Discipline

Accelerating Positive School Culture and Discipline Practices through the Charter Sector

The U.S. Department of Education (ED), in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services, has worked closely with educators through the #RethinkDiscipline campaign to support initiatives that build positive school climates and develop less punitive approaches to school discipline. Across the nation, educators are creating stronger school communities by adopting creative strategies that reimagine the role of discipline in their schools.

School climate is a multi-faceted concept that describes the extent to which a school community creates and maintains a safe school campus; a supportive academic, disciplinary, and physical environment; and respectful, trusting, and caring relationships throughout the school community. Research shows that creating a positive school climate can help districts, schools, and teachers meet key goals including boosting student achievement and closing achievement gaps, increasing high school graduation rates, decreasing teacher turnover and increasing teacher satisfaction, and turning around low-performing schools. Positive school climates also enhance safety in the school and community by increasing communication among students, families, and faculty, and reducing violence and bullying.

ED and other federal agencies have invested in developing and maintaining a breadth of resources and services for improving school climate and discipline to help ensure safe and supportive learning environments. The professional development (PD) information and tools provided here can be used to develop supportive classrooms and schools that prevent conflict and support the diversity of student needs, including social and emotional skills development and mental health services.

To help educators, network leaders, and other education stakeholders to better access these PD resources from across the federal government, ED has developed this list of Pre-K–12 school climate and discipline resources, including those developed by technical assistance centers funded by federal agencies.

The items below are intended to provide background information on issues relevant to school climate and discipline, help school leaders to develop and increase personnel skills and knowledge, and inform readers about strong practices and lessons learned from exemplary programs. This is particularly relevant for education stakeholders trying to locate materials that would help them in their efforts to launch new initiatives for improving school climate and discipline practices.

The resource list is designed to be reflective of the Guiding Principles developed by a steering committee with input from charter school leaders from across the country. 

Guiding Principles

The guiding principles developed and affirmed by the steering committee are meant to create a framework for action. They serve as guideposts that express aligned values in the work to create or build upon positive, productive, and equitable school climates. As educators take up this effort, they will both rely on and build upon the following guiding principles:

  • Maximize the time students are in school and learning.
  • Cultivate systems that acknowledge and remedy the root causes of students’ and educators’ challenges in school.
  • Leverage data to inform equitable disciplinary systems.
  • Engage the entire school community in professional development and accountability systems that encourage alignment on the school’s intended processes and cultural goals.

The list of free resources includes:

Featured Discipline Resources

Students need a safe and supportive school environment to maximize…
Case Study | 24 Jun, 2016
Charter School Discipline Toolkit: A Toolkit for Charter School Leaders
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Webinar: The Role of States and Charter School Authorizers in Overseeing Student Discipline in Charter Schools

All Discipline Resources

2017 NACSA Leadership Conference Event16 Oct, 2017 to 18 Oct, 2017 The annual NACSA Leadership Conference is the only national conference dedicated to quality charter school authorizing. The conference’s audience consists of charter school authorizers from… Read more
Texas Charter School Conference Event11 Oct, 2017 to 13 Oct, 2017 TCSACon 2017 is the only statewide gathering of over 1,600 leaders and innovators of Texas’ public charter schools. There are so many ways we believe you can learn, grow and share at the… Read more
Register now for the 2017 Pacific Rim Conference on Disability and Diversity Event09 Oct, 2017 to 11 Oct, 2017 The Pacific Rim International Conference, considered one of the most diverse gatherings in the world, encourages and respects voices from diverse perspective across numerous areas,… Read more
Partnership Schools: New Governance Models for Creating Quality School Options in Districts ReportsRobin Lake01 Oct, 2017 In at least 10 U.S. cities, a new partnership schools model is emerging. This “third way” governance strategy can break through contentious district-charter divides and could help improve… Read more
SEA Webinar Survey: Consultancy Call on Monitoring Event28 Sep, 2017 Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. The purpose of the survey is to obtain information about how well the event met its objectives and your needs. Your feedback will assist… Read more
SEA Webinar Survey: Consultancy Call on Monitoring Event28 Sep, 2017 Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. The purpose of the survey is to obtain information about how well the event met its objectives and your needs. Your feedback will assist… Read more
Webinar Survey: State Role in Supporting Charter Innovation Event05 Sep, 2017 Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. The purpose of the survey is to obtain information about how well the event met its objectives and your needs. Your feedback will assist… Read more
Better Together: Ensuring Quality District Schools in Times of Charter Growth and Declining Enrollment ReportsRobin Lake01 Sep, 2017 CPRE’s report finds that most major school districts have not taken advantage of crucial opportunities to reduce costs as their enrollment has decreased. School districts must learn to make… Read more
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Webinar: Tracking Outcomes Beyond School Webinar17 Aug, 2017 Facilitator: Alex Medler,Senior Director, National Charter Schools Resource Center Presenters: Benjamin Feit, Vice President of Strategy and Chief of Staff, Democracy Prep Public Schools… Read more