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A Practical Program Toolkit


Here you will find assistance for educators, administrators, counselors, alternative to suspension (ATS) program coordinators, or other school personnel who would like to implement a unique alternative approach for suspended and disciplined students – community service.

Suspended students who participate in alternative to suspension programs that include community service receive a number of benefits and typically exhibit a reduction in aberrant behavior and an increase positive behavior.

Based on an evaluation of eight programs in Arizona, participating students had:

  • 2.05 fewer discipline referrals
  • 4.45 fewer discipline infractions
  • 3.78 fewer days absent
  • 3.72 fewer days tardy
  • 0.38 increase in GPA (on a 4-point scale)

Community service gives students an opportunity to build meaningful relationships, introduces students to positive role models, builds competency, teaches responsibility and empathy, reduces further discipline infractions, improves school attendance and interrupts the spiral toward alienation and dropout.

But it’s not only the students who benefit from these programs! Schools benefit from improved community relations through their community service partnerships. Teachers and principals are pleased with the positive behavior changes with participating students.

Using our Online Learning link, you can access an interactive online version of Community Service as an Alternative to Suspension: A Practical Program Toolkit. The Toolkit will walk you through the basics and give you an overview of how you can implement an effective community service program as an alternative to suspension in your school. You may also download the entire guide using our Toolkit link. In addition to a detailed guidebook, the Toolkit link also contains helpful sample forms, which you can personalize for your program.

Download this page as a printer-friendly handout.