Other General School District Notices
Acceptable Use of the Internet
Norwin students have access to the Internet for the purpose of academic studies within each school building. In order to use the Norwin School District Internet, students must agree to the terms and conditions as outlined in the Student Internet Access Agreement. This agreement is made available to students at the beginning of each school year. Students and their parents or guardians are required to sign a consent form before the students will be permitted to have access to the Internet.
The acceptable use agreement outlines appropriate and unacceptable use of the Internet within Norwin School District. Students who violate the provisions of the agreement may be subject to disciplinary actions listed in the Student Rights, Responsibility/Discipline Code as well as the loss of the privilege of access to the Norwin School District network and the Internet. The District’s computers are equipped with filtering software which limits access to inappropriate material as required by the No Child Left Behind and Children’s Internet Protection Acts (CIPA).
Pursuant to CIPA, the School District will educate all students about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyber bullying awareness and response. Information regarding the Student Internet Access Agreement may be viewed by reading Policy 802, Acceptable Use, at www.norwinsd.org under “School Board,” and “Policies and Procedures.”
Norwin School District provides instruction about Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and related issues at all three (3) levels of curriculum: elementary, middle school and high school, as part of District policy and state regulations. Pupils may be excused from the formal instruction within the health curriculum when the instruction conflicts with the religious or moral beliefs of the parents/guardians or the pupil. A written excuse is required and must be presented to the building principal, prior to the instruction, for the pupil to be excused. Curricular outlines and materials used in conjunction with AIDS instruction are available for examination by calling the appropriate building principal for an appointment during regular school hours.
Parents/guardians are reminded that regular school attendance is a necessity if a child is to have a successful school year. Students should bring a written excuse, signed by their parent/guardian, the day they return to school following an absence. Failure or refusal to supply a valid excuse within three (3) days upon return to school will result in an unexcused absence. Students excessively absent will be required to submit a physician’s excuse within five (5) days of returning to school. The District will follow the provisions of 24 P.S. 13-1327 Compulsory Attendance and Truancy Elimination Plan of August 8, 2006.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health requires public school nurses to calculate the body mass index (BMI) of students based on their height and weight measurements. The index is a part of the scheduled screenings done at school. BMI is a weight and stature index that is used to determine whether a student is within a normal growth pattern, overweight or at risk for becoming overweight or underweight.
Emergency situations sometimes develop in individual school buildings too late to cancel or delay school for that building. The situations may be temporary in nature and not necessitate a cancellation or delay. In either situation, the District attempts to provide a safe and comfortable educational environment for students. In order to do so, students may be bussed to another building, at regular intervals, to use lavatory facilities or moved to another building for the day. The District believes that this plan of action provides the best avenue for the child’s education and welfare. Your patience and cooperation during these unusual times is appreciated.
The Norwin School District is committed to providing all students with a safe and civil school environment in which all members of the school community are treated with dignity and respect and are free from harassment or bullying. The District recognizes that bullying creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, detracts from the safe environment necessary for student learning, and may lead to more serious violence. Pennsylvania law now states that cyber harassment of a child shall constitute a misdemeanor of the third degree. Therefore, bullying is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated.
Most students at Norwin enjoy the privilege of riding the school bus to and from school. All students, their parents, and members of the community can help maintain safe transportation for Norwin students by remembering:
- Students should be at the bus stop at least 10 minutes before the scheduled arrival time.
- Parents who wait to pick up their children at bus stops should have alternate plans prepared in case of early dismissals, emergencies, etc.
- Students should stay a safe distance from the road while waiting for the bus.
- Students must behave while waiting for and riding the bus.
- Students are not permitted to eat or drink while on the bus.
- Students must remain seated while the bus is in motion.
- Students may be assigned seats by the driver at any time.
- The bus driver is responsible for maintaining bus discipline.
- Students should wait until the driver signals “all clear” before crossing in front of the bus.
- Students should not reach under the bus to pick up dropped items. Rather, the driver should be asked for help.
- Students must board and unload at the designated spot unless permission to do otherwise is obtained in advance.
- Drivers are required to come to a complete stop to enable students to be picked up and dropped off.
- Nothing is to be sticking out of an open school bus window.
- Late students should avoid injury by not running after the bus.
- Students should avoid injury by not touching the outside of the bus.
- On arrival, students should report directly to their building.
Transportation assignments for the school year are posted through Skyward Family Access. The information includes bus number, bus stop location and pick-up time. If there is a question regarding your child’s assignment, please call First Student bus garage at 724-863-2262 or Mr. Rod Stewart at 724.861.3038. In order to assist the transportation process, parents/guardians should check the information for accuracy and report any errors to First Student (724.863.2262). Parents/guardians of students whose bus stops will change should report that change to First Student or the Norwin Transportation Office (724.861.3038).
All buses serving Norwin School District transportation needs are subject to being both audio and video recorded to help ensure that the students are transported in a manner that protects them, as well as the school bus operator, from physical injury, verbal abuse, and threats. Such recordings, both audio and video, may be used in all disciplinary and security investigations of students and adult employees of Norwin School District and its contracted service providers.
More information can be found by reading Norwin School District’s Policy No. 810, Transportation, and the Transportation Procedures No. 812 by visiting www.norwinsd.org and clicking on “Policies and Procedures” under “School Board.”
Child Abuse Prevention / Mandated Reporter Training
The Superintendent or designee shall annually notify district staff, independent contractors, and Board-Approved volunteers of their responsibility for reporting child abuse in accordance with Board policy and administrative regulations.
Educational Use of Personal Electronic Devices
The Norwin Board of Education recognizes that many students possess personally owned electronic devices, and that learning opportunities can be enhanced through “Bring Your Own Device” educational programs in which teachers permit the purposeful use of personal electronic devices in support of curriculum learning objectives.
Norwin School District Policy 237, Educational Use of Personal Electronic Devices, sets forth expectations for appropriate use of existing and emerging technologies which students may possess, including but not limited to cellular phones, laptop or mini computers, e-readers, digital picture/video cameras and/or camera phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), MP3s, tablet PCs, pagers and other personally owned electronic devices capable of transmitting data or images.
The Norwin School District holds high expectations for student behavior, academic integrity and responsible use of existing and emerging technologies. Students who possess and/or use such devices at school or school-sponsored events must demonstrate the greatest respect for the educational environment and the rights and privacy of all individuals within the school community. Personal electronic devices can only be used within the building or on school grounds if pre-approved and under the supervision of a classroom teacher or administrator for a specific educational purpose. The District shall not be liable for the loss, damage, misuse or theft of any personal electronic device brought to school.
The District reserves the right to take appropriate action, which may, depending on the circumstances, include monitoring, inspecting, copying, reviewing, or confiscating a personal electronic device or file when administration has a reasonable suspicion that a violation of District Policy or applicable law has occurred. Students who engage in inappropriate communications will be subject to discipline and, if appropriate, may be reported to local authorities.
For more information, please see Policy and Procedure No. 237, “Educational Use of Personal Electronic Devices” at www.norwinsd.org under “School Board,” and “Policies and Procedures.”
Excuse from Instruction/ Assessment
Parents/guardians have the right to have their children excused from specific instruction if that instruction conflicts with their religious beliefs. Requests must be made in writing to the Assistant Superintendent of Elementary or Secondary Education, signed and state the specific elements of instruction from which the student is to be excused. The request must be submitted at least six (6) school days in advance of the instruction occurring and include the reason for requesting the excusal. This entire policy, 105.2 Excuse from Instruction/Assessment, can be found on the District website at www.norwinsd.org under “School Board,” and “Policies and Procedures.”
When a parent/guardian has a complaint, it is District procedure that it should be resolved at the lowest possible level. The process typically would follow the steps below when there is a classroom concern:
Step (1) Classroom Teacher
Step (2) Building Administrator
Step (3) District Office Administrator
Step (4) School Board
Following this procedure will ensure that the process is not delayed. All complaints must be filed within 90 calendar days of the alleged incident.
Parents, students, and members of the community are reminded that, under provisions of the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act (Act 211) and the approved Norwin School District Student Rights, Responsibilities and Discipline Code, mandatory standards of conduct have been set concerning the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol at any time on school premises. Disciplinary sanctions, including expulsions and/or referral for prosecution, are in effect for violators of the provisions. The sanctions are included in the District’s Student Rights, Responsibilities and Discipline Code. Drug and alcohol counseling and rehabilitation and re-entry programs are also available through E-N.E.S.T. and N.E.S.T., the District’s student assistance programs.
Entering a Building
All members of the Norwin community are reminded of the District policy concerning entry onto school property and into school buildings. All District buildings are secured after students arrive; only one (1) entrance is opened to the public. You must identify yourself and your purpose to be buzzed in. When you enter the building, please first report to the main office to obtain a visitor’s pass.
Once inside the main office, a visitor’s driver’s license will be scanned and compared to a national database to check criminal history. The system alerts office staff in the event of a match to the database. Also, in cases where court documents are properly presented to the School District in advance, the system can alert office staff about visitors against whom Protection from Abuse orders or custody restrictions are filed.
The visitor will receive a temporary identification badge that is unique to their visit on a given day. The temporary identification badge states the visitor’s name and displays their photo, and it also states their destination, which means staff members can spot out-of-place visitors and escort them to the right place. All visitors who request to go beyond the school office will have their license scanned and will be required to wear an identification badge. Any visitors without a driver's license will have their full name and date of birth entered into the system so that a badge can be created for them.
When visitors prepare to leave the building, they are asked to please notify the office and return the badge. Unauthorized individuals will be required to leave the building voluntarily or forcibly. Following this policy will help us protect our children and our employees.
As required by law, all students in Norwin School District must participate in medical and dental examinations. The examinations will be scheduled by the school nurse and conducted by the school physician and dentist throughout the school year. Parents may substitute a medical and/or dental examination by their family physician or dentist, at their own expense. Further information about medical and/or dental examinations, or their schedule, can be obtained from school nurses.
Norwin School District is pleased to provide Family Access by Skyward, Inc., a secure Internet-based website that will allow you to easily view your child’s attendance, grades, schedule, food service balance, busing information, progress, assignments, and emergency contact information. Family Access is a free service and will be available to all parents with children enrolled in the District. More information is available on the Norwin website, www.norwinsd.org, under the Family Access Tab.
Hazing and Harassment
It is the policy of Norwin School District that its students are free from hazing, initiations and other acts of violence, threats, intimidations and misconduct. The policy is reviewed with coaches before each athletic season and the coaches, in turn, review it with their students. Students receive a copy of the policy and are required to sign off on it in order to participate in the activity. Violators of the policy are subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
The State Board of Education established the rules for homebound instruction. Students may be on homebound instruction for no longer than three (3) consecutive months unless a new physician’s request is submitted and approved. If the physician’s request is not submitted, or if the state does not approve the request, homebound instruction will cease.
All school-age children attending school in Pennsylvania are required to have complete immunizations. The school nurse will inform you of any requirements that your child is lacking. If you want to see a complete list of required immunizations, go to the PA Department of Health website at www.health.state.pa.us.
Parents/guardians and students age 18 or older have access to information concerning the curriculum offered by Norwin School District, including instructional materials, academic standards and assessment techniques. Requests must be made in writing to the appropriate Superintendent of Elementary or Secondary Education, who will arrange for the review of the information under provisions of Board Policy #105.1. [See 22 PA Code § 4.4 and 20 USC § 1232h (a)].
The Norwin School District has specific procedures in place for dispensing medication to students during school hours. These procedures include: (1) written instructions from the physician on the proper procedure for the dispensing of the medication must be received; (2) the student must take the medication to the office/nurse upon arriving at school; (3) the medication shall be taken in the presence of the parent/guardian, nurse or building administrator. The school staff is not responsible for errors in the written instructions received concerning dosage, administration or the supply of medication. If written communication is not received, no medication will be dispensed unless the building administrator or nurse has called the parent/guardian and/or the student’s physician. Parents are required to follow the procedures to assist the District in helping the students who need medication.
Norwin Food Service
As a partner in the education process, it is our commitment to provide safe, quality meals that reflect a high nutritional standard, while providing excellent customer service in a warm, friendly environment.
At the Norwin School District, we believe that the breakfast and lunch programs are part of the educational system. We are responsible for teaching children nutrition and offering new and exciting food items that meet the nutritional standards set forth in the District’s Wellness Policy. We continuously strive to make the lunch menus more appealing, encouraging the children to eat breakfast and lunch at school. The Food and Nutrition Services Department tracks the sales of the various menu choices in order to provide the menu items that the students prefer. This is how we determine if a new item is a success, or if it needs to be changed or removed.
Another resource that the Food and Nutrition Services Department uses to get feedback from students, parents, administrators, teachers and staff is the Health, Wellness and Nutrition Council Meetings. These meetings are held on a regular basis at the Administration Building and are open to anyone (i.e., students, parents, administrators, teachers or staff) who would like to attend. We discuss the current menu items, new menu items, and any other food-related issue. This gives the students a platform to air any complaints directly to the Director and the administration. It is also a great way for the Director to share important information with the people who attend the meeting.
To encourage students to make healthy food choices, the Food and Nutrition Services Department and the District, through education and curriculum, teach students how to select more health-conscious choices. We also meet the dietary needs of any student who requires a special diet because of a medical reason. Forms may be obtained from the Director’s office.
The fourth edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans was released in 2010 and triggered the new guidelines for school meals. The School Meal Initiative is designed to meet 1/3 of the dietary guidelines for children for lunch. All school lunches have an age-appropriate calorie allowance, with less than 30% of the calories from fat and 12-15% of the calories from protein.
The Norwin School District participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. The purpose of this program is to provide a hot, nutritious lunch for students of families in the low and below minimum income range. The Norwin School District now uses the Pennsylvania statewide on-line Free & Reduced Application System. Households with computer access are requested to apply online by using the link, http://www.paschoolmeals.com. Paper applications will only be used upon request by calling Food & Nutrition Services at 724.861.3038. Free and reduced lunch lists are also used by the district in determining individual building eligibility for Title 1 remedial reading services.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age or disability. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of all program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202)720-2600 (voice and TDD).
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202)720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
For important information regarding the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs, please visit the Food & Nutrition Services web page on the Norwin web site at https://www.norwinsd.org/domain/120. This page has useful information regarding the “Meal Charge and Collection Policy 255.1”, Free and Reduced Priced Meal information, “Summer Feeding Programs”, “What’s Included in a School Lunch”, School Lunch and Breakfast menus, “Carb & Calorie counts”, Health Wellness and Nutrition Committee information and many more pertinent topics.
Norwin Golden Age Cards
All Norwin School District residents, 65 years of age or older, are entitled to a NORWIN GOLDEN AGE CARD. Those wishing to attend school functions without charge or at a reduced rate should bring identification, showing their birth date (such as a driver’s license) to the Superintendent’s Office at the Administration Building between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. during the regular work week. An official seal will be applied to the card once a signature is secured. The card can be used immediately for District functions.
Pest Management Plan
Under provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act [20 USC § 6311 (h) (6) (A)], parents or guardians of students in District Title I buildings may request information regarding the professional qualifications of their child’s teachers. The information is limited to:
- whether the teacher has met state licensing criteria for the grade level(s) and subject areas taught
- whether any teacher is on emergency or provisional certification
- the undergraduate/graduate degree major of the teacher and the field of discipline of the certification or degree.
Parents interested in obtaining the information must send a written request to Mr. Thomas Wrobleski, Director of Human Resources. Title I buildings include Hahntown, Sheridan Terrace and Hillcrest Intermediate.
Registration for New Students
Students who will be new to the Norwin School District (i.e., transfers in from other public schools, parochial or private schools), should register with a Norwin representative as soon as possible. Elementary students who will be entering Kindergarten through sixth grade in August of each year should register in the building where they will be attending, or may contact Mrs. Natalie McCracken, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education, at 724.861.3021. Middle School students, grades seven and eight, should register with the Guidance Office at the Middle School (724.861.3010), High School students, grades nine through twelve, must contact the High School Guidance Office 724.861.3002 for an appointment to ensure that they will have a schedule ready for the fall term. High School Guidance Counselors will be available for new student registration and for anyone unable to schedule at an earlier time.
Requests for Information
Under provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (20 USC § 7908) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 USC § 1232g, school districts are required to provide, upon request made by military recruiters or an institution of higher education, access to secondary school students’ names, addresses and telephone listings. Secondary students or their parents/guardians who wish to have their information excluded from disclosure without prior written consent must do so in writing and send the written exclusion request to their child’s guidance counselor, the designated school official.
Once again, the Safeguard Program will be available in all K-4 elementary schools. Through it, before and after school child care is provided for Norwin students in grades K-6. The program includes homework supervision, a snack, art projects and organized play. For hours of operation and fee information, please call the Safeguard Office at 724.864.1004.
The Norwin School Board-approved Student Rights and Responsibilities Regulations addresses student attire; please see building-level student handbooks for specific school attire rules. Students are not permitted to wear the following items at school:
- Shoes with wheels; “Heelies”
- Halters, tube tops, spaghetti straps, mesh or see-through blouses or shirts
- Tank tops, undershirts, T-shirts advertising illegal products or behavior or which contain profanity
- Any item of clothing which exposes the shoulder or midriff
- Messages or wording across the seat of shorts, pants, sweatpants and skirts are not permitted
- Cutoffs and clothing that is ripped, cut or has holes
- Jewelry or ornaments which cause injury. In addition, undergarments are not to be exposed. Pants and shorts must be secured at the waist and cannot be worn “sag style.”
Students must wear clothing with sleeves. Students inappropriately dressed will be required to change to appropriate attire. In all cases, the decision of the Principal is final.
Information relative to the emergency closing of schools in the Norwin School District is broadcast over the following television stations: KDKA, WPXI and WTAE. The decision to delay or postpone school due to weather conditions is made as early as possible. If weather conditions deteriorate while school is in session, early dismissals may occur.
Student ID Cards
All Norwin students will be issued/re-issued ID cards this year. Students in grades seven through twelve must carry their ID cards at all times during the school day. Cards will be used to borrow material from the library and to purchase meals from the cafeteria. Replacement cards will cost $1.00 for the first card and $5.00 for each subsequent replacement. The ID cards must be turned in at the end of the school year to meet District obligations. A student ID card must be presented to any administrator or staff member upon request.
Parents/guardians and students have access to the student’s educational records and have the opportunity to amend them for accuracy. Parents/guardians or eligible students who wish to inspect the student’s educational records should make an appointment with their child’s counselor for the review. If, after the review of the records, the parent/guardian or eligible student wishes to amend the records for accuracy, he/she is required to make the request in writing. The request should specify the nature of the amendment desired, the reasons for the change and any verification of the change requested. Within a reasonable time, the District will determine whether to amend the records. Parents/guardians have the right to a hearing on their request to amend educational records. Additionally, parents/guardians have the right to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) in the U.S. Department of Education.
Students and the Media
During the school year, events and activities occur that are shared with the community through the local news media. Parents/guardians have the right to restrict this access at any time. Your child’s photograph (group or individual), verbal and written comments, and schoolwork may appear in various media outlets. The Norwin School District will permit a student’s image, verbal and written comments, and a student’s work to appear in such multimedia outlets unless the parent or guardian of the student objects, in writing. Parents or guardians may object to the use of their child’s image, comments, or work appearing in any form of media by submitting the Media Opt-Out Form to the principal of the building your child attends within 30 calendar days of the start of school or enrollment in the District. (Extenuating circumstances may warrant a parent making a request during the school year). If you do not timely file a written objection, your silence will serve as implied consent. Your child’s image, comments, or work may be used for any multimedia purpose unless you choose to affirmatively opt-out. It is District procedure that a school official be present during any media-initiated photograph or interview of a student during the school day or activity. For more information, please see Procedure No. 802.2, Media Opt Out Procedures and Form, on the District’s Web site at www.norwinsd.org under School Board and Policies and Procedures.
The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) [20 USC § 1232H (b)], gives parents and students who are 18 or older or emancipated minors rights regarding the District’s use of or participation in surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes and conduct of certain physical exams. These include the right to:
- Consent, in writing, to federally funded surveys concerning protected information before the student provides information relating to the following categories:
- political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parents/guardians
- mental or psychological problems of the student or the student’s family
- sexual behavior or attitudes
- illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating or demeaning behavior
- critical appraisals of student’s close family relationships
- privileged or similar relationships recognized by law
- religious practices, affiliations or income other than that required by law to determine program eligibility
- Opt out of surveys and exams that involve:
- the collection, disclosure or use of personal information obtained from students for purposes of marketing or selling or otherwise distributing information to others
- protected information surveys as set forth above regardless of funding
- any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance administered by the District and scheduled by the District; and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision or scoliosis screenings or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under state law
- Inspect the following material prior to its use or administration:
- protected information surveys of students
- documents used to collect personal information from students for marketing, sales or distribution purposes
- instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum
Parents and eligible students who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with: Family Policy Compliance Office, USDOE 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W. Washington DC 20202-4605
Act 26 requires the expulsion, for not less than one (1) year, of any student who brings a weapon onto school property, a school transportation vehicle or to any school-sponsored activity. The Act requires parents who register their children for school to file statements concerning previous expulsions for offenses relating to weapons, alcohol, drugs or willful infliction of injury.