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Fox Chapel Area School District
611 Field Club Road / Pittsburgh, PA 15238 / 412.963.9600

Back to School 2017 Information

welcome back

 

Welcome back to the 2017-2018 school year!

You will find information of importance for the new school year on this page.

 


The following procedures for full paid, free or reduced priced lunch and breakfast will be in effect for the 2017-2018 school year. The daily school lunch price is $2.85 at the secondary level or $2.55 at the elementary level. Breakfast may also be purchased for $1.35 daily at all levels. Students, who qualify, may also receive meals free or at a reduced price.

The lunch and breakfast programs begin on Tuesday, August 29, 2017.

To receive free or reduced priced meals for your child, you must thoroughly complete a Meal Benefit Application and return it to the school. This application must be completed every school year. One Meal Benefit Application may now be used for all eligible school children in the family. If you receive notification that you are on the direct certification list, you do not have to fill out an application. Parents/guardians can also fill out a free/reduced application online at https://www.schoolcafe.com. If you apply for meal benefits online, you do not have to submit a paper application. We can not accept Medical Assistance or EBT Access card numbers in section 2 of the Meal Benefit Application. Only the 9-digit SNAP or TANF case number can be used. Reduced-price lunches are $0.40 per day, and reduced priced breakfasts are $0.30 per day.

Students may bring in cash or a check (made payable to the "FCASD Cafeteria Fund") to the cafeteria to pay for lunch or breakfast at any time and students may also pay daily in the lunch line. If paying via the point-of-sale (POS) system, students will be given a Personal Identification Number (PIN) at the elementary, middle school, and high school. Whether prepaying or paying daily, PINs must be used at all buildings for all account transactions. Please have students bring payment in an envelope which includes the student’s name, room number, homeroom teacher, and any special instructions. Payments can also be made online at https://www.schoolcafe.com with student school ID number and the school zip code.

CHARGED LUNCHES
Students that incur a negative balance are expected to bring their accounts up-to-date by the following school day. For further information, please see the district's Student Food Service Charges Debt Policy at: http://www.fcasd.edu/about-the-district/food-services.html?showall=&start=4.

For access to all menus, free and reduced forms, and general information on the nutrition center, please visit: http://www.fcasd.edu/about-the-district/food-services.html.

Please contact Nutrition Center Manager Julie Geary at 412/967-2502, or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., with any questions regarding the school breakfast and lunch program. Please contact Susan Johnson with any questions about the free and reduced program at 412/967-4409, or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sincerely,

Julie Geary
Nutrition Center Manager


Please click below to view the school bus safety seatbelt pamphlet.


Dear Parents/Guardians:

In order for the educational process to be efficient and effective, the Fox Chapel Area School District must collect and store certain information about students. All school records are handled in strict compliance with Federal and State laws and regulations.

Care is taken to collect only necessary information on students. Identifying data, such as name, address, birth date, academic work completed, grade, standardized achievement test scores, attendance records, and parents' or guardians' names and addresses are collected and kept permanently. Other data such as health records, discipline records, background information, and aptitude test scores are maintained for varying periods of time depending upon the nature of the information and its importance to the student's educational program. If individualized tests are to be administered, the written consent of the parent or guardian is obtained.

Standardized tests are administered to students during the school year. The results will become a part of the student record. A list of standardized tests administered in the district accompanies this letter. Should parents wish to obtain additional information about the tests, or discuss results, they may contact the building principal or counselor.

Each child's school records are available for parental inspection at mutually agreeable times by contacting the building principal.

Sincerely,

Gene Freeman, Ed.D.
Superintendent


Please click below for the Student Accident Insurance Brochure.


Dear Parents/Guardians:

Our students, educational programs, school events, and community-oriented activities are sometimes made the subject of recording by video, audio, photography, and the like for use as instructional and informational tools. Since the schools are public buildings, students are frequently the subject of video and audio recording, interviewing, and/or photographing. In addition, our students’ work is sometimes published in print and/or the electronic media. The district will allow students to be recorded, interviewed, and/or photographed and students’ work to be published for legitimate public purposes.

Throughout the 2017-2018 school year, your son or daughter may be recorded, interviewed, and/or photographed by representatives from newspapers, television stations, and radio stations, as well as district communications office personnel or their designees and these items may be publicly displayed. Students and their work and photographs may also appear in print media and/or electronically on places such as public websites, social media, and through broadcasts.

If you do object to such publication, you must file a written objection. The district will not deliberately publish your child if you have filed a written objection. The district will also make a reasonable effort to avoid publication by any third party. It is understood that the district certainly has no control of the news media or others outside of the school organization. Student participation in school activities, especially athletics and other competitive events, increases the likelihood of publication of stories and images of those students.

Please address written objections to: Bonnie Berzonski, Coordinator of Communications, Fox Chapel Area School District, 611 Field Club Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238. If you have filed a written objection in the past, you still must file a new letter of objection each year. All written objections must be filed with the district’s communications office by Friday, August 25, 2017. If you do not file a written objection, your silence will serve as implied consent.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this letter, please contact me in the school district communications office at 412/967-2452.

Sincerely,

Bonnie Berzonski
Coordinator of Communications


Inclement Weather Notice to Parents/Guardians

We take the responsibility of delaying or canceling school very seriously. We recognize that delays and cancellations create inconveniences for parents/guardians who work outside of the home and that schedule changes take away from the continuity of teaching and learning. Please know that we will not interrupt the educational process unless we feel it is absolutely necessary.

Our number one concern is the safety of children. We depend upon the experience of our bus contractor to keep us informed concerning the ability of buses to travel the roads. The process of checking road conditions begins very early in the morning. From that information, a judgment is made to delay or cancel school. If we receive advance warning of a severe storm, and have sound information that it will arrive, we may cancel classes so that children do not arrive at school and become stranded.

Parents/guardians should discuss what their children should do in case of an early dismissal. If there is an early dismissal, children will be sent home on the buses. The high school students will be dismissed first, followed by the middle school and Hartwood Elementary students, and then the remainder of the elementary students. This order of dismissal is utilized so that older children can be at home when their younger brothers and sisters arrive. Parents/guardians should plan with their children how they wish to handle an early dismissal.

Buses may be unable to make it to the regular drop-off point. If that should occur, the driver will radio the bus garage and inform the school.

If the driver is able to see the bus stop and observe the children walk to the bus stop, the driver will allow the children to disembark from the bus to walk to their normal drop-off point. Parents should encourage their children to stand away from the side of the snow-covered roads and to use extreme caution at all times.

If the driver cannot make it to the drop-off point, he/she will radio the bus garage and inform the school. School personnel will then attempt to contact the parents/guardians. If the parents/guardians cannot be notified, the children will be taken back to school.

In the event that buses do not arrive at school on schedule at dismissal time, the children will be kept in the school. There are emergency provisions in each of the buildings and the students will be fed if they are stranded at school.

Parents/guardians of elementary children must have already completed and turned in to the building principal, an emergency card. This information will help the school personnel know who to contact in the event of an emergency or weather-related early dismissal. The card should include the parents’/guardians’ emergency telephone numbers where someone can always be contacted.

Please be sure that your children are dressed for the weather. When there is a threat of snow and the wind chill is low, children should have hats, coats, boots, and gloves to wear.

Please remember that we are making a decision based on what is best for the entire school district. That decision may not always seem like the best decision for your section of the school district but may be appropriate for another area. The school district covers an area of approximately 36 square miles, so there are times when roads will be clear in one section and very bad in other areas. All roads are not treated or cleared at the same time, which can result in bus delays.

When there is a school delay, cancellation, or early dismissal, every parent/guardian in the district will receive a phone call from the district’s school messaging system. Additionally, an announcement will still be placed on the district’s information line at 412/967-2500 and on the district’s website at www.fcasd.edu. Please note that during a power outage it may not be possible to place an announcement on the district’s website and on the telephone information line. Delay, cancellation, and/or early dismissal announcements will also be placed on the following television stations: KDKA-TV, WPXI-TV, and WTAE-TV.

It is also important to note that if school is cancelled and student makeup days are necessary, they will be held in the following order: June 11, June 12, and June 13, 2018.


Dear Parents/Guardians:

As part of our educational program, students in grades 3-12 will be provided with GoogleApps accounts. This means our students will have access to the suite of applications provided by Google, including email, word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet tools. The purpose of the account is to provide students with software for collaboration and learning through the use of technology. The suite of applications includes, but is not limited to: GMail, Google Docs, and Google Sites.

Your son or daughter will have access to this account, its applications, and email address both on and off campus. Upon request, you may also have access to this account. If you object to your child having access to any whole or part of the GoogleApps suite, you must file a written objection. Please address written objections to: the Office of Educational Technology, Fox Chapel Area School District, 611 Field Club Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238. All written objections must be filed with the office of educational technology by Friday, September 1, 2017. If you do not file a written objection, your silence will serve as implied consent.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this, please call the school district's office of educational technology at 412/967-2443.

Megan Cicconi
Director of Instructional and Innovative Leadership


PPRA affords parents of elementary and secondary students certain rights regarding the conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These include, but are not limited to, the right to:

  • Consent before students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas (“protected information survey”) if the survey is funded in whole or in part by a program of the U.S. Department of Education (ED)–
  1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent;
  2. Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
  3. Sex behavior or attitudes;
  4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
  5. Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
  6. Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;
  7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student’s parent; or
  8. Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.
  • Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of
  1. Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding;
  2. Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under State law; and
  3. Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others. (This does not apply to the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the exclusive purpose of developing, evaluating, or providing educational products or services for, or to, students or educational institutions.)
  • Inspect, upon request and before administration or use –
  1. Protected information surveys of students and surveys created by a third party;
  2. Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes; and
  3. Instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum.

These rights transfer from the parents to a student who is 18 years old or an emancipated minor under State law.

Fox Chapel Area School District has developed and adopted policies, in consultation with parents, regarding these rights, as well as arrangements to protect student privacy in the administration of protected information surveys and the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information for marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes. Fox Chapel Area School District will directly notify parents of these policies at least annually at the start of each school year and after any substantive changes. Fox Chapel Area School District will also directly notify, such as through U.S. Mail or email, parents of students who are scheduled to participate in the specific activities or surveys noted below and will provide an opportunity for the parent to opt his or her child out of participation of the specific activity or survey. Fox Chapel Area School District will make this notification to parents at the beginning of the school year if the District has identified the specific or approximate dates of the activities or surveys at that time. For surveys and activities scheduled after the school year starts, parents will be provided reasonable notification of the planned activities and surveys listed below and be provided an opportunity to opt their child out of such activities and surveys. Parents will also be provided an opportunity to review any pertinent surveys. Following is a list of the specific activities and surveys covered under this direct notification requirement:

  • Collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for marketing, sales, or other distribution.
  • Administration of any protected information survey not funded in whole or in part by ED.
  • Any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening as described above.

Parents who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with:

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


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students who are 18 years of age or older ("eligible students") certain rights with respect to the student's education records. These rights are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day the Fox Chapel Area School District receives a request for access.

Parents or eligible students who wish to inspect their child’s or their education records should submit to the school principal [or appropriate school offi­cial] a written request that identifies the records they wish to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

  1. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.

Parents or eligible students who wish to ask the Fox Chapel Area School District to amend their child’s or their education record should write the school principal [or appropriate school official], clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.

  1. The right to provide written consent before the school discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without con­sent.

One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. The criteria for determining who constitutes a school official and what constitutes a legitimate educational interest must be set forth in the school’s or school district’s annual notification for FERPA rights. A school official typically includes a person employed by the school or school district as an ad­ministrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel) or a person serving on the school board. A school official also may include a volunteer, contractor, or consultant who, while not employed by the school, performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, audi­tor, medical consultant, or therapist; a parent or student volunteering to serve on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a parent, student, or other volunteer assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educa­tion record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

Upon request, the school discloses education records without consent to officials of another school or school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, or is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes of the student’s enrollment or transfer.

  1. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the Fox Chapel Area School District to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202

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

FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the parent or eligible student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in § 99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the parent or eligible student, § 99.32 of the FERPA regulations requires the school to record the disclosure. Parents and eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A school may disclose PII from the education records of a student without obtaining prior written consent of the parents or the eligible student –

  • To other school officials, including teachers, within the educational agency or institution whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in § 99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) - (a)(1)(i)(B)(3) are met. (§ 99.31(a)(1))
  • To officials of another school, school system, or institution of postsecondary education where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of § 99.34. (§ 99.31(a)(2))
  • To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as the State educational agency (SEA) in the parent or eligible student’s State. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of § 99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf, if applicable requirements are met. (§§ 99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
  • In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary for such purposes as to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§ 99.31(a)(4))
  • To State and local officials or authorities to whom information is specifically allowed to be reported or disclosed by a State statute that concerns the juvenile justice system and the system’s ability to effectively serve, prior to adjudication, the student whose records were released, subject to § 99.38. (§ 99.31(a)(5))
  • To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction, if applicable requirements are met. (§ 99.31(a)(6))
  • To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. (§ 99.31(a)(7))
  • To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§ 99.31(a)(8))
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena if applicable requirements are met. (§ 99.31(a)(9))
  • To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to § 99.36. (§ 99.31(a)(10)
  • Information the school has designated as “directory information” if applicable requirements under § 99.37 are met. (§ 99.31(a)(11))
  • To an agency caseworker or other representative of a State or local child welfare agency or tribal organization who is authorized to access a student’s case plan when such agency or organization is legally responsible, in accordance with State or tribal law, for the care and protection of the student in foster care placement. (20 U.S.C. § 1232g(b)(1)(L))
  • To the Secretary of Agriculture or authorized representatives of the Food and Nutrition Service for purposes of conducting program monitoring, evaluations, and performance measurements of programs authorized under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, under certain conditions. (20 U.S.C. § 1232g(b)(1)(K))

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Federal guidelines, as set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, require that school districts identify children who are homeless. The Federal mandate, and the intention of the Fox Chapel Area School District, is to ensure that homeless children and youth have access to free appropriate public education on an equal basis with other children. Children who are homeless, including those living with others, may qualify for assistance with school lunch, with school supplies/materials, with tutoring, and with transportation so that if you wish, they can remain in their school of origin.

If you believe your child(ren) may qualify for this service, please contact the principal of your school. You may also contact my office at (412) 967-2414.

The term "homeless children and youth" means individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence . . .;(Section 725).

Homeless children may be identified as living in the following situations:

  • Public or private shelters.
  • Public or private places not designated for/or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations such as vehicles, parks, motels, campgrounds, etc.
  • Living with a parent in a domestic violence shelter.
  • Runaway children (under age 18) and children who have been abandoned or forced out of the home by parents or other caretakers. They may be in temporary shelters awaiting assistance from social service agencies, or may live alone on the street or move from place to place among family members, friends or acquaintances. This also includes such youth from 18 to 21 years of age who may still be eligible for educational services in regular or special education.
  • Children of migrant families who lack adequate housing.
  • Children abandoned in hospitals or awaiting foster care.
  • School-age, unwed or expectant mothers living in houses for unwed mothers when they have no other available living accommodations.

If your living situation changes over the summer or during the school year and your child(ren) become homeless, please be sure to contact the principal of his or her school or my office. We will work with you to minimize the disruption of your child(ren)'s education.

Sincerely,

Gene Freeman, Ed.D.
Superintendent


Dear Parents/Guardians:

Fox Chapel Area School District uses an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach for managing insects, rodents and weeds. Our goal is to protect every student from pesticide exposure by using an IPM approach to pest management. Our IPM approach focuses on making the school buildings and grounds an unfavorable habitat for these pests by removing food and water sources and eliminating their hiding and breeding places. We accomplish this through routine cleaning and maintenance. We routinely monitor the school building and grounds to detect any pests that are present. Pest sightings are reported to our maintenance staff who will then evaluate the “pest problem” and determine the appropriate pest management techniques to address the problem. The techniques can include increased sanitation, modifying storage practices, sealing entry points and physically removing pests.

From time to time, it may be necessary to use chemicals to manage a pest problem. Chemicals will only be used when necessary, and will not be routinely applied. When chemicals are used, the school will use the least toxic products possible. Applications will be made only when unauthorized persons do not have access to the area(s) being treated. Notices will be posted in these areas 72 hours prior to application and for two days following the application.

Parents or guardians of students enrolled in the school may request prior notification of specific pesticide applications made at the school. To receive notifications, you must be placed on the school’s notification registry. If you would like to be placed on this registry, please notify the building principal of your child’s school in writing. Please note that this registry will be updated annually, therefore, parents must submit a letter each school year if they wish to be placed on this registry. Include your name, your child’s/children’s name(s), address, and telephone number.

If a chemical application must be made to control an emergency pest problem, notice will be provided by telephone to any parent or guardian who has requested such notification in writing. Exemptions to this notification include disinfectants and antimicrobial products, self-containerized baits placed in areas not accessible to students, gel type baits placed in cracks, crevices or voids, and swimming pool maintenance chemicals.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these procedures, please contact me in the school district ancillary services office at 412-967-2422.

Sincerely,

Rick Perkins
Maintenance Supervisor


A building re-inspection by an EPA accredited inspector was performed in all district buildings in 2016. The building inspection is designed to meet the requirements of the AHERA Regulation (40 CFR Part 763, subpart E “Asbestos-Contaminating Materials In Schools”). A copy of this inspection is available for review in each school office by any building occupant or legal guardian(s).

AHERA regulations require a re-inspection every three years by an accredited building inspector. The next building triennial update is scheduled for 2019.

If there are any questions regarding AHERA, please contact:

Rick Perkins
611 Field Club Road
Pittsburgh, PA. 15238
412/967-2422


Dear Parents/Guardians:

As a parent of a student attending the Fox Chapel Area School District, you have the right under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 to request information about the professional qualifications of the classroom teachers who instruct your child. Specifically, you have the right to know:

  • whether the State has licensed or qualified the teacher for the grades and subjects he or she teaches;
  • whether the teacher is under an emergency license or other provisional status; and
  • what college major and graduate degrees are held by a teacher.

Please be aware that all teachers in the Fox Chapel Area School District meet both State and Federal requirements for the positions they hold and they have been reported as highly qualified to the State of Pennsylvania. If you would like to receive any of the above information, please submit a written request to:

            Gene Freeman, Ed.D., Superintendent
            Fox Chapel Area School District
            611 Field Club Road
            Pittsburgh, PA 15238

Sincerely,

Gene Freeman, Ed.D.
Superintendent


Dear Parents/Guardians:

It is extremely important for students at all grade levels in the Fox Chapel Area School District to be present for class daily to gain the greatest academic benefit from the learning process.

We know that family circumstances may require that a student be absent from school for what is termed a non-school-sponsored trip. In order for this type of absence to be considered excused, the request must comply with the district’s Policy and Regulations adopted by the Board of School Directors. Please review this information carefully and complete the Educational Tour & Trip Request Form (No. 204.1-AR) that is posted on the district website. This information is to be submitted to the principal's office at your child's school prior to leaving on a non-school-sponsored trip.

Should you have any questions concerning this process, or require assistance, please contact the principal of the building where your child is enrolled.

Sincerely,

Gene Freeman, Ed.D.
Superintendent


Dear Parents/Guardians:

The state of Pennsylvania requires school districts to follow strict compulsory attendance laws. As a result, our school district attendance policies reflect these requirements. The state broadly defines absences as excused when a student is prevented from attendance for mental, physical, or other urgent reasons. The items below outline the key components of the attendance policy. Statements in italics are intended to help clarify the state’s wording.

  • All absences should be treated as unlawful until the school district (school) receives a written excuse explaining the reason(s) for an absence.       Parents/guardians and students should submit the written explanation within three calendar days of the absence. If they fail to provide a written excuse within three days of the absence, the absence would be permanently counted as unlawful.

This means that you are required to send a written excuse to school when your child returns to school after an absence. If the school does not receive a written excuse within three days of the absence, it remains an unlawful (unexcused) absence.

  • A maximum of ten days of cumulative lawful absences verified by parental notification may be permitted during a school year. All absences beyond ten cumulative days should require an excuse from a physician.

Cumulative days are defined as the total number. They may be consecutive or accumulated throughout the school year.

Research indicates that good school attendance habits are important to academic success. The benefits of regular classroom instruction are difficult to replicate and, once lost, are often not regained. Please help us support the academic success of your child by complying with the state attendance law and Fox Chapel Area School District policy.

Sincerely,

Gene Freeman, Ed.D.
Superintendent


This letter is to assure you of our concern for the safety and welfare of students. Our Emergency Operations Plan provides for response to all types of emergencies. Depending on the circumstances of the emergency, we will use one of the following protective responses.

Type of Protective Response

Immediate evacuation         Students are evacuated to a safe area on the school grounds in the event of a fire, etc.

Modified operation              May include cancellation/postponement or rescheduling of normal activities. These actions are normally taken in case of a winter storm or building problems that make it unsafe for students (such as utility disruptions) but may be necessary in a variety of situations.

In-place sheltering              Sudden occurrences, weather or hazardous materials related, may dictate that taking cover inside the building is the best immediate response.

Evacuation                         Total evacuation of the campus may become necessary if the school is in an endangered area. In this case, students may be taken to another school outside of the endangered area (“host” facility).

Additonally, if your residence is in a disaster area and the school is not, your children will be cared for in their regular school location until the danger has subsided, or until you or your authorized designee can reach the school.

Please watch WTAE-TV, KDKA-TV, and WPXI-TV for announcements relating any of the emergency actions listed above. Additionally, information concerning school closings will be recorded on our district’s information line at 412-967-2500, and the district’s web site at www.fcasd.edu whenever there are school delays, cancellations, or early dismissals.

We ask that you refrain from calling the school during the emergency. This will keep telephone lines open so that campus administrators will be able to make emergency calls and relay information to the media.

The media will advise you when and where to report to regain custody of students. This will avoid traffic congestion that may impede the response of emergency vehicles and threaten the safety of students and staff.

You will need to do the following when reporting to the designated student release area:

  • produce a photo identifying yourself as the authorized person designated at the beginning of the school year to pick up the student.
  • be prepared to sign a student release form.

The form designating persons to pick up your student is included with this letter for you to complete and have returned to the school immediately.   This form will be used for ALL INSTANCES when your student is released from the school. Please ensure that only those persons you list on the form attempt to pick up your student.

In the event your student has a personal means of transportation at school at the time of the emergency or evacuation, your consent is also required before the student will be permitted to leave with his/her own mode of transportation.

I specifically urge you not to telephone the school or attempt to make different arrangements during an event. This action will only create additional confusion and divert staff from their assigned emergency duties.

All instructions will be provided to the media for dissemination. Should the media be unable to operate because of power loss, etc, a route alerting system will be activated in your area.

Emergency conditions may also require that the school will have to close for a period of time. In that event, students may be required to complete assignments at home or at another location. You will be informed via the news media or neighborhood alerting system of procedures to be followed.

In order to assure the safety of our students and staff, and in an effort to assure the continuity of the educational process, I ask your understanding and cooperation. Should you have additional questions regarding our emergency operating procedures contact your building principal.

Sincerely,

Gene Freeman, Ed.D.
Superintendent


Homebound Instruction Definition

(Taken from Special Education Standards of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 1976 revision):

“Homebound Instruction is the provision of educational programs and services by the public schools in the home. The Homebound Instruction Program is provided to persons of school age who cannot attend any portion of the school day during the terms of physical or mental illness.”

To be eligible for Homebound Instruction, student must anticipate an absence for a minimum of 3 weeks.

Please contact the school counselor. The school counselor will provide you with the required Physician’s Statement (P203) and the Physician Input form. A psychiatrist must sign a request for Homebound for reasons of mental illness. If a request for Homebound Instruction is made because of mental illness, we will need to determine if this student could be in need of emotional support/special education services.

The P203 is only good for a maximum 90 calendar days or for the length of time specified by the Physician.

  • If a student needs to be on Homebound longer than 90 days, a new P203 will need to be signed by the physician/psychiatrist before statement expires.
  • The new P203 will need to be in the Pupil Services Office two weeks before expiration in order to continue Homebound Instruction. Otherwise, there will be a disruption in service until the new P203 is received.

Pupil services must receive the Physician’s Statement P203 before Homebound Instruction begins.

Teachers should not begin instruction of a student until the assistant superintendent gives final approval of the need for HBI. Teachers need to be aware that five (5) hours per week combined instruction should not be exceeded. Teachers providing Homebound Instruction will schedule instruction time when parent/guardian or other adult is in the home. The instruction schedule will be established by joint agreement of the physician, parent/guardian and homebound instructor. The classroom teacher will forward assignments, textbooks and materials to the student as soon as possible after notification of the student’s confinement. The teacher will confer with the homebound instructor during tutoring to assess the needs and progress of the student. The homebound instructor will consult with the classroom teacher to gain an understanding of the material to be covered, and make recommendations for grades. The question of credit being given for the work done in a homebound situation rests with the appropriate administrator. This determination will be made after input from the guidance counselor, classroom teacher, and homebound teacher.

Attachments:

Physician’s Statement for Homebound Instructions (P-203)
Physician Input Form


Annual Public Notice of Special Education Services and Programs, Services for Gifted Students, and Services for Protected Handicapped Students

IDEA – Chapter 14: In compliance with state and federal law, notice is hereby given by the Fox Chapel Area School District that it conducts ongoing identification activities as a part of its school program for the purpose of identifying students who may be in need of special education and related services. Child Find refers to activities undertaken by public education agencies to identify, locate, and evaluate children residing in the State, including children attending private schools, who are suspected of having disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disability, and determine the child's need for special education and related services. The purpose is to locate these children so that a free appropriate public education (FAPE) can be made available. Identification Activities are performed to find a child who is suspected as having a disability that would interfere with his or her learning unless special education programs and services are made available. These activities are sometimes called screening activities. The activities include: review of group data, conducting hearing and vision screening, assessment of student's academic functioning, observation of the student displaying difficulty in behavior, and determining the student's response to attempted remediation. Input from parents is also an information source of identification. If your child is identified by the District as possibly in need of such services, you will be notified of applicable procedures. Individualized services and programs are available for children who are determined to need specially designed instruction due to the following conditions: autism/pervasive development disorder, blindness or visual impairment, deafness or hearing impairment, deaf blindness, orthopedic impairment, developmental delay, multiple disabilities, traumatic brain injury, other health impairment, emotional disturbance, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment. We offer a continuum of services for students with disabilities that begins with full inclusion in the child's home school and class to separate programs within other schools in which peers without disabilities would not participate.

If you believe that your school-age child may be in need of special education services and related programs, or your child (age 3 to school-age) may be in need of early intervention, screening and evaluation processes designed to assess the need of the child and his/her eligibility are available to you at no cost, upon written, request. You may request screening and evaluation at anytime, whether or not your child is enrolled in the District's public school program. Requests for school-age evaluations and screenings are to be in writing to: Special Education Department, Fox Chapel Area School District, 611 Field Club Road, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15238. Requests for children age 3 to school-age should be made in writing to Project DART, Allegheny Intermediate Unit, 475 East Waterfront Drive, Homestead, PA 15120.

Potential Signs of Developmental Delays and Other Risk Factors That Could Indicate a Need for Special Education Services
Some indications that your child may be a child with a disability who is in need of special education are:

• Exhibition of an emotional disturbance over a long period of time which affects your child's ability to learn
• Consistent problems in getting along with others
• Difficulty communicating
• Lack of interest or ability in age-appropriate activities
• Resistance to change
• Difficulty seeing or hearing that interferes with the ability to communicate
• Health problems that affect educational performance including attention problems
• Difficulty performing tasks that require reading, writing, or mathematics; and
• When, a child who is at least 3 years of age but before s/he has started school as a beginner, scores on a developmental assessment device, on an assessment instrument which yields a score in months, which score indicates that the child is delayed by 25% of the child's chronological age in one or more developmental areas, or if the child is delayed in one or more of the developmental areas, as documented by tests performance of 1.5 standard deviations below the mean on standardized tests.

Section 504 – Chapter 15: In compliance with state and federal law, the School District will provide to each protected handicapped student, without discrimination or cost to the student or family, those related aids, services or accommodations which are needed to provide equal opportunity to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school program and extracurricular activities without discrimination. A protected handicapped student must be school age with a physical or mental disability which substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program. You may request screening and evaluation of Chapter 15 services at any time, whether or not your child is enrolled in the District's public school program. Requests for evaluation and screening are to be made in writing to the Pupil Services Department, Fox Chapel Area School District, 611 Field Club Road, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15238.

Gifted Education – Chapter 16: In compliance with state law, services designed to meet the unique needs of gifted students are provided. Students are identified individually based on state law and district policy, and those students who possess superior intelligence scores or meet multiple criteria indicating gifted ability may receive services. If you believe that your school-age child may be eligible for gifted services, screening and evaluation processes designed to assess his/her eligibility is available to you at no cost, upon written request. You may request screening and evaluation at any time, whether or not your child is enrolled in the District's public school program. Requests for
evaluation and screening are to be made in writing to the Pupil Services Department, Fox Chapel Area School District, 611 Field Club Road, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15238.

Confidentially: All information gathered about your child is subject to the confidentiality provisions contained in federal and state law. The District has policies and procedures in effect governing the collection, maintenance, destruction and disclosure to third partied of this information. For information about this, as well as the rights of confidentiality and access to educational records, you may contact in writing the department named above.



Fairview Elementary School Student/Parent Handbook

Hartwood Elementary School Student/Parent Handbook

Kerr Elementary School Student/Parent Handbook

O'Hara Elementary School Student/Parent Handbook

Dorseyville Middle School Student Handbook

Dorseyville Middle School Parent Handbook

Fox Chapel Area High School Student/Parent Handbook