Students' Safety Programs

  • DARE Character Education

    Prevention / Intervention Strategies

    Program Initiatives: Prevention / Faculty

    School districts continue to develop and investigate various strategies regarding violence prevention and intervention. These strategies may include but are not limited to:

    1. New York State Police Safe School Program for staff (4 modules of 1 hour each) which includes:

    " Awareness - identifies school violence as a problem. Defines and identifies the difference between conflict vs. violence, provides overview of conflict resolution and communication skills, identifies early indicators of violent behavior.

    " Prevention - discusses suggestions for the prevention of school violence. Provides calming and de-escalation techniques, discusses the identification of gangs and bullies, defines the difference between a prank and a crime, and provides suggestions for development of a student assistant program.

    " Effective Response - provides techniques in responding to specific incidents. Presents methods on how to respond to potentially violent situations, provides strategies for dealing with a disruptive person or hostage situation, and assists in developing post-incident response teams.

    " Incident Management - reviews guidelines for an incident management plan. Provides a guide to developing an incident management plan, supplies information on legal issues involving locker searches and school related crime, and assists in creating a list of resources and emergency support needed during all phases of an incident.

    2. Will conduct yearly district wide "Forum" for the purpose of sharing information, reviewing best practices and providing training from local and National Experts on Safe Schools.

    3. Strategies for Crisis Intervention and Prevention (SCIP) technique training.

    4. An Alternative Placement Program for intervention of violent students who cannot function in a regular school environment is operated by BOCES.

    5. Alternative Education programs are operated by BOCES and address the criteria under the section entitled Early Detection of Potentially Violent Behaviors.

    6. A Community Intervention Program, comprised of children and family services, school districts law enforcement and professionals from the community, meets and discusses, among other topics, character and civility issues with school officials quarterly.

    Program Initiatives: Prevention

    Non-violent conflict resolution programs:

    Districts develop and revise comprehensive K-12 non-violent conflict resolution programs built on existing and evolving programs. These programs are designed for age appropriate integration and consist of the following:

    1. Elementary Level: Introduce students to problem solving, anti-bullying, charter education, and respecting differences. Information will be shared during health and physical education class and/or after school extended day clubs.
    2. Middle School Level: Development of an information program that focuses on problem solving and anger management techniques. Continue character education and the development of leadership skills that will build caring non-violent environment. Information/programs shared in health, physical education and/or after school clubs will concentrate on building character, mutual respect, and appreciation for diversity.
    3. High School Level: Development of a program that teaches tolerance and anger management. Continue character education and the development of leadership skills that will build a caring non-violent environment. Information/programs shared in health, physical education and/or after school clubs will concentrate on building character, mutual respect, and appreciation for diversity. At the senior high level, leadership skills, community service, and mentoring programs will be the focus.

    Program Initiatives: Intervention

    Peer Mediation Programs

    Peer mediation programs are developed as follows:

    1. Elementary Level: Introduce students to peer mediation utilizing peer advocates form the middle school and high school level.
    2. Middle School Level: Train peer mediators at each grade level to work with non-violent student problems. Under the direction of a faculty advisor, students will conduct mediation sessions to de-escalate problems. Students will also act as peace advocates, discussing role-playing and distributing non-violent problem solving information to students throughout their home school.
    3. High School Level: Train and use student mediators to diffuse student conflicts. A faculty advisor will select students to be members of a consistent group that will diffuse non-violent student problems at the senior high level. A key role of this group will be to mentor middle school and elementary students in the use of peer mediation as a problem solving tool.

    Extended day and other school safety programs

    The districts utilize their extended day programs to provide safe environments for after school learning and athletic activities. Some of the items include but are not limited to:

    a. After School Booster/Academic Progress to provide extended time for learning skills, techniques, and strategies for targeted students.

    b. Intramural Sports and Modified Sport and Modified Sport Activities provided in as many areas as possible.

    c. Clubs/Activities - expand existing club offerings that focus on positive character building.

    Strategies for improving communication among students and between students and staff.

    The districts have developed various strategies for the improvement of communication among students, and between students, and staff. A teaching component for all grade levels, elementary, middle and secondary is offered.

    This teaching component encompasses the following subject areas: front line defense against bullying, harassment and gangs, anger management, peer mediation and involvement, developing social skills, and citizenship, respect for life (character education).

    School Resource Officers - Grant funded positions providing for uniformed police officers in schools present to assist students.

    The districts continue to develop on-going strategies for improving communication between students and staff and the reporting of potentially violent incidents by the following:

    • Develop uniform electronic reporting and teaching system for reporting school incidents of school violence and inappropriate behaviors.
    • Establish student help centers with a Designate Care Consultant (DCC).
    • Development of a district wide non-violent website that would focus on safety. Also, provide an anonymous reporting mechanism for areas of concern.
    • Yearly district-wide "Safe Schools Forum" for the purpose of sharing information, reviewing best practices, provides training from local state and national experts on Safe Schools and School Violence.
    • School staff members are to be given annual training and staff development on the school safety plan and policies. Skills will be developed in the following areas: violence prevention and intervention, conflict resolution, recognition of early warning signs of potentially violent behavior, and procedures to assist victims of school violence.
    • Student peer programs for the purpose of communicating the necessity and importance of student involvement.
    • Some districts also provide a program to involve parents of our students and community members in understanding the district's safety initiatives, opportunities to serve on committees, attend meetings on school safety and assist in school safety programs.

    The districts continue to develop a comprehensive K-12 Safe School Plan built on existing and evolving programs of conflict resolution, peer mediation, character development, health decisions, and violence prevention. We will use a pro-active approach to help build a healthy school environment using the strengths and experience of our staff and students.

    Beginning at the elementary level through high school, districts continue to build and focus on the elements needed to ensure a safe school environment. Carefully bridging the three levels to provide a continuum of "safe school" practices, some of these elements are (but not limited to):

    Conflict resolution skill building (intro)
    Positive decision-making/resistance skills
    Caring environment
    Character education
    Peer mediation (intro)
    Peaceful problem solving
    After school clubs

    Middle School
    Conflict resolution skill building
    Leadership skills
    Caring environment
    Character education
    Community service
    Peer mediation
    After school clubs

    High School
    Conflict resolution skill building
    Leadership skills
    Caring environment
    Character education
    Community service

    Program Initiatives: Post-Vention

    Formal Debriefing Meetings, Liaisons with law enforcement agencies and judicial system, School Crisis Plan, Long-Range Intervention, Formal School Emergency Plans