Alternative to Suspension

Updated on Tue, 09/04/2018 - 2:35pm


Alternative to suspension (ATS) classes are intended to educate students and parent(s) or guardian(s) about the dangers and/or disruptive nature of certain behaviors, and to consider more appropriate strategies to avoid engaging in those behaviors in the future. Students who agree to complete this class will typically have their out-of-school suspension reduced by school administration.  Specific details of the reduction of suspension should be arranged with the school administrator who imposed the suspension.

Examples of the current Alternative to Suspension classes are listed below.  Classes are conducted at the Adams 12 Five Star Schools’ District Education Support Center at 1500 E. 128th Avenue in Thornton.

Decision Making

The Decision Making class is designed to address decision-making skills as they related to boundaries, theft/delinquency, disrespect, disruption, and any behavioral manifestation that indicates a lack of skill in making good decisions. The format of the class is designed to provide nonjudgmental instruction to students and parents on the development of skills related to decision-making, boundaries, communication and respect.  The instructor provides information about Triggers, Thinking, Feeling, Behaving and Consequences (Cognitive Behavioral Theory Model) and how they relate to and influence our everyday lives.

Drug and Alcohol

The Drug and Alcohol class is designed to educate young people and their parents in an engaging atmosphere, where the instructor utilizes a psychoeducational format.  The format is interactive. The group is designed for young people who have begun to use “gateway” substances (Marijuana, Tobacco, and Alcohol) and beginning to move towards substance abuse and dependence. The groups are not recommended for youth who are already in an advanced stage of abuse and or dependence.


Adams 12 Five Star Schools is committed to helping students avoid expulsion and remain in school, provided the parent and student share that same commitment. With these goals in mind the District provides many students the opportunity to participate in alternative to expulsion (ATE) services. Candidates for ATE services are facing possible expulsion from school.  Participation in an ATE is optional. Parents or students may decline the opportunity to participate in ATE services, in which case expulsion proceedings will continue and a due process expulsion hearing may be scheduled at the parent’s request.  


Each ATE plan requires commitment and participation from students and their parent or guardian. Participants will be required to sign a contract prior to officially beginning the plan and prior to the student being permitted to return to school. Each ATE contract identifies program expectations and the consequences for failure to complete program requirements.

Examples of common terms and conditions include but are not limited to:

  • Agreement that any further serious behavior violations that would otherwise typically result in an out-of-school suspension will constitute a violation of the ATE agreement and will result in the expulsion being implemented

  • Agreement to attend, participate and demonstrate effort consistent with program requirements

  • Restrictions from participation or attendance at specified school activities

  • Loss of privileges such as having electronics (including cell phone) at school

  • Loss of “off-campus” privileges

  • Restitution or other restorative justice measures

  • Participation in academic or remedial support programs

  • Check-ins” or appointments with administrative or mental health support staff