Lorraine Chanon, Fannie Lou Hamer Middle School
At Fannie Lou Hamer Middle School, Principal Chanon and her team focused on building an environment that blended high expectations with positive social emotional learning. Yet despite their small class size and engaging curriculum, there was always an undertone of student negativity. Students came to school with issues that teachers were not prepared to handle and couldn’t overcome. They wanted to help, but didn’t know how.
That started to change when the school partnered with Turnaround. Principal Chanon recalls, “Before Turnaround you could walk into the classrooms and see good teaching, but maybe not a caring class”. Turnaround’s intervention “helped them build a sense of trust and interconnection that permeates the whole building”. Over the course of three years, severe incidents and suspensions dropped by more than half amid a calmer school environment and more constructive disciplinary policies.