In this report, Educators 4 Excellence notes that students need to be in school in order to actually learn; however, some methods traditionally employed to handle behavioral issues-such as classroom removals, suspensions and expulsions-actively remove students from the learning environment. This report draws on interviews and engagement with multiple stakeholders in New Haven’s public schools to provide recommendations for developing positive school climates, preventing student misbehavior, and meeting the socio-emotional needs of students. These recommendations include:
- Requiring school climate and discipline performance indicators to be included in a school’s annual evaluations;
- Providing teachers with professional development in building student-teacher relationships, building positive learning-environments, and using restorative practices;
- Teaching students socio-emotional skills, empowering them through student-run conflict mediator programs, and recognizing students that make behavioral progress; and
- Improving communication with parents by expanding time for parent-teacher conferences and involving parents in planning discussions about climate.