April Draher, Encircle Coordinator, (517)755-1665
Teacher and Coordinator in the Encircle Program, an alternative placement to suspension for students who have violated the Student Handbook, to develop social skills and behavior management skills
Amber Foster, Encircle Student Support Specialist, (517)755-1666
Works in the classroom to provide student support to develop social skills and behavior management skills in collaboration with the Encircle Coordinator and Teacher.
Encircle is an alternative program for K-6th grade students under the Office of School Culture, located at Wainwright. This mental/behavioral health alternative program is designed to support behavioral and social-emotional skills development in a non-traditional setting. Students who have demonstrated some difficulty in navigating the space of traditional school settings are referred to this brief intervention-based program, operating for thirty (30) school days for each enrolled pupil. The classroom includes a certified teacher specializing in alternative programming for students with social-emotional and behavioral challenges. This program will be limited to ten (10) enrolled students. A waiting list will be generated for referrals in excess. The program will operate under a cohort enrollment framework--students can be enrolled based on space for each cohort schedule. There will be a total of five (5) cohorts.
The classroom structure will incorporate community building, mindfulness, positive self-identity and cultural affirmation, character development and building leadership. Students will be provided opportunities to engage in various projects, which include these focus areas, to enhance their ability to self-regulate and maintain positive behavior. The classroom will be structured using CHAMPS and nurtured heart, with a restorative lens.
A clinical therapist and other clinical interns will support the social-emotional and behavioral development of the students identified for this program by providing clinical sessions for each student over the course of their stay in the program setting. Students will engage in the following treatments (if applicable): Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma-Informed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Play Therapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (skills based portion).
Student Assessment: Each student will be assessed by the assigned therapist to determine behavioral/social emotional capacity and intervention need using a validated assessment tool. The student will also be assessed for academic acumen based on grade level standards. Using the assessments, the therapist will develop a treatment plan for the 6-8 week program in collaboration with the classroom teacher, the Student Support Specialist and the Encircle teacher
Student Support Specialists will be required to make weekly-to biweekly contact with the Encircle Therapist to assess student progress for the duration of the student's enrollment in Encircle. A reassessment and review of progress will be completed by the Encircle Therapist and a report will be generated and shared with the referring Student Support Specialist and school principal on a biweekly basis.
The Encircle teacher will provide a final report on academic progress upon completion of the program and share this report with the classroom teacher and principal at the home school. Follow up consultation will be completed by the teacher with parents and school staff after a student is returned to the referring school
Referral Process: Students will be identified for this program (by referral only). Referrals must be provided by both the Student Support Specialist and the school principal to which the student belongs in consultation with the Office of School Culture. No student may be referred if he/she has not participated on the caseload of the Student Support Specialist with a demonstrated inability to improve behavioral outcomes in the traditional school setting, following a suspension to the Office of School Culture for a violation of the Student Handbook. In such cases, students must have unsuccessfully completed a treatment plan, with a minimum of 5 weeks of support in the school of origin, whereby the school administrator and Student Support Specialist deem it necessary to refer to outside services (i.e. Encircle). Below follows a list of required interventions prior to referral and enrollment.
- Consultation with parents to problem-solve
- Consultation with the Student Support Specialist
- Behavior Plan with the parent/guardian(s) of the students in consultation with the Student Support Specialist and classroom teacher
- Completed referral to Student Support Specialist
- Completed home visit
- Behavioral Assessment and Treatment Plan completed and enacted
- Intensive services provided by the Student Support Specialist (which includes a minimum of 3 sessions per week)
- A minimum of 5 consecutive weeks on the caseload of the Student Support Specialist
- Modified Schedule
- Demonstrated lack of success on changing behavioral outcomes in the traditional school setting as identified by no positive progress in behavior
Enrollment Process: After the aforementioned steps are accomplished, the principal and Student Support Specialist are required to submit an application for enrollment into Encircle via email to the Office of School Culture by way of the Student Services Specialist, Shan Shaw and Clifton Foster. Once the application is received, the assigned therapist will make contact with the Student Support Specialist and the Office of School Culture to arrange an in person meeting at the school of origin to assess the student's history of behavior and completed interventions, in conjunction with the classroom teacher of the student, school principal and parent of the student. The therapist, Encircle teacher, and Student Support Specialist will then collaboratively develop a treatment plan for Encircle. Classroom materials (academic books) will be provided by the classroom teacher and/or the school of origin and should accompany the youth to Encircle following referral and acceptance of the student into the program. The Encircle teacher will collect these materials once enrollment is complete.
The student will be dual-enrolled into both the home school and Encircle as this is a temporary placement. Bussing will be provided for all students enrolled in Encircle.
Enrollment Contract: Students and parents will be required to sign an enrollment contract, which specifies conditions for enrollment, including:
- Participation in an initial meeting with the Executive Director
- Completion of initial assessment with the clinical therapist
- Regular student attendance
- Positive student behavior
- Student/patent participation in the develop and implementation of community expectations
- Completion of frequent clinical assessments
- Involvement in student treatment planning
- Completion of a minimum of 4 parent workshops during enrollment
Note: The Office of School Culture maintains the authority to deny a referral if conditions of referral are not appropriately adhered to. Student Services maintains the right to directly refer students to this program at the discretion of the office.