BALLSTON SPA – The Middle School (BSMS) received recognition from Mediation Matters at their 6th Annual Fundraising Dinner held Monday, Oct. 15. Faculty and staff from the school implemented a program with the group a few years ago, allowing students to avoid suspension and remain in school.
Participants work alongside school staff, to develop constructive problem solving skills and peaceful resolutions.
“Ballston Spa Middle School has been committed to implementing restorative practices with our students,” said Andrew Muller, Assistant Principal at the middle school. “Using a mediation approach to problem solve around peer conflict has proven to be both effective and incredibly rewarding for all of us.”
At a time when schools are undecided about whether or not to abandon punitive measures in responding to school discipline issues, Ballston Spa Middle School has chosen to embrace a restorative mindset. “We are grateful to Mediation Matters for their training and leadership in this endeavor,” said Pamela Motler, the school’s Principal. “Our collaboration with their staff throughout the last four years has given us the ability to expand and cultivate a restorative culture in our school.”
Mediation Matters is a multi-faceted organization aimed at increasing the community’s capacity to resolve conflict in nonviolent, self-determined ways. Since 1979, they have expanded to cover Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Saratoga, Warren, and Washington counties providing conflict resolution services, restorative justice opportunities and has school-based peer mediation programs.