Midwest Central Developing New Approach for Student Behavior
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[April 16, 2016]
a District, Midwest Central recognizes that student behavior has a
direct impact on precious resources: time, manpower, and the
education quality for all students. New state law (Senate Bill 100)
now requires Illinois schools to adopt new discipline policies and
implement changes by September 15, 2016. Soon after the passage of
SB100 in August 2015, Midwest Central administrators formed a
District Behavior Committee to more closely examine problematic
student behavior or misbehavior as well as to discuss how to work to
best comply with the mandates of the new act.
Much of the language in Senate Bill 100 refers to a school’s ability
to issue disciplinary consequences for poor student behavior.
Specifically the Act requires schools to change the way they suspend
and expel students and encourages the use of non-exclusionary
discipline practices. The act also encourages the use of more
student supports such as counseling and allows suspended students to
be able to make up missed homework for full credit.
The committee began by looking at student behavior data for the last
three years. While all schools have student discipline issues in
some form or another, suspension and expulsion aren’t major issues
at Midwest Central . Over the last 3 years, disrespectful behavior
was at the top of the charts for the primary, middle, and high
school. The District Behavior Committee used the student behavior
data to guide a conversation about what behavior expectations should
be at all three schools.
“Consistency was a big topic of conversation. We want our students
to understand what is expected of them whether they are in the
primary school, middle school, or high school. Communicating a
common message is important,” said superintendent Todd Hellrigel.
Admittedly he acknowledged that the group agreed that wasn’t
currently happening. Hellrigel stated it was important to the team
that students understand behavior expectations no matter which adult
they deal with in the district.
“Whether students encounter a bus driver, janitor, teacher, or
administrator, we want them to know that the expectations are the
same for everyone”, said Hellrigel. "The bottom line is that our
schools are greatly impacted when kids choose to act out. When
professionals take time in our district's school day to address a
child's poor behavior, this is a tax-dollar drain, and that impacts
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One goal of the District Behavior Committee is to bring greater
attention to this issue and continue to encourage parents and
guardians to foster personal responsibility. How kids behave at
school is directly impacting the district's bottom line and the
district is encouraged that discipline is recognized by our elected
officials as an important issue. Midwest Central’s approach to
student behavior is to team up all stakeholders to develop
district-wide expectations for a better culture of community.
The District Behavior Committee developed a behavior matrix with four common
themes. Each school will develop student expectations under the major themes of
the “Raider Way”: Be Safe, Be Responsible, Be Respectful, Be Engaged. Each
building is currently using their matrix to develop expectations and a course of
action for implementation in the fall. According to Hellrigel, “This has turned
into a very positive experience for Midwest Central. We’ve really had to sit
down, look at our student behavior issues, and develop a district-wide
comprehensive plan. We’re not done yet, as something like this often takes 3-5
years to fully implement, but we’ve gotten a great start.” The group plans to
send out more communication on this topic as it continues to develop.
Teachers, support staff, and administrators have met with consultants from the
IL MTSS (multi-tiered systems of support) network. The mission of the IL MTSS-N
is to provide high quality training, coaching and technical assistance to
support and empower educational entities in creating and sustaining improved
positive outcomes for each and every student.