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Employee Handbook, Part Two

Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct (Board Policy 1100)

It shall be your responsibility to maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students and staff. Be fair, firm and consistent in enforcing school rules in buildings, school buses, on the school campus and at school functions. Seek to develop a cooperative relationship with parents for the educational benefit of the student by keeping open communication. Report orally to your principal, the District Superintendent, or his/her designee any incident of harassment, bullying or discrimination that you witness or that is reported to you. Each division of the HFM BOCES has on record an appropriate procedure for out-of-school suspensions in accordance with Section 3214 of the Education Law.

Conduct by School Employees (Board Policy 1100)

Acceptable conduct by school employees shall be consistent with the role of teachers and staff outlined in Section IV and of Sections IX of the Code of Conduct.

Acceptable Attire (Board Policy 1100)

Appropriate professional attire is expected to be worn by all staff members. Clothing shall be neat and clean. Staff dress standards set an example for students. Clothing that is not appropriate for students is not appropriate for staff. Conversely, clothing styles that are tolerated when worn by students may not be appropriate for staff.

Prohibition of Corporal Punishment (Board Policy 1100)

HFM BOCES recognizes the responsibility of all school personnel to see that proper standards of school behavior are maintained. All BOCES personnel are expected to help in maintaining proper levels of supervision. No employee of HFM BOCES whether paid or unpaid shall use corporal punishment against a pupil.

In situations in which alternative procedures and methods not involving the use of physical force cannot reasonably be employed, nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit the use of reasonable force for the following purposes:

  • To protect yourself from physical injury;
  • To protect another pupil or teacher or any other person from physical injury;
  • To protect the property of the school or others;
  • To restrain or remove a pupil whose behavior is interfering with the orderly exercise and performance of BOCES functions, powers and duties, if that pupil has refused to comply with a request to refrain from further disruptive acts.
Collaboration with Community Resources and Law Enforcement (Board Policy 1100)
  • Human Services Agencies and Person-In-Need of Supervision (PINS) petitions –When there is evidence of educational neglect or child abuse, neglect, or maltreatment, all mandated reporters shall follow the procedures established by law and BOCES Policy.
  • Law Enforcement Agencies and Juvenile Delinquency Complaints – Whether a particular act in violation of this Code is reported to a law enforcement agency shall be determined by the building administrator, in consultation with the Program Director. When BOCES utilizes a School Resource Officer (SRO) who is an employee of a law enforcement agency, the SRO shall be the initial point of reporting.

In general, the person against whom the act was directed should be identified as the complainant where the district attorney decides to initiate a juvenile delinquency petition. The BOCES, or a BOCES employee in their official capacity, may only be identified as the complainant when the District Superintendent determines that it is appropriate to proceed in that manner.

For more information on HFM BOCES’ Code of Conduct, refer to Board Policy 1100.

Drug Free Workplace (Board Policy 0021)

HFM BOCES prohibits the use, illegal distribution, or possession of controlled substances in the workplace, on school grounds, at school-sponsored activities, or any place in which you are working within the scope of your employment or duties.

For more information on HFM BOCES’ Drug Free Workplace policy, refer to Board Policy 0021.

Smoke Free Environment (Board Policy 0022)

There is no smoking on the grounds or in the buildings at HFM BOCES. This prohibition extends to any vehicles owned by HFM BOCES.

For more information on HFM BOCES’ Smoke Free Workplace policy, refer to Board Policy 0022.

Weapons on School Property (Board Policy 1100)

No employee shall possess any firearm, electronic weapon/device, or other weapons on the property of any school at any time. This prohibition extends to any vehicles owned by HFM BOCES.

For more information on HFM BOCES’ Code of Conduct, refer to Board Policy 1100.

Sexual Harassment (Board Policies 0010, 0010.1, 1100)

It is unlawful and against HFM BOCES to harass a person due to their sex or to engage in any other form of sexual harassment.

For more detailed information on HFM BOCES’ Sexual Harassment policies, refer to Board Policies 0010, 0010.1, and 1100.

Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (Board Policies 7201-7202.4)

All “school officials” are required by law to report or cause a report to be made:

  • Whenever they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is being abused or maltreated;
  • Where the parent, guardian, or other person legally responsible comes before them in their professional or official capacity and states from personal knowledge facts, conditions or circumstances which, if correct, would render the child abused or maltreated.
Child Abuse Reporting Procedures (Board Policies 7201-7202.4)

Oral reports shall be made to the State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR), unless otherwise required to report directly to the local child protective services. The SCR phone number is 1-800-342-3720.

Written reports shall be made by the Superintendent, or his designee, to the local Child Protective Service (CPS) within 48 hours of the oral report, on a form supplied by the local CPS.

The form will include:

  1. Names and address of child and parent or guardian responsible for the care of the child (if known).
  2. The child’s age, sex, and race
  3. The nature and extent of the child’s injuries, abuse or maltreatment, including any evidence of prior injuries, abuse or maltreatment to the child and their siblings.
  4. The name of the person or persons responsible for the cause of the abuse, if known
  5. Family composition, where appropriate
  6. The source of the report
  7. The name of the person making the report and where they can be reached
  8. The actions taken by the reporting source, including the taking of photographs and x-rays, removal or keeping of the child, or notifying the medical examiner or coroner
  9. Any other information which the person making the report believes might be helpful.

Any “school official” who willfully fails to report a case of suspected child abuse will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

For more information on HFM BOCES’ mandatory reporting policies, refer to Board Policies 7201-7202.4.

Civil Service Regulations

Employees hired in provisional positions are responsible for registering and taking all tests and examinations required for their position. You must reside in one of the following counties, Hamilton, Fulton or Montgomery counties. You will be able to find Civil Service announcements at:

Fulton County Personnel Office, 1 E. Montgomery St., Johnstown, NY 12095
(518) 736-5574
Visit the Fulton County Personnel Department webpage

Confidential Student Record Access (Board Policy 7400-7400.5)

HFM BOCES complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 as amended. FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Parents or eligible students (age 18) have the right to review student education records. BOCES must have written permission from the parent or eligible student to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows for schools to disclose information without consent to the following under certain conditions:

  • School officials with legitimate educational interests;
  • Other schools to which the student is transferring;
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  • Accrediting organizations;
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully-issued subpoena
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to a specific State law

For more information call 1-800-USA-Learn (1-800-872-5327). Individuals who use TDD may use the Federal Relay Service (

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-8520

In addition, for more information on HFM BOCES’ policies concerning access to confidential student records, refer to Board Policies 7400-7400.5.

Copyright/Intellectual Property Rights

It is the policy of HFM BOCES that any materials created by employees, consultants or interns connected by their employment, internship or consulting arrangement, shall be the sole property of BOCES. A copyright notice shall be placed on all materials prior to their release or publication to anyone outside the organization. In cases where BOCES produces materials for other districts, other BOCES or any other clients outside of HFM BOCES as the result of contracting for specific products, ownership and copyrights for those products shall be retained by the client.
For more information on HFM BOCES’ policies concerning copyright and intellectual property rights, refer to Board Policies 5302-5302.1.

Code of Ethics (Board Policy 0030)

All employees of the Board of Cooperative Educational Services, whether paid or unpaid, shall follow the standards of the following guidelines found in the Board Policy Manual 0030 Code of Ethics concerning:

  • Gifts
  • Confidential Information
  • Representation Before the Board
  • Representation Before Any Agency for a Contingent Fee
  • Disclosure of Interest in Legislation
  • Investments in Conflict with Official Duties
  • Private Employment
  • Future Employment

For more information on HFM BOCES’ Code of Ethics, refer to Board Policy 0030.

Internet/Computer Use (Board Policy 5301)

The use of computers and access to the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES network and internet is a privilege, not a right. Unacceptable use may result in cancellation of the privilege for any user whether that user is a student, a staff member, or a community member.

For more information on HFM BOCES’ internet and computer use policy, refer to Board Policy 5301.

Maintenance Requests

Please refer to your supervisor for any maintenance requests; if your supervisor is unavailable, requests would then need to be entered using School Dude (

Field Trips (Board Policy 8500)

HFM BOCES recognizes that student participation in field trips and excursions primarily serves to provide enrichment in the instructional program for the student.

For more information on HFM BOCES’ policy concerning field trips and offsite activities policy, refer to Board Policy 8500.


Employee Handbook, Part One – Equal Opportunity, Professional Growth
Employee Handbook, Part Three – Health & Welfare, Expenses & Reimbursements