The meeting began with an update regarding the salary and health care proposals that will be presented to the Board of Education. Questions and thoughts were shared. Our inclusion exercise was to share where we see evidence of the Guiding Principals in practice in our school environments. Some schools feel they are making progress in school/family partnerships, others feel restorative practices and progressive discipline models are more prevalent. On the “delta” side, although we are farther away from “Zero Tolerance”, our replacement practices are not strong. Dr. Cheatham then reviewed thoughts expressed at the March meeting regarding bullying.
Our topic of focus was 3rd quarter behavior data. After reviewing a summary, prominent issues included an increase in OSS in middle school and a decrease in K4 to 5th OSS numbers. There was not a steady decrease in middle school OSS from 2013-14 to 2016-17. Data revealed that in February 2017, OSS numbers in middle schools were lower than 3rd quarter and the group was asked what might have happened to raise those numbers. Possible causes were discussed, including “spring fever”, inconsistent student/staff relationships throughout the district, unclear adult supervision expectations in the areas with high numbers of incidents (hall, playground), inability to support logical consequences and restorative practices due to limitations in time and personnel, and the current political atmosphere.
The final small group question for discussion: What implications should we consider that were not reported, and what long term implications should we consider for next year? A few of the suggestions included thinking about teacher tolerance/patience in 3rd quarter and possible causes such as lack of success with interventions/strategies, frustration with unsupported consequences, lack of community feeling in large schools, inability to meet every child’s needs or programming, lack of time to report interventions in detail or to find root causes, and having the ability to look at one’s own classroom behavior data in order to be more knowledgeable and proactive.
Our last meeting for the school year will be Wednesday, May 17, 2017 – location to be announced.