Hamilton board suspends at double the provincial average

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Hamilton area principals dole out twice as many suspensions as the Ontario average, according to a Safe Schools report presented to the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board this week.

The Ontario average sits at 7.2 per cent. However, in Hamilton there were 7,558 suspensions, or roughly 13.4 per cent of the total student population.

"We are in considerable need of some soul searching to discover why we're double the provincial average," said trustee Judith Bishop.

Staff is unsure about the cause, said superintendent of Safe Schools, Pam Reinholdt. "We need to take a serious look at these numbers."

Staff will be evaluating the data over the next year, to determine the causes and possible strategies to bring suspension levels back in line, including exploring alternate methods of discipline, added Reinholdt.

According to the board's Manager of social work services, Malcolm Powell, Hamilton's numbers may well still be in line; he feels the province may report its figures based on the number of students suspended, opposed to the number of total suspensions. Under the student model, 6.7 per cent of elementary students, or 2,582 of Hamilton's 38,000 elementary population, and 10.3 per cent, or 1,964 of the city's 19,000 secondary population, received suspensions, roughly in keeping with provincial averages.

School board staff's concern lies with the number of students who receive multiple suspensions, he said.

In the 2004/05 school year, 460 elementary students received three or more suspensions - an average of five each. According to the report, 520 received two suspensions, while 1,203 received one during the school year. At the secondary level, a total of 186 students receive three or more, for an average of 3.3 each. A total of 343 students received two suspensions, while 1,076 received one each.

The report also shows a steady decrease in secondary suspensions overall, which have dropped from 2,913 in 2001/02, to 2,741 in 2004/05. However, elementary suspensions have increased in that time, from 3,832 to 4,817.

GIRLS

The report revealed that girls are also receiving more multiple suspensions at the elementary level. In 2003/04, 104 girls received two or more, compared to 158 in 2004/05; for a 35 per cent increase, compared to an eight per cent increase in boys. Girls now account for roughly 22 per cent of elementary suspensions, compared to 16 per cent last year. Girls in the secondary level are holding steady, at roughly 23 per cent of total suspensions.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

The report also noted that double the number of special education students - those with mental, physical or learning disabilities -received suspensions on a per capita basis. In 2004/05, 12.6 per cent of the elementary special needs population received at least one suspension, while 15.6 per cent of secondary special needs students were issued suspensions. This issue will be further explored by the Special Education Advisory Committee.

Hamilton board suspends at double the provincial average

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Hamilton area principals dole out twice as many suspensions as the Ontario average, according to a Safe Schools report presented to the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board this week.

The Ontario average sits at 7.2 per cent. However, in Hamilton there were 7,558 suspensions, or roughly 13.4 per cent of the total student population.

"We are in considerable need of some soul searching to discover why we're double the provincial average," said trustee Judith Bishop.

Staff is unsure about the cause, said superintendent of Safe Schools, Pam Reinholdt. "We need to take a serious look at these numbers."

Staff will be evaluating the data over the next year, to determine the causes and possible strategies to bring suspension levels back in line, including exploring alternate methods of discipline, added Reinholdt.

According to the board's Manager of social work services, Malcolm Powell, Hamilton's numbers may well still be in line; he feels the province may report its figures based on the number of students suspended, opposed to the number of total suspensions. Under the student model, 6.7 per cent of elementary students, or 2,582 of Hamilton's 38,000 elementary population, and 10.3 per cent, or 1,964 of the city's 19,000 secondary population, received suspensions, roughly in keeping with provincial averages.

School board staff's concern lies with the number of students who receive multiple suspensions, he said.

In the 2004/05 school year, 460 elementary students received three or more suspensions - an average of five each. According to the report, 520 received two suspensions, while 1,203 received one during the school year. At the secondary level, a total of 186 students receive three or more, for an average of 3.3 each. A total of 343 students received two suspensions, while 1,076 received one each.

The report also shows a steady decrease in secondary suspensions overall, which have dropped from 2,913 in 2001/02, to 2,741 in 2004/05. However, elementary suspensions have increased in that time, from 3,832 to 4,817.

GIRLS

The report revealed that girls are also receiving more multiple suspensions at the elementary level. In 2003/04, 104 girls received two or more, compared to 158 in 2004/05; for a 35 per cent increase, compared to an eight per cent increase in boys. Girls now account for roughly 22 per cent of elementary suspensions, compared to 16 per cent last year. Girls in the secondary level are holding steady, at roughly 23 per cent of total suspensions.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

The report also noted that double the number of special education students - those with mental, physical or learning disabilities -received suspensions on a per capita basis. In 2004/05, 12.6 per cent of the elementary special needs population received at least one suspension, while 15.6 per cent of secondary special needs students were issued suspensions. This issue will be further explored by the Special Education Advisory Committee.

Hamilton board suspends at double the provincial average

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Hamilton area principals dole out twice as many suspensions as the Ontario average, according to a Safe Schools report presented to the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board this week.

The Ontario average sits at 7.2 per cent. However, in Hamilton there were 7,558 suspensions, or roughly 13.4 per cent of the total student population.

"We are in considerable need of some soul searching to discover why we're double the provincial average," said trustee Judith Bishop.

Staff is unsure about the cause, said superintendent of Safe Schools, Pam Reinholdt. "We need to take a serious look at these numbers."

Staff will be evaluating the data over the next year, to determine the causes and possible strategies to bring suspension levels back in line, including exploring alternate methods of discipline, added Reinholdt.

According to the board's Manager of social work services, Malcolm Powell, Hamilton's numbers may well still be in line; he feels the province may report its figures based on the number of students suspended, opposed to the number of total suspensions. Under the student model, 6.7 per cent of elementary students, or 2,582 of Hamilton's 38,000 elementary population, and 10.3 per cent, or 1,964 of the city's 19,000 secondary population, received suspensions, roughly in keeping with provincial averages.

School board staff's concern lies with the number of students who receive multiple suspensions, he said.

In the 2004/05 school year, 460 elementary students received three or more suspensions - an average of five each. According to the report, 520 received two suspensions, while 1,203 received one during the school year. At the secondary level, a total of 186 students receive three or more, for an average of 3.3 each. A total of 343 students received two suspensions, while 1,076 received one each.

The report also shows a steady decrease in secondary suspensions overall, which have dropped from 2,913 in 2001/02, to 2,741 in 2004/05. However, elementary suspensions have increased in that time, from 3,832 to 4,817.

GIRLS

The report revealed that girls are also receiving more multiple suspensions at the elementary level. In 2003/04, 104 girls received two or more, compared to 158 in 2004/05; for a 35 per cent increase, compared to an eight per cent increase in boys. Girls now account for roughly 22 per cent of elementary suspensions, compared to 16 per cent last year. Girls in the secondary level are holding steady, at roughly 23 per cent of total suspensions.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

The report also noted that double the number of special education students - those with mental, physical or learning disabilities -received suspensions on a per capita basis. In 2004/05, 12.6 per cent of the elementary special needs population received at least one suspension, while 15.6 per cent of secondary special needs students were issued suspensions. This issue will be further explored by the Special Education Advisory Committee.