Johnstown High School

JHS Student Handbook

Printable Version

Download and print a PDF version of the 2023-2024 JHS Student Handbook

Johnstown High School
1 Sir Bills Circle
Johnstown, NY 12095


Athletic Office (518) 762-7636
Athletic Fax (518) 762-2303
Food Service (518) 762-9217
Guidance Office (518) 762-4664
Health Office (518) 762-4663
Main Office (518) 762-4661
Main Office Fax (518) 736-1489


All hail to the Johnstown High
With her banner of Purple and Gold
As long as that banner shall fly
Our hearts will be wrapped in its folds.
Good comrades we ‘ere shall remain.
Prepared to protect her from all peril,
To keep from our memory all stain
Hereby we pledge devotion to the
Johnstown High School.

When school days have come to an end
And at last we must bid you goodbye
Still, still our best efforts we’ll lend,
To keep that bright banner high.
Though dishonor and shame may be rife
They’ve no power over loyalty’s bright rule.
And through every storm and every strife
Shall shine for aye the banner gay
Of Johnstown High School.

Then here’s to the Johnstown High
May she ever in dignity stand,
Her students, as in years gone by
United in heart and hand.
May her halls ever ring to the tread
Of defenders – as gallant and as bold
As those in the days that now have sped
Who were an honor to the Purple
And the Gold!

Welcome to Johnstown High School.  We have a fine tradition of academic and co-curricular excellence and encourage you to be an integral part of maintaining this by your active involvement.  This handbook has been developed to familiarize you and your parents of the rules and regulations which govern our school community.  It will also serve as a guide to help you answer any questions you may still have. Enjoy your year at JHS and make the most of the opportunities offered you.  Strive to become all of which you are capable of being.  Have a good year!


1. Administration

Principal Scott M. Hale
Director of Athletics Brian VanNostrand
Assistant Principal Anne Bagot

2. Special Services

School Psychologist Dr. Michael Fraser
Guidance Jeff Blacha (8-12 A-K)
Guidance Kellie LaCoppola (8-12 L-Z)
School Nurse Stephanie Ellsworth
Public Information Specialist Trisha Miller

3. Other Services

Main Office Tracey Hildebrandt (Secretary)/Amber Rumrill (Secretary)
Guidance Office Carm Anagnostopulos (Secretary)
Cafeteria Erica Winney
Custodian Henry Creater
Athletic Office Pamela Donohue

4. Other Information

Grades 8-12
School Nickname Sir Bills/Lady Bills
School Colors Purple and Gold
School Website

5.    District

Superintendent of Schools Dr. William Crankshaw
Assistant Superintendent Alicia Koster
Business Manager Melissa Baker
Director of Facilities David Wood
School Physician Dr. Sunkara
Director of Transportation Julia Barringer

6.    Board Of Education

David D’Amore- President
Jennifer Sponnable- Vice President
Ronald Beck
Marjorie Kline
Joyel Richardson
William J.Stock
Arthur Schrum, Jr.

JHS Staff Directory

Please visit and enter JHS in the search box to see a list of staff members at Johnstown High School.


  • August 29th and 30th – JTA Work Days
  • September 4 Labor Day
  • September 5 Superintendent’s Conference Day
  • September 6 First Day of Classes
  • October 6 Superintendent’s Conference Day
  • October 9 Columbus Day
  • October 31 Staff Development Day ½ Day for students
  • October 18 Open House
  • October 12 8-12 Picture Days
  • November 10 Veteran’s Day
  • November  21 Emergency Early Release
  • November 22 – 24 Thanksgiving Recess
  • Dec. 22 – Jan 1 Holiday Recess
  • January 2 Superintendent Conference Day
  • January 15 Martin Luther King Day
  • January 23 – 26 Regents Exams
  • February 16 Staff Development Day ½ Day for students
  • February 19 Presidents’ Day
  • February 19 – 23 Winter Recess
  • March 18 Superintendent’s Conference Day
  • March 29 Good Friday
  • March 29-April 3 Spring Recess
  • April 10-12  3-8 NYS ELA Assessments
  • May 7-9  3-8 NYS Math Assessments
  • May 21 Budget Vote/JTA Work Day/1/2 Day for students
  • May 27 Memorial Day
  • June 4  Algebra Regents Exam
  • June 11 Last Day of Classes
  • June 12-13 Local Final Exams
  • June 14- 18 Regents Exams
  • June 19 Juneteenth Observed
  • June 20-25 Regents Exams
  • June 28 High School Commencement

Report Card Timeline

  • Quarter 1 End Date November 10
    • Progress Reports
      • Publish Date October 6
      • Unlock September 27
      • Lock October4
    • Report Cards
      • Publish Date November 17
      • Unlock November 1
      • Lock November 15
  • Quarter 2 End Date January 26
    • Progress Reports
      • Publish Date December 15
      • Unlock December 6
      • Lock December 13
    • Report Cards
      • Publish Date February 2
      • Unlock January 17
      • Lock January 31
  • Quarter 3 End Date April 12
    • Progress Reports
      • Publish Date March 8
      • Unlcok February 28
      • Lock March 6
    • Report Cards
      • Publish Date April 19
      • Unlock April 3
      • Lock April 17
  • Quarter 4 End Date June 21
    • Progress Reports
      • Publish Date May 17
      • Unlock May 8
      • Lock May 15
    • Report Cards
      • Publish Date June 28
      • Unlock June 12
      • Lock June 26

Bell Schedule

Please visit to see the JHS bell schedule.

Who to talk to when you don’t know who to talk to…

Often students and parents do not know whom to see in school for specific information.  Here is a handy checklist:

  • Academic Problems  Mrs. LaCoppola/Mr. Blacha
  • Announcements Ms. Hildebrandt
  • Athletic Information Mrs. Donohue
  • Attendance Problems Mrs. Levin
  • Calendar Ms. Rumrill
  • Club Information Mrs. Donohue
  • Diplomas /Awards Ms. Hildebrandt
  • Elevator Keys Ms. Hildebrandt
  • Excuses Mrs. Levin
  • Facility Use Forms Mrs. Donohue
  • Fundraiser/Activity Requests Mrs. Donohue
  • Lock/Locker Problems  Ms. Rumrill
  • Lost and Found Ms. Hildebrandt
  • Lunch Applications Ms. Hildebrandt
  • Medical Problems/Medication Mrs. Ellsworth
  • Pay for lost items  Ms. Hildebrandt
  • Physicals  Mrs. Ellsworth
  • Problems with school fees Ms. Rumrill
  • Summer School Mrs. Anagnostopulos
  • Theft /Missing Items Ms. Hildebrant
  • TranscriptsMrs. Anagnostopulos
  • Transportation Requests Ms. Hildebrandt
  • Vehicle Registration Ms. Hildebrandt
  • Work Permits Ms. Hildebrandt

District Contacts

  • District Transportation Office (518) 775-5788 on school attendance areas, bus policies
  • District Special Education Office (518) 762-4611 on physically, mentally, and socially disabled students.
  • District Food Services (518) 762-1875 on free and reduced lunch program
  • Human Resources (518) 762-4611 on employment opportunities
  • Student Accident/Insurance Questions (518) 762-4611
  • District Superintendent’s Office (518) 762-4611 district publications, general information


Accidents, Injuries, and Insurance

Student accidents must be reported immediately to the school nurse where an accident report will be filled out.

The Greater Johnstown School District student accident policy furnishes medical, hospital, and dental service indemnity when accidental bodily injury is sustained while a student is engaged in a school-sponsored activity.

No benefits will be paid by this plan to the extent that benefits are payable under any other policy or prepayment plan.  This policy is only in excess of those benefits payable under family and employer policies.

The plan provides for full excess coverage over your primary insurance up to a reasonable and customary fee.


Announcements are read daily over the public address system during the homeroom period.  In order to be well informed on school affairs, students should listen carefully.

Teachers and students wishing to have a general announcement made should submit the announcement on an Announcement Form obtained from the main office and return it before 7:30 AM on the day it is to be made.  It must also be approved by an administrator.  Only essential administrative announcements or cancellations will be made at the end of the day.  Announcements will be on TV in front of the office daily.

Appropriate Dress

All students are expected to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to dress appropriately for school and school functions.  Students and their parents have the primary responsibility for acceptable student dress and appearance.  Teachers and all other district personnel should exemplify and reinforce acceptable student dress and help students develop an understanding of appropriate appearance in the school setting.

A student’s dress, grooming, and appearance, including hair style/color, jewelry, make-up and nails, shall

  1. be safe, appropriate and not disrupt or interfere with the educational process.
  2. not include extremely brief garments such as tube tops, net tops, halter tops, spaghetti straps, plunging necklines (front and/or back) and see-through garments, tank tops, muscle shirts, skirts/short that are shorter than arm’s length, any other clothing that is deemed not appropriate.
  3. ensure that underwear is completely covered with outer clothing.
  4. include footwear at all times.  Footwear that is a safety hazard will not be allowed.  No footwear with wheels is allowed.
  5. not include wearing garments, jewelry, or other forms of symbolism associated with gangs or gang membership.
  6. not include items that are vulgar, obscene, libelous or denigrate others on account of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
  7. not promote and/or endorse the use of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs and/or encourage other illegal or violent activities.

The building principal or his or her designee shall be responsible for informing all students and their parents of the student dress code at the beginning of the school year and any revisions to the dress code made during the school year.

Students who violate the student dress code shall be required to modify their appearance by covering or removing the offending item and, if necessary or practical, replacing it with an acceptable item.


Assemblies are held either in the auditorium or in the gymnasium.  The programs are conducted for the enjoyment and education of the student body.  It is felt that assembly programs are a valuable supplement to a student’s education from the standpoint of one’s role as a participant or as a spectator.

The following guidelines apply for proper conduct in assemblies:

  1. Enter the auditorium/gymnasium in an orderly fashion and be seated as quickly as possible.
  2. In the auditorium use all the aisles and fill in the seats from front to back,        moving into the center section of each row to fill up the seats.  In the gymnasium there are designated bleacher sections for each class, freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors.
  3. Be courteous to all speakers or performers.  There should be no talking during a presentation.
  4. Applause is welcome at the appropriate time, but discourteous responses such as whistling, shouting, or other forms of noise are in poor taste and will not be tolerated.
  5. Remain seated until the end of the presentation and sit properly in your seat, i.e. one’s legs should not be hung over the seat in front of you, nor should one step over rows to enter or leave etc.
  6. Any student who does become disruptive and or uncooperative will be removed from the auditorium or gymnasium and will be disciplined accordingly.


Students who ride their bicycles to school are requested to please utilize the bicycle racks provided.  These racks are not security racks.  They only provide an orderly area to store your bicycle while you are at school.  Although the school will investigate any reports of stolen or damaged bicycles it cannot be held responsible if something does happen.

Bulletin Boards

All notices, displays, advertisements, etc. must have the approval of the office before posting or distribution.  Items should be posted on the bulletin boards or cork strips provided.  Posters should be removed by the person or group who put them up once the date of the event has passed.

Career Education

Students may see their guidance counselor about signing up for an occupational education course given through the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery County Career Education Center.  Courses may include auto mechanics, cosmetology, carpentry, food trades, computer networking, nursing, etc.  Students will go to the center half a day and remain at JHS the other half.  Transportation is provided.


The following rules will govern all dances:

  1. Dances will be held within the hours of 6:00 – 10:30 PM (Times may vary).  Facilities Use Form is required.
  2. No decorating can be done unless there is a faculty member present.  Both the plan of decoration and time for decorating must be approved by the administration one week in advance.
  3. The clean-up committee should function immediately following the conclusion of the dance.  Decorations will be removed at that time.
  4. Dances are closed to all except Johnstown High School students.  When guests are allowed a guest form must be on file with the office.
  5. Once you leave the building you will not be readmitted, unless you had the prior permission of the advisor in charge.
  6. Any person suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be admitted to the dance.  Alca-sensor tests will be administered.
  7. There will be no food or drink allowed in the gymnasium, but confined only to the cafeteria.
  8. All rules and regulations of Johnstown High School will apply and will be enforced.

Emergency School Closings

Occasionally, during the winter months, it may be necessary to close the school, or delay its opening, because of weather conditions which make traveling hazardous or impossible.  The easiest way for you to find out if school will be held following a storm is to listen to a local radio station, either WIZR (930 AM), WENT (1340 AM), or WGY (810 AM).  Please do not call the school as telephone lines are very busy on such days.  If any other emergencies cause a closing of schools, announcements will be made on the local radio and news stations.  Emergency information and School Closings can also be found on the school website and through a message on ParentSquare.

Fines and Charges

Students are expected to exercise reasonable care in the use of school equipment and any damages done to library books, technology, textbooks, or other school equipment due to misuse or negligence must be paid for by them.  Lost or damaged textbooks will be immediately reported to the office for payment. Other school equipment which is damaged should be reported to the Building Principal, who will determine if negligence on the part of the student was the cause of the damage.  If so, the student and the student’s parents will be expected to pay for such damage.

Fire Evacuation

If a fire is detected anywhere in the building, Pull the Nearest Alarm; report to the nearest teacher, custodian, or office, the location of the fire and leave the building.

By law, fire drills must be held 8 times a year.  Fire drill signs and evacuation routes are posted in every room and it is imperative that the building be quickly, quietly, and safely vacated.

The following rules are to be followed when the fire alarm sounds:

  1. Everyone will leave the building quickly and quietly following your teacher’s directions.
  2. Once outside, move well away from the building keeping the driveways clear for the use of fire apparatus.
  3. Remain quiet and attentive, being alert to further instructions.
  4. Do not return to the building until the proper instructions have been given.

A school false alarm represents an intolerable hazard to safety.  Anyone ringing a false alarm is subject to both a fine and imprisonment under state law.  Suspension out of school, as well as prosecution, may result for anyone found guilty of this offense.  Tampering with the fire-fighting equipment will also be dealt with severely.

Free or Reduced Lunches

For those students eligible, free or reduced lunch applications are available in the main office any time during the school year. A digital version of the household income eligibility form may also be completed on LINQ Connect.


Students are expected to be in homeroom before the bell rings.  Homeroom begins at 7:45.  During homeroom the flag salute and announcements are given.  Students are to be quiet and attentive.

Homeroom Promotion Policy

To remain in the appropriate grade level homeroom, a student must successfully earn:

  1. 5 units for 10th grade homeroom placement prior to September of the 10th year.
  2. 10.0 units for 11th grade homeroom placement prior to September of the eleventh year.
  3. 16.0 units or the ability to project graduation for 12th grade homeroom placement.

Once established in September, homeroom placements will remain in effect for the entire year.

Homework Assignment Sheets

Students who are out for extended absences (3 or more days) without prior knowledge may request homework and books before 8:30 AM.  Students who are absent 1 or 2 days will be responsible to check with a friend, or see their teacher upon their return to school.  Students may also email their teachers for their assignments.  Homework should be made up promptly (2 days for each day missed).


Hall lockers are assigned to students at the beginning of the school year.   These lockers are not security lockers. Although the school will investigate any reports of stolen property it cannot be held responsible for items lost, damaged, or taken from the lockers.  All students are required to use the lock they are issued and will be required to pay for it if they do not return it.   Please do not share your locker or locker combination with anyone.  All students are responsible for the contents of their locker.  Lockers are school property and subject to search should there be reasonable cause.

Lost and Found

There is a lost and found box in the main office.  The school district is not responsible for items lost.  Although your locker should be locked, it is not totally secure so please do not bring valuables to school.  If it is necessary to bring large amounts of money or valuables to school, they may be left in the main office for safekeeping during the day

Medication on School Premises

  1. It is recognized that for individual students specific emergency situations or medical conditions requiring medication to be administered during school hours may occur during the school year.
  2. When such a situation or condition occurs, and the parent is unable to come to school to administer the medication, school personnel may administer medication under the following conditions.
  3. A medication application must be completed by the student’s parent/guardian and physician.
  4. The medication application form must include the following information:
    1. Signed consent by the parent or guardian for school personnel to administer the medication.
    2. Documentation from the student’s attending physician indicating the need for the medication to be taken and of the need for the medication to be taken during school time.
    3. A current photograph of the student attached to the application.
    4. Pertinent information concerning any side effects of the medication or any anticipated reaction to the medication, to include action to be taken by school personnel in case of a reaction.
    5. The name of the medication, a prescription for it, adverse effects of the medication and remedies, time of day to be administered and the duration of administration.
    6. Specific directions from the attending physician for administration, dosage and storage, etc.
      • Any application deemed incomplete by the school principal will not be considered until all information required on the application has been completed.  No medication will be approved for distribution until either the building principal or the RN verifies the need to medicate during school hours with the student’s attending physician.
  5. The school principal or his designee shall notify the parent if the application is disapproved.
  6. The parent shall deliver the medication in its original container with prescription fixed on it to the RN / LPN, who shall arrange for the medication to be kept under lock and key in the nurse’s office.  The initial amount of medication delivered to the school nurse teacher (i.e. number of pills/tablets or total fluid ounces, etc.) with a limit of the amount to a maximum of one month’s supply will be recorded upon receipt.  No medication is to be brought to the school nurse by the student.
  7. Upon approval of the application, the parent or RN / LPN should administer the medication.  If school personnel other than the RN/LPN  are to administer the medication, they must first be trained by the RN.
  8. The RN/LPN assigned to the health department shall inventory the medications in their school health office once a week.
  9. Parent/guardian must inform the RN of any changes in the medication or cancellation of the prescription.  The notification must be in the form of a doctor’s order.
  10. The parent or guardian must be notified by school personnel if the medication is not administered on schedule (e.g. if the student refuses to take the medication).
  11. School personnel will notify the parent or guardian when a refill of the prescription is necessary.
  12. Medications that may be given include oral medications, self-injections, inhalers, adrenaline with an Epi Pen, topical applications and over the counter medications such as aspirin if prescribed by the student’s physician.
    1. To provide a healthy school environment, no student shall have in his/her possession on school grounds any medication either prescribed or over the counter without a doctor’s order.  Exception to this rule is only permitted if proper administrative procedures have been followed and a self-medication release form has been completed.  Students who violate this provision shall be subject to the disciplinary penalties of Policies 5152 and 5153.
      • An approved medication application shall not be an excuse.  Parents or guardians must deliver the medication to the school in accordance with provision 6 of this administrative procedure.  Any medication carried by the student or left in a classroom or school locker shall be deemed to be a potential hazard to the rest of the school population.
    2. Parents should be advised to ask the pharmacist for three containers – one to remain at home, one to be taken on field trips or after school, and one at school so medications are not transported on a daily basis.
  13. Staff responsibility when a pupil is observed carrying or taking medication:
    • School personnel who observe a student or students either in possession of or taking a medication shall report the student(s) to the school principal.  The disciplinary provisions of policies 5152 and 5153 shall be applied by the principal.
  14. At the end of the school year, parents/guardians will be notified by mail of  the deadline to pick up medications from the health office.  If medications are not picked up by this deadline, the health office will properly dispose of the medication.

Preparation of Medication – Field Trips and After School Activities

A single dose of prescription medication may be prepared and placed in an original pharmacy or manufacturer label container, or envelope with original pharmacy label for students to take on field trips or for after school activities.  The following information should also be included:

  1.  Student’s name
  2. Name of medication and dosage
  3. Date and time to be given
  4. Special instructions
  5. Possible side effects, if any
    • Inhalants and injectables should be transported to a school-sponsored activity in the original container with the pharmacist’s label.  Administration of injectable medications must remain the responsibility of the parent, child, or the school nursing personnel, except for Epi Pen type injectables which are pre-measured and self-injecting.  Responding to this type of emergency would fall under the “Good Samaritan Act” (Public Health Section 3000-a) rendering emergency care during a life threatening situation.

Motor Vehicle Regulations

  1. The following regulations will apply to all students who park a motor vehicle on school property.
    1. All vehicles must be registered with the school and must display the proper parking tag on their rear view mirror. Your driver’s license and vehicle registration must be presented to receive a tag.
    2. Parking is strictly limited to the student parking lot behind the tennis court. Students should park properly in the spaces between the yellow lines and off the grass. No Parking will be permitted in the road or on the shoulder of Wright Drive.
    3. Observe all traffic signs and regulations.
    4. There is no loitering in the parking areas.
    5. Lock all doors.  The school is not responsible for the motor vehicle or any of its contents.
    6. A student’s vehicle may be subject to search if there are reasonable grounds to believe that drugs, alcohol, stolen property, or other contraband might be present in that vehicle.
    7. It is a privilege to park on school grounds.  Violations of the regulations above will result in the following consequences:
      • 1st Offense – warning
      • 2nd Offense – suspension of parking privilege for 1 week/parental contact
      • 3rd Offense – suspension of parking privileges for 1 month/parental conference requested, plus the vehicle will be towed at the owner’s expense if parked illegally
      • 4th Offense – suspension of parking privilege for the remainder of the school year/parental conference, plus the vehicle will be towed at the owner’s expense if parked illegally
        • Note:  Steps may be skipped depending upon the severity of the offense.
  2. For those students without parking privileges who do park on school property during school hours, the following consequences will result:
    • 1st Offense – warning/parental contact
    • Subsequent Offenses – vehicle will be towed at the owner’s expense.

Physical Education Requirements

Physical Education is a subject which students are required to take by Educational Law and regulations of the Commissioner of Education.  All students must participate in physical education classes.  For safety reasons, they are required to wear appropriate clothing (shorts or sweats) and properly tied footwear (sneakers or athletic shoes).  Evaluation of a student in physical education is based on attendance, skill and effort.

Students must maintain a minimum level of participation in their physical education classes.  If a student is unprepared for physical education 3 (three) times in a semester, a letter will be sent home advising the parent or guardian to that effect.

Once a student has been unprepared 6 (six) times for physical education class in a semester, he or she will be removed from the class, will receive no credit, placed in a restricted study hall, and be required to make up the course.  Seniors who fail to meet this requirement will not graduate and will need to repeat physical education to earn credit to graduate.

If a student attends school, but is not well enough to participate in physical education, the student must present a signed note to the physical education teacher from their parent/guardian, co-signed by the school nurse or the office stating why the student should be excused from physical education class.  If a student cannot participate in physical education classes for an extended period of time, an alternative assignment will be given by the teacher.

A sport team member who is present in physical education class, but chooses not to participate, may not practice or participate in the game/match/or meet.

Public Displays of Affection

Public displays of affection including kissing, embracing, etc. are strongly discouraged in school.  Those students involved will first be warned.  Further incidents will result in appropriate disciplinary measures and parents will be notified.


Good sportsmanship is important.  Our behavior at school athletic events, whether we play or watch, reflects upon the character and reputation of our school and through that, on us individually.

It is the belief of Johnstown High School that good sportsmanship on the part of the spectators at  school athletic contests is as important as good sportsmanship on the part of the athletes; and that the relationship between supporters of the home team and the supporters of the visiting team should be viewed as a host/guest relationship.  In keeping with these beliefs, it is requested that all spectators conduct themselves in a manner reflecting a spirit of friendly competition and a respect for the positive relations existing among all schools.

Remember you represent the Johnstown Sir & Lady Bills.  Be a credit to yourself and your school.  All school rules are in effect at extracurricular activities.

Study Hall

  1. The purpose of a study hall, as the name clearly implies, is to study.
  2. Students are expected to arrive to study hall on time and to bring enough work with them to last the entire period.  A good practice is for students to bring an extra magazine or book with them to read if they happen to finish their work early.
  3. There should be no talking without permission.  If a student wishes to talk briefly with another student about an assignment, they should raise their hands and get the permission of a teacher.  (Only 1 student at a time.)
  4. One student at a time is allowed to sign out to go to the lavatory (see Pass Section.  Please use the nearest available bathroom.
  5. Students should present pre-signed passes to the study hall teachers in the beginning of the period and sign out, specifically stating their destination.  Students are not allowed to leave the study hall to obtain a pass from a teacher.

Summer School

Johnstown High School participates in the area Regional Summer School.  See the guidance office for further information.

Title IX

No person shall on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefit of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity.



There is a positive correlation between regular attendance at school and academic success.  The business world demands that employees be at work daily and on time.  Excessive absenteeism and/or lateness to work often results in the loss of jobs.  Our school has an obligation to expect regular attendance and punctuality from our students in school and class.  Students have a responsibility to come to school regularly and to be on time to school and to all their classes.  Parents have a responsibility to see that their children meet these requirements.

Compulsory Education Law

According to the School Law of the State of New York, all children between the ages of 6 and the completion of the school year in which they turn 16 must be in attendance at school at all times during which the school is in session.  The following conditions make it possible for a student to be legally absent:

  1. Illness of student.
  2. Severe storms or impossible roads.
  3. Death or severe illness in the immediate family.  This does not provide for continual absences however.
  4. Religious observances.
  5. Required presence in court.
  6. Approved college visits.
  7. Military obligations.
  8. Medical or dental appointments.

Whenever possible, medical and dental appointments are to be scheduled outside of school time.  Students having such appointments on a regular basis should schedule them so as to avoid missing the same class each time.

The reasons for absence listed below are considered by school authorities to be illegal absences within the meaning of the compulsory education law and will not be accepted.

  1. Family trips or vacations.
  2. Employment – including paper routes and baby-sitting.
  3. Shopping.
  4. Job-hunting.
  5. Truancy from school.
  6. Hunting, fishing, sports events, concerts, tanning, etc.

Early Release From School

To be excused from school for any reason, a student must bring a parent’s or guardian’s note from home either the day before or on the day he/she wishes to be excused.  This excuse should be given to the attendance officer before homeroom.  Students may not leave the school without prior permission from the school nurse or an administrator, and must sign out in the attendance office.  Students will only be released to their parent, guardian, or some other adult designated by their parent or guardian.  If students drive, they will be released only after their parent or guardian’s permission.  To be released due to sickness during the school day, students must report to the school nurse to receive permission to leave.  A student should receive permission from his/her teacher prior to reporting to the health office.  Any student leaving school without permission is subject to the discipline guidelines.


Tardy to School or Class:

Tardy is defined as any student not present in their scheduled class or homeroom by the time the bell rings.

Arriving Late to School:

A student who arrives at school late will be marked tardy and sent to his/her first period class with a pass.  Students need to bring a written note showing why they are tardy..

Arriving Late to Class:

A student who is not in the classroom by the time the bell rings will be considered tardy to class.  Students will be allowed to remain in the classroom if they are tardy if they have a valid pass from another classroom teacher, attendance clerk, main office staff, guidance or the nurse.  A student who is illegally tardy will be allowed to remain in the classroom.  A student who is considered illegally tardy is responsible for making up the time they missed after school or at an agreed upon time during the day between teacher and student.

The following discipline measures will be enforced on those students who are considered illegally tardy.  We use progressive discipline to deal with tardiness.

  1. For the first three tardies students will receive a verbal warning by the attendance clerk or the classroom teacher.  Furthermore, students are responsible for making up missed time in the classroom.
  2. The fourth to the seventh tardy will result in a computer referral to the Asst. Principal.  A student will receive a lunch detention which is ½ hour in duration and loss of lunch privilege for upperclassmen. Furthermore, students are responsible for making up missed time in the classroom.
  3. The eighth to the tenth tardy will result in an after school principal detention which is from 2:30pm to 3:30pm after school.  Furthermore, students are responsible for making up missed time in the classroom.


Truancy is defined as an illegal absence from school where a student is absent without the consent of his/her parent or guardian.  Cutting 2 or more classes in a single school day may also be treated as a truancy.


Student Clubs and Organizations

Johnstown High School offers a wide variety of activities which are open to all students.  Students are urged to become involved in those areas which interest them or where they might contribute with special talents.  Please request a list of current offerings from the athletic office.



Proper student behavior is the responsibility of students, parents, staff, and administrators.

Students have the responsibility of conducting themselves in a manner that does not infringe on, or interfere with, the right of other individuals to a quality education.

Parents have the responsibility to be aware of the school’s expectations and guidelines for their children and to work cooperatively with school officials in attempting to avoid and resolve any behavioral problems that may arise.

Staff and administrators have the responsibility and obligation of providing an environment that is conducive to learning and which allows each individual the opportunity of developing his/her potential to the fullest.

While no one is perfect, and it is not expected that our students will be perfect, a high school student is mature enough to realize that most choices in life have consequences:  some good and some not so good.  It is essential that guidelines, procedures, and values be taught to students and that consequences for violating them be established and administered fairly and as consistently as possible.  The following is to help students know what is expected of them and the consequences of some of their choices.

Expectations of Student Behavior

To ensure the presence of an atmosphere which is conducive to the development of an appropriate academic climate, expectations of student behavior have been established.   You as students have basic responsibilities related to your behavior. These responsibilities are listed below along with examples of inappropriate behavior.  Students choosing not to meet these responsibilities will face the appropriate consequences as described in the next section.

Responsible Behavior   Inappropriate Behavior
Regular school attendance, being where you are supposed to be at assigned times, hall passes, excuses. Tardiness, class cuts, truancy, loitering, leaving class/school without permissions, forged passes/excuses, failure to bring excuses
Respect for public and personal property. Littering, theft, vandalism, properrty damages/defacing school property.
Respect for the physical and emotional rights of others. Harassment/threats, fighting, profanity/inappropriate language, verbal/physical abuse of others, public displays of affection, reckless endangerment.
Comply with all reasonable requests of staff. Failure to comply with a reasonable request, insubordination.
To learn to the best of one’s ability and not to interfere with the learning of others. Class/school disruptions.
To obey all rules regulating such privileges as:

riding the bus
parking/use of motor vehicles
school functions – dances, concerts, field trips, assemblies, clubs, etc.

Any misuse or abuse of these privileges.
Compliance with specific regulations set down by state and local authorities. Drug/alcohol violations, use/possession of an explosive device, use/possession of dangerous weapon, arson, possession or use of tobacco products on school property, gambling.

The following will not be tolerated under any conditions:

  1. Assault/Fighting.
  2. Physical/verbal abuse directed toward others
  3. Use of inappropriate language.
  4. Actions which threaten the safety and well-being of others and/or self.
  5. The destruction or stealing of property belonging to students, staff, or school.

When deemed appropriate at any stage in the discipline process, the guidance counselor, as well as other community resource groups or organizations will be utilized in an attempt to foster the greater understanding of, and to provide for the various social and emotional needs of our youth.

Guidelines to Phases of Discipline

Phase One (Teacher) – Dealing with routine classroom disciplinary problems such as disruptive behavior, negative influence, unexcused tardiness, being unprepared for class, etc.

The teacher represents the first line of authority in dealing with routine behavioral problems which interfere with the teaching/learning process.  Teachers will develop a classroom plan to handle early signs of inappropriate behavior.  This can be accomplished in a variety of effective ways which should include informing the parents that a problem exists and documenting this notification.  In all classroom discipline plans, the administration should be used as the final step which is resorted to only after a thorough attempt on the part of the teacher to solve the problem.  The end result will be the teacher remaining in control of her/his classroom and having greater rapport with her/his students.

The teacher will:

    • Make classroom rules known to the students.
    • Issue a warning.
    • Talk to or counsel the student as to what s/he has done wrong.
    • Refer to counseling.
    • Teacher detention after school.
    • Inform the parents.
    • Refer the student to the office with documentation of the above steps on a Discipline Referral.


  1. For any severe offenses, the above steps should be skipped and the administration involved immediately.
  2. An administrator should be called immediately if a student is “out of control”. “Out of control” is defined as a student’s failure to refrain from prohibited behavior following teacher intervention.

Phase Two (Administration) – Classroom referrals and general in-school infractions.

The administration will review the total situation and take one or more of the following steps:

  • Warning/reprimand.
  • Loss of Privileges.
  • Refer for Counseling.
  • Office detention.
  • Exclusion from a particular class, (three referrals in a 10-week period:  detention; in-school suspension; and loss of credit and removal from the class).
  • 1-3 days in-school suspension and a parental conference requested.
  • 1-5 days out-of-school suspension, same day parental contact, principal’s conference with the parent prior to re-admittance requested.
  • Automatic 5 days out-of-school suspension, same day parental contact, recommendation for a Superintendent’s Hearing.
General In-school Infractions  Consequences
Displays of affection Warning/detention
No note upon returning from absence/tardy Warning/detention
Gambling Detention
Horseplay/general school disruption Detention
Loitering Detention
Damaging/defacing of school property Detention/restitution/clean-up
Bus misconduct (check policy) Dentention/suspension
Class cut Dentention/suspension
Chronic tardiness to school Detention/suspension
Chronic in class misconduct Detention/suspension
Failure to attend detention Detention/suspension
Failure to comply with a reasonable request Detention/suspension
Harassment/threats to another student Detention/suspension
Leaving class without permission Detention/suspension
Leaving school without permission/or permission after the fact Detention/suspension
Motor vehicle violation Detention/suspension
Profanity/other inappropriate language/possesion/use of obscene materials Detention/suspension
Tardies Detention/suspension


  1. Multiple referrals for classroom disruptions from more than one class will result in more severe consequences, including additional detention or In-School Suspension.
  2. If there has been a lapse of 10 weeks between the second and the third referrals the consequence of the second referral will be repeated (In-School Suspension).  This may be utilized once per class.
  3. Suspension may be in or out of school.
  4. This list of infractions is not meant to be exhaustive nor the consequences exhaustive.  The administration reserves the right, after reviewing the total situation, to exercise its judgment in dealing with the unique circumstances which can enter into individual discipline cases.

Phase Three (Administration) – Severe Offenses.

In cases of a severe nature (listed below), the preliminary steps will be skipped and the following minimum consequences applied:

Offense – Consequence
Forgery/Alteration – Step 1
Insubordination – Step 1
Profanity/verbal abuse toward a student – Step 1
Public lewdness – Step 1
Reckless endangerment – Step 1
Truancy – Step 1
Vandalism – Step 1- including restitution
Use/Possession of tobacco products – Step 1/Step 2
Profanity/verbal abuse toward staff – Step 2
Assault/Fighting – Step 2
Theft – Step 2
Arson – Step 3
Assault on a staff member – Step 3
Misuse of fire alarm/Bomb threat – Step 3
Threats toward a staff member – Step 3
Use/possession of a dangerous weapon – Step 3
Use/possession of explosive devices – Step 3
Violation of district drug/alcohol policy – Counseling/Step 3

Step 1  — 1-3 days in-school suspension and a possible parental conference with the administration.

Step 2  — 1-5 days out-of-school suspension, principal’s conference with the parent prior to re-admittance requested, possible police interaction.

Step 3  — Automatic 5 days out-of-school suspension, parental conference, recommendation to the Superintendent for a Superintendent’s Hearing, possible police interaction.


  1. The administration will, when appropriate, contact law enforcement agencies and/or file criminal charges.
  2. Repeated offenses will result in more severe consequences.
  3. This list of offenses is not meant to be exhaustive nor the consequences exhaustive. The administration reserves the right, after reviewing the total situation, to exercise its judgment in dealing with the unique circumstances which can enter into individual discipline cases.

Due Process Rights

The Supreme Court of the United States has established that each student has a constitutional right to due process.  In line with this, the following procedures have been established.

  1. Pupils who are not following the rules and regulations will be given notice either verbally or in writing regarding the infraction.
  2. The pupils will be given the opportunity to explain their side of the story and/or problem.
  3. A written record of the incident will be kept by the teacher/administration (discipline referral form).
  4. After hearing the pupil’s side, the administration/teacher will make a determination as to the type of punishment the infraction would require based on the circumstances, number of previous problems, and intent.
  5. When the situation warrants immediate removal of a pupil from the building, parents will be notified immediately, and a due process hearing will be arranged as soon as possible.
  6. The principal, after due process, can administer suspension up to five days and parents will be notified.
  7. A principal’s conference with the parent will be arranged for any pupil who continually breaks rules and regulations.
  8. Following a principal’s conference with the parent, any pupil who continues to break rules and regulations will be granted a Superintendent’s Hearing, with recommendation for indefinite suspension.  The pupil will have the right under a permanent suspension hearing to legal representation.  If the child chooses to be represented by legal counsel, the hearing office can, at any time, reschedule the hearing so that the school district can engage the services of its own legal counsel.  At the completion of the formal hearing, the Superintendent of Schools will render his decision.


In our society people have a great deal of freedom to do as they please providing they follow certain established rules.  This same principle applies in school and is part of your education.  In order to retain your privileges in school you must follow the basic rules of safety and order.  Detention and suspension are ways we can help you focus on the consequences of your actions if you violate the basic school regulations.  By removing privileges, removing you from your regular schedule and your classmates, along with limiting your choices, we provide you with a realistic opportunity to experience the results of your mistakes.  At the same time, by requiring you to complete school assignments while on detention and/or suspension, you continue your education.

In most cases of detention and in all cases of suspension, parents are notified.  We either call them or write them a letter.  We hope that your parents can help you make a positive improvement in your behavior.  In the long run you benefit when the school and your parents communicate.  Also, because of your age, your parents share in the responsibility for your behavior.


  1. Report directly to the detention room on the day(s) you are assigned.
    • Being late to detention may result in an extra day of detention.
  2. Bring class work with you to do.  Being unprepared may result in an extra day of detention.
  3. There will be no talking and no bathroom privileges.  Sit in the assigned seat designated by the teacher.
  4. Any disruptive behavior in the detention room will result in a minimum of one extra day of detention.
  5. Any unexcused absence to an assigned detention room will result in the following consequences:
    • 1st offense – 1 additional day of detention
    • 2nd offense – 1 day of In-School Suspension
    • 3rd offense – 1 day of Out-of-School Suspension
  6. You may have 1 days’ notice if necessary to make arrangements for your staying in detention from the time your detention was assigned.  (For example, to inform your parents that you will be staying after school.)


To be suspended from attending classes is a serious situation.  It is an action that will only be used for serious offenses or repeated instances of more minor offenses.  Students may receive either In-School Suspension or Out-of-School Suspension.  All students should be aware of this policy.

Out-of-School Suspension

  1. See your teachers before leaving school on the day before your suspension to get any work you will be missing.  It is your responsibility to make up any work that you miss.
  2. If you are suspended effective the current day you must leave school grounds as soon as possible after parent or guardian notification.
  3. On the day(s) you are suspended, you are not allowed to take part in any extra-curricular activities.
  4. While you are on Out-of-School Suspension you are not allowed to be on school grounds without permission from the principal.
  5. A parent conference is requested with the principal or assistant-principal prior to re-admittance. On the day that the student returns from Out-of-School Suspension, the student must report before homeroom to the office for a conference with either the principal or assistant-principal.
  6. If a student is suspended Out-of-School from Career Education Center the student is also suspended Out-of-School from Johnstown High School.

In-School Suspension

  1. Upon arriving at school, go to your locker, then report to your In-School Suspension.
  2. Report directly to the In-School Suspension Room at the beginning of period 1, with all necessary materials (books, paper, notebooks, pens, etc.).
  3. Bring enough work to keep you busy for the entire day.  See your teachers before leaving school on the day before your suspension to get any work that you will be missing.  You may read books, periodicals, or newspapers which are available in the library.
    • It is your responsibility to make up any work that you miss.
    • You may not leave your desk without permission and you will not be allowed to leave the room.  Sleeping or resting your head on the desk is not permitted.
    • There is no talking with other students.
    • There will be one bathroom break in the morning during 3rd period and one in the afternoon during 7th period.  The bathrooms closest to the I.S.S. room will be utilized.  Students will be escorted to the bathroom.
    • You will eat lunch in the I.S.S. room from 11:15-11:45 PM.  You may bring a bag lunch from home or order a buy lunch from the cafeteria.
    • Follow all instructions and directions as given.


  1. During the period of suspension, you are not allowed to participate in after school activities. This includes sports, dances, or another school-sponsored event, whether you are a participant or a spectator.  If your suspension includes a Friday/Monday, the weekend is included, as are holidays when your suspension covers before and after.  Suspended students will not attend Career Education Center.
  2. If you are legally absent from school on the day(s) you are assigned I.S.S., then your assigned day(s) will begin on the day you return to school.
  3. Failure to report to I.S.S. as directed will result in an Out-of-School Suspension assignment. Any disruptive behavior in the I.S.S. room may result in an additional day of I.S.S. or suspension out of school depending on the circumstances.



Two cafeterias are open during the lunch period for hot meals and sandwich-bag lunch services.  Students are expected to keep the lunch area clean and assist with clearing the tables.  All food should be eaten in the cafeteria only.  Any refuse should be properly disposed of in the cans provided.


The guidance department at Johnstown High School provides a wide variety of services that are available to all students.  Students are encouraged to visit the guidance counselors for help with school performance, career information, college selection, personal problems, and standardized test information/interpretation.

Counselors facilitate communication between students, parents, teachers, and administrators.  They are also contact persons for recruiters, college representatives, employers, and social agencies.

Resource information is available in the guidance office for individual and classroom use.  Some materials may be borrowed overnight.  Resources include:

  1. Guidance Information Service,
  2. Scholastic information,
  3. Working papers,
  4. Career materials,
  5. College catalogs/SUNY applications,
  6. Military materials, and
  7. Standardized Testing Information (i.e. SAT, PSAT)

Health Services

Our health services include physical examinations for all students participating in interscholastic sports, hearing and vision tests yearly for all students, and referral checks and services for all students who have been identified as needing health services.

The Health Office is open daily from 7:30 AM until after school, and the RN / LPN will be available for consultation, first-aid, care for injuries and illnesses, and emergencies.

Library/Media Center

The Library/Media Center is open from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM during the regular school day.  Its primary function is to support research projects that have been assigned by classroom teachers.  Students have access to reference materials, books and periodicals related to the curriculum, as well as computerized search services for periodical and newspaper sources.

Additionally, the Library/Media Center offers many enrichment opportunities.  A selection of appealing fiction, as well as non-fiction, is available for borrowing.  Students are invited to peruse current newspapers and periodicals that cover a wide range of interests and tastes.

In order for the Library/Media Center to concentrate on its most important purpose, students will be expected to have research objectives or other library work to accomplish when they sign in.  Students who would like to use the Library only in order to do homework that could be done in a study hall cannot, under normal operating circumstances, be accommodated.

In an attempt to provide an atmosphere which promotes the above stated objectives the Library/Media Center will not permit any gum, candy, food, or drink in the library.  Bookbags and backpacks may not be brought into the library.  Anyone who comes to the library with a book bag or backpack must leave it in a designated area as they enter.

Child Study Team

The Johnstown High School Staff understands that many factors play a part in the whole student. These factors can often lead to negative effects on educational and social development. These factors may stem from but are not limited to substance abuse, emotional issues, poverty, legal problems and educational gaps.

The staff at JHS recognizes that early identification and intervention to address these issues could have a profound impact not only on a student’s performance at school but may have lasting results to insure success later in life.

The JHS S-BIT team is made up of a cross section of educators and support staff who have a diverse knowledge base to effectively address a myriad of academic and social issues. The team is made up of administrators, regular education teachers, special education teachers, guidance counselors, school nurse and can call on outside resources if need be. The team is dedicated to addressing the concerns from many different sources throughout the year. Referrals to the S-BIT team can come from any staff member in the building, parents and even students.

Interventions used during the S-BIT process vary based on each individual case. Interventions address academic difficulties that are subject specific, attendance, behavior, and safety.

The S-BIT process starts with an initial referral to the team. The team then gathers data to get a better handle on the presenting issue and then a meeting takes place. The presenting issue is presented and an intervention plan is put in place to address the concerns. Once a plan is in place, teachers are notified of the interventions that are to be implemented. From that point, communication is kept between the team and the classroom teachers to see if the intervention is producing a positive result.

Once results of the intervention implementations are collected, the S-BIT process continues. Students are followed for the entire academic year regardless of success of interventions. Students whose interventions are not proving to be successful are met on continuously throughout the year. Different interventions are explored. Once every available resource has been utilized and the team is not seeing an amount of reasonable progress, the team will then make a referral to another school or community based program to better address the needs of the students. These programs include but are not limited to the Committee on Special Education, HFM BOCES Alternative School or other outside counseling or law enforcement agencies.

Please contact JHS for any specific questions concerning the S-BIT team and its procedures. JHS and the S-BIT team are committed to working towards developing the whole student.



Good pupil conduct contributes to safety on a school bus.  A responsible student will observe the following:

  1. The pupil will be on time at the scheduled stop or when going home at the close of school.
  2. The pupil will wait until the bus comes to a full stop before attempting to enter or get off the bus.
  3. The pupil will take his/her turn and avoid pushing upon entering and leaving the bus.
  4. The pupil will take his/her seat promptly and remain in it until the bus arrives at his/her stop.
  5. The pupil will keep his/her hands off the person and property of other children.
  6. The pupil should be courteous, and use no profane language.
  7. The pupil should cooperate with the bus driver and at no time should he/she be destructive.  The pupil will follow all directions of the bus driver.
  8. The pupil should keep his/her hands and feet inside the bus.
  9. The bus driver is authorized to assign seats.
  10. The pupil should never tamper with the emergency doors or windows except in the case of a real emergency.
  11. Pupils are not to smoke, drink alcohol or consume drugs on the bus.  Glass bottles are prohibited on the bus.
  12. Pupils are to cross the road to enter the bus or to depart from the bus ten feet in front of the bus.
  13. Pupils should remove any litter (not leave it on the bus) and deposit it in a proper receptacle.
  14. Bus discipline rules shall be reviewed each year with bus drivers and pupils by appropriate school staff.
  15. Pupils are to be picked up and dropped off at the regularly assigned bus stop.  A pupil may enter or leave the bus at a point other than the regularly scheduled bus stop only with written permission of the parents/guardians and the building principal.

Misbehavior problems on the buses will be handled in the following manner:


Stage 1: The bus driver should attempt to correct any discipline problems by asking the student to behave, and, if necessary, to assign seats to certain pupils.

Stage 2:    If the bus driver is unsuccessful in correcting the behavior of the student, but the student behavior problems are of a minor nature, and yet still disruptive, the bus driver will communicate this to his supervisor who will in turn communicate the nature of the disruption to the building principal.  The principal will speak to the student involved and communicate the need for improvement.  The principal may call the parent if he, in his judgment, feels the problem is of the type to require support and cooperation from the home.


Stage 1:    A child who engages in behavior endangering the safety of himself or others during the regular bus routine of the day, will have a bus conduct report written to the principal indicating the specific nature of the behavior and including any details necessary to place it in the proper context.  The principal will send a copy of the conduct report home, and contact the parents or guardian by phone to discuss any pertinent aspects   of the situation. The principal will caution the parent as to the serious nature of the student’s behavior. The principal will discipline the student consistent with the disciplinary policy 5152.

Stage 2:    At this point, a student has continued to engage in unsafe behavior. At this stage a second bus conduct report is given to the principal, who in turn mails a copy home, which may be accompanied by a letter indicating that this behavior has become chronic and may lead to the loss of bus privileges if it continues.

Stage 3:    The student’s behavior has not improved at this stage despite every effort to correct the situation.  A bus conduct report will be submitted documenting this continued pattern of disruption.  A copy of the bus conduct report will be sent home which may be accompanied by a letter notifying the parent that bus privileges will be suspended for a period of one day. Because of the time necessary to process the bus conduct report the principal will notify the bus driver as well as the parent of the day the suspension will be in effect.  The parent is then responsible for the transportation of the student to school.

Stage 4:    The procedure will be the same as above, however, the suspension will be for a period of three days.

Stage 5:    The procedure will be the same as above, however, the suspension will be for a period of five days.

Stage 6:    A student’s behavior has not improved.  The problem is of such a chronic and persistent nature as to require the loss of bus privileges for an extended period of time.  Only the Board of Education or the Superintendent may suspend for more than five days.  An opportunity for a full hearing must be given before the Superintendent who shall make an investigation and determine the situation.  A decision of the Superintendent may be appealed to the Board of Education.



Please refer to Board of Education Policy 7551 Sexual Harassment of Students

GJSD Title IX Officers

Scott M. Hale, Principal – JHS (518) 762-4661
Alicia Koster, Assistant Superintendent – GJSD (518) 762-4511

Harassment/Bullying and Title IX Complaint forms are available in the main office.


Please refer to the Greater Johnstown School District Extra Curricular Code


Please refer to Board of Education Policy 7412 Academic Eligibility


Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination against persons with a disability in any program receiving federal financial assistance. Section 504 defines a person with a disability as anyone who:

  1. has a mental or physical impairment  which  substantially limits one or more major life activities such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working;
  2. has a record of such impairment; or
  3. is regarded as having such an impairment.

The Greater Johnstown School District acknowledges its responsibility under Section 504 to avoid discrimination in policies and practices regarding its personnel and students.  No discrimination against any person with a disability shall knowingly be permitted in any program or practices in the School District.

Under Section 504, the School District has the responsibility to identify, evaluate, and if the student is determined to be eligible under Section 504, to afford access to appropriate educational services.

If the parent or person in parental relationship disagrees with the determination made by the professional staff of the School District, he/she has a right to a hearing with an impartial hearing officer.

The Superintendent of Schools is directed to establish the appropriate regulation and procedures to effectively implement this policy.

Inquiries regarding compliance with this policy should be directed to the Section 504 Coordinator of the Greater Johnstown School District, or to the following office:

United States Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
Region II
26 Federal Plaza
33rd Floor, Room 33-130, 02-1010
New York, NY  10278-0082

GJSD Section 504 Coordinator:

Nicole Lent, Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Telephone (518) 736-1708



Any student who needs or is believed to need special accommodations, related services or programs under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, may be referred to the Section 504 Committee for evaluation.

The Section 504 Committee shall be composed of persons knowledgeable about the student’s school history, the student’s individual needs, the meaning of evaluation data, and the placement options.

The student’s parent or person in parental relationship shall be notified of the Section 504 Committee meeting at least ten (10) calendar days prior to the meeting and invited to participate in it.

The section 504 Committee shall consider all relevant information on the student to determine whether he/she is disabled under Section 504.  Information may include reports from physicians, observations from parent, teachers, school personnel, results of standardized tests, etc.

The Section 504 Committee shall determine whether the student is disabled under Section 504, and, if so, develop a written educational plan describing what accommodations, services or programs will be provided to meet the student’s needs.

The student’s parent or person in parental relationship shall be notified in writing of Section 504 Committee’s determination and recommendation.

Review of the Student’s Evaluation

The Section 504 Committee shall meet periodically to review the student’s evaluation. In addition, prior to any significant change in placement, a reassessment of the student’s needs shall be conducted.

Procedural Safeguards

The parent or person in parental relationship shall be notified in writing of any District decision concerning the identification, evaluation, and placement of a student.

The parent or person in parental relationship shall have the right to examine the student’s record.

Parents or persons in parental relationship who disagree with the identification, evaluation or placement of a student with disabilities shall have the right to request an impartial due-process hearing.  The request for a hearing shall be made in writing, within thirty (30) days for receipt of Section 504 Committee’s determination.  The request shall state the reasons the hearing is being requested and be sent to the Superintendent of Schools.

The parent or person in parental relationship shall have an opportunity to participate and be represented by counsel at the due-process hearing.

If an impartial due-process hearing is to be held under the IDEA concerning issues relevant to the Section 504 proceeding, a hearing officer qualified to conduct IDEA proceedings may consider Section 504 issues at the impartial hearing.  The issues under IDEA and Section 504 shall be separately addressed in the hearing decision.

The parent or person in parental relationship shall be notified in writing of the hearing officer’s decision.  The School District or parent or person in parental relationship may seek review of the decision of the Section 504 hearing officer by the Commissioner of Education , or the State Review Officer, as appropriate, and by a federal court of competent jurisdiction.

Procedures to Follow at the Hearing

A Section 504 due-process hearing may be called at the request of the School District or a parent or person in parental relationship.  The proceedings shall be presided over and decided by an impartial hearing officer.

Requests for a due-process hearing must be submitted in writing to Superintendent of Schools.  Parents or persons in parental relationship shall be notified of the hearing at least ten (10) days prior to the date set for the hearing.  The notice shall contain:

A statement of time, place and nature of the hearing

A statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is being held.

A statement of the matters asserted.

A statement of the right to be represented by counsel.

A statement of the right to examine relevant records.

The School District’s notices to the student’s parent or person in parental relationship shall be in English or in the native language or mode of communication of the parent or person in parental relationship.

At the hearing, each party shall have an opportunity to present relevant information and outside expert testimony.

A copy of the hearing officer’s decision shall be delivered to the School District and the parent or person in parental relationship within  thirty (30) days following completion  of the hearing.

The decision of the hearing officer is binding on all parties involved; it is subject to review by the Commissioner of Education, or the State Review Officer, as appropriate, and by a federal court of competent jurisdiction.


Applicants for admission and employment, students, parents, employees, sources of referral of applicants for admission and employment, and all unions or professional organizations holding collective bargaining or professional agreements with the Greater Johnstown School District are hereby notified that this District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or handicap in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities.  Any person having inquiries concerning the Greater Johnstown School District’s compliance with the regulations implementing Title VI, Title IX, The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) or Section 504 is directed to contact:

TITLE:                  Superintendent of Schools
LOCATION:          1 Sir Bills Circle, Suite 101, Johnstown, NY 12095
TELEPHONE:      762-4611

whom has been designated by the Greater Johnstown School District to coordinate the District’s efforts to comply with the regulations implementing Title VI, Title IX, the ADA and Section 504.

(NOTE:  This notice should be published annually in the local newspaper, as well as faculty, staff and student handbooks)


A.  Level One Procedure

  1. Any student  or  employee  in  the  school  district who wishes to file a complaint regarding alleged discrimination based upon sex or disability shall make such a complaint in writing on forms available in the superintendent’s office.
  2. Said form should then by given to the Superintendent of Schools who serves as the District Title IX, Section 504 Compliance Coordinator.
  3. Compliance Coordinator or his/her designee will then:
    1. Investigate, within one week (7 calendar days after receipt of complaint, the circumstances of the complaint.
    2. Render a decision, within two weeks (14 calendar days) after receipt of complaint, and notify the Complainant.
    3. Provide the Complainant one week (7 calendar days) to react to the decision before it becomes final.
  4. The Complainant’s responsibilities will be:
    1. Accept the decision, in writing addressed to Compliance Coordinator; or,
    2. Disagree with the decision, in writing, addressed to the Compliance Coordinator.

The failure of the Complainant to make a response will be considered his/her acceptance of the decision.  In the event that the District level one officer (i.e., Title IX, Section 504 Compliance Coordinator and/or his/her designee) is involved in the alleged discrimination, the Complainant can bypass the Level One Procedure and proceed directly to the Level Two Procedure.

B.  Level Two Procedure

After completion of the Level One Procedure, the Complainant can start the Level Two Procedure by making a written request to the Compliance Coordinator.

  1. The Compliance Coordinator requests the Superintendent of Schools to review the complaint.
  2. The Superintendent will  schedule a meeting within one week (7 calendar days) of the receipt of the request for review.  The participants shall be the Complainant (the Complainant may be accompanied by his/her parent(s), guardian, spouse, or friend), the Compliance Coordinator, and the Compliance Officer may present information or otherwise actively participate in the meeting.
  3. The Superintendent will make a decision within one week (7 calendar days) which shall be final.  The Complainant and the Compliance Coordinator will receive copies of the decision.

C.  Other Channels for Filing Complaints

There are other agencies with which complaints alleging discrimination based upon sex or handicap can be filed.  Please note that since each agency has its own rules on deadlines for filing complaints, a check should be made with each agency to determine its particular rules for filing complaints.

The Complainant may also file a complaint alleging discrimination based upon sex or handicap with:

Office for Civil Rights, Region II
U.S. Department of Education
26 Federal Plaza
33rd Floor, Room 33-130, 02-1010
New York, NY  10278-0082

Grievance Filing Form

Please visit the forms page of the District website to download a harassment/bullying/discrimination complaint form.


The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, commonly referred to as “§504,” is a nondiscrimination statute enacted by the United States Congress.  The purpose of the Act is to prohibit discrimination and to assure that disabled students have educational opportunities and benefits equal to those provided to non-disabled students.

An eligible student under §504 is a student who (a) has, (b) has a record of having, or (c) is regarded as having, a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity such as learning, self-care, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working, and performing manual tasks.

The federal regulations for §504 provide parents and/or students with the following rights:

  1. You have a right to be informed by the school district of your rights under §504 in English, your native language, or your usual mode of communication.  (The purpose of this Notice is to advise you of those rights.  34 CFR 104.32
  2. Your child  has  the  right  to  an  appropriate  education designed to meet his/her individual educational needs as adequately as the needs of non-disabled students are met.  34 CFR 104.33
  3. Your child has the right to free educational services except for those fees that are imposed on non-disabled students or their parents.  Insurers and similar third parties are not relieved from an otherwise valid obligation to provide or pay for services provided to a disabled student.  34 CFR 104.33
  4. Your child has a right to placement in the least restrictive environment.  34 CFR 104.34
  5. Your child has a right to facilities, services, and activities that are comparable to those provided for non-disabled students.  34 CFR 104.34
  6. Your child has a right to an evaluation prior to an initial ξ504 placement and any subsequent significant change in placement.  34 CFR 104.35
  7. Testing and other evaluation procedures must conform with the requirements of 34 CFR 104.35 as to validation, administration, areas of evaluation, etc.  The District shall consider information from a variety of sources, including aptitude and achievement tests, teacher recommendations, physical condition, social and cultural background, adaptive behavior, physical or medical reports, student grades, progress reports, parent observations, and anecdotal reports.  34 CFR 104.35.
  8. Placement decisions must be made by a group of persons (i.e., the §504 Committee), including persons knowledgeable about your child, the meaning of the evaluation data, the placement options, and the legal requirements for least restrictive environment and comparable facilities. 34 CFR 104.35
  9. If eligible under §504, your child has a right to periodic reevaluations, generally every three years.  34 CFR 104.35
  10. You have the right to notice prior to any action by the District in regard to the identification, evaluation, or placement of your child.  34 CFR 104.35
  11. You have the right to examine relevant records. 34 CFR 103.36
  12. You have the right to an impartial hearing with respect to the District’s actions regarding your child’s identification, evaluation, or educational placement, with opportunity for parental participation in the hearing and representation by an attorney.  34 CFR 104.36
  13. If you wish to challenge the actions of the District’s §504 Committee in regard to your child’s identification, evaluation, or educational placement, you should file a written Notice of Appeal with the District’s §504 Coordinator, Director of Elementary Educational and Special Services within ten (10) calendar days from the time you received written notice of the §504 Committee action(s).  A hearing will be scheduled before an impartial hearing officer and you will be notified in writing of the date, time and place for the hearing.
  14. If you disagree with the decision of the impartial hearing officer, you have a right to a review of that decision by a court of competent jurisdiction.  34 CFR 104.36
  15. On §504 matters other than your child’s identification, evaluation, and placement, you have a right to file a complaint with the District’s §504 Coordinator (or designee), who will investigate the allegations to the extent warranted by the nature of the complaint in an effort to reach a prompt and equitable resolution.
  16. You also have a right to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights.  The address of the Regional Office which covers New York is: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, Region II, 26 Federal Plaza, 33rd Floor, Room 33-103, 02-1010, New York, NY  10278-0082

Code of Conduct Summary

The Board of Education of the Greater Johnstown School District (“Board” or “District”) is committed to providing a safe and orderly school environment where students may receive and district personnel may deliver quality educational services without disruption or interference.  Responsible behavior by students, teachers, administrators, other district personnel, parents and other visitors is essential to achieving this goal.

The District has a long-standing set of expectations for conduct on school property and at school functions.  These expectations are based on the principles of civility, mutual respect, citizenship, character, tolerance, honesty, and integrity.  These expectations are clearly defined in the District’s Code of Conduct (“Code”).  The Code applies to all students, school personnel, parents, and other visitors when on school property or attending a school function.

The following is a summary of the Code.  You may obtain a copy of the full Code or another copy of this summary from the main office of each District school building and at the District’s central offices.

Rights and Responsibilities of the School Community

A.  Students Rights

The District is committed to safeguarding the rights given to all students under state and federal law.  In addition, to promote a safe, healthy, orderly and civil school environment, all District students have the right to:

  1. Take part in all district activities on an equal basis regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation or disability.
  2. Present their version of the relevant events to school personnel authorized to impose a disciplinary penalty in connection with imposition of the penalty.
  3. Access school rules and, when necessary, receive an explanation of those rules from school personnel.

B.  Student Responsibilities

All District students have certain responsibilities as a member of the school community.  These responsibilities include:

  1. Contribute to maintaining a safe and orderly school environment that is conducive to learning and to show respect to other persons and to property.
  2. Be familiar with and abide by all district policies, rules and regulations dealing with student conduct.
  3. Attend school every day unless they are legally excused and be in class, on time, and prepared to learn.
  4. Work to the best of their ability in all academic and extracurricular pursuits and strive toward their highest level of achievement possible.
  5. React to direction given by teachers, administrators and other school personnel in a respectful, positive manner.
  6. Work to develop mechanisms to control their anger.
  7. Ask questions when they do not understand.
  8. Seek help in solving problems that might lead to disciplinary action.
  9. Dress appropriately for school and school functions.
  10. Accept responsibility for their actions.
  11. Conduct themselves as representatives of the district when participating in or attending school-sponsored extracurricular events and to hold themselves to the highest standards of conduct, demeanor, and sportsmanship.

C.  Other Members of the School Community

Parents, teachers, administrators, other District personnel and the Board of Education all play an important role in the school community as well.  They are expected to work together and with students to promote a safe, orderly, and stimulating school environment.

Student Dress Code

All students are expected to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to dress appropriately for school and school functions.  Students and their parents have the primary responsibility for acceptable student dress and appearance.  A student’s dress, grooming and appearance, including hair style/color, jewelry, make-up and nails, shall:

  1. Be safe, appropriate and not disrupt or interfere with the educational process.
  2. Recognize that extremely brief garments such as tube tops, net tops, halter tops, spaghetti straps, plunging necklines (front and/or back) and see-through garments are not appropriate.
  3. Ensure that underwear is completely covered with outer clothing.
  4. Include footwear at all times.  Footwear that is a safety hazard will not be allowed.
  5. Not include the wearing of headgear in the classroom except for a medical or religious purpose.
  6. Not include items that are vulgar, obscene, libelous or denigrate others on account of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
  7. Not promote or endorse the use, possession or sale of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs and/or encourage other illegal activities or violence.

Students who violate the student dress code shall be required to modify their appearance by covering or removing the offending item and, if necessary or practical, replacing it with an acceptable item.  Any student who refuses to do so shall be subject to discipline, up to and including in-school suspension for the day.  Any student who repeatedly fails to comply with the dress code shall be subject to further discipline, up to and including out of school suspension.

Prohibited Student Conduct

The Board expects all students to conduct themselves in an appropriate and civil manner, with proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students, district personnel and other members of the school community, and for the care of school facilities and equipment.  Students who will not accept responsibility for their own behavior and who violate these school rules will be required to accept the penalties for their conduct.

Students may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension from school, when they;

A.  Engage in conduct that is disorderly.  Examples of disorderly conduct include but are not limited to:

    1. Running in hallways.
    2. Making unreasonable noise.
    3. Using language or gestures that are profane, lewd, vulgar or abusive.
    4. Obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
    5. Engaging in any willful act which disrupts the normal operation of the school community.
    6. Trespassing.
    7. Computer/electronic communications misuse.

B.  Engage in conduct that is insubordinate.  Examples of insubordinate conduct include be are not limited to:

    1. Failing to comply with the reasonable directions of teachers, school administrators or other school employees in charge of students or otherwise demonstrating disrespect.
    2. Lateness for, missing or leaving school without permission.
    3. Skipping detention.

C.  Engage in conduct that is disruptive, such as failing to comply with the reasonable directions of teachers, school administrators or other school personnel in charge of students.

D.  Engage in conduct that is violent.  Examples of violent conduct include but are not limited to:

    1. Committing an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, punching, and scratching) upon another student, a teacher, administrator or other school employee or attempting to do so.
    2. Possessing a weapon or displaying what appears to be a weapon.
    3. Threatening to use any weapon.
    4. Intentionally damaging or destroying the personal property of a student, teacher, administrator, other district employee or any person lawfully on school property.
    5. Intentionally damaging or destroying school district property.

E.  Engage in any conduct that endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others.  Examples of such conduct include but are not limited to:

    1. Lying to school personnel.
    2. Stealing the property of other students, school personnel or any other person lawfully on school property or attending a school function.
    3. Defamation, which includes making false or unprivileged statement or representations about an individual or identifiable group of individuals that harm the reputation of the person or the identifiable group by demeaning them.
    4. Discrimination, which includes the use of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability as a basis for treating another in a negative manner.
    5. Harassment, which includes a sufficiently severe action or a persistent, pervasive pattern of actions or statements directed at an identifiable individual or group which are intended to be or which a reasonable person would perceive as ridiculing or demeaning.  This is inclusive of engaging in acts of sexual harassment as defined in the District’s sexual harassment policies.
    6. Intimidation, which includes engaging in actions or statements that put an individual in fear of bodily harm.
    7. Hazing, which includes any international or reckless act directed against another for the purpose of initiation into, affiliating with or maintaining membership in any school sponsored activity, organization, club or team.
    8. Selling, using, or possessing obscene material
    9. Using vulgar or abusive language, cursing or swearing.
    10. Smoking a cigarette, cigar, pipe or using chewing or smokeless tobacco.
    11. Possessing, consuming, selling, distributing or exchanging alcoholic beverages, illegal substances or drug paraphernalia, or being under the influence of either alcoholic beverages or illegal substances.  “Illegal substances” include, but are not limited to, inhalants, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP, amphetamines, heroin, steroids, look-alike drugs, and any substances commonly referred to as “designer drugs.”
    12. Inappropriately using or sharing prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
    13. Gambling.
    14. Indecent exposure, that is, exposure to sight of the private parts of the body in lewd or indecent manner.
    15. Initiating a report warning of fire or other catastrophe without valid cause, misuse of 911, or discharging a fire extinguisher.

F.   Engage in misconduct while on a school bus. Excessive noise, pushing, shoving, and fighting will not be tolerated.

G.  Engage in any form of academic misconduct, including, but not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, stealing, of academic materials or copying.

All students are expected to promptly report violations of the code of conduct to a teacher, guidance counselor, the building principal or his or her designee.  Any student observing a student possessing a weapon, alcohol or illegal substance on school property or at a school function shall report this information immediately to a teacher, the building principal, the principal’s designee or the superintendent.

All District staff who are authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions are expected to do so in a prompt, fair and lawful manner.  District staff who are not authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions are expected to promptly report violations of the code of conduct to their supervisor, who shall in turn impose an appropriate disciplinary sanction, if so authorized, or refer the matter to a staff member who is authorized to impose an appropriate sanction.

Disciplinary Penalties, Procedures and Referrals

As a general rule, discipline will be progressive.  This means that a student’s first violation will usually merit a lighter penalty than subsequent violations.

If the conduct of a student is related to a disability or suspected disability, the student shall be referred to the Committee on Special Education and discipline, if warranted, shall be administered consistent with the separate requirements of this code of conduct for disciplining students with a disability or presumed to have a disability.  A student identified as having a disability shall not be disciplined for behavior related to his/her disability.

A.  Penalties

Students who are found to have violated the District’s code of conduct may be subject to the following penalties, either alone or in combination.  The school personnel identified after each penalty are authorized to impose that penalty, consistent with the student’s right to due process.

    1. Oral warning – any member of the district staff
    2. Written warning – bus drivers, hall and lunch monitors, coaches, guidance counselors, teachers, principal, superintendent.
    3. Written notification to parent – bus drivers, hall and lunch monitors, coaches, guidance counselors, teachers, principal, superintendent.
    4. Detention – teachers, principal, superintendent
    5. Suspension from transportation – director of transportation, principal, superintendent
    6. Suspension from athletic participation – coaches, principal, superintendent
    7. Suspension from social or extracurricular activities – activities director, principal, superintendent
    8. Suspension of other privileges – principal, superintendent
    9. In-school suspension – principal, superintendent
    10. Removal from classroom by teacher – teachers, principal
    11. Short-term (five day or less) suspension from school – principal, superintendent, board of education
    12. Long-term (more than five days) suspension from school – principal, superintendent, board of education
    13. Permanent suspension from school – superintendent, board of education
    14. Zero for assignment/loss of credit – teacher, principal

B.  Procedures

    1. Detention – Teachers, principals and the superintendent may use after school detention as a penalty for student misconduct in situations where removal from the classroom or suspension would be inappropriate.
    2. Suspension from transportation – If a student does not conduct himself/herself properly on a bus, the bus driver is expected to bring such misconduct to the building principal’s attention.   Students who become a serious disciplinary problem may have their riding privileges suspended by the building principal or the superintendent or their designees.
    3. Suspension from athletic participation, extra curricular activities and other privileges – A student subjected to a suspension from athletic participation, extra-curricular activities or other privileges is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Educational Law §3214.  However, the student and the student’s parent will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with district official imposing the in-school suspension to discuss the conduct and the penalty involved.
    4. In-School Suspension – Building principals and the superintendent may place students who would otherwise be suspended from school as the result of a code of conduct violation in “in-school suspension.”  A student subjected to an in-school suspension is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214.  However, the student and the student’s parent will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with the district official imposing the in-school suspension to discuss the conduct and the penalty involved.
    5. Teacher disciplinary removal of disruptive students – A classroom teacher may remove a disruptive student form class for up to two days.  The removal from class applies to the class of the removing teacher only.
      • If the disruptive student does not pose a danger or ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process, the teacher must provide the student with an explanation for why he or she is being removed and an opportunity to explain his or her version of the relevant events before the student is removed.  Only after the informal discussion may a teacher remove a student from class.
      • If the student poses a danger or ongoing threat of disruption, the teacher may order the student to be removed immediately.  The teacher must, however, explain to the student why he or she was removed from the classroom and give the student a chance to present his or her version of the relevant events within 24-hours.
      • Within 24-hours after the student’s removal, the principal or another District administrator designated by the principal must notify the student’s parents, in writing, that the student has been removed from class and why.  The notice must also inform the parent that he or she has the right, upon request, to meet informally with the principal of the principal’s designee to discuss the reasons for the removal.
      • If at the informal meeting the student denies the charges, the principal or the principal’s designee must explain why the student was removed and give the student and the student’s parents a chance to present the student’s version of the relevant events.  The informal meeting must be held within 48 hours of the student’s removal.  The time of the informal meeting may be extended by mutual agreement of the parent and principal.
      • The principal or the principal’s designee May overturn the removal of the student from class if the principal finds any one of the following:
        1. The charges against the student are not supported by substantial evidence.
        2. The student’s removal is otherwise in violation of law, including the district’s code of conduct.
        3. The conduct warrants suspension from school pursuant to Education Law §3214 and a suspension will be imposed.
      • The principal or his or her designee may overturn a removal at any point between receiving the referral form issued by the teacher and the close of business on the day following the 48-hour period for the informal conference, if a conference is requested.  No student removed from the classroom by the classroom teacher will be permitted to return to the classroom until the principal makes final determination, or the period of removal expires, whichever is less.
      • Any disruptive student removed from the classroom by the classroom teacher shall be offered continued educational programming and activities until he or she is permitted to return to the classroom.
      • Removal of a student with a disability, under certain circumstances, may constitute a change in the student’s placement.  Accordingly, no teacher may remove a student with a disability from his or her class until he or she has verified with the principal of the chairperson of the Committee on Special Education that the removal will not violate the student’s rights under state of federal law or regulation.
    6. Suspension from school – Suspension from school is a severe penalty, which may be imposed only upon students who are insubordinate, disorderly, violent or disruptive, or whose conduct otherwise endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others.  Suspension from school may be short-term (5 days or less), long-term (more than 5 days) or permanent.  Parents and students shall receive written notice of suspension and shall be offered the opportunity for an informal conference. At the informal conference, parents shall be permitted to ask questions of complaining witnesses under the principal’s supervision.  If a District administrator determines that a suspension of more than 5 days is warranted, the student and parents shall receive written charges and a notice of hearing before the Superintendent or a hearing officer appointed by the District.  At the hearing the student shall have the right to be represented by counsel, the right to question witnesses and the right to present witnesses and other evidence on his or her behalf.  A superintendent’s determination after a hearing may be appealed to the Board of Education.  Students who bring a weapon to school may be suspended for up to one calendar year.  Students who commit violent acts other than bringing a weapon to school are subject to a suspension from school for at least five days.  Students who are repeatedly and substantially disruptive of the educational process are subject to suspension from school for at least five days, after they have been removed from the classroom by a teacher on four or more occasions.
    7. Alternate Instruction – When a student of any age is removed from class by a teacher or a student of compulsory attendance age is suspended from school pursuant to Education Law §3214, the District will take immediate steps to provide alternative means of instruction for the student.

C.  Referrals

    1. Counseling – The Guidance Office and/or school administration shall handle all referrals of students to counseling.
    2. PINS Petition – The District may file a PINS (person in need of supervision) petition in Family Court on any student under the age of 18 who demonstrates that he or she requires supervision and treatment by:
      1. Being habitually truant and not attending school as required by part one of Article 65 of the Education Law.
      2. Engaging in an ongoing or continual course of conduct which makes the  student ungovernable, or habitually disobedient and beyond the lawful control of the school.
      3. Knowingly and unlawfully possesses marijuana in violation of Penal Law §221.05.  A single violation of §221.05 will be a sufficient basis for filing a PINS petition.
    3. Juvenile Delinquent and Juvenile Offenders – The superintendent is required to refer the following students to the County Attorney for a juvenile delinquency proceeding before the Family Court:
      1. Any student under the age of 16 who is found to have brought weapon to school; OR
      2. Any student 14 or 15 years old who qualifies for juvenile offender status to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

Discipline of Students with Disabilities

The Board recognizes that it may be necessary to suspend, remove or otherwise discipline students with disabilities to address disruptive or problem behavior.  The Board also recognizes that students with disabilities may be entitled to certain procedural protections whenever school authorities intend to impose discipline upon them.  The Board is committed to ensuring he the procedures followed for suspending, removing or otherwise disciplining students with disabilities are consistent with the procedural safeguards required by applicable laws and regulations.  The code of conduct affords students with disabilities subject to disciplinary action no greater or lesser rights than those expressly afforded by applicable federal and state law and regulations.  Please see a copy of the complete Code for details on the Board’s policy for disciplining students with disabilities.

Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment is any act of physical force upon a student for the purpose of punishment that student.  Corporal punishment of any student by any district employee is strictly forbidden.  However, in situations where alternative procedures and methods that do not involve the use of physical force cannot reasonably be used, reasonable physical force may be used by District employees.

Student Searches and Interrogations

Any school official authorized to impose a disciplinary penalty on a student may question a student about an alleged violation of law or the district code of conduct.  Students are not entitled to any sort of “Miranda”-type warning before being questioned by school officials, nor are school officials required to contact a student’s parent before questioning the student.

In addition, The Board authorizes the superintendent, building principals, the school nurse, district security officials to conduct searches of students and their belongings if the authorized school official has reasonable suspicion to believe that the search will result in evidence that the student violated the law or the district code of conduct.  Searches will be limited to the extent necessary to locate the evidence sought.  Whenever practical, searches will be conducted in the privacy of administrative offices and students will be present when their possessions are being searched.

A.  Student Lockers, Desks and other School Storage Places

The rules in the Code regarding searches of students and their belongings do not apply to student locker, desks, and other school storage places.  Students have no reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to these places and school officials retain complete control over them.  This means that student lockers, desks, and other school storage places may be subject to search at any time by school officials, without prior notice to students and without their consent.

B.  Police Involvement in Searches and Interrogations of Students

District officials are committed to cooperating with police officials and other law enforcement authorities to maintain a safe school environment.  Police officials may enter school property or a school function to question or search a student or to conduct a formal investigation involving students only if they have:

      1. A search or an arrest warrant; or
      2. Probable cause to believe a crime has been committed on school property or at a school function; or
      3. Been invited by school officials

C.  Child Protective Services Investigations

Consistent with the District’s commitment to keep students safe from harm and the obligation of school officials to report to child protective services when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a student has been abused or maltreated, the District will cooperate with local child protective services workers who wish to conduct interviews of students on school property relating to allegations of suspected child abuse, and/or neglect, or custody investigations.

Visitors to the Schools

The complete Code outlines the District’s expectations of visitors and other members of the public who participate in District activities or visit District buildings.  As a general rule, members of the public who attend a school function or visit a school building are expected to act in a respectful and orderly manner.  Failure to follow District rules may result in the removal of the individual from the school function and/or District property.

Dignity for all students act

The goal of the dignity act is to create a safe and supportive school climate where students can learn and focus, rather than fear being discriminated against and/or verbally and/or physically harassed.  All public elementary and secondary school students have the right to attend school in a safe, welcoming, considerate, and caring environment.

Districts must appoint at least one staff member in each school to handle all bullying incidents on school property (including athletic fields, playgrounds, and parking lots, in school buildings, on a school bus/vehicle, as well as at school sponsored events or activities).

Johnstown High School Dignity Act Coordinators:

Scott Hale – 762-4661
Anne Bagot -762-4661
Ashley Schotts – 762-4661

Please refer to Board of Education Policy #7553 – Dignity for All Students Act

Weapons in School and the Guns Free School Act

Please refer to Board of Education Policy 7360 Weapons in our School and the Gun-Free Schools Act.

Pesticide Notification

Dear Parent, Guardian and School Staff:

New York State Education Law Section 409-H, effective July 1, 2001, requires all public and nonpublic elementary and secondary
schools to provide written notification to all persons in parental relation, faculty and staff regarding the potential use of pesticides
periodically throughout the school year.

The Greater Johnstown School District is required to maintain a list of persons in parental relation, faculty and staff who wish to
receive 48-hour prior written notification of certain pesticide applications. The following pesticide applications are not subject to
prior notification requirements:

  • a school remains unoccupied for a continuous 72 hours following an application;
  •  anti-microbial products;
  •  nonvolatile rodenticides in tamper resistant bait stations in areas inaccessible to children;
  •  silica gels and other nonvolatile ready-to-use pastes, foams, or gels in areas inaccessible to children;
  • boric acid and disodium octaborate tetrahydrate;
  •  the application of EPA designated exempt materials under 40CFR152.25;
  •  the use of aerosol products with a directed spray in containers of 18 fluid ounces or less when used to protect individuals from an
    imminent threat from stinging and biting insects including venomous spiders, bees, wasps, and hornets

In the event of an emergency application necessary to protect against an imminent threat to human health, a good faith effort will be
made to supply written notification to those on the 48-hour prior notification list.

If you would like to receive 48-hour prior notification of pesticide applications that are scheduled to occur in your school, please
complete the form below and return in to Leo Loveless, the Greater Johnstown School District Pesticide Representative at:

1 Sir Bills Circle. Johnstown, N.Y. 12095
Phone: 518-762-4611
Fax: 518-762-8393

Please feel free to contact the representative above for further information on these requirements.

* Written notification must be provided to all person in parental relation and staff at the following intervals throughout the school
year; at the beginning of the school year; within two school days of the end of winter recess; within two school days of the end of
spring recess; and within ten days of the end of the school years.

Attendance Policy

Please refer to Board of Education Policy 7109 Comprehensive Attendance