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Brief or Concept Paper

Proactive and Inclusive School Discipline Strategies

This What Works Brief summarizes state-of-the-art practices, strategies, and programs for improving school climate. This brief reviews the limitations of obedience-oriented, punitive approaches to school disciplien and describe a range of innovative alternatives focused on cultivating students' self-regulation through positive behavior supports and interpersonal relationship building among students and between students and staff.

REL Midwest Reference Desk: Closing the Achievement Gaps in Middle and High School

REL Midwest received a request for information on evidence-based research/guidance on how to close achievement gaps in middle schools and high schools. This document reflect findings from a search for research reports as well as descriptive and policy-oriented briefs and articles on closing achievement gaps. The search focused on identifying resources that specifically addressed high school and middle school gaps.

The Vital Role of School-Based Health Centers in Creating a Violence-Free School Environment

This brief argues that issues of school violence, including bullying (and cyberbullying), fighting, use of weapons, gang actions, and self-violence (suicide and depression), can be addressed by the deployment of School-based Health Centers, which can serve as a resource, haven, and source of educational programs for students and faculty. *Discipline Disparities Research-to-Practice Collaborative, a group of 26 nationally known researchers, educators, advocates, and policy analysts, came together to address the problem of disciplinary disparities.

School Climate, Student Success and the Role of School-Based Health Care

This brief outlines the under-appreciated impact of overall school climate on the health, safety, and educational outcomes of all students, not simply those students typically thought to be “problem” kids. School climate has been defined as “the quality and character of school life.” It encompasses the internal social norms, values, organization, and teaching and learning practices within the school.

Eliminating Excessive and Unfair Exclusionary Discipline in Schools Policy Recommendations for Reducing Disparities

After outlining the research on major disparities in the application of school discipline among groups of students, which disadvantage minority, LGBT and ELL children (especially males), this policy brief goes on to make specific district, state, and federal policy recommendations. Suggestions are offered for program implementation, oversight, data gathering, funding, and public reporting.

How Educators Can Eradicate Disparities in School Discipline: A Briefing Paper on School-Based Interventions

Another in the Collaborative policy paper series, this paper provides recommendations on effective intervention measures that build on best research and practice. Interventions to prevent conflict and to intervene when conflict occurs are both addressed in detail, starting with basic principles. For example, conflict prevention principles include: 1) Building Supportive Relationships; 2) Creating an environment of Academic Rigor; 3) Employing Culturally Relevant and Responsive Teaching; 4) Creating Bias-free Classrooms and Respectful School Environments.

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