State law requires state agencies to develop models and guidance for districts to promote positive social and emotional climate.
Vermont Statutes 16 V.S.A. § 165 Education quality Standard; equal education opportunities; independent school
(a) In order to carry out Vermont's policy that all Vermont children will be afforded educational opportunities that are substantially equal in quality, each Vermont public school, including each career technical center, shall meet the following education quality Standard: (1) The school, through a process including parents, teachers, students, and community members, develops, implements, and annually updates a continuous improvement plan to improve student performance within the school. The plan shall include goals and objectives for improved student learning and educational strategies and activities to achieve its goals. The plan shall also address the effectiveness of efforts made since the previous continuous improvement plan to ensure the school maintains a safe, orderly, civil, and positive learning environment that is free from harassment, hazing, and bullying. The school shall assess student performance under the plan using a method or methods of assessment developed under subdivision 164(9) of this title. (2) The school, at least annually, reports student performance results to community members in a format selected by the school board. In the case of a regional career technical center, the community means the school districts in the service region. The school report shall include: (A) Information indicating progress toward meeting Standard from the most recent measure taken. (B) [Repealed.] (C) Information indicating progress toward meeting the goals of an annual continuous improvement plan. (D) Any other statistical information about the school or community that the school board deems necessary to place student performance results in context. (E)-(G) [Repealed.] (H) A description of how the school ensures that each student receives appropriate career counseling and program information regarding availability of education and apprenticeship program offerings at career technical centers. (I) [Repealed.] (J) If the school is a secondary school, information and supporting data presented in a manner designed to protect student confidentiality on the dropout and graduation rates. (K) Data provided by the Secretary that enable a comparison with other schools, or school districts if school level data are not available, for cost-effectiveness. The Secretary shall establish which data are to be included pursuant to this subdivision and, notwithstanding that the other elements of the report are to be presented in a format selected by the school board, shall develop a common format to be used by each school in presenting the data to community members. The Secretary shall provide the most recent data available to each school no later than October 1 of each year. Data to be presented include student-to-teacher ratio, administrator-to-student ratio, administrator-to-teacher ratio, and cost per pupil. (3) The school substantially meets Standard adopted by rule of the State Board regarding conditions, practices and resources of schools. The Standard shall address those aspects of the following that are most closely associated with improving student performance: (A) school leadership, staffing, and support services; (B) instructional practices and curriculum leadership, content, and coordination; (C) educational materials and school facilities; (D) access to current technology. (4) The school shall provide for and the staff shall use needs-based professional development designed to improve the quality of education provided to the students and directly connected to Standard for student performance established by the State Board and any other educational performance goals established by the school board. (5) The school uses staff evaluation to advance educational performance objectives. (6) The school ensures that students receive appropriate career counseling and program information regarding the availability of education and apprenticeship program offerings at career technical centers. In addition, the school, if it is a secondary school, offers a genuine opportunity to access career technical education programs. (7) The school ensures that students are furnished educational services in accordance with any State or federal entitlements and in a nondiscriminatory manner. (8) The school maintains a safe, orderly, civil, and positive learning environment that is free from hazing, harassment, and bullying, and is based on sound instructional and classroom management practices and clear discipline policies that are consistently and effectively enforced. (b) Annually, the Secretary shall determine whether students in each Vermont public school are provided educational opportunities substantially equal to those provided in other public schools. If the Secretary determines that a school is not meeting the education quality Standard listed in subsection (a) of this section or that the school is making insufficient progress in improving student performance in relation to the Standard for student performance set forth in subdivision 164(9) of this title, he or she shall describe in writing actions that a district must take in order to meet either or both sets of Standard and shall provide technical assistance to the school. If the school fails to meet the Standard or make sufficient progress within two years of the determination, the Secretary shall recommend to the State Board one or more of the following actions: (1) the Agency continue to provide technical assistance for one more cycle of review; (2) the State Board adjust supervisory union boundaries or responsibilities of the superintendency pursuant to section 261 of this title; (3) the Secretary assume administrative control of an individual school, school district, or supervisory union, including budgetary control to ensure sound financial practices, only to the extent necessary to correct deficiencies; (4) the State Board close an individual school or schools and require that the school district pay tuition to another public school or an approved independent school pursuant to chapter 21 of this title; or (5) the State Board require two or more school districts to consolidate their governance structures.
Vermont Statutes 16 V.S.A. § 570. Harassment, hazing, and bullying prevention policies
(a) State policy. -- It is the policy of the State of Vermont that all Vermont educational institutions provide safe, orderly, civil, and positive learning environments. Harassment, hazing, and bullying have no place and will not be tolerated in Vermont schools. No Vermont student should feel threatened or be discriminated against while enrolled in a Vermont school. (b) Prevention policies. -- Each school board shall develop, adopt, ensure the enforcement of, and make available in the manner described under subdivision 563(1) of this title harassment, hazing, and bullying prevention policies that shall be at least as stringent as model policies developed by the Secretary. Any school board that fails to adopt one or more of these policies shall be presumed to have adopted the most current model policy or policies published by the Secretary. (c) Notice. -- Annually, prior to the commencement of curricular and cocurricular activities, the school board shall provide notice of the policy and procedures developed under this subchapter to students, custodial parents or guardians of students, and staff members, including reference to the consequences of misbehavior contained in the plan required by section 1161a of this title. Notice to students shall be in age-appropriate language and should include examples of harassment, hazing, and bullying. At a minimum, this notice shall appear in any publication that sets forth the comprehensive rules, procedures, and Standard of conduct for the school. The school board shall use its discretion in developing and initiating age-appropriate programs to inform students about the substance of the policy and procedures in order to help prevent harassment, hazing, and bullying. School boards are encouraged to foster opportunities for conversations between and among students regarding tolerance and respect. (d) Duties of the Secretary. -- The Secretary shall: (1) develop and, from time to time, update model harassment, hazing, and bullying prevention policies; and (2) establish an Advisory Council to review and coordinate school and statewide activities relating to the prevention of and response to harassment, hazing, and bullying. The Council shall report annually in January to the State Board and the House and Senate Committees on Education. The Council shall include: (A) the Executive Director of the Vermont Principals' Association or designee; (B) the Executive Director of the Vermont School Boards Association or designee; (C) the Executive Director of the Vermont Superintendents Association or designee; (D) the President of the Vermont-National Education Association or designee; (E) the Executive Director of the Vermont Human Rights Commission or designee; (F) the Executive Director of the Vermont Independent Schools Association or designee; and (G) other members selected by the Secretary, at least one of whom shall be a current secondary student who has witnessed or experienced harassment, hazing, or bullying in the school environment. (e) Definitions. -- In this subchapter: (1) "Educational institution" and "school" mean a public school or an approved or recognized independent school as defined in section 11 of this title. (2) "Organization," "pledging," and "student" have the same meanings as in section 570i of this title. (3) "Harassment," "hazing," and "bullying" have the same meanings as in subdivisions 11(a)(26), (30), and (32) of this title. (4) "School board" means the board of directors or other governing body of an educational institution when referring to an independent school.