TeachME Professional Development

Guiding Principles to Improve School Climate and Discipline


1. Nationwide, data collected by our Office for Civil Rights show that youths of color and youths with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by suspensions and expulsions, and, for example, although students who receive special education services represent 12 percent of students in the country, they make up 19 percent of students suspended in school.

A. True

B. False

2. In Texas, a groundbreaking longitudinal of study of nearly 1 million students found that about ___________ of school students studied were suspended or expelled at least once over a six year period during their 7th to 12th grade years.

A. Forty percent

B. Fifty percent

C. Sixty percent

D. Seventy percent

3. When carried out in connection with zero-tolerance policies, suspension practices can erode trust between students and school staff, and undermine efforts to create the positive school climates needed to engage students in a well-rounded and rigorous curriculum.

A. True

B. False

4. Deliberate steps must be taken to create the positive school climates that can help prevent and change inappropriate behaviors, which include deploying resources to help students develop the social, emotional, and ________________ needed to avoid and de-escalate problems. Problem solving Coping Interpersonal *Conflict resolution

A. Problem solving

B. Coping

C. Interpersonal

D. Conflict resolution

5. Disciplinary reforms have included replacing suspension rooms with employment training centers and assembling intervention teams to help administrators and teachers address positive discipline strategies.

A. True

B. False


6. The U.S. Department of Education has identified three guiding principles for policymakers, district officials, school leaders, and stakeholders to consider as they work to improve school climate and discipline, which include each of the following EXCEPT:

A. Provide alternatives to suspension and expulsions that enhance problem solving skills

B. Create positive climates and focus on prevention

C. Develop clear appropriate and consistent expectations and consequences to address disruptive student behaviors

D. Ensure fairness equity and continuous improvement

Executive Summary

7. School based mental health services not only help to identify students' needs and provide mental health supports based on those needs, but they are also invaluable in helping teachers to deepen their understanding of students' developmental needs and to develop responses to behavioral issues.

A. True

B. False

8. In cases when schools choose to make use of school-based law enforcement officers, experts recommend having the law enforcement officials determine roles and responsibilities on campus based on prior experience and current community and school concerns.

A. True

B. False

9. A critical component of a strong and positive school climate is a school wide discipline policy that sets high expectations for behavior, provides clear, __________________________ consequences for misbehavior, and uses disciplinary incidents to help students learn from their mistakes, improve their behavior, and meet high expectations.

A. Solution based and meaningful

B. Developmentally appropriate and proportional

C. Deliberate and prevention focused

D. None of the above

Principle 3: Equity and Continuous Improvement

10. To help ensure fairness and equity with discipline policies and practices, schools may choose to explore the use of cultural competence training to enhance staff awareness of their implicit or unconscious biases.

A. True

B. False


11. While targeting interventions to support students and ensuring school safety are competing priorities, schools must work to implement practices to ensure that these become complementary practices.

A. True

B. False

Guiding Principle 1: Climate and Prevention

12. Which of the following is NOT one of the characteristics used to describe the term "school climate?"

A. The extent to which a school community creates and maintains a safe school campus

B. How it provides a supportive academic, disciplinary, and physical environment

C. The degree to which a school demonstrates positive interactions among students, families, faculty, and community

D. Ensuring respectful, trusting, and caring relationships throughout the school community

Action Steps

13. One of the first steps in creating a positive school climate may be to identify areas for improvement by using a comprehensive needs assessment that captures data on student and staff behaviors, experiences, and perceptions.

A. True

B. False

Prioritize The Use of Evidence-Based Prevention Strategies

14. Preventative supports that are provided to all students prior to any display of disruptive behavior, and that set expectations for behavior in all areas of the school, are known as targeted supports.

A. True

B. False

Promote Social and Emotional Learning

15. An emerging body of research shows that incorporating social and emotional competences:

A. Help students concentrate on learning through the exercise of self-control

B. Help students face challenges and understand consequences, strengthening students' motivation and perseverance

C. Contribute to students' academic success and social development

D. All of the above

Collaborate With Local Mental Health, Child Welfare, Law Enforcement, and Juvenile Justice Agencies

16. Appropriately designed partnerships with local mental health agencies can assist schools in identifying students coping with trauma, or mental health or emotional issues and may allow schools to expand targeted and intensive interventions.

A. True

B. False

School-Based Law Enforcement Officers

17. Most schools report having the greatest success with school-based law enforcement officers when these officials are involved in routine school disciplinary actions.

A. True

B. False


18. Training for school-based law enforcement officers should address basic childhood and adolescent development, age-appropriate responses, disability issues, conflict resolution and de-escalation techniques, bias-free policing and restorative justice practices.

A. True

B. False

Guiding Principle 2: Action Step 1

19. Schools should adopt an instructional approach to discipline that helps students develop new behavior skills and positive strategies to avoid conflict, re-direct energy, and:

A. Refocus on learning

B. Problem solve

C. Improve peer relationships

D. Regain self-confidence

Action Step 2

20. In order to involve family, students, and school personal in the development of discipline polices, each of the following strategies is recommended EXCEPT:

A. Schools may seek student and family input for discipline procedures through informal means as well as through formal mechanisms

B. Schools should affirmatively establish and maintain regular communication with parents about all aspects of the school's activities and each child's learning and development

C. Schools should create an advisory committee consisting of parents, staff, law enforcement and community members that will make decisions on specific disciplinary incidences

D. The school should have established protocols that specify when staff will notify parents and guardians to ensure their prompt involvement in the disciplinary process

Action Step 4

21. In addition to ensuring appropriate procedures are provided for students with disabilities as required by the disability laws, school discipline policies should provide strong due process protections to all students before imposing serious disciplinary consequences.

A. True

B. False

Action Step 5

22. Recent research supports practices that temporarily remove students from the classroom environment for minor infractions such as tardiness, loitering, use of profanity, dress code violations, and disruptive or disrespectful behaviors, because this tends to greatly reduce further incidences of similar behavior.

A. True

B. False

Guiding Principle 3: Action Step 1

23. Schools should ensure effective implementation of school climate and discipline policies and practices by building staff capacity, and using data and analysis to drive continuous improvement.

A. True

B. False

Action Step 2

24. As part of a periodic review, schools may choose to examine how discipline referrals and sanctions imposed at the school compare to those at other schools, or randomly review a percentage of the disciplinary actions.

A. True

B. False

25. Which of the following is NOT one of the recommendations for analyzing disproportionate disciplinary practices?

A. Schools should assess whether students with particular personal characteristics are disproportionately disciplined

B. Look at whether certain types of disciplinary offenses are more commonly referred for disciplinary sanction

C. Determine if certain students appear to be treated with a zero tolerance approach while others are approached with a problem-solving solution

D. Evaluate whether specific teachers or administrators are likely to refer specific groups of students for disciplinary sanctions

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