Student Code of Conduct

  • Welcome! We are pleased that you have chosen Stafford County Public Schools for your education experience.


    We believe in learners, excellence, respect, community, and integrity. We want all students to be successful and prepared for their future. As members of our school community, our students have certain responsibilities. We need your help encouraging excellent attendance, behavior, and conduct so all can benefit from our comprehensive educational program and variety of extracurricular activities. The Stafford County School Board has adopted the Student Code of Conduct and Notices document to help us reach this goal. It details the School Board’s rules, the circumstances regarding suspension and expulsion, and the procedures related to disciplinary hearings. Virginia law requires that parents or guardians acknowledge receipt of these materials. An acknowledgment form is included in the packet of forms that you have received for your attention, signature, and return to the school. School Board policies are available on BoardDocs.

      Student Code of Conduct

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      • 2023-2024 Student Code of Conduct Handbook

        Table of Contents

        Introduction

        Letter from the Superintendent

        Student Behavior / Expectations and Suspension

        Sexual Harassment/Harassment, Bullying and Title IX

        Student Attendance

        Parent Notifications

        • Notice of Parental Responsibility and Involvement Requirement: VA Code Section 22.1-279.3
          • The Code of Virginia contains provisions addressing parental responsibility and involvement that are intended to promote proper student conduct. Through this law, the General Assembly has asserted its position that parents do not relinquish their responsibility for disciplining or managing their children while they attend public schools. Rather, parents must work in partnership with school administrators to maintain a safe and orderly school environment.
        • Notice: Misdemeanor to Make False Statements as to Residency
          • The Code of Virgina provides that under certain circumstances it shall be a misdemeanor for any person to knowingly make a false statement concerning residency.

            Va. Code §22.1-264.1. Misdemeanor to make false statements as to school division or
            attendance zone residency; penalty.
            Any person who knowingly makes a false statement concerning the residency of a child, as
            determined by Va. Code §22.1-3, in a particular school division or school attendance zone,
            for the purposes of (i) avoiding the tuition charges authorized by Va. Code §22.1-5 or (ii)
            enrollment in a school outside the attendance zone in which the student resides, shall be
            guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor and shall be liable to the school division in which the child
            was enrolled as a result of such false statements for tuition charges, pursuant to Va. Code
            §22.1-5, for the time the student was enrolled in such school division. (2006)
        • Notice: Availability of Policy Manual
          •  Consistent with Virginia Code Section 22.1-253.13:7, copies of the Stafford County
            Public Schools policy manual are available for access by the public on the Internet at
            www.staffordschools.net. Printed copies of division policies are available to citizens who
            do not have online access through the Office of the Clerk of the School Board of Stafford
            County at (540) 658-6000. (2013)
        • Notice: Sex Offender Registry Information
          • Pursuant to Virginia Code Section 22.1-79.3, notice is given that information regarding sex
            offenders is available in the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry and may be
            accessed on the Internet at http://sex-offender.vsp.virginia.gov/sor/. (2015)
        • Right to Petition
          • Pursuant to Virginia Code Section 22.1-253.13:7 notice is given that any parent or guardian
            of a student who is aggrieved by an action of the school board may, within thirty days after
            such action, petition the local circuit court, as provided in Virginia Code Section 22.1-87, to
            review the action of the school board. (2013)

        Letter from the Superintendent

        August 8, 2023


        Dear Stafford Families,

        Welcome to the start of a new school year!


        There are so many wonderful things for us to look forward to this school year; however, I would be remiss if I did not share that we saw some troubling behaviors last year that need to be addressed. To respond, each of our school sites are actively working hard this year to ensure they set clear expectations, communicate those expectations clearly, and provide support to our staff, students, and families. To better prepare for a successful school year and improve student conduct, I want to share four important changes made to our Code of Student Conduct.

        Electronic Devices: Personal electronic devices include, but are not limited to, cell phones, smart watches, wearable devices, and other devices that can manage calls, messages, or images. Managing the distractions that come from student use of personal electronic devices continues to be a concern at every school. While some devices possess great potential for enhancing student learning, Stafford Schools cannot provide filtered content to student personal electronic devices connected to cellular service, such as a cell phone.

        Elementary and middle school students are not allowed to use personal electronic devices during the school day. These devices must be powered off during the entire school day from the start of the day to dismissal at the end of the day. High school students are permitted to use personal electronic devices during lunch in the cafeteria or other areas as designated and marked by the principal. At this time, all students are permitted to use personal electronic devices with headphones/earbuds while on the school bus. Authorized use of personal electronic devices on school grounds and buses is a privilege that may temporarily or permanently be taken away by a school administrator for disciplinary reasons. As a reminder, the school division is not responsible for the safeguarding of personal electronic devices.

        We thank our parents/guardians in advance for regulating your student’s use of personal electronic devices during non-school hours and for helping us set and follow clear expectations for use while at school. Issues that arise from off campus behaviors that impact the school environment will be handled according to the Student Code of Conduct.

        Return to School from Overnight or Out of School Suspensions: Parental involvement and our partnership is essential to addressing inappropriate behaviors at school. Your support is vital in helping us provide a safe and orderly school environment for all students. Starting this school year, we are requiring an in-person meeting between parents/guardians and a school administrator any time a student is suspended from school prior to the student returning to the school building. This readmission conference will focus on addressing the issue with behavior and resetting expectations. Administration will also work with families to create a customized plan to support their student’s re-engagement into the classroom setting.

        Physical Altercations in Secondary: Fights compromise our ability to provide a safe learning environment for all students. We have the expectation that students respect one another’s personal space and not seek to resolve conflict physically; instead, students should involve adults at school in helping to resolve conflicts that they cannot resolve themselves. Participation in a physical altercation or fight by middle and high school students is now subject to a recommendation for a long-term suspension by the school principal, depending on the circumstances of the altercation. A long-term suspension lasts anywhere from 11 to 45 days out of school, and is automatically heard by a Hearing Officer/Designee of the Superintendent. Contributing factors such as the level of injury to the other participant, injury of faculty and staff, involvement of local law enforcement, and/or a major disruption to the daily operations of the school may warrant such a recommendation.

        Bullying: Bullying and bullying behaviors negatively impact a child’s experience in school. As required by a new state law, we will notify you of allegations of bullying within one business day of a report of bullying if your child is involved. Appropriate steps will be taken to determine if the allegations are substantiated. School administrators will contact parents/guardians with the results of their investigation.

        Our partnership is important to provide a safe and welcoming environment where all students can learn. Thank you for your help at home reinforcing our expectations for positive behaviors at school. I encourage you to take some time with your children to review the full Code of Student Conduct and familiarize yourself with these changes and other important expectations of our students during the school year. This is an important publication that we believe will help foster better understanding and communication with our students and families about the policies and procedures that govern our school system.

        Thank you for your support.

        Sincerely,

        Thomas W. Taylor, Ed.D., M.B.A.
        Superintendent

        NOTICE

        The Stafford County School Board does not unlawfully discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, political affiliation, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, marital status, mental or physical disability, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic prohibited by state and/or federal law. This policy covers all programs, services, policies, and procedures of Stafford County Public Schools, including all educational programs, admission to such programs, activities, and employment. Inquiries regarding nondiscrimination should be directed to the Executive Director of Constituent Services/Title IX Coordinator, Stafford County Public Schools, 31 Stafford Avenue, Stafford, Virginia 22554, Phone: (540) 658-6631, FAX: (540) 658-6041. Reasonable accommodation is provided upon request.