PEACEFUL SCHOOLS INTERNATIONAL
Lester B. Pearson School Board is proud to be a full member in good standing of Peaceful Schools International. Peaceful Schools International was established in 2001 in response to requests from schools worldwide for assistance in creating a safe and caring learning environment. Peaceful Schools International believes that creating a culture of peace does not happen overnight nor simply because we wish for it. We need to teach our children and youth to "live well together". If we believe that we can achieve peace by mandating or imposing it, then our young people will be no more successful at living peacefully then we have been. We need to teach peace actively and to model peaceful ways of living together if we want our young people to become caring and compassionate citizens of the world. Peaceful Schools International was founded on the belief that each school’s journey to creating a culture of peace is unique. Each of our member schools fulfills its membership in Peaceful Schools International according to the following criteria:
1. A COLLABORATIVE APPROACH TO SCHOOL BASED DECISION MAKING
In every school there is a wide range of expertise among teachers and resource staff. We foster cooperation, collegiality and professional risk-taking, staff members share their expertise willingly and problems are shared readily as success.
2. CURRICULAR AND / OR EXTRACURRICULAR PEACE INITIATIVES
The responsibility for creating a global culture of peace is far too lofty a goal for educators alone. We, however, strive to create and sustain a culture of peace within our schools. To do so we must TEACH peace. It cannot be achieved by means of a simple recipe or by wishing for it anymore then we can achieve it by writing tough policies or merely mandating it.
3. TEACHING METHODS THAT STRESS PARTICIPATION, COOPERATION,
PROBLEM SOLVING AND RESPECT FOR DIFFERENCES
Our students are encouraged to be creative, critical thinkers, capable of solving problems alone and as members of a team. The development of self-motivated, creative young people does not occur naturally in a classroom where children passively listen without opportunities to participate actively. On the other hand, our schools are environments where students are invited and encouraged to make choices, and the differences in learning rates and styles are acknowledged and celebrated as creative, independent thinkers.
4. STUDENT AND COMMUNITY CENTRED CONFLICT RESOLUTION STRATEGIES SUCH AS PEER MEDIATION
In a school in which students are taught to be responsible for their own choices and behavior, they are provided with a variety of ways to deal with conflict in a non-violent manner. From peer mediation to talking circles, peace tables and classroom meetings, a variety of proactive responses to conflict are continuing to be introduced through classroom activities, the school discipline policy and as the overall approach of the school.
5. COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECTS
As we spend more time encouraging our youth to become caring and compassionate citizens, it makes sense that we offer them opportunities to put these principles into action in a variety of ways. The goals and activities of these projects are woven into or often drawn from curricular objectives.
6. OPPORTUNITIES FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR ALL STAFF
FOCUSED ON CREATING A POSITIVE SCHOOL CLIMATE
As the staff of our schools grow and/or changes, it is crucial that the vision of the school and the means by which it is being achieved be clearly articulated to our new staff members. In addition, all staff members benefit from on-going opportunities for professional development related to enhancing school professional development sessions. From bus drivers to play ground supervisors and caretakers, everyone in the school community who interacts with the students is included.