Marion Elementary has experienced an increased number of discipline referrals in recent years. Data was presented to our staff by our campus leaders showing the influx of referrals to be almost double that of the previous year in just the first semester of school. In addition to this issue, there is also a lack of continuity among teachers and grade levels. These issues contribute to a weakened campus climate and at times, can interfere with student learning.
Objectives and Vision
The objective for this project is to create a cohesive staff unit with a positive campus climate, reduce the number of discipline matters being seen by the administration, and provide a consistent method for managing behavior throughout the campus.
Review of the Literature and Action Research Strategy
Research shows us that using positive behavior strategies creates a climate where “teachers can teach and all students can learn” (Sprick, 2009.) The decision to enact a campus-wide management plan was handed down by campus leaders; however, the selection of CHAMPS as that plan was a collaborative decision by the entire staff. Information on three varying management approaches was presented to teachers and a vote was cast to determine the plan best suited for our needs as a campus whole. Safe and Civil Schools states that using the CHAMPS strategies will reduce classroom disruptions and office referrals, improve climate, and increase on-task behavior (SafeandCivilSchools.com.) Once the decision to use CHAMPS was made, the staff worked together to create guidelines and procedures to help us achieve our goals.
Safeandcivilschools. (1999). Retrieved September 16, 2012, from http://safeandcivilschools.com/scs_efficacy/index.php
Sprick, R. (2009). Schoolwide discipline: Can you make it work?. SEEN Magazine, 11(2), 102.
Articulate the Vision
Teachers will be involved in every aspect of the implementation of CHAMPS. They will receive training on the foundations of what CHAMPS is and will be an integral part of developing the plan for our specific campus needs. The students and parents will be informed of the procedures developed by our staff and the importance of their creation. Throughout the school year, the guidelines and procedures will be revisited in all classrooms and common areas of the school so that their significance is not forgotten and so that consistency remains.
Manage the organization
To begin the implementation of CHAMPS on our campus teachers will attend professional development training. Each teacher will receive a text about CHAMPS and teacher leadership teams will develop campus guidelines and procedures for staff and students. Campus administration has allocated funds for the staff training, required texts, and the creation of posters, signs, supplies needed for full implementation. Staff will provide periodic feedback and we will chart the changes in discipline referrals. We will continue to monitor student learning through the use of benchmark assessments.
Data was presented to our staff showing the increase of discipline problems being referred to the office over a two year period. The increase was astounding and it was agreed that an intervention was needed. This process began with a presentation of three management systems to see which one would address the needs of our campus most efficiently. The staff weighed the options and voted based on the necessities and the outcomes we hoped to achieve. Upon selecting CHAMPS as our management method, all staff members attended professional development training to learn about the approach. Leadership teams met to outline the ways that we could implement this program on our campus. Teachers collaborated to create campus guidelines and procedures and then shared those with all staff. During the beginning days of school, students were informed of the set guidelines and procedures and they will be revisited periodically throughout the school year so to maintain their importance. As discipline problems arise, teachers and campus administration have developed a process for handling instances according to the guidelines put in place.
Respond to Community Interest and Needs
The implementation of this program will provide consistency among every classroom, whether it is the regular classroom, special education classroom, or specific need classrooms, such as ESL or the Student Support Lab. A reduction in behavior instances will result in improved student learning with less distraction and interruptions. This improvement is especially beneficial for students at-risk of failing state assessments.