Public Education ImprovementSURE

Restorative discipline piloted in Sarasota, expansion planned

By June 18, 2009April 15th, 2014No Comments

Sarasota, FL – Research conducted by SURE in 2009 showed that Sarasota County uses out-of-school suspension at a far higher rate than many similar counties. Also, out-of-school suspension has proven to be ineffective in curbing undesirable conduct while pushing children out of school. Several elementary and middle schools lacked an alternate disciplinary program. As an alternative, school districts nationwide have begun adopting an approach known as restorative discipline, which focuses on peer accountability and raising awareness of the consequences of inappropriate actions. Schools adopting restorative discipline practices have had success in reducing both the number of out of school suspensions and the number of occurrences of troublesome conduct dramatically. In 2010, SURE leaders sought and received a commitment from the Superintendent of Sarasota County Schools to implement restorative discipline programs in two county elementary schools and one middle school, each of which had a significantly higher than average out-of-school suspension rate. SURE leaders expect results to lead to expansion of restorative discipline to other schools.