School Climate

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Pride, Respect and Responsibility

These three words are  Ashford Schools core values.  We follow the concepts of Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS).  We believe in seeing the positive in all of our students and rewarding those students who conduct themselves accordingly.   When students do demonstrate these core values they are rewarded with PAW Power Tickets.  This tickets can be exchanged for rewards.

In grades Prek-6 students participate in Responsive Classroom/Morning Meeting.  This is an engaging way to start each day, build a sense of community, and set children up for success socially and academically.  The four components of morning meeting are a greeting, sharing, a group activity, and morning message.

In the younger grades, Prek-2, students participate in a monthly event called Primary Pride.  They gather together to celebrate student of the month, and birthdays.  Each month a different primary class puts on a performance for their families and fellow students.

In grades 5-8, students are scored on the CoreValuesRubric several times throughout the year.  Students earn certain privileges by scoring in the green or gold levels.  In order to reach green level, students must consistently demonstrate the core values of respect, responsibility, and pride throughout the school day.  For gold level, students must significantly support other students in demonstrating the core values.

The Ashford Board of Education promotes a secure and amicable school climate, conducive to teaching and learning that is free from threat, harassment and any type of bullying behavior. Therefore it shall be the policy of the Board that any form of bullying behavior within the classroom, on school property, on a school bus, or at school-sponsored events is expressly forbidden.

“Bullying”means the repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic communication, such as cyber bullying, or a physical act or gesture directed at another student attending school in the same district that:

  • causes physical or emotional harm to such student or damage to such student’s property;
  • places such student in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself, or of damage to his or her property;
  • creates a hostile environment at school for such student;
  • infringes on the rights of such student at school; or
  • substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

Examples of bullying include but are not limited to:

  • physical violence and attacks,
  • verbal taunts, name-calling and put-downs including ethnically-based or gender-based verbal put-downs,
  • threats and intimidation,
  • extortion or stealing of money and/or possessions, exclusion from peer groups within the school, and
  • repeated harassment or intimidation including email.

Such conduct is disruptive of the educational process and, therefore, bullying is not acceptable behavior and is prohibited.

Persons who engage in any act of bullying, while at school, at any school function, or in connection with any district sponsored activity or event are subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including suspension, expulsion and/or referral to law enforcement officials, and further, in the case of an employee, up to and including termination.

A comprehensive program involving everyone in the school and the community, to address bullying at all school levels, is essential to reducing incidence of bullying. Such a program must involve interventions at any and all levels, school-wide, classroom, and individual.

The district’s program:

  • permits anonymous reports of bullying by anyone and written reports by parents or guardians, or employees. No disciplinary action can be taken based solely on anonymous reports. The process by which students may make formal, informal and anonymous complaints shall be publicized annually in the student handbook;
  • requires teachers and other school staff to notify school administrators in writing of bullying acts they witness and students’ reports they receive;
  • requires school administrators to investigate parents’ written reports and review students’ anonymous reports; and requires an investigation of staff complaints regarding bullying by any other person. In all cases, the victim will be interviewed prior to an investigation;
  • requires the school to maintain a publicly available list of the number of verified bullying acts that occurred there, whether student or adult;
  • requires the school to have an intervention strategy for school staff to deal with bullying, including language about bullying in various codes of conduct;
  • requires notice to parents or guardians of all students involved in a verified act of bullying. The notice must describe the school’s response and any consequences that may result from further acts of bullying. In a similar manner, a written record will be placed in the personnel file of an offending member of the staff, in accordance with employee contracts;
  • requires the development of case-by-case interventions for addressing reported incidents of bullying against a single individual or recurrently perpetrated bullying incidents by the same individual that may require both counseling and discipline;
  • requires students to be notified annually of the process by which they may make reports of bullying; and
  • requires the identification of appropriate school personnel, which may include, but shall not be limited to, pupil services personnel responsible for taking a bullying report and investigating the complaint.

The Board expects prompt and reasonable investigations of alleged acts of bullying. The principal or his/her designee is responsible for handling all complaints of alleged bullying of or by children. The administration must investigate staff complaints and should use the grievance procedure from the contracts of employees, where appropriate.

In addition, the norms that are established by adults through consistent enforcement of all policies pertaining to conduct and modeling appropriate behavior at school and at home will reduce the instances and damage of bullying. It is necessary for everyone to promote the concept that caring for others is a valued quality, one that is accepted and encouraged.

The full text of the Board of Education bullying policy is available on the school website at www.ashfordct.org, or in the school offices. A template shall be designed for anonymous reporting through the use of a computer. Access to the report will be restricted to the administration to protect the identity of the reporter. Prevention and intervention strategies will be provided throughout the year including a school wide Positive Behavior Support (PBIS) Program, grade level team interventions, curricular focus (i.e. Health, Swings, Wings), posters, skits, etc.

The focus of discipline will be “education”, as opposed to simply punishment. Any record may be cleared upon satisfactory change of behavior. The degree of severity will relate to the grade of the child or the experience of the employee. The record will indicate the offense and the degree of severity of each individual incident, whether student or staff.

Reports

All students are encouraged to report incidences of bullying to an adult. If a student wishes to make an anonymous report, a template on the school’s computers and sent anonymously to the principal’s office.   Outside the front office there are hard copies of the report to be filled out.  Below you will find the form to fill out:

Report of Suspected Bullying