PROGRESSIVE STAGES OF CONSEQUENCE
It would be nice if positive recognition was all that was required to encourage appropriate behavior in children. In actuality, negative consequences are an important part of behavior modification. Most schools have some system of consequences already in place and operating. Students are sent to the office, asked to stay after school, required to write notes to their parents, and in extreme situations suspended from school for one or more days.
The success of such negative consequences varies from school to school. Psychologists tell us, though, the best behavior modification systems include both positive recognition and appropriate consequences. Furthermore, such a discipline system must be perceived as fair and equitable as possible.
The Honor Level System provides you with the tools you need to do just that. Both recognition and appropriate consequence are easily administered with the aid of your office computer. A system of fairness exists whereby each student will feel that he or she is treated the same as any other.
A system of progressive discipline uses several stages of consequence. Each one is more significant than the one that comes before it. As a student moves from stage to stage, the disciplinary action taken by the school becomes more severe.
Your own staff chooses the actual consequences for your school. The following are sample stages:
1st infraction: 15 minute Noon Detention
2nd infraction: 30 minute Noon Detention
3rd infraction: After School Detention
4th infraction: In-school Suspension
5th infraction: Saturday School
6th infraction: Suspension from School
You may use up to seven stages of consequence.
The Honor Level System provides for both forward and backward movement through these stages of consequence. Forward movement occurs as any individual student is cited again and again for infractions of school rules. We prefer to say: “fails to meet behavioral expectations.”
THE 14-DAY WINDOW
When determining any Honor Level, we only take into account a student’s discipline record for the last 14 days. No matter how much trouble a youngster may get into, there is always a way to work back up to Honor Level One. Each day is a new day, and the Honor Level is recalculated. Problems that occurred more than 14 days ago do not affect the calculation.
Students who have fallen from Honor Level One are notified the day they make it back. And as they progress upward through the Honor Levels, they are encouraged and reminded that they are improving.
TIME HEALS THE WOUNDS
The mechanism for moving back to lower stages is time. If a student can stay out of trouble and show that there is a general change in behavior, he or she should move to lower stages of consequence.
When determining the appropriate stage of discipline, the computer will examine the record of behavior for the last fourteen days. The computer does not exclude weekends, holidays, or student absences. It examines fourteen days of the calendar. The term “3rd infraction” refers to the third infraction within a window of time that is only fourteen days long.
Your system may assign a student to after school detention two or three times in a row if the frequency of his or her infractions is about once every three or four days. It does not assign the fourth stage of consequence after the fourth infraction if the first infraction was more than 14 days in the past. The only way in which this child can reach lower stages of consequence is to decrease the frequency of citations. He or she will need to go more days in a row without problems.
© Copyright 2015, Budd Churchward