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San Jacinto News-Times - Local News
Stories Added -  February 2009
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company

Disciplinary action down in COCISD
San Jacinto News- Times - February 2009

COLDSPRING -- Incidents requiring disciplinary action have averaged a 30 percent drop at Coldspring-Oakhurst High School and Lincoln Junior High School (LJH) compared to last year’s fi rst semester statistics, administrators report. Administrators praise teachers and students both for improved numbers. Andrea Seale, LJH principal, said, “Teachers have sought effective strategies to manage their classrooms and students. “It has taken time and patience, but our number one goal is to keep students in class. The classroom is where students have greatest opportunity to learn versus sending them to ISS (in-school suspension) or DAEP (Disciplinary Alternative Education Campus).” Greg Solberg, Coldspring- Oakhurst High School (COHS) assistant principal, agrees that teachers have been instrumental in reducing incidents at the high school also. He adds, “This community can be proud of these kids. Overall, they are great kids.” LJH and COHS discipline reports, as well as reports from Coldspring Intermediate School (CIS) and Street Elementary School, were given at the January meeting of school district trustees. CIS and Street Elementary reported increases in incidents over the previous year. However, James Shumake, assistant principal for both campuses, notes these schools didn’t have an assistant principal last year. “I don’t know how principals could address all discipline issues and function as a principal too,” Shumake said adding, “I don’t want to compare our numbers to last year. I’m interested in improving second semester statistics compared to fi rst semester statistics.” Toward that end, CIS Principal D’Wana Bryant said Shumake works with students individually as well as with their parents and families to better student behavior. She adds, “He, the teachers, and I have implemented several intervention strategies to help those students who habitually break rules or behave in ways disruptive or inappropriate to classmates and in a classroom setting.” Dr. Elizabeth Jarvis, Street Elementary principal, adds, “We are fortunate to have Mr. Shumake. He is an effective assistant principal. “Referrals are handled in a timely manner as students learn to understand the importance of proper behavior, manners and following campus rules.” Meanwhile, at LJH and COHS, there are substantial drops in most incident categories – including tardies and class dis-tion. Administrators are most pleased with the drop in the average number of fi ghts/instigation of fi ghts. LJH reported no fi ghts for the fi rst semester, averaging a 50 percent drop over last year. COHS averaged a 58 percent drop for a total of fi ve altercations in the fi rst semester. Both campuses agree that reducing opportunity is critical for improving outcomes. Solberg notes, “We have about 500 students changing classes eight times a day. They have fi ve minutes in between for travel.” For the transition, he as well as COHS teachers and principal, Bill Chapman, monitor hallways. Solberg says, “We are very visible and keep everyone moving.” Not only are COHS administrators seen, their expectations were heard at the start of the school year. “Mr. Chapman and I met with each class and reviewed all rules and consequences for breaking those rules,” Solberg recalls. “The standard was set; expectation was high. I believe we’ve been consistent in enforcement.” Seale, in her fi rst year at LJH, said a solid foundation of behavior expectations was in place when she arrived. She brags on students, retelling that the one known drug possession at the campus this year was turned in by a student. “For my part,” she says, “I have demanded more of the staff. “After the teacher has exhausted three interventions attempts, the student is referred to the grade level team. As a group, they go through a process which also permits at least three intervention attempts.” It is not until all those efforts are made that the student is referred to the assistant principal. Seale said, “One thing we know is that a teacher relationship can make or break success. If the student ends the semester with greater quantity and quality time in the classroom my expectation is that learning will have improved.”



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