Disproportionate discipline of students with disabilities is a long-running crisis—and with the new rules and considerations around COVID-19, the stakes are even higher. Instead of simply reacting as incidents come up, however, schools have the opportunity to develop proactive discipline policies that serve students during the pandemic and also provide positive structures for the future.
In a new piece co-authored by the Center’s Wendy Tucker and NCLD’s Meghan Whittaker, we suggest that schools employ three proactive strategies to ensure that students with disabilities are able to thrive in school in the new reality: robust communication, collaborative planning, and a commitment to a holistic approach to behavior. We believe these strategies will decrease the number of student disciplinary referrals, and they are also correlated with improved academic outcomes and improved school climate.
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