Title

Beyond Student Discipline: Engaging School Communities to Support Highly Disruptive Students

First Presenter's Institution

Montgomery County Public Schools

Second Presenter's Institution

Montgomery County Public Schools

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Session 4 (Westbrook)

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Safety & Violence Prevention

Relevance

As public school disciplinary hearing officers, we conduct hearings for students who have exhibited extreme behavior warranting a recommendation for expulsion. These behaviors are rarely isolated incidents of abhorrent behavior, but are manifestations of deeper issues. This presentation will address the “heart” (social/emotional skills) and “hands” (safety and violence prevention) conference strands.

Brief Program Description

This presentation is geared towards secondary school administrators, student services staff, parents and advocates to examine school discipline in the global context of student wellness and school safety. Topics to be discussed include: philosophy of discipline, disciplinary responses, hierarchy of interventions, restorative justice opportunities, decision making through data collection and available supports.

Summary

School discipline is often viewed as simply punishment for inappropriate behavior. In examining the behaviors exhibited by at-risk youth, we will explore the philosophy of school discipline and how it can and should include more than just consequences. We will discuss student codes of conduct and the continuum of disciplinary responses and related interventions, including restorative justice that address not only the serious behavioral infractions, but more importantly address the related at-risk behaviors and contributing school/community factors. When a student is just punished, it may provide short-term relief to the school, but does not address the root cause and does not help the student or increase school safety. When discipline is treated holistically (student needs, consequences and treatment) the impact of dangerous behavior on a school community may ultimately result in positive changes for the student and the school.

Following this discussion, which will include a review of disciplinary data from Montgomery County Public Schools, participants will engage in applying this knowledge through a series of actual scenarios of incidents of student misconduct. In small groups, participants will respond to case scenarios by discussing a range of disciplinary responses and the factors to be considered in determining the disciplinary outcome, as well as identifying possible interventions to reduce the risk of the student repeating the behavior. The large group will share disciplinary practices and resources along with challenges of balancing discipline with student support. The concept of restorative justice will be discussed as a means to address and reduce student suspensions. In addition, when a student returns to their school of assignment, a collaborative plan of academic and social/emotional supports is essential to ongoing student success.

Evidence

The information to be shared in this presentation is based on an analysis of disciplinary data collected annually in Montgomery County Public Schools, a school district of 162,000 students. This data is related to suspension trends, and the causes and disciplinary consequences of students referred for expulsion. In addition, a literature review of restorative justice practices and the impact they have on student behavioral outcomes and reducing suspensions will be addressed; including the evolution of restorative justice practices in Montgomery County Public Schools.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Ms. Mary B. Dempsey, director, Appeals/Transfer Team Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). Ms. Dempsey has worked with students with emotional disabilities and behavioral issues for 36 years in MCPS, Maryland’s largest school district with more than 162,000 students. Following years of experience as a teacher, school and central based administrator, she is now the director of the Appeals/Transfer Team conducting expulsion hearings and other Superintendent level appeals. Ms. Dempsey has an undergraduate degree in political science from Frostburg State University; a Masters’ degree in the Psychoeducation of the Seriously Emotionally Disturbed Adolescent from the George Washington University; and is certified by the National Association of Hearing Officials.

Ms. Shari N. Perry, instructional specialist, Appeals/Transfer Team, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). Ms. Perry has worked with students with learning and emotional disabilities and behavioral issues in both comprehensive and alternative school settings for 23 years in Montgomery County Public Schools. Following years of experience as a teacher and school based resource teacher, she is now the instructional specialist of the Appeals/Transfer Team coordinating and conducting expulsion hearings and other Superintendent level appeals as well as providing ongoing consultation to school and central based administrators. Ms. Perry has an undergraduate degree in special education from the University of Maryland; a Masters’ degree in Emotional Disabilities from the University of Maryland, and Administrative and Supervisory certification.

Keyword Descriptors

expulsion, discipline, wellness, holistic, intervention, restorative, resources, community, punishment, support

Presentation Year

2019

Start Date

3-5-2019 8:30 AM

End Date

3-5-2019 9:45 AM

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Mar 5th, 8:30 AM Mar 5th, 9:45 AM

Beyond Student Discipline: Engaging School Communities to Support Highly Disruptive Students

Session 4 (Westbrook)

This presentation is geared towards secondary school administrators, student services staff, parents and advocates to examine school discipline in the global context of student wellness and school safety. Topics to be discussed include: philosophy of discipline, disciplinary responses, hierarchy of interventions, restorative justice opportunities, decision making through data collection and available supports.