LA GRANGE, IL – Lyons Township High School’s students of color have been disproportionately disciplined in most recent years, according to a school report.
On Monday, the school board is set to hear a presentation on the school’s discipline improvement plan.
Under state law, the school must produce such a plan because of racial disparities, which were seen in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020. It is in the state’s top 20 percent of schools for racial disparities in discipline.
If the school sees three years in a row without such a gap, then the reporting requirement no longer applies.
In 2020, the total out-of-school suspensions for students of color amounted to 64, compared with 41 for whites.
Students of color received 61 percent of out-of-school suspensions in 2020, while they made up 29 percent of students, according to the report.
To help correct the gap, the school said it hired a director of equity and belonging and a director of student services in the 2021-22 school year.
Next school year, it plans to add three positions – bilingual coordinator, social worker and school counselor.
The school also said it would continue its partnership with Rockford-based Rosecrance, an organization that handles addiction and behavioral health treatment.
Instead of an immediate out-school suspension, the school said it has contracted with Rosecrance to bring an assessment counselor on campus. This is for cases where a student is found in possession or under the influence of illegal substances.
As an alternative to out-of-school suspensions, students may choose a treatment and recovery program with Rosecrance, the report said.