Hillside Policies

2022-2023 Student and Family Handbook

The Student and Family Handbook, updated each year, includes important details regarding the policies and practices of our school. It includes everything from our attendance policies and transportation to how we handle COVID and distance learning.
Health and Safety Plan in relation to COVID-19: All decision-makers should be mindful that as long as there are cases of COVID-19 in the community, there are no strategies that can completely eliminate transmission risk within a school population. The goal is to reduce the risks of COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible and safely continue school activities. Depending upon the public health conditions in any county within the Commonwealth, there could be additional actions, orders, or guidance provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and/or the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH). Cycling back and forth between less restrictive to more restrictive designations may occur as public health indicators improve or worsen. We will account for changing conditions in our Health and Safety Plan to ensure fluid transition from more to less restrictive conditions as needed. The Hillside School will take the necessary precautions and recommendations from the state, and local governments, CDC, and the PA DOH. The Hillside School realizes the knowledge regarding COVID-19 is constantly changing as new information and treatments become available. These recommendations will be adjusted as needed in order to decrease the risk of exposure for our staff, students, and community. The Hillside Board of Trustees recognize that minor changes to this plan may need to be made by the Head of School or designee.  ​In addition, the Head of School or designee may need to transition the school to distance learning based on the following criteria: (1) inability to adequately and safely staff the building, (2) high risk to the health of the school community, (3) significantly increased number of  confirmed/probable cases, (4) updated recommendations from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, or (5) the benefits of in-person learning are outweighed by the impact of future state-mandated regulations.  

Unlawful Harassment Policy

All Hillside students have the right to be educated in an environment free of discriminatory practices, including unlawful harassment. Harassment is defined as unwelcome or harmful behavior towards another person. The term harassment includes, but is not limited to, repeated, unwelcome and offensive slurs, jokes, or other verbal, graphic or physical conduct relating to an individual’s race, color, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age or handicap/disability that may create an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment. The Hillside School prohibits all forms of unlawful harassment of individuals by any student or staff member, contracted individual/vendor, or volunteer in the school. If a student believes he or she is being/has been harassed, one of the following should be contacted immediately: Head of School, Assistant Head of School, Guidance Counselor, Teacher, Parent(s) or Guardian(s). Complaints of harassment will be investigated promptly. Confidentiality of all parties shall be maintained. The Hillside School will take steps to prevent recurrence of any harassment. Ethnic harassment includes the repeated, unwelcome or offensive use of any derogatory word, phrase or action characterizing a given racial or ethnic group that may create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment. Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other inappropriate verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, sexual flirtation, advances, touching or propositions, verbal abuse of a sexual nature, graphic or suggestive comments about an individual’s dress or body, sexually degrading words to describe an individual (jokes, pin-ups, calendars, objects, graffiti, vulgar statements, abusive language, innuendoes, references to sexual activities, or overt sexual conduct), or any conduct that unreasonably interferes with a student’s ability to work or learn or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning or working environment. A parent/guardian meeting will be held as soon as reasonably possible following suspicion of any act of unlawful harassment by a student to discuss possible solutions to the disciplinary infraction. If said meeting is not able to be promptly convened, interim suspension may be necessary until a meeting can be arranged. A plan to prevent dismissal may be developed; however, if a student’s actions become serious enough he/she may be exited from The Hillside School.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The Hillside School does not unlawfully discriminate against its employees or applicants. We strive to provide employees with a work environment free from all forms of discrimination. All employment related decisions are made without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, creed, physical or mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, veteran status, age, gender or any other applicable basis that is protected by federal, state or local law, ordinance or regulation. We are committed to complying with applicable laws providing equal employment opportunities. Any member of our workforce does not tolerate discrimination or harassment in any form. Upon submission of a complaint, appropriate Board-designated personnel investigate all incidents of unlawful discrimination in a timely and confidential manner, and, if warranted, appropriate action is taken. The Hillside School complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and prohibits discrimination against employees or applicants with disabilities or perceived disabilities. We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities who can perform the essential functions of the job, unless this would cause undue hardship. Employees with disabilities, who believe they need reasonable accommodation to perform the essential function of their jobs, are encouraged to contact the Head of School. We believe that diversity enhances its overall performance and by bringing together individuals from different backgrounds, cultures, nationalities and lifestyles; a diverse work environment is created. We appreciate varying points of view, approaches to problem solving, ways of working and characteristics for success. At The Hillside School, we look to our employees to mutually respect one another and help us create a diverse, enthusiastic work environment in which each individual is empowered to contribute to his or her full potential.

Harassment

The School maintains a business and employment environment free from general harassment, ethnic harassment, sexual harassment and/or other inappropriate harassment. General harassment includes, but is not limited to slurs, jokes, or other verbal, graphic, or physical conduct relating to an individual’s race, color, religious creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability. Ethnic harassment includes the use of any derogatory word or phrase characterizing a given racial or ethnic group. Sexual harassment includes, among other things: requests for sexual favors, vulgar language of a sexual nature, sexually derogatory names; unwelcome touching of another’s body of a sexual nature, displaying sexually explicit pictures, photographs or cartoons, unwelcome advances of a homosexual or heterosexual nature, demands for sexual acts, promises of favorable employment decisions, and the threats of negative employment decisions. An employee who believes him or herself to be the victim of harassment should: If willing and comfortable, inform the offending party directly the conduct is offensive and must stop. If uncomfortable communicating directly with the offending person, or if the direct communication with the offending person is not successful, contact the Head/Assistant Head of School. If uncomfortable communicating with the Head or Assistant Head of School, contact the President of The Hillside School’s Board of Trustees or the Chair of the Audit Committee. Complaints and investigations are kept on a need to know basis. The School will not tolerate retaliation of any kind against any employee who complains about alleged harassment or who cooperates in the investigation of such a complaint. If, after investigation, the School determines harassment occurred, corrective action will be taken.

Bus riders in the Allentown School District

Video/audio recorders may be placed on any Allentown school buses. All students are subject to being videotaped on the school bus. The video/audio media are intended to assist the administration, contractors and drivers in observing behavior, preventing violation of bus rules, regulations, district policies and Pennsylvania law for use with respect to issues relating to safety and behavior on the bus.  Video/audio media are not intended for general viewing by a student, employee, parent/guardian, or public and shall not be made available for general viewing purposes.