10 Principles of a Compassionate School
Compassionate Schools: The Heart of Learning and Teaching
The Compassionate Schools Initiative within Learning and Teaching Support provides training, guidance, referral, and technical assistance to schools wishing to adopt a Compassionate Schools Infrastructure. Compassionate Schools benefit all students who attend but focus on students chronically exposed to stress and trauma in their lives. These schools create compassionate classrooms and foster compassionate attitudes of their school staff. The goal is to keep students engaged and learning by creating and supporting a healthy climate and culture within the school where all students can learn. It is not a program; it is a process and as such is not “one size fits all.” Each school and community will develop their own unique compassionate “personality.”
Ten principles of a Compassionate School
1. Focus on culture and climate in the school and community.
2. Train and support all staff regarding trauma and learning.
3. Encourage and sustain open and regular communication for all.
4. Develop a strengths based approach in working with students and peers.
5. Ensure discipline policies are both compassionate and effective (Restorative Practices).
6. Weave compassionate strategies into school improvement planning.
7. Provide tiered support for all students based on what they need.
8. Create flexible accommodations for diverse learners.
9. Provide access, voice, and ownership for staff, students and community.
10. Use data to:
- Identify vulnerable students, and
- Determine outcomes and strategies for continuous quality improvement.