The School Board of Manatee County on Jan. 24 will take a closer look at the discipline that is being handed down at district schools.
Director of Students Services Willie Clark will be presenting a mid-year checkup to the school board that looks at discipline trends within the district at the 3 p.m. board workshop.
Clark said his presentation would report what consequences are being handed down for what type of behavior. He declined to comment on any of the findings of his report, saying he did not want to share information with the media before presenting to the board.
At the Jan. 11 board meeting, Deputy Superintendent for Instructional Services Cynthia Saunders indicated the district was not happy with the initial findings of the discipline audit.
"The (metric) that we are probably not quite as pleased with is the last metric on that page, and that's our discipline reporting,” Saunders said, while reviewing quarterly academic data with the school board. She told the board they would delve further into the discipline data at the Jan. 24 meeting when Clark presents the update.
Saunders said Clark’s report would explain any increase in student discipline and what the action plan is to combat the increase.
In September, Clark presented data to the board along with goals for the district. At the time, Clark said the district hoped to increase classroom instruction on conflict resolution, increase training opportunities for teachers on classroom management and increase training in crisis management for more extreme scenarios.
“Discipline, not just as an administrator, but as a parent, you are faced with challenges,” Clark said Friday. “Whether with students, your own kids, you want to be consistent, what does consistency look like, you gotta look at the age of the student, developmentally where the kid is.”
In December, the Herald reported black students in the district were suspended three times as often as white students. Clark presented similar data in his September presentation, noting that while black boys make up 7 percent of the elementary school population, they accounted for 30 percent of referrals.
Superintendent Diana M. Greene told the Herald that understanding the data is key to addressing the disparities in discipline.
“Nobody likes sharing something that doesn’t look good, but the first step to fixing anything is acknowledging, ‘This is where we are,’ ” Greene said.
The board will also discuss goals for 2017 at their workshop.