Following the release of Safety with Dignity, the Leadership Team convened again to examine how best to align existing policy with the new vision and approach to promote positive discipline and safety in schools. From February 2015 through February 2016, members studied best practices in schools throughout the City, as well as those employed by other jurisdictions across the nation. These deliberations produced a second and final set of recommendations that are intended to accelerate the implementation of effective reform.
Maintaining the Momentum offers eight recommendations developed from this second phase of deliberations. They are:
- Train superintendents in positive discipline strategies so they have the knowledge and skill set necessary to promote these strategies and evaluate their execution.
- Increase mental health supports for high-need schools to address symptoms and behaviors with a medical model as an alternative to disciplinary action.
- Reduce the length of superintendent’s suspensions to minimize disruption to learning and engagement in school.
- Improve supports for students returning to district schools from superintendent’s suspensions at Alternate Learning Centers.
- Improve supports for students returning to school from alternative settings such as the Rikers Island Correctional Facility and facilities managed by the Administration for Children’s Services.
- Update the Discipline Code to reflect the City’s current vision and approach to positive climate and discipline in schools.
- Rewrite the Memorandum of Understanding to clarify the role and authority of school safety staff, precinct officers and educators on safety and discipline matters.
- Evaluate new initiatives, and improve and increase data collection on school climate and safety indicators.