The T. Rowe Price Foundation has provided $10,000 to help support Positive School Center Leadership Development.
The purpose of the project is to provide support to the Positive Schools Center, an initiative of SWCOS. The Positive Schools Center (PSC) is working to create more restorative and supportive environments for Maryland school students through providing training and coaching for school leaders, staff, community members, and police. The PSC works primarily in Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPSS). BCPSS, its schools, and its students face the acute challenges shared by many other urban school districts, such as high rates of unemployment, high rates of homelessness, and crime that result from systemic disinvestment and structural segregation. As schools move away from punitive behavior management systems, suspensions and office referrals will decline; teachers will be able to spend more time teaching and students spend more time learning. Students will spend more time in the classroom, and teachers and staff will have the expertise to help children and adults resolve interpersonal conflict peacefully, become more socially and emotionally intelligent, and be more responsive to the trauma and personal challenges that people bring with them into the school building. In the long term, students will leave schools not only academically prepared for college or the workplace, but socially prepared as well. Youth will learn to collaborate with others, and be able to reflect on and articulate their strengths, areas of growth, and what they need to be most productive and happy. As we work to improve climate in schools, we are working to stop the incarceration of our city’s youth, especially students of color, and the pushing-out of students from our school system through dropping out, pregnancy, crime, addiction, and mental health challenges.