Prevention & Awareness
Anti-Bullying Proactive Measures
Bullying, intimidation, and harassment diminish a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate. Preventing students from engaging in these disruptive behaviors and providing all students equal access to a safe, non-hostile learning environment are important goals in Woodridge School District 68.
Proactive measures to prevent bullying, intimidation, and harassment include, but are not limited to:
Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
Schools have implemented an SEL lesson block of instruction once a week with programs such as Second Step, Bullying Prevention Unit, Peekapak, and others.
- Second Step focuses on empathy, emotional management, social problem solving, friendship building, and assertiveness training.
- Bullying Prevention Unit lessons encourage specific helpful bystander behaviors and positive student norms by teaching students to recognize, report and refuse bullying. In learning to recognize bullying, students increase their awareness of the problem, learn to identify when they or others are being bullied, and increase their empathy for bullied students. Giving students a clear message to report bullying sets a positive norm, lets student who might bully know there will be consequences, and supports adults in their efforts to reduce bullying. Lesson content on refusing bullying behavior reinforces the message that bullying does not have to be tolerated and encourages students to both report and use assertiveness skills to stand up to bullying.
- Peekapak offers research-based learning curriculum and digital games to help shape the next generation of empathetic, respectful and caring citizens.
Additional SEL examples:
- Students can check out books related to social emotional learning in their school library
- MindYeti, a tool for both kids and adults to de-stress, relax, and calm down
Developed in Woodridge 68 by Assistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning Greg Wolcott, we utilize the concept of the Significant 72. We spend the first three days of the school year focusing solely on building relationships. Teachers get to know kids, kids get to know each other, and students do activities that better help them understand themselves. We also take the Significant 72 concept a little bit further and, after every three-day weekend, we set aside time for relationship-building. We do the same thing after winter break, after spring break, and after Thanksgiving break.
Additional relationship-building activities include: regular team and class builders, cross-age buddies (relationship-building activities with students across grade levels), cooperative learning structures (students are unlikely to bully those who just helped them), individualized postcards to students from their teacher, and more.
Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS): Behavior expectations are posted and enforced in academic and nonacademic (e.g., hallways, restroom, bus, etc) settings. These expectations are communicated through a rotation at the beginning of the school year with follow up and resets throughout the year.
Cool Tools: Cool Tools are lesson plans used to teach the school’s behavior expectations – they teach all the students what is expected of them and what it looks like. Throughout the school year, new lessons are taught to all students. Selection, creation, and priority for which lessons are taught are based on the school’s behavior data, which is tracked through SWIS (School-wide Information System), a confidential web-based information system.
Classroom management: Classrooms have implemented CHAMPs: A Proactive and Positive Approach to Classroom Management. CHAMPs’ research-based strategies are designed to reduce classroom disruptions and office referrals, improve classroom climate, increase student on-task behavior, and establish respectful and civil interactions.
Many classrooms use ClassDojo, a classroom communication app used to create a positive culture (teachers can encourage students for any skill or value — whether it's working hard, being kind, helping others or something else), give students a voice (students can showcase and share their learning by adding photos and videos to their own portfolios), and share moments with parents (by sharing photos and videos).
Reinforcement and incentives: Schools use a variety of student incentives to positively reinforce expected behaviors. Some of these incentives include: weekly and monthly student incentives, weekly and monthly class incentives, prizes, privileges, barbeques, and Wolverine of the Week (recognizing students who demonstrate grit, empathy, promoting positive behavior, academics, and growth mindset).
Our schools regularly bring in guest speakers who present to classrooms or the student body at large to address the prevention and potential consequences of bullying, intimidation, and harassment. Examples of these presentations include: Team Bully Free!, Bear Down on Bullies, and Rachel's Challenge. School assemblies are followed up with classroom activities to reinforce the message.
The LRC Director teaches lessons on internet safety to students.
Student leadership opportunities such as Student Council, Student Ambassadors, Safety Patrol, and Recess Patrol specifically target behavior and school culture.
Staff Professional Development
We work to develop teacher efficacy: our actions stem from our belief that we can help children overcome obstacles. School staff has also participated in book studies like The Formative Five: Fostering Grit, Empathy, and Other Success Skills Every Student Needs.
Schools communicate positive information to parents along with information that will help children grow academically and emotionally. Some examples include: home and school connections and good news postcards and encouraging phone calls home to parents that positively praise student behavior and academics. Also see info on ClassDojo above under Student Expectations/Incentives.
Woodridge 68 collaborates with the Woodridge Police Department through a Community Service Officer, GRIT program, and cyber-bullying parent presentations.