The standards of student conduct are designed to define the basic rules and major expectations of students in Winchester Public Schools. It is the responsibility of the Winchester Public School Board to adopt policy and regulations and the administration to issue regulations establishing rules of conduct for student behavior in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of its students. The local school principal has the responsibility and authority to exercise reasonable judgment in enforcing this Code of Conduct. Principals are responsible for ensuring that all students, staff members, and parents are provided the opportunity to become familiar with this policy.
The superintendent shall issue Standards of Student Conduct, and a list of possible corrective actions for violation of the Standards of Conduct. Each parent of a student enrolled in a public school has a duty to assist the school in enforcing the standards of student conduct and compulsory school attendance in order that education may be conducted in an atmosphere free of disruption and threat to persons or property, and supportive of individual rights. The Standards of Student Conduct, a notice of the requirements of Va. Code § 22.1-279.3, and a copy of the compulsory school attendance law shall be sent to all parents within one calendar month of the opening of schools simultaneously with any other materials customarily distributed at that time. A statement for the parent's signature acknowledging the receipt of the Standards of Student Conduct, the requirements of Va. Code § 22.1-279.3, and the compulsory school attendance law shall also be sent. Parents shall be notified that by signing the statement of receipt, parents are not deemed to waive, but expressly reserve, their rights protected by the constitution or laws of the United States or Virginia. Each school shall maintain records of the signed statements.
The school principal may request the student's parent or parents, if both have legal and physical custody, to meet with the principal or his designee to review the School Board's Standards of Student Conduct and the parent's or parents’ responsibility to participate with the school in disciplining the student and maintaining order, to ensure the student’s compliance with compulsory school attendance law, and to discuss improvement of the child's behavior, school attendance, and educational progress. The administrator of the building should exercise reasonable judgment and consider the circumstances in determining the disciplinary action to be administered.
Each student has the right to expect an educational environment in which he or she can strive to achieve his or her intellectual potential. The student is expected to attend school regularly, be diligent in his/her studies and conduct him/herself in such a way that the rights and privileges of others are not violated. The student is expected to accept and demonstrate the obligation of good citizenship to help prevent problems from happening and help solve problems if they occur.
All parents are expected to assume responsibility for the student's behavior and assist the school in enforcing the Standards of Student Conduct and compulsory school attendance. Parents are also expected to maintain regular communication with school authorities, monitor and require daily attendance, and bring to the attention of the school authorities any problem that affects the student or other children in the school. It is the parents' responsibility to notify the school of any unusual behavior pattern or medical problem that might lead to serious difficulties.
The school principal may notify the parents of any student who violates a School Board policy or the compulsory school attendance requirements when such violation could result in the student's suspension or the filing of a court petition, whether or not the school administration has imposed such disciplinary action or filed such a petition. The notice shall state (1) the date and particulars of the violation; (2) the obligation of the parent to take actions to assist the school in improving the student's behavior and ensuring compliance with compulsory school attendance; (3) that, if the student is suspended, the parent may be required to accompany the student to meet with school officials; and (4) that a petition with the juvenile and domestic relations court may be filed under certain circumstances to declare the student a child in need of supervision.
The principal or his designee shall notify the parent of any student involved in an incident required to be reported to the superintendent and Virginia Board of Education.
No suspended student shall be admitted to the regular school program until such student and his parent have met with school officials to discuss improvement of the student's behavior, unless the school principal or his designee determines that readmission, without parent conference, is appropriate for the student.
If a parent fails to comply with the requirements of this policy, the School Board may ask the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court to proceed against the parent in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Virginia.
Students are subject to corrective action for any misconduct that occurs:
· in school or on school property;
· on a school vehicle;
· while participating in or attending any school sponsored activity or trip;
· on the way to and from school; and
· off school property, when the acts lead to: (1) notification pursuant to Va. Code § 16.1-305.1 or a conviction for an offense listed in Va. Code § 16.1-260, (2) a charge that would be a felony if committed by an adult, or (3) disruption of the learning environment.
Unlawful acts which will lead to police notification and may lead to suspension from classes, exclusion from activities, or expulsion include but are not limited to:
· possession or use of alcohol, illegal drugs, including marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids as defined in Va. Code § 18.2-248.1:1, and anabolic steroids, or drug paraphernalia;
· selling drugs;
· sexual assault;
· intentional injury (bullying, fighting);
· bomb threats, including false threats, against school personnel or school property;
· use or possession of explosives (see Policy JFCD Weapons in School)
· possession of weapons or firearms (see Policy JFCD Weapons in School);
· extortion, blackmail, or coercion;
· driving without a license on school property;
· sex offenses (indecent exposure, obscene phone calls, sodomy and child molestation);
· malicious mischief;
· any illegal conduct involving firebombs, explosive or incendiary devices or materials, hoax explosive devices or chemical bombs;
· stabbing, cutting or wounding;
· unlawful interference with school authorities including threats;
· unlawful intimidation of school authorities; and
· other unlawful acts including being an accessory to any of these or other unlawful acts.
Any student involved in a reportable drug or violent incident shall participate in prevention and intervention activities deemed appropriate by the Superintendent or superintendent’s designee. Further, any student who has been found to be in possession of or under the influence of drugs or alcohol on school property or at a school sponsored activity may be required to (1) undergo evaluation for drug or alcohol abuse and (2) participate in a drug and/or alcohol treatment program if recommended by the evaluator and if the parent consents.
The superintendent shall issue regulations listing additional actions which may be cause for corrective action and if serious enough or exhibited repeatedly may lead to suspension or expulsion.
The School Board shall biennially review the model student conduct code developed by the Board of Education to incorporate into policy a range of discipline options and alternatives to preserve a safe and non-disruptive environment for effective learning and teaching.
April 21, 2003, Revised August 21, 2006, August 18, 2008, August 8, 2011, September 23, 2013, October 27, 2014, December 22, 2014________________________________________
Legal Refs.: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§16.1-260, 18.2308.1, 18.2-308.7, 22.178, 22.1-200.1, 22.1-253.13:7.C.3; 22.1-254, 22.1-276.3, 22.1277, 22.1-277.08, 22.1-277.2, 22.1-279.1, 22.1-279.3, 22.1-279.3:1, 22.1-279.6.
Cross Ref.: CLA Reporting Acts of Violence and Substance Abuse
IIBEA/GAB Acceptable Computer System Use
IIBEA-R/ Acceptable Computer System Use
JFHA/GBA Prohibition Against Harassment and Retaliation
JGA Corporal Punishment
JGD/JGE Student Suspension/Expulsion
JGDA Disciplining Students with Disabilities
JGDB Discipline of Students with Disabilities for Infliction of Serious Bodily Injury
JN Student Fees, Fines and Charges