The district is required by state and federal law to make available a series of policies, reports, and notifications.
They are posted here:
Annual Fire Inspection Report
Notice is hereby given that the annual inspection of the Florida Union Free School District for fire hazards that might endanger the lives of students, teachers, employees therein, has been completed and the report is available at the office of Florida Union Free School District, 51 North Main Street, P.O. Drawer 757, Florida, NY 10921-0757 for inspection by all interested persons.
Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR)
New York State Education Law requires each classroom teacher and school principal to receive an annual professional performance review (APPR) that results in a composite effectiveness score and rating. Education Law Section 3012-d prohibits the disclosure of annual professional performance reviews of individual teachers and principals under the Freedom of Information Law (Article 6 of the Public Officers Law).
While this information is not subject to disclosure to the general public, parents and legal guardians of students in the District have rights, upon request, to review and receive the final quality rating (i.e. Highly Effective, Effective, Developing or Ineffective) of individual teachers and principals to which their children have been assigned for the current school year.
Parents and legal guardians may review and receive this information by mail, or in person.
Upon request a parent or legal guardian shall be entitled to receive an oral or written explanation of the final quality ratings; and be offered opportunities to understand such ratings in the context of teacher evaluation and student performance.
The District has a legal obligation to make reasonable efforts to verify that any such request is a bona fide request by a parent or guardian entitled to review and receive such data pursuant to this paragraph. Consequently, we have created a form to be utilized when a parent or legal guardian requests information regarding their child’s current teacher(s) and building principal.
This form should be used to request information. It is also available at the Florida UFSD Central Administration Office. More information is available from Dana Castine.
Asbestos Management Plan
As required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Florida Union Free School District maintains asbestos management plans for district buildings. The plans are on file in each principal’s office and collectively at the district office and are available for review during normal business hours. As required, periodic surveillance are conducted every six months. For more information, contact the district office at (845) 651-3095.
Being present in school is essential for students to make academic progress. The objective of the district’s comprehensive attendance policy is to promote student attendance and identify the process used to address issues related to unexcused absences, incidents of tardiness and early departures. The district utilizes a variety of strategies to encourage student attendance, including sharing information with students and families, celebrating exemplary attendance, family outreach and imposing sanctions when needed. Communication about attendance expectations and addressing attendance issues is an important part of the policy.
School principals work with staff members to regularly review student attendance and develop building and individual plans to address any issues in partnership with students and families.
Body Mass Index
New York state requires schools to track each student’s body mass index (BMI) and weight status category as part of school health examinations. Every year, the New York State Department of Health surveys some schools for the number of students in each of six possible weight status categories. If Florida Union Free School District is surveyed by the state, the district will share summary group data only and will not share individual names or information. Parents/guardians who wish to exclude their child’s data from the summary group calculations must contact the district office at (845) 651-3095.
Child Abuse Hotline
If you suspect a child is being abused or maltreated (neglected), report it by calling 1-800-342-3720, a toll-free 24-hour hotline operated by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. If you believe a child is in immediate danger, call 911 or your local police department. Information about reporting child abuse and maltreatment (neglect) is available online at http://ocfs.ny.gov/main/cps/. Questions may be directed to the Office of Student Support Services at StudentSupportServices@nysed.gov or by calling (518) 486-6090.
Code of Conduct
The Safe Schools Against Violence in Education Act, which was passed into law in July 2000 for implementation in July 2001, requires all school districts in New York State to prepare a Code of Conduct for the maintenance of order on school property and at school functions.
Please familiarize yourself with the various aspects of our Code of Conduct. We will appreciate your understanding and support of this Code and all of our efforts to make our schools a safer and better place to be.
Data Privacy, Security, Breach and Notification Policy
In line with the New York State Education Law 2-D regulations, the Florida Union Free School District utilizes a database of approved applications and software. These have been approved on a basis of stringent policies regarding access to and maintenance of student personally identifiable data.
Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)
It is the policy of the State of New York, as set for in the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) as well as federal civil rights statutes, including Titles IV, VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 or the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and all subsequent amendments, to afford all students in public schools an environment free from harassment, bullying, (including cyber bullying) and discrimination as well as to foster civility in public schools. The Dignity Act focuses on the prevention of discriminatory behaviors, including harassment/bullying, through the promotion of educational measures meant to positively impact school culture and climate. For more info, visit our Code of Conduct here.
Disclosure to the Military
Pursuant to federal law, Florida Union Free School District must disclose to military recruiters, upon request, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of high school students. Parents/guardians or students age 18 or older who do not want this information released to military recruiters should contact district office at (845) 651-3095.
District-Wide School Safety Plan
Emergencies and violent incidents in school districts are critical issues that must be addressed in an expeditious and effective manner. School districts are required to develop a District-Wide School Safety Plan designed to prevent or minimize the effects of serious violent incidents and emergencies and to facilitate the coordination of the district with local and county resources in the event of such incidents or emergencies. The Florida UFSD District-Wide Safety Plan is responsive to the needs of all schools within the district and is consistent with the more detailed Emergency Management Operations Plan required at the school building level. For more information, read our District-wide school safety plan.
Also read our Public Health Emergency Pandemic Planning Appendix.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) provides parents/guardians and students who are 18 years of age or older (known as “eligible students”) with certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. Parents/guardians and eligible students have the right to:
- Inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day a request for access is received by the school. These requests should be submitted to the child’s school principal.
- Request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent/guardian or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights;
- Provide written consent before the school discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent as outlined below;
- File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the district to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202.
Requests for records accessible under the Freedom of Information Law may be made by regular mail, fax or electronic mail. For an electronic version of the FOIL request form, please contact Howard Cohen, Records Access Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Free and Reduced-Price Meals
Free and reduced-price meals are available to children whose families meet Federal guidelines. A new application must be submitted each year, but only one application is necessary for each household.
Applications and Letter to Parents about the program can be downloaded here and have been mailed to all student families:
- Application for Free and Reduced-Price Meals (English / Spanish)
- Letter to Parents (English / Spanish)
Grade Promotion and Placement Policy
Decisions about student promotion and placement are at the discretion of their school building principal. These decisions are guided by recommendations of teachers and staff members, past academic performance, and parent/guardian input. Past academic performance refers to a variety of indicators of student achievement and growth. Promotion and placement decisions are not based solely on student performance on New York state assessments in grades 3-8 English language arts or mathematics. The district’s promotion and placement policy was adopted by the board of education following a review by the district administration.
Health Information Privacy
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule both apply to records that are maintained on students in districts. FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of students’ “education records” and applies to virtually all public schools and school districts. HIPAA established national standards and requirements for electronic health care transactions and protects the privacy and security of student health information.
Homeless Student Policy
The New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students, NYS-TEACHS, provides materials on its website that schools can use to provide information about educational services for homeless students.
Idling School Buses on School Grounds
State law requires school districts to take steps to minimize the idling of the engines of school buses and other school vehicles on school grounds. While students are boarding and departing school buses, the engine should be turned off. Students should be instructed about the importance of getting on and off buses in an orderly and efficient fashion to minimize loading and offloading time. Bus engines should also be off while parked at sporting events and other school activities. Exceptions to this “no idling” policy can be made in cases of emergency, mechanical issues or for necessary heating.
Integrated Pest Management
New York State Education Law requires schools to provide written notification to all parents/guardians and staff members regarding the potential use of pesticides periodically throughout the school year. The district maintains a list of all individuals who wish to receive 48-hour prior written notification of certain pesticide applications. If you would like to receive these 48-hour notifications of pesticide applications that are scheduled to occur, please contact the Superintendent Secretary, Helena Arena at (845) 651-3095. In the event of an emergency application necessary to protect against an imminent threat to human health, a good faith effort will be made to supply written notification to those on the 48-hour prior notification list. Some pesticide applications are not subject to notification requirements, including anti-microbial products, EPA-designated biopesticides and exempt materials, and when a school remains unoccupied for a continuous 72-hours following an application. For further information on requirements, please call (845) 651-3095.
Faucets and drinking fountains at all schools in the State are mandated to be tested for the presence of lead as outlined in a September 6, 2016 law authorized by Governor Andrew Cuomo. New State health regulations mandate that drinking water in schools throughout the State be tested to ensure that lead levels do not exceed the “action level” of 15 parts per billion.
- Notification sent to all families via email that identifies the location in the building that exceeded the level.
- Letter to Golden Hill Parents regarding test results: Required NYS Lead Notification
- Elementary School Results: Golden Hill Elementary Water Sampling Results
- Letter to S.S. Seward Parents regarding test results: Required NYS Lead Notification
- S.S. Seward Institute Results: S.S. Seward Institute Sampling Results
- Guidance Document from NYS Department of Health: Guidance Document NYS Department of Health
Nondiscrimination Policy/Equal Opportunity Policy
The Florida Union Free School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, military status, or any other protected status in its educational programs, employment or any other activities*. Further, it is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against any individual because that person filed a complaint, opposed any unlawful practice, or testified or assisted in an investigation or proceeding. Click here to read the full policy as well as the Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Regulation.
Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security
The Florida Union Free School District, in recognition of the risk of identity theft and unwarranted invasion of privacy, affirms its commitment to safeguarding student personally identifiable information (PII) in educational records from unauthorized access or disclosure in accordance with State and Federal law. To read Florida Union Free School District’s bill of rights for data privacy and security, click here
The Florida Union Free School District is required by law to maintain a list of faculty, staff, and persons in parental relation who wish to receive forty-eight (48) hour prior written notification of pesticide applications at relevant facilities.
Prohibition Against Meal Shaming
All public, non-public and charter school food authorities (SFAs) that require students to pay for a school breakfast and/or lunch meal must have a written Prohibition Against Meal Shaming plan to ensure that a student whose parent or guardian has unpaid meal charges is not shamed or treated differently than a pupil whose parent or guardian does not have unpaid school meal charges.
Release of Information to Other Schools
Upon request, the school discloses education records without consent to officials of another school or school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, or is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes of the student’s enrollment or transfer.
Release of Student Directory Information
Consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the district has designated certain categories of personally identifiable student information that it may release without prior written consent. This is known as “directory information.” The purpose of doing this is to enable student activities and accomplishments to be publicized and for the creation of publications such as the annual yearbook, programs for graduations, concerts and other special events, sports activity sheets and honor roll or recognition lists. Achievements are typically publicized on the school website, and through school district social media, releases to the local media and official district publications. Directory information can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks.
If you do not want any or all of these types of information released pertaining to your child without your prior written consent, please send this request in writing to your child’s school principal.
While the district will honor the request of any parent who has submitted written notification opting their child out of the release of directory information, the district is not responsible for media that cover news happenings, sporting events, or other school events that are open to the public, such as plays and musical performances.
The New York State Report Card is an important part of the Board of Regents’ effort to raise learning standards for all students. The Florida Union Free School District NYS Report Card provides information to the public on school/district enrollment and staff, student performance, and other measures of school and district performance. Knowledge gained from the report card on a school’s or district’s strengths and weaknesses can be used to improve instruction and services to students.
School Safety Plan
Emergencies and violent incidents in school districts are critical issues that must be addressed in an expeditious and effective manner. School districts are required to develop a District-Wide School Safety Plan designed to prevent or minimize the effects of serious violent incidents and emergencies and to facilitate the coordination of the district with local and county resources in the event of such incidents or emergencies. Read the FUFSD School Safety Plan.
Spending Plan for Federal Stimulus Funds
Like other school districts nationwide, Florida Union Free School District is receiving an infusion of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) stimulus funds. This is in response to the devastating economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about how the district is using these funds for the 2022-23 school year here.
Student Privacy (Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment)
The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment provides parents/guardians with certain rights regarding the conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. In particular, if a survey is funded in whole or part by the U.S. Department of Education, parents/guardians have the right to consent before students are required to complete a survey that asks about any of the following protected areas:
- Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parents/guardians;
- Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
- Sexual behavior or attitudes;
- Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
- Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
- Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;
- Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student’s parent; or
- Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.
Parents/guardians will also receive a notice and an opportunity to opt students out of the following:
- Any other survey that asks about the above protected areas;
- Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attending school or school functions, with the exception of physical exams or screenings required or permitted by state law (e.g. hearing, vision, or scoliosis); and
- Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.
Parents/guardians have the right to inspect any surveys that ask about the above protected areas, as well as surveys created by third parties that are used to collect personal information from students for marketing purposes, and instructional materials used as part of the curriculum.
These rights transfer from the parents/guardians to a child who is at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor.
Anyone who believes their rights have been violated may file a complaint with: Family Policy Compliance Office; U.S. Department of Education; 400 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, D.C. 20202.
Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, parents/guardians have the right to know the professional qualifications of their child’s classroom teachers, including:
- Whether a teacher has state certification for the grade levels and subjects he or she is teaching;
- The teacher’s baccalaureate degree major and any other certifications or degrees; and
- Whether their child receives services from paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.
Parents/guardians may request their child’s classroom teacher’s professional qualifications by contacting your child’s school principal.
The intent of the Florida UFSD is to create a Wellness Policy that will establish healthy school nutrition environments and work toward reducing childhood obesity, as well as preventing diet-related chronic diseases. Our policy will accomplish these goals by providing increased healthy eating opportunities: healthy eating instruction, and the development of healthy lifelong physical activities. We will actively promote and protect the well-being of all children, and adults, as role models, in our school community.