Center for School Improvement Leadership Institute: Positive School Climate and Discipline

Leading and Facilitating Change in School Transformation

A high-quality public education can build the skills and knowledge that children need to compete in the 21st century. The AFT is committed to reclaiming the promise of public education and fulfilling our collective obligation to support student success. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides a significant opportunity to ensure that all stakeholders are engaged in creating the best conditions for teaching and learning for all of our students. Specifically in regard to equity and school supports, the new law:

  • Grants significant flexibility in how states provide comprehensive support and improvement for struggling schools;
  • Prohibits the administration from prescribing any specific strategies or activities a state or district should use to improve schools; and
  • Expands the measures of school quality or student success to include school climate as well as safety and student engagement.

The AFT Center for School Improvement and the United Federation of Teachers Teacher Center joined forces with AFT national partners to redesign the 2017 institute to focus on promoting positive school climate through equitable administration and application of school discipline policies and practices. The institute will offer collaboration strategies, tools and practices to strengthen the leadership capacity of all participants, new and returning, as well as provide a continued focus on leading and facilitating school transformation that results in improved student performance and improved schools.

Upon completing the institute, teams will have access to consultation and technical assistance to support their work with district and/or school leadership teams on a cost-sharing basis. Professional learning opportunities can be modified and customized based on local needs, prior knowledge and experience. It is an AFT priority to support district, union and community leadership teams as they partner to transform struggling schools—making them safe, welcoming and productive environments for teaching and learning.

Skill Building Principles and Practices of the CSI Leadership Institute

Participants will attend five modules designed for practicing skills to build strong and effective labor-management community teams.

  • Team Building
  • Effective Communication
  • Data-Informed Decision-Making
  • Professional Learning
  • Action Planning

Participating teams will engage in interactive and informative sessions that cover:

  • Developing opportunities to create and sustain robust labor-management-community partnerships.
  • Leveraging partnerships that support and expand the capacity of community-based efforts to address structural barriers to opportunities in school communities and bridge racial and ethnic divisions.
  • Leveraging the Every Student Succeeds Act as a policy driver to promote best practices and support healthy school climates and cultures.
  • Exploring how Social and Emotional Learning, Restorative Practices, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, Student Engagement and Relational Coordination frameworks can be used to transform school cultures.
  • Using data to inform and change policies and practices.
  • Developing the role of social media and how to use it as a tool to educate, activate and engage partners.

Who Should Attend?

  • School-level union representatives, families, community partners, principals, teachers, paraprofessionals, student leaders, members of school improvement teams, and individuals with day-to-day responsibility for supporting and/or implementing school-level redesign.
  • District personnel responsible for facilitating transformation in multiple schools that have been jointly identified by the district, union and community partners.
  • Union leadership or staff assigned to support redesign at the school and district levels.
  • A community partner with a focus on positive school climate and discipline.

For more information, e-mail or download the brochure.