Tangipahoa Parish’s alternative program shifted last year from a punitive to a supportive approach that focuses on students’ social and emotional needs. This year, the program will take another step towards changing how the parish school district disciplines children.

Tangipahoa Alternative Solutions Program is sending its students back to their home school while keeping them active in the TAS program.

“Kids need more support in terms of social and emotional needs, now more than ever,” TAS Principal Terran Perry said.

The students will not be in the building during the district’s plan for Phase II but will continue to their individualized plans, albeit virtually. TAS educators will closely collaborate with the home school to give students access to the curriculum through high-quality virtual instruction while engaging them in social emotional learning, community service and reflective moments with mentors, he said.

Staff members have targeted students with certain risk factors to ensure they continue to be supported. This support started last school year and continued throughout the summer, he said.

The support will not be limited to the approximately 100 students in the program.

“We’re being trained to learn ways to help families deal with relationship skills, so we can better address the needs of the child with the whole family,” Perry said.

The social and emotional team participated in training this past summer for the nationally accredited curriculum, Creating Lasting Family Connections Program, which looks to help provide support for the family with helping their children.

He hopes to be able to implement this component in dealing with and supporting families by January.

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