Safe School Climate Plan
Complete the online GMS Reporting Form here.
View the District-wide Position Statement on School Climate here. This includes the definition of bullying.
Promoting a Safe School Climate
The success of our students in our school system is dependent upon creating a safe, inclusive, equitable, and secure environment where the behavior of all is conducive to teaching, learning, and belonging. The desire for quality life in our schools and our community compels us to expect and teach our students to be responsible, compassionate, and productive citizens. In order to promote and ensure a safe, inclusive, and secure environment, Griswold Middle School has implemented the following programs and practices:
Grade-level and school wide meetings to address expectations, concerns, initiatives, and opportunities for students
A program in the Health curriculum called Tolerance and Diversity teachers students how important it is to accept others’ differences.
The High Five program recognizes students for making a difference and makes them a positive member of the GMS community; weekly drawings with public recognition and certificates.
Partnership with Griswold PRIDE community coalition created to work collaboratively to reduce and prevent substance use, increase social awareness, and celebrate individuality through increased student engagement in the school community
Student Success Team (SST) meets weekly to identify and clarify the needs of students showing a lack of success in assigned courses, develop and monitor data-driven intervention plans, provide supplemental instruction in reading, writing and math when needed, and offer Tier 1 Intervention training/strategies to staff
Building and district-level SEL teams with the purpose of building the GMS Habits centered around building competency in self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making
GMS advisory program (CREW) supports the social, emotional, and academic development of each student by providing on-going interaction with faculty members through discussion and planned activities in the classroom setting
A comprehensive discipline and behavior intervention model that employs positive behavioral intervention strategies, clearly defined consequences, and restorative practices to educate students on how to act responsibly
On-going professional learning opportunities with a focus on student engagement, social and emotional learning, and restorative practices
Establishment of the Social Emotional Learning Coordinator to assist the administration with promoting a positive school culture built upon strong relationships between all stakeholders.
Organized weekly student and staff lunch groups to discuss ideas, build relationships with a cross section of students within each grade level.
Enable students to anonymously report acts of bullying to school employees through our GMS Student Incident Reporting Form.
GMS School Climate Committee
District-wide Safe Schools Climate Coordinator: Campus-Wide Athletics and Activities Director, Mr. Stephen Cravinho
GMS Assistant Principal (bullying interventionist), Mr. Jeff Parkinson
Social Emotional Learning Coordinator
Director of School Safety
As well as a GMS Faculty Members, Student Representative(s), and a Parent of a GMS student
This committee serves as a liaison with all members of the school groups such as Team Leaders, PTO, and Student Council
Any person can report an incident he/she believes to be bullying, intimidating, or harassing behavior to any school employee, which includes, but is not limited to building administrator, teacher, staff, social worker, nurse, coach, or any other person that has regular contact with students of Griswold as an employee of Griswold Public Schools. Furthermore, that person may report the incident by completing the GMS Student Incident Reporting Form. For increased accessibility hard copies are available in the Main Office. Once completed the hard copy form can be returned to the assistant principal.
Any school employee that witnesses or receives a report of possible bullying or harassment must report the behavior to building administration orally within one school day and file a written report within two school days after making the oral report.
Investigation a Conflict Report
All incidents reported will be thoroughly investigated. The investigating team may include the Building Principal, the Assistant Principal (Safe School Climate Specialist), the Social Emotional Interventionist, and the Campus-Wide Activities and Athletic Director, as well as other faculty when deemed necessary.
An investigation will include many strategies, all of which will begin based on the information provided by the initial report. It could include interviewing the alleged victim, the alleged perpetrator(s), any other students, teachers, or staff that may have been witness to the incident(s) of bullying, and additional investigation based upon security camera footage and other evidence. During the investigation, any person with knowledge of the situation will be interviewed and asked to give a written statement. No person interviewed is required to give a statement in writing, but it is encouraged. Any person interviewed during an investigation will not be discriminated against and their confidentiality will be protected. Any retaliation on a person who has shared information will not be tolerated, and that behavior will be addressed by the building administration. Any anonymous reports of bullying will be investigated. No disciplinary action will be taken solely based on the anonymous report.
Notifying the Parents/Guardians of the Students Involved
During the investigation, the parents of the alleged perpetrator and victim will be notified by members of the investigating team and communicated with regarding the next steps. They will be regularly updated throughout the investigation.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the alleged perpetrator and victim will meet separately with members of the investigating team and be told the results of the investigation. If there are disciplinary consequences related to the incident, then they will be given at that time. Any plan for restorative practices at the conclusion of any consequence will also be outlined to the perpetrator and/or the victim at that time.
After meeting with all students involved, members of the investigating team will contact the parents/guardians of the perpetrator and victim within 48 hours of concluding the investigation and explain the results of the investigation. If any disciplinary consequences have been given, they will share them at that time. The parents/guardians will be given an opportunity to come in and meet with members of the team to go over all aspects of the situation.
It is vital to follow-up with the victim and his or her family afterwards to make sure that no further acts of bullying have occurred after the situation has been addressed by school officials. For that reason, a team member will check in with both the victim and his or her family two weeks and four weeks after the situation has been resolved if an occurrence of bullying has been determined. Parents/Guardians and students are also encouraged to communicate immediately with the team if any additional actus of bullying have occurred. Throughout the follow-up process, strict confidentiality will be maintained. The purpose of the follow-up is to verify nothing further has happened, including any retaliation, and that the student once again feels safe and comfortable at school. If, through the follow-up, it is determined that another incident has occurred, it will be addressed immediately. During the follow-up, we will monitor and respond to any instances of retaliation against any individuals that report or assist in the investigation.
Recording & Filing Bullying Incidents
It is important to file and record all incidents of reported bullying whether or not the report becomes a bona fide act of bullying. Having an organized system will allow the school to prevent acts of bullying from continuing and reflect on previous cases.
An official case will be started with any official reporting of an alleged act of bullying, harassment, or intimidation. All evidence collected and determinations made will be filed in the folder created for that case. A separate, organized filing cabinet will be designated solely for bullying incidents. All files will be kept until all students involved in the situation have graduated. Once they have graduated, the file will be destroyed.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the Conflict Incident Summary Form will be completed. This form will include detailed conclusions about the incident that has been reported, including whether or not the situation was determined to be bullying, disciplinary or other actions taken, and recording the dates and times when we follow up with the students involved in the incident and their families. A brief written summary of the incident will also be included. The form will be for office use, and it will only be used to refer back to in case future incidents occur.
Local law enforcement will be notified by the School Climate Specialist or designee of any acts of bullying that constitute criminal conduct.
In the event that a person calls the high school to find out our number of incidents of bullying, we can use the filing system to quickly provide an accurate response.
Educating Students and Preventing Future Occurrences
Children who are perpetrators need to be educated on the definition of bullying, its harmful effects, and how to prevent the behavior. In order to achieve that, Griswold Middle School has several approaches in place, which include the following strategies:
Implementation of positive behavioral interventions and supports and restorative practices approaches for safe school climate and for the prevention of bullying identified by the Department of Education;
School rules prohibiting bullying, harassment and intimidation and establishing appropriate consequences for those who engage in such acts;
Adequate adult supervision of outdoor areas, hallways, the lunchroom and other specific areas where bullying is likely to occur;
Inclusion of grade-appropriate bullying education and prevention curricula;
Individual interventions with the bully, parents and school employees, and interventions with the bullied child, parents and school employees;
School-wide training related to safe school climate;
Student peer training, education and support
Promotion of parent involvement in bullying prevention through individual or team participation in meetings, and individual interventions.