Title

Don't Suspend Me; I Just Need a Little "S P A C E!"

First Presenter's Institution

John J. Wright Educational & Cultural Center Alternative Education Program

Second Presenter's Institution

John J. Wright Educational & Cultural Center Alternative Education Program

Third Presenter's Institution

Rappahannock Juvenile Detention Center

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Meet & Greet Poster Reception (Harborside)

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Mental & Physical Health

Relevance

Heart and Health (Social & Emotional Skills and Mental & Physical Health)

Our poster presentation will outline a program designed to address inappropriate behaviors and minor class disruptions in a positive, safe environment, prior to writing office referrals. The program’s goal is to reduce both in-school and out-of-school suspensions by providing the opportunity for students to receive S.P.A.C.E; not suspension. Students receive the opportunity for a Separation Period to Analyze personal behavior, Continue academic progress, and Examine personal choices (S.P.A.C.E.) We designed a program that will provide students with social and emotional tools needed to understand inappropriate behaviors, an action plan to correct inappropriate behaviors, and support to help students integrate the tools into his/her mental toolbox and implement them throughout the school day.

Brief Program Description

Our S. P. A. C. E. Program (Separation Period to Analyze personal behavior, Continue academic progress, and Examine personal choices) is designed to provide a platform that addresses inappropriate student behaviors prior to referrals to decrease in-school and out-of-school suspensions. Our program provides the opportunity for self-reflection, social and emotional growth, participation in structured behavior modification activities, and a timely return to the academic environment.

Summary

Alternative Education students often have significant gaps in learning due to significant loss of instructional time. This is usually due to excessive class removals, suspensions, and expulsions. When students are removed from the learning environment, they often lose skills, miss out on learning new skills, and fall further behind academically. Many of our students at risk lack the problem solving-skills, behavioral maturity, and support needed to break the cycle of self-destruction. As a result, when they return from suspensions and expulsions their behaviors become progressively worse because when they return they are further behind academically, emotionally-charged, and mentally wary of the next event that will send them home again. Our program seeks to change this dynamic and give our students the tools they need to be successful and remain in school.

Our program is simple, easily implemented, and cost-effective. In our approach, we have come together to utilize teamwork to implement our S. P .A. C. E. Program (Separation Period to Analyze personal behavior, Continue academic progress, and Examine personal choices.) The collective staff works together to support our diverse group of students who are experiencing multiple risks and provide a safe, positive, active-learning environment that promotes positive behavior, character development, social and emotional growth, and academic success.

Conference attendees will see the outline of a successful program that is promoting positive behavior, increasing academic progress, improving on-time graduation rates, and most importantly, keeping our students in school where they belong.

Evidence

Research indicates that suspension and expulsions should only be utilized for the most egregious situations (DeSalvo, Meeks, and Buckman, 2016). However, it is often an overused consequence for students; especially students at risk. DeSalvo, et.al, suggests that a better response is providing students with opportunities to remain in school, academically engaged; while receiving behavior modification support, opportunities for dialogue, and other positive interventions. Our program seeks to incorporate those concepts. As a result, we have seen a reduction in loss academic time and out-of-school suspensions. Students are also more actively engaged in their educational progress because they are experiencing real success for the first time and improving behavior.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Presenter 1: Terecia Gill, Ed. S. has over 30 years public school experience. She has been a teacher, assistant principal, program supervisor, and is currently the principal at a multifaceted alternative learning center located in Spotsylvania, Virginia. She has presented at several workshops and conferences geared towards educating at-risk students. Ms. Gill is an innovative, assertive, well structured leader able to motivate students, teachers, parents, and colleagues.

Presenter 2: Karen Washington has 27 years teaching experience in both middle and high school settings working with diverse populations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Education, a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, an Educational Specialist Degree in Reading Education. Mrs. Washington currently serves as an English Teacher and Literacy Coordinator in the Alternative Education program in Spotsylvania, Virginia.

Keyword Descriptors

at-risk, alternatives to suspension, alternative education

Presentation Year

March 2020

Start Date

3-9-2020 4:45 PM

End Date

3-9-2020 6:00 PM

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Mar 9th, 4:45 PM Mar 9th, 6:00 PM

Don't Suspend Me; I Just Need a Little "S P A C E!"

Meet & Greet Poster Reception (Harborside)

Our S. P. A. C. E. Program (Separation Period to Analyze personal behavior, Continue academic progress, and Examine personal choices) is designed to provide a platform that addresses inappropriate student behaviors prior to referrals to decrease in-school and out-of-school suspensions. Our program provides the opportunity for self-reflection, social and emotional growth, participation in structured behavior modification activities, and a timely return to the academic environment.