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Pittsfield Public Schools

Code of Conduct, Character and Support:  


Creating a Restorative and Accountable Community 
 

2019- 2020 School Year


The Pittsfield Public Schools, in accordance with its non-discrimination policy, does not discriminate in its programs,
activities, facilities, employment, or educational opportunities on the basis of race, color, age, disability, sex, religion,
national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity and does not tolerate any form of discrimination, intimidation,
threat, coercion and/or harassment that insults the dignity of others by interfering with their freedom to learn and work.
[M.G.L. c.76, s5]
About Pittsfield Public Schools
The Pittsfield Public Schools has a long-standing tradition of offering the pursuit of educational excellence to our students
and their families, for the benefit of the greater Pittsfield community. From the youngest students in preschool to the high
school students pursuing college and career options, our students grow and learn within a wide array of educational
opportunities. In order to sustain and improve this educational excellence, our school system is compelled to consistently
change in order to meet the ever-shifting needs of students and staff and the world beyond the classroom.

Pittsfield School Committee


Katherine Yon, Chairperson
Mayor Linda Tyer
Joshua Cutler Daniel Elias Dennis Powell
William Cameron Cynthia Taylor

Pittsfield Public Schools


Jason P. McCandless, Ed.D., Superintendent
Joseph Curtis, M.Ed., Deputy Superintendent
Ms. Kristen Behnke, Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance
Ms.. Tammy Gage, M.Ed., Assistant Superintendent for College & Career Readiness

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District Code Team*

Matthew Bishop, Principal Taconic High School Brenda Kelley, Principal Allendale Elementary School
Melissa Brites, Alternative Education Director* Brian Kelley, School Adjustment Counselor
Ann Marie Carpenter, Director of Social Emotional Learning Martin McEvoy, Principal Herberg Middle School
and Student Support* Judy Rush, Curriculum Director
Joseph Curtis, Deputy Superintendent* (*denotes Steering Committee Member)
Michael Henault, Assistant Principal for Teaching and
Learning

Code Task Force


Sollynn Anderson, THS Student Brenda Kelley, Principal
Robert Boylston, Community Mental Health Provider Brian Kelley, School Adjustment Counselor
Melissa Brites, Alternative Education Director Joseph Maffuccio, Teacher
Ann Marie Carpenter, Director of Social Emotional Julianna Martinez, PHS Student
Learning and Student Support Nina McDermott, Teacher
Laurence Carrier, Dean of Students Patricia Molina, Parent
Joseph Curtis, Parent/Deputy Superintendent Patrick Muller, Parent/Teacher
Crystal Czerno, Teacher Louise Smith-Brizan, Teacher
Melissa Ferris, Teacher Luis Perez, Teacher
Tammy Gage, Parent/Asst Superintendent of Career, Dennis Powell, School Committee Member
Vocational,Technical Education Josh Rumlow, Parent
Michael Henault, Assistant Principal for Teaching and Judy Rush, Curriculum Director
Learning Sheila Sholes-Ross, Pastor
Lisa Herland, Parent/School Adjustment Counselor Jennifer Stokes, Special Education Director
James Hunt, Berkshire Juvenile Court Cherie Whitney-Noyes, Parent
Lori Kayes, Department of Children and Families

Code Professional Development Advisory Group


Heather Alston, School Adjustment Counselor Melissa Ferris, Teacher
Sandra Amburn, Paraprofessional Spencer Fraker, Teacher
Lynn Ashburn, Teacher Lisa Herland, School Adjustment Counselor
Debra Belland, Teacher Angela Johansen, Dean of Students
Deborah Belle, Teacher Brenda Kelley, Principal
William Berryman Teacher Brian Kelley, School Adjustment Counselor
Kimberly Bilotta Teacher Nicole Kosiorek, Teacher
Daphne Bolden Teacher Brian Kulas, Teacher
Brenda Burbank, Vice Principal Mary Jane LaFerriere, Teacher
Melissa Campbell, Teacher Mary Ott, Teacher
Ann Marie Carpenter Kristen Palatt, A.Pl of Teaching and Learning
Dennis Carr, Vice Principal Emily Price, Caseworker
Alison Charles, Dean of Students Judy Rush, Curriculum Director
Joseph Curtis, Deputy Superintendent Kimberly Simpson-Gomes, Teacher
Brianne DeMarco, School Counselor Amy Stevens, Teacher
Brendan Dillon, Teacher Tina Tartaglia, School Counselor

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Table of Contents 
Table of Contents 3

Pittsfield Public Schools Introduces a Revised Code of Conduct One Page Overview 5

Introduction 5

Core Principles that Guide the Code of Conduct, Character, and Support 6

Rights and Responsibilities of School Stakeholders 8

Getting Help with a Problem 15

Pittsfield Public Schools District Schoolwide Rules 20

Levels of Behavior Concerns, Violations, and Responses 22

Behavior Concerns, Infractions and Aligned Consequences and Interventions 25

Guidelines for Documenting an Office Discipline Referral 27

Aligned Supports and Interventions 36

Restorative Conferencing 41

Intervention Support Center 42

Student Reset Protocol 43

Suspension of Students 45

Short-Term In-School or One to Five Day Out-of-School Suspension Procedures and Timeline 51

Five Day Suspension and District Hearing Request Procedures and Timeline 52

Weapons Use Or Possession 54

Educational Services Plan for Students on Suspension from School 54

Discipline Of Special Needs Students ( Special Needs Includes both Special Education and Section 504 Students) 55

Corporal Punishment 56

District-wide Policies 57
Student Dress Code Policy 58
Tobacco Free Policy 60
Visitors to School Policy 62

Learning about the Pittsfield Public Schools Code of Conduct, Character, and Support: Creating a Restorative and
Accountable Community 64

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Dear PPS Community:
Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year!

No organization and certainly no school can operate efficiently, smoothly, or powerfully without order and without agreed
upon standards for how we carry ourselves and do our work. In an effort to clarify these beliefs around behavior and how
we support each other the Pittsfield Public Schools engaged in more than a year of work dedicated to creating the Code of
Conduct, Character and Support that you have before you. The Code of Conduct, Character and Support was created
based upon student, staff, family and community feedback. The document’s goal is to provide a fair, equitable and
understandable guide for student conduct that will ultimately reduce the number of suspensions. A revised Code will
increase opportunities for students to become more skillful and provide the care and support that ensures increased
academic achievement for every student in in the Pittsfield Public Schools..

One of the primary purposes of this document is to ensure that it protects the rights, safety and security of every student
and staff member, and that it reflects the real-life situations they encounter in our school buildings. While no set of
expectations can possibly cover all events that could happen, this document expresses guidelines that we fully expect to be
followed.

The revised Code serves as a blueprint for ensuring that that our schools and classrooms are safe and respectful places
where all students can learn and all teachers can teach and facilitate learning. It promotes good conduct, good citizenship,
and good character for every student in the district and calls on all stakeholders (school staff, students, and families) to
treat each other with the respect that we all deserve as partners in the all-important work of educating our children and
young people.

The first priority of the plan is to communicate the Code with school staff, families and communities. In order for the
Code to be effective in practice, it must first become familiar to our students, staff and families and then the greater
community. Please read the Code and use it as a reference should the need arise.

We look forward to working with you to ensure that our schools remain safe and nurturing environments where our
students can learn and grow to reach their highest potential as college ready, career ready and civic-minded individuals.

Jason McCandless
Superintendent of Schools

 
   

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Pittsfield Public Schools Introduces a Revised Code of Conduct One 
Page Overview 
Introduction 
Why Do We Have a Code of Conduct, Character, and Support?
The goal of the Pittsfield Public Schools Code of Conduct, Character and Support: Creating a Restorative and
Accountable Community is to ensure all students’ right to an education in a safe, civil, and caring environment. It is based
upon the laws, regulations, and policies that create access to education for all while protecting the due process rights of the
individual. The Code recognizes that schools are public places that must balance individual rights with civic obligations
and the needs of others. The Pittsfield Public Schools Code of Conduct, Character and Support serves as a guide to good
citizenship and provides the tools for helping students and the entire school community understand and appreciate the
norms of behavior within the school culture.

The Code addresses the development of both student conduct and student character. The development of good character
is essential to healthy development and responsible behavior, academic success in school today, and future success in
college, career, and life. The Code ensures that schools provide equal access to a wide range of supports and interventions
that promote positive behavior, help students develop self-management as well as social and emotional efficacy, and
enable students to improve and correct inappropriate, unacceptable, and unskillful behaviors.

Promoting a Positive School Climate and Culture


The District strives to build a culture based on high and clear expectations, respect, and co-accountability. At the heart of a
healthy school culture is the commitment of all staff to not only take responsibility for the healthy development of
students, but also to teach and model the skills, behaviors, and mindsets they seek to cultivate in children and young
people. To this end, school staff, teachers and administrators are encouraged to set high expectations for student success,
build positive relationships with students and teach and model for students how to behave successfully in all school
settings (classrooms, the cafeteria, hallways, bathrooms).

Each school in the Pittsfield Public School District utilizes Positive Behavior Support and Intervention (PBIS) systems to
teach school-wide expectations. Expectations are taught and reviewed throughout the year to promote positive prosocial
behavior and prevent problem behavior from occurring. Students are recognized for following expectations in a
developmentally appropriate manner. Administrators and building-based PBIS Leadership Teams monitor schoolwide
data to drive action planning based on the needs identified by the data.
In order to promote a positive school climate and culture, each school is expected to develop, post, teach, and reinforce
universal behavioral and learning expectations. Schools are also expected to take a proactive role in nurturing students’
prosocial behavior by developing fundamental skills for academic and life success, including: recognizing and managing
emotions; developing caring and concern for others; establishing positive relationships; making responsible decisions; and
handling challenging situations constructively and ethically. Such skills help prevent negative behaviors and avoid the
disciplinary consequences that result when students do not live up to behavioral standards.

Why Knowing the Code Matters


Students:​ The Pittsfield Public Schools Code of Conduct, Character, and Support is your guide for behavior and your
rights and responsibilities at school. Your principal, teachers, and other staff members will support your efforts to be
successful in the personal, social, and academic behaviors that are expected at school. When you follow the expectations
and rules in the Code, you will be demonstrating your good citizenship and character and helping to make your school a
safe, respectful, and productive learning environment. The Code also describes specific behaviors that are unacceptable at
school and explains the consequences and interventions that will be assigned to you when your conduct does not meet
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expected standards of behavior.

Parents/Guardians/Caregivers:​ The term “parent” is defined in the Code as the student’s parent(s), guardian(s), or
caregiver (any person(s) in a parental or custodial relationship to the student). The Pittsfield Public Schools Code of
Conduct, Character, and Support is your guide for understanding the personal, social, and academic behaviors expected of
your child at school, as well as how school principals, teachers, and staff will work with you and your child to help them
demonstrate positive behavior and enjoy academic success. The Code provides you with information about your rights
and responsibilities, as well as those of your child. The Code also lists types of unacceptable behavior and explains the
interventions and consequences that will be utilized if your child violates school rules and policies. If you have concerns
about your child, please talk to an administrator at your child’s school so that you can resolve any concerns and work with
school staff to fully support your child’s success. ​Please read review the Code with your child​ and discuss any
questions you have with administrators at your child’s school;​ the district will provide assistance in reading and
discussing this code if requested.

School Staff:​ The Pittsfield Public Schools Code of Conduct, Character, and Support is your guide for supporting positive
student behavior at school. It will help you prevent disciplinary problems through the use of effective strategies and
systems. ​It outlines expectations for district staff regarding interactions with students and families and describes the beliefs, that
we value within the district. This includes a focus on promoting positive relationships in interactions with all students, working
in an equitable and culturally responsible manner, as well as, explicit teaching of social emotional, behavioral and academic
skills and content.​ ​Following the Code will provide guidance for intervening effectively and appropriately if students don’t
meet expected standards of behavior or if they violate school rules and policies. The Code outlines a mindset in which we
view behavioral infractions as an opportunity for reteaching prosocial behavior and repairing harmed relationships, while
also holding students accountable for their actions.
School Administrators:​ The Pittsfield Public Schools Code of Conduct, Character, and Support is your guide for
supporting a safe, orderly, and productive learning environment. It helps you promote positive student behavior at school
and provides guidance in supervising and monitoring effective implementation of school-wide expectations, rules,
policies, systems, and practices. It will also help the school address students’ behaviors while supporting students to
correct unacceptable behaviors and work to achieve school success through accountable and restorative interventions.
Other District Staff:​ The Pittsfield Public Schools Code of Conduct, Character, and Support is your guide for supporting
schools in developing a positive school climate that ensures order as well as student and staff safety. A focus on skill
development through restorative and positive behavioral support approaches will reduce the incidents of unacceptable
student behavior while maximizing students’ personal and social efficacy. District staff is responsible for monitoring
effective implementation of school wide expectations, rules, policies, systems, and discipline as well as student support
practices.

Core Principles that Guide the Code of Conduct, Character, and 


Support 
The following principles form the foundation for creating safe, healthy, supportive, and high achieving learning
environments:
1. All students are capable of achieving their personal best, and, when necessary, improving their behavior with
guidance, instruction, support and coaching. These practices fall along a developmental continuum that responds
to children of all abilities.

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2. A commitment to equity fosters a barrier-free environment where all students, regardless of their race, ethnicity
religion, gender, sexual orientation, status, class, or able-ness, have the opportunity to benefit equally in order to
succeed and thrive. Every adult is expected to treat every student as capable of success and recognize the
uniqueness and strengths of each student allowing for differences in time, attention, instruction, and support to
ensure that all students can succeed academically and participate responsibly in our learning community.

3. There is growing recognition that: 1) social and emotional health is important for life success; and 2)
incorporating social and emotional learning into K-12 education is an important strategy for promoting the
development of social and emotional competencies. Social and emotional competencies contribute to learn and
demonstrate self-awareness; self-management; interpersonal skills like respect, empathy, and cooperation; and
academic skills like goal-setting, reflection, and investment in quality work.

4. The revised code is informed by a ​restorative and accountable approach to discipline and student support​.
Being accountable involves an obligation to account for one’s words and actions and accept consequences and
interventions with good will when standards of behavior have not been met. A restorative approach is based on
the belief that that students are resilient, capable of turning around adverse situations, and can restore
themselves and their relationships with the understanding and guidance of caring adults. A restorative and
accountable approach involves implementing consequences and interventions, in contrast to a punitive approach
that focuses only on consequences. A restorative and accountable school culture fosters responsive listening,
open and honest dialogue, reflection and self-assessment, collaborative problem solving, and kindness and
empathy.
● Consequences​ signal that a student’s actions are deemed to be inappropriate, unacceptable, unsafe, or
unskillful. Consequences should be timely, predictable, standardized and fair given the severity and
frequency of the behavior infraction. Consistent consequences ensure that students, families, and staff
know “what will happen when….”.
● Restorative and accountable interventions​ involve practices and processes that enable students to
restore relationships, restore self, and restore community. The student is accountable to own what they
have said and/or done, reflect on the impact of their behavior, take responsibility to self-correct, problem
solve, make amends and repair the harm, learn and demonstrate target behaviors, restore their good
standing, and make things right.

5. Students are more likely to behave appropriately when:


○ they understand the positive behaviors that are expected of them
○ they feel that staff members care about them and will help them learn and grow
○ all school staff consistently use shared language and practices
○ all staff provide recognition and feedback when students behave appropriately, make their best effort, and
complete high quality work
6. Adults – teachers, principals, administrators, school staff, parents/caregivers and the larger community- have an
obligation to help students learn to be good citizens and lead productive lives by:
○ enabling them to discern right from wrong
○ fostering in them the desire to do what is good
○ encouraging them to take responsibility for their words and actions
7. Student discipline and support policies and practices must be implemented in ways that are perceived to be
respectful. Interactions between and among district and school staff, students, and parents/caregivers are expected
to protect the dignity of each individual and ensure a tone of decency.

8. Every reasonable effort should be made to correct student misbehavior through interventions that are restorative
and promote student accountability. Interventions are essential when inappropriate behavior or violations of the
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Code of Conduct, Character and Support may be symptomatic of more serious problems a student is experiencing.
It is, therefore, important that school personnel be sensitive to issues that may influence the behavior of students
and respond in a manner that is most supportive of their needs. Appropriate disciplinary responses should
emphasize prevention and effective intervention, prevent disruption to students’ education, and promote the
development of a positive school culture.

Rights and Responsibilities of School Stakeholders 


Students, parents/caregivers, all school staff, principals, the superintendent, and the School Committee are all essential
partners in carrying out the mission of Pittsfield Public Schools.
Student RIGHTS
The district is committed to safeguarding the rights given to all students under state and federal law. Additionally, to
promote a safe, healthy, orderly, and civil school environment, ​all district students have the right to:

1. Attend school in the district in which one’s legal parent or legal guardian resides and receive a free and
appropriate public education as provided by law.
2. Be afforded a student centered, quality education from Pre-k through Grade 12 in a school environment that is
safe, orderly, and promotes learning.
3. Be respected as an individual and treated fairly and with dignity by other students and school staff.
4. Respectfully express one’s opinions verbally or in writing or with assistance.
5. Dress in such a way as to express one’s personality as long as it does not distract or disrupt the learning
environment. See the Pittsfield Public Schools Dress Code Policy.
6. Take part in all school activities on an equal basis regardless of race, color, creed, religion, religious practices,
sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ethnic group, political affiliation, age, marital status, or
disability.
7. Have access to relevant and objective information concerning drug and alcohol abuse, as well as referral​ ​to
individuals or agencies capable of providing direct assistance to students.
8. Be protected from intimidation, harassment, or discrimination based on actual or perceived race, color, weight,
national origin, ethnic group, religion, or religious practice, sex, gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, or
disability, by employees or students on school property or at a school sponsored event, function or activity. The
Pittsfield Public Schools, in accordance with its non-discrimination and zero tolerance policy, does not
discriminate in its programs, activities, facilities, employment, or educational opportunities on the basis of race,
color, age, disability, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity and does not tolerate any
form of discrimination, intimidation, threat, coercion and/or harassment that insults the dignity of others by
interfering with their freedom to learn and work. [M.G.L. c.76, s5]
9. Be afforded due process by:
● being provided with the Code and rules and regulations of the school district and having access to detailed
information about school rules, policies, and procedures and state and local laws guaranteeing or affecting
students’ right to participation;
● being informed of what is appropriate behavior and what behaviors may result in disciplinary actions;
● being counseled and coached by members of the professional staff in matters related to their behavior as it
affects their education and well-being in the school;
● being provided an opportunity to be heard in disciplinary actions for alleged violations of the Code for which

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they may be suspended or removed from class by their teachers;
● being informed of the procedures for appealing the actions and decisions of school officials with respect to
their rights and responsibilities as set forth in this document;
● being accompanied by a parent and/or representative at conferences and hearings;
● being accompanied by a parent in an investigation or interview where there may be police involvement if the
student is under 16.
● having student support staff or an advocate present in situations where there may be police involvement.
● engage in youth opportunities that enable students to:
● be active learners in an educational process that takes into account student views, teaches students
effective leadership and participation skills, and provides explanations to students when decisions
contradict their views;
● have the opportunity to serve on student councils, advisory bodies, and school teams and committees
that make decisions about school life, with the necessary supports to participate;
● participate in school forums in which students can voice their opinions about school decisions and
policies;
● have the opportunity to participate in peer leadership initiatives and restorative practices;
● form groups that represent their needs and interests.

Student RESPONSIBILITIES
Student responsibilities are communicated in three ways to support good conduct and positive behavior.
1. District-wide Rules:
1. I arrive on time, stay in class, and have a pass/permission to travel in public spaces.
2. I listen, acknowledge, and respond to directives and requests.
3. I stay safe and respect others’ personal space.
4. I respect and value everyone’s individual and group identity.
These rules address common infractions and are enforced through a set of standardized consequences and interventions.
PBIS Matrix for Conduct in Public Spaces:
Each Pittsfield school develops its own matrix for demonstrating good conduct and positive behaviors in all locations of
the building.
District-wide Student Responsibilities in the Classroom:
You are responsible for your personal conduct and character by:
● attending school regularly and being on time.
● accepting direction, requests, feedback, and support respectfully from adults.
● demonstrating self-discipline by making responsible behavior and academic choices.
● being truthful about and accountable for your words and actions.
● following school rules and meeting standards of behavior in the Code of Conduct, Character, and Support.
● accepting consequences when behavioral expectations are not met or when school rules are violated.
● making an effort to correct and improve behavior through restorative interventions.
● dressing appropriately.
● using your voice when you are concerned for someone else.

You are responsible for contributing to your learning community by:


● treating others the way you want to be treated.
● expressing your thoughts and opinions in ways that are polite, respectful, and courteous.
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● using a considerate tone of voice and appropriate body language.
● listening when others are speaking to you.
● respecting others’ personal space and keeping your hands to yourself.
● working with others cooperatively in large and small groups.
● acting with kindness, caring, and sensitivity toward others.

You are responsible for your learning by:


● being prepared to learn.
● bringing an open mind and a positive attitude to learning every day.
● challenging yourself and making your best effort.
● demonstrating a strong work ethic.
● completing your best work in every subject.
● seeking help and assistance when you need it.
● using your own thoughts and ideas and not copying the work of another.

You are responsible for respecting the property of others by:


● taking care of property that belongs to other students, adults, or the school.
● using the school’s or other people’s materials carefully and for the intended purpose.
● keeping personal electronic devices and cell phones off and away in all instructional spaces
● using school technology appropriately as directed by adults.

You are responsible for helping to maintain a safe school community by:​
● helping to make school a community free from violence, intimidation, bullying, harassment, and
discrimination.
● asking for assistance when you need help resolving conflicts and differences.
● contributing to the safety and well-being of our community.
● using all equipment in schools and on buses in a safe manner.
● putting everyone’s safety first by:
o not engaging in violent or destructive acts that harm others and the community.
o not making threats about using dangerous objects/weapons or about harming others.
o not touching a fire alarm unless it is an emergency.

Parents/Caregivers
Parents are vital to the success of the school, and they must recognize that the education of their child(ren) is a joint
responsibility between the school community and themselves. To ensure that parents/caregivers become active and
involved partners in promoting a safe and supportive school environment, they must be familiar with the Code of
Conduct, Character, and Support.
Parents along with teachers should work together with their children to work to one’s full potential. Parents can expect
teacher performance that can help their children reach this level of achievement. They are welcomed and encouraged to
communicate and/or meet with teachers to find out how their children are progressing. They are also encouraged to
discuss with their children’s teachers and other school staff issues that may affect student behavior and strategies that
might be effective in working with the student. The more parents/caregivers are involved, the higher the quality of their
children’s education.
Parent RIGHTS
Parents have the right to:
● be actively involved in their children’s education, including providing input on decisions that affect their child’s

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education.
● be treated courteously, fairly and respectfully by all school staff and principals.
● receive timely information about the policies of the Pittsfield School Committee and procedures that relate to their
children’s education.
● receive regular reports, written or oral, from school staff regarding their children’s academic progress or behavior,
including but not limited to report cards, behavior progress reports and conferences.
● view a grade on any assignment within 10 school days after the due date for the assignment. Longer term assignments
and projects will be graded before progress reports or report cards.
● receive information and prompt notification of inappropriate or disruptive behaviors performed by their children and
any disciplinary actions taken by principals or school staff.
● receive information and prompt notification about incidents that may impact their children.
● receive information​ ​about due process procedures for disciplinary matters concerning their children, including
information on conferences and appeals.
● receive information from school staff about ways to improve their children’s academic or behavioral progress
● receive information about services for students with disabilities and English Language Learners.
● be contacted immediately and directly when their child is believed to have committed a crime and police are
summoned.
● receive communication through provided translators if necessary.
● expect that their children’s cultural, race, and ethnicity is valued.
● file a complaint when there has been a violation or misapplication of a written provision of school policy.

The district and schools shall establish policies that outline clear grievance procedures that parents/caregivers can use to
file complaints, and establish a clear process of recourse if parents’ or guardians’ grievances are not resolved with due
process.

Parent RESPONSIBILITIES
Parents have the responsibility to:
● motivate their children to be interested in school
● give updated contact information to the Pittsfield Public Schools District Central Office and their children’s
individual school.
● make sure their children attend school regularly and on time.
● let schools know when and why children are absent.
● communicate any concerns or complaints to school officials in a respectful and timely manner
● work with school staff to address any academic or behavioral problems their children may experience.
● support Pittsfield Public Schools by talking with their children about expected behaviors while in school or at
school events.
● read and become familiar with the policies of the PPS School Committee, administrative regulations, and the
Pittsfield Public Schools Code of Conduct, Character, and Support.
● encourage their children to be active in the learning process by completing their homework, turning assignments
in on time, and seeking assistance when needed.
● be respectful and courteous to staff, other parents/caregivers, and students while on school premises.

School Staff RIGHTS


All employees of the Pittsfield Public Schools have the right to:
● work in a safe and orderly environment.
● be treated courteously, fairly and respectfully by students, parents or guardians and other school staff.

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● communicate concerns, suggestions and complaints to the building principal first, then the Pittsfield Public
Schools District Office.
● receive supportive professional learning and training.
● modify instruction consistent with the policies of the PPS School Committee and with state and federal
regulations.
School Staff RESPONSIBILITIES

All adults who engage with students have the responsibility to:
● promote a safe, orderly and stimulating school environment, supporting active teaching and learning for all
students, in a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students, regardless of actual or perceived race, color,
weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex,
with an understanding of appropriate appearance, language, and behavior in a school setting, which will
strengthen students’ self-image and promote confidence to learn.
● be responsible for monitoring and reporting on the effectiveness of the district’s bullying prevention policy.
● address issues of discrimination and harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or
safety of any student, school employee, or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a school function.
● address personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students.
● Outreach to parents/caregivers can include, but is not limited to, a phone call and/or a written communication.
Teachers have the responsibility to:
● be prepared to teach as the best promotion/prevention tool is a well-planned lesson.
● demonstrate an interest in teaching and concern for student achievement.
● know school policies and rules, and enforce them in a fair and consistent manner.
● maintain confidentiality in accordance with federal and state law.
● Communicate to students and parents:
o course objectives and requirements,
▪ marking/grading procedures,
▪ assignment deadlines
▪ expectations for students,
▪ classroom discipline plan.
● communicate regularly with students, parents and other teachers concerning growth and achievement.
● participate in school-wide efforts to provide adequate supervision in all school spaces.
● address issues of discrimination, bullying, and/or harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or
physical health or safety of any student, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a
school function.
● address personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students in the school or classroom setting.
● report incidents of discrimination, bullying, and/or harassment that are witnessed or otherwise brought to a
teacher's attention to the building administrator in a timely manner.
● report incidents of discrimination, bullying, and/or harassment that are witnessed or otherwise brought to school
adjustment counselors, and psychologists’ attention to the building administrator in a timely manner.
Other School Personnel have the responsibility to:
● maintain confidentiality in accordance with federal and state law.
● be familiar with the The Code of Conduct, Character, and Support: Creating A Restorative and Accountable
Community.
● help students understand the district’s expectations for maintaining a safe, orderly environment.
● participate in school-wide efforts to provide adequate supervision in all school spaces.

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● address issues of discrimination, bullying, and/or harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or
physical health or safety of any student, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a
school function.
● address personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students.
● report incidents of discrimination and harassment that are witnessed or otherwise brought to the individual’s
attention to the building administrator in a timely manner.
School RESPONSIBILITIES
Schools have the responsibility to:
Schools shall ensure that parents have a right to participate in decision-making affecting school policies and procedures,
including, but not limited to:
● informing parents in a timely and clear manner as to when and how they can participate, and ensuring that all
parents have equal access to information on opportunities for participation,
● ensuring that parents have concrete opportunities to make recommendations to schools about effective methods
for participation,
● giving parents structured opportunities to give input, get information and help make decisions.
Schools shall ensure that parents have a right to participate in decisions affecting their individual child’s education,
including but not limited to:
● adherence by teachers, administrators and other school staff to a problem solving process that identifies academic
or behavioral challenges as soon as possible and works with parents or guardians to identify solutions,
● participation in restorative discipline solutions.
● Protection of due process rights, including as related to school discipline.

Other School Teams and Individuals Who Are Responsible for Implementing the Code of Conduct,
Character, and Support
To support a restorative and accountable orientation and the effective implementation of the Pittsfield Public Schools
Code of Conduct, Character, and Support, each school has established the following teams:
PBIS Leadership Team:​ Each school building has a PBIS leadership team tasked with implementing Positive Behavior
Interventions and Supports throughout the building. This includes defining and teaching behavioral expectations,
acknowledging expected student behavior and using school-wide and individual student data to make necessary
adjustments to systems and interventions when necessary to further student success.
Positive behavior support is an application of a behaviorally-based systems approach to enhance the capacity of schools,
families, and communities to design effective environments that improve the link between research-validated practices
and the environments in which teaching and learning occurs. There is an emphasis on schoolwide systems of support
that include proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviors to create positive
school environments. A continuum of positive behavior support for all students within a school is implemented in
areas including the classroom and non-classroom settings (such as hallways, buses, and restrooms). Attention is
focused on creating and sustaining Tier I supports (universal), Tier II supports (targeted group), and Tier III supports
(individual) systems of support for all children and youth by making targeted behaviors less effective, efficient, and
relevant and desired behavior more functional. This is consistent with the Massachusetts Multi-Tiered Systems of
Support framework supported by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Student Support Team: ​The team that includes student support staff who work collaboratively to identify students at risk
and create plans to address student needs. The includes the consistent review of academic, discipline and social
emotional and student voice survey data to develop strategies to support personal, social, and academic efficacy and

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improved student behavior. They also review student cases to ensure that all students have equitable access to the
services and interventions they need.
To support a restorative and accountable orientation and the effective implementation of the Pittsfield Public Schools
Code of Conduct, Character, and Support, each school will ensure that administrators and student support team
members are identified to serve in these roles.

All Principals and School Administrators have the responsibility to:


● ensure that students and staff have the opportunity to communicate regularly with principal/administrators and
have access to the principal/administrators for redress of grievances.
● maintain confidentiality in accordance with federal and state law.
● evaluate on a regular basis all instructional programs in a school.
● support the development of and student participation in appropriate extracurricular activities.
● provide support in the development of the Code of Conduct, Character, and Support when called upon.
● disseminate the Code and anti-harassment policies.
● be responsible for enforcing the Code and ensuring that all cases are resolved promptly and fairly.
● participate in school-wide efforts to provide adequate supervision in all school spaces.
● address issues of discrimination, bullying, and/or harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or
physical health or safety of any student, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a
school function.
● address personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students and staff.
● report incidents of discrimination and harassment that are witnessed or otherwise brought to the administrator’s
attention in a timely manner.
● collect and report data on the implementation of the Code including but not limited to data on the use of in-school
and out-of-school suspension by student demographic characteristics.

District Administrators have the responsibility to:


● create and implement policies and procedures that encourage safe and orderly schools for all students, school staff
and principals.
● protect the legal rights of school staff, principals, students, and parents.
● be courteous, respectful, and fair with students, parents, school staff, and principals.
● provide a broad-based and varied curriculum to meet individual school needs.
● inform the community, students, parents, school staff, and principals about policies of the Pittsfield School
Committee.
● ensure the legal rights of students with disabilities are protected.
● provide staff who are trained to meet students’ needs.
● provide support and professional development training to principals and school staff to help them support
students.
● support principals and school staff in the fulfillment of their disciplinary responsibilities as defined by Pittsfield
Public Schools Code of Conduct, Character, and Support.
● contact and involve parents regarding disciplinary issues related to their children.
● monitor and analyze data on the implementation of the Code, including but not limited to data on the use of in and
out-of-school suspensions by student demographic characteristics.
The School Superintendent also has the responsibility to:
● inform the Pittsfield School Committee of educational trends relating to student discipline.
● review with district administrators the policies of the School Committee as well as state and federal laws relating
to school operations and management.
● maintain confidentiality in accordance with federal and state law.
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● work to create instructional programs that minimize incidence of misconduct and are sensitive to student and
teacher needs.
● work with district administrators in enforcing the Code and ensuring all cases are resolved promptly and fairly.
● address issues of discrimination and/or harassment as well as any situation that threatens the emotional or physical
health or safety of any student, school employee or person who is lawfully on school property or at a school
function.
● address personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students and staff.
● report or ensure the reporting of incidents of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination that are witnessed or
otherwise brought to the Superintendent’s attention are dealt with in a timely manner

The School Committee has the responsibility to:


● maintain confidentiality in accordance with federal and state law
● develop and recommend a budget that provides programs and activities which will support achievement of the
goals of the Code and the district’s mission.
● support student, teacher, administrator, parent organizations, school safety personnel, and other school personnel
to implement this Code, clearly defining expectations for the conduct of students, district personnel, and visitors
on school property and at school functions.
● adopt and review, at least annually, the Pittsfield Public Schools Code of Conduct, Character, and Support:
Creating a Restorative and Accountable Community to evaluate the code’s effectiveness and the fairness and
consistency of its implementation.
● lead by example by conducting Committee meetings in a professional, respectful, and courteous manner.
● address personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students and staff.
● review data and the recommendations of the superintendent on the implementation of the Code, including but not
limited to the use of in and out-of-school suspensions with regard to student demographics; implement reforms if
needed

Getting Help with a Problem  


Concerns About Suspected Bullying
The District strives to create an environment free of bullying and works to foster civil social interaction in the schools and
to prevent and prohibit conduct which is inconsistent with the District's values. The Pittsfield Public Schools has adopted
an Anti-Bullying Policy (STU-80 R-4/13/16) that is embedded in district-wide approaches to promoting a positive,
prosocial culture for all students and staff. This includes the district’s School-wide Positive Behavior Support initiative,
the Olweus Anti-Bullying Program, and the implementation of Second Step Social Emotional Learning curricula and
Bullying Prevention Unit.

The following information is excerpted from the Anti-Bullying Policy (STU-80):


Bullying Prohibited
Bullying, including cyberbullying, and retaliation are not acceptable conduct and are prohibited within the Pittsfield
Public Schools. Pittsfield Public School leadership and other staff will endeavor to maintain learning and working
environments free of bullying. Retaliation against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an
investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information is prohibited. Any student who engages in conduct that
constitutes bullying or retaliation shall be subject to a range of disciplinary consequences up to and including suspension
or expulsion.

This prohibition is in effect in the following locations:


● In the school building and on school grounds

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● On property immediately adjacent to school grounds
● At a bus stop, on the school bus, or in other school-sanctioned transportation such as another vehicle owned,
leased, or used by the school district
● At a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function, or program whether it takes place on or off school
grounds
● Through the use of technology or an electronic device that is owned, leased, or used by the school district or
school
● At any program or location that is not school-related, or through the use of personal technology or electronic
device, if the bullying creates a hostile environment at school for the target, infringes on the rights of the target at
school, or materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school

Definitions of Key Terms Related to Bullying


Bullying​: The repeated use by one or more students or a member of a school staff of a written, verbal or electronic
expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that causes physical or emotional
harm to the target or damage to the target’s property; places the target in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of
damage to his/her property; creates a hostile environment at school for the target, infringes on the rights of the target at
school; or materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. Bullying
includes cyber-bullying. (Definition based on M.G.L. c.71, 37O as amended by section 74 of Chapter 38 of the Acts of
2013)

Cyberbullying​: Bullying through the use of technology or any electronic devices such as telephones, cell phones,
computers, and the Internet. It includes, but is not limited to, email, instant messages, text messages, and Internet
postings. (Definition based on M.G.L. c.71, 37O)

Aggressor​: A student or a member of a school staff who engages in bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation.

Target​: A student against whom bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation is directed.

Retaliation​: Any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment directed against a student who reports bullying, provides
information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying.

Hostile Environment​: A situation in which bullying causes the school environment to be permeated with intimidation,
ridicule, or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the student’s education.

School Staff: Includes, but is not limited to, educators, administrators, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus
drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to extracurricular activities, support staff, or paraprofessionals.

Reporting by Students, Parents or Guardians, and Others


The school or district expects students, parents or guardians, and others who witness or become aware of an instance of
bullying or retaliation involving a student to report it to the principal or designee. Reports may be made anonymously, but
no disciplinary action will be taken against an alleged aggressor ​solely on the basis of an anonymous report. Anonymous
reports can be made by email to ​bullying@pittsfield.net or through a link in the “Family and Community” portion of the
district website. Reports filed in this fashion will go to a dedicated email account that will be regularly reviewed.
Students, parents or guardians, and others may request assistance from a staff member to complete a written report or may
report orally. Students will be provided practical, safe, private and age-appropriate ways to report and discuss an incident
of bullying with a staff member or with the principal or designee. A student who knowingly makes a false allegation of
bullying or retaliation shall also be subject to disciplinary action.

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Notification of Bullying Requirements

Notice to Parents or Guardians​


Upon determining that bullying or retaliation has occurred, the principal or designee will promptly notify the parents or
guardians of the target and the aggressor of this determination and of the procedures for responding to it. There may be
circumstances in which the principal or designee contacts parents or guardians prior to any investigation. Notice will be
consistent with state regulations at 603 CMR 49.00.

Notice to Another School or District​


If the reported incident involves students from more than one school district, charter school, nonpublic school, approved
private special education day or residential school, or collaborative school, the principal or designee first informed of the
incident will promptly notify by telephone the principal or designee of the other school(s) of the incident so that each
school may take appropriate action. All communications will be in accordance with state and federal privacy laws and
regulations, and 603 CMR 49.00.

Notice to Law Enforcement​


At any point after receiving a report of bullying or retaliation, including after an investigation, if the principal or designee
has a reasonable basis to believe that criminal charges may be pursued against the aggressor, the principal will notify the
local law enforcement agency. Notice will be consistent with the requirements of 603 CMR 49.00 and locally established
agreements with the local law enforcement agency. Also, if an incident occurs on school grounds and involves a former
student under the age of 21 who is no longer enrolled in school, the principal or designee shall contact the local law
enforcement agency if he or she has a reasonable expectation that criminal charges may be pursued against the aggressor.

In making this determination, the principal will, consistent with the district’s Anti-Bullying Policy and state and federal
policies and procedures, consult with the school resource officer, if any, and other individuals and organizations such as
the Pittsfield Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office, as the principal or designee deems appropriate.”

Responses to Bullying

Teaching Appropriate Behavior Through Skills-building:


Upon the principal or his/her designee determining that bullying or retaliation has occurred, the school will use a range of
responses that balance the need for accountability with the need to teach appropriate behavior. [M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O(d)(v)]
Skill-building approaches that the principal or designee may consider include:
● Offering individualized skill-building sessions
● Providing relevant educational activities for individual students or groups of students in consultation with guidance
and/or school adjustment counselors and other appropriate school personnel
● Implementing a range of academic and nonacademic positive behavioral supports to help students understand
prosocial ways to achieve their goals
● Meeting with parents and guardians to engage parental support and to reinforce the anti-bullying curricula and social
skills building activities at home
● Developing individual behavior plans to include a focus on specific social skill development
● Making a referral for counseling or other mental health services for targets, aggressors, and family members.

Taking Disciplinary Action

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If the principal or designee decides that disciplinary action is appropriate, the disciplinary action will be determined on the
basis of facts found by the principal or designee, including the nature of the conduct, the age of the student(s) involved,
and the need to balance accountability with the teaching of appropriate behavior. Discipline will be consistent with the
Anti-Bullying Policy and with the District’s and School’s Code of Conduct, Character and Support.

Discipline procedures for students with disabilities are governed by the federal “Individuals with Disabilities Education
Improvement Act” (IDEA) and state laws regarding student discipline.

If the principal or designee determines that a student knowingly made a false allegation of bullying or retaliation, that
student may be subject to disciplinary action.

Promoting Safety for the Target and Others

Any school staff member who witnesses possible bullying should immediately intervene and stop the possible bullying at
that moment, as well as subsequently report suspected bullying behavior to the principal or designee when further
investigation is warranted.

The principal or designee will consider what adjustments, if any, are needed in the school environment to enhance the
target's sense of safety and that of others as well.

Supportive services will be offered to the target. These services may include safety planning, school adjustment counselor
services, and a mental health referral.

Within a reasonable period of time following the determination and the ordering of remedial and/or disciplinary action,
the principal or designee will contact the target to determine whether there has been a recurrence of the prohibited conduct
and whether additional supportive measures are needed. If so, the principal or designee will work with appropriate school
staff to implement them immediately.

The full text of the Pittsfield Public Schools Anti-Bullying Policy is available at ​www.pittsfield.net​. Questions regarding
the district’s plan for the prevention of bullying can be directed to the Director of Social Emotional Learning and Student
Support at 413-499-9515.

Problem Resolution

The principal or designee shall inform the parent or guardian of the target about the Department of Elementary and
Secondary Education’s problem resolution system and the process for accessing that system, regardless of the outcome of
the bullying determination.

District students and/or parents of students may contact the Superintendent or designee as a result of a concern about
resolution of a finding at the individual building level at 413-499-9512.

Any parent wishing to file a claim/concern or seeking assistance outside of the district may do so with the Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education Program Resolution System (PRS). That information can be found at:
http://www.doe.mass.edu/pqa​, emails can be sent to compliance@doe.mass.edu or individuals can call 781-338-3700.

School Problems

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If students have a problem related to discipline, security, personal safety or welfare, or vandalism, they should:
1. tell the nearest administrator, teacher or adult staff member (i.e. school guidance counselor, school psychologist,
school adjustment counselor) and express their feelings. Tell him/her exactly what has happened to them or what they
have observed happening to someone else. Problems of discipline, security, and personal safety are considered very
serious.
2. ask to talk to a school counselor, school psychologist, or school adjustment counselor who can help them learn ways
to deal with problems so that they may feel safer and more comfortable when faced with similar problems in the
future.
3. tell their parents about the problem in addition to alerting school personnel.
It is important for students to know that when a report is made to the school about an incident of this nature, every effort
will be made to keep the information and the student’s identity confidential.
Personal Problems
If students have a personal problems that may affect their school life or activities:
1. they should, if possible, discuss the problem with parents/guardians.
2. they may speak to a teacher with whom they feel comfortable. If a student and his/her parents/guardians cannot solve
the problem, there are a number of people in the school who may be able to offer additional help.
3. there are school counselors, psychologists, and school adjustment counselors/school social workers at the school who
are trained to offer help with personal problems. They can also lead students to additional resources.
4. When a student indicates that he or she is thinking about hurting himself or herself or other students, school personnel
are required to take any action to ensure the safety of the student and/or other students. This action will include
sharing of information with the school principal, parents, school adjustment counselor and possibly other, outside
agencies.

Academic Problems
For help with an academic problem, students should:
1. see the teacher who teaches the subject. Students may seek out the teachers outside of class time. The teacher may
recommend help sessions or may make a referral for additional assistance. The teacher may also ask for a conference
with the student and his/her parents/guardians.
2. If the teacher is unable to help the student resolve the problem to the student’s satisfaction, the student should go next
to the school guidance counselor.
3. discuss the matter with his/her parents and with the principal or assistant principal if they feel the problem has not
been resolved after talking with the school counselor. Parents may wish to join the student in discussions with the
principal.
4. recognize that solving an academic problem requires the student’s help, along with the help from teachers and
sometimes parents, a school counselor, and other school professionals.
Extracurricular Activities
For help with problems involving extracurricular activities, students should:
1. see the advisor assigned to the activity at a time when he/she can give them his/her undivided attention. Students
should try not to discuss the problem during the activity period itself.
2. see the athletic director if the activity involves athletics.
3. see an administrator if the student does not know who the assigned advisor to the activity is
4. discuss the matter with parents and with the principal if the student is unable to get help in solving the problem by
doing the above. Parents may wish to join the student in discussions with the principal.
Complaint Procedures

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A complaint is a claim that there has been a violation or misapplication of a written provision of school policy.

A student or parent with a complaint will first discuss the problem with the person who made the decision in question. If
the student or parent is not satisfied, the principal should be contacted next. If the student or parent is dissatisfied with the
decision made at the principal level, the person may file a formal written complaint to the Superintendent.

If formal legal advice is considered to be necessary by either party [parent or school] or if the case alleges a violation of
law that may lead to litigation/lawsuit, the complaint will proceed immediately to the Superintendent.

Pittsfield Public Schools District Schoolwide Rules 


Administrators and faculty members - click here for PPS District Rules - Standardized Consequences and Interventions
Click here to view the building and classroom poster for the PPS District Schoolwide Rules

RULE: I arrive on time, stay in class, and have a pass/permission to travel in public spaces.
Rule Infractions:
● Arriving late to class during the school day.
● Leaving class without a pass or without permission
● Not returning to class after using a pass
● Not attending class
● Hanging out anywhere inside or outside the building without permission.
Consequences: ​Given the frequency and severity of incidents, consequences include submission of referral, family
notification, 1 day in-school suspension, and 1 day out-of-school suspension, school hearing with principal
Interventions: ​Given the frequency and severity of incidents, interventions include restorative question check-in, student
or family problem solving and planning conference, behavior replacement/coaching sessions, root cause analysis, and
weekly progress monitoring.

RULE: I listen, acknowledge, and respond to directives and requests.


Rule Infractions:
● Non-compliance: ​Does not comply with classroom procedures, practices, and routines; Failing to comply with
reasonable directions; persistent demands, argumentative speech, back-talk ​Non-Compliance is not the same as
disrespect, disobedience, or insubordination.
● Persistent demands, argumentative, aggressive speech, back-talk, and hostile refusal
Consequences: ​Given the frequency and severity of incidents, consequences include submission of referral, family
notification, 1 day in-school suspension, and 1 day out-of-school suspension.
Interventions: ​Given the frequency and severity of incidents, interventions include student or family problem solving and
planning conference, behavior replacement/coaching sessions, and weekly progress monitoring.

RULE: I stay safe and respect others’ personal space.


Rule Infractions:
● Minor Incidents of Horseplay, Throwing Objects, Shoving, Poking, or Pushing
● Physical Aggression ​(one person engages in grabbing, shoving, biting, spitting on, or physically intimidating
another person)
● Physical Fighting ​(two people involved in physical altercation with or without provocation and with or without
injury)

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Consequences: ​Given the frequency and severity of incidents, consequences include submission of referral, family
notification, 1 day in-school suspension, and 1 day out-of-school suspension.
Interventions: ​Given the frequency and severity of incidents, interventions include student or family problem solving and
planning conference, mediation, behavior replacement/coaching sessions, weekly student check-ins and progress
monitoring

RULE: I respect and value everyone’s individual and group identity.


Rule Infraction: ​Playful teasing​ ​between friends is not an infraction, when both parties engage in joking, smiles,
laugher, and good-natured comradery, use a light-hearted tone, and neither party feels belittled or hurt.
● Hurtful Teasing and Name-Calling (non-bias-related): ​Making fun of someone maliciously, using a hostile tone
with deliberate intent to annoy, trigger anger or distress, belittle, embarrass, or hurt someone’s feelings.
● Bullying (without evidence of bias): ​The ​repeated written or verbal expression and/or physical act or gesture directed
at a target that (a) causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target’s property; (b) places the
target in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself or of damage to his or her property; (c) creates a hostile
environment at school for the target and infringes on the rights of the target at school; and/or (d) materially and
substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. Bullying is often characterized by an
imbalance of power in which the aggressor exerts their physical and verbal power over the weaker individual.
Consequences: ​Given the frequency and severity of incidents, consequences include submission of referral, family
notification, 1 day in-school suspension, 1 day to three day out-of-school suspension, school hearing with principal
Interventions: ​Given the frequency and severity of incidents, interventions for counseling session, follow-up check-in,
and assertion coaching for the target and counseling sessions, behavior replacement/coaching sessions, written or verbal
apology, and follow-up check-ins for the aggressor

RULE: Respect and value everyone’s individual and group identity.


Rule Infraction:
Bias-Related Incidents​ refer to language and/or behaviors which demonstrate bias against persons because of, but not
limited to, others’ actual or perceived: color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, national origin,
race, religion, and/ or sexual orientation.
● Explicit Acts of Bias: ​The end behavior of a person who demonstrates overt discrimination toward some individuals
or groups and/or demonstrates overt favoritism/privileging of other individuals or groups because of, but not limited
to, others’ actual or perceived: color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, national origin, race,
religion, and/ or sexual orientation.
● Non-Sexual Harassment​ is the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by verbal threats, intimidation, or
abuse, including posting or publishing video, audio recordings or pictures based on a person’s actual or perceived
color, disability, ethnic group, gender, national origin, race, religion, and weight.
● Hate Speech or Acts​ include any spoken, written, electronic communication, signage, physical gestures,
words/symbols on apparel or other items that carry no meaning in the incident other than the incitement and
expression of hatred against a group of persons, particularly an oppressed or marginalized group, defined in terms of
race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation.
Consequences: ​Given the frequency and severity of incidents, consequences include submission of referral, family
notification, 1 day in-school suspension, 1day to three day out-of-school suspension, school hearing with principal

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Interventions: ​Given the frequency and severity of incidents, interventions include counseling session, follow-up
check-in, and assertion coaching for the target and counseling sessions, behavior replacement/coaching sessions, written
or verbal apology, restorative group conference, and follow-up check-ins for the aggressor

RULE: Respect and value everyone’s individual and group identity.


Rule Infraction:
● Inappropriate Sexual Behavior:​ which includes, but is not limited to, physical touching of intimate body parts of
another or one’s self. Consensual acts of intimacy are not appropriate in an educational setting
● Sexual Harassment:​ Unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, taking or sending sexually explicit
videos, pictures or auditory recordings or other inappropriate verbal or written or physical conduct of a sexual nature,
directed towards others. The sexual harassment aggressor suggests, solicits, requests, commands, demands or
otherwise attempts to induce another individual to have sexual contact or sexual intercourse or unlawful sexual
penetration knowing that it is likely to cause annoyance, offense or alarm to that individual.
● Sexual Orientation Harassment: ​A negative opinion or attitude toward an individual or group of persons based on
their sexual attraction toward or responsiveness to members of the opposite or same sex
● Sexual Assault:​ A​ny offense in which the aggressor subjects one or more target to unwanted and offensive sexual
acts, which includes everything from groping to rape.​ Allegations of sexual assault are reported to the police
immediately for further investigation. Consequences may include criminal proceedings, alternative placement in
another learning setting, and/or expulsion.
Consequences: ​Given the frequency and severity of incidents, consequences include submission of referral, family
notification, 1 day in-school suspension, 1day to three day out-of-school suspension, school hearing with principal
Interventions: ​Given the frequency and severity of incidents, interventions include counseling session, follow-up
check-in, and assertion coaching for the target and counseling sessions, behavior replacement/coaching sessions, written
or verbal apology, restorative group conference, and follow-up check-ins for the aggressor

Levels of Behavior Concerns, Violations, and Responses 


Determining Disciplinary Responses
School administrators must consult this document when determining which disciplinary interventions and consequences to
impose. In determining how to best address inappropriate, unacceptable, and unskillful behaviors, it is necessary to
evaluate the totality of the circumstances surrounding the behavior. This may result in differentiated responses to
disciplinary problems. Responses are embedded within levels of just and equitable practices under which all students are
treated fairly with respect, dignity and decency and without favor toward or prejudice against any one group of students
according to ability, talent, age, gender, developmental and acquired disabilities, race and ethnicity, socio-economic
status, religious and spiritual orientation, national origin and home language, sexual orientation, and indigenous heritage.
In practical terms, this means that:
● all opportunities and interventions must be accessible to every student, including students with disabilities.
● consequences and interventions at Level 2 and Level 3 must be consistently applied across all groups of students
with fidelity and integrity.
● data must be transparent to determine the use and impact of all consequences and interventions, paying particular
attention to indicators of overuse and disproportionality of suspension among various student groups.

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The following facts must be considered prior to determining the appropriate assignment of consequences and
interventions:

● the student’s age and maturity


● the student’s disciplinary record (including the nature of any prior misconduct and the number of prior instances
of misconduct)
● the disciplinary consequences and interventions applied in prior behavior violations
● the nature, severity and scope of the behavior
● the circumstances/context in which the conduct occurred
● the frequency and duration of the behavior
● the number of persons involved in the behavior
● the student’s IEP, BIP (Behavioral Intervention Plan) and 504 Accommodation Plan, if applicable
● the student’s response to intervention previously put into place
Where and When the Code Applies
The Pittsfield Public Schools Code of Conduct, Character, and Support applies to incidents that occur:
● In the school building and on school grounds
● On property immediately adjacent to school grounds
● At a bus stop, on the school bus, or in other school-sanctioned transportation such as another vehicle owned,
leased, or used by the school district
● At a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function, or program whether it takes place on or off school
grounds
● Through the use of technology or an electronic device that is owned, leased, or used by the school district or
school
● At any program or location that is not school-related, or through the use of personal technology or electronic
device, if the incident creates a hostile environment at school for the target, infringes on the rights of the target at
school, or materially and substantially disrupts the educational process or the orderly operation of a school.
Due Process
Every student has the right to education. Whenever a student is deprived of his right to education through disciplinary
proceedings such as suspension or expulsion, the student is entitled to due process. This right to due process includes the
right to notice and a fair hearing prior to the administration of long-term suspension or expulsion.
The amount of due process a student is entitled to receive before a consequence is imposed depends upon the consequence
being imposed. In all cases, regardless of the consequence imposed, the school personnel authorized to impose the
consequence must inform the student of the alleged misconduct and must investigate, to the extent necessary, the facts
surrounding the alleged misconduct. All students will have an opportunity to present their version of the facts to the
school personnel imposing the disciplinary consequence in connection with the imposition of the consequence.
Due Process For Suspensions: Notice Of Proposed Suspension
Except in the case of an emergency removal or disciplinary offense defined under M.G.L. c. 71, §§37H or 37H½ or an
in-school suspension as defined by 603 CMR 53.02(6), the school shall provide the student and parent with written and
oral notice of the proposed out-of-school suspension, an opportunity to be heard at a hearing, and the opportunity to
participate at the hearing. This notice shall set forth in plain language:
a. the disciplinary infraction;
b. the basis for the charge;
c. the potential consequences, including the potential length of the student’s suspension;

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d. the opportunity for the student to have a hearing with the principal concerning the proposed suspension, including
the opportunity to dispute the charges and to present the student’s explanation of the alleged incident, and for the
parent to attend the hearing;
e. the date, time, and location of the hearing;
f. the right of the student and student’s parent to access interpreter services at the hearing if necessary;
The principal shall make reasonable efforts to notify the parent orally of the opportunity to attend the hearing. In order to
conduct a hearing without the parent present, the principal must be able to document reasonable efforts to include the
parent. Reasonable effort is presumed if the principal sent written notice and documented at least two attempts to contact
the parent in the manner specified by the parent for emergency situations.
All written communications regarding notice of a proposed suspension shall be either hand delivered or delivered by
first-class mail, certified mail, or email to the address provided by the parent for school communications (or other method
agreed upon by the principal and parent) in English and in the primary language in the home if other than English, or
through other means of communication where appropriate.

Pre-Kindergarten through Second Grade Considerations


Supporting Social Competencies and Addressing Behavior Concerns
Young children enter schools with a variety of experiences in their early lives. In addition, young children demonstrate a
range of developmental levels of academic readiness, motor skills, speech and language proficiency, and social
competence. This range is absolutely normal. However, young children must learn social competence in order to have a
successful experience at school. Children learn to understand and conform to behavioral expectations that are appropriate
to their specific age. If discipline is thought of as a way to educate students about appropriate behavior and social
expectations rather than as a way of punishment, many aspects of how to discipline children in early childhood
educational settings can seem natural and logical
Social competence, like all other domains of development, grows and changes over time and is impacted by children’s
direct experiences through intentional instruction, guided conversation, and reinforcement of desired social skills. The
foundations for social competence are age-appropriate language and communication skills. It is essential that social and
emotional learning and behavior in our youngest learners are approached in the same manner as all other essential
academic skills​⎯​through daily instruction, support, and assessment of students’ individualized needs. Social and emotional
learning skills are purposefully planned for and taught within the early childhood educational program; key early
childhood focus areas for social emotional learning include friendship skills, empathy, managing emotions, and, problem
solving.
The Home-School Partnership
Families play a critical role in the success of children’s development of social competence. It is critical that families
receive information and learn about classroom procedures and how families can support developing their child’s skills.
When Behavior Concerns Arise:
● It is normal for young children to occasionally hit, kick, or push other children as they are learning how to
socialize with others. When children engage in aggressive behaviors, teachers are expected to intervene to
ensure that all students are safe. Immediately after an incident, teachers are expected to help the child
understand what they did and teach them expected behavior.
● When a specific behavior becomes a concern at school, a multitiered approach to problem solving is used to
teach desired behaviors. This process begins with the collection of data related to the individual student.
● The information collected is carefully reviewed and discussed by a problem solving​ ​ team that includes the
young child’s parent. The team’s goal is to design a specific intervention plan for the individual young child
that is focused on teaching the identified social behaviors that will support a student’s success in the
classroom and the school. The plan is developed with a specific goal(s), for a specific period of time, and

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includes a designated date for review. This cycle of gathering and assessing data, making and implementing a
plan, and monitoring the student’s progress supports an individualized approach to social emotional learning.
When a Student Behaves Aggressively
Aggressive behavior in young children is rarely an intentional act to harm another. Rather, aggressive acts are often a
result of children’s unskillful attempts to communicate what they want, what they need, and what they don’t like. When a
child engages in a violent act that threatens or harms other children or makes the learning environment feel unsafe, special
procedures need to be in place to ensure that all children involved in the incident (the child(ren) who has been threatened
or hurt and the child who has engaged in the violent act) receive immediate attention and care. Parents can expect that
these actions will take place:
● A staff person will immediately and temporarily remove the child who has engaged in the violent act from the
environment to help the child regain a sense of calm so that the staff member can speak with the child about
the incident
● A staff person will speak to the child or children who have been threatened or harmed immediately to ensure
that they have an opportunity to talk about the incident and to help them regain a sense of safety
● Parents of children involved in the incident will be contacted and school staff will explain what happened
before the incident, share how adults responded to the incident, discuss the short-term plan for restoring a
sense of calm and safety, and discuss the longer-term plan for preventing similar incidents in the future
If a student engages in pervasive or egregious aggressive acts that threaten children’s safety in the classroom, the school
can request a district consultation to determine the most appropriate interventions. Parents of students who have engaged
in highly aggressive or dangerous behaviors are expected to be directly involved in the intervention plan created to
support their child’s success.

Behavior Concerns, Infractions and Aligned Consequences and 


Interventions  
Major Shifts in the Discipline Matrix in the Current Code:
● The Code places a greater focus on standardized consequences and interventions that are accountable and
restorative. When an exclusionary response, such as in-school (ISS) or out-of-school (OSS), is warranted, the
focus will be on short-term removals from the classroom and fewer days of out-of-school suspension.
● The Code of Conduct, Character and Support places greater emphasis on interventions where students must
account for their behavior and do something to repair the harm or make things right, rather than relying only on
exclusionary consequences.
● Infractions are described as concretely as possible to avoid problems with assigning consequences that cover too
wide a range of options.
● The delineation of four levels of consequences and interventions reduces the risk of discretionary determinations
with the intended result to be increased equitable responses and decreased disproportionate responses for groups
of students that are often overrepresented in exclusionary discipline.
● Differential responses will occur when indicated to accommodate for differences in the severity and frequency of
the infraction and developmental differences in students based on age and ability.
● Level 1 low impact behaviors are expected to be managed by classroom teachers.
● As with all levels of behavior, if behavior persists, disciplinary responses at a higher consequence level may be
imposed.

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Level 1 behavior required intervention / consequences
Level 1​ ​interventions incorporate universal by the teacher / staff member; it may involve
schoolwide and classroom practices that promote the documentation.
development and practice of prosocial behaviors,
self-discipline, habits of learning, and healthy At this level, teachers/staff provide support to and set
well-being. Teachers aim to prevent minor discipline classroom limits with students, with possible follow-up
problems from becoming major disciplinary incidents consultation from student support staff.

Level 2 ​involves targeted interventions and may At this level, when the behavior persists after teacher
interventions are not successful, it may involve student
include consequences when a student’s behavior removal from the classroom (​Click here to view the
warrants this. Removal of Student Protocol​), restorative
interventions, meeting with an administrator or student
support staff member, or having a family conference.

Level 3 and 4 ​involve violent or dangerous


behavior violations that seriously jeopardize school
and classroom safety and order. Students who are
experiencing high risk or pervasive behavioral,
academic, and physical and mental health concerns
are assigned more intensive, individualized
interventions.
Consequences and interventions apply to all students, Kindergarten to Grade 12, including all students with IEPs and 504
plans. Multiple incidents or chronic violations of the same behavior will warrant more intensive interventions and more
serious consequences. Level 3 and 4 consequences and interventions may be modified for students to ensure the
developmental appropriateness of the response, as well as, compliance with regulations for students with disabilities on

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an IEP or 504 plan. Employment of a suspension at a K-2 level is used only as a last resort and must include consultation
with the Superintendent or his/her designee. Principals can also request this consultation for other grade levels to
determine the most appropriate consequences and interventions. Exclusionary responses, such as ISS or OSS, allows
the school community to devise a safety and reintegration plan. Parents of any student who has engaged in highly
aggressive or dangerous behaviors are expected to participate in the intervention plan created to support their child’s
success.
The matrix below outlines the definitions of behavioral offenses and the initial level of response to be used. All behavior
infractions needs to be documented, click below:

​Guidelines for Documenting an Office Discipline Referral 

Level 1 ​Teacher/Staff support with student support team consultation if necessary T ​ he behavior requires
intervention/consequences by the teacher/staff member; it may involve documentation.

Level 2 ​Involves support staff and/or appropriate administration ​The behavior persists​ ​after teacher interventions are not
successful; it may involve student removal from classroom, restorative interventions, meeting with administrator or student
support staff member or family conference.

Level 3 ​In-school and Short-Term Suspension ​The behavior presents a risk to the safety, health, or welfare of the adults and
students; may involve in-school suspensions (partial or full day) or short-term suspensions from 1 to 5 days based on severity and
repeated occurrences; may also involve meeting with administrator or student support team member, family conference, and/or re-entry
restorative planning conference.

Level 4 ​Request for Long-​ ​Term Suspension ​Infractions at this level represents the most serious infractions and may result in a
suspension of more than five days, up to and including a full-year of suspension or exclusion from school. Behavior involves violent or
dangerous behavior violations that has a substantial detrimental effect on safety and the general welfare of the school.

Code Offense Description of the Offense Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4


Category

Alcohol (liquor law violations: possession, use, sale)

1010 Sale of Selling or attempting to sell alcoholic ▉


alcohol beverages on school property or at a
school function.

1020 Distribution Distributing (i.e., giving away) alcoholic ▉


of alcohol beverages on school property or at a
school function.

1030 Drinking Consuming alcoholic beverages on ▉


alcohol school property or at a school function.

1040 Possession Having alcoholic beverages in one’s ▉


of alcohol pocket(s), bag(s), locker, car, etc. while
on school property or at a school
function.

1050 Suspicion of Exhibiting behaviors that suggests that ▉


alcohol use an individual consumed alcohol.

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1100 Arson The unlawful or intentional damage, or ▉
(Setting a attempt to damage, any school property
Fire) by fire or incendiary device.
Firecrackers, fireworks, and trash can
fires would be included in this category
if they were contributing factors to a
damaging fire.

Attendance Policy Violation (Not Attending School or Classes as Required)

1210 Forging Creating a false document or signature ▉


absence used with the intent to deceive a school
excuse official.

PPS-01 Forging Creating a false document or signature ▉


absence used with the intent to deceive a teacher.
excuse

1220 Skipping or Missing or left class without permission ▉


Leaving
Class

1230 Tardiness Lateness for school or class without ▉


permission.

1240 Truancy Missing or leaving school without ▉


permission

1300 Physical Committing an act of violence toward a ▉


Altercation person, including, hitting, kicking,
or Attack shoving, punching, scratching or spitting
on another person. ​Must have an
offender and a victim.
1700 Physical Mutual​ participation in an altercation ▉
Fighting involving physical violence. ​No victims,
only offenders.

1400 Burglary / Unlawful entry or attempted entry into a ▉


Breaking building or other structure with the intent
and Entering to commit a crime.
(Stealing
Property/Unl
awful Entry)

PPS-02 Classroom Refusal to do work or participate in ▉


Misbehavior lesson; lack of compliance with
classroom routines and procedures;
off-task behavior; interrupting others
from doing their work; engages in
demands, argumentative and adversarial

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speech, confrontations or “back talk”
(includes share or buddy teachers)

PPS-03 Persistent Refusal to do work or participate in ▉


Classroom lesson; lack of compliance with
Misbehavior classroom routines and procedures;
off-task behavior; interrupting others
from doing their work; engages in
demands, argumentative and adversarial
speech, confrontations or “back talk”
that requires removal from class by an
administrator (does not include share or
buddy teachers)

PPS-04 Public Space Running, excessive noise, horseplay, ▉


Misbehavior loitering or unauthorized hall walking

PPS-05 School Bus Distraction of driver while driving


Misbehavior

1500 School-Wide Any act that ​substantially ​disrupts the ▉


Disorderly orderly conduct of the ​school
Conduct environment​. Required a high level of
administrative and/or support staff
resources to return to calm.

Drugs Excluding Alcohol and Tobacco (Illegal Drug Possession, Sale, Use/Under the Influence)
1610 Sale of illegal Selling or attempting to sell illegal drugs on school ▉
drug property or at a school function.

1620 Sale of Selling a substance represented as an illegal drug ▉


substance (e.g., selling oregano represented as marijuana).
represented as
an illegal drug

1630 Distribution of Distributing (i.e., giving away) illegal drugs on ▉


illegal drug school property or at a school function.

1640 Distribution of Distributing (i.e., giving away) substance represented ▉


substance as an illegal drug.
represented as
an illegal drug

1650 Use of illegal Smoking, snorting, injecting, ingesting, or otherwise ▉


drug* using an illegal drug not mentioned above

MA02 Marijuana use Smoking or otherwise using marijuana on school ▉


property or at a school function.

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1660 Possession of Having an illegal drug in one’s pocket(s), bag(s), car, ▉
illegal drug* locker, etc. on school property or at a school
function.

MA01 Marijuana Having marijuana in one’s pocket(s), bag(s), locker, ▉


possession car, etc.

MA03 Possession of Possession of illegal drugs with intent to sell on ▉


illegal drugs school property or at a school function.
with intent to
sell

1670 Possession of Having equipment (e.g., bong) for use in consuming ▉


drug illegal drugs in one’s pocket(s), bag(s), car, locker,
paraphernalia etc. on school property or at a school function.

1680 Suspicion of use An instance where an individual’s behavior suggests ▉


that he or she used illegal drugs.

Harassment, Nonsexual (Physical, Verbal, or Psychological)


1810 Bullying The repeated use by one or more students (aggressors) ▉
of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a
physical act or gesture of any combination thereof,
directed at a target that: (i) causes physical or
emotional harm to the target or damage to the target’s
property; (ii) places the target in reasonable fear of
harm to him/herself or of damage to his/her property;
(iii) creates a hostile environment at school for the
target; (iv) infringes on the rights of the target at
school; (v) materially and substantially disrupts the
education process of the orderly operation of a school.
This includes cyber bullying.

1820 Hazing Committing an act or acts against a student or ▉


coercing a student to commit an act that creates risk
of harm to a person in order to be initiated into a
student organization or class.

1897 Other The incident cannot be coded in one of the above ▉


nonsexual categories but did involve nonsexual harassment.
harassment This includes harassment based on the basis of race,

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color, age, disability, sex, religion, national origin,
sexual orientation, or gender identity.

1900 Harassment, Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual ▉


Sexual favors, other physical or verbal
conduct/communication of a sexual nature, including
gender-based harassment that creates an intimidating,
hostile, or offensive environment.

Inappropriate Use of Medication (Prescription or over-the-counter)


2110 Sale of medication Selling prescription or over-the-counter ▉
medication.

2120 Distribution of Distributing (i.e., giving away) prescription or ▉


medication over-the-counter medicine in violation of school
rules.

2130 Use of medication in Using prescription or over-the-counter medicine ▉


violation of school in violation of school rules.
rules

2140 Possession of Having prescription or over-the-counter ▉


medication in medication in one’s pocket(s), bag(s), car,
violation of school locker, etc., in violation of school rules
rules

2150 Suspicion of use of An instance where an individual’s behavior ▉


medication in suggests that he or she used prescription or
violation of school over-the-counter drugs in violation of school
rules rules.

PPS- Inciting or Engaging in an intentional act to disrupt the ▉


06 Participating in normal operation of the school community;
Disturbance instigating or encouraging another person to
violate the Code of Conduct, Character and
Support

2200 Administrative Unwillingness to comply with authority, refusal ▉


Non-Compliance/ to respond to a reasonable request, or other
Insubordination situations in which a student fails to comply
with the reasonable requests of school
personnel.
Includes failure to comply with assigned
consequence and failure to identify oneself.

2300 Kidnapping Unlawful seizure, transportation, and/or ▉


(Abduction) detention of a person against his/her will, or of a
minor without the consent of his/her custodial

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parent(s) or legal guardian. This category
includes hostage taking.

Obscene Behavior

2410 Displays of Holding hands, kissing or other displays of ▉


affection in affection
violation of school
policy

2420 Obscene written Writing obscene messages on paper, on black ▉


messages boards, or elsewhere on school property (e.g., on
bathroom wall).

2430 Drawing obscene Creating illustrations of a sexually explicit or ▉


pictures vulgar nature.

2440 Obscene electronic Posting obscene messages on Internet message ▉


communication boards, sending obscenities via Internet chat
rooms/instant messaging, Twitter, cell phone text
and downloading or emailing obscene material.

2450 Obscene gestures Gestures that are offensive, socially ▉


unacceptable, or otherwise not suitable for an
educational setting.

2460 Obscene Suggestive, explicit, or vulgar language, cursing, ▉


language/profanity or abusive language.

2500 Physical Confrontation, horseplay, or physical aggression ▉


Altercation, Minor that does not result in injury.

PPS- Refusal to Be Refusing to allow a search by a ​school official ▉


07 Searched who possesses reasonable suspicion that a
student may possess contraband violating school
policy that could potentially endanger the
welfare of the student or the safety of others.

PPS- Refusal to Identify Refusing to identify oneself when asked by a ▉


08 member of the school staff, either an
administrator or a teacher.

2600 Robbery (Taking of The taking of, or attempting to take anything of ▉


Things by Force) value that is owned by another person or
organization under confrontational
circumstances by force or threat of force or
violence and/or by putting the victim in fear. A
key difference between robbery and theft is that
the threat of physical harm or actual physical
harm is involved in a robbery.

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School Threat (Threat of Destruction or Harm)

2710 Bomb threat Intentionally making a false report of potential ▉


harm from a bomb, dynamite, explosive, or
arson-causing device on school property.

2720 Fire alarm Verbally or otherwise (e.g., ringing alarm bells) ▉


making a false report of fire.

2730 Chemical/ Intentionally making a false report of potential ▉


biological threat harm from dangerous chemicals or biological
agents.

2740 Terroristic threat Making terroristic threats to harm students or ▉


school officials, and/or to destroy school
property.

2800 Sexual Battery Oral, anal or vaginal penetration forcibly or ▉


(Sexual Assault) against the person’s will or where the victim is
incapable of giving consent on school property
or at a school function. Includes rape, fondling,
indecent liberties, and child molestation.

2900 Sexual Offenses, Sexual intercourse, sexual contact, or other ▉


Other (Lewd behavior intended to result in sexual
Behavior, Indecent gratification without force or threat of force on
Exposure) school property or at a school function. Code
statutory rape here.

Theft (Stealing Personal or Other Property)

3110 General theft, Taking or attempting to take money or property ▉


Person belonging to another person or the school with
the intent to permanently deprive the victim of
his or her possessions.

3120 Motor Vehicle Theft of a motor vehicle on school property. This ▉


Theft category includes theft of a car, truck,
motorcycle, dune buggy, snowmobile, RV, or
anything that is self-propelled on school
property or at a school function.

​Threat/Intimidation (Causing Fear of Harm)

3210 Physical threat Threatening an individual or group of individuals ▉


with a gesture(s) or body language.

3220 Verbal threat Threatening an individual or group of individuals ▉


with spoken words or sounds.

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3230 Written threat Threatening an individual or group of individuals in ▉
writing (e.g., letter, note, message on chalkboard).

3240 Electronic threat Threatening an individual or group of individuals ▉


by text, email, postings on Internet sites, or
through other electronic mechanisms.

MA04 Threat of robbery Any threat (verbal, written, electronic) by a person ▉


to commit a robbery.

PPS- Extortion Theft using coercion, which includes obtaining ▉


08 money or property from another student through
coercion, intimidation or threat of physical harm

Tobacco (Possession or Use) ​Tobacco products include, but are not limited to: cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos (or little cigars), clove cigarettes, loose
tobacco, blunt wrappers, chewing tobacco (chew, dip), or any other product not mentioned that contains tobacco of any kind. It also includes any products
containing nicotine such as dissolvable nicotine, electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, nicotine gel, nicotine water, or any other preparation of unregulated
tobacco and any product or formulation of matter containing biologically active amounts of nicotine that is manufactured, sold, or offered for sale, or
otherwise distributed with the expectation that the product or matter will be introduced into the human body, and not including any cessation product
approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use as a medical treatment to reduce and eliminate nicotine or tobacco dependence.

3310 Sale of tobacco Sale of tobacco products ▉

3320 Distribution of Distribution (i.e., giving away) tobacco products. ▉


tobacco

3330 Use of tobacco Smoking, chewing or otherwise using tobacco ▉

3340 Possession of Having tobacco in one’s pocket(s), bag(s), car, ▉


tobacco locker, etc.

3350 Suspicion of use of An instance where an individual’s behavior, breath, ▉


tobacco etc., suggests that he or she used tobacco.

3400 Trespassing Students are on school grounds either in the ▉


(Unlawful or building they regularly attend after notice or in
Unauthorized another school building without permission
Presence)

Vandalism (Damage to School or Personal Property)

3510 Vandalism of Intentionally damaging or destroying school ▉


school property property (K-2 considerations)

3520 Vandalism of Intentionally damaging or destroying the personal ▉


personal property property of a student or staff member, including
graffiti (K-2 considerations)

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3600 Violation of Violation of school rules without insubordination. ▉
School Rules

3600 Academic Includes plagiarism, cheating, copying from ▉


(PPS) Dishonesty another student, altering records, and assisting
another student in any of the above actions.

3600 Violation of the Wearing clothing that is in opposition to the dress ▉


(PPS) Dress Code code policy.

PPS- Violation of Students may not use or operate personal electronic ▉


09 Electronics Device devices or cell phones in any instructional space
Policy during the school day. This includes earphones or
buds.

PPS- Recording and/or Students may not record the voice or image of .​▉
10 Distribution of another without consent or in any way that
Others interferes in the educational environment. This
includes the distribution of voice and/or image, as
well as, posting to a public forum.

PPS- Violation of Refer to District Electronic Acceptable Use Policy ▉


11 Electronic
Acceptable Use
Policy

MA05 Felony Conviction When type of felony determines a substantial threat ▉


Outside of School* to a safe, peaceful school environment.

MA19 Felony complaint Type of felony determines a substantial threat to a ▉


(charge) outside of safe, peaceful school environment.
school*

Weapons Offenses

Firearm

0011 Handgun A handgun or pistol ▉


0012 Shotgun A shotgun ▉
MA14 Rifle A rifle ▉
0013 Other type of The weapon involved was another type of firearm not ▉
firearm* named above, including zip guns, starter guns, and
flare guns. As defined by the Gun-Free Schools Act.

Knives/Other Weapons (Level 3 could be a first consideration based on a student’s age and development.)

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0021 Knife with Knife with blade less than 2.5 inches ▉
blade less than
2.5 inches

0023 Knife with Knife with blade greater than or equal to 2.5 inches ▉
blade greater
than or equal to
2.5 inches

0029 Other knife* The weapon involved was another type of knife. ▉
0030 Other Sharp The weapon involved was another type of sharp ▉
Objects* object, (e.g., razor blade, ice pick, dirk/dagger,
Chinese star, other pointed instrument [used as a
weapon]).

0040 Other Object* The weapon involved was another known object (e.g., ▉
chain, nunchakus, brass knuckle, billy club, electrical
weapon or device [stun gun], BB or pellet gun).

0050 Substance Used The weapon involved was a substance (e.g., mace, tear ▉
as Weapon* gas) that was used as a weapon.

MA51 Explosive or A bomb, grenade, rocket, missile, mine, or other ▉


Incendiary incendiary device
Device

0099 Unknown Any other object not described above, such as ▉


Weapon fireworks or firecrackers

Aligned Supports and Interventions  


As stated throughout, the focus of the Code of Conduct, Character and Support is on finding a balance between assigning
accountable consequences for behavioral infractions and providing supports and a restorative approach to interventions to
both address behavior and to assist students to learn effective skills to positively impact future behavior. It is important
to keep the following context in mind: One of the best ways to prevent problematic behavior is the presence of a
well-structured, engaging and culturally responsive lesson as outlined within the Massachusetts Educator Evaluation
Rubric.
Supports and interventions are aligned with each level of the behavioral infraction matrix and represent a menu of
suggested responses. Teachers, support personnel and administrators may select one or more responses in each level. It is
not expected that all interventions at each level would be used. Administrators, teachers, and student support personnel
may also use a lower level intervention when it is appropriate. They will strive to match students with interventions that
are the least intensive, while being the most effective. Interventions will be monitored and adjusted based on student
response.
School personnel are responsible for developing and using strategies that promote optimal learning and positive behavior
throughout a student’s school experience. Administrators, teachers, school counselors, social workers, psychologists and
other school staff are also expected to use promotion and prevention strategies to engage students, including students with
disabilities, that facilitate students’ academic and social-emotional growth, assist them in following school rules and
policies, and support correction when behavioral issues arise. If, at any time, school officials suspect that a student’s
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difficulties may be the result of a disability which may require special education services, the student should be referred
immediately to the school Special Education Director/Coordinator and her team.
Teachers are expected to use Universal Tier 1 practices to create respectful, orderly, and productive classrooms through
(1) the development of caring, supportive relationships with and among students; (2) organizing and implementing
instruction in ways that optimize students’ access to learning; (3) using group management methods that encourage
students’ engagement in academic tasks; (4) promoting the development of students’ self-management and social efficacy;
and (5) using appropriate interventions to assist students with behavior problems.
The following chart is a tool to indicate how supports and interventions are aligned at the four levels of behavioral
infractions. Note that it is always acceptable, and often appropriate, to include lower level restorative and accountable
actions even when addressing higher level behavior.

Level 1 Behavior: Support/behavior intervention provided by the teacher.


The behavior requires intervention/consequences by the teacher.
May include additional consultation with student support personnel when patterns of behavior persist.
Level 1 behavior does not include exclusion, such as ISS or OSS, as an initial response.

Level 1 Documentation Level 1: Prevention and Classroom Behavior Support


and Restorative & Responses
Accountable Responses (Utilize the Promotion and Prevention Toolbox for additional strategies.)

Documentation: Prevention:
Consider submission of a 1. Promote opportunities to ​get to know your students​ and develop positive, trusting
discipline referral for relationships, including meeting and greeting students daily or learning about
“Classroom Misbehavior” in students’ lives outside the classroom.
PowerSchool if a pattern of 2. Practice clear, consistent academic and behavioral classroom procedures and routines
behavior persists or daily.
intensifies that the staff 3. Pre-teach, model, practice, reinforce, and monitor classroom ​expectations​.
member believes should be 4. Differentiate classroom instruction​ to best meet diverse student needs. Students will
have less behavioral difficulties when they can access the instruction.
documented.
5. Provide activities that ​promote group cohesion​ in your classrooms.
6. Use ​positive, specific praise/feedback​ in a 5:1 ratio over negative feedback. Include
Accountability Responses: individual and group kudos, recognitions and celebrations.
Suggested communication 7. Use developmentally appropriate ​sensory, motor and and space modifications​ to
with parent/family to discuss change the environment or the ways that students engage.
and problem solve a concern 8. Lesson Planning--remember that one of the best ways to prevent problematic
via phone, email, in-person behavior is the presence of a ​well-structured, engaging and culturally responsive
conference or letter. lesson​.
Assign teacher-supervised Classroom Behavior Support Responses:
consequences. 1. First Response--use ​redirection strategies​ including: prompts, cues, proximity,
Restorative Responses: effective reminders, positive directives that invite cooperation and self-correction.
Personal, Academic and 2. Diffuse and de-escalate upset students or charged situations by ​calmly
Behavioral Check-ins responding to negative and inappropriate speech ​in ways that support students
Choose from the following based on
relevance (See following pages for to self-correct.
descriptions.): 3. Avoid or ​disengage​ from power struggles.
1. Restorative Question 4. Remain calm. ​Avoid taking conflict personally​. It’s rarely about you, even
Conference when it feels like it.

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2. Personal Efficacy 5. Watch that the ​nonverbal messages​ you are giving out match what you want to
Conference communicate.
3. Diffusing Conference 6. Use ​brief behavior check-ins​ with individual students​ ​during class time or
4. Problem-Solving Circle
during a group/class discussion to solve a problem, assist students to make a
positive choice to self-correct their behavior.
7. Utilize brief ​restorative conversations​ to promote self-reflection and help repair
relationships with the teacher or students experiencing an interpersonal conflict.
8. Consult with student support personnel ​to generate possible strategies to
reduce unskillful behaviors and increase desired target behaviors.

Level 2 Behavior: Involves support staff and/or appropriate administration.


The behavior persists​ ​after teacher interventions are not successful; it may involve student removal from classroom,
restorative interventions, meeting with administrator or student support staff member or family conference. It could
include referral for a Building Assistance and/or Student Support Team meeting.
Level 2 behavior does not include suspension, such as ISS or OSS, as an initial response.

Level 2 Documentation Level 2: Behavior Support Responses


and Accountability (Incorporate all Level 1 Prevention and Classroom Behavior Support Responses
Response as well.)

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Documentation: Teacher Facilitated Level 1 Behavior Supports PLUS
REQUIRES submission of a 1. Restorative conferencing between teacher and student (might also include
log entry in PowerSchool to parent and/or student support personnel) to develop a plan for improving
document the incident. behavior, engagement, and academic performance in the classroom.
Restorative conferencing should include the relevant type of conferencing
Accountability Responses: listed to the left.
Requires communication with
2. More intensive academic and/or behavioral progress monitoring.
parent/family to discuss and
problem solve a concern via 3. Review and rehearse classroom and/or school-wide academic and behavioral
phone, email, in-person expectations.
conference or letter. Student Support Staff/Administrator Facilitated Interventions:
Teacher- supervised and/or 1. Continued incident investigation.
administrative consequences 2. Meeting with a member of the school administration, school counselor, or
can be assigned. school adjustment counselor.
If behavior warrants use of 3. Conference with student followed by conferencing with teacher teams,
the Reset Protocol, all Building Assistance Team (BAM) and/or Student Support Team (SST) when a
requirements of the protocol pattern persists.
must be met. 4. Provide Tier II student support staff facilitated interventions that could include
referral to school adjustment counseling services and other building-based
Check and Connect/PBIS Tier II or PBIS Tier III programming, which could
include individual, and small group interventions, mediation, restitution, social
and emotional learning programs.
5. Individualized psychological assessment and trauma assessment when
recommended by BAM Team after interventions previously instituted.
6. Individualized case management services for students with IEPs and 504 plans
with possible reconvene of IEP/504 Team to review needs for additional
accommodations and supports when concerns persist.
7. Referral to services, collaboration and coordination as appropriate with
community-based supports and agencies.
8. Referral to Intervention Support Centers when developed in year two of the
Code implementation.

Restorative Responses:
(See following pages for descriptions.)
1. Problem-Solving and Planning Conference
2. Return Conference After Classroom Removal
3. Student-Teacher Mediated Conference.

Level 3 Behavior: Behavior Support Responses


Warrants in-school and/or short-term out-of-school suspension (1-5 Days)
The behavior presents a risk to the safety, health, or welfare of the adults and students; may involve in-school suspensions (partial or full day) or
short-term suspensions from 1 to 5 days based on severity and repeated occurrences; may also involve meeting with administrator or student
support team member, family conference, and/or re-entry restorative planning conference.
If a student presents with significant mental health distress and concerns about immediate risk to self or others, school adjustment counselor
should be consulted to assess the need for a referral to the Brien Center Emergency Services/Crisis Team (413-499-0412). Parent permission is
required.

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Documentation: Incorporate all Level 1 and Level 2 Prevention and Classroom Behavior Support
REQUIRES submission of a log Responses as well.
entry in PowerSchool to Additional Responses Include:
document the incident. ● Development of comprehensive student specific academic and behavioral
Discipline letter sent home by
intervention plan, such as,​ ​completion of a​ ​functional behavioral assessment
administrator, including
information to parent on due
and plan, reassess and adjust existing plans and increase monitoring.
process rights. ● Creation of a safety plan.
Due process hearing when ● Referral to SST, BAM, IEP/504 eligibility or reconvene team as indicated
requested. based on student’s current services.
Accountability Responses:
Behavior warrants removal from
classroom or other building
location by administrator.
Parent/guardian notification and
scheduling of conference with
administrator, student and
parent. Administrator
investigation of incident and
consideration of past pattern of
ODRs in determining
consequences.
If behavior warrants use of the
Reset Protocol, all requirements
of the protocol must be met.
Manifest Determination required
when student with disability
reaches 5-10 days of suspension
or a pattern of behaviors
resulting in suspension occurs.
Consultation with public safety
officials, police and fire, when a
crime is suspected.

Restorative Response Protocols:


(See following pages for descriptions.)
1. Return Conference after Classroom Removal
2. Bullying-Harassment Caucus and Conference when relevant
3. Restorative Group Conferencing
4. Suspension Re-Entry Protocol

Level 4 Behavior: Behavior Support Responses


Warrants longer-term out-of-school suspension (5 days or more)
Infractions at this level represents the most serious infractions and may result in a suspension of more than five days, up to and
including a full-year of suspension or exclusion from school.
Behavior involves violent or dangerous behavior violations that has a substantial detrimental effect on safety and the general
welfare of the school.
If student presents with significant mental health distress and concerns about immediate risk to self or others, school adjustment
counselor should be consulted to assess need for a referral to the Brien Center Emergency Services/Crisis Team (413-499-0412).
Parent permission is required.

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Documentation: Incorporate all Level 1 and Level 2 Prevention and Classroom Behavior Support
REQUIRES submission of a log Responses as well.
entry in PowerSchool to Additional Responses Include:
document the incident. ● Development of comprehensive student specific academic and behavioral
Discipline letter sent home by
intervention planning, such as,​ ​completion of a​ ​functional behavioral
administrator, including
information to parent on due
assessment and plan, reassess and adjust existing plans and increase
process rights. monitoring.
Due process hearing when ● Creation of a safety plan.
requested. ● Referral to SST, BAM, IEP/504 eligibility or reconvene team as indicated
Accountability Responses: based on student’s current services.
Behavior warrants removal from
classroom or other building
location by administrator.
Parent/guardian notification and
scheduling of conference with
administrator, student and
parent.
Administrator investigation of
incident and consideration of
past pattern of ODRs in
determining consequences.
If behavior warrants use of the
Reset Protocol, all requirements
of the protocol must be met.
Manifest Determination required
when student with disability
reaches 5-10 days of suspension
or a pattern of behaviors
resulting in suspension occurs.
Consultation with public safety
officials, police and fire, when a
crime is suspected​.

Restorative Response Protocols:


(See following pages for descriptions.)
1. Return Conference after Classroom Removal
2. Bullying-Harassment Caucus and Conference when relevant
3. Restorative Group Conferencing
4. Suspension Re-Entry Protocol

Restorative Conferencing 
Listening and speaking responsively are the basic building blocks of all restorative interventions. Restorative conferencing
provides the structure in which we listen and speak responsively. Restorative conferencing ranges from informal
one-to-one conferences to more formal processes like mediation, family and restorative group conferences, and a school
re-entry conference. All of these conferencing structures create a safe space in which people directly affected by an
incident or problem can discuss it safely, openly, and honestly. All responsive conferencing protocols involve a structured
set of steps and questions to ensure that all participants feel supported and all participants’ thoughts and feelings are
invited into the process. ​The chart below shows a continuum of restorative conferencing protocols.

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Personal,  Morning  Problem  Return  Problem  Student-Stu Student-Tea Bullying-Ha Restorative  Re-entry 
Academic,  Meeting /  Solving  Conference  Solving and  dent  cher  rassment  Family and  Conference 
and  Classroom  Circles /  after  Planning  Mediation  Mediated  Caucus and  Group 
Behavioral  Circle  Restorative  Classroom  Conference  Conference  Conference  Conferences 
Check-ins  Question  Send-out 
Conversation 

Restorative Questions ~ The questions below are frequently used in conferences when a student’s behavior has
harmed others or a student’s behavior is getting in the way of a student’s social and academic efficacy.

1. What happened? (What was your part in what happened?)


2. What were you thinking and feeling at the time?
3. Who else was affected by this? How?
4. What are you thinking/feeling now?
5. What do you want to do to make things right?
6. What can I (others) do to support you?
7. When a situation like this comes up again, what actions might you take next time?

Intervention Support Center 


Each secondary school is expected to establish a Intervention Support Center that serves as an:
1. Intake location for students who need be removed from the classroom.
2. Intake location for students who have been traveling in public spaces without permission during class periods and
are temporarily removed to the Intervention Support Center before returning to class.
3. Intake location for students who have engaged in serious incidents of public space misconduct and need to be
temporarily removed from that space.
4. Students who have committed behavior violations serious enough to warrant immediate removal from the
classroom or other location will be escorted to the Intervention Support Center for the remainder of the class
period. An administrator will determine whether student returns to regular classes or remains in the Intervention
Support Center for the remainder of the day while a parent is being contacted. The Intervention Support Center
staff member will facilitate an in-take conference to defuse emotional upset and discuss what the student will need
to do to repair the harm, right oneself, and restore one’s good standing.
5. In-school suspension room for students assigned one to two days of in-school suspension.
After in-take, students are expected to work on classroom assignments or other learning tasks during their time in
the Intervention Support Center.
6. A meeting place where a student support staff member meets students so that they can receive assigned
interventions. This is NOT lost instructional time, but rather an alternative learning opportunity that will support
students to get back on track. In the same way that some students receive more intensive academic supports and
interventions during regular instruction inside and outside of the classroom, some students also need additional
opportunities to develop social and emotional skills and mindsets that will support more responsible behavior and
greater success in school. To ensure timely assignment of interventions, the School Intervention Team will engage
in weekly meetings to review student data, identify students most in need of immediate and on-going
interventions, assign students with highest needs to a student support coach, and recommend specific
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interventions. Students may be assigned to a morning or afternoon session in the Intervention Support Center so
that student can receive interventions with a member of Student Support Personnel during that time.
Comprehensive, Longer Term Interventions
Student support personnel will identify students who are experiencing multiple problems (social, emotional, and academic
challenges, personal distress and/or family crisis) that have become barriers to functioning successfully at school. Within a
week of student’s identification, student support personnel will consult with a student’s teachers, parent, and others to
determine components of a long-term intervention that will include a comprehensive student success intervention plan as
well as other interventions that are facilitated by student support team members within the school as well as referral for
services provided by the District or external partner agencies.

Student Reset Protocol   


Removal of Student from Classroom
Please refer to the promotion and prevention tool box in the full version of the Code of Conduct, Character, and Support.
Student actions that could activate the “Reset” Protocol for the classroom
These are the only actions for which a student would be removed by an administrator or designee from the classroom.
Students are not to be sent out of the classroom without an administrator.

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Discipline Log Entry Categories
Student Reset Protocol Behavior
Documentation Required to be Used in the 2019-2020
Activator
School Year

3220 Verbal Threat


1. Verbal threats, physical posturing Staff documentation required within 90
3210 Physical Threat
and aggression to self or others. minutes
1300 Physical Altercation or Attack

2. Property destruction that has the Staff documentation required within 90 3510 Vandalism of School Property
potential to harm self or others. minutes 3520 Vandalism of Personal Property

3. Language that is either profane,


vulgar or harassing in tone or word
Staff documentation required within 90 2460 Obscene Language or Profanity
choice directed towards staff or
minutes 1897 Other Sexual Harassment
students. (race, disability, gender,
sexual orientation)

4. Continued disruption of a class For a level 2 occurrence, staff


period that significantly interrupts documentation required by the end of
the learning environment for others the day.
after two attempts to re-direct /
PPS Persistent Classroom Misbehavior
re-engage student. Staff will
utilize strategies outlined in the For a level 3 or 4 occurence, staff
Prevention Toolbox prior to calling documentation required within 90
for removal. minutes.

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If one of the four actions listed above occur and a student is removed by an administrator or designee, the
timeline below activates immediately after the student removal.

Restorative
Administrative
Incident Occurs Notification to Parents Conference with
Determination
Teacher
1. Teacher alerts the school ● School ● When a school level ● Within 48 hours of the
administration that the Administrator response or consequences student’s return to
student needs to be reviews the “Reset” are administered, the class, the teacher must
removed from the incident including parent/ally is notified by participate in a
classroom speaking with the an administrator of the one-to-one conference
2. Administrator / designee student and classroom removal by led by an administrator
must remove the student determines whether telephone and in email with the student to
from class. Teacher additional when available. discuss incident and
informs admin. of reason consequences Communication must support the student to
for removal Students including immediate inform parent/adult ally re-engage in the
must be removed for a suspension are that she/he can request a classroom. ​Click here
minimum of 30 minutes. warranted. conference with an for Problem Solving
3. Teacher writes ​a Conversation
PowerSchool Log entry, ● If administrator and/or
resources.
in-school-suspension teacher to discuss the
completing all sections​. classroom removal. ​Click
For Activators 1, 2, 3, or out-of-school
suspension is here for call resources.
teacher has 90 minutes to
complete and submit the warranted, ● The teacher submitting the
PowerSchool Log entry. administrator must PowerSchool Log entry
For activator 4, please complete suspension referral is expected to
follow guidelines stated documentation in make a contact via phone
above. ​Click here for PowerSchool based or email when classroom
directions.​ Teachers may on the teacher’s log level response or
pause in their entry. consequences are
responsibilities to ● If additional time in administered. ​Click here
complete the log. the Intervention for call resources.
4. Student is expected to Center is assigned
complete a ​Reflection for further Parent Request for
and Return Form interventions, Conference
(individual schools may administrator must
use their own reflection complete appropriate Within 24 hours of the
form)​ ​ and other documentation, incident, (Until Monday
educational activities consult with SIT, close of school, if incident
during their time with the and discuss reasons occurred on Friday),
administrators. for further parent/ally can request a
interventions with phone or in-person
student. conference with the
principal and/or teacher to
discuss reasons for
classroom removal and
next steps to resolve the
problem.

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Suspension of Students  
Except in the case of an emergency removal or disciplinary offense defined under M.G.L. c. 71, §§37H or 37H½ or an
in-school suspension as defined by 603 CMR 53.02(6), the school shall provide the student and parent/guardian with
written and oral notice of the proposed out-of-school suspension, an opportunity to be heard at hearing, and the
opportunity to participate at the hearing. Notice shall set forth in plain language:

a. the disciplinary offense;


b. the basis for the charge;
c. the potential consequences, including the potential length of the student’s suspension;
d. the opportunity for the student to have a hearing with the principal concerning the proposed suspension, including
the opportunity to dispute the charges and to present the student’s explanation of the alleged incident, and for the
parent/guardian to attend the hearing;
e. the date, time, and location of the hearing;
f. the right of the student and student’s parent/guardian to interpreter services at the hearing if needed to participate;

The principal shall make reasonable efforts to notify the parent/guardian orally of the opportunity to attend the hearing. In
order to conduct a hearing without the parent/guardian present, the principal must be able to document reasonable efforts
to include the parent/guardian. Reasonable effort is presumed if the principal sent written notice and documented at least
two attempts to contact the parent/guardian in the manner specified by the parent/guardian for emergency situations.

All written communications regarding notice of proposed suspension shall be either by hand delivery or delivered by
first-class mail, certified mail, or email to address provided by the parent/guardian for school communications (or other
method agreed to by the principal and parent/guardian) in English, and in the primary language in the home if other than
English, or other means of communication where appropriate.

Short-term Suspensions: Hearing And Principal Determination

A short-term suspension is the removal of the student from the school premises and regular classroom activities for ten
(10) consecutive days or less. Out-of-school short-term suspensions which do not cumulatively over the course of the
school year exceed ten (10) days of suspension shall be conducted in accordance with this section.

Principal Hearing​. The purpose of the hearing with the principal is to hear and consider information regarding the alleged
incident for which the student may be suspended, provide the student an opportunity to dispute the charges and explain the
circumstances surrounding the alleged incident, determine if the student has committed the disciplinary offense, the basis
for the charge, and any other pertinent information. The student shall have an opportunity to present information,
including mitigating facts. A parent/guardian present at the hearing shall have the opportunity to discuss the student’s
conduct and offer information, including mitigating circumstances.

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Based on the available information, including mitigating circumstances, the principal will make a determination whether
the student committed the disciplinary offense, and if so, the consequence. The principal will provide notification in
writing of his/her determination in the form of an update to the student and parent/guardian, and provide reasons for the
determination. If the student is suspended, the principal shall inform the parent/guardian of the type and duration of the
suspension, and shall provide an opportunity for the student to make up assignments and other school work as needed to
make academic progress during the period of removal.

If the student is in grades pre-k through 3, the principal shall send his/her determination to the superintendent and explain
the reasons prior to imposing an out-of-school suspension, before the short-term suspension takes effect.

All written communications regarding the hearing and principal determination shall be either hand delivery or delivered
by first-class mail, certified mail, or email to the address provided by the parent/guardian for school communications (or
other method agreed to by the principal and parent/guardian) in English, and in the primary language in the home if other
than English, or other means of communication where appropriate.

Long-term Suspensions: Hearing And Principal Determination

A long-term suspension is the removal of a student from the school premises and regular classroom activities for more
than ten (10) consecutive school days, or for more than ten (10) school days cumulatively for multiple disciplinary
offenses in any school year. The purpose of the hearing with the principal is to hear and consider information regarding
the alleged incident for which the student may be suspended, provide the student an opportunity to dispute the charges and
explain the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident, determine if the student has committed the disciplinary
offense, the basis for the charge, and any other pertinent information. The student shall have an opportunity to present
information, including mitigating facts, that the principal will consider in determining whether alternatives to suspension
such as loss of privileges, detention, an apology, a student contract, restitution, and/or probation are appropriate.

Additionally, the student shall have the following additional rights:


a. In advance of the hearing, the opportunity to review the student’s record and the documents upon which the
principal may rely in making a determination to suspend the student or not;
ii. the right to be represented by counsel or a lay person of the student’s choice, at the student’s and or
parent’s/guardian’s expense;
iii. the right to produce witnesses on his or her behalf and to present the student’s explanation of the alleged incident,
but the student may not be compelled to do so; and
iv. the right to cross-examine witnesses presented by the school district;
v. the right to request that the hearing be recorded by the principal. All participants shall be informed that the
hearing is being recorded by audio. A copy of the audio recording will be provided to the student or
parent/guardian upon request.
Based on the evidence submitted at the hearing the principal shall make a determination as to whether the student
committed the disciplinary offense, and, if so, after considering mitigating circumstances and alternatives to suspension
(the use of evidence-based strategies and programs, such as mediation, conflict resolution, restorative justice, and positive

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interventions and supports) what remedy or consequence will be imposed. If the principal decides to impose a long-term
suspension, the written determination shall:

a. Identify the disciplinary offense, the date on which the hearing took place, and the participants at the hearing;
b. Set out key facts and conclusions reached by the principal;
c. Identify the length and effective date of the suspension, as well as a date of return to school;
d. Include notice of the student’s opportunity to receive a specific list of education services to make academic
progress during removal, and the contact information of a school member who can provided more detailed
information.
e. Inform the student of the right to appeal the principal’s decision to the superintendent or his/her designee (only if
a long-term suspension has been imposed) within five (5) calendar days, which may be extended by
parent/guardian request in writing an additional seven (7) calendar days.

The long-term suspension will remain in effect unless and until the superintendent decides to reverse the principal’s
determination on appeal.

If the student is in grades pre-k through grade 3, the principal shall send his/her determination to the superintendent and
explain the reasons prior to imposing an out-of-school suspension, whether short-term or long-term, before the suspension
takes effect.

All written communications regarding the hearing and principal determination shall be either hand delivery or delivered
by first-class mail, certified mail, or email to the provided by the parent/guardian for school communications (or other
method agreed to by the principal and parent/guardian) in English, and in the primary language in the home if other than
English, or by other means of communication where appropriate.

Appeal Of Long-term Suspension

A student who is placed on a long-term suspension shall have the right to appeal the principal’s decision to the
superintendent if properly and timely filed. A good faith effort shall be made to include the parent/guardian at the
hearing. The appeal shall be held within three (3) school days of the appeal, unless the student or parent/guardian requests
an extension of up to seven (7) additional calendar days, which the superintendent shall grant. The Superintendent may
choose to deny or allow a request for an appeal at his/her discretion if the request for appeal is not timely An audio
recording of the superintendent's hearing can be provided to the student and parent upon request.

The student and parent/guardian shall have the same rights afforded at the long-term suspension principal hearing. Within
five (5) calendar days of the hearing the superintendent shall issue his/her written decision which meets the criteria
required of the principal’s determination. If the superintendent determines the student committed the disciplinary offense,
the superintendent may impose the same or a lesser consequence than that of the principal. The superintendent’s decision
shall be final.

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Emergency Removal

A student may be temporarily removed prior to notice and hearing when a student is charged with a disciplinary offense
and the continued presence of the student poses a danger to persons or property, or materially and substantially disrupts
the order of the school and, in the principal’s judgment, there is no alternative available to alleviate the danger or
disruption. The temporary removal shall not exceed two (2) school days, following the day of the emergency removal.

During the emergency, removal the principal shall make immediate and reasonable efforts to orally notify the student and
student’s parent/guardian of the emergency removal and the reason for the emergency removal. The principal shall also
provide the due process requirements of written notice for suspensions and provide for a hearing which meets the due
process requirements of a long-term suspension or short-term suspension, as applicable, within the two (2) school day
time period, unless an extension of time for the hearing is otherwise agreed to by the principal, student, and
parent/guardian. A student may not be removed from the school until adequate provisions have been made for the
student’s safety and transportation.

A decision shall be rendered orally on the same day as the hearing, and in writing no later than the following school day.
The decision shall meet all of the due process requirements of a principal’s determination in a long-term suspension or
short-term suspension, as applicable.

In-school Suspension Under 603 Cmr 53:02(6) & 603 Cmr 53.10

In-school suspension is defined as the removal of a student from regular classroom activities, but not the school premises,
for not more than ten (10) consecutive school days, or no more than ten (10) school days cumulatively for multiple
infractions over the course of the school year. In-school suspension may be used as an alternative to short term suspension
at the discretion of the build principal.

A Principal may impose an in-school suspension as defined above according to the following procedures:

The principal shall inform the student of the disciplinary offense charged and the basis for the charge, and provide the
student an opportunity to dispute the charges and explain the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident. If the
principal determines that the student committed the disciplinary offense, the principal shall inform the student of the
length of the student’s in-school suspension, which shall not exceed ten (10) days, cumulatively or consecutively, in a
school year.

On the same day as the in-school suspension decision, the principal shall make reasonable efforts to notify the parent
orally of the disciplinary offense, the reasons for concluding that the student committed the infraction, and the length of
the in-school suspension. The principal shall also invite the parent to a meeting to discuss the student’s academic
performance and behavior, strategies for student engagement, and possible responses to the behavior. Such meeting shall
be scheduled on the day of the suspension if possible, and if not, as soon thereafter as possible. If the principal is unable to

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reach the parent after making and documenting at least two (2) attempts to do so, such attempts shall constitute reasonable
efforts for purposes of orally informing the parent of the in-school suspension.

The principal shall send written notice to the student and parent about the in-school suspension, including the reason and
the length of the in-school suspension, and inviting the parent to a meeting with the principal for the purpose set forth
above, if such meeting has not already occurred. The principal shall deliver such notice on the day of the suspension by
hand-delivery, certified mail, first-class mail, email to an address provided by the parent for school communications, or by
other method of delivery agreed to by the principal and the parent.

Suspension Or Expulsion For Disciplinary Offenses Under M.G.L. 71 §§37h And 37h½

The due process notification and hearing requirements in the preceding sections do not apply to the following disciplinary
offenses:

Possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of a controlled substance, or assault of staff


A student may be subject to expulsion if found in possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of a controlled substance,
or the student assaults a member of educational staff, and the principal determines the student’s continued presence in
school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school.

The Principal shall notify the student and parent(s)/guardian(s) in writing of the opportunity for a hearing, and the right to
have representation at the hearing, along with the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses. After said hearing, a
principal may, in his/her discretion, decide to levy a suspension rather than expulsion. A student expelled for such an
infraction shall have the right to appeal the decision to the Superintendent. The expelled student shall have ten (10) days
from the date of the expulsion in which to notify the Superintendent of his/her appeal. The student has the right to counsel
at the hearing before the Superintendent. The subject matter of the appeal shall not be limited solely to a factual
determination of whether the student was guilty of the alleged offense.

Felony complaint or issuance of felony delinquency complaint


Upon the issuance of a criminal complaint charging a student with a felony, or the issuance of a felony delinquency
complaint against a student, the Principal may suspend a student for a period of time determined appropriate by the
Principal if the Principal determines that the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental
effect on the general welfare of the school.

The Principal shall notify the student in writing of the charges, the reasons for the suspension (prior to such suspension
taking effect), and the right to appeal. The Principal will also provide the student and parent(s)/guardian(s) the process for
appealing the suspension to the Superintendent. The request for appeal must be made in writing within five (5) calendar
days. The hearing shall be held within three (3) days of the request. The suspension shall remain in effect prior to any
appeal hearing before the Superintendent. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written
testimony, and the right to counsel. The Superintendent has the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the Principal.
The Superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal within five (5) calendar days of the hearing. The Superintendent
may choose to deny or allow a request for an appeal at his/her discretion if the request for appeal is not timely An audio
recording of the superintendent's hearing can be provided to the student and parent upon request.

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Felony conviction or adjudication/admission in court of guilt for a felony or felony delinquency
The Principal may expel a student convicted of a felony, or has an adjudication or admission of guilt regarding a felony, if
the Principal determines that the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the
general welfare of the school.

The student shall receive written notification of the charges and reasons for the proposed expulsion. The student shall also
receive written notification of his right to appeal the decision to the Superintendent, as well as the appeal process. The
expulsion shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing conducted by the Superintendent.

The student shall notify the Superintendent in writing of his/her request for an appeal the decision no later than five (5)
calendar days following the date of the expulsion. The Superintendent hearing shall be held with the student and
parent(s)/guardian(s) within three (3) calendar days of the expulsion. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to
present oral and written testimony, and shall have the right to counsel. The Superintendent has the authority to overturn or
alter the decision of the Principal. The Superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal within five (5) calendar days
of the hearing.

Any student expelled from school for such an offense shall be afforded an opportunity to receive educational services and
make academic progress.

Subject to funding, the middle schools and high schools will utilize the Student Resource Center program site as an
alternative to out of school suspensions lasting three or more days for students 14 years of age or older. The program
offered at the Student Resource Center is seen as an educationally sound atmosphere to the three out of school suspension
situations outlined below.

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Short-Term In-School or One to Five Day Out-of-School Suspension 
Procedures and Timeline 
If student’s inappropriate, unacceptable, or unskillful behavior is identified as a Level 3 violation that warrants assignment
of short term in-school or out-of-school suspension, the following procedures and timeline must be followed.

WITHIN 24 HOURS WITHIN 48 HOURS OF


BY END OF DAY WITHIN 24 HOURS
AFTER PARENT STUDENTS RETURN
INCIDENT OF INCIDENT
NOTIFICATION TO CLASS

● Extremely serious or Suspension documentation Student serves designated ● Student completion of


dangerous Level 3 includes: days of: reflection report
violations require that● Recommended suspension ● All schools must have
student is immediately type and number of In-school Suspension restorative
removed from the assigned days OR interventions in place
classroom or other ● Summary of evidence Out-of School Suspension that address the
location and escorted including description of ● At home behaviors that resulted
to the Intervention behavior violation, incident ● At-home plus in the suspension.
Support Center. report, statements, and any attendance in a ● All schools must have a
● For other Level 2 and other relevant materials. prevention program return from suspension
Level 3 violations that● Recommended for several hours protocol in place for
do not require interventions during or during or after school students returning from
student’s immediate after suspension ● At an alternative out-of-school
removal from a ● Parent/Caregiver is notified placement site suspension.
classroom or other by telephone and in
location, adults writing. Communication Appeal to Superintendent
referral to Intervention must inform parent that
Support Center the she/he can request a
same day as the hearing with an
incident. administrator to discuss Parent or student can file a
● Administrator reasons for suspension, written appeal to the
investigates the actions taken prior to Superintendent within five
incident by gathering suspension, assigned business days of the
versions of the facts interventions and return suspension. The
and speaking with from suspension. Superintendent issues a
student to determine if● Instead of a hearing, written decision regarding
the incident warrants: parent/caregiver can the appeal within ten
1 – 2 Day In-School request a conference with business days of receiving
Suspension ​OR the principal to discuss the appeal.
1 – 3 Day Out-of-School reasons for suspension, the
Suspension ​OR versions of the facts,
5 Day Out-of School actions taken prior to
Suspension with Request suspension, assigned
for District Hearing. interventions and student’s
return to school.

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Five Day Suspension and District Hearing Request Procedures and 
Timeline 
If student’s inappropriate, unacceptable, or unskillful behavior is identified as a Level 3 violation that warrants possible
assignment of long-term suspension of more than five days or other district assigned consequences, the following
procedures and timeline must be followed.

WITHIN 5 DAYS OF WITHIN 48 HOURS OF WITHIN 5 DAYS OF


AFTER THE
START OF 5 DAY RECEIVING HEARING STUDENT’S INITIAL
INCIDENT
SUSPENSION REQUEST SUSPENSION

● All procedures Submission of all Hearing ● After review of ● Participants include:


required for Request documentation: Hearing Request Superintendent,
assignment of a short ● Superintendent Hearing information, administrator from
term suspension Request form Superintendent’s student’s school,
must be followed to ● Student completion of Office approves or teacher, student and
assign a five day reflection report denies Hearing parent/caregiver, and
suspension before ● Summary of evidence Request for long-term any witnesses requested
District Hearing including description of suspension. from the school or from
process can begin. behavior violation, ● If hearing request is student or parent.
incident report, witness approved, a written ● In the hearing, the
statements, video, notice to participate in Superintendent
photographs, and any a Superintendent’s determines whether
other relevant materials or hearing is sent to student is guilty or
testimony parent by express mail innocent of alleged
● Suspension letter sent to within 48 hours of behavior violation and
parent receiving hearing determines the
● Recommended request consequences and
interventions during or documentation. interventions to be
after suspension ● Written notice must assigned.
● Parent is notified by include time, date, and ● If the Superintendent
telephone and in writing. location of denies request for long
Communication must Superintendent’s term suspension, student
inform parent that she/he Hearing; description of returns to school after
can request a conference alleged behavior the 5 day suspension.
with an administrator to violation, and
discuss reasons for description of incident
suspension, actions taken and student’s actions;
prior to suspension, parent’s and student’s
assigned interventions right to be represented
and re-entry by counsel, present
evidence, and question
witnesses.

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Suspension from Transportation
The following acts may result in denial of the privilege to ride the bus:
● Profanity on school buses
● Fighting or other aggressive physical behavior
● Smoking on school buses
● Lewd or lascivious conduct
● Unnecessary distraction of the driver
● Destruction of any bus property [restitution will be the parents’ or guardians’ financial responsibility]
● Violation of rules for safety on school buses
● Any act which interferes with the safe and orderly transportation of students
● Possession of weapons or drugs
In all cases, the principal or designee must inform the parent before keeping the student off the bus.
The student is expected to come to school on the days when he or she is not allowed on the bus ​unless the student has also
been suspended from school.
Specific details regarding transportation can be found in the regulations and policy Student Conduct on Buses (STU-31).
These expectations of student conduct are also outlined in the following section of this handbook.

Weapons Use Or Possession 


Possession of a weapon or any ammunition in school, en route to and from school, or at school functions is prohibited. A
student found to be in possession of a weapon while under school jurisdiction is subject to disciplinary as well as legal
action. [M.G.L., c. 71 § 37H, 20 U.S.C., §7151 and §921 of Title 18] Weapons shall include but not be limited to guns,
knives, switchblades, box cutters, and explosive devices. However, the use of any instrument as a weapon whether or not
designed as such is also prohibited.

Educational Services Plan for Students on Suspension from School 


According to M.G.L. c. 76, §21, Any student that has been suspended for more than 10 consecutive school days is entitled
to an opportunity to receive education services. The education services must allow the student "the opportunity… to make
academic progress toward meeting state and local requirements." If non-core academic subjects are included in local
requirements, they must be included in the education service plan so the student has the opportunity to make academic
progress.

(1) Any student who is serving an in-school suspension, short-term suspension, long- term suspension, or expulsion shall
have the opportunity to earn credits, as applicable, make up assignments, tests, papers, and other school work as needed to
make academic progress during the period of his or her removal from the classroom or school. The principal shall inform
the student and parent of this opportunity in writing when such suspension or expulsion is imposed.

(2) Any student who is expelled or suspended from school for more than ten consecutive days, whether in school or out of
school, shall have an opportunity to receive education services and to make academic progress toward meeting state and
local requirements, through the district-wide education service plan.

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(3) Each student plan is individualized to the needs of each student and is developed in collaboration with the school
counseling department, special education department, and classroom teachers, as applicable. Students and their parents
will be notified of the process for developing and arranging such services at the time of suspension/expulsion. Education
services shall be based on, and be provided in a manner consistent with, the academic standards and curriculum
frameworks established for all students under M.G.L. c 69, §§ 1D and 1F.

(4) Students may choose the method of educational service delivery. Options provided are in person tutoring, online
learning facilitated by a tutor, or online learning facilitated by a district educator. The principal will monitor the progress
in the educational service the student and parent choose.

(4) Notice of Education Services for Students in Long-Term Suspension and Expulsion; Enrollment Reporting.
(a) The principal shall notify the parent and student of the opportunity to receive education services at the time the student
is expelled or placed on long-term suspension. Notice shall be provided in English and in the primary language
spoken in the student's home if other than English, or other means of communication where appropriate. The
notice shall include a list of the specific education services that are available to the student and contact
information for a school district staff member who can provide more detailed information.
(b) For each student expelled or suspended from school for more than ten consecutive days, whether in school or out of
school, the school district shall document the student's enrollment in education services. For data reporting
purposes, the school shall track and report attendance, academic progress, and such other data as directed by the
Department.

Discipline  Of  Special  Needs  Students  (  Special  Needs  Includes  both 


Special Education and Section 504 Students) 
All students are expected to meet the requirements for behavior as set forth in this handbook. Chapter 71B of the
Massachusetts General Laws, known as Chapter 766, requires that additional provisions be made for students who have
been found by a special education or 504 evaluation TEAM to have special needs and whose program or
accommodations/services are described in an Individual Educational Program (I.E.P.) or Section 504 plan. The following
additional requirements apply to the discipline of special needs students:

● The I.E.P. or 504 Plan for every special needs student will indicate whether the student can be expected to meet the
regular discipline code or if the student's handicapping conditions require modification. Any modification will be
described in the I.E.P. or 504 Plan. Students who have not yet been found eligible for special education or Section 504
services, yet are students for whom the school is deemed to have knowledge that the child might have a disability,
have the same protections as students that have been previously determined to have a disability.
● The principal (or designee) will notify the Special Education Office or the 504 Coordinator of the suspendable offense
of a special needs student and a record will be kept of such notices. T​he student has the right to make up tests and other
assignments, and do such other work as necessary to make academic progress during that period.
● At ten days of suspension, the principal or his/her designee will conduct a manifest determination to determine two
questions: “Is the conduct a direct result of the district’s failure to implement the IEP or 504 plan?” and “Does the
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conduct have a direct and substantial relationship to the disability?” The answers to these questions are used to inform
future responses to disciplinary infractions and to determine any necessary further assessments, such as, additional
psychological evaluation and/or Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA), that may need to be conducted. Results of
the manifest determination meeting could also include the need to review and modify an existing I.E.P. or 504 plan.
Students with special needs whose behavior is found to be a manifestation of their disability shall be referred for a
FBA.
● When it is known that a special education student receiving special education services or Section 504
accommodations/services is being considered for a long-term suspension, the TEAM (I.E.P. or Section 504) will also
conduct a manifestation determination meeting.
a. Design a modified program for the student.
b. Write an amendment to the I.E.P. or 504 Plan to provide for the delivery of regular and special education
services during the suspension and any needed modification of the I.E.P. or 504 Plan relative to discipline
code expectations. Students with special needs whose behavior is determined to be a manifestation of
his/her disability, are entitled to receive educational services in an Interim Alternative Education Setting.

Corporal Punishment  
Under Massachusetts law (M.G.L. c. 71 § 37G) and School Committee policy, school personnel may not punish a student
by striking, pushing, or any other use of physical force. School staff may use ​reasonable ​physical force to restrain a
student, but ​only i​ f (1) non-physical intervention would be ineffective or has been ineffective and/or (2) they believe the
student’s actions may result in physical injury to the student or other people. Any school employee who uses unreasonable
force may be subject to discipline.
 

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District-wide Policies 
STU-3
R-8/21/13

PITTSFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOLS


Pittsfield, Massachusetts
EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
POLICY
In accordance with Chapter 622 and Title IX. The Pittsfield Public Schools, in accordance with its
non-discrimination and zero tolerance policy, does not discriminate in its programs, activities, facilities,
employment, or educational opportunities on the basis of race, color, age, disability, sex, religion, national origin,
sexual orientation, or gender identity and does not tolerate any form of discrimination, intimidation, threat,
coercion and/or harassment that insults the dignity of others by interfering with their freedom to learn and work.
[M.G.L. c.76, s5]
In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, it is the policy of the Pittsfield Public Schools
not to discriminate, directly or indirectly, against qualified handicapped persons.
In addition, it is the policy of the Pittsfield Public Schools not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

REGULATIONS
1. Chapter 622 of the General Laws of Massachusetts states...
The Pittsfield Public Schools, in accordance with its non-discrimination and zero tolerance policy, does not discriminate in
its programs, activities, facilities, employment, or educational opportunities on the basis of race, color, age, disability, sex,
religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity and does not tolerate any form of discrimination, intimidation,
threat, coercion and/or harassment that insults the dignity of others by interfering with their freedom to learn and work.
[M.G.L. c.76, s5]
2. Title IX legislation of the United States Government states...
"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the
benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial
assistance."
3. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1993 states...
"No otherwise qualified handicapped individual shall, solely by reason of his/her handicap, be excluded from
participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving
Federal financial assistance.

REFERENCES
CHAPTER 622 OF THE GENERAL LAWS OF MASSACHUSETTS
M.G.L., CH. 76, S. 5, PLACE OF ATTENDANCE; DISCRIMINATION
M.G.L., CH 76, S. 5, PLACE OF ATTENDANCE DISCRIMINATION

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Every person shall have a right to attend the public schools of the town where he actually resides...No person shall be
excluded from or discriminated against in admission to a public school of any town or in obtaining the advantages,
privileges, and courses of study of such public school on account of race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, or national
origin or sexual orientation.
SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973
TITLE IX LEGISLATION OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT

Student Dress Code Policy


PITTSFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Pittsfield, Massachusetts
STUDENT DRESS CODE
POLICY
Appropriate dress and personal grooming are expected of all students and are to be encouraged. However, the rights of
students to Freedom of Expression shall not be abridged unless it can be established that student dress constitutes cause
for significant disruption of school order or violates reasonable standards of health, safety and cleanliness.
Specifically, it shall be prohibited for any student to wear in school or at any school-sponsored event, program, or activity
any garment or article of clothing that is sexually revealing or provocative. It shall likewise be prohibited for any student
to wear, display, or brandish any article of clothing or garment, or any jewelry or other personal adornment, athletic bag,
knapsack, or other possession, in school or at any school-sponsored event, program, or activity, that: depicts or describes
any sexual activity or gesture, any sexual organ, or any bodily waste function; that supports, condones, endorses, or
otherwise glorifies or advocates the use of any weapon, illegal drug, controlled substance, alcoholic beverage, or
intoxicant; that is associated with membership in or that supports, condones, endorses, or otherwise glorifies or advocates
any criminal or violent activity, behavior, or enterprise; or that can be otherwise demonstrably determined by the building
principal, or by the program or activity supervisor, to pose a substantial risk of disrupting the educational process at the
school or of the school-sponsored activity or program.
Personal appearance is an individual matter. No one, however, has the privilege of disregarding the norms of reasonable
dress. Attire that could interfere with the learning process is not allowed. Students will be counseled on an individual basis
if their attire is improper. Parents will be contacted if there is a question regarding a student’s attire. Clothing must always
conform to safety standards of the particular class. The following dress code was drawn up by a committee of parents,
teachers, administrators, and students:
● Hooded jackets or sweatshirts with drawstrings cannot be worn on or around play or work equipment.
● Clothing is to be clean and neat without holes or tears.
● The bottom of the top overlaps the top of the bottoms.
● Spandex and Lycra are acceptable only when worn over or under less revealing garments.
● Obscene, vulgar, racist, sexist or other offensive pictures, words, or slogans are prohibited.
● Hemlines of skirts or shorts must fall below fingertips when arms are relaxed at sides.
● Shoes/sandals must be worn at all times.
● Flip flops are not sandals and cannot be worn at the elementary school level.
● Hats (caps, berets, scarves) of a non-religious nature ​may not​ be worn in the school.
● Undergarments should not be visible.
● Any other dress that distracts, disrupts, intimidates or provokes can be deemed inappropriate by the principal or designee.
● Coats/jackets should be kept in student lockers unless conditions warrant.

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CVTE Programs- The manner in which students dress while in their CVTE program must reflect two necessary
conditions; it must be appropriate for the workplace and it must be safe for the shop environment.
The dress code for the Career and Technical Education programs is determined by what is accepted as good taste in the
various industries and business establishments where students will eventually work. Pride in one’s personal appearance
reflects a healthy mental attitude and is always noticed favorably by a prospective employer.
1. The following items are prohibited: Torn or shabby jeans/clothing, pants which ride too low on the hips to expose
underwear or buttocks, pajamas, slippers, bare midriffs, cut off sleeves, low-cut tops, the showing of cleavage, tank
tops, spandex, offensive tee-shirts or sweatshirts, or other items promoting drug or alcohol use, violence, or
displaying sexual innuendo as well as clothing with vulgar or suggestive writing, illustrations, or displays will not
be permitted.
2. Undergarments should not be exposed. This applies to both genders.
3. Skirt or short lengths must be longer than the tips of the fingers of a hand which is pointing straight down when the
person’s shoulders are relaxed.
4. Belts should not have large buckles or be studded.
5. Clothing with vulgar or suggestive writing, illustrations, or displays will not be permitted.
6. Footwear must be appropriately safe for the shop. Flip flops, sandals, and open toe shoes are not permitted.
Individual shops are encouraged to work collaboratively with each other, advisory groups and local businesses to develop
workplace appropriate "uniforms" including matching t-shirts, or other items which would lend to the team spirit and
collaborative nature of CVTE shops and work.
REGULATIONS
None
REFERENCES
SECONDARY STUDENT HANDBOOKS - APPEARANCE AND ATTIRE
Note: The original policy went into effect September 1, 1995.

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Tobacco Free Policy
PITTSFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Pittsfield, Massachusetts
PITTSFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOLS TOBACCO-FREE
POLICY
It shall be a violation of this policy for any student of PPS to possess, use, consume, display or sell any tobacco products
or tobacco paraphernalia at any time on school property, at off-campus school sponsored events and extra-curricular
activities, and within vehicles located on school property.
It shall be a violation of this policy for any staff, administrator, or visitor of PPS to use, consume, display or sell any
tobacco products or tobacco paraphernalia at any time on school property, at off-campus school sponsored events and
extra-curricular activities, and within vehicles located on school property.
It shall be a violation of this policy for any person to promote, or for PPS to promote or allow promotion of tobacco
products, tobacco brands, or tobacco paraphernalia on school property, at off-campus school sponsored events and
extra-curricular activities. This includes promotion of any corporate name, trademark, logo, symbol, motto, selling
message, recognizable pattern of colors, or any other indication of product identification identical or similar to those used
for any brand of tobacco product company, or manufacturer of tobacco products through the distribution of any gear, bags,
clothing, any personal articles, signs, structures, vehicles, flyers or any other materials. PPS shall act to enforce this policy
and to take appropriate action against any students, staff, administrator, or visitor who is found to have violated this
policy. It shall be a violation of this policy for PPS to solicit or accept any contributions, gifts, money, curricula, or
materials from the electronic cigarette industry, tobacco industry, and tobacco- or nicotine-related device industry or from
any tobacco products shop. This includes, but is not limited to, donations, monies for scholarship, advertising, promotions,
loans, or support for equipment, uniforms, and sports and/or training facilities. It shall also be a violation of this policy for
PPS to participate in any type of service funded by any of the industries listed above.
DEFINITIONS
School property includes: inside and outside administrative and operational buildings, school buildings, PPS program
sites, sidewalks/walkways, parking lots, playgrounds, fields, school buses, and other official vehicles, loading docks and
any other facility under PPS jurisdiction. Smoking and tobacco use while parked on school property is prohibited.
Tobacco products include, but are not limited to: cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos (or little cigars), clove cigarettes, loose
tobacco, blunt wrappers, chewing tobacco (chew, dip), or any other product not mentioned that contains tobacco of any
kind. It also includes any products containing nicotine such as dissolvable nicotine, electronic cigarettes, vaporizers,
nicotine gel, nicotine water, or any other preparation of unregulated tobacco and any product or formulation of matter
containing biologically active amounts of nicotine that is manufactured, sold, or offered for sale, or otherwise distributed
with the expectation that the product or matter will be introduced into the human body, and not including any cessation
product approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use as a medical treatment to reduce and
eliminate nicotine or tobacco dependence. Tobacco paraphernalia: includes any device used to aid, ingest, light, burn, or
consume tobacco products, including but not limited to pipes, rolling papers, lighters and matches. Electronic cigarettes
and vaporizers are considered to be tobacco paraphernalia.

REGULATIONS

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1. Massachusetts General Laws chapter 71 § 2A states that it shall be unlawful for any student enrolled in either primary
or secondary public schools in the Commonwealth to use tobacco products of any type on school grounds during normal
school hours.
2. Smoking devices or containers, as well as electronic cigarettes, vaping boxes, and any other tobacco product or tobacco
paraphernalia, shall not be shared, given, or sold to anyone including students, staff, faculty, contractors, or visitors on
school property.
3. Violations of this Tobacco-Free Policy by students and staff are subject to disciplinary action in accordance with
students’ disciplinary codes and existing personnel and disciplinary procedures. Tobacco, whether intended to be inhaled
or ingested, electronic cigarettes, vaping boxes, and any other tobacco product or tobacco paraphernalia will be
confiscated if found in any of the aforementioned prohibited locations.

REFERENCES
M.G.L., CH. 71, S. 2A, PUBLICATION OF SCHOOL COMMITTEE RULES AND REGULATIONS
RELATIVE TO THE CONDUCT OF TEACHERS AND STUDENTS
It shall be unlawful for any student, enrolled in either primary or secondary public schools in the commonwealth, to use
tobacco products of any type on school grounds during normal school hours.
Each school committee shall establish a policy dealing with students who violate this law. This policy may include, but
not limited to, mandatory education classes on the hazards of tobacco use.
M.G.L., CH. 71, S. 37H, PUBLICATION OF SCHOOL COMMITTEE RULES AND REGULATIONS RELATIVE TO
THE CONDUCT OF TEACHERS AND STUDENTS
See PER-10
M.G.L., CH. 270, S. 22, SMOKING IN PUBLIC PLACES
No person shall smoke in any courthouse, school, college, university, museum, library, train, airplane, a waiting area of
any airport, waiting area of a health care facility as defined in section nine C of chapter one hundred and twelve, group
child care center, school-aged day care center, or family day care center or on any premises where activities are licensed
under section thirty-eight of chapter ten, except beano, or in any public building, except in an area which has specifically
been designated as a smoking area of sufficient size and capacity and are available to accommodate nonsmokers. Any
person admitted to a health care facility as defined in said section nine C of said chapter one hundred and twelve shall,
upon request, be assigned a room in which smoking is not permitted and shall be entitled to be assigned to such room for
the duration of his stay or until an alternative assignment is requested.
M.G.L. CHAPTER 270, SECTION 22
http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/tobacco-control/smoke-free-schools-policy-manual.pdf

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Visitors to School Policy
COM 31- ​VISITORS TO THE SCHOOLS
POLICY

Recognizing that access to the schools is an important benefit to the community, and also that the physical safety of
the students and staff of the Pittsfield Public Schools is a matter of paramount importance, the School Committee
established that the Superintendent of Schools shall develop regulations that allow parents, members of the
community, and other interested parties to visit the district’s schools under circumstances that will preserve the
safety of students and staff and will not disrupt classes or other educational activities occurring in the schools.

The Superintendent shall see to it that those regulations are posted conspicuously in all the district’s schools. All
those with business in the schools, and all other persons, shall adhere to those regulations.

The principal is authorized by the Superintendent, pursuant to School Committee policy, to take any action he/she deems
necessary in order to secure the safety of students and district personnel. The principal or his/her designee has the
authority to authorize visitors to be present on school grounds as defined in the policy regulations below. Unauthorized
visitors or use of the school facility or grounds that does not follow School Committee policy by any visitor, will result in
the visitor being asked to leave the school premises immediately and he and she will be subject to arrest and prosecution
for trespassing if they refuse.

REGULATIONS
A. The Pittsfield Secondary Schools have implemented The Raptor Student and Visitor System that utilizes a scanner
that can read 2D barcodes and/or Machine-Readable Zone (MRZ. If an ID does not contain a 2D barcode or MRZ,
the scanner will look for and capture a photo if one is available and prompt the user to manually enter the first name,
last name, date of birth and ID number.
Users can also manually enter data from a passport or any form of ID that is deemed acceptable by the Pittsfield Public
Schools. The District may allow the users to scan the photo off of the ID and manually enter the name, date of birth
and ID number.
The Raptor® Visitor Management System screens against the national sex offender registry for every visitor based on first
name, last name and date of birth. The Raptor system will also screen against custom alerts the district/school
configures, such as, non-custodial parents/guardians, no-trespassing orders, etc. The Raptor system only collects first
name, last name, date of birth, partial ID# and picture. Raptor DOES NOT keep a copy of the ID.
B. Visitors to the Pittsfield Public Schools shall be governed by the following rules:
1. No unauthorized persons shall be allowed on school grounds from sunset until 6:00 p.m. the next evening
except if attending official school activities or other activities recognized and approved by the School
System administration or individual school administrators. On weekends and holidays, no unauthorized
persons shall be allowed on school grounds from sunset until sunrise except if attending official school
activities or other activities recognized and approved by the School System administration or individual
school administrators.
2. No unauthorized person shall be allowed in any gated area at any time.
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3. All visitors wishing to enter the inside of a school building shall report to the Main Office of the school,
present their approved State picture I.D. or a Federal Passport for viewing or scanning, sign in by hand or
electronically, and be issued a visitor’s permit, which shall be displayed at all times during the visit. The
permit shall be returned to the Main Office, and the visitor shall sign out by hand or electronically, upon
completion of his/her business in the building. The principal shall establish procedures to effectuate the
purposes of the regulations.
4. Any parent or guardian wishing to speak with a specific teacher about the progress of that person’s child
must make an appointment with the teacher. Scheduling appointments must not interfere with
instructional time.
5. Registration such as is described in #3 shall not be required for school functions that are open to the
public, whether admission is to be charged or not.
6. Parents and guardians are encouraged to visit the principal, guidance counselors, school nurses, school
psychologists, and other support personnel, by appointment, in order to discuss any problems or concerns
the parent may have regarding the student, whether school related or not.
7. All visitors, including the press, wishing to inspect school records or wishing to interview students on
school premises and other media, shall comply with all applicable School Committee rules, regulations,
and policies. In any questionable case, the visitor shall be referred by the principal or his/her designee to
the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, in order to obtain written permission for such a visit. The
Superintendent’s determination in any such case will be final.
8. Motorcycles, snowmobiles, or any other types of motorized transportation vehicles are prohibited on
school property except those used for transportation and from school activities and authorized by the
school administration.
9. Security should mean not only maintenance of secure buildings from a locking standpoint, but also being
secure from fire hazards and faulty equipment. Security should also extend to safe practices in the use of
electrical, plumbing, and heating equipment. Records should be in a safe place and under lock and key as
required.
10. Automobiles, trucks, and other vehicular conveyances that are authorized to be on school property are not
permitted to travel off the paved roadways, except for those official vehicles authorized to do so in the
performance of their responsibilities.
11. All types of alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, tobacco (smokeless included) are prohibited on school
grounds.

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Learning about the Pittsfield Public Schools Code of Conduct, Character, and Support: Creating a Restorative and 
Accountable Community 
Pursuant to Education Law ​MGL c.71, s.37H​:
The District will ensure that the community is aware of this Code of Conduct, Character, and Support by:
1. Providing a public hearing prior to Pittsfield School Committee approval
2. Providing copies of a summary of the Code to all students, in an age-appropriate, plain language version, at a
general school assembly held at the beginning of the school year
3. Making copies of the Code available to all parents at the beginning of the school year
4. Providing informational sessions for parents
5. Providing a summary of the Code of Conduct written in plain language to all parents of District students before
the beginning of the school year and making this summary available later upon request
6. Providing all teachers and other staff members with a copy of the Code and a copy of any amendments to the
Code after adoption
7. Providing all new employees with a copy of the current Code of Conduct when they are first hired
8. Making copies of the Code available for review by students, parents and other community members and providing
opportunities to review and discuss this Code with the appropriate personnel
9. Ensuring that each school implements an annual plan for discussing and interacting with the Code of Conduct,
Character, and Support during the new school year orientation, through professional development, and through the
delivery of at least three classroom lessons related to the Code during the first two weeks of school every year; the
District will provide materials and resources for these activities

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