Behavior Response Protocol
Our first priority at Skokie School District 73.5 is to provide a safe and welcome learning environment for all students and staff.
The information below outlines the District's general behavior procedures, accompanying policies and legislation governing these protocols, and our proactive behavioral supports. Please note that response to each behavior incident is personalized according to the specific situation and individual student characteristics and needs.
Procedures for Addressing Concerning Student Behavior
Administration will initiate a thorough investigation when any student or staff disciplinary report is received.
If Administration receives a report of bullying, the school will make diligent efforts to notify the parent/guardian of all students involved in the alleged incident within 24 hours after Administration is notified of the student's involvement. For more information about bullying, please see Board of Education Policy 7:180 Prevention of and Response to Bullying, Intimidation and Harassment.
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. An act must be aggressive and result from an imbalance in power and involve repetition or the potential for repetition.
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- Relevant students and staff will be interviewed and/or asked to submit witness statements related to the alleged incident.
- Administration may reach out to members of the student support team (school psychologist and social workers) to provide social and emotional support to the student if needed.
- Administration may communicate and involve any district staff members if warranted (Director of Student Services, Superintendent, etc.).
- If the report alleges an immediate safety concern, the student who may pose a direct threat will be identified and isolated to the school office for safety.
- The student, personal belongings, and lockers may be searched if there is evidence to suggest that the student possesses any weapon.
- Outside agencies may be contacted for support (Skokie Police Department, Department of Children and Family Services [DCFS], etc.).
- Available camera footage will be reviewed for clarity and evidence.
- Parents/guardians will be contacted to share details of the reported incident.
- Parents/guardians may be asked to report to the building to pick up the student or participate in a conference.
- Student records will be reviewed to reveal any patterns or trends.
- Using this data, school administrators can determine whether the behaviors are bullying behaviors or individual peer conflicts.
- A Risk Assessment and/or Threat Assessment will be completed by trained staff and administration when there is evidence of possible harm to self or others.
- Any recommended exclusionary consequences will be communicated to the superintendent for approval.
- If a student is issued an out-of-school suspension, a a re-entry meeting will be held with the student, parent, administration, and a student support team member.
- If a student has an IEP or Section 504 Plan, administration will reach out to the Special Education team to determine if the student requires additional services and/or to determine if an IEP meeting should be scheduled.
- This could result in an increase in special education services, change of placement, the review/addition of a Behavior Intervention Plan, etc.
- Relevant staff will be notified of the reported incident, investigation, and next steps will be shared as soon as possible.
- Relevant staff are members of the student’s educational team who would need to know information about the student in accordance with student rights to confidentiality.
The District is required to consider the student's right to a public education in the least restrictive environment.
The District considers the student rights listed below when investigating, analyzing, and addressing student threats:
The School Code requires that for both students with and without disabilities, schools must minimize exclusionary discipline. Before excluding a student from school, the District must attempt appropriate and available interventions; before expelling a student who is a threat to the school environment, the District must exhaust appropriate, available interventions. Interventions may include, for example, counseling services, behavior intervention plans, restorative justice techniques, safety plans, referral to mental health care, and shorter suspensions from school.
Except in emergency situations where there is an articulable and significant threat, disclosure of student information is limited to those school professionals who have an educational or administrative interest in the student in furtherance of that interest, and is not shared with school professionals who do not interact with the student, with other students, or other students’ parents.
Except in limited circumstances, for students with IEPs or Section 504 Plans, the District is unable to change a student’s placement for disciplinary reasons without parent agreement if the IEP team determines that the student’s behavior was caused by or had a direct and substantial relationship to the student’s disability. Threat assessments also take into account a student's disability, developmental level, and emotional maturity.
The IDEA and Section 504 also require that a student be educated in the least restrictive environment where they can receive educational benefit. Schools are required to attempt positive supports, aids, and interventions before moving a student to a more restrictive placement.
Proactive Behavioral Supports
The District is researching curriculum to be used across all schools to reinforce expected behaviors related to equity. Specifically, the district is considering Anti-Defamation League (ADL) No Place for Hate programming.
Our schools are committed to providing a safe, comfortable learning environment for all students. We have preventative programs such as Second Step, PBIS, CHAMPS, social and emotional skill groups, care cards, and peer mediation that challenge peer conflict. However, with an increasingly digital world, we want to provide students, families, and community members with an opportunity to make reports using our online student safety reporting form. This form encourages students, parents, and staff to report serious safety concerns to administration confidentially. An example for using this form may include, but is not limited to, bullying, bias, or unsafe behavior.
Care Cards at Middleton and McCracken provide students with a discreet opportunity to communicate with staff about incidents of bullying or teasing so that we may provide the needed support.
Classroom Management System implemented by all staff to clearly define expected behaviors related to conversation, help, activity, movement, and participation, leading to student success throughout a variety of instructional settings.
Each trimester, staff reviews the discipline data to identify existing trends or patterns and creates an action plan specific to their grade level.
District-wide grade level-specific social and emotional curricula aligned to the Illinois Social and Emotional Learning Standards.
Examples of standards/skills covered:
- Empathy and Communication
- Bullying Prevention
- Emotional Management
- Goal Setting
- Digital Citizenship and Cyberbullying
- Problem Solving
At the beginning of the school year and at regular intervals, Middleton and McCracken teachers/advisors review sections of the Parent/Student Handbook with students, including information about behavior and discipline.
Social emotional learning that helps students identify and manage feelings, providing common language for communication, problem solving, and emotional understanding.
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
Students receive explicit teaching and reteaching of expected behaviors in common areas throughout the building. Examples include:
- Safe use of technology
- Bathrooms, hallways, stairs
- Before and after school activities
- Office procedures
- Cafeteria and recess
Our schools provide incentives to students for exhibiting positive behavior. Rewards vary from school to school.
Each school has a behavior matrix that outlines expectations in every part of the building.
McCracken students are eligible to earn a wide variety of honors for their success in school! This includes Spotlight on Success, which recognizes students’ academic growth and achievement. Each month, teachers celebrate the many students who have demonstrated academic success in each grade level to honor them for making progress toward learning standards, meeting or extending learning standards, demonstrating great interest in a particular subject area, and/or demonstrating a growth mindset. Individual teachers and administrators also acknowledge students with positive postcards for a variety of reasons throughout the year.
Restorative practices provide peers with the opportunity to solve a conflict through a conference facilitated by a trusted adult. Examples include:
- Restorative reflections
- Restorative circles
- Peer mediation
- Conflict resolution
PBIS assemblies provide school-wide, predictable events that build a positive school culture and publicly celebrate positive student behaviors.