State law requires districts to adopt plans or policies to support studentsâ€™ return to school following suspension or expulsion.
Code of the District of Columbia 38-236.03. Establishment of school discipline policies.
(b) Local education agencies shall adopt, in consultation with school personnel, students, and parents, school discipline policies to promote the safety and well-being of students and staff. School discipline policies shall:
- (4) Include a plan for continuity of education for any student subject to a suspension, including a mechanism for modifications to the plan to meet the needs of an individual student, as necessary, to facilitate the student’s return to the classroom, and appropriate measures to ensure the student:
- (A) Continues the student’s studies during the suspension and receives all appropriate assignments for the duration of the suspension;
- (B) Can communicate with school personnel regarding academic work; and
- (C) Upon returning to school, has the opportunity to make up any school work missed during the suspension if the school work cannot be completed by the student during the student’s suspension.
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) Rehabilititative programs;
District of Columbia Municipal Regulations 2504. Policy for Suspensions and Expulsions
2504.16 For students seeking to enroll in DCPS and who have been suspended or expelled from their current school, or who have withdrawn while disciplinary action is pending, a person designated by the Chancellor shall review the facts and circumstances regarding the student's Suspension, Expulsion, or withdrawal pending Expulsion, if the infraction for which the student was disciplined is one for which the student could have been disciplined within DCPS. The purpose of this review is to determine the appropriate placement within DCPS.
District of Columbia Municipal Regulations 2509 Re-Entry Following Expulsion
2509.1 Prior to the conclusion of an Expulsion, a person designated by the Chancellor shall hold a conference with the student and the student's parent or guardian to determine appropriate school placement for the student.
2509.2 The conference shall be held according to guidelines in § 2505, and shall include discussion of the following topics: (a) The student's activities while under disciplinary action; (b) The steps the student will take to avoid a subsequent disciplinary action; (c) Support required by the student to avoid subsequent disciplinary action; and (d) Any other pertinent circumstances.
2509.3 Effort shall be made to return the student to his or her previous school, unless a person designated by the Chancellor reasonably concludes based on the conference that another school is a more appropriate setting.
2509.4 The student and his or her parent or guardian shall be informed of the school placement no more than one school day after the conference, and the registration/enrollment process shall be facilitated as smoothly and quickly as possible thereafter.
2509.5 The principal of the receiving school shall ensure the returning student receives an appropriate academic program, as well as services to ensure a smooth transition back into the general school population (e.g., SST meeting, counseling, etc.).