École Robb RoadBuilding an understanding of the school-wide discipline process.
At Robb Road, we have…• School wide rules and interventions With a guidelines concerning what classroom teachers should handle versus what the office should handle.• Selective interventions For students who have difficulty following rules.• Focused actions For the most chronically and intensely at-risk students.
Robb Road’s approach to school-wide discipline.• There are a small number of positively stated rules and expectations. Do nothing dangerous or damaging to yourself or others. Obey the instructions of teachers and supervisors at all times.• Appropriate social behaviour is taught.• Rule violations are consistently and fairly enforced.• Positive reinforcement for appropriate social behaviour is common.
The primary objective ofdiscipline is to help childrenlearn from their mistakes.• “Consequences for misbehaviour will be applied in a fair and judicious manner and wherever possible the disciplinary action will be preventative and restorative.” Restitution Loss/limit or delay of access to school areas. Denial of interaction with other students (“time out”) In-school suspension Out of school suspension
Parental Involvement, Part I• “Parents shall, within the provisions of the school’s code of conduct, be informed of potential issues at the earliest time possible and be involved with students, in an age-appropriate manner, in seeking solutions at the earliest time practicable.” –Board policy 6020R1
Parental Involvement, Part II• The scope or severity of an incident may require us to advise other parties of serious breaches of the code of conduct. For example: Parents of the offender(s) and victim(s) School district officials, police and other agencies – as required by law or policy. Other parents – when deemed to be important to reassure members of the school community that school officials are aware of a serious situation or incident and are taking appropriate actions. -École Robb Road School Code of Conduct
Three common misconceptions:• Getting tough is enough. Much more is needed, including a proactive system for teaching and supporting appropriate behaviour.• Focusing on the difficult few will solve the problem. This is important, but it‟s just as important to build social competency of all students.• There is a quick fix. Sorry, but there are not shortcuts. A reasonable timeframe is 3-5 years.
… and three more:• There is one powerful “trick”. Sorry again. There is no single strategy for getting good discipline.• Someone already has the solution. Every school‟s needs are different. Plans must be tailored to individual schools.• More is better. The “Christmas tree” approach, loading one program on top of another, doesn‟t work. It‟s more effective to eliminate practices that are not working and carefully match new practices to a school.
Zero-tolerance policies• We have no such policy at Robb Road or in the district because… Such policies seriously hamper administrators‟ ability to deal flexibly and intelligently with discipline problems. For example • A first grader being disciplined for “sexual harassment” after smacking a classmate’s bottom on the playground. • The same punishment being meted out for the possession of a butter knife and possession of a switchblade. Research shows that zero-tolerance policies become the virtual woodshed of school discipline: they are solely punitive and lack any connection to learning and development.
Yes, but… Schools should never tolerate behaviour that disrupts, disrespects, threatens, or harms others. Bullying is not just „kids being kids‟. Smacking a classmate‟s bottom, even without sexual intent, is not appropriate playground behaviour. The sooner and more directly we address even small infractions with appropriate interventions, the better.
A final thought… The primary objective of any discipline policy should be to help children learn from their mistakes. “Discipline and punishment are not synonymous and we need to separate the two. If not, we simply will build more and bigger woodsheds, at a cost measured in wasted public dollars, missed learning opportunities, and, for some, the lost potential of children’s lives.” -Armistead, 2008