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Records Retention

 

8350  RECORDS RETENTION

 

The New Jersey Department of the Treasury – Records Management Services places all public records on Records Retention Schedules that list the minimum legal and fiscal time periods public records must be retained by State and local governmental and educational agencies.  Records Management Services determines these retention periods in conformance with State and Federal codes, regulations, and statutes of limitation.  Final approval of the schedules comes from the State Records Committee, which is comprised of representatives of the Attorney General, State Treasurer, State Auditor, Director of Local Government Services, and the director of the division.

 

Part and parcel to a good records management program is the timely destruction of records once their retention period has expired.  This pertains to the destruction of paper records as well as those that are microfilmed, have been imaged, or are electronic.  Unique records disposal request (such as the disposal of fire damaged records which have not yet outlived their retention period) require specific authorization from the State Records Committee.

 

As per the Destruction of Public Records Act of 1953 (P.L. 1953, c. 410), the Board of Education must receive prior written authorization from Records Management Services to dispose of their public records regardless of the medium in which the information is maintained.  Authorization to dispose public records shall be submitted electronically by the school district custodian of such records to Records Management Services.  Records must be retained in accordance with the Records Retention Schedules and shall not be disposed until approval for such disposal is obtained from Records Management Services.

 

Adopted:  May 2017

 

Emergency & Crisis Situations

The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to provide for the safety and security in each school building in the district. The district will develop and implement written plans and procedures to provide for the protection of health, safety, security, and welfare of the school population; the prevention of, intervention in, response to and recovery from emergency and crisis situations; the establishment and maintenance of a climate of civility; and supportive services for staff, pupils, and their families.

The Superintendent of Schools or designee shall consult with law enforcement agencies, health and social services provider agencies, emergency management planners, and school and community resources, as appropriate, in the development of the school district’s plans, procedures, and mechanisms for school safety and security. The plans, procedures, and mechanisms shall be consistent with the provisions of N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.1 and the format and content established by the Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force, pursuant to N.J.S.A. App. A:9-64 et seq., and the Commissioner of Education and shall be reviewed annually, and updated as appropriate.

A copy of the school district’s school safety and security plan shall be disseminated to all school district employees. New employees shall receive a copy of the school district’s safety and security plan, as appropriate, within sixty days of the effective date of their employment. All employees shall be briefed in writing, as appropriate, regarding updates and changes to the school safety and security plan.

The school district shall develop and provide an in-service training program for all school district employees to enable them to recognize and appropriately respond to safety and security concerns, including emergencies and crisis, consistent with the school district’s plans, procedures, and mechanisms for school safety and security and the provisions of N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.1 by November 1, 2010. New employees shall receive this in-service training, as appropriate, within sixty days of the effective date of their employment. This in-service training program shall be reviewed annually and updated, as appropriate.

In accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:41-1, at least one fire drill and one school security drill will be conducted each month within school hours, including any summer months which the school is open for instructional programs. A school security drill means an exercise, other than a fire drill,to practice procedures that respond to an emergency situation including, but not limited to, a non-fire evacuation, lockdown, bomb threat, or active shooter situation that is similar in duration to a fire drill. Schools are required to hold a minimum of two active shooter, non-fire evacuation, bomb threat, and lockdown security drills annually. Fire alarm systems shall be initiated only during a fire drill evacuation. Responses made necessary by the unplanned activation of emergency procedures or by any other emergency shall not be substituted for a required school security drill.

The Principal or designee will provide local law enforcement or other emergency responders, as appropriate, with a friendly notification at least forty-eight hours prior to holding a school security drill. Although these outside agencies are not required to observe school security drills, the Principal is encouraged to invite representatives from local law enforcement and emergency responder agencies to attend and observe at least four different security drills annually.

Such drills and in-service training programs shall be conducted in accordance with a building security drill guide and training materials that educate school employees on proper evacuation and lockdown procedures in a variety of emergency situations on school grounds as provided by the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.

The school district will be required to annually submit a security drill statement of assurance to the New Jersey Department of Education by June 30 of each school year. Each school in the district will be required to complete a security drill record form as required by the New Jersey Department of Education.

N.J.S.A. 2C:33-3

N.J.S.A. 18A:41-1 et seq.

N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.1; 6A:27-11.2

Adopted: 21 April 2005

Revised: September 2010

February 2011

Preparedness for Toxic Hazard

The Board of Education is concerned for the safety of the pupils and staff members assigned to district schools and will take reasonable steps to protect pupils and staff members from hazards that may result from industrial accidents beyond the control of school officials.

The Board will appoint an employee to serve as Toxic Hazard Preparedness (THP) Officer. The THP Officer will, in accordance with procedures prepared by the Superintendent, identify potential sources of toxic hazard and develop a plan that includes preventive and remedial measures to be followed in the event pupils and staff members are exposed to a toxic hazard. The plan will also include a system for the periodic evaluation of school environments.

The THP Officer will enlist the aid of county and municipal authorities and, if possible, the owners or operators of identified potential sources of toxic hazard. The Board may, in its discretion, appoint and charge an ad hoc committee of community representatives to assist the THP Officer.

The plan for toxic hazard preparedness developed by the THP Officer· and approved by this Board will be disseminated to the public. Teaching staff members will be instructed in the specific measures to be taken when toxic hazard is present and in the recognition of toxic hazards in the environment. A teaching staff member who detects a toxic hazard in school shall immediately notify the school Principal and the school nurse or, in the absence of either, the person authorized to perform that office.

Nothing in this policy should be construed in any way as an assumption of liability by the Board of Education for any death, injury, or illness that is the consequence of an accident or equipment failure or negligent or deliberate act beyond the control of the Board or its officers and employees.

N.J.S.A. 13:1K-19 et seq. N.J.S.A. 34:5A-1 et seq. N.J.A.C. 6 29-1.3

N.J.A.C. 7:1G-2.1

N.J.A.C. 8:59-1.4

Adopted: 21 April 2005

Care of Injured and Ill Persons

The Board of Education directs the Superintendent to provide for prompt and appropriate medical attention for pupils, staff members, or visitors who are injures or become ill on school premises or at school sponsored events.

Any injury or illness shall be reported immediately to the school nurse or, in the absence of the school nurse, the Building Principal, who will determine whether an emergency exists. Immediate steps may be taken as necessary to remove the injured or ill person from imminent danger and/or prevent exacerbation of the disability. Routine first aid will be administered by the school nurse as necessary to ensure the safety and comfort of the injured or ill person.

The parent (s) or legal guardian (s) of an injured or ill pupil and, if necessary, the family of an injured or ill staff member or adult visitor will be notified promptly and tactfully of the injury or illness. If the school nurse or school medical inspector or, in the absence of both, the Principal, determines the injured or ill person should be removed from school fro rest and/or treatment at home or for consultation with a private physician, the parent (s) or legal guardian (s), or family member shall be requested to provide transportation.

In a serious emergency requiring immediate medical attention, an ambulance may be summoned for transportation to a hospital.

The school medical inspector will prepare standing orders for the emergency treatment of injuries and disabilities for the school nurse to follow in event of an injured or ill pupil, staff member or visitor.

Injuries and disabilities that occur in the course of the athletic program are subject to the provisions of Policy No. 2431 and implementing regulations. Pupil disabilities attributable to substance abuse will handled in accordance with Policy No. 5530. Injuries that occur in the course of school bus transportation will be handled in accordance with regulations implementing Policy No. 8630.

N.J.S.C. 18A: 40-3

N.J.A.C. 6:29-1.3 (a) 1; 6:29-1.3 (a) 3; 6:29-1.3 (a) 4

Adopted: September 2005

Reporting Accidents

The Board of Education directs that all reasonable efforts be made to ensure a safe learning and working environment for the pupils and employees of this district. To that end and to the end that legitimate employee claims for worker’s compensation be expedited, the Board requires that accidents be reported and evaluated. Any accident that results in an injury, however slight, to a pupil, an employee of the Board, or a visitor to the schools must be reported promptly and in writing to the district business office. Injured persons shall be referred immediately to the school nurse for such medical attention as may be appropriate.

The injured employee or visitor or the staff member responsible for an injured pupil shall complete a form, available in the office of the Building Principal, that includes the date, time and place of the incident; the names of persons involved; the nature of the injury, to the extent that it is known; and a description of all relevant circumstances.

A copy shall be retained by the Building Principal and a copy shall be sent to the business office.

Any employee of the Board who suffers a job-related injury must report the injury and its circumstances to the Building Principal or job supervisor, as appropriate, no later than twenty-four hours following the occurrence of the injury. The failure of an employee to comply with this mandate may result in disciplinary action.

Adopted: 21 April 2005

Control of Communicable Disease

8451 CONTROL OF COMMUNICABLE DISEASE

 

The Board of Education recognized that control of the spread of communicable disease is essential to the well being of the school community and to the efficient operation of the schools.

 

The Board shall be bound by the statutes and by the rules of the State Board of Education for the exclusion and remission of pupils who have contracted a communicable disease and of teachers and pupils who have been exposed to a communicable disease and for the instruction of teachers in health and prevention of the disease. The Board shall comply with regulations of the New Jersey Department of Health and the Vernon Township Board of Health governing the prevention, control, and reporting of communicable disease.

 

The teacher may exclude from the classroom and the Principal may exclude from the school building any pupil who appears to be ill or has been exposed to a communicable disease. A pupil may be isolated in school to await the arrival of an adult member of his/her family. If the school medical inspector or the school nurse is present in the building, his/her recommendation shall be sought before any such exclusion or isolation is ordered.

 

Any pupil retained at home or excluded from school by reason of having or being suspected of having a communicable disease shall not be readmitted to his/her classroom until he/she presents written evidence of being free of communicable disease. The qualified physician who has examined the pupil may supply that evidence.

 

Any pupil or adult who has weeping skin lesions that cannot be covered shall be excluded from school.

 

The Superintendent shall develop procedures for the control of communicable disease that include the instruction of teaching staff members in the detection of disease and measures for its prevention and control; removal from school premises to the care of a responsible adult for pupils identified and excluded in accordance with this policy; the preparation of standards for the readmission of pupils who have recovered from

 

OPERATIONS

8451/Page 2 of 2

Control of Communicable Disease

communicable disease; the provision of appropriate home instruction to excluded pupils in accordance with the law; and the filing of reports as required by law.

 

N.J.S.A.          18A: 40-3; 18A40-7 et seq.

N.J.S.A.          26:4-4; 26:4-6

N.J.A.C                       6A: 16-1.4

N.J.A.C.          8:57-1.3; 8:57-1.6; 8:57-2.1 et seq.

 

Adopted:  May 2004

HIV-AIDS

The Board of Education will comply with rules of the State Board of Education and the State Department of Health and Senior Services with regard to the admission and employment of persons who may be diagnosed with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) or infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). “AIDS” means a condition affecting a person who has a reliably diagnosed disease that meets the criteria for AIDS specified by the Center for Disease Control of the United States Public Health Services. “HIV infection” means infection with the human immunodeficiency virus or any other related virus identified as a probable causative agent of AIDS. Laboratory results indicative of infection with HIV shall mean laboratory results showing the presence of HIV or components of HIV, or laboratory results showing the presence of antibodies to HIV, or results from laboratory tests conducted to measure the presence of HIV RNA (viral load tests), such as quantitative PCR tests.

AIDS or HIV infection shall not be considered a communicable disease for purposes of admission to or attendance in a school or for eligibility for educational transportation.

In accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:16-1.4(a)8, no person, pupil or employee, will be excluded from school solely because he/she is infected with HIV or lives with or is related to a person infected with HIV. Pupils infected with HIV, including those who may be symptomatic or diagnosed with AIDS, may be excluded from school only as a pupil not infected with HIV or diagnosed with AIDS may be excluded from school. A school employee infected with HIV may be restricted in his/her employment only if the employee has another illness that would affect his/her employment.

Any pupil excluded from the regular school program will be provided with home instruction in accordance with rules of the State Board of Education and Policy No. 2412.

No pupil, staff member, or visitor may attend or visit school if he/she has an uncoverable and/or uncovered weeping skin lesion, whether or not the person has been screened for HIV.

It is not required that anyone in the school be especially notified that an HIV-infected pupil or employee is present. School employee physicals, pupil physicals and athletic physicals do not require disclosure of HIV status. Records of health and medical examinations should not include information about an individual’s infection with HIV. Therefore, HIV/AIDS status is an exception to records required pursuant to pupil physical examinations, N.J.A.C. 6A:16-2.2, and school employee physical examinations, N.J.A.C.

6A:32-6.1 et seq. In the event the school nurse or a school official is apprised that a pupil or employee is HIV-infected, the fact of the infection will be held in strict confidence and will not be classified as a communicable disease for admission, local health reporting or educational transportation. Information that identifies a pupil as having an HIV infection or AIDS shall be shared only with prior written informed consent of the pupil age twelve or greater, or of the pupil’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) as required by N.J.S.A. 26:5C-1 et seq. and only for the purpose of determining an appropriate educational program for the pupil. The person who receives such information shall not reveal it to any other person without the express written consent of the minor pupil’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s), or the adult pupil.

The Board shall annually provide pupils, parent(s) or legal guardian(s), staff members, school volunteers, and members of the community with information intended to increase awareness of HIV and AIDS, including information regarding the nature of the disease and its prevention. The Board will cooperate with other agencies to provide HIV/AIDS awareness information to the community.

N.J.S.A. 26:5C-5; 26:5c-6; 26:5C-7; 26:5C-8; 26:5C-9; 26:5C-10;

26-5C-11; 26-5C-12; 26-5C-13; 26-5C-14

N.J.A.C. 6A:16-1.3; 6A:16-1.4; 6A:16-1.5; 6A:16-3.2; 6A:32-9.1

N.J.A.C. 8:57-2.1 et seq.

Cross reference: Policy Guide Nos. 2412, 3160, 4160, 5310, 7420

Adopted: February 1988

Revised: August 2006

Missing Children

The Board of Education directs the establishment and implementation of a program for the identification and reporting of children missing from the educational system.

Used in this policy, “parent” means the parent(s} or legal guardian(s} having legal custody and control of a minor child.

The Superintendent shall develop and implement procedures to identify children who have been withdrawn from this district without enrollment in another school or school district or pupils who have been willfully or neglectfully removed from school by protracted absences without good cause. Children so identified shall be reported promptly to the Vernon Township Police Department. The Board authorizes the release of the child’s name, age, gender, last known home address, and physical description and the parent(s} or legal guardian(s} name and work place, if known, to the Vernon Township Police Department. Reasonable attempts shall be made to determine the cause of a child’s unauthorized absence and to remediate the cause to the extent possible within the school setting. The Superintendent shall report immediately to the Board the results of the program for the identification of children missing from the educational program.

The Vernon Township Police Department, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 52:17B-9.8b, must notify the Superintendent of a missing child, who is currently or was most recently enrolled in the school district, of the disappearance and provide the Superintendent with information concerning the identity of the missing child. The Vernon Township Police Department shall also notify the Superintendent if the child is located.

If the Superintendent is notified of a missing child by the Vernon Township Police Department, the Superintendent shall mark the child’s school record. The mark will be a clearly, identifiable and removable marking so in the event a copy or information regarding the record is requested, the school district will be aware the record is that of a missing child. Once the Vernon Township Police Department notifies the Superintendent that the child has been located, the Superintendent, or designee, will remove the mark from the child’s school record. If a copy of a school record is requested that has been “marked” in accordance with this Policy, the Superintendent, or designee, will remove the marking from only the copy of the school record to be provided to the requestor in accordance with Board Policy No. 8330, and without alerting the requestor to the fact that the record has been “marked”. After supplying a copy of or information regarding the “marked” record, the Superintendent will immediately report the inquiry or any knowledge as to the whereabouts of the missing child to the Vernon Township Police Department.

N.J.S.A. 18A:36-24; 18A:36-25

N.J.S.A. 52A:l7B-9.8b.

Adopted: 21 April 2005

Hate Crimes and Bias-Related Acts

The Board of Education is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all children in the school district. Hate crimes and· bias-related acts involving pupils can lead to further violence and retaliation. Hate crimes and bias-related acts, by their nature are confrontational, inflame tensions, and promote social hostility and will not be tolerated by the school district. The school district employees will work closely with local law enforcement and the county prosecutor’s office to report or eliminate the commission of hate crimes and bias­ related acts.

Definitions

A “hate crime” is any criminal offense where the person or persons committing the offense acted with a purpose to intimidate an individual or group of individuals because of race, color, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.

A “bias-related act” is an act directed at a person, group of persons, private property, or public property that is motivated in whole or part by racial, gender, disability, religion or sexual orientation, or ethnic prejudice. A bias­ related act need not involve conduct that constitutes a criminal offense. All hate crimes are also bias-related acts, but not all bias-related acts will constitute a hate crime.

Required Actions

Whenever any school employee in the course of his/her employment develops reason to believe that (1) a hate crime has been committed or is about to be committed on school property, or has been or is about to be committed by any pupil, whether on or off school property and whether or not such offense was or is about to be committed during operating school hours, or (2) a pupil enrolled in the school has been or is about to become the victim of a hate crime, whether committed on or off school property or during operating school hours, the school employee shall immediately notify the Building Principal and Superintendent, who in turn shall notify the Vernon Township Police Department and Bias Investigation Officer for the county prosecutor’s office. The Principal shall notify the Vernon Township Police Department and the county prosecutor’s office immediately if there is reason to believe that a hate crime that involves an act of violence has been or is about to be physically committed against a pupil or there is otherwise reason to believe that a life has been or will be threatened.

Whenever any school employee in the course of his/her employment has reason to believe that a bias-related act has been committed or is about to be committed on school property, or has been or is about to be committed by any pupil, whether on or off school property and whether or not such bias-related act was or is to be committed during operating school hours, the school employee should immediately notify the Building J:>rincipal and Superintendent, who in turn should promptly notify the Vernon Township Police Department.

In deciding whether to refer the matter of a bias-related act to the Vernon Township Police Department or the county prosecutor’s office, the Building Principal and the Superintendent, should consider the nature and seriousness of the conduct and the risk that the conduct posed to the health, safety and well-being of any pupil, school employee or member of the general public. The Building Principal and Superintendent should also consider the possibility that the suspected bias-related act could escalate or result in some form of retaliation which might occur within or outside school property.

It is understood a referral to the Vernon Township Police Department or county prosecutor’s office is only a transmittal of information that might be pertinent to a law enforcement investigation and is not an accusation or formal charge.

Unless the Vernon Township Police Department or the county prosecutor’s office request otherwise, the school district may continue to investigate a suspected hate crime or bias-related act occurring on school property and may take such actions as necessary and appropriate to redress and remediate any such acts.

School officials will secure and preserve any such graffiti or other evidence of a suspected hate crime or bias-related act pending the arrival of the Vernon Township Police Department or the county prosecutor’s office. The school officials, when feasible, will cover or conceal such evidence until the arrival of the Vernon Township Police Department or county prosecutor’s office.

N.J.A.C. 6A:16-6.1 et seq.; 6A:16-6.3(e)

State Memorandum of Agreement approved by the Department of Law & Public Safety and the Department of Education

Adopted: 17 February 2005

Weapons

The Board of Education prohibits the possession, use, or exchange of any weapon in any school building, on school grounds, at any school sponsored event, and on school sanctioned transportation except as the possession and use of a weapon is authorized by law and required in the performance of the possessor’s duty.

For the purpose of this policy, “weapon” means anything readily capable of lethal use or of inflicting serious bodi1y injury. “Weapon” includes, but is not limited to, all firearms, knives, dangerous instruments intended to inflict harm, components that can be readily assembled into a weapon, explosive devices, and imitation firearms. For the purposes of this policy “firearm” means those items enumerated in N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1f and 18 U.S.C. 921.

Any pupil or school employee who has reasonable grounds to suspect the presence of a weapon prohibited by this policy shall immediately report his/her suspicion to the Principal or designee. The Principal or designee shall conduct an appropriate search in accordance with Policy No. 5770 and confiscate any weapon discovered in the course of the search. He/she shall, if appropriate and feasible, summon the aid of law enforcement officers in the conduct of the search. Any school employee who confirms the presence of a weapon under circumstances that place persons at serious risk may confiscate the weapon immediately and may use such force as is reasonable and necessary to obtain possession.

Unless the weapon has been taken into custody by a law enforcement officer, the Principal or designee shall immediately store any confiscated weapon in a securely locked box or container and report the presence of the weapon to the Superintendent. The Superintendent shall promptly notify, by telephone call and by letter, the Chief of Police of Vernon Township that a weapon is present on school premises; the notice shall request removal of the weapon by an authorized law enforcement officer. The Superintendent shall obtain and file a receipt for any weapon removed by a law enforcement officer.

Any pupil who possesses, uses, or exchanges a weapon in violation of this policy shall be subject to stringent discipline, which may include expulsion. Any pupil or school employee who suspects or knows of the presence of a weapon in violation of this policy and fails to report the same shall be subject to discipline. Any person who possesses a weapon on school premises or school transportation or at a school-sponsored function shall be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Any pupil who is convicted or is an adjudicated delinquent for possession of a firearm or who is found to be in possession of a firearm on school property must be immediately removed from the regular education program and provided with an alternative program, pending a hearing before the Board of Education. Pupils convicted or found to be delinquent for possessing a firearm on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored function or committing a crime while possessing a firearm shall be immediately removed from the regular education program for a period of not less than one calendar year and placed in an alternative education school or program pending a hearing before the Board of Education to remove the pupil. (Chapters 127 and 128 of 1995, The Zero Tolerance for Guns Act)

Any pupil who commits an assault upon members of the school community with a weapon other than a firearm on school property must be immediately removed from the regular education program and provided with an alternative program, pending a hearing before the Board of Education. (Chapters 127 and 128 of 1995, The Zero Tolerance for Guns Act)

Pupils with disabilities violating the provisions of this policy shall be dealt with in accordance with Policy No. 2460 and Regulation No. 2460.7.

Nothing in this policy shall be construed to prohibit the reporting of a crime committed by a child with a disability to the appropriate law enforcement or judicial authorities, or to prevent such authorities from exercising their responsibilities with regard to the application of federal or state law to crimes committed by a child with disabilities.

Any pupil requiring removal from the regular education program for the reasons enumerated above shall be removed in accordance with Policy and Regulation No. 5611.

The Superintendent, or designee, shall prepare regulations to implement this policy for the guidance of school staff in dealing with incidents involving weapons in the school district.

N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1 et seq.; 2C:58-6.1; 2C:58-15

N.J.S.A. 18A:6-1

N.J.S.A. 23:4-16

N.J.A.C. 6A:14-2.8 et seq.

Chapters 127 and 128 of 1995, The Zero Tolerance for Guns Act

18 U.S.C. 921

20 U.S.C. 1415

Adopted: 21 April 2005

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