Beginnings for Disruptive Students
crime has decreased eight percent in 2002, important issues of
school safety remain. The number one dilemma remains the same:
how to deal with constantly disruptive, rowdy, and dangerous students
who, in spite of repeated discipline in a mainstream setting,
continue to prevent their classmates from learning.
In order to help
these chronic problem-students, and to ensure a peaceful learning
environment for their classmates at the same time, Schools Chancellor
Joel Klein has hired ten community-based groups to help run 17
new neighborhood reform schools, schools safety chief Benjamin
B. Tucker said at a joint hearing of the City Council Education
and Public Safety Committees. The creative part? These minischools,
with 40-60 students each, will not mimic jails where nothing positive
happens, but shall squarely aim to rehabilitate their charges
so they can eventually return to regular schools.
These New Beginnings
Schools will be set up as satellites to the City’s 17 most troubled
high schools at a cost of $1.8 million. Each school will have
2-3 teachers, along with professional staff from nonprofit groups.
objective of the centers places an emphasis on providing the support
services needed to effect positive change in student behavior
and attitude,” Tucker said. “At the same time, removing these
chronically disruptive students will yield broad benefits by creating
a more orderly environment.”
can not teach, and students can not learn, if they don’t feel
safe,” said Education Committee Chair Eva Moskowitz in supporting
the measure. “But, since it’s been shown that a third of all the
problems occur in only ten per cent of the schools, I welcome
these steps toward a solution.”
of Education’s Office of School Safety and Planning, under Mr.
Tucker, has begun implementing a comprehensive school safety agenda
with an emphasis upon identifying those schools with the highest
criminal incident rates, and ensuring the more effective use of
disciplinary strategies to address the behavior of disruptive
students. A critical component of this agenda has been the office’s
cooperation and coordination with the New York City Police Department,
in particular the School Safety Division. The Police Department
has assumed responsibility of the recruitment, hiring, and training
of over 4,000 School Safety agents operating in New York City
The New Beginnings
Schools, ready to begin operation in a matter of weeks, are a
fruit of this cooperative agenda. Students attending these centers
will be engaged in project-based learning and will receive requisite
credit-bearing instruction in literacy and numeracy.
these centers will augment the Department’s existing disciplinary
policy,” Tucker said. “They will ensure a swift and certain response
for those students who persistently disrupt the school environment.
Yet, at the same time, the centers will also offer opportunities
for students to get the support and assistance they need to be
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