December 16, 2015 - In This Issue:

We know that this time of year can be an extra-busy one. We hope you'll have some time to take a look at two articles about our work in Principal Leadership, a study on the impact of exclusionary discipline policies, news of Engaging Schools at the recent Learning Forward conference, and an update on our new book.

Best wishes for a relaxing holiday break and a great start to 2016! 
Lucy Patton
Engage! Newsletter Editor

Schoolwide Discipline Program Featured in Principal Leadership   

Articles by our staff in the NASSP's publication
We invite you to take a look at our recent post, which links to an article by our staff members Carol Miller Lieber and Michele Tissiere on creating fair and restorative alternatives to inequitable discipline policies and practices. In another piece, Engaging Schools' Executive Director Larry Dieringer contributes thoughts on student exclusion and makes the point that reducing out-of-school suspension should be part of a greater goal of maximizing supports for all students.

Coming Soon: Shifting Gears
We're accepting pre-orders for our new book,
Shifting Gears: Recalibrating Schoolwide Discipline and Student Support
Shifting Gears supports school leaders and School Climate-Discipline team members in guiding their own profes- sional learning and that of school faculty as they develop and implement a restorative, problem-solving approach to creating systems of discipline and student support.
Section 1 sets the stage by providing background information about the discipline problem, features of an effective discipline model, the research behind those features, and the importance of understanding adolescent development and how it can shape more effective disciplinary policies and practices for middle and high school students. Section 2 takes a deep dive into each component of an accountable and restorative schoolwide discipline and student support model, and provides how-to guidance for recalibrating the schoolwide discipline and student support model or implementing targeted improvements. Learn more about the book here. Contact Denise Wolk at dwolk@engagingschools.org or 1-800-370-2525 ext. 33 to place pre-publication orders. 

Higher levels of exclusionary discipline hurt non-suspended students, too. 
"Suspending Progress", a recent study of middle and high schools in a Kentucky district, finds that punitive environments cause harm to students who abide by school rules.

The authors state, "Our findings suggest that higher levels of exclusionary discipline within schools over time generate collateral damage, negatively affecting the academic achievement of non-suspended students in punitive contexts. ... the adverse effect of exclusionary discipline is evident in even the most disorganized and hostile school environments. Our results level a strong argument against excessively punitive school policies and suggest the need for alternative means of establishing a disciplined environment through social integration."   

One of the authors comments in a story in Ed Source"When you are in a very punitive environment, you're getting the message that the school is focusing on crime control and behavior control. Schools should really be about relationships."    
Engaged Classrooms at the Learning Forward Conference
Engaging Schools' Michele Tissiere presented a workshop on Engaged Classrooms for Secondary Schools at the annual Learning Forward conference in Maryland last week.

More than 80 school administrators, teachers, instructional coaches, and others participated. "Your session was amazing today! Your modeling of how to engage participants was beautifully done!" said Kyla Krengel, Director of Social and Emotional Learning, Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Our staff will be presenting at additional conferences in the first few months of 2016. Next up: a panel discussion on work we're doing in the Syracuse (NY) City School District at the American Association of School Administrators national conference in February 2016.

photo: our 2014 Learning Forward session

                             Please Support Engaging Schools! 

Engaging Schools is a nonprofit organization that collaborates with middle and high school educators to create schoolwide communities of learning that integrate academics with social and emotional development. We provide professional learning and publications for instructional practice, classroom management, discipline and student support, postsecondary readiness, and advisory programs - all grounded in the values of equity, community, and democracy. The result: engaging schools where each and every student succeeds and makes positive contributions in school, work, and life.   

We rely on tax-deductible donations from you and others to develop our programs and resources and help us reach more teachers, schools, and young people. Please support our work with a gift today. Thanks!