Code of Character, Conduct and Support
Over the past several years we have observed that our students are experiencing an increase in social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health challenges. To support planning and implementation of programing to address these increasing needs as well as to bring the district in alignment with state law regarding discipline and suspension, attention has been focused on review of a variety of data sources including attendance, office/behavioral referrals, suspension data, and school climate surveys. This deeper dive into our data and existing practices regarding discipline and suspension has revealed significant disparities impacting students of color, students with disabilities, and students who are economically disadvantaged. In addition, Panorama Education surveys administered over the past three years illuminate an issue with student engagement and sense of belonging.
As our school communities grapple with increasing student behavioral and discipline challenges, we recognize a significant need for a district-wide Code of Conduct that is supportive and restorative. An accountable and restorative approach to behavior and discipline will provide a strong framework through which to continually revisit the supports and interventions we provide and the decisions we make as our students experience social, emotional, and behavioral challenges.
The work to create the new Code of Conduct, Character, and Support (CCCS), communicates our commitment to providing our students with the skills and equal opportunities they need to navigate school, work, and life successfully. In addition, it communicates our commitment to thoughtfully support our administrators, teachers, and support staff by providing them with a set of positive restorative strategies to promote our students’ success. And finally, it communicates our commitment to reduce exclusionary and disproportionate discipline practices.
It is our expectation that a recalibrated CCCS which focuses on promotion of positive social behaviors and prevention of discipline problems in the classroom will:
- promote social and emotional learning and accountability for all students;
- clearly define expectations for conduct on school property and at school functions;
- identify and implement clear, fair, standardized, and timely consequences
- identify and implement restorative and accountable interventions that support students to improve their behavior and academic performance;
- increase capacity and accountability of staff to promote positive behaviors; and delineate common language for use district-wide
The Code work will be done in consultation with Engaging Schools. Engaging Schools is a non-profit educational consulting firm whose mission is to help districts create a schoolwide culture of learning that fully integrates academic, social, and emotional development. They offer a range of technical assistance supports to districts, including professional development, that are grounded in the values of equity, community, and democracy. FPS will partner with Engaging Schools in a systematic process to assess, refine, and implement with integrity a revised district CCCS that is respectful, fair, restorative, accountable, and viable. FPS will collaborate with Engaging Schools to engage key stakeholders in a multi-phase process to assess and develop a student CCCS that provides equal access to a wide range of supports and interventions that promote positive behavior, help students develop self-discipline and social emotional efficacy, and enable students to improve and correct inappropriate, unacceptable and unskillful behaviors in a safe, civil and caring environment. There will be varied opportunities for the community to participate in this important initiative.
Details on the process and timeline are as follows:
- Phase 1: Code of Conduct Assessment (completed January 2020)
A close examination of the historical and current disciplinary policies, procedures, practices and perceptions of school climate; the dominat norms, beliefs, and assumptions that inform the district culture; systemic factors that influence a student's educational opportunities; and staff attitudes and beliefs.
- Phase 2: Development of the Code of Conduct
Partner with Engaging Schools and mutiple constituent groups to define the overarching goals for the Code; identify explicit rights and responsibilties for students, parents, staff, and district leaders; identify tiers of behaivor concerns, violations, school sanctions/assigned consequences, and interventions that enable students to get back on track for school success; and align key classroom management and discipline practices to policies in the code.
- Phase 3: Launching the Code of Conduct
Partner with Engaging Schools to design a comprehensive and coherent plan to launch the Code in the district and ensure understanding, commitment, and implementation with fidelity and integrity. This includes orientation sessions for all stakeholders and professional learning for all staff.
- Phase 4: Implementation of the Code of Conduct
Implementation of the Code of Character, Conduct and Support including induction lessons for all students and parent information sessions.