Rhode Island schools gain new tool for meeting Biden administration’s goals for social emotional learning

Conscious Discipline, a 25-year leader in the field of social-emotional learning (SEL), and Sargent
Rehabilitation Center’s Regional Resource Center have entered a partnership that will unite schools,
parents, and community SEL services state-wide.

The partnership between Conscious Discipline and Sargent will provide the state’s schools with access to a single, evidence-based approach to SEL for education programs from birth through adulthood. The
penetration of SEL into Rhode Island schools meets many Biden Administration priorities for education,
which include providing increased services during the early childhood years, equity in education,
increased mental health services, community school outreach, and investing in “resources for our
schools so students grow into physically and emotionally healthy adults.”

The partnership, launching March 10, 2021, is the culmination of four years in which thousands of
Rhode Island educators and students experienced improvement in discipline, school climate, academic
achievement and sense of belonging after training in Conscious Discipline with key Sargent staff. These
improvements will expand in both depth and breadth under the partnership as school administrators
and educators state-wide receive classroom coaching, exclusive content, professional development
workshops, and priority status for attending Conscious Discipline’s public events. An immersive weeklong Summer Institute (August) and a 2-day Building Trauma-Sensitive Classrooms and Schools
workshop (October) are among the public events scheduled in Rhode Island with Dr. Becky Bailey, the
founder and originator of Conscious Discipline.

Conscious Discipline is a brain-based, trauma-informed, adult-first methodology that integrates SEL,
school culture and discipline in order to create collaborative, equitable learning communities that
support all members in reaching their highest potential. In 2020, the Collaborative for Academic, Social,
and Emotional Learning (CASEL) named Conscious Discipline a “SELect Program,” its highest designation for effective, evidence-based SEL. www.ConsciousDiscipline.com

Sargent Rehabilitation Center is a nonprofit organization offering educational consulting,
neurorehabilitation, day school programs, diagnostic services and restorative justice practices
throughout Rhode Island and surrounding Massachusetts and Connecticut. www.sargentcenter.org

Regarding this collaboration, Dr. Bailey said, “There is nothing more inspiring than partnership.
Conscious Discipline and Sargent Rehabilitation Center’s Regional Resource Center are united in helping all educators and families build the social-emotional skillsets and inner resources needed to manage their external experiences.”

For more information, contact Amanda Weinstein at press@consciousdiscipline.com.…Read More

Central Falls school leader calls for talks, not mass firing

A district superintendent who fired all the teachers from one of Rhode Island’s most troubled schools said March 3 that she’s willing to negotiate with its teachers’ union after it publicly pledged to support reforms, reports the Associated Press. Central Falls Superintendent Frances Gallo said an offer made late on March 2 by the Central Falls Teachers’ Union gives her hope the issue could be resolved without mass firings. The offer includes support for a longer school day and providing before- and after-school tutoring for students. The Central Falls school board voted last week to fire 93 teachers and staff from the city’s high school after the end of the school year. No more than half the staff could be hired back under federal rules. The teachers’ union president, Jane Sessums, said she was cautiously optimistic both sides could talk. Her union is appealing the firings to the school district’s board of trustees and has filed a complaint with the state Labor Relations Board, saying the firings are unfair. State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Deborah Gist earlier ordered Gallo to choose from one of four reform options, including mass firings, to improve the high school. Only 7 percent of 11th-graders tested this fall were proficient in math, while 33 percent of the high school students tested proficient this fall in writing and just 55 percent were proficient in reading. Central Falls was seen as a test case for the federal turnaround model proposed by President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan to help stem the nation’s dropout rate…

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