Creating an effective discipline policy & procedure

The literature on school change commonly suggests that improvements designed and implemented through a collaborative process that involves representatives of stakeholder groups is effective. This study analyzed problems with a previously adopted school discipline policy, engaged stakeholders in a collaborative policy revision and implementation process, and measured the effects of the change at a small, rural, northern California high school. It was anticipated that having an easy to understand, consistently implemented discipline policy would result in fewer discipline referrals to administration and perhaps the start of a shift to a more positive and caring school culture. Data was collected from school records from fall 2012 through fall 2013. Two semesters were followed implementation of the new discipline policy. Referrals were reduced by 19 percent during this period. However, the distribution of referrals across categories remained about the same. Most referrals were made for classroom disruptions and for being tardy at the beginning of class. Both spring 2013 and fall 2013 were under the new discipline policy and procedures. The new collaboratively designed discipline policy appears to be reducing the number of discipline referrals. Additional benefits such as, high student and teacher morale and classroom productivity, appeared among classes of teachers who implemented the new policy.