Drug-Free Schools & Section 504

  • Drug-Free Zones
    The Whitesboro Central District is a Drug-Free School Zone. This zone consists of the area within the real property boundary of all schools within the Whitesboro Central School District, together with 1,000 feet beyond said real property boundary. In September 1993, the Board of Education recognized the grave threat posed by the actual or threatened illegal sale of controlled substances to children and declared its support of the efforts of local law enforcement agencies to eradicate the sale of controlled substances and illegal drugs on school grounds and support for increased criminal penalties for sale of controlled substances within this Drug-Free School Zone.
    The designation was made in response to the New York State Legislature amendment to the Penal Law to increase the criminal penalties for persons convicted of the sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds. State and federal laws defined “school grounds” as including any building, athletic playing field, playground or land within the real property boundary line of an elementary, parochial, intermediate, junior high, vocational or high school, together with the area within 1,000 feet of the real property boundary line.
    Prevention Programs
    Whitesboro schools emphasize PREVENTION as their primary approach to dealing with substance abuse. Each elementary school (Grades 4 and 5 only) has a “Just Say No Club,” providing extracurricular activities to supplement the District’s drug, health and AIDS curriculum. The students participate in “positive alternatives,” including offering community services to area nursing homes and local food banks and contributions to charitable causes and organizations. They also continue to learn and practice skills needed to cope with real life circumstances.
    Grade 6 has an extracurricular program, “Kids on the Block,” a puppetry troupe that presents skits on drug abuse and divorce issues to the fourth and fifth graders annually. The advisor to Kids on the Block, and her assistants, also present an AIDS awareness skit to Grade 6 health classes.
    Additionally, students in grades 6-7 participate in the Life Skills Training Program. This program helps develop drug resistance skills, personal self-management skills and social skills development.
    For more specific information on any of the prevention programs within the District, please contact your child’s school.
    Section 504 Policy
    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination against persons with a disability in any program receiving federal financial assistance. Section 504 defines a person with a disability as anyone who has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working; has a record of such impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment.
    The Whitesboro Central School District acknowledges its responsibility under section 504 to avoid discrimination in policies and practices regarding its personnel and students. No discrimination against any person with a disability shall knowingly be permitted in any program or practices in the school district.
    Under Section 504, the school district has the responsibility to identify, evaluate and, if the student is determined to be eligible under Section 504, to offer access to appropriate educational services.
    If the parent or person in the parental relationship disagrees with the determination made by the professional staff of the school district, he/she has a right to a hearing with an impartial hearing officer or designated school official. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) also specifies rights related to educational records. The act gives the parent or guardian the right to:

    1. Inspect and review his/her child’s educational records;
    2. Make copies of these records;
    3. Receive a list of all individuals having access to those records;
    4. Ask for an explanation of any item in the records;
    5. Ask for an amendment to any report on the grounds that it is inaccurate, misleading or violates the child’s rights; and
    6. A hearing on the issue if the school refuses to make the amendment.
    Any alleged grievances should be reported to Section 504 Coordinator, Beth Ann Blynt, at 266.3240.