• Fundamental Probation / Dismissal

    Each fundamental program has a school-based Intervention and Appeal Committee. The purpose of this committee is to review and enforce cases including severe or repeated discipline infractions, continued lack of compliance with homework and /or classwork policies, failure to follow the dress code, parental absences from PTSA/PTA/SAC meetings and parental non-attendance at required conferences. The IAC may recommend alternatives and interventions for improvement, recommend probations with stipulations and removals from the program. This committee is not authorized to reinvestigate situations but must accept the validity of administrative decisions regarding incidents. This committee is the first level of appeal regarding a student’s removal from the program. If a student with a disability (an IEP or a 504 plan) is engaging in disruptive behavior that would normally result in disciplinary action, then the school should follow the normal procedures to address the behaviors, including, as needed, implementing behavioral interventions, conducting an FBA and developing a PBIP, and/or conducting an IEP meeting to address the concerns. In some cases, the behavior may be so severe as to warrant being referred to the IAC before these interventions are completed. However, prior to removing any student with a disability (an IEP or a 504 plan) from a fundamental school, the school must conduct a manifestation determination meeting regarding the student act or acts that lead to the recommended removal to determine whether such act or acts were a manifestation of the student’s disability. No student with a disability will be removed from a fundamental school for an act or acts that were a manifestation of the student’s disability, although such students may be removed if such act or acts were not a manifestation of the student’s disability.

    The principal, who is not a committee member, selects the members of the IAC. The IAC shall be composed of a minimum of three teachers (selected with faculty input) or other school personnel and three parents (selected with SAC, PTSA and PTA chair input). Efforts will be made to have a community representative. A majority of the members must be present to conduct the meeting and render a recommendation. The Intervention and Appeal Committee members will serve a renewable one-year term.

    The committee will meet on a regular, predetermined basis or when requested by the principal/designee. Though not a member of the committee, the principal will be available to answer questions and participate in deliberation but will not vote. In addition, at the middle school level the assistant principal, guidance counselor, and grade level team leader may be available to answer questions. Only the committee members will vote. Decisions will be based on majority vote. The proceedings will be held in strict confidence.

    To maintain confidentiality for fundamental school students each Intervention and Appeals Committee parent representative must annually sign to show their compliance with the following statement:

    “I understand that under the Family Educations Rights and Privacy Act and Florida Statutes, student records are confidential. As a member of this school’s Intervention and Appeals Committee, I understand that I will have access to confidential information and agree to maintain the confidentiality of all student records and information, including student evaluation records and personally identifiable information contained therein.”

    Referral to the Intervention and Appeal Committee 
    A student/family will be referred to the Intervention and Appeal Committee for violations of the fundamental agreement. Reasons for student referrals to the Committee include but are not limited to:

    • Excessive demerits (middle/high school) 
    • Excessive detentions or tardies 
    • Upon receiving two referrals in a grading period (middle/high school) or a third office referral in a school year (elementary school) 
    • Upon receiving one suspension or work detail 
    • Upon serious violation of the Code of Student Conduct 
    • Parent not meeting parent requirements 
    • Parent missing three of the required parent meetings 
    • At the request of an administrator 

    Parents/guardians will be notified at least five days prior to the scheduled meeting that the student has been referred to the Intervention and Appeal Committee. Meetings will be held on the scheduled date and time.

    The parent/guardian may address the committee for a maximum of ten minutes, but will not be present when the committee deliberates. Minutes will be kept of the meeting, however, deliberations will not be included. Parents may have access to the portion of the minutes which refer to their child.

    Parents are permitted to submit an addendum to the official minutes. Schools may provide parents with a conference report immediately following the conclusion of the meeting. 

    The Intervention and Appeal Committee will make an official recommendation to the principal for probation or for the student’s removal from the program. If probation is offered, the committee will specify the conditions for the student to continue in the fundamental school. Failure to agree to probation or violation of the probation agreement will result in immediate removal from the fundamental program. The final decision will be made by the principal based on the committee’s recommendation and other relevant information.

    A school administrator will communicate with the parent/guardian within 48 hours of the IAC meeting to outline conditions, duration of the probation, and proposed interventions. A probation agreement will be explained and signed by the student and the parent/guardian at the conference. Probationary agreements may be carried over to the next school year if necessary to meet the terms of the agreement. A copy of the agreement will be given to the parent at the time of the meeting or mailed within three days. 

    If the committee recommends removal from the program, the removal may be delayed only in instances when the removal takes place immediately preceding a holiday, standardized testing, or other instances approved by the school administration. Students who are removed from the school for any reason may not reenter any fundamental program at any level or re-enter under sibling or employee priority. 

    If a student is referred to the Intervention and Appeal Committee and the parent/guardian withdraws the student in order to avoid the IAC process, that withdrawal will be considered automatic removal from the program. The student will be ineligible for readmission to any fundamental school at any level.

    Appeals of a School-based Intervention and Appeal Committee Decision 
    School Level Appeals 
    Decisions of the school-based Intervention and Appeal Committee shall be appealed in writing first to that Committee within 48 hours of the original decision. As part of the appeal process, if there is any new or additional information, it must be provided to the principal in writing within that 48 hours. Parents/Guardians are invited to attend the scheduled meeting of the Intervention and Appeal Committee; however, their attendance is not required. Parents may address the committee for no more than 10 minutes (middle school) or 20 minutes (elementary school). Only committee members may be present during deliberations. The final decision of the committee will be forwarded to the parents within 48 hours of the meeting.

    Students awaiting an appeal will be permitted to remain in the program so long as they maintain acceptable behavior until the IAC meets and renders its decision. Following an appeal, if the recommendation for the student’s removal from the school is upheld by the IAC, the student will be immediately removed from the program. This process will be coordinated by the principal. The parent may, however, continue the appeal at the district level.

    District Level Appeals 
    Students removed from a fundamental program may appeal the decision of the Intervention and Appeal Committee within 48 hours of notification to the Fundamental School District Appeal Committee by contacting (in writing) the appropriate Area Superintendent’s office. For students with disabilities (who have an IEP or a 504 plan), a record review will be conducted by District Staff from ESE or 504 Compliance to ensure anti-discrimination mandates have been met. This review will take place prior to the District IAC meeting. This appeal only addresses whether or not proper procedures were followed in making the final decision to dismiss. There will be no further investigation of the incident(s) that led to dismissal although the facts may be reviewed.

    Members of the Fundamental School District Appeal Committee will be appointed to serve a one-year term and membership will be comprised of the following: 
    Chairman - An Area Superintendent not assigned to the school of appeal (The other Area Superintendents may attend the meeting but will not be eligible to vote.) 
    Parents - Two parents of fundamental school students not assigned to the school of appeal 
    Teachers - Two fundamental school teachers not assigned to the school of appeal

    Committees and will be appointed by an Area Superintendent with every effort made to have diversity in the committee’s membership.

    The principal representing the school of appeal shall present all documentation regarding the school based IAC process and appeal, be present during the meeting to provide input to the district committee, as requested, however the principal is not present when the parent presents their appeal. The principal is not eligible to vote. 
    The decision of the Fundamental School District Appeal Committee shall be considered final and shall not be reviewed by the School Board. The School Board hereby delegates to the committee its final decision-making authority for such decisions. Students whose removal from the program is upheld by the District Committee may not reenter any fundamental program or re-enter under sibling or instructional/support staff priority.