Fix School Discipline Toolkit for Educators - Page 69

HOW TO LEAD YOUR SCHOOL AND SCHOOL DISTRICT TO REFORM SCHOOL DISCIPLINE The highlights and tools already provided should give you enough information about how to get started with implementing alternatives to the current out-of-school suspension practices, as well as who you can contact around the state to get assistance and advice. In the next sections, you will learn a little more about some of the steps to implementation, including collecting and analyzing school discipline data to focus reform efforts, sharing that data with the school community to highlight and explain the need for change, reviewing other sample and model policies to determine how best to implement the alternatives, understanding the various options for funding such alternatives (including through your existing school budget), and making plans to monitor the reforms and share your victories. ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF SCHOOL DISCIPLINE PRACTICES: UNDERSTANDING WHERE AND HOW TO FOCUS THE REFORM EFFORTS 1. The first step is to collect and analyze the available data. Every school district and school is required to collect and report data on student discipline and outcomes. The system developed by your own school district should have enough information to paint a clear picture. If you want to see how another school district analyzed its data, read the Highlight on Vallejo City and view the PowerPoint they put together to explain the need for reform to School Board Members, teachers, and the entire school community. You can also find data about school discipline and school climate from four key online sources: California Department of Education (CDE) Dataquest website, where you can find basic data related to suspensions, expulsions, and truancy, disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and gender and offense for the school and district. http://dq.cde. Office of Civil Rights Data Collection webpage, where you can find information about suspensions and expulsion rates disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and gender for the 2009-2010 school year. The Center for Civil Rights Remedies webpage, where you can find suspension rates in different states and districts, based on data from the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) California Healthy Kids Survey, where you can find information about students’ perceptions of safety and violence in school, as well as information about their physical health. California Health Climate Survey, where you can find specific information pertaining to perceptions of school climate as reported by teachers, administrators and other school staff. While you are collecting, compiling and looking at the data, ask yourself:  What kinds of offenses result in the most office referrals, suspensions and expulsions?  Are the majority of students at a particular school suspended or expelled for dangerous offenses? Or for non-dangerous and/or vague violations, such as disrupting class or willful defiance?  Are certain groups of students, such as students of color or disabled students, suspended more than other students?  How many days of school are being lost to suspension? What does this mean in lost money to the school district, if each day a student is suspended the school loses between $30-50 or more?  Which schools have the highest number of suspensions and expulsions? Which students attend those schools? What are the API and attendance rates at those schools? Are those chronically underperforming schools? 67