Policy J4 – Students

Policy Code: JICDB
Policy Name:  District-Wide Conduct and Discipline Policy
Adoption: November, 1995
Revised: July, 2001
Reviewed:   June, 2007

The Board of Education of and for School District #14, El Paso County, Colorado, pursuant to its responsibility under the Colorado School Attendance Law of 1963, adopts the following definitions, policy, and procedures:

            SECTION A. Definitions: The following definitions shall be applied to administer this act.

            1. “Parent” means the mother or father of a child, or any other person having custody of a child.

            2. “Board of Education” means the Board of Education for the district.

            3. “Superintendent” means the Superintendent of Schools as executive director.

            4. “Academic Year” means the calendar of school days between late August and early June, as authorized by the Board of Education.

            5. “One Year” means twelve consecutive months.

            6. “Child” means a person not less than the age authorized for enrollment in this  district, and not more than twenty-one years of age.

            7. “Student” means any child enrolled in the schools of the district.

            8. “Principal” means the chief administrator of an individual school, or his or her designated representative in his or her absence.

            9. “Cause” means the fact or facts supporting an action to suspend, expel, or deny admission.

            10. “Suspension” means the interruption of attendance at a school as an act of a school administrator. Inter-school transfers for non-disciplinary educational reasons shall not be considered under this code as suspension, expulsion, or denial of admission. Removal from a class or combination of classes with  placement in other classes, except study halls, in the same school shall not be considered under this code as suspension, expulsion, or denial of admission.

            11. “Expulsion” means the termination of enrollment of a student as an action authorized by the Board of Education.

            12. “Denial of Admission” means the withholding of the privilege of enrollment.

            13. “School” means the individual attendance unit facility within the district.

            14. “Truancy” means the act of being absent from a class or school without permission or other lawful excuse.

            15. An “Habitually Disruptive Student” is one who has been suspended out of school three times for a material and substantial disruption in the classroom, on school grounds, in school vehicles, or at school-sponsored activities. After the first out-of-school suspension for disruption, a remedial discipline plan will be developed by the administration with possible input from the student, parents and counselors. This remedial plan will be reviewed and modified, if necessary, after a second suspension is imposed for another disruption infraction. If a third out-of-school suspension is required for an additional disruptive act, this suspension will be extended, pending an expulsion hearing.

            16. “Remedial Discipline Plan” means a written plan developed after the first out-  of-school suspension for a material and substantial disruption in a school  year. It will specify penalties for further disruptive acts and include a behavioral contract between the administrator and student.

                17. “Habitually Truant” means a child who has attained the age of seven and who is under the age of sixteen years, having four unexcused absences in any one month or ten unexcused absences from school during any school year.

            18. “Dangerous Weapon” means a firearm, whether loaded or unloaded; a  firearm facsimile; any pellet or BB gun or other device, whether operational or not, designed to propel projectiles by spring action or compressed air; a fixed  blade knife with a blade that measures longer than three inches in length or a spring loaded knife or a pocket knife with a blade longer than three and one- half inches; or any object, device, instrument, material, or substance, whether animate or inanimate, used or intended to be used to inflict death or serious bodily injury.

            SECTION B. Grounds for Suspension, Expulsion, and Denial of Admission

            1. The following shall be grounds for suspension or expulsion of a child from a public school during a school year:
                        (a) Continued willful disobedience or open and persistent defiance of proper authority.

                        (b) Willful destruction of defacing of school property.

                        (c) Behavior on or off school property which is detrimental to the welfare or safety of other pupils or of school personnel, including behavior which creates a threat of physical harm to the student or to other students; except that, if the student who creates such threat is a student with a disability pursuant to section 22-20-103 (1.5), such student may not be expelled if the actions creating the threat are a manifestation of such student’s disability. However, the student shall be removed from the classroom to an appropriate alternative setting within the district for a length of time which is consistent with federal law. Within ten days, the school in which the student is enrolled shall arrange for a reexamination of his or her IEP to amend the plan as necessary to insure that the needs of the student are addressed in a more appropriate manner or setting which is less disruptive to other  students.

                        (c.5) Declaration as an habitually disruptive student, for which expulsion shall be mandatory. In order for a student to be declared habitually disruptive, a remedial discipline plan must be developed after the  first out-of-school suspension for a material and substantial disruption.

                        (d) Serious violations in a school building, or in or on school property,  which suspension or expulsion shall be mandatory; except that  expulsion shall be mandatory for the following violations; carrying, bringing, using, or processing a dangerous weapon as defined in  section 18-1-901 (3) (e), C.R.S.; or the commission of an act which, if  committed by an adult, would be robbery pursuant to part 3 of article 4 of title 18, C.R.S., or assault pursuant to part 2 of article 3 of title 18, C.R.S.

                        (e) Repeated interference with a school’s ability to provide educational opportunities to other students.

            2. The following shall be grounds for expulsion from, or denial of, admission to a public school.

                        (a) Physical or mental disability such that the child cannot reasonably benefit from the programs available.

                        (b) Physical or mental disability or disease such as to cause the attendance of the child suffering therefrom to be inimical to the  welfare of other pupils.

            3. The following shall constitute additional grounds for denial of admission to a public school.

                        (a) Graduation from the twelfth grade of any school or receipt of any document evidencing completion of the equivalent of a secondary curriculum.
                      
                       (b) Failure to meet the requirements of age, by a child who has reached  the age of six at a time after the beginning of the school year, as fixed by the Board of Education of the district in which the child applies for  enrollment, as provided in section 22-1-115.

                        (c) Having been expelled from any school district during the preceding twelve months.

                        (d) Not being a resident of the District, unless otherwise entitled to attend under the provisions of article 23 or 32 of this title.

                        (e) Failure to comply with the provisions of  part 9 of article 4 of title 25, C.R.S. Any suspension, expulsion, or denial of admission for such failure to comply shall not be recorded as a disciplinary action but may be recorded with the student’s immunization record with an appropriate explanation.
                        (f) Behavior in another school district during the preceding twelve months that is detrimental to the welfare or safety of other pupils or of school personnel.           

            SECTION C. Policy: As provided in the School Attendance Law of 1963, the Board of Education for this district:

            1. Delegates to the Principal or Assistant Principal of any school within the district the power to suspend a student in the school for not more than five school  days on the grounds specified in Section B 1. (a),1.(b),1.(c),1.(c.5), or 1.(e) or not more than ten school days on the grounds stated in Section B 1.(d), unless expulsion is mandatory pursuant to such provision.

            2. Delegates to the Superintendent the power to suspend a student, upon referral from a school, for an additional ten school days, with the provision  that the suspension may be extended, but not to exceed another ten school days if necessary, to present the matter to the next meeting of the Board of Education. the total number of days of suspension by the building administrator and Superintendent shall not exceed thirty days.

            3. Delegates to the Superintendent the power to deny admission to, or to expel from the schools of the district, for any period not extending beyond one year, any child whom the Superintendent, in accordance with the limitations imposed by the Law (Section B above), determines does not qualify for admission to, or continuation of attendance at, the public schools of the district. The superintendent shall report on each such case acted upon at the next meeting of the Board.

            4. Affirms that an appeal of the decision of the Superintendent may be taken to  the Board. The Board shall conduct a hearing if one is requested by the parent of the child.

            5. Designates the Principals and Assistant Principals as attendance officers in  accordance with the provision of the law. It shall be their duty to counsel with students and parents and investigate the causes of nonattendance so as to  enforce the provisions of the law pertaining to compulsory attendance.

            SECTION D. Procedures for Suspension, Denial of Admission, and Expulsion

            1. Suspension Procedure for Principals:

                        a. If a Principal deems it necessary to suspend a student, he or she will have a conference with the student explaining the reason for the  suspension, and he or she will allow the student to tell his or her side of the problem before a final decision of suspension is made. The parent will be notified of the action by telephone, a home visit, or delivery of a written notice. The parent will also be notified that the  parent, with the consent of all of the student’s teachers, may attend  class with the pupil for a period of time specified by the suspending   authority as an alternative to the suspension. If the teachers do not consent to have the parent attend class, or if the parent does not agree to attend class or fails to attend class with the student, the pupil  shall be suspended in accordance with the conduct and discipline             code of the district.

                        b. A notice of suspension shall be delivered orally to the parent or sent b U.S. certified mail to the address on record. Such notice shall identify the student, the date of suspension, the legal grounds for suspension and, at least, the precipitating incident for the suspension. The notice shall request a conference and provide a telephone number for  confirming or seeking a change of the appointment.

                        c. A conference with the parent shall be arranged at the earliest possible  time during the suspension period and as set in agreement with the parent. An effort shall be made to hold such conference not later than  the third effective day of such suspension period.           

                        d. Such conference shall include the parent and other appropriate  persons. At the conference, relevant portions of the student’s records shall be available for consideration and examination by the parent. The Principal shall consider the available records and statements of all parties in making his or her decision.          

                        e. At the conclusion of the conference, the Principal shall deliver an oral opinion to the parties and, within two school days, he or she shall deliver or mail to the patent a statement of his or her findings and ruling. If the decision is adverse to the student, the Principal shall inform the parent at the end of the conference of his or her right to request a review of the decision.

                        f.  Following the conference with the parent, and provided that mutual agreement is reached, the student shall be readmitted. If agreement is not reached, the matter shall be referred to the Superintendent prior  to the expiration of the fifth day of suspension, and the parent shall be directed to seek an appointment with the Superintendent.

                        g. If the parent does not respond to the conference request, or if he or she does not keep the conference appointment within the five-day period of suspension authorized, the Principal shall:

                            (1) Permit the student to return to school, or

                            (2) Refer the case to the Superintendent prior to the expiration of the fifth day of suspension with full details and recommendation that the suspension be extended under the Superintendent’s authority. Such referral shall first be by telephone and followed by the written   report, thus enabling the receiving  office to notify the parent of the extended suspension.

                        h. Suspension shall not be consecutive, nor can a student be suspended  a second time for the same incident.

                        i.  A record of all suspensions, including copies of all correspondence, shall be maintained in the name of the student and at the school where he or she is enrolled.

            2. Suspension Procedure for Superintendent:

                        a. When the Superintendent receives a suspension referral, the parent shall be notified by telephone or delivery of written notice. 
         
                        b. Written notice of continued suspension shall be delivered to the parent or sent by U.S. mail to the address on record. Such notice shall  identify the student, indicate the dates for the suspension period, and  make reference to the Principal’s original notice in which legal grounds and precipitating incidences were set forth. The notice shall request a conference on the matter, set a tentative time for such conference, and provide a telephone number for confirming the appointment or for seeking a change of time or date for the  conference.

                        c. A conference with the parent shall be arranged at the earliest possible time during the suspension period and as set in agreement with the  parent. An effort shall be made to hold such conference not later than the third effective day of suspension.

                        d. Such conference shall include the parent and other appropriate  persons. At the conference, relevant portions of the student’s records shall be available for consideration and examination by the parent.  The Superintendent shall consider the available records and the statements of all parties in making his or her decision.

                        e. At the conclusion of the conference, the Superintendent shall deliver  an oral opinion to the parties, and within three school days he or she shall mail to the parent a written statement of his or her findings and  ruling.

                        f.  Following the conference with the parent, and provided that mutual  agreement is reached, the student shall be returned to his or her school.

                        g. If the parent does not respond to the conference request or if he or she does not keep the conference appointment within the suspension period, or if mutual agreement during conference is not reached, the  Superintendent shall extend the suspension for a period not to exceed  an additional ten days.  During this period of suspension, the Superintendent shall summarize the case determine the course of action to be taken, advise the parent of rights and procedures for an appeal to the Board of Education, and forward a detailed report to the Board prior to its next meeting. 
              
                        h. A record of all suspensions, including copies of all correspondence,  shall be maintained in the name of the student and in the office of the  Superintendent.

                      3.            Procedure in Denial of Admission:

                        a. A Principal deeming it necessary to recommend denial of admission to a child requesting enrollment at this school shall make such recommendations to the Superintendent.  The recommendation shall be immediately made by telephone, requesting the earliest possible appointment for the child and the parent. There shall promptly follow a written statement of the grounds and the pertinent supporting information for the recommendation.  One copy of the statement shall be given the parent, one copy shall be sent to the Superintendent, and one copy shall be maintained by the school.

                        b. The Superintendent shall hold a conference with the parent and child at the earliest possible time and as set in agreement with the parent. 

                        c. At the conclusion of the conference, the Superintendent shall deliver to the parent and the child an oral opinion and, within three school days,  he or she shall mail to the parent a written statement of his or her findings and ruling. If the denial of admission is to be upheld, the statement shall inform the parent of his or her right to request a review of the decision before the Board of Education. If denial of admission is  not upheld, the child shall be promptly enrolled in the appropriate  school. 

                        e. No child shall be denied admission for any period beyond one year.
                        f.  Admission may be reconsidered during the same academic year upon the submission of evidence that the grounds for the denial no longer apply. The reconsideration of a case shall be conducted by the  Superintendent under procedures b, c, and d immediately above.
                        g. A record of denial of admission, including copies of all correspondence, shall be maintained in the name of the child and inthe office of the Superintendent.

                 4. Procedure in Expulsion of Students:

                        a. A Principal deeming it necessary to recommend the termination of enrollment of a student at his or her school shall suspend the student as provided in the Suspension Procedure for Principals above. The  notice to the parent shall indicate that expulsion is being recommended.      
    
                        b. A Principal deeming it necessary to recommend the termination of  enrollment of a student at his or her school shall make such recommendation to the Superintendent. The recommendation shall be accompanied by a a copy of the notice of suspension to the parent. It shall specify the grounds and incidences on which the recommendation is based. Pertinent information from school records and school personnel shall accompany the recommendation. One copy of the foregoing shall be maintained for the school’s file.

                        c. The Superintendent shall, upon receipt of the recommendation for expulsion of a student, so notify the parent. He/she shall request a conference on the matter, setting a tentative time for such a conference  and provide a telephone number for confirming or seeking a change of the appointment.

                        d. A conference with the parent shall be arranged at the earliest possible time after receipt of the referral and at a time as set in agreement with the parent.

                        e. Such conference shall include the parent and other appropriate persons. At such conference relevant portions from the student’s school records shall be available for consideration and for examination by the parent. The Superintendent shall consider the record and the statements of all parties in reaching his or her decision.

                        f.  At the conclusion of the conference the Superintendent shall deliver an oral opinion to the parties and, within three school days, he or she shall mail to the parent a written statement of his or her findings and ruling. If the decision is adverse to the student, such statement shall inform the parent of his or her right to request a review of the decision before the Board. If the recommendation for expulsion is not up held,  arrangements for the student’s return to the appropriate school shall be ordered.

                        g. Upon completion of the conference, a detailed report of pertinent  information and the action taken shall be prepared and forwarded to the Board prior to its next meeting.

                        h. No student shall be expelled for a period extending beyond one year.

                        i.  Readmission may be considered during the period of expulsion if the  parent presents evidence that corrective actions to relieve the cause of the expulsion have been taken. The Principal, upon receiving such evidence, shall telephone or write the Superintendent requesting a review of the case. Such review shall be in a conference arranged by the Superintendent and shall include the parent, the expelled student, the Principal, and other appropriate persons. The oral opinion, the written statement, and the report to the Board shall follow the procedures set forth in paragraphs “f” and “g” above.

            SECTION E. Miscellaneous Provisions

                        1. Written communication required in carrying out the provision of these policies and procedures shall be in English and, if in the judgment of the administrator involved be deemed necessary, in the language of the student’s home if is other than English.

                        2. Exclusion from a single class for not more than three consecutive days shall not be included under this code as a suspension.

                        3. Transfers within a school for academic reasons shall not be included under this code as suspension or expulsion.

                        4. Transfers between schools for academic reasons and as agreed upon between the parent and the two schools involved shall not be included under this code as suspension or expulsion.

                        5. Transfers between schools which are agreed upon by the parent and the two schools involved, as an alternative to suspension or expulsion, shall not be included under this code as suspension or expulsion.

                        6. The availability and examination of a student’s record’s at a conference shall be governed by provisions of the Open Records Law.

                        7. The Board shall receive a report of each expulsion or denial of admission.

                        8. Upon written request of the parent, the Board of Education shall conduct a hearing in an expulsion or denial of admission. At such hearing, the child or student and the parent, personally or through a representative, may make a statement and present evidence. Such statements and evidence may be oral or in writing.         
 
                        9. If the Board, by majority vote, determines that the expulsion or denial of admission was justified, the parent shall be provided a written statement of the decision and supporting reasons. If the Board finds that the denial of admission or expulsion is not further justified, the child shall be admitted or returned to the appropriate school.

                        10. Suspensions shall be used as a last resort after other methods for the treatment and correction of problems have been unsuccessful. However, if a violation of school rules or an act of misconduct is, in the judgment of school officials, sufficiently serious, nothing in these procedures shall prevent suspension without exhaustion of other methods.

                        11. The rights and entitlements of these policies and procedures may be waived or modified by the parent or by an attorney representing the child upon request of the parent.

                        12. No student shall be suspended or expelled for failure to participate in religious or patriotic activities conducted at or by the school. However, disruptive behavior in participation or nonparticipation may be cause for suspension.

                        13. No student shall be suspended or expelled for failure to participate in religious activities unless such activities are disruptive, violate established regulations, or incite defiance of proper authority.

                        14. The following conduct or conditions, if occurring on or off school  property, may be causes for the suspension or expulsion of students,  but such enumeration of conduct or conditions shall not be exclusive or deemed to be a limitation on the causes for suspension or expulsion of a student:

a. Continuing academic failure
b. Extortion
c. Fighting
d. Gambling
e. Hazing/Intimidation and Bullying
f.  Immoral conduct
g. Insubordination
h. Persistent or recurring disobedience or disorder
i.  Physical abuse or intimidation of another person
j.  Poor personal hygiene
k. Possession, sale, distribution, or use of fireworks, firearms, or paraphernalia            
    capable of inflicting bodily harm           
l.  Possession, sale, distribution, or use of narcotics, drugs, or alcohol
m.Possession, sale, or distribution of obscene literature or objects
n. Possession, or use of tobacco products on school property or while a participant in a
    school activity or event           
o. Tardiness
p. Theft or pilfering
q. Truancy
r.  Vulgar and profane language
s. Defacing, damaging, or destroying of property
t.  Gang-related behavior
u. Acts of violence

            15. Each school in the district shall develop a Conduct and Discipline Policies and Procedures document which shall identify the above conditions as unacceptable behavior and outline consequences, including suspension and  expulsion for infractions of the above and other unacceptable behaviors identified at the school level. These Conduct and Discipline Policies and Procedures shall be approved by the Board of Education and become a part  of this policy.

            16. Each student in the school shall be given the district policy and the school- level Conduct and Discipline Policies and Procedures. The school-level Conduct and Discipline Policies and Procedures for the other schools in the district shall be made available to the student upon request.

            17. The school’s Conduct and Discipline Policies and Procedures shall be posted in the school, and students shall be informed of any significant changes to the document during a school year.

Superintendent’s Corner

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