Holomoana Manaʽolana Kohala Middle School Social Emotional Learning Pilot Project
We are partnering with Department of Education staff, community resource groups, and educational leadership groups to create and sustain a positive environment for all the students of Kohala Middle School. The group supporting our school is Holomoana Manaʽolana, a subset of Hōkūpaʽa, a working group designed to expand opportunities for students and families on Hawaiʽi island.
The purpose of the Kohala Middle School Pilot is the systematic implementation of Social and Emotional Learning as a framework. This will occur while strengthening supports for students, teachers, and parents via community engagement resulting in cultural shift and climate change.
Change of the existing school culture, conditions and competencies. Safe and healthy school environments for students, teachers, and staff. This organizational systemic change will yield a pro-active school culture of continuous self-assessment, competence and achievement.
Restorative Practices is a new buzz word in the world of education, however these practices are different than a lot of other initiatives. Restorative practices are not a curricula or program, rather a way of positively interacting with others. The primary goal is to create a positive school climate and culture that promotes healthy, caring relationships.
When a school is able to create a culture and climate that is built on strong relationships, they are able to utilize the work of restorative justice to help restore those relationships when harm or wrongdoing has occurred. Restorative justice falls under a similar umbrella as restorative practices; it is a type of discipline that is less punitive and more restorative. The goal is to hold people accountable and support them in making things right again. Restorative practices are rooted in indigenous wisdom from cultures around the world, including Hawaiʽi.
Kohala Middle School is in its infancy stage of becoming a Restorative Practices school and the staff is working diligently to implement practices that create a meaningful and positive school climate. This will benefit the school community and the larger community of North Kohala.
ORIGIN OF THE KOHALA MIDDLE SCHOOL PILOT:
Multiple factors have been taken into account to allow for the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) driven pilot to be facilitated at Kohala Middle School (KMS):
Previous efforts made by KMS's administration to implement Restorative Practices and influence cultural shift from the punitive towards a restorative justice system. This effort continues to embrace a multi-tier SEL practices, while implementing a holistic approach to the student's needs.
KMS's geographic location which results in isolation from outside support services, providers, and community partners increases their need for internal support.
KMS's request for support, openness and readiness to engage in the pioneering work of the KMS Pilot Team
With all of the above factors aligned the KMS Pilot was born.