SENT TO THE OFFICE? TAKE A NUMBER…

luanne_general[1]

When I was Behavior Consultant in my school district, one of my duties was to review the office referral data in all the schools. I noticed the administrators were overwhelmed with the number of students being sent to the office for disciplinary reasons. In one school, students were sent to the office for chewing gum or not having a pencil in class!

Goodness! I was amazed that the administrator had to deal will all kinds of behavior…chewing gum, having no pencil, horseplaying, name calling, bullying, cussing, fighting, etc. Because he had such high numbers of students to discipline, he spent approximately 2 minutes per student. He was simply reacting to the issues as he did not have time to effectively change behavior. This administrator had no time to help with curriculum or any other school issue. He managed student behavior ALL DAY! YUCK!

Following best practice and guidelines of Positive Behavior Instructional Support, Kentucky Center for Instructional Discipline and other proactive experts, I developed Levels of Behavior for our district.

Level 1 behaviors are minor behaviors that the teacher can handle in class. If a student is chewing gum, have him spit it out if it is against your school’s policy. Better yet, let him chew the gum. Chewing gum helps some students focus. If a student doesn’t have her materials, the teacher can loan her a pencil. Other minor Level 1 behaviors include: cheating, running in the hall, talking in class, off task, etc.

Let’s jump to Level III behaviors. They are severe behaviors. Level III behaviors are illegal acts, physically dangerous acts, or severe acts of defiance. Level III behaviors include: alcohol, drugs, vandalism, fighting, inciting violence, etc. The administrator is immediately involved. Often the School Resource Officer must also be involved. If the behavior is illegal, court involvement may follow.

Level II behaviors are the moderate behaviors. Office Referral paperwork is entered for future data analysis. The administrator talking directly with the child is optional. Whether or not the child sees the principal depends on the behavior. A third tardy may automatically have the consequence without the involvement of the principal. On the other hand, a student with an office referral for harassment/teasing/threatening should definitely speak to the principal.

By understanding the different levels of behavior, staff is better prepared to manage behavior. The administrator will now have the time to address Level II and Level III behaviors. The administrator can work with the student who has been disrLevels of Behaviorespectful to a teacher and who may have underlying issues which are causing stress. The administrator will also have time to work on long range goals for school improvement.

My Levels of Behavior can be downloaded for free. Use it to develop your own levels. Stop by next month, I’ll show you how to turn the levels of behavior into an office referral form.

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