Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Gregg Campbell
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Top 20 Training and Restorative Practice at Willow River Area School


Next fall Willow River Area School will be entering its third year of implementing Top 20 Training; a Social-Emotional Learning program developed to improve the way we think, learn, and communicate. The first year we focused on training school staff. This past fall we hosted a Top 20 Training night for parents and guardians and we rolled out concepts to students using monthly lessons and activities throughout the school year. Next year we hope to reinforce all of what we’ve learned by incorporating Restorative Practices into the way we do business at our school.

Restorative Practice encourages community building, improves relationships, repairs harm, and allows us to deeply understand one another. Next year we will introduce Restorative Conferences, Community Building Circles, and a Student Ambassador program in an effort to provide young people the tools they need to survive and thrive in life and life-long learning.

Research overwhelmingly suggests that student achievement increases and chronic absenteeism decreases when students feel connected to their learning environment. It is our hope that Top 20 Training and Restorative Practices can help Willow River Area School provide the kind of safe and supportive space that students need in order to flourish academically and socially.

We’d like to thank our staff, students, families, and the community at large for all the time and energy they have put into our school events this year. We look forward to partnering with them next year to show the region why we are known as a small school with a big heart. Until then, have a safe and productive summer break.


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