Behavioral Expectations and Guidance During Blended Learning

Citywide Behavioral Expectations to Support Student Learning

The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) is committed to ensuring that schools are safe, secure, and orderly environments in which teaching and learning take place each day. A safe, secure, and supportive school depends upon the efforts of all members of the school community—teachers, students, administrators, parents, counselors, social workers, safety personnel, related service providers, cafeteria, custodial, and bus staff—to treat one another with mutual respect.

Standards of Behavior

All members of the school community—students, staff, and parents—must know and understand the standards of behavior to which all students are expected to live up to, as well as the appropriate responses, if these standards are not met. The Citywide Behavioral Expectations to Support Student Learning (including the Discipline Code) provide descriptions of conduct that meet the standards of behavior expected of NYC students, and it also outlines conduct that does not meet these standards. It includes ranges of supports and interventions to promote positive behavior and permissible disciplinary responses that schools may use to address misconduct. These Citywide Behavioral Expectations apply to all students in NYCDOE schools, including remote and blended learning. This document includes the K–12 Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, which promotes responsible student behavior and an atmosphere of dignity and respect by establishing guidelines to help students strive to become productive citizens in a diverse society.

During blended learning, procedures for investigations of student misconduct, teacher removals and principal’s and superintendent’s suspensions will generally remain the same.

Following existing procedures, teacher removals and student suspensions must be served over consecutive school days, regardless of whether those days are remote or in person.

Please note that the Discipline Code does not apply to students in 3-K or pre-K. Students in 3-K and pre-K may not be expelled or suspended. In addition, 3-K and pre-K students may not be sent home early as a form of punishment of as a strategy to manage disruptive behavior in the classroom. Families can refer to the DOE’s “Statement on Positive Behavior Guidance” for 3-K and pre-K students referenced in the Discipline Code.

Option for Virtual Conferences and Hearings

Principal’s Suspension Conference

During blended learning and due to COVID-19 health guidance to socially distance, principal’s suspension conferences should be conducted remotely through any secure video conference platform approved by the NYCDOE for use during remote learning, unless the parent requests that it be held in person. (If a school receives a request from a parent to meet in person for a principal’s suspension conference, the school will consult with the borough director of suspension to consider the request, current health guidelines, and any extenuating circumstances in order to respond to the request.) Parents should contact their school for more information.

Superintendent’s Suspension Hearing

Superintendent’s suspension hearings will be conducted remotely through a secure video conference platform approved by the NYCDOE for use during remote learning, unless the parent requests that it be held in person. Whether a parent opts for an in-person suspension hearing at the school’s respective borough Student Suspension Hearing Office or if the hearing will take place virtually, the Student Suspension Hearing Office will continue to conduct the suspension hearing—and will provide clear guidance, protocols, and scheduling in advance of the hearing.

Alternative Instruction Required for Removals and Suspensions

Regardless of whether a student receives instruction remotely or in person, students must be provided with alternative instruction throughout the period of a removal or suspension, including any time in which they are removed prior to a principal’s suspension conference or superintendent’s suspension hearing.

Alternative instruction must be substantially equivalent to the student’s regular classroom program. It must include classwork and homework assignments, provide the student with an opportunity to continue to earn academic credit, be grade appropriate, and otherwise appropriate to the individual needs of the student. There should be time allotted for individual or group counseling if deemed appropriate.

Alternative instruction for students serving superintendent's suspensions will be provided by an alternative learning site in collaboration with the home school. Instruction will be provided in person and/or remotely, as applicable. Parents will be provided with information about the alternative instruction program and whom to contact with questions.

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