Improving School Behavior and Discipline

Posted: Thu, 09/29/2011 - 3:15pm Updated: Mon, 04/14/2014 - 11:53am

In 2009, Indiana's General Assembly passed HB 1419 which required the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) to develop a model evidence-based plan for improving discipline and behavior within schools. HEA 1419 required the state model plan to include guidelines for accomplishing the following results:

  1. Improving safe school planning and classroom management using positive behavior supports, parental involvement, and other effective disciplinary tools;
  2. Providing improved mental health services in or through schools;
  3. Reviewing zero tolerance policies to ensure:
    1. compliance with applicable laws; and
    2. that students are not inappropriately referred to juvenile justice agencies;
  4. Providing assistance to parents concerning access to family strengthening programs;
  5. Improving communication, coordination and collaboration among schools, including special education programs, parents, and juvenile justice agencies;
  6. Improving methods and procedures for school suspensions and referrals to alternative programs; and
  7. Providing for the collection, review and reporting on an annual basis of school behavior and disciplinary problems, arrests and referrals to the juvenile justice system disaggregated on the basis of race and ethnicity, under guidelines for determining the existence of disproportionality in discipline or inappropriately high rates of suspension or expulsion.

The deadline for IDOE's model plan was June 1, 2010. The deadline for school corporation plans was July 1, 2011 (this section of the law expired on June 30, 2011).

School Corporation Evidence-Based Plan for Improving Student Behavior and Discipline

IC 20-26-5-32 requires the governing body of each school corporation to work with parents to:

  1. develop; and
  2. review periodically;

an evidence-based plan for improving student behavior and discipline in the school corporation after receiving a model plan developed by the department (model plan developed before June 1, 2010).  The governing body was required to submit this plan to the department by July 1, 2011.

General Requirements for the School Corporation Plan

    • The school corporation plan shall lay out goals for a 3 year period which must be reviewed and revised periodically and revised to accomplish the behavioral and disciplinary objectives of the school corporation.
    • The plan must specify how and to what extent the school corporation expects to make continuous improvement in these areas of the education system where results are measured by setting benchmarks for progress.
    • Goals must be consistent with evidence-based practices and include annual targets to improve data aligned to achieve each goal. Some data sources might include:
      1. Rates of office referral, suspension, expulsion, arrest, and referrals to the juvenile justice system.
      2. The rate of disproportionality as evidenced by office referrals, suspensions expulsions, arrests and referrals to the juvenile justice system.
      3. The delivery of professional development to school staff with regard to positive behavioral supports and cultural competency.
      4. The frequency with which school staff use positive behavioral practices and strategies at school-wide, group, and individual levels.
      5. Feedback and input from families and community agencies regarding communication and coordination efforts and outcomes.

                The deadline for the initial school corporation plans was July 1, 2011.

                Documents Supporting School Corporation Plans

                Additional resources and videos can be found in the "IDOE – Improving Student Behavior & Discipline" community in the Learning Connection.  Follow these steps to become a member of the community:

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