NORTH ADAMS PUBLIC SCHOOLS
For more information about the bullying prevention and intervention programs in the North Adams Public Schools, please contact the Principal or Dean of Students at your child’s school.
Parents, Guardians, and Students: To Report an Incident of Bullying
Parents, guardians and other students serve a paramount role in protecting students from bullying and harassment. Students, parents, guardians, and others who witness or become aware of an instance of bullying or retaliation are expected to report it to the Principal or Dean of Students.
Parents, guardians, and students may make a verbal report or written report to the Principal or Dean of Students and may be assisted in completing a Bullying Prevention Incident Report Form by the administrator. To submit a written report, please use the appropriate form on the left. Paper copies of the forms are also available in common office areas.
Parents, guardians, students, and others may make reports anonymously but no disciplinary action will be taken against an alleged aggressor solely on the basis of an anonymous report. The full discipline policy related to bullying can be seen in the Bullying Prevention District Plan or in the student handbook for your child’s school. Each school’s web page has a link to the view handbooks.
Bullying Prevention and Intervention Task Force
A task force was formed in 2010 to study, discuss, and draft the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan for the North Adams Public Schools. Membership consisted of parents, students, community members and educators. The school committee approved the plan put forth by the Task Force and it was submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in December 2010. The task force reconvened in September 2012 to review progress with implementation of the plan, consider trends with bullying and cyber-bullying and to update the district plan. A revised plan was submitted to and accepted by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in February 2013. The district plan includes components related to student and staff policies, intervention and response procedures, prevention education curriculum, and professional development. The Bullying Prevention and Intervention Task Force will continue to review progress with the implementation of the plan and to review and revise the plan as indicated.
Bullying Prevention and Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum
The North Adams Public Schools provides age-appropriate instruction on bullying prevention to all students in each grade. Effective instruction includes classroom approaches, whole-school initiatives, and focused strategies for bullying prevention and social skills development. Bullying prevention curriculum is embedded within a social and emotional learning approach focused on developing students’ social skills and competencies within a safe and supportive school environment. The district’s prevention education plan was reviewed after the publication of guidelines for implementing social and emotional learning curricula by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released in August 2011.
The core bullying prevention and social-emotional learning curriculum implemented in preschool through grade seven is the Second Step Violence Prevention Program. The Second Step is an evidence-based program that has proven effective in building pro-social skills in children and reducing aggressive and violent behavior. Learning units vary by grade level and include empathy training, emotion management, problem-solving, impulse control, anger management, conflict resolution, bullying prevention, communication, and substance abuse prevention. More information about the program including an overview of the curriculum with an outline of topics per grade can be viewed at http://www.cfchildren.org/second-step
At the high school level, the core prevention curriculum is an evidence-based social-emotional learning program called School-Connect. All 8th graders are participating through their required High School Prep course. In addition to fostering the development of social competencies, academic skills, and school connectedness, the curriculum includes lessons on bullying prevention and cyber-bullying prevention.
Booster lessons are provided to students in grades 9 -12 via elective health courses and integrated content-area units.
At all grade levels, students are receiving specialized training about the bullying prevention legislation, the nature of bullying, what to do about it, and school rules and expectations for student behavior. Cyber-bullying and Internet safety lessons are also being delivered through special student training sessions and integrated into relevant content curriculum.
In addition to the core prevention curriculum, multiple instructional and school-wide practices support bullying prevention and promote a safe and caring school community. Further details can be viewed within the district plan beginning on page four. Please see the link above to view the district plan.
The Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center website http://marccenter.webs.com/parents has free online brochures and information for parents, including It’s Confidential (Understanding your School’s Limits on Sharing Information), Texting Tips, GLBT Bullying: Some Facts, When Your Child is Being Bullied, Cyberbullying, Social Networking Sites, No Child Left Online and Avoiding and Responding to Problems on Facebook.
Stop Bullying Now! http://www.stopbullying.gov
This website hosted by the US Department of Health and Human Services offers flash movies, games, and information about bullying and bullying prevention for children. It also has a companion parent page.
NetSmartz http://www.netsmartz.org has interactive information for parents, children, and teens about internet safety. This site is hosted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The Bullying Prevention and Intervention page of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education http://www.doe.mass.edu/bullying/ website has links to multiple resources for parents and educators.