Rochester, N.Y. – A local watchdog group says disciplinary reforms in the Rochester City School District are making a difference
Analysis by The Children’s Agenda says suspensions have dropped dramatically over the past five years because of support services.
The group showcased the successes at School No. 17 Thursday. Younger children are given access to a reflection room, where they can share their emotions. Older students can go to a help zone and mediation room. They provide chances to figure out what’s sparking the behavior that may be getting them in trouble.
“We need a complete culture shift that’s investing in the restorative practices, training on the new discipline code,” said education policy analyst Eammon Scanlon. “If we have the supports in place, you win the hearts and minds, you change the suspension numbers, you change the academics.”
“I use the help zone to calm myself down when I am mad and to control my anger and temper and to stop me from fighting people,” another student said.
The Children’s Agenda is urging the Rochester School Board not to cut positions associated with the program. It worries that could hurt students.
The Children’s Agenda advocates for effective policies and drives evidenced-based solutions for the health, education and success of children. We are especially committed to children who are vulnerable because of poverty, racism, health inequities and trauma.