Student Discipline

Procedural Protections Pertaining to Student Discipline:

Nashoba Regional School District has procedures in place to assure a safe learning environment for students. Each school within the district has a student handbook that outlines their rules of conduct so that students know how they are expected to behave. If a student violates the school code of conduct, the school may discipline the student. In general, any student may be suspended or removed from school for disciplinary reasons for a short time, which is no more than 10 days. Before any removal or suspension the student must be told what he or she is accused of having done and must be given a chance to tell his or her side of the story. During a short disciplinary removal, the school is not required to provide instruction to a disabled student unless it does so for non-disabled students. Once a student with a disability has been removed from the school placement for more than 10 cumulative days during the school year the student must receive educational services that will allow the student to continue to participate in the general education curriculum and to progress toward the goals set out in his or her IEP. School officials must consult with at least one of the student’s teachers to determine what services are necessary. These services must begin on the 11th school day of a student’s disciplinary removal during the school year and continue during the disciplinary removal.

There are special disciplinary rules for students with disabilities who have been found eligible for special education.  These rules apply as soon as a student is removed from his or her current education placement for more than 10 days in a row, or if a student is removed for disciplinary reasons for more than a total of 10 days in any school year and there is a pattern of removal for comparable behaviors. In the event a student is suspended for 10 school days, the school will  notify the parent or guardian as soon as the decision is made to remove a student from his or her education placement for more than 10 days and will provide the parent with a copy of this Notice.

The student’s IEP Team must meet within 10 days of the school’s decision to impose the discipline. At this meeting, called a “manifestation determination,” the parent and other members of the IEP Team will determine if the behavior was caused by or had a direct relationship to the student’s disability, or was the direct result of the school’s failure to provide the services required by the student’s IEP. In making the manifestation determination, the IEP team must consider relevant information from the student’s file, including his or her IEP, parent and teachers’ observations of the student’s behavior, and any relevant information provided by the parent.

If the team determines that the student’s behavior was not caused by or directly related to the student’s disability or the failure to properly implement the IEP, then a student with a disability can be disciplined in the same manner and for the same length of time as other students are disciplined for the same offense. 

The IEP Team, however, must determine the interim alternative educational setting (IAES)  where the student will be placed and the educational services that will be provided. An IAES is a setting other than the student’s current placement that enables the student to continue to receive educational services according to his or her IEP. School personnel may consider the student’s unique circumstances in determining whether a change in placement is appropriate for a student with a disability.

If the Team determines that the student’s behavior was caused by or directly related to the student’s disability or the failure to properly implement the IEP, then the student must be returned to the last approved IEP placement unless the IEP Team, including the parent, decide on a different placement. The student must also be provided a functional behavioral assessment (FBA). An FBA is a comprehensive assessment of behavior that provides the IEP Team with information about the student’s behavior and identifies behavioral intervention services and program modifications that are designed to address the behavioral violation so it does not recur. If the student has already had a functional behavioral assessment and has a behavioral intervention plan, then the IEP Team should determine if any changes should be made to the behavioral intervention plan. If the behavior was caused by the failure to properly implement the IEP, the school must take immediate steps to remedy the deficiencies.    

Note that if a student possessed or used a weapon or drugs, or caused serious bodily injury to another person on school property or at a school event the student may be placed by the principal in an IAES for up to 45 school days without regard to whether the behavior is determined to be a manifestation of the student’s disability. The IEP Team will determine the IAES and the appropriate educational services that will be provided to the student while he or she is in the IAES.