Keep Kids in Class: Building Positive School Climates
MA Appleseed hosted its 3rd annual conference on May 2, 2014. A diverse audience of educators, advocates, state agencies, and community service providers attended! The conference sparked much discussion about strategies we can employ now to cultivate positive school climates as a reality for all of our children!
The keynote speaker, Dr. Robert Brooks, gave an engaging and galvanizing presentation about the power of mindsets. Using the notion of the “charismatic adult,” Dr. Brooks explained what it means to have a positive mindset and how mindsets impact teachers, students, and the overall school climate.
The following two presentations provided a national context for a discussion of school climate and school discipline. Kate Upatham, an attorney with the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), spoke on the federal school discipline guidance, and Dan Losen, from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, presented the most recent OCR school discipline data.
The educators’ panel was the conference highlight! Sara Burd of the Reading Public Schools and Ricci Hall of Worcester Public Schools inspired educators, advocates, and community partners alike when they shared their concrete and practical experiences working with teachers, students, parents, and community members on a daily basis to improve school climates. Anne Gilligan of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education provided an overview and moderated the panel discussion.
The breakout sessions covered topics ranging from principles of culturally responsive practice to implementing the new school discipline law (Chapter 222).
The Power of Mindsets: Creating a Positive School Climate, Dr. Robert Brooks
Supplemental Materials from Understanding and Managing Children’s Classroom Behavior: Creating Sustainable, Resilient Schools (2007) by Sam Goldstein, Ph.D. and Robert Brooks, Ph.D. published by John Wiley & Sons
Zero Tolerance” in Schools: How Effective Is it? Dr. Robert Brooks
School Discipline and Data Presentations:
The U.S. Department of Education Discipline Guidance Package
Federal School Discipline Data, Daniel J. Losen, UCLA, The Civil Rights Project
Breakout Session Presentations and Handouts:
How to Use Data Well and Recognize the Disparate Impact Based on Race, Gender and Disability, Daniel J. Losen, UCLA, The Civil Rights Project
Implementing the New School Discipline Law: Chapter 222 of the Acts of 2012, Deborah Dorfman, Center for Public Representation
Not Present, Not Accounted For: Trauma, Learning, and School Discipline; How to Create Buy-in for Change,Jennifer Davis Carey, Worcester Education Collaborative
Crisis in School Suspensions, By Jennifer Carey Davis and Mary Jo Marion Farrell
Focusing on Suspensions, By Jennifer Davis Carey
Keep Kids in Class: Alternatives to School Discipline by MA Appleseed
Keep Kids in Class: Perspectives on School Based Referrals by MA Appleseed
Parent Guide to School Discipline by MA Appleseed