Decrease in TPS suspensions and expulsions

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - The Toledo School District has been working for years on keeping their disciplinary rates down and their students in the classroom.

School officials say the suspension and expulsion rates decrease has been a collaborative effort.

Toledo Public Schools is partnered with Tackle and Toledoans United for Social Action to help change their disciplinary polices. Thanks to both Tackle and TUSA's work along with the district's Positive Behavioral Initiative, students are now held accountable in the same ways across the board. And with that consistency is being created for student discipline at all the schools in the district.

TUSA Pastor James Willis says they are teaching the students lessons they'll continue.

"What you do is, you train a child in the way he should go," said Willis. "And when he gets old he will not depart from it, and if as he gets older, if you start to train him he's lost something. So you start in elementary school and that way when you get to high school at least he will know how to act."

Due to the Positive Behavior Initiative the entire district has seen a dramatic decrease in disciplinary action in the 2013-2014 school year compared to the previous year. Out of school suspensions are down 25% while in school suspensions have seen a 30% reduction and expulsions saw a drastic decrease with 40% down since the previous year.

Tackle Coordinator Kerry Sarabian says they want to let the kids know their there.

"When the bell rings at 3 o'clock we want to make sure the kids understand we're with them in the fight," said Sarabian. "With them out in the community, with them throughout the night, whether sporting events, whatever it may be, we make sure that if a parent calls us at 9 o'clock at night because their kids not home we can go to the house at 9 o'clock at night."

Toledo Superintendent Dr. Romules Durant says combining kindergarten through eighth grade and focusing on their freshman will help as well.

This year ninth graders will be the only students to arrive on the first day of school for Freshman Academy. Durant says this is to help them transition more smoothly into high school.

"We're doing that because we understand there's a need for those on the way to coming in, need to be shown the way in order to be successful seniors and graduates," said Durant.

Right now 15 schools in the TPS district have the positive behavioral program but Superintendent Dr. Durant says within two to three years every school in the district will have it.

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