Planet Homeschool Conflict Resolution Process

Planet Homeschool Mission Statement: 
We are a secular organization open to all faiths, beliefs and educational styles. In all that we do, we work to include, respect and learn from individual differences in ability, gender, culture, race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation and educational philosophy.

Planet Homeschool Conflict Resolution Process

For Parents:
Parents will be central to helping students prevent conflict and navigate conflict resolution, while keeping in mind that we’re all just parents volunteering in this community to the best of our ability. 

Parents can:

  • Remind students they can be empowered to speak up in a respectful way and have healthy boundaries
  • Make sure all students know the expectations for behavior, treating students and adults respectfully, and helping with clean-up and set-up
  • Prepare students who may face challenges such as sensory issues, impulse-control issues, anxiety, auditory processing, or reading social cues with coping strategies. It could also be helpful to contact your student’s teachers and PHS lead volunteers to let them know best ways of working with your student at PHS. 
  • Make sure students are aware that they should listen and work with other members if an adult or student speaks to them. 
  • Determine if a student can resolve issues on their own or needs help from you
  • Remind students they are always welcome to speak with volunteers on site for help
  • Potentially remain on site while a conflict is being resolved or if other volunteers or instructors request it
  • Be willing to contact other parents at PHS directly to address a conflict or problem involving students
  • Be willing to participate in conversations with other parents at PHS if approached about a problem
  • Commit to follow through on the conflict resolution process with your student, pulling in others when necessary, until resolution is achieved

For Students:
Students can play a key role in speaking up if something bothers them or makes them feel unsafe or uncomfortable at PHS. Examples:

“Your music is too loud. Can you please turn it down or use headphones?”
“I felt really offended by that anti-gay joke. Could you not tell jokes like that here?”

If students don’t feel safe or comfortable addressing a problem themselves, or if talking to the person upsetting them doesn’t resolve the issue, students can ask for help from an adult volunteer or teacher at PHS or from their parents. If a parent monitor or another student speaks to a student about modifying their behavior, the student is expected to do their best to respond courteously to the request, change their behavior as needed, or ask for help or clarification if they’re not sure what they’re being asked to do or why their behavior is a problem.

For Parent Monitors:
Adult volunteers doing parent monitor shifts will do their best to respond to problems or requests for help in two main ways: by using affective statements that give students information about how their behavior is affecting others, and by asking all people involved in a situation:

  • What happened/What’s happening?
  • What were you thinking about while this was happening?
  • What does everyone in this situation need right now?
  • What needs to happen so everyone’s needs and boundaries are respected?

Cards with these questions will be available to volunteers at every shift, and volunteers can seek help from other adult volunteers with addressing any issues that come up during their shift. Adult volunteers will do their best to approach students with compassion and kindness, and with the understanding that students may not be able to answer these questions when they are stressed or upset or may need time and support to cue in to what's being asked of them. If need be, volunteers will call students' parents for help and guidance in addressing a situation. Adult volunteers also will document any conflicts or behavior problems during their volunteer shifts on a Volunteer Shift Log form, so parents and lead volunteers can be aware of what happened and be on the look-out for patterns that need addressing. Lead volunteers may follow up with parent monitors to see if a simple conversation resolved a problem or if more follow-up is needed. 

If more follow-up seems warranted, lead volunteers can support parents and students involved in the problem in having direct conversations with each other to work out problems.

If the above steps don’t resolve a problem, the involved families will be invited to participate in a restorative circle process facilitated by a trained PHS volunteer. The circle could include directly involved families, a small number of supporters, and possibly a small number of other community members to provide perspective and share fresh ideas to solve the problem. 

Possible resolutions might include requiring a parent to stay on-site with their child during classes and/or free periods. Every effort will be made for a family to remain at PHS, but in rare instances, community members involved in the circle process may decide that the healthiest course of action is for a student or family to leave PHS. Members are expected to abide by any such decision.

Summary of Steps in Conflict Resolution Process
1. Student to Student conversation if possible
2. Parent and/or Student conversation with Parent Monitor or Teacher if needed 
3. Parent and Student conversation with other Parent and Student involved and follow-up/check-in about progress as needed
4. If involved Parents/Students aren’t satisfied with resolution reached through Steps 1-3, involved Parents/Students participate in restorative circle process with other community members to reach resolution
5. Community members participate in restorative circle process decide resolution, involved Parents/Students shall abide by decision