The Office of the State Superintendent of Education shall provide an array of supports to assist local education agencies and schools to achieve the goals of §§ 38-236.03 through 38-236.05 and to adopt trauma-informed disciplinary practices. The OSSE shall provide local education agencies and schools with, among other supports, the following:
(1) Guidance and materials that inform local education agencies and school communities about developments in the fields of school climates and behavioral management;
(2) Regular, high-quality professional development opportunities and technical assistance, and recommendations for further instruction outside of these opportunities, for local education agency and school personnel on:
(A) Trauma and chronic stress, their effects on students and learning, and effective responses;
(B) Classroom management, positive behavioral interventions, and fostering positive school climate;
(C) Disciplinary approaches that utilize instruction and correction;
(D) Restorative practices and other evidence-based or promising behavioral interventions;
(E) Implementation of high-quality functional behavior assessments, behavioral intervention plans, and manifestation determination reviews, as those terms are used in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, approved December 3, 2004 (118 Stat. 2745; 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.); and
(F) Implicit bias and culturally responsive corrective action techniques;
(3) Opportunities for local education agencies and schools to share promising practices regarding the topics in paragraph (2) of this subsection; and
(4) Technical assistance and supportive services to assist local education agencies and schools, as needed and in accordance with policies OSSE adopts, in reducing the use of exclusion by addressing the causes of student misconduct and the development and revision of disciplinary plans.
(b) The OSSE shall collaborate with other government agencies, local education agencies and schools, and postsecondary educational institutions to facilitate the provision of postsecondary degree or certificate programs covering the topics described in subsection (a)(2) of this section, including the identification or creation of a trauma-informed educator certificate program.
(c) For the purpose of providing local education agencies and schools the services set forth in subsection (a) of this section, the OSSE may:
(1) Award a contract or grant to one or more nonprofit organizations;
(2) Award contracts or competitive or formula grants to local education agencies, schools, or partnerships developed among schools or with nonprofit organizations;
(3) Establish a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Behavioral Health or other District agency; or
(4) Any combination of paragraphs (1) through (3) of this subsection.
(c-1) Beginning October 1, 2019, and consistent with the recommendations in the Report of the Task Force on School Mental Health submitted March 26, 2018, the Department of Behavioral Health shall provide local education agencies and schools with non-instructional personnel who have specialized expertise in behavioral health and trauma-informed educational settings to provide local education agencies and schools with broader mental health services, including reducing the use of exclusion by addressing the causes of student misconduct and being available for consultation regarding the development and revision of disciplinary plans.
(d) Within 2 years after August 25, 2018, and every 5 years thereafter, the OSSE shall submit to the Mayor and the Council an evaluative report on local education agency and school implementation of practices to promote school safety and reduce the use of exclusion, which shall:
(1) Be based upon rigorous research techniques, including quantitative and qualitative methods;
(2) Draw on the information maintained and reported pursuant to § 38-236.09, as well as other sources, with a particular focus on:
(A) Ensuring the fidelity of data reporting;
(B) Unanticipated consequences of the disciplinary policies and practices adopted pursuant to this part;
(C) Barriers schools face in implementing the policies and practices required pursuant to this part; and
(D) Effective approaches utilized by schools to avoid reliance on exclusion and reduce disparities in its use;
(3) Provide specific recommendations for further action by the Council, executive branch, and schools; and
(4) Provide suggestions for further research.
Bullying has become a significant issue with young people nationwide. It affects students at every level, from elementary to high school. To proactively address the issue of bullying the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) has created a Bullying Prevention Policy. The policy clearly outlines, the definition of bullying and the steps required by schools to address it.
The definition for bullying in DCPS is:
“Bullying,” means any severe, pervasive, or persistent act or conduct, whether physical, electronic, or verbal that:
- May be based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, intellectual ability, familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, disability, source of income, status as a victim of an intrafamily offense, place of residence or business, or any other distinguishing characteristic, or on a youth’s association with a person, or group with any person, with one or more of the actual or perceived foregoing characteristics; and
- Shall be reasonably predicted to:
- Place a student in reasonable fear of physical harm to his or her person or property;
- Cause a substantial detrimental effect on the student’s physical or mental health;
- Substantially interfere with the student’s academic performance or attendance; or
- Substantially interfere with the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from school activities or services; or
- Materially and disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.
Bullying also occurs when a student or group of students organize a campaign against another student or when a student or group of students maliciously spread rumors about another student.
DCPS is committed to making every school a safe and welcome space for your child. Families are critical players in these efforts.
One of the most proactive measures families can take to shield their children from bullying is to talk to them early and openly about what it means to bully or to be bullied. Doing so not only ensures open lines of communication, but also reinforces the importance of speaking up about problems at school.
If a parent suspects their child may be experiencing bullying at school, they should ask about it explicitly. Make sure to tell your child that you are there to help and you believe what he or she has to say.
If you think your child is bullying others, it is important to discuss the behavior and make it clear that bullying is taken very seriously. At the same time, you may want to work with your child to understand some of the reasons behind the bullying.
If you witness cyber-bullying (use of the Internet and related technologies to bully) that includes threats of violence, child pornography or sexually explicit materials, and stalking or hate crimes, you should consider reporting the incident to law enforcement. Cyber-bullying also can create classroom disruptions and lead to in-person bullying
Who does this protect? Students, minorities
Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? No
Ensure that all District of Columbia public schools and District of Columbia public charter schools make available to the Institute of Education Sciences of the Department of Education all of the information the Institute requires to carry out the assessments and perform the evaluations required under § 38-1853.09(a).
(2) Agreement with the Secretary. — Enter into the agreement described in § 38-1853.09(a)(1)(B) to monitor and evaluate the use of funds authorized and appropriated for the District of Columbia public schools and the District of Columbia public charter schools under this chapter.
(3) Submission of report. — Not later than 6 months after the first appropriation of funds under § 38-1853.14, and each succeeding year thereafter, submit to the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate, information on—
(A) how the funds authorized and appropriated under this chapter for the District of Columbia public schools and the District of Columbia public charter schools were used in the preceding school year; and
(B) how such funds are contributing to student achievement.
(b) Specific Rules Regarding Funds Provided For Support Of Public Charter Schools.— The following rules shall apply with respect to the funds provided under this division for the support of District of Columbia public charter schools:
(1) The Secretary may direct the funds provided for any fiscal year, or any portion thereof, to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education of the District of Columbia.
(2) The Office of the State Superintendent of Education of the District of Columbia may transfer the funds to subgrantees that are—
(A) specific District of Columbia public charter schools or networks of such schools; or
(B) District of Columbia-based nonprofit organizations with experience in successfully providing support or assistance to District of Columbia public charter schools or networks of such schools.
Who does this protect? Students, Staff
Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? No
We set high standards for our students. We expect them to master core materials at each grade level. However, we do not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to education. To make success possible for every student, we provide the support they need.
Take a look at the number of items in this topic, and you’ll get a sense of the depth and variety of services DCPS offers to help students.
This continuum of resources—from special education, to innovative school models, to alternative educational settings—is designed to make sure that every single student in DCPS gets the individualized support she or he needs.
“Inside of general education” means that the specialized instruction and related services for students with disabilities will be served while they are with their peers without disabilities in the general classroom. DCPS believes that all students will benefit from including students with disabilities in a general education setting to the greatest extent possible.
Our goal is to help all students develop the skills they need to eventually learn in a general education classroom with their peers without disabilities. The goal of inclusion is to provide students with high-quality instruction that is aligned to grade-level expectations and gives them the opportunity to succeed in all areas. One important way inclusion happens is when a student’s special education needs are met in the general education classroom.
“Outside of general education” refers to all specialized instruction and services that are provided to a class or grouping made up entirely of students with disabilities. Students with less than 20 hours of specialized instruction outside of general education in their IEPs generally receive services in a Learning Lab, also referred to as a resource room or pull-out services. A Learning Lab is a classroom that is separate from the general education classroom where students with disabilities are given direct, specialized instruction and academic assistance. Students in this setting spend part of their time in the Learning Lab and part of their time in the general education setting with modifications and/or accommodations.
DCPS’s self-contained, districtwide classrooms provide specialized supports to students with 20 or more hours of specialized instruction outside of general education in their IEP. Our self-contained classrooms are designed to give more support to students with disabilities who have a high level of need.
Behavior Learning Supports (BLS) Program
The Behavior Learning Support (BLS) program is a non-categorical program designed to meet the complex learning needs of students who have been diagnosed with a specific learning disability (SLD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with a cognitive function range of 60 to 80, other health impairments (OHI) that require intensive specialized instruction. The program also supports students with emotional disturbance (ED) or who have moderate behavioral challenges that impede learning. Additionally, program supports include Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBAs) and the implementation of Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs) which serve to regulate behaviors identified on the FBA.
The BLS program instructional model follows the DCPS (District of Columbia Public Schools) Scope and Sequence for all subjects. Instruction is aligned to Common Core State Standards and scaffolded to meet individual student learning needs with accommodation provided to ensure access to the general education curriculum. Students in the BLS program have self-contained IEPs (Individualized Education Plans) (20+ hours of specialized instruction outside of general education). Students in the BLS program graduate with a High School Diploma.
Behavior and Education Support (BES) Program
The Behavior and Education Support (BES) program is designed to meet the individual needs of students with moderate to severe emotional and behavioral disorders. Students in the BES program exhibit behaviors that significantly interfere with learning and require intensive behavioral support and interventions. Program supports include Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBAs) and the implementation of Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs) which serve to regulate extreme behaviors.
Instruction in the BES program follows the common core aligned DCPS general education curriculum with accommodations. DCPS Special education teachers in the BES program provide differentiated lessons and ensure that each student has access to individual accommodations and adapted text, as appropriate. Additionally, BES students take Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses to prepare for college and careers in competitive fields.
Students in the BES program graduate with a High School Diploma.
Communication and Education Support (CES) Program
The Communication and Education Supports (CES) program is designed to meet the individual learning and behavioral needs of students with significant communication delays, and considerable to significant delays in all developmental areas. Students placed in the CES program receive communication development support, social-emotional skill development, adaptive and independence skills, and academic support. The CES program integrates an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) instructional framework that includes discrete trial instruction, natural environment training, prompting and fading, and reinforcement.
The CES program primarily serves students whose intellectual functioning scaled score ranges from an upper limit of approximately 59 to 20. The disability classification of students in the CES program ranges from autism spectrum disorders, severe to profound intellectual disabilities, and developmental delays. The academic, social, and adaptive needs of these students cannot be addressed in general education setting or in self-contained programs that serve students with mild to moderate disabilities.
Students in the CES program graduate with a High School Achievement Certificate (HSAC).
Early Learning Supports (ELS) Program
The Early Learning Support (ELS) program is designed to meet the individual learning and behavioral needs of students with developmental delays, mild to moderate behavioral issues, and mild communication delays. Students in the ELS program require a range of related services, such as speech and language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and social emotional supports. The ELS program primarily serves students whose intellectual functioning scaled score ranges from an upper limit of approximately 75 to 35.
Independence and Learning Support (ILS) Program
The Independence and Learning Support (ILS) program is designed to meet the individual learning and adaptive functioning needs of students with intellectual disabilities. Students placed in the ILS program receive modified instruction in literacy and numeracy, adaptive and daily living skills, social emotional development. Most students require a range of related services, such as speech and language therapy, assistive technology, adaptive physical education, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and transportation. Students with complex medical needs and severe to profound intellectual disabilities may be considered for River Terrace Education Campus separate day school which serves students beginning in 3rd grade to Age 22.
The ILS program primarily serves students whose intellectual functioning scaled score ranges from an upper limit of approximately 55 to 20. The disability classification of students in the ILS program ranges from moderate to severe intellectual disabilities, and mild to moderate autism spectrum disorders. The academic, social, and adaptive needs of these students cannot be addressed in the general education setting or in self-contained programs that serve students with learning and emotional disabilities.
Students in the ILS program graduate with a High School Achievement Certificate (HSAC).
Who does this protect? Students, students with disabilities
Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes
There is currently no policy surrounding connectedness and engagement in Washington D.C . For more information on school climate, please visit us at Services – National School
Who does this protect? Family, Student
Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes
(a) Within 365 days of September 14, 2012, in coordination with the task force established pursuant to § 2-1535.02, each agency, educational institution, and grantee shall adopt a bullying prevention policy to be enforced:
(1) On its property, including electronic communication on, or with, its property;
(2) At sponsored functions;
(3) On its transportation, or transportation sponsored by it; and
(4) Through electronic communication to the extent that it is directed at a youth and it substantially interferes with the youth’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by the agency, education institution, or grantee.
(b) Each agency, educational institution, and grantee shall control the content of its policy; provided, that each policy includes:
(1) The definition of bullying set forth in § 2-1535.01(2);
(2) A statement prohibiting bullying;
(3) A statement that the policy applies to participation in functions sponsored by the agency, educational institution, or grantee;
(4) The expected code of conduct;
(5) A list of the consequences that can result from an identified incident of bullying, which are designed to;
(A) Appropriately correct the bullying behavior;
(B) Prevent another occurrence of bullying or retaliation;
(C) Protect the target of the bullying;
(D) Be flexible so that in application they can be unique to the individual incident and varied in method and severity based on the:
(i) Nature of the incident;
(ii) Developmental age of the person bullying; and
(iii) Any history of problem behavior from the person bullying;
(6) A procedure for reporting bullying or retaliation for reporting an act of bullying, including for reporting bullying anonymously; provided, that no formal response shall be taken solely on the basis of an anonymous report;
(7) A procedure for prompt investigation of reports of violations of its policy and of complaints of bullying or retaliation, including the name and contact information of the person responsible for investigating reports;
(8) An appeal process, in accordance with § 2-1535.04, for a person accused of bullying or a person who is the target of bullying who is not satisfied with the outcome of the initial investigation; and
(9) A statement that prohibits retaliation against any person who reports bullying, including the possible consequences for a person who engages in retaliatory behavior.
(c) Within 365 days of September 14, 2012, each agency, educational institution, and grantee shall submit a copy of its adopted policy to the task force, pursuant to § 2-1535.02(c)(5).
(d) The requirements of this subchapter and any policy adopted pursuant to this subchapter shall be deemed to constitute health and safety requirements for educational institutions.
(e) Information on the bullying prevention policy shall be incorporated into new employee training.
(f) Each agency, educational institution, and grantee shall develop a plan for how the policy is to be publicized, including the plan for:
(1) Discussing its bullying policy with youth; and
(2) Publicizing that the policy applies to participation in functions sponsored by an agency, educational institution, or grantee.
Who does this protect? Students, staff
Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? No
There is currently no policy surrounding Professional Relationships in Washington D.C. For more information on school climate please visit us at Services – National School