Disciplinary referrals were reduced by 28% from the 2013-14 to 2015-16 school year by implementing a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and evidence-based practices, such as Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBS) and restorative practices, with fidelity at the elementary, middle, and high schools in all three SS/HS LEAs in Michigan.
In one district (Education Achievement Authority of Michigan), SS/HS buildings that implemented MTSS showed a 95% decrease in the amount of in-school suspension rates and a 30% decrease in out-of-school suspension rates, whereas buildings without SS/HS programming witnessed an increase of 18% and 24%, respectively.
In Saginaw Public School District, an emphasis on building positive relationships with students from the start of the school year through PBIS and restorative practices garnered a 33% decrease (from 2014-15 to 2015-16) in discipline referrals. In addition, according to State data profiles, since 2013, physical fights among Saginaw students decreased by 22%. Houghton Lake also saw significant improvements: a 15% decrease in physical fights, and a 39% decrease in discipline referrals.
The state has made great movement to support these efforts through promotion of alternatives to suspension in a revised model Student Code of Conduct that is inclusive of restorative practices, proposed legislation around requirements of collection of suspension data, and revisions to the Model Anti-Bullying policy that supports LGBTQ youth.
“The restorative justice training helped me see what was going on in the schools and helped my family resolve problems without violence.”
—Parent in Saginaw