Board Policy Series 500: Students

Document ID
MDS500
Title
Board Policy Series 500: Students
Print Date
08/28/2022
Revision
2.0
Prepared By
Sean Anderson / Board Secretary
Date Prepared
07/26/2021
Effective Date
09/23/2021
Reviewed By 
MDS Board Oversight Work Group
Date Reviewed
09/07/2021
Approved By
MDS Board of Directors
Date Approved
09/22/2021

Policies Related to Students and Services Provided to Students

For the purpose of clarity and efficiency, these policies may refer to the Board of Directors as “Board”; Milestone Democratic School as “School” or “MDS”; the Teacher Professional Practice and/or Educators Cooperative  or “EC”; School Design Team as SDT and the Office of Educational Opportunity of the University of Wisconsin as the “OEO”.  

The Wisconsin charter school law gives charter schools freedom from most state rules and regulations in exchange for greater accountability for results. The charter defines the missions and methods of the charter school. The chartering authority holds the school accountable to its charter. The charter school motto is “Autonomy for Accountability.”

The following Board Policies are created to 

Comply with the School’s charter agreement with the OEO, required federal and state laws;

Provide protocol for operating the School that is consistent with the School’s values,vision, and goals;

Provide protocol that is required for compliance with insurance requirements; and/or

Provide protocol to ensure that our Students are safe. 

Non-Discrimination Statement

The following non-discrimination statement is applied to any and all policies and procedures guiding the operation of Milestone Democratic School.

The School is a public school and shall not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, religion, national origin, ancestry, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, or physical, mental, emotional, or learning disability. 

Nonsectarian Practices Statement

The following non-sectarian statement is applied to any and all policies, procedures, programs of the School.

The Milestone Democratic School shall be nonsectarian in all its programs, admissions policies, employment practices, and operations. 

Policy 501: Student Attendance

The Board authorizes the EC to provide guidelines for student attendance that are aligned with the School’s values, vision, and goals set forth by the students’ Personal Learning Plans.  Any attendance requirements should emphasize the concern we have for students’ safety. 

Policy 502: Bullying 

Legal Reference: Wisconsin State Statute 118.46

From Milestone Democratic School’s “School Plan – Iteration #2.0” (approved by the Board of Directors on Wednesday, July 28th, 2021):

“Justice at Milestone should…

  • Be understanding of one’s present and past.
  • Hold people accountable for their actions.
  • Help people take responsibility for themselves,
  • Give anyone who wants to lead the skills and training they need.
  • Be forgiving and understanding.
  • Take each person’s boundaries into account.
  • Be open and transparent.
  • Provide safe space to understand and work toward eliminating biases.
  • Keep us as individuals and a community safe. 
  • Be aware of systemic and structural oppression and violence.”

Bullying/ Cyberbullying is conduct that interferes with a safe environment. This policy assists MDS in its goal of preventing and responding to acts of bullying, intimidation, violence, and other similar disruptive behavior.  Descriptions of bullying behavior: 

  1. Bullying includes aggressive or hostile behavior that is intentional and involves an imbalance of power between the bully and the bullied. It is typically repeated over time. See the associated Administrative Regulation for a more detailed definition of “imbalance of power” and examples.
  2. Bullying takes many forms, including but not limited to, physical or verbal assaults, nonverbal or emotional threats or intimidation, social exclusion and isolation, extortion and the use of a computer or telecommunications to send embarrassing, slanderous, threatening, or intimidating messages also known as cyberbullying.
  3. Bullying is a form of victimization and is not necessarily a result of or part of an ongoing conflict.
  4. Bullying can also be characterized by teasing, put-downs, name-calling, false accusations, and hazing.

Cyberbullying includes, but is not limited to the following misuses of technology: harassing, teasing, intimidating, threatening, or terrorizing another person by sending or posting inappropriate and hurtful email messages, instant messages, text messages, digital pictures or images, and website postings, including blogs.An act of bullying, by either an individual student or a group of students, is expressly prohibited on school property, at school-related functions, and via the use of school property (i.e. a school-owned laptop or electronic device) at any time and place. This policy applies not only to students who directly engage in an act of bullying but also to students who, by their indirect behavior, condone or support another student’s act of bullying. This policy also applies to any student whose conduct constitutes bullying that interferes with or obstructs the mission or operations of the school or the safety or welfare of the student, other students, or employees, as well as bullying by an adult staff member bullying a student or another staff member.

No employee, volunteer, or student shall permit, condone, or tolerate bullying. Consent by a student being bullied does not lessen the prohibitions contained in this policy. Retaliation against a victim, good faith reporter, or a witness of bullying is prohibited.

The Board authorizes the student’s Advisor or other employee of the contracted Educators’ Cooperative to investigate all complaints of bullying and to take appropriate action. All responses to bullying should be conducted in a manner that does not stigmatize the victim, and provides resources or referral to resources to victims of bullying. See the associated Administrative Regulation for more detailed reporting and documentation procedures.

It is reasonable that consequences for students who commit acts of bullying range from positive behavioral interventions to restorative justice methods. Consequences may also include suspension and/or expulsion. 

The Board requires that the Educators’ Cooperative provide information and applicable training annually to their staff and to provide education and information to students annually regarding bullying.  This information should include information regarding this policy, harmful effects of bullying, and other initiatives to prevent bullying. 

Policy 503: Emergency Contact Information

The Board requires contact information for emergency illness or accidents to be on file for each student enrolled in MDS and each employee/staff member of the EC, and charges the EC  to provide the  protocol for such contact information.  Contact information must be updated regularly. 

Policy 504: Emergency Nursing Services and First Aid

LEGAL REFERENCES:        

Wisconsin Statutes Sections  118.07 ; 118.13;118.125;118.291 – 118.294

120.12(16);121.02 (1) (g);146.81 – 146.84;252.04; Chapter 441 895.48

PI 8.01 (2) (g); PI 9;N 6, 7 Wisconsin Administrative Code

The Board recognizes the need for the School to provide some emergency nursing and or first aid services to students. Therefore, the Board authorizes the EC to designate a space in the School as a “health service room” and requires the EC to designate a staff member(s) as the person(s) trained to provide first aid treatment and to dispense medications and to provide the protocol for administering medications and delivering first aid treatment. 

The Board requires that the designated “health service room” should, at the very minimum:

  • Provide a cot and sitting area that is not upholstered for students to rest
  • Provide a locked container for medications
  • Provide a small refrigerator for medications and ice packs
  • Provide common first aid supplies and equipment
  • Be in close proximity to bathroom facilities 
  • Have access to hand washing facilities 
  • Have access to a  telephone or other form of tele-communcation
  • Have a Standard Operating Procedures Manual for School Health, First Aid, Dispensing of Medications, 
  • Have a Medication Administration Log Book
  • Have a Daily Clinic Log

It is further recommended that the EC secure the services on an “as needed basis” of a Medical Advisor who will assist the staff in:

  • Annual review of pupil health care and emergency nursing services and recommend changes as necessary
  • Be available for consultation regarding pupil health concerns
  • Be available to assist in student  IEPs and 504 accommodations that are health related
  • Provide guidance with regards to medical record and log keeping and other requirements 

Policy 505: Equal Educational Opportunities

The Board recognizes that no person be denied admission to any public school, including Milestone Democratic School,  or be denied participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be discriminated against in any curricular, extracurricular, pupil service, recreational, or other program or activity because of the person’s sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry, creed, religion, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, or physical, mental, emotional, or learning disability as required by s. 118.13, Wisconsin Statutes. This policy also prohibits discrimination as defined by Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1972 (sex), Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (race and national origin), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (handicap), and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (disability)

The Board encourages informal resolution of complaints under this policy. A formal complaint resolution procedure to address allegations of violations of the policy is outlined below and further information is available in the associated Administrative Regulation. 

Any questions concerning this policy should be directed to the EC’s designee.  

Student Religious Accomodations

The School values diversity and respects that students will not all share the same religious/spiritual beliefs. All students shall be provided reasonable accommodations for sincerely held religious beliefs with regard to examination and academic requirements. See the “Nondiscrimination” notice above, and see below for the process for receiving and resolving complaints. (Wisconsin Admin. Code PI 41.04 (1)(A)

Complaint Procedure

If any person believes that the School, by way of the Board or the EC staff,  have failed to follow the law and rules of s. 118, Wisconsin Statutes, or in some way discriminated against pupils on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, handicap, religion, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, or physical, mental, emotional, or learning disability, he/she may bring or send a complaint to the Educators’ Cooperative. 

Federal discrimination complaints may be filed with the Office for Civil Rights, Chicago Office, U.S. Department of Education.

 Step 1:  Any student, parent, or community member complaining of discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, national origin, color, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, physical, mental, emotional, or learning disability or handicap in school programs or activities shall report the complaint in writing to the EC’s designated staff assigned to handle complaints.

Discrimination complaints relating to the identification, evaluation, educational placement or the provision of free appropriate public education of a child with a disability shall be processed in accordance with established appeal procedures.

Discrimination complaints relating to programs specifically governed by federal law or regulation (e.g. EDGAR complaints) shall be referred directly to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

Step 2:  The designated person, upon receiving such a written complaint, shall immediately undertake an investigation of the suspected infraction. They will review the facts comprising the alleged discrimination with appropriate personnel, determine the action to be taken, if any, and report to the Board and the Authorizer in writing the receipt of the complaint within 45 days. 

Step 3:  If the complainant is dissatisfied with the decision they may appeal the decision in writing to the Board. The Board shall hear the appeal at its next regular meeting, or a special meeting may be called for the purpose of hearing the appeal. The Board shall make its decision in writing within 90 days of receipt of the initial complaint, unless the parties agree to an extension of time. Copies of the written decision shall be mailed or delivered to the complainant, the Authorizer, and the Educators’ Cooperative.

Step 4:  The complainant shall be notified of the right to appeal a negative determination by the Board to the State Department of Public Instruction and the procedures for making the appeal. The complainant must file this appeal within 30 days of the Board’s decision. Appeals should be addressed to the State Superintendent at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Policy 506: High School Student Information to Military Recruiters and Institutions of Higher Education

The School shall comply with all Federal, State, and local laws regarding the provision of high school student information to military recruiters and institutions of higher education, but always with care toward student and family privacy.

Policy 507: Homeless Students: McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth

Students who are homeless shall have equal access to the same free, public education as provided to other students in Milestone Democratic School (“The School”). They shall be provided the services and have access to the programs and activities that are offered to other children attending The School, including transportation services, educational services for which the children/youths meet eligibility criteria (e.g., special education, Title I programming, programs and services for English Learners), career and technical education programs, and school nutrition programs. This policy will be implemented in accordance with federal and state laws, and The School’s non-discrimination policy.

Definitions

Homeless Children and Youths. The term “homeless children and youths” means individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. It includes children and youths who are:

  1. Living in an emergency or transitional shelter;
  2. Abandoned in hospitals;
  3. Living in a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
  4. Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
  5. Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings;
  6. Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; and
  7. Migratory children (children whose parent or spouse is a migratory agricultural worker) and unaccompanied youths (youths not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian) may be considered homeless if they meet the above definition.

The School Homeless Liaison. The Director of Operations is The School Homeless Liaison for homeless children and youths.

Enroll and Enrollment. The terms “enroll” and “enrollment” mean attending school and participating fully in school activities.

School of Origin. The term “school of origin” means the school that a child or youth attended when permanently housed or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled, including preschool if The School offers a public education to preschool children. When a child or youth completes the final grade level served by the school of origin, the school of origin includes the designated receiving school at the next grade level for all feeder schools.

Permanent Housing. The term “permanent housing” includes any signed lease or long-term approved living situation. Self-paying day-to-day in a motel is not considered permanent housing. If a child resides with a relative for an extended period of time (6 months or longer), the child will be considered to be permanently housed.

Status Determination

Homeless status is determined in cooperation with parents or, in the case of unaccompanied youths, The School Homeless Liaison. Homeless status may be documented through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction or through direct contact with The School staff. The School Homeless Liaison may affirm that a child or youth who is eligible and participating in a program and/or services in The School is homeless and eligible for such program and/or services.

School Selection

Placement in a school shall, according to the homeless child or youth’s best interest:

  1. Continue the child or youth’s education in the school of origin for the duration of homelessness when a family becomes homeless between academic years or during an academic year; and for the remainder of the academic year even if the child or youth becomes permanently housed during an academic year; or
  2. Enroll the child or youth in any public school that non-homeless students who live in the attendance area in which the child or youth is actually living are eligible to attend.

In the case of unaccompanied youths, The School Homeless Liaison or designee will assist in placement or enrollment decisions considering the requests of such unaccompanied youth.

Determining Best Interest

1. In determining a child or youth’s best interest, The School presumes that keeping the homeless child or youth in the school of origin is in the child or youth’s best interest, except when doing so is contrary to the request of the child or youth’s parent or guardian, or unaccompanied youth.

2. When determining a child or youth’s best interest, The School will consider student-centered factors, including factors related to the impact of mobility on achievement, education, health, and safety of homeless children and youths, giving priority to the request of the child or youth’s parent or guardian or unaccompanied youth.

3. The school placement of siblings will also be considered when making the best interest determination.

4. If The School determines that it is not in the child or youth’s best interest to attend the school of origin or school requested by the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth after conducting the best interest determination and considering student-centered factors, The School will provide the child or youth’s parent or guardian or the unaccompanied youth with a timely, written explanation of the reasons for its determination, in a manner and form understandable to such parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth including information regarding the right to appeal.

Enrollment and Residency

1. The School shall immediately enroll the child/youth, even if the child or youth lacks records normally required for enrollment. Records will immediately be requested from the previous school.

2. For purposes of school placement, any parent, guardian or person in loco parentis who has legal or physical custody of a homeless child or youth can enroll that child or youth directly in The School.

3. Homeless unaccompanied youths may enroll themselves in school.

4. A homeless child or youth is a resident of a school district if the child is personally present somewhere within the district with a purpose to remain but not necessarily to remain permanently.

5. The child or youth shall be considered a resident of a school district when living with a parent, guardian, or person in loco parentis not solely for school purposes or for participation in extracurricular activities.

6. The address listed on the enrollment forms becomes proof of residency.

Comparable Services

Each homeless child or youth shall be provided services comparable to services offered to other students in The School for which the homeless student or youth meets the eligibility criteria.

The following are examples of programs and services to which homeless children and youths should be provided comparable services to other students in the school:

  1. Public Preschool programs;
  2. Transportation services;
  3. English Language Learner or special education programs;
  4. Programs for “At Risk” students;
  5. Programs for gifted and talented students;
  6. School nutrition programs;
  7. Title I services;
  8. Before and after-school programs; and
  9. Programs in career and technical education.

Transportation

1. At the request of the parent, or in the case of an unaccompanied youth, The School Homeless Liaison or designee, transportation will be provided for homeless children or youths to the school of origin for the duration of the school year, even if the student becomes permanently housed. The School has the right to determine the mode of transportation to the school of origin.

2. If a child or youth’s school of origin is The School, The School will provide transportation.

3. In the case where the homeless child or youth’s school of origin and current school are different local educational agencies, The School will coordinate transportation with the other school and the two schools will share the cost through the duration of the homelessness. If the two schools cannot agree on how to share the transportation cost, they will share the expenses equally.

4. Transportation will be arranged promptly to ensure immediate enrollment and so as not to create barriers to homeless students’ attendance, retention and success. Further, transportation services will be comparable to transportation services provided to students who are not homeless.

5. If The School determines that a family is sharing housing due to preference or convenience, that a child or youth is living with a relative in order to attend The School, or that a child or youth no longer meets the definition of homeless under federal law, transportation will be discontinued at the end of the academic year unless the child or youth is a student who is eligible for transportation under The School’s transportation policy.

Duties of the School Homeless Liaison

The School Homeless Liaison or designee shall:

  1. Ensure that homeless children and youths are identified by school personnel and through coordination with other entities and agencies.
  2. Ensure that homeless children and youths are immediately enrolled in and have a full and equal opportunity to succeed at The School.
  3. Ensure that homeless families, children, and youths have access to and receive educational services for which they are eligible and referrals to other appropriate services (such as health, dental, mental health, substance abuse services, and housing services).
  4. Ensure that the parents or guardians of a homeless child or youth are informed of the educational and related opportunities available to them and are provided with meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of the child/youth. In the case of an unaccompanied homeless youth, ensure the youth is informed of these opportunities.
  5. Provide public notice of the educational rights of homeless children and youths and ensure that notice is disseminated in such public places as schools, meal sites, shelters and other locations frequented by parents and guardians of homeless children and youths, and unaccompanied homeless youths, in a manner and form that is understandable to parents, guardians and unaccompanied youths.
  6. Monitor compliance with all policies and procedures related to the education of homeless children and youths.
  7. Mediate enrollment disputes in accordance with the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Act.
  8. Inform parents or guardians of a homeless child or youth, and homeless unaccompanied youths, of all transportation services, including transportation to the school of origin or to the school that is selected according to the homeless child or youth’s best interest.
  9. Coordinate services between The School and other homeless family service providers, and coordinate programs for homeless students with other federal and local programs.
  10. Provide assistance to children and youths who do not have immunizations, health screenings, or immunization or other required health records, to obtain necessary immunizations, or immunization or other required medical records.
  11. Ensure that students are not segregated on the basis of their status as homeless.
  12. Coordinate with State coordinators and community and school personnel responsible for the provision of education and related services to homeless children and youths.
  13. Attend trainings mandated by federal or state law and training or professional development on the definitions of terms related to homelessness specified in sections 103, 401, and 725 of the McKinney-Vento Act which will enable The School Homeless Liaison to affirm, without further agency action by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, that a child or youth who is eligible for and participating in a program provided by The School, or the child or youth’s immediate family, who meets the eligibility requirements for a homeless assistance program or service authorized under Title IV of the McKinney-Vento Act, is eligible for such program or service.
  14. Ensure that other school personnel receive professional development and other support on McKinney-Vento Act and homeless children and youth.
  15. Assist the MDS Board and administration, with input from homeless parents, youths and advocates, in identifying, reviewing and, if necessary, revising policies or practices that may act as barriers to the identification, enrollment, attendance, and school success of homeless children and youths, including:
  16. Barriers due to outstanding fees or fines or absences, or missed application or enrollment deadlines;
  17. Barriers due to school discipline policies that disproportionately impact homeless students;
  18. Barriers to transportation,
  19. Barriers due to records requirements for such items as immunizations, residency, birth certificates, school records, health records, guardianship, and other documents.
  20. Barriers that impede the identification of and provision of services to students including those who are also children and youths of color; those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ); English Learners; and students with disabilities, including eligible infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families;
  21. Barriers that impede a student’s receipt of appropriate credit for full or partial coursework satisfactorily completed while the student attended a prior school;
  22. Barriers to accessing academic and extracurricular activities, including summer school, career and technical education, advanced placement, and online learning; and
  23. Barriers to accessing and completing post-secondary education.
  24. In conjunction with The School’s pupil records custodian(s), ensure the privacy of student education records. In the case of homeless students, this shall include:
  25. Establishing protections for records identifying the student’s living situation and ensuring that information regarding living situations is not classified as “directory data” but is protected in the same manner as other non-directory records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  26. Determining whether a homeless student is a victim or survivor of domestic violence or has other safety issues that must be addressed in student records and information release procedures and ensuring that this information is properly protected from disclosure under FERPA and other applicable Federal laws.
  27. Ensure that unaccompanied youths are enrolled in school, have opportunities to meet the same challenging State academic standards as the State establishes for other children and youths, and are informed of their status as independent students under section 480 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and provide verification of this status.

Disputes

Any dispute regarding the eligibility, school selection, educational placement or transportation of homeless children and youths shall be expeditiously addressed through the process outlined below and mediated by The School Homeless Liaison.

1. If a dispute arises over enrollment in The School, the child or youth shall be immediately admitted to The School, pending resolution of the dispute, including all appeals.

2. Student eligibility, enrollment, and transportation decisions shall be made through the Educators’ Cooperative in conjunction with The School Homeless Liaison.

3. The Educators’ Cooperative will provide the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth with a written explanation of how The School reached its decision regarding eligibility, school selection, and transportation, which will include the following information:

● Description of the action proposed or refused by the school;

● Explanation of why the action is proposed or refused;

● Description of any other options the school considered;

● Reasons why any other options were rejected;

● Description of any other factors relevant to the school’s decision and information related to the eligibility or best interest determination including the facts, witnesses, and evidence relied upon and their sources;

● Timelines to ensure any relevant deadlines are not missed;

● Rights of the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth to appeal such decision; and

● Contact information for The School Homeless Liaison and State Coordinator, and a brief description of their roles.

4. If this explanation is not satisfactory to the parents, guardians or unaccompanied youth, the Educators’ Cooperative will review the decision and talk with the family.

5. If the decision is upheld by the Educators’ Cooperative and is still not satisfactory to the parents, guardians or unaccompanied youth, the Office of Educational Opportunity at the University of Wisconsin will review the decision and make a decision based on that review.

6. If the parent, guardian or unaccompanied youth is still in disagreement with the decision, The School Homeless Liaison will provide a notice of the right to appeal to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

Policy 508: Interviews by Government Agency Personnel 

LEGAL REFERENCE:       PI 9 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code

                                             48.19 Wisconsin Statutes

                                             49.981

                                             118.257

The School will  cooperate with government agencies when it is necessary for maintaining the safety and welfare of students, staff, citizens, and visitors and/or investigating an event of a criminal nature. Government agencies may include, but are not limited to, law enforcement and  health and human services personnel.

Except in cases of a suspected sensitive crime; interviews of students by government agencies are conducted outside of the school day and outside of the school premises for cases not occurring at school, during school-related events, or when the situation or event is deemed a non-emergency by EC staff and law enforcement.

Any interviews on school premises for a non-school related incident must have the pre-approval of an Advisor or other EC designee. The government agency shall explain why the interview must be conducted on school grounds during the regular school hours. If the request to interview a student is denied, the Advisor or other EC  designee, shall state the reason for such denial. All communications regarding requests to interview students by government agencies shall be forwarded to the Board.

The Advisor or other EC designee, shall consider the need for the student interview during the regular school hours based on the situation and/or event and in consultation with the government agency and their standards. If it is warranted that the interview take place during regular school hours, the following guidelines shall apply:

  1. The interview will be scheduled at such a time that minimizes disruptions and loss of instructional time.
  2. The interview will remain confidential to the extent permitted under state or federal law and conducted in a private setting.
  3. Advisor or other EC designee, shall summon the student from his or her location  unless the government agency and/or their designee, feel the situation warrants personal contact by the government agency’s personnel.
  4. A student interview may be conducted prior to parent/guardian notification in cases that occur on school campus or during a school event where the government agency has been summoned to protect the health safety, welfare, and /or property of students, staff, citizens, and /or school facilities, or in cases where the parent/guardian may be the subject of allegations (i.e. child abuse).
  5. At times, depending on the situation, the student may be advised that he/she cannot be compelled to talk to the law enforcement and may wish to talk to a lawyer or advocate before deciding whether to talk or not talk.
  6. The Advisor or other EC designee, may be present during the interview as determined appropriately by the Advisor or other EC designee, and consistent with the government agency’s standards.
  7. When it is applicable, a reasonable effort will be made to contact the parent or guardian to inform them of the interview and nature of the interview.
  8. In the absence of a parent/guardian being able to attend the interview as scheduled, the Advisor or other EC designee, will be present during the interview, except where prohibited by the governmental agency’s standards. A parent/guardian may give permission for another person to attend the interview in their absence. That person must be at least 18 years of age and the permission must be explicit for the purpose of attending the interview.
  9. If the student is asked by the governmental agency’s personnel to leave the school building in their custody, then it will be the responsibility of the government agency to contact the student’s parent or guardian to inform them of this change.

Policy 509: Medication 

LEGAL REFERENCES:        

Sections 118.29 Wisconsin Statutes

Sections 450.01 Wisconsin Statutes

Chapter 441 Wisconsin Board of Nursing

Medications, when needed, should be administered to students at home whenever possible. At times, students may need assistance from school personnel to take medications during school hours.

The Board authorizes the EC to be responsible for the administration of prescription medication and non-prescription medication and create the protocol for the dispensing of such medication. In order to ensure maximum safety to students, parents and school personnel are required to follow established protocol in the administration of medication to students during school hours. 

The Board requires that only EC staff or volunteers who have received appropriate training that has been approved by the Department of Public Instruction may administer prescription and nonprescription drugs. Glucagon may be administered to a pupil who a trained staff member or volunteer knows is a diabetic and who appears to be experiencing a severe low blood sugar event with altered consciousness if, as soon as practicable, the person reports the event by dialing the telephone number “911”. 

An Epinephrine Auto-Injector (“epipen”) may be administered to a pupil who a trained staff member or volunteer knows has an allergic reaction and who appears to be experiencing anaphylaxis, if, as soon as practicable, the person reports the event by dialing 911.

Policy 510: Possession, Use, Sale, or Distribution of Drugs, Tobacco, and E-Cigarettes

General Statement of Policy

(A) Milestone Democratic School students are prohibited from possessing, using, consuming, displaying, promoting, or selling any tobacco products, tobacco-related devices, imitation tobacco products, or lighters at any time on school property or at any off-campus, school sponsored event. The School prohibits the unlawful possession, use, distribution, manufacture or dispensing of illicit drugs (“controlled substances” as defined in Ch. 961, Wis. Stat.) and alcohol in accordance with s. UWS 18.09, Wis. Adm. Code, by students. The use or possession of alcoholic beverages is also prohibited on School premises, in accordance s. UWS 18.09, Wis. Adm. Code.

(B) Administrators, staff, or visitors of the School are prohibited from using, consuming, displaying, activating, promoting, or selling any tobacco products, tobacco related devices, imitation tobacco products, illicit drugs, or lighters at any time on school property or at any off-campus, school-sponsored events. This includes products or paraphernalia displaying tobacco industry brands.

(C) It shall be a violation of this policy for the School to solicit or accept any contributions, gifts, money, curricula, or materials from the tobacco industry or from any tobacco products shop. This includes, but is not limited to, donations, monies for sponsorship, advertising, alleged educational materials, promotions, loans, scholarships, or support for equipment, uniforms, and sports and/or training facilities. It shall also be a violation of this policy to participate in any type of service funded by the tobacco industry while in the scope of employment or co-employment for the School.

(D) It shall be a violation of this policy for any person to promote, or for the School to promote or allow promotion of tobacco products, tobacco-related devices, or imitation tobacco products on the school property or at off-campus, school-sponsored events. This includes promotion of these products via gear, technology accessories, bags, clothing, any personal articles, signs, structures, vehicles, flyers or any other materials. 

(E) The School shall act to enforce this policy and to take appropriate action against any student, staff, administrator, or visitor who is found to have violated this policy.

(F) Instruction to discourage the use of tobacco products shall be included in the education provided for all students. Staff responsible for teaching tobacco use prevention shall have adequate training and participate in ongoing professional development activities to effectively deliver the education program as planned. The curriculum for this instruction will not be paid for or developed by the tobacco industry or its subsidiaries.

Exceptions

(A) It shall not be a violation of this policy for a person to possess or provide tobacco, tobacco-related devices, imitation tobacco products, or lighters to any other person as part of an indigenous practice or a lawfully recognized religious, spiritual, or cultural ceremony or practice. It shall not be a violation of this policy to use tobacco or tobacco related devices as part of an educational experience related to indigenous tobacco practices that has been approved by administrators.

(B) It shall not be a violation of this policy for tobacco products, tobacco-related devices, imitation tobacco products, or lighters to be included in an instructional or work-related activity in Milestone Democratic school buildings if the activity is conducted by a staff member or an approved visitor and the activity does not include smoking, chewing, or otherwise ingesting the product.

(C) It shall not be a violation of this policy for non-students 18 years and older to use or possess a product that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for sale as a tobacco cessation product, as a tobacco dependence product, or for other medical purposes, and is being marketed and sold solely for such an approved purpose.

Policy 511: Search and Seizures

LEGAL REFERENCES:            Wisconsin Statutes:

Section 118.32 [strip search by school employees]

Section 118.325 [locker searches]

Section 948.50 [criminal penalties; strip search by school employees]

Section 968.10 [Searches and seizures, when authorized by law enforcement]

Section 968.25 [Search during temporary questioning by law enforcement] 

PI 9.03(1) of the Wisconsin Administrative Code

FEDERAL LAWS:

U.S. Constitution, 4th Amendment [protection from unreasonable search and seizure]

In the interests of the welfare of the students, the school community, and in situations in violation of local, state, and federal law; the Board recognizes that it may be necessary to search a student, the student’s property or the student’s vehicle, if the vehicle is on school property. 

The Board authorizes the EC  to conduct a search if the EC staff has a reasonable suspicion that the student has obtained or has in his/her possession, property, or vehicle, items in violations of school regulation, local ordinance, state, or federal law. 

The Board requires that any search be conducted in a reasonable manner and must not be overly intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student and nature of the infraction. Searches of a student’s person or personal belongings should be conducted outside the presence of other students to the extent possible. No staff member shall conduct a strip search of a student. 

When practicable and appropriate, the Board authorizes  the EC to  cooperate with law enforcement personnel in any such search.  The Board shall require from the EC, a description of the protocol they will use to conduct searches and seizure of property, including how they will cooperate with Law Enforcement Agencies including the use of Canine Units. 

Policy 512: School Calendar and Student Schedules

The Board authorizes the Design Team to establish and modify, as necessary, the School Calendar and Student Weekly Schedule.

Policy 513: Suspensions and Expulsion

Suspensions 

The Board  remains committed to a discipline with dignity approach to responding to student behavior concerns. Through the use of Restorative Justice practices, Advisors will work with students and with families to support students as they “rebuild and restore.” The focus of any discipline at MDS is on the deed and not on the student. 

With that said, the Board recognizes that there are times when a short term “separation” approach, (1 – 3 days) may benefit the student(s) and expect that suspension from school is a rare and temporary response and offered as an option to a student who needs more than a short time away from the situation and/or persons in order to “restore” or “reset”. All suspensions will involve the parent(s)/guardian(s) through notification by the student’s Advisor. The Board authorizes the Educators’ Cooperative to implement this policy that is aligned with the intention. 

Expulsions and  Appeals Process

Expulsion

A student who displays severe and/or chronic behavior which threatens the physical safety and/or emotional well-being of others who are attending, working, or volunteering at/with MDS and who have not been cooperative with efforts by the Advisors to transform their behavior through other methods may be subject to expulsion from MDS.

If an expulsion hearing becomes necessary, the following process will be used:

  • The student and parent(s)/guardian(s) will be informed in writing of the grounds for removal, as well as the time and place of the hearing. 
  • Expulsion hearings shall be convened no less than five school days from the date the notice of the hearing is sent to the student and the parent(s)/guardian(s). The notice will include the date, time, and place of the hearing and will be sent via registered mail as well as regular mail. A phone call will also be made to assure that the message had been given and received. 
  • The hearing shall be held in Closed Session with the Governance Board and with the student’s Advisor attending. The student or the parent(s)/guardian(s) may request that the meeting be open.
  • A Hearing Panel will be convened. The Hearing Panel will consist of the student’s Advisor, one Advisor not involved with the discipline of the student, a Governance Board representative. A member of the MDS Community Engagement and/or Student Design may also be present at the request of the student and/or parent(s)/guardian(s). 
  • The Presiding Officer of the hearing is the MDS Governance Board’s legal counsel.
  • A decision regarding the student will be made by the panel after deliberation and will be placed in writing to the student and their parent(s)/guardian(s). 
  • The student’s Advisor will coordinate the intervention/expulsion plan. The student who has been expelled from MDS is restricted from the School’s premises without prior authorization from the Governance Board or their designee. 

Appeals

An appeal to the Appeal Board must be requested in writing within five calendar days after the conclusion of the hearing by the student or the parent(s)/guardian(s). 

The process for the Appeal is the same as the Hearing process. All members of the Appeals Board must be different from those who  sat on the Hearing Board. The Presiding Officer of the appeal remains the MDS Governance Board’s legal counsel.

The decision of the Appeal Board is final. 

Withdrawal from School in lieu of Expulsion

If a student chooses to withdraw from MDS in lieu of going through an expulsion hearing, the student will be ineligible to attend MDS for a period of time no less than one school year from the time of the withdrawal. The student who withdraws in lieu of expulsion is restricted from the School’s premises without prior authorization from the Governance Board or their designee. 

Policy 514: Release of Pupil Directory Data

The Board authorizes the EC to release pupil directory information at its discretion.

Policy 515: Student Records 

The Board requires that the EC maintain appropriate records for all students.

Policy 516: Use/Possession of Firearms/Weapons

No person shall possess or use a weapon or look-alike weapon on school property including, but not limited to, school buildings, school grounds, in a school-owned/leased vehicle, a personal vehicle, or at any school-sponsored function or event at any time. 

A weapon is defined as a firearm (loaded or unloaded), knife, razor, martial arts device, chemical weapon including pepper spray, explosive device including ammunition, metal knuckle, electric weapon, or any other device or instrumentality which, in the manner used or intended to be used, is calculated or likely to produce death or bodily harm. A look-alike weapon is defined as any other object that could reasonably be mistaken for an actual weapon regardless of whether it is manufactured for that purpose. The only exceptions to this policy are:

  1. Weapons under the control of law enforcement personnel. 
  2. Theatrical props used in appropriate settings which are pre-approved by the Director of Operations or district administrator.
  3. Starter pistols used in appropriate and sanctioned sporting events.

 Students violating this policy may be reported to appropriate law enforcement officials, suspended from school and referred for a pre-expulsion hearing or possible expulsion hearing from school. A student who possesses a firearm while on school premises or while under the supervision of a school authority shall be expelled from school for not less than one year as required by state and federal laws. This expulsion requirement may be modified on a case-by-case basis.

Any student who uses an article designed for other purposes (such as a belt, pencil, file, scissors, pipe etc.) to inflict bodily harm and/or to intimidate shall be subject to similar disciplinary actions.  

Any other person violating this policy shall be referred to law enforcement officials for prosecution.

Policy 517: Unlawful Behaviors

Students engaging in unlawful behaviors per Wisconsin code  may be referred to appropriate authorities. The Board authorizes the EC  to make that decision based on Board Policy and the school’s vision and mission, the safety of all involved, and finally taking particular consideration to the student body that the school is intended to serve as per its contract with the Office of Educational Opportunity.  

Policy 518: Use of Seclusion, Restraint, Corporal Punishment

 LEGAL REFERENCES: Wisconsin Statutes

Section 115.787(2)(i) [IEP team duties; use of seclusion or physical restraint]

Section 115.787(3)(b)1[IEP team duties; behavioral interventions and supports]

Section 118.13[student nondiscrimination]

Section 118.164 [student removal from class]

Section 118.305 [use of seclusion and physical restraint]

Section 118.31[corporal punishment prohibited; staff use of reasonable and necessary authorized; policy required]

PI 9.03(1) of the Wisconsin Administrative Code

Federal Laws:

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) [programs and services for students with disabilities]

The Board recognizes that there may be times when a student will engage in dangerous or significantly disruptive behavior that requires immediate attention and intervention. In such cases, the EC shall avoid the use of any excessively restrictive intervention and shall make reasonable efforts to identify the least restrictive interventions that might be effective and appropriate to the situation.

Seclusion and physical restraint, as defined under state law, shall be used as behavioral interventions on students only when such use is consistent with applicable legal requirements, any applicable individualized education program (IEP) and behavior intervention plan.

No staff will subject a student to corporal punishment. Corporal punishment, which is defined as the intentional infliction of physical pain, is prohibited.  Disciplinary measures will take into account the dignity of the student, the seriousness of the infraction and the need for positive motivation of the students.

This prohibition does not prohibit an employee of  the EC 

  1. to quell a disturbance or prevent an act that threatens physical injury to any person;
  2. to obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous object within a student’s control;
  3. for the purpose of self-defense or the defense of others, or for the protection of

property in accordance with state statutes;

  1. to remove a disruptive student from school premises, a motor vehicle or school-

sponsored activity;

  1. to prevent a student from inflicting harm on him/herself;
  2. to protect the safety of others; or
  3. incidental, minor, or reasonable physical contact designed to maintain order and

control.

 Not all of the restrictions and conditions set forth in state law that apply to the use of seclusion and physical restraint are expressly identified in this policy. However, to ensure their appropriate use in a manner that is consistent with the Board’s expectations, and the vision of the School’s design and values, the Board sets forth the following limitations and guiding principles for the use of seclusion and physical restraint:

  1. Advisors may use seclusion or physical restraint only when the student’s behavior presents a clear, present and imminent risk to the physical safety of the student or others.
  2. Advisors may use seclusion or physical restraint only when less restrictive or alternative approaches have been considered and attempted, or considered and deemed inappropriate for the current situation.
  3. The purpose for using seclusion or physical restraint is to defuse a physically dangerous situation, protect the students and others from injury, and regain a safe and productive learning environment. Neither physical restraint or seclusion should be used as a punishment or as a substitute for appropriate educational/behavioral intervention and support.
  4. The type of behavioral intervention utilized in a given situation should be appropriate to the student’s age and developmental level, and take into account any medical, psychological or other issues the student may have. Neither physical restraint or seclusion shall be used as an intervention when it is known that the use of the intervention would involve an inappropriate risk to the student’s health or safety due to the student’s personal medical issue(s) or medical condition(s).
  5. When either seclusion or physical restraint is used as an intervention, it shall not be used for a period of time beyond that which is reasonably necessary to resolve the imminent risk to physical safety.
  6. Verbal outbursts and threats do not constitute an imminent risk to physical safety justifying the use of seclusion or restraint unless the student has also identified or demonstrated a plausible means of carrying out the threat.
  7. Seclusion and physical restraint shall be administered in a humane, safe and effective

manner, and without intent to harm or create undue discomfort (physical or emotional).

The EC  shall provide training on interventions to designated staff members who are most likely to be called upon to prevent or address dangerous or significantly disruptive student behavior. Only designated personnel who have received proper training may implement seclusion or physical restraint interventions, except that physical restraint may be used by non-trained school personnel in an emergency situation where all other limitations and restrictions have been satisfied, but only if a designated staff member who has received training on the use of physical restraint is not immediately available due to the unforeseen nature of the emergency. No exceptions to the training requirement are allowed for the use of seclusion. Completed training shall be documented.

After each of the preceding emergency situations [as described above] the staff involved will submit a written description of the circumstances and the action taken within twenty-four (24) hours to the student’s parent or guardian. In addition, an annual report on the use of seclusion and physical restraint shall be provided to the Board.

The EC should establish procedures to review the incident in question to ensure that behavioral interventions involving the use of seclusion or physical restraint are done in accordance with state law, Board policy, School’s values, and established procedures.

All persons in the employ of the EC will be apprised of this policy annually, and reminded that violations will not be tolerated.

 Policy 519: Student Use of Technology

Consistent with applicable federal laws, the School believes that the best approach to student safety as it relates to use of the Internet and other electronic resources involves a combination of technology protection measures, monitoring and instruction. The School’s comprehensive approach to student Internet/technology safety shall take into account the differing ages and instructional levels of the students in The School.

It shall be the responsibility of the Information Technology Coordinator to:

  1. Ensure that The School’s systems and equipment that provide access to the Internet make active use of technology protection measures designed to block or filter Internet access to visual depictions that are:
    1. Obscene;
    2. pornographic; or
    3. otherwise harmful to minors

Filtering, blocking or other protective technologies will also be used to decrease the likelihood that student users of The School’s systems and equipment might access other materials or communications, other than visual depictions, that are inappropriate for students. 

  1. Develop and implement procedures that provide for the monitoring of students’ and other authorized users’ activities when using The School-provided equipment or The School-provided network access or Internet access. Such monitoring may sometimes take the form of direct supervision of students’ and minors’ online activity by school personnel, but The School recognizes that constant, direct supervision is not a practical expectation. 
  2. Develop and implement an instructional program that is designed to educate students about acceptable and responsible use of technology and safe and appropriate online behavior, including (a) safety and security issues that arise in connection with various forms of electronic communication (such as e-mail, instant messaging, and similar technologies); (b) interacting with other individuals on social networking sites and in chat rooms; and (c) cyberbullying awareness and response. Such educational activities shall include (but shall not consist exclusively of) reinforcement of the provisions of The School’s rules regarding students’ acceptable and responsible use of technology while at school.
  3. Maintain, revise and enforce rules and procedures concerning the acceptable, safe, and responsible use of The School’s Internet access infrastructure and other technology-related The School resources by any person who is authorized to use The School’s systems and equipment, including any student, employee, or other authorized user. These rules and procedures shall:
    1. Address and prohibit the unauthorized collection, disclosure, use and dissemination of personal and personally-identifiable information regarding students and minors, as particularly applicable to technology-based resources;
    2. Address employees’ obligations regarding the proper retention of The School records, maintaining the confidentiality of student records, and avoiding inappropriate disclosures of The School records;
    3. Prohibit unauthorized user access to systems, networks and data;
    4. Prohibit the use of The School resources to access and/or transmit inappropriate material via the Internet, electronic mail, or other forms of electronic communications;
    5. Provide notice to users that there is no School-created expectation of privacy in their use of School technology resources. Accordingly, except where prohibited by state or federal law: 
      1. The School reserves the ability to track, monitor, and access all data, files, communications, or other material that users create, store, send, delete, receive, or display on or over The School’s Internet connection, network resources, file servers, computers or other equipment; and 
      2. all aspects of any individual’s use of The School’s technology-related equipment and resources, including any online activities that make use of The School-provided Internet access, may be monitored and tracked by The School officials; and
    6. Provide notice to users regarding possible consequences for violations of the policies, rules and procedures that govern the acceptable, safe, and responsible use of The School’s technology-related resources.

The School may approve modified levels of Internet filtering/blocking for an individual user account provided that there is a legitimate educational purpose and any changes in access will not compromise the overall adequacy of protections that are in place for student users.

Policy 520: Student Behavior Expectations

The School Plan states:

“ Students have the right to:

Prevent conflict by

Talking to others to express emotions

Sharing their concerns for their well-being.

Choosing to be trained in restorative justice practices.

Resolve conflict by

Having a safe space to take a break or time alone to reflect.

Expressing their emotions in a safe way.

Having a healthy sit-down with the people involved and a mediator. 

Interrupt harm by

Defending themselves.

Talking from their point of view. 

Verbally intervene to de-escalate a situation.

Anonymity whenever it is possible.

Restore from harm by

Having time to heal.

Asking for a restorative justice circle or another mediation process.”

The Board authorizes School Meeting, Community Engagement, the EC, and the Design Team to create and adopt Student Behavior Expectations consistent with the School Plan.

Policy 521: Student Behavior Consequences

The School Plan states:

“Justice at Milestone should…

  • Be understanding of one’s present and past.
  • Hold people accountable for their actions.
  • Help people take responsibility for themselves,
  • Give anyone who wants to lead the skills and training they need.
  • Be forgiving and understanding.
  • Take each person’s boundaries into account.
  • Be open and transparent.
  • Provide safe space to understand and work toward eliminating biases.
  • Keep us as individuals and a community safe. 
  • Be aware of systemic and structural oppression and violence.”

The Board authorizes School Meeting, Community Engagement, the EC, and the Design Team to create and adopt Student Behavior Consequences consistent with the School Plan.

Last updated bySean Anderson on August 28, 2022
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