Developing a sense of belonging through using the circle of courage - west coast style journal
A student’s sense of belonging to the school environment is vital to student engagement and success. Students’ feelings of belonging can directly impact the decision to attend school or to not attend. This is particularly true of students who are in the alternate school system and to whom belonging may be an issue. Students who attend an alternate school often already have challenges both their life and their experiences in traditional schools. Research has shown that there are ways to support students in gaining a deeper understanding of themselves as well as develop strategies to help them navigate their world. Research has also shown that using tools such as the Circle of Courage© as well as journals have helped to give students at-risk the foundation they may need to succeed and also to discover a sense of belonging in their schools. This project provides a guided journal based on the Circle of Courage -West Coast Style and seeks to support students while they explore their own identity, strengths, passions, as well as teach them self-reflection skills so that they will begin to develop a sense of belonging to their school communities. The guiding desire is to create an effective tool, namely a reflective journal, based on the Circle of Courage – West Coast Style to help deepen alternate school students’ sense of belonging.