Family Engagement Survey - February 25 to March 24, 2020 - Learn More

Included in this attachment (click here) and noted below, are excerpts and/or a summary from the policies and procedures of critical Bellevue School District (BSD) policies where publication/notification is either required or encouraged. Complete policies and procedures can be found in the BSD digital policy and procedure manual found on the District website: https://bsd405.org/about/policies-procedures/

POLICY 3241 AND PROCEDURE 3241P (CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT, CORRECTIVE ACTIONS AND/OR INTERVENTIONS)

The District is committed to ensuring a safe and productive learning environment in which students are provided every opportunity to learn. In order to ensure that each and every student has equitable access to educational services and that student behavior does not result in a loss in educational services, the District has eliminated short-term suspensions and provides access to educational services during long-term suspensions and non-emergency expulsions. The District is also committed to reducing the disproportional impact of out-of-school suspensions and expulsions on any identifiable group of students including those with disabilities. The District will achieve its commitments by the application of positive behavior supports and principles, while recognizing that there will be times when the application of corrective action is necessary.

 

When applying corrective action, principals use sound professional judgment to determine appropriate corrective action that is consistent with the District mission and goals, in the best interest of students and anchored in sound theory and practice. Principals will ensure that corrective action is consistent, fair, balanced, progressive in nature, and considers the developmental level of the student. The application of corrective action is at the discretion of principals.

 

The district reserves the right to refer to the appropriate non-school agency any act or conduct of its students which may constitute a crime under federal, state, county or local law.

Appeal Process for:

Corrective Action and/or In-School Suspensions:  There are three levels of grievance/appeal within the school district to contest corrective action.

  • A building-level grievance to the principal: The student and/or parent/guardian have the right to an informal conference with the building principal or his/her designee, provided they notify the principal within three school days of the notification of the imposition of the discipline to request a grievance conference.
  • A district-level grievance: Subsequent to the building-level, grievance, the student and/or parent/guardian have the right, within three school business days of receiving the principal’s decision, to present the district-level grievance to the executive director of the student’s school.
  • An appeal to the district Disciplinary Appeal Council: Subsequent to the district-level grievance, the student and/or parent/guardian have the right to present a written and/or oral grievance to the disciplinary appeal council, provided the student and/or parent/guardian has notified the executive director of the student’s school within two school business days of receiving their decision of intent to grieve. The district Disciplinary Appeal Council will notify the student and/or parent/guardian of its response to the grievance within ten school business days after the date of the appeal. In-school suspensions will be imposed notwithstanding implementation of the above grievance/appeal procedures.

 

Long-Term Suspension and Non-Emergency Expulsion: There are two levels of grievance/appeal within the school district to contest long-term suspension and non-emergency expulsions:

(1) A hearing before the District Hearing Officer: To initiate this hearing, the student and/or his/her parent/guardian must submit a written request for a hearing to the appropriate Executive Director or Supervisor of Pupil Management on or before the expiration of the third school business day after receipt of the notice of opportunity for a hearing.

(2) An appeal before the district Disciplinary Appeal Council: Subsequent to a hearing before the District Hearing Officer, the student and/or parent/guardian have the right, within three school business days after receipt of the District Hearing Officer’s decision, to present a written appeal of the decision to the appropriate Executive Director. If a written appeal is not received within the required three school business days, the long-term suspension or non-emergency expulsion may be imposed as of the calendar day following expiration of the three school business days.

If a written appeal is received within the required three business days, the long-term suspension or non-emergency expulsion may be imposed during the appeal period subject to the conditions and limitations described in WAC 392-400-310(4). If a written appeal is received within the required three school business days, the district Disciplinary Appeal Council will schedule and hold an informal conference to review the matter within ten school days after the date of receipt of the appeal. The purpose of the informal conference will be to meet and confer with the parties in order to decide upon the most appropriate means of disposing of the appeal.

Emergency Expulsion: There are two levels of grievance/appeal within the District to contest emergency expulsions:

(1) A hearing before the District Hearing Officer: To initiate this hearing, the student and/or parent/guardian must submit a written request for a hearing to the appropriate Executive Director or Supervisor of Pupil Management within three school business days after the receipt of the notice of opportunity for a hearing. If a request for a hearing is not received within the required three school business days, the right to a hearing may be deemed to have been waived and the emergency expulsion may be continued as deemed necessary by the school district without any further opportunity for the student or parent/guardian to contest the matter.

If a request for a hearing is received within the required three school days, the school district will immediately schedule and give notice of a hearing to commence as soon as reasonably possible and in no case later than the third school business day after receipt of the request for hearing.

Within one school business day after the date upon which the hearing concludes, a decision as to whether the emergency expulsion shall be continued will be made, and the student’s legal counsel or the student and parent/guardian will be notified thereof by depositing a certified letter in the United States mail.  An emergency expulsion may be continued following the hearing on the basis that the emergency situation continues and/or as corrective action for the action(s) giving rise to the emergency expulsion in the first instance.

(2) An appeal before the district Disciplinary Appeal Council: Subsequent to a hearing before the District Hearing Officer, the student and/or parent/guardian, have the right, within three school business days after receipt of the District Hearing Officer’s decision, to request an appeal of the decision to the appropriate Executive Director. If a written appeal is not received within the required three school business days, then the right to appeal will be deemed to have been waived and no further appeal may be made.

If a written appeal is received within the required three business days, the emergency expulsion may be imposed during the appeal period subject to the conditions and limitations described in WAC 392-400-310(4). If a written appeal is received within the required three school business days, the district Disciplinary Appeal Council will schedule and hold an informal conference to review the matter within ten school days after the date of receipt of the appeal. The purpose of the informal conference will be to meet and confer with the parties in order to decide upon the most appropriate means of disposing of the appeal.  At that time, the student or parent/guardian or legal counsel shall be given the right to be heard and shall be granted the opportunity to present such witnesses and testimony as the district Disciplinary Appeal Council deems reasonable.

After studying the hearing record or other material submitted, the district Disciplinary Appeal Council will render its decision within ten school business days after the date of the informal conference.   An appeal from any decision of the district Disciplinary Appeal Council to impose or to affirm the imposition of an emergency expulsion shall be to the courts.  Whether or not the decision of the district Disciplinary Appeal Council shall be postponed, pending an appeal to Superior Court shall be discretionary with the Disciplinary Appeal Council except as ordered otherwise by a court.

POLICY 3207 AND PROCEDURE 3207P (PROHIBITION OF HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION AND BULLYING)                                

 

The Bellevue School District strives to provide students with optimal conditions for learning by maintaining a school environment where everyone is treated with respect and no one is physically or emotionally harmed. The District is committed to providing a safe and civil educational environment that is free from all types of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment.

In order to ensure respect and prevent harm, it is a violation of district policy for a student to be harassed, intimidated, or bullied by others in the school community, at school sponsored events, or when such actions create a substantial disruption to the educational process. The school community includes, but shall not be limited to, all students, school employees, school board members, contractors, unpaid volunteers, families, patrons, and other visitors. Student(s) will not be harassed because of their race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, socio-economic status, gender, sexual orientation, including gender expression or identity, mental or physical disability, or other distinguishing characteristics.

Any school staff who observes, overhears, or otherwise witnesses harassment, intimidation or bullying or to whom such actions have been reported must take prompt and appropriate action to stop the harassment and to prevent its reoccurrence.

Upon notice, the District will take prompt and appropriate action to investigate and address harassment, intimidation and/or bullying, and discriminatory and sexual harassment.  This includes steps to end the harassment, eliminate the hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects.

Definitions

Harassment, intimidation or bullying is any intentionally written message or image, including those that are electronically transmitted, verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, culture, gender, socio-economic status, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, mental or physical disability, or other distinguishing characteristics, when an act:

  1. Physically harms a student or damages the student’s property;
  2. Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education;
  3. Is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment; or
  4. Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.

Nothing in this section requires the affected student to possess a characteristic that is a basis for the harassment, intimidation or bullying.  “Other distinguishing characteristics” can include but are not limited to physical appearance, clothing or other apparel, socioeconomic status and weight.  “Intentional acts” refers to the individual’s choice to engage in the act rather than the ultimate impact of the action(s).

Discriminatory Harassment, as defined in District Procedure 3210P, includes conduct that is based on a student’s status as a member of a protected class and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it limits or denies a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s education programs or activities.

Malicious Harassment, as defined in District Procedure 3241.1P, means committing malicious and intentional acts because of one’s perception of the victim’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or mental, physical or sensory disability which;

  1. Causes physical injury to the victim or another person;
  2. Causes physical damage to or destruction of the property of the victim or another person; or
  3. Threatens a specific person or group of persons and places that person, or members of a specific group of persons, in reasonable fear of harm to the persons or property.

 

Sexual Harassment, as defined in Board Policy 3205, means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical contact, or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature between two or more individuals if:

  1. Submission to that conduct or communication is made a term or condition, either explicitly or implicitly, of obtaining an education;
  2. Submission to or rejection of that conduct or communication by an individual is used as a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s education; or
  3. That conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s educational performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment.

 

Staff Intervention

All staff members will intervene when witnessing or receiving reports of harassment, intimidation or bullying. Minor incidents that staff are able to resolve immediately, or incidents that do not meet the definition of harassment, intimidation or bullying, require staff to notify the applicable building and/or central office administrative designee in writing of receipt of an oral and/or written report of harassment, intimidation or bullying and actions taken, as applicable, by completing the Incident Reporting Form.  The administrator in receipt of that form will complete the Investigative Reporting Form and submit that form to the Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying compliance officer.  Regardless of the magnitude, all incidents shall be taken seriously and handled accordingly and documented via the district’s Investigative Reporting Form, submitted to the district’s Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying compliance officer.

 

If a staff member witnessed, intervened and/or was in receipt of a report of harassment, intimidation and/or bullying that allegedly occurred by a staff member, the staff member is to notify the applicable building and/or central office administrative designee in writing of such by completing the Incident Reporting Form.  The building and/or central office admniistrative designee in receipt of the Incident Reporting Form will contact the Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying compliance officer to arrange for an investigation led by a central office administrator or designee.

 

If the principal or designee is the subject of the complaint, the Incident Reporting Form will be submitted to the Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying compliance officer to arrange for an investigation led by a central office administrator and/or designee.

 

Filing an Incident Reporting Form

Any student who believes he or she has been the target of unresolved, severe, or persistent harassment, intimidation or bullying, or any other person in the school community who observes or receives notice that a student has or may have been the target of unresolved, severe, or persistent harassment, intimidation or bullying may report incidents verbally or in writing to any staff member.

In order to protect a targeted student from retaliation, a student need not reveal his or her identity on an Incident Reporting Form. The form may be filed anonymously (example: an unsigned letter dropped on a teacher’s desk), confidentially (example: a student reports bullying, but asks that nobody know who reported the incident), or non-confidentially (the student may choose to disclose his or her identity).  No disciplinary action will be taken against an alleged aggressor based solely on an anonymous or confidential report.

 

Investigations of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Allegations

All reports of harassment, intimidation or bullying will be investigated with reasonable promptness. Any student may have a trusted adult with them throughout the report and investigation process.

  1. Upon receipt of the Incident Reporting Form that alleges harassment, intimidation or bullying, the school or district designee will begin the investigation. Allegations against building staff will be investigated by a central office administrator and/or designee. If there is potential for clear and immediate physical harm to the complainant, the district will immediately contact law enforcement and inform the parent/guardian.
  2. During the course of the investigation, the district will take reasonable measures to ensure that no further incidents of harassment, intimidation or bullying occur between the complainant and the alleged aggressor. If necessary, the district will implement a safety plan for the student(s) involved. The plan may include changing seating arrangements for the complainant and/or the alleged aggressor in the classroom, at lunch, or on the bus; identifying a staff member who will act as a safe person for the complainant; altering the alleged aggressor’s schedule and access to the complainant, and other measures.

If a complaint of harassment, intimidation or bullying indicates potential discrimination or harassment based on any protected class, the investigator must inform the district’s civil rights compliance officer.  Upon receipt of this information, the civil rights compliance officer must notify the complainant that their complaint will proceed under both the Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying and Nondiscrimination (Procedure 3210P) compliant procedures.

  1. Within two (2) school days after receiving the Incident Reporting Form, the school designee will notify the families of the students involved that a complaint was received and direct the families to the district’s policy and procedure on harassment, intimidation and bullying. During that time, the school and/or district designee will review the investigative processes and related timelines, outlined in this procedure.
  2. In rare cases, where after consultation with the student and appropriate staff (such as a psychologist, counselor, or social worker) the district has evidence that it would threaten the health and safety of the complainant or the alleged aggressor to involve his or her parent/guardian, the district may initially refrain from contacting the parent/guardian in its investigation of harassment, intimidation and bullying. If professional school personnel suspect that a student is subject to abuse and neglect, they must follow district policy for reporting suspected cases to Child Protective Services.
  3. The investigation will include, at a minimum:
  4. An interview with the complainant;
  5. An interview with the alleged aggressor(s);
  6. A review of any previous complaints involving either the complainant or the alleged aggressor(s); and
  7. Interviews with other students or staff members who may have knowledge of the alleged incident.
  8. An interview with the parent, as appropriate.
  9. The principal or designee may determine that other steps must be taken before the investigation is complete.
  10. The investigation will be completed as soon as practicable but generally no later than five (5) school days from the initial complaint or report. If more time is needed to complete an investigation, the district will provide the parent/guardian and/or the student with weekly updates.
  11. No later than two (2) school days after the investigation has been completed and submitted to the compliance officer via the district’s Investigative Reporting Form, the principal or designee will respond in writing or in person to the parent/guardian of the complainant and the alleged aggressor(s) stating:
  12. The results of the investigation;
  13. Whether the allegations were found to be factual;
  14. Whether there was a violation of policy; and
  15. The process for the complainant to file an appeal if the complainant disagrees with the results.

If the initial response to the parent/guardian of the complainant and the alleged aggressor was in person, the principal or designee will also follow up in writing, summarizing the conversation, including the district’s Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying compliance officer in that written summary.

Corrective Measures for the Aggressor

After completion of the investigation, the school or district designee will institute any corrective measures necessary. Corrective measures will be instituted as quickly as possible, but in no event more than five (5) school days after contact has been made to the families or guardians regarding the outcome of the investigation. Depending on the severity of the conduct, corrective measures may include counseling, education, discipline, and/or referral to law enforcement. If the conduct was of a public nature or involved groups of students or bystanders, the district should strongly consider school-wide training or other activities to address the incident.

 

Support for the Targeted Student

Persons found to have been subjected to harassment, intimidation or bullying will have appropriate district support services made available to them, and the adverse impact of the harassment on the student will be addressed and remedied as appropriate.  This may include, though not be limited to, development and implementation of a safety plan, scheduling and facilitating of a follow up meeting(s), instituting a check-in and/or check-out system, and/or access to trusted adults and/or a safe space.

 

 

Immunity/Retaliation

No school employee, student, or volunteer may engage in reprisal or retaliation against a targeted student, witness, or other person who brings forward information about an alleged act of harassment, intimidation or bullying. Retaliation is prohibited and will result in appropriate discipline.

Bellevue School District’s Tip Reporting Service (for all harassment, intimidation, bullying; discrimination; and sexual harassment)

Safe Schools Alert is a tip reporting system that allows students, staff, and parents to submit safety concerns to our administration four different ways:

  1. Phone: 324.3875
  2. Text: Text your tip to 425.324.3875
  3. Email: 1177@alert1.us
  4. Web: http://1177.alert1.us

 

Easily report tips on bullying, harassment, drugs, vandalism or any safety issue you are concerned about. You can submit a tip anonymously online or by telephone.  More information, including the SafeSchools Alert Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, is available online at http://1177.alert1.us. Thanks in advance for helping to make our school community a safer place to work and learn! We appreciate your support.

POLICY 3205 AND PROCEDURE 3205P (PROHIBITION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT: STUDENTS)

 

Definitions

For purposes of this policy, sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical contact, or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature between two or more individuals if:

  1. Submission to that conduct or communication is made a term or condition either explicitly or implicitly of obtaining an education;
  2. Submission to or rejection of that conduct or communication by an individual is used as a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s education; or
  3. That conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s education, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment.

 

The district prohibits sexual harassment of students by other students, employees or third parties involved in school district activities.

 

A “hostile environment” has been created for a student when sexual harassment is sufficiently serious to interfere with or limit the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s program. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to demonstrate a repetitive series of incidents.  In fact, a single or isolated incident of sexual harassment may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe, violent, or egregious.

If sexual harassment is found to have created a hostile environment, staff must take immediate action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its reoccurrence, and address its effects.

 

This policy applies to sexual harassment (including sexual violence) targeted at students carried out by other students, employees or third parties involved in school District activities.  Because students can experience the continuing effects of off-campus harassment in the educational setting, the District will consider the effects of off-campus conduct when evaluating whether there is a hostile environment on campus. The District has jurisdiction over these complaints pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Chapter 28A.640, RCW and Chapter 392-190 WAC.

 

Staff Responsibilities

  • In the event of an alleged sexual assault, the school principal or designee will immediately inform the Title IX Compliance Coordinator so that the District can appropriately respond to the incident consistent with its own grievance procedures; and

law enforcement.

  • The principal will notify the targeted student(s) and their parents/guardians of their right to file a criminal complaint and a sexual harassment complaint simultaneously.

 

Confidentiality

  • If a complainant requests that his or her name not be revealed to the alleged perpetrator or asks that the District not investigate or seek action against the alleged perpetrator, the request will be forwarded to the District Title IX Compliance Coordinator for evaluation.
  • The District Title IX Compliance Coordinator will inform the complainant that honoring the request may limit the District’s ability to respond fully to the incident, including pursuing disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator.
  • If the complainant still requests that his or her name not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator, or that the District not investigate or seek action against the alleged perpetrator, the District will determine if it can honor such a request while still providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students, staff and other third parties engaging in District activities, including the person who reported the sexual harassment. Although a complainant’s request to have his or her name withheld may limit the District’s ability to respond fully to an individual allegation of sexual harassment, the District will use other appropriate means available to address the sexual harassment.

 

Retaliation

Title IX prohibits retaliation against any individual who files a complaint under these laws or participates in a complaint investigation. When an informal or formal complaint of sexual harassment is made, the District will take steps to stop further harassment and prevent any retaliation against the person who made the complaint, was the subject of the harassment, or against those who provided information as a witness. The District will investigate all allegations of retaliation and take actions against those found to have retaliated.

 

Informal Complaint Process

Anyone may use informal procedures to report and resolve complaints of sexual harassment. Informal reports may be made to any staff member.  Staff will always notify complainants of their right to file a formal complaint and the process for same. Staff will also direct potential complainants to Jeff Lowell, Title IX Coordinator (lowellj@bsd405.org or 425-456-4020). Additionally, staff will also inform an appropriate supervisor or professional staff member when they receive complaints of sexual harassment, especially when the complaint is beyond their training to resolve or alleges serious misconduct.

 

During the informal complaint process, the District will take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end any harassment and to correct any discriminatory effects on the complainant.  If an investigation is needed to determine what occurred, the District will take interim measures to protect the complainant before the outcome of the District’s investigation (e.g., allowing the complainant to change academic or extracurricular activities or break times to avoid contact with the alleged perpetrator).

 

Informal remedies may include:

 

  • An opportunity for the complainant to explain to the alleged harasser that his or her conduct is unwelcome, offensive or inappropriate, either in writing or face-to-face;
  • A statement from a staff member to the alleged harasser that the alleged conduct is not appropriate and could lead to discipline if proven or repeated;
  • A public statement from an administrator in a building reviewing the District sexual harassment policy without identifying the complainant;
  • Developing a safety plan;
  • Separating students; or
  • Providing staff and/or student training

 

Informal complaints may become formal complaints at the request of the complainant, parent/guardian, or because the District believes the complaint needs to be more thoroughly investigated.

 

The District will inform the complainant and their parent/guardian how to report any subsequent problems.  Additionally, the District will conduct follow-up inquiries to see if there have been any new incidents or instances of retaliation, and to promptly respond and appropriately address continuing or new problems.  Follow-up inquiries will follow a timeline agreed to by the District and complainant.

 

Formal Complaint Process

 

Level One – Complaint to District

Anyone may initiate a formal complaint of sexual harassment, even if the informal complaint process is being utilized. At any level in the formal complaint process, the District will take interim measures to protect the complainant before the outcome of the District’s investigation.

 

Filing of a Formal Complaint

  • All formal complaints will be in writing and will set forth the specific acts, conditions or circumstances alleged to have occurred and to constitute sexual harassment. The Title IX Coordinator may draft the complaint based on the report of the complainant for the complainant to review and approve.
  • The time for filing a complaint is one year from the date of the occurrence that is the subject matter of the complaint unless the complainant was prevented from filing due to:

1) Specific misrepresentations by the District that it had resolved the problem forming the basis of the complaint; or

2) Withholding of information that the District was required to provide under WAC 392-190-065 or WAC 392-190-005.

  • Complaints may be submitted by mail, fax, e-mail or hand-delivery to the District Title IX Coordinator, Jeff Lowell, District Athletics and Activities Director at 12111 NE 1st St. Bellevue, WA 98008 / lowellj@bsd405.org / 425-456-4020. Any District employee who receives a complaint that meets these criteria will promptly notify the Coordinator.

 

Investigation and Response

  • The Title IX Coordinator will receive and designate an investigator for all formal, written complaints of sexual harassment or information in the coordinator’s possession that they believe requires further investigation. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Coordinator or deisgnee will provide the complainant a copy of this procedure.
  • Investigations will be carried out in a manner that is adequate in scope, reliable and impartial.  Complainants and witnesses may have a trusted adult with them during any District-initiated investigatory activities. The school District and complainant may also agree to resolve the complaint in lieu of an investigation.

 

Superintendent Response

  • The superintendent or designee will respond in writing to the complainant and the alleged perpetrator within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of the complaint, unless otherwise agreed to by the complainant or if exceptional circumstances related to the complaint require an extension of the time limit.
  • The response will include:

1) a summary of the results of the investigation;

2) a statement as to whether a preponderance of the evidence establishes that the complainant was sexually harassed ;

3) if sexual harassment is found to have occurred, the corrective measures the District deems necessary, including assurance that the District will take steps to prevent recurrence and remedy its effects on the complainant and others, if appropriate;

4) notice of the complainant’s right to appeal to the school board and the necessary filing information; and

5) any corrective measures the District will take, remedies for the complainant (e.g., sources of counseling, advocacy and academic support), and notice of potential sanctions for the perpetrator(s) (e.g., discipline).

  • The superintendent’s or designee’s response will be provided in a language the complainant can understand and may require language assistance for complainants with limited English proficiency in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Any corrective measures deemed necessary will be instituted as quickly as possible, but in no event more than thirty (30) days after the superintendent’s or designee’s mailing of a written response.
  • The District will inform the complainant and their parent/guardian how to report any subsequent problems.

 

Other Complaint Options

Office for Civil Rights (OCR), U.S. Department of Education

OCR enforces several federal civil rights laws, which prohibit discrimination in public schools on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and age. File complaints with OCR within 180 calendar days of the date of the alleged discrimination.

206-607-1600 ǀ TDD: 1-800-877-8339 ǀ OCR.Seattle@ed.gov ǀ www.ed.gov/ocr

 

Washington State Human Rights Commission (WSHRC)

WSHRC enforces the Washington Law Against Discrimination (RCW 49.60), which prohibits discrimination in employment and in places of public accommodation, including schools. File complaints with WSHRC within six months of the date of the alleged discrimination.

1-800-233-3247 ǀ TTY: 1-800-300-7525 ǀ www.hum.wa.gov

 

Mediation

At any time during the complaint procedure set forth in WAC 392-190-065 through 392-190-075, a District may, at its own expense, offer mediation.  The complainant and the District may agree to extend the complaint process deadlines in order to pursue mediation.

 

POLICY 3210 AND PROCEDURE 3210P (NONDISCRIMINATION)

 

Bellevue School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to designated youth groups. Alexa Allman, Director of Human Resources is the employee designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination: 12111 NE 1st St. Bellevue, WA 98005, 425-456-4040, allmana@bsd405.org

 

Each student should have equal access to public education without discrimination. If parents, students, school staff, or community members believe that a student has experienced discrimination or discriminatory harassment, there are steps they can take to resolve these concerns.

 

Under Procedure 3210P and WAC 392-190-065, a discrimination complaint or grievance is a written and signed complaint alleging discrimination based on any of the protected classes by a school or school district. The complaint must describe the specific acts, conditions, or circumstances that are alleged to be discriminatory and why the complainant believes that it is discrimination.

 

FILING A DISCRIMINATION, DISCRIMINATORY HARASSMENT OR SEXUAL HARASSMENT COMPLAINT

If you believe that you or your child have experienced unlawful discrimination, discriminatory harassment, or sexual harassment at school, you have the right to file a complaint under Washington State law and BSD Policies 3207, 3205 and 3210 and Procedures 3207P, 3205P and 3210P.

Before filing a complaint, you can discuss your concerns with your child’s principal or District’s Title IX Officer or Civil Rights Coordinator. If your child has a 504 plan, you may also opt to discuss with the District’s 504 Officer.

Complaint to the School District

Step 1. Write Out Your Complaint
In most cases, complaints must be filed within one year from the date of the incident or conduct that is the subject of the complaint. A complaint must be in writing. Be sure to describe the conduct or incident, explain why you believe discrimination, discriminatory harassment, or sexual harassment has taken place, and describe what actions you believe the district should take to resolve the problem. Send your written complaint—by mail, fax, email, or hand delivery—to the district superintendent or civil rights compliance coordinator.

Step 2: School District Investigates Your Complaint
Once the district receives your written complaint, the coordinator will give you a copy of the complaint procedure and make sure a prompt and thorough investigation takes place. The superintendent or designee will respond to you in writing within 30 calendar days—unless you agree on a different time period. If your complaint involves exceptional circumstances that demand a lengthier investigation, the district will notify you in writing to explain why staff need a time extension and the new date for their written response.

Step 3: School District Responds to Your Complaint
In its written response, the district will include a summary of the results of the investigation, a determination of whether or not the district failed to comply with civil rights laws, notification that you can appeal this determination, and any measures necessary to bring the district into compliance with civil rights laws. Corrective measures will be put into effect within 30 calendar days after this written response—unless you agree to a different time period.

Appeal to the School District

If you disagree with the school district’s decision, there are appeal rights under each policy. The District’s decision will include information about how to file a complaint with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

Complaint to OSPI

If you do not agree with the school district’s appeal decision, state law provides the option to file a formal complaint with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). This is a separate complaint process that can take place if one of these two conditions has occurred: (1) you have completed the district’s complaint and appeal process, or (2) the district has not followed the complaint and appeal process correctly.

You have 20 calendar days to file a complaint to OSPI from the day you received the decision on your appeal. You can send your written complaint to the Equity and Civil Rights Office at OSPI:

Email: Equity@k12.wa.us
Fax: 360-664-2967
Mail or hand deliver: PO Box 47200, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA 98504-7200

For more information, visit www.k12.wa.us/Equity/Complaints.aspx, or contact OSPI’s Equity and Civil Rights Office at 360-725-6162/TTY: 360-664-3631 or by e-mail at equity@k12.wa.us.

Other Discrimination Complaint Options

Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education
206-607-1600 ǀ TDD: 1-800-877-8339 ǀ OCR.Seattle@ed.gov ǀ www.ed.gov/ocr

Washington State Human Rights Commission
1-800-233-3247 ǀ TTY: 1-800-300-7525 ǀ www.hum.wa.gov

 

POLICY 3122 AND PROCEDURE 3122P (EXCUSED AND UNEXCUSED ABSENCES)

Excused Absences

All student absences will be classified as excused or unexcused. Absences for the following reasons will be excused if there is timely verification (within 2 school days upon return) of such reasons provided to the school:

The following are valid excuses for absences:

  1. Participation in a district or school-approved activity or instructional program;
  2. Illness, health condition or medical appointment (including but not limited to medical, counseling, dental or optometry);
  3. Family emergency, including but not limited to a death or illness in the family;
  4. Religious or cultural purpose including observance of a religious or cultural holiday or participation in religious or cultural instruction;
  5. Court, judicial proceeding, court-ordered activity or serving on a jury;
  6. Post-secondary, technical school or apprenticeship program visitation, or scholarship interview;
  7. State-recognized search and rescue activities consistent with RCW 28A.225.055;
  8. Absence directly related to the student’s homeless status or foster care/dependency status;
  9. Absence resulting from a disciplinary/corrective action. (e.g., short-term or long-term suspension, emergency expulsion) if the student is not receiving educational services and is not enrolled in a qualifying “course of study” activities as defined in WAC 392-121- 107
  10. Absences due to student safety concerns, including absences related to threats, assaults or bullying
  11. Absences due to a student’s migrant status; and
  12. Principal (or designee) and parent, guardian, or emancipated youth mutually agreed upon approved activity. The school principal (or designee) has the authority to determine if an absence meets the above criteria for an excused absence.

 

If an absence is excused, the student will be permitted to make up all missed assignments outside of class under reasonable conditions and time limits established by the appropriate teacher. For an absence to be excused, parent/guardian(s) or adult student must communicate an excuse statement to the school according to the school’s submission guidelines.

 

Unexcused Absences

In accordance with RCW 28A.225.010, each unexcused absence will be followed by notification the parent or guardian of the student.

 

After three unexcused absences within any month, a conference will be scheduled between the parent, student and principal or designee. At such a conference the principal or designee, student and parent may consider:

  • Adjusting the student’s program;
  • Providing more individualized instruction; preparing the student for employment with specific vocational experience or both;
  • Transferring the student to another school;
  • Assisting the student to obtain supplementary services that might eliminate or ameliorate the causes of absence; or,
  • Other interventions deemed to improve the students’ attendance.

 

If the parent does not attend, the scheduled conference the conference can be conducted with the student and school official and the parent will be notified of the steps to be taken to eliminate or reduce the student’s absences.

 

After the second unexcused absence and before the fifth unexcused absence the school will take data-informed steps to eliminate or reduce the child’s absences.

  • In middle and high school, these steps must include offering the application of the Washington Assessment of the Risks and Needs of Students (WARNS)
  • Students and parents must agree to participate the WARNS by signing a consent form.
  • Any student with an existing 504 plan or individualized education plan (IEP), these steps must include convening of the child’s IEP or 504 plan team. If necessary and if consent from the parent is given, a functional behavior assessment (FBA) will be conducted to explore the function of the absence behavior and if appropriate, a behavior plan completed.
  • Any student, without an IEP or 504 plan, reasonably believed to have a mental or physical disability or impairment, will be brought to guidance team to consider an evaluation.

 

No later than the student’s fifth unexcused absence in a month the district will enter into an agreement with the student and parents/guardians that establishes school attendance requirements. The district will refer the student to a community truancy board or file a petition and affidavit with the juvenile court alleging a violation of RCW 28A.225.010.

If the above action fails to correct the attendance problem, the following truancy petition procedure will apply only to students under the age of eighteen. No later than the seventh unexcused absence within any month during the current school year, or upon the tenth unexcused absence during the current school year, the district will file a petition with the juvenile court alleging a violation of RCW 28A.225.010 by the parent, student or parent and student. The petition consists of written notification to the court alleging that:

  • The student has unexcused absences in the current school year. While petitions must be filed if the student has seven or more unexcused absences within any one month, or ten or more unexcused absences in the current school year, a petition may be filed earlier. In addition, unexcused absences accumulated in another school or school district will be counted when preparing the petition;
  • Attesting that actions taken by the school district have not been successful in substantially reducing the student’s absences from school; and
  • Court intervention and supervision are necessary to assist the school district to reduce the student’s absences from school.

 

Students six or seven years of age, who have been enrolled in the district, are required to attend school and their parents/guardians are responsible for ensuring that they attend. Parents/guardians who wish to withdraw their children before the age of eight, and against whom no truancy petition has been filed, may withdraw the students from school. When a six or seven-year-old student has unexcused absences, the district will do the following:

  • Notify the parent or guardian in writing or by telephone after one unexcused absence in any month.
  • Request a conference with the parent or guardian and child to analyze the causes of the student’s absences after two unexcused absences in any month (a regularly scheduled teacher-parent conference held within thirty days may substitute).
  • Take steps to eliminate or reduce the student’s absences, including: adjusting the school program, school or course assignment; providing more individualized or remedial instruction; offering enrollment in alternative schools or programs; or assisting in obtaining supplementary services.
  • After seven unexcused absences in a month, or ten in a school year, the district will file a truancy petition.

 

Tardies

Students are expected to be in class on time. This means that students are expected to be in their classrooms, in their seats, and ready for class at the beginning of the class.

 

When a student’s tardiness becomes frequent or disruptive, the student may be referred to the principal or counselor and may be subject to corrective action. Each school may determine what point in the class a tardy turns into an absence.

 

Early Release

Students are expected to remain in class until the end of the class. This means that students are expected to be in their classrooms, engaged in the learning, until the teacher has dismissed the students. Secondary students: When a student leaves class or school early without permission or it becomes frequent or disruptive, the student may be referred to the principal or counselor and may be subject to corrective action. Each school may determine the point in the class at which the early release turns into an absence.

 

Sanctions

All sanctions imposed for failure to comply with the attendance policies and procedures will be implemented in accordance with state and district regulations regarding corrective action or punishment consistent with Policy 3421 and Procedure 3241P (Classroom Management, Corrective Actions and/or Interventions). For example, a student who presents false evidence, with or without the consent of his/her parent/guardian, to wrongfully qualify for an excused absence will be subject to corrective action in accordance with Policy and Procedure 3241.

 

POLICY 4220 AND PROCEDURE 4200P (COMPLAINTS CONCERNING STAFF OR PROGRAMS)

Every effort shall be made first by the student and/or parent/guardian to resolve concerns and complaints through informal communication between the student and other persons in the school or district who may be in a position to assist in resolving the student’s concerns. If such informal procedures fail to provide an adjustment acceptable to the student, then the student may initiate formal complaint procedures. The district is committed to resolving concerns and complaints about school and district programs, policies, procedures, actions, and decisions of employees in an effective, efficient, and timely manner by initiating the complaint with the person(s) responsible for the program, event, action, or decision

 

Complaints

Complainants are entitled and encouraged to share their complaint(s) by scheduling a meeting or communicating, either orally or in writing, the issue(s) directly to the person responsible for the program, event, action, or decision.

 

When addressing informal complaints, the involved parties should:

  1. Begin the conversation with the acknowledgement that each is operating with the best of intentions.
  2. Work collaboratively to understand the other’s point of view.
  3. Work to resolve the concern through conversation before initiating a formal complaint.

 

Formal Complaint – Step 1

When a complaint has not been resolved through informal attempts at resolution, the complainant may initiate a formal complaint, which must be in writing within 30 calendar days of the attempt at informal resolution to the person responsible person responsible for the program, event, action, or decision. Any informal complaint not resolved at the school level shall proceed directly to Step 2 of this process. The formal written complaint shall be directed to the person responsible for the program, policy and/or procedure, and/or supervision of personnel and shall include:

  1. Detailed statement of the complaint
  2. Steps taken to address the complaint
  3. Suggested resolution(s) to be considered

 

The person responsible for the program, policy and/or procedure, and/or supervision of personnel shall meet with the complainant for understanding the complaint and what resolution(s) has already been considered. The person responsible for the program, policy and/or procedure, and/or supervision of personnel provide a written decision addressing the complaint within 10 calendar days upon receipt of the complaint.

 

Formal Complaint – Step 2

If the complaint is not resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction, the complainant may appeal the resolution of the complaint to the following person in writing within five calendar days of the resolution:

  • If the original complaint was sent to a principal or assistant principal, and is not resolved at the school level, the appeal should be directed to the appropriate Executive Director of Schools
  • If the original complaint was sent to any other employee, the appeal should be directed to that employee’s supervisor.

 

The person receiving the appeal shall meet with the complainant for understanding the complaint and what resolution(s) has already been considered. The information gathered will be considered and the complaint will be addressed in writing within 10 calendar days upon receipt of the unresolved complaint. Any appeal at Step 2, shall be final except for appeals to the Superintendent of Public Instruction, other agencies or the courts, as provided by law.

 

PARTICIPATION IN ATHLETICS AND ACTIVITIES

The Bellevue School District offers students opportunities to extend their learning through extracurricular and after school activity programs. It is the District’s intention to provide high quality opportunities for student participation in extracurricular and after school activity programs. To that end:

The Bellevue School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to designated youth groups. The following employees have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination: Title IX Coordinator: Jeff Lowell, (425) 456-4010 or lowellj@bsd405.org; Section 504/ADA Coordinator: Heather Edlund, (425) 456-4156 or edlundh@bsd405.org; Civil Rights/Nondiscrimination Compliance Coordinator Alexa Allman, (425) 456-4040 or allmana@bsd405.org. Mailing address for all three: 12111 NE 1st Street, Bellevue, WA 98005.

The Bellevue School District is also committed to providing a safe and civil educational environment that is free from harassment, intimidation or bullying. Report harassment, intimidation or bullying with SafeSchools Alert or at your school. The Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Compliance Officer is Nancy Pham.