November 7th Edition

Act 143 Creates Office of School Safety, Adds Mandatory Reports of School Violence Threats 

by Malina Piontek, Attorney, LLC, AWSA’s Retained Legal Counsel  

According to the 2017 Wisconsin Youth Risk Behavior Survey, an estimated 5.2% of Wisconsin  students carry weapons at school, while 6.9% of students have been threatened with a weapon. The percentage of Wisconsin students who never or rarely feel safe at school is steadily rising. In response to statistics such as these, on March 22, 2018, the state legislature passed 2017 Wisconsin Act 143(“Act 143”) which requires that all individuals who are mandatory reporters for child abuse or neglect purposes now must report school violence threats.  It also created a State Office of School Safety, requires on-site safety assessments, requires School Violence Drills, and provides regulations for school safety plans.   

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Ethics Starts with Common Courtesies

by Colonel Arthur J. Athens, USMCR (Ret.), Director, U.S. Naval Academy’s Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership  

One of the major departments of our federal government asked me to speak to their senior executives about “Organizational Values.”  About two weeks before my presentation, I thought it would be wise to become more familiar with this department by studying their website.  While browsing the department’s online presence, I could not find a list of values for the department.  

I called the individual who had invited me to speak and told him I couldn’t find the department’s values on the website.  He quickly responded, “You didn’t find any . . .  because we don’t have any.  That’s why we want you to address the subject.”  After a pregnant pause, he continued, “But we are serious about values and have been conducting surveys and focus groups throughout the department to solicit thoughts from our workforce.”  I asked if he could share some of the observations they had gained from the surveys and focus groups that might help direct my presentation.  There was silence again on the line and then he sheepishly said, “Actually, what we’ve been hearing is our people want their bosses to know their names, greet them during the day, and say thank you on occasion.”  Wow . . . I had my work cut out for me

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Recent WI EE Teacher Survey Underscores that School Leadership Matters

Twenty-four thousand Wisconsin teachers (or 44%) participated in the 2017-18 Educator Effectiveness Survey.  The Office of Socially Responsible Evaluation in Education (SREed) of UW-Milwaukee published a report this past month, which shared results of this survey and implications for leaders and policy makers.  According to project researchers, “Results demonstrate a close connection between how school districts implement teacher evaluations and the perceptions of their teachers across a number of school social factors, including the usefulness of performance feedback, principal effectiveness, and job satisfaction. Teachers in districts that provide adequate time and support to teachers to complete their evaluation process—as well as useful and accurate performance feedback—perceive their principals to be effective leaders and are more satisfied with their job.”  

See the full report through this link.