Social Emotional Supports
The advisory program at the school is a major part of our instructional program and charter. Our belief is that students who are getting support emotionally will persist through barriers that their lives place in front of them. We connect our students through the advisory program to the school community and then the community at large through their internships. The Advisory Curriculum prepares our students on how to develop social skills (also known as the soft skills of the work environment), and problem-solving techniques. Participation in the advisory curriculum demonstrates that New Dawn students will come to school and stay with us.
The Internship Program serves as an important component of developing relationships with the community at large. Students with 10 or more credits participate in Internships. The students work with two Internship Coordinators, their Advisory teacher and the Director of School Partnerships and College Readiness to achieve success in their placement.
Students need more than the Advisory Curriculum and the Internship Program for social-emotional support. All students at New Dawn have a mentor at the school. The mentor works with this student to discuss issues that may be preventing the student from being successful in school or if there is an issue at home. Students can see the mentor about scheduling issues, attendance issues, or just one-on-one support on a variety of personal issues. Mentors reach out to students who have not come to school or are having trouble in their classes.
When students cannot solve a conflict on their own, they may participate in a peer mediation session with the Special Education Coordinator and selected peers. Under their supervision, this program allows students to work through the conflict using a peer mediation protocol. This process is effective in that students allow each other to be heard and work through the problem and reach agreements about how they will interact in and out of school. Students who participate sign a contract with each on the terms of their agreement.
Many New Dawn students receive counseling as per their Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). Students meet with social workers and counselors based on these IEP designations. In addition, students who do not have mandated counseling may make an appointment with our counselors and social workers at any time.
Other School Activities
New Dawn is dedicated to supporting the whole student, which includes developing programs and partnerships with outside organizations such as Discover Outdoors for different learning experiences. Our students have camped, fished and have gone rock climbing. In addition to these excursions, our students can attend various field trips with their classes and as a school. Other activities include student recognition events such as our quarterly honor roll breakfast and our senior events which include a senior class trip, prom, and graduation. Our basketball team has been in the playoffs and helps connect our students to team spirit and camaraderie.
Advisory Programs Description
Progressive Discipline Policy
While discipline may not seem to be social-emotional support, the plan developed for New Dawn's students definitely is a form of support. We knew before we opened the struggles students would be working with. One of these struggles would be the lack of success at traditional schools based on behavior. Students experiencing this will actively break rules and attempt to be disruptive. This group of students has experienced so much trauma, they push all help away. By allowing students to understand what the rules are, allow them opportunities to attempt to be pushed away, and providing an accepting environment, students are able to learn how to control their behavioral impulses over time. How these behaviors play out looks messy when not accustomed to the model, but it is necessary when working with this group of students. Once this group of students has been allowed to act out, have had the time necessary to develop relationships with adults in the building, build a budding trust, then you can begin the real work of dealing with inappropriate behavior. Our policy allows for this process.