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Black History and Belonging in School

Black History and Belonging in School

Point of View, Racial Justice

When we say, “what if every child knew they belonged?”, what exactly do we mean?

 

Recently, I explored this question over Zoom with Dr. DeLeon Gray, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology and Education Equity at North Carolina State University and a leading researcher on the intersection of race, belonging, and motivation in school.

 

I learned about Dr. Gray’s work from Education Trust Research Associate Nancy Duchesneau. When Nancy and I talked about Sound Discipline’s investigation into belonging, she said, “Well then, you have to talk with DeLeon Gray. He is pretty much the leading voice on belonging.”

 

To learn …

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Dimmitt Middle School Core Values: Equity and Community

Dimmitt Middle School Core Values: Equity and Community

Inspiring Stories, Uncategorized

Dimmitt Middle School has been a partner of Sound Discipline for over five years, and we are excited to feature them this month as our Sound Discipline Inspiring Story. In a recent Education Week article, Arianna Prothero stated that school leadership’s most critical job “is creating a school environment where students feel safe, supported, engaged, and accepted.” Dimmitt Middle School has consistently prioritized creating this healthy school environment, and it shines through the entire school community daily.

 

Dimmitt is hosting a Black History Month online assembly every week in February. So far they have hosted a Martin Luther …

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Sound Discipline Collaborates with Casey Family Programs

Sound Discipline Collaborates with Casey Family Programs

Inspiring Stories

In November and December we had the privilege to partner with Casey Family Programs to support their incredible work with schools and families working with foster youth. They work tirelessly to create a better future for our communities focusing on safe children, strong families and supportive communities.

Over one hundred family support workers, social workers, caregivers and supervisors joined us for a series of three online workshops. We collaborated to help them take their deep knowledge of trauma-responsive practices into the practical realities of the daily lives of the families and schools that they work with.

These deeply committed leaders …

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2020 Taught Us to Embrace Mistakes

Mistakes yours and theirs, Mutual Respect, Tips & Tools

If there was ever a year in which we did a lot of learning in a short time, it was 2020. It took multiple attempts and making lots of mistakes along the way. We worked at gaining skills at delivering online instruction and figuring out ways to build relationships and create community even though we weren’t in the room together. We accomplished what we had never imagined before the pandemic. Most of us do not like to make mistakes, but last year we had to leap in. We discovered that that people had more grace for us than we expected. …

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Who is Sound Discipline’s New Leader?

Who is Sound Discipline’s New Leader?

Point of View

On December 3rd, Sound Discipline hired Andrea John-Smith to serve as our new Executive Director. Andrea succeeds our Founding Executive Director, Dr. Jody McVittie. In January of 2020, to facilitate Jody’s transition to the full-time role of Director of Strategic Partnerships, the Board brought Andrea on as our Transition ED. Not long after, COVID hit. Andrea went above and beyond her transition scope to help navigate and respond to rapid change. When it came time to resume our ED search in August, Andrea became a candidate for the permanent ED role. Following a rigorous and inclusive selection process, the Board’s

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Rethinking Rewards: Focus on Finding Solutions

Rethinking Rewards: Focus on Finding Solutions

Parents, Setting limits

 

During stressful times, when we are challenged by our kids’ behavior, it is easy to fall into a punishment-reward cycle.  We may lose our calm, flip our lids, and lay down a punishment. Then we feel bad and come back instead with ideas for incentives and rewards. Research tells us that neither work for developing self-motivation or long-term success. Punishment and rewards are alluring because they often do show very short-term success. They are also familiar to us because most of us grew up with them. What other approaches can we use when faced with problems like unfinished school …

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Washington State Racial Disparities in Discipline

Washington State Racial Disparities in Discipline

In the News, Racial Justice

How is Washington State doing in its effort to reduce racial disparities in discipline? According to a recent report by The Education Trust, we have a long way to go. In her November 22 feature for EdLab, Seattle Times reporter Joy Resmovits details the report’s findings, with school suspension data at the top of the page:

(Click on the chart to open a full-size version)

As the chart illustrates, in spite of Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s (OSPI) updated rules governing exclusionary discipline, racial discipline disparities persist. Why?

Sound Discipline Board Member, Megan …

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Strengthening Student Skills for Classroom Connection

Strengthening Student Skills for Classroom Connection

Inspiring Stories

Lesson Plan Writing Team

The Sound Discipline Champions this month are a team of 6 educators, counselors, and school psychologists who are collaborating with Sound Discipline to create social emotional learning lessons for small groups. This project is funded by a Renton Early Learning Support Grant through the Center for Community Education Results (CCER).

Stacy Lappin, Director of Program at Sound Discipline, Jody McVittie, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Sound Discipline, Khristian Palmer, 2nd Grade Teacher, Sartori Elementary School, Julietta Skoog, School Psychologist, Kayla Root, Kindergarten Teacher, Sartori Elementary School, Rebekah Appleton, Counselor, Highlands Elementary School, Meg Herlofsky, School Psychologist, Lakeridge…
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Resilience through Transition – An Art Activity for Classrooms or Families

Resilience through Transition – An Art Activity for Classrooms or Families

Parents, Teachers, Tips & Tools

This activity is designed to support students (and adults too!) with all the changes in our world. The external changes are happening fast, and this is an opportunity to slow down and emotionally process the changes internally. William Bridges (author of Managing Transitions) calls this internal process a “transition.” As we navigate the change, the transition starts with the feelings associated with losing something familiar, something we thought of as normal, or something we cared about. The activity can be adapted for your family or classroom, as you see fit.

All of us have experienced loss. Being able to …

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Rethinking Rewards: Alternatives to Offering Incentives

Rethinking Rewards: Alternatives to Offering Incentives

Teachers, Tips & Tools

Teachers, you have been accomplishing incredible feats this year! It is mind-boggling how your job has changed because of the pandemic and online teaching. Though some of your students are thriving, you may be worried about many who do not seem engaged and who aren’t completing assignments. It is easy to think that rewards may be the answer that you just need to provide the right incentives to get your students to be engaged and completing their work. Despite solid research showing that rewards decrease internal motivation, passion, and interest, the draw to use rewards and incentives is strong. They …

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