TeachME Professional Development

Suspensions and Expulsions in Early Childhood Programs


1. Each of the following is an accurate statement about suspensions and expulsions in early childhood education programs EXCEPT:

A. Recent data indicate that although incidences are decreasing, expulsions and suspensions still occur disproportionately in preschool settings B. School expulsion and suspension practices are associated with negative educational and life outcomes C. Stark racial and gender disparities exist in these disciplinary practices D. Young boys of color are being suspended and expelled much more frequently than other children

2. In order to prevent, severely reduce, and ultimately eliminate expulsion and suspension in early childhood settings, experts recommend creating positive climates, focusing on prevention, developing clear, appropriate, and consistent expectations and consequences to address disruptive student behaviors, and ensuring fairness, equity, and continuous improvement.

A. True B. False


3. Young students who are expelled or suspended are 2-3 times more likely to drop out of high school, experience academic failure and grade retention, hold negative school attitudes, and face incarceration than those who are not.

A. True B. False

4. Expulsion and suspension practices have the potential to hinder social-emotional and behavioral development, and to:

A. Remove children from early learning environments and the corresponding cognitively enriching experiences that contribute to healthy development and academic success later in life B. Delay or interfere with the process of identifying and addressing underlying issues, which may include disabilities or mental health issues C. Contribute to increased family stress and burden. D. All of the above

5. Preschool children with disabilities who are aged three through five and who are eligible for services under the IDEA are entitled to the same disciplinary protections that apply to all other IDEA-eligible children with disabilities, and may not be subjected to impermissible disciplinary changes of placement for misconduct that is caused by or related to their disability.

A. True B. False

6. Which of the following is NOT a correct statement about teacher training, support, and preparation to reduce and/or eliminate suspensions and expulsions?

A. Without enough training in child development, it may be difficult to distinguish between behaviors that are inappropriate and those that are developmentally age appropriate B. Developmentally inappropriate behavioral expectations that result from lack of training may lead to inappropriate labeling of child behavior as challenging or problematic C. A recent national survey indicated that only about 40% of teachers and providers serving children under five reported receiving specific training on facilitating children's social and emotional growth in the past year D. Other studies have found that early learning teachers report that coping with challenging behavior is their most pressing training need

Recommendations for Early Childhood Programs

7. Some programs, like Head Start, have a long-standing and continuing practice to prohibit the expulsion or suspension of any child, severely limit expulsion, suspension, or other exclusion, and to only suspend or expel as a last resort in extraordinary circumstances where there is a determination of a serious safety threat

A. True B. False

Access Technical Assistance in Workforce Development to Prevent Expulsion and Suspension

8. Early childhood programs should create positive climates that focus on prevention by striving to build their workforce's capacity in forming strong, supportive and nurturing relationships with children, collaborating with community-based service providers, forming strong relationships with parents and families, and having a strong understanding of:

A. The importance of respect and consistency B. Culture and diversity C. The circumstances and needs of the most vulnerable children D. None of the above

9. Although program staff need access to support from early childhood mental health consultants, behavioral specialists, school counselors, or special educators as a means to prevent, severely limit, and ultimately eliminate expulsion and suspension practices, it is far more critical that they have a strong set of skills to use on a daily basis in the classroom.

A. True B. False

Recommendations for State Action

10. In order to promote a child's social-emotional, and behavioral health and eliminate or limit the use of expulsion, suspension, and other exclusionary discipline practices, states are encouraged to establish statewide policies that are applicable across settings and that comply with Federal civil rights laws.

A. True B. False

11. Teachers in early childhood programs should create learning environments aligned with the State early learning and development standards, use developmentally appropriate, culturally and linguistically responsive practices, and utilize curricula that:

A. Encourage individualized instruction B. Cover comprehensive domains of learning C. Are evidence-based D. Promote well-designed learning activities


12. By reducing and ultimately eliminating expulsion and suspension through nurturing relationships and capacity building, with and on behalf of young children and their families, our youngest learners will be in environments where they can be given the tools and experiences needed for them to thrive.

A. True B. False

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