It is the policy of the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union to ensure that all Supervisory
Union employees report suspected child abuse and/or neglect as outlined in 33 V.S.A. §4911 et
The purpose of this policy is to protect children whose health and welfare may be jeopardized by
abuse or neglect. It is further the purpose of this policy to make clear to all Supervisory Union
employees and school officials that it is not their role to be investigator, judge and jury in cases
of suspected abuse or neglect. Rather, it is the role of Supervisory Union employees to be
faithful and timely reporters of suspected abuse or neglect so that allegations can be brought to
the attention of objective, trained and experienced investigators.
1. Immediately means as soon as the abuse or neglect is suspected but in no case later than 24
hours after such abuse or neglect is suspected.
abuse or neglect occurred. This does not mean that the employee must be convinced the
abuse or neglect occurred. Doubts the employee may have shall be resolved in favor of
reporting the suspicion. Further, the employee shall not refrain from making a report under
this policy for the reason that there may be retaliation against the child because the employee
has a confidential relationship with the child, or for any other reason no matter how well-
made orally, the reporter should note in writing the person to whom the report was made and
when the report was made. A report made to DCF shall contain the following:
– the name and address of the reporter
– the name and address, if known, of the child and the child’s parents/guardians or other
persons responsible for the child’s care
– the age of the child
– the nature and extent of the child’s injuries together with any evidence of previous abuse
or neglect of the child or the child’s siblings
– any other information the reporter believes might be helpful
psychological growth and development or welfare is harmed or at substantial risk of harm by
the acts or omissions of the child’s parent or other individual who may be responsible for the
child’s welfare (e.g. guardian, foster parent, stepparent, teacher, etc.), or in the case of sexual
abuse, of any individual.
maltreatment, by allowing such harm to occur, by failing to provide the child with adequate
food, clothing, shelter or health care, or by abandonment of the child.
child including but not limited to incest, prostitution, rape, sodomy, or any lewd and
lascivious conduct involving a child. Sexual abuse also includes the aiding, abetting,
counseling, hiring, or procuring of a child to perform or participate in any photograph,
motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, or other presentation which, in whole or in
part, depicts sexual conduct, sexual excitement or sadomasochistic abuse involving a child.
HARASSMENT. HOWEVER, FOLLOWING THIS SCHOOL DISTRICT’S POLICY ON
SEXUAL HARASSMENT DOES NOT FULFILL A MANDATORY REPORTER’S
LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER THE DCF REPORTING LAW. SUSPECTED
SEXUAL ABUSE MUST BE REPORTED TO DCF
Any Supervisory Union employee or school official, regardless of whether they are a “mandated
reporter,” under Vermont law (33 V.S.A. §4913), shall report suspected child abuse or neglect to
DCF, to the building principal /designated employee, and the Superintendent. If guidance is
needed for reporting, one of the designated employees should be consulted. For the listing of
designated employees please refer to Appendix A with this policy. If the building Principal or
designee is the person suspected of child abuse or the person who suspects the abuse or neglect,
the report shall be made to the Superintendent of Schools and another designated employee. If
the Superintendent is the person suspected of child abuse or neglect, the report shall be made to
DCF and the chairpersons of the WSESD and WSESU boards.
Principal, Principal’s designee or the Superintendent, as the case may be, shall report the incident
immediately to the Department for Children and Families (DCF).
All staff shall receive training once each school year in reporting suspected child abuse and
neglect. Such training shall include assistance in recognizing the signs and symptoms of
abuse and neglect.
This policy shall be provided each year to the parents of students in attendance and to each
employee of the School District including substitute teachers. Further, this policy shall
be posted in at least three prominent places within the school building.
Date Adopted: August 5, 2010
Date Warned for Readoption:
Legal Reference(s): 33 V.S.A. §§4911 et seq. (Reporting abuse of children)
Cross Reference: Prevention of Harassment of Students (F23)
Designated Employees 2023-2024
The following employees of the Windham Southeast School District have been designated by the
District to serve as resources for the reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect:
Michael Kelliher, WSESD Human Resources Director
Leadership Councils. School-based Leadership Councils are advisory and shall be established at
• Leadership Councils will include school administrators, school staff, community
members (caregivers, students when appropriate and other town residents).
• Ideally, community members will comprise at least 50% of the membership of the
• Community members applying to the Leadership Council can be nominated to the
Leadership Council by other community members or can submit a letter of interest.
• School staff will nominate staff members to Leadership Councils.
• Council members will be appointed by the Board.
• Community members used to determine 50% representation shall not be employees of
WSESU or WSESD.
• At least one WSESD Board member shall be appointed as an ex-officio member of each
leadership council. The Ex-Officio Leadership Council member shall not vote, not count
as a part of the community representative percentage, nor be used in the determination of
• Each member’s term shall be for one school year. Said term shall be renewable with
approval of the Leadership Council. All Leadership Council members will be appointed
by the board in October of the school year and membership will terminate the following
• Annually, each Leadership Council shall develop and approve a Code of Ethics. The
Superintendent shall provide a sample to each Leadership Council chair at the start of
each school year.
• The Superintendent shall conduct a Leadership Council Orientation for Chairs and Clerks
to review the “Business of the Council” annually in October after Councils have re-
Meetings of each Council shall be warned in accordance with Vermont’s Open Meeting Law and
H42 (Act One, as approved on January 25, 2023). All agendas shall be posted 2 days before each
meeting and minutes shall be posted within 5 days of each meeting.
At each Leadership Council’s Reorganizational Meeting in October, the Council shall:
• elect a chair and a clerk of the Council (The Council chair shall not be the principal of
the school or any Board Member.);
• establish a regular meeting time and location,
• use Robert’s Rules of Order for Small Boards.
In keeping with Open Meeting Law (OML) as well as pursuant to Act 1 of 2023, if a board holds
a remote-only meeting with no physical location for the public, it must also audio or video-
record the remote-only meeting. If a school board holds a hybrid meeting that includes a physical
location for the public to attend and participate, it need not necessarily audio- or video-record
that meeting under the OML, although it may opt to do so, if that helps the community to know
about and be involved in the board discussions and decision-making.
follow current Open Meeting Law requirements for their warning.
Leadership Council responsibilities will be guided by council interest and may include:
• Supporting inclusive community-engagement activities
• Communicating community values and expectations to board
• Assisting school board in development of school-based goals for student learning based
upon community values
• Reviewing student learning needs and progress measures
• Assisting in initial budget development
• Reviewing resource priorities
• Providing feedback on policies and procedures
• Providing input in hiring processes
• Supporting school and district communications
• Providing input on learning initiatives (grading, curricula, priorities, etc.)
• Coordinating local school committees and organizations
• Other responsibilities mutually agreed upon by the Unified Board and Leadership
• Responding to requests for information from the Unified Board.
• Reports will be added to the Principal’s Monthly Report to the Board
responsibilities of acting in the best interest of the ____________ School’s students, staff, and
school community. I will:
• at all times remember when having discussions and making decisions, that our students
are our top priority;
• follow the guidelines set forth in WSESD Leadership Council Policy H7;
• respectfully voice my opinion and respect the opinions of other Leadership Council
representatives, administrators, school staff, board members, and members of the public;
• come prepared and attend all regularly scheduled Leadership Council meetings insofar as
and will do everything necessary to work as a productive Leadership Council.