Ida B. Wells Community
and Parents Rights
semper novi quid ex Africa!
"Everything new always comes out of Africa!" — Pliny
TABLE OF CONTENTS
This Statement of Students and Parents Rights and Responsibilities was prepared as a Handbook, a summary and reference guide to assist students, parents and administrators in following the Ida B. Wells Community Academy's academic and student behavior regulations. The Statement should always be referred to should you as parent or student have any questions. This Statement contains a digest of the rules of the Academy's learning community and presents the Standards of Behavior students, faculty, staff, administrators, and others are expected to follow.
PARENT VISITATION RULE: All parent visitors must first report to the Learning Center Office and sign the Visitor's Guestbook. This rule also applies to parents who come to the Learning Center to remove a child before school is dismissed for the day.
Section I: Standards of Behavior
To be a good student (and faculty member) at the Ida B. Wells Community Academy follows, among other things, a basic three-part set of rules.
"Start of the Learning Day" Program
A. At the beginning of each learning day, Students and Faculty are required to participate in
1. singing the African American National Anthem, "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing,"
2. participating in the daily ritual of "Paying Tribute to the Ancestors,"
3. reciting the Academy Pledge, and
4. paying strict attention to "The Learning Day Message" delivered by Faculty and/or Staff
B. Students are required to practice at the Academy, at home, at work and at play the values contained in . . .
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves instead of being defined, named, created for and spoken for by others.
To build and maintain our community together and make our sister's and brother's problems our problems and to solve them together.
To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
To make our collective vocation the building and developing our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial then we inherited it.
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Section II: Roles and Responsibilities of Teachers and Students
THE MWALIMU (TEACHER) — MWANAFUNZI (STUDENT) relationship is of major importance and must be understood and adhered to if an atmosphere of learning, discipline, and respect is to be created. In the final analysis, we are all students, but some of us have been students longer and have acquired a body of knowledge that must be passed on to those who are just entering formal life-studies. We call the teacher MWALIMU and the student being introduced to knowledge, we refer to as MWANAFUNZI. No institutions can advance intellectually, culturally, or politically, unless there are dedicated and sincere WALIMU with an equally committed WANAFUNZI. The Mwalimu and the Mwanafunzi are equally responsible to each other and must develop an unbreakable trust between themselves.The following points should be observed by all WALIMU (Teachers).
1. Be the example of what you teach. Your personal contradictions can wipe out years of hard work. You must be direction for the young, be what you teach, exemplifying The Seven Principles — NGUZO SABA.
2. Always impart knowledge with an eye on reality. Pull your examples from the real world that we are involved in daily. High sounding philosophy belongs in philosophy classes that divorce themselves from life. Knowledge without understanding and practical application is like owning land without being able to cultivate it.
3. Never tire of teaching. An instructor who believes in what he is teaching can teach anywhere and at anytime and is always prepared to teach; his lifestyle should be a lesson. Concentrate on the four ingredients for an African reality: to work, to study, to create, and to build.
4. The developing of the moral, spiritual, and physical well-being of the students is of the uppermost imperative. A student should never be held back — in fact, a teacher should be eager for his student to surpass him; this is a reward for doing his job well.
5. In order to develop the communal spirit to the highest, the instructor must be conscious of and concerned about the student' s well being outside the classroom. Make sure that the student has all basic needs in order to develop his mind, body, and spirit .
6. The student should be encouraged to investigate all areas of life-studies. The student should be given equal time and attention in accordance with his personal ability. Push the complimentary and cooperative aspects of learning and encourage involvement with man and nature, and independent study. Never betray a trust, and discipline should be strict, quick, and fair .
7. All teaching should be based upon tradition and reason, and be taught theoretically and scientifically, the emphasis always on Afrikan man in relation to his community — community-centered rather than man-centered; emphasizing the responsibility of the students to their community, organization, and family; always communal ism over commercialism.
The following points should be observed by all WANAFUNZI ( Students ):
1. The student is the nation becoming. The good student never tires of learning. The secret of knowledge is that the good students can learn anything, anyplace, and any time.
2. The good student is committed — committed to the institution/organization, committed to his people, and committed to the acquisition of knowledge that will aid his people — therefore aiding himself.
3. The good student lives the Black Value System — Nguzo Saba — and is the example for the younger brothers and sisters .
4. The good student knows that to move from black purpose to Afrikan Reality four ingredients are needed: Work, Study, Creativity, and Building.
5. Remember that a student' s conduct outside the organization reflects the organization. To do in justice one day out of 365 days could wipe out the whole year' s work.
6. The spirit of sharing and learning; must be with the student at all times. But if he does not know any thing — there will be nothing for him to share.
7. The student must develop good study habits, always show a willingness to learn, and always be respectful to the instructor. Address all male instructors with [Mr. or Doctor] and all female instructors with [Mrs., Ms. or Doctor.]
8. Knowledge without understanding and practical application is useless — if you do not understand something ask questions. One who continually asks questions does not show stupidity or ignorance — he shows a thirst for knowledge. One who nits and absorbs everything without question is — like a sponge — with his head is full of water. Challenge your instructors to give you all the knowledge they have.
1. Never be overawed by authority. Not at any time whatever, nor for any reason whatsoever, can any one with safety or profit permit his faculty-of-thought to take a "sabbatical," least of all when that individual's mind is exposed to the thoughts of other people.
2. Be open to conviction, but refuse to be convinced until conviction becomes a necessity. In other words, do not imprison your mind in the padded cell of the comfortable rut of your own preferred beliefs, prejudices, biases, or egocentricity.
3. Read little, think deeply — and much. Avoid acquiring the grasshopper mind. Books are highly suggestive, therefore, choose your authors with care. Take time to think through the full implications and connotations of what you read, testing its validity from as many angles as you can. Even nourishing food leads to indigestion if swallowed whole. Avoid mental indigestion at all costs. It is not to be cured merely by going to the Drug Store!
4. Seek TRUTH and pursue it, to the extent of remaking your own mind no matter what the cost, should it become necessary. Never forget that the "superstitions" of today were the "truths' of yesterday; the "truths" of today will be the "superstitions" of tomorrow. Do not allow them "permanent residence" in your mind. Seek not mere "knowledge" but UNDERSTANDING. Perchance WISDOM may follow. One thing is certain: Only when the rational mind is stilled can the ears of Understanding open to the voice of Wisdom.
5. If you must lie, lie to others; they will find you out and know you for the fool that you are. But if you lie to yourself, you are a lost fool.
6. Learn to "think beyond the thoughts of men that lean on things they see." Inevitably they become "obsessed by the perceptible to such an extent that, for them, thinking has become synoymous with repeating parrot-fashion the cast-off-thoughts of others, with less intelligence than the (so-called) "dumb" animals. On no account should you visit that Club, much less join it.
7. Make it your golden rule, never to be broken, NOT under any circumstances to consult any author on any subject until you shall first have thought deeply about it — meditative act — and shall have reached some conclusions, no matter how tentative. Remember at all times: NOTHING BELONGS TO YOU EXCEPT YOUR MIND HAS HAD A HAND IN ITS FORMULATION. The moral is obvious: ensure by every means at your disposal, that your mind is actively functioning on oiled wheels, and that it functions as your servant and not your enslaver .8. Heed well the words of Herbert Spencer: "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance: That Principle is contempt prior to investigation."
First drawn up by Chief Fela Sowande at Howard University, 1969, revised at the University of Pittsburgh, 1973, and restructured at Dartmouth College, July 1975.
Fire drills will be held so that students will know the evacuation procedure. When you hear the fire alarm you should immediately walk out of the building according to the route designated in each room. Simply follow the arrows and room numbers. Once outside you are to stay with your group so that the teacher can check the attendance.
If you find that you are having difficulty in any of your subjects, please ask for help from your teacher. See your teacher before class, after classl or during recess. Don't wait too long before seeking help.
In order to cover the subject matter expected of students, it is essential to assign homework in most of your subjects. Check with your teachers for the proper way to study their subjects. Learning to study will be the key to your success.
If a student, (grade 6 - 8), has an average of 85 or higher with no grade lower than a 77, his/her name is published on the Honor Roll. This list is posted after each nine-week ranking period.
Lockers may be assigned to each student at the beginning of the academic year. These lockers remain the property of the Academy. For good reason Academy officials have the right to inspect any or all lockers. If a student wishes to provide his/her own padlock, it is required that a duplicate key or the combination be on file with the homeroom teacher.
A lost and found box is located in the front entrance. Students and parents are encouraged to check the box for lost items.
When a student is absent, all work including tests and homework assignments must be made up on the student's own time. The normal time allotted for make-up is one day for each day absent. However, extenuating circumstances may require the teacher or administrator to grant a longer time period to complete make-up work.
Any student receiving an incomplete on his/her rank card will have one week (7 days) after the day rank cards are issued to complete assigned work. However, extenuating circumstances may require the teacher or administrator to grant a longer time period to complete make- up work. (One week equals 7 calendar days.)
All students are personally responsible for their own possessions and belongings. Students are encouraged to mark all clothing (especially physical education material and equipment). Please do not leave any of your things lying around. Items such as radios, boom boxes, walk-man, radio controlled cars, roller blades, and skate boards should not be brought to the Academy.
Students should not plan celebrations or parties without permission from the teacher and principal.
Dances may be held periodically during the academic year. These dances will be sponsored by the student council or another Academy organization, after receiving approval from the principal. Dances may be open to students of grades 6 through 8, or only 7 and 8, depending on the theme, and generally run from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Please listen to local television and radio stations.
The Academy may provide upon parental request insurance forms from a private insurer for coverage at a reasonable cost. Forms may be distributed at Academy, but all premiums and claims are handled directly by the insurance carrier and the parent.
Breafasts and lunches are available to all student for free, at a reduced price or at the full price. These prices are determined by family income. Collection of breakfast and noon lunch money will be each morning in the cafeteria (Fellowship Hall) prior to being served. Money brought in to pay for breakfast and/or lunch should be direction directly to the Academy official in charge. All lunches and breakfasts MUST be paid in advance of being served.
Forms regarding the Academy's brealfast and lunch program are distributed by the office. Breakfast is available for all students.
Students are expected to have their own pens, notebooks, and paper for note taking. Student possessions should be marked with their name.
The Student Council will be organized to promote better pupil to teacher and pupil to pupil relations. Members of the student council are to work on common concerns and various Academy projects.
Students are allowed to bring visitors only if they have made arrangements with their teacher(s) and the principal at least one day in advance. Please do not bring a visitor to the Academy without prior approval.
Students are expected to arrive at class on time. Each teacher is responsible for insuring that students are prompt. If another teacher has detained a student, the student should get a pass from him or her.
Late for the Start of the Learning Day
A parent bringing his or her child to the Learning Center late for class (after 8:45 AM) should bring the child to the office where the child will be marked tardy and issued a pass to enter class.
Illness or Injury while at the Academy
A student who is ill or injured should immediately report to a teacher or other adult who will take appropriate action. Every effort will be made to contact the parent or guardian but the Academy will secure emergency treatment if necessary. It is the parent or guardian's responsibility to pay for any emergency services rendered.
The telephone may be used by students only in case of emergency during the learning day. Students will not be called from class to answer the phone. Messages will be taken by the office and delivered at times that do not interrupt classes.
Elementary counseling and guidance services are available. Counselor-Teachers provide services to all students. Through individual and group activities, students learn to improve their conflict resolution and communication skills, study habits, assess their academic abilities, acquire a better understanding of themselves, and learn better coping skills and problem solving behaviors. Counselor-Teachers are also available as good listeners and play a supportive role to any student with concerns they wish to discuss.
Private conversations with the counselor will be kept confidential. Any student can see a counselor by asking his/her teacher or by making an appointment at the office.
Library books may be taken out on a weekly basis. Students may go to the library with a teacher as part of a class or before the start of classes, during activity periods, or after the end of the learning day, provided they have permission from a teacher.
Students will be required to pay fines for overdue, lost or damaged books.
It is projected that a nurse will be available to help students with health needs Monday through Wednesday from 11:30 AM until 3:30 PM and Thursday and Friday from 10:00 AM until 12:00 Noon. This nurse will be on call during emergencies at other times.
The Academy Student's Bank is designed to provide its students with a financial, economic and business experience at an early age. It is open on Friday afternoons from 12:00 until the Academy closes at 3:00 PM.
Thye Academy stresses also a comprehensive set of behavioral standards which include student rights, responsibilities, Academy rules and community standards. Students should treat others as they want to be treated. Students should be good citizens of the Academy learning community. A good citizen of the Academy community:
Unexcused Absences and Truancy
Disruptive Behavior is Against the Rules: Cooperate with Academy Staff
Disruptive, unacceptable behavior includes:
b. roughhousing, hitting;
c. picking on, harassing, bullying;
d. making threats;
e. throwing objects such as snowballs, rocks, or food;
f. running, pushing, or horseplay in classrooms or halls.
Responsibility: Students and their parents are responsible for giving the Academy their correct name, address and telephone number. If asked, parents and students must tell Academy faculty, staff and administrators who they are.
Student surveys: Teachers or Academy administrators may conduct surveys of students for the purposes of study, the improvement of education, or class assignment. These surveys or questionnaires are governed by the following rules:
a. political affiliations;
b. mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the student or the student's family;
c. sex behavior and attitudes;
d. illegal, antisocial,
e. self-incriminating and demeaning behavior;
f. critical appraisals of other individuals with whom the student has close relationships;
g. relationships that are legally recognized as privileged, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;
h. income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such a program); or private family affairs not a matter of public record or subject to public observation.
a. All instructional materials, including teacher's manuals, film, tapes, or other supplementary materials which will be used in connection with any survey, analysis, or evaluation as part of any applicable program shall be available for inspection by the parents or guardians of the children.
Discrimination is Not Tolerated
Harassment is Not Tolerated
Sexual Harassment is Not Tolerated
a. verbal harassment or abuse;
a. The Academy owns and controls lockers and desks, and other property assigned to students.
b. The Academy may conduct random searches of student lockers or desks to find out if students are following laws and Academy rules.
The Ida B. Wells Community Academy's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities constitutes the Academy's Board of Governors policy on matters pertaining to students' rights and responsibilities. In any case of conflict between this Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and any other Academy policy or procedure, the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities shall take precedence unless specifically limited by such other Board of Governors policy.
1. In the event of a dispute involving a parent and an Academy faculty or staff member, the implementation of a good faith effort to thoroughly resolve the dispute must be initiated by the Principal or the staff member's immediate supervisor. Parents should submit their complaint following the procedures outlined below.
The good faith effort will include problem identification, possible solutions, selection of a resolution, time line for implementation, and follow-up. A written summary of the good faith effort will be included in the faculty or staff member's personnel file and mailed to the parent. A parent's failure to follow the procedures and guidelines stated above will constitute a waiver of the parent's right to grieve.
a. The parent may submit his/her grievance in writing to the Principal of the Academy or to the Chair of the Advisory Board's Grievance Committee within five days of a failed good faith effort to resolve the dispute. The Grievance Committee will consist of no more than four faculty and staff members combined.
b. Within ten working days of receipt of the written complaint, the Grievance Committee shall schedule a hearing at a mutually convenient time and place for discussion of the complaint with all parties involved, but in no event later than 15 days after receipt of a written complaint and after notification to all parties involved. The Grievance Committee members who are interested parties shall excuse themselves from grievance proceedings if such members have a conflict of interest in the subject of proceedings.
c. After both parties have brought their arguments before the Grievance Committee, a decision as established by a majority vote of members of the Grievance Committee hearing the grievance shall be rendered within five working days of the completion of the hearing. Any such proceedings shall be conducted in closed session, unless requested otherwise by the parent. In the event that additional information, investigation, or hearings are necessary after the initial hearing Committee deliberations may be continued and the final decision shall be made within five working days of the last committee hearing, or as soon thereafter as is practicable. All matters concerning the grievance shall be completed as soon as practical.
d. The decision of the Grievance Committee shall be final unless appealed by the aggrieved parent to the Board of Governors, which may review and modify the decision of the Grievance Committee if it finds that the Committee failed to properly follow the grievance process described above, or if the Committee's decision was too harsh or too lenient. A request for an appeal may be submitted to the Chairperson of the Board of Governors within five days of the decision of the Grievance Committee. After receiving an appeal request, the Chairperson shall schedule a meeting to consider such an appeal as soon as practical. Board members who are interested parties, as defined in the Bylaws, shall excuse themselves from reviews of the Grievance Committee's decisions to the extent permitted under law. Any such proceedings shall be conducted in closed session, unless requested otherwise by the parent.
The constitutional rights assured to all citizens of the United States Constitution and the Consitituion of the State of Ohio includes the guarantee that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Students are recognized as "Persons" under these constitutions and a system of constitutionality and legally sound procedures has been developed for the administration of discipline in educational institutions.
1. The hallmark of the exercise of disciplinary authority shall be fairness.
2. Before the imposition of a disciplinary action, a student shall be given an opportunity to contest any alleged facts leading to the proposed disciplinary action and to present his or her version of the facts.
1. A primary responsibility of the Ida B. Wells Community Academy and its professional staff shall be the development of an understanding and appreciation of our representative form of government, the rights and responsibilities of the individual and the legal processes whereby necessary changes are brought about.
2. The Academy is a community and the rules and regulations of the Academy are the laws of that community. All those enjoying the rights of citizenship in the Academy community must also accept the responsibilities of citizenship. Among the responsibilities of Academy citizenship are respecting the laws of the community and the rights of other citizens and contributing to the fulfillment of educational purposes through cooperative conduct.
3. Young people in the United States have the right to receive a free public education, and deprivation of that right may occur only for just cause in accordance with due process of law.
4. Students have the rights of citizenship as defined in the United States Constitution and its amendments; and these rights may not be abridged, obstructed or in other ways altered except in accordance with due process of law. The First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States prohibit states from unduly infringing upon the rights of speech and expression. In the academic setting this restriction on state action limits the manner and extent to which academic institutions may regulate the speech and expression of students. In order to curtail First Amendment rights, academic institution's authorities must show that the failure to do so would create a material and substantial disruption of the learning process and discipline.
5. Administrators and teachers also have rights and duties. The teacher is required by law to maintain a suitable environment for learning, and administrators have the responsibility for maintaining and facilitating the educational program.
6. The principal, or his or her designee, is authorized to recommend expulsion, and to suspend or discipline students for cause. The teacher has the authority to temporarily remove students from a class or discipline students for cause. The following rules, regulations and due process procedures are designed to protect all members of the educational community in the exercise of their rights and duties.
7. Students with disabilities are subject to and shall follow the rules and regulations set forth in this Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and shall be disciplined under these policies. The policies set forth in this Statement of Students and Parents Rights and Responsibilities shall not restrict the rights to which these students are entitled under the disability laws. Discipline under these policies shall not be in violation of the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, or any modifications of the Academy's disciplinary sanctions which are set out in individual IEPs.
8. Jurisdiction: The following rules apply on campus, at Ida B. Wells Community Academy activities on and off campus, on Academy buses and at Academy bus stops. The Ida B. Wells Community Academy jurisdiction also applies to acts which start on the Academy campus and are completed off campus. In addition, criminal acts which occur completely off campus but which have direct and immediate affect either on Ida B. Wells Community Academy decorum or the welfare, safety or morals of students fall under the jurisdiction of the Academy.
The commission of, or participation in, any criminal activity in Academy buildings, on Ida B. Wells Community Academy property, on Academy buses and at Academy bus stops, at Academy activities on and off campus, and acts which occur completely off campus but which have direct and immediate effect either on Academy decorum or the welfare, safety or morals of students is prohibited. Disciplinary action may be taken by the Ida B. Wells Community Academy regardless of whether or not criminal charges or prosecution result.
1. Simple discipline: Any disciplinary action against a student other than suspension or expulsion. No simple disciplinary action shall be taken in such manner as to prevent a student from accomplishing specific academic grade, level, or graduation requirement, provided that credit may not be granted for irregular attendance (refer to ORC 3313.66, 3313.661, and 3313.662). Simple disciplinary actions may include the denial of the privilege to participate in Academy sponsored extracurricular programs, social events and senior graduation ceremony. A student can be subject to such simple disciplinary sanctions in addition to suspension or expulsion. Prior to the imposition of simple disciplinary action, the student will be given written or oral notice of the charges against him or her, and if he/she denies them, an explanation of the evidence the administrator has, and an opportunity to present his or her side of the case will be granted. This explanation and opportunity to present facts may occur immediately after notice of the charges is given to the student.
When simple discipline involves the denial of the privilege to participate in extracurricular programs, social events and senior graduation ceremony: The principal shall endeavor to notify the parent or guardian of the student by telephone of the pending charges against the student prior to imposition of this type of simple disciplinary action. The decision of the principal will be provided in writing to the student and his/her parent/guardian. Simple discipline involving the denial of the privilege to participate in extracurricular programs, including senior graduation ceremony, may be appealed as set forth in Paragraph 5 below.
2. Short-Term Suspensions: Denial, without a formal hearing, of the right of Academy attendance either from a single class or any full schedule of classes for a limited period of time not to exceed five (5) learning days. Short-Term Suspension: A short-term suspension is a suspension ordered for any reason by the Academy's principal where the disciplinary action will not exceed five (5) learning days. Prior to a student being placed on short-term suspension, the student must be given written or oral notice of the charges against him/her, and, if he or she denies them, an explanation of the evidence the administrator has, and an opportunity to present his/her side of the case. This explanation and opportunity to present facts may occur immediately after notice of the charges is given to the student.
Notice to Parent or Guardian: The Academy administrator shall endeavor to notify the parent or guardian of the student of the pending suspension by telephone and in writing. The student and/or his or her parent or guardian shall be provided written and/or oral notice of the suspension prior to the time the suspension is to commence, unless notice is not possible prior to suspension because the student's presence poses an immediate or continuing danger to him/herself or other persons or property, or an ongoing threat of disruption of the academic process.
A student may appeal a short-term suspension under the process set forth in Paragraph 5 below. The short-term suspension will be enforced immediately and the student shall remain away from the Academy unless or until an informal hearing is requested. Upon receipt of a hearing request, the suspension will be delayed and the student shall be allowed back in the Academy pending the informal hearing, except as set forth in Section 5 below. A student on short-term suspension is encouraged to contact his or her teachers regarding daily class reading and assignments. A student will be allowed to complete, for credit, class work and assignments missed during the short-term suspension.
3. Long-term Suspensions: Denial of the right of attendance from any single class or any full schedule of classes for a stated period of time greater than five (5) learning days. The following limitations shall apply to all long-term suspensions:
a. No student shall be suspended from elementary grade levels for more
than forty-five (45) consecutive learning days.
When the principal, the Chair of the Advisory Board, or their designee, recommends long-term suspension, a written notice shall be delivered by mail or in person to the student and his or her parent/guardian. An attempt at telephonic notification will also be made. This notice shall state:
(1) the specific charges against the student; and
For students experiencing disabilities, the written notice shall also include a copy of the Students and Parents' Rights and Responsibilities Handbook and, as soon as possible, a multidisciplinary team meeting will be held to determine if the student's behavior is related to the disability.
Within five (5) learning days of receipt of this notice, the student and/or the student's parent or guardian may request a hearing in writing. If a request for hearing is not received within the five (5) day period, the student and his or her parent or guardian shall have waived his or her right to a hearing. If a hearing is requested, it shall be held as promptly as possible after receipt of the request, pursuant to the procedures set forth in Paragraph 6 below. The long-term suspension will be enforced immediately and the student shall remain away from the Academy unless or until a hearing is requested. The submission of a written request for a hearing shall delay further imposition of any remaining portion of the suspension pending the hearing, except as set forth in Paragraph 6 below.
4. Expulsion: The denial of the right of attendance, either from the Academy or from the Akron Public School District, for an indefinite period of time. No student shall be expelled unless other means of correction have failed or would not be adequate in bringing about proper conduct. In addition, the matter of an expelled student's further education shall be referred to the appropriate instructional division of ODE's Office of School Options.
When the principal, or the Chair of the Advisory Board, recommends expulsion, a written notice shall be delivered by mail or in person to the student and his or her parent or guardian. An attempt to make telephone notification will also be made. This written notice shall state:
a. the specific charges against the student;
For students experiencing disabilities, the written notice shall also include a copy of the Students and Parents Rights and Responsibilities Handbook; and, as soon as possible, a multidisciplinary team meeting will be held to determine if the student's behavior is related to the disability.
Within five (5) learning days of receipt of this notice, the student and/or the student's parent/guardian may request a hearing in writing. If a request for hearing is not received within the five (5) day period, the student and his or her parent/guardian shall have waived his or her right to a hearing. If a hearing is requested, it shall be held as promptly as possible after receipt of the request, following the procedures set forth in Paragraph 6 below. The student shall remain away from Academy until a hearing is requested. The submission of a written request for a hearing shall delay further imposition of any remaining portion of the expulsion, pending the hearing, except as set forth in Paragraph 6 below.
Students expelled from the Akron Public Schools, as well as from the Ida B. Wells Community Academy, may apply for admission or readmission to the Ida B. Wells Community Academy by written application to the Chair of the Ida B. Wells Community Academy Advisory Board. Students must apply in writing and must document that they have met the conditions for return required by the Ida B. Wells Community Academy. Additional conditions and requirements may be set for admission at the discretion of the Chair of the Advisory Board, his or her designee, or the Board of Governors prior to consideration for admission by the Advisory Board. Upon admission to the Academy, written conditions related to placement and attendance will be formulated. Continued permission to attend the Ida B. Wells Community Academy will depend on adherence to these written conditions.
NOTE WELL: These appeal procedures apply to short-term suspensions and all simple discipline except the denial of participation at a student's senior graduation ceremony. Simple discipline prohibiting a student's attendance at graduation may be appealed under the procedures set forth in Paragraph 6 below.
a. After notification of the short-term suspension or simple
the student or his/her parent/guardian may request an informal hearing.
The request shall be in writing. The submission of a written request
a hearing shall delay further imposition of any remaining portion of
suspension, pending the informal hearing. However, a student will not
allowed back in the Academy or allowed to participate in Academy
activities pending a hearing if, in the judgment of the principal, the
presence of the student poses an immediate or continuing danger to
or herself, other persons or property, or is an ongoing threat of
to the educational process. Failure to submit a written request for a
until after the completion of a suspension shall constitute a waiver of
any right to such a hearing.
A disciplinary action of simple discipline may be combined with a long-term suspension or expulsion. In such instances, the disciplinary actions are treated as separate and distinct and the simple discipline may only be appealed under the informal appeal procedures provided for in this section. This does not limit the right of a student to request a formal hearing for a long-term suspension or expulsion which is imposed in addition to the simple discipline.
a. Imposition of discipline pending a hearing and appeal: If a student and/or the student's parent/guardian requests a hearing in writing within five (5) learning days, the suspension or expulsion shall be delayed pending the hearing and the student may return to the Academy. However, the long-term suspension or expulsion shall not be delayed pending a hearing if, in the judgment of the principal, the presence of the student poses an immediate or continuing danger to him- or herself, other persons or property, or an ongoing threat of disruption of the educational process. In such instances, the student shall remain out of the Academy, and related Academy activities, pending the hearing and appeal process.
The Hearing Officer: The Hearing Officer shall be appointed by the Chair of the Advisory Board or his or her designee and shall conduct the hearing in accordance with these rules. The following procedural guidelines shall govern the hearing:
a. The parent/guardian/student may be present at the hearing and the
may be represented by legal counsel or other spokesperson or
The hearing need not be conducted according to technical rules relating to evidence and witnesses. All relevant, not unduly repetitious, evidence shall be accepted. All witnesses presenting testimony before the hearing officer shall be sworn to testify truthfully. The hearing authority shall make his/her determination solely upon the evidence presented at the hearing. A taperecorded record shall be made of the hearing by the Ida B. Wells Community Academy. Within three (3) learning days after completion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall provide a written decision upholding, modifying, or rejecting the recommended long-term suspension or expulsion. The student and his/her parent/guardian shall be provided a copy of the decision within five (5) learning days after completion of the hearing.
If the Hearing Officer upholds or modifies a long-term suspension or expulsion, so that suspension time remains, the suspension will be enforced immediately upon receipt by the student and parent/guardian of the Hearing Officer's decision. However, the student shall be entitled to return to the Academy if the student or his or her parent or guardian appeals the decision under the procedures set forth in Paragraph 6(d) below. Nevertheless, where the presence of the student poses an immediate or continuing danger to him or herself, other persons or property, or an ongoing threat of disruption to the educational process, then the student's suspension shall not be delayed pending an appeal. The student and his/her parent/guardian shall have five (5) learning days after receipt of the written decision to appeal the decision to the Advisory Board. The request for appeal must be in writing. The letter must describe the reasons for appealing directly to the Advisory Board. The letter must be based on either a substantial and significant misunderstanding of the facts or that the student was not given due process as specified in this document. The following procedural guidelines shall govern an appeal to the Advisory Board:
1. The Board or its designee will schedule and hold a meeting to review
the matter as promptly as possible after the receipt of such an appeal.
The Advisory Board shall notify the student and his/her parent/guardian
at least three (3) learning days prior to the scheduled meeting.
a. Whether the decision was arbitrary or capricious;
The Board of Governors, or its designee, shall issue a written decision within five (5) learning days after the meeting. The student and his or her parent or guardian shall be provided a written copy of the decision, which shall be final and binding.Application for Re-admission: Under no circumstances shall either a long-term suspension or expulsion prevent a student from submitting an application for re-admission prior to the termination of the sanction. Applications for re-admission shall be submitted to the Chair of the Board of Governors.
Drafted: 2-25-1999; Reformatted: January 4, 2004
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