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F-120-AR: Student Suspensions, Disciplinary Hearings and Expulsions

References:

  • F-120
  • F-110 Student Conduct
  • B-150 Appeals
  • Education Act, Section 36
  • Education Act, Section 37
  • Education Act, Section 31
  • Education Act, Section 11
  • Education Act, Section 44

  1. The principal shall ensure that all students (including any new students during the school year) are made aware, in advance, of the school's code of student conduct, the St. Albert Public Schools’ Code of Student Conduct and section 31 of the Education Act and the possible consequences of non-compliance with the code. Corrective measures and disciplinary action including suspension and/or expulsion as per section 36 and 37 of the Education Act, depending on individual circumstances, will be taken when student behaviour violates these guidelines.
    1. a teacher or a principal may suspend a student if, in the opinion of the teacher or principal, the student has failed to comply with Section 31 of the Education Act (Student Responsibilities) or the student’s conduct is injurious to the physical or mental well being of others in the school; a principal may suspend a student (a) from school (b) from one or more class periods, courses or education programs, or (c) from riding in a school bus.  A teacher may suspend a student from one class period.  [Ref. 36(1) (3)]
    2. a principal or designate may refer a student to a student disciplinary hearing with the intent of assisting school administration to foster student responsibility and accountability.
    3. the board may expel a student if (a) the principal has recommended that the board expel the student, and (b) the student has been offered another education program by the board.  An expulsion must be for a period of more than 10 school days. [Ref.37 (1, 2)]
      1. the principal may recommend that the board expel the student if (a) the student has displayed an attitude of willful, blatant and repeated refusal to comply with section 31, or (b) the student’s conduct is injurious to the physical or mental well-being of others in the school, or (c) the student violates the division drug protocol.
  2. If a principal suspends a student as a consequence of student misbehaviour, the principal shall:
    1. inform the student of the reasons for the suspension.
    2. provide the student with an opportunity to offer an explanation in defense or mitigation prior to the suspension, whenever possible.
    3. report, in writing, to the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) all the circumstances regarding the suspension.
    4. provide an opportunity for the parent(s)/guardian(s) and when appropriate the student to meet with the principal to discuss the suspension.
    5. provide a copy of the suspension report to the Superintendent of Schools.
  3. The student disciplinary hearing typically will be utilized when the principal or designate feels they have exhausted other possible avenues and interventions at the school level yet wish to entertain division intervention prior to recommending expulsion; or the incident is considered serious enough to warrant division involvement, but without expulsion being considered.
    1. The Superintendent of Schools or designate shall be responsible for the development of procedures and timelines for student disciplinary hearings.
    2. The Superintendent will designate a member of the senior administration team (normally the Deputy Superintendent of Program and Planning) to preside over the division student disciplinary hearing.  The lead senior administrator:
      1. will ensure the hearing is solution focused where parties agree to a future intervention plan;
      2. will communicate with the school administrator, student and parent/guardian(s) explaining that they are expected to attend the hearing;
      3. may invite other community partners (mental health, FCSS, RCMP, Children Services, Youth Justice, etc.) to attend as appropriate;
      4. may arrange for a recording secretary to keep notes; and
      5. will facilitate the hearing in a manner that allows for:
        1. introductions;
        2. incident report and summary of previous behavior(s) and intervention(s) - principal provides verbal report;
        3. student and or parent response;
        4. discussion; and
        5. student conduct conditions and intervention plan
    3. Should the student disciplinary hearing not result in an agreed upon intervention plan the principal may still recommend an expulsion provided the timelines as stated in the Education Act are followed.
    4. When a principal determines they wish to proceed with a division student disciplinary hearing they are required to contact the Deputy Superintendent of Program and Planning who will either arrange and facilitate the hearing or arrange for another senior administrator to facilitate the hearing.
    5. Within five days of the completion of the hearing, the lead senior administrator will forward a letter to the parent/guardian, the school and the Superintendent detailing the responsibilities of the student, parent, school and community partner.
    6. The lead senior administrator may arrange for a follow-up hearing if it is considered necessary.
  4. The Education Act specifies that expulsion is an action that can be taken only by the Board of Trustees unless this power has been delegated by the board to another individual or committee of the board, as the board deems appropriate.  When expulsion is the possible consequence of student misbehaviour, the following shall apply:
    1. the Superintendent of Schools shall be responsible for the development and implementation of procedures for expulsion.
    2. the principal shall follow the procedures for expulsion in making any recommendations for expulsion of a student (see Procedures to be Followed:  Student Expulsion).
    3. when the principal recommends that a student not be reinstated within five (5) school days of the date of the student's suspension, the principal shall report in writing all circumstances respecting the suspension and the principal’s recommendation to the board and the Superintendent of Schools.  The principal is to inform the parent(s)/guardian(s) and, where age appropriate, the student, of the recommendation for expulsion. The principal shall also notify the board of the recommendation for expulsion.
    4. a student may be expelled from one or more of the schools in the division.  The decision to recommend expulsion to the Board of Trustees is made by the principal, in consultation with the Superintendent of Schools.
    5. The principal shall specify the recommended duration of the expulsion.
    6. Furthermore, the board may impose such conditions as are reasonable in the circumstances regarding those circumstances in which an expelled student may be reenrolled in the school from which the student has been expelled. Such conditions for reinstatement could include, for instance, a requirement that the student would demonstrate acceptable progress in academic pursuits, general conduct, counselling programs and/or participation in a substance abuse program.
    7. A student who has been expelled must be provided, by the board, with an educational program that is reasonable in light of all the circumstances and in accordance with the Education Act, Section 11.
    8. In the case of an appeal of a suspension that is five days or less, board procedures, B-150-BP Appeals, will apply.  In the case of an expulsion, parents have the right to request a review under section 44 of the Education Act