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Friday, June 10, 2011

Fairfax County School Board Approves Changes to FCPS Disciplinary Process

The Fairfax County School Board has approved revisions to the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) handbook.  Ten recommendations to improve the process were submitted to the Board by Superintendent Jack D. Dale in March (http://commweb.fcps.edu/newsreleases/newsrelease.cfm?newsid=1669).

In addition to Dale's recommended changes to the SR&R, the Board approved several other changes, including:

  • Ensuring that before a student is reassigned from his or her base school, other disciplinary options would be considered, including loss of privileges, community service, after-school detention, or Saturday school.
  • Providing, if feasible, academic support and other services to a student on out-of-school suspension to maintain academic progress.
  • Expanding on Dale’s recommendation to record disciplinary hearings by permitting the parent to request that the hearing be transcribed by a court reporter at the parent’s expense.
  • Adding information to the SR&R that already exists in the FCPS special education procedures manual about the manifest determination review for students with disabilities.
  • Renaming the disciplinary handbook from “Student Responsibilities and Rights” to “Student Rights and Responsibilities.”

“These revisions to the Student Rights and Responsibilities handbook address many of the issues brought to our attention by parents and members of the community,” said School Board chairman Kathy Smith.  “We have tried to balance the rights of students with our responsibility to keep Fairfax County public schools safe places for all students.  Our plan is to collect data related to a range of disciplinary consequences, including transfers, and to study their relationship to student attendance, academic performance, and participation in extracurricular activities.”

For additional information, visit http://www.fcps.edu/news/discipline.htm.

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Note:  For more information, contact the FCPS Department of Communications and Community Outreach at 571-423-1200.