Guiding Principles Tip Sheet

Guiding Principles Tip Sheet


Guiding Principles: A Resource Guide for Improving School Climate and Discipline, released in 2014 by the U.S. Department of Education, draws on emerging research and best practices to describe three key principles and associated action steps that can help guide state and local efforts to improve school climate and school discipline.


This tip sheet lists resources to support the adoption of these principles.


 


 


Guiding Principle 1: Climate and Prevention


NCSSD Reference Guides


  • Conditions for Learning: Research has shown that powerful social and emotional factors – factors which ensure that students feel safe and supported in school – influence students' abilities to attend to learning, their ability to direct their learning, and their engagement in learning activities. These factors also influence teachers' abilities to connect with, challenge, and support their students. These factors, described as the four social and emotional conditions for learning are: safety, support, social and emotional learning, and engagement and challenge.

  • Cultural and Linguistic Competence: Cultural and linguistic competence (CLC) refers to the beliefs, behaviors, knowledge, skills, and systems through which individuals and organizations demonstrate empathy and understanding of and respect for the values, historical context, expectations, language and experiences of a diverse population.  Linguistic competence specifically refers to the capacity of an organization and its personnel to communicate effectively, and convey information in a manner that is easily understood by diverse audiences including persons of limited English proficiency (LEP), those who have low literacy skills or are illiterate, and individuals with disabilities.

  • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports: PBIS is a research-based framework for implementing school-wide systems of behavioral support, in a tiered continuum based on student responsiveness to intervention, to help prevent and reduce undesired behavior and improve social and academic behavior outcomes for all students in a school. The National TA Center on PBIS emphasizes PBIS as a “decision making framework that guides selection, integration, and implementation of the best evidence-based academic and behavioral practices for improving important academic and behavior outcomes for all students.”

National Resources


  • Edutopia: Through its Edutopia Web site the George Lucas Educational Foundation provides numerous resources on school climate and social and emotional learning. Edutopia also provides free resources available for download on iTunes.

  • Conditions for Learning Coalition: The Conditions for Learning Coalition is an education and advocacy coalition with the goal of increasing Federal investments in proven programs that improve conditions for learning through measurement and program implementation, so that all students have the opportunity to achieve academic success.

  • Education Northwest: Education Northwest conducts more than 200 projects annually, working with schools, districts, and communities nationwide on comprehensive, research-based solutions to the challenges they face such as school climate, behavior and bullying.

  • Education Week’s Quality Counts Report: Code of Conduct: Safety, Discipline, and School Climate: The 2013 online edition includes stories, multimedia features and data on school discipline, safety, and climate.

  • Federal Compendium of School Discipline Laws and Regulations: This Compendium is designed to help state and local policymakers as well as school-level personnel better understand the current school discipline practices in our country.  It provides information on school discipline laws and administrative regulations for each of the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico effective as of May 2013.

  • National School Climate Center: NSCC offers a variety of professional development programs and services to K–12 schools, after-school settings, educators, parent advocate groups, and states to support sustained school climate improvement efforts.

State and Local Resources


  • National School Climate Center: School Climate Policies and Laws Database: California: This database contains information about laws and policies designed to address school climate and bullying prevention in California. From this database, users can generate profiles of state policies for school climate and bullying prevention efforts, and view reports on state policies on these two issues.

  • New York City School-Justice Partnership Task Force: The New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children was established in 1988 to improve the lives and life chances of children involved with New York courts. The Commission is chaired by former Chief Judge Judith Kaye, and its members include judges, lawyers, advocates, physicians, legislators, and state and local officials. To promote school-justice partnerships—an emerging strategy to reduce the number of children entering the justice system by improving educational engagement and outcomes through innovative practices—the Commission formed the New York City School-Justice Partnership Task Force. The Task Force released a report and recommendations on May 30, 2013.

  • Safe Supportive Learning: State/Grantee Profile: Michigan: The Michigan Department of Education is implementing several programs that are designed to help its schools ensure that they are safe and supportive, thereby improving student outcomes. This website provides a description of such programs and other information on each state’s program related to safe schools and violence prevention, school climate measurement efforts, state data, and contact information. Each S3 state grantee is highlighted on the map and is linked to the state profile.

 


Guiding Principle 2: CLEAR, APPROPRIATE, AND CONSISTENT EXPECTATIONS AND CONSEQUENCES


NCSSD Reference Guides


  • Exclusionary Discipline: Exclusionary discipline describes any type of school disciplinary action that removes or excludes a student from his or her usual educational setting. Two of the most common exclusionary discipline practices at schools include suspension and expulsion. Typically used to punish undesired behaviors, deter similar behavior by other students, and promote more appropriate behavior, studies have shown that such practices may result in adverse outcomes for the student and community including increasing student risk for involvement in the justice system.

  • Positive Approaches to School Discipline: School discipline refers to instruction, rules, policies or practices that are intended to manage student behavior at the classroom and school levels. Positive approaches to school discipline have been promoted as more effective alternatives to harsh (e.g., corporal punishment) and exclusionary discipline (e.g., out of school suspension) which remove students from their regular educational setting or program. Positive approaches emphasize strengthening the capacity of both school staff and students to establish and maintain safe, healthy and supportive school climates to reduce and prevent inappropriate and disruptive student behavior.

  • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports: PBIS is a research-based framework for implementing school-wide systems of behavioral support, in a tiered continuum based on student responsiveness to intervention, to help prevent and reduce undesired behavior and improve social and academic behavior outcomes for all students in a school. The National TA Center on PBIS emphasizes PBIS as a “decision making framework that guides selection, integration, and implementation of the best evidence-based academic and behavioral practices for improving important academic and behavior outcomes for all students.”

  • Supportive School Discipline Initiative: This initiative aims to: (1) build consensus among key stakeholders about what changes are required to support good discipline; (2) collaborate on research and data collection that are needed to determine what the field knows and does not know about school discipline and its impact, and what future research should study; (3) issue joint ED–DOJ guidance to help schools improve their understanding of and compliance with civil rights laws and disciplinary options that lead to positive education and post-schooling outcomes; and (4) increase capacity, awareness, and knowledge among educators, justice personnel, and other stakeholders about evidence-based and promising student discipline policies and practices through training and technical assistance (TTA) and the provision of information and resource materials.

National Resources


  • Dignity in Schools: The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) website includes a searchable database of research on pushout, school discipline, and positive alternatives, specific resources for youth, parents and educators, and information about DSC’s active campaign projects.

  • Federal Compendium of School Discipline Laws and Regulations: This Compendium is designed to help state and local policymakers as well as school-level qpersonnel better understand the current school discipline practices in our country.  It provides information on school discipline laws and administrative regulations for each of the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico effective as of May 2013.

  • National Education Association: NEA’s Web site includes resources on classroom management and school safety.

  • Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children: TACSEI strives to ensure that decision makers, caregivers, and service providers receive training and support for the use of evidence-based practices to improve the social-emotional outcomes for young children with, or at risk for, delays or disabilities. The TACEI Web site has numerous resources related to behavior management, including “Teaching Tools for Young Children with Challenging Behavior.”

State and Local Resources


  • Connecticut Appleseed: Connecticut Appleseed is a statewide, nonpartisan organization seeking solutions for the causes, rather than the symptoms, of Connecticut’s social problems by mobilizing the skills and resources of pro bono lawyers and other professionals. Connecticut Appleseed’s programs include a focus on both improving school discipline and reducing bullying.

  • Overview of Fourteen Southern States’ School Suspension Laws: This document from the Center for Child and Family Policy (CCFP) at Duke University describes the following five aspects of suspension policies in 14 southern States, including Virginia: (1) authority of local school districts to suspend/expel and State-prescribed expulsions, (2) suspension procedures, (3) the appeals process, (4) conditions for admittance/readmittance to other districts in the State, and (5) alternative education.

 


Guiding Principle 3: EQUITY AND CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT


NCSSD Reference Guides


  • Cultural and Linguistic Competence: Cultural and linguistic competence (CLC) refers to the beliefs, behaviors, knowledge, skills, and systems through which individuals and organizations demonstrate empathy and understanding of and respect for the values, historical context, expectations, language and experiences of a diverse population.  Linguistic competence specifically refers to the capacity of an organization and its personnel to communicate effectively, and convey information in a manner that is easily understood by diverse audiences including persons of limited English proficiency (LEP), those who have low literacy skills or are illiterate, and individuals with disabilities (Goode & Jones, 2009).

  • Discipline Disparities: Discipline disparities refer to instances when students who belong to specific demographic groups (e.g., race/ethnicity, sex, disability status) are subjected to particular disciplinary actions disproportionately—at a greater rate than students who belong to other demographic groups (e.g., Black males are more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than White and Asian males).

National Resources


  • American Civil Liberties Union: The ACLU website includes resources related to school discipline and equity such as the School-to-Prison Pipeline Game, a School-to-Prison Pipeline Factsheet, and School-to-Prison Pipeline Discussion Questions.

  • The Equity Project at Indiana University: The Equity Project provides evidence-based information on school discipline, school violence, special education and equality of educational opportunity for all students. In addition, the project provides support and technical assistance to educational agencies seeking to create equitable school systems.

  • Models for Change: Models for Change provide research-based tools and techniques to make juvenile justice more effective, fair, rational, and developmentally appropriate.

State and Local Resources