The Positive Presence Program

In response to a need voiced by several school districts in Western Pennsylvania due to the rise in acting out behaviors in our school systems and the accompanying threat and fear of an increase in violence towards self and others, The Positive Presence Program arose. Copyright Pending 2018, Lou Ann Gray, M.Ed., NCPC and The Open Door.

Indicators for programming needs are reflected in our safe schools information. Primarily students, faculty, and families agree that students engage in conflict with others easily, with little thought for the possible outcomes. They say mean and derogatory things to each other (power of language) with no thought as to the emotional damage that is created. When the initial hostility of the event subsides, the root cause of the incident is never addressed. The conflict is often not resolved, only to resurface in the future. Although students are aware that counseling is available is they need someone to talk to in times of distress, they typically choose not to.


To address these needs the program will provide:

  • Social Skill Instruction in the acquisition of conflict resolution skills in the classroom cooperatively with the classroom teachers. Curriculum written by PPP in consort with building administrator.

  • Assistance with the identification of at-risk students in crisis.

  • Normalization of the need to seek out emotional support during their life when appropriate.

  • In-Service training for faculty and staff in areas of social skills for students, student engagement, dispute resolution, remaining positive in turbulent times, dealing with difficult families, leading by example, and getting in touch with ...I Teach Because.

  • Provide psycho-educational opportunities for parents on a variety of topics including conflict resolution skills.

Woman on Podium Representing a School Faculty Member

Goals for Faculty and Staff

1. To enhance a sense of leadership and control within their profession

2. To enhance their ability to identify students at risk/ in crisis

3. To reaffirm their partnership with the community in the educational process

4. To assist them with skill training in the area of conflict resolution, the power of language, and “The Art of Compromise”

Outside of High School

Goals for the School District

1. To lessen incidents of acting-out behaviors resulting in school disciplinary dilemmas

2. To enhance working relationships between faculty, staff, and administrators

3. To establish a sense of ownership within the community including our churches (houses of faith) for the destiny of our students

Woman hands praying for blessing from god

Goals for the Community & Churches

(houses of faith) 

1. To establish and enhance a sense of ownership in the destiny of our youth and increase engagement of our students in an unconditional positive regard. It is anticipated that this will give our student viable known options for support on all levels.

Smiling happy teenage girl sitting in front of her parents

Goals for Students' Families

1. To enhance their knowledge of available community options for support

2. To provide them with educational opportunities of pertinent issues facing their children and themselves

3. To assist/ solidify working relationships between our schools, families, and our communities.

A Group of High School Students Standing in a Hallway

Goals for Students

1. To identify feelings and the appropriate expression of same

2. Enhance social skills and coping mechanisms

3. To receive instruction in conflict resolution and “The Art of Compromise”