School system ratchets up trauma training

June 13, 2018. Chesterfield Observer.

Chesterfield school officials have committed publicly to expanding trauma-informed care training for staff as part of a “cultural shift” they think will reduce office referrals and out-of-school suspensions and keep children in the classroom.

Now they have to figure out how to pay for it.

Justice Knox: Churches press officials on affordable housing, school suspensions

May 1, 2018. Knox News

In pressing public officials to take action on social problems in Knox County, Justice Knox doesn’t shy away from tension — it embraces it.

“Collectively, we raise our voice and call for our public officials to hear their constituents,” Justice Knox Co-president Rev. Meredith Loftis told the hundreds of people who packed into Central United Methodist Church on Monday evening.

“This will cause tension, but let’s be clear, it is tension borne of hearts that care.”

Chesterfield schools to expand trauma-informed training to help reduce minority student suspensions

April 30, 2018. Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Before a collection of more than 20 congregations across the Richmond region, Chesterfield school administrators made commitments to expand teacher training to drive down minority student suspensions that have garnered Richmond-area schools scrutiny from the state and federal levels in recent years.

At the same time, Richmond schools Superintendent Jason Kamras responded with a “maybe” when it came to rolling out a pilot program to improve student reading levels.

Can ‘restorative practices’ in schools get at the root of bad behavior? The idea is being tested

April 19, 2018. The Post and Courier.

The two boys were play-fighting, until suddenly they weren’t. The slap rang out at Northwoods Middle School.

Students at Northwoods are bound by the same rules and consequences as anyone else in the Charleston County School District. But thanks to a pilot program that started at their school and four others last year, the students also have a unique opportunity to face one another and make amends for their mistakes.

The pilot program is known as “restorative practices,” an approach to resolving conflicts that emphasizes personal responsibility and healing relationships. The approach was developed by Australian police to work with juvenile offenders in the 1990s, and it has since spread to schools worldwide.

City leaders commit to critical problem solutions

April 17, 2018. WHAS 11.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It was a crowded auditorium Tuesday night, as hundreds from the organization, CLOUT, offered their solutions for some of Louisville Metro’s most critical problems: affordable housing, mental illness and school safety.

CLOUT, the Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together asked city leaders like JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio to commit to putting restorative practices in 10 more schools by the 2019-20 school year.