Kipp Bayview Elementary is in its second year of serving the Hunter's Point community with quality, early childhood education. Housing students from Transitional Kindergarten through second grade, KBE boasted a strong restorative approach to discipline and positive behavioral interventions before Seneca even entered the building. Now, in our first year of partnership together, Seneca and KBE are taking the next step in trauma-informed education for the children and families of our community. Gage McGarry, the Unconditional Education Coach at KBE, has been able to build on the three school-wide behavioral expectations, "Work Hard/Be Kind/Be Safe," and create a set of visuals that line the halls and various locations on campus. KBE students kicked off the year with engaging lessons at each major location on campus, practicing the school rules in each setting. The students also just had their kick-off assembly, in which students from every class were acknowledged with "Student of the Week" for meeting and exceeding these expectations. The classroom with the most Class Dojo points, the online school-wide currency system that KBE employs, received the Class of The Week award. So, what does a KBE student receive for these accomplishments? They get to spin a digital Wheel of Fortune to earn extra recess, special game time, class parties, or another exciting reward.
While the Seneca and KBE staff have been focusing on explicit instruction and celebrating positive behaviors, they have also been responding to high levels of need on campus. Bayview/Hunter's Point is a strong community with a solid history of activism and sticking together through challenging times. It is also a neighborhood that has been historically undeserved and highly impacted by poverty and community violence. Many children at KBE demonstrate the internalizing and/or externalizing behaviors commonly associated with early childhood trauma exposure. While these behaviors can often make school a tricky place to be, our Clinical Intervention Specialist, Raquel Monge, and the rest of the KBE team are ready and willing to support all of their amazing students. One of our Kindergartners, who prefers to be called "Ice" or "Tony Stark," depending on his mood, was eloping and demonstrating risky behaviors on a daily basis (i.e. climbing to high places and threatening to jump off). Our staff have been working hard to develop strong, supportive relationships with Ice, and it is certainly paying off. Recently, Ice ran out of class and towards the staircase, which used to be a precursor for dangerous behavior. But this time, he ran right up to the UE Coach, grabbed his hand, and said "will you please help me fly like Superman back to my classroom?" The UE Coach smiled and said "Absolutely" before scooping Ice up and soaring down the hall to his classroom. For this little guy, that flight was evidence that he can trust the adults around him to keep him safe and meet his needs at school. We are so proud of Ice and all of our KBE students for the new skills they are acquiring and the hard work they do everyday. Keep your eye on this new little school in Hunter's Point! They are certainly on a path to greatness this year.
All-In! Partnership Team