Compiled by William A. Sommers, PhD. Principal (former)
During the 1999-2000 school year, Owatonna Junior High School created a focus on managing unresolved conflict in our school. Owatonna is a town of approximately 15,000 one hour south of the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota.
This goal was not the result of any crises or major difficulties in the school. In fact, because of the strong commitment of the staff, the school operated very well but was experiencing increased diversity in the student body as represented by the community.
Two projects were started.
One was based on the work of Bob Chadwick who teaches conflict resolution and consensus building strategies. These processes were used with staff, students, and community issues.
The second project was focused on the classroom. The new strategies used were based on the work of Michael Grinder who teaches nonverbal classroom management. We trained several staff in the ENVoY program. The principal has been a trainer for ENVoY.
As a result of the changes noted above, the results at the end of the year were a 25% reduction in suspensions and a 35% reduction in referrals to the office.
Complied by William A. Sommers, PhD. Principal (former), Owatonna Junior High School, Minnesota, 1999-2000