FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 2, 2015
Media Relations Specialist
Minneapolis Public Schools stop elementary suspensions for nonviolence
MINNEAPOLIS – Effective immediately, Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) is extending the break from suspensions for non-violent behavior to all students in grades PreK through 5. MPS had previously stopped suspending students for non-violent incidents in PreK-1. Students who are out of the classroom are not learning.
Over the past year, MPS has dramatically reduced the number of student suspensions. These reductions occurred across all grades and for students of every background. This year, a majority of district schools have not had a single suspension. And suspensions across the district for non-violent behavior in grades 2-5 have been minimal. This suggests suspensions are a tool that teachers and principals are already declining to use in favor of other solutions.
These positive signs are the direct result of a change in mindset and approach by MPS staff. Teachers and administrators are trying new techniques in managing behavior, sharing effective strategies, and using their experiences to have an impact on students’ learning.
Furthermore, District Restorative Practices efforts are becoming common practice in our school buildings. Building and district staff have worked together to create Positive Schoolwide Engagement Plans and Classroom Engagement Plans that promote productive school climate and culture.
Our partnerships with Minnesota Educational Equity Partnership and other community stakeholders have helped us re-frame our focus on solutions other than suspensions. In addition, school-based mental health programs continue to serve our students, who each have unique stories and many different needs.
Today’s action is one more step toward making MPS a place where all kids can learn.
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