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Positive Discipline Basics

Thursday, April 7, 2022 Volume 16 Issue 26

Thurgood Marshall is a Positive Discipline School.

What does this mean exactly? In a Positive Discipline school, every adult:

  • Understands that positive relationships and school climate are critical to successful student learning.

  • Implements principles of mutual respect and encouragement

  • Focuses on long-term solutions to misbehavior at individual, class and school-wide levels

  • Views mistakes as opportunities to learn, and misbehavior as opportunities to practice critical life skills.

We believe that discipline is about teaching and learning. If a student was unsuccessful in math class, we think about what skills they need to learn to be successful. Similarly, when students misbehave, we think about what skills they need to learn in order to behave appropriately. This does not mean that there are not consequences for inappropriate behavior; it means that we try to make sure that consequences are related to the behavior that occurred. In addition, we track our school discipline to look for patterns of misbehavior and then address these with students by re-teaching our school expectations or refining procedures so that students can be successful. ​ Positive Discipline was developed from the work of Alfred Adler, Rudolph Dreikurs, Jane Nelsen and others, who believed that people seek a sense of belonging and significance in their interactions with others. A key belief is that we have the most influence on others when we have relationships founded on mutual respect. The appropriate response to misbehavior is to focus on solutions without shaming and blaming, and to address the belief behind the misbehavior. ​ An essential piece of Positive Discipline at school is regular class meetings where students learn to give appreciations (compliments) to each other, to use respectful communication skills, to brainstorm and role-play difficult situations, and to solve problems. We also teach students skills for self-regulation. Students not only learn how to calm themselves, but also what is happening in their brain when they become upset or “flip their lid.” ​ Teachers at Thurgood Marshall attend a “Positive Discipline in the Classroom” course during their first year or two at TM, so they have a good understanding of student behavioral needs and how to address them to be sure students feel included and understood. There are many resources in our community for parents to learn more about Positive Discipline, too! You can learn more or brush up on this information with the sources below. ​ For more information:


Advocate for Equity on behalf of Students

Thurgood Marshall's Equity Action Team would like to highlight the following ways YOU can advocate for equity on behalf of students on a district and local level:

  • Follow the Facebook group for SPS Title 1 Schools to get the latest updates on how to support our South End schools more equitably.

  • Join the Southeast Seattle Education Coalition (SESEC), a coalition of community-based organizations, schools, educators, community leaders, parents, caregivers, and concerned SE Seattle residents working to improve education for all children, especially those in SE Seattle and those farthest away from educational justice. You can also follow SESEC's Facebook page for updates and meetings

  • Learn more about the Gathering Collaborative, a group of community members that will take part in a community-led process to equitably spend $25 million of federal funds that starts to undo the harms of racism compounded by the pandemic, influence the County's next budget cycle, and establish a longer-term vision for King County to become an anti-racist government. You can apply to be a community member in the collaborative and help with the decision-making for funding.

  • Watch this video from Seattle Council PTSA from March 3, 2022 on our school budgets. If you’re wondering about the budget process, your school’s budget, the Weighted Staffing Standards formula, PTA staffing grants, or anything else, this video gives an excellent understanding of how those funds are determined and allocated and what's to be expected.


Let's Go

Our school will be taking part in Cascade Bicycle Club’s bicycle and pedestrian safety education program for students in grades 3-5. For more information about this program, please see the letter from Cascade Bicycle Club sent home in 3rd, 4th, & 5th grader’s backpacks.

A fleet of bicycles will arrive at Thurgood Marshall Elementary next week for students to participate, during their scheduled P.E. class, where they’ll learn important safety skills for walking and rolling.

Students are NOT allowed to use their own bikes for this unit. They must use the bikes provided. Students ARE allowed to use their own helmets under these 2 conditions:

  • The helmet must fit properly.

  • The helmet cannot be older than five years.

Volunteers are needed to help during the scheduled PE times for grades 3rd – 5th. If you are interested in volunteering, please email Ms. Litton:



We are so close to reaching our 2021-2022 Annual Giving Fund Goal!

Friends of Thurgood Marshall Elementary School(FTME) provides vital support to our school to help minimize the gaps in state and local educational funding. We are focused on providing an inclusive community that supports ALL students. Your donations to this school years Annual Giving Fund are more important than ever! If you have not donated yet, do so today! If you have already donated, please consider giving a little more (if you are able to) in order to support those families that don't have the means to give at this time. If your employer matches donations, don’t forget to double your contribution to the Annual Giving Fund. Look for “Friends of Thurgood Marshall” or “Thurgood Marshall PTA” within your employer’s list of organizations. FTME is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization ( Federal Tax ID is 91-1462857). Every dollar, no matter the amount, will have a positive impact at Thurgood Marshall!


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