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Suspension Rate

  • The State uses single student counts to calculate the suspension rate for districts and schools and includes instances of out-of-school and in-school suspension.

    Because the number of suspensions vary by district type (elementary, high, and unified) as well as school type, (elementary, middle, and high), the State established distinct cut scores for each district type and each school type. Having six different sets of cut scores means there are 6 five-by-five corresponding tables.

    It is important to keep in mind that for this indicator, the goal is to reduce the rate since a lower rate reflects fewer suspensions.

  • Safety Net

    The Safety Net Methodology is applied to avoid over-identification in Red or Blue performance levels in the Graduation and Suspension Rate Indicators for LEAs and schools with cumulative enrollment less than 150 students.  This methodology removes both the “Increased Significantly” and “Declined Significantly” Change levels from the performance level. This results in a three-by-five colored table. Please note this does not apply to student groups.

  • Status and Change

    Status and Change will not be reported in the 2018 Dashboard.

  • Five-by-Five

    The five-by-five grid combines status and change to determine an overall performance level for each indicator, with equal weight applied to both status and change. To learn more about the five-by-five grids, visit the CDE’s California School Dashboard Five-by-Five Colored Tables page.

    Unlike other indicators, which use district-level distributions to set the cut scores for Status and Change, the Suspension Rate Indicator is based on multiple distributions. Therefore, multiple suspension cut scores were set for both districts and schools, based on their type. This resulted in six different sets of cut scores for Status and Change, three sets based on district type (elementary, high, and unified) and another three based on school type (elementary, middle, and high).

    Districts/ schools that did not certify or submit suspension data in either of the two calculation years are automatically assigned an Orange performance level.

    It is important to keep in mind that the goal for the Suspension Indicator is a low percentage as a low percentage indicates fewer suspensions. Therefore, the goals are a:

    • Low rate for Status
    • Decline in the rate for Change (a negative value)

    See the Five-by-Five grid for the Suspension Rate Indicator on the CDE’s California School Dashboard Five-by-Five Colored Tables page. 


    How It’s Calculated

    The suspension rate for the 2017-18 school year will be used for Status and this will be compared to the 2016-17 suspension rate to calculate Change.

    The formula is:

    2017-18 suspension rate
    2016-17 suspension rate

    To calculate the suspension rate used above:

    Number of students suspended
    divided by
    Cumulative enrollment multiplied by 100


    Learn More About This Indicator

    To learn more about the Suspension Rate Indicator, see page 147 of the California Department of Education’s California School Dashboard Technical Guide.



    For questions about suspensions and other suspension-related policies, contact:

    For questions about Suspension Rate data submitted to the California Department of Education, contact the State Reporting Services Branch at 213-241-2450.

    Last updated 2018-12-13


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