May 7, 2014, Dike-New Hartford (DNH) High School has become Iowa’s first high school to be awarded certification through the Safe School Certification Program (SSCP) based on its work over the past two years to proactively address bullying.
The certification helps schools create a safer environment in which students can better focus on learning, thus increasing their academic achievement. Students and staff reacted enthusiastically to the good news. Junior Andrew Heidemann stated, “To be known as a safe school makes us all very proud. To be the first safe school in all of Iowa makes us leaders.”
Senior Tessa Dall, a member of the Student Leadership Team, commented, “I am proud of what our school and students have accomplished. Even though Dike-New Hartford has been certified, I hope our school and community will continue to combat bullying.”
While certification does not guarantee that bullying will never happen, it does mean that the school has developed an ongoing plan for preventing bullying before it happens, and resolving bullying incidents when they occur. The school did this by satisfying stringent standards in the following 8 areas:
- Data collection and analysis
- Buy-in to the certification process
- Leadership at the staff and student levels
- Programs and initiatives related to bullying prevention
- Training for staff and students about prevention and intervention
- Student engagement in the school’s prevention efforts
- Enforcement of reasonable expectations for bullying prevention
- Family and community involvement in the school’s prevention efforts
Amy Seitz, a Language Arts teacher at the school noted, “This is a great honor for the DNH school, staff, students, and community. Being certified shows the desire our district has in ensuring that all students are provided with a safe environment where they can focus on academics. The certification process has provided our students with more opportunities to be positive leaders as they become more aware of bullying behavior and work to change those behaviors in our school.”
Miki Granberg, Math teacher and member of the Core Leadership Team that directed the certification work reflected, “Being recognized as the first certified safe school in the state of Iowa is a huge accomplishment. It means a lot to see our hard work recognized. We know there is still a lot of work to do, and we plan to continue our efforts toward making our school even better.”
The Dike and New Hartford communities are invited to attend a celebration and induction event to officially recognize DNH High School for their achievement. This event will take place on Friday, May 30, 2014 beginning at 5 p.m. with food provided at Dike-New Hartford High School located at 330 Main Street in Dike. The official program starts at 6 p.m.