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Putnam Schools Forming Behavioral Committee

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam Schools Forming Behavioral Committee

The Putnam County School System is developing a Behavioral Committee to combat an uptick in conduct issues.

Secondary Instructional Supervisor Bubba Winningham said the committee will align practices between schools and grade levels. He said the committee will create a tiered system based on the severity of an infraction and outline procedures for discipline and follow-up. He said disrespect, defiance, and physical aggression have been on the rise in younger students since COVID.

“We’re starting to see a lot of the behaviors that maybe years ago, we only saw maybe in middle school and high school, you know, they’re kind of creeping down into elementary school,” Winningham said. “And so, we’re just trying to get ahead of that early.”

Winningham said faculty will be equipped with guidelines to handle behavioral infractions on a case-by-case basis. He said after several meetings, the committee hopes to have a plan to present to all district principals in July.

“It’s ongoing still,” Winningham said. “Our original plan was to get through, kind of, by mid-summer. But we’ve had two or three meetings, and in those meetings, we’ve realized this is probably going to take a little bit longer, which is fine. That’s what we want. We want to take our time on this and get it right the first time instead of rushing to a solution.”

He said the guidelines will focus on providing early intervention for students showing signs of behavioral issues at a young age. He said as students grow older, engagement decreases, but that phenomenon may be setting in earlier than ever.

“If it’s a tier two or tier three behavior, we want to make sure we have the proper procedures in place and the proper follow-up,” Winningham said. “So, basically, it’s a one-stop shop, so we’re trying to get it to where all of our administrators can go to one place.”

Winningham said the guidelines will ensure that each infraction is handled the same way at each school. He said once the plan is put into action, the committee will monitor it to see if tweaks are necessary to produce the best possible outcomes.


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