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SMART Approach to School Discipline

NCJ Number
Date Published
47 pages

This report describes methods and techniques to help school and district administrators differentiate between criminal behavior and disciplinary infractions and maintain a safe school environment.


The School Management and Resource Team (SMART) approach has helped more than 100 local schools across the country to achieve and maintain a safe and orderly school environment. The SMART program is sponsored by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education. It is based on: (1) a belief that discipline is everyone's responsibility; (2) a belief in a school as the site of reform; (3) a belief that teams composed of teachers, principals, and parents have the authority and responsibility to make important decisions about how a school will operate; (4) a belief in alternatives to punishment rather than new and additional punishments; (5) a belief in equity, quality, and excellence of educational opportunities for each student; and (6) a belief in school discipline based on systematic, proactive, and consistent approaches. The report describes the Anaheim, CA, Union High School District, and the Norfolk, VA, Public School District experiences with the SMART program. It also describes national and urban education goals, suggests ways to set up a SMART program and train personnel to operate it, and describes and provides copies of necessary forms. Glossary

Date Published: January 1, 1999