Center for Youth & Community Leadership in Education
Center for Youth & Community Leadership in Education



Positive and Safe Schools Advancing Greater Equity



Through Positive and Safe Schools Advancing Greater Equity (PASSAGE), CYCLE staff have supported districts and communities working together to reduce discipline disparities and promote positive approaches to school discipline. In the first stage of the PASSAGE initiative, funding from The Atlantic Philanthropies supported work in four major urban school districts – New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Nashville.

With support from the Schott Foundation for Public Education, PASSAGE work focused in Nashville beginning in 2016. The Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and Oasis Center, a Nashville nonprofit helping vulnerable youth to overcome barriers through wraparound services, served as core partners for the initiative, which also sustained a steering committee composed of over 30 district and community stakeholders. The PASSAGE Nashville work supported:

  • ongoing coalition building among a wide range of stakeholders, including principals, parents, teachers, counselors, law enforcement officers, clergy, juvenile judges, community leaders, researchers, and local government officials;

  • training for these groups to critically examine the structures, policies, and practices that perpetuate discipline disparities and contribute to negative school climate and culture; and

  • youth and community organizing and engagement to end the overuse and disproportionate use of school discipline.

In the summer of 2018, a PASSAGE national cross-site convening brought together teams from Nashville, Pittsburgh, Denver, Chattanooga, and Central Falls, Rhode Island to critically examine narratives around school discipline and develop strategies for reconstructing school discipline and student supports.

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