1) What did you discover about the structure and documents the district established for maintaining/supporting an environment that minimizes disruption to the learning process? I found that the Garfield Board of Education put together a very well written student handbook. The handbook not only provides the students with all of the school's rules and regulations, but, it also informs them of the pertinent staff members in case of any problems or questions.
The document exhibits the fact that the Garfield School District does not take student disorder lightly. They have rigid policies on tardiness, truancy, fighting, smoking, vandalism, drugs, etc. The handbook goes into full detail of how the district utilizes New Jersey's punishments for students not obeying city and state laws to the maximum. If read, the handbook leaves little to the imagination as to what the district expects of the students, as well as, what consequences await the offenders.
2) What do you believe are the strengths and weaknesses of the structure and documents? Were there gaps? What could be done to improve the structures/documents? Once again, I am impressed with the manner in which the handbook is organized and written. I could not find any particular area which the book fails to address. It is very detailed and is basically the students' bible, answering any questions or concerns that may arise.
The one procedure that needs to be re-structured is the manner in which the -2- handbooks, as well as, other important documents are distributed. As a homeroom teacher, I hand out large amounts of literature and see first hand what happens to it. The students do not bring papers home to their parents, as directed. They either throw them out or leave them on the desks. Every year I pick up piles of the student handbooks...