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May 24, 2006

MMSD will begin new "discipline" program next year

One of those cryptic messages in the current MMSD budget document says:

One of the major challenges for the 2006-07 school year is implementing a change in the philosophy and approach to creating positive student behavior. We are moving from a punitive system of student behavior management to a distict wide positive approach to changing student behavior thorugh education, dialogue and resotrative justice.

In plain language, the district will implement a variation of a program created by Corwin Kronenberg. The program won't be the complete version of Kronenberg's plan because he and the district had a falling out, similar to the parting of ways between the MMSD and Glen Singleton with his "courageous conversations" on race.

Kronenberg doesn't seem to have a Web site that lays out his behavioral management plan, but it's posted below as it appears on the Web site of the Sheboygan school district.

From the Sheboygan school district:

Many of you have heard of our new program at Jackson School called Top of the Line. Top of the Line is a revised program based on a program developed by nationally recognized behavior management expert Corwin Kronenberg.

The goal of our “Top of the Line” program is for students to learn the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, and create a safe and caring environment.

In our “Top of the Line” program, behavior is divided into three groups: above, below and bottom of the line. Students are expected to exhibit above the line behavior. If a student makes a bad behavior choice and falls below the line, the student will be expected to assume responsibility for the behavior. Students whose behavior falls below the line are given a choice to “fix it” or accept a consequence for going below the line. If the child selects the fix it option, they will be expected to develop a plan for fixing the problem. When a child chooses a consequence, one will be worked out with the child and adult in charge.

We do not have a standard set of consequences for every below the line behavior. A consequence will be generated specifically for the incident, with the following guidelines: Must be related to the incident, must be delivered respectfully, must be reasonable.

Bottom line behaviors are completely unacceptable at school. A bottom line behavior is a violation of state law, district policy or totally unacceptable behavior. Bottom line behaviors require the involvement of the principal. A Jackson Elementary School Notification Slip (ticket) will be sent home for these infractions. Depending on the incident, parental involvement or legal authorities may be utilized.


Respectful, responsible, polite, safe, cooperative, and a good worker.


Swearing, teasing,budging in line, hitting, uncooperative,wasting time.


Weapons, vandalism, racial harassment, assault, use of drugs, sexual harassment.

The Web site of the school system in Ogilvie, Minnesota, explains the program this way:

Behavioral Expectations

Above the Line/Below the Line/Bottom Line is a system used to categorize behavior. Good or appropriate behavior is deemed Above the Line, inappropriate behavior is deemed Below the Line, and serious rule infractions are considered Bottom Line.

When a student chooses to act inappropriately their behavior is referred to as being Below the Line. It is at this point that the student will choose between a Consequence or a Fix It Plan. The staff person observing the Below the Line behavior will give the student a choice. The student is asked, Do you want a consequence, or do you want to fix it? The student generally chooses to fix it. This is done with a Fix-It-Plan. The student will be asked to brainstorm ways they can fix or repair the harm they have caused. The brainstorming will take place in the Stop Think and Resolve Room. If a student has made fun of a classmate and left him/her out of a game, a Fix It Plan might involve being extra kind to the student. For example, the offending student might invite the other child to join in a game that day or write a letter to the child listing three specific things she/he likes about them. The child who has been made fun of will be encouraged to give input as to what she or he thinks might help repair the harm, and an agreement may be negotiated. It will be the job of the STR Room personnel to follow up and verify that the plan is carried out. In the event that the plan is not completed, the offending student forfeits their opportunity to fix the problem themselves and instead will receive a consequence determined by the STR Room personnel or principal.

When a student’s behavior is considered Bottom Line he or she is automatically referred to the principal. The principal will then determine the necessary actions depending on the severity of the inappropriate behavior.

Below the Line Behaviors

(Dealt with by STR Room personnel.)

Insubordination-, which may include


*Refusal to follow rules/directions

*Abusive language

Threatening the safety of others

General disruption of school/educational environment

Bottom Line Behaviors

(Dealt with by administration)



Abuse of hardware/software

Possession/use of tobacco

Physical attacks/fighting

Threats and intimidation


Under the influence /possession of a stimulant or narcotic

General disruption of school/education environment

Threatening the safety of others (fighting, sale of drugs, etc.)

Law Enforcement/Administration

Possession of a weapon


Bomb Threats

Possession of any prescription drug not prescribed to the individual

General disruption of school/education program

Threatens the safety of others (fighting, sale of drugs, etc.)

Posted by Ed Blume at May 24, 2006 8:21 PM
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