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Revised Student Code of Conduct 'equitable and proactive'

Improving the culture and climate throughout Mansfield City Schools – including a revised student Code of Conduct =- was the topic in January when Martin Linder, right, director of school improvement, and Andrew Schiefer, principal of the Freshman Academy, appeared on WMFD TV’s “Inside Mansfield City Schools.”

      The Mansfield City Schools Board of Education heard the first reading of a revised district Student Code of Conduct Tuesday, one that Martin Linder, director of school improvement, said will be “equitable and proactive.”

      “Why are we doing this? Because we need a clear understanding of expectations, interventions and consequences,” Linder told the board.

      “We want to keep kids in the classroom to learn but they must behave while they are there.”

      The Student Code of Conduct addresses a myriad of topics, ranging from unruly behavior and fighting to truancy and bullying. Each topic clearly defines what consequences a principal may impose.

      Linder said intervention will be emphasized to correct behavior and avoid suspensions or expulsions.

      Development of the revised code began last fall during meetings of the grades 7-12 PBIS team (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports). Linder said the team reviewed online conduct codes “in many districts across the country” before deciding the best model was one they found in Maryland.

      “This (the revised MCS code) was vetted very thoroughly by many people across our district,” Linder emphasized.

      Board vice president Renda Cline praised the work.

      “Children can’t learn if they aren’t in the classroom,” she said.

      Cline has expressed concern that behavioral issues have caused the removal of too many students from classrooms. She said a clear explanation of the revised conduct policy and its equitable application will benefit everyone.

      Linder said the revised Student Code of Conduct is “one step in the goal of improving culture and climate throughout the district.”

      “This is just the beginning of this work,” said Linder, as he asked the board to consider adoption of the revised code at its June 19 meeting. 

      “We will have staff training and community meetings later this summer to explain the Code of Conduct. Probably we will send letters home with students too. We want everyone to understand it.”

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