Fix School Discipline Toolkit for Educators - Page 29

parent from a school team stood up and said, “Now, I have been here this whole time and I want you to know that I am going to hold all of you and all of us accountable for implementing what we have learned and getting the results that we all are hoping for.” When the “Design” teams were created, we did not dictate who the site leaders should bring for training, but we did say bring your teacher leaders and your parents who are outspoken and want to participate fully and a classified staff member. Many of our classified staff members live in our communities and know all of the parents and students so they are a real critical piece of the reform efforts. What have been some of the challenges during the first year of implementation? Sup Bishop: Well, there had been 6 different Superintendents in a 10 year period, so I think a lot of people, including a lot of teachers, did not think that I would stay. They had seen other reform efforts come and go, so when we rolled out the training, implementation did not appear to be a priority. Some people were not happy that we were trying to make such changes and they fought us. Even so, in that first year, we reduced our overall suspension rate by 35%. As part of the cultural shift in the District, we had to make it clear that we were serious about implementation and accountability around implementation and that this was a structure and system that we wanted to see in every school. What are some of the systems that you put in place in 2012-13 to help increase implementation? Sup. Bishop: Well, we offered 9 more trainings for the entire district from Dr. Sprague. For nine trainings, we spent a total of $27,000. This money comes from our Title I district level funding. It is a very small amount of money to pay for trainings that will transform our school climate and culture. We also added another level of accountability. Our evaluation team has aligned our evaluation tools for our school administrators with our strategic actions. Of course, implementation of SWPBIS is just one of the mechanisms by which our administrators will be evaluated. In our “Evaluation Expectations” guide, we have set forth the strategic actions, step-by-step, that school site administrators should take each month of the school year to implement PBIS. We will be checking on implementation through site visits, data review and other accountability mechanisms. We have also invited our community partners and parents to join us on those site visits and be a part of this process, so that they are fully engaged in and understand what the District is doing to reach its goals. What about outcomes? How are you defining success? Sup. Bishop: Well, we have a strong data system in place, AERIES. We created a dashboard that all of our indicators, including those around attendance, achievement, school climate, and discipline. Our Design teams at the individual schools are responsible for monitoring and meeting monthly to look at all of the data being collected and the bigger picture and see what is happening and to make ongoing and continuous improvements. Dr. Derbigny: We also monitored the number of Restorative Justice circles and Student Study Team meetings being conducted at our school sites. The Student Study Team process is one of our key interventions for students who are struggling. We also rolled out Restorative Justice, which is critical to establishing school climates that address the root cause of behaviors within the school setting instead of just suspending students when they misbehave. Restorative Justice is really about student accountability and working with our students and staff to transform negative cycles of behavior and adult responses into positive relationships, so it is a key tool for our young people who are really struggling with persistent behavior issues. What about disproportionality in the suspensions being given to students of color? How do you address that head on? Sup. Bishop: This is the place that the work must be done to change the outcomes. I believe that our achievement gaps are expectation gaps. So, if we hold all of our students to the same high expectations that we have for our own children and for children in more affluent communities, we will eliminate those gaps. The ways we treat one another, whether we call that unconscious bias or something else, if we can focus on the outcomes in class and in school and say, 27