Hello, I hope everyone is having a great start to the school year! Thank you to everyone who attended our first quarterly meeting of SY23-24. We discussed a new resource for foster care laws or policies and Discipline and Restorative Justice updates from NDE. For those unable to attend, an email was sent with the meeting PowerPoint, recording, and related documents.
Foster Care Laws/Policies Resource
One of the most critical and often challenging aspects of working with students in foster care is ensuring everyone correctly follows the most recent laws and policies. To help our foster care liaisons quickly find the legal information they need to support students effectively, I created a Foster Care Laws/Policies Smartsheet page, which lists federal and state laws or policies addressing the educational needs of students in foster care. Each law or policy identifies topics addressed, summary/notes, the date it was enacted, and related documents. Some laws or policies included are ESSA-ESEA, AB 491, AB 330, and SB 147.
In August and September, NDE offered information sessions reviewing Discipline and Restorative Justice updates regarding AB 330 and 285. AB 330 provides requirements for creating plans for suspensions, expulsions, restorative discipline, appeals process, and more. AB 285 removes specific requirements for utilizing restorative disciplinary practices, provides certain requirements for progressive discipline plans based on restorative justice, revises provisions governing age and other requirements for suspension, expulsion, and permanent expulsion of students, updates requirements for reporting discipline data, and more.
There have been some key student-level changes, which include implementing a progressive discipline plan based on restorative justice that must contain the following:
Positive behavioral interventions and support;
A plan for behavioral intervention;
A referral to a team of student support;
A referral to an individualized education program (IEP) team to determine:
o Whether an IEP is needed for the pupil; or
o If there is an existing IEP, whether it has been appropriately implemented, and whether any adjustments should be made.
A referral to appropriate community-based services;
A conference with the principal of the school or their designee and any other appropriate personnel;
A determination of the need for a referral to a school social worker; and
For a pupil who was expelled, a plan for reinstatement and guidelines for the provision of notice to a pupil to initiate their reinstatement.