Student Discipline Code

  • Code of Student Conduct

    It is the responsibility of both parents and students to be thoroughly familiar with the information in the Code of Student Conduct.

    Code is Board Policy

    The Student Handbook is annually approved as referenced in Board Policy 218 – Student Discipline. The Code of Student Conduct applies to all students and has been developed so that students and their parents are aware of expectations for student behavior. The Code is divided into Classroom-Managed Behaviors (Minors), Non-PIMS Reportable/Office-Managed Behaviors (Majors), and Safe Schools/PIMS Reportable Behaviors. The Code also provides Operational Definitions for all Minors, Majors, and Actions/Consequences/Interventions. Appendix A provides staff and administration with guidance on the equitable application disciplinary action. Required actions are designated for communication, reporting/documentation, and safety purposes. Supplemental actions provide staff and administration with an array of actions that may be used at their discretion based on the context of the behavior. The Code is based on Pennsylvania’s Regulations and Guidelines for Student Rights and Responsibilities.

    Building Level Regulations

    The revised Code of Student Conduct applies to all buildings throughout the district. The revision process included input from various stakeholders. The common language and disciplinary guidance aims to:

    • Establish clearly articulated policy and procedures that guide teachers and administrators with decision making so that all students have access to fair and equitable discipline.
    • Put forth a set of district-wide policies and procedures that describe and emphasize proactive, instructive, and/or restorative approaches to school discipline.
    • Improve data collection procedures for improved access to data for decision-making.
    • Utilize the student information system for all discipline documentation, reporting and data exporting for decision making.

    Reporting Responsibility

    It is the responsibility of all adults and students to report any violation of school rules or any illegal activity to the building administration.

    Hearings/Due Process

    In all cases of discipline, communication with the home is essential. Furthermore, certain disciplinary situations entitle students to a due process hearing—either informal or formal.

    Informal hearings are offered to students and their parents for suspensions that may extend beyond three (3) days. Informal hearings are opportunities to meet with administration and review the circumstances of behavioral incidents. Parents may waive an informal hearing but are encouraged to participate.

    Formal hearings are held before the school board or a committee of the school board and are typically used for cases of expulsion. Parents are notified in writing of the time, place, and purpose of the hearing. They have the right to counsel and/or witnesses if they choose. Unless requested by the parents/student to be public, hearings are private. Expulsion proceedings may also take place before the superintendent using what is known as an expulsion waiver. The school board must approve any agreements reached through the expulsion waiver process. 

    Search and Seizure

    Students’ possessions and personal/school property can be searched by school officials using the standard of reasonable suspicion. Lockers, desks, and school-issued laptop computers are public school property; therefore, students shall not expect privacy regarding anything stored or placed in these items.

    1. Lockers/desks may be locked only with locks provided by the school.
    2. School administration may inspect a student’s locker/desk at any time for the purpose of determining whether the locker is being improperly used for the storage of contraband, a substance or object the possession of which is illegal, or any material that poses a hazard to the safety and good order of the schools. Blanket locker and desk searches are also permitted for reasonable suspicion.
    3. Students’ cell phones and personal electronic devices are subject to search using the standard of reasonable suspicion.
    4. Personal items (purses, wallets, pocketbooks, backpacks, etc.) are subject to search using the standard of reasonable suspicion and may not be searched without reasonable suspicion. Students may, however, be instructed to empty their pockets/shoes and any other area on their person where items can be concealed.
    5. Automobiles parked on school property are subject to search using the standard of reasonable suspicion. Students may be asked to open their car, glove box, trunk, etc.
    6. Any illegal materials, items, and/or anything that could be used to disrupt or cause harm to others may be seized during the search and may be used as evidence in determining disciplinary and/or legal action.
    7. Failure to cooperate with a request to search personal property could result in disciplinary action.
    8. Searches may also be conducted by police and police-trained dogs. Dogs are trained to identify illegal drugs, not tobacco. If a student’s locker is identified by a drug detector dog during the search, the student will be notified. Depending what is found in the locker, the student will receive consequences if in violation of the Code of Student Conduct. Appropriate search and seizure procedures will be initiated if reasonable suspicion is established following a search utilizing drug detector dog(s). Depending on what is seized during the search, the student can be subject to consequences if in violation of the Code of Student Conduct and/or face legal action.

    The administration reserves the right to handle individual cases at its discretion within the parameters of these policies.

    How to read the Code of Student Conduct:

    1. All behavior errors have been classified into three categories:
      1. Classroom-Managed Behaviors (Minors) – coded 100.0 through 115.0
      2. Non-PIMS Reportable/Office-Managed Behaviors (Majors) – coded 200.00 through 219.0
      3. Safe Schools/PIMS Reportable Behaviors – Coded 1 through 54
    2. All actions are classified into three categories:
      1. Classroom-Managed Actions, Consequences, and Interventions – available to teachers
      2. Both Classroom and Office-Managed Actions, Consequences, and Interventions- available to teachers and administrators
      3. Office-Managed Actions, Consequences, and Interventions – available to administrators
    3. All behavior errors have been operationally defined for grades K-12:
      1. Minors (classroom-managed)
      2. Majors (office-managed)
      3. PIMS Reportable
    4. Appendix A: Discipline Decision-Making Guide has been developed to provide staff and administrators with guidance on the application of discipline. It is organized by the type of behavior (classroom-managed, office-managed, or PIMS reportable). Within each section there is guidance on which actions are required and supplemental.
      1. Required – actions which are related to communication, reporting/documentation, and safety.
      2. Supplemental – an array of actions that may be used with discretion based on the context of the behavior(s).