Handbook » Student Handbook - Behavioral Expectations, Consequences and Privileges

Student Handbook - Behavioral Expectations, Consequences and Privileges

OAKMONT REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL 

2022-2023

Student Handbook

 

Behavioral Expectations, Consequences and Privileges


Each student has the obligation to genuinely participate in and not disrupt or interfere with the educational process as it affects him/her and other students, teachers or staff members. In that regard there exists certain standards or “codes” of conduct which apply to all Oakmont members; and violation of those standards or “codes” should and shall result in firm corrective or other action by the school staff, which can include a combination of academic penalties and discipline such as warnings, detentions, parental notification and involvement, grading penalty, probation, suspensions and possibly exclusion from school. When needed or appropriate, other officials or the police may be notified and involved.
 
The codes of conduct are meant to cover conduct ranging from personal appearance and grooming to more extreme behavior such as the use of controlled substances or weapons, and the codes have different but equally important sources, including the United States and Massachusetts Constitution, laws passed by federal and state and local government, cases decided by our Courts, School Committee and School Council policies and rules and regulations, and the School Council Handbook Review Committee and school administrators’ rules. Though all of these codes have their basis in the simple principles of fairness, common courtesy and respect for others, it is obvious that no code of conduct can be expected to describe and list every possible or potential violation of standards of conduct. Simply stated, we are all expected to behave appropriately and be on ‘good behavior’ at all times, and so long as the offender is warned and informed, appropriate disciplinary action may be taken against any action or activity which interferes with the interests set forth above.
 
The various constitutional and statutory sources of this handbook are available in various offices and libraries, and attached as a non-comprehensive information attachment are summaries or copies of some significant, timely, and recent enactments concerning student responsibilities. See Appendix B. 
 
Academic Integrity
 

A High School’s intellectual reputation depends on the highest standards of academic honesty. Commitment to these standards is a responsibility of every student and staff member. Each semester, classroom academic honesty policies are to be presented to students, preferably in writing, along with a discussion of the importance of academic honesty. All academic work must be the work of the individual student submitting the work and any work by others, or in collusion with others, must be authorized and properly cited. 


Academic Integrity is essential to upholding a climate of honesty and fairness at Oakmont High School. It is important that all members of the ORHS educational community maintain high standards of integrity and excel to their highest ability in order to protect the value of the educational process and to maintain the credibility of ORHS as an educational institution. Academic Integrity is acknowledging responsibility for:

  • Producing the student’s own work
  • Recognizing others’ work according to Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association Style (APA), or Chicago Manual of Style
  • Valuing learning over grades
  • Maintaining honor and trust at Oakmont Regional High School

Violations

Violations against the Academic Integrity Policy include but are not  limited to:


Plagiarism 

Plagiarism is to commit literary theft; to steal and pass off as one’s own ideas or words, and to create the production of another. When you use someone else’s words, you must put quotation marks around them and give the writer or speaker credit by citing the source. Even if you revise or paraphrase the words of someone else, if you use someone else’s ideas you must give the author credit. Some Internet users believe that anything available online is public domain. Such is not the case. Ideas belong to those who create and articulate them. To use someone else’s words or ideas without giving credit to the originator is stealing.


Cheating

Cheating The term assessment includes exam, test, quiz, essay, take-home test, lab, homework, assignment or any other means of assessing student knowledge and skills

Some examples of what cheating looks like:

  • Copying from others
  • Having or using resources not specifically authorized, reviewed or approved by the teacher
  • Presenting information collected, organized, or envisioned by someone else as your own (with or without the author's permission) or allowing someone else to present your work as his or her own.
  • Providing or receiving information about all or part of an assessment, including answers or unauthorized materials (e.g. telling someone in a subsequent period what was on the assessment, or seeking this information).
  • Taking shortcuts (such as unauthorized use of study aids) that allow you to bypass steps of an assignment.
  • Using forbidden material to "help" during an exam, such as cheat sheets, graphing calculators, or cell phones.
  • Asking about or sharing questions and/or answers to quizzes and exams.
  • Submitting the same work for more than one assignment without express permission from your teacher(s).
  • Altering corrections or scores with the intent of changing your grade.
  • Misrepresenting yourself in any way to your teachers in regard to the work you have done, such as saying you've turned in an assignment when you did not, or that you've worked hours longer than you actually did to complete an assignment.
  • Fabricating information to try to earn more time, more credit, or grading leniency on an assignment, project, or exam.
  • Misrepresenting academic accomplishments (e.g. tampering with computer records, fabricating resume information, etc.).
  • Failing to stop work promptly on an assessment when the time allocated has elapsed.
  • Missing class in order to avoid turning in an assignment or taking a test.
  • Doing more or less than your share of a group project without permission from your teacher.
  • Forging a Signature
  • Gaining unauthorized access to exams or answers to an exam
  • Altering computer or grade-book records

Enforcement 

When a student is in violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, the following progressive steps will occur:

  • The teacher will assign a zero to the student(s) involved.
  • The Teacher will document the incident on an “Academic Integrity Violation Form” and will submit it to the administration.
  • The teacher will inform the student’s parent’s, school counselor, and grade administrator of the incident and the action taken.
  • The grade administrator will record the incident in the student’s file. 
  • The teacher and/or administration may also impose other disciplinary consequences up to suspension depending on the severity of the offense.

** Violations of the Academic Integrity policy may be grounds to remove students from consideration for honor societies.


The use of modern technology has increased the likelihood and opportunity for plagiarism and use of unauthorized materials. Cell phones and electronic devices are strictly prohibited in testing settings unless directed otherwise by the teacher. Any student who has a cell phone or electronic device visible during testing will receive an automatic zero for a test grade and is subject to further disciplinary consequences.

 

Attendance Before and After School Hours
 
Students who arrive at Oakmont before the buses must report to the cafeteria, library, or remain in the front lobby until 7:20 am. Students will not be allowed access to lockers or other areas of the building prior to this time.
 
Students are encouraged to remain after school to take part in school activities, to use the library media center, to get extra help from a teacher, or to attend an afternoon athletic event. Some students are required to remain after school for disciplinary or scholastic reasons. Students in the building after school must be involved in the activities outlined above or be involved in a directly supervised activity. In general, students should be picked up by 4:00pm on school days and should wait for rides in the front lobby only. Students found loitering will be subject to disciplinary action. 
 
Students are expected to stay off school grounds on snow days unless they are supervised by a staff member for a legitimate purpose, such as practice, a meeting, or a sporting event. Trespassing on school property after hours is a suspendable offense. Trespassing that involves vandalism to school property will be referred to the local police.
 
Break Time Between Blocks
 
Extended breaks are scheduled for homeroom/advisory and during the C-block lunch rotation which provides sufficient time for students to travel to any area of the building, visit lockers or rest rooms etc. While traveling between blocks, students should refrain from being noisy or disruptive and should avoid congregating in groups, which block traffic. Students are expected to quietly listen to any school-wide announcements through the public address system or OTV, during any part of the day but especially during the homeroom/advisory break. Please be mindful of classes that are in session. Excess noise is very disruptive to classes in session. Students on break during lunch are not allowed in the cafeteria to avoid overcrowding. Games, toys, card-playing, etc. are not acceptable during the school day unless directly related to classroom activities.
 
Bulletin Boards and Posters
 
Bulletin board notices or any poster materials must be approved by club sponsors and initiated by an administrator or advisor before posting. The number of posters is to be reasonable. Posters or notices should be attached to poster bars on the walls only. Do not tape posters onto finished wood or on windows or glass. Tape does not hold adequately on unpainted brick.
 
Care of Books, Supplies and Equipment
 
Students shall be held responsible for all books or other school property issued to them during the school year. Students are required to cover all of their textbooks. In case of loss or damage of school materials, students will be required to pay the full replacement value. Outstanding obligations resulting from nonpayment of goods, books and materials may result in the withholding of transcripts or other official documents until all obligations have been met. Students with outstanding obligations will be ineligible to participate in any school activities until such bills are paid in full. Parents will be notified of student obligations each term. 
 
Chromebooks - All Oakmont students are to be issued a district-owned Chromebook. Chromebooks are intended to be an educational support tool that can enhance and expand educational opportunities inside and outside the classroom. Please click: Technology Resources to review the district technology resources. All students are obliged by the Technology Acceptable Use Policy. Inappropriate use of the Chromebooks may result in disciplinary action. 
 
Students will bring their Chromebook to school daily fully charged.
 
Caring for the Safety of Others
 
All students are expected to care for the well being and safety of others in our community and to report any physical or chemical health infractions (i.e. fighting, substance abuse, etc.) that may be causing harm.
 
Students should also report any threats of harm to any individuals immediately to an Oakmont staff member, school resource officer, or administrator. Reports can be made anonymously online through the school’s website under Student Resources/Reporting An Incident Form.
 
Chemical Health Policy
 
During the school year, a student shall not, regardless of the quantity, use or consume, possess, buy/sell or give away any material containing alcohol, any tobacco product, or any controlled substance while under school jurisdiction at any school event at any school. 

Tobacco or Nicotine Products

The use or possession of tobacco in any form is prohibited while in school, at school related functions, on school property and school buses. A student found in possession or using tobacco products will be suspended from school for a minimum of three days. The possession or use of e-cigarettes or any other nicotine delivery device, on school property, at school events, or on school buses, is also prohibited and will carry a three-day suspension minimum penalty. 

Intoxicants, Alcohol, and Drugs

The use of, attendance after use of, or possession of intoxicants, drugs, alcohol and/or any controlled substance at school functions or while under school jurisdiction is prohibited. It will result in suspension from school, not to exceed 10 days, and/or a recommendation for expulsion from school and confiscation of intoxicants, alcohol, and/or drugs (Level V of the Disciplinary Code). The Principal will determine the length of suspension after considering all relevant factors. Students suspended for violating this provision will have to see a certified Alcohol or Drug Abuse Counselor as a requirement for readmission. The parent or guardian will be notified; law enforcement officials will be notified and legal action may follow at the discretion of these officials. 

Attendance at school or school functions while “under the influence”, “hung-over” or smelling of intoxicants violates the policy as “attendance after the use of” category and carries the same penalty. The possession of substances or paraphernalia that are meant to represent illegal substances also violates this policy. 

Vaporizing Devices

The use or possession of vaporizing devices is strictly prohibited while in school, at school-related functions, on school property, and on school buses. A student found in possession or using a vaporizing device will be suspended from school for a minimum of three school days. The device will be confiscated and not returned. If the device is found to contain any illegal substance, in any amount, the student in possession will receive consequences in accordance with the Chemical Health Policy for Intoxicants, Alcohol, and Drugs (see paragraph 2 above). 
Any student found to be selling or distributing any of the above on school property or while under school jurisdiction will be subject to expulsion from school.
 
The administration reserves the right to use test swabs to determine if paraphernalia or substances contain THC.
 
Students who are found in violation of the chemical health policy may be offered the opportunity to participate in a diversion/cessation program in lieu of suspension on their first offense.  If students miss a class or do not complete the program, they will serve the issued suspension immediately.
 
Civil Rights Discrimination

No student shall discriminate, or be discriminated against, either by verbal or physical action or attacks, based upon race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, homelessness, age, disability, military/veteran status, and any other class or characteristic protected by law. Reports of such activity should be directed to the school administration and appropriate disciplinary action taken.

Daily Announcements, Pledge of Allegiance and Moment of Silence

Each morning the Pledge of Allegiance is recited on Oakmont TV during the advisory/activity period, which is followed by a moment of silence. Students are asked to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance and remain standing and silent during the moment of silence. Daily morning announcements are then read on Oakmont TV. All students should listen carefully to the announcements as they contain important information. Notices for the morning announcements must be submitted to OTV via the OTV News Story Submission form by 8 am in order for the announcement to be read on the morning news. the announcement on forms supplied by the office. All notices must be approved by club or activity sponsors, or an administrator, before submission.

Dress Code and Appearance

Students are expected to exercise maturity and responsibility in all matters including their dress and personal grooming. Oakmont is a place of serious work and dress should be attuned to that concept. Students should remember at all times the five guiding principles of dress: neatness, suitability, moderation, cleanliness and safety. Our guiding principles for the dress code are based on clothing that 
 
  • does not obstruct the safety and security of the school and its community
  • does not pose a high risk of a wardrobe malfunction (clothing failure that accidentally exposes a person's private areas)
  • disrupt the learning environment or school activities
 
Teachers and the administration will determine the interpretation of the guiding principles. In an effort to maintain a safe, respectful school environment focused on teaching and learning, students are asked to adhere to the following:

Clothing
  • Students must wear shoes and clothing including or equivalent to both a shirt and pants, shorts, or skirt
  • Students must carry on their person and be able to produce their student ID if any staff member or SRO requests to see it. Students may not deface or alter the I.D. card that has been issued to them.
  • A student who declines or fails to identify themselves to a staff member may be subject to emergency removal from school and discipline, pursuant to M.G.L. c. 71, Section 37H3/4 and 603 CMR 53.00.
  • Clothing must have fabric in the front, back, and sides with no space between the top, bottom, and sides.
  • Clothing must cover midriffs, undergarments, and private areas.
  • Skirts and dresses must be no shorter than four inches from the top of the knee. Shorts must be no shorter than six inches from the top of the knee and are highly discouraged from being a tightly fitted style.
  • Ripped jeans will be interpreted the same as shorts. It is a violation if the skin is exposed 6 inches above the top of the knee.
  • All tops must have straps that are a minimum of 1 inch thick.
  • Clothing may not depict, advertise or advocate the use of drugs, alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, or other controlled substances.
  • Clothing may not depict hate speech targeting groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, identity, religion, socio-economic status or body type/size.
  • Clothing may not depict pornography, nudity, or sexual acts. No gang or cult-related apparel.
  • Hoods are not to be worn unless for a religious reasons or relating to a disability
 
Oakmont Regional High School respects individual rights of expression; however each student is expected to dress responsibly to uphold the standards of the school environment. Appropriate dress has a positive impact on student learning, concentration, behavior, and the overall educational environment. We believe that ORHS students should take pride in their personal appearance. With this in mind, in an effort to create a safe environment, appropriate dress should be worn for both the school day and all events that are sponsored by the school. Students are expected to exercise good judgment in their style of dress as well as demonstrate respect for those around them
 
Students in violation of the dress code will be sent to the main office and may result in one or more of the following actions:
  • student being asked to change
  • formal warning issued
  • parents/guardians notified
  • detention/suspension 
 
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or Essential Protective Gear 
The District may at times require the use of facial coverings (“masks”) for all employees, students, and visitors. Individuals who cannot wear a mask because of a documented health issue shall instead be required to wear a face shield and neck drape (tucked into the shirt). Masks and face shields may not be required for students/staff with medical apparatus which prevents or obstructs the use of the apparatus. 
  • All students and staff will be required to wear masks that adequately cover both their nose and mouth.
  • Individual requests by students/staff with a disability for reasonable accommodations to the mandatory mask requirement will be addressed consistent with federal and state disability discrimination laws.
  • Masks must attach firmly to the face covering both the nose and mouth.
  • Masks must fit closely to the face on all sides. Masks with three layers are strongly recommended. Based on guidance from health authorities, neck gaiters, buffs, open-chin triangle bandanas and face-covering containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind will not be considered appropriate face coverings.
  • Appropriate prior notice will be provided to staff and students that the wearing of masks is mandatory during the pandemic and that requests for reasonable accommodations will be considered for students/staff who are unable to wear masks/face coverings due to a disability in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). f. The refusal to wear a mask in accordance with school guidelines may result in disciplinary action including, but not limited to, suspension from school. The District will have a process in place whereby any student who arrives at school without a mask will be provided one upon entry. Overall, we know Oakmont students will comply with the mask requirement. This policy is not for the student which “forgets” to keep their mask on; however, it is designed for those students that are defiant and after multiple redirections by staff to adhere to the policy. A student who declines to wear a mask upon entering the building, or who refuses to comply with the mask requirement during the course of the school day, may be subject to emergency removal from school and discipline, pursuant to M.G.L. c. 71, Section 37H3/4 and 603 CMR 53.00.
 
Electronic Devices
 
Student use of cell phones and electronic devices is permitted during the school day, except when teachers or administrators specifically prohibit the use of electronic devices. In keeping with conventional academic practice, use of electronic devices will not be permitted during testing or assessment unless specifically permitted by the teacher. In the hallways, students may use headphones, earbuds, or air pods; however, one ear must always be free from any sound device. In the classroom, with teacher permission, students may use headphones, earbuds, or air pods; however, one ear must always be free from any sound device. 
 
Students who are found to be using a cell phone or electronic device when it has been prohibited will be required to turn the cell phone or device over to a staff member who will then turn it into the main office. When a staff member requests that a student turn over a cell phone or device, the student must comply without disassembling or tampering with the device. The use of cell phones in locker rooms or bathrooms is strictly prohibited and may result in serious disciplinary consequences, including suspension. 
 
Students are not authorized to record, in audio or video form, any individual without their consent. Students are not allowed to record classes or class events without permission from the teacher and administration. Under no circumstances will any student publish, display, distribute, or post on the Internet, images of any individuals without their consent. Students who violate this directive will be subject to school disciplinary and/or legal consequences. Additionally, the use of a cell phone or other electronic device to record, promote, or incite a violation of any of the rules in the code of conduct is strictly prohibited and considered a major technology misuse. 
 
More importantly, violation of any rules in the handbook through the use of a cell phone or electronic device is strictly prohibited. This includes misconduct such as harassment, bullying, promoting or inciting a physical or verbal altercation and/or dissemination of the misconduct through the electronic device. Witnessing and/or recording a violation of the handbook and failing to report the incident to a teacher or administrator is strictly prohibited. 
 
Harassment, Bullying and Retaliation
 

Harassment

Harassment is any gesture, written, verbal or physical act that is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender identity or expression, pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, age, disability or by any other distinguishing characteristic, that occurs during the school day on school property, on a school bus, at a bus stop, or at a school-sponsored activity that: 

  1. A reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of harming a student or damaging the student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to his person or damage to his property; or 
  2. Has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students in such a way as to cause substantial disruption to a student’s education, or substantial interference with the orderly operation of the school. 

Harassment can take various forms: 

  • Physical (including, but not limited to, hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing, taking, or damaging personal belongings); 
  • Verbal (including, but not limited to, taunting, malicious teasing, name-calling, making threats); 
  • Psychological (including, but not limited to, spreading rumors, gossiping with malicious intent or impact, manipulating social relationships, engaging in social exclusion, extortion or intimidation); i.e. “Stirring the pot”, “gaslighting”. 
  • Internet or cyber-bullying (including, but not limited to, the use of instant messaging (IM), email, websites, chat rooms, and text messaging that is used to harass another student or employee, and when such use interferes with the operation of the school or infringes upon the general health, safety and well-being of students and employees); 
  • Hazing (including, but not limited to, various forms of harassment of students by other students in regard to pledging and/or a student’s initiation into or affiliation with a school-related organization or team); 
  • Including asking anyone to verbally abuse, threaten or intimidate another student on one’s behalf. 

It is important to note that a single negative act as stated above may also constitute harassment (if not more serious misconduct) based upon particular circumstances such as the seriousness of the act and/or the intent of the alleged perpetrator. 

Conduct that might otherwise be considered harassment but does not occur during the school day or on school property, on a school bus, at a school bus stop, or at a school-sponsored activity event may still be subject to disciplinary action. 

Individual intervention will be provided by appropriate staff members to harassers, victims, bystanders, and their parents to help ensure that the harassing stops. 

 
Bullying
 
PRIORITY STATEMENTS 
The Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District maintains a respectful environment for all. As such, AWRSD is committed to providing all students and staff with a safe, positive and productive learning and working environment that is free from bullying and cyberbullying, and where all school community members treat one another with respect. No member of the Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District community shall be subjected to harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying. 
 
This commitment is an integral part of the Ashburnham-WestminsterRegional School District’s comprehensive efforts to promote learning, eliminate all forms of violent, harmful, and disruptive behavior, and enable all students to achieve their personal and academic potential to become successful contributing citizens of local and global societies in an ever-changing world. 

PROHIBITION AGAINST BULLYING AND RETALIATION 


The Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District will not tolerate any unlawful or disruptive behavior, including any form of bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation. 
 
Acts of bullying, which include cyberbullying, are prohibited: 
 
(i) on school grounds and property immediately adjacent to school grounds, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function, or program whether on or off school grounds, at a school bus stop, on a school bus, or other vehicle owned, leased, or used by a school district or school; or through the use of technology or an electronic device owned, leased, or used by a school district or school, and 
 
(ii) at a Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District location, activity, function, or program that is not school-related through the use of technology or anelectronic device that is not owned, leased, or used by the Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District, if the acts create a hostile environment at school for the target or witnesses, infringe on their rights at school, or materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. 
 
Retaliation against a person who reports bullying provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying is also prohibited. 
 
The district will promptly investigate all reports and complaints of bullying, cyberbullying, and retaliation, and take prompt action to end that behavior and restore the target’s sense of social, emotional, and physical safety. AWRSD will support this commitment in all aspects of our school community, including curricula, instructional programs, staff development, extracurricular activities, and parent or guardian involvement. 
 
The Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District understands that members of certain student groups, as referenced in state and federal law, may be more vulnerable to becoming targets of bullying, harassment, or teasing. The District will take specific steps to create a safe, supportive environment for vulnerable populations in the school community, and provide all students with the skills, knowledge, and strategies to prevent or respond to bullying, harassment, or teasing as outlined in later sections of this plan. 
 
The Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District recognizes that certain students may be more vulnerable to become targets of bullying, harassment, or teasing based on actual or perceived differentiating characteristics, including race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy or pregnancy related conditions, homelessness, age, disability, military/veteran status, and any other class or characteristic protected by law., or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have 1 or more of these characteristics. The Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District will create a safe, supportive environment for vulnerable populations in the school community, and provide all students with the skills, knowledge, and strategies to prevent or respond to bullying, harassment, or teasing. 
 
The AWRSD Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan is a comprehensive approach to addressing bullying and cyberbullying, and the Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District is committed to working with students, staff, support personnel, families, law enforcement agencies, volunteers, and the community to prevent issues of bullying or cyberbullying and to enforce this plan, along with state and federal laws. In consultation with these constituencies, the Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District has established this Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan for preventing, intervening, and responding to incidents of bullying, cyberbullying, and retaliation. 
 
The principal of each school is responsible for the implementation and oversight of the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan within their respective school building. 

DEFINITIONS 

Below please find definitions of key terms that will be used throughout the plan. Several of the definitions are copied directly from M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O, as noted. 

Aggressor is a student or any member of school staff including but not limited to an educator, administrator, school nurse, cafeteria worker, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, advisor to an extracurricular activity, or paraprofessional who engages in bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation. 

Bullying, as defined in M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O, is the repeated use by one or more students or by a member of the school staff including, but not limited to, an educator, administrator, school nurse, cafeteria worker, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, advisor to an extracurricular activity or paraprofessional of a written, verbal, or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that: 

  1. causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target’s property; 
  2. places the target in reasonable fear of harm to themself or of damage to their property; iii. creates a hostile environment at school for the target; 
  3. infringes on the rights of the target at school;or 
  4. materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. 

Cyberbullying is defined as bullying through the use of technology or 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. See M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O for the legal definition of cyberbullying. 

Hostile environment, as defined in M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O, is 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 a student’s education. 

Retaliation is defined as any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment directed against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying. 

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

Target is defined as a person against whom bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation has been perpetrated.

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR REPORTING AND RESPONDING TO BULLYING OR RETALIATION 

Reporting Bullying Or Retaliation 

Reports of bullying or retaliation may be made by staff, students, parents/guardians, or others, and may be oral or written. Reports made by students, parents or guardians, or other individuals who are not school or district staff members, may be made anonymously. Oral reports made by or to a staff member must be recorded in writing using the Incident Reporting Form. 

Reporting by Staff: AWRSD school and district staff are required to report immediately to the school principal or designee when they witness or become aware of conduct that may be bullying or retaliation. If the principal or assistant principal is the alleged aggressor, the report shall be made to the superintendent or designee. If the superintendent is the alleged aggressor, the report shall be made to the school committee. The requirement to report to the principal or designee does not limit the authority of the staff member to respond to behavioralor disciplinary incidents consistent with school or district policies and procedures for behavior management and discipline. 

Reporting by Students, Parents, Guardians, and Others: AWRSD expects students, parents, guardians, and others who witness or become aware of an instanceof bullying or retaliation involving a student or staff member to report it to the principal or designee. Students, parents, guardians and others and others may request assistance from a staff member to complete a written report. Students will be provided safe, practical, private and age-appropriate ways to report and discuss an incident of bullying or retaliation with the principal or designee. 

The Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District encourages all individuals to report a suspected bullying or retaliation incident as soon as possible. 

The Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District promotes reporting a suspected incident in the following ways: 

  • In-person Reporting: Students, staff, parents/guardians, or community members who see or hear of a suspected bullying incident may report the incident directly in-person to a school administrator. 
  • Electronic Reporting: Students, staff parents/guardians, or community members who do not wish to discuss a suspected bullying incident in-person, are encouraged to complete an electronic Incident Reporting Form. A copy of the form is available on the website of each school. Upon completion of the form, it may be submitted electronically or printed and given to the respective school administrator. If the reporteris not sure of the school the person/people involved are affiliated with, the form can be delivered to the Office of the Superintendent at 11 Oakmont Drive, Ashburnham, MA 01430. Upon submission/receipt of the form, it will be sent to the respective school administrator. 
  • Written Reporting: Copies of the Incident ReportingForm are also available in the main office of each school and may also be available in other locations of the school as determined by the school principal. 

Please note that the use of the Incident Reporting Formis not required as a condition of making a report. The Incident Reporting Form will be made available in the most prevalent language(s) of origin of students and parents and guardians and will be translated as needed. 

Also please note that reports made by students, parents or guardians, or other individuals who are not school or district staff members may be made anonymously. No disciplinary action will be taken against an aggressor solely on the basis of an anonymous report; however, each reported incident will be thoroughly investigated. 

Responding To Bullying Or Retaliation When Allegations By A Student 

Safety. Before fully investigating the allegations of bullying or retaliation, the principal or designee will take steps to assess the need to restore a sense of safety to the alleged target and/or to protect the alleged target from possible further incidents. Responses to promote safety may include, but not be limited to, creating a personal safety plan; pre-determining seating arrangements for the target and/or the aggressor in the classroom, at lunch, or on the bus; identifying a staff member who will act as a “safe person” for the target; and altering the aggressor’s schedule and access to the target. The principal or designee will take additional steps to promote safety during the course of and after the investigation, as necessary. The principal or designee will implement appropriate strategies for protecting from bullying or retaliation a student who has reported bullying or retaliation, a student who has witnessed bullying or retaliation, a student who provides information during an investigation, or a student who has reliable information about a reported act of bullying or retaliation. 

Obligations to Notify Others:

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, 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, non-public 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 the AWRSD locally established agreement with the Westminster Police Department and Ashburnham Police Department. 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 basis to believe that criminal charges may be pursued against the aggressor. In making this determination, the principal will, consistent with the Plan and with applicable school or district policies and procedures, consult with the school resource officer, if any, and other individuals the principal or designee deems appropriate. 

Investigation. The principal or designee will promptly investigate all reports of bullying or retaliation and, in doing so, will consider all available information known, including the nature of the allegation(s) and the ages of the students involved. During the investigation, the principal or designee will, among other things, interview students, staff, witnesses, parents or guardians, and others as necessary. The principal or designee conducting the investigation will remind the alleged student aggressor, target, and witnesses of the importance of the investigation,their obligation to be truthful, and that retaliation against someone who reports bullying or provides information during a bullying investigation is strictly prohibited and will result in disciplinary action. 

Interviews may be conducted by the principal or designee, other staff members as determined by the principal or designee, and in consultation with the school counselor, as appropriate. To the extent practicable, and given their obligation to investigate and address the matter, the principal or designee will maintain confidentiality during the investigative process. The principal or designee will maintain a written record of the investigation. 


Procedures for investigating reports of bullying and retaliation will be consistent with school or district policies and procedures for investigations. If necessary, the principal or designee will consult with the superintendent and/or legal counsel about the investigation. 

Determinations The principal or designee will make a determination based upon all of the facts and circumstances. If, after investigation, bullying or retaliation is substantiated, the principal or designee will take reasonable steps to prevent recurrence and to ensure that the target is not restricted in participating in school or in benefiting from school activities. The principal or designee will: 1) determine what remedial action is required, if any, and 2) determine what responsive actions and/or disciplinary action is necessary. 

Depending upon the circumstances, the principal or designee may choose to consult with the students’ teacher(s) and/or school counselor, and the target’s or student aggressor’s parents or guardians, to identify any underlying social or emotional issue(s) that may have contributed to the bullying behavior and to assess the level of need for additional skill development. 

The principal or designee will promptly notify the parents or guardians of the target and the aggressor about the results of the investigation and if bullying or retaliation is found, what action is being taken to prevent further acts of bullying or retaliation. All notices to parents must comply with applicable state and federal privacy laws and regulations. Because of the legal requirements regarding the confidentiality of student records, the principalor designee cannot report specific information to the target’s parent or guardian about the disciplinary action taken unless it involves a “stay away” order or another directive that the target must be aware of in order to report violations. 

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

Responses to Bullying. The Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District is committed to teaching appropriate behavior and building students’ skills in response to remediate or prevent bullying and retaliation in the following ways: 

    • Teaching Appropriate Behavior Through Skills-building
      • Upon the principal or 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 based on the school’s/district’s anti-bullying curricula.
        • Providing relevant educational activities for individual students or groups of students, in consultation with school counselors and other appropriate 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.
        • Adopting behavioral plans to include a focus on developing specific social skills. 
        • Making a referral to the Child Study Team and/or an appropriate related service provider. 
    • Taking Disciplinary Action
      • 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 principalor 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 Plan and with the school’s or district’s code of conduct. Discipline procedures for students with disabilities are governed by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), which should be read in cooperation with Massachusetts state laws and statutes 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
      • 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. One strategy that the principal or designee may use is to increase adult supervision at transition times and in locations where bullying is known to have occurred or is likely to occur. 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.
 
Responding To Bullying Or Retaliation When Allegations By School or District Staff 
The Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District has specific policies and procedures that address how school or district administration will respond to and resolve a report of bullying of a student by school or district staff. The policies and procedures address safety planning, notification to parents or guardians and others, investigation, and response. 

TRAINING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 

Annual training will be required for all Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District staff, including substitutes on the AWRSD Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan. The training will include preventing, identifying, responding to, and reporting suspected incidences of bullying or retaliation in addition to specific staff duties under the Plan, and an overview of thesteps that the principal or designee will follow upon receipt of a report of bullying or retaliation. All Ashburnham-WestminsterRegional School District members hired after the start of the school year, including mid-year starting dates, are required to participate in school-based training during the school year in which they are hired unless they can demonstrate participation in an acceptable and comparable program within the last two years. 

Ongoing professional development relative to bullying prevention as well as meeting the needs of students with disabilities will also be provided. This will include factors that must be considered when developing students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), with particular focus on the needs of students with Autism or students whose disability affects social skills development. 


As required by M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O, the content of the Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District school wide and district wide professional development will be informed by research and will include information on: 

  • age-appropriate strategies to prevent bullying; 
  • age-appropriate strategies for immediate, effective interventions to stop bullying incidents; 
  • information regarding the complex interaction and power differential that can take place between and among an aggressor, target, and witnesses to the bullying; 
  • research findings on bullying, including information about specific categories of students who have been shown to be particularly at risk for bullying in the school environment; 
  • information on the incidence and nature of cyberbullying; and 
  • internet safety issues as they relate to cyberbullying. 

Additional areas identified by the Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District for professional development include: 

  • promoting and modeling the use of respectful language;
  • fostering an understanding of and respect for diversity and difference;
  • building relationships and communicating with families;
  • constructively managing classroom behaviors;
  • using positive behavioral intervention strategies;
  • applying constructive disciplinary practices;
  • teaching students skills including positive communication, anger management, and empathy for others;
  • engaging students in school or classroom planning and decision-making; and
  • maintaining a safe and caring classroom for all students.

Written notice to staff. Each school principal will provide all school staff with an annual written notice of the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan by publishing and reviewing information about it, including sections related to staff duties and bullying of students by school staff, in the schools’ employee handbooks. 

ACCESS TO RESOURCES AND SERVICES 

A key aspect of promoting positive school climatesis ensuring that the underlying emotional needs of targets, aggressors, families, and others are addressed by the following: 

Identifying resources. Each school within the Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District will designate members within their building that will participate on the anti-bullying task force. This group which consists of school personnel, local law enforcement, advocacy organizations, parents, and other interested parties will meet on a bi-annual basis with the sole purpose of evaluating the district’s Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan. During this process task force, members will identify current programs and services that are already in place. Once a comprehensive mapping process has been completed the task force will develop action steps for addressing any gaps in services. This may include adopting new curricula, reorganizing staff, establishing safety planning teams, and identifying other agencies that can provide services. 

Additionally, each school within the Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District has staff and service providers available to assist in developing safety plans for students who have been targets of bullyingor retaliation, to provide social skills programs to prevent bullying, and to offer education and/or intervention services for students exhibiting bullying behaviors. 


These resources include but are not limited to: 

  • School counselors in each building who are trained in prevention of and response to bullying and other student difficulties. 
  • Nursing staff in each building are trained to respond to physical aggression both medically and through emotional support. 
  • A full-time district Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) to consult with staff in addressing behavioral concerns. 
  • District-level school psychologists are available to address student needs. 
  • Ongoing coordination with Westminster and Ashburnham law enforcement agencies in developing school safety plans and in responding to inappropriate behaviors. 
  • Child Study Teams at all of the schools to supportstaff in planning for and responding to student needs, including tiered behavioral interventions and supports. 

Students with disabilities. As required by M.G.L. c. 71B, § 3, as amended by Chapter 92 of the Actsof 2010, when the IEP team determines the student has a disability that affects social skills development or the student may participate in or is vulnerable to bullying, harassment, or teasing because of their disability, the team will consider what should be included in the IEP to develop the student's skills and proficiencies to avoid and respond to bullying, harassment, or teasing. 

Referral to outside services. All referrals will be consistent with the Ashburnham- Westminster Regional School District Critical Incident Management Plan. 

ACADEMIC AND NON-ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES 

The Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District Core Values are integrated into all academic and non-academic activities. The Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District provides age-appropriate instruction on bullying prevention in each grade that is incorporated into the school’s and/or district’s curricula. Curricula must be evidence-based. Effective instruction includes classroom approaches, whole-school initiatives, and focused strategies for bullying prevention and social skills development. 

Specific bullying prevention approaches. Bullying prevention curricula will be informed by current research which, among other things, emphasizes the following approaches: 

  • using scripts and role plays to develop skills; 
  • empowering students to take action by knowing what to do when they witness other students engaged in acts of bullying or retaliation, including seeking adult assistance; 
  • helping students understand the dynamics of bullying and cyberbullying, including the underlying power imbalance; 
  • emphasizing cybersafety, including safe and appropriate use of electronic communication technologies; 
  • enhancing students’ skills for engaging in healthy relationships and respectful communications; and ● engaging students in a safe, supportive school environment that is respectful of diversity and difference. 

General teaching approaches that support bullying prevention efforts. The following approaches are integral to establishing a safe and supportive school environment. These underscore the importance of our bullying intervention and prevention initiatives: 

  • Setting clear expectations for students and establishing school and classroom routines; 
  • creating safe school and classroom environments for all students as referenced in state and federal law; 
  • using appropriate and positive responses and reinforcement, even when students require discipline; 
  • using positive behavioral supports; 
  • encouraging adults to develop positive relationships with students; 
  • modeling, teaching, and rewarding pro-social, healthy, and respectful behaviors; 
  • using positive approaches to behavioral health, including collaborative problem-solving, conflict resolution training, teamwork, and positive behavioral supports that aid in social and emotional development; 
  • using the Internet safely; and 
  • supporting students’ interest and participation in non-academic and extracurricular activities, particularly in their areas of strength. 

COLLABORATION WITH FAMILIES 

Parent and Guardian Education and Resources. The Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District will offer education programs for parents and guardians that are focused on the parental components of the anti-bullying curricula and any social competency curricula used by the district or school. The programs will be offered in collaboration with the PTO, PTA, School Councils, Special Education Parent Advisory Council, and/or similar organizations. 

Notification requirements. Each year the district will inform parents or guardians of enrolled students about the anti-bullying curricula that are being used. This notice will include information about the dynamics of bullying, including cyberbullying and online safety. The school or district will send parents written notice each year about the student-related sections of the Plan and the school'sor district's Internet safety policy. All notices and information made available to parents or guardians will be in hard copy and electronic formats, and will be available in the language(s) most prevalent among parents or guardians. The school or district will post the Plan and related information on its website. 

RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER LAWS 

Consistent with state and federal laws, and the policies of the Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District, no person shall be discriminated against in admission to a public school of either town or in obtaining the advantages, privilege, and courses of study of such public school on account of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, homelessness, age, disability, military/veteran status, and any other class or characteristic protected by law or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics. 

Nothing in the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan prevents the Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District from taking action to remediate discrimination or harassment based on a person’s membership in a legally protected category under local, state, or federal law, or school or district policies. 

38

In addition, nothing in the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan is designed or intended to limit the authority of the school or district to take disciplinary actionor other action under M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H or 37H½, M.G.L. c. 71, §41 and 42, M.G.L.c 76 § 5, or other applicable laws, or local school or district policies, or collective bargaining agreements, in response to violent, harmful, or disruptive behavior, regardless of whether the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan covers the behavior. 

PROBLEM RESOLUTION SYSTEM 

Any parent or guardian wishing to file a claim/concern or seeking assistance outside of the Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District may do so with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Problem Resolution System Office. 

More information may be found at: https://www.doe.mass.edu/prs/ 

Email: [email protected] 

Telephone: 781-338-3700 



Once students are on school property they may not leave without permission. Being in an out-of-bounds area without permission from the Administrative Office or not under the direct supervision of a teacher before school or during the school day, will result in suspension from school. 

Out-of-bounds areas include, but are not limited to: wooded areas, Overlook Middle School property, Track areas, lake perimeters, and public ways. If a student is scheduled for after school detention, the student may not leave school property until the end of detention. Students waiting for buses or transportation may not leave school property. The parent or guardian and local Police will be notified if a student has left school without permission. 

Students enrolled in Supplemental Enrollment, Independent Research or Career Mentorship programs that require them to leave school must sign out in the office before leaving and sign in upon return to school. Students in these programs will report to the Library Media Center when they are not in scheduled classes or when the non-Oakmont assignment is cancelled. 

Students who are returning to school after a dismissal or appointment are required to sign in at the office immediately upon entering the building. No students are to be on school property without authorization. Absent, dismissed, or truant students coming to school to pick up other students during that school day will be subject to disciplinary action.

 

Leaving and Returning to School Grounds
 

Once students are on school property they may not leave without permission. Being in an out-of-bounds area without permission from the Administrative Office or not under the direct supervision of a teacher before school or during the school day, will result in suspension from school. 

 

Out-of-bounds areas include, but are not limited to: wooded areas, Overlook Middle School property, Track areas, lake perimeters, and public ways. If a student is scheduled for after school detention, the student may not leave school property until the end of detention. Students waiting for buses or transportation may not leave school property. The parent or guardian and local Police will be notified if a student has left school without permission. 

Students enrolled in Supplemental Enrollment, Independent Research or Career Mentorship programs that require them to leave school must sign out in the office before leaving and sign in upon return to school. Students in these programs will report to the Library Media Center when they are not in scheduled classes or when the non-Oakmont assignment is cancelled. 

Students who are returning to school after a dismissal or appointment are required to sign in at the office immediately upon entering the building. No students are to be on school property without authorization. Absent, dismissed, or truant students coming to school to pick up other students during that school day will be subject to disciplinary action. 

Lost and Found

The school will not assume responsibility for lost or stolen items under any circumstances: lockers and desks are provided as a convenience and are used at the student’s own risk. However, lost or stolen items should be reported to the main office immediately. Items found around the school building are brought to a “lost and found” area in the office. Students may check for lost items in this area; articles not claimed will be disposed of periodically. 

P.D.A. (Public Displays of Affection)

There is a time and place for everything and Oakmont rooms and hallways are not the place for public displays of affection. Those who are confronted by public displays of affection are frequently embarrassed and uncomfortable and such situations are not necessary. Students will be warned of PDA’s and continuing incidents of public affection will be dealt with through our discipline code.

Safety and Security

Dangerous Weapons and Incendiary Devices

Possession of dangerous weapons or incendiary devices of any kind will not be tolerated at Oakmont. Any object that could be used to injure another person and that has no school-related purpose for being in school or on school property or at school-sponsored or school-related events will be considered a weapon for purposes of this code. This includes but is not limited to pocket knives, box cutters or razor knives. Appropriate criminal laws (37H) will be enforced in any situation where a student is found in possession of weapons. The possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon in the school environment is an expulsion offense as well as a crime punishable by a fine of $1000.00 and/or one-year imprisonment. Any student in possession of any kind of weapon will be immediately referred to the Administrative Office. The parent or guardian and the Police will be notified, and disciplinary action will be taken including a ten (10) day out of school suspension and a recommendation for expulsion from school. See Appendix B for State Law 37H and 37H ½. Whoever, without lawful authority, has in their possession or uses or places, or causes another to knowingly or unknowingly possess, use or place, any hoax device with the intent that such a hoax or weapon be used to cause anxiety, unrest, fear, or personal discomfort to any person or group of persons. 

Possession and/or lighting of any incendiary device which includes, but is not limited to, firecrackers, smoke and stink bombs, or the irresponsible use of matches or lighters in and around the school building will result in suspension from school. 

Vandalism and School Property Damage

Students who damage school property maliciously, deliberately or through negligence will be subject to one or more of the following consequences: 

  1. Billed for the property damage. 
  2. Required to work to restore the damage. 
  3. Appropriately surcharged to cover the aesthetic damage. 
  4. Suspension from school. 

 

Violent Offenses

 

Credible Threats 

Any student who makes a credible threat toward a staff member or another student will be suspended from school, not to exceed 10 days, on the first offense and parents and the police will be contacted. The Principal will determine the length of suspension after considering all relevant factors. Subsequent offenses will result in more serious consequences that may result in exclusion or expulsion. A credible threat is defined as a statement in verbal, written, or electronic form that expresses the intent to harm another person and causes the recipient to fear for his or her safety. It is important to note that it is the victim’s perception of harm that defines the threat, not the intent of the person making the threat.. Any student who makes a credible threat must undergo a risk assessment prior to returning to classes. 

Reckless Behavior 

Any student regardless of intent, who engages in reckless behavior that results in serious injury to another person is subject to disciplinary consequences up to, and including suspension. The extent of injuries and degree of recklessness will be considered by the administration when deciding upon consequences. 

Fighting 

Any student who is involved in a fight with another student on school property, on a bus, at a bus stop, or at a school event at any school, will be suspended from school, not to exceed 10 days on the first offense. The Principal will determine the length of suspension after considering all relevant factors. Subsequent offenses will result in more serious consequences that may result in exclusion or expulsion. A fight is defined as unwelcome, hostile physical contact between two students. Self-defense is only considered when a student has taken action to avoid involvement in a fight and has not acted to harm or injure the other student. Behavior such as threats, taunting, or any action taken to arrange a fight at a later time is considered a violation of this policy and is subject to school discipline. When the administration determines that a student has instigated a fight, additional days of suspension may be added up to the maximum 10-day suspension. 

 

Assault

Any student who assaults another student on school property, on a bus, at a bus stop, or at a school event, will be suspended from school, not to exceed 10 days, on the first offense. The Principal will determine the length of suspension after considering all relevant factors. Subsequent offenses will result in more serious consequences that may result in exclusion or expulsion. An assault is defined as unwelcome, hostile physical contact resulting in a physical injury to a victim who does not act to harm or injure the attacker.  Any student who is involved in a violent incident is subject to criminal charges in addition to school consequences. 

Sexting

Sexting is the act of sending or forwarding through cellular telephones and other electronic media sexually explicit, nude, or partially nude photographs/images. It is Oakmont’s mission to ensure the social, physical, psychological, and academic well-being of all students and maintain an environment that is conducive to learning at all times. Students who possess, send, view, display, or distribute images that meet the standard for child pornography will be subject to school disciplinary consequences. In addition, the parents of all students involved will be notified. In accordance with our school’s legal responsibilities, a report will be filed with the local police and the Mass. Dept. of Children and Families. 

Social Media and Electronic Communications

Students may not catfish or pretend to be others on social media or any other electronic communication. Students may not create a fake account of the school, staff member, or other students and will be consequenced under major technology misuse. Students who are found to be creators of or in possession of login information of fake accounts of the school, a staff member, or another student will be facing suspension under major technology misuse. Students who knowingly like or comment on fake accounts of the school, staff member, or another student are subject to school discipline under minor technology misuse. Students who follow fake accounts may be subject to investigation. Furthermore, students who knowingly follow an unofficial social media account and/or a fake account of a staff member, student, or the school may be subject to discipline. 

Impersonating a student or staff member on social media or posting inappropriate images or memes contradicts responsible behavior. Following accounts that are impersonating or defamatory against the school, staff or students only promotes this irresponsible behavior and contributes to the problem and is not condoned by the school administration. 

Students who bring their own devices to school are subject to a reasonable search if suspicion arises that the device contains evidence of a violation of school policy or the law. 

Student Dissent

Students have the right to discuss, protest, debate or appeal issues with which they are concerned. Such actions, however, must take place by arrangement through normal school channels and must not disrupt the educational process. 

 

Student petitions must be approved by the Student Council and Administration before circulation and must not disrupt the regular school day.

 

Student Parking

 

Student Parking Oakmont Regional High School has extremely limited space for student parking. Seniors are eligible to apply for a year-long permit. Seniors who wish to have their parking permits issued by the beginning of the school year, must submit their parking permit applications by August 1st. Juniors and Seniors may also apply for temporary parking passes at any point during the school year. Sophomore students may not request parking permits. The parking rules contained in this document apply equally to school choice students as well as those who reside in Ashburnham or Westminster. Temporary parking passes are typically reserved for those students with family hardships, medical concerns, appointments (medical, legal, college, etc), or for students scheduled for school approved co-curricular activities or off-campus enrollment. All students, regardless of the type of pass requested, will be assigned to a specific numbered parking space for the academic year.

Both year-long and temporary parking passes are a privilege and student operators must be academically eligible (passing 3 out of 4 blocks for the previous term) and financially eligible (has no outstanding bills). Any underclassmen who park “illegally” without passes will be denied senior parking privileges. Parking applications will be reviewed by the administration once the student operator has submitted a completed application package which includes a parent/guardian signature, a copy of the car registration, a copy of the student’s license, and payment for the parking permit. Students meeting the behavioral, academic and application requirements will be issued a parking decal. Year-long senior parking permits cost $50. Temporary parking passes cost $5 for the first day, and $1 each day after the initial. Students may register more than one family vehicle by including copies of each vehicle registration, however, only one parking permit decal will be provided. Each “family” vehicle must be the personal property of the registered student or their parent/guardian. 

 

Students may lose parking privileges for an extended period of time if in violation of any part of the handbook. Tickets may be issued and parking permits may be withheld or revoked for the following reasons:

  • A student becomes academically or financially ineligible.
  • The parking decal is incorrectly displayed or is missing.
  • A student has an outstanding unpaid bill.
  • A student has excessive disciplinary issues or a level IV or V disciplinary issue.
  • A student is habitually tardy.
  • Unsafe driving to or from school.
  • Violation of any parking and driving rules on school grounds. 

Students who lose parking privileges because of rules violations, tardiness, or disciplinary issues are not entitled to any refund of their parking fee. Parking spots and stickers are non-transferable. Students may not transfer parking privileges to another student if their pass is revoked or if the student is unable to drive their own vehicle due to loss of license or vehicle. 

Students may transport other students as long as they follow the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and have had their drivers’ licenses for more than six months. Due to liability concerns, it is recommended that drivers have written permission from the parents of their passengers. To encourage ride-sharing and enable more students to have parking privileges, reduced parking fees are available to Seniors who share parking spaces. The fee structure is as follows: 

 
Individual student parking space: $50 per year
Two-Student drivers from different families sharing one parking space: $20 per student per year 
Three-Student drivers each from different families sharing one parking space: $10 per student per year 
 
Students may only park in their assigned spaces. If a student’s parking space is occupied, the student must park in a “Visitor” parking space and report the situation to the main office. 

The student driving rules and regulations and application form will be sent to students’ email addresses. 

Student / Class Surveys

Surveys that are going to be given to numbers of students outside of regular classroom activities must be approved by the administration before being circulated. Distribution and participation must not disturb the school day.

Consequences

Students may be assigned detentions by the administration or any other member of the faculty. These detentions are for those students with undesirable patterns of attendance, tardiness or conduct. Detentions will be served on the next school day following the detention as long as the detention hall is open that day. Lack of transportation, work, or nonessential appointments are not valid reasons for failing to attend detention. If you have obligations to fulfill, don’t get detentions. Postponement of detentions may be granted for extenuating circumstances when requested by a parent or guardian. 

Detentions owed at the end of the school year must be served either during summer vacation or the first full week in September. Students who fail to serve assigned detentions without being excused will be subject to further disciplinary action up to and including suspension. 

Detention Hall Rules 

  1. Detentions will start at 2:00 PM sharp and will end at 2:55 P.M.
  2. Students are expected to sign in with the detention hall teacher.
  3. Students will report to detentions prepared to work on homework, study materials, or school-related projects for the entire period. Sleeping is prohibited as well as the use of personal electronics, cards, toys, games, etc.
  4. Absolutely no talking will be allowed during detentions.
  5. Students will sit in the seats assigned to them by the detention hall teacher.
  6. Students assigned to detention may not leave the detention until the end of detention.
  7. Students are to take care of restroom visits before detentions begin.
  8. After detention students will immediately leave the building. No students will be allowed to go to lockers or any other area of the building without the permission of the detention hall supervisor.
  9. Students who fail to comply with the detention hall rules will be assigned additional detentions by the detention hall supervisor or be subject to further administrative disciplinary action.

 

Loss of Privileges

*At the discretion of an administrator students may lose parking privileges or the ability to apply for temporary parking if any disciplinary violation occurs. 

 

Suspension

Suspension from school is a denial of a student’s privilege to attend school and school activities for a specified period of time. It is a step taken for Level III, Level IV, and Level V infractions as outlined on page 42 or when other disciplinary actions have proven ineffective in correcting the student’s inappropriate behavior. A student may be suspended from school by the school administration for a period of up to 10 school days. The suspension may be in-house or out-of-school at the discretion of the school administrator. The school administrator will notify the parent or guardian via a written report setting forth the reasons for the suspension and to arrange a readmission hearing. 

A suspended student may not attend any school-sponsored activity or function for the duration of their suspension and for a probationary period of up to 30 days, at the discretion of the school administrator, following their readmission to school.

In-House Suspension 

Students assigned to in-house suspension will report to the main office immediately upon entering school grounds and will remain in the In-House suspension area until dismissed. Upon dismissal, students will proceed directly to their bus or leave the premises immediately; they are not to reenter the building or be present on school grounds after dismissal. 

Students are required to do academic work for the entire day and are expected to act respectfully at all times. The possession of any electronic item, including cell phones, MP3 players, and digital cameras is not allowed in in-house. These devices will be collected at the beginning of the day by the in-house supervisor and will be 

returned at the end of the day. Students not wanting to turn in their devices should leave all electronics at home. Students will sit quietly at a desk assigned to them by the suspension room supervisor. Teachers may talk with students about coursework and content in the in-house room, however, there is to be no socializing between students. Students must bring all books and other project materials with them to the suspension room. Suspended students will not be allowed to their locker or to other parts of the building during the suspension period. Assignments, readings, tests, or special projects will be provided to students by their teachers. Students will remain in their seats for the entire period unless an exception is made by the suspension room supervisor. There will be no student-to-student talking during the day. Defacing the walls, or the furniture is considered vandalism and this behavior will be consequenced accordingly. Completed work is to be given to the supervisor each day to return to the teacher. 

Food will only be consumed during morning break which is usually during announcements and during the standard lunch period of twenty-five minutes as prescribed by the suspension room supervisor. Drinks may be consumed at any time. Students may either bring a lunch, and/or drinks from home, or purchase a lunch (kitchen supervisor’s discretion) from the Cafeteria, but students will not have access to the Cafeteria, morning bagel bar, or school vending machines. At the end of the suspension period, students will make arrangements with their teachers to complete all unfinished assignments. 

Students who fail to comply with the In-House suspension regulations will be subject to an immediate out-of-school suspension. Students will not be allowed to return to Oakmont until a conference is held wherein it is agreed that the student will comply with the In-House suspension regulations. Those present at the conference will be the student, a parent or guardian, an administrator and the suspension room supervisor. The out-of-school suspension time will not be counted toward fulfilling the In-House suspension period. 

Out-of-School Suspension 

In certain serious circumstances, it may be necessary to suspend a student from attending school for a period of time. During the period of such a suspension, students may not visit the school during the school day, take part in any school activities or attend any functions at the school or that is school-sponsored but held elsewhere. All academic work missed during an out-of-school suspension must be made up according to the schedule established for making up work when absent. Makeup work is the student’s responsibility. 

Student Rights and School Suspension 

Recent court rulings have defined certain student rights with regard to suspension from school. The procedural requirements of due process in regard to suspension stipulate that three (3) elements be present prior to suspension: The student must be: told the nature of the charges, given an opportunity to respond; and if he or she denies the charges, a statement of the evidence supporting the charges will be presented. All this can be done informally, with the charges and supporting evidence delivered orally or in writing. The court has further recognized that, as an exception to these rules, emergency circumstances could exist under which a student could be immediately suspended and removed, if posing a physical threat to persons or property. In such cases, however, the hearing will be scheduled as soon after the suspension as possible. Any student suspended three (3) times in a school year or for nine (9) days will meet with the principal to discuss their continued status at Oakmont. Any student suspended five (5) times in a school year or accumulating more than fifteen (15) days of suspension time will have their record reviewed at an expulsion hearing with the Superintendent.
 
Expulsion
Expulsion is the result of the most serious offenses as it denies educational access at Oakmont. Students violating our Chemical Health Policy, or School Reform Law 37H/37 H1/2 (see Appendix B), or repeatedly violating school rules, and/or disrupting the educational process, and/or harming other members of the school community, may be subject to a Principal’s hearing with a recommendation for permanent removal from the school.
 
Expulsion: Controlled Substances, Dangerous Weapons, Assault Upon Staff 
In accordance with the Education Reform Act of 1993, Chapter 71, Section 37H and 37H ½, and Chapter 222 of the Acts of 2012, An Act Relative to Student Access to Educational Services and Exclusion from School, a student may be subject to expulsion according to the following regulations:
  1. Any student who is found on school premises or at school-sponsored or school-related events, including athletic games, in possession of a dangerous weapon, including, but not limited to, a gun or knife: or a controlled substance as defined in Chapter 94C, including, but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, may be subject to expulsion from the school or school district by the principal.
  2. Any student who assaults a principal, assistant principal, teacher, teacher’s aide or other educational staff on school premises or at school-sponsored or school-related events, including athletic games, may be subject to expulsion from the school or school district by the principal.
  3. Any student who is charged with a violation of either paragraph (a) or (b) shall be notified in writing of an opportunity for a hearing: provided, however, that the student may have representation, along with the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses at said hearing before the principal.
  4. After said hearing, a principal may, in his or her discretion, decide to suspend rather than expel a student who has been determined by the principal to have violated either paragraph (a) or (b).
  5. Any student who has been expelled from a school district pursuant to these provisions shall have the right to appeal to the superintendent. The expelled student shall have ten (10) days from the date of the expulsion in which to notify the superintendent of the appeal. The student has the right to counsel at a hearing before the superintendent. The subject matter of the appeal shall not be solely limited to a factual determination of whether the student has violated any provisions of this section.
  6. When a student is expelled under the provisions of this section, no school or school district within the commonwealth shall be required to admit such student or to provide educational services to said student. If the student does apply for admission to another school or school district, the superintendent of the school district to which application is made may request and shall receive from the superintendent of the school expelling said student a written statement of the reason for said expulsion.
Suspension/Expulsion: Felony Complaint or Conviction
In accordance with the Education Reform Act of 1993, Chapter 71, Section 37H½, the following disciplinary action may be taken upon a felony complaint or conviction: 
  1. Upon the issuance of a criminal complaint charging a student with a felony or upon the issuance of a felony delinquency complaint against a student, the principal may suspend such 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 substantially detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. The student shall receive written notification of the charges and the reasons for such suspension prior to such suspension taking effect. The student shall also receive written notification of the right to appeal and the process for appealing such suspension: provided, however, that such suspension shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing conducted by the superintendent. The student shall have the right to appeal the suspension to the superintendent. The student shall notify the superintendent in writing of his request for an appeal no later than five (5) calendar days following the effective date of the suspension. The superintendent shall hold a hearing with the student and the student’s parent or guardian within three (3) calendar days of the student’s request for an appeal. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony on their behalf and shall have the right to counsel. The superintendent shall have the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the principal, including recommending an alternate educational program for the student. The superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal within five (5) calendar days of the hearing. Such a decision shall be the final decision of the school district with regard to the suspension.
  2. Upon the student being convicted of a felony or upon an adjudication or admission in court of guilt with respect to such a felony or felony delinquency, the principal may expel such student for a period of time determined appropriate by said principal if said 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 the reasons for such expulsion prior to such expulsion taking effect. The student shall also receive written notification of the right to appeal and the process for appealing such expulsion; provided, however, that such expulsion shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing conducted by the superintendent.
The student shall have the right to appeal the expulsion to the superintendent. The student shall notify the superintendent in writing of the request for an appeal no later than five (5) calendar days following the effective date of the suspension. The superintendent shall hold a hearing with the student and the student’s parent or guardian within three (3) calendar days of the student’s request for an appeal. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to counsel. The superintendent shall have the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the principal, including recommending an alternate educational program for the student. The superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal within five (5) calendar days of the hearing. Such a decision shall be the final decision of the school district with regard to the expulsion. Upon expulsion of said student, no school or school district shall be required to provide educational services to such student.
 
Expulsion: Other Offenses 
For the commission of any offenses not included within Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71, Section 37H and 37H½, the principal may refer the student to the School Committee with a recommendation from the Superintendent for expulsion pursuant to General Laws Chapter 76, Section 17. Any student who is referred to the School Committee for an expulsion hearing shall be notified in writing of an opportunity for a hearing, of the right to be represented by counsel at the hearing, and of the right to present evidence and witnesses at said hearing before the School Committee. The School Committee shall hold a hearing with the student’s parent or guardian as soon as possible after the principal’s referral to an expulsion hearing. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony on their behalf and shall have the right to counsel. The School Committee shall render a decision within five (5) calendar days of the hearing. Such a decision shall be the final decision of the school district with regard to the expulsion. 
 
Disciplinary Guidelines
 

Five levels of disciplinary violations, along with the consequences for breaking school rules, have been established. It should be noted, however, that the listing of these violations cannot anticipate every eventuality that would require a written policy. Where such policies do not exist, the administration will formulate and recommend them, and they will be considered in effect until modified or rejected by the School Committee. 

Disciplinary Offense Code Levels 

 

LEVEL I Offenses and Consequences 

ID violation; loitering; misconduct in class or out of class; pass violations; public display of affection; unexcused tardy to school, homeroom, or class. 

1st Offense = 1 teacher or administrative detention 

2nd Offense = 2 teacher or administrative detentions 

3rd Offense = 3 teacher or administrative detentions 


DRESS CODE VIOLATIONS (refer to page 26) 

1st Day’s Offense – 1 administrative detention

2nd Day’s Offense – 3 administrative detentions and parent notification

3rd Day’s Offense – 1-day suspension 

LEVEL II Offenses and Consequences 

Dishonesty to administrators, faculty, or staff; disruptive or inappropriate behavior in class or out of class that leads to referral to an administrator; failure to be in assigned area; failure to attend assigned teacher or administrative detention; false identification; forgery; inappropriate language; minor technology misuse; propping an outside door during school hours; refusal to sign a detention; trespassing in a teacher’s workspace or using teacher’s equipment or supplies without permission; truancy; 

1st Offense = 3 administrative detentions 

2nd Offense = 5 administrative detentions 

3rd Offense = 2-day suspension 

LEVEL III Offenses and Consequences 

ELECTRONIC CODE VIOLATIONS (refer to page 28) 

1st Offense = 1 administrative detention; electronics will be returned to student at dismissal 

2nd Offense = 3 administrative detentions; electronics will be returned to student at dismissal 

3rd Offense = 1 day suspension; electronics will be returned to parent/guardian at readmittance conference 


LEVEL IV Offenses and Consequences 

Accumulation of administrative detentions, minor infractions or tardies; bullying; continued PDA’s; extortion; gross disrespect to persons of authority by word or action; harassment; hazing; homophobic comments; instigating or gossiping with malicious intent or impact; insubordination; leaving or returning to school grounds without permission; major technology misuse; making a false accusation of a serious offense; nonconformity to school rules; obscene, vulgar or defamatory language, gestures, or actions directed toward another individual; obstructing an administrative investigation; possession and/or distribution of obscene material in printed or electronic form; racial or ethnic slurs; taunting or disrespect; theft; trespassing on school property; unwelcome inappropriate physical contact; vandalism.

The administration reserves the right to reduce the length of a suspension if the student is honest and cooperative at the start of an investigation. 

   1st Offense = 3 day suspension 

2nd Offense = 5-day suspension 

3rd Offense = possible suspension for up to 10 days or expulsion from school 

VIOLENT OFFENSES AND CONSEQUENCES (refer to page 40) 

Assault; credible threat to another student or to a staff member; fighting 

1st Offense = mandatory suspension up to 10 days 

LEVEL V Offenses and Consequences 

Bomb threats; civil rights violations; conspiracy to commit a crime or offense; any illegal acts committed during or after school hours; possession, use of, or attendance after the use of alcohol, drugs, vaporizing devices, drug paraphernalia or tobacco (see Chemical Health Policy page 25); pulling of false fire alarms; weapons or incendiary devices; 

  1. Law enforcement officials may be notified.
  2. Punishment will incorporate penalties outlined in Level IV at the discretion of an administrator as well as referral to the School Committee by the Superintendent with all legal requirements prescribed, including exclusion from school.
Discipline and Suspension of Students with Disabilities
 

In general, all students are expected to meet the requirements for behavior as set forth in the AWRSD student handbooks and the school’s code of conduct, unless otherwise determined by the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process. All students receive prior written notice regarding the school’s code of conduct as described in the handbooks. Provisions and procedural protections of law for students with disabilities who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 Accommodation Plan are outlined below. 

Procedures For Suspension Not Exceeding Ten (10) School Days: 

  • Students with disabilities may be suspended for up to ten (10) days during a school year. Disciplinary decisions are the same as for students without disabilities.

Procedures For Suspension When Suspension Exceeds Ten (10) School Days: 

  • If a student with a disability is suspended for more than ten (10) school days in a school year, either cumulatively
  • (for example, the student is suspended for three school days on four separate occasions) or all at once, 
  • The AWRSD Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan is a removal is considered a “change of placement”. A change of placement invokes certain procedural protections under federal special education law and Section 504.

○ No later than the date of the start of any disciplinary action, the Principal must notify the parent or guardian of the decision and provide written notice of procedural safeguards. 

○ The Principal must also immediately notify the Director of Pupil Services of students with disabilities who are suspended for ten (10) or more days or who are nearing their tenth (10th) day with a school year. Notification must be in writing. 

  • Prior to any removal that constitutes a change in placement, the school will inform the parent or guardian that the law requires the school district to consider whether or not the behavior that formed the basis of the disciplinary action was caused by or had a direct relationship to the student’s disability or was a direct result of the school district’s failure to implement the IEP. This consideration is called a “manifestation determination”. Parents and guardians have a right to participate in this process along with school administrators and relevant team members. All relevant information in the student’s file will be considered including evaluation and diagnostic results, observational data, the student's IEP or Section 504 Plan, behavior intervention plans, the information provided by the parent, guardian, and student.
  • At a manifestation determination meeting, the team will consider: Did the student’s disability cause or have a direct and substantial relationship to the conduct in question? Was the conduct a direct result of the school district’s failure to implement the IEP?

○ If the manifestation determination decision is that the disciplinary action was related to the disability, then the student returns to school prior to the 11th day (unless under special circumstances or if the parent/guardian and district agree otherwise). The team will review and examine the patterns of behavior and discuss appropriate responses to support the student, including assessments and/or changes to the IEP as necessary. This may include but is not limited to completion of a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) if not already/previously recently completed and behavioral intervention plan and/or modification of an existing behavior plan to address the behavior so that it does not recur. 


○ If the manifestation determination decision is that the disciplinary action was not related to the disability, then the school may impose sanctions applicable to all students to suspend or otherwise discipline the student according to the school’s code of conduct. During the period of time of removal from school that exceeds ten (10) school days, the school will provide educational services that will meet the student’s unique needs, allow them to make progress in the general curriculum and to continue to receive services identified in their IEP, including services to address the problem behavior(s). 

Special Circumstances For Expulsion: 

  • Special circumstances exist if a student: possesses, uses, sells or solicits illegal drugs on school grounds or at a school-sponsored event; carries a weapon to school or a school-sponsored event; or inflicts serious bodily injury (i.e. substantial risk of death, extreme physical pain, protracted/obvious disfigurement and/or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ or mental faculty) upon another person at school, on school premises or a school-sponsored event/function. Under these circumstances, the school district may unilaterally remove a student with a disability to an Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES) for up to forty-five (45) school days.
  • The district will ensure that while the student is placed in the Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES), the student will be provided educational services that will meet their unique needs, allow them to make progress in the general curriculum and to continue to receive services identified in their IEP, including services to address the problem behavior(s).
  • At the conclusion of the forty-five (45) school days, the student will return to the previously agreed upon placement unless the parent or guardian (or student if over age 18) consents to an extension of the Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES) or an order is obtained authorizing the student’s continued removal.

Hearing Officer Authority: 

  • If a special circumstance as noted above does not exist but the student is a danger and substantially likely to injure themselves or others, the school district may remove the student to an Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES) by obtaining authorization from a court a Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) Hearing Officer or with parent or guardian consent.

Discipline of students with 504 accommodations

The disciplining of students on Section 504 plans is governed by civil rights law and the regulations promulgated thereunder. 

If a student with a Section 504 plan has violated school rules, the school may suspend the student from his or her educational placement for up to ten school days without consideration of manifestation rights. If a student with a Section 504 plan is suspended for more than ten days in a school year, the team must conduct a manifestation determination. 

During a manifestation determination meeting, if the team answers yes to either of the following questions, the student’s conduct is considered to be a manifestation; 

  1. Was the conduct in question caused by or did the conduct have a direct and substantial relationship to the student’s 504 determination; or 
  2. Was the conduct in question the direct result of the district’s failure to implement the 504 plan? 

When the conduct in question is deemed to be a manifestation of a student’s 504 determination, the team must conduct a functional behavioral assessment and implement a behavior intervention plan. Regardless of whether a behavior is deemed to be a manifestation or not, the district is obliged to provide services that will enable the student to continue to receive a free appropriate public education. 

School personnel may order a change in the placement of a student on a 504 plan to an interim alternative educational setting for up to forty-five (45) days if a student 1. carries a weapon to school or to a school function, or 2. knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs, or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance while at school or at a school function. Under the described circumstances in this section, or if the removal of a student will constitute a change in the student’s placement, a student’s 504 team may convene to review the student’s educational program and the misconduct.