State law encourages districts to implement school-wide positive behavioral interventions or tiered frameworks.
Code of the District of Columbia 38–236.06. Support for positive school climate and trauma-informed educational settings.
(a) The Office of the State Superintendent of Education shall provide an array of supports to assist local education agencies and schools to achieve the goals of §§ 38-236.03 through 38-236.05 and to adopt trauma-informed disciplinary practices. The OSSE shall provide local education agencies and schools with, among other supports, the following:
- (1) Guidance and materials that inform local education agencies and school communities about developments in the fields of school climates and behavioral management;
- (2) Regular, high-quality professional development opportunities and technical assistance, and recommendations for further instruction outside of these opportunities, for local education agency and school personnel on:
- (A) Trauma and chronic stress, their effects on students and learning, and effective responses;
- (B) Classroom management, positive behavioral interventions, and fostering positive school climate;
- (C) Disciplinary approaches that utilize instruction and correction;
- (D) Restorative practices and other evidence-based or promising behavioral interventions;
- (E) Implementation of high-quality functional behavior assessments, behavioral intervention plans, and manifestation determination reviews, as those terms are used in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, approved December 3, 2004 (118 Stat. 2745; 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.); and
- (F) Implicit bias and culturally responsive corrective action techniques.
District of Columbia Municipal Regulations 2500 General Policy
2500.1 It is the policy of D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) that a safe environment conducive to learning shall be maintained. To build and maintain this environment, DCPS shall provide students, families, and staff with clear expectations and rules for appropriate school behavior. These rules must balance the responsibilities and rights of individuals and the responsibilities and rights of the school community. These rules must reflect the individual's responsibility for contributing to a safe environment conducive to learning and the need for mutual respect and cooperation among all segments of the school community.
2500.2 DCPS is committed to helping students learn the expectations and rules for appropriate school behavior and the range of disciplinary responses for inappropriate or disruptive behavior. DCPS will recognize and encourage students who exhibit appropriate, non-disruptive behavior. DCPS will encourage prevention and intervention strategies to prevent inappropriate behavior. To that end all available resources, subject to budgetary limitations, shall be utilized, including preventive and responsive interventions that support students' needs.
2500.3 When a student's behavior disrupts the school community's safe learning environment, DCPS will use a range of disciplinary responses intended to change and manage inappropriate behavior. In administering disciplinary responses, DCPS will work with students to correct inappropriate behavior. Students will be enabled and encouraged to reflect on their actions, to learn from mistakes, and to restore any relationships that have been negatively impacted.
2500.4 Whenever possible, prevention, intervention, and remediation strategies shall be used in addition to disciplinary responses at all stages of the disciplinary process, including students transitioning from Suspension or Expulsion.
2500.5 DCPS shall involve family members in efforts to determine the causes of misbehavior and in efforts to support appropriate school behavior.
2500.6 Options for prevention, intervention, and remediation shall include, but not be limited to: (a) Anger management; (b) Attendance intervention plans; (c) Behavior intervention plan; (d) Behavior log/behavior progress report; (e) Behavior redirection; (f) Community conference; (g) Community service; (h) Conflict resolution; (i) Crime awareness/prevention programs; (j) Diverse instructional strategies; (k) In-school program restructuring (schedule change); (l) Individual or group counseling; (m) Intervention by guidance counselor or mental health professional; (n) Mediation, including teacher/student mediation and multi-party dispute resolution; (o) Mentoring; (p) Parent conference; (q) Parent observation of student; (r) Positive feedback for appropriate behavior; (s) Positive behavior supports (t) Problem solving conferences; (u) Referral to community based organizations; (v) Referral to substance abuse counseling service; (w) Rehabilitative programs;
Non-Regulatory Guidance: School Discipline
This document provides non-regulatory guidance around discipline to support LEAs in the development of their discipline policies, including guiding principles on student discipline and examples of promising practices to support positive school climate and behavior, such as restorative practices, multi-tiered student supports, and positive behavior interventions and supports systems.
Positive Behavior Support LEA Toolkit
This toolkit is a comprehensive guide on information and best practices regarding positive behavior support approaches to addressing the needs of students with behavioral challenges.