August 15, 2017
BREVARD COUNTY, FLA. – A new district-wide discipline plan is set to start the school year off with consistent and positive behavior management.
Brevard Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Desmond Blackburn’s 2015 listening and learning tour set the stage for the plan’s development. Based on community input and suspension data, he recognized a vital need for a fair and consistent district-wide discipline plan.
The plan gives principals a range of clearly defined options for nearly every situation. It has five levels of behaviors with corresponding corrective strategies for administrators to choose from. It is not a zero-tolerance policy or a relaxing of standards. Teachers will still control their classroom management policies, however. The plan applies to situations when a student’s actions require administrative intervention.
“The plan is not about eliminating discipline referrals or suspensions, but is about being thoughtful and consistent with our responses to student behaviors,” said Jeanette Ransom, Students at Risk Coordinator.
The plan utilizes corrective strategies that deal with the root cause of behaviors and meet students’ social-emotional needs. Some of the strategies administrators will use are home visits, peer mediation and service work. If other consequences are necessary, they will still assign actions such as detention and suspension.
Some examples of levels and corrective strategies include:
- Level 1: Relatively minor disruptions such as horseplay and cheating with results such as detention, a home visit or service work.
- Level 2: Behaviors that significantly interfere with learning and student well-being such as leaving campus without permission or possessing tobacco might lead to mentoring or loss of privileges as corrective strategies.
- Level 3: These are more serious disruptions and threats to health, safety and well-being like bullying and fighting, and may prompt an in-school suspension.
- Level 4: Unacceptable incidents at this level may cause damage to property and endanger students such as vandalism, drug use or robbery. Examples of corrective strategies include out-of-school suspension or alternative placement.
- Level 5: These are the most serious behaviors that can endanger students or cause significant property damage. Some of these actions are bomb threats, battery and weapon possession and could prompt actions such as expulsion and being reported to law enforcement.
To create the most effective plan, BPS conducted extensive research, examined successful plans across the country and worked with many community groups.
“The new discipline plan is the result of a tremendous amount of collaboration with school administrators, teachers, students, parents and community members. The roll-out of the plan in July to all school administrators was well-received,” said Melissa Catechis, Students at Risk Director. “We know the plan is not perfect and that we will need to tweak and refine it along the way, but it does provide a framework to build consistency for discipline across the district.
Administrators played a key part in the plan’s development which also involved defining student behaviors and corrective strategies. Student Government Association members from all high schools provided their input, and more than 80 teachers reviewed the plan. Representatives from various groups including Exceptional Student Education, LBGTQ, law enforcement, NAACP, and Hispanic organizations offered feedback, as well.
Administrators presented the plan to their faculty during pre-planning for the school year.
Titusville High School Principal Annetha Jones said, “I sincerely appreciate that Brevard Public Schools took the initiative to implement a district-wide discipline plan. I believe that this plan is going to provide more consistency across the board when corrective strategies are implemented. Utilizing this plan, should help to eliminate any discrepancies of corrective strategies that may have occurred in the past. The plan is still a work in progress, but thus far it appears that we are going in the right direction.”
BPS will continuously monitor discipline data to ensure the corrective strategies used match the level of misbehavior.
To read the elementary and secondary versions of the plan, visit:
Elementary Discipline Plan
Secondary Discipline Plan
Contact: Jennifer Wolfinger
Media & Content Coordinator
Office: 321-633-1000 ext. 778