School Consulting

Teachers need the right tools and approach to help each student learn positive academic, social, and emotional habits.

By emphasizing the child’s positive behavior and strengths, giving very little energy to negative behaviors and problems, and setting strict consequences for breaking the rules, children begin to respond to the consistency and their natural desire to connect and be successful.

The NHA teaches parents, teachers, and other significant adults how to shift their attention and energy, and  use their relationship and specific interactions to promote positive behaviors, skills and habits with firm discipline. This strategy has three parts that are used in concert.

  1. Energize Success –  consciously recognize and honor children when they are doing well with the details and meaning of the success.
  2. De-Energize Negativity – adults learn to no longer reward misbehavior or problems with large doses of time, attention, or emotion.
  3. Set Firm Limits – children learn that success, attention and relationship are achieved  through positive behaviors.

The concepts and strategies of this approach can be molded to the goals, structures and policies of any agency, school, program, and personal style, and will accentuate the talents and strengths of teachers, parents and other significant adults.

I have presented this workshop to numerous agencies and schools and thousands of professionals and parents. Recent trainings include: B.U., Wheelock, and Tufts Schools of Education, BPS Mattahunt, Josiah Quincy and Marshall Elementary. , Malden Linden K-8, Somerville Next Wave Alt. School, Chelsea Community Schools, Harvard Phillips Brook House, MGH Chelsea,Cambridge Agenda for Children, CAPIC Chelsea Head Start, Dimock Head Start, B.U. School ofSocial Work, Harvard School of Public Health, Bay Cove Early Intervention, MA Early Intervention,Evergreen Center of Malden, Boston Medical Foundation, Street Safe Boston, City Year National,Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and the Boston Youth Worker Intensive.

Nurtured Heart for Schools

The Nurtured Heart Approach™ (NHA) is a social emotional curriculum developed for building relationships in which students are intrinsically motivated both academically and pro-socially. With this approach, teacher-student relationships evolve into a culture in which students become invested and engaged in the learning process. At its very core NHA creates intense positive relationships within the academic context. While there are many similar programs that promote positive discipline,NHA focuses on the use of language as the scaffolding to build “inner wealth” throughout the day.Through capturing and facilitating first hand experiences of success these relationships provide countless opportunities for social emotional development and building character.On a broader level, NHA shifts classroom culture through acknowledging the positive behaviours and qualities as they happen, while providing brief and mild consequences for behaviour problems thereby creating a safe, predictable and connected environment for its students.A few of the organizations that have implemented this model and have collected data include:

Tolson Elem. School Tucson AZ had their special ed. go from a utilization of 15 to 1.2% , bullying has become a non issue, teacher attrition in the last 4 years has been 1%, they went from the highest rate of suspensions in the district to having 2 in the last 10 yrs.

Select schools in the New York City School District implemented IWI/NHA in conjunction withPBIS in 2007. Using both methods together they found that the need for Special Education in distressed schools fell from 15% to less than 5% in two years.Smith Elementary, Virginia, implemented the approach in 2008. After 1 year, they showed a 32%reduction in school suspensions, 83% decrease in administrative/parent conferences. The severity of infractions decreased significantly and overall infractions decreased by 39%. Classroom disruptions decreased by 68% and bus misconduct decreased by 83%. Truancy conferences decreased by 83%.

Champaign Unified School District, Jefferson Middle School, Champaign, Illinois. The approach was implemented in 2007. Overall reading scores (ISAT) improved 4.6 points and math improved 1.7 points in a 1 year time frame. In 2007, there were 125 discipline referrals for behavioral misconduct. In the 2008 school year, there were only 21.

Tucson, AZ Head Start 80 classrooms implemented this approach 10 years ago and haven’t referred a child for behavior medications since, and have saved enough money from reduced psychiatric referrals they were able to increase enrollment 50%.