Safe and Supportive Schools Policy

1.       Summary

The District is committed to supporting students through behavior interventions and alternatives to dismissal, suspension or other sanctions that require removal from the educational setting in all cases except those where the immediate safety of students or staff is threatened or the behavior in question is such that the disruption to the education environment is significant and can only be remedied by removal.

This Safe and Supportive Schools Policy provides specific, tiered behavioral interventions and alternatives to suspension that shall be exhausted before referring a child out of the classroom except in cases of immediate safety threat or significant disruption that can only be remedied by removal.  This Policy:

a.Establishes a discipline matrix that codifies objective behavior expectations, specified required interventions and accompanying documentation for various categories of conduct, with an emphasis on Restorative and Trauma-Informed practices;

b.Establishes that suspension, including supervised suspension at school, may only be utilized as the appropriate intervention in the most extreme circumstances when the appropriate identified interventions in the behavioral discipline matrix have been exhausted and documented in the District data system, or the principal determines that there has been a violation of Section 48900(a)-(e) or there is a danger to persons, as required by Section 48900.5 of the California Education Code;

c.Establishes that no student shall receive an out-of-school suspension solely on the basis of “disruption/willful defiance” (Section 48900(k)), unless there is an immediate danger to persons, as required by Section 48900.5 of the California Education Code;

d.Reiterates that “undocumented suspensions,” including but not limited to permitted dismissals and permits to leave, are prohibited and unlawful. Students cannot be sent out of the classroom for disciplinary reasons without the required suspension documentation;

e.Requires that if a teacher suspends a student pursuant to Section 48910, consistent in-school options are available with appropriately credentialed intensive supervision, behavioral counseling, and completion of schoolwork as required by Section 48911.1 is provided for the duration of the suspension by teacher from class;

f.Requires that for out-of-school suspensions, to the extent feasible, students are offered to serve their suspension in an appropriate alternative setting within the District in lieu of serving the suspension at home;

g.Requires every student who is suspended from school to receive a reentry conference and an intervention plan to be developed with the student and guardian/parent(s) that shall include clear documented behavioral and academic expectations for the student, and any additional services or support that school staff will provide to assist the student in meeting those expectations. A guardian/parent’s failure to participate shall not prevent the student from returning to school after the suspension, nor will it prevent the school and student from holding the conference or developing the intervention plan;

h.Requires regular collection and analysis of discipline data and sharing with the school community to inform disciplinary practices and procedures.

2. Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Discipline Matrix

The District has worked with the school and community stakeholders to develop Behavioral Matrices that outline the expected behaviors in multiple locations throughout the school setting. Additionally, every school site has worked with their staff and community stakeholders to create a behavioral flow chart to indicate which issues are classroom-managed versus office-managed. In conjunction, each school site has created a Discipline Matrix that provides evidence-based supports and interventions that can be used to address unwanted student behaviors in a productive and educational manner. The Matrices provide suggested and in some cases mandatory interventions, but do not limit school site development of their own additional interventions and strategies that prove effective in building community and addressing unwanted student behaviors without resorting to removal from the educational environment. Successful disciplinary practices should ensure that students have the opportunity to continue to be engaged in their school community and to reflect upon and learn from their mistakes.

The Matrices are also a tool for all stakeholders (students, families, certificated and non- certificated staff, and community) to share a common understanding of the District’s high behavior expectations and responses for adults and students. Finally, the Matrices were also designed to address and prevent disproportional suspension of any particular student group, by helping school sites identify appropriate and effective alternative approaches to punitive discipline and to build consistency in school site disciplinary responses to similar types of behavior.

a. Intersection of Matrices and Student Discipline

To achieve these goals, all of our seven school sites are trained and utilize PBIS. The basic Tier 1 components required of all sites include:

-5 School Wide Behavior Expectations stated in the positive (i.e. be safe, be respectful, be responsible)

- Behavior Expectations Matrix that outlines the specific routines in each area of the school (i.e. playground, cafeteria, hallways, etc.).

-Lesson Plans and Roll-out Matrix that indicate which lessons will be taught by whom and when, including a script to ensure that all students are taught the expectations at the beginning of the year in a consistent manner (and periodically through the school year to catch new students and provide review to all students)

-Major/Minor Flowchart that documents sample minor offences that are handled in the classroom as well as major offences that are mandatorily handled in the front office

-Suggestion consequences that outline a menu of progressive responses to support students at the classroom level to ensure that the severity of the consequence matches the behavioral offence

-Office Discipline Referral Forms to document both major and minor issues

-Acknowledgement System that is focused on providing recognition to students for following the school agreements in multiple tiers (weekly, smaller acknowledgements, larger quarterly acknowledgements, as well as individual and group celebrations).

As our schools move into full implementation, there are also Tier 2 and Tier 3 components required of all sites that include:

-Tier 2 Check in Check Out Support with decision rules to determine entry and exit

-Tier 2 PBIS team that includes specialists and generalists who meet regularly to review student outcome data

-Active use and analysis of the data collected in School Wide Information System (SWIS), a web-based data collection tool published by the University of Oregon as a companion to full PBIS implementation

-Tier 3 PBIS team that includes specialists and generalists who meet regularly to review student outcome data

-Trained personnel to deliver Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs) as necessary, along with decision rules to determine entry and exit

In summary, suspensions are generally a last resort and shall not be utilized except in the following circumstances:

·A student may be suspended on a first offense if the principal determines that the student violated a section of Education Code 48900(a)-(e) or that the student’s conduct causes an immediate danger to persons.

·Immediate suspension and expulsion referral are mandatory for offenses listed under Education Code 48915(c) (possession of gun or explosive, brandishing a knife, selling drugs, or a sexual assault or battery).

·Suspension is otherwise only permissible if the school team has exhausted and documented the mandatory interventions listed in the relevant Matrix, such prior interventions failed to bring about proper conduct, and suspension is the appropriate response.  Additionally, prior to the suspension of a student of any group that District data identifies as materially disproportionately referred for discipline, the school must contact the Assistant Superintendent or designee who will review and confirm that the Matrix interventions have been exhausted and documented, and that no other appropriate alternatives to suspension are available.

b.Organization of the Matrices 

Each school site has created a personalized system based on the tenets of PBIS and the Implementation Blueprint published by the United States Office of Special Education Program’s Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. By ensuring fidelity of implementation through consistent monitoring of outcome and fidelity data, our school sites are able to disaggregate their behavioral data and make data-informed decisions in the best interest of our students. All school sites have a PBIS Handbook (either in soft or hard copy) that is available to their school community. The aforementioned components are documented and explained such that all community stakeholders may effectively use the Handbook for guidance.

c.Using the Matrices

All of our school sites are expected to review their fidelity and outcome data on a regular basis. Through the use of SWIS, school-based PBIS teams can disaggregate the data and determine the best next-steps to support universal implementation and determine the students who need more intensive supports. Concurrently, the use of the assessments (i.e. Self-Assessment Survey (SAS), Tiered Fidelity Implementation (TFI)), school-based teams can monitor the efficacy of their interventions and district-level leadership can also monitor the level of implementation across sites.

Schools that have failed to exhaust and document the MANDATORY interventions cannot subsequently decide to suspend a student for the behavior unless and until such interventions are attempted and documented. This does not apply to mandatory offenses under Education Code 48915(c) or situations where the principal or designee determines there is an immediate danger to persons. A parent or guardian’s unwillingness to participate in a restorative conversation or other intervention will not prevent the team from moving forward with interventions and support.


(48900 (k) (disruption/defiance), (i) (obscenity, profanity, vulgarity))

Disruptive behavior should be addressed using in-class interventions unless the conduct is such that the safety of students or staff is threatened or the disruption to the educational environment is significant, persistent, and can only be remedied by referral out of the class.

Examples of disruptive behavior includes: failure to follow directions; being off task; talking back; use of profanity; graffiti on desk or in books; being out of seat; unexcused late arrival to class; not having materials or supplies


We can insert the 7 sites’ behavioral flowcharts, major/minors definitions, and suggested consequences matrices here.