District of Columbia School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Alternative placements

Discipline Compendium

District of Columbia School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Alternative placements

Category: Exclusionary Discipline: Suspension, Expulsion, and Alternative Placement
Subcategory: Alternative placements
State: District of Columbia

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LAWS

§ 38-233. Alternative educational programs.

The Board of Education shall provide to any student who is expelled from school in accordance with this subchapter an alternative educational program at the D.C. Street Academy, at another existing alternative educational program, or at any alternative educational program that may be established in the future. Not later than 90 days after April 9, 1997:

(1) The Mayor and the Board of Education shall submit a report to the Council delineating a comprehensive plan for providing alternative educational services to a student who has been expelled from a District of Columbia Public School setting.

(2) The comprehensive plan shall include a description of the alternative education services to be provided to an expelled student, each location where the alternative education services shall be provided, and the estimated annual cost of providing the alternative education services.

REGULATIONS

5-A7500. General provisions.

7500.1 The purpose of this chapter is to:

(a) Set forth the eligibility criteria for a school or specialized program within a school to be designated as an alternative program and describe the manner in which students enrolled in the alternative program are funded on a per pupil basis;

(b) Establish the process for application for an alternative program designation; and

(c) Set forth OSSE's authority to monitor compliance with and enforce this chapter.

7500.2 OSSE may publish policies, procedures, or guidance related to alternative programs. Any OSSE policies and procedures related to alternative programs shall be posted on the OSSE website.

5-A7501. Alternative Program Designation.

7501.1 OSSE shall designate a school, or a specialized program within a school, as an alternative program for the purposes of a local education agency (LEA) receiving a per pupil allocation at the "Alternative Program" level, as set forth in D.C. Official Code § 38-2903, as follows:

(a) For a school, or a specialized program within a school, that does not have a prior alternative program designation, as defined in this chapter, or that is applying for this designation for the first time, the designation pursuant to this chapter shall take effect for school year 2019-2020; and

(b) For a school, or specialized program within a school, with a prior alternative program designation, as defined in this chapter, the prior designation shall be maintained for school year 2019-2020 and the designation pursuant to this chapter shall take effect for school year 2020-2021.

7501.2 The alternative program designation shall be valid for a period of three (3) years from the date the designation was issued by OSSE.

7501.3 Notwithstanding § 7501.2, a school, or specialized program within a school, that is in its first year of operation may be designated as an alternative program for a period of one year from the date the designation was issued by OSSE.

7501.4 An LEA shall receive per pupil funding at the "Alternative Program" level for students enrolled in a designated alternative program as follows:

(a) An LEA shall receive this funding for each student enrolled in a designated alternative program receiving full-time equivalent instruction and between the ages of thirteen (13) to twenty-four (24);

(b) An LEA shall not receive this funding for any student that is enrolled in a designated alternative program below the age of 13 or of the age of 25 years old or above; and

(c) Notwithstanding §§ 7501.4(a)-(b), an LEA shall receive this funding for each student, regardless of age, enrolled in a designated alternative program that only serves students currently under the supervision of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) or only serves students who are in a long-term suspension or expulsion status from the student's last school of attendance due to a disciplinary infraction.

5-A7502. Eligibility criteria for alternative program designation.

7502.1 To be a designated alternative program, the following criteria shall be satisfactorily demonstrated upon application and maintained throughout the designation period:

(a) The school mission includes a focus on serving students meeting any of the criteria described in § 7502.1(e);

(b) The school or specialized program within the school provides programming, including but not limited to, instruction, and academic and non-academic supports targeted to students meeting any of the criteria described in § 7502.1(e);

(c) The school or specialized program within the school provides a full-time equivalent academic track culminating in the first-time completion of a secondary academic credential;

(d) The students enrolled in the school, or in the specialized program within the school, include, but are not necessarily limited to, those who have reached the minimum age of thirteen (13) and who have not exceeded the maximum age of twenty-four (24);

(e) Based on either the prior school year or an average of the previous two (2) school years, seventy-five percent (75%) of the students between the ages of thirteen (13) and twenty-four (24) enrolled in full-time equivalent instruction in the school, or specialized program within the school, identified as one or more of the following:

(1) At least one year older, or more, than the expected age for the grade in which the student is, or should be, enrolled;

(2) Qualifies for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), as defined in the District of Columbia Public Assistance Act of 1982, effective April 6, 1982 (D.C. Law 4-101; D.C. Official Code §§ 4- 201.1 et seq.);

(3) Qualifies for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as defined in the Food Stamp Act Food Stamp Act of 1964, approved August 31, 1964 (78 Stat. 703; 7 USC § 2012(t));

(4) Experiencing homelessness, as defined in 5-A DCMR § 5099;

(5) Currently involved with or under the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA);

(6) The student has been expelled from their prior school;

(7) The student has a history of being on short- or long-term suspension at the student's prior school(s); or

(8) The student is under court supervision.

7502.2 To be designated as an alternative program during the first year of a school or specialized program's operation, §§ 7502.1(a)-(d), shall be satisfactorily demonstrated upon application and maintained throughout the one-year designation period.

5-A7503. Application for alternative program designation.

7503.1 To be eligible to receive per pupil funding at the "Alternative Program" level in Fiscal Year 2020 and beyond, an LEA shall apply on behalf of a school, or specialized program within the school, for the alternative program designation.

7503.2 An application for an alternative program designation shall proceed in the manner set forth in this chapter, including as follows:

(a) An LEA shall apply for the alternative program designation on behalf of a school, or specialized program within the school, that is not already designated as an alternative program;

(b) Applications shall be available on an annual basis;

(c) Applications shall be in the format and shall contain the information set forth by OSSE; and

(d) Upon receipt of a complete application, OSSE may request further documentation or records, as necessary, to evaluate an application. The applicant shall promptly comply with OSSE's request.

7503.3 A designated alternative program shall re-apply for the alternative program designation during the final year of the designation period to ensure continuity of funding at the at the "Alternative Program" level for the next school year.

5-A7504. Annial estimate for per pupil funding.

7504.1 Once designated as an alternative program, the school or specialized program within a school, shall submit an annual estimate of the number and age of students that are projected to be enrolled in the alternative program in the next school year.

7504.2 Projections for the number and age of students that will receive per pupil funding at the "Alternative Program" level in the following school year(s) shall be determined in a manner consistent with D.C. Official Code § 38-2906.

5-A7505. Monitoring.

7505.1 OSSE may monitor designated alternative programs at any time during the funding period to verify its continued eligibility. OSSE's monitoring may include, but is not limited to, scheduled and unscheduled visits to the school or specialized program, review of student records, and review of any relevant records.

7505.2 An alternative program shall cooperate with any monitoring conducted by OSSE or any audit conducted by the Office of the Chief Financial Officer pursuant to this section, and failure to do so may result in loss of alternative program designation.

7505.3 An alternative program shall comply with the following:

(a) Notwithstanding any other requirements set forth by federal or local law or regulation, retain any records related to the eligibility of the school or specialized program for alternative program designation, to the application process for alternative program designation, and to the criteria of individual students , for as long as the school is receiving the per pupil funding at the "Alternative Program" level and for ten (10) years after such funding ends; and

(b) Promptly comply with all OSSE data and records requests related to its alternative program designation.

5-A7599. Definitions.

7599.1 When used in this chapter, the following terms and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed:

Alternative Program–An entire school or specialized program within a school that is offering instruction and academic and non-academic supports to students who meet the criteria set forth in this chapter.

Full-time equivalent–Shall have the same meaning as set forth in D.C. Official Code § 38-2901(6)(A).

Local Education Agency–Pursuant to 20 USCS § 7801(30)(A), a public board of education or other public authority legally constituted within a State for either administrative control or direction of, or to perform a service function for, public elementary schools or secondary schools in a city, county, township, school district, or other political subdivision of a State, or of or for a combination of school districts or counties that is recognized in a State as an administrative agency for its public elementary schools or secondary schools.

Office of the State Superintendent of Education or OSSE–The state level agency established by the State Education Establishment Act of 2000, effective October 21, 2000 (D.C. Law 13-176; D.C. Official Code §§ 38-2601 et seq.).

Prior alternative program designation–a school, or specialized program within a school that was designated as an Alternative Program by OSSE for Fiscal Year 2019 to receive per pupil funding at the "Alternative Program" level.

School–A public charter school authorized to operate by a chartering authority in the District of Columbia or a school within the District of Columbia Public Schools system

Secondary Academic Credential–High school diploma, GED or certificate of IEP completion.

5-B2408. Dress codes/uniforms.

2408.16 If a student fails to abide by a mandatory uniform policy more than four times, a behavioral contract may be written in which the consequences for not fulfilling the terms of the contract may include a referral to a placement team to determine a more appropriate setting. Any transfer to an alternative setting must be approved by the Chancellor.

5-B2500. General policy.

2500.10 Disciplinary responses, as defined in § 2502 of this chapter, shall be aimed, to the extent practicable under the circumstances, to enable students to continue their instructional program.

5-B2504. Policy for suspensions and expulsions.

2504.9 The principal or other school official may establish, or make a referral to, a special class or other supervised program for students who are suspended, subject to the approval of a person designated by the Chancellor. This special class or other supervised program may be located within a student's home school or at another appropriate DCPS site.

2504.10 A student who has been suspended or expelled shall have access to an Education Plan as follows:

(a) If a student is suspended for fewer than eleven (11) days, the principal initiating the Suspension shall provide an Education Plan that meets the student's educational needs and allows the student to make up any class and homework assignments and exams without penalty.

(b) If a student is suspended for eleven (11) days or more or expelled, the student shall be placed in an Alternative Educational Setting that will allow the student the opportunity to continue to earn credits towards promotion or graduation requirements.

5-B2505. Procedures for suspensions and expulsions.

2505.17 Once a hearing is scheduled by the hearing office, the student shall be placed on Suspension, or in another appropriate placement until the conclusion of the hearing and appeals processes.

5-B2599. Definitions.

2599.1 Unless the same term or phrase is defined in § 2599.2, the definitions set forth in § 2099 are incorporated in this chapter by reference and shall apply to the terms and phrases used in this chapter.

2599.2 As used in this chapter, the following terms and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed:

"Alternative Educational Setting"–an educational program other than that in which the student was placed prior to disciplinary action.

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