Out-of-school suspensions have been on the decline at Evanston/Skokie District 65 schools, although a late spring surge could change the outlook for this year.

The school board discussed the suspension data at its regular monthly meeting this week.

Two years ago there were 316 suspensions, compared with only 239 last year. As of the middle of April, suspensions this year have totaled 145 and are projected to be similar to last year when the final count is tallied.

The majority of suspensions continue to be for disrespectful, aggressive, or threatening behavior.

An optimistic take on the data would be that, on average, 97 percent of District 65 students did not receive a suspension in the previous two school years, according to the report.

Since 2009, the district has offered an alternative to suspension for relatively minor offenses.  Evening sessions with a social worker are designed to reduce the number of days a student would miss class because of suspensions and to teach them skills for coping with problems that occur during the school day.

Top: A panel of school principals answers board members’ questions pertaining to the suspension report.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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