The purpose of this procedure is to set out expectations for student behavior and to outline the process by which students are suspended from school attendance, as well as the conditions and process for re- admittance, or for refusal to continue to offer an educational program to a student.
This procedure applies in all cases in which a student is prohibited from attendance at school for violating the Student Code of Conduct (Board Policy 15) and/or the School Rules/School Code of Conduct. The basis for suspension, re-admittance or refusal to continue to offer an educational program to students will be conducted in accordance with Sections 6, 26 and 85 of the School Act, the applicable portions of which are quoted in this procedure.
The legislative authority for and procedures pertaining to this procedure are guided by the School Act, Section 85 (2) that authorizes a board:
(a) to determine local policy for the effective and efficient operation of schools in the School District;
(b) to subject to the orders of the minister, approve educational resource materials and other supplies and services for use by students;
(c) to make rules
- (i) establishing a code of conduct for students attending educational programs operated by or on behalf of the board,
- (ii) respecting suspension of students and the provision of educational programs for suspended students,
- (iii) respecting attendance of students in educational programs provided by the board, . . .
(d) to suspend students, in accordance with the rules under paragraph (c) (ii), so long as the board continues to make available to those students an educational program; . . . .
(3) Despite any other provision of this Act, a board may refuse to offer an educational program to a student 16 years of age or older if that student
- (a) has refused to comply with the code of conduct, other rules and policies referred to in section 6, or
- (b) has failed to apply himself or herself to his or her studies,
- (c) poses a safety threat within the School District and/or the community.
Under the authority of the School Act, Board Policy 15 – Student Code of Conduct and this administrative procedure, principals are required to establish a school-based code of conduct that stipulates which student behaviours are to be handled by teaching and support staff, and which student behaviours must be reported to the principal.
2.1 When there is a concern that a student is violating the Student Code of Conduct and/or established School Rules/School Code of Conduct, such that suspension is a likely consequence, the school's principal or vice-principal will:
• Make personal contact with the parent(s)/guardian(s) through a telephone call and/or a meeting.
2.2 This does not preclude the immediate suspension of a student when a serious breach of the Code of Conduct or School Rules/School Code of Conduct warrants this action. When this type of suspension occurs, contact with the parent(s)/guardian(s) will be made as soon as possible and a letter of suspension will follow.
2.3 A principal/vice-principal can suspend a student from attendance at a school for violation of the Student Code of Conduct, as established by the School District and/or the School Rules/School Code of Conduct, as established by the school. All suspensions greater than five (5) days will be reported to the Superintendent of Schools or designate.
2.4 Notification to Parent(s)/Guardian(s)
- 2.4.1 It will be the responsibility of the suspending principal/vice-principal to contact the parent(s)/guardian(s), as soon as possible, verbally and later in writing, of a suspension. When a parent(s)/guardian(s) is not immediately available, reasonable effort must be made to inform the parent(s)/guardian(s) as soon as possible. If the parent(s)/guardian(s) or emergency contact person cannot be contacted, the student will be kept at school until the end of the regular school day.
3. Provisions of an Educational Program during Suspension
3.1 The school will be responsible for ensuring that the student will continue to receive an educational program. During a suspension the school will inform the parents(s)/guardian(s):
• that a home-study package will be arranged by the school.
• when the home-study package is ready and arrangements will be made for the parent(s)/guardian(s) to pick up the package.
• of the procedure for the completed work to be brought to the school for marking and for new work to be picked up.
4. Types of Suspensions
4.1 Level 1 - Up to 5 days
- 4.1.1 A Level 1 suspension is assigned by a principal/vice-principal as a consequence for any type of misconduct. The suspension may be served in-school or out of school (at home). The suspension is resolved by the parent(s)/ guardian(s), student and administrator.
4.2 Level 2 - Up to 5 Days
- 4.2.1 A Level 2 suspension is assigned by a principal/vice-principal as a consequence for repeated misconduct or for a serious incident. (e.g. fighting, drugs, alcohol, etc.). The student is suspended out of school with the loss of all privileges. The suspension is resolved at a formal procedure called an Internal Suspension Review (In-House Board of Review) with the parent(s)/guardian(s), student, principal/vice-principal, and counselor/ teacher (when appropriate). (Refer to Appendix AP 333-7 for additional information.)
4.3 Level 3 - 6 Days or More
- 4.3.1 A Level 3 suspension is assigned by a principal/vice-principal as a consequence of serious misconduct (e.g. drug dealing, weapons, bomb threats, etc.) which threatens the safety and security of the school and those within it, or assigned when a previous suspension(s) has not changed the student’s behaviour pattern over time. The suspension is resolved at a formal District Board of Review, normally held at the school district office and is convened by a representative of the Board of Education, normally an Assistant Superintendent or designate, and is attended by parent(s)/guardian(s), student(s) and an advocate or other person(s) as deemed appropriate.
5. District Board of Review
5.1 The Board of Review hearing is mandatory for any student suspended from school for six (6) days or more.
5.2 The Board of Review is a decision-making body, empowered by the Board of Education. The Board of Review decides:
- 5.2.1 the date of return to school by a student,
- 5.2.2 the school to be attended, and
- 5.2.3 the conditions under which the return will take place.
Note: When students are under sixteen (16) years of age, other arrangements will be made for them to continue their education.
The Board of Review may decide to refuse to continue an educational program for students who are 16 years of age and older. This decision is subject to appeal under section 11 of the School Act
5.3 Following the Board of Review hearing, its Chair will inform the school and parent(s)/guardian(s) in writing, of the final decision. The letter will include the student’s date of return to school, the school to be attended, the conditions under which the student will return to school or other arrangements for a student under sixteen (16) years of age to continue his/her education.
5.4 The parent(s)/guardian(s) will be informed of their right to appeal the decision of the District Board of Review to the Board of Education under Abbotsford School District Appeal Procedure Bylaw No. 18, 2008. (Refer to Board Policy 14 ‘Appeals Process’ for further information)
6.1 When appropriate, there will be a re-entry meeting held at the school to discuss the student's future educational plans. In preparation for this meeting the student will be required to submit a letter indicating a commitment to comply with the Student Code of Conduct/School Rules/School Code of Conduct, admission of wrong-doing, appropriate apology and statement of short- and long-range plans, as appropriate. This letter must be acceptable to the school principal/vice-principal.
6.2 When it is deemed that a change of school would be in the best interest of the student, it will be the responsibility of the appropriate Assistant Superintendent or designate to arrange the transfer.
7. Refusal to Continue to Offer an Educational Program
7.1 The Board delegates authority to the Superintendent or designate under Section 85 (3) of the School Act to decide to refuse to continue to offer an educational program to a student 16 years of age or older.
8. District Board of Review Process
8.1 The District Board of Review will be held as expeditiously as possible following a suspension.
8.2 The District Board of Review will be chaired by an Assistant Superintendent or designate.
8.3 The parent(s)/guardian(s) will be informed of the purpose of the Board of Review hearing and will be given reasonable notice of the date and time of the Board of Review hearing. The parent(s)/guardian(s) will be expected to attend the Board of Review hearing, which will usually be held at the School Board Office. The suspended student will also be expected to attend the District Board of Review hearing.
9. Reconsideration of a Suspension
9.1 A reconsideration of a suspension of up to five school days should first be made to the principal of the school. If the reconsideration is not satisfactorily resolved, please refer to Board Policy 14, Appeals Process, for further information.
10. Appeal of a Board of Review Decision
10.1 A decision of the Board of Review can be appealed in accordance with the provisions of the Abbotsford School District Appeal Procedure Bylaw No. 18, 2008 (Board Policy 14).
10.2 During the appeal process the student will not return to the school until the appeal has been determined by the Board of Education, except where there has been a term-limited suspension, in which case the student will return to school at the conclusion of the term of suspension.
10.3 During the appeal process, the student will be able to continue his/her studies. In such cases, the school will inform the parents(s)/guardians(s):
- 9.3.1 that a home-study package will be arranged by the school.
- 9.3.2 when the home-study package is ready and arrangements will be made for the parent/guardian to pick up the package.
- 9.3.3 of the procedure for the completed work to be brought to the school for marking and for new work to be picked up.
- Board Policy 15 ‘Student Code of Conduct’
- Board Policy 14 ‘Appeals Process’
- Principal’s Guide to Student Suspensions
(Last Revised: June 2022)