"High Achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." - Charles Kettering

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

This School Got a Big Return on a No-Cost Change

Click on the post to view an article in the Janesville Gazette highlighting how a simple change at Wilson Elementary School in Janesville has reaped big improvements in disciplinary referrals. Simply putting recess before lunch last year decreased discipline referrals on the playground and lunchroom by nearly 25 percent. This year's numbers, if incidents continue at the same rate, predict another 63 percent reduction this year. If one compares the projected rate of referrals this year to the rate prior to the change, a 72 percent reduction in referrals is expected. This is incredible. All because they let the kids blow off steam before lunch, working up an appetite. This minimizes kids skipping lunch or wolfing it down to go play on the playground only to get sick later.

This change takes into account the nature of children instead of trying to make kids conform to some unrealistic schedule that so happens to suit the adults involved. Kudos to teachers and administrators on several fronts here. First, they put kids' needs first. Second, it didn't cost anything. Third, they set out to do something which had measurable progress associated with it. Fourth, their hypothesis has been supported by the data and any whiners that don't like the schedule change can be shut up with data. An all-around win for everybody. Especially the children.

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