Free Resources

Many educators who have attended School Climate and Restorative Practices training sessions have asked to be able to share resources, successes and challenges with others who are also on the School Climate/Restorative Practices “journey.”  The purpose of this forum is to be able to build a virtual community of learners and leaders with the belief that we are all better able to progress when we have the benefit of the wisdom of others.  I hope this satisfies everyone who has been asking for such an opportunity.  Let me know!!

One important note…in order to maintain the integrity of this platform, anyone who chooses to participate will be asked to “register.”  Please know that this is only to keep spammers, advertisers, etc. from participating.  Your registration will NOT be shared with anyone; it is just a formality.  Thank you for your participation.   Click here to begin!!

2018 Washington Post: Nine Educational Predictions

I recently recorded a Podcast for the CT Association of Schools (November 2017) which provides a succinct overview of Restorative Practices:  

The research on “School Connectedness” is both profound and very helpful for practice.  This summary document along with further research point to what we all must work toward.  Further research continues. They guide practice.  The Military originally looked at student mobility and came up with the five non-negotiable markers that make the difference between good and bad student outcomes.  That research has been validated repeatedly... Connectedness matters!!

There are now National School Climate Standards.  Standards-based practice is common in academic circles.  We are now privileged to have such guidance in the affective, and foundational arena.  Please, read, adapt and endorse...

This 10 minute video documentary, “The Power of Words,” was made by two amazing students, Brendan Hall and Josh Propfe from RHAM High School in Hebron, CT in 2009.  It is winning awards and they wanted it to be shared.  If anyone wants to contact them, let me know!

On March 27, 2008 a statewide conference was held in CT to bring attention to the need to insure that schools and universities are focused on safety.  Jo Ann Freiberg delivered the keynote address: “Preventing the Unimaginable”  Since that date, she has been invited and delivered the same address on a number of occasions.  One of these occasions was in Preston, CT on August 22, 2008, for the school year convocation and was shared on the state television network, CTN.  Copies of this presentation can be ordered through CTN (Connecticut Network).  The links below access the keynote text (the red bracketed numbers correspond to the slide numbers) and power point presentation that accompanied the address.

Keynote Address Text

“The Governor’s School and College Security Conference” Power Point Presentation

This presentation slide set was presented at the School Climate, Bullying and Learning Conference in Meredith, NH, in June 2010

Practical Guide for Parents/Guardians who want to report inappropriate treatment of their child(ren) to the school (possible “bullying” behaviors

Parent Guide to Bullying and Harassment - English

Parent Guide to Bullying and Harassment - Spanish

CBS Sunday Morning Segment on Mr. Rogers/Mr. Rogers Neighborhood: 

Torrington MS in Torrington, CT began the 2017 - 2018 school year with teachers deciding that the student bathrooms should be painted with inspirational quotes.  Here is the awesome outcome: cid:image001.png@01D35856.289FF640 

One Caring Climate

Four days after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, a large group of national organizations and nationally recognized experts together wrote a very powerful open letter about the need to keep a balanced approach to school safety recognizing both the physical and the social and emotional aspects.  That powerful letter should be read by all.

Often I am asked about what can be done to make bus rides to and from school better and safer for all.  Below is my systems “recipe” for creating kinder buses.

Protocol for Creating Physically and Emotionally Safer Buses

Probably the most important factor determining student success is whether or not each student is highly connected to an adult in school.  Below are specific directions that can help schools find out who is and who is not connected in school and to whom.  There are many versions of this “assessment,” but I believe this one provides the most accurate and honest assessment.

Directions for Identifying Adult to Student Connections

Students know exactly where in the school (including particular classrooms) are “destinations,” and where in the school it is the least safe to be.  Below is a simple (and fun!) way for students to let the adults in on this critical information.

School Climate Map Assessment

The term ‘bullying,’ is over-used and has become a proxy for a wide continuum of behaviors ranging from low-level (still important) to severe and tragic.  This chapter provides the argument for changing not only how we use the term, but importantly why not engaging in a paradigm shift away from “bullymania,” toward improving school climate will continue to stymie anyone (parents/guardians, educators, legislators, etc.) who is actually trying to end this so-called epidemic.

Book Chapter by Jo Ann Freiberg - ``The Challenge of Bullying in U.S. Schools: Resistance and Reaction’’

One very useful way to conceptualize what it means to focus on improving school climate and developing individuals with high moral character is depicted in the Model below.  It is based on two scales...the horizontal scale represents “focus,” (on an individual or the wider class/school) and the vertical scale represents “purpose,” (intervene or skill build/develop).  When adults focus “below the center line,” there is far less need to react to problems.  The arrows represent that individuals who have the skills to be ‘good people,’ is not more important than creating a positive school climate.  One is dependent upon the other.  Having true moral/just communities that embody positive school climate depends upon having individuals who exhibit those characteristics.  Learning to be one of good character requires that those skills can be practiced in a safe place where making mistakes (true learning) is embraced.

School Climate Development Model

Trauma-informed education should include far more than just students who are traumatized by sudden tragic events.  Most, if not all children experience Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) from the time they are born through the age of 18.  As many people as possible should learn about this critical area of research.  A very short and readable summary and history of this research is provided here.  Additionally, the broad ACES scales should be understood by all.   A very powerful letter from a victim of a very high ACES score is a must read.

Westbrook CT School Climate Policy (the first SCHOOL CLIMATE Policy in the nation)

The following Word document is the Model School climate Policy that ANY school district can use as a template for school climate policy adoption.  Any state can use this template even though it is aligned with other relevant CT policies.  It would just need some minor statutory reference changes to align with any given state’s comparable policies.

Model CT School Climate Policy

A very good way to assess the level at which a school embraces school climate is to use a Rubric that is linked to the National School Climate Standards.  School-based teams can  work to figure out where they are and where their priorities should be to improve school climate.

Once an assessment had been completed, a Template (Word format so that schools can use it to type into it) that is based on the Rubric can help school-based teams create a school climate improvement plan. 

Research and information around Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) is critically important information for all educators and those who work with children should be aware:
Witnessing Violence Every Day: How We Are Harmed, How We Can Heal
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) Scale (for me)
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) Scale (for a student)
ACEs Youth Scale from Center for Youth Wellness (CYW in SF)
ACEs Youth Scale  from CYW Modified for Educators
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) Letter
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) Descriptions
Ted Talk on ACES:
Link to: Unseen wounds
An important study finds that children who have been psychologically maltreated suffer effects that are equal or greater than children who have been physically or sexually abused. 

Here is the link (You Tube) to the Safe School Forum held on September 3, 2015 (held at New Britain HS, CT) in which I was the Keynote.  In the words of my hosts from the New Britain Board of Education, Urban Voices, “Spend sometime watching...its a great PD!”