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Pass Program

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Pass Program

Ian Profenno and Jack Sotiropoulos

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Each year students get suspended for various reasons: vaping, bullying, insubordination, etc. However, there is a new alternative for these suspended students. Suspended students are now being sent to Beverly Massachusetts to get the support they need while out of school.

Once suspended,  these students are given the chance to attend the Pass program or stay at home. By choosing to do the Pass program your suspension is slightly reduced from its original penalty. Suspended students are sent to Beverly and stay there until the suspension is over. While students are at the “Pass program” they will receive help with tutoring and counseling. Students will work on assignments while at the program but will also have downtime.

Ipswich, Peabody, Beverly and Gloucester schools are the only schools that utilize this program. Ipswich has sent a number of students there this year alone. For this article we interviewed a student who has been to the “Pass program” before. The student stated “The Pass program seemed like a waste of time at the start, and I wasn’t really sure how to feel about it, but I did get my work done, got to reflect on my mistakes, and met some good people in the process.” According to this student he also was rewarded for completing his work.

At the McPherson Youth Center they will allow students to play basketball or music after finishing their work. Being able to have this controlled environment is huge. While having other kids there struggling through their suspension trying to get their work done all with having supervisors who actually seem to really care about you and your work can be really motivating. “It kind of feels like a family and is very encouraging; it made me actually want to get stuff done.” If kids were just suspended the regular way and were forced to stay home, what would be accomplished? Probably not that much considering they are going to be mad or sad about their suspensions already. They would definitely be more susceptible to lie in bed and sleep all day or play video games. The Pass program will give them the structure to be able to bounce back from this suspension and not fall too far behind the pack.

This alternative is great to get kids back on the right track in school. There is not enough data to say whether or not this has affected recidivism in school, but students generally will come back to school with a better attitude towards school. After talking to vice principal Mr. Carovillano, it was clear that the program is there for the students.

We asked Mr. Carovillano if he has seen any improvement in the amount of incidents that occur at Ipswich High. According to Mr. Carovillano, “It is a little early to say without the data, but there haven’t been a lot of kids being suspended again so that is a sign of it being successful.” We also asked what are the benefits of sending a student to the program instead of sending a student home. Mr. Carovillano mentioned, “if somebody gets suspended from school they will be out of school for a fairly long amount of time without being supervised, probably falling behind with schoolwork… when a student goes over to Pass they get counseling and academic support, so most kids come back from pass they usually are missing no work.” He also stated “I would absolutely rather have them at the Pass program than at home.” Like we touched on earlier in this essay, the Pass program is truly a great alternative to house suspension. 

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