Thursday, August 21, 2014

Discipline policy

Boone: sent out in advance of the agenda
consultation from the City Solicitor, as well
as a result of Legislative action as it relates to suspension and expulsion
Rodrigues: two specific areas that needed to be refurbished: Code of Conduct, and Due Process
to be sure we didn't have any conflicting messages
 Novick: refer whatever is passed to Governance for ongoing community conversation
request quarterly reports to Governance from administration on implimentation
update to language for next year based on experiences
concerns around timeline and process, due to state timelines
PreK-grade 3 suspension should not be happening at all
O'Connell: does not want to make changes:
  • of eliminating "zero tolerance" language; believes this has legal implications; concern with federal civil rights statute
  • Rule 9:excessive tardiness (which administration has recommended eliminating)
  • Rule 10: repeated violations (which administration has recommended eliminating)
Boone: ahead of the curve since 2009, we can maintain "zero tolerance" for certain behavior, we cannot have a one-size-fits all policy. "It is the veil of zero tolerance that has gotten us to this point of overuse of suspension." School Committee has heard previously of students put into court pipeline through "disruption of school assembly" charges. Every charge must be investigated fully individually.
Rodrigues: removal of zero tolerance language is consistent with guidance from US DoE and DoJ. "continued process of this in our handbook may open us up to litigation"
class missed two or more times (or late two or more times) must notify parents per attendance policy now
Ramirez: thank for putting a lot of thought into this in a quick manner
happy to see language from zero tolerance being changed
concern with using "obey" rather than "follow" rules of conduct
extremely happy to see excessive tardiness being taken out; students walk a long distance to get to school
concerns that we may not have answers yet: Gateway City, have many languages, need translation services
what are the options for education (for students suspended)?
Boone: concern on translators has been discussed with principals; shortened time frame challenge, as well
ongoing education: opportunities in place, as we are a larger district, will provide to school committee, both in and out of district
Rodrigues: once a student is suspended for ten consecutive days or more, then alternative education deployed then; through collaboratives, in district, and tutoring
Biancheria: great deal of information here, twelve additional questions, at least here
questions, principals have questions
"the law is the law is the law, and we have to work with it, but let's get it to standing committee"
Foley: support motion to send it to Governance, an awful lot of work to be done here
reflect on the fact that we have reduce our suspensions
"embrance what Mr. Robarge said today about reflecting on these issues"
take a look at the languages and our policies
let's not leave the vague language in there that has caused some of the problems in there
Monfredo: only the first step, has to be the first step
don't want to leave it to the end of the year to make changes
O'Connell: don't want to make changes tonight, but make that part of consideration at subcommittee
vote on O'Connell's motion to retain language on zero tolerance and rules FAILS
vote to approve, as well as send then to Governance PASSES
motion to suspend the rules to reconsider PASSES; reconsideration FAILS
aka: we're going with what was recommended

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