Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Go to Selected Program Area
Massachusetts State Seal
Students & Families Educators & Administrators Teaching, Learning & Testing Data & Accountability Finance & Funding About the Department Education Board  

Information Services - Data Collection

2014-15 School Safety and Discipline Report Q&A

Can you upload by school instead of by district?
You can upload offense and discipline files for just one school in order to validate and receive an error report. However, at the end of the year, the files must be for the whole district so that the data can be submitted and certified.
Is there a listing of the column headers needed for the csv file?
There are file headers for both the offense file and discipline file on the document called "SSDR Upload Instructions & Glossary" on the SSDR website.
Can we upload data now or wait until the end of the year?
Data can be uploaded now in order to validate and receive error reports. The option to submit and certify will not be available until the end of the year.
What role within Directory Administration is needed to upload the file?
The security role in Directory Administration is called "School Safety and Discipline Report (SSDR)".
How is it determined who has the DA Security Role?
The district Directory Administrator(s) can add the SSDR security role to whoever needs to have access to the School Safety and Discipline application on the Security Portal.
What reports will be available?
Error reports will be available any time an offense and discipline file are uploaded and validated. SSDR summary reports will be available at the end of the year when the submit window is open.
Our SIS is new so we aren't using it for discipline yet for elementary. How do we upload it?
A: If the SSDR data is not maintained in your SIS, then you will have to enter the data into excel files manually. You can then upload the offense and discipline files to the SSDR application. There are file headers on the document called "SSDR Upload Instructions & Glossary" on the SSDR website.
Once SIF 2.7 is in place, will this information flow via SIF?
Yes, once your district's SIF connection is upgraded to the 2.7 version, the SSDR data in your SIS will flow via SIF to ESE.
Can all SIS vendors create these two export files?
Yes all SIS vendors should be able to create the two export files (offense and discipline).
Will there be a way for each school to go in and view their own errors?
To view just their own errors, a user from that school would have to upload an offense and discipline file to the SSDR application, and validate it to see the error report.
What's the difference between offense and discipline?
The offense record(s) describes what the student did that warranted a disciplinary action. The discipline record(s) describes the disciplinary action that was taken (suspension, expulsion, removal, etc.)
What is the proper end date for a student that is suspended through the end of the school year?
If a student is suspended through the end of the school year, use 9/1/2015 for the ERD field (Date Student Eligible to Return to School).
What code do we report in Disciplinary Action Taken (DAT) if the disciplinary action was a combination of in-school and out-of-school suspension?
Report the code for the disciplinary action type that made up the majority of the time away from class/school. If the discipline was split equally between ISS and OSS, it should be reported as OSS.
What value is placed in the description field if you do not need the description in offense?
If the reported offense type (in OT1 through OT5) does not require description, the description field (OFF DESC through OFF DESC5) can be blank.
Have these regulations regarding informing parents about education services during suspensions been in effect?
Yes these are in effect for the 2014-15 school year.
If we have a student who has a half day suspension it counts as a full day?
Yes — for out of school suspension. The definition of a day of out of school suspension is a full day or any portion of the day. So if the student was suspended out of school for a half day, that should be reported as 1 day.
For in-school suspension, the suspension has to be for half the school day or more in order to be considered a full day in SSDR.
If it is less than half the day, we shouldn't report it as an in-school suspension at all?
Correct. For SSDR, it is not necessary to report a day of ISS if the student was in ISS for less than half the school day.
How would we record an OSS if they were sent home for the last hour of the day?
For SSDR, that should be reported as 1 day of OSS. The definition says that a day of OSS is defined as a full day or any portion of the day.
If a student is suspended for 2 or 3 days, does the support still have to be offered during the suspension?
For any suspension, the student has to be given the opportunity to make academic progress.
What defines long term vs. short term in the appeal?
A long-term suspension includes removal from the school premises for more than ten consecutive days. It also includes removal "for more than ten school days cumulatively for multiple disciplinary offenses in any school year." Students who are suspended long term (consecutively or cumulatively during the year) have the right to appeal the principal's decision to the superintendent and the principal must include notice of the right to appeal in the suspension decision. Students who have been suspended short-term do not have the same right of appeal to the superintendent under §37H ¾ though the district may choose to provide it.
Could you please explain the notification requirements to students/parents of the suspension/expulsion versus emergency removal?
With the exception of an emergency removal, a principal cannot remove a student from school for an offense under §37H ¾ without first providing oral and written notice to the student and an opportunity for a hearing. The principal must also make "reasonable efforts" to notify the student's parent orally, and provide written notice informing the parent of an opportunity to participate in the student's disciplinary hearing. Section 53.06(2) requires at least two attempts to reach the parent using the parent's emergency contact information. Principals may decide that additional efforts are appropriate based on knowledge of the family's circumstances or for other reasons. If successful in reaching the parent, the principal should discuss, at a minimum, the offense, the basis of the charge, the possible consequences, and the parent's opportunity to participate in a disciplinary hearing with the student.

The principal should document efforts to reach the parent, and conversations with the parent if successful in reaching the parent, and maintain a copy of the written notice to the parent in the student's file.

All required notices to the parent and student must be in plain language, and in English and the primary language of the home if other than English, or other means of communication where appropriate. 603 CMR 53.06(1).
What if a student is out on suspension, and while out was incarcerated, how would we code him if he does not return this school year?
In SSDR, you would report the suspension with the original date eligible to return to school. In SIMS, you would code the student as a 33 in DOE012 (Dropout- incarcerated, district no longer providing educational services).
For recording purposes what is the definition of bodily injury? Does it need to be a significant injury?
Per, the term serious bodily injury means bodily injury which involves — (A) a substantial risk of death; (B) extreme physical pain; (C) protracted and obvious disfigurement; or (D) protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty.
What if a student is a danger to himself? Is that a reportable discipline offense?
The term "danger to self" is sometimes used to refer to students experiencing a mental health/health crisis. If so, question 14 of the posted Q and A may be relevant:

If a nurse or school administrator calls a mental health crisis unit or ambulance on behalf of a student who experiences an emotional/mental health crisis (and the school does not consider the behavior to be misconduct), does the "removal" count as a suspension?

If the removal is to secure medical or clinical treatment and is not a disciplinary response, the student's absence from school is not considered suspension or a removal for disciplinary purposes requiring due process.
Can Education Services be as simple as sending home missed classwork/homework?
Section 53.13 of the Student Discipline Regulations addresses Education Services and Academic Progress. Any student who is suspended (regardless of the length of the suspension) or expelled, must be provided the opportunity to make academic progress during the time that they are suspended or expelled.

Students who are expelled or suspended long-term (more than 10 consecutive days), in-school or out-of-school, must be provided the opportunity to receive education services identified in the school-wide education service plan. The education services must be sufficient for the student to make academic progress toward meeting state and local requirements, and be based on, and provided in a manner consistent with, the academic standards and curriculum frameworks established for all students under state law. Merely sending home classwork or homework would not meet the standards for students suspended long-term (more than 10 days), or expelled.

While students who are suspended short-term (fewer than 10 consecutive days) must be provided the opportunity to make academic progress during their suspension, there is no requirement that schools offer students the education services available under the formal school-wide education service plan. However, they must have the opportunity to make up assignments, tests, papers, and other school work. To the extent "sending missed classwork/ homework" is intended to meet this requirement, it could be sufficient.
Do we have language that we could pass on to districts looking for guidance on how to word the notification sent to students/parents on Education Services options? Or is this strictly up to the principal of each school?
The Department recommends that districts work with their attorney to craft a notice that meets both regulatory requirements and local needs. Section 53.13(4) of the Student Discipline Regulations is the primary section that addresses notice of education services for students who have been suspended long-term (more than 10 consecutive days) or expelled.

Schools must also be aware of the obligation to give written notice to students who are suspended for 10 days or less. These students have an opportunity to make academic progress during the period of their short-term suspension. Section 53.08 (2)(c) discusses this notice and opportunity, as does section 53.13(1) of the Student Discipline Regulations. As noted above, the opportunity to make academic progress does not include receiving services provided under the education service plan, unless the school chooses to provide them to students suspended short-term.
How long is a school district obligated to offer/provide educational services for an expelled student?
The school is obligated to provide an opportunity to receive services and make academic progress toward meeting state and local requirements. Assuming the student wants to participate, the school must continue to provide services until he or she meets state and local requirements, (see 603 CMR 53.13). i.e., graduates, or until the student reaches the age of 22, whichever occurs first.

As stated in response to question 16 in the Department's posted Q & A, if the student is expelled and rejects the opportunity to receive education services, but subsequently changes his or her mind, the school must provide education services to the student.

For more information on student discipline regulations:

View HTML Page
Education Laws and Regulations Advisory on Student Discipline
View HTML Page
Student Discipline Laws and Regulations: Question and Answers

Last Updated: May 20, 2015
E-mail this page| Print View| Print Pdf  
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Search · A-Z Site Index · Policies · Site Info · Contact DESE