Philosophy: A creative alternative to out of school suspension that focuses on correcting thinking errors, restorative justice and providing therapeutic intervention as a way to improve school behavior, and as a result raise grades and improve attendance.
Process: A student engages in behavior that would result in an out of school suspension.
1. The student is referred by teacher, principal/assistant principal, or therapist to the Building Bridges program. Any individual working with the student (teacher, social worker, assistant principal) determines if the student is appropriate for the program and reports this to an administrator for discussion.
2. The Buidling Bridges facilitator (or administrator who knows and understands the program) meets with the student to determine if the student is willing to meet the expectations of the program. Student needs to agree.
3. Parent is contacted by school for approval and/or support.
4. Program is arranged for the following day or the next school day if the infraction occurred on a Friday (unless other disciplinary actions must be taken and then Bridges will occur the first day the student can return to school.
A Day in the Building Bridges Program:
1. The student will arrive on time for school and will go straight to the Building Bridges designated room.
2. The student will complete "Thinking sheet" and any other worksheets they are requested to complete.
3. The student will process with staff (if staff was involved); mediate with peer if appropriate (*1); or complete restitution if needed (*2).
4. The student will follow the Building Bridges rules: no electronics, will work quietly and will follow all school rules.
5. Therapeutic services will be available if requested/needed by student.
6. The student will complete class work (after therapeutic part of the program has been completed) and will get credit for completed work. If assistance is needed with work, Building Bridges administrator will coordinate with appropriate teacher. This way the student does not fall behind in class.
7. If Building Bridges is completed successfully, student will not have a suspenspension; the students will be doing Bridges work in addition to their school work and will count towards credit; and day will not count as an absence.
Building Bridges Program
BUILDING BRIDGES: AN ALTERNATIVE TO SCHOOL SUSPENSION