EDUCATING ADULT STUDENTS
The Smithfield School Committee has determined that students who are intent on obtaining an education in the Smithfield Public Schools must attend school regularly and not be disruptive of the education environment.
- Education is the very foundation of good citizenship.
- The Smithfield School Department has determined that in order to educate students properly, their voluntary participation in an educational environment requires that students participate consistently and without disciplinary infractions of school regulations.
- It has also been determined that even though state law mandates educating students between ages 6 and 16, certain additional responsibilities accrue to adult students to abide by school regulations.
- Violations of certain regulations by adult students may be treated as a criminal act, whereas for minors it would be treated as a delinquency in the Juvenile Court.
- The School Committee has determined that in order to preserve the educational atmosphere, adult students must adhere to additional educational requirements.
This policy is designed to achieve a consistent policy on eligibility for school attendance by students over age eighteen (18).
Under state education law, school committees have the discretion to determine eligibility for attendance for students who have reached adult status; i.e., eighteen (18) years of age. The following provisions are designed to be both reasonable and fair and permit attendance in the district’s schools when such attendance is not contrary to the welfare of students who have not yet attained adult status. This policy does not apply to persons over age eighteen (18) but under age twenty-one (21) who are eligible to receive special education in accordance with 20 USC § 1400 et seq. and R.I.G.L. § 16-24-1. Adult students remain subject to the Student Code of Conduct and laws governing residency for school purposes.
- Smithfield students who attain the age of eighteen (18) in the course of their continuous attendance at Smithfield High School, or other public program of secondary education, shall not be disqualified from continuing in attendance and completing the requirements for their high school diplomas by virtue of having attained the age of eighteen (18) or having achieved adult status. Such students’ continued eligibility to remain in attendance in high school shall not be affected by their entitlement to attend a GED program or program of adult education, or other program of postsecondary education.
- Resident students who request to enroll in Smithfield High School and who have already attained the age of eighteen (18), and who have been continuously in attendance in a high school or an equivalent program of secondary education until that point in time, either in Rhode Island or outside of the state, shall be permitted to enroll and complete the credits necessary to receive their high school diplomas, if they are otherwise eligible to attend school in the district.
- Resident students who request to enroll in Smithfield High School and who have already attained age eighteen (18) and who have not been in continuous attendance in high school shall not be automatically disqualified from attendance because of their age or adult status, but shall be considered for admission based on the following factors:
-length of time out of school, and reasons for non-attendance
-grade level and age at projected date of graduation
-past disciplinary and attendance history
-anticipated entry into a program of postsecondary education, military and service or other program for which the GED may not be acceptable.
-eligibility for educational services under another agency of government, i.e., Department of Corrections, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, etc.
- In situations in which an adult student is not enrolled in high school, he/she shall be provided with information on alternative educational programs appropriate to meet his/her needs and educational goals.
- It is the intention of the School Committee that this policy be implemented by the Superintendent. Should an adult student be denied admission to the Smithfield Public Schools pursuant to this policy, he or she may appeal the decision of the Superintendent to the School Committee.
- There will be special consideration for continued eligibility of adult students to attend the Smithfield High School:
a. Adult students who fail to graduate in the usual four years may not enroll for a fifth year of high school without specific and individual permission of the Superintendent.
b. Adult students who have maintained a poor attendance record with absences in excess of ten percent (10%) of the number of days for any school year, and these absences are without legitimate cause, the Superintendent shall have the authorization to begin the process for expelling the student from the school system.
c. Adult students who are disruptive to the school environment or who cause any infraction that results in a suspension of ten (10) or more days in a school year cumulatively shall be subject to expulsion from the school system by the Superintendent.
d. Prior to any action on the part of the Superintendent, pursuant to this section, the student shall be notified of the pending action with a right to a hearing before the School Committee.
ADOPTED: November 15, 1999
REVISED: March 15, 2004