The Student Discipline Program Managers work with all DPS schools to contribute to safe and supportive school climates through the implementation of BOE Policies JK - Student Discipline and JK-R - Student Conduct and Discipline ProceduresThis work is grounded in the guiding principles of Board of Education Policies JK and JK-R:
- Prevention reduces the need for intervention
- Positive relationships are key to school safety and academic success
- Minimizing suspensions and expulsions
- Discipline as learning/restorative, rather than punishment
- Graduated interventions (restorative, resource/therapeutic, administrative/legal)
- Eliminating systemic barriers, including institutionalized racism
- Preserving positive early educational experiences
- Accurate and complete data collection
What we provide to schools
Trainings and ongoing professional learning for Discipline Building Leaders (DBLs) and faculty/staff in complementary roles Induction trainings are both found on Schoology and occur as In-Person/Interactive trainings. The In-Person Induction trainings are held three times each school year. Whether through Schoology or In-Person, the content targets faculty/staff new to the role of the Discipline Building Leader. The Induction trainings have also been found to be highly valuable to experienced practitioners, as well. Discipline Building Leader Monthly Meetings are provided to all DBLs, and those in complementary roles, to enhance the understanding of specific activities essential to the success of the role, for example
- The District Student Discipline Goals: what they are and how to achieve them
- The discipline of students in ECE through 3rd grade
- The discipline of students with disabilities
- Culturally Responsive student discipline
- Trauma-Informed student discipline
- The Discrimination Prevention and Response Process
- and many more relevant topics!
Consultation with the Discipline Program Managers regarding the implementation of JK and JK-R and for building-level discipline incidents
In-person coaching and training Student Discipline support can be provided at the building level to assist with classroom or building-level practices and procedures
Discipline data support The achievement of the District Student Discipline Goals, as well as discipline goals important at a building-level, requires the understanding of the discipline data that can be pulled from Infinite Campus and found on Principal Portal. The Discipline Program Managers can support the schools as the school teams navigate discipline data and its analysis.
Referrals to additional supports and professional learning The Discipline Program Managers can assist the schools with identifying and connecting with district/community resources and professional learning opportunities that could enhance the support of a student or the climate of a school.
Request Trainings and Supports in Restorative Practices
Our Restorative Practices Team offers a range of supports that include: two-day trainings for staff who will lead RP in their buildings, monthly "community of practice" meetings for RP Coordinators, individualized consultation for schools, and on-site coaching and training in core practices. Please contact us for more information.
Visit an RP demonstration site
There are 3 DPS schools offering full-day visits to see restorative practices in action and engage in panels with leaders, teachers and students. Please contact us to sign up for a visit.
Implementation Guide: School-Wide Restorative Practices, Step-By-Step
Restorative practices build community and promote healthy relationships among educators and students in order to teach the social-emotional and conflict-resolution skills necessary to reduce conflict. This guide provides support to any school building or district looking to reform their discipline system and reduce racial disparities. It answers the critical question: where do we start?
This guide can also help schools or districts that have started along this path but are struggling with implementation. Implementation can be done in stages. A school or a district can start with one type of restorative practice and incorporate others as the school culture shifts. This guide has been structured accordingly—outlining the critical steps to be taken in the first year of implementation, how to grow in the second year, and elements to support sustainability of implementation. The guide includes a wide range of resources and is available here.
ECE - 3rd Grade Discipline Reform
District Policy Change: "Toward Ending Suspensions and Expulsions of Young Learners"
Read the Denver Board of Education's resolution "Toward ending suspensions and expulsions of young learners," which board members unanimously approved on Thursday, March 16, 2018.
In Fall 2017, de-escalation trainings were tailored for and offered to early grade teachers to support implementation of the new policy. DPS' de-escalation curriculum is based on national research and local experience.
If you are interested in trainings, please contact us.
Guiding principles for disciplineOur work is guided by the district's policies JK and JK-R, which lay out:
- Prevention first. School discipline is best accomplished by preventing misbehavior before it occurs, and using effective interventions after it occurs.
- Relationships are key. School safety and academic success are formed and strengthened when all school staff and personnel build positive relationships with students and are actively engaged in their lives and learning.
- Minimizing suspensions and expulsions. Effective school discipline maximizes the amount of time students spend learning and minimizes the amount of time students cause disruption or are removed from their classrooms due to misbehavior.
- Discipline as learning. School discipline should be reasonable, timely, fair, age-appropriate, and should match the severity of the student's misbehavior. School discipline that is paired with meaningful instruction and guidance offers students an opportunity to learn from their mistakes and contribute to the school community, and is more likely to result in getting the student re-engaged in learning.
- Graduated interventions. Effective discipline is built on consistent and effective classroom management, and is supported by a positive school climate. The vast majority of disciplinary issues should be addressed at the classroom level by teachers; however, behaviors that cannot be addressed at this level should receive more targeted and intensive interventions, as determined by an individualized assessment.
- Eliminating institutional barriers. The District serves a diverse community. In order to serve all students and to prepare them to be members of an increasingly diverse community, school and staff must build cultural competence. We must strive to eliminate any institutional racism and any other discrimination that presents barriers to success.
- Protecting early educational experiences. Positive experiences in school and with teachers, beginning with the earliest exposures to school, lay a foundation for engagement with and connection to school throughout a student’s academic career. These early experiences have the most critical impact on students’ perceptions and trust of school and teachers, and are fundamental to the development of the social and academic skills necessary to support them through school and beyond. Removal from school during this time period negatively impacts a student’s opportunities for success.
Student Equity and Opportunity
Emily Griffith Campus
1860 Lincoln St.
Denver, CO 80203
Polly Lutz, Ph.D.
Interrim Executive Director
Ellen Kelty, M.A.
Barb Downing, Ph.D.
Program Manager, Equity In Student Discipline (District-managed Secondary Schools, Northfield HS, and KCAA Elementary)
Lisa Pisciotta, LPC, CAC III
Program Manager, Equity In Student Discipline (District-managed Elementary & K-8s, Portfolio Schools)
Trauma-Informed & Restorative Practices
Trauma Informed and Restorative Practices Manager
New for 18-19--Suspension & expulsion paperwork (auto-populating)
Discipline Fast Facts (2018-19). Practical highlights on implementing district discipline policy in schools.
ECE-3rd Grade Discipline Reform Resolution--Board of Education "Toward Ending Suspensions & Expulsions For Our Youngest Learners" (March 2017)