Suspensions drop holds firm

School administrators credit behavioural interventions for improvement as half as many suspensions handed out last year as in 2010-11.

The number of suspensions handed out by administrators in the Abbotsford school district has dropped by more than half over the past four years, according to the district’s annual suspension report, presented to the board of education last week.

Although suspensions were mostly level from the previous year, they suggest gains made between 2010 and 2014 have stuck, according to the district.

The 717 suspensions handed out in 2014-15 were six more than the previous year. In 2010-11, 1,484 suspensions were handed out. Both in-school and out-of-school suspensions have dropped by more than half. Last year saw a further drop in in-school suspensions, but a slight increase in out-of-school suspensions.

Assistant superintendent Gino Bordi said the district has grown “increasingly confident” that interventions within schools and the district have resulted in fewer students misbehaving. He credited more behaviour support in the district, highlighting the YMCA’s Alternative Suspension Program at the Abbotsford Recreation Centre.

Grade 10 students received the highest number of out-of-school suspensions, followed by Grade 11 and Grade 8 students, respectively. Fighting resulted in the highest number of out-of-school suspensions, with defiance, drugs and harassment the next most frequent reasons for serious punishment.

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