Workshops and Training

Educators that train with School Mediation Associates receive:

  • Training curricula designed to address their specific needs
  • Dynamic, experiential training sessions that engage students and staff

"SMA helped us initiate our student leadership program. Their ability to engage young people, their attention to detail, and their willingness to tailor their program to our unique needs and culture made this effort a great success. Although the leaders are trained in September, on their end-of-year evaluations the majority of students note that SMA's initial training had a significant positive impact on them. We couldn't be happier."
Brian Scott, Vice Principal of Student Affairs,
Catholic Memorial

  • High trainer-to-trainee ratios that enable trainees to receive the individual feedback necessary for mastering mediation and conflict resolution skills
  • Comprehensive, field-tested materials for both training and implementation

Trainings run from 3 to 35 hours, depending upon the program.

All programs are delivered to contracted schools, school systems, or organizations. SMA does not conduct open enrollment programs.

SMA's Programs Include:

Peer Mediation Training and Program Implementation

Audience: Fourth grade though university

In this popular program pioneered by SMA, a diverse group of student leaders are trained to help their peers resolve a range of interpersonal conflicts including name-calling, gossip, prejudice, and boyfriend/girlfriend tensions. Mediation sessions are voluntary and confidential. In addition to numerous benefits to school climate and to the students involved, close to 90% of mediation sessions result in agreements that resolve the conflict.

Bullying/Cyberbullying Prevention

Audience: All levels

Bullying is of paramount concern to educators, particularly as advances in technology have increased both the incidence and the impact of bullying behavior. SMA offers consultation and training that enables administrators to implement a tailored, comprehensive approach to address this complex and difficult issue. We stress the need for sensitivity and rapid intervention from adults, prevention through education, increasing school connectedness and empowering bystanders, and support for targets. Programs for students, parents, staff and educators. More info…

Restorative Practices

Audience: All levels

Developed in part as a response to juvenile crime, Restorative Practices (RP) in schools offers processes both to prevent conflict and to make things right when wrongdoing does occur. The RP approach questions the fundamental assumption that punishment works to hold wrongdoers accountable. Instead, it stresses repairing harm, developing personal responsibility, empowering victims, and creating community. Though this systemic approach — applicable to classroom management, school discipline, and faculty and community relations — is still relatively unknown in the U.S., Restorative Practices are widely used in many other countries.

Student Leadership/Student Mentoring

Audience: Fourth grade though university

SMA has many years of experience designing student leadership programs to meet the unique needs and goals of each school. Our engaging, experiential programs inspire young people to become role models on a range of issues, always with an eye toward making their school safe and caring. We strive to provide concrete ways that students can take action in school, be it as mentors for younger students, providing academic support, addressing difficult issues like drug and alcohol use or sexuality, etc.

Conflict Resolution Theater

Audience: Fourth grade though university

Developed by accomplished actor and mediator Court Dorsey, Conflict Resolution Theater employs peer leaders to "inoculate" the student body against destructive behaviors. After learning conflict resolution skills, student leaders create and perform dramatic sketches about the real-life issues (racism, drugs, harassment, cliques, etc.) that most concern them, and then facilitate follow-up discussions among their peers. An extremely powerful intervention.

Appreciating Differences Workshops

Audience: Sixth grade though adult

Students and educators explore, and learn to appreciate, their differences on all levels (gender, race, religion, clique, class, ethnic, sexual orientation, etc.). These workshops can be life-changing experiences for participants, who are inspired to work with their peers to erase intolerance and build a safe and caring school community.

Conflict Resolution and Mediation Training for Educators

Ideally, teachers model effective methods of conflict resolution as well as teach them directly to their students. SMA's workshops and training sessions, ranging from two hour in-service presentations to week-long workshops, help educators integrate conflict resolution skills into their professional practice and their personal lives.

Conflict Resolution and Mediation Training for Parents

Parents know all too well that conflict can lead to either growth or frustration. SMA's workshop series for parents (usually sponsored by the school) help parents learn skills to resolve conflicts creatively and constructively.