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ERIC Number: EJ766955
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 1
ISSN: ISSN-1529-8957
A Blueprint for Safe and Civil Schools
Rickert, Cynda S.
Principal Leadership, v6 n1 p44-46, 48-49 Sep 2005
In spring 1994, the author was hired to be the assistant principal at McLoughlin Middle School in Medford, Oregon. Disciplinary referrals in the 804-student school were on the rise. Teachers were frustrated, students were anxious, and parents were concerned. Casting about for a solution, she heard about a two-day workshop on schoolwide discipline sponsored by the Medford School District and presented by Randy Sprick, a teacher, researcher, and author of several programs for behavior management in schools. She and the members of the staff attended his workshop and, at the end of the two days, they came away with a blueprint for change. Over the summer they constructed their new program and implemented it that fall. One year later, the schoolwide discipline process was alive and well at their school. In one year's time, referrals dropped from 6,007 to 2,078, and at the end of the second year, the total number of referrals was 850--an 85% reduction in two years. Although the numbers are impressive, they are not the only measure of success. Implementing their schoolwide discipline process changed the climate from tense and edgy to safe and welcoming. The author indicates once you realize that proactive, positive, instructional methods control student misbehavior and foster a beneficial social climate more effectively than traditional methods, you are on the road to success. In the fall of 1998, the author accepted a position as principal of South Medford High School and immediately began the process of inaugurating schoolwide discipline in that setting. At the end of her administration's first year, disciplinary referrals had dropped from 4,144 to 1,541 (63%)--a dramatic result in and of itself. But as part of the new system, behavioral standards had been raised, which makes the 63% reduction even more stunning. When staff members at McLoughlin saw how successful the new hallway policies were, they decided to use the techniques to improve behavior schoolwide, both in the classroom and in other common school areas. At South, teachers and staff members responded in the same way. It has been five years since they implemented their schoolwide discipline policy at South, eight years since they began at McLoughlin. Today, referrals at both schools remain low, the school climate remains positive, and staff members persist in their commitment to a discipline process that is proactive, positive, and instructional. Their students know that they are valued and honored, but they are not in charge--and it makes a difference. (Contains 1 chart.)
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Oregon