UNSAFE SCHOOL CHOICE OPTION (USCO) Requirements effective July 1, 2003 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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UNSAFE SCHOOL CHOICE OPTION (USCO) Requirements effective July 1, 2003

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  1. UNSAFE SCHOOL CHOICE OPTION(USCO)Requirements effective July 1, 2003 Susan Martz, Director Office of Program Support Services New Jersey Department of Education

  2. TITLE IX-USCOStatutory Requirement • Intent: to provide safety and security for students and to prevent unnecessary or extended interruptions in the school day • States are required to establish and implement a state policy • The policy must include two provisions: • Victims of violent criminal offenses • Persistently dangerous schools

  3. TITLE IX-USCONJDOE Policy • Compliance with the provision is a condition of the LEA receiving funds under any NCLB program • CSAs are required to certify compliance with the policy in their NCLB applications • The provisions apply to schools in varying degrees

  4. TITLE IX-USCONJDOE Policy • Developed in consultation with the USCO Advisory Panel • Received advice from: • Attorney General’s Education and Law Enforcement Working Group • NCLB Advisory Council • Leaders for Educational Excellence • State Board approved on June 18, 2003

  5. NJDOE USCO POLICYVictims of Violent Criminal Offenses LEAs receiving NCLB funds must: • Provide students who become victims of violent criminal offenses while in or on the grounds of the school they attend with the option to move to another school within the district • Offer the transfer option within 10 days and complete transfers within 30 days of the determination

  6. NJDOE USCO POLICYViolent Criminal Offenses • Policy describes offenses to help staff make reasonable determinations • Descriptions are consistent with the State’s criminal statute • Offenses include: • Homicide, assault, sexual assault, bias intimidation, terroristic threat, robbery, kidnapping, arson • Completed offenses, threats and attempts

  7. NJDOE USCO POLICYVictims of Violent Criminal Offenses A student who purposely, knowingly or recklessly provokes the criminal conduct is not a victim A student is a victim of a violent criminal offense if: 1) A referral has been made to law enforcement for suspicion that one of the violent criminal offenses has occurred; and

  8. NJDOE USCO POLICYVictims of Violent Criminal Offenses 2)One or more of the following applies: • The perpetrator of the violent crime has been disciplined in accordance with school policy; or • The perpetrator has not been identified or is not enrolled, but it is clear that the student was a victim; or • There is a pre-existing restraining order against the perpetrator; or • Law enforcement officials have filed formal charges against the perpetrator.

  9. NJDOE USCO POLICYPersistently Dangerous Schools • Schools notified by July 31 each year • Use most current available Electronic Violence and Vandalism Reporting System • July 2003 seven schools were identified using 2000, 2001 and 2002 data • Designation does not apply to special education schools nor schools in districts that do not receive NCLB funds

  10. PERSISTENTLY DANGEROUS SCHOOLSIdentification Criteria • Criteria for dangerous: • 7 or more Category A offenses, or • Score of 1 or greater on the index of Category B offenses • Criteria for persistent: • Meet criteria for dangerous each year for three consecutive years

  11. PERSISTENTLY DANGEROUS SCHOOLSParental Notification • PDSs must inform all parents of enrolled students of the designation and option to transfer within 15 calendar days of receiving the NJDOE’s notice • Submit compliance documentation to Regional Offices by August 25

  12. PERSISTENTLY DANGEROUS SCHOOLSTransfer Option • Transfer to a safe school within the district making AYP and not in need of improvement, if possible • Complete transfers by the beginning of the school year

  13. PERSISTENTLY DANGEROUS SCHOOLSCorrective Action Plans • Due September 30 to Regional Office • Describe how the school will reduce the number of violent incidents • Include performance indicators, measurable targets and activities • Coordinate with Title IV application

  14. PERSISTENTLY DANGEROUS SCHOOLSEarly Warning • Effective 2004 • Schools that meet criteria for two consecutive years • Notification by August 15 • CAPs due September 30

  15. OTHER RELATED AREASAnti Intimidation, Harassment and Bullying Policy • Enacted September 6, 2002 • NJDOE must develop and issue a model policy applicable to grades K - 12, by December 1, 2002 • Each district must develop in cooperation with the community and adopt by September 1, 2003, a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation and bullying on school property, at school-sponsored functions and on school buses

  16. OTHER RELATED AREASViolence and Vandalism Reporting • N.J.S.A. 18A: 17-46 amended January 2, 2002 • Any school employee observing or having direct knowledge of an act of violence must report the incident as required by the Commissioner of Education • Electronic Violence and Vandalism Reporting System (EVVRS)

  17. OTHER RELATED AREASViolence and Vandalism Reporting • Annually, the Superintendent must report to the Board of Education at a public meeting the third week in October • Hearing must be transcribed, kept on file and sent to NJDOE by November 1 • Verification of the violence and vandalism (EVVRS) reports must be part of NJDOE monitoring • State Board adopted regulations effective August 2003 that impose a penalty on school employees that knowingly falsify the report

  18. OTHER RELATED AREASSchool Violence Awareness Week • N.J.S.A. 18A: 36-5.1 enacted January 2, 2002 • School districts are required to observe the third week in October by organizing activities to prevent school violence • NJDOE must provide guidelines and information • The public hearing on EVVRS reports must be held this week

  19. OTHER RELATED AREASPrograms to Support Student Development (N.J.A.C. 6A:16) • Substance abuse intervention • School safety including: Codes of student conduct and violence, vandalism and substance abuse reporting • Memorandum of Agreement with Law Enforcement • Intervention and referral services • Requirements for district policies

  20. TITLE IV-SDFSCA Program Requirements • SDFSCA funds must be used to develop, implement and evaluate comprehensive programs, services and activities, that: • Are coordinated with other school- and community-based services and programs; • Foster a safe and drug-free learning environment that supports academic achievement;

  21. TITLE IV-SDFSCA Program Requirements • Are consistent with the Principles of Effectiveness; and • Are supported by scientifically based research that provides evidence that the program to be used will reduce violence and illegal drug use.

  22. TITLE IV-APrinciples of Effectiveness All funded activities must follow these planning principles: • Assessment of objective data • Performance measures • Evidence of program effectiveness • Analysis of data • Meaningful parent involvement

  23. TITLE IV-AWaivers LEAs may request a waiver of the Title IV-A science-based requirement if: • The requested program is proven effective in achieving measurable outcomes; or • The LEA provides sufficient research-based evidence demonstrating that the program has a substantial likelihood of success in achieving measurable outcomes.

  24. TITLE IV-AWaivers In all instances, the evidence provided must clearly show that the program: • Can achieve the measurable performance indicator(s) and performance target(s) in the Title IV-A Program Plan • Is based on the LEAs priority needs • Will fulfill all of the Title IV-A requirements

  25. NJDOE ASSISTANCE • Ongoing and targeted technical assistance • Annual training • Guidance documents • Consultant contracts • Additional school safety initiatives described online at www.state.nj.us/njded/schools/vandv

  26. WHAT SHOULD DISTRICTS BE DOING? • Report incidents on EVVRS consistent with definitions and scenarios • Maintain EVVRS forms as a record of incidents • Use data to determine priority needs • Update Memorandum of Agreement between Education and Law Enforcement • Evaluate Student Code of Conduct in relation to EVVRS and new requirements

  27. WHAT SHOULD DISTRICTS BE DOING? • Use Title IV and other resources to implement research-based programs that have proven effective to address the identified problem • Attend trainings, use guidance and call NJDOE with questions