JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Jonesboro school is no longer using In School Suspension as punishment, instead it’s turned to yoga.
“You know, when they are in In School Suspension they are typically not learning, they are doing some other, you know some assignments or so forth, but they aren't learning a new lesson,” Success Achievement Academy Director, Todd Rhoades, said on Tuesday.
SAA started the new way of punishment this year after finding a school in Baltimore, Maryland using the yoga method as punishment and had success with it.
“We did a lot of research on their school and not only how they handled discipline, but they’ve actually put it in their curriculum and that’s what we’ve done here.,” Rhoades said. “What really got our attention in Baltimore, they went to zero suspensions for an entire year. Suspension does not work for our students.”
What used to be the ISS room, now does not have desks, but instead, it is stocked with yoga mats, calming music, and essential oils.
“They are getting help with learning how to breathe and meditate and to relieve stress, and then part of that not only is there deep breathing there's also a restorative piece to it, they take responsibility for what they did,” Rhoades said.
That restorative piece includes students writing letters to teachers who disciplined them, taking responsibility for their actions.
Although the Success Academy has only used the new yoga class for seven days, so far it has been a success.
“Of course, we’ve got a small sample size, but so far, so good,” Rhoades said. “It’s gone really well. The kids enjoy it.”
Rhoades said they have also made yoga and meditation a part of Kindergarten-8th grades’ curriculum.
“In those K-8 classes, we do meditation and yoga every day,” he said. “They do it when they first come in the morning and after lunch.”
He hopes to extend the yoga curriculum to 9th-12th grades in the future.
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