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Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

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Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

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Proposed co-curricular code revision to include remediation for code violations

District 203’s Board of Education discussed a proposed change to the district’s co-curricular code at their last meeting on May 6. The proposal would allow students to form a Restorative Co-Curricular Action Plan in order to reduce their punishment for violating the district’s co-curricular code.

Currently, students face a suspension from competition equal to 25% of their season for sports and competitive activities, five weeks for non-competitive activities or loss of leadership roles or privileges for non-competitive activities after violating the co-curricular code for the first time. A Restorative Co-Curricular Action Plan will allow students to cut their suspension time in half upon completion.

“Last year, we added our Community Resource Centers, with very focused work around restorative practices both in student discipline situations and then some training with our staff as a whole about what restorative practices are,” Principal Jackie Thornton said. “So it didn’t feel right or consistent to us that there is no aspect of restoration included in the co-curricular code; it is very black-and-white. And so [Chala Holland, District 203 Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services] spent quite a lot of time consulting with lawyers and looking at other co-curricular codes and coming up with the restorative piece.”

According to the proposed revisions to the co-curricular code, “A Restorative Co-Curricular Action Plan will be developed by [a] sponsoring administrator and discussed […] with the student, guardian, and head coach. The scope of the plan is at the discretion of the sponsoring administrator. The student is responsible for completing all restorative measures and communicating progress with the sponsoring administrator.”

What one of these plans looks like will vary from student to student, although they will follow a largely similar framework.

“If we’re talking about reintegration after a exclusionary consequence, then Student Advocacy Specialists plan a day for the student that is focused on really analyzing the incident, the ‘whys’ behind the incident, what behaviors are driving the root cause, and then doing purposeful teaching around the skills that might be needed to avoid that root cause happening again,” Thornton said. “Sometimes the concept or the incident might involve other people, and there might be a need for a restorative conversation that is aimed at repairing that relationship so that everybody can move forward positively.”

Restorative practices focus on learning and self-improvement, rather than punishment.

“I would hope that as a learning institution, that anytime there is a behavioral infraction, whether it is a school-specific or co-curricular code consequence, that there is an opportunity to focus on learning from that situation,” Thornton said. “So in this case it would be consistent with our focus on learning and reduction in the consequence.”

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About the Contributor
Jake Pfeiffer
Jake Pfeiffer, Editor-in-Chief
Jake Pfeiffer is a senior, entering his third year on the Central Times staff, this time as Editor-in-Chief. Jake joined CT as a sophomore because he wanted to write news, but since then he has grown to love just about every element of journalism. While it is rare to see Jake anywhere other than the CT office, occasionally you can find him captaining Central’s debate team, watching baseball, listening to a seemingly endless amount of podcasts or drowning in college applications.
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