The Conversation: Alternative approaches needed to end racial disparities in school discipline

“A more proactive approach, the Building Assets, Reducing Risks, or BARR program, focuses on building relationships between students and teachers that include mutual trust, respect and understanding of their respective lives — not on creating punitive policies. Developed at one high school outside Minneapolis, BARR is currently in 84 schools throughout the country.

BARR programs create structured activities for students and teachers to build positive relationships and set aside time for teachers to reflect on their students. BARR programs also call for continuous data collection on student strengths – such as motivation, empathy and social competence – and challenges faced by students – such as homelessness, learning differences and food instability.

Results from a set of rigorous studies show BARR positively impacted on academic proficiency, credits earned and courses completed.”

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