The mission of the Code of Conduct Advisory Council (COCAC) is to provide an opportunity for parents, students, administrators, teachers, advocates, community partners and other stakeholders to work collaboratively with the Boston Public Schools to improve disciplinary policies and promote positive school climate.
Operating with the overarching principle that denial of education is not an appropriate disciplinary tool, COCAC advises the Superintendent and School Committee on discipline issues, reviews the Code of Conduct to make recommendations for improvement, evaluates implementation, and promotes the use of alternatives to school exclusion, such as restorative justice.
COCAC has set the following goals:
- Creating a real, meaningful, constructive relationship with the Boston Public Schools
- Promoting discipline alternatives to school exclusion, such as restorative practices, student planning centers, and behavior management systems
- Analysis of on-the-ground data from BPS related to disciplinary practice implementation
- Expanding our network of active parents, students, activists and community stakeholders
COCAC has had a fantastic start:
- MAJOR SUCCESS in 3-year coalition effort to work with BPS in creating NEW CODE of CONDUCT voted unanimously by the BPS School Committee on September 4, 2013. And, instrumental in securing major federal grant on November 14, 2013 to train BPS personnel on RESTORATIVE JUSTICE provisions in the new code.
- We submitted recommendations to capture discipline data and improve reporting within the new BPS Student Information System (SIS), and participated in the SIS vendor selection process
- We are conducting an ongoing review of the Code of Conduct, for the purpose of identifying and addressing problems regarding school discipline
COCAC was created on June 30, 2010, by the Boston School Committee. COCAC is tasked with advising the Boston Public Schools on school discipline policies, procedures and implementation. We meet monthly to achieve our purpose of improving the Boston Public School climate, especially for students at risk of suspension or expulsion from school.