Alternative Discipline: Shuksan Middle School
Out of school suspensions are on the rise across the country, and even one suspension can increase the chances of a student dropping out entirely. At Shuksan Middle School, in the Bellingham School District, administrators focused on establishing a system of restorative justice to provide students with learning and restitution opportunities as an alternative to suspension and expulsion. By reviewing and responding to attendance data weekly, the school has significantly reduced the number of days of school missed. Students missed nearly 450 days of school due to suspension in the 2009-10 school year. That number dropped to less than 170 in 2013-14, resulting in more students in school and learning.