The Lafayette Parish School System could see changes to their discipline policy in the upcoming school year. The new policy, is aimed at making rules easier to understand, while allowing quicker enforcement of consequences.
The policy, approved by a discipline committee consisting of teachers and administrators, and spearheaded by Assistant Superintendent Sandra Billeaudeau, was presented to the school board during their June 19th meeting. It consists of three different policy practices for elementary, middle and high school.
Health and Wellness director, Bradley Cruice said the current behavior policy, titled the discipline matrix is confusing and offers multiple chances for students to continue to misbehave before a strict punishment is enforced. The current proposed policy, titled the Consequences to Behavior will offer clearly established rules that allow for quick and concise enforcement.
"Before we had a matrix that had letters and numbers. This is more streamlined in a step process where there are first, second, third and fourth steps and the consequences progress," he explained.
Infractions are broken into minor and major categories, while the type of infraction is broken into levels. Level one infractions are offenses not considered serious or harmful. Level two infractions are offenses which seriously disrupt the learning environment and level three infractions are serious offenses that can involve law enforcement.
The new proposed policy won't allow a student the chance to have multiple write-ups before action is taken; however there is still some leeway.
For example, for high school students, after three minor infractions, such as cursing, a teacher can complete a referral for a repeated rule violation or willful disobedience. Willfull disobedience carries an in school suspension; a repeated rule violation carries an out of school suspension at the Moss Prep facility.
Cruice said while it is a discipline policy, the focus shouldn't be on just the negative behavior.
"What we anticipate is quicker actions to the students' behavior and the consequences can be good or bad. They could have positive consequences to their behavior."
After an initial consequence, the policy calls for behavior plans and parent contracts.
"What we have to have to be effective are consequences of behavior and then the modification of that child's behavior. The discipline policy outlines the consequences but it also addresses the modification of that child's behavior."
Cruice believes the new plan will help enhance the parish's turnaround plan, while creating a peaceful environment for students and teachers. The police is expected to be voted on during the July 17th school board meeting. If approved, it will be printed in school agendas and go into effect the first day of school on August 14th. To view the proposed proposal, go to http://esb.lpssonline.com.
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