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Welcome to Strauss Esmay Associates, LLP

Welcome to StraussEsmay

Welcome to StraussEsmay.com, the Internet home for Strauss Esmay Associates, LLP.


Over the past thirty-eight years Strauss Esmay Associates (SEA) has developed policy and regulation manuals for more than 440 New Jersey school districts. These manuals are systematic, comprehensive, and in compliance with all legal requirements. District manuals are kept up-to-date with timely and reliable information based on legal and statutory developments with SEA's dependable Policy Alert and Support System (PASS).


Please browse our site and explore how SEA can help your district.


SEA PASS clients - sign in to access the Policy Alert & Support System (PASS) and ELANOnline.

 


Strauss Esmay News

Opting Out of Statewide Assessments

Our office has received several inquiries regarding students opting out of the Statewide assessment program. One district received a response from the NJDOE indicating New Jersey does not have an opt-out provision in the administrative code and students are expected to participate in the State’s assessment program. The NJDOE quoted the applicable section of N.J.A.C. 6A:8-4.1 as follows:

(d) Pursuant to (b) and (c) above, all students at grade levels three through twelve, and at any other grade(s) designated by the Commissioner pursuant to (a) above, shall take all appropriate Statewide assessments as scheduled.

Strauss Esmay’s Policy Guide 2622 is consistent with N.J.A.C. 6A:8-4.1 and is summarized in the first paragraph in the Policy Guide as follows:

The New Jersey Statewide assessment program has been designed to measure the extent to which all pupils at the elementary, middle, and secondary levels have attained New Jersey’s Core Curriculum Content Standards. The Board of Education will comply with implementing the schedule of the New Jersey State Board of Education Statewide assessment program.

Strauss Esmay is following-up with the NJDOE to get further guidance on this issue.
 

Schools with Discriminatory ED Policies – ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU) has identified 136 school districts in New Jersey that require overly restrictive forms for identification for an adult to enroll a child in school, contrary to state and federal law. An August 27, 2013 Memorandum from the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) reminded school districts they are prohibited from requiring students to disclose or document their immigration status, making inquiries of students or parents that may expose their undocumented status, or engaging in any practices that “chill” or hinder the right of access to public schools. The DOE Memorandum indicates school districts must enroll children pursuant to the requirements of N.J.S.A. 18A:38-1 and N.J.A.C. 6A:22-3.2. Strauss Esmay Associates current Policy and Regulation Guides 5111 are in strict compliance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 18A:38-1 and N.J.A.C. 6A:22-3.2. The ACLU has identified school districts it believes has overly restrictive requirements and the list may be obtained at:

http://www.aclu-nj.org/theissues/studentyouthrights/schools-list/

A district may want to compare its existing Policy and Regulation 5111 with the current Strauss Esmay Policy and Regulation Guides 5111 for consistency and compliance with the applicable statutes and administrative codes. Also, a district may want to be sure letters or other communications to parents/guardians concerning enrollment procedures are consistent with the Strauss Esmay current Policy and Regulation Guides 5111.
 

N.J.A.C. 6A:16 – Re-adoption with Amendments

The New Jersey Department of Education re-adopted with amendments N.J.A.C. 6A:16 Programs to Support Student Development. The amendments are not significant material changes, but the administrative code sections in this Chapter impact many policies and regulations that will require revisions. This new Chapter was published on March 17, 2014. Strauss Esmay will be updating the Policies and Regulations affected by this re-adopted Chapter in the next several Policy Alerts. Some of the major policies impacted by this re-adoption are student attendance, student health services, and student code of conduct.
 

AchieveNJ – Regulation 3221 - Correction

N.J.A.C. 6A:10-4.4(b)1. states “A pre-conference shall be required pursuant to (d) below.” This statement in the code should state “A pre-conference shall be required pursuant to (c) below.” This change requires a minor revision in Regulation Guide 3221, Section M. 2.a. which states “A pre-conference shall be required pursuant to 4. below.” The sentence should be revised to reflect the code change stating “A pre-conference shall be required pursuant to 3. below. The Regulation Guide on ELANOnline has been updated to reflect this change. Districts that have adopted this Regulation on first reading can make this revision between the first and second reading as this minor change does not alter the substantive meaning of the Regulation. We will keep school districts informed on any other confirmed code revisions.
 

New Law - Scholastic Student-Athlete Safety Act

P.L. 2013, Chapter 71 – “Scholastic Student-Athlete Safety Act” was signed into law on June 27, 2013. This new law concerns physical examinations for students enrolled in grades 6 through 12 on school sponsored interscholastic or intramural athletic teams or squads. This new law requires the completion of a Preparticipation Physical Evaluation Form by the health care professional completing the evaluation. The Form, to be developed, shall be posted on the NJDOE website, will include: a health history; the physical examination components; and a certification the health care professional completed a professional development training module centered on student-athlete cardiac screening. The law requires this training module be developed for the 2013-2014 school year. The law also requires the NJDOE, in consultation with other agencies, develop a pamphlet on sudden cardiac arrest that the district must distribute to student-athletes and their parents. The implementation date of this new law is November 1, 2013. The law indicates the NJDOE shall promulgate administrative code to implement this new law. However, there are many open issues that need to be resolved and it is anticipated the NJDOE will be publishing guidance in the immediate future. This new law will require revisions in Policy Guide 2431 – Athletic Competition. School districts should check the Strauss Esmay website for future updates.
 

NJDOE 7/23/13 Guidance – Anti-Big Brother Act

The NJDOE published guidance regarding the Anti-Big Brother statute as a result of recent legislation, P.L. 2012, c. 44. The Act concerns school districts that provide technology devices to students and requires certain privacy and privacy notification provisions to students and their parents. Strauss Esmay Associates developed Policy Guide 7523, which was distributed in Policy Alert 199 – June 2013. The provisions in Policy Guide 7523 comply with all the provisions outlined in the July 23, 2013 NJDOE Guidance and a district that provides technology devices to students must comply with these requirements and should adopt this Policy Guide. The requirements of the Act were effective July 1, 2013.
 

Social Media Policy – Senate Bill S-1458

In response to S-1458, school districts have been recently surveyed by NJSBA to determine the number of districts that have adopted a policy concerning the prevention of improper electronic communications between school employees and students. Strauss Esmay Policy and Regulation Guides 3281/4281 (initially developed in May 2004) and Policy Guides 3282/4282 (developed in June 2012) address this issue directly. Policy Guides 3282/4282 not only address a staff member’s electronic communications with students, but address a staff member’s general conduct using social media. The proposed legislation, S-1458, if approved, does not require school districts prohibit electronic communications between staff and students, but requires districts to have a policy with provisions that prevent improper communications. The Strauss Esmay Policy and Regulation Guides referenced above provide specific guidance and direction to staff members and their electronic communications to students.
 

Policy Guide 2468 – Independent Educational Evaluations (IEEs)

Strauss Esmay Associates received clarification from the NJDOE regarding its May 14, 2012 memo and IEEs. A parent is entitled to an IEE only if there is a disagreement with the initial evaluation or reevaluation conducted by the school district. In addition, the Federal law permits a school district to establish a maximum rate for an IEE provided the rate is established using specific and reasonable criteria. Therefore, Policy Guide 2468 included in Policy Alert 198 is consistent with the May 14, 2012 Memo from the NJDOE, N.J.A.C. 6A:14-2.5, and 34 CFR Section 300.502. The NJDOE recently re-adopted the Special Education Code, N.J.A.C. 6A:6:14, with no changes from the previous code. The draft code that was under consideration for adoption included some details regarding independent educational evaluations and Strauss Esmay originally suggested a Board may want to defer adoption of this Policy Guide until the draft code was adopted. However, considering the code was adopted with no changes, a district may want to consider adopting this Guide before the new code is adopted.
 

Janet’s Law - Defibrillators

P.L. 212, Chapter 51 - Janet's Law was recently approved requiring public and nonpublic schools to have automated external defibrillators and to establish emergency action plans for responding to sudden cardiac events. The law takes effect September 1, 2014. Policy Guide 5300 was developed and included in Policy Alert 199 in May 2013.
 

School Safety and Security Plan

School districts have been working on their School Safety and Security Plans and the School Safety and Security Plan Review Checklist. The Plan requires certain policies and procedures that are consistent with the provisions established by the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and the New Jersey Department of Education. Strauss Esmay Policy and Regulation Guides 8420 and Regulations Guides 8420.1 through 8420.10 satisfy many of the requirements. However, there are some additional Policy and Regulation Guides that may be helpful. This list may be downloaded from the “Other Download” section under the Policy Alerts tab on this website. A district should contact our offices if a district needs Strauss Esmay Associates to write any additional Policy and/or Regulation Guides for its School Safety and Security Plan.
 

School Safety Update

Recent tragic events will cause school districts to evaluate their school district’s safety and security plans, including Policies and Regulations/Procedures. Policy Guide 8420 outlines a school district’s responsibilities in this area that are consistent with N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.1. Regulation Guides 8420.1 through 8420.7 and 8420.10 provide several specific school safety and security regulations. There are additional school safety and security Policy and Regulation Guides that may be helpful to a school district. This list may be downloaded from the “Other Download” section under the Policy Alerts tab on this website.

The most recent updates were provided in Policy Alert 191 – December 2010. As required in N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.1(b)1, these Guides were updated using information and practices recommended in the training CD, Critical Incident Response: Procedures for School Administrators, Faculty, and Staff, developed by the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and the New Jersey Department of Education. As recommended when these Guides were updated in 2010, a school district should review their school safety and security plans, including school safety and security Policy and Regulation Guides, with local law enforcement officials. The information outlined below, School Safety and Security Plan, has been posted on the Strauss Esmay website for the past several months, may also be helpful. The Memorandum of Agreement between Education and Law Enforcement Officials (Section 8.2.1) indicates procedures for critical incidents shall remain confidential and shall not be shared with the public. Based on this requirement, a district should remove these detailed documents from any manuals available to the public.
 

UPDATE - Student Code of Conduct Policies

The Commissioner of Education decided M.W. v. Board of Education of the Borough of Haddonfield on September 24, 2012 extending the Ramapo Appellate Division case outlined below. The district’s 24/7 Pupil Code of Conduct Policy that imposed a consequence to extra-curricular students for conduct that involved drugs and/or alcohol away from school grounds was deemed invalid as the Policy failed to ensure the required nexus between the pupil’s conduct and the orderly operation of the school (as required in N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.6(a)2.) was present before imposing a consequence. The Appellate Division of Superior Court recently upheld a Commissioner of Education decision in G.D.M. and T.A.M. on behalf of, minor child, B.M.M. v. Board of Education of the Ramapo Indian Hills Regional High School District, Bergen County, that held the school district’s regulation that conditions a pupil’s participation in extra-curricular activities on compliance with a code of conduct policy without consideration to a nexus between the alleged violation of law and school order and safety conduct was unlawful. All Strauss Esmay’s Policy and Regulation Guides are consistent with this Commissioner’s decision and the language in the applicable code, N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.6. However, a school district may have developed and adopted its own code of conduct policy/regulation similar to the code of conduct policy determined to be unlawful in these decisions. A district that developed a code of conduct policy that imposes a consequence to a pupil for conduct away from school grounds should review their policy to ensure the language in N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.6 is included and followed in the policy or regulation.
 

New Jersey First Act – Policy Guide 1631

Policy Guide 1631 – Residency Requirements for Person Holding School District Office, Employment, or Position was included in Policy Alert 196. This new Guide was based on the New Jersey First Act (P.L. 2011, c. 70) and guidance published by the NJ Department of Community Affairs (DCA). It appears note 1. on page 1 of the Local Finance Notice - LFN 2011-30 is inconsistent with other notes in the LFN, the FAQ that was attached to the LFN, and the language in the law. The express language of the law, several comments in the LFN, and two answers in the FAQ indicate if a person holds office, employment, or position on the effective date of the law (September 1, 2011), but does not live in state, he is not required to move into New Jersey and is not subject to the residency requirements of the law. However, note 1. on page 1 of the LFN states employees hired on or after September 1, 2011 shall be subject to the residency requirements of the law. This provision of Policy Guide 1631 was based on the specific language of the law (N.J.S.A. 52:14-7.a. (4)) and indicates a person who holds office, employment, or a position in the district on September 1, 2011, but does not have his principal residence in New Jersey on September 1, 2011, shall not be subject to the residency requirements of the law. Strauss Esmay requested and received clarification from the DCA. The DCA has informed our office that upon preliminary review the language in the law would prevail, which means the Policy Guide language in the Policy Guide based on the language in the law is correct. We requested this clarification be published or provided in writing by the DCA upon their final review to avoid any additional confusion. Strauss Esmay is suggesting districts delay adopting this Policy until such clarification is provided. We will keep districts updated on this matter as information becomes available.
 

2012-2013 QSAC Support

The Statement of Assurance, District Performance Review, and a Memorandum explaining these documents are available for download under the QSAC Support tab.
 

New ELANOnline and DISTRICTOnline Security Measures

Strauss Esmay has installed several new password security measures. The only new measure that will affect the authorized user requires a user to “LOGOFF” to end a session on ELANOnline or DISTRICTOnline by clicking the “LOGOFF” button located at the top right hand corner of the screen. Failure to logoff a session in this manner will not permit the authorized user to sign into a subsequent session of ELANOnline or DISTRICTOnline until twenty minutes have expired. Therefore, all authorized users should logoff after signing-in to ELANOnline or DISTRICTOnline using the “LOGOFF” button at the upper right hand corner of the screen to avoid a twenty minute delay to log-in to a second session. Thank you for your cooperation in this new procedure.
 

Strauss Esmay’s E-LERT

All PASS school districts should be sure to register one person to Strauss Esmay’s new E-LERT system. This new system will provide important school policy and regulation information via e-mail to one person designated by the school district. If your district has not registered an E-LERT contact person, the E-LERT Registration Form may be downloaded from the Events tab and returned by fax to 732-255-1502.
 


Policy Alerts

Coming Soon – Alert 202

  • 1581 – Victim of Domestic Violence Leave (M)(NEW)
  • 3125 – Employment of Teaching Staff Members – Policy (M)
  • 3230 – Outside Activities - Policy
  • 3240 – Professional Development for Teachers and School Leaders – Policy & Regulation(M)
  • 4125 – Employment of Support Staff Members – Policy (M)
  • 4230 – Outside Activities - Policy
  • 6511 – Direct Deposit – Policy (NEW)
  • 8507 – Breakfast Offer Versus Serve (OVS) – Policy(NEW)
  • 8508 - Lunch Offer Versus Serve (OVS) - Policy(NEW)

Alert 202C – January 2014

POLICY ALERT 202C IS FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS ONLY

SEA revised the following policies and/or regulations based on change in Statute, Code or law

  • 0142.1C – Nepotism-Charter School (M)
  • 0174C – Legal Services –Charter School (M)
  • 0177C – Professional Services – Charter School (M)
  • 1570C – Internal Controls – Charter School - Policy & Regulation (M)
  • 3144C – Streamlined Tenure/Certification of Tenure Charges – Charter School (M)
  • 6360C - Political Contributions – Charter School (M)
  • 6362C – Contributions to Board Members and Contract Awards – Charter School (M)
  • 6423C – Expenditures for Non-Employee Activities, Meals, and Refreshments – Charter School (M)
  • 6470C – Payment of Claims – Charter School – Policy & Regulation (M)
  • 6510C – Payroll Authorization – Charter School (M)
  • 6811C – Financial Requirements – Charter School (M)(NEW)

Alert 201 – October 2013

SEA revised the following policies and/or regulations based on change in Statute, Code or law

  • 1240 – Evaluation of Superintendent – Policy & Regulation (M)
  • 3142 – Nonrenewal of Nontenured Teaching Staff Members – Policy & Regulation
  • 3144 – Certification of Tenure Charges - Policy & Regulation
  • 3221 – Evaluation of Teachers Policy & Regulation (M) (NEW)
  • 3222 – Evaluation of Teaching Staff Members, Excluding Teachers and Administrators – Policy & Regulation (M) (NEW)
  • 3223 – Evaluation of Administrators, Excluding Principals, Vice Principals, and Assistant Principals – Policy & Regulation (M) (NEW)
  • 3224 – Evaluation of Principals, Vice Principals, and Assistant Principals – Policy & Regulation (M) (NEW)
  • 4146 – Nonrenewal of Nontenured Support Staff Members - Policy & Regulation

Alert 200 – August, 2013

SEA revised the following policies and/or regulations based on change in Statute, Code or law

  • 3144.12 - Certification of Tenure Charges – Inefficiency - Policy(M) (NEW)
  • 3144.3 - Suspension upon Certification of Tenure Charges – Policy (NEW)
  • 3372 - Teaching Staff Member Tenure Acquisition - Policy (NEW)
  • 3373 - Tenure upon Transfer or Promotion - Policy(NEW)
  • 3374 - Tenure upon Transfer to an Underperforming School (NEW)
  • 4124 - Employment Contract – Policy
  • 5512 - Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying – Policy (M)

Alert 199 – May, 2013

SEA revised the following policies and/or regulations based on change in Statute, Code or law

  • 0000.02 – Introduction(M)
  • 3232 – Tutoring Services – Policy & Regulation (NEW)
  • 5117 – Interdistrict Public School Choice – Policy & Regulation
  • 5120 – Assignment of Pupils - Policy(M)
  • 5300 – Automated External Defibrillators (AED) – Policy & Regulation(M)(NEW)
  • 5533 – Pupil Smoking - Policy
  • 7434 – Smoking in School Buildings and on School Grounds - Policy & Regulation(M)
  • 7522 – School District Provided Technology Devices to School Staff – Policy(NEW)
  • 7523 –School District Provided Technology Devices to Pupils - Policy(NEW)

Alert 198 – December, 2012

SEA revised the following policies and/or regulations based on change in Statute, Code or law:

  • 0132 – Executive Authority
  • 2415 – No Child Left Behind Programs - Policy(M)
  • 2431 – Athletic Competition - Policy (M)
  • 2431.1 – Emergency Procedures for Athletic Practices and Competitions - Regulation(M)
  • 2431.2 – Medical Examination to Determine Fitness for Participation in Athletics - Regulation(M)
  • 2468 – Independent Educational Evaluations - Policy (NEW)
  • 3230 – Outside Activities - Policy & Regulation
  • 4230 – Outside Activities - Policy & Regulation
  • 3281 – Inappropriate Staff Conduct - Policy & Regulation
  • 4281 – Inappropriate Staff Conduct - Policy & Regulation
  • 6113 – E-Rate - Policy (NEW)
  • 6163 – Advertising on School Property - Policy (NEW)
  • 6480 – Purchase of Food Supplies - Policy(M)
  • 8505 – School Nutrition - Policy(M)

Alert 197 - June 27, 2012

SEA revised the following policies and/or regulations based on change in Statute, Code or law:

  • 0151 - Organization Meeting
  • 0153 - Annual Appointments
  • 0167 - Public Participation in Board Meetings
  • 2361 - Acceptable Use of Computer Networks/Computers and Resources - Policy (M) & Regulation
  • 2363 - Pupil Use of Privately-Owned Technology - Policy (NEW)
  • 2431.4 - Prevention and Treatment of Sports-Related Concussions and Head Injuries (M) - Policy & Regulation
  • 2622 - Pupil Assessment (M) - Policy
  • 3282 - Use of Social Networking Sites - Policy (NEW)
  • 4282 - Use of Social Networking Sites - Policy (NEW)
  • 6164 - Advertising on School Buses - Policy (NEW)
  • 6470 - Payment of Claims - Policy (M) & Regulation

Alert 196 - February 13, 2012

SEA revised the following policies and/or regulations based on change in Statute, Code or law:

  • 1631 - Residency Requirements for Person Holding School District Office, Employment, or Position - Policy (NEW)
  • 2431 - Athletic Competition (M) - Policy
  • 3324 - Teaching Staff Member's Right of Privacy - Policy (NEW)
  • 4324 - Support Staff Member's Right of Privacy - Policy (NEW)
  • 5117 - Interdistrict Public School Choice - Policy (NEW)
  • 5600 - Pupil Discipline/Code of Conduct (M) - Policy & Regulation
  • 7510 - Use of School Facilities - Policy & Regulation
  • 8613 - Waiver of Pupil Transportation - Policy (NEW)
  • 9270 - Home Schooling And Equivalent Education Outside The Schools (M) - Policy & Regulation

Alert 195 - November 16, 2011

SEA revised the following policies and/or regulations based on change in Statute, Code or law:

  • 0168 - Recording Board Meetings
  • 5519 - Dating Violence (M) - Policy & Regulation (NEW)
  • 6424 - Emergency Contracts - Policy
  • 6472 - Tuition Assistance - Policy (NEW)
  • 8505 - School Nutrition (M) - Policy
  • 9180 - School Volunteers - Policy
  • 9181 - Volunteer Athletic Coaches and Co-Curricular Advisors/Assistants - Policy

Alert 194 - August 24, 2011

SEA revised the following policies and/or regulations based on change in Statute, Code or law:

  • 0142 - Board Member Qualifications, Prohibited Acts, and Code of Ethics (M)
  • 2431.4 - Prevention and Treatment of Sports-Related Concussions and Other Head Injuries (M) - Policy & Regulation (NEW Regulation)
  • 5512 - Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (M) - Policy

Alert 193 - May 12, 2011

SEA revised the following policies and/or regulations based on change in Statute, Code or law:

  • 0144 - Board Member Orientation and Training
  • 2440 - Summer School Session
  • 3125.2 - Employment of Substitute Teachers (NEW)
  • 5350 - Pupil Suicide Prevention
  • 5512 - Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (M)
  • 5600 - Pupil Discipline/Code of Conduct (M)
  • 8461 - Reporting Violence, Vandalism, Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying, Alcohol And Other Drug Abuse (M)