Georgia School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Multi-tiered Frameworks and Systems of Support

Discipline Compendium

Georgia School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Multi-tiered Frameworks and Systems of Support

Category: Prevention, Behavioral Interventions, and Supports
Subcategory: Multi-tiered Frameworks and Systems of Support
State: Georgia

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LAWS

20-2-690.2. Establishment of student attendance and school climate committee; membership; summary of penalties for failure to comply; review and policy recommendations; reporting.

(a) The chief judge of the superior court of each county shall establish a student attendance and school climate committee for such county. The purpose of the committee shall be to ensure coordination and cooperation among officials, agencies, and programs involved in compulsory attendance issues, to reduce the number of unexcused absences from school, to increase the percentage of students present to take tests which are required to be administered under the laws of this state, and to improve the school climate in each school. The chief judge is responsible for ensuring that all members of the committee are notified of their responsibility to the committee and shall call the first meeting of the committee in each county. The committee shall elect a chairperson and may elect other officers.

(b) Each local board of education shall participate in, consider, and make publicly available, including, but not limited to, posting in a conspicuous location, its decision regarding the recommendations of the committee as provided in this Code section. Independent school systems may participate in the committee in the county where the system is located. Independent school systems whose geographic area encompasses more than one county may select one of such counties in which to participate. An independent school system that elects not to participate in the committee of the county where it is located shall request that the chief judge of the superior court of a county encompassed by its geographic area establish an independent student attendance and school climate committee in the same manner as established for the county school system. [...]

(f) The committee shall review and make recommendations for policies relating to school climate for the purpose of promoting positive gains in student achievement scores, student and teacher morale, community support, and student and teacher attendance, while decreasing student suspensions, expulsions, dropouts, and other negative aspects of the total school environment. Such review may include school climate ratings established pursuant to Code Section 20-14-33 for each school in the county school system and any independent school systems, if applicable. The committee may review, if available, nonidentifying data from student health surveys, data on environmental and behavioral indicators, data on student behavioral and school-based reactions, and teacher and parent survey instruments. The committee may recommend the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports and response to intervention, trauma informed care training, and the optimization of local resources through voluntary community, student, teacher, administrator, and other school personnel participation.

20-2-741. Positive behavorial interventions and supports and response to intervention.

(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) "High needs school" means a public school which has received a school climate rating of "1-star" or "2-star" pursuant to Code Section 20-14-33.

(2) "Positive behavioral interventions and supports" or "PBIS" means an evidence based data-driven framework to reduce disciplinary incidents, increase a school's sense of safety, and support improved academic outcomes through a multitiered approach, using disciplinary data and principles of behavior analysis to develop school-wide, targeted, and individualized interventions and supports.

(3) "Response to intervention" or "RTI" means a framework of identifying and addressing the academic and behavioral needs of students through a tiered system.

(b) Local boards of education are encouraged to implement PBIS and RTI programs and initiatives in their schools, and particularly in high needs schools.

(c) The State Board of Education is authorized, subject to appropriations by the General Assembly, to provide funds to local school systems to support PBIS and RTI programs, initiatives, and personnel.

(d) The State Board of Education is authorized to establish rules and regulations for PBIS and RTI programs and initiatives which receive funding pursuant to this Code section.

20-2-742. Multi-tiered system of supports prior to suspension or expulsion for certain students.

(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) "Multi-tiered system of supports" or "MTSS" means a systemic, continuous-improvement framework in which data based problem solving and decision making is practiced across all levels of the educational system for supporting students at multiple levels of intervention.

(2) "Public preschool through third grade" means a public preschool, a Pre-K program in a public school administered pursuant to Code Section 20-1A-4, and kindergarten through third grade in a public school.

(3) "Response to intervention" or "RTI" means a framework of identifying and addressing the academic and behavioral needs of students through a tiered system.

(4) "Weapon" shall include dangerous weapons, firearms, and hazardous objects as defined in Code Section 20-2-751.

(b) No student in public preschool through third grade shall be expelled or suspended from school for more than five consecutive or cumulative days during a school year without first receiving a multi-tiered system of supports, such as response to intervention, unless such student possessed a weapon, illegal drugs, or other dangerous instrument or such student's behavior endangers the physical safety of other students or school personnel. If such student is receiving or has received a multi-tiered system of supports, the school shall be deemed to have met the requirements of this Code section. The school or program shall comply with all federal laws and requirements regarding obtaining parental consent during any advanced tier within the system of supports prior to certain screenings or evaluations.

(c) In addition to the requirements in subsection (b) of this Code section, prior to assigning any student in preschool through third grade to out-of-school suspension for more than five consecutive or cumulative days during a school year, if such student has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) pursuant to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or a plan under Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the school or program shall also convene an IEP or Section 504 meeting to review appropriate supports being provided as part of such Individualized Education Program or Section 504 plan.

REGULATIONS

160-4-2-.32. Student Support Team.

(1) Definitions.

(a) Student Support Team (SST)- an interdisciplinary group that uses a systematic process to address learning and/or behavior problems of students, K-12, in a school.

(2) Requirements.

(a) Each school shall have a minimum of one SST and shall establish support team procedures.

(b) Before a referral is made for other supplemental or support services an evaluation and/or assessment shall be conducted.

1. Prior evaluation(s) and/or assessment(s) of a student for a state or federal program shall be considered as having met this requirement.

(c) The SST shall include at a minimum the referring teacher and at least two of the following participants, as appropriate to the needs of the student:

1. Principal.

2. General education teacher.

3. Counselor.

4. Lead teacher.

5. School psychologist.

6. Subject area specialist.

7. ESOL teacher.

8. Special education teacher.

9. School social worker.

10. Central office personnel.

11. Section 504 coordinator.

12. Other appropriate personnel.

(d) Parents/guardians shall be invited to participate in all meetings of their child's SST and in the development of interventions for their child.

(e) Each school shall include the following steps in the SST process:

1. Identification of learning and/or behavior problems.

2. Assessment, if necessary.

3. Educational plan.

4. Implementation.

5. Follow-up and support.

6. Continuous monitoring and evaluation.

(f) Documentation of SST activities shall include the following:

1. Student's name.

2. Names of team members.

3. Meeting dates.

4. Identification of student learning and/or behavior problems.

5. Any records of assessment;

6. Educational plan and implementation results;

7. Follow-up and, as appropriate, continuous evaluation.

(3) Exceptions to the Use of the SST Process.

(a) School personnel and parents/guardians may determine that there is a reasonable cause to bypass the SST process for an individual student. Documentation in the student's record shall clearly justify such action, including whether the parent or guardian agreed with such a decision. In cases where immediate referral is sought, the SST shall still determine what interim strategies, interventions, and modifications shall be attempted for the student.

(b) It is not necessary for students who transfer into the local school system/state operated program with a current Individualized Education Program or Section 504 plan to go through the SST process.

160-4-8-.15. Student discipline.

(1) Definitions.

(d) Multi-tiered system of supports or MTSS- a systemic, continuous-improvement framework in which data based problem-solving and decision making is practiced across all levels of the educational system for supporting students at multiple levels of intervention.

(g) Response to intervention or RTI- a framework of identifying and addressing the academic and behavioral needs of students through a tiered system.

(2) Requirements.

(l) No student in public preschool through third grade shall be expelled or suspended from school for more than five consecutive or cumulative days during a school year without first receiving a multi-tiered system of supports, such as response to intervention, unless such student possessed a weapon, illegal drugs, or other dangerous instrument or such student's behavior endangers the physical safety of other students or school personnel pursuant to O.C.G.A. 20-2-742.

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