We believe all students have value, can learn and can develop their inherent talents to become contributing members of society.
We focus on helping students whose academic performance is disrupted by the sudden or violent loss of a loved one, serious accident or illness, poverty, homelessness or other issues they may encounter in daily life. This is called a trauma-informed approach. It’s based on research and designed to help students become more resilient and compassionate as they face the world around them.
We provide multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) to help students who have experienced high levels of trauma as children. These support systems are tailored to meet individual students’ needs and may include social services, home visits, individual counseling and plans to help manage behavior.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is provided in all tiers. SEL is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
SEL gives students a supportive and restorative learning environment, helps build positive relationships and provides students the opportunities to be successful in school and in life.
We hold talking circles every day to build community in the classrooms, establish relationships between staff and students, and create a safe space where students can share their concerns. We address misbehavior by using restorative practices that restore relationships and repair harm, and our weekly art therapy helps students process their emotions.
We also have a team of people who are committed to helping students feel valued, respected, confident, independent and successful. This team includes a culture and climate coordinator, social workers and post-secondary counselors as well as our on-site service providers: Youth Outreach Services, Catholic Charities, CareVan, LadderUp, and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC). All are dedicated to supporting students’ personal growth.