District Discipline

By: Laura Gibbs
By: Laura Gibbs

The way a student behaves in the classroom can be distractive, rude, and even catchy. So intervention is key. Drugs and weapons are still the leading reasons why students are being expelled from Rockford Schools. But the trouble makers are starting to change their way of thinking.

It wasn't as alarming as it's been in the past. At Tuesday night's meeting Rockford School Board members saw who was naughty and who was nice during the 2005 - 2006 school year. The number of students being kicked out of school is slowly going down.

Lincoln Middle School Principal says, "You set expectations and you hold them to it."

For students at Lincoln it's all about consequences. And that has helped reduce the number of referrals in half since 2004. Mr. Valentine states, “We still have kids that say I haven't gotten a referral. We put as much pressure on them as possible to make sure they act appropriate."

Parent involvement, school uniforms and a district discipline code are welcomed changes at Lincoln. Staff also say it's nice to have a school that gives kids a new chance to succeed.
This year 88 students will start the school year at Fresh Start. Now this is a school that deals with behavior issues once all other efforts have been tried. Word is spreading among students and they know the school means business. Mr. Valentine goes on to say, “We don’t use it as a threat but kids perceive it as a threat after we sent 2 students there they said, “Wow, they're not kidding."

6th Grade Science and English teacher Bill McLaughlin tells 23 News, “Students are very aware of the point system and that can get you into Fresh Start and the points have been a great deterrent."

And it's those classroom, school and district interventions that might also make a big difference when ISAT test scores are revealed. Kennedy and Ellis also have similar success stories. The district plans to continue to revise the discipline code.


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