The Farmingdale Board of Education shared a proposal to update the school district's code of conduct regarding bullying policies during a recent meeting at Howitt Middle School.
The revision comes on the heels of the Diginity for All Students Act (DASA) which was implemented this July in an effort to combat bullying on school property and at school-related functions.
The proposed code includes clear definitions of bullying, cyberbullying and prohibits the discrimination of gender, religious practices, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disabilities and weight.
The act also required that one staff member at each school be designated a Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC) to serve as a human relations specialist for students.
Each DAC's information will be sent home to parents and made highly visible throughout the district schools as required by the act.Kathleen Keevins Farmingdale High School (516) 752-6600 Gary Caufield/ Guilia Marano Howitt Middle School (516) 752-6525 Victoria LoRusso Albany Avenue (516) 752-6570 Diane Anderson Northside Elementary (516) 752-6575 Jeff Galluzzo/ Denise D'Alia-Fisher Saltzman East Memorial (631) 752-6565
Assistant Superintendent Barbara Horsley said all staff members are being trained in accordance with DASA requirements should any school coordinator be unavailable.
Let Patch save you time. Get local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.
"There will be a lot of people who can step in and help a child. It isn't intended to say no one else can do this work," Horsley said. "It's intended to make sure there is a coordinator who can make sure a child's needs are met."
The proposed code also instructs students to not only work towards maintaining a safe school environment, but also instructs students to be supportive of each others' differences.
Instructional support staff are also being required to report issues of harassment or any situation that could threaten a person's emotional or physical well being while maintaining confidentiality.
The updated code of conduct will be approved on Jan. 16.
Once passed, the new code of conduct will be available on the BOE website. A summary of the code will be also presented to parents at the beginning of each new school year.
Other Board News:
The board proposed the adoption of a new science technology, engineering and mathematics course called Robotics.
The elective course would be made available to Farmingdale High School for the 2013/2014 school year and would be made avaiable for students in grades 9-12.
"There are a multitude of opportunities out in the future for robotics and I think it's a great opportunity for our students to combine [the] knowledge of science and math," said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Joan Ripely.
In addition to the course, the board is also looking to start an after school club in which members would participate in the international robotics First Tech Challenge as well as bringing back a computer programming course that was previously removed from the catalogue.
"We will be looking to see what courses we might shift away from to include courses that are more in line with what's happens in the twenty-first century," said Ripley.