NORWICH FREE ACADEMY
STUDENT DISCIPLINE FOR BEHAVIOR ON-CAMPUS AND AT SCHOOL-SPONSORED ACTIVITIES POLICY
The Board of Trustees of The Norwich Free Academy affirms its commitment to the rights of each child to obtain an education in an atmosphere conducive to learning. Consistent with this right, there lies the responsibility on the part of each student to abide by the Board policies and school rules, which were established to ensure an orderly educational process. The Academy will publish and make available each year its discipline code in the form of a student handbook. It becomes the students’ responsibility to familiarize themselves with these expectations.
Removal, Suspension, and Expulsion
Exclusion from school (removal, suspension, or expulsion) may be a necessary disciplinary action for students whose behavior is:
1. Violative of The Norwich Free Academy’s publicized policies; OR
2. Seriously disruptive of the educational process; OR
3. Endangers persons or property.
The policy on exclusion shall apply to all activities on The Norwich Free Academy campus including, but not limited to, the co-curricular activities listed in the Pilot, The Norwich Free Academy Student Handbook.
The disciplinary code governing student behavior on the grounds of The Norwich Free Academy as defined in the Pilot, The Norwich Free Academy Student Handbook, also applies in its entirety to student conduct at school-sponsored activities, which occur off- campus, and off The Norwich Free Academy property. These school-sponsored activities, which occur away from The Norwich Free Academy, include but are not limited to athletic events, field trips, co-curricular events, and dances.
Students whose conduct off-campus at a school-sponsored activity endangers persons or property or is seriously disruptive of the educational process or is violative of a publicized policy of The Norwich Free Academy may be excluded from school privileges for disciplinary reasons including suspension and a formal expulsion.
A. REMOVAL OF STUDENTS FROM CLASS
The Board of Trustees authorizes teachers in its employ to remove a student from class, in compliance with section 10-233b of the Connecticut General Statutes, when such student deliberately causes a serious disruption of the educational process within the classroom provided:
1. No student shall be removed from class more than six (6) times in any school year, nor
2. More than twice in one week unless such student is referred to the building administrator and granted an informal hearing in accordance with section 10-233c of the Connecticut General Statutes, and
3. Whenever any teacher removes a student from the classroom, such teacher shall send him or her to a designated area and shall immediately inform the building administrator as to the name of the student against whom such disciplinary action was taken and the reason therefore.
Procedures will be developed in each building to monitor the number of infractions incurred requiring a student’s removal from class.
B. SUSPENSION OF STUDENTS
The Board of Trustees of The Norwich Free Academy authorizes the administration under its direction to suspend from school privileges, in compliance with section 10-233c of the Connecticut General Statutes, any student whose conduct endangers persons or property, or is seriously disruptive of the educational process, or violates publicized Board policy and/or school rules. The administration shall observe the following procedures in cases of suspension:
1. Unless an emergency exists, no student shall be suspended without an informal hearing by the administration, at which such pupil shall be informed of the reasons for the disciplinary action and given an opportunity to explain the situation. If an emergency exists, such hearing shall be held as soon after the suspension as possible.
2. By telephone, the administration shall make all possible attempts to immediately notify the parent or guardian of the student about the suspension and state the cause(s) leading to the suspension.
3. Independent of telephone contact with the parent or guardian, the administration shall forward a letter to such parent or guardian to the last address reported on school records within one (1) school day of the suspension action offering the parent or guardian an opportunity for a conference to discuss same, including:
a. the reason for the suspension,
b. the duration of the suspension and,
c. notification that the parent or guardian is responsible for student supervision during the period of suspension.
4. The administration shall, within twenty-four (24) hours, notify the Superintendent/Head of School or designee as to the name of the student against whom the disciplinary action was taken and the reason therefore.
5. Notice of the suspension shall be transmitted by administration to the Superintendent/Head of Schools of the sending town as soon as is reasonably possible.
6. In determining the length of a suspension period, the administration may receive and consider evidence of past disciplinary problems which have lead to removal from a classroom, suspension, or expulsion of such student.
7. Following a conference with administration, the student or his or her parent(s) or guardian(s) may request the Superintendent/Head of School or the designee to review the administration’s disciplinary decision. The student shall remain on suspension pending such review.
8. Any student who is suspended shall be given an opportunity to complete any classwork including, but not limited to, examinations which such student missed during the period of suspension.
9. No student shall be suspended more than ten (10) times or a total of fifty (50) days, whichever results in fewer days of exclusion, unless such student is granted a formal hearing pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes sections 4-176e to 4-180a, inclusive, and section 4-181a and no suspension shall extend beyond the end of the school year during which such suspension was imposed. If an emergency exists, such hearing shall be held as soon after the suspension as possible.
10. Whenever a student is suspended, notice of the suspension and the conduct for which the student was suspended shall be included on the student’s cumulative record as required in section 10-233c(e) of the Connecticut General Statutes. Such notice shall be expunged from the student’s cumulative record if the student graduates from high school.
C. IN-SCHOOL SUSPENSION
The Board of Trustees of The Norwich Free Academy authorizes the administration under its direction to impose an in-school suspension, should the school operate such a program, on any student whose conduct endangers persons or property, or is seriously disruptive of the educational process, or is violative of a publicized Board policy and/or school rules provided:
1. No student shall be placed in in-school suspension without an informal hearing before the administrator at which the student shall be informed of the reasons for the disciplinary action and given an opportunity to explain the situation.
2. No student shall be placed in in-school suspension for more than five (5) consecutive school days and more than fifteen (15) times or a total of fifty (50) days in one school year, whichever results in fewer days of exclusion.
3. In-school suspensions shall not extend beyond the end of the school year in which such suspension was imposed.
D. AFTERSCHOOL DETENTION, COMMUNITY SERVICE, SATURDAY DETENTION AND SATURDAY SCHOOL
The Board of Trustees of The Norwich Free Academy authorizes the administration under its direction to impose alternatives to suspension at their discretion; after school detention, community service, Saturday detention and school; as long as these programs exist.
Additionally, the Board of Trustees of The Norwich Free Academy authorizes teachers in its employ to assign detentions to students in their classrooms. The faculty and administration shall implement these alternatives as publicized in the Pilot, The Norwich Free Academy Student Handbook.
E. MANDATORY EXPULSION
It is the policy of The Norwich Free Academy to expel a student for one (1) calendar year in compliance with Connecticut General Statutes Section 10-233d if the Trustees, subcommittee of the Trustees, or an impartial hearing officer determines that a student, while on-campus or at a school-sponsored activity:
1. Was in possession of a firearm as defined in 18 USC 921 or deadly weapon, dangerous instrument, or martial arts weapon as defined in section 53a-3 of the Connecticut General Statutes;
2. Offered for sale OR distribution a controlled substance as defined in Connecticut General Statutes Section 21a-240(9), whose manufacture, distribution, sale, prescription, dispensing, transporting or possession with the intent to sell or dispense, or offering, or administering is subject to criminal penalties under Connecticut General Statutes Sections 21a-277 and 21a-278.
The Trustees, subcommittee of the Trustees, or an impartial hearing officer has the discretion to modify the term of a mandatory one-year expulsion on a case-by-case basis.
F. EXCLUSION AND DISCIPLINE
In addition to mandatory one-year expulsions for serious misconduct, students may be subject to exclusion and discipline, up to and including suspension and a formal expulsion, for other types of misconduct on-campus or at school-sponsored activities.
As examples, but without limitation, the following types of conduct, if engaged by Norwich Free Academy students’ on-campus or at school-sponsored activities, are representative of conduct, which may be considered to violate a publicized policy of The Norwich Free Academy or be seriously disruptive of the educational process.
1. Threatening, hurting or injuring other persons;
2. Violent conduct, including but not limited to physical and/or sexual assault;
3. Stealing or damaging property;
4. Commission of a serious crime under applicable state and/or federal law;
5. Being in possession of or under the influence of alcoholic beverages in violation of applicable laws;
6. Being under the influence of marijuana or any other controlled substance as defined by applicable state statutes;
7. Being in possession of, under the influence of, or distributing a restricted substance as classified by state or federal law;
8. Being in possession of, under the influence of, or distributing a prescription drug in violation of Board policy and/or state or federal law;
9. Participation in unlawful “hate acts” under state or federal law, including, but not limited to, actions of racial or religious bigotry, intolerance or hatred;
10. Possession of instruments and objects that can be used to cause injury to others even if not legally defined as dangerous instruments under state and/or federal law;
11. Violation of publicized rules of student conduct as set forth in Board policy or the Pilot, The Norwich Free Academy Student Handbook.
Unless an emergency exists, no student shall be expelled without a formal hearing held pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Sections 4-177 through 4-180, inclusive and Connecticut General Statutes Section 4-181a. Additionally, if a student is a minor, then notice of the formal hearing, as required by Connecticut General Statutes Sections 4-177 through 4-180, shall be given to the parents or guardians of the student. If an emergency exists, the hearing shall be held as soon after the expulsion as possible.
A student’s transportation services may be suspended or removed and the student may be subject to exclusion and discipline up to and including suspension and a formal expulsion if, while awaiting or receiving transportation to and from school, or to and from school- sponsored activities, a student’s conduct:
1. Endangers persons or property; OR
2. Is violative of the publicized rules of student conduct as set forth in Board policy or the Pilot, The Norwich Free Academy Student Handbook.
H. EARLY READMISSION FROM EXPULSION
An expelled student may apply for early readmission from an expulsion to the Academy. Such readmission shall be at the discretion of the Board of Trustees. However, the Board of Trustees may delegate authority for readmission to the Superintendent/Head of School.
Under such circumstances, readmission shall be at the discretion of the Superintendent/Head of School. The Board or the Superintendent/Head of School may condition readmission on specified criteria that will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
I. ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Students expelled from The Norwich Free Academy for misconduct may be offered an alternative educational opportunity by the public school district that is financially responsible for the individual student. The public school district, however, is not required to offer such an opportunity to students age sixteen (16) and older whose expulsion resulted from possession of a firearm, deadly weapon, martial arts weapon, or dangerous instrument on school property or at a school-sponsored activity OR from offering for sale or distribution on school property or at a school-sponsored activity a controlled substance OR if the student has been expelled on a previous occasion. Parents or guardians of such students are hereby so notified.
When changes are mandated by law, it is the intent of the policy to automatically conform to any changes as they become effective.
Legal Reference: This policy complies with Connecticut General Statutes Sections 10- 233a through 10-233f and all other applicable State and Federal laws and regulations.
Pilot: The Norwich Free Academy Student Handbook
Policy adopted: March 18, 1997
Policy revised: March 17, 1998
September 15, 1998
November 27, 2001
October 21, 2003
May 22, 2007