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'Reflecting' on improving student behavior, goals
Two schools in the Centennial District have started a new program aimed at improving student behavior and achieving equitable discipline practices for students of color.
Oliver Elementary School, 15840 S.E. Taylor St., and Parklane Elementary School, 15811 S.E. Main St., both implemented Reflections in September, a program supported by a $110,000 Levy and operated by REAP.
For the students who participate, Reflections is a space to develop positive conflict resolution strategies, respectful communication and understanding about the correlation between positive behavior and their educational goals.
Rather than discipline by removing students from school, the program sends a message to students that "(they) belong here."
A Reflections site coordinator is based at each school where REAP provides the program, and that person works to administer the curriculum while working with each student to come up with individual goals and strategies. The site coordinators also work closely with school personnel.
Site coordinators' responsibilities include serving on school equity teams, climate committees, assisting in training and leading advocacy efforts around issues that affect the school community.
At the school systems level, Reflections engages schools in a School Climate Survey, a self-assessment to examine policies or procedures that may inadvertently lead to biased patterns to create disparities.
The survey tool was developed in collaboration with students and is used to assess student perceptions of racial equity and poverty in schools.
REAP is focused on creating and running youth development programs across Oregon. Its mission is to ignite, elevate and engage the next wave of leaders.