Title

Creating a Culture of Caring

First Presenter's Institution

LaVergne High School

Second Presenter's Institution

LaVergne High School

Third Presenter's Institution

LaVergne High School

Fourth Presenter's Institution

LaVergne High School

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Session 2 (Ballroom E)

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

This proposal relates directly to the Social & Emotional Skills strand because it focuses on how to create a culture of caring through the use of restorative discipline techniques. With the increased attention on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), it has become evident that at-risk students need additional supports at school in order to be successful both in and out of the classroom. The restorative discipline policies used by the presenters address these needs so that at-risk students are able to feel as though their school leaders (teachers and administrators) care for them and are supportive of them even when they are not making the best decisions. This proposal also relates to the Academic Achievement & School Leadership strand because it looks at how administrators can effectively roll out restorative discipline practices in their school so that it is used correctly. It also looks at how restorative discipline practices can help increase school student achievement.

Brief Program Description

Restorative discipline is a trending topic, but what does it look like and is it successful? Hear from a high poverty/high diversity suburban high school that has successfully created a culture of caring through the implementation of restorative discipline. Students have been given the opportunity to learn from their mistakes while continuing their education and creating positive relationships, making way for personal and academic growth.

Summary

LaVergne High School is a large comprehensive high school outside of Nashville, Tennessee that serves a highly diverse, poverty-stricken population. After years of using traditional discipline practices and finding stagnant personal and academic growth with at-risk students, the administration at LHS decided to implement restorative discipline practices to create a culture of caring. Through the application of a restorative discipline model tailored specifically to their population, LHS was able to go from approximately 350 out-of-school suspensions in one year to a total of 16. As a result of this change, there was a marked difference in student attitudes towards discipline and the administration/deans of students, and a clear shift towards a culture of caring. The presenters will provide attendees with the ways in which restorative discipline is used at LHS as well as how it can be changed to fit the needs of students at their schools. LaVergne High School’s RCD plan, as it is called, asks students to take responsibility for their actions (R), take part in counseling to support personal growth and maintain positive behaviors for the future (C), and complete discipline steps that take place outside of academic time and does not require out-of-school suspension (D). The presenters will also discuss specifics on how this plan has had a positive impact on both the culture of LaVergne High School and the academic success of its students. Resources that can be modified by attendees will be provided to use in their own schools, as well as continued support once the conference has concluded.

Evidence

The use of restorative discipline practices has increased in recent years across the nation due to a greater emphasis on building positive student relationships and a caring climate and culture. With the recognition of the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on student achievement and behavior, schools have begun moving away from traditional discipline tactics, such as in school or out of school suspension, and towards restorative discipline tactics which promote student growth school attendance. After one year of restorative discipline practices at the presenter's school, the out of school suspension rate went from 350 suspensions per year to 16 suspensions total. Student morale also increased and chronic absenteeism rates decreased.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dirk Ash currently serves as the principal at LaVergne High School In LaVergne, Tennessee, and as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Association of Secondary School Principals. He has over twenty years of experience as a middle and high school teacher, assistant principal, and principal. He has coached men’s and women’s basketball, football, and softball at the secondary and collegiate levels. His vast experience in education has earned him the ability to represent the state of Tennessee as Middle School Principal of the Year in 2007 and High School Principal of the Year in 2009. He has had the ability to share his knowledge at multiple conferences, including the TNASSP Winter Conference, the Tennessee Association of Middle Schools Conference, the LEAD Conference, the High Schools That Work Conference, and the National Principals Conferences.

Kyle Nix currently serves as an assistant principal at LaVergne High School in LaVergne, Tennessee, and as the administrative assistant for the Tennessee Association of Secondary School Principals. She has been in the field of education for fifteen years, serving as a middle school history teacher, high school history teacher, women’s soccer coach, cheer coach, club sponsor, dean of students, and assistant principal. She has played a major role in the development of school-wide learning initiatives and scheduling at LHS. She has had the ability to share her experience and knowledge as a presenter at the High Schools That Work Conference, the LEAD Conference, and the National Principal’s Conference.

Hayley Richardson currently serves as an assistant principal at LaVergne High School in LaVergne, Tennessee. She has been in the field of education for twelve years, serving as a middle school math teacher, middle school girl's basketball coach, middle school student-teacher liaison, high school math intervention teacher, dean of students, and assistant principal. She played a major role in the development of the RTI Math program in high schools. She has overseen the Freshman Academy, and RTI program as well as the School Safety initiatives at LHS. She has had the opportunity to share her experience and knowledge as a presenter at the High Schools That Work conference and the NASSP National Principals Conference.

Tarron Huddleston currently serves as an assistant principal at LaVergne High School in LaVergne, Tennessee. She has been in education for 23 years serving as a middle school English teacher, cheer coach, club sponsor, graduation coach, dean of students, and assistant principal.

Presentation Year

2020

Start Date

3-9-2020 1:15 PM

End Date

3-9-2020 2:30 PM

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Mar 9th, 1:15 PM Mar 9th, 2:30 PM

Creating a Culture of Caring

Session 2 (Ballroom E)

Restorative discipline is a trending topic, but what does it look like and is it successful? Hear from a high poverty/high diversity suburban high school that has successfully created a culture of caring through the implementation of restorative discipline. Students have been given the opportunity to learn from their mistakes while continuing their education and creating positive relationships, making way for personal and academic growth.