Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $999,985)
Project Title: Schoolwide Restorative Practices in St. Paul
Purpose of the Project: Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) is an independent school district located in St. Paul, Minnesota. SPPS serves 33,000 students in grades PreK-12. SPPS will enhance its capacity to address youth violence and victimization by implementing restorative practices (RP) schoolwide, strengthening tiered interventions for students in crisis in partnership with community-based organizations, and training school staff to create an environment of shared responsibility in setting and maintaining a positive school climate. The project will provide intensive support to a district middle school and high school, which both saw a significant increase in violence and disengagement during 2021-22.
Primary Activities: The project is a partnership between SPPS, the Legal Rights Center (LRC), and Change, Inc. The partners will form a service network, grounded in the principles of RP, to address increased violence at the target schools. Each SPPS school has a Student Assistance Team, which supports students needing intensive interventions or differentiated instruction to assure their success in general education. The Team will refer students to LRC for Family Group Conferencing, a process in which youth and families identify and focus on their strengths as they develop a plan, in partnership with school and district staff, to solve problems in a supportive and mutually accountable manner. Change, Inc. will provide intensive case management to a small group of students who develop a “service backpack” through Family Group Conferencing. Another activity aimed at increasing protective factors for individual students and enhancing overall school climate is the creation of student leadership groups with intentional outreach to students through Family Group Conferencing. The implementation of schoolwide RP will also enhance safety at the schoolwide/community level. Research has shown RP’s promise in improving school climate when implemented as a whole-school approach, in increasing the quality of teacher-student relationships, and student engagement.
Improve school capacity to prevent and intervene early to incidents of violence.
Enhance and expand partnerships between school systems and community-based organizations to address school violence.
Expand opportunities for family engagement with school personnel to mutually address risk factors for violence.
Improve communication between home and school to enhance protective factors for student success.
Service Area: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Intended Beneficiaries: The project will impact one middle school and one high school, with a combined student enrollment of 2,500 students and 265 staff.