The Times-Dispatch today published a comparison of the out-of-school suspension rates across Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, and Hanover:
As was the case in 2007-08, the schools with the highest suspension rates in 2011-12 were in the least affluent parts of the region. Four of the eight schools with rates above 20 percent were in Richmond, and three were in eastern or central Henrico. The eighth was the Chesterfield school for students with behavioral, social and academic challenges.
The poverty rate in those schools was between 41 and 72 percent, based on participation in the federal free and reduced-price lunch program.
With 41% of it’s students receiving out-of-school suspension at least once during the year, Richmond’s George Wythe had the highest suspension rate for the 2011-2012 school year. Close behind was Chesterfield’s Community at 39.5%. Armstrong is next on the list at 27%. Of note, Chesterfield’s Community High is an alternative school specializing in dropout recovery and dropout prevention, most students who come to Community High School are behind their academic cohort by about two years.
Armstrong has shown one of the most significant decreases in suspension rates, dropping from regional high of 44.7% during the 2007-2008 school year.