Common Threads: Investigating and Solving School Discipline

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9781475805574: Common Threads: Investigating and Solving School Discipline

School safety is paramount in today’s educational system. Now, more than ever, the need to be proactive and systematic when it comes to handling even the most minor infractions in schools must be required, as demonstrated by the tragic events of recent school violence.

An administrator’s work revolves around investigating. Whether it involves issues with parents or students, disciplinary incidents or teacher situations, being able to investigate in a non-biased and systematic manner is paramount for success. Yet, despite this premise, guidance for new and experienced administrators concerning how to investigate an incident is limited at best.

Common Threads is a straightforward, practical guide for administrators in the job or professors to use as a guide for principal preparatory training.

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About the Author:

Dr. Anthony P. Barber is the Director of Teaching and Learning in the Springfield School District. He is also an adjunct professor at various universities instructing in graduate and undergraduate education and leadership courses.

Jeffrey G. Ulmer is the Director of Human Resources in The West Chester Area School District. He is also an adjunct professor, who has served various capacities as a cooperating instructor for principal education programs.

Review:

This book acts as a guide for school administrators who want to be more proactive and systematic in handling even the most minor disciplinary infractions in schools. Authors Anthony Barber and Jeffrey Ulmer explain how administrators can be unbiased and practical when investigating disciplinary incidents, teacher misconduct, or conflicts with parents. Common Threads also includes practice disciplinary scenarios and sample incident reports. (District Administration)

I have had the opportunity to use the Common Threads method from start to finish. It takes what could be a tricky discipline issue and makes it quite easy to quantify. By gathering the same information from each participant using an Incident Report, and then compiling the information on a Grid Sheet, an abstract situation can become so much more concrete. I can tell this is a system that will make my job easier! (Madeleine Powers O'Dowd, Ed. D, assistant principal, E.T. Richardson Middle School)

I met Tony and Jeff at the state principals’ conference. Once I heard their ideas and understood their passion, I knew I wanted to learn more about Common Threads. After getting my leadership team trained, we saw immediate results in our overall effectiveness and productivity. This is by far one of the most succinct and user-friendly systems that I have seen for investigating. (Jonathan Ross, principal, Lionville Middle School, 2009 Pennsylvania National Distinguished Principal)

Common Threads provides school administrators with a practical framework for solving the daunting problems that exist in today’s schools. This investigative approach helps to foster collaborative decision making, and most importantly, helps promote proactive decision making by students. The authors include a clear set of examples artfully designed to help nurture deep change in challenging settings. (Allen C. Grant, Ph.D., director of educational leadership, Drexel University)

As a middle school assistant principal, Common Threads is an indispensable tool that I practice daily. It is simple to use and enables me to synthesize the data in such a clear, organized way. As a result, I am better able to make good data-driven decisions and provide well-developed rationales for each. (Geoff Mills, assistant principal, Peirce Middle School)

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