Bullying Prevention Plan 2020-2021

SCHOOL:      Kortright Hills PS DATE:      September 22nd, 2020/ November 17th 2020

Everyone at our school is committed to making our school a safe, inclusive and equitable environment for all.  We treat each other with respect and we will refuse to tolerate inequities in any form at our school. We know that a “whole-school” approach where all stakeholders are involved in supporting our students helps create and maintain a positive school climate.  

Definition of Bullying

“Bullying” means aggressive and typically repeated behavior by a student where, 

  1. The behavior is intended by the student to have the effect of, or the student ought to know that the behavior would be likely to have the effect of,
  • causing harm, fear or distress to another individual, including physical, psychological, social or academic harm, harm to the individual’s reputation or harm to the individual’s property, or
  • creating a negative environment at a school for another individual, and
  1. The behavior occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance between the student and the individual based on factors such as size, strength, age, intelligence, peer group power, economic status, social status, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, family circumstances, gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, disability or special education needs.

Bullying takes different forms of contexts with age.  It can be physical, verbal, social/emotional or through electronic means (cyber-bullying).  Bystanders contribute to bullying by doing nothing to prevent it or become actively involved in supporting it.

“Cyberbullying” includes electronic communication that:

  • Is used to upset, threaten or embarrass another person.
  • Uses email, cell phones, text messages and social media sites to threaten, harass, embarrass, socially exclude or damage reputations and friendships.
  • includes put downs, insults and can also involve spreading rumours, sharing private information, photos or videos or threatening to harm someone.

Examples of Bullying

  • PHYSICAL AGGRESSION: e.g., hitting, pushing, stealing, damaging property 
  • VERBAL AGGRESSION: e.g., insults, threats, taunting someone in a hurtful way, name calling, making sexist, racist or homophobic comments
  • SOCIAL OR RELATIONAL AGGRESSION: e.g., spreading rumors about someone, excluding someone, gossiping
  • ELECTRONIC (Cyberbullying): e.g., spreading rumors and/or hurtful comments through the use of email, cell phones (texts) and on social media.

Safe Schools Committee

 

School Administrator:      Farhan Hussain, Kyla Lightfoot

Equity Rep:    Kara Nagel

Teacher(s):      Adam Leader

Support Staff:      Della Broderick     

Parent:      Chantalle Pellizzari 

    

The role of this committee should include but is not limited to the following: 

  • Develop and annually review the School Bullying Prevention Plan 
  • Implement and analyze data from the School Climate Survey (every two years) 
  • Identify and implement bullying prevention and intervention programs that address the needs of the school
  • Identify relationship building and community building programs relevant to the needs of the school 
  • Assist with training and awareness raising strategies for staff, students and parents/ guardians
  • Communicate bullying prevention and intervention strategies and reporting procedures to the school community

School Monitoring and Review Process

This Bullying Prevention and Inclusive School Plan was developed or reviewed by our Safe School Committee on:      September 2020

Our most recent school climate survey was conducted: Spring 2019     

 The response rates for Kortright Hills Public School are as follows:

  • 92% of students in grades 4-6 
  • 100% of students in grades 7-8 
  • 69% of parents
  • 91% of staff members 

 

Data from our most recent climate survey indicated that:

     61% of students in grades 4-6 and 61% of students in grades 7-8 reported that they feel very safe when they are at school.

 

     37% of students in grades 4-6 and 23% of students in grades 7-8 reported that they have been bullied at school a few times.

 

     67% of students in grades 4-6 and 55% of students in grades 7-8 reported that they told an adult about it.

 

     86% of parents who completed the survey felt that adults at school were helpful in resolving bullying issues.

 

     89% of staff who completed the survey indicated that when steps were taken to address specific incidents of bullying, the intervention was successful.

Training Strategies for Staff and Members of the School Community

Members of our school community will receive Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive training through:

  • Board professional development workshops
  • Online training for new employees
  • Staff meetings
  • Provision of professional development materials and resources   

Parents/Community Communication and Outreach Strategies

We will communicate our Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive strategies and initiatives by:

  • Including our Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive Plan in our school/student handbook
  • Including information inserts in our school newsletters and other in-house publications
  • Sharing information during school assemblies and announcements
  • Sharing information through bulletin board postings
  • Sharing information at School Council and other parent meetings
  • Sharing information at staff meetings
  • Integrating Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusion into classroom instruction
  • Posting our Bullying Prevention Plan and Safe, Equitable and Inclusive Schools strategy on our school website
  • Informing parents and school volunteers of our procedures for reporting incidents of bullying and inequity
  • Assisting parents to build awareness and knowledge so they may support our school Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive strategies

Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive Strategies, Education Programs/Activities

Note:  Our Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive goal(s) are determined after analysis of the results of our school climate survey.

School Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive Goals(s):

  1. Due to covid this is on hold this year:  School Climate – Through the “buddy classroom” program, students will build relationships across grades, and will be encouraged to “check in” with each other on the yard and in whole-school activities in order to build a sense of positive community feeling, K-8 (September, then ongoing.)
  2. Safe Schools – School staff will review areas of potential safety concern (e.g., hallways, change rooms, transition times) and continue/increase monitoring of these times and spaces. (October, then ongoing) 
  3. Bullying Prevention and Intervention – School staff will work to design and implement school-wide learning for students to clarify the difference between rude/mean behaviour and bullying, the role of bystanders, and to focus on how kind actions and words can help “erase bullying” in our school community. This is being accomplished through virtual announcements.    (November)     
  4. Equity – Deepen our understanding of the differences and similarities of all people, with a focus on being your own person within a supportive community.   This is being accomplished through virtual announcements.    (September – June) 
  5. Parent Community – Increase parent engagement using suggestions from parents on the School Council  (Ongoing).   

 

Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive, Education Programs and Activities:

Our school currently implements or will implement the following bullying prevention and equity & inclusive education programs and activities that focus on developing healthy relationships and provide leadership opportunities for our students:

  1. Student Voice – Invite students to share their ideas with staff in order to understand what is making 30% of Junior students and 39% of Intermediate students not feel safe at school (November)
  2. Use this information (step #1) to inform school wide priorities/action plans regarding full school activities and PD. (November-June)
  3. Bully Prevention and Intervention –  Reaffirm school wide approach to reporting, intervention and communicating about bullying issues in the school (strategies below) through classroom instruction, classroom buddies, as well as virtual assemblies (November, ongoing).
  4. School Council Meetings – Ensure parents are being informed about data collected and discuss interventions and next steps to attain feedback (Virtual Meetings). 
  5. School Newsletters-Use this medium to share with parents the work that is being done in the school (student voice as well as school side interventions)-Ongoing
  6. Conduct a Student Voice Survey for Grade 4-8 students in November/December 2020, include questions using an Anti-Racism Lens as appropriate. 
  7. Increase understanding of “Orange Shirt Day” and  its significance by sending out link to virtual assembly information.
  8. Staff Book Study – On current Equity Topics.
  9. Start a GSA club at our school from Intermediate students (virtual).
  10. An opportunity for students to make  videos explaining their days of significance relating to their faith or culture  which will be shared on the video announcements during the week of each celebration. 
  11. Bully Prevention and Intervention –  School wide approach to explicitly teach behaviour and language used to label actions and educate students about how to effectively cope with bullying through classroom instruction, classroom cohort meetings and virtual speakers/guests. 
  12. Bully Prevention and Intervention – School-wide focus on how our words and actions make others feel, and to promote awareness and inclusion  (e.g. bully prevention week, pink shirt days, orange shirt day, lessons, videos and virtual assemblies).
  13. Build Collaborative Relationships – Ensure parents and community are aware of equity and inclusive  initiatives through the school  website, SchoolMessenger, board website and Google Classroom.
  14. Professional Development – Staff will participate in training to deepen their understanding of anti-racism. 
  15. Equity and Inclusion – Eliminate bias, oppression and racism through daily practices (school wide activities, daily lessons, days of observance, class discussions, resources etc.).    This is being accomplished through virtual announcements. 

Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive Responsibilities

Staff:

  • Closely supervise students in all areas of the school and school grounds
  • Watch for signs of bullying and stopping it when it happens
  • Respond quickly and sensitively to bullying reports (Affirm, Ask, Assess, Act)
  • Take seriously parents’ concerns about bullying incidents
  • Assign consequences for bullying
  • Teach students our procedures for reporting incidents of bullying
  • Provide a safe environment for students who report bullying (protection from retaliation)
  • Treat others respectfully
  • Model positive ways of getting along with others

Students:

  • Treat each other respectfully
  • Refuse to bully others
  • Refuse to let others be bullied
  • Refuse to watch, laugh or join in when someone is being bullied
  • Include everyone in play, especially those who are often left out
  • Report bullying to an adult

Parents:

  • Model positive ways of getting along with others
  • Help their son/daughter find ways to express anger that do not involve hurting others physically or emotionally
  • Teach problem solving skills
  • Inform school staff if their child tells them about a bullying incident
  • Support the schools bullying-prevention efforts
  • Help their son/daughter understand the value of accepting and celebrating individual differences
  • Be alert to signs their child is being bullied or may be bullying others

Intervention Strategies

Our staff will use the following process when bullying is reported:

Acknowledge the Incident / Affirm

  • “You were right to report/get help from an adult.”
  • “I’m glad you asked for help with this.”

Gather Information / Ask Questions

  •  “Tell me more about what happened.”
  • “Has this happened before?”
  • “Did anyone try to help you?”
  • “Are you telling me this is to get someone in trouble or to keep someone safe?”

Assess Safety / Make a Plan

  • Determine what the student needs to feel safe now
  • What can the student do if the bullying continues
  • What steps need to be taken to limit the possibility of retaliation for the person reporting the bullying
  • Who the student will tell if there is another incident

Act / Follow-up

  • Determine “next step” or refer the student to an administrator
  • Tell them what will happen next
  • Check with the student to determine the success of the intervention

Reporting Incidents of Bullying

Students, parents, school staff and volunteers may use the following methods to report incidents of bullying as appropriate:

Student to Student:

  • Safe Schools Incident Reporting (on-line) 
  • On-line Bullying Reporting Tool 
  • Tell an adult in the building (phone, in person, email etc.)
  • Parent / Teacher interviews
  • Make an appointment to meet with school staff 

When responding to a bullying incident, our school staff uses a progressive discipline approach.  Use of Progressive Discipline supports a safe, inclusive and equitable learning and teaching environment in which every student can reach his or her full potential. Strategies may range from early intervention to more intensive intervention in cases of persistent bullying, with possible referral to board support personnel, community or social service agencies.   

These may include but are not limited to: 

  • Well-Being strategies and programs;
  • providing students with the opportunity to learn life skills such as conflict resolution, anger management and communication skills;
  • collaborative problem solving;
  • utilizing models based on the concepts of peer mediation;
  • documenting incidents requiring disciplinary measures;
  • use of progressive discipline;
  • consideration of mitigating factors;
  • ensuring that contact is made with the parent(s)/guardian(s) of students, under the age of 18, early in the disciplinary process and involving them in a plan to improve the behaviour;
  • CYC support
  • referral to outside agencies (e.g., CMHA, DCAFS)
  • restorative justice practices (e.g., written or verbal apology, community service)

Consequences are at the discretion of the Principal or Vice-Principal.  In the case of severe misbehavior, our format of progressive discipline consequences may be superseded.  As incidents arise, it is recognized that each situation is unique.  Mitigating circumstances will be considered for student age, frequency of incidents, nature and severity of incidents, student exceptionalities, extenuating circumstances, impact on the school climate.