Philly schools are getting $4 million for program that favors community-building over punitive discipline

By Kristen A. Graham, The Philadelphia Inquirer | January 31, 2023

Former Stoneleigh Fellow Abigail Gray spoke to The Philadelphia Inquirer about a US Department of Education grant won by the Philadelphia School District to expand Relationships First, a community-building and restorative justice program.

The Philadelphia School District has won a $3.97 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to expand a program aimed at community-building and restorative justice as a way to enhance school climate and academics.

The homegrown “Relationships First” program is a shift away from a reactive disciplinary system that relied heavily on suspending and expelling students, said Abigail Gray, the district’s deputy chief of school climate and culture.

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