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Subject 160-4-8 STUDENT SUPPORT

Rule 160-4-8-.01 Student Support Services

(1) Definitions.
(a) Alternative Education Program (AEP) - an educational program that serves students who are eligible to remain in the regular classroom but are more likely to succeed in a nontraditional setting such as that provided in an alternative education program, as well as students who are excluded from the regular classroom because of disciplinary reasons.
(b) Counseling - a process where some students receive assistance from professionals who assist them to overcome emotional and social problems or concerns which may interfere with learning.
(c) Guidance - a process of regular assistance that all students receive from parents, teachers, school counselors, and others to assist them in making appropriate educational and career choices.
(d) School Climate Management - systematic plan for addressing the factors that affect school climate including a consistent management style and leadership by the principal, a code of expected behavior, a code of disciplinary responses, a code of ethics for educators, a Student Support Team, delivery of counseling and psychological mental health services, methods to reduce absences and increase attendance, physical health support services, efforts to enlist parent and community support, utilization of volunteers, support by and for the parent teacher organization, a preventive safety plan and a crisis response plan, staff development, and the maintenance program for the school's physical plant.
(e) School Counseling and Guidance Services - guidance program planning, implementation and evaluation; individual and group counseling; classroom and small-group guidance; career and educational development; parent and teacher consultation; and referral.
(f) School Health Services - a process to address medically related health and safety issues and address requests by parents and physicians that the school provide appropriate health procedures to allow students to remain in school and increase opportunities for academic success.
(g) School Psychological Services - psychoeducational evaluation; crisis intervention; case study; consultation to student support teams, parents, teachers, and administrators; behavioral observations and analysis; and psychological counseling.
(h) School Social Work/Visiting Teacher Services - technical assistance on school climate issues; assessment and intervention, including written social histories; individual, group, and family counseling; and networking of appropriate home, school, and community services to address identified student problems.
(i) Student Support Services (SSS) - integrated and collaborative programs of school counseling and guidance services, school climate management and student discipline, school health services, school psychology services, alternative education programs, and school social work/visiting teacher services, provided individually or through a team approach, to all students at all grade levels.
(2) Requirements.
(a) Each local school system shall develop a Student Services Plan that prescribes and identifies programs and services that incorporate school climate improvement and management processes.
(b) Each Student Services Plan must minimally include guidelines for the systematic provision of the following components:
1. Alternative education programs;
2. School psychological services;
3. School climate management;
4. School counseling and guidance services;
5. School health services;
6. School social work/visiting teacher services.
(c) The local board of education (LBOE) shall provide for a School Climate Management Process to include improved student behavior and discipline in accordance with state and federal laws and State Board of Education rules regarding the Improved Student Learning Environment and Discipline Act of 1999.
(d) The LBOE shall provide for School Guidance and Counseling Services in accordance with state and federal laws, State Board of Education rules, and department guidelines.
(e) The LBOE shall provide School Social Work/Visiting Teacher Services by promoting home, school, and community cooperation to address the needs of the at-risk student population characterized by poverty, high absenteeism, academic failure, pregnancy, disruptive behavior or other student dysfunctions.
(f) The LBOE shall provide for School Psychological Services sufficient to satisfy federal and state regulations and additional legal obligations incurred through court agreement.
(g) The LBOE shall provide an Alternative Education Program in accordance with state and federal laws, State Board of Education rules, and department guidelines.
(h) The LBOE shall provide for a School Health Nurse Program and must establish policies and procedures regarding a School Health Nurse Program in accordance with state and federal laws.

Rule 160-4-8-.02 Repealed

Rule 160-4-8-.03 Repealed

Rule 160-4-8-.04 Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting

(1) Requirements.
(a) Local boards of education shall adopt and implement a policy and procedures on the identification and reporting of child abuse according to the provisions of O.C.G.A. 19-7-5.
(b) All school system personnel who have reasonable cause to believe that any student under 18 years of age has been abused shall report the suspected abuse to the school social worker/visiting teacher or another person designated by the local superintendent to receive such reports.
(c) The school social worker/visiting teacher or other designee who receives reports shall immediately report in turn to the Department of Family and Children Services of the county in which the student lives and shall notify the school system superintendent of all referrals.
(d) All school personnel who have contact with students shall receive training in the identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect with annual updates in the form of memoranda, directives or other written information.

Rule 160-4-8-.05 Guidance Counselors

(1) Definitions.
(a) Counseling - a process where some students receive assistance from professionals who assist them to overcome emotional and social problems or concerns which may interfere with learning.:
(b) Guidance - a process of regular assistance that all students receive from parents, teachers, school counselors, and others to assist them in making appropriate educational and career choices.
(c) School Counseling and Guidance Services - guidance, program planning, implementation and evaluation; individual and group counseling; classroom and small-group guidance; career and educational development; parent and teacher consultation; and referral.
(2) Requirements.
(a) The local board of education (LBOE) shall provide for school guidance and counseling services in accordance with state and federal laws, State Board of Education rules, and department guidelines by:
1. Insuring that each school counselor is engaged in counseling or guidance activities, including advising students, parents, or guardians, for a minimum of five of six fulltime segments or the equivalent.
(2) Including the following as duties of the school counselor:
(i) Program design, planning, and leadership.
(I) Develops a written school-based guidance and counseling program.
(II) Implements an individual plan of action.
(ii) Counseling.
(I) Coordinates and implements delivery of counseling services in areas of self-knowledge, educational and occupational exploration, and career planning to facilitate academic achievement.
(II) Schedules time to provide opportunities for various types of counseling.
(III) Counsels learners individually by actively listening, identifying and defining issues, discussing alternative solutions, and formulating a plan of action.
(IV) Adheres to established system policies and procedures in scheduling appointments and obtaining parental permission.
(V) Leads counseling or support groups for learners experiencing similar problems.
(VI) Evaluates effectiveness of group counseling and makes revisions as necessary.
(iii) Guidance and collaboration.
(I) Coordinates with school staff to provide supportive instructional guidance activities that relate to students' self-knowledge, educational and occupational exploration, and career planning to facilitate academic achievement.
(II) Conducts classroom guidance activities related to identified goals and objectives.
(III) Gathers and evaluates data to determine effectiveness of classroom and student comprehension, making revisions when necessary.
(IV) Provides direct/indirect educationally based guidance assistance to learners preparing for test taking.
(V) Provides information to students, parents, teachers, administrators, and, when appropriate, to the community on student test scores.
(VI) Provides information to students and parents on career planning.
(iv) Consultation and coordination.
(I) Consults, as needed or requested, with system/staff, parents, and community about issues and concerns.
(II) Collaborates with school staff in developing a strategy or plan for improving school climate.
(III) Follows up on counseling and consultative referrals.
(IV) Consults with school system in making referrals to community agencies.
(V) Implementation of a comprehensive and developmental guidance and counseling curriculum to assist all students.
(v) Insuring that each school counselor is engaged in other functions for no more than one of the six program segments or the equivalent.

Rule 160-4-8-.06 Repealed

Rule 160-4-8-.07 Repealed

Rule 160-4-8-.08 Career Education

(1) Definitions.
(a) Career education - a learning process that increases career awareness, provides career exploration, and appropriate educational planning, thereby enabling students and their parents/guardians to make informed decisions about post-high school educational opportunities and career choices.
(2) Requirements.
(a) The local school system shall provide opportunities for students to:
1. Learn how interests, aptitudes, and abilities are related to career and educational alternatives.
2. Understand the relationship between learning acquired in school and learning needed for future careers.
3. Develop a work ethic and appreciation for the dignity of all work.
4. Understand the economic concepts of becoming a producer and contributor to society.
5. Develop a program of study by no later than ninth grade.
(b) The local school system shall involve parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and community resources in the career education process by:
1. Using career-oriented content and learning-by-doing activities in the curriculum as a means to motivate and enhance student achievement.
2. Implementing guidance activities that encourage individual responsibility for career awareness and a broadening of perceived career choices.
3. Providing opportunities for broadening career options through such activities as career exploration, school-managed volunteer and work-based learning programs.
4. Relating the fine, practical and liberal arts to work and other life roles and values.
5. Providing students with current, accurate career and educational planning information about future career possibilities for use in educational planning.
6. Integrating skills and attitudes needed for continued learning, career decision making, planning, career preparation, and career success.
7. Involving home, community, business, and industry as resources for learning about work and careers.
(c) Each school containing grades 9-12 shall provide annual student advisement sessions to review programs of study and offer alternatives toward satisfying graduation requirements and updating career objectives.

Rule 160-4-8-.09 Student Advisement

(1) DEFINITIONS.
(a) Apprenticeship - a structured program that connects school- based occupational instruction and related paid work-site experiences in order to prepare students for the world of work. Students are able to receive a high school diploma, a postsecondary certificate, or degree or industry certification.
(b) Articulation -an agreement between a high school and a postsecondary institution regarding the awarding of both secondary and postsecondary credit for a dual enrollment course.
(c) Cooperative education - structured student learning in a paid work position while concurrently enrolled in a related Career, Technical and Agriculture Education class, which connects career interests to academic and occupational learning in cooperation with business and industry.
(d) Dual enrollment - a program through which high school students take courses from an eligible state public or private postsecondary institution while still enrolled as a high school student and receive credit both at the high school and at the postsecondary institution.
(f) Individualized education program (IEP) - a written statement for each child with a disability that states the present level of academic achievement and functional performance. The IEP is developed, reviewed, and revised in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as amended.
(g) Individual graduation plan - a student specific plan developed detailing the courses necessary for a high school student to graduate from high school and to successfully transition to postsecondary education and the work force.
(h) Internship - a structured placement, either short term or long term, which enables a student to connect career interests to academic and occupational learning in cooperation with business and industry in a paid or non paid position.
(i) Joint enrollment- an arrangement whereby a high school student is enrolled in a postsecondary institution while continuing to pursue his or her high school diploma. Joint enrollment coursework earns postsecondary credit only.
(j) Local education agency- a local school system pursuant to local board of education control and management.
(k) Mentoring- support and guidance provided to students through relationships with adults who advise and act as role models for students.
(l) Service learning- a teaching method in which guided or classroom learning is deepened through service to others in a process that provides structured time for reflection on the service experience and demonstration of the skills and knowledge acquired.
(m) Teacher as advisor- a teacher or professional educator in the school who assists a small group of students and their parents or guardians to set postsecondary goals and help them prepare programs of study, track academic progress and provide advisement and support as needed.
(2) REQUIREMENTS.
(a) Each local education agency (LEA) shall provide students in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades counseling, advisement, career exploration, career interest inventories, and information to assist them evaluating academic skills and career interests.
(b) Each LEA shall ensure that each student develops an individual graduation plan before the end of the second semester of the eighth grade. The individual graduation plan shall be developed in consultation with the student's parents, guardians, or individuals appointed by the student's parents or guardians to serve as their designee.
(c) Each LEA shall provide guidance, advisement, and counseling to each high school student that will enable the student to successfully complete his or her individual graduation plan and prepare him or her for a seamless transition to postsecondary study, further training, or employment.
(d) Each student's individual graduation plan shall:
1. Include rigorous academic core subjects and focused course work in mathematics and science or in humanities, fine arts, and foreign language or sequenced career pathway coursework;
2. Incorporate provisions of a student's Individualized Education Program (IEP), where applicable;
3. Align educational and broad career goals and the student's course of study;
4. Be based on the student's selected academic and career focus area as approved by the student's parent or guardian;
5. Include experience-based career oriented learning experiences, which may include but not be limited to, internships, apprenticeships, mentoring, cooperative education, and service learning;
6. Include opportunities for postsecondary studies through articulation, dual enrollment, and joint enrollment;
7. Allow flexibility to change the course of study but remain sufficiently structured to meet graduation requirements and qualify the student for admission to postsecondary education;
8. Be approved by the student and the student's parent or guardian with guidance from the student's school counselor or teacher advisor; and
9. Be reviewed and revised, if appropriate, upon approval by the student and the student's parent or guardian with guidance from the student's school counselor or teacher advisor.
(e) An individual graduation plan may be changed at any time throughout a student's high school career upon approval by the student and the student's parent or guardian with guidance from the student's school or teacher advisor.

Rule 160-4-8-.10 Repealed

Rule 160-4-8-.11 Reserved

Rule 160-4-8-.12 Alternative/Non-Traditional Education Programs

(1) DEFINITIONS.
(a) Alternative/Non-traditional Education Program - an Alternative/Non-traditional Education Program that operates in affiliation with a school(s). A program does not report Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) or receive a state or federal accountability determination. Achievement data for students enrolled in the program are reported back to the school where the student is reported for FTE. The program may be housed within a school, on the same site, or at a different location. Adherence to all requirements as stated in SBOE Rule 160-4-8-.17 CASE MANAGEMENT CONSULTATION FOR AGENCY PLACED TRANSFER STUDENTS is required. Programs may include Attendance Recovery, Credit Recovery, Disciplinary Program, Early College, Evening School, and Open Campus.
(b) Alternative/Non-traditional Education School - an Alternative/Non-traditional Education School has an official school code and serves as the home school for students enrolled. The school receives a state or federal accountability determination; reports FTE counts for all enrolled students; and earns Quality Basic Education (QBE) formula funds directly. Adherence to all requirements as stated in SBOE Rule 160-4-8-.17 CASE MANAGEMENT CONSULTATION FOR AGENCY PLACED TRANSFER STUDENTS is required.
(c) Attendance Recovery Program - a type of alternative/non-traditional program designed to allow students the opportunity to make-up an absence(s) by attending a program outside the normal school day (e.g., Saturday program) that provides the equivalent instructional time and curriculum for the time the student was absent within the current academic year.
(d) Community-based Alternative Education/Non-traditional Program - a type of Alternative Education/Non-traditional Program where students are engaged in educationally relevant and meaningful learning experiences in the school and larger community. The academic curriculum is integrated into work-based learning and structured work experiences utilizing partnerships among business, industry, government, community, and school, including Performance Learning Centers.
(e) Credit Recovery Program - a type of alternative/non-traditional program designed to allow students the opportunity to retake a course that he/she previously did not earn credits toward graduation.
(f) Educational Management Organization - any type of alternative/non-traditional program or school operated by a private vendor. The program or school may operate on or off campus.
(g) Facility and School Registry (FSR) - a database for the creation of all site, facility, school and program codes.
(h) Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) - the state agency charged with the fiscal and administrative management of certain aspects of K-12 public education; including the implementation of federal and state mandates. Such management is subject to monitoring and oversight by the State Board of Education.
(i) Georgia Professional Standards Commission - a government agency, separate from the Georgia Department of Education, with the central responsibility for establishing a certification/licensure process for educational personnel in Georgia.
(j) In-School Suspension program - any program that serves the instructional needs of students who have been suspended from his/her regular classroom for a maximum of ten consecutive days.
(k) Local Educational Agency (LEA) - local school system pursuant to local board of education control and management.
(l) Sparsity Grant - grant provided to each LEA that is unable to offer its students or a portion of its students educational programs and services comparable to those which are typically being offered to students in this state. The inability to offer students comparable programs and services is attributable, at least in part, to the fact that the LEA has full-time equivalent counts less than base size specified in state law.
(2) REQUIREMENTS
(a) Each LEA shall provide an Alternative/Non-traditional Education Program/School to serve students in grades 6-12 with appropriate due process, who have been suspended from his or her regular classroom.
(b) Each LEA may provide an Alternative/Non-traditional Education Program/School to serve students who are eligible to remain in his or her regular classroom but are more likely to succeed in a non-traditional educational setting.
(c) Each LEA may provide an Alternative Education/Non-traditional Program/School jointly with one or more other LEAs.
(d) Each LEA may contract with Educational Management Organizations to provide a Non-traditional/Alternative Education Program/School. If contracting with an Educational Management Organization to provide Non-traditional/Alternative Education Program(s)/School(s), the LEA must:
1. Ensure that no federal or state funding of any kind disbursed by GaDOE is expended on any resources, educational or otherwise, for any student not pursuing a Georgia High School Diploma as defined by SBOE Rules and state law.
2. Maintain and report to GaDOE annually by a date established by GaDOE the Georgia Testing Identifier (GTID) of each student served in Non-traditional/Alternative Education Programs and Schools operated by Educational Management Organizations.
3. Maintain and report to GaDOE annually by a date established by the department the GTID of each student who transferred from the Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) reporting school to the private school operated by the Educational Management Organization prior to receiving a Georgia high school diploma.
(e) A LEA may use Sparsity grant funds for all Alternative/Non-traditional Education Program(s)/School(s). Funds must be used exclusively for salaries and benefits for certified positions and assistants/paraprofessionals working in the Alternative/Non-traditional Education Program/School.
(f) Each LEA shall ensure that all Alternative/Non-traditional Education Program(s)/School(s) only provide curriculum aligned to Georgia Performance Standards (GPS). Curriculum may be delivered through Computer Assisted Instruction and On-line courses.
(g) Each LEA shall ensure that all Alternative/Non-traditional Education Programs/Schools provide standardized testing as specified in SBOE Rule 160-3-1-.07 TESTING PROGRAMS - STUDENT ASSESSMENT.
(h) Each LEA shall ensure that all Alternative/Non-traditional Education Programs/Schools provide counseling services to enable the student to make academic progress.
(i) Each LEA shall ensure that all Alternative/Non-traditional Education Programs/Schools operate in full compliance with federal and state laws and State Board Rules governing special education students and students with special needs.
(j) Each LEA shall ensure that all Alternative/Non-traditional Education Programs/Schools provide teachers that meet the requirements of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission in all classes. Paraprofessionals may be used to staff In-school Suspension programs as provided by law or regulation.
(k) Each LEA shall ensure that all Alternative/Non-traditional Education Programs/Schools adhere to class size maximum as stated in SBOE Rule 160-5-1-.08 CLASS SIZE.
(l) Each LEA shall ensure that all Alternative/Non-traditional Education Programs/Schools provide courses that will satisfy state and local requirements for meeting grade level requirements for obtaining a Georgia High School Diploma.
(m) Each LEA shall allocate to all Alternative/Non-traditional Education Programs/Schools the same expenditure per segment(s) based on what the student earns at his or her Full Time Equivalent reporting school. These funds include federal and state funds allocated to the LEA for the student.
(n) For students in grades 9-12, each LEA may award course credit based on the student's demonstrated competency on course examination(s) for course work completed while enrolled in the Alternative/Non-traditional Education Program/School in lieu of the 150/135 clock hours of instruction as required by SBOE rules. Each Alternative/Non-traditional Education Program/School shall adhere to all instructional time requirements for all other grades.
(o) For students in grades 9-12, each LEA may determine the length of time students will be in classes in the Alternative/Non-traditional Education Program(s)/School(s) in lieu of the requirement of as specified in SBOE Rule 160-5-1-.02. Each Alternative/ Non-traditional Education Program/School shall adhere to all instructional time requirements for all other grades.
(3) REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.
(a) Each LEA shall adhere to all reporting requirements established by SBOE Rule 160-5-1-.07 STUDENT AND STAFF DATA COLLECTIONS.
(b) Each LEA shall ensure that all Alternative/Non-traditional Education Program(s)/School(s) report to GaDOE both the number of actual absences (excused and unexcused) that students served by the Attendance Recovery Program incurred during the school year and the number of absences the students served by the Attendance Recovery Program recovered during the same school year.
(c) Each LEA shall submit official requests for state entity (facility/school/program codes for the Alternative/Non-traditional Education Program/School) through the Facility and School Registry (FSR).
(4) SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PLAN.
(a) Each LEA shall maintain and report to GaDOE a school improvement plan for each of its Alternative/Non-traditional Education Programs/Schools annually by a date established by GaDOE.
(b) Each Alternative/Non-traditional Education Program/School school improvement plan shall meet the requirements established by GaDOE and contained in the Alternative Education Program Standards.
(c) Each Alternative/Non-traditional Education Program/School school improvement plan must demonstrate how the Alternative/Non- traditional Education Program/School modified SBOE rules, including, but not limited to, methods to measure competency as well as what is defined as a full school day.
(d) Each LEA should seek public and parental input on each Alternative/Non-traditional Education Program/School school improvement plan prior to submitting the plan to GaDOE.
(e) Alternative/Non-traditional Education Program/School school improvement plans shall be presented to the LEA's Local Board of Education at a regularly scheduled public meeting and published on the LEA's website for the duration of the plan. For those stakeholders that may not have access to the Internet, the LEA shall make copies available upon request in accordance with the state's Open Records law (O.C.G.A § 50-18-70).
(f) Each Alternative/Non-traditional Education Program/School school improvement plan will be evaluated by GaDOE based on demonstrated elements and requirements as specified by GaDOE in the Alternative Education Program Standards.

Rule 160-4-8-.13 Reserved

Rule 160-4-8-.14 [Repealed]

Rule 160-4-8-.15 Student Discipline

(1) DEFINITIONS.
(a) Behavior Support Process - a student support process for identifying and addressing the behavioral needs through providing integrated resources that promote behavioral change.
(b) Disciplinary Order - any public or private school or school system order that imposes short-term suspension, long-term suspension, or expulsion upon a student in such school or system.
(c) Discipline Policies - outlines consequences and punishments that will occur in the response to specify unacceptable behaviors.
(d) Multi-tiered system of supports or MTSS- a systemic, continuous-improvement framework in which data based problem-solving and decision making is practiced across all levels of the educational system for supporting students at multiple levels of intervention.
(e) Public preschool through third grade- a public preschool, a Pre-K program in a public school administered pursuant to Code Section 20-1A-4, and kindergarten through third grade in a public school.
(f) Progressive Discipline - the levels of consequences assigned to students who violate codes of conduct based on severity of misbehavior, students discipline history, and other relevant factors.
(g) Response to intervention or RTI- a framework of identifying and addressing the academic and behavioral needs of students through a tiered system.
(h) Tribunal Training Course - a course of at least five (5) hours duration which
1. includes instruction on:
(i) all student disciplinary provisions in Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated,
(ii) due process requirements under federal and state law,
(iii) applicable rules of evidence,
(iv) leading federal and state judicial and administrative decisions, and
(v) applicable ethical standards and the role of the hearing officer and panel member as an independent, neutral arbiter; and
2. follows a training course outline that is annually approved by the Local Board of Education.
(i) Tribunal Training Provider - one who has expertise and/or knowledge of:
1. all student disciplinary provisions in Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated,
2. due process requirements under federal and state law,
3. applicable rules of evidence,
4. leading federal and state judicial and administrative decisions, and
5. applicable ethical standards and the role of the hearing officer and panel member as an independent, neutral arbiter.
(j) Qualified Student Discipline Hearing Officer or Disciplinary Tribunal or Panel Member - an individual selected by the local school system who is:
1. in good standing with the State Bar of Georgia, or
2. has experience as a teacher, counselor, or administrator in a public school system, or
3. is actively serving as a hearing officer under an existing contract/agreement with a Georgia school system provided that such individual completes the tribunal training course within 6 months of July 1, 2016.
(k) Weapon - includes dangerous weapons, firearms, and hazardous objects as defined in Code Section 20-2-751.
(2) REQUIREMENTS.
(a) Each local board of education shall adopt policies designed to improve the student learning environment by improving student behavior and discipline. These policies shall provide for the development of age appropriate student codes of conduct that contain the following, at a minimum:
1. Standards for student behavior during school hours, at school-related functions, on school buses, and at school bus stops designed to create the expectation that students will behave themselves in such a way so as to facilitate a learning environment for themselves and other students, respect each other and school district employees, obey student behavior policies adopted by the local board of education, and obey student behavior rules established by individual schools;
2. Verbal assault, including threatening violence, of teachers, administrators, and other school personnel;
3. Physical assault or battery of teachers, administrators or other school personnel;
4. Disrespectful conduct toward teachers, administrators, other school personnel, persons attending school related functions or other students, including use of vulgar or profane language;
5. Verbal assault of other students, including threatening violence or sexual harassment as defined pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972;
6. Sexual harassment as defined pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 or physical assault or battery of other students.
7. Guidelines and consequences resulting from failure to comply with compulsory attendance as required under O.C.G.A § 20-2-690.1;
8. Willful or malicious damage to real or personal property of the school or to personal property of any person legitimately at the school;
9. Inciting, advising, or counseling of others to engage in prohibited acts;
10. Marking, defacing or destroying school property or the property of another student;
11. Possession of a weapon, as provided for in O.C.G.A. § 16-11-127.1;
12. Unlawful use or possession of illegal drugs or alcohol;
13. Willful and persistent violation of student codes of conduct;
14. Bullying as defined in O.C.G.A. § 20-2-751.4;
15. Any off-campus behavior of a student which could result in the student being criminally charged with a felony and which makes the student's continued presence at school a potential danger to persons or property at the school or which disrupts the educational process;
16. Each local board of education shall adopt policies, applicable to students in grades 6 through 12 that prohibit bullying of a student by another student and shall require such prohibition to be included in the student code of conduct in that school system. Local board policies shall require that, upon a finding that a student in grades 6 through 12 has committed the offense of bullying for the third time in a school year, such student shall be assigned to an alternative school.
17. Behavior support processes designed to consider, as appropriate in light of the severity of the behavioral problem, support services that may be available through the school, school system, other public entities, or community organizations that may help the student address behavioral problems; This rule neither mandates nor prohibits the use of student support teams as part of the student support process;
18. Progressive discipline processes designed to create the expectation that the degree of discipline will be in proportion to the severity of the behavior, that the previous discipline history of the student and other relevant factors will be taken into account; and that all due process procedures required by federal and state law will be followed;
19. Parental involvement processes designed to create the expectation that parents, guardians, teachers and school administrators will work together to improve and enhance student behavior and academic performance and will communicate freely their concerns about, and actions in response to, student behavior that detracts from the learning environment. Local boards of education shall provide opportunities for parental involvement in developing and updating student codes of conduct.
20. A statement that major offenses including, but not limited to, drug and weapon offenses can lead to schools being named as an Unsafe School according to the provisions of State Board of Education Rule 160-4-8-.16 Unsafe School Choice Option.
(b) Local boards of education shall provide for the distribution of student codes of conduct to each student upon enrollment and to the parents and guardians of each student and may solicit the signatures of students and parents or guardians in acknowledgment of the receipt of such student codes of conduct.
(c) Student codes of conduct shall be available in each school and classroom.
(d) Local boards of education shall provide for disciplinary actions against students who violate student codes of conduct;
(e) Local board policies relating to student codes of conduct shall provide that each local superintendent shall fully support the authority of principals and teachers in the school system to remove a student from the classroom pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 20-2-738, including establishing and disseminating procedures.
(f) It is the preferred policy of the board that disruptive students are placed in alternative education settings in lieu of being suspended or expelled.
(g) Local board policies shall require the filing of a report by a teacher documenting a student's violation of the student code of conduct which repeatedly or substantially interferes with the teacher's ability to communicate effectively with the students in his or her class or with the ability of such student's classmates to learn within one school day of the most recent occurrence of such behavior. The report shall be filed with the principal or principal's designee, shall not exceed one page, and shall describe the behavior. The principal or principal's designee shall, within one day of receiving such report, send to the student's parents or guardians a copy of the report, and information regarding how the principal or principal's designee may be contacted.
(h) The principal or the principal's designee shall send written notification to the teacher and to the student's parents or guardians of the student support services being utilized or the disciplinary action taken within one school day and shall make a reasonable attempt to confirm receipt of such written notification by the student's parents or guardians. Written notification shall include information regarding how student's parents or guardians may contact the principal or principal's designee.
(i) Each local board of education shall approve Tribunal Training Provider(s).
(j) Each local board of education shall make available to all Qualified Student Discipline Hearing Officers and Disciplinary Tribunal or Panel Members the initial and on goingtribunal training course prior to the individual(s) serving in such capacity. The local board of education shall ensure initially trained student discipline hearing officers and disciplinary tribunal or panel members undergo continuing education so as to continue to serve in such capacity.
(k) Each local board of education shall observe Georgia law in developing and implementing disciplinary hearings held by a disciplinary hearing officer, disciplinary panel, or disciplinary tribunal pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 20-2-751 through §20-2-759 including the ability to honor disciplinary orders of private schools and other public schools/school systems pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 20-2-751.2.
1. Disciplinary hearings shall be held no later than ten school days after the beginning of the student's suspension unless the school system and parents or guardians mutually agree to an extension.
2. Any teacher who is called as a witness by the school system shall be given notice no later than three days prior to the hearing.
(l) No student in public preschool through third grade shall be expelled or suspended from school for more than five consecutive or cumulative days during a school year without first receiving a multi-tiered system of supports, such as response to intervention, unless such student possessed a weapon, illegal drugs, or other dangerous instrument or such student's behavior endangers the physical safety of other students or school personnel pursuant to O.C.G.A. 20-2-742.

Rule 160-4-8-.16 Unsafe School Choice Option (USCO)

(1) DEFINITIONS.
(a) Corrective action plan - a written plan developed by a local school system and adopted by the local board of education for a public school that is identified as a persistently dangerous school for the purpose of remedying the causes that result in this school being identified as persistently dangerous.
(b) Jurisdiction of a public school - events that are sponsored by a public school and that occur away from the property of a public school over which the public school has direct control or authority.
(c) Official action - an official tribunal held by the school system; a hearing conducted by a disciplinary hearing officer of the school system (O.C.G.A. § 20-2-752 through § 20-2-758); through a waiver process; through an action of the local board of education; or for non-felony drug offenses that result in placement in a drug intervention program.
(d) Persistently dangerous school - a public school in which for each of three consecutive years on the property of the public school, or at an event within the jurisdiction of a public school, or at a school sponsored event:
1. At least one student enrolled in that school is found by official action to have committed an offense in violation of a school rule that involved one or more of the following criminal offenses.
(i) Aggravated battery (O.C.G.A. § 16-5-24)
(ii) Aggravated child molestation (O.C.G.A. § 16-6-4)
(iii) Aggravated sexual battery (O.C.G.A. § 16-6-22.2)
(iv) Aggravated sodomy (O.C.G.A. § 16-6-2)
(v) Armed robbery (O.C.G.A. § 16-8-41)
(vi) Arson - first degree (O.C.G.A. § 16-7-60)
(vii) Kidnapping (O.C.G.A. § 16-5-40)
(viii) Murder (O.C.G.A. § 16-5-1)
(ix) Rape (O.C.G.A. § 16-6-1)
(x) Voluntary manslaughter (O.C.G.A. § 16-5-2)

or

2. Two percent or more of the student population or ten students, whichever is greater, are found by official action to have committed an offense in violation of a school rule that involved one or more of the following offenses:
(i) Non-felony drugs (O.C.G.A. § 16-13-2)
(ii) Felony drugs (O.C.G.A. § 16-13-30; 16-13-31; 16-13-32.4)
(iii) Felony weapons (O.C.G.A. § 16-11-127.1)
(iv) Terroristic threats (O.C.G.A. § 16-11-37)

or

3. Any combination of paragraphs (1)(d)1 or (1)(d)2.
(e) Property of a public school - Any building, land, school bus, or other vehicular equipment owned or leased by the local school system.
(f) Student population - the unduplicated October full-time equivalent (FTE) count.
(g) Unsafe School Choice Option (USCO) - the process of allowing students who attend a persistently dangerous public school or students who become victims of a violent criminal offense while on the property of a public school in which they are enrolled to transfer to a safe public school.
(h) Victim - a person against whom a violent criminal offense has been committed and whose perpetrator has been found by official action to be in violation of a school rule related to the violent criminal offense.
(i) Violent criminal offense - for the purposes of this rule, the following felony transgressions of law as defined in state statute, including aggravated battery (O.C.G.A. § 16-5-24), aggravated child molestation (O.C.G.A. § 16-6-4), aggravated sexual battery (O.C.G.A. § 16-6-22.2), aggravated sodomy (O.C.G.A. § 16-6-2), armed robbery (O.C.G.A. § 16-8-41), first degree arson (O.C.G.A. § 16-7-60), felony weapons charge (O.C.G.A. § 16-11-127.1), kidnapping (O.C.G.A. § 16-5-40), murder (O.C.G.A. § 16-5-1), rape (O.C.G.A. § 16-6-1), voluntary manslaughter (O.C.G.A. § 16-5-2), or terroristic threats (O.C.G.A. § 16-11-37).
(2) REQUIREMENTS.
(a) Local school systems (LSSs) shall annually report to the Georgia Department of Education on a date and in a manner specified by the Department data regarding students found by official action to be in violation of a school rule related to a criminal offense as identified in paragraphs (1)(d)1 and (1)(d)2.
(b) The Georgia Department of Education shall identify by July 1 of each year persistently dangerous public schools using the criteria specified in paragraph (1)(d) and shall notify the LSS superintendent of such identification.
(c) The LSS shall within ten school days of notification by the Georgia Department of Education notify the parents/guardians of students enrolled in a school that has been classified as a persistently dangerous school. This parental notification shall be written in English and any other language prevalent in the student population of that school. This notification shall also specify the process adopted by the local board of education to be used for the transfer of a student to a safe public school, including a charter school, either within the school system or to one located in another school system with which the system has an agreement, upon the request of a parent/guardian or by a student if the student has reached the age of 18. Following student transfer guidelines consistent with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as currently reauthorized, LSSs shall allow students to transfer to a school that is in compliance with current state and/or federal accountability. Student transfers to safe schools within the school system or to a safe school within another school system with which the school system has an agreement shall be completed within 30 school days of the request.
(d) Any student who is the victim of a violent criminal offense that occurs on the property of a public school in which the student is enrolled, while attending a school- sponsored event that occurs on the property of a public school, or while attending an event under the jurisdiction of a public school shall be permitted to attend a safe public school, including a charter school. Each local board of education shall adopt a policy that facilitates the transfer of students who are victims of violent criminal offenses. This policy shall provide that the transfer shall occur within ten school days of the commission of the violent criminal offense, and to the extent possible, shall allow victims to transfer to a school that is in compliance with current state and/or federal accountability requirements.
(e) A local board of education with one or more of its schools identified as persistently dangerous is not required to cover the cost of transportation to a safe public school beyond the levels identified by federal legislation.
(f) LSSs shall develop and local boards of education shall adopt a corrective action plan for each school identified by the Georgia Department of Education as a persistently dangerous school. The corrective action plan shall be based on an analysis of the problems faced by the school and address the issues that resulted in the school being identified as persistently dangerous. The LSS shall submit to the Georgia Department of Education for approval the corrective action plan. This plan shall be submitted within 20 school days after the Georgia Department of Education notifies the local school system that a school has been classified as a persistently dangerous school.
1. Upon completion of its planned corrective action, a LSS may apply to the Georgia Department of Education to have the school removed from the list of persistently dangerous schools. After ensuring that all corrective action has been completed, the Georgia Department of Education shall reassess the school using the criteria for persistently dangerous schools as specified in paragraph (1)(d) of this rule.

Rule 160-4-8-.17 Case Management Consultation for Agency Placed Transfer Students

(1) DEFINITIONS.
(a) Case Management Consultation (CMC) - a consultation by a school social worker or case manager in which a process is used to discover whether any transition problems exist and whether any services are necessary for a child placed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD), Department of Human Services (DHS), or Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). This process will be utilized each time a child, placed by one of the foregoing state agencies, enrolls in a new school.
(b) Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) - an agency which provides specified services for children who have been admitted or placed according to an individualized treatment or service plan directed by DBHDD.
(c) Department of Community Health (DCH) - the agency which provides Medicaid support for certain students remanded through DBHDD, DHS, or DJJ.
(d) Department of Human Services (DHS) - an agency which provides specified services and placement for children who have been remanded to the physical or legal custody of DHS either temporarily or permanently by a court or by voluntary agreement, or if the child has been admitted or placed according to an individualized treatment or service plan of DHS.
(e) Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) - the agency which provides supervision, detention and a wide range of treatment and educational services for youths referred to DJJ by the Juvenile Courts, and provides assistance or delinquency prevention services for at-risk youths through collaborative efforts with other public, private, and community entities.
(f) Student Support Team (SST) - an interdisciplinary group that uses a systematic process to address learning and/or behavior problems of students, K-12, in a school as set forth in State Board of Education Rule 160-4-2-.32 Student Support Team.
(g) Transition services - services necessary to provide a seamless transition to a DBHDD, DHS, or DJJ-placed child when he or she enters a new school.
(2) REQUIREMENTS.
(a) Each school principal shall designate a school social worker or other staff member to act as case manager. The case manager shall be the point of contact for DCH, DBHDD, DHS, and DJJ personnel providing five-day advance notification of planned enrollment of a child pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 20-2-133.
(b) Upon notification that a DBHDD, DHS, or DJJ child will be enrolled in a school, the case manager shall consult with the student, the designated counselor or caseworker assigned by DCH, DBHDD, DHS, or DJJ, and the parent/guardian/foster parent within five school days to determine whether transition or other services are necessary for the child. The child should be immediately enrolled in accordance with State Board of Education Rule 160-5-1-.28 Student Enrollment and Withdrawal.
(c) If it is determined that transition or other services are necessary upon enrollment, such services may include any of the following.
1. Tour and orientation session
2. Introduction to buddy or peer to facilitate transition
3. Assistance with course selection
4. Referral to SST process
5. Referral to special education
6. Other services as needed, e.g., social services, counseling, community collaboration, parent/guardian meetings, etc.
(d) Documentation of CMC activities shall be maintained by the case manager in the student's file and shall include the following.
1. Student's name
2. Consultation dates
3. Identification of transition or other services needed
4. Recommended course of action (list of services, referral)
5. Monitoring of student progress
6. Date that services are determined to no longer be needed

Rule 160-4-8-.18 Diabetes Medical Management Plans

(1) DEFINITIONS.
(a) Diabetes medical management plan - a document developed by the student's physician or other health care professional that sets out the health services, including the student's target range for blood glucose levels, needed by the student at school and is signed by the student's parent or guardian.
(b) Health care professional - a doctor of medicine or osteopathy licensed by the Georgia Composite Medical Board pursuant to Article 2, Chapter 34, Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated or a legally authorized designee acting pursuant to job description or nurse protocol agreement approved by the Georgia Composite Medical Board.
(c) Trained diabetes personnel - a school employee who volunteers to be trained in accordance with this rule. Such employee shall not be required to be a health care professional.
(2) REQUIREMENTS.
(a) Each local board of education and state-chartered special school shall ensure that there are at least two school employees trained in accordance with the Georgia Department of Education's, Guidelines for the Care Needed for Students with Diabetes in each school that has a student with diabetes. This training shall be conducted by a school nurse or other health care professional with expertise in diabetes and shall take place prior to the commencement of each school year, or as needed when a student with diabetes enrolls at a school, or when a student is newly diagnosed with diabetes. Local boards of education shall ensure that the school nurse or other health care professional provides follow-up training and supervision as necessary for compliance with this rule.
(b) Each local school system and state chartered special school shall provide information in the recognition of diabetes related emergency situations to all employed or contracted bus drivers responsible for the transportation of a student with diabetes.
(c) Each school shall review and implement the diabetes medical management plan provided by the parent or guardian of a student with diabetes who seeks diabetes care while at school.
(d) In accordance with the request of a parent or guardian of a student with diabetes and the student's diabetes medical management plan, the school nurse or, in the absence of the school nurse, trained diabetes personnel shall perform functions including, but not limited to, responding to blood glucose levels that are outside of the student's target range; administering glucagon; administering insulin, or assisting a student in administering insulin through the insulin delivery system the student uses; providing oral diabetes medications; checking and recording blood glucose levels and ketone levels, or assisting a student with such checking and recording; and following instructions regarding meals, snacks, and physical activity. These activities shall not constitute the practice of nursing and shall be exempted from all applicable statutory and regulatory provisions that restrict what activities can be delegated to or performed by a person who is not a licensed health care professional.
(e) The school nurse or at least one trained diabetes personnel shall be on site at each school and available during regular school hours to provide care to each student with a diabetes medical management plan being implemented by the school. For purposes of field trips, the parent or guardian, or designee of such parent or guardian, of a student with diabetes may, at the discretion of the school, accompany such student on a field trip.
(f) A student's school choice under O.C.G.A. § 20-2-2130 or other applicable law shall in no way be restricted because the student has diabetes.
(g) Upon written request of a student's parent or guardian and if authorized by the student's diabetes medical management plan, a student with diabetes shall be permitted to perform blood glucose checks, administer insulin through the insulin delivery system the student uses, treat hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, and otherwise attend to the monitoring and treatment of his or her diabetes in the classroom, in any area of the school or school grounds, and at any school related activity, and he or she shall be permitted to possess on his or her person at all times all necessary supplies and equipment to perform such monitoring and treatment functions.
(h) No physician, nurse, school employee, local school system, or state chartered special school shall be liable for civil damages or subject to disciplinary action under professional licensing regulations or school disciplinary policies as a result of the activities authorized or required by O.C.G.A. § 20-2-779 when such acts are committed as an ordinarily reasonably prudent physician, nurse, school employee, local school system, or state chartered special school would have acted under the same or similar circumstances.

Rule 160-4-8-.19 Suicide Prevention Training Requirement for Certificated School System Personnel

(1) DEFINITIONS.
(a) Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) - the state agency charged with the fiscal and administrative management of certain aspects of K-12 public education, including the implementation of federal and state mandates. Such management is subject to supervision and oversight by the State Board of Education.
(b) Local Education Agency (LEA) - local school system pursuant to local board of education control and management.
(c) Certificated School System Personnel - individuals trained in education who hold a Clearance (C), Teaching (T), Leadership (L), Service (S), Technical Specialist (TS), or Permit (P) certification issued by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission or is an educator teaching students under a highly qualified definition.
(2) REQUIREMENTS.
(a) Local education agencies shall adopt a policy on student suicide prevention. Such policies shall be developed in consultation with school and community stakeholders, school employed mental health professionals, and suicide prevention experts and shall, at a minimum, address procedures relating to suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention.
(b) To assist LEAs in developing their own policies for student suicide prevention, the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), in consultation with the Suicide Prevention Program within the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD), shall establish a model policy for use by LEAs in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 20-2-779.1.
(c) All certificated public school personnel shall receive annual training in suicide awareness and prevention. This training shall be provided within the framework of existing in-service training programs offered by the Georgia Department of Education or as part of required professional development offered by an LEA.
(d) The Georgia Department of Education shall, in consultation with the DBHDD, the Suicide Prevention Program established pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 37-1-27, and suicide prevention experts, develop a list of approved training materials to fulfill the requirements of this subsection which may include training materials currently being used by an LEA if such training materials meet any criteria established by the GaDOE.
(e) Approved materials shall include training on how to identify appropriate mental health services, both within the school and also within the larger community, and when and how to refer youth and their families to those services.
(f) Approved materials may include programs that can be completed through self-review of suitable suicide prevention materials.