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School Environment 

I became an Assistant principal at Campos in December of 2018. One of my responsibilities was discipline and safety, which included the dean and supervising school safety. One of the first actions is embark on was evaluating the data from the OORS report. This report highlighted a few things:

1. Our suspensions was in the triple digits.

2. Most of the incidents that took place occurred during lunch and gym periods, and spill into the classrooms.

3. The high school lunch period created the majority of the incidents.

4. The students being suspended were disproportionately black boys.

My first step was to implement a SEL program, peer mediation and  lunch and learn

 

SEL is an educational approach that focuses on developing students' social and emotional skills to help them manage their emotions, establish positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

  • Benefits: Implementing the SEL program helped to create a more supportive and inclusive school environment. Students learned to recognize and manage their emotions, which lead to improved behavior and reduced incidents that might lead to suspension.

  • Methods: The SEL programs involved structured lessons, activities, and discussions that address topics like empathy, self-awareness, conflict resolution, and responsible decision-making. Grand Street played a central role in delivering SEL curriculum.

  • Peer Mediation:

 Peer mediation is a conflict resolution strategy where trained student mediators help their peers resolve disputes or conflicts peacefully.

  • Benefits: Our Peer mediation program  was effective in reducing conflicts and violence within the JMCSS community. It empowers students to take responsibility for resolving issues and can contribute to a more positive school culture.

  • Methods: To implement peer mediation at JMCSS, we selected and trained students to act as mediators. These mediators facilitate discussions between students in conflict, helping them find mutually acceptable solutions. I designed contracts that students signed agreeing to future behaviors.

  • Lunch and Learn Tutoring:

Lunch and learn tutoring involves providing academic support and tutoring during lunchtime or other free periods. After looking at the OORS report, I realized that many of the incidents that were taking place happened during the high school lunch period. This was mainly because the students did not want to be in the lunch room. I created a system for students to receive tutoring during this time from teachers who volunteered their time during this period. I also created passes for students in 11th and 12th grade who were on track academically. This pass allowed them to leave the building and return during their lunch period. For this system to work, I created safe spaces for students to “hang out” during their lunch. I collaborated with Grant Street to create a game room on the 2nd floor. This room was used as a reward for students who were on track academically and behaviorally.

  • Benefits: Offering tutoring during non-traditional times like lunch can provided students with additional academic support. It also helped struggling students catch up on their studies and reduce academic-related stress.

  • Methods: I  organized lunch and learn sessions where teachers and trained tutors (provided by Grand Street) provide one-on-one or small group tutoring to students who need it. This covered various subjects and topics depending on student needs.

Incorporating these strategies into JMCSS’s  environment  contributed to a more positive and supportive atmosphere, reducing the need for suspensions. Additionally, addressing the root causes of behavior issues and conflicts was crucial to achieving lasting improvements in JMCSS’s culture and reducing suspensions.

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Mission

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Vision

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The data above shows the success of the programs I implemented. The suspension rates and incidents dramatically decreased.

As you can see the suspensions and incidents increased again after returning from the pandemic 2021-2022. I was able to implement and reset expectations, and lowered the suspensions in 2022-2023

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