Wauwatosa School Board Group Photo

On Monday, April 10, 2023, the Wauwatosa Board of Education unanimously approved a recommendation brought forth by the Board’s Policy Committee to approve 17 new and updated School Board policies - ten of which are related to student behavior and discipline. The policies, which fall within the 3000, 4000, 5000, and 8000 series, provide the Board and District administrators with clear and consistent guidance and expectations, clearly articulate all stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities related to school behavior, and outline a procedure that will increase efficiencies related to expulsion proceedings. 


Revised policies include: 

  • Policy 3362.01 - Threatening Behavior Toward a Staff Member. The goal of this update is to help staff members feel safer, resulting in a more psychologically and physically safe work environment. The policy further supports legal action that may need to be taken by the District to keep staff members safe. 

  • Policy 5500 - Student Code of Classroom Conduct. This policy ensures that school and district leaders are consistently applying school discipline and expectations. It will ensure that handbooks are updated and clarity is provided to teachers and students related to appropriate classroom behavior. 

  • Policy 5516 - Student Hazing. This policy ensures that district and school leaders have clear guidance and requirements for responding to hazing and supporting victims. Further, it will ensure consistency by ensuring administrator responses and student consequences are appropriate, timely, and effective. 

  • Policy 5517 - Student Anti-Harassment. This policy ensures clear guidance for administrators when responding to harassment allegations. The policy ensures that legal, clear and consistent procedures are in place, and that clarity exists related to investigations of and responses to harassment. 

  • Policy 5517.01 - Bullying. This policy ensures that administrators have clear guidance related to responding to allegations of bullying and procedures for complaints. It articulates common language for training administrators and provides clear operating definitions. 


New policies include: 

  • Policy 5610 - Suspension and Expulsion. This policy will ensure that clear guidance exists related to suspensions and expulsions at the Board level. The policy ensures that proper mechanisms and procedures are in place to respond to violent and unsafe behavior, and will assist school administrators in consistently applying suspensions and recommending expulsions. 

  • Policy 5601 - Student Discipline. This policy provides clarity related to the roles, interventions, supports and punitive discipline approaches used to support students’ growth and curb misbehavior. The policy supports the Disciplinary Framework and defines proactive and preventative measures to follow while emphasizing the importance of intervention and support in addition to punitive discipline. 

  • Policy 5605 - Suspension/Expulsion of Students with Disabilities. This policy ensures clear guidance for administrators and the special education community for applying discipline to students with disabilities. And, importantly, the policy ensures compliance with state and federal laws. 

  • Policy 5610.01 - Alternative Expulsion Hearing Procedure. This policy provides a more efficient approach to executing expulsion hearings, using an independent hearing panel, or the designation of three (3) School Board members to serve as the hearing panel, designated each quarter, each semester, or each year. Following the panel’s decision, the full Board will have the opportunity to confirm, reverse or modify the expulsion order submitted by the hearing panel. 

  • Policy 8462.01 - Threats of Violence. This policy ensures that the School Board, District administrators and school administrators are appropriately and consistently complying with Act 143. Further, it ensures a timely and appropriate response to the threat. 


“Our team is committed to ensuring the safety of all staff and students when they are in our schools. We owe it to them to provide a safe environment in which every individual can reach their full potential,” stated Superintendent Dr. Demond Means. “The governance direction provided by the School Board will greatly impact our operations and change the trajectory of violence and misbehavior in our schools. The students of the Wauwatosa School District deserve - and the families expect that we provide each student with - an exceptional educational experience. The policies enacted will allow staff at all levels to continue to prioritize students while appropriately addressing individuals who chose to not abide by our rules and expectations.” 


To provide additional clarity and transparency to the community, the District has developed an impact chart that clearly articulates the differences the policy will make in curbing violence in the Wauwatosa School District and the ways in which the policies will change operations within the District.