PeaceMaker Minnesota presented six awards to five schools before the Minnesota Twins game on Sunday, September 20.
The Achieving Excellence Award recognizes schools that achieve exemplary results compared to schools from throughout the country. Receiving the awards on behalf Lake Park AudubonElementary School was Lisa McLeod, Social Worker and on behalf of Schoolcraft Learning Community in Bemidji, Scott Andersen, the school’s Director.
Schoolcraft Learning Community did better on 8 out of 10 indicators compared to national data and Lake Park Audubon Elementary School did better than national comparisons on 9 out of 10 indicators.
The PeaceMaker Minnesota Change Maker award recognizes schools that achieve the largest reduction in the number of students who are frequently bullied. During the past school year 11 fewer students at St. John the Baptist Catholic Parish School in New Brighton and 24 fewer students at Lake Park Audubon Elementary reported being bullied two to three times a month or more. Receiving the awards on behalf of St. John’s was Jenny Carroll, Middle School Teacher, and Ms. McLeod accepted the second award for Lake Park Audubon Elementary school.
PeaceMaker Minnesota board member Monica Gallagher and Executive Director, Dan McNeil, also honored Cowern Elementary School and Glacier Hills Elementary School of Arts and Science with Commitment to Excellence awards for achieving significant improvement in their student survey results. Cowern Elementary School in North St. Paul improved its bullying prevention survey results on 7 out of 10 indicators. Glacier Hills Elementary School of Arts and Science in Eagan improved its bullying prevention survey results on 8 out of 10 indicators.
The indicators used to measure results and progress from year to year include:
- Percentage of students who report being been bullied 2 – 3 times per month or more
- Percentage of students who report that they are "sometimes," "fairly often," "often," or "very often" afraid of being bullied by other students in school.
- Percentage of students responding that teachers and adult staff try to put a stop to it when a student is being bullied at school.Percentage of students responding that other students try to put a stop to it when a student is being bullied at school. Percent of students responding that the number of good friends that they have in their classes is “none” or “one.”
“These awards do not mean that these schools are perfect. There is still work to be done,” said Mr. McNeil, “but that bullying can be reduced and that schools can obtain low levels of bullying compared to national or state data.”
“These awards are also a good way to highlight that more needs to be done,” continued McNeil. “There are too many kids who go to school each day and are repeatedly harassed, threatened, put down and excluded from others.”
According to Bullying in U.S. Schools 2013 Status Report, an assessment using data collected from schools throughout the country using the Olweus Bullying Questionnaire, 23% of third and fourth graders, 15% of eighth graders and 8% of twelfth graders report being bullied two to three times a month or more.
Just 16% sixth to eighth grade report that other students “often” or “almost always” try to stop it when a student is being bullied at school. While 42% of girls and 40% of boys in sixth to eighth grade feel their teacher has done “little or nothing” or “fairly little” in the past couple of months to cut down on classroom bullying.
All of the schools receiving awards are a part of the PeaceMaker Minnesota network. PeaceMaker Minnesota provides financial assistance to its member schools to help them measure student perceptions of bullying and to improve the results.
“You can’t change what you don’t know,” said McNeil. “We are grateful to our member schools for taking the time to ask their students about bullying and to use a survey that allows us to compare them to national or state data. The survey results can be humbling. But taking the survey also shows a real resolve to make things better for kids.”
Bullying in Schools 2013 Status Report: http://www.violencepreventionworks.org/public/index.page