Lamar Community Members,
We are writing to request community support and mentorship for our Lamar High School students.
As we return to school post-COVID closure and uncertain about what to expect with our students’ social-emotional functioning, we aim to be proactive and plan for supports and mentoring in our In-School Suspension (ISS)/CHOICES programs. ISS/CHOICES provides a disciplinary setting for students who have made poor choices. Although they have made poor choices, it is imperative that we work with them to bring their best selves forward.
This is an ongoing effort of putting our values into action while taking a relational and restorative approach in the discipline process. Our goal is to provide a true learning experience and investment in our students who need guidance at the time the opportunity presents itself. We are asking for community leaders who are willing and able to invest a little time to partner with us on this endeavor.
We are in the planning stages of this effort and welcome any/all ideas and support. So far, staff from our AISD Social Emotional Learning Department are contacting our local church volunteers, who have supported us in the past, to see if a youth minister or church volunteer would like to invest some time mentoring our students. We would like to pair a volunteer (teacher or community member) with a supportive staff member on campus (social worker, specialist, counselor, interventionist, etc.). If we have a strong rotation of volunteers we could hold a couple of group mentor sessions per week (one in ISS and one in CHOICES) and only ask each person to do one session per month.
For the mentor sessions, we could conduct social-emotional mini-lessons (30 minutes) or community building activities. We already have mini-lessons that we utilize in an online course that are centered on CASEL’s social emotional learning competencies, however, we would love for our community volunteers to share their own unique perspectives, experiences, and insight. We would like to partner with you and make sure that the sessions are well-planned, structured, and supported by experienced support staff.
If you would like to participate in this opportunity or simply learn more about it, please email Stephanie Miller, Lamar Restorative Practices Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to working with you and investing in our students to show them their worth and potential for success!