Alternatives to Suspension

Three types of approaches can be described as alternatives to suspension: 1. Approaches that change the response of schools to student misbehavior; i.e. a shift from using suspension as a response to using an in-school practice that aims to address the root cause of the misbehavior and help students avoid future misconduct (restorative practices, counseling or treatment, mentoring, community service, etc.) 2. Approaches that focus on supporting individual school staff members to develop skills in behavior management, de-escalation or recognizing personal biases; and 3. School-wide approaches that aim to improve school climate or establish structures for teaching and reinforcing positive behavioral expectations.

See also: student discipline, restorative practices

1-10 of 13 Results
Title Document Type

DRC Documents

A Restorative Approach to Discipline (video)

From Chicago Public Schools' Office of Social and Emotional Learning, this video illustrates how restorative disciplinary practices have transformed school climate and relationships in 3 schools.

SOURCE: Chicago Public Schools

TAGS alternatives to suspension restorative practices student discipline

Chicago Student Code of Conduct (video)

This short video helps students and their families understand Chicago's student code of conduct and highlights the district's SEL-infused approach to student discipline.

SOURCE: Chicago Public Schools

TAGS alternatives to suspension restorative practices student discipline

Suspending Chicago’s Students – Differences in Discipline Practices across Schools

This report from the University of Chicago provides an example of how to analyze district discipline data to pinpoint factors that lead to inequity.

SOURCE: University/Nonprofit Research Institution

TAGS alternatives to suspension equity student discipline

Guiding Principles – A Resource Guide Guide for Improving School Climate and Discipline

These guiding principles from the U.S. Department of Education are organized around concepts of creating positive school climate, providing evidence-based supports, promoting social and emotional learning, providing training on positive engagement with students and equitable practices, and adopting an instructional approach to school discipline.

SOURCE: United States DOE

TAGS alternatives to suspension anti-bias student discipline

Addendum to the Student Code of Conduct: Guidelines for Effective Discipline

Chicago's resource to support schools in implementing the new Student Code of Conduct, complete with flow charts, scenarios, and recommended interventions founded on SEL and restorative approaches.

SOURCE: Chicago Public Schools

TAGS classroom management alternatives to suspension implementation support toolkit equity restorative practices PK-12 culture and climate student discipline integrate with district priorities district SEL expertise SEL leadership

Chicago Public Schools Student Code of Conduct

Chicago's Student Code of Conduct was revised to place a greater emphasis on restorative practices, reduce the length of suspensions, eliminate suspension as an option for low-level behaviors and PreK-2nd grade students, and adjust terms to reduce racial bias and subjectivity.

SOURCE: Chicago Public Schools

TAGS bullying prevention alternatives to suspension school board board policies restorative practices PK-12 student discipline integrate with district priorities

Chicago Public Schools Student Code of Conduct Revisions, 2014

Presentation for the Chicago BOE summarizing the context, stakeholder engagement, and professional development plan surrounding the changes to the Student Code of Conduct.

SOURCE: Chicago Public Schools

TAGS classroom management alternatives to suspension school board anti-bias board policies SEL coaching for staff equity restorative practices continuous improvement PK-12 student discipline professional learning planning SEL leadership

Addressing the Root Causes of Disparities in School Discipline: An educator’s action planning guide

A guide for digging into discipline data, analyzing root causes, and action planning, with checklists, decision trees, Excel worksheets, and planning templates.

SOURCE: National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments

TAGS classroom management alternatives to suspension anti-bias toolkit equity restorative practices data dashboards student discipline planning SEL leadership

SPARK Approach to Positive School Climate

Guide and toolkit for Sacramento's comprehensive school climate model which intertwines principles of restorative disciplinary practices, social and emotional learning, and PBIS. Includes details on school teaming and training.

SOURCE: Sacramento City Unified School District

TAGS PBIS alternatives to suspension anti-bias board policies toolkit relationship skills SEL coaching for staff equity teacher training implementation plan restorative practices culture and climate building community student discipline professional learning integrate with district priorities youth voice

Restorative Practices: Fostering Healthy Relationships & Promoting Positive Discipline in Schools

Definitions and demonstrations of the impact of restorative practices with guidance for implementing at the classroom and school level, sponsored by the NEA and AFT.

SOURCE: University/Nonprofit Research Institution

TAGS classroom management alternatives to suspension security staff toolkit social awareness relationship skills responsible decision making reading lists - staff equity restorative practices classroom level culture and climate building community student discipline professional learning

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