Transforming statewide policy into community-wide practice: School disciplinary policy and health disparities
Significance and methodology: A number of California school districts are implementing evidence-based approaches to reducing suspensions, but many others have not yet implemented programs and policies. Successful communities are assessing their goals, using data to determine disproportionality, tailoring interventions, and evaluating outcomes. Using pre-post data and assessments, The California Endowment (funder), The California Teachers Association, and UCSF are assisting community stakeholders to create school disciplinary policies that benefit the wider community, especially marginalized populations (low-income students and students of color).
Results and conclusion:Implementing evidence-based approaches to reduce suspensions, including restorative justice, positive behavior approaches, trauma-informed care, and other options, are resulting in increases in academic performance scores for all students, including marginalized students. Increases range from 60-85% over a four-year period. These data assist communities to evaluate outcomes of interventions, addressing the disproportionality of suspension rates. Lessons from both the interventions and community involvement in the local policy and budgetary process are presented.
Learning Areas:Advocacy for health and health education
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health
Assess alternative school disciplinary approaches that help improve the safety and economic development within a community. Identify data sources that provide a rationale for these strategies. Compare strategies for educating policymakers to assure access to planning and budgetary endeavors. Discuss how district-level policies and interventions can keep more students in school and out of juvenile detention thereby improving the community’s overall health.
Keyword(s): Community Development, Policy/Policy Development
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the project director on foundation and state and federally-funded research for the past 20 plus years. Topics include youth and community resilience, systems change, environmental health, health care delivery systems and policy, and community advocacy.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.