Section 6000 Instruction

0100 /6010 Our Mission

Madison Public Schools
Vision for 21st Century Education
The Madison Public Schools: “Every child, every day, leading the way”

The Madison Public Schools are driven by a mission to prepare all learners to make a unique, positive contribution in a complex, global society. We are committed to fostering the diverse talents and abilities of each and every child in an emotionally and physically safe environment. We envision learning as joyful and learners as passionate. We support our educators as innovators in a dynamic pursuit of continuous improvement. We are committed to the work that will lead to the development of all learners’ capacities to:

  • put ideas into action by thinking critically and creatively to identify and solve authentic, complex problems;
  • communicate and collaborate purposefully and effectively using a variety of media;
  • approach learning with effort and persistence while responding to success and failure with resiliency, reflection, and adaptability in an ever-changing world;
  • make ethical and responsible decisions.

Date of Adoption: October 1, 1996
Revised: November 7, 2006
Revised: September 3, 2013
Revised: February 11, 2014 / Added Series 0000 Mission, Goals, Philosophy

6030 School Calendar

The Board of Education shall establish an official school calendar which shall show the number of school days in each month, legal and local holidays, professional development days, early dismissal days, vacation periods, and other pertinent dates. The calendar shall meet or exceed all existing statutory requirements.

The school calendar should adhere to sound principles of calendar design, such as those listed below, so as to maximize the use of instructional time. Therefore, each adopted school calendar should illustrate that the Board of Education has considered the following principles for calendar design:

  1. maintain contiguous five-day school weeks to the extent possible throughout the school year;
  2. minimize the number of interruptions of school weeks in the fall of each school year prior to Thanksgiving;
  3. maintain a balance in the number of weeks between school vacations, including the December vacation, the February vacation, and the April vacation;
  4. schedule school vacation (start dates and end dates) in concert with other shoreline towns to the extent possible without violating other principles of calendar design,
  5. observe Labor Day, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Thanksgiving Day (Thursday and Friday), Martin Luther King Day, Good Friday, and Memorial Day as holidays for students;
  6. schedule the high school graduation ceremony no earlier than the 183rd day of school, recognizing that an adjustment in the date may be required at the first regular Board meeting in April because of school cancellations;
  7. schedule the beginning and end of the school year to permit the first day of school to be as late as possible in August or early September while allowing a reasonable number of make-up days for school cancellations in the month of June; and
  8. schedule professional development days for staff per the following: (a) prior to the beginning of school; (b) on days when students are not scheduled to attend school; (c) on days immediately preceding or following a scheduled holiday for students and / or staff; and (d) on such other dates as are consistent with sound principles of professional development and calendar design.

The Superintendent shall be charged with presenting a draft of the school calendar, based on the principles such as those above, to the Board of Education for review and approval no later than the first regular Board meeting in April. The proposal shall cover the school year following the upcoming year’s calendar.

Whenever necessary, the Board shall convene a calendar advisory committee to review such concerns and issues. The calendar advisory committee shall include representatives from the following groups: parents, teachers, students, administrators, support staff, and interested community members. The Superintendent shall also consult officials in neighboring school districts in conjunction with the work of the advisory committee.

Whenever necessary, the Board shall convene a calendar advisory committee to review such concerns and issues. The calendar advisory committee shall include representatives from the following groups: parents, teachers, students, administrators, support staff, and interested community members. The Superintendent shall also consult officials in neighboring school districts in conjunction with the work of the advisory committee.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
1-4 Days designated as legal holidays
10-15 Towns to maintain schools
10-16 Length of school day
10-29a Certain days to be proclaimed by governor. Distribution and number of proclamations
10-261 Definitions PA 95-182 An Act Concerning Reduction of Education Mandates

Date of Adoption: February 25, 1997
Date of Revision: March 21, 2006
Date of Revision: November 15, 2011

6050 Organization of Instruction

The school system has seven schools, and offers a diversified educational program compatible with the needs of the community and state standards.

The overall organization plan of the school system will be designed to facilitate the philosophy of educating every child, each to his or her fullest capacity.

The basic structure of the system will consist of three main divisions - the elementary level, middle school level, and high school level.

The elementary level will include the grades of kindergarten through grade four. The middle school will consist of grades five through eight; and, the high school will consist of grades nine through twelve.

The organization is designed to meet the standards of accreditation as required by the State Department of Education, and to serve the needs of all students.

Date of Adoption: October 1, 1996
Date of Revision: November 20, 2001

6070.1 Curriculum Development

The creation of curricular phases organizes and identifies priorities in a systematic manner which will guide revision efforts. The phases within the cycles allows for flexibility in revisions that move faster or slower based on depth and breadth of content. It further promotes interaction across content and concepts in order to build 21st Century Skills with meaning and importance while considering the changing needs of our students.

The Curriculum Review Council (CRC) provides clear guidance and feedback for curriculum writers with a primary function to uphold criteria for district design and assessment standards. All documents are reviewed by the Council prior to presentation to the Madison Board of Education. Changes and improvements in curriculum may be suggested and implemented administratively, as deemed necessary and educationally sound by the Superintendent or designee. Before new courses are added to the total offerings, such courses must be approved by the Board of Education. Courses may be dropped during one year because of few enrollees in the course, but reoffered and reinstated the following year by administrative action.

The Superintendent or designee shall establish a cyclical curriculum management process for all fields of study, consisting of the following components:

Curriculum Review Phases

Years 1-2: Review and evaluate curriculum, compare current standards, and research best practices. Draft priority benchmark units and courses. Conduct pilot units at select grade levels.
Years 2-3: Revise K-12 curriculum including indicators of student growth with supporting Professional Development for systemic instructional shifts. Select and purchase supporting materials.
Years 3-4: Implement adopted curriculum with a focus on instruction and continuing professional development. Evaluate needs for modification for learning plan based on evidence of student learning.
Years 4-5: Monitor implementation and make adjustments. Collect and analyze data on student performance. Determine needs for supplemental materials and additional in-service training.
Years 5-6: Evaluate effectiveness of curriculum based on data and various measures of student outcomes.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
10-16b Prescribed courses of study.
10-16c et seq. re family life education.
10-17 English language to be medium of instruction.
10-17 et seq. re Bilingual instruction.
10-18 Courses in United States history, government and duties and responsibilities of citizenship.
10-18a Contents of textbooks and other general instructional materials.
10-18b et seq. re Firearms safety programs.
10-19 Effect of alcohol, nicotine or tobacco and drugs to be taught. Training of personnel. Evaluation of programs by alcohol and drug abuse commission and department of education.
10-19a et seq. re Substance abuse prevention team.
10-24 Course in motor vehicle operation and highway safety.
10-21 et seq. re Vocational education and cooperation with business .
10-220 Duties of boards of education as amended by PA 08-153.
10-221a High School graduation requirements.

Date of Adoption: October 1, 1996
Date of Revision: October 3, 2017

6070.2 Curriculum

In accordance with state statutes, the prescribed course of study shall include at least the following subject matter:

  1. The arts;
  2. Career education;
  3. Consumer education;
  4. Health and safety, including, but not limited to, human growth and development; nutrition; first aid; disease prevention; community and consumer health, physical mental and emotional health, including youth suicide prevention, substance abuse prevention, and safety, which may include the dangers of gang membership, and accident prevention; instruction on acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and sexual harassment & assault.
  5. Language arts, including reading, writing, grammar, speaking and spelling;
  6. Mathematics;
  7. Physical education;
  8. Science;
  9. Social studies, including, but not limited to, citizenship, economics, geography, government and history;
  10. At least on the secondary level, one or more foreign languages and/or career & life education.

Written curriculum will be applied by the staff in their classroom teaching.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
10-16b Prescribed courses of study. (as modified by PA 97-45 and PA 97-61)
10-18 Courses in United States history, government and duties and responsibilities of citizenship.
10-19 Teaching about alcohol, nicotine or tobacco, drugs, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Training of personnel.
10-220 Duties of boards of education
10-221(d) Board of education to prescribe rules

Date of Adoption: February 25, 1997
Technical Revision: August 22, 2006
Date of Revision: November 15, 2016
Date of Revision: October 3, 2017

6070.3 Curriculum Pilot Projects

It will be the policy of the district that innovation on a regular basis is critical to maintaining a quality learning program for students at both the elementary and secondary level. Planning for improvement of the district's learning program must always include innovative programs developed by the district's professional educators and supported by sound educational philosophy and research.

The professional staff is encouraged to seek improvement of the educational program in the schools through all appropriate means, including carefully designed pilot project.

"Pilot project" may originate at the individual classroom level, building level or district level. Approval of the pilot project should be obtained from the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and the school principal before implementation.

Date of Adoption: October 1, 1996

6080 Educating Students in the Core Educational Program

The Madison Board of Education recognizes that all students deserve and are entitled to educational programs and services of high quality. Therefore, the core educational program for students K-12 will be designed to implement the mission statement, expected outcomes, and strategic directions for quality programming approved by the Board and outlined in the Vision for School Improvement.

General Principles for Programming

The Vision for School Improvement delineates that educators in the Madison Public Schools will fully develop students in the core educational program by:

  • focusing on individual learning and facilitating mastery of core curriculum;
  • monitoring students’ behavior, academic progress, and emotional well-being;
  • facilitating students’ productive thinking, problem-solving, and creative processing of information;
  • instilling a strong sense of social responsibility and teaching students to accept and respect multicultural diversity;
  • teaching students to value school work and to understand how their performance affects future opportunities;
  • assuring that students integrate concepts and skills and apply learning in real-life experiences;
  • counseling and assisting students to assure informed decision making;
  • preparing students for the transition to jobs or advanced education; and
  • assuring that students have a foundation for lifelong learning.

Instructional emphasis on reading, mathematics, and communication skills, particularly at elementary and middle-school levels, will be directed toward giving students a strong foundation in the core skills and concepts.

Guidelines for Instruction

The Madison Public Schools should provide challenging curriculum and instruction that nurtures strengths, interests, and abilities of all students. All students deserve a planned educational program designed to meet their learning needs. The learning experiences for all students should provide a wide range of open-ended activities that are designed to accommodate the student’s learning style.

Lessons and educational experiences should be comprehensively designed to accommodate the needs of all students in the regular classroom. It is also essential to have a varied repertoire of other instructional settings available to provide suitable educational experiences for all students. All students need opportunities to interact with each other. Interaction periodically with other students learning at a similar pace and level provides additional intellectual challenge, social and emotional support, and the opportunity to gain a more accurate perspective on their own abilities and those of others. Because these educational experiences cannot occur without appropriate teacher training, the Board charges the Superintendent and the administrative staff with responsibility of developing and implementing appropriate professional development activities.

Each school and classroom teacher will endeavor to create a learning environment in which healthy growth is fostered, ability is recognized, and excellence is encouraged. All aspects of the core educational program and the extended learning activities should be congruent with the developmental stages (social, emotional, intellectual, and physical) of the students being served.

K-12 Program Development

The Board of Education requires the Madison Public Schools’ administration and staff, under the direction of the Superintendent, to develop and implement a planned, ongoing, and systematic core educational program, K-12. Each school should incorporate the ongoing development and refinement of the program as a school-based initiative documented in the school’s improvement plan.

Date of Adoption: November 19, 1996

6080.1 Educating Students With Special Needs

The Board of Education recognizes each student is unique, and, although for most students the core educational program is appropriate, some students have exceptional needs that cannot be met without additional special services. Therefore, the district shall provide special programs and services for all students whether these needs are academic, physical, emotional, psychological, or sociological

General Principles for Programming

The Madison Board of Education requires the administration and staff, under the direction of the Superintendent, to . . .

  1. develop a comprehensive plan of compliance with all of the requirements of federal and state law for the education of students with special needs who attend district schools.
  2. develop and promulgate regulations and procedures to identify students with special needs; and
  3. develop plans for assessment and evaluation of specific needs of each student identified to have special needs. The assessment plan shall be a description in ordinary language of procedures, tests, records, or reports proposed for use in student assessments.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
10-76a Definitions.
10-76b State supervision of special education programs and services.
10-76c Receipt and use of money and personal property.
10-76d Duties and powers of boards of education to provide special education programs and services.
10-76d(a) Identification of school age children needing special education.
10-76e School construction grant for cooperative regional specialeducation facilities.
10-76f Definition of terms used in formula for state aid for special education.
10-76g State aid for special education.
10-76h Special education hearing and review procedure. Mediation of disputes.
10-76i Advisory council for special education.
10-76j Five-year plan for special education.
10-76k Development of experimental educational programs.
10-76m Auditing claims for special education assistance.

State Board of Education Regulations
10-76a-1 et seq. Definitions.
10-76d-1 to 10-76d-19 Conditions of Instruction.
10-76h-1 to 10-76h-2 Due process.
10-76I-1 Program Evaluation.
10-145a-24 to 10-145a-31 Special Education (re teacher certification).
34 C.F.R. 3000 Assistance to States for Education for Handicapped Children.

Date of Adoption: November 7, 1996

6080.1.1 Educating Students in the Gifted and Talented Program

The Madison Board of Education recognizes that there are some students with extraordinary learning ability or outstanding talent in the creative arts, the development of which requires programs or services beyond the level of those ordinarily provided in the core educational program.

General Principles for Programming

Section 10-4a of the Connecticut General State Statutes requires that “each child shall have equal opportunity to receive a suitable program of educational experiences.” Therefore, the Madison Board of Education affirms the following:

  • The Madison Public Schools should identify gifted and talented students, K-12.
  • The Madison Public Schools should meet the educational needs of gifted and talented students, including expanding enrichment learning opportunities.
  • Instructional modifications should occur in the core educational program as part of a planned, ongoing, and systematic approach to meeting the needs of gifted and talented students.
  • In addition to the core educational program, specialized learning opportunities should be available.
  • Educators working with gifted and talented students should receive specialized training.

General Identification Guidelines

Connecticut state statute requires K-12 students who are gifted and talented to be identified. The purpose of assessment to identify giftedness is to determine areas of unusually high performance or potential and to develop them to the maximum extent. The Board recognizes that gifted and talented students possess a range of gifts and talents and that exceptionality may be exhibited in one or more specific areas, but not necessarily in all. Gifted and talented students’ social and emotional development may not always match their advanced intellectual, academic or creative development. For these reasons, identification must be accomplished by multiple procedures which are methodologically sound. Procedures may include portfolio review, performance-based assessment, judgment by experts, and standardized tests, as well as information collected from teachers and parents.

Guidelines for Instruction

The Madison Public Schools should provide challenging programming that nurtures the strengths, interests, and abilities of gifted and talented students. These students with exceptional gifts and talents deserve learning experiences that provide a wide range of open-ended activities designed to accommodate the students’ learning styles.

Quality instruction for gifted and talented students may be differentiated by faster pacing and greater depth and breadth, higher levels of abstraction and complexity, and presentation at an earlier age. Learning experiences which may be particularly successful with these students include in-depth investigations of special topics, directed independent study, regional or statewide off-campus courses, internships, mentorships, and peer teaching, all of which should respect each student’s learning style and area of giftedness. Gifted and talented students also need opportunities to interact with each other. Interaction periodically with others learning at a similar pace and level provides additional intellectual challenge, social, and emotional support, and the opportunity to gain a more accurate perspective of their own abilities and those of others.

Opportunities should be provided for both direct instruction and facilitation by those teachers trained especially to work with gifted and talented students, as well as by the core educational program teachers. These opportunities should be an integral part of the student’s total instructional time.

K-12 Program Development

The Board of Education requires the Madison Public Schools’ administration and staff, under the direction of the Superintendent, to develop and implement a planned, challenging, and integrated program of instruction for gifted and talented students in the Madison Public Schools (K-12). Each school should incorporate the development of a gifted and talented program as a school-based initiative documented in the school’s improvement plan.

Date of Adoption: December 3, 1996

6080.1.2 Title I Programs / Parental Involvement

Title I Programs

The Superintendent or his / her designee shall pursue funding under Title I, Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, to supplement instructional services and activities in order to improve the educational opportunities of educationally disadvantaged or deprived children.

All Madison schools, regardless of whether they receive Title I funds, shall provide services that, taken as a whole, are substantially comparable. Teachers, administrators, and other staff shall be assigned to schools in a manner that ensures equity among Madison schools. Curriculum materials and instructional supplies shall be provided in a manner that ensures equity among Madison schools.

Title I Parental Involvement

The Madison Public Schools maintains programs, activities, and procedures for the involvement of parents / guardians of students receiving services, or enrolled in programs, under Title I. These programs, activities, and procedures are described in District-level and School-level compacts.

District-Level Parental Involvement Compact

The Superintendent or his / her designee shall develop a District-Level Parental Involvement Compact according to Title I requirements. The District-Level Parental Involvement Compact shall contain: (1) the District’s expectations for parental involvement, (2) specific strategies for effective parent involvement activities to improve student academic achievement and school performance, and (3) other provisions as required by federal law. The Superintendent or his / her designee shall ensure that the Compact is distributed to parents / guardians of students receiving services or enrolled in programs under Title I.

School-Level Parental Involvement Compact

Each Building Principal or his/her designee shall develop a School-Level Parental Involvement Compact according to Title I requirements. This School-Level Parental Involvement Compact shall contain: (1) a process for continually involving parents / guardians in its development and implementation, (2) how parents / guardians, the entire school staff, and students share the responsibility for improved student academic achievement, (3) the means by which the school and parents / guardians build and develop a partnership to help children achieve the State’s high standards, and (4) other provisions as required by federal law. Each Building Principal or designee shall ensure that the Compact is distributed to parents / guardians of students receiving services, or enrolled in programs, under Title I.

(cf. 3541 – Student Transportation Services)
(cf. 4216.36 – Teacher Aides)
(cf. 5050.1 – Compulsory Attendance)
(cf. 5030.1 - Intradistrict School Attendance Areas)
(cf. 5100.9.1 – Student Recruitment)
(cf. 5120.9 – Homeless Students)
(cf. 5180.1 – Records / Confidentiality)
(cf. 5180.1.1 – Directory Information)
(cf. 5180.2 – Research)
(cf. 6080.21 – Bilingual Instruction)

Legal Reference: Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, 20 U.S.C.

Policy adopted: October 21, 2008

6080.2 English Language Arts Education

The Board believes that an English language arts curriculum should constitute the basic foundation for acquiring 21st century skills in other areas of study as well as promoting literacy to become lifelong learners and effective communicators. Experiences are crafted or students by offering opportunities for choice, collaboration, and critical reflection. A program which includes authentic assessment, differentiation of instruction, flexible grouping, and a multi-modality approach maximizes individual motivation and engagement.

Recognizing the importance of establishing the appropriate foundation during the primary grades and its statutory requirements, the district shall create and implement programs to develop literacy skills of students in grades K through 3 inclusive. To this end, professionals receive training through various professional growth opportunities in the teaching of the language arts, reading, and reading readiness. Ongoing assessments allow for targeted instruction and intervention, which are provided as needed to build foundational literacy skills. In the elementary and middle schools, students are individually assessed to determine targets for growth and development as readers. Developmental needs of students create a balance between advancement in books and the advancement of readers.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
PA 98-243 An Act Concerning Early Reading Success
10-14t Reading assessments for students in kindergarten to grade 3 (as amended by P.A. 15-97)
10-220a In-service training. Professional development. Institutes for educators.
Cooperating and beginning teacher programs, regulations (as amended by P.A. 15-97)
10-2211 Statewide Early Reading Success Institute
P.A. 15-97 An Act Concerning Students with Dyslexia

Date of Adoption: December 9, 1997
Date of Revision: January 19, 1999
Date of Revision: June 21, 2016

6080.11 Technology and Instruction

Students shall become technologically literate and acquire skills and knowledge that allow them to function comfortably as productive citizens in a technologically-oriented society. Student achievement of technology literacy is expected to be accomplished throughout the K-12 continuum through a planned, ongoing, and systematic program. Continuous evaluation of progress toward this goal is to be conducted by the Superintendent and school district staff.

The program of instruction in technology literacy requires attention to the following components:

  1. Curriculum. Objectives for instruction will be designed to promote sequential learning awareness, theory, and application of technology.
  2. Hardware. Specifications for selection will be designed to ensure durable, functional, and updated equipment.
  3. Software. Programs for use in technology, whether commercially or locally developed, will be selected and shared, within constraints of copyright laws, in the school system to promote maximum learning.
  4. Staff Development. Employees shall be offered training in awareness, theory, and technology applications.
  5. Resources and Funding. Commitment of school system resources is required for the development of the technology literacy program, and the Superintendent shall budget district funds to this program as well, seeking other public and private fundings for district technology.

Technologies curricula in the schools shall:

  1. familiarize students with technology equipment operation and uses;
  2. progress to use of technology as an instructional aide for regular class work and an enhancement to content learning; and
  3. teach students to use technology as one of many effective tools for problem solving.

The Superintendent or his / her designee shall work with staff to develop a long-range plan appropriate for instructional technology from kindergarten through the grade twelve continuum, including:

  1. budgeting and acquisition of technology equipment and infrastructure at all school levels;
  2. budgeting and acquisition of computer software at all school levels;
  3. professional development on appropriate uses for instructional technology and skills in instructional uses;
  4. coordination of K-12 curricula in instructional technology; and
  5. application of technology throughout the curricula in grades K-12.
Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
10-221 Boards of education to prescribe rules.

Date of Adoption: April 1, 1997

6080.13 Teaching About Religion

Separation of Church and State Policy

In accordance with the mandate of the Constitution of the United States prohibiting the establishment of religion, it is the policy of this Board that the Madison Public Schools will, at all times and in all ways, be neutral in matters of religion. This means that the Madison Public Schools will assume no role or responsibility for the religious training of any students and will in no way become involved in the religious belief, disbelief or doubt of any student. Moreover, it is impermissible for educators to teach religion or engage in religious indoctrination and practice in the public schools.

However, this requirement of neutrality need not preclude nor hinder the Madison Public Schools in fulfilling its responsibility to educate students to be tolerant and respectful of religious diversity. The district also recognizes that one of its educational responsibilities is to advance the students’ knowledge and appreciation of the role that religion has played in the social, cultural, and historical development of civilization.

Therefore, the district will approach religion from an objective, curriculum-related perspective, encouraging all students and staff members to be aware of the diversity of beliefs and respectful of each other’s religious and / or non-religious views. In that spirit of respect, students and staff members will be excused from participating in activities that are contrary to religious beliefs by written request to the building principal.

Recognition of Religious Holidays

While it is unconstitutional to celebrate religious holidays through religious worship or practices, the objective study of religious holidays provides a natural opportunity to promote an appreciation for and respect of diversity. Learning opportunities should extend beyond Judeo-Christian beliefs, reflecting the diversity of global cultures.

  1. Recognition of religious holidays will not dominate the educational program and must support curricular objectives
  2. All religions must be afforded equal dignity, but none advanced or disparaged.
  3. Decorations which are part of custom, that have no direct religious meaning, may be displayed.
  4. Programs should focus on seasonal rather than religious themes inclusive of concerts, enrichment programs and Parent-Teacher Organization sales.
  5. Performances which recognize holidays must be of an artistic nature, not religious. Religious music must not dominate any school program. Program selections should not, by their nature, exclude students from participation.

Holiday Celebration and Observances

The building principal is responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy. Pertinent information will be included in the student, parent, and staff handbooks.

Date of Adoption: November 19, 1996
Date of Revision: January 18, 2000

6080.19.3.4 Role of the School Psychologi

Psychological services are available to students in the district by state certified school psychologists. School psychologists are supervised by the Director of Special Programs and Student Services who is responsible for implementing the comprehensive school psychology program. Psychologists are also responsible to the school principal who provides building-level supervision and coordinates the school’s program.

  • School psychology is a support service which assists in the psychological growth of pupils and in the maintenance of a mentally healthy school environment.
  • School psychologists shall provide psychological services including consultation, psychological counseling, assessment, and advocacy in accordance with their job description.
  • School psychology services shall be available to both regular education and special education pupils.
  • Staff administration support and assistance shall be available from the Director of Special Programs and Student Services.
  • School psychologists shall administer and interpret individual psychological tests as part of multidisciplinary evaluations.
Date of Adoption: May 23, 2000

6080.19.3.5 Role of School Counselors

The focus of the guidance and counseling program in the district is on the developmental needs of all students at the middle and secondary levels.

Counselors demonstrate respect for the dignity and worth of each individual and encourage each student to develop individual responsibility and decision-making skills. Counselors coordinate the school guidance counseling program and involve all staff members in designing and implementing plans to meet three major goals:

  • Educational Development: Students participate in planning their educational experiences so that their education is consistent with educational requirements and career aspirations.
  • Personal Social Development: Students develop appropriate behaviors for a variety of social settings, and develop awareness of self and confidence in their own abilities in order to enhance their career and development
  • Career Development: Students explore career options consistent with their interests, abilities, and values, focusing on the four areas of vocation, avocation, family life, and citizenship

Within the areas of school counseling and guidance responsibility, the counselor enters into professional relationships with four segments of the school community: students, school personnel, and parents and guardians, and community agencies and resources. Consistent with the rights of the individual and the obligations of the counselor as a professional, the counseling relationship and resulting information is, in most instances, protected as privileged communication by state law. When appropriate, counselors will be responsible for explaining the ramifications of confidentiality to students.

Date of Adoption: May 23, 2000

6080.19.3.6 Role of Instructional Paraprofessionals

Teaching is viewed as a decision-making, decision-implementing process intended to promote learning. The decision-making process is the essence of responsibility and is clearly the task of certified personnel. However, once the professional decisions are made, trained instructional paraprofessionals can assist in their implementation.

An instructional paraprofessional is a person employed to assist classroom teachers and other certified personnel in the performance of their instructional or professional duties and responsibilities which, in the judgment of the certified personnel to whom the instructional paraprofessional is assigned, may be performed by a person not licensed as a classroom teacher.

The primary rationale supporting the utilization of instructional paraprofessionals in the school program is that their presence should significantly improve learning. Their addition to the staff should result from program development. Such program development should utilize certified personnel and instructional paraprofessionals in coordinated ways so as to greater learning opportunities for all students.

As the Madison Board of Education works toward more effective utilization of personnel, it recognizes the need for a special effort in three unique areas - elementary school level, middle school level and secondary school level. The board will seek qualified certified personnel and qualified instructional paraprofessionals in adequate numbers to deal with issues of:

  1. Optimum class size for each situation.
  2. Adequate released time for daily preparation during school hours.
  3. Reasonable sharing of clerical and other supportive tasks which contribute to the successful operation of the school program.
  4. Other matters consistent with the above stated policy, state statutes, and State Department of Education regulations.

The superintendent is responsible for establishing administrative procedures dealing with the assignment, transfer, job responsibilities and evaluation of instructional paraprofessionals employed by the Madison Public Schools.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statute
#10-145 Teacher Aides in Connecticut Public Schools Connecticut Department of Education

(cf. 4216 Instructional Paraprofessionals)

Date of Adoption: June 4, 1973 as #4216.36 Teacher Aides
Date of Revision: October 21, 2008

6080.20 School-Wide Pre-Referral Approaches and Interventions (Scientific Research-Based Interventions or SRBI)

It is the District’s policy to ensure that all students receive high quality, scientific, research-based general education core instruction and, as appropriate, strategic and intensive intervention supports matched to student needs. The District utilizes the core principles of the Response to Intervention (RTI) process, as embodied in Connecticut’s Framework for RTI, “Using Scientific Research-Based Interventions: Improving Education for All Students,” which combines systematic assessment, decision-making and a multi-tiered delivery model to improve educational and behavioral outcomes for all students.

The Board of Education recognizes that the provision of academic and behavioral supports and targeted interventions for students who are not making academic progress at expected levels in the general curriculum may improve a student’s performance, and help avert the need for referral for possible classification as a student with a disability. Therefore, the District will implement, on a school-wide basis, practices appropriate to enable all of the District’s students to succeed in the general education environment.

The District’s process will strive to identify students’ challenges early and provide appropriate instruction to ensure students are successful in the general education classroom. In implementing the RTI/SRBI process, the District shall apply:

  1. Scientific, research-based interventions in the general education setting;
  2. Monitoring and measurement of student progress in response to the instruction and interventions; and
  3. Use of data from these measures of student progress to shape instruction and make educational decisions

The Superintendent or his/her designee shall develop procedures to implement student interventions; and use teacher observations, and classroom, school or District assessments to identify students who are at risk of academic or behavioral problems and thereby in need of scientific research-based interventions.

Interventions consist of three levels or tiers of assistance that increase in intensity. The three levels shall include:

  1. Universal screening and classroom interventions; (Scientific Research-Based Core Curricula, Instruction, and Social/Behavior Supports)
  2. Targeted small group interventions; and (Scientific Research-Based Supplemental Interventions)
  3. Intensive interventions; (Supplemental, Research-Based Interventions that are more intensive and individualized)

The District is committed to follow the core features of the RTI/SRBI process, as follows:

  • High quality, research-based instruction and behavioral support in general education.
  • School-wide/district-wide screening of academics and behavior in order to determine which students need closer monitoring or additional interventions.
  • Multiple tiers of increasingly intense scientific, research-based interventions that are matched to student need.
  • Use of a collaborative approach by school staff for development, implementation, and monitoring of the intervention process.
  • Continuous monitoring of student progress during the interventions, using objective information to determine if students are meeting goals.
  • Follow-up measures providing information that the intervention was implemented as intended and with appropriate consistency.
  • Documentation of parental involvement throughout the process.
  • Documentation that the special education evaluation timelines specified in IDEA 2004 and in the state regulations is followed unless both the parents and school team agree to an extension.

Parent Involvement in the RTI/SRBI Process

The District shall inform parents regarding the use of scientific, research-based interventions, including:

  1. The state’s policies regarding the amount and nature of students’ performance data collected and the general education services provided;
  2. Strategies used to increase the student’s rate of learning; and
  3. The parent’s right to request a special education evaluation.

District implementation of any of the above practices will not impede or delay the appropriate evaluation of a student suspected of having a disability, and the student’s right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

(cf. 3150 – Medical Reimbursement for Special Education Students)
(cf. 6080.1 – Educating Students With Special Needs
(cf. 6090.10 – Individualized Education Programs / Special Education Programs
(cf. 6172.2 – Remedial Instruction)

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes

10-76a Definitions. (as amended by PA 00-48 and PA 06-18)
10-76b State supervision of special education programs and services.
10-76d Duties and powers of boards of education to provide special education programs and services. (as amended by PA 97-114, PA 00-48 and PA 06-18)
10-76f Definition of terms used in formula for state aid for special education.
10-76ff Procedures for determining if a child requires special education (as amended by PA 06-18)
10-76g State aid for special education.
10-76h Special education hearing and review procedure. Mediation of disputes. (as amended by PA 00-48)
10-76i Advisory council for special education.
10-76j Five-year plan for special education.
10-76k Development of experimental educational programs.
PA 06-18 An Act Concerning Special Education

State Board of Education Regulations.
10-76m Auditing claims for special education assistance.
10-76a-1 et seq. Definitions. (as amended by PA 00-48)
10-76b-1 through 10-76b-4 Supervision and administration.
10-76d-1 through 10-76d-19 Conditions of instruction.
10-76h-1 through 10-76h-2 Due process.
10-76l-1 Program Evaluation.
10-145a-24 through 10-145a-31 Special Education (re teacher certification).
10-264l Grants for the operation of interdistrict magnet school programs.
34 C.F.R. 3000 Assistance to States for Education for Handicapped Children.
34 C.F.R. §300.309 of IDEA, Use of Scientific Research-Based Intervention
American with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §12101 et seq.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1400 et seq.
Individuals with Disabilities Act §§ 1413(1); 14 14(b)(6)(B)
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, 29 U.S.C. § 794.
P.L. 108-446 The 2004 Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Act
20 U.S.C. §6368(3) The No Child Left Behind Act
Bd of Ed of the City School District of the City of New York v. Tom F. 128S.Ct. 1, 76U.S.L.W. 3197 (2008)

Policy adopted: July 20, 2010

6080.20.1 Remedial Instruction

The learning program shall be designed and operated so as to be developmental and to needs of all students within the regular classroom setting insofar as possible. Through personalized instructional methods and the employment of a variety of resources such as guidance and counseling, efforts shall be made to help each student learn the skills, concepts, or content of each new learning experience. Special remedial instruction beyond the regular classroom will be provided and made available as determined by Madison Public Schools’ policy and regulations.

Reference: Policy #6080.1 Educating Students with Special Needs

Date of Adoption: January 21, 1997

6080.21 Bilingual Instruction

The Superintendent of Schools, or his / her designee, shall ascertain annually the number of children of limited and non-English speaking ability within the school district and classify them according to their dominant language and report them to the Board of Education.

Whenever it is ascertained that there are in any public school building within Madison twenty or more eligible students classified as dominant in any one language other than English, the Board of Education shall provide a program of bilingual education for such eligible students for the following school year.

The Superintendent of Schools will require each School Principal to conduct a preliminary assessment of dominant language of all students in the district as follows:

  1. From parents/guardians by personal contact in the student's presumed dominant language.
  2. From parents/guardians by use of questionnaires in the student's dominant language.
  3. From personal interviews in the presumed dominant language (grades 4-12 only).
  4. From school records (only when unable to use one of the methods described above).

The Superintendent shall apply annually for a grant of funds to support such a program.

The Superintendent shall also submit annual reports of progress as required by law.

A meeting shall be held with the parents / guardians of eligible students to explain the benefits of the language program options available in the district. A student will be placed in a bilingual program if the parent(s) / guardian(s) elect this option.

6080.21.1 English Learner Students

The Board of Education (Board) recognizes the need to provide equal educational opportunities for all students in the District. Therefore, if the inability to speak and understand the English excludes a student from effective participation in the District's educational programs, the District shall take appropriate action to rectify the English language deficiency in order to provide the student with equal access to its programs. Students in a language minority (LM) or who have limited English Proficiency (LEP) will be identified, assessed and provided appropriate services. No child will be admitted to or excluded from any program based solely on surname or LM status.

The Board believes that high-quality, comprehensive, and effective English as a Second Language (ESL) program is essential to acquire English language proficiency and academic proficiency for students who are English Learners (ELs).

The Superintendent or his/her designee is directed to develop and implement procedures, consistent with the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) ESSA plan.


Language Minority (LM)
refers to a student whose linguistic background, such as country of birth or home environment, includes languages other than English. Language minority is based solely on the student's background and not on proficiency.
English Learner (EL)
refers to an LM student whose proficiency in reading, writing, listening or speaking English is below that of grade and age-level peers. Limited English proficiency is based on the assessment of a student's English language proficiency.
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
refers to an instructional approach that can include structured ESOL immersion, content-based ESOL or pull-out ESOL instruction.

Parents who are not able to use English in a manner that allows effective, relevant participation in educational planning for their child will be provided with written, verbal or signed communication in a language they can understand.

The goal of the ESOL program is to assist students to achieve fluency, including listening, comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing, in English. Parents/guardians of students of limited English speaking ability shall be notified by mail that their child is eligible for enrollment in ESOL or English language services education program. The written notice shall include the information that the parents may choose to enroll their child into the program.

Communications with parent/guardians of students in these programs shall be in writing, in both English and their primary speaking language.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes

10 17 English language to be medium of instruction. Exception.
10 17a Establishment of bilingual and bicultural program.
10 17d Application for and receipt of federal funds.
10 17e Definitions.
10 17f Required bilingual education. (as amended by PA 98-168, PA 01-205 and June Special Session PA 15-5)
10 17g Application for grant. Annual evaluation report.
10-76e Definitions.
10 146f Waiver of certification requirements for bilingual teachers.
P.A. 99-211 An Act Improving Bilingual Education.

State Board of Education Regulations

10 17h 1 to 10 17h 15. Programs of bilingual education.
Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964
Equal Education Opportunities Act as an amendment to the Education Amendments of 1974
Bilingual Education Act. 20 U.S.C. §§7401 et seq. as amended by the English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act.
34 CFR, Part 200 Regulations appearing in Federal Register, 9/13/06.
Title III, Language Instruction for English Learners and Immigrant Students, P.L. 114-95, ESSA, Sections 3001-3121
(20 U.S.C. 6812, 20 U.S.C. 6823)

Policy adopted: January 21, 1997
Date of revision: February 13, 2018

6080.22 Homebound / Hospital Instruction

Students who are unable to attend school due to a verified medical reason (which may include mental health issues) shall be provided with instruction in accordance with state regulations (Sec. 10-76d-15). In order to be eligible for such instruction, the student’s condition must necessitate an absence from school for at least 10 consecutive school days, or the student’s condition is such that the child may be required to be absent from school for short, repeated periods of time during the school year. Homebound or hospitalized instruction shall only be provided if the Board has received notice in writing that meets the requirements of state law. Additionally, it must be determined that the student can participate in and benefit from such homebound instruction despite the medical condition or circumstance that prevents him/her from attending school.

The Madison Board of Education shall provide homebound / hospital tutorial instruction when one or more of the following conditions apply:


Illness / medical reason: If a student is unable to attend school due to a verified medical reason, the child’s treating physician or psychiatrist must provide a statement directly to the district, in writing, on a form provided by the district. In order for homebound instruction to be provided, the physician must provide a statement (1) that the student is unable to attend school for a verified medical reason (including mental health issues); (2) that the student will be absent for at least ten (10) school days or that the student’s condition is such that the student may be absent from school for short, repeated periods of time; and (3) that provides an expected date that the student should return to school. The physician’s statement must nclude a statement that the physician has consulted with school health supervisory personnel and has determined that attendance at school with reasonable accommodations is not feasible, and must provide the child’s diagnosis with supporting documentation. Consent must be provided by the parent or eligible student to consult with the treating physician for this purpose. In the event that the district does not agree that homebound instruction is necessary for medical reasons, the district may offer, at its expense, an independent medical evaluation. If consent is not provided for the consultation with the treating physician or the independent medical evaluation, if requested, the district will not be responsible to provide homebound instruction to the student.

Medically Complex Disability:
A treating physician or psychiatrist states in writing, on a form provided by the district and provided directly to the district from the physician, that a student has a serious, ongoing illness or chronic condition for at least a year which requires prolonged or intermittent hospitalization and ongoing invasive medical treatments or medical devices to compensate for the loss of bodily functions, and requires homebound or hospitalized instruction to be provided intermittently in accordance with the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). The student’s Planning and Placement Team (PPT) shall consider and make accommodation for the child’s program to be moved from the public school to home or a health care facility during times of treatment, and back to school when the child is able to return to school.
A student is expelled from school pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Section 10-233d, and homebound instruction is provided as the alternative educational opportunity during the period of expulsion.
The student is pregnant or has given birth and a physician has certified that the student cannot attend school consistent with item 1 above. In addition to homebound instruction, the student should receive such additional services as will enable the student to remain in school or otherwise have access to instruction and support services. The district shall consider the student’s individualized needs and provide services such as transportation, a shortened school day, counseling, modified assignments or modified class schedule.

Specification for Instructional Services

When a student is not in need of special education services, homebound or hospitalized instruction shall maintain the continuity of the student’s regular education program, meaning that the student should receive instruction in the core academic subjects required by the district for graduation. In the case of a student with a disability, homebound services should enable the student to continue to participate in the general education curriculum and progress towards meeting the goals and objectives in the IEP. The PPT shall modify the student’s short-term instructional objectives in the IEP as appropriate. In the case of a student enrolled in an interdistrict magnet school or charter school, the school in which the student is enrolled must provide the instructional materials to enable the district to provide appropriate instruction to the student. Instruction may be provided in the setting of the student’s home or the hospital to which the student is confined, or the district may offer instruction in other sites such as the town library, taking into consideration the student’s medical condition.

Length of Absence

When a student’s condition may cause him/her to be absent for at least ten (10) consecutive days and nothing in his/her condition precludes instruction, home instruction shall begin no later than the eleventh (11th) day after the first day of absence, provided the district has received notice in writing that meets the requirements of this policy and Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Section 10-76d-15. Instruction may begin earlier than the 11th day of absence if the district is provided with adequate notice prior to the student’s absence from school, with appropriate documentation and consultation with the treating physician. The length of time that a student requires homebound instruction varies. An illness can last from three weeks to several months and expulsion can be for up to 180 school days or one calendar year. In the event of a medically complex disability, instruction must begin no later than the third (3) day of absence, after the school has been notified in writing by the medical professional, and provided the child is medically able to receive instruction. If the student’s condition is such that the student cannot receive instruction, the student’s treating physician shall determine when instruction shall begin and shall inform the district in writing.

Number of Hours

In compliance with state regulations, a child with a disability ages three to five, inclusive, shall receive the number of hours per week of homebound instruction determined appropriate by the PPT. Students in kindergarten through grade six, who meet the conditions described above, shall be provided a minimum of five (5) hours per week, or one (1) hour per day of homebound or hospitalized instruction, subject to modification by the PPT as appropriate. Students in grades seven through twelve shall be provided a minimum of ten (10) hours per week, or two (2) hours per day of instruction, subject to modification by the PPT as appropriate. Where evaluative data indicates that these time requirements should be modified, instruction time may be increased or decreased upon the agreement of the parent and the district, or upon a determination made by the PPT as appropriate.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
10-76d-15 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies as amended.
10-76d Duties and powers of Boards of Education to provide special education programs and services.
10-233d, Expulsion

Date of Adoption: January 21, 1997
Date of Revision: April 7, 1998
Date of Revision: October 18, 2016

6080.23 Home Schooling

The Board of Education recognizes its legal responsibility to ensure that all children of compulsory school age have the opportunity to receive an education that is adequate and equivalent to that which they are entitled under the law.

Parents wishing to educate children in the home may do so in compliance with Connecticut General Statutes and regulations of the Connecticut State Board of Education. The parent or guardian shall provide the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment with the following:

  1. a “Letter of Intent to Home School” to be placed on file; and
  2. an outline of the annual portfolio to be used to determine if the student

received equivalent instruction in the required courses.

When parents / guardians choose to educate their children at home, the school district shall provide whatever reasonable assistance it can to ensure such children benefit appropriately from home instruction.

If decisions are made by parents / guardians to return children to local schools who for a time have been educated at home, school staff shall provide an appropriate return to the public schools per Policy #5070.2.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
10-184 Duties of Parents
10-220 Duties of Boards of Education
Regulations of the Connecticut State Board of Education

Date of Adoption: January 21, 1997
Date of Revision: May 18, 2010

6080.24.2 Magnet Schools

The Board recognizes that students may benefit from choosing a magnet school to attend within the public school system that is not limited by school district boundaries.

Madison students who apply pursuant to the regulations approved by the Board may enroll in particular schools beyond this district on a space available basis without payment of tuition, except as otherwise provided by law and subject to such policies as may be stipulated by the magnet school.


The Board, the Superintendent, other administrators and teachers shall not make any distinction on account of race, sex, sexual preference, ethnic group, religion or disability of any student who may seek admission to any magnet school.

Special Education

Requests from the parents of special education students for admission shall be considered in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. The student’s current Individual Education Plan (IEP) shall be used to determine if the requested school can meet the student’s needs. Once the student is admitted, the magnet school staff shall conduct a meeting to update the IEP.\


Transportation for Madison students who enroll in a magnet school shall be at the discretion of the Board of Education. Transportation may be provided from a central location.

Date of Adoption: May 23, 2000

6080.25 Early Childhood Education

The critical importance of the early years in determining the educational development of children is recognized by the Board. Insofar as resources permit, programs designed to help meet the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual needs of young children are encouraged.

Prekindergarten Program

The prekindergarten program shall be based on the premise that the district’s teachers, support staff, and physical facilities can offer a quality early educational experience. In that it presently is not possible for the district to provide extensive services, such as a program for all four-year-old children in the district, those children in greatest need will be sought and identified for services delivered through the prekindergarten program.

The objectives of the program shall be to:

  • identify children with incipient problems of a social, emotional, and / or physical nature, regardless of whether they are related to maturational development;
  • provide an educational experience that will ameliorate or eliminate these problems at an early age, thereby deterring adjustment and / or learning problems from developing in subsequent years;
  • identify children who do not have facility in the English language and provide experiences that enhance and accelerate the development of such a facility;
  • identify children who would not otherwise attend a nursery school prior to entering public school and provide them with equal learning opportunities;
  • provide experiences for the parents of these children through a volunteer aide program whereby they can become oriented to the objectives of the school and how their role as parents might relate to that task as it affects their children; and
  • provide learning experiences in early childhood education and child care for high school students through cooperative arrangements with the secondary schools.

The Board encourages the Superintendent to explore and implement collaborative programming efforts for the pre-school program with neighboring school districts and the educational service center.

Kindergarten Program

The school district subscribes to the philosophy of the developmental all-day kindergarten that recognizes developmental stages and provides curriculum for the full range of each child's abilities. These abilities include cognitive skills, ways of finding and using information, perceptual ability, motor skills, social skills, and affective sensitivity.

The district further subscribes to the concept of continuous progress for each child based on the diagnosed needs of individuals and groups. Inherent in the intent to encourage continuous as well as maximum development for each kindergarten child is the organization of classroom program, personnel, and facilities to ensure small group and individual instruction whenever needed.

The objectives of the program shall be to provide:

  • time for children to develop self-awareness and thereby to develop strong, positive self-images, as well as greater respect for themselves and others;
  • blocks of uninterrupted time for learning experiences in a more relaxed atmosphere;
  • time for play / discovery activities and for the development of readiness skills;
  • opportunities for children to develop language skills through language experience activities which are an acknowledged part of reading;
  • opportunities for children to receive individual attention from the classroom teacher and / or from supportive service personnel;
  • time for creative and enriching experiences such as cooking, field trips, art, music, dramatics and physical education;
  • opportunities for children to develop social relationships with their peers and adults;
  • time for children to talk about experiences, to solve problems, to engage in critical thinking, to organize ideas and to arrive at conclusions, as well as to capitalize on spontaneous learning situations when they arise;
  • participation and involvement of children in school activities such as school assemblies, "buddy" programs with older students, field days, etc.;
  • a lunch time in which sound nutrition, good eating habits and social skills can be stressed;
  • opportunities for children of limited English proficiency to increase fluency in English;
  • time for the teacher to observe and discover a child's individual needs, strengths and problems, in anticipation of planning an appropriate program for each child;
  • balance between child-initiated and teacher-directed activities;
  • opportunity for help and attention for handicapped children;
  • time for working with individual parents in developing a parent-teacher partnership for the benefit of their children; and
  • consistent day for the child who otherwise would have a fragmented day, moving from place to place for needed child care services in addition to his / her kindergarten experience.

Date of Adoption: June 10, 1997

6080.25.2 School Readiness

The critical importance of the early years in determining the educational development of children is recognized by the Board of Education. Insofar as resources permit, additional programs beyond those mandated by state law to help meet the physical, emotional, social and intellectual needs of preschool children ages three and four are encouraged. Such programs shall promote the health and safety of children and prepare them for formal schooling. In the utilization of resources, however, including available space, first priority is assigned to the grades K through 12 program. A cooperative arrangement with another school district may be considered.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
17b-748a Establishment of a school readiness program. Council as amended by
PA 97-259 An Act Concerning School Readiness and Child Day Care.

Date of Adoption: April 21, 1998

6080.26.4 Advanced Courses Placement

Students shall be advanced academically at a pace appropriate for them, including advanced courses for exceptionally able and academically motivated students. The Superintendent and/or his/her designee shall develop and approve criteria for student placement in advanced courses.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
10-221 Boards of education to prescribe rules, policies, and procedures.

Date of Adoption: February 25, 1997

6080.29.3 Career and Vocational Education

Educational programs shall expose students to the wide variety of careers in the world of work. Career and vocational education shall consider technical and economic conditions and changes, and, as a core component of comprehensive education, shall share with other aspects of the curriculum the development of career-related attitudes. Career guidance and counseling services shall be provided to each student throughout his or her academic program.

The district shall offer a planned, ongoing, and systematic program of instruction in career and vocational education, at least on the secondary level.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
10-221 Board of education to prescribe rules
10-265a Definitions.
10-265b State grants for vocational education equipment.

Date of Adoption: April 1, 1997

6090.1 Home Visits by Social Workers

#6090.1  Home Visits by Social Workers

As a function of the role of the Student Services Department, home visits may be utilized, under the direction of the school principal or special education administration, as a part of the instructional program of the Madison Public Schools.   Special education and student services staff, in cooperation with families, may schedule a home visit to assist in determining how best to meet the educational needs of the student and his / her families relative to making the school experience more meaningful.

Several goals underlie the home visitation program.   Such goals are as follows:

  • to develop a closer working relationship between school and home because effective school-home communication is important and is a two-way process;
  • to develop a better understanding of the student by consideration of his home environment because parents, as well as the school, have a responsibility for education; 
  • to ease the reluctance on the part of some families to contact the school;
  • to help the families better understand the programs and goals of the school because the home has a direct influence on the student in school;
  • to exchange general and specific information that will benefit the student at home and at school; 
  • to involve the family, teacher, and child in jointly establishing goals for the child; and
  • to provide consultation for families in order to generalize goals which are being worked on in schools.

Special education and student services staff may include, but not be limited to, special education teachers, Board Certified Behavior Analysts, Registered Behavior Technicians, social workers, school psychologists, guidance counselors and paraeducators.

Date of Adoption:   May 23, 2000
Date of Revision:    June 4, 2019

6090.10 Individualized Education Programs / Special Education Programs

6090.10 Individualized Education Program/Special Education Program

Any child, whether a student of the school district, of pre-school age, or between the ages of 3 and 21 years of age, inclusive, but not attending district schools, who is identified as being in need of a special program shall be referred to a "special education planning and placement team" (PPT) which shall make an evaluative study to determine whether the child is a child with a disability as defined in state and federal statutes and if special education is required and to establish the scope of the special education program.

A parent of a child, the State Department of Education, and other state agencies available to the District may initiate a request for an initial evaluation to determine if the child is a child with a disability.  Initial evaluations using a variety of assessment tools and measures to gather relevant functional, developmental, and academic information, must be completed within 45 school days. Exceptions to this timeframe include children moving between school districts and parental refusal to make a child available for evaluation, as provided by law. 

The District will provide parents/guardians with State Department of Education procedural safeguards and the State Restraint/Seclusion Policy as soon as a child is identified as requiring special education.

Planning and Placement Team or Individualized Education Program Team

The term “individualized education program team” or “IEP Team” means a group of individuals composed of -

  1. the parents of a child with a disability;
  2. one regular education teacher of such child (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);
  3. one special education teacher;
  4. a representative of the local educational agency who -
    1. is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities;
    2. is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum; and
    3. is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the local educational agency;
  5. an individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may be a member of the team described in clauses (ii) through (vi);
  6. at the discretion of the parent or the agency, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate;
  7. the school paraprofessional, if any, assigned to such child, and
  8. whenever appropriate, the child with a disability.

NOTE: An IEP Team member is not required to attend all or part of an IEP meeting if the parents and District agree that the team member’s participation is not necessary because the member’s area of the curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed at the meeting.  If the meeting does involve a modification or discussion of the member’s area of the curriculum or related services, parents and the District can agree to excuse the member from attending all or part of the meeting if the member submits written input to the parent and the IEP Team prior to the meeting. Parental consent in writing is required in either case.

The parent/guardian or surrogate parent shall be given at least five (5) school days prior notice of any PPT meeting and shall have the right to be present and participate in all portions of such meetings at which an educational program for their child is developed, reviewed or revised. In addition parents/guardians or surrogate parents have the right to be present at and participate in all portions of the PPT meeting at which an educational program for their child is developed, reviewed or revised.  In addition, the parent/guardian/surrogate shall have advisors and can invite the child’s assigned paraprofessional, if any, be present at and participate in all portions of the PPT meeting in which the child’s educational program is developed, reviewed or revised.

Upon request of a parent/guardian, the District will provide the results of the assessments and evaluations used in the determination of eligibility for special education of a student at least three (3) school days before the referral PPT meeting at which such results of the assessment and evaluations will be discussed for the first time.

Parents/Guardians and the District may agree to conduct IEP meetings, and other meetings, through alternative means, such as including but not limited to, conference calls.

  1. General. The IEP for each child must include:

    The U.S. Supreme Court, in the Endrew F decision stated, “any review of an IEP must consider whether the IEP is reasonably calculated to ensure such progress, not whether it would be considered ideal. (137S.CT. at 99).

    1. An accurate statement of the child’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance based upon parental provider information, current classroom-based, local, state assessments and classroom-based observations, including :
      1. How the child’s disability affects the child’s involvement and progress in the general education curriculum; or
      2. For preschool children, as appropriate, how the disability affects the child’s participation in appropriate activities;
    2. A statement of measurable annual academic and functional goals that aim to improve educational results and functional performance for each child with a disability, related to:

      Alternate Assessments

      1. Meeting the child’s needs that result from the child’s disability to enable the child to be involved in and progress in the general education curriculum;
      2. Meeting each of the child’s other educational needs that result from the child’s disability; and
      3. Providing a meaningful opportunity for the child to meet challenging objectives.
      4. A statement of “benchmarks or short-term objectives” is required only with respect to students with disabilities who take alternate assessments aligned with alternate achievement standards.

        If a child will participate in alternate assessments based on either general or alternate achievement standards, the IEP must explain why the child cannot participate in the regular assessment and why the alternate assessment selected is appropriate for the child.

        The IEP/PPT Team may only recommend appropriate accommodation or use of alternate assessment, but may not exempt students with disabilities from the state assessment.

    3. A statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services to be provided to the child, or on behalf of the child and a statement of the program modifications or supports for school personnel that will be provided for the child:
      1. To advance appropriately toward attaining the annual goals;
      2. To be involved and progress in the general curriculum in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) of this section and to participate in extracurricular and other nonacademic activities; and
      3. To be educated and participate with other children with disabilities and non-disabled children in the activities described in this paragraph.
    4. A school must offer an IEP that is “reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.”  The child’s educational program must be appropriately ambitious in light of his/her circumstances and every child should have the chance to meet challenging objectives. The IEP Team, in determining whether an IEP is reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress should consider the child’s:
      • Previous rate or academic growth,
      • Progress towards achieving or exceeding grade-level proficiency,
      • Behaviors, if any, interfering with the child’s progress, and Parent’s input and any additional information provided by such parents.
    5. An explanation of the extent, if any, to which the child will not participate with non-disabled children in the regular class and in the activities described in paragraph (a) (3) of this section;
    6. (i)A statement of any individual modifications in the administration of State or district-wide assessments of student achievement that are needed in order for the child to participate in the assessment;
    7. The projected date for the beginning of the services and modifications described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, and the anticipated frequency, location, and duration of those services and modifications; and
    8. A statement of :
      1. How the child’s progress toward the annual goals described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section will be measured; and
      2. How the child’s parents will be regularly informed (through such means as periodic report cards), at least as often as parents are informed of their non-disabled children’s progress, of -
        1. Their child’s progress toward the annual goals; and
        2. The extent to which that progress is sufficient to enable the child to achieve the goals by the end of the year
    9. 9 Reevaluation of a student’s progress may not occur more than once a year unless agreed to by the parents and the District.  Reevaluation must occur at least once every three years unless the parent and District agree that it is unnecessary.

    NOTE: In order to make FAPE available to each eligible child with a disability, the child’s IEP must be designed to enable the child to be involved in, and maybe progress in, the general education curriculum (“the same curriculum as for nondisabled children which is based on a State’s academic content standards. This alignment must guide, and not replace the individualized decision-making required in the IEP process.”)

  2. Transition services
    1. The IEP must include -
      1. For each student beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child is sixteen, and younger if appropriate, and updated annually, thereafter, appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills; and
      2. For each student beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child is sixteen, (or younger, if determined appropriate by the IEP Team), a statement of needed transition services for the student, including courses of study, needed to assist the child in reaching these goals:
      3. For a student no longer eligible for services due to graduation from high school with a regular diploma or for a student who exceeds the age of eligibility under State law, a summary of the student’s academic achievement and functional performance including recommendations on how to assist the student in meeting his/her postsecondary goals.
    2. If the IEP team determines that services are not needed in one or more of the areas specified in §300.27(c)(1) through (c)(4), the IEP must include a statement to that effect and the basis upon which the determination was made.
  3. Transfer of rights. Beginning not later than one year before a student reaches the age of majority under State law, the student’s IEP must include a statement that the student has been informed of his or her rights under this title if any, that will transfer to the student on reaching the age of majority, consistent with §615(m)
  4. Students with disabilities convicted as adults and incarcerated in adult prisons. Special rules concerning the content of IEP’s for students with disabilities convicted as adults and incarcerated in adult prisons are contained §612(a)(5)A.
  5. Students with disabilities identified as deaf or hearing impaired. For a child identified as deaf or hearing impaired, the PPT shall develop an IEP which includes a language and communication plan which shall address;
    1. the child’s primary language or mode of communication;
    2. opportunities for direct communication between the child and his/her peers and professional personnel in the primary child’s language or mode of communication;
    3. educational options available to the child;
    4. the qualifications of teachers and other professional personnel administering the plan for the child, including their proficiency in the child’s primary language or mode of communication;
    5. the accessibility of academic instruction, school services and extracurricular activities to the child;
    6. assistive devices and services for the child; and
    7. communication and physical environment accommodations for the child.


When an individual has been on an IEP in another school district, the PPT shall make an evaluative study of the student and develop an IEP for the student as though the student were newly referred, but the PPT may use the previous IEP (if available) in developing the new one.  If the transfer involves districts within Connecticut, the District will provide services “comparable to those described in the previously held IEP,” until the District adopts the previously held IEP or develops, adopts, and implements a new IEP.  If the student has transferred from another state, the District will provide services “comparable to those described in the previously held IEP,” until the District conducts an evaluation, if deemed necessary, and if appropriate, develops a new IEP.  If a student who is on an IEP transfers from this district to another, or to a private school, the written IEP and any additional records relating to the student's program and achievement shall be forwarded to the receiving school on the request of the receiving school and the individual's parent or guardian.

Independent Educational Assessment

If an independent educational assessment is necessary, it shall be conducted by a Connecticut credentialed or licensed professional examiner who is not employed by and does not routinely provide assessment for the State Department of Education or this District. All neuropsychological, psychiatric, and assistive technology evaluations must include a classroom observation.

Legal Reference:      

Connecticut General Statutes
10-76a Definitions
10-76b State supervision of special education programs and services.  Regulations. (as amended by PA 12-173)
10-76d Duties and powers of Boards of Education to provide special education programs and services. (as amended by June Special Session PA 15-5, Section 277)
10-76ff Procedures for determining if a child requires special education
10-76g State aid for special education.
10-76h Special education hearing and review procedure.
PA 12-173 An Act Concerning Individualized Education Programs and Other Issues Relating to Special Education State Board of Education Regulations
34 C.F.R. 300 et seq. Assistance to States for Education of Handicapped Children.
300.14 Special education definitions.
300.340-349 Individualized education programs.
300.503 Independent educational assessment.
300.533 Placement procedures.
300.550-556 Least restrictive environment.
P.L. 108-446 The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004
Rowley v. Board of Education, 485 U.S.-176 (1982)
Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1, 15-827 U.S. (2017)
A.M. v. N.Y. City Department of Education, 845F.3d 523, 541 (2d Cir.1997)
Mrs. B., v. Milford Board of Education 103 F. 3d 1114, 1121 (2d Cir. 1997)

Policy adopted:    April 1, 1997
Policy revised:        August 28, 2018

6100.9 Use of Computers in Instruction

The Board recognizes that technological advances in all areas are necessary and that computers are and will continue to be a part of this advance. As such, the Board’s goal is to implement computer resources in each school facility. The computer resources of the Madison Public Schools are the property of the Madison Board of Education and are to be used exclusively for the instruction of students, management of instruction, and administration of the district. These resources are not to be used for personal gain by students and staff of the district. The Board reserves the right to bypass any passwords on computer files, records, and electronic access privileges on any computer resources under the control of the Board. Because of the many types of applications and the potential cost, the Board establishes the following policy to plan for and guide this growth both for instructional and administrative uses.

Computers for instruction will be used primarily for the following:

  1. providing computer-assisted instruction to improve student performance;
  2. managing an instructional program in areas such as a classroom, library and resource room involving maintenance of test scores, grades, and other data used in evaluating instruction and student progress;
  3. teaching computer skills and / or concepts and applying those skills to real-life applications; and
  4. promoting use of computers for general interest, enrichment, and motivation.

Any student or staff member using computers will be instructed in the proper use and care of the hardware and software prior to its use.

The school principal, or designee, will coordinate the use of computers in the classrooms within his / her school.

Date of Adoption: April 1, 1997

6100.9.1 Computers: Web Sites / Pages

The Board of Education encourages the administration and staff to create and maintain World Wide Web sites for the district and individual schools for educational purposes. The web sites shall serve as avenues for educating the community, providing information about our schools and communicating with the extended school community. District and individual school web sites shall be used to share information relating to our schools and our mission. Web sites may also provide instructional resources for staff and students.

Materials displayed on web sites are published on the Internet. Therefore, the content should be professional quality and consistent with the education mission of the school system. Web sites shall follow standards for ethical behavior with regard to information and technology by showing respect for the principles of intellectual freedom, intellectual property rights and the responsible use of information and technology. Pages shall reflect an understanding that both internal and external audiences will be viewing the information.

Any pages or links representing the school district shall follow guidelines and responsibilities pertaining to content standards, student records, copyright, and technical standards which are contained in the administrative regulations which accompany this policy.

Additionally, all provisions of this policy must comply with existing Board of Education policies.

(cf. 5180.1 - Student Records)
(cf. 5090.4.2 - Freedom of Speech / Expression)
(cf. 6100.10 - Guidelines for Evaluation / Selection of Instructional Materials)
(cf. 6100.14.3 - Resource Centers / Media Centers / School Libraries)

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
1-19(b)(11) Access to public records. Exempt records.
10-15b Access of parent or guardians to student's records.
10-209 Records not to be public.
11-8a Retention, destruction and transfer of documents
11-8b Transfer or disposal of public records. State Library Board to adopt regs.
46b-56 (e) Access to Records of Minors.
Ct Public Records Administration Schedule V - Disposition of Educ. Records (Revised 1983).
Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act, as amended, added by section 513 of PL 93-568, codified at 20 U.S.C.1232g.).
Dept. of Educ. 34 C.F.R. Part 99 (May 9, 1980 45 FR 30802) regs. implementing FERPA enacted as part of 438 of General Educ. Provisions act (20 U.S.C.
1232g)-parent and student privacy and other rights with respect to educational records, as amended 11/21/96.
Public Law 94-553, The Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. 101 et. seq.

Date of Adoption: May 4, 1999

6100.10 Selection of Instructional Materials

The Madison Board of Education assumes the responsibility for providing all the educational text, materials, supplies and equipment necessary to support and enrich the curriculum and further the achievement of the district's instructional goals. All books and equipment shall be loaned, and supplies and materials furnished, to the students in the Madison Public Schools. The Board of Education believes that the schools should be as well equipped as possible within existing financial limitations. At a minimum, each student will be supplied with any and all necessary texts, materials, supplies and equipment to successfully complete the requirements of the curriculum.

The teaching staff shall serve on curriculum committees as defined by the Madison Curriculum Management Cycle. They shall consult with the administration to recommend improvements in curriculum, including materials and equipment used to deliver instruction. The following guidelines shall apply to the review and selection of materials:

All materials, textbooks, and software should:

  • present balanced views concerning the international, national and local issues and problems of the past, present and future, where applicable;
  • stimulate growth in factual knowledge and literary appreciation;
  • help students develop abilities in critical reading and thinking;
  • create an awareness of and foster an appreciation of cultural diversity and development in the United States and throughout the world;
  • provide for all students an effective basic education that does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, color, religion, national origin, sex or physical disabilities; and
  • allow sufficient flexibility for meeting the special needs of individual students and groups of students.

Review, Selection and Approval of Foundational Instructional Materials

The Board of Education shall approve the adoption of recommended foundational instructional materials for use in the schools. Notice of such adoptions shall be given at a meeting of the Board held at least one week prior to the vote on the adoption. Basic foundational instructional materials selection shall require the approval of the Superintendent or his / her designee. The Superintendent shall maintain a current list of approved foundational instructional materials for the Madison Public Schools.

Definition of Foundational Instructional Materials

Basic foundational instructional materials shall be defined as the book, or set of instructional materials, that serve as the basis for a major component of the course content. The review and selection of such materials shall be continuous to keep pace with the expansion of knowledge and changes in the world.

Review, Selection and Approval of Supplemental Instructional Materials

Supplemental instructional materials may be used to enhance the basic foundational instructional materials. The Superintendent shall develop procedures for the selection and approval of such supplemental instructional materials. The Superintendent shall develop procedures to implement these guidelines.

Cf. #3260, Sales and Disposal of Equipment, Books, and Supplies

Date of Adoption: June 24, 1997

6100.14.3 Resource Centers / Media Centers / School Library

Information and technology permeate every aspect of modern society. The Board of Education believes that this presents both opportunities and challenges as our educational system seeks to prepare students to live and work in a society where there is increasing dependence on information from non-print and electronic sources. The library media program must function as an integral component of the overall learning environment within the Madison Public Schools.

The utilization of information and the enjoyment of literature are the core of the library media program. In striving to successfully integrate the two core functions of the library media center, students will use print and electronic media as sources of information to solve problems, perform research, satisfy intellectual curiosity, explore life needs, develop a life-long appreciation of reading and the ability to meet personal information needs.

However, the acquisition of library media skills cannot be perceived as solely the domain of the library media center staff, but must be intrinsic to all disciplines. The library media center specialists and support staff in all Madison schools, working in conjunction with the teachers and administrators, shall accept the responsibility of providing students with learning opportunities that address the unique interests and abilities of students as they strive to reach their full potential.

Date of Adoption: June 23, 1998

6100.15.2 Use of Internet / Online Services

The Madison Public Schools shall offer Internet / online services access to all staff and students, K-12, to advance the use of telecommunication in the instructional setting. Since it is impossible to control or monitor the content of material on the Internet / online services, students and staff are expected to engage in an educationally sound use of this resource. Failure to comply with this policy shall result in students / staff being denied access to and use of the Internet / online services.

Internet Safety

Each District computer with Internet access shall have a filtering device that blocks entry to visual depictions that are obscene, pornographic or harmful or inappropriate for students, as defined by the Children’s Internet Protection Act and as determined by the Superintendent or designee. The Superintendent or designee shall enforce the use of such filtering devices. An administrator, supervisor, or other authorized person may disable the filtering device for bona fide research or other lawful purpose, provided the person receives prior permission from the Superintendent or his / her designee.

The Superintendent or designee shall include measures in this policy’s implementation plan and administrative regulation to address the following:

  1. Limiting student access to inappropriate matter as well as restricting access to harmful materials;
  2. Student safety and security when using electronic communications;
  3. Limiting unauthorized access, including “hacking” and other unlawful activities; and
  4. Limiting unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal identification information.

Guidelines for the Use of the Internet / Online Services

Since the sole purpose of the Madison Public Schools is to support educational activities, certain guidelines governing students’ and staff use of the Internet / online services are in order.

The Board of Education retains the right to place reasonable restrictions on material that students / staff access or post through the Internet / online services:

  • Because there may be a cost associated with Internet / online services, users should obtain approval from the library media specialist or school administrator before accessing “for fee” online services.
  • Users are expected to exhibit exemplary behavior while online, behavior that will reflect well on the school and the district.
  • Users are expected to adhere to the same code of conduct appropriate for school or school-related activities.
  • Any unauthorized access to computer systems or to computer data maintained by the Madison Public Schools, including the student database, the fiscal database, and the personnel database, is prohibited.
  • Deliberate attempts to disrupt computer system performance or to destroy data by spreading computer viruses or by other means is prohibited.
  • Users are prohibited from online harassment, i.e., acting in a manner which serves to distress, threaten, demean, annoy, or taunt another user.
  • Users are prohibited from the use of profanity, offensive or inflammatory speech, personal attacks, or any other form of rude behavior or inappropriate language.
  • Users may not access or post material that is “objectionable,” i.e., material which includes, but is not limited to pornography, hate literature, material that promotes or threatens injury to individuals, and material which is related to illegal activities.
  • Users are prohibited from plagiarizing the ideas or writings of another person via the Internet / online services.
  • Users are prohibited from reproducing a work that is protected by a copyright.
  • Users will respect the privacy of others while online.
  • Users are expected to follow regulations for efficient and effective use of the Internet / online services.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action, up to and including student suspension or expulsion, subject to the terms and conditions of Board Policy 5110.4. Staff violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action in accordance with regulations developed by the Superintendent with regard to acceptable use of Internet / online services.

Date of Adoption: May 8, 1997
Date of Revision: February 8, 2006

6100.16.1 Student Travel

The resources in surrounding communities, across the state, across the country and around the world may provide educational experiences of merit for the students. Therefore, the Board encourages teachers and staff to expand lessons to include these teaching resources, as appropriate.

General Guidelines for Student Travel

  1. Student travel during the school day must be approved by the building principal.
  2. Student travel which involves overnight accommodations or trips outside of the state for students must be approved by the Superintendent.
  3. All trips should be within budgetary allotments for such purpose. Students may be asked to pay all or part of the expenses of student travel. Parent Teacher Organizations may supplement the schools’ expenses for student travel in accordance with the Board policy for acceptance of donations.
  4. Bus transportation shall be used when practicable, but private vehicles may be used when appropriate within guidelines developed by the Superintendent or his / her designee. Proper insurance coverage must be verified by the school principal.
  5. Written parental / guardian permission must be obtained for all participating students.
  6. All school-sponsored student travel will have provisions for proper supervision by school employees so that student and staff safety shall be assured. Parents may assist with this supervision.
  7. No student shall be denied participation because of financial constraints for any student travel occurring within the continental United States
  8. Restrictions may be placed upon a student’s participation as warranted. The building principal will make that judgment based upon the student’s welfare or that of other students participating in student travel.
  9. Student travel should be evaluated by students, teachers, and the administration.

Student Travel Outside the Continental United States

In addition to the foregoing guidelines for educational travel, for travel outside the continental United States, approval from the Board of Education must be received prior to staff making contractual arrangements and advertising. Such approval shall be considered based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent. Factors to be considered by the Board include: costs, supervision, relation to curriculum, assessment of the country’s political climate, and the method of assessing the educational value for the participants.

Non-School Sponsored Educational Travel

The Board of Education does not encourage staff members to act as private agents for non-school sponsored student travel.

(cf: Student Travel, Policy 5100.8)
Date of Adoption: February 25, 1997
Date of Revision: June 17, 2014

6110.1.3.1 Parent Conferences

Close communication between home and school is an important factor in establishing a highly effective school program. Conferences between parents and teachers are an important way to bring about understanding and close cooperation between the home and school. Conferences with all parents should be encouraged, not just with those where academic or other problems suggest the need for closer communication.

Conferences between parents and teachers regarding a child should be treated by the teacher as an opportunity to help the child and every effort should be made to make the conference constructive, objective, and pleasant. Conferences should provide an opportunity for a mutual exchange of information and ideas for the welfare of the child.

Teachers should be prepared to give after-school or pre-school time for conferences when requested by parents.

Parent-teacher conferences to discuss student progress and performance are scheduled each year in conjunction with report card / portfolio overviews. These may be arranged for certain days when classes are dismissed early and conferences are held in the afternoon / evening or before or after school at the convenience of parents and teachers. In addition to scheduled conferences, teachers are expected to request additional conferences with parents as the need may indicate.

The principal or supervisor should be present at any parent-teacher conference when requested.

Date of Adoption: June 23, 1998

6110.2 Classroom Observations

#6110.2 Classroom Observations

The Madison Board of Education encourages parents to participate in their children’s education. The Board also takes seriously its obligation to educate students in an environment conducive to learning, and therefore permits parents to observe their children in the classroom in accordance with this policy. 

For purposes of this policy, the term “observer” means either a parent or guardian, or a third party, such as an evaluator, who has been asked to observe a specific student at a parent or guardian’s request. A parent or guardian’s right to observe extends only to his/her child. 

All observations must be scheduled in advance, in order to limit disruption to the educational process.  The school shall provide the parent or other observer with a request form to complete for this purpose detailing the purpose, specific questions being addressed, location, requested length of observation, requested date and time. The parent shall inform the school principal who the observer will be, and the school principal or his/her designee will work with the observer to schedule a mutually convenient time for the observation.  All observations shall be limited to one half hour, unless additional time is specifically requested and there is a legitimate reason for granting additional time. If the observer has a legitimate reason for needing additional observation time, such request shall be made in advance, and the building principal shall have the discretion to grant such a request. To avoid disruption to the educational process, multiple observations may need to be scheduled to accommodate the need for additional observation time.  While observations need not be limited to academic classrooms, certain locations and settings may not be appropriate for observation, such as counseling sessions.  The building administrator will have the ultimate authority to control observations in their building.

In order to avoid disruption of the classroom environment, the number of people observing a student at any one time shall be limited to two persons.  In addition, a school staff person will accompany the observer(s) at all times during the course of the observation.  The observer(s) shall report to the main office and sign in upon arrival, and wait in the main office for the staff person who will accompany the observer. The observer(s) must wear a visitor’s badge at all times while inside the school building.  The observer(s) must maintain the confidentiality of any and all student information regarding other students not the subject of the observation, and may not disclose confidential information regarding other students observed during this process.  The observer(s) will be required to sign a statement to this effect.

The Board expects that observers will be respectful of the instruction that is occurring in the classroom.  Observers must turn off all cellphones and discontinue the use of all electronic devices, sit quietly, and not engage the students in conversation. If at any point, the observation becomes disruptive to the educational process, the school staff may end the observation. Once the observation has concluded, the observer(s) shall sign out in the main office and leave school grounds, unless she/he has other legitimate business at the school.

An observer should not expect to conference with the student’s teacher before, during or after the observation, as the teacher has responsibilities for a classroom full of students. Instead, the parent or guardian may make a separate appointment to meet with the teacher at another time.

Legal Reference:    C.G.S. § 10-220
Date Adopted:        May 7, 2019


6110.7.2 Graduation Exercises

The Board believes that completion of the requirements for a high school diploma from the public schools of the district is an achievement that improves the community as well as the individual. Therefore, the Board shall recognize that achievement in a publicly celebrated graduation exercise.

Accordingly, appropriate graduation programs shall be planned by the administration. The date of the graduation ceremony shall be as indicated in the Board approved school calendar or as approved by the Board on or after April 1 of that school year.

At the discretion of the building principal or his / her designee, the district’s valedictorian(s), salutatorian(s) or others who have been selected on the basis of neutral, secular criteria, may be permitted to speak as part of the graduation program. Accordingly, the content of such speeches may include an address, poem, reading, song, musical presentation, prayer or other religious-related pronouncement as deemed appropriate by the student.

Only students in good standing who have successfully completed the requirements for graduation may participate in the graduation exercises.

(cf. 6030 – Annual School Calendar)
(cf. 6146 – Graduation Requirements)

Date of Adoption: June 1, 1999

6114.1 Fire Drills / Crisis Response Drills

A fire drill shall be held at least once a month in each school building. The initial fire drill must be held not later than thirty days after the first day of each school year. A crisis response drill shall be substituted for one of the required monthly school fire drills every three months. Each building Principal shall prepare a definite fire emergency plan, and furnish to all teachers and students information as to route and manner of exit. Fire drills shall be planned in such a way as to accomplish the evacuation of school buildings in the shortest possible time and in the most efficient and orderly fashion.

The format of the crisis response drill shall be developed in consultation with the appropriate local law enforcement agency. Further, a representative of the law enforcement agency may supervise and participate in any of the required crisis response drills. Such drills shall incorporate the basic protocols of lockdown, evacuation and shelter-in-place responses. The activation and utilization of the Incident Command System shall also be a part of the crisis response drills.

Principals shall keep a record of all fire and crisis response drills held in their schools, stating the date the drill was held and the time required for the response protocols utilized in the drill. A copy of the record shall also be filed in the Office of the Superintendent.

Local law enforcement and other local public safety officials may evaluate, score and provide feedback on fire drills and crisis response drills conducted pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes 10-231.

(cf. 5120 - Student Welfare / Safety)
(cf. 5190 - Crisis Management Plan)

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
10-231 Fire drills. Crisis Response Drills (as amended by PA 00-220 and PA 09-131)

Policy adopted: October 7, 2014

6120 Evaluation Of Instructional Programs

In addition to the district-wide assessment and evaluation of programs which occur through the long-range planning procedure and accompanying annual reports, the school improvement review process assesses instructional programs in the schools each year.

Individual program assessments will occur through school improvement committees in regard to content covered in the school improvement plans. Data collected from the assessment will be used to:

  • improve student learning;
  • develop future school improvement plans;
  • improve management procedures;
  • ensure compliance with district policies and regulations; and
  • ensure that district program implementation expectations are met.
  • The district instructional staff in each school will ensure that instructional improvements identified by the school review process and the program assessment are accomplished.

    Date of Adoption: June 23, 1998

    6130.2.2 Exemptions From Instruction


    If the religious belief and / or teachings of a student or his / her parents or guardian are contrary to the content of a school subject, or to any part of a school activity, the student may be exempt from participation. To receive such an exemption, the parent or guardian must present a written request for exemption to the principal stating the conflict involved.


    If a student is unable to participate in a physical education class, he / she must present to the principal or designee a statement from a physician stating the reason for his / her inability to participate. In addition, school regulations may prohibit a student’s participation for medical reasons.

    HIV / AIDS Instruction

    The Board of Education encourages parents to support student participation in HIV / AIDS instruction (cf 5120.3.2 HIV Infection). However, a student will be exempted from instruction on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) / Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) upon receipt of a written request for exemption from his / her parent or guardian.

    Bilingual Education

    A student will be exempted from the bilingual program upon receipt of a written request for exemption from his / her parent or guardian.

    Dissection of Animals

    A student will be exempted from the dissection of animals upon receipt of a written request for exemption from his / her parent or guardian.

    Substance Abuse Education

    Substance abuse education is required by state statutes for all students annually and students are not exempt.

    Exemptions from required instruction do not excuse a student from the total semester hours required for graduation.

    Family Life and Sex Education

    Students, parents or guardians shall be informed of their right to exempt the student from the family life program. The student will be exempted upon a written request for exemption from his / her parent or guardian.

    Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
    10-16b Prescribed courses of study
    10-16e Students not required to participate in the family life education program.
    10-17f Required bilingual program (as amended by PA 98-168)
    10-19(b) AIDS education
    10-19 Effect of alcohol, nicotine or tobacco and drugs to be taught

    Date of Adoption: April 21, 1998
    Date of Revision: October 20, 1998

    6130.7 Animal Dissection - Dissection Alternatives

    Dissection Alternative in Life Science

    Dissection is one of many tools utilized in the instruction of the life sciences. Dissection is supplemented by the use of lecture, classroom discussion, videos, films, filmstrips, models, transparencies, charts, diagrams, texts, resource books and interactive programs. When dissection is used all specimens are to be treated with respect. All lab safety rules for dissection are to be followed at all times. When a dissection is completed the specimen should be disposed of appropriately.

    Choice of Alternatives

    Students may elect not to participate in dissection activities. They may request and choose an alternative to dissection if they are opposed to dissection for any reason.

    Date of Adoption: April 21, 1998

    6141.312 Migrant Students

    Migrant Students

    The Superintendent will develop and implement a program to address the needs of migrant children in the District. This program will include a means to:

    1. Identify migrant students and assess their educational and related health and social needs.
    2. Provide a full range of services to migrant students including applicable Title I programs, special education, gifted education, vocational education, language programs, counseling programs and elective classes.
    3. Provide migrant children with the opportunity to meet the same statewide assessment standards that all children are expected to meet.
    4. Provide advocacy and outreach programs to migrant children and their families and professional development for District staff.
    5. Provide parents/guardians an opportunity for meaningful participation in the program.

    Migrant Education Program for Parent(s) / Guardian(s) Involvement

    Parent(s) / guardian(s) of migrant students will be involved in and regularly consulted about the development, implementation, operation, and evaluation of the migrant program.

    Parent(s)/guardian(s) of migrant students will receive instruction regarding their role in improving the academic achievement of their children.

    Migratory Child/Student Definition

    1. A "migratory child" means a child who:
      1. is a migratory agricultural worker or a migratory fisher; or
      2. in the preceding 36 months, in order to accompany a parent, spouse, or guardian who is a migratory agricultural worker or a migratory fisher –
        1. Has moved from one school district to another;
        2. As the child of a migratory fisher, resides in a school district or more than 15,000 square miles and migrates a distance of 20 miles or more to a temporary residence.
    2. Move or Moved means a change from one residence to another residence that occurs due to economic necessity.
    3. Migratory Agricultural Worker means a person has moved from one school district to another in order to obtain temporary employment or seasonal employment in agricultural work, including dairy work.
    4. Migratory Fisher means a person who, in the preceding 36 months has moved from one district or another in order to obtain temporary employment or seasonal employment in fishing work.
    Legal Reference:
    No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, §1301 et seq., 20 U.S.C. §6391 et seq.,
    34 C.F.R. §200.40 - 200.45.
    Federal Register – July 29, 2008 – Final Rule
    34 C.F.R. Part 2000

    Date of Adoption: April 1, 2014

    6142.101 Student Wellness

    The Madison Public Schools is committed to providing a school environment that enhances learning and the development of lifelong wellness practices. The Board of Education recognizes that wellness and healthy eating are important to the physical and academic achievement of all children. Further, healthy eating and appropriate physical activity are linked to reduced risk for mortality and the development of many chronic diseases. Therefore, as part of the total learning environment, the Madison Public Schools promotes student health by supporting, as integral components of a coordinated approach to student health, good nutrition, regular physical activity, planned sequential health education, health services, counseling, psychological and social services, staff wellness, a healthful school environment, and parent and community participation.

    While the primary responsibility for instilling healthy lifestyle choices in children resides with families, the Board supports families through policies and procedures that support health and wellness practices for students and staff and discourages practices that do not support health or promote wellness, or which give students contradictory messages. To promote the health and well-being of all students, the district shall adhere to the following components of a coordinated approach to achieving student wellness.

    Student wellness, including good nutrition and physical activity, shall be promoted in the district's educational program, school activities, and meal programs. This policy shall be interpreted consistent with Section 204 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-296).

    Goals for Nutrition Education

    The goals for addressing nutrition education include the following:

    • Schools will support and promote good nutrition for students consistent with applicable federal and state requirements.
    • Schools will foster the positive relationship between good nutrition, physical activity, and the capacity of students to develop and learn.
    • Nutrition education will be part of the District's comprehensive school health education curriculum and will be integrated into other classroom content areas, as appropriate.

    Goals for Physical Activity

    The goals for addressing physical activity include the following:

    • Schools will support and promote an active lifestyle for students.
    • Physical education will be taught in all grades and shall include a standardsbased, developmentally planned and sequential curriculum that fosters the development of movement skills, enhances health-related fitness, increases students' knowledge, offers direct opportunities to learn how to work cooperatively in a group setting, and encourages healthy habits and attitudes for a healthy lifestyle.
    • Unless otherwise exempted, all students will be required to engage in the District's physical education program.

    Nutrition Guidelines for Foods Available in Schools

    Students will be offered and schools will promote nutritious food choices, focused on moderating calories, limiting fats, sodium and sugars and increasing consumption of nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean meats and legumes. Food and beverages that compete with the District’s non-profit food service program will not be sold. The District shall restrict the sale of foods of minimal nutritional value as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and will ensure that all foods sold or served to students separately from school meals meet the District's Nutrition Standards. All beverages sold or served to students on school premises will meet the requirements of state statute and USDA beverage requirements. (Schools must follow whichever requirements are stricter.)

    On an annual basis, the Board will determine if it will participate in the optional Healthy Food Certification Program of the State of Connecticut. Should the Board decide to participate, the District will follow Connecticut standards for food and beverages. The Board will also determine if events are exempt from the nutritional requirements for food and beverages.

    All sources of food sales to students at school must comply with the District Nutrition Standards, including, but not limited to, cafeteria a la carte sales, vending machines, school stores and fundraisers. The District shall ensure that all beverages sold to students comply with the requirements of state statute and USDA beverage requirements. The District shall ensure compliance with allowable time frames for the sale of competitive foods as specified by state law.

    Reimbursable School Meals

    To the extent the district participates in the National School Lunch and/or School Breakfast Programs, reimbursable school meals served shall meet, at a minimum, the nutrition requirements and regulations for the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program.


    The Superintendent or designee shall provide periodic updates to the Board concerning this policy's implementation sufficient to allow the Board to monitor and adjust the policy.

    Community Input

    The Superintendent or designee will invite suggestions and comments concerning the development, implementation, periodic review and improvement of the school wellness policy from school community members, including parents, students, and representatives of the school food authority, teachers of physical education, school health professionals, members of the Board of Education, school administrators, and the public.

    Evaluation of Wellness Policy

    In an effort to measure the implementation of this policy, the Board of Education designates the Superintendent or his/her designee be responsible for ensuring that each school meets the goals outlined in this policy.

    (cf. 5100.5 – Student Fundraising Activities)
    (cf. 5120.3.4 – Managing Student Food Allergies)
    (cf. 6080.6 – Physical Education, Instruction)
    (cf. 6080.14 – Health Education, Instruction)

    Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
    10-16b Prescribed courses of study.
    10-215 Lunches, breakfasts and the feeding programs for public school children and employees.
    10-221 Boards of education to prescribe rules, policies and procedures.
    10-215a Non public school participation in feeding program.
    10-215b Duties of state board of education re: feeding programs.
    10-216 Payment of expenses.
    10-215e Nutrition standards for food that is not part of lunch or breakfast program
    10-215f Certification that food meets nutrition standards.
    10-221o Lunch periods. Recess.
    10-221p Boards to make available for purchase nutritious, low-fat foods.
    10-221q Sale of beverages.
    Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies
    10-215b-1 Competitive foods.
    10-215b-23 Income from the sale of food items.
    National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program; Competitive Food
    Services. (7 CFR Parts 210.11 and 220.12)
    The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, Public Law 108-265
    Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, 7
    CFR Parts 210 & 220
    Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, P.L. 111-296, 42 U.S.C. 1751
    Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (as amended by P.L. 108-269, July 2, 2004)
    School Breakfast Program, 7 C.F.R. Part 220 (2006)
    National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program: Nutrition Standards for
    All Foods Sold in School (Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 125, June 28, 2013)

    Date of Adopted: August 22, 2006
    Date of Revision: January 19, 2016

    6144.2 Reevaluation of Challenged Instructional Materials and Library Media Center Resources

    The following procedure is required by the Board of Education of the Madison Public Schools for use in requesting the reevaluation of instructional materials and library media center resources:

    The person(s) requesting the reevaluation of materials should ...

    1. Contact the building principal who will explain the original selection procedure and provide proper forms for the request for reevaluation, plus copies of reviews of the material in question, when appropriate.
    2. When completed forms are returned to the building principal, the material(s) in question will be reviewed by the district's Reevaluation of Challenged Materials Committee, broadly representative of teachers competent in the area of the content covered by the print or nonprint materials, and administrators, directors, and supervisors appropriate to the level and / or subject for which the material is used. A report of its review will be sent to the person requesting reevaluation, the appropriate school principal(s), appropriate library media specialist(s), and the Superintendent of Schools.
    3. 3. The building principal's action shall be taken no later than 20 school days after receipt of the request. The requester will be notified of the date of the review at least 10 days before the review.
    4. The requesting person may submit a request to the building principal to make an oral presentation of 15 minutes or less to the committee charged with reevaluating the material.
    5. A written report from the committee shall be submitted by chairperson of the committee to the person(s) requesting the reevaluation.
    6. If the person requesting reevaluation is not satisfied, a written request may be made to the Superintendent of Schools. This request must include copies of the completed request form and the Reevaluation of Challenged Materials Committee's reply, and should indicate the areas of dissatisfaction.
    7. Should the decision of the Superintendent not satisfy the person requesting the reevaluation, the Board of Education may hold a special hearing to review the Superintendent's decision. The Board of Education makes the final decision regarding the removal of instructional materials and library media center resources.
    8. Once instructional materials have been adopted and reevaluated, the material cannot be subject to further review without special authorization by the Board of Education. Challenged instructional materials shall remain in use in the school pending final decision.

    Do you see any instructional value in the use of this material?

    In the place of this material would you care to recommend other material which you consider to be of superior quality?

    Person making request represents: (Individual) (Group or Organization)

    Signature: Date:

    Date of Adoption: October 4, 1994


    Print Materials


    Publisher ____________________________________________________

    Date of Publication __________________________________________

    Nonprint Materials

    Title ________________________________________________________

    Producer ___________________________________________________

    Audiovisual SoftwareComputer Software ____________________

    Request initiated by ________________________________________

    Address ___________________________________________________

    City Telephone _________________________

    School(s) in which material is used __________________________

    To what in the material do you object (Please be specific)

    In your opinion, what harmful effects upon pupils might result from use of this material?

    Did you review or examine the material in its entirety?

    If not, what selections?

    6146 Graduation Requirements

    The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to communicate expectations for graduation requirements for the students who attend and graduate from Daniel Hand High School. To that end, this policy has been developed to document the graduation requirements in keeping with the State of Connecticut general statutes that govern such matters.

    These requirements, as documented below, are considered by the Board of Education to constitute a solid educational foundation for high school students. However, the Board endorses and encourages an expanded course of study beyond these minimum requirements that includes, but is not limited to, the following: interdisciplinary studies and student projects, including senior projects; student community service activities; technology-based and distance learning courses and activities; and other such curricula and courses as might be expected for high schools in the 21st century.

    The Board encourages the Superintendent, administration, and staff to focus their efforts on such program expansion as would effectively enhance learning opportunities for students beyond these minimum graduation requirements.

    General Statement of Requirements for Graduation

    For graduation from the district’s public schools, students must:

    1. Satisfactorily complete a rigorous academic Program of Study;
    2. Achieve specific academic performance goals in each content area; and
    3. Fulfill the legally mandated number and distribution of credits.

    The detailed requirements and standards for graduation listed below agree with the goals of our schools adopted by the Board of Education. The faculty shall apply measures of achievement to provide evidence that each student has completed these requirements for graduation according to the terms of paragraph #1 above.

    Additionally, in recognition of its responsibility for the education of all youths in the school system, including those who drop out of school, the Board of Education shall provide alternative programs that will enable them to acquire a high school or vocational school diploma.

    Specific High School Credit Requirements

    A graduate of the Madison Public Schools must have earned a minimum of twenty-four (24) credits and must have met the credit distribution requirement. Students must have met performance standards in the following: reading, writing and mathematics.

    1. Requirements for Enrollment and Promotion and Graduation:
      1. Students in grades 9, 10, and 11 are required to enroll in six and one-half (6.5) credits each year. They may take up to seven and one-half (7.5) credits if their schedule permits them to do so. The minimum enrollment requirement for seniors is six (6) credits. The students must earn four and one-half (4.5) credits during their senior year in order to be eligible for graduation, regardless of previously earned credits.
      2. (b) The minimum requirements for promotion are as follows:
        • Grade 10 status, six (6) credits must be earned
        • Grade 11 status, twelve (12) credits must be earned
        • Grade 12 status, eighteen (18) credits must be earned
      3. Students must complete all requirements in order to participate in graduation exercises.
    2. Credit Distribution Requirements: Effective September 2002 (class of 2006), graduation requirements are expanded to include the following:
      • English: Not fewer than four and one-half (4.5) credits
      • Social Studies: Not fewer than three and one-half (3.5) credits. One (1) must be United States History and one-half (.5) in Civics and American Government
      • Science: Not fewer than three (3) credits
      • Mathematics: Not fewer than three and one-half (3.5) credits
      • Physical Education: Not fewer than one and one-quarter (1.25) credits
      • Arts or Music: Not fewer than one (1) credit
      • Applied Education: Not fewer than one (1) credit
      • Health: Not fewer than one (1) credit
    3. Of the remaining five (5) elective credits, two must be part of a planned program reflecting exploratory interest in the areas of focus (Career Cluster Sequences) contained in the Daniel Hand High School Program of Studies.

    4. District Performance Standards
      1. Mathematics Standard
      2. Students may meet this standard in one of the following ways:
        1. Meeting the state benchmark for the math SAT
        2. Achieving a combined average in the C range for three or more math courses
        3. Satisfying the requirements as designated on the IEP for qualifying students.
      3. Reading and Writing Standard
      4. Students may meet this standard in one of the following ways:
        1. Meeting the state benchmark for the Evidence-Based Reading & Writing (ERW) SAT.
        2. Achieving a combined average in the C range for three or more English courses.
        3. Producing a portfolio of written work in class that will be evaluated by a panel of teachers related to reading & writing.
        4. Satisfying the requirements as designated on the IEP for qualifying students.
    5. Repeating Courses: The following policy applies to courses being repeated due to failure: (a) Students who repeat a course due to failure will have both courses counted in class rank calculations. Both courses will appear on the students’ permanent record card.
    6. Online Courses Courses taken online may be permitted, but only with prior approval. Generally, online courses are not approved to be taken in lieu of required courses, unless the course is being used for credit recovery. Students seeking approval must submit their proposals to the principal in advance of taking the course. An academic review committee will make a determination if online credits will be reflected in the student’s transcript. No more than a total of four credits can be transferred over the course of the high school experience. Courses must be from a college recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council of Higher Education. Credit recovery organizations may include: Area Cooperative Educational Services Summer Academy, Keystone, and Brigham Young University High School.
    7. Notification Guidelines: Effective communication is a key ingredient to success in school. The responsibility for this communication must be shared by school personnel, the student and his / her parents or legal guardians. To this end, teachers will complete reports for all students at the mid-point and end of each trimester.

    Per statute (C.G.S. 221a(f)) the determination of eligible credits is at the discretion of the Board of Education, provided the primary focus of the curriculum of eligible credits corresponds directly to the subject matter of the specified course requirements. The Board may permit a student to graduate during a period of expulsion if the Board determines the student has satisfactorily completed the necessary credits. The graduation requirements shall apply to any student requiring special education except when the Planning and Placement Team (PPT) determines the requirement not to be appropriate.

    The Board of Education shall award a high school diploma to any World War II veteran or veteran of the Korean Hostilities or Vietnam Era veteran requesting such diploma who left high school for military service as defined in the statutes.

    (cf: Policy # 5070: Promotion / Acceleration / Retention)
    (cf. 6146.2 – Statewide Proficiency/Mastery Examinations)

    Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
    10-14n Statewide mastery examination conditions for reexamination. Limitation on use of test results.
    10-16(l) Graduation exercises.
    10-221a High school graduation requirements (As amended by P.A. 00-124, An Act Concerning High School Diplomas and Veterans of World War II and P.A. 00-156, An act Requiring a Civics Course for High School Graduation).
    10-223a and b An Act Concerning the Connecticut Academic Performance Test.

    Date of Adoption: February 2, 1999
    Date of Revision: June 20, 2002
    Date of Revision: June 16, 2015
    Date of Revision: October 18, 2016

    6146.1 Student Assessment

    The Madison Public Schools will utilize those assessment measures which will provide information necessary for the planning of the educational program of students in the Madison Public Schools.

    In accordance with current legal determinations, all testing information as deemed necessary to be part of a student’s cumulative record, will be accessible to parents and/or legal guardians.

    The development and implementation of appropriate procedures for the administration of a comprehensive assessment program are the administrative responsibilities of the Superintendent.

    Date Adopted: 4/7/95

    Date Policy Number Changed: 10/1/91 from #6162.5

    6151 Class Size

    The Board of Education recognizes that in addition to appropriate curriculum which challenges the abilities of all students, teaching techniques, staff utilization and class size all contribute -to effective student learning. In attempting to provide an environment which limits obstacles and enhances opportunities for student success and quality professional performance, the following class size guidelines are recommended.

    GradeClass Size
    Pre-K16 - 18
    Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 216 - 20
    Grades 3 and 419 - 24
    Grades 5 through 819 - 24
    Grades 9 through 12Level I, II: 17 - 24
    Level III: 12 - 20

    In addition, for classes that require work stations, the maximum enrollment shall not exceed the available individual space and/or equipment. Safety requirements supercede the above guidelines.

    Acknowledging the need for diversification of subject matter/ multiple program responsibilities and mandated course credits, the full time high school teacher total student assignment is recommended to be 85 - 120.

    At the high school, scheduled classes shall have a minimum of 10 students. Advanced Placement (AP) courses, or courses limited by pre-requisites, shall be exempt from this minimum.

    Special needs classes and Level IV at the high school are not subject to the guidelines of this policy and shall be organized in the best interest of the students under the guidance of the Director of Pupil Services, principal and the Superintendent.

    To protect the integrity of the Middle School Interdisciplinary Team Teaching, the full time middle school teacher total student assignment is recommended to be 95 - 120.

    The above guidelines should not restrict larger grouping of students when the nature of the material and delivery warrant such action.

    First Revision Reading: December 2, 2014
    Second Revision Reading: December 16, 2014
    Third Revision Reading: January 6, 2015
    Adopted: January 6, 2015

    6152 Grouping for Instruction

    The Board of Education believes that high academic achievement will result only if all students are expected to achieve at high levels and have equal access to challenging curriculum and instruction, adequate and equitable resources; and are taught by excellent educators who believe that all students, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, can achieve at high levels.

    All students are expected to meet or exceed federal, state and local academic performance standards. The Board of Education supports heterogeneous/multiple ability group instruction wherever such grouping is academically possible and is in the best academic and achievement interest of the student. Students shall not be prevented from attempting rigorous coursework based on the student’s ability.

    However, the Board recognizes that students may differ in the amount of time needed or the instructional methodology that will best assist them in learning the curriculum. Grouping of students should be flexible and fluid in order to accommodate the highs, lows and plateaus of the individual’s learning process. Any system of grouping which tends to restrict a student’s progress in a given subject is contrary to the philosophy of the Madison Public Schools. Grouping shall not create or support a system of discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender or socioeconomic status.

    The Board does not endorse any particular method of grouping. Students within the Madison Public Schools should be assigned to classes/courses to permit different styles of learning and teaching based on the following:

    • The individual student’s best opportunity for achievement;
    • The skill level of the student;
    • The most effective instructional climate for the student;
    • The age and maturity levels of the students in the group;
    • The most effective instructional climate for the group; and
    • The most effective social climate for the group and the student.

    Race or gender discrimination is unacceptable. If homogeneous grouping materially affects diversity, the school proposing such grouping must demonstrate that the benefit of homogeneous grouping clearly outweighs the benefits of meeting the Board’s educational goals of diversity.

    The Principal has the authority to assign students to classes, including the authority to group students for instruction in accordance with this policy. However, the Principal should include others (classroom teachers, special education teachers and counselors) in this decision-making process. Thus, the Principal may solicit recommendations from teachers and review requests by parents considering homogeneous grouping. The Principal also may evaluate whether the factors that indicated the need for homogeneous grouping still exist.

    Within a classroom, teachers are encouraged to informally group students for special projects and interests, or to better address different instructional levels within a content area. Grouping within a grade-level/class shall not be permanent and should be used to promote flexibility to meet students’ changing needs and achievements. Students should not be permanently assigned to a group with no opportunity to move to another one.

    A variety of team teaching, organizational plans, multi-aged grouping, flexible scheduling, may be employed within groups of classes and within schools to accommodate a program in which students are permitted and encouraged to advance at their own rate of progress. However, grouping which results in race or gender discrimination or otherwise violates students’ rights will not be tolerated.

    Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
    10-4a Educational interests of state identified
    10-220 Duties of Boards of Education
    State Board of Education Resolution Regarding Tracking

    Policy adopted: December 21, 2010

    6153 Field Trips

    The Board of Education recognizes the valuable experiences derived from field trips for students when properly planned, executed, and evaluated. In most cases, field trips should be directly related to or be an extension of the classroom learning experiences. In this respect, field trips may be used as springboards or culminating activities for units presented in the classroom or to provide "hands on" experience for students involved in the study of specific topics. In addition, field trips may introduce students to new learning experience through participation of observation of such activities as exhibits, dramatic presentations and other timely and appropriate events.

    (cf. 5100.8 Student Travel)
    (cf. 6100.16.1 Educational Travel)

    Date of Adoption: October 3, 2006

    6154 Homework

    The Madison Board of Education believes that homework is an integral component of the learning process when it is developmentally appropriate. Homework is designed with the intent to engage students in meaningful learning experiences outside of the classroom.

    When assigned, homework will provide students the opportunity to reinforce learning and/or promote inquiry through the practice, application, and extension of knowledge and skills, as well as time to reflect upon their own learning. Homework also serves as a communication tool for families to better understand the activities and experiences occurring within the classroom.

    The Board recognizes the importance for educators, families and students to promote a healthy lifestyle by balancing academic and non-academic activities, including, but not limited to clubs, extracurriculars, and private family time. In our committed work to develop all learners’ capacities to approach learning with persistence, resiliency, reflection, and adaptability, homework assignments shall be planned in accordance with the following principles*:

    • Homework should be meaningful, purposeful, appropriate, reasonable, and thoughtfully planned.
    • The quantity and quality of homework should be consistent within grade levels, teams, and courses/classes.
    • Research shows a strong correlation between the amount of reading done outside of school and gains in academic achievement. Therefore, it is the expectation that students will read outside the classroom to promote an appreciation of reading.
    • Homework assignments should be designed to accommodate varied student abilities and needs.
    • Students should be able to complete homework with minimal parental support. There should be a clear understanding of what to do and how to do it.
    • Teachers will not make assumptions about resources available in the home, including access to technology.
    • Homework should be directly related to the curriculum and driven by student progress.
    • Teachers will provide timely feedback.
    • Homework will not be assigned with the expectation that vacation time will be needed to complete the assignment.
    • The impact of homework on student grades should be clearly communicated to students and families. The weighting of homework in grade calculation shall not be the sole reason for a student failing a course.

    *Enrollment in particular courses such as Advanced Placement or UConn Early College Experience may include expectations determined by other agencies which exceed these guidelines.

    The assignment of homework shall be determined by teachers in accordance with the individual needs of the students and administrative regulations per level (elementary, middle and high school).

    Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
    10-221(b) Boards of education to prescribe rules, policies, and procedures re Board of Education responsibility to develop homework policies

    Date of Adoption: August 11, 2015

    6161.3 Comparability of Services

    6161.3 Comparability of Services

    In the event that educational grant funding under Title I of the Federal Strengthening and Improving of Elementary and Secondary Schools Act is available to the Madison Public Schools, said funding shall be expended to promote comparability of services to improve the educational opportunities of educationally disadvantaged or deprived children.

    Title I funded teachers, administrators and other staff shall be assigned to schools in a manner that ensures equivalency in programming / services among the District’s schools. Curriculum materials and instructional supplies shall be provided in a manner that ensures equivalency among the District’s schools.

    It shall be the policy of the Board of Education to ensure comparability of services funded by state and local sources in both Title I project schools and non-project schools. The Board of Education will therefore:

    1. Maintain a districtwide salary schedule, that is applicable to all staff whether assigned to Title I or non-Title I schools.
    2. Provide services with federal, state and local funds in schools serving Title I project areas that are at least comparable to services in non project areas.
    3. Use federal, state and local funds to provide for equivalence among all schools in all schools with the same grade levels in teachers, administrators, and auxiliary personnel.
    4. Use federal, state and local funds to provide for equivalence among all schools with the same grade levels in the provision of curriculum and instructional materials, books and supplies.

    The District shall maintain records that are updated annually documenting its compliance with this ESSA requirement.

    Note:  The district will be considered to have met the comparability requirements of Title I, Part A if it has filed with the State Board of Education a written assurance that it has established and implemented (1) a district-wide salary schedule and (2) policies to ensure equivalence in resources (U.S.C. 6321©(2)

    For the purposes of determining comparability in compliance with 20 U.S.C. 6321©, the District may exclude:

    • State and local funds expended for English Learners language instruction education programs.
    • Excess costs associated with providing services to students with disabilities.
    • Unexpected changes in enrollment or personnel assignments occurring after the beginning of the school year.
    • Staff salary differentials for years of employment.
    • Other expenditures from supplemental state or local funds consistent with the intent of Title I (serving only children who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet the State’s standards).

    The Superintendent or his/her designee shall provide in a timely manner all assurances, documentation, or other information required by the State Department of Education to demonstrate the District’s compliance with Title I fiscal requirements.

    The superintendent or his/her designee shall maintain reports and other documentation demonstrating compliance with the requirements of this policy.

    Nothing in this policy will prohibit the administration from addressing identified problems at individual schools.

    Legal Reference: Title I Improving Basic Programs Operated by State and Local Education Agencies, Improving Every Student Succeeds Act, P.L. 114-95, Section 1118c or Title I, ESEA/ESSA
    20 U.S.C. Section 6321(c)
    Agostini v. Felton 521 U.S. 203(1997)
    Date of Adoption: September 20, 2001
    Date of Revision: August 28, 2018

    6163.32 Service Animals

    The Madison Board of Education (the “Board”) complies with all applicable federal and state laws prohibiting the exclusion of any person from any of its educational programs or activities, or the denial to any person of the benefits of any of its educational programs or activities because of a disability, subject to the conditions and limitations established by law.  Accordingly, the Board shall make reasonable modifications to its policies, practices and procedures to permit an individual with a disability to use a service animal on school property and/or at school-sponsored programs or activities in accordance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), applicable state laws and this policy.

    Service animals are not subject to Policy #5120.3.6, Animals in Schools.

    1. Definitions
      1. "Service animal" means any dog regardless of breed or size (“service dog”) or miniature horse (“service horse”) that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to a physical; sensory; psychiatric; intellectual; or other mental disability.  The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual's disability.  In other words, the animal must be required for the individual with a disability, and must be individually trained to do work or a task for the individual with a disability.  For purposes of this policy, 1) a service animal includes a guide dog or assistance dog for a blind, deaf or mobility impaired person as outlined in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-44; 2) service animal is not a pet; 3) a service animal in-training is not a service animal except for a dog being trained to assist a blind, deaf or mobility impaired individual; 4) companionship, comfort, therapy or emotional support animals do not qualify as service animals and 5) other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained are not service animals.  
      2. "Work or tasks" include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks; alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds; alerting individuals to the onset of medical conditions; alerting individuals to the presence of allergens; assisting individuals with limited use of their limbs with tasks such as carrying items, opening doors, turning on lights, retrieving items and/or pulling a wheelchair; assisting individuals with intellectual or cognitive disabilities locate places or misplaced items; providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities; and/or performing tasks for individuals with psychiatric and neurological disabilities such as preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors or reminding an individual to take prescribed medication.  The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this policy.
      3. "Handler" is an individual with a disability who is accompanied by a service animal, or a third party who accompanies an individual with a disability to assist with his or her service animal. For purposes of this policy, a handler may, in limited circumstances, include a person training a guide or assistance dog for a blind, deaf or mobility impaired person provided the trainer is employed by and authorized to engage in designated training activities by a guide or assistance dog organization that complies with the criteria for membership in a professional association of guide dog or assistance dog schools and carries photographic identification indicating such employment and authorization, or a person who volunteers for a guide or assistance dog organization that authorizes such volunteers to raise dogs to become guide dogs or assistance dogs and causes the identification of such dog with (a) identification tags, (b) ear tattoos, (c) identifying bandanas on puppies, (d) identifying coats on adult dogs, or (e) leashes and collars, as outlined in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-44.
    2. Access to Board Property, Programs and/or Activities

      Generally, a service animal shall be permitted to accompany a handler in all areas of Board property to the same extent that the handler has the right 1) to be present on school property or facilities; 2) to attend and/or participate in a Board-sponsored program or activity, including but not limited to, attending sporting events and student theatrical productions open to the general public; or 3) to be transported in a vehicle operated by or on behalf of the Board.  Under no circumstances shall a handler be permitted to access a place where s/he would not otherwise be allowed access without the service animal.

      The Board prohibits inquiries of a handler (or his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) in the case of a young child) about the nature of his/her disability.  Additionally, Board personnel may not ask a handler (or his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) in the case of a young child) to pay an additional fee to comply with any condition not outlined in this policy and/or request documentation such as proof of licensure, certification or any other proof of the service animal’s training, including, but not limited to, demanding the animal perform a particular task.  In instances where it is not readily apparent whether an animal qualifies as a service animal, Board personnel may only make the following two inquiries of a handler (or his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) in the case of a young child):

      • Is the dog (or miniature horse) a service animal required because of a disability?
      • What work or task(s) has the dog (or miniature horse) been trained to perform?
    3. Management of Service Animals; Responsibilities of Handlers and Liability
      1. Service animals are working animals, not pets.  Accordingly, service animals should not be petted, provoked or otherwise distracted, including, but not limited: talking to or saying the animal’s name. 
      2. A service animal must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered while on school property or at a school-sponsored program or activity unless such devices interfere with the service animal's work or the handler's disability prevents use of such devices.  In that case, the handler must use voice, signal, or other effective means to maintain control of the animal.
      3. A service animal must be housebroken.
      4. A service animal must be under the control of its handler at all times while on Board property or at a Board-sponsored program or activity.  Where a service animal is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it, Board personnel may request that the animal be removed from the property or a Board-sponsored program or activity.   In the event that the handler is unable or unwilling to remove a properly excluded animal, Board personnel are authorized to take appropriate action necessary to remove the animal and ensure the health and/or safety of individuals attending and/or participating in a Board-sponsored program or activity.  In certain limited instances (e.g., younger children), the Board may provide reasonable accommodations to enable a handler to control his/her service animal.  In such instances, the reasonable accommodations shall be determined on case-by-case basis at a meeting with school officials, parent(s)/ guardian(s) and the handler, where appropriate.
      5. Service animals are generally the sole responsibility of their handlers, who must take appropriate precautions to prevent damage or injury to persons or property from the actions of their service animals.  The Board shall not be responsible for the care or supervision of service animals, including but not limited to the cost of veterinary care, supplies or equipment; provision of food and/or water; walking the service animal; responding to the service animal’s toileting needs, including accidents; and/or grooming the service animal.  Accordingly, handlers (or if a minor, their parent(s)/guardian(s)) are liable for any harm, damage, or injury caused by the service animal to students, staff, visitors, and/or property to the same extent other individuals who cause harm, damage or injury to persons or property are responsible for such harm, damage or injuries.   
      6. Handlers shall ensure that service animals comply with all generally applicable state and local animal control and public health requirements, including, but not limited vaccinations registration and/or licensure requirements. 
      7. All service animals should be kept clean and groomed to avoid shedding and dander, where possible.  All service animals should be treated for, and kept free of, fleas and ticks.
    4. Students with Individualized Education Programs (“IEPs”) and/or Section 504 Plans
          An inquiry by a planning and placement team (“PPT”) and/or Section 504 team concerning whether a service animal is necessary for a student with a disability to receive a free and appropriate public education (“FAPE”) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is separate from the analysis and inquiry related to service animals under the ADA and applicable state laws.  Any decisions with respect to whether a service animal is necessary in order to provide a student FAPE will be made by the student’s PPT or Section 504 team, as applicable.  Where a service animal is not required for a student with a disability to receive a FAPE, the Board shall permit the use of a service animal in the Board’s programs or activities in accordance with the law and this policy.  
    5. Exclusion and/or Removal of a Service Animal

      The Board shall not exclude a service animal based on assumptions or stereotypes or general fears about how a service animal or particular breed of dog might behave.  However, a school official may ask a handler to remove a service animal from Board property, or a Board-sponsored program or activity in the event of one of the following:

      Where a service animal is properly excluded, the Board shall permit the handler to remain on Board property and/or participate in the Board-sponsored program or activity without the service animal unless such handler otherwise violated a Board policy or state or federal law which warrants the removal of the individual.  In the event that the handler is unable or unwilling to remove a properly excluded animal, Board personnel are authorized to take appropriate action necessary to remove the animal and ensure the health and/or safety of individuals attending and/or participating in a Board-sponsored program or activity.

      1. The service animal is out of control and the service animal’s handler does not take effective action to control it;
      2. The service animal is not housebroken; 
      3. The service animal’s presence would “fundamentally alter” the nature of the service, program, or activity; and/or 
      4. The service animal’s actual behavior poses a direct threat to the health and/or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by reasonable modifications to policies, practices or procedures; or has a history of such behavior.  
    6. Special Provisions Applicable to Service Horses

      Board shall modify its policies, practices or procedures to permit a handler to use miniature horses, where reasonable.  In determining whether reasonable modifications can be made to allow a service horse into a specific facility, the Board shall consider: 

      The Board shall promptly notify a handler (or his/her parent(s)/guardian(s)) in writing whether reasonable modifications may be made to permit a service horse into a specific facility. 

      1. Whether the facility can accommodate the miniature horse’s type, size, and weight;
      2. whether the handler has control of the miniature horse; 
      3. Whether the miniature horse is housebroken; and 
      4. Whether the miniature horse’s presence in a specific facility compromises legitimate safety requirements that are necessary for safe operation.
    7. Conflicting Disabilities

      In instances where an individual has an allergy significant     to qualify as a disability, or have another disability that conflicts with the disability requiring the use of a service animal, the individual shall immediately notify a building administrator or the school official in charge of Board-sponsored program or activity.  The Board, through its administration, shall consider the needs of each individual and balance the rights of the individuals involved.  The Board shall work to resolve the conflict as efficiently and expeditiously as possible in order to meet its obligations to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities.    

    8. Grievances

      Any person who believes s/he has been discriminated against because of his/her disability by a Board personnel or student, or has been aggrieved by a decision concerning a service animal may file a complaint or appeal to:

      Director of Special Education and Student Services 10 Campus Drive Madison, CT  06443 203-245-6300

      You may also file a complaint with the following agencies, via mail, telephone, fax and/or online:

      • US Department of Justice  950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Civil Rights Division  Disability Rights Section – 1425 NYAV Washington, D.C. 20530 Fax: (202) 307-1197
      • Boston Office Office for Civil Rights US Department of Education 5 Post Office Square, 8th Floor Boston, MA 02109-3921 Telephone: (617) 289-0111 Fax: (617) 289-0150 TDD: (800) 877-8339 Email:
      • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission John F. Kennedy Federal Building 475 Government Center Boston, MA 02203  Telephone: (800) 669-4000 Fax: (617) 565-3196 TTY: (800) 669-6820 ASL Video Phone: (844) 234-5122 

    Legal References:

    State Law:  
        Conn. Gen. Stat. §22-339b 
        Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-44 
        Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-64 

    Federal law: Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended 

        28 C.F.R. § 35.104 
        28 C.F.R. § 35.136 
        28 C.F.R. § 36.302(c) 

    Date of Adoption:  December 4, 2018