Bullying Prevention and Intervention

The Holyoke Public Schools is committed to providing a safe, positive and productive educational environment where students can achieve the highest academic standards. No student shall be subjected to harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyberbullying. Pages 1-8 of this document focus on developing and creating a safe, positive and productive school climate and culture. Pages 9-17 focus on procedures for reporting and responding to incidences of bullying.

Definitions

  • Bullying may take a variety of forms. It is unacceptable in a school or work environment. As a result, no student shall be subjected to harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyberbullying in the Holyoke Public Schools:
  • “Bullying” means the repeated use by one or more students or by a member of school staff including, but not limited to, an educator, administrator, school nurse, cafeteria worker, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, advisor to an extracurricular activity or paraprofessional of an unwelcome written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that: (i) causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage the target’s property; student or employee, (ii) places the target in reasonable fear of harm to himself or of damage to his property; (iii) creates a hostile environment at school for the target; (iv) infringes on the rights of the target at school; or (v) materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. For the purposes of this section, bullying shall include cyberbullying.
  • “Cyberbullying” means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo optical system, including but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communication. Cyberbullying shall also include (i) knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages, if the creator or impersonation creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, of the definition of bullying. Cyberbullying shall also include the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or persons.
  • Cyberbullying may occur through the use of data, telephone or computer software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, or computer network or any public education institute.
  • As used in this Section, “electronic communication” also means any communication through an electronic device including, but not limited to, a telephone, cellular phone, computer or pager.
  • “Aggressor”is a student or member of a school staff including, but not limited to, an educator, administrator, school nurse, cafeteria worker, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, advisor to an extracurricular activity or paraprofessional who engages in bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation.
  • “Target” is a student against whom bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation has been perpetrated.
  • “Retaliation” means any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment directed against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation about bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying.

Prohibition Against Bullying, Cyberbullying and Retaliation

Bullying and retaliation are strictly prohibited in the following ways:

  • On school grounds
  • On property immediately adjacent to school grounds
  • At school-sponsored or school-related activities
  • At functions or programs whether on or off school grounds
  • At school bus stops
  • On school buses or other vehicles owned, leased or used by the school district
  • Through the use of technology or an electronic device owned, leased or used by the Holyoke Public Schools.

Bullying and cyberbullying and retaliation are prohibited at a location, activity, function or program that is not school-related or through the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased or used by the Holyoke school district if the act or acts in question include any or all of the following criteria:

  • create a hostile environment at school for the target
  • infringe on the rights of the target at school
  • materially and substantially disrupt the education process or the orderly operation of a school

As stated in M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O, this Policy and the district’s Bullying Prevention and Intervention Implementation Plan shall not be construed as requiring the district or district schools to staff any non-school related activities, functions, or programs.

Teaching Appropriate Behavior Through Skills Building

Upon the principal or designee determining that bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation has occurred, the law requires that the school or district use a range of responses that balance the need for accountability with the need to teach appropriate behavior. M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O(d)(vi). Holyoke Public Schools administrators and staff may consider the following skill-building approaches:

  • offer individualized skill-building sessions based on the school’s/district’s anti-bullying curricula
  •  provide relevant educational activities for individual students or groups of students, in consultation with guidance
  • counselors and other appropriate school personnel; implementing whole group activities related to bullying to
  • increase awareness and change behaviors
  • implement a range of academic and nonacademic positive behavioral supports to help students understand
  • pro-social ways to achieve their goals
  • meet with parents and guardians to engage parental support and to reinforce the anti-bullying curricula and social skills building activities at home
  • model by teachers of positive, respectful, and supportive behaviors
  • employ classroom strategies that instruct students on how to work together in a collaborative and supportive atmosphere
  • adopt behavioral plans to include a focus on developing specific social skill

 

  • provide supports to students who may be more vulnerable to becoming a target of bullying or harassment based on actual or perceived differentiating characteristics including: race, color, religion, ancestry national origin, sex, socioeconomic status, homelessness, academic status, gender identity or expression, physical appearance, pregnancy, parenting status, sexual orientation, mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics.

Taking Disciplinary Action

If the principal or designee decides that disciplinary action is appropriate, the disciplinary action will be determined on the basis of facts found by the principal or designee, including the nature of the conduct, the age of the student(s) involved, and the need to balance accountability with the teaching of appropriate behavior. Discipline will be consistent with the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Implementation Plan and with the school’s or district’s Code of Conduct.

Discipline procedures for students with disabilities are governed by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), which should be read in cooperation with state laws regarding student discipline.

If the principal or designee determines that a student knowingly made a false allegation of bullying or retaliation, that student may be subject to disciplinary action.

Promoting Safety for the Target and Others

The principal or designee will consider what adjustments, if any, are needed in the school environment to enhance the target’s sense of safety and that of others as well both while the investigation is pending, if necessary, and subsequent to a determination that bullying has occurred. One strategy that the principal or designee may use is to increase adult supervision at transition times and in locations where bullying is known to have occurred or is likely to occur. He/she may also implement a safety plan. In developing a safety plan, the principal or designee shall consider that certain students may be more vulnerable to becoming a target of bullying or harassment based on actual or perceived differentiating characteristics, including race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, socioeconomic status, homelessness, academic status, gender identity or expression, physical appearance, pregnancy, parenting status, sexual orientation, mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics.

Within a reasonable period of time following the determination and the ordering of remedial and/or disciplinary action, the principal or designee will contact the target to determine whether there has been a recurrence of the prohibited conduct and whether additional supportive measures are needed. If so, the principal or designee will work with appropriate school staff to implement them immediately.

Supportive Services

Counseling services for those affected by bullying and retaliation or harassing behavior are available, as both in-school resources (school counselors, psychologists and school nursing staff) and outside referrals including the agreement with the Teen Clinic. Additionally, the district has connections to area mental health providers and the Department of Children and Families for further support and intervention if needed.

Support Services are made available and arranged for all parties involved in a reported and/or substantiated incident of bullying and retaliation and/or retaliation, including the aggressors and appropriate family members of the involved students.

Collaboration with Families

Holyoke Public Schools is committed to promoting a strong home-school partnership regarding bullying prevention. Each school provides information to families that supports common language across the district as well as sharing prevention and identification strategies. Communication between home and school is made via school notices, school and district web sites, and parent conferences/presentations on a regular basis. It also focuses on school and district-specific approaches to collaboration which will take into account age, climate, socio-economic factors, linguistic, and cultural makeup of students and the parents.

  • Parent Education and Resources – The school or district offers education programs for parents and guardians that are focused on the parental components of the anti-bullying curricula. The programs are offered in collaboration with the PTO, School Councils, Special Education Parent Advisory Council, or similar organizations.
  • Notification Requirements – Each year the school informs parents or guardians of enrolled students about the bullying prevention curricula that are being used in the schools. This notice includes information about how parents and guardians can reinforce the curriculum at home and support the school district or school plan, the dynamics of bullying, including cyberbullying and online safety. The school or district sends parents written notice each year about the student-related sections of the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Implementation Plan and the school’s or district’s Internet safety policy. All notices and information made available to parents or guardians exists in hard copy and electronic formats, and is available in the language(s) most prevalent among parents or guardians. The school or district posts the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Implementation Plan and related information on its website.

Vulnerable Students

The Holyoke Public Schools recognizes that certain students may be more vulnerable to becoming a target of bullying or harassment based on actual or perceived differentiating characteristics, including race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, socioeconomic status, homelessness, academic status, gender identity or expression, physical appearance, pregnancy, parenting status, sexual orientation, mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have 1 or more of these characteristics. The Holyoke Public Schools take steps to prevent the bullying, harassment and teasing of this vulnerable population.

Relationship to other Laws

Consistent with state and federal laws, and the policies of the Holyoke Public Schools, no person shall be discriminated against in admission to a public school in Holyoke or in obtaining the advantages, privilege and courses of study of such public school on account of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation. Nothing in the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Implementation Plan prevents the school or district from taking action to remediate discrimination or harassment based on a person’s membership in a legally protected category under local, state, or federal law, or school or district policies including its Discrimination and Harassment Grievance Procedures.

In addition, nothing in the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Implementation Plan is designed or intended to limit the authority of the school or district to take disciplinary action or other action under M.G.L. c. 71, §§ 37H, 37H1⁄2, 37H3⁄4, or other applicable laws, or local school or district policies in response to violent, harmful, or disruptive behavior, regardless of whether this document covers the behavior.

Legal Reference.:
Title VII, Section 703, Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended Federal Regulation 74676 issued by EEO Commission
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
603 CMR 26.00
MGL 71:37O
MGL 265:43, 43A
MGL 268:13B
MGL 269:14A
MGL 76:5
Chapter 86 of the Acts of 2014

Professional Development

The goal of professional development is to establish a common understanding of tools necessary for staff to create a school climate that promotes safety, civil communication, and respect for differences. Professional development will build the skills of staff members to prevent, identify, and respond to bullying and retaliation. As required by M.G.L. c. 71, §37O, the content of school wide and district wide professional development specific to bullying and retaliation and harassment will be informed by research and will include information on:

  • developmentally (or age-) appropriate strategies to prevent bullying and retaliation;
    developmentally (or age-) appropriate strategies for immediate, effective interventions to stop bullying and retaliation incidents;
  • information regarding the complex interaction and power differential that can take place between and among an aggressor, target, and witnesses to the bullying and retaliation;
    research findings on bullying and retaliation, including information about specific categories of students who have been shown to be particularly at risk for bullying and retaliation in the school environment
  • information on the incidence and nature of cyberbullying and retaliation; and Internet safety issues as they relate to cyberbullying and retaliation.

Professional development will also address ways to prevent and respond to bullying and retaliation or retaliation for students with disabilities that must be considered when developing students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).

In collaboration with the Chief Academic Officer, the Director of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and the Coordinator of Student Services will provide oversight for district and school based Professional Development activities.

The following table summarizes recent and ongoing Professional Development activities in the district in regards to bullying and retaliation violence prevention:

 

Professional Learning

Audience

Frequency

Status

Written notice on HPS policy and procedures

District and school leaders

Annually

Ongoing

Training on HPS policy and procedures

District and school leaders

Annually

Ongoing

Bullying Prevention and Intervention Implementation Plan

All staff

Annually

Ongoing

Requirements for Students with Disabilities

Educational Team Leaders

Annually

Ongoing

Student Education

The new Massachusetts legislation requires each school or district to provide age appropriate instruction on bullying and retaliation prevention in each grade, K-12, which is incorporated into the school/district’s curricula. Curricula must be evidenced based and include classroom strategies, whole school initiatives and focused strategies for bullying and retaliation/violence prevention and social skill development.

Approaches that support a safe and respectful learning environment include, not limited to, the following:

  •  promoting and modeling the use of respectful language
  • fostering an understanding of and respect for diversity and difference
  • building relationships and communicating with families
  • setting clear expectations for students and establishing school and classroom routines • constructively managing classroom behaviors
  • using positive behavioral intervention strategies
  • applying constructive disciplinary practices
  • encouraging adults to develop positive relationships with student;
  •  engaging students in school or classroom planning and decision-making
  • maintaining a safe and caring classroom for all students

Current activities, programming and curricula that support a safe and respectful school culture in Holyoke Public Schools include:

Purpose

Program

Description

Grade level

Staff Responsible

Status

Whole school approach

GSA(Gay Straight Alliance)

A student run club, typically in middle or high school that provides a safe space for students to meet, support each other, and talk about issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. GSA works to end homophobia and transphobia.

9 – 12

Select advisor

In place

Whole school approach

Safe School Ambassadors

Safe School Ambassadors identifies and selects leaders from diverse groups across the campus. Ambassadors are trained in the skills of nonviolent communication to stop bullying, cyberbullying, and harassment.

7 – 12

Select advisors and Teen Clinic Staff

In place

Curriculum

Al’s Pals

Al’s Pals is a comprehensive curriculum and teacher training program that develops social-emotional skills, self-control, problem-solving abilities, and healthy decision-making in children ages 3-8 years old.

Pre-K-1

Teachers

In place

Curriculum

Second Step

Second Steps is a comprehensive curriculum that is supported by music, videos, take home activities, and stories kids relate to. The developmentally appropriate Second Step lessons help teachers incorporate social-emotional skills into their students early learning, elementary, & middle school curricula.

K-8

Counselors/Teachers

In place

Whole school approach

Acceptable Use Policy

Guidelines for proper use of school electronics.

PK – 12

Administration

In place

Whole school approach

Peace Week

Peace Week is a national week designed to help schools educate students about peace issues. Peace education helps students understand and manage conflict in their lives.

PK – 12

Whole city

In place

Whole school approach

Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice is a powerful approach to discipline that focuses on repairing harm through inclusive processes that engage all stakeholders. Implemented well, Restorative Justice shifts the focus of discipline from punishment to learning and from the individual to the community.

9-12

HHS staff and administration

In place

 

Policies and Procedures for Reporting and Responding to Bullying and Retaliation

The Holyoke Public Schools implements the following procedures to receive and respond to reports of bullying or retaliation. These policies and procedures ensure that members of the school community – students, parents, and staff – know what will happen when incidents of bullying occur. All reporting forms and procedures are shared with all school staff members, parents and guardians at the beginning of school each year, included in new student packets throughout the year, and posted on the district website. An anonymous reporting procedure is also be available to families. Anyone who files a report will be informed of the next steps in the investigatory process .

Reporting and Investigations of Bullying

The following procedures are based on the requirements of M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O . In addition to the requirements of M.G.L. c. 71, § 370, where the alleged conduct is on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability or religion, the district also considers whether the conduct constitutes a hostile environment based on those protected classes, consistent with its Discrimination and Harassment Grievance Procedures.

Reporting Bullying or Retaliation

Reports of bullying or retaliation may be made by staff, students, parents or guardians, or others, and may be oral or written. Oral reports made by or to a staff member will be recorded in writing. A school or district staff member is required to report immediately to the principal or designee any instance of bullying or retaliation the staff member becomes aware of or witnesses. Reports made by students, parents or guardians, or other individuals who are not school or district staff members, may be made anonymously. The Holyoke School district makes a variety of reporting resources available to the school community including, but not limited to, a Bullying Reporting Form , a dedicated mailing address, and an email address.

Use of a Bullying Reporting Form is not required as a condition of making a report. The school or district:

  • includes a copy of the Bullying Reporting Form in the beginning of the year packets for students and parents or guardians
  • makes it available in the school’s main office, the counseling office, the school nurse’s office, and other locations determined by the principal or designee; and
  • posts it on the district’s website.

The Bullying Reporting Form is made available in the most prevalent language(s) of origin of students and parents or guardians.

At the beginning of each school year, the school or district provides the school community, including administrators, staff, students, and parents or guardians, with written notice of its policies for reporting acts of bullying and retaliation. A description of the reporting procedures and resources, including the name and contact information of the principal or designee, is incorporated in student and staff handbooks, on the school or district website, and in information about the Bullying and Intervention Implementation Plan that is made available to parents or guardians.

 

Reporting by Staff – A staff member is required to report immediately to the principal or designee when he/she witnesses or becomes aware of conduct that may be bullying or retaliation. The requirement to report to the principal or designee does not limit the authority of the staff member to respond to behavioral or disciplinary incidents consistent with school or district policies and procedures for behavior management and discipline.

Reporting by Students, Parents or Guardians, and Others – The Holyoke Public Schools expect students, parents or guardians, and others who witness or become aware of an instance of bullying or retaliation involving a student to report it to the principal or designee. Reports may be made anonymously, but no disciplinary action will be taken against an alleged aggressor solely on the basis of an anonymous report. Students, parents or guardians, and others may request assistance from a staff member to complete a written report. Students are provided practical, safe, private and age-appropriate ways to report and discuss an incident of bullying with a staff member, or with the principal or designee.

Responding to a Report of Bullying or Retaliation

Safety Planning and Support – Before fully investigating the allegations of bullying or retaliation, the principal or designee takes steps to assess the need to restore a sense of safety to the alleged target and/or to protect the alleged target from possible further incidents. Responses to promote safety may include, but not be limited to, creating a personal safety plan (see attached sample plan); pre-determining seating arrangements for the target and/or the aggressor in the classroom, at lunch, or on the bus; identifying a staff member who will act as a “safe person” for the target; and altering the aggressor’s schedule and access to the target. The principal or designee will take additional steps to promote safety during the course of and after the investigation, as necessary.

In determining the steps necessary to restore a sense of safety to the alleged target and/or to protect the alleged target from possible further incidents, the principal or designee shall consider that certain students may be more vulnerable to becoming a target of bullying or harassment based on actual or perceived differentiating characteristics, including race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, socioeconomic status, homelessness, academic status, gender identity or expression, physical appearance, pregnant or parenting status, sexual orientation, mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics.

The principal or designee is responsible for implementing appropriate strategies for protecting from bullying or retaliation a student who has reported bullying or retaliation, a student who has witnessed bullying or retaliation, a student who provides information during an investigation, or a student who has reliable information about a reported act of bullying or retaliation

Each school building administrator establishes a safety plan for target(s) of bullying and retaliation/harassment. This includes strategies to protect students who report bullying and retaliation, provide information during an investigation, and/or who witness or provide reliable information about an act of bullying and retaliation.

The safety plan may also be used for an aggressor, or even a bystander, in order for them to more effectively manage troublesome times/areas of the school, such as unstructured play and less supervised places.

The safety plan includes the following elements:

  • Selection of a “safe zone”- an area identified by the target where he or she can go to get help from a trusted adult
  • A mechanism for informing all relevant adults (teachers, coaches, bus drivers, counselors and other support staff) of the situation between the aggressor(s) and target(s)
  • A plan for monitoring of less structured areas of the school environment, such as buses, lunchroom and playground
  • Follow-up with parents/guardians of all involved to inform them of actions being taken
  • Protection of the confidentiality of the reporter and witnesses wherever possible
  • Assessment of effectiveness of the above interventions on a regular basis making necessary adjustments and revisions in order to meet the safety needs of the target

Obligations to Notify Others

  • Preliminary Notice to Parents or Guardians. There may be circumstances in which the principal or designee contacts parents or guardians prior to investigation or an investigative determination. Any such Notice will be consistent with state regulations at 603 CMR 49.00. Parents are provided information about action steps that will be put in place during the investigation process.
  • Notice to another School or District. If the reported incident involves students from more than one school district, charter school, nonpublic school, approved private special education day or residential school, or collaborative school, the principal or designee first informed of the incident will promptly notify by telephone the principal or designee of the other school(s) of the incident so that each school may take appropriate action. All communications will be in accordance with state and federal privacy laws and regulations, and 603 CMR 49.00.
  • Notice to Law Enforcement. A t any point after receiving a report of bullying or retaliation, including after an investigation, if the principal or designee has a reasonable basis to believe that criminal charges may be pursued against the aggressor, the principal will notify the Holyoke Police Department. Notice will be consistent with the requirements of 603 CMR 49.00 and locally established agreements with the local law enforcement agency. Also, if an incident occurs on school grounds and involves a former student who is no longer enrolled in school, the principal or designee shall contact the Holyoke Police Department if he or she has a reasonable basis to believe that criminal charges may be pursued against the aggressor. In making this determination, the principal will, consistent with the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Implementation Plan and with applicable school or district policies and procedures, consult with the school resource officer (if any) and other individuals the principal or designee deems appropriate.

Investigation

Upon receipt of a report or complaint that would, if true, constitute bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation, the principal or principal’s designee promptly commences an investigation. In investigating any such complaint, the principal or designee interviews students, staff, and any witnesses to the alleged conduct. To the extent practicable and consistent with the principal’s obligation to act promptly and to thoroughly investigate and address the matter, the principal or designee maintains confidentiality during the investigative process and does not disclose unnecessary or confidential information to interview subjects. During any such interviews, the principal informs the target, aggressor, and all witnesses that retaliatory treatment of any individual for reporting or lack of cooperation with an investigation of bullying will result in disciplinary action that may include suspension or expulsion from the school.

Interviews may be conducted by the principal or designee and in consultation with the school counselor, as appropriate. To the extent practicable, and given his/her obligation to investigate and address the matter, the principal or designee is required to maintain confidentiality during the investigative process.

The principal or designee will remind the alleged student aggressor, target, and witnesses of the following: the importance of the investigation; their obligation to be truthful; and that retaliation against someone who reports bullying or provides information during a bullying investigation is strictly prohibited and will result in disciplinary action. The principal or designee will maintain a written record of the investigation. Procedures for investigating reports of bullying and retaliation are consistent with school or district policies and procedures for bullying investigations. If necessary, the principal or designee consults with legal counsel about the investigation.

At any point after receipt of a report of bullying or retaliation, including after an investigation, the principal notifies the Holyoke Police Department and School Resource Officer if the principal has a reasonable basis to believe that criminal charges may be pursued against the aggressor. Notice shall be consistent with the requirements of 603 CMR 49.00 and established agreements with the local law enforcement agency. The principal documents the reasons for his or her decision to notify law enforcement. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to require reporting to a law enforcement agency in situations in which bullying and retaliation can be handled appropriately within the school district or school.

Determinations

Within fourteen (14) school days of the principal’s receipt of the complaint of bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation, the principal makes a determination based upon all the facts and circumstances. If, after the investigation, bullying or retaliation is substantiated, the principal determines what remedial action may be required, if any, and determines what responsive actions and/or disciplinary action is necessary. The principal’s findings and determinations are documented in writing on the Bullying Reporting Form.

If the principal or designee determines that a student knowingly made a false allegation of bullying or retaliation, that student may be subject to disciplinary action.

Depending upon the circumstances, the principal or designee may choose to consult with the student’s’ teacher(s) and/or school counselor, and the target’s or aggressor’s parents or guardians, to identify any underlying social or emotional issue(s) that may have contributed to the bullying behavior and to assess the level of need for additional social skills development.

Notice of Investigative Findings

Upon determining that bullying or retaliation has occurred, the principal or designee promptly notifies parents or guardians of the target and aggressor of this, and of the procedures for responding to it. While prior notice of an investigation shall not be required, the principal shall not be precluded from notifying the parents of a target or aggressor prior to completion of the principal’s investigation. This communication will be done in the primary language of the home.

If the alleged target and alleged aggressor attend different schools, the principal receiving the report will inform the principal of the other student’s school, who shall notify the student’s parent of the report and procedures.

In notifying the parents of a target or aggressor of an investigation or the principal’s findings thereon, the principal maintains the privacy and confidentiality of any individual or child who is not the child of the parents to whom the notice is provided. The principal ensures that any notice to the parents complies with applicable state regulations including, but not limited to, 603 CMR 49.00, and shall not report specific information to the target’s parent(s) about the disciplinary action taken against an aggressor unless it involves a “stay away” order or other directive that the target must be aware of in order to report violations.

 

The notice to the parents or guardians of the target must include information about the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (“DESE”) problem resolution system and the process for seeking assistance or filing a claim through the problem resolution system.

Any parent wishing to file a claim/concern or seeking assistance outside of the district may do so with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Program Resolution System (PRS). That information can be found at: http://www.doe.mass.edu/pqa , emails can be sent to compliance@doe.mass.edu or individuals can call 781-338-3700. Hard copies of this information is also available at the Superintendent’s office.

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