School discipline panel meets April 8

The newly formed School District 51 Discipline Committee will meet April 8 to discuss how to handle habitually disruptive students..

According to Susana Wittrock, executive director of advocacy, outreach and connections, School Board members felt compelled to look at policies after teachers and administrators alike expressed concern about a lack of guidance or support for staff who deal with disruptive students.

The committee will meet two to three times in April and possibly May.

One of its tasks will be to fine-tune the definition of habitually disruptive students, defined by the state as “a child who has caused a material and substantial disruption on school grounds, in a school vehicle, or at a school activity or sanctioned event three or more times during the course of a school year.”

Other committee work will include analysis of patterns among disruptive incidents, identifying supports for the most disruptive students, and trying to identify what causes disruptive behavior, such as problems at home or mental health issues, and how to connect students with resources to tackle those root causes. The committee will present an implementation plan in June.

“The board wants a clean slate with no preconceived ideas,” Wittrock said. “It’s a good opportunity to review how we treat all students.”


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