At The School of Hope the needs of our students are myriad and complex and social support is key to unlocking the path to empowerment. Our school psychologist works one-to-one with students who have had exposure to physical or psychological violence.
For primary and middle school students learning important life-skills is as essential as academic study. We have sexual education classes focusing on reproductive education, healthy relationships and knowing your rights. We also equip student's families with parenting and conflict resolution skills. One in-person initiative in early 2020 was "Restorative Junior High" using trust circles and positive discipline to reconcile differences.
In March 2020 social support was expanded to include staff and parents due to the emotional hardships caused by the pandemic. We phone surveyed all families and found high levels of stress and emotional distress, especially among parents. On-line groups were established around positive discipline, coping strategies, and social-emotional techniques.
For students in our further education program, the social support offering is even more extensive, including dedicated careers guidance, psychological support, life skills workshops, and access to job fairs and work experience placements.