- School Mission & Student Expectations
- Principal Letter
- Student Council President Letter
- Burlington Public Schools Organization
- Academic & Graduation Policies
- ATHLETICS & EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
- Attendance Procedures
- Class Officers & Student Government
- Computer Ethics & Acceptable Use Policy
- Discipline Policy
- Disciplinary Actions & Definitions
- Disciplinary Due Process
- Discipline & Students With Disabilities
- General Procedures
- Exam Policies
- Joan F. Miles Library/Media Center
- Plagiarism & Cheating
- Policies & State Laws Relating to...
- Policies on Bullying, Verbal and Sexual Harassment
- Release of Information & Notice of Non-Discrimination
- Student Activities and Clubs
- National Honor Society Bylaws
Burlington High School's mission is to develop lifelong learners and engaged community member who think creatively and critically, and who respect human differences in an increasingly diverse society.
BHS students will be challenged to become the best version of themselves by developing and exhibiting accountability, adaptability and tenacity in their academic, social, and civic interactions.
- Students will generate their own questions and investigate independent topics.
- Students will work both independently and collaboratively to solve problems.
- Students will act with integrity in all academic endeavors.
- Students will demonstrate strength of character.
- Students will exhibit respect for themselves and empathy for others.
- Students will actively and responsibly participate as members of a local, global, and digital society.
Dear BHS Students,
The administration, faculty and staff welcome you to Burlington High School for the 2018-19 school year. While a student at Burlington High you will be encouraged to set challenging goals and meet high expectations.
As a comprehensive high school, BHS offers an extensive program of studies and a rigorous curriculum that prepares its students for lifelong learning and responsible citizenship. Upon successful completion of your high school program you will be ready to meet the entry requirements of prospective employers and the most demanding institutions of higher learning.
BHS students are expected to demonstrate acceptance, tolerance, self-control and respect for all individuals. During your high school career you will have many opportunities to extend your learning beyond the classroom setting. Through co-curricular activities, athletics, and events such as the summer reading program, travel abroad, student exchanges and theatrical productions, you will grow personally and academically.
This handbook will assist you in making well-informed choices and decisions. It includes a summary of important school policies, procedures, and standards that you should review and discuss with your parent/guardian. Your high school administrators and your guidance counselor are available to answer your questions and support you throughout the school year. Do not hesitate to approach them or me with any questions you may have.
Please accept my best wishes for a productive and rewarding school year.
Mark J. Sullivan
Dear Students of BHS,
The 2018-19 school year is finally here, along with the desires to learn and ultimately grow as a person. It is time to set goals and take part in new, exciting opportunities. On behalf of Burlington High’s Student Council and its Executive Board, I would like to take a moment to welcome everybody back and give some advice to each class.
Freshmen, you’re finally becoming young adults. The transition to high school can be quite overwhelming, but it should only take a few days to adjust to life at BHS. Take time to decide what activities you want to participate in. There is a wide selection of sports, clubs, and other extracurriculars that are available to you. It is a great way to meet older students who can help guide you through the ins and outs of the school. Your year is most likely going to be more challenging than what you’re used to, so learn how to manage your time properly. Coming into a new school is scary, but the newfound freedom will be a nice change of pace from what you are used to.
Sophomores, this year is going to get more intense now that you know the layout of high school. You should find that your classes are more difficult, and that you have more responsibilities than you did last year. Make sure you are keeping up with the work you receive from class. Learning to organize now will help you immensely in the future. Make an effort to get higher leadership positions in clubs or sports. Now is the time to build bonds with new people. While you may be content with sticking with friends you’ve known since you were young, you may find that you have a lot in common with someone you’ve never truly talked to before. While school is your main priority, make sure you have time for your extracurriculars and your friends.
Juniors, this year is the most important year of high school. Make sure that you stay on top of your grades and push yourself. This year is what colleges will focus on. Don’t be afraid of opportunities to explore your passions. You still should find time to build relationships with new people as you are only one year away from graduating. Some of you are taking many advanced level classes, so it is important you find time to get some rest and to destress. While you should strive to get high marks, your body and sanity should not suffer because if it. Set high goals for yourself that you will achieve as the year goes on. You are now upperclassmen, and the freshman and sophomores will look to you for guidance. Be kind to others, and most importantly, be true to yourself. Success should come as long as you stay on course and do your work.
Seniors, you've finally reached your last year of school. While some of you have already started complaining about “senioritis,” it’s important for you to keep up with your grades as you start filing out your college applications. You should focus on getting involved in something meaningful as your time here comes to an end. Make sure you are a role model since everyone is now looking up to you. It is time to think about enjoying yourself. You are about to move on to greater things so participate in school events while you still can. This year is going to be a roller coaster ride of emotions. It will be memorable, exciting, sad, and will go by in a flash. Remember to stop and take in everything that is happening around you. By the time May rolls around, you will be well prepared to take on the world and anything else that comes your way.
Welcome back and I look forward to helping lead us into this wonderful year! Good luck!
Student Council Executive Board President
| School Committee |
Chair - Kristin Russo
Vice Chair - Martha Simon
Christine M. Monaco
Thomas F. Murphy, Jr.
Stephen A. Nelson
| Central Office Administration |
Superintendent of Schools - Dr. Eric Conti
Assistant Superintendent for Learning - Patrick M. Larkin
Director of Facilities/Technology - Robert Cunha
Director Of Special Education - Mary Houde
Business Manager - Nichole Coscia
| High School Administration |
Principal - Mark J. Sullivan
Associate Principal-Grades 10, 12 - Richard T. Sheehan, Jr.
Associate Principal-Grades 9, 11 - Deborah L. Deacon
Associate Principal for Athletics - Shaun Hart
Information & Report Manager - Robyn Miliano
Support Services Coordinator - Joseph P. Attubato
| Coordinator/Directors |
Visual Arts & Design - George Ratkevich
Health/Physical Education Matthew Jackling
Performing Arts John Middleton-Cox
| Department Heads |
Visual Arts & Design - George Ratkevich
English - Shannon Janovitz
Foreign Language - Renee Dacey
Library/Media - Callie Graham
Mathematics - Kathleen Whitcomb
Science - Holly Potters
Social Studies - Todd Whitten
Special Education - Christina Cicolini
| Promotion Requirements|
Promotion from grade to grade at Burlington High School and graduation from Burlington High School shall be determined by a cumulative credit system.
[ 1 ] Points for various subjects shall be determined in the following manner: One (1) annual credit for each period per week that the subject meets. Subjects which meet for one semester only shall earn one-half (1/2) the credit given for an equivalent full year subject.
[ 2 ] A minimum of 30 credits of academic course work plus physical education is required for all students.
[ 3 ] Students shall be enrolled in a minimum of six academic courses per day in addition to their physical education requirement.
[ 4 ] Minimum grade in sequential courses: to proceed to the next course in each sequential course (Mathematics, World Languages, etc.) a mark of at least ‘C’ or approval of instructor should be attained in the previous course.
[ 5 ] Promotion from grade nine to grade ten shall be based on a minimum of 27.5 credits; from grade ten to grade eleven a minimum of 55 credits; from grade eleven to grade twelve a minimum of 82.5 credits; and for graduation a minimum of 110 credits.
[ 6 ] Attendance at summer school for the purpose of make-up leading to promotion from one grade to another grade shall be permitted. However, students may earn no more than ten (10) credits during each summer make-up period. Students must have earned at least an ’E’ during the school year in the course in order to qualify for make-up at summer school unless special permission is granted by the high school principal, the exception being Physical Education which is a PASS/ FAIL course.
[ 7 ] Students who do not earn the annually required five (5) credits in English in grade nine, ten, or eleven may be promoted provided they have earned the required number of credits. It is recommended that the unearned English credits be made up at summer school.
[ 8 ] For graduation exercises, Burlington High School recalculates GPAs for the graduating class after the completion of the first semester. This GPA is used in determination for various distinctions at commencement. The Valedictorian, Salutatorian and Class Essayist will be determined by the highest three GPAs in the graduating class as of the end of first semester of senior year. Students must have attended Burlington High School for 14 consecutive quarters in order to be considered for these three distinctions. In addition, the top 10% distinction will be awarded to the students that are in the top 10% of GPAs in the graduating class.
| Graduation Requirements|
Total credits required for graduation is 110 with required courses as shown below:
|World Language : 2 Year Sequential Program||10|
|**Physical Education / Health||10|
|Specific Requirements Total||100|
|Additional Electives/Classes Of Your Choice||10|
|Total Required for Graduation||110|
- Courses meeting the exploratory requirement can be found in the BHS Program of Studies.
- For the Class of 2019 and beyond, Physical Education courses are no longer pass/fail, but graded courses.
| GPA Computation |
A student’s grade point average (GPA) will be based on student performance in all courses having a level designation and graded using the traditional A, B, C, etc. grading system. The GPA will be developed according to a weighted formula. Only courses completed at Burlington High will be utilized in the calculations for class G.P.A.
|Letter Grade||Equivalent Percent||Definition|
|A+||97 - 100||Excellent|
|A||93 - 96||-|
|A-||90 - 92||-|
|B+||87 - 89||Above Average|
|B||83 - 86||-|
|B-||80 - 82||-|
|C+||77 - 79||Average|
|C||73 - 76||-|
|C-||70 - 72||-|
|D+||67 - 69||-|
|D||63 - 66||Passing|
|D-||60 - 62||-|
|F||59 or Below||Failure|
Weight used to determine G.P.A
|MARK||AP||HONORS||CP I & CP II|
|A or A+||5.0||4.5||4.0|
High Honors..... All A's Honors..... All A's & B's
| Academic Regulations |
Promotion from grade to grade at Burlington High School and graduation from Burlington High School shall be determined by a cumulative credit system.
-Points for various subjects shall be determined in the following manner:
[ 1 ] One (1) annual credit for each period per week that the subject meets.
[ 2 ] Subjects which meet for one semester only shall earn one-half (1/2) the credit given for an equivalent full year subject.
- A minimum of 30 credits of academic coursework plus physical education is required for all students.
-Students shall be enrolled in a minimum of six academic courses per day in addition to their physical education requirement.
-Students may select a maximum of thirty-five (35) credits per school year.
Total Required for Graduation 110
For the Class of 2019 and beyond, Physical Education Courses are no longer pass/fail, but graded courses.
| Students Eligibility for Athletics and Extracurricular Activities |
Participation in all extracurricular activities and school sponsored events is a privilege. All Burlington High School students representing the school through participation in an extracurricular activity serve as ambassadors of BHS and the Burlington Community. Students who wish to exercise the privilege of participating in an extracurricular activity must be in good standing academically (maintain a minimum of 20 credits), meet Burlington High School attendance requirements, and not be in violation of Burlington High School’s code of conduct or other illegal, unhealthy or inappropriate behaviors.
| Attendance Requirements for Participation in Athletic Contests/Practice and Extracurricular | ActivitiesThe Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (M.I.A.A.) recommends that each school establish an attendance requirement for participation of athletes for games and practices. The attendance requirements for Burlington High School are as follows:
A. Absence Due to Illness
[ 1 ] Students absent from school due to illness may not participate in a game or practice scheduled for that day. If school is not scheduled for the following day, permission to practice or play must be obtained from an administrator or the Athletic Director as explained in Section C.
[ 2 ] Students returning from an extended absence may be required to present a note to the nurse signed by a parent/guardian or physician authorizing participation in a practice or a game.
B. Absence Due to Special Circumstances
[ 1 ] Students absent from school for reasons other than illness must obtain permission from an administrator as explained in Section C to practice or play on the day of the absence.
[ 2 ] Students who are truant from school will not be allowed to play in a game or practice on that day.
[ 3 ] Suspended students will not be allowed to attend practices or play in a game on the day(s) that the suspension occurs.
C. Special Consideration to Practice or Play Following an Absence
[ 1 ] A parent/guardian must request consideration by contacting the Principal, Associate Principals, or the Athletic Director by 11:00 a.m, of the day that a game or practice is scheduled. Parent/guardian contact must be made by 2:00 p.m. if the absence falls on a Friday.
[ 2 ] Permission to play in a game or practice following an absence must be given by both a building administrator and the Athletic Director.
[ 1 ] Students who are excused tardy to school or dismissed during the school day must obtain the permission of an administrator to participate in an activity that day. Permission to participate will be denied to students with excessive tardiness or dismissals. Students who have an unexcused tardy to school may not participate in extracurricular activities on the day of the tardy.
| Attendance Requirements for Extracurricular Activities and Athletics |
The attendance requirements for Burlington High School students participating in extracurricular activities are as follows:
A. Absence Due to Illness
[ 1 ] Students absent from school due to illness may not participate in an activity scheduled for that day. If school is not scheduled for the following day, permission to participate must be obtained from an administrator.
B. Absence Due to Special Circumstances
[ 1 ] Students absent from school for reasons other than illness must obtain permission from an administrator as explained in Section C to participate on the day of the absence.
[ 2 ] Students who are truant from school will not be allowed to participate in an activity on that day.
[ 3 ] Suspended students will not be allowed to participate in an extracurricular activity on the days that the suspension occurs.
C. Special Consideration to Participate Following an Absence
[ 1 ] A parent/guardian must request consideration by contacting the Principal or Associate Principal by 11:00 am of the day that an activity is scheduled. Parent/guardian contact must be made by 2:00 pm if the absence falls on a Friday.
[ 2 ] Permission to participate in an activity following an absence must be given by both a building administrator and the group advisor.
[ 1 ] Students who are excused tardy to school or dismissed during the school day must obtain the permission of an administrator to participate in an activity that day. Permission to participate will be denied to students with an excessive number of tardies or dismissals. Students who have an unexcused tardy to school may not participate in extracurricular activities on the day of the tardy.
| Interscholastic Athletic Teams |
Fall Sports - Monday before Labor Day until the conclusion of the MIAA tournament
Football- Varsity, JV, Freshman
Football Cheering- Varsity
Cross Country Boys and Girls- Varsity
Field Hockey Varsity, JV, Freshmen
Football Varsity, JV, Freshmen
Soccer Boys and Girls - Varsity, JV, *Freshmen
Swimming Girls- Varsity
Volleyball Girls- Varsity, JV, Freshmen
Winter Sports - Monday after Thanksgiving until the conclusion of the MIAA tournament
[ This includes the December & February Vacations ]
Basketball Boys and Girls - Varsity, JV, Freshmen
Cheerleading - Basketball Hockey
Gymnastics Boys and Girls- Varsity
Boys Hockey - Varsity, JV
Girls Hockey - Varsity
Indoor Track Boys and Girls - Varsity
Swimming Boys- Varsity
Wrestling - Varsity
Spring Sports - Third Monday in March until the conclusion of the MIAA tournament
[ This includes April Vacations ]
Baseball- Varsity, JV, Freshmen
Lacrosse - Varsity, JV, Freshmen, Girls
Softball- Varsity, JV, Freshman
Track Boys & Girls - Varsity
Tennis Boys & Girls - Varsity
*Numbers warrant adding team
| Interscholastic Athletics |
Burlington High School athletically competes in the Middlesex League, comprised of eleven surrounding towns. Burlington has a wide variety of opportunities, both in team and individual competition, for our students to participate. All students who wish to try out and represent the High School may do so by reporting to team tryouts/practices at the appropriate time.
Candidates must have a signed permission form each season by a parent or guardian; 2) must meet all academic requirements; i.e., carry and pass a minimum of twenty (20) credits; 3) abide by all handbook rules governing Burlington High School and the MIAA.
All school issued athletic equipment, including locks, must be returned to the Athletic Department within twenty-four (24) hours of the last contest or when separation from the team may occur. Failure to do so will result in parent/guardian being billed for the replacement cost and no additional athletic equipment will be issued. All personal equipment must be removed from the athletic area within the same time period as stated above.
Students are protected for most medical costs for injuries while participating in the athletic program. Parents/guardians, however, must follow the procedures outlined on the carrier's coverage form.
National Collegiate Athletic Association
The NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse is the organization that determines whether prospective college athletes are eligible to play sports at NCAA Division I or Division II institutions. It does this by reviewing the student athlete's academic record, SAT or ACT scores, and amateur status to ensure conformity with NCAA rules. Burlington High School recognizes that many of our students are interested in participating in collegiate sports. To play sports at an NCAA Division I or Division II institution, the student must:
- Complete a certain number of high school “core courses” (approved by NCAA)
- Earn a certain minimum grade point average in these core courses
- Earn a certain minimum score on the SAT or ACT (for Division I, this is scaled according to the student's core- course GPA)
- Graduate from high school
“Core courses" is the name that the NCAA gives to high school courses that meet certain academic criteria specified by the association. Students must complete a certain number of core courses for NCAA Division I and II eligibility. If approved, the courses are added to a database that the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse maintains. You can view a list of approved core courses on the NCAA clearinghouse website at Presently only AP, Honors, and CP I courses at Burlington High School are approved by NCAA as NCAA approved core courses.
The decision to participate in the interscholastic athletic program carries with it the responsibility to dedicate oneself to a team and sacrifice individual desires. This includes the maintenance of proper nutrition and a high level of physical fitness. Abstaining from the use of ALL tobacco, alcohol and other chemical substances including steroids, is mandatory. Student athletes, as team members, are expected to be in school and attend all classes, as well as attend all team practices and contests, including makeup contests, jamborees and tournaments. Failure to meet any of these requirements will result in actions that may include school and/or team suspension, forfeiture of athletic awards and/or possible removal from the team. Other team rules and policies will be explained by the individual team coach.
Burlington High School offers online registration for our sports programs through our partner company, FamilyID (www.familyid.com). FamilyID is a secure registration platform that provides you with an easy, user-friendly way to register for our programs. When you register through FamilyID, you enter your information once for multiple uses, multiple kids and multiple programs.
Concussion/ Opioid Policy
The state law requires that students/athletes along with their parent(s)/guardian(s) complete the online concussion/ Opioid information course. During registration you will be asked to sign off that you have completed these courses.
All students must pass a physical examination each school year before participating in any sport. The school must have a copy of the most recent physical exam.
All Burlington High School students who are eligible are encouraged to participate in the athletic program. Many of our teams do not make cuts. However, some teams, because of roster limitations, require tryouts. All tryouts will be conducted in a fair and impartial manner. Coaches will announce the successful candidates immediately after the tryout period. At the sub-varsity level, every student-athlete will compete in athletic contests provided they have fulfilled their practice commitments.
Chapter 76, Section 1 of the Massachusetts General Laws states that all children between the ages of six and sixteen must attend school. A school district may excuse up to seven day sessions or fourteen half-day sessions in any period of six months. In addition to this law, each school may have its own attendance policy with which parents and guardians should be familiar. .
The administration and faculty believe that attendance by students at school is vitally important to a successful education. It is the responsibility of parent or guardian to insure that students attend school daily. Vacations and dismissals from school other than an emergency are not in the best interest of the student. Schoolwork missed for these reasons will be made up upon return to class. Students are responsible for arranging for makeup. Teachers will not be required to provide homework or assignments in advance.
For absences greater than two consecutive days, the Guidance Department will notify appropriate faculty and coordinate the collection of assignments, materials, etc. for the extended absence period as requested. Parents and guardians are asked to notify the guidance department with the anticipated length of the absence.
The following schedule should be used as a guideline for making up outstanding work for authorized absences: 1-2 days absent – 1 week to make up; 3-5 days absent – 2 weeks to make up; > 5 days – by arrangement. Any extensions to the time limit must be granted by an Associate Principal in conjunction with the Department Head and the teacher. Students will be responsible for arranging make up.
| Attendance to School |
[ 1 ] If a student is going to be absent, parent/guardian calls into the assigned office the day of an absence,
before 9:05 a.m.
- Freshmen and Juniors call 270-1838
- Sophomores and Seniors call 270-1839
[ 2 ] Calls from parents/guardians will be recorded and students will be given an Admit Slip before school on the day they return.
[ 3 ] If it is not possible to call the Administrative Office, we shall, upon the student’s return to school, accept a note before school and will issue an Admit Slip back to classes.
[ 4 ] Students are required to present an Admit Slip to their teachers prior to being readmitted to class.
| Tardy to School |
Students who are tardy to school will sign in at the front office and he/she will be given a pass to homeroom. Students who have excess tardy arrivals to school or tardy arrivals that are unauthorized, will serve an after school detention from 3:20 pm to 4:20 p.m with their administrator.
| Tardy to School After 8:35 |
Students who are tardy to school after 8:35 must sign in at the main office and present a tardy note or have a parent telephone the main office explaining the tardy arrival. Students with an unauthorized tardy arrival may serve an after-school detention.
Students who attend classes without signing in will be subject to Extended Detention or serving up to two days In-School Suspension.
Examples of absences or tardiness that will be excused include:
- Documented illness, injury or medical appointment
- Bereavement/family funeral
- Major religious observances
- Legal appearance
- Extraordinary family circumstances (excused at the discretion of the principal)
Examples of absences or tardiness that are unexcused include, but are not limited to:
- Repetitive or chronic absence or tardiness due to illness or injury not documented by a doctor
- Family vacations
- Undocumented absences
- Non-emergency family situations
| Attendance Regulations |
[ 1 ] Truancy - Unexcused absences from school without a valid excuse
a. Within 3 days of any unexcused absence, a letter will be generated from the Principal’s office, or the Principal’s designee, notifying the parent/guardian, in writing, of the student’s absence.
b. Following the 5th absence, a letter will be generated from the Principal’s office, or the Principal’s designee, notifying the parent/guardian, in writing, of the student’s absence, and requesting a meeting with the parent/guardian to discuss the student’s attendance. The letter will direct the parent/guardian to contact the Principal’s office, or the Principal’s designee, within 5 school days to schedule a meeting. If the parent/guardian does not contact the Principal’s office or the Principal’s designee, within 5 school days, the Principal’s office, or the Principal’s designee, will call the parent/guardian for purposes of scheduling a meeting.
c. At the meeting, the Principal, Assistant Principal or other designee, the parent/guardian and the studen must develop action steps to address the student’s attendance. Other relevant school personnel and officials from public safety, health and human services, housing and nonprofit agencies, may offer input into the development of action steps.
[ 2 ] Absences from class: students must attend all classes and study halls to which they have been assigned. Following any absence from a class, study hall or other period of the school day, the teacher will notify the Principal’s office, or the Principal’s designee, of the student’s absence.
Following the 4th absence from the same class, a letter will be generated from the Principal’s office, or the Principal’s designee, notifying the parent/guardian, in writing, of the student’s absences. When six (6) classes are missed during any quarter, course credit may be withheld. Absences that are excused by a physician’s note, field trip, result from a legal appearance, religious holiday, death in the family or suspension are excluded. A conference of the student, the student’s parent/guardian, the teacher, counselor, and administration may be held to consider withholding credit for the course.
Following the 2nd absence from any class, study hall or other period of the school day within a 5-day period, a letter will be generated from the Principal’s office, or the Principal’s designee, notifying the parent/guardian, in writing, of the student’s absences.
Absences that are excused by a physician’s note, field trip, result from a legal appearance, religious holiday, death in the family or suspension are excluded.
[ 3 ] Class Cutting: First offense: Extended Detention; subsequent offenses: two (2) days In School Suspension, parent/guardian notification and/or conference.
[ 4 ] Excessive tardiness to school during one marking period may result in office or Extended Detention.
[ 5 ] Unexcused tardiness to school: The first offense, one office detention and parent/guardian notification; the second and subsequent offenses, Extended Detention or two days In School Suspension, parent/guardian notification and/or conference. Students who have an unexcused tardy to school may not participate in extracurricular activities on the day of the tardy arrival.
[ 6 ] Tardiness to class: The first offense, one teacher detention; the second offense, one day office detention and parent/guardian notification; the third and subsequent offenses, Extended Detention or two (2) days In School Suspension, parent/guardian notification and/or conference.
[ 7 ] Dismissals: Students are expected to present a note from their parent/guardian before classes begin on morning of dismissal excusing them at a specific time. For dismissals during the school day, a phone call before 11:00 a.m. is recommended. Dismissal calls after 11:00 will be accepted only in the case of emergencies. Students who leave school without proper authorization will be subject to suspension.
[ 8 ] Vacation policy during school time: The administration of Burlington High School disapproves of planned vacations during school time.
[ 9 ] End of year dismissals: Only those students with authorization from the building principal will be allowed take their final exams early. Otherwise, no student will be given that opportunity.
| Student Council Executive Board |
President - Julia Hovasse
Vice President - Merna Seleman
Secretary - Neil Pandit
Treasurer - Nimisha Thakkar
School Committee Advisory Board Member & Regional Student Advisory Council Member - Riya Kamani
|CLASS OF 2019||Class of 2020||class of 2021||class of 2022|
Member At Large
|Member At Large
|Member At Large
|Member At Large|
Use of the Burlington Public School District electronic communication system is a privilege that will be withdrawn from irresponsible users. Users must accept the responsibility to use school-provided Internet service in a manner consistent with state and national regulations and the educational goals of the Burlington Public Schools. Irresponsible users are ones who do not adhere to the following strict guidelines for Internet user conduct.
District Acceptable Use Policy as accepted by the Burlington School Committee.
| Messaging and E-mail |
Students will not use school computers or technology for sending personal email or instant messaging without prior authorization from a teacher or administrator.
| Personal Safety |
Users will not post personal contact information about themselves or other people. Personal contact information includes address, telephone, etc. Users will not agree to meet with someone they have met online without their parent/guardian’s approval and participation. Users will promptly disclose to their teacher or other school employee any message they receive that is inappropriate or makes them feel uncomfortable.
| Illegal Activities |
Users will not attempt to gain unauthorized access to the District system or to any other computer system through this local area network, or go beyond their authorized access. This includes attempting to log in through another person's account or access another person's hardware and files. These actions are illegal, even if only for the purposes of "browsing”. Users will not make deliberate attempts to disrupt the computer system’s performance or destroy data by spreading computer viruses or by any other means. These actions are illegal. Users will not use the District network to engage in any illegal acts.
| System Security |
Users are responsible for the use of their individual account and should take all reasonable precautions to prevent others from being able to use their account. Under no conditions should a user provide his/her password to another person. Users will immediately notify the Coordinator of Computer/Media Services or another staff member if they have identified a possible security problem. Users will not go looking for security problems, because this may be construed as an illegal attempt to gain access. Users will not upload, create, or spread computer viruses.
Restrictions against inappropriate language apply to public messages, private messages, and material posted on web pages. Users will not use inappropriate language. Users will not post information that, if acted upon, could cause damage or a danger of disruption. Users will not engage in personal attacks, including prejudicial or discriminatory attacks. Users will not harass another person. If a user is told by a person to stop sending them messages, they must stop. Users will not knowingly or recklessly post false or defamatory information about a person or organization.
The main purpose of any disciplinary action is to correct and improve behavior so that the education process can proceed. There are circumstances in which the behavior of any individual violates the rights of the other members of the school community. Therefore, there shall be consistent penalties imposed for all infractions of school rules. These penalties will become progressively more severe for repeated infractions, and may result in students being restricted from attending any and all school activities. Parents/guardians will be notified at all levels of suspension and restrictions. No disciplinary action will result in the loss of make-up rights, except as stated in the regulations governed by this policy. When exclusion is imposed, there shall be no make-up rights. This policy recognizes the rights of the individual to due process as guaranteed by law. The administration respects the rights of all students but will not allow those rights to interfere or impact upon the rights of other students seeking a quality education at Burlington High School. Disciplinary sanctions for violations of school rules and/or the General Laws of Massachusetts shall be imposed in a non-discriminatory manner and without regard to race, color, sex, national origin, sexual orientation or disability.
| Respect for Individual Rights |
The Burlington School System recognizes and supports respect for the dignity of all individuals. Any defamatory or derogatory statement aimed at any racial, religious, ethnic or minority groups by students and/or staff members is totally unacceptable. Individuals guilty of this behavior will be subject to verbal reprimand, suspension from school for up to ten days and a requirement to attend outside sensitivity counseling to be approved by the administration. Failure to comply will result in a recommendation for exclusion. Furthermore, all charges will be assessed to determine if civil rights violations have occurred and in such cases, court action will be taken.
| Teacher/Office Detention |
Detention will be imposed for infractions of school rules. Teacher detentions are served from 3:10 to 3:35. Students are to report to the area designated by the teacher or administrator. Office detention will be served from 3:20 to 4:20 pm. Extended Detention will be served from 3:20 – 5:20 p.m.
| In School Suspension [ ISS ] |
ISS will be imposed for infractions of school rules. The students’ classroom teachers will provide schoolwork. It is the responsibility of the student to report to ISS with all his/her textbooks and for returning the completed assignments to the classroom teacher in order to receive credit. Students must report to their respective Associate Principal on time at 8:350 or they may be sent home and assigned an additional day of ISS upon return. Students will remain in the ISS room for the entire school day with the ISS supervising staff member. Any student who causes a disruption in the ISS room may be suspended Out of School for two (2) days and will be required to complete ISS upon returning. Suspended students are not permitted to enter the school grounds or participate in any school-sponsored activities for the duration of their suspension.
| Out Of School Suspension [ OSS ] |
Out of School Suspension will be imposed in the cases of, but not limited to, continued infractions of school rules, acts of violence, acts of vandalism, threatening actions or words, theft and the possession and/or sale of alcoholic beverages, weapons, and/or drugs or gambling. Such acts may be subject to a hearing for exclusion before the Superintendent of Schools. Students suspended out of school are not permitted to enter the school grounds or participate in any school-sponsored activities for the duration of their suspension.
| Friday Community Service |
Friday Community Service may be assigned in lieu of an In School Suspension or Extended Detention at the administrator’s discretion. Friday Community Service will be 3:20 to 5:20 p.m. Students will not be admitted late. Absences are excused only if approved in advance by an administrator.
| Saturday Community Service |
Saturday Community Service can be assigned in lieu of an In School Suspension or Extended Detention at the administrator’s discretion. The Saturday program is held from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Students will not be admitted late. Absences are excused only if approved in advance by an administrator.
[ 1 ] Short Term Disciplinary Sanctions: Prior to the imposition of any disciplinary sanction that may result in a student’s suspension from school for ten (10) consecutive school days or less, the student will be given oral notice of the offense with which he/she is charged and an opportunity to respond. In the event the principal determines that the student will be suspended from school, the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) will be notified by telephone and in writing.
[ 2 ] Long Term Disciplinary Sanctions:
a. Prior to the imposition of any disciplinary sanction that might result in the student’s suspension for more than ten (10) consecutive school days or expulsion, the parent(s)/guardian(s) will be given written notice of a hearing at which they may be represented by an attorney at their expense and may examine and present witnesses and documentary evidence.
b. Following this hearing, the decision maker (principal/school committee) will issue a written decision. The written decision shall inform the parent(s)/guardian(s) and student of the student’s right to receive education services, such as the opportunity to earn credits, make up assignments, tests, papers and other school work as needed to make academic progress during the period of his or her removal from the classroom or school. This notice shall be provided in English and the primary language spoken in the student’s home if other than English, and the notice shall include a list of education services that are available, as well as contact information for a school district staff member who can provide more detailed information.
c. The parent(s)/guardian(s) will have the right to appeal any decision imposing a long-term exclusion from school. Where the student is excluded in accordance with M.G.L. c. 71 §37H, the student shall have ten (10) days from the effective date of the exclusion to file a written appeal with the superintendent of schools. For exclusions imposed pursuant to M.G.L. c.71 §37H1/2 and M.G.L. c.71, §37H 3/4, the student shall have five (5) days from the effective date of the exclusion to file a written appeal with the superintendent. For exclusions imposed by the school committee in accordance with M.G.L. c.76 §17, the student shall have the right to file a written request for reconsideration by the committee within ten (10) days of the effective date of the exclusion. Pending the outcome of any such appeal, the disciplinary sanction imposed shall remain in effect. M.G.L. c. 76 §17, M.G.L. c. 71 §37H, M.G.L. c. 71 §37H1/2. M.G.L. c.71, §37H 3/4.
3. Students with Disabilities: Students who have been identified as students with disabilities in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or who the school has reason to believe might be eligible for special education services are entitled to additional procedural protections when a disciplinary exclusion is considered. Prior to the imposition of any disciplinary sanction that would result in a change in placement; the student’s Team will meet to determine whether the student’s conduct was a manifestation of the student’s disability. If the Team determines that the conduct was a manifestation of the student’s disability, they shall review any existing behavior plan or, if no such behavior plan exists, conduct a functional behavioral assessment. In many cases, a student with a disability will be entitled to services identified by the student’s Team as necessary to provide the student with a free appropriate public education during periods of disciplinary exclusion exceeding ten (10) school days in a given year. For additional information regarding the rights of students with disabilities in the context of school discipline please contact the Burlington Public Schools’ Director of Special Education or the building principal.
All students are expected to meet the requirements for behavior as set forth in this handbook. In addition to those due process protections afforded to all students, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and related regulations require that additional provisions be made for students who have been found eligible for special education services or who the school district knows or has reason to know might be eligible for such services. Students who have been found to have a disability that impacts upon a major life activity, as defined under §504 of the Rehabilitation Act, are, generally, also entitled to increased procedural protections prior to imposing discipline that will result in the student’s removal for more than ten (10) consecutive school days or where there is a pattern of short term removals exceeding ten (10) school days in a given year. The following additional requirements apply to the discipline of students with disabilities:
[ 1 ] The IEP for every student eligible for special education or related services shall indicate whether the student can be expected to meet the regular discipline code of the school or whether the code should be modified to address the student’s individual needs.
[ 2 ] Students with disabilities may be excluded from their programs for up to ten (10) school days to the extent that such sanctions would be applied to all students. Before a student with a disability can be excluded from his/her program for more than ten (10) consecutive school days in a given school year or subjected to a pattern of removal constituting a “change of placement”, building administrators, the parent(s)/guardian(s) and relevant members of the student’s IEP or 504 Team will meet to determine the relationship between the student’s disability and behavior (Manifestation Determination). During disciplinary exclusions exceeding ten (10) school days in a single school year, the student shall have the right to the receive services identified as necessary by the Team to provide him/her with a free appropriate public education during the period of exclusion.
[ 3 ] If building administrators, the parent(s)/guardian(s) and relevant members of the student’s IEP or 504 Team determine that the student’s conduct was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, the school may discipline the student in accordance with the procedures and penalties applicable to all students but will continue to provide a free appropriate public education to those students with IEPs. The student’s IEP or 504 Team will identify the services necessary to provide a free appropriate public education during the period of exclusion, review any existing behavior intervention plan or, where appropriate, conduct a functional behavioral assessment.
[ 4 ] If building administrators, the parent(s)/guardian(s), and relevant members of the student’s IEP or 504 Team determine that the conduct giving rise to disciplinary action was a manifestation of the student’s disability, the student will not be subjected to further removal or exclusion from the student’s current educational program based on that conduct (except for conduct involving weapons, drugs, or resulting in serious bodily injury to others) until the IEP or 504 Team develops, and the parent(s)/guardian(s) consent to, a new placement or unless the District obtains an order from a court or from the Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) authorizing a change in the student’s placement. The Student’s Team shall also review, and modify as appropriate, any existing behavior intervention plan or arrange for a functional behavioral assessment.
[ 5 ] When a student on an IEP possesses or uses illegal drugs, sells or solicits a controlled substance, possesses a weapon, or causes serious bodily injury to another on school grounds or at a school function, the District may place the student in an interim alternative educational setting (IAES) for up to forty-five (45) school days provided the student is on an IEP. A court or BSEA Hearing Officer may also order the placement of a student who presents a substantial likelihood of injury to self or others in an appropriate interim setting for up to forty-five (45) school days.
[ 1 ] All press releases are to be cleared by the Principal prior to distribution to newspapers.
[ 2 ] Textbooks are to be covered and the student’s name should be entered in the appropriate place. All textbooks or their replacement cost must be turned in prior to taking any final exams.
[ 3 ] All notices for the daily bulletin should be in the Main Office before 11:30 am on the day prior to the announcement. Announcements should be brief and clearly worded. All announcements must be cleared by administration. Only school-sponsored activities will be announced over the P.A.
[ 4 ] Students are not allowed to be in the building after the close of school without first receiving approval from their administrator. Students engaged in after-school activities should bring all books with them and should not return to their locker at the end of the activity.
[ 5 ] Students must have updated medical records on file with the school nurse. Failure to comply with this will result in the student being removed from the student population until all records are received (Mass. General Laws).
[ 6 ] Non-authorized student visitors will not be allowed in Burlington High School during the school day. The principal may grant authorization through approval.
[ 7 ] Any student who has been elected to an official position either through Student Government, the National Honor Society, or an extracurricular club who violates the alcohol/substance policy and/or who is deemed by administration as a student "not in good standing" due to either, academic failure and/or continued violations of our Student Handbook will be removed from their official position upon either the request of said club or the activity advisor or by Administrative action alone. An appeal may be made by the student, at which time the student must present his/her case directly to a panel comprised of the faculty advisor and a minimum of two administrators. In all cases, students will be granted full due process.
[ 8 ] During the school day, outside food deliveries must be approved in advance by an administrator.
| CORI Report Policy |
The Burlington Public Schools have been certified by the Criminal History Systems Board for access to all criminal case data including convictions, non-convictions and pending criminal case information. All prospective employees including volunteers, chaperones, as well as contractors, working on school property are subject to a CORI check by the school department. The Burlington School Department maintains a zero tolerance policy and any information on the CORI report, other than no record found, will result in the individual being denied employment, volunteering, chaperoning school activities, or working on school property.
| Dress Code |
Students are expected to dress in an appropriate manner. Any clothing (hats, coats, shirts, etc.) deemed by the Administration to be cause for any disruption or disorder, including anything that symbolizes gang behavior, is not allowed and violators will be sent home for a change of clothing. If, in the judgment of the Administration, inappropriate clothing contributes to a disruptive or disorderly school climate, students may be sent home.
| Driving/ Parking Privileges |
Parking on school property is a student privilege that may be revoked as a result of a violation of the parking rules and/or attendance policy. Students are required to register their vehicles with the administration, purchase a parking permit for $15.00 and park only in the designated student parking lot each day according to the parking rules. Parking permits must be displayed, with the number facing outward, on the rearview mirror of the car. Student violators to the parking rules at BHS will lose their driving privileges for 2 weeks for the first offense. Subsequent offenses of the parking rules may result in the revocation of the privilege to park on school grounds. Parking permits will be distributed to seniors on a first come, first served basis. Underclassmen who wish to park on school property will be allowed to purchase a parking permit as space permits.
No student car is allowed beyond the student parking lot entrance for any reason during the school hours unless permission has been granted by the administration. Any student who is illegally parked in any area other that the student parking lot will face the following actions:
[ 1 ] Students of illegally parked cars will be given Extended Detention and will be prohibited from driving their cars onto school grounds for two weeks and parent/guardian and police notification will take place. Subsequent parking infractions will lead to more extended periods of suspension and the revoking of driving privileges at BHS.
[ 2 ] The police may be notified of improperly parked vehicles and have authorization to ticket these vehicles and where necessary, tow the vehicles at student’s expense.
[ 3 ] Speeding or reckless driving on school grounds may lead to a suspension, police notification and the recommendation that the Registry of Motor Vehicles be notified. Student driving privileges may be revoked.
| Incomplete Grade Policy |
[ 1 ] A grade of Incomplete “I” may be given only when a student has work outstanding at the end of a marking period due to authorized absences within the last 10 days of that marking period; the teacher must agree to exceptions to this rule.
[ 2 ] At the end of each marking period, any work not handed in is graded as a zero and is averaged with the student’s other grades. This includes all work missed due to unauthorized absences and work not made up in the allotted time parameters (see #5).
[ 3 ] Any work missed due to unauthorized absences will become a ZERO.
[ 4 ] An “N.C.” no grade is given for the last marking term of a course when the course requirements are not met due to unauthorized absences or negligent performance. This grade negates all course credit.
[ 5 ] The following schedule should be used as a guideline for making up outstanding work for authorized absences: 1-2 days absent – 1 week to make up; 3-5 days absent – 2 weeks to make up; > 5 days – by arrangement. Any extensions to the time limit must be granted by an Associate Principal in conjunction with the Department Head and the teacher. Students will be responsible for arranging make up.
| Residency Requirements |
In accordance with Chapter 76-12B of the Massachusetts School Choice Law, the Burlington School Committee has voted to participate in the school choice program; therefore, non-resident students are eligible for attendance in the Burlington Public School System. To apply for school choice, please send a letter stating your intention to the Principal of Burlington High School.
| School Health Clinic Requirements |
[ 1 ] Any student who is ill or injured should go to the Nurse’s Office. The Nurse will contact a parent/guardian to arrange for transportation to student’s home.
[ 2 ] An emergency information card will be distributed to students during homeroom during first week of school. These are to be taken home, accurately completed, signed by parent/guardian and returned to the homeroom teacher, as soon as possible. Every student MUST have an emergency card on file in the Nurse’s Office.
[ 3 ] Any student in need of an elevator key (due to illness or injury) may obtain one from the Nurse for use during the period of disability. A deposit of $5.00 is required and will be returned to student upon receipt of the key.
[ 4 ] Due to legal restraints, a medication permit, signed by a Doctor must be on file before the Nurse can administer any medication (including non-prescription medicines). No medications are available to students, unless the ordered medication has been brought to the Nurse (MEDICINE CONTAINER MUST HAVE THE ORIGINAL LABEL THAT INCLUDES THE NAME OF THE STUDENT, NAME OF MEDICATION, DOSAGE AND TIME OF ADMINISTRATION.) The container is to be kept in the Nurse’s Office unless otherwise stated by the Doctor. An exception to the rule is made for “Tylenol” and “Advil.” On the back of the Emergency Card, there is a place to sign if parent/guardian wishes Nurse to administer “Tylenol” or “Advil.” Such medicines will not be administered without a parent/guardian signature.
[ 5 ] Massachusetts State Law mandates that students show proof of being up to date on all immunizations and that a health record be kept on file in the nurse's office. Students at the high school level must have 4 doses DtaP/DTP plus a Td booster-no more than 5 years since their last dose, Hepatitis B-a series of 3 doses, Polio->3 doses, MMR-2 doses, and a history of having chicken pox or the Varicella immunization. Any student whose immunizations are overdue faces the risk of exclusion from school. Students will be updated regarding any changes in state immunization requirements as they occur.
[ 6 ] Students are required by the Massachusetts State Law to have a periodical physical examination by his/her physician. Forms are mailed in the spring of the freshman year to be completed by entrance to Grade 10. These forms are due at the Nurse’s Office by September 15 of year entering Grade 11. (Athletic physicals are available by the school doctor through the nurse’s office and by appointment only.)
| School Lockers |
- Only one student is allowed to occupy each assigned locker.
- No personal locks are allowed on lockers.
- Since all lockers are the property of the Burlington School Department, students must ensure that their lockers are kept clean and properly maintained.
- Lockers must be cleaned out at end of the school year. Any items left behind will be discarded and will not be the responsibility of the school department.
- All lockers are subject to a search at any time by school officials
| Search and Seizure Law |
A student’s person, personal possessions, and locker may be searched whenever school administrators have reasonable suspicion that the student is in possession of illegal, prohibited, or contraband items or materials. Any and all illegal, prohibited, or contraband materials discovered as a result of such a search will be confiscated. Students found in possession of such items or materials will be subject to discipline and/or criminal prosecution.
Parking on school property is a privilege and may be revoked at any time. Any student car parked on school property is subject to random and unannounced searches by school officials. By parking a vehicle on school grounds you acknowledge and consent to random and unannounced vehicle searches by school officials.
Students are advised that it is a violation of the school’s rules and regulations to store any illegal substance, tobacco, weapon and/or explosive material in any vehicle parked on school premises. Discovery of such material may result in discipline, up to and including expulsion.
| Seat Belt Use |
The driver of a motor vehicle and all passengers must wear seat belts while on school property. Failure to do so will result in the following disciplinary action: First offense: Conference with student, parent/guardian and police. Second and/or subsequent offenses: Suspension of driving privileges on school grounds.
| Study Halls |
All students must report to all assigned classes. Attendance will be taken and processed according to established procedures. The same rules for absence and tardiness will apply. Study hall teachers may issue passes in emergencies. If a student has an unauthorized absence from his/her study the discipline policy applies.
| Withdrawal Policy |
No students may withdraw from a class without permission from his or her custodial parent/guardian or legal guardian. The department chairperson and the student’s administrator must approve a class withdrawal. When a student withdraws from a class after the first marking term, a “W” will appear on the student’s report card, permanent record and transcript.
| Final Exam Policy |
[ 1 ] All students will be required to take final examinations or projects for each course in which they are enrolled. If students do not take a final exam in a course, they are liable to receive a grade of incomplete, not only for the exam but also for the final grade in the course.
[ 2 ] The final exam mark in a full-year course will count no more than 10% of the final year’s average; the midyear exam also will count no more than 10%. Together they will count no more than 20% of the final grade. In the case of a half-year course, the final exam counts no more than 20% of the final course average.
[ 3 ] Report cards, transcripts and/or schedules will not be released until students return or pay for all missing textbooks, calculators and library books.
[ 4 ] Permission to take early finals must be granted by the principal.
[ 5 ] Students who are unable to take an exam at the regularly scheduled time because of an authorized absence will receive an incomplete for the course and must take the exam upon their return from the absence. The exam(s) must be made up by July 31 following the missed exam(s).
| Senior Final Exam Policy |
In order to be exempted from a final examination a senior must:
- Achieve a class average of 87 (B+) or better for the second semester course grade.
- Maintain solid class attendance. Solid attendance is measured by a maximum of 4 absences during the 4th quarter, excluding those excused by a medical note, bereavement/family funeral, major religious observances, legal appearances, or extraordinary family circumstances (excused at the discretion of the Principal).
- Students who are exempt from a senior final may choose to take the examination. For report card purposes, final examination grades will be reported for exempted seniors as the average of a student’s 3rd and 4th term grades.
| Advanced Placement Examination Policy |
It is required that all students enrolled in AP courses at BHS take the associated AP examinations. Since a fee must be paid for each exam, students/families must plan for the cost of participating in the AP program. Advanced Placement fee subsidies are available for students who receive a free or reduced school lunch.
| Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement |
Users will not plagiarize works that they find on the Internet. Plagiarism is taking the ideas or writings of others and presenting them as if they were original to the user. Users will respect copyright.
| Access to Inappropriate Material |
Users will not use the District network to access profane or obscene materials that advocates illegal acts, or that advocates violence or discrimination towards other people. Exceptions may be made if the purpose of such access is to conduct research approved by both the teacher and the parent/guardian. If a user inadvertently accesses such information, they will immediately disclose the inadvertent access in a manner specified by their school. This will protect users against an allegation that they have intentionally violated the Acceptable Use Policy.
POLICIES AND STATE LAW RELATING TO ILLEGAL DRUGS, WEAPONS, ASSAULT, CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES AND EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS
M.G.L. c.71 §37H
(a) Any student who is found on school premises or at school-sponsored or school-related events, including athletic games, in possession of a dangerous weapon, including, but not limited to, a gun or a knife; or a controlled substance as defined in chapter ninety-four C, including, but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, may be subject to expulsion from the school or school district by the principal.
(b) Any student who assaults a principal, assistant principal, teacher, teacher's aide or other educational staff on school premises or at school-sponsored or school-related events, including athletic games, may be subject to expulsion from the school or school district by the principal.
(c) Any student who is charged with a violation of either paragraph (a) or (b) shall be notified in writing of an opportunity for a hearing; provided, however, that the student may have representation, along with the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses at said hearing before the principal. After said hearing, a principal may, in his discretion, decide to suspend rather than expel a student who has been determined by the principal to have violated either paragraph (a) or (b).
(d) Any student who has been expelled from a school district pursuant to these provisions shall have the right to appeal to the superintendent. The expelled student shall have ten days from the date of the expulsion in which to notify the superintendent of his appeal. The student has the right to counsel at a hearing before the superintendent. The subject matter of the appeal shall not be limited solely to a factual determination of whether the student has violated any provisions of this section.
(e) Any school district that suspends or expels a student under this section shall continue to provide educational services to the student during the period of suspension or expulsion, under section 21 of chapter 76. If the student moves to another district during the period of suspension or expulsion, the new district of residence shall either admit the student to its schools or provide educational services to the student in an education service plan, under section 21 of chapter 76.
(f) Districts shall report to the department of elementary and secondary education the specific reasons for all suspensions and expulsions, regardless of duration or type, in a manner and form established by the commissioner. The department of elementary and secondary education shall use its existing data collection tools to obtain this information from districts and shall modify those tools, as necessary, to obtain the information. On an annual basis, the department of elementary and secondary education shall make district level de-identified data and analysis, including the total number of days each student is excluded during the school year, available to the public online in a machine readable format. This report shall include district level data disaggregated by student status and categories established by the commissioner.
(g) Under the regulations promulgated by the department, for each school that suspends or expels a significant number of students for more than 10 cumulative days in a school year, the commissioner shall investigate and, as appropriate, shall recommend models that incorporate intermediary steps prior to the use of suspension or expulsion. The results of the analysis shall be publicly reported at the school district level.
M.G.L. c.71 §37H1/2
Chapter 71, Section 37½: Suspension/Expulsion for a Felony Charge or Conviction
(1) Upon the issuance of a criminal complaint charging a student with a felony or upon the issuance of a felony delinquency complaint against a student, the principal or headmaster of a school in which the student is enrolled may suspend such student for a period of time determined appropriate by said principal or headmaster if said principal or headmaster determines that the student's continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. The student shall receive written notification of the charges and the reasons for such suspension prior to such suspension taking effect. The student shall also receive written notification of his right to appeal and the process for appealing such suspension; provided, however, that such suspension shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing conducted by the superintendent.
The student shall have the right to appeal the suspension to the superintendent. The student shall notify the superintendent in writing of his request for an appeal no later than five calendar days following the effective date of the suspension. The superintendent shall hold a hearing with the student and the student's parent or guardian within three calendar days of the student's request for an appeal. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony on his behalf, and shall have the right to counsel. The superintendent shall have the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the principal or headmaster, including recommending an alternate educational program for the student. The superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal within five calendar days of the hearing. Such decision shall be the final decision of the city, town or regional school district with regard to the suspension.
(2) Upon a student being convicted of a felony or upon an adjudication or admission in court of guilt with respect to such a felony or felony delinquency, the principal or headmaster of a school in which the Upon a student being convicted of a felony or upon an adjudication or admission in court of guilt with respect to such a felony or felony delinquency, the principal or headmaster of a school in which the student is enrolled may expel said student if such principal or headmaster determines that the student's continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. The student shall receive written notification of the charges and reasons for such expulsion prior to such expulsion taking effect. The student shall also receive written notification of his right to appeal and the process for appealing such expulsion; provided, however, that the expulsion shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing conducted by the superintendent.
The student shall have the right to appeal the expulsion to the superintendent. The student shall notify the superintendent, in writing, of his request for an appeal no later than five calendar days following the effective date of the expulsion. The superintendent shall hold a hearing with the student and the student's parent or guardian within three calendar days of the expulsion. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony on his behalf, and shall have the right to counsel. The superintendent shall have the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the principal or headmaster, including recommending an alternate educational program for the student. The superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal within five calendar days of the hearing. Such decision shall be the final decision of the city, town or regional school district with regard to the expulsion.
Any school district that suspends or expels a student under this section shall continue to provide educational services to the student during the period of suspension or expulsion, under section 21 of chapter 76. If the student moves to another district during the period of suspension or expulsion, the new district of residence shall either admit the student to its schools or provide educational services to the student under an education service plan, under section 21 of chapter 76.
M.G.L. c.71, §37H3/4
(a) This section shall govern the suspension and expulsion of students enrolled in a public school in the commonwealth who are not charged with a violation of subsections (a) or (b) of section 37H or with a felony under section 37H1/2.
(b) Alternatives to Suspension under Section 37H3/4. Any principal, superintendent or other person acting as a decision-maker at a student meeting or hearing, when deciding the consequences for the student, shall exercise discretion; consider ways to re-engage the student in the learning process; and avoid using expulsion as a consequence until other remedies and consequences have been employed. Alternatives may include the use of evidence-based strategies and programs such as mediation, conflict resolution, restorative justice, and positive behavioral interventions and supports.
(c) Notice of Suspension and Hearing under Section 37H3/4.
(1) Except in the case of emergency removal as set forth below, or in school suspensions, the principal may not impose a suspension as a consequence for a disciplinary offense without first providing the student and the parent or guardian oral and written notice, and providing the student an opportunity for a hearing on the charge and the parent or guardian opportunity to participate in such hearing.
(2) The principal shall provide oral and written notice to the student and the parent or guardian in English and in the primary language of the home if other than English, or other means of communication where appropriate. The notice shall set forth in plain language:
(a) the disciplinary offense;
(b) the basis for the charge;
(c) the potential consequences, including the potential length of the student's suspension;
(d) the opportunity for the student to have a hearing with the principal concerning the proposed suspension, including the opportunity to dispute the charges and to present the student's explanation of the alleged incident, and for the parent/guardian to attend the hearing;
(e) the date, time, and location of the hearing;
(f) the right of the student and the student's parent/guardian to interpreter services at the hearing if needed to participate;
(g) if the student may be placed on long-term suspension following the hearing with the principal:
1. the rights set forth below concerning a long-term suspension hearing; and
2. the right to appeal the principal's decision to the superintendent.
(3) The principal shall make reasonable efforts to notify the parent/guardian orally of the opportunity to attend the hearing. To conduct a hearing without the parent/guardian present, the principal must be able to document reasonable efforts to include the parent/guardian. The principal is presumed to have made reasonable efforts if the principal has sent written notice and has documented at least two (2) attempts to contact the parent/guardian in the manner specified by the parent/guardian for emergency notification.
(4) Written notice to the parent/guardian may be made by hand delivery, first-class mail, certified mail, email to an address provided by the parent/guardian for school communications, or any other method of delivery agreed to by the principal and parent/guardian.
(d) Emergency Removal under Section 37H3/4
(1) The principal can remove a student from school temporarily when a student is charged with a disciplinary offense and the continued presence of the student poses a danger to persons or property, or materially and substantially disrupts the order of the school, and, in the principal's judgment, there is no alternative available to alleviate the danger or disruption. The principal shall immediately notify the superintendent in writing of the removal and the reason for it, and describe the danger presented by the student. The temporary removal shall not exceed two (2) school days following the day of the emergency removal, during which time the principal shall:
(a) Make immediate and reasonable efforts to orally notify the student and the student's parent/guardian of the emergency removal, the reason for the need for emergency removal, and the other matters set forth in Section (c)(2), above;
(b) Provide written notice to the student and parent/guardian as provided in Section (c)(2), above;
(c) Provide the student an opportunity for a hearing with the principal that complies with Sections (e)(2) and (e)(3) below, as applicable, and the parent/guardian an opportunity to attend the hearing, before the expiration of the two (2) school days, unless an extension of time for hearing is otherwise agreed to by the principal, student, and parent/guardian.
(d) Render a decision orally on the same day as the hearing, and in writing no later than the following school day, which meets the requirements of Sections (e)(2)(c) and (e)(3)(d) below, as applicable.
(2) A principal may not remove a student from school on an emergency basis for a disciplinary offense until adequate provisions have been made for the student's safety and transportation.
(3) Removal from privileges such as extracurricular activities and attendance at school-sponsored
events, based on the student’s misconduct, is not subject to these procedures.
(e) Principal’s Hearing under Section 37H3/4
1) The principal shall determine the extent of the rights to be afforded the student at a disciplinary hearing based on the anticipated consequences for the disciplinary offense. If the consequence may be long-term suspension from school, the principal shall afford the student, at a minimum, all the rights set forth below in addition to those rights afforded to students who may face a short-term suspension from school.
2) Principal Hearing - Short-term Suspension
(a) The purpose of the hearing with the principal is to hear and consider information regarding the alleged incident for which the student may be suspended, provide the student an opportunity to dispute the charges and explain the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident, determine if the student committed the disciplinary offense, and if so, the consequences for the infraction. At a minimum, the principal shall discuss the disciplinary offense, the basis for the charge, and any other pertinent information. The student also shall have an opportunity to present information, including mitigating facts, that the principal should consider in determining whether other remedies and consequences may be appropriate as set forth in Section (b) above. The principal shall provide the parent/guardian, if present, an opportunity to discuss the student's conduct and offer information, including mitigating circumstances, that the principal should consider in determining consequences for the student.
(b) Based on the available information, including mitigating circumstances, the principal shall determine whether the student committed the disciplinary offense, and, if so, what remedy or consequence will be imposed.
(c) The principal shall notify the student and parent/guardian of the determination and the reasons for it, and, if the student is suspended, the type and duration of suspension and the opportunity to make up assignments and such other school work as needed to make academic progress during the period of removal. The determination shall be in writing and may be in the form of an update to the original written notice.
(d) If the student is in the Burlington Early Childhood Center or grades K through 3, the principal shall send a copy of the written determination to the Superintendent, explaining the reasons for imposing an out-of-school suspension, before the short-term suspension takes effect.
3) Principal Hearing - Long-term Suspension
(a) The purpose of the hearing is the same as the purpose of a short-term suspension hearing.
(b) At a minimum, in addition to the rights afforded a student in a short-term suspension hearing, the student shall have the following rights:
1. In advance of the hearing, the opportunity to review the student's record and the documents upon which the principal may rely in making a determination to suspend the student or not;
2. the right to be represented by counsel or a lay person of the student's choice, at the student's/parent/guardian’s expense;
3. the right to produce witnesses on his or her behalf and to present the student's explanation of the alleged incident, but the student may not be compelled to do so;
4. the right to cross-examine witnesses presented by the school district;
5. the right to request that the hearing be recorded by the principal, and to receive a copy of the audio recording upon request. If the student or parent/guardian requests an audio recording, the principal shall inform all participants before the hearing that an audio record will be made and a copy will be provided to the student and parent/guardian upon request.
(c) The principal shall provide the parent/guardian, if present, an opportunity to discuss the student's conduct and offer information, including mitigating circumstances, that the principal should consider in determining consequences for the student.
(d) Based on the evidence, the principal shall determine whether the student committed the disciplinary offense, and, if so, after considering mitigating circumstances and alternatives to suspension as set forth in Section (b) above, what remedy or consequence will be imposed, in place of or in addition to a long-term suspension. The principal shall send the written determination to the student and parent/guardian by hand-delivery, certified mail, first-class mail, email to an address provided by the parent/guardian for school communications, or any other method of delivery agreed to by the principal and the parent/guardian. If the principal decides to suspend the student, the written determination shall:
1. Identify the disciplinary offense, the date on which the hearing took place, and the participants at the hearing;
2. Set out the key facts and conclusions reached by the principal;
3. Identify the length and effective date of the suspension, as well as a date of return to school;
4. Include notice of the student's opportunity to receive education services to make academic progress during the period of removal from school;
5. Inform the student of the right to appeal the principal's decision to the superintendent or designee, but only if the principal has imposed a long-term suspension. Notice of the right of appeal shall be in English and the primary language of the home if other than English, or other means of communication where appropriate, and shall include the following information stated in plain language:
a) the process for appealing the decision, including that the student or parent/guardian must file a written notice of appeal with the superintendent within five (5) calendar days of the effective date of the long-term suspension; provided that within the five (5) calendar days, the student or parent/guardian may request and receive from the superintendent an extension of time for filing the written notice for up to seven (7) additional calendar days; and that
b) the long-term suspension will remain in effect unless and until the superintendent decides to reverse the principal's determination on appeal.
(e) If the student is in the Burlington Early Childhood Center or grades K through 3, the principal shall send a copy of the written determination to the Superintendent, explaining the reasons for imposing an out-of-school suspension, before the short-term suspension takes effect.
(f) Superintendent’s Hearing under Section 37H3/4
1. A student who is placed on long-term suspension following a hearing with the principal shall have the right to appeal the principal's decision to the superintendent.
2. The student or parent/guardian shall file a notice of appeal with the superintendent within the time period set forth Section (e) (3) (c) 5.a). If the appeal is not timely filed, the superintendent may deny the appeal, or may allow the appeal in his or her discretion, for good cause.
3. The superintendent shall hold the hearing within three (3) school days of the student's request, unless the student or parent/guardian requests an extension of up to seven (7) additional calendar days, in which case the superintendent shall grant the extension.
4. The superintendent shall make a good faith effort to include the parent/guardian in the hearing. The superintendent shall be presumed to have made a good faith effort if he or she has made efforts to find a day and time for the hearing that would allow the parent/guardian and superintendent to participate. The superintendent shall send written notice to the parent/guardian of the date, time, and location of the hearing.
5. The superintendent shall conduct a hearing to determine whether the student committed the disciplinary offense of which the student is accused, and if so, what the consequence shall be. The superintendent shall arrange for an audio recording of the hearing, a copy of which shall be provided to the student or parent/guardian upon request. The superintendent shall inform all participants before the hearing that an audio record will be made of the hearing and a copy will be provided to the student and parent/guardian upon request.
6. The student shall have all the rights afforded the student at the principal's hearing for long-term suspension under Section (e)(3)(b).
7. The superintendent shall issue a written decision within five (5) calendar days of the hearing which meets the requirements of Section (e)(3)(c)1 through 5, above. If the superintendent determines that the student committed the disciplinary offense, the superintendent may impose the same or a lesser consequence than the principal, but shall not impose a suspension greater than that imposed by the principal's decision
8. The decision of the superintendent shall be the final decision of the school district, charter school, or virtual school, with regard to the suspension.
(g) In-School Suspension under Section 37H3/4
1. The principal may use in-school suspension as an alternative to short-term suspension for disciplinary offenses.
2. The principal may impose an in-school suspension for a disciplinary offense under this provision, provided that the principal follows the process set forth below and the student has the opportunity to make academic progress.
3. The principal shall inform the student of the disciplinary offense charged and the basis for the charge, and provide the student an opportunity to dispute the charges and explain the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident. If the principal determines that the student committed the disciplinary offense, the principal shall inform the student of the length of the student's in-school suspension, which shall not exceed 10 days, cumulatively or consecutively, in a school year.
4. On the same day as the in-school suspension decision, the principal shall make reasonable efforts to notify the parent/guardian orally of the disciplinary offense, the reasons for concluding that the student committed the infraction, and the length of the in-school suspension. The principal shall also invite the parent/guardian to a meeting to discuss the student's academic performance and behavior, strategies for student engagement, and possible responses to the behavior. Such meeting shall be scheduled on the day of the suspension if possible, and if not, as soon thereafter as possible. If the principal is unable to reach the parent/guardian after making and documenting at least (2) attempts to do so, such attempts shall constitute reasonable efforts for purposes of orally informing the parent/guardian of the in-school suspension.
5. The principal shall send written notice to the student and parent/guardian about the in-school suspension, including the reason and the length of the in-school suspension, and inviting the parent/guardian to a meeting with the principal for the purpose set forth above, if such meeting has not already occurred. The principal shall deliver such notice on the day of the suspension by hand-delivery, certified mail, first-class mail, email to an address provided by the parent/guardian for school communications, or by other method of delivery agreed to by the principal and the parent/guardian.
Education Services and Academic Progress under Sections 37H, 37H1/2, and 37H3/4
(1) Any student who is serving an in-school suspension, short-term suspension, long-term suspension, or expulsion shall have the opportunity to earn credits, as applicable, make up assignments, tests, papers, and other school work as needed to make academic progress during the period of his or her removal from the classroom or school. The principal shall inform the student and parent/guardian of this opportunity in writing when such suspension or expulsion is imposed.
(2) Any student who is expelled or suspended from school for more than ten (10) consecutive days, whether in school or out of school, shall have an opportunity to receive education services and make academic progress toward meeting state and local requirements, through the school-wide education service plan.
(3) The principal shall develop a school-wide education service plan describing the education services that the school district will make available to students who are expelled or suspended from school for more than ten (10) consecutive days. The plan shall include the process for notifying such students and their parent/guardians of the services and arranging such services. Education services shall be based on, and be provided in a manner consistent with, the academic standards and curriculum frameworks established for all students under G.L. c 69, §§ 1D and 1F.
(4) Notice of Education Services for Students in Long-Term Suspension and Expulsion; Enrollment Reporting.
(a) The principal shall notify the parent and student of the opportunity to receive education services at the time the student is expelled or placed on long-term suspension. Notice shall be provided in English and in the primary language spoken in the student's home if other than English, or other means of communication where appropriate. The notice shall include a list of the specific education services that are available to the student and contact information for a school district staff member who can provide more detailed information.
(b) For each student expelled or suspended from school for more than ten (10) consecutive days, whether in-school or out-of-school, the school district shall document the student's enrollment in education services. For data reporting purposes, the school shall track and report attendance, academic progress, and such other data as directed by the Department.