Non-Discrimination Notice

Annual Notice

Berks Career and Technology Center will not discriminate in its employment practices or its educational programs and activities on the basis of race, color, age, creed, religion, gender, sex, sexual orientation, ancestry, domicile, veterans status, national origin, marital status, pregnancy, handicap/disability or genetic information or any other legally protected characteristics in its admission procedures, educational programs and activities or employment practices, as required by the Pennsylvania School Code and related regulations, ADA, Title VI, Title IX, and Section 504 and will provide equal access to the Scouts of America and other designated youth groups.  Students are encouraged to consider enrolling in career programs non-traditional to their gender.  Berks Career and Technology Center will take steps to assure that the lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in career and technical education programs and will make reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities. Furthermore, harassment in any form, including bullying, by any individual will not be tolerated. All policies, regulations and practices of BCTC shall be guided by this statement.  Inquiries regarding compliance with Title IX, Section 504 or Title VI should be directed to Dr. Michael Stauffer at the Office of the Executive Director at 1057 County Road, Leesport, PA 19533, 610-374-4073.

Berks Career and Technology Center no discriminará por razones de raza, color, edad, religión, sexo, orientación sexual, origen, domicilio, si es veterano, nacionalidad, estado civil, embarazo, incapacidad o cualquier otra característica protegida legalmente en su proceso de empleo, programas educativos ni actividades o proceso de admisiones como es requerido por el Código Escolar del Estado de Pennsylvania y las regulaciones ADA, Titulo VI, Titulo IX y Sección 504 y proporcionará un acceso igualitario a los Exploradores de America y otros grupos de jóvenes designados. Fomentamos que todo estudiante considere registrarse en programas educativos no tradicionales a su sexo. Berks Career and Technology Center tomara pasos para asegurar que la falta de conocimiento de Ingles no sea una barrera para su admisión y participación en los programas educativos y técnicos. También se harán acomodaciones razonables para personas con impedimentos físicos. Cualquier forma de acoso, incluyendo intimidación por parte de cualquier individuo no será permitida. La política, regulaciones y prácticas de BCTC serán guiadas por esta declaración. Dudas o preguntas acerca del cumplimiento del Título IX, Sección 504 o Título VI deberán dirigirse a la oficina del Director Ejecutivo, Dr. Michael Stauffer, en 1057 County Rd, Leesport PA 19533, 610-374-4073.

Complaint Procedure

This complaint procedure is in addition to and does not prevent parents/guardians from using any option in the procedural safeguards system. [12] [25] [47]

Step 1 – Reporting
A student or parent/guardian who believes s/he has been subject to conduct by any student, employee or third party that constitutes a violation of this policy is encouraged to immediately report the incident to the building administrator. Any person with knowledge of conduct that may violate this policy, is encouraged to immediately report the matter to the building administrator.

A center employee who suspects or is notified that a student has been subject to conduct that constitutes a violation of this policy shall immediately report the incident to the building administrator,as well as properly making any mandatory police or child protective services reports required by law. [49]

If the building administrator is the subject of a complaint, the student, parent/guardian or employee shall report the incident directly to the Section 504 Coordinator.

The complainant or reporting employee may be encouraged to use the center’s report form available from the building administrator or Section 504 Coordinator, or to put the complaint in writing; however, oral complaints shall be accepted, documented and the procedures of this policy implemented. The person accepting the verbal or written complaint may provide factual information on the complaint and the investigative process, the impact of choosing to seek confidentiality and the right to file criminal charges. In all other respects, the person accepting the complaint shall handle the report objectively,neutrally and professionally, setting aside personal biases that might favor or disfavor the complainant or those accused of a violation of this policy.

Step 2 – Investigation
The Section 504 Coordinator shall ensure that the individual assigned to investigate the complaint has an appropriate understanding of the relevant laws pertaining to discrimination issues and this policy and how to conduct investigations.

The investigator shall work with the Section 504 Coordinator to assess the anticipated scope of the investigation, who needs to be interviewed and what records may be relevant to the investigation.

The investigator shall conduct an adequate, reliable and impartial investigation. The complainant and the accused may suggest additional witnesses and provide other evidence during the course of the investigation. When the initial complaint involves allegations relating to conduct which took place away from center property, center-sponsored activities or center conveyances, the investigation may include inquiries related to these allegations to determine whether they resulted in continuing effects such as harassment in school settings.

The investigation may consist of individual interviews with the complainant, the accused, and others with knowledge relative to the allegations. The investigator may also evaluate any other information and materials relevant to the investigation. The person making the report, parties, parents/guardians and witnesses shall be informed of the prohibition against retaliation for anyone’s participation in the process and that conduct believed to be retaliatory should be reported. All individuals providing statements or other information or participating in the investigation shall be instructed to keep the matter confidential and to report any concerns about confidentiality to the investigator.

If the investigation reveals that the conduct being investigated may involve a violation of criminal law,the investigator shall promptly notify the Section 504 Coordinator, who shall promptly inform law enforcement authorities about the allegations. [12] [49] [50] [51]

The obligation to conduct this investigation shall not be negated by the fact that a criminal or child protective services investigation of the allegations is pending or has been concluded. The investigator should coordinate with any other ongoing investigations of the allegations, including agreeing to requests for a short delay in fulfilling the center’s investigative responsibilities during the fact-finding portion of a criminal or child protective services investigation. Such delays shall not extend beyond the time necessary to prevent interference with or disruption of the criminal or child protective services investigation.

Step 3 – Investigative Report
The investigator shall prepare and submit a written report to the Section 504 Coordinator within twenty(20) days of the initial report of alleged discrimination, unless the nature of the allegations, anticipated extent of the investigation or the availability of witnesses requires the investigator and the
Section 504Coordinator to establish a different due date. The parties shall be notified of the anticipated date the investigative report will be completed and of any changes to the anticipated due date during the course of the investigation.

The report shall include a summary of the investigation, a determination of whether the complaint has been substantiated as factual, the information and evaluation that formed the basis for this determination, whether the conduct violated this policy and of any other violations of law or Joint Operating Committee policy which may warrant further center action, and a recommended disposition of the complaint. An investigation into disability harassment shall consider the record as a whole and the totality of circumstances in determining whether a violation of this policy has occurred, recognizing that persistent and pervasive conduct, when taken together, may be a violation even when the separate incidents are not severe.

The complainant and the accused shall be informed of the outcome of the investigation, for example,whether the investigator believes the allegations to be founded or unfounded, within a reasonable time of the submission of the written report to the extent authorized by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other applicable laws. The accused shall not be notified of the individual remedies offered or provided to the complainant. [26] [27] [28] [29]

Step 4 – Action of the Center
If the investigation results in a finding that some or all of the allegations of the complaint are established and constitute a violation of this policy, the center shall take prompt, corrective action designed to ensure that such conduct ceases and that no retaliation occurs. The center shall promptly take appropriate steps to prevent the recurrence of the prohibited conduct and to address the discriminatory effect the prohibited conduct had on the complainant and the center or program environment. Center staff shall document the corrective action taken and, where not prohibited by law,inform the complainant. The Section 504 Coordinator shall follow up by assessing the effectiveness of the corrective action at reasonable intervals.

If the investigation results in a finding that a different policy was violated separately from or in addition to violations of this policy, or that there are circumstances warranting further action, such matters shall be addressed at the conclusion of this investigation or through disciplinary or other appropriate referrals where further evaluation or investigation is necessary.

Disciplinary actions shall be consistent with the Code of Student Conduct, Joint Operating Committee policies and administrative regulations, center procedures, applicable collective bargaining agreements,and state and federal laws.

Appeal Procedure
1. If the complainant or the accused is not satisfied with a finding made pursuant to the policy or with the recommended corrective action, s/he may submit a written appeal to the Section 504Coordinator within fifteen (15) days.

2. The Section 504 Coordinator shall review the investigation and the investigative report and may also conduct a reasonable supplemental investigation to assess the sufficiency and propriety of the prior investigation.

3. The Section 504 Coordinator shall prepare a written response to the appeal within twenty (20)days. Copies of the response shall be provided to the complainant, the accused and the investigator who conducted the initial investigation.