FORWARD Program News

(formerly STOP School Violence) September 2021


Welcome back! We hope that everyone has had a restful and enjoyable summer. We are excited to start this school year together and continue our journey towards becoming more restorative and trauma-informed!

We are also happy to announce that with the fresh start of a new school year has come a new name for our program: FORWARD, Facing Obstacles by Reacting with Aptitude, Resilience, and Determination. Although we are still working under the STOP School Violence Grant, we hope this name change is more reflective of our goal to enhance feelings of safety, security and connectedness in our District. Rather than just stopping violence, we aspire to help students and staff move forward from violence by fostering their knowledge of trauma and restorative practices, as well as their ability to face challenges with confidence and compassion.

Restorative Practices in the Lockport City School District

Over the summer, the FORWARD Team partnered with the International Institute of Restorative Practices (IIRP) to train educators and administrators throughout the District in the basics of Restorative Practices. Restorative Practices is an emerging social science that studies how to strengthen relationships between individuals as well as social connections within communities. The fundamental premise of Restorative Practices is that people are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes when those in authority do things WITH them, rather than TO them or FOR them.

In this training, staff learned ways to foster a positive classroom and school culture by using restorative tools to enhance learning, build relationships and community, and resolve conflicts. To learn more about the Restorative Practices, go here: or watch this quick video:

Superintendent’s Conference Day and Beyond

Our Coordinators recently led trainings for staff in Trauma-Informed Care, Restorative Practices and mental health support during New Staff Orientation and Superintendent's Conference Day. Some of the topics we covered include:

  • What trauma is and how it presents in the school setting.

  • How trauma impacts a student’s ability to learn, behave, and interact with others.

  • Ways to create a Trauma-Informed classroom environment that is safe, empowering, trusting, and in which students are given the opportunity for choice and collaboration.

  • What Restorative Practices are and how they can be used to enhance relationships, and foster a sense of community and connectedness.

  • How Restorative Circles can be used to engage WITH students in learning, social-emotional development, behavior support, disciplinary action and more.

  • What mental illness is and how it presents in the school setting.

  • How to interact with students with mental illness or who may be in crisis.

whole child learning
UB's Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care (ITTIC) also presented to staff on Superintendent's Conference Day. This presentation gave staff an overview of what trauma is, and how it impacts our student's ability to learn and engage with peers and teachers at school. Staff learned ways to approach working with students who may have experienced trauma in order to promote their feelings of safety and trust, two conditions necessary for learning to take place.

We are thrilled to be partnering with the ITTIC over the next couple of years to support the use of trauma-informed practices in our schools. You can learn more about their mission here: or view the image below, which describes the Five Principles of Trauma-Informed Care:

principles of trauma informed care

From the Lion's Den

What are kids around the world wearing on their first day back to school? Students at Charles Upson can find out when they stop by Mrs. Connolly's wonderful new bulletin board, which explores the clothing and traditions of students from different cultures. Mrs. Connolly does amazing work with her hallway displays and we love this celebration of diversity!
Big picture

How to Reach Us

  • Nicole Weaver, Multidisciplinary Mental Health Coordinator, is located at Lockport High School and works with grades K-12. She can be reached at or via phone at (716) 478-4423.
  • Heather Scharping, Behavioral Health Coordinator, is located at Aaron Mossell Junior High School and works with grades 7-12. She can be reached at or via phone at 478-4700.
  • Laura Feind, Behavioral Health Coordinator, is located at Charles Upson Elementary School and works with grades K-6. She can be reached at or via phone at 478-4412.
Peachjar & Community Organizations

LCSD works with community organizations to make information about activities and enrichment opportunities available to families. We cooperate with approved community partners by posting eflyers online and distributing them electronically.

Grants and District / Community Programs

Pride in our Past...Faith in our Future

Holly Dickinson, Director