Behavioral Expectations in Saint Paul Public Schools

  • Dear Colleagues:
    Saint Paul Public Schools is committed to closing the gaps that lead to disparities in achievement. We believe that ensuring safe, supportive learning environments is part of that work and connecting it to the everyday work of teaching and learning in our schools is paramount. As we set clear, high expectations for students, we match that with high levels of support to ensure that every child graduates ready for college, career and community.
    In order for our school environments to thrive, and for all students to achieve at high levels, we must increase student engagement and adopt an educational, preventative, and restorative approach to discipline within a multi-tiered system of support.
    We believe in using data to improve our learning environments and outcomes. Collecting data is necessary to analyze and refine our adult behavioral and academic systems and practices.  Using data is critical to identifying and meeting the needs of all students.
    We recognize that this work can be both challenging and complex; The SPPS expectations and behavior data collection system for all schools are designed to support this critical work.  Below you will find:
    • SPPS expectations for all schools
    • Definitions of classroom-managed and office-managed behaviors
    • More information about understanding behavior referral data 
    • Legal responsibilities for use of behavior data
    SPPS Expectations for All Schools
    • Establish an equitable multi-tiered system of support to meet the needs of all students
    • Define, teach, model, and reinforce behavioral expectations to all students
    • Collect behavior data to document lost instructional time using the standardized SPPS behavior data collection system (SW discipline plan, SPPS Office Discipline Referral (ODR) form, Infinite Campus and SWIS)
    • Provide professional development on your school-wide discipline plan and train staff to distinguish between classroom-managed* and office-managed* behaviors (*see definitions below)
    • Enter all ODRs (written only for office-managed behaviors) into district data collection system (Infinite Campus) according to the SW Discipline plan
    • When a classroom-managed behavior is referred out of the classroom, provide a response that 1) results in the least amount of lost instructional time for the student and 2) supports the teacher in handling future classroom-managed behavior in the classroom.
    • Respond to patterns of classroom-managed behaviors that are referred out of the classroom by targeting support and professional development to interrupt and change the practice of unnecessarily excluding students from instruction.
    • Examine SWIS data on a regular basis to ensure that behavior practices are implemented in ways that lead to positive and equitable outcomes for all students. (SPPS Student Rights and Responsibilities)
    • Assess the impact of school-wide practices on students, especially students of color, students with disabilities, students at-risk for dropping out of school, trauma, social exclusion, behavior incidents, etc. to identify any unintended disparities and consequences.
    Classroom-managed behavior:
    • is handled in the classroom setting using the continuum of classroom  interventions and consequences supported by the SW discipline plan
    • is NOT documented on an ODR form and student is NOT sent out of classroom/learning environment
    Office-managed behavior:
    • is handled outside the classroom setting using the continuum of support, both interventions and disciplinary responses, used by behavior support staff and administrators
    • results in lost instructional time and is documented on the SPPS Office Discipline Referral form
    • is entered into Infinite Campus
    Both classroom and office-managed behaviors are in alignment and guided by the continuum of interventions and disciplinary responses outlined in the SPPS Student Rights and Responsibilities handbook.
    Understanding the data
    Differences in behavior data between schools and groups of students may not reflect real behavior differences rather, they may reflect different systems and practices of handling student behavior and recording behavior data. It is important to note that when a school improves their fidelity of behavior referral recording, it may first appear as an increase in referrals. This increase often reflects a change in behavior referral recording not an increase in incidents of problem behavior.
    Legal responsibilities for use of behavior data
    • Never share or use someone else's password or login information
    • Only view and access data that are relevant to fulfill the requirements of your position
    • Treat all forms of behavior/discipline records (verbal, printed, electronic, etc) as private data
    Student educational records, which include discipline records, are official and private documents protected by one of the nation's, strongest protection laws, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
    Additional resources
    U.S. Department of Education, Guiding Principles: A Resource Guide for Improving School Climate and Discipline, Washington, D.C., 2014.
    Questions and Contacts
    For questions regarding the SPPS behavior data collection system, which includes a School-Wide Discipline Plan, SPPS Office Discipline Referral (ODR) form, SWIS reports, etc., please contact Kristi Kohn and/or Erin Metz.
    Jon Peterson
    Executive Director, OCCR