Irvington program's 6th graders take lead on class charter

sixth grade students and teachersSixth-graders were the first to commit to their own set of values and strategies

As a program, the educators and students of the Therapeutic Support Program at Irvington High School aspire to always create a welcoming and affirming environment.

This year, the staff at Irvington collaboratively created a program charter. In it they committed to the ways they would communicate with and support each other to feel heard, safe, valued, and respected. As a team, in turn, they have been gradually encouraging individual classes create their own charters.

The first class to complete their class charter with the support of the classroom team and program clinicians were the 6th graders in in Shane Schwartz’s class.

The colorful presentation they created together details the various positive behaviors to which they committed themselves – Listen Actively, Be Open-Minded, and Recognize Others When They Are Doing a Good Job. It also features strategies they can take when they feel they need support in these efforts – Take a Break, Talk to a Person You Trust, and Take Time to Reflect On and Process Things.

"As leaders and educators, we were just so impressed with the initiative and thoughtfulness of these students,” Principal Alberta Grant-Johnson said. “This is about even more than the values to which we are committed. It’s about the maturity of students to stand up and be accountable for making those values a reality for themselves and their peers.”