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Parental Rights and Responsibilities

Parental Rights/Responsibilities at  
City Charter High School

City Charter High School staff recognizes its responsibility to provide each student with an opportunity to receive an exceptional education and to provide an atmosphere that is conducive to learning. Our students and their parents/guardians also share this responsibility.  

COVID-19 Related Parental Involvement

To help our students make the transition to and persevere amid an online learning environment, City High expects parental support in: 

  • Ensuring that all assignments are completed. 
  • Volunteering to participate in their education. 
  • Participating, as appropriate, in decisions relating to their education, including scheduled parent conferences. 
  • Promoting positive use of extracurricular time. 
  • Staying informed and communicating with the school by promptly, reading all notices from the school received by their child or by mail and responding as appropriate. 
  • Adhering to the attendance policy. 
  • Establishing a set time when their child is expected home from school; keeping early dismissals for emergencies only, during the traditional school year. 
  • Insisting on appropriate classroom behavior during both traditional and livestream instruction. 

School Visits

City Charter High School Parents who wish to visit classrooms must schedule those visits in advance with the school principal. Parents interested in learning more about City High can arrange a tour on Tuesday or Thursday mornings at 9:00 AM by calling the school at 412-690-2489.  

Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors must be approved in advance. They should notify School Safety at least 24 hours in advance and submit a health self-assessment that will be reviewed to determine approval to visit.  

Visit Guidelines

City Charter High School welcomes and encourages active engagement and participation of parents/guardians in their child’s educational programs and other school-related activities. The administration recognizes that such interest may result in visits to the school by parents/guardians. To ensure order and safety within the school and to protect students and employees, it is necessary to establish policy governing classroom observation school visits.  

All parent classroom observation sessions must be planned in advance so as to not create conflict with the teacher and student schedule. Parents/guardians must inform the building principal in writing of the proposed visit by completing and submitting an Observation Request Form, a copy of which may be retrieved from the office of the building principal or on the school website: http://cityhigh.org/students/handbook/.  

The completed Observation Request Form must be returned to the building principal at least 48 hours prior to the requested date of the proposed visit. The principal or other designated administrator must grant prior approval for the visit, and shall notify the classroom teacher prior to the visit.  

Observations will be limited to one time per month, per child, for no more than 60 minutes per visit in order to avoid distraction or disruption to the teacher’s schedule and classroom atmosphere. However, under certain circumstances, a parent/guardian may request additional observation time. Under these circumstances, the principal or other designated administrator is directed to use his or her discretion to either approve or decline such requests. In addition, formal observation does not include times when parents/guardians are invited to a classroom for special events or presentations, back-to-school events, when acting as a chaperone for field trips, or serving as a volunteer with a teacher. 

The principal reserves the right to decline any request for classroom observation if it is determined that such an observation would cause undue disruption to the educational process. In addition, the building principal, other designated administrator, program supervisor, classroom teacher, or security staff have the authority to ask a visitor to leave if the visitor disrupts the classroom routine, educational program or daily schedule, or if the visitor violates a school policy. Failure to leave when asked or documented disruptions may result in the loss of classroom visitation privileges.  

Upon arrival, all visitors are required to sign in at the school office indicating the name of the teacher and/or destination, present a valid government-issued picture identification, and receive a visitor’s badge that must be worn and remain visible at all times when in the building. All visitors are also asked to sign out when leaving the building.  

To protect the learning environment, the parent/guardian will be the only visitor in the classroom during the observation. Any observer, other than the parent/guardian, must be approved by the principal and have written consent from the parent/guardian describing the reason for the visit/observation.  

Out of respect for the teaching environment, parents/guardians shall not bring younger siblings or children while observing in the classroom or to utilize any electronic equipment such as cell phones while in the classroom. Observers should not disrupt the learning environment by engaging students or the teacher in conversation. A follow-up meeting may be scheduled as needed to answer questions or concerns. Recordings of the observation shall not be permitted absent specific approval by the school administration. In addition, no visitor shall be allowed to photograph or videotape any person or any part of the school building absent prior approval from the school administration.  

All visitors should be aware that the school utilizes video surveillance systems.  

During the observation, the principal or his designee may be present in the observed setting in order to accommodate follow-up discussion or clarify questions that may arise.  

Any decision of the principal shall be final regarding classroom observations. 

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Each student will be assigned to a Grade Level staff advisor, during his/her stay at City High School. Students and parents/guardians will meet with the advisor during Parent Teacher conferences to review the student’s academic and career plans using the Graduation Status Report. 

Parent Portal

At City High, there is a single web portal point of access to all the key information students and parents need: classes, homework, grades, attendance, progress reports, activity schedules, lunch menus, school news, and communication between the school, teachers, students and parents.  

Teachers at City High manage the activities and assignments within their classroom using an electronic grade book. The Teacher Grade Book provides teachers the necessary features for recording grades and attendance.  

City Charter High School does not send progress reports or attendance reports as the information is available on the Parent Portal. For help with passwords and PORTAL accounts contact Mr. Watson at 412-690-2489 or through email - jwatson@cityhigh.org.  

Parental Involvement 

Parental involvement means the participation of parents in regular, two-way, and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities. This includes ensuring: 

  • That parents play an integral role in assisting their child’s learning. 
  • That parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s education at school. 
  • That parents are full partners in their child’s education and are included, as appropriate, in decision-making and on advisory committees to assist in the education of their child. 
  • The carrying out of other activities, such as those described in section 1118 of the ESEA.  

To review our full policy regarding Parental Involvement, please visit the following link: 

Parental Support Pledge

At City Charter High School, we ask all guardians to agree to and sign the following commitment: 

We, as parents, will support our children’s learning in the following ways:  

  • Making sure that all homework is completed  
  • Monitoring amount of television children watch  
  • Participating, as appropriate, in decisions relating to my children’s education  
  • Promoting positive use of my child’s extracurricular time  
  • Staying informed about my child’s education and communicating with the school by promptly reading all notices from the school either received by my child or by mail and responding, as appropriate  
  • Serving, to the extent possible, on advisory committees  
  • Adhering to the attendance policy  
  • Reviewing the PARENT PORTAL at least weekly  
  • Keep early dismissals to a minimum and only for emergencies  
  • Participate in scheduled parent conferences  
  • Establish a set time when my child is expected home from school  
  • Insist on appropriate classroom behavior  

Parent Conduct at Meetings

City Charter High School conducts parent meetings which are orderly and all parties are required to remain respectful. We will not allow swearing, yelling and threatening during a meeting.  

In the event of inappropriate and unacceptable behavior, administration will terminate the meeting and the parents/guardians will be escorted from the building. In the event of unacceptable electronic or written correspondence, administration will immediately cancel the meeting. This type of behavior may result in the parent(s)/guardians(s) being banned from the school and may require, at their expense, a mediator for future meetings.  

School Board Participation

City Charter High School has a Board of Trustees (comprised of nine (9) members) that is vested with the management of the business affairs of the school. Potential Board members are nominated by a Board Nominating Committee. One position on the Board is reserved for a parent of a student currently attending City Charter High School.  

The parent position is a one-year term typically starting at the March Board meeting. The parent position on the Board is usually announced in the December mailing as well as on the school’s website.  

Parents interested in applying for the parent position should contact the CEO/Principal in January. Board Members must be committed to attending monthly meetings.  

Monitoring Student Computer Use

Outside of school, parents bear responsibility for the same guidance of Internet use as they exercise with information sources such as television, telephones, radio, movies and other possibly offensive media. Parents are responsible for monitoring their student’s use of City High computing technology resources (such as student laptops) and of the Internet, if the student is accessing the school system from home or a remote location. Parents will be notified that their students will be using school resources/accounts to access the Internet.  

Parental Request for Student Evaluation

City Charter High School uses the following identification activities on an on-going basis for locating, identifying, and evaluating the needs of school-aged students who may require the provision of special education programs and services.  
City Charter High School has a system to collect and maintain data on child identification activities. Parents with concerns regarding their child may contact the school at any time to request an evaluation of their child that may result in a special education determination. All communication with parents will be in English or the family’s native language.  

City Charter High School, as prescribed in Section 1402 of the School Code, conducts vision and hearing acuity screening for all students. Academic skills, social-emotional skills, and gross and fine motor skill development are assessed by the classroom teachers on an on-going basis. Other screening activities include: the review of student records as they are forwarded from the student’s previous school(s), the review of cumulative group achievement and ability data, health and attendance records, grades and other relevant information shared by the teachers and parents. Teacher and parent concerns should be directed to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the school. A parent may request that the school initiate a screening or evaluation of their child’s specific needs at any time by contacting the CEO and expressing his/her concerns.  

The purpose of screening activities is to gather information for the special education pre-referral process. This information is reviewed in an attempt to develop a strategic educational plan for the student. The information might be used to determine if a child needs additional services including special education. If it is determined that the child needs additional services, the multidisciplinary team will make recommendations relative to specific educational programming geared to maximize the student’s learning. If a student does not make progress after the strategic educational plan is implemented, parents will be asked to give written permission for further individual evaluation that might lead to a special education eligibility decision.  

Parents of students who suspect that their child has a disability and is in need of special education programs or services may request a multidisciplinary team evaluation of their child through a written request to any of the school’s administrators.  

City Charter High School has a multidisciplinary team that has been established as part of the pre- referral intervention process. The team consists of school administrator, a school counselor, regular education teachers, reading specialists, special education staff, grade level teaching associates and a parent. School administration and the multidisciplinary team assists teachers and parents in supporting students who are experiencing academic, behavioral, medical, emotional and social skills difficulties. A student may be suggested for a multidisciplinary team referral by the student’s grade level team, the student’s academic advisor, a school counselor or a member of the school’s administration. The multidisciplinary team process is initiated by speaking with the grade level principal in regards to the student of concern. At this time, if the reading specialist has not assessed the student, with permission from the parent, the specialist will conduct reading level and comprehension assessments. The information from the assessment will be provided to teachers along with recommendations to properly support the student within the regular education classroom. This information will also be used throughout the multidisciplinary team referral.  

The academic advisor is to collect assessment data from the student’s file and collect background information on the student from the previous school such as previous report cards, assessment data, health records and any information pertaining to previous support services. This information is provided to the school administrator prior to the multidisciplinary meeting. During this process, the regular education teachers and the student’s academic advisor monitor the effectiveness of the instructional strategies that are utilized in the regular classroom environment. The teachers are to collect two classroom-based assessments, student work, provide information regarding the student’s performance in class and strategies that the teacher has utilized when working with the student. This information is to be provided on the “Student Information” worksheet for the multidisciplinary team meeting.  

During the multidisciplinary team process, the multidisciplinary team will meet to discuss the data and information provided by the teachers. A school administrator or the reading specialist will facilitate the meeting. Assessment data, background on the student’s previous academic record and the information provided by the regular education teachers on the “Student Information” worksheet will be used by the team in the decision making process. This information is also used to meet the student’s specific needs by recommending modifications or adaptations to the regular education program, creating interventions to address the problem and monitoring the student’s response to intervention, or to document the need for further evaluation.

The Student Assistance Team (SAP) is an additional support used by City Charter High School to identify at-risk students. SAP is a cooperative effort with parents in utilizing the support staff, students, and community through contracted services with a variety of healthcare facilities. It is a proactive prevention/intervention program that attempts to provide intervention before school performance is seriously compromised. The SAP Core Team of individuals are trained in the SAP Model and focus on screening/intervention for students who may be experiencing drug and alcohol, depression, and/or family issues, referrals to appropriate agencies or treatment facilities, aftercare for those returning from treatment, and crisis intervention as needed.  

 If it is determined that a student is in need of further evaluation, the student is referred for a formal evaluation, which requires parent permission and includes parent input. Next, a “Permission-to-Evaluate Consent Form” is issued to the parent to sign giving the school district permission to conduct the evaluation. City Charter High School has 60 calendar days to complete the evaluation. After the evaluation is completed, an evaluation report is prepared which includes specific recommendations for the types of intervention necessary to meet the needs of the student and to determine the child’s eligibility for special education services based upon a disability.  

When the evaluation report is completed parents are invited to a multidisciplinary team meeting to review findings and plan for the student’s needs. After the evaluation is completed, the parents are given a NOREP, which they sign to indicate their agreement or disagreement with the recommendation. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be developed for any eligible student requiring specialized services. If it is determined that a student is eligible to receive an appropriate education program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs, these services are provided at no cost to the parent, in compliance with state and federal law, and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress. 

Parental and student attendance and involvement will be encouraged at the IEP meeting. Teachers who instruct the student will also be in attendance at the IEP meeting. The IEP team may consist of the following individuals: the parent, the student, the CEO and/or Special Education Chairperson (LEA), the school psychologist, a special education teacher, a regular education teacher, community agency representatives, and other individuals and specialists as appropriate. Parents may also invite participants to the team meeting who have knowledge or special expertise regarding their child. The IEP is developed within thirty calendar days of the completion of the Evaluation Report (ER) and implemented within ten calendar days from the IEP meeting date. An IEP meeting is held at least annually after implementation of the initial IEP.  

Staff will notify the parents in writing and make documented phone calls to coordinate efforts to arrange for a mutually convenient IEP meeting. At the conclusion of the IEP meeting, parents will be presented with a Notice of Recommended Education Placement notice which enables a parent to agree or disagree with the recommended program. If parents disagree with the program recommended, the issue may be taken to mediation or a due process hearing. The parents will be provided with a comprehensive listing of their rights at the IEP meeting.  

Privacy Rights of Students and Parents

School records are always open and available to a child’s parents/legal guardians, and only the school officials who have a legitimate “need to know” about the child. Confidentiality of information obtained regarding a specific child is protected by federal and state laws. Education records and personally identifiable information cannot be disclosed or released without written parental consent. Information from the records is released to other persons or agencies with appropriate authorization that involves written signed permission by parents.  

City Charter High School protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable information regarding exceptional children in accordance with state and federal laws dealing with regular and special education students’ rights and privacy. The foundation of the rights and laws comes from federal legislation titled, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. There are also state rules and regulations dealing with students’ rights and privacy. All students are covered by the regulations contained in Chapter 12 known as Students’ Rights and Responsibilities.  

The basic premise of the above-mentioned laws, rules and regulations is that information about students cannot be disclosed without written parental consent. Educational records consist of information directly related to students which are maintained by an educational agency. Personally identifiable information includes the student’s name, the name of the parent, or other family members, a personal identifier or a list of personal characteristics that would make the student’s identity easily traceable. Educational records and personally identifiable information cannot be disclosed or released without written parent consent or without student consent if over the age of 18. Disclosure of information means to permit access to or the release, transfer, or other communication of educational records, or the personally identifiable information contained in these records, to any party, by any means. The consent must: (1) specify the records that may be disclosed; (2) state the purpose of the disclosure; (3) identify the party or parties to whom the disclosure may be made.  

There is certain information that can be released without consent, which is called directory information. Directory information includes information contained in an educational record of a student which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. City Charter High School designates information that is labeled as directory information. It shall include the following: the student’s name, address, date and place of birth, major areas of study, and participation in school related activities, events, or clubs, dates of attendance, awards received, a student’s email address, photograph, and the most recent educational agency attended.  

Chapter 15 Protected Handicapped Students

In order to qualify as a protected handicapped student, the child must be of school age with a physical or mental disability which substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program. In compliance with state and federal law, City Charter High School, will provide each protected handicapped student without discrimination or cost to the student or family, those related aids, services, or accommodations which are needed to provide equal opportunity to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school program and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the student’s abilities. These services and protections for “protected handicapped students” are distinct from those applicable to all eligible or exceptional students enrolled (or seeking enrollment) in special education programs.  

Special Education Programs

City Charter High School provides a free, appropriate, public education and least restrictive environment to exceptional students. To qualify as an exceptional student, the child must be of school age, must be in need of specially designed instruction, and must meet eligibility requirements for one or more of the following physical or mental disabilities, as set forth in Pennsylvania State Standards: autism/pervasive developmental disorder, deaf-blindness, blindness/visual impairment, deafness/hearing impairment, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, neurological impairment, orthopedic impairment, traumatic brain injury, other health impairment, emotional disturbance, specific learning disability, and speech/language impairment.  

Services designed to meet the needs of exceptional students include the annual development of an IEP and a re-evaluation as mandated. The IEP Team will consider a student’s learning needs when assigning the student to one of the following instructional groupings: autistic support, blind/visually impaired support, deaf/hearing impairment support, emotional support, learning support, life skills support, multiple disabilities support, physical support, and speech and language support. The extent of special education services and the location of delivery of such services are determined by the parents and staff at the IEP meeting and is based on the student’s identified needs and abilities, chronological age, and the intensity of the specific intervention. City Charter High School provides a continuum of services as appropriate.  

Confidentiality Policy 

Purpose 

The Board of Trustees adopts this policy to set forth the requirements and procedures governing the protection of the confidentiality of any personally identifiable data, information, and records collected or maintained by City Charter High School pursuant to Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act. (The Act and its implementing regulations are hereinafter collectively referred to as "IDEA,") Specifically, the records and other information covered by this policy include but are not limited to records and information related to initial evaluations and re- evaluations to determine whether a child is a child with a disability as defined herein in accordance with IDEA, individualized education programs (IEPs), and communications related to the same. This policy covers records and information related to children with disabilities, as well as records and information such as evaluations related to children thought to be disabled, regardless of whether a determination is ultimately made that the child is disabled as defined herein in accordance with IDEA.  

The scope of records and information covered by this policy extends to those records collected or maintained by City Charter High School as related to all children within the purview of City Charter High School’s child find obligation, regardless of whether such students are enrolled in the school, and to all students enrolled in approved private schools.  

This policy does not apply to plans for accommodations and services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, nor does it cover personally identifiable information and records related to such plans. However, to the extent that a child is evaluated to determine if he/she is a child with a disability, and the determination is ultimately made that the child is, instead, eligible for a plan under Section 504, all records and personally identifiable information related to the evaluation process are subject to this policy.  

For ease of reference, all records and information covered by the scope of this policy shall be described herein as "special education records."  

For purposes of this policy, records pertaining to special education students that are not directly related to the evaluation of eligibility for, or provision of, special education services, shall be considered "regular education records." "Regular education records" include, but are not limited to, records related to attendance, discipline, and health records.  

Authority

The Board of Trustees directs the School Administration to follow all of the requirements set forth within this policy as well as any other applicable provisions of IDEA and FERPA not explicitly stated herein, to protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information at the collection, storage, disclosure and destruction stages. The Board of Trustees further delegates to the School Administration the authority to collect and maintain records in specific locations, and to delegate to specific School personnel the responsibility for collection and maintenance of records and protection of confidentiality of special education records, consistent with the provisions of IDEA and FERPA.  

Definitions

FERPA - The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, and its implementing regulations.  

Child with a Disability - a child evaluated in accordance with the IDEA as having an intellectual disability, a hearing impairment (including deafness), a speech or language impairment, a visual impairment (including blindness), a serious emotional disturbance, an orthopedic impairment, autism, traumatic brain injury, and other health impairment, a specific learning disability, deaf blindness, or multiple disabilities, and who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services.  

Destruction - physical destruction or removal of personal identifiers from information so that the information is no longer personally identifiable.  

Parent - a biological or adoptive parent of a child; a foster parent, unless a law of the Commonwealth, regulations or contractual obligations with a Commonwealth or local entity prohibit a foster parent from acting as a parent; a guardian generally authorized to act as the child's parent, or authorized to make educational decisions for the child (but not the state if a child is a ward of the state); an individual acting in the place of a biological or adoptive parent (including a grandparent, stepparent, or other relative) with whom the child lives, or an individual who is legally responsible for the child's welfare; or a surrogate parent who has been appointed. Biological or adoptive parent must be presumed to be the parent for purposes of this policy unless the biological or adoptive parent does not have legal authority to make educational decisions for the child.  

Personally Identifiable Information - information that contains the name of the child, the child's parent, or other family member; the address of the child; a personal identifier, such as the child's social security number, student identification number or Pennsylvania Secure Identification; or a list of personal characteristics or other information that would make it possible to identify the child with reasonable certainty.  

Student - any child whose personally identifiable information and/or records fall within the scope of this policy, regardless of whether he or she is enrolled within the school.  

Guidelines

RIGHTS, REQUIREMENTS, AND PROCEDURES  

A. Uses of Personally Identifiable Information  
  1. City Charter High School may disclose personally identifiable information from the education records of a student without written consent of the parent(s)/guardian(s) or the student or the eligible student in several situations for the purpose of making education decisions for the student.  
    1. To other school officials, including teachers, counselors or social workers, nurses and related service personnel within the school who have been determined by City Charter High School to have legitimate educational interest or are providing instructions or services to students.  
    2. To officials of another school or school system or postsecondary schools in which the student is enrolled.  
    3. To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. 
    4. Information designated by City Charter High School as Directory Information.  
  2. Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent(s)/guardian(s) or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties.  
    1. Specified officials for audit and evaluation purposes.  
    2. Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student. 
    3. Organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of the school.
    4. Accrediting organizations. 
    5. To comply with judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.  
    6. State and local authorities, within the juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific state law.  
B. Rights of Parents  
  1. Parents shall have all rights as set forth in IDEA and, to the extent applicable, FERPA, and as summarized in this policy, with respect to a student's education records and other personally identifiable information. As set forth in this policy, such rights include: the rights of access to education records; the right to consent or object to disclosure of personally identifiable information; the right to seek amendment of education records; all rights with respect to destruction of personally identifiable information.  
  2. The School Administration shall consult with applicable law, regulations, and the Solicitor if necessary with respect to any potential rights of special education students, including those who have reached the age of majority, relative to education records and other personally identifiable information.  
C. Right of Access to Education Records Rights of Parents  
  1. City Charter High School shall permit parents to inspect and review any education records relating to the child that are collected, maintained, or used by the school. City Charter High School must comply with a request for such inspection and review without unnecessary delay; and before any of the following: a meeting regarding an IEP, a hearing related to a due process complaint filed by a parent or by City Charter High School, or a resolution session.  
  2. The right to inspect and review education records includes: 
    1. the right to a response from the City Charter High School to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of the records;  
    2. the right to request that City Charter High School provide copies of the records containing the information if failure to provide those copies would effectively prevent the parent from exercising the right to inspect and review the records; and  
    3. the right to have a representative of the parent inspect and review the records.  
  3. City Charter High School shall maintain and shall provide to parents on request a list of the types and locations of education records collected, maintained, or used by the School.  
  4. At the discretion of City Charter High School, and for verification and record keeping purposes only, the school may require the parent to put in writing the following: 
  5. An oral request to inspect, review, copy or receive copies of educational records.
  6. An oral designation of a parent’s representative.  
  7. An oral request for a list of the types and locations of a child’s educational records collected, maintained or utilized by City Charter High School.
  8. The failure of a parent to put in writing any of the above shall not result in the parent being denied the request or the designation of a representative. The failure of a parent to put in writing any of the above shall not result in the parent being denied the request or the designation of a representative.  
  9. City Charter High will not charge a fee to parents or third parties for one copy of education records.  

D. Disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information From Education Records  

  1. General Rule - City Charter High School may disclose personally identifiable information from a student's education record only with prior written parental consent. 
  2. Exceptions: City Charter High School may disclose personally identifiable information from a student's education record without prior parental consent in the following scenarios:  
  3. Prior parental consent is not required when personally identifiable information is released to officials of participating agencies for purposes of meeting a requirement of IDEA, with the following exceptions:  
    1. prior consent is needed before personally identifiable information is released to officials of participating agencies which provide or pay for transition services; and 
    2. if a child is enrolled, or is going.to enroll in a private school prior consent must be obtained before any personally identifiable information about the child is released between officials in City Charter High School and officials in the private school. 

E. Recordkeeping Regarding Disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information  

  1. City Charter High School shall keep a record of parties who obtain access to education records collected, maintained, or used under Part B of the IDEA (except as related to access by parents and authorized employees of City Charter High School), including the name of the party obtaining access, the date access is given, and the purpose for which the party is authorized to use the records.  

F. Requests for Amendment of Education Records  

  1. A parent who believes that information in the student's education records collected, maintained or used under IDEA is inaccurate or misleading or violates the privacy or other rights of the child may request that City Charter High School amend the information. The school shall determine within a reasonable amount of time whether to amend the information.  
  2. If City Charter High School decides to refuse to amend the information, it shall inform the parent of the refusal and shall advise the parent of the right to a hearing, which shall be subject to all conditions of and comply with all requirements of 34 C.F.R. Sections 300.619 through 300.621, or any other controlling regulation(s) that may in the future be in place, including those procedures related to the result of a hearing.  

 G. Collection and Location of Education Records  

  1. The Charter School CEO shall designate one official to assume responsibility, on behalf of City Charter High School, for ensuring the confidentiality of any personally identifiable information that is the subject of this policy.  
  2. Contact the Director of Special Education for any type of breach or concern related to confidentiality.  
  3. The Charter School CEO shall delegate, either to the Special Education Director or to another individual as deemed appropriate by the School Administration, the following duties: 
    1. the duty to provide or arrange for training and instruction regarding federal, Commonwealth (if any), and City Charter High School records policy requirements related to the information covered under the scope of this policy. 
    2. the duty to maintain, for public inspection, a current listing of the names and positions of those employees within City Charter High School who may have access to personally identifiable information.  
    3. the duty to maintain day-to-day collection and location of special education records in City Charter High School.  

H. Destruction of Information  

  1. City Charter High School shall inform parents when personally identifiable information collected, maintained or used in accordance with this policy is no longer needed to provide educational services to the child.  
  2. The information must be destroyed at the request of the parents. However, a permanent record of the student's name, address, and phone number, his or her grades, attendance record, classes attended, grade level completed, and year completed may be maintained without time limitation. 
  3. If City Charter High School proposes to destroy personally identifiable information in the records of a student, it shall send written notification to the parents, which shall inform the parents of their right to receive a copy of the material to be destroyed, prior to the destruction of the information.  
  4. This policy shall not require City Charter High School to destroy educational records for a student except upon request of the parent.  
  5. Unless the parent requests destruction of the information, all student education records shall be maintained in accordance with the City Charter High School’s records maintenance policy.  

Parent Emergency Procedures

In order for our emergency plans to be effective, we must depend on the assistance of local police and fire departments. We also depend on the parents of our students to support efforts. Your cooperation is critical in helping us protect our students and staff. Therefore we ask parents to observe the following procedure(s) during a crisis situation: 

Do: 

  • Check for a call from City Charter High Schools Notify System. A phone call, text and email will be sent from City Charter High School to notify parents of an emergency. 
  • Keep your contact information updated with the school. 
  • Remind your children. It is very important that they follow instructions from their teacher in an emergency. 
  • If you see something, say something and encourage your children to do the same.  

Anonymous Tip-Line

City Charter High School monitors a 24/7 anonymous tip-line that can be accessed three different ways.  

  1. Call 1-844-Saf2Say (844)-723-2729 
  2. Safe2saypa.org 
  3. Safe2Say Something mobile app  App is available for download at Safe2saypa.org for both Apple and Android devices. 

IN AN EMERGENCY, ALWAYS CALL 911 

Don’t: 

  • DO NOT COME TO THE SCHOOL OR EVACUATION LOCATION UNTIL YOU ARE INSTRUCTED TO DO SO. It will be necessary to keep the streets clear for emergency vehicles. In addition, during a lockdown NO ONE is permitted to enter or exit the school building. 
  • DO NOT CALL THE SCHOOL. We understand you concern, but it is essential that the phone system be available for emergency communications.

Weather Emergencies

City High does NOT follow the Pittsburgh Public School weather emergencies schedule. 

The possibility of a winter “weather event” exists throughout the winter season. 

Please listen to your radio and/or television for the City High delay or closing announcement. 

The City Charter High School closing or delay announcement will appear on television channels (KDKA), (WTAE), (WPXI) and on their websites. 

The school closing, delay and early dismissal announcement will also be available on our website— www.cityhigh.org and on the PARENT PORTAL. 

Parents/guardians and students can choose to receive emails, text-messages or voice-mail notifications as well. 

Delays: If there is a two-hour delay, school will begin promptly at 10:00AM. Students should not arrive at the school before 9:00AM. 

Closings: If a closing is announced, students are to remain at home for the day. 

Early Dismissals: If an early dismissal should ever be needed due to the weather, students will be given an opportunity to call home by using our phones or their cell phones. However please keep in mind that this decision will need to be made quickly and will be dependent on the advice of the Pittsburgh Public Safety Department. We will not follow the Pittsburgh Public Schools in making this decision as the downtown area is a unique situation and we need to be aware of different transportation issues.  

PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR SON/DAUGHTER KNOWS WHERE TO GO AFTER SCHOOL IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY AND IN CASE YOU CANNOT BE REACHED.  

SUBURBAN STUDENTS: For families who live far from the downtown area, please use good judgment and make the decision as to whether to send the youngster to school based not only on the official announcement but also on your actual weather conditions, as they may be better or worse than the conditions in the city. An absence note will be necessary if your student remains at home on a day we are open. Suburban students may also be sent home earlier than city students if the weather conditions deteriorate during the course of the day.  

Emergency Drills (H2) 

Fire Drills

City Charter High School will have at least one fire drill per month. These drills are conducted to promote safety and familiarity with the evacuation procedures in the event of an emergency.  

Students are required to evacuate the building quickly and quietly following the directions of school staff. Compliance with the fire drill procedures is a must during these safety evacuation practices.  

Emergency Evacuation Drill

City Charter High School will have at least one emergency evacuation drill each year. These drills are conducted to promote safety and familiarity with the unscheduled evacuation procedures in the event of an emergency. Students are required to evacuate the building quickly and quietly following the directions of school staff. Students are required to return to the school in an orderly fashion, following the direction of school staff.  

National, City and School Emergencies

Periodically the federal government issues a heightened level of alert regarding national security. As a result we are providing you with the emergency information below. This information applies regardless of whether the situation involves inclement weather, a fire, bomb threat or a national event.  

No matter what the circumstance, the entire staff will remain with the students and work diligently to reassure them, keep the calm, give them a forum for discussion and otherwise provide support to them. It is imperative that you emphasize to your youngster that the directions of school employees must be followed at all times. Students who panic, leave the group or refuse to cooperate jeopardize the safety of themselves and others.  

WE WILL UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS OF THE PUBLIC SAFTEY DIVISIONS OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH AND ALLEGHENY COUNTY. WE WORK CLOSELY WITH THEM AND THEY WILL NOTFIY US OF ANY PROBLEMS.  

EVACUATION OF THE BUILDING 

If the evacuation is before 2:00PM, we will take our students to another facility remain there until 2:00 PM at which time they will be dismissed to go home. Once there, students will split into their advisory groups. Advisors will permit students to call home and will attempt to speak briefly to each parent. It may be necessary to send students home before 2:00PM. In that case notification would come from radio and television broadcasts.  

If the evacuation is after 2:00PM, we will dismiss students to go home. It is important that students carry with them at all times the PAT bus schedule for their routes and also for alternate routes. They also need to know the location of several bus stops located in the downtown area that are part of their route.  

 Lock Down of The Building

If we are told that we must remain in the building, the following will occur:  

Staff will stay on the school floors with students. The city has informed us that the maximum period for lock down would probably be 8 hours. Parents will be immediately notified in the event of a lockdown. If possible and if allowed, we will post lock down information on both the City High website and on the PARENT PORTAL. During an emergency, please limit calls into the school or to your child’s cell phone. Incoming calls hamper our ability to maintain order and to help students remain calm. In addition they will prevent us from calling out and notifying every family.  

NO ONE IS PERMITTED TO LEAVE OR ENTER THE BUILDING DURING A LOCKDOWN.  

Evacuation of The Downtown Area 

Should a mandatory evacuation of the downtown area be declared, Port Authority,  

Allegheny County and Pittsburgh Emergency Management has a plan in place to immediately transport thousands of people safely out of the city. Depending on the circumstances, one of the following three levels of the emergency plan will be implemented:  

  • Level One—Voluntary Evacuation: If ordered Port Authority will provide the highest level of bus, rail and incline service at regular downtown bus stops and rail stations.  
  • Level Two—Mandatory Partial Evacuation: If ordered every available Port Authority bus and rail vehicle will be dispatched to downtown. Regular buses and rail stops will be served where possible, once leaving Downtown Pittsburgh buses will transport passengers outbound using only main transit and highway arteries. Buses will discharge passengers along the main routing and will continue until the last passenger is discharged.  
  • Level Three—Mandatory Full Evacuation: In the event of a declared mandatory emergency evacuation that prohibits buses from entering downtown Pittsburgh, six perimeter locations have been established. Individuals will board buses at perimeter locations, then discharge at “remote drop-off locations” predetermined by Port Authority, Allegheny County and Pittsburgh Emergency Management.  

It is important that you and your student fully understand this plan. It is also extremely important that all students know their community well enough to find their home from a radius of at least two miles. Students should carry change with them for pay phones, keep comfortable walking shoes or sneakers in their lockers, be aware of places in the community where they can meet you, other family members or friend and again listen to the directions of adults so they can get as close to home as possible. Cell phones may or may not work in all situations as the circuits may become busy. If this were to happen, we may have to act very quickly and may not be able to call every parent. However, you will be notified through the news media, phone answering system and our website.  

Please make sure that students who have asthma have inhalers with them at all times. Students with other chronic medical conditions need to keep some of their medication in the nurse’s office so it is available for all emergencies.  

It is impossible that we can prepare for every possible circumstance at home or at school. However, we will do our best to help students be safe and to care for them physically and emotionally in any time of crisis. 

Parental Requirements for Absences

City Charter High School is responsible for monitoring and maintaining records of the attendance of students. All absences should be treated as unlawful until the school district receives a written excuse explaining the reasons(s) for an absence. Parents/guardians and students should submit the written explanation within three calendar days of the absence and should be informed that if they fail to provide a written excuse within three days of the absence, the absence would be permanently counted as unlawful.  

Pennsylvania law broadly defines absences as excused when a student is prevented from attendance for mental, physical, or other urgent reasons. Many school districts consider illness, family emergency, the death of a family member, medical or dental appointments, authorized school activities, and educational travel with prior approval as the only lawful absences. An absence that should not be categorized as unlawful is one in which a student who is involved with the county children and youth agency or juvenile probation office is required to leave school for the purpose of attending court hearing related to their involvement with these agencies. It is the responsibility of each district to determine the validity of excuses and have clear written policies regarding absences. Under Section 11.24, students who miss ten consecutive school days shall be dropped from the active membership roll unless the school is provided with evidence the excuse is legal or the school is pursuing compulsory attendance prosecution.  

City Charter High School Attendance Policy

Attendance and punctuality are keys to academic success as well as success in the work place. Students must be at school on time and engaged in learning. City Charter High School complies with all aspects of the Pennsylvania Code regarding student attendance.  

After seven school absences a trimester, a student will drop a letter grade in all courses for the trimester. Typically, students fail if they miss more than 7 absences. However, this shift is made due to shifts in our educational model as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic. COVID 19 absences will also be counted as excused with a parent note. An absence is when a student does not card swipe or sign into the school’s attendance system. In order for the CEO/ Principal to consider extenuating circumstance regarding the attendance policy, the parent must provide documentation pertaining to the absences. This documentation may require a signed note from a doctor or other professional depending on the circumstances. Absences due to vacations, summer camps, babysitting etc., are considered unexcused and students are not provided with work during their absence.  

City Charter High School Attendance Procedures

City Charter High School uses an online Parent Portal that will provide information on student’s attendance and punctuality by 9:00 AM every morning.  

Students who come in after 8:00 AM must get a late slip from the attendance clerk in order to be admitted into class.  

If a student misses 50% of a class, (arriving late or leaving early) he or she will be marked absent for that session.  

If a student is absent, they must provide an excuse for the absence within 3 school days or the absence remains unexcused. Excuses can be sent with the student, emailed by the parent/guardians, faxed or sent through the mail. City High may call the parent when necessary to confirm the excuse.  

Parents/guardians can email excuses to: attendance@cityhigh.org.  

Attendance Documentation

Documentation is required for all school absences and late arrivals. Documentation includes:  

  • Doctor’s Notes 
  • Funeral Programs 
  • College Orientation Programs 
  • Parent/Guardian Notes 

Bereavement Days Allowed:  

  • 5 days for Parent/Guardian, Sibling  
  • 3 days for Grandparent  
  • 1 day for all Other Relatives, including Godparent  

Early Dismissals – Policy And Procedures

It is best to schedule medical check-ups and non-emergency procedures during the December, April and August breaks or the scheduled half-days that occur each trimester. However, there are situations that require students to have an early dismissal.  

If a student needs an early dismissal, the parent/guardian must write a note indicating the date and time of the early dismissal. The note must be turned into the office in the morning.  

Students are NOT exempt from assignments and exams which occur during an unexcused absence.  

If a student is absent, parents must provide an excuse within three (3) school days or the absence remains Unexcused.  
Our office staff reviews all requests for early dismissals and calls the parent/guardian to confirm the request, the date and the time. (We will not release a student without getting confirmation from the parent/guardian.)  

When the student returns from his/her early dismissal, he/she must provide a note indicating the purpose of the early dismissal. Without a note, the class absence will be marked as Unexcused. The note must be provided within 3 days of the early dismissal.  

Daily Attendance – School Attendance

  • Full-day absences will be calculated using Daily Attendance information. Daily Attendance is taken every morning and then again at 1:40 PM.  

Excused And Unexcused 

  • City High counts medical/doctor's notes as an excused absence. Bereavement absences are also counted as excused. Parent notes are counted as unexcused absences. They qualify as it relates to truancy and magisterial proceedings, but not within City High’s attendance policy. 
  • A parent note must be submitted within three (3) days of the absence. 
  • Please note that a doctor’s excuse for an appointment does not excuse the day unless so stated in the excuse. A 2:00 p.m. appointment does not excuse the morning and a 9:00 appointment does not excuse the afternoon.  

Questions or Concerns?

Contact the City Charter High School Parent Concierge Desk: 

Michelle Fossum 
Enrollment & Admissions 
fossum@cityhigh.org 
admissions@cityhigh.org
or call 412-690-CITY (2489), ext. 111 
Feel free to leave a message. 

OR 

James Watson 
Student Information Manager 
jwatson@cityhigh.org
admissions@cityhigh.org
or call 412-690-CITY (2489), ext. 121 Feel free to leave a message.