Student Handbook and School Policies


The purpose of this policy is to set forth policies and guidelines for access to the City Charter High School network and computer system as well as acceptable and safe use of the Internet, including electronic communications.

In making decisions regarding student and employee access to the network and computer system and the Internet, including electronic communications, City High considers its own stated educational mission, goals, and objectives. Electronic information research skills are now fundamental to preparation of citizens and future employees. Access to the school’s network and computer system and to the Internet enables students and employees to explore online libraries, databases, bulletin boards, and other resources while exchanging messages with people around the world. City High expects that faculty will blend thoughtful use of school network/computer systems and the Internet throughout the curriculum and will provide guidance and instruction to students in their use.

City High is providing students and employees with access to the network/computer system, which includes Internet access as well as various software packages. The purpose of the system is more specific than providing students and employees with general access to the Internet. The school computing technology system has a limited educational purpose, which includes use of computing technology for classroom activities, educational research, and professional or career development activities. Users are expected to utilize computers, network and Internet access to further educational and personal goals consistent with the mission of City High and school policies. Any other activity, which might be acceptable on a user’s private personal account on another system, may not be acceptable on this limited-purpose educational network.

The use of City High computing technology and access to use of the Internet is a privilege, not a right. Depending on the nature and degree of the violation and the number of previous violations, unacceptable use of City High computing technology and/or the Internet may result in one or more of the following consequences: suspension or cancellation of use or access privileges; payments for damages and repairs; discipline under other appropriate school policies, including suspension, expulsion, exclusion or termination of employment; or civil or criminal liability under other applicable laws.

Everyone using a City High email address ( is required to use their own picture or the system default.  

The following uses of City High computing technology and Internet resources or accounts are considered unacceptable:

1) Users will not use school computing technology resources to access, review, upload, download, store, print, post, receive, transmit or distribute:

a    Pornographic, obscene or sexually explicit material or other visual depictions that are harmful to minors;
b    Obscene, abusive, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude, inflammatory, threatening, disrespectful, or sexually explicit language;
c    Materials that use language or images that are inappropriate in the education setting or disruptive to the educational process;
d    Information or materials that could cause damage or danger of disruption to the educational process;
e    Materials that use language or images that advocate violence or discrimination toward other people (hate literature) or that may constitute harassment or discrimination;
f    All staff, all student or all school emails without express permission of a staff member.

2) Users will not use City High computing technology resources to knowingly or recklessly post, transmit or distribute false or defamatory information about a person or organization, or to harass another person, or to engage in personal attacks, including prejudicial or discriminatory attacks.

3) Users will not use City High computing technology resources to engage in any illegal act or violate any local, state or federal statute or law.

4) Users will not use City High computing technology resources to vandalize, damage or disable the property of another person or organization, will not make deliberate attempts to degrade or disrupt equipment, software or system performance by spreading computer viruses or by any other means, will not tamper with, modify or change the computing technology resources such as software, hardware or wiring or take any action to violate the school security system, and will not use City High computing technology resources in such a way as to disrupt the use of the system by others.

5) Users will not use City High computing technology resources to gain unauthorized access to information resources or to access another person’s materials, information or files without the direct permission of that person.

6) Users will not use City High computing technology resources to post private information about another person, personal contact information about themselves or other persons, or other personally identifiable information, including, but not limited to, addresses, telephone numbers, identification numbers, account numbers, access codes or passwords, photographs or other information that would make the individual’s identity traceable, and will not repost a message that was sent to the user privately without permission of the person who sent the message. These prohibitions specifically prohibit a user from utilizing City High computing technology resources to post personal information about a user or another individual on social networks.

7) Users will not attempt to gain unauthorized access to City High computing technology resources or any other system, attempt to log in through another person’s account, or use computer accounts, access codes or network identification other than those assigned to the user. Messages and records on City High computing technology resources may not be encrypted without the permission of appropriate school authorities.

8) Users will not use City High computing technology resources to violate copyright laws or usage licensing agreements, or otherwise to use another person’s property without the person’s prior approval or proper citation, including the downloading or exchanging of pirated software or copying software to or from any school computer, and will not plagiarize works they find on the Internet.

9) Users will not use City High computing technology resources for conducting business, for unauthorized commercial purposes or for financial gain unrelated to the mission of City High.

10) Users will not use City High computing technology resources to offer or provide goods or services or for product advertisement.
11) Users will not use City High computing technology resources to purchase goods or services for personal use without authorization from the appropriate school official.

A student or employee engaging in the foregoing unacceptable uses of computing technology resources and/or of the Internet when off school premises may be in violation of this policy as well as other school policies. Examples of such violations include, but are not limited to, situations where City High computing technology resources are compromised or if a school employee or student is negatively impacted. If City High receives a report of an unacceptable use originating from a non-school computer or resource, City High may investigate such reports to the best of its ability. Students or employees may be subject to disciplinary action for such conduct, including, but not limited to, suspension or cancellation of the use or access to City High computing technology resources and the Internet and discipline under other appropriate school policies, including suspension, expulsion, exclusion, or termination of employment.

With respect to any school owned device with Internet access via the school’s network or use of computing technology resources on an outside network, the school can monitor the online activities of both minors and adults and will employ technology protection measures during any use of such computers by minors and adults. The technology protection measures utilized are considered reasonable attempts to block or filter Internet access while at school and/or off school property (using school computers) to any visual depictions or web sites that are not considered appropriate for the school’s educational mission and goals. The technology protection measures may also be applied to computing technology devices not owned by the school, but given permission for use on the school networks.

Use of City High computing technology resources and use of the Internet shall be consistent with school policies and the mission of City High.


1 By authorizing use of City High computing technology resources, City High does not relinquish control over materials on the system or contained in files on the system. Users should expect only limited privacy in the contents of personal files on the City High network.
2 Routine maintenance and monitoring of City High computing technology resources may lead to a discovery that a user has violated this policy, another school policy, or the law.
3 An individual investigation or search will be conducted if school authorities have a reasonable suspicion that the search will uncover a violation of law or school policy.
4 Parents have the right at any time to investigate or review the contents of their child’s files and email files.
5 School employees should be aware that City High retains the right  to investigate or review the contents of their school social networking accounts, school websites, text messages, files, data and other materials in files and email files that are generated using school accounts and/or school computing technology resources. 
6 City High will cooperate fully with local, state and federal authorities in any investigation concerning or related to any illegal activities or activities not in compliance with school policies conducted through City High computing technology resources.

Use of City High computing technology resources is at the user’s own risk. The system is provided on an "as is, as available" basis. City High will not be responsible for any damage users may suffer, including, but not limited to, loss, damage or unavailability of data stored on school  owned diskettes, tapes, hard drives or servers, or for delays or changes in or interruptions of service or non-deliveries of information or materials, regardless of the cause. City High is not responsible for damaged, lost, or unobtainable data stored on non-school owned, personal storage devices such as thumb drives, flash drives, USB hard drives, etc.  City High will not be responsible for financial obligations arising through unauthorized use of the computing technology resources or the Internet.

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.  


NOTE:  The Principal reserves the right to exercise discretion for all technology violations.  This rubric serves as a guide but repeated violations may be dealt with on an individual basis.     Level 1 –Nuisance  Violations such as but not limited to downloading and playing games/ music, watching YouTube (not class related), use of Instant Messaging and Social Networking, unauthorized use during classroom time.  Level 2 –Ethical Violations such as but not limited to downloading software,  pornographic images, movies and excessive music or video files. Level 3 – Cyber Stalking/Bullying AND  Network Security Violations such as but not limited to password compromise, use of proxy servers, attempts at hacking network/Internet servers, theft of identity
First Offense Workforce taken and phone call home Laptop is taken Lose machine for  3 school days Phone call home Level 3 violations will be dealt with on a case by case basis by Administration and may involve law enforcement.
Second Offense Workforce taken and phone call home Above measures + Lose machine for 5 school  days  
Third Offense Above measures + Laptop taken for a full day     Above measures + Afterschool Detention assigned  
Fourth Offense Above measures + Laptop taken for additional days (to be determined by Administration) Above measures + Laptop taken for additional days (to be determined by Administration)  
Any additional offense Consequences will be determined by Administration on a case by case basis. Consequences will be determined by Administration on a case by case basis.  


All students at City Charter High School are provided with a laptop computer for their use.  Before students may take their laptops home, parents and students must sign off on both the Acceptable Use of Technology Policy and the Procedures for Repair Policy.
Warranty and Damages
Every City Charter High School laptop contains a 4 year warranty.  This will provide complete protection for all repairs, accidental breakage and maintenance.  The students should never have to pay for any laptop repair that is covered by the warranty. However, damage done to the computer through misuse, vandalism, or repeated breakage, is NOT considered “accidental” and must be paid for by the student responsible for the computer.  In case of misuse, neglect, vandalism or repeated breakage, the following represent some common replacement parts and approximate costs that will be incurred by the parent and paid to City Charter High School:
(Note:  Depending on the extent of the damage, students may be charged an additional repair fee)


PLASTIC CASE (Bottom Plastic) $50
PALM REST  (Touch Pad) $35
SYSTEMBOARD (Motherboard) $250 $250

Students are also responsible for lost laptops or their components.  Loss is not covered by the school’s commercial insurance policy.  If a student loses a laptop, battery or ac adapter they must pay the school for the item.  Students who owe the school for lost, damage or vandalized laptops must repay the school in full or setup a monthly payment plan.  In case of a loss, students will not be allowed to take another laptop home until payment is made in full.  Students will have access to a laptop during the school day as long as they continue to make monthly payments. In case of loss, the following approximate costs will be incurred by the parent and paid to City Charter High School:
AC Adapter Replacement: $50
Battery Replacement: $50
Laptop Loss: $500.00 (1st time), $800.00 (2nd time)

City Charter High School defines theft as when a student either 1) has their laptop equipment forcibly taken from their possession or 2) has their laptop taken when it is locked up.  If a student’s laptop is stolen the student must produce a Police Report to City High:

Theft w/Police Report:1st Occurrence – No Cost
2nd Occurrence - $500
3rd Occurrence - $800

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Board Approval Date: Scheduled for September 2023


Attendance and punctuality are keys to academic success as well as success in the workplace. Students must be at school on time and engaged in learning. Attendance and punctuality factor into a student's:
  • Academic success
  • Internship success
  • Eligibility for the Pittsburgh Promise (students must maintain an attendance record of 90% to qualify for The Pittsburgh Promise)
All children in Pennsylvania must attend school if they are of compulsory school age- no later than age 6 and until the age of 18 or graduation, whichever occurs first. Schools are required to enforce the compulsory attendance law. 

City Charter High School complies with all aspects of the Pennsylvania Code regarding student attendance.   After seven (7) school absences a trimester, a student will fail the course for the trimester due to attendance, which will be reflected as a DAT (Failure Due to Attendance) on the student’s report card. Parent notes count toward truancy but not the DAT policy. 

What to do if your child is absent: 
  • You must submit a note online, by email to or have your child hand in a note when they return to school. The note must have the date(s) that your child was absent and the reason for the absence. For those who prefer to handwrite a note, please include your signature. For those who prefer to email a note, it must come from the parent/guardian email address, not the student's. 
Deadline to submit an excuse: 
Notes need to be received within 3 days of your child's return to school in order for the absence to be excused. If a note is not received within 3 days of your child's return to school, the absence will remain illegal and unexcused. 

What is a legal excuse? 
  • Illness (doctor excuses will be required if there is an excessive amount of parent excused days) 
  • Family emergency 
  • Medical, dental, and behavioral health appointments 
  • Legal appointments including court summons 
  • Religious holidays 
  • Bereavement 
  • School approved sabbaticals 
What is not a legal excuse? 
  • Oversleeping Ü€ 
  • Missing the bus Ü€ 
  • Vacations/Out of town 
  • Confusion around whether or not there was school 
  • Parent/sibling illness 
  • Work or childcare 
  • Not feeling like coming to school 

In Pennsylvania, a child is truant when they have 3 unexcused absences within a school year. Once a child has 3 unexcused absences, we will begin the truancy process which can ultimately result in court involvement and fines. 
In order for the CEO/ Principal to consider extenuating circumstances 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.   

Absence – the nonattendance of a student on those days and half days when school is in session.
Excused absence – includes the absence of a student for any of the reasons listed in the section
below titled “Excused Absences.”

Unexcused absence – the absence of a student for any reason that does not qualify as an excused absence, as listed below. Examples include, but are not limited to, illness of another family member, helping the family to move, babysitting/child care, missing the bus, oversleeping, leaving school without authorization, etc. If written verification of the reason for absence is not received within three (3) days of the return to school, the absence will automatically be recorded as unexcused. The mere fact that a parent/guardian has written an excuse does not mean the absence
is excused. Reasons for absence of a doubtful nature are subject to administrative review.

Unlawful absence – an unexcused absence for a student of compulsory school age. An unlawful absence is always an unexcused absence.

Tardiness – absence of a student at the beginning of any morning or afternoon session, provided
the student is in attendance before the close of that session.

Excused tardiness – absence of a student at the beginning of any morning or afternoon session that is due to any of the reasons that may be excused for full day absence.

Unexcused tardiness – lateness for any reason that does not qualify as excused tardiness. Examples of unexcused tardiness to school include, but are not limited to, the following: employment, missing the bus, accommodations to others schedules, babysitting/child care, etc.

Compulsory school age shall mean the period of a child’s life from the time the child’s parents elect to have the child enter school, which shall not be later than the age of six (6) years, until the age of eighteen (18) years. The term shall not include any child who holds a certificate of graduation from a regularly accredited senior high school.

Truant shall mean having incurred three (3) or more school days of unexcused absences during the current school year by a child subject to compulsory school attendance.

Habitually truant shall mean having incurred six (6) or more school days of unexcused absences during the current school year by a child subject to compulsory school attendance.

Person in parental relation shall mean
(1) a custodial biological or adoptive parent; (2) a noncustodial biological or adoptive parent;
(3) guardian of the person of a child; or (4) a person with whom a child lives and who is acting in a parental role of a child.

School attendance improvement conference shall mean a conference where the child’s absences and reasons for the absences are examined in an effort to improve attendance, with or without additional services. The following individuals shall be invited to the conference: (1) the child; (2) the child’s person in parental relation; (3) other individuals identified by the person in parental relation who may be a resource; (4) appropriate school personnel; and (5) recommended service

School-based or community-based attendance improvement program shall mean a program designed to improve school attendance by seeking to identify and address the underlying reasons for a child’s absences. The term may include an educational assessment in an alternative education program, provided the program does not include a program for disruptive youth.

Unexcused Absences
All absences are considered unexcused until City Charter receives a written note or email documenting a valid reason for the absence, as detailed below.

General Attendance Guidelines
Attendance need not always be within school facilities. A student will be considered in attendance if present at any place where school is in session by authority of the Board; the student is receiving approved tutorial instruction, or health or therapeutic services; the student is engaged in an approved and properly supervised independent study, work-study internship or career education program; the student is receiving approved homebound instruction; or the student’s placement is instruction in the home.

In the event of a public health emergency, parents/guardian are to work with the grade-level principal regarding extended absences.

Excused Absences
A student absence is considered excused under the following circumstances:
1. When the student is prevented from attendance for mental, physical, or other urgent reasons
such as:
  • Illness
  • Quarantine
  • Family emergency
  • Death of a family member
  • Medical or dental appointments
  • Authorized school activities
  • Pre-approved educational travel, including college visitations. This category of absence is limited to 5 school days per school year.
  • Pre-approved religious instruction (limit 36 hours per year)
  • Bona fide religious holiday
  • For circumstances related to homelessness or placement in foster care.

2. When the student is required to leave school for the purposes of attending court hearings related to their involvement with the county children and youth agency or juvenile probation office.

3. If a student is dismissed from school during school hours for health-related reasons by a certified school nurse, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse or a school administrator or designee employed by City High.

4. For the purpose of obtaining professional health care or therapy service rendered by a licensed practitioner of the healing arts in any state, commonwealth or territory.

Ten Consecutive Absences & Cumulative Lawful Absences for Illness
Students who miss ten consecutive school days shall be dropped from the active membership roll of City Charter High School unless the school is provided with evidence that the excuse is legal or the school is pursuing compulsory attendance prosecution. Should the student subsequently return to the school, they will not be guaranteed placement in the same classroom as the one left before the withdrawal from attendance.

A maximum of ten days of cumulative lawful absences for illness verified by parental notification may be permitted during a school year. All absences for illness beyond ten cumulative days per school year shall require an excuse from a treating physician or medical provider of the child who shall not be the child’s parent/guardian.

Policy Notification
Parents/guardians shall be given copies of the School’s attendance Policy at the beginning of each school year and at time of enrollment for new students, upon request. This Policy will be posted on the School’s website.

School Responses and Procedures for Unexcused Absences
Parents/guardians and students shall submit the required excuse note within three (3) days of the student’s return to school after the absence. The failure of the parent/guardian to provide the written excuse in a timely manner will cause the absence to be permanently categorized as “unexcused” and will trigger the procedures set forth below.

1. First & Second Unexcused Absence
The CEO, grade-level principal or designee shall send a notice of unexcused absence to the student’s parent/guardian, which describes the consequences of a child violating compulsory school attendance requirements. In addition, the name and telephone number of a designated school official shall be included so that parents/guardians are able to contact a specific person to request assistance in resolving the child’s absenteeism. 

2. Third Unexcused Absence
Within ten (10) school days of a child’s third unexcused absence, the CEO, grade-level principal, or designee shall send an Official Notice of Truancy. Included in this notice shall be a description of the consequences if the child becomes habitually truant. This notice may include the offer of a school attendance improvement conference, and shall be in the mode and language of communication preferred by the parent in parental relation to the child. When transmitted to a person who is not the biological or adoptive parent, such notice shall also be provided to the child’s biological or adoptive parent if the parent’s mailing address is on file with the school and the parent is not precluded from receiving the information by court order.

Continued Absenteeism
If the child continues to incur unexcused absences after the issuance of the Official Notice of Truancy, the school shall then offer by advance written notice a school attendance improvement conference to the child and the person in parental relation to the child, unless a conference was previously held following the Official Notice of Truancy.  The following shall apply with respect to a school attendance improvement conference:
  • There is no legal requirement that the child or person in parental relation attend the conference, and the conference shall occur even if the person in parental relation declines to participate or fails to attend the scheduled conference after advance written notice and attempts to communicate via telephone.
  • The outcome of the conference shall be documented in a written school attendance improvement plan, on the template provided by the Department of Education for this purpose.
  • Further legal action may not be taken to address unexcused absences by the child until after the date for the scheduled school attendance improvement conference has passed.
  • City High shall not expel or impose out-of-school suspension, or additional disciplinary actions for truant behavior.

Procedure for Addressing Habitually Truant Children
When a child is habitually truant and under fifteen (15) years of age at the time of referral, the school:
a. Shall refer the child to either (1) a school-based or community-based attendance improvement program or (2) the Allegheny County Office of Children and Youth for services or possible disposition as a dependent child.
b. May file a citation in the office of the magisterial district judge having jurisdiction in the region against the person in parental relation who resides in the same household as the child. The venue for the filing of such a citation shall be based on the location of City High. 

When a child is habitually truant and fifteen (15) years of age or older at the time of referral, the school shall either
a. Refer the child to a school-based or community-based attendance improvement program or service.
b. File a citation in the office of the magisterial district judge having jurisdiction in the region against the child or the person in parental relation who resides in the same household as the child. The venue for the filing of such a citation shall be based on the location of City High.

If a child who is fifteen (15) years of age or older continues to incur additional unexcused absences after being referred to a school-based or community-based attendance improvement program or fails to participate in the such a program as recommended through the school attendance improvement conference, the school may refer the child to the Allegheny County Office of Children and Youth for possible disposition as a dependent child.

When referring a habitually truant child to the Allegheny County Office of Children and Youth or
filing a citation with the magisterial district judge having jurisdiction over the region, the school
shall provide verification that a school attendance improvement conference was held.

No citation may be filed against a child or a person in parental relation with the child who resides in the same household as the child for a subsequent violation of school attendance if any of the following circumstances apply:
  •  A proceeding is already pending against the child or person in parental relation with the child who resides in the same household as the child and judgment in the first proceeding has not yet been entered, unless a warrant has been issued for failure of the child or person in parental relation to appear before the court and the warrant has not yet been served.
  •  A referral for services has been made to the Allegheny County Office of Children and Youth, the agency has not closed the case, and City High has not consulted with the Allegheny County Office of Children and Youth prior to filing the petition.
  • A petition has been filed alleging the child is dependent due to being habitually truant and the case remains under the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court.

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The City Charter High School Bullying Policy Committee (“the committee”) reviews this policy annually to maintain a Bullying Policy which ensures the safety of the student population and provides consequences to deter hazing and threatening behaviors which are inconsistent with the educational goals of the school. 

For the purposes of the City Charter High School policy, bullying is defined as:
  1. The willful act of repeatedly victimizing a student by negative actions that attempt or intentionally cause injury or physical, emotional or mental discomfort; and/or
  2. Physical contact, assault, name calling, threats, pranks and taunting directed at a student by a single student or a group; and/or
  3. Spreading rumors and engaging in any form of electronic bullying (which includes but is not limited to texting, Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, and email); and/or
  4. Placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to or loss of personal property; and/or
  5. Any form of intimidation
  6. Any form of hazing is a violation.  Hazing is any action which recklessly or intentionally endangers the health or safety of the student for the purpose or initiation or admission into or affiliation with any class or organization of City Charter High School.  Hazing shall include, but not be limited to, physical activity, forced consumption of foods or liquids or any other forced activity which could adversely affect the health or safety of the student or subject the student to mental stress or embarrassment.

Cyber Bullying 
Cyber bullying, which is sometimes referred to as online social cruelty or electronic bullying, involves but is not limited to: 
Sending mean, vulgar or threatening messages or images; posting sensitive, private information about another person; pretending to be someone else in order to make that person look bad; intentionally excluding someone from an online group (Willard, 2005). 
Cyber bullying can occur through: 
  1. Emails 
  2. Instant messaging, 
  3. Text or digital imaging messages sent on cell phones, Web pages, 
  4. Web logs (blogs), 
  5. Chat rooms or discussion groups, and 
  6. Other information communication technologies
  7. The school zone which is covered under this policy includes acts of bullying which occur in school or outside of school (during a school sponsored event/activity or before and after the school day while a student is in transit to or from the school).
  8. Any act of bullying is a violation of the Code of Conduct and is subject to consequences defined by the law and City Charter High School Code of Conduct.  The following consequences apply strictly to isolated acts of bullying which do not involve physical harm, stalking, emotional distress or damage to personal property.  (Due to the severity, consequences for acts of bullying of this magnitude will be dealt with by administration and may involve law enforcement.)
  9. First Offense – Student is warned and parent is notified.
  10. Second Offense – Student is suspended for three (3) days
  11. Third Offense – Student is suspended for ten (10) days
  12. Fourth Offense – Recommendation to the Board for expulsion
  13. Consequences for acts of bullying may include any of the  following:
  14. Student Mediation
  15. Parent Conference
  16. Out of School Suspension
  17. Referral to Law Enforcement
  18. Referral to Children, Youth and Families
  19. Recommendation for Expulsion
Parents should also be aware that after a full investigation by the administration some incidents may be categorized as child on child abuse as described in Child Protective Laws.  Suspected child on child abuse includes a child who is assaulted, sexually harassed, bullied or any other violation that represents abuse anytime, anywhere before, during and after school.  The Pittsburgh police and CHILDLINE will be contacted in those instances.  This is in addition to any school discipline and/or charges filed with the local magistrate.  The school is required to cooperate with all investigations.
Annual reports of bullying incidents will be maintained by School Security.

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Child Abuse Policy

Policy: Child Abuse Policy 
Board Approval Date: Scheduled for September 2023

This document establishes procedures for School employees to assist in identifying and reporting child abuse and for reporting and training in compliance with the Child Protective Services Law.

The following words and phrases shall have the meaning given to them in this section:
a. Administrator – the person responsible for the administration of the school.  The term includes a person responsible for employment decisions in a school.  The principal of a school where the abused student is enrolled will serve as the administrator under this policy.
b. Adult – an individual eighteen (18) years of age or older.
c. Applicant – an individual who applies for a position as a school employee.  
d. Bodily Injury – impairment of a physical condition or substantial pain.
e. Certifications – refers to the child abuse history clearance statement and state and federal criminal history background checks required by the Child Protective Services Law and/or the School Code.
f. Child – an individual under eighteen (18) years of age.
g. Child Abuse – intentionally, knowingly or recklessly doing any of the following:
  1. Causing bodily injury to a child through any recent act or failure to act.
  2. Fabricating, feigning or intentionally exaggerating or inducing a medical symptom or disease which results in a potentially harmful medical evaluation or treatment to the child through any recent act.
  3. Causing or substantially contributing to serious mental injury to a child through any act or failure to act or series of such acts or failures to act.
  4. Causing sexual abuse or exploitation of a child through any act or failure to act.
  5. Creating a reasonable likelihood of bodily injury to a child through any recent act or failure to act.
  6. Creating a likelihood of sexual abuse or exploitation of a child through any recent act or failure to act.
  7. Causing serious physical neglect of a child.
  8. Engaging in any of the following recent acts: 
  • Kicking, biting, throwing, burning, stabbing or cutting a child in a manner that endangers the child.
  • Unreasonably restraining or confining a child, based on consideration of the method, location or duration of the restraint or confinement.
  • Forcefully shaking a child under one (1) year of age.
  • Forcefully slapping or otherwise striking a child under one (1) year of age.
  • Interfering with the breathing of a child.
  • Causing a child to be present during the operation of a methamphetamine laboratory, provided that the violation is being investigated by law enforcement.
  • Leaving a child unsupervised with an individual, other than the child’s parent/guardian, who the actor knows or reasonably should have known was required to register as a Tier II or Tier III sexual offender, has to register for life, or has been determined to be a sexually violent predator or sexually violent delinquent.
9. Causing the death of a child through any act or failure to act.
10. Engaging a child in a severe form of trafficking in persons or sex trafficking, as those terms are defined in the law.
The term child abuse does not include physical contact with a child that is involved in normal participation in physical education, athletic, extracurricular or recreational activities.  Also excluded from the meaning of child abuse is the use of reasonable force by a person responsible for the welfare of a child for purpose of control or safety, provided that the use of force:
  • Constitutes incidental, minor or reasonable physical contact in order to maintain order and control;
  • Is necessary to quell a disturbance or remove a child from the scene of a disturbance that threatens property damage or injury to persons;
  • Is necessary for self-defense or defense of another;
  • Is necessary to prevent the child from self-inflicted physical harm; or
  • Is necessary to gain possession of weapons, controlled substances or other dangerous objects that are on the person of the child or in the child’s control.
h. County Agency – Allegheny County Children and Youth Services.
j. Direct contact with children – the possibility of care, supervision, guidance or control of children or routine interaction with children.
j. Independent Contractor – an individual other than a school employee who provides a program, activity or service who is otherwise responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or control of children pursuant to a contract.  The term does not apply to administrative or other support personnel unless the administrative or other support personnel have direct contact with children.
k. Perpetrator – a person who has committed child abuse and is a parent(s)/guardian(s) of a child; spouse or former spouse of the child’s parent/guardian; a paramour or former paramour of the child’s parent/guardian; an individual fourteen (14) years of age or older who is responsible for the child’s welfare or who has direct contact with children as an employee of child care services, a school, or through a program, activity or service; an individual fourteen (14) years of age or older who resides in the same home as the child; or an adult who does not reside in the same home as the child but who is related within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity by birth or adoption to the child; or an adult who engages a child in severe forms of trafficking in persons or sex trafficking, as those terms are defined in the law.  Only the following may be considered a perpetrator solely based upon a failure to act:  a parent/guardian of the child; a spouse or former spouse of the child’s parent/guardian; a paramour or former paramour of the child’s parent/guardian; an adult responsible for the child’s welfare; or an adult who resides in the same home as the child.
l. Person responsible for the welfare of a child – a person who provides permanent or temporary care, supervision, mental health diagnosis or treatment, training or control of a child in lieu of parental care, supervision and control.
m. Program, activity or service:  Any of the following in which children participate and which is sponsored by a school or public or private organization:
  • A youth camp or program.
  • A recreational camp or program.
  • A sports or athletic program.
  • A community or social outreach program.
  • An enrichment or educational program.
  • A troop, club or similar organization.
n. Recent act or failure to act – any act or failure to act committed within two (2) years of the date of the report to the Department of Human Services or the county agency.
o. School Employee – an individual employed at City High Charter School.  The term excludes an individual who has no direct contact with children.
p. Serious Bodily Injury – bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of function of any bodily member or organ.
q. Serious Mental Injury – a psychological condition, as diagnosed by a physician licensed psychologist, including the refusal of appropriate treatment, that:
  1. Renders a child chronically and severely anxious, agitated, depressed, socially withdrawn, psychotic or in reasonable fear that the child’s life or safety is threatened.
  2. Seriously interferes with a child’s ability to accomplish age-appropriate developmental and social tasks.
r. Serious Physical Neglect – any of the following when committed by a perpetrator that endangers a child’s life or health, threatens a child’s well-being, causes bodily injury or impairs a child’s health, development or functioning:
  1. A repeated, prolonged or egregious failure to supervise a child in a manner that is appropriate considering the child’s developmental age and abilities.
  2. The failure to provide a child with adequate essentials of life, including food, shelter or medical care.
s. Sexual Abuse or Exploitation – includes any of the following:  the employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of a child to engage in or assist another individual to engage in any sexually explicit conduct or simulation of sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depiction, including photographing, videotaping, computer depicting, and filming of any sexually explicit conduct; or any of the following offenses committed against a child:  rape, sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, molestation, incest, indecent exposure, prostitution, sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation.
t. Student – an individual enrolled in City High Charter School under eighteen (18) years of age.
u. Volunteer – an unpaid adult individual, who, on the basis of the individual’s role as an integral part of a regularly scheduled program, activity or service is a person responsible for the child’s welfare or has direct contact with children.
Section 3.  Delegation of Responsibility
Pursuant to the procedures, the CEO or designee shall:
  • Require each applicant for employment to submit an official child abuse clearance statement issued within the preceding year, except for those exempted by law.
  • The CEO or designee shall annually inform students, parent(s)/guardian(s), staff, independent contractors and volunteers regarding these procedures.  City High staff, independent contractors and volunteers shall annually receive notice of their responsibility for reporting child abuse in accordance with these procedures.
  • School employees and independent contractors shall obtain and submit new certifications every sixty (60) months.
  • Certification requirements for volunteers are addressed in a separate Board Policy.

The CEO or designee shall ensure that the poster, developed by the PA Department of Education, displaying the statewide toll-free telephone numbers for reporting suspected child abuse, neglect and school safety issues be posted in a high-traffic, public area of each school. The designated area shall be readily accessible and widely used by students. 

Section 4.  Guidelines
a. Duty to Report
School employees, independent contractors and volunteers shall make a report of suspected child abuse if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is the victim of child abuse under any of the following circumstances:
  • The school employee, independent contractor or volunteer comes into contact with the child in the course of employment, occupation and the practice of a profession or through a regularly scheduled program, activity or service.
  • The school employee, independent contractor or volunteer is directly responsible for the care, supervision guidance or training of the child.
  • A person makes a specific disclosure to a school employee, independent contractor or volunteer that an identifiable child is the victim of child abuse.
  • An individual fourteen (14) years of age or older makes a specific disclosure to a school employee, independent contractor or volunteer that s/he has committed child abuse.
b. A child is not required to come before the school employee, independent contractor or volunteer in order for that individual to make a report of suspected child abuse.
c. A report of suspected child abuse does not require the identification of the person responsible for the child abuse.

d. Any person who, in good faith, makes a report of suspected child abuse, regardless of whether the report is required, cooperates with an investigation, testifies in a proceeding, or engages in other action authorized by law shall have immunity from civil and criminal liability related to those actions.

e. Any person required to report child abuse who willfully fails to do so may be subject to disciplinary action and criminal prosecution.

f. Any person who knowingly or intentionally makes a false report of child abuse or intentionally or knowingly induces a child to make a false claim of child abuse may be subject to disciplinary action and criminal prosecution.

g. Any person who engages in intimidation, retaliation, or obstruction in the making of a child abuse report of the conducting of an investigation into suspected child abuse may be subject to disciplinary action and criminal prosecution.

h. The school shall not retaliate or discriminate against any person for making, in good faith, a report of suspected child abuse.

i. Reporting Procedures
School employees, independent contractors or volunteers who suspect child abuse shall immediately make a written report of child abuse using electronic technologies ( or an oral report via the statewide toll free number (1-800-932-0313).  A person making an initial report of suspected child abuse must also submit a written electronic report within forty-eight (48) hours after the oral report.  Upon receipt of an electronic report, the electronic reporting system will immediately respond with a confirmation, providing the school with a written record of the report.

A school employee, independent contractor or volunteer who makes a report of suspected child abuse shall immediately, after making the initial report, notify the building principal or administrator and if the initial report was made electronically, also provide the building principal or administrator with a copy of the report confirmation.  The building principal or administrator shall then immediately notify the CEO or designee that a child abuse report has been made and if the initial report was made electronically, also provide a copy of the report confirmation.

When a report of suspected child abuse is made by a school employee, independent contractor or volunteer as required by law, the school is not required to make more than one (1) report.  An individual otherwise required to make a report who is aware than an initial report has already been made by a school employee, independent contractor or volunteer is not required to make an additional report.  The person making an initial oral report is responsible for making the follow-up written electronic report within forty-eight (48) hours, and shall provide the building principal or administrator with a copy of the report confirmation promptly after the written electronic report has been filed.  The building principal or administrator shall in turn provide a copy of the report confirmation to the CEO or designee.

If the CEO or designee reasonably suspects that conduct being reported involves an incident required to be reported under the Safe Schools Act, the CEO or designee shall inform local law enforcement, in accordance with applicable law and regulations.

j. Investigation
School officials shall cooperate with the Department of Human Services or the county agency investigating a report of suspected child abuse, including permitting authorized personnel to interview the child while in attendance at school.

Upon notification that an investigation involves suspected child abuse by a school employee, the building principal or administrator shall immediately implement a plan of supervision or alternative arrangement that has been approved by the CEO for the school employee under investigation.  The plan of supervision or alternative arrangement shall be submitted to the county agency for approval.

Section 5.  Training
The school shall provide its employees and independent contractors who have direct contact with children with mandatory training on child abuse recognition and reporting. The training shall include, but not be limited to, the following topics:
  • Recognition of the signs of abuse and sexual misconduct and reporting requirements for suspected abuse and sexual misconduct.
  • Provisions of the Educator Discipline Act, including mandatory reporting requirements. 
  • School policy related to reporting of suspected abuse and sexual misconduct.
  • Maintenance of professional and appropriate relationships with students.
  • Employees are required to complete a minimum of three (3) hours of training every five (5) years. 

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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, 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 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. 
Guardian Classroom Observation Request Form

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Possession/Use of Emergency Medications Policy
Students shall be permitted to possess prescribed emergency medications on school property and at school-related events, and to self-administer the prescribed medication in compliance with state law and Board policy.  Emergency medication, as used in this policy, shall include but is not limited to, asthma inhalers, epinephrine auto-injectors and diabetes medication.

Before a student may possess or use emergency medication in the school setting, the Board shall require the following:
(1)  A written request from the student’s parent/guardian that complies with the order of a licensed healthcare provider.
(2) A written statement from the parent/guardian acknowledging that the school is not responsible for ensuring the medication is taken and relieving the school and its employees of responsibility for the benefits or consequences of the prescribed medication.
(3)  A written statement from the licensed healthcare provider that states the name of the drug, the prescribed dosage, the times the medication is to be taken, the length of time the medication is prescribed, the diagnosis or reason medication is needed unless the reason is confidential, the potential of any serious reaction or side effects of the medication, as well as any necessary emergency response, whether the student is qualified to self-administer the medication, and the signature of the administering licensed healthcare provider.

The student must notify the school nurse immediately following the use of an emergency medication on school property.  Requests for student use of emergency medication shall be submitted annually, along with all required statements and an updated prescription.  CCHS reserves the right to require a statement from a licensed healthcare provider for the continued use of a medication beyond the specified time period.  A student whose parent/guardian completes the written requirements for the student to possess an emergency medication and to self-administer the prescribed medication in the school setting shall demonstrate to the school nurse the competency for self-administration and responsible behavior in use of the medication.  Determination of competency for self-administration shall be based on the student’s age, cognitive function, maturity and demonstration of responsible behavior.  

The school nurse is authorized to keep asthma inhalers and epinephrine auto-injectors in a secure location in the school in the event a student or employee of City Charter who does not have their own asthma inhaler or epinephrine auto-injector is suffering from a reaction and requires emergency medical assistance.  

Students shall be prohibited from sharing, giving, selling, and using emergency medication in any manner other than which it is prescribed for during school hours, at any time while on school property, at any school-sponsored activity, and during the time spent traveling to and from school and school-sponsored activities.  Violations of this policy shall result in loss of privilege to self-carry the emergency medication and disciplinary action in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct. 

If City Charter High School denies a student’s request to self-carry an emergency medication or the student has lost the privilege of self-carrying the medication, the student’s prescribed medication shall be appropriately stored at an accessible location in close proximity to the student.  The student’s classroom teachers shall be informed where the medication is stored and the means to access the medication.  

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City Charter High School defines EQUITY as the principle that all students, regardless of their identity or background, deserve high quality, rigorous, and academically challenging educational opportunities that facilitate postsecondary and career success and foster a strong sense of self-efficacy. In practice, this means that all educational opportunities will reflect the diversity of the student population, affirm each student’s individual identity, and provide students with an education that is responsive to their lived experiences.  City Charter High School acknowledges the inequalities that exist in our society, and commits to the elimination of any institutional barriers that perpetuate inequality or serve to marginalize or exclude students from ethnic, racial, gender, or socio-economic groups that have been traditionally under-represented and under-served.  To this end, City Charter High School will employ the full spectrum of resources, services, and supports that maximize all students’ opportunity for success.

The goals are to…
WELCOME students to an environment that provides a sense of community, a feeling of belonging, and validation of their identities, with a particular focus on students from marginalized groups
NURTURE students’ physical, emotional, cultural, and educational well-being through all programs and services within our institution
UPHOLD the principles and practices of Equity in every aspect of our institution.

Therefore, City Charter High School strives to...
SUPPORT faculty through a Learning Community Model: faculty and staff will be provided with myriad resources, including but not limited to, strategic planning from administration, outside expertise on issues related to Equity, and various forms of professional development and collaboration on Equity-related issues.  City Charter High School commits to pursuing additional resources that ensure a holistic understanding, awareness, and sensitivity to the multiple facets of student identity including: race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, and other personal identities that impact school life.

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City Charter High School Students bringing guests to any school sponsored extra-curricular activity must complete the Guest Form, which includes providing a photo ID of the guest. The administration reserves the right to refuse permission for a guest to attend any extra-curricular event based upon that individual’s previous behavior at their current or prior school, or while attending City Charter High School. 

Students who are suspended or who have been expelled and have not met the requirements for readmission to City Charter High School will not be approved as guests to attend a City Charter High School sponsored event. 
Students who withdrew from City Charter High School while suspended or when an expulsion hearing was pending will not be approved as guests to attend a City Charter High School sponsored event.  

Students who have threatened a City Charter High School student or staff member or a guest attending a school sponsored event will not be approved as guests to attend a City Charter High School sponsored event.  
Students who have been removed from City Charter High School or any City Charter High School event for loitering, vagrancy, under the influence of any substance, or for any act of aggression will not be approved as guests to attend a City Charter High School sponsored event.  

Students who have been convicted of an act of aggression, felony, drug offense or sex crime will not be approved as guests to attend a City Charter High School sponsored event.  

Students who are suspended or expelled from the school they are attending will not be approved as guests to attend a City Charter High School sponsored event.  

All guests must be under the age of twenty-one (21) and be currently enrolled in the 9th-12th grades. It is the responsibility of the City Charter High School student to obtain an approved guest form. 

Students arriving at school functions under the influence of a controlled substance will not be admitted. 
Guests arriving under the influence of a controlled substance will be banned from all future activities sponsored by City Charter High School.

City Charter High School students will be isolated immediately until custody can be arranged with the individual’s parents or local authorities. A 5-day suspension will result from students violating this policy. 

Smoking and vaping are not permitted at any venue where an event sponsored by City Charter High School is hosted. 

Each guest MUST present an ID which indicates his or her name, and must have an approved Guest Form on file for entry.  City Charter High School students and their guests must enter the dance at the same time. Once students/guests leave the dance, re-entry to the dance is not permitted. Students and guests may not enter the dance forty-five (45) minutes after the start time. 

Dance tickets are nontransferable and nonrefundable. This means the person buying the ticket is the person who attends the dance. No refunds will be given if a student arrives late or is directed to leave before the end of the dance. 

Inappropriate dress (as determined by City Charter High School Administration) may result in non-admittance to the dance. Extremely brief garments are not appropriate. No dress, skirt, pant or shirt should be so short as to show undergarments while seated or standing. Inappropriate items include, but are not limited to the following: bare midriff tops, see-through garments, low cut garments showing cleavage or any clothing that reveals undergarments. Acceptable attire for each dance is included with the permission form and may also be found in the Code of Student Conduct.

The City Charter High School Administration, Security and Staff reserve the right to search students and their possessions prior to entering the venue of any extra-curricular activity. Items that do not violate City Charter High School policies will be returned at the end of the dance. 

Dancing must be respectful at all times. Dancing in a suggestive or explicit manner will not be tolerated. Dancing styles that involve intimate touching of your dance partner or that resemble sexual activity are NOT allowed. When dancing back to front, all dancers must remain upright--no squatting or bending is allowed. Students dancing inappropriately (see above) will be directed to leave the dance floor immediately. If inappropriate dancing (as determined by City Charter High School Administration, Security and Staff) continues, students will be asked to leave the dance and their parent or guardian will be notified. Students and guests violating this policy will not be permitted to attend future dances.

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It is the policy of City Charter High School to provide a concerned and nondiscriminatory environment for individuals with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and other blood borne diseases.

Students shall not be discriminated against on the basis of their HIV, AIDS or other blood borne disease status or perception thereof.

No current or prospective student shall be required to receive an HIV antibody or other diagnostic test for HIV as a condition of matriculation.

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McKinney Vento Policy on Homelessness

Title: McKinney Vento Policy on Homelessness 
Status: Active
Adopted: February 16, 2022

The Board recognizes its obligation to ensure that homeless students have access to the same educational programs and services provided to other district students. The Board shall make reasonable efforts to identify homeless children within the district, encourage their enrollment, and eliminate existing barriers to their enrollment, attendance and education, in compliance with federal and state law and regulations.[1][2][4]

The Board may waive policies, procedures and administrative regulations that create barriers for enrollment, attendance, transportation and success in school of homeless students, based on the recommendation of the CEO. [4]
Students shall not be discriminated against, segregated nor stigmatized based on their status as homeless. [3][5]
Delegation of Responsibility
The Board designates the CEO or designee to serve as the district's liaison for homeless students and families.[3]  At City Charter High School, the Counselor serves as the CEO’s designee.
The district's liaison shall coordinate with:[3]
Local service agencies that provide services to homeless children and youth and families.
All district schools, as well as other school districts, on issues of enrollment, records transfer and transportation.
Providers of emergency, transitional, and permanent housing, including public housing agencies, shelter operators, and operators of transitional housing facilities.
The district's liaison shall provide public notice of the educational rights of homeless students in schools, family shelters, and soup kitchens. [3]
The CEO or designee shall develop and implement administrative regulations for the provision of educational programs and services to homeless students in accordance with federal and state law and regulations. Such administrative regulations shall include provisions relating to the following topics:
Definitions of applicable terms;
  • Enrollment and placement within the district in accordance with law and regulations;
  • Services which shall be made available to homeless students on an equitable basis;
  • Transportation services provided to homeless students; and
  • Professional development on the topic of homeless students.

1. 24 P.S. 1306
2. 22 PA Code 11.18
3. 42 U.S.C. 11432
4. 42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq
5. 42 U.S.C. 11431
22 PA Code 403.1
34 CFR Part 99
20 U.S.C. 1232g
20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq
34 CFR 200.30
34 CFR 299.19
34 CFR Part 99
67 Fed. Reg. 10698
PA Education for Homeless Children and Youth State Plan
Pol. 102.1
Pol. 108
Pol. 109
Pol. 110
Pol. 118
Pol. 200
Pol. 201
Pol. 203
Pol. 204
Pol. 206
Pol. 210
Pol. 907
Pol. 908

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The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students who are 18 years of age or older ("eligible students") certain rights with respect to the student's education records.  These rights are:
  • The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day City Charter (“School”)] receives a request for access.
    Parents or eligible students who wish to inspect their child’s or their education records should submit to the CEO  a written request that identifies the records they wish to inspect.  The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. 
  • The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
    Parents or eligible students who wish to ask the School to amend their child’s or their education record should write the CEO, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it should be changed.  If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment.  Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  • The right to provide written consent before the school discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
    One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests.  The criteria for determining who constitutes a school official and what constitutes a legitimate educational interest must be set forth in the school’s annual notification for FERPA rights.  A school official typically includes a person employed by the school or school district as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel) or a person serving on the school board.  A school official also may include a volunteer,  contractor, or consultant who, while not employed by the school, performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist; a parent or student volunteering to serve on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a parent, student, or other volunteer assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.  A school official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
    Upon request, the school discloses education records without consent to officials of another school or school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, or is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes of the student’s enrollment or transfer.  [NOTE:  FERPA requires a school or school district to make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent or student of the records request unless it states in its annual notification that it intends to forward records on request or the disclosure is initiated by the parent or eligible student.]
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the School to comply with the requirements of FERPA.  The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:
Student Privacy Policy Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC  20202

See the list below of the disclosures that elementary and secondary schools may make without consent.

FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the parent or eligible student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in § 99.31 of the FERPA regulations.  Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the parent or eligible student, § 99.32 of the FERPA regulations requires the school to record the disclosure.  Parents and eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures.  A school may disclose PII from the education records of a student without obtaining prior written consent of the parents or the eligible student –
To other school officials, including teachers, within the educational agency or institution whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests.  This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in § 99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) - (a)(1)(i)(B)(3) are met. (§ 99.31(a)(1))
To officials of another school, school system, or institution of postsecondary education where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of § 99.34.  (§ 99.31(a)(2))  
To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as the State educational agency (SEA) in the parent or eligible student’s State.  Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of § 99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs.  These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf, if applicable requirements are met.  (§§ 99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary for such purposes as to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.  (§ 99.31(a)(4))
To State and local officials or authorities to whom information is specifically allowed to be reported or disclosed by a State statute that concerns the juvenile justice system and the system’s ability to effectively serve, prior to adjudication, the student whose records were released, subject to § 99.38.  (§ 99.31(a)(5))
To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a)  develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b)  administer student aid programs; or (c)  improve instruction, if applicable requirements are met.  (§ 99.31(a)(6))
To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.  (§ 99.31(a)(7))
To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes.  (§ 99.31(a)(8))
To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena if applicable requirements are met.  (§ 99.31(a)(9))
To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to § 99.36.  (§ 99.31(a)(10))
Information the school has designated as “directory information” if applicable requirements under § 99.37 are met.  (§ 99.31(a)(11))
To an agency caseworker or other representative of a State or local child welfare agency or tribal organization who is authorized to access a student’s case plan when such agency or organization is legally responsible, in accordance with State or tribal law, for the care and protection of the student in foster care placement.  (20 U.S.C. § 1232g(b)(1)(L))
To the Secretary of Agriculture or authorized representatives of the Food and Nutrition Service for purposes of conducting program monitoring, evaluations, and performance measurements of programs authorized under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, under certain conditions.  (20 U.S.C. § 1232g(b)(1)(K))

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Notice for Directory Information
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that City Charter, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records.  However, City Charter may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised City Charter to the contrary in accordance with City Charter’s procedures.  The primary purpose of directory information is to allow City Charter to include information from your child’s education records in certain school publications.  Examples include:
  • A playbill, showing your student’s role in a drama production;
  • The annual yearbook;
  • Honor roll or other recognition lists; and
  • Graduation programs.

Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent.  Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks.  In addition, two federal laws require local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with the following information – names, addresses and telephone listings – unless parents have advised the LEA that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent.  
If you do not want City Charter to disclose any or all of the types of information designated below as directory information from your child’s education records without your prior written consent, you must notify City Charter in writing within thirty (30) days of the start of the first trimester.  City Charter has designated the following information as directory information:  
  • Student's name
  • Address
  • Telephone listing
  • Electronic mail address
  • Photograph
  • Date and place of birth
  • Major field of study
  • Dates of attendance
  • Grade level
  • Participation in officially recognized activities
  • Degrees, honors, and awards received
  • The most recent educational agency or institution attended
  • Student ID number, user ID, or other unique personal identifier used to communicate in electronic systems but only if the identifier cannot be used to gain access to education records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the user’s identity, such as a PIN, password, or other factor known or possessed only by the authorized user
  • A student ID number or other unique personal identifier that is displayed on a student ID badge, but only if the identifier cannot be used to gain access to education records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the user's identity, such as a PIN, password, or other factor known or possessed only by the authorized user.  

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Emergency Naloxone 
Pursuant to Act 139 of 2014, City Charter High School may obtain, maintain and administer, if necessary, doses of Naloxone for emergency use to assist a student, staff member or other individual reasonably believed or suspected to be experiencing an opioid overdose.  

The CEO or designee, in consultation with the school nurse, shall establish appropriate internal procedures for the acquisition, stocking and administration of Naloxone and related emergency response procedures pursuant to this policy.  The school nurse shall be the prescribing and supervising medical professional for the School’s stocking and use of Naloxone.  The CEO or designee shall obtain a standing order from the school nurse for administration of Naloxone.  

The school physician shall provide and annually renew a standing order for the administration of Naloxone to students, staff members or other individuals believed or suspected to be experiencing an opioid overdose.  The standing order shall include, at a minimum, the type of Naloxone (intranasal, auto-injector), the date of issue, the dosage, and the signature of the school physician.  The standing order shall be maintained in the Administration Office, and copies of the standing order shall be kept in each location where Naloxone is stored.

Permission to carry and administer Naloxone under this policy shall be limited to the school nurse, the school physician, and the Chief Security Officer.  Before those with permission may have custody of Naloxone or administer Naloxone under this policy, the employee must successfully complete an online Pennsylvania Department of Health training program about recognizing an opioid related overdose, administering Naloxone, and promptly seeking medical attention for the drug overdose.  Evidence that such training has been completed shall be kept in the employee’s personnel file. 

Naloxone shall be safely stored in the school nurse’s office or other location(s) designated by the school nurse in accordance with the drug manufacturer’s instructions.  Naloxone shall be made readily accessible to those who have completed the required training to administer it in the event of a suspected drug overdose.  All properly trained employees shall be informed of the exact location where Naloxone is being stored.  The school nurse shall obtain sufficient supplies of Naloxone pursuant to the standing order in the same manner as other medical supplies acquired for the school health program.  The school nurse or designee shall regularly inventory and refresh Naloxone stocks and maintain records thereof, in accordance with the established internal procedures, manufacturer recommendations and Department of Health Guidelines.

When responding to a suspected drug overdose, school employees shall follow the steps outlined below:
(1)  Call for medical help immediately.
(2)  Check for signs of opioid overdose.
(3)  Perform initial rescue breathing or CPR if needed, as instructed in training.
(4)  Administer Naloxone, as instructed in training.
(5)  Continue rescue breathing or CPR if needed, as instructed in training.
(6)  Administer a second dose of Naloxone if needed, as instructed in training.
(7)  Place the individual in recovery position, as instructed in training.
(8)  Stay with the individual until emergency medical help arrives.
(9)  Cooperate with EMS personnel responding to the incident.
(10)  Notify the building administrator or designee of the incident.

The school  shall indemnify and hold harmless any employee who administers Naloxone in good faith to another individual experiencing a suspected drug overdose, if all of the following conditions apply:
    (1)  The employee did not act with the intent to harm or with reckless indifference to a substantial risk or harm in administering Naloxone to that individual.
    (2) The employee successfully completed the training contemplated by this policy.
    (3) The employee promptly sought additional medical assistance before or immediately after administering Naloxone.
    (4)  The employee is administering Naloxone pursuant to this policy.
This policy shall not be construed to create a duty on the part of the City Charter High School and/or its personnel to administer Naloxone.

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Suicide Awareness, Prevention and Response Policy

Policy: Suicide Awareness, Prevention and Response
Board Approval Date: February 20, 2019

The Board is committed to protecting the health, safety and welfare of its students and school community. This policy supports federal, state and local efforts to provide education on youth suicide awareness and prevention; establish methods of prevention, intervention, and response to suicide or suicide attempt; and to promote access to suicide awareness and prevention resources.

In compliance with state law and regulations, and in support of the district’s suicide prevention measures, information received in confidence from a student may be revealed to the student’s parents/guardians, teacher, the building and grade-level principals or other appropriate authority when the health, welfare or safety of the student or any other person is deemed to be at risk.

The district shall utilize a multifaceted approach to suicide prevention which integrates school and community-based supports.
The district shall notify district employees, students and parents/guardians of this policy and shall post the policy on the district’s website.



Protocols for Administration of Student Education
Students shall receive age-appropriate education on the importance of safe and healthy choices, coping strategies, how to recognize risk factors and warning signs, as well as help-seeking strategies for self or others including how to engage school resources and refer friends for help.

Lessons shall contain information on comprehensive health and wellness, including emotional, behavioral and social skills development.

Protocols for Administration of Employee Education
All district employees, including but not limited to secretaries, coaches, bus drivers, custodians and cafeteria workers, shall receive information regarding risk factors, warning signs, response procedures, referrals, and resources regarding youth suicide prevention.

As part of the district’s professional development plan, all professional educators shall participate in four (4) hours of youth suicide awareness and prevention training every five (5) years.

Additional professional development in risk assessment and crisis intervention shall be provided or made accessible to guidance counselors, district mental health professionals and school nurses.

Resources for Parents/Guardians
The district may provide parents/guardians with resources including, but not limited to, health promotion and suicide risk, including characteristics and warning signs; and information about local behavioral/mental health resources.


The methods of prevention utilized by the district include, but are not limited to, early identification and support for students at risk; education for students, staff and parents/guardians; and delegation of responsibility for planning and coordination of suicide prevention efforts.

Suicide Prevention Coordinators
Building Level –
The building principal shall designate a school suicide prevention coordinator to act as a point of contact for issues relating to suicide prevention and another coordinator regarding policy implementation.

Early Identification Procedures
Early identification of individuals with one (1) or more suicidal risk factors or of individuals exhibiting warning signs, is crucial to the district’s suicide prevention efforts. To promote awareness, district employees, students and parents/guardians should be educated about suicidal risk factors and warning signs.

Risk factors refer to personal or environmental characteristics that are associated with suicide including, but not limited to:

Behavioral Health Issues/Disorders:

  • Depression.
  • Substance abuse or dependence.
  • Previous suicide attempts.
  • Self injury.


Personal Characteristics:

  • Hopelessness/Low self-esteem.
  • Loneliness/Social alienation/isolation/lack of belonging.
  • Poor problem-solving or coping skills.
  • Impulsivity/Risk-taking/recklessness.
Adverse/Stressful Life Circumstances:
  • Interpersonal difficulties or losses.
  •  Disciplinary or legal problems.
  • Bullying (victim or perpetrator).
  • School or work issues.
  • Physical, sexual or psychological abuse.
  • Exposure to peer suicide.


 Family Characteristics:
  • Family history of suicide or suicidal behavior.
  • Family mental health problems.
  • Divorce/Death of parent/guardian.
  • Parental-Child relationship.

Warning signs are indications that someone may be in danger of suicide, either immediately or in the near future. Warning signs include, but are not limited to:

  1. Expressions such as hopelessness, rage, anger, seeking revenge, feeling trapped, anxiety, agitation, no reason to live or sense of purpose.
  2. Recklessness or risky behavior. 
  3. Increased alcohol or drug use.
  4. Withdrawal from friends, family, or society.
  5. Dramatic mood changes.


Referral Procedures
Any school employee who has identified a student with one (1) or more risk factors or who has an indication that a student may be contemplating suicide, shall refer the student for further assessment and intervention to the school’s designated Wellness staff.

City High shall document the reasons for referral, including specific warning signs and risk factors identified as indications that the student may be at risk.


The methods of intervention utilized by the school include, but are not limited to, responding to suicide threats, suicide attempts in school, suicide attempts outside of school, and completed suicide. Suicide intervention procedures shall address the development of an emotional or mental health safety plan for students identified as being at increased risk of suicide

Procedures for Students at Risk
A school-approved suicide assessment instrument may be used by trained mental health staff such as counselors, psychologists, social workers.

Parents/Guardians of a student identified as being at risk of suicide shall be notified by the school. If the school suspects that the student’s risk status is the result of abuse or neglect, school staff shall immediately notify Children and Youth Services.

The district shall identify mental health service providers to whom students can be referred for further assessment and assistance.  An initial referral could include RESOLVE (1-800-273-TALK).

Mental health service providers – may include, but not be limited to school-based mental health partner, hospital emergency departments, psychiatric hospitals, community mental health centers, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and primary care providers.

The district shall create an emotional or mental health safety plan to support a student and the student’s family if the student has been identified as being at increased risk of suicide.


Students With Disabilities
For students with disabilities who are identified as being at risk for suicide or who attempt suicide, the appropriate team shall be notified and shall address the student’s needs in accordance with applicable law, regulations and Board policy.

If a student is identified as being at risk for suicide or attempts suicide and the student may require special education services or accommodations, the Director of Special Education shall be notified and shall take action to address the student’s needs in accordance with applicable law, regulations and Board policy.


City High staff shall document observations, recommendations and actions conducted throughout the intervention and assessment process including verbal and written communications with students, parents/guardians and mental health service providers.


The methods of response to a suicide or a suicide attempt utilized by the district include, but are not limited to:

  1. Identifying and training the school crisis response/crisis intervention team.  The crisis team will be comprised of the Wellness team (Social Worker, Counselor, and Nurse; each Grade-level Principal; CEO/Principal; and Director of School Safety).
  2. Determining the roles and responsibilities of each crisis response team member.
  3. Notifying students, employees and parents/guardians.
  4. Working with families.
  5. Responding appropriately to the media.
  6. Collaborating with community providers.

The CEO/Principal or their designee shall develop administrative regulations with recommended guidelines for responding to a suicidal act or attempt on school grounds or during a school-sponsored event.

Re-Entry Procedures
A student’s excusal from school attendance after a mental health crisis and the student’s return to school shall be consistent with state and federal laws and regulations.

A school-employed mental health professional, the building principal or suicide prevention coordinator shall meet with the parents/guardians of a student returning to school after a mental health crisis, and, if appropriate, meet with the student to discuss re-entry and applicable next steps to ensure the student’s readiness to return to school.
When authorized by the student’s parent/guardian, the designated district employee shall coordinate with the appropriate outside mental health care providers.

The designated district employee will periodically check in, as needed, with the student to facilitate the transition back into the school community and address any concerns.



Effective documentation assists in preserving the safety of the student and ensuring communication among school staff, parents/guardians and mental health service providers.
When a school employee takes notes on any conversations or situations involving or relating to an at-risk student, the notes should contain only factual or directly observed information, not opinions or hearsay.
As stated in this policy, district employees shall be responsible for effective documentation of incidents involving suicide prevention, intervention and response.
The suicide prevention coordinator shall provide the CEO/Principal with a copy of all reports and documentation regarding the at-risk student. Information and reports shall be provided, as appropriate, to guidance counselors, district mental health professionals and school nurses.


A listing of resources regarding suicide awareness and prevention shall be attached to this policy

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City Charter High School is committed to creating a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students that is free from discrimination, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression and to ensuring that every student has equal access to all components of the educational program. 

The purpose of this policy is to facilitate compliance with City Charter High School policy and state and federal laws concerning privacy, bullying, harassment and discrimination. 
This policy covers conduct that takes place in the school, on school property, at school-sponsored functions and activities, on school buses, or vehicles and at bus stops, and on school computers, networks, forums, and mailing lists. This policy applies to the entire school community, including educators, school staff, students, parents/guardians, and volunteers. 
This policy may also apply to off-campus conduct committed in violation of City Charter High School policies. 

Sex Assigned at Birth or Assigned Sex: Refers to the gender designation listed on one’s original birth certificate. 
Gender Identity: Refers to one’s internal sense of gender, which may be different from one’s sex assigned at birth, and which is consistently and uniformly asserted most or all of the time, or for which there is other evidence that the gender identity is sincerely held as part of the individual’s core identity. It is one's innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither. One's gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth. 

Gender Expression: Refers to external cues that one uses to represent or communicate one’s gender identity to others, such as behavior, clothing, hairstyles, activities, voice, mannerisms, or body characteristics. 

Transgender: An adjective describing an individual whose gender identity is different from the individual’s assigned sex. “Transgender boy” and “transgender male” refer to an individual assigned the female sex at birth who has a male gender identity. “Transgender girl” and “transgender female” refer to an individual assigned the male sex at birth who has a female gender identity. Other terms that can have similar meanings are transsexual and trans. An individual can express or assert a transgender gender identity in a variety of ways, which may but do not always include specific medical treatments or procedures. Medical treatments or procedures are not considered a prerequisite for one’s recognition as transgender. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation. Therefore, transgender people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. 

Transgender Student: A student who consistently and uniformly asserts a gender identity different from the student’s sex assigned at birth most or all of the time or for which there is documented medical evidence that the gender identity is sincerely held as part of the student’s core identity.

Gender Transition: The processes by which some individuals strive to more closely align their internal knowledge of gender with its outward manifestations. Some people socially transition, whereby they might begin dressing, using names and pronouns and/or seeking to be socially recognized as the "other" gender. Other individuals undergo physical transitions in which they modify their bodies through medical interventions. It is also important to know that many people are unable or choose not to transition medically.
Gender Stereotypes: Refers to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity, including expectations of how boys or girls represent or communicate one’s gender to others, such as behavior, clothing, hairstyles, activities, voice, mannerisms, or body characteristics. 

Gender Expansive: A term for people whose gender expression may differ from traditional expression based on their sex assigned at birth. Conveys a wider more flexible range of gender identity and/or expression than typically associated with the binary gender system. This includes people who identify outside traditional gender categories or identify as both genders. Other terms that can have similar meanings include gender diverse or gender fluid. 

Note: Transgender and gender expansive youth use a number of words to describe their lives and gender experiences. Terminology and language describing transgender individuals can differ based on language, race or ethnicity, age, culture, and many other factors. Generally speaking, school staff and educators should inquire which terms students may prefer and avoid terms that make these students uncomfortable. A good general guideline is to employ those terms the students use to describe themselves. 

Gender-Based Harassment: May include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression intimidation, or hostility based on sex stereotyping. Thus, harassment of a student for failing to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity constitutes sex discrimination. Gender-based harassment can rise to a violation of City Charter High School policy and/or Title IX when such conduct denies or limits a student’s ability to receive educational aid, benefits, services, or treatment; or when such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s program (i.e., creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment). 

Gender-Specific Facilities: Refers to facilities and accommodations used by students at school or during school-sponsored activities and trips, and include, but are not limited to, restrooms, locker rooms, and overnight facilities.


Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination 
Complaints alleging discrimination or harassment based on a person’s actual or perceived gender identity or expression are to be taken seriously and handled in a manner consistent with City Charter High School policies, law and regulation. 

Privacy and Confidentiality 
City Charter High School believes all students have a right to privacy and this right includes the right to keep one’s gender identity private at school. Information about a student’s gender identity or legal name may also constitute confidential protected health information. Disclosing this information to their parents/guardians, or other third parties may violate federal privacy laws, such as the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), particularly when students are over the age of eighteen (18). 

City Charter High School
City Charter High School shall ensure that protected health information and education records relating to transgender and gender expansive students are kept confidential.  
City Charter High School believes transgender and gender expansive students have the right to discuss and express their gender identity and expression openly and to decide when, with whom, and how much private information to be shared. 
To ensure the safety and well-being of the student, City Charter High School personnel should not disclose a student’s affirmed name and pronouns or gender identity to others, including the student’s parents/guardians or other City Charter High School personnel, unless: (1) legally required to do so  or (2), the student has authorized such disclosure. It is City Charter High School’s policy that when contacting the parent or guardian of a transgender student, City Charter High School staff should use the student’s legal name and the pronoun corresponding to the student’s sex assigned at birth unless the student, parent, or guardian has specified otherwise. (See “Student Transitions” below.) 

Names and Pronouns 
City Charter High School believes every student has the right to be addressed by a name and pronoun that corresponds to the student’s gender identity. A court-ordered name or gender change is not required, and the student need not change his or her official records for a student to be called by their affirmed name and pronouns. It is strongly recommended that City Charter High School staff privately ask transgender or gender expansive students at the beginning of the school year how they want to be addressed in class, in correspondence to the home, or at conferences with the student’s guardian. 

Student Records 
City Charter High School is required to maintain a mandatory permanent student record that includes a student’s legal name and legal gender. However, to the extent that City Charter High School is not legally required to use a student’s legal name and gender on other school records or documents, such as school IDs, classroom rosters or the yearbook, City Charter High School will use the name and gender preferred by the student. City Charter High School will change a student’s official record to reflect a change in legal name or gender upon receipt of legal documentation that such change has been made pursuant to a court order, or through amendment of state or federally-issued identification. In situations where City Charter High School staff are required by law to use or to report a transgender student’s legal name or gender, such as for purposes of standardized testing, administration and school staff shall adopt practices to avoid the inadvertent disclosure of such information. 

Medical Treatments or Procedures 
Some, but not all transgender youth choose medical treatments to assist their gender transition. Treatments such as hormone therapy may be unaffordable, not medically indicated or contraindicated for many youth. Surgical treatments are generally not available for school-age transgender youth. With this in mind, City Charter High School staff should not require proof of medical treatments as prerequisite for respecting the student’s gender identity or gender expression. If any objective basis should occur that would justify questioning whether a student’s asserted gender identity or gender expression is genuine, information may be requested to show that the gender identity or gender expression is sincerely held. No particular type of information (such as medical history information) should be specifically required. 

Dress Code 
City Charter High School’s dress code policy shall not differentiate student dress on the basis of gender expression. Students shall have the right to dress in accordance with their gender identity, within the constraints of the City Charter High School’s dress code. City Charter High School staff shall not enforce a school’s dress code more strictly against transgender and gender expansive students than other students.

Student Transitions 
Generally, notifying a student’s parent/guardian about his or her gender identity, gender expression, or gender transition, is unnecessary. In some cases, notifying parents/guardians carries risks for the student, such as physical abuse and being kicked out of their home. Prior to notification of any parent/guardian regarding the student’s gender identity, gender expression, or gender transition, City Charter High School staff should work closely with the student and must consider the health, wellbeing, and safety of the gender transitioning student. 
When City Charter High School has been made aware that a student will transition during the school year, the school team may hold a meeting with the student and parents/guardians, to ascertain their desires and concerns. At this meeting, the school team may discuss a timeline for the gender transition in an effort to create conditions supporting a safe and accepting environment at the school. Finally, City Charter High School staff shall train school administrators and any educators that interact daily with the student on the gender transition plan, timelines for gender transitions, and any relevant legal requirements. 

-Gender-Specific Facilities 

With respect to all restrooms, locker rooms, changing facilities, or overnight facilities, City Charter High School students shall have access to facilities that correspond to their gender identity. City Charter High School administration will determine appropriate access to overnight facilities on a case-by-case basis. 
In any gender-specific facility, any student who is uncomfortable using a shared facility, regardless of the reason, shall, upon the student’s request, be provided with a safe and non-stigmatizing alternative. This may include, for example, addition of a privacy partition or curtain, provision to use a nearby private restroom or office, or a separate changing schedule. A transgender or gender expansive student may request to use a separate restroom or changing area, however, no student shall be required to use an alternative restroom or changing facility because they are transgender or gender expansive. Under no circumstance should any student be required to use gender-specific facilities that are inconsistent with their gender identity. 
School staff who are responsible for supervising student activity in gender-specific facilities are directed to closely monitor such facilities when used by an identified transgender or gender expansive student in order to foster student safety. 

Physical Education Classes and Intramural and Interscholastic Athletics 
All students shall be permitted to participate in physical education classes in a manner consistent with their gender identity. 
Regarding interscholastic sports teams, City Charter High School will defer to the home district’s policies regarding mixed-gender participation. 

Other Gender-Based Activities, Rules, Policies and Practices 
As a general rule, in any other circumstance where students are separated by gender, for instance at field trips, classroom activities, school ceremonies and school photos, each student should be permitted to participate in a manner consistent with his/her/their gender identity. Single-gender classes and activities may only be offered in certain circumstances and in accordance with City Charter High School policy, law and regulation. 

Training and Professional Development- 
The CEO or designee shall ensure that training is provided for all staff members on their responsibilities under applicable laws and this policy, including teachers, administrators, counselors, social workers, security and health and physical education staff. Information regarding this policy shall be incorporated into training for new school employees. 

Publication and Media Communications 
The Transgender and Gender Expansive Student Policy shall be included in the Student Handbook. 

Only the CEO or designee shall communicate to representatives of the media regarding matters of student gender identity or gender expression. City Charter High School staff shall direct the media to the CEO or designee. In communicating with the news media, parents/guardians and the community, protecting the privacy of transgender and gender expansive students shall be a top priority for the spokesperson and all staff.

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City Charter High School complies with both NCLB and FERPA.  We understand that NCLB requires equal access to students for post high school options, including military recruiters, but it DOES NOT entitle unlimited access.

Please note that City Charter High School DOES NOT 
  • participate in on-campus occupational, military, or educational recruitment and does not host college fairs (enlisted students are not permitted to recruit other students for their declared branch of the military during the school day or at school sponsored activities)
  • permit occupational, military, or educational recruitment presentations
  • permit occupational, military, or educational program recruiters to roam the halls, visit classrooms, approach students or have access to staff lounges
  • All recruitment inquiries must be to the attention of the Transition Department.  Each City Charter High School student is assigned to a Transition Manager.
  • City Charter High School honors military Opt Out forms for the duration of enrollment.
  • City Charter High School will only release the name, address and phone number of students in grades 11 and 12 who HAVE NOT submitted an Opt Out form.  
  • Students in the senior year, who are on track to graduate with their cohort, are permitted ONE excused absence for each post high school option BUT may not exceed 5 school days in the senior year. (i.e., one day for Pitt, one day for Ohio State, one day to complete the military enlistment process – for a total of 5 school days).
  • Post high school options should not impede the student’s ability to graduate and students should never be obligated, explicitly or implied, to complete rigorous activities which interfere with the academic program at City Charter High School.
The student must request required documentation for occupational, military, or educational programs. All properly requested transcripts/documents will be processed in 48 hours and will be sent directly to the agency the student has indicated on the request. Documents will be sent via US mail unless the student provides an e-mail address or fax number as an alternative method of delivery.

City Charter High School Transition Managers welcome the opportunity to meet with representatives from occupational, military, or educational programs/agencies.  

Meetings with the Transition Department should be scheduled by phone or email at least 48 hours in advance. Unscheduled meetings are discouraged and availability of a Transition Manager is not guaranteed.
If you have any questions regarding our policy, please do not hesitate to contact the Transition Department directly at 412-690-2489.

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Social media 
As an organization with a commitment to quality education and the safety of our students, as well as the preservation of our outstanding reputation as a school, the standards for appropriate online communication at City Charter High School are necessarily high. While we respect the right of students, employees, alumni, and other members of our community to utilize the variety of social media options available, we must insist that the following standards be met by our students and faculty at all times, as well as by alumni and all other users who participate in City Charter High School sponsored sites. 

The City Charter High School Social Media Policy establishes rules and guidance for the use of social media by students, parents/guardians, employees and guests including, but are not limited to, visitors, workshop attendees, volunteers, board members, independent contractors and consultants.

Comments to City Charter High School sponsored sites, such as its Website via blogs, online forms, etc., or social media sites, are welcome and encouraged, and we look forward to hearing from you. To promote respectful discussion within this forum, we request that you be courteous and productive and avoid comments that are profane, obscene, offensive, sexually explicit, inappropriate, inflammatory or otherwise objectionable. Blogs often foster debate of an issue; users are to engage in such exchanges with mutual respect for others’ opinions.

For the privacy of users and their families, please assume that all postings to City Charter High School -sponsored sites will be publicly available on the Internet and therefore publicly accessible without limitation or protection of any kind. Please consider how much personal information to share, with the understanding that this information may be linked to your name and published on the Internet.

By posting a comment or other material to City Charter High School sponsored sites as outlined above, users give City Charter High School the irrevocable right and license to exercise all copyright, publicity, and moral rights with respect to any content you provide, which includes using your submission for any purpose in any form and on any media, including but not limited to: displaying, modifying, reproducing, distributing, creating other works from, and publishing your submission. City Charter High School reserves the right to review all comments before they are posted, and to edit them to preserve readability for other users.

City Charter High School has the right, but not the duty, to inspect, review, or retain electronic communication created, sent, displayed, received or stored on and over the school’s server and network, as well as to monitor, record, check, track, log, access or otherwise inspect all communication on its server and network.  This includes school issued technology, personal computers and electronic devices, and databases, files, software and social media that contain City Charter High School (program, event, student, staff) information and data.

City Charter High School further reserves the right to reject or remove comments for any reason, including but not limited to our belief that the comments violate this Comment Policy, to determine in its sole discretion which submissions meet its qualifications for posting, and to remove comments for any reason, including but not limited to our belief that the comments violate this Policy. Any submissions that fail to follow this Policy in any way or are otherwise irrelevant will be removed.

City Charter High School also reserves the right to amend this Policy from time to time in our judgment to address issues that may arise and changes in our operations or the law.
In posting material on City Charter High School-sponsored sites, you agree NOT to:
Post material that City Charter High School determines is threatening, harassing, illegal, obscene, defamatory, slanderous, or hostile towards any individual or entity.

Post phone numbers, email addresses or other confidential information of students, faculty, or any other person other than yourself. If you choose to post your own contact information for any reason, please be aware that the information will be available to the public and is, therefore, subject to misuse.

Post material that infringes on the rights of City Charter High School or any individual or entity, including privacy, intellectual property or publication rights.

Post material that promotes or advertises a commercial product or solicits business or membership or financial or other support in any business, group or organization except those which are officially sponsored by City Charter High School, except in designated areas specifically marked for this purpose.

Post chain letters, post the same comment multiple times, or otherwise distribute “spam” via the City Charter High School sponsored site.

Allow any other individual or entity to use your identification for posting or viewing comments.
Post comments under multiple names or using another person’s name.

City Charter High School reserves the right to do any or all of the following:
  • Prohibit those who repeatedly violate this policy from participating on City Charter High School sponsored sites.
  • Remove or edit comments at any time, whether or not they violate this Policy.
  • User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless City Charter High School, its affiliates, directors, employees, successors and assigns against any damages, losses, liabilities, judgments, causes of action, costs or expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs) arising out of any claim by a third party relating to any material user has posted on City Charter High School sponsored sites.
  • By posting a comment or material of any kind on a City Charter High School sponsored site, the user hereby agrees to the Social Media Policy.

First and foremost, students are encouraged to always exercise the utmost caution when participating in any form of social media or online communications, both within the City Charter High School community and beyond.
Students who participate in online interactions must remember that their posts reflect on the entire City Charter High School community and, as such, are subject to the same behavioral standards set forth in the Student Code of Conduct.

In addition to the regulations found in the Student Handbook, students are expected to abide by the following:
Students may not use school issued equipment to publish disparaging or harassing remarks about City Charter High School community members, events or activities on social media sites.

Students who choose to post editorial content to websites or other forms of online media must ensure that their submission does not reflect poorly upon the school.

Failure to abide by this Policy, as with other policies at City Charter High School, may result in disciplinary action as described in the Student Handbook, or as determined by the Administration of City Charter High School.

Any City Charter High School social networking sites must be approved by the CEO/Principal and Education Manager and should adhere to the following standards:
  • Logos and graphics used on the site must be consistent with the branding standards and usage guidelines of the School;
  • Sites that accept comments or postings by anyone other than the site administrator must be diligently monitored to ensure that information displayed fits within these guidelines and is appropriate to the subject matter of the page;
Students should not be expected to utilize the site as the only source of important information since student access to social networking sites is restricted on the City Charter High School network.

The City Charter High School Social Media Policy applies no matter where the use occurs whether brought onto school property, to a school sponsored event, or connected to the school’s network, or when using mobile commuting equipment and telecommunications facilities in protected or unprotected areas or environments, directly from home, or indirectly through another social media or internet service provider, as well as by other means.  All actions must be conducted in accordance with the law, assist in the protection of City Charter High School resources, insure compliance with this Social Media Policy, its administrative regulations as well as local, state and federal laws.  City Charter High School will cooperate to the extent legally required with social media sites, internet service providers, local, state and federal officials in investigations or with other legal requests, whether criminal or civil actions.

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City Charter High School (CCHS) agrees to implement the following statutory requirements:
  • CCHS will put into operation programs, activities and procedures for the involvement of parents in all of its schools with Title I, Part A programs, consistent with section 1118 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  Those programs, activities and procedures will be planned and operated with meaningful consultation with parents of participating children.
  • Consistent with section 1118, CCHS will work to ensure that the required school-level parental involvement policies meet the requirements of section 1118(b) of the ESEA, and each include, as a component, a school-parent compact consistent with section 1118(d) of the ESEA. The compact is signed by the parent, student and school upon the student’s entrance into City Charter High School.
  • CCHS will incorporate this school wide parent involvement policy into its LEA plan developed under section 1112 of the ESEA.
  • In carrying out the Title I, Part A parental involvement requirements, to the extent practicable, CCHS will provide full opportunities for the participation of parents with limited English proficiency, parents with disabilities, and parents of migratory children, including providing information and school reports required under section 1111 of the ESEA in an understandable and uniform format and, including  alternative formats upon request, and, to the extent practicable, in a language parents understand.
  • If the LEA plan for Title I, Part A, developed under section 1112 of the ESEA, is not satisfactory to the parents of participating children, CCHS will submit any parent comments with the plan when the school submits the plan to the State Department of Education.
  • CCHS will involve the parents of children served in Title I, Part A schools in decisions about how the 1 percent of Title I, Part A funds reserved for parental involvement is spent.
  • CCHS will be governed by the following statutory definition of parental involvement, and will carry out programs, activities and procedures in accordance with this definition:
  • Parental involvement means the participation of parents in regular, two-way, and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities, including 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; and
  • The carrying out of other activities, such as those described in section 1118 of the ESEA.

1. City Charter High School will take the following actions to involve parents in the joint development of its  parental involvement plan under section 1112 of the ESEA:
Parents will be notified of the September open meeting through the August mailing.
An open meeting will be held in mid-September.
If less than three parents participate in September meeting a focus group will be utilized to review the plan.
2. CCHS will take the following actions to involve parents in the process of school review and improvement under section 1116 of the ESEA.
Include a parent representative on the school’s Board of Trustees.
Include multiple parent representatives on the school’s strategic planning committee.
Include multiple parent representatives on the school’s Middle States Accreditation Committee.
3. CCHS will provide following necessary coordination, technical assistance, and other support to assist Title I, Part A schools in planning and implementing effective parental involvement activities to improve student academic achievement and school performance:
Because the school and the district are one and the same, the school administrators will provide the technical assistance supported when necessary by the Regional Title I staff. 
4. CCHS will take the following actions to conduct, with the involvement of parents, an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of this parental involvement policy in improving the quality of its Title I, Part A school. The evaluation will include identifying barriers to greater participation by parents in parental involvement activities (with particular attention to parents who are economically disadvantaged, are disabled, have limited English proficiency, have limited literacy, or are of any racial or ethnic minority background).  The school will use the findings of the evaluation about its parental involvement policy and activities to design strategies for more effective parental involvement, and to revise, if necessary (and with the involvement of parents) its parental involvement policies.

City High undergoes an annual evaluation conducted by Dr. Catherine Awsumb Nelson. Surveys of parents, students and staff are conducted and will include questions related to parent involvement.  In addition, data from parent conferences including conference evaluations, one on one meetings, parent workshops and other parent activities will be disaggregated by demographic group in order to determine the effectiveness of the parent involvement policy and activities.

CCHS will build the school’s and parent’s capacity for strong parental involvement in order to ensure effective involvement of parents and to support a partnership among the school, parents, and the community to improve student academic achievement through the following activities specifically described below:
  • Training on the effective use of the PORTAL for parents
  • Suggestions by the parent representative on the Board of Trustees.
  • The school will provide assistance to parents of children served by the school, as appropriate, in understanding topics such as the following, by undertaking the actions described in this paragraph – 
  • the State’s academic content standards;
  • the State’s student academic achievement standards;
  • the State and local academic assessments including alternate assessments;
  • how to monitor their child’s progress; and 
  • how to work with educators.
  • Workshops are held annually on the following topics:
  • Use of the PARENT PORTAL system to check grades, attendance and discipline
  • Technology use especially as it applies to student achievement
  • Local, state, and national assessments, the interpretation of data and the use of the results
  • How to prepare students for assessments including ACT and SAT
  • Preparation for the college application process and the completion of the FAFSA
  • The inclusion program for special education students and adaptations to the curriculum and/or evaluations; and
  • Various mental health and/or nutrition related topics.
The school will provide materials and training to help parents work with their children to improve their children’s academic achievement, such as literacy training, and using technology, as appropriate, to foster parental involvement, by:
  • Annual Technology workshops.
  • Informational workshops pertaining to assessment are held during PTO meetings.
  • The school will educate its teachers, pupil services personnel, principals and other staff, in how to reach out to, communicate with, and work with parents as equal partners, in the value and utility of contributions of parents, and in how to implement and coordinate parent programs and build ties between parents and schools, by: 
  • Training staff in the use of PARENT, STUDENT AND TEACHER PORTALS, email, phone calls and conferences with parents.
  • The school will take the following actions to ensure that information related to the schools and parent - programs, meetings, and other activities, is sent to the parents of participating children in an understandable and uniform format, including alternative formats upon request, and, to the extent practicable, in a language the parents can understand
  • Parents will be asked for feedback on the language used in the documents provided to parents.
City High’s  Parental Involvement Policy has been developed jointly with, and agreed on with, parents of children participating in Title I, Part A programs, as evidence by the meeting held September 19, 2008.

This policy was adopted by the City Charter High School on October 8, 2008. This policy is reviewed annually.
City High will distribute this policy to all parents of participating Title I children on or before the middle of October.

City Charter High School and the parents of the students participating in activities, services, and programs funded by Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)(participating children), agree that this compact outlines how the parents, the entire school staff, and the students will share the responsibility for improved student academic achievement and the means by which the school and parents will build and develop a partnership that will help children achieve the State’s high standards. This school-parent compact is in effect during 2023-2024 school year.

City Charter High School will:
Provide high-quality curriculum and instruction in a supportive and effective learning environment that enables students to meet the State’s student academic standards as follows:
Combine relevant curriculums and align them to the State standards.
Provide an after school tutoring programs to allow students to receive assistance with regular school work.
Tracking will not be utilized in classes thus exposing all students to high quality curriculum.
Differentiate the instruction in classes ensuring the individual needs of students are met.
Ensure that appropriate instructional techniques are utilized through regular peer and administrator observation of teachers.
Hold parent-teacher conferences during which this compact will be discussed as it relates to the individual child’s achievement. Specifically, those conferences will be held in October and February as well as on an as needed basis for individual students.
Provide parents with frequent reports on their children’s progress.  Specifically, the school will provide reports as follows:
Trimester Report Cards
PARENT PORTAL information that is regularly updated
Achievement test results as soon as they are available.

Provide parents reasonable access to staff.  Specifically, staff will be available for consultation with parents as follows:
Appointments will be made with individual teachers, advisors and grade level teams during the daily planning time allotted to teachers and/or before and after school
Provides access to teachers via both email and voicemail.

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

We, as students, will share the responsibility to improve our academic achievement and achieve the State’s high standards in the following ways:
  • Follow all of the rules and policies of the school, all of the time
  • Work diligently to improve all of my skills, increase my knowledge and become proficient on all of the state standards
  • Turn in all homework
  • Adhere to all provisions of the dress code, everyday
  • Work cooperatively with students and staff
  • Respect all students and staff
  • Follow the direction of the staff
  • Bring my ID card everyday
  • Dress appropriately for physical education
  • Spend extra time studying for classes that are the hardest for me
  • Be open minded, willing to listen to the opinions of others especially when they differ from mine
  • Support my fellow classmates in their quest for academic excellence
  • Value achievement for myself and others
  • Take care of my computer and other materials provided by City High
  • Take care of my school environment
  • Be on time to school every morning and to every class every day
  • Attend school every day unless ill.

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Policy on Nondiscrimination 
City Charter High School (“City Charter”) does not discriminate in its educational programs, activities or employment practices based on race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, ancestry, genetic information or any other legally-protected category. Announcement of this policy is in accordance with State Law including the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and with Federal law, including Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. City Charter’s full Non-Discrimination Policy can be found in the City Charter Student and Family Handbook on

Applicable Scope
The core purpose of this policy is to prohibit sexual harassment and retaliation. When an alleged violation of this policy is reported, the allegations are subject to resolution using the process as detailed below. 

This policy specifically applies, but is not limited, to allegations by or on behalf of students or employees that have been sexually harassed or sexually assaulted in or related to the school environment, whether by other adults or students. This procedure does not apply to complaints alleging violations of Title IX for equal access to athletic opportunities, nor other forms of sex discrimination, such as different treatment based on sex. Such complaints are covered under City High’s nondiscrimination policies and procedures.

The procedures below may be applied to incidents, to patterns, and/or to the school climate, all of which may be addressed and investigated in accordance with this policy. 

Title IX Coordinator 
The Coordinator of School Counseling serves as the Title IX Coordinator and oversees implementation of this policy. The Title IX Coordinator has the primary responsibility for coordinating City High’s efforts related to the intake, investigation, resolution, and implementation of supportive measures to stop, remediate, and prevent sexual harassment and retaliation prohibited under this policy. 
Complaints or notice of alleged policy violations, or inquiries about or concerns regarding this policy and procedures, may be made internally to:
Dr. Dara Ware Allen
Title IX Coordinator
CEO and Principal
201 Stanwix Street
Pittsburgh PA 15222
412-690-2489 extension 101 

City High has also classified all employees as Mandated Title IX Reporters of any knowledge they have that a member of the community is experiencing sexual harassment and/or retaliation. 

The section below on Title IX Mandated Reporting details the responsibilities and duties that all City High School employees have as Mandated Reporters under Title IX.
Inquiries may be made externally to:
Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C.  20202-1100
Customer Service Hotline #: (800) 421-3481
Facsimile: (202) 453-6012 
TDD#: (877) 521-2172

For complaints involving employees: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) 

Definition of Sexual Harassment 
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania regard Sexual Harassment as an unlawful discriminatory practice. 
City High has adopted the following definition of Sexual Harassment in order to address the unique environment of an educational setting.

1. “Quid Pro Quo” Sexual Harassment:
 Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a school employee, such as a teacher, causes a student to believe that he or she must submit to sexual conduct, sexual advances, or grant sexual favors or that accepting or rejecting of such conduct or communications will be used as a factor in decisions affecting the student’s education. For example, when a teacher threatens to fail a student unless the student agrees to date the teacher, it is quid pro quo harassment. Similarly, quid pro quo harassment can occur when an employee’s supervisor makes unwelcome sexual advances or requests sexual favors and the employee reasonably believes that submitting to that conduct or communication is a condition of obtaining employment or that accepting or rejecting that conduct or communication will be used as a factor in employment decisions.

 2. “Hostile Environment” Sexual Harassment:
Hostile environment sexual harassment is conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently serious that it interferes with, limits, or denies a person the ability to participate in or benefit from a program, education, or environment. For students, hostile environment sexual harassment means unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently serious that it interferes with, limits, or denies a student the opportunity to participate in or benefit from an education program or activity. For employees, a hostile work environment is created when unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature is sufficiently serious that it interferes with, denies, or limits the employee’s work performance or work environment.
(a) The term “conduct” includes, but is not limited to:
verbal comments, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and derogatory remarks;
nonverbal conduct, such as graffiti, text messages, or notes; and/or
physical conduct such as sexual touching, fondling, sexual assault, rape, and other forms of sexual violence.
(b) The term “of a sexual nature” is a broad term that includes conduct or comments about sex (the physical act), based on sex (persons being male or female), or based on sex or gender based stereotyping.
(c) In determining whether conduct is “sufficiently serious” as to interfere with, deny, or limit education or employment so as to rise to the level of sexual harassment, City High will examine all the circumstances, including: the type of harassment (e.g., whether it was verbal or physical); the frequency and severity of the conduct; the age, sex and relationship of the parties; the setting and context in which the harassment occurred; whether other incidents have occurred at the school; and other relevant factors. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to prove a hostile environment. For instance, a single instance of rape is sufficiently severe to create a hostile environment.

 3. Other conduct defined by federal law:
(a) Sexual assault
(b) Dating violence
(c) Domestic violence
(d) Stalking 

Acts of sexual harassment may be committed by any person upon any other person, regardless of the sex, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity of those involved. 

Independence and Conflict-of-Interest
The Title IX Coordinator acts with independence and authority free from bias and conflicts of interest. The Title IX Coordinator oversees all resolutions under this policy and any related Title IX procedures or guidelines. 

The members of the Title IX Team are vetted and trained to ensure they are not biased for or against any party in a specific case or biased for or against Complainants and/or Respondents, generally. 

To raise any concern involving bias or conflict of interest by the Title IX Coordinator, contact the City High Board President David J. Lehman, Esq. at 412-355-6738.  Concerns of bias or a potential conflict of interest by any other Title IX Team member should be raised with the Title IX Coordinator. 

Reports of misconduct committed by the Title IX Coordinator should be reported to the City High Board President David J. Lehman, Esq. at 412-355-6738.  Reports of misconduct committed by any other Title IX Team member should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator. 

Notice/Complaints of Sexual Harassment and/or 
Notice or complaints of sexual harassment and/or retaliation may be made using any of the following options:
1) File a complaint with, or give verbal notice to, the Title IX Coordinator Dr. Dara Ware Allen,, 412-690-2489, ext. 101.  A report may be made at any time (including during non-school hours) by using the telephone number or email address, or by mail to the office address, listed for the Title IX Coordinator or any other official listed.

[2) Report online, using the reporting form posted at  Reports may be made anonymously but may result in a need to investigate. City High tries to provide supportive measures to all Complainants, which is often not possible with an anonymous report. Know that reporting carries no obligation to file a Formal Complaint, which would trigger a formal response. City High respects requests from Complainants to dismiss complaints unless there is a compelling threat to health and/or safety, criminal activity, child abuse, and/or the Respondent is an employee. 

A Formal Complaint means a document submitted or signed by the Complainant or their parent/guardian or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging a policy violation by a Respondent and requesting that City High Schools investigate the allegation(s). The school’s formal complaint form can be accessed at

A complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, or by electronic mail or by using the contact information above.

Supportive Measures 
City High will offer and implement appropriate and reasonable supportive measures to the parties upon notice of alleged sexual harassment and/or retaliation. 

Online Sexual Harassment and/or Retaliation
The policies of City High are written and interpreted broadly to include online manifestations of any of the behaviors prohibited below, when those behaviors occur in or have an effect on City High’s education program and activities or use of City High’s networks, technology, or equipment. 

Although City High may not control websites, social media, and other venues in which harassing communications are made, when such communications are reported to City High, it will engage in a variety of means to address and mitigate the effects. 

Members of the community are encouraged to be good digital citizens and to refrain from online misconduct, such as feeding anonymous gossip sites, sharing inappropriate content via social media, unwelcome sexual or sex-based messaging, distributing or threatening to distribute revenge pornography, breaches of privacy, or otherwise using the ease of transmission and/or anonymity of the Internet or other technology to harm another member of the City High community.
Any online posting or other electronic communication by students, including cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, cyber-harassment, etc., occurring completely outside of City High’s control (e.g., not on City High networks, websites, or between City High email accounts) will only be subject to this policy when such online conduct can be shown to cause a substantial in-program disruption or infringement on the rights of others. 

Otherwise, such communications are considered speech protected by the First Amendment. Supportive measures for Complainants will be provided, but protected speech cannot legally be subjected to discipline.

Protected activity under this policy includes reporting an incident that may implicate this policy, participating in the grievance process, supporting a Complainant or Respondent, assisting in providing information relevant to an investigation, and/or acting in good faith to oppose conduct that constitutes a violation of this Policy. 

Acts of alleged retaliation should be reported immediately to the Title IX Coordinator and will be promptly investigated. City High will take all appropriate and available steps to protect individuals who fear that they may be subjected to retaliation.
City High and any member of City High’s community are prohibited from intimidating, threatening, coercing, harassing, or discriminating against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by law or policy, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this policy and related procedures and guidelines. 
Filing a complaint under another school policy could be considered retaliatory if those charges could be applicable under this policy, when the charges are made for the purpose of interfering with or circumventing any right or privilege provided under this policy that is not provided under the other school/district policy that was used. Therefore, City High vets all complaints carefully to ensure this does not happen, and to assure that complaints are tracked to the appropriate process. 
The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment does not constitute retaliation.
Charging an individual with a code of conduct violation for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a grievance proceeding under this policy and procedure does not constitute retaliation, provided that a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party has made a materially false statement in bad faith.

Mandated Title IX Reporting
All City High employees (teachers, staff, administrators) are expected to report actual or suspected sexual harassment or retaliation to appropriate officials immediately. This includes employees who might otherwise be considered confidential resources.

In order to make informed choices, it is important to be aware of confidentiality and mandatory reporting requirements when consulting school resources. In school, some resources may maintain confidentiality and are not required to report actual or suspected sexual harassment or retaliation. They may offer options and resources without any obligation to inform an outside agency or school official unless a Complainant has requested the information be shared. 

If a Complainant expects formal action in response to their allegations, reporting to any Mandated Reporter can connect them with resources to report crimes and/or policy violations, and these employees will immediately pass reports to the Title IX Coordinator (and/or police, if desired by the Complainant), who will take action when an incident is reported to them. 
The following sections describe the reporting options at City High for a Complainant or third-party (including parents/guardians when appropriate):

a. Confidential Resources
Because all City High employees are required to report actual or suspected sexual harassment or retaliation, any such information a Complainant shares with any City High employee cannot remain confidential.

If a Complainant would like the details of an incident to be kept confidential, the Complainant may speak with a non-City High employee. Following are some confidential community-based resources: 
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Licensed professional counselors and other medical providers
  • Local rape crisis counselors
  • Domestic violence resources 
  • Local or state assistance agencies 
  • Clergy/Chaplains
  • Attorneys

All of the above-listed individuals are not City High Schools employees and may maintain confidentiality when acting under the scope of their licensure, professional ethics, and/or professional credentials, except in extreme cases of immediacy of threat or danger or abuse of a minor, or when required to disclose by law or court order. 

b. Mandated Title IX Reporters and Formal Notice/Complaints
All employees of City High are Mandated Title IX Reporters and must promptly share with the Title IX Coordinator all known details of a report made to them in the course of their employment.
Employees must also promptly share all details of behaviors under this policy that they observe or have knowledge of, even if not reported to them by a Complainant or third-party. 

Complainants may want to carefully consider whether they share personally identifiable details with non-confidential Mandated Reporters, as those details must be shared with the Title IX Coordinator. 
Failure of a Mandated Title IX Reporter to report an incident of sexual harassment or retaliation of which they become aware is a violation of City High policy and can be subject to disciplinary action. 

Though this may seem obvious, when a Mandated Title IX Reporter is engaged in harassment or other violations of this policy, they still have a duty to report their own misconduct, though City High is technically not on notice when a harasser is also a Mandated Title IX Reporter unless the harasser does in fact report themselves. 

Finally, it is important to clarify that a Mandated Title IX Reporter who is themselves a target of harassment or other misconduct under this policy is not required to report their own experience, though they are, of course, encouraged to do so. 

When a Complainant Does Not Wish to Proceed
If a Complainant does not wish for their name to be shared, does not wish for an investigation to take place, or does not want a formal complaint to be pursued, they may make such a request to the Title IX Coordinator, who will evaluate that request in light of the duty to ensure the safety of the school and to comply with state or federal law. 

The Title IX Coordinator has ultimate discretion over whether City High proceeds when the Complainant does not wish to do so.

Emergency Notifications 
City High may issue emergency notifications for incidents that are reported and pose a serious or continuing threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the school community.  

City High will ensure that a Complainant’s name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the potential danger. 

These notifications may be issued school-wide or may be limited to those members of the community who are potentially impacted. The Title IX Coordinator will work in conjunction with the appropriate school officials in determining the scope and content of the notification that may be issued.

False Allegations and Evidence
Deliberately false and/or malicious accusations under this policy are a serious offense and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. This does not include allegations that are made in good faith but are ultimately shown to be erroneous or do not result in a policy violation determination.

Additionally, witnesses and parties knowingly providing false evidence, tampering with or destroying evidence, or deliberately misleading an official conducting an investigation can be subject to discipline under City High policy. 

Amnesty for Complainants and Witnesses
The City High community encourages the reporting of misconduct and crimes by Complainants and witnesses. Sometimes, Complainants or witnesses are hesitant to report to City High officials or participate in grievance processes because they fear that they themselves may be in violation of certain policies, such as underage drinking or use of illicit drugs at the time of the incident. Respondents may hesitate to be forthcoming during the process for the same reasons.

It is in the best interests of City High community that Complainants choose to report misconduct to City High officials, that witnesses come forward to share what they know, and that all parties be forthcoming during the process. 
To encourage reporting and participation in the process, City High maintains a policy of offering parties and witnesses amnesty from minor policy violations related to the incident. 

Amnesty does not apply to more serious allegations such as physical abuse of another or illicit drug distribution. The decision not to offer amnesty is based on neither sex nor gender, but on the fact that collateral misconduct is typically addressed for all students within a progressive discipline system, and the rationale for amnesty – the incentive to report serious misconduct – is rarely applicable to Respondent with respect to a Complainant.

In determining whether to offer amnesty, the Title IX Coordinator will consider factors such as: the nature and severity of the policy violation; the age of the individual; the impact on the health and safety of the individual and the school community; and the best interests of the school community.

Students: Sometimes, students are hesitant to assist others for fear that they may get in trouble themselves (for example, an underage student who has been drinking or using marijuana might hesitate to help take an individual who has experienced sexual assault to seek assistance. 

City High maintains a policy of amnesty for students who offer help to others in need. 

City High will maintain for a period of seven years records of:
  • Each sexual harassment investigation including any determination regarding responsibility and any audio or audiovisual recording or transcript required under federal regulation;
  • Any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the Respondent; 
  • Any remedies provided to the Complainant designed to restore or preserve equal access to City High’s education program or activity;
  • Any appeal and the result therefrom;
  • Any Informal Resolution and the result therefrom; 
  • All materials used to train Title IX Coordinators, Investigators, Decision-makers, and any person who facilitates an Informal Resolution process. City High will make these training materials publicly available on City High’s website.; and
  • Any actions, including any supportive measures, taken in response to a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment, including:
  • The basis for all conclusions that the response was not deliberately indifferent; 
  • Any measures designed to restore or preserve equal access to City High’s education program or activity; and 
  • If no supportive measures were provided to the Complainant, document the reasons why such a response was not clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances. 

City High will also maintain any and all records in accordance with state and federal laws. 

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