The purpose of the Iowa City Community School District Care Assessment program is to prevent violence and resolve conflicts proactively. This research-based approach to violence prevention, developed by Dr. Dewey Cornell, emphasizes early attention to problems such as bullying, teasing, and other forms of student conflict before they escalate into violent behavior. Our District adopts a flexible, problem-solving approach, as distinguished from a more punitive, zero-tolerance approach to student misbehavior.
Care Assessment is intended to generate broader changes in the nature of staff and student interactions around disciplinary matters and to encourage a more positive school climate in which students feel treated with fairness and respect.
How is a Care Assessment Conducted?
Care Assessment is initiated when administrators receive a report of a concern or threat directed at another student, or a threat of self-harm. A school building team consisting of administrators, student & family advocates, counselors, mental health professionals, and any other pertinent members will work to prevent the act from occurring and form a safety plan to ensure school safety when necessary. Care Assessment teams are in place in all junior high and high schools.
Parents and Community Partners
An integral part of Care Assessment is the involvement of parents. Working together in tandem with parents and community partners, our District believes the best solutions can be found to support all students utilizing wrap-around support and assisting with follow-through.
The Iowa City Community School District has partnered with United Action for Youth (UAY) to ensure that the process of Care Assessment is inclusive and equitable for all parties involved. UAY also provides mental health or counseling needs that may be needed on a case-by-case basis.
The goal of Care Assessment in our District is prevention. The ability to receive notification of a potential threat to one’s self or others in the early stages helps prevent instances from occurring or escalating.