State law requires districts to operate alternative school programs or to provide educational services to expelled students in an alternative setting.
Oregon Administrative Rules 581-021-0071 District Information for Parents and Students Regarding the Availability of Alternative Education Programs
(2) District school boards shall adopt policies and procedures for notification to students and parents, or guardians of the availability of appropriate and accessible alternative programs. This notification shall be provided in the following situations:
- (a) Upon the occurrence of a second or any subsequent occurrence of a severe disciplinary problem within a three-year period;
- (b) When the district finds a student's attendance pattern to be so erratic that the student is not benefiting from the educational program;
- (c) When the district is considering expulsion as a disciplinary alternative;
- (d) When a student is expelled pursuant to subsection (3) of ORS 339.250; and
- (e) When an emancipated minor, parent, or legal guardian applies for a student's exemption from compulsory attendance on a semiannual basis as provided in ORS 339.030(5).
(3) The notification must include but is not limited to the following:
- (a) Student action which is the basis for consideration of alternative education;
- (b) Listing of alternative programs available to this student for which the district would provide financial support in accordance with ORS 339.620 except that when notice is given in accordance with subsection (2)(e) of this rule the district shall not be obligated to provide financial support;
- (c) The program recommended for the student based on student's learning styles and needs;
- (d) Procedures for enrolling the student in the recommended program; and
- (e) When the parent or guardian's language is other than English, the district must provide notification in manner that the parent or guardian can understand.
(4) The district shall inform all parents or guardians of the law regarding alternative education and educational services available to students by such means as a statement in the student/parent handbook, notice in the newspaper, or an individual letter to a parent.
(5) District school boards shall adopt a procedure for parents or guardians to request establishment of alternative programs within the district.
(6) District school boards shall not approve the enrollment of a pupil in a private alternative program unless the private alternative program meets all requirements of OAR 581-021-0045.
Oregon Administrative Rules 581-022-2505 Alternative Education Programs
(5) School districts shall adopt policies and procedures to approve placing students in district approved public alternative education programs and district approved private alternative education programs. Such policies and procedures must ensure that:
- (a) Students placed in alternative education programs are those whose educational needs and interests are best served by participation in such programs and will include:
- (A) Students identified pursuant to ORS 339.250:
- (i) Who are being considered for suspension or expulsion pursuant to ORS 339.250;
- (ii) Who have been suspended or expelled pursuant to ORS 339.250;
- (iii) Whose attendance patterns have been found to be so erratic that the students are not benefiting from the regular educational program; or
- (iv) Who have had a second or subsequent occurrence within any three-year period of a severe disciplinary problem;
Oregon Revised Statutes 339.250 Duty of student to comply with rules; policies on discipline, suspension, expulsion, threats of violence or harm, firearms and physical force; student handbook or code of conduct; enforcement of policies
(5) In establishing and enforcing discipline, suspension and expulsion policies, a district school board shall ensure that the policy is designed to: (a) Protect students and school employees from harm; (b) Provide opportunities for students to learn from their mistakes; (c) Foster positive learning communities; (d) Keep students in school and attending class; (e) Impose disciplinary sanctions without bias against students from a protected class, as defined in ORS 339.351; (f) Implement a graduated set of age-appropriate responses to misconduct that are fair, nondiscriminatory and proportionate in relation to each student’s individual conduct; (g) Employ a range of strategies for prevention, intervention and discipline that take into account a student’s developmental capacities and that are proportionate to the degree and severity of the student’s misbehavior; (h) Propose, prior to a student’s expulsion or leaving school, alternative programs of instruction or instruction combined with counseling for the student that are appropriate and accessible to the student in the following circumstances:
- (A) Following a second or subsequent occurrence within any three-year period of a severe disciplinary problem with the student; or
- (B) When a parent or legal guardian applies for the student’s exemption from compulsory attendance on a semiannual basis as provided in ORS 339.030 (2); (i) To the extent practicable, use approaches that are shown through research to be effective in reducing student misbehavior and promoting safe and productive social behavior; and (j) Ensure that school conduct and discipline codes comply with all state and federal laws concerning the education of students with disabilities.
(6) Except for policies adopted under subsection (7) of this section, any policies adopted under this section must provide for the dissemination of information about alternative programs of instruction or instruction combined with counseling, as described in subsection (5)(h) of this section, in writing to the student and the parent, legal guardian or person in parental relationship with the student at least once every six months, unless the information has changed because of the availability of new programs.