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541.1 Guideline: Student Behavior

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541.1 Guideline: Student Behavior


These Administrative Guidelines apply to student behavior in school, on school property, in and around school vehicles, and at school-sponsored events both within and outside the district. The goal of Richfield Public Schools is to provide students a safe school to promote academic success and a vibrant learning community. Fair and appropriate implementation of the student discipline policy is important to this goal. Richfield Public Schools also recognizes that removal from instruction can work against the academic achievement of students, and should be avoided whenever possible. The purpose of these Administrative Guidelines is to establish the system of classification of student behaviors and administrative responses to those behaviors. 


A.  All responses to student inappropriate behavior should include elements of teaching or re-teaching appropriate school behavior and restoration of relationships affected by the student behavior. 

B.  Alternatives to removal from instruction will be used unless the behavior of the student places the student or others in danger, or the disruption to the educational environment can only be remedied by a referral out of the classroom, or the referral out of the classroom is required by law. Typically, referral out of the classroom may occur with infractions at level 2 or higher.  Alternatives to removal will be utilized within the classroom and may include a variety of methods and classroom management strategies. 

C.  Opportunities for students to repair relationships affected or harmed by their behavior shall be offered as part of the response to behaviors. Where the student has been removed from the classroom for any amount of time, opportunities to repair relationship should be provided.  


A. The Superintendent in collaboration with the school board and district administration are responsible for: 

1. providing directives to enforce this policy. 

2. establishing minimum standards of behavior for students.  

3. analyzing behavior data overall as well as disaggregated by student group (race, gender, disability, etc.) to identify disproportionalities and respond appropriately.

4. identifying adequate means for the documentation of behavior responses, the analysis of behavior data, engaging appropriate community resources and for identifying appropriate training for staff, student, parents and community partners.  

B.  Principal or administrative designee are responsible for: 

1. leading the collaborative development of the school’s behavior and restorative practices plan; 

2. assuring that annual notices are given to students, parents/guardians and staff; 

3. communicating with teachers after responding to student being removed from the classroom;

4. communicating with parent/guardian when responding to student behavior concerns when the student is removed from class;

5. developing and sustaining partnerships with identified community resources; 

6. leading the review of school behavior data to identify training needs with a view toward improving student outcomes; 

7. reporting behavior data at least annually to their school community. 

8. reviewing behavior data with the appropriate Assistant Superintendent or other District leadership no less than annually. 

C.  Teachers are responsible for: 

1. leading the development of the classroom behavior and restorative practices standards and procedures aligned to the district and building expectations; 

2. assuring that all students are taught the expected school behavior in their classroom and throughout the school; 

3. participating in identifying students that would benefit from additional support from school and community resources; 

4. Participating in implementation of the school behavior plan and restorative practices; 

5. participating in data review, necessary training, and analysis of behavior data to improve student outcomes. 

6. communicating with student when behavior interferes with learning.

7. communicating with parent/guardian when there is a pattern of student behavior.

D.  Non-classroom school staff is responsible for implementing with consistency the district behavior standards and school behavior standards, participating in training and analysis of behavior data to improve student outcomes as directed by the principal or site administrator. 

E.  Parents/guardians are responsible for; 

1. partnering with their student’s schools to know and implement with consistency  the school behavior standards and school and classroom rules to improve their student’s outcomes.  

2. helping their student learn the behavior standards of their schools and classrooms.

3. working collaboratively with school staff and their student to respond to and resolve behavior issues.  

Students are responsible to learn the standards of behavior of the district, their school and their classrooms; to take personal responsibility for their behavior as they are able, and to work to improve the relationships they have with their peers, their teachers and with other school staff.  


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 fair, and proportionate.

Levels of student behavior are established as indicated in the RPS Behavior Levels and Responses chart which accompanies these Administrative Guidelines, and are organized in five levels as follows. The levels of behavior are not linear but progressive in response to behavior.

1. Level 1 violations are typically addressed by staff members when a student has minimal or no prior violations.  The staff response is to teach and practice the expected behavior so students learn and demonstrate safe, respectful and responsible behaviors.  Staff members are expected to use a variety of teaching and classroom management strategies. Generally Level One behaviors do not result in out of classroom referral.

2. Level 2 violations generally result in interventions and/or disciplinary responses that involve support staff and/or school administration. These actions aim to increase the student’s skills, positive view of schooling and positive experiences at school so that misbehavior is less likely to continue or escalate.  A severe occurrence may be treated as a violation at a higher level.  Repeated instances of a level 2 violation may be treated as a violation at a higher level only when appropriate interventions have been attempted over a reasonable amount of time and documented in the student's record.

3. Level 3 violations may result in a short-term removal from school for part of a day or an entire school day.  The duration of the short-term removal, if issued, is to be limited as much as possible while adequately addressing the behavior.  A severe occurrence may be treated as a violation at a higher level.  Repeated instances of a level 3 violation may be treated as a violation at a higher level only when appropriate interventions have been attempted over a reasonable amount of time and documented in the student's record.

4. Level 4 violations have the potential to significantly impact the safety of the school environment.  These violations may result in the removal of a student from the school environment due to the severity of the behavior.  Incidents at this level may be referred for expulsion depending on the circumstances.

5. Level 5 violations require the principal to notify the Superintendent or designee.  These behaviors may result in police notification and/or expulsion.


A. Administrative Conference 

If a student is assigned an out of school removal from instruction for conduct which materially disrupts the rights of others to an education, but where the acting student does not present an immediate and substantial danger to self, other students, staff or school property, an informal administrative conference must be held with the student unless the student has already left the school grounds. 

If a student is assigned an out of school removal from instruction for conduct which reasonably can be believed to cause an immediate and substantial danger to the student, other persons or school property, the student may be removed from the premises without an initial informal administrative conference, however, the student shall be afforded an opportunity to at the earliest possible time to participate in the informal administrative conference. 

An informal administrative conference may be held by telephone or at an off-campus site if the student presents and immediate or substantial danger to the school. 

B.  Notification 

The principal or designee shall make reasonable efforts to promptly notify the parents of students assigned an out of school removal from instruction. 

The principal or designee shall ensure that a written notice containing the grounds for the out of school removal, the known facts, known testimony, a readmission plan and a copy of the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act is personally served upon the student at or before the time of the out of school removal from instruction is to take effect at the informal administrative conference. If the informal administrative conference is delayed because removal from instruction was for conduct which reasonably could be believed to cause an immediate and substantial danger to the student, other persons or school property, the written notice shall be given to student at the informal administrative conference when it is held. 

The written notice shall also be served upon the parent/guardian, either in person or by certified mail within forty-eight (48) hours of the out of school removal from instruction. 

C.  Readmission to Instruction 

Prior to or after an out of school removal from instruction, the principal or designee shall require the student’s attendance at an informal administrative conference prior to the return to classes. Such conferences shall be noticed to the parents/guardians of the student, who are encouraged to attend the conference. 

For any out of school removal from instruction, the principal or designee shall prepare a written readmission plan. The proposed plan may include a procedures for the student’s return to school and classes. The proposed plan also may include provision for an alternative program, which may include, but is not limited to: 

  • make-up school work; 
  • assigned homework; 
  • changes in assigned courses or classroom; 
  • changes in student’s schedules; 
  • provision of tutorial service; 
  • provision of student support services, 
  • provision of information concerning mental health or other community supports; 
  • reassignment to a different educational setting. 

If a reassignment to a different educational setting is proposed, the principal shall follow district procedures for reassignment, and the due process rights of the student shall be observed. 

The informal administrative readmission conference may be held by telephone or at an off-campus site if necessary to meet the needs of the student. 

D. Consecutive Removals

Out of school removals from instruction may not be imposed consecutively upon the same student for the same course of conduct, or incident of behavior, except where the student poses an immediate and substantial risk of danger to the student or to persons or property around the student. Whether or not an “immediate and substantial risk of danger” exists shall be determined by the principal or designee. Notice of the extension shall be given following the same procedure as the initial notice of the removal from instruction. 

An out of school removal from instruction may not be extended due to the inability or refusal of a parent/guardian to participate in any readmission conference. 

Up to two (2) five (5) day suspensions (total of ten school days) may be imposed if the principal determines that the student continues to present an immediate and substantial risk of danger.  

A third five (5) day suspension may be imposed only if the district is proposing expulsion or exclusion and the Superintendent has been notified. 

Whenever a removal from instruction exceeds five (5) days, an alternative instruction program such as those identified in Paragraph V.C shall be provided to the student.  

Legal References: 

  • Minn. Stat. §121A.40 et seq. (Pupil Fair Dismissal Act)


Dated: 1975

Revised: 1979; 1982; 1984; 1987; 1991; 1994; 11/95; 2/00; 4/03; 3/15/04, 3/6/06; 6/17/08; 7/15/19

Reviewed: 9/03; 8/17/20; 8/16/21; 9/6/22