Reducing Suspensions for Students with Disabilities

posted Mar 25, 2014, 1:41 PM by Michelle Grimms

To assess the impact of PBIS implementation on elementary school students with disabilities, data were analyzed from 166 schools over three years.  In this sample of Illinois schools, students with disabilities had a 72% reduction in out of school suspensions (OSSs) from 2010 to 2013. Students without disabilities also saw a substantial reduction of OSSs with a 59% decrease over the same three years.  Go to for  more on this study. 


Reduced Risk for Students with Disabilities. The drastic reductions in suspensions for students with disabilities translate to a risk ratio of 0.83, meaning for every one suspension received by a student without disabilities, there were 0.83 incidents of suspension for a student with disabilities.  Students with disabilities in these schools were less likely to receive a discipline referral or suspension than students without disabilities. This reduction in risk is remarkable in light of a national study documenting that for all racial groups combined, students with disabilities were suspended at approximately twice the rate of their non-disabled peers (Losen & Gillespie, 2012).