A STUDY OF CURRENTIN-SCHOOL SUSPENSiON PROGRAMS IN NEW YORK STA'l1EHERBERT L. FOSTERDepartment of Learning & InstructionFaculty of Educational StudiesState University of New York at BuffaloAmherst, New York 14260HOWARD R. KIGHTDepartment of Counseling & Educational PsychologyFaculty of Educational StudiesState University of New York at BuffaloAmherst, New York 14260127709U.S. Department of JusticeNational Institute of JusticeThis document has been reproduced exactly as received from theperson or organization originating it. Points of view or opinions stat din this document are those of the authors and do not nec ssarllyrepresent the official position or policies 01 the National Institute ofJustice.Permission to reproduce this copyrighted material has beengranted byJIerbert I,. Fosterto the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS).Further reproduction outside of the NCJRS system requires permission of the copyright owner.The Institute on Classroom Management & School DisciplineCurriculum Center17 Baldy HallState University of New York at BuffaloAmherst, New York 14260

Copyright 1988 by Herbert L. Foster & Howard R. Kight.Allright reserved.No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in anyform or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy,recorded or otherwise, without the prior written consent ofthe publisher.Printed in the United states of AmericaFirst printing, August 1988Second printing, August 1989International Standard Book Number: 0-929720-00-8Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 88-21527Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataFoster, Herbert L.A study of current in-school suspension programs inNew York/ Herbert L. Foster, Howard R. p.Includes index1. Student suspension--New York (State) 2. Studentsuspension--New York (State)--Case studies.I. Kight, Howard R., 1932II. Title.LB3089.3.N7F67 1988373.15'43'09747--dc1988-21527CIPISBN 0-929720-00-8

ACKNOWLEDGMENTSWe are indebted to many colleagues, undergraduate andgraduate students, teachers, administrators, and schoolsecretaries for their helpwi th this study.Their helpconsisted of anything from library research, describing hisor her school's In-School Suspension program, steering us toan interesting In-School Suspension Program, to discussingthe topic.The first person to be thanked is Mrs. Roberta LeeDiRamio whose graduate independent study project ofsuspensions was expanded upon and led to this study.Computer data processing was supervised by Jim Donally agraduate student in the Department of CounseliI1g andEducational Psychology. Appreciation must also be expressedto the Uni versi ty Computing Services for the use of theirfacilities and the SPSS statistical package.Those to be thanked for the In-School Suspension programdescriptions include:Mrs. Diane Eklund Klein, AssistantPrincipal, Amherst Middle School;Dr. Peter K. Lynch,Principal, and William R. Zino, Dean of Students, BaldwinSenior High School; Dr. Joel M. Klein, Director of PupilServices and Art Jakubowi tz, Principal, The BirchwoodSchool, Clarkstown Central School District; Peter Gentile,Principal, A. B. Davis Middle School, Mount Vernon PublicSchools; Salvatore Sedita, Principal, Robert M. Barton,Assistant Principal, and Jerry Scarella, IntensifiedLearning Teacher Emerson Vocational High School, BuffaloPublic Schools; Rexford A. Hurlburt, Jr, Principal, JuniorSenior High School Harpursville Central School; Dr. RichardA. Marotto, Principal, and Daniel Meterko, In-SchoolSuspension Teacher at Lewiston-Porter High School, LewistonPorter Central School District; Mrs. Lottie L. Taylor,Principal, Ms. Rosemary Davis, Assistant Principal andGuidance, .and Ms. Charlene M. Bivins; A Philip RandolphCampus High School At City College, New York City PublicSchools; Michael A. Orfino, Principal, West Middle School,Auburn Enlarged City School District; and Christ C.Alexander, Principal, and Ms. Yol anda Cardone, Secretary,Whi tesboro Junior High School, Whitesboro Central SchoolDistrict.The Chapter V Bibliography is the 'work of many formergraduate students.However, Dr. Nancy A. Biernat, Joyce V.Wheeler,andJacobS.Tanenbaumeach mademajor.contributions of references for the chapter.Three otherformer graduate students who made significant contributionsat the early stages of the research were Michelen Cheeley,Jan Locey, and Daniel (Mac) McLaughlin.Thanks also to Dr.Paul T. Wietig, Principal, Grand Island Middle School whoprovided us with information in finding an interesting Inv

School Suspension program. Thanks, too, to William Bennett,Supervising Principal, Secondary Education, Buffalo PublicSchools for suggesting a program in Buffalo.Finally, thanks must go to all those who responded toour initial

INTRODUCTIONGenerally, when a secondary school student violates hisor her school's discipline code, the student is subjected toei ther of three consequences.The three consequencesinclude expulsion, suspension, or in-school suspension.Expulsion is the most series consequence and is usually formore than 11 days. Suspension, a slightly less consequence,lasts for up to 10 days.In-school suspension removes astudent from his or her regular academic classes but keepsthe student in the school in an isolated, separate, andrestricted environment where, in most. cases, academic workcontinues.For various reasons, there has been a big increase inin-school suspension programs throughout the secondaryschools in the United States.In New York State, for example, on October 11, 1985,the New York State Education Department issued PART 100 OFTHE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS that mandated under-Part100.2(1) that "On or before January 1, 1986, each schooldistrict shall adopt and implement a written policy onschool conduct and discipline designed to promoteresponsible student behavior."It appears that whilecomplying with the aforementioned Part 100.2(1), thosesecondary schools that did not have an in-school suspensionprogram in place and operating, organized some form of inschool suspension program with their required "disciplinecode" of rights, responsibilities, and sanctions.However, to date, according to a search of theliterature, there has not been any broad systematic study ofin-school suspension programs.The purpose of this in-school suspension study andreport, therefore, is to provide school personnel and otherswith useful information to assist him or her in planning,implementing, or updating such programs.This report is based upon responses to a questionnairethat was sent to every urban, rural, and suburban secondaryschool in New York State.The questionnaire included itemsrelating to all aspects of in-school suspension programs andis discussed in more detail in Chapter I.In Chapter II, various components of in-schoolsuspension programs are described so that school personnelcan evaluate the components that are most relevant to his orher needs.In Chapter III, a complete tabulation is presented ofthe questionnaire data.The data is organized intocategories related to the development, organization,vii

staffing, program activities, program guidelines, parentaland"and student awareness of in-school suspension,evaluative procedures.In Chapter IV, descriptions of 10 in-school suspensionprograms currently in operation are provided withinformation concerning the facility, program background, anda complete description of the program. The reported programdescriptions include sample forms and names of persons tocontact for further information.Chapter V contains a comprehensive bibliography ofarticles, books, dissertation, and other related materials.The APPENDIX contains thequestionnaire used in this study.viiioriginalletterand

CONTENTSAcknowledgementsvviiIntroductionChapter IMethodology1Chapter IIISS Program Components3Chapter IIIResults of In-School Suspension Survey11Chapter IVISS Program Descriptions29Amherst Middle SchoolBaldwin Senior High SchoolBirchwood SchoolClarkstown High School NorthA. B. Davis Middle SchoolEmerson Vocational High SchoolHarpursville Junior-Senior High SchoolLewiston-Porter Senior High School'A. Philip Randolph Campus High Schoolin City CollegeWest Middle SchoolWhitesboro Junior High School3147556167718387105113117Chapter VBibliography125Appendix148ix

CHAPTER IMETHODOLOGYSelection of the Survey SchoolsThe first step in this survey was to obtain mailinglabels of all secondary schools in New York State from theNew York Education Department.This resulted in a list of1800 secondary schools to which a letter and questionnairewere sent along with a self-addressed stamped envelop in thespring of 1980.The letter explained the purpose of thesurvey and invited the supervising principal to assist inthe gathering of information related to in-school suspensionprograms (see APPENDIX).A total of 1,130 questionnaires (62 perreturned.Of those questionnaires returned, 625indicated that his or her school had an in-schoolprogram and 505 had none.For an update, seePhone Survey b low.cent) wereprincipalssuspensionFollow UpDescription of the QuestionnaireA preliminary version of the questionnaire wasdeveloped and mailed to 12 local high school principals.After careful review of the principal's comments, the finalquestionnaire consisted of 27 questions on five mimeographedpages (see APPENDIX).The questions focused on current in-schoolpractices and attempted to look at various ways in whichschools were dealing with related discipline problems.Personn l responsible for implementing and supervising I Sprograms were easily identified.Additionally, thequestions were designed to provide data so that a principalwould be provided with ideas to either up-date an existingISS program or implement such a program.Follow Up Phone Survey - Spring 1988Al though some of the data reported in this study wascollected in the spring of 1980, most of the data is currentin relation to existing in-school suspension programs.Indeed, the program components reported in CHAPTER I and thematerials reported in CHAPTER II exist today in most inschool suspension programs.The in-School suspensionprograms reported on and described in CHAPTER IV are inplace and operating presently. The bibliography reported inCHAPTER V was updated just prior to going to press.Finally,during the spring of 1988,1phone calls were

made to all of the secondary schools in two representativeWestern New York counties and two questions were asked: (1)do you have an in-school suspension program currentlyoperating in your school, and (2) what name do to you callyour program?All 25 secondary secondary schools surveyed hadoperating in-school suspension programs.Sixteen of thoseschools ,called their programs In-School Suspension. Two ofthe schools called their in-school suspension programsIndependent Study Room.The other names used to describeprograms included In-House, Internal Detention, Time OutRoom, Detention, Al ternati ve Learning Center, InternalSupervision, and In-School Detention.In only one of the 25 above programs, high schoolstudents are sent to a middle-school's in-school suspensionprogram.In two schools wi thin the same district, aSaturday Detention program is usually used instead f adaily internal suspension program.2

CHAPTER IIISSPROGRAMCOMPONENTSAn examination of the ISS program description datareported eight possible components.It should be pointedout that the eight components are a composite with no ISSprogram having all eight.However, some of theISSprograms placed greater emphasis on some components.Theeight components are listed below with discussion andcommentary: roomStaffing/supervisionMaterialsAcademic workReasons for assigning a student to ISSDaily routine (operational procedures)Record keeping & evaluationCounseling proceduresISS RoomDISCUSSION:Whenever possible, a separate room shouldbe made available to accommodate students assigned to theprogram.However, in some cases, because of a shortage ofclassroom space, ISS "rooms" have been set up in hall ways.The number of students assigned should not exceed the numberof students who can comfortably be seated with work space.A minimum of 12-14 seats is recommended. All necessarymaterials needed to fulfill study requirements should bemade available (see materials). A telephone would also be agood idea.The room should be clean, bright, well hea'tedand in good repair.Some programs have added upbeat andcolorful posters on the wall.A lavatory near by makes iteasier to supervise students when using the facilities.COMMENTARY:Whether or not the ISS room is located ina room or in a hallway is less important than the climatemaintained in the roOm; the "room" should function as a selfcontained program with a non-disruptive, quiet ng and supervision of ISS rooms haveincl udedcertified teachers, teaching assistants, andteacher-aides. In some instances, the certified teacher wasassigned full time responsibility with the ISS program whilein other cases the certified teacher was assigned to ISSduty in lieu of normally assigned hall, study hall, orcafeteria duty.The primary distinction between teachingassistants and teacher-aides was found to be that the3

teaching assistant has a salary that is more than an aidebut less than a teacher.The assistant also has somecollege and education courses, while the teacher-aide hadsome extensive and on-going in-service training.Duties of the teacher assigned to the ISS program wouldnormallyincludemaintainingdiscipl ine,provi.dinginstructional assistance, interacting with students andrecord keeping.Provisions should be made as to who willsupervise the ISS person, staff and program. In most cases,assistant principals have been assigned this responsibility.Student helpers may be assigned on a part-time basis to help ith routine paperwork.COMMENTARY:Preferably, a mature and experiencedteacher, counselor, school psychologist, retired teacherwho also believes in the school's ISS policy should be incharge of the ISS program.In some cases, however, matureBides and community representatives have done an excellentjob of supervising the ISS room.We would argue for oneperson to assume major responsibility for the supervisionand operation. However, if more than one person is assignedduring the day or week to supervise the ISS room, careshould be takel' to guarantee consis,tency in applyingprocedur s and rules.3.MaterialsDISCUSSION:To lessen the burden of additional work onthe regular classroom teacher, two or three copies of anytexts used in all subject areas should be permanently keptin the ISS room.Dictionaries, and when possible, a set ofencyclopedias are useful, too. Any type of packaged, or kitform programs designed to motivate relevant learningactivi ties are also appropriate.Magazines and newspapersmay be made available but student use of these should bemonitored so that they are used only when all other assignedwork is completed or as as a source for curriculum material.When a student finishes the required work, the ISSperson is responsible for returning the completed assignmentto the subject teachers.Tables, chairs and study carrels are also provided inthe physical set-up of the room.COMMENTARY:To help students assigned to the ropriate books, and materials must be made available foruse in the ISS room.Care should be taken to arrange forcurriculum assignments to be obtained front classroomteachers and then returned to them without burdening theclassroom teacher.4

4.Academic WorkDISCUSSION:In the ISS programs surveyed, two 'basicapproaches to maintaining a structured learning environmentwere:a. General, short term resource assignments in severalsubject areas are made availabl.e for the ISS personnel tochoose from and make assignments. These assignments arerelated to the regular curriculum choices offered in aparticular school.b. Subject area teachers having students in the ISSprograms should send daily assignments to the ISS room thatreflect current student work.Tests that are sent to theISS room should be supervised appropriately by the ISSperson.COMMENTARY:Though either of the above approaches maybe used, an eclectic approach is more likely to besuccessful.One way of processing assignments between theISS teacher and a teacher of the student assigned to the ISSrqom is as follows.When a student is firstassigned tothe ISS rOOITl, the student's name is sent to the. ISSsupervisor (or teacher) who then obtains a copy of thestudent's schedule and puts multiple copies of assignmentslips in all the student's subject teacher mailboxes.Thesubject teacher then writes out the required assignment andeither delivers the assignment to the ISS room or puts it inthe mailbox of the ISS teacher.Care must be taken not toburden the teacher of a student assigned to the ISS roomwith additional work and responsibility.SAMPLE FORMStudent NameHomeroomSubject/teacherText usedAssignmentNumber of days assignedBeginning (date)5.Reasons For Assigning Students to ISSDISCUSSION:The survey revealed that the reasor( forassigning students to an ISS program will vary according toa school or school system. The following list represents thenine most common reasons for assigning students to ISS:a. Failure to follow rules and regulations of theschool.b. Chronic tardiness to school or classes.5

c. Class cutting - one day per class period cut.d. Disruptive classroom behavior.e. On recommendation of principal, assistantprincipal(s) or attendance monitor.f. Being in the hallway without a pass.g. Being somewhere without your teacher's permission.h. Being outside the building during school hours.i. Not showing up for a second roll call.COMMENTARY:Ideally, the re'asons for assigningstudents to the ISS program should be spelled out as part ofthe school's discipline code.The school's discipline codeshould be designed with input from all of the school sconstituencies, e.g. teachers, administrators, nalstaff,students, parents, and community representatives.Theresulting rules and regulations for the ISS program shouldbe clearly defined and publicized at the beginning of theschool year through, for example, a student handbook ofschool rules.6.Daily Routine (Operational Procedures)DISCUSSION:From the results of the survey, it wasevident that schools vary widely in the specific types ofbehavior which were acceptable during the ISS class timeperiod.Listed below are examples of the rules andregulations culled from the responses, to this survey.a. Absolutely no talking at any timeb. "Please" and "Thank you" are very important wordsin the ISS room.c. You must bring all materials you need to ISS at9:00 am.d. Being late to ISS results in detention or extradays.e. No food allowed in ISS except at lunch time.f. No sleeping at any time.g. The ISS room will be kept neat and clean at alltimes.h. Students suspended from the ISS room will make uptheir time plus one additional day.i. Students who have a doctor's or dentist'sappointment can leave early.j. If you are absent, your absence does not count as aday being spent the classroom.k. Students who have detention will be escorted todetention room.Some school districts have augmented their ISS programswi th additional rules and regulations pertaining to lunchtime and end-of-day proQedures.Listed are some examples.6

Lunch time procedures.a. Whenever lunch line will form at the door (no lunchcard, no lunch).b. No talking allowed at any time.c. We march in single file to the right.d. No gaps are allowed to form in the line.e. No leaning against the wall if the line is stopped.f. No looking into classrooms.g. We do not return to ISS room until I have aperfectly straight line and complete silence.h. The line will stop if any of the above are abused.i. If the bell rings when we are in the hallway, westop right where we are.j. Being polite and neat will be observed at alltimes.End of day procedures.a. Return all books to proper shelves; bookshelveswill be in proper order.b. Pick up all paper on floor and desks; straighten upall desks and chairs.c. Hand in any assignments before leaving.d. The magazines will be in proper order; shades willbe drawn halfway.e. Students will be dismissed one at a time, dependingon how well-behaved they have been during their ISSperiod of time.f. Push your chairs in neatly before you leave.g. Leave in a quiet and orderly manner.Being consistent in enforcing -- following this routineis very important if the ISS concept is to be strong andsuccessful.The ISS person in charge should be tough but have agenuine concern and understanding of young people and theirneeds and responsibilities.A balance must be maintained.between the above mentioned toughness and compassion.Wi th a daily morning ISS list plus the other regularlists -- including excused and unexcused absences -- studentwhereabouts can be carefully monitored.This requires allteachers to keep careful attendance every period, checkingeach list and writing "cut" slips for any student notaccounted for.Teacher aides can collect these "cut" slipsduring the last period of the day and deliver them to theschool office.COMMENTARY:While some ISS programs have rules thatare lengthy, excessively detailed, or rigid, other ISSprograms have a minimum of rules.Preferably, only ISSrules should be written that are necessary, fair, simple,7

clear, flexible, and widely accepted.7.Record Keeping & EvaluationDISCUSSION:Schools vary widely in their recordkeeping that pertains to ISS programs.These recordsbasically serve two major functions.First, they allow chools to closely monitor each student in the program and,secondly, to provide evaluative data for judging the ffectiveness of the program.One ISS program kept duplicate copies of records forstudents assigned to ISS. One copy was kept in .the ISS room(only accessible to authorized personnel), and one copy waskept in the assistant principal'·s officeThe type ofinformation kept in this file (not to be confused with astudent's permanent record file) included his/her name, omeroom, g ade level, schedule card, home phone number,number of days assigned for a particular offense, type ofoffense, repeat offenses, parent notified, counseling given,brief comments by the ISS supervisor.Careful guidelinesshould be established to protect a student's right toprivacy and due process and therefore it should be decidedhow these records will be used.If records are used forstatistical data (e.g., to determine success, failure,shortcomings, strengths of ISS programs) provisions shouldbe made to protect individual student identity in any finalreports.Posi tive results in a student's change toacceptable behavior patterns could be facilitated byreferral to a guidance counselor and/or other types ofcounseling programs.Record keeping also serves an important function in theongoing evaluation of ISS program and program development.Evaluation procedures should involve both the day-to-dayoperations of the ISS center as well as the overall. effectiveness.For example, it is advisable for schools toreview all· aspects of the ISS program.Some of theseaspects may not be readily apparent from the data, such asthe procedures involved in getting teacher's academic workto and from the ISS.COMMENTARY:It is obvious that some type of record anddata collection procedure serves a very important function.However, care should also be taken to assure that recordkeeping and data collecting does not become more importantand time consuming that the operation of the program. qually important is the need for continuous, on-goingdiscussion of what information is needed to fully evaluatethe success of the ISS program.8

8.Counseling ProceduresCOMMENTARY: ISS programs can be more successful withinthe availability of various counseling services andtechniques.Some programs work quite successfully with aminimal amount of structured counseling for students.Indeed, some students assigned to ISS may require only abrief discussion with a guidance counselor.Some schoolshave extensive and preventative counseling programs andservices available for their students.Various in-servicetraining techniques have been used successfully -- e.g.,transactional analysis sessions, values cl ari fica tion,behavioral contracts, Parent Effectiveness Training, schooland home survival courses, etc.Social services inistrator, conferences with the school psychologist,conferences with social worker, conferences with guidancecounselors,the ISS program supervisor,vocationalrehabilitation worker, or the occupational specialist.General ConunentsIdeally, the success of an ISS program depends upon thedegree of cooperation between the professional staff and theadministration.The greater the teacher / admini stra torcooperation in planning, implementing, and revising an ISSprogram, the more likely the program will be successful.Everyone benefits from a positively operating ISS program teachers, administrators as well as students.Clearly, agood ISS program an help some students grow and mature asthey assume more responsibility for their behavior.9

CHAPTER IIIRESULTS OF IN-SCHOOL SUSPENSION SURVEYThis chapter presents the tabulated responses to eachquestion of importance in the ISS survey. The questions areorganized in the same manner in which they appeared in thequestionnaire beginning with questions dealing withdevelopment and organization.Following each question is a brief summary/discussionof the mplications of and significance of the reportedresults. A total of six categories are included with Tablesnumbered in accordance with the category.These responseshave been summarized as percentages and, in some cases,because of the nature of the question will total will totalmore than 100 percent.1. DEVELOPMENT AND ORGANIZATION1.1 Does your school have an "In School Suspension (ISS)"program?TABLE 1.1Schools Having ISS programsMiddle SchoolsJr. HighSr. High(%)865897As revealed by the data in Table 1.1, 97 percent of thehigh schools surveyed had some type of "in schoolsuspension" program currently in effect whereas only 58percent of the junior high schools were currently using sucha program.11

1.2What do you call your program?TABLE 1. 2Most Common Names Given To Programs(% )53In School suspensionNo nameIn house suspensionInternal suspensionIn school detentionTime out roomOther names8753321Of the 421 school personnel who responded to thisquestion, slightly more than half (53 percent) said thatthey simply referred to their program as " In schoolsuspension. "Twenty-one percent of those responding gavenames that were used by few other schools or representedsome slight variation, such as "all day detention" or "inhouse detention."1.3Is the ISS program a school option or district policy?TABLE 1.3Administrative Support(% )School optionDistrict policy6337Approximately two out of every three schools thatresponded to the questionnaire. indicated that the ISSprogram was an option left open to that school.Theresponses were more equally divided, however, among juniorhigh, BOCES and central schools.12

1.4 What groups participated in the development of thisprogram?TABLE 1. 4Key Organizers of ISS Program(% s73145421By far the greatest degree of participation in theinitial development of the ISS program appears to have comefrom the school administration (73 percent).Thisconclusion appears to be equally true regardless of the typeof school or the size of the enrollment.2.2.1STAFFINGWho staffs the ISS program?TABLE 2.1ISS Staff Involvement oTeacherSecurity officerAideGuidance counselorSubstitute teacherAdministrator66127732In about two out of every three schools, teachers areincluded in any ISS program.This percentage increases to85 percent in the BOCES programs but decreases to about 30percent in schools where the enrollment is between 500-999students.13

2.2Is in-service training provided for the ISS staff?TABLE 2.2Is in-service training provided? o7822NoYesIn 78 percent of the schools surveyed, some type ofinservice training is provided for all ISS personnel.Theremaining 22 percent indicated that no such in-servicetraining program was currently being provided.2.3 Who is responsible for securing and returning requiredclassroom assignments?TABLE 2.3Person Who Collects Assignments%UnspecifiedISS From the survey data as presented in Table 2.3, it wasunclear whether, assignments were a regular part of the ISSprogram. Eighty-one percent of the respondents neglected toidentify a specific person who was gene ally responsible forcollecting assignments. One interpretation is that most ISSprograms do not become involved with school assignments. Theother interpretation is that the person responsible can varywidely in most programs.14

2.4What is the staff-to-pupil ratio?TABLE 2.4Staff-to-pupil ratio.FromFromFromFrom( %)4158101:1 to 1:51:6 to 1:101:11 to 1:151:16 to 1:20From the inexact nature of the classificationsprovided, it was difficult to determine what the averagestaff-to-pupil ratio was in most of the ISS programs.Butit would appear, from the data presented in Table 2.4, thatit was approximately 1:6 and probably varied anywhere from1:3 to 1:9 in the vast majority of the schools.3.3.1PROGRAMACTIVITIESWhere is the ISS room located?TABLE 3.1Building Location Of ISS RoomSeparate buildingSeparate room/same buildingMost ofare eitherparticularlythe schoolsbuilding

the schools called their in-school suspension programs Independent Study Room. The other names used to describe programs included In-House, Internal Detention, Time Out Room, Detention, Al ternati ve Learning Center, Internal Supervision, and In-School Detention. In only o