportation to non-public school students with legal settlement in the Cooperative when seats are available on a bus on an existing route. This transportation shall be provided without charge when the Board does not incur additional expense, and shall be to and from the students’ non-public school or the point on an established bus route that is nearest or most easily accessible to the non-public school.
Vehicle routes shall be established so that an authorized vehicle stop is available within reasonable walking distance of the home of every resident student entitled to transportation services.
The Board authorizes the installation and use of video recording devices in the school buses to assist the drivers in providing for the safety and well-being of the students while on a bus.
The Executive Director shall be responsible for developing and implementing appropriate administrative guidelines for this policy.
802.2: Transportation: Non-School Use of Cooperative Vehicles
The use of special purpose busses for non-school use is not authorized by the Governing Board.
802.3: Transportation: Transportation by Private Vehicle
The Governing Board authorizes the transportation by private vehicle of students of the Cooperative.
Any such transportation must be approved in advance and in writing by the school principal in accordance with the Executive Director's administrative guidelines.
The parent of the participating student will be given, on request, the name of the driver and the description of the vehicle.
Persons transporting students in a private vehicle shall be approved by the Executive Director or his/her designee and be the holder of a currently valid license to operate a motor vehicle in the State of Indiana.
No person shall be permitted to transport students who is not the holder of automobile liability and personal injury insurance in the amount required by law. The Board may withdraw the authorization of any private vehicle driver.
The responsibility of professional staff members for the discipline and control of students will extend to their transportation of students in a private vehicle. Drivers who are not professional staff members are requested to report student misconduct to the principal.
802.4: Transportation: Transportation for Field and Other Cooperative-Sponsored Trips
It shall be the policy of the Governing Board to use regular or special-purpose, school vehicles for transportation on field and other Cooperative-sponsored trips.
The transportation for all field and other Cooperative-sponsored trips is to be by vehicles owned or approved by the Cooperative and driven by approved drivers. Exceptions must have the approval of the Executive Director.
Transportation may be limited by the availability of vehicles, drivers, and scheduling and will not be available when needed for general school purposes.
All field trips shall be supervised by members of the staff. All other Cooperative-sponsored trips shall be supervised by either staff members or adults from the sponsoring organization. Any time students are on the vehicle, at least one (1) sponsor, chaperone, or staff member is expected to ride in the vehicle as well as to supervise students upon return to the Cooperative and while they are waiting for rides home.
All students are expected to ride the approved vehicle to and from each activity. A special request must be made to the staff member or sponsor by the parent, in writing or in person, to allow an exception.
Cooperative students not affiliated with the trip activity, non-Cooperative students, and/or children of preschool age shall not be permitted to ride on the trip vehicle.
No student is allowed to drive on any trip. An exception may be made by the principal on an individual basis provided the student has written parental permission and does not transport any other student.
The Executive Director shall prepare administrative guidelines to ensure that all transportation is in compliance with Board policy on use of Cooperative vehicles and/or use of private vehicles.
Series 900: Miscellaneous
900.4 MISCELLANEOUS: Educational Surrogate Parent
The school corporations that participate in the Special Services Cooperative have policies to ensure that a pool of educational surrogate parents is available so that an educational surrogate parent may be appointed, when necessary, to protect the rights of students with disabilities. An educational surrogate parent shall be appointed when the student's parent(s) are unknown; when, after reasonable efforts, the student's parent(s) cannot be located; when the student is a ward of the State of Indiana; or when the student is homeless and not in the physical custody of a parent. The educational surrogate parent may represent the student in all matters relating to the identification, evaluation, eligibility, educational placement, and provision of a free appropriate public education.
Any person assigned as an educational surrogate parent shall not be an employee of a public or private agency involved in the education or care of the student, or have any interest that conflicts with the student. The educational surrogate parent shall match the student's cultural and linguistic background to the extent possible and shall possess the knowledge and skills necessary to adequately represent the student.
901.1 MISCELLANEOUS: Advertising in Schools
The Governing Board recognizes that business and cultural organizations make available for public use much information which is of great value in advancing student education. Much of this information is not available through other sources.
The Board also is aware, however, that schools are public institutions fully supported by taxes, and have a clear duty to protect students and their families from exploitation by private interests.
Drawing a definite line between what is acceptable for school use and what in not acceptable is impossible. Obviously, each situation must have individual consideration, and the judgment of responsible school officials must be the decisive factor.
The objectives of this policy are to:
A. provide for the use in the school informational materials from private sources which tends to strengthen the curriculum and benefit the students;
B. protect both students and their families from exploitation by commercial, organizations, and cultural interests;
C. encourage that as many Cooperative activities and programs may benefit from any proceeds received from advertising.
It is the policy of the Board that the facilities, the staff, or the students of the Special Services Cooperative will not be used in any manner to advertise or promote, cultural, organizational or other non-school interest except that the Cooperative may:
A. utilize films and other instructional aids furnished by private sources when the advertising content is reasonable in the judgment of the Executive Director and the principal of the school involved;
B. cooperate through announcements and distribution of program materials with the community organizations that supplement the school program, such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YMCA, YWCA, et al., when such cooperation will not interfere with the school program;
C. permit participation on a student option basis in essay, art, science, and similar contests sponsored by the outside interests when such activities parallel the curriculum and contribute to the educational program;
D. release promotional materials for non-school athletic and cultural events only through appropriate school departments;
E. accept, but not actively solicit, limited advertising on extra-curricular activity schedules and programs at the discretion of the principal of the school involved;
F. permit other exceptions when, in the judgment of the Executive Director, students of the Cooperative will benefit. The Executive Director may, at his/her options, refer cases to the Board for decision.
Governing Board Responsibility
It is the responsibility of the Board to consider and decide all cases involving advertising referred to it by the Executive Director. All contracts for advertising will be reviewed and approved by the Board prior to their execution.
It is the responsibility of the administration to:
A. evaluate and approve or disapprove all requests from the school professional staff and from outside interests for use in the school materials or programs involving advertising;
B. Refer to the Board all materials involving advertising, the use of which in the schools require Board approval in the judgment of the Executive Director.
This policy will be communicated to:
A. teachers of the Cooperative;
B. all members of the administrative staff involved in the implementing the policy;
C. interested business or cultural organizations that desire to have their materials used in schools;
D. all interested parties.