Date

12-2021

Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Department

Health and Human Services

Major

Social Work / Public Administration

Abstract

Between the timeframe of August 2020 - December 2021 Salinas Union High School (SUHSD) suspension rate data was reviewed in the California School Dashboard network. It was determined the suspension rate of this school district exceeded those of its fellow districts. SUHSD has increased their suspension rates of English learners by 2.3%, decreased their suspensions of African American students by 2% and Hispanic students have maintained the same rates as the prior year (caschooldashboard.org). Contributing factors to this social dilemma are lack of knowledge of Alternative to Suspension, unconscious and conscious bias and the newly adopted practice of Social Emotional Support. Consequences of suspension are the “School to Prison Pipeline”, a child’s negative association with education and the stigma a child receives once suspended. Through observing this information it was determined SUHSD required training on Alternatives to Suspension. To assist in the trainings designed to directly illustrate the requirements of Alternatives to Suspension across the district, a Flow Chart has been created for Administrators, Administrative Secretaries and School Social Workers (SSW) / Intervention Specialist (IS) to keep on hand, ensuring an easy guide to follow. This Flow Chart reviews SUHSD approved Alternative to Suspension programs and compares these with California's Education Code guidelines along with administrative codes associated with each type of alternatives provided within SUHSD. During the training on Alternatives to Suspension provided to SUHSD Administrators, Administrative Secretaries and SSW/IS in the beginning of the Fall 2021 school year, a survey was conducted. This survey was provided to all Administrators as well as all administrative support staff stated above. The survey inquired about participants' comfortability with enacting Alternatives to Suspension, their knowledge on the programs provided and the accessibility of this information if questions arise. In addition to the survey questions, Administrators and Administrative Secretaries were given Empathy Interview questions to assess the preference on distribution of information for each group and if the current method of information distribution is altering any positive outcomes SUHSD could receive through the implementation of Alternative to Suspension. Due to the longevity of the project a post survey will not be conducted until the following school year in May 2022. The data collected will be based on the responses received from 2 Administrators, 16 Administrative Secretary and 13 School Social Workers / Intervention Specialists. Each subgroup was given matching questions to determine the distribution of information within SUHSD. Based on the information received through the data collected, it is my recommendation that the Flow Chart be distributed to each administrator and their support staff. Ensuring it is updated with current information as often as required.

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