Positive Behavior Intervention and Support Discipline Matrix
The District has worked with school and community stakeholders to develop three Tiered Behavioral Matrices that provide evidence-based supports and interventions that can be used to address unwanted student behaviors in a productive and educational manner. The Matrices provide suggested interventions, but do not limit school site development of their own additional interventions and strategies that prove effective in building community and addressing unwanted student behaviors without resorting to removal from the educational environment. Successful disciplinary practices should ensure that students have the opportunity to continue to be engaged in their school community and to reflect upon and learn from their mistakes.
The Matrices are also a tool for all stakeholders (students, families, certificated and non-certificated staff, and community) to share a common understanding of the District’s high behavior expectations and responses for adults and students. Finally, the Matrices were also designed to address disproportionate suspension of African American and Latino students, by helping school sites to identify appropriate and effective alternative approaches to punitive discipline, and to build in consistency in school site disciplinary responses to similar types of behavior.
Intersection of Matrices and Student Discipline
To achieve these goals, there are aspects of the Matrices that are MANDATORY. If a principal or site administrator determines that a particular student behavior warrants suspension, the school is required to EXHAUST AND DOCUMENT the recommended interventions listed in the Matrix before issuing such a suspension.
In summary, suspensions are generally a last resort and shall not be utilized except in the following circumstances:
- A student may be suspended on a first offense if the principal determines that the student violated CA Education Code 48900(a)-(e) or that the student’s conduct causes a danger to persons.
- Immediate suspension and expulsion referral are mandatory for offenses listed under CA Education Code 48915(c)(possession of gun or explosive, brandishing a knife, selling drugs or a sexual assault or battery).
- Suspension is otherwise only permissible if the school team has exhausted and documented the mandatory interventions listed in the relevant Matrix and determines that suspension is the appropriate response. Additionally, the SSSR requires that prior to suspension of an African American student [or any other group that District data identifies as the most disproportionately referred for discipline] under this provision, the school must contact the Assistant Superintendent or designee, who will ensure that the Matrix interventions have been exhausted and documented. The Asst. Superintendent will work with the site to identify available supports and interventions for the student.
Organization of the Matrices
There are 3 different Matrices included in this Handbook. The Matrices are organized based on the types of student behavior being addressed, and those behaviors that warrant a similar menu of interventions and supports have been grouped together. The three Matrices include the following:
- Behaviors Involving Defiance/Disruption
- Primary Matrix: Behaviors Involving Property; Harassment/Bullying/Hazing; Threats; Drugs, Alcohol or Tobacco; Violence or Weapons
- Behaviors Requiring Intensive Intervention
Using the Matrices
To use the Matrices, the administrator and/or Student Assistance Program (SAP) team would locate the Matrix that addresses the specific student behavior at issue, and follow the instructions depending on whether the behavior is a first, second or third or more out-of-class referral. For example, the following will occur:
- The principal or designee will hold a restorative conversation with the student’s parent/guardian in person or by phone to discuss the incident and next steps; AND
- The principal or designee will contact the SAP Coordinator to place the student on the agenda for the next available SAP meeting to review BOTH academic and behavioral data to determine the need for intervention or modification to current interventions, as guided by the Matrix menu. (Note: Relevant teacher/teachers should be invited to SAP meeting for affected student); AND
- The SAP Team will choose at least two interventions from the appropriate Matrix Menu based on the category of behavior and the number of office referrals in the current school year in that category and document the plan/interventions into BASIS with an alert to the teacher(s) to review the plan/interventions if not at the SAP meeting.
Schools that have failed to exhaust and document the MANDATORY interventions cannot subsequently decide to suspend a student for the behavior. [This does not apply to mandatory offenses under CA Education Code 48915(c) or situations where the principal determines there is a danger to persons]. A parent or guardian’s unwillingness to participate in a restorative conversation or other interventions will not prevent the team from moving forward with interventions and support.