District of Columbia School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Parental Notification

Discipline Compendium

District of Columbia School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Parental Notification

Category: Monitoring and Accountability
Subcategory: Parental Notification
State: District of Columbia

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LAWS

§ 38-207. Authority of police over truant child.

(c) Within 2 business days of a minor student's 10th unexcused absence during a school year, the educational institution shall send the minor's parent:

(1) Information from the Chief of Police about the compulsory attendance requirements and criminal penalties for violations of this chapter; and

(2) A letter notifying the parent that he or she may be in violation of the school attendance requirements under this chapter and may be subject to prosecution.

§ 38-208. Truancy procedures; inter-agency coordination.

(c)(2) Within 3 business days of the Office of the Attorney General, Juvenile Section receiving written notification pursuant to paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection, the Office of the Attorney General shall send the minor student's parent a letter notifying the parent that he or she may be subject to prosecution for violation of the school attendance requirements under this subchapter.

§ 38-236.03. Establishment of school discipline policies.

(b) Local education agencies shall adopt, in consultation with school personnel, students, and parents, school discipline policies to promote the safety and well-being of students and staff. School discipline policies shall:

(5) Require school personnel to seek and facilitate the involvement of parents in response to an incident resulting in a disciplinary action, particularly with regard to the plan for continuity of education, to the degree that a parent is able to participate.

REGULATIONS

5-A2101. Attendance records and reporting.

2101.9   Within two (2) business days of a student’s tenth (10th) full day unexcused absence during a school year, the educational institution shall:

(a) [REPEALED];

(b) Send the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) a letter, under signature of the Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, notifying the parent(s) or guardian(s) that they may be in violation of the school attendance requirements and subject to prosecution under District of Columbia laws; and

(c) Notify OSSE of the student has accrued ten (10) full day of unexcused absences.

2101.10 Upon notification from the educational institution under Section 2101.9, OSSE shall provide the parent(s) or guardian(s) with a copy of the Truancy Prevention Resource Guide published by OSSE. 

5-A2102. Absences.

2102.4 An educational institution shall obtain an explanation from the student's parent or guardian verifying the reason for an absence within no more than five (5) days upon the student's return to school, otherwise the absence shall be deemed unexcused.

5-A2103. Absentee intervention and school-based student support teams.

2103.2 Each LEA shall incorporate evidence-based practice into its absenteeism protocol, considering procedures to address the following:

(c) Procedures for monitoring, reporting, addressing, and evaluating attendance and absences consistent with District of Columbia attendance and absence reporting requirements including:

(1) A procedure requiring reasonable and diligent attempts to make personal contact with the parent(s) or guardian(s) of a student, or the student, as applicable, on the same day and each time a student has the equivalent of one (1) day of unexcused absence, with daily follow-ups as necessary.

5-B2408. Dress codes/uniforms.

2408.13 With the exception of the disciplinary action described in section 2408.16, students violating the mandatory uniform policy shall be subject to progressive corrective measures and disciplinary action. Additionally:

(a) Parents shall be called when a student reports to school out of uniform. The parent shall be asked to bring compliant clothing for the student to school.

(b) If the parents are not reachable or are unable to respond within two hours of the start of the school day, the student may be issued a conforming uniform from the school's uniform bank with directions to return it clean the next school day.

5-B2500. General policy.

2500.5 DCPS shall involve family members in efforts to determine the causes of misbehavior and in efforts to support appropriate school behavior. […]

2500.6 Options for prevention, intervention, and remediation shall include, but not be limited to:

(p) Parent conference;

(q) Parent observation of student. [...]

2500.12 Disciplinary responses shall include, but not be limited to, the following strategies:

(c) Parental contact (written or by phone);

(d) Parent conference. [...]

2500.17 All oral communications, including conferences, appeals, and hearings conducted with any student, parent, or guardian shall be conducted with interpretation services when necessary to ensure effective communication. Interpretation service shall include a qualified interpreter, as that term is defined in D.C. Official Code § 2-1901 (2007 Rpl.) or DCPS staff member who is fluent in the individual's native language. A certified sign language interpreter shall be provided for any student, parent, or guardian who is deaf or hard of hearing upon request.

2500.18 All written documents concerning the disciplinary process shall be considered vital documents and provided to any student, parent, or guardian in a format that he or she can understand. For individuals with Limited or No-English Proficiency, documents shall be provided in the individual's native language. For individuals with vision impairments, reasonable accommodations shall be made to provide documents in a manner accessible to the individual, including but not limited to Braille, large type, audio recording, or some other suitable electronic media.

5-B2502. Grounds for disciplinary action.

2502.1 Tier I behaviors are those behaviors that are insubordinate or cause minor disruptions to the academic environment but do not involve damage to school property or harm to self or others. Tier I behaviors result in classroom-level disciplinary responses that may be elevated to administrative response if they are not successfully abated by the teacher or the appropriate school-level committee.

(b) Disciplinary responses for Tier I behaviors shall include:

(3) Parental contact in writing or by phone;

(4) Teacher/parent conference. [...]

2502.2 Tier II behaviors are those behaviors not specifically enumerated in any other tier in this chapter that cause disruption to the academic environment, involve damage to school property, or may cause minor harm to self or others. Tier II behaviors result in school-based and administrative disciplinary responses.

(b) Disciplinary responses for Tier II behaviors shall include:

(3) Parental contact in writing or by phone;

(4) Administrator/parent conference [...]

2502.3 Tier III behaviors are those behaviors not specifically enumerated in any other tier in this chapter that cause significant disruption to the academic environment or cause harm to self or others. In addition to lesser consequences, Tier III behaviors may result in either on-site or off-site Suspension.

(b) Disciplinary responses for Tier III behaviors shall include:

(3) Parental contact (written or by phone);

(4) Parent conference.

5-B2504. Policy for suspensions and expulsions.

2504.13 Students younger than the age of fourteen (14) who have been suspended or expelled shall not be allowed to leave school grounds during school hours unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, or his or her designee. Students older than fourteen (14) who have been suspended or expelled shall not be allowed to leave school grounds during school hours until a parent or guardian, or his or her designee, has been contacted by phone or in person and given a reasonable opportunity to arrange for proper supervision of the student. If the parent or guardian of a suspended student cannot be notified by phone or in person, the student must remain at school until the end of the school day.

2504.14 If the parent or guardian of a student who has been suspended cannot be contacted by phone or in person before the next school day, and the student arrives at school, he or she must remain in the building until a parent or guardian can be contacted and given a reasonable opportunity to arrange for proper supervision of the student or until the end of the school day. The student may be segregated and must be appropriately supervised during this time. Any such day will count toward fulfilling the term of the student's Suspension.

5-B2505. Procedures for suspensions and expulsions.

2505.4 The conference shall include a discussion of the following:

(g) If the principal is recommending Long-Term Suspension or Expulsion, the principal shall report his or her findings and recommendations from the conference in writing to the student and parent or guardian and a person designated by the Chancellor. The principal shall also inform the student and parent or guardian in writing of disciplinary hearing procedures, appeal rights, the intervention supports available to the student, and the requirements for readmission.

2505.5 The conference may include the parent or guardian, witnesses, and/or legal representative, but participation by such party(ies) shall not be required.

2505.6 Students and parents or guardians shall be provided written notice of all Suspensions and Expulsions as follows:

(a) No student may be suspended or expelled, including on-site Suspension, without written notice to the adult student or minor student's parent or guardian.

(b) Following the oral notice provided to parents or guardians pursuant to § 2504.13 verifiable written notice using contact information provided by the parent or guardian (e.g. email, certified mail, or hand-delivered mail with a signature receipt) of all authorized or proposed Suspensions and Expulsions must be sent to the parent or guardian or to the adult student no later than one (1) school day after the decision by the principal or a person designated by the Chancellor to authorize or propose Suspension or Expulsion.

(c) The notice must inform the parent or guardian of the identity of the person who has the authority to modify or rescind the proposed Suspension or Expulsion. Adult students shall receive notification of their infraction in the same manner.

(d) The notice must also include a description of the infraction including a citation of the rule(s) upon which the action is based, a summary of the facts, the length of the proposed Suspension or Expulsion, the principal's recommendation for an Education Plan or Alternative Educational Setting; and a description of the student's right to appeal pursuant to § 2505.13 or to a hearing pursuant to § 2505.14.

(e) A student who has been given a notice of proposed Expulsion may be immediately placed on Suspension in accordance with the rules and procedures set forth in this section.

5-B2506. Procedures for disciplinary hearings.

2506.1 Disciplinary hearings shall be held at a time and place that is reasonably convenient to the student and parent or guardian.

2506.2 For Long-Term Suspensions and Expulsions, the hearing shall be held not more than four (4) school days after a written notice regarding disciplinary action is provided to the parent or guardian or adult student, except that the hearing may be postponed for not more than five (5) school days upon the request of the adult student, minor student's parent or guardian, or his or her representative, where postponement of the hearing is necessary to prepare for the hearing, provide for the hearing, or provide for the attendance of necessary parties, including interpreters. The hearing office shall provide written notice to the parent or guardian or adult student of the date, time, and location of the hearing immediately upon scheduling the hearing. The notice from the hearing office shall state what consequences, if any, result from failure to attend the hearing.

2506.3 The hearing shall be closed to the public unless the parent or guardian or adult student requests an open hearing.

2506.4 The student shall have a right, but shall not be required, to have a representative or legal counsel, selected by the parent or guardian or adult student.

2506.5 The student, parent or guardian, or representative shall have the right to question any witness or challenge any documentary evidence.

2506.6 The parent or guardian or adult student shall have the opportunity to present testimony and documentary evidence, including the opportunity to call any witness to present testimony relevant to the disciplinary action or other school system recommendation. The right to call witnesses shall include the right to require the presence of any involved school official.

2506.7 It shall be the burden of the DCPS to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the student did commit the infraction(s) upon which the disciplinary action is based.

2506.8 The hearing officer shall ensure that all due process procedures have been followed or waived.

2506.9 The hearing officer may question any witness or party and shall examine all documentary evidence.

2506.10 The hearing shall not be conducted according to the rules of evidence. However, the hearing officer may exclude any testimony or evidence that is irrelevant or repetitive.

2506.11 The hearing officer shall ensure that the hearing is conducted in a fair and orderly manner and shall have the authority to exclude any party or other person from the hearing on the grounds of substantial interference or obstruction of the orderly hearing process.

2506.12 The hearing officer shall make an official electronic audio recording of the hearing, which shall constitute the official record thereof. Upon request, a copy of the recording shall be made available to the parent or guardian, adult student, or representative and the local school principal. This provision shall not preclude a parent or guardian or representative from also recording or transcribing the hearing at his or her expense.

2506.13 The principal or school official shall indicate a recommendation of the school system for the duration of the off-site placement.

5-B2507. Hearing officer recommendation.

2507.4 A copy of the written determination provided by a person designated by the Chancellor or by the head of the Office of Youth Engagement shall be given or mailed, within twenty-four (24) hours, to the adult student, the minor student's parent or guardian, and their representatives, if any.

5-B2509. Re-entry following expulsion.

2509.1 Prior to the conclusion of an Expulsion, a person designated by the Chancellor shall hold a conference with the student and the student's parent or guardian to determine appropriate school placement for the student.

2509.2 The conference shall be held according to guidelines in § 2505, and shall include discussion of the following topics:

(a) The student's activities while under disciplinary action;

(b) The steps the student will take to avoid a subsequent disciplinary action;

(c) Support required by the student to avoid subsequent disciplinary action; and

(d) Any other pertinent circumstances.

2509.3 Effort shall be made to return the student to his or her previous school, unless a person designated by the Chancellor reasonably concludes based on the conference that another school is a more appropriate setting.

2509.4 The student and his or her parent or guardian shall be informed of the school placement no more than one school day after the conference, and the registration/enrollment process shall be facilitated as smoothly and quickly as possible thereafter.

2509.5 The principal of the receiving school shall ensure the returning student receives an appropriate academic program, as well as services to ensure a smooth transition back into the general school population (e.g., SST meeting, counseling, etc.).

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