School Actions




In the vast domain of school psychology, understanding and addressing the implications of school actions—such as discipline, suspension, expulsion, and the processes of retention and promotion—become paramount. These actions, often reflective of a school’s policy and ethos, hold significant consequences for students’ academic achievements, emotional health, and overall well-being. This article delves into the intricacies of each of these school actions, tracing their historical evolutions, assessing their psychological impacts, and exploring best practices and contemporary challenges. Through an evidence-based lens, the article underscores the crucial role school psychologists play in mediating, implementing, and refining these actions to best support the student population. Balancing the need to maintain school order and discipline with the imperative to foster positive psychological outcomes for students remains a core focus throughout.

Introduction

The realm of school psychology is vast, encompassing not only the cognitive and emotional development of students but also the systems and practices that influence this development. Central to these systems are the “school actions”—administrative and policy-driven decisions made by schools regarding student behavior, academic performance, and overall standing. These actions serve as pillars of school administration, guiding the paths of countless students each year and profoundly impacting their academic trajectories and emotional lives.

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Among the most pivotal school actions are discipline, expulsion, retention and promotion, and suspension. Each of these terms represents a distinct set of procedures and outcomes, yet they are interconnected in their shared goal: to ensure a productive and safe learning environment while also addressing the unique needs and challenges of individual students. Discipline, which can range from verbal reprimands to more structured interventions, seeks to correct and guide student behavior. Expulsion represents a more extreme measure, removing a student from the school environment for a prolonged period or permanently due to severe infractions. Retention and promotion focus on academic performance, deciding whether a student should advance to the next grade level or repeat their current one. Suspension, on the other hand, temporarily removes a student from school as a response to certain behaviors.

As these actions have far-reaching consequences on students’ lives, the need for evidence-based, student-centered approaches becomes clear. Schools must act not just swiftly, but also judiciously, ensuring that their decisions prioritize students’ well-being and long-term development. Throughout this article, we will explore the psychological underpinnings, historical trajectories, and best practices associated with these essential school actions, highlighting the critical role of school psychologists in their effective implementation.

Historical Context

The realm of school actions, from discipline to retention, is deeply rooted in the historical evolution of educational systems worldwide. As educational institutions have undergone transformation, so too have the practices and philosophies that govern how schools respond to student behavior and performance.

Early Practices and Philosophies

Historically, discipline in schools was often punitive and authoritative, reflecting the societal norms and values of the time. In many cultures, physical punishment, such as caning or spanking, was not only accepted but seen as necessary to instill discipline and respect in students (Monroe, 2005). This perception was rooted in the belief that children were inherently unruly and required strict measures to be molded into obedient and productive members of society.

Expulsion and suspension, while extreme measures, were utilized as deterrents for misbehavior and were seen as protecting the school community from disruptive or dangerous students. In the case of academic underperformance, retention was a standard solution. The belief was that repeating a grade would afford the student an opportunity to grasp essential concepts they may have missed, without a thorough examination of the underlying causes of the underperformance (Jimerson, 2001).

Evolution Driven by Research and Societal Changes

However, as educational research advanced and societal perspectives on childhood and adolescence shifted, so did views on school actions. By the mid-20th century, the focus began to move from strictly punitive measures to a more rehabilitative and preventive approach. This change was influenced by psychological theories emphasizing the importance of understanding the root causes of behaviors and addressing them proactively (Skiba & Sprague, 2008).

Research began to shed light on the detrimental effects of harsh disciplinary practices. Studies showed that not only did such methods fail to produce long-term behavioral change, but they also posed significant risks to students’ emotional and psychological well-being (Hyman & Perone, 1998). This evidence played a pivotal role in pushing schools toward more constructive and supportive disciplinary measures.

Similarly, the once standard practice of grade retention came under scrutiny. Research revealed that retention could lead to negative self-esteem, increased risk of dropout, and did not necessarily lead to improved academic performance in the long run (Jimerson, 2001). In light of this, many educators began to advocate for more comprehensive interventions that addressed students’ unique academic and emotional needs.

Lastly, societal changes, including the civil rights movement and increased awareness of children’s rights, prompted reevaluations of traditional disciplinary measures. There was growing acknowledgment that certain groups, particularly students of color, were disproportionately affected by punitive school actions, leading to calls for equity in discipline and the adoption of more restorative practices (Skiba & Williams, 2014).

In sum, the historical context of school actions paints a picture of evolution, informed by ongoing research and societal shifts. It underscores the importance of continuous reflection and adaptation in ensuring that school actions prioritize student welfare and success.

Discipline

Definition and Rationale

Discipline in the educational context refers to the strategies, policies, and actions used to maintain a conducive learning environment, ensure the safety of all members, and instill a sense of responsibility and accountability among students. It is an integral component of the educational process, aiming to guide students toward positive behaviors while deterring negative or disruptive ones. The need for discipline arises from its potential to cultivate an environment where academic and social learning can thrive. It also helps in setting boundaries that ensure safety, respect for others, and adherence to the values and norms of the school community (Rogers, 2002).

Approaches to Discipline

Progressive Discipline Models

Progressive discipline is a structured, multi-tiered approach that becomes more intensive with repeated or severe misbehaviors. It starts with preventive measures, moving to corrective ones, and ultimately, punitive actions if necessary. The idea is to give students opportunities to learn from their mistakes while emphasizing consistent consequences (Goldstein, 1999).

Restorative Justice Approaches

Originating from criminal justice systems, restorative justice in schools emphasizes repairing harm and restoring relationships over punitive measures. It involves dialogues between the offender and the offended, enabling both parties to express feelings, understand the impact of the behavior, and work towards a resolution that mends the relational rift (Morrison, 2007).

Behavioral Interventions

These are strategies grounded in behavioral psychology, aiming to reinforce desired behaviors and reduce undesired ones. Techniques might include positive reinforcement, token economies, or behavior contracts, and are often tailored to individual student needs (Walker, Ramsey & Gresham, 2004).

Psychological Impacts on Students

The methods of discipline employed can have significant psychological ramifications on students. For instance, overly punitive measures can lead to feelings of resentment, alienation, and decreased self-esteem. It may also contribute to anxiety, depression, or disengagement from school (Skiba & Peterson, 2000). On the flip side, constructive disciplinary approaches, like restorative justice, can bolster students’ empathy, responsibility, and interpersonal skills.

Further, consistent and fair discipline helps in creating a predictable environment where students feel secure, understood, and valued. The approach to discipline should, thus, always consider the holistic well-being of students, ensuring they’re supported emotionally while being held accountable for their actions.

Role of School Psychologists

School psychologists play a pivotal role in the realm of discipline. They often engage in assessment, identifying underlying issues or triggers behind a student’s behavior. Their expertise in child development, learning theories, and mental health allows them to recommend targeted interventions tailored to individual needs.

Moreover, they consult with teachers, parents, and administrators, offering insights and strategies to manage and address behavioral issues effectively. School psychologists also play a role in designing and implementing school-wide discipline policies, ensuring they are evidence-based, equitable, and supportive of all students (NASP, 2016).

Suspension

Definition and Purpose

Suspension is defined as a temporary exclusion of a student from attending regular school classes and activities. Typically used as a disciplinary measure, its purpose is twofold: to provide a consequence for serious misbehavior, ensuring safety and order in the school, and to allow the student a period of reflection on their actions. It is also intended to send a clear message to the student body about the severity of certain behaviors (APA, 2008).

Short-term vs. Long-term Suspension

Short-term suspension generally refers to exclusion from school for up to 10 days. It’s a response to less severe offenses or repeated disruptive behaviors that defy other intervention efforts.

On the other hand, long-term suspension can last anywhere from 11 days to an entire school year. This is typically reserved for more serious or dangerous offenses, such as violence, drug distribution, or bringing weapons to school (Skiba, Rausch, & Ritter, 2004).

Effects on Student Well-being and Academic Achievement

Suspension, especially when used frequently or without accompanying supportive interventions, has been linked to various adverse outcomes. From an academic perspective, students who are suspended are more likely to fall behind in their studies, leading to decreased academic performance (Noltemeyer, Ward, & Mcloughlin, 2015).

Furthermore, there are concerns about the psychological and social effects of suspension. Students might experience feelings of alienation, humiliation, or resentment. Repeated suspensions can exacerbate feelings of disconnection from the school community and contribute to a heightened risk of dropouts. Also, there’s the “school-to-prison pipeline” concern, where suspended students are more likely to engage in delinquent behaviors and face subsequent legal troubles (Losen & Martinez, 2013).

Alternatives to Suspension

Given the potential adverse effects of suspension, many educators and psychologists advocate for alternatives:

  1. Restorative Justice Practices: This involves mediation sessions where affected parties discuss the impact of the offending behavior and collaboratively decide on reparative actions (Gonzalez, 2012).
  2. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS): A proactive approach that focuses on teaching positive behaviors and reinforcing them, thereby reducing the need for reactive measures like suspension (Bradshaw, Mitchell, & Leaf, 2010).
  3. In-school Suspension: Rather than sending students home, they stay in a supervised environment within the school, where they can catch up on assignments and partake in reflective or corrective activities.

School Psychologists’ Interventions

School psychologists play a crucial role in addressing the issues leading to suspension and in supporting suspended students. They can provide counseling to help students cope with and reflect upon their behaviors. Furthermore, they can facilitate re-entry interventions to ensure the student’s successful return to the regular school environment. School psychologists can also collaborate with educators and parents to develop individualized support plans or behavior interventions that address root causes of misbehavior, minimizing the risk of recurrent suspensions (NASP, 2013).

Expulsion

Definition and Criteria

Expulsion is one of the most severe disciplinary actions a school can take against a student. It involves permanently removing a student from a school or district for an extended period, often a semester, a full school year, or indefinitely. The criteria for expulsion usually involve serious offenses that threaten the safety and well-being of others or significantly disrupt the educational environment. Such offenses might include acts of violence, possession of weapons, drug distribution, or recurrent severe behavioral disruptions (Raffaele Mendez, Knoff, & Ferron, 2002).

Consequences for Students

Expulsion comes with grave consequences, both immediate and long-term:

  1. Academic Implications: Expelled students often find it challenging to catch up academically, resulting in significant learning gaps. This academic lag can impact their future educational opportunities, including post-secondary education prospects (Fabelo et al., 2011).
  2. Psychological Impacts: Experiencing expulsion can lead to feelings of rejection, alienation, shame, and low self-esteem. Moreover, these students might experience heightened levels of anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues as they grapple with the repercussions of their actions and the subsequent expulsion (Leone, Christle, & Nelson, 2010).
  3. Social Implications: Being removed from their peer group, expelled students might face social isolation. They’re also at risk of being stigmatized in their communities, which could limit their social interactions and future opportunities.

Alternatives and Interventions

Recognizing the detrimental effects of expulsion, many educational stakeholders advocate for alternatives:

  1. Alternative Schools: Some districts have specialized schools designed to address the needs of students who’ve committed serious offenses. These schools provide tailored behavioral interventions alongside academic instruction (Kim, Losen, & Hewitt, 2010).
  2. Restorative Practices: Instead of focusing on punitive measures, restorative practices engage the offender, the victim, and the school community in dialogue. The goal is to understand the root causes, repair harm, and reintegrate the student (Gonzalez, 2012).
  3. Therapeutic Interventions: Offering counseling and therapeutic services can address underlying behavioral or emotional issues leading to severe offenses.

School Psychologists’ Role

School psychologists are invaluable assets during and after the expulsion processes. Their role encompasses:

  1. Assessment: They can conduct comprehensive assessments to understand the root causes of the student’s behavior.
  2. Counseling: Offering support to the student and their family, helping them navigate the emotional turmoil that follows expulsion.
  3. Consultation: Collaborating with educators, administrators, and families to develop effective reintegration plans for students or to identify suitable alternative educational placements.
  4. Advocacy: School psychologists can advocate for the rights of the student, ensuring that they receive fair treatment and necessary supports.
  5. Prevention: By promoting evidence-based interventions and positive school climates, school psychologists can work to prevent behaviors that might lead to expulsion in the first place (NASP, 2013).

Expulsion, one of the most severe school actions, carries profound implications for the affected students, both in the short term and over their entire academic and personal trajectory. The justifications for such actions must be weighed against the potential risks, including academic setback, social isolation, and psychological distress. This underscores the importance of ensuring that expulsion is applied judiciously and is accompanied by adequate support systems. With the critical involvement of school psychologists, schools can navigate the complexities of the expulsion process, seeking alternatives when possible, and ensuring that the long-term well-being of the student remains a priority (Skiba, Arredondo, & Rausch, 2014; American Psychological Association, 2008).

Retention and Promotion

Definitions

Retention and promotion are terms often juxtaposed in the educational landscape, each representing divergent paths students might take at the end of an academic year. Retention, commonly referred to as “grade retention” or “repeating a grade,” means that a student is held back to repeat the same grade for another year, instead of advancing to the next grade. This decision can be due to academic struggles, absenteeism, or other developmental concerns. In contrast, promotion implies that a student has successfully met the criteria set by the school for moving to the next grade level.

Reasons for Retention

There are several reasons why a student might be retained. Primarily, academic struggles are the most common, where students have not achieved the requisite skills or knowledge to proceed to the next grade (Holmes, 1989). Other factors might include frequent absenteeism that has led to missed instructional time, social or emotional challenges where educators feel the student might benefit from an additional year in the same grade, or age, where younger students might be retained to mature further before moving on.

Impacts of Retention on Student Outcomes

The effects of grade retention on students are multifaceted and can have varying implications. Academically, retained students may show initial improvements in their performance due to the repetition of the curriculum, but over time, some studies suggest that these advantages diminish (Jimerson, 2001). Emotionally, retention can lead to decreased self-esteem, a heightened sense of failure, and an increased risk of dropping out in later years (Roderick, 1994). Socially, being retained can disrupt peer relationships, as retained students might feel isolated from former classmates who have moved on to the next grade.

Promotion: Criteria and Implications

Promotion criteria typically encompass academic achievements, attendance records, and overall readiness for the next grade’s curriculum. Schools often have standardized tests or assessments that students must pass to be promoted. However, there are concerns about promoting students who are not truly ready for the next grade, known as “social promotion,” which can lead to struggles in subsequent years (Allensworth, 2004). On the other hand, the implications of promotion, when merited, are generally positive. Students continue with their age group, face new academic challenges, and develop socially and emotionally with their peers.

The Role of School Psychologists

In the intricate decisions surrounding retention and promotion, school psychologists play a crucial role. They are involved in assessing students’ academic, social, and emotional readiness for the next grade. They might offer interventions to address academic or behavioral challenges and provide resources to teachers and families to support the student. Moreover, when retention is considered, school psychologists can provide insights into the potential long-term impacts on the student and suggest alternatives or supports (Jimerson, Pletcher, Graydon, Schnurr, Nickerson, & Kundert, 2006). Additionally, in cases of promotion, they can assist in ensuring smooth transitions for students to their new grade levels.

Psychological Perspectives on School Actions

School actions, such as discipline, suspension, expulsion, and decisions regarding retention and promotion, play a significant role in the academic journey of a student. Beyond the immediate implications for academic progression and the learning environment, these actions have profound psychological impacts that can shape a student’s perceptions of self, interpersonal relationships, and their overall worldview. Understanding these psychological nuances is vital for educators, school psychologists, and stakeholders to make informed and empathic decisions.

Shaping Student Perceptions and Self-Worth

Each school action communicates a message, and students often internalize these messages, thereby influencing their perceptions of competence, self-worth, and belongingness. For instance, repeated disciplinary actions without adequate supportive interventions might make a student perceive themselves as “problematic” or “less capable.” Such internalizations can be detrimental, leading to self-fulfilling prophecies where students engage in behaviors consistent with their negative self-perception (Rosenbaum, 2000).

Similarly, actions like suspension or expulsion can amplify feelings of isolation, creating perceptions of being unwanted or ostracized. On the other hand, decisions about retention might lead to feelings of inadequacy, with students questioning their abilities and fearing peer judgment.

Balancing Order and Mental Health

Schools face the complex challenge of ensuring a safe, orderly environment conducive to learning while also prioritizing the mental health and well-being of each student. Maintaining this balance is crucial. For example, while discipline might be necessary to address disruptive behaviors, over-reliance on punitive measures without addressing underlying causes can exacerbate mental health issues and deter genuine behavioral change (Skiba & Sprague, 2008).

Suspensions and expulsions, although sometimes necessary for safety reasons, can result in a student’s increased risk of academic disengagement, substance abuse, and encounters with the juvenile justice system. Therefore, the onus is on schools to explore restorative practices, which focus on repairing harm and rebuilding relationships, rather than solely on punitive measures (González, 2012).

Retention decisions, too, require this balance. While academic standards are essential, forcing a student to repeat a grade without additional support can negatively impact their mental health and long-term academic outcomes.

Role of Psychological Insights in School Actions

Given the profound psychological implications of school actions, it becomes imperative for decision-makers to be informed by psychological principles. This includes understanding the developmental stages of students, recognizing the diverse needs of different populations (e.g., students with learning disabilities, gifted students, or students from different cultural backgrounds), and considering the potential long-term psychological ramifications of actions.

In conclusion, school actions, while often necessary, have deep psychological implications that can extend far beyond the immediate situation. Ensuring that these actions are informed by psychological insights, coupled with supportive interventions, is crucial for the holistic well-being and success of students.

Best Practices and Recommendations

Navigating the intricate terrain of school actions requires educators and school psychologists to employ evidence-based strategies that prioritize both educational objectives and the holistic well-being of students. By centering practices on empirical evidence and fostering environments of continuous learning, schools can better ensure the ethical and effective application of disciplinary actions, retention decisions, and more. Here, we delve into recommended practices and underscore the importance of ongoing professional development.

Evidence-Based Strategies for School Actions

  • Discipline: Embrace positive behavior support systems that focus on teaching and reinforcing desired behaviors, rather than exclusively punishing undesired ones (Bradshaw, Mitchell, & Leaf, 2010). Such proactive strategies can prevent many disciplinary issues from arising in the first place.
  • Suspension and Expulsion: Use these as a last resort. Before such drastic measures, consider restorative justice practices that allow students to understand the impact of their actions and participate in restoring harmed relationships (Fronius et al., 2016).
  • Retention and Promotion: Decisions should be data-driven, considering a comprehensive view of the student’s performance across academic, social, and emotional domains. Interventions and support structures should be put in place for students who are retained to ensure they have the resources to succeed (Jimerson, 2001).

Continuous Training and Professional Development

Educators and school psychologists must engage in regular professional development to stay updated on the latest research and best practices in school actions. This includes understanding the evolving socio-cultural contexts of students, the emergence of new interventions and strategies, and refining existing approaches based on empirical evidence.

Collaborative Efforts

The implementation of school actions is most effective when done collaboratively. This involves:

  • Interdisciplinary collaboration between teachers, school psychologists, counselors, administrators, and other professionals.
  • Engaging with parents and guardians to ensure they are informed and involved in decisions affecting their children.
  • Soliciting feedback from students to understand their perspectives and incorporate their voices into decisions.

Emphasizing Research

Given the profound implications of school actions on student trajectories, it’s imperative that decisions are informed by research. Schools should:

  • Regularly review literature on best practices.
  • Collaborate with researchers to pilot new interventions and evaluate their efficacy.
  • Participate in wider networks or consortiums dedicated to the study and refinement of school actions.

In sum, navigating the complexities of school actions requires an unwavering commitment to best practices grounded in research, a culture of continuous learning and collaboration, and a deep-seated respect for the diverse experiences and needs of students. By doing so, schools can foster environments that balance academic rigor with the psychological and social needs of their students.

Contemporary Challenges and Opportunities

In the dynamic landscape of modern education, school actions remain a topic of fervent debate and discussion, reflecting the intricate balance between safeguarding student well-being and ensuring educational integrity. Societal changes, legal stipulations, and technological advancements have together shaped, and at times, challenged traditional perspectives on discipline, retention, suspension, and expulsion. This section delves into the contemporary challenges and opportunities that school psychologists, educators, and administrators encounter as they navigate this evolving terrain.

Current Debates and Discussions

  • Zero-Tolerance Policies: Once heralded as a firm stance against disruptive behaviors, zero-tolerance policies have now come under scrutiny for their disproportionate impact on marginalized student populations and their potential to escalate rather than ameliorate disciplinary issues (Skiba & Losen, 2016).
  • School-to-Prison Pipeline: The connection between strict disciplinary actions in schools and subsequent entanglement in the juvenile and criminal justice system has become a point of concern. Such trends necessitate more rehabilitative and preventive approaches to school discipline (Heitzeg, 2009).
  • Retention Efficacy: While some argue that retention can give students the necessary time to catch up academically, others point to its potential long-term negative impacts on social-emotional health and dropout rates (Silberglitt et al., 2006).

Societal Changes and Legal Mandates

  • Inclusive Education: With the move towards inclusive education for students of all abilities and backgrounds, schools are tasked with re-evaluating traditional disciplinary and retention methods to cater to a diverse student body.
  • Legislative Shifts: In various regions, legal mandates have been introduced to limit or refine the use of suspensions, expulsions, and retentions, pushing schools towards more restorative and evidence-based approaches (American Psychological Association, 2008).
  • Cultural Responsiveness: As schools become more diverse, there’s a growing demand for culturally responsive school actions, ensuring that decisions are not biased and respect individual cultural contexts.

Technological Advancements

  • Digital Discipline: With the rise of e-learning, issues like cyberbullying and digital distractions pose new challenges. Schools are now navigating digital discipline protocols, balancing the need for digital etiquette with the acknowledgment of the integral role technology plays in modern education.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Advanced analytics and data-driven tools offer schools an opportunity to base their actions on empirical evidence, assessing patterns and predicting challenges before they escalate (Ferguson et al., 2019).
  • Online Support Platforms: Technological platforms now enable more seamless communication between educators, students, parents, and psychologists, paving the way for more collaborative interventions and actions.

In essence, the contemporary milieu of school actions is one of intricate challenges juxtaposed with unprecedented opportunities. The convergence of societal shifts, legal mandates, and technology presents both dilemmas and avenues for innovation, urging the field of school psychology to remain adaptable, informed, and ethically grounded.

Future Directions

The field of school psychology is on the cusp of transformation, fueled by societal shifts, technological advances, and a growing body of interdisciplinary research. As school actions are integral components of the educational ecosystem, it is crucial to project and prepare for the evolving trends and innovative practices that will define the future landscape. This section presents some predicted changes, emerging trends, and the role of groundbreaking practices in shaping school actions.

Predicted Changes in School Actions

  • Personalized Interventions: Moving away from one-size-fits-all policies, the future is likely to emphasize personalized intervention strategies, tailored to the unique needs, circumstances, and strengths of individual students (Osher et al., 2018).
  • Early Intervention: Rather than reactive measures, schools are predicted to emphasize proactive, early intervention strategies that identify and address challenges before they escalate into major disciplinary issues (Bradshaw et al., 2010).
  • Shift from Punishment to Rehabilitation: The punitive approach of traditional disciplinary measures will likely be replaced by rehabilitative, restorative practices focusing on mediation, understanding, and community-building (Ashley & Burke, 2017).

Emerging Trends

  • Integration of Technology: Digital tools will play a pivotal role in monitoring, predicting, and intervening in school actions. Applications harnessing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning could be used to identify at-risk students, provide support, and ensure consistent communication among stakeholders.
  • Holistic Approach to Student Well-being: School actions will no longer be isolated incidents. Instead, they’ll be integrated into a holistic model of student well-being, encompassing mental health, academic progress, socio-emotional development, and community engagement (Suldo et al., 2014).
  • Global Collaborations: With increasing globalization, schools will likely participate in international collaborations, sharing best practices and innovative solutions to disciplinary challenges across borders (Leviton et al., 2010).

Innovative Practices

  • Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR): These technologies can be leveraged for empathy-building exercises, role-playing, and conflict resolution training, providing immersive experiences for students and educators alike.
  • Predictive Analytics: Advanced data analytics will enable schools to anticipate disciplinary challenges, tailor interventions, and ensure timely support, minimizing the need for severe punitive actions.
  • Community and Peer-led Initiatives: There will be a push towards community-driven, peer-led programs that empower students to take leadership roles in creating positive, inclusive school environments (Wang et al., 2019).

In the foreseeable future, the essence of school actions will transition from mere reactionary measures to proactive, holistic strategies centered on student well-being. Embracing innovation, fostering collaborations, and anchoring practices in research will be pivotal as the world of school psychology charts its forward course.

Conclusion

School actions, encompassing discipline, suspension, expulsion, and the intricacies of retention and promotion, lie at the intersection of educational processes and psychological well-being. These actions play a pivotal role in shaping students’ academic trajectory, socio-emotional health, and their perception of the educational system. Historically, these measures were often reactionary, at times punitive, and were not always grounded in a comprehensive understanding of a child’s holistic needs.

The growing body of research in school psychology has significantly transformed our understanding of these actions. Drawing from evidence-based practices, there has been a pronounced shift towards proactive, rehabilitative, and restorative strategies, centering the well-being and developmental needs of students. It’s imperative to acknowledge that no action within the educational system occurs in isolation; it ripples across a student’s academic performance, psychological health, peer relationships, and long-term life outcomes.

Moreover, as societal norms, technological capacities, and our collective understanding of child development evolve, so too must our approach to school actions. This dynamic landscape calls for continuous learning, collaboration, and adaptation among educators, school psychologists, policymakers, and the community at large. As we gaze ahead, it becomes evident that the crux of the matter isn’t merely about implementing disciplinary measures but about creating an educational milieu wherein each student feels valued, understood, and equipped to realize their potential.

In conclusion, school actions, when informed by evidence-based practices and a deep understanding of student needs, have the potential not just to manage challenges, but to fundamentally transform the educational journey of students. They can serve as tools of empowerment, growth, and positive change, ensuring that every student is afforded an environment conducive to learning, growth, and well-being.

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