Executive Summary Bully and Non-Violence Proposal Glenview Park Secondary School/Stewart Avenue Public School/Chalmers Street Public School Waterloo Region District School Board A primary goal of our plan is to educate and train staff in successful bullying prevention programs. Our objectives are to reduce bullying and violence in our school, and to reduce the number of suspensions. In doing this, we would like to create a positive environment in our school and promote positive interactions between students. Our purpose is to develop a safe and caring learning community within our school. Ideally, our plan would cover the following aspects: • Education to develop a deeper awareness and understanding of bullying that helps foster prevention; for example, the problems of the bully, the bullied and the bystander. Education about the dynamics involved in bullying will also be specifically addressed, as well as the different aspects of bullying such as physical, social and verbal. • Assessment to determine the extent and nature of bullying, perceptions around the issue, and the effectiveness of prevention efforts; for example, how bullying may differ among boys and girls. A survey will be given and the data analyzed to determine where and when bullying is taking place and how it may differ at various ages. • Action to provide identification and prevention strategies for the whole school. Our goal is to develop peer processes that can promote prevention and stop bullying. Our objectives are to involve administration, teachers, EA’s, students, secretaries, custodians and parents in bullying prevention and ownership of the issue. • Community and targeted interventions for students that address: – school-wide education, embedded in the curriculum, for the entire school population; – routine interventions targeted for students involved in the early stages of bullying; • Establish bullying prevention policies and procedures that: – clearly define bullying – clearly state a commitment to bullying prevention – include procedures to investigate, record and report incidents – detail procedures to communicate with parents about incidents • Establish how bullying prevention education will be implemented throughout all grades in the school. • Foster and build Family of Schools Connection – continue hosting and supplying venue, as well as scheduling meetings between Glenview, Stewart Avenue and Chalmers Public School to plan and implement transition strategies through grades K- 12. One of our caring goals within our school success plan was to continue to build relationships with our elementary schools: Chalmers Street Public School and Stewart Avenue Public School. We will continue to build on events that bring us together as a family of schools, such as the annual Terry Fox run/walk. Our family of schools has a history of working together in addressing behaviour issues. We have been cooperating at promoting good citizenship by having a common Terry Fox run. Last year, a half day was spent with the staff of all three schools learning about the resources available to meet the social emotional needs of our students, and discussing in mixed-division groupings how we can promote a positive school culture within and among the three schools. Several years ago, this family of schools developed five keys to success: Respect, Responsibility, Cooperation, Courteousness and Diligence. Those five keys form the core of the caring portion of our school success plan (“Demonstrate positive interactions through respect, responsibility, co-operations, courteousness and diligence”) and are a pro- active approach to bullying and violence prevention. Through extensive discussions with staff last year, in developing the caring component of our school plans, Chalmers Public School identified class meetings as a format to address those five keys with the goal of building character and addressing the social needs of our students. As students learn to communicate their feelings and ideas in a safe and accepting environment, they will develop the self- confidence and problem-solving skills to be caring citizens. Since the relationship among peers and teacher at the classroom level is so important, we are proposing to make classroom meetings an integral part of our proposal. Class meetings are also an effective way to help all three groups – the bully, the bulled, and the bystander – identify their roles and find long-term solutions. Class meetings: We have already provided introductory training for class meetings. The next step is to increase our effectiveness with class meetings with a half-day in-service with our primary and junior divisions so that bullying and safety issues can be effectively addressed through our five keys of success. Resources for teachers on class meetings, also needs to be provided. To support the effectiveness of the class meetings and to provide expertise in restorative justice and bullying issues, our Child and Youth Worker will be part of class meetings for the first three months of school. Restorative Justice: Restorative justice circles are another valuable communication tool to address bullying and anti-violence issues. Training five teachers in each division (for a total of ten), to help students and families understand the complexity of a problem and coaching them through with strategies that foster positive inter-personal relationships, has been identified as an important initiative by our staff and a means of reducing future conflicts and instructional time lost from suspensions. Peer Mediators: Chalmers School has developed student leaders and problem-solvers through peer mediators. Initiating this training at the beginning of the year would help students identify problems and feel safer on the playgrounds. It is challenging getting this started at the beginning of the year because of the number of other activities and routines required in September. A short-term increase in our Child and Youth Worker’s time at the beginning of the year, would allow us to begin this training for our students early in the year and maximize their effectiveness for a longer period of time. Transitions: Because Chalmers has a strong relationship with the other two schools in our family of schools, we are eager to create effective transitions for our grade six students who go on to Stewart Avenue Public School. We are eager to study the social impact of our graduating grade six’s blending in with the grade six’s from Stewart Ave, who will then make up the new grade seven classes. We also want to create a strong foundation of interpersonal skills and character development so that, as our students move on to senior school and high school,l they will be well equipped to face the challenges of change and adolescence. Special Initiatives: There are several initiatives in our school that support a positive school culture and reduce incidents of bullying and violence that require financial support: 1) The Waterloo Health Unit’s PAL program where students are trained to organize playground activities (new) 2) “Gotcha’s: ”weekly incentive prizes to celebrate being caught being a good school citizen 3) Positive School Culture wristbands for reinforcing the five keys of success (new) 4) Colour House (mixed grade groupings to promote positive interactions among students of different ages) incentive prizes for contributions to a positive school culture 5) Monthly Family pizza prizes for rewarding punctuality Guest speakers for students and school community (ongoing) School Respect Committee: • Continue to develop and refine the Together We Light the Way Respect Pillar program; • Evolve Together We Light the Way Respect Pillar program to incorporate 11 characteristics identified in the WRDSB Imagine Tomorrow initiative; • Train new staff in Together We Light the Way Respect Pillar program; Restorative Justice: • Complete training of all staff; • Refine Making Amends Program for Students (MAPS): 1. as an alternative to school suspension; 2. restoring community trust in the student and allowing them full participation in the school community; 3. educating parents that “you do the crime you pay the time” responses do not support permanent change in student behaviour; 4. seeking out and using community resources to educate students during MAPS session; • Train all staff in the use of weekly class meetings using the circle process from RJ; • Purchase multi-media resources for student, family and staff development. Review staff roles and responsibilities: • Special education staff was redeployed for the 2006-07 school. Half of a full-time staff member’s assignment was directed to students who presented as a behaviour issue. • Guidance counselor was directed to search out and take advantage of community resources to assist students in acquiring knowledge, developing and refining interpersonal skills and changing attitudes. • Review assessment data such as EQAO results, Board literacy Data (Primary running records, Junior/Intermediate CASI) report card learning skill marks to measure impact of behaviour programs on student success Specific Targeting of Student Self-Advocacy Skills to combat bullying: • School behaviour committee to lead school in identifying, selecting and implementing program. • School and School Council identify, select and implement home support program. • Study home and school communication to find enhancements to encourage the community to participate in the school beyond being an audience at school performances. • Review literature that could be provided to students as part of their literacy program in all grades that promotes strong self-advocacy skills and builds on our Respect Programs.
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