Agenda Item
Meeting Date: 2/11/2020 - 6:30 PM
Type: Info
Subject: 1. Report with Possible Action Regarding a Resolution Agreement with the Office for Civil Rights
Strategic Plan Compatibility Statement:
Policy: Admin Policy 8.28 - Student Discipline
Attachments: Resolution Agreement Update
File Attachment:
Resolution Agreement Update.pdf
Background: Milwaukee Public Schools is dedicated to creating a safe and welcoming school and district climate for all students. In 2017, the district voluntarily entered into a resolution agreement with the Office for Civil Rights after an initial report found disparities in discipline practices dating back to 2014-2015. In reaching this agreement, the district seeks to improve current disciplinary practices.

As a result of this work, staff members are gaining the mindset and skill sets to better support all students throughout the district. Staff members are taking the time to reflect on their classroom practices through the lens of race. Students are receiving more support and intervention in the classroom from their teacher and opportunity to reflect on their behavior prior to being removed from the educational setting for behavior concerns. Students are being identified early for intervention and support before behaviors escalate.

The following items detail some of the steps we have made to continue making progress in the identified areas.

The MPS Parent/Student Handbook on Rights, Responsibilities, and Discipline was updated based on feedback from a working group composed of teachers, students, administrators, and community members. An Administrators’ Addendum was created to define specific behaviors and provide administrators suggestions to appropriate responses to specific behaviors.

During opening week, all schools conducted professional development on documenting behavior concerns and research-based best practices to address disproportionality. Throughout the school year, staff members can sign up for additional professional development opportunities on a variety of topics or view modules online. There are a variety of cohorts doing a book study with Courageous Conversations about Race. These cohorts meet to discuss and practice research-based protocols to address the role of race in our lives and schools. Working with The Wisconsin Disproportionality Network, 300 individuals have attended Beyond Diversity and 55 staff piloted an Educational Equity series. All staff members are documenting classroom managed behaviors that do not threaten staff or student safety in Infinite Campus. School Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) Tier 1 teams use this data to identify trends of overall data and to identify students in need of further intervention. All schools also have a Building Intervention Team (BIT) that monitors specific students in need of further support with behaviors. These teams are supported by the district PBIS team composed of five PBIS Coaches. Each month all school facilitators receive a newsletter with updates from the district, best practices to support climate, updated district data on disproportionality, and a best practice to address disproportionality.

All traditional middle and high schools have a Student Discipline Committee that discusses students’ concerns and recommendations with school climate and discipline. All Student Discipline Committees attended a Student Leadership Summit in the Fall and there will be another summit on April 27, 2020. A discussion of concerns and recommendations with climate and discipline was part of the District Advisory Council. There have also been four community conversations in January and February.

A district Restorative Practices (RP) Team of a Supervisor and four Coaches was created. This team is currently training all school-based principals.

Each school has identified specific action steps in their School Improvement Plan to address disproportionality with all schools identifying specific school-wide community building activities, and while looking at their behavior data, identified specific staff member strategies to address specific behavior concerns.

More information available at
Fiscal Impact Statement:
Implementation and Assessment Plan NA
Recommended By:
Signed By:
Matthew Boswell - Senior Director
Signed By:
Katrice Cotton, Ed.D. - Chief School Administration Officer
Signed By:
Keith Posley, Ed.D. - Superintendent