District Commitment – Rights and Responsibilities
The Board recognizes the negative and disproportionate impact of exclusionary discipline practices and is committed to:
- Identifying and addressing discipline policies and practices that perpetuate educational opportunity gaps.
- Proactively implementing discipline practices that support students in meeting behavioral expectations without losing access to instruction.
The District will observe students’ fundamental rights and will administer discipline in a manner that does not:
- Unlawfully discriminate against a student on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal.
- Deprive a student of the student's constitutional right to freedom of speech and press, the constitutional right to peaceably assemble and to petition the government and its representatives for a redress of grievances, the constitutional right to the free exercise of religion and to have the student's school free from sectarian control or influence, subject to reasonable limitations upon the time, place, and manner of exercising the right;
- Deprive a student of the student's constitutional right to be secure in the student's person, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.
- Unlawfully interfere in a student's pursuit of an education while in the custody of the school district; or
- Deprive a student of the student's right to an equal educational opportunity, in whole or in part, by a school district without due process of law.
This District’s student discipline policy and procedure is designed to provide students with a safe, healthy, and educationally sound environment. Students are expected to be aware of and comply with this policy and procedure, including behavioral expectations that respect the rights, person, and property of others. Students are also expected to pursue the required course of studies. Students and staff are expected to work together to develop a positive climate for learning.
Development and review | Accurate and complete reporting of all disciplinary actions, including the associated student-level information, behavioral violations, and other forms of discipline the district considered or attempted, is essential for effective review of this policy; therefore, the district will ensure such reporting. The district will collect data on disciplinary actions administered in each school, as required by RCW 28A.300.042, and any additional data required under other district policies and procedures.
The District will ensure that school principals confer with certificated building employees at least annually to develop and/or review building discipline standards and review the fidelity of implementation of those standards. At each district school, principals and certificated staff will develop written school procedures for administering discipline at their school with the participation of other school personnel, students, parents/guardians, families, and the community. Each school will:
- Establish behavioral expectations with students and proactively teach expectations across various school settings.
- Develop precise definitions for problem behaviors and behavioral violations to address differences in perceptions of subjective behaviors and reduce the effect of implicit bias.
- Define the differences between minor and major behavior incidents to clarify the types of behaviors that may or may not result in classroom exclusion or are severe enough that an administrator needs to be involved.
- Identify a continuum of best practices and strategies for classroom-based responses that building staff should administer before or instead of classroom exclusion to support students in meeting behavioral expectations.
Schools’ handbooks, codes of conduct, and building discipline standards must not conflict with this policy, accompanying procedures, or other Board policies. A school’s building discipline standards must be annually approved by district superintendent or designee.
School principals will ensure teachers and other school personnel receive adequate support to effectively implement a continuum of identified best practices and strategies that:
- Focus on prevention to reduce the use of exclusionary discipline practices.
- Allow the exercise of professional judgment and skill sets; and
- May be adapted to individual student needs in a culturally responsive manner.
School principals will confer with certificated building employees at least annually to establish criteria for when certificated employees must complete classes to improve classroom management skills which include but may not be limited to district provided professional learning opportunities regarding PBIS, SEL, restorative justice practices, trauma-informed approaches, culturally responsive teaching, implicit bias, etc. and use of data to identify needed teacher training to support district policy implementation.
The District will periodically review and further develop this policy and procedure with the participation of school personnel, students, parents/guardians, families, and the community. As part of this development and review process, the district will use disaggregated data collected under RCW 28A.300.042 to monitor the impact of student discipline practices as well as to improve fairness and equity in the administration of student discipline. Discipline data must be disaggregated by:
- Student groups, including by gender, grade level, race/ethnicity (including further disaggregation of federal race and ethnicity categories in accordance with RCW 28A.300.042(1) and CEDARS Appendices Y and Z), low-income, English language learner, migrant, special education, Section 504, foster care, and homeless.
- Behavioral violation.
- Discipline types, including classroom exclusion, in-school suspension, short-term suspension, long-term suspension, emergency expulsion, and expulsion.
The District will follow the practices outlined in guidance from the Race and Ethnicity Student Data Task Force when disaggregating broader racial categories into subracial and subethnic categories. The District will consider student program status and demographic information (i.e., gender, grade-level, low-income, English language learner, migrant, special education, Section 504, foster care, and homeless) when disaggregating student race and ethnicity data to identify any within-group variation in school discipline experiences and outcomes of diverse student groups. This process may include reviewing data to prevent and address discrimination against students in protected classes identified in RCW chapters 28A.640 and 28A.642, however, the District will ensure it reviews disaggregated discipline data in accordance with WAC 392-190-048 at least annually.
The District will support each school to:
- set at least one goal annually for improving equitable student outcomes.
- create an action plan or plans.
- evaluate previous goals and action plans; and
- revise goals and action plans, based on evaluations.
Schools will share identified goals and action plans with all staff, students, parents/guardians, families, and the community.
Distribution of Policies and Procedures | The District will make the current version of this policy and procedure available to families and the community. The District will annually provide this policy and procedure to all District personnel, students, parents/guardians, and families, which may require language assistance for students and parents/guardians with limited English proficiency under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The District will ensure district employees and contractors are knowledgeable of this student discipline policy and procedure. At the building level, schools will annually provide the current building discipline standards, developed as stated above, to all school personnel, students, parents/guardians, and families, which may require language assistance for students and parents/guardians with limited-English proficiency under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Schools will ensure all school personnel are knowledgeable of the school building discipline standards. Schools are encouraged to provide discipline training developed under RCW 28A.415.410 to support implementation of this policy and procedure to all school staff as feasible.
Application | This policy and accompanying procedure will be construed in a manner consistent with Washington law as stated in WAC 392-400-020