The new Peer Mediator Program, which debuted in January 2023 at City Springs Elementary / Middle School, now extends to five of the six Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) schools. 

Created by Todd Wade, City Springs’ Director of Restorative Practices and of the Peer Mediation Program, the intentional program has 80 trained student mediators from 5th to 8th grades, including 47 City Springs’ mediators. The following work with Mr. Wade to coordinate the activities: 

Students are carefully selected by the above administrators for this leadership role. They are trained in active listening, conflict resolution, controlling one’s anger, and how to lead a student peer mediator session–powerful lessons, Mr. Wade explains, for the students who are selected. The schools intentionally choose peer mediators from the middle group of students who have had a few challenges with peer behaviors.

“Once students start as peer mediators, their own behavior starts to change,” Mr. Wade explains. “Students feel powerful and empowered to use their voice for change.”

Students lead sessions in pairs. Some conflict issues, of course, are handled by adults, but the mediators at each school write mini-lessons on anger management and active listening to teach to younger students. 

Beginning last September, Mr. Wade, a trained mediator, travels to a different BCP school once a week to work with the mediators. He is often joined by the seasoned City Springs peer mediators to help train the Frederick, Govans and Pimlico peer mediators. 

“I am proud of the fact that City Springs peer mediators have helped spread peer mediation throughout the BCP system,” he says. 

Highlights of the 2023-24 Peer Mediator Program include:

  • On January 26, 2024, at BCP’s annual Leading Minds Symposium, peer mediators from City Springs and Pimlico CS and Pimlico led demonstrations for BCP teachers and staff following the Leading Minds panel on Social Media and Student Mental Health.
  • Last September, Ego Nwodim, actor, comic, producer, writer, cast member of “Saturday Night Live,” and Baltimore native and Mr. Wade’s former student, launched a partnership with City Springs to use improv as a tool for life skills in active listening, collaboration, and positive relationships.She spent the afternoon with the school’s peer mediators.

Mr. Wade says next year’s plans include creating specific protocols for doing peer mediations and continuing to add and train more mentors across the BCP network.

City Springs and Hampstead Hill, as a BCP neighborhood conversion charter schools, pioneered Restorative Practices with Baltimore CIty Schools in 2006. Today, the national program for effective conflict resolution and decision making is used across Baltimore city and county schools. Learn more about Restorative Practices by the International Institute for Restorative Practices.

Read Mr. Wade’s BCP blog post on the importance of Restorative Practices.

About the Baltimore Curriculum Project

Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) is the largest operator of local neighborhood, public charter schools in Maryland. We create safe, supportive learning environments for children PK-8 by providing innovative, research-based educational strategies, intensive teacher training and extensive support for administration and staff. We support our local neighborhood needs by tailoring our resources and support through community partnerships.

As one of the longest-running charter operators in Maryland, our schools are regularly recognized as some of the most highly acclaimed neighborhood charter schools in the state. 

Pimlico Elementary / Middle School

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