Discipline Toolkit: Definitions

MDE-OSE primarily uses the United States Department of Education and the Michigan Student Data System (MSDS) manual to develop a common understanding of terms related to suspension and expulsion.

Instances in which a student is temporarily removed from his/her usual educational setting for disciplinary purposes but remains under the direct supervision of school personnel. Direct supervision means a school staff member is physically in the same location as the student.

The U.S. Department of Education clarifies: It has been the Department's long term policy that an in-school suspension would not be considered a part of the days of suspension addressed in § 300.530 as long as the student is afforded the opportunity to continue to appropriately participate in the general curriculum, continue to receive the services specified on the student's IEP, and continue to participate with nondisabled students to the extent they would have in their current placement. This continues to be our policy. Portions of a school day that a student had been suspended may be considered as a removal in regard to determining whether there is a pattern of removals as defined in § 300.536. 

34 CFR Part 300, Comments, p. 46715 

Instances in which a student is temporarily removed from his/her usual school to another setting (e.g., home, behavior centers). For students with an active IEP, this includes removals in which no IEP services are provided because the removal is ten days or less, and removals in which the student continues to receive services according to his/her IEP.

Instances in which an impartial hearing officer orders the removal of a student with disabilities from his/her current educational placement to an appropriate alternative educational setting for not more than 45 school days based on the hearing officer's determination that maintaining the student's current placement is substantially likely to result in injury to the student or others. The IEP team is responsible for determining the interim alternative educational setting.

[34 CFR 300.530(g)(1)-(3)] [20 U.S.C. 1415(k)(1)(G)(i)-(iii)]
“School personnel (not the individualized education program (IEP) team) may remove a student to an interim alternative educational setting for not more than 45 school days without regard to whether the behavior is determined to be a manifestation of the student’s disability, if the student:

  • carries a weapon to or possesses a weapon at school, on school premises, or to or at a school function under the jurisdiction of a State educational agency (SEA) or a local educational agency (LEA);
  • knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs, alcohol or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance, while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of an SEA or an LEA or
  • has inflicted serious bodily injury upon another person while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of an SEA or an LEA.”

The IEP team is responsible for determining the interim alternative educational setting. Unilateral removals do not include decisions by the IEP team to change a student's placement. Be sure to report the correct Incident Type code for incidents that result in a Unilateral Removal.

Instances in which the local educational agency removes a student from his/her regular school for disciplinary purposes for the remainder of the school year or longer in accordance with local educational agency policy. Include removals resulting from violations of the Gun-Free Schools Act that are modified to less than one year (365 days).