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Alternative to Suspension -- Behavior

On-Campus Suspension

Students who receive 1 to 3-day suspensions are eligible for the On-Campus Suspension program by referral of a school Dean or site administrator. At the discretion of the Dean or site administrator, students may serve the first day at home and then opt to attend the On-Campus Suspension program for one day in lieu of serving the remainder of the suspension. The program will schedule up to 10 students per day on most Tuesdays and Thursdays. Clinical staff of the YSBs will facilitate the program, which will operate during regular school hours (8am-3pm) on the campus of the Adult School (789 Poplar Street, San Mateo, CA), Room 29.


The day will include a schedule of group-based therapy activities to make students address both the disciplinary incident that caused the suspension and reflect on their educational progress and engagement in school.


Sample of On-Campus Suspension daily program

Morning – focus on disciplinary incident (Why am I here?)

  • Arrival and sign-in
  • Group introductions, preparation for day and check-in activities
  • Narrative “re-write” of disciplinary incident.
  • “What was in your control?”
  • “What factors around you support you and bring you down?”
  • “What if you could do it again?”

Afternoon – reflection on educational progress

  • Assessment of current educational progress and attitude/engagement toward school (This includes possible access to School Loop, grades, and information about graduation requirements.)
  • Lunch
  • Goal setting. Based on assessment of their progress and a share-out of identified challenges to the group, students will write three educational goals for a school reentry plan. One goal must include identifying an adult on campus they can go to for help with academic, behavioral and emotional issues.
  • “Homework”. Upon reentry to school, student will be required to tell one adult at school about the goals they set for themselves.
  • Wrap up/check out
  • Dismissal


Number of Students Served

Up to 10 students per day; two days per week for 30 weeks of the school year.

Program Outcomes

  • 80% of students completing the program are not suspended again.
  • Short-term therapeutic outcomes. At end of program day, students can identify at least one aspect of the suspension incident under their control; develop at least one alternative action to avoid suspension; and identify at least one adult from whom they can seek help on campus.
  • Long-term therapeutic outcomes. A majority of students report making better decisions and having more supportive adults on campus.

 Outcome Measures:

  • Program attendance records
  • SMUHSD database for tracking attendance, disciplinary incidents, and suspensions.
  • Student surveys at the end of day
  • Student work products during day
  • Surveys administered to program participants in last semester of school year.

CONTACT: Tina Graf (bgraf@smuhsd.org)

Consent Form (English)

Consent Form (Spanish)

Consent Form (Chinese)

Download the Alternative to Suspension Consent form. This form, signed by a parent/guardian, needs to be given to the program leader on the morning of the program.