Model Guidance for Positive, Preventive Code of Conduct Policy and Alternatives to Suspension (Virginia Department of Education, VDOE)
In January of 2019, the Board approved the newly revised Model Guidance for Positive, Preventive Code of Student Conduct Policy and Alternatives to Suspension, which is now available on the Virginia Department of Education, Student Support and Conduct webpage. The document is a blueprint for local school boards and provides multiple resources to assist school divisions in the revision of local policies regarding student discipline.
The Model Guidance document represents a significant shift in focus to a positive, preventive approach to student discipline that promotes a positive school climate and supports equity, fairness, and continuous improvement. It recognizes the need for tiered instructional interventions and behavioral supports when students engage in misbehavior and combines student code of conduct policy guidance with guidelines for alternatives to suspension. It also addresses equity in student conduct policy and practice, and provides school boards with suggestions for ensuring equity in student discipline matters.
The Guidelines are intended specifically to aid school boards in revising and implementing student conduct policies as the Code of Virginia requires. Local school boards are required to adopt and revise regulations on codes of student conduct that are consistent with, but may be more stringent than, these Guidelines.
Training is being developed to support its implementation and will include trauma informed practices, threat assessment, and suicide prevention strategies