As a former high school teacher, La Follette School student Elizabeth Janeczko brings a unique perspective to her writing for Madison Commons, an online source for news and information about Madison’s neighborhoods.
Her first article kicked off Madison Commons' storytelling project on restorative justice. For the article, Stopping the school to prison pipeline in Madison schools using restorative justice, Janeczko spoke with principals and other staff in the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) about the Behavior Education Plan.
Introduced in 2013, the plan includes a shift from zero tolerance to restorative justice when dealing with behavior and discipline issues, especially among students with special education needs and those who identify as African American.
“The BEP casts a long vision about what every school in the district can become; a place where students learn from their mistakes and where justice and discipline is about repairing what is broken,” Janeczko wrote.
Her second article focused on the MMSD’s Early STEM Academy Program, which gives high school students the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics field along with their high school diploma.
The first cohort in the STEM Academy – a dual enrollment program with Madison Area Technical College (MATC) – has 26 students from East and La Follette high schools. Sixty percent of the students are from underrepresented minority populations, about half are from families with low incomes, and a quarter are first-generation college students.
Madison365, another local online news source, also has published Janeczko’s work, including this opinion article about school integregation.