Learn more about our youth programs with this short video:
School Attendance Program
MARS School attendance program is designed to address the core issues of students who are having truancy issues. We do this through a school attendance conference.
How it works:
- The process is voluntary
- The meeting typically involves: school staff, students, family members, involved parties and guardians.
- The program addresses all issues regarding truancy
- Participants take responsibility for the issues involved, and write a clear plan that all participants agree on.
Restorative Justice Mediation and Conferencing
Restorative Justice Mediation is a pro-active process designed to help schools address students who break the school code of conduct or are in conflict with another student or adult.
In 2016, The Michigan Rethink Discipline bills were passed (Public Acts 360-366). The new laws end state-mandated expulsions for everything except firearms.
- School districts must consider using restorative practices as an alternative or in addition to suspension or expulsion under this act. According to the law, restorative practices should be the first consideration to remediate offenses such as interpersonal conflicts, bullying, verbal and physical conflicts, theft, damage to property, class disruption, and harassment and cyberbullying.
- School districts must consider each of the following factors before ANY suspension (even 1 day) or expulsion):
- The pupil’s age.
- The pupil’s disciplinary history.
- Whether the pupil is a student with a disability.
- The seriousness of the violation or behavior committed by the pupil.
- Whether the violation or behavior committed by the pupil threatened the safety of any pupil or staff member.
- Whether restorative practices will be used to address the violation or behavior committed by the pupil.
- Whether a lesser intervention would properly address the violation or behavior committed by the pupil
How it works:
- In situations where students would typically be subject to a consequence such as expulsion/suspension, detention or other disciplinary action, students are offered an alternative way to repair the harm that has been done.
- Students that are willing to accept their responsibility and part in the offense, are offered the opportunity to participate in a Restorative Justice Mediation.
- At the mediation, students work together to find solutions and work out an agreement to help heal the harm.
- Students realize that refraining from poor decisions creates a favorable future where self-worth and value in our community can be re-established.
- The Restorative Justice process has been shown to help keep children in school, reduce risk, and create a positive community that moves towards peaceful conflict resolution and compassion for each other.
Common issues in Restorative Justice mediation are:
- Academic performance, belittling/taunting, money/theft/property damage, physical altercation, policy violation, rumor/gossip, social media/harassment/web posts, threats/harassment, truancy/school attendance and verbal altercation.
Peer Mediation Program
MARS Peer Mediation program is a school wide system that addresses minor conflicts between K-12 students. Common outcomes of a peer mediation are that students will be able to come to a deeper understanding of their peers’ feelings and needs, repair harm if needed and agree on a plan to proceed. Peer mediation participants benefit from useful skills that translate into everyday life skills such as:
- learning to listen
- problem solving
- understanding and recognizing conflict
- participating in a productive and informal meeting
- working out differences and problems
- developing a plan to move forward REQUEST SERVICES: Referral Form