Do any of these situations describe your school?
For Title 1 Schools:
- Do you know that your students have a lot of trauma in their lives but you need a systematic way to address it? You know your students have experienced really difficult traumas and yet you don’t know whom you should be targeting for help because very few students go to the counselor to request help. Some of your toughest students seem like there is something under the surface but you have no way of knowing if there is trauma or if something else is going on.
- Are truancy rates too high? You just want to see students coming to class regularly, but nothing seems to work. You’ve tried everything: Changing the schedule to better meet the needs of students who arrive late, revamping efforts to contact parents of chronically absent students, assemblies and other rewards to honor attendance…yet nothing seems to improve attendance.
- Are suspension rates too high? You look at the suspension numbers and they don’t look good. You’ve tried positive behavior strategies, restorative circles, and nothing seems to stop the behaviors that get students suspended. There are still drugs on campus, weapons on campus, and fights during passing periods or lunchtime.
- Do some students spend more time in the office than in class? You love your students, but you are seeing some too much in the office when they are sent out of class again. It’s not okay for students to be sent out of class that often, and your high fliers are the ones who need to be in class the most.
- Are behaviors out of control? It is getting so old: The same teachers report students throwing objects in the classroom, students starting fights with peers, swearing out the teacher, or simply refusing to work. It is so frustrating when you can’t get anywhere with the teachers or the students on this issue.
- Do student/ teacher relationships need improvement overall? You are sure that building relationships with every student starting on day one would turn around many of these behaviors but you have no idea how to make this happen in a practical, systematic way in all classrooms.
- Are some students not making any academic progress? You see those same students not doing any work in class and failing semester after semester. Something has to be going on, but you have no idea how to find out what. You’ve tried having the counselor pull them aside, but the student stays silent.
For High-Achieving, High-Income Area Schools:
- Do you have a problem with bullying? Most of your students are well-behaved but there are those bullies that consistently make other students’ lives miserable. You’ve tried talking with the student, talking with parents, and restorative circles, but there is something else that isn’t being addressed because the bullying behaviors continue.
- Are drugs and alcohol an issue for students? You know that students are actively buying and selling drugs on campus but you can’t get enough information to catch them. Also, too many rumors about rampant drug use has parents coming to you to ask what you are doing to stem the addictive practices.
- Do you have parents who are too involved or not involved enough in students’ well-being? You have students you know need some psychological help, help with addictions, or help managing their emotions but parents only want to hear about academic progress. What can you do for students’ well-being when this is the case?
- Are students being tutored to pass in key classes that otherwise many would fail? Too many students enrolled in tutoring in order to pass certain classes. It’s becoming known that those who can afford it tutor their students to pass while other students consistently fail the same classes. Are you ready to fix that issue once and for all?
- Are too-large numbers of students being treated for anxiety or depression? Anxiety and depression are becoming too common among your student population. It seems like there has to be root causes of this uptick in diagnosis. You would love to be the principal that has a school in which student anxieties are calmed and students feel acknowledged and uplifted in classes.
Or maybe you can see your school in several of these scenarios regardless of student income or test score levels.
You know that you don’t have to be a Title 1 school or a school in a top income neighborhood to have these as the issues your school and most schools battle daily. These issues are widespread…because hidden student trauma is widespread.
My most successful clients are the principals whose values are aligned with this work.
Are you someone who…
Does this sound like you?
If so, I know I can help you create a school in which issues are addressed at the root, systematically, and with compassion.