T.A.P. Empowers Students, Strengthens Schools
T.A.P. (Talk About the Problems) is a peer mediation program making a difference at schools throughout Mississippi. Students are trained as mediators, then work in pairs to counsel their fellow students in conflict and help them reach mutually agreeable resolutions - stopping conflicts before they escalate to violence, detentions, or suspension. T.A.P. empowers students and strengthens schools, all while also helping students develop communication and leadership skills that will last a lifetime.
PEER MEDIATION PROGRAM PROVING SUCCESSFUL IN JPS SCHOOLS
Jackson Public Schools is seeing positive results from the implementation of the T.A.P. (Talk About the Problems) peer mediation program for middle and high school students. T.A.P. is sponsored by the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL), based in Jackson and serves to improve learning environments by reducing suspensions and expulsions and giving teachers more time to teach.
JPS schools implementing T.A.P are experiencing increases in school attendance and academic performance as well as decreases in student discipline referrals while they are cultivating civic and community engagement. Graduation rates have also increased at both high school sites. JPS believes that T.A.P. has the potential to reform school climates by increasing school safety and decreasing disruptive interventions (suspensions, expulsions, and detentions) while advancing a culture of communication over violence.
The T.A.P program was originally piloted in Blackburn Laboratory Middle School in 2009 and is currently being implemented in middle and high schools in south and west Jackson. Presently, Whitten Preparatory Middle School, Blackburn Laboratory Middle School, Jim Hill High School and Wingfield High School have sustainable T.A.P. programs in their school communities.
T.A.P. enhances child and family security by making schools safer for students and communities and advances racial equity by working primarily with students, and equipping them with the soft skills for success that will positively impact their short term and long term life outcomes. The program was designed to cultivate students' civic and community engagement by putting them in the driver's seat as change-makers in their school communities.
Students are at the center of the T.A.P. program. Student mediators play a critical leadership role in advancing a culture of effective problem solving and relationship building. Students are most impacted by conflict resolution in their community. Effectively resolving conflicts through T.A.P.'s methods is a win-win solution for all students and staff in the school community. School administrators, teachers, counselors, and volunteers are advocates for the program within the school community. They are active allies for the success of the peer mediation program, communicate buy-in, and increase respect for those involved in the program. ISJL staff work directly with students, faculty, staff, volunteers and community members to provide support and training to students and JPS staff. District support for T.A.P. is provided through the Office of Student Academic and Behavioral Support.
T.A.P. furthers the goals of the District's implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. T.A.P. processes are research-based strategies that are proven to impact student behavior positively and refine the development of essential relationship-building skills.
JPS T.A.P. Schools
- Blackburn Laboratory Middle School
- Whitten Middle School
- Jim Hill High School
- Siwell Middle School
- Brinkley Middle School
- Callaway High School
For more information about T.A.P. in Mississippi check out this site. T.A.P.