Title IX Definition
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces, among other statutes, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs, and all activities that receive federal financial assistance. Under Title IX sexual harassment includes: dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.
Title IX states:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
Key areas where Title IX obligations are strongly enforced are: recruitment, admissions, and counseling; financial assistance; athletics; sex-based harassment (including sexual assault and all other forms of violence); treatment of pregnant and parenting students; treatment of LGBTQI+ students; discipline; single-sex education; and employment.
Inspire staff and faculty are required to provide appropriate supervision in order to consistently enforce the standards of conduct. If any staff or faculty member observes or becomes privy to an act of misconduct outlined by this Policy, they are required to take the necessary steps of intervening, calling for assistance, and reporting the incident. Inspire School of Arts & Sciences’ Board of Directors requires all staff and faculty of the institution to follow the formal procedures for reporting alleged misconduct defined by this Policy.
For more information about Gender Equity and Title IX please visit the California Department of Education website at: https://www.cde.ca.gov/re/di/eo/genequitytitleix.asp.
- Title IX Training
- Prohibited Unlawful Harassment
- Prohibited Bullying
- Bullying Prevention Procedures
- Protection for Survivors
Past Training Materials (2020-2021)
- K-12 Virtual Certified Title IX Coordinator
- K-12 Title IX Basics
- Title IX Training September 22, 2020
- Title IX Fundamentals
Online training will be completed by all employees at the start of the school year and will be required of all new hires during the school year. Administrators assigned to handle Title IX matters will be trained according to their role in the process (i.e. investigator, decision-maker). Training materials are available upon request.
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- Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to the conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or a condition of an individual’s employment, education, academic status, or progress;
- submission to, or rejection of, the conduct by the individual is used as the basis of employment, educational or academic decisions affecting the individual;
- the conduct has the purpose or effect of having a negative impact upon the individual’s work or academic performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment; and/or
- submission to, or rejection of, the conduct by the individual is used as the basis for any decision affecting the individual regarding benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the educational institution.
- Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to:
- Physical assaults of a sexual nature, such as:
- Rape, sexual battery, molestation or attempts to commit these assaults.
- Intentional physical conduct that is sexual in nature, such as touching, pinching, patting, grabbing, brushing against another’s body, or poking another’s body.
- Unwanted sexual advances, propositions or other sexual comments, such as:
- Sexually oriented gestures, notices, remarks, jokes, or comments about a person’s sexuality or sexual experience.
- Preferential treatment or promises of preferential treatment to an individual for submitting to sexual conduct, including soliciting or attempting to solicit any individual to engage in sexual activity for compensation or reward or deferential treatment for rejecting sexual conduct.
- Subjecting or threats of subjecting a student to unwelcome sexual attention or conduct or intentionally making the student’s academic performance more difficult because of the student’s sex.
- Sexual or discriminatory displays or publications anywhere in the educational environment, such as:
- Displaying pictures, cartoons, posters, calendars, graffiti, objections, promotional materials, reading materials, or other materials that are sexually suggestive, sexually demeaning or pornographic or bringing or possessing any such material to read, display or view in the educational environment.
- Reading publicly or otherwise publicizing in the educational environment materials that are in any way sexually revealing, sexually suggestive, sexually demeaning or pornographic.
- Displaying signs or other materials purporting to segregate an individual by sex in an area of the educational environment (other than restrooms or similar rooms).
The illustrations of harassment and sexual harassment above are not to be construed as an all-inclusive list of prohibited acts under this Policy.
Bullying is defined as any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or by means of an electronic act. Bullying includes one or more acts committed by a student or group of students that may constitute sexual harassment, hate violence, or creates an intimidating and/or hostile educational environment, directed toward one or more students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
1. Placing a reasonable pupil* or pupils in fear of harm to that pupil’s or those pupils’ person or property.
2. Causing a reasonable pupil to experience a substantially detrimental effect on his or her physical or mental health.
3. Causing a reasonable pupil to experience a substantial interference with his or her academic performance.
4. Causing a reasonable pupil to experience a substantial interference with his or her ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by Inspire.
* “Reasonable pupil” is defined as a pupil, including, but not limited to, an exceptional needs pupil, who exercises care, skill and judgment in conduct for a person of his or her age, or for a person of his or her age with his or her exceptional needs.
Cyberbullying is an electronic act that includes the transmission of harassing communication, direct threats, or other harmful texts, sounds, or images on the Internet, social media, or other technologies using a telephone, computer, or any wireless communication device. Cyberbullying also includes breaking into another person’s electronic account and assuming that person’s identity in order to damage that person’s reputation.
Electronic act means the creation and transmission originated on or off the school site, by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, wireless telephone, or other wireless communication device, computer, or pager, of a communication, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
- A message, text, sound, video, or image.
- A post on a social network Internet Web site including, but not limited to: a. Posting to or creating a burn page. A “burn page” means an Internet Web site created for the purpose of having one or more of the effects as listed in the definition of “bullying,” above.
- Creating a credible impersonation of another actual pupil for the purpose of having one or more of the effects listed in the definition of “bullying,” above. “Credible impersonation” means to knowingly and without consent impersonate a pupil for the purpose of bullying the pupil and such that another pupil would reasonably believe, or has reasonably believed, that the pupil was or is the pupil who was impersonated.
- Creating a false profile for the purpose of having one or more of the effects listed in the definition of “bullying,” above. “False profile” means a profile of a fictitious pupil or a profile using the likeness or attributes of an actual pupil other than the pupil who created the false profile.
Sexual cyberbullying acts include but are not limited to:
- The act or intention to distribute a photograph, recording, or other visual media by one student of another student or school personnel with any motive defined in the definition of “bullying” above.
- The act or intention to distribute a photograph or any other visual media, a nude, semi-nude, or sexually explicit representation of a minor where the minor is identifiable from visual received.
Sexual cyberbullying does not include any depiction, portrayal, or image that has any serious literary, artistic, educational, political, or scientific value or that involves athletic events or school-sanctioned activities.
Notwithstanding the definitions of “bullying” and “electronic act” above, an electronic act shall not constitute pervasive conduct solely on the basis that it has been transmitted on the Internet or is currently posted on the Internet.
1. Prevention Procedures for Cyberbullying
Inspire advises students:
- To never share passwords, personal data, or private photos online.
- To think about what they are doing carefully before posting and by emphasizing that comments cannot be retracted once they are posted.
- That personal information revealed on social media can be shared with anyone including parents, teachers, administrators, and potential employers. Students should never reveal information that would make them uncomfortable if the world had access to it.
- To consider how it would feel receiving such comments before making comments about others online.
Inspire informs employees, students, and parents/guardians of Inspire’s policies regarding the use of technology in and out of the classroom. Inspire encourages parents/guardians to discuss these policies with their children to ensure their children understand and comply with such policies.
2. Prevention Education
Inspire employees cannot always be present when bullying incidents occur, so educating students about bullying is a key prevention technique to limit bullying from happening. Inspire advises students that hateful and/or demeaning behavior is inappropriate and unacceptable in our society and at Inspire and encourages students to practice compassion and respect each other.
Inspire educates students to accept all student peers regardless of protected characteristics (including but not limited to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identification, physical or cognitive disabilities, race, ethnicity, religion, and immigration status) and about the negative impact of bullying other pupils based on protected characteristics.
Inspire’s bullying prevention education also discusses the differences between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors and includes sample situations to help students learn and practice appropriate behavior and to develop techniques and strategies to respond in a non-aggressive way to bullying-type behaviors. Students will also develop confidence and learn how to advocate for themselves and others, and when to go to an adult for help.
Inspire informs Inspire employees, students, and parents/guardians of this Policy and encourages parents/guardians to discuss this Policy with their children to ensure their children understand and comply with this Policy.
3. Professional Development
Inspire annually makes available the online training module developed by the California Department of Education pursuant Education Code section 32283.5(a) to its certificated employees and all other Inspire employees who have regular interaction with pupils.
Inspire informs certificated employees about the common signs that a student is a target of bullying including:
• Physical cuts or injuries
• Lost or broken personal items
• Fear of going to school/practice/games
• Loss of interest in school, activities, or friends
• Trouble sleeping or eating
• Anxious/sick/nervous behavior or distracted appearance
• Self-destructiveness or displays of odd behavior
• Decreased self-esteem
Inspire encourages its employees to demonstrate effective problem-solving, anger management, and self-confidence skills for Inspire’s students.
Survivors of sexual violence or discrimination are in control of what actions, if any, take place after the event. Meaning, it is the victim’s decision whether or not to file a formal complaint. Inspire will offer supportive measures regardless of the victim’s decision.
The school will respond promptly to every Title IX violation. Interim and remedial measures include, but are not limited to, adjustments to an academic schedule, no-contact orders, or attendance reassignments. These are available to survivors regardless of filing a formal complaint or not.
Schools are prohibited from pressuring a victim to report. Only the victim may make the decision to file a formal complaint, or participate in the grievance process. Inspire is obligated to respond promptly when any school employee receives a notice of sexual harassment or sexual assault. All regulations extend to any building owned, or being controlled by the school or student organization, on or off campus.
In the event that the victim chooses to participate in the grievance process, the regulation protects them from inappropriately being asked any questions pertaining to their sexual history. As well, the victim is not required under any circumstance to divulge any medical, psychological, or other HIPAA protected information.
During a hearing, the victim is never required to come face-to-face with the accused individual or group. The accused party is under no circumstance allowed to personally ask the victim any questions. No individual or group may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual (victim or otherwise) with the intent of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX. This includes any circumstance of regulation implementation, or if the victim filed a report or complaint, or testified, assisted, participated, or refused to participate in subsequent actions covered by Title IX.
All survivors are protected against any form of bullying, harassment, or retaliation whether or not they choose to report sexual misconduct, file a formal complaint, or participate in the grievance process.
If you believe you have been the subject of a Title IX violation or misconduct and are choosing to report the event, please fill out the form below or contact the Title IX Coordinator, Ken Hardy at email@example.com or (530) 891-3090 x209. Once your case has been reviewed, the coordinator will reach out to you for the next steps.
Title IX Coordinator
(530) 891-3090 ext. 209
335 W. Sacramento Ave.
Chico, CA 95926
Grievance Procedures & Process
The following is information regarding your rights and responsibilities regarding filing a Title IX Complaint.
Title IX Coordinator Contact Information
All complaints should be sent to our Title IX Coordinator, who can be reached at:
(530) 891-3090 ext. 209
335 W. Sacramento Ave. Chico, CA 95926
Your Rights and Responsibilities Under Title IX
(a) You have the right to fair and equitable treatment and you shall not be discriminated against based on your sex.
(b) You have the right to be provided with an equitable opportunity to participate in all academic extracurricular activities and athletics offered by Inspire School of Arts & Sciences (“Inspire” or the “School”).
(c) Inspire does not currently offer any athletic programs. If it does in the future, you have the right to inquire of the athletic director or other appropriate Inspire administrator as to the athletic opportunities offered by the School.
(d) You have the right to apply for athletic scholarships.
(e) You have the right to receive equitable treatment and benefits in the provision of all of the following:
- Equipment and supplies.
- Scheduling of games and practices.
- Transportation and daily allowances.
- Access to tutoring.
- Locker rooms.
- Practice and competitive facilities.
- Medical and training facilities and services.
(f) You have the right to have access to a gender equity coordinator to answer questions regarding gender equity laws. If you feel any of your entitlements have been violated, please contact our Equity Coordinator, Evita North, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 891-3090 x106.
(g) You have the right to contact the State Department of Education and the California Interscholastic Federation to access information on gender equity laws.
(h) You have the right to file a confidential discrimination complaint with the United States Office for Civil Rights or the State Department of Education if you believe you have been discriminated against or if you believe you have received unequal treatment on the basis of your sex. See below for more information regarding how to file a complaint.
(i) You have the right to pursue civil remedies if you have been discriminated against.
(j) You have the right to be protected against retaliation if you file a discrimination complaint.
(k) You can find out more information regarding your rights, Inspire’s responsibilities, and access information on gender equity laws from the following resources:
- California Interscholastic Federation
- California Department of Education, Office for Equal Opportunity
- California Department of Education, Gender Equity/Title IX
- United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
(l) You can find a list of community-based organizations that provide support to youth, and their families, who have been subjected to school-based discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying at: https://www.cde.ca.gov/re/di/eo/
Definition of Discrimination and Harassment Based on Sex Under Ed. Code Section 230
Harassment and other discrimination on the basis of sex include, but are not limited to, the following practices:
(a) On the basis of sex, exclusion of a person or persons from participation in, denial of the benefits of, or subjection to harassment or other discrimination in, any academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, or other program or activity.
(b) On the basis of sex, provision of different amounts or types of student financial aid, limitation of eligibility for student financial aid, or the application of different criteria to applicants for student financial aid or for participation in the provision of student financial aid by others.
(c) On the basis of sex, exclusion from participation in, or denial of equivalent opportunity in, athletic programs. “Equivalent” means equal or equal in effect.
(d) On the basis of sex, harassment or other discrimination among persons, including, but not limited to, students and nonstudents, or academic and nonacademic personnel, in employment and the conditions thereof, except as it relates to a bona fide occupational qualification.
(e) On the basis of sex, the application of any rule concerning the actual or potential parental, family, or marital status of a person, or the exclusion of any person from any program or activity or employment because of pregnancy or related conditions.
How to File a Complaint Under Title IX
(a) You can find more information regarding how to file a complaint as follows:
- The United States Office for Civil Rights websites:
- California Department of Education website
- Inspire Uniform Complaint Procedures (“UCP”)
- Inspire’s Title IX Grievance Process
(b) A complaint regarding discrimination or harassment based on sex must ordinarily be filed with the U.S. Office for Civil Rights within 180 days of the last act of discrimination. If your complaint involves matters that occurred longer than this and you are requesting a waiver, you will be asked to show good cause why you did not file your complaint within the 180-day period. If you have questions about your situation, you can contact the California branch of the Office for Civil Rights at the address listed below. A complaint filed with Inspire under our UCP alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying must be initiated no later than six (6) months from the date when the alleged unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying occurred, or six (6) months from the date when the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the alleged unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying.
(c) The U.S. Office for Civil Rights has its own policies and procedures for investigating complaints. Please review the above link for more information about this process. A complaint filed with Inspire under our UCP or Title IX, Harassment, Intimidation, Discrimination, and Bullying Policy will be investigated in compliance with those policies.
(d) There are a variety of ways to file your complaint. You can use the U.S. Office for Civil Rights electronic complaint form filed directly through their website; or mail, email, or send by facsimile your own letter or a completed copy of the Office for Civil Rights Discrimination Complaint Form.
- The electronic complaint form is available at https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html
- You can send a completed version of this form or your own letter via email, facsimile, or regular mail to the following addresses:
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, D.C. 20202
FAX: 202-453-6012; TDD: 800-877-8339
San Francisco Office
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
50 United Nations Plaza
Mail Box 1200, Room 1545
San Francisco, CA 94102
FAX: 415-486-5570; TDD: 800-877-8339
Complaints regarding such misconduct may also be made to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. Civil law remedies, including, but not limited to, injunctions, restraining orders, or other remedies or orders may also be available to complainants.
While submission of a written report is not required, the reporting party is encouraged to submit a written report to the Title IX Coordinator. Reports may be made anonymously, but formal disciplinary action cannot be based solely on an anonymous report.
Students are expected to report all incidents of misconduct prohibited by this Policy or other verbal, or physical abuses. Any student who feels they are a target of such behavior should immediately contact a teacher, counselor, administrator, Title IX Coordinator, a staff person or a family member so that the student can get assistance in resolving the issue in a manner that is consistent with this Policy.
Inspire acknowledges and respects every individual’s right to privacy. All reports shall be investigated in a manner that protects the confidentiality of the parties and the integrity of the process. This includes keeping the identity of the reporter confidential, as appropriate, except to the extent necessary to carry out the investigation and/or to resolve the issue, as determined by the Title IX Coordinator or administrative designee on a case-by-case basis.
Inspire prohibits any form of retaliation against any reporter in the reporting process, including but not limited to a reporter’s filing of a complaint or the reporting of instances of misconduct prohibited by this Policy. Such participation shall not in any way affect the status, grades, or work assignments of the reporter.
All supervisors of staff will receive sexual harassment training within six (6) months of their assumption of a supervisory position and will receive further training once every two (2) years thereafter. All staff will receive sexual harassment training and/or instruction concerning sexual harassment as required by law.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will meet with the complainant and, to the extent possible with respect to confidentiality laws, to provide the complainant with information about the investigation, including any actions necessary to resolve the incident/situation. However, in no case may the Title IX Coordinator reveal confidential information related to other students or employees, including the type and extent of discipline issued against such students or employees.
All records related to any investigation of complaints under this Policy are maintained in a secure location.
Students or employees who engage in misconduct prohibited by this Policy will be subject to disciplinary action.
Right to Appeal
Should the reporting individual find the Title IX Coordinator’s resolution unsatisfactory, the reporting individual may follow the Dispute Resolution Process found in the Student/Parent Handbook.
Title IX regulations allow students the rights to a written notice of allegations, an advocate, and the opportunity to submit, examine or challenge any evidence.
All students have the right to a live hearing where advisors for the incident conduct a cross-examination. Title IX grants all members of the school community, including faculty, the right to an impartial finding using a standard of preponderance or clear and convincing evidence. Inspire must offer all parties, both accused and victim, an equal opportunity to appeal any findings.
Title IX allows schools the option to conduct investigations and hearings remotely at their discretion.
Title IX Coordinator
(530) 891-3090 ext 209
335 W. Sacramento Ave. Chico, CA 95926
Title IX Violation Form
Nondiscrimination and Equality Statement
Under the Safe Schools Act, discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, intimidation, and bullying are all behaviors that interfere with a student’s ability to learn. These behaviors negatively impact student engagement, safety, and the ability to foster a positive school environment. Inspire School of Arts & Sciences prohibits all acts of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, intimidation, and bullying. This policy includes all instances that occur anywhere on the school campus, all school-sponsored events and activities (regardless of location), and through school or personally-owned technology, or other electronic means.
As used in this policy, discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, intimidation, and bullying are described as intentional misconduct. This includes: verbal, physical, or written communication, and sexual amd nonsexual cyber-bullying. Any form of misconduct on any of the following grounds is violation of Title IX: actual or perceived characteristics of mental or physical disability, sex , sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, immigration status, nationality (including national origin, country of origin, and citizenship), race or ethnicity (including ancestry, color, ethnic group identification, ethnic background, or traits historically associated with race, such as hair texture and protective hairstyles like braids, locks, and twists), religion or religious affiliation (including agnosticism and atheism), medical conditions (including pregnancy and related conditions), genetic information, marital or parental status, or age. These apply to any individual associated with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics, or any other grounds protected by applicable law, ordinance, or regulation.
Any person seeking retaliation against an individual currently or formerly in violation of the Safe Schools Act will themselves be considered in violation of the Safe Schools Act. In addition, retaliation and bullying are encompassed by any form of misconduct described and prohibited by the definitions set forth in this Policy.
To every extent possible, Inspire will make consistent efforts to prevent students from facing discrimination, harassement, intimidation, and/or bullying. Inspire will take action to investigate, respond, address, and report on such behaviors in a timely manner. Any school staff or faculty member that witnesses an act of misconduct prohibited by this Policy will take immediate steps to intervene when safe to do so.
Inspire School of Arts & Sciences does not tolerate any misconduct stated in this Policy from any individual. This includes: employees, independent contractors, students, volunteers, or any other persons with whom Inspire does business. This Policy applies to all relationships including those of employees, students, and any individuals previously stated, in disregard to position or gender. Inspire will promptly and thoroughly investigate any complaint of such misconduct prohibited by this Policy and take appropriate corrective action.
Sex Equity in Education Act
Per the Sex Equity in Education Act, all students, staff, and faculty are entitled to the following list of rights.
If you feel any of your entitlements have been violated, please contact our Equity Coordinator, Evita North, at email@example.com or (530) 891-3090 x106.
Entitlements for members of the Inspire School of Arts & Sciences community are stated as:
- You have the right to fair and equitable treatment and you shall not be discriminated against based on your sex.
- You have the right to be provided with an equitable opportunity to participate in all academic extracurricular activities, including athletics.
- You have the right to inquire of the athletic director of your school as to the athletic opportunities offered by the school.
- You have the right to apply for athletic scholarships.
- You have the right to receive equitable treatment and benefits in the provision of all of the following:
- Equipment and supplies.
- Scheduling of games and practices.
- Transportation and daily allowances.
- Access to tutoring.
- Locker rooms.
- Practice and competitive facilities.
- Medical and training facilities and services.
- You have the right to have access to a gender equity coordinator to answer questions regarding gender equity laws.
- You have the right to contact the State Department of Education and the California Interscholastic Federation to access information on gender equity laws.
- You have the right to file a confidential discrimination complaint with the United States Office of Civil Rights or the State Department of Education if you believe you have been discriminated against or if you believe you have received unequal treatment on the basis of your sex.
- You have the right to pursue civil remedies if you have been discriminated against.
- You have the right to be protected against retaliation if you file a discrimination complaint.
EMPLOYEE/STUDENT INTERACTION POLICY
Inspire School of Arts & Sciences recognizes its responsibility to make and enforce all rules and regulations around student and employee interactions. By enforcing ethics-related rules and regulations, staff members clearly understand the prohibitions and behavior boundaries in which their interactions must follow. Any Inspire employee accused of sexual misconduct, whether or not the accusation is true, becomes at risk for loss of their job, as well as for criminal and/or civil legal actions. All Inspire employees should seek guidance in their daily conduct from established policies, procedures, and directives as provided by the school administration. Although this policy gives specific, clear direction, it is each staff member’s obligation to avoid any situations that could prompt suspicion by parents, students, colleagues, or school leaders.
Corporal punishment shall not be used as a disciplinary measure against any student. Corporal punishment includes the willful infliction of, or willfully causing the infliction of, physical pain on a student.
Corporal punishment does not include an employee’s use of force that is reasonable and necessary to protect the employee, students, staff, or other persons or to prevent damage to property.
The following examples are offered as an outline to direction and guidance for school personnel:
Examples of prohibited actions; DEFINED as corporal punishment
- Hitting, shoving, pushing, or physically restraining a student as a means of control;
- Making students do push-ups, run laps, or perform other physical acts that cause pain or discomfort as a form of punishment;
- Paddling, swatting, slapping, grabbing, pinching, kicking, or otherwise causing physical pain.
Examples of acceptable actions; NOT defined as corporal punishment
- Stopping a student from fighting with another student;
- Defending yourself from physical injury or assault by a student;
- Forcing a pupil to give up a weapon or dangerous object;
- Requiring students involved in athletics to participate in strenuous physical training activities designed to improve their strength, condition, coordination, agility, and physical skills;
- Engaging in group calisthenics, team drills, or other physical education or voluntary recreational activities.
Acceptable vs. Unacceptable Behavior
Inspire School of Arts and Sciences prides itself on the high standards of behavior and professionalism required of its employees. Although there are specific situations outlined in this policy, it is each staff member’s obligation to discern and avoid any situation that could prompt suspicion by parents, students, colleagues, or school leaders.
Violating and trespassing the boundaries of a student/teacher relationship is deemed an abuse of power and a betrayal of public trust. Some activities listed below may seem innocent from a staff member’s perspective, but can be perceived as flirtation or sexual insinuation from other’s points of view. The lists of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors are not to discourage relationships between staff and students that are positive and rooted in good intent, but to prevent relationships that could lead to, or may be perceived as sexual misconduct.
Staff have a responsibility to ensure that they do not cross the boundaries defined in this policy. While sincere, competent, interaction with students fosters learning, student/staff interactions must have boundaries surrounding all potential activities, locations and situations, regardless of intent.
Violations of this Policy
Unacceptable Staff/Student Behaviors
- Gifting any items to an individual student that are, or could be perceived as, personal or intimate in nature.
- Kissing of ANY kind.
- Any type of unnecessary physical contact with a student in a private situation.
- Intentionally being alone with a student away from the school.
- Making or participating in sexually inappropriate comments.
- Listening to sexual jokes and/or comments with sexual double-entendre.
- Listening to or telling sexually-oriented stories.
- Seeking or offering emotional intimacy with a student beyond the normative care and concern required of an educator. (ie. Discussing personal troubles or intimate issues with a student especially in an attempt to gain their support and understanding; discussing employment issues or personal issues at work.)
- Becoming involved with a student to a level that a reasonable person may suspect inappropriate behavior.
- Remarks about the physical attributes or physiological development of a student–outside of an academic discussion that is part of a course curriculum.
- Directly contacting students if the content is not about school activities.
- Being alone in a room with a student at school and with the door closed, unless otherwise required as part of a state-mandated privileged conversation (ie. school counselors, psychologists, nurses etc).
- Using profanity with or at a student.
- Allowing students in your home without proper notification and notice to necessary parties.
- Giving students a ride to/from school or school activities without parent permission, or outside of a legally mandated purpose.
- Obtaining parents’ written consent for any after-school activities on or off-campus.
- Obtaining formal written approval (from school site and parents) to take students off of school property for activities such as field trips or competitions.
- Engaging in communication with students that is conventional, professional, and appropriate for school.
- Keeping the door open when alone with a student.
- Informing and correcting students when they cross your own personal boundaries.
- Refer students to the appropriate staff person, outside of yourself, that is trained to address their particular problems.
- Be aware of the legally protected confidentiality rights of students and parents.
- Keeping all necessary parties informed when a significant issue develops involving a student.
- Asking for advice or help if you find yourself in a difficult situation related to boundaries.
- Informing your supervisor if a conflict arises with a student, or a situation has the potential to become more severe.
- Documenting detailed notes about an incident that could evolve into a more serious situation later.
- Recognizing the inherent responsibility to stop unacceptable behavior of students and/or co-workers.
- Giving students praise and recognition in ways that do not involve physical touch.
- Keeping your professional conduct a high priority during all moments of student contact.
If you are unsure if an action is or isn’t acceptable, ask yourself, “Is following through with this action worth the potential to lose my job?”
Reporting, Investigating, and Consequences
Duty to Report Suspected Misconduct
When any employee becomes aware of boundaries outlined in this policy being crossed, they are required to take action. They may speak to this staff member if the violation appears minor, but under no circumstances is it permitted to not report the matter to school administrators.
If the observed behavior appears to be significant, it is the obligation of every staff member to immediately report the suspicion to an administrator. All reports must remain confidential. It is under the role of the administrator and/or HR to investigate the situation thoroughly, and report to necessary outside authorities. As well, it is vital that employees also report to the administration any awareness or concern of any behaviors that cross boundaries, or if a student appears to be at risk for sexual abuse.
The designated representative of the event will promptly investigate and document the investigation of the sexual misconduct allegations. The representative may call on support staff or outside means of support when it is necessary and deemed appropriate. The investigating administrator or representative, and all others privy to the investigation, are required to protect the privacy of any affected student(s) and/or staff member(s), including potential witnesses. The representative shall promptly notify the California Charter Schools Association Joint Powers Authority that an investigation is in progress; the administration shall notify the Governing Board in a closed session of the alleged event, and any investigations. Upon completion of any investigations, the administration will report to the Governing Board any conclusions reached. The designated representative shall consult with their legal counsel, prior to, during, and after conducting any investigations.
Staff members who violate this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, such as immediate termination of employment and, where appropriate, will be reported to authorities for potential legal action. In appropriate instances, Inspire School of Arts and Sciences will collaborate with the Human Resources department, as well as with the California Charter Schools Association.
This document shall be discussed with and acknowledged by all Inspire employees as part of their initial employment. It will be reviewed on an annual basis, as part of the on-going expectations for all Inspire employees. The school administration and/or Board of Directors may require additional or alternative training as they see fit.
Math placement policy
Per SB 359, Mitchell. (California Mathematics Placement Act of 2015, CMPA), California schools must have a fair, objective, transparent, and consistent mathematics placement policy. This policy applies to all students entering 9th grade. The CMPA aims to erase the far-reaching impact on students’ relationship with and understanding of mathematics by ensuring they are placed in the appropriate mathematics course. As well, findings to support the CMPA noted that students who are most often examples of mathematics misplacements are students of color. With this understanding Inspire works to maintain a placement policy with our nondiscrimination policy in mind.
When incoming 9th graders are granted access to begin selecting their course schedule for the upcoming school year, they are informed of the varying math classes available, and what would best align with their abilities. We offer the standard Common Core classes for the years required for our students.
Student’s select their math classes based on what math they are currently enrolled in for their 8th grade year. Math C is the common course name in Chico and surrounding areas for the 8th grade math course. Students are recommended to check in with their teachers during their 8th grade school year to determine if they will pass their current class. If the teacher expresses a hesitancy to confirm passing with a grade of C or higher, the student will be expected to sign up for Math C at Inspire. If the teacher is confident that the student will earn a grade of C or higher then the student will start the grade level sequence of math classes, starting at 9th grade, by signing up for Integrated Math 1-P.
In the event that a student has been accelerated in math during middle school and is currently taking Integrated Math 1 in their 8th grade year, the student will be allowed to sign up for Integrated Math 2-P, commonly the 10th grade math course.
Once class schedules are submitted for approval, Inspire will compile a list of incoming 9th grade students, their previous schools, their most recent math class, and their teacher. Each teacher at each school will be contacted and given a list of their former students to give the final confirmation they have signed up for the appropriate class, given their abilities and comprehension. Schedules will be accepted and finalized after this confirmation is received.
During the first 2-3 weeks of school, math teachers provide new 9th grade students with either a set of tasks to complete or a diagnostics test to determine the student’s math comprehension, insight, and abilities. Having a clear understanding in these areas, teachers can then more accurately assess if the student has been placed in the appropriate level class. If a student is identified as being inappropriately placed in regard to their abilities, the teacher will meet with necessary parties (parents, school counselors, special education, etc.) to determine what the best placement for the student would be.