• Discipline for Students with Special Needs 

    All students are expected to meet the requirements for behavior as set forth in this handbook Chapter  71B of the Massachusetts General Laws requires that additional provisions be made for students who  have been found by an Evaluation TEAM to have special needs and whose program is described in an  Individualized Education Program (IEP). The following additional requirements apply to the discipline of  special needs students. 

    1. The IEP for every special needs student will indicate whether the student can be expected to meet  the regular discipline code or if the student’s handicapping condition requires a modification. Any  modification will be described in the IEP. 

    2. The Principal (or designee) will notify the Special Education Office of the suspendable offense of a  special needs student and a record will be kept of such notices. 

    3. Parents of students who are on IEP’s have the right to appeal to the courts on decisions for  suspensions that exceed ten (10) cumulative days. 

    4. When it is known that the suspension (s) of a special needs student will accumulate to ten days in a  school year, a review of the IEP will be held to determine the appropriateness of the student’s  placement or program. The TEAM will make a finding as to the relationship between the student’s  misconduct and his/her handicapping condition and either: 

    • Design a modified program for the student or 

    • Write an amendment to provide for the delivery of special education services during the  suspension and any needed modification of the IEP relative to discipline code expectations. In  addition, the Department of Education will be notified as required by law and the procedures  promulgated by the Department of Education for requesting approval of the alternative plan will  be followed 

    As circumstances warrant, discipline will be affected on an individualized basis. Unless  stipulated by statute, final appeals will be made to the Principal. 

    Discipline of Students Whose Eligibility for Special Education is Suspected: 

    The IDEA protections summarized above also apply to a child who has not yet been found eligible for  services under the statute if the district is “deemed to have knowledge” that the child was eligible for  such services before the conduct that precipitated the disciplinary action occurred. The IDEA provides  that a school district is “deemed to have knowledge” if: (1) the child’s parent had expressed concern in writing to district supervisory or administrative personnel or the child’s teacher that the child needs  special education and related services; (2) the child’s parent had requested an evaluation of the child to  determine eligibility for special education services; or (3) the teacher of the child or other school district  personnel had expressed specific concerns about a pattern of behavior by the child directly to the  district’s director of special education or to other supervisory personnel.  

    However, a school district is not “deemed to have knowledge” if the district evaluated the student and  determined that the child was not eligible for special education services or the child’s parent refused an  evaluation of the child or IDEA services. If the school district has no knowledge that a student is an  eligible student under the IDEA before taking disciplinary measures against the student, the student may  be disciplined just as any other student may be.  

    If, however, a request is made for an evaluation to determine eligibility while the student is subject to  disciplinary measures, the district must conduct the evaluation in an expedited manner. Pending the  results of the evaluation, the student must remain in the educational placement determined by school  authorities, which may include suspension or expulsion without services. If the student is determined  eligible for an IEP as a result of the evaluation, the school district must provide the student with special  education and related services in accordance with the IDEA.