TSDC'S TOOLKIT FOR TRANSFORMATION
This toolkit is designed to give practitioners guidance, strategies and models that will support their work to change school policies and practices around student discipline. This work is ongoing. Visit again soon for updates and contact us to share ideas of your own.
The District Spotlight is a recurring feature in the Transforming School Discipline Collaborative (TSDC) quarterly newsletter that highlights the work of districts in their processes to improve discipline practices. Below are excerpts from our conversations.
Mount Prospect District 57: A conversation with Sara Tyburski
TSDC: How would you describe your district’s discipline philosophy?
Sara: Be as preventative and proactive as possible while remaining child-centered, and using a collaborative approach to make sure that we’re meeting all the students’ needs. It’s so rare that a student with behavioral problems only has behavioral problems. There’s a lot of other areas that I’m sure they need support in too.
TSDC: What kinds of supports do you provide at a district-level that help to support your vision for school discipline?
Sara: We are working at a district level on MTSS. We’re really focusing on the behavior side more and making our approach more consistent between buildings. We also are focusing more on the data aspect of it because I feel like that often gets left out when it comes to behavior. We provide tier three supports well, but we need to continue to be more accurate in identifying the students who need the more middle support. Rather than “I feel like this kid needs more support” instead we can look at the number of referrals and other areas and see that they do need to be in skills-based instruction.
TSDC: We were discussing earlier the passage of SB 100. I’m curious, did you notice any changes before and after SB 100 was implemented?
Sara: I guess the good news for my district is that we haven’t seen a big change because SB100 fits into the philosophy we’ve had as a district. Really, it’s a matter of refining our practices and making sure we document what we are doing so that our expectations are clear. We did develop a parent-teacher advisory committee to make sure that we met the laws stated in SB100 and found that to be a great way to get feedback from a lot of different stakeholders. We used the [TSDC] Model Code of Conduct, which was very helpful in kind of wrapping our heads around what was involved in the work. I think it was a very productive and meaningful process.
TSDC: What was it like to work with parents on the parent-teacher advisory committee?
Sara: A lot of our parents on the committee serve dual roles, but all [parents] were fully involved in the process of reforming our school discipline code. They went over the Model Code of Conduct with us and talked about what that might look like for our district. They probably asked some of the better questions because they asked things we hadn’t even thought of and really pushed us to think about the rollout and the process.
To read the full interview, click here.
Do you have questions you'd like to see answered? Interested in being featured in the District Spotlight? Contact us today.
TSDC ADMINISTRATOR GUIDES
TSDC has created administrator guides specifically designed as primers. These guides provide foundation knowledge on various topics, highlight examples of school-based practices and offer additional resources.
Racial Bias and Disproportionality (pending)
TSDC'S MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT
TSDC's Model Code of Conduct (Model Code) is offered as a best practice of how school administrators can develop a student code of conduct that (1) is compliant with recent changes to Illinois law (see Public Act 98-1102 and Public Act 99-0456) and (2) advances the goal of fairness and equity in the discipline process.
In some places, the Model Code goes beyond the strict requirements of current law to encompass the intent behind legislative reforms. Reducing the use of exclusionary school discipline requires a fundamental shift in school climate. Therefore, the Model Code embraces prevention-oriented policies coupled with a student-centered approach. Our strategies are designed to keep students in school, fully engaged and on track to graduate.
This Code is not intended to be adopted in isolation from other necessary school culture changes. Schools are encouraged to continue developing practices to prevent school violence and build a positive school climate. Examples of such practices include developing an inclusive and supportive curriculum, providing effective and culturally-relevant behavior supports, implementing restorative practices, offering classroom consultation and support, providing ongoing professional development and examining the role of implicit biases in the classroom and school community. We recognize that this is a challenging and ongoing process.
We hope that this model code supports your efforts as we all continue to make sure that our schools provide the very best education to all students in Illinois.
Download the Code of Conduct Below:
Working on making changes to your student code of conduct? Use this TEMPLATE version of the Model Code of Conduct to help you get started.
This checklist details PA 99-0546's (aka SB100) new requirements, along with providing “Implementation Tips” that your district can utilize when working to implement the Act.
Transforming School Discipline Collaborative Quarterly Newsletter - TSDC - Feb., 2017
Transforming School Discipline Collaborative Quarterly Newsletter - TSDC - May, 2017
Transforming School Discipline Collaborative Quarterly Newsletter - TSDC - Aug., 2017
Developing Prevention-Oriented Discipline Codes of Conduct - Pamela A. Fenning, Ph.D. and Miranda B. Johnson, J.D., M.P.A. - Children's Legal Rights Journal - 2015
Ecologies of School Discipline for Queer Youth: What Listening to Queer Youth Teaches Us About Transforming School Discipline - L Boyd Bellinger, Nicole Darcangelo, Stacey S. Horn, Erica R. Meiners, and Sarah Schriber - Inequality in School Discipline - 2016
Why are we criminalizing behavior of children with disabilities? - Miranda B. Johnson, J.D., M.P.A. - The Washington Post - April, 2017