The BTU created the School Safety Taskforce in response to rampant student assaults on educators and school staff. The goal was to pull community stakeholders from a variety of organizations together to review Baltimore City Public School’s Code of Conduct and to develop recommendations to improve the policies.
The Taskforce met from December 2018 through April 2019. Over 60 community partners, including representatives from Baltimore City Public Schools, School Police, the Mayor’s Office, City Council, State’s Attorney’s Office, Public School Administrators and Supervisors Association of Baltimore City (PSASA), City Union of Baltimore (CUB), the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), BCHD Local 558 Nurses, Special Education Citizens’ Advisory Committee (SECAC), Metro Baltimore AFL-CIO, along with community partners, parent groups, clergy, principals,teachers, PSRPs, social workers, school guidance counselors and psychologists, school staff and, most importantly, students participated.
Stakeholders were divided into four groups to develop recommendations for the following: Level of Intervention and Disciplinary Responses in the Code of Conduct; Training for Teachers, PSRPs, School Staff and Students; School Culture and Climate; and Community Partnerships.
The recommendations were submitted to Baltimore City Public Schools in May 2019.
1. Level of Intervention and Disciplinary Responses in the Code of Conduct: This stakeholder group was given the task to review each infraction in the Code of Conduct and determine if the level of intervention and disciplinary response was appropriate. This group included major input from multiple sets students. Click here to see the following document that includes the Recommendations, denoted in red and highlighted in yellow, that were included in the 2019-2020 Code of Conduct.
2.Training for Teachers, PSRPs, School Staff, Students and Parents: This stakeholder group focused on ensuring that all stakeholders (school employees, students, parents and community) are trained in not only the Code of Conduct, but also Personal Development for Students, Reinforced Professional Behavioral Training for Teachers and School Staff, Rights and Responsibilities for Parents and Principal Mentorship. Cick here to see the detailed breakdown of these training modules produced in this group.
3. School Culture & Climate: This stakeholder group’s initial goal was to review practices in place that related to the culture and climate of our schools. After their review, they realized that, while there definitely needed to be a general set of expectations that was standard for all schools district-wide, a “one size fits all” approach would be a disservice to the uniqueness of the many different schools and communities that exist in our city. Click here to see the recommendations for the Tiers of Intervention.
4. Community Partnerships: This stakeholder group assembled to identify supports needed in schools. They concluded that the following needed more support to effectively do their jobs: Administrators need adequate support and training to navigate Suspension services and Alternative School placement options; Clinicians need greater options for referrals to mental healthcare programs for students and parents; Teachers/PSRPs need enforcement of the Code of Conduct and disciplinary practices by the administration at all levels of infractions. In many instances students are disruptive, but only more serious infractions are addressed; Parents need support in engaging teachers and staff; and Students need greater access to opportunities to tailored to their individual needs. Click here to see the Recommendations submitted for community partnerships.