ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Out of school suspensions are decreasing in the St. Louis Public School District.
By this time last year, 2,800 students in the district had already been sent home for out of school suspensions. So far this year, only 500 students have had an out of school suspension.
District leaders said they were moved by the findings of the Ferguson Commission, which showed the root of the most challenging behavior is from trauma and other issues that are out of the students’ control.
So instead of out of school suspensions, where students are sent back to the situation that brought on the behavior, they are being kept in school, where they work with a support team for what they call “reflection and recovery.” The “reflection and recovery” includes talking through expectations, what they did wrong and what they consequences are so they can react differently next time.
Out of school suspensions are banned for students in kindergarten through second.
“We think we have a better chance of keeping them in school where we can actually teach them not just academics, but also social and emotional coping skills they need to help regulate behaviors that may be challenging,” said Stacy Clay, St. Louis Public Schools Deputy Superintendent.
The new policy also means parents are getting more calls from teachers and principals and the number of parent conferences are up as the district tries to keep them involved in addressing the issue at the root of the behavioral problems.
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