Dear LaSalle Families,
At LaSalle we believe that the cornerstone of effective teaching and learning are relationships of mutual respect where everyone feels a sense of belonging. In our continuous effort to build community and establish further positive relationships, we have developed a system which we believe will enhance effective teaching and will promote a culture of inclusion.
Over the past several months, all LaSalle staff has been engaged in professional learning around restorative justice concepts and applications. In this program, we have combined the practices of Restorative Justice and behavior accountability. Restorative Justice practices focus on teaching emotional literacy in the effort to build, nurture and repair relationships. The basis of these practices are meaningful conversations that focus on student reflection.
Over the past four weeks, our 5th and 6th grade team has piloted a new clipboard system that stresses accountability and shared expectations throughout the building. Each classroom teacher has a clipboard with a student roster attached and the clipboards follow the students from class to class (for example, the clipboard is handed from the homeroom teacher to the music teacher when students go to that class). Students who exhibit behaviors that impede the learning process of others are reminded of the behavior they are engaging in that is negatively affecting the classroom environment. If the student engages in disruptive behavior a second time, a check is added next to that student’s name on the roster. Once a student earns three checks, they are required to attend a reflection period on Friday afternoon from 4:00 - 4:45 pm. (*Please note that the original program called for a student to receive 5 checks to earn a reflection period but that was decreased to 3 checks based
on parent feedback at the 5th/6th Grade Level Dinner).
In only four short weeks, this program has been incredibly effective! At the end of the first week, 15 students had received enough check marks to attend a Friday reflection period. By the end of the second week, that number was decreased to only 4 students, a very low number which has been maintained throughout the remainder of the trial period. Additionally, Essentials and World Language teachers report that our 5th and 6th grade classroom environments have improved significantly, allowing for more instruction and a more supportive student group.
As a result of the success of this pilot with our 5th and 6th grade students, we are now ready to scale the program school wide. Beginning today, our clipboard/check mark system will be followed by all staff throughout the building.
Below is an outline of the system.
* Students in 3rd-8th grade will receive one warning that names the behavior before receiving a check mark
* Kindergarten through 2nd grade gets 2 warnings instead of 1 warning before receiving a check mark, as is developmentally appropriate
* When a student receives a check mark, they are immediately given the opportunity to complete a brief reflection
* As soon as possible, the teacher will check in with the student for a reflective conversation
* If a student receives 3 strikes in a week, they will receive a longer reflection time on Friday from 4:00 PM- 4:45 PM. Reflection time is used to identify issues and work with students to encourage healthier learning habits
* Kindergarten - 2nd grades will also incorporate mindfulness practice to teach self-regulatory skills
* Parents will be emailed when their child has earned a Friday reflection
* If a student receives 3 reflection times on Fridays in one quarter, the parent will be invited in for a conference with the student, teacher and administration
* Please note that more serious behavioral issues may bypass this system and be referred directly to administration
* **Please also note that the CPS Code of Conduct will remain in effect at all times**
We will use this system for the next six weeks and see if an effective way to strengthen our community. The Restorative Justice Team will check in with teachers and staff throughout the six weeks to help collect data and address any concerns. At the end of the six week period, we will review the data, take teacher and staff feedback, and then create plans moving forward.
Thank you for your support as we continue to enhance the climate and culture at LaSalle Language Academy!
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