Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan

Data Analysis: Assessing, Monitoring, Evaluating

Tell Them From Me School Climate Survey (Data regarding Bullying/Exclusion/Harassment)
– Identify the key areas of concern.
– Identify the focal point for the plan.

2016-2017 Results (Actual):Students with moderate or high levels of anxiety: Students have intense feelings of fear, intense anxiety, or worry about particular events or social situations. At St. Thomas Aquinas CSS,

    • 20% of students in this school had moderate to high levels of Anxiety; the Canada norm for these grades is 18%.
    • 36% of the girls and 17% of the boys in this school had moderate to high levels of Anxiety. The Canada norm for girls is 21% and for boys is 14%.

Bullying, Exclusion, and Harassment: Students are subjected to physical, social, or verbal bullying, or are bullied over the Internet. At St. Thomas Aquinas CSS,

  • 16% of students in this school were victims of moderate to severe Bullying in the previous month; the Canada norm for these grades is 20%.
  • 16% of the girls and 17% of the boys in this school were victims of moderate to severe Bullying in the previous month. The Canada norm for girls is 17% and for boys is 23%.

At St. Thomas Aquinas CSS:

  • Bullying tends to occur most frequently outside on school property (40%), hallways (23%), cafeteria (9%), locker rooms (13%), and classroom (8%).
  • Students respond most often to bullying by ignoring it (46%), telling a friend (48%), telling a parent or guardian (28%) and by standing up to the bully (37%). Only 18% report telling an adult at school.
  • On a scale of 38%, students reported that staff can identify bullying at a rate of 49%, staff step in quickly at a rate of 54%, there are safe ways to report bullying at 54%, victims can talk to staff at 58%, staff help students understand at 49%, staff teach students what to do at 46%, and staff provide clear consequences at 58%.
  • Students feel excluded most often due to appearance (20%) and high or low grades (20%).
  • Students felt they were treated unfairly by staff most often due to appearance (9%) and high or low grades (20%).

Feel Safe Attending this School: Students feel safe at school as well as going to and from school. At St. Thomas Aquinas CSS,

  • 81% of students felt safe attending the school; the Canada norm for these grades is 86%.
  • 94% of the girls and 93% of the boys felt safe attending the school. The Canada norm for girls is 88% and for boys is 84%.
  • 86% feel safe going to school and 84% feel safe going home from school.

Education, Awareness and Outreach

    • What communication/education will take place at the classroom level? School level? Community/parent level?
    • How will behaviours be dealt with at the classroom level first? At the office level?

Through the use of classroom instruction, ‘teachable moments’, extracurricular events, social media, the school website and conversations with all stake holders, St. Thomas Aquinas CSS staff will identify and promote an understanding of: the different types of bullying, including cyber-bullying; the myths and realities of bullying behaviour; how bullying is differentiated from conflict, aggression and teasing; power and peer dynamics; how biases, prejudice and hate can lead to bullying; and different manifestations and underlying factors of bullying, such as body image, racism, sexism, homophobia, disability, etc.

St. Thomas Aquinas CSS staff and students will work collectively to create a positive school climate based on our Focus on Faith themes and our Gospel values. This will be accomplished by ensuring members of the community are aware of the factors that contribute to a safe, inclusive, caring and accepting school climate. Through events such as the Bullying Awareness week (in the third week of November), ‘teachable moments’ in class and implementation of Focus on Faith themes in all classes, staff will work to:

    • ensure students are aware of how they can help prevent and address bullying.
    • continue to develop strategies to engage parents in conversations about bullying prevention and how to promote a positive school climate.
    • promote healthy relationships using a variety of strategies in classes and in extracurricular clubs and teams.
    • work with community partners, such as the Halton Public Health Nurse and the Halton Police Services Liaison Officer, and access their resources as supports for creating a safe school community.

Policy and Procedures
– What are the related HCDSB Policies and Procedures around bullying/behavioural issues?
– How will these policies be communicated at the classroom level? School level? Community level?
– How will roles of individuals in enforcing these policies and procedures be communicated (i.e. – the need for ALL staff in the building to Respond to and/or Report Incidents of inappropriate student behaviour)?

The School Administration at St. Thomas Aquinas CSS will continue to inform staff, students and the parent community of policies, procedures and guidelines related to Bullying Prevention, Safe Schools, Equity and Inclusion. This will be done through parent information sessions, staff professional development and staff meetings and grade level assemblies with students to review code of conduct and expected behaviours. In addition, the St. Thomas Aquinas student Code of Conduct is in the student agenda and posted on the school website.

Teachers will be reminded of the need to respond to inappropriate student behaviour in a positive but clear manner and to report to the office any behaviours that may lead to suspensions. As well, they will be encouraged to review with students on a regular basis and through ‘teachable moments’ expectations around student behaviour and our call to treat everyone with ‘dignity, equity and respect’.

Prevention
– How will a Positive School Climate be promoted in the school (i.e. Tier 1 – Positive School Climate/Catholic Values)?
– What awareness raising strategies will be used?
– How will Bullying Prevention be tied to the curriculum?
– What will happen at the classroom level? School level? Community level?

St. Thomas Aquinas CSS staff, in partnership with staff and parents, will continue to focus on:

  • relationship building and community building programs and activities that promote a positive school climate, including Social Justice, Best Buddies, GSA, athletic teams, ‘6 Week Clubs’, Religion Program, Focus on Faith, Humans for Humanity, themes as infused in all curriculum areas.
  • awareness raising strategies for students ( e.g. social emotional learning, empathy, developing self-regulation skills), as supported by school administration, classroom teachers, SW, CYC and other support staff.
  • awareness raising strategies to engage community partners and parents in early and ongoing dialogue. This will include School Council events (, PRO Grant Speakers) and parent communications (Website, Synremail, School Council, etc).
  • ways to link curriculum and daily learning and ways to support and encourage role modeling by caring adults and student leaders within the School and school community (e.g. – Developmental assets).

In addition, we will:

    • provide opportunities for regular check-ins with students at risk or affected by bullying (Guidance, SW, CYC, school admin)
    • provide opportunities for teachers to develop effective classroom management strategies using progressive discipline.
    • establish and maintain respectful and caring classrooms.
    • on an on-going basis, review and update processes for reporting, response, support and following up on issues.

Intervention and Support Strategies
– What processes will be in place to identify and respond to bullying when it happens (i.e. – Tier 2: Response and Support and Tier 3: Intervention)?
– What supports will be in place for the student doing the bullying? The victim? The bystanders/onlookers?

At St. Thomas Aquinas CSS, all staff will:

  • use teachable moments within a progressive discipline approach to address inappropriate behaviour, and consider mitigating and other factors.
  • have in place processes and strategies to identify and respond to bullying when it happens.
  • identify strategies for supporting all students involved in bullying. This will be done by school administration in consultation with teachers, support workers, the SW and the CYC and will be unique to each situation.
  • communicate the progressive discipline approach to the school community and the procedures in place to support the student.

SIP Goal

– What will the SIP goal be to address bullying prevention and intervention as part of the Catholic Community Caring and Culture/Belonging?

ST. Thomas Aquinas CSS – Catholic Culture, Community and Caring
Theory of Action:

Through increasing student engagement in school co-curricular activities (sports, clubs, community service), there will be an increase in students feeling safe attending school (TTFM).

Monitoring:

  • Tell Them From Me (TTFM) survey
  • Grade 12 exit survey
  • Bullying Prevention Campaign submissions
  • Safe School Team
  • Student Voice
  • Student council
  • Student senate
  • Bullying Prevention Team
  • Education and Career Life (ECL) Planning

Theory of Action:
Increased access to information, embedded school based supports (Tier 1) and facilitation of the available community supports will lead to a decrease in students indicating severe to moderate levels of anxiety and depression.

Monitoring:

  • Student mental health team
  • Student Voice
    • Team Unbreakable
    • GNI/BNI
    • Best Buddies
    • Bullying Prevention Team
    Safe Schools Team
    Chaplaincy leader
    Student Services
    Social work
    Transdisciplinary team
    • CCAC MHAN