Discipline Toolkit: Research Based Practices

The Office of Special Education (OSE) does not endorse the use of any specific methodology or practice and recognizes those included do not constitute an exhaustive list. The goal of the OSE is to provide a basis for districts to use to address issues of suspension and expulsion.

The following programs and practices have been documented evidence of reducing suspension/expulsion of students with disabilities and/or reducing disproportionate suspension/expulsion for student from racial/ethnic groups.

Bully-Free Schools: Circle of Support Program was developed by the Michigan Strategic Alternatives In Prevention Education (SAFE) and is endorsed by the Michigan Department of Education.

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports offers a wide range of bullying prevention services.

Interventions Central also offers resources about preventing and addressing bullying at school.

The Helping Your Child Become a Responsible Citizen workbook, and speaker’s note from the White House Conference on Character and Community. 

The What Works Clearinghouse offers first a review of the standards established for evaluating Character Education Interventions and then a program that meets the standards established:

Caring School Community 
CSC is a multiyear school improvement program that involves all students in grades K–6. The program aims to promote core values, pro-social behavior, and a school-wide feeling of community. The program consists of four elements originally developed for the Child Development Project: class meeting lessons, cross-age "buddies" programs, "home-side" activities, and school-wide community. 

The Intervention Central endorses Character Counts.

The American Psychological Association offers the Classroom Management Module which  includes discussion of effective practices, discussion of evidenced based practices with helpful links, a question and answer section, and helpful references.

Lions Quest—Skills for Adolescence
The program was designed to promote good citizenship skills, core character values, and social-emotional skills and discourage the use of drugs, alcohol, and violence. The program includes a classroom curriculum, school-wide practices to create a positive school climate, parent and family involvement, and community involvement. The lessons use cooperative group learning exercises and classroom management techniques to improve classroom climate. A related program is reviewed in the intervention report on.

The Office of Special Education Programs Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavior Support has a wealth of information available by for a reader typing “classroom management” into the Search box including the following. PBIS has the following resources available.

LeadScape from the National Institute of Urban School Improvement has developed Facilitating Transformation, A Framework for Culturally Responsive Cognitive Coaching in Schools. In the model, the concept of coaching has been refined to utilize the practice of cognitive coaching through a culturally responsive lens in order to achieve the desired outcome of inclusive schools.

Culturally Responsive Education Systems: Education for All (NCCRESt) developed the Practitioner Brief Addressing Diversity in Schools: Culturally Responsive Pedagogy to define culturally responsive pedagogy and explain how it might be used effectively to address the instructional needs of a diverse student population.

Culturally Responsive Classrooms: This resource book was created to help teachers create and shape culturally responsive classrooms.

The Equity Alliance at ASU is devoted to research and school reform efforts that promote equity, access, participation and outcomes for all students. Committed to inclusive education, the Equity Alliance values diversity, pushes the boundaries of traditional thinking, and leads by example.

The Equity Project, Indiana University is a consortium of projects dedicated to providing high quality data to educational decision-makers in order to better understand and address issues regarding educational equity and bridge the gap between research and practice.

In addition, the project provides support and technical assistance to educational agencies seeking to create equitable school systems.

School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports, Implementation Guide 2010
This guide was developed by a team of authors experienced in working with school staff, students, and families on positive behavior support across a variety of settings over an extended period of time. Based on the earlier document published in 2000 by the MDE, the guide provides the practitioner the skills necessary to implement universal interventions, targeted interventions and intensive individualized interventions. 

OSEP Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions & Support
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) created the OSEP Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions & Support website to give schools capacity building information and technical assistance for identifying, adapting, and sustaining effective school-wide disciplinary practices. Attention is focused on creating and sustaining primary (school-wide), secondary (classroom), and tertiary (individual) systems of support that improve lifestyle results (personal, health, social, family, work, recreation) for all children and youth by making targeted behaviors less effective, efficient, and relevant, and desired behavior more functional.

Culturally Responsive Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (CRPBIS) is an educational initiative grounded in local to global justice theory with the ultimate goal of educational systems change. Using Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) and various types of data collection, four local schools are working with members of their communities to identify tensions within school, pose new solutions, and test their effectiveness.

PACT Program: Positive Adolescent Choices Training
The PACT program is designed to reduce the chances that African American and other at-risk adolescents will become victims or perpetrators of violence. Although developed especially for sensitivity to the needs of African American youth. die techniques used in the program are applicable to, and are frequently used with multi-ethnic groups.

Safer Saner Schools: Whole-School Change, International Institute for Restorative Practices
IIRP provides a comprehensive two-year school implementation program in a cost-effective way to achieve lasting change that enhances and builds relationships between students, staff and parents, improves student behavior, reduces violence and bullying and creates a sense of community. IIRP helps the school leadership and staff develop a customized plan based on its own needs and goals, organizes staff “professional learning groups” and regular follow-up phone meetings, delivers onsite professional development and assists with evaluation.

Findings from Schools Implementing Restorative Practices
The article discusses the experiences and findings from six schools in the U.S. two in Canada, and two in the U.K. (Fee for participation in the program)

Restorative Justice: A Working Guide for Our Schools
Restorative Justice has been applied in schools across the world to successfully build healthy school communities, support students and teachers, and address discipline issues. Restorative practices take incidents that might otherwise result in punishment and create opportunities for students to:

  • Become aware of the impact of their behavior.
  • Understand the obligation to take responsibility for their actions.
  • Take steps toward making things right.

Through this process, students learn how to interact and manage their relationships with adults and peers. They become better equipped to understand how their actions impact others and how to monitor future behavior. 

The What Works Clearinghouse clarifies that social skills training does not have a single developer responsible for providing information or materials. The interventions identified below were developed by various study authors and are not available for distribution through a common developer.
The following sites provide a general overview of social skills training methods:

Building Decision Skills aims to raise middle and high school students' awareness of ethics, help them gain practical experience in developing core values, and give them practical strategies for dealing with ethical dilemmas. Building Decision Skills consists of ten lessons that can fill two consecutive weeks of daily lessons or be drawn out over a longer period. Students are encouraged to think about the key concepts through small-group activities, class discussions, and homework assignments. The program also includes school-wide components, and it can be combined with service learning.