School board briefed on student behavior policy for Washington Middle School

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY)- We're learning more about plans by the Green Bay Area School District to address concerns over safety at Washington Middle School.

District officials are preparing to roll out a guide addressing student behavior expectations and consequences for the upcoming school year.

Last month former teacher Kerstin Westcott resigned in front of the school board after outlining concerns including students swearing at teachers, physical abuse towards both teachers and students, and even students starting fires in school hallways.

Since then, school officials have promised to make changes.

That issue came up during a school board meeting Monday night.

Westcott was at the meeting. Monday night she held off on saying anything more about the district's plan to move forward.

In a meeting, that was standing room only there was a big show of support, for policy changes, that the Green Bay Area School Board hopes will solve the problems at Washington Middle School first highlighted by former teacher Kerstin Westcott in a video, that went viral.

Associate Superintendent of Continuous Improvement John Magas said,"We realize that this won't be an immediate change, or a flip of a switch. It's going to require a lot of hard work and as we heard from the community in the beginning it's going to take the part of the whole community, working as a team."

For the past three years-- the district has been working on a guide to address expectations of student behavior and specific consequences.

After the incidents described by Westcott it became a much bigger priority. Larisa Butters is a parent who spoke out in support of policy changes.

"You already have the best teaching staff possible at Washington. Adding more training would help, but they need more support from you," said Butters.

Besides, adding more staff at the school, an emphasis will be placed on accountability.

Magas added, "In addition to the school perceptions culture and climate survey we do each year, we will do quarterly measures of school, culture, and climate. The superintendent will be following up with staff regarding this perceptions survey."

Parents will also have the chance to provide feedback and ask questions. Three meetings at different times will take place on July 24th at Washington Middle School.