Suspensions and expulsions
A school suspension means that a student is removed from school temporarily for a specific period of time. This can last one day, or up to 20 days. Suspensions lasting more than five school days are classified as long-term suspensions. Students cannot take part in school activities or events while suspended.
Expulsions are different from suspensions because they do not have a predetermined time limit. Students are suspended first, before the decision to expel a student is made.
Intervention program for long-term suspensions
When a student is suspended for six or more days, they are given the opportunity to participate in our intervention program at the St. Nicholas Adult High School (West). Home schools complete a student action plan for the student to follow while attending the intervention program, and will arrange for school work to be sent to St. Nicholas. Students may have an opportunity to meet with the intervention program social worker, psychologist, and the principal of Safe and Accepting Schools. A classroom teacher will assist with the academic requirements and implement accommodations if the student has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Ministry regulations require that students who have been suspended for more than ten days have an opportunity to participate in both an academic and a non-academic program. The non-academic program will be monitored by the intervention program social worker.
Re-entry program for expelled students
Students who have been expelled from all Board schools must participate in our program for expelled students at St. Nicholas prior to re-registering in any OCSB school. This program offers the student all of the services made available by the intervention program (see above).
What parents need to know
Ontario’s new approach to making schools safer involves an increased emphasis on progressive discipline. Our Progressive Discipline policy allows school principals to choose the appropriate supports and consequences to address inappropriate behaviour. We know that this approach to discipline involves the whole school, and each school has its own plan for progressive discipline. The Ministry has created a guide to understanding this topic: Suspension and Expulsion: What parents need to know. It covers many topics, from what can lead to a suspension or expulsion, to how they can be appealed.