FAIRFIELD — The governing board of the Fairfield-Suisun School District will hear an update Thursday on the Local Educational Agency plan with a focus on school discipline.
The report prepared by Angie Avlonitis, director of student accountability and support, focuses on areas such as the legalities of suspensions and expulsions, legal updates and hearing notices along with site-level interventions and referral procedures and implementing such things as alternatives to suspensions, anti-bullying programs, character programs and positive incentive programs.
A report indicates that while the total number of expulsions has decreased dramatically in 2013-14 compared with 2008-09, there has been a percentage increase in expulsions among blacks and Hispanics, and a decrease among white non-Hispanic students.
The district expelled 254 students in 2008-09. The number declined last year to 72. Of those expelled in 2008-09, 40.5 percent were black and 33.8 percent were Hispanic. Those numbers rose to 44 percent and 41.6 percent, respectively, in 2013-14.
Among the two ethnic groups in those two years, enrollment changed slightly with about a 5 percent decline in black enrollment and 5 percent increase in Hispanic enrollment.
Among the white students, who made up 25.4 percent of the population in 2008-09 and 19.73 percent of the population in 2013-14, the percentages of students expelled dropped from 16.1 percent to 6.9 percent.
Avlonitis, in a phone interview, attributed the drop in total expulsion numbers to both increased training and knowledge on the legalities of the Education Code as it pertains to expulsions – the law is not left up to individual interpretation anymore, she said; and the incorporation of more options available for at-risk students, such as an increase in capacity at Sem Yeto High School and the opening of a satellite Sem Yeto program at Armijo High School for Armijo students, which allows students to stay in the same school but transition “easily” back into the comprehensive site when ready.
Avlonitis also sited the Matt Garcia Learning Center as another option for students.
“Where there are options, there is hope,” she said.
The Fairfield-Suisun School District governing board will meet at 6 p.m. at 2490 Hilborn Road. A copy of the agenda is available at www.boarddocs.com/ca/fsusd/Board.nsf/Public.
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