DISCIPLINE RULES AND DUE PROCESSES
The Board of Trustees (the “Board”) of the Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School (the “School”) is committed to providing a safe and orderly school environment where students may receive and School personnel may deliver quality educational services without disruption or interference. Responsible behavior by students, teachers, other School personnel, parents and other visitors is essential to achieving this goal. The School has a long-standing set of expectations for conduct on school property and at school functions. These expectations are based on the principles of civility, mutual respect, citizenship, character, tolerance, honesty and integrity. The Board recognizes the need to clearly define these expectations for acceptable conduct on school property, to identify the possible consequences of unacceptable conduct and to ensure that discipline, when necessary, is administered promptly and fairly. To this end, the board adopts this student Disciplinary Code (the “Code”).
For purposes of this Code:
“Short-term suspension” shall refer to the removal of a student from School for disciplinary reasons for a maximum of five days.
“Long-term suspension” shall refer to the removal of a student from school for disciplinary reasons for a period of more than five days.
“Expulsion” shall refer to the permanent removal of a student from School for disciplinary reasons.
“Parent” means parent, guardian or person in parental relation to a student.
“School property” means in or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground, parking lot or land contained within the real property boundary line of the School or on a school bus. In certain cases, students may be disciplined for conduct occurring off-school property where the conduct at issue bears a relationship to the school, threatens the orderly operations of the schools, threatens another student’s ability to attend school or pursue his or her education, or has the potential to disrupt the educational environment.
“School function” means any school-sponsored event or activity, including but not limited to extra‑curricular and athletic events.
“Violent student” means a student under the age of 21 who, on school property or at a school function:
“Weapon” means a firearm as defined in 18 USC §921 for purposes of the Gun-Free Schools Act It also means any other gun, BB gun, pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, machine gun, disguised gun, dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, knife, switchblade knife, gravity knife, brass knuckles, sling shot, metal knuckle knife, box cutter, cane sword, electronic dart gun, Kung Fu star, electronic stun gun, pepper spray or other noxious spray, explosive or incendiary bomb, or other device, instrument, material or substance that can cause physical injury or death when used to cause or in an effort to cause physical injury or death. In all cases where a student possesses or uses a weapon, the Director will exercise discretion in determining the appropriate disciplinary penalty, based on the totality of the circumstances.
Students are responsible for conducting themselves in an orderly manner in accordance with school policy and within the legal limits of the law. The following behaviors will not be tolerated on school property or at school functions:
Acts of bullying shall include, but not be limited to, those acts based on a person's actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.
Bullying may be physical (hitting, kicking, spitting, taking personal belongings); verbal (taunting, malicious teasing, name calling); psychological (spreading rumors, manipulating social relationships, extortion, or intimidation). It can be a single act or carried out repeatedly over time.
The School’s Dignity Act Coordinator is Brittny Collins (the “Coordinator”). Students or Parents who wish to make a complaint of bullying may make a verbal or written complaint to the Coordinator. The Coordinator’s e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Coordinator’s telephone number is 716-854-2490.
The Director may impose disciplinary penalties, including suspensions or expulsion, for any of the foregoing misconduct.
Suspensions for Five (5) School Days or Less
The Director of the School shall have the power to suspend a student for a period not to exceed five (5) school days if the Director believes the student’s conduct warrants such a suspension. Such discipline may be imposed for one single act or for repeated minor infractions which, in the aggregate, warrant suspension, in the Director’s discretion. In all cases, the Director may decide that an exception to the usual suspension practices is warranted, based on the totality of the incident, circumstances, and the student’s past disciplinary record. In addition to suspension, the Director may impose any other penalties mentioned in this Code.
When Director proposes to suspend a student for five (5) school days or less, the School shall provide the student with notice of the charged misconduct. If the student denies the misconduct, the School shall provide an explanation of the basis for the suspension. The School will also immediately notify the Parent in writing that the student may be suspended from school.
Written notice to the Student and/or Parent shall be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or equivalent means reasonably calculated to assure receipt of such notice within twenty-four (24) hours of the decision to propose suspension at the last known address or addresses of the Parents. Where possible, notification shall also be provided by telephone if the School has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting the Parent.
The notice shall provide a description of the incident(s) for which suspension is proposed and shall inform the student and the Parent of their right to request an immediate informal conference with the Director. Both the notice and the informal conference shall be in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the Parent. At the informal conference, the student and/or Parent shall be authorized to present the student's version of the event and to ask questions of the complaining witnesses.
The Director’s decision to impose a short-term suspension may be appealed to the Board or further in accordance with Education Law 2855(4).
Suspensions for More than Five (5) School Days
The Director of the School shall have the power to suspend a student for more than five (5) school days if the Director believes the student’s conduct warrants such a suspension. In all cases, the Director may decide that an exception to the usual suspension practices is warranted, based on the totality of the incident, circumstances, and the student’s past disciplinary record. In addition to suspension, the Director may impose any other penalties mentioned in this Code.
In situations where the Director determines that a suspension in excess of five (5) school days may be warranted, the student and Parent, upon reasonable notice, shall have an opportunity for a fair hearing before the Director. A suspension of five days or more may be imposed only after the student has been found guilty at a formal suspension hearing. Upon determining that a student’s action warrants a possible long-term suspension, the director shall verbally inform the student that he or she is being suspended and is being considered for a long-term suspension (or expulsion) and state the reasons for such actions. The director also shall immediately notify the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) in writing. Written notice shall be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or equivalent means reasonably calculated to assure receipt of such notice within 24 hours of suspension at the last known address. Where possible, notification also shall be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a contact telephone number for the parent(s) or guardian(s). Such notice shall provide a description of the incident or incidents, which resulted in the suspension and shall indicate that a formal hearing will be held on the matter, which may result in a long-term suspension (or expulsion). The notification provided shall be in the dominant language used by the parent(s) or guardian(s). At the formal hearing, the student shall have the right to be represented by counsel, question witnesses, and present evidence.
If the Director has initiated the suspension proceeding, the Director shall personally hear and determine the proceeding or may, in his discretion, designate a hearing officer to conduct the hearing. The hearing officer’s report shall be advisory only and the director may accept or reject all or part of it. The director’s decision after the formal hearing to impose a long-term suspension or expulsion may be appealed to the Board or further pursuant to Education Law 2855(4).
Where the basis for the suspension is, in whole or in part, the possession on school grounds or school property by the student of any firearm, rifle, shotgun, dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto or any of the weapons, instruments or appliances specified in Penal Law Section 265.01, the Director shall not be barred from considering the admissibility of such weapon, instrument or appliance as evidence, notwithstanding a determination by a court in a criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding that the recovery of such weapon, instrument or appliance was the result of an unlawful search or seizure.
Consistent with the federal Gun-Free Schools Act, any student who is determined to have brought a firearm to school or possessed a firearm on school premises shall be suspended for a period of not less than one (1) calendar year. However, the Director has the authority to modify this suspension requirement on a case-by-case basis.
The Director shall refer a student under the age of 16 who has been determined to have brought a weapon or firearm to school to a presentment agency for a juvenile delinquency proceeding consistent with Article 3 of the Family Court Act, except a student 14 or 15 years of age who qualifies for juvenile offender status under Criminal Procedure Law § 1.20(42). The head of school shall refer any pupil 16 years of age or older or a student 14 or 15 years of age who qualifies for juvenile offender status under Criminal Procedure Law § 1.20(42), who has been determined to have brought a weapon or firearm to school to the appropriate law enforcement officials.
The disciplinary measures listed below may be imposed in addition to short-term or long-term suspensions or, if an exception has been made by the director to the imposition of a minimum suspension, in place of such suspension. Behavior not listed in Part A or Part B of this Code but determined by appropriate school staff to warrant disciplinary action, including but not limited to missing classes without permission and arriving late to class without a reasonable excuse, also may be subject to these additional disciplinary measures.
In-school suspensions and suspensions of transportation may be imposed by the director or dean of students. All other disciplinary measures may be imposed by the director or a teacher, who must inform the director of such action within a reasonable time.
School staff may design written agreements with students subject to punishment under this code to identify target behaviors, define expectations, and describe consequences, provided that the affected student and his or her parent(s) or guardian(s) are informed that the decision to enter into such a contract is voluntary. Any student on a behavioral contract will be closely monitored monthly for progress at which time the contract may become void pending appropriate behavior.
Loss of School Privileges
After notice to the student and parent(s) or guardian(s), a student may be suspended from participation in any or all extracurricular activities. The student and parent(s) or guardian(s) shall be given an opportunity to meet informally with the director or teacher involved. If possible, the director or teacher involved shall hold any requested meeting prior to imposing the suspension from participation in extracurricular activities.
Suspension from School Transportation
As the result of misconduct occurring on a bus or other student transportation, and after notice to the student and his or her parent(s) or guardian(s), a student may be suspended from school transportation. When such action amounts to a suspension from attending school because of the distance between home and school and the unavailability of alternative public or private transportation, the school will make appropriate arrangements for the student’s education.
Responses to Violations of the Dignity for All Students Act
Appropriate remedial measures for violations of the Dignity for all Students Act may include, but are not limited to:
In imposing any discipline for violations of the Dignity for all Students Act, the Director will consider measured, balanced and age-appropriate responses, with remedies and procedures following a progressive model that makes appropriate use of intervention, discipline and education. Methods and responses for handling instances of harassment, discrimination, or bullying with vary, according to the nature of the behavior, the developmental age of the student, and the student’s history of problem behaviors. In all cases, the School’s responses shall be reasonably calculated to end the harassment, bullying and/or discrimination, prevent recurrence, and eliminate the hostile environment.
As may be required by law, the School will ensure that alternative educational services are provided to a student who has been suspended or removed to help that student progress in the school’s general curriculum. Students who have been expelled will be provided alternative instruction in like manner as a suspended student until the student enrolls in another school or until the end of the school year, whichever comes first. All students with a disability who are of compulsory attendance age must receive a minimum of 10 hours per week of instruction during the first ten days of suspension by certified personnel.
Alternative instruction will be provided to students suspended or expelled in a way that best suits the needs of the student on a case-by-case basis. Instruction for such students shall be sufficient to enable the student to make adequate academic progress, and shall provide them the opportunity to complete the assignments, learn the curriculum and participate in assessments. Instruction will take place in one of the following locations: the child’s home, a contracted facility (e.g., in the school district of location), or a suspension room at the charter school. Instruction will be provided by one or more of the following individuals in consultation with the student’s teacher(s): teacher aides or trained volunteers, individuals within a contracted facility, or a tutor hired for this purpose.
Generally, should a student with a disability infringe violate the School rules, disciplinary action shall be in accordance with procedures set forth in the Code and in conjunction with applicable federal and State law and the determination of the Committee on Special Education (CSE).
Suspension of Students that are Classified as Disabled
Suspensions or Removals for Ten Days or Less. For students who are classified or have known disabilities, for suspensions or removals up to ten (10) school days in a school year that do not constitute a disciplinary change in placement, students with disabilities will be provided with alternative instruction or services on the same basis as non-disabled students of the same age.
During the suspension or removal, the School will ensure that the affected student receives all classroom assignments and a schedule to complete such assignments during the time of his or her suspension. Provisions will be made to permit a suspended student to make up assignments or tests missed as a result of such suspension. The School will also provide additional alternative instruction and appropriate means to assist the student, so that the student is given full opportunity to complete assignments and master the curriculum, including additional instructions, phone assistance, computer instruction and/or home visits and one on one tutoring.
Suspensions or Removals for More than Ten Days. If a student identified as having a disability is suspended during the course of the school year for a total of eight (8) days, such student will be immediately referred to the CSE of the student’s district of residence for reconsideration of the student’s educational placement. Such a student shall not be suspended for a total of more than 10 days during the school year without the specific involvement of the CSE of the student’s district of residence because such suspensions may be considered to be a change in placement. In considering the placement of student referred because of disciplinary problems, the CSE of the student’s district of residence is expected to follow its ordinary policies with respect to parental notification and involvement. If suspension or removal from the current educational placement constitutes a disciplinary change in placement because it is for more than ten (10) consecutive school days or constitutes a pattern, a manifestation determination will be made by the school district of residence.
If it is determined that the student's behavior is not a manifestation of his/her disability, the relevant disciplinary procedures applicable to students without disabilities may be applied to the student in the same manner and for the same duration for which they would be applied to students without disabilities, subject to the right to request a hearing objecting to the manifestation determination and the School’s obligation to provide a free, appropriate public education to such student.
Regardless of the manifestation determination, students with a disability shall be provided the services necessary for them to continue to participate in the general education curriculum and progress toward meeting the goals set out in their IEP. They will also receive, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment, behavioral intervention services and modifications designed to address the behavior violation so it does not recur:
These service determinations will be made by the CSE of the student’s district of residence.
Suspension of Students Presumed to have a Disability
The parent of a student who has violated any rule or code of conduct of the School and who was not identified as a student with a disability at the time of such behavior may assert several protections provided for under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and State regulations if the District is deemed to have had knowledge (as determined in accordance with law and/or regulations and referenced below) that the student was a student with a disability before the behavior that precipitated the disciplinary action occurred.
The School shall be deemed to have knowledge that the student had a disability if prior to the time the behavior occurred: (a) The Parent has expressed concern in writing to supervisory or administrative personnel, or to a teacher of the student, that the student is in need of special education and related services. However, expressions of concern may be oral if the parent does not know how to write or has a disability that prevents a written statement; (b) The Parent has made a written request for an evaluation of the student by the Committee on Special Education; or (c) A teacher of the student, or other School personnel, has expressed specific concerns about a pattern of behavior demonstrated by the student to the CSE or other supervisory personnel of the School.
A student is not a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes if, as a result of receiving the information specified above: (a) The parent of the student has not allowed an evaluation of the student pursuant to law and/or regulations; (b) The parent of the student has refused services under law and/or regulations; or (c) The student has been evaluated and it was determined that the student is not a student with a disability.
If it is claimed by the Parent or by School personnel that the School had a basis for knowledge, in accordance with law and/or regulation, that the student was a student with a disability prior to the time the behavior subject to disciplinary action occurred, it shall be the responsibility of the Director to determine whether the student is a student presumed to have a disability.
If it is determined that there is no basis for knowledge that the student is a student with a disability prior to taking disciplinary measures against the student, the student may be subjected to the same disciplinary measures as any other non-disabled student who engaged in comparable behaviors.
However, if a request for an individual evaluation by the Committee on Special Education is made during the time period in which such non-disabled student is subjected to a disciplinary removal, the district of residence will conduct an expedited evaluation in accordance with law and/or regulations. Pending the results of the evaluation, the student shall remain in the educational placement determined by the district of residence.
If the student is determined to be a student with a disability, taking into consideration information from the evaluation and information provided by the parents, the School shall provide special education and related services in accordance with law and/or regulations.
Meetings of the CSE of the student’s district of residence to either develop a behavioral assessment plan or, if the child has one, to review such plan are required when (1) the child is first removed from his or her current placement for more than 10 school days in a school year; (2) when commencing a removal which constitutes a change in placement; or (3) as otherwise required by federal or State law.
Subsequently, if other removals occur which do not constitute a change in placement, the school will work with the CSE of the student’s district of residence to review the child’s assessment plan and its implementation to determine if modifications are necessary. If one or more members of the CSE of the student’s district of residence believe that modifications are needed, then the CSE is expected to meet to modify the plan and/or its implementation.
Records of Student Discipline
The School will maintain written records of all suspensions and expulsions including the name of the student, a description of the behavior engaged in, the disciplinary action taken, and a record of the number of days a student has been suspended or removed for disciplinary reasons.
The following rules shall govern the conduct of students, teachers, staff, licensees, invitees, and other persons, whether or not their presence is authorized, on all property or facilities operated under the auspices of the School.
These rules and penalties are not to be considered exclusive or to preclude in any way the prosecution and conviction of any person for the violation of any federal, State or local law, rule, regulation or ordinance, or the imposition of a fine or penalty provided for therein. Additionally, these rules and regulations should not be construed to limit, but rather exist in conjunction with any other codes of conduct established for the school, such as a disciplinary code and/or a bill of student rights and responsibilities.
No person, either individually or in concert with another person, shall:
Penalties for violations of these rules include, but are not limited to:
Staff members are required to report known violations of these rules to the director and to make reasonable efforts to stop the prohibited conduct. The Director is responsible for the enforcement of these rules.