Superintendent William Hite said yesterday that the programs could ease the sting of layoffs to guidance counselors and other support personnel as a result of the district's financial woes.
"Most of the numbers you saw [in the state's report] are results of what everyone is doing in the building, not what one person is doing in the building," Hite said after a School Reform Commission meeting on school climate and safety at district headquarters. "So, yeah, we're going to lose some resources for children because we're losing guidance counselors and other individuals, but restorative practices are more a result of what children do around how they respond to incidents than anything else."
"The training of more students allows us to continue that work even with fewer staff in buildings," he added.
Some parents complained that the training programs for staff are not open to parents, a practice that was used in previous administrations. The district said, however, that it would reach out to parents to participate.
While reports of violent incidents were down, not all of the data was positive for the district last year. The number of students with disciplinary transfers in 2012-13 was 470, up from 454 the previous year. Additionally, the percentage of students with 10 or more unexcused absences rose from 19.6 to 27.8.
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