Student Support and Accountability Circles

Group consoling member

Student Support and Accountability Circles provide support, encouragement and accountability for students who may benefit from additional assistance. The goal is to enable the student to become successful in school and life in general. The circle focuses on three areas: school functioning, relationships and wellness.

The circle members include the Core Student, a community member, a school staff member, a peer support and two volunteer circle keepers. Each week, all of the circle members agree to complete assignments that ensure individual progress in one or more of the three focus areas. This provides a spirit of equity and models that personal growth can occur in all stages of life.


The group became like family...

“Our Core Student had many strikes against her as she was re-entering school following a significant absence. Though she was a bit reluctant at first, the group became like family, with each person playing an integral role. Our Core Student finished strong and is well on her way toward graduating on time!”

- Student Support and Accountability Circle member

Student Support and Accountability Circles (SSAC) are designed to provide support and accountability to students through the use of the restorative principles of respect, responsibility, relationships, repair and reintegration. The SSAC is made up of 6 people who are invested in assisting a Core Student in becoming successful in school and out, and include the Core Student, peer support, school staff representative, two trained circle keepers and a community member. Prior to the start of circle, an assets survey is conducted with the Core Student in order to help identify and select appropriate circle participants.

Areas of focus include school functioning (grades, behavior, extracurricular activities, etc.), relationships (peers, family, friends, other adults,etc.), and self (health & wellness, drug/alcohol use, mental health, etc.). Weekly agreements are developed to assist the Core Student in setting goals, and each person in the circle commits to a contract item related to the topic of discussion each week.

The role of the circle is not a substitute for parenting or therapy. Instead circle members connect students with resources, provide accountability and act as source support and encouragement. SSACs range in length from one semester to a school year, and involve weekly one-hour meetings during the school day. As the core student progresses, the need for meetings may become less frequent.

Student Support and Accountability Circles are offered in collaboration with the Estes Park R-3 School District.