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High school finds in-house detention decreases suspension, increases performance

After a test study displayed the correlation of in-house detention and student success compared to at-home detention, Pahrump Valley High saw the importance of adding a staff member to run the service.

At Tuesday’s Nye County School Board meeting, a detention para-professional position was unanimously approved.

During the test study last year, teachers gave up a period each in order to supervise the in-house detention. In turn, that resulted in an increase in the teacher-to-student ratio.

The addition of the in-house detention supervisor will allow classes to go on as usual, as the supervisor will be on hand to oversee the detention process.

The test study revealed a significant drop in out-of-school detentions as result of the in-house detention initiative.

The number of at-home detentions dropped from 389 in the 2014-15 school year, to 262 in the 2015-16 school year, representing a 32-percent decrease.

“I want to commend Pahrump Valley High School for increasing their number of in-house detentions,” said Dale Norton, Nye County School District superintendent. “I think that culture is creating not to suspend students, but to keep them in school. Good job.”

With the in-house detention keeping children on the school campus, as opposed to being at home as result of a traditional suspension, academic performance increased. The test study showed that ninth grade students failing one or more classes decreased from 184 in 2014-15, to 98 failing in 2015-16, making for a 46-percent decrease.

“The establishment of the in-house detention room has allowed us to add an additional step to our progressive discipline system, allowing us to help students achieve, but still experience the consequences for their actions,” Principal Chris Brockman said.

Brockman explained another benefit of the in-house detention push was parent support for the program.

“Parents have stated they appreciate the fact that students are not sent home, but rather are kept in the structured school setting where they are continuing to work on assignments instead of being at home, falling behind academically,” he said.

The supervisor will work four hours a day, five days per week, totaling 720 hours in the 180-day school year. The total cost of the supervisor position will be $19,924.78.

Contact reporter Mick Akers at makers@pvtimes.com. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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