Care of School Property
Students shall help maintain the school environment, preserve school property and exercise care while using school facilities. All district employees shall report all damage or loss of school property to the principal or designee immediately after such damage or loss is discovered. The principal or designee shall make a full and complete investigation of any instance of damage or loss of school property. The investigation shall be carried out in cooperation with law enforcement officials when appropriate.
School property is defined as buildings, buses, books, equipment, records, instructional materials or any other item under the jurisdiction of the Board. When the person causing damage or loss has been identified and the costs of repair or replacement have been determined, the director of schools shall take steps to recover these costs. This may include recommending the filing of a civil complaint in court to recover damages. If the responsible person is a minor, recovery will be sought from the minor’s parent or guardian.
In addition, the district may withhold the grades, diploma, and/or transcript of the student responsible for vandalism or theft or otherwise incurring any debt to a school until the student or the student’s parent/guardian has paid for the damages.1 When the minor and parent are unable to pay for the damages, the district shall provide a program of voluntary work for the minor. Upon completion of the work, the student’s grades, diploma, and/or transcripts shall be released. Such sanctions shall not be imposed if the student is not at fault. MCSS Policy 6.311
Use of Personal Communication Devices by Students
Students may possess cell phones on school property so long as such devices are turned off and stored in backpacks, purses, or personal carry-alls during class time and programs. Such devices include, but are not limited to, wearable technology such as eye glasses, rings, or watches that have the capability to record, live stream, or interact with wireless technology; cell phones; laptops; tablets; and mp3 players. However, a teacher may grant permission for the use of cell phones to assist with instruction in his/her classroom, and teachers are encouraged to integrate the devices into their course work; however, all approved devices must allow access to the Internet through a fully functional web browser and be capable of accessing the Marshall County School System’s (MCSS) guest network. The principal or his/her designee may also grant a student permission to use such a device at his/her discretion. MCSS Policy 6.312
The Marshall County School System/Marshall County Board of Education will not be responsible for damaged, lost, or stolen cell phones.
All Internet access shall occur using the MCSS guest network. Cellular network adapters are not permitted to be used by students to access the Internet at any time. The device may only be used to access files or internet sites which are relevant to the classroom curriculum. Non-instructional games are not permitted. Students must comply with a teacher’s request to turn off the device. Unauthorized use or improper storage of a device during class time or programs will result in confiscation until such time as it may be released to the student’s parents or guardian. A student in violation of this policy is subject to disciplinary action as per board policy #6.316 Suspension/Expulsion/Remand. MCSS Policy 6.312
Notification of Unsafe School Choice Policy
Transfer Option for Students Victimized by Violent Crime at School
Under the Tennessee 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 40-38-111(g), or the attempt to commit one of these offenses as defined under Tennessee Code Annotated 30-12-101, shall be provided an opportunity to transfer to another grade level appropriate school within the district. Additional information regarding this option may be obtained by contacting the Director of Schools, Mr. Jacob Sorrells at (931)359-1581, Ext. 2017.
Notice of Parent’s Rights to Notification of Teachers’ Qualifications
In compliance with new Federal Regulations, parents have the right to know the qualifications of their child’s instructional staff. This information can be accessed from the State Department of Education website.
In order to ensure that homeless students have equal access to the same free appropriate public education as provided to other students, the following shall apply: Homeless students are individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence and include the following:
1. Students who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to the lack of
alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement. 2. Students who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designated for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. 3. Students who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations or similar settings. 4. Migratory students who meet one of the above described circumstances. The district will consider the best interests of the student with parental involvement in determining whether the student should be enrolled in the school of origin or the school that non-homeless student who lives in the attendance area in which the homeless student is actually living are eligible to attend. For more information contact Julie Thomas at 359-1581 Ext. 2010. MCSS Policy 6.503
Marshall County School System
Notice of Nondiscrimination
It is the policy of the Marshall County School System not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, or disability in its educational programs or employment policies as required by
Titles VI and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act;
Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendment Act;
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973;
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990;
Due Process Rights Inquires regarding compliance with the notice of nondiscrimination policy may be directed to the Marshall County School District, 700 Jones Circle, Lewisburg, TN 37091, (931) 359-1581.
No person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
–Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 USC §2000d.
Title VI prohibits any public school system from:
• Preventing a person from enrolling in a school, class or extracurricular school activity based on race, color, or national origin;
• Arbitrarily placing a student in a school or class with the intent of separating the student from the general population of students because of the student’s race, color or national origin;
• Setting higher standards or additional requirements as a prerequisite to enrollment in a school, program, or activity, which only applies to students of color;
• Unequally applying or not applying disciplinary action based on the race, color or national origin of the victim or the perpetrator;
• Failing to provide the necessary language assistance to allow students who are not proficient in English the same opportunities to learn, or participate in activities or programs as those students who are proficient in English;
• Administering tests or other evaluative measures which by design or by grading do not allow students, due to their race, color or national origin, the same opportunity to present a true measure of their abilities;
• Providing advice or guidance to students with the intent to discourage students of color from seeking admission to schools, classes, or other educational activities;
• Providing inferior facilities, instruction, or related services to students because of their race, color or national origin;
• And any other activity which would tend to discriminate against students based on their race, national origin or color.
If you think a violation of Title VI has occurred within your school system or against your child, a complaint may be filed with:
Your local school system’s Title VI Coordinator, Julie Thomas, (931)359-1581, Ext. 2010.
2. Tennessee Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
710 James Robertson Parkway
Andrew Johnson Tower, 6th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
3. Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
61 Forsyth Street S.W., Suite 19T70
Atlanta, GA 30303-3104
Telephone: (404)562-6350 TDD: (404)331-7236
Parent Information Summary for Section 504
Section 504 background:
· Section 504 is a civil rights law that requires that school districts that receive any federal funding make programs and activities accessible to individuals with disabilities.
· The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has expanded the definition of accessible to include all major life activities including learning, seeing, walking, taking care of oneself, etc. OCR enforces Section 504 compliance.
To be eligible the student must have the following:
A physical or mental impairment (has a history of having a physical or mental impairment) that substantially limits one or more life processes in order to be eligible for a Section 504 plan.
**This criteria must be met before a student qualifies for a 504 Accommodation Plan.
Parents, teachers, adult-age students, other staff, or community agencies, etc. can request that a student review for Section 504 eligibility occur.
The eligibility review process:
· Parent, etc., or School’s Support Team (S-Team) (or similar group) determines that a pattern of student need has possible Section 504 implications.
· Parent or guardian is provided prior written notice of the student evaluation; a listing of parental rights under Section 504, and the parent provides written permission before any diagnostic evaluation work is done.
· Appropriate staff and other individuals (those knowing the student and information being reviewed) convene to review student need basing their decision on the Section 504 eligibility criteria.
· If a student is found 504 eligible then appropriate accommodations and/or related services are defined by the eligibility team and provided by regular education teachers.
· Discuss and implement plan with appropriate staff.
Review plans yearly.
If you feel your child qualifies for services under Section 504, contact the Principal at your school or the District 504 Coordinator, Julie Thomas at (931) 359-1581, Ext. 2010.
Section 504 and ADA Grievance Procedures
The Board is committed to maintaining equitable employment/educational practices, services, programs, and activities that are accessible and usable by qualified individuals with disabilities.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides that: No otherwise qualified individual with handicaps in the United States...solely by reason of his/her handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990 provides that: No otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall be discriminated against in regard to job application procedures, the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.
The Board shall designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504, including any investigation of any complaint alleging non-compliance with the Acts or alleging any actions that would be prohibited by the Acts.
The Board shall make available the name, office address and telephone number of the ADA/Section 504 coordinator. Methods of initial and continuing notification may include the posting of notices, publication in newspapers and student and employee handbooks and distribution of memoranda or other written communications.
The coordinator will hear ADA/Section 504 complaints. Complaints may be submitted orally or in writing to the coordinator who will endeavor to accomplish prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action that would be prohibited by the ADA/Section 504. The coordinator will respond to all complaints within twenty (20) days with a written response as well as information on further grievance procedures that may be followed if the complaining party is not satisfied with the coordinator's proposed resolution.
Due Process Hearing Procedures
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides the right to an impartial due process hearing if a parent wishes to contest any action of the school system with regard to a child’s identification, evaluation, and placement under Section 504.6 If a parent/guardian requests a Section 504 hearing, the parent/guardian has the right to personally participate and to be represented at the hearing by an attorney or advocate at the parent’s expense. Contested actions or omissions that are appropriate for a Section 504 hearing should involve identification, evaluation, or placement issues involving a child who has or is believed to have a disability.
Request for Hearing - A parent/guardian who wishes to challenge an action or omission with regard to the identification, evaluation, or placement of a student who has or is believed to have a disability as defined by Section 504, shall make an oral or written request for a due process hearing to the Section 504 coordinator. The request shall be submitted on or reduced to writing on a form provided through the Central Office.
Impartial Hearing Officer - The director of schools or his/her designee shall appoint an impartial hearing officer to preside over the hearing and issue a decision. Such appointment will be made within fifteen (15) days of the date of receipt of a request for a due process hearing. The hearing officer will be hired as an independent contractor at no expense to the parent. The hearing officer that is appointed shall not be a current employee of the school system and shall not be related to any member of the Board of Education. The hearing officer need not be an attorney but shall be familiar with the requirements of Section 504 and the hearing procedures under Section 504. The choice of an impartial hearing officer is final and may not be presented as an issue at the due process hearing since such an issue would not relate to the identification, evaluation, or placement of a disabled child under Section 504. If a parent/guardian disputes the impartiality of the appointed hearing officer, he/she may raise such issue in a review of the hearing officer’s opinion by a court of competent jurisdiction or in a complaint to the Office for Civil Rights.
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
61 Forsyth St. S.W., Suite 19T10
Atlanta, GA 30303-8927
Telephone: 404-974-9406; TDD: 877-521-2172
Scheduling of Hearing - The appointed hearing officer shall set a date for the hearing within fifteen (15) days of his/her appointment and provide this information in writing to the parent/guardian and the Section 504 coordinator. The hearing shall take place at a mutually agreeable time and place.
Continuances - Upon a showing of good cause, the hearing officer, at his/her discretion may grant a continuance of the hearing date and set a new hearing date.
Legal Representation at Hearing - If a parent/guardian is represented by a licensed attorney at the due process hearing, he/she must inform the Section 504 coordinator and the appointed hearing officer of that fact, in writing, at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the hearing date, or the hearing can be continued upon the coordinator’s request.
The school system shall not have legal representation at the hearing unless the parent provides notice that he/she will have legal representation.
Pre-Hearing Conference - The hearing officer may order a Pre-Hearing Conference during which the parent/guardian or his/her representative will state and clarify the issues to be addressed at the hearing. The Pre-Hearing Conference will also serve to resolve preliminary matters, clarify jurisdictional issues, and answer the parties’ questions regarding the hearing process. The Pre-Hearing Conference can be held via telephone or in person depending on the hearing officer’s decision based on the convenience to both parties.
Dismissals - If, after the Pre-Hearing Conference, the hearing officer finds that the parent, as a matter of law, alleges and/or raises no factual claims or legal issues that come within his/her jurisdiction as a Section 504 hearing officer, he/she may dismiss the hearing and issue an order to that effect explaining the basis for such finding.
Hearing - The hearing shall be conducted in an informal, non-adversarial manner. The hearing shall be closed to the public unless the parent/guardian requests an open hearing. The hearing officer may reasonably limit testimony and introduction of exhibits for reasons or relevance.
Recording - Instead of a formal written transcript produced by a court reporter, the entire due process hearing will be video recorded. The school system shall provide a copy of the recording to the parent/guardian upon request. In order for an accurate recording to be made, the parties and witnesses shall introduce themselves at the beginning of their presentations. If a parent/guardian appeals the decision of the hearing officer to a court of competent jurisdiction, the school system shall prepare a written transcript of the hearing to be offered to the court as an exhibit.
Witnesses - Witnesses will present their information in narrative form, without the traditional question and answer format of legal proceedings. Cross-examination of witnesses will not be allowed, but a party may request that the hearing officer, at his/her discretion, ask a witness a certain question.
Format of Presentation - Each side will have an equal amount of time to present their positions as determined by the hearing officer. The parent/guardian will present his/her case first by making an opening statement outlining the issues, calling witnesses, and making a closing argument. The school system will present its side next. At the end of the school system’s presentation, the parent/guardian may offer a short response. Each side may present personally or through their representatives.
Submission of Exhibits - As part of their presentations and at the discretion of the hearing officer, the parties may submit any reports, evaluations, correspondence, notes, or any other documents that may support their positions. Exhibits submitted to the hearing officer by either party must be marked. The hearing officer may, in the exercise of his/her discretion, reasonably limit the number of documents to be submitted for his/her review, as well as the number of witnesses and the length and/or scope of their presentations or statements.
Closing Arguments - The hearing officer may allow or request written closing arguments summarizing and characterizing the information presented at the hearing.
Decision - The hearing officer may make an oral ruling at the conclusion of the hearing or take the case under advisement and issue a written opinion. Such decision shall address all of the issues raised by the parent/guardian as well as any corrective actions, if any, the school system must take. Any issue or claim raised by the parent/guardian that is left unaddressed by the hearing officer in his/her decision will be deemed to have been denied. The decision must be issued within forty-five (45) days after the date the Request for a Due Process Hearing is received by the district. The hearing officer may not award attorneys’ fees as a part of the relief granted to a parent/guardian or the district.
Review Procedure/Appeal 33 - If the parent/guardian is not satisfied by the decision of the hearing officer, he/she may seek review of the decision in a court of competent jurisdiction. MCSS 1.802
PLEASE LET THE RECORD SHOW THAT ANY POLICY OR ISSUE THAT IS NOT IN THIS HANDBOOK, WILL BE RULED ON ACCORDING TO THE POLICY OF THE MARSHALL COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION AND THE RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE THAT GOVERN PUBLIC SCHOOLS (TN CODE ANNOTATED).
IN COMPLIANCE WITH NEW FEDERAL REGULATIONS, PARENTS HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW THE QUALIFICATIONS OF THEIR CHILD’S INSTRUCTIONAL STAFF. THIS INFORMATION CAN BE ACCESSED FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION’S WEB SITE AT: https://www.k-12.state.tn.us/tcertinf/Search.asp