One Massachusetts’ charter school had a culture of high behavioral expectations to match their high academic expectations. The only problem? All those rules were actually getting in the way of learning. Learn how this school transformed their culture, policies, and practices by reframing the invisible forcefield that influenced it all: the mindset of the adults.
In the third season of Like a Sponge, we explore how high schools need to change, and the ways some educators are rethinking assumptions and remaking their schools to actually work for students. In this episode, we look at how a high-performing, no-excuses charter school changed their strict discipline policies and replaced them with relationship-building practices for the well-being of all students and the school’s culture overall.
Learn more about improving school culture
- Read: How trauma-informed teaching helps kids succeed in school
- Watch: The power of positive school culture
- Read: Restorative justice: a better approach to school discipline
Thank you to the high school featured in this podcast
Thank you to Dean of Students Chyna Onembo, Spanish Teacher Ana Brea, student Carlos, and Salem Academy Charter School.
This episode of Like a Sponge was produced by Carol Lloyd and Jessica Yarmosky for GreatSchools, thanks to the generous support of the Barr Foundation. Sound editing and design by Christopher Ferreira. Editorial support from Jessica Kelmon and Charity Ferreira. This episode was informed by reporting by Meg McIntyre, who wrote a great article about trauma-informed teaching for GreatSchools. Special thanks to Carlos Campos, Chyna Onembo, Ana Brea, Keith Hickman, Todd Rose, Transcend Education, Springpoint schools, and the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative.
This season of the podcast is part of our Transforming High School series, a collection of stories, videos, and podcasts exploring the practices that prepare students for success in college and beyond.