The Open Society Institute has awarded the SSW's Social Work Community Outreach Services (SWCOS) $225,000 to help support SWCOS' Positive Schools Initiative.
The purpose of the grant is to enable the Positive Schools Center, a SWCOS initiative, to train educators and students in Baltimore City public schools to use restorative and complementary practices to improve school climates. The Positive Schools Center promotes positive, supportive, and mindful learning communities: places in which students, school staff, and other stakeholders can connect with each other in a safe and positive environment in a mindful manner, positively develop as students and staff, and grow as student scholars and educational leaders. The Positive School Center's School Climate Change Framework focuses on five pillars of school climate: leadership, positive relationships, teaching and learning, environment, and safety, along with the five foundational components: trauma-responsive educational practices; restorative & healing practices; racial justice; social-emotional character development; and developing student, family, and community voice. The Positive Schools Center is currently implementing their framework in seventeen Baltimore City Public Schools. This group, called the School Climate Collaborative, receives extensive training, leadership coaching, and strategic planning support. Currently, schools are at varying levels of Restorative Practices implementation. By school year 2020 all schools will be trained and will fully implement Restorative Practices with common language, strategies, and indicators.