Supt. Sharon Contreras Briefs Congress and Staff

The New Syracuse School Discipline Policies and Plans Are Working

AASA member Sharon Contreras, the superintendent of  Syracuse City Schools, was a lead presenter at a Congressional briefing Tuesday, March 3, From the Police Precinct to the Principal’s Office: The Challenges Facing School Districts One Year After the Release of Federal School Discipline Guidance.

She spoke eloquently about challenges facing school districts in complying with federal school discipline guidelines. Contreras detailed the positive changes in the data her district is seeing to a standing-room only audience. “This has been difficult work, but we certainly have seen a dramatic reduction in the number of suspensions in the Syracuse City School District.”

 Syracuse City Schools has adopted a new Code of Conduct, established training for staff in alternative forms of discipline, and hired an independent monitor to make sure the district ends implicit and explicit bias in student discipline. Attending with Contreras were members from community and parent groups and other Syracuse school officials.

The briefing, led by U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott, (D-Va.), also included representatives from the Atlantic Philanthropies, Open Society, the Advancement Project, the Children’s Defense Fund, NEA, AFT and a host of educators and child advocates.

  Click here to read about AASA’s work on school discipline in partnership with the Children’s Defense Fund or contact Bryan Joffe at

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