SOMERSET, NJ - The vast majority of Franklin students kept their noses clean during the first half of the school year, the district’s Student Safety Data System report found.

Only 22 percent, nine percent and four percent of students were sent to the office for discipline at the high school, middle school and elementary school levels, respectively.

Add in the fact that out of the district’s more than 7000 students, only 102 -- or 1.45 percent -- of them received out-of-school suspensions, it looks like many of Franklin’s kids are on the right track.

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Even though the students that do get in trouble are few, the data revealed by the report offers the district valuable insight into how and where these incidents happen.

Throughout the middle and elementary schools, buses continue to be a hotbed for student misbehavior.

Franklin’s middle schools saw a four percentage point increase in bus disturbances compared to the first half of 2017, while office disciplinary referrals coming from buses rose from 29 percent of total referrals in 2017 to 32 percent in 2018. At the elementary level, bus disturbances jumped from 36 percent of misconduct in 2017 to 45 percent this year and referrals went up three percentage points from last year.

However, at the middle and elementary levels, things are trending better overall.

Across Franklin’s two middle schools the number of students receiving office disciplinary referrals dropped from 12 percent of all students in 2017 to just nine percent in 2018. Over the same period, the elementary schools remained flat at four percent of all students receiving referrals.

Meanwhile, the high school displayed different results.

The total percentage of students that received referrals increased by nine percentage points compared to last year.

Orvyl Wilson, the district’s director school management and student advocacy, said that high school administrators put a special focus on making sure students were where they should be this year.

After finding that many of the students who were cutting class were still in the building, staff started finding and bringing them to where they belonged.

The result of this effort led to an otherwise disconcerting jump in the number of referrals for being late to class from two percent of the total in 2017 to 39 percent this year, which was accompanied by a 10 percentage point decrease in cutting class.

The report looks at disciplinary action across the district for September through December, with another report compiling the results for the second half of the school year.

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