Updated Elementary School Discipline Policy Approved by North Judson-San Pierre School Board

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board approved an updated elementary school discipline policy Tuesday. New Elementary School Principal Julie Berndt said it simplifies the procedures, by breaking them down into four levels. “The Level One would be the small offenses that happen,” she explained. “Teachers are still going to have their individual classroom behavior plans. They’re still going to have those, whether it’s red, yellow, green lights, sticks, whatever that they may use. And then when it comes to the points where it needs to be documented and come maybe to the administrative level, that’s when we would use the discipline form that we’ll create from this.” Consequences will generally be left up to each teacher’s discretion for Level One offenses.

Level Two offenses are a bit more serious. If a student gets four Level Two offenses in a semester, a group meeting would be held with the student, parent, teacher, and counselor, to come up with a solution.

Berndt said Level Three offenses are generally issues that require immediate action. “Those are the big ones, that would need probably an immediate removal from a bus, immediate removal from a classroom, the playground or whatever,” she said. “And they’re sent down to the office, and then we deal with that.”

Level Four is reserved for drugs, alcohol, and other similar offenses.

Berndt said the policy change came out of a survey she sent out to teachers last month. “One of the needs was to move forward with a different discipline plan, something that will help keep our building safe, our classrooms productive, and also so that everyone knows the responsibility of who’s responsible to do what, with the teachers, what they’re responsible for and the administrator,” she said. “And also something that is very usable and easy to use.”

Berndt and six teachers spent three hours last week working on the new policy. She said it’s similar to policies that have worked well in her past experience.

The school board approved the addendum to the 2017-2018 handbook, unanimously. Board members originally approved the handbook in May, with the understanding that Berndt might request a few changes, once she officially took over as principal.