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School Garden

Alternatives to Suspensions

Replacing Suspension with Support to Create Safe and Supportive Learning Environments

In order to foster safe and inclusive learning environments, I offer a range of alternatives to suspensions that focus on providing support and promoting positive behavior. These alternatives include:

Individual Counseling: I provide personalized counseling sessions to students, offering a confidential space to explore and address their specific challenges. Through these sessions, students can gain insights, develop coping strategies, and build resilience to overcome personal obstacles.

Drug Education/Counseling: I offer education and counseling services focused on drug awareness and prevention. By raising awareness about the risks associated with substance use and providing guidance, I help students make informed decisions and develop healthy habits.

Restorative Justice Practices: I facilitate restorative justice practices to address conflicts and disciplinary issues within the school community. These practices emphasize accountability, empathy, and reconciliation, promoting a sense of belonging and fostering positive relationships among students, staff, and stakeholders.

Training on Cultural Sensitivity: I provide training sessions that promote cultural sensitivity and awareness among school staff. These trainings equip educators with the knowledge and skills to create culturally responsive learning environments, effectively engage with diverse student populations, and reduce biases or stereotypes.

​By implementing these alternatives, we can shift the focus from punitive measures to proactive strategies that support students' personal growth, well-being, and academic success. Together, let's create an environment where all students feel valued, respected, and empowered to thrive.

Alternatives to Suspensions: Services

Minimize Suspension for Attendance Issues

California Education Code (EC) Section 48900(w)(1) states that it is the intent of the Legislature that alternatives to suspension or expulsion be imposed against a pupil who is truant, tardy, or otherwise absent from school activities.

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Instead of Suspension

California Education Code (EC) Section 48900(v) provides that a superintendent of the school district or principal is encouraged to provide alternatives to suspension or expulsion, using a research-based framework with strategies that improve behavioral and academic outcomes, that are age-appropriate and designed to address and correct the pupil’s specific misbehavior as specified in EC Section 48900.5.

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Suspension as Last Resort

California Education Code (EC) Section 48900.5 provides that, except for specified exceptions, suspension, including supervised suspension, shall be imposed only when other means of correction fail to bring about proper conduct, and then continues to provide an extensive list of suggested positive, non-exclusionary alternative practices. Other means of correction may include additional academic supports, to ensure, for example, that instruction is academically appropriate, culturally relevant, and engaging for students at different academic levels and with diverse backgrounds.

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The following curriculum and approaches are used to support your student's alternative to suspension.


Second Step:  "The programs help children learn social-emotional skills such as responsible decision-making, working together to solve problems, managing strong emotions, and getting along with others. These skills can help children succeed academically and socially."

Everyday Speech: "Everyday Speech helps cultivate the skills every student needs to lead a healthy and successful life. Our digital platform includes a curricula for all students learning SEL AND a curricula to teach social skills, providing you with the structure and materials needed in order to provide Tier 1, 2, and 3 supports."

WhyTry!: "Programs incorporate powerful tools that engage students with pictures, videos, media, hands-on activities, music, journals and more. All of these tools are used to teach critical social and emotional life skills in a way that students can understand and remember.  

Seeking Safety: "Seeking Safety is an evidence-based, present-focused counseling model to help people attain safety from trauma and/or substance abuse. It can be conducted in group (any size) and/or individual modality. It is an extremely safe model as it directly addresses both trauma and addiction, but without requiring clients to delve into the trauma narrative." 

Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for Trauma in Schools: "The CBITS program is a school-based, group and individual intervention that uses cognitive-behavioral techniques. It is designed to reduce symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and behavioral problems, as well as to improve functioning, grades and attendance, peer and parent support, and coping skills."

Brief Intervention "When the screening and further assessment indicate a substance use disorder, a brief intervention is indicated. A brief intervention in the practice setting is a conversation using simple motivational interviewing techniques to understand the role substance use is playing in that person’s life and to explore the degree to which a person is willing to make a voluntary change to reduce use."

Tobacco Prevention Toolkit: "is a theory-based and evidence-informed educational resource created by educators and researchers aimed at preventing middle and high school students’ use of tobacco and nicotine products." 

Approaches and Frameworks

Trauma-Informed Care 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Dialectic Behavioral Therapy

Motivational Interviewing

Solution Focused Brief Therapy

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

Restorative Practices 

Alternatives to Suspensions: Welcome
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