We welcome you and your family to Moore Elementary – Home of the Eagles Where Everyone Soars! This student/parent handbook is intended to provide you with important information regarding Moore Elementary School. Hopefully, these rules and regulations will serve as a guide and help you with questions you might have regarding the operation of MES. A clear understanding of school guidelines by parents and students will facilitate school/home communication. We have highlighted some of the school policies and guidelines that are necessary for the safety, welfare, and well-being of our students. Please keep this handbook throughout the 2021-2022 school year. You are encouraged to review the contents and share appropriate information with your child. As a parent or guardian, your interest and involvement with your child’s education will promote a positive attitude toward learning and academic achievement.
We know that educating a child is a team effort that must involve the parents. Parents at Moore Elementary are a vital part of our success. Our parents provide countless volunteer hours ensuring that our students have the best elementary experience possible. Both the PTO and school sponsor a number of events throughout the year. We always look forward to Moore Miles, Cranium Carnival, Festival of Nations, Fine Arts Night, Color Me Moore run, Book Fair, Spirit Nights, and the countless other activities our PTO supports. Working together, we can create an elementary campus environment that supports success, provides direction, and encourages the joy of learning for our students.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the school office. To our new families, I hope you grow to love Moore as much as I do and to our returning families you are what make Moore Elementary such a special place to be!
Moore Elementary School
Parent Handbook 2021-2022 PDF Here
- School Policies and Procedures
- FSSD Policies
- State of Tennessee Information
- Federal Regulations
1. Arrival Procedures
Students will be permitted to enter the school building through the main entrance beginning at 8:00 a.m. Students should proceed to their designated area where they will be supervised. Children are tardy at 8:31 a.m. Please do NOT drop your child off at any other location. For your child’s safety, students are only allowed to enter the building at the main entrance doors. All other doors will be locked. If you arrive after 8:30 a parent or guardian must come into the front office and sign in your child.
- Bus Riders
Students riding the bus will be dropped off in the front entrance semi-circle. Bus riders will enter the school through the front double glass doors and proceed to their designated area. Staff members will be on duty to direct your child to their assigned area where they will be supervised until they are dismissed to class. Cars are not allowed in the bus lanes during arrival and dismissal.
- Car Riders
Students arriving by cars will turn into the school grounds and proceed around the north side of the building. When you arrive at the east side of the building, pull into the far right lane closest to the sidewalk. Cars will line up on the far right lane only; thus allowing your child to exit safely. ALL CHILDREN MUST EXIT THE CARS ON THE SIDEWALK SIDE. If the first car pulls up to the front of the sidewalk area then six to eight cars can unload all at once. Parking is NOT permitted in the arrival drop-off lane.
If you would like to walk your child into the school building, please park in the east parking lot. Cross the car lanes at the cross walk only, then proceed through the main entrance doors. You will need to sign in and get a visitor’s pass at the front office before proceeding into the school area.
E. Independence Day
The Tuesday after Labor Day Moore celebrates Independence Day. Independence Day is a way to celebrate and encourage all students (K-4) to walk independently to their classroom each morning. We feel it is important for students to learn how to transition independently to their classroom with their peers. Parents are welcome to walk their child to the front door of the school in the morning and say their goodbyes before entering the building. We have ample staff members on duty both in and outside the building to ensure all children make it to their classrooms safely.
A. Breakfast Rules
- Students must eat breakfast before going to walking club or their designated area
- All food must stay in the cafeteria
- Students will be dismissed from the cafeteria at 8:20
B. Lunch Rules
· Walk only
· Have your lunch lanyard/Know your code
· Get all lunch materials
· Remain seated
· Clean up after yourself
· Follow directions
· Be kind
· Use good table manners
· Talk in a soft voice
· Keep food to self without sharing
· Raise your hand if you need an adult
If a child is behaving inappropriately in the cafeteria, he/she will be moved to the “Quiet Zone” table where he/she will eat lunch quietly by his/herself for the remainder of the lunch period. Repeat offenders will be given an assigned seat during lunch. The MES cafeteria rules also apply to guest tables.
Parents are welcome on any day to join their child for lunch. Please sign in at the front office and receive a visitor sticker. Space in the cafeteria is limited due to high enrollment. Your child will join you at a parent table to enjoy lunch together. Classmates will remain at their assigned table.
Parents are urged to contact the child’s teacher first with any concerns. While the principal urges you to contact your child’s teacher first, please feel free to contact MES administration whenever you feel the need. Both the principal (Janet Carroll) and the assistant principal (Aimee Butler) have an open door policy. We would appreciate you calling and making an appointment, if at all possible. This assures that they will be available at the appropriate time.
Please do not come in unannounced before school to talk with the teacher. They are planning and getting ready for the day. An unannounced visit may keep the teacher from getting materials ready for the day. Please call the school office (615-790-4700) and set up an appointment with your child’s teacher should you need to talk with him/her. Each teacher has a planning time that may be used for conferences. The teacher is responsible for a room full of children and cannot leave the room unattended. A short conversation in the hall can disrupt a classroom and interrupt an entire day’s schedule. Thank you for adhering to this policy.
Please talk with your child about your expectations of his/her behavior and performance at school. We will work with students and parents to help students develop self-discipline, but we will not allow a disruptive student to interfere with the learning of other students. The faculty of Moore Elementary has adopted a school wide discipline policy.
A. Bus Riders
Students will be dismissed beginning at 3:25 P.M. Students will be called by bus number as it arrives. Students will be loaded onto the bus by a MES staff member in the front semi-circle driveway. Car riders may not be picked up in this area.
B. Car Riders
Parents of car riders will proceed around the north side of the building and continue to the east side where parents will park in the car holding lanes. Please remain in your vehicle and wait for your child. Please turn off engines and refrain from using cell phones during dismissal. All cars are to wait for a signal from a staff member who is directing traffic. NO CAR SHOULD MOVE UNTIL ALL CHILDREN ARE IN THEIR CARS AND A SIGNAL IS GIVEN FOR CARS TO MOVE. Each family will be given a car tag to hang on their rearview mirror. Cars without this sign will delay the dismissal process, as ID will have to be presented and checked. Car tags will be sent home during the first week of school. Children will be dismissed by name and they will cross to the cars using the sidewalk or crosswalk. Cars will be signaled to leave beginning with the lane closest to the school building.
C. Parent Pick-Up
If you wish to come into the building and wait for your child, please park in the east parking lot and enter through the front entrance doors. If it is before 3:30 p.m., you must go to the main office to sign out your child.
Students who walk home will be escorted by a teacher to the sidewalk area in front of the semi-circle driveway parking spaces. All parents and guardians should wait in this area to meet your child with their school issued walker badge. Parents or guardians without this badge will have to present their ID and have it checked before a child will be released. These badges will be sent home the first week of school. This will help ensure the safety of all students.
Thank you for your cooperation during arrival and dismissal times. The safety of all children is very important. Your patience and consideration for the safety of our students is appreciated! Dress Code
Children are expected to dress appropriately. Any dress that is potentially disruptive will be evaluated. Clothing should fit the student and should not contain advertising for products that are inappropriate for children. Administration reserves the right to call home for appropriate clothing to be brought to school if the student’s attire is inappropriate. Children should wear or have tennis shoes at school each day so they may safely participate in daily PE classes and recess.
When field trips are planned, we MUST have parental permission for a child to participate. We do not like to see children miss field trips because of “forgotten” permission slips. Please send permission slips and money, if required, as quickly as possible. Administration reserves the right to request a chaperone to accompany a child on a field trip if there are safety concerns due to behavior issues.
The purpose of homework is to review, practice skills, and study. It is not to learn new skills and concepts. For younger students, it should foster positive attitudes, good work habits, and responsibility. For older students, it should facilitate knowledge acquisition in specific topics. Each grade level has a homework policy. The frequency and duration of assignments per week is determined by your child’s grade level.
Academic and Behavior Support Team (ABST)
Everyone at Moore Elementary and in the Franklin Special School District keeps the district vision of “excellence in teaching and learning for all” at the forefront of all our decisions. Meeting the varied needs of students is the most important task we have as educators. Teachers design and implement instruction with each student’s ability level in mind, making sure success is within reach at all levels. To achieve this goal, teachers use flexible, tiered instruction in math, reading, and language arts. This means that students who excel will be challenged at higher levels and students who need additional instruction or intervention to understand the material will receive that help in his/her level. This extra learning time may be provided by the student’s regular teacher or by another qualified teacher in the building. A variety of assessments are used to determine how well the interventions are working to meet the student’s needs.
Sometimes teachers need assistance from a team of teachers or other specialists at school to determine the best strategies for student success. This team, known as the Academic and Behavior Support Team (ABST), is in place to provide necessary support to teachers as they work to find the best interventions for each student. On occasion, the ABST will suggest a change in strategy or may ask for a parent conference. When the Academic and Behavior Support Team meets to discuss a student’s progress, families will receive a confidential, brief summary of that discussion. Families will be notified of the support that they may provide at home to help the child reach his/her learning target. If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact our ABST coordinator and school psychologist– Emily Todd at email@example.com.
All students have a library period each week. We have an excellent selection of books available for loan to children. The librarian and her assistant ensure that students check out books on their reading level. If library books are lost or damaged, the student to whom the books were loaned must pay for them.
Lost and Found
Misplaced clothing, lunch boxes, and other items are always a persistent problem in the elementary school. We encourage parents to label clothing, lunch boxes, etc. so that we might return misplaced items to the owner. Any lost and found item will be sent to the office and then placed on the Lost and Found rack and table located by the cafeteria. Please feel free to check for any lost item.
MAC (Morning and Afternoon Care)
The MAC Program is a morning and afternoon care program for the children of Moore Elementary from 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Students receive academic tutoring, enrichment activities, healthy snacks, and social connections with other children outside of the school day, in a safe and caring environment. If you would like more information on this program, please call 615-790-4719.
A. Classroom Parties
Classroom parties will be held three times a year in your child’s classroom. There is a fall party in October, a winter party in December, and a Valentine’s party in February. Students are NOT permitted to wear costumes on party days. If your child’s classroom party is at the end of the day, all visitors will be asked to sign out at 3:00 before dismissal begins. This will help ensure a safe, smooth, and orderly departure for all of our students.
B. Birthday Celebrations
FSSD has adopted a district-wide protocol which prohibits food items being brought to school for birthday celebrations. This decision was based on various factors including the dietary restrictions of many students and protecting instructional time. If you would like to send something for your child to pass out to classmates on his/her birthday, you may bring non-edible items such as pencils, bookmarks, stickers, erasers, etc. You may also choose to dedicate a new book to the library for your child’s birthday. The librarian will help select the perfect book and will place a dedication sticker inside the front cover with your child’s name and the date. This is a great way to celebrate their day, leave a lasting legacy at MES, and allows the teacher to highlight your child’s birthday in a very special way. Teachers may also have their own ways of recognizing the birthday child and making him/her feel special that day.
You may purchase an ice-cream treat for all students in the classroom to enjoy at lunch time. This can be done by ordering and purchasing from the cafeteria two weeks prior to your child’s celebration day. Ice-cream treats available to the students will include options for those students with food allergies and other dietary restrictions. Food items will still be allowed for the classroom parties which occur throughout the year around holidays including October, December, and February, and at other school specific special events. Food items brought in for these celebrations must be clearly labeled with all ingredients and those being brought in to “Allergy Alert” classrooms must not contain items restricted in that classroom.
Personal party invitations should not be distributed at school unless they are given to every child in the classroom.
PTO (Parent Teacher Organization)
The Parent-Teacher Organization enables parents to become aware of and participate in the educational process. Administrators and staff work closely with the PTO in a supportive relationship. The goal of the organization is to promote the welfare of Moore Elementary School and its students, to foster a closer relationship between school and home, and to support the activities and programs of MES through financial and voluntary support. Each parent is invited to join and participate in the activities and meetings of the PTO. Information will be sent home with your child concerning PTO early in the school year.
Grades on report cards are simply used to communicate a child’s progress during that given nine weeks. If the parent or guardian wishes to discuss the report card, he/she may call the school office (615-790-4700) and make an appointment to meet with the teacher. FSSD uses a standards based report card for all elementary grades. This reporting system enables teachers to clearly report on a student’s progress toward meeting academic standards.
If a textbook is damaged or lost, the student to whom the book was loaned must pay for book at the end of the school year. The final report card will be held until damaged/ lost textbooks are paid for in full.
Any visitors to the building must enter through the main office, present a valid, government-issued photo ID, and acquire a visitor’s sticker.
In a continuing effort to prioritize the safety and security of our school campuses and the students and employees therein, the Franklin Special School District Board of Education amended its Board Policy 1.501 (Visitors to School/District Properties – Security Management.) on Monday, May 8, 2017. From this date forward, “all visitors shall be required to present a valid, government-issued photo ID when they enter any school building or office during normal hours of operation and all visitors may be subject to a background check.”
If you do not have a current government-issued photo ID, please speak to the school principal, assistant principal, or secretary and they will be glad to assist you.
Those who are simply visiting the office for the purpose of speaking to staff, filling out paperwork, or dropping items off do not need to present identification. However, anyone who wishes to visit an area beyond the office must abide by this revised policy.
Public schools are not public places and school officials have a duty to protect the students while they are on campus. While we always welcome visitors and guests, we understand this very serious obligation and are proud that our school board has deemed this a priority by placing it in policy.
Upon leaving the building, all visitors must leave through the main office and return their visitor sticker. The purpose for this policy is to ensure the safety of all students and faculty. If you need to bring lunch, money, etc., to your child during the day, please give it to the secretary in the office. We will ensure that your child will receive the item. Make sure to label the item with your child’s name and the teacher’s name. Please do not go to your child’s classroom unless you have permission from the office and/or your child’s teacher. We are making a special effort to eliminate as many interruptions as possible in the classroom. Each time someone enters a classroom, the students’ attention is lost from the class work. Thank you for your cooperation!
REMEMBER ALL VISITORS MUST WEAR A VISITOR’S STICKER AT ALL TIMES.
Volunteers play an important role at Moore Elementary. Moore Elementary welcomes parents, grandparents, etc., to participate in our volunteer program. Volunteers are needed to assist in areas such as: individual classrooms, library, field trips, special event days, and other related activities. If you are interested in volunteering, please let your child’s teacher know or call the school office.
Moore Elementary Discipline Policy
All personnel are responsible for all students all the time. It is the responsibility of each teacher to maintain discipline in his/her classroom. A child will be sent to the office if he/she has done the following:
· Inappropriate language heard by an adult
· Consistently disruptive behavior
· Disrespectful conduct toward an adult
· Other - reason not listed as designated by staff member
Faculty members may issue a discipline referral on a child if the child has had inappropriate behavior. The parent, the issuing teacher, and the homeroom teacher all receive a copy of the discipline referral. It will be the responsibility of the homeroom teacher to follow-up to ensure a copy of the discipline referral is returned and signed by a parent.
Since the school bus is an extension of school activity, bus riders should conduct themselves in a manner consistent with established safety standards and classroom conduct. If a student behaves inappropriately while riding the bus, he/she will face the following consequences:
1. A bus conduct report will be completed by the bus driver as a first warning and forwarded to the principal and/or assistant principal. They will make the decision if a consequence is needed.
2. Two bus conduct reports will result in a 3-5 day suspension from the bus.
3. Three bus conduct reports will result in an additional 10-day suspension from riding the bus.
4. Four bus conduct reports or zero tolerance offenses will result in suspension from the privilege of riding the bus for the remainder of the school year.
5. The parent/legal guardian is held legally responsible for any damage to the bus and/or bus equipment by his/her child.
Franklin Special School District has implemented a district-wide behavior initiative called PBIS, or Positive Behavior Support. PBIS is a positive way to support appropriate behavior. It is a multi-tiered approach that promotes safe and effective learning environments. Moore has outlined specific behavior expectations for various areas of the school, which will be taught and modeled to students. These expectations also support our school rules: Be Ready, Be Responsible, and Be Respectful.
Because of maintenance problems, students will not be permitted to chew gum on school property.
The sole authority for the enforcement of the compulsory attendance laws are placed on the local Board Of Education & its designated employees (TCA 49-6-3006).
- Excused Absences
FSSD Board policy on attendance lists excused absences as (FSSD Board Policy 6.200):
· Personal illness or illness of immediate family member
· Personal injury
· Death in the family
· Extreme weather conditions
· Religious observances
· Military service of parent or guardian
· School sponsored or school endorsed activities
· Summons, subpoena, or court order
- Extenuating circumstances which, in the judgement of the principal, create emergencies over which the student has no control, determined on a case-by-case basis
Absences not due to reasons above will be considered unexcused, and the student will be responsible for making up missed work upon his/her return. When a student is absent, please call the school by 9:00 A.M. and state the reason for the absence. This communication helps as the attendance secretary is verifying absences and assists her with accountability of all students. The attendance secretary will call a student’s parent/guardian regarding all absences not verified. When your child returns to school, please email Linda Zehring, at firstname.lastname@example.org or hand deliver a note to the attendance secretary explaining the absence(s) within 7 days from the day the child returns to school. Otherwise, the absence will be marked as unexcused. If you send the note to school through your child, we encourage you to follow up by phone or email with the attendance secretary to ensure that it has been received and properly documented.
B. Unexcused Absence Laws
LAWS (Tennessee Code Annotated – TCA)
TCA 49-6-3007 authorizes judges to assess a $50.00 fine against parents when a child has more than 5 unexcused absences during a 6-week period.
TCA 49-6-3007 requires the principal to notify parents when a child is absent 5 cumulative days.
TCA-49-6-3001 School Attendance Law which requires all children ages 6-17 inclusive to attend school each day.
(TCA-49-6-3007) communicates the steps involved in the required Tiered Truancy Intervention Plan
Notification Sequence and Consequences
When a student accumulates 5 unexcused absences or 5 unexcused tardies, the parent will receive a letter from the attendance secretary. When a student accumulates 8 unexcused absences or 8 unexcused tardies, the parent will receive a letter from the attendance secretary. When a student accumulates 10+ absences (excused or unexcused) and/or 10+ tardies (excused or unexcused), a referral will be made to the district safety and attendance supervisor. A letter will be sent to the parent from the district safety and attendance supervisor indicating that excessive absences may result in juvenile court proceedings. Once a student accrues 10+ absences or tardies, he/she will also be required to submit a doctor’s note for absences or tardies to be excused for the remainder of the school year. It should be noted that if a student is not in school for three (3) hours and 15 minutes, the student is considered absent according to state regulations.
New Truancy Plan – Unexcused Absences
Truancy only refers to UNEXCUSED absences. All schools now must follow a new state law that requires school personnel to follow a truancy intervention plan for students who are accruing unexcused absences. Tier 1 intervention will be implemented when a child has accrued 5 unexcused absences. Tier 1 will require tasks to be completed by parent/guardian and student. Should Tier 1 requirements not be met and the student acquires 3 more UNEXCUSED absences, totaling 8 UNEXCUSED absences, Tier 2 will be implemented for the parent/guardian and the student. If UNEXCUSED absences continue to accumulate, Tier 3 will be implemented for the parent/guardian and the student. Tier 3 interventions may result in a referral to the Williamson County Juvenile Court for truancy and a referral to the Department of Children’s Services.
Chronic Absenteeism – Excused and Unexcused Absences
Chronic absenteeism includes both excused and unexcused absences. Research indicates numerous absences from school negatively impact a student’s achievement and success. In FSSD, attendance is monitored to determine what barriers, if any, are impacting a child’s ability to be in school on time and for the full day. We want to help eliminate ALL barriers that keep children out of school so our school attendance secretaries, principals and/or the district safety and attendance supervisor will contact parents/guardians if absences appear to be leading toward chronic absenteeism. The Tennessee Department of Education’s reporting standards use attendance data as an indicator of school quality and student success.
- Early Dismissal
Leaving school early is strongly discouraged due to the loss of instructional time and disruption to the learning environment. However, if you know your student will need to be checked out early, please send a note to the teacher. Students leaving early must be signed out in the school office by parents/guardians. If the student is leaving early because of a medical appointment, parents/guardians are encouraged to get an excuse note prior to leaving the medical facility and provide it to the front office upon the student’s return. We appreciate your efforts to make appointments during non-school hours. Please note, an early dismissal is also considered a tardy.
- No Advance Assignments
Teachers will not send makeup work for days absent in advance. It will be the parent and student’s responsibility to get the work when the student returns. This allows the teacher to set aside work as the week goes on, rather than having to take the time to prepare it prior to the absence.
A student is considered tardy to school if he/she is not in the classroom at 8:30 a.m. or if he/she is checked out from the office before the school day ends. There will be exceptions for students arriving on a late bus. Tardiness related to oversleeping, traffic, weather, or not leaving home on time is unexcused. A student who is tardy to school must report promptly to the office with a parent to sign in and get a class admission slip. If a student is late because of a medical appointment, please provide an excuse note from the medical office. Students who leave school before 3:30 are also considered tardy. We trust that you will make a concerted effort to have your child at school before 8:30 a.m. When a child comes to school late, it causes him/her to get off to a negative start and disrupts the classroom. The attendance secretary keeps a record of the number of tardies and early dismissals per child and regularly reports to the state.
- Student Discrimination, Harassment, Bullying, Cyber-bullying, and Intimidation – FSSD Board Policy 6.304
The Franklin Special School District Board of Education has determined that a safe, civil, and supportive environment in school is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards. In order to maintain that environment, acts of bullying, cyber-bullying, discrimination, harassment, hazing or any other victimization of students, based on any actual or perceived traits or characteristics, are prohibited.
This policy shall cover employees, employees' behaviors, students and students' behaviors while on school property, at any school-sponsored activity, on school-provided equipment or transportation, or at any official school bus stop. If the act takes place off school property or outside of a school-sponsored activity, this policy is in effect if the conduct is directed specifically at a student or students and has the effect of creating a hostile educational environment or otherwise creating a substantial disruption to the educational environment or learning process.
Bullying/Intimidation/Harassment - An act that substantially interferes with a student’s educational benefits, opportunities, or performance, and the act has the effect of:
· Physically harming a student or damaging a student’s property;
· Knowingly placing a student or students in reasonable fear of physical harm to the student or damage to the student’s property;
· Causing emotional distress to a student or students; or
· Creating a hostile educational environment.
Bullying, intimidation, or harassment may also be unwelcome conduct based on a protected class (race, nationality, origin, color, gender, age, disability, religion) that is severe, pervasive, or persistent and creates a hostile environment.
Cyber-bullying - A form of bullying undertaken through the use of electronic devices. Electronic devices include, but are not limited to, telephones, cellular phones or other wireless telecommunication devices, text messaging, emails, social networking sites, instant messaging, videos, web sites or fake profiles.
Hazing - An intentional or reckless act by a student or group of students that is directed against any other student(s) that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of the student(s) or that induces or coerces a student to endanger his/her mental or physical health or safety. Coaches and other employees of the school district shall not encourage, permit, condone or tolerate hazing activities.
“Hazing” does not include customary athletic events or similar contest or competitions and is limited to those actions taken and situations created in connection with initiation into or affiliation with any organization.
COMPLAINTS AND INVESTIGATIONS
Alleged victims of the above-referenced offenses shall report these incidents immediately to a teacher, counselor or building administrator.2 All school employees are required to report alleged violations of this policy to the principal/designee. All other members of the school community, including students, parents, volunteers, and visitors, are encouraged to report any act that may be a violation of this policy.
While reports may be made anonymously, an individual's need for confidentiality must be balanced with obligations to cooperate with police investigations or legal proceedings, to provide due process to the accused, to conduct a thorough investigation or to take necessary actions to resolve a complaint, and the identity of parties and witnesses may be disclosed in appropriate circumstances to individuals with a need to know.
The principal/designee at each school shall be responsible for investigating and resolving complaints. Once a complaint is received, the principal/designee shall initiate an investigation within forty-eight (48) hours of receipt of the report.4 If a report is not initiated within forty-eight (48) hours, the principal/designee shall provide the director of schools with appropriate documentation detailing the reasons why the investigation was not initiated within the required time frame.
The principal/designee shall notify the parent/legal guardian when a student is involved in an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying. The principal/designee shall provide information on district counseling and support services. Students involved in an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying shall be referred to the appropriate school counselor by the principal/designee when deemed necessary.
The principal/designee is responsible for determining whether an alleged act constitutes a violation of this policy, and such act shall be held to violate this policy when it meets one of the following conditions:
It places the student in reasonable fear or harm for the student’s person or property;
It has a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s physical or mental health;
It has the effect of substantially interfering with the student’s academic performance; or It has the effect of substantially interfering with the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
Upon the determination of a violation, the principal/designee shall conduct a prompt, thorough, and complete investigation of each alleged incident. All investigations shall be completed and appropriate intervention taken within twenty (20) calendar days from the receipt of the initial report.4 If the investigation is not complete or intervention has not taken place within twenty (20) calendar days, the principal/designee shall provide the director of schools with appropriate documentation detailing the reasons why the investigation has not been completed or the appropriate intervention has not taken place.4 Within the parameters of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) at 20 U.S.C. §1232g, a written report on the investigation will be delivered to the parents of the complainant, parents of the accused students and to the Director of Schools.
RESPONSE AND PREVENTION
School administrators shall consider the nature and circumstances of the incident, the age of the violator, the degree of harm, previous incidences or patterns of behavior, or any other factors, as appropriate to properly respond to each situation.
Remedial measures shall be designed to:
· Correct the problem behavior;
· Prevent other occurrences of the behavior; and
· Protect the victim of the act.
A substantiated charge against an employee shall result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. A substantiated charge against a student may result in corrective or disciplinary action up to and including suspension.
An employee disciplined for violation of this policy may appeal the decision by contacting the Federal Rights Coordinator or the Franklin Special School District Director of Schools. Any student disciplined for violation of this policy may appeal the decision in accordance with disciplinary policies and procedures.
When a complaint is filed alleging a violation of this policy where there is physical harm or the threat of physical harm to a student or a student's property, the principal/designee of each intermediate / middle school shall report the findings and any disciplinary actions taken to the director of schools and the chair of the board of education.
By July 1 of each year, the director of schools/designee shall prepare a report of all of the bullying cases brought to the attention of school officials during the prior academic year. The report shall also indicate how the cases were resolved and/or the reasons they are still pending. This report shall be presented to the board of education at its regular July meeting, and it shall be submitted to the state department of education by August 1.
The director of schools shall develop forms and procedures to ensure compliance with the requirements of this policy and TCA 49-6-4503.
RETALIATION AND FALSE ACCUSATIONS
Retaliation against any person who reports or assists in any investigation of an act alleged in this policy is prohibited. The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in retaliation shall be determined by the administrator after consideration of the nature, severity, and circumstances of the act.
False accusations accusing another person of having committed an act prohibited under this policy are prohibited. The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person found to have falsely accused another may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension and expulsion.
- Character Education It is a widely held belief that much of the violence exhibited in school today can be prevented by teaching the children essential values of character. In keeping with this belief, the State of Tennessee has mandated that character education be taught in the schools. FSSD has incorporated a character education component in their curriculum. The program, under the leadership of counselors, is called Character Under Construction. The initiative has nine character building words to be emphasized throughout a particular month. In order to reinforce the program in school, parents are asked to emphasize the monthly character words at home. It is the goal of the FSSD to help students develop positive values, improve conduct and become good citizens in their school, home, community and society.
The monthly Character Builders are:
· Respect I will show respect for myself and others.
· Responsibility I will be responsible in what I say and do.
· Perseverance I will show perseverance when I keep on trying.
· Caring I will show caring with my actions.
· Courage I will show courage when I do the right thing.
· Citizenship I will be a good citizen in my school and community.
· Trustworthiness I will be trustworthy and tell the truth.
· Cooperation I will show cooperation as I work with others.
· Fairness I will be fair in how I treat others.
- Child Find Initiative
The Franklin Special School District Child Find program identifies preschool through eighth-grade children with special education needs including mental retardation, developmental delays, autism, specific learning disabilities, serious emotional disturbance, multiple disabilities, intellectually gifted, traumatic brain injury, blindness, and the following impairments: speech/language, hearing, orthopedic, visual, and physical.
Screenings and/or evaluations may be provided free of charge by the school district. If deemed necessary, the child may then be referred for special education services. If you suspect your child needs additional support to achieve his or her educational potential, please contact the FSSD Special Populations Department at 615-794-6624.
- Children with Disabilities Rights & Responsibilities
Parents may access information about child advocacy groups and information on how to contact the state department of education for information on student rights and services from the following agencies:
Tennessee Department of Education Legal Services Division,
710 James Robertson Parkway, Andrew Johnson Tower, 5th floor, Nashville, TN 37243-0380, 615-741-2851, Fax: 615-253-5567 or 615-532-9412.
Franklin Special School District, 507 Highway 96 West, Franklin, TN 37064, 615- 794-6624, Fax: 615-790-4716.
- Blackboard Connect
FSSD uses a communications service to help keep parents connected to their children's school. Blackboard Connect is an internet-based school-to-parent communication service that enables school administrators to schedule, send and track personalized messages to thousands of staff and parents ensuring they all receive the same message quickly. The Blackboard Connect service will be used to complement our emergency preparedness procedures and to inform parents of unplanned school closings or upcoming school events. It is imperative to have current and correct phone numbers for all families. Feel free to update your contact information with corrections by calling (615) 472-3773. Please leave your name and number that should be removed from our calling list.
- Custodial or Primary Care Parents
We must give both parents equal access to their child and that child’s records unless you have provided the school office with a copy of a court document signed by a Judge and stamped “filed” with a Court stating otherwise. Please provide us at the beginning of the school year with a copy of any Court Order, Marital Dissolution Agreement, Parenting Plan, or other legal document which affects these issues. If anything changes during the school year, please provide us with an updated document “filed” with the Court. This is the only way we can “hold” a child if the other parent comes to pick up the child. We cannot stop a parent from picking up his/her child until we have the appropriate documentation.
- Emergency Procedures
All FSSD schools have Board approved guidelines and procedures in place to ensure that appropriate actions take place in the event of an emergency. Each staff member has been trained on emergency procedures and provided a MES School Safety Plan which provides information and procedures to follow in the event of an emergency situation.
As part of the Franklin Special School District’s ongoing commitment to student and staff safety, the district has instituted threat assessment procedures. These procedures are used in every school, when or if a student makes an expression of intent to harm someone or something (written, verbal, or other way). These threat assessment procedures, which have been thoroughly developed in conjunction with law enforcement and school counseling professionals, enable administrators to quickly and effectively deal with the incident. These procedures provide a process for evaluating the context and credibility of the threat and the evidence and circumstances surrounding it. Additionally, the assessment will assist in determining what resources, if any, need to be applied to the situation or provided to the student/family.
It is important to note that any and all threats of harm made by a student of any age or in any grade will be taken seriously and that the threat assessment procedure will be followed accordingly.
- MES Cafeteria and the FSSD Food and Culinary Services Program
MES participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program allowing us to provide a healthy breakfast and lunch each school day. The cafeteria serves a well-balanced meal every day. Each student is assigned an individual code to track participation and account information. Menus for Breakfast and Lunch are posted on the school web site and the MealViewer mobile app.
During the 2021/2022 school year, all students can eat a reimbursable meal free due to a USDA Covid program. Only the reimbursable meal is free. Meals are made up of the following five components: Meat/ Meat Alternatives, Grains, Fruit, Vegetables and Milk. A reimbursable meal must include a fruit/fruit juice or vegetable and at least two choices from the other three components. If a child refuses to choose a fruit or vegetable, they will be charged ala carte prices for their meal. Milk is not required for a reimbursable meal.
How to pay and can I pay ahead? You may send cash or checks to MES. Please be sure to label your check with your child’s full name. Checks should be made out to your school cafeteria. Cafeteria monies must be paid separately from any other monies. For your convenience you may use a credit or debit card online through your Skyward Family Access account using RevTrak. The District Food and Culinary Services office, 615-794-6624, can also enter the monies into RevTrak from a credit or debit card for you.
How do I sign up for Free and Reduced Meals? A free and reduced application must be filled out each year. You can find that application online through your Skyward Family Access account. Each family will also receive an application with the back to school forms that are sent home. Please check the District Food and Culinary Services Office, 615-794-6624, if you have any questions about Free and Reduced applications and your family eligibility. You will receive a letter indicating your application has been processed and your eligibility determination.
Can my child buy extras like ice cream? We offer ice cream and other additional items for sale to students who have money in their accounts or cash with them. All extra items, (ala carte items) are Smart Snack compliant. If a child has a negative balance they will not be able to purchase ala carte items. Elementary schools limit ice cream purchases to an assigned day of the week by grade level.
May I come have lunch with my child? Parents are welcome to join their child for lunch. It is not necessary to call ahead for reservations. You must sign in the office with a photo ID to receive a visitor’s badge. Please meet your child in the cafeteria. Once you finish lunch you need to return to the front office to sign out.
May I bring in lunch for my child from their favorite restaurant? The FSSD policy 3.50 states: “Students will be permitted to bring their lunches from home and to purchase beverages and incidental items. Breakfast and lunch brought from outside food service facilities will not be permitted to be consumed in the cafeteria.”
What happens if my child forgets his lunch or lunch money? What happens if my child’s account develops a negative balance? All children in FSSD who want breakfast and lunch will be fed. They will be offered the same lunch as every other child. If your child has a negative balance he or she will not be able to purchase ala carte items. Please see the FSSD Negative Balance Policy in this handbook for more details.
My child prefers to bring his or her lunch, is there anything I cannot send? We do not allow glass containers, energy drinks, coffee drinks or carbonated beverages.
My child has a food allergy. How is this handled? The Food and Culinary staff work closely with your school nurse to make sure all allergies that are listed on their Individualized Health Care Plan are noted on their cafeteria account.
All Students Eat Free!
Breakfast Prices: Lunch Prices:
Served daily from 8:00 - 8:20 a.m.
Adult price $2.25 Adult Visitor $4.00
Children Visitor $3.00
Holiday Visitor $6.00
- FSSD Meal Charge Administrative Procedure
Effective Date: January 31, 2019
Families will have access to the meal charge administrative procedure via publication in the student handbook, FSSD website, and included with the Free and Reduced applications. Families of transfer students (during the year) will receive a written copy of the district-wide charge administrative procedure in the student handbook and FSSD website.
Local Charge Administrative Procedure Considerations
Students who are unable to pay for their meals at the time of the meal service are allowed to charge Breakfast and Lunch.
Students charging breakfast and/or lunch will receive reimbursable meals.
Students with a negative balance will not be able to charge ala carte items. If a parent sends in cash for an ala carte item the student may use the cash for that item.
Negative balance notification:
1. The FCS department will send out a negative balance email to the parent’s email address each Saturday.
2. The FCS manager at the student’s school will send home a notice through the child’s teacher weekly.
3. The FCS department will use Blackboard Connect Ed to call every family with a negative balance of $20.00 or more on the 15th and 30th of the month.
4. Any student whose account is over $50.00 will receive a phone call from the FCS manager at that child’s school.
5. Any account over $75.00 will be referred to the FSSD Social Worker for evaluation on the family’s need for assistance.
Delinquent debt is defined as overdue unpaid meal charges that are considered collectable, with efforts being made to collect them. The debt may remain on the accounting documents until it is collected. The debt may be carried over at the end of the school year.
Report cards will be withheld at the end of the school year until all monies owed FSSD are paid. Skyward Family access may be suspended until account is paid.
Each household may request a repayment plan that will include payment levels and due dates appropriate to a household’s particular circumstances. Please contact Robbin Cross, email@example.com , 615-794-6624 for establishing a repayment plan.
Bad debt is determined to be uncollectable, with that further collection efforts for delinquent debt deemed useless or too costly. Delinquent debt will be considered as bad debt 90 days after the child leaves FSSD.
Families may find assistance with applying for free or reduced price schools meals by contacting any of the following FSSD staff members at 615-794-6624:
Robbin Cross, FSSD FCS Supervisor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Fisher, FSSD Social Worker, email@example.com
Diane Price, FSSD Translator, firstname.lastname@example.org
10. Inclement Weather
Please listen to local news media for school closings. We will NOT be listed as Williamson County Schools. We are listed as Franklin Special School District or Franklin City Schools. If inclement weather begins after school is in session, parents are encouraged to use their own discretion in picking up their children. On holidays and snow days, the MAC program will be held at the Central Office Annex building.
11. School Closing Information Because inclement weather can close school at any time during the winter, the Franklin Special School District wants to remind parents of their options when it comes to finding out about school closings. As soon as the decision is made to cancel school, the following outlets will post the information: FSSD Web Site (www.fssd.org) Local Television Stations (channels 2, 4, 5 and Fox 17) and their web sites Cable Channel 3 (Williamson County Schools channel) WAKM-950 AM In addition, the FSSD will use its mass dialing system to send a recorded message to the telephone numbers and email addresses you have on record at school. If your phone numbers have changed, please make sure the school has them on file so you will receive this important information.
12. Non-Discrimination Policy
Franklin Special School District, in its employment of personnel and in its educational activities with students, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age or disability. Employees of the Franklin Special School District are appointed as coordinators of the various activities ensuring compliance with federal laws and regulations including the U.S. Department of Education regulations implementing: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Vocational Education Programs Guidelines for Eliminating Discrimination and Denial of Services on the Basis of Race, Color, and National Origin, Sex and Handicap. U.S. Department of Justice regulations implementing: Title II of the American Disabilities Act of 1990. For more information, please contact the FSSD Central Office at 615-794-6624.
13. Non-Release Forms
The Franklin Special School District’s Non-Release Form is available to parents who do not wish for the public release of their child’s “directory information.” The district assumes that all students/parents consent to the public release of directory information unless the Non-Release Form is filled out by a parent or guardian and returned to the school.
“Directory Information” could include name, address, date and place of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance and other similar information that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Typically this information is only requested when a photograph or video is taken of a school event. When media representatives visit the school, a teacher or administrator always supervises their activities.
Public release can also include, but is not limited to, the district’s or school’s web site, Facebook, or Twitter. It is not our policy, however, to post student information (including first and last names or addresses) on the web site for public view.
Please note that if this form is signed and returned to school, it precludes your child’s photograph and information from being included in school publications such as the directory and the yearbook. If you would like a form, contact either school office. The form remains active and follows your child throughout their time in the FSSD. It may only be voided by parent or guardian signature.
14. Respect for Student Privacy Online
When attending school events, the Franklin Special School District recognizes that attendees often want to videotape and/or photograph the students. However, in an effort to respect the privacy concerns of others, as well as to honor the state and federal privacy laws of individual students whose parents/guardians have specifically requested not to be photographed, the District strongly requests that any video footage and/or still images of non-custodial students NOT be posted online to sites such as, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, etc. Although FSSD strongly urges attendees to respect the privacy of others, families must also recognize that the District has no means for preventing attendees from taking such actions. A general courtesy is to ask for parental permission before posting video or photographs of students/families online.
15. Student Health Services
First aid and health care provided by the school nurse is primarily for illness and injuries which occur during the school day. The school nurse, according to law, is not allowed to make a diagnosis, prescribe treatment or administer medication without a signed medication form. Please help us to provide a safe and healthy environment by reading and following the policies and procedures below. Please feel free to contact the school nurse to discuss any health concerns you have regarding your child.
Free health screenings will be provided throughout the school year in compliance with guidelines of the Tennessee State Department of Education. These may include, but are not limited to, vision, speech, hearing, dental, height, weight and blood pressure. Please contact the school nurse if you wish to decline screening or have questions.
Each school in FSSD is equipped to deal with life-threatening emergencies. The school nurse and school personnel who have been trained in accordance with state regulations are available to respond to these emergencies. An AED (automatic defibrillator) is located in each gymnasium and will be used in the event of a suspected cardiac emergency. Emergency epinephrine auto-injectors are also available in each school and will be used to treat severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) which can occur in response to a known or unknown allergen. Students with a known life-threatening allergy require their own medications as prescribed in their “Individualized Healthcare Plan” which can be available if needed at school or on field trips. In the event of these and other emergencies, 911will be called. Contact the school nurse or administrator for any questions or concerns regarding emergency procedures.
Medications at School
State law prohibits dispensing of medications, both prescriptions and non-prescription, at school without a completed medication form. This includes medications such as inhalers, cough drops, Tylenol, Motrin, and ointments such as Neosporin. If your child requires medication during the school day, or if you would like to have medications available at school to be given if needed, please complete a medication request form. The first dose of any new medication is to be administered at home. These forms are available from the school clinic or can be downloaded from the website at www.fssd.org. All medications administered at school must be FDA approved. For chronic health conditions such as diabetes, food allergies and asthma, an individualized healthcare plan (IHP) should be developed to provide for the health needs of those students (see your school nurse immediately upon school entry). In the event of an emergency at school and medications have not been made available, 911 will be called.
Prescription medications and complementary or alternative medications require both a doctor’s signature and a parent/guardian signature. The medication must be brought to school in a labeled prescription medication bottle from the pharmacy.
Non-prescription (over the counter) medications require a parent/guardian signature. The medication must be in a new, unopened container with the name of the medication and expiration date clearly visible.
MEDICATIONS MUST BE BROUGHT TO THE SCHOOL CLINIC BY A PARENT OR GUARDIAN. IT IS A VIOLATION OF STATE LAW AND SCHOOL POLICY FOR STUDENTS TO POSSESS MEDICATIONS ON THE SCHOOL BUS OR SCHOOL GROUNDS UNLESS PROVIDED FOR IN THE IHP.
Before and After School Activities
Upon enrollment in a before or after school program including, but not limited to, MAC, sports teams, clubs, band, choral, theater, it is the responsibility of the parent to notify the activity coordinator/staff of any health concerns and the location of any emergency medications, such as epinephrine auto-injectors, albuterol inhalers, Diastat, and Glucagon. The school nurse can be contacted by the parent and/or staff member to share the student’s IHP and coordinate access to the student’s emergency medications which may be available on school grounds.
Students should not come to school if they have had…
· a temperature of 100 degrees or greater in the past 24 hours.
· vomiting or diarrhea two or more times in the past 24 hours.
· been on antibiotics for strep throat, pinkeye, or other infections for less than
Students will be sent home for…
· Fever of 100 degrees or higher (Student must be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school without the use of fever-reducing medications such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol)
· Vomiting/diarrhea (must be free of vomiting/diarrhea for 24 hours before returning to school)
· Unexplained rash (must have a doctor’s note that they are not contagious to return to school)
· Suspected pink eye (must have 24 hours of antibiotic treatment before returning to school or a note from a doctor stating that the student is not contagious)
· Lice (FSSD has a strict NO NIT-NO BUG policy) See nurse for Lice Eviction guidelines.
· Injuries/Illnesses that are determined by a school nurse or school administrator to require subsequent physician care or close monitoring (such as suspected fractures, head injuries, allergic reactions, asthma symptoms not controlled by available medications, etc.)
It is very important that we have your home, work, and cell phone numbers. Please make sure to notify us of any changes. We MUST be able to contact you in case of an emergency, illness, or injury.
Physical Examination Requirements
Proof of a physical exam is required of all students initially entering FSSD schools. The requirements are a complete physical exam by a M.D., D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) or an advanced Nurse Practitioner. A “Pre-Participation” sports physical is NOT ACCEPTABLE. These are commonly offered by walk-in clinics and they do not meet the requirements of a complete physical examination, also commonly referred to as a “Well Child” examination.
The physical health examination may be documented on the “TN Department of Health Certificate of Immunization” in the upper right hand corner. If not documented here, the proof of physical examination may be attached to the certificate.
Physicals examinations from another state are acceptable as most insurance companies will only pay for one well child exam per year. If a child is transferring from another school in Tennessee and there is evidence in their records of a well child exam when they initially entered a TN school that is acceptable. It is very important that students entering from another country must have the proof of physical before attending school as there are communicable illnesses that are still prevalent in other countries.
A completed TN Department of Health “Certificate of Immunization” is required for all students. This can be obtained from the child’s physician or at the Williamson County Health Department. It should have the documentation of the health examination in the top right hand corner with date of exam and signature. If this is not checked, attach proof of physical examination to the certificate.
The lower left hand corner should be complete with a check in the appropriate grade level box A-E. If box “A” is checked, there is to be a system in place at the school for tracking temporary certificates and obtaining an updated certificate BEFORE it expires. A temporary certificate indicates that the student is in the process of receiving immunizations, but not yet complete. All students entering 7th grade must present proof of a Tdap booster on a TN Department of Health “Certificate of Immunization”.
Must have “TN Certificate of Immunization” as described below and a Parental Refusal Form
Students who have a religious exemption from vaccines are required to have a TN Department of Health “Certificate of Immunization” with a check mark in the “Religious Exemption” box in the upper right hand corner and a check mark in the “Health Examination Documentation” box with the date and signature (also in the upper right hand corner of the certificate). There should be no check marks or signatures in the lower portion of the certificate as they are not receiving immunizations. They also require a signed parental refusal form witnessed by an FSSD employee.
Medical exemptions should be indicated with an “x” mark in the last column for the specific vaccine. Students may be exempt from some or all vaccines, depending on the situation. If they will never receive the vaccines a grade appropriate box B-E may be checked. If it is anticipated that they will resume vaccines at a later date, box “A” may be checked indicating they will resume the vaccine schedule when safe. The certificate should be signed in the lower right hand corner as well.
Contact your school nurse for any questions regarding physical examinations or immunizations. School nurses are not available in the summer, so you may contact the district nurse, Amy Fisher, at 615-794-4837 or by email at email@example.com.
Children do not adapt to extremes of temperatures as effectively as adults. When excessive heat occurs, the following precautions are to be taken for all outdoor physical activity including but not limited to: recess, PE classes, and field trips. Students should be hydrated before going outside and upon return from outside in all temperatures. For activities lasting over 30 minutes, periodic water breaks (every 15-30 min.) should be scheduled. Precautions should be taken whenever the heat index is elevated over 95. Precautions should include limiting the amount of time outdoors. When the heat index is above 104 degrees, all outdoor activities should be cancelled. The school principal will alert school staff when the heat index is elevated.
16. Student Records
The Franklin Special School District schools collect and maintain student records to provide a basis for evaluation and delivery of services to students. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) sets out requirements designed to protect the privacy of parents and students. Specifically, the statute governs disclosure of records maintained by educational institutions. In brief, the statute provides that such institutions must provide parents of students access to official records directly related to the student, and an opportunity for a hearing to challenge such records on the grounds that they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate; that institutions must obtain the consent of parents before releasing personally identifiable data about students from records to other than a specified list of exceptions; and that parents and students must be notified of these rights.
Types of Information–The school system maintains various types of records as described below:
1. Attendance Records
2. Scholastic Records
3. Medical Records
4. Discipline Records including individual assessment
5. Directory Information
6. System-wide group test results
7. Special Education data.
Locations and Authorized Custodians–The primary source of access is the school in which a student is enrolled. The principal is the authorized custodian for these records. The Director of Special Education regulates records of students involved in Special Education Programs, including the dates of individual assessments. If a student leaves the FSSD, the student record will be sent to the new school upon written request from that school.
17. Student Surveys
In order to achieve the vision of FSSD, Excellence and Teaching for All, it is imperative that a safe and supportive environment is maintained for all students.
Therefore, schools must build a positive school climate/culture through the use of programs designed to teach respectful behavior, develop clear expectations for students and faculty, and model respectful behavior.
The Olweus Bullying Questionnaire, recommended by the State of Tennessee, is one measure used in the FSSD to assess the school environment. The results provide detailed and reliable information about bullying behavior, attitudes, and related issues in the school environment.
Student surveys are given at least once a year. Parents who would like to see the survey before it is administered to their child may contact the school counselor. All students in the 3rd, 5th, and 7th grades will participate in the survey unless a parent notifies the school otherwise.
18. Tobacco Use Policy
The entire school building and campus is a tobacco-free zone. This includes students, faculty, staff and visitors.
1. Tennessee Department of Education
Answers to many questions may be obtained from the State Department of Education by calling 1-888-212-3162 or visiting http://www.state.tn.us/education/speced/index.htm
Legal Services Division West Tennessee Regional Resource Center
Division of Special Education, TDOE 100 Berryhill Drive
710 James Robertson Parkway Jackson, TN 38301
Andrew Johnson Tower, 5th Floor Phone: 731-421-5074
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0380 Fax: 731-421-5077
Fax: 615-253-5567 or 615-532-9412
2. Child Advocacy Information
In addition to the state and local resources available to parents and children, there are many agencies and organizations that offer support, information, training, and help in advocating for persons with disabilities in Tennessee. A few of these organizations are listed below:
The ARC of Williamson County, 129 W. Fowlkes Street, Suite 151, Franklin, TN 37064, 615-790-5815, Fax: 615-790-5891
Support and Training for Exceptional Parents (STEP), 712 Professional Plaza, Greeneville, TN 37745, 615-463-2310, Web: http://www.tnstep.org
Tennessee Protection and Advocacy (TP&A), 416 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212, 615-298-1080, Toll free: 1-800-287-9636, TTY: 615-298-2471, Fax: 615-298-2046
Tennessee Voices for Children, 1315 8th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203, 615-269-7751, Fax: 615-269-8914, TN Toll Free: 800-670-9882, TVC@tnvoices.org
These are but a few of the organizations available to help with information, training, and advocacy. For a more extensive list visit the Tennessee Disability Services-Disability Pathfinder Database: http://kc.vanderbilt.edu/tennesseepathfinder/ServiceFinder/Default.aspx.
The Department of Education and Franklin Special School District do not intend this as an endorsement or recommendation for any individual organization or service represented in this list.
3. Homeless Education
Children may qualify for consideration under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act if any of the following apply: you live in a shelter, motel, vehicle, campground, abandoned building or trailer, or other inadequate accommodations, or if you live with friends or relatives because of the inability to afford adequate housing. If any of these apply, you may be entitled to all services, rights and protection provided under this law. Children have the right to attend school. They have the right to continue in the school last attended before becoming homeless (if that is your choice and it is feasible) and receive transportation to the school last attended prior to becoming homeless if requested. Children may enroll in a school without a permanent address, school records, or immunization records in hand. The school will provide assistance in obtaining proper documentation and homeless children will receive the same special programs and services provided to all other children. For more information, please call 615-794-6624.
4. Unsafe School Choice
Under the Tennessee State Board of Education’s Unsafe School Choice Policy, any public school student who is the victim of a violent crime as defined under Tennessee Code Annotated 38-111(g), or the attempt to commit one of these offenses as defined under Tennessee Code Annotated 39-12-101, shall be provided an opportunity to transfer to another grade-level appropriate school within the district.
1. Equal Educational Opportunities
It is the policy of FSSD not to discriminate on the basis of sex, race, national origin, creed, age, marital status, or status of disability in its educational programs, activities or employment policies as required by Title VI and VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Inquiries about compliance may be directed to the Civil Rights Coordinator at the FSSD Board of Education at 615-794-3015 or 615-794-6624.
Initial grievance regarding complaints relative to Title VI, Title IX or Section 504 must be directed to the Civil Rights Coordinator.
Complaints must be filed in writing to the Civil Rights Coordinator with a copy sent to the person or persons against whom allegations are made.
The coordinator will notify all parties involved in the allegation of discrimination within five (5) days of receiving the initial grievance as to the date and time of the hearing. The hearing must be held no later than thirty (30) days from the time of the initial filing of the complaint.
If an allegation of discrimination involves student admissions or programs, the entire hearing will be called by the coordinator before a committee composed of the principal, guidance counselor, and homeroom teacher. Ample opportunity will be given for the presentation of evidence by all parties involved.
If the complaint cannot be resolved in the meeting, another hearing will be scheduled within five (5) days of the appeal and will be called no later than forty-five (45) days from the date of the first hearing. This hearing will be before the director of schools and the Board of Education.
The results of each hearing will be presented in writing to all parties involved within five (5) days of the grievance hearing.
If a satisfactory solution cannot be obtained locally, appeals can be made to the Office of Civil Rights, Washington, DC. The completion of a hearing at the local level is not a prerequisite for filing a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights. No person who files a grievance or participates in a grievance hearing shall be subjected to harassment, reprisals, or retaliation in any form. Forms for filing initial grievance are available in the office of the Board of Education.
Right to Review Teacher Qualifications
Parents of Franklin Special School District students have the right to know professional qualifications of the classroom teachers who instruct their children. Federal law, under ESSA § 1112(e)(1)(A), allows them to ask for certain information about classroom teachers, which the school district will provide in a timely manner.
Specifically, parents have the right to ask for the following information about each child’s classroom teacher:
- Whether the Tennessee Department of Education has licensed or qualified the teacher for the grades and subjects he or she teaches.
- Whether the Tennessee State Department of Education has decided that the teacher can teach in a classroom without being licensed or qualified under state regulations because of special circumstances.
- Whether the teacher is teaching in the field of discipline of their certification.
- Whether any teachers’ aides or similar paraprofessionals provide services to your child and, if they do, their qualifications.
If you would like to receive any of this information, call the FSSD Human Resources Department at 615-794-6624.
Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act- Title IV-A
The Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act is designed to support programs that prevent violence in and around schools; that prevent the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs; that involve parents and communities; and that are coordinated with related Federal, State, school, and community efforts and resources to foster a safe and drug-free learning environment that supports student academic achievement.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibit discrimination against persons with a disability in any program receiving federal assistance, among others. Both federal acts define a person with a disability as anyone who:
· has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities (major life activities include caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working);
· has a record of such impairment;
· is regarded as having such an impairment, or has had a record of such an impairment.
In order to fulfill its obligations under Section 504 and the ADA, the Franklin Special School District recognizes a responsibility to avoid discrimination in policies and practices regarding its personnel and students. No discrimination against any person on the basis of a disability will knowingly be permitted in any of the district’s programs or practices.
The school district has specific responsibilities under both acts, which include the responsibility to evaluate and determine if the child is eligible under Section 504/ADA, and to then afford access to appropriate educational accommodations. If the parent or guardian disagrees with the determination made by the professional staff of the school district, he/she has the right to a hearing with an impartial hearing officer.
Inquiries or complaints regarding nondiscrimination policies should be directed to FSSD’s Section 504 compliance coordinator. For more information, please call 615-794-6624. Inquiries and complaints may also be directed to the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue S.W., Washington D.C. 20202, or by calling (800) 421-3481 or (877) 521-2172.