Saturday, March 13, 2010

Positive Behavior and the Code of Conduct

Since the roll out of the Code of Conduct last fall, there has been lots of feedback. Parents and teachers were surveyed, many parents emailed or called with questions, and the Behavior Team met repeatedly. A few weeks ago, we finished our revision, presented it to the faculty and reported out to the community.

While there were several tweaks to the Three-Tiered Discipline system (red slips), I am most proud of the work we did on the Positive Behavior Program (blue slips).

The first big change is that the Blue Slips themselves will not be displayed. We decided this when we realized that displaying the blue slip itself left students and parents studying the slips to look at the different kinds of reasons listed. Some were wondering why certain behaviors were worth a blue slip for one child but not another. Some realized that the standards for earning a blue slip were, in part, based on who was receiving the slip. Posting the blue slips had the opposite effect than we'd hoped. From this point on, instead of posting the blue slip, we will post a yellow Bee medallion, like the image here, with the student's name written on it.

We have also expanded the reasons 

for awarded a blue slip in the first place:
In recognition of students who go Above and Beyond the Code of Conduct, reliably Do the Right Thing, or otherwise Deserve Commendation.
This allows us to recognize truly exceptional behavior and those behaviors that are remarkable when we take into account what we know about the student. Since we will recognize blue slips using the yellow bee, the actual blue slip may be sent home for some family honor and celebration.

Additionally, we have decided that Blue Slips given for actions Above and Beyond the Code of Conduct will be a part of determining who should win the Boxford B at the end of sixth grade.

Finally, the Positive Behavior system is modeled after the 3-tiered Discipline system in that there are several levels. If you read the full document, you might notice that the positive levels are a tiny bit silly; that was intentional:
Level I: One commendation with a Blue Slip.
Level II: Phone-call or Note home informing parents of Positive Behavior.
Level III: Student sent to Principal’s Office with GOOD NEWS REFERRAL FORM.
Level IV: Meeting with Superintendent of Schools.
For the full version of the document and all of the supporting documents, please see this page.
I am confident that we have addressed many  of the concerns and questions that were raised during the fall. I look forward to explaining the changes to the students in an assembly in the near future.
Thank you.