Care Group and Social Harmony Committees Join to Support the School Community and Student Needs

We're excited to announce the joining of the Care Group and Social Harmony committees into one, called Care Committee. Its mission is to support the school community to strive to interact with one another in a non-violent communication environment, while also supporting students' individual social/emotional and academic needs. Our intent is to maintain the good work achieved in the past by both committees while expanding it thoroughly. In an effort to support our students effectively, we intend to work closely with teachers and families to develop and sustain a supportive and warm-hearted environment for students.   
Care Committee feels strongly that each child should have the opportunity to learn on a three-fold level--involving head, heart and hands--in a supportive environment. At times, when a student needs space to regain the ability to learn, s/he may be asked to leave the room. Stemming from a desire to shift from a "punitive" experience, and in response to our commitment to providing a supportive environment for all, the "study room" is now in existence. This space will provide a nurturing environment for the child to process feelings and needs, at an age-appropriate level, with an adult, under the guidance of the Social Harmony curriculum. It is our hope that through healthy modeling of empathy, we can provide the ideal environment to support the development of this skill in students. Individual teachers have signed up to be the adult a child processes with. As a result of his/her work in the study room, it is our goal that students can re-enter the classroom with clarity about classroom expectations and targeted positive behaviors he/she will demonstrate. 
Home/school communication is paramount for student success. When a child is asked to leave the room and redirected to the study room to process, parents will receive an email from the office informing them of the situation in hopes that the student will be able to process what happened at home as well.  
The Social Harmony curriculum, based on the work of Kim John Payne and Non Violent Communication (NVC), was established at OVWS under the expertise of Jane & Julia Martin. Its scope includes workshops with students, workshop with parents, 8th grade training, and conflict resolution. The Care Committee is in the process of restarting the workshops with great enthusiasm and will be eager to find volunteers interested in this work. Grade 1, 2/3, 4 and 5 have already had a first Social Harmony workshop on an age-appropriate topic, such as Telling vs. Tattle Telling, Verbal bullying vs. Kidding Around, or Bystanders vs. Upstanders. For the next couple of weeks, we have Social Pulse workshops planned for grades 6, 7 and 8, as well as an 8th grade training for our special Social Harmony Teen Support force.

For more information about the Social Harmony program, please contact Paule at the Main Office.