Report On School Suspensions

From the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition:

Suspensions in the Bridgeport Schools: What’s New?

March 21, 2011 – Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition (BCAC) has released its latest report that documents school suspensions in the Bridgeport public schools. This report updates BCAC’s 2009 publication, “Lost Class Time: The State of Suspensions in Bridgeport Schools.”

“The Bridgeport School District has made great strides in reducing out-of-school suspensions. In the last three years, the district has reduced the number of out-of-school suspensions by nearly 20% or 1,445 suspensions. Out-of-school suspensions can cause students to fall behind academically. By reducing the number of out-of-school suspensions, the district has also significantly decreased the number of lost school days,” said Mary Pat C. Healy, BCAC Executive Director. “However, at the same time, in-school suspensions have increased 13%.”

The report found:

• From 2007-08 to 2009-10, out-of-school suspensions in the Bridgeport schools dropped by 20%. In-school suspensions increased by 13%.

• The number of students given out-of-school suspensions decreased 13%, from 3,345 students to 2,904. The number of students given in-school suspensions increased 14%, from 1,019 students to 1,163.

• The number of days lost due to school policy violations dropped 41% in the last three years, but still account for nearly 11,900 lost days.

• More than 35% of all suspensions are in grades 7 and 8; nearly 10% of suspensions involved students in kindergarten-grade 3.

• There is wide variation in out-of-school suspension rates among K-8 schools.

• Out-of-school suspensions dropped, especially at the high school level, during the first three months of the 2010-11 school year, compared to the same period last year. In-school suspensions increased significantly at two of the high schools, Bassick and Harding.

The report also describes several new programs implemented by the district to reduce out-of-school suspensions and improve the overall school environment. During the fall of this current school year, the district implemented in-school suspension programs in all its schools. Positive Behavior Support (PBS), a national model program for preventing and responding to discipline, is underway in all schools. In addition, three schools, Barnum, Bassick High School and Harding High School are being restructured, which is anticipated to reduce suspensions and truancies, improve school climate and most importantly, improve academic achievement. Lastly, two new programs are focused on reducing behavior problems among children in kindergarten-grade 2.

Funding for this report was generously provided by the Perrin Family Foundation and The Tow Foundation. Download a copy of the report at

About the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition

The Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition is a coalition of organizations, parents and concerned individuals committed to improving the well-being of Bridgeport’s children through research, advocacy, community education, and mobilization. To learn more, visit


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