ERIC Number: ED457544
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Reference Count: N/A
Creating a Positive School Climate.
In 1991, Huntington Beach High School scarcely had a day without a fight, a theft, or vandalism. Disrespect of staff and defiance were rampant with referrals and unserved detentions backlogged. Students felt anonymous, and authority appeared arbitrary. By 1994, the very same high school was a California Distinguished School. The single most important factor was personalization. School-related state law was explained by administrators in a classroom setting. Offenses leading to detention or suspension were posted in classrooms. With fewer surprises about consequences, there was less student anger. But the major emphasis was on dealing with the students as individuals. If students were allowed to explain completely their side of the story, they accepted their consequences. Administrators avoided blame and stressed helping the students change behavior in order to reach their own goal of graduating. All freshmen with three grades below a C were unofficially "adopted" by an adult. Students not normally given public appreciation earned Improved Student and Most Improved Athlete awards. Administrators greeted students by name at the doors. Administrators led school policy discussions during lunch hours. Voluntary tutoring sessions were offered before classes started, and block scheduling allowed the teachers to know students better. Improvement culminated in the students being instrumental in establishing a state law against bias crimes in school. (RKJ)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Plan for Social Excellence, Inc., Mt. Kisco, NY.
Identifiers - Location: California