State law encourages districts to operate alternative school programs or to ensure access to educational services to expelled students in an alternative setting.
Florida Administrative Code 6A-6.0521 Definitions and Requirements Which Apply to All Dropout Prevention Programs.
(1) Definitions. (h) In-school suspension means the temporary removal of a student from the student's regular school program and placement in an alternative program, such as that provided in Section 1003.53, F.S., under the supervision of district school board personnel, for a period not to exceed ten (10) school days.
Florida Statutes 1001.54. Duties of school principals.
(1)(a) A district school board shall employ, through written contract, public school principals.
(b) The school principal has authority over school district personnel in accordance with s. 1012.28.
(c) The school principal shall fully support the authority of each teacher and school bus driver to remove disobedient, disrespectful, violent, abusive, uncontrollable, or disruptive students from the classroom and the school bus and, when appropriate and available, place such students in an alternative educational setting.
Florida Statutes 1002.20. K-12 student and parent rights.
(6) Educational choice. — (a) Public educational school choices. — Parents of public school students may seek any public educational school choice options that are applicable and available to students throughout the state. These options may include controlled open enrollment, single-gender programs, lab schools, virtual instruction programs, charter schools, charter technical career centers, magnet schools, alternative schools, special programs, auditory-oral education programs, advanced placement, dual enrollment, International Baccalaureate, International General Certificate of Secondary Education (pre-AICE), CAPE digital tools, CAPE industry certifications, collegiate high school programs, Advanced International Certificate of Education, early admissions, credit by examination or demonstration of competency, the New World School of the Arts, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, and the Florida Virtual School. These options may also include the public educational choice options of the Opportunity Scholarship Program and the McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program.
Florida Statutes 1003.01. Definitions.
As used in this chapter, the term:
(5) (b) “In-school suspension” means the temporary removal of a student from the student’s regular school program and placement in an alternative program, such as that provided in s. 1003.53, under the supervision of district school board personnel, for a period not to exceed 10 school days.
Florida Statutes 1003.53 Dropout prevention and academic intervention.
(a) Dropout prevention and academic intervention programs may differ from traditional educational programs and schools in scheduling, administrative structure, philosophy, curriculum, or setting and shall employ alternative teaching methodologies, curricula, learning activities, and diagnostic and assessment procedures in order to meet the needs, interests, abilities, and talents of eligible students. The educational program shall provide curricula, character development and law education, and related services that support the program goals and lead to improved performance in the areas of academic achievement, attendance, and discipline. Student participation in such programs shall be voluntary. District school boards may, however, assign students to a program for disruptive students. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no student shall be identified as being eligible to receive services funded through the dropout prevention and academic intervention program based solely on the student being from a single-parent family.
(b) Students in grades 1-12 shall be eligible for dropout prevention and academic intervention programs. Eligible students shall be reported in the appropriate basic cost factor in the Florida Education Finance Program. The strategies and supports provided to eligible students shall be funded through the General Appropriations Act and may include, but are not limited to, those services identified on the student’s academic intervention plan.
(c) A student shall be identified as being eligible to receive services funded through the dropout prevention and academic intervention program based upon one of the following criteria:
- The student is academically unsuccessful as evidenced by low test scores, retention, failing grades, low grade point average, falling behind in earning credits, or not meeting the state or district proficiency levels in reading, mathematics, or writing.
- The student has a pattern of excessive absenteeism or has been identified as a habitual truant.
- The student has a history of disruptive behavior in school or has committed an offense that warrants out-of-school suspension or expulsion from school according to the district school board’s code of student conduct. For the purposes of this program, “disruptive behavior” is behavior that:
a. Interferes with the student’s own learning or the educational process of others and requires attention and assistance beyond that which the traditional program can provide or results in frequent conflicts of a disruptive nature while the student is under the jurisdiction of the school either in or out of the classroom; or
b. Severely threatens the general welfare of students or others with whom the student comes into contact.
- The student is identified by a school’s early warning system pursuant to s. 1001.42(18)(b). [...]
(d) * 1. “Second chance schools” means district school board programs provided through cooperative agreements between the Department of Juvenile Justice, private providers, state or local law enforcement agencies, or other state agencies for students who have been disruptive or violent or who have committed serious offenses. As partnership programs, second chance schools are eligible for waivers by the Commissioner of Education from State Board of Education rules that prevent the provision of appropriate educational services to violent, severely disruptive, or delinquent students in small nontraditional settings or in court-adjudicated settings.
- District school boards seeking to enter into a partnership with a private entity or public entity to operate a second chance school for disruptive students may apply to the Department of Education for startup grants. These grants must be available for 1 year and must be used to offset the startup costs for implementing such programs off public school campuses. General operating funds must be generated through the appropriate programs of the Florida Education Finance Program. Grants approved under this program shall be for the full operation of the school by a private nonprofit or for-profit provider or the public entity. This program must operate under rules adopted by the State Board of Education and be implemented to the extent funded by the Legislature.
- A student enrolled in a sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, or tenth grade class may be assigned to a second chance school if the student meets the following criteria:
a. The student is a habitual truant as defined in s. 1003.01.
b. The student’s excessive absences have detrimentally affected the student’s academic progress and the student may have unique needs that a traditional school setting may not meet.
c. The student’s high incidences of truancy have been directly linked to a lack of motivation.
d. The student has been identified as at risk of dropping out of school.
- A student who is habitually truant may be assigned to a second chance school only if the case staffing committee, established pursuant to s. 984.12, determines that such placement could be beneficial to the student and the criteria included in subparagraph 3. are met.
- A student may be assigned to a second chance school if the district school board in which the student resides has a second chance school and if the student meets one of the following criteria:
a. The student habitually exhibits disruptive behavior in violation of the code of student conduct adopted by the district school board.
b. The student interferes with the student’s own learning or the educational process of others and requires attention and assistance beyond that which the traditional program can provide, or, while the student is under the jurisdiction of the school either in or out of the classroom, frequent conflicts of a disruptive nature occur.
c. The student has committed a serious offense which warrants suspension or expulsion from school according to the district school board’s code of student conduct.
Florida Statutes 1006.07 District school board duties relating to student discipline and school safety.
(2) Code of student conduct. — Adopt a code of student conduct for elementary schools and a code of student conduct for middle and high schools and distribute the appropriate code to all teachers, school personnel, students, and parents, at the beginning of every school year. Each code shall be organized and written in language that is understandable to students and parents and shall be discussed at the beginning of every school year in student classes, school advisory council meetings, and parent and teacher association or organization meetings. Each code shall be based on the rules governing student conduct and discipline adopted by the district school board and shall be made available in the student handbook or similar publication. Each code shall include, but is not limited to:
(k) Policies to be followed for the assignment of violent or disruptive students to an alternative educational program or referral of such students to mental health services identified by the school district pursuant to s. 1012.584(4).
Florida Statutes 1006.08. District school superintendent duties relating to student discipline and school safety.
(1) The district school superintendent shall recommend plans to the district school board for the proper accounting for all students of school age, for the attendance and control of students at school, and for the proper attention to health, safety, and other matters which will best promote the welfare of students. Each district school superintendent shall fully support the authority of his or her principals, teachers, and school bus drivers to remove disobedient, disrespectful, violent, abusive, uncontrollable, or disruptive students from the classroom and the school bus and, when appropriate and available, to place such students in an alternative educational setting.
Florida Statutes 1006.09 Duties of school principal relating to student discipline and school safety.
(1)(a) Subject to law and to the rules of the State Board of Education and the district school board, the principal in charge of the school or the principal’s designee shall develop policies for delegating to any teacher or other member of the instructional staff or to any bus driver transporting students of the school responsibility for the control and direction of students. Each school principal shall fully support the authority of his or her teachers and school bus drivers to remove disobedient, disrespectful, violent, abusive, uncontrollable, or disruptive students from the classroom and the school bus and, when appropriate and available, place such students in an alternative educational setting. The principal or the principal’s designee must give full consideration to the recommendation for discipline made by a teacher, other member of the instructional staff, or a bus driver when making a decision regarding student referral for discipline.
Florida Statutes 1006.13. Policy of zero tolerance for crime and victimization.
(5) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, each district school board shall adopt rules providing that any student found to have committed any offense in s. 784.081(1), (2), or (3) shall be expelled or placed in an alternative school setting or other program, as appropriate. Upon being charged with the offense, the student shall be removed from the classroom immediately and placed in an alternative school setting pending disposition.