Toolbox Tuesday: The Thinking Flow Chart!

Our firm’s day-long Toolbox Training includes a nifty little laminated card that we call The Thinking Flow Chart.  I had hoped to create one of those colorful charts with diamonds, squares, circles and arrows that would illustrate the sequence of thinking in a student discipline situation. After about three hours in a conference room, trying to outline the whole procedural mess on a white board, I gave up. Couldn’t do it. 

Instead, I created a boring little “flow chart” for the campus behavior coordinator to consider.  The Thinking Flow Chart lacks pizazz, but I do think it’s helpful.

You might think that the Flow Chart would start with Tool #1, and proceed accordingly.  Nope.  The first tool to think about is actually Tool #10: are we going to involve law enforcement?  If the student’s misconduct amounted to a violation of our criminal laws, the referral to law enforcement should be made promptly. So Tool #10 (calling in the cops) should be considered promptly. 

Another reason to consider Tool #10 promptly is that it can be used unilaterally by the principal. Making a report to law enforcement does not require an ARDC meeting or consultation with teaching staff. It’s an administrative responsibility that can be executed by the appropriate administrator. 

Tool #5 is next on the list, for some of the same reasons. Tool #5 involves invoking the “special circumstances” provisions in the law.  This is the principal’s tool. Without approval of anyone else, the principal has the authority to order the removal of a student to an IAES (Interim Alternative Educational Setting) for up to 45 school days if the student has engaged in certain types of misconduct involving drugs, weapons, or the infliction of serious bodily injury.   The principal who uses Tool #5 needs to call for an ARDC meeting to consider what IAES to use, but the order of removal can take place immediately, and unilaterally.

We go from there on the Thinking Flow Chart to the other procedures and the Tools that accompany them. 

We are booking Toolbox Trainings for next calendar year. Let me know if you are interested.


Tomorrow: Legislative watch….