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Effective Alternative Strategies: Grants to Reduce Student Suspensions and Expulsions, and Ensure Educational Progress of Suspended and Expelled Students

Grantees and Project Abstracts for FY 2000

Center for Community Alternatives, Inc., Syracuse, NY || Boston Public Schools, Boston, MA || St. Cloud School District, St. Cloud, MN || Upper Darby School District, Drexal Hill, PA || Wake County Public School System, Raleigh, NC || Thompson R2-J School District, Loveland, CO || Southwestern NC Planning & Economic Development Commission, Bryson City, NC || School District of Lancaster, Lancaster, PA || Children's Home Society of Washington, Walla Walla, WA || University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, TN || Halifax County Schools, Halifax, NC || Kiwanis Activities, Inc. Little Rock, AR || WestEd, San Francisco, CA || Topeka Public Schools, Topeka, KS

Center for Community Alternatives, Inc., Syracuse, NY
Strategies for Success Program
Project Director: Marsha Weissman, 315/422-5638
Funding Amount $620,661

The project will offer a multi-modal and comprehensive approach to reduce suspensions and expulsions from schools in the Syracuse City School District and provide intensive services to suspended and expelled students in the district's two alternative programs. The program will bring together all staff -- teachers, administrators, hall monitors, school police, teacher aides -- and staff from community based organizations to develop an environment and culture that values students, believes in their success and promotes mutual respect and nonviolence. The staff will work closely with students and their parents as critical partners in creating this environment. Services to be provided include clinical social work and psychological services, mentoring, transitional planning, support groups for parents and students, and after school programming. An especially innovative program element is the training and employment of students and parents as peer leaders and peer educators. The program will be evaluated formally. The three collaborating partners in the project are Center for Community Alternatives, Syracuse City Schools, and a "youth led" arts entity, Power Unit Motivating Youth. The chief goals are to reduce suspension and expulsion, promote continued educational achievements among the students, increase parent participation and increase successful transitions of students back to mainstream school.

Boston Public Schools, Boston, MA
Project Director: Elliot Feldman, 617/635-8027
Funding Amount $750,000

Project 180o has three goals: provide full day programs for suspended and expelled students; reduce the number of students expelled from school; and improve the quality of alternative programs for suspended and expelled students. The project will provide a comprehensive education and support services program for 110 to 150 middle and high school students each year. The target population is court-involved and chronically disruptive middle and high school students. Project 180o is a collaboration involving the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, the Massachusetts Office of Community Corrections, the Boston Police Department, the Boston Alternative Education Alliance and five of the non-profit schools within the Alliance and other community-based organizations.

St. Cloud School District, St. Cloud, MN
Suspension/Expulsion Reduction
Project Director: Kathy Dahlberg, 320/202-6821
Funding Amount $491,273

This project combines a number of successful approaches to improve student outcomes for four groups of students: those at risk of suspension due to behavioral concerns; those who have been suspended from the mainstream; those who have been suspended out of alternative settings; and those who have been expelled. Key components of the project include anger management classes, training in the Resiliency/Health Realization frame of reference, restorative justice teams, social skill development, service learning and work experiences, and internet-based computer instruction for students awaiting placement, transitioning back from in-patient treatment programs or expelled from school. Students will be able to earn credits by completing assignments from home or computer lab. Parent education and a family living workshop series will be offered. The program also brings together community partners working together to create positive outcomes for youth.

Upper Darby School District, Drexal Hill, PA
Project SNAP
Project Director: Merle Horowitz, 610/789-7200
Funding Amount: $577,525

Project SNAP will focus on four goals: 1) prevent expulsion or continued suspension of the highest at-risk students from Upper Darby High School, Beverly Hills Middle School and Drexel Hill Middle School by improving their behavioral, academic, social and workplace preparation skills and outcomes; 2) enhance the educational experience and achievement of students who have been expelled or are actively serving a suspension; 3) reduce/prevent suspension for all types of students through more effective disciplinary policies/procedures, professional development, and student and parent programs; and 4) increase the use of effective strategies to prevent suspensions/expulsions in other educational systems. In addition, the program will build on the success of an existing 5-year partnership with the Delaware County Academy, expanding that partnership to include more high school students and including middle school students. Expected project outcomes include those for: 1) students -- reduced disruptive behavior of students, improved grades, and high school completion; 2) parents -- increased participation in programs; 3) school/school district -- reduced rates of suspension/expulsion, increased teacher skills, adoption of prevention policies; 4) community -- increased linkages for the target population; and replication.

Wake County Public School System, Raleigh, NC
Support Our Students Program (SOS)
Project Director: Lee Stanley, 919/850-1650
Funding Amount: $712,626

The SOS Program is committed to serving targeted students and families to achieve its goals. Strategies in the SOS Program address student behavior, family participation and training, student academic progress, staff development, and future academic and behavioral success of the student upon return to the regular school environment. The program will impact very specific students in very specific schools where there is the greatest need and greatest likelihood of success.

Thompson R2-J School District, Loveland, CO
Project Restore
Project Director: Howard Wenger, 970/613-5302
Funding Amount: $568,440

Project Restore will serve middle and high school students in the Thompson R2-J Schools. Seven intervention strategies will be employed which are based on the philosophies and practices of restorative justice. Outcomes will be measured in project efficiency, increased academic performance, increased attendance, decreased negative social and behavior issues, and increased connectedness of families to the educational process.

Southwestern NC Planning & Economic Development Commission, Bryson City, NC
A Climate of Care Project
Director: Suzanne Evans, 828/488-9211
Funding Amount: $718,685

The Climate of Care Project brings together a leadership team comprised of individuals from the Commission, each school system, Smoky Mountain Center for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, Juvenile Services, and Aspire (an exceptional learning program) to work together and bring multi-agency services and community support to middle school youth in the region. This project will provide a continuum of care to students at-risk of suspensions or expulsions or those that have already been suspended or expelled.

School District of Lancaster, Lancaster, PA
Lancaster Alternative Strategies Project
Project Director: Stacy Galiatsos, 717/291-6149
Funding Amount: $656,300

This project is a collaboration among the School District of Lancaster, the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, Stevens College of Technology and area community organizations through the Lancaster Network for Safe and Healthy Children. The project offers research-based, innovative approaches to getting at the heart of what prevents students from becoming suspended or expelled and offers students who are suspended or expelled options to continue their education. The project uses strategies that provide: 1) national models for developing emotional and social skills at each school site; 2) additional student and family support in navigating the school and social service system; 3) training for parents in how to support their child's development; 4) a restructuring of the guidance counselor role; 5) learning choices for students through area colleges and the Chamber of Commerce; 6) training for administrators; 7) a strong evaluation and dissemination system; and 8) an ability to continue the project after completion of the grant.

Children's Home Society of Washington, Walla Walla, WA
Program Director: Dan Ferguson, 509/527-0403
Funding Amount: $749,737

This collaborative project between Children's Home Society and Walla Walla Public Schools will annually serve approximately 277 students. BRIDGE will serve students transitioning from middle to high school and high school students not functioning well in traditional or alternative educational settings. All students will receive all-inclusive services provided year-round. These services include home visits, family counseling, multi-functional assessments, career counseling, and therapeutic recreational activities as well as specialized instruction in behavior modification, conflict resolution, teen pregnancy prevention, suicide prevention and anger management. BRIDGE classrooms focus on individual needs of the students. Goals for students are to increase attendance, improve grades and academic performance and decrease referrals for disciplinary action.

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, TN
Project PHASE
Project Director: Morris Burnham, 423/755-4431
Funding Amount: $541,805

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga partnered with Hamilton County Department of Education, Hamilton County Community Services Agency and the Hamilton County Juvenile Court to provide an approach to benefit elementary school students. Project PHASE provides a continuum of services for the child and the family and is both school-based and family-based. The strategies to be used include tutoring and mentoring in the schools; a strong emphasis on parental involvement in the school; intensive home-based case management services; and partner support from the juvenile court. Outcomes expected include lessor suspensions, reduced problem behavior referrals, increased attendance, reduction in truancy hearings in juvenile court, increased parental involvement in the schools and improved parent-child relationships.

Halifax County Schools, Halifax, NC
Project Director: To Be Named
Funding Amount: $1,072,364

Halifax County Schools and a contiguous district, Franklin County Schools, are collaborating with assistance from four partners: St. Augustine's College, Educational Grant Services, Upward Bound, and GEAR UP, to develop prevention and academic outreach services for students "in difficulty" in school. The project has nine primary objectives and will include approaches that are research and evidence-based. District-wide training in prevention and services for displaced students is planned for educators, teachers, parents, students, community members, and administrators. Evaluation will be both continuous and comprehensive.

Kiwanis Activities, Inc./Joseph Pfeifer Kiwanis Camp, Little Rock, AR
The Alternative Classroom Experience (A.C.E.)
Project Director: Sanford Tollette, 501/821-3714
Funding Amount: $576,891

The A.C.E. Program is a 30-day residential, educational, and wilderness experience for 165 third fourth and fifth grade students per year. This prevention program provides a highly structured classroom with certified teachers. Besides academics, students learn problem solving skills, crisis management skills, and acceptance of personal responsibility through a variety of outdoor, environmental, and team-building activities. Other components include mandatory weekly parenting workshops, a transition period where students live at camp but attend their regular classroom during the day, and long-term follow through up through the completion of seventh grade. Staff collaborate with local youth agencies to provide continued service during the teen years. A.C.E. graduates are expected to show academic, behavioral, and/or self-esteem improvements. A.C.E. graduates who are subsequently suspended or expelled would participate in additional educational programming-a new enhancement to the A.C.E. program.

WestEd, San Francisco, CA
Youth Connect
Project Director: Cynthia Peck, 714/648-0333
Funding Amount: $749,994

Youth Connect is a program designed to help students in the Jurupa Unified School District's middle schools. The program is built on the research-based framework of the Youth Development Model for Resilience developed by WestEd. The program has five components: a student assistance program including comprehensive case management; outreach service advocacy for students and their parents; alternative learning centers at each middle school; a family strengthening program; and a school/law enforcement and community partnership.

Topeka Public Schools, Topeka, KS
Hope Street Academy
Project Director: Bill Bagshaw, 785/575-6100
Funding Amount: $564,838

Hope Street Academy is a place where students at risk of failure, suspension or expulsion will: receive positive behavior support; experience new models and methods of discipline and learning from teachers; and experience student directed learning. The approach to learning will support students in how they learn best, where they learn best and when they learn best. Technology is a key resource in the program. This interactive community school will allow students to learn anytime and anywhere. Satellite education centers bring the resources to the students. Partners in the Hope Street Academy include: the University of Kansas, the Koch Crime Institute, Topeka Community Center, Shawnee County Juvenile Detention Center, VISIT, Topeka Youth Project, local churches and area businesses.

Alternative Strategies to Reduce Student Suspensions and Expulsions, and Ensure Educational Progress of Suspended and Expelled Studentes Grantees

This page last modified—February 24, 2003 (edg).

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