Rochester schools’ H.U.B. program aims to resolve problems, keep students in classroom

H.U.B. aimed at resolving problems, keeping students in class

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Rochester City School District is trying a new way to keep students engaged.

H.U.B. — or Healing, Understanding and Belonging — launched at the beginning of the school year.

The goal is to help students learn the tools they need to resolve problems quickly so students can get back into the classroom.

The H.U.B. is open to students of all ages. the school refers students there, but they have to want to go through the process. That could be before a problem gets worse and leads to a suspension — or during one.

“What we’re trying to do with the H.U.B. is reduce and get reengagement better, right? So when students come back from a consequence or prior to that they feel connected and reengaged to their school so the rate of recidivism doesn’t increase — so we don’t see repeat offenders,” said Rochester City School District Superintendent Carmine Peluso.

Rochester Teachers Association President Adam Urbanski says that the restorative H.U.B. program — which was implemented in October of last year — was designed with teachers and students in mind.

“It is consistent with (what) child development experts would advise to involve the child, and to involve the family of the child,” Urbanski said.

The program creates a space for participants to gather in a circle and discuss problems, how to tackle them, and how to get past them.

It’s an effort that Deputy Superintendent Ruth Turner says will empower students and their families.

“Some of them, a mediation could last one hour; others have lasted four hours. It really depends on the need. It really depends on how many parties are involved,” Turner said. “It takes time for folks to really share their point of view and really develop a plan on how to move forward.”

The district is tracking the results of students who are participating in the H.U.B. to determine how well it’s working.