Conflict Resolution

Friends School of Minnesota’s conflict resolution program has been in operation since the school opened in 1988. Drawing on Quaker commitment to nonviolence, FSMN staff developed the conflict resolution program to actively help children learn alternatives to violence.

Children at Friends School of MInnesota are introduced to the process when they begin kindergarten, and gain problem solving skills through practicing the techniques of the program on a regular basis. Teachers, staff, and parents are trained in the program and so reinforce for the children the commitment the community has made to solving conflicts peacefully.

The conflict resolution program uses three elements which are integrated into the daily culture of the school.

Conferences

Conferences are meetings to address misunderstandings and conflicts between two or more individuals. One half-hour period is available each day for conferences. In a conference an adult facilitator helps individuals listen to each other, identify feelings, and work to come up with a plan to resolve the issue.

Group Gatherings 

Group gatherings are meetings to address issues affecting a whole community. The meetings are structured to promote community problem solving. Children feel free to participate because names are not used and the focus is on working together rather than on fault-finding.

Modeling by Adults

Modeling by adults is an important component of the program. When the entire school community uses the same program, it permeates the behavioral and ethical life of the school. Research has shown that student-only programs, such as many peer mediation programs, are not successful in the long run because school-wide commitment to the program is lacking.

Our Coordinator and Training 

Our conflict resolution coordinator is Alissa Abelson. There is a parent training in the fall of each school year (usually October). Check the master calendar for dates.

Sharing Our Program

Our program is known nation-wide and we present at conferences and have with individual schools across the country to train them on our program.

For more information on training, consulting or support, contact Alissa Abelson at alissaa@fsmn.org or 651-917-0636.

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Our Mission

Our mission is to prepare children to embrace life, learning, and community with hope, skill, understanding and creativity. We are committed to the Quaker values of peace, justice, simplicity and integrity.

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info@fsmn.org
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