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Vernon Township HS

Public Relations

The Board of Education directs the implementation of a public, relations program to foster the continuing and constructive cooperation of this school district with parent(s) or legal guardian(s), community organizations and institutions, representatives of business and industry, and other members of the community served by the school district.

The Superintendent shall consult with representatives of the community in the development of educational goals for the district, objectives and standards for the educational program, and the family life education curriculum. The Board encourages the involvement of community members in the governance of the district through advisory committees, in accordance with Policy No. 9140.

The Board respects the contributions to community life made by business, industry, labor, charitable organizations, cultural institutions, volunteer associations, and other community groups that enrich the educational potential of the community. The Superintendent shall be alert to opportunities for an educational program expanded and enriched by utilization, both within and without the schools, of a diversity of community resources. A file of community resources shall be maintained in each school building.

The Board directs all district employees to acquaint residents with the work of the schools; to give thoughtful and courteous consideration to all inquiries and suggestions and carefully investigate all complaints; to make parent(s) or legal guardian(s) feel welcome in the school and in the classroom; to cooperate with parent organizations and other groups of residents seeking information or offering ·assistance to. the schools; to treat all pupils with firmness, sensitivity, intelligence, and fairness so as to command their respect and enlist the cooperation of their parent(s) or legal guardian(s); and to work with others in a manner conducive to high morale and meriting the respect of the community.

Adopted: 21 April 2005

Quality Assurance Annual Report

The Board of Education recognizes the vital role played by parent(s) or legal guardian(s) and other residents of the district in assuring the children of this district a thorough and efficient system of education. By October 30 of each year, the Superintendent shall submit a Quality Assurance Annual Report (QAAR) to the Department of Education and present the QAAR to the public at a regular Board of Education meeting.

1. The status of all capital projects in the district’s approved LRFP then in effect;

2. The maximum permitted amount of the district’s capital reserve account calculated pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:26-9.1(d);

3. Implementation of school-level plans;

4. Achievement of performance objectives;

5. Each school report card, including pupil performance results and pupil behavior data;

6. Professional development activities;

7. Condition of the school facilities;

8. Status of mandated program reviews;

9. Community support data; and

10. The assignment plan for certified and non-certified nurses developed by the district and approved by the Board pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-2.1(f).

By November 15 of each year, the Superintendent shall submit a copy of the annual QAAR to the County Superintendent.

In accordance with N.J.A.C. 6:8-2.2(c), over a seven-year period, the district will document community support through the following components:

1. A review of demographic data;

2. A community survey;

3. Identification of available resources and linkages to social service agencies;

4. Strategies to overcome any community and environmental conditions that hinder learning;

5. Methods to eliminate any barriers to community participation;

6. Planned level of community involvement; and

7. Strategies for parental involvement and parent-teacher interaction.

The Superintendent shall prepare a summary of the QAAR for distribution at the regular meeting when the QAAR is presented to the Board and the public. Copies of the QAAR and/or the summary will be available to the public subsequent to the regular Board meeting in accordance with Board policy on public records.

The Board will invite public discussion on issues related to the QAAR and members of the public will be heard in accordance with Bylaw No. 0167 on public participation in Board meetings.

N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq. N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq. N.J.A.C. 6:8-2.1 et seq.

Adopted: 20 December 2004

Public Relations Program

The Board of Education believes that all reasonable means should be employed to keep the community served by this district informed on matters of importance regarding district policies, finances, programs, personnel, and operations.

The Board will determine which of its official actions have sufficient community impact and interest to warrant special release; the Board alone will release to the news media information about those matters of importance. The Superintendent may release information regarding Board actions of lesser importance as they have been recorded in the minutes of the Board meetings and upon the request of media representatives. The release of all other publications, photographs, and documents depicting the accomplishments of the pupils and staff of the district shall be approved by the Superintendent or designee.

The school district will not release or publish photographs or release other personal identifying information of an individual district pupil without the prior written permission of the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) or from the adult pupil. Written permission slips for such release from each parent(s) or legal guardian(s) or adult pupil will be obtained by the Principal or designee for the pupils in their school building or by the Program Administrator for pupils in programs where a Principal is not assigned. These written permission forms shall be maintained by the Principal or Program Administrator. Group photographs may be released by the district without permission, but in no event will an individual pupil in a group photograph be identified by name and/or by other personal identifier without written permission from the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) or adult pupil

The Superintendent shall direct an information program designed to acquaint residents of the community and the public generally with the achievements and the needs of the schools. As a minimum, information shall be disseminated regarding the district’s educational goals; the district’s guarantee of equal educational opportunity; the district’s programs for basic skills improvement, special education, bilingual education, and English as a second language; and summary reports of the administration of statewide assessment tests. Every effort shall be made to foresee and avoid problems caused by misunderstanding or lack of information.

The public information program shall include the publication and distribution of a district newsletter, meetings with parent(s) or legal guardian(s) and interested residents, a presentation and interpretation of the proposed annual budget, periodically distributed calendars and notices of events, the Superintendent’s annual report, and a pupil handbook, as well as the release of news and photographs of school activities for publication.

Notices, publications, and other written materials will be prepared in languages other than English and necessary and appropriate for understanding.

The Board of Education adopts the following strategies to minimize the cost of public relations as defined in N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-9.3(c)14 in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-5.2.

School district publications shall be produced and distributed in the most cost-efficient manner possible that will enable the school district to inform and educate the target community. The use of expensive materials or production techniques where lower cost methods are available, such as the use of multi-color glossy publications instead of suitable, less expensive alternatives, is prohibited.

The school district will not distribute, via mass mailings or other means to the district community at large, publications that include the picture(s) of any members of the Board of Education within ninety days before any election in which any Board member is seeking any elective office or any election relating to school district operations held in the district. Any publication(s) distributed by the Board via mass mailings or other means to the district community at large within sixty days before any election in which any Board member is seeking any elective office or any election relating to school district operations held in the district must be submitted to the Executive County Superintendent for review prior to distribution to ensure that the public funds are being expended in a reasonable and cost-effective manner.

Public relations activities, such as booths at Statewide conferences, marketing activities and celebrations for opening schools and community events, and TV productions that are not part of the instructional program or do not provide information about district or Board operations to the public, that are excessive in nature are prohibited. All activities involving promotional efforts to advance a particular position on school elections or any referenda are prohibited.

Nothing in N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-5.2 and this Policy shall preclude the school district from accepting donations or volunteer services from community members, local private education foundations and local business owners to conduct or assist in public relations services. Examples include, but are not limited to: providing school district flyers, newsletters, or other materials containing school-related information of public concern to local businesses, public meeting places, or other local organizations to display or make available for dissemination; making school district related information of public concern available to local newspapers to publish related articles; and utilizing volunteered services of local community members, district employees, members of parent organizations or local businesses with expertise in related areas such as printing, advertising, publishing, or journalism.

The Board of Education will establish annually prior to budget preparation, a maximum dollar limit for public relation, as defined in N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-9.3(c)14. In the

event it becomes necessary to exceed the established maximum dollar limit for public relations, the Superintendent of Schools shall recommend to the Board of Education an increase in the maximum dollar amount for public. Any increase in the maximum dollar amount shall require formal Board action.

N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-5.2

Adopted: 21 April 2005

Revised: September 2008

Public Complaints and Grievances

Any person or group having a legitimate interest in the schools of this district may present a request, suggestion, or complaint concerning district personnel, the educational program, instructional or resource materials, or the operations of the district. The Board directs the establishment of procedures for the hearing and settlement of requests and complaints that provide a means for resolving them fairly and impartially, permit appropriate redress, and protect district personnel from unnecessary harassment.

Any misunderstandings or disputes between the public and school ·district staff should, whenever possible, be settled by direct, informal discussions among the interested parties. It is only when such informal meetings fail to resolve differences that more formal procedures shall be employed. A complaint about a school program or personnel should be addressed to the Building Principal.

The Superintendent shall establish procedures for the hearing of requests and complaints.

Adopted: 21 April 2005


The Vernon Township Board of Education members, district administration, and staff will treat parents/guardians and other members of the public with respect and expect the same consideration in return. The district is committed to maintaining orderly educational and administrative processes in keeping schools and administrative offices free from disruptions and preventing unauthorized persons from entering school/district grounds.


Any individual who:

1. disrupts or threatens to disrupt school/office operations;

2. threatens the health and safety of students or staff;

3. willfully causes property damage;

4. uses loud and/or offensive language which could provoke a violent reaction; or who

5. is verbally or physically intimidating; or who;

6. has otherwise established a continued pattern of unauthorized entry on district property

7. harasses staff and others through repeated telephone calls, excessive written communication and/or face-to-face confrontations; will be directed to leave school or district property promptly by the Chief School Administrator, Principal or their designees.

Employee Recourse

If any member of the public uses obscenities or speaks in an abusive, excessive, insulting, and/or demeaning manner, the administrator or employee to whom the remarks are directed will calmly and politely request the speaker to communicate civilly. If corrective action is not taken by the abusing person, the district employee will seek to include an administrative representative in the meeting in an effort to restore civility. If an administrator is not available and/or a civil tone is not restored, the district employee will verbally notify the abusing person that the meeting, conference, or telephone conversation is terminated and, if the meeting or conference is on district premises, the abusing person will be asked to leave promptly.

When an individual is directed to leave under the above circumstances, the Chief School Administrator, Principal or their designees shall inform the person that he or she may be guilty of a misdemeanor in accordance with New Jersey law (see Legal References). If the person refuses to leave, the Chief School Administrator or designee may notify law enforcement officials.

Safety and Security

The Chief School Administrator or designee will ensure that a safety and/or crisis intervention program for district staff is promulgated to raise awareness and to provide techniques in dealing with disruptive situations when they occur.

If and when the violence is directed toward a district employee, or theft of district’s property is threatened or attempted, employees shall promptly report the occurrence to their principal or supervisor and submit a written report. Employees, through their supervisors, should report to law enforcement officials any attack, assault or threat made against them on district premises or at school district-sponsored activities.


When it is determined by a district employee that a member of the public is in the process of violating the provisions of this policy, the employee will immediately notify his/her supervisor and provide a written report of the incident.

Legal Reference: N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3 Criminal trespass

N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2 Disorderly conduct

N.J.S.A. 18A:11-1 General mandatory powers and duties

Adopted: March 2008

Citizens Advisory Committees

The success of the school system depends, to a large extent, on open channels of communication between the school community and the community at large. Citizens advisory committees are particularly useful in keeping the Board of Education and the administration informed with regard to community opinion and in representing the community in the study of specific school problems.

The Board may establish advisory committees as standing committees to serve in a. liaison function between the local community and the schools, as permanent committees for funded programs as the law requires, and as the need arises.

In creating a new advisory committee, the Board shall appoint members of the community who are able and interested in the subject and concerned about the schools; appoint members who represent a wide range of community interests and backgrounds; appoint a chairperson; and appoint one or more Board members to serve as ex officio members.

In charging a new advisory committee, the Board shall define the committee assignment in writing, set a date for a preliminary and final report, and establish a budget. Expenditures of district funds by advisory committees shall be made only upon the approval of the Board.

Recommendations of an advisory committee shall not reduce the responsibility of the Board, which may accept or reject recommendations in the exercise of its statutory discretion.

Meetings of an advisory committee that are open to or attended by fewer than a majority of the members of the Board are not subject to the Open Public Meetings Act and need not be open to the public, except as expressly permitted by the Board.

N.J.A.C. 6:30-1.5; 6:31-1.14(b)

20 U.S.C.A. 3801 et seq.

Adopted: 21 April 2005

School Visitors

The Board of Education welcomes and encourages visits to school by parent(s) or legal guardian(s), other adult residents of the community, and interested educators. In order for the educational program to continue undisturbed when visitors are present and to prevent the intrusion of disruptive persons into the schools, the Board directs the enforcement of rules governing school visits.

The Superintendent and Building Principal each possess the authority to prohibit the entry of any person into a school of this district or to expel any person from the school when there is reason to believe the presence of such person would be inimical to the good order of the school. If such a person refuses to leave the school grounds or creates a disturbance, the Principal is authorized to request from the local law enforcement agency whatever assistance is required to remove the individual.

Visitors shall be required to register their presence in the school. No staff member shall transact business with or permit the continuing presence in the school of a visitor who has not been duly registered.

No visitor may confer with a pupil in school without the approval of the Principal; any such conference may take place only in the presence of a teaching staff member and/or administrator.

The Superintendent shall develop regulations that will protect pupils and employees of the district from disruption to the educational program and the efficient conduct of their assigned tasks.

N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3

N.J.S.A. 18A:17-42; 18A:20-1; 18A:20-34

Adopted: 21 April 2005

Public Attendance at School Events

The Board of Education welcomes the attendance of members of the community at athletic and other public events held by the schools of the district and acknowledges its duty to maintain order and preserve the facilities of the district during the conduct of such events.

The Board may bar the attendance of any person at a school event whose conduct constitutes a disruption. The Board prohibits the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages at any function sponsored by the district, and, further, prohibits wagering on school premises.

A schedule of fees for all school events shall be prepared by the Superintendent and adopted by the Board. District personnel will be admitted without charge to all school events except interscholastic athletics. Free passes to school events will be available to each Board member and all former Board members.

The Board will honor athletic passes from all districts that are members of conferences in which teams of this district compete and that honor the passes of this district.

Adopted: 21 April 2005

Crowd Control

The Board of Education believes in order to achieve its goals for interscholastic competition, that the student body and the general public attending an interscholastic event conduct themselves in such a manner as to make a positive contribution toward the educational objectives of this district.

The Board directs the Superintendent to prepare regulations for pupil and public behavior at interscholastic events and to publicly post such regulations and to devise procedures for the control of crowds.

The Board authorizes school officials to have expelled from any district event by the law enforcement officers on duty, any spectator who willfully violates the rules and regulations of the district or whose behavior jeopardizes the safe conduct of the event. Further, any spectator involved in continual violations of the rules and regulations shall be prohibited from attending further school events.

Adopted: 21 April 2005

School Volunteers

The Board of Education recognizes that the services of community volunteers can enrich the educational program, assist teaching staff members in the performance of their duties, and enhance the relationship between the school district and the community. The Board directs the institution of a program for the utilization of volunteer services in grades Kindergarten through twelve.

The Building Principal shall be responsible for the recruitment and screening of volunteers, may delegate the assignment of volunteers to specific tasks and must submit their names for Board approval.

Volunteers must be persons of known character, responsibility, and integrity.

Neither the Superintendent nor any Principal shall be obligated to utilize the proffered services of a volunteer whose abilities or interests do not serve the needs of pupils.

The Superintendent shall prepare and promulgate rules of conduct for school volunteers. Each school volunteer shall be given a copy of this policy and the rules of conduct.

The following guidelines shall govern the service of school volunteers:

1. Volunteers may serve only under the direction and supervision of a teaching staff member;

2. Volunteers should clearly understand their duties and responsibilities and perform no service outside those duties;

3. Volunteers serve only in a support capacity; only teaching staff members are responsible for educational planning and decisions and the teaching of new concepts;

4. Volunteers shall respect the individuality, dignity, and worth of each child;

5. Volunteers are not permitted access to pupil records;

6. Volunteers should exercise discretion in discussing their school activities with others in the community;

7. Volunteers may consult with the Principal regarding their duties and responsibilities;

8. Volunteers shall receive no financial remuneration from the Board.

The Superintendent shall report periodically to the Board on the number of volunteers serving in the schools of the district, the duties performed by volunteers, and the number of volunteer hours served, by school.

N.J.S.A. 18A:6-7.1

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December 2022

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