Our Support Systems
Our mission is to foster meaningful growth among students, faculty, and staff in a thoughtful, challenging, and supportive academic environment. It is important that our students and their families feel a sense of belonging and connection. Here are some of the programs and activities we have put in place to ensure our students are engaged and challenged within a caring community.
Diversity and Equity
Our goal is to create a respectful and responsive community where each member is valued and supported.
In order to achieve this goal, we:
- Foster confident self-identity while teaching empathy and building strong relationships.
- Empower students as leaders to stand up for themselves and others to create a more just world.
- Implement a variety of activities such as community circles, convivencias (grade level retreats), and team building exercises to develop students’ inter and intrapersonal skills.
- Use restorative practices to help students feel respected and learn to respect others.
We understand the dedication, and perseverance necessary to meet our goal. We believe that meeting this challenge will make us stronger as individuals and as a community.
At TCFL, we believe supporting social and emotional development is as important as academic content.
Our psychology department provides support to students, families and staff members. Our team includes an elementary psychologist and a secondary psychologist who conduct one-on-one as well as group meetings with students, parents and teachers to emphasize our positive culture, as well as our community values.
We offer support by:
- Promoting positive behaviour through restorative practices.
- Providing safe spaces for students to voice their concerns about academic issues and their emotional and social struggles.
- Working with students to reflect on their behaviour (reflection letters, mediations, listening circles).
- Carrying out group interventions with classes, in areas like conflict resolution, career and life skills, self-knowledge, social skills and sensitivity to cultural differences, bullying, tolerance, and other aspects of socioemotional development.
- Emphasizing school-wide programs that promote our mutual agreements and school philosophy.
- Assisting parents and families by developing strategies that help improve their dynamics and promote their children’s well being.
- Offering training and assistance to teachers and staff in relevant aspects of student development and restorative discipline strategies.
At the Community for Learning our discipline program is built around restorative practices. We focus on building relationships, respecting others, and developing our self worth. Restorative discipline is not about punishment, it’s about community. It focuses on reflecting on our mistakes, taking responsibility for what happened, and repairing the harm done to ourselves and others.
It is our goal to create the most positive, cooperative learning environment for our students. We aim to prevent misbehaviors as much as possible and, when they arise, we have school policies in place that promote a growth mindset environment, where mistakes, failures, struggles, and other disruptions are seen as learning opportunities.
TCFL values a Restorative approach towards student behaviors and academics to ensure equitable practices.
We believe this model:
- Creates a safer, more caring environment.
- Establishes a more effective teaching and learning dynamic.
- Creates a greater awareness of the importance of connection, addresses the need for belonging and feeling valued by all members of our community.
- Creates more confidence in staff team to address difficult situations together.
- Reduces bullying and other interpersonal conflicts.
The Restorative Practices approach:
- Acknowledges that relationships are central to building community
- Ensures equity in voice among all members of our community. All voices are valued, and everyone is heard.
- Establishes a culture of high expectations of support, emphasizing doing things with others.
- Builds systems that address misbehavior and harm in a way that strengthens relationships and focuses on the harm done rather than only rule-breaking.
- Engages in collaborative problem solving.
- Enhances accountability, responsibility and empowers change and growth for all members of the community.
Adapted from Amstutz, L., & Mullet, J., (2005), pg 29-32.The Little Book of Restorative Discipline, pg 26-28 Wachtel & Costello (2009), The Restorative Practices Handbook, International Institute for Restorative Practices.
Students are taught how to resolve conflicts within our community through a restorative lens. Conflicts happen when people have different opinions, are not showing respect for one another, or simply misunderstand intentions. Resolving conflict involves communicating effectively and reaching a compromise. We believe this is a life skill students will use in all aspects of their relationships.
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Progress Report Conferences
At TCFL we believe that reflection and goal setting is fundamental to learning. In order to reflect on their learning and decide on objective, we feel that is essential that students are involved in their progress report conferences.
We give out progress reports every trimester. Classes are cancelled for the day and parents come in with their children for a 20 minute conference with the homeroom teachers. Students present their strengths and challenges, showing their parents what they accomplished in the past trimester and working with them to set goals for the rest of the school year.
Supporting Students' Use of Technology
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Supporting Your Child's Learning
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