Making Informed Decisions about Student Behavior – Oak Hills Local School District
Oak Hills Local School District, located in the Cincinnati suburb of Oak Hills, has been an EmployeeSafe user for many years. Although EmployeeSafe had effectively automated and streamlined staff-related responsibilities such as staff training and accident management, the district was still manually managing student behavior reports.
“Our high school used to have a Dean of Student Services that was responsible for student behavior management,” said John Stoddard, principal of Oak Hills High School. “However, the role was eliminated and the responsibility for student behavior management was assigned to each of our assistant principals.”
Each of the five assistant principals oversees their respective “house,” which consists of a school counselor, a secretary, and approximately 500 students. This house structure allows the assistant principals to split the student caseload so they can get to know their students with the hopes of deterring them from negative behavior. However, adding student behavior management to the assistant principals’ already long list of daily responsibilities was a difficult transition, which relied heavily on paper processes completed by the assistant principals’ secretaries.
One of the assistant principals had used the StudentWatch Suite at a previous district and suggested Stoddard research the Student Behavior Management System because it could be a valuable tool for the assistant principals. After seeing how the system could standardize student behavior management, Stoddard worked with the district’s Director of Operations to implement the Student Behavior Management System at the high school and invited the district’s five elementary schools and three middle schools to use the system, as well.
Oak Hills High School, along with one of the district’s middle and elementary schools, has implemented the Student Behavior Management System. The Student Behavior Management System has made managing student behavior seamless for the assistant principals and has greatly alleviated their secretaries’ workloads because it has eliminated the manual paper processes. When a teacher submits a referral (major infraction), documentation report (minor infraction) or positive report, the Student Behavior Management System may auto-email the appropriate assistant principal to address the behavior concern immediately. Once the assistant principal has met with the student and assigned the appropriate consequence, the principal can communicate the steps taken to the teacher who filed the referral detailing the appropriate information.
“Our staff seems happy because they know the student behavior issues they are reporting are not being neglected,” said Stoddard.
The ability for the school to document each behavior incident helps create a comprehensive record for each student, which subsequently helps the assistant principals determine the most appropriate consequence. Each consequence is recorded in the system, thus ensuring the administrators are not missing any steps and that nothing falls through the cracks.
Stoddard worked with the district’s transportation provider to train the bus drivers to use the Student Behavior Management System, as well. Instead of filling out a three-page carbon copy form that could get lost, bus drivers submit discipline reports the same way teachers do.
After just four days of using the system, teachers already began submitting referrals and documentation reports to the assistant principals. The number of reports submitted has increased on a monthly basis, and although this may sound like a negative, it proves that teachers have embraced the technology.
“Our assistant principals and I are in the Student Behavior Management System daily,” said Stoddard. “It helps identify behavior issues and make some proactive decisions.”
After using the system for a few months, Stoddard and the assistant principals noticed the most common referral offense was for skipping class. After reviewing all of the referrals, they found specific times and locations students were found skipping class and rerouted the hall monitors to those locations.
“Before we used the system, making decisions about student behavior management was like guesswork,” said Stoddard. “Sometimes we would have a perception of what our biggest behavior issues were, but we didn’t have a way to back it up. Now we have this data staring at us, showing us what our biggest issues are so we’re able to better budget our time.”
Solving Student Behavior Problems Before They Start – Kings Local School District & Dublin City Schools
Kings Local School District
Kings Mill, OH
Dublin City School District
School districts traditionally develop behavior rules to help students, staff and parents understand student behavior expectations and consequences for inappropriate behaviors. One of the biggest frustrations is that the principals and teachers do not have systems that are effective in helping them manage the discipline process.
When students misbehave, it is important to have a system in place to allow educators to report incidents and administrators to track them and then communicate with appropriate stakeholders. It is also important for this system to be easy to use and automated to ensure reports are submitted and followed up on in a timely manner and stakeholders are notified of actions taken.
Every school district deals with student disciplinary issues, however, it is how they are tracked and reported that sets districts apart. Additionally, districts that acknowledge positive student behaviors while addressing behaviors that are not appropriate can ward off future disciplinary issues and improve education in the classroom.
Kings Local School District and Dublin City School District, both in Ohio, needed to streamline student behavior management processes, but each for their own unique reasons.
Kings Junior High School applied for the Ohio Department of Education’s Ohio Schools to Watch (OSTW) program, that recognizes exemplary middle schools based on a number of criteria. To qualify for the distinction, the program required that students know and meet the behavioral, academic and social expectations of staff, parents, district and community.
For Columbus-suburb Dublin City Schools, the 10th largest district in the state with 19 schools and 15,000 enrolled students, efficiently reporting and addressing student behaviors, in addition to all of the other tasks associated with student discipline, was difficult to accomplish because of less-than-effective tools and the district’s size.
Both Kings Local School District and Dublin City Schools wanted to streamline and improve their student behavior management processes.
Kings Local School District implemented the PublicSchoolWORKS Student Behavior Management System in 2007 and Dublin City Schools implemented the system in 2008.
“PublicSchoolWORKS reduced the amount of paperwork and files in centralized student discipline data,” said Joe Santa-Emma, an assistant principal in Dublin City Schools.
“We now have the ability to organize data based on any criteria and the system addresses the crisis many schools are experiencing…having to do more with less. And we don’t worry about the state reporting requirements, as it is done for us.”
The PublicSchoolWORKS Student Behavior Management System automates and streamlines the administrative process of student behavior concerns, thus improving and speeding up the communication between teachers and administrators. In addition, the system allows educators to acknowledge and keep track of positive student behaviors.
The Student Behavior Management System allows administrators to more effectively track and address the following:
- Referrals / Major Infractions
- Documentation Reports / Minor Infractions
- Positive Behaviors
- Behavior Trend Reporting
- Communication to Appropriate Staff
- Consequence Management
- Automated State-Record Reporting System
Despite their different goals and reasons for implementing, PublicSchoolWORKS was the solution for both Kings Local and Dublin City Schools because it gave each what they needed to improve their programs and processes.
In the span of three years, Kings Junior High School received two prestigious awards. They were one of only three schools in the state to be named an Ohio School to Watch, a prestigious designation. PublicSchoolWORKS was deemed to have been a key piece in achieving this recognition since the Student Behavior Management System helped address key metrics. Additionally, the assistant principal Dave Winebrenner was named one of 17 National Outstanding Assistant Principals by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP).
“The true beauty of the Student Behavior Management System is the centralized location,” said Winebrenner. “Because all staff members have access, it empowers our staff to report what happened during a particular incident in their own words.”
Dublin City Schools was able to easily streamline processes in order to effectively address all discipline issues — whether major, minor or positive — while increasing effectiveness and recordkeeping. Because of this, Dublin City Schools remains to be one of Ohio’s premier school districts, bolstering its statewide reputation for academic and extracurricular excellence.
“The Student Behavior Management System has improved education in the classroom,” said Santa-Emma. “It creates a better environment for students by eliminating bullying, promoting better attendance and rewarding positive behavior.”
“It solves problems before they start.”
Automating Student Accident Management – Vandalia-Butler City Schools
For Business Manager, Chuck Stewart, important student accident paperwork became hard to track, manage, and complete. Each year he was tasked with keeping track of student accidents occurring on school grounds, all by using a paper and pen process. In addition, Stewart was tasked with the responsibility of evaluating data to prevent future accidents. With no easy way to analyze the accidents taking place, Stewart was constantly chasing people and paperwork at multiple buildings which made it difficult to organize and deal with prevention initiatives and ensure that they were being handled by the appropriate person and in a timely manner.
“It was a very difficult task to track all of the student incidents and where they were occurring,” said Stewart. “The amount of paperwork filed when accidents occurred and the time required to locate and mobilize the appropriate individuals to manage the accident to completion was taking up a huge amount of my time.”
When Vandalia-Butler City Schools implemented PublicSchoolWORKS’ StudentWatch Suite, all of their student accident reporting was handled automatically through PublicSchoolWORKS’ online management tools. With the student accident management system, administrators are automatically notified to get involved. The time and date-stamps key accident information to protect the district, and provides data to reduce the chance of future incidents. This allowed Stewart to focus on the business of education.
“The system is managing every report, notifying the appropriate person to intervene and tracking the report to completion to ensure that nothing is falling through the cracks,” said Stewart. “The StudentWatch Suite completely eliminates paper tracking which has saved valuable administrative time and money.”
“All activities within the StudentWatch Suite are handled through auto notifications and tracked to completion,” said Stewart.
- Reporting tools allow a district to see trends in accidents for students.
Automation mobilizes key staff to ensuring timely and proper documentation
The administration at Vandalia-Butler City Schools has found the online capabilities of PublicSchoolWORKS’ StudentWatch Suite to be extremely valuable. The Suite’s ability to auto-notify administration of problem areas has created a safer school environment, in addition to bringing more organization and awareness to staff and students. In addition, the district has seen reductions in insurance claims.
“The StudentWatch Suite is creating a safer school environment for our staff and students while saving our district money,” Stewart said. “Making the move to PublicSchoolWORKS was the best choice for our district, and it keeps getting better.”