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Middle school and high school students suspended for a period of two to ten days would have the option of attending the OSS program at Central Davie Academy where they would complete their school assignments and receive credit for attending school.
As an incentive for students to attend the OSS program, the principal or assistant principal could propose that a three day suspension be cut to two days, a five day suspension to three days, and a ten day suspension to six or seven days.
If space is not immediately available in the OSS program, an administrator could delay a suspension a day or two, If appropriate, to begin the suspension when space allows. The home school will be responsible for submitting the Student Information Page to Central Davie Academy prior to the suspension. Students attending the OSS program will be counted present at their home school and therefore would not have to make up days to satisfy the school’s attendance policy.
Esther LaRoque, Todd Smith and Tammy Reavis
Principals and teachers will have two options when assigning work to students. They can 1) send work with the student or fax it to Central Davie Academy, or 2) e-mail Central Davie Academy the NC Standard Course of Study (SCOS) objective on which the student is presently working. If the sending school chooses the second option, students will be placed on NovaNET (or similar software program) to complete work in the appropriate subjects. This second option also allows the home school teacher to avoid the rush of gathering students’ assignments and work to send to Central Davie Academy.
On a student’s first day in the OSS program, a staff member will review the OSS Behavior Contract that outlines the rules, expectations, and requirements. The student will then be asked to sign the contract in agreement to abide by its provisions. The student will also meet with a counselor, or other trained staff member, to complete a behavioral assessment. The student will be expected to discuss the behavior that led to their suspension and develop strategies to avoid similar behavior in the future. During this assessment, students will be asked to choose an adult at their home school to be their school mentor. A mentor referral letter explaining their selection and mentor responsibilities will then be sent to the adult chosen by the student. We believe that follow-up and mentoring are important components of the overall program and help to lower the number of repeat offenders.
Program hours are expected to be from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The parent and / or student will arrange their own transportation to and from the Central Davie Academy OSS program. The time students spend at the OSS program will be very structured and students can expect that their time will be spent working, with little, if any, time to move around or socialize. Students will be permitted a supervised bathroom break once every ninety minutes.
Should a student behave inappropriately or fail to follow program guidelines, he or she could be sent home. The student may be allowed to return to the program the following day at the discretion of the school administrator and depending on the behavior that caused the dismissal. If a student is not allowed to return, he / she will have to serve the original out of school suspension time at home.
If a students behavior repeatedly leads to out of school suspensions, the home school may want to consider completing the referral form to the Central Davie Academy intervention program. A district referral committee will assess completed applications to this program and base acceptance on available space, need, and interventions tried.
Implementation will result in fewer days of student absences and less pressure on after-school and Saturday school make-up programs. Dropout rates should decrease, academic performance of at risk students should improve, and referrals to the alternative schools longer term intervention program should decline. This is one step towards helping students with their behavior before it becomes an obstacle to their success in school.