101.0 -- Family and Student Rights and Responsibilities
The district publishes a Student and Family Handbook each year to provide families with important information about procedures, behavior, academics and health. The handbook is online in several languages at www.SarasotaCountySchools.net. Printed sections are available upon request from any school office or contact the Communications and Community Relations Department at 941-927-4009. Please use this handbook to assist your student in becoming a productive member of his/her school community. As a parent, it is your responsibility to read, understand and abide by this handbook, while supporting your student in doing the same.
The roles and the responsibilities of the parents are to:
- Read and understand the rights and responsibilities in this handbook.
- Maintain current home and work addresses and emergency telephone numbers in the student contact information files, including the doctor and hospital preferences.
- Be involved in the education of their children and understand that parents/guardians can be held responsible for the actions of their children.
- Inform the school of pending legal matters that may affect their child.
- Maintain communication with school personnel concerning their child’s progress and conduct.
- Ensure that their child is in daily attendance and promptly report an absence or tardiness in writing to school within three school days after an absence.
- Provide their child with the resources needed to complete class work.
- Assist their child in being healthy, neat, and clean.
- Identify responsible adults who may pick up their child from school.
- Bring to the attention of school authorities any problem or condition which affects their child or other children at the school.
- Understand policies related to the dispensing of medicine to students and the prohibitions against student self-medicating and sharing medications with other students. Notify the school of anything that may affect the student’s ability to learn, to attend school regularly, or to take part in school activities.
- Understand each school’s guideline for student arrival on campus prior to the official start of the school day and student departure from campus at the end of the school day. Comply with transportation policies and understand those bus drivers may not allow students off the bus except at the designated stop unless permission is granted by a school administrator and the Transportation Department.
- Understand the rights of school officials and law enforcement officers regarding the search of student storage spaces and vehicles.
- Report knowledge of dangerous or harassing situations to school personnel.
- Discuss progress reports and work assignments with their child.
- Remember that silence hurts!
- Call the toll-free "BE BRAVE" Hotline to report criminal or dangerous activities at 1-877-BE-BRAVE (1-877-723-2728), or contact the school district Safety, Security & Emergency Management Department at 941-966-SAFE(7233).
- In case of an emergency, call 911.
In Sarasota County, teachers expect to meet and/or talk with parents about their child’s progress. If the teacher is unable to help, a parent should then approach the next person in the “chain of support” — generally school counselors and school administrators. To assist you, please remember these tips for successful parent-school conferences:
- Have a plan. Write down your questions and/or concerns before you go.
- Listen carefully and ask questions. The more effective the communication between you and the teacher, the better you will understand each other.
- Ask for examples of your child’s work.
- If a language barrier presents a problem, ask for a translator.
- Request grades, homework calendars, or other records of student progress.
- Before leaving, schedule a time with the teacher to follow up on your child’s progress.
The roles and responsibilities of the students are to:
- Read and understand the rights and responsibilities in the Code of Student Conduct.
- Abide by the rules and regulations of the school and each classroom teacher.
- Attend all classes daily and be punctual in attendance.
- Be prepared for class with homework and appropriate work materials.
- Be respectful of all individuals and property.
- Use appropriate language rather than profane or inflammatory statements.
- Behave in a safe and responsible manner.
- Be clean and neat and comply with the school dress code.
- Be responsible for his or her own work.
- Report knowledge of dangerous or harassing situations to school personnel. Remember: silence hurts!
- Report criminal, dangerous or harassing situations to "BE BRAVE" Hotline at 1-877-BE-BRAVE (1-877-723-2728).
- In case of an emergency, call 911.
The roles and responsibilities of the school are to:
- Create a safe, orderly, and drug-free environment and maintain an atmosphere conducive to teaching and learning.
- Exhibit an attitude of respect for students, staff, parents and visitors.
- Administer discipline based upon the fair and impartial treatment of all students. Plan a flexible curriculum to meet the needs of all students.
- Promote training for all staff in the areas of effective discipline and behavior management.
- Develop a good working relationship among staff and with students.
- Encourage frequent parent/guardian communication with the school.
- Encourage parent/guardian participation in school activities.
- Provide all written and oral communication between school personnel and parents of current or former English-Language Learners in the parents’ primary language or other mode of communication commonly used by the parents unless clearly not feasible. Specific Authority 1001.02 FS. Law Implemented 1003.56 FS., as amended by Chapter 2002-387, Laws of Florida. History: New 10-30-90.
Student Rights and Responsibilities:
This section summarizes the broad principles of student rights. Each right has a corresponding responsibility in a free and democratic society. A primary responsibility for students is to understand the importance of reporting dangerous, potentially dangerous, or harassing behaviors to school personnel. The following rights and responsibilities are basic and reflect recent court decisions regarding student rights.
- Florida school laws grant principals, assistant principals, teachers, bus drivers, and other school staff the authority to control and discipline students. Students are expected and required to follow the requests and directives of all administrators, teachers, bus drivers, school staff members, coaches, school volunteers and chaperones when on School District property or at other places where they are under the supervision of School District personnel or designees.
- Students have a right to learn through equal educational opportunities that are appropriate to their needs and are provided in a safe, orderly, positive and drug-free environment.
- Students have the responsibility to:
- Behave in a manner that does not interfere with the learning of other students.
- Utilize the educational experiences made available to them.
- Cooperate fully and exert every effort to achieve mastery of basic skills.
- Behave in a manner consistent with school and district rules and policies.
Students who meet the definition of in transition/homeless under the McKinney-Vento Act can receive special assistance with school enrollment. For information on who qualifies as in transition/homeless see section 200.3.
101.1 — A Checklist of Parent and Family Engagement
The parent is the child’s most important teacher. Schools recognize this and act as partners to provide parents with support and assistance in becoming involved with their child’s education. Home-school partnerships help strengthen a child’s academic performance. Parental and Family Engagement is critical to a child’s success in school.
To determine your level of involvement, please take the following self-assessment.
*1=Always; 2=Sometimes; 3=Want to do better
1. I stress the importance of education and expect my child to do his/her best in school.
2. I expect my child to show respect to the teacher and all classmates.
3. I discuss daily work assignments and appropriate classroom behaviors with my child.
4. I make sure my child is at school every day and arrives on time.
5. I make sure my child has all the materials needed to complete school and homework.
6. I communicate with the school and my child’s teacher(s) about my child’s progress.
7. I take an active part in school activities, such as parent/teacher conferences, Back-to-School Night, Parent/Teacher Organization meetings and workshops on helping my child at home.
8. I make sure my child stays healthy by eating well and getting adequate exercise and sleep.
9. I help my child develop a good self-image by providing care, discipline, support, interest and concern.
10. I help my child develop a positive attitude toward school and learning.
101.2 — Free Speech, Student Publications, and Technology
The Constitution of the United States guarantees us the right to express our ideas freely. A basic education should prepare us to do that in responsible ways. We need opportunities to learn how to listen to the views of others as well as how to express ourselves peacefully and harmoniously.
Students have a right to:
- Hear all sides of subjects about which people disagree;
- Give their opinions and points of view;
- Be free of censorship within a framework of mutual respect;
- Expect that pornographic and/or prejudicial materials will not be allowed in the schools;
- Use online telecommunications and networks to increase their access to information and resources;
- Use online telecommunications and networks to obtain information, create intellectual products, collaborate and communicate for educational purposes;
- Use online telecommunications and networks without the fear that their products will be violated, misrepresented, tampered with, destroyed or stolen;
- Be excused from reciting or standing for the Pledge of Allegiance; and
- Speak in their native language.
Students have a responsibility to:
- Be informed about all sides of controversial issues;
- Listen politely to the viewpoints of others;
- Use good judgment in developing student publications;
- Use good judgment in the selection of sources of information;
- Understand the difference between appropriate and unacceptable uses of online telecommunications and networks;
- Recognize that the use of online telecommunications and networks is a privilege that can be withdrawn if they engage in unacceptable or illegal use of this resource; and
- Use online telecommunications and networks in a responsible, efficient, ethical, and legal manner in accordance with their educational mission.
101.3 — Printed Materials
Only materials produced by the schools or school district may be distributed in the schools or on school grounds unless permission has been granted by the principal or an authorized administrator. The following rules apply:
- Approval must be obtained from a school administrator prior to:
- Handing out or posting non-school materials, including petitions and surveys;
- Printing any school publications; collecting money or selling advertisements for school publications; and/or
- Distributing any commercial, political or religious material on school grounds.
- Notices of student non-curricular group meetings posted on general-purpose student bulletin boards do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of the school district and/or the administration. The district is only offering physical space to such groups and does not promote, endorse or otherwise sponsor such materials. Students are encouraged to be sensitive to the viewpoints and beliefs of their fellow students when posting such notices. Students may not distribute petitions or surveys during class time unless they are curriculum-based and authorized by the teacher.
- No items or publications shall be distributed or displayed in any school which can reasonably be interpreted by the principal or supervising administrators as being obscene, lewd, or pornographic in a school or setting; which are libelous or slanderous; which contain statements which invade the personal rights of privacy; which advertise items not permitted for use by minors; which can reasonably be expected to create a material and substantial disruption of normal school activity, or appropriate discipline in the operation of the school; or which advocate violence or illegal activity.
- Pornographic materials are not allowed on school grounds.
- Permission to use online telecommunications and/or networks requires that the student and parent/guardian sign and return the proper forms, indicating an understanding and acceptance of the user’s rights and responsibilities.
101.4 — Student Activities and Assembly
All of us need to learn how to be effective members of the communities in which we live. School activities give students a chance to interact in positive ways. Students can learn from each other how to work together harmoniously for common goals.
- Students have a right to participate in extracurricular activities, assemblies, and school-approved organizations without regard to age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, linguistic differences, national origin, marital status, race, religion, sexual orientation or socioeconomic background.
- Students have a right to seek office in student government and/or school clubs without regard to age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, linguistic differences, national origin, marital status, race, religion, sexual orientation or socioeconomic background.
- Students have a right to consult with faculty sponsors of school curriculum-related clubs and groups.
- All students have a right to take part in electing officers for student government.
- Students have a responsibility to keep their extracurricular activities from interfering with their academic work and to know and follow the rules for the activities they choose.
- Students who hold office have a responsibility to learn how to do their jobs, follow the rules, support the goals of the group and treat other members of the group fairly.
- Students have a responsibility to see that their actions as members of school clubs and groups meet the standards set by the school administration.
101.5 - District and School Public Report Cards
The Every Student Succeeds Act federal legislation requires that each school district provide parents with access to state, district and school reports annually. These reports can be found on the district website.
101.6—School Improvement Plan (SIP)
School Improvement Plans are developed by each school annually in cooperation with each School Advisory Council (SAC), as required by the law to keep the school focused on achieving the identified needs of every student. Each school’s individual School Improvement Plan can be found at each school website and the district school improvement website.