Policies and Procedures
The W. E. B. Du Bois Charter Schools’ Policies and Procedures are strategically aligned with those in the Shelby County School District. The policies for Shelby County Schools are conveniently located on the SCS Website for public access.
Much attention must be given to all policies and procedures that drive the actions and decisions in the Du Bois Charter Schools; therefore a significant number of high frequency policies are referenced from the SCS Policy Manual for implementation.
Policy Manual for Shelby County Schools
The purpose of this handbook is to share the policies, procedures and practices of the W.E.B. Du Bois Consortium of Charter Schools with parents, teachers, and stakeholders. Knowledge of the policies and procedures that governs the schools will foster positive and responsible interactions between and among stakeholders. The information provided in this handbook serves as a continuous reference for parents and teachers as they collaboratively build capacity for all students to successfully matriculate through their respective schools. Our goal is to place this handbook in the home of every student and the classroom of every teacher. This will significantly increase the knowledge base of parents and empower them to become stronger partners in the education of their children. As a result, proactive responses to day to day occurrences will take place more frequently and informed decision-making practices will permeate the learning environment.
Willie W. Herenton, Ph.D.
- VISITORS TO SCHOOLS
- ADMISSION AND ENROLLMENT
- STUDENT ENROLLMENT
- ATTENDANCE, ABSENCES, TRUANCY, AND WITHDRAWAL
- STUDENT ASSIGNMENT AND EVALUATION OF PUPIL PROGRESS
- DEPARTMENT OF EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
Be advised that all classroom instructional and extracurricular activities and opportunities in the Du Bois Schools are offered without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability, or for any other reason not related to a student’s individual capabilities. Policies 4010 and 6046 provide guidelines. Students and/or their parents/guardians as well as employees may present complaints regarding discrimination as set forth in the following statutes to the designated Federal Rights Coordinator:
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972;
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973;
Age Discrimination Act of 1975;
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Federal Rights Coordinator for students:
Federal Rights Coordinator for employees:
The Principal or his/her designee may not grant permission to enter the school building or school grounds, other than the school office, unless the person seeking to enter the school premises have first reported to the school office, signed a log book designated for visitors, presented photo identification verifying the identity of the visitor, and scanned into the visitor management system. This system requires that all visitors provide a valid Tennessee driver’s license or other state authorized identification which will be scanned and cross referenced with a nationwide sex offender database.
Students Eligible to Attend
Residence: Pupils are required to attend school between the ages of six (6) and seventeen (17), both inclusive, unless withdrawn in accordance with legal requirements. (T.C.A. §49-6-3001). Educational services will be provided for homeless students in accordance with local, state and federal guidelines.
NOTE: A homeless child (defined in McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act) lacks fixed, regular and adequate residence or has a primary residence in a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter for temporary accommodations, a public or private place not designated for use as regular sleeping accommodation for humans (Policy #6002).
Du Bois Schools’ policy prohibits the enrollment of any child in Du Bois Schools unless they are living with a parent/legal guardian who resides in the area served by the school system. Proof of official residence will be required at registration and will be checked randomly as well as when there is a reasonable question regarding the location of the current residence.
Proof of Residence: The parent/guardian of every student will be required to provide two (2) of the following items showing the parent/guardian’s name and address, to prove residency: Real Estate Tax receipt, Mortgage Statement or Deed, Most recent Memphis Light Gas & Water bill or municipal water bill, Driver’s License, Rental Contract, Public Assistance/Benefits documents, and lease information.
Shared Residency: Unless otherwise prohibited by law, in the case in which a student resides with his/her parents/legal guardians/custodians having lawful control of the student in the home of someone else, the following proof of shared residency must be provided in order to enroll a child in the schools. Please follow guidelines outlined in Policy #6002.
Custody Issues: Only the residence of the parent with legal custody may be used for registration. (T.C.A. § 49-6-3103) In cases where parents have joint custody, only the address of the parent named as the primary residential parent may be used for registration. The parent whose residence qualifies the child to be registered is the parent the school personnel will consider as the custodial parent. The noncustodial parent may receive school records when a written request is given to the school principal in compliance with T.C.A. §49-6-104.
Enrollment by Power of Attorney
A child whose care, custody and support has been assigned to a resident of the District by power of attorney or order of the court shall be enrolled in school, provided appropriate documentation is reviewed and approved by the District and one or more of the following circumstances exist: a) The serious illness or incarceration of a parent or legal guardian; b) The physical or mental condition of the parent or legal guardian of the child is such that care and supervision of the child cannot be provided; c) The loss of the child’s home or the home being rendered uninhabitable as the result of a natural disaster. The Superintendent may consider additional hardships on a case-by-cases basis.
A child must be five (5) years of age on or before August 15 for the 2014-2015 school year and on or before August 15 for all school years thereafter of the current school term to be admitted to kindergarten.
A child must be six (6) years of age on or before September 30 of the current school term to be admitted to the first grade. All children entering the first grade must have attended an approved kindergarten.
Any transfer student legally enrolled as a first grade student in another state who will be six (6) years of age no later than December 31 of the current school year, making application for admission, shall be eligible for enrollment in Du Bois.
Any child legally enrolled in an approved kindergarten in another state during the preceding school year and who could have enrolled in the first grade in that state in the current school year, making application for admission, shall be eligible for enrollment in the first grade in the W.E.B. Du Bois Schools provided he/she is six (6) years of age on or before December 31 of the current year.
Children with disabilities may be enrolled in the Du Bois Schools provided the eligibility requirements as determined by the state of Tennessee have been met.
Cut-off Date for Entering Kindergarten
Parents/legal guardians/custodians are encouraged to enroll students who are of legal age in kindergarten at the beginning of the school year. Students who have not been enrolled previously in kindergarten will not be accepted after the first thirty (30) days of the school year. Students who have been enrolled previously in an approved kindergarten will be accepted at any time.
Students enrolling in kindergarten who have not previously enrolled in any school will furnish the following:
- Certified birth certificate: other evidence of age is acceptable only if the certificate is not available, such as a foreign-born student, and only if approved by the Department of Student Services.
- Proof of Immunization: please see the preceding section entitled “Immunization (New State Immunization Rules and Certificate)”.
- Physicals: Physical examinations are a requirement for entry into Kindergarten or new students entering a TN school for the first time within 12 months prior to enrollment.
Out-of-State physicals for entering students in Kindergarten or a Tennessee School for the first time are acceptable; however, documentation on the Tennessee Immunization Certificate is necessary for submission to the school along with all immunizations transferred to the TN Dept. of Health Immunization Certificate. Proof of physical exam is required.
- Social Security Card: students who cannot provide a social security number will be assigned a personal identification number. Attendance operators are provided instruction as to procedures to assign PIN numbers at their in-service. Students cannot be denied admission to public schools because they did not provide a social security number at registration.
Students entering school for the first time who have not met the requirements of the preceding requirements (numbers 1 and 2) shall not be permitted to enroll. Principals shall notify the Department of Student Services for assistance in meeting the requirements 1 and 3. For specific issues with immunization verification, notify the Office of Coordinated School Health at 901.473.2693.
A Temporary Tennessee Certificate of Immunization may be submitted, if the physical examination has been completed and immunizations have been started. The student may attend school as long as the immunizations are completed according to schedule. The temporary certificate expires after the next dosage due date. Compliance with completion will be monitored. Parents will receive notification of actions to be taken if vaccination schedule is not allowed.
New State Immunization Rules and Certificate
No students entering school, including those entering pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, those from out-of-state and those from nonpublic schools, will be permitted to enroll (or attend) without proof of immunization. It is the responsibility of the parents or guardians to have their children immunized and to provide such proof to the principal of the school which the student is to attend.
Exceptions, in the absence of epidemic or immediate threat, parents or guardian shall file with school authorities a signed, written statement that such measures conflict with his/her religious tenets or practices; or due to medical reasons if such child has a written statement from his/her doctor excusing him from such immunizations.
Waiver of Immunization Requirements
State law (T.C.A. §49-6-5001) provides waiver of immunization requirements under the following conditions.
- Absent epidemic or threat of epidemic, parents may object in writing, when immunization conflicts with the teachings and practice of a well-recognized religious denomination to which the parents adhere. However, if an epidemic or threat of epidemic or threat of epidemic occurs, objections on the behalf of religious teaching are invalid.
- Certificate in writing from a physician stating that such immunization would be harmful to the child involved is provided to the school for the student’s permanent file.
*Principal contact Coordinated School Health at 901.473.2693 for questions related to exemption documentation requirements.
For additional information regarding immunization and school admissions, please see Policy #6002 “School Admissions” located in the W.E.B. Du Bois Schools Policy Manual.
(Policy #6010, 6011, 6012, 6014, 6016)
The Tennessee State Compulsory Attendance Law (T.C.A. §49-6-3001 and T.C.A. §49-6-2007) requires that pupils of legal age attend school (ages of six and seventeen years, both inclusive) unless special circumstances arise which temporarily or permanently excuse the student from attendance. This also applies to five (5) year old students who have attended school for six (6) weeks. By state law, the student’s school year shall consist of a minimum of 180 teaching days exclusive of all vacations, as approved by the Board of Education. (T.C.A. §49-6-3004) The annual calendar is divided into two semesters. A copy of this calendar is included at the front of this handbook.
Enrollment of Students beyond Compulsory Attendance Age (Policy #6010)
During the first twenty (20) days, students beyond compulsory attendance age (eighteen (18) years of age or older) who have been continuously enrolled with the District may register for school through the standard registration process. However, upon enrollment, all such students shall meet with their school principals and other appropriate staff to evaluate academic options and make appropriate education placement referrals for the students, including overage for grade students; and outline the academic and behavioral expectations of the student within the school.
During the first twenty (20) days of each semester, those students who fall in the following categories will be admitted only by special permission of the principal of the school where they seek admission.
Attendance of Students beyond Compulsory Attendance Age (Policy #6011)
Any student having passed the compulsory attendance age may be dropped from the rolls after three (3) consecutive unexcused absences, or an aggregate five (5) unexcused absences, from class or school, upon approval of the Superintendent (or designee).
Absences and Excuses (Policy #6014)
The Board of Education believes that regular attendance is a necessary requirement of all students. All students are expected to attend school on each day that school is officially in session. Only the following reasons will be considered for excused absences.
- Illness or hospitalization of student. The District may require a parent conference and/or physician verification to justify absences after the accumulation of ten (10) days of absence during a school year. Notes must be date specific and will be required for subsequent absences beyond ten (10) days.
- Death or serious illness within the student’s immediate family.
- When the student is officially representing the school in a school sponsored activity.
- Special and recognized religious holidays regularly observed by persons of their faith.
- Legal court summons not as a result of the student’s misconduct.
- Extenuating circumstances over which the student has no control as approved by the principal.
A written statement within two (2) school days of the student’s return to school shall be required from the parent or guardian explaining the reason for each absence.
If necessary, verification is required from an official source to justify absences.
All absences other than those outlined above shall be considered unexcused.
Compulsory Attendance (Policy #6012)
Children between the ages of six (6) and seventeen (17), both inclusive, must attend a public or non-public school. The principal shall be responsible for the initial placement of students entering school for the first time. A parent/guardian or legal custodian who believes that their child is not ready to attend school at the designated age of mandatory attendance may make application to the superintendent (or designee) for a one (1) semester or one year deferral in required attendance. Any such deferral shall be communicated to the principal of the school that the child would have attended. In accordance with the provisions outlined in the state law, the Board may temporarily excuse students from complying with the provisions of the compulsory attendance law.
Attendance Provisions for Students of Military Parents
Kindergarten and first grade students of military parents shall be allowed to continue their enrollment commensurate with their grade level from the sending state at the time of transition, regardless of age. If a student has satisfactorily completed the prerequisite grade level in the sending school district, the student shall be eligible for enrollment in the next highest grade level, regardless of age. Students who transfer after the start of the school year shall enter school on the students’ validated level from the sending state.
If a student receives five (5) or more absences during the school year without adequate excuse, the Superintendent shall notify the parents that the student is required to attend school. If within 3 days of receiving the notice, the parent has failed to comply, the Superintendent shall notify the District Attorney General and/or local law enforcement of this fact and legal action may be taken against the parent as provided by T.C.A. § 49-6-3007. Except as otherwise provided by law, a child may be truant under the law who is less than six (6) years of age, provided that a child may be withdrawn six (6) weeks of initial enrollment without penalty.
For additional information regarding enrollment and compulsory attendance, please contact Student Services at 901.473.2560.
The assignment of students to classes and classes to teachers is the responsibility of the Principal. Each school shall develop and publish for students and parents any criteria and/or processes involved in the selection and assignment of classes regardless of schedule.
A confidential accumulative record of educational history and progress is maintained in a secured file for each student enrolled in the school system. This accumulative record contains all courses taken, grades received, credits earned, as well as results of achievement tests taken and suspensions/expulsions. Records are copied/transferred by school officials upon formal request from the receiving school.
Special Education Records
Special education records are maintained for students currently served by an IEP (Individual Educational Plan) and receiving services such as speech, etc. The psychological and other relevant records are kept in individual schools in separate folders. These confidential folders are maintained in a locked file cabinet or a locked room. The psychological reports are maintained at the Department of Exceptional Children. When special services are discontinued or the student withdraws from the District, the Special Education student record is forwarded to the Department of Exceptional Children. A request for these records along with a Confidential Release of Information must be signed by the parent/guardian or student, if of legal age, and must specifically request “Special Education Records” and must be forwarded to the Department of Exceptional Children. Records will not be released to outside agencies without a signed release from the parent/guardian or student of legal age, with the exception of release to other school districts as permitted under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act; Buckley Amendment) Public Law 93-380) In these circumstances, records will not be released to another school district without notifying the parent/guardian.
Access and Content / FERPA
In 1974 the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Buckley Amendment) Public Law 93-380, §438, was passed to ensure confidentially of student records.
Parents have the right to request in writing that their child’s name, address and telephone number not to be released to a military recruiter without prior written consent. This request shall be presented to the school principal at the beginning of each school year.
Throughout the school year, the media may visit your school to cover special events. W.E.B. Du Bois Schools may also wish to use your child’s photograph, likeness, voice or student work for promotional and educational reasons, such as in publications, posters, brochures and newsletters; on the district website, radio station or Cable TV channel; or at community fairs or other special events.
Parents have the right to request in writing that their child’s photograph or likeness, voice or student work not be used without prior written consent. This request shall be presented to the school principal at the beginning of each school year.
Acceptable Use Policy (Policy #6031)
Electronic resources are provided for students to enhance the learning experience. Access to services is given to students who agree to act in a responsible manner. Student use must be consistent with the educational objectives of W.E.B. Du Bois Schools. The use of W.E.B. Du Bois Schools’ electronic resources is a privilege, not a right, and inappropriate use will result in cancellation of privileges.
If parents are concerned about their child’s learning or behavior in school they may call or write their child’s teacher or school administrator expressing these concerns. The school administrator may explain the student intervention and referral process if parents are requesting an evaluation for special education services.
The district does not discriminate in evaluation or programming on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability. Parents, teachers, or administrators may refer students for screening to its gifted services program. As with all students with disabilities, a continuum of services offered for gifted students. They may range from consultation to subject or grade acceleration. Parents interested in a gifted screening should contact the school principal for a review of student data or other program information. Further requests regarding student referrals may also be forwarded to the school administration or W.E.B Du Bois Consortium Office.
Per Tennessee Public Chapter 585 ((T.C.A. §49-2-203 (b), the following information is provided for parent and student use. Answers to many questions and much helpful information may be obtained from the State Department of Education by calling 1-888-212-3162 or visiting http://www.state.tn.us/education/speced.
Tennessee Department of Education
Center of Regional Excellence
Marlon King, Director
4075 Park Avenue – 2nd Floor
Memphis, TN 38111
SCHOOL CLOSING PROCEDURES
In making the decision to close schools, the superintendent or his or her designee shall consider many factors, including the following principle ones relative to the fundamental concern for the safety and health of children:
1. Weather conditions, both existing and predicted;
2. Driving, traffic and parking conditions, affecting public and private transportation facilities;
3. Actual occurrence or imminent possibility of any emergency condition which would make the operation of schools of difficult or dangerous;
4. Inability of teaching personnel to report for duty which might result in inadequate supervision of students.
In the event schools are closed due to inclement weather or other calamity, all extracurricular activities scheduled for those days will be canceled or postponed.
**W.E.B. Du Bois Schools follow the same procedures as SCS to alert parents regarding school closures, emergencies, etc. Please be sure that all contact information is correct and up to date.
If your child has experienced hospitalization related to accident/injury, or chronic illness, please notify the Office of Coordinated School Health to assist with health accommodations. This will allow for a smoother transition and seamless re-entry to school.
Parents/guardians of students attending W.E.B. Du Bois Schools need to complete a Confidential Student Health Information Form annually.
Parents/guardians of students with a disease, illness, condition or issue of an acute or chronic nature need to contact
Regina Haley, Director of Nutrition, Health and Wellness at the W.E.B. Du Bois Consortium Office- 901-505-6833.
Based on individual student health information, the Director of Nutrition, Health and Wellness will develop an Individualized Health Care Plan,
Specific Action Plan or Fact Sheet and communicate with school personnel to implement an appropriate plan.
“Students with Life threatening Food Allergies” and Diabetes are managed in the school setting in accordance with the T.C.A.§49-5-415 and the State Department of Education and Health “Guidelines for the “Use of Health Care Professionals and Health Care Procedures in the School Setting” and W.E.B. Du Bois Schools Policy # 6043 “Health Care Management” and W.E.B. Du Bois Schools Policy 6041, “Accommodating Students with Diabetes”.
Administering Medicines to Students
It is the policy of the W.E.B. Du Bois Schools that all children’s medication be administered by a parent at home. Under exceptional circumstances medication may be administered by school personnel under the appropriate administrative regulations.
Medication in Schools
If, under exceptional circumstances, a child is required to receive medication during school hours and the parents cannot be at school to administer the medication, only the school nurse or the principal’s designee will administer the medication in compliance with the regulations that follow:
- The Medication (only if absolutely necessary) – Only medicines which absolutely MUST be given during school hours should be brought by parent or guardian to school for dispensing at school. Please make arrangements for all other medicines to be given at home, either before or after school time. Most medications which need to be given one, two, or three times a day, can be given during the hours outside of school hours. Your child’s health care provider can give you guidance about whether or not a dosage schedule can be changed. All medication will be brought to school by the parent or guardian, unless other arrangements have been approved by the school principal, but under no circumstance shall a student bring the medication to school by himself/herself. All medication must be brought in its original container whether it is a prescription or non-prescription medication.
- Bring only enough medication to school for a TWO WEEK period. This is particularly important for medications that might be stolen or that have a street value, such as Ritalin.
- Over-the-counter medicines-usually MAY NOT be given at school. There may be some exceptions, but arrangements need to be made with the principal and/or school nurse.
- Original Containers– All medicines must be in their original containers and correctly labeled. Prescription medicines must have a pharmacy label or a label from the doctor’s office or health care facility which includes the child’s name, name of the medicine, and strength of each unit of medicine, dosage amount, and time as well as the doctor’s name. Over-the counter medicines must be labeled with the child’s name in a manner which does not cover up the original container label.
- Parent Authorization– All medicines must have a Parent Authorization form completed, and the medicine container information must match the Parent Authorization. (A copy of this form is available in the school office.)
The Board recognizes its responsibility to protect the health of its students as well as to uphold their individual rights.
Communicable Diseases Requiring Exclusion from School
Students may be excluded from school to prevent the spread of contagious disease. The principal or designee may exclude a student, but no child shall be sent home from school without first informing the parents. The student must be isolated until he/she goes home. A student suspected of having, or being able to transmit, a contagious disease shall be excluded from school, and a report made to the State Department of Public Health for those diseases requiring mandatory reporting. The Board will follow guidelines and recommendations from Memphis-Shelby County Health Department regarding communicable disease handling.
Contagious diseases include, but are not limited to: red measles, German measles, chicken pox, mumps, whooping cough, scarlet fever, diphtheria, Vincent’s angina, conjunctivitis, ringworm, impetigo, scabies, pediculosis (head lice), or other disease diagnosed as contagious.
Acquired Immune Deficiency System (Students)
Mandatory screening for communicable diseases not spread by casual, everyday contact, such as HIV infection, will not be a condition for school entry or attendance. For detailed information regarding this Policy #6043 please visit the W.E.B. DuBois
SCHOOL UNIFORM AND DRESS CODE POLICY
It is a requirement of W.E.B. Du Bois Schools that students are properly dressed each day in uniform. Each student is expected to be dressed in the specific W.E.B. Du Bois Schools’ uniform each day. The uniform is the following: All tops must be light blue, all pants must be khaki and all jumpers or skirts must be designated plaid or navy blue.
- All students are to wear shoes that are brown or black uniform shoes that cover their feet. Students are not permitted to wear athletic shoes, sandals or boots.
- Girls, grades K-3: jumpers, a sweater, Peter Pan collar blouses, khaki pants (long pants) and polo.
- Girls, grades 4-9: skirts, a vest or a sweater, button down collar shirts, a cross tie, khaki pants (long pants) and a polo shirt.
- Boys, grades K-3: khaki pants (long pants), a vest or a sweater, button down collar shirts, a necktie and polo shirt.
- Boys, grades 4-9: khaki pants (long pants), a vest or a sweater, button down collar shirts, a necktie and polo.
Students are to be dressed Monday through Thursday in their formal uniform. On Friday, students can wear their polo shirt and khaki pants (long pants). One exception to the dress code is that on the day students have P.E., they can wear their polo shirt and khaki pants (long pants). Students are not permitted to wear athletic shoes. Ensure the shoes are soft-soled, cover their feet, and stay secure on their feet.
If a student attends school and is not wearing the proper uniform clothing, W.E.B. Du Bois Schools’ policy is: Violation (1) Verbal Warning, Immediate Change, contact parent; Violation (2) Written Reprimand, Immediate Change, contact parent; Violation (3) Written Reprimand and Written Parent Response; Violation (4) Written Reprimand and Mandatory Parent Meeting (Overnight Suspension) and Probation- student will have a six weeks, during which time no further infractions of the uniform policy are expected to occur; Violation (5) One-Day Suspension for the first infraction during probation; Violation (6) Three-Day Suspension for the second infraction during probation’ Violation (7) Five-Day Suspension for the third infraction during probation; Violation (8) Student will be recommended for termination.
USE OF VIDEO CAMERAS
Video cameras may be used to monitor student behavior throughout the day or extracurricular activities. The District shall keep all video recording of students confidential and shall comply with all applicable state and federal laws related to video recordings when such recordings are considered as part of the student’s education and behavioral record as determined by the district and in accordance with the law. The recording may be shared with the appropriate law enforcement agency if the principal has requested assistance. Video surveillance shall be used only to promote the order, safety and security of students, staff, and property.
The Superintendent is directed to develop procedures governing the use of video cameras in accordance with the provisions of the law and established Board policies. Students in violation of school conduct rules shall be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with established Board policy and regulations governing student conduct and discipline.
TEXTBOOKS AND INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS
Textbooks/instructional materials are issued to the students with the understanding that the textbooks/instructional materials will be properly maintained and returned at the appointed time. Sanctions will be invoked in the event that a student refuses to pay for lost or damaged textbook/instructional materials at the replacement cost less reasonable depreciation.
W.E.B. Du Bois Consortium of Charter Schools accepts the responsibility for establishing and maintaining proper standards of discipline and behavior in the public schools. In order to maintain good order and insure an environment conducive to learning, the Board considers behavior or conduct occurring on school property or at any school sponsored activity occurring off school property which interferes with the above to be offenses. The District establishes the W.E.B. Du Bois Schools Student Code of Conduct to provide a sample of unacceptable student behaviors and a related sample of disciplinary actions. The Code of Conduct and any revisions shall be approved and adopted by the W.E.B. Du Bois Schools Board of Directors as the student discipline policy of the District.
Prevention and Intervention Strategies
The District shall develop and communicate a comprehensive prevention and intervention program. The program shall include a parental engagement component outlining strategies for parents to support the prevention of inappropriate and/or disruptive behavior in their children and participate in intervention efforts if such behavior occurs.
Several disciplinary measures may be employed to support acceptable student behavior.
Disciplinary measures include confiscation of items, loss of privileges, before/after school detention/Saturday school, suspension from the bus, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, expulsion, and remand/alternative placement.
With the exception of privileges restricted by the principal, suspension from the bus and confiscation of items, schools shall not impose multiple disciplinary measures on a student for a single offense or violation of the Code of Conduct. The principal may restrict activities for students who accumulate a certain number of suspensions. Activities that may be restricted by the principal and the actions that may place students on restriction shall be communicated to students and parents by the principal.
- Confiscation of Items and/or Loss of Privileges
Confiscation of Items
“Confiscated items” include beepers, telephone pagers, laser pointers, and cellular phones, prohibited electronic devices, and any other item prohibited by the District. Unless the District extends the return time of confiscated items because the item or its contents may be evidence of violation of law or policy, the parent may pick up the item at a time and location designated by the principal at the close of the next school day following the day that the parent received notification of confiscation or earlier at the principal’s discretion. Thereafter, the parent may pick up the device by appointment. The district does not take responsibility for confiscated items and will not compensate the owner for any lost, stolen, or damaged confiscated items while in the custody of the district.
Loss of Privileges
Students may lose privileges including, but not limited to, the following:
- Loss of classroom privileges
- Loss of extracurricular/athletic or other school-wide privileges
- Privileges Restricted by the Principal
- Before/After School Detention/Saturday School – Students may be detained before or after the school day or required to attend Saturday school as a means of disciplinary action. The following guidelines shall be followed:
- The student will be given at least one (1) full day of notice before detention/Saturday school.
- Parents/guardians will be informed before detention/Saturday school takes place.
- Students will be under supervision of certified staff members.
- Detention will not exceed 45 minutes after the official closing of the school day but may be administered several days in succession.
- Teachers must have the approval of the principal before issuing detention or requiring a student to attend Saturday school.
- Students with religious exemptions to Saturday school shall be provided with an alternative disciplinary option.
- In-School Suspension – The in-school suspension program includes a behavior management component that teaches students skills to improve their behavior and make good choices while allowing students the opportunity to complete their regular classroom assignments in an isolated environment. The principal, including vice/assistant principal, has sole discretion to issue in-school suspensions.
- Out-of-School Suspension – Out-of-school suspensions varies in length from zero (0) to ten (10) days. It is not the intent of the system to remove students from the school society for minor violations. Therefore, suspension from school should be used with caution and only in appropriate cases. The principal, including vice/assistant principal, has sole discretion to issue out-of-school suspensions from zero (0) to ten (10) days.
- A behavioral intervention plan shall be developed for students who accumulate more than five days of suspensions during the school year.
- Multiple suspensions shall not run consecutively; nor shall multiple suspensions be applied to avoid expulsion from school.
Reasonable effort shall be made to contact the parent/guardian immediately regarding any suspension. If contact with the parent/guardian cannot be made, the student will remain at school until dismissal time except in cases of police arrest or an
emergency, such as when the student’s continued presence poses a danger to persons or property in the school or an ongoing threat of disrupting the academic process. Students on suspension are not permitted on school property, attend class, or participate in school-sponsored activities while under suspension, unless otherwise allowed by law and/or Board policy (see TCA 49-6-3401(d) and the policy on Alternative Schools).
- Expulsion – Expulsions vary in length from eleven (11) days to the remainder of the school year or one (1) calendar year for state-mandated expulsions. (Any single suspension in excess of 10 consecutive days or multiple suspensions totaling 15 days in one month is an expulsion.) The principal may issue expulsions subject to student legal due process rights regarding appeals of expulsions (suspension of more than ten (10) days) and in accordance with the district-wide Student Code of Conduct. The Superintendent may modify a state-mandated one-year expulsion on a case-by-case basis.
When the student’s infraction involves a substantive threat of harm or possession of a weapon, the student shall be referred for threat assessment and the parents will be informed that the case is being taken under advisement pending outcome of the threat assessment. Threat assessment findings will be utilized by the department responsible for student discipline in adjudicating these cases and in making appropriate placement recommendations to ensure the safety of the student and others.
A student shall be deemed academically deficient if he/she has not received passing grades in at least three (3) full unit subjects or their equivalency at the end of semester grading.
A student shall be deemed deficient in attendance when he/she drops out of school or has ten (10) consecutive or fifteen (15) days total unexcused absences during a single semester, unless the absences are due to transfer or are beyond the student’s control. The Superintendent (designee), with the assistance of the attendance teacher and any other staff or school personnel, shall be the sole judge of whether unexcused absences are due to circumstances beyond the student’s control. Suspensions shall be considered unexcused absences. Suspensions, expulsions or confinement in a correctional institution shall not constitute a circumstance beyond the control of a student.
A copy of the notice sent to the Department of Safety by school personnel shall also be mailed to the student’s parent or guardian.
Mandatory reportable criminal offenses shall be reported in accordance with state law and Board policy (see 7005 Mandatory Police Reporting). The principal shall consult with department responsible for security when determining whether local law enforcement should be contacted regarding any violation of the Code of Conduct that does not require mandatory reporting to law enforcement or other agency. For reporting discrimination and sexual harassment, any student or parent/legal guardian who believes s/he is experiencing student-to-student discrimination or sexual harassment shall report such circumstances to a teacher, counselor, or principal immediately. If the report is made to a teacher or counselor, he/she must notify the principal immediately.
Special Education Considerations
Students who also qualify for special education services determined to have violated this policy may be suspended, expelled, or remanded or otherwise disciplined only in accordance with special education laws and policies. For zero tolerance offenses, remand of a student who qualifies for special education services must be based on recommendation of the IEP team.
Unless a disciplinary infraction is the direct result of a child’s disability, the child will be disciplined in the same manner as a nondisabled child. The district, parent/guardian, and relevant members of the IEP team shall review all relevant information to determine:
- if the conduct was a direct result of the district’s failure to implement the IEP; and/or
- if the conduct in question was caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to, the child’s disability.
Serious safety issues involving weapons, drugs, or inflicting serious bodily injury upon another person while at school, on school premises, or at a school function will result in removal for up to forty-five school days. In cases of expulsions (suspensions longer than 10 days), the child must continue to receive educational services. Regular education students may invoke rights under special education laws under certain conditions, including if the parent has expressed concern in writing to supervisory or administrative personnel of the district, or the child’s teacher, that the child is in need of special education and related services. The school district must also contact the Education Specialist at the Department of Children’s Services if a foster child (with or without an identified disability) has allegedly committed an offense that may result in a suspension of 10 or more days or has had a petition filed against him/her by the school or school system.
Student Code of Conduct
(Offenses and Penalties by Category)
The infractions of school discipline in the W.E.B. Du Bois Schools listed below are grouped into categories according to the seriousness of the offense. This list is not intended to be exclusive or all inclusive. For infractions not specifically listed below, school principals shall assign discipline in accordance with the category that appears to be comparable to the offenses specifically listed in the category.
Category A – State Zero Tolerance Offenses
- Fighting, causing disruption and chaos to the academic program (two offense maximum);
- Aggravated Assault resulting in serious bodily injury upon any teacher, principal, administrator, school resource officer, or any other school employee;
- Unlawful possession, sale, or evidence of use of drugs/narcotics at school or at a school-sponsored activity;
- Unauthorized possession of a firearm on school property or at a school sponsored activity.
Penalty for Category A. Offenses:
- Expulsion/Suspension for 180 days
Notification will be made to law enforcement authorities. Any modification of this penalty can only be made by the Superintendent.
- Possession of a knife or any potentially lethal weapon, Taser, or explosive on school property or at a school-sponsored activity;
- Evidence of drinking or possession of alcoholic beverages in school or at a school sponsored activity;
- Off-campus criminal behavior resulting in a felony charge, when the behavior poses a danger to persons or property or disrupts the educational process;
- Gang activities – Activity that is threatening and/or intimidating, harassing in nature or recruiting; gang notebooks with gang pledges, codes and symbols that are used in communication such as threats and warnings and recruiting; gang related fights, and all types of violent acts; gang graffiti especially drawn on school property (bathrooms, lockers and hall walls); electronic devices such as cell phones with recognized gang text, with gang symbols, signs and language that is threatening and or intimidating;
- Evidence of use or possession of drug paraphernalia, substances for huffing, any substance under guise of it being a controlled substance or prescription drug, and/or medical preparations without proper medical authorization.
- Possession, use or distribution of counterfeit money on school property or at any school sponsored activity.
- Assault upon any teacher, principal, administrator, school resource officer, or any other school employee.
- Continuous and/or severe Category C Offenses.
PENALTY for Category B Offenses:
- Out-of School Suspension or Corporal Punishment
- Expulsion (11-180 day)
When appropriate, notification will be made to law enforcement authorities. Modification of this penalty can be made by
the Superintendent or the Disciplinary Hearing Authority.
- Threatening bodily harm to school personnel, including transmitting by an electronic device any communication containing a credible threat to cause bodily injury or death to a school employee and the transmission of such threat creates actual disruptive activity at the school that requires administrative intervention;
- Making a threat, including a false report, to use a bomb, dynamite, any other deadly explosive or destructive device, including chemical weapons, on school property or at a school-sponsored event;
- Smoking and or the possession of tobacco products by students while in or on school, properties or under school’s jurisdiction during school hours or while participating in a school-sponsored event;
- Gang activities – any gang related activity not specified in Category B;
- One (1) or more students initiating a physical attack on an individual student on school property or at a school-sponsored activity;
- Malicious destruction of or damage to school property, including electronic media, or the property of any person attending or assigned to the school;
- Stealing or misappropriation of school or personal property (regardless of intent to return);
- Immoral or disreputable conduct;
- Continuous and/or severe Category D Offenses.
Penalty for Category C Offenses:
- In-School Suspension or Corporal Punishment
- Out-of School Suspension
When appropriate, notification will be made to law enforcement authorities.
- Open or continued defiant attitude or willful disobedience toward a member of school staff;
- Vulgar, profane, immoral/disreputable or rude remarks or non-verbal action to staff member or fellow student;
- Physical or verbal intimidation or threats to other students, including hazing;
- Threatening bodily harm to another student, including transmitting by an electronic device any communication containing a credible threat to cause bodily injury or death to a student and the transmission of such threat creates actual disruptive activity at the school that requires administrative intervention;
- Fighting in or on school property unless, in accordance with state law, the principal recommends no disciplinary action for a student who is deemed to have acted in self-defense or defense of another;
- Possession of mace or disabling sprays;
- Inappropriate use of electronic media, including, but not limited to, all calls (land line, cellular or computer generated), instant messaging, text messaging, audio recording devices, IPods, MP3s or any type of electronic music or entertainment device, and cameras and camera phones;
- Sexual, racial, ethnic, or religious harassment/discrimination;
- Bullying, intimidation, and harassment
- Refusal to produce an object identified by metal detectors;
- Inciting, advising or counseling of others to engage in any acts in Categories A, B or C.
- Continuous and/or severe Category E Offenses.
Penalty for Category D Offenses:
- Parent–Principal Conference
- Before/After School Detention/Saturday School; or
- In-School Suspension; or Corporal Punishment
- Out-of-School Suspension
- Habitual and/or excessive tardiness
- Class cutting;
- Intentional disturbance of class, cafeteria or school activities;
- Leaving school grounds without permission;
- Being in an unauthorized area without permission;
- Tampering with grades or report cards;
- Possession of lighters or matches;
- Possession of and access to beepers, cellular phones or other electronic communication devices during school hours without written permission of the principal;
- Inciting, advising or counseling others to engage in any acts in Category D;
- Dress code violation, including wearing, while on school grounds during the regular school day, clothing that exposes underwear or body parts in an indecent manner that disrupts the learning environment.
Penalty for Category E Offenses:
- Parent–Principal Conference
- Before/After School Detention/Saturday School; or Corporal Punishment
- In-School Suspension
SEARCHES AND INTERROGATIONS
When individual circumstances in a school dictate, a principal may order that vehicles parked on school property by students or visitors, containers, packages, lockers or other enclosures used for storage by students or visitors, and other areas accessible to students or visitors be searched in the Principal’s presence or in the presence of other members of the Principal’s staff. Individual circumstances requiring a search may include incidents on school property, including school buses, involving, but not limited to, the use of dangerous weapons, drugs or drug paraphernalia by students, which are known to the Principal or other staff members, information received from law enforcement, juvenile or other authorities indicating a pattern of drug dealing or drug use by students of that school, any assault or attempted assault on school property with dangerous weapons, or any other actions or incidents known by the Principal which give rise to reasonable suspicion that dangerous weapons, drugs or drug paraphernalia are held on school property by one (1) or more students.
A notice shall be posted in the school lockers and other storage areas, containers, and packages brought into the school by students or visitors are subject to search for drugs, drug paraphernalia, dangerous weapons or any property which is not properly in the possession of the student.
A notice shall be posted where it is visible from the school parking lot that vehicles parked on school property by students or visitors are subject to search for drugs, drug paraphernalia or dangerous weapons.
A student may be subject to physical search because of the results of a locker search, or because of information received from a teacher, staff member, student or other person if such action is reasonable to the Principal.
All of the following standards of reasonableness shall be met prior to conducting a physical search on a student:
- A particular student has violated school policy;
- The search will yield evidence of the violation of school policy or will lead to disclosure of a dangerous weapon, drug paraphernalia or drug;
- The search is in pursuit of legitimate interests of the school in maintaining order, discipline, safety, supervision and education of students;
- The search is not conducted for the sole purpose of discovering evidence to be used in a criminal prosecution; and the search shall be reasonably related to the objectives of the search and not excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student, as well as the nature of the infraction alleged to have been committed.
Students may be questioned about any matter pertaining to the operation of a school and/or the enforcement of its rules or for other reasons deemed appropriate in accordance with the administrative rules and regulations accompanying this policy.
CELL PHONES / PERSONAL COMMUNICATION DEVICES
The increase in use of cell phones and personal communication devices by students during the school day has become far more than a distraction in the school environment. These devices are being used by students as a means of cheating on tests, taking inappropriate pictures and video of students and staff for sharing and posting across the internet, threatening and/or bullying other students, and engaging in an excessive amount of social interaction during instructional time.
Therefore, all students are banned from possessing any type of phone or personal communication device that is turned on or in visible/audible use at any time during the regular school day. For the purpose of this policy, possession means being found in any article of clothing, purse, book bag, carry bag, or in any location on school property other than the approved storage location as written and approved by school officials. Students who wish to carry a cell phone with them to and from W.E.B. Du Bois Schools Student Handbook 26 2014-2015 school must keep the device turned off and stored (e.g., kept in the student’s assigned locker, automobile, or other school approved location at all times during the entire school day), unless otherwise determined by the principal. District security officials may, if they have reasonable suspicion to do so, search any cell phone brought onto any W.E.B. Du Bois Schools’ property, which includes but is not limited to parking areas. For the purposes of this policy the school day includes the entire day from the school start time or bell that indicates the start of the school day until the final dismissal time of the school day. The school is not responsible for any loss or theft of the device while on school property.
A student found in unauthorized possession of any type of cell phone or communication device during the school day shall have the device taken from him or her and kept by the school Principal or designee until the parent is notified. The parent may pick up the device at the time and location designated by the principal at the close of the next school day following the day that the parent received notification or earlier at the principal’s discretion. Thereafter, the parent may pick up the device by appointment.
Any subsequent violation shall result in the device being taken from the student and retained until the close of the next school day following the day that the parent received notification or earlier at the principal’s discretion. Thereafter, the parent may pick up the device by appointment. Moreover, for such subsequent violation of this policy, the student shall receive additional consequences in accordance with the district-wide discipline policy.
The District does not take responsibility for confiscated items and will not compensate the owner for any lost, stolen, or damaged confiscated items while in the custody of the District.
APPEALS RELATED TO STUDENT DISCIPLINE
Authority of the Principal to Suspend Students
Any principal, vice principal, or assistant principal, is authorized to suspend a pupil from attendance at their respective school, including its sponsored activities for good and sufficient reasons as outlined in law.
Any principal, vice principal or assistant principal may suspend any pupil from attendance at a specific class, classes or school sponsored activity without suspending the pupil from attendance at school pursuant to an in-school suspension policy adopted by the local Board of education. Good and sufficient reasons for in-school suspension include, but are not limited to, behavior:
- That adversely affects the safety and well-being of other pupils;
- That disrupts a class or school sponsored activity; or
- Prejudicial to good order and discipline occurring in class, during school-sponsored activities or on the school
Students receiving an in-school suspension exceeding one (1) day from classes shall attend either special classes attended only by students guilty of misconduct or be placed in an isolated area appropriate for study. Students given in-school suspension shall be required to complete academic requirements.
Due Process Regarding Suspensions
Except in an emergency, no principal, vice principal or assistant principal shall suspend any student until that student has been advised of the nature of the student’s misconduct, questioned about it and allowed to give an explanation.
Upon suspension of any student other than for in-school suspension of one (1) day or less, the principal shall, within twenty-four (24) hours, notify the parent or guardian and the department responsible for district-wide student discipline of:
- The suspension, which shall be for a period of no more than ten(10) days;
- The cause for the suspension; and
- The conditions for readmission, which may include, at the request of either party, a meeting of the parent or guardian, student and principal.
If the suspension is for more than five (5) days, the principal shall develop and implement a plan for improving the behavior, which shall be made available for review by the Superintendent (or designee) upon request.
The following provisions apply to expulsions (suspensions of more than (10) school days):
- If, at the time of the suspension, the principal, vice principal or assistant principal determines that an offense has been committed that would justify a suspension for more than ten (10) days, the person may suspend a student unconditionally for a specified period of time or upon such terms and conditions as are deemed reasonable.
- The principal, vice principal or assistant principal shall immediately give written or actual notice to the parent or guardian and the student of the right to appeal the decision to suspend for more than ten (10) days. All appeals must be filed, orally or in writing, within five (5) days after receipt of the notice and may be filed by the parent or guardian, the student or any person holding a teaching license who is employed by the school system if requested by the student.
- The appeal from this decision shall be to the Disciplinary Hearing Authority appointed by the Board. The Disciplinary Hearing Authority shall consist of at least one (1) licensed employee of W.E.B. Du Bois Schools, but no more than seven (7) members.
- The hearing shall be held no later than ten (10) days after the beginning of the suspension. The disciplinary hearing authority shall give written notice of the time and place of the hearing to the parent or guardian, the student and the school official designated in subdivision (C)(4)(a) who ordered the suspension. Notice shall also be given to the W.E.B. Du Bois Schools’ employee referred to in subdivision (C)(4)(b) who requests a hearing on behalf of the suspended student.
After the hearing, the Disciplinary Hearing Authority may affirm the decision of the principal, order removal of the suspension unconditionally or upon such terms and conditions as it deems reasonable, assign the student to an alternative program or night school or suspend the student for a specified period of time.
A written record of the proceedings, including a summary of the facts and the reasons supporting the decision, shall be made by the Disciplinary Hearing Authority. The student, principal, vice principal or assistant principal may, within five (5) days of the decision, appeal the decision of the Disciplinary Hearing Authority to the Superintendent. The Superintendent’s designee shall review the written record of the Disciplinary Hearing Authority and shall make a recommendation to the Superintendent as soon as practicable. After receiving a recommendation from the Superintendent’s designee, the Superintendent shall render a decision based on the designee’s recommendation. Absent a timely appeal, the decision shall be final. Within five (5) days of the Superintendent’s decision, the student, principal, vice principal or assistant principal may request review by the Board of education. The W.E.B. Consortium Board of Directors based upon a review of the record, may grant or deny a request for a Board hearing and may affirm or overturn the decision of the hearing authority with or without a hearing before the Board; provided, that the Board may not impose a more severe penalty than that imposed by the hearing authority without first providing an opportunity for a hearing before the Board. If the Board conducts a hearing as a result of a request for review by a student, principal, vice principal or assistant principal, then, in accordance with state law and/or regulations the hearing shall be closed to the public, unless the student or student’s parent or guardian requests in writing within five (5) days after receipt of written notice of the hearing that the hearing be conducted as an open meeting. If the Board conducts a hearing as a result of a request for review by a student, principal, vice principal or assistant principal that is closed to the public, then the Board shall not conduct any business, discuss any subject, or take a vote on any matter other than the appeal to be heard. Nothing in this subdivision (C)(6) shall act to exclude the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services from the disciplinary hearings when the department is exercising its obligations under T.C.A. § 37-1-140. The action of the Board of education shall be final.
Academic and Examination Provisions for Students Suspended during the Last Ten Days of a Term or Semester
In the event the suspension occurs during the last ten (10) days of any term or semester, the pupil may be permitted to take final examinations or submit required work that is necessary to complete the course of instruction for that semester, subject to the action of the principal, or the final action of the Board of Education upon any appeal from an order of a principal continuing a suspension.
Recording Attendance for Students under In-School Suspension
Students under in-school suspension shall be recorded as constituting a part of the public school attendance in the same manner as students who attend regular classes.
Enrollment of Students under Suspension or Expelled from another School System in Tennessee or another State
W.E.B. Du Bois Schools shall not be required to enroll a student who is under suspension or expelled in an LEA either in Tennessee or another state. The Superintendent shall make a recommendation to the Board of education to approve or deny the request. The recommendation shall occur only after investigation of the facts surrounding the suspension from the former school system. If the recommendation is to deny admission, and if the Board approves the Superintendent’s recommendation, the Superintendent shall, on behalf of the Board, notify the Superintendent of W.E.B. Du Bois Schools of the decision this shall not affect students in state custody or their enrollment in W.E.B. Du Bois Schools. If W.E.B. Du Bois Schools accepts enrollment of a student from another LEA, W.E.B. Du Bois Schools may dismiss the student if it is determined subsequent to enrollment that the student had been suspended or expelled by the other LEA.
Required Expulsions for Selected Offenses
A pupil determined to have brought to school or to be in unauthorized possession on school property of a firearm, as defined in 18 U.S.C.§921, shall be expelled for a period of not less than one (1) calendar year, except that the Superintendent may modify this expulsion on a case-by-case basis. A student committing aggravated assault upon any teacher, principal, administrator, any other employee of an LEA or school resource officer, or unlawfully possessing any drug including any controlled substance, as defined in T.C.A. § 39-17-403, through T.C.A. § 39-17-415, or legend drug, as defined by T.C.A. § 53-10-101, shall be expelled for a period of not less than one (1) calendar year, except that the Superintendent may modify this expulsion on a case-by-case basis. For purposes of this subsection (G), “expelled” means removed from the pupil’s regular school program at the location where the violation occurred or removed from school attendance altogether, as determined by the Superintendent. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the assignment of such students to an alternative school.
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
Students with disabilities are included in all W.E.B. Du Bois Schools. Schools are expected to initiate actions that enable students with disabilities to become an accepted part of the student body and are treated with the same respect as regular students. Consequences for offenses directed toward students with disabilities should reflect the severity or repetition of the offense.
Students with disabilities have special protections provided through law against unilateral suspension. While certain levels of behavior are expected of special education students, disabling conditions may impact the student’s amnesty. It is imperative that school personnel be aware of which students are classified as disabled under either IDEA or Section 504. A student with a disability shall not be unilaterally removed from school for more than ten days before a Manifestation Determination is convened to determine whether the student’s offense was caused by his/her disability.
At the initial IEP team meeting or annual review, plans are established which address behavior management as well as academic and vocational skills. The student’s IEP reflects expected behaviors, objectives to modify behavior, and pre-established consequences when appropriate. A written record is kept of all discussions and disciplinary actions taken. Whenever possible, suspension or expulsion is the last action used. It is recommended that lesser consequences such as time out, detention, supervised study, on-site intervention, etc. be used before resorting to suspensions. It is important that the team includes an instructional component designed to teach the student skills such as anger management, conflict resolution, showing respect to others, and effective communication designed to prevent future misbehavior. When there is no relationship between a child’s behavior and his/her disability, the student can be suspended or expelled according to normal school board policy; however, educational services are continued to the extent required.
SUSPENDING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
- Student has demonstrated some type of rule infraction.
- Procedural safeguards in regard to due process are followed (Goss v. Lopez)
- Student must be given oral or written notice of the charges against him/her.
- If charges are denied, an explanation of evidence the authorities have must be presented.
- Student must be given the opportunity to present his/her side of the story.
- Allow no delay between the time “notice” is given and the time of the hearing.
- Provide notice and hold a hearing prior to the removal of the student from the school in most cases.
- IEP Team meets and determines if the behavior is a manifestation of the student’s disability:
- The IEP Team must review all relevant information including evaluation results observations of the child, other relevant information supplied by the parents of the child, the child’s IEP and placement and determine:
- If the conduct in question was caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to, the child’s disability; or
- If the conduct in question was the direct result of the local educational agency’s failure to implement the IEP.
- Is the student a danger to himself and/or others? If “Yes”, reach an agreement with parents through IEP Team meeting or seek an injunction from the federal district court.
- School personnel may remove a student to an interim alternative educational setting for not more than 45 days without regard to whether the behavior is determined to be a manifestation of the child’s disability in cases where a child:
- Carries or possesses a weapon to or at school, on school premises, or to or at a school function;
- Knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs, or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance, while at school, on school premises, or a school function;
- Has inflicted serious bodily injury upon another person while at school, on school premises, or at a school function. The Department of Exceptional Children provides a form for use by the IEP Team when convening to determine if a behavior is manifestation of the student’s disability.
IF A DISAGREEMENT ARISES AND A DUE PROCESS HEARING IS REQUESTED, THE “STAY PUT” PROVISION DOES NOT APPLY. THE STUDENT SHALL REMAIN IN THE INTERIM ALTERNATIVE SETTING PENDING THE DECISION OF THE HEARING OFFICER OR UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF THE SUSPENSION, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST UNLESS THE PARENT AND SCHOOL AGREE OTHERWISE.
- If the IEP Team determines that the offense is a manifestation of the student’s disability, the student may not be suspended.
- The student could be placed in a setting which more appropriately accommodates his/her needs.
- The behavior problems should be addressed through the goals and objectives of the IEP and/or or behavior plan.
- If the IEP Team determines that the offense is not a manifestation of the student’s disability, the student may be suspended. The school may suspend, but educational services must continue (Keel in 4th and Turlington in 5th Circuit).
- If not a change of placement (i.e. longer than 10 consecutive days), the school authority in conjunction with the special education teacher may decide what services are needed. If a change of placement (longer than 10 days or significant change in IEP placement), the IEP Team must determine what services must be provided.
- If continued educational services are based on IEP goals/objectives, they are to be provided by the teacher endorsed in special education.
- Alternative methods of providing services may include home tutoring, alternative school placement, in-school suspension, on-site intervention, or transfer to another school.
TOBACCO USE OR POSSESSION (POLICY # 6028)
The W.E.B. Du Bois School system prohibits student smoking or possession of tobacco products, lighters or matches, on school campuses, at school sponsored activities or on school buses. Additionally, smoking and/or the use of all tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco, are prohibited in all W.E.B. Du Bois Consortium buildings (schools and other facilities); in any public areas, including but not limited to, bleachers used for sporting events, or public restrooms; and in all vehicles, owned, leased or operated by the district at all times. Signs will be posted throughout the District’s facilities to notify students, employees and all other persons visiting the school that the use of tobacco and tobacco products is forbidden. A “Smoking is prohibited by Law in Seating Areas and in Restrooms” sign shall be prominently posted for elementary or secondary school sporting events (including at each ticket booth). Any student who possesses tobacco products shall be issued a citation by the school principal. Parents and students shall be notified of this citation requirement at the beginning of each school year.
GANGS AND NON-SCHOOL RELATED SOCIAL CLUBS
Gang-related activities are prohibited at schools, school activities, and school sponsored events and shall be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the district-wide discipline policy including expulsion. Gang-related activities may affect students and their ability to be successful in the learning environment. Therefore, alleged victims (or their parent/ legal guardian) of harassment, bullying, intimidation, or cyber-bullying shall report these incidents immediately to a teacher, counselor or principal, or via text message to (CRIMES) 274637 and via web at http://www.tipsubmit.com/.
The department responsible for gang prevention/intervention shall work with community organizations to provide students with school-sponsored and/or community-based gang prevention services. These may include gang awareness services; programs on life skills, conflict resolution and decision-making; mentoring and tutoring programs; and social and recreational activities.
Prevention efforts shall include continuous monitoring of school and neighborhood gang activity, including an annual evaluation conducted in consultation with local law enforcement of the threat to and influence on school children by gangs in the community and targeted prevention programming for areas with high gang concentration. When a substantial threat to or influence on school children by gangs is found, the District will institute gang awareness education for elementary and middle school students shall be a part of the regular curriculum for those schools. Prevention efforts shall also include annual and on-going gang awareness training to school staff, parents, and the community. Schools shall also sponsor gang prevention programs.
A student who is disciplined for gang-related activity shall participate in intervention services. The student must successfully complete a mandatory gang prevention counseling program before he/she is allowed to return to the home school. Completion of the intervention program shall be evidenced by the student’s attainment of measurable and progressive outcomes identified by the Superintendent (designee). Other intervention services may also occur at the student’s school. In addition, the district shall provide information on community-based gang intervention and counseling services to parents.
HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION, BULLYING, CYBERBULLYING
Student harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyberbullying will not be tolerated. Additionally, the following conduct will not be tolerated:
• Conduct aimed at defining a student in a sexual manner
• Conduct impugning the character of a student based on allegations of sexual promiscuity.
• Conduct motivated by any actual or perceived characteristic, including but not limited to, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, a men a mental, physical or sensory disability, socio-economic or familial status.
Tennessee law defines “harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyberbullying” as acts that substantially interfere with a student’s educational benefits, educational opportunities, or educational performance, and:
1. If the act takes place on school grounds, at any school-sponsored activity, on school-provided equipment or transportation, or at any official school bus stop, the act has the effect of:
a. Physically harming a student or damaging a student’s property;
b. Knowingly placing a student in reasonable fear of physical harm to the student or damage to the student’s property;
c. Causing emotional distress to a student or students;
d. Creating a hostile educational environment.
2. If the act takes place off school property or outside of a school-sponsored activity, it is directed specifically at a student or students and has the effect of creating a hostile educational environment or otherwise creating a substantial disruption to the educational environment or learning process.
Alleged victims of harassment, intimidation, bullying, or their parents or guardians shall report these incidents immediately to the Principal or building level administrator. Any reports made to staff should be forwarded to the Principal or building level administrator immediately but no later than 24 hours of the expressed concern. Anonymous reports may be made, however, disciplinary action may not be based solely on an anonymous report.
The Shelby County Board of Education has adopted the “Safe School Tips” program which allows any parent, student, teacher, or employee to report information about illegal or inappropriate activities, including but not limited to bullying, theft, distribution or sale of drugs, possession of weapons, etc.
“Safe-School Web-Tips” should be sent to http://www.tipsubmit.com or text to 274637, you will then be asked to type in a “code”, the code is W.E.B. Du Bois Schools, then start typing the text message.
Any complaints of harassment, intimidation or bullying should include the following information:
• Identity of the alleged victim and the person accused;
• Location, date, time and circumstances surrounding alleged incident;
• Description of what happened;
• Identity of witnesses; and
• Any other evidence available.
1. If the complainant is not the parent or guardian, the parents/guardians of alleged victim shall be notified of the reported conduct by phone or in person prior to the end of the school day upon which the conduct was reported. The Principal or his/her designee shall promptly and fully investigate allegations of harassment, intimidation, bullying cyberbullying. The Principal or building level administrator will revisit substantiated incidents and all follow-up efforts conducted will be appropriately documented.
2. After a complete investigation, if the allegations are substantiated, immediate and appropriate corrective or disciplinary action shall be initiated pursuant to the Shelby County Board of Education’s Discipline Policy if the offender is a student. A substantiated charge against an employee may subject such employee to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
3. The Principal or his/her designee will meet with and advise the complainant and their parent/guardian regarding the findings, and whether corrective measures, and/or disciplinary actions were taken. The investigation and response to the complainant will be completed within twenty (20) school days.
4. A substantiated charge against a student may result in corrective or disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. Additionally, under state law, behavior constituting cyber-bullying may be prosecuted as a delinquent act.
D. Right of Appeal – Students/Parents
If the complainant is not in agreement with the Principal’s or his/her designee’s findings. The complainant may, within five (5) school days, contact the Shelby County Schools’ Federal Rights Coordinator (FRC) at 160 South Hollywood, Memphis, Tennessee 38112; Telephone (901) 321.2520. Within five (5) school days the FRC or his/her designee will review the investigation of the alleged charges. Upon completion of the review, the FRC will meet with and advise the complainant regarding the findings, and whether corrective measures, and/or disciplinary actions were taken.
1. If the complainant is not in agreement with the findings of the FRC, an appeal may be made, within five (5) school days, to the Superintendent. Within five (5) school days, the Superintendent will review the investigation and provide a written advisory to the complainant whether corrective measures and/or disciplinary actions were taken.
E. Right of Appeal – Employees
An employee disciplined pursuant to this policy may appeal the decision by contacting the Federal Rights Coordinator at 2800 Grays Creek Drive, Arlington, Tennessee 38002; Telephone 901-473-2575. Any student disciplined pursuant to this policy may appeal the decision in accordance with Shelby County Board of Education’s disciplinary policies and procedures.
F. Procedures for Other Prohibited Conduct
The procedure outlined above shall also be followed in cases in which a student is the subject of:
• Conduct aimed at defining a student in a sexual manner
• Conduct impugning the character of a student based on allegations of sexual promiscuity
• Conduct motivated by any actual or perceived characteristic, including but not limited to, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, a mental, physical or sensory disability, socioeconomic or familial status
G. Retaliation Prohibited
There will be no retaliation against any person who reports harassment, intimidation bullying or cyberbullying or participates in an investigation. However, any employee who gives false information during the course of any investigation or who retaliates against someone for: (a) truthfully reporting harassment, intimidation bullying or cyberbullying or (b) participating in an investigation of allegations of harassment, intimidation bullying or cyberbullying may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination if the offender is an employee and pursuant to the Shelby County Board of Education’s Disciplinary Policy if the offender is a student.
This policy shall appear in the Parent/Student Handbook distributed annually to every student.
H. Report to Superintendent and Board of Education Chairman
Following any investigation if harassment, bullying, intimidation or cyber-bullying, the principal (or designee) shall report
findings, along with any disciplinary action taken, to the Superintendent and the Chairman of the Board of Education.
I. Report to the State Department of Education
Beginning August 1, 2013, and annually, thereafter, the school district shall prepare and provide to the State Department of Education a report concerning the number of bullying cases brought to the attention of school officials during the preceding year and the manner in which they were resolved or the reason they are still pending.
Victims of Violent Crimes
A student has the right to transfer to another school within the district if he/she is the victim of a violent crime at school.
In 1974 the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Buckley Amendment) Public Law 93-380, §438, was passed to ensure confidentiality of student records. Parents (custodial and noncustodial) and legal guardians have the right to inspect and review the accumulative and special education records of their child by making a written request to the official having custody of the records. The official shall have a reasonable time, not to exceed 45 days, to produce the records.
If the parent or guardian objects to the inclusion of any item or document in the record, a written statement identifying the specific item or document objected to and the basis of the objection must be filed with the custodian of the records. The custodian of records in the school is the principal. A conference with the custodian or his designated representative may then be scheduled in an attempt to resolve the matter informally. If not satisfied with the results of this informal resolution, the parent or guardian may make a written appeal to the Superintendent or his designated representative. A hearing shall be scheduled within 30 days of the receipt of the written appeal. A full and fair opportunity to present relevant evidence will be granted.
SECTION 504 GRIEVANCE AND DUE PROCESS PROCEDURES
(POLICY # 6054)
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Act), commonly referred to as Section 504, is a nondiscrimination statute enacted by the United States Congress. The purpose of the Act is to prohibit discrimination and to assure that disabled students have educational opportunities and benefits equal to those provided to nondisabled students.
Notice of Parents and Student Rights under the Act, as required by law, shall be provided in the Student Handbook located on the District’s website at www.duboiscsc.org or at a school.
Parents shall have a right to challenge the actions of the Section 504 Committee with regard to their child’s identification, evaluation, or educational placement through any one (1) or all of the following in accordance with this policy:
- Informal Grievance Procedures;
- Formal Grievance Procedures; and/or
- Impartial Due Process Hearing
TITLE I PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT
(Policy # 5010)
The W.E.B. Du Bois Schools Board of Directors recognizes and encourages the involvement of parents at the school and district level. As a school district, we recognize that parents are key stakeholders and serve as partners in the academic achievement of all students to meet and exceed No Child Left Behind proficiency standards.
The W.E.B. Du Bois Schools’ parental involvement policy includes input from parents, community member’s school and district personnel. The purpose of this policy is to comply with all pertinent mandates of state and federal regulatory standards which require that all parents have access to various levels and types of parental involvement activities with no person excluded based on race, religion, creed, gender, socio-economic status, physical impairment or age.
T.C.A. § 49-2-305
Tennessee State Board of Education Policy No. 4.207
Signs Posted in Schools
W.E.B. Du Bois Consortium of Charter Schools adheres to the policies and procedures of the Shelby County School District. The following policies have been referenced and approved for use by the W.E.B. Du Bois Consortium of Schools. Any revisions or additions will be addressed and properly noted by the W.E.B. Du Bois Consortium Board of Directors.
Policies are as follows:
#4010-Harassment of Employees (Sexual, Ethnicity, Racial, Religion)
#6002-Admissions and Enrollment/Student Enrollment
#6010-Enrollment of Students Beyond Compulsory Attendance Age
#6011-Attendance of Students Beyond Compulsory Attendance Age
#6014-Absences and Excuses
#6016-Truancy and Withdrawal
#6031-Acceptable Use Policy
#6029-Textbook and Instructional Materials
#6027-Searches and Interrogations
#6024-Cell Phones/Personal Communication Devices
#6026-Appeals Related to Student Discipline
#6030-Gangs and Non-School Related Social Clubs
#6028-Tobacco Use or Possession
#6046-Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying, Cyberbullying
#6054-Section 504 Grievance and Due Process Procedure
#5010-Title I Parental Involvement
W.E.B. Du Bois does not discriminate in its programs or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, handicap, sex or age.