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District 202 Discipline Cases Drop in Last 5 Years

The district credits programs aimed at teaching student appropriate behavior and addressing problems immediately.

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The number of student discipline incidents has dropped considerably over the last five years, which in turn means more students have been able to stay in school and continue learning.

“We’ve implemented several proactive measures to help our students learn appropriate behaviors, and to address inappropriate behavior when it happens,” said Mina Griffith, assistant superintendent for student services. She recently shared updated discipline statistics with the Board of Education.

As a result, Griffith said, updated discipline data show significant improvement since 2007 in the percent of students receiving discipline referrals of some kind at the elementary, middle and high school levels:

  • 10 percent of all elementary school students received a discipline referral this past school year, down from 13 percent five years ago
  • 15 percent of all middle school students received a discipline referral this past school year, down from 37 percent five years ago
  • 41 percent of all high school students received a discipline referral this past school year, down from 45 percent five years ago

Equally impressive, the total number of students brought before the Board of Education for the most serious infractions, dropped from 174 five years ago, to only 48 this past school year – a 72 percent decrease.

Among the 48 discipline cases heard by the Board of Education, only 11 students were expelled this year, compared to 28 five years ago.

Instead, 36 students were placed in an alternative school setting, which keeps the student in a structured, academically-based school setting. And, even that number was down significantly from five years ago, when 112 students were placed in an alternative school setting.

“We know that simply suspending or expelling students does not necessarily fix the issue that caused the disciplinary problem. It only temporarily moves the child out of school,” Griffith said.

“Whenever possible and appropriate, we would rather keep students in school so that they continue to learn both academically and behaviorally, and get the support that they need,” she said.

Griffith credited several proactive initiatives and programs for the decline in disciplinary numbers, including the creation of Plainfield Academy, District 202’s alternative school for middle and high school students.

As well, District 202 has had great success with “Catalyst”, a three-day intensive in-school program specifically designed to get students back into their regular school environment as soon as possible, while offering them help and support. District 202 has also added a special program for students with emotional behavioral challenges.

Griffith added that initiatives to consolidate the district’s programs for students with emotional and behavioral needs and streamline its discipline referral procedures have also helped improve student discipline numbers.

Debra July 15, 2012 at 04:53 PM
By all indications, District 202 is to be commended on their policies aimed at keeping students in school. Keep up the good work!
silentrippy July 15, 2012 at 05:07 PM
These are good indicators but I will not commend 202 until my property tax bill has the same decreases.
concernedresident July 15, 2012 at 09:51 PM
@Silentrippy, agreed! Even though my assessed value keeps going down they keep raising my 202 tax ratio, might as well move to Naperville.
Jerry July 15, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Hate to be a cynic, but anyone who is a fan of HBO's series The Wire, is familiar with the term "juking the stats". I wonder how much student behavior has changed versus how the staff's handling and reporting of incidents has changed. From what I see and hear from my high-schooler, it's as bad or worse than ever.
silentrippy July 15, 2012 at 11:49 PM
What's worse is everyone's property tax bill especially from the school district. Yet, Mike Kelly was so happy to announce the school district gave Diageo a $180,000 property tax break for their expansion. While the corporation got their break all of our property taxes went up. Again, the little guy gets screwed.

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