Students at Aurora West College Preparatory Academy practice Common Sense Discipline, which emphasizes listening, relationship-building, and leadership development as an alternative to suspensions.

(Courtesy of Denver Foundation)

About a year ago, Aurora Public Schools noticed a problem. Several of the district's schools reported high numbers of students being suspended. That's when the school district decided to make a change. In partnership with The Denver Foundation, it launched a district wide initiative modeled on the idea of restorative justice to encourage students and teachers to talk through conflicts rather than focus on punishment. It's been dubbed "Common Sense Discipline."

Many teachers say it's a good idea, but there are still kinks to work out. The initiative will come to a new Denver Public Schools charter school called Compass Academy in the fall.

Aurora Public Schools superintendent Rico Munn, Denver Foundation director of education Sarah Park, and Aurora West College Preparatory Academy principal Brian Duwe are part of a team working to implement Common Sense Discipline in Aurora schools.

(Courtesy of Denver Foundation)

Aurora Public Schools superintendent Rico Munn spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner about the lessons he's learned from this first year of the program and what's ahead.