The days of students getting asked to leave a class because they forgot a pencil is just not an effective way of disciplining students anymore, said incoming Marshall Middle School principal Paul Herrick at the Aug. 5 Marshall School Board meeting.

Instead, the new administrator plans to implement a program to manage discipline, help students be involved in their learning, create parent engagement and assist students in being responsible for their actions.

Herrick outlined the SOLAR (solution, orientated learning, accountability and restoration) behavioral intervention framework he will use at the middle school. The new principal said it was successful program when he was an associate principal at the Monona Grove School District.

“We dealt with behaviors in a different way. We reduced students with repeat offenses,” Herrick said. “If a student gets into trouble, the question is what is the best way to help them learn.”

He also said questions need to be asked such as “Who did the behavior impact? Why is it an issue in the school? How do you fix, what happened?

“We would also ask the parent if they have some ideas,” Herrick said. “It is about relationship building and bridging a strong community.”

‘People want to work here’

District Administrator Dan Grady reported 125 employees completed the employment engagement survey; last year, 88 staff members participated. He said the average scores were calculated and scores at a 4.0 is considered excellent.

The administrator said the survey assesses three areas — perceptions about immediate supervisors supporting a best place to work environment; perceptions of superintendent supporting a best place to work environment; and perceptions about communication practices.

“We are owning the data,” said Grady. “It is real.”

He said that as an administrative team, the members will create action steps and each building staff will do so as well.

“When we talk about areas for improvement, we create the action plan with the staff,” said early learning center principal Rich Peters.

Grady said the survey was strong in that the supervisors provide a general concern for the welfare of the staff and the supervisor commends good performance. The lowest, Grady said, is that the supervisors don’t always consult the employees on decisions affecting them.

“I am pleased that the employees had the support of the supervisor,” said Cecil Chadwick, board member.

Grady and elementary school principal Kathy Kennon both said that many qualified candidates want to apply to work at Marshall because they said it has a family atmosphere.

“People want to work here,” said Grady.

Early Learning Center strategic plan

One of the goals with the strategic plan, said Grady, is for any school board member to walk into Kwik Trip and be able to tell anyone what the Early Learning Center does for the community.

The school board officials reviewed the Pillars of Excellence and the Measures of Success sections. Grady said that the first pillar is shortened by saying that the ELC prepares students for this year and the future.

“It is to succeed. Period,” said the district administrator.

He said it does not include college or career and college readiness.

The next pillar that caused some discussion was workforce engagement.

“We value employees. When employees are valued, they will work their tail off,” said board vice president Debbie Frigo.

The other pillars, said Grady is service to the Marshall community, finance and operations.

“We will share these pillars when staff and students arrive,” said Grady.

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