Exemplary Districts and Schools – Longmont, CO
St. Vrain Valley School District
Training students and adults about what bullying is – and isn’t
October 19, 2010
You won’t find a single school in the St. Vrain Valley School District without a bully prevention program. It’s a top priority.
The board of education’s anti-bullying and harassment policy sets the framework for bullying prevention efforts in the district’s schools. The policy, introduced in 2002, promotes a consistent approach from school to school and a school climate in which all types of bullying are unacceptable.
Every school leadership team continually evaluates its school’s safety and wellness culture and, based on the data, customizes training programs and interventions to best meets its needs. Teachers introduce the bullying prevention curriculum to students in the classroom. At the teacher’s request, school counselors will follow up with individuals or small groups.
“Student safety is the core goal that unites us all,” says Lead Counselor Karen Campanella-Green. “Administrators, grounds keepers, teachers, parents – we’re all collaborating to create an optimal learning environment for all kids.” And because Campanella-Green serves in a dual role as an elementary school administrator, she sees the collaboration in action every day.
St. Vrain’s Bullying Prevention curriculum is based on the work of Dr. Dan Olweus, an internationally respected pioneer in bullying research. Olweus describes bullying as “power oriented” – or situations where a person or a group of persons are repeatedly targeted over time.
“We train entire school communities on what bullying is and how to respond,” says Campanella-Green. “It’s critical that we can distinguish between bullying and peer conflict and tattling and telling.” Teachers and counselors are pivotal in teaching students and adults how to recognize the early signs of bullying and how to stop it from escalating.
Campanella-Green says schools also collaborate with external groups like advocacy specialists, public health professional and law enforcement. “Our goal is to prevent bullying, but when it happens we respond quickly and decisively. We provide rapid support to the victim and, when possible, use restorative justice and positive behavior options for the victimizer.”
For more information, contact Karen Campanella-Green at 720-890-3995 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Colorado Legacy Foundation believes that increased student achievement for all Colorado students requires effective leaders in every school, effective educators in every classroom, and healthy and engaging environments that ignite a passion for learning in every student.