All projects, programs, work sites, and learning spaces (including field trips) are violence-free zones.
No violence or aggression whatsoever (verbal, emotional, physical, relational, or institutional) is permitted at any time.
Violence is grounds for immediate suspension and expulsion to keep self and others safe.
If payment is involved, there will be no compensation for violence, be it pretend (like so called "play fighting") or real.
Persistent negative attitudes can rise to the level of emotional violence.
We require that you demonstrate a consistent positive attitude at learning workshops, meetings, gatherings, work sites, or trainings.
NO DRUGS AND ALCOHOL
We believe in the power of recovery from addiction to illicit drugs and alcohol and request that all employees and students, regardless of age, be in active recovery and non-using while working and learning with us.
On the day of (meaning, at any time before arriving at) learning workshops, meetings, gatherings, work sites, or trainings, no one should be under the influence of illicit drugs and alcohol.
During learning workshops, meetings, gatherings, work sites, or trainings, no one should be under the influence of illicit drugs and alcohol.
Likewise, no erratic behavior that seems to be due to drugs or alcohol is permitted.
We cannot stop and drug/alcohol test individuals all the time.
If you are suspected of being under the influence of drugs and alcohol, then you may be asked to leave by the supervisor.
If payment is involved, there will be no compensation for actual or suspected use of drugs and alcohol.
This policy does not pertain to medication prescribed by a physician with proper/written documentation.
According to the CDC, marijuana use causes significant impairment, including while driving.
A highly focused and attentive demeanor is always required at learning workshops, meetings, gatherings, work sites, or trainings.
For these reasons, we require that no one be under the influence of marijuana at learning workshops, meetings, gatherings, work sites, or trainings even if you have some sort of prescription. If you must smoke or ingest weed, take a day off or consider whether our learning and work spaces are right for you.
We do not believe in the criminalization of drugs and alcohol. Rather, we believe in the careful, thoughtful regulation of substances to the extent that key educational, health, and employment spaces forbid the use of illicit drugs and alcohol.
Cigarettes and nicotine are some of the worse health hazards in the world.
We are an educational and health organization with a high mandate to uplift outstanding health.
We request smoke-free, tobacco-free, and cigarette-free learning and work spaces.
FREE FROM CHEWING AND INGESTING GUM AND FOREIGN OBJECTS
For youth in particular, the chewing and ingesting of gum and foreign objects is strongly discouraged because of the high risk of choking or the health and environmental harm caused by this behavior.
GLOVES &/OR MASKS ON
Especially during the age of diseases like COVID-19 and RSV, we must take health safety very seriously.
Wear gloves (and masks if requested) for meal service, cleaning, and all sensitive work at all times.
We have free/no-cost K-95 masks and nitrile gloves.
Wisdom Projects, Inc.—its organization, staff, partners, and employees—does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, religion, creed, age, national origin, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, cultural expression, ability/disability, body size, body shape, and veteran's status in any of its activities or operations. These activities or operations include, but are not limited to, provision of services; delivery of programming; employee hiring, firing, promotions, upgrades, and engagement; and selection of volunteers, vendors, collaborators, or partners. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, employees, partners, collaborators, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients. We welcome staff, partners, and employees’ sharing of their selfhood, identity, or expression to gain reassurance of our nondiscrimination policy. Upon disclosure, we will address staff and employees with the names, pronouns, and identifications with which they wish to be identified internally within the organization and externally to the public. We endeavor to mediate all situations appreciably and invite staff and employees to dialogue openly with the Co-Directors if any problems or issues arise.
CODE OF CONDUCT
Standards for Fieldwork and the Workplace
- Communicate calmly, clearly, responsively, and in a timely manner in all ways, all the time.
- Adhere to the Program Quality Assessment Standards at all times.
- Be peaceful and nonviolent (verbally and physically) at all times.
Professionalism in Fieldwork and the Workplace
- Be punctual.
- Dress appropriately (according to supervisor’s direction), including dressing weather-appropriate, removing hoods, hanging up coats, arranging or storing belongings neatly in designated spaces instead of leaving them in spaces where they can be lost or tripped on..
- Stay positive (in words, actions, and body language).
- Communicate well.
- Be consistently supportive and offer to help without being asked.
- Take responsibility for mistakes and do not make the same mistake twice.
- Be honest, have integrity, and never lie, steal, harass, cheat, misrepresent or gaslight.
- Be a team—work well with staff and share information immediately and often.
Respect in Fieldwork and the Workplace
- Be courteous and kind to everyone.
- Be respectful to everyone.
- Be self-aware (maintain positive words, tone, body language, and actions).
- Treat others as they wish to be treated and as you wish to be treated.
- Choose words carefully with compassion.
- Never have any sexual or romantic relationships of any kind with community members, clients, colleagues, participants, or students (unless you have a pre-existing relationship known to and approved by the supervisors).
- Never harass, bully, or create a hostile learning or working environment for community members, clients, colleagues, participants, or students.
- Never share sexually inappropriate or gratuitously violent content or materials with community members, clients, colleagues, participants, or students, including never using cell phones or devices to share such materials.
We work within communities that highly favor the use of text messages.
- Greet addresses warmly in text messages.
- Identify yourself clearly (including with sign-offs that use your name).
- Monitor your tone of voice so you present a positive demeanor.
- Be aware of auto-correct.
Execution of Work
- Follow directions precisely.
- Do only what is requested (no more; no less). You never need to prove yourself. Just do the work as directed well.
- Avoid over-emotionalizing and over-psychologizing. Emotions are good. But, overdetermination and dysregulation of emotions may disadvantage the calm completion of work.
- Work towards excellence. But don't worry about "perfection" or anything high stakes. Calm within storms.
- Avoid defensiveness.
De-escalation and Conflict Management
- De-escalate well (see training materials as well as the books on de-escalation by Brendan King).
- Manage emotions, including anger (pause, slow down, breathe, and find calm in the face of anxiety, stress, and/or conflict).
- Mediate and manage conflicts and disputes well.
- Apologize and make amends when mistakes occur.
- Hold oneself accountable.
- Be an excellent behavioral model for others.
Teacher and Coach Responsibilities
- Follow the directions of the supervisor at all times.
- Provide excellent behavioral and classroom management of students.
- Do not be overly "nice," coddling, or become students' "friends" in an inappropriate manner.
- Never confide in students, Be caring, but maintain professional distance and boundaries.
- Never do anything that contradicts the supervisor's directions to students.
- If requested, plan lessons using the methods and templates given to you.
- Never tutor when you should be teaching or supporting the teaching of a lesson. In other words, do not have extended one-on-one personal conversations with students that disrupt overall lessons. Quickly and quietly encourage the student to re-focus on the lesson..
- Carry out procedures for structured learning.
CHILD SAFETY POLICY
- Children (persons under 18 years of age) will be monitored and supervised by adult staff at all times and staff shall never gossip or share confidential or adult information with children.
- Staff will not touch or make adverse, toxic, or violent physical contact with children.
- Staff will not tease, provoke, bully, toxically yell at, or engage with children in verbally violent ways.
- Staff will adhere to fire/health safety procedures, including lining children up and transitioning children well according to training and best practices.
- Staff will report all probable or actual abuse and mistreatment to supervisors immediately and look for and inquire about warning signs (such as bruises, cuts, and injuries).
- Staff will ensure that children do NOT go off alone for any reason, including to the bathroom (but, once inside the bathroom, the child should use the bathroom alone without anyone present).
- Staff will never ask, invite, or move children into violent situations (including violent games). (Be advised that well-regulated contact sports like wrestling are not forms of violence, but controlled physical education).
- Staff will adhere to all fire/safety regulations at all times.
- Staff will monitor and note arriving children well, doing head-counts regularly.
- Staff will monitor and track dismissals well, ensuring that only adults approved to pick up children in enrollment documents take charge of children. Once a child leaves the threshold of educational or health spaces, the Center is no longer responsible for their care and it is imperative that staff release a child in the care of approved adults.
- In learning situations, we never give children anything that is or could be perceived as weapons. This includes scissors, blades, and even toys that are fake fire arms or fake guns. (And, needless to say, we never, ever give real guns to children or anyone.) For adult parents, we encourage the proper safe storage, regulation, and maintenance of arms and weapons within people's constitutional rights in the United States so that children do not discover weapons and use them in harmful ways. If someone is ill or prone to violence, be they a child or an adult, and the topic of weapons arises, we encourage them to disarm for their own and others' protection and safety.
We value extremely orderly, safe, and structured arrival and dismissal of youth and families to programming.
Dismissal: We execute the following measures to ensure safe, orderly, and well-structured arrival for all enrolled youth:
- Once they cross the threshold of the entrance way of the learning space, they are within our care and cannot leave unless authorized by the director.
- Youth are observed and monitored by adults at all times and cannot go off on their own for any reason.
- Only enrolled youth who have completed intake are allowed across the threshold.
- Only adults may answer or monitor the door or monitor the entranceway.
- Fire safety procedures remain in effect for arrival (meaning, once the youth crosses the threshold).
- Violence prevention procedures (such as sheltering in place, etc.) remain in effect for arrival (meaning, once the youth crosses the threshold).
Arrival: We execute the following measures to ensure safe, orderly, and well-structured arrival for all enrolled youth:
- Youth are only released to adults/family members approved in intake and enrollment documents.
- All youth sit down and remain seated while waiting to be dismissed in groups: first, the groups taken home by drivers; then the groups walking home; then the youth taken home by the director or other staff. Only dismiss methodically one group at a time and request quiet so safe, clear directions can be given.
- Only adults may answer or monitor the door or monitor the entranceway.
- Once across the threshold and dismissed, the youth is no longer in our care and cannot return. If they have left an item, then tell them to pick the item up the next day from lost and found.
- Fire safety procedures remain in effect for dismissal (meaning, once the youth crosses the threshold).
- Violence prevention procedures (such as sheltering in place, etc.) remain in effect only for when the youth is in our care and control. This means that, once the youth leaves and crosses the threshold, if violence breaks out, then we can call the authorities or mediate outside of the program space if it's safe to do so, but we must be mindful of not letting youth back inside the building once they've been dismissed or doing anything that makes it seem that they are back within our care and control after they are dismissed).
- Staff who are dropping off youth must ensure that we see that they are safely inside the door of their dwelling.
- Staff must release youth to the care of an approved adult and actually see with our own eyes that they have been released to that individual.
- Staff must approve an older youth over 14 years of age walking younger youth home and see that the younger youth are released across the threshold with that older youth.
We are committed to upholding the principles and procedures of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the Maryland Personal Information Protection Act (MPIPA).
Our educational and health services involve longterm, multi-year whole-community transformation emphasizing deep, immersive, almost-daily engagement with youth, parents/guardians, and families.
This immersive involvement depends on protecting enrolled community members' and employees' contact information, educational records, and health records in accordance with HIPAA, FERPA, and MPIPA laws.
Community members and employees often exhibit high levels of institutional distrust with good reason because many of the institutions that engage with them do so with sometimes great intentions, yet in paternalistic ways that break confidentiality and/or challenge the development of trustworthiness and cultural sensitivity.
Often the distrust comes from instances when community members and employees are asked to be involved in engagement, research or projects that carry no actual extensive, deep, holistic or material benefit for them.
In contrast, all of our educational and health services are 100 percent beneficial to community members' and employees' well-being on multiple levels for the longterm and we do not ask for anything or take anything from community members.
Disclosing contact information or health information breaches our HIPAA, FERPA, and MPIPA commitments.
Asking persons if it's okay if we give their contact information to others (for any purpose, including research purposes or other designs) also breaches our commitment.
Moreover, when representatives from other institutions go around us to contact the enrolled community members or employees that we serve, these actions also breed distrust and confusion.
Even if it appears to be okay on the surface, we have found that breaching confidentiality, or appearing to do so, has the potential to undermine the trust and care that we have spent years developing inside of communities. This trust and care is essential to our ability to recommend transformations in their lives as we offer educational and health services.