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Students Right to Know

The Student Right-To-Know Act requires institutions to disclose specific information on the general student population. The JEANNE CLERY DISCLOSURE OF CAMPUS SECURITY & CAMPUS CRIME STATISTICS ACT requires all postsecondary institutions participating in Federal Student Aid Programs to disclose campus security policies and certain crime statistics. RTC publishes these reports to the faculty, staff and students to comply with the provisions of the law.

Student Procedures for Reporting Alleged Cases of Discrimination and/or Sexual, Racial, Religious or National Origin Harassment

Harassment of any kind (sexual, racial, religious or national origin) – whether it is a staff member harassing a student, a student harassing a staff member, or students harassing other students – is illegal and will not be tolerated.  If you feel you are being harassed, contact a school official.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The procedures for protecting the confidentiality of student records are based on state regulations and the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974.  Suwannee District School policies regarding student records are in accordance with these regulations.

Career and Placement Services

A guidance counselor helps students and prospective students with academic or personal problems. Students returning to school who experience any anxiety or have to make difficult decisions may use all of the counseling services available. These include vocational guidance, career information, assistance with academic and study problems, specialized testing and personal counseling. A counselor works with students in a confidential relationship to explore aspirations, aptitudes, interest, and to help with special problems.  

The Student Services office will make every effort to help students obtain a job related to their training. Local employers contact RTC when job openings arise and the school attempts to match student skills to job needs.

Social Security Number Collection and Use

In compliance with Florida Statute 119.071(5), Suwannee County School Board issues this notification regarding the purpose of the collection and use of you Social Security Number.

The Suwannee County School Board recognizes that an individual’s social security number is a unique form of identification that can be utilized to obtain sensitive information regarding that particular individual.  However, as required by Florida Statute 1008.386, the Board must request that each student enrolled in the district provide his or her social security number and must use the Social Security Number in the management information system.

The Board further recognizes that under certain circumstances, both as an employer and an education institution, the collection of social security numbers is necessary to be able to properly perform its duties and functions and to ensure that such duties and functions are performed accurately and efficiently.  Due to the sensitive nature of an individual’s social security number, the Board will secure Social Security Numbers from unauthorized access and will never release them to unauthorized parties.  Each student and employee will be issued a unique identification number for reporting purposes unless otherwise prescribed by law.

The Suwannee County School Board collects your social security number only for the following purposes:  Identification and verification; benefit processing; data collection, reconciliation and tracking; tax reporting; criminal background checks; billing and payments; payroll administration; garnishments; state and federal education and employment reporting; financial aid programs; vendor applications; independent contractors; and employment and volunteer applications.

Additionally, Federal Legislation relating to the Hope Tax Credit requires that all postsecondary institutions report the Social Security Number of all postsecondary students to the Internal Revenue Service.  This IRS requirement makes it necessary for RIVEROAK Technical College (RTC) to collect the Social Security Number of every postsecondary student enrolled.  A student may refuse to disclose his/her Social Security Number to RTC, but refusing to comply with the federal requirement may result in fines established by the Internal Revenue Services.

All Social Security Numbers are protected by federal regulations and are never released to unauthorized parties. (SCSB 10/28/08)

Internet/Acceptable Use Policy

RTC has Internet access for students in selected areas for educational purposes including: academic activities, career development, and limited high-quality self-discovery activities. Access has not been established as a public access service or a public forum. RTC has the right to place reasonable restrictions on material a student may access or post through the system. Students are expected to follow the rules set forth in the Suwannee District Schools Code of Student Conduct. The Internet may not be used for commercial purposes. A student may not offer, provide, or purchase products or services through the Internet. All students will be required to sign that they agree to the Internet/Acceptable Use Policy. This policy is detailed on a form that is signed and submitted to the program instructor. This form remains on file for one year.

Honor Roll

Each nine-week grading period, students are identified for Honor Roll and recognized at the Honor Roll breakfast.  To be selected, the student must meet the following criteria:

1.       Enrolled in two or more graded periods,

2.       Must have a B or above average in all Technical Center classes, and

3.     Missed no more than three days in the nine-week grading period for any reason, including Administrative   Excused Absences.

4.       Practical Nursing has different standards for honor roll.  Refer to the specific program student handbook.

Grievance Procedure

Persons who feel deprived of some personal rights by the students, personnel, or policies of this institution are encouraged to pursue grievance through due process procedures as set forth:

· Attempt to communicate your position to the person most directly involved.  If not resolved, then

· Explain the situation to a counselor.  If not resolved, then

· Make an appointment to discuss the problem with the building administrator.  If not resolved, then

· File a formal grievance petition.  Forms are available in the Student Services office.  A hearing will be held.

Other resources are available for persons having special concerns including Civil Rights discrimination:  Local: (386) 364-2629/

State:  1-800-342-8170

For cases where the grievance is not resolved at the institution level, the student may contact: 

The Council on Occupational Education
7840 Roswell Road., Bldg. 300, Suite 325
Atlanta, Georgia  30350
(770) 396-3898  or  (800) 917-2081

Grading Scale

A = 90 - 100

B = 80 - 89

C = 70 - 79

D = 60 - 69

F = 0 - 59

GED Testing

RTC is an approved GED Testing Center. Tests are administered every Wednesday. To register for the GED test, go online to GED.com. You must be registered at least 24 hours before testing date.

Electronic Devices

At no time shall RIVEROAK Technical College be responsible for theft, loss or damage to cell phones or other electronic devices brought onto its property.

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act became a federal law in November of 1974, and was further revised in 1975, 1976, and 1997. The intent of this law is to protect the accuracy and privacy of students’ education records.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over eighteen years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. They are:

 1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the District receives a request for access.  Parents or eligible students should submit to the school director (or appropriate school official) a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect.  The director will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

 2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading.  Parents or eligible students may ask Suwannee District Schools to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the school director, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the District decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the District will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise him/her of his/her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.

 3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the District as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the District has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the District discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. (NOTE: FERPA requires a school district to make a reasonable attempt to notify the student of the records requested unless it states in its annual notification that it intends to forward records on request).

4. The right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the District to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, US Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202. For additional information, contact Suwannee Districts Schools at 386-647-4600.

Due Process Procedure

A School Official must inform the student of school rules that have been violated. Students have the right to present evidence or witnesses concerning the charges using the following procedures:

1. Individuals must have PROPER NOTICE of the charge or complaint being made against them.

2. Individuals must have the OPPORTUNITY TO KNOW what the specific charges or complaints are and who is making these charges or complaints.

3. Individuals must be given a FAIR AND IMPARTIAL HEARING and have the opportunity to present evidence and/or witnesses on their own behalf at the time of the hearing.

4. Individuals must have had prior OPPORTUNITY TO KNOW that their actions were in violation of established rules and regulations.

5. Individuals must be advised that they have the RIGHT TO APPEAL to the next higher authority if not satisfied with the action or decision rendered at their hearing.

Drug Free School Act

Federal Drug-Free School Act: This legislation is intended to convey to students of any institution receiving federal funds (contracts, grants, student financial aid, etc.) the health risks which exist for those who abuse alcohol or drugs. In addition, penalties for those who violate school standards must be in place and consistently enforced. State law prohibits the consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages by persons younger than 21 years of age. The sale of alcoholic beverages to persons younger than 21 years of age is also prohibited.

RTC Drug-Free School Summary Statement: Standards of conduct and disciplinary sanctions to be imposed for the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by technical center students on school property or as part of any of its activities will be enforced. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession or use of a controlled substance or the unlawful possession and use of alcohol is wrong, harmful, and prohibited in or on Suwannee County Public School owned and controlled property or as part of any of its activities. Any technical center student determined to have violated this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action for misconduct. No student is to report to class or any school activity while under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol.  Violation of these policies by a student will be reason for disciplinary action up to and including termination/expulsion, and/or referral for prosecution consistent with local, state, and federal law.

Source of text: Schools Without Drugs, U.S. Dept. of Education. In order to comply with the Federal Drug-Free Schools Act, the following descriptions are listed on the Due Process Page.

Counseling

A guidance counselor helps students and prospective students with academic or personal problems. Students returning to school who experience any anxiety or have to make difficult decisions may use all of the counseling services available. These include vocational guidance, career information, assistance with academic and study problems, specialized testing, and personal counseling. A counselor works with students in a confidential relationship to explore aspirations, aptitudes, interest, and to help with special problems.

Dress Code

Students are expected to dress appropriately for the occupation in which they are training. Dress and general grooming shall be consistent with the highest possible standards. Bare midriff, see-through clothing, halters, tube tops, tank tops, backless dresses/tops, biker shorts, and loose pants/shorts that fall below the natural waistline are examples of unacceptable appearance and dress.  Shop classes may require work boots. Dresses/skirts are to be no shorter than three inches above the knee. Shorts can be no shorter than the longest finger when hand is at rest by student’s side. Clothing with words/phrases, symbols, pictures, patches, or insignia which are offensive, obscene, profane, or alcohol/drug related are prohibited. Most programs have additional dress code requirements. Students not in compliance with the dress code will be required to leave campus.

Change of Address

It is the responsibility of the student to notify Student Services of a change of address or other demographic information such as marital status or phone number. Students eligible for PELL Grant refunds will be notified by first class mail.

Commencement/Graduation

Commencement exercises are conducted annually near the end of the school year. Students eligible to participate include those students who have completed the requirements for GED, High School Diploma, and career certificate education programs. Friends and relatives of students graduating are invited to attend the formal ceremony.

Certificates of Completion

Certificates of Completion will be awarded to students who master program performance standards and meet state reading, language, and math minimum requirements for that program. Upon request, students may receive a Certificate of Achievement for mastery of an occupational or literacy completion point as specified in the course/program curriculum frameworks.

Evidence of Florida Residency

TWO (2) COPIES MUST BE DATED 12 MONTHS PRIOR TO ENROLLMENT

1.  The documents must include at least one of the following:

a.  A Florida voter's registration card.

b.  A Florida driver's license.

c.  A State of Florida identification card.

d.  A Florida vehicle registration.

e.  Proof of a permanent home in Florida which is occupied as a primary residence by the individual or by the individual's parent if the individual is a dependent child.

f.  Proof of a homestead exemption in Florida.

g.  Transcripts from a Florida high school for multiple years if the Florida high school diploma or GED was earned within the last 12 months.

h.  Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida for at least 30 hours per week for a 12-month period.

2.  The documents may include one or more of the following:

a.  A declaration of domicile in Florida.

b.  A Florida professional or occupational license.

c.  Florida incorporation.

d.  A document evidencing family ties in Florida.

e.  Proof of membership in a Florida-based charitable or professional organization.

Other Evidence:

Rent Receipts

Tax Returns

Home Mortgages

Location of Bank Accounts with name and Address

Financial Aid Admission Application from previous years

Employment Documents

Student Loan Notes

Need Analysis Documents

Utility Receipts

Florida State Identification

Campus Security

The following annual report is in compliance with the Federal Financial Aid Regulations of the Higher Education Act

1. During the 2010-2011 school year, there were no reports on campus in the areas of murder, sex offenses, aggravated assault, motor vehicle theft, or arrests for possession of liquor.

2. The campus is an open facility but visitors must check in at the front office. Students must also check out at the front office if leaving before the regular scheduled time. Secondary students must be checked out by a parent or guardian. No campus security officer is assigned, but a resource officer may be summoned, if needed from nearby schools.

3. Crime reports are handled by district resource officers and if needed, by local law enforcement. Each classroom has an emergency handbook outlining emergency procedures. Each month a fire drill or other emergency drill is conducted.

4. Information on sexual assault, rape awareness, and abuse is available through Student Services and through informational posters. Various agencies outside of the institution assist with counseling and support services.

5. The district school board has policies prohibiting the use of alcohol and illegal drugs. The Suwannee County School Board is committed to maintaining schools that are drug-free. The use of illicit drugs and the unlawful possession of alcohol are both wrong and harmful. Therefore, guidelines have been set within this Code of Student Conduct that address these issues. Compliance with this code is mandatory. You are warned that the School Board does not tolerate violation of the code in regard to drug possession and use, and has consistently expelled offenders. A list of available substance abuse assistance programs and community counseling services can be found in Student Services. If you need further information or assistance, your school guidance counselor is available to help you.

6. Student programs are made available as the need arises. Most activities occur with individual students through Student Services.

RTC Book Store

The book store is located in the Student Services office. Adults must purchase the required texts. Textbooks and supplies may be purchased during specified hours in the Student Services office. Adult student textbooks and kits may not be returned if the student withdraws from school.

Books and some supplies are provided for high school students by the Suwannee County School Board. In some programs, the secondary students may also have to purchase lab kits and pay lab use fees.

Articulation with Colleges

Articulation agreements with colleges and community colleges provide credit for competencies completed in many training programs.  Instructors and the counselor can provide additional information.

Accommodations for Special Needs

RTC makes every effort to accommodate the special needs of its students. Accommodations may include but not be limited to extended time for training, modified tools, special texts, and modified course content. Any student that may need accommodations should contact the guidance counselor to identify strategies.

Americans with Disabilities Act

RTC complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which protects United States citizens who possess physical or mental disabilities. The centers also comply with Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1973 which states that “no otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States shall, solely by reason of his/her handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefit of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” Reasonable accommodations will be provided for students with documented special needs.

Disability Services

As Equal Access/Equal Opportunity institutions, RIVEROAK Technical College assures students with disabilities equal access to all programs, activities and services, as described in Section 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Specialized services and counseling are provided by trained staff. Course content will be made available in an accessible format upon request for students with a documented disability. Students making this request should consult with the counselor at the beginning of the term, preferably not later than the end of the first week.

Accidents

Students may be treated for minor injuries on campus but no aspirin or similar drugs will be dispensed. All minor students must have an emergency authorization form on file so emergency transportation and care can be obtained. All accidents or injuries must be reported to an instructor immediately.