Archives for December 2014

Bully Prevention Skills

Teaching Children Bully Prevention SkillsBOUTA_JESSICA

By Jessica Bouta,
West Elementary School Counselor

 

Creating a school atmosphere of respect, kindness, and safety requires the help of all people involved.  School staff, parents, and children play an important role in teaching bully prevention skills and modeling how to show empathy, kindness, and respect to everyone.

Bullying behaviors often occur when adults are not around.  Educating students on important strategies to help stop bullying empowers them to make good decisions should they encounter a difficult situation.

Children of all ages can be taught the “3 R’s to Help Stop Bullying”.  This is the ability to Recognize, Report, and Refuse bullying (Committees for Children, 2013).  Being able to recognize bullying provides children with the knowledge to know what bullying is and is not.  Conflict and bullying are often confused and it should be noted that bullying is an act that is intentional and occurs repeatedly.  The person it is happening to has not been able to get it to stop.

Reporting to a caring adult and refusing bullying are two ways students can be taught to respond when bullying is occurring to either themselves or others around them.  Instructing children to report to a caring adult helps them understand that it is okay to ask for help and they should be encouraged to continue reporting until it stops.

When children refuse bullying they decide to not let it happen to themselves or others.  One way to help create confidence is to role play in an assertive voice how to refuse bullying.  Having an adult or friend close by can also help create the confidence needed to refuse.

Learning how to recognize, report, and refuse bullying will help children prepare to handle difficult situations with self-confidence and encourage them to stand up for others.

(Information adapted from Committee for Children, Bully Prevention Unit 2013)

You Have the Right

Bill of Rights for the Holidays (AND ANY DAYS)

  • You have the right to take care of yourself: eat right, exercise regularly and get enough rest.
  • You have the right to have mixed emotions: happy, sad, frustrated, guilty, afraid, thankful.
  • You have the right to have solitude: for planning, thinking, reflection, introspection, prayer and relaxation.
  • You have the right not to accept some or all of your party invitations.
  • You have the right to ask for help and support from friends, family, your church/synagogue/mosque, AA/NA/ALANON, and/or the community.
  • You have the right to give gifts that are within your holiday budget.
  • You have the right to say no to alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, and a second piece of pie.
  • You have the right not to ride with a drunk driver.
  • You have the right to take away the keys of a drunk friend or relative who wants to drive, and to call a taxi for someone (or yourself).
  • You have the right to smile at harassed salesclerks and angry drivers, and to give them a Peace of your mind.

This information is from our local Employee Assistance Program through Hutchinson Health.

Lifelong Learning!

Community Education provides lifelong learning experiences for people of all ages!

Click here to check out the current opportunities.

Chronic Absenteeism

The Effects of Chronic Absenteeism

By Bill Carlson, Assistant Principal, Middle School

 

Learning builds from day to day. Lesson plans are built around a progression in mastering concepts and information. It is not possible for a student to do his/her best if they are not in school to manage class work, take notes and to interact with educators and student peers regarding course curriculum.

When a student misses multiple days of school it is called chronic absenteeism. Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing 10% of the school year. In practical terms that translates to 6 days in a trimester or 18 days in a school year; this includes both excused and unexcused absences. It is a routine practice for parents/guardians to receive a cautionary letter or phone call when their student’s absenteeism approaches 10%. Often times these same parents/guardians question the validity of these notifications if their student has been absent due to chronic illness, vacation, or family emergency. However, it is not why a student is absent, but how much a student is absent that really matters. Chronic absenteeism not only affects student achievement, it can affect a student’s attitude and behavior at school. When a student has attendance issues, achievement issues and behavior issues it increases their risk of dropping out of school.

It is helpful for schools to have clear policies and procedures on how to respond to chronic absenteeism and to practice consistent communication with students, parents and county agencies when concerns arise. Through the data that schools are required to collect on absenteeism we are able to assist students and their families in improving chronic absenteeism by promptly addressing it. Schools can also help students improve attendance through education about the effects of chronic absenteeism and individualized goal setting.

Parents can help improve their child’s attendance by working with the school to identify why their child is missing school, to address underlying concerns and to establish concrete expectations of attending school and not to negotiate away from these expectations. Satisfying the basic needs of a good night’s sleep, a proper breakfast and getting to school on time can greatly impact a child’s attendance. Whenever possible, non-urgent medical appointments should be scheduled when school is not in session.

Students with good homework habits are less likely to miss school and if they do miss school they are more likely to complete makeup work in a timely fashion. Students who are disorganized; unsure of their assignment responsibilities and or have numerous outstanding assignments are more likely to become causality to chronic absenteeism.

Helping students understand that consistently attending school improves achievement and gives those increased opportunities and choices when they graduate falls squarely on all of our shoulders. Attending school on regular basis does matter. Attendance is a key driver in a student’s achievement in the classroom, standardized test scores, high school graduation, and college entrance. Chronic absenteeism is a problem that can be remedied if addressed by all responsible parties: the student, the parent/guardian, the school and the community.

Congratulations!

The West Elementary Preschool Program has received a 4 Star rating from Parent Aware.

Parent Aware helps families find the quality care and education their children need to succeed in school and life. The One- to Four-Star ratings allow families to easily identify child care and early education programs using research-based practices to prepare children for kindergarten.

www.parentaware.org

School Board – Dec 8

The Board of Education will conduct a regular meeting on Monday, December 8, 2014 at 5:30 pm in the Council Chambers at City Center.

Agenda items will include:

  • Presentation of Fiscal Year 2014 Audit Report
  • Approval of Contract Agreements
  • Acknowledgement of Request to Negotiate
  • Superintendent’s Semi-annual Evaluation
  • Truth in Taxation Hearing (6:05 pm)
  • Final Adoption of 2014 Payable 2015 Levy

 

Hutchinson Public Schools

Hutchinson Public Schools