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CALPADS Update FLASH #153

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End-of-Year 3 Updates and Reminders

CERT125 Will Be Disabled and CERT127 Will Become Fatal

In analyzing the 2017–18 End-of-Year (EOY) 3 certified data, the California Department of Education (CDE) found that a significant number of local educational agencies (LEAs) did not report suspension records in the Student Discipline (SDIS) file for students who were reported as attending in-house suspension or absent due to an out-of-school suspension in the Student Absence Summary (STAS) file. To further enforce the alignment of discipline incidents to absence summary data, the CDE will implement for the 2018–19 EOY 3 submission, the following changes to existing validations:

  • Disable certification validation rule (CVR) CERT125 (Missing In-School Suspension Data for a student who was reported as attending in-school suspension).
  • Merge the CERT125 validation into CERT127 (Student Discipline Data for a student who was reported as absent due to either out-of-school suspension or in-school suspension).
  • Adjust CERT127 to take into account in-school or out-of-school suspensions that result from an incident that occurred in the prior school year on or after April 1. This will address the legitimate scenario where a student committed an offense in the prior school year, but the suspension was enforced in the next school year.
  • Change CERT127 from a warning to a fatal error.

The CDE will be sending letters to the superintendents of LEAs with discrepancy rates of 10% or greater (the total number of students with suspension days in STAS divided by the number of those students without a discipline record in SDIS), to inform them of the potential under-reporting of suspensions in 2017–18, and that this under-reporting may also impact the LEA's and school's 2019 suspension rate indicator on the California School Dashboard, which is based in part on change from the prior year.

Carefully Review CERT071 Warnings

Many LEAs certified that schools in their district had no discipline records to report. This would have triggered CERT071 – No Discipline Data Submitted for a School. It is important that LEAs pay attention to this warning. If LEAs receive this warning, they should review certification report 7.3 – Discipline Actions – Count, and ensure that the schools reporting no discipline records (all columns have zeros), indeed have no discipline records to report. It should be noted that in 2018–19, it will be less likely for schools to have no discipline records to report, since LEAs are now required to report all incidents regardless if they resulted in a disciplinary action of suspension or expulsion. (See Flash #145 for more information.)

Appropriate Application of Disciplinary Actions

LEAs are reminded that current law prohibits students in certain grades from being suspended or expelled for certain statutory offenses. Specifically:

  • California Education Code (EC) Section 48900(k)(2) prohibits students enrolled in grades K–3 from being suspended solely for willful defiance (CALPADS code 511). Current law (EC 48910), however, does allow teachers to remove students in grades K–3 from class for willful defiance, which may result in an in-school or out-of-school suspension; therefore some suspensions of K–3 students for willful defiance are allowed.
  • EC Section 48900(k)(2) prohibits students in K–12 from being expelled solely for willful defiance.
  • EC Section 48900.2, (sexual harassment/CALPADS code 403), EC Section 48900.3 (hate violence/CALPADS code 505), and EC Section 48900.4, (harassment, threats, or intimidation/CALPADS code 506), prohibits students in grades K–3 from being suspended or expelled solely for these offenses.

LEAs should ensure that their local discipline policies reflect current law and that students are not inappropriately suspended or expelled. Once data are submitted to CALPADS, LEAs can review the individual students who were suspended/expelled for these offenses by viewing CALPADS Report 7.5 Discipline Offenses – Student List and filtering on Student Offense codes 403, 505, 506, and 511.

It should also be noted that while EC Section 48915(c)(4) (sexual assault/CALPADS Code 401, or sexual battery/CALPADS Code 400) does not restrict the suspension or expulsion of students to certain grades, it seems unlikely that young children would have committed such offenses. Since LEAs have reported students in grades K–3 as being suspended or expelled for these offenses, LEAs may also want to review their policies and procedures to ensure that students, especially young children, are suspended for appropriate offenses. If students are found to have committed such offenses, any discipline procedures should include a discussion with legal counsel as to whether such cases should be adjudicated through the juvenile justice system prior to expulsion.

Reporting Disciplinary Actions for Students at Nonpublic, Nonsectarian Schools (NPS)

As announced in Flash #145, LEAs are required to report suspension and expulsion data for students attending Nonpublic, Nonsectarian Schools (NPS) beginning with the 2018–19 End-of-Year 3 submission. The CDE will be providing technical assistance to the NPS schools, which will include providing them the Student Discipline (SDIS) file so that they will know what to send to each district whose students they serve.

Questions: CALPADS/CBEDS/CDS Operations Office | | 916-324-6738

Last Reviewed: Monday, March 11, 2019 

CALPADS Update FLASH #152

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