OVERVIEW: We aim to create an environment where children are encouraged to be their individual and unique selves. We employ teen role-models who provide classroom support, guidance and reinforcement of these values in our community. As a result the Institute is an accepting, caring, emotionally supportive and positive environment for children.
GOAL: We work on building self-esteem and self-discipline in our students and expect that children give and receive respect and encouragement from everyone at the Institute. We aspire that all adults involved with our students (parents, staff, teachers) empower children to feel comfortable and confident when dealing with conflict; help them to take responsibility for their own behavior; and provide positive role modeling to help maintain a safe environment.
· Students are expected to be respectful with fellow students and all staff members.
· Students are expected to follow instructions given by their supervisors (administrative staff, instructors and Youth Leaders) at all times.
· Students are expected to be cooperative and participate positively in ALL class activities.
· Students are not allowed to roam the property without supervision.
· Children who do not follow directions (particularly with regards to leaving classroom without permission) may be dismissed from class (no refunds).
· Children that are aggressive (words or action) to staff or other students may be dismissed from camp.
· Stealing, bullying, physically fighting or fighting back can be cause for dismissal.
· Cell phones are not to be used at any time by students unless given permission. Cell phones and IPads will be confiscated if used at inappropriate times (IMC is not responsible for lost or stolen property)
· Toys and candy are not recommended to be brought to camp. Gum is NOT allowed.
PHILOSOPHY: Conflict is Normal
Conﬂict is a normal part of children’s lives. Having different needs or wants, or wanting the same thing when only one is available, can easily lead children into conﬂict with one another. “She won’t let me play,” “He took my …”, “Tom’s being mean!” are complaints that parents, caregivers and school staff often hear when children get into conﬂict and are unable to resolve it. Common ways that children respond to conﬂict include arguing and physical aggression, as well as more passive responses such as backing off and avoiding one another.
When conﬂict is poorly managed it can have a negative impact on children’s relationships, on their self-esteem and on their learning. However, teaching children the skills for resolving conﬂict can help signiﬁcantly. By learning to manage conﬂict effectively, children’s skills for getting along with others can be improved. Children are much happier, have better friendships and are better learners at school when they know how to manage conﬂict well.
OK CONFLICT: EMPOWERING CHILDREN TO SOLVE THEIR OWN PROBLEMS
I GOT THIS: Letting students know that “Conflict is OK” and giving them tools so they can begin to solve most of the conflicts they will have during camp and beyond.
I NEED A HAND: Helping students identify when and who to go to when they cannot solve a conflict on their own.
HELP NOW: Giving students clarity about when help is urgently needed and making sure they get that help.
HOW PARENTS CAN HELP: Review our OK Conflict model with your child(ren). (Will be distributed at Orientation Meeting and by the Sign In desk) As parents we are often very protective and want to swoop in and solve the problem to keep our child safe and happy. But studies show that children who feel capable of solving their own problems feel more confident and overall happier. If your child is having a challenge with their peers, encourage them to self-solve by following the “I GOT THIS” options. Explore possible solutions with them and help them identify some of their own behaviors that might be feeding the conflict.
If the problem persists, encourage them to follow the I NEED A HAND model and have them talk about their feelings with someone on staff.
We ask that parents only get involved if a problem persists without improvement or, of course, if a parent feels their child’s situation is urgent.
Overall, we want to remind everyone that conflict is normal and a part of the growing up process.
CONSEQUENCES: Students are reminded that they are responsible for their own actions and that breaking rules has consequences. Normal measures include an oral reprimand and reminder of expected behavior, loss of play time, assigned seating, a time out, writing a letter of apology, and loss of a privilege. Repeated inappropriate behavior will first be addressed with parent and if continued may result in dismissal from class. Extreme inappropriate behavior may result in immediate dismissal from Program.
PLEASE NOTE: We have approximately 50 to 150 students attending our classes during any given day. It is a continually busy and fast-paced environment. Children will participate in both small and large group activities. Please keep your child’s temperament and personality in mind when finalizing their class registration. If your child has trouble engaging with other children, needs a more individualized atmosphere or struggles with change (as ours is a fluctuating environment), they might be better served by a smaller program with fewer components.