After a review of the In-School Suspension (ISS) program, it has been determined that there needs to be a change in the implementation of ISS. This program, meant to deter students from continually breaking school rules, has not changed since it was first initiated and has become ineffective in deterring students from committing the same offense over and over again.
A day in the life of a current ISS student entails sitting in a room the entire school day doing class work. Once the work is finished, there is nothing for students to do in the bland ISS room.
The current ISS program that Shaler has used to be considered effective, but many issues have occurred causing the effectiveness to decrease drastically. ISS students are allowed to do school work on their iPads. While yes, there are benefits that iPads bring to students in ISS, there are drawbacks that can defeat the overall purpose of being in ISS.
“I see students getting their Google Classroom work [on their iPad], “ Dr. Timothy Royall, school principal, said. “Maybe they finish it quicker, leaving them bored. Then when they’re done what are they going to do? It decreases [the effectiveness of ISS] if students play games. Are students double clicking the home button and going to a game and then double clicking and going back to notability?”
This issue of stopping inappropriate iPad use alone is an uphill battle and will continue to render ISS less effective and defeat the actual purpose of being given ISS.
However, a new ISS option has been proposed by social studies teacher Mr. Cory Williams. His plan would give students who receive ISS the option to perform community service work at the school instead of sitting in a room all day doing work, with parents’ permission.
“In the spring and the fall we would start with rebuilding the outdoor classroom and then begin working our way around various [bike] trails around campus. Included in that would be upkeep and maintenance. In the winter we would walk the kids through and guide them in painting murals in halls. We have to run it by the maintenance program first to make sure we aren’t infringing on any of their territory,” Williams said.
However, there is a “three strike” rule that applies to the service work. If students continuously receive ISS for the same reason and choose to participate in the service more than three times, they will be required to stay in the current system of ISS, except no iPads would be allowed with the new ISS program. Students would be required to use the laptops provided by the school to do any Google Classroom work teachers may have assigned for them.
Another issue arises when the students simply don’t care that they’ve received ISS. According to school policy, detentions and ISS do not go onto transcripts and won’t affect college-bound students during their recruitment and application process. The hope for students who choose to do service work, is that they will take ISS more seriously and gain more respect for their school by doing labor to better the school grounds.
“It’s a very interesting proposal and I think it will be very effective,” Royall said. “Some students will still go to ISS and do their work; there are some students that won’t. So for the students that don’t do work, don’t get work, or get their work done; [it will] create a service component to ISS, voluntary, allowing students to volunteer…at the school.”
This new option for In-School Suspension is set to go into effect at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year.