School Violence Prevention and Intervention
Schools and Special Education
Functional Behavioral Assessment
Prevention Strategies that Work
Prevention and Early Intervention
Promising Practice in Children's Mental Health
Strengthening the Safety Net
The School Development Program (SDP) is a process for improving schools that is designed to help schools focus their operations around effective child development and successful teaching and learning. The School Development Program puts the development of all children at the center of the educational process. All adult stakeholders in Comer schoolsadministrators, teachers, support staff, and parentsare actively involved in creating an environment that nurtures both students and adults. The following characteristics are common to schools that have fully implemented the Comer Process.
Characteristics of a Comer School:
The Comer Process
The School Development Program was established in 1968 by Dr. James P. Comer as a joint effort between Yale University and the New Haven Public Schools. To help in developing a more productive and inclusive school climate, Dr. Comer has developed a process that overcomes obstacles to parent and community participation, promotes collaboration among all adult stakeholders around school management, and utilizes an approach to instruction that is informed by child development principles and curriculum alignment. The Comer Process uses three teams, three operations, and three guiding principles that make up its process for school improvement.
Three Guiding Principles:
With the nine elements of the School Development Program in place, no teacher has to face difficult problems alone. Teachers begin to share effective practices, contribute to the solution of problems, explore opportunities throughout the school and share a sense of pride with each good outcome. Mental health professionals on the Student and Staff Support Team assist with child development and classroom management. With this approach to running the school, disparate elements become more collaborative and effective in operationcurriculum, instruction, assessment, parent and community relations, and use of technology. All of the components of the school process join together in a coherent fashion, working under a positive climate on behalf of children.
There are now over 650 SDP schools in districts across the country. The emphasis on a positive school climate and stakeholder collaboration is supported academically by an aligned curriculum that links classroom activities across subject matter, grade level, and student testing goals.
The Comer process has been put into use and has been effective in both urban and suburban area schools, and in schools serving diverse ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic communities. Research has shown that students who attended SDP schools have significantly higher scores on self-concept, social competence, resilience, attendance, and
academic achievement. Case studies show families becoming active partners with school staff, and teachers expressing positive perceptions of their students and collaborating more with each other following SDP implementation.
|© 2001 The CECP is part of the American Institutes for Research (AIR), and is funded under a cooperative agreement with the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), U.S. Department of Education (ED), with supplemental funding from the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).|