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        In my seven years of teaching, I have never been introduced to the sort of training and practices that Melissa Ugarte brings to a school community. As a consultant, she trained our staff in relationship development, classroom strategies, and set up an effective response system to address misbehavior. Melissa was consistent and reliable in her modeling and coaching of staff. She has a fun sense-of-humor, and appropriately balances a firm and supportive stance with faculty, students, and families.


Joseph Blair

Teacher & Union Representative,

Providence Schools, RI

         As a school resources officer, I worked closely with Melissa on a daily basis regarding student misbehavior and a variety of situations including juvenile crime victims, mediation, school safety, counseling and parent meetings. Her ability to effectively address these issues was underscored by the positive relationships she fostered with students and colleagues. I found that Melissa was adept in finding preventive, restorative solutions to problems which resolved student concerns, and frankly, helped make my job much easier. I observed firsthand how her critical thinking and communication ability with staff and students de-escalated volatile situations and contributed to a secure learning environment.


Ray Majeau

Providence Police

School Resource Officer, RI

Edge on and incite positive change.


The Educated Edge provides affordable, effective and evidenced-based training and consulting to educational practitioners throughout the U.S. in:














The History

In the last two decades, there has been a need for relationship development and alternative responses to school-based misconduct for a couple reasons:


1. The student-teacher construct has changed since we last attended school


Now more than ever, our youth and families are attempting to function in an imbalanced society and their need outweighs available resources, leaving youth, families and community agencies wary and overwhelmed. In a proactive attempt to supplement the needs of heterogeneous individuals and groups, schools balance both pedagogical instruction and social-emotional literacy. This educational shift demands educators possessing skills similar to social workers, special educators, and surrogate parents in order to successfully nurture the whole student. Authoritarian management is no longer effective as relationship development and intercultural empathy are now at the forefront of teaching and learning (Roffey, 2012).


2. Zero tolerance policies do not deliver hopeful outcomes to “adult-wary” youth


Punitive discipline is not an effective attempt to cultivate behavioral expectations and academic results, and actually increases risk to individual and school community relationships. When mistakes occur, isolating and excluding youth and families intensifies the wariness of external support and counteracts hope for student trust and accountability (APA, 2008). Schools need a continuum of interventions that possess relational approaches to discipline and problem-solving. Widening a range of interventions for less serious infractions will empower a greater value in repairing and restoring relationships which will ultimately encourage positive social-emotional and academic outcomes for individuals and communities.


American Psychological Association (APA), 2008 ‘Are zero tolerance policies effective in schools?’

     American Psychologist 63(9), 852-862


Roffey, S. (2012) Changing Behavior in Schools: Promoting Positive Relationships and Wellbeing. London: Sage.




















Message from the Director

Academic instruction and effective behavior strategies are essentially impossible without healthy connections within the school community. In establishing connectedness, we must first intentionally develop social and emotional literacy and capacity within the classroom.


In minimizing the gap between SEL and academics, we offer frameworks, language, and training for how teachers and administrators can nurture healthy climates and how students can be expected to interact and behave in school. Working restoratively with one another helps to build classrooms where all adults and students are valued, where there are high expectations and high supports; where expectations and supports are so clear that students begin to value pro-social accountability and academic responsibility.


Schools with a strong relational focus will have enhanced learning outcomes. Together, we can build an environment where adults and students feel safe and supported, a place where meaningful learning can happen and a positive school climate can flourish.


Melissa has been a respected educator for over a decade, holding positions in counseling, behavior management, and leadership. She possesses a bachelors in social work, a masters in restorative practices, and is a licensed trainer and instructor for the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) and Nonviolent Crisis Prevention Intervention Program. Melissa’s agency is contracted by IIRP to enhance capacity and confidence in adults and youth throughout the United States.

“We believe in enhancing intelligence and character – that is the goal of our education.


Melissa A. Ugarte

Executive Director

Our Value: Experience

What separates us from other climate and culture professionals?

  • We are change-agents with master degrees and licenses in our strategies
  • We are deeply rooted in educational practices, having served school communities as teachers, school counselors, and trusted leaders
  • We practice what we preach by building reliable and collaborative relationships with educational stakeholders (administrators, teachers, students, and parents)
  • We are the only Rhode Island company supported by IIRP
  • We know and understand the populations we serve



Building & Restoring Educational Communities


The Educated Edge provides affordable, effective and evidenced-based training and consulting to educational practitioners throughout the U.S.


The Educated Edge, LLC

Melissa A. Ugarte

c/o East Bay Collaborative

317 Market Street

Warren, RI 02885

Phone: (401) 588-4210



©2018 The Educated Edge