Three Streams of Student Support
Urban Prairie Waldorf School is committed to providing a safe environment for students to learn and grow into healthy and responsible citizens. The Three Streams of Student Support provide a structure for this environment and enable us to better assist students who are having difficulties educationally, socially, or behaviorally.
This work is based on Kim John Payne’s thoughts on student development and support and pulls heavily from the ideas of restorative justice and social-emotional intelligence. Urban Prairie began this work in March 2016 when Mr. Payne first visited our school to teach the teachers. We have an on-going relationship with Mr. Payne that includes annual visits and monthly calls to continue support our burgeoning program.
The three streams include Therapeutic and Educational Care, Social Inclusion, and Guidance & Discipline. The Social Inclusion Coordinator also works closely with the eighth grade students who form the Student Action Committee. These students assume a leadership role in our school, working with younger students as mediators, helpers, and mentors.
Therapeutic and Educational Care Group
The Therapeutic and Educational Care Group is a part of the Three Streams of Student Support and strives to support the needs of UPWS students who are experiencing challenges to their development and academic success. This group supports teachers and parents in meeting students’ individual needs and offers suggestions for therapeutic support. Group members draw on Rudolf Steiner’s indications on child development, Waldorf pedagogy, relationships to the wellness community, and their own study of relevant topics to inform this work.
The Social Inclusion Group is part of the Three Streams of Student Support and helps students who are having difficulties in the social realm. These difficulties may include (but are not limited to) excluding/being excluded, bullying/being bullied, teasing/being teased, etc. These issues are addressed in an environment of mutual respect, safety, and inclusion. Interventions are geared towards building empathy and helping students gain a healthy understanding of conflict and resolution strategies.
Guidance and Discipline
The Guidance & Discipline Group is part of the Three Streams of Student Support. It provides restorative and inclusion-based support to students in need of guidance. The Group also assists teachers in finding appropriate ways to redirect students who are having difficulty integrating into the classroom and school culture. Methodologies may include but are not limited to mentoring, recess/aftercare plans, and weekly check-ins. Central to this work is building a culture based on a non-blame, non-shame approach.