Student Behavior and Discipline Data
Naperville School District 203 administration presented student behavior and discipline data over a five-year span at Tuesday night’s school board meeting. They did this through an equity lens. Overall data shows African-American/Black, Hispanic/Latinx, economically disadvantaged, and students with disabilities are at a higher risk for an in-school or out-of-school suspension.
“Our current behavior and discipline data is not a reflection of the experience we want for students,” said Rakeda Leaks, executive director of diversity & inclusion. “We have a lot of work to do but we remain steadfast in our commitment to eliminate discipline predictability by sex, economic status, disability, English language acquisition, and race/ethnicity.”
What Do Numbers Show?
Numbers show students at an “economic disadvantage” accounted for the most in-school suspensions, a total of 1,762 between 2017 and 2021. White students accounted for the most out-of-school suspensions. There were 342 between 2017 and 2021.
Top reasons for in-school suspensions at the high school level for all groups are failure to serve detention, truancy, and tardiness. At the junior high level, a top reason for in-school suspensions is fighting and demonstrating aggressive behavior. That is also the top reason for out-of-school suspensions for junior high.
Fighting or the possession/use of drugs, e-cigarette, or vape pens were the top reasons for high school students. In response, the administration is looking at the results as adaptive challenges and is planning systemic changes like finding ways to reduce the number of suspensions by utilizing a problem solving approach.
“For example, failure to serve detention, truancy, and tardiness should not result in more time missed from a class. Instead we need to partner with students and staff to identify what is getting in the way of students attending their class and attending on time,” said Chala Holland, assistant superintendent for administrative services.
More details about next steps and plans will be presented at a future meeting. “As we plan for next steps, we want our changes to be driven by a student behavior and discipline action plan that is comprehensive and also embeds accountability measures,” said Holland. “This plan must not operate in isolation from plans to support the academic, social and emotional growth of our students.”
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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