By design, LIA students engage in three evidenced-based, core components during class time:
A message from Assistant Superintendent Lori Rasmussen:
"Enter this new year with gratitude for this new chance to create your dreams." ― Avina Celeste The New Year is always a time of hope and new beginnings. It is a time to reflect on last year and celebrate accomplishments, and a time to look forward to the new year. Many of us set goals or new year resolutions. As I was thinking about this upcoming year, I remembered a book I read, Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller. It is a story about choosing kindness and illustrates the fact that any act of kindness, big or small, makes a difference. As the narrative moves along, it gives many examples of kindness. Kindness could simply be giving, helping, listening, saying thank you, and on and on. With just a simple act of kindness, one person can start a kindness chain!
I have experienced some random acts of kindness that made my soul smile. I was driving to work and coming across the toll road on Adam's Avenue. As I pulled up to pay my fee, I was told that the car in front of me had already paid and wished me a happy day. The toll booth attendant told me that the "kindness chain" had continued for more than 100 cars that day. That simple act of kindness created by one person had made an impact on many.
As we begin the new year, let's all remember that kindness matters. In today's world, children need to see kindness and civility modeled in their lives. One can never underestimate the impact they have on others. Maybe that one act of kindness will inspire someone to reach their goal, to make their dream come true. Those two little words, "be kind" could truly change the world. Happy New Year! May your year be full of strength, peace, love, happiness, and kindness.
According to the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, a refugee is "a person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail him/herself of the protection of that country."
Refugees come to the U.S. to escape persecution or dangerous situations such as war in their own country. They often leave their homes quickly, possibly fleeing danger. They rarely have time to make any arrangements, gather important documents, or say good-bye to loved ones. In fact, depending on the situation, they may leave their home and not know the fate or whereabouts of their family members, which causes a lot of stress. They often live in refugee camps in neighboring countries while waiting for their application for resettlement to be processed. The camps vary in the support and resources provided. Some camps may be well-established and have organized housing, food distribution, and education opportunities, while others may lack even the basics of clean water and sanitation. When refugees arrive in the U.S. they receive services and support from one of the ten national voluntary agencies that have contracts with the U.S. government in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. They often have to learn a whole new culture and language without the support of extended family.
Challenges Faced by Refugees
Mental health is an area of concern for resettled refugees. Due to the extremely stressful circumstances typically associated with their departure from their own country and their journey to the U.S., Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is a real concern when assisting refugees. Post-Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to one or more terrifying events in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. It is a severe and ongoing emotional reaction to an extreme psychological trauma. This stressor may involve someone's actual death or a threat to the patient's or someone else's life, serious physical injury, or threat to physical and/or psychological integrity, to a degree that usual psychological defenses are incapable of coping.
Signs and symptoms of PTSD, as listed on the website www.kidshealth.org include:
• inability to get along with others, particularly in close relationships
• paranoia and distrust
• unwillingness to discuss or revisit in any way the site of the trauma
• persistent, intense fear and anxiety
• feeling easily irritated or agitated
• having difficulty concentrating
• feeling numb or detached
• no longer finding pleasure in previously enjoyable activities
• feeling helpless or "out of control"
• experiencing intense survivor guilt
• being preoccupied with the traumatic event
• physical symptoms such as headaches, gastrointestinal distress, or dizziness
• suicidal thoughts, plans, or gestures
More information about how to assist refugees who are suffering from PTSD is available from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. If refugee students or their family members display these symptoms, it is important that the school and/or their sponsoring organization assist them in getting professional help and treatment. Work with school social workers or counselors to help students who are experiencing PTSD.
We envision a robust community built upon respect between Weber School District and its students and families that incorporate the value of life-long education while maintaining their culture and honoring the traditions of the American Indian peoples of the United States of America.
Latinos In Action (LIA) offers an asset-based approach to bridging the graduation and opportunity gap for Latino students, working from within the educational system to create positive change. Our program operates as a year-long elective course taught by a highly qualified teacher at the middle school, junior high, and high school level with the goal of empowering Latino youth to lead and strengthen their communities through college and career readiness. We accomplish this by focusing on four pillars: leveraging personal and cultural assets, excelling in education, serving the community, and developing leadership skills. Because of this unique combination, the LIA model has proven effective throughout the United States.
How it works:
By design, LIA students engage in three evidenced-based, core components during class time:
Our culturally relevant, college and career readiness curriculum bolsters students’ current academic performance while preparing them for their futures as college-bound students and contributing members of society. The curriculum offers high-quality instruction on post-secondary education options and readiness, personal development, professionalism, and an exploration of one’s cultural heritage through literary and performing arts.
Each LIA student gains real-life leadership experience by participating in student-lead service, social, and professional committees. We are scaffolding their leadership skills and then infusing the students back into the school community, better prepared to lead and serve.
From approximately October to April, LIA students serve as role models, mentors, and literacy tutors for neighboring elementary school students. This partnership helps both parties develop linguistic proficiency, refine social skills, and deepen their understanding of the value of being bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural.
Restorative Practices is a positive way of living—NOT a disciplinary tool. Through Restorative Practices, students learn to connect with teachers and other students to build a strong community. They develop appropriate social and emotional skills, come to understand how their actions affect others, and work to repair any harm done. It is an approach built on respect, communication, and strategies for success. We understand that when everyone is treated with respect, classrooms are safe and healthy environments that support both teaching and learning.
Why use Restorative Practices?
Restorative Practices create supportive school communities where students can thrive and learn the academic, social and emotional skills that they need to succeed in college, career and life. Restorative Practices provide a way for schools to strengthen community, build relationships among students and between students and staff, and increase the safety and productivity of the learning environment. Restorative Practices:
Implementing School-wide Restorative Practices
Restorative Practices are ingrained in and implemented through a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) that promotes all students’ academic, social, and emotional learning. Rather than a separate program, Restorative Practices are ways of speaking with each other, working together, and resolving conflict as part of the process to develop a warm, safe, and productive school climate. While Restorative Practices may be used informally by individuals, a school-wide approach to Restorative Practices must be implemented intentionally and systematically to create culture change and ensure success.
While implementation is outlined in sequential steps below, in practice, these steps may overlap or require repetition or adaptation.
Weber School District is committed to ensuring a safe learning and working environment for all our students and employees. Weber School District prohibits discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment), or retaliation on the basis of race, color, sex, pregnancy, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other legally protected classification in all educational programs, activities, admissions, access, treatment, or employment practices. Board Policy 4120 and 7100 prohibits discrimination based on race, color and national origin, sex, handicap or disability, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Equal Access Act, and Utah Code 34A-5-106.
The Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Department is committed to look for evidence and research-based practices that will enhance educational practices. The Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Department supports Weber School District Educators' work and create a space for tools and resources, but also reflect on the essence of the “why” of our work. For more information regarding civil rights, please check the following links.