In 2007, Terry Chadsey and Dr. Jody McVittie co-founded Sound Discipline. They sought answers to these questions:
- What if every child knew they mattered and belonged in their classroom, in their school community, and at home?
- What if every child and adult were skilled at naming and regulating emotions, asking for and offering support, and finding solutions to problems?
- What if adults – educators, parents, caregivers – shared this vision and knew how to foster it?
At that time, these questions seemed radical. Though there may have been skepticism, the teachers and principals working with Sound Discipline were motivated to find solutions. They knew what they were doing was not working and they were discouraged.
The early work of Sound Discipline challenged head-on the often unexamined practices and systems used in education that are based on control, punishment, rewards, and exclusion.
Over time, our vision, purpose, and approach have all evolved. We are constantly learning and refining our programs. Our 2023 rebrand to BELONG Partners represents our work today – we now partner with schools and organizations to create equitable learning communities and transform the way adults teach, parent, and care for youth. We do this by bringing together science-based, trauma-informed, restorative, and culturally responsive practices.
Our values have continued to evolve and grow as well. They reflect our commitment to a vision of the future where everyone thrives because they know they matter and belong.
- Connection: We are rooted in relationships.
- Courage: We lead from the heart and challenge the status quo.
- Liberation: We work together to create a world that works for everyone because our freedom, joy, and struggles are deeply connected.
Today, we work with approximately 5,000 adults who, in turn, care for or teach 75,000 young people.
We have partnered with more 15,000 educators and 56 school communities in four states – Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and California – to integrate social-emotional learning and restorative practices into classrooms, schools, and districts.