Lisbon Starts Saturday School Suspensions
By Jill Kasparie, Reporter
LISBON, Iowa – Lisbon Community Schools are starting a new program that will land some students in the classroom on a Saturday.
It's all about cutting down on bad decisions and repeated violations of rules with a new discipline technique, called Saturday School suspensions.
At the end of the school day on Tuesday, many Lisbon students were already longing for some Saturday free-time.
"I normally either hang out with friends or stay at home,” said 8th Grader Brayton Frey.
That's something Frey said he doesn't want to give up.
"I don't want to spend a Saturday at school,” Frey said.
That's exactly the idea behind the new program within the Lisbon district. School leaders are doing away with in-school suspensions for 7th - 12th grade students. Instead, if students act out or repeatedly come late to class, they'll spend three hours at school on a Saturday morning.
"It was enough of a problem where we said, we’ve got students who are missing class or students that are chronically late to class and our solution for these students is to put them in an in-school suspension -- which, we pull them out of more class and we thought, 'this is silly',” said Lisbon Secondary Principal Ian Dye.
The new dean of students, Eric Ries, started the program. He said it was successful at the school he worked at in Davenport.
"They have volleyball tournaments, they have marching band competitions and they know that if they continue to make those types of decisions that they might have to miss out on some of that time," Ries said. "It's not that we want to hold them out of that, but it's a consequence that's meaningful and prevents that behavior."
School leaders don't expect the program to put a dent in the district budget. Ries said he'll conduct Saturday school and will receive hourly pay whenever it's necessary. The district said it's taking this step to motivate better decisions.
The buzz in the hallways is that it might just work.
"No one wants to waste a Saturday coming to school. So I think it's like a good push and motivator for all of the kids,” said Lisbon Junior Cassidy Moore.
According to the Iowa Department of Education, during the 2011/2012 school year, Lisbon had 19 in-school suspensions. The district said it plans to keep track of how many Saturday schools need to be scheduled to see if the new program is working. So far, it hasn't had any this year.
The school said parents and the community were sent notices about the changes.
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