The Healing-Centered Schools Working Group

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healing centered one pagerIn 2018, members of the Bronx Borough Based Council of the Coordinated Children’s Services Initiative formed the Healing-Centered Working Group which includes advocates, educators, parents/caregivers, students, mental health providers and social service agencies. The group’s mission is to help all Bronx schools build healing-centered practices that will support students’ behavioral health needs and reduce school officials’ reliance on the use of punitive, exclusionary discipline practices and, worse, the use of School Safety Agents, 911, and emergency medical services.


The Healing-Centered Schools Task Force launched in June 2021 in response to decades of educational inequity and childhood trauma impacting New York City’s students - injustices exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Task Force unites students, educators, parents, community groups, mental health providers, elected officials, and NYC Department of Education leadership to study how the City can implement healing-centered educational practices during the 2021-22 school year. The Task Force issued recommendations in July 2021 describing steps the City must take over the next year to remove harmful practices from public schools and build structures that support staff wellness, parent involvement, and student growth and healing.

The Task Force is co-chaired by the Office of the Public Advocate and the Healing-Centered Schools Working Group, a coalition of community members, including advocates from Legal Services NYC, fighting for educational equity in the Bronx and citywide. Our Task Force prioritizes the leadership and decision-making power of community members most impacted by the need for healing-centered schools. 

The Healing-Centered Schools Task Force wants to hear from you! Join our listening sessions to learn more about healing-centered schools, get involved in efforts to create equitable and supportive environments for all students, and share feedback about the change YOU want to see during the 2021-22 school year. 


Healing Roadmap Cover
The Working Group believes that schools can become sites of healing and growth. This Roadmap lays out a step-by-step process to help schools remove structures that undermine healing, build practices that advance healing, and create whole-school change in the process. It is a culmination of two years of intense research, community conversations, and drafting by the members of the Working Group spearheaded by Katrina Feldkamp, an Equal Justice Works Fellow at Bronx Legal Services. The Working Group hopes this document will provide students, parents/caregivers, community leaders, and concerned school staff the necessary framework to bring healing-centered practices to schools in the Bronx and citywide.

Read the Executive Summary (English, Spanish).
Read the full  Roadmap here.

Read the Press Release here.
Watch the virtual Town Hall event here.


The Working Group wishes to thank the following individuals and organizations that have signed on to support the Roadmap’s proposals and values. If you or your organization would like to sign on to the Roadmap, please fill out this form.

Annagine Lewis, Parent Action Committee
Barbara DiGangi, LMSW
Citizen’s Committee for Children of New York
Counseling in Schools
Dignity in Schools Campaign – New York
Elizabeth George Hebert, Head Teacher - International Academy of NY
Jake Martinez, Director of Youth Programs, New York Civil Liberties Union
Joy Leonard, Director, New Settlement Program for Girls & Young Women
Irina Roller, Esq.
Jacob Ham, PhD, Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Director of the Center for Child Trauma and Resilience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Legal Services NYC
Lourdes Carrasco
Marcia Calle, MSW
Monique Lindsay, Advocate for Education, Mental Health, Food, and Wellness
Nelly Maseda MD, MPH
New Settlement Apartments Parent Action Committee
New York Immigration Coalition
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, Inc (NYLPI)
NY State Senator Gustavo Rivera, 33rd District, The Bronx
NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools
Nicole Hamilton, Girls for Gender Equity
Shavon Glover, Educator - UAAFL
Parents Supporting Parents New York, Inc.
Vibrant Emotional Health
YA-YA Network
Zakiyah Ansari, Advocacy Director, Alliance for Quality Education

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