BRAWLEY – The BESD board approved adding an “Opportunity” class to better manage student discipline. This special class that will be for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders will allow problem students to be removed from the class room and placed in a room that isolates them, gives them more structure, yet includes all the benefits of a regular classroom.
Edward Singh, Director of Special Education, said that the 1st behavioral reference results in a 5 day suspension, the 2nd referral results in an immediate removal from the school.
The philosophy behind this according to school officials is if these students are a threat to the classroom, they need to be out of the classroom immediately.
“This gets rid of wiggle room,” Singh told the board.
The Opportunity class will be back at Barbara Worth campus. As of the beginning of the school year, one student will be enrolled in the program.
Singh told the board that this will no longer be a long term solution. The students in the Opportunity class will either reform or move out. There will be no more 2 year opportunity classes where teachers have no teeth. “Behavior will now have consequences,” Singh said.
Because of the new policy, Singh said there will be a spike in expulsions.
In other matters discussed at the August school board meeting, during Superintendent Ron Garcia’s report, he approached the matter of speaker cards. Those wishing to address the board will first fill out a card, fill in the topic they care to speak on, and give the card to the acting president of the board.
Garcia said that sometimes the comment period looks like the wild, wild west, with there being no control over persons yelling out or saying unsubstantiated accusations.
The board and superintendent discussed the need for more control at the speaker’s podium, where everyone takes their turn. Garcia believed the cards would stop the spontaneous comments from the floor especially if they had to state what they wanted to talk about before the meeting began whicht would lead to clearer discussions. “so people will think about what they will say.”
Trustee Gloria Santillan added, “The people will need to be trained,” concerning filling out the cards and Trustee Yvonne Burns added, “If we do it, we need to stick to it.”
The BUHSD board implemented the same speaker card policy last school year.