Student Rights and Responsibilities Interventions and Disciplinary Procedures

FCPS is committed to working with parents to help children develop the characteristics of responsible citizenship.

View the Student Discipline: Parent Review Presentation
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Principals, teachers, and parents work together to teach students what behavior is expected in school.  Students learn throughout the year that caring for and helping others in the school, and working together can make school a positive place to learn, to make mistakes, and to explore new ideas.  Students are taught to understand that their actions can affect another person, and that every person in the school has a responsibility to express his or her ideas and emotions in a respectful manner. 

FCPS uses a Positive Behavior Approach (PBA) to teach and reinforce expected behavior.  PBA uses three steps, or tiers, of support, to help students behave in school:

  1. Teaching expected behaviors to all students, and recognizing and encouraging students when they are following the rules and being good citizens of the school.
  2. Providing additional lessons and practice for students who do not behave as expected.
  3. Working with an individual student and his or her parents and teachers to help the student learn new behaviors or new ways to express strong emotions.

Teachers and school administrators use careful judgment in determining when students need help with behavior, whether their actions violate rules, and if so, what consequences are appropriate. 

The chart below outlines progressive levels (A-C) of interventions and consequences along with examples of actions that may be taken at each level.  In any given situation, based on the unique circumstances of a situation, the principal may utilize a different level of intervention than is indicated on the chart.

FCPS Standards of Student Conduct:  Levels of Intervention and/or Consequences





Classroom level interventions and consequences.  If these interventions are successful, referral to the school administrator may not be necessary.

Reinforcement of appropriate behavior
Reminder and/or redirection
Re-teach expectations and skills
Seat change

Teacher conference with student
Guided student resolution
In-class time-out and/or take a break
Written reflection about incident
Loss of privileges (logical connection to behavior)

Teachers use the following interventions based on specific behavior or when the above responses have not been effective.  Parent involvement is desired.  If these interventions are successful, a referral to an administrator may not be necessary.

Confiscation of item
Supervised time-out outside of classroom
Phone call and/or letter to parent
Teacher conference with parent
Parent, student, and teacher contract
Parent  accompany student to school or classes

Conflict resolution with counselor
Peer mediation
Class or schedule change
Suspension of personal device use privileges

When earlier interventions are not effective or behavior is extremely disruptive, the student is sent to the office.  Additional school-based consequences may apply.

Restorative justice conference
Campus clean-up
Alternative Instructional Arrangement (AIA)  (less than 1/2 day)
In-school suspension (1/2 day or more)
Referral to counselor
Suspension of computer or personal device privileges
Threat Assessment
Loss of personal device privileges
Loss of parking privileges and/or car towed
Suspension from school
Loss of bus privileges
Referral to Alcohol and Other Drug Seminar
30 day suspension from activities and sports
Restricted activity

Suspension of parking privileges
Referral to Tobacco Intervention Program
Behavior progress report
Functional behavior assessment
Modification of IEP, if appropriate
Suspension from bus
Parent conference with administrator and teacher
Referral to school psychologist and/or school social worker
Referral to community-based services
Community service (volunteer work as a form of restitution)
In consultation with parent, referral to alternative program


Discretionary – Up to referral to Division Superintendent.

Records review by regional assistant superintendent
Suspension from activities and sports for up to one year

Suspension for up to five days
Referral to Alcohol and Other Drug Seminar
Referral to Division Superintendent at principal discretion


Required referral to Division Superintendent

Possible suspension for up to 10 days and required referral to the Division Superintendent




The chart above provides a range of responses typically utilized.  A principal may impose a short-term suspension, request a records review by the regional assistant superintendent or make a referral to the Division Superintendent for any situation involving prohibited conduct.  In addition, the specific facts and circumstances, including response to earlier interventions and the number and nature of prior violations, might alter the consequences imposed in a given case.


Offense and/or Violation




Absence – Compulsory School Attendance

Code of VA 22.1-1-254 Note:  Suspension is not permitted for truancy




Under the influence


*Possession – Consumption




Arson and/or Fire




…on students





…on staff

Without bodily injuries



…on staff

*With bodily injuries





…on others




*Bomb Threat

(threat assessment should be completed) 









Computer Misuse



Cyberbullying (while on school property)



Destruction of Property and/or Vandalism




(Inappropriate gestures, talking back, etc.)



Disruption to Classroom, School, and/or Bus



Disruptive Clothing or Appearance



Drugs and controlled substances

Under the influence















Electronic Device and/or Cell Phone Misuse



Endangering the Well-being of Others



*Destructive and/or Explosive Devices







False Fire Alarm



False Information and/or Accusations






Fireworks and/or Matches









Gang-related Activity






Harassment or Intimidation Based on Disability, Race, Religion, Sex, etc.




Inappropriate Language



Improper Touching and/or Sexual Activity



Inciting or Participating in a School Disturbance






Leaving an Area and/or Leaving Class and/or School Grounds Without Permission



Mob Assault



Plagiarism (May fail or receive a zero credit for assignment or course)



*Sexual Assault





Sexual Harassment



Stealing and/or Theft






*Threats on Staff

(threat assessment should be completed)




1st time

All grade levels

in-school intervention program






*Weapons-statutory and Switchblade, Machete, Knife with Blade Longer than 3 inches




*Use of Weapons to Intimidate, Endanger, or to Cause Injury




Weapons, possession-other



• Required by Code of Virginia to report to police

# Mandatory sanction


Disciplinary Procedures

The school principal determines appropriate responses to most forms of misconduct and will work with you and your child’s teacher to determine what interventions might be needed to help ensure the problem behavior does not happen again. 

In chronic or very serious situations, such as bringing a gun or drugs to school, the principal submits a referral to the Division Superintendent.  The principal also includes information about the student’s past grades, attendance, behavior, and information provided by teachers, counselors, and others who know the student.  By law, certain types of behavior are strictly prohibited and require that the principal make a referral to the Division Superintendent who will determine if additional disciplinary consequences should be imposed.  However, the Division Superintendent may determine that there are special circumstances which indicate that a different consequence is appropriate.

The following procedures apply when a student is involved in serious misconduct which may result in a suspension up to 10 days, with a referral to the Division Superintendent:

  • The principal will take action to stop the incident, including calling the police or school resource officer (SRO) when necessary to ensure student and staff safety.
  • Students will have a chance to talk with the principal or an assistant principal about what happened.  The SRO is not present while the principal speaks to students, unless there is a safety concern.
  • When the principal has reason to believe a student has engaged in misconduct that may result in a referral to the Division Superintendent, the principal will attempt to notify the parents as soon as practical.
  • After attempting to notify the parents, the principal may ask the student to write down what happened in his or her own words.  The student will be told that he or she does not have to write this statement.
  • If the principal is not required by law to immediately notify the police, but believes a law may have been broken, he or she will attempt to notify parents before calling the SRO or the police.
  • If the behavior involves a possible felony or violent misdemeanor, the police or SRO may take the lead in investigating the incident and speaking to students.  The principal will attempt to notify the parents when this occurs.
  • An SRO may be called to conduct a search or take away contraband.
  • The principal will give parents information to help them understand the nature of the offense and the discipline process.
  • Students and parents who disagree with staff decisions may present complaints to teachers, counselors, school administrators, and the regional assistant superintendent.
  • Parents may appeal all disciplinary decisions that would cause the student to be kept out of school.

Full information about each of the following procedures is found in Regulation 2601.31P, located in the Appendix.

Alternative Education Programs
A student may be referred to a nontraditional FCPS program that provides intensive support if the student has a history of truancy, disruptive behavior, or repeated academic failure.  These programs help students set their own goals and provide a range of academic supports, counseling, behavior management, and related services.  The student and parents have the opportunity to tour the programs and talk with staff members about the alternative learning choices available.  If the student has significant mental health or substance abuse problems, the principal may also give parents information about appropriate programs offered in the community where school services are also available.  A teacher, the counselor, or principal may recommend that you consider an alternative program, and will help make the referral for voluntary placement if you agree.

Students who bring certain weapons or illegal drugs to school, must be expelled, under Virginia law, unless special circumstances are found.  Principals may also refer students to the Division Superintendent for other serious violations.  Before a student can be expelled, the parents and student have a right to participate in hearings before the Division Superintendent and the School Board, where it is determined whether there are special circumstances and whether a different consequence might be more appropriate.  If expelled, a student is not permitted to attend any school in FCPS for 365 calendar days, unless the School Board permits the student to attend an alternative educational setting during the expulsion.  Expelled students may petition for readmission after one year.

Interventions Without Suspension from School 
FCPS officials work to help each student understand school rules and how his or her misconduct may affect others.  In most situations, teachers and administrators first use interventions that take place at school, before considering out-of-school suspension.  These interventions may include:
•    Private admonition and counseling by the teacher
•    Counseling by another member of the staff
•    Re-teaching
•    Restorative justice conference
•    Peer mediation
•    Behavior contract
•    After-school detention
•    Revoking privileges such as parking, senior privileges, teams, clubs, and other school-sponsored activities
•    Removal from class.

Referral to the Division Superintendent
When a student commits a serious violation, the principal may submit a referral to the Division Superintendent to determine whether the student will remain at his or her school, be long-term suspended, reassigned to a different school or program, or recommended to the School Board for expulsion.  When a referral to the Division Superintendent is made, the parents and student have a right to participate in a hearing before the Division Superintendent’s hearing officers, who will determine the disciplinary outcome.

When a student is suspended from school pending his or her hearing, the student is assigned a teacher who will act as a case manager to help the student stay on track with assignments.  Other direct support may also be provided.

A student who commits serious and/or repeated school-related offenses, or who is charged with certain serious crimes related to an alleged community-based incident may be reassigned to a different school or program, including to an alternative educational setting.  Before a student can be reassigned, the parents and student have a right to participate in a hearing before the Division Superintendent’s hearing officers, who will determine the disciplinary outcome.  Parents may appeal hearing officer’s reassignment decision to the School Board, which will review the appeal on the written record.

Suspension from School
A principal may remove a student from school for up to ten days (short-term suspension) or recommend to the Division Superintendent that the student be removed for more than ten days (long-term suspension), when a student violates school rules.  During suspension from school, the student may not participate in teams, clubs, and other school-sponsored activities, and may also be required to attend an intervention seminar.  The student will be assigned work to be completed.  The parent will be asked to come to school and get the assignments, or to make arrangements for another student to pick up the work.  Completed assignments should be returned to school for grading.  A staff member may call to see how the student is doing.

A student whose presence poses a continuing danger or disruption may be removed from school immediately.  The student and parent will receive notice and have an opportunity to respond as soon as possible.

Additional Consequences
A student who has been suspended or referred to the Division Superintendent may have ongoing consequences when he or she returns to school.  Probationary conditions, community service, drug testing, and restitution are among the measures designed to provide an opportunity for the student to demonstrate that he or she is taking positive steps as a returning member of the school community. 

The Student Rights and Responsibilities document conveys the expectations for student behavior in our schools so that all students can experience a conducive learning environment.