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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

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Data show home-ownership disparities in North Dakota; Trump reaped over $100 million through fraud, New York says as trial starts; Volunteer water monitors: citizen scientists.

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Donald Trump's civil trial in New York is underway, House Republicans are divided on whether to oust Kevin McCarthy as Speaker, and Latino voter groups are hoping to see mass turnout in the next election.

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A small fire department in rural Indiana is determined not to fail new moms and babies, the growing election denial movement has caused voting districts to change procedures and autumn promises spectacular scenery along America's rural byways.

New Year, New Campus Culture for Some MN Schools

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Tuesday, September 6, 2022   

School districts across Minnesota are opening their doors today for the start of a new year, but for some students, lingering racial trauma and other issues might be weighing them down.

Support staff are trying to help overcome those feelings. The pandemic isn't over, and Minnesota is still navigating the racial reckoning from the past two years. And last year saw a number of hate incidents investigated at schools around the state.

Shanaya Walker, diversity, equity and inclusion manager for the Northeast Metro 916 Intermediate School District, said it is something her staff has seen more of in recent history.

"We've had kids that come into buildings and, because of what they look like, are not feeling safe in these spaces," Walker observed.

Walker, a member of the Minnesota School Social Workers Association, explained how restorative practices come into play, including family conferences, as well as bringing in community experts to lead conversations. She pointed out the approach is also helpful to staff members who might not feel a welcoming culture.

As the school year gets underway, Walker added they are trying to be more proactive instead of reactive when a high-profile incident occurs, shaking up the campus community.

"We've been intentional about reaching out, not just waiting until something goes on," Walker emphasized. "We're making some of those calls now so that we can start to build relationships, because that's really, really important."

The approach is taking hold in other school districts. In August, the Minnesota Department of Education offered training in restorative practices, and session leaders have been doing training in schools around the state.

Disclosure: The Minnesota School Social Workers Association contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Education, Mental Health, and Youth Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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