Fix School Discipline Toolkit for Educators - Page 52

HIGHLIGHT ON LEATAATA FLOYD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (FORMERLY JED SMITH) Sacramento City Unified School District during instruction to increase student engagement; daily use of culturally and linguistically responsive teaching strategies; Individual Learning Plans for high achieving students; regular after school team meetings to discuss data, instructional response, and intervention; and extended day instruction. After learning what our goals were eleven of our thirteen instructional staff left. Why did you decide to implement PBIS and SEL? BA: We had focused on rigorous academic instruction. From the beginning of Day One, we knew that we prepared for the wrong thing. Former Principal Billy Aydlett and Assistant Principal Cory Jones Tell me about how you came to work at Leataata Floyd Elementary and about the climate of the school before you instituted Positive Behavior Support (PBIS) and Social Emotional Learning (SEL)? Former Principal Billy Aydlett (BA): This school was being operated like a school from the 1950s but, obviously, things have changed. The school had an in-school suspension model that involved students being sent to a room called the “Dungeon.” The school’s leadership had hired a substitute to watch the students in the Dungeon and make them sit quietly. They did not receive any instruction and they were not given any school work to do. Additionally, that room was full of black and brown boys. Under the Superintendent’s No Child Left Behind Priority School Initiative, teachers and staff were given the choice to leave at the end of the year. Mr. Jones and I let the instructional staff know our goals for transforming the school, which included, among other things, daily use of technology tools 50 How we can fix school discipline Assistant Principal Cory Jones (CJ): What’s so funny? CJ: It’s not really funny but it was immediately obvious that we had more serious work to do to get students ready to learn. On the first day of school, after we had sent all the kids to class, a kindergartener continued to play outside and made no moves to go to class. I went over to her told her who I was and asked her name. She looked at me, said nothing, turned around and continued playing. I asked her again and she told me, “You’re a stranger, I don’t know you, I don’t have to listen to what you say.” BA: I saw this happening and it was humbling and inspiring. CJ: Later, at the end of the first day, we had a meeting with the staff to talk about how things had gone and one teacher, who is usually very good at establishing relationships and reaching kids, just broke down and cried. She basically went through her entire bag of teaching strategies and tricks