Policy 541

  •  STUDENT BEHAVIOR

    1.0    General Statement of Policy

             It is the policy of the Richfield School Board to maintain a safe and orderly environment for learning, pursuant to the mission of the Richfield Public Schools to prepare all learners for a changing world by developing their knowledge and abilities within a climate of mutual trust and respect.

             To that end, it is the Board's expectation that clear guidelines for student behavior be developed as the basis for implementing disciplinary actions and procedures.

    2.0    Consistency with Beliefs

              Disciplinary actions and procedures will be reflective of Richfield Public Schools' stated beliefs, including the following:

    ·         Quality education requires cooperation and partnership among students, home, school, and community.

    ·         A safe, supportive, and engaging environment promotes learning.

    ·         Expectations and effort influence performance.

    ·         Learning about and respecting individual differences fosters unity and strengthens community.

    ·         The opportunity to learn is everyone's responsibility.

    ·         Each person can learn and needs to learn.

    ·         Core values such as caring, honesty, respect and responsibility must be developed.

    ·         There is strength in cooperation, collaboration and competition. 

    3.0    Consistency with Statutes, Rules, and Other Board PolicieDisciplinary actions and procedures shall be consistent with relevant statutes and rules, and with other Board of Education policies, as cited at

    Disciplinary actions and procedures shall be consistent with relevant statutes and rules, and with other Board of Education policies, as cited at the           end of this policy.  

    4.0   Focus on Prevention Through Promotion of Responsible Behavior

    In accordance with Minnesota Statute § 121A.55, both this policy and Administrative Guidelines 541.1 shall emphasize prevention of dismissals through early detection of problems, and prevention of  recurring inappropriate behavior by individual students.  Accordingly, in addition to disciplinary actions and procedures, the Board of Education supports and expects efforts to promote responsible behavior through such means as promoting positive values and character development, teaching conflict resolution and problem-solving skills, and adjusting the learning environment to better satisfy individual student needs.

    5.0    Reasonable Force

    5.1    The use of corporal punishment is not permitted.  As used in this policy, "corporal punishment" means conduct involving hitting or spanking a person with or without an object, or unreasonable physical force that causes bodily harm or substantial emotional harm.

    5.2    A teacher or school principal may use reasonable force when it is necessary under the circumstances to correct or restrain a student or prevent bodily harm or death to another.  Other school district employees, school bus drivers, or other agents of the school district may use reasonable force when necessary under the circumstances to restrain a student or prevent bodily harm or death to another.5.3        The appropriate use of force by peace officers and crisis teams to remove students with IEP’s from school grounds is described in Board Policy 546.

    6.0    Student Discipline Records

             The collection, dissemination, and maintenance of student discipline records shall be consistent with applicable school district policies and federal and state law, including the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Minn. Stat. Chapter 13.

    7.0    Notification Regarding Policy and Administrative Guidelines

             Each school shall provide written notification to students and parents of the existence and contents of this policy and accompanying guidelines at the commencement of each school year and upon enrollment of new students.  The policy and administrative guidelines shall also be available upon request in each principal's office.  The Board encourages use of a variety of media to increase dissemination and awareness.

    8.0    Review of Policy and Administrative Guidelines

             Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 121A.65, the principal and representatives of parents, students and staff in each school building shall confer at least annually to review the discipline policy and related administrative guidelines and to assess whether the policy has been enforced. Any recommended changes shall be submitted to the superintendent for consideration by the school board, which shall conduct an annual review of this policy.

    9.0     Report to Board of Education

    The administration shall report annually on disciplinary incidents and trends.

     

    Legal References (Policy and Administrative Guidelines): 

    Minn. Stat. Ch. 13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act)

    Minn. Stat. § 120B.02 (Educational Expectations for Minnesota Students)

    Minn. Stat. § 120B.232 (Character Development Education)

    Minn. Stat. § 121A,26 (School Preassessment Teams)

    Minn. Stat. § 121A.27 (School and Community Advisory Team)

    Minn. Stat. § 121A.29 (Reporting; Chemical Abuse)

    Minn. Stat. §§ 121A.40-56 (Pupil Fair Dismissal Act)

    Minn. Stat. § 121A,575 (Alternatives to Pupil Suspension)

    Minn. Stat. § 121A.58 (Corporal Punishment)

    Minn. Stat. § 121A.582 (Reasonable Force)

    Minn. Stat. §§ 121A.60-61 (Discipline of Students)

    Minn. Stat. § 121A.03 (Harassment and Violence)

    Minn. Stat. § 123A.05 (Area Learning Center Organization)

    Minn. Stat. § 124D.03 (Enrollment Options Program)

    Minn. Stat. § 124D.08 (Enrollment in Nonresident District)

    Minn. Stat. Ch. 125A (Students with Disabilities)

    Minn. Stat. Ch. 260A (Truancy)

    Minn. Stat. Ch. 260C (Juvenile Court Act)

    Federal Law 20 U.S.C. §§1400 - 1487 (Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004)

    Federal Law 29 U.S.C. § 794 et. seq. (Rehabilitation Act of 2973)

    Cross References:

    Board of Education Policy 103 and Administrative Guidelines 103.1 (Racial, Religious, and  Sexual Harassment and Violence)

    Board of Education Policy 108 (Hazing Prohibition)

    Board of Education Policy 109 (Distribution of Nonschool-sponsored Materials on School Premises)

    Board of Education Policy 110 (Chemical Use/Abuse)Board of Education Policy 111(Weapons on School Premises)

    Board of Education Policy 113 (Bullying Prohibition)

    Board of Education Policy 543 (Search of Student Lockers, Desks, Personal Possessions and Student's Person)

    Board of Education Policy 545 and Administrative Guidelines 545.1 (Attendance and Truancy)

    Board of Education Policy 546 and Administrative Guidelines 546.1 (Use of Peace Officers and Crisis Teams to Remove Students with IEP’s from School Grounds)

    Board of Education Policy 547 and Administrative Guidelines 547.1 (Student Dress and Appearance)

    Board of Education Policy 653 and Administrative Guidelines 653.1 (Field Trips)

    ADOPTED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION:       July 15, 1963

    AMENDED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION:       September 18, 1978; November 15, 1982; June 18, 1984; June 6, 1994; November 20, 1995; February 7, 2000; February 20, 2001; April 21, 2003; March 15, 2004, June 17, 2008

    REAFFIRMED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION:       December 2, 2003; November 15, 2004, May 18, 2009

               

541.1 Administrative Guidelines

  • ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDELINES FOR STUDENT BEHAVIOR

    1.0       Introduction 

                These Administrative Guidelines are established as a basis for developing and implementing rules and procedures to guide student behavior in school, on school property, in and around school vehicles, and at school-sponsored events both within and outside the district, in a manner that is consistent with the provisions of Board Policy 541.

    2.0       Focus on Prevention

    Consistent with Section 4.0 of Board Policy 541, implementation of the policy and administrative guidelines shall emphasize prevention of dismissals through early detection of problems and promoting responsible behavior.  Following are examples of prevention strategies that may be used to promote a safe and supportive learning environment for all students. The list is not intended to be all-inclusive.

     

    2.1      Classroom and School-wide Strategies

     

    ·         Implement Policy 541 and Administrative Guidelines 541.1.

    ·         Provide in-service training for all staff in areas such as Reality Therapy/Control Theory (RT/CT; also referred to as Responsibility Training).

    ·         Provide ongoing conflict resolution, conflict management or peer mediation training for both staff and students.

    ·         Provide classroom curriculum that promotes self-esteem and teaches positive social skills such as forming friendships, resisting negative peer pressure, and making healthy decisions.

    ·         Conduct secondary student forums and focus groups that inform and elicit students' ideas about issues that concern them.

    ·         Provide school-based access to service professionals such as nurses, counselors, social workers and psychologists to assist students, staff, and parents with prevention and intervention activities.

    ·         Utilize community-based resources such as police liaison officers (GREAT Program), prevention specialists (Project Charlie Program), and various community agencies (Storefront/Youth Action, Cornerstone, Family and Children's Services) to provide classroom and/or small group activities to build skills essential for healthy living.

    2.2       School-Family-Community Partnerships

     

    ·         Recognize students and support their efforts in volunteering for projects that help others in the community.

    ·         Encourage students and support their involvement in school and community extracurricular activities

    ·         Support cross-cultural awareness programs that develop mutual respect, understanding, and unity among students, and promote the message of inclusion.

    ·         Support the School Attendance Review Board (SARB) in its efforts to meet the needs of students with school attendance issues.

    ·         Support Richfield's Healthy Community/Healthy Youth and Community Core Values initiatives that promote asset building and character/values education.

    ·         Utilize U.S. Department of Education, the Minnesota Department of Education, and other resources that support established school programs. 

    ·         Provide family programs or classes that promote prevention strategies for parents and guardians.

    ·         Connect students, parents and staff with community resources such as Bloomington Health Division, Storefront/Youth Action, and Cornerstone.

    ·         Support Tri-City Partners in their efforts to promote health, reduce risk-seeking behaviors, and build assets in our youth and in the three participating communities of Bloomington, Edina, and Richfield.

     

    3.0       Inappropriate Conduct and Variable Responses

     

    3.1      Inappropriate conduct varies.  It may disrupt a teaching-learning situation,  cause injury to oneself or others, damage personal or public property, violate school regulations or civil laws, or have several impacts simultaneously.  Similarly, a single infraction can range from very minor to very serious.  Accordingly, individual circumstances must be considered in every case and responses to conduct must be flexible.

     

    3.2       Responses to inappropriate conduct may range from an informal conference to expulsion from school.  Counseling and social work services may be provided in an effort to prevent removal from class, suspension or expulsion from school.

     

    3.3       When there has been an incident involving a dangerous weapon or replica, the building principal or designee will notify the superintendent or acting superintendent within twenty-four hours.  Consistent with Board Policy 542 (School Weapons Policy) the superintendent, after consultation with the building principal or designee, will decide whether to pursue expulsion or a lesser discipline.

     

    4.0       Possible Disciplinary Actions

     

    4.1       Student Conference

                This conference may be with a teacher, supervisor or an administrator depending on the seriousness of the violation.

     

    4.2       Parent Conference

                If an offense is a serious matter, a parent conference is expected.  This conference may be called by a teacher, supervisor or an administrator and may take the form of a telephone call or meeting.

     

    4.3       Detention

                A teacher or an administrator may detain a pupil beyond the student's school day for correction of a violation, including tardiness to a class.

     

    4.4       In-School Monitoring

                In-school monitoring means that a student must have an hourly report signed by his or her teachers of his or her movement in the building during the day. 

    4.5       Referral to Community Special Service

                Referral to community special service agencies is to be a cooperative effort by administration and parent or legal guardian.

     

    4.6      Removal from class

                Actions taken by a teacher, principal, or other school district employee to prohibit a pupil from attending a class or activity period for a period of time not to exceed five(5) days.

     

    4.7       Suspension of School Bus Privileges

                Suspension of school bus privileges means that a student may be denied the privilege of riding on a school bus or vehicle.

     

    4.8      Dismissal for up to one day

                The student is required to leave and remain off school property for up to one school day.  A one-day dismissal may be followed by a formal suspension. Note:  For students identified as disabled under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or Section 504, a one-day dismissal is considered a removal.

     

    4.9         Suspension

     

                Action taken by the school administration prohibiting a pupil from attending school or participating in co-curricular activities for a period in

     

                excess of one day but not more than ten consecutive school days.  A student may be suspended pending expulsion proceedings, but in no event will the suspension exceed 15 school days.  Note:  As noted in Section 4.8 above, a one-day dismissal is considered a removal for students identified as disabled under IDEA or Section 504.

     

    4.10    Restitution

                For some violations against school property or against personal property on school premises, students may be required to restore or pay for damaged or stolen property.

     

    4.11    Work Detail

                The student may participate in a work detail for the correction of a violation.

     

    4.12    Contracts

                A student may enter into a contractual agreement with a teacher or administrator for the correction of a problem.

     

    4.13    Grade Reduction

                Teachers may incorporate a daily participation component into course  requirements.  Accordingly, a student may have a grade reduction for infractions such as unexcused absence or tardiness.

     

    4.14    In-School Suspension

                In some cases an administrator may choose to place a student on an in-school rather than out-of-school suspension.  The in-school suspension will occur in a supervised room.  Course work and lunch will be provided, but contact with other students will be denied.  This in-school suspension may or may not be in the school of enrollment.

     

    4.15    Expulsion or Exclusion

                Expulsion means an action taken by the school administration to prohibit an enrolled pupil from further attendance for a period that shall not extend beyond an amount of time equal to one school year from the date a student is expelled.  The authority to expel rests with the school board.

     

                Exclusion means an action taken by the school board to prevent enrollment or re-enrollment of a student for a period that shall not extend beyond the school year.  The authority to exclude rests with the school board.

     

    5.0         Unacceptable Conduct and Recommended Minimum Disciplinary Actions

     

    Listed below are types of conduct deemed unacceptable and the minimum disciplinary action associated with each.  The list is not intended to be all-inclusive. Consequences may vary in accordance with varying circumstances, including but not limited to, the nature of the incident, the student's age, developmental level, presence of a disability, and the number of prior offenses committed by the student.  Optional consequences may be substituted as

     

    outlined in Section 6.0.  Procedures with regard to students with disabilities are outlined in Section 11.0.

     

    5.1  Violation Against Persons
     
    Recommended Minimum Disciplinary Action

     
    a.   Verbal Assault

          Use of language that is discriminatory, abusive, obscene, threatening, intimidating, or degrading

     
     
    Teacher-student or administrator-student conference, with possible notification of parents
    b.   Assault

          Assault is doing an act with intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death or

          intentionally inflicting or

          attempting to inflict bodily

          harm upon another.

     
     
    Suspension ; parent-administrator-student conference.  
    c.   Possession of a weapon or replica

          (See definition of weapon in School Weapons Policy, Section 542)

         
     
    Notification of police and confiscation; suspension and consideration for expulsion by administration; and parent-                                                                                                by        suspension and

    administrator-student conference.           

     
    d.   Aggravated Assault

          Aggravated Assault is committing an assault upon the person of another with a dangerous weapon or an assault which inflicts significant bodily harm upon the person of another

     
     
    Notification of police; suspension and

    consideration for expulsion by administration; and parent- administrator-student conference
    e.   Criminal Sexual Conduct

          Sexual conduct as defined in MN. Stat. §§ 609.341-609.3451.
     
    Notification of police; suspension and consideration for expulsion by administration; and parent- administrator-student conference.

                                                                                                   
    f.    Fighting

          Physical conflict in which both parties have contributed to the situation
     
    Student conference and parent notification.
     

    g.   Harassment

          Participating in acts or statements that willfully injure, degrade or disgrace other individuals.

    Teacher-student or administrator-student conference (Parent notification for repeat offenders)*


    h.   Sexual Harassment

          Includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical contact or other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature.

     

    *Also see Board Policy 103 and 103.1, Racial, Religious and Sexual Harassment and Violence

     
     
    Teacher-student or administrator-student conference (Parent notification for repeat offenders)*
    i.    Self-Inflicted Injury

          Any conduct of a student which results in an intentional self-inflicted injury.

     
     
    Parent- administrator-student conference.
    j.    Disrespectful Language

          Use of profane and obscene language.

     
     
    Student-staff  conference.
    k.   Threats of Violence

          Comments, actions or conduct that specifically threatens physical harm or violence to the person of another

     
     
    Parent-administrator-student conference; possible notification of police, suspension, and consideration of expulsion by administration

                                                                                                   
    5.2 Violations Against Property
     
    Recommended Minimum Disciplinary Action

     
    a.   Robbery/Extortion

          The obtaining of property from another where his/her consent was induced by a use of force, or a threat of force.

     
     
    Notification of police; suspension; and parent-administrator-student conference.
    b.   Theft

          The unauthorized taking of the property of another.
     
    Staff -student conference with possible notification of parents and juvenile authorities or police          
     

    c.   Unauthorized Use or Possession of School Property

          The unauthorized/illegal use of school property for non-school sponsored activities.
     

    Parent-administrator-student conference and possible notification of juvenile authorities or police.
    d.   Willful Damage of School Property (Vandalism)

          Willful or wanton defacing or destruction of any property, real or personal, belonging to the school district.

     
     
    Parent-administrator- student conference and restitution with possible legal action
    e.   Willful Damage to Property of Staff Members and Others
     
    Parent-administrator- student conference and restitution with possible legal action.

     
    f.    False Fire Alarms and Tampering with Fire Safety Equipment
     
    Notification of appropriate public safety officer; suspension and parent- administrator- student conference

     
    g.   Bomb Threats

          The communication to another indicating that an explosive of some kind is present in the school building, school grounds, or another location used for school activities, regardless of whether the explosive is, in fact, present.

     
     
    Notification of appropriate public safety officer; suspension and parent-administrator- student conference.
    5.3 Violation Against Traffic Regulations
     
    Recommended Minimum Disciplinary Action

     
    a.   Reckless or Careless Driving Driving on school property in such a manner as to endanger persons or property

     
     
    Parent-administrator-student conference and possible notification of juvenile authorities or police.
    b.   Parking

          Parking in an unauthorized area of school property.

     
     
     Boot restraint and fine.
    c.   Misbehavior on School Bus Behavior which interferes with the safe and efficient transportation of students to and from school functions; and/or failure to accept and carry out reasonable instructions given by the bus driver.
     
    Staff -student conference and report to administrator   (See Administrative Guidelines 742.1, Section III regarding conduct on school buses and consequences for misbehavior.)
     
     
     
    5.4 Violations Against School Administrative Procedures
     
    Recommended Minimum Disciplinary Action

     
    a.   Insubordination

          Failure to accept and carry out responsible instructions given by one in authority. Examples include refusing to move to a new location, refusing to answer an appropriate question, or refusing to place materials in designated places. 

     
     
    Teacher-student conference with possible involvement of administrator or parent
    b.   Cheating

          To mislead an instructor in some way so as to receive a grade for work which the student did not originate, or work performed with unauthorized aid and assistance.

     

          The production or altering of a document or object which the student represents as his/her own which, in fact, is the product of another.

     
     
    Parent-administrator/teacher student conference; potential loss of credit or grade reduction and/or other disciplinary consequences.
    c.   Disruptive Behavior

          Actions which interfere with effective operations in the classroom.

     
     
    Student-teacher conference
    d.   Record and Identification Falsification

    1.   Falsifying signatures or date.

    2.   Refusal to give proper identification or giving false identification when requested to do so by a staff member.

     

     
     
    Student-teacher-parent conference.
     

    e.   Unauthorized Distribution Distribution of literature or other materials within sight of school property which are inflammatory, libelous, or slanderous or result in a disruption to the educational environment; and/or other violations of District policy 561, Distribution of Non-curricular Literature to Students.

     
     
     

    Parent-administrator-student conference.
    f.    Class Truancy

          In the building or on the school grounds but not in attendance at assigned classes.

         
     
    Teacher or administrator- student conference.
    g.   Student Attire

          Manner of dress or personal grooming which presents a clear danger to the student's health and safety, causes an interference with work, or creates classroom or school disorder.

     
     
    Student-teacher conference; require change of clothing.
    h.   Trespassing

          Physically present on a school campus or at a school activity after being requested to leave by school principal or other person lawfully responsible for the control of the premises

     
     
    Parent-administrator- student conference with possible referral to juvenile authorities. 
    i.    Off Limits

          The presence by the student in an area of the school building or school grounds designated by school personnel as being unavailable for student use.
     
    Student-teacher conference.
     

    5.5 Other Violations

    Recommended Minimum Disciplinary Action

     
    a.   Gambling

          The playing of a game of chance for stakes.
     
    Student-teacher conference.

    b.   Disorderly Conduct

          Engaging in offensive, obscene, or abusive language or in boisterous and noisy conduct tending to cause disruption or arouse alarm, anger or resentment in others.

    Student-teacher or student- administrator conference.
    c.   Dangerous Drugs/ Controlled Substances

          Use, possession, sale or distribution, on or off the school premises, of any controlled substances as defined in Minnesota Statute §152.02.

     
     
    Suspension by administrator with notification of police, and parent- administrator- student conference; possible referral for chemical dependency evaluation and counseling
    d.   Alcohol

          Possession, use, or being under the influence of any alcoholic product while on school grounds or at school-sponsored activities.
     
    Suspension by administrator with notification of police, and parent- administrator- student conference; possible referral for chemical dependency evaluation and counseling

     
    e.   Tobacco

          Possession or use of Tobacco.  
     
    Student-administrator conference, confiscation and referral to police.

    f.     Gang Involvement

    Activity that promotes, furthers, or assists a criminal gang, as that term is defined in Minnesota Statutes section 609.229, including creating gang-related graffiti, or displaying gang-related emblems, symbols, hand signs, jewelry, and / or clothing.
     
    Parent – administrator – student conference with possible referral to juvenile authorities.
     

    6.0         Optional Consequences

    In cases where the minimum consequence is a one-day suspension or less, or when a student commits an offense for the first time, the principal may work with the parents or guardians of the student to design an alternative consequence to those listed in Section 5.0 above.  The purpose of the alternative consequence shall be to help families work to prevent recurring misbehaviors.  With the

    concurrence of the principal and the parents, alternative consequences may include, but not be limited to, the following:

    6.1         Family education classes in areas such as anger management and how to handle fights.

    6.2         Parent/guardian shadowing, in which a parent or guardian accompanies a student to class for part or all of a school day.

    6.3         Regular meetings with an adult mentor, as authorized by the parents or guardians.

    6.4         Referral to the County Diversion Program for first time offenders in such areas as robbery, extortion, theft, receiving stolen property, trespassing, or vandalism.

    7.0       Removal from Class

    7.1       Teachers have the responsibility of attempting to modify disruptive student behavior by such means as conferring with the student, using positive reinforcement, assigning detention or other consequences, or contacting the student's parents.  When such measures fail, or when the teacher determines it is otherwise appropriate based on the student's conduct, the teacher shall have the authority to remove the student from class pursuant to the procedures established in these administrative guidelines.  “Removal from class” and “removal” mean any actions taken by a teacher, principal or other school district employee to prohibit a student from attending a class or activity period for a period of time not to exceed five (5) days. 

     7.2       A student may be removed from class for any willful conduct which materially and substantially disrupts the rights of others to an education; willful conduct which endangers school district employees, the student or other students, or the property of the school; or willful violation of the conduct described in Section 5.0 of these administrative guidelines.

    7.3       The following procedures will be utilized in order to implement the removal: 

    7.31    The teacher will notify the school principal or designee of intent to remove a student from class.

    7.32    The student will be sent to the school office or other designated area when it is determined by the principal or designee that supervision is available.

    7.33    The student will be monitored by designated personnel until the teacher and administrator or his/her designees can discuss the length of removal.  The principal, or designee will make the final decision regarding removal.

    7.34    The teacher shall submit documentation to the school principal  or designee which describes the action taken by the teacher prior to the removal, reasons for removal and recommended administrative action.

    7.35    The teacher and school principal or designee will determine the procedures for and conditions under which a student will be returned to class.

    7.36    Parents shall be notified of the removal from class by either the teacher involved or office personnel.  The principal or designee will decide the appropriate course of notification.

    7.37    In cases involving students identified as disabled and in need of special education services, appropriate special education staff will be notified of the removal to determine compliance with the student's IEP and to determine whether further assessment or change in the student's IEP is necessary.

    8.0       Dismissal

    8.1       Dismissal is the denial of participation in the educational program to any pupil due to exclusion, expulsion, or suspension.  Dismissal does not include removal from class.

    8.2       A pupil may be dismissed on the following grounds:

    8.21    Willful violation of conduct as defined and described in Section 5.0 of these administrative guidelines.

    8.22    Willful conduct which materially and substantially disrupts the rights of others to an education.

    8.23    Willful conduct which endangers the student or other students or  surrounding persons, including school employees, or property of the school.

    8.3       When a student is removed from the regular educational program for more than five (5) consecutive days of suspension, the student support team for the school shall be convened to determine alternative educational services.

    8.31  Following are some, but not all, alternatives that may be considered by the student support team:

    a.      Scheduling of formalized counseling for the student.

    b.      Making contacts with and securing the assistance of other community agencies on behalf of the pupil and/or the family.

    c.      Recommending mental health screening and/or counseling for the student.

    d.      Modifying the pupil's class schedule, changing teacher(s) to whom assigned, or adjusting the courses of studying to be pursued.

    e.      Shifting the assigned place of study for the student from the classroom to an in-school supervised area.

    f.       Providing instruction at the school site before or after normal school hours.
    g.      Helping the pupil follow through on class work or equivalent work at home by establishing a liaison with teacher(s) by means of appointment, courier, or telephone.

    h.      Providing special education services as indicated by appropriate assessment.

    i.       Enrolling the pupil in special in-district or out-of-district alternative learning programs.

    j.       Providing tutoring or homebound instruction.

    k.      Providing instruction through electronic media.

    l.       In cases where expulsion is being considered, recommending enrollment in another school district.

    8.32    The pupil will be advised of the plan or plans and the program or programs which the student support team deems best suited to the pupil as an aid in meeting the goals of the pupil's education.

    8.33    The school district will not dismiss a student without attempting to provide alternative education services before dismissal proceedings, except where it appears that the pupil will create an immediate and substantial danger to self or surrounding persons or property.

    8.4       Infractions which are in violation of statutory criminal law will be referred to local police officials or juvenile court officials by school authorities.

    9.0      Suspension Procedures

    9.1 “Suspension” means an action taken by the school administration prohibiting a student from attending school for a period of no more than ten (10) school days; provided, however, if a suspension is longer than five (5) school days, the suspending administrator shall provide the superintendent with a reason for the longer term of suspension.  This definition does not apply to dismissal for one (1) school day or less, except as may be provided in federal law for a student with a disability.

    9.2         If a student’s total days of removal from school exceed ten (10) cumulative days in a school year, the school district shall make reasonable attempts to convene a meeting with the student and the student’s parent or guardian before subsequently removing the student from school and, with the permission of the parent or guardian, arrange for a mental health screening for the student at the parent or guardian’s expense.  The purpose of this meeting is to attempt to determine the pupil’s need for assessment or other services and whether the parent or guardian should have the student assessed or diagnosed to determine whether the student needs treatment for a mental health disorder.

    9.3       Each suspension action shall include a readmission plan.  The plan shall include, where appropriate, a provision for alternative programs to be implemented upon readmission.  A readmission plan must not obligate a parent or guardian to provide sympathomimetic medication to their student as a condition of readmission.   School administration must not use the refusal of a parent or guardian to consent to the administration of sympathomimetic medication to their student or to consent to a mental health evaluation, screening, or examination of the student as a ground, by itself, to prohibit the student from attending class or participating in a school-related activity, or as a basis of a charge of child abuse, child neglect, or medical or educational neglect.  Suspension may not be consecutively imposed against the same student for the same course of conduct, or incident of misconduct, except where the student will create an immediate and substantial danger to surrounding persons or property.  Readmission plans may not be used to extend the current suspension.

    9.4       In no event shall suspension exceed fifteen (15) school days, provided that alternative educational services shall be provided when the suspension exceeds five (5) days.  Alternative educational services may include, but are not limited to, special tutoring, modified curriculum, modified instruction, other modifications or adaptations, instruction through electronic media, special education services as indicated by appropriate assessments, homebound instruction, supervised homework, or enrollment in another district or in an alternative learning center under Minn. Stat. §123.05 selected to allow the pupil to progress toward meeting graduation standards under Minn. Stat. §120B.02, although in a different setting.

    9.5       No suspension from school shall be imposed without an informal administrative conference with the student, except where it appears the student will create an immediate and substantial danger to self or to surrounding persons or property  In such cases, the informal administrative conference will take place as soon as practicable following a suspension.  At the informal administrative conference, a school administrator will notify the pupil of the grounds for the suspension, provide an explanation of the evidence supporting the suspension, and provide the student with an opportunity to present the student's version of the facts (See Minn. Stat §121A.46, Subd. 1 and 2).

    9.6 After school administration notifies a student of the grounds for suspension, school administration may, instead of imposing the suspension, do one or more of the following:

    a.    strongly encourage a parent or guardian of the student to attend school with the student for one day;

    b.    assign the student to attend school on Saturday, as supervised by the principal or the principal’s designee; and

    c.    petition the juvenile court that the student is in need of services under Minn. Stat. Ch. 260C.

    9.7       A written notice containing the grounds for suspension, a brief statement of the facts, a description of the testimony, a readmission plan, and a copy of the Minnesota Pupil Fair Dismissal Act, Minn. Stat., §§ 121A. 40-56, shall be personally served upon the student at or before the time the suspension is to take effect, and upon the student's parent or guardian by mail within 48 hours of the conference.  (See attached sample Notice of Suspension.)  The school district will also make reasonable efforts to notify the parent of the suspension by telephone as soon as possible following the suspension.

     9.8       In the event a student is suspended without an informal administrative conference on the grounds that the student will create an immediate and substantial danger to surrounding persons or property, the written notice shall be served either personally or by mail upon the student and the student's parent or guardian within 48 hours of the suspension.  Service by mail shall be complete upon mailing.

    9.9       Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, the student may be suspended pending the school board's decision in an expulsion or exclusion proceeding, provided that alternative educational services shall be implemented to the extent that suspension exceeds five (5) days. 

    10.0    Expulsion and Exclusion Procedures

    10.1    “Expulsion” means an action taken by the school board to prohibit an enrolled student from further attendance up to twelve (12) months from the date a student is expelled.  The authority to expel rests with the school board.

    10.2    “Exclusion” means an action taken by the school board to prevent enrollment or re-enrollment of a student for a period that shall not extend beyond the school year.  The authority to exclude rests with the school board.

    10.3    All expulsion and exclusion proceedings will be held pursuant to an in accordance with the provisions of the Minnesota Pupil Fair Dismissal Act, Minn. Stat. §§ 121A.40-56.

    10.4    No expulsion or exclusion shall be imposed without a hearing, unless the right to a hearing is waived in writing by the student and parent or guardian.

    10.5    No notice of intent to initiate expulsion or exclusion proceedings shall be sent to a student and his/her parent(s) or guardian(s) until the superintendent has been notified and has authorized the notice.

    10.6    The student and parent or guardian shall be provided written notice of the school district's intent to initiate expulsion or exclusion proceedings.  This notice shall be served upon the student and his or her parent or guardian in person or by mail, and shall contain a complete statement of the facts; a list of the witnesses and a description of their testimony; state the date, time and place of hearing; be accompanied by a copy of the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act, Minn. Stat. §§ 121A.40-56; describe alternative educational services accorded to the student in an attempt to avoid the expulsion or exclusion proceedings; and inform the student and parent or guardian of their right to: (1) have legal counsel at the hearing; (2) examine the student's records before the hearing; (3) present evidence; and (4) confront and cross-examine witnesses.

    10.7    The hearing shall be scheduled within ten (10) days of the service of the written notice unless an extension, not to exceed five (5) days, is requested for good cause by the school district, student, parent or guardian.

    10.8    All hearings shall be held at a time and place reasonably convenient to the student, parent or guardian and shall be closed, unless the student, parent or guardian requests an open hearing.

    10.9    The proceedings of the hearing shall be recorded and preserved at the expense of the school district, pending ultimate disposition of the action.  The parent or student may obtain a copy of the transcript at his or her own cost.

    10.10  The student shall have a right to a representative of the student’s own choosing, including legal counsel, at the student’s sole expense.  If the student is financially unable to retain legal counsel, the school district shall advise the student’s parent or guardian that free or no cost legal assistance may be available and that a legal assistance resource list may be obtained from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE).  The school board may appoint an attorney to represent the school district in any proceeding.

    10.11  If the student designates a representative other than the parent or guardian, the representative must have a written authorization from the student and the parent or guardian, providing them with access to the student’s records and allowing the representative to obtain copies thereof.

    10.12  All expulsion or exclusion hearings shall take place before and be conducted by an independent hearing officer designated by the school district.  Testimony shall be given under oath and the hearing officer shall have the power to issue subpoenas and administer oaths.  The student cannot be compelled to testify in the dismissal proceedings.

    10.13  Upon request of the parent or guardian, at a reasonable time prior to the hearing, the student, parent or guardian, or authorized representative shall be given access to all school district records pertaining to the student, including records upon which the proposed dismissal action may be based.

    10.14  The student, parent or guardian, or authorized representative, shall have the right to compel the presence of any school district employee or agent or any other person who may have evidence upon which the proposed dismissal action may be based, and to confront and cross-examine any witnesses testifying for the school district.

    10.15  The student, parent or guardian, or authorized representative, shall have the right to present evidence and testimony, including expert psychological or educational testimony.

    10.16  The hearing officer shall prepare findings and a recommendation based solely upon substantial evidence presented at the hearing, which will be made to the school board within two (2) days after the close of the hearing.

    10.17  The decision by the school board shall be based upon the findings and recommendation of the hearing officer and shall be made at a regular or special meeting within five (5) days after receipt of the findings and recommendation.  The school board may provide the parties with the opportunity to present exceptions and comments to the hearing officer’s findings and recommendations provided that neither party presents any evidence not admitted at the hearing.  The school board’s decision must be based on the record, must be in writing and must state the controlling facts on which the decision is made in sufficient detail to apprise the parties and the Commissioner of the Department of Education of the basis and reason for the decision.

    10.18  A party to an expulsion or exclusion decision made by the school board may appeal the decision to the Commissioner of the Department of Education pursuant to the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act, Minn. Stat. §121A.49.  The decision of the school board shall be implemented during the appeal to the Commissioner.

    10.19  The school district shall report any expulsion or exclusion action taken to the appropriate public service agency, when the student is under the supervision of such agency.

    10.20   10.20 The school district  must report, through the MDE electronic reporting system, each expulsion or exclusion within thirty (30) days of the effective date of the action to the Commissioner of the Department of Education.  This report shall include a statement of alternative educational services given the student and the reason for, the effective date, and the duration of the exclusion or expulsion.  The report must also include the student’s age, grade, gender, race, and special education status.  The dismissal report must include state student identification numbers of affected students. 

    10.21   A school administrator will prepare and enforce an admission or readmission plan for any student who is excluded or expelled from school.  The plan may include measures to improve the student's behavior, including completing a character education program consistent with Minn. Stat. § 120B.232, Subd.1, and require parent involvement in the admission or readmission process, and may indicate consequences to the pupil of not improving the student's behavior.  The readmission plan must not obligate parents to provide a sympathomimetic medication for their child as a condition of readmission.

     10.22   A violation of the technical procedures set forth in this policy, which are made in good faith by the school district, is not a defense to a disciplinary procedure to expel or exclude a student unless the student can demonstrate actual prejudice as a result of the violation.

    10.23  Whenever a student fails to return to school within ten (10) school days of the termination of dismissal, the student and his/her parent or guardian           shall be informed by certified mail of the student's right to attend and to be reinstated in the school district.

    11.0    Students with Disabilities

    11.1    Disabled Students Subject to Policy

    Students who are currently identified as eligible under the IDEA or Section 504 will be subject to the provisions of this policy, unless the student’s IEP or 504 plan specifies necessary modifications.  In regard to disciplinary actions, removals, suspensions, exclusions or expulsions of disabled students, the District will adhere to the requirements of state and federal law governing students with disabilities.  The use of peace officers and crisis teams to remove students with IEP’s from school grounds is described in policy 546.

    The District will not expel a student for conduct that is a manifestation of the student's disability.  When a student who has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is excluded or expelled from school for misbehavior that is not a manifestation of the student's disability, the District will continue to provide special education and related services after a period of suspension, if suspension is imposed.  The school district will initiate a review of the student's Individual Education Plan and conduct a review of the relationship between the student's disability and the behavior subject to the disciplinary action and determine appropriateness of the student's education plan before commencing an expulsion or exclusion.

    11.2    Review of Behavior byIEP Team

    When a disabled student is removed from class, or from school grounds, the building's special needs committee will review the educational plan and current assessment data.  The committee will determine if the placement was appropriate and recommend, if necessary, other methods of dealing with the behavior.  The committee may also make exceptions as necessary and appropriate based on the disabling conditions of the student involved.  Such exceptions may be reflected in the student’s educational plan.

    11.3    Manifestation Determination

    11.31    For students with IEPs, a team meeting is required within 10 school days after the date on which the decision to remove the student from the student's current educational placement is made.  The requirement to have an individual education plan team meeting applies when: (1) the parent requests a meeting; (2) the student is removed from the student's current placement for five or more consecutive days; or (3) the student's total days of removal from the student's placement during the school year exceeds ten accumulative days in a school year.  The school administration will implement alternative educational services for the student when the student's suspension exceeds five consecutive days.

    11.32    At the team meeting, the team will conduct a review of the relationship between the child's disability and the behavior subject to disciplinary action to determine whether the student's conduct is a manifestation of the disability; review any assessments and determine the need for further assessment; and review the adequacy of the student's IEP.

    11.33    To the extent a student with an IEP is suspended for more than ten cumulative days in a school year, the school administrator, in conjunction with the student's special education teacher, will determine appropriate alternative educational services for any further period of removal.  To the extent that the student with an IEP has been removed for more than ten cumulative school days in a school year and there is a pattern of exclusion, the extent and nature of the alternative services will be determined by the student's IEP team.

    11.4    Functional Behavior Assessment

    11.41  A functional behavior assessment includes an examination of past assessments, behavioral interventions, patterns of behavior, and behavioral observations, in the context of the student’s overall progress toward his or her IEP goals, in order to determine whether the student’s present placement and behavior intervention plan are appropriate.  Information from the functional behavior assessment will be used by the IEP team to determine the appropriateness of the student's IEP and placement and to develop or modify a behavior intervention plan as deemed appropriate by the IEP team.  The IEP team shall modify the student’s educational program and/or behavior intervention plan, as may be necessary, in light of the student’s conduct.  The team shall also determine whether additional assessments are warranted based on the student’s conduct.

    11.42  In accordance with IDEA, a disabled student’s IEP team shall conduct a functional behavioral assessment under the following circumstances:

    ·         Within ten (10) business days of removing a student from his or her current educational placement for more than ten (10) cumulative days in a given school year;

    ·         When further suspensions that would cumulatively exceed ten (10) days are contemplated;

    11.43  While not required, it is recommended that a functional behavior assessment be performed whenever significant behavior issues arise, even before misconduct warranting suspension occurs, as an aid in designing appropriate interventions and/or appropriate alternate educational settings in the event that a short-term change in placement becomes necessary.

    11.5      Weapons and Drugs

    In accordance with IDEA, the school may unilaterally remove a student with disabilities from his or her educational setting and place the student in an interim educational setting for up to forty-five (45) days if the student possesses or carries a weapon to school or a school function or knowingly possesses, uses, or sells illegal drugs at school or has  inflicted serious bodily injury at a school function.  Pursuant to this section of IDEA, drugs do not include alcohol, and weapons include any device that is used for or readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury.  The definition excludes knives with blades less than two and one half inches, look-alike guns and other look-alike weapons.

    Order From Hearing Officer

    In cases not involving weapons or drugs, but in which the student poses a substantial likelihood of injury to the student or others, the school district may seek an order from a hearing officer to move a student with an IEP to an alternative educational setting for up to forty-five (45) days.  The school district, at its option, may also request an order from a court removing the student from the current educational setting.

    11.6      Reporting a Crime

    School officials may report a crime committed by a student with a disability.  To the extent the school district reports a crime to an appropriate law enforcement agency, the school district will submit copies of the student's special education and discipline records to the law enforcement agency to the extent allowed by the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g.

    11.71   The school principal or designee should seek informed parental consent in regard to the provisions of the student's special education and discipline records to the law enforcement agency.

    11.72   If parental consent is not obtained, the school principal or designee should require the law enforcement agency to obtain a court order in regard to a release of these documents, or otherwise comply with the requirements of the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act and the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

    11.7      Students Not Currently Eligible for Special Education Services

    11.81   Pursuant to IDEA, students who do not receive special education or related services may assert the procedural and substantive protections that apply to students receiving special education services, as described in Section 11.0 of these administrative guidelines, if it can be demonstrated that the school district had knowledge that the student had a disability.

    11.82   A school district is considered to have knowledge that a student may be disabled under one or more of the following circumstances:

    ·         The students’ parents have provided the school district with written notice that a student is disabled and in need of special education;

    ·         The parent has requested, either in writing or orally, an assessment of the student;

    ·         The student’s behavior and performance demonstrate that the student is in need of special education and related services; or

    ·         School personnel have referred the student for evaluation or assessment in accordance with district and building referral procedures

    12.0     OPEN ENROLLED STUDENTS

    The school district may terminate the enrollment of a nonresident student enrolled under an Enrollment Option Program (Minn. Stat. § 124D.03) or Enrollment in Nonresident District (Minn. Stat. V 124D.08) at the end of a school year if the student meets the definition of a habitual truant, the student has provided appropriate services for truancy (Minn. Stat. Ch. 260A), and the student’s case has been referred to juvenile court.  The school district may also terminate the enrollment of a nonresident student over the age of sixteen (16) enrolled under an Enrollment Options Program if the student is absent without lawful excuse for one or more periods on fifteen (15) school days and has not lawfully withdrawn from school.

    13.0     VICTIM SUPPORT

    As a general rule, the school district is not authorized to disclose to a victim private educational or personnel data regarding an alleged perpetrator who is a student or employee of the school district.  In cases where the district’s investigation substantiates a report of a serious violation against a person as described in Section V.1 above, school officials will directly notify the student, or in the case of a minor student, the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) to inform them of the report, the fact that an investigation was undertaken, and any remedial action taken, to the extent permitted by law.  The student and a minor student’s parent(s) / guardian(s) will be invited to a conference with appropriate school staff about school and community resources that may be available to support the physical and emotional well-being of the student victim.

    15.0    COMMUNICATION WITH SUPERINTENDENT

    15.1.    Each building principal shall annually submit to the superintendent of schools a  copy of student handbooks and/or other materials, which indicate the manner in which the policy and administrative guidelines pertaining to student behavior are being implemented at the building level.   In lieu of a hard copy, the handbook and / or other materials may be forwarded to the superintendent electronically or posted online, with e-mail notification to the superintendent.

    15.2.     

    It is expected that building administrators will apprise the superintendent of significant disciplinary cases, and that a recommendation for expulsion or exclusion will be preceded by consultation between the building administration and superintendent.

    Dated:            1974-75

    Revised:        1979, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1991, 1994, November 1995, February 2000, April 2003; March 15, 2004; March 6, 2006, June 17, 2008

    Reviewed:     September 2003, May 18, 2009


    Sample Form

    NOTICE OF SUSPENSION

    (Date)

     

    (Name of Parent or Guardian)

    (Address)

    (City, State, Zip)

    Dear (Parent or Guardian)

    Name of Student has been suspended from (name of school) for (number of days) commencing on (date).

     

    The grounds for suspension are:

    Briefly, the facts that have been determined are:

    The testimony received was:

    An administrative conference to determine the above was conducted before

     

                                                                , at                               on                                      

            (Name of Administrator)                         (Time)                            (Date)

    pursuant to Minn. Stat. §§121A.40 – 121A.56 a copy of which is enclosed.

    The student's version of the facts was:

    The plan of readmission is:

    While suspended, the student may not come on any school campus except as provided by the building administration.

     

    If you have any questions, please call.

     

                                                                                  Sincerely,

     

     

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                Administrator

    Enc.:  Minn. Stat. §§121A.40 – 121A.56