June 15, 2017 Published in Schools

Gregory Baldwin Named School Climate Specialist For T. C. Williams High School

Gregory Baldwin, School Climate Specialist (Courtesy Photo)

Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley has announced the appointment of Gregory Baldwin as the School Climate Specialist at T. C. Williams High School.

Baldwin, who was previously a dean at T. C. Williams, will take on responsibility for working collaboratively with school administration at all schools across the division to grow positive learning environments and school cultures, including the high school’s implementation of restorative practices – a movement that seeks to develop good relationships and restore a sense of community in an increasingly disconnected world, according to The Restorative Practices Handbook for Teachers, Disciplinarians and Administrators. The role will also be responsible for providing additional support to current school programs including Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, Multi-tiered Systems of Support, peer mediation as well as implementing restorative practices.

Discipline data has shown that the implementation of restorative practices has had a marked impact on reducing suspensions at T.C. Williams High School and contributed to building a positive school climate. In turn, a positive school climate is known to have a positive impact on student achievement.

“This is the perfect opportunity to work collaboratively with school leadership to create a positive learning environment and school culture and that helps support academic achievement,” said Baldwin.

Baldwin has been a Dean of Students at T.C. Williams since 2011. He has a Masters in Educational Leadership and a Masters in Special Education. He is an alumnus of T.C. Williams, and graduated from the school in 1986. He holds a Virginia Department of Education Postgraduate Professional License and is a licensed trainer with the International Institute of Restorative Practices.

Suspension data released in March shows that suspensions among certain groups at T.C. Williams have dropped over the last two years. Some of this drop may be attributed to the implementation of restorative practices and positive behavior intervention strategies. There were 130 fewer out-of-school suspensions at the end of the second quarter of 2017 at T.C. Williams than for the same quarter the previous year. The decrease was particularly noted among black males.

Approximately 200 staff members and 20 students have now been trained to lead or co-lead community circles, which are held at least twice a month for all students at T.C. Williams High School. Community circles are used to help build a positive culture and relationships. Around 70 staff members have been trained in restorative circles, which are used to help resolve issues as necessary. ACPS is in the third year of a five-year implementation plan.

“This is a role that we have been working to create in the division for some time now. To implement restorative practices with fidelity and genuine results takes time, commitment and resources. We look forward to seeing continued positive growth over the next few years,” said Superintendent Crawley.

The use of community circles will expand to 12th grade next year. New staff at T.C. Williams High School campuses, all staff in alternative programs such as Chance for Change and the T.C. Satellite Campus, will also be trained.  Baldwin will assume the position on July 1, in time for the 2017-18 school year

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