Brevard Public Schools Releases Stunning RSM Discipline Audit Information

Brevard Public Schools has just released the RSM discipline audit requested by BPS Board Chair Matt Susin after a 60-day investigation.

This stunning report revealed a lack of accountability, an undefined reporting structure, no uniform discipline/classroom engagement professional development structure, and siloed discipline information systems that were not collaboratively being evaluated.

“The report calls for a centralization of the discipline process under a newly formed assistant superintendent, new uniform and collaborative discipline reporting software, evaluation metrics to hold individuals accountable, expansion of the alternative learning centers, and professional development training on discipline/classroom management for administration and staff,” said Susin.

The report also calls for more collaboration and accountability with parents and students through education and communication.

“RSM has done an independent and thorough analysis that will guide our work moving forward,” Acting Superintendent Sue Hann said. “This is an opportunity to use what we’ve learned to make BPS stronger.”

BPS has begun the process of working on many of the audit’s recommendations. They include:

■ Expanding Student Information System to track student discipline. This includes increased training for staff.

■ Reinstituting the Discipline Committee to review procedures and make recommendations on a consistent basis.

■ High-level monitoring of the district’s discipline plan.

■ Increased training for staff on various elements of discipline reporting and tracking.

■ Reviewing Alternative Learning Centers (ALC) with the goal of decreasing the student population while increasing the effectiveness of the ALC program.

RSM will present its findings on Wednesday, April 19, at a joint School Board-Audit Committee meeting. The meeting is open to the public and will be broadcast on live on Space Coast Daily TV.

Here are just a few feedback excerpts from administrators, teachers and bus drivers:

■ I have experience student behavior that has led me to feel unsafe while transporting students:
– 80 percent of surveyed bus drivers said YES.

■ I feel I have experienced student behavior that impacts my ability to perform my job:
– 82 percent of surveyed bus drivers said YES.

■ I feel discouraged from submitting information that leads to a referral because I don’t think action will be taken:
– 80 percent of surveyed bus drivers said YES.

■ I feel supported by school administration in administering discipline:
– 71 percent of surveyed bus drivers said NO.

■ Have you experienced student behavior that has led you to feel unsafe in the classroom?
– 79 percent Elementary, 70 percent of Middle, and 40 percent of High School teachers say YES.

■ Have you felt that you has experienced pressure to downplay discipline severity because of student characteristics?
– 60 percent of Elementary and Middle school teachers say YES.

■ Does your school have the tools and resources to follow the discipline policy?
– 42 percent of Elementary, 82 percent of Middle, and 67 percent of High School administrators say NO.

■ There is open and mutual communication between the school and the district regarding student discipline:
– 36 percent of Elementary, 76 percent of Middle, and 67 percent of High School administrators say NO.

The audit goes on to say that these are consistent with national trends. Many school districts across the nation have shown that discipline is one of their most significant issues to deal with.

The school board will meet in a joint session with the audit committee this Wednesday, April 19, to discuss the direction and how they want to proceed with the many recommendations from the audit.

Click Here to Read Audit Report.