Nicole EdenedoMar 23, 2017, 9:31 amMar 24, 2017, 5:21 am

Newburgh Schools to launch program aimed at educating at-risk students ‘RISE’

‘RISE’ will pair kids with educators to help overcome emotional and behavioral problems

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An Orange County school district is changing its suspension policies with an eye on improving the education of students.

The Newburgh School District is rolling out a new program to close the gap between repeat suspensions and missed classes for at-risk students. District officials say students need a more hands-on approach to overcoming their difficulties.

The Restorative Interventions for Student Empowerment program or ‘RISE’ will hold classes for suspended middle and high school students at the Newburgh Free Academy Monday through Friday after school. Classes could start as early as next month.

Two courses will be offered. Pairing students with teachers, social workers or psychologists will help students overcome emotional and behavioral problems as well as aiding to craft a plan to return to regular classes.

Group discussions aimed at improving social skills and better decision-making is also part of the new program.

Parents will be involved in mandatory meetings with staff to make sure the students remain on track.

According to the Department of Education, Newburgh’s suspension rates have decreased considerably from 2011, dropping from 786 to 512 in the 2014-2015 year.

A number of problems with the old suspended students system, including a lack of completed coursework oversight and administrative issues, led to this new program.

With the new courses taking place under one roof, the district hopes the suspension numbers will continue to reduce.

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