Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 2. Compulsory School Attendance and Expulsion.


Subchapter I. School Attendance.

Part A. Definitions.

§ 38–201. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) Repealed.

(1A) "Chronic absenteeism" means the incidence of students missing more than 10% of school days, including excused and unexcused absences.

(2) “District” means the District of Columbia.

(2A) “Educational institution” means a school in the District of Columbia Public Schools system, a public charter school, an independent school, a private school, a parochial school, or a private instructor.

(2B) "Full school day" means the entirety of the instructional hours regularly provided on a single school day.

(3) “Minor” means a person who has not reached 18 years of age, pursuant to § 46-101.

(3A) “Parent” means a parent, guardian, or other person who resides in the District and who has custody or control of a minor 5 years of age or older.

(3B) “School-based student support team” means a team formed to support the individual student by developing and implementing action plans and strategies that are school-based or community-based, depending on the availability, to enhance the student’s success with services, incentives, intervention strategies, and consequences for dealing with absenteeism.

(4) “School year” means the period from the opening of regular school programs, typically in September, until the closing of regular school programs, typically in June.


(Feb. 4, 1925, ch. 140, Art. I, § 1; as added Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-247,§ 2(a), 38 DCR 376; Oct. 26, 2010, D.C. Law 18-242, § 3(a), 57 DCR 7555; June 7, 2012, D.C. Law 19-141, § 302(a), 59 DCR 3083; Sept. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-17, § 101(a), 60 DCR 9839; July 26, 2016, D.C. Law 21-140, § 2(a), 63 DCR 8207.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-401.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 4-1321.02 and § 38-1800.02.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-242, in par. (4), deleted “, established by the Board,” following “period”.

D.C. Law 19-141 added par. (3A).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-17 repealed (1), defining “Board”; added (2A); added (3A); and redesignated former (3A) as (3B).

Cross References

Annual census of children, see § 38-204 et seq.

Child labor and working permits, see § 32-201 et seq.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of School Attendance Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-476, July 21, 2016, 63 DCR 10181).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of School Attendance Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-410, June 1, 2016, 63 DCR 8202).

For temporary (90 day) law authorizing the Superintendent of D.C. Public Schools to remove a student involved in a dangerous crime, see § 2 of Attendance and School Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-24, March 28, 2001, 48 DCR 3315).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(a) of the Attendance Accountability Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-133, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11531, 20 DCSTAT 1973).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of D.C. Law 19-141, § 601, see § 4112 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-130, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11384, 20 DCSTAT 1827).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of D.C. Law 19-141, § 601, see § 4112 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-204, October 17, 2013, 60 DCR 15341, 20 DCSTAT 2311).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) law authorizing the Superintendent of D.C. Public Schools to remove a student involved in a dangerous crime, see § 2 of Attendance and School Safety Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-7, June 14, 2001, 48 DCR 3516).

Section 8(b) of D.C. Law 14-7 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Short Title

Section 4111 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that Subtitle K of Title IV of the act may be cited as the “South Capitol Street Memorial Amendment Act of 2013”.

Editor's Notes

Section 601 of D.C. Law 19-141 originally provided that the act shall apply upon the inclusion of its fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Section 601 of D.C. Law 19-141, as amended by D.C. Law 19-168, § 7004, provided that the applicability of only §§ 302(b)(1), 304, and 502(a) are contingent upon the inclusion of their fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan.

Section 601 of D.C. Law 19-141, as amended by D.C. Law 20-61, § 4112, provided that §§ 302(b)(1)(A) and (C) and 304(b)(1)(D) of D.C. Law 19-141 shall apply to public charter schools upon the inclusion of their fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan, as certified by the Chief Financial Officer to the Budget Director of the Council in a certification published by the Council in the District of Columbia Register. Section 302(b)(1)(A) of D.C. Law 19-141 added § 38-203(i)(A-i); Section 302(b)(1)(C) of D.C. Law 19-141 added § 38-203(i)(B-i); and Section 304(b)(1)(D) of D.C. Law 19-141 added 5 DCMR § A2103(c)(6).


Part B. Compulsory School Attendance.

§ 38–202. Establishment of school attendance requirements.

(a) Every parent, guardian, or other person, who resides permanently or temporarily in the District during any school year and who has custody or control of a minor who has reached the age of 5 years or will become 5 years of age on or before September 30th of the current school year shall place the minor in regular attendance in an educational institution during the period of each year when the public schools of the District are in session. This obligation of the parent, guardian, or other person having custody extends until the minor reaches the age of 18 years. For the purpose of this section placement in summer school is not required.

(b) Any minor who has satisfactorily completed the senior high school course of study prescribed by the Board and has been granted a diploma that certifies his or her graduation from high school, or who holds a diploma or certificate of graduation from another course of study determined by the Board to be at least equivalent to that required by the Board for graduation from the public senior high schools, shall be excused from further attendance at school.

(c) Any minor who has reached the age of 17 years may be allowed flexible school hours by the head of the educational institution in which the minor is enrolled provided he or she is actually, lawfully, gainfully, and regularly employed, but in no case shall he or she be excused entirely from regular attendance or excused to the extent that his or her timely graduation would be jeopardized or prevented.

(d) The Board shall, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, issue rules to establish requirements to govern acceptable credit for studies completed at independent or private schools and private instruction, to govern the selection and appointment of appropriate staff members to carry out the provisions of this chapter under the direction of the Superintendent of Schools, pursuant to Chapter 6 of Title 1, and in respect to other matters within the scope of authority of the Board that relates to this subchapter.


(Feb. 4, 1925, 43 Stat. 806, ch. 140, Art. I, §§ 1, 2; renumbered as Art. II, § 1 and amended, Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-247, § 2(a), 38 DCR 376; July 18, 2008, D.C. Law 17-202, § 604, 55 DCR 6297; Sept. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-17, § 303(a), 60 DCR 9839; July 26, 2016, D.C. Law 21-140, § 2(b), 63 DCR 8207.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-402.

1973 Ed., §§ 31-201, 31-202.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1571, § 16-2309, § 38-203, § 38-206, § 38-1800.02, and § 38-2605.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-202, in subsec. (a), substituted “September 30th” for “December 31st”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-17 substituted “an educational institution” for “a public, independent, private, or parochial school, or in private instruction” in (a).

Cross References

Additional powers and duties of Superintendent, see § 38-105.

Belief that child is of compulsory school age, taking into custody, see § 16-2309.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of School Attendance Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-476, July 21, 2016, 63 DCR 10181).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of School Attendance Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-410, June 1, 2016, 63 DCR 8202).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 2 of Class Exclusion Standards Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-23, March

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 303(a) of the Attendance Accountability Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-133, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11531, 20 DCSTAT 1973).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2 of D.C. Law 17-8 added provisions to read as follows:

“Sec. 1a. Establishment of standards for class exclusions and suspensions.

“(a) The Board of Education (‘Board’) shall adopt uniform disciplinary standards:

“(1) To determine when class exclusions will be the appropriate disciplinary measure for students;

“(2) To promote the education of students in the school, except for those students who may be a danger to the school’s faculty, students, or others, where the student was placed prior to disciplinary action, and that prioritize consideration of the student’s academic standing, the educational needs of the students, and the number of previous offenses.

“(b) The standards adopted under subsection (a) of this section shall include a progressive schedule of discipline which promotes the goal of in-class education for students subject to disciplinary action, beginning with in-class intervention strategies and ending with expulsion as the final and most extreme form of discipline, and to the extent consistent with this progressive schedule, it shall be the policy of the District of Columbia to prefer in-school disciplinary action, except for those students who may be a danger to the school’s faculty, students, or others.

“(c) The Board shall require a monthly report of disciplinary measures taken by each school regarding class exclusions and suspensions, including the rationale for the particular choice of discipline.

“(d) The Mayor shall provide for comprehensive inter-agency collaborative support programs, such as programs offered by the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Human Services, the Child and Family Services Agency, and the Department of Parks and Recreation, to assist the student subject to class exclusion at the school, except for those students who may be a danger to the school’s faculty, students, or others, where the student was placed prior to the disciplinary action.

“(e) The Mayor shall make resources available to support the programs in subsection (d) of this section within the context of appropriated funds within the budget and financial plan.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 17-8 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.


§ 38–203. Enforcement; penalties.

(a) An accurate daily record of the attendance of all minors covered by § 38-202 and this section shall be kept by the teachers of each educational institution. These records shall be open for inspection at all times by the Board, the State Superintendent of Education, school attendance officers, or other persons authorized to enforce this subchapter.

(b) Repealed.

(c)(1) The absence of a minor covered by § 38-202(a) without valid excuse shall be unlawful.

(2) An absence of a minor covered by § 38-202(a) who is enrolled in a public school is deemed unexcused unless the minor's parent, guardian, or other person who has custody or control of the minor provides the school with a valid excuse for the minor's absence within 5 school days upon the minor's return to school.

(d) The parent, guardian, or other person who has custody or control of a minor covered by § 38-202(a) who is absent from school without a valid excuse shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(e) Any person convicted of failure to keep a minor in regular attendance in a public, independent, private, or parochial school, or failure to provide regular private instruction acceptable to the Board may be fined not less than $100 or imprisoned for not more than 5 days, or both for each offense.

(f) Each unlawful absence of a minor for 2 full-day sessions or for 4 half-day sessions during a school month shall constitute a separate offense.

(f-1) Repealed.

(f-2) Repealed.

(g) For the 1st offense, upon payment of costs, the sentence may be suspended and the defendant may be placed on probation.

(h) For any person convicted under this section, the courts shall consider requiring the offender to perform community service as an alternative to fine or imprisonment or both.

(i) Within 60 days after the end of a school year, each public, independent, private, or parochial school shall report to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, and make publicly available the following data for each school or campus under its authority based on the preceding school year:

(A) The number of minors, categorized by grade, or equivalent grouping for ungraded schools, who had unexcused absences for:

(i) One to 5 days;

(ii) Six to 10 days;

(iii) Eleven to 20 days; and

(iv) Twenty-one or more days;

(A-i) The work of the school-based student support teams in reducing unexcused absences, including:

(i) The number of students who were referred to a school-based student support team;

(ii) The number of students who met with a school-based student support team;

(iii) A summary of the action plans and strategies implemented by the school-based student support team to eliminate or ameliorate unexcused absences; and

(iv) A summary of the services utilized by students to reduce unexcused absences;

(v) A summary of the common barriers to implementing the recommendations of the school-based student support team;

(B) The number of minors, categorized by grade, or equivalent grouping for ungraded schools, that the school reported to the Child and Family Services Agency pursuant to § 4-1321.02(a-1) and (a-2);

(B-i) The number of minors categorized by grade, or equivalent grouping for ungraded schools, that the school referred to the Court Social Services Division of the Family Court of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for truancy; and

(C) The policy on absences, including defined categories of valid excuses, that it used.

(j) By August 1, 2012, the Mayor shall develop, through rulemaking, appropriate enforcement mechanisms to ensure that each school, principal, and teacher is in full compliance with the requirements of this subchapter and any regulations issued pursuant to this subchapter.

(k) By November 30 of each year, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education shall publicly report on the state of absenteeism in the District based on data from the preceding school year, including an analysis of truancy and chronic absenteeism by school or campus and the impact of current laws on improving school attendance.


(Feb. 4, 1925, 43 Stat. 806, ch. 140, Art. I, §§ 5-7; renumbered as Art. II, § 2 and amended, Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-247, § 2(a), 38 DCR 376; Oct. 26, 2010, D.C. Law 18-242, § 3(b), 57 DCR 7555; June 7, 2012, D.C. Law 19-141, § 302(b), 59 DCR 3083; Sept. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-17, § 303(b), 60 DCR 9839; July 26, 2016, D.C. Law 21-140, § 2(c), 63 DCR 8207; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 4143, 64 DCR 7652; Aug. 25, 2018, D.C. Law 22-157, § 3(a), 65 DCR 7499.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-403.

1973 Ed., §§ 31-20531-207.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-2605.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-242 added subsec. (i).

D.C. Law 19-141 added subsecs. (i)(A-i), (B-i), and (j).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-17 substituted “educational institution” for “public, independent, private, or parochial school and by every teacher who gives instruction privately” in (a); and, in (b), substituted “head teacher, teacher who gives private instruction” for “head teacher” and “educational institution” for “”educational institution“ for ”public, independent, private, or parochial school, and each teacher who gives private instruction.”

Applicability

Section 4150 of D.C. Law 22-33 provided that the amendment made to this section shall apply as of June 27, 2017.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 4143 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 4143 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(c) of School Attendance Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-476, July 21, 2016, 63 DCR 10181).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(c) of School Attendance Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-410, June 1, 2016, 63 DCR 8202).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 303(b) of the Attendance Accountability Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-133, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11531, 20 DCSTAT 1973).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of D.C. Law 19-141, § 601, see § 4112 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-130, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11384, 20 DCSTAT 1827).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of D.C. Law 19-141, § 601, see § 4112 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-204, October 17, 2013, 60 DCR 15341, 20 DCSTAT 2311).

Short Title

Section 4111 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that Subtitle K of Title IV of the act may be cited as the “South Capitol Street Memorial Amendment Act of 2013”.

Editor's Notes

Section 601 of D.C. Law 19-141, as amended by D.C. Law 19-168, § 7004, provided that §§ 302(b)(1), 304, and 502(a) of the act shall apply upon the inclusion of their fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan.

Section 601 of D.C. Law 19-141, as amended by D.C. Law 20-61, § 4112, provided that §§ 302(b)(1)(A) and (C) and 304(b)(1)(D) of D.C. Law 19-141 shall apply to public charter schools upon the inclusion of their fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan, as certified by the Chief Financial Officer to the Budget Director of the Council in a certification published by the Council in the District of Columbia Register. Section 302(b)(1)(A) of D.C. Law 19-141 added § 38-203(i)(A-i); Section 302(b)(1)(C) of D.C. Law 19-141 added § 38-203(i)(B-i); and Section 304(b)(1)(D) of D.C. Law 19-141 added 5 DCMR § A2103(c)(6).


§ 38–204. Census of minors.

The Board, or its designee, shall conduct annually, or as frequently as may be found necessary or desirable, a complete census of all minors 3 years of age or more who permanently or temporarily reside in the District. The census record shall be amended from day to day as changes of residence occur among minors within the age group, as other persons come within or leave the age group, and as other persons within the age group become residents of or leave the District. The census record of minors shall give the full name, address, sex, and date of birth of each minor, the school attended by him or her and, if the minor is not at school, the name and address of his or her employer, if any, and the name, address, telephone numbers, if any, and occupation of each parent or guardian.


(Feb. 4, 1925, 43 Stat. 807, ch. 140, Art. II, § 1; renumbered as Art. II, § 3 and amended, Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-247, § 2(a), 38 DCR 376.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-404.

1973 Ed., § 31-208.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-1802.04, § 38-2605, and § 38-2901.

Cross References

Census duties of public charter schools, see § 38-1802.04.

Duties and responsibilities of charter schools under this section, see § 38-1702.05.


§ 38–205. Report of enrollments and withdrawals.

By October 5 of each year, each public, independent, private, and parochial school shall report to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education the name, address, sex, and date of birth of each minor who resides permanently or temporarily in the District who is currently enrolled in their school. By the 5th of every month thereafter, each school shall report any changes in enrollment, including withdrawals, to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.


(Feb. 4, 1925, 43 Stat. 807, ch. 140, Art. II, § 2; renumbered as Art. II, § 4 and amended, Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-247, § 2(a), 38 DCR 376; Sept. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-17, § 303(c), 60 DCR 9839; July 26, 2016, D.C. Law 21-140, § 2(d), 63 DCR 8207.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-405.

1973 Ed., § 31-209.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-17 substituted “principal, head teacher, or teacher who gives private instruction of each educational institution” for “principal, or head teacher of each public, independent, private, or parochial school, and each teacher who gives private instruction.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(d) of School Attendance Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-476, July 21, 2016, 63 DCR 10181).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(d) of School Attendance Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-410, June 1, 2016, 63 DCR 8202).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 303(c) of the Attendance Accountability Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-133, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11531, 20 DCSTAT 1973).


§ 38–206. Penalty for failure to provide correct information.

Any parent, guardian, custodian, principal, or teacher of a minor who has reached the age of 3 years who willfully neglects or refuses to provide the information required by §§ 38-202 through 38-206, or who knowingly makes any false statement, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.


(Feb. 4, 1925, 43 Stat. 807, ch. 140, Art. II, § 3; renumbered as Art. II, § 5 and amended, Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-247, § 2(a), 38 DCR 376.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-406.

1973 Ed., § 31-210.


§ 38–207. Authority of police over truant child.

(a)(1) A law enforcement officer who has reasonable grounds to believe, based on the minor's age and other factors, that a minor is truant from any public, independent, private, or parochial school on a day and during the hours when the school is in session shall take that minor into custody and deliver the minor to the public, independent, private, or parochial school where the minor is presently enrolled, so long as the school is located in the District.

(2) If the minor is not currently enrolled at a public, independent, private, or parochial school, the law enforcement officer shall take the minor to the District of Columbia Public Schools placement office.

(3) If a minor is enrolled in a public, independent, private, or parochial school located within the District of Columbia, the educational institution shall receive that minor from a law enforcement officer during the hours when the school is in operation.

(b) On the request of a person who has reached the age of 18 years, graduated from high school, or received a general equivalency diploma, and who has previously been taken into custody pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Metropolitan Police Department shall seal all records relating to custody authorized by subsection (a) of this section.

(c) Within 2 business days of a minor student’s 10th unexcused absence during a school year, the educational institution shall send the minor’s parent:

(1) Information from the Chief of Police about the compulsory attendance requirements and criminal penalties for violations of this chapter; and

(2) A letter notifying the parent that he or she may be in violation of the school attendance requirements under this chapter and may be subject to prosecution.


(Feb. 4, 1925, ch. 140, Art. II, § 6; as added Aug. 25, 1994, D.C. Law 10-159, § 3, 41 DCR 4884; Oct. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 13-38, § 1906, 46 DCR 6373; Aug. 16, 2008, D.C. Law 17-219, § 4014, 55 DCR 7598; Sept. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-17, § 101(b)(1), 60 DCR 9839; June 26, 2014, D.C. Law 20-117, § 17, 61 DCR 2032; July 26, 2016, D.C. Law 21-140, § 2(e), 63 DCR 8207.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-402.1.

1981 Ed., § 38-251.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-38 rewrote this section which formerly required a law enforcement officer to take a student or child into custody and deliver him to the appropriate school and also provided for sealing records pertaining thereto.

D.C. Law 17-219 rewrote subsecs. (a)(1) and (2).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-17 added (c).

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-117 rewrote (c).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(e) of School Attendance Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-476, July 21, 2016, 63 DCR 10181).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(e) of School Attendance Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-410, June 1, 2016, 63 DCR 8202).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 1906 of the Service Improvement and Fiscal Year 2000 Budget Support Emergency Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-110, July 28, 1999, 46 DCR 6320).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(b)(1) of the Attendance Accountability Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-133, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11531, 20 DCSTAT 1973).

For temporary (90 days) addition of the Act of Feb. 4, 1925, ch. 140, Art. II, § 7, concerning truancy procedures and inter-agency coordination, see § 101(b)(2) of the Attendance Accountability Emergency Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-133, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11531, 20 DCSTAT 1973).

For temporary (90 days) addition of the Act of Feb. 4, 1925, ch. 140, Art. II, § 8, concerning reporting requirements, see § 101(b)(2) of the Attendance Accountability Emergency Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-133, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11531, 20 DCSTAT 1973).

Short Title

Short title: Section 4013 of D.C. Law 17-219 provided that subtitle G of title IV of the act may be cited as the “Truancy Centers Amendment Act of 2008”.

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-117: Section 18 of D.C. Law 20-117 provided that the act shall apply as of October 1, 2013.


§ 38–208. Truancy procedures; inter-agency coordination.

(a) Repealed.

(b) Within 2 business days of the 10th unexcused absence, the educational institution shall notify the Office of the State Superintendent of Education which shall provide the parent with the truancy prevention resource guide created pursuant to § 38-2602(b)(19); provided, that the parent has not received the truancy prevention resource guide before the 10th unexcused absence.

(c) In addition to the requirements set forth in subsection (b) of this section:

(1)(A) Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, the educational institution shall refer a minor student 5 years of age through 13 years of age to the Child and Family Services Agency pursuant to § 4-1321.02(a-1), no later than 2 business days after the accrual of 10 unexcused full school day absences within a school year.

(B) Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, the educational institution shall refer a minor student 14 years of age through 17 years of age to the Court Social Services Division of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and to the Office of the Attorney General Juvenile Section no later than 2 business days after the accrual of 15 unexcused full school day absences within a school year.

(C) The educational institution shall have discretion with regard to the referral requirements set forth in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph if a minor student accrues the 10th or 15th unexcused absence, respectively, within the final 10 school days of a school year.

(2) Within 3 business days of the Office of the Attorney General, Juvenile Section receiving written notification pursuant to paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection, the Office of the Attorney General shall send the minor student’s parent a letter notifying the parent that he or she may be subject to prosecution for violation of the school attendance requirements under this subchapter.

(d) By July 1 of each year, the State Superintendent of Education shall send written notice to each educational institution outlining the attendance and reporting requirements outlined in this subchapter.


(Feb. 4, 1925, ch. 140, Art. II, § 7; as added Sept. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-17, § 101(b)(2), 60 DCR 9839; July 26, 2016, D.C. Law 21-140, § 2(f), 63 DCR 8207.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 38-253.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-17 added this section.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(f) of School Attendance Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-476, July 21, 2016, 63 DCR 10181).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(f) of School Attendance Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-410, June 1, 2016, 63 DCR 8202).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of section, see § 2 of the Truancy Referral Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-180, Oct. 22, 2015, 62 DCR 14004).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Truancy Referral Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-285, Jan. 27, 2016, 63 DCR 1193).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Truancy Referral Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-56, Jan. 30, 2016, 62 DCR 15600).


§ 38–209. Reporting requirements.

By July 15 of each year, beginning in 2014, the Office of the Attorney General shall submit to the Mayor and the Secretary to the Council a truancy status report on the preceding school year, which shall include the number of:

(1) Referrals it received from each educational institution;

(2) Cases it filed pursuant to this subchapter, and the outcome of each;

(3) Child-in-need of supervision cases filed pursuant to this subchapter, and the outcome of each; and

(4) Students who were enrolled in a court diversion program, or other diversion program pursuant to this subchapter.


(Feb. 4, 1925, ch. 140, Art. II, § 8; as added Sept. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-17, § 101(b)(2), 60 DCR 9839.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 38-254.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-17 added this section.


Part C. Administration.

§ 38–211. Department of School Attendance and Work Permits — Creation. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Feb. 4, 1925, 43 Stat. 807, ch. 140, Art. III, § 1; Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-247, § 2(b), 38 DCR 376.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 38-207.

1981 Ed., § 31-411.

1973 Ed., § 31-211.


§ 38–212. Department of School Attendance and Work Permits — Director; appointments. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Feb. 4, 1925, 43 Stat. 808, ch. 140, Art. III, § 2; July 21, 1945, 59 Stat. 500, ch. 321, title V, § 21; Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-247, § 2(b), 38 DCR 376.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 38-208.

1981 Ed., § 31-412.

1973 Ed., § 31-212.


§ 38–213. Court jurisdiction.

The Family Division of the Superior Court is hereby given jurisdiction in all cases arising under this subchapter.


(Feb. 4, 1925, 43 Stat. 808, ch. 140, Art. III, § 3; May 29, 1928, 45 Stat. 1006, ch. 908, § 26; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 578, Pub. L. 91-358, title I,§ 159(g).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 38-209.

1981 Ed., § 31-413.

1973 Ed., § 31-213.


Subchapter I-A. Attendance Zone Boundaries.

§ 38–221. Attendance zone boundaries; establishment, modification, alteration.

Except as required due to a school closure or a consolidation of schools, upon Dec. 24, 2013, notwithstanding any other law or regulation, no approved establishment, modification, or alteration of any attendance zone boundary shall be implemented, or in any manner initiated, until the 2015-2016 school year or with less notice than a full school year to the parent or guardian of each affected student, whichever is greater; provided, that nothing in this section shall prohibit the Chancellor from proposing or implementing changes to school feeder patterns that would result in additional options in next-level schools for a feeder school.


(Dec. 24, 2013, D.C. Law 20-61, § 4072, 60 DCR 12472.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 4072 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-130, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11384, 20 DCSTAT 1827).

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 4072 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-204, October 17, 2013, 60 DCR 15341, 20 DCSTAT 2311).

Short Title

Section 4071 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that Subtitle G of Title IV of the act may be cited as the “Attendance Zone Boundaries Act of 2013”.

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-61: Section 11001 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that, except as otherwise provided, the act shall apply as of October 1, 2013.


Subchapter II. Expulsion of Students.

Part A. General.

§ 38–231. Expulsion of students who bring weapons into public schools.

Absent extenuating circumstances, as determined on a case-by-case basis by the Superintendent of Schools, and consistent with the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, approved October 30, 1990 (104 Stat. 1141; 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.), any student who brings a weapon into a District of Columbia Public School shall be expelled for not less than one year.


(Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-174, § 2(a), 43 DCR 4500.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-451.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-235.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary addition of subchapter, see § 2(a)-(d) of the Expulsion of Students Who Bring Weapons into Public Schools Emergency Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-289, July 1, 1996, 43 DCR 3711), § 2(a)-(d) of the Expulsion of Students Who Bring Weapons into Public Schools Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-398, October 9, 1996, 43 DCR 5692), § 2(a)-(d) of the Expulsion of Student Who Bring Weapons Into Public Schools Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-467, December 30, 1996, 44 DCR 172), and § 2(a)-(d) of the Expulsion of Students Who Bring Weapons Into Public Schools Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-22, March 3, 1997, 44 DCR 1770).

For temporary (90-day) authorization for payment of attorney fees, see § 2703 of the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-376, July 24, 2000, 47 DCR 6574).

For temporary (90-day) authorization for comprehensive special education transportation plans, see § 2732 of the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-376, July 24, 2000, 47 DCR 6574).

For temporary (90-day) authorization for payment of attorney fees, see §§ 2(c) and 3(c) of the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Support Second Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-393, August 14, 2000, 47 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90 days) requirement that the Office of the State Superintendent of Education provide a suspension and expulsion report, see § 201 of the Attendance Accountability Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-133, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11531, 20 DCSTAT 1973).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2 of D.C. Law 11-173 enacted §§ 31-451 through 31-454, comprising subchapter II of Chapter 4 of Title 31 (1981 Ed.).

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 11-173 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.


§ 38–232. Reference to criminal justice or juvenile delinquency system.

Pursuant to the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994, approved October 20, 1994 (108 Stat. 3908; 20 U.S.C. 8921 et seq.) [repealed, see now 20 U.S.C. § 7151 ] the Superintendent of Schools shall refer to the criminal justice or juvenile delinquency system, simultaneous with expulsion, any student who is expelled for bringing a weapon into a District of Columbia Public School.


(Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-174, § 2(b), 43 DCR 4500.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-452.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary addition of subchapter, see note to § 38-231.

Temporary Legislation

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 38-231.


§ 38–233. Alternative educational programs.

The Board of Education shall provide to any student who is expelled from school in accordance with this subchapter an alternative educational program at the D.C. Street Academy, at another existing alternative educational program, or at any alternative educational program that may be established in the future. Not later than 90 days after the effective date of this subchapter:

(1) The Mayor and the Board of Education shall submit a report to the Council delineating a comprehensive plan for providing alternative educational services to a student who has been expelled from a District of Columbia Public School setting.

(2) The comprehensive plan shall include a description of the alternative education services to be provided to an expelled student, each location where the alternative education services shall be provided, and the estimated annual cost of providing the alternative education services.


(Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-174, § 2(c), 43 DCR 4500.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-453.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary addition of subchapter, see note to § 38-231.

Temporary Legislation

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 38-231.


§ 38–234. Definitions.

(a) For the purposes of this subchapter, the term “weapon” means a firearm and includes:

(1) Any weapon, including a starter gun, which will or is designed to or may be readily converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive:

(2) The frame or receiver of any weapon described in this subsection;

(3) Any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or

(4) Any destructive device; the term “destructive device” means:

(A) Any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas;

(B) Bomb;

(C) Grenade;

(D) Rocket having a propellant charge of more than 4 ounces;

(E) Missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than a 1/4 ounce;

(F) Mine; or

(G) Any similar device.

(5) Any type of weapon which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than 1/2 an inch in diameter; and

(6) Any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into any destructive device described in subparagraphs (e) and (f) of this paragraph and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled.

(b) The term “weapon” shall not include:

(1) An antique firearm;

(2) Any device which is neither designed nor redesigned for use as a weapon; or

(3) Any device, although originally designed for use as a weapon, which is redesigned for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic, line throwing, safety, or similar device.


(Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-174, § 2(d), 43 DCR 4500.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-454.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary addition of subchapter, see note to § 38-231.

Temporary Legislation

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 38-231.


Part B. Report. [Recodified]

§ 38–235. Suspension and expulsion report. [Recodified]

Recodified as § 38-236.08.


(Sept. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-17, § 201, 60 DCR 9839; Aug. 25, 2018, D.C. Law 22-157, § 2(b), 65 DCR 7499.)


§ 38–236. Annual reporting requirements. [Recodified]

Recodified as § 38-236.09.


(September 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-17, § 202; as added June 23, 2015, D.C. Law 21-12, § 3, 62 DCR 5942; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 4144, 64 DCR 7652; renumbered, § 209, Aug. 25, 2018, D.C. Law 22-157, § 2(b), (d), 65 DCR 7499.)

Applicability

Section 4150 of D.C. Law 22-33 provided that the amendment made to this section shall apply as of June 27, 2017.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 4144 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 4144 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).


Part C. Student Discipline.

§ 38–236.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this part, the term:

(1) "Bodily injury" means a cut, abrasion, bruise, burn, or disfigurement; physical pain; illness; impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty; or any other injury to the body, no matter how temporary.

(2) "Community-based organization" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 38-271.01(1A).

(3) "Disciplinary unenrollment" means the expulsion or involuntary transfer of a student from a school.

(4) "Emergency removal" means the immediate out-of-school suspension or disciplinary unenrollment of a student based on the school's reasonable belief that the student's presence poses an immediate and continuing danger to other students or school staff.

(5) "Emotional distress" means mental suffering or distress that requires more than trivial treatment or counseling.

(6) "Exclusion" means the removal of a student from the student's daily class schedule for disciplinary reasons and includes a suspension or a disciplinary unenrollment.

(7) "Expulsion" means the removal of a student from the student's school of enrollment for disciplinary reasons for the remainder of the school year or longer, in accordance with local education agency policy.

(8) "In-school suspension" means temporarily removing a student from the student's regular class schedule as a disciplinary consequence, during which time the student remains on school grounds under the supervision of school personnel who are physically in the same location as the student.

(9) "Involuntary dismissal" means the removal of the student from school attendance for less than 1/2 of a school day for disciplinary reasons, during which time the student is not under the supervision of school personnel and is not allowed on school grounds.

(10) "Involuntary transfer" means the removal of a student from the student's school of enrollment for disciplinary reasons for the remainder of the school year, or longer, and the student's enrollment in another school within the same local education agency, in accordance with local education agency policy.

(11) "Local education agency" means the District of Columbia Public Schools system or any individual or group of public charter schools operating under a single charter.

(12) "OSSE" means the Office of the State Superintendent of Education established by § 38-201.

(13) "Out-of-school suspension" means the temporary removal of a student from school attendance to another setting for disciplinary reasons, during which time the student is not under the supervision of the school's personnel and is not allowed on school grounds.

(A) The term "out-of-school suspension" includes an involuntary dismissal.

(B) For students with disabilities, the term "out-of-school suspension" includes a removal in which no individualized family service plan or individualized education plan services are provided because the removal is 10 days or fewer as well as removals in which the student continues to receive services according to the student's individualized family service plan or individualized education plan.

(14) "Parent" means a parent, guardian, or other person who has custody or control of a student enrolled in a school in a local education agency.

(15) "Referral to law enforcement" means an action by school personnel to report a student to a law enforcement agency or official, including a school police unit, for an incident that occurs on school grounds, during off-campus school activities, or while taking school transportation.

(16) "School-based intervention" means temporarily removing a student from the student's regular class schedule for the purpose of providing the student with school-based targeted supports, such as behavioral therapy, in response to student conduct that would otherwise warrant an in-school suspension.

(17) "School-related arrest" means an arrest of a student for an activity conducted on school grounds, during off-campus school activities, while taking school transportation, or due to a referral to law enforcement by the student's school.

(18) "Student with a disability" means a student who qualifies as a child with a disability under section 602(3) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, approved December 3, 2004 (118 Stat. 2652; 20 U.S.C. § 1401(3)).

(19) "Suspension" means an in-school suspension or an out-of-school suspension.

(20) "Willful defiance" means disrupting school activities or intentionally defying the valid authority of school staff.


(September 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-17, § 201; as added Aug. 25, 2018, D.C. Law 22-157, § 2(c), 65 DCR 7499.)


§ 38–236.02. Application.

This part shall apply to the District of Columbia Public Schools and public charter schools, including the schools' pre-kindergarten programs.


(September 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-17, § 202; as added Aug. 25, 2018, D.C. Law 22-157, § 2(c), 65 DCR 7499.)


§ 38–236.03. Establishment of school discipline policies.

(a) Local education agencies shall foster positive school climates that engage all students in learning.

(b) Local education agencies shall adopt, in consultation with school personnel, students, and parents, school discipline policies to promote the safety and well-being of students and staff. School discipline policies shall:

(1) Set high expectations for student behavior and adopt an instructional and corrective approach to school discipline;

(2) Permit out-of-school suspension or disciplinary unenrollment as a disciplinary action only to ensure safety and in response to the most serious offenses, as set forth in school policy;

(3) Avoid policies requiring automatic suspension or disciplinary unenrollment for particular behaviors unless otherwise required by law;

(4) Include a plan for continuity of education for any student subject to a suspension, including a mechanism for modifications to the plan to meet the needs of an individual student, as necessary, to facilitate the student's return to the classroom, and appropriate measures to ensure the student:

(A) Continues the student's studies during the suspension and receives all appropriate assignments for the duration of the suspension;

(B) Can communicate with school personnel regarding academic work; and

(C) Upon returning to school, has the opportunity to make up any school work missed during the suspension if the school work cannot be completed by the student during the student's suspension;

(5) Require school personnel to seek and facilitate the involvement of parents in response to an incident resulting in a disciplinary action, particularly with regard to the plan for continuity of education, to the degree that a parent is able to participate;

(6) Identify conduct or categories of conduct, by severity of offense, including conduct that constitutes causing, attempting, or threatening bodily injury or emotional distress, for which a student may be disciplined;

(7) Identify graduated levels of disciplinary action for misbehavior through a list of options available to teachers and administrators for each level of misconduct; provided, that such a list need not be exhaustive;

(8) Describe the local education agency's in-school and out-of-school suspension practice and policy;

(9) Promote disciplinary actions that are individualized, fair, equitable, developmentally appropriate, proportional to the severity of the student's offense, and, if appropriate, restorative;

(10) Provide that school personnel shall consider whether student behavior can be safely and appropriately handled through other disciplinary action before making referrals to law enforcement or seeking school-related arrests in response to student behavior;

(11) Outline procedures for communicating with students and parents regarding disciplinary actions; and

(12) Articulate clearly the due process rights and procedures available to students and parents.

(c) The school discipline policy of a local education agency that operates a pre-kindergarten program shall be consistent with the requirements of § 38-273.03.

(d) A school, or local education agency, as appropriate, shall provide school discipline policies to students and parents and shall provide students and parents with explanations of the policies, including explanations of expectations, rights, and responsibilities of students and parents under the policies. The school, or local education agency, as appropriate, shall make the school discipline policy publicly available, including in a conspicuous place on the school and local education agency's website.

(e) Local education agencies shall proactively evaluate and update school discipline policies and practices to ensure fairness and equity, including by using data and feedback from students, families, and school personnel to identify, reduce, and eliminate discriminatory discipline practices or outcomes and unintended consequences.


(September 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-17, § 203; as added Aug. 25, 2018, D.C. Law 22-157, § 2(c), 65 DCR 7499.)


§ 38–236.04. Limitations on exclusion as a disciplinary action.

(a) Not funded.

(b) No student, except a student over 18 years of age at a school where more than 1/2 of the students are over 18 years of age, may be subject to an out-of-school suspension for longer than:

(1) Five consecutive school days for any individual incident in grades kindergarten through 5;

(2) Ten consecutive school days for any individual incident in grades 6 through 12; or

(3) Twenty cumulative school days during an academic year regardless of grade, unless:

(A) The head of a local education agency provides a written justification to the student and parent describing why exceeding the 20-day limit is a more appropriate disciplinary action than alternative responses; or

(B) The student's conduct necessitated an emergency removal, and the head of the local education agency provides a written justification for the emergency removal to the student and parent.

(c) No student, except a student over 18 years of age at a school where more than 1/2 of the students are over 18 years of age, may be subject to an out-of-school suspension or disciplinary unenrollment for an unexcused absence or a late arrival to school; provided, that a student may be unenrolled from a local education agency if the student has accumulated 20 or more consecutive full-school-day unexcused absences.

(d) No student subject to a suspension may be denied the right to continue to access and complete appropriate academic work or to earn credit toward promotion or graduation during a suspension.

(e) The return of a student to school upon conclusion of an out-of-school suspension shall not be made contingent on a parent accompanying the student, attending a conference, or otherwise being present at the school.

(f) Notwithstanding whether a school or local education agency states the reasoning for the removal from school or prohibition from returning to school, no student may be removed from school or prohibited from returning to school for disciplinary reasons, unless the student is subject to an out-of-school suspension or disciplinary unenrollment.

(g) For purposes of due process, a suspension of 6 school days or more shall be considered a long-term suspension.

(h) Repealed.


(September 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-17, § 204; as added Aug. 25, 2018, D.C. Law 22-157, § 2(c), 65 DCR 7499; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 4062(a), 65 DCR 9388.)

Applicability

Section 4064(c) of D.C. Law 22-168 amended section 4(a) of D.C. Law 22-157 implementing subsection (b) of this section. Subsection (a) of this subsection has not been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-157: § 4 of D.C. Law 22-157 provided that the creation of subsections (a) and (b) of this section by § 2(c) of D.C. Law 22-157 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90-day) amendment of this section, see § 4062(a) of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018, effective July 30, 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434; 65 DCR 8200).


§ 38–236.05. Exclusion of students with disabilities.

(a) School administrators shall take special consideration regarding the exclusion of a student with a disability.

(b) All of a student's disabilities, as defined in section 3(1)(A) and (B) of the Americans with Disabilities Act, approved July 26, 1990 (104 Stat. 329; 42 U.S.C. § 12102(1)(A)-(B)), of which the school had knowledge shall be considered in a manifestation determination review conducted pursuant to section 615(k)(1)(E) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, approved April 13, 1970 (84 Stat. 175; 20 U.S.C. § 1415(k)(1)(E)).


(September 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-17, § 205; as added Aug. 25, 2018, D.C. Law 22-157, § 2(c), 65 DCR 7499.)


§ 38–236.06. Support for positive school climate and trauma-informed educational settings.

(a) The Office of the State Superintendent of Education shall provide an array of supports to assist local education agencies and schools to achieve the goals of §§ 38-236.03 through 38-236.05 and to adopt trauma-informed disciplinary practices. The OSSE shall provide local education agencies and schools with, among other supports, the following:

(1) Guidance and materials that inform local education agencies and school communities about developments in the fields of school climates and behavioral management;

(2) Regular, high-quality professional development opportunities and technical assistance, and recommendations for further instruction outside of these opportunities, for local education agency and school personnel on:

(A) Trauma and chronic stress, their effects on students and learning, and effective responses;

(B) Classroom management, positive behavioral interventions, and fostering positive school climate;

(C) Disciplinary approaches that utilize instruction and correction;

(D) Restorative practices and other evidence-based or promising behavioral interventions;

(E) Implementation of high-quality functional behavior assessments, behavioral intervention plans, and manifestation determination reviews, as those terms are used in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, approved December 3, 2004 (118 Stat. 2745; 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.); and

(F) Implicit bias and culturally responsive corrective action techniques;

(3) Opportunities for local education agencies and schools to share promising practices regarding the topics in paragraph (2) of this subsection; and

(4) Not Funded.

(b) The OSSE shall collaborate with other government agencies, local education agencies and schools, and postsecondary educational institutions to facilitate the provision of postsecondary degree or certificate programs covering the topics described in subsection (a)(2) of this section, including the identification or creation of a trauma-informed educator certificate program.

(c) For the purpose of providing local education agencies and schools the services set forth in subsection (a) of this section, the OSSE may:

(1) Award a contract or grant to one or more nonprofit organizations;

(2) Award contracts or competitive or formula grants to local education agencies, schools, or partnerships developed among schools or with nonprofit organizations;

(3) Establish a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Behavioral Health or other District agency; or

(4) Any combination of paragraphs (1) through (3) of this subsection.

(d) Within 2 years after August 25, 2018, and every 5 years thereafter, the OSSE shall submit to the Mayor and the Council an evaluative report on local education agency and school implementation of practices to promote school safety and reduce the use of exclusion, which shall:

(1) Be based upon rigorous research techniques, including quantitative and qualitative methods;

(2) Draw on the information maintained and reported pursuant to § 38-236.09, as well as other sources, with a particular focus on:

(A) Ensuring the fidelity of data reporting;

(B) Unanticipated consequences of the disciplinary policies and practices adopted pursuant to this part;

(C) Barriers schools face in implementing the policies and practices required pursuant to this part; and

(D) Effective approaches utilized by schools to avoid reliance on exclusion and reduce disparities in its use;

(3) Provide specific recommendations for further action by the Council, executive branch, and schools; and

(4) Provide suggestions for further research.


(September 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-17, § 206; as added Aug. 25, 2018, D.C. Law 22-157, § 2(c), 65 DCR 7499; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, §§ 4062(b), 4064(a), 65 DCR 9388.)

Applicability

Section 4064(c) of D.C. Law 22-168 amended section 4(a) of D.C. Law 22-157 implementing this section, except subsection (a)(4).

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-157: § 4 of D.C. Law 22-157 provided that the creation of this section by § 2(c) of D.C. Law 22-157 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90-day) amendment of this section, see § 4064(a) of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018, effective July 30, 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434; 65 DCR 8200).

For temporary (90-day) creation of this section, see § 4062(b) of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018, effective July 30, 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434; 65 DCR 8200).


§ 38–236.07. School Safety and Positive Climate Fund.

(a) There is established as a special fund the School Safety and Positive Climate Fund ("Fund"), which shall be administered by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.

(b) Revenue from any annual appropriation shall be deposited into the Fund.

(c) Money in the Fund shall be used solely to support the activities described in § 38-236.06.

(d)(1) The money deposited into the Fund shall not revert to the unrestricted fund balance of the General Fund of the District of Columbia at the end of a fiscal year, or at any other time.

(2) Subject to authorization in an approved budget and financial plan, any funds appropriated in the Fund shall be continually available without regard to fiscal year limitation.


(September 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-17, § 207; as added Aug. 25, 2018, D.C. Law 22-157, § 2(c), 65 DCR 7499.)

Applicability

Section 4064(c) of D.C. Law 22-168 amended section 4(a) of D.C. Law 22-157 implementing this section.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-157: § 4 of D.C. Law 22-157 provided that the creation of this section by § 2(c) of D.C. Law 22-157 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 38–236.08. Suspension and expulsion report.

Within 180 calendar days of September 19, 2013, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education shall submit to the Mayor and the Secretary to the Council a report with findings and recommendations to aid each educational institution to eliminate out-of-school suspensions and expulsions, except for those students who pose a reasonable threat of death or serious bodily harm to themselves or others or violate part A of this subchapter [§ 38-231 et seq.].


(Sept. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-17, § 201, 60 DCR 9839; renumbered, § 208, Aug. 25, 2018, D.C. Law 22-157, § 2(b), 65 DCR 7499.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 38-235


§ 38–236.09. Annual reporting requirements.

(a) Each local education agency and entity operating a publicly funded community-based organization shall maintain data for each student that includes:

(1) Demographic data including:

(A) The campus attended by the student;

(B) The student’s grade level;

(C) The student’s gender identification;

(D) The student’s race;

(E) The student’s ethnicity;

(F) Whether the student receives special education services;

(G) Whether the student is classified as an English language learner; and

(H) Whether the student is considered at-risk as defined in § 38-2901(2A);

(2) Discipline data including:

(A) Total number of in-school suspensions, out-of-school suspensions, involuntary dismissals, and emergency removals experienced by the student during each school year;

(B) Total number of days excluded from school;

(C) Whether the student was referred to an alternative education setting for the duration of a suspension, and whether the student attended;

(D) Whether the student was subject to a disciplinary unenrollment during the school year;

(E) Whether the student voluntarily withdrew or voluntarily transferred from the school during the school year;

(F) Whether the student was subject to referral to law enforcement;

(G) Whether the student was subject to school-related arrest; and

(H) A description of the misconduct that led to or reasoning behind each suspension, involuntary dismissal, emergency removal, disciplinary unenrollment, voluntary withdrawal or transfer, referral to law enforcement, school-based arrest and, for students with disabilities, change in placement; and

(3) Special education services data, including whether a student received during the school year:

(A) A functional behavioral assessment;

(B) An updated behavior improvement plan; or

(C) A manifestation determination review, including the number of suspension days that triggered the review, whether the suspension days were cumulative, and the outcome of the review.

(b) By August 15 of each year, each local education agency or entity operating a publicly funded community-based organization shall submit a report to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education disaggregated by each of the demographic categories identified in subsection (a)(1) of this section. The report shall include:"

(1) The students suspended for:

(A) At least one and no more than 5 days, and whether the suspension was an in-school suspension or an out-of-school suspension;

(B) At least 6 and no more than 10 days and whether the suspension was an in-school suspension or an out-of-school suspension;

(C) More than 10 days and whether the suspension was an in-school suspension or an out-of-school suspension;

(2) The students who received more than one suspension in a school year and whether the suspensions were in-school or out-of-school suspensions;

(3) The students who were referred to an alternative educational setting for the course of a suspension;

(4) The students who received a school-based intervention rather than an in-school suspension, and a description of the school-based intervention;

(5) The students involuntarily dismissed:

(A) At least once and no more than 5 times;

(B) At least 6 times and no more than 10 times;

(C) More than 10 times;

(6) The students subject to emergency removals;

(7) The students subject to a disciplinary unenrollment, disaggregated by type of disciplinary unenrollment;

(8) The students who voluntarily withdrew or transferred;

(9) The students subject to referral to law enforcement;

(10) The students subject to school-related arrest;

(11) A description of the misconduct that led to or reasoning behind each suspension, involuntary dismissal, emergency removal, disciplinary withdrawal, voluntary withdrawal or transfer, referral to law enforcement, school-based arrest, and, for students with disabilities, change in placement;

(12) Whether the student received a functional behavior assessment, an updated behavioral improvement plan, or a manifestation determination review, as those terms are used in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, approved December 3, 2004 (118 Stat. 2745; 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.), and the outcomes of those actions; and

(13) Whether the student was subject to suspensions exceeding the time limits described in § 38-236.04(b), and a summary of the written justification provided by the local education agency for those disciplinary actions.

(c)(1) Each local education agency or entity operating a publicly funded community-based organization shall provide the requested data in subsection (b) of this section in a form and manner prescribed by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.

(2) The OSSE shall collaborate with local education agencies and publicly funded community-based organizations to develop consistent definitions for the types of misconduct and explanations of reasoning required to be maintained or reported pursuant to subsections (a)(2)(H) and (b)(11) of this section.

(d) By December 15 of each year, beginning in 2016, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education shall publicly report on the data provided by local education agencies and community-based organizations in subsection (b) of this section during the preceding school year, including a relevant trend analysis. The report shall include a trend analysis based on available data, including data drawn from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, school climate surveys, and any other available sources, of the exclusion of students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning of the student's sexual orientation, transgender, gender nonconforming, or questioning of the student's gender identity or expression.

(e) Repealed.

[(f)] The OSSE, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, may issue rules to implement the provisions of this section.


(September 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-17, § 202; as added June 23, 2015, D.C. Law 21-12, § 3, 62 DCR 5942; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 4144, 64 DCR 7652; renumbered, § 209, Aug. 25, 2018, D.C. Law 22-157, § 2(b), (d), 65 DCR 7499.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 38-236

Applicability

Section 4150 of D.C. Law 22-33 provided that the amendment made to this section shall apply as of June 27, 2017.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 4144 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 4144 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).


Subchapter III. Truancy and Dropout Prevention.

§ 38–241. Truancy and Dropout Prevention Program.

(a) Subject to the availability of appropriations, the District of Columbia Board of Education, or its successor, and the District of Columbia Public Schools shall offer a Truancy and Dropout Prevention Program for students who are enrolled in the District of Columbia Public Schools system. The programs should be implemented on a full-time basis, work with local schools and parents, and provide resources that will help reduce absences and unexcused absences, and reduce dropout and increase retention rates.

(b) The program shall develop a supportive relationship with the Metropolitan Police Department.

(c) The program shall be available for students who are enrolled in grades K-12 and for students who are enrolled in ungraded classes in elementary, middle or junior high, and high schools.

(d) Notwithstanding any other law, nothing in this section shall be construed to create an entitlement to a truancy or dropout prevention program for any student.


(March 26, 1999, D.C. Law 12-175, § 1202, 45 DCR 7193.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-471.

1981 Ed., § 31-1861.

2001 Ed., § 38-252.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary addition of subchapter see § 802 of the Fiscal Year 1999 Budget Support Emergency Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-401, July 13, 1998, 45 DCR 4794).

For temporary (90-day) addition of section, see § 802 of the Fiscal Year 1999 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-41, March 31, 1999, 46 DCR 3446).

Short Title

District of Columbia Public Schools Truancy and Dropout Prevention Program Act of 1998: Section 1201 of D.C. Law 12-175 provided that title XII of the act may be cited as the “District of Columbia Public Schools Truancy and Dropout Prevention Program Act of 1998.”