May 29, 2019 - In This Issue:
We want to share with you two examples of how districts have deeply revised their codes of conduct to create comprehensive guides that communicate their commitment to a restorative and accountable approach to schoolwide discipline and student support. Revised codes like these serve as handbooks to good citizenship and provide tools to help students and staff members understand, appreciate, and honor the articulated norms within the district and school culture.    
Best wishes for a wonderful summer, 
Lucy Patton
Engage! Newsletter Editor

Districts Remake their Codes of Character, Conduct, and Support 

We continue to work with many districts as they revise their codes of conduct. The Syracuse City School District revised their code with our support in 2014, calling it the Code of Conduct, Character and Support, and continues to refine and update it each year. In implementing its code across the district, Syracuse has reduced exclusionary and disproportional discipline practices.  
Wheatland-Chili district, also in upstate New York, created their Code of Character, Conduct, and Support a year ago and have been successfully implementing it this school year with Engaging Schools' support. Their code is unique for its social and emotional learning toolbox, a set of strategies included in the code document that gives teachers and support staff specific practices to help young people develop the social, emotional, and academic skills they need to navigate school successfully. View the new code here.

Three additional districts, Orange County (NC), New Britain (CT), and Pittsfield (MA) are finishing their revisions now and will move to the implementation phase soon. We're supporting additional districts as they get underway, starting with a diagnostic process to assess current conditions and practices and identify areas of their current codes that need recalibration.
Bringing a Systemic Approach to Classroom Management
NYC Guided Discipline Institute photo by Tara Ryba
Engaging Schools provides a systematic approach to classroom management and discipline, called Guided Discipline, that fosters academic, social, and emotional learning and development in every student. Teachers learn to create classrooms that reduce behavioral problems and maximize opportunities to learn. They model, teach, practice, and assess habits of learning and self-discipline that contribute to students' academic and school success. They provide effective behavioral supports and interventions when students do not learn or experience problems that become obstacles to learning. Guided Discipline practices contribute to a schoolwide model that is fair, respectful, restorative, accountable, and viable. Guided Discipline is a component of our Engaged Classrooms approach to instruction, classroom management, and discipline, which fosters academic, social, and emotional learning and development in each and every student.

A recent participant in one of our Guided Discipline Institutes in New York City said, "The team worked hard to identify Personalized Supports as a new approach to classroom management. Thanks to the Engaging Schools consultant for creating opportunities for real talk."
Special Offer: Tools for Supporting Effective Advisories
Engaging Schools has many years' experience supporting effective advisory programs. We captured the experience of educators and students in Denver, New York City, and Austin in a four-part DVD set that shows advisories in action. Practitioners tell us that it's invaluable to observe skillful advisors as they engage with students. To support your advisory, we're making this series available through the end of June at reduced prices: $79 for the full set or $29 for individual DVDs. See this page for more information and video excerpts.
Research Roundup   
Linda Darling-Hammond, President of the Learning Policy Institute and former professor of education at Stanford University, recently published a comprehensive overview of  current research into school discipline policies and practices. Her article, " Want Safe Schools? Start With Research-Based School Discipline Policies ", considers studies on the impact of guns, zero-tolerance policies, over-suspension, and disproportional discipline.

She moves on to state, "A recent body of research shows that a better way to make schools truly safe is to invest in student supports, including social and emotional learning and mental health supports; community involvement, including access for children to health and social services supports that address the trauma many experience; and professional development for teachers and school staff."

After a review of the supporting research, Darling-Hammond concludes by asking, "Will states rely on the harsh discipline practices that bring guns into schools while pushing students out, or will they implement the research-based restorative justice and positive discipline practices that enable students to grow, thrive and contribute to society?"

         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 social and emotional development into classroom practice. 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. 
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