Program to keep suspended students in school reopens in St. Cloud

The St. Cloud school district is reopening a program aimed to reduce the number of suspensions among middle and high school students next month, the St. Cloud Times reports.

The Times quotes the director of student services and special education saying that the district cannot close its achievement gap when students are not in school.

The program, called Community Accountability and Prevention (CAAP), allows sixth through tenth graders to keep up with their school work, meet with counselors to work on behavioral issues and avoid future suspensions, and meet community service requirements.

The district dropped the CAAP program several years ago because of budget cuts. School district officials decided to reopen the program when they looked at the district’s suspension numbers and decided they needed to reduce those numbers: 880 suspensions involving 537 students.

The district is renting a space off campus specifically to accommodate this program. Staff will drive students from their schools each day and take them to the program’s location.

The program will cost $100,000 a year to staff a teacher, a counselor, and a behavioral specialist, plus rental costs for the space, about $15,000 per year according to the Times article.

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