CREATING SAFE, SUPPORTIVE AND INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS PROMOTING POSITIVE STUDENT BEHAVIOR
School culture and climate have a profound impact upon students academic progress and their relationships with peers and adults. Each school is expected to promote a positive school culture that provides students with a supportive environment in which to grow both socially and academically. Connecting students to school through opportunities to participate in a wide range of pro-social activities and to bond with caring, supportive adults, coupled with a comprehensive program of prevention and intervention, provides students with the experiences, strategies, life skills, and support they need to thrive.
Social-emotional learning is a basic component of a school' 's program of universal prevention for all students. Schools are expected to take a proactive role in nurturing students' ' pro-social behavior. Providing a range of positive behavioral supports as well as meaningful opportunities for socialemotional learning fosters resiliency. Effective social-emotional
learning helps students develop fundamental life skills, including: recognizing and managing emotions; developing caring and concern for others; establishing positive
relationships; making responsible decisions; and handling challenging situations constructively and ethically. When students develop these skills, they experience more positive relationships with peers, engage in more positive social behaviors and are less likely to engage in misconduct.
Establishing a schoolwide tiered framework of behavioral supports and interventions is essential to implementing
progressive discipline. The goal of behavioral supports is to foster resiliency, help students understand and follow school rules, and support them in developing the skills they need to meet behavioral expectations.
School staff members are also responsible for addressing inappropriate student behaviors that disrupt learning.
Administrators, teachers, counselors, and other school staff are
expected to engage all students in intervention and prevention strategies that address a student' 's behavioral issues and discuss these strategies with the student and his/her parent(s).
Intervention and prevention strategies include but are not limited to guidance support and services to address personal and family circumstances; social-emotional learning; conflict resolution; peer mediation; collaborative negotiation;
restorative circles; anger management; stress management; collaborative problem solving; communication skills acquisition; the use of alternate instructional materials and/or methods; enrichment services; alternate class placement;
and/or development or review of functional behavioral assessments and behavioral intervention plans, which should be developed and/or reviewed as an early intervention strategy. If, at any time, school officials suspect that a student' 's
difficulties may be the result of a disability which may require special education services, the student should be referred immediately to the Committee on Special Education (CSE).
Through the use of intervention and prevention strategies that engage students and give them a clear sense of purpose, school staff members facilitate students' ' academic and social-emotional growth and assist them in following school rules
Student engagement is integral to creating a positive school culture and climate that
fosters students' ' social-emotional growth and academic achievement. Providing students with multiple opportunities to participate in a wide range of pro-social activities and, at the same time, bond with caring, supportive adults can help prevent negative behaviors.
Examples can include: providing students with meaningful opportunities to share ideas
and concerns and participate in schoolwide initiatives; student leadership development;
periodic recognition of students' ' achievements in a range of academic and cocurricular areas; using corrective feedback;
and developing schoolwide positive behavior systems. Such opportunities, coupled with a comprehensive guidance program of prevention and intervention, provide students with the experiences, strategies, skills, and support they need to thrive.
Understanding discipline as a ldquo;teachable moment rdquo; is fundamental to a positive approach to discipline.
Progressive discipline uses incremental interventions to address inappropriate behavior with the ultimate goal of teaching pro-social behavior. Progressive discipline does not seek punishment. Instead, progressive discipline seeks concurrent accountability and behavioral change.
The goal of progressive discipline is prevention of a recurrence of negative behavior by helping students learn from their mistakes. Essential to the implementation of progressive discipline is helping students who have
engaged in unacceptable behavior to:
bull; understand why the behavior is unacceptable and the harm it has caused;
bull; understand what they could have done differently in the same situation;
bull; take responsibility for their actions;
bull; be given the opportunity to learn pro-social strategies and skills to use in the future;
bull; understand the progression of more stringent consequences if the behavior reccurs.
Every reasonable effort must be made to correct student behavior through guidance
interventions and other school-based strategies such as restorative practices.
Guidance interventions are essential because inappropriate behavior or violations of the Discipline Code may be symptomatic of more serious problems that students are experiencing. It is, therefore, important that school personnel be sensitive to issues that may influence the behavior of students and respond in a manner that is most supportive of their needs.
Appropriate disciplinary responses should emphasize prevention and effective intervention, foster resiliency, prevent disruption to
students' ' education, and promote positive school culture. When a student' 's misconduct results in a placement out of the classroom,
the school should consider using peer mediation or the restorative circle process as an effective strategy to support a successful return to the student' 's regular program.
For students with disabilities whose behavior
impedes the student' 's participation in school,
a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) is an
essential tool to understand the causes of the
student' 's behavior. A behavioral intervention
plan (BIP) after an FBA provides specific
approaches to address the student' 's behavior