Here's news from IIRP's sister organization, Buxmont Academy, which has opened its first elementary school, which will operate with the use of restorative practices in a unique partnership with the local school district.
The Buxmont Academy Elementary Program at Pottstown opened its doors January 30, 2012, to provide elementary-school children with essential education and special education services close to home.
Buxmont Academy executive director Craig Adamson expressed appreciation to the Pottstown School District for recognizing Buxmont’s proven-effective methods for helping children, youth and families succeed academically through the use of restorative practices. (Buxmont Academy currently operates five secondary-level schools in eastern Pennsylvania, including one in Pottstown.)
Adamson was also thrilled that the innovative elementary school had recently passed a rigorous review by the Pennsylvania Department of Education State Board of Private Academic Schools.
Buxmont Academy Elementary Program at Pottstown, a community-based, nonprofit, independent private academic school, will serve regular and special-education students in grades 1-6, beginning with pupils from the Pottstown School District, then expanding to serve surrounding districts in Montgomery, Berks and Chester counties.
“The new school represents a true partnership with the Pottstown School District,” said Adamson, crediting Superintendent Reed Lindley for “working collaboratively on this initiative to create the first restorative elementary school.”
Said Lindley, “Buxmont has effectively supported secondary students at their location on North Charlotte Street, Pottstown, but we had no local school to provide the necessary support services for elementary age students. This program connects with the District’s restorative behavior philosophy, reduces costs, and is more accessible to parents and district staff. The location allows students to spend more time with their teachers and less time on a school van.”
“At Buxmont, we work with children within the community with the goal of providing academic programming while supporting individual student needs,” said Adamson, adding, “We empower children to enhance their emotional and social skills to help them succeed with their classmates, create healthy learning environments and excel academically. ”
Buxmont Academy Elementary Program at Pottstown, like all Buxmont programs, will operate according to the principles of restorative practices, which fosters higher levels of connectedness and reduces incidents of misbehavior and disruptiveness. Buxmont Academy’s sister organization, Community Service Foundation (CSF), was founded in 1977 and has helped more than 10,000 children and youth in Pennsylvania turn their lives around.
Like all CSF and Buxmont programs, the new school is a demonstration program of the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) Graduate School, in Bethlehem. Pottstown School District has also implemented restorative practices in some of its public schools, with professional development support from the IIRP.
Buxmont Elementary Program at Pottstown is located at 940 N. Franklin St., Pottstown, in the former Pottstown School District Administration Annex.