Toolbox Tuesday!! Let’s get ready for 2022-23….

Summer is the time to put some things in place for next school year.  One of those is your Code of Conduct.  We talk about the Code a lot in the Toolbox Training.  In most districts it’s a long and boring document, but when you get into a legal hassle over student discipline the exact language of the Code will be important.  That’s why our firm has produced a Model Code of Conduct for your consideration. We’ve done this for many years, updating it each year based on new laws, regulations, and court cases. So, if you are interested in that, just contact one of the lawyers at Walsh Gallegos and ask about it.

I hope you are also thinking of new and improved proactive steps you can take to improve student behavior. Whenever I do a Toolbox Training, I’m aware of how “old school” it is.  We start out with Tool #1—a Behavior Plan, and we emphasize that it is the only tool in the box designed to proactively address behavioral issues with the goal of encouraging better behavior.  But after that, the Toolbox is mostly about suspension, DAEP and other punitive measure.  I know that you need all of those tools, but you need much more than that. If the DAEP is nothing but a holding cell, it’s not going to help you, or the student, in the long run. 

I have long been a proponent of Restorative Practices as a better way to address student misconduct and I try to emphasize that Restorative Practices are completely compatible with all of the tools in the Toolbox.  The summertime is the time for administrators to plan for new and creative ways to address the problems that we know will arise.  The research shows that punishment improves student behavior only for certain types of students.  As my friend Kevin Curtis memorably noted, “Traditional discipline works for traditional kids from traditional families with traditional values.”  What are you doing for the other kids?  The other kids are probably the majority in your district. 

So I hope you take some time this summer to think about that.


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Tomorrow:  Do you use Raptor?