Updates to District Policies

Updates to District Policies

#1) Non-Discrimination Update:

Northampton  Public Schools Non-Discrimination Statement has been updated in multiple documents including the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan.  For the full document, click here.

The Northampton Public Schools are committed to promoting multi-cultural understanding, appreciation and harmony, to ensuring that no student is denied access to any educational program or other activity of the Northampton Public Schools for reason of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, socioeconomic status, homelessness, academic status, gender identity or expression, physical appearance, pregnant or parenting status, sexual orientation, marital/civil union status, place of birth, age, citizenship status, veteran status, political affiliation, genetic information, limited-English proficiency, mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability, or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics.

#2) There are three important amended updates to Northampton Public Schools Code of Conduct.  Please see the summary of the changes below:

1) Title IX Policy — used to file internal complaints

Where to File Internal Complaints Internal Complaints may be filed with any school official and it is the responsibility of any staff who is notified of a complaint by a student or caregiver of discrimination, harassment or bullying to inform the Superintendent of Schools or their designee.

Direct reporting of complaints of discrimination, harassment or bullying, are encouraged to be made to the Superintendent of Schools or their designee.

A student or any individual wishing to report sexual harassment may inform the Title IX Coordinator by using the contact information listed below:

Michelle Fatcheric
 IX Coordinator
Northampton Public Schools
212 Main Street, 2nd Floor
Northampton, MA 01060
phone: 413-587-1415
cell:  413-570-5087
fax: 413-587-1318

2) Appendix D — Conduct/Discipline

Alternatives to Suspension (M.G.L. c. 71 § 37H3/4)

Any principal, administrator, or person acting as a decision-maker at a student meeting or hearing, when deciding the consequences for the student, shall consider ways to re-engage the student in the learning process; and shall not suspend a student until alternative remedies have been employed and their use and results documented, following and in direct response to a specific incident or incidents, unless specific reasons are documented as to why such alternative remedies are unsuitable or counter-productive, and in cases where the student’s continued presence in school would pose a specific, documentable concern about the infliction of serious bodily injury or other serious harm upon another person while in school. Alternative remedies may include, but shall not be limited to: 

(i) mediation; 

(ii) conflict resolution; 

(iii) restorative justice; and 

(iv) collaborative problem solving. 


The principal, administrator, or person acting as a decision-maker shall also implement school-or district-wide models to re-engage students in the learning process which shall include but not be limited to: 

  1. positive behavioral interventions and supports models and 
  2. trauma sensitive learning models; provided, however, that school-or district-wide models shall not be considered a direct response to a specific incident.

Additional Due Process Rights for Students with Disabilities 

The IDEA also allows school personnel the option of asking a hearing officer or a court to move the child with disabilities to an interim alternative educational setting for up to 45 days if they are substantially likely to injure themselves or others in their current placement. 

While a student is in an interim alternative educational setting (IAES), the district will provide services to allow them to continue to make progress in the general curriculum and will also continue to provide the serviced identified on the child’s IEP, including services to address the problem behavior.

Additionally, no later than the date of the start of any disciplinary action, the district will notify the parent of the school’s disciplinary decision and provide written notice of procedural safeguards. 

For the full document, click here.

3) Appendix E — Physical Restraint (Policy JKAA)



(Revised May 9, 2024 (1st Read))


The Northampton Public Schools is committed to maintaining an orderly, safe and supportive environment conducive to learning for all students. The district implements a variety of behavioral supports and intervention strategies to safely support students and prevent the use of physical restraints whenever possible. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has issued specific regulations concerning prevention and use of physical restraint on students (603 CMR 46.00). The Northampton Public Schools is committed to ensuring that the use of any physical restraint strictly adheres to these regulations. Physical restraint will be used with two goals in mind, and only after other less intrusive methods have been attempted and/or considered:

·  to administer a physical restraint only when needed to protect a student and/or member of the school community from assault or imminent, serious harm; and

·  to prevent or minimize any harm to the student as a result of the use of physical restraint.

For the full document, click here.