The following are the current Rapha School's Policies and Handbooks. Other policies may be adopted by The Rapha School from time to time and are effective at the time of adoption.
Community Code of Conduct Policy
E. Student Accommodations
F. Community Code of Conduct
K. Notification of Outcomes
L. Failure to Complete Sanctions
M. Appeal Review Procedures
O. Interpretation and Revision
The Student Support Liaison within The Rapha School is charged with administering a community conduct process that is based upon the mission, philosophy, and values of The Rapha School.
Student members of the community are expected to uphold and abide by certain community code of conduct. Each member of The Rapha School community bears responsibility for their own behavior.
The community code of conduct process is not intended to punish students. Sanctions and restorative measures are intended to help students bring their behavior into accord with our community expectations.
All allegations of Sexual Misconduct are adjudicated under the Sexual Misconduct Policy. Likewise, other distinct policies that address specific issues are adjudicated as it is stated in that policy. Such policies include but are not limited to the Alcohol and Other Drug Policy. Other policies may be adopted by The Rapha School from time to time and are effective at the time of adoption.
Please consult The Rapha School website at https://www.theraphaschool.com/policies-and-handbooks.html for a full list of applicable policies.
Students should be aware that the community code of conduct process is different from criminal and civil court proceedings. Procedures and rights in the community code of conduct process do not include the same protections of due process afforded by the courts.
The Director has authority over student discipline. The Director appoints the Student Support Liaison to oversee and manage the community code of conduct process. The Director may appoint administrative hearing officers and members of boards as deemed necessary to efficiently and effectively facilitate the community code of conduct process.
The Student Support Liaison (or designee) will assume responsibility for the investigation of an allegation of misconduct to determine if the complaint has merit.
Students at The Rapha School are provided a link to The Rapha School Community Code of Conduct Policy on The Rapha School website at the time of enrollment. Hard copies are available upon request from the Student Support Liaison. Students are responsible for having read and abiding by the provisions of the Community Code of Conduct Policy.
The Community Code of Conduct Policy and the community code of conduct process apply to the behavior of individual students.
The Rapha School retains jurisdiction under the Community Code of Conduct Policy over students who choose to take a leave of absence, withdraw, or have graduated for any misconduct that occurred prior to the leave, withdrawal, or graduation. If sanctioned, a hold may be placed on the student’s ability to reenroll or to obtain official transcripts and/or graduate. All sanctions must be satisfied prior to re-enrollment eligibility or reinstatement of the degree. In the event of a charge of serious misconduct allegedly committed while still enrolled but reported after the accused student has graduated, The Rapha School may invoke these procedures and, should the former student be found responsible, The Rapha School may revoke that student’s degree and block the release of transcripts.
The Community Code of Conduct Policy applies to behaviors that take place on the campus, at clinical sites, and may also apply off-campus when the Director or designee determines that the off-campus conduct affects a substantial Rapha School interest.
A substantial Rapha School interest is defined to include:
The Rapha School fully recognizes the right of all students to seek knowledge, debate, and freely express their ideas. Discourse and disagreement are fundamental components of any academic endeavor and students will not be subject to disciplinary action for their lawful expression of ideas. A student retains the rights, protection, guarantees, and responsibilities which are held by all citizens. The Rapha School community code of conduct system does not eclipse, in intention or application, the constitutional rights and guarantees of students.
The Community Code of Conduct Policy may be applied to conduct that occurs online, via email, or any other electronic medium. Students should also be aware that online postings such as blogs, web postings, chats, social networking sites, as well as media yet to be developed, are in the public sphere and are not private. These postings can subject a student to allegations of standards violations if evidence of policy violations is posted online. The Rapha School does not seek out this information but may act if and when such information is brought to the attention of The Rapha School officials.
There is no time limit on reporting violations of the Community Code of Conduct Policy; however, the longer someone waits to report an offense, the harder it becomes for The Rapha School officials to obtain information and witness statements and to make determinations regarding alleged violations.
The Rapha School email is The Rapha School’s primary means of communication with students. Students are responsible for all communication delivered to their Rapha School email address and to respond as required or requested.
E. Student Accommodations
Any student with a disability involved in the community code of conduct process has the right to request a reasonable accommodation to ensure their full and equal participation. The Student Support Liaison will coordinate appropriate services and accommodations as determined on an individual basis based upon appropriate documentation and consultation with the student.
F. Community Code of Conduct
The Rapha School considers the conduct described in the following subsections as inappropriate for The Rapha School community and in opposition to the core values set forth by The Rapha School. The Rapha School encourages community members to report to Rapha School officials all incidents that involve the conduct described below.
Drugs /Controlled Substances
Harmful Conduct and Harassment
G. Overview of the community code of conduct Process
This overview gives a general idea of how The Rapha School community code of conduct proceedings work, but it should be noted that not all situations are of the same severity or complexity. The procedures are flexible and are not the same in every situation, though consistency in similar situations is a priority. The student disciplinary process and all applicable timelines commence with written notice from the Student Support Liaison of a potential violation of The Rapha School rules and regulations.
Notice: Once an allegation is received from any source, The Rapha School may proceed with a preliminary investigation and/or may schedule an initial educational meeting/conference with the responding student to explain the community code of conduct process and gather information.
Evidence: Different types of information may be presented during an investigation or during a hearing. This information may include direct evidence, which is based on personal observation or experience. Evidence may be circumstantial, which is information that does not include an eyewitness to the actual event but does include enough information to lead a reasonable person to the conclusion that the individual did what he/she is alleged to have done. Evidence may include documents, which includes supportive writings or statements, reports, etc., that support or deny a fact at issue. Evidence may also be secondhand or "hearsay" evidence. While it is acceptable for the adjudicator to consider and hear relevant second-hand information, hearsay evidence may not be the only evidence used to establish responsibility in a case.
The Rapha School is not bound by formal rules of evidence; however, evidence shall be inherently reliable. Evidence or information that may not be admissible in a court of law may be admissible in a hearing or as part of an investigation. It is up to the adjudicator to decide what information is admissible as part of a hearing. It is up to the adjudicator to decide the credibility and relevance of information and the weight that they will assign to that information.
Standard of Proof: The standard of proof describes the level of proof that must be met to find a respondent responsible for a violation. The Rapha School uses the preponderance of the evidence (also known as “more likely than not”) as a standard for proof of whether a violation occurred. This standard is lower than the standard required in a criminal proceeding. The Rapha School resolution proceedings are conducted to consider the totality of all evidence available and from all relevant sources. There may be strong, definitive evidence presented to persuade the adjudicator that the respondent did or did not violate a section of this or other Rapha School policy. There may also be ambiguities and contradictions which require the adjudicator to decide whom they determine more credible. An individual is not considered to be “responsible” for any allegations until the completion of the process determines that it is more likely than not that the alleged violation of this policy occurred.
Burden of Proof: The burden of proof refers to who has the responsibility of showing a violation has occurred. It is always the responsibility of The Rapha School to satisfy the burden of proof. The respondent does not have the burden to prove that a violation did not occur. A respondent may decide not to share their side of the story or may decide not to participate in the hearing or an investigation. None of these decisions shifts the burden of proof away from The Rapha School and does not indicate responsibility nor will it result in increased sanctions if the respondent is found responsible for the accusations.
1. Incident Review Meeting
The Rapha School conducts a preliminary inquiry into the nature of the incident, complaint, or notice, the evidence available, and the parties and witnesses involved. When an Incident Review Meeting is held, the possible outcomes include:
If the finding is that the respondent is in violation, and the respondent accepts this finding, the administrator conducting the incident review meeting will then determine the sanction(s) for the misconduct, which the respondent may accept or reject. If accepted, the process ends.
If the respondent accepts the findings but rejects the sanction, the Student Support Liaison will conduct a sanction-only hearing, conducted by a hearing officer, which determines a sanction. The sanction is then subject to appeal (see Appeal Review Procedures on page 19 below). Once the appeal is decided, the process ends.
If the administrator conducting the incident review meeting determines that it is more likely than not that the respondent is in violation, and the respondent student rejects that finding in whole or in part, then it is considered a contested allegation and the process moves to a formal hearing.
2. Formal Hearing
In a contested allegation, a hearing may be held when there is reasonable cause to believe that a Rapha School Community Code of Conduct Policy provision has been violated. No complaint will be forwarded for a hearing unless there is reasonable cause to believe a Community Code of Conduct Policy provision may have been violated. Reasonable cause is defined as some credible information to support each element of the offense of the alleged Community Code of Conduct Policy provision, even if that information is merely a credible witness or a complainant’s statement. A complaint wholly unsupported by any credible information will not be forwarded for a hearing. A formal notice of the complaint will be issued, and a hearing will be held before a hearing officer, which is charged with adjudicating the matter. If the finding is that the respondent is not responsible, the process ends. Applicable appeal options are described in section M of this policy.
3. Review and Finalize Sanctions
If the student is found in violation of The Rapha School Community Code of Conduct Policy, sanctions will be determined by the hearing officer. The findings and sanctions will be communicated to the respondent. Applicable appeal options are described in section M of this policy.
4. Conflict Resolution Options
The Student Support Liaison has the discretion to refer a complaint for mediation or other forms of appropriate conflict resolution. All parties must agree to conflict resolution and to be bound by the decision with no review or appeal. Any unsuccessful conflict resolution may be forwarded for formal processing and hearing. The Student Support Liaison may also suggest that complaints that do not involve a violation of the Community Code of Conduct Policy be referred for mediation or other appropriate conflict resolution. The outcome of a mediation or other appropriate conflict resolution is binding and documented as a part of the student’s community code of conduct record.
5. Administrative Hearing Officers
Administrative Hearing Officers are chosen from administrators, staff members, and graduate students selected by the Student Support Liaison together with the Director.
H. Formal community code of conduct Process
The Rapha School is the convener of every action under this code and the formal process is described herein.
Individuals reporting violence being done against them, individuals offering assistance, and individuals reporting heinous behavior may be protected by Pennsylvania’s Medical Amnesty Policy, and/or the guidelines outlined under Alcohol and Drug Use Amnesty for Students in the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
2. Notice of Alleged Violation
Any member of The Rapha School community, visitor, or guest may allege a policy violation by any student for misconduct under this Code by submitting a report via email, phone, or in person at the contact information below:
17 Griffith Drive,
Home, PA 15747
Reports of conduct allegedly in violation of this policy may be received through other additional means as appropriate.
Notice may also be given to any member of The Rapha School. Additionally, administrators may act on notice of a potential violation regardless of whether a formal allegation is made or not. All allegations of misconduct should be submitted as soon as possible after the alleged offending event occurs. The Rapha School has the right to pursue an allegation or notice of misconduct on its own behalf and to serve as convener of the subsequent process.
3. Notice of Hearing
Once a determination is made that reasonable cause exists to refer a complaint for a hearing, a formal notice will be given to the respondent. Notice will be in writing and delivered via The Rapha School-issued email address. Other means of delivery may include delivery in person by the Student Support Liaison (or designee), delivery by mail to the local or permanent address of the student as indicated in official Rapha School records, or delivery by email to a non-Rapha School email address confirmed by the student as their personal email account. Once mailed, emailed, and/or received in-person, such notice will be presumptively delivered. The letter of notice will include the alleged violation and notification of where to locate The Rapha School Community Code of Conduct Policy and The Rapha School procedures for resolution of the complaint and direct the responding student to contact the Student Support Liaison to respond to the complaint. The letter of notice will also include a short summary of the allegations which supports the issuance of charges under the Community Code of Conduct Policy.
A meeting with the Student Support Liaison may be arranged to explain the nature of the complaint and the community code of conduct process. At this meeting, the respondent may indicate, either verbally or in writing, whether they admit to or deny the allegations of the complaint.
4. Hearing Procedures
a. Community Code of Conduct Hearing:
A hearing will be scheduled for any allegation with reasonable cause unable to be resolved through any informal process. In the event a hearing is scheduled, a respondent will be given a minimum of three calendar-days’ notice prior to appearing before the assigned adjudicator unless the student waives this notice.
The respondent may waive in writing their right to a hearing and accept one or more sanctions as determined by the adjudicator. The sanctions will reflect the severity of the current charges against the student as well as any previous disciplinary record.
b. General Guidelines for Community Code of Conduct Hearings
Guidelines used by hearing officers include:
c. Procedures for cases adjudicated by Hearing Officers
I. Interim Action
In a situation where it is determined that a continuation of the present circumstances presents a potential danger to the health, safety, or welfare to self, other students, or The Rapha School community, the Director or their designee may implement an interim action. The interim action will remain in effect pending final disposition of the case. Interim actions may include, but are not limited to, temporary removal from The Rapha School community. After the interim action is implemented, the following process will commence:
Sanctions are assigned to meet specific learning and developmental outcomes to assist students to understand the impact of their actions and to hold them accountable for their conduct. Sanctions are also assigned with the intent of improving upon a student’s success at The Rapha School by acquiring new skills and promoting growth in various dimensions of moral and ethical development. Any sanctions will be proportionate to the severity of the violation of the Community Code of Conduct Policy and to the cumulative behavioral history of the student.
Any assigned sanction may be stayed from implementation for a specified period as determined by the hearing officer. Any subsequent proven violation of Rapha School policy, rule, regulation, or law may cause the stay to be lifted and the assigned sanction implemented with immediate effect. The sanction will not be lifted until the date indicated by the hearing officer or the date upon which the student successfully completes all assigned sanctions, whichever comes last. A hearing officer may impose one or more sanctions from the sanctions listed below.
K. Notification of Outcomes
The outcome of a campus hearing is part of the educational record of the respondent and is protected from release under the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), except under certain conditions.
Pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, the Student Support Liaison may send written notice to the parents and/or legal guardians of a student under twenty-one years of age who is found to be responsible for violating any state or local laws pertaining to possession, consumption, or inappropriate sale of any alcoholic beverages or controlled substances.
Parents and/or legal guardians may be notified in cases where The Rapha School determines through the community code of conduct process that a student violated a policy that would constitute a “crime of violence” or non-forcible sex offense. FERPA defines “crimes of violence” to include arson, assault offenses (including stalking), burglary, criminal homicide, manslaughter by negligence, murder, non-negligent manslaughter, destruction/damage/vandalism of property, kidnapping/abduction, robbery, forcible sex offenses, and non-forcible sex offenses.
L. Failure to Complete Sanctions
All students, as members of The Rapha School community, are expected to comply with sanctions within the time frame specified by the Hearing Officer. Failure to follow through on sanctions by the date specified, whether by refusal, neglect, or any other reason, may result in additional charges.
M. Appeal Review Procedures
1. Grounds for Appeal:
Upon receiving notification of the outcome of a hearing, a respondent and complainant may appeal in writing for any of the following reasons:
2. Appeal Procedures:
The individual submitting the appeal must present a written request that specifically articulates one or more reasons for appeal from the grounds listed above to the Student Support Liaison within five (5) calendar days of notification of the hearing decision. The five (5) day requirement may be waived where extenuating circumstances prevail and only if the grounds for appeal are met. The individual submitting the appeal must include in the written appeal the reason for the appeal and all the supporting facts. Appeals cannot be submitted by a third party on behalf of the respondent or the complainant. An appeal is not a rehearing of the matter and will not have merit simply because the person submitting the appeal disagrees with the outcome.
Once the appeal has been received, the Student Support Liaison will conduct an initial review to determine if the appeal request meets the limited grounds and is timely.
If the appeal is denied on the grounds of merit, The Student Support Liaison will draft a response memorandum to the appellant based on the determination that the request will be granted or denied and why. If the appeal is not timely or substantively eligible, the original finding and sanction will stand and the decision is final.
If the appeal has merit and is timely, the appeal will be forwarded to the Director or designee for review.
In cases that do not involve interim action, once an appeal is filed all sanctions are placed on hold with the exception of any sanction prohibiting contact with another individual.
The Director may assign an Appeal Review Officer to hear the appeal.
Appeals of expulsion must be submitted to the Director. The Director will respond to a respondent in writing regarding the appeal of an expulsion decision.
If the appeal is granted, the Appeal Review Officer determines whether to revise the sanctions or to remand it for a new hearing, either to the original decision-maker or a newly assigned decision-maker. Where the original decision-maker may be unduly biased by a procedural or substantive error, a new decision-maker will be constituted to reconsider the matter, which can, in turn, be appealed once. Full re-hearings by the Appeal Review Officer are not permitted. The Appeal Review Officer must limit its review to the challenges presented.
On reconsideration, the new or original decision-maker may affirm or change the findings and/or sanctions of the original hearing according to the permissible grounds. Procedural errors should be corrected, new evidence should be considered, and sanctions should be proportionate to the severity of the violation and the student’s cumulative record.
All decisions of the Appeal Review Officer should be made within ten (10) calendar days of submission. If this timeline is not obtainable, it may be further delayed with the approval of the Director. Decisions of the Appeal Review Officer are final, as are any upheld decisions made by the original hearing as the result of reconsideration consistent with instructions from the Appeal Review Officer.
All parties will be timely informed of the status of requests for appeal, the status of the appeal consideration, and the results of the appeal decision. This response usually occurs within 10 calendar days of the appeal being filed.
3. The Appeal Review Officer
The Appeal Review Officer is selected with the following requirements to serve:
The presumptive stance of The Rapha School is that all decisions made and sanctions imposed by the original decision-maker are to be stayed during the appellate process except in cases where interim action were implemented.
Appeals are not an opportunity for appeal board members to substitute their judgment for that of the original decision-maker merely because they disagree with the finding and/or sanctions. Appeal decisions are to be deferential to the original decision-maker, making changes to the sanction only if there is a compelling justification to do so.
N. Disciplinary Records
The Student Support Liaison will maintain student records which contain all necessary and appropriate documents related to community code of conduct matters. Material deemed unnecessary may be discarded at any time.
Student records will be maintained for seven years in accordance with The Rapha School record policy. Other circumstances outside the community code of conduct process may require retention of the record for a longer period. Cases resulting in expulsion may be retained for a longer period.
The Rapha School will not release a student's records without the written consent of the student. The only exceptions to this guideline are those outlined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. The Student Support Liaison cannot guarantee confidentiality but will maintain a student’s privacy to the greatest extent possible.
O. Interpretation and Revision
Procedural rules for the administration of hearings will be developed that are consistent with provisions of the Community Code of Conduct Policy. A material deviation from these rules will, generally, only be made as necessary and may include reasonable notice to the parties involved either by posting online and/or in the form of written communication. Procedures may vary with notice upon determining that changes to law or regulation require policy or procedural alterations not reflected in this Code. Minor modifications to a procedure that do not materially jeopardize the fairness owed to any party may be made at the discretion of the Student Support Liaison as appropriate. Any question of interpretation of the Community Code of Conduct Policy will be referred to the Director, whose interpretation is final.
The Community Code of Conduct Policy and related Policies and Procedures shall be reviewed at least every three years. The Community Code of Conduct Policy and related Policies and Procedures shall be updated as necessary to comply with applicable law, policy, or regulation. The review process shall be coordinated by the Director or designee.
Revision History 06/2021