A cleaner, but not much different, code of conduct at Bemidji Area Schools
BEMIDJI—Bemidji Area Schools leaders are taking a different tack to refine their disciplinary practices.
Administrators at the district considered revising some definitions in the district's code of conduct to be more specific and granular to differentiate between, say, a student who's being "insubordinate" to disrupt the classroom and one who's exhibiting the same sort of behavior because of trouble at home. But the new code of conduct School Board members approved Monday only includes a handful of small changes—"school resource officer" in place of "school police," for instance.
That, Superintendent Tim Lutz told the Pioneer, is because the district plans to change the way it records discipline. District staff are set to use more refined definitions for different forms of misconduct in their internal reporting system, Lutz said, but won't add them to the code itself.
School district leaders revamped the code of conduct last year, and another, perhaps larger, revamp could be on the way. Bemidji Area Schools is one of several northern Minnesota districts in the state Department of Education's school climate pilot program, and program staff have offered to help school district staff rework the code again, Lutz said.
"I think the prevailing thought was, 'OK, if we're going to be changing it again...let's wait until they tell us what to do next year,'" Lutz said. "Let's wait until guidance comes along, and that's when we'll make some huge changes."