Central Okanagan public school students were on better behaviour in 2020-21 compared to the previous year, according to suspension statistics revealed this week by the Central Okanagan Public School staff.
Definite suspensions for specified periods registered 825 for 2020-21, compared to 945 recorded for the previous year.
The 825 also marked the continuation of a downward trend that dates back to 2015-16, when 1,133 definite suspensions were handed out.
The gender breakdown tends to be a 2-1 margin or larger for males over females that is also consistently reflected over the past six years. The breakdown for 2020-21 was 561 male and 264 female.
By grade, students in Grades 8 and 9 tend to make up the largest suspension stats, numbering 330 between them for 2020-21.
The suspension breakdown among schools in the district ranges from a low of one at Canyon Falls Middle to a high of 119 at Mount Boucherie Senior Secondary.
Schools falling between those two extremes include Constable Neil Bruce Middle (91 suspensions), Rutland Middle (81), Rutland Senior (98), Glenrosa Middle (88) and Springvalley Middle (71).
On the elementary side, Lake Country schools Peter Greer and Davidson along with Quigley in Kelowna shared the high mark of seven.
Indefinite suspensions have virtually disappeared as a percentage of the district student population, a trend that has been continuing since 2018-19.
The school district staff report cites improved interventions and support opportunities for students at indefinite suspension risk.
“Vigilance, as well as quick, reasonable and appropriate responses by school-based administrators with respect to potential issues arising among students, continues to reduce the necessity for utilizing indefinite suspensions,” says the report.
The report also addresses concerns about the rise of students as young as Grade 6 engaging in the use of vapes, a North America-wide phenomenon that is a focal point of concern for B.C.’s ministries of education and health.
“District staff continue to work with staff from both ministries to educate students about the risks involved with vaping and to employ intervention programs as they are made available to school districts.”
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