code of conduct and student handbook, the code also provides explanatory boxes at the beginning
of each section.
111 Excerpts from the draft code are provided in Appendices A and B, which are
drawn from the “Prevention, Intervention and Disciplinary Responses” section of the model code
described above. Appendix A provides a suggested approach to the investigative process of a
disciplinary matter that emphasizes the need to thoroughly consider intervention and referral
options prior to referral for disciplinary action. Appendix B provides a disciplinary checklist
intended to guide administrator decision-making following an incident that might involve
disciplinary action, as well as the explanatory box that precedes the model language.
D. Administrators’ Toolkit
In addition to providing schools and districts with the policy-level tools to implement a
prevention-oriented approach to school discipline, TSDC aims to equip administrators with tools
and resources to be able to effectively implement these approaches. As part of the professional
development training described below, TSDC intends to provide a “toolkit” for school
administrators to take back to their schools in their problem solving and action planning efforts.
The toolkit will contain contemporary articles and resources that will facilitate school
administrators and their designees in their efforts to stay current and compliant with recommended
and mandated discipline reforms at the local, state and national level. As part of the toolkit, the
group is working on developing an overview document for each of the identified areas below that
will provide: (1) background to the research on the topic at issue; (2) suggested strategies and
approaches that represent research-based best practices; and (3) additional resources and tools. +
Academic and Behavioral Needs Framework: The district’s responses to discipline should
be guided by Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). MTSS is a systematic problem-solving
process that schools use to determine how to support students’ academic, behavioral and social-emotional needs along a tiered continuum.
112 Tier 1 of the continuum is focused on evidence-based
instruction and practices at the universal level, meaning that they are aimed at all students; tier 2
of the continuum is aimed at providing, as necessary, additional supplemental instruction and
intervention at the secondary level, meaning for those students who need more support; and tier 3
describes interventions targeted toward the tertiary level, which refers to the limited subset of
students with the most intensive needs.
113 Districts and schools use data on student outcomes to
evaluate the results of the approach and students’ needs, and move students across tiers of support
based on how they are doing and whether less or more support is needed.
By aligning their disciplinary approach with MTSS, districts and schools should integrate
their academic, behavioral and social-emotional services along a continuum to support students
who may end up in the discipline office and those who are at risk for suspension and expulsion
(see Appendix C for examples). This may include a threat assessment process,
115 and collaboration
with school personnel who have behavioral, academic and mental health expertise (e.g., school
social worker, school psychologist, or school counselor) as part of a schoolwide behavior support
111 Id. at Table of Contents.
112 MATTHEW BURNS & KIMBERLY GIBBONS, IMPLEMENTING RESPONSE-TO-INTERVENTION IN ELEMENTARY AND
SECONDARY SCHOOLS: PROCEDURES TO ASSURE SCIENTIFIC-BASED PRACTICE 138 (2d ed. 2012).
114 RACHEL BROWN ET AL., ACADEMIC ASSESSMENT AND INTERVENTION: RESPONSIVE ASSESSMENT AND
INSTRUCTION PRACTICES 161-78 (Steven G. Little & Angeleque Akin-Little eds., 2014).
115 See Dewey Cornell et al., A Retrospective Study of School Safety Conditions in High Schools Using the Virginia
Threat Assessment Guidelines Versus Alternative Approaches, 24 SCH. PSYCHOL. QUARTERLY 119–29 (2009).