Welcome to our Back-to-School Tool Kit! The information below is listed to help answer many of the questions that parents and guardians might have regarding policies for the upcoming academic year. If you are unable to find what you are looking for, please contact the district office or your child's school.
P: (315) 889-4101
F: (315) 889-4108
239 Cayuga Street Union Springs, NY 13160
Union Springs High School P: (315) 889-4110
F: (315) 889-4133
239 Cayuga Street Union Springs, NY 13160
Union Springs Middle School P: (315) 889-4112
F: (315) 889-4113
239 Cayuga Street Union Springs, NY 13160
A.J. Smith Elementary School P: (315) 889-4170
F: (315) 889-4165 26 Homer Street Union Springs, NY 13160
Near Cayuga’s deep blue waters Stands the school we love so well With the green fields close beside her Trees and shrubs and hill and dell. USCS speed the echoes Ringing at the call. USCS Alma Mater, Loved the best of all. May our love for thee grow stronger As the years go speeding by. Be thy name remembered ever May thy glory never die. USCS speed the echoes Ringing at thy call. USCS Alma Mater, Loved the best of all.
Regular attendance at school is extremely important to a child's educational progress. Punctuality is another good habit that is necessary. We urge parents to help their children develop these good habits by sending them to school on time and by keeping them home only when illness or a serious emergency arises.
The only legal excuses for absences or tardiness allowed under the NYS Education Law are: - Sickness - Sickness or death in family (3 days max.) - Doctor appointments - Impassable roads or weather making travel unsafe - Religious observances - College visits - Approved school-supervised trips - Required presence in court
Absences or tardiness for any other reason is considered illegal and will be entered on the student’s permanent record. Each student who has been absent must bring a written excuse (including student’s first and last name, date of absence, reason for absence, and parent/guardian’s signature) on the day of his/her return to school.
We ask that parents and guardians contact the appropriate attendance personnel if you know your child will be absent from school.
A.J. Smith Elementary, Attendance / School Nurse - Jane Bacon, (315) 889-4172, firstname.lastname@example.org
Middle & High School, Attendance Clerk - Sue Sciortino, (315) 889-4137, email@example.com
Board of Education
The Union Springs Central School District Board of Education is composed of nine members that reside in the district. Voters elect members each May to serve overlapping three-year terms. Board of Education members are unpaid officials elected to take formal, legal actions and assume the major responsibility for the conduct of the schools. The Board of Education must delegate certain responsibilities to the Superintendent of Schools, who makes reports and recommendations to the Board of Education. Board members vote on all major business transactions. Board meetings are generally held the second and fourth Mondays of each month beginning at 7:00 p.m. Meetings are usually held in the High School Library.
Board Members & Terms Expiration: Ann Marie Daum, President - 2020
Robin McKay, Vice President - 2022
Jeffrey Culver - 2021
Randy Gardner - 2021 David (Randy) Morehouse - 2022
Carol Quill - 2021
Barry Schwarting - 2022
Mary Seitz - 2020 Daniel Testa - 2020
Valerie Castiglia, District Clerk
For more information about the Board of Education, click here.
Booster Club is comprised of parents who wish to support the MS/HS music, art, academic, and athletic programs. Meetings are usually the third Monday of every month unless it falls on a holiday or school break, and then the meeting will be the following Monday. Please see the district's online calendar for specific dates. All middle and high school parents are encouraged to participate.
Please feel free to contact any officer with questions, ideas, or to volunteer. Contact the main office of your child's school for Booster Club Contact information, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. President: Dee Gilbert Secretary: Amy Park Treasurer: Nancy Walter
Each year the Board of Education must go to the registered district voters to seek approval of the school budget. Preparing the budget is a year-long process. The board makes every effort to explore all possible sources of income and to guide the expenditure of funds so as to achieve the greatest educational returns for our children. The board greatly appreciates the interest, which is evident by good voter turnout in our school district.
The responsibility to vote is an important one as Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, and Rutherford B. Hayes were all elected to office by one vote each. California, Washington, Idaho, Texas, and Oregon gained statehood by one vote each. Our own budget vote ended in a 500/500 tie in 1997.
Your vote does make a difference. Are you registered? Do you vote? Please contact the Superintendent’s office at (315) 889-4100 for voting information.
This year the Budget Vote will be held on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 from noon to 9 p.m. in the High School Lobby.
The bus loops at each school are fire lanes. Please do not park in a bus loop at any time during the school day or during evening activities. Please use the parking lots to avoid being towed. Thank you for your cooperation!
YELLOW FLASHING LIGHTS on a school bus mean the bus is preparing to stop and load or unload passengers. RED LIGHTS mean that loading or unloading is taking place.
NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law (1174) requires all motorists to ALWAYS STOP FOR A SCHOOL BUS WITH RED LIGHTS FLASHING on ALL roads, including multi-lane or divided highways, on school grounds, in driveways or parking lots. EVERYWHERE!
Each year in the United States, children are killed by motorists who pass school buses that have stopped to load or unload passengers. Please be careful! Obey the law and protect our children.
2020-21 Bus Schedules
Please review the bus routes and schedule below, as changes have been made. Time schedules are critical, so please have your children ready at the bus stop well in advance of pick-up time. Your cooperation throughout the year in helping maintain these schedules is extremely important. The times listed are approximate and may vary due to the numerous changes that normally take place as school gets under way. Your patience and understanding during the first few weeks of school is always appreciated.
Also, please review proper bus behavior with your children (see your Parent/Student Handbooks). Keep in mind that the bus driver’s main responsibility is delivering your children to and from school safely each day. Proper bus behavior is expected from all students at all times. Safety is a must!
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call the Transportation Supervisor, Andrea Lang, at (315) 889-5036.
2020-21 Middle & High School Bus Routes
2020-21 A.J. Smith Elementary School Bus Routes
Code of Conduct Summary
This is a summary of the Code of Conduct adopted by the Board of Education of the Union Springs Central School District. This code contains the rules for conduct on district property and at district functions as well as the penalties for unacceptable conduct. The code applies to ALL individuals who come on school property and is not restricted to classroom instruction. Students, parents, visitors, and district employees all have certain responsibilities regarding the education of district students and are all subject to the code while on district property or at district functions.
Generally, the district expects:
Students to come to school prepared to learn and to conduct themselves in a safe and respectful manner while at school.
Parents to cooperate with the district in the education of their children and to communicate with appropriate school personnel regarding any questions or concerns.
Teachers to be prepared to teach and to strive for an atmosphere of mutual respect in the classroom.
Administrators to promote a safe, healthy, and stimulating academic environment that is conducive to learning and student success.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
All district students have the right to pursue an education in an atmosphere that is safe and conducive to learning, and to achieve all that they are capable of achieving and to be respected on the merits of their attributes as individuals. As citizens of the United States of America and residents of New York State, the students have the right to procedural due process guaranteed by The United States Constitution and New York State Education Law prior to disciplinary action taken against them. Students have the right to freedom of speech and expression which do not interfere with the educational process or infringe upon the right of others. Each and every student has the right to attend school and be free from discrimination in any form. Along with the rights comes responsibility. It is expected that all students of The Union Springs Central School District will conduct themselves with respect toward self, fellow students, teachers, and others. Furthermore, it is expected that all students will strive to achieve to their potential in all areas. Students should show respect for the district property and the property of others by following reasonable directions of the faculty and administration by fulfilling their classroom learning obligations. Display positive behavior and performance and always demonstrate a high degree of good sportsmanship.
It is expected that all members of the learning community will use appropriate language and refrain from gestures that are profane, lewd, vulgar, or abusive while on school property or attending school sponsored events.
All students, staff, and visitors are expected to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to dress appropriately for school and school functions. Students and their parents have the primary responsibility for acceptable student dress and appearance. Teachers and all other district personnel shall exemplify and reinforce acceptable student dress and help students develop an understanding of appropriate appearance in a school setting. A student’s dress; grooming and appearance, including hair style/color, jewelry, including heavy weighted pocket chains, make-up and nails, shall: Be safe, appropriate, and not disrupt or interfere with the educational process; Recognize that extremely brief garments such as tube tops, net tops, halter tops, spaghetti straps, plunging necklines (front and/or back), and see-through garments are not appropriate; Ensure that underwear is completely covered with outer clothing; Include footwear at all times. Footwear that is a safety hazzard will not be allowed; Not include the wearing of hats in the classroom except for a medical or religious purpose; Not include items that are vulgar, obscene, and libelous or denigrate others on account of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability; Not promote and/or endorse the use of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs and/or encourage other illegal or violent activities. Students who violate the student dress code shall be required to modify their appearance by covering or removing the offending item and, if necessary or practical, replacing it with an acceptable item. Any student who refuses to do so and/or repeatedly fails to comply with the dress code shall be subject to discipline up to and including suspension.
Discrimination and Bullying/Harassment
The district prohibits discrimination or bullying/harassment against any student by another student, employee, or visitor on school property or at a school function that creates a hostile environment. Discrimination includes the use of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, weight or disability as a basis for treating another in a negative manner. Bullying (either physical, verbal, or psychological) is defined as a variety of negative acts carried out repeatedly over time. It involves a real or perceived imbalance of power, with a more powerful child or group attacking those who are less powerful. The complete district policy may be accessed in any administrative office [policy #7000]. Any act of discrimination or bullying/harassment, outside of school-sponsored events, which can reasonably be expected to materially and substantially disrupt the education process may be subject to discipline.
Prohibited Student Conduct
The code contains a list of defined prohibited conduct, which is not meant to be exhaustive. Any conduct that violates the code, any federal or New York State statute, or any established practice of the district may be the basis for discipline. Students may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension from school when they engage in conduct that is disorderly, insubordinate, disruptive, violent or that endangers the safety, morals and the health and welfare of others. It is also a violation of the code of conduct if a student engages in any form of academic misconduct.
Conduct on School Buses
The code also governs the conduct of students on school buses. Generally, standards of conduct that apply in the classroom shall also apply to conduct on school buses. All passengers are to obey the instructions of the bus driver. The district may suspend a student’s right to ride the bus for any conduct that distracts the driver.
Students and any others who violate the code will be subject to disciplinary action. District officials may use a range of responses to student misconduct. Before disciplining a student, district officials may issue a warning, conduct a parent conference, or provide counseling or mediation. Disciplinary actions may include a consequence from a sequential discipline schedule, a school or activity suspension, in-School Planning, a Superintendent’s Hearing, personal liability, and police notification. Any person found in violation of the code shall be subject to appropriate criminal and/or civil penalties.
Teacher Removal of Disruptive Students
The code authorizes classroom teachers to remove disruptive students from classrooms when classroom management techniques are ineffective. The code spells out the procedures that must be followed when a teacher removes a student from the classroom, including notice to the student and the opportunity for parents to meet with the principal. No teacher may remove a student with a disability from a class until the teacher has verified with the principal or the chairperson of the Committee on Special Education that the removal will not violate the student’s rights under state or federal law.
Students are entitled to due process before the district imposes any discipline. In every case, the district must inform the student of the misconduct and investigate the facts surrounding the misconduct. The district must allow all students to present their version of the facts. Beyond this, the level of due process ranges from parent notification and informal conferences to a formal hearing pursuant to the Education Law #3214. Detailed procedures for dealing with misconduct by special education and disabled students are also in place.
The code also applies to visitors, who are subject to the authority of the building principal while on district premises or at district functions. All visitors must use the main entrance to the building and report upon arrival to the principal’s offices at A.J. Smith Elementary and the Attendance Office at the Middle/High School to sign the visitor’s log and receive a visitor pass. The visitor’s pass must be worn at all times while on district premises.
The code contains a list of defined prohibited conduct, which is not meant to be exhaustive. Any conduct that violates the code, any federal or New York State statute, or any established practice of the district may be the basis for discipline.
Review of Code
Any person wishing to review the code may do so. It is included in the Middle School and High School Handbook. Handbooks are available in either of the school offices and on the middle school and high school pages of our website.
College Admissions Testing
SAT: This measures math and verbal skills and is used in the college admission’s process. A new version that includes a writing component and other changes was introduced in March 2005. Register and practice on the College Board website at: www.collegeboard.com. SAT Subject Tests (ST): There are fourteen subject-specific tests that some colleges require prior to acceptance or for course placement. ACT: This is used in the college admission process and tests academic abilities in English, Math, Social Studies, and Natural Science.
2018-2019 SAT Testing Schedule:
ACT Exam Date
SAT Exam Date
Date of Exam
U.S. Government & Politics
Calculus AB / Calculus BC
English Literature & Comp.
English Language & Comp.
Community Use of School Facilities
Community groups are encouraged to use our school facilities. Groups wishing to do so must secure written permission from the building principal, or for gym space, the Athletic Coordinator. School functions take precedence over all activities by non-school groups.
School facilities may be used between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. except during the hours when school is in session. This includes the outdoor basketball courts and playgrounds. Please note that skateboarding is NOT allowed on school grounds at any time.
A “carry in, carry out” policy requires that individuals and groups remove all trash from school premises when leaving. Only leashed dogs are permitted on school property, and owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.
Counselor services are an indispensable part of the educational process, helping students participate effectively in school. Counselors help students achieve academically by providing guidance in personal, emotional, social, and behavioral areas. As a resource person to students, staff, and parents, the school counselor assists in making wise choices in light of current situations as well as in developing post-high school plans. Students and parents are encouraged to consult with their school counselor during the school year when the need arises. Conferences may be set up with counselors and/or teachers by contacting the individual school. High School Counseling Office | Middle School Counseling Office
District & Site-Based Teams
In accordance with the Plan for Participation developed by the USCS District Planning Team, Site-Based Teams (SBT) and a District-Based Team (DBT) meet on a regular basis. All decisions are made by consensus, and all meetings are open to the public. For information regarding the meeting times and locations of the various teams, please contact Mike Wurster at (315) 889-4112.
There is a Site-Based Team for each of our educational sites: A.J. Smith Elementary School, Union Springs Middle School, and Union Springs High School. Each is composed of the principal at the site, 3-4 school staff members, and 2-4 parents/community members. Three students serve on the Middle School Site-Based Team and four students serve on the High School Site-Based Team. The Site-Based Teams deal with issues related to their particular sites.
The District-Based Team is composed of the Superintendent, the Special Education Administrator, a building principal, two teachers-at-large, three parents-at-large, two community members, two support staff, one high school student, and a representative from each of the Site-Based Teams. The District-Based Team works to promote and facilitate shared decision making within the district.
Would you like to be more involved with what is going on at your child’s school? We have openings for parent and community members on all of our Site-Based Teams and the District-Based Team.
Terms are for two years and begin in the fall. Site-Based Teams usually meet once a month and the District-Based Team meets every other month. Meetings are usually held in the afternoon.
Site-Based Teams deal with issues specific to their sites – A.J. Smith Elementary, Middle School, and High School. The District-Based Team oversees the shared decision making process in the district.
To be a parent member on one of the Site-Based Teams, a parent must have a student at that site in the fall. All parents with children in school are eligible to serve on the District-Based Team, and all community members are eligible to serve on any of our teams.
New members are selected randomly from those who express interest in the various positions. If you have been serving on one of our teams and your term is up, we’d be happy to have you volunteer for another term.
If you are interested in serving on one of our teams, please contact Mike Wurster at (315) 889-4110.
Drug & Alcohol Policy
A student apprehended or guilty of possession, use, being under the influence of, or buying or selling drugs or alcohol on school grounds (including parked cars), on school buses, and at school-sponsored events will be subject to school disciplinary action.
Offense - Parents/guardians notified, five day out-of-school suspension, recommended CHAD referral, and Superintendent’s Hearing.
Random drug searches will be conducted by county and state drug dog officials throughout the school year. All incidents will be reported to the NYS Police or Cayuga County Sheriff’s Department.
More information is detailed in the athletic and extra-curricular Code of Conduct, which is outlined in the Union Springs Middle and High School handbook.
Drug-Free School Zones:In addition to school penalties for involvement with drugs or alcohol, all schools in the Union Springs Central School District have legally been declared Drug-Free School Zones. This includes the real property boundary of all schools together with 1000 feet beyond these boundaries. Increased criminal penalties for actual or threatened sale of controlled substances within these zones are mandated by law (New York State Law Chapter 280 Section 220.44 of the laws of 1986).
Emergency & School Closing Info
Occasionally, the Superintendent may decide it is in the best interest of the health and safety of the students and faculty to either cancel/delay school or send students home early. This could be due to weather, but it could also be due to extraneous circumstances such as a water main break. Notice of school cancellations and delays will be broadcast on local radio and television stations and posted on the district homepage.
Note: Please remember to keep up-to-date contact information on file so that you can be reached in case of an emergency.
It is important to note that sometimes only one school may be affected by a cancellation, delay or early release, and emergency plans should be set in place for students (especially elementary students). Please instruct your children about what they need to do if school is canceled, delayed, or dismissed early.
Emergency Bus Passes will be utilized for early dismissals to transport students to authorized sites. Only custodial parents or legal guardians can authorize changes in these transportation arrangements, so please maintain current information at your child’s school. Note: Emergency provisions cannot depend upon older children who may remain in school.
Emergency Release Drill
The district’s emergency plans include procedures for sheltering, early release, and evacuation of students. A district-wide Emergency Release Drill is scheduled for Friday, October 11, 2019 as part of the disaster and civil defense plan required by all school districts. Parents should make sure their children know what to do during this drill and in all such emergencies. We ask that parents not change the emergency plans they have on file in school for this particular drill so that it will be a true test of the system.
Union Springs schools are committed to offering well-balanced, nourishing meals every day at a minimal cost. We will continue to provide breakfast and lunch at all three of our instructional buildings. Menus are planned based on nutritional guidelines, what kids like, and cost. We try very hard to limit fat and salt content within our meals, and our menus are audited for their nutritional value. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions regarding our services, or if your child has a food allergy, please contact our Food Services Manager, Kathleen Smith, at (315) 889-4120.
Free or reduced lunches and breakfasts are available to those families who meet certain federal requirements. Through our participation in the National School Lunch Program, our district receives federal funding to defray the cost of these meals. Information and application forms are available on the Food Services page, at each school's main office, and at the Superintendent’s office. Eligible families should complete and return the application to the school office as soon as possible.
With NutriKids, every student has their own personal account they can use to pay for meals and a la carte items. We encourage parents to deposit money into their child’s account, although students can still pay cash at the register. A prepayment credit system is offered by MySchoolBucks.com, which allows parents to deposit money into accounts online with a credit/debit card. Deposits can also be made by sending in cash or checks in a sealed envelope with the student’s full name on the outside. If your family qualifies for free or reduced price meals, student information is secure within the system, and meals are processed the same as they are for all students.
Meal Prices (2018-19): 2019-20 Meal Prices will be available soon!
All schools within the Union Springs Central School District are gun-free school zones. Any person is prohibited from possessing any firearms as defined by federal law on school grounds.
Health Physicals & Regulations
Effective 7/1/2018, the mandated years for health exams and screening will change. In addition, only the approved NYS School Health Examination Form may be used to document health exams to provide consistency across the state.
Health examinations will be required in Grades Pre-K or K, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11.
Vision screening for distance and near acuity will be required within 6 months of admission to school and in Grades Pre-K or K, 1, 3, 5, 7, and 11.
Hearing screening utilizing pure tone testing will be required within 6 months of admission to school and in Grades Pre-K or K, 1, 3, 5, 7, and 11.
Scoliosis screening will be required in Grades 5 and 7 for girls and Grade 9 for boys.
Students involved in sports are also required to have physicals within the previous 12 months. If a student has a sports physical during the year in which a specific grade level physical is required, the sports physical will be sufficient for both requirements.
Our school does offer school physicals for the grades listed above and for sports at no charge to parents. However, it is recommended that your child receives a physical by their own primary care physician, as he/she knows your child best.
Health services are provided for all students consistent with state and federal law. The school nurse is responsible for the health program in each school. A health record is maintained on each student that includes a medical history and information on height, weight, vision, hearing, color perception, and scoliosis screenings performed throughout the child’s elementary, middle, and high school years. Parents are notified if a child fails to pass any screening test, and recommendations are made for further medical evaluations. Special health problems are followed as needed.
If you have any questions regarding a health problem with your child, please contact the nurse in your child’s school. It is important to keep the nurse informed of any changes in your child’s health status (surgeries, injuries/fractures, changes in medications, immunizations, allergies, etc.) to assist in providing the best health care and services available to your child.
Please keep a current phone number in your child’s health office where you can be reached in the event of an emergency.
School Medication Policy
If you wish to have your child receive medication during school hours, the following policy according to the NYS Education Law must be followed:
1) Medication (prescriptions or over-the-counter) can be given in school ONLY with a written doctor’s order. This order must include the student’s full name, name of medication, dosage, time, and dates to be given. The label on the medication bottle is NOT suggestive.
2) Medication MUST be in its original container and be accompanied by the doctor’s order and parent’s signature before it will be given at school. Medicine arriving to school in unmarked containers, baggies, etc. cannot be given.
3) All the medication is to be kept in the school health office throughout the time it is to be administered. Medication must be delivered to the school by a responsible adult.
4) Students are NOT permitted to carry any medications with them or store them in a locker or classroom.
Completion of the appropriate form*, including a doctor and parent/guardian’s signature, will fulfill the above requirements and ensure that your child will be able to receive the stated medication at school once it has been delivered by an adult. School nurses cannot administer ANY medication without a physician’s order and written permission from a parent. This includes: Tylenol, Advil, allergy and cold medications, cough drops, etc. Please contact the school nurse in your child’s building if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation!
*Copies of the Authorization for Administration of Medication forms are available in school health offices and on the Nurse’s Office page on your child’s school website.
Information About Possible Inclusion in a NYS Department of Health Survey
As part of a required school health examination, a student is weighed and his/her height is measured. These numbers are used to figure out the student’s body mass index or ‘BMI’. The BMI helps the doctor or nurse know if the student’s weight is in a healthy range or is too high or too low. Recent changes to the New York State Education Law require that BMI and weight status group be included as part of the student’s health examination. A sample of school districts will be selected to take part in a survey by the New York State department of Health. If our school is selected to be part of the survey, we will be reporting to New York State Department of Health information about our students’ weight status groups. Only summary information is sent. No names and no information about individual students are sent. However, you may choose to have your child’s information excluded from this survey report.
The information sent to the New York State Department of Health will help health officials develop programs that make it easier for children to be healthier.
If you do not wish to have your child’s weight status group information included as part of the Health Department’s survey this year, please contact the nurse in your child’s school.
Parent/Teacher Conference Day - No School
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Presidents’ Day/Mid-Winter Break
Memorial Day Weekend (extended weekend)
Note: ALL students entering 7th and 12th grade must have the meningococcal vaccine. Without it, they cannot start school.
(as per State Memo dated June 2015) MMR (Grades K-12) 2 doses of measles and mumps vaccines and 1 dose of rubella vaccine (MMR) - Required for school entry. For the 2nd dose, obtaining in age range of 4 through 6 years is no longer permitted
DTaP (Grades K-12, except 8-12 as noted below*) 5 doses of diphtheria and tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP) - Required for school entry. For the 5th dose, obtaining in age range of 4 through 6 years is no longer permitted - If 4th dose is received at 4 years of age or older, only 4 doses are required
Polio (Grades K, 1, 6 and 7 only) 4 doses of poliomyelitis vaccine (IPV) - Required for school entry. For the 4th dose, obtaining in age range of 4 through 6 years is no longer permitted - If 3rd dose is received at 4 years of age or older, only 3 doses are required
Polio (Grades 2-5, 8-12) - 3 doses
Information Regarding Teachers
Notice of Parental Right To Request Information Regarding Teacher
Dear Parent or Guardian:
Pursuant to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, you have the right to request specific information regarding the professional qualifications of your child’s classroom teachers. The information that may be requested includes the following:
If the teacher has met New York State qualifications and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas he or she teaches.
Whether the teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which the State qualification or licensing criteria have been waived.
The teacher’s college major; whether the teacher has any advanced degrees or certifications and, if so, the subject area of such degrees or certifications.
If your child is provided services by any instructional paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.
Requests for information about the qualifications of your child’s teacher(s) should be directed, in writing, to the Superintendent’s Office, Union Springs Central School, 239 Cayuga Street, Union Springs, NY 13160, and should identify the teachers whose qualifications you seek, as well as the information requested from the bulleted items above.
The Union Springs Central School District, in accordance with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Title VI of The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act, or the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, age, marital or veteran status, or disability in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to provide an environment free from harassment and intimidation in the career, technical or educational programs and activities it operates.
We do not permit discrimination by employees, school volunteers, students and non-employees such as contractors and vendors, as well as any third parties participating in, observing or otherwise engaged in activities subject to the supervision of the district. This includes recruitment and employment practices, pay and benefits, counseling services for students, access by students to career, technical or other educational programs, courses and activities. The board also prohibits harassment based upon an individual’s opposition to the discrimination or participation in a related investigation or complaint proceeding under the anti-discrimination statutes.
This policy of non-discrimination and anti-harassment will be enforced on school district premises, in school buildings and at all school sponsored events, programs and activities including those that take place off school premises. Inquires or complaint should be forwarded to the Superintendent of Schools.
Grievance Procedure for Non-Discrimination Policy
The compliance officer for Section 504 and other grievances related to student activities is the Program Coordinator Sheila LaDouce telephone 315-889-4117. The compliance officer for all employee related activities is the Assistant Superintendent for Business Marge Robbins telephone 315-889-4157. Both can be contacted in writing at the Union Springs School District Office, 239 Cayuga Street, Union Springs, New York 13160.
The compliance officer, upon request, will provide a copy of the district’s grievance procedure to any employee, student or other covered person.
A copy of each of the Acts and Regulations upon which this notice is based will be made available, upon written request to the district compliance officer.
A.J. Smith Elementary School: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Middle & High Schools: 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
District Office: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Business Office: 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Bus Garage: 6:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
State Mandated Information Regarding Integrated Pest Management
(Section 409-H of the State Education Law)
Dear Parent, Guardian, and School Staff:
New York State Education Law Section 409-H, effective July 1, 2001, requires all public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools to provide written notification to all persons in parental relation, faculty, and staff regarding the potential use of pesticides periodically throughout the school year.
The Union Springs Central School District is required to maintain a list of persons in parental relation, faculty, and staff who wish to receive 48-hour written notification of certain pesticide applications.
The following pesticide applications are not subject to prior notification requirements:
• a school remains unoccupied for a continuous
72-hours following an application;
• anti-microbial products;
• nonvolatile rodenticides in tamper resistant bait
stations in areas inaccessible to children;
• nonvolatile insecticidal baits in tamper resistant
bait stations in areas inaccessible to children;
• silica gels and other nonvolatile ready-to-use
pastes, foams, or gels in areas inaccessible to
• boric acid and disodium octaborate tetrahydrate;
• the application of EPA designated biopesticides;
• the applications of EPA designated exempt
materials under 40CFR152.25;
• the use of aerosol products with a directed spray in
containers of 18 fluid ounces or less when used to
protect individuals from an imminent threat from
stinging and biting insects including venomous
spiders, bees, wasps, and hornets.
In the event of an emergency application necessary to protect against an imminent threat to human health, a good faith effort will be made to supply written notification to those on the 48-hour prior notification list.
If you would like to receive 48-hour prior notification of pesticide applications that are scheduled to occur in your school, please contact our district office at (315) 889-4101.
Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)
What is its purpose?
The purpose of PTO is to promote the best possible education for every child in our elementary schools through a cooperative effort of parents and teachers.
Who can belong?
All parents of children in grades Pre-K-5 are considered to be members.
What has the PTO done?
The PTO has raised proceeds through various fundraising activities to provide items for our elementary children that aren’t always included in the budget. Just some of the many activities and items that the PTO has sponsored have included a new basketball hoop at A.J. Smith, welcome rugs, summer reading books, and much more! The PTO also assists in assembly programs, family activity nights, and end of the year staff appreciation events.
Why should you be involved?
The benefits of participation include the opportunity to support your child’s educational programs, a chance to meet new people, sympathetic “ears” in the form of other parents, and a deeper understanding of the quality of our schools. To become involved, contact the main office of your child’s elementary school for PTO contact information or just come to a meeting.
When are the meetings?
The PTO meetings alternate between elementary buildings and will usually be on the first Wednesday of the month. Please see the calendar for specific dates and times.
Parents who DO NOT wish to have photographs of their children published as part of the school district’s communication programs are asked to notify the building principal, in writing, at the start of the school year.
If you have a problem, please try to resolve it through regular channels.
When you have a question or problem, we believe it is important for you to contact the person who is responsible for the area of school operation involved. We ask you to start with the individual who has the MOST INFORMATION about the problem or rumor at hand. If the issue is not resolved, move on to the next step. Please do not “jump over” people to bring it to a supervisory level or next level without a full sharing of information at the first level. The district has due process in place relative to each and every issue.
If you have any questions pertaining to the school district or about your child’s work, please do not hesitate to call. We encourage any and all questions from parents and residents concerning school matters.
Please follow this step-by-step procedure in order to solve problems & answer questions.
Step 1 - School Nurse in your child’s building
Step 2 - Building Principal
Step 3 - Superintendent
(Grades, Classroom Behavior, Etc.)
Step 1 - Classroom Teacher
Step 2 - Building Principal
Step 3 - Superintendent
Extra-curricular Activity Concern
Step 1 - Activity Advisor
Step 2 - Building Principal
Step 3 - Superintendent
Step 1 - Building Principal
Step 2 - Asst. Supt. for Business
Step 3 - Superintendent
Step 1– Building Principal
Step 2 - Asst. Supt. for Business
Step 3 - Superintendent
(Such as Bus Behavior)
Step 1 - Bus Driver
Step 2 - Transportation Supervisor
Step 3 - Building Principal
Step 4 - Asst. Supt. for Business
Step 5 - Superintendent
Step 1 - Coach
Step 2 - Athletic Coordinator
Step 3 - Building Principal
Step 4 - Superintendent
Special Education Concern/Special Needs
Step 1 - Classroom or Special Education Teacher
Step 2 - Building Principal
Step 3 - CSE Chairperson
Step 4 - Special Education Administrator
Step 5 - Superintendent
Board of Education
An appeal to the Board of Education may be sought on any issue after all the appropriate steps have been exhausted. It is the primary responsibility of the Board to set policy for the school district. The superintendent and administrative staff are legally empowered to administer the school district and put into operation the policies of the Board of Education.
Providing Addresses to Armed Services
Schools Must Provide Addresses Unless Parents Decline
The No Child Left Behind Act requires that school districts send address information for all high school seniors and juniors to the armed services for recruitment purposes. However, parents have the right to request that this information not be sent for their children. To make this request, please contact the High School Counseling Office at (315) 889-4124 by September 30, and your address information will be removed from the list.
Release of Students
For your child’s protection, release of students and/or contact with students will only be authorized through the main office of each school.
Report cards are sent home at the end of each marking period and at the end of the school year. Marking periods for each school vary.
Response to Intervention
Did you know that our district can put support in place if your son/daughter is having academic and/or behavior difficulty in school? Each school is required by New York State to have a Response to Intervention (RtI) policy in place for at least Grades K-4. The goal of RtI is to help students academically BEFORE they fall too far behind.
Even though our district has an RtI process in place, it is our duty to inform all parents of their right to refer their child for an evaluation of special education services or programs if they suspect their child may have a disability. If, at any time, you suspect your child may have a disability, please contact our Principal of Special Programs, Sheila LaDouce, to submit a written request for an evaluation.
What are the benefits of RtI?
All students are assessed for their skills on a regular basis.
It is proactive. Rather than taking a “wait and see” approach, students receive help as soon as there is evidence they are struggling.
Additional supports are an add-on to, not instead of, the instruction students receive in the classroom.
Students’ progress is monitored regularly to check for improvement or needs for adjustment to instruction.
To learn more about RtI, visit the Special Education page on our website, or contact our Special Education team at (315) 889-4117.
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education Act (“Project SAVE”) requires all New York School districts to adopt district-wide and building-level safety plans.
The Union Springs Central School District (the “District”) has adopted a district-wide plan and a building-level plan for each of the district schools, as required by Project SAVE.
The following is a summary of the district-wide plan:
The district-wide plan contains policies and procedures for responding to threats of violence or acts of violence by students, staff and visitors; prevention and intervention strategies; policies and procedures for contacting law enforcement officials, parent/guardians, and emergency responders in the event of an incident; policies and procedures regarding school building security; protocols for responding to incidents; and strategies for improving communication and the reporting of potential incidents.
The following is a summary of the building-level plans:
Each building-level plan contains policies and procedures for the safe evacuation of students, staff, and visitors in the event of an incident; designation of an emergency response team; designation of a post-incident response team; establishment of internal and external emergency communications; definitions of a chain-of-command; protocol for access to federal, state, and local mental health resources; procedures for review of the plan and for conducting drills; and policies and procedures for securing and restricting access to a crime scene.
Copies of the district-wide plan are available upon request at the office of the District Clerk.
We will continue utilizing SchoolMessenger to notify parents/guardians of closings. To sign up for notifications through SchoolMessenger, simply text the word YES to 68453. Note: Text rates and data charges may apply. The district will not send more than three messages per month, unless weather conditions or emergency announcements are necessary. To opt-out at any time, text the word STOP to 68453.
School Age Requirements
Children who turn five on or before December 1 are eligible to attend school beginning the preceding September. Children who turn six on or before December 1 MUST attend school from the start of classes in September of that school year. Children who turn six years of age after December 1 MUST attend school the following September. Children who turn 17 during the school year MUST remain in school until the end of that school year.
School Insurance for Students
The school district carries a blanket insurance package that provides only secondary insurance coverage for students. Your own family insurance must provide the primary coverage. The district policy thus provides limited coverage of expenses not covered by the family’s medical insurance. The district does not self-insure or pick up costs not covered by the insurance plans.
School Start and Dismissal
A.J. Smith Elementary School
Start: 8:55 a.m. | Dismissal: 3:25 p.m.
Please do not drop children off before 8:45 a.m., as there is no supervision.
In accordance with federal law, smoking is not allowed in our school buildings or on our school grounds at any time by anyone. We ask for everyone’s cooperation.
Sometimes in the fall, local businesses are approached by salesmen asking for donations to provide free book covers for our students. Please note that we have NOT sanctioned any such programs. If you are approached by anyone in this regard, please contact Valerie Castiglia in the district office at (315) 889-4100.
Staff - A.J. Smith Elementary
Principal of Special Programs:
Mrs. Sheila LaDouce
Ms. Kristin Berry
Mrs. Lori DeGraw
Mr. Adam Presutti
Mrs. Penny Ross
Mrs. Rebecca Karcz
Ms. Sara Mendillo
Mrs. Christina Wilde-Akins
Mrs. Chelsea Ryan
Nurse / Attendance:
Mrs. Jane Bacon
First Grade Teachers:
Mrs. Christine Bona
Ms. Chelsea Brennan
Mrs. Tara Hand
Library Media Specialist:
Mrs. Lori Willey LoMascolo
Ms. Hannah Russell
Second Grade Teachers:
Mrs. Christine Neilson
Ms. Elizabeth Reed
Mrs. Jennifer Smith
Ms. Jennifer Hysick
Mr. Joseph DeWolf
Third Grade Teachers:
Mr. Aaron Fikes
Mrs. Sarah Mull
Mrs. Renee Munn
Physical Education Teachers:
Mr. Timothy Darnell
Mr. Mark Gaffney
Psychologist / CSE Chairperson:
Dr. Melinda Pritt-Smith
Fourth Grade Teachers:
Mrs. Jennifer Gordon
Mrs. Christine Markham
Mrs. Sarah Valentino
Mr. Jason Dean
Mr. Joseph Palmiotto
Mrs. Patricia Vaughn
Mr. Todd Salls
Special Education Teachers:
Ms. Lindsey Clark
Mrs. Mandy Gonio
Mrs. Heather Wiedor
Mrs. Sue Sciortino
Library Media Specialist:
Mrs. Stephanie Berry
Mrs. Dana Ryan
Mrs. Gretchen Weir
Mr. Scott Zippel
Mrs. Mary Lepianka
Mrs. Jennifer Middleton
Mrs. Kathy Smith
Mrs. Cindy Toomey
Mrs. Debra Wilmot
Mrs. Paulette Woodruff
Mrs. Lindsey Stupp
Athletic Coordinator: Mr. Todd Salls
Student Record Access
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), parents and students over 18 years of age have the right to inspect and review their child’s records or to request the amendment of records believed to be inaccurate or misleading. Student records are private unless the parent or student older than 18 consents to disclosure of personally identifiable information. (FERPA authorizes disclosure of personal information without consent in limited circumstances, such as criminal investigations.) The U.S. Education Department in recently released FERPA guidance, states that school districts may, in their discretion, release education records, including disciplinary records, to another educational institution, including a college, where the student seeks to enroll without obtaining parental consent.
Students transferring from other school districts are asked to provide copies of academic and health records from the school last attended. Students transferring in must have immunizations for Diphtheria, Pertussis, Polio, Mumps, Regular and German Measles (Rubella), Hepatitis B, and Chicken Pox.
Maintaining communication between significant family members and school staff can be an important basis for student success. Family relationships are occasionally changed due to adoption, divorce, sickness, death, etc. School offices must be provided with legal documents (current custody arrangements, orders of protection, etc.) in order to honor requests for limitations on communications with family members.
USCSD Mission Statement
The Union Springs Central School District is an organized body (composed of students, parents, staff, and community members) that nurtures all learning and recognizes individual differences in a challenging environment.
ALL MEMBERS positively and respectfully encourage one another to succeed, inspiring pride in accomplishments. With everyone ultimately responsible for his or her life-long learning and behavior, the pursuit of excellence is our mission.
All visitors must first stop at the school office or information booth (MS/HS) to sign in and receive a visitor’s pass. Please remember to sign out at the same place when leaving, and use only the main door of each building when entering and exiting.