The NBC10 Investigators have dug into local policies for school discipline, and some schools in our region have suspension rates high above the national average.
In response to this report, William Penn School District offered the following response:
"Suspensions do not resolve disciplinary issues, and are educationally detrimental. The District has been aware of the high suspension numbers, and is actively working to reduce the overall rate of suspension, as well as the rate of suspension for students with disabilities.
Over the past four years, the District has adopted a multi-pronged approach to reduce suspension, including, but not limited to the following:
- Working in tandem with PDE on an Improvement Plan to reduce suspensions
- Training principals in alternatives to suspension
- Training staff in trauma-informed practices, restorative justice, and other alternatives to suspension
- Expanding Schoolwide PBIS to the high school (after an almost two-year planning phase, the high school had its PBIS kick-off in September of 2016)
- Increasing mental health services and supports available to students during the school day
- Teaching a social skills curriculum at the elementary level
- Working to improve the engagement of students during classes
- Reviewing policies and procedures, including Student Code of Conduct
- Sending building teams to the PDE Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Training in the spring of 2017"