2016 “Building Positive School Climates” Conference

MA Appleseed hosted its third “Building Positive School Climates” conference on April 11th, 2016 at Clark University in Worcester. The conference drew a diverse audience of over 200 people from across the state to discuss implementation of the new school discipline law and learn about alternatives to exclusionary zero tolerance policies. Remarks from high-ranking state leaders such as Chief Justice of the Juvenile Courts Amy Nechtem and Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester signaled a significant, multi-sector state-level commitment to school discipline reform, and poignant remarks from Worcester youth inspired many in the audience to consider incorporating Restorative Practices into their work. Overall, participants left feeling encouraged by some of the progress being made in the area of school discipline reform, and equipped with new networks and tools to help them continue this difficult but important work going forward.

Conference materials:

Conference Agenda
Speaker Bios
Presentation Abstracts

Keynote Address:
The Power of Mindsets: Creating a Positive School Climate
Dr. Robert Brooks

Plenary Presentation Materials:
School Discipline in Massachusetts: A Look at the 2015 Data
Rob Curtin, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Youth Perspectives on School Discipline
Carlos Rojas, Rebecca Holland, and Fania Joseph, Youth on Board
The Safe and Supportive Schools Framework
Susan Cole, Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative

Breakout Session Materials:
Deconstructing the School-to-Prison Pipeline: School-Court Collaborations
Honorable Jay D. Blitzman, Middlesex Juvenile Court
Community Schools and Wraparound Zones: Creating a Safe and Supportive Context for Student Success, Wraparound Coordinators, Worcester Public Schools; Dr. Claire Crane and Omar Longus, Center for Community Schools at Salem State University

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