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Pinellas School Board workshop roundup: alternatives to elementary out-of-school suspensions, AMIKids trouble, lawsuit updates and more



The Pinellas County school district has a few ideas for alternatives to out-of-school suspensions for elementary students.

Students could instead stew in detention, helping clean the classroom, office or school grounds, Saturday school, shadowing by a parent and in-school suspension. If given an alternative placement or in-school suspension, elementary students will be assigned to complete a kid-friendly "Thinking Sheet" to reflect on their actions. There's a version for older students, too, and area superintendents included a few guidelines for secondary school students in alternative placement or in-school suspension.

For background, Pinellas' elementary school suspension rate was 5.2 percent in the 2015-16 school year, down from 8.6 percent from the previous year. The information does not touch upon the disparity of out-of-school suspensions given to black and non-black students. Black students, who made up 20 percent of the district's total elementary school enrollment, received 60 percent of suspensions given to elementary students in the 2015-16.

That's just one presentation planned for the School Board's upcoming workshop Tuesday.

No Child Left Behind Act monitoring report shows the district is out of compliance with Department of Juvenile Justice program requirements regarding AMI Kids, a program that helps boys ages 11 to 15 who are struggling with academic and behavioral issues. According to the report, "There is no evidence that the district has ensured that AMIKids has implemented to required common assessment," to monitor the academic progress for each student. 

The report warns that if the a comment assessment cannot be established, the district should consider terminating its agreement with AMIKids.

The School Board's lawyer is expected to give an update on discussions with the local Concerned Organization for the Quality Education of Black Students (COQEBS) and a federal lawsuit against the district for not doing enough to educate black students.

Clint Herbic, the district's associate superintendent of operational services, will present an updated list of upcoming construction projects for schools.

The workshop will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday the school district's Largo headquarters, 301 Fourth St SW.

[Last modified: Monday, September 19, 2016 11:02am]


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