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CPS Suspension Rates Continue to Fall

31 October 2017

Focus on Social and Emotional Learning has Reduced Out-Of-School Suspensions by 76 Percent and In-School Suspensions by 41 Percent Since 2012

CPS Office of Communications

Phone: 773-553-1620
Twitter: @chipubschools
Facebook: chicagopublicschools

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools today announced that suspensions continue to decline, with a 41 percent reduction in in-school suspensions and a 76 percent reduction in the rate of out-of-school suspensions since 2012, when the district adopted a revised Student Code of Conduct focused on social and emotional learning.

Improving school climates through social and emotional learning, restorative practices, interventions and training for school security officers is a key focus outlined in the district’s Vision. To develop preventative supports instead of focusing on punitive measures, CPS has increased training, coordination with CPD as well as various agencies and community groups across Chicago to provide more individualized intervention support for all students. The reductions in suspension and expulsion rates mean that fewer students are removed from the classroom and missing instructional time.

“With the support of dedicated principals, teachers and school staff, CPS has shifted cultures across the district to focus on building stronger school communities,” CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said. “A strong emphasis on restorative practices and social and emotional learning has created unprecedented progress in lowering suspensions, as well as helping students focus on learning when they’re in the classroom.”


Declines Since 2012-13 School Year

Out-Of-School Suspensions 

Declined 76 percent (24.27 suspensions per 100 students in SY 12-13 to 5.79 in SY 16-17)

In-School Suspensions 

Declined 41 percent (12.97 suspensions per 100 students in SY 12-13 to 7.67 in SY 16-17)


Declined 59 percent (184 total expulsions in SY 12-13 to 75 in SY 16-17)

Police Notifications 

Declined 50 percent (5,189 total notifications in SY 12-13 to 2,596 in SY 16-17)

Across the district, the total number of suspensions has decreased by 35 percent since last year, and by 65 percent since 2012. Out-of-school suspensions have decreased 28 percent since last year and in-school suspensions have decreased 37 percent. Expulsions have declined 59 percent since 2012.

“Principals and teachers understand that creating a supportive learning environment is critical to student success, and other districts from around the country see Chicago classrooms as a model for creating a positive place to learn,” CPS Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson said. “Social-emotional learning is transformative for Chicago’s students and school communities, and we’ll continue to invest and stay on the cutting edge of restorative practices.”

Social and Emotional Learning

The district continues to invest in initiatives and policies so students have the support they need to thrive in the classroom. The CPS Office of Social and Emotional Learning (OSEL) has trained all principals in adopting proactive social and emotional learning practices in order to create a supportive school for all students, especially those who require extra support and interventions.

During the 2016-17 school year, the Office of Social and Emotional Learning conducted more than 86 district-wide trainings and more than 200 on-site school trainings for educators, counselors and support staff. Additionally, Social & Emotional Learning specialists in each CPS network and restorative practice coaches provided intensive coaching to support schools with high discipline rates in developing supportive climates. OSEL has also spearheaded the Supportive Schools Certification – a recognition for schools who have implemented SEL supports and focused on developing positive school environments for students. Last school year, the number of certified Supportive Schools increased from 199 to 355 – an increase of more than one-third in one year.

<h2class="h3-style">Overview of Trauma-Sensitive Professional Development>

CPS has also expanded several approaches including training school administrators and staff in the development and implementation of trauma-sensitive schools. Trauma-sensitive schools are safe and respectful environments that enable students to build caring relationships with adults and peers. Through district and school-level trainings, educators learn about the nature of trauma and how it impacts students, school staff, and the school community and adopt a “trauma lens,” to better recognize signs of trauma and develop discipline policies that balance accountability with an understanding of the role of trauma on the student's behavior. CPS has also implemented Healing Trauma Together (HTT), a program made possible through a $2.3 million grant through the Department of Education. HTT has built and increased the capacity and restorative offerings of 10 high-need high schools to address the impact of trauma on students, parents and teachers. 

CPS Security Officer Training

CPS School Security Officers play a critical role in the climate as they interact with students throughout the day. Officers have been trained to proactively de-escalate conflicts and prevent serious incidents inside of schools, protect the rights of all students, and to identify and aid students experiencing trauma.  Most recently, this past summer, CPS implemented training in implicit bias techniques to bolster strategies that mitigate disparities in disciplinary consequences for children of color. By bringing an awareness and increased understanding to this area, schools are working to improve upon practices and reduce disciplinary disparities. CPS will continue to promote professional development for security officers to improve their interactions with students, while also maintaining high standards for school safety.

Chicago Public Schools serves 371,000 students in 646 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.