About the Project

How can we reorganize schools to foster positive, healthy learning environments for all students, especially students of color?

The CA MTSS pilot is a 5-year, statewide program we’ve undertaken in partnership with Orange County Office of Education and Butte County Office of Education to support schools in building positive school climates by ensuring that all students’ academic, behavioral, and social-emotional needs are met.

Students of color—especially Black and American Indian students—are more likely to experience lower achievement outcomes than their white peers; and are more likely to receive punitive, exclusionary discipline (e.g., suspensions) than their peers for the same behaviors.

Decades of research have shown clearly that punitive and exclusionary discipline like suspensions don’t improve student behavior, and can push vulnerable students even further behind. Instead, positive behavior programs and restorative practices are effective tools to prevent and redirect misbehavior. To adopt practices that benefit classrooms and students, we have to change the way school staff approach disruptive student behavior. We must also acknowledge the ways in which historically marginalized students continue to bear the brunt of exclusionary discipline practices, and address these inequities directly.

Our team works collaboratively with students and educators to design, refine and implement training modules that will promote improved relationships, especially across race, language and socio-economic differences. Now, we are piloting this effort in 35 school sites, 26 districts and 7 geographic areas to help schools change the way they approach discipline—and in doing so help them to address the underlying causes of behavior problems and academic disengagement.

Currently, our team is exploring the process through which educators implement the CA MTSS framework through both successes and challenges, with a particular lens to understand how educators think about—and address—racial discipline disparities.


Equity-Oriented Restorative Justice Resource Library

The library focuses on prioritizing restorative and racial justice in education and includes materials that schools can use to integrate restorative mindsets, practices and policies during a time of extraordinary challenges for young people, families, educators and communities. In response to the goals of CA MTSS, the materials in this library focus on approaches that can reduce racial disparities in discipline by improving school climate.

All materials in the library have been catalogued by implementation domain, type of material, and primary audience. The titles are hyperlinked to additional information about the materials including the primary audience, overview of what the material entails, a suggestion for how to use it, and a link to the original source.

CA MTSS Pilot Phase 2A Participation Year 2 Summary

This report includes findings from the CA MTSS Phase 2A Pilot Project’s Year 2 of participation qualitative data collection and analysis.

CA MTSS Pilot Phase 2A Baseline Data Summary

This report includes findings from the CA MTSS Phase 2A Pilot Project’s Year 1 of participation qualitative data collection and analysis.