skip to main content

Policy 1040 - Safe and Supportive Schools

The purpose of this policy is to prohibit any behaviors that interfere with a safe, engaging, and supportive school climate.

Policy Document

I. Policy Statement

The Board of Education of Howard County is committed to providing a safe, engaging, and supportive school climate. The Board believes that fostering a school climate in which individuals are valued, and their safety and rights are protected, is essential to its mission.

All students, employees, parents, and third parties of the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) share responsibility for the health, safety, and general welfare of students and for establishing and sustaining a safe and supportive school climate. Employees bear a professional responsibility to monitor student behavior and respond accordingly to both observed and reported violations of policy.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to prohibit any behaviors that interfere with a safe, engaging, and supportive school climate.

III. Definitions

Within the context of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. HCPSS Student Code of Conduct – A disciplinary framework that is designed to support a safe, positive, and respectful learning environment and discipline procedures for effective learning.

  2. Parent – Any one of the following, recognized as the adult(s) legally responsible for the student:

    1. Biological Parent – A natural parent whose parental rights have not been terminated.

    2. Adoptive Parent – A person who has legally adopted the student and whose parental rights have not been terminated.

    3. Custodian – A person or an agency appointed by the court as the legal custodian of the student and granted parental rights and responsibilities.

    4. Guardian – A person who has been placed by the court in charge of the affairs of the student and granted parental rights and responsibilities.

    5. Caregiver – An adult resident of Howard County who exercises care, custody, or control over the student but who is neither the biological parent nor legal guardian, as long as the person satisfies the requirements of the Education Article, §7-101(c) (Informal Kinship Care).

    6. Foster Parent – An adult approved to care for a child who has been placed in the home by a state agency or a licensed child placement agency as provided by the Family Law Article, §5-507.

  3. School Climate – The prevailing attitudes, standards, or environmental conditions within a school. Reflects shared responsibility for the norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures of a collaborative school community.

  4. School Property – Any property owned or leased by the HCPSS or used by HCPSS for school-related activities. The concept of property extends to school activities such as field trips, use of parks and recreation facilities, proms at hotels, etc. Bus stops and facilities scheduled by the school system for student use are considered an extension of school property.

  5. School-Related Activity – Any school system activity, whether held on or off school property, in which a student directly participates (e.g., school field trip, athletic event, or class/graduation activity), or in which the student does not directly participate but represents the school or student body simply by being there (e.g., spectator at a school event).

  6. Supportive – Providing encouragement and social and emotional assistance.

  7. Third Party – Parents, mentors, volunteers, vendors, contractors, and others with whom students or employees interact during school or school-related activities.

IV. Standards

  1. All students, employees, parents, and third parties of the HCPSS will contribute to the development and implementation of a safe, engaging, and supportive school climate.

  2. The Board will review and approve the HCPSS Student Code of Conduct annually.

  3. Behaviors identified in the HCPSS Student Code of Conduct and other related policies, will be communicated to all students, employees, parents, and third parties annually.

  4. Any behaviors that interfere with or threaten the physical, emotional, mental, or academic well-being of students or employees will be addressed through the application of the appropriate Board policy and the HCPSS Student Code of Conduct.

V. Responsibilities

  1. The Superintendent/Designee will ensure that students, employees, parents, and third parties are notified of the provisions of this policy annually.

  2. The Superintendent/Designee or School-based administrator will take action in response to a violation of this policy in accordance with Policy 9200 Student Discipline, the HCPSS Student Code of Conduct, the Threat Management Process, Policy 7030 Employee Conduct and Discipline, and any other applicable policies.

  3. Principals are responsible for disseminating information on the standards and penalties of this policy at their schools annually.

  4. All students, employees, parents, and third parties are responsible for maintaining a safe and supportive school climate.

VI. Delegation of Authority

The Superintendent is authorized to develop procedures for the implementation of this policy.

VII. References

  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U. S. C., Sec. 1681

  • Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U. S. C., Sec 601 and Sec. 2000e.2

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, Section 7-304.1 (Positive Behavioral Supports and Interventions).

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, Section 7-305 (Suspensions and Expulsions).

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, Section 7-424 (Reporting Incidents of Harassment Against Students).

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, Section 7-424.1 (Model Policy Prohibiting Bullying, Harassment and Intimidation).

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, Section 7-424.3 (Bullying, Harassment and Intimidation Policy).

  • COMAR 13A.01.04.03, School Safety

  • COMAR13A.08.01.11, Disciplinary Action

  • COMAR 13A.08.04.03, Student Behavior Interventions

C. Relevant Data Sources

Threat Management Process

VIII. History

ADOPTED: October 22, 1992

REVIEWED:

MODIFIED: November 3, 2011

REVISED: January 30, 2001, April 12, 2007, June 12, 2014

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2014