My son/daughter has received a 10 day suspension from school because of a drug or alcohol policy violation. She/he is also recommended for expulsion. The principal at the high school gave me a business card to contact the Student Assistance Counselor, Sheree Coffman. He mentioned an alternative program. What is that?
We believe that everyone is capable of making mistakes. Our Alternative to Expulsion Program gives students the ability to learn from their mistakes if they are willing. In exchange, we put the "expulsion piece" of the consequences "on the shelf". This entails the following:
- Within 2 school days of the suspension, the parent must call Sheree Coffman and schedule a conference at the high school. Conferences can begin as early as 7:45 with the last slot at 2:40. Both parents or guardians are encouraged to attend, but at least one custodial guardian must be present. The student must also be present. They typically last about 30 minutes. This may also be a good time to meet with the students Guidance Counselor about academic work. This can be arranged upon request.
- The student must be willing to complete a drug/alcohol & or mental health assessment with an outside provider. All treatment/education recommendations must be followed. (At the top of the page, click "additional help" + "questions to ask" + "referrals to professionals" to find a list of potential providers.)
- Parent(s) and student must be willing to sign a contract at this meeting that states they are choosing outside counseling in lieu of expulsion. A Release of Information form is also signed as a way to verify the assessment and counseling took place.
- Any additional questions parents/guardians have are addressed during this meeting.
- At the end of this meeting when the Alternative to Expulsion Contract is signed, the scheduled Expulsion Hearing is officially cancelled.
- The Student Assistance Counselor, Mrs. Coffman, will periodically check with the provider you chose and make sure your child is following through with counseling. At the successful conclusion of counseling, your provider will discharge your child as successful, they will notify Mrs. Coffman, and the case will be officially closed. If, however, your child does not complete the counseling, the Expulsion Hearing will again be scheduled because they will have violated the contract to avoid expulsion.
I scheduled an appointment with Mrs. Coffman, but I still got a letter from the Board of Education saying we have to appear at the Expulsion Hearing. What do I do now?
The Board of Education automatically schedules a hearing upon a students suspension due to a drug/alcohol violation. Even if you received a letter, Mrs. Coffman will cancel the hearing after you have met with her and signed the Alternative to Expulsion contract.
Who keeps these records? Are they part of my child's cumulative file?
These records are kept separately from the cumulative file in Mrs. Coffman's Office. They will be shredded upon your child's graduation from NHS.
Are there any reasons my child would not qualify for this program?
The Alternative Program is offered only once per academic school year. It is not offered to students who sell, give away, or share drugs and alcohol with other students.