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A study of in-school suspension programs in North Central Association member junior high and middle schools

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A study of in-school suspension programs in North Central Association member junior high and middle schools
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Moore, Christina L
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English
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xii, 137 leaves : illustrations, forms ; 29 cm

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Subjects / Keywords:
Student suspension -- United States ( lcsh )
School discipline -- United States ( lcsh )
School discipline ( fast )
Student suspension ( fast )
United States ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 108-115).
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Doctor of Philosophy, School of Education.
General Note:
Department of Education and Human Development
Statement of Responsibility:
by Christina L. Moore.

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University of Colorado Denver
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ocm23451181
Classification:
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Full Text
A STUDY OF
IN-SCHOOL SUSPENSION PROGRAMS
IN NORTH CENTRAL ASSOCIATION MEMBER JUNIOR HIGH
AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS
by
Christina L. Moore
B.A., Northern Arizona University, 1972
M.A., University of Northern Colorado, 1979
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
School of Education
1989


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy degree by
Christina L. Moore
has been approved for the
School of
Education
by
Date f


Copyright 1989
Christina L. Moore
All Rights Reserved
!AlJ '


Moore, Christina L. (Ph.D., Education)
A Study of In-School Suspension Programs in North
Central Association Member Junior High and
Middle Schools
Thesis directed by Professor Bob L. Taylor
The problem of this study was to investigate the
extent of in-school suspension (ISS) programs in
middle schools and junior high schools in the North
Central Association and to determine if these programs
included interventions designed to change the behavior
and attitude of students who were having difficulty
dealing with the school environment. This study also
investigated the practices and procedures which were
most commonly used in ISS programs whose goals include
helping students improve their behavior and attitudes.
A stratified random sampling plan was used,
stratifying by the 19 states in the North Central
Association. One-half of the member middle schools
and junior highs in each state were selected, result-
ing in a sample of 322 schools.
Data were collected from the 251 school admini-
strators who responded to a questionnaire. The
responses were analyzed using the Chi Square test and
the analysis of variance test for statistical signifi-
significance at the .05 level.


iv
The study found that 68% of the schools had ISS
programs and about two-thirds of these programs had
counseling interventions. ISS programs with
counseling interventions tended to use counselors and
parents in the planning stage and counselors as part
of the staff of ISS. Individual counseling and parent
conferences were the most frequently used counseling
interventions. The study also found that most ISS
programs were seen primarily as alternatives to out-
of-school suspension and that the majority of goals
for ISS programs tended to be behavioral goals
with less emphasis on affective goals. The majority
of administrators believed that their programs were
effective in accomplishing behavioral goals but not
in meeting affective goals. Of the administrators
responding, only 26% reported having an evaluation
plan for their ISS programs.
The study concluded that the theory of ISS as a
means to help students develop self-discipline, make
positive changes, and improve their attitudes toward
school is not what is being practiced by a majority
of schools. Many ISS programs are narrow in their
scope and their purposes are more for punishment than
rehabilitation.


V
The form and content of this abstract are approved.
I recommend its publication.


vi
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The writer wishes to acknowledge the many people
who helped in the completion of this study.
Special thanks are given to Professor Bob Taylor,
major advisor and chairman of the dissertation commit-
tee, for his support and guidance, not only during
this research study, but throughout my entire program
at the University of Colorado.
My gratitude is also extended to Professor Myrle
Hemenway and Professor Russ Meyers for their sugges-
tions, guidance, and encouragement.
Thanks also go to the typist, Ann Underwood,
whose expertise and knowledge were invaluable.
Finally I wish to thank all my friends and family
who offered me support and encouragement over the
many years I have gone to school. Special thanks
to Val for his continued faith in me.


CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION ............................... 1
Statement of the Problem ................. 3
Questions Posed by the Study ............. 3
Need for Study............................ 4
Definition of Terms....................... 5
Delimitations............................. 7
Limitations............................... 8
Assumptions............................... 8
Organization of the Study................. 8
II. REVIEW OF LITERATURE....................... 10
Introduction ............................ 10
The Discipline Problem ................ 10
Out-of-School Suspension ................ 13
Components of Successful In-School
Suspension Programs. .................. 17
Results of Studies on In-School
Suspension Programs.................... 27
Benefits of In-School Suspension
Programs........................... . 33
Effectiveness of ISS Programs............ 36
ISS Programs with Intervention
Strategies............................. 38
Summary.'
48


Vlll
III. DESIGN OF THE STUDY.................... 50
Data Gathering Procedures............ 51
Development of the Instrument. ... 51
Population and Sample................ 55
Analysis and Treatment of Data .... 56
IV. PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA. ... 58
Demographics ........................... 59
Type of School ..................... 61
Grade Combinations................. 61
Student Enrollment ................... 62
School Location.................... 63
Per Pupil Expenditure.............. 64
ISS Program Descriptors.............. 64
Number of Years in Operation .... 65
Reasons for Placing Students in ISS. 65
Average Length of Assignment to ISS. 68
Number of Students in ISS.......... 68
Activities from Which Students
Were Suspended ................... 69
Academic Component of ISS.......... 70
Parental Involvement in ISS........ 71
Questions Posed by the Study......... 71
Question 1: What Were the Outcomes
School Administrators Expected
the ISS Program to Accomplish? . . 72


ix
Question 2: What Activities
Constituted the Corrective or
Rehabilitative Aspect of the
ISS Program? ........... 75
Question 3: What Were the Roles of
Various School Personnel in the
ISS Program?........................ 77
Question 4: Was There a Follow-Up
Process After a Student Left the
ISS Program to Determine the
Success of the Program?........... 81
Question 5: How Were Schools
Evaluating Their ISS Programs? . 81
Question 6: What Were the
Perceptions of School Administrators
about the Effectiveness of Their
ISS Programs in Meeting Stated
Goals?.............................. 81
Open-Ended Questions and Respondents'
Comments................................. 86
Schools Contacted by Phone ............. 91
Summary of Findings..................... 93
V. SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 97
Summary................................. 97
Conclusions.............................102
Recommendations.........................104
Recommendations for Further Research . 107
REFERENCES......................................108
APPENDICES. ...............................116
A. LETTER TO STATE DIRECTORS OF NORTH
CENTRAL ASSOCIATION.....................117
B. LETTER TO PANEL OF EXPERTS.................119
C. RESUMES....................................121


X
D. LETTER TO PRINCIPALS.......................127
E. CONSENT FORM...............................129
F. QUESTIONNAIRE..............................131
G. FOLLOW-UP LETTER...........................136


TABLES
TABLE
1. Return Rates......................... 53
2. Comparison of First and Second Mailings
with Respect to ISS Programs....... 54
3. Reasons Reported for Not Having an
ISS Program........................ 60
4. Comparison of Type of School with
Respect to ISS Program............. 61
5. Comparison of Grade Combinations of
Schools with Respect to ISS Programs. 62
6. Comparison of Schools with Respect to
ISS Programs Based on School
Location........................... 63
7. Comparison of Schools Based on ISS
Programs and Years ISS Program Has
Been in Operation.................. 66
8. Reasons Identified for Placing Students
in an ISS Program.................. 67
9. Average Length of Assignment to ISS
Programs........................... 68
10. Reported Number of Students in ISS
at One Time ............................ 69
11. Activities from Which Students in
ISS Were Suspended................. 70
12. Academic Component of ISS Programs. . . 71
13. Parent Involvement With ISS Program . . 72
14. Percentage of Respondents Who Identified
These Goals as Stated Goals of Their
ISS Programs and Results of Chi Square
Tests of Differences with Respect to
Counseling Interventions....................
73


xii
15. Percentage of Respondents Who Identified
Specific Interventions Used in
Their ISS Programs................... 76
16. Percentage of Respondents Who Identified
Specific Groups as Participants in the
Development of an ISS Program and
Results of Ghi Square Tests of
Differences with Respect to Counseling
Interventions .......................... 78
17. Percentage of Respondents Who Identified
Specific Personnel Who Worked in
Their ISS Programs..................... 80
18. Percentage of Respondents Who Identified
Specific Evaluation Methods for
Their ISS Programs..................... 82
19. Percentage of Respondents Who Believed
That Their ISS Programs Were Very or
Somewhat Effective in Achieving Specific
Goals................................... 83
20. Percentages of Respondents Who Believed
That Their ISS Programs Were Not
Effective in Achieving Specific Goals
85


CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
Discipline continues to be a severe problem in
U.S. schoolsone that concerns parents, teachers,
and school administrators. Misbehavior in the class-
room contributes to teacher burnout, forces admini-
strators to spend an inordinate amount of time dealing
with discipline problems, and, most importantly,
hinders many students' achievement in school.
One traditional disciplinary response to the
disruptive student has been out-of-school suspension.
However, out-of-school suspension is time consuming
for the administrator because of due process concerns,
and it tends to exacerbate rather than solve the
student's behavior problem. The student falls behind
academically and often becomes alienated from school.
Because of these and other disadvantages, many
schools have developed alternatives to out-of-school
suspension in an effort to create more effective
disciplinary procedures. One method which has demon-
strated potential for success is the in-school
suspension program (ISS).


Review of the research indicated that ISS pro-
grams can offer productive alternatives to out-of-
school suspension. Students are retained in school
2
where they can keep up with their regular assignments
and remain under the supervision of school personnel.
However, some ISS programs are not as effective as
they could be. Studies by Short and Noblit (1985),
Mizell (1978), Mendez and Sanders (1981), and Garrett
(1981) found that many programs are essentially
punitive and provide a minimal academic component
with few rehabilitative interventions designed to
change inappropriate student behavior. Short and
Noblit (1985) stated,
Certainly, in-school suspension is more desirable
than out-of-school suspension, but if it simply
replaces out-of-school suspension as a punish-
ment, its primary contribution is to keep stu-
dents off the street and doing some schoolwork.
(p. 114)
Garrett (1981) concluded:
In-school suspension has the potential to bring
about significantly improved student behavior as
well as reducing the number of out-of-school
suspensions. However, this result will occur
only if in-school suspension is developed as a
supportive and a rehabilitative program rather
than as a new form of punishment, (p. 2097A)
Howard (1978) reported that counseling tends to
improve the self-confidence of ISS students and
Hochman's (1985) study indicated that group counseling
reduces truancy, increases attendance, raises grade


point averages, and improves student behavior.
Garrett (1981) recommended that:
research studies be conducted to determine the
practices and procedures found within in-school
suspension programs that not only reduce out-of-
school suspension but also cause significant
reductions in student misbehavior, (p. 2097A)
Statement of the Problem
The problem of this study was to investigate the
extent of in-school suspension programs in North
Central Association member middle schools and junior
high schools and to determine if these programs
included interventions designed to change the
behavior and attitude of students who were having
difficulty dealing with the school environment. This
study also investigated the practices and procedures
which were most commonly used in those ISS programs
whose goals included helping students improve their
behavior and attitudes.
Questions Posed bv the Study
Specific questions which the study sought to
answer were:
1. What were the outcomes school administrators
expected ISS programs to accomplish?


4
2. What activities constituted the corrective
or rehabilitative aspect of the ISS programs?
3. What were the roles of various school
personnel in the ISS programs?
4. Were there follow-up procedures after a
student left the ISS programs to determine the success
of the programs?
5. How were schools evaluating their ISS
programs?
6. What were the perceptions of school admini-
strators about the effectiveness of their ISS program
in meeting stated goals?
Need for Study
A great deal of ISS research has described the
components of ISS programs. Studies seeking to deter-
mine the effectiveness of these programs generally
have found them to be successful in reducing the
number of out-of-school suspensions and to have had
strong support from administrators and parents. How-
ever, there is less evidence that ISS programs have
improved student behaviors and attitudes.
The findings of this study provide valuable
information to school personnel interested in
establishing an ISS program with an emphasis on


5
support, counseling, and rehabilitation of disruptive
students.
Definition of Terms
The following are terms used in the study:
External or Out-of-School Suspension a practice
wherein a student is physically excluded from a school
building for the duration of a specified period of
time (usually five days or less) because of a disrup-
tive behavioral offense.
In-School Suspension a practice that has been
established to provide continuation of educational
opportunities for students who have committed an
offense that otherwise would have resulted in an out-
of-school suspension. Common characteristics of ISS
programs include: (1) isolation of students within
the school, (2) close supervision, (3) revoking of
privileges, (4) strict rules, (5) temporary assign-
mentusually one to three days, (6) students working
on assignments from regular classes, and (7) use of
some counseling techniques, in some programs.
Chronic Minor Discipline Problems nonviolent,
nonovertly disruptive offenses such as smoking, dis-
respect, use of abusive language, and insubordination
(Mizell, 1978).


6
Transescence the stage of development which
begins prior to the onset of puberty and extends
through the early stages of adolescence (Eichhorn,
1966).
Attitude a person's tendency to feel about and
act towards certain people (or situations, objects,
ideas, etc.) in a particular manner. The development
of 'positive' attitudes in pupils (e.g., towards a
school subject or towards themselves) is sometimes
spoken of as part of their affective education
(Rowntree, 1981).
Affective domain the realm of feelings,
emotions, and attitudes in people as distinct from
the cognitive domain. Students often gain sup-
port in the learning situation when their positive
feelings and attitudes can be summoned as motivation
(Hawes, 1982).
Affective goal a goal that addresses the
attitudes, feelings, or emotions of an individual or
group.
Behavioral goal a goal that addresses observ-
able conduct or actions of an individual or group.
Alienation a mental state of feeling separated
or estranged from an individual group, or society;


7
commonly evidenced in the behavior of adolescents
during secondary school (Hawes, 1982).
Junior High a school that designates itself as
a junior high.
Middle School a school that designates itself
as a middle school.
Interventions activities incorporated into the
in-school suspension program whose objectives include
such things as improving self-image, enhancing
communication skills, providing feelings of success,
developing problem-solving skills, and developing
appropriate means to deal with the school environment.
Delimitations
This study was delimited to all the junior high
and middle schools in the continental United States
which were listed as members of the North Central
Association in the 1987 Directory of Accredited
Schools. excluding the Indian Reservation schools.
The study did not attempt to control geographic loca-
tion in terms of stratifying the sample with respect
to urban, rural, or suburban areas. The study was
also delimited to information gathered in the spring
of 1989.


8
Limitations
The study had the following inherent limitations
1. The results were limited in terms of the
extent to which they could be generalized to other
junior highs and middle schools not sampled.
2. The study was limited by the use of a self-
administered questionnaire.
3. The study was an ex-post-facto study.
Assumptions
Some basic assumptions made in regard to this
study were:
1. The questionnaire items derived from avail-
able literature and research are valid.
2. Each person surveyed would be willing to
participate in the study and would provide accurate
information.
3. There are no differences in the nature of
in-school suspension programs in middle schools and
junior high schools.
Organization of the Study
Chapter I includes: Introduction, Statement of
the Problem, Questions Posed by the Study, Need for


9
the Study, Definition of Terms, Delimitations, Limi-
tations, Assumptions, and Organization of the Study.
Chapter II includes: Review of Literature and
Related Research.
Chapter III includes: Research design and
Methodology.
Chapter IV includes: Descriptive Analysis of the
Data Collected.
Chapter V includes: Summary, Conclusions, and
Recommendations.


CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Introduction
The purpose of the review of the literature was
to survey publications, articles, books, and studies
related to the problem of the study. The review of
the literature was organized into the following areas
(1) The Discipline Problem, (2) Out-of-School Suspen-
sion, (3) Components of Successful In-School Suspen-
sion Programs, (4) Results of Studies on In-School
Suspension Programs, (5) Benefits of In-School Suspen
sion Programs, (6) Effectiveness of In-School Suspen-
sion Programs, and (7) In-School Suspension Programs
with Intervention Strategies.
The Discipline Problem
Parents, teachers, and school administrators
have been concerned about the problem of discipline
in our nation's schools for years (Dorrell & Katcher,
1984). Discipline has been rated the most important
problem in 16 of the 17 previous Gallup polls
(Gallup, 1986). In the 1986 Annual Gallup Poll of


11
the public's attitude toward the public schools, more
than half of the respondents believed that either
drugs (28%) or discipline (24%) were the most impor-
tant problems facing local public schools today.
Baker (1985) stated:
In the 1983 NEA teacher poll 14.5% of the
teachers reported that misbehavior inter-
fered with their ability to teach to a
great extent, 30.4% reported moderate
problems, and 46% reported interference to a
small extent, (p. 486)
In April, 1984 the Metropolitan Life Survey of
the American Teacher found that 95% of all teachers
believed that discipline and safety in the schools
needed to be given a higher priority (Baiter, 1985) .
The Detroit Free Press conducted a survey of
teachers across Michigan and reported that two out of
three teachers said that unmotivated and undisciplined
students were a serious problem in their classrooms
(Baker, 1985). Bauer (1985) stated that student
misbehavior was one of the most serious problems
facing our schools and that appropriate behavior in
the classroom is a prerequisite for learning. He
believed that even a few disruptive students could
greatly interfere with the education of the majority
of students who are in school to study and to learn.
Both teachers and students can be victims of
poor discipline. Baker (1985) found in one survey


12
that 58% of the teachers who were polled reported
that "individual students who continually misbehave
are the primary cause of job-related stress" (p.
424). Students and learning, however, are the most
important victims of misbehavior in the schools.
Baker (1985) stated:
Imagine what happens to the time spent on learn-
ing tasks when teachers spend between 30% and
80% of their time addressing discipline problems.
Teachers who function as baby sitters or police
officers are not teaching. Students whose
teachers do not teach cannot learn, (p. 486)
Discipline needs to be a priority in the schools
because an educational environment depends on good
discipline.
A good climate for learning is a climate with
good discipline. Fundamental to improving the
quality of the schools is the maintenance of a
degree of civil behavior sufficient to allow
educational improvements to have a chance to
succeed. (Baker, 1985, p. 483)
Washington (1986) maintained that the problem of
discipline must be addressed in order to make effec-
tive schools a reality. Bauer (1985) stated that "as
educators, we cannot expect much improvement in
achievement without a concomitant improvement in
classroom behavior" (p. 490).
Although many schools have made some improve-
ments in disciplinary procedure, Baker (1985) stated:
One continuing cause of the persistence of the
discipline problem remains: the failure of


13
many educators and administrators to face
the problem squarely, to recognize its
importance, and to take steps to improve con-
ditions in the schools, (p. 487)
Out-of-School Suspension
Out-of-school suspension has been accepted in
many U.S. schools as a disciplinary technique, but
during the past several years, it has come under a
great deal of criticism.
The word 'suspension' has started to take on a
connotation of opprobrium that is an embarrass-
ment to schools, rather than to students. The
sensitivity of some school officials to the
disrepute of suspensions has even given rise to
a euphemistic nomenclature which seems designed
to obfuscate the practice of disciplinary
expulsions. (Mizell, 1978, p. 213)
Lundell (1982) maintained that many school
administrators use out-of-school suspension because
once the disruptive students are dismissed, they do
not have to deal with the problem further. Harris
(1981) agreed, stating:
the history of discipline in the schools has all
too often been an attempt by busy administrators
to treat a disruptive student as a surface
blemish to be removed from the student
body. (p. 4)
Mosely (1977), Barth (1980), and Patterson (1985)
all indicated that out-of-school suspension of a
disruptive student temporarily solves an immediate
discipline problem, but does little to solve the long-


14
term problem when the student returns to school and,
in fact, can create further problems for both
administrators and the troubled student.
Meares and Kittle (1976) have suggested several
weaknesses in out-of-school suspension:
1. Students miss all work while suspended; few
teachers are willing to help students catch
up on work missed during their suspension.
2. Students cause community problems while out
of school.
3. Students are suspended from the entire school
program, when sometimes their difficulties
are in only one or two areas.
4. Some students feel that a suspension means
several days of "freedom", and try to get
themselves suspended. (There have been
actual cases of students asking teachers
what they needed to do to merit a "three-
day-pass" .)
5. Sometimes, district rules provide that a
student's parents must come to school before
he can be reinstated. They may be unwilling
(or genuinely unable) to come to school, and
thus the term of suspension is sometimes
unnecessarily extended.
6. Students are inaccessible to members of the
supportive services team (counselors,
psychologists, social workers, etc.). These
personnel resources cannot be best used
toward the resolution of the student's prob-
lems while he is absent from school.
7. Students establish a school conduct record
(through the documentation necessary for
suspension) which follows them through their
school careers.
8. The student's alienation is further
reinforced by physical exclusion.


15
9. The school does not receive state reimburse-
ment for students during the time of their
suspension, (pp. 60-61)
Neill (1976) stated the following "cons" of out-
of-school suspension:
1. Suspension and expulsion have not generally
been helpful. They have been widely used by
schools as weapons to harass, intimidate and
punish students.
2. Their use is absurd. School administrators
use them as a means of getting rid of the
students they do not want to handle.
3. What is a disciplinary problem and a sus-
pendable offense to one teacher or adminis-
trator is considered merely 'a nuisance' to
another.
4. Suspension is based on the myth that it
will attract the attention of the parents
and get them involved in solving the prob-
lem. This myth assumes the student who
is suspended comes from a stable middle-
class home with middle class values and a
high regard for education. It assumes that
the student has achieved adequate success
in school to the point that he and his
parents see continued attendance as vital to
the student's future.
5. Suspension is based on the assertion, "Well,
what else are we going to do with this
student? There just aren't any alterna-
tives."
6. Suspended students may leave school before
successfully completing requirements for
graduation and may become involved in
illegal or immoral acts.
7. Suspension and expulsion are the ultimate
form of school discipline and one not to be
imposed lightly, (p. 22)


16
Mizell (1978), Garibaldi (1979), Beaman (1979),
Seyfarth (1980), Harris (1981), and Jones (1983) also
found similar disadvantages with out-of-school suspen-
sion. Regarding out-of-school suspensions, Lundell
(1982) stated:
When schools use suspension or expulsion to deal
with undesired behavior, they are, in a sense,
making a statement that they are unable to deal
with the problem in the school setting. The
traditional control systems have been ineffec-
tive, and they have, in effect, "given up" on
the student. From both practical and public
relations points of view, this is clearly an
undesirable position for a school to be in.
(p. 65)
Given all these disadvantages, why does out-of-
school suspension continue to be used in so many
schools? McDaniel's (1980) answer was, "tradition,
increased school crime and violence, and the failure
of school systems and teacher education programs to
promote effective alternatives are the probable
reasons" (p. 455).
According to Scott (1979),
suspension from school should be among the last
disciplinary actions employed. Alternatives to
suspension are not only necessary, but essential
to reducing the number of students left out of
the educational process, (p. 56)
Lundell (1982) reported that the congressional commit-
tee on school violence and vandalism recommended that
in-school suspension programs should be considered as


17
viable behavior control strategies. Mosely (1977)
stated:
Suspension without improving behavior is merely
an exercise in futility. The suspended student
must be given some attention during the period
of suspensionattention directed at changing
his attitudes and values, (p. 26)
O'Brien (1976) believed that if a school has as
one of its goals to help students change or improve
behavior, it must find new disciplinary techniques
that stress reeducation. He stated:
If a district wants to help its problem children
to mature and accept responsibility for their
actions, then new methods of discipline and
reeducation must be considered, (p. 35).
Components of Successful In-
School Suspension Programs
In light of the disadvantages and weaknesses
inherent in out-of-school suspension, many schools
have developed alternatives in an effort to create
more effective disciplinary procedures which will
better serve the students' needs. One alternative is
the in-school suspension (ISS) program.
According to Mosely (1977), ISS is a restricted,
nonsocializing school environment in which the student
is given one-on-one help with his regular school work,
individualized counseling, and is provided with the


18
opportunity to modify his behavior and move back into
the regular school program.
The general idea is to help him develop the
skills it takes to cope with everyday
situations. Counseling will deal with the prin-
ciples of self-awareness, decision making and
social interaction. (Mosely, 1977, p. 27)
There may be a number of programmatic differences
found in ISS programs, but the basic theme is the
same.
All have as a core foundation the belief that
maintaining a problem student in the edu-
cational environment is a more effective way of
dealing with inappropriate behavior than out-of-
school suspension. (Winborne, 1980, p. 469)
Mendez (1981) conducted a survey to investigate
ISS programs in 40 schools across the nation using
the Alternative-to-Suspension Practices Questionnaire.
Responses to the survey revealed the following
predominant practices:
1. The average length of assignment is three
days.
2. Students are isolated while working on
their regular assignments.
3. Some tutoring, as needed by the student,
is performed by the teacher in charge, but
no direct instruction is formally conducted.
4. Silence and other behavior codes are rigidly
enforced.
5. Communication with parents is attempted
and/or required for reentry into regular
classes.


19
6. Some degree of counseling is performed
during the assignment period. (Mendez &
Sanders, 1981, p. 66)
Mendez (1979) made the following recommendations
concerning alternative programs: (1) identification
and remediation of reading deficiencies; (2) active
involvement and coordination with the counseling
staff; (3) selective assignment criteria so as not to
become an administrative dumping ground for discipline
cases; (4) ability to earn full academic credit while
in the program; (5) articulation with a varied array
of community agencies; and (6) utilization of at
least one professionally certified person and one or
more ancillary personnel.
Chobot and Garibaldi (1982) reported on a two-
year study of programs offering an in-school alterna-
tive to out-of-school suspension done by the National
Institute of Education. The purpose of the study was
to identify commonalities and dissimilarities with
respect to these programs' history, philosophy and
goals, organizational structure, and day-to-day
operationincluding staffing, procedures for
referral, and amounts and kinds of district,
federal, state, and other external sources of
support. Attention was also devoted to character-
istics of students and evaluative procedures used by


20
the staff to determine their efficiency and effec-
tiveness. Based on their study of 10 ISS programs,
the following conclusions were made:
1. Program goals have not, as a rule, been
translated into meaningful program objectives.
2. In general, district and building level
data collection on suspension and discipline-
related matters is weak and is often not
utilized for meaningful program evaluation.
3. Evaluation of in-school alternative programs,
in terms of both results and program structure and
process, is atypical. Where conducted, such evalu-
ations appear mostly pro forma and have little impact
on the programs themselves.
4. The building principal1s acceptance of the
program is a key to its success.
5. While certified teaching staffs are most
often utilized as program staff, the primary selection
criteria appear to be the ability of the person
to work with students, their parents, and the
building staff.
6. Staffing the program with a teacher known to
other building and administrative staff seems to
facilitate initial acceptance of the program.


21
7. Linkages between the in-school alternative
program and other resources, both within and outside
of the school, could be improved in many cases. The
result could be a broader ability of the program to
serve the needs of students having problems with the
existing school system.
8. Size of district, program expenditure, com-
plexity of the program and amount of staff do not, in
and of themselves, result in a more "effective" pro-
gram.
9. Full time programs that isolate students
from their peers for brief periods of time (up to 10
days maximum) tend to be most effective in curbing
repeat misbehavior.
10. The smooth functioning of the referral
process, with one staff member serving as the gate-
keeper, is crucial to the success of the in-school
alternative program.
11. Even though assignment to the in-school
alternative program is equal to a suspension in most
of the districts visited, the notification and due
process procedures appear to be less than those
employed in the case of out-of-school suspension.
12. Parents, as a whole, tend to prefer in-
school suspension to out-of-school placement.


22
Lundell (1982) presented the following compon-
ents as being important to consider when planning an
ISS program:
1. The ISS Area: The ISS area should be an
isolated room in a quiet section of the
school building. Although it should be a
pleasant atmosphere, it should not be overly
interesting. The room should be designed to
hold a maximum of about ten students, and it
would be desirable for this area to be fur-
nished with individual study carrels.
2. Reasons for Placement: This program should
be used for students exhibiting severe
behavior problems. Students should not be
sent to the center for minor infractions,
and judgments should not be made arbitrarily.
A list of preestablished written rules
could help eliminate this problem.
3. Orientation: When a student enters the ISS
program, it is important that a formal
conference be held so that the program rules
can be discussed. Many programs offer
students and parents a choice of ISS, and
they have a contract that can be signed.
This is typically helpful because, if the
student signs the contract, he will feel
that he has opted for the program instead of
having been forced to participate.
4. Activities: strict rules such as no talking,
no moving about, etc. should be enforced in
the center. If the ISS is for more than one
day in length, the student should be allowed
to continue to work on academic assignments.
The student should get credit for school
attendance and for the work completed during
the isolation period. Some programs have
individual or group counseling as a regular
activity. Because ISS should be somewhat
aversive and boring if it is to be effective,
it is questionable whether counseling should
occur during the isolation period. If
school personnel believe that counseling
activities are necessary, they should design


23
them so that they occur while the student is
involved in the regular school program.
5. Communication with parents: Experience has
shown that parents tend to support ISS.
Thus, it is especially important that
parents be informed about all aspects of the
program. In addition to communication during
the initial placement, it is also suggested
that parents be informed about the student's
progress while in the ISS program. Some
program coordinators have found that printed
forms can easily be used to provide daily
feedback to parents.
6. Coordination: If long ISS periods are used,
the program coordinator will probably need to
be an educator who can help to individualize
the student's instruction. This coordinator
should also communicate with other staff
members and should keep specific records of
program activities (number of students
involved, lengths of isolation, types of
offenses, etc.).
7. Administrator Cooperation: School adminis-
trators- should always be involved in planning
and operating an in-school suspension center.
These individuals, along with the program
coordinator, need to establish a written list
of specific preestablished rules so that
arbitrary placements are not made for minor
infractions. By clearly delineating the
offenses that will lead to ISS, the possibil-
ity of overcrowding in the center will
usually be eliminated.
8. Teacher Cooperation: When ISS programs are
initially established, teachers often need
to be "sold" on the concept. It is important
that they understand the purpose of the
program and the fact that it can be an effec-
tive alternative to traditional punitive
methods. It is especially important that
teacher cooperation be established because
teachers often make initial referrals to the
program. Once a student is placed in the
center, the teachers also need to cooperate
with the program coordinator in helping the
student continue with academic assignments.


24
Teachers sometimes forget to send daily work
to the center. When this happens, some type
of reminder note could be employed.
(Lundell, 1982, pp. 87-90)
The ability to keep up with regular school work
is an important aspect of a quality ISS program.
Both Mizell (1978) and Seyfarth (1980) emphasized the
importance of providing quality educational instruc-
tion for the students who are assigned to the ISS
center. Mizell stated, "the academic component of
the alternative program should be more rigorous, more
challenging, more appropriate, and more rewarding than
in the regular classroom" (p. 222). Seyfarth added:
Loss of credit is demoralizing to these children,
many of whom already need help in order to sus-
tain an interest in and motivation for school.
Denial of the opportunity to keep up with class-
work drops them even further behind and increases
their alienation and hostility leading to further
misbehavior. With respect to the argument that
withholding the right to make up work should be
part of the penalty, most fair-minded people
respond that isolation and restrictions on move-
ment and opportunities for social interaction are
sufficient punishment in themselves, (p. 201)
Another crucial element to consider when planning
an ISS program is due process. McClung (1975) wrote:
Central to any alternative program should be due
process determinations, and a parental/student
option for exclusion rather than the proposed
alternative. At least as much due process should
be provided prior to "in-school suspension" as
for traditional suspension in order to avoid
incorrect or arbitrary determinations of miscon-
duct. (p. 68)


25
Seyfarth (1980) reiterated the importance of due
process procedures in ISS programs, stating:
At least three principles must be present in
schools in order for disciplinary practices to
be considered just and fair. The first of these
principles holds that the punishment or penalty
should be commensurate with the severity of the
offense; a second holds that rules should be
enforced evenly without favoritism or discrimi-
nation; and the third is that a student accused
of breaking a rule should be allowed to present
his or her side of the case. If in-school
suspension programs are instituted under rules
that incorporate the principles of equity which
were cited earlier, abuses are likely to be
avoided, and teachers and administrators will
have access to an effective and defensible
disciplinary measure, (p. 202)
Short and Noblit (1985) found that the school
administrators must play a central role in establish-
ing ISS programs in order to assure success. They
formulated eight key questions that administrators
must ask in order to create effective programs:
1. Does the school have a total school disci-
pline program? The school must decide on the goals
of the ISS program.
2. What are the prevailing teacher percep-
tions and philosophies in the school?
3. Is the school attempting to identify the
reasons for rule infractions and misbehavior?
4. Where are the positive reinforcers in the
discipline program?


26
5. What are the offenses and causes of the
offenses?
6. Is the standard practice of referring stu-
dents to in-school suspension for a specified period
of time contributing anything significant to changing
the students' behavior?
7. What do the school personnel want the ISS
program to accomplish? Is it simply for punishment
or to prevent further behaviorwhich calls for a
more therapeutic orientation?
8. Does the school use a valid measure of
effectiveness in evaluating the ISS program? (pp.
114-115).
Evaluation, an important component in successful
ISS programs, is often inadequate or lacking all
together. Short and Noblit (1985) found that most
schools did not have systematic data to conduct
an evaluation of the effectiveness of their ISS
program. McClung (1975) suggested the following ques-
tions to evaluate alternatives to out-of-school
suspension programs:
1. Is there real evidence over a period of time
that the number of suspensions are actually
reduced by the use of the alternative program
or technique?
2. Does the alternative program or technique
truly help to meet the needs of the students
who would have been suspended? Does it


27
help solve the problem that led to the dis-
ciplinary action?
3. Is the student making genuine academic
progress at a level which is appropriate
for him/her if participating in an alterna-
tive program?
4. As a result of the use of the alternative
program or technique, does the student begin
to develop greater self-discipline?
5. Does the alternative infringe upon the
students' dignity, privacy, free expression
or other civil liberties? (p. 65)
Results of Studies on In-School
Suspension Programs
A number of studies have sought to determine the
effectiveness of ISS programs. This section reviews
and summarizes findings of some of these studies.
Harvey and Moosha (1977) reported on a program
undertaken in two schools in the Virginia Beach Public
School System during the 1975-76 school year to test
the effectiveness of in-school versus out-of-school
suspension as a disciplinary procedure. Both schools
showed a marked reduction in total number of suspen-
sions, but the reduction in number of repeat suspen-
sions was especially dramatic. The total number of
suspensions was reduced by 42% in one school and 29%
at the other. The number of students suspended four
or more times was reduced by 94% at one school and
78% at the other. All the parents brought in for a


28
conference preferred the in-school suspension system
to the out-of-school system. Thus, they found ISS to
be an effective alternative to the traditional methods
of school discipline.
Beaman (1979) reported on an alternative program
for students at Tarboro High School, Tarboro, North
Carolina, that was established to reduce school
suspension and improve the academic performance of
suspended students. The program proved only moder-
ately successful in improving the academic performance
of students assigned, but was considered highly suc-
cessful in reducing out-of-school suspension.
McMurren (1980) sought to describe and compare
internal v. external suspension approaches to reduc-
ing disruptive student behavior, with respect to the
following dimensions: number of subsequent student
suspensions after the initial suspension, school
attendance, personal adjustment, and academic achieve-
ment. He found that: (1) students who received ISS
would more likely improve in personal adjustment than
students who received out-of-school suspension, and
(2) externally suspended students would be more likely
to receive subsequent suspensions after the initial
suspension. He concluded that, as an approach toward


29
reducing student disruptive behavior, in-school
suspension was preferable to out-of-school suspension.
Frith, Lindsey, and Sasser (1980) studied the
Dothan (Alabama) City School system which designed an
alternative school program with the following objec-
tives:
1. Modification of unacceptable behaviorto
modify the behavior of delinquent students in such a
way as to allow them to function successfully in the
regular classroom
2. Counselingto provide students with an
opportunity to better understand the nature of their
personal problems through individual and group
counseling.
3. Instructionto provide students with an
opportunity to continue their regular academic work
while being disciplined.
4. Attendanceto allow students to attend
school while experiencing a period of behavioral
adjustment.
5. Communicationto formulate a solution to
the student's problems through conferences of all
concernedthe parent(s), teachers, counselor,
student, and other appropriate individuals.


30
Out of school suspensions were reduced from 878 in
1976-77 to three in 1977-78 and 10 in 1978-79.
Pare (1983) studied the Alternative Learning
Center at James Madison Memorial High School
in Madison, Wisconsin, which was established as a
disciplinary alternative to out-of-school suspension,
and concluded that the Alternative Learning Center
was an effective alternative. It gave assistant
principals a reasonable response to some rule infrac-
tions and allowed students to have continued access
to school services.
Weiss (1983) found that the in-school suspension
program at Harborfields High School, Greenlawn, New
York: (1) significantly decreased the number of lost
instructional days; (2) significantly decreased the
number of out-of-school suspensions, (3) signifi-
cantly decreased the number of students who break the
school's rules, and (4) significantly decreased the
frequency of repeated assignments to ISS. In addi-
tion, the staff, the parents, and even the students
realized that ISS helped create a more attractive
school environment.
Disciullo (1984) found the ISS program at the
Middle Island Junior High School to be responsible
for a lowered out-of-school suspension rate as well


31
as a lowered recidivism and in-school suspension rate.
Disciplinary referrals were reduced by 59% and
recidivism was reduced by 82%. He stated:
The results are well received by both the school
staff and the parents of the disruptive students.
The administration describes this program as an
effective and humane way to handle the disruptive
problems that occur in the classroom, (p. 330)
Crews (1984) conducted a survey of all the secon-
dary schools in the state of New Jersey. He found
that the majority of secondary schools in New Jersey
had implemented ISS programs and that, in general,
administrators, parents, and students perceived them
as an effective deterrent to disciplinary problems.
Sasser (1984) conducted a study to analyze the
Dothan City Schools' alternative-to-suspension pro-
gram. He concluded that alternative programs can
reduce suspensions and offer a viable alternative to
out-of-school suspension.
Pemberton (1985) conducted a study that con-
sisted of written questionnaires sent to 631 high
school principals and 1780 students from 19 states
and found: (1) a majority of ISS programs which have
been discontinued were discontinued because they were
too expensive; (2) a majority of high school princi-
pals not using ISS would initiate a program if addi-
tional funding were available. He concluded that


33
strategies were worthwhile and recommended that
prevention should be a major objective in improving
discipline and school climate.
Haupt (1987) studied 363 principals from secon-
dary schools in Pennsylvania and concluded that ISS
programs were perceived by the principals to be a
tenable disciplinary technique because: (1) they are
effective in reducing out-of-school suspension,
(2) they provide a classroom atmosphere conducive to
learning; (3) they meet the needs of "disruptive" or
"uncooperative" students, and (4) they reduce the
number of discipline problems and expulsions.
Benefits of In-School
Suspension Programs
The literature cited numerous benefits of ISS
programs. Lundell (1982) listed the following reasons
for considering ISS as an alternative to out-of-school
suspension:
1. ISS systems are effective. Many students
do not perceive traditional suspension as
a punishment. Being out on the street is
often more rewarding to these students than
being in school. A properly designed ISS
program will be less desirable to the
students, and the data that have been
gathered indicate that the procedure typi-
cally results in few repeated offenses.
2. In-school suspension helps protect the com-
munity. Violence and vandalism often occur
in the community when suspended students are


34
allowed to roam the streets. The rationale
supporting every disciplinary action is
twofold. First, the action should attempt
to modify the individual's future behavior.
Second, it must protect others in the school
environment. ISS satisfies the above
requirements and adds a third dimension by
protecting the community from delinquent
behaviors that might occur during the
unsupervised time of regular suspension.
3. Low achieving youngsters are helped by ISS
programs. These students are often the
ones who lack skills to begin with, and the
suspension further decreases their skill
levels and chances to have success experi-
ences. ISS programs often require students
to work on their regular assignments. Some
programs are designed so that these students
receive extra remedial assistance.
4. Formal documentation is eliminated. Because
ISS allows the students to remain within the
school setting, such hearings and documenta-
tion are unnecessary.
5. ISS programs eliminate or reduce students'
alienation. Students who are suspended from
school frequently feel abandoned by the
educational process.
6. Public relations are usually improved when
ISS programs are implemented. Parents tend
to become angry when their children are
suspended from school. One reason for this
is the fact that many parents are employed
and are unable to supervise their children
during the day. Also, parents feel that the
schools are unable or unwilling to work with
behavior problems. They are pleased that the
schools are keeping these students in the
school setting so that they can continue with
their educational programs, and they are
pleased with the behavior changes they
observe in their children.
7. ISS programs can save school districts
money. School administrators sometimes
state that they "can't afford" to set up ISS
programs because they would need to hire


35
persons to monitor the centers. This argu-
ment is not, however, legitimate. Several
studies have indicated that, when ISS pro-
grams are implemented, the Average Daily
Attendance figures rise significantly.
Many districts receive state aid based
upon A.D.A. figures, and the amount
of money saved by keeping misbehaving
students in school often will pay for a
full-time ISS center coordinator.
8. In-school suspension programs can save the
community money. Besides saving money by
lowering school costs, Nielson points out
that ISS can save the community money by
conserving the time involved in court pr-
ceedings. If students are not suspended
and allowed to roam the streets, fewer
cases of vandalism will be reported.
School systems also would produce fewer
dropouts if they adequately dealt with
social and academic problems. Fewer
dropouts would likely result in lower
crime statistics, (pp. 73-76)
Meares and Kittle (1976) added that ISS was bene
ficial because students were available to the suppor-
tive services personnel who could help solve the prob
lems which resulted in the suspension in the first
place. When a student is sent home, he is not avail-
able to the people who can help him or her change
inappropriate behavior.
Beaman (1979) suggested that ISS programs keep
students connected to the school system where they
can get the help they need to make positive changes
in their behavior. He stated:
The in-school suspension system offered a bridge
instead of a break in the educational process,
and as such, broadened the curriculum for a


36
selected group of students by focusing on
behavior and modifying and channeling improper
behavior into a more positive direction, (p. 5)
He saw ISS as an opportunity to help a student gain
insight into his or her behavior problem and to begin
to develop self-discipline. Beaman further stated:
The internal suspension program is a creative
and flexible alternative to the traditional
methods of school discipline. The writer
maintains that the ISS program forces the student
under suspension to examine the reason for his
referral and to determine whether he/she wishes
to avoid the situation in the future, (p. 30)
Effectiveness of ISS Programs
According to Collins (1985), there was an
abundance of reports in the literature about the suc-
cess and benefits of ISS programs, but he maintained
that the failures are often glossed over or rarely
mentioned. Short and Noblit (1985) conducted case
studies of 10 ISS programs and were able to conclude
that ISS was falling short of achieving what the
literature proposed the program should achieve. They
stated:
While the ISS literature argues that ISS can be
punitive, academic, and/or therapeutic, 9 of the
10 "good" programs we studied were essentially
punitive with a minimal academic component.
Only one of the programs actually incorporated
activities to improve self-image, enhance com-
munication skills, participate in decision
making, complete classwork as a "success"
experience, and develop appropriate means to
deal with the school environment that Mendez and


37
Sanders (1981) see as characteristic of a
therapeutic ISS, although some of the educators
interviewed perceived casual conversation and
rule enforcement episodes as being counseling,
(p. 113)
Mizell (1978) believed that just because a pro-
gram carried the label of in-school suspension, it
could not be assumed that it represented an improve-
ment over previous disciplinary practices. He went
on to state that many disciplinary practices fail
because they do not make an effort to identify and
remedy the cause(s) of the inappropriate behavior.
In-school alternatives to suspension that result
only in students sitting in a room is an
irresponsible management technique which, in the
long term, is not likely to help either the
student or the school, (p. 216)
Mendez and Sanders (1981) also found that the
effectiveness of many ISS programs have not been as
complete as expected or claimed. They cited two main
reasons:
1. The nature of the students assigned to the
program: Many of the students assigned to ISS are
students with significantly lower reading skills and
with greater degrees of aggression, alienation, social
maladjustment, and other personality traits which
indicate tendencies toward delinquency.


38
2. The process or the nature of the program
itself: Criteria for assignment, follow-up counseling
procedures, and articulation with community agencies
are critical variables which severely restrict the
program's effectiveness if they are poorly
implemented.
ISS Programs with
Intervention Strategies
The research indicated that one weakness of ISS
programs was that many of them were lacking in
rehabilitation and counseling components, with more
emphasis on punishment than on correction and
rehabilitation. Neill (1976) stated: "The most suc-
cessful alternatives seek positive ways to change
behavior, rather than emphasizing the alternatives as
a form of punishment" (p. 65).
Harvey and Moosha (1977) believed that educators
must look for causes of misbehavior and formulate
solutions based on findings rather than simply treat-
ing the results. An ISS program with counseling can
help students focus on modifying their inappropriate
behaviors. Howard (1978) stated that the ISS program
should be positive in nature with the ultimate goal
of helping students become more successful in school.


It must be more than just a new form of punishment.
Mosely (1977) agreed, stating:
39
Suspension without improving behavior is merely
an exercise in futility. The suspended student
must be given some attention during the period
of suspensionattention directed at changing
his attitudes and values, (p. 26)
Mizell (1978) believed that many disciplinary
practices were a quick response to a particular mis-
behavior and did not attempt to identify the cause(s)
of a behavior problem. He stated that the ISS
alternative should be developed for the purposes of:
1. Helping the child.
2. Identifying and remedying the root prob-
lem (s) responsible for the real or perceived
commission of a disciplinary offense.
3. Helping students develop self-discipline.
4. Gaining knowledge about the factors con-
tributing to discipline-related problems
and initiating preventive measures to
reduce those problems.
5. Eliminating the use of out-of-school dis-
ciplinary suspensions for all offenses
except those that clearly threaten the
security of the school community.
6. Providing a framework within which school
personnel can work on achieving the first
five goals whiie enabling the majority of
the students in the school to continue to
participate without interruption, in the
school's instructional process, (p. 216)
He concluded by stating:
Certainly these are goals based on a philosophy
that discipline in the schools goes beyond issues
of punishment and control and that suggests that


40
school officials have an extensive responsibility
to students. In-school alternatives to suspen-
sion that result only in students sitting in a
room is an irresponsible management technique
which, in the long term, is not likely to help
either the student or the school, (p. 216)
Scott (1979) noted that if the goal of detention
is to help students, it should be a part of the total
school curriculum. He stated:
Detention, to even begin to be effective, must
be considered an important part of the total
school curriculum. Its underlying philosophy
must be to support the learning processthat it
will influence behavior and not become a punish-
ment for misbehavior, designed to help the stu-
dent acquire insight into his own misbehavior
and to help him find ways to modify that
behavior, (pp. 55-56)
Mendez and Sanders (1981) concurred with these
findings, stating:
In-school suspension programs can be viable,
beneficial tools in the secondary educational
process if they give equal attention to rehabili-
tation and to order and control. If considered
as merely administrative conveniences, and
strictly disciplinary innovations, they will
probably provide no educational benefits and may
possibly have an overall negative effect in the
areas they were established to enhance, (p. 69)
The literature indicated that there have been a
number of ISS programs developed that emphasize the
counseling and rehabilitative component; there follows
a review of some of these programs.
Stiavelli and Sykes (1972) studied a guidance
clinic program based on behavior modification theory


41
and positive reinforcement that was implemented in a
junior and senior high school in the Sacramento City
Unified School District. It proved effective as an
optional way of dealing with disruptive students who
would otherwise have been suspended or excluded from
school. Evaluation of the guidance clinic revealed
that the number of student suspensions were reduced
and that student behavior was improved through
behavior modification and counseling.
The Alternative Discipline and Suspension Program
(1979) at Campbell County Junior High School in
Gillette, Wyoming, operated on the philosophy that
normal classroom attendance and participation were
beneficial to students. They believed that school
officials must make an effort to assist students in
adjusting to the routine of normal school activity.
They combined a guidance component with the detention
and deterrent aspects of the Alternative Discipline
and Suspension Program in order to help students gain
insight of themselves and learn to be productive in
school and society. It was believed that the program
was effective in providing a beneficial alternative
educational experience for students.
Garrett (1981) mailed questionnaires to 119
public high school principals in Southern Illinois.


42
He found that ISS programs have usually been developed
and operated as an additional form of punishment
rather than as programs designed and operated to
rehabilitate the misbehaving student. He stated that
ISS programs have been successful in reducing the
number of out-of-school suspensions and have enjoyed
the support of parents, educators, and boards of edu-
cation, but that there was less certainty about
whether or not there has been any great degree of
improvement in student behavior. Of the respondents,
46% either had no reaction or disagreed that ISS pro-
grams had improved student behavior. He recommended
that schools with ISS programs be encouraged to
develop their supportive and rehabilitative potential.
He also recommended that research studies be conducted
to determine the practices and procedures found in
ISS programs that not only reduce out-of-school sus-
pension, but also cause significant reductions in
student misbehavior. He concluded that ISS has the
potential to bring about significantly improved stu-
dent behavior as well as reducing the number of
out-of-school suspensions. However, this result will
occur only if ISS is developed as a supportive and a
rehabilitative program rather than as a new form of
punishment.


43
Hochman (1985) conducted an exploratory study to
determine if students in ISS programs with counseling
interventions would change their self-defeating
academic behaviors. He found that the ISS counseling
intervention program had a significant positive effect
upon the self-defeating academic behaviors of ISS
students. The students who received the specific
counseling intervention, when compared to students
who received no counseling interventions in ISS,
exhibited reductions in recidivism for inappropriate
behavior, higher grade point averages, higher atten-
dance rates, and a reduction in their tardiness rate.
He also found overwhelming support for the ISS
specific counseling intervention program from all
participants, teachers, guidance counselors, and
students. Hochman concluded that the ISS specific
counseling intervention program had a significant
positive effect on the self-defeating academic
behaviors of ISS students.
Collins (1985) described an in-class suspension
program in a junior high school, designed by the Turn
Around Program committee of the Myron J. Michael
School (Kingston, New York). This program emphasized
reform rather than punishment. The Turn Around
Program was designed to be a meaningful learning


44
experience for suspended students. Tutoring,
remediation, and individual and group counseling were
provided in a restricted environment. Priorities
were improving academic skills and social behavior.
Goals and objectives included: (1) Helping students
return to the mainstream population quickly and perma-
nently, (2) minimalizing disruptive behavior,
(3) increasing self-awareness and enhancing self-
esteem, (4) improving attitudes toward authority,
(5) recognizing and improving personal strengths and
deficits, (6) taking responsibility for individual
actions, and (7) working out specific home problems.
Again, emphasis was on reform rather than punishment.
Although there was no research done, it was believed
that the program was successful and beneficial to
students.
Miller (1986) conducted an investigation to
determine if, in an ISS setting, a program of
therapeutic discipline that involved counseling,
bibliotherapy, writing therapy, and contingency con-
tracting resulted in more positive attitudes toward
school, improved attendance, and greater insight into
attendance problems among adolescent truants who
participated in the program than among adolescent
truants who participated in a traditional program of


45
non-therapeutic discipline. He found that the
students who participated in the therapeutic
discipline held less positive attitudes toward school
attendance, but had better records of attendance in
classes and fewer truant absences. These students
also demonstrated greater insight into attendance
problems than did non-therapeutic discipline students.
Stressman (1985) reported that the Liberty High
School in Liberty, Missouri, developed an ISS program
that included both corrective and rehabilitative
components. It was not simply a place for students
to spend a certain amount of time as punishment for
school rule infractions. The administrative staff
developed self-help packets for students placed in
the ISS program which addressed values clarification,
judgments, and decisions regarding the specific
infraction that resulted in their suspension. The
self-help packets helped students to look at their
behavior and to figure out how to avoid the problem
in the future. According to Stressman (1985):
Positive feedback from parents, students, and
staff indicates that the proper emphasis on
facilitating and correcting rather than punishing
has provided them an educationally sound and
defensible disciplinary tool. Planting a student
in the ISS program sowed the initial seed of a
disciplinary process. The corrective, self-help
program provides the fertile growth to make it
an educational experience, (p. 88)


46
Schools have an obligation, as socializing
institutions, to help students develop self-discipline
so they can find success, both in school, and later,
as members of society. The teaching of discipline and
social skills through interventions is even more
important today because of changes in the family and
their effect on the home. Scott (1979) stated that
because of changes in the basic family structure, in
the economics of daily living, it is the responsi-
bility of educators to make the school experience
meaningful and relevant to such students by attempting
to effect a change in the student. In order to reach
this goal, school must break away from the habit and
tradition of out-of-school suspension. "Schools
should select from a variety of new and emerging ideas
and programs to revitalize the existing school dis-
cipline program" (Grossnickle, 1985, p. 2).
Students, who are disruptive or truant, need
guidance and support from school personnel. They
need to learn discipline. According to Grossnickle
(1985), "self-discipline does not develop without
being encouraged, and if it is a major concern, then
it should be a major part of any curriculum" (p. 165).
Counseling interventions for disruptive students
can provide long-term solutions rather than just


47
temporary first aid measures that come with punish-
ment and out-of-school suspension. A program of
therapeutic discipline keeps problem students in
school where they can experience a fulfilling
educational experience.
Patterson (1985) believed that a program designed
to help misbehaving students will eventually benefit
the entire school. He stated:
Doing something in behalf of students who
misbehave, as an alternative to banishing them
entirely from the educative process, makes in-
school suspension a workable plan. This is one
form of punishment in our society which actually
does stress rehabilitation of the offender as
much as the convenience and welfare of society
as a whole. In the final analysis, however,
rehabilitation of its offenders is the greatest
good that could be accomplished in behalf of the
total school population since discipline problems
may well be the major barrier to excellence in
our educational system, (p. 99)
Jacqueline Crawford in Grosenick and Huntze
(1984) believed that preparing youth for successful
adult life is a primary purpose of the educational
system and that a thoughtfully planned and appropri-
ately carried out ISS program can help schools achieve
this purpose.
In-school suspension can be one of the most
effective tools available to a school official
when used for the purpose of controlling and/or
disciplining a student. If this approach is
carried out appropriately, the district can
easily remain within legal requirements. More
importantly, however, the student not only
continues to receive an appropriate education,


48
but may also have an opportunity to learn new
skills which would not have been part of his/her
regular education program (i.e., learning to
expect consequences and to accept them, learning
to identify potentially frustrating stimuli, and
developing appropriate coping skills, etc.)* It
cannot be emphasized strongly enough that the
purpose of our educational system is to prepare
our youth for the most successful adult life
possible. Even when dealing with serious
disciplinary issues, the needs of the student(s)
must precede the needs of the educational
personnel, (p. 86)
Summary
Following is a summary of the major findings
from the literature:
1. ISS programs are effective in reducing out-
of-school suspension and in reducing the number of
discipline problems (Haupt, 1987).
2. ISS is beneficial to students because
students are available to supportive personnel who
can help solve the problem that resulted in the sus-
pension (Meares & Kittle, 1976).
3. ISS has the potential to bring about sig-
nificantly improved student behavior as well as reduc-
ing the number of out-of-school suspensions. However,
this result will occur only if ISS is developed as a
supportive and a rehabilitative program rather than
as a new form of punishment (Garrett, 1981).


49
4. ISS programs can be viable, beneficial tools
in the secondary education process if they give equal
attention to rehabilitation and to order and control
(Mendez & Sanders, 1981).
5. Specific ISS counseling interventions can
have a significant positive effect on the self-defeat-
ing behaviors of students assigned to ISS (Hochman,
1985).
6. Many ISS programs are falling short of
achieving what the literature proposes the programs
should achieve (Short & Noblit, 1985).


CHAPTER III
DESIGN OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study was to investigate the
extent of in-school suspension (ISS) programs in North
Central Association member middle schools and junior
high schools and to determine if these programs
included interventions designed to change the behavior
and attitude of the transescents who were having dif-
ficulty dealing with the school environment. This
study also investigated the practices and procedures
which were most commonly used in ISS programs whose
goals included helping students improve their behavior
and attitudes.
The researcher contacted Kenneth Gose, Executive
Director of North Central Association, in October
1988 and discussed the proposed study with him.
He supported the study and believed that it would
provide valuable information for North Central person-
nel interested in establishing in-school suspension
programs with an emphasis on support, counseling, and
rehabilitation of disruptive students. A letter was


51
then sent in November 1988 to the 19 North Central
state directors to inform them of the study.
Data Gathering Procedures
This descriptive research study utilized a survey
research methodology. This method was selected
because it was an efficient way of obtaining the
needed information from a large number of schools in
19 states. A self-administered questionnaire made up
of 21 items, with a demographic section and a section
covering various aspects of in-school suspension
programs was used to collect data. Three open-ended
questions were included in the instrument to allow
respondents to add personal comments not covered in
the closed response questions.
Development of the Instrument
The content of the questionnaire was based on
research findings from the educational literature. A
copy of the questionnaire is included in Appendix F.
Because the questionnaire was original in its
design, a draft was submitted to a panel of four
persons who were asked to evaluate it for face
validity. The panel consisted of the following
experienced educators. Their resumes and a copy of


52
the letter sent to them asking for their assistance
are included in Appendices B and C.
Dr. Myrle Hemenway Professor Emeritus,
University of Colorado.
Dr. Barbara Arnett Principal, Shaw Heights
Middle School, Adams School District #50,
Westminster, Colorado.
Carol Proffitt Principal, Clear Lake Middle
School, Adams School District #50, Westminster,
Colorado.
Nancy Persons Asst. Principal, Hodgkins Middle
School, Adams School District #50, Westminster,
Colorado.
They were asked to evaluate the questionnaire in
its ability to provide accurate responses to the
questions posed by the study. All panel members
responded, and appropriate suggestions were incor-
porated into the questionnaire.
In addition to the panel of experts, the survey
was pilot tested with 15 graduate students in the
Administration, Curriculum, and Supervision Program
at the University of Colorado-Denver. The purpose of
the pilot test was to make sure that the directions
and questions were clear. Each individual in the
pilot test was asked to complete the survey and make


53
suggestions for improvement. Appropriate suggestions
were incorporated into the final design of the ques-
tionnaire.
A cover letter explaining the purpose of the
study, along with the questionnaire, was mailed in
March 1989 to the principals of the 322 schools in the
sample, March, 1989. A stamped return envelope was
included for returning the questionnaire. Copies of
these letters are included in Appendices A and D.
A follow-up mailing was sent to non-respondents
in April 1989. This mailing included a second cover
letter, another copy of the questionnaire, and a
return stamped envelope. A copy of the follow-up
letter is included in Appendix G. Table 1 presents
the return rates for the study. The responses of the
Table 1
Return Rates
Mailing Percentage of Responses Frequency
First Mailing 63% (203)
Second Mailing 15% (48)
Total Return 78% (251)
No Return 22% (71)
Total 100% (322)


54
initial group of administrators and those of
administrators who had been sent a follow-up letter
were examined for any significant differences.
As shown in Table 2, no statistically signifi-
cant difference (p < .05) was found between the two
returns with respect to ISS programs. Therefore, it
was concluded that the two groups Were comparable.
Table 2
to ISS Proarams
Mailing ISS Program Total
No Yes
First 32% (65) 68% (138) 100% (203)
Second 31% (15) 69% (33) 100% (48)
df = 1
Chi Sq. = .000
p = .991
After the surveys were returned and the data
analyzed, the investigator contacted four administra-
tors by phone to get more in-depth information about
certain aspects of their ISS programs. The choice of
the four schools was based on the fact that the
administrators had reported using four or more of the
counseling interventions listed on the questionnaire


and were very positive about the effectiveness of
their programs.
55
Population and Sample
The target population included the 631 junior
high and middle schools in the continental United
States which were listed as members in the North
Central Association Directory of Accredited Schools,
excluding the Indian Reservation schools (North
Central Association Directory. 1987).
A stratified random sample was drawn to ensure
balanced representation from the 19 states in the
North Central Association. A table of random numbers
was used to select one-half of the schools in each of
the 19 states. In states with an odd number of
schools, the number of schools selected was rounded
up. This resulted in a study population of 322
schools. The 19 states in the North Central Associ-
ation are Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois,
Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri,
Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma,
South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Of the administrators who responded, 52% (131)
designated their schools as junior highs and 48% (120)
designated them as middle schools. The enrollment


56
ranged from 66 to 2100 pupils with a mean of 614
pupils. Per pupil expenditure ranged from $1350
to $8000 per pupil.
The principals who responded indicated a variety
of grade combinations in their schools ranging from
fifth to ninth. Of the schools responding, 37% (93)
were grades 6, 7, 8; 33% (83) were grades 7, 8, 9;
18% (45) were grades 7, 8, and 12% (30) had a variety
of combinations including fifth grade.
Administrators identified their schools as being
suburban, urban, rural, or small town. Of the
administrators responded, 34% (85) identified them-
selves as suburban schools, 31% (78) urban schools,
21% (53) small town schools and 14% (35) rural
schools.
Analysis and Treatment of Data
Data from the surveys were collected in the
spring of 1989 and analyzed using simple statistical
operations. Frequency distribution and percentage
tables were used to display responses to each item.
Chi Square and analysis of variance statistical tests
were performed to determine if any statistically
significant differences (p < .05) existed between
schools with and without ISS programs and between ISS


57
programs with and without counseling interventions.
The Chi Square test was used when the research data
were in the form of frequency counts. The analysis
of variance test was used when the data were reported
on a continuum.


CHAPTER IV
PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA
The problem of this study was to investigate the
extent of in-school suspension (ISS) programs in North
Central association member middle schools and junior
high schools and to determine if these programs
included interventions designed to change the behavior
and attitude of students who were having difficulty
dealing with the school environment. This study also
investigated the practices and procedures which were
most commonly used in ISS programs whose goals
included helping students improve their behavior and
attitudes. Specifically, the study sought to answer
the following questions:
1. What Were the outcomes school administrators
expect ISS programs to accomplish?
2. What activities constituted the corrective
or rehabilitative aspect of the ISS programs?
3. What were the roles of various school
personnel in the ISS programs?


59
4. Were there follow-up procedures after a
student left the ISS programs to determine the success
of the programs?
5. How were schools evaluating their ISS
programs?
6. What were the perceptions of school admini-
strators about the effectiveness of their ISS programs
in meeting stated goals?
This chapter includes the presentation and analy-
sis of the data and a statement of findings.
Demoqraoh i c s
This section compares schools with and without
ISS programs with respect to the following demographic
variables: type of school, grade combinations, school
enrollment, school location, and per pupil expendi-
ture. The Chi Square statistical test and the analy-
sis of variance statistical procedure were performed
to determine if there were statistically significant
differences (p < .05) between schools with and without
ISS programs.
Of the administrators responding, 68% (171)
reported having ISS programs, while 32% (80) did not
have ISS programs. If a school did not have an ISS
program, respondents were asked to state the reasons


60
why. As shown in Table 3, of the administrators
reporting no ISS programs, a great majority of them
reported that they did not have an ISS program because
of lack of money, staff, or facilities. Very few
believed that they were not effective or had never
considered implementing one.
Table 3
Reasons Reported for Not Having an ISS Program
Percentage
Reasons for Not Having Program of Responses
(N = 80)
Not enough money 63% (50)
Lack of facilities 47% (38)
Never considered implementing 9% (?)
Do not believe they are effective 7% (6)
Other* 37% (30)
* Lack of staff to supervise full time.
Use of other techniques such as Saturday
detention, after-school detention,
isolation (quiet) rooms for short periods
of time.
Believed middle school and interdisciplinary
concept gave teachers more ownership and
therefore more contrbl of students'
behavior.
Wanted more investment from parents; otherwise
they lose responsibility for the child's
behavior
(Percentages do not equal 100% because respondents
could check more than one response.)


61
Type of School
In Table 4 a comparison is made of reported ISS
programs in junior highs and middle schools. Of the
junior high school administrators responding, 66% (86)
reported having an ISS program and 71% of the middle
school administrators reported having an ISS program.
Results of the Chi Square statistical test showed
that there was no statistically significant difference
(p < .05) between junior highs and middle schools
with respect to having ISS programs.
Table 4
Comparison of Tvoe of School with Respect to
ISS Proaram
Type of School ISS No Program Yes Total
Junior High 34% (45) 66% (86) 100% (131)
Middle School 29% (35) 71% (85) 100% (120)
df = 2
Chi Sq. = .902
p = .637
Grade Combinations
Table 5 presents a comparison of schools with
respect to having ISS programs based on grade level
combinations. A Chi Square statistical procedure was
performed and no significant difference (p < .05) was


62
found between schools with and without ISS programs
with respect to various grade combinations.
Table 5
Comparison of Grade Combinations of Schools with
Respect to ISS Programs
Grade Combinations ISS NO Program Yes Total
6, 7, 8 30% (28) 70% (65) 100% (93)
7, 8, 9 30% (25) 70% (58) 100% (83)
7, 8 40% (18) 60% (27) 100% (45)
Other (8,9); (7); (6,7); (6,7, 8,9); (5,6,7) (5,6,7,8) 30% 9 (9) 70% (21) 100% (30)
df = 9
Chi Sq. = 8.568
p = .478
Student Enrollment
The schools were compared with respect to ISS
programs based on the size of student enrollment.
The enrollment of the schools surveyed ranged from 66
to 2100 students. A series of analysis of variance
statistical procedures were performed and no statisti-
cally significant differences (p < .05) were observed
between schools with and without ISS programs based
on size of school enrollment. The size of a school


63
does not seem to influence whether or not it has an
ISS program. Administrators from very large schools
and small schools alike reported having ISS programs.
School Location
In Table 6 a comparison of schools with and with-
out ISS programs was made based on location. A Chi
Square statistical procedure was performed and no
statistically significant differences (p < .05) were
found between schools with and without ISS programs
with respect to various school locations.
Table 6
Comparison of Schools with Respect to ISS
Programs Based on School Location
School Location No ISS Yes Program Total
Suburban 32% (27) 69% (57) 100% (84)
Urban 33% (27) 67% (52) 100% (79)
Sm. Town 29% (15) 71% (38) 100% (53)
Rural 32% (11) 68% (24) 100% (35)
df = 4
Chi Sq. = .244
p = .993


64
Administrators from schools in small towns and rural
areas, as well as from the city, indicated they had
ISS programs.
Per Pupil Expenditure
Schools were compared with respect to ISS pro-
grams, based on per pupil expenditure. Per pupil
expenditure in the schools studied ranged from $1350
to $8000. Using a series of analysis of variance
statistical procedures, no statistically significant
differences (p < .05) were found between schools with
and without ISS programs with respect to their pupil
expenditure. It is interesting to note that lack of
adequate funding was one of the primary reasons
administrators stated for not having an ISS program,
but the amount of money a school was spending per
pupil did not seem to influence whether or not they
had an ISS program.
ISS Program Descriptors
This section presents the following descriptive
parameters of ISS programs: years in operation,
reasons for placing students in ISS, average length
of assignment, average number of students in ISS at
one time, activities from which students are suspended


65
while in ISS, academic component, and parent
involvement.
Number of Years in
Operation
Table 7 presents a comparison of schools based
on the number of years their ISS program has been in
operation. The total number of years a program had
been in operation ranged from 1-20 years, with a mean
of 6.37 years. An analysis of variance statistical
procedure was performed and no significant differences
(p < .05) were observed between programs with and
without counseling interventions with respect to the
number of years the program had been in operation.
Of this group of schools reporting having ISS
programs, 24% had had a program 10 years or longer
while 57% had had one five years or less. The concept
of ISS has been implemented in some schools for a
long time; however, it has just been in the last five
years that the idea has become more widespread.
Reasons for Placing Students
in ISS
In Table 8, data are displayed regarding iden-
tified reasons for placing a student in an ISS
program. The majority of the reasons for placing a
student in an ISS program were behaviorally oriented.


66
Table 7
Comparison of Schools Based on ISS Programs and
Years ISS Program Has Been in Operation
Years in Operation Percentage of Responses
3 16% (27)
5 13% (23)
10 12% (20)
2 12% (20)
1 8% (14)
4 8% (14)
8 6% (10)
6 5% (9)
7 5% (9)
15 4% (7)
9 3% (6)
12 3% (6)
14 1% (1)
19 1% (1)
20 1% (1)
11 1% (1)
13 1% (1)
Total 100% (171)
df = 1 F value = .50 Pr > F = .4804


67
Table 8
Reasons Identified for Placing Students in an
ISS Program
Reasons Percentage of Responses
(N = 171)
Insubordination 88% (150)
Disrespect 85% (145)
Fighting 80% (137)
Truancy 78% (133)
Abusive language 77% (132)
Excessive tardiness 72% (123)
Smoking 68% (116)
Academic cheating 33% (56)
Substance abuse 28% (48)
Failing grades 11% (19)
Other* 12% (21)
* Includes classroom disruptions, bus misconduct,
vandalism, past due homework, "cooling off" time,
inability to reach parents, stealing school or
student property, failure to respond to other
consequences.
(Percentages do not equal 100% because respondents
could check more than one response.)
Only a few respondents identified failing grades as a
reason.


68
Average Length of Assignment
to ISS
Table 9 shows that the majority of the respon-
dents reported assigning students to their ISS program
for one to three days. A number of administrators
reported that one day was not effective in deterring
Table 9
Average Length of Assignment to ISS Program
Length of Assignment Percentage of Responses
1-3 days 85% (145)
Part of a day 9% (15)
4-6 days 5% (9)
7+ days 1% (2)
Total 100% (171)
future misbehavior, but that more than three days
caused students to miss too much regular instruction.
Since ISS programs kept students in school, admini-
strators were not usually as restricted in the length
of the ISS assignment as with out-of-school suspen-
sion.
Number of Students in ISS
In Table 10, data about the reported number of
students assigned in ISS at one time are displayed.


69
Table 10
Reported Number of Students in ISS at One Time
Number of Students Percentage of Responses
0-5 79% (135)
6-10 17% (29)
11-15 3% (5)
16+ 1% (2),
Totals 100% (171)
About four-fifths of the schools respondents assigning
zero to five students to the ISS program at one time.
About another fifth reported having six to ten stu-
dents in their ISS programs. Most of the admini-
strators reported having 10 students or less in their
ISS program at any one time.
Activities from Which Students
Were Suspended
Table 11 presents data regarding activities from
which students assigned to ISS are suspended. Most
respondents reported suspending students from all
their classes plus a majority of the respondents also
had students in ISS miss both extracurricular activi-
ties and regular lunch.


70
Table 11
Activities from Which Students in ISS Were Suspended
Activities Percentage of Responses (N = 171)
All classes 97% (166)
Regular lunch 75% (128)
Extracurricular activities 57% (97)
Only class(es) where referral originated 20% (34)
Other: all activities, regular breaks between classes,
free time before school, assemblies, dances,
parties.
(Percentages do not equal 100% because respondents
could check more than one response.)
Academic Component of ISS
In Table 12, the data show that the majority of
administrators responding stated that their ISS pro-
gram provided assignments from regular teachers and
required students to work on them while in the ISS
program. The majority of respondents also reported
that students in ISS were allowed to obtain full
academic credit from their regular classes. Two-
thirds of the administrators responding also stated
that their ISS programs provided academic tutoring
while students were in ISS.


71
Table 12
Academic Component of 1SS Programs
Percentage of
Academic Component Responses
(N = 171)
Students are provided assignments from their regular teachers and required to work on them in ISS 96% (164)
Students are allowed to obtain full academic credit while in ISS 90% (154)
Students are provided remedial help or tutoring while in ISS
program 66% (113)
Parental Involvement in ISS
Table 13 displays data regarding parent involve-
ment with the ISS program. Nearly all the respondents
reported contacting parents when a student was
assigned, but only a fourth of the respondents
reported that the parents were involved in the ISS
program after their children were placed in it.
Questions Posed bv the Study
This section presents the data that provided
answers to the six questions posed by the study.


72
Table 13
Parent Involvement with ISS Proaram
Parent Involvement Percentage of Responses (N = 171)
Parents were contacted when a student is assigned to ISS program 96% (164)
Parents were involved in ISS program after their children were placed in it 25% (43)
Question 1: What Were the Outcomes
School Administrators Expected the
ISS Program to Accomplish?
Table 14 presents data regarding stated goals of
ISS programs. Respondents were asked to identify
stated goals for their ISS program. The goals relating
to decreasing out-of-school suspension and reducing
behavior problems were checked by almost all the
respondents. Affective goals that dealt with the
counseling and the rehabilitation aspects of ISS were
checked less frequently. Chi Square statistical tests
were run to determine if there were significant dif-
ferences between programs with and without counseling
interventions with respect to various goals. Statis-
tically significant differences (p < .05) were
observed between programs with and without counseling
interventions for the following goals: to reduce


73
Table 14
Percentage of Respondents Who Identified These
Goals as Stated Goals of Their ISS Programs
and Results of Chi Sguare Tests of Differences
with Respect to Counseling Interventions
Stated Goals Percentage of Responses (N = 171) Significance Level (P < -05)
To provide an alternative to out-of school suspension 93% (159) .745
To decrease the number of out-of-school suspensions 90% (152) .360
To prevent future misbehavior 89% (152) .369
To reduce the number of discipline problems 83% (142) .014*
To help students develop self-discipline 67% (115) .000*
To reduce truancy 58% (99) .617
To help the student develop ways to deal with the environment 55% (94) .003*
To reduce chronic tardiness 50% (85) .003*
To help the student improve attitudes toward school 36% (62) .001*
To increase the academic skills of students referred 29% (50) .028*
To reduce the dropout
rate
25%
(43)
.121


74
Table 14 (Continued
Stated Goals Percentage of Responses (N = 171) Significance Level (P < .05)
To develop problem- solving skills 23% (39) .002*
To help the student improve his or her self-image 18% (31) .002*
To reduce the student's feeling of alienation from school 14% (24) .001*
To enhance communication skills 11% (19) .003*
Other** 5% (9)
* Statistically significant with respect to
counseling interventions.
** Other stated goals included:
. To keep students from stopping the "learning
process"
. To ensure classroom work is completed
. To teach correct and expected behavior
. To help students get caught up on schoolwork
. To supervise students when parents are not
home
. To reduce the disproportionate number of
minority suspensions
(Percentages do not equal 100% because respondents
could check more than one response.)


75
chronic tardiness, to reduce the number of discipline
problems, to increase academic skills of referred
students, to help students develop self-discipline,
to help the students improve their self-image, to
enhance communication skills, to help the student
improve attitudes toward school, to develop problem-
solving skills, to help the student develop
appropriate ways of dealing with the school environ-
ment, and to reduce the student's feelings of
alienation from school. Programs with counseling
interventions had these goals more often than programs
without counseling interventions.
Question 2; What Activities Constituted
the Corrective or Rehabilitative
Aspect of the ISS Program?
Of the administrators responding, 68% (116)
reported having ISS programs that included a counsel-
ing component with interventions designed to change
the student's behavior and attitude toward school.
Table 15 displays counseling strategies utilized in
these programs. More than half of the respondents
identified individual counseling as an intervention
technique. Nearly half used parent conferences and
about one fourth utilized self-help packets or writing
therapy. Only a minority of the schools utilized any
other interventions. It is important to note that the


76
Table 15
Percentage of Respondents Who Identified Specific
Interventions Used in Their ISS Programs
Interventions Percentage of Responses (N = 116)
Individual student counseling 56% (65)
Parent conferences 46% (53)
Contingency contracts 26% (30)
Writing therapy 24% (28)
Self-help packets 23% (27)
Small group counseling 13% (15)
Peer counseling 9% (10)
Value clarification 9% (10)
Bibliotherapy 7% (8)
Other* 4%: (5)
* Includes cooperative learning, questionnaires
that address every reason for placement in ISS
for the purpose of arresting the problem,
active listening, reality therapy.
(Percentages do not equal 100% because respondents
could check more than one response.)
majority of respondents indicated that their ISS pro-
grams tended to use individual counseling exclusively.


77
Question 3: What Were the Roles
of Various School Personnel in
the ISS Program?
Table 16 presents data regarding specific groups
who participated in the development of ISS programs.
The respondents were asked to indicate who participa-
ted in the development of their ISS program. Almost
all of the respondents reported that the building
administrators had participated. Teachers partici-
pated in the development of over two-thirds of the
programs, and counselors and district-level
administrators had been involved in the development
of almost half of the programs. A minority of the
administrators reported utilizing parents and very
few reported using student input. Moreover, consul-
tants were rarely used to develop a program. Chi
Square statistical tests were run, and statistically
significant differences were observed between programs
with and without counseling interventions with respect
to the use of parents and counselors as participants
in the development of ISS programs. Programs which
used counselors and parents in the initial develop-
ment of an ISS program tended to have programs with
counseling interventions designed to change the
behavior and attitude of the students referred.


78
Table 16
Percentage of Respondents Who Identified Specific
Groups as Participants in the Development of an
ISS Program and Results of Chi Square Tests of
Differences with Respect to Counseling Interventions
Participants in Development Percentage of Responses (N = 171) Significance Level (p < .05)
Building administrators 95% (162) .308
Teachers 69% (118) .209
Counselors 48% (82) .014*
District-level administrators 46% (79) .440
Parents 22% (38) .045*
Students 11% (19) .436
Consultants 2% (3) .232
Other** 3% (5)
* Statistically significant with respect to counseling
interventions.
** Others who participated in the development of
ISS programs included Board members, Special
Education teachers, social worker, office
personnel (secretaries), junior high adminis-
trators from around the district, and juvenile
officers; ideas from other districts were
also incorporated.
(Percentages do not equal 100% because respondents
could check more than one response.)


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Table 17 presents data regarding personnel who
work in ISS programs. About half of the respondents
reported that full-time, certified teachers staffed
their ISS programs and nearly half identified coun-
selors. About one-third of the respondents reported
using building administrators. Aides were identified
by only about one-third of the respondents, and very
few reported using the social worker in the ISS pro-
gram. A Chi Square statistical procedure was per-
formed and a statistically significant difference
(p < .05) between programs with and without counseling
interventions was observed with respect to programs
that included counselors as part of the personnel of
the ISS program. Programs with counseling interven-
tions used counselors as part of the staff of the ISS
program more often than programs without counseling
interventions. It is important to note that the
majority of respondents indicated they did not
utilize much of the available school staff for the
ISS program.


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Table 17
Percentage of Respondents Who Identified Specific
Personnel Who Worked in Their ISS Programs
ISS Personnel Percentage of Responses (N = 171) Significance Level (p < .05)
Full-time, certified teacher 56% (96) .789
Counselors 44% (75) .000*
Aide 30% (51) .264)
Part-time, certified teacher 10% (17) .570
Psychologist 9% (15) .006**
Special Education consultants 8% (14) .075**
Social worker 6% (10) .180
Psychiatrist 0% (0)
Other*** 36% (62) .947
* Statistically significant with respect to counseling
interventions
** Chi Square may not be a valid test here because
some cells had fewer than 5 cases.
*** Other personnel who worked in ISS include:
building principal, assistant principal, dean of
students, full-time paraprofessional, certified
teacher looking for full-time work, rotating
teachers.
(Percentages do not equal 100% because respondents
could check more than one response.)


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Question 4: Was There a Follow-Up
Process After a Student Left the
ISS Program to Determine the
Success of the Program?
Of the administrators responding, 58% (99)
reported conducting a follow-up after the students
left the ISS program to check on the progress of the
students.
Question 5; How Were Schools Evaluating
Their ISS Programs
When asked about evaluation of the ISS program
itself, only 26% (44) reported having an evaluation
plan for their ISS programs. Table 18 displays the
percentage of respondents who identified specific
evaluation methods used in ISS programs.
Question 6; What Were the Perceptions of School
Administrators about the Effectiveness of Their ISS
Programs in Meeting Stated Goals?
Table 19 displays the percentage of respondents
who indicated how effective they believed their ISS
programs were in accomplishing certain goals. Nearly
every school reported that its program was very or
somewhat effective in providing an alternative to
out-of-school suspension, decreasing the number of
out-of-school suspensions, reducing the number of
discipline problems, and preventing future
misbehavior. A majority also believed their programs


82
Table 18
Percentage of Respondents Who Identified Specific
Evaluation Methods for Their ISS Programs
Evaluation Methods Percentage (N = of Responses 44)
Teacher opinions 75% (33)
Attendance and tardy records 70% (31)
Recidivism rates 57% (25)
Student interviews 48% (21)
Parent opinions 48% (21)
Others* 23% (10)
* Others included employee interview, quarterly
reports, grades, informal evaluation with ISS
supervisor, quarterly staff meetings to discuss
and evaluate progress, parent/teacher review
committee, school board report, computerized
evaluation.
(Percentages do not equal 100% because respondents
could check more than one response.)
were effective in reducing truancy, helping students
develop self-discipline, reducing chronic tardiness,
and helping the student develop appropriate ways to
deal with the school environment. Only half of the
respondents believed that their ISS programs were
effective in helping students improve their attitudes
toward school. It is important to note that the goals
that administrators believed their programs to be


83
most effective in achieving are behaviorally oriented
rather than affective.
Table 19
Percentage of Respondents Who Believed That Their ISS
Programs Were Very or Somewhat Effective in Achieving
Specific Goals
Percentage of
ISS Goals Responses
(N = 171)
Providing an alternative to
out-of-school suspension
Decreasing the number of
out-of-school suspensions
Reducing the number of
discipline problems
Preventing future misbehavior
Helping students develop self-
discipline
Reducing truancy
Reducing chronic tardiness
Helping the student develop
appropriate ways to deal with
the school environment
Helping the student improve
attitudes toward school
Reducing the dropout rate
Increasing academic skills of
students referred
97% (166)
96% (164)
96% (164)
92% (157)
81% (138)
80% (137)
75% (128)
75% (128)
51% (87)
40% (68)
38% (65)
Helping the student improve
his or her self-image 37%
(63)


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Table 19 (Continued)
ISS Goals
Percentage of
Responses
(N = 171)
Reducing the student's feelings
of alienation from school
34% (58)
Developing problem-solving
skills
33% (56)
Enhancing communication skills
27% (46)
Table 20 shows the percentage of respondents who
indicated that their ISS programs were not effective
in meeting specific goals. About one-fifth indicated
that their programs were not effective in meeting the
following goals: reducing the student's feeling of
alienation from school, developing problem-solving
skills, helping the student improve his or her self-
image, increasing academic skills, enhancing communi-
cation skills, helping the student improve attitudes
toward school, and helping the student develop self-
discipline. It is important to note that these are
affective goals rather than behavioral goals. Only a
minority of respondents believed their programs were
ineffective in meeting behavioral goals such as:
reducing the dropout rate, reducing truancy, reducing
chronic tardiness, preventing future misbehavior,


85
reducing the number of discipline problems, decreasing
the number of out-of-school suspensions, and providing
an alternative to out-of-school suspension.
Table 20
Percentages of Respondents Who Believed That Their
ISS Programs Were Not Effective in Achieving Specific
Goals
ISS Goals Percentage of Responses (N = 171)
Reducing the student's feeling of alienation from school 22% (38)
Developing problem-solving skills 20% (34)
Helping the student improve his or her self-image 18% (31)
Increasing academic skills 18% (31)
Enhancing communication skills 15% (26)
Helping the student improve attitudes toward school 14% (24)
Helping the student develop self-discipline 11% (19)
Helping the student develop appropriate ways to deal with the school environment 10% (17)
Reducing the dropout rate 8% (14)
Reducing truancy 6% (10)
Reducing chronic tardiness 6% (10)
Preventing future misbehavior 5% (9)


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Table 20 (Continued)
ISS Goals Percentage of Responses
Reducing the number of discipline problems 3% (5)
Decreasing the number of out-of-school suspensions 1% (2)
Providing an alternative to out-of-school suspension 0% (0)
Open-Ended Questions and
Respondents1 Comments
The questionnaire included three open-ended
questions. In the first question, respondents were
asked to list what they believed were the greatest
advantages of their ISS program. The number of
responses are presented in parentheses,
o Keeps students in school. (160)
There were many comments about the fact that one
of the greatest advantages of ISS is that it keeps
students in school. Many respondents stated that
ISS is an effective alternative to out-of- school
suspension because it provides a controlled,
supervised environment, students don't lose academic
credit, and often are able to receive some tutoring.


87
o ISS deters future misbehavior. (40)
There were numerous comments about ISS changing
inappropriate behaviors and attitudes. Many
administrators stated that ISS was effective
because the students don't like it due to social
isolation and, therefore, want to avoid it.
o A "time-out" for students to think. (19)
A number of administrators believed that ISS
provided an excellent opportunity for students
to think about their behavior and develop a plan
for improvement.
o Allows teachers to teach. (17)
Numerous administrators stated that ISS provided
an opportunity to remove a disruptive student from
the classroom so that instruction could continue
without interruption.
o Provides logical conseguences and makes students
accountable for their own behavior. (16)
o Provides time to talk, counsel, and hopefully
remediate the problem for which the student was
referred. (15)
o Community support parents like it and support
it. (13)


88
In many families, both parents work and are unable
to supervise a student who is suspended out of
school.
o ISS increases parental involvement. (10)
o Students begin to experience success around school
work. (5)
o Eases the administrative burden somewhat. (3)
o Provides for one more step in due process
procedures. (3)
o Can be used as crisis intervention to solve a
problem before it gets bigger. (1)
o Continue to receive ADA. (1)
Respondents were also asked to list any disadvan-
tages of their ISS program. Responses included:
o Staffing problems such as not being able to afford
a full-time certified teacher or communication
problems with rotating teachers. (58)
o Lack of proper facilities. (29)
o Too costly. (15)
o Lack of follow-up and counseling. Many administra-
tors feel there is too much punishment, not enough
correction. (15)
o It is often difficult getting total teacher
cooperation and is therefore difficult to provide
enough school work for seven hours. (14)