Alternative Center for Targeted Instruction and ONgoing Support
ACTIONS is a program created by the Champaign Unit 4 School District that strives to reduce recidivism in suspensions by providing student education during days of suspension, parent and family education, and teacher education in classroom management strategies. The combined systems of support are designed to work synchronously to replace students’ undesirable behavior with appropriate social skills.
Students who have been suspended for a period of 1-10 days for offenses in which expulsion is not being pursued are asked to participate in The ACTIONS Program during the time of their suspension. This program is held at an alternative site where education in social skill instruction and academic course material takes place. ACTIONS staff are certified teachers who specialize in social-emotional instruction. The curriculum is designed to help students develop social skills that will allow them to navigate their school community and emotions effectively in order to promote maximum academic achievement.
ACTIONS classrooms are found on the second floor of the Family Information Center, located at 1103 N. Neil Street. The school day begins at 9:00 A.M. and ends at 3:00 P.M. For suspensions of two days or longer, academic assignments are sent to ACTIONS by the student’s home school teachers in order to allow students to remain on track in classes and eliminate academic frustration upon return to school that can further trigger unwanted behavior.
In addition to providing instruction during suspensions, ACTIONS staff work proactively with students at-risk of being suspended and follow-up with students after suspension. They visit schools to teach and encourage positive behavior and provide social skill instruction in the home school environment. Staff also partner with community agencies to complete referrals for students who are in need of additional services.
ACTIONS offers teachers a menu of support options designed to improve the culture and climate of the classroom, relationships with students, and classroom management skills. Teacher support is non-evaluative and driven by student need.
ACTIONS educates parents and families on child advocacy and navigating collaborative conversations with their child’s teachers and/or administrators. The program also facilitates events that allow parents to connect and support one another or learn additional parenting strategies in order to bridge supports in the home and school environment.
Opportunity for Involvement
ACTIONS needs the support of community members to volunteer to work with students trying to improve their behavior. Guest speakers are needed daily to share life, school and career experiences that can motivate students to pursue their dreams. We are also looking for guest readers who would be interested in reading to our younger students. If you have a story to share and can dedicate 30 minutes or more each week to helping our students find success, please contact Jill Johnson at (217) 531-0256 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jill Johnson, Administrator
Ashley Robertson, Elementary Teacher
Michelle Brown, Elementary Teacher
Karen Snook, Elementary Teacher
Brandi Boyd, Elementary Teacher
Jeremy Rubush, Elementary Teacher
Stefan Ritz, Elementary Teacher
"If your ACTIONS inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader."
-John Quincy Adams
Quotes from our students, parents, and staff:
“The good thing I like about this program is that there’s a lot of motivation. Like for example, I liked when Mr. Harmon came to speak with us. It really motivated me to change my attitude.”
-5th grade student at ACTIONS
“Dear [ACTIONS Staff],
I can't thank you enough for the coaching you provided. We took time to consider the purpose of a reset. I came up with:
I posted a dart board image next to refocus and we discussed what it means to focus on the bull's eye. In school the bull's eye is education. We talked about our energies being what we give our attention to and discussed distractions. I used the image of a handshake (the form arm wrestler's take - the cool kind of hand shake) and had a student come up and grip my hand like this. While I held him there we talked about the significance of a handshake in times past and that a firm grip was the sign of commitment. We need to be committed to our education…
Thank you - your time with me on Friday was like a life raft for me!
-A Unit 4 Elementary Teacher
Dear [ACTIONS Staff],
I want to take the time out to say “thank you” for having this program ACTIONS as an alternative for children who get suspended but not just having them stay at home but having this program to “help” them with problems and struggles that they may be facing. My son Cameron who is 6 has been having anger issues at school and I was just getting phone call after phone call and he was being sent home and missing out on instructional work. Then I was made aware of your program which Cameron has attended twice and I really want to say I feel that just those two days have been rewarding both in helping him deal with his anger and allowing him to still be in an educational setting.
I also wanted to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule yesterday to sit with Cameron at Barkstall which not only made me pleased but showed Cameron that you “mean what you say” about checking up on him and had mentioned that he even enjoyed his visit. I really hope that this program continues as I think it is a wonderful alternative for students and parents. Thank you again!!!
-Unit 4 First Grade Parent