Procedure for Discipline Committee Meeting:
- A violation of one or more of the school’s major rules is usually reported to the dean of students, who will discuss the violation with the head of school, the assistant head/dean of faculty, and the dean of academic program and equity. If the head of school is unavailable, the assistant head/dean of faculty will perform the function(s) of the head of school as described in these procedures;
- A dean will convene the Discipline Committee and arrange the time and place of the meeting. In addition, the dean will inform the student, the student’s advisor, and all persons presenting information about the suspected violation. These arrangements will be made at least two hours before the hearing takes place. The dean will notify the Discipline Committee members and the head of school. The student, in the presence of the dean, will be required to notify their parents;
- In the case of a boarding student, they may be housebound after the notification and prior to the meeting. However, they may attend classes and meals. In the case of a day student, they may be restricted from campus, except for attendance at classes and lunch. All exceptions to this policy will be determined by a dean;
- The Discipline Committee or the dean may excuse any person whose presence is not needed;
- To open the meeting, the dean will introduce the Discipline Committee members, the student, all persons presenting information about the infraction, advocates of the student, and witnesses, if appropriate. The student may be accompanied by one faculty and one student advocate. The dean will serve as the non-voting convener of the meeting and will keep a record of the proceedings;
- The dean will ask for the student’s statement, a statement about the infraction, and, as available, statements from advocates. The Discipline Committee members may pose questions to the student and those persons presenting information. The student is expected to answer all questions completely and honestly and may also ask questions;
- After participants are excused, the Discipline Committee will begin discussions and may refer to precedents on file and the guidelines proposed by the committee and ratified by the head of school. If necessary, the Discipline Committee may solicit and question other members of the school community in order to better clarify their understanding of the infraction. Decisions of the Discipline Committee are based upon committee guidelines; therefore, cases that are not within the scope of the guidelines may be referred to the head of school;
- Upon reaching a decision, the Discipline Committee will make its recommendation to the head of school. The dean will summarize the discussion leading to the decision and may ask the head of school to meet with the committee. If the head of school does not accept the decision and recommendation of the committee, the decision of the head of school will prevail;
- Once a decision has been finalized, the dean will inform the student, the student’s parents, and the student’s advisor or advocate. Additionally, the dean will inform all faculty members affected by the decision (e.g., the student’s teachers, if the decision is to suspend or restrict the student);
- The student may appeal the decision of the Discipline Committee to the head of school within one week of the original committee meeting. The head of school has the sole discretion to accept or deny an appeal. If the head of school accepts an appeal, they will review relevant material, particularly if disciplinary procedures were not observed or if new information has been discovered, and may either reconvene the Discipline Committee or refer the appeal and case to the full faculty;
- Once a final decision is made, a member of the Discipline Committee or the dean of students will be chosen by the committee to present a summary of the case at the next scheduled announcements period; names are excluded from this summary except in unique circumstances.
- The dean will confirm with the head of school that the terms of the decision and the subsequent punishment (e.g., tasks, restrictions, suspension) have been met.
Consequences for violations of Concord Academy’s major rules may include the following:
- Tasks that contribute to the community;
- Restrictions from non-academic activities, both on and off campus;
- A Dean’s Warning which is a letter from a dean to the student, the student’s parents/guardians, and involved faculty/staff member(s) which may impose restrictions on the student and will be taken into consideration if they later break a major school rule or continue to behave unsatisfactorily;
- Probation, which is a time during which a student must demonstrate, through appropriate behavior and attitude, a desire to remain a member of the Concord Academy community. Violation of the terms of the probation will render a student at risk for dismissal;
- Suspension from school for a few days, or for one or more semesters. For suspensions of five or fewer days, students must obtain from their teachers a complete list of assignments to be made up, including any additional work designated by a teacher. Any student who is suspended is responsible for making up all quizzes, tests, papers, and projects within a given number of days, normally not to exceed the length of time of the suspension. During a suspension, students lose the privilege of contacting their teachers after initial contact to define expectations. The student’s teachers, in consultation with the student’s advisor, may review their academic progress prior to or upon return to school. For suspensions of a semester or longer, a student must enroll in another school. Upon their return to Concord Academy, the student’s academic placement will be reassessed. In the event that a suspended student is unable to leave campus until the following day, the student will be required to spend the night in the Health Center under the supervision of the nurse on call and at the expense of their parents. On some occasions local day families assist in supervision of suspended students. Students who are unable to or refuse to appear before the Discipline Committee will be placed on indefinite leave until they are able or willing to appear. All policies related to a suspended student as described above will be followed;
- Separation from school for the remainder of the school year. The student may reapply to Concord Academy for another year;
- Expulsion from school. The student may not reapply to Concord Academy for another year. The student may not attend any school events either on or off campus.
- A student who withdraws prior to discipline, is separated from the school, or is expelled must contact the dean of academic program and equity, the assistant head/dean of faculty, or the dean of students prior to any campus visits and will not have the privilege of partaking in any school events, either on or off-campus.
Additional responses to violations of school rules may include required counseling, tutoring, restorative justice, or evaluation of behaviors. When deemed necessary by the head of school or dean of students, the student may not be required to appear before the Discipline Committee; rather, the case will be reviewed by the dean of students and/or the head of school in consultation with such other administrators as appropriate. On these occasions, these administrators will review information about the infraction, may interview appropriate students and faculty involved in the situation, and conduct such other inquiry and review as may be deemed necessary by them before making a decision about appropriate responsive or disciplinary action.
Behavioral Expectations While Away From School
Students should be aware that they represent the school community at all times, both on and away from campus. While it is not the school’s intention to monitor students in all of their off-campus activities, the school may take disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion, in response to inappropriate conduct occurring outside of campus as long as the student is enrolled in the school.
Disciplinary matters and student issues are handled directly by teachers, administrators, and appropriate staff. If a student is having an issue with another student, parents should not attempt to deal with the other student directly about that matter. Doing so may put a student in an intimidating situation and is best resolved, when appropriate, through a school administrator. Please speak to the appropriate school administrator for guidance with respect to any questions about contacting another student or parent about a school-related matter.
Students and parents understand and accept that a student may be required to go on a Dean’s Leave such as during the pendency of an investigation. Dean’s Leave is considered a non-disciplinary leave and should not be considered a conclusion by the school of any wrongdoing. During a Dean’s Leave, the school will work with students to continue their educational experience to the extent possible such as through tutoring, online learning and other methods.
After a complaint has been brought to the attention of the school, an impartial, fact-finding investigation of the complaint is conducted by the head of school or designee. This investigation may include (but is not necessarily limited to) interviews with the complainant, alleged target (if there is one), witnesses to the incident, the person or persons against whom the complaint was made, and any other parties who witnessed or may otherwise have information relevant to the alleged incident. The investigator may consult with teachers, school counselors, staff, the parents/guardians of the student or students who were allegedly targeted, and/or the parents/guardians of the student or students alleged to have been the aggressors, or any other person whom the investigator(s) deem to have knowledge about, or circumstances surrounding, the complaint. The school, in its sole discretion, may also deem it appropriate to use external investigators to review a complaint. In certain circumstances, the school may be obligated to report misconduct to external authorities, such as to law enforcement or the child welfare agency. The school cooperates with external agencies and may therefore postpone its own investigation into misconduct as appropriate.
Cooperation with Investigations
Students are expected to cooperate in investigations and be honest when doing so. Failure to cooperate with an investigation may itself be cause for disciplinary action. If a student refuses to participate or cooperate at any stage of an investigation for whatever reason including, but not limited to, pending criminal charges, the school reserves the right to take action, including proceeding without a statement from the student, or to require the student to withdraw from the school.
Concord Academy’s disciplinary procedures and policies are subject to review and recommendation by the Discipline Committee and the All-School Council.