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Staff Handbook


Welcome to Bushwick Leaders’ High School for Academic Excellence. The information shared below provides all staff members with clear guidance on school policies and procedures in addition to city, state and federal laws. Staff, including teachers, paraprofessionals, school aides, administration and any other support personnel are expected to carefully review this information at the start of the school year to ensure they are well informed and in full compliance with all the above.

Teacher Professional Duties

Lesson Plans

Planning for instruction is a professional responsibility and essential to effective teaching. As such teachers are expected to have and use a lesson plan for each class, each day. School leadership can request a copy (digital or paper) of your lesson plan at any moment.

We highly encourage teachers to use our BLHS lesson plan template which is aligned to our school vision, instructional improvement strategy and strategic priorities.

Unit Plans

Teachers have a professional responsibility to prepare unit plans. Unit plans are brief plans for the use of the teacher describing a related series of lesson plans and should include the following:

  • Topic/theme/duration
  • Essential question(s)
  • Standard(s) addressed
  • Key student learning objectives
  • Sequence of learning activities
  • Instructional materials used
  • Assessment(s)

School leadership can request a copy (digital or paper) of your unit plan at any moment.

Our school’s instructional focus is Competency Based Education (CBE). Our lesson plan and unit plan templates are aligned with this focus and are great instructional planning tools. Teachers are not required to use these templates but are strongly encouraged to as they align with our key instructional efforts

Academic Records & Gradebook
All teachers are expected to keep student academic records including performance on homework, projects, classwork, exams and quizzes for each marking period using the DOE Grades application which can be accessed on TeachHub here: Under no circumstances should teachers directly enter marking period grades directly in STARS Classroom. If there is an extenuating circumstance preventing you from entering grades using the DOE Grades application, please reach out to your direct supervisor.

Updates on Academic Progress
Students have a right to be informed of educational progress and receive periodic evaluations both informally and through formal progress reports. They also have a right to be notified in a timely manner of the possibility of failing a course. As a rule of thumb teachers should provide students with a grade and/or feedback on a graded assignment within two weeks. Grades should be reflected in the DOE Grades application within two weeks as well. Note that one of the activities teachers can participate in during their 55 minutes of weekly Parent Engagement time is preparing student progress reports.

Determining Student Grades
Teachers determine a student’s grade in accordance with our school’s grading policy shared here: To this end, a student’s grade should reflect the competency demonstrated on skills and content as assessed through success criteria (e.g. rubrics, checklists) that are shared with students in advance, ideally at the beginning of each term or at a minimum, each unit.

For gradebook purposes, in the 2023-24 school year teachers should create the following categories to reflect performance on the following school-adopted competencies:

  • Critical Thinking (weight: 15%)
  • Argue (weight: 15%)
  • Communication (weight: 15%)
  • Collaboration (weight: 15%)
  • Self-Management (weight: 15%)
  • Other (weight: 25%)

Additionally, teachers should follow these guidelines when determining grades:

  • Attendance may not count toward a student’s grade.
  • Teachers should provide multiple opportunities and use multiple measures throughout the semester for students to demonstrate competency in knowledge and skills.
  • Teachers should use their professional judgement to determine which assessment best reflects a student’s competency. This means that the most recent assessment can be used in lieu of earlier ones, or vice versa.
  • If you are not using a spiraled or cumulative assessments, you are strongly encouraged to use, or at the very least consider the simple average of all three marking periods when determining a student’s final grade for a course.

Parent Engagement
Teachers are expected to conduct parent engagement activities for 55 minutes during the week. These activities can be conducted remotely and includes face-to face meetings (individual or group) with parents or guardians; telephone conversations with parents or guardians; written correspondence including email with parents or guardians; creating newsletters; creating content for school/class websites; preparing student report cards; preparing student progress reports; Meetings with parents of English Language Learners (as per Commissioner’s Regulations part 154); and preparing for any of the Parent Engagement activities listed herein. Teachers shall select from the activities listed above to engage in during parent engagement time unless otherwise directed by the principal.

Note that teachers are expected to log telephone conversations (or voicemails) and face-to-face meetings using the Notes features in Kinvolv. To do so please create an anecdotal for a student and then select either “left voicemail for parent”, “parent meeting”, or “phone call with parent and other” as the category. At a minimum the information captured by the anecdotal should include the date, student name, family contact and the topics/issues discussed. If you are making joint calls with co-teachers or as a grade team you should individually log these parent engagement activities. Emails and text messages shared via Kinvolv are automatically documented and do not need to be documented elsewhere.

Although emails and text messages fall under parent engagement, we believe the best means of building strong positive relationships with parents is when they have opportunities to see and/or hear your voice.

Other Professional Work
On Tuesdays, teachers are expected to partake in other professional work for 40 minutes during the week. This includes collaborative planning; Lesson Study; Inquiry and review of student work; Measures of Student Learning (“MOSL”) related work; IEP related work (excluding IEP meetings); work with or related to computer systems/data entry; preparing and grading student assessments; mentoring; as well as responsibilities related to teacher leader duties for all individuals in Teacher Leadership Positions. Teachers can choose from the listed activities over the course of the year.

The principal can direct teachers to an activity on the list “on as needed basis” to improve class instruction and meet the needs of the school as outlined by the Comprehensive Education Plan. In addition to the activities listed here, a teacher or a group of teachers may propose additional activities that may include working with a student or students for any portion of the school year, which requires approval by the principal.

Bulletin Boards
Teachers will be assigned a bulletin that should be updated periodically. Bulletin boards should be standards-based. To this end your bulletin board should include the following elements:

  • Title of Standards-Based Unit/Project or Driving/Essential Question
  • Standards Addressed​
  • Description of Assignment
  • Criteria Chart and/or Rubric
  • Student work with teacher commentary

You can find more information about standards-based bulletin boards on this deck, which also includes some examples. Please reach out to me with any questions or concerns you have. I am happy to support you.

Use of Multimedia for Instructional Purposes

To ensure that rigorous instruction and expectation for students are set high, the use of audio or video resources (e.g., podcast, movie, documentary, YouTube video) for more than 10 minutes of class time for instructional purposes must be approved by school leadership in advance. Teachers should be prepared to share how they will maintain a high level or instructional rigor with the extended use (more than 10 minutes) of multimedia.

Student Attendance & Class Lateness Policy

Teachers are expected to take daily and period attendance of students. Daily attendance (captured period 2) and period attendance (captured every period) should be recorded using the DOE Attendance application which can be accessed on TeachHub here: Teachers are expected to take attendance for each class, each day during the first five minutes of class.

Students are expected to be in class and in their seats by the time the second bell rings. Students who are not present when the teacher takes attendance should be marked absent. Students that arrive after attendance has been taken should have their attendance updated to late. These students should be marked late regardless of the reason or if the student has a hall pass. Students are expected to report to class first for attendance and can then be permitted to leave the class for the bathroom or other reasons at the teacher’s discretion. Note that students should not be excused from your class to attend another class (e.g., gym) without the permission of school leadership first.

Be advised that you cannot refuse a student entry into a class that they are scheduled for. All students have a right to a free public-school education as provided by law. Denying a student entry into their scheduled class for any reason that has not been approved by the admin team in advance denies a student this right.

General Student Supervision

Teachers may never leave students unattended. For this reason, it is important that once you leave a space (e.g., classroom, library) in the school building you ensure the space is locked and inaccessible to students. If you do not have the key to lock a space, you must notify the AP for Organization who can assist with securing the space. Under no circumstance should space be left accessible to students without the supervision of a staff member. This includes the use of the elevator which students are not permitted to use unless there is a medical condition that requires them to do so.

Additionally, students should never be left unattended during field trips, assemblies, or any other school sponsored activity.

Students are expected to come to school with the things they need to be successful in your class. That includes a bookbag, a fully charged and working device and other resources (e.g. bilingual dictionary, pens, pencils, notebook, water bottle). Contact families of students that consistently come to your class unprepared. This contact should be documented in Kinvolv. Take some time to ask students why they are not coming to class prepared. Communicate with our technology specialists for any tech support students need. Also note that we know that some students may prefer to complete their work on their phones, but it is important to be mindful of the optics this creates for your classroom and unintended consequences.

Students Leaving the Classroom
Teachers should ensure that students remain in their classrooms during the first ten and last ten minutes of the period. The first ten minutes of class are crucial for getting instruction started and for taking attendance while the last ten minutes are important for the lesson closing (e.g., exit tickets). Students should not be permitted to use the bathroom or leave to go to the main office, visit their guidance counselor, college counselor, social worker, dean, administrator or anyone else during this time, even if students have appointments that have been scheduled in advance. Once ten minutes have passed students can leave the classroom if they have been provided with a school issued pass (black rectangular pass for bathroom, paper pass for other purposes) and have signed out on the Student Sign-In/Sign Out Sheet.

Note that you are also responsible for the students you allow to leave your room with a pass. You must keep a written record of who those students are, along with the date and time you give students the pass. This record may be used as a legal document in a student disciplinary hearing.

A recommended best practice is to call the student’s destination (for non-bathroom visits) before they depart your room to confirm their appointment and to ask the staff member at the destination to call back if the student has not arrived after a few minutes. This ensures that students are not wandering the halls or somewhere they are not supposed to be. Teachers should always use their professional judgement in allowing a student to use the bathroom or leave the room for another purpose (e.g., student in crisis) outside of the guidelines above. Instructional time is always the priority and should be maximized.

Students Entering or Exiting Class Without Permission
Teachers should alert School Safety (extension 1000) when a student enters or exists your class without permission. Both situations pose a serious safety risk to the student and others and need to be reported by the teacher immediately. Once School Safety is alerted, they will radio the admin team who will respond. If you cannot reach the school safety agents, immediately call or text a member of the admin team. Teachers are also expected to contact the families of students who are entering or exiting class without permission.

Classroom Food Policy
At the teacher’s discretion students are permitted to eat food in class during periods 1 and 2. Students should not be allowed to eat in class past period 2 as food creates distractions, trash and attracts mice. This policy should be communicated to students in each of your classes. If students do not comply, the parent should be notified, and the parent engagement documented in Kinvolv. If the behavior continues, please alert your direct supervisor so we can support.

Teachers are permitted to host potlucks, pizza parties in their classrooms. Advanced notice (at least 1 month) should be provided to your direct supervisor. See the section on Parties and Events for more information. Once food has been consumed, trash should be properly disposed of, and student workspaces should be cleaned for use by the next class.

Creating a Safe & Supportive Learning Environment
To promote a safe and supportive school environment where all students can learn teachers are expected to implement evidence-based Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). This includes the following:

  • The classroom is designed to meet the needs of all students
  • Classroom routines are developed, taught and are predictable
  • School norms are posted, defined, and explicitly taught
  • Prompts and active supervision practices are used proactively
  • Opportunities to respond are varied and are provided at high rates
  • Specific praise and other strategies are used to acknowledge behavior
  • Reminders are consistently given before a behavior occurs
  • The responses to misbehavior in the classroom are appropriate and systematic
  • Data systems are used to collect information about classroom behavior

Teachers are asked to log minor behavior incidents using the school adopted system (ie. Kinvolv). This information is used in a variety of ways including identifying students who are most in need of intervention and support.

For more information on evidenced-based classroom management strategies please see this resource.

Developing the social-emotional competencies (i.e., self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship management, responsible decision making) of students is also critical in creating safe and supportive learning environments. More specifically, when students develop their social-emotional competencies they are more motivated to learn, committed to school and are less likely to act out in class, get suspended or held back. To promote the development of social-emotional competencies teachers should include the following in their daily pedagogical practice:

  • Implementing restorative practices
  • Using language that praises and encourages
  • Allowing students to make responsible decisions about their work
  • Providing students with academic and social support
  • Opportunities for cooperative learning
  • Opportunities for classroom discussion
  • Opportunities for self-reflection and self-assessment
  • Balance of active vs. direct instruction & individual vs. collaborative learning
  • Implementation of meaningful and challenging work while setting high expectations
  • Building competence through modeling, practicing, feedback and coaching

More information about these evidence-based instructional practices that promote development of social-emotional competencies can be found on pages 10-18 of this resource. This self-assessment tool from CASEL is also helpful with thinking about how to promote the social-emotional development of students in your classroom.

Responding to Student Misconduct
At Bushwick Leaders’ High School we are committed to providing a safe, enriching social-emotional, learning environment through the implementation of positive behavioral intervention support (PBIS) for the purpose of enhancing student resiliency, responsibility and strengths for long term success. Despite our best efforts to create a safe and supportive environment through PBIS and the development of social-emotional competencies we understand that students can engage in unwanted behavior. In these circumstances we take a restorative approach in responding to misconduct by holding students accountable for their actions and supporting them in making better decisions in the future.

Implementation of appropriate interventions and disciplinary responses must consider several factors, including the nature and severity of the misconduct. In certain cases, student support, and interventions may be used in lieu of or in tandem with in-school disciplinary responses. In some cases, a student’s misconduct may require or be most appropriately addressed by a targeted or significant disciplinary response, along with support and interventions. To learn more about responses to student misconduct review the NYCDOE Citywide Behavioral Expectations.

School Trips
Trips are an important part of the educational process and are highly encouraged. Trips give our students the opportunity to experience learning firsthand and must, therefore, be carefully planned. An important step for setting up a school trip is submitting a trip plan using this Google Form which will be reviewed by an administrator. The trip plan should be submitted 60 days in advance for domestic trips. As you begin the process of planning a trip take time to review this BLHS created FAQ as well as this NYCDOE created FAQ which share important information and considerations for planning trips.

Once a trip plan is approved students should be provided with a parent notification & consent form, available here, which should be completed, signed by the parent and returned to the teacher.

You should review behavior expectations with students prior to any trip. If you are visiting a cultural institution, please review their code of conduct with student as well. If students are not meeting behavior expectations, you have the option of returning the group back to school at any point in time. Parents should also be immediately called if there is a serious issue or concern along with an administrator.

Time and Attendance

Staff Attendance
Staff Attendance
In accordance with the Chancellor’s Regulation C-601, each member of the BLHS pedagogical staff shall perform the duties of their position as prescribed by the principal during the hours established for such service.

Indicating Your “Presence” on Arrival to BLHS
UFT employees must indicate their presence by moving their timecards located in the Main Office to the “IN” side and, before departure, to the “OUT” side. Unless notified otherwise, the workday for teachers is from 8:00am to 3:50pm on Mondays, 8:00am to 3:45pm on Tuesdays and 8:00am to 2:20pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. During professional development days including Chancellor’s Conference Day and Election Day the workday is from 8:00am to 2:50pm. non-pedagogical personnel must punch their timecards on arrival and departure daily. At 8:00 am, timecards not moved to the “IN” position will be pulled. Any staff member arriving after that time is instructed to retrieve their card from the Payroll Secretary and have the time of arrival recorded on the timecard.

Under no circumstances should a staff member move or alter the timecard of another staff member.

Reporting for Duty
For the purpose of service, “reporting for duty,” means reporting to the location where assigned duties are to be performed and not merely signing or clocking in. Thus, a teacher who is assigned to take charge of students at 8:00 AM must be in the designated classroom no later than 8:00 AM regardless of the time the teacher registered their attendance.

Staff Absences
Absence Due to Illness
To report an absence, email, call or text message the AP for Organization and the Payroll Secretary no later than 7:00am the morning of the absence. We encourage staff to notify staff of an absence as early as possible to provide sufficient time to issue classroom coverage. In your message indicate the classes needing coverage and confirm if you have shared an announcement with students in your google classroom stream that you will be absent and have provided instructions on what work should be completed during class time.

Personal Business
Staff must provide reasonable advance notice of a request for a personal business day. Personal business days are to be used to conduct business which conflicts with your school schedule and which cannot be scheduled for any other time. Requests should be shared via email to the Principal with a CC to the Payroll Secretary.

Unauthorized Absence
Failing to notify school staff about an absence constitutes an unauthorized absence and a dereliction of professional duties. This constitutes grounds for disciplinary action which may include dismissal from service for that cause alone (see Chancellor’s Regulation C-601).

Borrowing Sick Days
Employees who have exhausted their cumulative sick leave balances may be eligible to borrow up to 20 days of additional sick leave. For more information, please see the UFT Contract and Payroll Secretary or the NYC Payroll Portal.

Leaving the School Building During School Hours
If a staff member must leave the school during the school day, they must notify their immediate supervisor, to ensure that all classes and other professional assignments are covered, indicating the duration and reason for any such absence (see Chancellor’s Regulation C-604). No class may be left unsupervised.

If a staff member has an official NYC Dept of Education meeting to attend, they should attach the appropriate documentation to the form OP 201 (within NYC) or OP 221 (outside NYC) which must be signed by the principal, no later than the day before the scheduled meeting so that coverage may be assigned for the teacher’s classes. See the NYC Payroll Portal for more information. Other purposes for requesting non-attendance include jury duty, legislative hearing, death in immediate family, funeral, graduation or appearance on official business.

Jury Duty
Staff who are summoned to report for jury duty are to notify the payroll secretary upon receipt of the jury summons and the AP for Organization so that coverage can be assigned. Please notify both as soon as jury duty ends. Provide proof of jury duty completion to the payroll secretary.

Returning to School from an Absence
Please see the Payroll Secretary immediately upon your return from an absence to sign your Cumulative Absence Reserve (C.A.R.) Form.

Staff Lateness
All staff should call the school as soon as they become aware that they will arrive at school later than their scheduled time. A teacher or educational paraprofessional arriving after 8:00 a.m. must record their lateness. Staff who are late must immediately report to the Payroll Secretary to verify arrival time and to sign the late book before reporting to any assignments that day. If the Payroll Secretary is not available, the teacher may contact any other school administrator to have their time of arrival verified or clocked in.

Non-pedagogical staff members’ arriving late must clock in on the timecard. The initialing of a timecard for lateness is an auditor’s requirement and does not mean that the lateness is not counted. If a timecard is left blank or the time of arrival is written in and not initialed by a school administrator, the staff member will be charged that day from his/her established time for reporting for duty even through the time the card is initialed by a school administrator.

Daily lateness, except those approved by the principal, will be accumulated and lateness exceeding 30 minutes will be deducted at the end of the term as per Department of Education regulations. Unacceptable attendance/lateness records may result in letters for personnel file and an end-of-year rating of unsatisfactory.

Time Off for Religious Observance
Pursuant to the Chancellor’s Regulation C-606, an employee’s request for time off from religious observance must be decided on a case-by-case basis. Employees can meet with the principal to discuss what the religion requires of the employee (e.g., attendance at all day religious services or only part of the day) and whether arrangements short of a full day off (such as early release time) would suffice. The employee has an obligation under the regulation to consider such alternative arrangements. The principal must consider the impact the staff member’s absence on the day in question will have on students. The principal will conduct this analysis and arrive at a case-by-case judgment regardless of whether the school has given the day off for religious observance in the past.

Absence Before and After a Holiday
Staff are expected to avoid establishing patterns of being absent before or after a holiday and/or weekend. It is important that you understand that a poor attendance record may result in disciplinary action including a possible unsatisfactory rating. “While actual absence which has been excused in accordance with regulations does not, of and by itself, constitute grounds for disciplinary action, absences which are so numerous as to limit the effectiveness of service may lead to disciplinary action for incompetent service or unfitness to perform obligations properly to the service” (see Chancellor’s Regulation C-601).

Chancellor’s Regulations Requiring Signed Receipt

Child Abuse and Maltreatment Prevention (A-750)
A child is considered abused or maltreated if the child is less than 18 years old and a parent, guardian, custodian or person regularly residing in the home, or another person responsible for the child’s care, which includes an employee of a New York City Early Education Center (NYCEEC) and an employee of a DOE LYFE Center, harms the child, creates substantial risk of harm or fails to exercise a minimum degree of care to protect the child. DOE school personnel, as mandated reporters, are required to report suspicions of abuse or maltreatment to SCR immediately.

School personnel with concerns about misconduct or sexual abuse of a student committed by a DOE employee or others connected with DOE school programs or services must immediately report such concerns to the Special Commissioner of Investigation.

If a student is the victim of suspected criminal activity other than child abuse and/or maltreatment, school personnel must contact the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

If, at any time, there is an imminent threat of danger to a child’s health or safety or a child requires immediate medical attention, 911 must be contacted immediately.

Educational Neglect
Educational neglect is the failure of a parent, or person legally responsible for a child, to ensure their child’s prompt and regular attendance in school or the keeping of a child out of school for impermissible reasons resulting in an adverse effect on the child’s educational progress or imminent danger of such an adverse effect. A case of educational neglect must be called into the New York State Central Register in compliance with Chancellor’s Regulation A-750.

Suicide Prevention & Intervention (A-755)
Students often give clues of their intent to commit suicide to peers, teachers and other personnel. It is important, therefore, that all school personnel (pedagogical and non-pedagogical) be made aware of behavioral manifestations, which may suggest suicidal tendencies. All suicide related behaviors must be taken seriously.

Every staff member must report knowledge of any suicide attempt or potential suicide to the principal or designated liaison whether or not the student has requested that the information be kept confidential.

Suicide Ideation vs. Suicide Behavior vs. Suicide Attempt

Suicide Ideation Suicide Behavior Suicide Attempt
  • Student expressed general thoughts or feelings about suicide and exhibits some of the warning signs or indicators listed on the Suicide Reference Guide
  • Severe and persistent bereavement
  • Previous self-injuring behavior
  • Total withdrawal/isolation
  • Feeling of hopelessness
  • Chronic depression
  • Chronic substance abuse
  • Deteriorating school functioning
  • Loss of reality boundaries
  • Lack of emotions or inappropriate affect
  • Rage/Anger
  • Student has engaged in behavior to order to end their life

Suicide Ideation Intervention Measures
When a student expresses general thoughts or feelings about suicide and exhibits some of the warning signs or indicators listed on the Suicide Reference Guide – Warning Signs of Suicide Risk the following steps must be taken:

  • The situation must be assessed by the crisis team to determine appropriate interventions and services.
  • Any staff member becoming aware of such behavior must notify the principal/designee immediately.
  • The principal/designee must make the student’s parents aware of the potentially dangerous nature of the situation.

Suicide Behavior Intervention Measures
The following steps must be taken when any staff member becomes aware of suicidal behavior:

  • The staff must immediately inform the principal/designee​
  • The staff member must contact 911 where appropriate and in consultation with the principal or crisis team
  • The principal/designee must contact the parents and make them aware of the serious and potentially dangerous nature of the situation and assist in developing an immediate plan of action to follow​
  • If the student has indicated access to the means for attempting a suicide, the parent must be informed about appropriate preventative measures

Suicide Attempt Intervention Measures
When a staff member has knowledge of a suicide attempt, the following steps must be taken:

  • The staff member contacts 911 immediately so that student can be transported and admitted to the nearest hospital​​
  • The staff member must summon assistance and inform the principal/designee​
  • The staff member must ensure that the student is not unattended under any circumstances​
  • The staff member must ensure that appropriate first aid procedures are administered​
  • The principal/designee must notify the parent and summon him/her either to the school or to the hospital involved

Pupil Behavior and Discipline – Corporal Punishment (A-420)
It is the policy of the Department of Education (“DOE”) to prohibit corporal punishment of students by DOE staff members, custodial workers, vendors, consultants, Community Based Organization (“CBO”) staff and similar individuals on school property, on school trips, and at other school-related functions off school property.

Disruptive behavior by a student must never be punished by the use of corporal punishment. Schools should address a student’s disruptive behavior through offering guidance interventions, working with parents, and addressing behavior in accordance with Chancellor’s Regulation A-443 and the DOE’s Citywide Behavioral Expectations to Support Student Learning (“Discipline Code”).

Employees who violate this Regulation will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Any staff member who witnesses or otherwise has knowledge or information about a student who may have been a victim of corporal punishment is required to orally report the allegation to the principal/designee within one school day of learning of the allegation. The staff member also must complete a witness statement.

Pupil Behavior and Discipline – Verbal Abuse (A-421)

A. It is the policy of the Department of Education (“DOE”) to prohibit verbal abuse of students by DOE staff members, custodial workers, vendors, consultants, Community Based Organization (“CBO”) staff and similar individuals on school property, on school trips, and at other school-related functions off school property. B. Disruptive behavior by a student must never be punished by verbal abuse. Schools should address a student’s disruptive behavior through offering guidance interventions, working with parents, and addressing behavior in accordance with Chancellor’s Regulation A-443 and the DOE’s Citywide Behavioral Expectations to Support Student Learning (“Discipline Code”). C. Employees who violate this Regulation will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Any staff member who witnesses or otherwise has knowledge or information about a student who may have been a victim of verbal abuse is required to orally report the allegation to the principal/designee within one school day of learning of the allegation. The staff member also must complete a witness statement.

School Safety & Security

Emergencies – General Response Protocol
The General Response Protocol (GRP) has been designed to provide all schools with the direction they will take when an emergency incident occurs. At its core is the use of common language to identify the initial measures all school communities will take until first responders arrive. In every incident, school administrators will need to assess the unique circumstances that will affect how the GRP is implemented. Each protocol has specific staff and student actions that are unique to each response. In the event that a student or staff member identifies the initial threat, calling 911 and administration is required.

Lockdown (Soft/Hard)
Soft Lockdown implies that there is no identified imminent danger to the sweep teams. Administrative teams, Building Response Teams, and School Safety Agents will mobilize to the designated command post for further direction.

Hard Lockdown implies that imminent danger is known, and no one will engage in any building sweep activity. All individuals, including School Safety Agents will take appropriate lockdown action and await the arrival of first responders. The announcement, “Attention: We are now in Soft/Hard Lockdown. Take proper action,” will be repeated twice over the PA (Public Address) system.

Students are trained to:

  • Move out of sight and maintain silence*.
    * (Due to CDC guidelines, students can remain in their seat during the lockdown drill for the 2021-2022 school year)

Teachers are trained to: **

  • Check the hallway outside of their classrooms for students, lock classroom doors, and turn the lights off.
  • Move away from sight and maintain silence.
  • Wait for First Responders to open door, or until hearing the “All Clear” message: “The Lockdown has been lifted”, followed by specific directions.
  • Take attendance and account for missing students by contacting the main office.
    ** (Due to CDC guidelines, teachers should cover the glass opening in the door to prevent anyone from looking into the class)

The fire alarm system is the initial alert for staff and students to initiate an evacuation. However, there may be times when the PA system and specific directions will serve as the alert initiating an evacuation. The announcement will begin with “Attention”, followed by specific directions and will be repeated twice over the PA system.

Students are trained to:

  • Leave belongings behind and form a single file line. In cold weather, students should be reminded to take their coats when leaving the classroom. Students in physical education attire WILL NOT return to the locker room. Students without proper outdoor attire will be secured in a warm location as immediately as possible.

Teachers are trained to:

  • Grab the evacuation folder (with attendance sheet and Assembly Cards).
  • Lead students to evacuation locations as identified on Fire Drill Posters. Always listen for additional directions.
  • Take attendance and account for students.
  • Report injuries, problems, or missing students to school staff and first responders using Assembly Cards.

The announcement, “Attention: This is a Shelter-In. Secure all exit doors,” will be repeated twice over the PA system.

Students are trained to:

  • Remain inside of the building.
  • Conduct business as usual.
  • Respond to specific staff directions

Teachers are trained to:

  • Increase situational awareness.
  • Conduct business as usual.
  • The Shelter-In directive will remain in effect until hearing the “All Clear” message: “The Shelter-In has been lifted”, followed by specific directions.

BRT members, floor wardens, and Shelter-In staff will secure all exits and report to specific post assignments.

Accidents and Medical Care
Accidents or cases of sudden illness that involve a student or staff member, however minor, must be immediately reported to the AP for Safety and Security in accordance with Chancellor’s Regulation A412. The AP for Safety and Security will notify the principal when appropriate. In order to protect the health and safety of staff and students, please follow the additional procedures outlined below.

Sending a Student to Nurse’s Office
If a student has a minor accident or feels ill, the student should be escorted by a school aide to the Nurse’s Office for medical aid. The BLHS staff member should call ahead to the Nurse’s Office (extension 2060 or 2061) to alert the Nurse of the arrival of the accident victim / ill student. All persons involved in an accident are expected to file an incident report on the day the accident occurred. This includes the injured person, two witnesses (if possible), the school nurse, and either the staff member who observed the accident or teacher in-charge of the activity.

Relief of Duties for Staff
If a staff member has an accident or feels ill, they must notify the AP for Organization requesting emergency coverage for their class. In an extreme emergency situation where a teacher must leave their class before coverage arrives, the teacher may join their class with a class belonging to a neighboring faculty member. In addition, any accident involving a BLHS staff member must be reported immediately to the AP for Safety and Security. An incident report must be completed and returned to the AP for Safety and Security within 24 hours. If there is a witness, that person’s report should be detailed and consistent with yours. A witness is extremely helpful in establishing your claim.

Urgent Medical Care for Students and Staff
If a staff member or student suffers a serious and potentially life-threatening accident or medical problem that might require an ambulance and/or urgent medical care, call 911 and then notify the AP for Safety and Security immediately. The AP for Safety and Security will notify the principal.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and Code Blue
NYS law requires that every school be a Public Access Defibrillation site, which means that the AED needs to be clearly visible and accessible to the public. To this end, BLHS has locations on each floor near an administrator’s office as well as the main entrance. The goal is to have the AED no further than 2 minutes away from any location in the school, so that the guideline of having it placed on the victim within three to five minutes of the collapse can be met.

Locations of AED sites:

  • By school safety desk on the ground floor main entrance on Seneca Ave.
  • 2nd floor outside gym entrance
  • On 4th floor by elevators

If an emergency arises where an AED and a certified staff member who is trained on the use of this apparatus is needed at a specific location, a school wide “Code Blue” will be announced. When a “Code Blue” is announced, all certified AED staff members must report immediately to the designated location. If a certified AED staff member is teaching when a “Code Blue” is announced, then they should ask a teacher from an adjacent classroom to monitor their students during their absence.

Teachers interested in AED training should speak to the Assistant Principal for Organization.

Internet Acceptable Use Policy

Internet access and e-mail provided by the Department are intended for educational use, instruction, research and the facilitation of communication, collaboration, and other Department related purposes. Users are subject to the same standards expected in a classroom and/or professional workplace.

Monitoring and Privacy
Users have no right to privacy while using the Department’s Internet Systems. The Department monitors users’ online activities and reserves the right to access, review, copy, store, or delete any electronic communications or files. This includes any items stored on Department-provided devices, such as files, e-mails, cookies, and Internet history.

The Department reserves the right to disclose any electronic activity, including electronic communications, to law enforcement officials or third parties, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law. The Department will fully cooperate with local, state, or federal officials in any lawful investigation concerning or relating to any illegal activities conducted through the Department’s Internet Systems.

Prohibited Uses of the Department’s Internet Systems
Users may not engage in any of the activities prohibited by this policy when using or accessing the Department’s Internet Systems.

If users are uncertain whether behavior is prohibited, they should contact a teacher, supervisor or other appropriate Department personnel. The Department reserves the right to take immediate action regarding activities that (1) create security and/or safety issues for the Department, students, employees, schools, network or computer resources, or (2) expend Department resources on content the Department determines lacks legitimate educational or Department content or purpose, or (3) the Department determines are inappropriate.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of examples of prohibited behavior:

  • Causing harm to others, damage to their property or Department property
  • Gaining or attempting to gain unauthorized access to the Department’s Internet Systems, or to any third party’s computer system
  • Using the Department’s Internet Systems for commercial purposes
  • Engaging in criminal or other unlawful activities

For more information, visit the Internet Acceptable Use Policy website.

Social Media

Communication with DOE Students
In order to maintain a professional and appropriate relationship with students, DOE employees should not communicate with students who are currently enrolled in DOE schools on personal social media sites. DOE employees’ communication with DOE students via personal social media is subject to the following exceptions: (a) communication with relatives and (b) if an emergency requires such communication, in which case the DOE employee should notify his/her supervisor of the contact as soon as possible.

Guidance Regarding Personal Social Media Sites
DOE employees should exercise caution and common sense when using personal social media sites:

  • As a recommended practice, DOE employees are encouraged to use appropriate privacy settings to control access to their personal social media sites. However, be aware that there are limitations to privacy settings. Private communication published on the Internet can easily become public. Furthermore, social media sites can change their current default privacy settings and other functions. As a result, employees are responsible for understanding the rules of the social media site being utilized.
  • It is not recommended that DOE employees “tag” photos of other DOE employees, DOE volunteers, DOE contractors or DOE vendors without the prior permission of the individuals being tagged.
  • Personal social media use, including off-hours use, has the potential to result in disruption at school and/or the workplace, and can be in violation of DOE policies, Chancellor’s Regulations, and law.
  • The posting or disclosure of personally identifiable student information or confidential information via personal social media sites, in violation of Chancellor’s Regulations (Open external link), is prohibited.
  • DOE employees should not use the DOE’s logo or make representations that their personal social media sites speak in an official DOE capacity. Use of the DOE logo that is automatically populated on personal social media sites, such as LinkedIn, is permitted.
  • Notwithstanding the guidelines above, postings by a DOE employee may be protected under applicable labor laws and collective bargaining agreements.

For more information, visit Social Media Guidelines for DOE Staff website.

Per Session Activities

All per session positions are shared via email and virtually posted online here. Please notify the principal in writing to indicate your interest in any position. Please be aware of the following summary of Chancellor’s regulations on per-session. The complete regulations are available on-line here.

  1. All per session employees must complete an application for each per session activity (0P175) prior to commencing service.
  2. Individuals applying for a second per session activity must obtain an approved waiver prior to commencing service in the second activity in excess of 25 hours (OP 175W).
  3. Individuals who have been approved for waivers in prior years must resubmit new waiver applications each year. For this purpose, the per session year is from July 1 to June 30.
  4. Department of Education regulations limit per session service to one position and limit the number of hours in any per session year to 400 hours unless a waiver is approved. Prior approval by the Per Session Monitoring Unit is needed before commencing a second per session job or exceeding the 400-hour limitation. Future payment will be withheld by the Per Session Monitoring Unit if the appropriate waiver is not filed prior to reaching the limit.
  5. No individual is authorized to work in a per session activity during the normal school workday.
  6. Per session employment, whether funded from the same or a different source, may not be used as a means of providing additional compensation for work similar to that which is performed in an individual’s primary assignment.
  7. Individuals cannot serve in a per session activity for which, in their primary assignment, they are responsible for hiring, rating or coordinating or which they normally supervise in their primary assignment.
  8. No per session compensation may be paid for work performed at home.
  9. Employees on sabbatical leave beginning in August must complete per session activities in which they are serving in July. They will not be permitted to commence any new per session assignments until September following the completion of the sabbatical.
  10. Each per session employee is required to use this virtual time clock to record the exact time of arrival and departure. The virtual timecard will serve as the basis of entries on the Personnel Time Report. In every case, regardless of the specific manner in which time is reported, supervisors are accountable for verifying the record of attendance. Approval by a co-worker is not acceptable. Failure to maintain satisfactory time records will result in the withholding of compensation or recoupment of payment already made.
  11. Each per session employee is required to submit a timesheet for service that was performed during the prior period within one school day of the per session period immediately following each service to his/her department supervisor, who will forward it onto the APO.
  12. Timesheets, submitted for per session work that required a waiver that was not previously approved, will result in the withholding of per session payment.
  13. If a teacher is entitled to retention rights in a per session activity but fails to claim those rights or at the time of application for a different per session job in which the teacher has no retention rights, the teacher may then be denied employment in the job for which there is entitlement to retention.
  14. Requests for waivers must be submitted sufficiently in advance to allow the Per Session Monitoring Unit time for review and appropriate action. All requests for waivers will be reviewed and acted upon within 10 school days from the date of their submission. Per session compensation will be withheld for any individual who has not received prior written approval from the Division of Human Resources for a second per session activity or whose service exceeds the prescribed number of hours indicated in Chancellor’s Regulations C-175.
  15. Per session payment may be jeopardized (withholding of pay and/or recoupment) if all requirements delineated in Chancellor’s Regulation C- 175 and in the Standard Operating Procedures Manual (DE470 Payroll: Hourly Professional Service) are not followed.

Smoking Policy

No Smoking Policy Statement
Smoking is prohibited in all areas within school buildings, office buildings, structures, grounds and facilities under the jurisdiction of the Department of Education, except as otherwise indicated in accordance with the regulations contained herein.

No Smoking Areas
Use of any tobacco product, including chewing tobacco, is always prohibited in all school buildings, office buildings, structures, grounds and facilities under the jurisdiction of the Department of Education in which children are provided instruction and/or related services. Smoking is also prohibited in any motor vehicle owned, operated or leased by the Department of Education which is used to transport students or Department of Education personnel. Smoking is prohibited in areas of any building designated for administrative use only to which the public is allowed, including but not limited to restrooms, stairwells, etc. Smoking shall always be prohibited in employee cafeterias, lunchrooms and lounges. Smoking is prohibited on all school grounds and other DOE outdoor facilities, including playing fields, school yards, entrances and exits to buildings, parking lots, and the like. Since teachers and staff members serve as role models for students, staff members should never smoke in front of students.

Policy on the Use of Personal Electronic Devices

The use of cell phones or other electronic devices by staff for non-instructional purposes during the workday is prohibited.

School Trips

Trips are an important part of the educational process. They give our students the opportunity to experience learning firsthand and must, therefore, be carefully planned and show a direct correlation to instruction. Anytime you spend time with students outside of the school day you must have a permission slip signed by a parent. This includes going for pizza or coffee.

You must complete a DOE Trip Plan for all trip requests and those can be handed to the the AP for Organization.

Parties and Events

You must submit your request for an after-school event or party to the principal at least 1 month prior to the event. The request must include the following:

  • Date of event
  • Kind of event
  • Reason for event
  • Anticipated number of participants
  • Supervisors and teachers who will be present
  • Time event begins and ends

All advisory events must be approved. There are no parties in advisory. Please be advised, the custodian has asked that we do not eat in any instructional spaces.

Personal Belongings

Staff should not leave any personal belongings of value unattended. Any items of value should be stored in a secure way (e.g., under lock and key). Unattended classrooms should also be locked when not in use by the teacher to prevent theft of school and staff property.

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