Presentation on theme: "Code of Student Conduct (CSC) Tutorial Lesson 3b Developing Your CSC – Reviewing Your Current Documents This tutorial has been prepared for the NJ Department."— Presentation transcript:
Code of Student Conduct (CSC) Tutorial Lesson 3b Developing Your CSC – Reviewing Your Current Documents This tutorial has been prepared for the NJ Department of Education by CSCD@RU, and was supported in whole by a U.S. Department of Education Partnerships in Character Education Program grant.
Lesson 3b, v 05.17.2010page 2 Issues To Address In Your Review School district- and school building- level documents This tutorial addresses the district code of student conduct (CSC) that must be approved by the local board of education. The regulations require that the CSC be disseminated annually to all school staff, parents and students. Traditionally, it is through school handbooks provided in the beginning of each academic year that staff, students and parents are informed of student behavioral expectations and consequences. For this reason, it is important that school handbooks be reviewed and revised as necessary to be in accord with the CSC. For many school districts, this planning and dissemination process will take more time and organization than the development of the CSC at the district level.For many school districts, this planning and dissemination process will take more time and organization than the development of the CSC at the district level.
Lesson 3b, v 05.17.2010page 3 Issues To Address In Your Review School district- and school building- level documents When the Cherry Hill School District began to review school handbooks, it discovered that because the process had been decentralized for many years each of its nineteen buildings had slightly different formats and there was a lack of uniform content consequences for student conduct.
Lesson 3b, v 05.17.2010page 4 Issues To Address In Your Review School district- and school building- level documents One step that Cherry Hill found necessary was to convene meetings of principals at each level to work together to develop and agree on a format for their handbooks that was acceptable for them all to use. Here is the handbook that the high school administrators developed to disseminate their code of student conduct.Here is the handbook that the high school administrators developed to disseminate their code of student conduct.
Lesson 3b, v 05.17.2010page 5 Issues To Address In Your Review A Graded Response To Conduct Problems and the Developmental Appropriateness of Sanctions The provisions of the regulations related to student rights, responsibilities and sanctions require, in part, that the CSC contain: A description of school responses to violations of the behavioral expectations that, at a minimum, are graded according to the severity of the offenses, the developmental ages of the student offenders and the students’ histories of inappropriate behaviors … (N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.1(c)5.)
Lesson 3b, v 05.17.2010page 6 Issues To Address In Your Review The School-Wide Positive Behavior Support program trains schools to collect student conduct data in a systematic manner. Here is an example of a form developed by a school that participated in an NJDOE research project. Here is an example of a form developed by a school that participated in an NJDOE research project. An alternative way of handling conduct referrals is used by the Hunterdon Central Regional School District, which links core ethical values to both a Conduct Referral and a Praise Referral form with a snap set copy that goes to the student ’ s parent.a Conduct Referrala Praise Referral form
Lesson 3b, v 05.17.2010page 7 Special Topic: Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying The section of the CSC (N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9) that addresses harassment, intimidation and bullying (HIB) is of special importance because: 1.HIB is the most common and pervasive form of violence in schools. 2.If HIB acts are not prevented and remediated they can poison the school climate. 3.If required policies and procedures are not in place the school is legally vulnerable based on the 2002 bullying prevention statute (N.J.S.A. 18A:37-13 to 19) and case law. 4.There are a number of resources to guide your HIB policies and procedures.
Lesson 3b, v 05.17.2010page 8 Special Topic: Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying 1.HIB is the most common and pervasive form of violence in schools Approximately 30% of children indicate they have been bully perpetrators or victims. Frequently bullied children and children who experience severe incidents of HIB commonly experience long-term consequences such as anxiety and depression and social dysfunction that can last into adulthood.
Lesson 3b, v 05.17.2010page 9 Special Topic: Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying 1.HIB is the most common and pervasive form of violence in schools (cont ’ d) It is estimated that 30% of youth (over 5.7 million) in the United States are vulnerable to bullying as either a bully, a target of bullying, or both (National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center). Victims of bullying experience loneliness and often suffer humiliation, insecurity, loss of self-esteem, and thoughts of suicide, and bullying can interfere with a student's engagement and learning in school (American Psychological Association).
Lesson 3b, v 05.17.2010page 10 Special Topic: Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying 2.If HIB acts are not prevented and remediated they can poison the school climate Prevention begins with having a robust set of policies and procedures for reporting bullying and for prompt investigation of complaints, and disseminating them broadly, as required by statute and code. The consequences for HIB acts should be uniformly and fairly applied. The required annual review of these and other related conduct issues should inform the planning and implementation of responsive programs and services, such as social, emotional and character development programs.
Lesson 3b, v 05.17.2010page 11 Special Topic: Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying 3. Legal vulnerability of schools that fail to comply with statutes and regulations. The 2007 NJ Supreme Court decision, L.W. v. Toms River Regional Schools, affirmed that school districts may be held liable for HIB when the school district fails to end the mistreatment and offensive conduct. A summary of this decision can be found at: http://www.njpsa.org/pubs/article.cfm?aid=1029. http://www.njpsa.org/pubs/article.cfm?aid=1029 If your school district has not amended its policy since January 2008, it may not be in compliance with amendments to the statute requiring that: HIB policy must include electronic communications (cyber-bullying); HIB policy must be posted on website and distributed annually.
Lesson 3b, v 05.17.2010page 12 Special Topic: Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying 4. There are a number of resources to guide your HIB policies and procedures: The State Model Policy guidelines for HIB can be found at: http://www.state.nj.us/education/parents/bully.pdf http://www.state.nj.us/education/parents/bully.pdf (District officials should refer to this model when developing the HIB policies and procedures.) A Rubric for reviewing LEA Policy on Prohibiting HIB can be found at: http://sdfsc.rutgers.edu/file/HIB%20Information/HIB%20Policy%20Revie w%20Rubric%203-3-08.pdf http://sdfsc.rutgers.edu/file/HIB%20Information/HIB%20Policy%20Revie w%20Rubric%203-3-08.pdf A Tip Sheet for reviewing and updating your existing HIB policy can be found at: http://sdfsc.rutgers.edu/file/HIB%20Information/HIB%20Policy%20Tip% 20Sheet%203-3-08.pdf http://sdfsc.rutgers.edu/file/HIB%20Information/HIB%20Policy%20Tip% 20Sheet%203-3-08.pdf
Lesson 3b, v 05.17.2010page 13 Special Topic: Attendance Attendance at school is an important topic to be included in your CSC for a number of reasons. First, of course, is the fact that students cannot be expected to learn if they are not in school. In addition: Being in school consistently is important to ensuring children gain a strong foundation for subsequent learning. Research has shown a strong relationship between chronic absenteeism and low educational achievement. Bonding to school is associated with healthy development..
Lesson 3b, v 05.17.2010page 14 Special Topic: Attendance The regulations at N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.8 provide guidance regarding the establishment of attendance rules: 1.Each district board of education must develop, adopt and implement policies and procedures regarding the attendance of students (N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.8(a)1). It is important to note here that statute and code do not define ‘ unexcused absence ’ ; however, the school board must establish a definition for ‘ unexcused absence ’ (N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.8(a)3).
Lesson 3b, v 05.17.2010page 15 Special Topic: Attendance 2. Attendance policies and procedures must include: Expectations and consequences regarding timely arrival. Expectations and consequences regarding attendance. A definition of unexcused absence, and a requirement that – For up to 4 unexcused absences a plan is developed in consultation with parents. For between 5 and 9 unexcused absences, and investigation and review of the plan. For 10 or more unexcused absences (truancy), mandatory referral to the court program required by the NJ Administrative Office of the Courts. School staff responses for unexcused absences. Also note that for students with disabilities, attendance, punitive and remedial procedures are applied in accordance with the IEP.
Lesson 3b, v 05.17.2010page 16 Special Topic: Attendance During the discussion regarding the CSC revision, Highland Park uncovered a particular attendance issue that had been below the administration ’ s radar and directly related to translation of core ethical values and communication with parents.
Lesson 3b, v 05.17.2010page 17 Reviewing Your Code of Student Conduct As you begin your review, keep in mind that the regulations have four essential themes for developing effective CSCs: 1.Reinforcing good conduct and academic success by establishing “…civil, safe, secure, supportive and disciplined school environments conducive to learning…” (N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.1(b)2). 2.Describing student rights and responsibilities, including “...expectations for academic achievement, behavior and attendance…” (N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.1(c)3). 3.Designing comprehensive behavioral supports to help students meet behavioral expectations (N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.1(c)4). 4.Involving stakeholders in the development, review and revision of the CSC, using objective information on student conduct, and designing a plan for dissemination (N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.1(a)1-5).
Lesson 3b, v 05.17.2010page 18 Consulting your board attorney and school board leadership As you begin the formal review process of your CSC, district school administrators should alert appropriate school board leadership and the board attorney of the procedure you are using and establish a timeline for development and presentation of the proposed new draft. Reviewing Your Code of Student Conduct
Lesson 3b, v 05.17.2010page 19 Reviewing Your Code of Student Conduct Using a Compliance Checklist to Review the Required Content of Your CSC A checklist has been developed that sequentially follows each section of the regulations allowing you to review your current CSC in relation to the requirements so that you can: a)identify both content and procedures that need to be updated or improved, and b)feel secure that your CSC is in compliance with N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.1. The checklist can be accessed and downloaded:
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