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Helix addresses school safety with new program

Posted: March 23rd, 2018 | Columns, Education, Featured, Helix Highlights | No Comments

By Jennifer Osborn | Helix Highlights

With the unfortunate recent events throughout our nation, focusing on providing a safe and supportive school environment has never been more important. It is one of the major components of Helix’s Local Control and Accountability Plan, which is updated regularly and is the basis for decision making on our campus.

Helix has partnered with the Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF) as part of our efforts to address our goal of providing a safe and supportive environment that allows students and staff to thrive, learn, and grow. TKF’s mission is to create safer schools and communities by educating and inspiring youth and adults in the restorative principles of accountability, compassion, forgiveness, and peacemaking.

Helix held assemblies for our students and staff, focusing on the TKF story. Using presenters, video, and open discussion to provided school-wide messages and strategies focused on understanding the impacts of violence while teaching kindness, conflict resolution, healthy decision-making, personal safety, and the power of forgiveness.

Following the assemblies, some classes participated in processing circles where they were asked to provide facilitators with their thoughts and opinions on issues that affect school safety and the learning environment. Their feedback will be used to help with staff trainings and decision making.

Throughout the remainder of this year and into next school year, TKF will train our staff on restorative practices and cultural awareness and sensitivity. Restorative practice is a social justice method for addressing behaviors and wrongful actions in a way that promotes accountability, respect, inclusion, compassion, resiliency, hope, community, and forgiveness. Restorative practice focuses on needs and relationships, rather than just rule breaking.

We have also formed a Safe & Supportive Environment Task Force. This committee is comprised of staff, students and parents/guardians, and will be tasked with reviewing policies, procedures, and practices that affect school safety and the learning environment. Their recommendations will be forwarded to the Helix Charter Board for consideration.

We are confident that these efforts will continue to make Helix an ideal place for learning and making all students and staff feel safe.

Class of 1968 50-year Reunion

The Class of 1968 will celebrate its 50-year class reunion Oct 19–21, 2018. For more information, access its website at helix1968reunion.myevent.com.

Speech & Debate success

The Speech & Debate team competed in the San Diego Imperial Valley Speech League State Qualifier Tournament over three weekends in February and March. The team finished second overall, and 21 students qualified to compete at the California High School Speech Association State Championships in April in Mountain House, California.

The following are the qualifiers and their events:

  • Original Oratory – Mahamed Abdulahi and Danika Zikas
  • Original Advocacy – Ivan Jimenez
  • Impromptu – Madeleine Denison and Russ Baxt
  • Thematic Interpretation – Elaine Alfaro, Luke Babbitt, Shane Robles, and Sophia Rogers
  • Humorous Interpretation – Eva Anderson and Enya Castaneda
  • Oratorical Interpretation – Jonah Leota, Nathan Nguyen, and Ashley Simmons
  • Dramatic Interpretation – Francesca Fong
  • Duo Interpretation – Eileen Diaz, Kyra Payton, Chase Osborn, and John Garcia
  • Original Prose Poetry – Blake Tannehill and David Rodriguez
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate – Chase Osborn and Ivan Jimenez

Judges needed for Senior Boards

Community members are invited to participate as judges for upcoming Senior Defenses and Senior boards. All Helix seniors must complete the Senior Project, which entails creating a product, coordinating an event, planning a performance, or providing an actual service that has been designed by them. The final phase of the Senior Project is “Senior Defenses” and “Senior Boards,” which provide an opportunity for our students to shine and to feel a sense of accomplishment as they demonstrate their knowledge and skills to their community.

Senior Defenses will take place on April 11, 12, and 13 from noon to 3:30 p.m., and Senior Boards will take place on Tuesday, May 29, and Wednesday, May 30, from noon to 4 p.m. Community members are welcome to participate in any or all dates. Please contact me at josborn@helixcharter.net to confirm your participation.

The Senior Project is just one example of Helix’s ongoing efforts to provide graduates with the tools necessary to succeed in their future endeavors, whether it is college, full-time employment, trade school, or the military.

Excellence in Education

If you are interested in finding out more about Helix Charter High School, please attend one of our Excellence in Education Tours. The Tours for April are April 5 at 5:30 p.m. and April 20 at 8:10 a.m. Reserve your spot using our website, helixcharter.net.

As always, we welcome your input. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at josborn@helixcharter.net.

— Jennifer Osborn writes on behalf of Helix Charter High School.

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