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Support systems in place for Leon County students facing disciplinary challenges at school

Posted at 3:05 PM, May 29, 2024
  • Leon County Schools has support systems in place to help students facing disciplinary action including expulsions and suspensions.
  • These include S.M.A.R.T. intervention services and the Ghazvini Learning Center.
  • Watch the video to find out about these options so you can plan ahead for the next school year.


Preparing for the next school year is something that stays top of mind for parents.

There are some support systems for students facing disciplinary actions

Asking academic leaders about your options, so you can plan ahead.

Alexander Ivester said he feels like his mistakes define him.

"You have to be perfect, even with small things," said Ivester.

While Investor said he understands the safety aspect when it comes to discipline, "certain things, I would say, tighten down and don't let it slide," said Ivester.

"Certain things, I would say, tighten down and don't let it slide," said Ivester.

Ivester said he feels like there's no room for error.

Ensuring both safety and second chances, Leon County School leaders have made helping students facing disciplinary challenges a priority.

"More individualized instruction, self-paced, we have smaller classes," said Superintendent of Leon County Schools, Rocky Hanna, explaining the Ghazvini Learning Center - a second chance school where students can opt to attend or are referred to if they are not finding success at their home schools.

"This is an emotionally safe place and a physically safe place," said Principal Amy Alvis. Alvis explained they have care specialists and social workers on site to help.

On top of academics, they also focus on restorative practices and non-violent communication to provide students with tools to resolve their conflicts.

"I think that's such a good thing for them to learn," said Alvis, "because they need to know that for their communities they live in as well, and their work community."

For students who have been suspended, the next school year will further expand S.M.A.R.T intervention services. That's a partnership between the school district, the Leon County Sheriff's Office and Florida A & M University.

"[The program is designed to] provide them with life skills, as well as academic support during the time of their suspension," said Professor of Psychology, Gwendolyn Singleton.

Singleton explained it's all about not letting mistakes define students.

"Increase their desire to be in the classroom, increase their confidence and their abilities to succeed and do well," said Singleton.

Right now, Professor Singleton explained S.M.A.R.T is open to high school students. The program is set to expand in the next school year. Parents can opt in to send their children to the program. They''ll complete tasks to improve mindfulness, self management, teamwork, and goal setting.