State Plans Focus Group on School Suspensions

August 11, 2003
Note: The following announcement is from the Maryland State Department of Education

WHAT: Eight focus groups will be conducted in different regions of Maryland in order to obtain parent, student, and community input about the use of suspension in Maryland's public schools.

WHEN: The first focus group will be held Wednesday, September 3, 2003, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

WHERE: Montgomery County Board of Education, Room 120, 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, MD

WHY: The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) formed the Suspension Study Group (SSG) in the summer of 2002 to examine the disciplinary practice of suspension employed by public schools and to make recommendations concerning suspension policies and alternatives. The SSG is seeking input from the public, especially parents, guardians, and students affected by the use of suspension, to share first-hand experiences and the impact that suspension has on the lives of youths and their families.

Persons interested in attending this focus group must register by phone no later than 3:00 p.m. on Friday, August 29, 2003, by contacting Ms. Leslie Thierman, Maryland State Department of Education, at (410) 767-0303. Once registered, participants will receive a basic information survey and sample questions to help stimulate discussion.

Each focus group is limited to 12 participants and spaces will be filled on a first-registered, first-served basis. Individuals under the age of 21 who wish to participate must obtain and bring consent from their parent or legal guardian to the focus group session.

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