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Discipline Policy

Graduated Discipline Plan
When we purposefully build peace in the community and maintain that peace through active community engagement, we limit the amount of time stakeholders spend making peace when norms have been violated. There is a shared responsibility among all members of the Summit community to build and keep peace in classrooms, during unstructured times and in all conversations. Each site works together to schedule and support each other in this community development. Our schools work everyday to help all students develop healthy relationships, identify common values and guidelines, develop social emotional understanding and skills, and develop a sense of ownership and belonging.

Summit’s graduated discipline plan is in place for when the culture we’ve built is harmed and peace needs to be made. The policy is derived from our core beliefs about secure attachments and human development. We believe that:

  • Physical and emotional safety are a prerequisite for building secure attachment.
  • Feedback is essential to growth and college readiness.
  • When principles guide actions instead of rules, students can generalize for the future.
  • All students are capable of being college ready.
  • In a high-trust organization, students prepare for the independence of adulthood.

When students take action that violates expectations articulated above, the faculty responds using the graduated discipline plan to restore an environment of trust, safety, and productivity. We primarily manage difficulties by preventing harm, resolving differences and helping students build the skill of learning from their mistakes. If students continue to struggle to meet our norms, we use logical consequences with a focus on accountability, repairing harm, and reintegrating students into the community.

Summit uses restorative practices to guide teacher responses to student behavior. Restorative practices are a way of approaching behavior support from a framework of relationship maintenance and reconciliation. Restorative practices seek to use language and approaches to behavior that reverse the oppressive nature of top-down classrooms and schools. These systems work to build empathy in the individual or individuals who violate expectations and cause harm to the community. Our restorative practices also provide a way to assign logical consequences to inappropriate behavior. Summit has specific policies in place for actions such as harassment, intimidation, discrimination, and bullying, including cyberbullying. These policies, along with procedures for suspension and expulsion, are found in the appendix.

Summary of the Behavior Levels and the Appropriate Teacher Responses
Summit categorizes inappropriate behavior into four levels based on the severity and frequency of the behaviors. Each level of inappropriate behavior requires a different faculty response. Here is a summary of the behavior levels and the appropriate teacher responses:

Summary of the behavior levels and the appropriate teacher responses

Level Response Description
Level 1 Redirect
  • A student causes a minor disruption to the learning environment.
  • The teacher quickly redirects the student to meet the expectations.
Level 2 Reflect
  • A student causes a significant disruption to the learning environment and/or repeats Level 1 behaviors after redirection.
  • The teacher reestablishes the focus of the class and schedules time to reflect with the student on his/her decisions and behavior.
Level 3 Reach out
  • A student causes a disruption to the learning environment that breaches safety and/or repeats Level 2 behaviors after redirection and reflection.
  • The teacher refers the student to the office and reestablishes the safety and focus of the class.
  • The administrator reflects with the student and plans next steps, including communication with families and mentors.
Level 4 Reset
  • A student causes a significant breach in safety and/or repeats Level 3 behaviors after interventions.
  • The teacher refers the student to the office and reestablishes the safety and focus of the class.
  • The administrator considers suspension or expulsion, plans next steps, and communicates with families and mentors.
Level 1 Behaviors: Redirect

Level 1 Behaviors – Redirect

Student Behaviors

Level 1 misbehaviors refer to behaviors that are distracting, disruptive, or otherwise in violation of expectations for a productive learning environment, such as being off-task, teasing a peer, etc. This is a behavior or action that can quickly be redirected without stopping the class.

Desired Outcomes

  • Disruptive behavior is stopped.
  • All students remain actively engaged in learning in class.
  • All students understand consistent expectations and consequences.

Teacher Actions

  • Restate the expectations.
  • Redirect the student behavior clearly and concisely.
  • Resume focus on instructional plans.
Level 2 Behaviors: Reflect

Level 2 Behaviors – Reflect

Student Behaviors

A student has been defiant or disrespectful (this is the first offense or the behavior is new) or Level 1 behaviors have continued despite interventions.

Desired Outcomes

  • Disruptive behavior is stopped; power struggle is avoided.
  • Student understands the impact of his/her behavior.
  • All students remain actively engaged in learning in class.
  • All students understand consistent expectations and consequences.

Teacher Actions

  • Clearly state to the student how and why his/her behavior violated expectations.
  • Give the student space to cool down and consider his/her action.
  • Engage the student in a reflective conversation to understand his/her impact on others.
  • Make a plan for the student to be able to meet expectations in the future.
  • Give a clear warning that continuation of the behavior will result in removal from the classroom.
Level 3 Behaviors: Reach Out

Level 3 Behaviors – Reach Out

Student Behaviors

  • A student engages in a behavior that does not meet the norms of the class. The teacher attempts Level 1 and Level 2 interventions to redirect the behavior, and the student continues inappropriate behavior.
  • Alternatively, a student engages in a behavior that is majorly disruptive, dangerous to others, or illegal.
  • A student engages in plagiarism or another act of academic dishonesty.
  • A student skips class or leaves school without appropriate adult permission.
  • A student video tapes another student or incident or post pictures of another student without permission from the student.
  • A student distributed, arranged to sell or sold non-prescription drugs or uncontrolled substances.
  • A students uses discriminatory or hateful language that may not rise to the level of bullying, discrimination, harassment or hate violence as defined below.

Desired Outcomes

  • The safety of the classroom is maintained.
  • The classroom engagement in learning resumes as quickly as possible.
  • All students understand consistent expectations and consequences.
  • The student violating the expectations is referred to an administrator.
  • The student’s negative behavior is recorded and tracked.

Teacher Actions

  • Clearly state how and why the behavior violated expectations.
  • Instruct the student to leave the classroom and go directly to the front office.
  • Fill out the discipline tracker.

Administrator Actions

  • In this case, an administrator may be one of the School Directors or Deans
  • Administrator reads the incident report and runs a restorative conference with the student to reflect on his/her actions and determine next steps to repair the harm done to the community.
  • Administrator documents the conversation and next steps in the discipline tracker.
  • Administrator brings the student back to class to facilitate a check in with teacher before student reenters the classroom.
  • The administrator or his/her designee communicates home to the student’s family about the incident.
  • The administrator or his/her designee ensures that all next steps are completed, and documents this fact in the discipline tracker.
Level 4 Behaviors: Reset

Level 4 Behaviors – Reset

Student Behaviors

  • A student continues to engage in Level 3 behaviors even after interventions.
    OR
  • A student engages in one of enumerated offenses described in the appendix.

Desired Outcomes

  • The school and its community remain physically and emotionally safe.
  • The student and his/her support network identify root causes of the unacceptable behavior.
  • The student understands the impact of his/her behavior on the community.
  • The student makes a plan to restore the harm s/he has caused.
  • The student executes the plan and is reintegrated into the community.

Administrator Actions

The process for responding to Level 4 behaviors is the most nuanced, complex, and personalized. While suspension and expulsion may be considered for Level 4 behaviors, sometimes they are not chosen as the best strategy to meet the outcomes listed above. Depending on the situation, the School Director may lead a family conference, a restorative circle, or some other plan for the student to understand and then restore his/her impact on the community. The school expects all parties to fully participate in the restorative process in the majority of situations when students have the option to be reintegrated into the community. Students who choose not to opt into the restorative process are subject to further disciplinary action.

If the student opts out of restorative processes, or when the School Director determines it is appropriate to move forward with the long-term suspension or expulsion process, the student is entitled to a hearing by an Administrative Panel. Any of the student behaviors listed under Level 4 behaviors above could lead to a recommendation for expulsion. Students with special education needs must have a manifestation hearing before being expelled. A complete description of the suspension and expulsion procedures including the process and timeline for hearings and decision making are included on the school website.

Suspension and Expulsion Policy (California)

Suspension and Expulsion Policy (California)

This Pupil Suspension and Expulsion Policy has been established in order to promote learning and protect the safety and well being of all students at Summit Public Schools (“Charter School”). In creating this policy, the Charter School has reviewed Education Code Section 48900 et seq. which describes the non-charter schools’ list of offenses and procedures to establish its list of offenses and procedures for suspensions and expulsions. The language that follows closely mirrors the language of Education Code Section 48900 et seq. The Charter School is committed to annual review of policies and procedures surrounding suspensions and expulsions and, as necessary, modification of the lists of offenses for which students are subject to suspension or expulsion.

View the entire Suspension and Expulsion Policy for California schools (PDF)

Suspension and Expulsion Policy (Washington)

Suspension and Expulsion Policy (Washington)

Student Rights

Each Charter School student possesses the following rights which may not be limited without good and sufficient cause:

  • Students may not be denied equal educational opportunity or be discriminated against because of national origin, race, religion, economic status, sex, pregnancy, marital status, previous arrest, previous incarceration, or a physical, mental or sensory handicap.
  • The constitutional rights to freedom of speech and press, to peaceably assemble, to petition the government and its representatives, to the free exercise of religion, and to have their Charter Schools free from sectarian control or influence, with reasonable limitations on the time, place and manner of exercising these rights.
  • The constitutional right to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures of their person, papers, and belongings.
  • The right to be free from unlawful interference while attending Charter School.
  • Students may not be deprived of the right to an equal educational opportunity without due process of law.

View the entire Suspension and Expulsion Policy for Washington schools (PDF)