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Safe and Positive Schools Policy

Monday, July 3, 2023

DCPS has developed a new Summer School Discipline Policy to modify the necessary aspects of the Safe and Positive Schools Policy for the student school environment. This policy applies to students in DCPS summer school and Extended School Year (ESY). Non-mandatory enrichment programs operated by DCPS must document all exclusions in SBT and should follow the other requirements of the Summer School Discipline Policy. Partner organizations operating summer programs in DCPS buildings are also encouraged to follow the Summer School Discipline Policy and uphold DCPS’ standards and expectations for student behavior.


Thursday, February 2, 2023

The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) is committed to ensuring every student feels loved, challenged, and prepared to positively influence society and thrive in life. DCPS is committed to educating the whole child by providing rigorous, joyful, and inclusive social, emotional, and academic learning experiences to ensure all students are college and career ready. As a part of this commitment, DCPS works to promote safe and positive school environments. Grounded in the science of learning and development, DCPS prioritizes positive relationships to provide students with the support they need to build skills and develop social, emotional, and academic success. Excluding students from schools is generally a last resort, and DCPS instead implements layers of in-school intervention, support, and connection in order to create new and positive pathways of interaction and involvement.   

DCPS seeks to create a safe and positive learning environment based on universal respect and proactive, restorative practices that promote positive social and emotional skills as well as meet students’ varied academic, behavioral, and developmental needs with tiered support and interventions. We aim to empower every student by elevating student voices, soliciting parent input, and fostering welcoming inclusive school communities that are respectful of all stakeholders as well as eliminating the disproportionality of incidents involving students of color. DCPS is continuing its work to become an anti-racist school district that is trauma-responsive and aligned to a whole child approach that supports educators in meeting each child’s individual and holistic needs. This creates an environment that eliminates opportunity gaps, interrupts institutional bias, and removes institutional barriers to academic and social success, particularly for students of color. DCPS actively strives to provide access, inclusion, and affirmation and to offer the most support where significant disparities have historically persisted. 

This policy lays out the framework for student supports and behavioral interventions, including restorative practices and Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS); disciplinary code infractions and responses, including the types of misconduct that can lead to various levels of discipline including suspension; discipline for students with disabilities; due process procedures; and expectations for staff training and professional development for the implementation of the policy. 

This policy replaces the K-12 Student Discipline Policy: School Year 2021-22 and rescinds and supersedes all previous policies, memoranda, and guidance promulgated by DCPS on this subject matter.