Peer Mediation Program
The peer mediation program at South Mountain is a great way for students to feel empowered while learning tools to creatively manage their peer conflicts. It has been in place for a few years at South Mountain and continues to grow with popularity among students. The peer mediation program comes from the national program, Resolving Conflict Creatively Program (RCCP), which is a well-evaluated elementary school program that focuses on character education; and social and emotional learning. Students who are having a conflict are referred in two ways. The first is self-referral – they speak with an adult and ask them to fill out the referral form. The other is via adults in the school such as teachers, lunch aids, administration, social workers, etc.
The mediators are comprised of fourth and fifth grade students who receive a two day training program to learn how to become effective mediators and practice mediating before beginning the program. They receive monthly training sessions as well. The students chosen to be mediators are often children who display empathy, creativity, problem solving skills and strong leadership skills. Each day one fourth and one “veteran” fifth grade student are assigned to be mediators along with either a teacher or parent coach. The students work with children who are having a conflict to explore and express their feelings; and help come to a mutually agreed upon resolution. The mediations are always consensual, confidential, and student run (the adult is only there as a support if needed). If there is a day with no mediation referrals, the assigned mediators walk around the playground and cafeteria to help foster positive social interactions or suggest mediations if needed. If your child is having a conflict with another student please suggest using this valuable resource at our school by reminding him/her of the program. The program is held at the Big School. If you have any other questions, please contact our school social worker, Shezaan Neopolean