Positive School Culture
During our first semester of the 2019-2020 school year, Northwood saw a reduction in in-school and out-of-school suspensions by 72% from the first semester of the 2018-2019 school year. Our data shows that the work we are doing to create a positive school culture has had a positive impact this year.
This accomplishment is the result of dedicated educators who recognize the importance of building relationships with students, setting and repeatedly teaching our expectations, and shifting our mindset from removing students from school to understanding the importance of keeping students in school in order to educate them. While suspension still may occur for serious infractions, Northwood staff are embracing a more restorative model to our disciplinary practices.
The Northwood Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Tier I (MTSS-I) committee of teachers, administrators, support staff, and students meet every two weeks to look at our school discipline data and identify ways to improve our school culture. We focus on our four guiding principles of respect, responsibility, empathy, and integrity. Our committee continually looks for ways to positively reward students for demonstrating these qualities.
We also believe in restorative practice. For two years, Northwood has been approaching discipline in a different way that helps restore relationships after a relationship has been broken, either between peers or between students and an adult in the building. While we do not feel we are experts in this area, we believe what we are doing is making a difference. We facilitate relationship circles in each of our classrooms and follow a restorative model to repair broken relationships in order to maintain a positive school culture.
Our staff is dedicated to continuing our learning through professional development and support from our behavior interventionist and experts in the field of Restorative Practice. We will continue to monitor our data and adjust our support to students and staff to continue improving our reduction in suspensions throughout the year.
Student of the Quarter
One of the ways we like to recognize students at Northwood is to host a Student of the Quarter celebration. Each quarter, teachers submit the names of a student from each of their class periods to be recognized.
Students are selected for various reasons such as showing extra effort in their work, not missing any assignments for the quarter, demonstrating leadership qualities in their classroom and persevering in their academic achievements.
Families are notified of this recognition and invited to an afternoon celebration where students receive a certificate and acknowledgment. Our PTSA provides cookies and juice to help celebrate their success. I am always so proud of these students and pleased to be able to acknowledge them each quarter in this manner.
The second half of the year will be busy with preparations for the 2020-2021 school year. February will be a time for counselors to visit students to prepare them for registration. After students select their electives and high school courses, administrators and counselors begin preparing for classes based on students’ requests and needs.
Staffing allocations arrive in the spring setting the guidelines for building our master schedule and identifying our hiring needs, if any. Northwood has been growing in student enrollment this year, and I anticipate our numbers will hold solid for next year. We are seeing a growth in our community in housing which is always a positive attribute when it comes to filling our classrooms.
If you have any questions regarding courses available or the registration process at Northwood or your student’s high school, please do not hesitate to contact your student’s counselor.