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District Handbook of Standards of Intervention & Discipline Measures for Parents



  1. School-wide Systems of Support for ALL students
  2. The School-wide Systems for Positive Behavior Interventions & Support (PBIS)
  3. Parents as Partners
  4. Progressive Discipline
  5. Interventions
  6. Discipline Procedures
  7. Governing Board Policies
  8. Important Policies for Students and Parents
  9. Student Conduct Violations & Consequences

Click here to SEARCH and VIEW all District Policies

I. School-wide Systems of Support for ALL Students

A. Each school is expected to promote a positive school culture and climate that provides students with a supportive environment in which to grow both socially and academically.Schools are expected to take a proactive role in helping students learn and develop not only academic skills, but also positive social and behavior skills. Sunnyside implements a multi-tiered support system of support (MTSS) to help meet the needs of ALL students. In the same way that schools use tiered systems to support the learning needs of all students, schools also implement school-wide systems for social and behavior skills.

B. School-wide tiered systems of support for social and behavior skills are referred to as Positive Behavior Interventions & Support (PBIS) behavioral supports and interventions. Schools are expected to help students understand the expectations of the school and to help them learn and take responsibility for their behavior and social development. The PBIS system guides the entire school community toward following the school’s rules and expectations, as well as the delivery of consistent and appropriate consequences.

C. Effective social emotional learning helps students develop fundamental skills for life effectiveness, including: recognizing and managing emotions; developing caring and concern for others; establishing positive relationships; making responsible decisions; and handling challenging situations constructively and ethically. Such skills help prevent negative behaviors and the disciplinary consequences that result when students do not live up to behavioral standards.

D. School staff members are also responsible for addressing inappropriate student behaviors which disrupt learning. Administrators, teachers, academic/behavioral interventionists and other school staff are expected to engage all students in intervention and prevention strategies that address a student’s behavioral issues and discuss these strategies with the student and his/her parent(s).

E. Intervention and prevention approaches may include, but are not limited to, consistent modeling and teaching of appropriate social and behavior skills; conflict resolution/peer mediation/negotiation, individual and/or group support, anger management, stress management, and/or communication skills acquisition.

F. Through the use of intervention and prevention strategies that engage students and give them a clear sense of purpose, school staff members facilitate students’ academic and social-emotional growth and assist them in following school rules and policies.

II. The School-Wide Systems for Positive Behavior Interventions & Support (PBIS)

A. Model 1 below illustrates the PBIS model, divided into three tiers:

  1. The green section is Tier 1 (also called the Primary or Universal Tier). This intervention is for ALL students in the school and creates the foundation of PBIS, in which ALL students and staff teach and learn about the expectations of the entire school—in all settings, including the classroom, hallways, cafeteria, bus, school grounds, etc.
  2. The yellow section is Tier 2 (also called Secondary or Targeted Interventions). This support is for SOME students who need additional intervention in learning and developing effective social and behavior skills.
  3. 3. The red section is Tier 3 (also called Tertiary or Intensive Interventions). A FEW students may need more individualized interventions or additional services to help them be successful.

Model 1 Graphic

III. Parents as Partners

A. Students, parents and school personnel all have a role in making schools safe and must cooperate with one another to achieve this goal. School staff should keep parents informed of their child’s behavior and work with parents as partners in addressing areas of concern. Outreach to parents can include, but is not limited to, a phone call and/or a written communication. As role models, parents and school staff should model the behaviors which they would like to see in the students.

B. Educators are responsible for informing parents about their child’s behavior and for helping students develop the social and behavior skills necessary to succeed in school and in society. Parents are encouraged to discuss with their child’s teacher and other school staff issues that may affect student behavior and strategies that might be effective in working with the student.

C. Communication between the school and the home is very important. Conferences attended by the parents/guardians and designated school staff are an effective means of encouraging parental input and should be held with students when appropriate. Parents who want to discuss guidance interventions in response to student behavior should contact their child’s school.

D. Parent Notification School officials are responsible for sharing the information in this document with students, parents, and staff. If a student demonstrates minor behavior violations in the classroom, the teacher will address the behavior issue in the classroom and communicate with the parent as needed. If the student’s behavior requires an Office Discipline Referral (ODR) for more major incidents of inappropriate behavior, then the designated school staff member will report the behavior to the student’s parent. When a student is believed to have committed a crime, the police must be called, and the parent will be contacted.

IV. Progressive Discipline

A. Understanding discipline as a “teachable moment” is important to a positive approach to discipline. Progressive discipline uses interventions to address inappropriate behavior, with the ultimate goal of teaching positive social skills and behavior. Progressive discipline does not seek punishment as the way to help students develop these skills. Instead, progressive discipline is a way for students to learn from their mistakes and to be accountable for their behavior.

B. Students who have engaged in inappropriate behavior need to:

  1. understand why the behavior is unacceptable and the harm it has caused.
  2. understand what they could have done differently in the same situation.
  3. take responsibility for their actions.
  4. be given the opportunity to learn effective social strategies and skills to use in the future.
  5. understand the progression of more severe consequences if the behavior happens again.

C. Every reasonable effort must be made to correct student behavior through interventions and other school or community resources. Guidance interventions are essential, because inappropriate behavior or violations in the Discipline Matrix may be symptomatic of more serious problems that students are experiencing. It is, therefore, important that school personnel be sensitive to issues that may influence the behavior of students and respond in a manner that is most supportive of their needs.

D. Appropriate disciplinary responses should emphasize prevention and effective intervention, prevent disruption to students’ education, and promote the development of a positive school culture.

E. For students with disabilities whose behavior gets in the way of the student’s successful participation in school, a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) is an essential tool to understand the causes of the student’s behavior. A Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) after an FBA provides specific approaches to address the student’s behavior.

V. Interventions

Interventions are an essential part of disciplinary measures.

A. To promote positive behavior schools provide a range of prevention and intervention strategies and support services for students during and/or after school hours throughout the school year. When used consistently and appropriately, recommended interventions help improve student behavior, lower repeated misbehavior and contribute to a more positive school environment.

B. Possible interventions may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Parent Outreach: School staff should keep parents informed of their child’s behavior and enlist parents as partners in addressing areas of concern. Outreach to parents can include a phone call and/or written communication.
  2. Parental Conference: Principals and teachers may request a guidance conference with the student and, where appropriate, with the parent. The purpose of the conference is to review the behavior, find solutions to the problem and address academic, personal and social issues that might have caused or contributed to the behavior.
  3. Short-Term Behavioral Progress Reports: Teachers and/or principals/designees may send behavioral progress reports to parents on a regular basis until they feel that the student is in control of his/her behavior and working in the classroom successfully.
  4. CHECK-IN/CHECK-OUT: The student meets with teachers and/or designated staff to create a visual schedule and behavioral objectives that includes the specific performance of tasks that the student will accomplish to meet those objectives. The designated staff member(s) work with students daily and measure the progress of students towards their goals.
  5. Intervention For Success Classroom (IFS): An in-school program which allows students returning from suspension or remaining on-campus for interventions to gain access to the academic, behavioral, and social-emotional curriculum necessary to develop appropriate replacement behaviors.
  6. Student Assistance Programs (SAP) groups: Student Assistance Programs (SAPs) is a comprehensive school-based program designed to identify issues which prevent students from learning and being successful in school. Student Assistance Programs provide education, prevention, early identification, intervention referral, and support groups for students. Commonly referred to as student support groups, SAPs foster risk reduction and positive asset development within students. SAPs provide a safe place in which students are free to express their feelings and concerns as they develop positive relationships with peers and adults and acquire knowledge, skills and attitude development leading to student success in the school setting. At this time, SAP groups are mostly found at the high school level.
  7. Referral to a Community Based Organization (CBO): With parental approval and signature on a Referral Waiver Form, students may be referred to a community-based organization for a wide range of services including after-school programming, individual or group counseling, leadership development, anger management, conflict resolution and tutoring.
  8. Referral to Appropriate Substance Abuse Counseling Services: In the case in which a student is presenting reoccurring problems with substance abuse, including the use, possession or distribution of illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, and/or alcohol, referrals should be made to a community-based organization, as described above.

VI. Discipline Procedures

A. Progressive Discipline—as mentioned in Section IV, appropriate disciplinary responses should focus on prevention and effective intervention, to prevent disruption to students’ education, and promote the development of a positive school culture.

B. Minor discipline violations will be managed in the classroom, with the teacher providing guidance, re-teaching of expectations and interventions. For some lower level violations (see Discipline Matrix), three to four classroom interventions will be implemented before referring the student to the Prevention/Intervention staff for an Office Discipline Referral (ODR).

C. Office Discipline Referrals (ODRs) For continued disruptions or major discipline violations, the student will be referred to the Prevention/Intervention staff. ODRs will be processed by the appropriate staff member(s), and specific procedures will be followed.

  1. All ODRs (all levels) will be documented.

D. Depending on the severity of the behavior, consequences for discipline violations may include the following:

  1. 1. In-school Suspension (ISS/IFS): This program takes place during the school day, and should be used to support Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions and to develop socio-emotional skills and support learning of replacement behaviors.
    • Students receive support as they transition from ISS/IFS back to the general classroom, and the teacher(s) and staff continue to provide positive feedback and interventions in the classroom.
  2. Before or after-school Detention: This consequence is used when feasible.
  3. Out-of-School Suspension (OSS): Depending on the violation, students may be suspended out of school from 1-9 days. If a student is suspended for 5-9 days, a suspension hearing will be held to determine if the student will be suspended for a longer period of time (sometimes up to a semester or a year, depending on the violation).
    • Students in Special Education may not be suspended over 10 days without continuation of services.
    • A Manifestation Determination meeting must be held, with parental involvement, to determine if the student’s behavior is a manifestation of his/her disability. If the behavior IS a manifestation of the disability, the student shall not be suspended for more than 10 days and additional interventions must be provided. If the behavior IS NOT a manifestation of the student’s disability, then he/she can be suspended, but services must continue (through Homebound or other available services).
    • Students with a 504 Accommodation Plan require a Manifestation Determination meeting as well. If the student’s behavior IS a manifestation of his/her disability, then follow the same procedures as with students with an IEP. If the behavior IS NOT a manifestation of the student’s disability, the student may be suspended like students in general education.

VII. Governing Board Polices

The complete Governing Board Manual can be accessed at the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) Policy Bridge. Click on the link below for viewing access to the complete manual. You may search for specific policies through the name of the policy or through a key word.


Please note that revisions and additions to Board policies are made as an ongoing process, through changes brought about by new legislation and/or specific needs of the District. Some pending changes have not been added to the Manual.

VIII. Important Policies for Students and Parents

Various Governing Board policies apply directly to students and their rights and responsibilities.

  • AC: Non-discrimination/Equal Opportunity

    FERPA Form for Release of Student Directory Information

  • IJNDB: Use of Technology Resources
  • JE: Student Attendance
  • JEA: Compulsory Attendance Ages
  • JH: Student Absences and Excuses (the policy and regulations have been revised and are not yet reflected in the Governing Board manual, but they can be found on the website).
  • JHB: Truancy
  • JI: Student Rights and Responsibilities
  • JIC: Student Conduct
    • JIC-E (Revised SUSD Parent Handbook will be added to Policy Manual)
  • JICA: Student Dress
  • JICEC: Freedom of Expression
  • JICI: Weapons in School
  • JICFA: Hazing
  • JICK: Student Violence/Harassment/Intimidation/Bullying
  • JIH: Student Interrogations, Searches and Arrests
  • JII: Student Concerns, Complaints and Grievances
    • JII-R:
    • JII-EA: Complaint Form
    • JII-EB: To be displayed in school buildings and in student handbooks
  • JK: Student Discipline
    • JK-RA
    • JK-RB
    • JK-RC
    • JK-EA
    • JK-EB (Referral Form—needs revision)
    • JK-EC
    • JK-ED (Student Discipline Matrix—revised version will be added to website)
  • JKD: Student Suspension
  • JKE: Expulsion of Students
    • JKE-E (needs to be revised/removed)


A. Absence of a specific behavior from the list of student conduct violations does not preclude disciplinary action from being taken, nor does it imply limitations to the disciplinary action.

B. Factors in student discipline In determining how to best address inappropriate conduct, it is necessary to evaluate all the circumstances surrounding the conduct. The following facts must be considered before determining the appropriate disciplinary measures:

  1. the student’s age and maturity;
  2. the student’s disciplinary record (including the nature of any prior misconduct, the number of prior instances of misconduct, and the disciplinary and guidance intervention measures applied for each);
  3. the nature, severity and scope of the behavior;
  4. the circumstances/context in which the conduct occurred;
  5. the frequency and duration of the behavior;
  6. the number of persons involved in the behavior;
  7. the student’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan), BIP (Behavioral Intervention Plan) and 504 Accommodation Plan, if applicable.

C. The role of school personnel

  1. Teachers, administrators and other site personnel, as well as site student services personnel, such as Assistant Principals, Academic Interventionists, counselors, social workers, psychologists, etc., play an important role in assisting the student in resolving behavior problems.

D. Levels of Student Conduct Violations and Range of Consequences

  1. Student Conduct Violations are listed in five levels from Level 1 to Level 5. Levels 1 and 2 are the most severe.
  2. Depending on the level of the violation, a range of consequences may be imposed for student conduct violations. These consequences include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Verbal warning
    • Written warning
    • Telephone contact to parents
    • Written notification to parents
    • Parent conference
    • Detention: before or after-school detention
    • School clean up
    • Suspension of certain privileges (e.g. social or extracurricular activities)
    • Intervention within the school day
    • Community service (when possible)
    • In-School Suspension (ISS)
    • Out-of-school suspension (OSS): Short-term—1-5 days
    • Out-of-school suspension (OSS): Long-term—5-9 days or more (long-term hearing required)
    • Results after long-term hearing may result in an extended period of suspension—possibly up to one year if the violation is severe
    • Alternative to Suspension Program (when available)
    • Expulsion
  3. NOTE: If the conduct violation occurs on the school bus, additional consequences may be applied, which include restrictions from riding the bus.

E. Reporting Violations to Law Enforcement

  1. For certain violations, the site is required to contact law enforcement and make a mandatory or required report.

F. Following below are examples of violations in each of the levels. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. As previously stated, absence of a violation on the list does not prevent the school from applying specific consequences.

    Level 1 Violations—Most Severe
    Law Enforcement will be contacted in most cases

  1. Aggravated assault
  2. Armed robbery
  3. Arson of an occupied structure
  4. Bomb threat
  5. Computer/Technology Violations of a serious nature/may include “sexting”
  6. Drugs (Illegal) Sale, Distribution or Transfer (includes marijuana, peyote, prescription drugs, dangerous drugs or narcotic drugs).
  7. Drugs--Possession or use of marijuana, peyote, dangerous drugs, narcotics or drugs considered dangerous, such as opiates—e.g. Oxycodone, Vicodin, Percocet)
  8. Explosives
  9. Homicide
  10. Sexual abuse, Sexual assault, Molestation of a Child (includes completed and attempted sexual offenses)
  11. Weapons--Possession or use: Real firearms and destructive devices specifically designed to cause death or serious physical injury.

    Level 2 Violations—Severe
    Law Enforcement may be contacted

  1. Alcohol
  2. Arson of a structure or property
  3. Assault
  4. Bullying: The specific behavior will be described—persistent and severe. Behavior may include cyber-bullying (use of technology to threaten and/or intimidate with the intent to cause serious physical injury)
  5. Burglary or Breaking & Entering
  6. Chemical or biological threat
  7. Combustible (if intentional use causes serious bodily injury or structural damage)
  8. Computer violation of a serious nature (tampering with district internet system, malicious hacking, destruction of district property or deliberate and continued accessing of pornographic websites)
  9. Dangerous Instrument/ Dangerous item (with intent to cause bodily harm): possession or use and exhibiting threatening behavior
  10. Disorderly conduct (severe with associated violence)
  11. Drugs: Possession, use, sharing or under the influence: drugs include marijuana, peyote, dangerous drugs or narcotic drugs, as well as drugs such as synthetic substances such as K2 & Spice; prescription medications (inappropriate use of); over-the-counter medications (inappropriate use of); or drug paraphernalia
  12. Extortion (severe with associated violence or repeated threat and intimidation)
  13. Fighting (resulting in serious injury)
  14. Fire alarm Misuse (school evacuation or police response)
  15. Gang activity - promoting/recruiting
  16. Graffiti or tagging (of a serious nature resulting in damage valued at $250 or more)
  17. Harassment, sexual with contact: touching (not accidental) of specific areas of the body, namely the penis, vagina, female breasts, anus, for students in all grade levels.
  18. Indecent exposure or public sexual behavior (with intent): if the student intentionally exposed a minor to the penis, vagina, female breasts or anus
  19. Kidnapping
  20. Property damage or vandalism (other than arson) (with damage of $250 or more) (includes damaging of school computers/laptops or severe property or damage as a result of deliberate horseplay or recklessness).
  21. Robbery (with use or threat of force).
  22. School threat (results in evacuation and threat poses a threat of death or serious injury to employees, students or anyone on the property of the school)
  23. Sexual Misconduct (includes consensual sexual intercourse for some ages)
  24. Theft ($250 or more) (includes computers/laptops, or other school property)
  25. Threats or Intimidation (pervasive or repeated). The violation includes cyber- bullying and using any electronic means and/ or social media to threaten with significant bodily and/or intimidate.
  26. Trespassing (repeated) (includes returning to school during a period of suspension and unauthorized entry)
  27. Weapons (not including those prohibited as a Level I offense)

    Level 3 Violations
    Law Enforcement may be contacted for certain violations

  1. Assault
  2. Bullying—indicate specific action. Includes cyber- bullying/using any electronic means to bully, threaten or intimidate.
  3. Cheating and Plagiarism (severe—such as cheating on state exams and plagiarism on significant assignments)
  4. Combustible (minor injury) If the student knowingly caused a fire or explosion of a structure or property, then this would be documented as Arson.
  5. Computer Violation or Inappropriate Use of Technology Resources or Network Infraction
  6. Contraband – possession or use
  7. Dangerous instruments/Dangerous Items
  8. Defiance or Disrespect toward authority or Non- Compliance (associated with some form of physical aggression—continuing AFTER interventions have been attempted).
  9. Drugs: Synthetic substances such as K2 & Spice; prescription medications (inappropriateuse of); over-the-counter medications (inappropriate use of); under the influence
  10. Extortion
  11. Fighting (minor or no injuries)
  12. Fire Alarm Misuse (no school evacuation)
  13. Gang Activity – Imitation, gang-like behaviors or gang-like clothing, expressions, or artifacts (includes flashing gang signs; claiming “turf;” and gang writing, drawing, or sounds)
  14. Graffiti or Tagging (resulting in damage less than $250)
  15. Harassment, nonsexual or Defamation
  16. Harassment, sexual without contact (may include “sexting”): persistent use of unwanted sexual language
  17. Indecent exposure (less severe)
  18. Networking infraction --see Computer Violation or Inappropriate Use of Technology Resources
  19. Other school threat (such as prank 911 calls—if building is evacuated, violation may be a more serious level).
  20. Pornography: possession of pornographic materials or accessing pornographic sites on computer/laptop. May include “sexting” if the student is sharing the pornographic material with others—more severe.
  21. Profanity/inappropriate or obscene language toward school personnel (repeated)
  22. Property damage (other than arson)— (damage valued at a value from $100 to $249)
  23. Theft (between $100 - $249) (includes computers/laptops and other school property)
  24. Threats or Intimidation--(See Bullying— includes cyber-bullying, or use of an electronic means to threaten the individual with significant physical injury).
  25. Tobacco or tobacco products (use or sharing)
  26. Trespassing/Returning to school after suspension or unauthorized entry

    Level 4 Violations

  1. Cell phone/video camera/electronic device inappropriate use) (includes recording a fight)
  2. Computer Violation or Inappropriate Use of Technology Resources (includes laptop computer used inappropriately, such as playing inappropriate games or using chat-rooms without authorization)
  3. Defiance of authority (without associated aggression or violence - continuing AFTER several interventions have been attempted)
  4. Failure to serve detention
  5. Fighting (minor scuffle with no injury)
  6. Forgery--altering official documents or improper use of hall pass
  7. Gambling
  8. Horseplay with injury or Recklessness or Endangerment (minor injury) (includes minor property damage caused by reckless behavior/horseplay and includes damage to computer/laptop.)
  9. Negative group affiliation
  10. Offensive material or inappropriate materials (less severe) (includes offensive material sent through electronic means/through computer, etc.)
  11. Petty theft (under $100)
  12. Plagiarism
  13. Profanity, inappropriate, or obscene language toward another student (continuing AFTER several interventions have been attempted)
  14. Property damage or Vandalism (damage value of less than $100) (includes damage to computers/laptops and damage resulting from horseplay or recklessness)
  15. Tobacco or tobacco products (possession)
  16. Truancy or Leaving campus without authorization or Ditching/skipping class (issues of ditching or skipping class may result in consequences requiring student to make up time lost).
  17. Verbal provocation

    Level 5 Violations

  1. Cheating (minor)
  2. Disruption or Disruptive behavior (repeated—after several classroom interventions have been attempted)
  3. Dress code violations (not gang) or ID violation
  4. Horseplay and Minor Aggressive Acts
  5. Inappropriate language or profanity (repeated) toward another student
  6. Public display of affection (e.g. kissing, petting)
  7. Refusal to comply with bus driver’s instructions (applies to bus drivers only)