EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES FOR LITERACY AND WRITING IN GRADES 1-6
Meaningful Assignments for Students Serving In-School Suspension
I always hate the assignments I send with students when they serve ISS. I hate everything about ISS. Obviously, when students are fighting or behaving extremely disrespectfully, they need to be removed from class. But once he/she is taken to ISS, I despise gathering work for the student to do all day because I know I’m going to do a terrible job of doing so.
I always end up feeling guilty for the work I send. I know I should have already prepared packets of work, but planning ahead is not exactly my strong suit. So I end up grabbing workbooks and textbooks. I spend about two minutes looking for things that will take this student a long time to complete. Then I slap a few post-it notes with pages numbers to complete. The entire time, I’m thinking, “This is such pointless work.”
These are the students who need the most support and I’m sending pointless work for them to do right after they’ve had a serious altercation with another student or teacher. I always feel guilty, but I feel like I have no options because I only have a few minutes to find work because I’m in the middle of class. The work also has to keep the student busy for a day without requiring too much effort from the ISS teacher who already has a million other things to do.
These are the students I’ve kept in mind as I’ve written over 200 passages about famous athletes. As I research athletes like Kevin Durant, Tom Brady, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Usain Bolt, I look for stories about times they’ve made mistakes and how they overcame them. When Kevin Durant was in high school, one of his basketball coaches was murdered. Kevin was really upset because this coach was like a father to him. Kevin’s performance on the court suffered because he started disrespecting opponents and hogging the ball. Then Kevin realized his old coach would not want him to play like that. Kevin stopped doing those things and his play improved. The students who are sitting in ISS need to realize that huge celebrities like Kevin Durant make mistakes just like them. Our students need to read stories of successful people who learn from mistakes and are determined never to make the same mistake twice. Now, Kevin Durant is one of the most respected players in the NBA.
When I write these passages, I also include stories of how hard these athletes have worked to achieve success. I describe how these athletes have put in years and years of insanely hard work to be successful. When NFL quarterback Tom Brady was growing up, he hated that his sisters were better athletes than him. He was determined to do whatever it took to be the best athlete in his family. Now he is one of the greatest quarterbacks in American football history! Here are some passages where the headline shows you the focus of the passage.
I’ve written three sets of passages about most athletes. For example, my set about LeBron James and Michael Jordan includes paired texts about their childhood, pro sports career, and charity work.
Each set of paired texts includes a quiz. There’s also a writing prompt that ties all the passages together. The first page, which you can give to the ISS teacher, explains which two passages go together. Answer keys are also provided. You can print a few copies of each set to have in a file folder for those times when you have to immediately send work for ISS.
Some teachers have told me the work for ISS should be boring busy-work, which I totally disagree with. The punishment for the student should come in the form of isolation from his/her peers, not pointless assignments.
In addition to classroom teachers, I encourage ISS teachers to try a few of my paired texts. A few ISS teachers have left feedback on my paired texts saying they were helpful when kids in ISS finished the assignments sent by the classroom teacher. They are also helpful when the student’s classroom teacher is unable to send work on time.
Click any of the images below to see all the paired texts I have available in my TpT store. I’ve written passages on more than 70 athletes who compete in a variety of sports, so I’m sure you’ll find topics that will interest your students. I also have passages written on a variety of reading levels to help you meet the needs of your students.
Feel free to leave feedback in my TpT store to let me know how these work for you. Thank you for the 5,236,823 things you do for your students every day!
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In School Suspension
NORTHWESTERN HIGH SCHOOL - ISS RULES
- Violators will not be allowed to enter if scheduled to attend.
- Bring all assignments, books, papers, writing utensils needed to complete work.
- You will complete an ISS assignment on the first day served for a given infraction.
- If none are received, additional assignments will be provided by the ISS attendant.
- You are to enter and exit through the outside door to room.
- Those reporting from the administrative office will use hall entrance.
- A tardy will be charged to first block that student is scheduled to attend and punishment will follow school policy.
- All privileges are revoked in ISS. Seniors may not leave at the senior bell.
- Seated sideways and/or looking around is prohibited.
- Feet must be kept on the floor.
- Food = snacks, sunflower seeds, candy, gum, etc.
- Lunch will be ordered from a limited menu from the cafeteria at regular rate for student. Lunch will be served at 2:00 PM.
- If you need assistance, raise your hand and the ISS attendant will come to you.
- Want to know what time it is, bring a watch. Don’t ask!
- Phones, Ipods, MP3 Players, Kindles, headphones, etc. will be confiscated and referral written.
- Putting your head down counts as sleeping.
- Marking on desk, wall, seats or other property belonging to the school will be considered vandalism.
- Report any vandalism noticed in your area to the ISS attendant when you arrive at your seat.
- You will return your area to the condition that it is in at the end of the day.
- Only two (2) restroom breaks…first at 10:30 AM and second at 2:30 PM.
Violators of the rules established for ISS will be referred to their administrator and will be given additional consequences and/or punishment for that behavior. You can only be assigned ISS for a total of six full days. All discipline warranting suspensions after serving six days of ISS will result in out of school suspension (OSS).
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In-School Suspension: 6 Key Elements You Need To Consider
- School Leaders
- Definition of in-school suspension
Benefits of in-school suspension programs
- 6 Essential parts of an effective in-school suspension program
Alternatives to in-school suspension
What’s the point of an in-school suspension ?
Is it to punish students for bad behavior? Remove them from class so other students can keep working? Keep them from an out-of-school suspension?
Focusing on the narrow applications of an in-school suspension means losing sight of the positive impact this strategy can have on your school culture .
Keep reading to find out how a thorough in-school suspension plan can benefit your school , 6 key elements that you’ll need to successfully create your own program, and 3 alternatives to consider using .
What is in-school suspension?
In-school suspension, also known as ISS, is a form of punishment that keeps students in school and doing work, but isolates them from the rest of the student body.
In some schools, in-school suspension is an essential part of a behavior management program, while for other schools it’s a way to reduce out-of-school suspension numbers.
In-school suspension can be an effective tool when it comes to student behavior and achievement, but only if it’s used properly.
There are three ultimate goals of any in-school suspension program:
- Solve root problems
- Encourage positive behavior
- Discourage repeat offenders
Students who spend less time in the classroom generally tend to have lower-than-average student achievement rates . While in-school suspension keeps students out of their regular classrooms, the program also provides:
- Academic support
- Time to work on assignments
- Behavioral resources to keep students engaged.
An effective in-school suspension program can detect learning disabilities and provide support for behavioral issues before they become serious issues. When students receive the support they need, they’re less likely to be referred to the in-school suspension program again.
Other benefits of a developed in-school suspension program include:
- Building a positive school culture -- When students have clear rules and expectations and know how rules will be enforced, they’re more likely to behave and succeed.
- Access to more student data -- Educators can use data-driven instruction techniques to monitor students, provide support and make decisions that support student success.
Receiving an in-school suspension is enough to prevent some students from repeating bad behavior. Other students might need extra support to correct patterns of behavior and address underlying issues.
6 Essential parts of an effective in-school suspension program
Remember the three goals of an in-school suspension program:
- Discourage repeat offences
- Solve academic and behavioral issues
- Encourage positive behavior from the whole school
Every school’s in-school suspension program is going to look different based on student need and school resources, but many successful programs have these 6 elements in common:
1. Consistent criteria and rules
Students respond well to structure and consistency, not decisions made on a case-by-case basis. When the criteria for receiving an in-school suspension isn’t explained, students are more likely to:
- Not know what they’re doing is wrong
- Receive multiple in-school suspensions
- Disagree with discipline and act out
Students should understand what will earn them an in-school suspension. Consider setting out a clear code of conduct at the beginning of the school year.
Have staff enforce the rules in accordance with these guidelines, and encourage them to do it in a way that doesn’t emphasize existing racial, learning or economic disparities.
Provide incentives to students for doing well, like added privileges or low-cost rewards. Praise positive behavior as often as you discipline negative behavior. Students need to understand what they did to receive an in-school suspension was unacceptable and their behavior has consequences, for better or worse.
Students should also have a clear and accessible list of in-school suspension rules. Some examples include:
- No sleeping
- Arrive on time
- Don’t be disruptive
- Complete your assigned work
- Follow all regular classroom rules
It might seem harsh, but in-school suspension isn’t meant to be a vacation from the classroom. Enforcing a clear set of rules can help you discourage certain students from repeating their bad behavior.
2. Effective professional development for teachers
In order for an in-school suspension program to be effective at reducing suspensions, teachers have to use effective classroom management techniques.
Students should only be referred to in-school suspension when necessary.
According to a study by educational researchers Susan Polirstok and Jay Gottlieb , what teachers say and do in the classroom can have a large impact on student behavior and learning. Polirstok and Gottlieb aimed to design a training program for teachers:
“Focused on behavior management procedures employing positive behavioral interventions to increase the level of teacher praise and reinforcement to students, thereby decreasing punishment and negative teacher comments .”
They offered teachers seven half days of training over the course of four months, and a 45-minute follow-up session eight weeks after the program ended. Each half day began with a Q&A where teachers could as questions and discuss problems in their classes as a group. Specific sessions covered topics like:
- Developing classroom rules
- Fostering ownership
- Paying attention to teacher language
- Using positive statements from teachers to students
- Implementing user-friendly reinforcement systems
- Using selective ignoring
- Working to reduce regular disruptive behavior over time
At the end of the program, Polirstok and Gottlieb found what they expected:
“The findings of this professional development program confirmed what researchers and teachers typically say about classrooms — that successful behavior management is a critical prerequisite for successful academic instruction .”
Many teachers lack the skills they need to effectively manage their classrooms, either through lack of training or experience. In the same study, Polirstok and Gottleib note:
“All too often, novice teachers arrive at busy, urban schools lacking the techniques they need to create positive learning environments that can best meet the diverse needs of elementary level learners. Both pre-service teachers and novice in-service teachers lack the years of experience which over time informs classroom management generally and behavior intervention more specifically. ”
After implementing the professional development program, school leaders reported a change in school climate, as well as a 61% decline in disciplinary referrals over the prior year and a 32% decline over the year before.
When teachers have the skills to effectively manage their classrooms, they’ll only refer more serious cases to in-school suspension, which reduces the overall number of suspensions and makes sure students who need extra behavioral or academic support have it.
3. Academic and behavioral support
Students can act out for a lot of reasons, including unmet behavioral needs, past trauma, or undiagnosed learning difficulties. In-school suspension offers a unique opportunity for qualified staff to sit down with students one-on-one, uncover the root of the issue and prevent it from happening again.
It’s not correct to assume students always know what they did was wrong and discipline will correct the behavior. Students might need a little extra coaching to determine why their behavior was wrong and how they can correct it in the future. Some popular techniques include:
- Assigning students a project-based discipline assignmen t
- Requiring students to complete a social-emotional skills course
- Holding a problem solving session between the student and the referring teacher
- Requiring students to speak with a student counselor at least once during their suspension
Teachers should also be required to give students work to complete during the suspension, and students are responsible for completing the work in full. Some students might benefit from being assessed for learning disabilities or being provided with extra tutoring on difficult concepts.
4. Dedicated space and supervision
An effective in-school suspension program should have a dedicated space and teacher to supervise students. In order to effectively work with students referred to in-school suspension, an educator needs to have a few key qualities:
- Experience working with special education students
- A genuine passion for students and a desire to see them succeed
- Training and experience in developing and running an in-school suspension program
Ideally, a program should have a teacher who can assess learning difficulties, a school counselor and a low teacher-to-student ratio to encourage good behavior. They should also be in a space away from the rest of students, to keep students from being distracted.
When in-school suspension programs aren’t in a dedicated space with a dedicated teacher, they lose their impact. It communicates to students you don’t want to put the time and resources into seeing them succeed and the program is a meaningless formality on the way to more serious consequences.
Use your resources to demonstrate a commitment to student success in all areas of the school and encourage students to take in-school suspension seriously.
5. Parent involvement
Talking to parents about how you’re disciplining their child can be difficult, but involving parents in the discussion improves the chances students will get the support they need at school and at home.
There are a number of ways to involve parents when dealing with an in-school suspension:
- Offer them the opportunity to shadow their child for the day — Letting parents see how their child behaves in the classroom is a valuable way for them to see what support their child needs, and can reinforce good behavior.
- Ask parents to volunteer in your school — Invite parents to actively participate as classroom volunteers or chaperones for field trips. This helps teachers build relationships with parents in a more informal setting.
- Organize a team meeting — While it’s standard procedure to call the parents when a student is referred to in-school suspension, scheduling a meeting between parents, the student, and a counselor can help the whole group find to the root of the issue.
Parent involvement depends on a lot of things, including their relationship with their child and their work schedule, so this might not always be the best option.
Regardless of how involved the parent wants to be, spend some time explaining how the in-school suspension program works in your school at the next parent evening or in a parent newsletter . Keep parents up-to-date and informed on ways they can get involved so they’re not blindsided if their child gets in trouble.
6. School leader support
Budgets, staff, students and a calendar full of meetings — it takes a lot of work to keep a school running smoothly. But did you know, as a school leader, you can have a meaningful impact on the success of your school’s in-school suspension program?
As a school leader, you set the standards for acceptable behavior, organize professional development opportunities and decide what and how students learn at your school.
You know your school best, and have a responsibility to develop programs to meet the needs of all students. As a leader you can:
- Provide leadership and mentoring to teachers
- Develop a comprehensive in-school suspension program
- Increase the number of vocationally-based programs available
- Allocate more resources for students with behavioral or learning needs
When Polirstok and Gottlieb studied professional development and in-school suspension, they found something else that was crucial for the program’s success:
“The role and reputation of the principal as a leader and respected colleague could have also had an impact on the performance of each of these schools. It would seem that the active participation of the principal in this type of school-wide intervention may be a critical variable. ”
Your job is to get involved and be a positive example of the culture you want to see in your school!
In-school suspension works in certain cases, but it’s not always the best method for every student. For students at a higher risk of dropping out of school or students with an individual education program (IEP), in-school suspension could actually make underlying issues worse.
Sometimes it makes sense to explore alternate methods, with the same three goals in mind:
- Find the root cause of the issue
- Build a positive student culture .
- Keep students from repeating their behavior
Social-emotional learning is a program for the entire school that encourages the development of healthy relationships and emotional skills.
At Valor Collegiate Academies , a charter school in Nashville, social-emotional learning is a priority. Their program requires students to participate in morning meetings and a mentor program. Students move through different levels of the program to earn various privileges.
During the meetings and mentorship program, students work through behavior challenges. The program is also used to discipline students using a restorative justice model.
As a whole, the school places an emphasis on supporting the diversity of their students — a key component in a school with a racially and economically diverse student body, originally created to combat highly segregated school districts.
And it’s working!
During Valor’s first year there were no suspensions, and there were only 17 suspensions when the school expanded from 100 to 500 students the year after.
Instead of serving a regular detention or suspension, students can participate in community service activities outside of school hours to give back to the community.
Ideas for community service opportunities include:
- Planting trees or working outdoors
- Volunteering at a local retirement home
- Cleaning up a local park or playground
- Working with a local charity or organization
- Volunteering in individual classroom to prepare for lessons, organize supplies or clean up after class
Community service gives students the opportunity to meet new mentors, learn new skills and redirect their energy towards the good of the community, not their own misbehavior.
Restorative justice moves beyond discipline and into repairing relationships between students, teachers, staff and the community. It brings together students to talk about the issues in a calm and ordered manner, where they can air out their grievances, apologize for harm done and make restitution.
When restorative justice is used, the person who has been wronged or harmed has the opportunity to share their feelings and the impact with the person responsible for the harm, who can then work to repair the relationship.
There are many different ways to explore restorative justice in the classroom:
- Encourage teachers to talk with their entire class to discuss and solve problems at a classroom level
- Ask the two parties involved in a conflict to sit down with mediators (either other students or staff) to discuss an incident
- Encourage students who have broken the rules to find a way to make restitution, either through fixing what was broken or doing community service
- Provide support and hold students accountable when they return from an in-school suspension.
In some schools, restorative justice is a formalized process, while in other schools it can be as simple as waiting 10 minutes after a conflict and sitting both parties down to discuss.
Final thoughts on in-school suspension
There are a lot of different factors that influence student misbehavior, including learning needs and behavioral issues.
In-school suspension communicates to students that their behavior was unacceptable, and looks at the whole picture to determine if the student needs extra support. Providing students with the resources they need should be the ultimate goal of any school, and in-school suspension is just one part of that support.
When students have these resources, they’re less likely to repeat in-school suspension and more likely to succeed in the classroom. What could a successful program look like in your school?
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Classroom Activities for an In-School Suspension
In-school suspension programs are implemented as a means of holding students accountable for disruptive behavior without removing them from the campus. It is an alternative to traditional suspension, which can turn into a vacation for students who are sent home for days at a time. Effective in-school suspension activities help students uncover the challenges they are facing in the classroom and develop strategies for better behavior.
Explore this article
- Written Reflection
- Individual Counseling
- Group Discussion
1 Written Reflection
Answering a written prompt, students can reflect on their disruptive conduct during in-school suspension. For younger students, this could be as simple as a worksheet with a list of yes or no questions. Older students should be required to write an essay that includes possible solutions to use in the future. For this activity to be effective, the program's supervisors should read each paper to make sure it has been taken seriously.
2 Individual Counseling
Sometimes there are underlying issues contributing to a student's problem behavior. In this instance, it helps to have individual counseling activities during in-school suspension, such as one-on-one conversations or guided individual workbook assignments that reflect on misbehavior. However, it's important for the counselor to understand that in-school suspension is a disciplinary measure. Counseling sessions should be effective but not so enjoyable that students keep finding their way back into suspension.
3 Group Discussion
Group discussions are an in-school suspension activity that can help students learn better social skills. For example, disruptive students might have gotten into trouble for outbursts during class or speaking disrespectfully to an administrator, and the group discussion is a forum for students to share more appropriate responses. Sometimes students need to see what their misbehavior looks like from another person to become critical of it. Where there are attention-needy students, however, the group discussion might not be as effective because it could become a stage for such students to act out and try to get a response from peers.
4 Busy Work
Busy work means tedious, last-minute assignments from a teacher that are meant to keep the student occupied, but are not necessarily part of the curriculum. Examples of this work are copying definitions from a dictionary or writing the same line down hundreds of times. While this is less likely to encourage a student to think critically about misbehavior, it can provide a break for students who simply need time to cool off. Busy work should be implemented as part of in-school suspension infrequently, however, because students may find it preferable to more challenging classwork.
- 1 Utah State University: In-School Suspension
About the Author
Since 2006, Pilar Ethridge has had the pleasure of honing her writing skills as the assistant editor of the newsletter from a Washington, D.C. nonprofit organization. Her interests include children's media, film, American pop culture, crafts, and performing arts in general. Based in Southern California, Ethridge received a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies from the University of California.
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On Board Online • May 20, 2019
By Jeffrey Mongelli Senior Staff Counsel
Generally, school districts have broad discretion in assigning duties to teachers, provided the assignment does not infringe upon a teacher’s tenure rights or is otherwise legally impermissible (i.e., be disciplinary in nature, violate a contractual provision, or be affected by other factors such as “malice, bad faith, gross error or prejudice”).
In Appeal of Jane Doe , the commissioner of education reviewed a case in which a school district assigned a tenured math teacher to seven non-teaching duty periods of supervising students serving in-school suspensions.
This assignment came immediately after the conclusion of an Education Law section 3020-a disciplinary proceeding at which the teacher had been acquitted of all charges related to allegations of corporal punishment and was ordered by the hearing officer to be "reinstated with full back pay."
After the decision by the hearing officer was rendered in May 2017, the district assigned the teacher full-time to supervise in-school suspension for the remainder of the 2016-17 school year and continued that assignment during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years.
The teacher unsuccessfully challenged the school district's authority to take such actions. According to the commissioner, the record established that her reassignment "was based on multiple concerns about her performance over time that led to past reductions in [her] assignment to direct classroom instruction."
- The assignment was not inconsistent with the hearing officer's reinstatement order. Jane Doe argued that the district failed to implement the hearing officer's decision because the reinstatement order "encompasse[d] a return to the same assignment" that she held prior to the disciplinary hearing. However, as explained by the commissioner, section 3020-a does not limit a district's authority to assign nonteaching duties to a teacher who is the subject of a disciplinary proceeding following completion of the proceeding. Nor does it require that a district restore such a teacher to his or her teaching duties thereafter.
- The assignment was not inconsistent with the teacher's tenure area and did not violate the teacher's tenure rights. Jane Doe argued that her assignment was inconsistent with her math tenure area. But the commissioner rejected that argument, citing prior decisions that establish that "tenured teachers may be assigned to duties concerning the supervision of children, which have 'traditionally fall[en] squarely within the responsibility of all members of the teaching staff, regardless of the area in which their tenure is secured.'" The commissioner added that "the concept of tenure does not entitle a teacher to assignment to a specific class upon his or her return following a section 3020-a proceeding, nor does it preclude [as noted above] assignment of such teacher to nonteaching duties." Moreover, it is "well-settled that a teacher may be assigned to nonteaching duties on a full-time basis without violating the teacher's tenure rights."
- The assignment was not disciplinary in nature. According to Jane Doe, her assignment constituted discipline within the meaning of 3020-a and could not be effectuated lawfully without first going through a disciplinary process including a hearing. The commissioner disagreed, saying that a district's "decision to reassign a tenured employee based on the district's educational needs does not constitute discipline [requiring a 3020-a proceeding] as long as the employee's rights are not infringed." In this regard, the commissioner determined that, as indicated above, the in-school suspension assignment did not violate Jane Doe's tenure rights. The commissioner also determined that Jane Doe failed to support an additional argument that the district's actions were taken in retaliation for her successful defense in the 3020-a proceeding.
Jane Doe cited prior decisions in which the commissioner had found certain actions by the respective districts to constitute discipline. Unlike those cases, Doe's assignment "did not involve issuance of a counseling letter or make [the teacher] subordinate to another teacher . nor did [the district] issue a letter of reprimand relating to the conduct that led the superintendent to make the reassignment ."
- The assignment did not violate a contractual provision . In this case, the record established that the applicable collective bargaining agreement was silent with respect to teacher assignments. Moreover, the union had tried and failed to negotiate such a provision.
- The assignment was not affected by malice, bad faith, gross error or prejudice. According to the commissioner, the district's decision to not return Jane Doe in May 2017 to teaching math "was justified by the district's need to ensure continuity in the mathematics classroom and to avoid disruption of the education of students at that late point in the school year." The students had been taught by a long-term substitute teacher for the vast majority of the school year.
Regarding the district's decision to continue her assignment in subsequent school years, the commissioner noted that "[she] has not proven that the superintendent acted in bad faith by making the reassignment for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years."
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In School Suspension
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Some of the worksheets for this concept are In school suspension recommendations for school staff, In school suspension, Work for case 20 illegal drugs in school suspension, In school suspension, Middle school in school suspension proposal, In school suspension aide, In school suspension success guidelines, Discipline packet.
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1. IN-SCHOOL SUSPENSION: RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SCHOOL STAFF
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