Alternative EducationWhat is Changemakers?
We, in Osborn, recognize that suspension and expulsion are not solutions to the varied needs of our students with behavior challenges. While these consequences may be necessary, they are not enough. We posited that in order for some of these students who are frequently referred or suspended to make real change, they needed individualized instruction to develop skills that would lead them to success. Thus, Changemakers Alternative Program was created with the aim of disrupting the suspension pathway and equipping students with the social emotional and behavioral skills that would help them experience success in a larger school environment.The Changemakers program has a fluid timeline.
Because of the novel nature of the program, students, called Changemakers, are not limited to a specific length of time at Montecito Community School. Instead, progress and student readiness are determined by the student. In order to facilitate more lasting change, Montecito Community School utilizes a combination of the Boys Town(c) Specialized Classroom Management System and intentionally focused social and behavioral skills training with academic embedded.
Students leave the Changemakers Program with a deeper understanding of social cues, social skills, and positive behavior alternatives. Their teachers and behavior technicians also instill in them a sense of confidence and an ability to incorporate mindfulness and reflection in their daily lives.Boys Town Specialized Classroom Management
Boys Town's Specialized Classroom Management (SCM) is tailored specifically for teachers who serve students in need of intensive behavioral intervention. SCM is a research-based system that allows teachers to connect with, motivate, and teach students the critical life skills they need to be successful. It also provides teachers with the organization, structure, and knowledge to facilitate and manage academic and behavioral learning.
This program focuses on how to build strong student-teacher relationships, set appropriate behavioral expectations, help students regain and maintain self-control, reduce severe discipline problems, and incorporate a Motivation System that addresses a student's specific needs without leading to dependency. Students who have experienced repeated school failures or have unique behavioral, emotional, academic, and social needs require love and respect. With SCM, teachers show their support and belief in these students and empower them with the knowledge and skills they need to reach their full potential. Perhaps most importantly, these students learn that they, too, can achieve success.
- Susan Lamke, M.S., Densise Pratt, M.S., Mike Meeks, M.S., & Amy Perhaus, M.Ed. 2015