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Divisions > Student, Family, and School Support > Student Services and Alternative Programs
Code of Conduct/Student Discipline

The Maryland Guidelines for a State Code of Discipline
July 2014

The Maryland State Board of Education has challenged itself and local school systems throughout the state to create a world class education system that prepares all of Maryland’s students for college and career success in the 21st Century.  To realize this challenge, we must create schools that both are welcoming and academically rigorous, so that students come to school every day, and are provided the educational and emotional tools they need to succeed. 

The Guidelines for a State Code of Conduct are being revised in 2013 by a working group of stakeholders and district representatives from across Maryland.  Some stakeholders represent Maryland teachers, advocacy organizations, professional associations, and school staff.  The workgroup meets monthly. The revision was part of a statewide effort to reform school discipline so that all policies and practices related to student conduct foster and teach appropriate behavior, strive to create a positive school climate, and keep students in school so that they may graduate college and career ready.

The purpose of these guidelines is to provide a framework for Maryland school districts to use in establishing local district codes of conduct and in developing new discipline-related policies.  These guidelines include behavioral expectations for all members of the school community who have a direct impact on creating healthy teaching and learning environments and on promoting student success.  They also provide: suggested prevention, intervention, restorative, and incentive-based strategies to respond to student misconduct; other factors for local districts to consider in revising their policies; and detailed explanations of specific behaviors that are not permitted.

The guidelines were written in accordance with the policies of the Maryland State Board of Education, including its July 2012 report entitled “School Discipline and Academic Success: Related Parts of Maryland’s Education Reform,” and Maryland regulations and law, including § 7-306 of the Education Article, which charges the State Board of Education with establishing guidelines that define a state code of conduct.

As a kickoff to the work of the Code of Conduct and Best Practices workgroups, MSDE, in collaboration with the Open Society Institute and Advancement Project hosted the “Courageous Conversations” conference at Turf Valley on December 14, 2012. 

At this one of a kind conference over 250 representatives from local school systems and community stakeholders engaged in the beginning conversations about discipline in Maryland, Data in their local school system, and issues of disproportionality in Maryland.

National speakers- Dr. Pedro Nougera of New York University, Judith Brown-Dianis, Esq. the Advancement Project, and Michael Thompson of the Council of State Governments delivered presentations about discipline across the country and specifically Maryland. 


Maryland Student Code of Conduct Work Group Wiki 
How to Comment on the COC Working Draft

Our Own Backyard: Maryland’s Reality
Judith Browne Dianis
Advancement Project
“Courageous Conversations about Discipline:
Creating a Positive School Climate for All”
December 14, 201

The School Discipline Consensus Project

Improving Students’ Academic Outcomes and Reducing Juvenile Justice Involvement
Michael Thompson, Director
Council of State Governments, Justice Center
December 14, 2012

Contact Information
, Specialist, School Completion and Alternative Programs
Student Services and Alternative Programs
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone:  410-767-0305
Fax:  410-333-8148
 Student Discipline
Bullet New! The Maryland Guidelines for a State Code of Discipline
July 2014
Maryland Student Code of Conduct Work Group Wiki
Our Own Backyard: Maryland’s Reality
The School Discipline Consensus Project
School Discipline Regulation Workgroup
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