District Notifications

FERPA

The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) provides parents/guardians and students who are 18 years of age or older (known as “eligible students”) with certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. Parents/guardians and eligible students have the right to:

  • Inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day a request for access is received by the school. These requests should be submitted to your child’s school principal.
  • Request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent/guardian or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights;
  • Provide written consent before the school discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent;
  • File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the district to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202.

Facilities notices

Asbestos Notifications

The Mechanicville City School District has submitted information to the New York State Education Department regarding asbestos-containing building materials in the school district. This information is documented in the school district’s Asbestos Management Plan, which is in accordance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) of 1987 (40 CFR Part 763). This information is intended to fulfill annual notification requirements.

In compliance with the AHERA Regulation the school district conducted its 2019 triennial re-inspection on May 24, 2019. The school continues to perform the six month periodic surveillances as required under the AHERA regulation, as well. Documentation related to all inspections is available in the Asbestos Management Plan.

The Asbestos Management Plan for the Mechanicville City School District is located in the district office and is available to the public for review during the following times: Monday through Friday, 8 AM-3 PM

Pesticide Use and Request for Notification

Pesticide products may be applied periodically throughout the 2020-2021 school year at the Mechanicville City School District. Under the Pesticide Neighbor Notification Law, Section 409-h of the Education Law, the district is required to maintain a list of parents/guardians, and school staff who wish to receive 48-hour advanced written notice of an actual pesticide application in the facilities or on school grounds. You may register for 48-hour notification by completing the notice below and returning to District Business Manager Jodi Birch, 25 Kniskern Avenue, Mechanicville, New York 12118.

Jodi Birch is the school pesticide representative. She can be reached by phone at (518) 664-5727, extension 2200 for further information on these requirements.

The following applications are not subject to prior notification requirements:

  • A school remains unoccupied for a continuous 72 hours following an application.
  • Antimicrobial products.
  • Nonvolatile rodenticides in tamper-resistant bait stations in areas inaccessible to children.
  • Silica gels and other nonvolatile ready-to-use pastes, foams and gels in areas inaccessible to children.
  • Boric acid and disodium octaborate tetrahydrate.
  • The application of EPA-designated biopesticides.
  • The application of EPA-designated exempt materials under 40CFR152.25.
  • The use of aerosol products with a directed spray in container of 18 fluid ounces or less when used to protect individuals from an imminent threat from stinging and biting insects, including venomous spiders, bees, wasps, and hornets.

In the event of an emergency application necessary to protect against an imminent threat to human health, a good faith effort will be made to supply written notification to those on the 48-hour prior notification list.

To request 48-hour prior notification, please contact the district office.

Water Testing

On Sept. 6, 2016, New York became the first state in the nation to require all public schools and BOCES to test all sources of drinking water for lead. If a water outlet is found to have a lead level above the state’s “action level” of 15 parts per billion (ppb), a school district must: take immediate steps to prohibit use of the outlet for drinking or cooking purposes; implement an appropriate remediation plan; and ensure that students and staff have an adequate supply of water for drinking and cooking while remedial steps are taken.

Please click here for more information on our lead testing results.

Title I – Parents’ Right to Know

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, parents/guardians have the right to know the professional qualifications of their child’s classroom teachers, including:

  • Whether a teacher has state certification for the grade levels and subjects he or she is teaching;
  • The teacher’s baccalaureate degree major and any other certifications or degrees; and
  • Whether their child receives services from paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.

Parents/guardians may request their child’s classroom teacher’s professional qualifications by contacting their child’s school principal.

Safe Schools Against Violence in Education

 

Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security

Parents (includes legal guardians or persons in parental relationships) and Eligible Students (students 18 years and older) can expect the following:

  1. A student’s personally identifiable information (PII) cannot be sold or released for any commercial purpose. PII, as defined by Education Law § 2-d and FERPA, includes direct identifiers such as a student’s name or identification number, parent’s name, or address; and indirect identifiers such as a student’s date of birth, which when linked to or combined with other information can be used to distinguish or trace a student’s identity. Please see FERPA’s regulations at 34 CFR 99.3 for a more complete definition.
  2. The right to inspect and review the complete contents of the student’s education record stored or maintained by an educational agency. This right may not apply to parents of an Eligible Student.
  3. State and federal laws such as Education Law § 2-d; the Commissioner of Education’s Regulations at 8 NYCRR Part 121, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) at 12 U.S.C. 1232g (34 CFR Part 99); Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) at 15 U.S.C. 6501-6502 (16 CFR Part 312); Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (“PPRA”) at 20 U.S.C. 1232h (34 CFR Part 98); the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) at 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq. (34 CFR Part 300); protect the confidentiality of a student’s identifiable information.
  4. Safeguards associated with industry standards and best practices including but not limited to encryption, firewalls and password protection must be in place when student PII is stored or transferred.
  5. A complete list of all student data elements collected by NYSED is available at www.nysed.gov/data-privacy-security, and by writing to: Chief Privacy Officer, New York State Education Department, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234.
  6. The right to have complaints about possible breaches and unauthorized disclosures of PII addressed. Complaints may be submitted to NYSED at www.nysed.gov/data-privacy-security; by mail to: Chief Privacy Officer, New York State Education Department, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234; by email to privacy@nysed.gov; or by telephone at 518-474- 0937.
  7. To be notified in accordance with applicable laws and regulations if a breach or unauthorized release of PII occurs.
  8. Educational agency workers that handle PII will receive training on applicable state and federal laws, policies, and safeguards associated with industry standards and best practices that protect PII.
  9. Educational agency contracts with vendors that receive PII will address statutory and regulatory data privacy and security requirements.

The district policy on Privacy and Security for Student, Teacher, and Principal Data can be found here. The district’s Data Privacy Officer is Kevin Kolakowski. He can be reached at KKolakowski@mechanicville.org or 518-664-9888.

Parent Involvement Policy

The district’s Parent Involvement Policy can be accessed by clicking this link.

Student Privacy

The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment provides parents/guardians with certain rights regarding the conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes and certain physical exams. In particular, if a survey is funded in whole or part by the U.S. Department of Education, parents/guardians have the right to consent before students are required to complete a survey that asks about any of the following protected areas:

  • Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parents/guardians;
  • Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
  • Sexual behavior or attitudes;
  • Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating or demeaning behavior;
  • Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
  • Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors or ministers;
  • Religious practices, affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent; or
  • Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.

Parents/guardians will also receive a notice and an opportunity to opt students out of the following:

  • Any other survey that asks about the above protected areas;
  • Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attending school or school functions, with the exception of physical exams or screenings required or permitted by state law (e.g. hearing, vision or scoliosis); and
  • Activities involving collection, disclosure or use of personal information collected from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others. 

Parents/guardians have the right to inspect any surveys that ask about the above protected areas, as well as surveys created by third parties that are used to collect personal information from students for marketing purposes and instructional materials used as part of the curriculum.

The school district will directly notify parents/guardians of its student privacy policy at the start of each school year and after any substantive changes. Parents/guardians will also be provided with reasonable notification of specific activities or surveys covered by this policy and the ability to opt their child out of such activities.

These rights transfer from the parents/guardians to their child who is at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor.

Anyone who believes their rights have been violated may file a complaint with: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202.

Note: The Parents’ Bill of Rights information provided on the district website should incorporate information about third-party contracts (see Ed Law 2D section for more information). 

References: Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)

U.S. Department of Education Sample Notification of Rights Under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment

Dignity for All Students

New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act) took effect on July 1, 2012. Just as with the district’s Code of Conduct, the law seeks to provide the state’s public school students and staff with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function. The Dignity Act includes, but is not limited to, acts of discrimination and harassment based on a student’s race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (defined to include gender identity or expression), or sex.

Testing Transparency

Districtwide Safety Plan

The Districtwide Safety Plan is available in PDF and HTML format by clicking this link.

MCSD Communicable Disease Plan

The MCSD Communicable Disease Plan is available in PDF and HTML format by clicking this link.

Nondiscrimination/Equal Opportunity

It is the policy of this District to provide, through a positive and effective program, equal opportunities for employment, retention and advancement of all people regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, military status, veteran status, disability, or predisposing genetic characteristics.

Sexual orientation is defined as heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality or asexuality, whether actual or perceived.

The term “military status” means a person’s participation in the military service of the United States or the military service of the state, including but not limited to, the armed forces of the United States, the army national guard, the air national guard, the New York naval militia, the New York guard, and such additional forces as may be created by the federal or state government as authorized by law.

Provisions will be provided for the publication and dissemination, internally and externally of this policy to ensure its availability to interested citizens and groups.

Additionally, administration shall establish grievance procedures that provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging discrimination. Those intending to file a grievance due to alleged discrimination must follow the grievance procedure as established by the District.

Body Mass Index

New York State requires schools to track each student’s Body Mass Index (BMI) and weight status category as part of school health examinations. Every year, the NYS Department of Health will survey some schools for the number of pupils in each of six possible weight status categories. If the Mechanicville City School District is surveyed by the state, the district will share summary group data only and will not share individual names or information. Parents who wish to exclude their child’s data from such group calculations must contact the child’s school nurse.

Homelessness Liaison/McKinney Vento Grant

Homeless students and unaccompanied youths have the right to: attend the school they previously attended or to attend school in the district of current location; be enrolled even though the admission requirements have not been completed and prior student records are not available; and transportation to and from school. For more information, please contact the district office.

Emergency Alerts

The district will use the following methods to communicate closings and delays to parents, students, and community members:

  • Information will be posted by local television and radio stations, including Channel 6, Channel 9, Channel 10, Channel 13, and the Times Union website. Many of the organizations offer the ability for users to sign up to receive email and/or text messages in the event of a closing or delay.
  • The district sends out alerts via Parent Square.
  • The district endeavors to post information to its website and Facebook page when available.

Computer and Internet Policy

Generally, the same standards of acceptable student conduct which apply to any school activity shall apply to use of the District’s computer system (“DCS”). This policy does not attempt to articulate all required and/or acceptable uses of the DCS; nor is it the intention of this policy to define all inappropriate usage. Administrative regulations will further define general guidelines of appropriate student conduct and use as well as proscribed behavior.

District students shall also adhere to the laws, policies and rules governing computers including, but not limited to, copyright laws, rights of software publishers, license agreements, and student rights of privacy created by federal and state law.

Students who engage in unacceptable use may lose access to the DCS in accordance with applicable due process procedures, and may be subject to further discipline under the District’s school conduct and discipline policy and the District Code of Conduct. The District reserves the right to pursue legal action against a student who willfully, maliciously or unlawfully damages or destroys property of the District. Further, the District may bring suit in civil court against the parents/guardians of any student who willfully, maliciously or unlawfully damages or destroys District property pursuant to General Obligations Law Section 3-112.

Student data files and other electronic storage areas will be treated like school lockers. This means that such areas shall be considered to be School District property subject to control and inspection. The computer coordinator may access all such files and communications to ensure system integrity and that users are complying with the requirements of this policy and accompanying regulations. Students should NOT expect that information stored on the DCS will be private.

The full Acceptable Use Policy can be found by clicking this link.