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Discipline in Context: Suspension, Climate, and PBIS in the School District of Philadelphia

NCJ Number
253402
Date Published
Author(s)
Abigail Gray, Philip Sirinides, Ryan Fink, Adrianne Flack, Tesla DuBois, Katrina Morrison, Kirsten Hill
Agencies
NIJ-Sponsored
Annotation
This report presents the results of an exploratory study of suspension, discipline, and climate in K-5 and K-8 schools in the School District of Philadelphia.
Abstract
The exploratory study of suspension, discipline, and climate in K-5 and K-8 schools in the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) was conducted between January 2016 and October 2017. The report is structured into five distinct chapters. Chapter 1 details the context and need for this study, and presents the five core questions the research sought to answer: 1. What disciplinary practices are used by SDP schools serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade? 2. What factors support or hinder schools’ alignment with the district’s climate and suspension-reduction goals? 3. What patterns are evident in SDP K–5 and K–8 schools’ approaches to discipline and climate? 4. Are schools’ approaches to discipline and climate related to suspension and academic outcomes? And, 5. How are different approaches to discipline and climate manifested in individual schools? Chapter 2 presents the research methods and findings related to research Questions 1 and 2. Chapter 3 outlines the statistical methods used to address research Questions 3 and 4, and presents the findings of these analyses. Chapter 4 provides the response to Question 5 in which four case studies of individual schools are presented. Chapter 5 highlights the implications of the study’s findings, concluding that climate-improvement efforts, such as Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), hold great promise for improving student outcomes as well as the experience of school for staff, students, and families. Overall findings presented are informed by data collected in 166 schools, representing 96.5 percent of the K-5 and K-8 schools managed by SDP.
Date Created: October 20, 2019