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The Illinois State Board of Education is firmly committed to promoting policies that create a safe and inclusive environment for each and every student across Illinois. This commitment is best evidenced by the theme and content of our Every Student Succeeds Act state plan. ISBE intends to provide school districts with information regarding evidence-based best practices and sample policies regarding student discipline, equal opportunity, social-emotional learning and other key facets of the work that must be accomplished to create the safe and inclusive school environment our students deserve. This page is designed to serve such purposes and includes policies developed by school districts within the context of their school communities. While these policies are consistent with the goal of providing a safe and inclusive environment, ISBE is not affirming the legality of these resources and recommends that any school district developing its own policy base such policy on the unique aspects of its own school community and in consultation with legal counsel.

Schools should be safe and supportive environments conducive to teaching and learning for educators and students. On the path to creating this culture, schools should rely less on exclusionary discipline techniques (e.g. suspensions and expulsions) and instead utilize methods that focus on the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of all students.

 Exclusionary Discipline – Districts in the Top 20% for Three Consecutive Years

​Illinois law requires that the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) identify districts that utilize exclusionary disciplinary measures more often than other districts. Specifically, Section 2-3.162 of the School Code requires ISBE to determine the top 20 percent of school districts in the following metrics: 

  1. Total number of out-of-school suspensions divided by the total district enrollment by the last school day in September for the year in which the data was collected, multiplied by 100. 

  2. Total number of out-of-school expulsions divided by the total district enrollment by the last school day in September for the year in which the data was collected, multiplied by 100. 

  3. Racial disproportionality, defined as the overrepresentation of students of color or white students in comparison to the total number of students of color or white students on October 1st of the school year in which data are collected, with respect to the use of out-of-school suspensions and expulsions, which must be calculated using the same method as the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights uses. 

Districts that are identified in the top 20 percent of any of the metrics described above for three consecutive years will be required to submit a plan identifying the strategies the district will implement to reduce the use of exclusionary disciplinary practices or racial disproportionality or both, if applicable. The plan must be approved at a public school board meeting and posted on the school district's Internet website. Within one year after being identified, the district shall submit to the State Board of Education and post on the district's Internet website a progress report describing the implementation of the plan and the results achieved.

The discipline data referenced for the 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years is included below (please note that each file has multiple tabs): 

ISBE Supports 
ISBE, in collaboration with the Midwest Comprehensive Center, will provide the following supports to districts identified as being in the top 20 percent of the relevant exclusionary discipline metrics for the 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years. 

Webinar Series 
An ISBE-led webinar series will deepen an understanding of disproportionality and will include sessions on data analysis, evidence-based practices, restorative practices, PBIS, early warning systems and social emotional learning (SEL). This webinar series will occur throughout the 2018-2019 school year. 

Peer-to-Peer Networking
The peer-to-peer networking series will support districts by providing an opportunity to speak to others about how they identified and addressed exclusionary discipline practices. This virtual experience will allow districts and schools to interact with one another and share best practices and success stories in supporting students.   

Quality Framework
The Illinois Quality Framework is a document that includes standards, indicators, and guiding questions for diverse stakeholder groups to use in open, honest, inquiry-based conversations. These conversations set the stage for the completion of the Illinois Quality Framework Supporting Rubric.  The supporting rubric is composed of performance measures based on the standards.  Use of the framework and rubric is required for schools that are designated to receive targeted or comprehensive support through IL-Empower and is highly recommended for any school across the state.  Opportunities will be provided to connect the Quality Framework guiding questions, standards and indicators to planning strategies that will to reduce the use of exclusionary disciplinary practices.  The alignment to the Quality Framework will be introduced in the first ISBE webinar that will occur later this this Fall.     

Plan Requirements
The plan required for your district may be imbedded in broader school improvement planning processes or may be a separately developed plan.  The content must be approved by the local board of education.  Details regarding timelines and how to submit the plan will be forthcoming. 

 Illinois Guidance and Resources

School Code Restrictions on Suspension and Expulsion

Formerly known as Senate Bill 100, Public Act 99-0456 amends several provisions of the Illinois School Code in efforts to reduce exclusionary discipline practices by school districts. Sponsored by Senator Kimberly A. Lightford, this legislation is the culmination of the statewide efforts of student groups, parents, educators, administrators, community organizations, legislators, and other stakeholders. P.A. 99-0456 takes effect on September 16, 2016.

  • ​Summary of the Law

Data Reporting Requirements

Districts must continue to provide ISBE with data on the total number of suspensions, expulsions, and removals to alternative settings as previously required pursuant to P.A. 98-1102.

Data will continue to be collected and housed by ISBE at Data Analysis – Expulsions, Suspensions, and Truants by District.

Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, ISBE will analyze the data collected over 3 consecutive school years, starting with the 2014-2015 school year, and identify any district in the top 20% for suspensions, expulsions, and removals to alternative settings. ISBE will require that each of these identified districts develop a plan identifying strategies to reduce exclusionary discipline rates and/or disproportionality.


 Federal Guidance

 National Resources

School Discipline

Alternative Discipline Techniques: Restorative Justice

Culturally Responsible Practices

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