Suspensions Drop by 35% in One Year

The number of students suspended in the Long Beach Unified School District has dropped by 35 percent compared to the prior year, according to newly released data from the California Department of Education.

The data for the 2013-14 school year show 3,742 students suspended here, down by more than 2,010 compared to the prior year. The latest numbers represent a suspension rate of 4.4 percent, based upon the more than 85,400 students who attended local schools at one time or another during the 2013-14 school year.

The state lists LBUSD’s expulsion rate at 0.0 percent, with 15 expulsions amounting to less than a tenth of a percent last school year.

As suspensions decrease, attendance is rising. Each month so far this school year has seen an increase in attendance rates compared to the prior year, with the districtwide attendance rate near 97 percent.

The Long Beach Unified School District in recent years has implemented incentive programs to improve attendance, and the Board of Education approved a resolution more than a year ago urging schools to build on their efforts to provide alternatives to suspensions. The resolution called for the use of multiple strategies such as conflict resolution, early intervention and the opportunity for students to learn appropriate behaviors.