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Published: Wednesday, 7/1/2009

Suspensions, expulsions decline in Toledo schools

BLADE STAFF

A year-long focus on discipline problems at Toledo Public Schools has led to double-digit reductions in days lost due to suspensions and expulsions.

The 2008-09 school year had a 20 percent decline in suspension days compared to 2007-08 and an 18 percent drop in expulsion days.

Total suspensions fell 17.7 percent and expulsions went down 9.5 percent, TPS Superintendent John Foley announced Wednesday.

"We’ve been able to make an impact on our discipline numbers and we know that will reflect on more learning and more time in the classroom for our students," Mr. Foley said.

The superintendent credited the administration, principals, teachers, parents, and community working together to address behavior problems in the schools.

At the beginning of last school year, the district instituted a focus on intervention programs as alternatives to suspension and expulsions where students can spend that time out of class in a behavior modification or counseling program.

The district also held discipline orientations for parents and students and had families sign a new behavior contract acknowledging they had read the student code of conduct.

All those initiatives together are credited with reducing the numbers, Mr. Foley said.

Suspensions are 10 days or less for issues such as skipping class, smoking, and insubordination. Expulsions range from 10 to 80 days and are given for more serious offenses, including drug trafficking, arson, and bomb threats.



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