The Dougherty County school system is taking steps to help students with behavioral problems and hopefully improve education. The goal is to cut down on the number of suspensions and get to the root of the student's problem.
Dr. David Hamilton, the principal at the South Georgia Regional Achievement Center, says students there need the most help. "These are the students that have the most problems with discipline. And really, a person who's here everyday, who can counsel with them and work with them everyday will be a big benefit for those students. Because we can cut down on the discipline issues, we also improve their work in class," said Hamilton.
The school system recently assigned a full time counselor to the school to help students get to the bottom of their problems.
"Someone who could work with us, council our students and find out why they're having these discipline issues. Try and find out what are the causes of them. And if we can get to that then we can eliminate those discipline problems," said Hamilton.
The counselor will also teach a course to help students with their disciplinary problems. Hamilton hopes that will cut down on recurring assignments for troubled students.
"We don't want students coming here year after year after year. The students when they are assigned here, it's for a limited time period. Generally speaking a student is assigned here for one semester," explained Hamilton.
The school board also approved a $27,000 annual contract with a company to provide a behavior therapist as needed to special needs students. School officials hope it will also cut down on the nearly 1,400 suspensions they had last year.
"We want to help the students, number one. But we also want to help the teacher maintain an environment conducive to learning in their classes and you can't do that with outbursts and inappropriate behavior and violent behavior," said Dr. David Mosely, the superintendent of DCSS.
And ultimately improve education for every student in the system.