Responsibility-Centered Discipline

Responsibility-Centered Discipline

Helping students learn to take responsibility for their actions, behavior and academic success.

What it is

At OPA, RCD is based off of our four expectations:

  • Be Safe
  • Be Prepared
  • Be Responsible
  • Be Respectful

The students become very well versed in these expectations in every area of the building.

Our School Foundations

Establishing clear expectations is an integral RCD concept, because with clear expectations in place, it becomes harder and harder for students to say, “I didn’t know.”  ~ Larry Thompson

By incorporating these expectations into our school, it helps our students become responsible for their actions. This transfers all the responsibility to the student and removes the burden of handing out consequences from our teachers.

We implement the “Give ‘Em Five” into our daily conversations with students.

Give ‘Em Five

Give 'Em Five

Give ‘Em Five is an interpersonal framework used in school discipline scenarios.

  • Support: supportive comments given to and for the student
  • Expectation: expectations shared by everyone at school based on commonly understood Foundations
  • Breakdown: breakdown of those expectations identified and shared with the student.
  • Benefit: Benefit to student, both short-term and long-term, if they adhere to expectations
  • Closure: closure in conversation, acknowledging next steps

As we go through the “Give ‘Em Five” Conversation there are three levels.

If a student gets to a level two or three and cannot make the best decisions, they are given time to reflect on how this situation can be fixed in our solutions room.


When using Give ‘Em Five we refer to three levels

  • Level One:  Students recognizes breakdown of the expectations, takes ownership and works well with the teacher.
  • Level Two:  The student is not able to work productively.  The teacher is able to redirect the conversation and the student is able to self-regulate.
  • Level Three: The student is unable to self-regulate despite the teacher’s attempts to redirect and the student needs to leave the classroom.

RCD Teacher Student Plan


Student Exits

Intrinsic Motivation

School Climate Change