2019 Tennessee Code
Title 49 - Education
Chapter 6 - Elementary and Secondary Education
Part 34 - Suspension of Students
§ 49-6-3402. Alternative schools for suspended or expelled students -- Mandated attendance.
(a) Local boards of education may establish alternative schools for students in grades one through six (1-6) who have been suspended or expelled from the regular school program. At least one (1) alternative school or alternative program shall be established and available for students in grades seven through twelve (7-12) who have been suspended or expelled as provided in this part. In providing alternative schools, any two (2) or more boards may join together and establish a school attended by students of any such school system; furthermore, any board may, by mutually acceptable agreement with another board, send its suspended or expelled students to any alternative school already in operation.
(b) Alternative schools and alternative programs shall be operated pursuant to rules of the state board of education pertaining to them, and instruction shall proceed as nearly as practicable in accordance with the instructional programs at the student's home school. All course work completed and credits earned in alternative schools or alternative programs shall be transferred to and recorded in the student's home school, which shall grant credit earned and progress thereon as if earned in the home school.
(c) Students in grades seven through twelve (7-12) who have been suspended or expelled from the regular school program must be assigned to an alternative school or alternative program if there is space and staff available. Attendance in an alternative school or alternative program shall be voluntary for students in grades one through six (1-6) who have been suspended or expelled from the regular school program unless the local board of education adopts a policy mandating attendance in either instance. The student shall be subject to all rules pertaining thereto. A violation of the rules by a student may result in the student's removal from this school for the duration of the original suspension or expulsion, but shall not constitute grounds for any extension of the original suspension or expulsion. The final decision on removal shall be made by the chief administrator of the alternative school.
(d) Any student attending an alternative school shall continue to earn state education funds in the student's home school system and shall be counted for all school purposes by that system as if still in attendance there.
(e) A pupil who has been properly found to be eligible for special education and related services shall be placed and served in accordance with the laws and rules relating to special education.
(1) The state board of education, in its rules and regulations for the operation of alternative schools, shall require documentation of the reasons for a student attending an alternative school and provide safeguards to assure that no child with disabilities or other special student is arbitrarily placed in an alternative school. The state board of education, in its rules and regulations, shall require that all alternative school classrooms have working two-way communication systems making it possible for teachers or other employees to notify a principal, supervisor or other administrator that there is an emergency. Teachers and other employees shall be notified of emergency procedures prior to the beginning of classes for any school year.
(2) The state board of education shall provide a curriculum for alternative schools to ensure students receive specialized attention needed to maximize student success. Alternative schools shall offer alternative learning environments in which students are offered a variety of educational opportunities, such as learning at different rates of time or utilizing different, but successful, learning strategies, techniques and tools.
(g) Notwithstanding this section or other law to the contrary, local boards of education may establish evening alternative schools for students in grades six through twelve (6-12).
(1) LEAs establishing alternative schools or contracting for the operation of alternative schools shall develop and implement formal transition plans for the integration of students from regular schools to alternative schools and from alternative schools to regular schools. The plans shall be targeted to improve communication between regular and alternative school staff, provide professional development opportunities shared by regular school staff and alternative school staff, align curricula between regular schools and alternative schools, develop quality in-take procedures for students returning to regular school and provide student follow-up upon return to regular school.
(2) The state board of education shall adopt policies or guidelines to assist LEAs in developing transition plans.