Civility, Citizenship and Character Education
The Board of Education recognizes that teaching students respect, civility and understanding toward others, as well as the practice and reinforcement of appropriate behavior and values of our society, is an important function of the School System.
The School District wishes to foster an environment where students exhibit behavior that promotes positive educational practices, allows students to grow socially and academically, and encourages healthy dialogue in respectful ways. By presenting teachers and staff as positive role models, the District stresses positive communication and discourages disrespectful treatment. This policy is not intended to deprive and/or restrict any student of his/her right to freedom of expression but, rather, seeks to maintain, to the extent possible and reasonable, a safe, harassment free and educationally conducive environment for our students and staff.
Furthermore, the District shall ensure that the course of instruction in grades K through 12 includes a component on civility, citizenship and character education in accordance with Education Law, with an emphasis on discouraging acts of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination. Character education is the deliberate effort to help students understand, care about, and act upon core ethical values.
Character education shall instruct students on the principles of:
c) Personal responsibility;
d) Respect for others;
e) Awareness and sensitivity to discrimination and/or harassment as defined in the Dignity for All Students Act;
f) Civility in relation to people of different races, weights, national origins, ethnic groups, religions, religious practices, physical or mental abilities, sexual orientations, genders or sexes;
g) Observance of laws and rules;
i) Dignity, and other traits which will enhance the quality of students' experiences in, and contributions to, the community.; and
j) Safe and responsible use of the Internet and electronic communications.
As determined by the Board of Regents, and as further enumerated in Commissioner's Regulations, the components of character education shall be incorporated in existing School District curricula as applicable.
The District encourages the involvement of staff, students, parents and community members in the implementation and reinforcement of character education in the schools.
Education Law Sections 801 and 801-a
Interpersonal Violence Prevention Education
The District will utilize the interpersonal violence prevention education package provided by the State Education Department. These materials will be incorporated as part of the health or other related curricula or programs for students in grades K through 12.