October 31 SDE Discipline Collaborative Meeting

Posted by on 10 / 31 / 2018 1 Reactions

October 31 SDE Discipline Collaborative Meeting

Today, on Wednesday, October 31st, the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) convened its inaugural meeting of the Connecticut School Discipline Collaborative. The purpose of the collaborative is to advise the Commissioner and the State Board of Education on strategies for transforming school discipline with the goal of reducing the disproportionate use of exclusionary discipline. The Northeast Charter Schools Network (NECSN) was invited to participate in the collaborative and information on the meeting follows.

The membership of the Collaborative includes school and district representatives, community and faith-based leaders, membership and representative associations like NECSN, higher education institutions, the legal community, and various state agencies that interact with youth and children as pertaining to discipline.

The Collaborative will advise the State Department of Education on issues, policies and practices relating to school discipline, evaluate and recommend plans for statewide school discipline reform initiatives, review state and national practices that increase alternatives to exclusionary discipline, and identify/develop tools to implement alternatives to exclusionary discipline.

The first meeting included an overview of the purpose of the collaborative, a review of relevant data, a keynote address, and small group brainstorming, specifically:

  • A review of Connecticut state-level sanctions and discipline data: During this discussion, CSDE’s Chief Performance Officer reviewed the latest student discipline and sanctions data including suspensions and expulsions data, highlighting statewide trends as well as trends by race and gender* (available on CSDE’s EdSight data website) for all public schools in the state.
  • An address from Dr. Daren Graves, Associate Professor at Simmons University and Adjunct Lecturer at Harvard Graduate School of Education: Dr. Graves presented on critical racial identity development and its impact on student discipline and student’s experiences in schools - particularly for students of color, as well as racialized patterns in student discipline data.
  • Small group discussions: The discussions were designed to identify areas of focus heading into the next meetings. The areas of focus included discipline and systems of support; discipline and racial disproportionality, and policy development and implementation.

As we continue to participate in this collaborative, it will be important for us to hear from you on the implementation and practices relating to student discipline in our schools. Stay tuned for additional updates. We expect to be in touch prior to the next meeting in February of 2019.

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.

Yamuna (Yam) Menon

* CSDE has notified us that it expects to release school year 2017-2018 student discipline data in the coming weeks, as it was not available on EdSight at the time of the meeting.

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