Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services Karyn Cummings provided the Mesquite ISD Board of Trustees with a disciplinary report at Monday night’s board meeting.
Mesquite ISD’s goal in this area has been to get to the root cause of unacceptable behavior and devise a plan to change that behavior so students can be successful, and according to Cummings report, since they began this venture three years ago they’ve seen significant improvements.
“Three years ago when we started this department we had about 143 students that revisited DAEP (Disciplinary Alterative Education Program) on an annual basis, now we’re down to 69 kids who have repeat times that they go to DAEP,” Cummings said.
Executive Director of Administrative Services Shelley Garrett said they’ve been hyper focused on getting to the root cause of disciplinary issues among students because their bad behavior could be a result of a variety of things.
“We don’t just want to see what they’re doing, give them a consequence and move on. We want to find out what we can do to put a behavioral plan in place and move forward so that that kid can be successful,” Cummings said.
Based on 2017-18 school year data, interschool suspension, Disciplinary Alterative Education Program (DAEP) recidivism, discretion DAEP, conduct code violations, and controlled substance infractions are all down.
They emphasized conduct code violations have dropped significantly, about 5,000 fewer incidents, which can be anything from dress code to bringing a knife to school.
Cummings reported that code violations amount to about one-fourth of the student population.
“One-fourth of our students had one bad day where they did something that they shouldn’t do,” she said.
The two also noted that no edict was issued that said campuses couldn’t punish students or dictate how things should be done.
“This came from informing schools of the fact that we don’t want you just to look at a kid and run them on a conveyor belt and punish them. We want you to look at what’s going on with them,” Cummings said.
She added that they’ve gathered resources for the campuses, much of which comes from their counseling staff, to aid in students’ social emotional learning.
Garrett said the district offers a Family Support Center – free counseling for families and students. This is cooperative effort between MISD and Texas A&M Commerce.