Methods: We conducted qualitative research in Year 1 with high school students, school personnel and parents. Research questions focused on identifying core elements in SWPBIS and RD that promote disciplinary equity, approaches to implementing training blending SWPBIS and RD, and barriers and facilitators of positive relationship building in schools. Based on this feedback, we developed the teacher training curriculum. We are currently (Year 2) testing the curriculum’s feasibility with the students, teachers, and parents of three small high schools in the Pacific Northwest.
Results: Key findings from focus groups include the following: a) RD implementation occurs incrementally and follows the tiered intervention model; b) school discourse needs to change from an emphasis on behavioral compliance to community and relationship building for academic success; c) initial RD implementation should be teacher-directed and begin with early adopters; d) RD practices should link to academic instruction to promote staff buy-in; and e) student buy-in is essential, but often challenging, especially among students who openly prefer punishment over participating in restorative resolutions. We will also present findings from administrators and parents as well as preliminary outcomes from the Year 2 feasibility study.
Conclusions: We will briefly discuss opportunities and challenges related to training teachers in this integrated approach to discipline. We will offer implications of Project PRIDE’s development work to date (Years 1-2) for the Year 3 pilot study (to be conducted in 64 classrooms in 16 schools) and related research questions addressing teachers’ self-efficacy in using RD practices, reductions in school-based racial discipline outcomes, and changes in students’ school engagement.