Addendum and Revisions to Malden High School Handbook, 2015-2016
• The following revised list of District coordinators for state and federal statutes will be incorporated:
Dr. Kelly Chase and Ms. Maura Johnson, Assistant Superintendents, are the district administrators responsible for coordinating compliance under each of the statutes below. Their office address is 200 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148, and they can be reached at (781) 397-7204:
• Title II of the Americans with Disability Act of 1990: Prohibits discrimination, exclusion from participation, and denial of benefits on the basis of disability in t he areas of educational programming.
• M.G.L., Chapter 76, Section 5: Prohibits the exclusion from, or discrimination against, any student in the public schools on account of race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.
• McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act: Facilitates the enrollment attendance, supplement enrichment activities, support professional development, and support the wellbeing or homeless children and youth in school. The Malden Public Schools shall ensure that each child of a homeless individual and each homeless youth has equal access to education.
Mr. Daniel Keefe, Director of Athletic and Physical Education, is the district administrator responsible for coordinating compliance under each of the statutes below. He can be reached at (781) 397-7269.
• Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972: Prohibits discrimination, exclusion from participation, and denial of benefits in educational programs and activities on the basis of sex.
Ms. Maura Johnson, Assistant Superintendent, is the district administrator responsible for coordinating compliance under each of the statues below. She can be reached at (781) 397-7245.
• Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990: Prohibits discrirnination, exclusion from participation, and denial of benefits on the basis of disability in the areas of employment.
Dr. Kelly Chase and Ms. Maura Johnson, Assistant Superintendents, are the district administrator responsible for coordinating compliance under each of the statues below. Their office address is 200 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148, and they can be reached at (781) 397-7204.
• Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964:Prohibits discrimination, exclusion from participation, and denial of benefits in programs and activities based on race, color and/or national origin.
• Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973: Prohibits exclusion from participation in, denial of the benefits of, or discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance on the basis of disability.
• The Malden Public Schools Bullying Policy shall be updated to reflect the following revised definition of bullying:
Bullying, including cyber-bullying, is the repeated use by one or more students or by a member of a school staff including, but not limited to, an educator, administrator, school nurse, cafeteria worker, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, advisor to an extracurricular activity or paraprofessional of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a victim that:
(i) causes physical or emotional harm to the victim or damage to the victim’s property;
(ii) places the victim in reasonable fear of harm to himself or of damage to his property;
(iii) creates a hostile environment at school for the victim;
(iv) infringes on the rights of the victim at school; or
(v) materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.
• Nondiscrimination Policy and Grievance Procedure
The first two paragraphs of the “I. Introduction” section will be replaced with the following:
The Malden Public Schools has a commitment to maintaining an educational environment where bigotry and intolerance, including discrimination and/or harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or age, are not tolerated. Discrimination of any such grounds is contrary to the mission of the Malden Public Schools and its commitment to equal opportunity in education.
No person shall be excluded from or discriminated against in admission to Malden Public Schools, or in obtaining the advantages, privileges and courses of study of Malden Public Schools on account of race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin or sexual orientation. M.G.L., c. 76, §5. Additionally, the Malden Public Schools will not tolerate harassment of students, parents, employees, or other members of the school community on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, or sexual orientation. 603 CMR 26.08.
Subsection “(b) Grievance Procedures” of Section “III. Grievance Procedure: Reporting Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment” will be amended as follows:
b. Grievance Procedures
i. District Contact:
Coordinator for Title VI (race, color, national origin): Assistant Superintendents Kelly Chase and Maura Johnson, 781-397-7204
Coordinator for Title IX (sex): Daniel Keefe, 781-397-7269
Coordinator for Section 504 (disability): Maura Johnson, 781- 397-7245
Coordinator for Title II of the ADA (disability): Kelly Chase and Maura Johnson, 781-397-7204
All other complaints of discrimination and/or harassment can be directed to either Assistant Superintendent Maura Johnson or Assistant Superintendent Kelly Chase. Written correspondence may be addressed to either Dr. Johnson or Ms. Chase, care of Malden Public Schools, 200 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148. Dr. Johnson or Ms. Chase may also be reached at 781-397-7204.
Students, parents or employees who wish to initiate the formal complaint process may also put their complaint in writing to the building Principal. Any Principal receiving such a complaint shall
immediately forward the complaint to the relevant District Coordinator listed above, who will then begin the formal procedure described below.
All references to “District Civil Rights Coordinator” in this section shall be replaced with “relevant District Coordinator.”
• Sections “Discipline of Students on 504 Plans” and “Discipline of Special Education Students” will be combined and replaced with the following:
DISCIPLINE OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71B, and related federal and state regulations provide eligible students with disabilities with certain procedural rights and protections in the context of student discipline. A brief overview of these rights is provided below.
In general, a disabled student may be removed from his or her educational program, to the same extent that a non-disabled student may be excluded, for up to ten (10) school days per school year. Under state law, whenever any student is excluded from school for more than ten (10) school days in the school year, that student is entitled to the opportunity to receive educational services during the period of exclusion. M.G.L., c. 76, §21. For students with a disability excluded for more than ten (10) school days, the student’s Team determines what FAPE services are necessary to enable him or her to continue to participate in the curriculum and make effective progress while he or she is excluded.
In addition, within ten (10) school days of the decision to remove the disabled student for disciplinary reasons beyond ten (10) school days, the parent(s) and relevant members of the student’s Team must convene to determine whether the student’s behavior was a manifestation of his/her disability. This meeting is referred to as a Manifestation Determination review.
At the Manifestation Determination, the Team must review all relevant information in the student’s file, including the student’s IEP, any teacher observations, and any relevant information provided by the parent(s), in order to determine:
1) Was the student’s behavior a direct of the district’s failure to implement the IEP? and
2) Does the behavior have a direct and substantial relationship to the disability?
If the answer to both questions is “No”, then the conduct was not a manifestation of the student’s disability and the school district may apply the relevant disciplinary procedures to the disabled student in the same manner and for the same duration as would be applied to non-disabled students. The Manifestation Determination Team should also consider whether a functional behavior assessment (FBA) or behavior plan would be appropriate for the student.
If the answer to either of the above questions is “Yes”, then the conduct was a manifestation of the student’s disability. If the Team determines that the behavior was a manifestation of the student’s disability, the student may not be excluded and must be immediately returned to his/her educational program, unless the Special Circumstances below apply, or unless the parent(s) and the district otherwise agree. The Team must also conduct a functional behavior assessment (FBA) and develop a behavior plan for the student, or review and modify an existing behavior plan as needed.
Special Circumstances regarding discipline of students with disabilities:
The school district may remove a disabled student to an interim alternative educational setting (IAES) for not more than 45 school days, whether or not the behavior is determined to be a manifestation of the student’s disability, if the student:
(1) Carries a weapon to or possesses a weapon at school, on school premises, or to or at a school function; or
(2) Knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs, or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance, while at school, on school premises, or at a school function; or
(3) Inflicted serious bodily injury upon another person while at school, on school premises, or at a school function
BSEA proceedings regarding discipline of students with disabilities:
If the behavior is determined to be a manifestation of the student’s disability, and no Special Circumstances apply, and the parent(s) will not otherwise agree to a change in placement, the school district may seek an expedited hearing at the Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) if the district believes that maintaining student in his/her current program is substantially likely to result in injury to the student or others. If the district prevails, the BSEA may order a change of placement or order the student to be placed in an IAES for up to 45 school days.
If the parent(s) disagrees with the manifestation determination or with any decision regarding placement in the discipline context, the parent(s) may likewise request an expedited hearing from the BSEA. This right is more fully described in the parent(s)’s Notice of Procedural Safeguards, an additional copy of which may be requested from the Special Education Department by calling (781) 397-7245.
Discipline Procedures for Students Not Yet Eligible
A student who has not yet been determined eligible for special education, or eligible for services under Section 504, may still be eligible for the disciplinary procedural protections described above if the school district had knowledge that the student had or may have a qualifying disability before the misconduct that precipitated the disciplinary action occurred. The school district is deemed to have knowledge that a student may have a qualifying disability if
1) The parent/guardian expressed concern in writing to supervisory or administrative personnel of the school, or to the student’s teacher, that the student was in need of special education and related services prior to the misconduct occurring; or
2) The parent/guardian requested an initial evaluation of the student prior to the misconduct occurring; or
3) The student’s teacher or other school personnel expressed specific concerns about a pattern of behavior demonstrated by the student to the director of special education prior to the misconduct occurring.
Even if the above circumstances apply, the school district will not be deemed to have knowledge of the student’s qualifying disability if the parent/guardian has not allowed an initial evaluation of the student; if the parent/guardian has refused special education services for the student; or if the student has been evaluated and determined ineligible.
If a request for special education evaluation is made after the misconduct occurs, the school district will make its best efforts to expedite the evaluation process. Until the evaluation is complete, the discipline imposed by the school district will remain in effect.
Additional information regarding procedural protections for students with disabilities can be obtained from the Special Education Department and/or Assistant Superintendent for Student Services, Dr. Maura Johnson.
• Following subparagraph (d) of Chapter 71, Section 37H, the following language shall be added:
(e) Any school district that suspends or expels a student under this section shall continue to provide educational services to the student during the period of suspension or expulsion, under section 21 of chapter 76. If the student moves to another district during the period of suspension or expulsion, the new district of residence shall either admit the student to its schools or provide educational services to the student in an education service plan, under section 21 of chapter 76.