A major overhaul to the Code of Conduct section of the Student Handbook at Superior Schools could greet returning students next fall.  The Superior School Board is expected to readdress the Code of Conduct issue at their upcoming meeting on June 13.  And while there is usually an annual review to the policy section, this upcoming update could bring some major changes to the way that the school handles disciplinary issues.

As it reads right now, the Code of Conduct section of the Student Handbook for students in the Superior School District takes up six pages, covering in detail the five levels of disciplinary action that the district uses to approach different levels of behavior.  From "teasing" to harassment, "disrespect" to dress code, to some serious issues like weapons, illegal substances, the Code of Conduct outlines the suspension and expulsion steps that would be taken in each case.

However, school staff, administrators, and the board agreed that those policies were in need of some updates - to address some "contemporary" issues that might not be spelled out in detail currently.  According to an article in the Superior Telegram [paywall], the district is looking to separate responses to some conduct issues - allowing for other options than the standard suspension or expulsion:

"The most notable change in the new student Code of Conduct involved separating the different responses to behavior - accountability responses such as detention and suspension versus preventative measures such as referral to community services, an alcohol cessation education program or restorative circle - into separate columns."

Mental health is another issue that a revised Code of Conduct would address.  The effects of the last couple of years - specifically the COVID-19 Pandemic - have left many students dealing with massive mental health issues.  Throughout the last few years, students have had to deal with a shutdown, classes going full-time virtual, then hybrid, to back in session; each of those steps along the way brought challenges to students that none of their peers before had to deal with.

And now that things are somewhat back to "normal", there is the expectation of these students to fully-return to pre-pandemic levels of academics.  That return to the way things were before has proved to be challenging for many:

"Teachers saw an increase in student mental health and behavioral struggles this school year as students built up stamina and work towards pre-pandemic normal, according to Great Lakes Elementary School Principal Ryan Haroldson.  'I think we underestimated it', he said of the pandemic's impact on students."

A revision to that Code of Conduct might also finally address the ever-present and growing issue of cell phone usage by students in school and classrooms.  Superior Science teacher Lee Simms noted that distraction that cell phone have in the classroom; "he said that one of his colleagues had students put their phones down for one class period.  In that 48 minutes, over 400 notifications came in".  Sims noted that "the amount of distraction is insane" and that "students are finding ways to avoid education".

The issue of a Code of Conduct update for the Superior School District will be readdressed at the June 13 board meeting.

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