Student and Family Support (SFS)

Rethinking Discipline Initiative

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's (Department) goal is to assist in the reduction of inappropriate or excessive use of long-term suspension and expulsion, including disparate rates of suspension and expulsion for students with disabilities and/or for students of color. Since June 2016, the Department has worked with over 30 identified schools/districts to provide a range of supports including technical assistance and professional development opportunities through a Professional Learning Network. This web page outlines a number of Massachusetts specific and federal resources related to school climate and alternatives to discipline.


Student Discipline Resources and Information

Massachusetts Resources and Information

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Rethinking Discipline, Significant Disproportionality, and Indicators 4, 9, and 10
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An Act Relative to Student Access to Educational Services and Exclusion from School — 2012
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Student Discipline Regulations — 2014
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Advisory on Student Discipline (Issued 2/28/2015) — Updated 12/23/2016
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Highlights of Discipline Law — 2014
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Superintendent's Checklist for Implementation of the Student Discipline Law — 2014
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Problem Resolution System Case Studies — The Problem Resolution System (PRS) office will be publishing an ongoing series of case studies to illustrate particular aspects of compliance which would benefit from clarification or elaboration based on the results of our complaints investigations and findings. Please feel free to contact the PRS office if you have any questions regarding these materials at 781-338-3700 or at Compliance@doe.mass.edu .

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Case Study 1

2020 – 2021 School Year Updates

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Rethinking Discipline Professional Learning Network — 2020–2021 Update
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Methodology Used in Calculating Disparity or Significant Disproportionality in Disciplinary Suspension or Expulsion — Winter 2020-2021
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Action Plan Template
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Rethinking Discipline & Safe and Supportive Schools: 2020–2021 Professional Development Calendar

2019 – 2020 School Year Updates

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Rethinking Discipline Professional Learning Network — 2019–2020 Update
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Methodology Used in Calculating Disparity or Significant Disproportionality in Disciplinary Suspension or Expulsion — Winter 2019-2020

2018 – 2019 School Year Updates

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Rethinking Discipline Professional Learning Network — 2018–2019 Update
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Methodology Used in Calculating Disparity or Significant Disproportionality in Disciplinary Suspension or Expulsion — Winter 2018-2019

2017 – 2018 School Year Updates

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Methodology Used in Calculating Disparity or Significant Disproportionality in Disciplinary Suspension or Expulsion — Winter 2017-2018

2016 – 2017 School Year Updates

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Student Discipline Laws and Regulations: Question and Answers (Issued 2/28/2015) — Updated 12/23/2016
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School Discipline in Massachusetts: A Look at the 2015 Data and DESE Reporting Requirements — April 2016
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Massachusetts School Districts Team Up to Address Suspensions and Expulsions — June 2016
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Discipline Identification and Reporting Slides used with District and School Assistance Center (DSAC) Data Specialists — June 2016
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Rethinking School Discipline Professional Learning Network (PLN) — October 2016 Session Summary
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National Center for Safe and Supportive Learning Environments Website Resources — prepared for Massachusetts
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Student Discipline Data Reports and the Rethinking Discipline Initiative — November 2016 Board Meeting Discussion and Documents
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Methodology Used in Calculating Disparity or Significant Disproportionality in Disciplinary Suspension or Expulsion — Spring 2016

Federal Resources and Information

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Addressing the Root Causes of Disciplinary Disparities: An Educator's Action Planning Guide — from the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments
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Rethink School Discipline: Resource Guide for Superintendent Action — from the U.S. Department of Education
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Guiding Principles: A resource Guide for improving School Climate and Discipline
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Parent checklist: The U.S. Department of Education, America Achieves, the National Council of La Raza, the National Parent Teacher Association, and the United Negro College Fund has released a parent checklist with questions and resources that parents and caregivers can use to help ensure their children are getting the education they deserve.
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Supportive School Discipline — Communities of Practice
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School Climate Discipline Guidance Package
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National Child Traumatic Stress Network
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CDC's Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study

Alternative Approaches to Addressing School Climate

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Toolkit for Educators: How We Can Fix School Discipline
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Positive School Discipline Interactive Course for School Leaders
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Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Self-Assessment

National Resources for Charter Schools

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Charter School Discipline: Examples of Policies and School Climate Efforts from the Field
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Student Discipline Best Practices for Charter Schools to Employ
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Discipline Tool Kit for Charter Schools to implement Discipline Reform
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Charter Schools, Civil Rights, and School Discipline

Last Updated: February 19, 2021

 
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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370

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Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.