Principal: New Bloomfield makes strides with discipline

NEW BLOOMFIELD — One year after questioning school officials about how discipline issues were affecting student performance, parent Rich Garwood returned to the New Bloomfield School Board to ask what progress has been made.

Elementary Principal Julie Gerloff said her building is continuing to implement the Positive Behavior Support (PBS) program, designed to positively reinforce the qualities of being safe, kind, respectful and responsible.

“Kids are responding extremely well,” Gerloff said, although the new administrator noted, “I’ve not compared referrals from last year to this year.”

Suzanne Lackman, high school/junior high principal, and Susan Dockery, vice principal, said they also have been using PBS. They said this year they also have implemented a new tardy sweep program.

When the bell rings, classroom doors close, and all students not in attendance are not allowed into the classrooms until they go to the office, fill out tardy paperwork and are escorted to class by an adult.

“We’ve done a three-week comparison of tardies from last year, and they have been reduced by 37,” Lackman said. “We expect it to drop quite a bit more.”

To further enforce the new tardy policy, repeat offenders are put on escort and are accompanied by an adult between all classes.

Lackman also shared data regarding discipline referrals.

“Our population fluctuates up and down, but total disciplinary actions did go up from 38 to 50,” she said, although she noted the 38 actions involved 28 students and the 50 actions involved 30 students. “So some of our repeat offenders are showing themselves, and we’ve had meetings to discuss what some of the repeat offenses are ... and how we can better attend to that.”

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