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Mar 9, 2023

Updates and Details to Prep You for SWIS Changes Coming March 22

New language, labels, and subcategories are coming to the SWIS referral form March 22! Here are some extra details to hold you over to release day.

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Get ready, because on Wednesday, March 22, new language, labels, and subcategories are coming to SWIS. Are you excited? We are too! And we’re ready to share even more details about the upcoming release. There is nothing you'll need to do to access these changes in SWIS. On March 22, they'll be there automatically, waiting for you to incorporate them into your referral process whenever you're ready. With that being said, there are some resources and information we thought would be helpful to pass along now rather than wait until release day.

Two Behaviors Become Three, and Others Get an Edit

As we reviewed the existing behavior labels in SWIS, we noticed two labels overlap each other in their examples.

  • Forgery/Theft/Plagiarism
  • Lying/Cheating

The first refers to claiming something that doesn’t belong to you. The second refers to not telling the truth. Both labels contain words specifically related to academic dishonesty —plagiarism and cheating. So, we did some rearranging and turned the two overlapping labels into three mutually exclusive ones.

  • Theft — We recommend putting any behavior related to stealing in this label.
  • Lying —We recommend putting any behavior related to not telling the truth (including “forgery”) in this label
  • Academic Dishonesty—We recommend putting any behavior related to unauthorized use of academic help (including "cheating" and "plagiarism") in this label.

We didn’t stop there.

Other labels in SWIS needed their own edit to either update terminology or make them more specific. Here is a crosswalk of all the changes we made to existing labels in this release:

Referral Category Old Label New Label
Behavior Use/Possession of Tobacco Use/Possession of Tobacco/Nicotine
Use/Possession of Drugs Use/Possession of Restricted Substances
Minor Property Misuse Staff-managed (minor) Material/Property Misuse
Forgery/Theft/Plagiarism Theft
Lying/Cheating Lying
Motivation Obtain Items/Activities Obtain Items/Activities/Sensory
Avoid Tasks/Activities Avoid Tasks/Activities/Sensory
Action Taken Parent/Contact Caregiver/Guardian Contact
Restitution/Community Service Restitution
Time out/Detention Detention
Time in Office Classroom Exclusion/Time-out
Location Playground Playground/Outdoor Area
Stadium Athletic Field/Stadium

New Definitions for Every Category Label

One way to address equity in your school is to remove ambiguity from your referral process. Some behaviors are clear enough, but if you asked two people to define what “disrespect” means to them, you’d likely get two different definitions. When it comes to referring students, you need one, collective definition for every behavior.

To help you in the effort to define what behaviors look like in your context, we’ve updated the SWIS referral category label definitions to be more clear, specific, and modern. The definitions aren’t just for behaviors. We’ve defined locations, motivations, others involved, actions taken, and seclusion/restraint, too.

You’re welcome to take these definitions and approve them as your own. Then, take the activity one step further and generate a list of examples for each label. While some of the ideas we came up with might match your own examples, we’re sure you have others you’d add. Ask yourselves, “What does this looks like in my classroom? What does it look like in yours?” and add them to the Example column in the Word version of the definitions document.

New Subcategories Available in School Settings

When a label comes with types, we’ve made it possible to set up subcategories to document the specific information your team needs to make more informed decisions. There are current subcategories available for Harassment and Use/Possession of Weapons. With this release, we’re giving you two more: Technology Violation subcategories and Restorative Practice subcategories.

To enable them, from the SWIS Dashboard, click Tools:

  • Click School Settings.
  • Click SWIS under the Applications menu.
  • Click Track Subtypes: Technology Violation under Behavior Subtypes or Track Subtypes: Restorative Practice under Action Taken Subtypes.
  • Choose Yes to enable the setting.
  • Click Save.

All subcategories in SWIS come with a set of default options. Defaults are our recommendations, however, you also have the option to edit these defaults to reflect the data your team needs. Here is more information about the new subcategories we’re offering in this release:

Technology Violation Subcategories

This is a big one. Now more than ever, you’re incorporating technology into your daily classroom routines. It’s time to give you a way to learn more about how students use technology according to schoolwide expectations. As we thought about the default categories, we decided on options we thought would best inform the decisions you make. When you enable Technology Violation Subcategories the default options are:

  • School-issued
  • Personal

Restorative Practice Subcategories

Restorative Practice is a new option under Action Taken in SWIS. We wanted to give you a way to track the types of restorative practices used in your school. The best way to do that was to give the label a set of subcategory options. When you enable Restorative Practice Subcategories, the default options are:

  • Impromptu Circle
  • Restorative Chat
  • Restorative Conference

Even More Details and Resources to Come

We're excited for you to get your hands on these changes. We also want to make sure you have the resources and information you need to incorporate them into your existing referral process successfully. Over the next few weeks, we’ll share how you can phase these changes in a little at a time or all at once. We’ll also add resources to our library like updated referral form examples, new how-to videos, and so much more. Stay tuned!

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