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Anti-bullying program going district-wide

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[ Updated: 8.5.2011 5:27 PM ]

Anti-bullying program going district-wide

HOPEDALE- A worldwide program that has proven success in one Harrison Hills school is poised to spread throughout the district.

The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program first implemented at Harrison Middle School around 2010 will now be used at Harrison East Elementary in Hopedale, Harrison Central Jr./Sr. High School in Cadiz and Harrison North Elementary in Scio. Harrison East officially kicks off its program Sept. 30, while Harrison North follows suit Oct. 7 and HCHS starts in January.

The first of three training sessions was held in Hopedale on Wednesday as nearly 50 teachers, staff members, custodians and bus drivers met at the village fire hall for a day of instruction with the school’s coordinating committee. Participants viewed a PowerPoint presentation and split into groups for intervention activities. Olweus is a comprehensive method that works to reduce existing problems and prevent new ones by strengthening relationships between students and staff, resulting in a positive school climate. It is a long-term program involving the school, individual, classroom and community. Further sessions were set for Monday, Aug. 8 at Harrison Central in the John Stephenson Activity Center and Monday, Aug. 15 at Harrison North Elementary in the Barr Memorial Gym.

Sandra Leggett, principal at Harrison East and district program coordinator, first implemented the Swedish program while acting as principal of Harrison Middle School (now Harrison North), and the results were overwhelmingly positive. For one, the number of incident reports increased because the staff established a rapport with students and allowed the pupils to voice bullying problems more easily, while intervention and other action further improved the learning environment.

“We will be able to implement this district-wide in the fall,” said Leggett. “We saw through data at the middle school how effective the program is, and I feel confident we will experience that same kind of success in all of the schools.”

 Each building committee underwent training this year with certified instructors from Columbiana County, and the group shared that knowledge with the remaining staff. Weekly class meetings will be held during the year with classified staff members being assigned to a room. Leggett said the weekly meetings are vital in the cultivation of staff-student relationships, while community involvement is key.

In the past, parents have been invited to participate and businesses were solicited to post stickers identifying their locations as safe havens should bullying occur off school grounds. Funding for the program comes from grants secured by Harrison County Juvenile-Probate Judge Matthew Puskarich, who worked with Leggett on the initial project at Harrison Middle.

“I commend Mrs. Leggett for the work she has done and continues to do with the Olweus program. We have seen remarkable results with fewer incidents at Harrison Middle School, and by taking it into all of our buildings we hope to have even more success,” said Superintendent Dr. George Ash. “We appreciate Judge Puskarich for all of his assistance with expanding the program. The staff at each school has been diligent in taking up the cause and the goal is to make our schools the safe learning environments they should be.”

Press Release From Harrison Hills School District

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Larry Bertolino

Larry Bertolino

Owner at myLocalPCpro
Larry Bertolino is a 31 year old, U.S Navy Veteran and currently sitting on the board of Directors for the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce, as well as Harrison County Rural Transit.
Larry Bertolino
Larry Bertolino

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Posted by on August 5, 2011, 1:06 pm. Filed under Community, Kids & Youth. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry