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2012-13 Enhancing School Capacity Project



The Elmira City School District is taking part in an initiative called the Enhancing School Capacity Project. Elmira is one of three upstate localities included in this project that is designed to improve school engagement and achievement for justice-involved youth. The State Juvenile Justice Advisory Group, staffed by the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services has partnered with the NYS Center for School Safety/National Institute for School Safety to make this project possible.

The goal of the Enhancing School Capacity Project is to help a cohort of high risk justice-involved students transition from ninth to tenth grade. The project focuses on effective strategies to reduce the dropout rate and increase grauation rates and recognizes the key transition year between middle and high schools. Students in this project will be working with a positive support team to help them stay connected to school. The team of school and community personnel will help students deal with behavioral issues, missed classes and school attendance.

These are the three sites for this project:

  • City of Amsterdam/Greater Amsterdam School District
  • City of Elmira/Elmira City School District
  • Jefferson County/Watertown City School District

Each locality has received funding to support ongoing training and technical assistance for a group of school and community-based professionals who will work directly with approximately 20 justice-involved and high risk youth (such as youth who have a history of repeated behavioral infractions, multiple out-of-school suspensions and excessive absenteeism). The intensive year-long program will provide successful tools and strategies for engaging justice-involved youth in school and fostering achievement of academic goals. Participants will learn non-verbal communication and de-escalation techniques along with multiple evidence-based practices, including Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI) and Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI).

For more information, contact Derek Almy, Pupil Personnel Services Director, at 735-3040.

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