PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Many people in the Pittsburgh area view the Woodland Hills School District as crime-ridden. Some have even started to say that their students are trouble. But, one dedicated superintendent is determined to change that opinion.
Woodland Hills Superintendent Alan Johnson has dropped the number of suspensions in his schools by reducing the district’s zero-tolerance policy. He’s begun exploring other options for discipline instead of expulsions and suspensions.
Last Thursday, Woodland Hills was named as one of 10 school districts nationwide who will use alternatives to discipline their students rather than extremes.
This initiative is a product of the partnership between the American Association of Administrators, a nationwide superintendents group, and the Children’s Defense Fund, which is a partnership is funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies.
“This is all part of how we handle student behavior and student discipline,” said Mr. Johnson. “The intent here is not to say we’re going to excuse or overlook or not hold students accountable for their actions. We absolutely are.”
Mr. Johnson explains that there is so much new research that has come out since no child left behind. That research is used by each school district in different manners and at Woodland Hills, they’re ready to put those skills to use.
“At Woodland Hills, we’re going to pursue a project to really reinvent, and re-imagine, and rewrite our code of conduct to incorporate some of these strategies,” said Mr. Johnson. “These new practices and new learnings have only come up just in the past 10 to 15 years and we’re ready to rethink how we approach the idea of discipline.”