The School Committee believes that all students deserve every opportunity to achieve academic success in a safe, secure learning environment. Good citizenship in schools is based on respect and consideration for the rights of others. Students will be expected to conduct themselves in a way that the rights and privileges of others are not violated. They are expected to respect constituted authority and to conform to school rules and those provisions of law that apply to their conduct.
Each Student Handbook shall include prohibited conduct and procedures to ensure due process when discipline is contemplated with respect to violation of the school rules or applicable law. Administrators shall adhere to the due process procedures in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws and procedures providing for due process. Student Handbooks will be made available to students and parents electronically. Original printed copies will be made available in each school principal’s office and the Superintendent’s office.
In every case of student misconduct, the administrator shall consider ways to re-engage the student in learning and, when appropriate, avoid using short and long-term suspension from school as a consequence. Alternatives may include the use of evidence-based strategies and programs such as mediation, conflict resolution, restorative justice, and positive behavioral interventions and supports.
The administrator may, as a disciplinary measure, remove a student from privileges, such as internet privileges, extracurricular activities, and attendance at school-sponsored events, based on the student's misconduct. Such a removal is not subject to due process procedures, unless explicitly provided for in Student Handbooks and/or rules of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA). Principals and staff shall not use academic punishment of any form as a consequence to inappropriate behaviors/actions by students.
Any student who is suspended or expelled shall have the opportunity to earn credits, make up assignments, tests, papers, and other school work as needed to make academic progress during the period of his or her removal from the classroom or school.
Any student who is expelled or suspended from school for more than ten (10) consecutive days, whether in school or out of school, shall have an opportunity to receive education services and make academic progress toward meeting state and local requirements, through a school-wide education service plan.
The Principal shall develop a school-wide education service plan describing the education services that the school district will make available to students who are expelled or suspended from school for more than ten (10) consecutive days. The plan shall include the process for notifying such students and their parents of the services and arranging such services. Education services shall be based on and provided in a manner consistent with the academic standards and curriculum frameworks established for all students under the law.
The school district shall collect and annually report data to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (“DESE”) regarding in-school suspensions, short- and long-term suspensions, expulsions, emergency removals, access to education services, and such other information as may be required by DESE.
The Principal of each school shall periodically review discipline data by selected student populations, including but not limited to race and ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, disability, and English language learner status in accordance with state laws and regulations.
Students with Special Needs
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Section504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provide eligible students with certain procedural rights and protections in the context of student discipline. When disciplining eligible students, administrators shall adhere to the procedural rights and protections in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations.