Rhode Island School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Alternative placements

Discipline Compendium

Rhode Island School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Alternative placements

Category: Exclusionary Discipline: Suspension, Expulsion, and Alternative Placement
Subcategory: Alternative placements
State: Rhode Island

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New in 2023

LAWS

16-19-1. Attendance required.

(b) A waiver to the compulsory attendance requirement may be granted by the superintendent only upon has an alternative learning plan for obtaining either a high school diploma or its equivalent.

(1) Alternative-learning plans shall include age-appropriate academic rigor and the flexibility to incorporate the pupil's interests and manner of learning. These plans may include, but are not limited to, such components, or combination of components, of extended learning opportunities as independent study, private instruction, performing groups, internships, community service, apprenticeships, and online courses that are currently funded and available to the school department and/or the community. In developing these alternative-learning plans, consideration shall be given to the unique difficulties and interruptions that many students are experiencing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, these alternative-learning plans may incorporate alternatives and extended breaks in study which that would not be considered preferable under non-pandemic circumstances.

(2) Alternative-learning plans shall be developed, and amended if necessary, in consultation with the pupil, a school guidance counselor, the school principal, and at least one parent or guardian of the pupil, and submitted to the superintendent for approval. An alternative-learning plan may, but is not required to, incorporate an extended withdrawal as set forth in this section.

(3) If the superintendent does not approve the alternative-learning plan, the parent or guardian of the pupil may appeal such decision to the school committee. A parent or guardian may appeal the decision of the school committee to the commissioner of education pursuant to chapter 39 of title 16(hereinafter collectively referred to as the "reviewing body").

(ii) In making decisions regarding the approval of an alternative-learning plan, consideration shall be given to the unique difficulties and interruptions that many students are experiencing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, alternative-learning plans may be approved which that may incorporate alternatives and extended breaks in study which that would not be considered preferable under non-pandemic circumstances. The provisions of this section shall not require the approval of an alternative-learning plan which that the reviewing body determines is not in the best interests of the child.

(iii) In addition, this section authorizes the granting of an extended withdrawal from school. An extended withdrawal from school is a withdrawal that may be authorized which that is not intended to be a permanent withdrawal but which that is extended because of unique difficulties and interruptions that many students are experiencing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A student in an extended withdrawal shall still be considered to be enrolled in school and will not need to be re-enrolled for purposes of returning to the student's regular classes. An extended withdrawal may authorize a student to be excused from taking any classes during the withdrawal period or to undertake a reduced number of classes than the student would otherwise take as an enrolled student. An extended withdrawal shall include provisions to periodically monitor and check-in on the status of the student and the student's ability to return to the public school learning environment. An extended withdrawal pursuant to this subsection may be granted to any student, regardless of age.

16-21-20. Alternative placement and prevention activities.

The department of elementary and secondary education in conjunction with the attorney general's task force to prevent violence in schools shall develop requirements for the alternative placement of students suspended under the provision of § 16-21-18. The placements shall be cooperative efforts between the local school district, which shall be responsible for instruction of students, and other appropriate state and local agencies. Further, the department of elementary and secondary education in conjunction with the attorney general's task force shall establish policies in support of locally developed prevention and education activities that include broad parent, teacher, and community involvement.

16-21-27. Alternative education programs.

Each school district shall adopt a plan to ensure continued education of students who are removed from the classroom because of a suspension of more than ten (10) days or who are chronically truant. The plan shall be adopted by the school committee and shall be submitted to Rhode Island department of elementary and secondary education as part of its annual strategic plan submission.

REGULATIONS

200-RICR-20-10-1 Section 1.1.4. Expectations for the local education agency in implementing the basic education program.

B. Functions of the Local Education Agency

1. Each LEA shall address seven core functions in order to ensure that all of its schools are providing an adequate education to every student:

e. Engage Families and the Community. The LEA shall implement effective family and community communication systems; engage families and the community to promote positive student achievement and behavior; and provide adult and alternative learning opportunities integrated with community needs.

f. Foster Safe and Supportive Environments for Students and Staff. The LEA shall address the physical, social, and emotional needs of all students; ensure safe school facilities and learning environments; and require that every student has at least one adult accountable for his or her learning. [...]

2. Each LEA shall ensure that:

f. Schools shall provide a continuum of interim alternative educational placement options to continue a student's education while suspended that ensure the safety of the student and the school community.

200-RICR-20-10-1 Section 1.3.2. Supportive and nurturing school community.

F. Positive Behavioral Supports and Discipline

2. Each LEA shall ensure that:

f. Schools shall provide a continuum of interim alternative educational placement options to continue a student's education while suspended that ensure the safety of the student and the school community.

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