This week we welcomed Brandon Krueger onto the podcast. Brandon is based in Colorado and is Pivotal Education’s Principal Trainer in the US.
Brandon has been a teacher, a vice-principal, a principal and then he worked in the central office, supporting school leaders. He also worked at University level in initial teacher education programmes and educational leadership programmes.
How is behaviour management approached in US schools?
States in the US have educations codes or laws which apply to student discipline. These are often applied as a ‘progressive discipline policy’ in a particular school district.
A low-level incident such as a student shouting at another in the hallway, would not necessarily result in anything more than a conversation with a near-by adult. The student might be sent for some conflict resolution work to the school office from a school administrator or counsellor. Parents would usually get a phone call to inform them of the incident, the fact that it is being resolved by the school and asking them to talk to the child. If the incident is part of an emerging pattern, they might be asked to check into the office every morning or a contract set up for a specific period of time.
At the other end of the scale – e.g. act of violence or possession of an illegal substance or a weapon – the incident would be immediately referred to school administration for investigation, processing and action. Parents are always contacted, to pick up the student and meet with the administrator. The codes require that this kind of incident is met with an initial suspension of 5 days which can then be extended and, if necessary, lead to an expulsion. There would be a disciplinary panel who rule on the outcome which could be the transfer of the pupil to an independent school or to a school in another area.
The site principal has a certain amount of flexibility in making the initial determination, however, when this is reviewed by a central office or department of student services, it can be overruled.
Every school that Brandon has spoken to has the goal of reducing exclusions as far as possible by promoting community inclusion.
What is the role of security staff or police in US schools?
In secondary education, most schools will have ‘campus supervisors’ or ‘school safety officers’ who are …
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