This section of your Student Handbook is intended to provide students and parents with accurate information about students’ rights and responsibilities. It reflects a portion of current laws and District policy which often affect high school education. The abridged version, which follows, includes only subjects deemed most crucial.  For additional information on student rights and responsibilities, see a school or district administrator.

A.  Constitutional Rights:  A student’s education in high school is more than just a responsibility.  The California Supreme Court has held that both education and attendance at a public school are fundamental rights of all people in the state, and are both guaranteed and protected by the California Constitution.  That document states that all students have the responsibility to “comply with the regulations, pursue the required course of study, and submit to the authority of the school,” under the limitations of students’ rights.

B.  Compulsory Education:   According to state law, it is the responsibility of parents to place their students in public or private day school during each school year while students are age six to eighteen.  However, exemptions to day school attendance must be granted to students who:

·       have a physical or mental condition which prevents or strongly discourages attendance at a school;

·       are being instructed for at least three hours a day for 180 days each calendar year in subjects required by the E.C., by a private tutor holding a valid teaching credential;

·       on the recommendation of the principal or the superintendent have been assigned to a vocational program in a place of employment, providing they are over fourteen and have a valid work permit;

·      have a valid work permit and are so employed, while still attending part-time classes

C.  Access to Records:  Mandatory access will be provided to the following persons or agencies:

1.         Natural parents, adoptive parents, or legal guardians of students younger than age 18.  Upon request, qualified certificated staff will be available to interpret records.

2.         Adult students (age 18 or older) (E.C. 49061).

3.         Those so authorized in compliance with a court order  (E.C. 49077).  If lawfully possible, the District shall first give the parent or adult student three days’ notice, telling who is requesting what records  (Title 5, Section 435).

The following persons or agencies shall have access to those particular records which are relevant to the legitimate educational interests of the requester:

1.         Natural parents, adoptive parents, or legal guardians of a dependent student age 18 or older  (E.C. 49076).

2.         Student 16 or older or who have completed the 10th grade (E.C. 49076).

3.         School officials and employees  (E.C. 49076).

4.         School Attendance and Review Board members and involved school officials and employees (E.C. 49076).

5.         Officials or employees of other public schools or school systems where educational programs leading to high school education are provided  (E.C. 49076).

6.         Federal, state and local officials, as needed for program audits or compliance with law  (E.C. 49076).

5.              County child welfare services workers responsible for the case plan of a minor who is being placed in foster care  (Welfare and Institutions Code 16010).

6.              Representatives of agencies with whom the District has contracted for support services.  Parental consent is not required when information is shared with other persons within educational institutions, agencies or organizations obtaining access, so long as those persons have legitimate interest in the information  (E.C. 49076).

7.              County child welfare services workers responsible for the case plan of a minor who is being placed in foster care (Welfare and Institutions Code 16010).

8.              Representatives of agencies with whom the District has contracted for support services.  Parental consent is not required when information is shared with other persons within educational institutions, agencies or organizations obtaining access, so long as those persons have legitimate interest in the information (E.C. 49076).

D.    Child Abuse and NeglectWith the concern for the total well-being of each student, District employees shall report known or suspected instances of child abuse in accordance with state law and District regulations.  Employees will cooperate with child protective agencies responsible for reporting, investigating and prosecuting cases of child abuse.

E.    Student Expression

·      Free inquiry and exchange of ideas are essential parts of a democratic education.  Windsor High School respects students’ rights to express ideas and opinions, take stands, and support causes, whether controversial or not, through their speech, their writing, and the printed materials they choose to post or distribute.

·      Student freedom of expression shall be limited only as allowed by law in order to maintain an orderly school environment and to protect the rights, health and safety of all members of the school community.  Students shall not be disciplined solely on the basis of constitutionally protected speech or other communication.

F.   Nondiscrimination in Employment and Title IX:  The Board of Trustees designates the following person as Coordinator for Nondiscrimination in Employment and for Title IX:

                        Mrs. Kim Bricker, Director of Human Resources

                        Windsor Unified School District

                        707-837-7703

The full text of District procedures can be found in the District Office.

Discrimination:  The Windsor Unified School District, in strict accordance with state and federal laws, does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, sex, sexual preference, nationality, creed, religion, economic background, social background, disability, or because a student is married or pregnant.

Title IX:  Discrimination on the basis of sex in any program or activity of this District is not to be permitted.  All District employees are required to comply with all provisions of this policy and the Title IX amendments of 1972. 

G.   Complaints

When a student has a problem...

If a student believes that he or she is not receiving the education to which the student is legally entitled, or if the student feels that he or she is not being treated with courtesy and respect, the student should first contact the person responsible (if known) and an administrator.  Often a concern can be reconciled at this level.  If this step brings no resolution, however, then the student is legally entitled to use the District complaint procedures.  The District complaint procedure addresses issues around federal and state programs; there are specific procedures to follow that can be accessed through the Windsor Unified School District office.

Informal Complaints Concerning School Personnel

Complaints concerning school personnel should be made directly by the complainant to the person against whom the complaint is lodged.  Parents/guardians are encouraged to attempt to orally resolve concerns with the staff member personally.

Formal Complaints Concerning School Personnel

1.     If the complaint is not resolved at the informal level, the complainant may submit the complaint in writing to the school principal or immediate supervisor.  School and District administrators can provide Board Policy/administrative regulations regarding complaint procedures.  When necessary, District administration shall assist in the preparation of the written complaint so as to meet the requirement of this regulation.  The administrative staff shall inform the complainant that such assistance is available if he/she is unable to prepare the written complaint without help.  A written complaint must include the name of each employee involved and a brief but specific summary of the complaint and the facts surrounding it.  It must also include a specific description of a prior attempt to discuss the complaint with the employee involved and the failure to resolve the matter.  The principal or immediate supervisor is responsible for investigating complaints and will attempt to resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of the person(s) involved.  If the complaint is resolved, the principal will so advise all concerned parties, including the superintendent or designee.

2.     If the complaint remains unresolved after review by the principal or the immediate supervisor, the principal shall refer the written complaint, together with an analysis of the situation, to the superintendent or designee.  Complainants should consider and accept the superintendent or designee’s decision as final.  However, the complainant, the employee, or the superintendent or designee may ask to address the Board of Trustees regarding the complaint.

Sexual Harassment Complaints:

1.     The members of the Windsor community are united in the belief that sexual harassment (or any other kind of harassment) should not be tolerated in or out of school.  In an effort to address the problem of sexual harassment, the Windsor Unified School District has adopted a policy and procedures to deal with harassment when it occurs.

2.     Sexual harassment can interfere with a student’s ability to develop and maintain self esteem, form relationships, and perform well in school.  It is important that students feel safe and supported at school; sexual harassment can undermine this essential feeling of security.

What exactly is sexual harassment?

Prohibited sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: (E.C. 212.5)

a.               Submission to the conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of a student’s employment, academic status, or progress.

b.              Submission to or rejection of the conduct by the student is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting the student.

c.               The conduct has the purpose or effect of having a negative impact on the student’s academic work performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational or work environment.

d.              Submission to or rejection of the conduct by the student is used as the basis for any decision affecting the student regarding benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the school.

Other types of conduct which are prohibited and which may constitute sexual harassment include:

a.               Unwelcome leering, sexual flirtations or propositions.

b.              Unwelcome sexual slurs, epithets, threats, verbal abuse, derogatory comments or sexually degrading descriptions.

c.               Graphic verbal comments about an individual’s body, or overly personal conversation.

d.              Sexual jokes, stories, drawings, pictures or gestures.

e.               Spreading sexual rumors.

f.               Teasing or sexual remarks about students enrolled in a predominantly single-sex class.

g.              Touching an individual’s body or clothes in a sexual way.

h.              Purposely limiting a student’s access to educational tools.

i.               Cornering or blocking of normal movements.

j.               Displaying sexually suggestive objects in the educational environment.

k.              Any act of retaliation against a student who reports a violation of the District’s sexual harassment policy or who participates in the investigation of the sexual harassment complaint.


What can a student do when he or she feels sexually harassed?

Informal Resolution:

·       The student is not required to do this, but he or she may directly inform the person engaged in such conduct that such conduct is offensive and must stop.  The student may ask for help in representation to speak with the alleged harasser.

·       The student may ask a teacher, counselor, or school administrator to mediate a resolution to the problem before attempting to engage in a formal process.

Formal Complaint:

·       The student may file a written complaint with a school administrator regarding the harassment.  The student may ask any school employee to assist him or her.

·       A complaint policy procedure is available by asking a school administrator.

·       The school administrator shall review the complaint, commence a thorough and complete investigation of the complaint, and make a written report available to the complainant and to the alleged harasser.  Disposition of the complaint may include, but is not limited to, disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.  Any employee who permits or engages in sexual harassment may be subject to disciplinary action.

·      If a complainant or the alleged harasser is dissatisfied with the investigation and/or its disposition, he or she may file a written appeal to the Superintendent of Schools.

H.  Infectious Diseases

·       The Board of Trustees recognizes its dual responsibility to protect the health of students from risks posed by infectious diseases and to uphold the right of students to a free and appropriate education.  The District requires all staff to routinely observe universal precautions to prevent exposure to blood borne pathogens and prevent the spread of all infectious diseases.

·       The admission of a student with a disease that is contagious within the school setting shall be determined by the superintendent or designee in accordance with standard procedures.  The District shall exclude students only in accordance with law.

·       The Board of Trustees created and adopted a comprehensive policy on infectious diseases.  This policy applies in situations where a student or staff member may have the disease AIDS.  It contains the following provisions:

1.   All students regardless of medical disability are entitled to an education in the least restrictive environment.

2.   Placement decisions for students will be based upon individual need, physical condition of the student and the expected type of interaction with others.

3.   Decisions will be made on an individual basis using a team approach and based upon current Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations.

4.   The District will maintain strict confidentiality of all individual student and/or employee records or medical histories.

A copy of the complete policy, Control of Infectious Diseases, is available in the District Office. 

I.      Legal Rights of Students and Parents

Under federal and state regulations, students and parents have rights, which could have an effect on the educational program.  A complete explanation of these rights is attached to the enrollment form completed by parents or guardians; it is also sent home in a mailing.  This information is available at the school or District Office.  Included are provisions regarding:

·       Exemption from sex education courses

·       Excuse from health education

·       Tests on personal beliefs

·       Physical examination exemption

·       Medical and hospital services

·       Nondiscrimination on basis of sex

·       Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

·       Child Abuse

·       Pupil discipline

·       Review of pupil records

·       Career counseling

·       Private schooling for handicapped

·       Immunization for communicable diseases

·       Administration of prescribed medicine

·       Notice to school for continuing education

·      Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Student Rights and Protections