South Sanpete School District Safety Initiatives
Anti-Bullying Efforts:As part of our PBIS/school climate efforts, and in partnership with the USOE and the Utah Anti-Bullying Coalition, all schools have implemented bullying prevention strategies and/or programs. The specific methods chosen were based on office disciplinary, SHARP, and student report data at each school. In addition to Second Stepand Prevention Dimensions, other examples of these include:
- Anti-Bullying Assemblies:These are targeted for the whole student body and designed to increase awareness and motivation to make a difference. This includes Student Body Officers in the welcome back assemblies and others throughout the year.
- Anti-Bully Efforts:Schools attempt to create a culture of everyone looking out for bullying. We enlist students to be part of anti-bullying efforts to be school wide strong and, as bystanders, stand up for the underdog.
- Bucket Filler: TheBucket filling program simply means that you do your best each day to show kindness and respect to the people around you. Bucket filling can be small acts of kindness like greeting someone in the hallway, or something bigger like sending someone a special card. There are many ways to fill buckets, big and small, and we should always work each day to fill as many buckets as we can!
- Buddy Box:The South Sanpete School District has provided a way for all students to anonymously report bullying incidents. A locked “Buddy Box” has been purchased and placed in a secure location in each elementary and secondary school. Students were introduced to the Buddy Boxes, and told that they were able to report incidents of physical aggression, verbal aggression, hate speech, cyber bullying, harassment, etc. At each school, the principal, or the principal’s designee, is responsible for following up and responding to the forms the students placed in the Buddy Box.
- Buddy Benches: The buddy bench is a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground. Spread the message of inclusion and kindness.
- Cool 2 Care: Cool 2 care supports PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Support) education framework. South Sanpete School District is committed to building a climate and culture of respect, tolerance and acceptance to promote the general welfare of students. Components of the program including Bystander responsibilities and CAST -stay Calm and Confident, move Away from the bully, tell them to Stop, if they do not stop --tell an adult.
- D.A.R.E. E
- Peer Programs:At the secondary level, established groups such as Hope Squads and Student Government have taken on the Anti-Bullying cause and include it in what they are doing throughout the year. These students promote positive relationships and watch for students at risk or aggressors and report them to school officials. They also spearhead activities to increase unity and acceptance. Training for these students has been provided through the Utah Anti-Bully Coalition.
- Safety Assemblies by Camfel production: A major educational challenge is to communicate in a way that can hold student's attention as well as create interest in the message. Each of our large three-screen assemblies contains current popular music, film clips, and challenging content to spark discussion and motivate healthy change.
- Surveillance Cameras: South Sanpete School District uses surveillance cameras in all schools and buses. They are in place to protect and help make all students feel safe at school in all their actions.
Digital Citizenship and Cyber Bullying Programs: The trainings focus on motivating and inspiring positive change among the students. These programs provide students with empowering ways to address internet safety and digital citizenship at school and at home. Trainings provide a unique and entertaining outlook on the subjects addressed that both captures students attention and brings home the key message: “Each student is in control of their digital futures; they decide today, by the things they share, what their future holds.”
- Net Safe:NetSafe Utah provides online videos and resources for kids, teens, parents and educators, including Internet Safety information that Utah schools need to meet the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requirements.
- NetSmartz:The NetSmartz program as provided by the Utah Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs provides digital citizenship trainings to Utah students in grades K-12. These trainings provide instruction to students about topics including cyberbullying, sexting, Internet predators, social networking dangers, and more. The trainings are age-appropriate and are adjusted to the age and understanding of each training group (kindergarten to high school.)
- Common Sense Media:Digital citizenship program used to teach students how to thrive in the digital age with free, research-backed lesson plans. ... Find lessons, activities, classroom tools, and family resources to help students learn about character strengths and develop empathy, compassion, integrity, courage, and more.
Other Safety Initiatives:
- ADAPT: ADAPT(Advancing Decision Making and Problem Solving for Teens) is a small-group intervention for middle and high school students who are at risk for substance use, aggression, truancy, poor school performance, and depressive moods. The program's 12 sessions teach fundamental skills such as:
- Effective Problem Solving and Communication Skills
- Decision Making
- Refusal Skills and Anger Management
- Botvin Lifeskills:The Botvin LifeSkills Middle and High School programs is a groundbreaking substance abuse and violence prevention program based on more than 35 years of rigorous scientific research. Proven to be the most effective evidence-based program used in schools today, LifeSkills Trainingis comprehensive, dynamic, and developmentally designed to promote positive youth development. In addition to helping kids resist drug, alcohol, and tobacco use, the LifeSkills Training Middle School program also effectively supports the reduction of violence and other high-risk behaviors.
- Gear-up/Ameri-Corps Mentors: These employees are able to track and help eliminate any roadblocks that might be causing students to not succeed in their classroom and provide pathways to success.
- Leader in Me & Lighthouse designation: Leader in Me is a whole-school transformation model and process developed in partnership with educators that empowers students with the leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. It is based on principles and practices of personal, interpersonal and organizational effectiveness, and upon the powerful premise that every child possesses unique strengths and has the ability to be a leader. Leader in Me helps students learn how to become self-reliant, take initiative, plan ahead, set and track goals, do their homework, prioritize their time, manage their emotions, be considerate of others, express their viewpoint persuasively, resolve conflicts, find creative solutions, value differences, and live a balanced life. The process helps students develop the skills and self-confidence they need to lead their lives and succeed in school and beyond.
- HOPE Squads: These are students in all secondary schools that are trained in suicide awareness to assist and help peers who are suffering from depression or may be suicidal. It incorporates training modules that take an active approach in teaching/learning the warning signs of suicide, reporting potential suicidal behavior, and supporting students who have already received help. Hope Squads are the eyes and ears of the school’s student body that have been identified by their peers as someone that is a good listener. Teams are led by teachers and counselors who have also been trained. The goal is to refer the students to the counseling office or another adult who can assist them in getting the support they need.
- Juvenile Justice Intervention Programs:The School-based Outreach Program provides evidence-based services to youths to improve attendance and academic performance, teach problem solving, decision making, goal setting and resiliency skills in the school and in the community, tutor participating youth, establish collaborative relationships with allied agencies, and mentor youth in homes, where skills are taught to the family. Juvenile Justice Service representatives work with secondary students one on one and in small groups weekly.
- Kindness Campaign:A school program that brings positive rewards for being kind to other students. When you are caught doing kind acts you earn tickets that are put into drawings that happen, weekly, quarterly, and yearly. This program is to build habits of being kind to others.
- Mental Health Services: Through Counseling Grants, our students can access mental health services for situations that are affecting their social/emotional well-being, school behavior and/or academics. A partnership in association with Central Utah Counseling provides cost-free opportunities for qualifying students to get the support needed during school time. This can be accessed through administrators and/or counselors. A partnership grant with the Children’s Justice Center is also available for those who may not qualify for the other programs.
- NFHS Training: The National Federation of State High School Associations is the body that writes the rules of competition for most high school sports and activities in the United States. Employees complete the NFHS Bullying, Hazing and Inappropriate Behaviors as well as the Hazing Prevention for Students videos. Along with participants in extracurricular activities complete the Hazing Prevention for Students.
- Positive Professional Development for Teachers:South Sanpete School District is always looking for and implementing positive professional development opportunities for staff and faculty dealing with improving school culture, compassion fatigue, student success, positive effect size, etc. We feel if we can give our teachers and staff the right tools and training it will transfer to our students social/emotional development, academic success and improved coping skills. Mental health professionals are always scheduled to present at our annual professional learning conference.
- PREPaRE Training: This is an emergency response training that includes a mental health component that all of our counselors have been trained in.
- Prevention Dimensions: This is Utah’s Safe and Drug Free Schools Curriculum. All elementary (K-6) and select Junior High teachers in our district have been trained and teach this annually. This has been the foundation prevention curriculum in South Sanpete School District since 1983.
- QPR Training:We have district trainers that work throughout the community to train educators, staff, students, community groups, religious groups, etc. on the Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR)method of suicide prevention. After 2 years of teaching QPR in South Sanpete County, we have trained many Gatekeepers, and people in Connect Postvention. We have several staff who have also been trained in postvention.
- Refocus Groups:We have a refocus room coordinator in most of the elementary schools. The program was implemented to monitor students in various activities for the purpose of providing a safe and positive learning environment. The refocus coordinator responds productively to conflict situations with students for the purpose of de-escalating student behavior and directing the situation toward a positive outcome.
- Restorative Justice Mentors : Each school has an employee who tracks and monitors students attendance issues at their school. They make contact with parents and students to help them overcome any issues or concerns that are causing students from attending school.
- SafeUT:Students concerned about the safety of themselves or others are reaching out for help. Students in crisis can connect with counselors 24 hours a day by using the mobile app or calling 1-800-273-8255 to talk about relationship issues, drug problems, thoughts of suicide, etc. Safety tips submitted are screened by crisis workers for immediate intervention and then passed along to district/school officials for follow up. Tips can be reported anonymously and may include, but are not limited to: suicide, bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment, hazing, threats, and substance abuse. We have received valuable tips allowing us to respond and intervene in a timely manner to prevent, properly investigate, act upon, restore, and maintain safety.
- Second Step (grades K-8):This is a nationally renowned, evidence-based program designed to promote skills and attitudes that increase students’ social and school success. It provides a foundation for creating a safe, respectful learning environment. Second Step is implemented by counselors and refocus specialists in our elementary schools.
- School-Based Mental Health Webinar:The Utah School Board of Education provides School-Based Mental Health webinars for counselors and other student support professionals each month.
- School Counseling & Mental Health Systems of Support: Our school counselors have an “open-door policy” for responsive services. They know this takes precedence over other needs. Counselors have attended multiple trainings/conferences in the areas of suicide prevention, mental health, emergency services, intervention strategies, abuse and trauma, etc. Counselors have been trained in various suicide prevention programs/strategies, including QPR, as well as other trainings. South Sanpete School District has also actively increased counseling services throughout the district including in our elementary schools. In addition to this a couple of our elementary schools are using school funding to pilot efforts to include social/emotional intervention aides on staff.
- School Resource Officers (SROs): SROs are sworn law enforcement officers who are specially selected and trained to promote safety within schools. SROs can fulfill a variety of roles: Preventing and responding to school-based crime; fostering positive relationships among law enforcement, educators, and youth; and helping to promote a positive school climate.
- SHARP Survey: In March 2017, students in grades 6-12 participated in the SHARP Survey. This survey is administered every two years, gathering data that is used to continually to support and improve efforts to combat suicide, bullying, drug and tobacco use, etc. within our district and communities.
- Stand Up Speak Out: A school wide initiative to get students at school to pledge to take action when they witness bullying and harassment in schools in a response to the need for improving the culture and atmosphere of our school.
- WhyTry:This is a nationally renowned, evidence-based program designed to promote skills and attitudes that increase students’ social and school success. The WhyTry Program is a resilience education curriculum that provides simple, hands-on solutions for dropout prevention, violence prevention, truancy reduction, and increased academic success.
- Youth/Peer Court:an alternative approach to the traditional juvenile justice system. A youth charged with an offense has the opportunity to forgo the hearing and sentencing procedures of juvenile court and agrees to a sentencing forum with a jury of the youth's peers. Youth court is under the supervision of a judge, and youth defendants and volunteers play a variety of roles in the judicial process, such as district attorney or public defender. Youth courts are youth-focused and youth-driven and are designed and operated to empower youth.
For more information visit www.ssanpete..org,or call the South Sanpete School District Office at (435) 835-2261.