GUARDIANSHIP AND PARENTAL RIGHTS
It is the parents`/guardians` responsibility to provide documentation of legal decisions that effect custody or parental rights with regard to a student. If there are any changes in family or custody status that affect access to a student, student records, or residency, please notify the school immediately.
School trips are an extension of educational programs, and all school rules and policies apply. Before a trip, parents/guardians will receive written notice containing all pertinent details necessary for a successful experience. Parent/guardian permission is required for a student to participate in a school trip. Students must use transportation arranged for the trip by the school.
Walking trips and other nearby activities are considered a regular part of the school program. Extended and overnight trips may require students and chaperones to complete participant contracts.
Parents or others providing transportation for field studies must have the required state minimum liability insurance and be aware that their insurance is responsible for the primary liability.
Field trips mandated by District curriculum and approved by the building principal will be paid for by the District. No fees may be charged as a prerequisite to participation in such field studies.
Non-curriculum mandated field studies may be approved by the building principal and funded in part or whole by participating students, fund raising activities or school funds.
EWSD and its member school districts are not responsible for lost/stolen property. Should an item be missing, students are encouraged to check the school’s Lost and Found. Each school has a container for Lost and Found items where students and parents/ guardians can check for lost items. Items lost on school buses are sent to the individual schools. Lost money and unique or expensive items such as jewelry, eyeglasses, and watches are held by office staff or safety officer.
POSTERS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, DISPLAYS
Posters, announcements, and/or displays may be exhibited in the school for school-related events. Distribution of non-school-related materials is prohibited.
At the principal’s discretion, announcements for non-school events for students may be posted for a set amount of time in a designated areas of the school. At the principal’s discretion, literature for non-school-related events may be kept at the school office (or designated area) for students/parents/guardians to access.
RESPONDING TO CONCERNS
EWSD and its schools encourage open communications. Should a concern arise, students and parents/guardians are asked to first communicate directly with the staff member involved. Should a resolution not occur, or prove to be unsatisfactory, parents/guardians are encouraged to contact the principal to discuss the concern. If the concern is unable to be resolved at the school level, parents/guardians should contact the Superintendent’s Office.
SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS
All citizens are welcome to attend school board meetings. A schedule of meetings can be found at www.ewsd.org. School board agendas are posted in: schools, libraries, municipal offices, and the EWSD Central Offices. Minutes, agendas, and much more can be found on the school boards’ website. Regular meetings are also filmed (and posted online) by RETN and LCATV on a rotating basis.
School choice refers to the educational alternatives available to parents/guardians who do not wish to send their children to the local district public schools to which they are assigned. All children are different with different needs and different talents. School choice programs allow parents or guardians to seek out the best and most appropriate educational opportunities for their children without financial penalty. Students, from Essex Town, Essex Junction or Westford, interested in attending other area high schools, beginning in the fall of 2016, need to complete and submit a School Choice Application form by March 1. Completed applications should be submitted to the EHS School Counseling Office. Each year limited spots are available for each grade level. A lottery will be held if more applications are received than there are slots available. Students will be informed by April 1 of school choice decisions. Students selected for school choice need to inform the residence school, in writing, of their decision by April 15. Decisions will be communicated to receiving schools right away.
The EWSD Board has established the following caps: Essex High School will receive no more than 20 students for the 2017-2018 school year. No more than 10 resident students will be allowed to attend other area high schools under the provisions of this law for the 2017-2018 school year.
Transportation for school choice students is the responsibility of the students’ families. Students must maintain the expected standards to retain their School Choice slot. For more information on the school choice law, contact the EHS Guidance Deptartment.
SEARCH AND SEIZURE
School authorities may search a student, student lockers, or bookbags. In addition, all automobiles parked in school lots may be subject to search by school officials. They may seize any illegal, unauthorized, or contraband materials discovered in the search. Law enforcement may be notified at the discretion of administration. This applies to any school-related or school-sponsored event, such as school dances and field trips. Examples of unauthorized materials include, but are not limited to: lighters, matches, tobacco products, drugs (illegal and prescription), alcohol, and any type of weapon. For detailed information concerning Search and Seizure, refer to EWSD Policy C21.
If you wish to convey a message to a student or teacher during the school day, please call the school’s main number. Voice mail messages may be left for individual teachers. There are phones available for student use. Students need permission from their teacher to access these phones. The office and CTE program phones are for business use.
VISITORS AND VOLUNTEERS ON CAMPUS
Volunteers make a difference and are an integral part of our schools. We welcome and encourage volunteer involvement. There are many ways to assist our schools. Contact a teacher directly, the Learning Center Coordinator, the Principal, or the PTO to find out how to support your school. As part of our safe school efforts, individuals interested in volunteering in our schools must register using our Online Registration Form prior to performing volunteer services. If you do not have access to a computer with internet, paper forms are also available through the school. In order to protect our students from potential abuse or exploitation, we will also be performing a Vermont criminal record check screening on all individuals interested in volunteering in our schools or recreation department. Additional information can be found at: www.ewsd.org. All volunteers and visitors are expected to abide by all applicable EWSD policies and procedures, federal and state laws and regulations, and other administrative rules while providing service within our schools. Below is an outline of some of the district safety and confidentiality standards and rules applicable to both volunteers and visitors:
- Plan your visit in advance by contacting your student’s teacher or administra45 tion so instruction is not disrupted.
- Please, enter through the main office doors, sign in, and wear a visitor pass while you are in the school or Central Office.
- Any information about a student observed during a visit cannot be shared.
Schools frequently host many visitors, parent/guardian volunteers, and helpers during the school year. Individuals visiting, and/or volunteering, in our schools have an obligation to protect the confidentiality of students. This is a protection of the students’ civil rights, and we ask visitors to pay special attention to this very important issue. We hope you will find the time to visit our schools and see the exciting, interesting things your student is doing.
Individuals or groups may be denied access to school grounds if the principal or designee determines the individual is acting, or can reasonably be anticipated to act, in a manner which disrupts normal educational functions. Affiliations with the school may include, but are not limited to: students, faculty, other district employees, and vendors. The principal or designee may refuse to allow persons having no legitimate business to enter property under the District’s control, and may contact law enforcement to remove unauthorized persons upon their refusal to leave peaceably upon request. Loitering or trespassing on school grounds/school buildings is prohibited.
Guest Students: Students wishing to bring a guest student to school must obtain prior approval from the main office.