Educators learning proactive approaches to school discipline

Monday, February 15, 2010 at 9:45pm
Staff reports

Educators from across the state will meet today in Nashville for two days of intensive training on the ins and outs of school discipline and how it can affect dropout rates.

How do you conduct a disciplinary hearing make sure you’re providing due process? How do you approach student discipline in nontraditional settings?

Those questions and dozens more will be answered at the 2010 Student Discipline and Alternative Education Institute – a two-day conference designed to promote proactive approaches to dealing with student discipline, as well as legal and procedural issues/practices related to the field.

Exemplary practices in alternative education will also be explored with information on Tennessee’s new Nontraditional High School Initiative also being provided. Experts in the field of educational law, student discipline, social and emotional learning, and alternative and nontraditional education will provide a wide variety of breakout sessions for participants.

“Alternative education programs increase the likelihood that students will graduate,” said Mike Herrmann, executive director of school safety and learning support. “It’s important that we support educators in their efforts to improve student success as they work toward that goal.”

The Tennessee Department of Education worked with the Department of Education’s Office of General Counsel, Office of School Safety and Learning Support and the UT Law Enforcement Innovation Center to organize the programs.

“Not only will the institute explore the procedural and legal issues around student discipline, but also alternatives to suspension and expulsion,” said James Witty, alternative education coordinator. “Additionally we will highlight several nontraditional high schools that recover dropouts and ensure all students succeed.”