Title

A Second Chance W.O.R.K.S: Restorative Practices Through Social-Emotional Learning (Intervention in Lieu of Suspension)

First Presenter's Institution

A Second Chance W.O.R.K.S.

Second Presenter's Institution

N/A

Third Presenter's Institution

N/A

Fourth Presenter's Institution

N/A

Fifth Presenter's Institution

N/A

Location

Session 7 (Westbrook)

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

Heart: Social & Emotional Skills. -

Social Emotional Learning is a process whereby young people and adults acquire knowledge, skills and dispositions related to five competencies.

Self-Awareness: Recognizing one’s emotions and values as well as one’s strengths and challenges.

Self-Management: Managing emotions and behaviors to achieve one’s goals.

Social Awareness: Showing understanding / empathy for others

Relationship Skills: Forming positive relationships, working in teams and dealing effectively with conflict.

Responsible Decision Making: Making ethical, constructive choices about personal and social behavior

At risk students are generally faced with a different set of challenges that evolves from a disconnect from the Social Emotional Learning Wheel above. This is directly related to the Strand: Heart: Social & Emotional Skills. The disconnect generally causes students to make poor decisions that lead to poor behavioral patterns. Many of the poor decision making derives from a sense of exclusion from the community.

By empowering students with soft skills such as: Student leadership skills; Character Education; Self-Esteem; Positive identity development, and Cooperative learning, students will be more equipped to understand the effects of poor decision making. Teachers will be given strategies that relate to cultural diversity. They will also understand that many of our at risk students, not only deal with economic poverty but also cultural poverty.

v) Home: Family & Community -

Strategies will be provided to the parents to be utilized at home that coincide with the practices that are taught at school. The parents will better understand the importance of their role in enforcing a code of conduct that will enhance their child’s academic performance and future success. The community is everyone that is involved with the safety and the educational development of the student. We strongly believe in the motto: “A child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.”

Brief Program Description

The W.O.R.K.S. Program uses the Social Emotional Learning framework with an emphasis on the Restorative Approach, to educate the whole child by teaching them how to be accountable for their academic success and behavior. Our target audience is grades K-12, Teachers and Parents. We emphasize the importance of core values such as character, understanding, and accountability.

Summary

The Proposal utilizes the Restorative Approach which includes restorative justice and social emotional learning.

Restorative Justice: a paradigm shift in regards to student discipline. It does not replace traditional discipline practices, instead it shifts them by placing accountability and acknowledgement on the student.

Social Emotional Learning is a process whereby young people and adults acquire knowledge, skills and dispositions related to five competencies.

Self-Awareness: Recognizing one’s emotions and values as well as one’s strengths and challenges.

Self-Management: Managing emotions and behaviors to achieve one’s goals.

Social Awareness: Showing understanding / empathy for others

Relationship Skills: Forming positive relationships, working in teams and dealing effectively with conflict.

Responsible Decision Making: Making ethical, constructive choices about personal and social behavior

Practical Models: Participants will be given strategies and direct instruction on facilitating a restorative circle. A restorative circle is specifically designed for the at risk population. The goal of the restorative circle is to give Parents, Students and Teachers a “Safe Space” to effectively communicate potential resolutions to prevent unacceptable behavioral problems.

Programs: Students Population is identified by School Records indicating Chronic Absenteeism, Out of School Suspension and record(s) with the Department of Juvenile Justice. Although the target population identifies a particular student population, it is most effective when parents participate with the student as an alternative to suspension.

Practices: Teachers and Administrators will have the opportunity to utilize Restorative Practices to create an atmosphere where the students become accountable for their behavior. By using this platform, administers and teachers will be able to positively influence their school climate by offering intervention in lieu of suspension, as well as in embedding this proposed platform within their regular classroom settings.

Take Home Learning Opportunities: Participants will be given strategies to work with students and parents on intervention utilizing proactive measures. The parents and the students will participate in sessions, meetings and dynamic discussions. The strategies will be both proactive and reactive / the dynamic discussion will reduce behavior incidents, at home and in the school, that might otherwise lead to suspension and/or incarceration.

Evidence

The WORKS (Working On Refocusing, Redirecting, Realigning Kids Successfully) program is a restorative justice based program currently in use in several public schools and systems in Georgia. The stated purposes of the program are to improve the relationship between school and home through parental involvement, implement strategies to improve teacher - student relationships and to implement alternatives to suspension and strategies to improve student behavior and decrease the amount of instructional time lost. The programs’ goals are to improve targeted students’ attendance, increase academic performance, improve parental engagement and provide strategies for parents and teachers to more effectively guide student success than in traditional disciplinary methods..

George Washington Carver High School is a majority -minority high school in the Muscogee County School District in Columbus GA. The school is a STEM school and has about 1136 students and 92 faculty and staff. The graduation rate at the school has increased from 76.4% in 2015 to 86.31% in 2018. About 91% of Carver’s students are minority students.

The Second Chance WORKS program has been partnered with George Washington Carver High School in the Muscogee County School District in Columbus GA for the past two academic years. The program, instituted first as a pilot program and continued in 2018 upon approval for funding, paired a certified restorative justice trainer/consultant with the needs of the school through interviews with Administrators, Teachers and an LEA Administrator, and implemented a comprehensive program of 36 modules based on leadership, social emotional learning and academic achievement skills in place of ISS or OSS for disciplinary and/or attendance issues Each module contains a statement of purpose, a video to explain the purpose of the lesson, an engaging scenario that allows the student to role play and see a situation from multiple perspectives and an opportunity for reflection about what has been learned. Students are selected for participation by a team composed of the WORKS consultant, school administrators, LEA administrators and the ISS Coordinator. Students are recommended for program participation based on a combination of disciplinary and attendance factors. Rather than serve time in In School Suspension or Out of School Suspension the students and parents agree to participate in the WORKS program modules. Parent participation in Saturday programs/modules are a requirement for student enrollment in the WORKS program. In January 2017 and again in January 2018 forty (40) GWCHS students were selected for the WORKS program and assigned times to begin working with the WORKS consultant.

The WORKS Consultant supervises the students during the school day as they work individually on the modules, and students work at their own pace. WORKS sessions, each led by a certified Restorative Justice trainer, are held each school week Tuesdays and Thursdays. Friday and Saturday sessions for students assigned out of school suspensions are held every other week, and the Saturday sessions are those that parents of student offenders are required to attend. Results, as indicated in the data below, show comparisons of discipline rates for GWCHS for the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. Of the 40 students originally assigned to the WORKS program in January 2018, two students were withdrawn from school by their parents rather than participate. Of the 38 remaining students, parents of 8 individual students were required to attend Saturday sessions with their children as an alternative to OSS. All 8 did so, and completed the program. The 38 students from all four grade levels (9, 10, 11 and 12) had compiled a total of 116 disciplinary referrals for the current school year in the five months prior to their January assignment to the WORKS program. During and after their participation, there were 26 disciplinary referrals issued to participating students. Students that recognize their own lack of achievement are now beginning to volunteer for participation in the program in addition to those assigned for disciplinary reasons.

Reduced suspension rates for ISS and OSS students mean more days in class for those students and increased learning time. It also means teachers no longer provide make up or make work lessons for students in ISS or OSS. The chart below indicates that the WORKS program, in conjunction with PBIS training, has significantly decreased the average number of discipline referrals per day per month in the course of one school year.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Charles Flowers is a former baseball and football coach and administrator for more than 30 years. He received his Masters in Health and Physical Education and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Dr. Flowers is a Certified Teacher and Administrator in Georgia and Alabama, a Licensed Restorative Practices Trainer, and Co-Founder of A Second Chance W.O.R.K.S.

Dr. Charles Flowers is a Consultant for Bibb County School District, Phenix City Board of Education, Muscogee County School District, Russell County School System, Office of Crime Prevention in Columbus, GA, DeKalb County School System, and Dougherty County School System.

Keyword Descriptors

Restorative Practices Strategies, Alternative to Suspension, At Risk Youth

Presentation Year

2020

Start Date

3-10-2020 2:45 PM

End Date

3-10-2020 4:00 PM

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Mar 10th, 2:45 PM Mar 10th, 4:00 PM

A Second Chance W.O.R.K.S: Restorative Practices Through Social-Emotional Learning (Intervention in Lieu of Suspension)

Session 7 (Westbrook)

The W.O.R.K.S. Program uses the Social Emotional Learning framework with an emphasis on the Restorative Approach, to educate the whole child by teaching them how to be accountable for their academic success and behavior. Our target audience is grades K-12, Teachers and Parents. We emphasize the importance of core values such as character, understanding, and accountability.