TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- If you don't come see them, they pay you a visit.
The Tupelo Public School District has a new policy in place that gives school principals the power to visit a parent at home or on the job if their child violates the district's disciplinary policy.
Parents are asked to make the first move.
Tupelo High School teacher Teresa Ware has a huge responsibility. She must teach and control what goes on in the classroom.
If a student steps out of line, she's got what it takes to diffuse the situation, and it's immediate.
"There have been times in the past when we were discouraged to write a student up, and we are not discouraged to do that now. We certainly want to make a parent contact first, and we all do that, and block scheduling has allowed us to make more parent contact because our sheer number of students that we teach during the course of the day is smaller," Ware said.
If a student acts out, there are procedures in place to address the situation, including a new policy called Overnight Required Conference or ORC.
"Instead of waiting until it escalates, we are able to get it quickly at the beginning of that behavior and give the teacher support. It may not extinguish it right away but to get the teacher support right away," Tupelo Public School District Assistant Superintendent Diana Ezell said.
If a student misbehaves and it is determined an ORC is necessary, the principal will contact the parent. The parent must come back to school with the student for a conference before the child will be allowed to return to class.
"A few parents haven't shown up. The principals have gone to the home for a visit or even have done a work visit with the parent. Once that takes place and an intervention is in place, then the child can come back to school," Ezell added.
The type varies according to the assessed needs of the child.
"Instead of just punishment, we're trying to teach the correct social skills and academic skills that a student needs to be in school," Ezell said.
This approach, along with more time in the classroom, is believed by district officials to be playing a major role in the number of incidents throughout the district.
Now, students spend 95 minutes in just four classes a day.
"Since we instituted this practice, we've noticed that the number of incidents we have decreased significantly over percent," Ezell said.
"The majority of our classes will be in the same building, so you wouldn't have to worry about people running into each other and causing problems," student Sinterrica Jones Brown said.
"I used to get picked on a lot. I'm one of the nerdy kids, so that tends to happen a lot to me, but now that we have block scheduling, it's a lot harder to get out and get in trouble," student Lacey Carroll said.
Last school year, there were 1,500 incidents reported during the first nine weeks throughout district.
This year, during that same time period, there have been 731 incidents.