It is the opinion of the board that acceptable student behavior, including the following criteria, is to be expected from all students.
- respect to peers, faculty and staff exhibited through actions and speech
- pride in personal and school property exhibited by taking care of the physical building and respecting the property rights of others
- desire and effort toward educational achievement are to be priorities as exhibited by following teacher/staff direction; reporting to class promptly and consistently; and being prepared to work without interfering with instruction
- obedience to all laws, discipline code, rules and community norms
The board believes that all students should receive fair and consistent discipline when school rules are violated. Therefore, this definitive code on student discipline was developed with the assistance of parents/legal guardians, students and administrators from Sumter School District.
This code will be in effect at bus stops, en route to and from school or school activities, on school buses or in any other school vehicles, on school grounds, at school and at all school-sponsored activities, both on and off campus, and at any time or at any place where the conduct has a direct and immediate effect on maintaining order and discipline in the district schools, buildings, or grounds.
Copies of this code, or a summary thereof, will be transmitted at the beginning of the school year to the parents/legal guardians of each student attending schools in the district. School staffs, students and bus drivers will be trained in this discipline system each year.
Students in grades Pre-K through 12 will participate in code of conduct instructional sessions. Teachers and students will document that instruction has occurred. After instruction has been completed, principals will sign and submit an attestation form to the discipline office.
Each school will provide intervention strategies that address or redirect maladaptive behaviors.
Student conduct away from school grounds or school activities
The Board expects administrators to take appropriate action when information becomes available about student misconduct away from school grounds or school activities that may have a direct and detrimental effect on or seriously threaten the discipline, educational environment, safety or general welfare of students, faculty, staff, and/or administrators of the district. When assessing the impact of out-of-school behavior on a school, the administrator will take into consideration the seriousness of the alleged out-of-district offense and the protection of students, faculty, staff and administrators from the effects of violence, drugs and/or disruptions.
Administrators are directed to evaluate each situation on a case-by-case basis. At a minimum, administrators or their designees should meet with the student upon his/her arrival at school, give the student notice of the concerns based on the reported out-of-district behavior, and allow the student an opportunity to present his/her side of the story. Based upon all of the circumstances, including a finding that the alleged conduct will have a direct and immediate effect on the school or threatens the discipline, educational environment, safety or general welfare of students, faculty, staff and/or administrators of the school, the administration may either permit the student to attend classes as usual or may take appropriate disciplinary action including, but not limited to, in-school suspension or out-of-school suspension in order to conduct an investigation into the matter. The parents/legal guardians of students will be notified of any action taken by the administration and offered the opportunity for a conference.
In the event the student is arrested or incarcerated based on his/her out-of-district conduct, the principal or his/her designee will notify the student that he/she is to meet with the administration prior to returning to school.
At the conclusion of the inquiries to obtain more information on the matter, the administrator or his/her designee will take appropriate action, which may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following.
- returning the student to his/her normal class schedule and removing all evidence of suspension
- placing the student on probation and allowing the student to resume his/her normal class schedule
- placing the student on probation, allowing the student to continue class work, but restricting the student’s participation in extracurricular activities and/or designated school activities, e.g., clubs, study halls, pep rallies, student government, etc.
- suspending the student
- recommending expulsion of the student from regular school and placement in the District’s alternative program
- recommending expulsion but allowing access to virtual school programs through the District’s alternative school; these students are only allowed on campus for exams that require a proctor in a virtual school accessed through the District’s alternative program, and students not able to successfully enroll will be expelled for the remainder of the school year
- recommending expulsion of the student for the remainder of the year
The disciplinary action taken must be supported by the evidence and take into full consideration the impact of the student’s presence at school on the discipline, educational environment, safety or general welfare of other students, faculty, staff and/or administrators.
Note Regarding Special Education Students: Administrators must ensure that all procedural safeguards afforded to special education students are also implemented in such circumstances.
Discipline for students with an identified disability
Students identified as disabled pursuant to the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) will be disciplined in accordance with federal and state law as set forth in special education procedures developed by the administration.
What Should Parents do to Prepare for a School Emergency?
- Be sure your emergency contact information is current and correct. Contact your school secretary immediately whenever your work, home or cell number changes.
- Identify who is authorized to pick up your child if you are not able to respond. Make sure their contact information is current and correct. Please understand you child will only be released to parents and persons identified on the emergency contact list.
- Keep the school nurse informed of any medical conditions or physical limitations your child may have or medications your child may be taking. Provide the necessary medical supplies and medication for daily use and an additional supply to carry your child through an emergency.
What Should Parents do in the Event of a School Emergency?
- The most helpful parental responses to a school emergency are to remain calm and wait for accurate information to be sent to the number listed on your child’s emergency contact. The school staff and emergency responders have made preparations to deal with these incidents. Your cooperation in an emergency is essential to the safe and swift resolution of the incident.
- Please do not call the school.
- Please do not go to the school.
- Remain calm, follow procedures, and cooperate with school and public safety officials.
- Remain close to the phone listed as your emergency contact number.
- Obtain current information about the incident from: Sumter School District Web-Site: http://sumterschools.net or the following social media sites:
- Emergency pickup procedures are different than routine pickup procedures. In the event you are notified to pick up your child at school or at the designated family reunification site, bring a photo identification card. If you must send someone else to pick up your child, be sure it is someone who is listed on school records as an authorized individual, and they are in possession of a photo ID. Your child will not be released to anyone who is unauthorized or cannot provide appropriate identification.
- Follow emergency procedures. If you are asked to pick up your child, you will be asked to follow the checkout procedure established for emergencies. The reunification system was developed to ensure the safety of all students and it is vital that the procedure be followed.
- Remain in designated areas at the family reunification site.
- Be patient. It is essential that the family reunification procedure be carried out in an orderly manner so we can protect and account for all of our students.
See Sumter School District’s Website: http://sumterschools.net for more information. Please feel free to call Kathy Morrison, Intervention Coordinator, and (803) 469-6900, extension 504 if you have any concerns or questions.