Fix School Discipline Toolkit for Educators - Page 27

HIGHLIGHT: VALLEJO CITY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT Superintendent Ramona Bishop and Dr. La Tonya Derbigny, Director of School and Student Accountability District Snapshot: Vallejo City Unified School District is located north of the San Francisco Bay Area. It is a district with 14,500 student attending 22 schools. In 2009-2010, as a district that suspended 21% of its students, Vallejo City was one of the top 10 suspending districts in the entire state. However, since implementing PBIS, restorative practices and trauma-sensitive strategies over the past three years, the District has reduced suspensions by 45% and increased graduation rates by 11%. Why did you decide to implement an alternative discipline system focusing on Positive Behavior Interventions and Support in Vallejo City Unified? Superintendent Ramona Bishop: The short answer: The way we were managing our schools and classrooms in Vallejo was to kick children out. When I brought Dr. Derbigny on staff, her job was to look at all of our data district-wide and figure out what we needed to increase academic success at all of our schools. Not only did we see high rates of suspensions and expulsions, but extraordinary disproportionality in the way those out-of-school discipline methods were being implemented. Also, when we disaggregated the academic achievement scores, the achievement gap was clear and it mirrored our practices related to out-of-school discipline. Because our District is 30% African-American and 30% Latino, and these were the students with the lowest achievement levels and highest suspension levels, we knew we had to do something fast. When I visited schools, there was no evidence of SWPBIS. When you go to a SWPBIS school, the evidence is everywhere and the school looks different, there is structure and coordination and students are learning. Dr. La Tonya Derbigny: We came to the realization that change was needed during the summer of 2011. In the first presentation th BvRvfRF