School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Katie Thompson


Discipline, Title I, School Within a School, Suspension, Alternative to Suspension, Education


Education | Educational Administration and Supervision


Out-of-school suspension is a growing concern in the United States education system and affects students at the three Title I schools in the Central School System at a particularly high frequency. The purpose of this applied study was to solve the problem of high-frequency out-of-school suspension for three Title I middle schools in the Central School system and to formulate a solution to address the problem. A multi-method design was used, consisting of both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The first approach was structured interviews with two administrators from each school. The second approach was the analysis of archival data using the discipline data from the school system. The third approach was a teacher survey using a Likert scale to determine teacher perspectives on out-of-school suspension. These tools were used to develop a focused program that will allow the schools to meet student needs while also maintaining safety, order, and a positive school climate. The results of the data showed that administrators and teachers were aware of the negative implications of out-of-school suspension but were experiencing tension between the need to maintain discipline within the school and teacher support while also desiring to reduce out-of-school suspension. The data showed that administrators identified significant differences in most of the student body and students who have frequent behavioral concerns and multiple suspensions. An alternative to suspension program was developed and proposed as a solution to reduce out-of-school suspension.