Thank you for your interest in Discipline by Design, the Honor Level System. If you are looking for information or assistance with school discipline, we hope you will find it here.
The Honor Level System is the result of more than two decades of development. Created to meet the needs of one middle school in western Washington, it is now used with more than 90,000 youngsters in schools across America. Today, high schools, junior high schools, middle schools and elementary schools use it to track their discipline.
The Honor Level System has been described as “one of the most refreshing, proactive” approaches to dealing with student discipline to ever come to our schools. It is a perfect blend of Assertive and Empathetic discipline that shows respect for the child.
It will print reports for parents, teachers, and administrators. It tracks students through progressive stages of disciplinary action and notifies them of detention assignments.
This overview covers the many features incorporated in The Honor Level System and describes their use.
HONOR LEVELS AND POSITIVE RECOGNITION
Honor Level One students are youngsters who rarely get into trouble. To qualify for Honor Level One, a student must not be assigned to detention or sent to Time-out at all in the last 14 calendar days. Problems on school buses and other situations involving discipline also disqualify a student from Honor Level One.
The school plans special privileges and activities for students on Honor Level One. These may include well publicized events, such as recreational periods, extended lunch time breaks, etc. It is also recommended that a school include some “spontaneous” or “surprise” activities. These might include free ice-cream certificates, coupons from local merchants for free beverages when they attend a movie or buy a hamburger, etc.
Usually 70% to 80% of the students will qualify for Honor Level One.
Honor Level Two students are youngsters who may have only had one or two problems in the last 14 calendar days. Some of the extra privileges awarded Honor Level One students may also be awarded Honor Level Two Students.
Typically 20% to 30% of your students qualify for Honor Level Two.
Honor Level Three students are youngsters who seem to have more difficulty staying out of trouble. They will have had three or more problems within the last 14 calendar days. Honor Level Three students will not receive the extra privileges that the Honor Level One’s and Two’s enjoy. Often they are excluded from activities as are the Honor Level Fours, but these students might negotiate the right to participate.
Generally only about 5% or fewer of your students will be on Honor Level Three.
Honor Level Four students are youngsters who consistently get into trouble at school. Fortunately, this is a very small group. Schools using The Honor Level System have reported that this group rarely exceeds 5% of the students.
Youngsters on Honor Level Four usually do not participate in any of the extra activities that the other students enjoy. For example, one school asks them to sit in a study hall during school assemblies and makes them ineligible to attend dances or athletic events. They do not negotiate as do the threes.
THE 14-DAY WINDOW
When determining any Honor Level, we only take into account a student’s discipline record for the last 14 days. No matter how much trouble a youngster may get into, there is always a way to work back up to Honor Level One. Each day is a new day, and the Honor Level is recalculated. Problems that occurred more than 14 days ago do not affect the calculation.
Students who have fallen from Honor Level One are notified the day they make it back. And as they progress upward through the Honor Levels, they are encouraged and reminded that they are improving.
PROGRESSIVE STAGES OF CONSEQUENCE
It would be nice if positive recognition was all that was required to encourage appropriate behavior in children. In actuality, negative consequences are an important part of behavior modification. Most schools have some system of consequences already in place and operating. Students are sent to the office, asked to stay after school, required to write notes to their parents, and in extreme situations suspended from school for one or more days.
The success of such negative consequences varies from school to school. Psychologists tell us, though, the best behavior modification systems include both positive recognition and appropriate consequences. Furthermore, such a discipline system must be perceived as fair and equitable as possible.
The Honor Level System provides you with the tools you need to do just that. Both recognition and appropriate consequence are easily administered with the aid of your office computer. A system of fairness exists whereby each student will feel that he or she is treated the same as any other.
A system of progressive discipline uses several stages of consequence. Each one is more significant than the one that comes before it. As a student moves from stage to stage, the disciplinary action taken by the school becomes more severe.
Your own staff chooses the actual consequences for your school. The following are sample stages:
1st infraction: 15 minute Noon Detention
2nd infraction: 30 minute Noon Detention
3rd infraction: After School Detention
4th infraction: In-school Suspension
5th infraction: Saturday School
6th infraction: Suspension from School
You may use up to seven stages of consequence.
The Honor Level System provides for both forward and backward movement through these stages of consequence. Forward movement occurs as any individual student is cited again and again for infractions of school rules. We prefer to say: “fails to meet behavioral expectations.”
TIME HEALS THE WOUNDS
The mechanism for moving back to lower stages is time. If a student can stay out of trouble and show that there is a general change in behavior, he or she should move to lower stages of consequence.
When determining the appropriate stage of discipline, the computer will examine the record of behavior for the last fourteen days. The computer does not exclude weekends, holidays, or student absences. It examines fourteen days of the calendar. The term “3rd infraction” refers to the third infraction within a window of time that is only fourteen days long.
Your system may assign a student to after school detention two or three times in a row if the frequency of his or her infractions is about once every three or four days. It does not assign the fourth stage of consequence after the fourth infraction if the first infraction was more than 14 days in the past. The only way in which this child can reach lower stages of consequence is to decrease the frequency of citations. He or she will need to go more days in a row without problems.
©Copyright 2009, Budd Churchward