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Discipline/Suspensions Image The Citywide Standards of Discipline and Intervention Measures outlines the Standards of Behavior for all students grades K-12. It also describes in detail the list of Infractions and ranges of possible disciplinary responses. For specific details, go to the DOE's Discipline Code.

When A Student is suspended, one must first determine if it is a Principal's Suspension or a Superintendent's Suspension. Chancellor's Regulation A-443 sets forth suspension procedures.

A Principal's Suspension can last from 1-5 days. Arrangements for alternative instruction must be made by the school for the student during that time. During a Principal's Suspension, students must be allowed to complete academic assignments and take examinations. Written notice of the suspension must be given to the parent or guardian immediately, and a conference must be scheduled within five days from the time the notice is sent. At the conference, documents, witnesses and evidence are presented. The Principal then determines if the suspension is warranted. If a child is arrested as a result of the suspension, it is important that the child's Law Guardian be notified. Before initiating a Principal's Suspension for a student in grades K-3, a principal must obtain the approval of the Superintendent.

A Superintendent's Suspension is often sought for more serious offenses (level 3-5) as listed in the Discipline Code, and can last for up to one year. Alternative instruction must be arranged by the school and may be arranged through an offsite location which would provide a full day program for elementary and middle school students and a two hour program for high school students. When a student receives a Superintendent's Suspension, written notice including a statement of the charges and the date of the infraction should be made to the parent or guardian. In addition, a parent may request a copy of the "suspension packet" which would include copies of witness statements and other evidence as well as a copy of the student's school records and IEP if he/she has one. It is very important that a child's Law Guardian be notified of a Superintendent's Suspension, as they may assist and/or represent the student at a Suspension Hearing. Some advocacy organizations also assist with suspension and discipline issues.

When a Special Education student is suspended, the Chancellor's Regulation provides that alternate instruction must be provided by the DOE. If the child faces a "disciplinary change in placement", he/she is entitled to a Manifestation Determination Review (MDR). This conference will assist in determining the relationship between the student's disabling condition and his/her behavior. An MDR must be held when a child with special needs is suspended for more than 10 consecutive days. Sometimes an MDR will be required if there are shorter periods of suspension that add up to more than 10 non-consecutive days, if there is a pattern of removals that is equivalent to a change of placement. In the case of a "disciplinary change in placement" the CSE, if it has not already done so, should conduct a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) and implement a Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP). A FBA determines at what level a child is functioning in his current school placement, and when and how problem behavior is occurring. This will be required in order to conduct the MDR. The BIP outlines what steps need to be taken at what points during the school day in order to maintain appropriate functioning. To summarize, when a student with an IEP is suspended for more than 10 days (consecutively or as a cumulative pattern), the DOE must perform a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA), or review an FBA conducted previously, and conduct a Manifestation Determination Review (MDR), as well as prepare or review a Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP).
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