Spring 4-22-2024

ESRP 9000 Professor

Dr. Underhill

ESRP 9001 Professor

Dr. Underhill

Executive Summary

Executive Summary

Closing Achievement Gaps and Racial Disparity Through Restorative Practices in an Urban School District. Grisel Bodden, 2024: Strategic Research Project, Nova Southeastern University, Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice. Keywords: academic achievement, External Factor Evaluation (EFE), Internal Factor Evaluation (IFE), House Bill 3 Texas, mission statement, reputation, Strategic Planning, Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT), sustainability, vision statement

This strategic research project was designed to address the issue of punitive disciplinary practices within Houston Independent School District (ISD) resulting in out-of-school suspensions, particularly among disadvantaged students. A strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats (SWOT) analysis was conducted, identifying 10 strengths, 10 weaknesses, 10 opportunities, and 10 threats. An internal threat that was identified within Houston ISD was student discipline. Further assessment of this internal threat demonstrated that the main reason for this internal threat is punitive disciplinary procedures, and as such, this was underscored as the main problem facing Houston ISD.

A Quantitative Strategic Plan Matrix (QSPM) was used to identify the best solution to decrease out-of-school suspensions and close academic achievement gaps, particularly among disadvantaged students. Restorative Practice (RP) in the area of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) emerged as the strategy to be used to transform the disciplinary system into a more empathetic and community-focused one. The implementation plan involves a comprehensive professional development program in SEL for educators with specific, measurable goals.

The action plan for integrating RP within Houston ISD includes a comprehensive professional development program centered on SEL. The plan encompasses a needs assessment, implementation, monitoring, and ongoing adaptation guided by specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. Collaboration among educators, administrators, students, and community organizations is essential for the successful adoption of RP, emphasizing continuous evaluation and feedback to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of the initiative.

In conclusion, this initiative is designed to decrease out-of-school suspensions and close academic achievement gaps, particularly among disadvantaged students in reading, through the implementation of RP. This initiative promises to foster positive relationships, reduce conflict, and create an inclusive school environment that values individuals and sets a new standard for educational excellence and social responsibility.

The recommendation for the sustainability of RP includes school-wide adoption, training, assessment, progress monitoring, evaluation, and teacher support.

Document Type

Strategic Research Project-NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education