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Alternative educational programs for disruptive students in selected public secondary schools

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Alternative educational programs for disruptive students in selected public secondary schools
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Briant, Orlan H., 1937-
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English
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vi, 116 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.

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Non-formal education ( lcsh )
School discipline ( lcsh )
Educational innovations ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Thesis (Ed. D.)--University of Florida, 1987.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 98-102.
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Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Orlan H. Briant.

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Full Text
ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS
IN SELECTED PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS
By
ORLAN H. BRIANT
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION




ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Dr. Ralph Kimbrough, who chaired my supervisory comittee, gave constant guidance, advice, and invaluable insight; I could not have completed this study without his help and encouragement; I will always be grateful to him.
Sincere appreciation is also extended to Dr. James Heald,
Dr. William Hedges, and Dr. Eugene Todd for serving on my supervisory committee. Their contributions were always helpful and positive.
Two outstanding ladies, my former secretary at Brandon High School, Joelle Skinner, and my present secretary, June Tracy, were instrumental in bringing this project to a successful conclusion. Without their help the study would still remain unfinished.
The "small group" (Sonya Endicott, Velma Vega, Bill Pent, Norma Trainor, Dick Davidson, and John Sessunis) will always be remembered for their contributions and camaraderie.
The women in my life, my wife, Jerry, and my daughters, Debbie, Laura, Pam, Mindy, and Christy, were always supportive and there when I needed them. Their love and encouragement helped keep me going when I needed a push.
A special "thank you" goes to my mother, Birdie M. Briant. She is, and always has been, my mentor, advisor, and friend. The credit for whatever success I might ever achieve belongs to this great lady. Gloria Rector, my sister, provided invaluable assistance for which I am grateful.




TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ii
ABSTRACT v
CHAPTER
I INTRODUCTION I
Statement of the Problem . . . . . . . . 5
Justification of the Study . . . . . . . . 6
Limitations 6
Delimitations 7
Definition of Terms 7
Procedures 8
Organization of the Study 11
II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 12
Causes of Student Misbehavior 12
Student Misbehavior in Schools 14
School Climate and Misbehavior 15
Development of Alternative Educational Programs for
Disruptive Students 28
Programs for Disruptive Students . . . . . . 31
Chapter Summary 35
III CURRICULA OFFERINGS, STUDENT SERVICES, AND EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES IN THE SELECTED ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS FOR DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS 37
General Data, Grouping, and Grade Structure 38
Curricula Offered 41
Student Services Provided . . . . . . ... . 54
Extracurricular Activities Offered 58
Chapter Summary . . 59
IV ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES, PROCEDURES, AND SERVICES IN THE
SELECTED ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS FOR DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS . 61
Student Entrance and Exit Criteria 61
Staffing Patterns . . . . . . . . . . 66
Transportation and Food Services 72
Chapter Summary 75
iii




CHAPTER Page
V PROFILE OF AN ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL FOR DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS 76
Demographics 78
Student Satisfaction . . . . . . . . . 79
Parent Satisfaction . . . . . . . . . 81
Faculty Satisfaction . . . . . . . . . 81
Academic Information . . . . . . . . . 84
Chapter Summary 85
VI FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS . . . . 86
Findings 87
Conclusions 94
Recommendations 96
REFERENCES 98
APPENDIX
A LETTER OF INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . 103
8 VERIFICATION QUESTIONNAIRE . . . . . . . . 104
C TELEPHONE INTERVIEW GUIDE 105
D ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS
INCLUDED IN THE STUDY . . . . . . . . . III
E OPEN INTERVIEW GUIDE-STAFF . . . . . . . 113
F OPEN INTERVIEW GUIDE-STUDENTS 114
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 115
iv




Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education
ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM'S FOR DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS IN SELECTED PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS By
Orlan H. Briant
May 1987
Chairman: Dr. Ralph B. Kimbrough
Major Department: Educational Leadership
The purpose of this study was to describe alternative educational programs offered in selected schools. The criteria for inclusion in the study were that (a) the school was operated by a public school system,
(b) it was a secondary school housed in a separate facility, and (c) it was considered by the district to be an alternative program designed to accommodate disruptive students.
The data collected were the result of in-depth telephone interviews with the selected program officials and of an on-site visit to one of the schools. The data collected included information about the size and grade structure of the program, curriculum, student services, extracurricular activities, entrance and exit criteria, staffing, transportation, and food service.
The schools included in the study were small, with approximately half including junior and senior high school grades and the remainder consisting only of senior high school grades. The curriculum emphasized basic academic courses, with few elective, vocational, or
v




advanced courses offered. There were few opportunities for extracurricular activities found, with no athletic programs offered and limited club programs.
The student services provided in the schools were extensive. The emphasis on counseling, coupled with small class size, facilitated individual attention for the students. The entrance and exit criteria in all instances included participation by personnel outside the local school .
The school districts included in the study created programs for disruptive students for two basic reasons: to remove the disruptive influence from the classroom in order to provide a better learning environment for the remaining students and to provide a program designed expressly to meet the needs of disruptive students. The programs emphasizing the needs of disruptive students were more successful than those primarily concerned with removing the disruptive students.
vi




CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
Schools are caught in an escalation of student misbehavior unmatched in the history of public education in the United States. The situation has become serious enough in many schools to disrupt the learning environment. Educational costs resulting from the disruption are incalculable and the economic costs are staggering. In 1975 a subcommittee of the United States Senate published a report on violence and vandalism in the nation's schools that shocked citizens and educators throughout the nation (Senate Report of the Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency, 1975).
The Senate report noted that violence and vandalism in the nation's schools in the seventies cost the taxpayers approximately $12 billion annually, and that the incidence of serious delinquency committed in the schools was continuing to rise. While urban schools are especially susceptible to attack, suburban and rural schools certainly are not immune. During the five years prior to the Senate report, robberies and burglaries in secondary schools nationwide jumped nearly 50% while assaults on teachers rose 85%. Some 70,000 physical assaults on teachers were reported in 1982, affecting some 3% of the nation's teaching staff (Moles, 1984).
The cost of school vandalism, over $500 million annually, is comparable to the total sum spent on textbooks each year throughout the United States (Moles, 1984). Schools are forced into depriving
I




2
the serious student by spending millions of dollars on security devices and guard services. Special programs for disruptive and nonadjusting youth add to the cost burden. Regretfully, those funds are taken from the educational program of operating schools, therefore allowing fewer resources for classroom instruction.
After surveying more than one hundred school districts in the United States, the National School Boards Association reported that discipline-related problems were increasing at an alarming rate and had become the major concern of school authorities. On the basis of the data collected, six recomendations; to deal with increasing student misbehavior were made:
1. Districts should establish task forces to collect information
on discipline problems.
2. Students, parents, teachers, and administrators should be
involved when discipline practices are developed.
3. Discipline policies should be written and distributed to all
interested parties.
4. Teachers should be offered in-service training to learn to
deal with student offenders consistently and fairly.
5. School employees should be encouraged to exercise their legal
rights to prevent violence in the schools.
6. Alternatives to suspension and expulsion including alternative
educational programs should be developed for the disruptive
students. (Chizak, 1984, p. 18)
Many educators believe that children of the 1980s are different from children of past decades in terms of behavior, acceptance of authority, and maturity. They are thought to be different because they have been treated differently at home and at school, with the result that discipline is a major problem of the schools today. Goodlad (1984) perhaps stated it best when he said,
The first [condition] is a youth culture powerfully preoccupied with itself and made up of individuals much less shaped by home,
church, and school than once was the case. How well suited to the young people of today is a school that hardened into shape
during a previous era? (p. 321).




3
The data suggest a poor fit. Absenteeism, truancy, and interpersonal tens ions-sinetimes leading to violence-raise serious questions about the appropriateness of schools as conducted for many older students. Foster (1977) concluded that many students cannot endure organized, cooperative, and purposeful activity-they want an emotional disturbance, a conflict, an acting-out center of attention. Goodlad (1984) and Foster (1977) stressed that schools were not meeting the needs of many students.
Many educators believe that the increasing problem of student misbehavior is the result of educators' failing into the trap of seeing an accommodating, well-behaved student as the goal of teaching. If students see respectful and cooperative behavior as an end in itself and not as a way of setting the stage for life, then efforts by the school may be counterproductive (Divoky, 1975).
Closely related to the problem of student misbehavior is the problem of student absenteeism. A pool conducted by the National Association cf Secondary School Principals (1977) confirmed that attendance and discipline were the major problems facing secondary school administrators. Health officials cited in the report estimated that "normal" absentee rates would be 4% or 5% a year while actual absentee rates of 10% and 15% were comnon and some urban schools experienced rates in excess of 30%. Secondary school principals have expressed concern that rising absenteeism will cause educational anemia. With teachers, counselors, and administrators forced into spending increased time managing the attendance situation, reduced opportunity remains for more constructive tasks. In a major report the National Coimission on




4
Excellence in Education (1983) urged that school districts establish attendance policies with clear incentives and sanctions in order to reduce the amount of lost instructional time because of student absenteeism and tardiness. The quality of teaching, counseling, and administering is adversely affected by the problems associated with student absenteeism and misbehavior.
Perhaps the most damaging of all is the tone of mistrust and suspicion that develops when a school is invaded by threats and extortions. The morale of students, teachers, and parents falls appreciably. Meanwhile, the administrator's frustration grows because of time lost from providing effective school leadership.
Even in light of startling statistics, much school crime remains hidden; moreover, there is a tendency among students, teachers, and administrators not to report serious incidents. Students fear retaliation or dislike being tabbed informers, and teachers tire of taking the risk to report violations only to see little concrete results coming from the risk. Many administrators feel that too many reports of misbehavior will damage the reputation of the school.
R. Johnson (1979), an experienced Virginia high school principal, spoke for many urban secondary school principals when he stated:
The devastating and costly impact on the total school program of
a small percentage of pupils who are presently incapable of
meeting minimum acceptable behavior standards in a regular
school program must be corrected. The crime, violence, vandalism,
and disruptive behavior for which this small group has primary responsibility has seriously altered the nature of our schools.
This has resulted in the classroom becoming less than an ideal learning experience for many students. The time has come for
public school educators, concerned parents and students, and governmental service agencies to join together to provide an
appropriate alternative education program which will effectively




5
remove these pupils from the mainstream of public education until
such time as they can prove that they are ready to take their
rightful place once again in the mainstream. (p. 1 )
Procedures for handling disruptive students focus upon two central approaches: (a) suspension and/or expulsion of the disruptive youth, and (b) assignment to supportive, corrective programs. Most administrators agree that suspension and/or expulsion are little more than necessary short-term measures and provide little or no help for the offending student. School leaders are constantly searching for other alternatives to deal with misbehaving youth.
Schools alone cannot change a society that spawns deviant behavior patterns. They can, however, restructure their own limited environment to offer clear policies, improved programs, and stronger security. A positive answer for disruptive youth is to provide alternative educational settings, places that respond to the unique needs of these youth. The alternative school movement contains much promise as an answer for the problems associated with educating disruptive youth.
Statement of the Problem
The purpose of this study was to describe alternative educational programs offered in selected secondary schools of the United States that are established in a separate environment for disruptive students. Specifically, this study is concerned with the following aspects of separate alternative educational programs for disruptive students:
1. Grade structures
2. Curricula
3. Types of services provided
4. Extracurricular activities included




6
5. Entrance and exit criteria
6. Staffing variations
7. Methods of transporting and feeding the students
8. Student, parent, and s dff satisfaction.
Justification of the Study
The need for successful alternative educational programs for disruptive students was discussed in the introduction to this chapter. By systematically describing existing alternative programs for disruptive students in selected school districts throughout the United States, this study contributes to a better understanding of the programs and
provides meaningful data for district administrators considering the creation of similar programs in their districts. The study should prove helpful to administrators who already have such programs by providing a document whereby they can compare their programs with the programs described. If a new program for disruptive students is created, or an existing program is modified, to focus on their needs rather than merely segregating them from other students, then this study will have proven justified.
Limitations
1. Except for an on-site visit to one alternative educational program,
the information describing the alternative programs for disruptive
students was limited to the data that could be collected by telephone
interviews based on a telephone interview guide.
2. Indicators of success, such as grades, drop-out rates, and graduation
rates were not included in the national study; however, they were a
part of an on-site visit to one school and are included in Chapter V.




7
3. Faculty, parent, and student satisfaction ratings of the alternative programs were not included in the study except for those obtained from an on-site visit to one school and which are included
in Chapter V.
Del imi tati ons
1. Only public schools were included in the sample.
2. The study was limited to alternative educational programs for disruptive students who are housed in a separate environment.
3. An attempt was made to include programs from all geographic areas
of the nation.
4. Schools with residential facilities were not included in the study. 5. The study did not include grades K-6 or programs that included any
K-6 grade with the secondary grades.
6. Programs that included a portion of each day in a special program
for disruptive students were not included.
Definitation of Terms
1. Disruptive students-Pupils whose activities so disrupt a classroom,
school, or educational program on a continuous basis as to create
serious harm or threat to others or to themselves, or who seriously
hamper the rights of others to learm.
2. Alternative educational program for disruptive students- A specific
educational strategy, apart from the normal educational program,
specifically designed for the disruptive student.
3. Separate environment- An environment segregated from the normal
school program by being located on a different campus or being in a




8
separate facility on the regular school campus. This does not
include residential facilities.
4. qj Attempts to manage student behavior, to bring it under
control and to impose order.
Procedures
This study was conducted after a review of the literature on alternative educational programs for disruptive students, especially those housed in separate facilities. However, the literature dealing with programs that are a part of the regular school program, such as inschool suspension programs, was also reviewed. Selection of the Sample
After the literature was reviewed, the Center for Options in Public Education, located at Indiana University, was contacted. This center, under the direction of Drs. Vernon Smith, David Burke, and Robert Barr, is the clearinghouse for information about alternative programs in public schools throughout the United States. The Center for Options in Public Education was asked to identify school districts that operate one or more alternative educational programs for disruptive students, based on the following criteria:
1. The program was for secondary students only.
2. The program was housed in a separate environment.
3. The program was operated by a public school district.
4. The district operating the program considered it to be an alternative
educational program designed for disruptive students.




9
Schools for possible inclusion in the study were also identified as a result of the review of the literature. Sixty schools that had been identified by the Center for Options in Public Education and from the review of the literature were mailed a letter of introduction (Appendix A) and a short questionnaire soliciting information to verify that each program was in fact an alternative program designed for disruptive students and met the criteria established for the study. The questionnaire (Appendix B) was returned by 48 schools.
After a careful evaluation of the initial questionnaire, 21 of the
schools were verified as meeting the criteria for inclusion in the study. The 21 schools represented 19 school districts in 14 states located throughout the United States (Appendix D).
Instrumentation
Following the selection of the 21 schools that met the criteria for inclusion in the study, the writer, using the telephone interview guide (Appendix C), interviewed each administrator. The telephone interview guide was developed to gather the necessary data to describe the selected alternative educational programs and was tested on selected programs and modified to improve its reliability for gathering the required data. Administrators from selected alternative programs for disruptive students were asked for their suggestions to improve the telephone interview guide, and their recommendations were included in the modifications to the interview guide. In addition, the telephone interview guide was submitted to a panel of educational administration experts from the University of Florida. The panel, after suggesting minor changes related to clarity, determined that the instrument did have face validity.




10
The information used in Chapter V was gathered as a result of an on-site visit. The on-site visit included interviews with students and staff that were designed to determine the degree of satisfaction with the alternative program. Open interview guides for staff (Appendix E) and students (Appendix F) were used to gather the information.
Collection of the Data
The primary source of data for the national study came from the telephone interviews conducted with administrators of the selected schools. In a number of instances, follow-up telephone interviews were required for clarification. Additionally, the interviewer visited one of the selected schools and gathered data by personal interviews with the administrators, teachers, and students; an open interview guide was used (Appendices E & F). The information gathered from the on-site visit also included statistical information on the curriculum, test scores, grades, and other measures of success. The information from the on-site visit is provided as a case study in Chapter V. The on-site visit was also used to compare the program found during the visit with the answers obtained previously from the telephone interview guide. The situation found during the on-site visit was consistent with the answers obtained during the telephone interview in 98% of the items. The only differences observed, those in course offerings, were explained as resulting from different students being enrolled in the school. Analysis of the Data
The data were analyzed by the following areas: general information and grade structure, curriculum, student services, extracurricular activities, entrance and exit criteria, staffing, transportation, and




food service. The data were collected from the telephone interviews in the order that is described above. The data were analyzed to show frequencies of practices for each area included. Frequency tables and graphs were used to organize and present the data.
A case study was made of one of the selected alternative schools for disruptive students through an on-site visit. In this case study the degree of satisfaction with the program by faculty and students was reported and data were obtained concerning the success of the program (i.e., test scores, grades, and other measures of success).
Organization of the Study
The study is divided into six chapters. Chapter I contains the
introduction, the statement of the problem, the justification of the study, limitations, delimitations, definitions of terms, and procedures. A review of the literature concerning the broad area of alternative educational programs as well as alternative programs for disruptive students is presented in Chapter II. In Chapter III are found the data
collected concerning the curricula, student services, and extra curricular activities provided in the selected alternative schools for disruptive students. In Chapter IV the administrative practices and procedures used in the selected schools are presented. Chapter V contains the results of an on-site visit presented as a case study of one of the selected schools. Chapter VI presents the summary, conclusions, and recommendations, and suggests areas for further study.




CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Sociologists and psychologists continue to seek answers to the problem of increasing juvenile misbehavior in American society. Certainly, youth crime and delinquency extend beyond the schools. The majority of youth crime and misbehavior is committed on the streets. In addition, many of the disruptions that occur on school campuses are caused by nonstudent intruders.
Causes of Student Misbehavior
Moles (1984) listed the major factors that contribute to disruptive student behavior as urbanization, economic disparity, racial mistrust, changes in family life, personal values, and social relationships. A report issued by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (Pratt, 1976) discusses four major causes of disruptive behavior in students:
1. Economic difficulties may lead to alienation from society.
Economically disadvantaged youth develop a sense of personal
worthlessness that results in antisocial behavior. Other
causes include the gap between what society teaches can be
expected as a mainstream American citizen and what actually
is achieved in life.
2. The effect of prolonged adolescent dependence is another
cause. Because young people have little chance to assume any
serious responsibilities, their need for independence is
fulfilled by confrontation with adults and authority symbols.
3. Secondary schools have become too large. Students and staff
develop a sense of separation and powerlessness. When students lose their identity with their school (or with any
institution), the result is often antisocial behavior. A
large school may function well for students that live in a
12




13
stable home and neighborhood, but in a transient world,
characterized by loose family ties, youth need the famniliarity a smaler school can often provide. The smaller
school, with its personal friendships and its opportunities
to participate, is one of the few places open for [a] youth
to become known, to be somebody, and to become appreciated
as a person.
4. . .In a recent study of violence on television entertainment programs, Loye (1976) concluded that violence on television is a serious social issue for those concerned with
child behavior. This study suggested that if guidelines on
violence were developed by the Federal Conuninications Commnission, the aggression found in homes and on streets would
diminish. (p. 4)
What are the characteristics of the typical disruptive student?
Do juvenile delinquents have characteristics in common with regard to
family structure, socioeconomic background, attitudes, work, and social
habits?
Pratt (1976) presented a profile of a typical delinquent youth
while emphasizing the negative impact that disruptive students have on
education:
Sex: Male
Age: 12-17
Family: Single parent home; usually lives with working
mother; several children in family. Socio-economic: Parents born in the city; grandparents migrated from rural area; family income at poverty level, often on welfare.
Environment: Family does not own home; rather lives in apartment or public housing; marginal comforts.
Education: One or two years behind class; difficulty with
reading; frequently absent; often tardy, nonparticipant in school activities; admires sports, but generally does not participate; concerned with lack of autonomy.
Work: Works part time or on pickup jobs; often does not
stay long in the same job.
Social Habits: Advanced socially; sexually mature; sets own
hours; drinks moderately; smokes cigarettes; uses drugs periodically; generally does not own a car. Attitude: Surly; antagonistic; vacillates with periods of
red usi veness.
Future: No long-range goals; no plans for post secondary
education; job oriented; some interest in vocational-technical education. (p. 8)




14
Student Misbehavior in Schools
Chamberlain (1984) categorized student misbehavior into two broad areas, challenging behavior and coping behavior. Examples of challenging behavior are attacking, "smarting-off," and ignoring. Attacking occurs when a student consciously inflicts pain, either physical or mental, on the teacher. Examples of attacking behavior are glaring, nonverbal gestures, sarcasm, and physical confrontations. "Smarting-off" generally occurs as a satirical remark and is softer than attacking. Ignoring happens when a student intentionally disregards a directive. Coping behaviors are broken down into two areas, engaging and relieving boredom. Engaging behavior consists of behavior by a student Jesigned to elicit approval from peers. Relieving boredom is exhibited when a
student feels emotionally and/or intellectually separated from the classroom and is a response to monotony. This behavior usually takes the form of doodles, tapping with a pencil, daydreaming, and similar behavior.
Students who are found in alternative schools, or programs, for
disruptive students will normally be those guilty of challenging behavior. Most students who must be removed from the regular classroom setting have demonstrated behavior that could be described as attacking. This attacking behavior often takes the form of physical attacks as well as the other forms of challenging behavior. However, many students who are candidates for an alternative program for disruptive students exhibit other forms of misbehavior, especially smarting-off, ignoring, and the various coping behaviors described previously.




15
School Climate and Misbehavior
The school climate has a profound affect on student behavior.
Binkley (1984) found that schools that reward students for good behavior seem to have less disruption than schools that stress punishment for poor behavior.
The perceptions of teachers toward what is considered disruptive behavior determine to a great extent the misbehavior that can be found in many classrooms. Safran (1985) concluded that schools with a high degree of tolerance for student misbehavior may be encouraging student violence and disruption. Many students who are classified as disruptive blame the school for many of their problems. They describe the school as a place that does not understand them and that hassels them. A study commissioned by the Carnegie Institute (Silberman, 1970) described many schools as grim, oppressive, and joyless places. The study concluded that this type of atmosphere encouraged rebellion and disruption in many students.
Eicholtz (1984) presented nine steps for improving the school climate. He suggested that
the school would be seen as less hostile by problem students if (1) the staff served as positive role models, (2) the principal
was highly visible and known to students, (3) the faculty specifically planned for a warm school climate, (4) there was continual
assessment, (5) rewards and exceptions were given for positive
behavior, (6) the school policies were clearly defined, (7) students were given individualized attention with high expectations, (8) the curriculum had a proper balance, and (9) the parents and
community were involved in the school. (p. 25).
The involvement of parents, and the community was the subject of a project involving 44 secondary schools. In this study violence, crime, and disruptions decreased substantially as the involvement of parents and community increased (Smith, 1984).




16
Motivation of Disruptive Students
Clearly, motivation to succeed in school is lacking in the disruptive student. Closely related to motivation is self-concept as it relates to a positive student attitude. A poll of secondary school principals (Byrne, 1978) listed student apathy and lack of motivation as the most serious constraints facing secondary school administrators. The survey listed the development of a strong student self-concept as one of the major tasks facing secondary school education.
Any program for the disruptive student should be concerned with creating a more positive self-concept as a means to combating student apathy and lack of motivation. Some basic motivation theories include Skinner's (1974) positive reinforcement and Maslow's (1954) five-part self-actualization process. A further study of motivation by Wlodkowski (1978) listed the factors of motivation in the student's role as self-esteem, level of aspiration, and need of achievement. The teacher's role in shaping motivation included the factors of expectation, feedback, and effective praise. L. 0. Smith (1986) discussed Skinner's positive reinforcement from a philosophical viewpoint. He stressed the value of positive reinforcement because of the good it does for student and teacher alike, and he was critical of the effects of punishment as a means for motivation.
Heckhauser (1971) found that students high in achievement motivation exhibit the following characteristics: "(1) interest in excellence for its own sake; (2) preference for situations in which they take personal responsibility; and (3) setting of goals after considering a variety of alternatives" (p. 85). He emphasized the independence exhibited by the high achievers.




17
In a study of high school students' attitudes, behavior, and perceptions of the labor market, Stinchcombe (1964) found a significant relationship between the expectations that students held of the future and their rebellious attitudes and behavior. Stinchcombe concluded that the desire of young people to accept conformity to the policies of school authorities declined in proportion as the credibility of the promise for work and success declined. Skinner (1971) stated that alternatives for disruptive students must include special emphasis on student boredom, frustration, anxiety, poor self-concept, and other similar causes of discipline problems.
Olexa (1984) reported that teachers trained to use motivational exercises in their classrooms have increased motivation in apathetic youth. He defined those motivated by external forces as pawns and those motivated by internal forces as origins. The challenges, then, are to motivate the disruptive student less through external forces and increasingly by internal forces. Olexa stressed that motivation training could have a positive effect on the school behavior of disruptive students.
Counseling Disruptive Students
Program guidance and counseling is of paramount importance in programs for disruptive students. Emphasis was placed on individual and group counseling in an alternative school for problem students established in Grand Rapids, Michigan (Rowe & Wagner, 1974). Other innovative features of the Grand Rapids school included contract learning, packages providing help in remedial skills, and a "free room" where students could spend reward tokens. Group therapy (Webster, 1984)




18
can be effectively integrated into the regular school program to provide help for students with severe behavioral problems. Champeau (1983) stressed the value of one-to-one counseling with emphasis on self-concept, relationships, and management of time.
In a paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Jones and Starkey (1975, April) proposed that an important aspect of an alternative educational program for disruptive students should be the redefinition of the teacher role to include counseling functions. The paper described an alternative school in which socially maladjusted youth were helped to build self-esteem, a sense of self-worth, and interdependence through group counseling and group projects as the basis for the school curriculum. Students in the redefined setting showed increasingly better social adjustment, finished high school, and undertook further training. The success of this alternative school was measured by a 90% attendance rating and by the lack of major discipline problems within the school.
A special school program called "More Effective Schools," initiated by the United Federation of Teachers and the New York Board of Education, emphasized the importance of a guidance approach in teaching ghetto children (Channon, 1967). While the program achieved partial success, it was criticized by Channon as having failed because it was rigid, restrictive, and unimaginative. Also, the teachers were inexperienced and often hostile toward each other and the children. The implication was that the lack of care in selecting and training the teachers greatly contributed to the program's lack of success, and that the lack of success was not the result of the guidance approach of the program.




19
Classroom Discipline
Much has been said about the teacher's burden of maintaining discipline. Poor classroom discipline is a major characteristic of disruptive students. Numerous reports have stressed the importance of proper classroom discipline as it relates to learning. Adler (1982) stressed that students should be required to behave in class in a manner that is conducive to learning. A report issued by the National Center for Educational Statistics (Holmes, 1981) emphasized that the loss of learning because of classroom disruption was a major problem facing educators, and that the amount of lost learning could not be calculated. Boyer (1983) stated that teachers must be supported in the maintenance of discipline based on a clearly stated code of conduct with appropriate sanctions for misconduct and rewards for good behavior.
Too often teachers become so concerned with discipline and its associated problems that they give up and fail to teach at all. Helping students become self-disciplined is teaching. Crook (1979) stressed that teaching is defined as showing or helping one learn how to do something. Therefore, to help students learn how to behave properly and to become better self-disciplined individuals is certainly teaching. If teachers would perceive that helping students become better disciplined individuals is an important part of teaching, there would be fewer teachers complaining that they cannot teach because they are too busy disciplining students.
Goodlad (1984) stated that
lacking a common goal of needing and wanting to learn what
teachers have to offer, students beyond the primary years are
not likely to create voluntarily the orderly, receptive circumstances in which teachers, in turn, see themselves as most




20
effective and satisfied. This may at least partly explain why control of the classroom situation looms so large for teachers
beyond the early grades as a necessary condition and one for
which they must take major responsibility. Establishing control,
especially at the secondary level, becomes a mechanism both for
personal survival and for maintaining the minimal conditions under which teaching and learning can proceed. (pp. 191-192)
Gorton (1977) proposed a nonpunitive approach to disruptive
behavior characterized by remediation learning problems, changing the
school environment, changing the student's perception of school, and
implementing alternative programs that could eventually reduce student
misbehavior and, according to the Gordon, should be considered instead
of punitive approaches for working with students with discipline problems. Gonzales (1984) proposed extensive counseling and career education programs to improve student discipline.
Sinner and Sinner (1978) suggested a practical approach to solving disruptive student behavior that emphasized stressing positive discipline. Through the use of Glasser's Therapy model, these objectives
were listed as follows:
1. Teachers will realize that many times they cause the disruptive behavior of students.
2. Students will realize that they are totally responsible for
their behavior.
3. Students will realize that irresponsible behavior will not
achieve the goal they desire.
4. Student's academic achievement will increase because the
student is acting in a responsible manner.
5. Teachers will have more time to teach because of fewer disruptions.
6. The administration will have time to supervise teachers since
the need to discipline students will be reduced.
7. Vandalism will be reduced.
8. Use of drugs will be reduced because teachers will have helped
students to improve their self-images.
9. Disrespect for teachers will be reduced since students and
teachers can resolve their differences in one-on-one conferences.
10. Students will be more productive in all areas of student
activity. (Sinner & Sinner, 1978, p. 407)




21
Knoff (1984) proposed a comprehensive problem-solving model to address discipline from a preventive perspective. He suggested guidelines for identifying, analyzing, intervening in, and evaluating discipline problems. He stressed better prevention of disruptive behavior as opposed to dealing with it after it occurs.
Haynes (1973) found that personalizing instruction could have a positive effect on potentially disruptive students. By personalizing
tasks that were geared to the appropriate level of learning, as well as to the interests and needs of each pupil, discipline problems were substantially reduced in disruptive students. Hyman and D'Alessandra (1984) found that discipline improved when the quality of education improved.
A more democratic approach to classroom discipline, according to Harris (1985), might also help in reducing disruptions. Harris argued that a method of structuring classroom behavior that gives students a chance to participate in making the classroom rules and to discipline themselves is one answer to curbing disruptive behavior in students. Chamberlain (1984) stressed that a highly structured, organized, and positive classroom is necessary for good behavior and successful learning.
A philosophical curriculum model that Bruening (1978) patterned after the philosophies of Carl Rodgers, John Dewey, Erick Fromm,and Jean-Paul Sarte, called the fully-functioning-person model, had student interest as its goal, with skills learned being a by-product. In this model discipline is not imposed by the teacher, but self-discipline is encouraged. Bruening stressed that with the proper emphasis on student motivation, student discipline problems should be minimal.




22
The 41 members of The Task Force on Education for Economic Growth (1983) recommended that school and classroom rules be firm, explicit, and demanding. The task force emphasized that students with behavioral problems need clear and specific policies and rules.
Because many disruptive students are also emotionally disturbed children, Long (1967) concluded that the needs of the latter should be considered when providing alternative programs for disruptive students. According to Long, the appropriate questions to ask are "'How can disturbed children be identified?'; 'What kinds of help are appropriate?'; 'What kinds of educational programs should be provided?' ; 'How do you teach these children?'; and 'How do you measure improvement and interpret future?"' (1967, p. 28).
Ross (1979) concluded that most disruptive students do not enjoy having the label of disruptive student placed an them; however, they do not know how, or lack the motivation, to change the direction of their lives. Alternative schools designed for students with severe behavioral problems provide a structured setting, staffed by trained professional personnel, to help those students who want to be trouble free. The desire to be "straight" is evident in the following statement by a troubled student:
If I could have one wish to change something in my life, I'd wish I could stop being in trouble all the time. I've been in trouble
so much so long that I wouldn't know what it was like not to be
in trouble. That's what Id wish for to have changed about my
life, to be someone who wouldn't be in trouble all the time.
(Rot.s, 1979, p. 14)
Fundamental Schools
The back-to-basics movement is viewed by many educators as a reaction to student disruption. While the fundamental school is not




23
necessarily an alternative program for disruptive students, it may have an impact on the need for alternative programs for students that cannot function in the basic, fundamental school. Stressing the need to return to a more basic educational program, Wellington (1977) emphasized the need for improved student discipline and control of students. Wellington also stressed the need for board-of-education control of the schools and for greater citizen involvement.
More recently the National Commission on Excellence in Education (1983) issued a report to U.S. Secretary of Education Terrell Bell. In the commission's recommendations concerning the use of time, the need for alternative schools or programs that stressed fundamental education was presented. The report stated that the burden on teachers for maintaining discipline should be reduced through development of firm and fair codes of student conduct that are enforced consistently, and by considering alternative classrooms, programs, and schools to meet the needs of continually disruptive students.
Many educators have argued that public education is justified only when schools provide a sound, basic education for all students (Weber, 1972). Weber stressed that devotion to basic education does not mean indifference to the social and vocational development of students. This view of education would necessitate the creation of alternative programs for students unable to cope in the regular, basic program.
Although alternative schools for disruptive students are not new, many educators believe that the increasing number of misbehaving students, bringing to school daily the home and community problems that are part of their experience, makes the alternative school a viable solution.




24
A report issued by the Task Force on Federal Elementary and Secondary Educational Policy (1983) stated thdt schools have had to cope with more problem children than ever before-those who are unmotivated and prone to violence. The report concluded that these problems are the result of drugs, the increasing number of broken homes and single parents, the increased permissiveness in the home and society, the effects of television, and the growth of the underworld culture.
Myers (1977) was among those most outspoken for a back-to-basics
approach to the problems caused by disruptive students. He discussed the invasion of illiteracy, the departure from discipline, and the decline of patriotism that he saw rampant in the schools. He placed the responsibility for these problems with the boards of education, teachers unions, the tenure system, innovative curricula (new math, new grammuar, inductive social studies), federal funding for schools, and the prohibition against failing students, particularly disruptive students. He called for a return to the basics, for a return to conventional instruction, traditional curricula, strict discipline, and the inculcation of patriotic values. His experiences in helping establish the John Marshall Fundamental School in Pasadena, California, were included in his book. He acknowledged the need for special programs and schools for disruptive students who could not function in the fundamental schools.
Proponents of fundamental education have often blamed decreasing student achievement on "progressive" education. Vetterli (1976) presented data showing that the academic achievement of students, both black and white, in fundamental schools was significantly greater than that of similar students in progressive schools. He argued that this was




25
particularly true for the average and low-average intelligence student and for the potentially disruptive student. He emphasized that too often the public schools have rewarded students for failure or poor performance. Jackson (1985) concluded that, if schools would stop rewarding students for misbehavior and failure, the classroom climate would improve and discipline problems would decrease. He stated that students will not behave better and achieve more until teacher expectations are raised and students are held accountable for their actions.
Schofield (1976). among those educators who have criticized the back-to-basics movement, summarized the thinking of those concerned with what he termed the regressive tendencies of fundamentalist education, and suggested that traditional skills do not constitute the true basics of education. Instead he cited the cognitive, affective, and developmental skills necessary for mature and effective communications as the real basic educational goals. Schofield argued that if these goals were achieved in American education, then the concern of illitercy and student disruptions would cease to exist.
In-School Suspension Programs
In-school suspension programs have gained great acceptance during the last few years as an alternative to traditional methods for punishing student misbehavior. The effective in-school suspension program has the following characteristics, according to Hayes (1977):
1. The program must rest on a solid philosophical foundation which
allows for defining and dealing with the root problems of behavior, not merely the symptoms of discipline problems.
2. Teachers and administrators must be willing to acknowledge
that sometimes they contribute to student misbehavior.
3. Attention must be given to the process by which students
are assigned to the program, how long they should stay, and
the process for follow-up once they leave.




26
4. Special attention should be paid to academic difficulties,
since frequently such difficulties underline student discipline problems.
5. Program personnel, including counselors, teachers, and aides,
should be carefully selected.
6. The program should be evaluated at regular intervals throughout the school year. (p. 3)
Many reasons have been given favoring the in-school suspension program over out-of-school suspension. Zimmerman (1981) gave four of the most pertinent reasons:
1. Students are supervised and disciplined for improper actions
as opposed to being home watching television or being out on
the streets causing problems in the community.
2. The program will almost pay for itself through increasing
average daily attendance as opposed to the district losing
money when students are suspended out of school.
3. Positive reinforcement is receiyved from parents who prefer
having their children supervised at school.
4. Probably most important, although many students are hostile
at first towards the program, most will settle down and
learn from the program. (p. 14)
Chizak (1984) showed that in-school suspension and detention programs reduced out-of-school suspension by approximately 30% in high schools and 40% in junior high schools. Mendez (1977) described another positive element of the in-school suspension program as combining efforts to help students succeed with the administration of school disciplime.
The legal implication of in-school suspension practices through consideration of individual versus institutional rights within a punitive-rehabilitative setting was reported by Wiles and Rockoff (1978). They discussed the applicability of the prison hospital model to schools and argued that although future legal action might challenge the viability of in-school suspension programs, rulings in the seventies seemed to uphold the constitutionality of in-school suspension programs.




27
Wiles and Rockoff (1978) inferred that the same rationale could be used for assigning students to alternative programs for disruptive students.
The influence of statutory laws for education, and discipline practices in particular, is a great concern for today's educators. Whereas many educators view the law as restricting administrative discipline practices, Thomas (1976) proposed that law be incorporated into the regular school curriculum. Teaching the law to both students and parents, he suggested, would result in greater understanding and thus have a positive impact on student discipline and focus attention on the special needs of the disruptive student.
A survey conducted in all Pensylvania schools by the Pennsylvania State Department of Education (1977) listed the disciplinary approaches used for misbehaving students other than the traditional means of detention, suspension, expulsion, and corporal punishment. The results fell into two disciplinary approaches: (a) disciplinary techniques, which are single, specific activities, and (b) alternative programs,which attempt to alter the entire problem from many directions. The major disciplinary techniques used were punishment (including withholding privileges, isolation, and the use of a demerit system), parental involvement (including schedule changes, tutoring, and special assignments), and behavior modification (including behavioral contracts and reward system). Alternative discipline programs were varied, ranging from single in-school suspension classes to fully developed alternative schools where disruptive students were enrolled for one or more years.
A legislative report in South Carolina (South Carolina State
Department of Education, 1976) urged that policies and procedures for




28
disciplining students be designed to teach them responsibility rather than being simple punishment. As noted in the report, providing educational opportunities for behavioral deviants is a problem that does not have simple solutions. However, alternatives to suspension or expulsion, such as alternative educational programs, should be attempted before extreme disciplinary measures are undertaken.
A handbook developed by the American Friends Service Committee (1975) in South Carolina was published to stimulate thought, planning, and action in developing viable alternatives to suspensions. The handbook contains statements from the various district superintendents about discipline practices in their schools. An important conclusion drawn from this study is that the personal philosophy of the superintendent directly influences the number and kinds of alternatives that a district may attempt when dealing with disruptive students. Alternative educational programs for misbehaving students are recommended as an alternative for expulsion.
Development of Alternative Educational Program for -pisruptive Students
Alternative educational programs for disruptive students have been developed to deal with the problems and attitudes of the typical delinquent youth described herein. The alternative school movement can be traced to 1969 when the first alternative school opened. By 1977 there were over 10,000 alternative schools in the nation. Today that number has increased to 13,000. One-third of all the school districts in the United States have some form of alternative school and two-thirds of the large districts have alternative educational programs. A wide variety




29
of types and structures of alternative schools exist; however, some common characteristics are associated with the movement, including the foll1owi ng:
1. Students, parents, and teachers have the choice to participate in
the alternative program or remain in a traditional program.
2. They are smaller than traditional programs.
3. They stress the individual rather than the group. 4. They are more flexible than traditional programs.
5. They are distinctively different in one or more areas from traditional programs. These differences may be in grouping of students,
curriculum, dicipline practices, or admittance procedures. (Smith,
Burke, & Barr, 1974)
Alternative schools are known by a variety of names. Some of these labels are schools of choice, magnet schools, optional schools,
open schools, school s-wi thout-wallIs, learning centers, continuation schools, multicultural schools, free schools, and school s-wi thi n-aschool. Alternative schools take many shapes and forms. They address many different problems and result from divergent philosophies of education. One of the major problems an alternative school may be created to address is that of the disruptive student. The true alternative school for disruptive students includes all of the common characteristics of alternative schools in general, with the exception that it is not as flexible and may not include freedom of choice for attending. Alternatives to regular schools long have been available. These alternatives have been known as vocational schools, adult schools, community schools, comprehensive schools, church schools, evening schools, and a wide variety of private, independent schools.




30
The contemporary concept of the optional or alternative public
secondary school first moved into the spotlight in 1967 when Clifford Brenner, the director of development for the school district of Philadelphia, proposed a school that would utilize the cultural and commercial resources of the city and would exist, for all practical purposes, out among those resources rather than in a conventional schoolhouse. His idea materialized as the Parkway School in 1969 (Smith et al., 1974).
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (1973) issued a report predicting that the rapid increase of alternative schools was sure to continue at an increasing rate and suggested that principals needed to examine the movement closely. The report listed six characteristics that distinguish alternative schools from most regular schools:
1. Differ significantly in curriculum and instructional practices
2. Strive for greater involvement of staff and students in decision
making
3. Are more flexible and, therefore, more responsive to evaluation
and planned change.
4. Tend to make more extensive use of community resources and facilities
5. Usually have a commitment to be more responsive to some community
need or needs
6. Are more often small schools with 30 to 400 students.
A survey by the National Association of Secondary Schools Principals (1978. estimated that by 1985 at least one in three of the




31
nation's 16,000 public school systems would have one or more alternative schools in operation and that among the smallest school districts, those with fewer than 600 students, one district in five would have an alternative school. In districts with more than 25,000 students it was estimated that 80% would have one or more alternative schools. The survey also predicted that more alternative schools would be found at the high school level than in schools that serve the earlier grades, and that more than 10,000 alternative schools would be in operation.
The alternative programs in use today can be grouped into three types. First, there are the back-to-basicsor fundamental, schools that respond to the public's concern for a return to a simpler, more basic education. Second, there are the magnet schools, which appeared as a strategy to help integrate a school district, to help avoid the problems associated with urban flight, and to increase interest and participation in the public schools. Last are the alternative programs designed for disruptive youth that have beer, developed as a consequence of increasing vandalism, violence, disorderly conduct, and student apathy in schools and society at large. This study is concerned with alternative programs designed for disruptive youth.
Programs for Disruptive Students
The Dade County, Florida, school system (Dade County Public Schools, 1976) developed two strategies to modify disruptive behavior in the school system. The strategies involved in-school programs and out-ofschool programs. The in-school programs included special classes within the regular school for misbehaving students. The time spent in the




32
in-school special class varied depending on the severity of the infraction and the pupil's attitude and subsequent conduct. The district had four out-of-school centers for disruptive students. Severely disruptive students were assigned to the alternative school as a last resort before expulsion. While the length of stay at the alternative school was usually for the remainder of the school term, the program's purpose was also to return the student to the regular school program as quickly as possible.
Alternative schools for disruptive students in New Jersey have been guided by state policies. A report in 1984 by New Jersey Commissioner of Education Cooperman emphasizes the special supports and assistance that disruptive students need in order to develop more responsible patterns of behavior. The report urged helping such students to be successful while at the same time eliminating their interference with the learning of other students.
Alternative educational programs for disruptive students in New York City were discussed in a report prepared by Guttenburg (1984), director of education for the city schools. He stressed the importance of curriculum decisions for educating disruptive students. He reported that curriculum development there was shared and that the emphasis was on active participation of the students. He concluded that the alternative schools for disruptive students in the city had been generally successful but that much room for improvement remained.
A report on disruptive students in the state of New York (New York State Education Department, 1972) emphasized that school programs for disruptive students should be intertwined with the total educational




33
policy and resources of the school district, and advocated individualized instruction, resource rooms, and staff participation in curriculum planning to aid the disruptive student. The report highlighted the
importance of good relationships with community agencies and law enforcement departments. In the discussion of legal aspects and security
measures, the report urged that all students, policemen, and school officials be aware of their rights and responsibilities. The report concluded that sensitive administrative procedures and the inclusion of students, faculty, and community in establishing regulations can prevent many student disruptions. The report also emphasized that to aid in identification and prevention of potentially disruptive situations, school districts need clearly written policy statements on special classes, special schools, and alternative schools that are available to the students.
Because disruptive students tend to come from culturally disadvantaged areas, teachers assigned to programs for them should be properly trained to work with culturally disadvantaged children. K. R. Johnson (1967) highlighted the teacher's role in working with disadvantaged children and with the parents of those students. He emphasized classroom management and its effect on discipline, motivation, and human
rel ations.
Numerous studies have assessed the problem of student disruption, its consequencesand implications for creating specific schools to educate problem students. In a study of the Hillsborough County Public Schools, Foster (1977) found that (a) a significant number of suspensions were for minor offenses that could be classified as nondisruptive,




34
(b) the suspension rate for black students was clearly disproportional to their numbers in the school system, (c) the use of in-school suspension programs was perceived as the clearest and quickest way to decrease discipline problems, (d) out-of-school suspension should be used sparingly because of its disruption to the student's education, and (e) regularly scheduled and planned sessions should be continued between minority group representatives and various levels of the school system's administration. Foster (1977) concluded with a recommendation that the district move slowly in establishing a separate center for disruptive students. He was concerned that an alternative school for disruptive students might have racial overtones.
A National Association of Secondary School Principals Task Force
(1977) recommended five basic types of programs for disruptive and potentially disruptive students: "(1) alternatives and services for students with behavior problems; (2) human relations training for all segments of the school population; (3) expanded counseling services; (4) teacher training in working with problem students; and (5) community diagnostic/ treatment centers" (p. 5).
A report of a governor's task force in Florida (Kraft & Wildman, 1976) described the economic costs of disruptive school-age youth. These costs were described in two categories, those related directly to the operation of Florida's schools and those derived from the disproportional use of social services by undereducated citizens. The task force found no optimum-size school that would result in a lower rate of disruptive students, although smaller schools seemed best in handling disruptive youth.




35
A paper by Neill (1976) outlining trends in suspensions and
expulsions in the nation's schools concluded that a good in-school suspension program offers educational alternatives, not merely other forms of discipline. He reported that many programs alternative to suspension and/or expulsion can be housed in separate buildings with a complete educational program tailored to the individual needs of the students. Emphasis, he said, should be placed on developing separate centers with specific strategies for dealing with disruptive youth.
Chapter Summary
The literature reveals that student violence and misbehavior have
been of increasing concern to educators in the United States. The major causes of disruptive behavior of youth were cited as urbanization, economic disparity, racial mistrust, the breakdown of family life, changes in personal values, and social relationships. The typical response of school administrators in the past has been to suspend or expel offending students from school. Currently there is an increasing trend among American educators to turn to alternative programs specifically designed for disruptive students.
Alternative programs described in the literature range from
supplementary, part-time programs to complete programs housed in separate facilities. Successful alternative programs for disruptive students emphasize guidance and counseling, incorporate a more fundamental approach to classroom discipline, and encourage a more positive self-concept for students.
The back-to-basics movement is a response to student misbehavior and low academic achievement. Many educators have argued that the




36
return to fundamental education will resolve many behavioral problems, others that the back-to-basics movement will increase misbehavior because of its failure to recognize and deal with the individual needs of the disruptive student.
The literature reveals that the most widely used form of alternative program for disruptive students has been the in-school suspension program. The types of in-school suspension programs have varied widely, with many being merely programs for segregating problem students and some providing counseling as part of the process.
Alternative educational programs for disruptive students that are housed in separate facilities are relatively new. The literature reveals that there is a wide range of types of programs provided and indicates that there is need for further study and research in the area. The literature indicates that alternative educational programs designed specifically for disruptive students show the most promise.




I
CHAPTER III
CURRICULA OFFERINGS, STUDENT SERVICES, AND EXTRACURRICULAR
ACTIVITIES IN THE SELECTED ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS FOR DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS
The methods described in Chapter I were used to identify and
judge the 21 programs which met the criteria for inclusion in the study. The criteria were
1. The program is for secondary students (grades7-12) only.
2. The program is housed in a separate environment, either in a
separate facility or in a portion of a general educational facility that is distinct and separate from the main building(s).
3. The program is administered and operated by a public school district.
4. The district operating the program considers it to be an alternative
program designed specifically for disruptive students.
The administrators of 60 prospective programs received by mail a short questionnaire on a file card (Appendix B) to gather general information to determine whether their programs would fit the established profile needed for the investigation. The initial questionnaire was accompanied by a letter of introduction (Appendix A). The questionnaire was returned by 48 of the program administrators. Applying the criteria to the responses reduced the list of eligible programs to 21 schools from 19 different school districts and located in 14 states. The writer interviewed the selected 21 program administrators by
37




38
telephone, using the telephone interview guide (Appendix C). The programs selected for the investigation are listed in Appendix D.
General Data, Grouping, and Grade Structure
The first section of the telephone interview dealt with general program characteristics, reaffirming that the programs were designed for disruptive students and met the other qualifying criteria. The most pertinent information gathered from this section pertained to grade structures of the programs:
Grades 7-12: 11 programs
Grades 9 or 10-12: 7 programs
Grades 9-11 : 1 program
Grades 8-12: 2 programs.
Approximately half of the programs served both junior/middle school and high school students and approximately half served exclusively those generally considered to be high school students. All of the administrators stated that they were fairly flexible concerning grade structure and occasionally accepted students referred to them who did not meet the requirements for the recognized grade structure of the program. An example of this would be an 8th-grade student who was over aged being accepted in a 9th-l2th-grade program or a 9th grader being placed in a l0th-l2th grade program. All of the administrators stated that the need of the student was paramount and should be considered over the recognized grade structure of the program.
As one might expect, alternative programs for disruptive students are generally small (see Figure 1). Of the programs studied, 15 had 150 or fewer students, 2 had 50 or fewer students, 6 had 51-100




39
8
33%
7 29%
~J4
3
10% 10%
0-50 51-100 101-151 152-201 201+ Students
Figure 1-. Size of the selected programs (n=21).




40
students, and 7 had 101-150 students. Of the remaining 6 programs,
4 had between 151 and 200 students and two had over 200. The administrators of the 6 larger schools reported a wide range in the enrollment of their programs, depending on time of year and local considerations. The numbers reported above reflect an average enrollment over a period of time. All of the administrators questioned noted that they strongly believed the programs should be small in order to increase the individual attention to the student and to create an atmosphere of belonging and caring. The principals of the two large programs, over 200 students each, stated that the programs were too large and should be reduced by the creation of another alternative program for disruptive students in the school district. They urged that, if alternative programs for disruptive students were to be successful, the programs would have to be primarily concerned with identifying student needs and meeting those needs in a direct and personal way. They emphasized that limiting the size of the programs (smallness) was essential.
The administrators were asked how they grouped their students for instruction, whether by strict grade level or by the educational needs of the students. Seven (33%) responded that they grouped strictly by grade level, whereas three (14%) did not recognize grade levels at all and grouped strictly by the educational needs of the students as determined by an Individual Educational Plan (IEP). The remaining 11 programs (52%) used a combination of grade structure and individual educational needs. Two-thirds of the programs emphasized the specific educational needs of the individual students.
In all of the 21 schools homogeneous groupings for instruction were used. The administrators were asked if they provided instruction




41
at the basic level for below-level students. All 21 responded positively. When asked whether they also provided instruction for the regular, or average, student, again all 21 responded positively. However, only 4 (19%) reported that they provided instruction at the advanced level for above-average students. The implication was that there were not enough above-average students enrolled in alternative programs for disruptive students to warrant separate classes. All of the administrators stated that their programs were coeducational.
The writer also investigated for the 20 programs extending through grade 12 the procedures required for students to graduate if they were eligible by district standards to receive a diploma. Five administrators reported that students who earned a diploma would graduate at the high school they would have been attending. Ten stated that they would hold their own graduation ceremony for students earning a diploma. The remaining five administrators indicated that the student had a choice either to return to the regular high school for the graduation ceremony or to receive the diploma at the graduation exercise at the alternative school .
Curricula Offered
A major purpose of the investigation was to review the curricula of the various alternative programs for disruptive students. Obviously, the size of the school was one of the most important factors in determining the depth and breadth of the curriculum offered. The larger the school, the easier it was to have a sufficient number of students to offer a class. The other major factor in determining the curriculum was




42
the needs of the students enrolled in the program. The small enrollment in the majority of these schools made difficult an attempt to offer a comprehensive curriculum. This was particularly true for schools trying to offer courses other than the required courses. The fact that most of those in programs for disruptive students are similar and are in need of basic and remedial education made the job of providing a curriculum to meet their needs easier.
The administrators were asked to identify generic courses in the various subjects such as reading, writing, literature,general math, and American history. After reviewing the information collected, the writer outlined the instructional program by subject areas and the courses offered in each area as follows:
1. Engl ish
a. Reading-remedial and developmental
b. Writing-creative and research
c. Literature
d. Mass communications
3. Speech
2. Mathematics
a. General math (ari thme tic/ consumer math)
b. Algebra
c. Geometry
d. Other advanced math courses
3. Science
a. General science/physical science
b. Biology (first year)
c. Chemistry (first year)




43
d. Physics (first year)
e. Other advanced science courses
4. Social studies
a. World history
b. American history
c. Government
d. Economics e. Geography
f. Other social studies courses
5. Foreign language
a. Spanish
b. French
c. Latin d. German
e. Other foreign languages
6. Physical education
a. Coeducational
b. Segregated by sex 7. Vocational education
a. Business education
b. Agriculture
c. Home economics d. Industrial arts
8. Technical -vocational education
9. Special education
a. Mentally handicapped
b. Physically handicapped




44
10. Humanities
a. Instrumental music
b. Vocal music
c. Art
d. Drama
11. Cooperative education
a. Diversified cooperation training (DCT)
b. Distributive education (DE)
c. Work experience
d. Other cooperative courses
12. Driver education
In the area of English all 21 programs offered instruction in remedial reading. Many administrators stated that this was the most valuable class they offered and that most of the students were enrolled in a remedial reading course. Of the 21 programs, 17 offered classes in developmental reading. (Of note, several administrators identified the developmental reading program they were using as the P. K. Yonge Model developed at the University of Florida laboratory school.)
As compared with reading instruction, there was less emphasis
placed on writing instruction. Fourteen of the schools offered classes
in creative writing and nine also offered instruction in research writing. All of the administrators stated that writing was stressed in all of the courses and believed that writing was an important part of the entire curriculum.
All of the administrators indicated that they offered literature courses, although the type of literature taught varied from program to




45
program. The most commonly taught literature courses were American literature and English (British) literature. Other literature courses mentioned were modern literature, sports and romance literature, mythology, and fictional literature.
Only six of the schools offered a course in mass communi cations, the major thrust of which was in television (video-tape) and written communications. Most schools indicated that before students could take the mass communications course they had to show a level of proficiency in reading and writing.
Sixteen programs offered instruction in speech. Although a few of the schools offered speech as a separate class, the administrators of the 16 schools offering speech instruction indicated that speech was an important part of their English curriculum and was a required part of the courses.
In the mathematics subject area, all programs offered general math classes consisting mainly of arithmetic, which the administrators deemed the most important math need of their students. The emphasis in the classes was on the basics (adding, substracting, multiplying, dividing, fractions, decimals, interest, percentages, and the metric system). Whether called general math, consumer math, or vocational math, the thrust was in teaching what the students would need to know to function as consumers in society.
Mathematics taught above the general math area was algebra (first year) and geometry (first year) for those few students who had mastered the basic curriculum or were interested in preparing for post-high school education. Nineteen programs offered algebra and 15 offered




46
geometry. Three programs offered instruction in trigonometry and one offered a second year of algebra. Several of the administrators of schools that offered algebra, geometry, and other advanced mathematics classes stated that the courses were taught to a student or students on an individual basis if necessary.
To determine the nature of content in the area of sciencethe
administrators were asked if they offered a course in general science or a beginning science course, such as physical sciences. All of the programs offered such a course; although titled differently by many schools, it was essentially the science course required for graduation and prerequisite to other science courses. Of the 21 schools, 20 offered a first-year, beginning biology course; 10, a first-year chemistry course; and 6, a first-year physics class. As for courses beyond the chemistry and physics level, I school offered a course in physiology and I offered a second-year chemistry course.
As in the case of advanced mathematics, the administrators indicated difficulty in having a sufficient number of students to offer advanced science classes; thus often an individual studied advanced science in an independent study class. Several administrators attempted to offer courses such as chemistry and physics even though only one student needed them, either to satisfy graduation requirements or to prepare for future educational plans. The administrators reported that science and mathematics teachers would often volunteer to teach an advanced science or mathematics course during thei planning time if that was the only way the student could take the courses. A few of the administrators reported instances when they permitted exceptionally




47
bright students to take advanced science or mathematics courses at a nearby high school or university.
In the social studies area, the course offerings for disruptive students were more extensive and there was a greater degree of similarity among schools than that found within the other subject areas. All but one of the programs offered classes in world history and American history. All but two of the programs offered instruction in government and economics. However, whereas the world history and American history classes were offered as separate courses, several of the programs offered government and economics as units of instruction in other social studies courses, such as the history courses. Most of the school districts required both world history and American history credits for graduation and mandated courses in government and/or economics. The administrators were also asked about instruction in geography, either as a separate course or as a required unit of instruction in another social studies course. Fifteen reported offering instruction in geography. The majority of programs offering geography as a separate course were at the junior high school or middle school level (grades 7-9). None of the program administrators reported the inclusion of any social studies courses other than those already noted.
Several of the programs for disruptive students included courses in Spanish and French. Seven offered at least the first year of Spanish and two offered at least the first year of French. Most of the administrators answering in the affirmative to the foreign language questions related that the level of instruction might be more on the conversational level than would be true of a regular first-year foreign language




48
course. They all responded that they could provide additional language courses (second or third year) if the situation warranted it, although it rarely did. None of the programs included in the study offered courses in any language other than Spanish and French. Two of the administrators stated that their school districts required two years of foreign language for a standard high school diploma, whereas several others stated that two years of a foreign language was required for a college preparatory diploma.
The administrators were asked about nonacademic course offerings (see Figure 2). In the area of physical education, only 10 of the programs offered a standard physical education course, with the remaining 11 programs providing time for physical activity for students through informal activities during breaks, recess, and lunch periods. The 10 schools with a physical education course offered it in such a manner that it would be accepted as a physical education course in a regular school setting. Of the 10 standard physical education courses,
9 were coeducational. The administrator of the only school having classes segregated by sex for physical education indicated that there was no particular reason for the segregation, but that the classes had always been taught that way and he saw no reason to change them.
In the area of vocational education, the administrators of the selected schools were asked about the courses in business education, agriculture, home economics, and industrial arts. In business education 20 of the schools had some instruction. This instruction ranged from courses in typing and clerical skills to shorthand, bookkeeping, accounting, and office simulation classes. Many administrators stated that




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they believed business education courses were as valuable for girls as were the courses in reading, writing, and math, in that the classes might prepare for future employment and serve as a positive goal for improving the students' behavior. All administrators believed that instruction in business education, as well as the other vocational areas, should be expanded, adding that the extra cost involved in the programs was the major deterrent to expansion.
Only two of the programs offered classes in agriculture. Because alternative educational programs for disruptive students tend to be found in urban settings, this finding was not surprising. However, both administrators for the schools offering agriculture stated that the program was a positive one and that it not only provided training for possible future employment, but also gave the students a good outlet for physical activity. Another positive point for the agriculture classes was the school projects that provided for beautification of the school and school grounds. The administrators stated that their agriculture classes were not the traditional ones such as farming and cattle, but concentrated mainly on agri-business skills and horticulture.
Nineteen of the programs offered instruction in home economics. Again, the instruction ranged from a single class in food and nutrition to multiple-period classes in sewing, cooking, design, family economics, and family planning. The administrators were unanimous in the value they attached to home economics, not only for girls but also for the many boys enrolled in the various home economics classes. Because many of the pupils in the alternative educational programs for disruptive students came from broken homes and had poor examples of life




51
styles, the administrators saw home economics as an extremely important part of the curriculum. The emphasis in this area of the vocational program seemed to be of direct and immediate benefit instead of primarily enhancing the students' qualifications for future employment.
As in the area of home economics, 19 of the programs offered classes in industrial arts. Most of the classes were in the area of woodworking although some schools offered classes in metals, plastic, and small engines. Although the enrollment in these courses was predominately male, there were girls enrolled in the classes. As in the other vocational areas, the main reason for not expanding the offerings in industrial arts was financial. All but one of the schools offering industrial arts instruction had only one shop, and it was limited because of the cost of materials and equipment. The administrators also indicated that it was very difficult getting qualified industrial arts instructors willing to work in an alternative educational program for disruptive students. Two of the administrators stated that they used enrollment in the industrial arts classes as rewards for good behavior because these courses were very popular, especially with boys.
The administrators were asked if they offered any technicalvocational courses not already described. Two programs offered multiple-period courses in auto or diesel mechanics. One program offered a course in air conditioning and refrigeration, and one offered a vocational course in welding. These four technical-vocational courses were taught by an instructor who was assigned to the area vocationaltechnical school and also taught the students at the alternative school. In these instances, the shop facilities necessary for instruction were




52
in place before the alternative educational program was established, or were easily accessible for the alternative students. In only one instance had the district gone to the expense of providing a course (auto mechanics) for the alternative school. Both the administrators of programs offering technical-vocational courses and those not offering them recommended that the vocational offerings be added or expanded.
The question of offering instruction for special education
students was of special interest to the writer. Many of the administrators responded that any student designated as a special education student, either mentally or physically handicapped, was not considered for placement in the program. While none of the programs studied had physically handicapped students (nor the facilities to accommodate them), some of the programs did take mentally handicapped students. Seven offered instruction for educable mentally handicapped/educable mentally retarded students. Two offered classes for students identified as learning disabled (SLD or LD), and 13 offered specific classes for emotionally handicapped (EH) students. There was considerable difference of opinion among the administrators interviewed as to the desirability of having special education students attending the alternative program for disruptive students and providing the appropriate classes for them. The guidelines for many of the districts specifically eliminated special education students from attending the alternative program. However, for those programs that did enroll the special education students, the administrators did not report any major problems and believed the students were benefiting from the program in terms of better behavior.




53
Of the 21 programs studied, only I offered instruction in instrumental music (band). Nine programs offered classes in vocal music, ranging from one class of mixed chorus to several different classes of vocal music and several different choruses. All of the programs offered classes in art, ranging from a survey course in beginning art to intermediate and advanced art, and two of the programs had classes in ceramics. Five programs offered drama instruction and some of these staged periodic drama productions for the school and community. The administrators indicated that one of the major advantages of offering music, art, and drama was the fact that it provided an outlet for expression for the individual student and could be used as a reward for good behavior.
Of some interest was whether the schools offered any vocational cooperative education classes, such as diversified cooperation training (OCT), distributive education (DE), or work experience (ilk. Exp.). Only three programs offered these types of classes. The courses offered were work experience programs where the students were excused from school two periods early to report to work for which they received a grade and credit. However, many of the schools reported various kinds of agreements with students that permitted them to be released from school early in order to work, provided they had demonstrated good behavior. Some of the program administrators stated that one of the punitive aspects of assignment to the alternative program for disruptive students was the provision that the student would attend regularly and all day, and could not be released early.




54
Only two of the schools taught driver education. The reasons given for not offering the course were that it was not offered at any of the schools in the district because of the expense involved in providing cars and instructors and the lack of student interest. Several of the administrators stated that the district would provide instruction in diving if the demand were sufficient.
Student Services Provided
Another aspect of alternative programs for disruptive students that was studied was the area of services provided for the students. One of the major concerns of school districts considering implementing an alternative program for disruptive students is the fact that these programs tend to be very expensive because of the low pupil-teacher ratio and the extra services that are necessary if the program is to be successful. The areas that were surveyed were guidance services, social services, speech services, services to students who were emotionally disturbed, medical care, psychological services, and community services. Inquiry was also made concerning the availability of a peer counseling program and the type of services the program provided for the family of the student.
All 21 of the programs included in the study provided full-time
guidance counselors who were assigned to the school. Because alternative programs for disruptive students are required to provide extensive counseling, the program administrators were asked to give the studentcounselor ratio for their schools. One program had a student-counselor ratio of less than 30:1. Five had ratios between 31:1 and 60:1. Another 5 of the programs had ratios between 61:1 and 90:1. Six




55
administrators reported student-counselor ratios between 91:1 and 110:1, whereas 4 of the programs had ratios of 120:1 or above. Ten of the 21 programs had ratios of 91 :1 or higher. When one considers that school districts provide for guidance counselors in the regular school at ratios as high as 500:1, the fact that over half of the counselors in the alternative programs had fewer than 90 students is indicative of the importance of counseling for disruptive students. All of the administrators believed that a good program for delivering guidance services was one of the keys to a successful program for dealing with students with behavioral problems.
The additional services available to the students in the alternative program for disruptive students were explored. In only 3 of the programs was a full-time social worker assigned. Of the remaining 18 programs, 12 had a part-time social worker assigned at least half the time, and the remaining 6 programs had social work services provided on a part-time basis, usually two or three days a week as needed. The case load for each worker assigned to the alternative programs, both full time and part time, ranged from less than 15 cases for 2 of the programs to more than 50 cases for 5 of the programs. Three programs had case loads of between 1.6 and 25 students per social worker and 5 programs had case loads of between 26 and 50 per social worker. The main responsibility for the social workers was to work with the student and his or her family nd to serve as a liaison between the school and home. A major part of the social worker's duties was in the area of school attendance.




56
Eight of the administrators stated that their programs had the services of a speech therapist either assigned full time or on an itinerant basis. In one (5%) of the programs, case loads for the speech therapist consisted of 10 or fewer students. The remaining
7 (33%) programs had case loads of between 11 and 20. The administrators of the 8 programs with speech therapists all reported that the services were a valuable part of the program. Several of the administrators of programs that did not have the services of a speech therapist stated that they would like to have the service provided for their students. Seven of the administrators reported that they had a specially trained person, usually a counselor, to work with the students with emotional problems.
Most regular schools do not provide trained medical personnel on site. This was generally the case for the selected schools studied. Although none of the schools had a full-time school nurse, or other trained medical personnel, 6 (29%) of the 21 programs did have a medically trained person (generally a nurse) who was on campus on a parttime basis. All administrators surveyed stated that they would like this service provided for their programs.
Whereas none of the program administrators reported a full-time school psychologist assigned to his or her school, 15 reported that their programs had a part-time school psychologist assigned. The remaining 6 administrators stated that, although they did not have a full- or part-time school psychologist assigned, they could avail themselves of the service on an as-needed basis using the same procedures that the regular schools in the district used. Of the 15 schools with their




57
own part-time school psychologist, 2 reported an active case load of fewer than 10 students; 7, between 11 and 20 students; and 6, between 21 and 30 students.
The administrators were asked whether their programs had active peer-counseling programs. This type of counseling involves training students to work with other students or a one-to-one basis, using peer pressure to improve behavior, improve self-image, and help students make better choices. Thirteen of the program administrators reported an ongoing peer counseling program. The remaining eight reported no active peer-counseling program at the time; they had had one in the past or were considering one for the future. The majority of the 13 administrators with active peer-counseling programs were enthusiastic about them and their impact on the schools.
The writer also inquired of the administrators whether services were provided to the programs by agencies or groups that operated outside the school district. Three programs were reported to have available a family service counselor from a state agency. This person dealt mainly with the family of the student in the home setting. However, regularly scheduled meetings with school personnel and the family service counselor were held to provide for coordination and exchange of information. One administrator reported having the services of a court counselor (probation officer) who was assigned to the school to work with students who were under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. Also, one program had the services of a person called a community specialist, a trained counselor employed by the county government who was responsible for personal guidance services as well as job-placement counseling.




58
Finally, the administrators of the alternative schools were surveyed to determine the kinds of services, if any, their programs provided for the families of the disruptive students. Twelve required some involvement by the students' families in the counseling program. Four required periodic family counseling on an as-needed basis, while
8 required meetings with the families on a continuing basis. All 12 of the administrators believed that family counseling was an essential part of the program. Most of the administrators believed this aspect of the program should be expanded and additional personnel provided by the school district to accomplish it.
Extracurricular Activities Offered
The range of extracurricular activities available to the students in the selected alternative programs was somewhat limited. Opportunities for involvement in extracurricular activities ranged from few to none.
The administrators were asked whether they had any kind of club program available for the students, such as special interest clubs, academic clubs, service clubs, or social clubs. Ten of the administrators reported a club program of some kind. They were then asked what percentage of their students usually participated in the club program. In 7 of the 10 programs offering a club program, less than 25% of the students participated in one or more clubs. In the other 3 programs participation ranged between 25% and 50%.
In addition, the administrators were asked whether the students were allowed to participate (continue their membership) in the club program of their former school while enrolled in the alternative program




59
for disruptive students. In no case were the students attending the alternative program permitted to participate in any way in the clubs of their previous school.
The program administrators were asked whether their schools
offered an athletic program for boys and/or girls. Again, all 21 program administrators responded that they did not offer any type of interscholastic athletics for the students. The administrators were also asked whether the students, either boys or girls, could participate in athletic competition at their previous schools. Seven (33%) reported that they could.
Finally, the program administrators were asked whether any other types of extracurricular activities were offered to their students. Eight (38%) responded that field trips were often scheduled for-the students. The field trips were usually academic in nature but often were designed as part of the students' social education. Some programs provided field trips to local courts, juvenile detention centers, local jails, and prisons. Most of the administrators stated that, although they had no specific data, they believed these trips were productive and had a positive impact on the students. Some of the field trips were primarily cultural in nature, such as trips to the museum and to performances by local musicians and artists.
Chapter Summary
In this chapter are reported the results of a study that investigated 21 selected schools identified as alternative programs for disruptive students. Also described are the curricula provided the students, the student services necessary for the operation of a school




60
of this nature, and the extracurricular activities offered the students. General information about the alternative programs for disruptive students is provided and includes data concerning the size of the programs, the structure of the schools, grades included in the programs, grouping for instruction, and graduation arrangements.




CHAPTER IV
ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES, PROCEDURES, AND SERVICES IN SELECTED
ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS FOR DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS
The purpose of this chapter is to review administrative policies and procedures in the selected schools. Included are student entrance and exit criteria, staffing patterns, class size, security personnel, transportation, food services, and other administrative services and practices.
Student Entrance and Exit Criteria
The administrators were asked to describe the criteria their district and school used for determining eligibility for their alternative program for disruptive students. They were asked to describe the administrative process for assigning a student to the alternative program, the criteria used by the school and district to determine when a student was ready to leave the alternative program and return to the regular school, and the administrative process required for a student to return to a regular school.
In describing the criteria which the school districts used to
decide whether a student was to be assigned to the district alternative program, considerable differences were reported. For a student to be considered for placement in an alternative program thers had to be a history of misbehavior and disruption. However, the extent and severity of the disruptive behavior necessary varied from one alternative program
61




62
to another. Twelve (57%) of the administrators stated that continual behavioral problems must be evident and the student must have had multiple suspensions or have been recommended for expulsion by the regular school principal. Seven (33%) of the administrators stated that students recommended for expulsion were not assigned to alternative programs unless the school board had declined to expel them. At that point the students could be recommended for an alternative program for disruptive students. Two schools reported that the parent could request placement of a child based on habitual behavioral problems and the inability of the parent to control the student. This method had been used by a number of women who were single parents. Another principal stated that the only way a student could be referred for placement in the alternative program was to be recommended to the school board for expulsion- and while on expulsion be placed by the school board in the alternative program. Five (24%) of the respondents stated that poor attendance was also a key determining factor for admission to the alternative program. A review of the information gathered from all of the 21 alternative programs revealed that, although different criteria were used, some more punitive and others more rehabilitative, all program administrators stressed a continuing pattern of student disruptive behavior. Except in rare instances of a single violent act, the student had received many types of alternative punishments, such as detention, work detail, corporal punishment, in-school suspension, and out-of-school suspension. The assignment to the alternative program was the final step in a series of attempts to solve the student's behavioral problems and to remove the disruptive influence from the




63
classroom. For all the programs, except the ones permitting parental referral and the automatic assignment to the alternative program in lieu of expulsion, it was clear that the alternative program usually was the student's last chance before expulsion from the district's schools.
The administrative process by which a student was assigned to a district's alternative program for disruptive students revealed more similarity than diversity among districts. In all cases the process began with a recommendation from Lhe student's home school. Some schools required that the case go before an in-house staff committee, composed of teachers, counselors, and administrators, to review the student's discipline record and make a recommendation for or against assignment to the district's alternative program. Other schools merely forwarded a recommendation from the principal for assignment to the district's alternative program. In many of the school systems the school board was often involved in either assigning the student to the district's alternative program or referring the case to the appropriate district-level administrator or committee for review and placement of the student. The school boards were usually involved with students who were being recommended for expulsion.
Five schools specifically required that the referral go from the student's school to a district-level committee. There was a standing committee in the school system established for the purpose of reviewing the student's record and making a recommendation for or against assignment to the system's alternative program. Nine of the schools reported that the decision for placement in the alternative program came from




64
the superintendent and/or school board following an expulsion or disciplinary hearing. Five administrators stated that their school system used a combination of the previously discussed procedures (referral to a district committee or administrator or to the superintendent and/or school board). The administrators in two districts stated that they also permitted parents to request placement in the alternative program, with the student's principal having the opportunity to endorse the request. The parental request, with or without the principal's endorsement, then was sent to the district committee or administrator for a decision. Also, two school administrators stated that referrals to their alternative programs were infrequently made by the local juvenile court or by state agencies. This type of assignment required approval by the local school board.
What criteria were used for returning students to the regular
school? All schools reported that the main criteria were good behavior, a positive attitude, and good attendance. The minimum amount of time a student was required to stay varied from program to program. Five administrators informed the author that they had no required time period before the student could be returned to regular school. Twelve administrators stated that the student had to be satisfactorily enrolled in the alternative school for at least one semester before consideration would be given for returning him or her to the regular school. Three principals stated that the normal minimum period of enrollment in the alternative program was one year; however, exceptions were made if conditions warranted them.




65
One alternative school administrator indicated that students could request to leave at any time and return v) the regular school on a probationary status, providing the parent concurred. All of the administrators emphasized that when considering a student for return to the regular school program, the paramount concern was that the student return a different (better) person. The programs that most stressed changing the student's attitude about authority and the value of an education were the least punitive in nature.
The procedures used to return students to the regular school
were investigated next. Seven administrators stated that the decision to permit the student to leave was made entirely at the alternative school level. This involved a review by a committee of teachers,
counselors, administrators, and other professionals involved in working with the student. Ten of the administrators stated that the procedure began with a review by the alternative school; then the case was forwarded to the district committee or administrator with a recommendation. The district committee or administrator then made a decision to return the student to the regular school or to keep the student in the alternative school for a longer period of time. One alternative school operated on a point basis. The student earned points for good behavior, good grades, good attendance, involvement in extracurricular activities, and participation in work projects. When the student earned the required number of points (usually in about one semester), he could request to be returned to his regular school. In three of the schools, the decision of when to return the student to the regular school was made by the alternative school administrator. All three administrators




66
stated that they usually received input from the student's counselors, teachers, and any other professional persons who had been working with the student prior to reaching a decision to return the student to the regular school or retain him or her in the alternative school.
A few of the administrators reported that it was not uncommon for a student being considered for return to the regular school to request to remain at the alternative school. The administrators reported that some students continued in the alternative program after they could have returned to the regular program. Many of these students remained in the alternative program through graduation. The alternative program personnel attributed the desire to remain in the program to the individual attention the student was receiving, the fact that the student was experiencing success (some for the first time in a long while), and the feeling of belonging that might be found in a small program as compared to the largeness of the typical secondary school.
Staffing Patterns
As previously reported, the alternative schools for disruptive
students were usually small. They had small pupil-teachers ratios, and many support persons were required to operate and manage the schools effectively. The information that follows confirms that this kind of program is expensive to operate because of the small number of students and the large staff required for teaching and administration.
Eighteen of the alternative programs were headed by a principal. One administrator of a program was called a program manager and two administrators were called head teachers. The three administrators not principals were paid at a level below that of the principals of




67
their school districts. These three administrators were asked whether they believed their not being given the title of principal was an indication that their school system did not place a high priority on the alternative program for disruptive students. All three stated that they did not consider this to be the case, and minimized it by stating that they were in charge of a very small program as compared to the other principals in their district.
The question of additional administrative help was next posed to each administrator. Six (29%) of the schools had only one administrator in charge of the programs. Eleven of the alternative schools had an assistant administrator. In the 11 schools with a second administrator, eight were titled assistant principal and three were called dean. The principal of I of the schools was in charge of two alternative programs for disruptive students and had an assistant principal at each center. One principal had a coordinator to assist him in managing the school while two of the other head administrators had a head teacher to help in the operation of the school. The administrators were generally satisfied with the administrative staffing; however, several stated a need for additional help if the program was to reach its potential.
The administrators were asked whether the assistant administrators had any responsibilities in operating a regular school program. Only one stated that the assistant principal also had duties in a regular school, which was located on the same campus in a separate facility. In this instance the assistant principal divided time about evenly between the regular school program and the alternative program.




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Because the literature strongly suggests that smallness is necessary for successful alternative programs for students with behavioral problems, a key consideration was the size of the classes and the number of teachers the schools employed. The administrators were asked to give the average size of the classes within the school, not including physical education classes or any of the music classes. Nine of the program administrators stated that the average class size was 10 or fewer students, 11 reported classes between 11 and 20 students, and only I had classes of more than 21 students. The number of teachers employed depended not only on the district's staffing guidelines but also on the number of students enrolled in the alternative program. Ten of the programs had 10 or fewer teachers, 7 had between 11 and 20 teachers, 2 had between 21 and 20 teachers, and the remaining
2 had over 30 teachers.
The administrators were also asked whether the teachers assigned to the alternative program taught any other students. Only 3 of the 21 program administrators reported employing a teacher who taught outside the alternative program. These three teachers had special skills and taught only part of the day in the alternative school and the remainder in a regular school program. They taught such subjects as a foreign language, music, or a technical -vocational course. One of the teachers taught less than half of the day in the alternative program whereas the other two teachers taught more than half of the day.
The writer was also interested in the nonprofessional support personnel required to operate the alternative programs for disruptive




69
students. Questions were asked concerning the amount of clerical help provided, the size of the custodial staff, and any other nonprofessionals on the staff. The food service program was not included in this section of the study and is addressed later.
Included in the clerical staff were such positions as the principal's personal secretary, bookkeeper, data-processing clerk, registrar (if not certified), aides (if not working in the classroom), and attendance clerks. (The question of medical or nursing service was addressed earlier.) Nearly all of the alternative schools had very small clerical staffs. More than half employed only one or two clerical persons. Five employed only one clerical person, and in all instances this was the principal's personal secretary, responsible for handling all of the secretarial and clerical duties. The schools with only one clerical person were the smaller ones studied. Six of the schools employed two clerical persons, usually the principal's personal secretary and.an additional clerk. Ten of the schools had three clerical persons assigned to their site. All of these schools had a personal secretary for the head program administrator and two clerical persons, except one program which had a bookkeeper as one of the three clerical persons.
All of the custodial staffs were small although several administrators stated that the district provided additional custodial assistance as required for major projects, or for once-a-year thorough cleaning of the building. One of the administrators reported that all of his outside yard work was done by the district custodial staff. The study revealed that 5 of the alternative schools had only one full-time




70
custodian, 10 had two full-time custodians, and 6 reported custodial staffs of three full-time persons. For the purpose of the study, the
school administrators were asked to include only the full-time custodians over which they had administrative control.
Because alternative programs for disruptive students serve those with many, and often severe, behavioral problems, the writer was interested in determining whether security personnel were provided to assist the administrators in the operation of the schools. Even though the schools housed some of the worst discipline problems in the school system, only 8 of the 21 alternative schools' administrators reported that they employed a security officer. In 2 of the schools, the security officer was an employee of the school district and was assigned full time to the alternative school. The security officers were in uniform and amed; however, their pistols were concealed. In the other
6 schools with security personnel on site, the officers were part of a school resource officer program and were members of the local police department. They were in uniform and wore their pistols as part of their regular uniforms. The principals stressed that the objectives of the school resource officer program were mostly educational in nature rather than pertaining to law enforcement. However, the officers did have an enforcement role and were recognized by the students as police officers. The principals with school resource officer programs were high in their praise of the program and recommended it for other alternative schools dealing with students with behavioral problems. One positive outcome of the school resource officer programs, they reported, was that the daily contact between the students and the police




71
off i cers enabl ed the students to get to know the of f i cers on a personal basis, and officers to become familiar with the students and their concerns. An increase in respect for the law by the students was reported by the principals. It should be noted that the school resource officer program operated in all of the school districts' secondary schools and not just in the programs for disruptive students. All of the 13 schools without assigned security/police officers had the availability of the district's security personnel as needed, and the administrators reported that the district's security personnel were routinely on campus.
All of the administrators with assigned security personnel reported that the security/police officers were responsible to, and supervised by, the building administrator. in the six programs with police officers, the officers were responsible to the school administrator while on duty on campus, but their ultimate responsibility was to the local police department. Supervising the officers on campus did not present any problems for the school administrators even though they did not exercise ultimate supervision over them.
All but two of the administrators stated that they believed it would be very desirable to have a security person on site at all times for obvious reasons, such as student control and the educational value, but also because many of the programs for disruptive students were housed in old buildings no longer needed for regular schools, and these buildings were often located in sections of the city where trespassing and associated community problems often occurred.
Although not directly related to the issue of staffing alternative schools for disruptive students, the persons interviewed were asked to




72
identify the department of the school system which supervised the alternative school program. Two administrators reported a separate department in the school district that supervised the alternative school program(s) for disruptive students as well as other types of alternative programs. This department was directly responsible to the assistant superintendent for instructional programs. Fi f teen administrators stated that they operated as a separate school center under the person responsible for supervising all of the instructional programs, both regular secondary schools and alternative secondary schools. This person was either an assistant superintendent or a director. Four of the administrators stated that they were included in the division of exceptional student education and that the building principal reported to the person heading that division, usually an assistant superintendent or a director. All of the administrators were comfortable with their administrative arrangement and believed that the program was operating smoothly and effectively.
Transportation and Food Services
The last aspect of the alternative school programs for disruptive students to be investigated was how the students got to the school sites and how they were provided meals on the site. One of the greatest problems facing the creation and continuance of alternative programs of the type investigated in this study is that of financing. Both transporting students and providing lunchroom services are very expensive and thus are areas that district officials are certain to look into closely when considering the opening of an alternative program or the continuation of an existing one.




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The issue of transporting students is especially important to examine because there will usually be only one alternative program in a school district. The question of how the student will get there is paramount for students and parents, and of great concern to district officials. Most school systems provide free transportation to and from the students' neighborhood schools unless they live within walking distance. It should be noted that the criterion for walking distance varies from state to state and district to district. Because students are usually assigned to the alternative school and do not volunteer for it, the question of whether to provide transportation causes great concern for families trying to get students to the school site and for school officials concerned with the costs of operating the alternative school .
Eight of the school administrators reported that the school district transported the student to the alternative school. The remaining 13 districts did not provide free bus transportation mainly because of finances. However, it was mentioned by two administrators that there was a philosophical basis for not spending the additional funds transportation would cost on the alternative program, funds that would be taken from the regular program of the district. Two of the districts that did not provide free school bus transportation gave their students discount passes to ride the local municipal bus. The administrators in 18 districts cited the availability of public transportation for students in alternative schools, which were usually centrally located in the school district.




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The administrators of the alternative schools that did not provide bus service and also did not have municipal transportation available were asked how the students got to the school. In all cases the administrator stated that it was the district's philosophy that the responsibility for getting the students to school belonged to the families. The administrators viewed the alternative program as an alternative to expulsion, usually the student's last opportunity to attend school, and therefore concluded that the burden for getting to school belonged to the student and the family. However, a number of administrators stated that one of their priorities for future improvement was providing free transportation to make attending the alternative school easier.
All 21 alternative school programs operated on a full-day basis and all provided food service for their students. All of the alternative schools provided a lunch for the students and 14 also provided breakfast. Because the alternative schools were usually small, the administrators were asked whether the meals were prepared on site or were brought in after preparation from another site. At only 4 of the alternative schools was food prepared on site. The administrators of the schools which had the meals prepared elsewhere and brought to the site reported the procedure to be working smoothly and had no desire to operate a food service program on site.
The administrators were also asked about the types of meals provided. Eighteen of them stated that a hot meal was provided, similar to standard school lunches found at any site. Alternative schools that did not offer students a hot meal provided them with a cold, bag-type lunch consisting of a sandwich, milk, fruit, and a dessert.




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When school administrators were asked to give an estimate of the percentage of their students who qualified for a free or reduced-price meal, none reported fewer than 25%, 6 reported between 25% and 50%, 10 reported between 50% and 75%, and the remaining 5 reported more than 75%
Chapter Summary
In this chapter are reported some of the results of a study that investigated 21 selected schools identified as alternative programs for disruptive students. Described are the criteria for students entering and exiting the selected alternative schools, procedures for assigning students to the schools and then for returning them to the regular schools, staffing required for the operation of the programs, how the students were transported to and from school, and how food service was provided for the students.




CHAPTER V
PROFILE OF AN ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL FOR DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS
In this chapter an alternative program for disruptive students is described in detail. The program selected was the School for Applied Individualized Learning (SAIL), located in Tallahassee, Florida. The information presented in this chapter was gathered duricig a visit to the SAIL. The purpose of this case study was to observe empirically the operation of one o~f the selected schools that met the criteria of the study and appeared from the telephone interview to be functioning well.
At the time of the on-site visit, the SAIL was located in an old high school facility in the inner-city area of Tallahassee, Florida. It was formerly a black high school during the segregation era of education. After the students were transferred to the area's other high schools, the facility was unused for several years. The SAIL was begun in 1975 utilizing a portion of the old high school campus. The remainder of the campus was being used for an alternative educational program for pregnant girls and for a drug rehabilitation program jointly sponsored by the school district and the county. While the facility of the-SAIL was generally adequate, it was in need of extensive renovation. Because of limited space, two portable classrooms had been installed.
The school had an enrollment of approximately 170 students, which had remained fairly constant for several years. The school was headed 76




77
by a female principal and while she had not been allotted any administrative help, the pregnant girls program located on campus was headed by a coordinator who assisted her in the supervision of the overall campus and related problems such as parking and security.
The remainder of the SAIL staff consisted of 2 counselors (I academic and I occupational), 17 full-time teachers, 2 part-time teachers, a secretary, a bookkeeper, and 2 custodians. In addition to the permanent staff, the school was served by a number of itinerant professionals, including a social worker, psychologist, speech therapist, and school nurse.
Although the school was originally intended as an alternative for students with serious behavioral problems, it had increasingly enrolled students who were disinterested or "turned-off" to the regular school setting. Many of these students, though not considered seriously disrupti ve, had often been in trouble at school, had very poor attendance records, and had either been drop-outs or potential drop-outs.
The school's policy was not only to accept referrals by the
district, but also to accept referrals by parents and self-referrals by students. The school's rules for student conduct were in the main those found in regular schools, though a permissive stance in regard to student dress and grooming had been adopted. There was no dress code and many, if not most, of the students dressed in an extreme fashion. The individuality of dress and grooming, characterized by "hippie" type dress, extremely long hair, and earrings worn by many boys, was routinely accepted by the staff. The students called the staff members, including the principal, by their first names. The principal stated that




78
she and her staff strived for a relaxed "family style" concept at the School.
Demographics
In January 1983, the student body was surveyed by the administration to determine the demographics. At that time the student body was 81% white, 18% black, and 1% hispanic, and female students made up 54% of the student body. The results of the survey demonstrated that over 33% of the students were living with both parents. The remaining students were living with a stepparent (22%), a single parent (37%), or another adult (6%).
In conducting a survey to find out where the students had been
enrolled the previous year, the school administrator found that 24% had attended the SAIL; 56%, a local secondary school; 14%, no school; and the rest (6%), private schools.
As part of the survey, the students were administered the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills (CTBS) to determine their abilities in the areas of reading, language, and mathematics. The results of the survey (see Table 1) revealed that the scores, though below the norm, were not extremely low except in the area of mathematics, where 33% scored in the bottom quartile.
The principal attributed the near-normal scores to the fact that the students accepted by self-referral tended to be average or above average academically, many having parents in the nearby state university community. The students assigned to the school by the district tended to be the poorer ones academically. The school had a National Merit finalist enrolled. His stated reason for attending the school was that




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he would rather pursue the things he was interested in (arts) and because he had been constantly "hasseled" by teachers and students at his former high school because he was "different" from the other students.
Table 1
Percentile Rankings of the SAIL Students on the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills (CTBS)
PercentilIe Readi ng Language Mathematics
range%%% 75-99 24 19 17
50-74 24 25 15
25-49 28 31 25
Below 25 24 25 35
Note. From School for Applied Individualized Learning, Tallahassee, FL.
Student Satisfaction
To determine student satisfaction with the SAIL, the writer interviewed 16 students. They were asked to compare their feelings as students in the SAIL with their feelings when attending the prior school. They were asked questions to determine their perceived degree of happiness, challenge, involvement, success, comfort, and whether they believed their enrollment in the SAIL had helped them. The results of the interviews tended to confirm the results of a student survey by the administration the previous year. The responses to all questions were positive and indicated a high degree of student satisfaction with the SAIL (see Figure 3).




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I Before
+5- After
+4
- 3
-2
-I
CD
diCA
di 0
Satisfaction indicators F re3 Student satisfaction before and after attending the
SAI n 20). (From School for Applied Individualized Learning, Tallah-ssee, FL.)




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Parent Satisfaction
The writer was unable to interview parents during the on-site visit to the SAIL. However, the school had administered a survey to the parents to determine their satisfaction with the school at the same time the students had been surveyed. The parents were asked to compare their perceptions of their children's well-being at the SAIL with those at the former school. The six areas of student satisfaction
were used: happiness, challenge, involvement, success, assistance, and comfort; in addition, the parents were asked to appraise and compare the motivation displayed at the SAIL with that at the former school (see Figure 4).
The parents' perceptions nearly mirrored those of the students. On a 1-5 scale, the parents estimated an increase in student satisfaction in all areas, with happiness, involvement, assistance, and challenge
showing the greatest increases. The highest ratings were given to happiness, assistance, comfort, and challenge.
Faculty Satisfaction
The principal of the SAIL was the first of the staff to be interviewed. She rated the faculty as excellent, stating that the teachers at the school were carefully selected for their empathy and concern for students with behavioral problems. She indicated that there was little turnover of the instructional staff, which she attributed to teacher satisfaction with the school. It was apparent from her enthusiasm when discussing the faculty that she believed the school had an outstanding
group of teachers and that she was extremely proud of the staff.




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SBefore
+5 After 4.44 4.59 4.59 4.60
4.11 4.11
+4 4.00
3.06 3.22 3.60
'a
12 3.0 3.17
3 2.82.83
U 3
-2
-1
Satisfaction indicators Parents' perceptions of students' satisfaction before
and after their attendance at the SAIL (n = 18). (From School for
A ied Individualized Learning, Talahssee, FL.) C
> I- CD )
Z 0 0 U 2
> U U) E '
o) 'a C )
Satisfaction indicators
Figure 4. Parents' perceptions of students' satisfaction before and after their attendance at the SAIL (n = 18). (From School for Applied Individualized Learning, Tallatiia-ssee, FL.)




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The principal was asked about the atmosphere of the school. She stated that there was little violence and no fear of physical harm among the students or staff. She described the students as generally "good kids" who needed guidance and direction. She admitted to frustrations about lack of student interest, poor student attendance, and inadequate parental involvement. She also expressed dissatisfaction with the support given the school by the district office, especially in the area of maintenance.
One of the guidance counselors was also interviewed. He, like the principal, was positive about the school. He commended the principal for doing an outstanding job, for really caring about the students, and for being supportive of the staff. He expressed the opinion that the guidance department did as good a job as possible considering the many problems that accompanied the students to school. He had been at the school since its creation and stated that he would not leave for any reason. Like all of the staff members the writer interviewed, he expressed satisfaction with his job and with the program.
Four teachers were interviewed to determine their satisfaction with the school. It was evident that they were generally happy with their positions. The teachers appeared to be very committed to the program and to the students. Terms such as needed and concern were used to describe why they chose to teach at the school. One of the teachers expressed the feeling of beginning "burn out" because of her total commitment and involvement to the program and stated that she was considering transferring at the end of the year.




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Although all of the teachers found their jobs to be rewarding and satisfying in general, several expressed concern about student apathy. They complained that the school did not receive adequate support from the district in terms of funds, supplies, and maintenance. They considered themselves to be well supported by the school principal, who involved them in the operation of the school and was open to new ideas and to change. Two teachers emphasized that one of the reasons they were attracted to the school was the willingness of the staff to take chances and try new ideas.
Academic Information
In the area of academics, the curriculum offered at the SAIL was typical of the course offerings of the alternative schools described in Chapter IV. In an attempt to determine whether the alternative school had had an impact on the grades of the students, the principal of the SAIL had compared the students' grade point averages (GPAs) at the previous school (1.30) with those obtained after the first semester at the SAIL (2.13). The results indicated that the GPAs improved dramatically after the students enrolled in the SAIL. Likewise, the students were passing more subjects and earning more credits at the SAIL (3.02) than they had at their previous school (1.93). The students were averaging
1.09 more credits per semester than they had earned previously.
The SAIL staff also conducted a follow-up survey of students who had left the school. The resulting data indicated that of 482 students, 69% had either graduated from high school or were presently continuing in school, 7% had dropped out but were either gainfully employed (some in the armed forces) or had become homemakers, and the remaining 24% could not be located.




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Chapter Summary
The information gained from interviews with students, teachers, and administrators made evident the general satisfaction existing in the SAIL. The data concerning student and parent satisfaction revealed that most of the students and parents saw the program at the SAIL as meeting student needs. The information concerning academic achievement showed clearly that there was an improvement in the students' grade point averages after they enrolled in the alternative school, as well in the number of classes passed and credits earned per semester.
In many respects the SAIL was typical of the other alternative schools included in the investigation. The similarities were in the areas of grouping for instruction, curriculum, supportive services, extracurricular activities, and staffing. The SAIL was somewhat different from the other schools, however, in that the students enrolled had become more disinterested in their former schools than they had been disruptive, although many of them had experienced disciplinary problems at their former schools because of their lack of interest and poor work habits. Another major difference between the SAIL and the other schools was that many of the SAIL students were there as a result of selfreferrals. Although the SAIL did not have confirming statistics, it appeared that a minority of students were there as a result of district or school board assignments.
The SAIL represented a viable alternative for students of Leon County, Florida, who were unsuccessful in the regular school program for a variety of reasons. While there were many areas for improvement, it was apparent that the program was successfully meeting a real need in the Leon County, Florida, School System.




CHAPTER VI
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDAT IONS
The purpose of this chapter is to summarize the information
gathered in this study of alternative educational programs for disruptive students, and to present the findings and conclusions. Additionally, areas needing further study and clarification are discussed.
It is important to consider why alternative educational programs for disruptive students have been organized. District and local school administrators have long had great concern about how to deal with students who are chronic discipline problems. These students not only create problems for themselves, their teachers, and school administrators, but also for the other students who are often prevented from having an environment conducive to learning. Many school districts have concluded that the traditional methods of discipline, such as counseling, conferences, corporal punishment, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, and expulsion, are not the answer to these growing concerns. Educators are increasingly considering alternative educational programs designed specifically for disruptive students as a possible solution to this continuing problem.
The study included 21 selected alternative educational programs for disruptive students that had been identified throughout the United States. The selected programs were in public secondary schools, were housed in a separate facility, and were considered by the school 86




87
district as programs specifically designed to accommodate disruptive students. The writer obtained information about grade structure, size, and other aspects of the programs. The study also focused on the curricula, special services, extracurricular programs, entrance and exit criteria, staffing, transportation, and food service.
Findings
School systems seem to create alternative programs for disruptive students for two major reasons. First, there are those designed to punish the offending students by removing them from the regular school setting through assignment to separate schools or programs, thus isolating them for a period of time. At the same time, by removing the disruptive force the remaining students are provided with a better environment for learning. Second, there are the programs that punish the disruptive students by denying them the right to remain in the regular school program, but at the same time provide a school tailored expressly for them in order to change attitudes and improve behavior.
The school districts in this study that acted primarily on the first motive tended to emphasize the punishment aspect and justify their programs because of the improved educational setting for the offenders' former classmates. The emphasis of these school districts appeared to focus on what was good for the school system as opposed to what was good for the offending student. These districts tended to provide minimal help for students in alternative programs. For those school districts, the alternative programs seemed to be little more than small, isolated schools with essentially traditional programs. The extra expense for operating these schools was considered justified




88
because of the resulting improvement in the student's fomer classrooms and schools.
The school districts in the study that tended to emphasize the second strategy, that of providing a unique school program tailored for disruptive students, were those that stressed the opportunity to provide help as a last-chance effort towards changing students' attitudes about school and authority and for improving behavior. This type of alternative program is expensive and not simple to operate. It is often hard to justify the increased expenses when district budgets are initially insufficient. Successes with students are not easily achieved and are difficult to measure. The present study, however, indicates that the school systems that had created alternative programs of this type were achieving success as evidenced by student response. This fact was emphasized by many program administrators who revealed that, when the time came for the students to return to the regular school program, many asked to remain in the alternative program.
All of the schools included in this study served secondary school students only. Some had senior high school grade structures while others were combinations of junior-senior high schools. All of the programs were coeducational and were designed -.pecifically for disruptive students. The programs were housed either on a separate school campus or in a separate facility on a regular school campus. Instruction was provided in heterogeneous and homogeneous groupings, with the homogeneous groupings being more prevalent in the academic classes. All but one of the schools provided a program through graduation.




89
Curricula
Alternative programs for disruptive students tend to be small. Only two of the selected schools had enrollments of over two hundred students. The curricula were somewhat limited and the basics were stressed. In the academic disciplines of English, mathematics, science, and social studies the instructional program stressed the basic courses the district required for achieving a diploma. These traditional courses, such as general math, American history, biology, and literature, were generally taught at the basic level for students who were behind. All schools provided specific instruction in reading. Some schools offered higher-level courses such as geometry, chemistry, and physics when required to do so to meet the students' educational needs. Emphasis was placed on government and economics in the social studies curriculum.
In the elective area the instructional programs differed from school to school. The only elective courses most of the schools offered were business education, home economics, industrial arts, and art. About half of the schools offered a standard physical education course and about half offered classes in vocal music.
Approximately one-third of the, selected schools offered foreign language classes, mostly Spanish. Two schools offered classes in technical -vocational education that trained the students for a specific vocation. Other subjects offered by a majority of the schools were agriculture, drama, cooperative education,- and driver education.
Approximately two-thirds of the programs offered special education classes for exceptional education students. These classes were for




90
students classified as learning disabled, emotionally handicapped, and educable menta-Ily handicapped.
In summary, the instructional programs offered in the alternative programs studied were characterized by limited course selection, emphasis on the basics. few electives, few technical-vocational classes, and very small pupil-teacher ratios. Considering the purpose of the programs and the limitations of size and budget. the curricula appeared adequate and generally met the needs of the students. Student Services
The services provided the students were more extensive than normally found in a regular school. Guidance counselors were provided with a much lower counsel or-student ratio than was normally found. All but four of the schools had counsel or-student ratios of less than 1:120. The social work service was extensive and an integral part of the alternative school program. The social worker, the main link between home and school, had a much smaller load than was usually found. A few of the schools had full-time social workers assigned to the program whereas most were served on an itinerant basis. Many of the schools were provided with the extensive services of speech therapists, school psychologists, and other professionals trained to work with students with emotional problems.
Almost two-thirds of the programs had an active, ongoing peercounseling program that was credited with much success in changing pupil attitudes. Some schools also received regular services from the local courts, such as a court counselor, and from other local and state agencies.




91
Also, most of the programs required some type of counseling involving both the student and his family. When a program included this type of counseling, often the administrator credited it as a major reason for improvement in the student's behavior.
Student Entrance and Exit Criteria
Although there were many minor differences in the way pupils were assigned to the various alternative programs, there were more similarities found than differences. The criteria for assignment to a program was a history of misbehavior that had resulted in various types of punishment, including extensive out-of-school suspension and often a recommendation from the local school for expulsion. Most districts required the recommendation for assignment to the district's alternative school to come initially from the local school (principal), then to be forwarded to a district-level administrator. Some districts had a committee to consider each case and to recommend either placement in the alternative program or return to the regular school. Usually the recommendation for assignment to the alternative program went from the committee, or district administrator if there was no district committee, to the superintendent and, in most cases, to the school board.
For the student to be returned to. the regular school he or she had to demonstrate good behavior for a period of time. Generally, the minimum period for assignment to the district's alternative school was one semester, although exceptions to the policy were common. Usually a local staff meeting was held, consisting of counselors, teachers, administrators, and other professionals, to determine whether a student was ready to return to the regular school. If the staff meeting




92
resulted in a decision to return the pupil to the regular program, the recommendation, with the principal's approval, was sent for final approval to the district administrator in charge of the alternative school program.
As discussed previously some students who were eligible to return to their regular schools asked to be allowed to remain in the alternative schools through graduation. This request, if the parents concurred, was generally approved. Such a student attitude is the best indication of a successful alternative program for students with behavioral problems. Extracurricular Activities
As expected, the extracurricular program for alternative schools for disruptive students was minimal. Approximately half of the schools offered some type of club program, usually special interest clubs and a student government organization of some type. In those schools where a club program was offered, generally less than 25% of the students were involved. None of the schools offered an interscholastic athletic program although some permitted students to participate in the athletic program of their former school if they met all athletic eligibility requirements. Eight of the schools reported providing regularly scheduled field trips for the students. These field trips were usually educational or cultural in nature.
Staffing
The staffing of the alternative programs, with the exception of teachers and counselors, was not significantly different from that of regular schools, with minor exceptions. Most of the alternative schools




93
were headed by a principal, and some two-thirds had an assistant administrator. Because of the need to provide students with additional individual help, the ratio of teachers and counselors to students was greater than that of regular schools of similar size. The average class size for the programs was 10-15 students. The custodial and clerical support was appropriate for the size of the schools. For those schools that prepared food, the food service staff was appropriate for the size of the food service program. Eight of the program administrators stated that they were assigned a school security officer. Most of the alternative schools were under the administrative supervision of the instructional or curriculum division of the school district. A few operated the exceptional education student department or the alternative education department. They all ultimately reported to the assistant superintendent in charge of instruction for the school system. Transportation
The study revealed that approximately one-third of the districts provided transportation for the students to and from the alternative schools. Eighteen of the administrators reported that public transportation was available in the district. For those not providing transportation, the official stated that the lack of finances was the main reason. Difficulty in finding transportation was the reason many of the students gave for failing to attend the alternative school. Food Service
All of the 21 alternative schools provided meals for the students consisting of a daily lunch, and 14 also served breakfast. In only 4




94
of the schools were the meals prepared on site; the remaining 17 schools had meals brought in that were prepared elsewhere. Most of the schools (18) provided hot meals. Most of the students were eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
Conclusions
Based on the data collected from the 21 alternative school programs for disruptive students included in the study, the following conclusions were drawn:
1. There was not a predominant grade structure of the secondary alternative programs. Approximately half of the programs included both
junior and senior high school grades whereas the remainder of the
programs included only senior high school grades.
2. The alternative programs were smal I. The majority had fewer than
150 students and all but two programs had fewer than 200 students.
3. Generally, the alternative program extended through graduation. In
some instances the students had the choice of graduation from the
alternative school of graduation at the former school.
4. The curriculum emphasized the basic academic courses. Elective.
vocational, and advanced courses were limited. The small size of
the schools and the homogeneous nature of the enrollment contributed
to the limited curriculum offerings.
5. Student services were an extremely important aspect of the programs.
An emphasis on counseling and supportive services was found in all
of the schools.




Full Text

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ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS IN SELECTED PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS By ORLAN H. BRIANT A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Dr. Ralph Kimbrough, who chaired my supervisory colllTlittee, gave constant guidance, advice, and invaluable insight; I could not have completed this study without his help and encouragement; I will always be grateful to him. Sincere appreciation is also extended to Or. James H eald, Or. William Hedges, and Or. Eugene Todd for serving on my supervisory co111nittee. Their contributions were always helpful and positive. Two outstanding ladies, my fonner secretary at Brandon High School, Joelle Skinner, and my present secretary, June Tracy, were instrumental in bringing this project to a successful conclusion. Without their help the study would still remain unfinished. The "small group" (Sonya Endicott, Velma Vega, Bill Pent, Nonna Trainor, Dick Davidson, and John Sessums) will always be remembered for their contributions and camaraderie. The women in my life, my wife, Jerry, and my daughters, Debbie, Laura, Pam, Mindy, and Christy, were al ways supportive and there when I needed them. Their love and encouragement helped keep me going when I needed a push. A speci a 1 "thank you" goes to my mother, Birdie M. Briant. She is, and always has been, my mentor, advisor, and friend. The credit for whatever success I might ever achieve belongs to thi s great lady. Gloria Rector, my sister, provided invaluable assistance for which I am grateful. ii

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ABSTRACT CHAPTER [NTRODUCTION TABLE OF CONTENTS Statement of the Problem Justification of the Study Limitations ... Delimitations .. .. Definition of Terms Procedures ... ... Organization of the Study [I REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE .. Causes of Student Misbehavior Student Misbehavior in Schools School Climate and Misbehavior .. .. Development of Alternative Educational Disruptive Students . . Programs for Disruptive Students ... Chapter Summary . . . .... Programs for III CURRICULA OFFERINGS, STUDENT SERV[CES, AND EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES IN THE SELECTED ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS FOR DISRUPPage ii V 5 6 6 7 7 8 11 12 12 14 15 28 31 35 TIVE STUDENTS . . . . 37 General Data, Grouping, and Grade Structure Curricula Offered . .. Student Services Provided ..... .. Extracurricular Activities Offered ..... Chapter Summary ............. [V ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES, PROCEDURES, AND SERVICES IN THE 38 41 54 58 59 SELECTED ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS FOR DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS 61 Student Entrance and Exit Criteria Staffing Patterns ...... Transportation and Food Services Chapter Summary .. iii 61 66 72 75

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CHAPTER Page V PROFILE OF AN ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL FOR DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS 76 Demographics . Student Satisfaction. Parent Satisfaction Faculty Satisfaction. Academic Infonnation. Chapter Su111T1ary VI FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS Findings . Conclusions .. Recommendations REFERENCES APPENDIX 78 79 81 81 84 85 86 87 94 96 98 A LETTER OF INTRODUCTION 103 8 VERIFICATION QUESTIONNAIRE 104 C TELEPHONE INTERVIEW GU IDE l 05 D ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS INCLUDED IN THE STUDY 111 E OPEN INTERVIEW GUIDE-STAFF 113 F OPEN INTERVIEW GUIDE-STUDENTS 114 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 115 iv

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Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fuifillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS IN SELECTED PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS By Orlan H. Briant May 1987 Chairman: Dr. Ralph 8 Kimbrough Major Department: Educational Leadership The purpose of this study was to describe alternative educational programs offered in selected schools. The criteria for inclusion in the study were that (a) the school was operated by a public school system, (b) it was a secondary school housed in a separate facility, and (c) it was considered by the district to be an alternative program designed to accorrmodate disruptive students. The data collected were the result of in-depth telephone interviews with the selected program officials and of an on-site visit to one of the schools. The data collected included information about the size and grade structure of the program, curriculum, student services, extra curricular activities, entrance and exit criteria, staffing, transpor tation, and food service. The ~chools included in the study were small, with approximately half inciuding junior and senior high school grades and the remainder consisting only of senior high school grades. The curriculum empha sized basic academic courses, with few elective, vocational, or V

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advanced courses offered. There were few opportunities for extra curricular activities found, with no athletic programs offered and limited club programs. The student services provided in the schools were extensive. The emphasis on counseling, coupled with small class size, facilitated individual attention for the students The entrance and exit criteria in all instances included participation by personnel outside the local school. The school districts i ncluded in the study created programs for disruptive students for two basic reasons: to remove the disrupt i ve influence from the classroom in order to provide a better learning environment for the remaining students and to provide a program designed expressly to meet the needs of disruptive students. The programs emphasizing the needs of disruptive students were more successful than those primarily concerned with removing the disruptive students. vi

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CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Schools are caught in an escalation of student misbehavior un matched in the history of public education in the United States. The situation has become serious enough in many schools to disrupt the learn ing environment. Educational costs resulting from the disruption are incalculable and the economic costs are staggering. In 1975 a sub conmittee of the United States Senate published a report on violence and vandalism in the nation's schools that shocked citizens and educators throughout the nation (Senate Report of the Subconmittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency, 1975). The Senate report noted that violence and vandalism in the nation's schools in the seventies cost the taxpayers approximately $12 billion annually, and that the incidence of serious delinquency committed in the schools was continuing to rise. While urban schools are especially susceptible to attack, suburban and rural schools certainly are not immune. During the five years prior to the Senate report, robberies and burglaries in secondary schools nationwide jumped nearly 501 while assaults on teachers rose 85%. Some 70,000 physical assaults on teachers were reported in 1982, affecting some 3% of the nation's teaching staff (Moles, 1984). The cost of school vandalism, over $500 million annually, is com parable to the total sum spent on textbooks each year throughout the United States (Moles, 1984). Schools are forced into depriving

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2 the serious student by spending millions of dollars on se c urity devices and guard services. Speci a 1 programs for disruptive and n onadjusti ng youth add to the cost burden. Regretfully, those funds are taken from the educational program of operating schools, therefore allowing fewer resources for classroom instruction. After surveying more than one hundred school districts in the United States, the National School Boards Association reported that discipline-related problems were increasing at an alarming rate and had become the major concern of school authorities. On the basis of the data collected, six recomendations to deal with increasi n g student mis behavior were made: 1. Districts should establish tas~ forces to collect information on discipline problems. 2. Students, parents, teachers, and administrator s should be involved when di sci pl ine practices are developed. 3. Discipline policies should be written and distributed to all interested parties. 4. Teachers should be offered in-service training to learn to deal with student offenders consistently and fairly. 5 School employees should be encouraged to exerc i se their legal rights to prevent violence in the schools. 6. Alternat i ves to suspension and expulsion including alternative educational programs should be developed for the disruptive students. (Chizak, 1984, p. 18) Many educators believe that children of the 1980s are different from children of past decades in terms of behavior, acce p tance of authority, and maturity. They are thought to be differe n t because they have been treated differently at home and at school, wit h the result that di sci pl ine is a major problem of the schools today. Goodlad (1984) perhaps stated it best when he said, The first [condition] is a youth culture powerfully preoccupied with itself and made up of individuals much less shaped by home, church, and school than once was the case. How well suited to the young people of today is a school that hardened into shape during a previous era? (p. 321).

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The data suggest a poor fit. Absenteeism, truancy, and interpersonal tensions-sanetimes leading to violence-raise serious questions about the appropriateness of schools as conducted for many older students. Foster (1977) concluded that many s tudents cannot endure organized, cooperative, and purposeful activity-they want an emotional distur bance, a conflict, an acting-out center of attention. Goodlad (1984) and Foster (1977) stressed that s c hools were not meeting the needs of many s tu den ts. 3 Many educators believe that the increasing problem of student mis behavior is the result of educators' fa 11 i ng into the trap of seeing an accommodating, well-behaved student as the goal of teaching. If students see respectful and cooperative behavior as an end in itself and not as a way of setting the stage for 1 i fe, then efforts by the schoo 1 may be counterproductive (Oivoky, 1975). Closely related to the probl e m of student misbehavior is the prob lem of student absenteeism. A po ol c onducted by the National Associa tion cf Secondary School Pr i nci pa ls (1977) confirmed that attendance and discipline were the major pr o blems f a cing secondary school adminis trators. Health officials cited in the report estimated that "nonnal" absentee rates would be 4% or 5% a year whi 1 e actual absentee rates of 10% and lSi were corrmon and some urban schools experienced rates in excess of 30%. Secondary school principals have expressed concern that rising absenteeism will cause educational anemia. With teachers, counselors, and administrators forced into spending increased time managing the attendance si tua ti on, reduced opportunity remains for more constructive tasks. In a major report the National Conmission on

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4 Excellence in Education (1983) urged that school districts establish attendance policies with clear incentives and sanctions in order to reduce the amount of lost instructional time because of student absen teeism and tardiness. The quality of teaching, counseling, and adminis tering is adversely affected by the problems associated with student absenteeism and misbehavior. Perhaps the most damaging of all is the tone of mistrust and sus picion that develops when a school is invaded by threats and extortions. The morale of students, teachers, and parents falls appreciably. Mean while, the administrator's frustration grows because of t i me lost from providing effective school leadership. Even in light of startling stati s tics, much school crime remains hidden; moreover, there is a tendency among students, teachers, and administrators not to report serious i ncidents. Students fear retalia tion or dislike being tabbed informers, and teachers tire of taking the risk to report violations only to s ee little concrete results coming from the risk. Many administrators f e el that too many reports of mis behavior will damage the reputat i on of the school. R Johnson (1979), an e x perienced Virginia high school principal, spoke for many urban secondary school principals when he stated: The devastating and costly impact on the total school program of a small percentage of pupils who are presently incapable of meeting minimum acceptable behavior standards in a regular school program must be corrected. The crime, violence, vandalism, and disruptive behavior for which this small group has primary responsibility has seriously altered the nature of our schools. This has resulted in the classroom becoming less than an ideal learning experience for many students. The time has come for public school educators, concerned parents and students, and governmental service agencies to join together to provide an appropriate alternative education program which will effectively

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5 reroove these pupils from the mainstream of public education until such time as they can prove that they are ready to take their rightful place once again in the mainstream. (p. 1) Procedures for handling disruptive students focus upon two central approaches: (a) suspension and/or expulsion of the disruptive youth, and (b) assignment to supportive, corrective programs. Most adminis trators agree that suspension and/or expulsion are little more than necessary short-tenn measures and provide little or no he:p for the offending student. School leaders are constantly searching for other alternatives to deal with misbehaving youth. Schools alone cannot change a society that spawns deviant be havior patterns. They can, hot1ever, restructure their own 1 imi ted environment to offer clear policies, improved programs, and stronger security. A positive answer for disruptive youth is to provide alter native educational settings, places that respond to the unique needs of these youth. The alternative school movement contains much promise as an answer for the problems associated with educating disruptive youth Statement of the Problem The purpose of this study was to describe alternative educational programs offered in selected secondary schools of the United States that are established in a separate environment for disruptive students. Specifically, this study is concerned with the following aspects of separate alternative educational programs for disruptive students: l. Grade structures 2. Curricula 3. Types of services provided 4. Extracurricular activities included

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6 5. Entrance and exit criteria 6. Staffing variations 7. Methods of transporting and feeding the students 8. Student, parent, and Scdff satisfaction. Justification of the Study The need for successful alternative educational programs for dis ruptive students was discussed in the introduction to th i s chapter. By systematically describing existir.g alternative programs for disrup tive students in selected school districts throughout the United States, this study contributes to a better understanding of the programs and provides meaningful data for district administrators considering the creation of similar programs in their districts. The study should prove helpful to administrators who already have such programs by providing a document whereby they can compare their programs with the programs described. If a new program for disruptive students is created, or an existing program is modified, to focus on their needs rather than merely segregating them from other students, then this study will have proven justified. Limitations 1. Except for an on-site visit to one alternative educational program, the information describing the alternative programs for disruptive students was limited to the data that could be collected by telephone interviews based on a telephone interview guide. 2. Indicators of success, such as grades, drop-out rates, and graduation rates were not included in the national study; however, they were a part of an on-site visit to one school and are included in Chapter V.

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3. Faculty, parent, and student satisfaction ratings of the alterna tive programs were not included in the study except for those ob tained from an on-site visit to one school and which are included in Chapter V. Delimitations 1 Only public schools were included in the sample. 2. The study was limited to alternative educational programs for dis ruptive students who are housed in a separate environment. 3. An attempt was made to include programs from all geographic areas of the nation. 7 4. Schools with residential facilities were not included in the study. 5. The study did not include grades K-6 or programs that included any K-6 grade with the secondary grades 6. Programs that included a portion of each day in a special program for disruptive students were not included Definitation of Terms 1. Disruptive students-Pupils whose activities so disrupt a classroom, school, or educational program on a continuous basis as to create serious harm or threat to others or to themselves, or who seriously hamper the rights of others to learn. 2. Alternative educational program for disruptive studentsA specific educational strategy, apart from the normal educational program, specifically designed for the disruptive student. 3. Separate environmentAn environment segregated from the normal school program by being located on a different campus or being in a

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separate facility on the regular school campus. This does not include residential facilities. 4. Discipline-Attempts to 110nage student behavior, to bring it under contra l and to impose order. Procedures 8 This study was conducted after a review of the literature on alternative educational programs for disruptive students, especially those housed in separate facilities. ~lowever, the literature dealing with programs that are a part of the regular school program, such as in school suspension programs, was also reviewed. Selection of the Sample After the literature was reviewed, the Center for Options in Public Education, 1 oca ted at Indiana University, was contacted. This center, under the direction of Ors. Vernon Smith, David Burke, a n d Robert Barr, is the clearinghouse for information about alternative programs in public schools throughout the United States. The Center for Options in Public Education was asked to identify school districts t hat operate one or more alternative educational programs for disruptive students, based on the fo 11 uwi ng criteria: 1. The program was for secondary students only. 2. The program was housed in a separate environment. 3. The program was operated by a public school district. 4. The district operating the program considered it to be an alternative educational program designed for disruptive students.

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Schools for possible inclusion in the study were also identified as a result of the review of the literature. Sixty schools that had been identified by the Center for Options in Public Education and from the review of the literature were mailed a letter of introduction (Appendix A) and a short questionnaire soliciting information to verify that each program was in fact an alternative program designed for dis ruptive students and met the criteria established for the study. The questionnaire (Appendix B) was returned by 48 schools. 9 After a careful evaluation of the initial questionnaire, 21 of the schools were verified as meeting the criteria for inclusion in the study The 21 schools represented 19 school districts in 14 states located throughout the United States (Appendix D). Instrumentation Following the selection of the 21 schools that met the criteria for inclusion in the study, the writer, using the telephone interview guide (Appendix C), interviewed each administrator. The telephone inter view guide was developed to gather the necessary data to describe the selected alternative educational programs and was tested on selected programs and modified to improve its reliability for gathering the required data. Administrators from selected alternative programs for disruptive students were asked for their suggestions to improve the tele phone interview guide, and their recorrrnendations were included in the modifications to the interview guide. In addition, the telephone inter view guide was submitted to a panel of educational administration ex perts from the University of Florida. The panel, after suggesting minor changes related to clarity, determined that the instrument did have face validity.

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10 The inforniation used in Chapter V was gathered as a result of an on-site visit. The on-site visit included interviews with students and staff that were designed to determine the degree of satisfaction with the alternative program. Open interview guides for staff (Appendix E) and students (Appendix F) were used to gather the information. Collection of the Data The primary source of data for the national study came from the telephone interviews conducted with administrators of the selected schools In a number of instances, follow-up telephone interviews were required for clarification. Additionally, the interviewer visited one of the selected schools and gathered data by personal interviews with the administrators, teachers, and students; an open interview guide was used (Appendices E & F) The i nfonna ti on gathered from the on-site visit also included statistical infonnation on the curriculum, test scores, grades, and other measures of success The information from the on-site visit i s provided as a case study in Chapter V The on-site visit was also used to compare the program found during the visit with the answers obtained previously from the telephone interview guide. The situation found during the on-site visit was consistent with the answers obtained during the telephone interview in 98% of the items. The only differences observed, those in course offerings, were explained as resulting from different students being enrolled in the school. Analysis of the Data The data were analyzed by the following areas: general informa tion and grade structure, curriculum, student services, extracurricular activities, entrance and exit criteria, staffing, transportation, and

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11 food service. The data were collected from the telephone interviews in the order that is described above. The data were analyzed to show frequencies of practices for each area included. Frequency tables and graphs were used to organize and present the data. A case study was made of one of the selected alternative schools for disruptive students thro~gh an on-site visit. In this case study the degree of satisfaction with the program by faculty and students was reported and data were obtained concerning the success of the program (i e., test scores, grades, and other measures of success) Organization of the Study The study is divided into six chapters Chapter I contains the introduction, the statement of the problem, the justification of the study, limitations, delimitations, definitions of terms, and procedures A review of the literature concerning the broad area of alternative educational programs as well as aiternative programs for disruptive students is presented in Chapter II In Chapter III are found the data collected concerning the curricula, student services, and extra curricu lar activities provided in the selected alternative schools for disrup tive students. In Chapter IV the administrative practices and pro cedures used in the selected schools are presented. Chapter V contains the results of an on-site visit presented as a case study of one of the selected schools. Chapter VI presents the surrrnary, conclusions, and recommendations, and suggests areas for further study.

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CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Sociologists and psychologists continue to seek answers to the problem of increasing juvenile misbehavior in American society. Cer tainly, youth crime anc. delinquency extend beyond the schools The majority of youth crime and misbehavior is committed on the streets. [n addition, many of the disruptions that occur on school campuses are caused by nonstudent intruders Causes of Student Misbehavior Moles (1984) listed the major factors that contribute to disrup tive student behavior as urbanization, economic disparity, racial mis trust, changes in family life, personal values, and social relationships A report issued by the National Association of Secondary School Princi pals (Pratt, 1976} discusses four major causes of disruptive behavior in students: 1 Economic difficulties may lead to alienation from society. Economically disadvantaged youth develop a sense of personal worthlessness that results in antisocial behavior. Other causes include the gap between what society teaches can be expected as a mainstream American citizen and what actually is achieved in life. 2 The effect of prolonged adolescent dependence is another cause. Because young people have little chance to assume any serious responsibilities, their need for independence is fulfilled by confrontation with adults and authority symbols. 3 Secondary schools have become too large. Students and staff develop a sense of separation and powerlessness. When stu dents lose their identity with their school (or with any institution), the result is often antisocial behavior. A large school may function well for students that live in a 12

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13 stable home and neighborhood, but in a transient world, characterized by loose fa mily t i es, youth need the famil iarity a smaller school c an often provide. The smaller school, with its personal f riendships and its opportunities to participate, is one of the few places open for [a] youth to become known, to be s o mebody, and to become appreciated as a person. 4 .. In a recent study of v iolence on television entertain ment programs, Laye (1976) c oncluded that violence on tele vision is a serious s ocial i s s ue for those concerned with child behavior. This st udy s uggested that if guidelines on violence were developed by t he Federal Corrrninications Conmis sion, the aggression f 0 und i n homes and on streets wouid diminish. {p. 4) What are the characteristics o f t he t y pical disruptive student? Do juvenile delinquents have char a cteristics in common with regard to family structure, socioeconomic ba c k g round, attitudes, work, and social habits ? Pratt (1976) presented a pro f il e of a typical delinquent youth while emphasizing the negative imp a ct t hat disruptive students have on education: Sex : Age : Family: Socio-economic: Environment: Education: Work: Social Habits: Attitude: Future: Mal~ 12-17 Singl e p a r e nt h o me; usually lives with working mother; se ve ral chil d ren in family. Parents bo r n in the c ity; grandparents migrated from rural a rea; family income at poverty level, often on wel fa re Family does not o wn ho m e; rather lives in apart ment or public housing; marginal comforts One or two y ears behind class; difficulty with reading; fr e quently absent; often tardy, non participant in school activities; admires sports, but generally does not participate; concerned with lack of autonomy. Works part time or on pickup jobs; often does not stay long in the same job Advanced socially; sexually mature; sets own hours; drinks moderately; smokes cigarettes; uses drugs periodically; generally does not own a car. Surly; antagonistic; vacillates with periods of reclusiveness. No long-range goals; no plans for post secondary education; job oriented; some interest in voca tional-technical education. (p 8)

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14 Student Misbehavior in Schools Chamberlain (1984) categori z ed student misbehavior into two broad areas, challenging behavior and c oping behavior. Examples of challeng ing behavicr are attacking, "smarting-off and ignoring. At:acking occurs when a student consciously inflicts pain, either physical or men tal, on the teacher Examples of a ttacking behavior are glaring, non verbal gestures, sarcasm and ph y si c al co nfrontations. "Smarting-off" generally occurs as a satirical re mark a nd is softer than attacking. Ignoring happens when a student intentially disregards a directive. Cop ing behaviors are broken down in t o two 1r e as, engaging and relieving boredom. Engaging behavior consists of be h avior by a student Jesigned to elicit approval from peers Re liev i ng boredom is exhibited when a student feels emotionally and/or i ntellec t ually separated from the class room and is a response to monotony Th i s b ehavior usually takes the fonn of doodles, tapping with a pencil, day drea mi ng, and similar behavior Students who are found in dlte rn a ti v e schools, or programs, for disruptive students will nonnall y b e t ho s e g uilty of challenging behavior. Most students who must be remov ed f rom t he regular classroom setting have demonstrated behavior that could b e d escribed as attacking. This attack ing behavior often takes the form of phys ic al attacks as well as the other fonns of challenging behavior H owever, many students who are candidates for an alternative program for disruptive students exhibit other fonns of misbehavior, especially smarting-off, ignoring, and the various coping behaviors described previously

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15 School Climate and Misbehavior The school climate has a profound affect on student behavior. Binkley (1984) found that schools that reward students for good behavior seem to have less disruption than schools that stress punishment for poor behavior. The perceptions of teachers toward what is considered disruptive behavior detennine to a great extent the misbehavior that can be found in many classrooms. Safran (1985) concluded that schools with a high degree of tolerance for student misbehavior may be encouraging student violence and disruption. Many students who are classified as disruptive blame the school for many of their problems. They describe the school as a place that does not understand them and that hassels them. A study commissioned by the Carnegie Institute (Silberman, 1970) described many schools as grim, oppressive, and joyless places. The study concluded that this type of atmosphere encouraged rebellion and disruption in many students. Eicholtz (1984) presented nine steps for improving the school climate. He suggested that the school would be seen as less hostile by problem students if (1) the staff served as positive role models, (2) the principal was highly visible and known to students, (3) the faculty specifi cally planned for a warm school climate, (4) there was continual assessment, (5) rewards and exceptions were given for positive behavior, (6) the school policies were clearly defined, (7) stu dents were given individualized attention with high expectations, (8) the curriculum had a proper balance, and (9) the parents and cormnunity were involved in the school. (p. 25). The involvement of parents and the cormnunity was the subject of a project involving 44 secondary schools. In this study violence, crime, and disruptions decreased substantially as the involvement of parents and community increased (Smith, 1984).

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16 Motivation of Disruptive Students Clearly, motivation to succeed in school is lacking in the dis ruptive student. Closely related to motivation is self-concept as it relates to a positive student attitude. A poll of secondary school principals (Byrne, 1978) listed student apathy and lack of motivation as th2 most serious constraints facing secondary school administrators. The survey listed the development of a strong student se l f-concept as one of the major tasks facing secondary school education. Any program for the disruptive student should be concerned with creating a more positive self-concept as a means to combating student apathy and lack of motivation. Some basic motivation theories include Skinner's (1974) positive reinforcement and Maslow's (1954) five-part self-actualization process. A further study of motivation by Wlodkow ski (1978) listed the factors of motivation in the student's role as self-esteem, level of aspiration, and need of achievement. The teacher's role in shaping motivation included the factors of expectation, feed back, and effective praise. L D. Smith (1986) discussed Skinner's positive reinforcement from a philosophical viewpoint. He stressed the value of positive reinforcement because of the good it does for student and teacher alike, and he was critical of the effects of punishment as a means for motivation. Heckhauser (1971) found that students high in achievement motiva tion exhibit the following characteristics : "(1) interest in excel lence for its own sake; (2) preference for situations in which they take personal responsibility; and (3) setting of goals after considering a variety of alternatives" (p. 85). He emphasized the independence exhib ited by the high achievers.

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17 In a study of high school students' attitudes, behavior, and per ceptions of the labor market, Stinchcombe (1964) found a significant relationship between the expectations that students held of the future and their rebellious attitudes and behavior. Stinchcombe concluded that the desire of young people to accept confonnity to the policies of school authorities declined in proportion as the credibility of the promise for work and success declined. Skinner (1971) stated that alter natives for disruptive students must include special emphasis on stu dent boredom, frustration, anxiety, poor self-concept, and other similar causes of discipline problems. Olexa (1984) reported that teachers trained to use motivational exercises in their classrooms have increased motivation in apathetic youth. He defined those motivated by external forces as pawns and those motivated by internal forces as origins. The challenges, then, are to motivate the disruptive student less through external forces and increasingly by internal forces. Olexa stressed that motivation train ing could have a positive effect on the school behavior of disruptive students. Counseling Disruptive Students Program guidance and counseling is of paramount importance in programs for disruptive students. Emphasis was placed on individual and group counseling in an alternative school for problem students established in Grand Rapids, Michigan (Rowe & Wagner, 1974). Other innovative features of the Grand Rapids school included contract learn ing, packages providing help in remedial skills, and a "free room" where students could spend reward tokens. Group therapy (Webster, 1984)

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18 can be effectively integrated into the regular school program to pro vide help for students with severe behavioral problems. Champeau (1983) stressed the value of one-to-one counseling with emphasis on self-concept, relationships, and management of time. In a paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educa tional Research Association, Jones and Starkey (1975, April) proposed that an important aspect of an a lterna ti ve educati ona 1 program for dis ruptive students should be the redefinition of the teacher role to include counseling functions. The paper described an alternative school in which socially maladjusted youth were helped to build self-esteem, a sense of self-worth, and interdependence through group counseling and group projects as the basis for the school curriculum. Students in the redefined setting showed increasingly better social adjustment, finished high school, and undertook further training. The success of this alternative school was measured by a 90% attendance rating and by the lack of major discipline problems within the school. A special school program called "More Effective Schools," initiated by the United Federation of Teachers and the New York Board of Educa tion, emphasized the importance of a guidance approach in teaching ghetto chi 1 dren ( Channon, 1967). While the program achieved parti a 1 success, it was criticized by Channon as ~aving failed because it was rigid, restrictive, and unimaginative. Also, the teachers were in experienced and often hostile toward each other and the children. The implication was that the lack of care in selecting and t raining the teachers greatly contributed to the program's lack of success, and that the lack of success was not the result of the guidance approach of the program.

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19 Cl ass room Discipline Much has been said about the teacher s burden of maintaining dis cipline. Poor classroom discipline is a major characteristic of disrup tive students. Numerous reports have stressed the importance of proper classroom discipline as it relates to learning. Adler (1982) stressed that students should be required to behave in class in a manner that is conducive to learning. A report issued by the National Center for Educational Statistics (Holmes, 1981) emphasized that the loss of learn ing because of classroom disruption was a major problem facing educators, and that the amount of lost learning could not be calculated. Boyer (1983) stated that teachers must be supported in the maintenance of discipline based on a clearly stated code of conduct with appropriate sanctions for misconduct ~nd rewards for good behavior. Too often teachers become so concerned with discipline and its associated problems that they give up and fail to teach at all. Help ing students become self-disciplined is teaching. Crook (1979) stressed that teaching is defined as showing or helping one learn how to do some thing. Therefore, to help students learn how to behave properly and to become better self-disciplined individuals is certainly teaching. If teachers would perceive that helping students become better disciplined individuals is an important part of teaching, there would be fewer teachers complaining that they cannot teach because they are too busy disciplining students. Goodlad (1984) stated that lacking a conman goal of needing and wanting to learn what teachers have to offer, students beyond the primary years are not likely to create voluntarily the orderly, receptive cir cumstances in which teachers, in tum, see themselves as most

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20 effective and satisfied. This may at least partly explain why control of the classroom situation looms so large for teachers beyond the early grades as a necessary condition and one for which they must take major responsibility. Establishing control, especially at the secondary level, becomes a mechanism both for personal survival and for maintaining the minimal conditions under which teaching and learning can proceed. (pp. 191-192) Gorton (1977) proposed a nonpunitive approach to disruptive behavior characterized by remediating learning problems, changing the school environment, changing the student's perception o f school, and implementing alternative programs that could eventually reduce student misbehavior and, according to the Gordon, should be considered instead of punitive approaches for working with students with d i scipline prob lems. Gonzales (1984) proposed extensive counseling and career educa tion programs to improve student discipline. Sinner and Sinner (1978) suggested a practical approach to solv ing disruptive student behavior that emphasized stressing positive dis cipline. Through the use of Glasser's Therapy model, these objectives were listed as follows: 1 Teachers will realize that many times they cause the disrup tive behavior of students. 2. Students will realize that they are totally responsible for their behavior. 3. Students will realize that irresponsible behavior will not achieve the goal they desire. 4. Student's academic achievement will increase because the student is acting in a responsible manner. 5. Teachers will have more time to teach because of fewer disrup tions. 6. The administration will have time to supervise teachers since the need to discipline students will be reduced. 7. Vandalism will be reduced. 8. Use of drugs will be reduced because teachers will have helped students to improve their self-images. 9. Disrespect for teachers will be reduced since students and teachers can resolve their differences in one-on-one confer ences. 10. Students will be rore productive in all areas of student activity. (Sinner & Sinner, 1978, p. 407)

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21 Knoff (1984) proposed a comprehensive problem-solving model to address discipline from a preventive perspective. He suggested guide lines for identifying, analyzing, intervening in, and evaluating dis cipline problems. He stressed better prevention of disruptive behavior as opposed to dealing with it after it occurs. Haynes (1973) found that personalizing instruction could have a positive effect on potentially disruptive students. By personalizing tasks that were geared to the appropriate level of learning, as well as to the interests and needs of each pupil, discipline problems were sub stantially reduced in disruptive students. Hyman and 'Alessandra (1984) found that discipline improved when the quality of education improved. A more democratic approach to classroom discipline, according to Harris (1985), might also help in reducing disruptions. Harris argued that a method of structuring classroom behavior that gives students a chance to participate in making the classroom rules and to discipline themselves is one answer to curbing disruptive behavior in students. Chamberlain (1984) stressed that a highly structured, organized, and positive classroom is necessary for good behavior and successful learning. A philosophical curriculum model that Bruening (1978) patterned after the philosophies of Carl Rodgers, John Dewey, Erick Fromm.and Jean-Paul Sarte, called the fully-functioning-person model, had student interest as its goal, with skills learned being a by-product. In this model discipline is not imposed by the teacher, but self-discipline is encouraged. Bruening stressed that with the proper emphasis on student motivation, student discipline problems should be minimal.

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22 The 41 members of The Task Force on Education for Economic Growth (1983) recorrmended that school and classroom rules be firm, explicit, and demanding. The task force emphasized that students wit h behavioral problems need clear and specific policies and rules. Because many disruptive students are also emotionally disturbed children, Long (1967) concluded that the needs of the latter should be considered when providing alternative programs for disrupt i ve students. According to Long, the appropriate questi ens to ask are '" How can dis turbed children be identified?'; 'What kinds of help are appropriate?'; 'What kinds of educational programs should be provided?'; 'How do you teach these children?'; and 'How do you measure improvement and inter pret future?'" (1967, p. 28). Ross (1979) concluded that most disruptive students do not enjoy having the label of disruptive student placed on them; however, they do not know how, or lack the motivation, to change the direction of their lives Alternative schools designed for students with severe behavioral problems provide a structured setting, staffed by trained professional personnel, to help those students who want to be trouble free. The desire to be "straight" is evident in the following statement by a troubled student: If I could have one wish to change sorrething in my life, I'd wish I could stop being in trouble all the time. I've been in trouble so much so long that I wouldn't know what it was like not to be in trouble. That's what I'd wish for to have changed about my life, to be someone who wouldn't be in trouble all the time (Ros.s, 1979, p. 14) Fundamental Schools The back-to-basics movement is viewed by many educators as a reaction to student disruption. While the fundamental school is not

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23 necessarily an alternative progr a m for di s ruptive students, it may have an impact on the need for alternat i ve programs for students that cannot function in the basic, fundamental s chool Stressing the need to re turn to a more basic educational program, W ellington (1977) emphasized the need for improved student discipl i ne a nd control of students. Wellington also stressed the need f or board-of-education control of the schools and for greater citizen i nvolvement. More recently the National Co 11Tnission on Excellence in Education (1983) issued a report to U S S e cretary of Education Terrell Sell. In the con-mission's recorrmendations concerning the use of time, the need for alternative schools or programs th a t stressed fundamental education was presented. The r ep o rt s tated that the burden on teachers for maintaining discipline should b e reduced through development of firm and fair codes of student c o n d uct that a re enforced consistently, and by considering alternative cla ss rooms, p rograms, and schools to meet the needs of continually d i s r u pti v e st u d ents. Many educators have a r g u e d tha t publ ic education is justified only when schools provide a sound, ba sic e ducat i on for all students (Weber, 1972) Weber stressed that devoti o n to basic education does not mean indifference to the social and vocational development of students. This view of education would necessitate the creation of alternative programs for students unable to cope in the regular, basic program. Although alternative schools for disruptive students are not new, many educators believe that the increasing number of misbehaving stu dents, bringing to school daily the home and conmunity problems that are part of their experience, makes the alternative school a viable solution.

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24 A report issued by the Task Force on Federal Elementary and Secondary Educa ti ona 1 Po 1 icy ( 1983) stated thd t s chools have had to cope with more problem children than ever before-those who are unmotivated and prone to violence. The report concluded that these problems are the result of drugs, the increasing nurroer of broken homes and single parents, the increased permissiveness in the home a nd society, the effects of tele vision, and the growth of the underworld culture. Myers (1977) was among those m ost outspoken for a back-to-basics approach to the problems caused by disruptive students. He discussed the invasion of i 11 iteracy, the departure from discipline, and the dee 1 i ne of patriotism that he saw rampant in the schools He placed the re sponsibility for these problems with the boards of education, teachers unions, the tenure system, innovat iv e c urricula (new math, new grarrmar, inductive social studies), federal f unding for schools, and the prohibi tion against failing students, part ic ularly disruptive students. He called for a return to the basics fo rd return to conventional instruc tion, traditional curricula, strict dis cipline, and the i nculcation of patriotic values. His experiences i n helping establish the John Marshall Fundamental School in Pasadena, California, were included in his book. He acknowledged the need for special programs and schools for disruptive students who could not function in the fundamental schools. Proponents of fundamental education have often blamed decreasing student achievement on "progressive" education. Vetterli (1976) pre sented data showing that the academic achievement of students, both black and white, in fundamental schools was significantly greater than that of similar students in progressive schools. He argued that this was

PAGE 31

25 particularly true for the average and low-average intelligence student and for the potentially disruptive student. He emphasized that too often the public schools have rewarded students for failure or poor perfonnance. Jackson (1985) concluded that, if schools would stop rewarding students f or misbehavior and failure, the classroom climate would improve and discipline problems would decrease. He stated that students will not behave better and achieve more until teacher expecta tions are raised and students are held accountable for their actions. Schofield (1976), among those educators who have criticized the back-to-basics movement, surrvnarized the thinking of those concerned with what he termed the regressive tendencies of fundamentalist educa tion, and suggested that traditional skills do not constitute the true basics of education. Instead he cited the cognitive, affective, and developmental skills necessary for mature and effective communications as the real basic educational goals. Schofield argued that if these goals were achieved in American education, then the concern of illit ercy and student disruptions would cease to exist. In-School Suspension Programs In-school suspension programs have gained great acceptance during the last few years as an alternative to traditional methods for punish ing student misbehavior. The effective in-school suspension program has the following characteristics, according to Hayes (1977): l. The program must rest on a solid philosophical foundation which allows for defining and dealing with the root problems of behavior, not merely the symptoms of discipline problems. 2. Teachers and administrators must be willing to acknowledge that sometimes they contribute to student misbehavior. 3. Attention must be given to the process by which students are assigned to the program, how long they should stay, and the process for follow-up once they leave.

PAGE 32

4. Special attention should be paid to academic difficulties, since frequently such difficulties underline student dis cipline problems. 26 5. Program personnel, including counselors, teachers, and aides, should be carefully selected. 6. The program should be evaluated at regular intervals through out the school year. (p 3) Many reasons have been given favoring the in-school suspension program over out-of-school suspension. Zimmerman (1981) gave four of the most pertinent reasons: 1. Students are supervised and disciplined for improper actions as opposed to being home watching television or being out on the streets causing problems in the community. 2. The program will alroost pay for itself through increasing average daily attendance as opposed to the district losing money when students are suspended out of school. 3. Positive reinforcement is r~ceiv~d from parents who prefer having their children supervised at school .4. Probably most important, although many students are hostile at first towards the program, most will settle down and learn from the program. {p. 14) Chizak (1984) showed that in-school suspension and detention pro grams reduced out-of-school suspension by approximately 30% in high schools and 40% in junior high schools. Mendez (1977) described another positive element of the in-school suspension program as combining efforts to help students succeed with the administration of school dis cipline The legal implication of in-school suspension practices through consideration of individual versus institutional rights within a puni tive-rehabilitative setting was reported by Wiles and Rockoff (1978). They discussed the applicability of the prison hospital model to schools and argued that although future legal action might challenge the viability of in-school suspension programs, rulings in the seventies seemed to uphold the constitutionality of in-school suspension programs

PAGE 33

27 Wiles and Rockoff (1978) inferred that the same rationale could be used for assigning students to alternative programs for disruptive students. The influence of statutory laws for education, and discipline practices in particular, is a great concern for today's educators. Whereas many educators view the law as restricting administrative dis cipline practices, Thomas (1976) proposed that law be incorporated into the regular school curriculum. Teaching the law to both students and parents, he suggested, would result in greater understanding and thus have a positive impact on student discipline and focus attention on the special needs of the disruptive student. A survey conducted in all Pensylvania schools by the Pennsylvania State Department of Education (1977) listed the disciplinary approaches used for misbehaving students other than the traditional means of deten tion, suspension, expulsion, and corporal punishment. The results fell into two disciplinary approaches: (a) disciplinary techniques, which are single, specific activities, and (b) alternative programs,which attempt to alter the entire problem from many directions The major disciplinary techniques used were punishment (including withholding privileges, isolation, and the use of a demerit system), parental in volvement (including schedule changes, tutoring, and special assign ments), and behavior modification (including behavioral contracts and reward system). Alternative discipline programs were varied, ranging from single in-school suspension classes to fully developed alternative schools where disruptive students were enrolled for one or more years. A legislative report in South Carolina (South Carolina State Department of Education, 1976) urged that policies and procedures for

PAGE 34

28 disciplining students be designed to teach them responsibility rather than being simple punishment. As noted in the report, providing educa tional opportunities for behavioral deviants is a problem that does not have simple solutions. However, alternatives to suspension or expul sion, such as alternative educational programs, should be attempted before extreme disciplinary measures are undertaken. A handbook developed by the American Friends Service CoITITiittee (1975) in South Carolina was published to stimulate thought, planning, and action in developing viable alternatives to suspensions. The hand book contains statements from the various district super i ntendents about discipline practices in their schools. An important conclusion drawn from this study is that the personal philosophy of the superin tendent directly influences the number and kinds of alternatives that a district may attempt when dealing with disruptive stude n ts. Alterna tive educational prognns for misbehaving students a re recommended as an alternative for expulsion. Development of Alternative Educational Programs for Disruptive Students Alternative educational programs for disruptive students have been developed to deal with the problems and attitudes of the typical delin quent youth described herein. The alternative school movement can be traced to 1969 when the first alternative school opened. By 1977 there were over 10,000 alternative schools in the nation. Today that number has increased to 13,000. One-third of all the school districts in the United States have some form of alternative school and two-thirds of the large districts have alternative educational programs. A wide variety

PAGE 35

29 of types and structures of alternative schools exist; however, some corrmon characteristics are associated with the movement, including the following: 1. Students, parents, and teachers have the choice to participate in the alternative program or remain in a traditional program. 2. They are smaller than traditional programs. 3. They stress the individual rather than the group. 4. They are more flexible than traditional programs. 5. They are distinctively different in one or more areas from tradi tional programs. These differences may be in grouping of students, curriculum, dicipline practices, or admittance procedures. (Smith, Burke, & Barr, 1974) Alternative schools are known by a variety of names. Some of these labels are schools of choice, magnet schools, optional schools, open schools, schools-without-walls, learning centers, continuation schools, multicultural schools, free schools, and schools-within-a school. Alternative schools take many shapes and forms. They address many different problems and result from divergent philosophies of educa tion. One of the major problems an alternative school may be created to address is that of the disruptive student. The true alternative school for disruptive students includes all of the colTlllOn characteris tics of alternative schools in general, with the exception that it is not as flexible and may not include freedom of choice for attending. Alternatives to regular schools long have been available. These alterna tives have been known as vocational schools, adult schools, cofllllunity schools, comprehensive schools, church schools, evening schools, and a wide variety of private, independent schools.

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30 The contemporary concept of the optional or alternative public secondary school first moved into the spotlight in 1967 when Clifford Brenner, the director of development for the school dist r ict of Phila delphia, proposed a school that would utilize the cultural and co1T111er cial resources of the city and would exist, for all practical purposes, out allXlng those resources rather than in a conventional s choolhouse. His idea materialized as the Parkway School in 1969 (Smith et al., 1974). The National Association of Secondary School Principals (1973) issued a report predicting that the rapid increase of alternative schools was sure to continue at an increaing rate and suggested that principals needed to examine the movement closely. The report listed six characteristics that distinguish alternative schools from most regular schools: l. Differ significantly in curriculum and instructional practices 2. Strive for greater involvement of staff and students in decision making 3. Are more flexible and, therefore, more responsive to evaluation and planned change. 4. Tend to make more extensive use of collVllunity resources and facili ties 5. Usually have a convnitment to be more responsive to some conmunity need or needs 6. Are more often small schools with 30 to 400 students. A survey by the National Association of Secondary Schools Princi pals (1978) estimated that by 1985 at least one in three of the

PAGE 37

31 nation's 16,000 public school systems would have one or more alterna tive schools in operation and that aroong the smallest school districts, those with fewer than 600 students, one district in five would have an alternative school. In districts with more than 25,000 students it was estimated that 80% would have one or more alternative schools. The survey also predicted that more alternative schools would be found at the high school level than in schools that serve the earlier grades, and that roore than 10,000 alternative schools would be in operation. The alternative programs in use today can be grouped into three types. First, there are the back-to-basics.or fundamental, schools that respond to the public's concern for a return to a simpler, more basic education. Second, there are the magnet schools, which appeared as a strategy to help integrate a school district, to help avoid the problems associated with urban flight, and to increase interest and participation in the public schools. Last are the alternative programs designed for disruptive youth that have b.?er, developed as a consequence of increasing vandalism, violence, disorderly conduct, and student apathy in schools and society at large. This study is concerned with alternative programs designed for disruptive youth. Programs for Disruptive Stu dents The Dade County, Florida, school system (Dade County Public Schools, 1976) developed two strategies to roodify disruptive behavior in the school system. The strategies involved in-school programs and out-of school programs. The in-school programs included special classes within the regular school for misbehaving students. The time spent in the

PAGE 38

32 in-school special class varied depending on the severity of the infrac tion and the pupil's attitude and subsequent conduct. The district had four out of-schoo 1 centers for disruptive students. Severely di srupti ve students were assigned to the alternative school as a last resort before expulsion. While the length of stay at the alternative school was usually for the remainder of the school term, the program's purpose was also to return the student to the regular school program as quickly as possible A 1 terna tive schoo 1 s for disruptive students in New J e rsey have been guided by state policies. A report in 1984 by New Je r sey Corrrnis sioner of Education Cooperman emphasizes the special supports and assis tance that disruptive students need in order to develop m ore respon sible patterns of behavior The report urged helping such students to be successful while at the same time eliminating their interference with the learning of other students. Alternative educational programs for disruptive students in New York City were discussed in a report prepared by Guttenburg (1984), director of education for the city schools. He stressed the importance of curriculum decisions for educating disruptive students. He reported that curriculum development there was shared and that the e m phasis was on active participation of the students. He cone 1 uded that the alter native schools for disruptive students in the city had been generally successful but that much room for improvement remained. A report on disruptive students in the state of New York (New York State Education Department, 1972) emphasized that schoo 1 programs for disruptive students should be intertwined with the total educational

PAGE 39

33 policy and resources of the school district, and advocated individual ized instruction, resource rooms, Jnd staff participation in curricu lum planning to aid the disruptive student. The report highlighted the importance of good relationships with comunity agencies and law enforce ment departments. In the discussion of legal aspects and security measures, the report urged that all students, policemen, and school officials be aware of their rights and responsibilities. The report concluded that sensitive administrative procedures and the inclusion of students, faculty, and co11JTiunity in establishing regulations can prevent many student disruptions. The report also emphasized that to aid in identification and prevention of potentially disruptive situations, school districts need clearly written policy statements on special classes, special schools, and alternative schools that are available to the students. Because disruptive students tend to come from culturally disad vantaged areas, teachers assi g ned to p rograms for them should be properly trained to work with culturally disadvantaged children. K. R. Johnson (1967) highlighted the teacher's role in working with disadvan taged children and with the parents of those students. He emphasized classroom management and its effect on discipline, motivation, and human relations. Numerous studies have assessed the problem of student disruption, its consequences, and implications for creating specific schools to educate problem students. In a study of the Hillsborough County Public Schools, Foster (1977) found that (a) a significant number of suspensions were for minor offenses that could be classified as nondisruptive,

PAGE 40

34 (b) the suspension rate for black students was clearly d i sproportional to their numbers in the school system, (cl the use of in-school suspen sion programs was perceived as the clearest and quickest way to de crease discipline problems, (d) out-of-school suspension should be used sparingly because of its disruption to the student's education, and (e) regularly scheduled and planned sessions should be continued between minority group representatives and various levels of the school system's administration. Foster (1977) concluded with a recommendation that the district move slowly in establishing a separate center for disruptive students. He was concerned that an alternative school for disruptive students might have racial overtones. A National Association of Secondary School Principals Task Force (1977) recommended five basic types of programs for disruptive and poten tially disruptive students: "(l) alternatives and services for students with behavior problems; (2) human relations training for all segments of the school population; (3) expanded c ounseling services; (4) teacher training in working with problem students; and (5) comnunity diagnostic/ treatment centers" (p. 5). A report of a governor's task force in Florida (Kraft & Wildman, 1976) described the economic costs of disruptive school-age youth. These costs were described in two categories, those related directly to the operation of Florida's schools and those derived from the dis proportional use of social services by undereducated citizens. The task force found no optimum-size school that would result in a lower rate of disruptive students, although smaller schools seemed best in handling disruptive youth.

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35 A paper by Neill (1976) outlining trends in suspensions and expulsions in the nation's schools concluded that a good in-school sus pension program offers educational alternatives, not merely other forms of discipline. He reported that many programs alternative to suspen sion and/or expulsion can be housed in separate buildings with a com plete educational program tailored to the individual needs of the students. Emphasis, he said, should be placed on developing separate centers with specific strategies for dealing with disruptive youth. Chapter Summary The literature reveals that student violence and misbehavior have been of increasing concern to educators in the United States. The major causes of disruptive behavior of youth were cited as urbanization, economic disparity, racial mistrust, the breakdown of family life, changes in personal values, and social relationships. The typical response of school administrators in the past has been to suspend or expel offending students from school. Currently there is an increasing trend among American educators to turn to alternative programs speci fically designed for disruptive students Alternative programs described in the literature range from supplementary, part-time programs to complete programs housed in separate facilities. Successful alternative programs for disruptive students emphasize guidance and counseling, incorporate a more funda mental approach to classroom discipline, and encourage a more positive self concept for students. The back-to-basics movement is a response to student misbehavior and low academic achievement. Many educators have argued that the

PAGE 42

36 return to fundamental education will resolve many behav i oral problems, others that the back-to-basics movement will increase misbehavior be cause of its failure to recognize and deal with the individual needs of the disruptive student. The literature reveals that the most widely used for:n of alter native program for disruptive students has been the in-school suspension program. The types of in-school suspension programs have varied widely, with many being merely programs for segregating problem students and some providing counseling as part of the process. Alternative educational programs for disruptive students that are housed in separate facilities are relatively new. The literature reveals that there is a wide range of types of programs provided and indicates that there is need for further study and research in the area. The literature indicates that alternative educational programs designed specifically for disruptive students show the most promise.

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CHAPTER III CURRICULA OFFERINGS, STUDENT SERVICES, AND EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES IN THE SELECTED ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS FOR DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS The methods described in Chapter I were used to identify and judge the 21 programs which met the criteria for inclusion in the study. The criteria were 1. The program is for secondary students (grades7-l2) only. 2. The program is housed in a separate environment, either in a separate facility or in a portion of a general educational facil ity that is distinct and separate from the main building(s). 3. The program is administered and operated by a public school dis trict. 4. The district operating the program considers it to be an alternative program designed specifically for disruptive students. The administrators of 60 prospective programs received by mail a short questionnaire on a file card (Appendix B) to gather general infor mation to determir.e whether their programs would fit the established profile needed for the investigation. The initial questionnaire was accompanied by a letter of introduction (Appendix A). The question naire was returned by 48 of the program administrators. Applying the criteria to the responses reduced the list of eligible programs to 21 schools from 19 different school districts and located in 14 states. The writer interviewed the selected 21 program administrators by 37

PAGE 44

telephone, using the telephone interview guide (Appendix C). The programs selected for the investigation are listed in Appendix D. General Data, Grouping, and Grade Structure The first section of the telephone interview dealt with general program characteristics, reaffinning that the programs were designed for disruptive students and met the other qualifying criteria. The 38 most pertinent infonnation gathered from this section pertained to grade structures of the programs: Grades 7-12: 11 programs Grades 9 or 10-12: 7 programs Grades 9-11 : l program Grades 8-12: 2 programs. Approximately half of the programs served both junior/middle school and high school students and approximately half served exclu sively those generally considered to be high school students. All of the administrators stated that they were fairly flexible concerning grade structure and occasionally accepted students referred to them who did not meet the requirements for the recognized grade structure of the program. An example of this would be an 8th-grade student who was over aged being accepted in a 9th-12th-grade program or a 9th grader being placed in a 10th-12th grade program. All of the administrators stated that the need of the student was paramount and should be con sidered over the recognized grade structure of the program. As one might expect, alternative programs for disruptive students are generally small (see Figure 1). Of the programs studied, 15 had 150 or fewer students, 2 had 50 or fewer students, 6 had 51-100

PAGE 45

39 8 m; 7 6 VI 5 0 0 ..c:: 4 u VJ 3 2 0-50 51-100 101-151 152-201 201+ Students Figure 1. Size of the selected programs (n=21)

PAGE 46

40 students, and 7 had 101-150 students. Of the remaining 6 programs, 4 had between 151 and 200 students and two had over 200. The adminis trators of the 6 larger schools reported a wide range in the enroll ment of their programs, depending on time of year and local considera tions. The numbers reported above reflect an average enrollment over a period of time. All of the administrators questioned noted that they strongly believed the programs should be small in order to increase the individual attention to the student and to create an atmosphere of belonging and caring. The principals of the two large programs, over 200 students each, stated that the programs were too large and should be reduced by the creation of another alternative program for disruptive students in the school district. They urged that, if alternative pro grams for disruptive students were to be successful, the programs would have to be primarily concerned with identifying student needs and meeting those needs in a direct and personal way. They emphasized that limiting the size of the programs (smallness) was essential. The administrators were asked how they grouped their students for instruction, whether by strict grade level or by the educational needs of the students. Seven (33%) responded that they grouped strictiy by grade level, whereas three (14%) did not recognize grade levels at all and grouped strictly by the educational needs of the students as deter mined by an Individual Educational Plan (IEP). The remaining 11 programs (52%) used a combination of grade structure and individual educational needs. Two-thirds of the programs emphasized the specific educational needs of the individual students. In all of the 21 schools homogeneous groupings for instruction were used. The administrators were asked if they provided instruction

PAGE 47

41 at the basic level for below-level students. All 21 responded posi tively. When asked whether they also provided instruction for the regular, or average, student, again all 21 responded positively. How ever, only 4 (19%) reported that they provided instruction at the ad vanced level for above-average students. The implication was t ha t there were not enough above-average students enrolled in alternative pro grams for disruptive students to warrant separate classes. All of the admin i strators stated that their programs were coeducational. The writer also investigated for the 20 programs extending through grade 12 the procedures required for students to graduate if they were eligible by district standards to receive a d i ploma. Five administra tors reported that students who earned a diploma would graduate at the high school they would have been attending Ten stated that they would hold their own graduation ceremony for students earning a diploma. The remaining five administrators indicated that the student had a choice either to return to the regular high school for the graduation ceremony or to receive the diploma at the graduation exercise at the alternative school. Curricula Offered A major purpose of the investigation was to review the curricula of the various alternative programs for disruptive students. Obviously, the size of the school was one of the most important factors in deter mining the depth and breadth of the curriculum offered. The larger the school, the easier it was to have a sufficient number of students to offer a class. The other major factor in determining the curriculum was

PAGE 48

42 the needs of the students enro 11 ed in the program. The sma 11 enro 11ment in the majority of these schools made difficult an attempt to offer a comprehensive curriculum. This was particularly true for schools trying to offer courses other than the required courses The fact that most of those in programs for disruptive students are similar and are in need of basic and remedial education made the job of providing a curriculum to meet their needs easier. The administrators were asked tn identify generic courses in the various subjects such as reading, writing, literature,general math, and American history. After reviewing the information collected, the writer outlined the instructional program by subject areas and the courses offered in each area as fo 11 ows: 1. English a. Reading-remedial and developmental b Writing-creative and research c. Literature d. Mass corrrnunications 3. Speech 2. Ma thematics a. General math (arithnetic/consumer math) b. Algebra c Geometry d. Other advanced math courses 3. Science a. General science/physical science b. Biology (first year) c Chemistry (first year)

PAGE 49

43 d. Physics (first y ear) e Other advanced s cience courses 4. Social studies a. World history b. American history c. Government d. Economics e. Geography f. Other social studies courses 5. Fore i gn language a. Spanish b. French c. Latin d. German e. Other foreign la n g ua g es 6. Physical educati o n a. Coeducational b. Segregated by se x 7. Vocational education a. Business education b. Agriculture c. Home economics d. Industrial arts 8. Technical-vocational education 9. Special education a. Mentally handicapped b. Physi ca 1 ly handicapped

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44 10. Humanities a. Instrumental music b. Vocal music c. Art d. Drama 11. Cooperative education a. Diversified cooperation training (OCT) b. Distributive education ( DE) c. Work experience d. Other couperative courses 12. Driver education In the area of English all Zl programs offered instruction in remedial reading. Many administrators stated that this was the most valuable class they offered and tha t m ost of the students were enrolled in a remedial reading course. Of the Z l programs, 17 of f ered classes in developmental reading. (Of note, s eve r al administrators identified the developmental reading progra:n the y ..iere using as the P. K. Yonge Model developed at the Univer sity of Florida laboratory school.) As compared with reading instruction, there was less emphasis placed on writing instruction. Fourtee n of the schools offered classes in creative writing and nine also offered instruction in research writing. All of the administrators stated that writing was stressed in all of the courses and believed that writing was an important part of the entire curriculum. All of the administrators indicated that they offered literature courses, although the type of literature taught varied from program to

PAGE 51

45 program. The most conmonly taught literature courses were American literature and English (British) literature. Other literature courses mentioned were modern literature, sports and romance literature, mythology, and fictional literature Only six of the schools offered a course in mass communications, the major thrust of which was in television (video-tape) and written con111unications Most schools indicated that before students could take the mass corrmunications course they had to show a level of proficiency in reading and writing. Sixteen programs offered instruction in speech. Al though a few of the schools offered speech as a separate class, the administrators of the 16 schools offering speech instruction indicated that speech was an i mportant part of their English curriculum and was a required part o f the courses. In the mathematics subject area, all programs offered general m ath classes consisting mainly of ar i thmetic, which the administrators deemed the most important math need of their students. The emphasis in the classes was on the basics (adding, substracting, multiplying, dividing, fractions, decimals, interest, percentages, and the metric system). Whether called general math, consumer math, or vocational math, the thrust was in teaching what the students would need to know to function as consumers in society. Mathematics taught above the general math area was algebra (first year) and geometry (first year) for those few students who had mastered the basic curriculum or were interested in preparing for post-high school education Nineteen programs offered algebra and 15 offered

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46 geometry. Three programs offered instruction in trigonometry and one offered a second year of algebra. Several of the administrators of schools that offered algebra, geometry, and other advanced mathematics classes stated that the courses were taught to a student or students on an individual basis if necessary. To determine the nature of content in the area of science, the administrators were asked if they offered a course in general science or a beginning science course, such as physical sciences. All of the pro grams offered such a course; although titled differently by many schools, it was essentially the science course required for gradu a tion and pre requisite to other science courses Of the 21 schools, 20 offered a first-year, beginning biology course; 10, a first-year chemistry course; and 6, a first-year physics class. As for courses beyond the chemistry and physics level, 1 school offered a course in physiology and 1 offered a second-year chemistry course. As in the case of advanced mathematics, the administrators indi cated difficulty in having a sufficient number of students to offer advanced science classes; thus often an individual studi e d advanced science in an independent study class. Several administrators attempted to offer courses such as chemistry and physics even though only one student needed them, either to satisfy graduation requirements or to prepare for future educational plans. The administrators reported that science and mathematics teachers would often volunteer to teach an advanced science or mathematics course during their planning time if that was the only way the student could take the courses. A few of the administrators reported instances when they permitted exceptionally

PAGE 53

bright students to take advanced science or mathematics courses at a nearby high school or university. 47 In the social studies area, the course offerings for disruptive students were more extensive and there was a greater degree of simi larity among schools than that found within the other subject areas. All but one of the programs offered classes in world history and American history. All but two of the programs offered instruction in government and economics. However, whereas the world history and American history classes were offered as separate courses, several of the programs offered government and economics as units of instruction in other social studies courses, such as the history courses. Most of the school districts required both world history and American history credits for graduation and mandated courses in government and/or economics. The administrators were also asked about instruction in geography, either as a separate course or as a required unit of instruc tion in another social studies course. Fifteen reported offering instruction in geography. The majority of programs offering geography as a separate course were at the junior high school or middle school level (grades 7-9). None of the program administrators reported the inclusion of any social studies courses other than those already noted. Several of the programs for disruptive students included courses in Spanish and French. Seven offered at least the first year of Spanish and two offered at least the first year of French. Most of the adminis trators answering in the affirmative to the foreign language questions related that the level of instruction might be more on the conversational level than would be true of a regular first-year foreign language

PAGE 54

48 course. They all responded that they could provide additional language courses (second or third year) if the situation warranted it, although it rarely did. None of the programs included in the study offered courses in any language other than Spanish and French. Two of the administrators stated that their school districts required two years of foreign language for a standard high school diploma, whereas several others stated that two years of a foreign language was required for a college preparatory diploma. The administrators were asked about nonacademic course offerings (see Figure 2). In the area of physical education, only 10 of the programs offered a standard physical education course, with the remain ing 11 programs providing time for physical activity for students through informal activities during breaks, recess, and lunch periods. The 10 schools with a physical education course offered it in such a manner that it would be accepted as a physical education course in a regular school setting. Of the 10 standard physical education courses, 9 were coedccational. The administrator of the only school having classes segregated by sex for physical education indicated that there was no particular reason for the segregation, but that the classes had always been taught that way and he saw no reason to change them. In the area of vocational education, the administrators of the selected schools were asked about the courses in business education, agriculture, home economics, and industri a 1 arts In business education 20 of the schools had some instruction. This instruction ranged from courses in typing and clerical skills to shorthand, bookkeeping, account ing, and office simulation classes Many administrators stated that

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"' 0 0 .s:: u VI 22 Figure 2. C 0 ..., "' u ::, -0 QJ "' u "' >, .s:: a.. C 0 ..., "' u ::, -0 QJ "' V'l QJ C "' ::, co Elective V'l V'l ..., u I.. E "' <1J s.. 0 ::, C ..., 0 u I.. ::, QJ ..., u V'l <1J ::, I.. E -0 C'I 0 C c::: ::i:: courses offered 49 100% C 0 "' C: ... 0 "' C u 0 ..... ::, "' -0 ..., u <1J "' 0 u > <1J ::, --.... > -;, <1J "' ..., u "' V'l I.. I.. C: "' u QJ <1J ..c: E C. > u "'
PAGE 56

50 they believed business education courses were as valuable for girls as were the courses in reading, writing, and math, in that the classes might prepare for future employment and serve as a positive goal for improving the students' behavior. All administrators believed that instruction in business education, as well as the other vocational areas, should be expanded, adding that the extra cost involved in the programs was the major deterrent to expansion. Only two of the programs offered classes in agriculture. Because alternative educational programs for disruptive students tend to be found in urban settings, this finding was not surprising. However, both administrators for the schools offering agriculture stated that the program was a positive one and that it not only provided training for possible future employment, but also gave the stude n ts a good out let for physical activity. Another positive point for the agriculture classes was the school projects that provided for beautification of the school and school grounds. The administrators stated that their agri culture classes were not the traditional ones such as farming and cattle, but concentrated mainly on agri-business skills and horticulture Nineteen of the programs offered instruction in home economics. Again, the instruction ranged from a single class in food and nutrition to multiple-period classes in sewing, cooking, design, f amily economics, and family planning. The administrators were unanimous in the value they attached to home economics, not only for girls but also for the many boys enrolled in the various home economics classes. Because many of the pupils in the alternative educational programs for disrup tive students came from broken homes and had poor examples of life

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51 styles, the administrators saw home economics as an extremely important part of the curriculum. The emphasis in this area of the vocational program seemed to be of direct and i111nediate benefit instead of pri marily enhancing the students' qualifications for future employment. As in the area of home economics, 19 of the programs offered classes in industrial arts. Most of the classes were in the area of woodworking although some schools offered classes in metals, plastic, and sma 11 engines. Although the enrollment in these courses was pre dominately male, there were girls enrolled in the classes. As in the other vocational areas, the main reason for not expanding the offerings in i ndustri a 1 arts was fi nancia 1. A 11 but one of the schoo 1 s offering industrial arts instruction had only one shop, and it was limited because of the cost of materials and equipment. The administrators also indicated that it was very difficult getting qualified industrial arts instructors willing to work in an alternative educational program for disruptive students. Two of the administrators stated that they used enrollment in the industrial arts classes as rewards for good behavior because these courses were very popular, especially with boys. The administrators were asked if they offered any technical vocational courses not already described. Two programs offered multiple-period courses in auto or diesel mechanics. One program offered a course in air conditioning and refrigeration. and one offered a vocational course in welding. These four technical-vocational courses were taught by an instructor who was assigned to the area vocational technical school and also taught the students at the alternative school. In these instances. the shop facilities necessary for instruction were

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52 in place before the alternative educational program was established, or were easily accessible for the alternative students. In only one instance had the district gone to the expense of provid i ng a course (auto mechanics) for the alternative school. Both the administrators of programs offering technical-vocational courses and those not offer ing them recormiended that the vocational offerings be added or expanded. The question of offering instruction for special education students ~,as of special interest to the writer. Many o f the adminis trators responded that any student designated as a spec i al education student, either mentally or physically handicapped, was not considered for placement in the program. While none of the programs studied had physically handicapped students (nor the facilities to accommodate them), some of the programs did take mentally handicapped students. Seven offered instruction for educable mentally handicapped/educable mentally retarded students. Two offered classes for students identified as learning disabled (SLD or LD), and 13 offered specific c lasses for emotionally handicapped (EH) students. There was considerable differ ence of opinion among the administrators interviewed as to the desira bility of having special education students attending the alternative program for disruptive students and providing the appropriate classes for them. The guidelines for many of the districts specifically elimi nated special education students from attending the alternative program. However, for those programs that did enroll the special education I students, the administrators did not report any major problems and be lieved the students were benefiting from the program in tenns of better behavior.

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53 Of the 21 programs studied, o nly 1 o ffered instruction in instru mental music (band) Nine programs offered classes in vocal music, ranging from one class of mixed chorus to s everal different classes of vocal music and several different choruses All of the programs offered classes in art, ranging f rom a s urvey course in beginning art to intermediate and advanced a rt, d nd two of the programs had classes in ceramics. Five programs off e r e d d rama instruction and some of these staged periodic drama productions f or t he school and community. The administrators indicated that one o f t he major advantages of offering music, art, and drama was the fa c t t h a t it provided an outlet for expression for the individual student a nd could be used as a reward for good behavior Of some interest was whether th e s chools offered any vocational cooperative education classes, s uch a s diversified cooperation training (OCT), distributive education ( DE), o r w ork experience (Ilk Exp ) Only three programs offered these t y p es of c l as ses. The courses offered were work experience progr a ms ;;h e r e the s tudents were excused from school two periods early to report t o w0rk for which they received a grade and credit. However, many o f the s chools reported various kinds of agreements with students that permitted them to be released from school early in order to work, provided they had demonstrated good behavior. Some of the program admini s trators stated that one of the punitive aspects of assignment to the alternative program for disrup tive students was the provision that the student would attend regularly and all day and could not be released early

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54 Only two of the schools taught driver education. The reasons given for not offering the course were that it was not offered at any of the schools in the district because of the expense involved in providing cars and instructors and the lack of student interest. Several of the administrators stated that the district would provide instruction in dirving if the demand were sufficient. Student Services Provided Another aspect of alternative programs for disruptive students that was studied was the area of services provided for the students. One of the major concerns of school districts considering implementing an alter native program for disruptive students is the fact that these programs tend to be very expensive because of the low pupil-teacher ratio and the extra services that are necessary if the program is to be successful. The areas that were surveyed were guidance services, social services, speech services, services to students who were emotionally disturbed, medical care, psychological s ervices, and community services. Inquiry was also made concerning the availability of a peer counseling program and the type of services the program provided for the family of the student. All 21 of the programs included in the study provided full-time guidance counselors who were assigned to the school. Because alternative programs for disruptive students are required to provide extensive counseling, the program administrators were asked to give the student counselor ratio for their schools. One program had a student-counselor ratio of less than 3O:l. Five had ratios between 31:l and 6O:l. Another 5 of the programs had ratios between 61:l and 9O:l. Six

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55 administrators reported student-counselor ratios between 91:1 and 110:1, whereas 4 of the programs had ratios of 120: 1 or above. Ten of the 21 programs had ratios of 91: 1 or higher. When one considers that school districts provide for guidance counselors in the regular school at ratios as high as 500:1, the fact that over half of the counselors in the alternative programs had fewer than 90 students is indicative of the importance of counseling for disruptive students. All of the admin istrators believed that a good program for delivering guidance ser vices was one of the keys to a successful program for dealing with students with behavioral problems. The additional services available to the students in the alterna tive program for disruptive students were explored. In only 3 of the programs was a full-time social worker assigned. Of the remaining 18 programs, 12 had a part-time social worker assigned at least half the time, and the remaining 6 programs had social work services pro vided on a part-time basis, usually two or three days a week as needed. The case load for each worker assigned to the alternative programs, both full time and part time, ranged from less than 15 cases for 2 of the programs to more than 50 cases for 5 of the programs. Three pro grams had case loads of between ~6 and 25 students per social worker and 5 programs had case loads of between 26 and 50 per social worker. The main responsibility for the social workers was to work with the student and his or her family rn d to serve as a liaison between the school and home. A major part of the social worker's duties was in the area of school attendance.

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Eight of the administrators stated that their programs had the services of a speech therapist either assigned full time or on an itinerant basis. In one (5%) of the programs, case loads for the speech therapist consisted of lO or fewer students. The remaining 56 7 (33%) programs had case loads of between 11 and 20. The administra tors of the 8 programs with speech therapists a 11 reported that the services were a valuable part of the program. Several of the adminis trators of programs that did not have the services of a speech therapist stated that they would like to have the service provided for their students. Seven of the administrators reported that they had a specially trained person, usually a counselor, to work with the students with emotional prob 1 ems Most regular schools do not provide trained medical personnel on site. This was generally the case for the selected schools studied. Although none of the schools had a full-time school nurse, or other trained medical personnel, 6 (29%) of the 21 programs did have a medi cally trained person (generally a nurse) who was on campus on a part time basis. All administrators surveyed stated that they would like this service provided for their programs. Whereas none of the program administrators reported a full-time school psychologist assigned to his or her school, 15 reported that their programs had a part-time school psychologist assigned. The remain ing 6 administrators stated that, althougn toey did not have a fullor part-time school psychologist assigned, they could avail themselves of the service on an as-needed basis using the same procedures that the regular schools in the district used. Of the 15 schools with their

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own part-time school psychologist, 2 reported an active case load of fewer than 10 students; 7, between 11 and 20 students; and 6, between 21 and 30 students. 57 The administrators were asked whether their programs had active peer-counseling programs. This type of counseling involves training students to work with other students or. a one-to-one basis, using peer pressure to improve behavior, improve self-image, and help students make better choices. Thirteen of the program administrators reported an ongoing peer counse 1 i ng program. The remaining eight reported no active peer-counseling program at the time; they had had one in the past or were considering one for the future. The majority of the 13 administrators with active peer-counseling programs were enthusiastic about them and their impact on the schools. The writer also inquired of the administrators whether services were provided to the programs by agencies or groups that operated out side the school district. Three programs were reported to have avail able a family service counselor from a state agency. This person dealt mainly with the family of the student in the home setting. However, regularly scheduled meetings with school personnel and the family service counselor were held to provide for coordination and exchange of infonna tion. One administrator reported having the services of a court coun selor (probation officer) who was assigned to the school to work with students who we:-e under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. Also, one program had the services of a person called a convnunity specialist, a trained counselor employed by the county government who was respon sible for personal guidance services as well as job-lacement counsel ing.

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58 Finally, the administrators of the alternative schools were sur veyed to determine the kinds of services, if any, their programs pro vided for the families of the disruptive students. Twelve required some involvement by the students' families in the counseling program. Four required periodic family counseling on an as-needed basis, while 8 required meetings with the families on a continuing basis. All 12 of the administrators believed that family counseling was an essential part of the program. Most of the administrators believed this aspect of the program should be expanded and additional personnel provided by the school district to accomplish it. Extracurricular Activities Offered The range of extracurricular activities available to the students in the selected alternative programs was somewhat limited. Opportuni ties for involvement in extracurricular activities ranged from few to none. The administrators were asked whether they had any kind of club program available for the students, such as special interest clubs, academic clubs, service clubs, or social clubs. Ten of the administra tors reported a club program of some kind. They were then asked what percentage of their students usually participated in the club program. In 7 of the 10 programs offering a club program, less than 25% of the students participated in one or more clubs. In the other 3 programs participation ranged between 25% and 50%. In addition, the administrators were asked whether the students were allowed to participate (continue their membership) in the club program of their fonner school while enrolled in the alternative program

PAGE 65

for disruptive students. In no case were the students attending the alternative program pennitted to participate in any way in the clubs of their previous school. 59 The program administrators were asked whether their schools offered an athletic program for boys and/or girls Again, all 21 pro gram administrators responded that they did not offer any type of interscholastic athletics for the students. The administrators were also asked whether the students, either boys or girls, could partici pate in athletic competition at their previous schools. Seven (33%) reported that they could Finally, the program administrators were asked whether any other types of extracurricular activities were offered to their students. Eight (38%) responded that field trips were often scheduled for the students. The field trips were usually academic in nature but often were designed as part of the students' social education. Some pro grams provided field trips to ioca l courts, ju-1e11i le detention centers, local jails, and prisons. Most of the administrators stated that, although they had no specific data, they believed these trips were productive and had a positive impact on the students Some of the field trips were primarily cultural in nature, such as trips to the museum and to performances by local musicians and artists Chapter SUITTI1ary In this chapter are reported the results of a study that inves tigated 21 selected schools identified as alternative programs for disruptive students. Also described are the curricula provided the students, the student services necessary for the operation of a school

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60 of this nature, and the extracurricular activities offered the students. General infonnation about the alternative programs for disruptive stu dents is provided and includes data concerning the size of the programs, the structure of the schools, grades included in the programs, grouping for instruction, and graduation arrangements.

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CHAPTER IV ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES, PROCEDURES, ANO SERVICES IN SELECTED ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS FOR DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS The purpose of this chapter is to review administrative policies and procedures in the selected schools. Included are student entrance and exit criteria, staffing patterns, class size, security personnel, transportation, food services, and other administrative services and practices. Student Entrance and Exit Criteria The administrators were asked to describe the criteria their dis trict and school used for detennining eligibility for their alternative program for disruptive students. They were asked to describe the acininistrative process for assigning a student to the alternative pro gram, the criteria used by the school and district to detennine when a student was ready to leave the alternative program and return to the regular school, and the administrative process required for a student to return to a regular school. In describing the criteria which the school districts used to decide whether a student was to be assigned to the district alternative program, considerable differences were reported. For a student to be considered for placement in an alternative program theri> had to be a history of misbehavior and disruption. However, the extent and severity of the disruptive behavior necessary varied from one alternative program 61

PAGE 68

62 to another. Twelve (57%) of the administrators stated that continual behavioral problems must be evident and the student must have had mul tiple suspensions or have been recolTITiended for expulsion by the regular school principal. Seven (33%) of the administrators stated that stu dents recorrmended for expulsion were not assigned to alternative pro grams unless the school board had declined to expel them. At that point the students could be recorrrnended for an alternative program for disrup tive students Two schools reported that the parent could request placement of a child based on habitual behavioral problems and the inability of the parent to control the student. This method had been used by a number of women who were single parents Another principal stated that the only way a student could be referred for placement in the alternative program was to be recolTITiended to the school board for expulsion and while on expulsion be placed by the school board in the alternative program. Five (24%) of the respondents stated that poor attendance was also a key determining factor for admission to the alternative program A review of the infonnation gathered from all of the 21 alternative programs revealed that, although different criteria were used, some more punitive and others more rehabilitative, all program administrators stressed a continuing pattern of student disrup tive behavior. Except in rare instances of a single violent act, the student had received many t yp es of alternative punishments, such as detention, work detail, corporal punishment, in-school suspension, and out-of-school suspension. The assignment to the alternative program was the final step in a series of attempts to solve the student's behavioral problems and to remove the disruptive influence from the

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63 classroom. For al 1 the programs, except the ones permitting parental referral and the automatic assignment to the alternative program in lieu of expulsion. it was clear that the alternative program usually was the student's last chance before expulsion from the district's schools. The administrative process by which a student was assigned to a district's alternative program for disruptive students revealed more similarity than diversity among districts. In all cases the process began with a recm,menda ti on from che student's home schoo 1. Some schools required that the case go before an in-house staff conmittee, composed of teachers, counselors, and administrators, to review the student's discipline record and make a recommendation for or against assignment to the district's alternative program. Other schools merely for,,iarded a recommendation from the principal for assignment to the district's alternative program. In many of the school systems the school board was often involved in e ither assigning the student to the district's alternative pro~rdm or referring the case to the appropriate district-level administrator or committee for review and placement of the student. The school boards were usually involved with students who were being recommended for expulsion. Five schools specifically required that the referral go from the student's school to a district-level committee. There was a standing committee in the school system established for the purpose of reviewing the student's record and making a recoIT111enda ti on for or against assign ment to the system's alternative program. Nine of the schools reported that the decision for placement in the alternative program came from

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64 the superintendent and/or school bo ard foll o wing an expulsion or dis ciplinary hearing Five admini s tr dt ors stated that thei r school sys tem used a combination of the prev i ously di s cussed procedures (refer ral to a district committee or adm i ni s trator or to the superintendent and/or school board). The admini s tr a tors in two districts stated that they also pennitted parents to r equ e s t placement in the alternative program. with the student's princ ipa l having the opportunity to endorse the request The parental request, with or without the principal's endorsement, then was sent to the d is trict c orrmittee or administrator for a decision. Also, two school admi nistr a tors stated that referrals to their alternative programs were i nfrequ e ntly made by the local juvenile court or by state agenc i es This type of assign m ent required approval by the local school board. What criteria were used for r et urning students to the regular school? All schools reported tha t t h e ma in criteria were good behavior, a positive attitude, and g o o d att e ndd nce T he minimum amount of time a student was required to s tay v d r i ed fr o m program to program. Five administrators informed th e author t hat they had no required time period before the student could be r e turned to regular school. Twelve administrators stated that the stu de nt had to be satisfactorily enrolled in the alternative school for at l e ast one s emester before consideration would be given for returning him or her to the regular school Three principals stated that the normal minimum period of enrollment in the alternative program was one year; however, exceptions were made if con ditions warranted them.

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65 One alternative school administrator indicated that students could request to leave at any time and return t..1 the regular school on a probationary status, providing the parent concurred. All of the admin istrators emphasized that when considering a st'udent for return to the regular school program, the paramount concern was that the student return a different (better) person. The programs that most stressed changing the student's attitude about authority and the value of an education were the least punitive in nature. The procedures used to return students to the regular school were investigated next. Seven administrators stat~d that the decision to pennit the student to leave was made entirely at the alternative school level. This involved a review by a committee of teachers, counselors, administrators, and other professionals involved in working with the student Ten of the administrators stated that the procedure began with a review by the alternative school; then the case was for warded to the district committee or administrator with a recorrrnendation. The district committee or administrator then made a decision to return the student to the regular school or to keep the student in the alter native school for a longer period of time. One alternative school operated on a point basis The student earned points for good behavior, good grades, good attendance, involvement in extracurricular activities, and participation in work projects. When the student earned the required number of points (usually in about one semester), he could request to be returned to his regular school. In three of the schools, the decision of when to return the student to the regular school was made by the alternative school administrator. All three administrators

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66 stated that they usually received input from the student's counselors. teachers, and any other professional persons who had been working with the student prior to reaching a decision to return the student to the regular school or retain him or her in the alternative s chool. A few of the administrators reported that it was not uncorrmon for a student being considered for return to the regular sc h ool to request to remain at the alternative school. The administrators reported that some students continued in the alternative program afte r they could have returned to the regular program. Many of these students remained in the alternative program through graduation. The alternative program personnel attributed the desire to remain in the program to the indi vidual attention the student was receiving, the fact that the student was experiencing success (some for the first time in a long wh i le), and the feeling of belonging that might be found in a small program as compared to the largeness of the typical secondary school. Staffing Patterns As previously reported, the alternative schools for disruptive students were usually small. They had small pupil-teachers ratios, and many support persons were required to operate and manage the schools effectively. The information that follows confirms that this kind of program is expensive to operate because of the small number of students and the large staff required for teaching and administration. Eighteen of the alternative programs were headed by a principal. One administrator of a program was called a program manager and two administrators were called head teachers. The three administrators not principals were paid at a level below that of the principals of

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67 their school districts. These three administrators were asked whether they believed their not being given the title of principal was an indi cation that their school system did not place a high priority on the alternative program for disruptive students. All three stated that they did not consider this to be the case, and minimized it by stating that they were in charge of a very small program as compared to the other principals in their district The question of additional administrative help was next posed to each administrator. Six (29%) of the schools had only one administra tor in charge of the programs. Eleven of the alternative schools had an assistant administrator. In the 11 schools with a second administra tor, eight were titled assistant principal and three were called dean. The principal of l of the schools was in charge of two alternative programs for disruptive students and had an assistant principal at each center. One principal had a coordinator to assist him in managing the school while two of the other head administrators had a head teacher to help in the operation of the school. The administrators were generally satisfied with the administrative staffing; however, several stated a need for additional help if the program was to reach its potential. The administrators were asked whether the assistant administrators had any responsibilities in operating a regular school program Only one stated that the assistant principal also had duties in a regular school, which was located on the same campus in a separate facility. In this instance the assistant principal divided time about evenly between the regular school program and the alterantive program.

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68 Because the literature strongly suggests that smallness is necessary for successful alternative programs for students with behavioral problems, a key consideration was the size of the classes and the number of teachers the schools employed. The administrators were asked to give the average size of the classes within t he school, not including physical education classes or any of the music classes. Nine of the program administrators stated that the average class size was 10 or fewer students, 11 reported classes between 11 and 20 stu dents, and only l had classes of more than 21 students. The number of teachers employed depended not only on the district's staffing guide lines but also on the number of students enrolled in the a lternative program. Ten of the programs had 10 or fewer teachers, 7 had between 11 and 20 teachers, 2 had between 21 and 20 teachers, and the reamining 2 had over 30 teachers. The administrators were also asked whether the teachers assigned to the alternative program taught any other students. Only 3 of the 21 program administrators reported employing a teacher who taught out side the alternative program. These three teachers had special skills and taught only part of the day in the alternative schoo l and the remainder in a regular school program. They taught such subjects as a foreign language, music, or a technical-vocational course. One of the teachers taught less than half of the day in the alternative pro gram whereas the other two teachers taught more than half of the day. The writer was also interested in the nonprofessi o nal support personnel required to operate the alternative programs for disruptive

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69 students. Questions were asked concerning the amount of clerical help provided, the size of the custodial staff, and any other nonprofessionals on the staff. The food service program was not included in this section of the study and is addressed later. Included in the clerical staff were such positions as the prin cipal 's personal secretary, bookkeeper, data-processing clerk, regis trar {if not certified), aides (if not working in the classroom), and attendance clerks. (The question of medical or nursing service was addressed earlier.) Nearly all of the alternative schools had very small clerical staffs. More than half employed only one or two cleri cal persons. Five employed only one clerical person, and in all instances this was the principal's personal secretary, responsible for handling all of the secretarial and clerical duties. The schools with only one clerical person were the smaller ones studied. Six of the schools employed two clerical persons, usually the principal' s personal secretary and an additional clerk. Ten of the s~hools had three cleri cal persons assigned to their site. All of these schools had a per sonal secretary for the head program administrator and two clerical persons, except one program which had a bookkeeper as one of the three clerical persons. A 11 of the custodi a 1 staffs were sma 11 although severa 1 admi ni tra tors stated that the district provided additional custodial assis tance as required for major projects, or for once-a-year thorough clean ing of the building. One of the administrators reported that all of his outside yard work was done by the district custodial staff. The study revealed that 5 of the alternative schools had only one full-time

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custodian, 10 had two full-time custodians, and 6 reported custodial staffs of three full-time persons. For the purpose of the study, the school administrators were asked to include only the fu l l-time cus todians over which they had administrative control. 70 Because a 1 ternati ve programs for disruptive students serve those with many, and often severe, behavioral problems, the writer was interested in determining whether security personnel were provided to assist the administrators in the operation of the schoo l s. Even though the schools housed some of the worst discipline problems in the school system, only 8 of the 21 alternative schools' administrators reported that they employed a security officer. In 2 of the schools, the security officer was an employee of the school district and was assigned full time to the alternative school. The security officers were in uniform and armed; however, their pistols were concealed. In the other 6 schools with security personnel on site, the officers were part of a s choo 1 resource officer program and were members of the 1 oca 1 po 1 ice depdrtment. They were in unifonn and wore their pistol s as part of their regular uniforms. The principals stressed that the objectives of the school resource officer program were mostly educational in nature rather than pertaining to law enforcement. However, the officers did have an enforcement role and were recognized by the students as police officers. The principals with school resource officer programs were high in their praise of the program and recommended it for other alter native schools dealing with students with behavioral problems. One positive outcome of the school resource officer programs, they reported, was that the daily contact between the students and the police

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71 officers enabled the students to get to know the officers on a personal basis, and officers to become familiar with the students and their con cerns. An increase in respect for the law by the students was reported by the principals. It should be noted that the school resource officer program oper~ted in all of the school districts' secondary schools and not just in the programs for disruptive students. All of the 13 schools without assigned security/police officers had the availability of the district's security personnel as needed, and the administrators reported that the district's security personnel were routinely on campus. All of the administrators with assigned security personnel reported that the security/police officers were responsible to, and supervised by, the building administrator. In the six programs with police officers, the officers were responsible to the school administrator while on duty on campus, but their ultimate res pons i bil i ty was to the local police department. Supervising the officers on campus did not present any problems for the school administrators even though they did not exer cise ultimate supervision over them. All but two of the administrators stated that they believed it would be very desirable to have a security person on site at all times for obvious reasons, such as student control and the educational value, but also because many of the programs for disruptive students were housed in old buildings no longer needed for regular schools, and these build ings were often located in sections of the city where trespassing and associated corrmunity problems often occurred. Although not directly related to the issue of staffing alternative schools for disruptive students, the persons interviewed were asked to

PAGE 78

identify the department of the school system which supervised the alternative school program. Two administrators reported a separate department in the school district that supervised the alternative school program(s) for disruptive students as well as other types of alternative programs. This department was directly responsible to 72 the assistant superintendent for instructional programs. Fifteen administrators stated that they operated as a separate school center under the person responsible for supervising all of the instructional programs, both regular secondary schools and alternative secondary schools. This person was either an assistant superintendent or a director. Four of the administrators stated that they were included in the division of exceptional student education and that the building principal reported to the person heading that division, usually an assistant superintendent or a director. All of the admin i strators were comfortable with their administrative arrangement and believed that the program was operating smoothly and effectively. Transportation and Food Services The last aspect of the alternative school programs for disruptive students to be investigated was how the students got to the school sites and how they were provided meals on the site. One of the greatest problems facing the creation and continuance of alternative programs of the type investigated in this study is that of financing. Both trans porting students and providing lunchroom services are very expensive and thus are areas that district officials are certain to look into closely when considering the opening of an alternative program or the continuation of an existing one.

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The issue of transporting students is especially important to examine because there will usually be only one alternative program in 73 a school district. The question of how the student will get there is paramount for students and parents, and of great concern to district officials. Most school systems provide free transportation to and from the students' neighborhood schools unless they live within walking distance. It should be noted that the criterion for walking distance varies from state to state and district to district. Because students are usually assigned to the alternative school and do not volunteer for it, the question of whether to provide transportation causes great concern for families trying to get students to the school site and for school officials concerned with the costs of operating the alternative school. Eight of the school administrators reported that the school dis trict transported the student to the alternative school. The remain ing 13 districts did not provide free bus transportation mainly be cause of finances. However, it was ~ entioned by two administrators that there was a philosophical basis for not spending the additional funds transportation would cost on the alternative program, funds that would be taken from the regular program of the district. Two of the districts that did not provide free school bus transportation gave their students discount passes to ride the local municipal bus. The administrators in 18 districts cited the availability of public trans portation for students in alternative schools, which were usually centrally located in the school district.

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74 The administrators of the d l te rnd ti v e schools that did not pro vide bus service and also did not hdve mu n i cipal transportation avail able were asked how the students g o t to the school. In all cases the administrator stated that it was th e district's philosophy that the responsibility for getting the s t u d en t s to school be 1 onged to the families. The administrators v i e w e d the a lternative progra m as an alternative to expulsion, usuall y t h e student s last opportunity to attend school, and therefore concl u ded that the burden for getting to school belonged to the student a nd t he f amily. However, a number of administrators stated that one o f th eir priorities for future improve ment was providing free transportation to make attending the alterna tive school easier. All 21 alternative school progra ms op erated on a full-day basis and a 11 provided food service fo r t heir s tudents. A 11 of the al terna tive schools provided a lunch for t he s t ud ents and 14 also provided breakfast. Because the alternati ve scr ool s were usually small, the administrators were asked ,,hether ~ he 11' als were prepared on site or were brought in after prepar a ti o n fr om another site At only 4 of the alternative schools was food pr e pared on si te. The administrators of the schools which had the meals p r e pared e lsewhere and brought to the site reported the procedure to b e working smoothly and had no desire to operate a food service program on site The administrators were also asked about the types of meals pro vided. Eighteen of them stated that a hot meal was provided, similar to standard school lunches found at any site. Alternative schools that did not offer students a hot meal provided them with a cold, bag-type lunch consisting of a sandwich, milk, fruit, and a dessert.

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When school administrators were asked to give an estimate of the percentage of their students who qualified for a free or reduced-price meal none reported fewer than 25%, 6 reported between 25'.L and 50%, 75 10 reported between 50% and 75%. and the remaining 5 reported more than 75% Chapter Summary In this chapter are reported some of the results of a study that investigated 21 selected schools identified as alternative programs for disruptive students. Described are the criteria for students entering and exiting the selected alternative schools. procedures for assigning students to the schools and then for returning them to the regular schools, staffing required for the operation of the programs, how the students were transported to and from school, and how food service was provided for the students.

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CHAPTER V PROFILE OF AN ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL FOR DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS In this chapter an alternative program for disruptive students is described in detail. The program selected was the Scho o l for Applied Individualized Learning (SAIL), located in Tallahassee, Florida. The infonnation presented in this chapter was gathered durfrig a visit to the SAIL. The purpose of this case study was to observe empirically the operation of one of the selected schools that met the criteria of the study and appeared from the telephone interview to be functioning wel 1. At the time of the on-site visit, the SAIL was located in an old high school faci 1 ity in the inner-city area of Tallahassee, Florida. It was fonnerly a black high school during the segregation era of education. After the students were transferred to the area's other high schools, the facility was unused for several years The SAIL was begun in 1975 utilizing a portion of the old high school campus. The remainder of the campus was being used for an alternative educa tional program for pregnant girls and for a drug rehabilitation program jointly sponsored by the school district and the county While the faci 1 i ty of the SAIL was generally adequate, it was in need of extensive renovation. Because of 1 imited space, two portable classrooms had been installed. The school had an enrollment of approximately 170 students, which had remained fairly constant for several years. The sc h ool was headed 76

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77 by a female principal and while she had not been allotted any adminis trative help, the pregnant girls program located on campus was headed by a coordinator who assisted her in the supervision of the overall campus and related problems such as parking and security. The remainder of the SAIL staff consisted of 2 counselors (1 aca demic and 1 occupational), 17 full-time teachers, 2 part-time teachers, a secretary, a bookkeeper, and 2 custodians. In addition to the perma nent staff, the school was served by a number of itinerant professionals, including a social worker, psychologist, speech therapist, and school nurse. Although the school was originally intended as an alternative for students with serious behavioral problems, it had increasingly enrolled students who were disinterested or "turned-off" to the regular school setting. Many of these students, though not considered seriously dis ruptive, had often been in trouble at school, had very poor attendance records, and had either been drop-outs or potential drop-outs. The school's policy was not only to accept referrals by the district, but also to accept referrals by parents and self-referrals by students. The school's rules for student conduct were in the main those found in regular schools, though a pennissive stance in regard to student dress and grooming had been adopted. There was no dress code and many, if not most, of the students dressed in an extreme fashion. The individuality of dress and grooming, characterized by "hippie" type dress, extremely long hair, and earrings worn by many boys, was routinely accepted by the staff. The students called the staff members, including the principal, by their first names. The principal stated that

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she and her staff strived for a relaxed "family style" concept at the School. Demographics 78 In January 1983, the student body was surveyed by the administra tion to detennine the demographics. At that time the student body was 81% white, 18% black, and 1% hispanic, and female students made up 54% of the student body. The results of the survey demonstrated that over 33% of the students were living with both parents. The remaining stu dents were living with a stepparent (22%), a single parent (37%), or another adult (6%). In conducting a survey to find out where the students had been enrolled the previous year, the school administrator found that 24% had attended the SAIL; 56%, a local secondary school; 14%, no school; and the rest (6%), private schools. As part of the survey, the students were administered the Compre hensive Test of Basic Skills (CTBS) to detennine their abilities in the areas of reading language, and mathematics. The results of the survey (see Table 1) revealed that the scores, though below the n orm, were not extremely low except in the area of mathematics, where 33% scored in the bottom quartile. The principal attributed the near-normal scores to t he fact that the students accepted by self-referral tended to be average or above average academically, many having parents in the nearby state university c0111Tiunity The students assigned to the school by the district tended to be the poorer ones academically. The school had a National Merit finalist enrolled. His stated reason for attending the school was that

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79 he would rather pursue the things he was interested in (arts) and be cause he had been constantly "hasseled" by teachers and students at his fonner high school because he was "different" from the other students. Tab 1 e l Percentile Rankins of the SAIL Students on the Com rehensive Test of Basic Skills CTBS Percentile Reading Language Ma thematics range % % % 75-99 24 19 17 50-74 24 25 15 25-49 28 31 25 Below 25 24 25 35 Note. From School for Applied Individualized Learning, Tallahassee, FL. Student Satisfaction To detennine student satisfaction with the SAIL, the writer inter viewed 16 students. They were asked to compare their feelings as stu' dents in the SAIL with their feelings when attending the prior school. They were asked questions to detennine their perceived degree of happi ness, challenge, involvement, success, comfort, and whether they be lieved their enrollment in the SAIL had helped them. The results of the interviews tended to confirm the results of a student survey by the administration the previous year. The responses to all questions were positive and indicated a high degree of student satisfaction with the SAIL (see Figure 3).

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80 Before +S After + 4 CIJ 3 "' u V') -2 1 ..... c:: CIJ "' <1J u "' en c:: CIJ c:: CIJ V, "' ..... C <1J > V, ..... s.. CIJ V, 0 a. 0 u .... a. "' > u V, E "' ..c C: :l V, 0 :J:: u V')
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Parent Satisfaction The writer was unable to interview parents during the on-site visit to the SAIL. However, the school had administered a survey to the parents to determine their satisfaction with the school at the 81 same time the students had been surveyed. The parents were asked to compare their perceptions of their children's well-being at the SAIL with those at th~ fonner school. The six areas of student satisfaction were used: happiness, challenge, involvement, success, assistance, and comfort; in addition, the parents were asked to appraise and compare the motivation displayed at t~e SAIL with that at the former school (see Figure 4). The parents' perceptions nearly mirrored those of the students. On a 1-5 scale, the parents estimated an increase in stud~nt satisfaction in all areas, with happiness, involvement, assistance, and challenge showing the greatest increases. The highest ratings were given to happi ness, assistance, comfort, and challenge. Faculty Satisfaction The principal of the SAIL was the first of the staff to be inter viewed. She rated the faculty as excellent, stating that the teachers at the school were carefully selected for their empathy and concern for students with behavioral problems. She indicated that there was little turnover of the instructional staff, which she attributed to teacher satisfaction with the school. It was apparent from her enthusiasm when discussing the faculty that she believed the school had an outstanding group of teachers and that she was extremely proud of the staff.

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+5 +4 '1J 3 U'l -2 -1 Before 111 After 4.44 C: 0 .,, .,, ... '1J "' C: > :; 0. 0. 0 "' J:: :i::: ..., C: '1J E CJ .,, > .,, QJ 0 u > u C: :, U'l Satisfaction 4. 59 4.60 '1J u '1J C: C'I "' ... C: ... rQJ .,, 0 .._ .,, E "' .,, 0 .c cc u <...> indicators Figure 4. Parents' perceptions of students' satisfaction before and after their attendance at the SAIL (n = 18). (From School for Applied Individualized Learning, Tallahassee, FL.} 82

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The principal was asked about t r. e atmosphere of the school. She stated that there was little violence and no fear of physical hann 83 among the students or staff. She described the students as generally "good kids" who needed guidance and direction. She admitted to frustra tions about lack of student interest, poor student attendance, and inadequate parental involvement S he also expressed dissatisfaction with the support given the school by the district office, especially in the area of maintenance. One of the guidance counselors was also interviewed. He, like the principal, was positive about the school. He corrmended the principal for doing an outstanding job, for r e ally caring about the students, and for being supportive of the staff He expressed the opinion that the guidance department did as good d job as possible considering the many problems that accompanied the s tudents to school. He had been at the school since its creation a nd s tated that he would not leave for any reason. Like a 11 of the sta ff m e mbers the writer interviewed, he expressed satisfaction with hi s j ob a nd with the program. Four teachers were interviewed to d etennine their satisfaction with the school. It was evident that they were generally happy with their positions. The teachers appeared to be very committed to the program and to the students. Tenns such as needed and concern were used to describe why they chose to teach at the school. One of the teachers expressed the feeling of beginning "burn out" because of her total commitment and invo 1 vement to the program and stated that she was con sidering transferring at the end of the year.

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84 Although all of the teachers found their jobs to be rewarding and satisfying in general, several expressed concern about student apathy. They complained that the school did not receive adequate support from the district in tenns of funds, supplies, and maintenance. They con sidered themselves to be well supported by the school principal, who involved them in the operation of the school and was open to new ideas and to change. Two teachers emphasized that one of the reasons they were attracted to the school was the willingness of the staff to take chances and try new ideas. Academic Infonnation In the area of academics, the curriculum offered at the SAIL was typical of the course offerings of the alternative schools described in Chapter IV. In an attempt to detennine whether the altern a tive school had had an impact on the grades of the s tudents, the pri nci pal of the SAIL had compared the students' g rade point averages (GPAs) at the pre vious school (l.30)with those obtained after the first semester at the SAIL (2. 13). The results indicated that the GPAs improved dramatically after the students enrolled in the SAIL Likewise, the students were passing more subjects and earning more credits at the SAIL (3.02) than they had at their previous school (1.93) The students were averaging 1.09 more credits per semester than they had earned previously. The SAIL staff also conducted a follow-up survey of st u dents who had left the school. The resulting data indicated that of 482 students, 69% had either graduated from high school or were presently continuing in school, 7% had dropped out but were either gainfully employed (some in the anned forces) or had become homemakers, and the remaining 24% could not be located.

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85 Chapter Summary The infonnation gained from interviews with students, teachers, and administrators made evident the general satisfaction existing in the SAIL. The data concerning student and parent satisfaction revealed that most of the students and parents saw the program at the SAIL as meeting student needs. The infonnation concerning academic achievement showed clearly that there was an improvement in the students' grade point averages after they enrolled in the alternative school, as well in the number of classes passed and credits earned per semester. fn many respects the SAIL was typi ca 1 of the other a 1 ternative schools included in the investigation. The similarities were in the areas of grouping for instruction, curriculum, supportive services, extracurricular activities, and staffing The SAIL was somewhat differ ent from the other schools, however, in that the students enrolled had become more disinterested in their former schools than they had been disruptive, although many of them had experienced disciplinary problems at their fonner schools because of their lack of interest and poor work habits Another major difference between the SAIL and the other schools was that many of the SAIL students were there as a result of self referrals Although the SAIL did not have confinning statistics, it appeared that a minority of students were there as a result of district or school board assignments. The SAIL represented a viable alternative for students of Leon County, Florida, who were unsuccessful in the regular school program for a variety of reasons While there were many areas for improvement, it was apparent that the program was successfully meeting a real need in the Leon County, Florida, School System

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CHAPTER VI FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS The purpose of this chapter is to surranarize the information gathered in this study of alternative educational programs for disrup tive students, and to present the findings and conclusions. Addi tionally, areas needing further study and clarification are discussed. It is important to consider why alternative educational programs for disruptive students have been organized. District and local school administrators have long had great concern about how to deal with students who are chronic discipline problems. These students not only create problems for themselves, their teachers, and school administra tors, but also for the other students who are often prevented from having an environment conducive to learning. Many school districts have concluded that the traditional methods of discipline, such as counseling, conferences corporal puni shrnent, in-school suspension, out of-school suspension, and expulsion, are not the answer to these growing concerns. Educators are increasingly cor.sidering alternative educational programs designed specifically for disruptive students as a possible solution to this continuing problem The study included 21 selected alternative educational programs for disruptive students that had been identified throughout the United States. The selected programs were in public secondary schools were housed in a separate facility, and were considered by the school 86

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87 district as programs specifically designed to acco1T1110date disruptive students. The writer obtained information about grade structure, size, and other aspects of the programs. The study also focused on the curricula, special services, extracurricular programs, entrance and exit criteria, staffing, transportation, and food service. Findings School systems seem to create alternative programs for disruptive students for two major reasons. First, there are those designed to punish the offending students by removing them from the regular school setting through assignment to separate schools or programs, thus isolat ing them for a period of time. At the same time, by removing the disruptive force the remaining students are provided with a better en vironment for learning. Second, there are the programs that punish the disruptive students by denying them the right to remain in the regular school program, but at the same time provide a school tailored expressly for them in order to change attitudes and improve behavior. The school districts in this study that acted primarily on the first motive tended to emphasize the punishment aspect and justify their programs because of the improved educational setting for the offenders' former classmates. The emphasis of these school districts appeared to focus on what was good for the schoo 1 system as opposed to what was good for the offending student. These districts tended to provide minimal help for students in alternative programs. For those school districts, the alternative programs seemed to be little more than small, isolated schools with essentially traditional programs. The extra expense for operating these schools was considered justified

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88 because of the resulting improvement in the student's fonner classrooms and schools. The school districts in the study that tended to emphasize the second strategy, that of providing a unique school program tailored for disruptive students, were those that stressed the opportunity to provide help as a last-chance effort towards changing students' atti tudes about school and authority and for improving behavior. This type of alternative program is expensive and not simple to operate. It is often hard to justify the increased expenses when district budgets are initially insufficient. Successes with students are not easily achieved and are difficult to measure. The present study, however, indicates that the school systems that had created alternative programs of this type were achieving success as evidenced by student response. This fact was emphasized by many program administrators who revealed that, when the time came for the students to return to the regular school program, many asked to remain in the alternative program. All of the schools included in thi3 study served secondary school students only. Some had senior high school grade structures while others were combinations of junior-senior high schools. All of the programs were coeducational and were designed :pecifically for disruptive students. The programs were housed either on a separate school campus or in a separate facility on a regular school campus. Instruction was provided in heterogeneous and homogeneous groupings, with the homo geneous groupings being more prevalent in the academic classes. All but one of the schools provided a program through graduation.

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89 Curricula Alternative programs for disruptive students tend to be small. Only two of the selected schools had enrollments of over two hundred students. The curricula were somewhat limited and the basics were stressed. In the academic disciplines of English, mathematics, science, and social studies the instructional program stressed the basic courses the district required for achieving a diploma. These tradi tional courses, such as general math, American history, biology, and literature, were generally taught at the basic level for students who were behind. All schools provided specific instruction in reading. Some schoo 1 s offered hi gher-1 eve 1 courses such as geometry, chemistry, and physics when required to do so to meet the students' educational needs. Emphasis was placed on government and economics in the social studies curriculum In the elective area the instructional programs differed from school to school. The only elective courses most of the schools offered were business education, home economics, industrial arts, and art. About half of the schools offered a standard physical education course and about half offered classes in vocal music. Approximately one-third of the selected schools offered foreign language classes, mostly Spanish. Two schools offered classes in technical-vocational education that trained the students for a spe cific vocation. Other subjects offered by a majority of the schools were agriculture, drama, cooperative education, and driver education. Approximately two-thirds of the programs offered special educa tion classes for exceptional education students. These classes were for

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90 students classified as learning disabled, emotionally handicapped, and educable mentally handicapped. In sunmary, the instructional programs offered in the alternative programs studied were characterized by limited course selection, emphasis on the basics, few electives, few technical-vocational classes, and very small pupil-teacher ratios. Considering the purpose of the programs and the limitations of size and budget, the curricula appeared adequate and generally met the needs of the students. Student Services The sarvices provided the students were more extensive than nor mally found in a regular school. Guidance counselors were provided with a much lower counselor-student ratio than was normally found All but four of the schools had counselor-student ratios of less than 1:120. The social work service was extensive and an integral pa!'t of the alter native school program. The social worker, the main link between home and schoo 1, had a much smaller 1 oad than was usually found A few of the schools had full-time social workers assigned to the program whereas most were served on an itinerant basis. Many of the schools were pro vided with the extensive services of speech therapists, school psy chologists, and other professionals trained to work with students with emotional problems. Alroost two-thirds of the programs had an active, ongoing peer counseling program that was credited with much success in changing pupil attitudes. Some schools also received regular services from the local courts r such as a court counselor, and from other local and state agencies.

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91 Also, most of the programs required some type of counseling involv ing both the student and his family. When a program included this type of counseling, often the administrator credited it as a major reason for improvement in the student's behavior. Student Entrance and Exit Criteria Although there were many minor differences i n the way pupils were assigned to the various alternative programs, there were more similari ties found than differences. The criteria for assignment to a program was a history of misbehavior that had resulted in various types of punishment, including extensive out-of-school suspension and often a reconurendation from the local school for expulsion. Most districts re quired the recommendation for assignment to the district's alternative school to come initially from the local school (principal), then to be forwarded to a district-level administrator. Some districts had a com mittee to consider each case and to reco11111end either placement in the alternative program or return to the regular schoo 1. Usually the reco111Tiendation for assignment to the alternative program went from the corrmittee, or district administrator if there was no district conmittee, to the superintendent and, in most cases, to the school board. For the student to be returned to the regular school he or she had to demonstrate good behavior for a period of time. Generally, the minimum period for assignment to the district's alternative school was one semester, although exceptions to the policy were collVTlOn. Usually a local staff meeting was held, consisting of counselors, teachers, administrators, and other professionals, to determine whether a student was ready to return to the regular school. If the staff meeting

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92 resulted in a decision to return the pupil to the regular program, the recorrmendation,with the principal's approval, was sent for final approval to the district administrator in charge of the alternative school program. As discussed previously some students who were eligible to return to their regular schools asked to be allowed to remain in the alterna tive schools through graduation. This request, if the parents concurred, was generally approved. Such a student attitude is the best indication of a successful alternative program for students with behavioral problems. Extracurricular Activities As expected, the extracurricular program for alternative schools for disruptive students was minimal. Approximately half of the schools offered some t.ype of club program, usually special inte r est clubs and a student government organization of some type. In those schools where a club program was offered, generally less than 25% of t he students were involved. None of the schools offered an interscholastic athletic pro gram although some permitted students to participate in the athletic program of their fonner school if they met all athletic eligibility requirements. Eight of the schools reported providing regularly scheduled field trips for the students. These field tr i ps were usually educational or cultural in nature. Staffing The staffing of the alternative programs, with the exception of teachers and counselors, was not significantly different from that of regular schools, with minor exceptions. Most of the alternative schools

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93 were headed by a principal, and some two-thirds had an assistant adminis trator. Because of the need to provide students with additional individual help, the ratio of teachers and counselors to students was greater than that of regular schools of similar size. The average class size for the programs was 10-15 students. The custorial and clerical support was appropriate for the size of the schools. For those schools that prepared food, the food service staff was appropriate for the size of the food service program. Eight of the program administra tors stated that they were assigned a school security officer. Most of the alternative schools were under the administrative supervision of the instructional or curriculum division of the school district. A few operated the exceptional education student department or the alternative education department. They all ult i mately reported to the assistant superintendent in charge of instruction for the school system. Transporation The study revealed that approx i mately one-third of the districts provided transportation for the students to and from the alternative schools. Eighteen of the administrators reported that public transporta tion was available in the district. For those not providing transporta tion. the official stated that the lack of finances was the main reason. Difficulty in finding transportation was the reason many of the students gave for failing to attend the alternative school. Food Service All of the 21 alternative schools provided meals for the students consisting of a daily lunch, and 14 also served breakfast. In only 4

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94 of the schools were the mea 1 s pre pa red on site; the remaining 17 schools had meals brought in that were prepared elsewhere. Most of the schools (18) provided hot meals. Most of the students were eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Conclusions Based on the data collected from the 21 alternative school pro grams for disruptive students included in the study. the following con clusions were drawn: 1. There was not a predominant grade structure of the secondary alter native programs. Approximately half of the programs included both junior and senior high school grades whereas the remainder of the programs included only senior high school grades. 2. The a 1ternati ve programs were sma 11 The majority had fewer than 150 students and all but two p rograms had fewer than 200 students. 3. Generally, the alternative program ext e nded through graduation. In some instances the students h Jd the c hoice of graduation from the a 1ternati ve schoo 1 of graduation at the former schoo 1. 4. The curriculum emphasized the basic academic courses. Elective. vocational, and advanced courses were limited. The small size of the schools and the homogeneous nature of the enrollment contributed to the limited curriculum offerings. 5. Student services were an extremely important aspect of the programs. An emphasis on counseling and supportive services was found in all of the schools.

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6. In almost all cases, the entrance criteria for assignment to the alternative program included a staff review or recolllTiendation by a district colllTiittee. Clearly, there was an intent to involve per sonnel other than the local school staff when a student was being considered for assignment to the alternative school. 7. Although not as elaborate as the entrance criteria, the exit criteria also included a recommendation from a district colllTiittee for return to the regular school. 8. The length of stay in the alternative program was generally one semester or longer. Enrollment for periods of less than one semester were rare. 95 9. Extracurricular offerings for students in the alternative programs were few. Fewer than half of the programs offered a club program, and these were limited. For those schools offering extracurricular programs, student participation was poor. 10. Opportunities to participate in interscholastic athletics were limited. None of the alternative programs had athletic teams. A minority of the programs permitted the students to play at the former school if they were otherwise eligible. 11. The alternative program classes had low pupil-teacher ratios. Almost half of the programs had average class sizes of 10 or fewer. All but one of the schools reported average class sizes of 20 or fewer students. 12. Free transportation of students to the alternative schools was limited although public transportation was generally available. 13. A large majority of the students attending the alternative schools were eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

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96 Reco0111endati ons The conclusions in this study are based on information gathered from administrators of alternative educational programs for disruptive students. Further studies are 111:!e
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97 district school acMlinistrations would be concerned with if considering the creation of such a program. The data seem to indicate that most school districts have students who could benefit from such programs, not to rrention the improved environment for the students in the regular school when these students are removed. As long as schools are faced with the problems created by troubled students who are continually disruptive, it is imperative that school administrators investigate strategies for managing the problems. It appears that alternative pro grams designed specifically for disruptive students may be one of the answers. For those district officials who presently have programs for dis ruptive students and for those considering the establishment of one, it is hoped that the programs will have as their main objective the stu dents to be served. It is understood that the regular classes will benefit fonn having disruptive students removed. However, if the intent of the alternative program is merely to remove and segregate the dis ruptive student for the benefit of the remaining students, it is un1 ikely that the alternative program will achieve its potential. The main concern of the program must be the problems of the disruptive students, providing them an environment for success and preparing them to be responsible students and adults. To do less for the many students that fall into this category is for the school to fail in its respon sibility. Sound, positive alternative programs designed specifically for the disruptive student may be the answer for which our school administrators are searching.

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REFERENCES Adler, M. J. (1982). The Paideia Proposal: An educational manifesto. New York: Macmillan. American Friends Service Corrmittee. (1975). Alternatives to suspen sion. Columbia: South Carolina Community Relations Program. Binkley, M. (1984). Creating a positive school environment. Journal of Education Public Relations, 1.(2), 24-27. Boyer, E. L. ( 1983). High Schoo 1 : A report on secondary education in America. New York: Harper & Row. Brueing, W. H. (1978). Introduction to philosophy of law. Washington, DC: University Press of America. Byrne, D. R. (1978). The senior high school principalship. Reston, VA: National Association of Secondary School Principals. Chamberlain, L. J. (1984). Discipline. School and Co11111unity, 1.(1), 46-48. Champc?~u, R. (1983). One-on-one counseling. NASSP Bulletin, 67(462), 124. Channon, G. (1967). The more effective school. The Urban Review, 23-26. Chizak, L (1984). We use detention to keep behavior problems in check. American Schoo 1 Board Journa 1, fil(7), 29-30. Cooperman, S. (1984). Alternative educational programs for disruptive students. Trenton: New Jersey Department of Education. Crook, W. H. (1979). Warriors for the poor. New York: Morrow. Dade County Public Schools. (1976). Impact and operational features of programs designed to modify disruptive behavior in the Dade County Pub 1 i c Schoo ls. Miami: Department of Planning and Eva 1 ua ti on. Divoky, D. (1975). The myth of the overactive child: And other means of child control. New York : Pantheon Books. 98

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Eicholtz, R. (1984). School Climate: Key to excellence. American Education, 20(1), 22-26. Fiske, E. B. (1977, May 18). Schools developing alternatives to student suspensions. New York Times, B-5. Foster, G. (1977). Discipline practices in the Hillsborough County pub 1 i c schools Coral Gabl es: South Florida Schools Desegre gation Center. 99 Gonzales, L (1 9 84). Career education: An interdependent vehicle for reducing discipline problems in schools California Career Education Journal, 1(1), 23-25 Goodlad, J. I. (1984). A place called school. Highstown, NJ : McGraw Hi 11. Gorton R. A. (1977). Responding to student misbehavior. NASSP Bulletin, (409), 18 26. Guttenburg, R. (1984). Curriculum consolidation in alternative high schools. New York: N.Y City Public Schools, Office of Educa tional Evaluation. Harris, 8. M. (1985). Supervisory behavior in education. {3rd ed ). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Hayes, M M. (1977). Designing a positive in-school suspension program. American Friends Service Committee. Jackson, MS: Southeastern Public Education Program. Haynes, C. A. (1973). Personalizing instruction in the open classroom Thrust for Educational Leadership, 1(2), 24-27. Heckhauser, H. (1971). Achievement motivation. Philadelphia: Chapman & Hill. Holmes, C. (1981) Discipline, order and student behavior in America National statistics Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office Hyman, I. A., & 'Alessandro, J. (1984) Good old fashioned discipline: The politics of punitiveness. Phi Delta Kappan, 66, 39-45. Jackson, 8. (19B5). Lowered expectations: How schools reward incom petence. Phi Delta Kappan, 67, 304-305. Johnson, K. R. Chicago: (1967). Teaching culturally disadvantaged pupils. Science Research Association. Johnson, R. (1979, February). Student disruption. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, Atlanta, GA.

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100 Jones, B. T., & Starkey, K. T. (1975, April). Counseling disruptive students. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC. Knoff, H. M. (1984). Problem-solving approach to discipline. NASSP Bulletin, 68(471), 80-85. -Kraft, R., & Wildman, T. (1976). The costs of educational disruption. Tallahassee, FL: Governor's Task Force on Disruptive Youth. Long, N. J. (1967). Conflict in the classroom-the education of emotionally disturbed children. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Laye, 0. C. (1976). Television-for love or violence? Human Behavior, i, 101-104. -Maslow, A. H. (1954). Motivation and personality. (1st ed.). New York: Harer. Mendez, R. (1977). School suspension-discipline without failure. NASSP Bulletin, (405), 11-13. Moles, O. C. (1984). Trends in interpersonal crime in schools. Spectrum, (4), 35-42. Myers, H. S., Jr. (1977). Fundamentally speaking. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books. National Association of Secondary School Principals. (1973) Curricu lum report. Reston, VA: Author. National Association of Secondary School Principals. (1978). Curricu lum report. Reston, VA: Author. National Association of Secondary School Principals Task Force. (1977). Disruptive youth-causes and solutions. Reston, VA: National Association of Secondary School Principals. National Commission on Excellence in Education. (1983). A nation at risk: The imperative for education reform. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Neill, S. B. (1976). Suspensions and expulsions: Current trends in school policies and programs. Arlington, VA: National School Public Relations Association. New York State Education Department. (1972). Disruptive students. Albany, NY: Bureau of Social Studies Education. Olexa, D. F. (1984). Effects of social problem-solving training on classroom behavior of ur~an disadvantaged students. Journal of School Psychology, 22(2), 165-175.

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101 Pennsylvania State Department of Education. (1977, April}. Alternative disruptive di sci pl inary programs and practices in Pennsylvania schoo 1 s. Harrisburg, PA: Bureau of Instructiona 1 Support Services. Pratt, C. (1976). The practitioner. Res ton, VA: National Associa tion of Secondary School Principals. Ross, P (1979). Trouble in school. New York: Avon Books. Rowe, W., & Wagner, R. (1974). A behavioral program for problem stu dents. Personnel and Guidance Journal, 52, 609-612. Safran, S (1985). Classroom context and teacher's perception of problem behaviors. Journal of Educational Psychology, ll.., 20-28. Schofield, D. (1976). Issues in basic education. Arlington, VA: National Association of Elementary Principals. Senate Report of the Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency. (1975). Our nation's schools-a report card: "A" in school violence and vandalism. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Print ing Office. Silberman, C. E. (1970). Crisis in the classroom. New York: Random House. Sinner, G ., & Sinner, J. L. (1978). Options in high school discipline Phi Delta Kappan, 59, 407-409. Skinner, B. F. ( 1971). Beyond freedom and dignity. (1st ed.). New York: Knopf. Skinner, B. F_ (1974). About behaviorism. (1st ed.). New York: Random House. Smith, L. D. (1986). Behaviorism and logical positivism. California: Stanford Univeristy Press. Smith. V. (1984). Tracking school crime. American School and University, .(1), 52, 58-59. Smith, V., Burke, D. J., & Barr, R. P. (1974). Optional alternative schools. Bloomington, IN: Phi Delta Kappan Educational Founda tion. South Carolina State Department of Education. (1976). Alternatives to school disciplinary and suspension problems. Columbia, SC: DOE, Division of Instruction. Stinchcombe, A. L. (1964). Rebellion in a high school. Chicago: Quadrangle Books.

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102 Task Force on Education for Economic Growth (1983). Action for excellence: A comprehensive plan to improve our nation's schools. Denver, CO: Education Com.nission of the States. Task Force on Federa 1 Elementary and Secondary Educati ona 1 Po 1 icy. (1983). Making the grade. New York: The Twentieth Century Fund. Thomas, D. (1976). A curricular approach: Solving discipline problems through law-related education. NASSP Bulletin, 60(397), 15-19. Vetterl i, R. (1976). Storming the citadel: The Fundamental revolution against progressive education. Costa Mesa, CA: Educational Media Press. Weber, G. H. (1972). Residential treatment of emotionally disturbed children New York: Behavioral Publications. Webster, A. (1984). Introduction to the socioloqy of development. London: Macmi 11 an. Wellington, J. K. (1977). American education: Its f a ilure and its future. Phi Delta Kappan, 58, 527-530. Wiles, D. K., & Rockoff, E. (1978). Problems of achieving rehabili tation and punishment in a special school environment. Journal of Law and Education, J..., 165-176. Wlodkowdki, R. J. (Speaker) (1978) Adolescents and motivation (Cassette Recording No 1452). Washington, DC: National Educa tion Association. Zi111Tierman, S E. (1981). Corrections at the crossroads: Designing ~Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.

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APPENDIX A LETTER OF INTRODUCTION February 1982 Please 1~t me introduce myself. [ a m the principal of Brandon High School in Hillsborough County, T ampa, Florida. Our school board is considering establishing an alternative school for disruptive students. With this in mind, I ha v e chosen this area for my disser tation requirement for the doctoral d egree from the University of Florida. Your program has been i d e n t i fi ed as possibly fitting the criteria for inclusion in my study I would appreciate it very m u c h i f y ou would complete the attached card and return it to me I f your program is selected for inclusion in the study, I will be i n c ontact with you at a later date asking you for your help in pro v i ding me with some specific in fonnation about your program Let rre a ssure y ou that your involve ment will be minimal-probably no rro re t han 10-15 minutes should your program be selected. Thank you for taking th e t i rr e t o c omplete the enclosed card Enclosure (l) OHB/cga S i ncerely, O rlan H Briant P rincipal 103

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APPENDIX B VERIFICATION QUESTIONNAIRE 1. School/program name: __________________ 2. Principal 's/Administrator' s na11e _____________ 3. Is your school/program designed for disruptive or potentially dis ruptive students? Yes No 4. If you checked yes, please complete the following: a. Correct name and address of scho ol/program if incorrectly listed on letter: b Telephone number: c. Grades in school/progr am: 104

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APPENDIX C TELEPHONE INTERVIEW GUIDE School/program: _________ Telephone: _______ Administrator : Position: ---------Directions : A check mark preceding the question means yes. Questions need i ng more than a yes or no will be answered in the space provided. r. General 1. Is your program designed specifically for disruptive students? 2. [s your program designed for secondary school students only? 3. Is your program housed on a separate campus? If no, is it housed in a separate building on a regular school campus? 4 For instruction are your students grouped homogeneously? If yes, what levels of instruction do you prov i de? Basic_, regular_, advanced 5. rs your program coeducational? If no, which sex do you serve? --6. What grades are included in your program? ______ 7. For instruction are your students grouped by grade level or by educational need? ________ 8 Would you describe your program as ungraded? 9. Can students earn a regular high school diploma from your program? If yes, do they receive their diplom r ~ with the regular school students or do they have a separate gradua tion? ----------[[. Curriculum l. Do you offer remedial reading? 2. Do you offer developmental reading? 3 Do you offer creative writing? 105

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106 4. Do you offe:research writing? 5. Do you offer literature courses? 6 Do you offer courses in mass corranunications? 7. Do you offer speech courses? 8. Do you offer general math (arithmetic)? 9. Do you offer algebra? 10. Do you offer geometry? 11 Name any advanced math courses offered beyond algebra and geometry. ___________________ 12. Do you offer a general science course? 13. Do you offer biology? 14 Do you offer chemistry? 15. Do you offer physics? 16. Name any advanced science courses offered beyond biology, physics, and chemistry ______________ 17. Do you offer wor 1 d history? 18 Do you offer American hi story? 19 Do you offer a course(s) in government? 20 Do you offer a course(s) in economics? 21. Do you offer a course(s) in geography? 22. Name any additional social studies courses you offer 23. Do you offer a course(s) in Spanish? 24. Do you offer a course(s) in French? 25. Do you offer a course{s) in Latin? 26. Do you offer a course(s) in German? 27. Name any other foreign language courses you offer ___ 28. Do you offer a physical education program?

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107 29. Is your physical education program coed? 30 Do you offer instruction in business education? 31. Do you offer instruction in agriculture? 32. Do you offer instruction in home economics? 33. Do you offer instruction in industrial arts? 34. What other vocational programs do you offer? _____ 35. Do you have special education classes? 36. What types of programs (classes) do you offer for special education students? _______________ 37. Do you offer instrumental music? 38. Do you offer vocal music? 39. Do you offer art classes? 40. Do you offer drama classes? 41. Do you offer cooperative education classes (DCT, OE, etc.)? 42. Do you offer drivers education instruction? I I I. Services 1 Do you have a full-time guidance counselor(s) assigned to your program? If yes, what is the average case load per counselor? __ 2. Do you have J social worker(s) (full time or part time) assigned to your program? If yes, what is the average case load per social worker? __ 3. Do you have a speech therapist(s) (full time or part time) assigned to your program? If yes, what is the average case load per speech therapist? __ 4 Do you have a trained person(s) to work with emotionally disturbed students assigned to your program If yes, what is the average case load per trained person? 5. Do you have a peer-counseling program?

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108 6. Do you have a full-time nurse or other full-time medically trained person assigned to your program? If no, do you have such a person part time? __ 7. Do you have a full-time school psychologist assigned to your program? If no, do you have one part time?~-What is the average case load per school psychologist? __ 8. Are there people assigned to you by the court or other convnunity agencies to assist you in the opera t ion of your program? If yes. what agencies or i nsti tuti ons do they represent? ____________________ 9. Do you provide any services for the families of your students? Describe. 10. Describe any other services you provide in the program that have not already been discussed. IV. Entrance and Exit Cr i teria 1. Describe the criteria for a student to enter your program. 2 Describe the process by which a student is assigned to your program. 3. Describe the criteria for a student to exit your program. 4. Describe the process by which a student exits your program

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V. Extracurricular Activities 1. Do you offer a club program for your students? If yes, approximately what percentage of your students partici pate? If no, are they allowed to participate in a regular school club program? __ 2. Do you offer a separate athletic program for boys? If 109 yes, what sports do you offer? __________ 3. Do you offer an athletic program for girls? If yes, what sports do you offer? _______________ 4. Do you provide any other extracurricular activities for students? Describe. VI. Staffing l. What is the average enrollment of your school/program? 2. What is the title of the person with administrative responsibilities for running the school/program? _____ 3. If you have additional administrative help, what are the titles of the positions? _____________ 4. Do these administrators have responsibilities for any part of a regular school program? If yes, what percentage of their time is spent in adm1n1steringyourprogram? __ 5. How many teachers are assigned to your program? __ 6. Do you have teachers who also teach students not assigned to your program? If yes, how many spend the major portion of their day teaching in your program? __ 7. What is the average class size in your program? __ 8. How many custodians do you have assigned full time to your program? __ 9. Do you have security personnel assigned to your school/ program? How many? Who are they responsible to?--~~______ :-_-_-_

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110 10. Give the number and title of all persons employed at your school other than administrators, counselors, custodians, teachers, and security personnel. 11. Under what office (departnent) in your school district (system) does the responsibility for supervising your program fall? ____________ VII Transportation and Food Service 1. Are the students transported to your school/program by your district? 2. Is public transportation, other than school bus, available to your students? 3. If you answered no to questions one and two, how do your students get to school? _____________ 4 Do you provide breakfast for your students? 5 Do you provide lunch for your students? 6 If food is provided, is it prepared at you r f acility? i. If breakfast and/vr lunch is provided, is it a hot meal? 8 If meals are provided, what percentage of students receive free or reduced-priced meals?

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APPENDIX D ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS INCLUDED IN THE STUDY l. Bostrom Alternative School, Phoenix, Arizona Administrator: Or. Terry Clapp 2. Buffalo Alternative High School, Buffalo, New York Administrator: John P. Hanlon 3. Career Acade111Y, Fort Worth, Texas Administrator: Or. Edith Pewitt 4. Comnunity Centered Classroom, Los Angeles, California Administrator: Walter E. Rivers, Jr. 5. Contemporary Learning Center High School, Houston, Texas Administrator: James N. Anderson 6. Continuation Education Center, Los Angeles, California Administrator: Or. Cal Burke 7. Eastlake Learning Center, Seattle, Washington Acininistrator: John Krueger 8. Extension Center, Denver, Colorado Administrator: En1in 0. Koepsel 9. Farragut High Schoo 1, Chicago, Il 1 i noi s Administrator: Christine G. Loving 10. Garfield Learning Center, San Diego, California Administrator: Or. Georgianna K. Galas 11. G.R.A.S.P. Alternative High School-Eastbank, New Orleans, Louisiana Administrator: Carl Jackson 12. Interim School I, Seattle, Washington Administrator: Gordon Roff 13. Interim Schoo 1 II, Seattle, Washington Administrator: Wes Whitt 14. McMillan Center, Cincinnati, Ohio Administrator: W. Adkins 111

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15. Oakville Alternative School, Oakville, Tennessee Administrator: Mrs. Theresa Franklin 16. O. V. Catlo High School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvan i a Administrator: Dr. Rocco Gigante, Jr 17. Project Way-out Alternative School, Jefferson County, Kentucky Administrator: Charles Cornish 18. Riverside Learning Center, St. Paul Minnesota Administrator: Dr. Shirley Pearl 19. School for Applied Individual Leaming, Tallahassee, Florida Administrator: Rose Ann Wood 20. S.N.A.P. School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Administrator: Robert J. McCarthy 21. The Street Academy, Charlotte, North Carolina Administrator: Calvin Wallace 112

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APPENDIX E OPEN INTERVIEW G UIDE-STAFF 1. How long have you been at the S chool for Applied Individual Learning (SAIL)? 2. What was your motivation for .. anting to work at the school? 3. Are you satisfied with your s ituation at the school. If yes, why? 4. What do you like best about the school? 5. What do you like least about t he s chool ? 6. Have you ever considered or a re y ou now considering leaving the school? If yes, why? 7. What type of support do you r e ceive from your supervisors? Give examples. 8. In your opinion is the SAIL do ing a n e ffective job? If yes, explain. 9. Do you believe there is a n eed f or a n a lternative school like the SAIL? If yes, explain 10. What would you tell a pe r s on w ho was c onsidering a position at the SAIL? 113

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APPENDIX F OPEN INTERVIEW GUIDE-STUDENTS 1 How did you come to be a student at the SAIL and how long have you been here? 2. Compare the SAIL with your fonner s chool, te 11 i ng why it is better or worse. 3. Are you satisfied with the school 7 4. Describe how you have changed, if a ny, in the following areas : a. Behavior b. Attendance c. Grades d. Other 5. If you return to Juur fonner s chool, du you believe your behavior will be different : If yes, why 7 6. Describe your feelings about yo ur teachers? Are you challenged? 7. Would you recorrmend the SAIL t o o t h er s tudents \'lith problems similar to yours? 8. Is there anything else yo u would l i ke t o tell me about the SAIL? 114

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKITCH Orlan H. Briant was born December 9, 1937, in Tampa, Florida, the first child of Birdie M. Briant and the late Ohlen W. Briant. He attended Hillsborough County public schools and was graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1956. His undergraduate work was at Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida, where in 1960 he re ceived a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in social science education. In 1967 he received the degree of Master of Arts with a major in social science education from the University of South Florida In June 1975 he received the degree of Specialist in Education from the University of Florida, where he also received the degree of Doctor of Education in May 1987. Orlan Briant has served as secondary school social studies teacher, junior high school and senior high school dean, senior high school assistant principal in charge of curriculum, and senior high school principal for eleven years. He is currently employed as a general area director for the Hillsborough County school system. He has served as chairman of the Hillsborough County Senior High School Principals Council, president of the Western Athletic Conference, president of the Hillsborough County Association of School Administra tors, and as a member of numerous conmittees, both local and statewide. He is a Danforth Fellow, having participated in the Danforth Program for Urban High School Principals in 1977. 115

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Orlan Briant has been active in the Brandon Lions Club and has served as president of the Rotary Club of Brandon. He was a career U.S. Anny reservist and retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He is married to Jeraldine L. Briant and is the father o f five daughters. 116

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I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it confonns to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and qua 1 ity, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Education. Rap~Kimb~Chainna Professor of Educational Leadership I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Ooctoc of Education. C. lJ}J_.,u;..._ s E. Heald rofessorof Educational Leadership I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Education. I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Education. Eu ne A. Todd Pr fessor of Instruction and Curriculum This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty in the College of Education and to the Graduate School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education. May 1987 Dean, College of Education