Langton Public School is proving it with the help of parents and the community. Since December, the school has embarked on an innovative and extensive proactive program to create a better environment for students, focusing on the positive aspects of Character Education and incorporating the area’s many talents.
“Langton is thrilled with the support of its parent, community and staff volunteers who are pooling their talents to help make Langton a great place for kids to come to school,” stated principal Nancy Page.
Increased parent and community involvement is a major part of the school’s improvement plan to enhance and strengthen student achievement in all aspects of school life.
Parents and community members are already very actively involved through the school’s council, classroom and library volunteering, head checks, fundraising, breakfast club, lunch programs, sports team and All Star reading coaching, choir, and guest speakers.
These people have also put together a multi-faceted, comprehensive program to address the issue of bullying in schools. “We’re really trying to empower the students,” said Page.
Bullying in all its forms – verbal, physical, emotional, sexual and cyber – is an issue, to some extent, at virtually every school, she noted. To help address this serious issue, the entire Langton school community pulled its talents and resources together to create a comprehensive approach. Students were surveyed and asked for input into the issue.
Incidents where students were sent to the office were analyzed as to why.
Discussions took place with staff and parents.
On Jan. 20, the school welcomed motivational speaker Jim Jordan to preview the issue of bullying in a fun format through his magic show, Make Bullying Disappear.’
A professional magician and children’s entertainer for over two decades, Jordan came upon the idea of combining card tricks with inspirational messages through his neighbour Fred Wyeld, a retired corporate business consultant who was a crossing guard in his spare time. One rainy day, Jordan gave Wyeld a ride home and they began speaking about ways to keep youth engaged while they were being educated.
Jordan said he recognized that bullying is a “big topic ” and sometimes students are not very receptive to simply being told the facts. “So instead I show them how to get more freedom . . . how to become more responsible and get more integrity and respect,” said Jordan who specifically tailors his presentations to intermediate students. “With that foundation, they can become more independent . . . and I can use also use it to empower students.”
Since students are hesitant to speak up against bullying, Jordan has also developed a system that allows them to anonymously speak out by filling out a simple form which does not feature any personal information.
“That’s the biggest problem with bullying. The majority sees it happening but nobody says anything. And complacency can sometimes lead to deadly consequences,” said Jordan. “This way, they know they can speak up and no one knows. There’s no repercussions.”
Jordan is also putting together a program to help pupils in the primary grades (one to three) by enlisting the help of older students. In Leaders Against Bullies (LAB), Grade 5 and 6 students are chosen to take part in specialized training, then spend time in the playground.
In addition to being an extra pair of eyes for bullying and aggressive behaviour, the students have a bag of tricks’ such as balls, chalk, stuffed animals and puppets to use to help engage the younger students. It’s all about channeling positive energy.
To support Jordan’s presentation, Langton school is hosting a parent workshop on bullying in the library tonight from 6:30 to 8. The workshop is a condensed version of the five, one-hour sessions Grade 6-8 students will participate in Thursday with the help of Kids Help Phone representative. The workshop addresses a number of aspects of bullying, including what it is, the effects on victims, reasons for bullying –
power, projections and prejudice – underlying causes of violence, conflict management and assertiveness and what can be done now to address the issue in schools.
Echoing Jordan’s comment of giving children something to do as a way of averting bullying and, more importantly, boredom, Page said the school has tapped into the wealth of community talent to provide enriching, engaging activities for students. A number of clubs are being run during recess time – a prime time for bullying behaviours – which are led by parent, community and staff volunteers. These clubs include boys, girls and co-ed sports, jazz choir, cooking, Gauss math, chess, robotics, guitar, cards and games, running, homework help, stained glass making and drumming. Students have also asked about drama, dance and computer clubs and the school is in the process of finding volunteers to help out. (If you are interested or have another club idea to share, please call the school at 887-2001.) Langton’s plan also includes continuing to provide positive behaviour supports for all students and providing one-on-one and small group counselling, as appropriate, for the bully and the bullied. Vigilant supervision for students will also continue.
“By working together we can continue to provide excellent programs and activities for all of our students,” noted Page. “Parent and community involvement is one of the keys of a strong, successful school and Langton is thrilled with the support it continues to receive from its community in helping make the school a great place for kids.”Disclaimer o Privacy o Website Advertising Opportunities o Osprey News Feed © 2006, Osprey Media
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