Green Bay's school board reviews new behavior plan

A multi-level system for dealing with troubling behavior at Green Bay Area Public Schools is being introduced at a meeting, August 7, 2017. (WLUK)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- On September 5th, students in the Green Bay Area Public School District will head back to class with a new system in place for addressing student behavior.

District administrators say the new plan is the culmination of 10 years of work.

In a presentation to the school board, district administrators outlined the plan, which they believe will provide more consistent behavior and discipline in the district’s 41 schools.

“We really feel that this is going to create a positive momentum for all our schools,” said Angela Buchenauer, the associate director of pupil services for the district.

The plan calls for any student misbehavior to be met with discipline and intervention. There are five response levels. For example, a student misusing a computer to play games would receive a level one discipline and intervention. A student bringing a gun to school would receive a level five response.

District officials admit the discipline and interventions have already been policy for a long time. They say the new plan lays everything out in an easy to follow guide, providing clearer expectations for students, parents, staff, and the community.

“The pieces in our documents, our staff will look at them and be like this isn't anything really new, this is what we've always done, but yes it just puts it in a document that holds us accountable to be consistent across the district,” said Buchenauer.

The district stresses the new plan will be used as a guide, pointing out unique circumstances must be taken into account.

The plan comes two months after former Washington Middle School teacher Kerstin Westcott resigned. She told the school board she was concerned for her own safety, and the safety of her colleagues. Westcott described student behavior at the school as out of control and dangerous.

One Washington Middle School teacher says she likes the plan.

“While I'm sad that safety in our school deteriorated to the low that it did, I am confident in the plans laid out for our district and building moving forward,” said Jennifer Ditzman, a language arts teacher at Washington.

Some school board members raised concerns about individual pieces of the plan, but overall, believe it is a step in the right direction.

“I just want to make sure we're making it clear that safety comes first that we're not afraid to remove students if there is a problem when that’s best for safety,” said Andrew Becker, a school board member.

District officials say they will receive monthly updates from schools, and will continue to update the plan when needed.

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