On Tuesdays we highlight The Toolbox—a one day training program focused on the students with disabilities who present challenging behaviors. This involves a detailed look at the federal regulations that pertain to the discipline of students who are receiving special education services.
One of the things we talk about is ISS—in-school suspension. In that context, I want to make a radical suggestion: maybe it’s time to ditch ISS altogether, and replace it with something more useful.
Education Week recently reported on a Pre-K to 8 school in Cleveland, Ohio that has replaced ISS with a “planning center.” According to the article, the planning centers “represent a fundamental shift in the approach to student discipline.” Kids have “an opportunity to cool down, learn coping strategies, and get back in the classroom as soon as possible.”
Does ISS accomplish much? Do kids come out of ISS with a better understanding of how they got in trouble? Do they learn any new behaviors?
I wonder. What I notice is that law and regulation continue to pressure schools to avoid any form of exclusionary discipline, meaning any discipline that takes the student out of the classroom during instructional time. ISS does that. So does a “planning center.” But I just wonder if the restorative approach used in a “planning center” might be more productive.
Things to think about as we approach the halfway mark in the year.
DAWG BONE: IF DISCIPLINE DOES NOT IMPROVE THE STUDENT’S BEHAVIOR, WHAT’S THE POINT?
Tomorrow: How good documentation resembles a good editorial….