The pilot program will be hosted at Victor Haen Elementary School
KAUKAUNA — Victor Haen Elementary School will add a youth advocate as a pilot program to help students who, the district says, “encounter barriers to achievement, engagement and emotional regulation.”
The position, effective immediately, was passed Feb. 10 by the Kaukauna Area School District Board of Education.
“This position is designed to support a positive, safe and culturally-responsive school environment,” KASD Director of Elementary Education Ty Maki said in a news release. “We are hoping, with this pilot program at Haen, to create opportunities for success for those students who are facing obstacles to their learning.”
According to the district, the Youth Advocate will serve as an additional layer of support for students who encounter barriers to achievement, engagement and emotional regulation.
The Youth Advocate will use outreach strategies that may include, but are not limited to: non-violent crisis interventions; restorative justice practices; ZONES of Regulation; mediation skills; trauma-informed practices; and PBIS or other school-wide behavior programs to promote student engagement, positive behaviors and connections within the school community.
“This position brings to life and supports the mindset of whole child learning,” Superintendent Duerwaechter added. “Growth is about working toward not only academic success, but also emotional and social awareness. If we can provide an additional layer of support and address the emotional needs of some of our students who are otherwise struggling, we are one step closer to re-engaging those students in their classroom learning.”
Additional responsibilities of the Youth Advocate include developing positive relationships with students, families and staff; providing ongoing support for students experiencing office discipline referrals and suspensions; collaborating with staff to support students and families throughout their educational journeys; providing a soft landing for those students who struggle during transition times, assisting with supervision in less-structured school times like playground/recess, hallways and lunchroom, and providing proactive support throughout the day.
The goal of the pilot program at Haen is to further develop the position and assess additional needs prior to creating a Youth Advocate position at each of our elementary school buildings for the 2020-2021 school year.