The anti-bullying efforts at Glacier Hills Elementary School of Arts and Science have been amazing. Staff has thoroughly embraced strategies which have nearly eliminated instances of bullying at our fabulous school.
Our social workers do a tremendous job of instructing kids in strategies to identify bullying behavior and learn how to diffuse bullying. One area of emphasis is learning how to be an active anti-bully, stepping in to support others who may experience bullying. Staff members have discussions with their students about the importance of supporting each other daily. Having frequent public discussion about bullying keep this pertinent issue in the forefront. We also host a myriad of activities throughout the year which help eliminate bullying. Our annual 4th grade Kindness Retreat teaches powerful skills to our students.We celebrate kindness year-long, but during late winter we publically display acts of kindness on our Kindness Tree. Again, these overt activities and displays keep the focus on appropriate interactions between students and staff. Finally, the addition of PBIS training has helped us fine tune our learning environment for our school.
These efforts have led to outstanding results. Thirteen years ago when I took over leadership of Glacier Hills, I maintained file drawers filled with discipline referrals. Out of school suspensions and other disciplinary consequences were daily occurrences. Our efforts have reduced our misbehaviors to almost nothing. This year we had a total of zero suspensions. The drawers filled with discipline referrals have been replaced with a tiny binder. The grand total of referrals this year totaled 29. A far cry from the hundreds we used to process.
What has caused this change you may ask? We have tremendous engagement with our students. Our teachers have studied Restitution and Responsive Classroom. We have worked hard to learn and implement culturally responsive teaching strategies. We also talk about discipline out in the open. This topic is not hidden at Glacier Hills Elementary School of Arts and Science.
Jeff Holten, Principal