3241 Classroom Management, Corrective Actions or Punishment

All students shall follow the rules of the district. Refusal to comply with written rules and regulations shall constitute sufficient cause for discipline, suspension or expulsion. For the purposes of the district’s policies relating to corrective action or punishment:

  1. “Expulsion” is the exclusion from school or individual classes for an indefinite period.
  2. “Suspension” is the exclusion from school, or individual classes for a specific period of time, after which the student has a right to return.
  3. A suspension is “short term” if it is for a period of 10 consecutive school days or less. Separate short-term suspensions shall not total more than 10 school days in a semester for any student in grades K-4. Separate short-term suspensions shall not total more than 15 days in a semester for a student in any other grade.
  4. Suspensions which exceed 10 consecutive school days are long-term suspensions.
  5. “Discipline” constitutes all other forms of corrective action or punishment, including brief exclusions from a class for not more than the remainder of the class period, including exclusion from any other type of activity conducted by or for the district.

The principal shall notify special education staff of any suspensions to be imposed for a student who is currently eligible for special education services or those who might be deemed eligible for special education. To the extent that suspensions may cumulatively or consecutively exceed ten days, the principal will notify relevant special education staff so that the district can ensure that special education discipline procedures are in place, in addition to general education discipline procedures.

Once a student is expelled in compliance with district policy, the expulsion shall be brought to the attention of appropriate local and state authorities, including, but not limited to, the local juvenile authorities acting pursuant to the statutes dealing with the Basic Juvenile Court Act, in order that such authorities may address the student’s educational needs.

The superintendent shall have the authority to discipline, suspend or expel students. The superintendent shall identify the conditions under which a teacher may exclude a student from his or her class and shall also designate which staff has the authority to initiate or to impose discipline, suspensions or expulsions.

Parents and students shall be given notice of the standard of conduct the district requires regarding drug and alcohol use, and a statement of the disciplinary sanctions for violations of that standard.

The disciplinary appeal council is charged with hearing and deciding discipline grievances and appeals of long-term suspensions and expulsions.

In-School Suspension

The district strives to keep students in school. Students who are not in school are denied the opportunity to learn. Corrective actions including suspension and expulsion are reserved to those students who actively threaten other students, staff or the overall school environment.

The district, therefore, has created an in-school suspension program which temporarily removes the student from the regular environment but permits the student to maintain his/her educational progress.

Students who are assigned to in-school suspension are granted this opportunity as a privilege and are expected to comply with the expectations of staff. The superintendent shall establish guidelines for the operation of the in-school suspension program.

Appeal Process for Disciplinary Action

Any parent or student who is aggrieved by the imposition of discipline shall have the right to an informal conference with the principal for the purpose of resolving the grievance. At such conference the student and parent shall be subject to questioning by the principal and shall be entitled to question staff involved in the matter being grieved.

The parent and student, after exhausting this remedy, shall have the right, upon two school business days’ prior notice, to present a written and/or oral grievance to the superintendent. If the grievance is not resolved, the parent and student, upon two school business days’ prior notice, shall have the right to present a written grievance to the disciplinary appeal council which will meet within ten days.  A closed meeting may be held for the purpose of considering the grievance. The council shall notify the parent and student of its response to the grievance within three school business days after the date when the grievance was heard.

Suspensions or Expulsions

The nature and circumstances of the student conduct violation must reasonably warrant a suspension or expulsion. As a general rule no student shall be suspended unless other forms of corrective action have been imposed as a consequence of misconduct of the same nature.

Short-Term Suspension

In the event the proposed corrective action for student is to include the denial to attend school from any single class for 3 to 10 school days or full schedule of classes from 1to 10 school days, a conference shall first be conducted with the student as follows:

  1. An oral notice of the charges shall be provided to the student with evidence in support of the charges.
  2. The student shall be provided the opportunity to present his/her explanation.
  3. An oral explanation of the suspension to be imposed shall be provided to the student.

The parent of the student shall be notified of the reason for the suspension and the duration of the suspension orally and by U.S. mail as soon as reasonably possible. Any student subject to a short-term suspension shall be provided the opportunity, in consultation with the principal, to obtain assignments from teachers to stay current with coursework while suspended.   Further, upon return to school, students shall have the opportunity to make up tests.

Emergency Expulsion

A student may be excluded from school prior to a hearing without other forms of corrective action if the principal reasonably believes the student is an immediate and continuing danger to himself/herself, other students, staff, or administrators or is a substantial disruption to the educational process of the district. Such emergency expulsion shall continue until the student is reinstated by the principal or until a fair hearing is held and a final determination reached.

The provisions governing notice and hearing of regular long-term suspensions or expulsions shall apply except:

  1. Written notice of the emergency expulsion shall be sent by certified letter deposited in the

U. S. mail within twenty-four hours of the expulsion or by hand delivery to the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) within twenty-four hours of the expulsion and documenting delivery by obtaining his or her signature acknowledging receipt or the written certification of the person making the delivery;

  1. The parent and student shall have 10 school business days after receipt of the notice during which to request a hearing. A schedule of “school business days” potentially applicable to the exercise of such hearing right should be included with the notice; and
  2. The hearing officer shall render the decision within one school business day after the conclusion of the hearing.

Long-Term Suspensions or Expulsions

A long-term suspension or expulsion may be imposed by the principal only after a fair hearing is made available to the affected student and parent. Written notice of the hearing shall be delivered to the parent and student by certified mail or in person. The notice shall be in the parent’s primary language and shall supply (1) the alleged misconduct and the school rules alleged to have been violated, (2) the recommended corrective action or punishment, (3) the right to a hearing, (4) the notice that if a written request for a hearing is not received by the principal within 10 school business days after the notice is received, the hearing shall be waived and the recommended corrective action or punishment shall take effect, and (5) the date by which a parent response must be received.

If a hearing is requested, the superintendent shall schedule the matter for a hearing within 3 school business days of such request.

The parent, student and district representatives shall be permitted to inspect in advance of such hearing any affidavits or exhibits which are to be submitted at the hearing. The parent and student shall have the opportunity to be represented by counsel.

The hearing shall be conducted before a hearing officer appointed by the superintendent. Such hearing officer shall not be a witness and shall determine the facts of each case solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The hearing officer shall state in writing the findings as to the facts, conclusions and disposition to be made. The decision shall be provided to the parent and student or counsel.

Appeal Process for Long-Term Suspension or Expulsion

If a long-term suspension or expulsion is imposed, the parent and student shall have the right to appeal the hearing officer’s decision by filing a written notice of appeal at the office of the hearing officer within three school business days after the date of receipt of the decision. The long term suspension or expulsion shall be in effect while the appeal is pending. A superintendent-appointed disciplinary appeal council shall schedule and hold a meeting to informally review the matter within 10 school business days from receipt of such appeal. The purpose of the meeting shall be to confer with the parties to decide upon the most appropriate means of handling the appeal. At that time the student, parent, and/or counsel shall be given the right to be heard and shall be granted the opportunity to present such witnesses and testimony as the council deems reasonable. Prior to adjournment, the council shall agree to one of the following procedures:

  1. Study the hearing record or other materials submitted and record the council’s findings within 10 school business days;
  2. Schedule and hold a special meeting to hear further arguments on the case and record its findings within 15 school business days; or
  3. Re-hear the case before the council within 10 school business days.

Any decision by the council to impose or to affirm, reverse or modify the imposition of suspension or expulsion upon a student shall be made only by:

  1. Those council members who have heard or read the evidence,
  2. Those council members who have not acted as a witness in the matter, and
  3. A majority vote at a meeting at which a quorum of the council is present.

Within 30 days of receipt of the council’s final decision, any parent and student desiring to appeal any action regarding the suspension or expulsion may serve a notice of appeal upon the council and file such notice with the superior court clerk of the county. Such notice shall also set forth in a clear and concise manner perceived errors in judgment.

Emergency Removal

A student may be removed immediately from a class by a teacher or administrator without other forms of corrective action and sent to the principal, provided that the teacher or administrator has sufficient reason to believe that the student’s presence poses a danger to the student, other students or staff or substantial disruption. The removal shall continue only until:

  1. The danger or threat ceases, or
  2. The principal acts to impose discipline, impose a short-term or long-term suspension or expulsion or to impose an emergency expulsion.

The principal shall meet with the student as soon as reasonably possible following the student’s removal and take or initiate appropriate corrective action or punishment. In no case shall the student’s opportunity for such meeting be delayed beyond the beginning of the next school day.

The teacher or administrator who removed the student shall be notified of the action which has been taken.

Readmission Application Process

Any student who has been suspended or expelled shall be allowed to make application for readmission at any time. If a student desires to be readmitted to the school from which he/she has been suspended/ expelled, the student shall submit a written application to the principal, who shall recommend admission or non-admission. The student letter shall include:

  1. Reasons the student wants to return and why the request should be considered
  2. Evidence which supports the request
  3. A supporting statement from the parent or others who may have assisted the student.


Cross References:

Board Policy:

2161                Education of Students with Disabilities

3122               Excused and Unexcused Absences

4210               Regulation of Dangerous Weapons on School Premises

Legal References:

RCW 9A.16.100          Use of force on children — Policy — Actions presumed unreasonable

9.41.280                    Possessing dangerous weapons on school facilities — Penalty Exceptions

28A.225.020               School’s duties upon child’s failure to attend school

28A.225.030               Petition to juvenile court for violations by a parent or child — School district responsibilities

28A.400.110               Principal to assure appropriate student discipline — Building discipline standards — Classes to improve classroom management skills

28A.600.010               Enforcement of rules of conduct —Due process guarantees — Computation of days for short-term and long-term suspensions

28A.600.020               Exclusion of student from classroom — Written disciplinary procedures — Long-term suspension or expulsion

28A.600.040               Pupils to comply with rules and regulations

28A.600.420               Firearms on school premises, transportation, or facilities — Penalty — Exemptions

20 USC 7101 et. seq. Drug-FreeSchoolsand Communities Act

WAC                           392-400-205                                  Definitions

392-400-235                                  Discipline — Conditions and limitations

392-400-240                                  Discipline — Grievance procedure

392-400-245                                  Short-term suspension — Conditions and Limitations

392-400-250                                  Short-term suspensions — Prior conference required — Notice to parent

392-400-255                                  Short-term suspension — Grievance procedure

392-400-260                                  Long term suspension — conditions and limitations

392-400-265                                  Long-term suspension — Notice of hearing — Waiver of hearing

392-400-270                                  Long-term suspension — Prehearing and hearing process

392-400-280                                  Expulsion — Notice of hearing — Waiver of hearing

392-400-285                                  Expulsion — Prehearing and hearing process

392-400-290                                  Emergency removal from class, subject, or activity

392-400-295                                  Emergency expulsion — Limitations

392-400-300                                  Emergency expulsion — Notice of hearing — Waiver of hearing right

392-400-305                                  Emergency expulsion — Prehearing and hearing process

392-400-310                                  Appeals — Long-term suspension and expulsion

392-400-315                                  Appeals — Hearing before school board or disciplinary appeal council — Procedures

392-400-317                                  Appeals — Discipline and short-term suspension grievances

392-400-320                                  School board or disciplinary appeal council decisions


Management Resources:

Policy News, June 2010          Students and Sexting


Adoption Date: 4.12

Methow Valley School District

Classification:  Priority                                                                                 WSSDA 06.10