Featured Report: Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline

How much progress has been made on school discipline and climate since the original 2014 report? What interventions and policy changes were most effective, and which need modification? What work remains unfinished?
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Expand and Deepen Restorative Practices Districtwide. Suspensions will not be permanently eliminated without a viable alternative. Building strong relationships among the school community and forms of accountability rooted in empathy (Restorative Practices) are those alternatives. Staffing for the Roc Restorative Team, who provide vital training, coaching and hands-on support, must be maintained at a minimum, and a multi-year plan should be developed to adopt and deepen restorative practices districtwide, including building level staff capacity and a Board resolution declaring RCSD a Restorative District.
Ban Suspensions for K-12. Given what we know about the damaging effects of suspensions on academics, and how important it is for a child to be reading by 3rd grade, there should be a ban on suspensions for K-2 students. Suspensions are an ineffective discipline tool, academically damaging, and developmentally inappropriate for young children during a period of rapid brain development.
Limit Long-Term Suspensions to 20 Days. Given what we know about the damaging effects of suspensions on academics, and how important it is for a child to be reading by 3rd grade, there should be a ban on suspensions for K-2 students. Suspensions are an ineffective discipline tool, academically damaging, and developmentally inappropriate for young children during a period of rapid brain development
Robust Data Sharing Agreement. The Roc3D Dashboard launched by RCSD this school year is a commendable step towards transparency. However, extensive quarterly reports should still be made public and discussed by the Board of Education and district leadership team. In addition, a robust data sharing agreement should be made with Roc the Future, so that outside experts are able to dive deeper into the data and partner with the district leadership team on strategies for improvement.
Adopt the School Climate Advisory Committee Recommendations. This report highlights a few key recommendations based on data from RCSD and interviews with members of the school community. This is not an exhaustive list. Members of the School Climate Advisory Committee have already developed an extensive list of recommendations that should be faithfully adopted.
The new code of conduct has a clearly defined discipline matrix. The matrix addresses a common concern among parents and staff that discipline is administered inconsistently. Training all staff on the new code of conduct and faithfully implementing the matrix will create consistency and provide detailed guidelines for handling common situations. Also, using the discipline matrix will reduce racial disparities in suspensions and promote alternatives to exclusionary discipline.

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