3240 Student Behavior and Disciplinary Responses

It is the policy of the Seattle School Board that meaningful learning and educational excellence occur in environments that are safe, positive, consistent, and predictable. These environments rely on trusting relationships between family, student, and staff, which are built with cultural humility, safety, respect, honesty, accountability, and with an eye towards equity.

Seattle Public Schools recognizes:

  • Every student has the right to the high quality instruction, supports, and interventions that they need to graduate high school on time and prepared for the future;
  • Racial disproportionality persists in disciplinary responses in the district;
  • Students are impacted when they are removed from their learning environment;
  • Situations involving discipline may be complex and require staff to understand underlying factors that are influencing students behaviors and;   
  • Mitigating and aggravating factors should influence the disciplinary decision-making process.

Seattle Public Schools is committed to furthering cultural intelligence that respects and values diversity across the District in schools and in classrooms.  This commitment serves to influence decisions in promoting fair and equitable treatment for all and eliminating racial predictability and disproportionality in all aspects of education and its administration.

The foundation of Seattle Public Schools’ discipline policy is one of prevention and measurement of progress. The policy is grounded in the establishment of a positive school climate that is based on shared behavioral expectations and a common language for talking about expected behavior.  The shared behavioral expectations are reaffirmed through an inclusive process that involves students, families, teachers, administrators, volunteers, and other staff (within a Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework). Should divergence from these shared expectations occur, behaviors will be addressed with a continuum of responses from positive communication through clear pathways for reengagement and reparation of harm.

In accordance with Seattle School Board Resolution No. 2014/15-35, this policy eliminates out of school suspensions for students kindergarten through fifth grade for disruptive conduct, rule breaking, and disobedience. Subsequent discipline procedures and strategies focus on reducing if not eliminating loss of instructional time and the need for out of school responses for all student behavior.

It is the further policy of the Seattle School Board that shared behavioral expectations be maintained not only in the classroom but on school property at all times. Therefore, it is expected that every student and staff shall follow the policies, rules, and regulations of Seattle Public Schools during the school day, during any school-sponsored activity held on or off school property, and on school-provided transportation.