The School to Peace Pipeline Breakout Sessions

Breaking Down School-Wide Systems of Inequity, One Step at a Time

What proactive steps can schools take to break down long-standing systems that foster inequities based on race, gender, and socio-economic status? This workshop is designed to facilitate discussion about what these inequities look like in our schools, and the trials, errors, and successes of breaking them down. We will explore how these systems continue to exist, the reflection and acknowledgment needed to take the first steps, and the buy-in, training, and evaluation to create equity.

As participants in this workshop, you will be asked to define inequities in our school systems, and the facilitator will share the journey and commitment that is being made and challenged every day. This work is an ongoing process with no definite answers other than, change needs to occur and needs to occur now. Please join us to explore this topic together.


 Building Community and Belonging through Morning Meeting

Learn how all members of your community can feel like they belong through a daily morning meeting. In this workshop, we’ll discuss the structure of daily morning meetings, the explicit social skills and mindfulness taught, and the benefits for everyone in the community. Bring your ideas and passions and we’ll discuss how you can establish morning meeting as a foundation of the community in your setting.


Celebrating Success:  A Panel of Educators and Community Partners

In this session, participants will have an opportunity to hear very briefly from each of our chosen teams.   Afterwards, each team will host a table for interested participants to engage in more in-depth dialogue and sharing of their project. You will have time to visit, ask questions, and learn from three of our teams, including:

  • Supporting Refugee Children in Durham by Kate Newman and Leslie May of Triangle Day School
  • Students Pursuing Equity and Kindness by Shell Torres and Karen Carroll of Ravenscroft
  • The Afghan Sister School Project by Marybeth Dugan and Amy Smoker of Carolina Friends School
  • Bull City Schools United by Cheyenne Solorio, Jacqui Batts, Matt Hickson, and Asher Keen. 

Deconstructing Bias with an Intersectional Lens

This session will focus on understanding how subconscious bias influences daily decision-making and how we can raise awareness of this bias for the purpose of disrupting the school to prison pipeline. The purpose of this session is to help participants align the aspirational or explicitly stated values that we have (such as equity, equality, and appreciation for diversity) with the choices and actions they take (which is often influenced more so by deeply held, subconscious biases) that result in an institutional impact on students. Additionally, this seminar will employ an anti-oppression, liberatory consciousness approach and investigate coded language within the institution of education that harms students.

Participants will:

  • identify the difference between aspirational values and deeply held beliefs
  • explore the AOLC (anti-oppression, liberatory consciousness) framework as a means for engaging in meaningful dialogue around bias and bias mitigation, particularly regarding intersectionality
  • engage in decoding language and consider strategies for addressing coded — and explicit — breaches in the classroom

Discipline for Supporting Growth and Responsibility

The ways in which we discipline in our homes and in our classrooms model for children what we believe about how people should be treated. When children make mistakes, push boundaries, or disobey parents and teachers, they provide us with opportunities to teach them about respectful and clear communication. Providing logical consequences for children that hold them accountable for their actions, offer them opportunities to mentalize alternative actions, and make restitution to those they have injured help them become responsible and caring adults. Skillful discipline strategies actually build relationships with children rather than distance them from us. In this workshop, we will focus on the components of skillful discipline.

In this workshop, you will develop the following skills:

  • Creating a context for discipline in your home or classroom
  • Exploring what research says about effective discipline
  • Exploring models of authority
  • Distinguishing logical consequences from punishment
  • Examining effective logical consequences
  • Identifying your “hot buttons” and how to navigate them
  • Making use of family or class meetings
  • Creating family or classroom contracts

Healthy Relationships: Respecting Boundaries and Consent

Two foundational elements of a healthy relationship are boundary setting and consent seeking.  From the three-year-old learning to share a truck in the sandbox, to a nine-year-old telling an aunt to stop patting their hair, from a middle school student asking for a kiss, to a high school student sharing their thoughts about sexual activity within a romantic relationship — these are all examples of boundary setting and/or consent seeking skills needed to be implemented in a healthy relationship. Research has shown us that one of the best ways to prevent abuse,  child sexual abuse, and dating violence is to teach children what a healthy relationship looks like.  In this workshop, we will examine definitions, discuss examples, and practice skills which are all designed to be shared in the classroom.  You will leave with lessons that can be incorporated into any classroom or easily modified for a variety of ages.


Learning to Listen: Engaging in Deep Discourse with Students and Community Partners

Developing and implementing meaningful service-learning projects that address some of our communities’ greatest challenges requires that we prepare ourselves and our students to engage in critical conversations about equity, inclusion, diversity, and social justice. This session explores the Nobis Global Action Model, which prepares educators to engage their students in critical conversations around race, class, and power, and ultimately design service-learning projects that reflect a deep understanding of and respect for the needs of their community partners. During this interactive workshop, explore the model through hands-on activities and brainstorm ways to enhance their curriculum. You will leave with lesson examples and an understanding of how to use the model’s conceptual framework in your classrooms.


Mindfulness and Freedom from Disturbance: The Way Out is In

Learn how activities involving mindfulness and meditation strengthen neural functioning in specific parts of the brain that are involved in lowering anxiety, depression, enhancing social awareness and empathy, and improving cognitive and intellectual functioning. Fidelity to the practice of these activities can help buffer students and teachers from the damaging effects of stress and help them to better regulate their emotions, to remain calm, serene, peaceful and alert. This session will include theory, examples of how mindfulness activities can be used in the classroom and practical exercises that will incorporate participant feedback throughout the presentation. Participants will gain:

  •  An understanding of evidence-based research on the neuroscience of mindfulness, which strengthens parts of the brain responsible for executive function, decision making, emotional regulation and working memory capacity.
  • Practical ways to enhance Social Emotional Learning (SEL) that they are already implementing in the classroom
  • Knowledge of how the contagion effect – teacher stress on students, students stress on teacher and student stress on their peers – undesirably impacts the learning environment and the corresponding benefits of mindfulness practices.
  • Insight about the practicality of mindful activities in the classroom and the positive impact on students
  • Experiential processes and practices of mindfulness that can be used in the classroom

Peaceful Schools in Action: Implementation and Best Practices K-8

Join K-8 teachers and administrators from Central Park School for Children, Carolina Friends School, and Carter Community Charter School along with Duke University Education faculty for an overview of the Peaceful Schools model and examples of how the model works in real elementary and middle school classrooms. Strategies to initiate and strengthen university/school partnerships that support peaceful schools education will be shared, followed by an interactive discussion and Q & A with participants. 

Audience: K-8 educators and administrators; early career teachers; undergraduate students and pre-service teachers; college/university faculty


Restorative Practices in the Classroom

Restorative Practices has changed the way that teachers and administration handle behavior issues that arise in the school setting. It has cultivated strong relationships between teachers and students, and among staff. It has shifted the culture of the schools from one of a punitive nature to a problem-solving community. During this session, we will explore the implementation of restorative practices and virtues language in the Baltimore County Public Schools and how these philosophies have changed student-teacher relationships. You will hear the process that one elementary school went through in the implementation of these philosophies as a replacement for the traditional behavior approaches. We will participate in community circles in order to see how they can be implemented both in the classroom and with staff members to help create a better sense of community and develop relationships. You will also walk away with various resources that can assist in beginning to implement this in your own classroom or school.


Social/Emotional Learning is a Great Idea, But What Do I Do?

In this workshop, participants will explore what social/emotional learning is and learn about why it is important in our classrooms. They will also learn about and practice strategies for promoting social/emotional learning for their students. The workshop will include sharing thoughts about what social/emotional learning is and briefly reviewing research on social/emotional learning and its importance. We’ll also spend time learning and practicing strategies related to these areas of social/emotional learning:

  • greeting
  • checking in
  • using I-messages
  • cooling off
  • offering “put-ups” and appreciation
  • using a conflict resolution process
  • using mindfulness techniques

Our session will conclude with time for participants to make a plan for where to start in their own classrooms.


Equipping the Conflict Resolution Toolbox

Research shows that children learn better when they feel safe. Every school is full of raging hormones, debilitating insecurities and developing independence. Sometimes the adults feel they’re barely managing the mayhem. How can an adolescent feel safe? Learning how to respond to conflict is critical. Helping students learn and practice conflict resolving skills supports their personal growth and gives them necessary practice with skills they need to function responsibly in their lives.

Whether you are able to teach a Conflict Resolution class, or simply want to expand your toolbox for responding to conflict when it arises in your school, this workshop will support you and your students. We offer practical skills and activities to support effective conflict resolution and the creation of a safe learning environment. Learn how and why experienced teachers teach conflict resolution and work to build a community in which we all strive to face conflict non-violently when it arises.

In this workshop we will: define conflict and explore how it impacts the lives of our students; outline the four roles in the system of bullying (bully, bullied, bystander, bold); identify specific conflict resolution skills effective in the middle school; learn several group building activities that support the teaching of those skills; share our process for managing conflict when it arises and creating a safe learning environment; provide resources for further application in your school.


Yoga Mindset and Practices in the Classroom

Yoga is renowned for its ability to help us cultivate health, happiness, and inner-peace. In this session, we will explore how yoga can also be a wonderful support for teachers and students as we work to cultivate peaceful schools. Yoga practices can give us the support to be the patient, present, intuitive, authentic, compassionate educators we are when we are at our best.  This supports us in doing the hard work of paving the road to peace in our classrooms.  Yogic skills can help students relieve stress, feel better, grow their emotional intelligence and become more mindful.  These are all useful as we ask them to help us create a harmonious school community.  We will explore the details of the yoga mindset as well as the poses, breathing techniques and mindfulness practices you can use and share in your classrooms.  We will move during this session, but we will not experience a full “yoga class”.  Instead, we will see how even small “yoga moments” can help us all shift into a yoga mindset.