Creating an Effective School-wide System of Discipline and Student Support

Middle and high school educators face big challenges when it comes to creating a discipline and student support system that feels fair and supportive to students and parents, effective to faculty, and enforceable to administrators. Creating an Effective School-wide System of Discipline and Student Support helps schools meet these challenges by aligning their core values with schoolwide expectations, rules and procedures, accountable consequences, and behavioral supports and interventions. As a result of this process, schools will establish a safe and respectful climate, create more productive classroom learning environments, and promote greater student responsibility and accountability. This data-driven approach to reviewing and revising disciplinary and student support policies and practices gives school teams the tools to: • • • • Assess the strengths, weaknesses, and effectiveness of the current discipline and student support system using the school’s baseline data. Identify core values and desired outcomes to drive the discipline/student support system. Align schoolwide disciplinary practices with principles of prevention, youth development, and PBIS, a three tiered model of positive behavioral supports and interventions. Develop a revised set of policies and practices that include: A streamlined, easy to use referral system that eliminates “bad” referrals; A clear set of adult and student behavioral expectations and consequences; A set of schoolwide initiatives that promote and recognize positive student behaviors and strengthen efforts to create a positive peer culture; Development of discipline/student support team that manages a scaffolded set of supports and interventions for students with serious behavior problems; More effective teacher interventions at the first sign of student problems; More effective detention and in-school and out-of-school suspension policies and reentry protocols.

How can this review and revision process help my school?
The resulting policies and practices support greater student accountability and strengthen students’ self-discipline, habits of learning, personal efficacy, and problem solving skills. In addition to promoting consensus on key rules and procedures, this program will allow teachers to develop more effective responses to unwanted behaviors in the classroom. Implementation of revised policies and practices will enable your school to reduce classroom disciplinary referrals, late arrival and tardies during the school day, and suspensions for repeat offenders.

What are the steps for implementing this review and revision process?
Schools take part in a five-stage process over a 6 to 12 month period that includes between 10 and 20 on-site days of consultation, coaching, and training. • Stage One: An on-site visit to conduct sessions with schoolwide discipline/student support team and the principal to review baseline data and identify concerns and outcomes that will drive the school’s thinking and planning and a series of focus group interviews with staff, students, and parents. ESR will provide a summary analysis of collected data. • • • Stage Two: An on-site visit with the principal and discipline/student support team to discuss the data summary and develop a draft of revised policies and practices. Stage Three: An on-site visit to present a draft of new policies and practices to the whole faculty and complete final revisions around key changes. Stage Four: An extended on-site visit to provide professional development that will enable the faculty to implement new policies and practices; to consult with the discipline/student support team who are charged with implementing scaffolded supports and interventions for students with chronic unwanted behaviors; and to train staff who are charged with implementing in-school and out-of-school suspension and re-entry protocols. • Stage Five: An on-site visit to observe and assess implementation of new policies and practices; to troubleshoot any specific areas of concern with the discipline/student support team; and to develop a plan for any additional training and technical assistance as needed. ESR will provide ongoing technical support throughout the process. All participants will receive the book Getting Classroom Management RIGHT, tools for assessment and data collection, and a schoolwide climate and culture planning and implementation guide. What if my school is experiencing serious problems that threaten the safety of staff and students and the sense of order and respect in the building? ESR has developed an intervention protocol for schools in trouble that require an immediate set of action steps to reestablish a safe, respectful, and orderly learning environment. Once order is reestablished and threats are eliminated, schools can proceed through the aforementioned process.

Why work with ESR?
Since the early 1980s, ESR has been a voice for change in America’s education system—a voice that says we must create the safe, respectful, and productive learning environments that all young people deserve. We have a proven track record of offering practical know-how, consultation, training, coaching, and resources through a wide variety of programming. Most importantly, our consultants are a group of seasoned teachers and administrators who bring extensive experience to implementing effective schoolwide reforms and school climate and culture initiatives. To find out how Creating an Effective School-wide System of Discipline and Student Support can serve your school or district, call us today toll free at


and we’ll show you how, together, we can make a difference.

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