All too often students come to school in a mental state that interferes with learning. This is usually due to issues that come from their home life. Perhaps they’re transitioning into a new home, feeling the effects of their family’s financial strain, hungry, or maybe they’re being exposed to other issues outside of school. Whatever the case may be, children bare the weight of their family’s burdens causing them severe emotional trauma, and it typically causes them to act out at school.
From a teacher’s perspective, it’s very difficult to handle a student that has behavioral issues in the classroom setting. They interrupt lessons and activities for the other students and they themselves fall farther behind because they are not using their time at school to learn, but rather to act out, as a way to cope with deeper issues. It is very common for teachers to send these more difficult students away (to another teacher’s room for time out, to the office for in-school suspension, or even home) so they can continue with their lesson plan and focus on the other students who are there to learn. It is unfortunate that this happens because sending troubled students away can be more detrimental to their long term well being for a couple of reasons.
First, the distance between their actual education level and their grade level grows larger when they aren’t in class to focus on their studies. Making it harder for them to be successful as they transition into high school, let alone college.
Second, they’re acting out for a reason, and sending them away doesn’t help to rectify any outstanding emotional problems. Unless these children get the help they need they’re likely to keep acting out, and are more likely to end up in trouble with the law as they get older if they don’t learn healthy ways to cope with these issues. This is of course the worst case scenario, but it does happen.
Ways in Which Children Do Better When Their Home Life is Stable
Conversely, the more stable home life is for a child, the more likely they are to achieve academic and social accolades in school and in life. However, as mentioned previously, not all parents have the resources to properly accommodate all the tangible and intangible needs that children require to succeed. Tangibles like housing stability, proper nutrition, and general healthcare. And intangibles like feeling safe when they are at home, and having someone to talk to about their emotions or physical changes.
So the question is, how do we treat what is causing the behavior issues instead of treating the symptoms of acting out?
The answer is to provide these troubled or behavioral issue students with access to health and social supports. For example, give them a place where they can see a therapist, a doctor, or counselors. A place that can also provide meals for those who may not be able to afford to buy nutritious food. Studies show a direct correlation between children who have access to health and social supports with significantly decreased rates in detentions, suspensions, and expulsions. The more time these students are in the classroom, the better their chances for successful long term outcomes in high school and college as well. Not only that, but they also are more likely to make positive contributions to their community as adults.
Schools, however, cannot accomplish this feat alone. It takes a unified effort to create systems of opportunity in order to make a lasting difference. There needs to be help from local businesses, volunteers, and community leaders to realize this aspiration. Enter, the concept of community school.
How Community Schools Help Families
By alleviating some of the more prevalent troubles that parents have to face in their daily lives, through a community school parents are able to provide a more stable environment for their children. With the help of community partners, community schools are able to provide parents and other community members with resources to better themselves, and thus provide the necessities that we’ve mentioned for their children. You may be wondering, what is a community school?
In short, community schools provide a healthy, supportive, and safe space for children to grow before, during, and after school hours. They also double as a community hub, so all members of the community can directly benefit from the resources they offer. Community schools indirectly benefit the community because the children that attend the school grow up to be productive members of the community later on. We call this the "community in, community out" approach.
The facilities we will provide at Aurora Community School are designed to do just that - help students and community members prosper so they can live long healthy lives and help uplift the community now and into the future. That means providing area residents, and especially parents, with resources like daycare, ESL classes, and food security in addition to being a k-8 school.
We believe that if we help the parents of our students as well as community members, it will in turn reduce the stress that is passed along to the children. The community school environment affords students a chance to come to school without the lingering emotional strains that they might otherwise be subjected to without these resources.
At Aurora Community School we believe that every student can be successful when we all work together. Through diverse and flexible resources, students and families will receive the support they need so that students can meet their highest academic potential. That’s why we wanted to found a school for students AND their families. Currently, we are purely a k-8 school, but plan to provide facilities for all community members in the near future with help from our partner organizations.
Enroll today or join us at an upcoming registration event for more information about Aurora Community School. We are still enrolling for the 2019/2020 school year for Kindergarten through 2nd Grade and 6th Grade!