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In-School Suspension: Perspectives and Practices of Secondary Principals in West Virginia

May, Erich (2018) In-School Suspension: Perspectives and Practices of Secondary Principals in West Virginia. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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While suspensions can improve a school’s culture and increase the learning of students who remain in class, suspensions can have a negative impact on the learning of those who are suspended. When students are assigned to out-of-school suspension, they may spend the day fishing or playing video games. Even students who are assigned to in-school suspension (ISS) may not get enough work to keep them busy – nonetheless learning – through the school day. For those students, a day in ISS constitutes a loss of learning. And yet, ISS is one of the few consequences routinely assigned by public school leaders in the United States. This study employed survey research and follow-up interviews to investigate the beliefs of public school principals in middle and high schools across West Virginia. Also considered are factors that influence the design of ISS and potential improvements to ISS.

Survey results and interview findings suggest that the design and implementation of ISS in any given school is influenced by district leadership, district policy, prior practice, and district resources. Results indicate that district finances and the availability of appropriate people to staff ISS are seen as having the greatest impact on the kind and consistency of ISS. Current practices involve staffing solutions, the availability of classrooms and technology, as well as curricular options, but the principals surveyed and interviewed in this study were focused largely on the staffing of ISS and less on other features of ISS. While many principals envisioned only an academic ISS, most favored an approach that is both academic and therapeutic, an approach that provides both coursework and character education in ISS.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
May, Ericherichmay@yahoo.comegm21
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTananis, Cynthia
Committee MemberCrowley, Kevin
Committee MemberSell, Allen
Date: 26 September 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 1 June 2018
Approval Date: 26 September 2018
Submission Date: 26 September 2018
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 102
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: in-school suspension suspension ISS discipline behavior punishment
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2018 12:37
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2018 12:37


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