What is the Restorative Suspension Center?
We are excited to present a new opportunity to help our students succeed in the classroom. Our Restorative Suspension Center (RSC) is an alternative to suspension program for middle and high school students here in Lynchburg City Schools (LCS). RSC is located in the Amelia Pride Building beside Dunbar Middle School for Innovation. Instead of students serving their out-of-school suspension at home, they will attend the RCS to serve their short term-suspensions (1-10 days). The RSC has hired and trained LCS professionals to work one-on-one and in small groups to help students reflect on their behavior, create action plans to restore the relationships their behavior has impacted, and continue to focus on their academic progress during their suspension.
Why did we create the Restorative Suspension Center?
We believe that we should provide an alternative to traditional school suspension that is intentionally structured to help students change their behavior. We want to ensure that the focus of our disciplinary consequences is on changing behavior. Our team is committed to providing innovative programming to meet the ever-changing needs of our schools and community.
What are the expectations, programming, and partnerships?
When students arrive at the RSC, they will be engaged in an all-day program that will allow students to continue to complete their classwork and work to improve their behavior with an LCS employee. Students will have a period of mental and written reflection as soon as they arrive at RSC. They will then have the opportunity to complete their classwork throughout the day.
We have also partnered with a local mental and behavioral health organization, Life Push, to facilitate 60-90 minute small group behavior sessions to help our students learn from their mistakes. Students who may have drug or vaping possession/use-related suspensions will take part in a substance use counseling program. Students will also work with staff to create a plan to help them transition back to school and create success goals for their future.
Because of the intentional work our educators will do with our students, we must create an environment free of distractions that will allow them to focus on their school work and behavioral reflections. Cell phones will not be allowed at the RSC. Students are allowed to bring them to the RSC but they will need to secure them in our phone locker until the end of the day. Students who do not meet the expectations may earn additional consequences. Students who are assigned to the RSC are not permitted to attend after-school activities or to be on LCS school property other than the Restorative Suspension Center until they return to their base school (with the exception of transitioning to the shuttle bus from their regularly assigned bus).
What is Life Push?
Life Push is a multi-tiered human services company changing the way solutions are being delivered to families, students, and professionals across interlocking systems. These interlocking systems are comprised of the mental healthcare system, juvenile justice system, social services system, and education system ranging from K-12 through the collegiate level. Life Push, LLC is 5 Phases of Human Engagement (5PHE©) certified and Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services (DBHDS) licensed in the state of Virginia.
When will the RCS Open?
RSC opened on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, for our high school students. We are continuing to secure the staff necessary to open our middle school program and are on track to provide that opportunity in late February.