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Thank you in advance for reading it and getting back to us with your comments, corrections, additions, critiques. We need your input to make sure the document addresses all the issues! You will notice some symbols and differing type face which are explained below. *** indicates information is missing. In most cases, this has been requested of the appropriate group. However, if you have the information, please insert it. Bold Italic font indicates that the text came directly from the model plan. This text can be modified to more accurately fit Watertown’s Plan. However, it seemed important to note which language had already been provided by DESE for school districts. In the final draft, this will be removed and the entire document will have the same font. Appendix A through H The actual materials which will appear in the Appendices have not been distributed with this draft. However, a list of the proposed Appendices appears at the end of the document. With the final draft, each Appendix will be filled with its proper materials to assist DESE and the public in understanding fully certain topics, groups, individuals mentioned in the Plan. Please send feedback by November 16th for Section V (Reporting procedures) to Jason DelPorto at email@example.com For all other sections, please send feedback by November 16th to Barbara Gortych at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks in advance for your help in reviewing Watertown’s Plan. Happy Reading!
Barbara Gortych, Coordinator of Assessment & Guidance Jason DelPorto, Assist. Principal, Watertown Middle School
Watertown Public Schools Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan
Introduction to the Plan In compliance with MGL.c.71§370, the Watertown Public Schools has created this Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan. This plan is rooted in the belief that bullying prevention involves a multi-layered approach to 1) create a welcoming community, 2) raise awareness of aspects of community and school culture which support bullying behaviors, 3) provide educational opportunities for the community, for parents, for all school staff, and for students, 4) provide clear policies and guidelines for behavior to all the above groups, and 5) devise protocols and action plans to deal with both the disciplinary and the therapeutic response of the school to bullying behaviors. We believe that involvement of not only community members, but community groups, as well as school personnel, students and parents, in a cohesive and all inclusive effort to raise awareness to the issues contributing to bullying will be the most effective way to create an environment where these issues eventually become a less destructive force in our town.
Introduction to the Watertown Watertown is a community of about 34,000 residents, living in 4.5 square miles. It is noted for its role in American Revolution, its rich cultural heritage, diversity of language, and strong community spirit. Originally agricultural, then a manufacturing center, Watertown is now a middle class community with diversified services in manufacturing, retail trade, health, education and other professional areas. It is located just 4 miles northwest of Boston. The community represents a rich diversity in its ethnic heritage with 29 % of students speaking English as a second language.
I. LEADERSHIP A. Public Involvement in Developing the Plan (Establish partnerships with community agencies) Watertown Public Schools has involved a wide variety of groups, both school and community-based, in the development of this Plan. Steering Committee A steering committee, Peaceful Community, Peaceful Schools Advisory, was formed in October 2010, composed of school and community members to begin planning. The Advisory Committee operates under the auspices of Jean Fitzgerald, Ph.D., Assistant Superintendent and will continue to meet as a standing committee to review and revise as the plan is implemented. The group is chaired by Barbara Gortych, Ph.D., Coordinator of Assessment and Guidance, k-12 and by Jason Del Porto, Assist. Principal, Watertown Middle School Members of this committee include: Jeannette Belcher-Schepis, PTO President, Hosmer School Peter Centola, Watertown Recreation Director Mena Ciarlone, Coordinator of Elementary Curriculum, Watertown Public Schools Cindy Crimmin, Principal, Cunniff Elementary, Watertown Public Schools David Downes, Watertown Educational Foundation Laura Kurman, MA, LMFI, Wayside Youth and Family Support Network Mike Lehif, Athletic Director, Watertown Public Schools Duffy Peet, Interning Minister, Unitarian Church, Watertown Public Schools Beckett Rhodes, ***, Wayside Youth and Family Support Network Marilyn Salvas, Information Systems Specialist, Watertown Public Schools David Sampson, Sgt., Watertown Police Stephanie Sunderland-Ramsey, ***, Wayside Youth and Family Support Network Ken Swift, Watertown High School SRO, Watertown Police 2 Students from Peer Leadership Group Possible other members: Faith-based groups
This Advisory Committee has been working with the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendant, and Principals to assign different aspects of the plan development to appropriate people. In particular, the committee worked to develop a general plan for 1) reporting behaviors in school and 2) planning tiers of community and parent education in the form of a speaker series, and 3) for developing a theme and “tag line” for the anti-bullying activities. Special Note about Wayside Youth and Family Support Network, Watertown In addition to this oversight committee, Watertown Schools also has had a working relationship for many years with Wayside Youth and Family Support Network in the town. This year the district, in conjunction with Wayside, was awarded a GRAA grant (of one million dollars over three years) to address **** and issues related to bullying (*****). The program sponsored by this grant will be called Watertown Healthy Youth (WHY). Wayside Youth Guidance also has provided leadership around adolescent issues in the Watertown via the annual Report on the Well-being of Watertown Youth (see Appendix A) which documents the results of the 2009 Watertown Youth Risk Behavior Survey and Youth Needs Assessment, released in August 2010. This is the eleventh year that the survey has undertaken in conjunction with the Watertown Youth Coalition and Wayside. B. Assessing Needs and Resources At present, Watertown Public Schools maintains a wide variety of very effective programming which is helpful to students and parents involved in bullying incidents, as either targets or aggressors. These are detailed below. (Assess the adequacy of current programs) (Assess available resources including curricula, training, and behavioral health services) Elementary At the elementary level, the four principals (Ann Hardiman and William McCarthy of the Hosmer, Dari Donovan of the Lowell, and Cindy Crimin of the Cunniff) met last spring and chose “Caring Schools, Caring Communities” as the Anti-bullying curriculum they would use in the fall 2010. All elementary faculty underwent training on September, 2010. The program went into immediate use. It provides for a weekly lesson in each classroom delivered by the teacher with daily check-ins. Middle School At the Middle School level, last year (in the 2009-2010), the Middle School, under the direction of Principal Kimo Carter and Asst. Principal Jason DelPorto, chose to use the “Get Real Program” as an anti-bullying curriculum. This program provides a film and
guided discussion initially, with follow-up discussions throughout the year. Its use was seen as very successful in the last school year and it will continue to be used this year. High School At the High School, a group led by Associate Headmaster, Annemarie Boudreau, attended an anti-bullying workshop in the fall of 2010 and worked on a curriculum selection. They chose ***** which will be implemented in January, 2010. ****describe (Review current policies and procedures) (Revise and develop policies and procedures) Current Steps in Developing Anti-bullying Resources, Policies, and Procedures In August, the Watertown School Board rewrote the Student-To-Student Harassment/Bullying Policy (see Appendix B). It was posted and went through a period of public review after which it was approved by the school board. Also in August, all five principal reviewed their Student Handbooks to update them in regard to clarity around bullying policies (See Appendix C). In October, a subgroup of the PCPSA, made up of a variety of community members and school personnel, worked on clarifying and refining the reporting policies for the district and their implementation electronically. The actual policies which were developed will be described later in this Plan under Section V. Review of available data on bullying and behavioral incidents (Review available data on bullying and behavioral incidents) The data from the 2009 Watertown Youth Risk Behavior Survey (released in August 2010) included a focus on bullying. The definition of bullying in that survey was as follows: “When 1 or more students tease, threaten, spread rumors about, hit, shove, or hurt another student over and over again. It is not bullying when 2 students of about the same strength or power argue or fight or tease each other in a friendly way….This includes physical, verbal, over the internet, through texting, voice mail, damaging belongings, stealing and spreading rumors.” For Watertown High School students, the three main conclusions from the bullying data in this survey appear below. 1. “26.4 % report peer pressure/bullying as their greatest challenge, up slightly from 24% in 2007.” 2. “33.6% reported ever having been bullied or harassed, up slightly from 31.1% in 2008.”
3. “Students who reported being bullied or harassed also reported more drug use, higher rates of depression and sociality, having sex, carrying a weapon in the past 30 days, and more use of diet pills to lose weight in the past 30 days.” For Watertown Middle School Students, the three main conclusions from the bullying data in this survey appear below. 1. “36.1 % report peer pressure/bullying as their greates challenge, up soignificantly from 28.5% in 2007.” 2. “41.3% reported ever having been bullied, up significantly from 32.5% in 2008.” 3. “Students who reported being bullied were also shown to be at higher risk for smoking cigarettes, dringking alcohol, suicidality, riding in a car with a driver who had been drinking, and being in physical fights.” As part of their cooperative work with Watertown on the GRAA Grant, Wayside plans to do another survey at the beginning of 2011 with a focus on how students, parents and faculty/staff view the climate in schools to provide updated information. More? On data kept on suspensions, etc?*** C. Planning & Oversight (Modified Model:) Various aspects of this Plan will be overseen by different individuals or group. These are listed briefly below. However, their roles and functions will be further described throughout this document. 1. Principal -- receiving reports on bullying. 2. Principal or designee – collecting and analyzing building- and/or school-wide data on bullying to assess the present problem and to measure improved outcomes. 3. Advisory Committee in conjunction with Marilyn Salvas, Information Systems Specialist, and principals -- creating a process for recording and tracking incident reports, and for accessing information related to targets and aggressors. 4. Coordinators of Advisory Committee -- planning for the ongoing professional development that is required by the law. 5. Principals and individual school triage*** groups – planning supports that respond to the needs of targets and aggressors.
6. Principals w/ faculty/staff - choosing and implementing the curricula that the school or district will use. 7. Asst. Superintendant, School Board, Principals, with community review – developing new or revising current policies and protocols under the Plan, including an internet Safety Policy, and designating key staff to be in charge of implementation of them. 8. Assist. Superintendant and Principals –amending student and staff handbooks and codes of conduct. 9. Coordinators of Advisory Committee -- leading the parent or family engagement efforts and drafting parent information materials.
10. Advisory Committee, in conjunction with feedback from schools, parents and communities -- reviewing and updating the Plan each year, or more frequently. D. Developing Priority Statements (From the model Plan :) The district expects that all members of the school community will treat each other in a civil manner and with respect for differences. The district is committed to providing all students with a safe learning environment that is free from bullying and cyberbullying. This commitment is an integral part of our comprehensive efforts to promote learning, and to prevent and eliminate all forms of bullying and other harmful and disruptive behavior that can impede the learning process. We understand that members of certain student groups, such as students with disabilities, students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender and homeless students may be more vulnerable to becoming targets of bullying, harassment, or teasing. The school or district will take specific steps to create a safe, supportive environment for vulnerable populations in the school community, and provide all students with the skills, knowledge, and strategies to prevent or respond to bullying, harassment, or teasing. We will not tolerate any unlawful or disruptive behavior, including any form of bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation, in our school building, on school grounds, or in school-related activities. We will investigate promptly all reports and complaints of bullying, cyberbullying, and retaliation, and take prompt action to end that behavior and restore the target’s sense of safety. We will support this commitment in all aspects of our school community, including curricula, instructional programs, staff development, extracurricular activities, and parent or guardian involvement.
The Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan (“Plan”) is a comprehensive approach to addressing bullying and cyberbullying, and the school or district is committed to working with students, staff, families, law enforcement agencies, and the community to prevent issues of violence. In consultation with these constituencies, we have established this Plan for preventing, intervening and responding to incidents of bullying, cyberbullying, and retaliation. The principal is responsible for the implementation and oversight of The Plan.
II. Training and Professional Development (From the Model Plan:) A. Annual Staff Training on the Plan Annual training for all school staff on the Plan will include staff duties under the Plan, an overview of the steps that the principal or designee will follow upon receipt of a report of bullying or retaliation, and an overview of the bullying prevention curricula to be offered at all grades throughout the school or district. Staff members hired after the start of the school year are required to participate in school-based training during the school year in which they are hired unless they can demonstrate participation in an acceptable and comparable program within the last two years. B. Ongoing Professional Development The goal of professional development is to establish a common understanding of tools necessary for staff to create a school climate that promotes safety, civil communication, and respect for differences. Professional development will build the skills of staff members to prevent, identify, and respond to bullying. As required by M.G.L.c. 71§370, the content of school-wide and district-wide professional development will be informed by research and will include information on: i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. developmental (or age-)appropriate strategies to prevent bullying; developmentally (or age-) appropriate strategies for immediate effective interventions to stop bullying incidents; information regarding the complex interaction and power differential that can take place between and among an aggressor, target and witnesses to the bullying; research findings on bullying, including information about specific categories of students who have been shown to be particularly at risk for bullying in the school environment; information on the incidence and nature of cyberbullying; and internet safety issues as they relate to cyberbullying.
Professional development will also address ways to prevent and respond to bullying or retaliation for students with disabilities that must be considered when developing students Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). This will include a particular focus on the needs of students with autism or students whose disability affects social skills development. Additional areas identified by the school or district for professional development include: Promoting and modeling the use of respectful language;
Fostering an understanding of and respect for diversity and difference Building relationships and communicating with families Constructively managing classroom behaviors Using positive behavioral intervention strategies Applying constructive disciplinary practice, teaching students skills, including positive communication, anger management and empathy for others; Engaging students in school or classroom planning and decisionmaking, and maintaining a safe and caring classroom for all students. C. Written notice to staff The school or district will provide all staff with an annual written notice of the Plan by publishing information about it, including sections related to staff duties, in the school and district employee handbook and the code of conduct. D. Training in Watertown 1. Summer, 2010 A number of administrators attended MARC (Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center, Bridgewater State College) sponsored training around the new law. 2. August, 2010 A complete review of the law was presented to a meeting of the principals in August of 2010. Also present at this meeting as a resource, was a member of the Watertown Police, *** Dave Sampson. As part of this meeting, there was rich discussion about implementation of the plan. In August 2010, the Assistant Superintendant, Dr. Jean Fitzgerald, guided principals through an understanding of the law and its implications for student handbooks. As a result, student handbooks for schools at all levels were revised so that their policies were in agreement with the requirements of the new law. 3. September 2010 As part of a Professional Development Day, all Middle and High School staff attended a presentation on the new law led by the Kimo Carter, Middle School Principal, Steve Watson, High School Principal, and Barbara Gortych, Coordinator of Assessment and Guidance.
On the same day as the above referenced training, the staff from the elementary schools participated in training in the new anti-bullying curriculum “Caring Schools, Caring Communities” with professional trainers from that program. 4. September 2010– June 2011 Professional Development Offering As part of the grant received by the school district and Wayside Youth Guidance, a course is being offered as part of the district’s PD offerings. The course is entitled: Creating and Promoting a Welcoming and Sustaining School Culture. Its aim is move the participants through training in creating welcoming school environments from September through March. This training includes speakers from ****Then from March through June, this group will develop a plan to offer this type of training to the rest of the district for the 2011-2012 school year in every school. 5. Announcement to Middle School Students and Parents in September 2010 In September, 2010, each class (6,7,8) attended an assembly in which the new law and its implications were discussed. Similarly, parents attending “Back to School Night” were also informed of the nature of the law and its impact. 6. Letter for all parents before Jan 1, with copy to Faculty/Staff A letter will be sent to all parents before January 1, 2011 informing them of aspects of the new law and of the Plan which the District has created. The purpose of this letter is to establish a partnership with parents around implementation of the new law, to be sure that parents are not “blindsided” by the consequences of the new law in January, and to engage them in process of dealing with these issues as a community 7. Assemblies?/Student education before Jan 1**** Will the principals address this? 8. Training for faculty/staff after Jan 1 (including bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria staff, cab drivers, volunteers, secretaries, etc.)**** Dates: TBA
Training: 1) Will be based on the MARC Training Manuals on how to deal with bullying behavior in school 2) Will include education about the protocols developed for reporting and dealing with targets and aggressors Trainers: B. Gortych J. DelPorto others????*** 9. Community/Teacher Training December 15, 2010 Wayside and Watertown Schools, as part of the GRAA grant (WHY Watertown Healthy Youth), will bring Michael Thompson (author of Raising Cain**) to speak during the day to faculty/staff and in the evening to address parents and members of the community around*** Spring 2011 In the spring, Wayside and Watertown Schools are planning to bring another speaker to Watertown. At this stage of planning, we are hoping to engage Michael Fowlin, a national known speaker (see Appendix D), who presents specifically about diversity and bullying. We have chosen him at the urging of students at the High School. We are planning two presentations: one for the High School students and one for staff, parents and community. January-June 2011 The World in Watertown is “Watertown’s human rights group.” It focuses the promotion and protection of non-discriminatory practices. In the past, it has sponsored a number of programs including the Martin Luther King Unity Breakfast, the Hate Crime Forum, and most recently an effort to establish Watertown as a No Place for Hate community. Members of this group are in the process of planning a series of several events that will be coordinate with the Plan in Watertown. Under discussion is a film/discussion series or the use of local theatre facilities for skits, improvisations, etc. that address the issues. These events would be open to parents, faculty/staff and the larger community.
10. Student Education Curriculum As mentioned earlier in this Plan, students will participate in specialized curricula that are appropriate to their age and developmental level and are integrated into their school day. Elementary staff has been trained in and have been using since September 2010 Caring Schools, Caring Communities. The Middle School trained its staff and implemented the “Let’s Get Real” curriculum in the 2009-2010 school year. It is using the same program this year. Use of the curriculum this year began in the fall of 2010 and will continue throughout the year. The High School **** Other Presentations The Elementary schools are planning to bring in T.I.G.E.R for the spring at that level. This program *** We are also hoping to bring Michael Fowlin to the High School in the spring to deal with diversity issues. Dr. Fowlin’s presentation combines his knowledge of psychology and his acting talent to “promote an atmosphere of world-wide inclusion, not just tolerance towards all people”. (See Appendix D)
III. ACCESS TO RESOURCES AND SERVICES A. Identifying Resources Members of the Advisory Committee and staff have contributed to the following list of resources. Current Resources at each level (Elementary, Middle School and High School) are identified below. These resources have been put in place to assist students who are experiencing either emotional or behavioral concerns. The wide variety of services are currently available to be included in plans for students involved in bullying incidents, both as aggressors and as targets. Elementary 1) Guidance Counselors All elementary schools are served by Guidance Counselor/s based full time at each school. There is one Guidance Counselor at the Cunniff, one at the Lowell, and there are two at the Hosmer School. Counselors at this level work with students, teachers and parents around developmental issues and school adjustment issues. They also participate in the elementary curriculum “Caring Schools, Caring Communities”. 2) Extra Support for Students Extra support for students is available at two schools (Lowell and Hosmer) in the form of an “Opportunity Room. At the third elementary (Cunniff), this type of service is addressed by a full-time Social worker who is contracted from the Walker School. 3) Supplementary Services In all three elementary schools, there are groups being run by the Academy of Physical and Social Development (see Appendix H). These groups deal with improving social skills and anger and behavior management. Middle School 1) Guidance Counselors There are three full-time Guidance Counselors at the Middle School. They are offer individual drop-in counseling services, peer mediation, and social skills groups. They also assist on the Middle School Anti-bullying
Curriculum “Let’s Get Real”. Guidance Counselors also are a key link in the communication network between school and home. 2) ISP (Integrated Support Program) The Middle School also provides the Integrated Services Program. This program maintains a classroom for scheduled and unscheduled “respite services” for students experiencing difficulty coping. Staff includes Social Work Interns from the Academy of Physical and Social Development, a part-time Social Worker (contracted from Colony Care Associates, a private clinic), several aides and a coordinating special education teacher. Also available as part of this program is a sub-separate classroom for students with major issues around depression and anxiety. Consulting to the ISP are Ken Barringer, Director of The Academy of Physical and Social Development, Mike Ferullo, MSW, from Colony Care Associates, and Arlene Shainker, Secondary Special Education Coordinator. Also involved in the weekly staff meetings of this program are the Asst. Principal Jason Del Porto and the Special Education Team Chair, Penelope Giannokopoulos. Services offered as part of ISP include individual school adjustment counseling, respite, and specialized group work (focusing on dealing with anger management, anxiety, and social skills). 3) Student Groups The D Team The D Team meets after school once a week and focuses on various events happening around the world. For example, in February we organized a bake sale to raise money for the Susan G. Komen for the cure as Feb is breast cancer awareness month. This month we are organizing Mix It Up At Lunch Day which is today, and International Stand Up to Bullying Day which is Friday 11/19. The club is open to students in all three grades. It is a safe place for students to meet who want to bring awareness to our school in hopes to change the school culture. A large bulletin board display by this group is visible near the entrance to the school, across from the school office. 4) Antibullying Curriculum For all grades (6, 7, 8), the Middle School is using the Anti-bullying curriculum “Let’s Get Real. (See Appendix I for more information). Additionally, curriculum in each grade also targets issues related to bullying. In sixth grade the Health curriculum functions in this way. In
seventh grade, there is a collaborative program with the Brown Center, and in eighth grade, the Facing History and Ourselves curriculum is used. *** 5) Monitoring Group Each week at the Middle School the SST (Student Services Team) meets to review students who may appear to be encountering difficulty coping with the purpose of making recommendations for additional supports. This group is led by the Asst. Principal and includes Guidance staff, the parttime ISP social worker, consultants working as part of ISP programs (Ken Barringer, Director of the Academy of Physical and Social Development, Michael Ferullo, Colony Care Associates), the nurse, ISP teacher and teacher leader, and the Health teacher. High School 1) Guidance Counselors There are three full time and one part-time Guidance counselors at the High School. They offer individual drop-in counseling services and college selection support. Additionally, they meet with students around the Naviance computer-based program which offers not only support for college planning, but resources for personality and vocational assessment. 2) ISP (Integrated Support Program) There is an ISP program at the High School which is similar to that at the Middle School. An important part of this program is the CAP (Counseling and Academic Support) program which allows students to sign up for one period a day (and when necessary, more) of counseling and academic support. Also part of ISP are sub-separate classes for students with internalizing (anxiety and depression) and externalizing symptoms (behavioral issues). Counseling services around school adjustment are offered through a number of staff: Nicole Camp, HS School Psychologist, Mike Ferullo, MSW of Colony Care (Group work), Allyn Carey, MSW, a therapist with the Academy and interns from the Academy. 3) Additional Counseling Additional counseling is being offered at the High School by a half-time counselor provided by Wayside Youth and Family Support Network and funded by the aforementioned GRAA Grant (part of the WHY program).
This counselor is available for referrals of students who are encountering problems coping in school and, as such, would also be available to aggressors or targets. 4) Student Groups Watertown Youth Coalition Peer Leaders. The Watertown Youth Coalition Peer Leaders are a group of around 20 Watertown high school students who earn community service hours working with coalition and community members to improve the health and well being of Watertown’s young people. Peer leadership is a key part of the Watertown Youth Coalition and is based on a youth empowerment model in which students are trained as leaders and encouraged to become active, vocal partners in the work of the Youth Coalition. (hope this is not too wordy) Ambassadors for Change Ambassadors for Change is comprised of a group of students nominated by both faculty and students with the goal of changing and improving the school climate. 5) Anti-bullying Curriculum The high school is in the process of selecting an anti-bullying curriculum to be implemented in January of 2010. 6) Student Monitoring Groups Each week at the High School the SST (Student Services Team) meets to review regular education students who may appear to be encountering difficulty coping and makes recommendations for additional supports. This group is led by the Asst. Principal (Annemarie Boudreau) and includes Guidance staff, the nurse, the vocational counselor (Mary Russo), the High School Psychologist (Nicole Camp), Coordinator of Guidance k12 (Barbara Gortych), and the Secondary Special Education Coordinator (Arlene Shainker). Also meeting weekly at the High School is the Gatekeepers Group which reviews each week students who are on IEPs who appear to need further support for emotional/behavioral issues. As part of their meeting, they process events and information and may make recommendations for additional services for a student. This group is lead by Arlene Shainker, Secondary Special Education Coordinator and also includes Barbara Gortych, Coordinator of Assessment and Guidance, consultants working as part of ISP programs (Ken Barringer, Director of the Academy, Michael Ferullo, Colony Care), and Nicole Camp, School Psychologist.
7) Community Resources a) Academy of Physical and Social Development b) Wayside Youth and Family Support Network c) Colony Care Associates d) Watertown Boys and Girls Club e) Juvenile Justice System f) Watertown Education Collaborative g) Project Alliance h) Advocates Program i) Government Agencies: DCF, DMR, DMH, Mass. Rehab. e) More???? Suggestions???? B. Identifying Needs 1) There is a need for a coordinated list of resources for counseling and support. Guidance Counselors are currently assembling through the use of a Google Doc, a list of resources available in the community for students who may be targets or aggressors in bullying situations. 2) There is a need to reach out to the ELL and LD families in the district. We need to involve ELL and LD teachers more in the Plan, to establish resources in the community specific to culturally diverse student population, in particular, for translation services. 3) There is a need for more information and access to government-sponsored resources. Although all guidance counselors were trained last year in how to access resources from the CSA (Rosie D funds). Information about these resources should be reviewed
4) There is a need to provide principals with a booklet of resources. These would include staff resources, consultation resources, evaluation resources (Risk Assessments), government resources for programming and funding, and community therapeutic and support resources. 5) ???***Suggestions???? E. Students with Disabilities (from the model plan: ) As required by M.G.L.c.71B§ 3, as amended by Chapter 92 of the Acts of 2010, when the IEP Team determines the student has a disability that affects social skills development or the student may participate in or is vulnerable to bullying, harassment, or teasing because of his/her disability, the Team will consider what should be included in the IEP to develop the student’s skills and proficiencies to avoid and respond to bullying, harassment, or teasing. In Watertown, this consideration will be part of the agenda for every Team meeting, beginning in January 2010. It is anticipated that as we move through the cycle of annual reviews and three year evaluations, eventually, the IEPs of all special education students will have been adjusted to deal specifically with this issue if it present for a specific student. F. Referral to outside services As mentioned earlier, a guide to resources, accompanied by suggested protocols for use, will be prepared and distributed to all principals to assist in referrals to outside services when necessary. More?
IV. ACADEMIC AND NON-ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES (Modified Model Plan :) A. Specific bullying prevention approaches Watertown Public Schools will be using curricula designed for specific age groups These are listed below: Elementary: Caring Schools, Caring Communities (see Appendix E) Middle School: Let’s Get Real (see Appendix F) High School: ***** Please see Appendices for specific information about each curriculum. In general, these curricula are informed by current research which, among other things, emphasizes the following approaches: Using scripts and role plays to develop skills Empowering students to take action by knowing what to do when they witness other students engaged in acts of bullying or retaliation, including seeing adult assistance Helping students understand the dynamics of bullying and cyberbullying, including the underlying power imbalance Emphasizing cybersafety, including safe and appropriate use of electronic communication technologies Enhancing students’ skills for engaging in healthy relationships and respectful communications Engaging students in a safe, supportive school environment that is respectful of diversity and difference Additionally, before January 1, 2011, a letter will be sent to parents (with a copy to all teachers) informing them of the new Anti-bullying law and its impact upon families, students and the schools. Further, (before January 1, 2011?) individual schools will devise ways which are ageappropriate to inform students of the nature of the law and Watertown’s Plan to implement it. In particular, it will be important for students to understand 1) that the scope of the school’s jurisdiction has been expanded in regard to bullying and cyberbullying, 2) that there is a Plan which will be implemented to inform them about how to deal with these issues, 3) that the Plan also will specify interventions to provide discipline and new ways of coping to aggressors and support and safety plans for targets, and 4) their parents and community groups are informed about this and supportive of creating a safer school/community environment.
V. PROCEDURES FOR REPORTING AND RESPONDING TO BULLYING AND RETALIATION A. Reporting bullying or retaliation. Reports of bullying or retaliation may be made by parents or guardians, students, staff members or other members of the community, and may be made orally of written. Oral reports made by or to staff members shall be recorded in writing on the specified district reporting forms. A school or district staff member is required to report immediately to the principal or designee any instance of bullying or retaliation the staff member becomes aware of or witnesses. Reports made by students, parents or guardians, or other individuals who are not school or district staff members may be made anonymously using the districts community reporting mechanism located on the Watertown Public Schools website, the call in phone line**** or by mailing a letter to the central office. To support the community in reporting incidents The Watertown Public School will: a. include a copy of the districts reporting form in beginning of the year packets to students, parents or guardians. b. make the forms available in the school’s main office, the guidance office, nurses office, central office and other locations determined necessary by the administration. c. post the Incident Report Form on the district’s website d. make the Incident Report Forms available in the most prevalent language(s) of origin of students and parents or guardians At the beginning of each school year, The Watertown Public Schools will provide the school community, including administrators, staff, students, and parents or guardians, with written notice of its policies for reporting acts of bullying and retaliation. A description of the reporting procedures and resources, including the name and contact information of the principal or designee, will be incorporated into each of the schools student/parent and on the Watertown Public Schools website, and in the information about the plan that is made available to parents or guardians. 1. Reporting by Watertown Public School staff A staff member will report immediately to the principal or designee when he/she witnesses or becomes aware of conduct that may be bullying or retaliation. Staff members are expected to use the districts reporting form as a means of communication but are not limited to this vehicle. Staff can use other means of communicating the report if necessary. The requirement to report to the principal or designee does not limit the authority of the staff member to respond to behavioral or disciplinary incidents consistent with Watertown Public School policies and procedures for behavior management and discipline.
2. Reporting by Students, Parents or Guardians, and others The Watertown Public Schools expects students, parents or guardians, and other who witness or become aware of an instance of bullying or retaliation involving a student to report it to the principal or designee of that students school. Reports may be made anonymously, but no disciplinary action will be taken against the alleged aggressor solely on the basis of an anonymous report. Students, parents or guardians, and others may request assistance from a staff member to complete a written report. Students will be provided practical, safe, private and ageappropriate ways to report and discuss an incident of bullying or retaliation with a staff member, or with the principal or designee. B. Responding to a report of bullying or retaliation. 1. Safety Before fully investigating the allegations of bullying or retaliation, the principal or designee will take steps to assess the need to restore a sense of safety to the alleged target and/or to protect the alleged target from possible further incidents. Responses to promote safety may include, but not be limited to, creating a personal safety plan; pre-determined seating arrangements for the target and/or the aggressor in the classroom, at lunch, or on the bus; identifying a staff member who will act as a “safe person” for the target; and altering the aggressor’s schedule and access to the target. The principal or designee will take additional steps to promote safety during the course of and after the investigation, as necessary. The Principal or designee will implement appropriate strategies for protecting from bullying or retaliation a student who has reported bullying or retaliation, a student who has witnessed bullying or retaliation, a student who provides information during an investigation, or a student who has reliable information about a reported act of bullying or retaliation. 2. Obligation to Notify Others a. Notice to parents or guardians. Upon determining that bullying or retaliation has occurred, the principal or designee will promptly notify the parents or guardians of the target and the aggressor of this, and of the procedures for responding to it. There may be circumstances in which the principal or designee contact the parents or guardians prior to any investigation. Notice will be consistent with state regulations at 603 CMR 49.00
b. Notice to Another School or District. If the reported incident involves students from more than one school district, charter school, non-public school, approved private special education day or residential school, or collaborative school, the principal or designee first informed of the incident will promptly notify by telephone the principal or designee of the other school(s) of the incident so that each school may take appropriate action. All communication will be in accordance with state and federal privacy laws and regulations, and 603 CMR 49.00. c. Notice to Law Enforcement. At any point after receiving a report of bullying or retaliation, including after an investigation, if the principal or designee has a reasonable basis to believe that criminal charges may be pursued against the aggressor, the principal or designee will notify the Watertown Police Department. Notice will be consistent with the requirements of 603 CMR 49.00 and locally established agreements with the local law enforcement agency. Also, if an incident occurs on school grounds and involves a former student under the age of 21 who is no longer enrolled in school, the principal or designee shall contact the Watertown Police Department if he or she has a reasonable basis to believe that criminal charges may be pursued against the aggressor. In making this determination, the principal or designee will, consistent with the Plan and with applicable school or district policies and procedures, consult with the school resource officer, if any, and other individuals the principal or designee deems appropriate. C. Investigation. The principal or designee will investigate promptly all reports of bullying or retaliation and, in doing so, will consider all available information known, including the nature of the allegation(s) and the ages of the students involved. During the investigation the principal or designee will, among other things, interview students, staff, witnesses, parents or guardians, and others as necessary. The principal or designee (or whoever is conducting the investigation) will remind the alleged aggressor, target, and witnesses that retaliation is strictly prohibited and will result in disciplinary action. Interviews may be conducted by the principal or designee, other staff members, as determined by the principal or designee, and in consultation with the schools counselor, as appropriate. To the extent practicable, and given his/her obligation to investigate and address the matter, the principal or designee will maintain confidentiality during the investigation process. The principal or designee will maintain a written record of the investigation. D. Determinations. The principal or designee will make a determination based upon all the facts and circumstances. If, after the investigation,
bullying or retaliation is substantiated, the principal or designee will make steps reasonably calculated to prevent recurrence and to ensure that the target is not restricted in participating in school or in benefitting from school activities. The principal or designee will: a. determine what remedial action is required, if any. b. determine what responsive actions and/or disciplinary action is necessary. Depending upon the circumstances, the principal or designee ma choose consult with the students’ teacher(s) and/or school counselor, and the targets’ the aggressors’ parents or guardians, to identify any underlying social emotional issue(s) that may have contributed to the bullying behavior and assess the level of need fro additional social skills development. to or or to
The principal or designee will promptly notify the parents or guardians of the target and the aggressor about the results of the investigation and, if bullying or retaliation is found, what action is being taken to prevent further acts of bullying or retaliation. All notice to parents must comply with applicable state and federal privacy laws and regulations. Because of the legal requirements regarding the confidentiality of student records, the principal or designee cannot report specific information to the target’s parents or guardian about the disciplinary action take unless it involves a “stay away” order or other directives that the target must be aware of in order to report violations. E. Responses to Bullying. District plan to build student skills or strategy to remediate or prevent further bullying. 1. Teaching Appropriate Behavior Through Skill-building Upon the principal or designee determining that bullying or retaliation has occurred, the law requires that the school or district use a range of responses that balance the need for accountability with the need to teach appropriate behavior. Skill building approaches that the principal or designee may consider include: a. Safety plan for aggressor (possible interventions) i. Regular check-ins with guidance or counselor ii. Remedial school-based classes/counseling iii. Evaluations (as needed) iv. Change of schedule to insulate from further aggression v. Provide relevant educational projects/activities vi. Implement a range of behavioral support/modification plans to promote appropriate behavior
vii. Meeting with parents and guardians to engage parental support and to reinforce the anti-bullying curricula and social skills building activities at home 2. Taking Disciplinary Action If the Principal or designee decides that disciplinary action is appropriate, the disciplinary action will be determined on the basis of facts found by the principal or designee, including the nature of the conduct, the age of the student(s) involved, and the need to balance accountability with teaching of appropriate behavior. Discipline will be consistent with the Plan and with the school’s or district’s code of conduct. Discipline procedures for students with disabilities are governed by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvements Act (IDEA), which should be read in cooperation with state laws regarding student discipline. If the principal or designee determines that a student knowingly made false allegations of bullying or retaliation, that student may be subject to disciplinary action. 3. Promoting Safety for the Target and Others The principal or designee will consider what adjustments , if any, are needed in the school environment to enhance the target’s sense of safety and that of others as well. One strategy that principals or designee may use is to increase adult supervision at transition times and in locations where bullying is known to have occurred or is likely to occur. Within a reasonable period of time following the determination and the ordering of remedial and/or disciplinary action, the principal or designee will contact the target to determine whether there has been a recurrence of the prohibited conduct and whether additional supportive measures are needed. If so, the principal or designee will work with appropriate school staff to implement them immediately.
Watertown Public Schools
BEHAVIORAL REFERRAL REPORTING FLOW CHART
ONLINE FORM/POLICE/PARENTS/STUDENT ANONYMOUS/STAFF/OTHER
REPORTED TO SCHOOL PRINCIPAL/DESIGNEE
SAFETY/INTERVENTION PLANS AGRESSOR&TARGET
VI. COLLABORATION WITH FAMILIES (From the Model Plan:) A. Parent Education and Resource The district will offer education programs for parents and guardians that are focused on the parental components of the anti-bullying curricula and any social competency curricula used by the district or school. The programs will be offered in collaboration with various community and school-related organizations. B. Notification Requirements Each year the district will inform parents or guardians of enrolled students about the anti-bullying curricula that are being used. This notice will include information about the dynamics of bullying, including cyberbullying and online safety. The school or district will send parents written notice each year about the student-related sections of the Plan and the school’s or district’s Internet safety policy (see Appendix B). All notices and information made available to parents or guardians will be in hard copy and electronic formats, and will be available in the language(s) most prevalent among parents or guardians. The school or district will post the Plan and related information on its website.
VI. PROHIBITION AGAINST BULLYING AND RETALIATION (from the Model Plan: ) Acts of bullying, which include cyberbullying, are prohibited: 1) on school grounds and property immediately adjacent to school grounds, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function, or program whether on or off school grounds, at a school bus stop, on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased or used by a school district or school; or through the use of technology or an electronic device owned, leased, or used by a school district or school, and 2) at a location, activity, function, or program that is not school-related through the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased, or used by a school district or school, if the acts create a hostile environment at school for the target or witnesses, infringe on their rights at school, or materially and substantially disrupt the education process or the orderly operation of a school. Retaliation against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying is also prohibited. As stated in M.G. L. c.71§370, nothing in this Plan requires the district or school to staff any non-school related activities, functions or programs.
VIII. DEFINITIONS Aggressor is a student who engages in bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation. Bullying, as defined in M.G.L. c. 71§370, is the repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal, or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that: i. ii. iii. iv. v. causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target’s property places the target in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself or of damage to his or her property creates a hostile environment at school for the target infringes on the rights of the target at school; or materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school
Cyberbullying, is bullying through the use of technology or electronic devices such as telephones, cell phones, computers, and the Internet. It includes, but is not limited to, email, instant messages, text messages, and Internet postings. See M.G.L. c. 71§ 370 for the legal definition of cyberbullying. Hostile environment , as defined in M.G. L. c. 71 § 370, is a situation in which bullying causes the school environment to be permeated with intimidation, ridicule, or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of a student’s education. Retaliation is any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment directed against a student who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation or bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying. Staff includes, but is not limited to, educators, administrators, counselors, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to extracurricular activities, support staff, or paraprofessionals. Target is a student against whom bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation has been perpetrated.
IX. RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER LAWS (from the Model Plan: ) Consistent with state and federal laws, and the policies of the school or district, no person shall be discriminated against in admission to a public school or any town or in obtaining the advantages, privilege and courses of study of such public school on account of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation. Nothing in the Plan prevents the school or district from taking action to remediate discrimination or harassment based on a person’s membership in a legally protected category under local state, or federal law, or school or district policies In addition, nothing in the Plan is designed or intended to limit the authority of the school or district to take disciplinary action or other action under M.G.L. c.71§37H or 37H1/2 , other applicable laws, or local school or district policies in responses to violent, harmful, or disruptive behavior, regardless of whether the Plan covers the behavior.
A Report on the Well-Being of Watertown Youth, Results of the 2009 Watertown Youth Risk Behavior Survey and Youth Needs Assessment Prepared by the Watertown Youth Coalition, August 2010 School Board Policies on Bullying and Internet use Bullying Policies from Student Handbooks of all schools in Watertown Information on speaker, Michael Fowlin Information on the Elementary Curriculum: Caring Schools, Caring Communities” Information on the Middle School Curriculum: “Let’s Get Real” Information on the High School Curriculum:*** Information on the Academy of Physical and Social Development Information on speaker, Michael Thompson Referral Form
B C D E F G H I J
Watertown Public Schools
Behavioral Referral Report
Name of target ____________________________________ Name of aggressor ____________________________________ Name of reporter ____________________________________ Witnesses (optional) ____________________________________ Date and time of incident ________________________________
Place of incident: _______ School ________ Community _______ Electronic/Online
Description/Type (check appropriate boxes) Verbal Aggression: Mocking, teasing, or using sarcasm Intimidating Phone Calls Spreading rumors Threats Making noises at someone Physical Aggression: Pushing/Shoving Kicking Punching Chasing Tripping Pinching Spitting Slapping Invading personal space Racial: Derogatory comments or names about physical, behavioral, or cultural differences
Intimidation: Excluding Tormenting Threatening gestures Ridicule
Sexual: Touching Dirty jokes or language Unwanted flirting Nicknames Identity discrimination
Written: Threatening notes Inappropriate drawing/notes
Other: ______________________________________________________________________________________ _ Additional info/context ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________ Follow up: ___ Referred to guidance, ___Referred to administration, ___ Teacher intervention, ___ Parent contact (when) ____________________________________ ___ Mediation
Notes___________________________________________________________________ _______ ________________________________________________________________________ _______ ________________________________________________________________________ _______ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________
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