Classroom Management


Com Care

COM Care is an early intervention system to assist faculty and staff in supporting students experiencing issues at the College. Faculty are often the first point of contact for students and the trust that is built there is essential. Students who feel comfortable and cared for by their faculty are more likely to be open about what, if anything, may be affecting their academic performance.

While faculty are encouraged to be the first point of contact to provide referrals and resources should a student exhibit an issue in class, there is a team approach at COM should additional support be needed. Submitting a report via COM Care prompts attempts to meet with a student to get them back on track for success.  We encourage you to report early and in a timely manner should a concern arise – all issues are taken seriously. And if a concern persists after you have reported, please report again or contact us at the phone numbers below.

COM’s Crisis Assessment Response Education (CARE) Team coordinates response when a report is submitted. The CARE Team consists of Matt Kent, Student Conduct Officer; Danila Musante, psychologist; Jeff Marozick, Chief of Police; Ryan Byrne, who oversees Health Services, Emy Bagtas, Associate Director of Enrollment Services; Stormy Miller, Director of Student Accessibility Services; academic counselors; academic deans; and is led by Sadika Sulaiman Hara, the Director of Student Activities and Advocacy.

The mission and purpose of the CARE Team is:

The College of Marin CARE Team is committed to fostering a safe campus community by promoting and maintaining the safety and well-being of students, staff, and faculty through positive, proactive, and practical risk assessment and intervention. The CARE Team addresses incidents as they arise through a collaborative and collective approach to ultimately manage and/or resolve concerns and potential safety issues on campus.

The CARE Team meets on a weekly basis to review CARE reports and develop intervention plans for students who may need additional support for either or both behavior and/academic concerns. We also look at larger trends in order to identify educational and preventative measures.

Please do not hesitate to contact Sadika Sulaiman Hara at x7375 or Matt Kent, Student Conduct Officer, at x7502, should you have any questions or want to discuss a specific situation. 


How to submit a COM CARE Report

COM CARE is located in your MyCOM portal under the quick links bar, or in the “Applications” tab.

 

An online "Public Care Report" will open.  You will need to provide your name and contact information and choose as to whether you are faculty, staff or a student and then talk about the individual about whom you are making the report.  Below that are two very important choices. If you say yes to one or the other or both, a list of options will appear.  

If you choose "Academic Concern", the following options will appear as a checklist:
  • Routinely late to class - (despite my efforts to curtail this behavior)
  • Absent from class - (Despite my effort to reach out to the student about the importance of regular attendance)
  • Poor performance on exam(s) - (Indicating this course may be too advanced for this student)
  • Poor performance on assignment(s) - (Indicating this course may be too advanced for this student)
  • Missing assignment(s) - (Despite my effort to reach out to the student about the importance of submitting assigned work)
  • Lack of college-ready behaviors, such as effective note taking, time management, motivation, dedication, educational goals, etc. - (Despite my efforts to refer the student to campus resources)
  • Disruptive behavior, such as speaking without being called upon, rudeness, profanity, etc. - ( despite my efforts to curtail this behavior)
  • Concerning behavior (such as referencing depression, suicidal thoughts, other life trauma, anger, etc.), either in assignments or during class
If you choose "Behavioral Concern", the following possible options will appear as a checklist:
  • Academic Integrity - Such as cheating or plagiarism   
  • Bullying - Any willful action taken or situation created which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health of another    
  • Concerning behavior, either in assignments or during class - This may include signs of depression, a focus on violent topics, or any other indicators that the student may have issues that are not being dealt with effectively         
  • Disruptive Behavior - This may include speaking without being called on, making inappropriate remarks or remarks at inappropriate times, use of vulgarity, use of cell phone or other technology outside of boundaries established in the syllabus, etc.           
  • Harassment - This may include engaging in persistent, unwanted behavior, in words or actions, with another class member or the instructor  
  • Other - Please describe below
  • Social/Adjustment Issues - This may include failure to adhere to common social norms/boundaries, isolation from classmates, etc.           
  • Substance Use/Abuse - Signs of substance use may include smell of alcohol on breath, slurring of words, erratic behavior/attendance, discussion of substance use, possession of substances, etc.        
  • Suicidal/Homicidal Ideation - Indications, whether through words or actions, that the student may cause harm to self or others  
  • Violence/Threat of Harm - This may include yelling, displays of anger, aggressive body language, or actual physical contact with others  
  • Weapons - Discussion about or actual possession of firearm, knife, or other item that is commonly understood to be a weapon, or use of any item as a weapon  

You will be able to choose one or more of these options. If the problem is not included in these, there will be an "other" box in which you can describe something else. You will need to fill out a description of your concerns and any specific incidents as well as to describe any steps or actions you have already taken (See Progressive Discipline section below). Please rate your level of concern (mild/moderate or severe) as well as to indicate one of the three COM Next Steps you would like done with the report:  

  • COM Next Steps Please consult with me before contacting the involved individual(s).
  • COM Next Steps Please do not take action/document incident only.
  • COM Next Steps Please proceed with intervention.

While the Care Team will definitely follow your requests and look into the situation, due to FERPA rules, they will not get back to you with any explanation.


Progressive Discipline with Disruptive Students

Every so often you will have disruptive students in your class.  Here are some helpful tips on how to handle them, what your role is as the classroom teacher and classroom manager, and when administration can step in to help you.

  1. Disruptive behavior in the classroom is seldom a black and white matter.  Picture it as a continuum with mild disruption that could easily be handled with minimal classroom management approach on the one end and totally disruptive behavior that has to be dealt with immediately through removal from class on the other end. There is a lot of gray area or middle ground here that calls upon the judgment and people skills of the instructor.  Subjectivity can also come into play:  Sometimes what one instructor will tolerate, another may not.
  2. Mild disruption in the classroom calls for mild action on the part of the instructor, and extreme disruption calls for extreme action on the part of the instructor.  That goes without saying.
  3. When the not so severe disruption first occurs, students should be given verbal warning, preferably privately, but if warranted, in the presence of the class where that behavior occurred.  Persistence of the disruptive behavior requires more serious discipline, including written warning to the effect that if the behavior persists, you will have to ask him/her to leave the class.  This is the concept of progress discipline.  It is not advisable to say or do nothing to the student about the continual disruption, and then lower the boom and remove the student.  Deliberations in petitions and legal challenges often raise the question, “Have you told the student that his behavior is unacceptable?” or “Have you warned the student that further disruption will have serious consequences?”
  4. When this disruptive behavior persists after verbal or written warnings, or if there is an extreme disruption, even without a history of disruption (e.g. student yelling at the instructor in front of the class and would not desist), the instructor can remove the student for up to two class meetings including that class.  For example, the instructor can say, “I would like you to leave.  You are disrupting the class.”  If the student ignores your direction, you can say, “If you don’t leave on your own, I will have to have you removed.”  Usually that will work, but if that doesn’t, then calling the campus police is appropriate.
  5. The more severe the discipline, the more due process rights the student will have.  For instructor-initiated removal up to two class meetings, the instructor should document the incident and send it to his Chair and Dean.  Documentation should be factual, descriptive of what you saw or what happened, use behavioral terms, and not use quasi-diagnostic or speculative language.  One example:  “He yelled for 5 minutes and refused to sit down when I asked him to,” is documented behavior and an acceptable form of documentation.  Another example: “He yelled for 5 minutes because I think he has psychological problems,” contains unwarranted speculation.  We are not qualified to make that statement because the second half of that statement may or may not be true.
  6. Any longer suspension—such as “I don’t want you in my class at all” requires administrative action by Ed Code.  Discuss with your Dean beforehand who will in turn notify the Vice President of Student Services or his/her designee who is responsible for student discipline.

Important: What constitutes unacceptable behavior is listed in the Catalog under Student Conduct. The language is pretty standard, taken from the California Ed Code.  Please familiarize yourself with that section. The trickier part of student discipline is often the behavior in the gray area of the continuum where it is harder to discern whether it calls for classroom management or student discipline.  Feel free to consult with the Vice President of Student Services if you have questions.

(Nick Chang - 2008)   


Student Standards of Conduct and Due Process

The Standards of Conduct Policy identifies potential disciplinary actions that may be taken for violations of the standards of conduct described in this policy, including but not limited to the removal, suspension or expulsion of a student.

Board Policy 5500 - Standards of Conduct

The purpose of this procedure is to provide a prompt and equitable means to address violations of the Standards of Conduct (BP 5500 Standards of Conduct) in accordance with students’ rights to due process and free expression as protected by state and federal laws and regulations.

Administrative Procedure 5520 Student Discipline and Due Process


Prohibition of Harassment Policy

All members of the College community share the responsibility to participate in an environment that is free of any forms of harassment.

The Harassment Policy of the College specifically identifies four forms of harassment: verbal, physical, visual, and sexual (5.0004). It is the policy of the Board to prohibit harassment of an employee, applicant or student by a District employee on the basis of race, religious creed, color, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status, sexual orientation, sex or age.

In the case of any form of harassment you should report the incident immediately and directly to the appropriate Dean. Harassment Grievances can be filed based upon Section 504 and Title IX. Contact either the Affirmative Action Officer, Executive Dean of Human Resources and Labor Relations, or the 504 Coordinator for further information.

Administrative Procedure 3430 Prohibition of Harassment


Final Grade Challenge

The instructor of the course shall determine the grade to be awarded to each student. The determination of the student's grade by the instructor is final in the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency.

Students may obtain a change to a final course grade only when the student can provide proof that the final course grade reflects mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency.

Administrative Procedure -  4231 - Grade Changes


Student Complaints

Non-criminal complaints are referred to the dean, manager, or supervisor of the area involved. Non-criminal complaints are:

  • Inappropriate behavior of faculty, staff, and students;
  • Physical conditions on campus; and
  • Assignments: A student may file a complaint if he or she believes a faculty member has given the student an assignment that is unreasonable or unsafe, e.g., an assignment that subjects a student to unreasonable demands or requirements, or to unsafe conditions.

The process for such a complaint begins with an attempt by the parties involved to resolve the complaint informally. If the complaint is not resolved at a lower level there are a series of formal steps leading to a final determination by the Board of Trustees of the College.

The procedures and guidelines on the filing of an student complaint are available from the Vice President of Student Services, or his/her designee.

Administrative Procedure – 5530 Student Grievances


Campus Police

Emergencies, physical threats and dangerous conditions should be referred to the Campus Police.

EMERGENCIES: 911

Police Dispatch:(415) 485-9696

Campus Police (Kentfield): (4150 485-9455;  VS 1

Campus Police (IVC): (415) 457-8811, ext. 8154;   BLDG 11, ROOM 106


Types of Records and Locations

The Office of Admissions and Records will maintain documents completed by the student, such as applications, petitions and Advanced Placement and CLEP scores for the period of time required by law. These records, as well as a permanent record for all academic work completed at the College, are maintained by the Dean of Enrollment Services in the Office of Admissions and Records. Students may obtain transcripts of their College of Marin permanent academic record by submitting a Transcript Request through the MyCOM Portal. 

Student Rights Related to Academic Records


A Student's Right to Privacy

Occasionally, the College of Marin receives requests from various agencies seeking directory information on our students. These agencies can be public, private or governmental in origin, e.g., scholarship search companies, public or private colleges and universities, U.S. Military (Department of Defense), and others.

Please refer all such requests to Admissions and Records.

Student's Right to Privacy and FERPA