January 16th Edition

Transforming School Discipline: 
Shifting from power and control to collaboration and problem solving 

Education innovation is important to ensure that we are providing the best support and preparation for our children for all aspects of their lives. Therefore, it is important to examine and improve our practices in all aspects of education, including how we respond to challenging student behaviors. 

by Ross W. Greene Founding Director, Lives in the Balance; Department of Psychology, Virginia Tech; Faculty of Science, University of Technology Sydney 

The statistics are staggering. Every school year in the United States, there are 3 million out-of-school suspensions, 3 million in-school suspensions, and dozens of millions of detentions. Every year, over 100,000 students are expelled and there are several hundred thousand paddlings, restraints, and locked- or blocked-door seclusions. 

Students with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges are those most frequently on the receiving end of these increasingly archaic interventions. e most obvious distinguishing characteristic of these students is the fact that their behavior is more extreme: screaming, swearing, hitting, kicking, spitting, biting, throwing, running, destroying property, and worse. Of course, archaic discipline strategies typically aren’t administered to students whose behavior is less extreme: using their words (the holy grail of adaptive responses), whining, pouting, sulking, withdrawing, or crying. But regardless of whether a student’s behavior is more or less extreme, the field of developmental psychopathology is quite clear on the fact that the behavior is communicating that the child is having difficulty meeting certain expectations. Thus, behavior is simply the signal, the fever. 

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Self-care: The “New” Leadership Essential

by Joe Schroeder, Associate Executive Director, AWSA 

We are entering that time of the school year when the day-to-day challenges of the job can especially become “a grind.”  This is a natural byproduct of serving a variety of folks who seek out your limited time, energy, and resources to meet their virtually unlimited needs and desires.  Day after day, week after week, they keep coming and coming and coming….  Understandably, this can take a toll – and that cost often reveals itself mightily about now.  In an era unprecedented in levels both of stakeholder needs and high expectations for results, how you sustain yourself and your daily energy is crucial.  Thus, self-care is emerging as a “new” essential for school leaders, at a time when we are becoming increasingly aware that strong leadership is more critical than ever, yet when recent studies show that 89% of school administrators report feeling very stressed at least once or twice a week, when one quarter of all America’s principals leave their schools each year, and when one half of new principals quit by their third year in the role.

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The Tech Behind School Safety and Security:
A Brief Review of 10 Cyber-Physical Technologies for K-12 Schools 

by Brian Casey, Ed.D, Director of Technology, Stevens Point Area Public School District

Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master 
- Christian Lous Lange 

Technology has changed many aspects of our daily lives, work and schooling. High-speed internet access, exponential growth in computer power, the ubiquity of personal mobile devices and the rise of social media have profoundly transformed our society. These changes have also revolutionized physical security. A vast amount of data are created by sensors, software and systems. Also known as “big data”, these data can be analyzed and used by artificial intelligence (A.I.) and machine learning to alert humans about potential security issues and to predict behavior. The ability to store, share and use data on the cloud and over high-speed internet connections also allows more systems to connect. 

The systems used to manage facilities, communications, business operations, security and teaching are digital systems that are increasingly talking to one another and sharing data. As the digital transformation expands, school leaders must carefully consider the implications of new and existing technology designed for safety and security. What existing digital safety and security technologies offer schools the most benefit? Which new and emerging technologies hold the most promise for K-12 schools? What do school leaders need to consider before implementing new technology to enhance safety and security? This article will review 10 important examples of K-12 safety and security technology and offer guidance about the use and implementation of each technology.

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Get Your Copy of the 2019-20 Professional Concerns Report

Click here for AWSA's 2019-20 Professional Concerns Report. The report includes data on salaries, contract length, and members most frequently asked contract questions.

We are appreciative of the 450 members who completed the 2018 Professional Concerns Survey which is one of the primary sources for the report. We provided an overnight stay at Kalahari Resort and Waterpark to one member who completed the survey. The lucky winner was Peter Haubrich of Central High School in Westosha. 

AWSA is grateful to Horace Mann for their support of this report.

January 30th Edition

Charting AWSA’s Future

by Rick Flaherty, AWSA Board President and Principal of Superior Middle School

The AWSA Board of Directors is currently reviewing our organizational goals or “Ends Statements,” which is something the organization does every five years. This article describes where we are at in the process and provides an opportunity for your input prior to board action this spring.

We began the process by including questions about AWSA’s current Ends Statements in the association’s 2018 Membership Satisfaction survey.  Subsequently, the Board of Directors has convened key stakeholders to review relevant data, consider the current environment, and anticipate future needs.  

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Student Expulsions – What Proof Do You Need? 

by Abby Busler, Attorney, Davis & Kuelthau and Bob Butler, WASB Associate Executive Director and Staff Counsel, Wisconsin Association of School Boards

As the 2018-2019 school year passes its midway point, many principals have addressed multiple disciplinary issues with students, some reaching the level of an expulsion hearing.  Wisconsin public schools have a responsibility to ensure schools are safe places to learn.  District principals and superintendents enforce school rules and administer student discipline. School Districts are granted their authority to expel a child through Wisconsin statute section 120.13(1)(c),stating a school board has the authority to expel a student.

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Effort Seeks To Build Capacity and Coherence for Wisconsin Educators 

The Wisconsin Department of Public InstructionCESA Statewide NetworkWisconsin Association of School District Administrators and the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators are working collaboratively to provide coherence for and build the capacity of classroom, school and district leaders to ensure all students graduate college and career ready.

Beginning this year, the partners will transition three stand-alone professional learning activities into a coherent, jointly planned conference series:The Wisconsin Leading for Learning Series.  This is in response to strong input from the field encouraging state and regional organizations to better coordinate events for Wisconsin educators.Today’s busy educator should be served by organizations using common language, coordinating support and helping them “connect the dots” of emerging initiatives, research and practices to their work and environment.  

Beginning in 2019, the QE Convention, Data Summit, and Innovations in Equity Conference will be combined into the Leading for Learning Summit June 26-28, 2019 in Madison.   

This annual convening will be fully integrated with the WOW series that delivers simultaneous professional development to educator teams in each CESA throughout the year.

The Wisconsin Leading for Learning Series will address three tenets: Supporting Educator Practice, Leading for Equity, and Promoting Safe, Supportive and Rigorous Culture. Woven throughout these three tenets will be information on the data practices that are essential to continuously improving student outcomes.