We believe that all community members have the right to a safe, inclusive, and productive learning environment where we can do our best work. The foundation for our safe, inclusive, and productive learning environment is:
- Clear expectations
- Supportive response
- Achieve resolution
We understand and plan on choices being made that impede our ability to provide everyone a safe, inclusive, and productive learning environment. We believe that each of these choices is unique and provides an opportunity to learn and grow. We believe that our response to these choices should be instructional, supportive, and predictable. We believe resolution is achieved when harm is restored and a safe, inclusive, and productive learning environment is achieved. Research conducted over the past decade clearly illustrates that traditional, punitive responses to behavior have not had the intended result of improved behavior. In fact, the opposite is often true – punitive responses often result in increases in undesired behavior.
- Discipline Process
- Behavior Categories
- Disruptive Behavior
- Bullying Behavior
- Behavior Support
- Cell Phones & Electronic Devices
- Student ID Badges
- Suspension & Expulsion
Our process for responding to choices that are not supportive of a safe, inclusive, and productive learning environment includes:
- Clear Expectations: Establish and communicate a clear, consistent set of expectations for behavior and conduct. As a Middle School, we commit to clearly stating expectations, teaching how to meet those expectations, and revisiting/reteaching expectations when necessary.
- Supportive Response: We seek first to understand in an objective way and honor the developmental phase of middle school students. Our goal is to support students when a behavior or conduct issue arises in a manner defined by the following:
- Done in a setting that does not put the interaction on display of other students;
- Asking questions and seeking to understand what happened;
- Using objective language;
- Remaining emotionally constant and/or neutral; and
- Treating each response as a first response.
- Achieve Resolution: When behavior situations arise, we aim to achieve resolutions and restore a safe, inclusive, and productive learning environment. Resolution is achieved when student can:
- Identify the choice that did not meet expectations
- Identify how that choice impacted themselves, others, and/or the learning environment;
- Identify different choices that meet achieve a safe, inclusive, and productive learning environment;
- Restore any harm that was caused to self, others, or the learning environment; and
- Fulfill any consequences assigned for their choice.
For each behavior and/or conduct choice made by an individual student, we will increase the level of our support and response. Support that we provide for students can include reflective activities, team-based conferencing, and the use of the MTSS system to create an individualized plan. Responses go from minor consequences (phone call home and/or lunch detention) to major (in school suspension and parents/families shadowing their student). Our goal is to teach students, collaborate with families, and replace punitive responses with restorative/collaborative solutions. Because we believe that each behavior response scenario is unique, variations in our response/support may vary.
We aim to keep our response proportionate to the choice made. The following categories below illustrate the varied class offenses and help us to achieve a proportionate response:
Class 1: These behaviors create an apparent and immediate unsafe learning environment. Our School Resource Officer may be called to help support the response. Punitive consequences, like suspension, are assigned to keep the learning environment safe while an investigation can be conducted. Class 1 behaviors may result in expulsion the first time.
Class 2: These behaviors disrupt the learning environment to a level that additional support is necessary. This assumes that the responding staff member is not able to continue with their task, instead having to address the choice made to establish a safe, inclusive, & productive learning environment. Class 2 behaviors result in a temporary removal from the learning environment, conference between the student and a member of the Middle School staff, a behavioral log entry in PowerSchool, communication with the parent/guardian, and a restorative agreement. In response, natural and/or punitive consequences could result.
Class 3: These behaviors can be redirected in the context of a safe, inclusive, and productive learning environment and do not require additional support. Class 3 behaviors could result in a conference between the student and responding staff member, a behavioral log entry in PowerSchool, communication with the parent/guardian, and/or a restorative agreement. In addition, natural consequences could result.
|Class 1 Behaviors||Class 2 Behaviors||Class 3 Behaviors|
|Behaviors can include:
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Habitually disruptive behavior refers to a student who has been suspended three times during a calendar year, defined as twelve consecutive months from the date of the first suspension, for reasons related to willful and substantial disruption on school grounds, at a school-sanctioned event, or while being transported in a school-approved vehicle.
The student and their parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian shall be notified in writing of each suspension counted towards declaring the student habitually disruptive, and shall be notified in writing and by telephone or other means of the definition of habitually disruptive behavior and that a student defined as such is subject to expulsion as a habitually disruptive student. The principal or designee shall prepare a brief written summary of the incident underlying any suspension to be counted towards designation as habitually disruptive student. The student and his or her parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian shall be given a copy of the summary that is to be placed in the student's file. The student may submit a written response to the incident report that will be attached to the written summary.
A remedial discipline plan will be developed and/or modified for the student after the first and second suspensions for one of the grounds stated above and under circumstances causing a material and substantial disruption. The principal or designee shall make reasonable efforts to meet with the student, his or her parents, legal guardian or legal custodian, and any school personnel whom the principal or designee deems should attend to develop a remedial discipline plan.
The purpose of the meeting will be to address the development of a written remedial discipline plan. The discipline plan shall address the student's disruptive behavior, his or her educational needs, the goal of keeping the child in school, and timelines for modifying the disruptive behavior. The plan also shall inform the student of the consequences in the event he or she continues to engage in disruptive behavior in violation of the plan. Such consequences may include discipline, including suspension or expulsion, as provided by the rules and regulations of the school.
The remedial discipline plan shall be written in the form of a contract and signed by the student and his or her parents, legal guardian, or legal custodian. If the student and his or her parents, legal guardian, or legal custodian fail to attend the meeting to establish the remedial discipline plan, after reasonable attempts by the principal or designee to schedule and provide notice of the meeting, the principal or designee may conduct the meeting and establish the remedial discipline plan with those people present at the meeting.
Students with Disabilities: All incidents of material and substantial disruption caused by a student identified as a student with disabilities shall be reported by the principal or designee to the student's primary special education provider. When appropriate, the principal or designee shall coordinate the procedures of this policy with the student's IEP or § 504 Plan. Expulsion proceedings may be initiated for disruptive behavior only if a determination has been made by the student's IEP or § 504 team that the disruptive behavior is not a manifestation of the student's disability.
Teasing, Harassment, & Bullying: In our effort to provide each member of the community a safe, productive, and inclusive environment, we will work hard to address reports of teasing, harassment, and bullying. All three of these behaviors have the potential to make members in our community feel less safe, fearful, and/or unable to engage. We will rely on the following definitions to categorize the behavior and help guide our response. It is important to understand that our response will be somewhat subjective based upon the offender's communicated intent versus the victim's communicated experience.
Teasing: Teasing is making fun of others with the intention of being funny and perceived by the victim as a joke and/or causes little to no impact to the victim.
Harassment: Harassment is when the behavior or conduct is intended to harm or intimidate and perceived by the victim to cause substantial harm or intimidation. To be considered harassment, the following must also be considered:
- Was the action targeted at a particular person or group of people?
- Was the action similar to a previous action and/or a pattern of actions?
- Was the action associated with an actual or perceived characteristic such as race or ethnicity, ancestry, color, ethnic group identification, gender expression, gender identity, gender, disability, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, age, or a person’s association with a person or group?
Bullying: Bullying is the use of coercion or intimidation to obtain control over another person or to cause physical, mental, or emotional harm to another person. Bullying can occur through written, verbal, or electronically transmitted expressions (i.e. cyberbullying) or by means of a physical act or gesture. Bullying is prohibited against any student for any reason, including but not limited to any such behavior that is directed toward a student on the basis of his or her academic performance or any basis protected by federal and state law, including, but not limited to disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation (which includes transgender), gender identity, gender expression, national origin, religion, ancestry or the need for special education services, whether such characteristic(s) is actual or perceived.
Retaliation is an act or communication intended as retribution against an individual who reports an act of bullying. Retaliation can also include knowingly making false accusations of bullying or acting to influence the investigation of, or the response to, a report of bullying.
False accusations of bullying are those made knowingly by an individual or group of individuals with the purpose of causing harm to another individual and which are false.
The Academy’s Bullying Policy can be found here.
A student and his or her parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian shall be notified in writing of any suspension in which that student is identified by school administration as engaging in bullying behavior, and shall be notified in writing and by telephone or other means of the definition of bullying student and the mandatory expulsion of such students.
The principal or designee shall prepare a brief written summary of the incident underlying any suspension to be counted towards designation as bullying behavior. The student and his or her parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian shall be given a copy of the summary that is to be placed in the student's file. The student may submit a written response to the incident report that will be attached to the written summary.
If the student's conduct with respect to a single incident constitutes grounds for expulsion, the principal or designee may commence expulsion proceedings.
A remedial discipline plan must be developed for the student after the first and second suspensions connected to identified bullying behavior. The principal or designee shall make reasonable efforts to meet with the student, his or her parents, legal guardian or legal custodian, and any school personnel whom the principal or designee deems should attend to develop a remedial discipline plan.
The purpose of the meeting will be to address the development of a written remedial discipline plan. The discipline plan shall address the student's bullying behavior, his or her educational needs, the goal of keeping the child in school, and timelines for modifying the bullying behavior. The plan also shall inform the student of the consequences in the event he or she continues to engage in bullying behavior in violation of the plan. Such consequences may include discipline, including suspension or expulsion, as provided in the handbook or as provided by the rules and regulations of the school. The remedial discipline plan shall be written in the form of a contract and signed by the student and his or her parents, legal guardian, or legal custodian.
If the student and his or her parents, legal guardian, or legal custodian fail to attend the meeting to establish the remedial discipline plan, after reasonable attempts by the principal or designee to schedule and provide notice of the meeting, the principal or designee may conduct the meeting and establish the remedial discipline plan with those people present at the meeting.
A student with established "Bullying Behavior" means a student who has been suspended three times during a calendar year, defined as twelve consecutive months from the date of the first suspension, for reasons that justify student suspension or expulsion, as identified in the Student and Family Handbook; under circumstances identified by school administration as meeting the definition of bullying; connected to behaviors that occurred at school or on school grounds, at a school-sanctioned activity or event, or while being transported in a school-approved vehicle; and involving behavior that is initiated, willful, and overt on the part of the student then he or she is subject to expulsion for bullying behavior.
Students with Disabilities: All incidents of material and substantial disruption caused by a student identified as a student with disabilities shall be reported by the principal or designee to the student's primary special education provider. When appropriate, the principal or designee shall coordinate the procedures of this policy with the student's IEP or § 504 Plan. Expulsion proceedings may be initiated for bullying behavior in accordance with the procedures set forth in Academy policy, only if a determination has been made by the student's IEP or § 504 team that the bullying behavior is not a manifestation of the student's disability.
Cell Phones & Electronic Devices
In general, we ask that personal electronic devices are not heard or seen in instructional spaces. With the exception of headphones being used for instructional purposes and as directed by the teacher, individual electronic devices should be in the “off” or “silent” position at all times in the learning environment. We also ask that these devices be stored out of sight.
Electronic devices may be used at designated times and locations. At the middle school level, these spaces and times include lunch, recess, passing periods, before and after school. Although permitted to be used, students are responsible for ensuring that devices are not used in a manner that is unsafe, illegal, or disruptive to the school environment. We ask that students do not use their personal electronic devices for the following:
- Capturing video or audio recording without the community member’s permission;
- Capturing photos without the community member’s permission; or
- Cheating or academic dishonesty.
If it is determined that a student’s personal electronic device has created a disruption to the school or learning environment, we will work with the student and family to create a plan that minimizes future disruptions.
Students choosing to bring a personal electronic device shall be personally and solely responsible for the security. The Academy shall not assume responsibility for theft, loss, or damage of any such device and will not be responsible for the investigation of such incidents.
Student ID Badges
Unlike Elementary, middle school students no longer have to wear a uniform. The Academy’s staff relies on students wearing their ID to quickly demonstrate they are a member of the middle school community. Because we share a building with multiple divisions, we ask that students are wearing and/or in possession of their ID each and every day. Being in possession of the ID means that the student can quickly show their ID when asked by a member of the staff (in their pocket and/or attached to their backpack).
If a middle school student is not wearing or in possession of their ID, we ask that they go to the middle school office to check out a loaner ID for the day. If a pattern of not wearing/being in possession of a student ID develops, we will charge the student’s account $5 for a new, replacement ID. If a student misplaces a loaner ID, we will charge the student’s account $5 for a replacement. Middle school staff members will work with students and their families to ensure that each student is wearing or in possession of their student ID daily.
Suspension & Expulsion
If the Principal or his/her designee determines that suspension is warranted, they may suspend the student for a period not to exceed five (5) days for Class Two, or Three offenses inclusive, or for a period not to exceed ten (10) school days for Class One offenses. The duration of the suspension shall, subject to The Academy Board Policies and regulations, be within the discretion of the Principal or their designee. The suspension may be for punitive purposes and/or for the purpose of further investigation or consideration. The first day of suspension time shall be the first school day following the conference.
If it is determined that a suspension is warranted, reasonable efforts shall be made immediately to notify a parent/guardian of the student involved of the circumstances surrounding the suspension. The parent, guardian, or legal custodian and the school shall confer as to the best way to transfer custody of the student to the parent/guardian. Once such determination has been made and the Principal/designee can accomplish such transfer, the suspended student shall be required to leave the school building and the school grounds immediately. The pupil shall not be readmitted to school until a meeting between the parent, guardian, or legal custodian and the Principal/designee has taken place. The Principal/designee shall make every reasonable effort to meet as indicated but, if the parent/guardian cannot be contacted, or the parent, /guardian repeatedly fails to appear for scheduled meetings, the Principal/designee may readmit the pupil.
The student shall have an opportunity to make up schoolwork during the period of suspension. The integrity of a test or other assessment shall not be jeopardized. In assisting students with make-up work, every effort will be made to provide a student, who seeks out the opportunity from the teacher(s), with school work equivalent to that missed with regard to instructional goals and objectives, and anticipated time on task, but with due regard to minimizing the burden on the teacher. For a suspension in a school year, for any violation of school policy, procedures, rules or regulations, a student may have the opportunity to receive full credit for work made up, if the school work is the equivalent of that missed, and is accomplished within the time provided. Reductions from credit given may be based on the quality of the work submitted and any delay beyond the acceptable time period.
Extensions of Suspension
Delegation of Authority - The Academy Board delegates to the Principal or designee the authority to suspend a student for additional periods of time, consistent with law and due process, as set forth below.
Initial Extension of Suspension: The Principal or designee may extend the suspension imposed by the Principal designee up to ten (10) additional school days on grounds specified in this procedure, or others which may be provided by law. Pursuant to the procedural requirements set forth below, or the designee may extend the suspension so that such combined periods of suspension by the Principal/designee do not exceed twenty-five (25) days. If it is determined that an extension of suspension is warranted, the student's parent/guardian shall be notified of the circumstances surrounding the extended suspension.
Supplemental Extension for Students with Disabilities: When the subject of a disciplinary action is a student with disabilities as referenced in federal law, and a suspension in excess of ten (10) consecutive days is contemplated, or would be a suspension in a series of suspensions, that, together, equal more than ten (10) days, the school shall institute the following procedures:
- As soon as a suspension in excess of ten (10) days is contemplated, the Principal or designee will notify the student's parents of the issue and of all applicable procedural rights.
- A staffing committee, the composition of which must include, but is not limited to, the minimum committee members required by federal statute or regulation or state board regulation, shall meet to determine if the behavior for which disciplinary action is contemplated is related to the student's disability(ies). The review shall be conducted and resolved in accordance with 34 C.F.R. 300.523 (Individuals With Disabilities Education Act of 1997 Regulations).
- If the staffing committee determines that the behavior for which disciplinary action is contemplated is related to the student's disability(ies), the student shall be removed from the classroom and placed in an appropriate alternative setting for a period that, together with the initial suspension, does not exceed ten (10) school days.
- In appropriate circumstances, as determined in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997, the placement in an appropriate alternative setting may be extended to forty-five (45) days.
- During such period, a fully composed staffing committee shall meet to review/check the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) to determine what modifications, if any, should be made in response to the student's behavior. Such staffing shall be preceded as necessary by additional evaluations of the student.
- If the staffing committee determines that the behavior for which disciplinary action is contemplated is not related to the student's disability(ies), the Principal or designee may proceed as indicated pursuant Expulsion and Supplemental Extension of Suspension. If the staffing committee determines that the behavior is so related, the Principal or designee shall be consulted as to necessary procedures. However, any additional periods of exclusion from school that may be imposed, shall not include complete denial of services or deprivation of a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for a student with disabilities staffed into special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997.
Expulsion & Supplemental Extension of Suspension; Denial of Admission
Delegation of Authority - The Charter School Institute’s Board of Education delegates to The Academy Board or its designee the authority, in accordance with C.R.S. 22-33-105, to extend suspensions, to expel for any period not extending beyond one year, and to deny admission to any child who is not qualified for admission or continued attendance at the public schools of the District, in accordance with the limitations imposed by state law. The designee shall report to The Academy Board on such actions as required by law.
Procedure for Expulsion or Supplemental Extension of Suspension: Prior to any contemplated expulsion or supplemental extension of suspension of any student, the following procedure, as well as those procedures set forth in relevant policies cited at the conclusion of this policy, shall be followed.
General Notice: The Principal or their designee shall cause written notice of such proposed action to be delivered to the student and their parent/guardian a reasonable time prior to the date of contemplated action. Such delivery may be in person or by registered U.S. mail and shall be deemed to be completed when handed to the addressee or the notice is deposited in the U.S. mail addressed to the last known address of the student or their parent or guardian.
Contents of Notice: The notice shall contain the following basic information:
- A statement of the allegations leading to the contemplated denial of admission or expulsions;
- A statement of the nature of the evidence supporting the charges;
- A statement offering the parent, guardian or legal custodian a hearing on the question of expulsion or supplemental extension of suspension;
- A statement that the student may be present at the hearing during the presentation of all information, shall have an opportunity to present relevant information, and may be accompanied and represented by the parent, guardian, legal custodian and/or an attorney; and,
- A statement that failure to participate in such hearing constitutes waiver of further rights in the matter.
Hearing: The hearing shall be conducted by The Academy’s CEO. The hearing shall be closed except to participants and witnesses unless the student and parents request an open hearing. Testimony and information shall be presented; however, technical rules of evidence shall not be applicable, and the CEO may consider and give appropriate weight to such information or evidence as it deems appropriate. The student or their representative may question individuals presenting information.
A sufficient record of the proceedings shall be kept so as to enable a transcript to be prepared in the event either party so requests. Preparation of the transcript shall be at the expense of the party requesting the same. The CEO may retire to closed session to review and consider the evidence.
The CEO shall render a written opinion within five (5) days after the hearing. If the CEO is unable to reach a decision, then the decision that is subject to appeal will be affirmed. All decisions rendered must be submitted in writing to the appropriate personnel, student and parent or guardian.
The CEO shall advise The Academy Board of the circumstances, the action taken, and the reasons for the action taken, with respect to each hearing.
Waiver of Conditions: By mutual agreement between the CDO and the student or his/her representative, time limits and other conditions of this procedure may be waived.
Right to Appeal: An appeal may be taken from the decision of the CEO to The Academy Board. Such appeal may be taken by filing a notice of appeal with The Academy Board within ten (10) business days of the date of the notice of recommendation for expulsion or date of expulsion hearing, whichever is later. The Academy Board may deny the request for appeal or grant the appeal request and review the matter for clear error or abuse of discretion. An appeal may be taken from the decision of The Academy Board to the State Board of Education.
Miscellaneous: Students who are suspended or expelled are prohibited from attending any school activity, as well as from being on the school campus or property, without the express approval of school administration. Failure to abide by this restriction shall be considered defiance of authority and may also result in a referral to law enforcement.
When a pupil is expelled by a school/district for the remainder of the year, the parent/guardian is responsible for seeing that the compulsory school attendance statute is complied with during the period of expulsion from The Academy. A student or the student's parent/guardian may request that The Academy provide educational services to the student who has been expelled. Appropriate educational services may be determined by The Academy.
Discipline Appeal Process
Disciplinary decisions made by an administrator that do not result in a suspension are final.
Right to Appeal Suspension: Suspensions shall be served as assigned by an administrator. An appeal by a parent for the purpose of clearing a student’s disciplinary record may be made in writing to the level principal ten (10) business days after the assignment of the suspension. The appeal for a review of a suspension by a student/parent will review whether:
- The student committed the alleged infraction; and
- Did The Academy staff follow applicable procedures?
In the event the response of the principal is not satisfactory to the student/parent, the parent may appeal in writing to the CEO ten (10) business days after receiving the response from the school level principal. The CEO shall respond to the parent within ten (10) business days. In the event the response of the CEO is not satisfactory to the student/parent, the parent may appeal in writing to the Board of Directors within ten (10) business days after receiving the response of the CEO. The Board of Directors shall respond to the Parent in a timely fashion. The decision of The Academy Board shall be final.
Right to Appeal Expulsion: An appeal may be taken from the decision of the CEO to The Academy Board. Such appeal may be taken by filing a notice of appeal with The Academy Board within ten (10) business days of the date of the notice of recommendation for expulsion or date of expulsion hearing, whichever is later. The Academy Board may deny the request for appeal or grant the appeal request and review the matter for clear error or abuse of discretion. An appeal may be taken from the decision of The Academy Board to the State Board of Education.
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