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Guidelines for Visiting the Lynn Public Schools
UPDATED MAY 2014

It is School Committee policy to welcome all parents and other visitors to our schools and to encourage their active support of and involvement in the schools.  This policy permits parents and others to visit schools and classrooms and utilize school facilities including school parking lots, so long as the visits do not interfere with the work of students, teachers and/or other school employees.

All visitors, including School Department personnel, are expected to report to the school main office before going elsewhere in the building.  They will be required to sign in, noting their name, affiliation and reason for the visit, and wear a visitor badge. As part of the registration process, all visitors will be asked to provide their driver’s license or other photo-identification, which will be held by the main office for the duration of the visit. Car keys may be accepted in lieu of a driver’s license or photo ID at the discretion of the main office.

Upon conclusion of the visit, the visitor must return to the main office, sign out and return the visitor badge. Once the visitor has checked out, the main office staff will return the visitor’s driver’s license, ID, or keys as applicable.

Visitors may be required to park in certain designated spaces or at certain designated times in school parking lots.  All parents should be informed of these procedures through such means as is determined by the school.

Occasionally, visitors may disrupt school activities: by behaving inappropriately; by harassing staff; by shouting; or by insisting on visiting at inappropriate times.  Every effort should be made to work with such visitors to inform them of established procedures in an effort to eliminate future disruptions. When such disruptions occur, however, the building administrator may issue the offender a Trespass Warning pursuant to M.G.L. c. 266, § 120.  Attachment A provides an example of such a letter, with appropriate fields to be filled in by the building administrator. Such a Warning requires the offending party to contact the building administrator, or a designee, prior to appearing at school for any school-related matter.  Additionally, depending upon the nature of the inappropriate behavior, a building administrator may choose to substitute any of the following restrictions in the third paragraph of Attachment A:

  1. The visitor may be required to telephone prior to visiting the building to inform the building administrator of their intent in visiting the building.
  2. The visitor may be required to be accompanied by the building administrator or his/her designee to classrooms.
  3. Advance scheduling of consultations with teachers or other providers may be required.
  4. Parents delivering student(s) to school may be required to leave the student(s) at the front door and not be permitted to accompany them to the classroom.

This Warning should expire at the end of the academic year.  As is noted on the Trespass Warning, it is appealable through the Superintendent’s Office.

Additionally, by issuing the Trespass Warning, the building administrator is placing the disruptive visitor on notice that any further inappropriate behavior will result in the issuance of a Trespass Notice.  If inappropriate behaviors continue, Attachment B provides an example of such a trespass notice, again with fields to be completed by the building administrator. The Trespass Notice will be effective for one year from the date it was issued and may, in the reasonable exercise of the building administrator’s discretion, be renewed thereafter. Failure to comply with any restriction imposed by the Trespass Notice may result in the visitor’s arrest and prosecution for criminal trespass.  It, like the Trespass Warning, is appealable at the visitor’s election through the Superintendent’s Office.

In instances of extreme behavior, such as assault or battery of an administrator, faculty member, staff member or student, a building administrator may issue a Trespass Notice without prior issuance of a Trespass Warning.  Attachment C is an example of such a notice. Such a Trespass Notice as is contained in Attachment C should be reserved, however, for particularly egregious behavior where there is a particularized apprehension for the safety or well being for a member(s) of the school community.  Once issued, or until such time it is vacated, the named visitor is prohibited, under penalty of law, from entering or using school grounds for any reason.  This Trespass Notice is effective immediately and its duration is indefinite.  A copy of this Notice must be provided to the Lynn Police Department, the School Security Office, and the Office of Legal Advisor [Atty. Mihos] and also maintained in the school’s file.  A visitor’s failure to comply with this Notice will result in immediate arrest and prosecution for trespassing if it is violated. This Notice is likewise appealable through the Superintendent’s Office

Thank you for your cooperation in observing these guidelines. Be assured that our goal is to create a safe, secure, and positive learning experience for all our students and their families. Superintendent Catherine Latham

Approved by the Lynn School Committee on May 8th, 2014

New Item Guidelines for Visiting the Lynn Public Schools (PDF)
  Visiting LPS Guidelines | POSTED MAY 2014
   

Bullying Intervention and Prevention Plans

Bullying

The Lynn Public Schools will not tolerate any unlawful or disruptive behavior, including any form of bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation in our school buildings, on school grounds, or in school-related activities.

We will investigate promptly all reports and complaints of bullying, cyber-bullying, and retaliation and take prompt action to end that behavior and restore the target's sense of safety.

We will support this commitment in all aspects of our school community, including curricula, instructional programs, staff development, extracurricular activities, and parent or guardian involvement.


  Confidential Bullying Incident Report
New Item For The Public | Click to send us a Confidential Incident Report
PDF For School Personnel | Download A Copy of the Incident Report

Definitions:

Aggressor is a student who engages in bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation.

Target is a student against whom bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation has been perpetrated.

Bullying, as defined in M.G.L.c. 71 § 37O, is the repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal, or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that:

· Cause physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target's property;
· Places the target in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself or of damage to his or her property;
· Creates a hostile environment at school for the target;
· Infringes on the rights of the target at school; or
· Materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

Cyberbullying is bullying through the use of technology or electronic devices such as telephones, cell phones, computers, and the internet. It includes, but is not limited to, email, instant messages, text messages, and internet posting. See M.G.L.c. 71 § 37O for the legal definition of cyberbullying.

Hostile Environment, as defined in M.G.L.c. 71 § 37O, is a situation in which bullying causes the school environment to be permeated with intimidation, ridicule, or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of a student's education.

Retaliation is any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment directed against a student who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying.

Staff, includes, but is not limited to, educators, administrators, counselors, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to extracurricular activities, support staff, or paraprofessionals.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. LEADERSHIP …………………… 4
II. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT …………………… 5
III. ACCESS TO RESOURCES AND SERVICES …………………… 6
IV. ACADEMIC AND NON-ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES …………………… 7
V. POLICES AND PROCEDURES FOR REPORTING AND RESPONDING TO BULLYING AND RETALIATION …………………… 8
VI. COLLABORATION WITH FAMILIES …………………… 12
VII. PROHIBITION AGAINST BULLYING AND RETALIATION …………………… 12
VIII. DEFINITIONS …………………… 13
IX. RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER LAWS …………………… 13

I. LEADERSHIP

The Lynn Public School Department is committed to providing a safe, positive and productive educational environment where students can achieve the highest academic standards. No student shall be subjected to harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyberbullying. The Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Health/PE will coordinate the Plan centrally for the district. The principal of each school will ensure the Lynn Public Schools Plan is followed. Each school will also have a bullying coordinator to assist the principals.

A. Public involvement in developing the Plan

The Lynn Public School Department created a bullying task force to help formulate our bullying prevention and intervention Plan. The bullying task force consists of teachers, school staff, professional support personnel, school volunteers, administrators, community representatives, local law enforcement agencies, students, parents, and guardians. The bullying task force has met multiple times over the summer and will continue to meet throughout the school year to assess and evaluate the Plan. The Plan will be posted on the LPS website as well as the City of Lynn website for public comment from November 19, 2010 through December 7, 2010. The Plan will be presented to the school committee for final approval on December 9, 2010.

B. Assessing needs and resources

The Lynn Public School Department relies on the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, student behavioral incident data, and Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center (MARC) parent, student and staff surveys to help assess our bullying needs. The bullying task force, along with the school leadership teams will review the data biannually and make any necessary changes. This information will help to identify patterns of behaviors and areas of concern, and will inform decision-making for prevention strategies including, but not limited to, adult supervision, professional development, age-appropriate curricula, and in-school support services.

C. Planning and oversight

The Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction-Health/PE, the bullying task force, school based bullying coordinators and the school principals are responsible for the following Planning and oversight:

receiving reports on bullying;
collecting and analyzing building- and/or school-wide data on bullying to assess the present problem and to measure improved outcomes;
creating a process for recording and tracking incident reports and for accessing information related to targets and aggressors;
planning for the ongoing professional development that is required by the law;
planning supports that respond to the needs of targets and aggressors;
choosing and implementing the curricula that the school or district will use;
developing new or revising current policies and protocols under the Plan, including an internet safety policy, and designating key staff to be in charge of implementation of them;
amending student and staff handbooks and codes of conduct;
leading the parent or family engagement efforts and drafting parent information materials;
reviewing and updating the Plan each year or more frequently.

D. Developing priority statements

The Lynn Public School Department will not tolerate any unlawful or disruptive behavior, including any form of bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation in our school buildings, on school grounds, or in school-related activities. We will investigate promptly all reports and complaints of bullying, cyberbullying, and retaliation and take prompt action to end that behavior and restore the target's sense of safety. We will support this commitment in all aspects of our school community, including curricula, instructional programs, staff development, extracurricular activities, and parent or guardian involvement.

II. TRAINING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

All of the Lynn Public Schools have a bullying coordinator. The bullying coordinators are there to assist the principals in all bullying investigations and are responsible for providing the professional development at each of their schools. All of the coordinators are certified through the MARC center bullying training. The professional development is held once a year on the first or second professional development day. The Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction-Health/PE will provide the professional development district wide to anyone who missed the training. The district wide professional development courses will be offered many times throughout the school year. All professional development will be reviewed annually to address identified additional areas of training based on needs and concerns identified by school and district staff. The Lynn Public School system is also in the process of creating a new professional development course that will combine de-escalation techniques, classroom management and bullying professional development.

A. Annual staff training on the Plan

Annual training for all school staff on the Plan will include staff duties under the Plan, an overview of the steps that the principal or designee will follow upon receipt of a report of bullying or retaliation, and an overview of the bullying prevention curricula to be offered at all grades throughout the school or district. Staff members hired after the start of the school year are required to participate in district wide training during the school year in which they are hired.

B. Ongoing professional development

The goal of professional development is to establish a common understanding of tools necessary for staff to create a school climate that promotes safety, civil communication, and respect for differences. Professional development will build the skills of staff members to prevent, identify, and respond to bullying. As required by M.G.L.c.71, § 37O, the content of school wide and district wide professional development will be informed by research and will include information on:

developmentally (or age-) appropriate strategies to prevent bullying;
developmentally (or age-) appropriate strategies for immediate, effective interventions to stop bullying incidents;
information regarding the complex interaction and power differential that can take place between and among an aggressor, target, and witnesses to the bullying;
research findings on bullying, including information about specific categories of students who have been shown to be particularly at risk for bullying in the school environment;
information on the incidence and nature of cyber-bullying; and
internet safety issues as they relate to cyber-bullying.
Professional development will also address ways to prevent and respond to bullying or retaliation for students with disabilities that must be considered when developing students' Individualized Education Programs (IEP's). This will include a particular focus on the needs of the students with autism or students whose disability affects social skills development.

Additional areas identified by the Lynn Public School Department for professional development include:

promoting and modeling the use of respectful language;
fostering an understanding of and respect for diversity and difference;
building relationships and communicating with families;
managing classroom behaviors constructively;
using positive behavioral intervention strategies;
applying constructive disciplinary practices;
teaching students skills that include positive communication, anger management, and empathy for others;
engaging students in school or classroom planning and decision-making; and
maintaining a safe and caring classroom for all students.
C. Written notice to staff

The Lynn Public School Department will provide all staff with an annual written notice of the Plan by publishing information about it, including sections related to staff duties, in the school or district employee handbook and in an email to all staff.

III. ACCESS TO RESOURCES AND SERVICES

A. Identifying resources

The Lynn Public School Department is currently working with the bullying taskforce, principals, bullying coordinators and the special education department to survey and map all of the available resources. Once completed, the Lynn Public School Department can develop recommendations and action steps to fill resource and service gaps.

B. Counseling and other services

The Lynn Public School Department is currently working with our bullying taskforce, school adjustment councilors, social workers and communities groups to identify staff and service providers who can assist schools in developing safety plans for students who have been targets of bullying or retaliation, providing social skills programs to prevent bullying, and offering education and/or intervention services for students exhibiting bullying behaviors.

C. Students with disabilities

The Lynn Public School Department is currently working with our bullying taskforce, special education coordinators, the special education attorney and IEP teams to comply with the new legislation. As required by M.G.L.c. 71B, § 3, as amended by Chapter 92 of the Acts of 2010, when the IEP Team determines the student has a disability that affects social skills development or the student may participate in or is vulnerable to bullying, harassment, or teasing because of his/her disability, the Team will consider what should be included in the IEP to develop the student's skill and proficiencies to avoid and respond to bullying, harassment, or teasing. All students with disabilities will have language in their IEP's stating the team has addressed the bullying issue at the IEP meeting and will state no action is necessary at this time or there will be steps outlining their needs.

D. Referral to outside services

The Lynn Public School Department is currently evaluating local referral protocols to assess their relevance to the Plan and will revise as needed. Clear protocols will help students and families access appropriate and timely services. Referrals will comply with all relevant laws and policies.

IV. ACADEMIC AND NON-ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES

A. Specific bullying prevention approaches

Bullying prevention curricula will be informed by current research which, among other things, emphasizes the following approaches:

using scripts and role plays to develop skills;
empowering students to take action by knowing what to do when they witness other students engaged in acts of bullying or retaliation, including seeking adult assistance;
helping students understand the dynamics of bullying and cyber-bullying, including the underlying power imbalance;
emphasizing cyber-safety, including safe and appropriate use of electronic communication technologies;
enhancing students' skills for engaging in healthy relationships and respectful communications; and
engaging students in a safe, supportive school environment that is respectful of diversity and difference.
Initiatives will also teach students about the student-related sections of the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan. On the first day when the student handbook is distributed all elementary classroom teachers will review the Plan with their classes. In middle and high schools the Plans will be reviewed by their homeroom teacher. All of the information will be included in the 2010-2011 student handbooks. The Lynn Public Schools requires all parents/guardians to sign and return the student handbook with the understanding that they have review the handbook with their child.

B. General teaching approaches that support bullying prevention efforts

The following approaches are integral to establishing a safe and supportive school environment. These underscore the importance of our bullying intervention and prevention initiatives.

setting clear expectations for students and establishing school and classroom routines;
creating safe school and classroom environments for all students, including those with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and homeless students;
using appropriate and positive responses and reinforcement, even when students require discipline;
using positive behavioral supports;
encouraging adults to develop positive relationships with students;
modeling, teaching, and rewarding pro-social, healthy, and respectful behaviors;
using positive approaches to behavioral health, including collaborative problem solving, conflict resolution training, teamwork, and positive behavioral supports that aid in social and emotional development;
using the internet safely; and
supporting students' interest and participation in non-academic and extracurricular activities, particularly in their areas of strength.

V. POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR REPORTING AND RESPONDING TO BULLYING AND RETALIATION

A. Reporting bullying or retaliation

Reports of bullying or retaliation may be made by staff, students, parents, guardians, or others, and may be oral or written. Oral reports made by or to a staff member shall be recorded in writing by the teacher, bullying coordinator, and/or the principal. A school or district staff member is required to report immediately to the principal or designee any instance of bullying or retaliation the staff member becomes aware of or witnesses. Reports made by students, parents or guardians, or other individuals who are not school or district staff members, may be made anonymously. The Lynn Public Schools have a variety or reporting resources available to the school community. Including an Incident Reporting Form, an anonymous online reporting system linked to our website (www.lynnschools.org) and dedicated mailing address (90 Commercial Street, Lynn, MA 01905, with attention to Dennis Thompson, Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction-Health/PE).

Use of an Incident Reporting Form is not required as a condition of making a report. The school or district will: 1) include a copy of the Incident Reporting Form in the beginning of the year packets for students and parents or guardians; 2) make it available in the school's main office, the counseling office, the school nurse's office, and other locations determined by the principal or designee; and 3) post it on the school's website. The Incident Reporting Form will be made available in the most prevalent languages(s) of origin of students and parents or guardians.

At the beginning of each school year, the Lynn Public Schools will provide the school community, including administrators, staff, students, and parents or guardians, with written notice of its policies for reporting acts of bullying and retaliation. A description of the reporting procedures and resources, including the name and contact information of the principal or designee, will be incorporated in student and staff handbooks, on the school or district website, and in information about the Plan that is made available to parents or guardians.

1. Reporting by staff

A staff member will report immediately to the principal or designee when he/she witnesses or becomes aware of conduct that may be bullying or retaliation. The requirement to report to the principal or designee does not limit the authority of the staff member to respond to behavioral or disciplinary incidents consistent with school or district policies and procedures for behavior management and discipline.

2. Reporting by students, parents or guardians, and others

The Lynn Public School Department expects students, parents or guardians, and others who witness or become aware of an instance of bullying or retaliation involving a student to report it to the principal or designee. Reports may be made anonymously, but no disciplinary action will be taken against an alleged aggressor solely on the basis of an anonymous report. Students, parents or guardians, and others may request assistance from a staff member to complete a written report. Students will be provided practical, safe, private and age-appropriate ways to report and discuss an incident of bullying with a staff member, or with the principal or designee.

B. Responding to a report of bullying or retaliation

1. Safety

Before fully investigating the allegations of bullying or retaliation, the principal or designee will take steps to assess the need to restore a sense of safety to the alleged target and/or to protect the alleged target from possible further incidents. Responses to promote safety may include, but are not limited to, creating a personal safety plan; pre-determining seating arrangements for the target and/or the aggressor in the classroom, at lunch, or on the bus; identifying a staff member who will act as a "safe person" for the target; and altering the aggressor's schedule and access to the target. The principal or designee will take additional steps to promote safety during the course of and after the investigation, as necessary.

The principal or designee will implement appropriate strategies for protecting from bullying or retaliation a student who has reported bullying or retaliation, a student who has witnessed bullying or retaliation, a student who provides information during an investigation, or a student who has reliable information about a reported act of bullying or retaliation. The bullying task force, bullying coordinators and principals are in the process of establishing local student safety Planning policies and procedures for the Lynn Public Schools.

2. Obligations to notify others

a. Notice to parents or guardians. Upon determining that bullying or retaliation has occurred, the principal or designee will promptly notify the parents or guardians of the target and the aggressor of this, and of the procedures for responding to it. There may be circumstances in which the principal or designee contacts parents or guardians prior to any investigation. Notice will be consistent with state regulations at 603 CMR 49.00.

b. Notice to another school or district. If the reported incident involves students from more than one school district, charter school, non-public school, approved private special education day or residential school, or collaborative school, the principal or designee first informed of the incident will promptly notify by telephone the principal or designee of the other school(s) of the incident so that each school may take appropriate action. All communications will be in accordance with state and federal privacy laws and regulations, and 603 CMR 49.00.

c. Notice to law enforcement. At any point after receiving a report of bullying or retaliation, including after an investigation, if the principal or designee has a reasonable basis to believe that criminal charges may be pursued against the aggressor, the principal will notify the local law enforcement agency. Notice will be consistent with the requirements of 603 CMR 49.00 and locally established agreements with the local law enforcement agency. Also, if an incident occurs on school grounds and involves a former student under the age of 21 who is no longer enrolled in school, the principal or designee shall contact the local law enforcement agency if he or she has a reasonable basis to believe that criminal charges may be pursued against the aggressor.

In making this determination, the principal will, consistent with the Plan and with applicable school or district policies and procedures, consult with the School Safety Liaison or the School Attendance and Discipline Officer as well as other individuals the principal or designee deems appropriate.

C. Investigation

The principal or designee will investigate promptly all reports of bullying or retaliation and, in doing so, will consider all available information know, including the nature of the allegation(s) and the ages of the students involved.

During the investigation the principal or designee will, among other things, interview students, staff, witnesses, parents or guardians, and others as necessary. The principal or designee (or whoever is conducting the investigation) will remind the alleged aggressor, target, and witnesses that retaliation is strictly prohibited and will result in disciplinary action.

Interviews may be conducted by the principal or designee, other staff members as determined by the principal or designee, and in consultation with the school counselor, as appropriate. To the extent practicable, and given his/her obligation to investigate and address the matter, the principal or designee will maintain confidentiality during the investigative process. The principal or designee will maintain a written record of the investigation.

Procedures for investigating reports of bullying and retaliation will be consistent with school or district policies and procedures for investigations. If necessary, the principal or designee will consult with legal counsel about the investigation.

D. Determinations

The principal or designee will make a determination based upon all of the facts and circumstances. If, after investigation, bullying or retaliation is substantiated, the principal or designee will take steps reasonably calculated to prevent recurrence and to ensure that the target is not restricted in participating in school or in benefiting from school activities. The principal: 1) determine what remedial action is required, if any, and 2) determine what responsive actions and/or disciplinary action is necessary.

Depending upon the circumstances, the principal or designee may choose to consult with the students' teacher(s) and/or school counselor, and the target's or aggressor's parents or guardians, to identify any underlying social or emotional issue(s) that may have contributed to the bullying behavior and to assess the level of need for additional social skills development.

The principal or designee will promptly notify the parents or guardians of the target and the aggressor about the results of the investigation and, if bullying or retaliation is found, what action is being taken to prevent further acts of bullying or retaliation. All notices to parents must comply with applicable state and federal privacy laws and regulations. Because of the legal requirements regarding the confidentiality of student records, the principal or designee cannot report specific information to the target's parent or guardian about the disciplinary action taken unless it involves a "stay away" order or other directive that the target must be aware of in order to report violations.

E. Responses to bullying

1. Teaching appropriate behavior through skills-building

Upon the principal or designee determining that bullying or retaliation has occurred, the law requires that the school or district use a range of responses that balance the need for accountability with the need to teach appropriate behavior. M.G.L.c 71 § 37O(d)(v). Skill building approaches that the principal or designee may consider include:

offering individualized skill-building sessions based on the school's/district's anti-bullying curricula; providing relevant educational activities for individual students or groups of students, in consultation with guidance counselors and other appropriate school personnel; implementing a range of academic and nonacademic positive behavioral supports to help students understand pro-social ways to achieve their goals; meeting with parents and guardians to engage parental support and to reinforce the anti-bullying curricula and social skills building activities at home;
adopting behavioral Plans to include a focus on developing specific social skills; and making a referral for evaluation.

2. Taking disciplinary action

If the principal or designee decides that disciplinary action is appropriate, the disciplinary action will be determined on the basis of facts found by the principal or designee, including the nature of the conduct, the age of the student(s) involved, and the need to balance accountability with the teaching of appropriate behavior. Discipline will be consistent with the Plan and with the Lynn Public Schools Disciplinary Code.

Discipline procedures for students with disabilities are governed by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), which should be read in cooperation with state laws regarding student discipline.

If the principal or designee determines that a student knowingly made a false allegation of bullying or retaliation, that student may be subject to disciplinary action.

3. Promoting safety for the target and other

The principal or designee will consider what adjustments, if any, are needed in the school environment to enhance the target's sense of safety and that of others as well. One strategy that the principal or designee may use is to increase adult supervision at transition times and in locations where bullying is known to have occurred or is likely to occur.

Within a reasonable period of time following the determination and the ordering of remedial and/or disciplinary action, the principal or designee will contact the target to determine whether there has been a recurrence of the prohibited conduct and whether additional supportive measures are needed. If so, the principal or designee will work with appropriate school staff to implement them immediately.

VI. COLLABORATION WITH FAMILIES

The Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction-Health/PE and the School Security Liaison for the Lynn Police Department have created a parent workshop series in collaboration with school based PTO's, PTA's, School Councils and Special Education Parent Advisory Councils to be hosted at elementary, middle and high schools throughout the district. The parent workshops will address: 1) how parents and guardians can reinforce the curricula at home and district Plan; 2) the dynamics of bullying; and 3) online safety and cyberbullying.

Parents and guardians will be notified in writing each year about the student-related sections of the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan, in the language(s) most prevalent among the parents and guardians.

VII. PROHIBITIONS AGAINST BULLYING AND RETALIATION

The following statement is included in the student code of conduct, the student handbook, and the staff handbook. The following statement is incorporated directly from M.G.L.c. 71§ 37O(b), and describes the law's requirements for the prohibition of bullying

Acts of bullying, which include cyberbullying, are prohibited:

on school grounds and property immediately adjacent to school grounds, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function, or program whether on or off school grounds, at a school bus stop, on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased, or used by a school district or school; or through the use of technology or an electronic device owned, leased, or used by a school district or school, and
at a location, activity, function, or program that is not school-related through the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased, or used by a school district or school, if the acts create a hostile environment at school for the target or witnesses, infringe on their rights at school, or materially and substantially disrupt the education process or the orderly operation of a school.
Retaliation against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying is also prohibited.

As stated in M.G.L.c. 71 § 37O, nothing in this Plan requires the district or school to staff any non-school related activities, function, or programs.

VIII. DEFINITIONS

Aggressor, is a student who engages in bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation.

Target, is a student against whom bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation has been perpetrated.

Bullying ,as defined in M.G.L.c. 71 § 37O, is the repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal, or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that:

-cause physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target's property;
-places the target in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself or of damage to his or her property;
-creates a hostile environment at school for the target;
-infringes on the rights of the target at school; or
materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

Cyberbullying, is bullying through the use of technology or electronic devices such as telephones, cell phones, computers, and the internet. It includes, but is not limited to, email, instant messages, text messages, and internet posting. See M.G.L.c. 71 § 37O for the legal definition of cyberbullying.

Hostile environment, as defined in M.G.L.c. 71 § 37O, is a situation in which bullying causes the school environment to be permeated with intimidation, ridicule, or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of a student's education.

Retaliation, is any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment directed against a student who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying.

Staff, includes, but is not limited to, educators, administrators, counselors, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to extracurricular activities, support staff, or paraprofessionals.

IX. RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER LAWS

Consistent with state and federal laws, and the policies of the Lynn Public Schools, no person shall be discriminated against in admission to a public school of any town or in obtaining the advantages, privilege and courses of study of such public school on account of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation. Nothing in the Plan prevents the Lynn Public Schools from taking action to remediate discrimination or harassment based on a person's membership in a legally protected category under local, state, or federal law, or school or district policies.

In addition, nothing in the Plan is designed or intended to limit the authority of the Lynn Public Schools to take disciplinary action or other action under M.G.L.c. 71, § § 37H, or 37H ½, other applicable laws, or Lynn Public Schools policies in response to violent, harmful, or disruptive, behavior, regardless of whether the Plan covers the behavior.

School Assigned Bullying Coordinators and Other Resources

No Bullying If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please contact Michael Geary via email at gearym@lynnschools.org or
by phone at (781) 477-7220 Ext 3148
ABORN Rick Held HOOD Robin Wolkiewicz
BRICKETT Diana Luciano INGALLS Carrie Sawyer
BREED Andrew Morrison LINCOLN-THOMSON Colleen McElligott-Liporto
CALLAHAN Tina Barney LYNN WOODS Marie Zukas
COBBET Tina Hoofnagle LVTI Dick Wall
CONNERY Rita Gallo MARSHALL Tina Beaulieu
CLASSICAL Judi Talyor PICKERING Dena Coffee
DREWICZ Mari Jean Halas SEWELL ANDERSON Kathy Tartarini
ENGLISH Jennifer Mancaniello SHOEMAKER Patrice Kotsakis
FECTEAU | 9-12 Judy Beauvais SISSON Lisa Grassa
FECTEAU | 6-8 Danielle Buckley TRACY Lisa Doyle
FORD Dave Romanowski WASHINGTON | 3-6 Cindy Anderson
HARRINGTON Becky Freddo WASHINGTON | K-2 Michelle Coscia

New Item Bullying, Cyberbulling, Social Media Abuse Resources
  Netsmartz.org | Cyberbullying webpage
  Stopbullying.gov | Massachusetts Anti-Bullying Laws and Policies
  Thatsnotcool.com | Peer Pressure Social Media
  Athinline.org | Social Media Abuse Support
   

Cyberbullying Resource Information From Massachusetts Attorney General

Cyberbullying is bullying, through the use of technology or electronic devices such as cell phones, computers, video gaming systems and the Internet.  The ways in which youth, and adults communicate through technology change rapidly and are limited only by human creativity.  Technology has brought bullying to a new level, however, outside of the classroom or the school yard, and into the homes, and the mobile devices of our children, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, 43 percent of teens have reported that they have been victims of cyberbullying in the last year. School officials, parents and students report that more and more young people are engaged in or are the targets of cyberbullying.  Cyberbullying, like bullying in the physical world, may include:

  • Sending hurtful, hateful, derogatory, harassing or threatening messages to others;
  • Spreading rumors; and/or
  • Sending personal or embarrassing information about or pictures of others – all with the intention of intimidating, frightening, ridiculing, or harming someone else. 

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, children who are bullied experience significant suffering that can interfere with their social and emotional development, as well as their school performance.  Some victims of bullying have even attempted suicide rather than continue to endure such harassment and punishment.
What makes cyberbullying different, and sometimes even more traumatic, is that technology now allows bullies to reach beyond the classroom, school bus, playground, or immediate neighborhood to victimize another child before an entire community.  Bullies can reach their target at any time or any place, including in his or her own home, via a computer, video game system or cell phone, giving the impression that there is no escape from the bully’s reach. In addition, cyberbullying may also involve including dozens or hundreds of “spectators” as in the case when a hateful and threatening communication is shared with an entire group of friends, on a social networking website or with an entire school community.

Bullying and Mediation

There is significant debate about the appropriateness of mediation in cases of bullying.  Many scholars and practitioners think that mediation is not appropriate for situations, like bullying in which there is an inherent imbalance of power.  Dr. Elizabeth Englander, Director of the Massachusettes Agression Reduction Center has written about this issue in particular.  It is wise to consider all competing analysis before the application of mediation to bullying or other relationship violence situations.

Protect Your Child

Talk to your child regularly about his or her online activities and experiences, as well as the activities of others he or she may communicate with online. If your child uses any kind of social networking application you would be wise to review your child’s friends’ list(s) on a regular basis and ask questions to make certain he or she is communicating only with people he or she actually knows.

Set clear expectations with your child about what he or she should do if they are the target of a bullying communication. Some ideas include: immediately tell you, ignore or block the message (if possible) and report incidents of a threatening nature to the Internet service providers (ISPs) and website on which the message was transmitted.

If your child is the victim of cyberbullying by school peers, report the bullying to your child’s school and ask the school to address the behavior and protect your child.  If you believe that your child’s safety is in danger, immediately contact your local police department.

Prevent Cyberbullying

The actions that constitute bullying or cyberbullying might also be a crime. For example a threat can be bullying, but it is also a violation of state law and electronically-communicated threats are a crime in the same way that a face-to-face or written threat can generate a criminal charge.  Willfully and maliciously directing electronic communications at a specific person that seriously alarm that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress can result in criminal charges as well as generate a lawsuit seeking financial compensation.

In order to ensure that your child does not engage in cyberbullying activities, you should communicate a clear set of expectations regarding acceptable and unacceptable behavior on the Internet to your child.  Explain that unacceptable behavior includes:

  • Revealing his or her password or the passwords of others;
  • Sending email messages, instant messages or text messages to others disguising himself or herself as another person;
  • Spreading rumors or false information about others;
  • Sending rude, harassing or threatening email messages, instant messages or text messages;
  • Creating websites that ridicule, humiliate, or intimidate others; and/or
  • Posting on websites or disseminating embarrassing or inappropriate pictures or images of others.

For additional information, visit our Monitoring Internet Use page or visit our webpage to learn more about bullying prevention and efforts to improve school climate. 

Lynn Public Schools Home Education Policy

  Policy Download (PDF)
PDF 2011 Home Education Policy

Adopted by the School Committee September 29, 2011

Policy For Homeless Children and Unaccompanied Youth

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I.
Designation of a Homeless Education Liaison
II. Definition of Homelessness
III. School Selection
IV. Enrollment
V. Transportation
VI. School Nutrition Program
VII. Support Services
VIII. Dispute Resolution

The goal of McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act is to ensure that each homeless child or youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including preschool education, as provided to other children and youth.

The Lynn Public Schools ensures the implementation of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act regarding identification, enrollment, attendance and success in school of homeless children and unaccompanied youth in grades Pre-Kindergarten – 12.  The responsibility to ensure the implementation has been assigned to Parent Information Center’s Director and staff.

I. Designation of a Homeless Education Liaison

The Lynn Public Schools’ Parent Information Center is the central registration office for all admissions and within system transfers of students.  The Lynn Public Schools’ Homeless Education Liaison interviews parents/guardians of homeless children and unaccompanied youth at the time of registration.  After identification of a homeless student or unaccompanied youth, the Homeless Education Liaison who is also a Registered Nurse provides the following:

  • Assists with immediate school enrollment
  • Contacts last school placement to secure school records and immunization records
  • Administers immunizations as needed
  • Arranges transportation
  • Arranges for free breakfast and lunch
  • Contacts social workers or agencies involved with the family
  • Ensures the correct educational placement by coordinating services through the Language Support and Special Education Office
  • Ensures student integration in the regular education setting
  • Facilitates resolution in disputes and assists with appeals process when requested  
  • Works directly with school staff to identify students who become homeless during the school year and assists in students’ academic success
  • Coordinates with shelters, motels, and state agencies to ensure access to all available benefits
  • Provides information to parents regarding after school and night school programs.
  • Collaborates with local service providers and refers homeless families to these agencies for the purpose of providing assistance and support
  • Provides information, education and training around issues homelessness for school personnel
  • Coordinates crisis intervention, advocacy and clinical services for homeless students and families

II. Definition of Homelessness 

Lynn Public Schools recognizes that homeless students are those lacking a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.  This definition shall include children and youth who are:

  • Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reasons
  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations
  • Living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • Are  abandoned in hospitals
  • Awaiting foster care placement
  • Living in public or private places not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations for human beings
  • Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations or similar settings
  • Unaccompanied youth- a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian
  • Migratory youth living in conditions described in the previous examples

III. School Selection

Parents, guardians or unaccompanied youth may choose to stay at their school of origin or transfer to the school where they are temporarily residing according to that district’s placement policy.  To the extent feasible, homeless students will continue to be enrolled in their school of origin while they remain homeless or until the end of the academic year in which they obtain permanent housing. 

IV. Enrollment

Once the enrollment decision is made, Lynn Public Schools will remove barriers and shall immediately enroll the student to the extent feasible, even if they do not have the documents usually required for enrollment.  Homeless students’ placement in grades and classes should be handled according to district policy.  The Homeless Education Liaison will assist homeless students who arrive without records by contacting the previously attended school system to obtain the required records.  Lynn Public Schools reserves the right to do random address checks on those unable to provide proof of residency.

V. Transportation

Homeless students are entitled to transportation to and from their school of origin at the request of the parent, guardian or unaccompanied youth.  Transportation will be provided if:

  • The school of origin is in Lynn but the homeless student is temporarily living in a different district, and the distance does not exceed one hour for those in Grades 1-12 or 45 minutes for those in Kindergarten
  • The school of origin is in a different district but the homeless student is temporarily living in Lynn,  and the distance does not exceed one hour for Grades 1-12 or 45 minutes for Kindergarten
  • The homeless student is temporarily residing within the district and per the Lynn Public Schools’ eligibility guidelines for transportation

The cost for transportation will be shared for students temporarily residing in one district and attending the school of origin in another district. 

VI. School Nutrition Program

Homeless students will be immediately enrolled in the free breakfast and lunch program.

VII. Support Services

To the extent practical and as required by law, the Lynn Public Schools will work with homeless students and their families to provide stability in school attendance and other services.  Special attention will be given to ensuring the enrollment and attendance of homeless students not currently attending school.  Homeless students will be provided district services for which they are eligible, including Head Start and comparable preschool programs, Title I, similar state programs, special education, bilingual education, vocational/technical education programs, and gifted and talented programs.

VIII. Dispute Resolution

If there is an enrollment dispute, the homeless student shall be immediately enrolled in the school in which the enrollment is sought, pending resolution of the dispute.  Parents, guardians or unaccompanied youth shall be informed of the district’s decision and their right to appeal in writing.  The Homeless Education Liaison will facilitate the dispute resolution and appeal process.  The final decision in such a situation resides with the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education.

Dr. Catherine C. Latham
Superintendent of Schools

DEBORAH L. TANZER, R.N., M.Ed.
Homeless Education Liaison/Nurse for the Parent Information Center

  Policy Download (PDF)
PDF Policy For Homeless Children and Unaccompanied Youth

Approved by School Committee on 5/8/201

Policy For Acceptable Internet Usage

Purpose

The Lynn Public School district is pleased to offer its students and staff access to information technology resources, including access to the Internet.  Access to the Internet enables students to explore millions of libraries, databases, and bulletin boards from around the world.  This educational tool allows students to collaborate and communicate with others to significantly expand their knowledge base.  Electronic information research skills are now fundamental in the preparation of our citizens. 

There is high educational value in the Internet; however with this access to people and computers all over the world, information and material may become available that may not be considered of value in the classroom setting.  The Lynn Public School district uses an Internet filtering, blocking, and monitoring solutions to restrict access.  School staff supervises students during their time “online.”  However, on a global network, it is impossible to control all materials and an industrious user may encounter inappropriate information while on the Internet.  The valuable information and interaction available on the worldwide network far outweigh the possibility of students attaining material inconsistent with the educational goals of the Lynn Public Schools. 

Strict guidelines and proper conduct of end users will keep the networking running properly.  Guidelines are provided to make users aware of the responsibilities they are about to acquire.  Violations of this school policy will result in the loss of account and future access may be denied.  Disciplinary action at the school level will result.

Privilege

For all users, Internet access through Lynn Public Schools is a privilege, not a right, and inappropriate use will result in a cancellation of this privilege.  Based on the acceptable use guidelines outlined in this document, the system administrator may revoke, deny or suspend privileges. 

Please download the complete policy and acknowledgment letter below.

New Item Lynn Schools Internet Usage Policy (PDF)
  Internet Usage Policy Document and Letter (English)
  Internet Usage Policy Document and Letter (Espanola)

City of Lynn School Discipline Code | 2014-2015

LETTER TO PARENTS

Dear Parent:
A committee composed of parents, students, teachers, School Committee members and school administrators has prepared a revised discipline code for our city’s schools.  The purpose of the policy and code is to provide the educational community of Lynn with a set of guidelines which will, if followed, offer and environment conducive to an effective learning experience for every pupil in the system.

The most effective education takes place when the home and school work together harmoniously for the well-being of the child.  The new discipline code provides the framework through which parents, School Committee members, students, teachers and school administrators can make a difference in enhancing the educational opportunities for every child attending the Lynn Public Schools.

The Discipline Policy is on file in the office of the principal.  It includes the search and seizure and drug policies as well as Special Education Regulations concerning discipline. 

This policy is subject to on-going review and may be viewed by parents upon request.

New Item Lynn Schools Discipline Code (PDF)
  Discipline Code Policy Document (English) | UPDATED | September 2104
   
  Discipline Code Policy Document (Espagnol)
  Acknowledgment Letter

Policy For Head Lice

  Policy Download (PDF)
PDF 2013 Head Lice Policy

Adopted by the School Committee April 11, 2013

Dress Code | Student Appearance

Students will be expected to keep themselves well groomed and neatly dressed at all times. Any form of dress or hairstyle which is considered contrary to good hygiene, or which is distractive or disruptive in appearance, and detrimental to the purpose or conduct of the school will not be permitted. Disruptive clothing is considered, but not limited to, clothing with obscenities, fighting words, incitement, or defamation written on it.

A | The following guidelines shall determine dress and grooming:
1. Decency
2. Neatness
3. Cleanliness, and
4. Suitability for school.

B | The following are not suitable, or in good taste, for school and should not be part of student's attire or grooming:

1. Hats, bandannas, headbands, scarves, gloves, wristbands, doo-rags, skullcaps, hoods and wavecaps are not to be worn in school. Such items must be kept out of sight.

2.
a. Tank tops, halters, mini-skirts, shoulder-less tops, halter-top dresses, tube tops or tops that bare the midriff, spandex or skin-tight clothes (regardless of length) and shorts or other pants of any kind rising above the knee may not be worn
b. Regardless of style, all shirts must be tucked in, and belt-line visible.
c. Pants must be worn at or above the waistline.

3. Shirts advertising tobacco, alcoholic beverages, or advocating drug use, or those with obscene printing, violence of any kind, or printing considered by the principal to be inappropriate, will not be permitted.

4. See-through articles of clothing will not be allowed.

5. Shoes that pose a safety problem, or contain metal cleats, taps, or wheels are not permissible.

6. Use of all electronic devices, including cell phones, is not allowed on school property during school hours. Violation of this policy will result in immediate confiscation of the item, parental notification as well as possible conditional suspension. If these items are brought to school they must remain out of sight and off.

7. Non-prescribed dark glasses are not to be used in school. If prescribed, a doctor's statement must be on file in the nurse's office, or with the principal, and recorded in the office.

8. Metal studs or chains placed on gloves, coats or any part of pupil's clothing, including shoes, which may cause danger to other students and school personnel, or may cause damage to school or personal property, are not allowed.

9. Clothing which is considered by the principal to be gang-related or in gang-related "colors" will not be permitted.

C | Any student violating this policy will have his/her parent notified to bring in the appropriate clothing.

1. Any student sent home because of inappropriate clothing will be expected back in school, without delay, properly dressed for class. Any time missed will be considered an unexcused class absence.

D | Violation of these regulations shall be addressed immediately and the cooperation of the student and his/her parents sought from the principal or his/her designee. Repeated offenses may result in progressive discipline up to and including conditional suspension.

  Dress Code Download (PDF)
PDF 2012 Dress Code/Student Appearance

Adopted by the School Committee June 8, 2006
Amended by the School Committee March 29, 2012

Student Travel Regulations

1. Transportation
The use of private vans or private automobiles for trips planned to include late night or overnight student travel is prohibited. Late night or overnight trips will use commercial motor coaches.

Trips planned to include late night or overnight student travel will include a pre-trip check of companies, drivers, and vehicles. CORI checks will be conducted in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71, section 38R.
The Superintendent or designee will ensure that the selected carrier is licensed for passenger transportation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The district will not contract with any carrier that has a safety rating of "conditional" or "unsatisfactory". FMCSA ratings are available at http://www.safersys.org/.

The contract with the carrier will prohibit the use of subcontractors unless sufficient notice is given to the district that allows verification of the subcontractor's qualifications.

2. Trip Scheduling
Overnight accommodations should be made in advance with student safety and security in mind. Whenever possible, trip schedulers should avoid planning student travel between  the hours  of midnight and  6:00 a.m., due  to the increased  risk of vehicular  accidents during this time  period.

Whenever possible, overnight trips should be scheduled on weekends or during school vacations to minimize lost classroom time. Non-academic field trips are considered "optional school programs" and  do not  count toward  meeting structured learning time  requirements. (Refer to the Massachusetts Department of Education publication Student Learning Time Regulations Guide)

Trip itineraries must leave enough time  for drivers to rest in conformity with federal hour-of-service requirements  and common sense.
Trip scheduling should take into account the likelihood of delays due to weather, traffic, stragglers, and other unanticipated factors.

If substantially all members of a class are participating in a trip, the school should provide appropriate substitute activities for any students not  participating.

3. Fundraising
The amount of time to be devoted to fundraising should be reasonable and commensurate with students' obligations for homework, after-school activities, and jobs.

Group fundraising activities are preferred.  Students should not be assigned individual fundraising targets.

If students are charged individual fees for participation, every effort should be made to provide scholarships where needed.

STUDENT TRAVEL

All student trips which include late night or overnight travel must have prior approval of the School Committee. Initial approval by the School Committee is required before engaging students in fundraising activities. The School Committee will also consider the educational value of the trip in relation to the cost prior to granting initial approval. Overnight trips should offer significant educational benefits to students that clearly justify the time and expense of the trip. Such trips should be appropriate for the grade level.

Final approval will not be granted until all preparations for the trip have been completed including, but not limited to, all logistical details involving transportation, accommodation arrangements and fundraising efforts. The School Committee requires that final approval be sought no less than 30 days prior to the scheduled trip dates.

Teachers and other school staff are prohibited from soliciting for privately run trips through  the school system and in the schools. The School Committee will only review for approval school-sanctioned trips. The School Committee will not review or approve trips that are privately organized and run without school sanctioning.

SOURCE: MASC
APPROVED: March 10, 2004
CROSS REFS.: IJOA, Field Trips
LEGAL REFS.: CHAPTER 346 OF THE ACTS OF 2002 (et al) approved on October 9, 2002
M.G.L. 69:1B; 71:37N
APPROVED BY SCHOOL COMMITTEE on September 30, 2004

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