School District U-46 – Illinois

The Impact of CPI Training

  • Reduced fights and assaults
  • Reduced out-of-school suspensions
  • Improved school culture
  • Improved staff confidence in handling fights and disruptions
  • Improved staff skills in managing behaviors


In all five high schools and even in the middle schools, physical aggression and fights were erupting—and staff were instructed to stop the violence. Well-intended but unskilled interventions were resulting in injuries to both students and staff.

As a result, the district was expelling an average of 40 kids a year, and workers’ comp claims were frequent.

John Heiderscheidt came on board as the district’s director of school safety and culture in 2009. He knew that what the district needed was policy initiatives and staff training.


After convincing the district of the benefits of Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training, Heiderscheidt became a CPI Certified Instructor. And since then nearly half of the district’s 5,000 staff members have been trained in foundational CPI prevention and intervention concepts.

Heiderscheidt and his fellow trainers also incorporate CPI’s materials on special topics such as school bus safety, trauma-informed care, setting limits, dealing with bullying, breaking up fights, and more.


By teaching staff to focus on verbal rather than physical intervention, “assaults on staff have remained low.”

“We have seen the number of fights as well as student-on-student conflict reduced. We have had staff report that the techniques have helped them with difficult situations. We have been able to gain consistency in the implementations of these techniques in order to reduce the further growth of a crisis event,” says Heiderscheidt.

Key results include:

  • Out-of-school suspensions have been reduced by 75% over 5 years
  • Fights continue to decrease year after year
  • Teachers now spend less time on discipline and more time on teaching
  • Expulsions for assaults on staff reduced by over 60%

“In the first year of implementation, we reduced incidents of assault on staff by 90% through a strategy on how to effectively break up fights. Since then, assault on staff has remained low. Our out of-school suspensions have been reduced by 75% over 5 years. Our fights continue to decrease year after year.”

-John Heiderscheidt
Director of School Safety and Culture
School District U-46

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