STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) - The Alternative Suspension Center is proving to be a success for Staunton City Schools.

The center, which now has a permanent home this year inside of Dixon Educational Center, is more than a year old.

The center's coordinator says referrals are down, particularly for violent behavior.

Plus, according to Garett Smith, Staunton schools’ superintendent, only 2 percent of students are repeat offenders.

"When they get back to school, they're ready to go,” Smith said. “They've resolved their problem with whoever they had the problem with. They've gotten caught up on missing work. They've kept up with their work so when they get back to school, they're in better shape than when they left."

"I think it works because of relationships,” Kristie Shuey, the coordinator of the Alternative Suspension Center, said. “The relationships that we work really hard to form with students when they're here - we give them the grace and the space that they need to get them ready to go back to school."

Shuey says the most important relationship is with the teachers at both schools who come in often to support and help their students.