ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Albemarle County Public Schools is making some policy changes to help reduce the number of out-of-school suspensions for African American students. School statistics show African American students in Albemarle County are being suspended at a disproportionate rate when compared to students of other races.

The school system's goal is to reduce out of school suspensions down to the point where it is only absolutely necessary. A new protocol will require a school administrator to work with a member of the superintendent's staff when it comes to an instance that considers a suspension.

Student Services Officer Nicholas King says excluding students from the school will likely keep them from doing well there in the long run. "Student behavior doesn't change because they are suspended what we are trying to do is to create options for our administrators to use that will provide an opportunity for us to impact student behavior.”

King also says it is more effective for students and their families if they can stay engaged in school during the day so they can remain supervised. Albemarle County hopes to see positive results by the end of this school year.