Student Responsibility and Leadership
The Office of Student Support promotes student leadership and social and emotional learning (SEL). Social and emotional learning skills such as achieving positive goals, maintaining positive relationships and responsible decisions are critical to being a good student, citizen and workers. Many risky behaviors can be reduced when students develop with social and emotional stills. Providing opportunities for young people to participate actively in improving their school and communities is one of the keys to effective social and emotional learning. Youth voice involves giving young people a genuine voice and meaningful role in decisions that affect their lives.
To accomplish this the Office of Support Services is contracting with an outside community-based organization (CBO) to assist with a Student Responsibility and Leadership Program where students will learn and practice how to lead their own lives and become leaders among peers.
Each BPS elementary and secondary school will be provided with an opportunity to have a Student Responsibility and Leadership Program (SRLP). Through the SRLP program, avenues will be established to increase student “voice and choice”, build student connectedness, and improve school climate indicators. Students in the SRLP program will serve on the Tier 1 MTSS-B teams to assist in developing action plans for creating and supporting safe, orderly learning environments.
There will be Student Responsibility and Leadership Program (SRLP) for BPS elementary schools. A school-based SRLP Advisor will be assigned to convene students and serve as the point of contact at the building. Student candidates will include students who have leadership potential but who also may have had behavioral challenges in the past. These students will meet at least monthly at school, likely afterschool. At least one student participant will serve on the schools’ Tier 1 Team MTSS-B. This is a team of school staff charged with decreasing student suspensions and improving school attendance and school climate.
The CBO will train students and the school-based SRLP Advisors to help these youth to lead their own lives in a responsible manner and to lead their peers through leadership opportunities, e.g. sharing knowledge and talents through peer mentoring or peer group facilitation. Students will be trained by the CBO contracted as a collective group and onsite at schools in a coaching capacity. Social emotional skills to be taught can be found at http://www.casel.org include the following:
- Self-awareness (the ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior)
- Self-management (the ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts and behaviors effectively in different situations
Social awareness: the ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others
Relationship skills: the ability to establish and maintain health and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups
Responsible decision making: the ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions
Student projects must work toward improving the school climate of a school. Goals of the student leadership work will be to improve student attendance and/or reduce student suspensions. Projects should be generated from the students and examples of possible projects include:
- Facilitating focus groups with peers: These focus groups may determine the attendance barriers for students or experiences with behavior challenges. This will serve to engage more youth in being part of the solution at their school.
- Peer Mentoring: Peers may mentor their younger peers, or new peers to the school.
- Peer Mediation/Student Court: Students may be engaged in helping adults to mediate conflicts with other students. Student Court involves having students serve on a jury of their peers.
- Service Projects: This may be an opportunity for students to serve the community in some way, e.g. community gardens or beautification, assisting elders, etc.