A recommendation to expel shall be by the Superintendent. The authority to expel rests only with the Board. All expulsions requested shall have supporting data indicating the required due process procedure provided at the time of recommendation.
Expulsion of pupils in a kindergarten program and grades one (1) through four (4) must comply with A.R.S. 15-843(K), as follows:
Unless required by A.R.S. 15-841(G), bringing a firearm to school, which may be modified on a case-by-case basis, a school district or charter school may out-of-school suspend or expel a pupil who is enrolled in kindergarten through fourth grade (K-4) only if all of the following apply:
A. The pupil is seven (7) years of age or older.
B. The pupil engaged in conduct on school grounds that meets one (1) of the following criteria:
1. Involves the possession of a dangerous weapon without authorization from the school.
2. Involves the possession, use or sale of a dangerous drug as defined in A.R.S. 13-3401 or a narcotic drug as defined in A.R.S. 13-3401 or a violation of A.R.S. 13-3411.
3. Immediately endangers the health or safety of others.
4. The pupil's behavior is determined by the School District Governing Board or Charter School Governing Body to qualify as aggravating circumstances and that all of the following apply:
a. The pupil is engaged in persistent behavior that has been documented by the school and that prevents other pupils from learning or prevents the teacher from maintaining control of the classroom environment.
b. The pupil’s ongoing behavior is unresponsive to targeted interventions as documented through an established intervention process that includes consultation with a school counselor, school psychologist or other mental health professional or social worker if available within the School District or Charter School or through a state sponsored program.
c. The pupil’s parent or guardian was notified and consulted about the ongoing behavior.
d. Before a long-term suspension or expulsion, the school provides the pupil with a disability screening and the screening finds that the behavioral issues were not the result of a disability.
C. Failing to remove the pupil from the school building would create a safety threat that cannot otherwise reasonably be addressed or qualifies as “aggravating circumstances.”
D. Before suspending or expelling the pupil, the School District or Charter School considers and, if feasible while maintaining the health and safety of others, in consultation with the pupil’s parent or guardian to the extent possible, employs alternative behavioral and disciplinary interventions that are available to the School District or Charter School, that are appropriate to the circumstances and that are considerate of health and safety. The School District or Charter School shall document the alternative behavioral and disciplinary interventions it considers and employs.
E. The School District or Charter School, by policy, provides for both:
1. A readmission procedure for pupils who are in kindergarten through fourth grade (K-4) and who have served at least five (5) school days of a suspension from the school that exceeds ten (10) school days to be considered for readmission on appeal of the pupil's parent or guardian.
2. A readmission procedure for pupils who are in kindergarten through fourth grade (K-4) and who are expelled from or subject to alternative reassignment at the school to be considered for readmission on appeal of the pupil's parent or guardian at least twenty (20) school days after the effective date of the expulsion or alternative reassignment.
"Aggravating circumstances" means the pupil is engaged in persistent behavior that:
A. has been documented by the school.
B. prevents other students from learning or prevents the teacher from maintaining control of the classroom environment.
C. is unresponsive to targeted interventions as documented through an established intervention process.
The Governing Board will decide in executive session whether the Board will conduct an expulsion hearing or designate one (1) or more hearing officers to hear the evidence.
Regular Education Students
Expulsion is the permanent exclusion of a student from school and school activities, unless the Governing Board reinstates the student's privileges to attend school.
A. Step 1: Each recommendation for expulsion shall be delivered to the Superintendent. A recommendation for expulsion may be made before, after or in conjunction with a long-term suspension hearing, if one is to be held.
B. Step 2: If the Superintendent concurs with the recommendation, the Superintendent shall present the recommendation to the Governing Board.
C. Step 3: In each case in which a recommendation for expulsion receives approval by the Superintendent, (and the Board has not determined that all expulsion hearings are to be conducted by a hearing officer), the Governing Board will meet in executive session:
1. to determine whether the nature of the accusations against the student justify an expulsion hearing,
2. to determine whether the hearing will be held before the Governing Board or before a hearing officer,
3. to designate a hearing officer if one will be used, and
4. if the hearing will be conducted by the Governing Board to determine whether the hearing will be conducted in executive session. Under normal circumstances, the Governing Board will not review any documents or other pertinent evidence during the initial executive session.
D. Step 4: The expulsion hearing should be scheduled so it may be resolved, if reasonably possible, during the period of any suspension.
E. Step 5: A formal letter to the responsible parent or guardian will be mailed by certified mail with return receipt requested or delivered by hand (with an adult witness present) at least five (5) working days prior to the formal hearing. A copy of this letter will remain on file, and the letter should contain:
1. A statement of the charges and the rule or regulation violated.
2. The extent of the punishment to be considered.
3. The date, time, and place of the formal hearing.
4. A designation of the District's witnesses.
5. That the student may present witnesses.
6. That the student may be represented by counsel at the student's expense.
7. If a hearing officer has been appointed, the name of the hearing officer and how the hearing officer may be contacted, or a statement that the Governing Board will preside at the hearing.
8. Copies of this policy and A.R.S. 15-840 and 15-843 unless previously provided in connection with the same infraction.
F. Step 6: The parent, guardian or emancipated student shall be informed of the following:
1. Nothing in these procedures shall be construed to prevent the students who are subject to the action and their parents or legal guardians and legal counsel from attending any executive (closed) session pertaining to the proposed disciplinary action, or from having access to the minutes and testimony of such session or from recording such a session at the parent's or legal guardian's expense.
2. The student is entitled to a statement of the charges and the rule or regulation violated.
3. The student may be represented by counsel, without bias to the student.
4. The student may present witnesses.
5. The student or counsel may cross-examine witnesses presented by the District.
6. The burden of proof of the offense lies with the District.
7. Either the hearing must be recorded on tape or an official record must be kept in some other appropriate manner. In addition, parents are to be allowed to tape-record the hearing at their own expense.
8. The District has the right to cross-examine witnesses, and may be represented by an attorney.
9. If the hearing is held before a hearing officer, the hearing will be conducted in private with the attendance of only the hearing officer, administrative representatives, the student and parent(s), counsel for the parties, and witnesses necessary to the proceedings, unless the parent(s), guardian(s) or emancipated student requests in writing that the hearing be open to public attendance.
10. If the hearing is held before the Governing Board the Board will conduct the hearing in executive session with the attendance of only the hearing officer, administrative representatives, the student and parent(s), counsel for the parties, and witnesses necessary to the proceedings, unless the parent(s), guardian(s) or emancipated student requests in writing that the hearing be open to public attendance.
G. Step 7: A formal hearing will be held:
1. When a parent or legal guardian has disagreed that the hearing should be held in executive (closed) session, it shall be held in an open meeting unless:
a. If only one (1) student is subject to the proposed action, and disagreement exists between that student's parents or legal guardians, then the Board (hearing officer), after consultation with the student's parents or legal guardians, shall decide in executive (closed) session whether the hearing will be in executive (closed) session.
b. If more than one (1) student is subject to the proposed action and disagreement exists between the parents of different students, then separate hearings shall be held subject to the provisions of A.R.S. 15-843.
H. Step 8: The decision and appeal procedure, if applicable, upon the conclusion of the hearing will be as follows:
1. Upon conclusion of a hearing conducted by a hearing officer, if a recommendation for expulsion is made, the decision may be appealed to the Board at the time the Board considers the recommendation. A formal letter to the responsible parent or guardian will be mailed by certified mail with return receipt requested or delivered by hand (with an adult witness present) indicating the recommendation that will be made to the Board. A copy of this letter will remain on file, and the letter should explain:
a. The time and place of the Board meeting at which the recommendation will be made.
b. That the recommendation may be appealed at the time the recommendation is made to the Board.
c. That the appeal shall be in writing delivered to the Superintendent prior to the time of the Board meeting.
d. That the written appeal shall indicate a spokesperson on behalf of the student.
e. That the spokesperson will be given time to speak to the Board on appeal.
f. The Board may accept the hearing officer's recommendation or reject the recommendation and impose a different disciplinary action including assignment to an alternative educational program. The Board may grant a new hearing, take the matter under advisement, or take any further action deemed necessary. If the Board decides to expel the student the expulsion shall become effective the day after the Board's decision. The decision of the Board is final.
2. Upon conclusion of a hearing on expulsion conducted by the Board, the decision of the Board is final.
Special Education Students
A student qualified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as revised in 2004 may not be expelled from school, unless as a result of a manifestation determination it has been determined that the student's behavior is unrelated to the child's disability. The manifestation determination must be held within ten (10) school days of any decision to change the placement of a child with a disability because of a violation of a code of student conduct. In compliance with federal law and regulation, the student may be given a change in placement in lieu of expulsion. Expulsion may not result in termination of educational services for a student qualified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The individualized education program (IEP) team generally determines a change in placement of an IDEA qualified student. During any change in placement the school must provide services to the extent necessary to enable the child to appropriately progress in the general curriculum and appropriately advance toward achieving the goals set out in the child's individualized education programs.
A student with a disability qualified under the Americans with Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and not qualified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as revised in 2004, may be suspended or expelled from school and education services may be ceased, if nondisabled students in similar circumstances do not continue to receive education services.
A. A student expelled from the District may request readmittance by making a written application to the Board. Readmission is at the discretion of the Governing Board. In addition, it is the prerogative of the Board to stipulate appropriate conditions for readmittance. The application for readmittance shall occur no less than nine (9) months after the date of the expulsion; however, the student may not be readmitted until at least two (2) complete semesters have passed (the remainder of the semester in which the violation has occurred and two  additional semesters). The application must:
1. Be written and be directed to the attention of the Governing Board.
2. Contain all information that the student and parent(s) consider relevant to the Governing Board's determination as to whether or not to readmit the student. This should include information indicating:
a. An appreciation by the student of the severity and inappropriateness of the student's prior misconduct.
b. That such misconduct or similar misconduct will not be repeated.
c. A description of the student's activities since the expulsion.
d. Support of the student's application for readmission.
3. Be filed in the Superintendent's office.
B. The Governing Board shall meet in executive session to consider an initial application for readmission. The student and parents have the right to be present in the executive session but do not have the right to make a presentation or address the Governing Board unless they are asked to do so by the Governing Board. For this reason, it is important that the application for readmission contain all information that the Governing Board may deem important in determining whether to readmit the student. The Governing Board, in its sole discretion, shall determine whether the student should be readmitted, and, if so, under what restrictions and conditions. The burden is on the student and parent(s) to convince the Governing Board that readmission is appropriate considering the interests of the expelled student, the District, and the interests of the other students and staff members. The Governing Board's decision is final.
C. A student may file more than one (1) application for readmission. Applications subsequent to an initial application, however, may not be filed more frequently than every ninety (90) days, and the Governing Board shall meet to discuss and consider the application only if at least two (2) members of the Governing Board ask that the matter be placed on an agenda for discussion in executive session.
As a condition for readmission from an expulsion, the student, with parent(s) or guardian affirmation, shall agree to the following conditions:
A. Regular attendance – no unexcused absence.
B. No violation of school rules or policies.
C. Completion of all classroom tasks in a timely fashion, as directed.
D. Depending upon the nature of the original violation for which the expulsion was provided, the student may be limited as to attendance or participation in after school activities, school sports, and extracurricular events or activities.
A student allowed readmission following expulsion shall receive a written admonition that the original expulsion will be summarily reinstated should the student commit a violation of the conditions for readmission or a criminal or civil violation reflecting on the school order.
Adopted: September 21, 2021
20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq., Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
20 U.S.C. 7151 et seq., The Gun-Free School Act of 1990
29 U.S.C. 794 Rehabilitation Act of 1973, (Section 504)
IHB - Special Instructional Programs
JK - Student Discipline
JR - Student Records