Students are sent to safe schools through three methods:

Expulsion—following an expulsion hearing.

Emergency referral—to quickly transfer students who are considered a danger to themselves or others because of extremely aggressive behavior, such as bringing a gun or injuring someone.

Principal referral—because of repeated disciplinary incidents that may not be expellable offenses.

The criteria for a principal referral is as follows:

A student has been suspended for 15 or more days for acts of misconduct in Group Five of the CPS’ Uniform Disciplinary Code, which includes aggravated assault, burglary and gang activity.


A student has been suspended for 20 or more days for acts of misconduct in Groups Five or Four, which includes vandalism, theft and the possession of pagers, cellular phones or other prohibited electronic devices.


A student has been suspended for 25 or more days for violations in Groups Five, Four or Three, which includes fights between two people that result in no injuries; obscene language, gestures or sexual harassment; and “any behavior that is seriously disruptive.”

The discipline violations must have occurred within one school year.

If a student receives special education services, a multi-disciplinary conference must be held to confirm that the problematic behavior is not related to his disability. If the student is referred to a safe school, his Individual Education Plan must be amended to show the placement is appropriate.

Students are sent to an alternative school for a minimum of 15 weeks to a maximum of two school years.

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