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Behavioral Intervention Strategies and Supports

We can keep students in school and hold them accountable. Research on student engagement, academic success, dropout and graduation rates has shown the need to replace punitive discipline practices.

Fix School Discipline

Replacing Discipline with Supports Memorandum (DOCX)
This guidance addresses the legal requirements and recommended best practices governing discipline practices. The guidance itself is non-binding and does not have the effect of law.

Fix School Discipline External link opens in new window or tab.
Instead of correcting students’ behavior and making communities and schools safer, the quick removal methods, such as out-of-school suspension and expulsion, deprive students of the chance to receive the education and help that they need, making it more likely that they will drop out of school, enter the criminal justice system, and place their future options in jeopardy. There is a much better way to hold students accountable and keep schools safe.

Fix School Discipline Educator Toolkit External link opens in new window or tab.
The "How We Can Fix School Discipline Toolkit for Educators" is a step-by-step guide to working together to change harsh discipline rules.

Fix School Discipline - Take Action External link opens in new window or tab.
Links to California and federal laws requiring the use of alternative to out-of-school discipline.

Suspension Rates and Expulsion Rates
DataQuest is the California Department of Education’s Web Reporting Portal which includes suspension and expulsion rates. The rates are based on individual student records and subgroup information is available using filter selections. Users may view data by race/ethnicity, gender, or grade level at the school, district, county, or state level. Suppression logic is triggered by enrollment counts to ensure privacy protection of students.

Kingmakers of Oakland External link opens in new window or tab.
Kingmakers of Oakland believes the current education system is failing Black boys, inhibiting them from reaching their full potential. To better support Black boys, the education system must make fundamental shifts across six leading system change drivers.

California Accountability Model and School Dashboard
Suspension data are included in the California School Dashboard (Dashboard) to assist county offices of education, school districts, schools and charter schools to identify areas of improvement in their Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs). Priority 6 of the LCAP should include clear goals and strategies for addressing areas of concern displayed on the Dashboard.

Other Means of Correction are Required by California Law External link opens in new window or tab.
California Education Code (EC) Section 48900.5 provides that suspension, including supervised suspension as described in EC Section 48911.1, shall be imposed only when other means of correction fail to bring about proper conduct.

Workforce Readiness Includes Addressing Barriers (DOCX)
California’s Federal Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) State Plan includes specific language providing that workforce readiness includes efforts focused on addressing attendance and behavioral challenges. This includes enrolling students in educational options schools and programs, and diverting youth from the school-to-prison pipeline, so that students can eventually obtain and maintain successful jobs. It is important to have a framework of supportive interventions that are designed to be educational and developmental, rather than be punitive, particularly when these supportive interventions are considered within the larger context of workforce readiness. The language also identified educator mindsets and approaches to special populations as a barrier and that professional development is needed to address overall issues of bias and equity. Other sections include language linking counseling supports to address undermining difficulties stemming from social-emotional challenges students have faced.

Restorative Justice Programs as Promising Practices External link opens in new window or tab. (Video; 5:46)
Growing Fairness is a short documentary film about “growing” restorative justice practices in public schools, including schools in Oakland, California.

California Collaborative for Educational Excellence External link opens in new window or tab.
As the statewide agency solely charged with assisting local educational agencies (LEAs) in need of support, the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence provides universal, targeted, and intensive supports and resources for LEAs through the work of our three Centers: Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leading, Center for Innovation, Instruction, and Impact, Center for Transformative Systems.

Questions: Dan Sackheim | | 916-445-5595 
Last Reviewed: Friday, September 8, 2023