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Lowell Elementary’s Educational Enhancement Site

Lowell Elementary’s Educational Enhancement Site

Uncategorized

When the pandemic hit last year and school buildings were shut down, the staff at Lowell Elementary in Seattle quickly saw the disproportionate impact remote learning was having on many of their students of color and those without stable housing. While some students in their school had the technology and support from their caregivers to transition to remote learning, many could not.

 

Lowell Elementary staff responded to this inequity by creating an Educational Enhancement Site, a physical space where students get free access to in-person adult support, tutoring, meals, recreation, and reliable internet. At the same time, students …

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The COVID One-Year Mark: Let’s not go back

The COVID One-Year Mark: Let’s not go back

Brain Science, Connection and love, In the News, Point of View, Resilience

 

We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-corona existence was not normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate, and lack. We should not long to return, my friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature.

— Sonya Renee Taylor

On March 5 of last year, Sound Discipline’s leadership team met to make a COVID contingency plan. A 2-week school closure had just been announced. We drew all over a whiteboard, planning for three scenarios; 1) …

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Teacher Panel Shares Experience Transitioning to Hybrid and In-Person Learning

Teacher Panel Shares Experience Transitioning to Hybrid and In-Person Learning

Inspiring Stories

“Nothing is going to be perfect, and that’s o.k.”

When Sound Discipline convened a group of educators to discuss the transition to in-person learning, this is how Christine Mooney, the Principal of Redwood Elementary School, opened our discussion. Redwood Elementary is in Grants Pass, Oregon. They started the 20-21 school year with grades K-3 in hybrid learning and grades 4-5 in distance learning. At the end of November, they moved to all distance learning. On February 1, 2021, they moved back to a hybrid model with all grades.

A group of their staff met with us on February 11 to …

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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

The article about Redwood Elementary staff sharing their experience shifting to in-person and hybrid learning is here.

 

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 …

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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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