Students gathering around the Kindness Tree in late September.
School Culture Update – by Tenisha Tate, Assistant Principal
Our goal at Hall Middle School is to develop all students both academically and socially. We aim to foster the whole child. As such, we value the development of school culture equally with academic progress. Our approach to building school culture is robust and multi-layered, ranging from a school-wide focus on positive behavior supports to specialized interventions for smaller groups of students. Some examples of the aforementioned include regular student assemblies, student lead discussions/presentations to the entire student body during advisory, systematic implementation of our Cougar Code, including daily opportunities for students to be recognized for implementing the cougar code, student of the month and staff consistently responding if and when student concerns arise. This includes issuing consequences to students for participating in behaviors that counter our Cougar expectations.
Please ask your child about their experience with the following:
- Caught Being Kind or Showing Respect (Aspects of the Cougar Code)
- Advisory Talks
- Student Clubs
- Staff following up when students report concerns
- No Bully System
While most of our work is aimed at educating students in an effort to be preventative unfortunately, sometimes we still have to respond to hurtful acts. In situations where we have to be responsive our goal is to have students learn from their actions. As such, there is typically a restorative component to our disciplinary actions. A part of this process is to have students understand their role in a situation, accept responsibility for their actions, consider who has been affected and to make a plan to avoid making the same mistake in the future. We sincerely appreciate you entrusting us with your children daily. We take this responsibility seriously and will continue to strive to make Hall a place where all students feel safe and connected. We are One!
No Bully is a research-based system that reduces bullying incidents by 90%. A component of the No Bully system that increases the success rate and enables the reduction in incidents on campus is the enactment of Solution Teams. On Monday October 24, 2016 five staff members, including our assistant principal, participated in No Bully’s Solution Coach training. This training equipped staff members to facilitate solution team meetings and when appropriate respond to bullying in a non punitive way. In addition to Solution Teams, all staff will prevent and interrupt bullying in the moment. This No Bully process will afford Hall more breadth in our response to bullying on our campus. To learn more about our work with No Bully please attend our parent night on November 14, 2016.
As well, on Friday, October 28, after an assembly with Michael Pritchard, students returned to advisory to sign our Hall Middle School Bully Free Pledge – see the pledge here. Students also voted on the social visioning statement for Hall Middle School – view the choices below. Lastly, students made a personal commitment stop bullying at Hall. They responded to the prompt below.
Voting for our favorite Social Vision Statement in Advisory!
Advisory discussion/reflection after the assembly. Students wrote their anti-bullying pledges and teachers displayed them!
Parents joined us!
We have tabulated the results from the No More Hurting People Survey and the following behaviors stood out as “happening often”:
- Spreading rumors or gossip
- Name calling
- Playing unfriendly jokes
We want your help in making our school bully free. What will you commit to do to stop spreading rumors or gossip, name calling or playing unfriendly jokes?
Pick one of the above behaviors, be very specific, and begin your commitment statement with the following sentence starter: I will interrupt bullying here at Hall by …
Your teacher will give you an index card to write on. If necessary do a rough draft on another sheet of paper. Make sure this statement is something that you can commit to doing. Pick a friend or trusted adult to share your commitment with, and expect them to hold you responsible for living up to your commitment. Be thoughtful, your commitment statement will be posted around campus.
Learn how to interrupt bullying at Hall Middle School. Click here to review our Anti bullying Protocol.