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Discipline Best Practices and Resources

School Discipline is one aspect of a school’s approach to building a climate and culture for learning. Evidence-based, supportive student discipline approaches often overlap between strategies and multiple strategies are used to improve student behavior and climate for learning. This page is intended to provide information on best practices and resources related to school discipline, behavior, and school climate. Additional links are included that reference other parts of CDE’s website that have relevant information.

Behavior Interventions

The links in this category provide information regarding current behavior best practices, as well as opportunities for behavior training and professional learning.

Behavior: CDE’s website for special education behavior information, resources, and training.

CDE Board Certified Behavior Analyst Monthly Conversations: CDE’s website for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which has information pertaining to behavior professional learning and a monthly group for school-based behavior analysts across the state.

Bullying Prevention: CDE’s website for bullying prevention, which includes research, best practices, grant program information, a model bullying prevention policy, and resources all related to preventing bullying among students.

CDE Promising Practices: This resource contains information from the Family, School, and Community Partnerships Office about practices from schools and districts across the state that are effective when working with students and families.


The following websites contain dashboards and data sources related to school discipline across the state.

DCJ Interactive Dashboard: This dashboard from the Department of Criminal Justice shows data related to the number of law enforcement contacts by school for each academic year.

SchoolView Data Center Conduct Data: This dashboard shows the number of behavior incidents and disciplinary actions reported annually on the CDE SchoolView Data Center.

Healthy Kids Colorado Survey: This dashboard shows results from the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, which includes health topics and health measures, and it displays results both statewide and regionally.

Teaching & Learning Conditions Colorado Survey: This dashboard includes results from the Teaching and Learning Conditions Colorado Survey, which is a statewide, anonymous survey to support improvement planning, research, and policy, and is administered every two years.

Colorado Statewide Youth Development Plan (SYDP) Dashboards: This dashboard was developed through the Department of Human Services and includes data regarding risk factors, school-related protective factors, and family-related protective factors for each county for youth and early childhood.

Civil Rights Data Collection: This dashboard contains data from public schools across the nation, including discipline data as well as harassment or bullying, school staff, enrollment demographics, and others, and is administered every two years.

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System: This data source is a set of surveys that tracks health-related behaviors in students grades 9 through 12 and is administered every other year.

Discipline Data Guidance for LEAs: This document includes guidance for districts regarding discipline data and the required components for state reporting, in addition to alignment of discipline codes with the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) model policies.


These organizations provide training, coaching, or other support for organizations, schools, and districts supporting improved climates for learning.

The National Dropout Prevention Center/Network: The organization representing dropout prevention nationally, including services, events, resources, and shared materials related to reducing dropout and increasing graduation rates.

Colorado Crisis Services: This resource provides free, immediate, confidential support from trained professionals in crisis moments.

Office of School Safety & School Safety Resource Center: The Office of School Safety provides Colorado schools and communities with the tools and resources to create safe and positive school environments for all Colorado students, pre-kindergarten through higher education, and includes the School Safety Resource Center.

National Center of Safe Supportive Learning Environments: This organization provides information, resources, and training pertaining to school climate improvement.

Restorative Justice Colorado: The website for the Colorado organization for Restorative Justice.

Attendance Works: This website contains resources and research related to attendance and chronic absence.


These programs include support for prevention and intervention for youth experiencing challenges with discipline.

Tony Grampsas Youth Services Program: This statutory program funds community-based organizations in developing prevention and intervention programs for youth and their families to support in preventing youth crime and violence, youth substance use, dropout, and child abuse and neglect.


The following documents contain recent research related to school discipline and climates for learning.

School Climate White Paper: This research was completed by the Colorado School Climate Transformation and Colorado State University, and includes information on school climate and strategies for improvement.

Creating Safe Schools - Colorado Children’s Campaign: This paper includes information related to safe school environments, highlighting the relevant research on violence in schools and prevention strategies.

Family Playbook: School Suspensions, Discipline & Restorative Justice: This article details recent research on student discipline, suspension, and restorative justice, and resources that go along with it.

National Center for School Safety: School Safety at a Glance: This document highlights research on school safety through the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance survey and different methods for creating safe schools.


These resources provide guides and toolkits to support implementation of interventions to improve student behavior and learning climates, and it includes resources from both CDE and external organizations.

School Climate & Culture: CDE’s website for school climate and culture, providing definitions and resources for improving school climate.

MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports): CDE’s website for MTSS, containing information for support in learning about and implementing MTSS in schools.

PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports): CDE’s website for PBIS, including important information for using PBIS in schools, and it provides abundant resources for implementation support.

U.S. Department of Education School Climate and Student Discipline Resources: This resource has links for research and best practices on school climate and discipline practices, as well as information on data and laws related to this topic.

Guiding Principles for Creating Safe, Inclusive, Supportive, and Fair School Climates: USDOE: This resource includes five guiding principles for schools to be used in order to foster a positive school climate, with data and strategies expanding upon each section.

Implicit Association Test: This resource was developed by Harvard University and has short tests to identify implicit bias in oneself for various categories.

Bringing Evidence-Based Decision-Making to School Safety: This resource provides information about evidence-based practices for school safety and how to best support students following the pandemic.

CDE Suspensions & Expulsions in Preschool: This document contains an overview of HB 19-1194, which limits the suspensions and expulsions of children in preschool through second grade.

Colorado State Government Resource Inventory on Child, Youth and Families Behavioral Health: This resource inventory is a collection of all opportunities (i.e., service offerings, resources, funding opportunities, training/technical assistance) made available by Colorado's state government that relate to the behavioral health of children, youth and families. 

Colorado School Safety: A Legal Manual: This manual details a general overview of the legal issues, tools, and resources available for Colorado schools and staff regarding mitigation and prevention of school violence and ensuring safe schools.

Alternative to Zero Tolerance Best Practices Summary CDE: This report includes information about evidence-based, supportive disciplinary methods that serve as alternatives to suspensions and expulsions, as well as methods for decreasing disciplinary gaps based on student demographics.

Instead of Suspension: Alternative Strategies for Effective School Discipline: This report has information on programs that seek to improve school culture, programs that teach individual professionals better skills in behavior management and student discipline, and approaches that change the response of schools to misbehavior by individual students.

Landscape of Wellbeing and Belonging: CDE’s website for educators interested in increasing wellbeing and belonging in their school, and includes guidance, resources, systems, and best practices to improve outcomes for students, staff, and families across all PK-12 schools in Colorado.

NASP Discipline Framework: This webpage from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) includes guidance on evidence-based and effective school discipline policies and practices.

Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS): The webpage for the national PBIS organization.

Guiding Principles for Creating Safe, Inclusive, Supportive, and Fair School Climates: This resource from the U.S. Department of Education details guiding principles and actions that schools and districts can take in order to improve learning environments.

School Discipline Support Initiative: This webpage has information on school discipline practices that promote safe, supportive, and productive learning environments.

Colorado Secondary School Student Substance Use Committee Report: This report shows the final report that came from the Secondary School Student Substance Use Committee that originated from HB 23-1009.

Improving Student Outcomes Through Restorative Practices | Learning Policy Institute: This resource provides information on restorative practices, the positive impacts that these practices can have, and the components that should be considered for implementation.

Equity Toolkit Self Assessments:  These self assessments from CDE serve as a guide for determining where to begin using the Equity Toolkit.

Special Education Rules and Regulations: CDE’s website for federal and state laws and regulations regarding students with disabilities.

Section Navigation 

Navigate to the pages below to explore discipline-related topics in the following categories: 


Provides background information on state policy related to discipline, recently passed legislation, and key definitions that are outlined in statute.


Provides an overview of the data that is collected in Colorado related to discipline and behavior, district profile reports, current and previous school year discipline data, and navigation to information about the discipline data collection.