In August, 2013 we featured a Morning Zen post with Kevin Dwyer who focused on systemic, preventive alternatives to suspension, expulsion, seclusion and restraint. One of the strategies mentioned was the use of in-school planning centers. Network faithful are encourage to watch a recent news story on how the Cleveland School District has successfully implemented planning centers in their schools. Read the post from Kevin Dwyer and then watch the news clip.
- Here is an excerpt from the Dwyer Morning Zen post:
An effective alternative to traditional in-school suspension is an in-school planning center, a room where a specially trained teacher or paraprofessional can combine a variety of techniques to both de-escalate the problem behavior, help the student problem solve to develop plans for a positive re-entry of the student into the classroom. The planning center can also help identify social-emotional issues that may require additional supports and referral to the school’s student support team. Teachers and staff that send students to the planning center do so through the principal’s office and must also provide the planning center staff with appropriate academic materials to work on, thus reducing the impact of missing important classroom instruction. When students are sent for a designated period of time this academic component becomes even more vital. Effective planning centers are equipped with all textbooks and instructional materials across grades and related computer materials. In one school district where paraprofessionals are used they are given 60 hours of training and have weekly coaching support from the school’s counselor or psychologist. Data are kept on the center’s use and effectiveness.
- Watch the news clip: