Elements to a Safe School

Program Elements

This area focuses on trainings for students and teachers about the law, and programs that reduce and eliminate bullying and harassment. If you don’t meet the desired state, your school will identify its current reality—and develop a strategy to reach Program Requirements and Certification. Here’s how we measure the Program Requirements:

PROGRAM ELEMENTS:

1. PROGRAMS: Anti-bullying and anti-harassment programs focus on the entire school environment.
Desired State:
• Program and initiatives have a research or evidence base that demonstrate effectiveness and impact specific to reducing bullying and improving school climate.
• All teachers are holding classroom level parent meetings 2-3 times a year; Teachers are incorporating anti-bullying themes into regular curriculum.
• Efforts to reduce bullying and harassment are supported by leadership at school and district levels.
• Successes are celebrated and accomplishments are promoted in local media.
• School uses data to enhance the program to reduce bullying.

Evidence of Effective Programs & Implementation Met Current Reality Not Present
• Evidence base for the program being implemented (identified as model program, journal articles, peer review, research brief, etc.) Implemented with fidelity (a tool that measures benchmarks, progress, etc.)
• Evidence of a Continuum or Resource Map (Core Curriculum)
• Artifacts of classroom level parent meetings
• Prevention efforts are continued over time (example: multi-year plan, etc.)
• Artifacts showing school and district support, local media reports of success and long-term anti-bullying and anti harassment efforts in the school Evidence not present: school cannot be considered for certification at this time

2. BUY-IN: Anti-bullying and anti-harassment programs are supported school-wide.
Desired State:
• Evidence of commitment from administrators, teachers, students, support staff, bus drivers, lunch room staff, etc.

Evidence of Buy-In Met Current Reality Not Present
• Artifacts of agreements, pledges, or surveys showing support (Staff survey taken at beginning of Certification, for example) Evidence not present: school cannot be considered for certification at this time

3. TRAINING: Training in anti-bullying and anti-harassment has been provided to staff, including school investigators and students are involved through an advisory committee to offer feedback.
Desired State:
• Booster training for all staff is required each year.
• Training and mentoring is present for new staff.
• School Investigator receives on-going training.
• School Investigator understands and utilizes the Department of Education’s Standardized Harassment Report Form.
• School Investigator understands best practices and is diligent about responding to complaints.
• Students provide feedback to staff through an Advisory Committee.

Evidence of Training Met Current Reality Not Present
• Artifacts/materials for current teachers’ training and training and mentoring for new staff
• Student Advisory Committee Roster, agendas, notes, etc.
• Artifacts of trainings
• Use of Standardized Forms Evidence not present: school cannot be considered for certification at this time

4. LEADERSHIP: A coordinating group within the school, that includes student membership at high school levels, takes a leadership role in the school’s anti-bullying and anti-harassment efforts.
Desired State:
• Coordinating Committee meets monthly and includes administrative representation.

Evidence of Leadership Met Current Reality Not Present
• Artifacts of monthly meetings and actions steps
• Artifacts of training for new members
• Student advisory committee roster and meeting minutes, etc. Evidence not present: school cannot be considered for certification at this time

5. STUDENT ENGAGEMENT: The school actively supports student groups that work to eliminate bullying and harassment (such as gay-straight alliances and diversity clubs, etc.) and older students mentor younger students and/or the school’s student council celebrates African American History month, etc.
Desired State:
• Actively supports and welcomes student clubs by following the Equal Access Act; Encouraging clubs formation; Seeks student club’s input regarding school safety.

Evidence of Student Engagement Met Current Reality Not Present
• Number of active student clubs
• Presence of student clubs that focus on historically oppressed and minority youth
• Artifacts that show administrators actively seeking various student organization’s input school safety issues (minutes, notes, etc.)
• Standard club formation protocols (Federal Equal Access Act)
• Students group members serve on the coordinating group Evidence not present: school cannot be considered for certification at this time

6. ENFORCEMENT: Rules and policies regarding bullying and harassing behavior are supported and enforced.
Desired State:
• Rules are posted in all classrooms and other student common areas throughout the school
• Rules are reviewed yearly.
• Rules against bullying are known in the community.
• Rules and consequences against bullying are included in orientation for new students.
• Adult supervision increases in areas identified as “hot spots’.
• Interventions are consistent and appropriate when bullying or harassing behavior is observed.
• Schools use the Iowa Department of Education’s Standardized Harassment Report Form.

Evidence of Enforcement Met Current Reality Not Present
• Rules observed in classrooms
• Samples of community awareness campaigns
• Student and Staff self reports regarding hot spots
• Supervision schedules
• Staff regularly reviews to assess new hot spots as they develop
• Data to assess hotspots including student self reports
• Record of meetings to assess hot spots
• Annual student surveys to determine the nature and incidents of bullying and harassment
• Artifacts of on-the-spot intervention plans, negative/positive consequences for bullying and stopping bullying
• Staff intervention reports
• Record of staff training for on-the-spot interventions Evidence not present: school cannot be considered for certification at this time

7. DATA: Anti-bullying and anti-harassment programs rely on data-driven decision making
Desired State:
• School collects data on school climate that includes specific questions on bullying and harassment on the 17 protected classes within the Safe Schools Law; the school uses data to make decisions about programming and training; Regularly reviews the data and modifies programming based on data

Evidence of Data Met Current Reality Not Present
• Artifacts of surveys and assessments
• Schools participate in the Iowa School Climate Survey
• School-wide plan for bullying and harassment that is based on review of data
• Professional development plan for bullying and harassment is based on data Evidence not present: school cannot be considered for certification at this time

8. FAMILY/COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: The school engages the community in its diversity efforts
Desired State:
• Community members are involved in the school coordinating group
• School educates the community about anti-bullying and anti-harassment policy through community campaigns
• The school utilizes guest speakers
• The school initiates community discussions regarding diversity
• The school promotes the Certification Program to other schools and the State of Iowa
• The school attends the Certification Awards Ceremony

Evidence of Community Engagement Met Current Reality Not Present
• Artifacts of community member/parents/family involvement
• Artifacts (letters home, etc.) of community educational outreach
• Evidence of promoting program
• Attendance at the Certification Awards Ceremony Evidence not present: school cannot be considered for certification at this time