Conflict resolution curriculum to be implemented in Birmingham City Schools

Conflict resolution curriculum
Conflict resolution curriculum(Canva)
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 5:26 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The City of Birmingham has approved a conflict resolution curriculum to be used in Birmingham City Schools (BCS).

The city council unanimously approved the Common Ground strategy that will provide the Habilitation, Empowerment, and Accountability Therapy (H.E.A.T.) curriculum in high schools, middle schools, K-8 and alternative schools within the BCS district. The program uses an evidence-based, culturally relevant, holistic approach to handling anger management and conflict resolution.

“This is another tool in our toolbox as we work to support prevention measures to address violent crime in our community,” Mayor Randall L. Woodfin said. “I want to thank the Birmingham City Council as well as Birmingham City Schools for this partnership.”

The H.E.A.T. curriculum, currently used in Birmingham Municipal Court as part of the drug court initiative, expanded to a pilot program at Carver High School in 2021 to address conflict resolution.

“We believe in the program so much that we have brought all of our school principals here in support of it. There is a need for conflict resolution in our schools,” Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Sullivan told members of the council while flanked by principals.

The curriculum will be supported by up to 100 trained and credentialed coaches who will provide therapeutic counseling sessions two times a week within Birmingham City Schools. Each participating school (K-5 schools will not be included in this first phase), will identify 15 to 20 students for the program.

The program budget will be $1 million with all services performed over the next three years.

Approval of the conflict resolution initiative is part of the Woodfin administration’s effort to address violent crime through investments in prevention and re-entry programs as well as enforcement.

The city has also designated funding for a juvenile re-entry program.

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