The Warren County, Missouri, R-III school district did not meet its goal for the current school year when it comes to discipline referrals.
The Warren County R-III school district did not meet its goal for the 2023-2024 school year to maintain a rate of students with two or fewer referrals of over 96 percent.
Warren County R-III Assistant Superintendent Dr. Brad Ross reported during the November Board of Education meeting that the district through the end of October had 94.3 percent of students with two or less referrals. The district’s goal was for 96.2 percent of students to have two or less referrals for the school year.
Two of the areas with the most referrals stem from tardies and truancies. Both categories saw an increase through October this school year when compared to last school year. As of the end of October, the district had logged 349 tardy referrals, an increase of 70 over the same time frame last school year. The district’s 249 truancy referrals is an increase of 159 over last school year.
“(Our) biggest increase was in truancies,” Ross said. “This is particularly the case in the high school. They've implemented a new software where students sign in and sign out every time they leave the classroom. And so, they have an accurate report of how long students are out of the classroom. And so this is probably contributing to this a little bit more because once they meet a certain threshold of being out of the classroom, that results in a truancy referral.”
The district has seen 133 referrals for insubordination related to cell phone use in district buildings, 114 for physical aggression and dangerous behavior and 72 for abusive language.
Ross noted Warrenton High School and Black Hawk Middle School are taking individual building approaches to cell phone usage. At the middle school, students are required to turn in their cell phones when they talk into class and do not get them back until the end of class. At Warrenton High School, students are able to keep their phones but are subject to the discipline procedures.
“The thought being that these older students could handle that more than the middle school students,” Ross said. “And so the bulk of the insubordination with cell phones, not adhering to it, are coming from the high school because again, that additional focus area is causing the addition in referrals that we can see there.”
The district’s proposed goals for the elementary schools is to reinforce positive behavior by issuing positive behavior referrals for students caught doing the right thing and building class incentives, collaborating with bus drivers and giving them an opportunity to recognize citizenship on the bus that then translates into the school building and partnering with the local Kiwanis chapter to promote citizenship. The district’s proposed goals and action steps for Black Hawk Middle School is to make advisory a time to reinforce behavior expectations in a proactive way but also use it as a platform to address concerns with students when they arise on a building level. The district’s proposed action steps for the high school are to focus on relationships, increase parent meetings, student mediations and create positive adult connections with staff for students who receive referrals.