A new plan is keeping kids in school.

Oklahoma high school drastically reduces suspension numbers

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East Central High School in Tulsa has had zero suspensions so far this school year.

Mike Crase, who is in his fourth year as principal at East Central, said he implemented a plan with three points of focus, including higher expectations academically, socially and behaviorally. 

He said he is ahead of schedule, as he hoped to see results within five years.

Last year, East Central had 191 suspensions before Dec. 1.

This year, that number is zero.

Crase said the new system uses a different scale.

He said they have had what would previously have been considered 72 suspension-worthy offenses, but that's still a huge drop.

One difference involves a "success center" for lesser offenses instead of suspension. Students in the center participate in discussion about decision-making and staying on course while receiving the same instruction they would receive in the classroom.

Students have to score at least a 95 percent on a rubric of five components to be considered to exit the program. They then have 10 days to show they're still on track.

The plan fits within the district's focus on literacy and solving behavior issues. Crase said he has heard from others asking about how he's been able to make such big changes.

In the end, he said it's all about helping students succeed.

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