Contract "A" Grade : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

-- Anonymous, January 03, 1999


-- Anonymous, January 06, 1999

-- Anonymous, January 06, 1999

Respect Project Planning

Center for Reducing Rural Violence

This committee started on January 29, 1998, and came about by a $5,000 planning grant through the Citizens Council Center for Reducing Rural Violence/Center for School Change Supplemental Grant Program. The committee consisted of one teacher from each grade K-6, building principals, two high school representatives, county social workers, two law enforcement representatives, school board member, six student (3-6) representatives, clergy representative, and parent or community representatives.

As individuals who live and work in International Falls, we felt a responsibility to support the communitys children as they grow up. We were concerned that youngsters often showed a lack of respect for adults, for other children, themselves, and the environment. While we recognize that hectic lifestyles and changes in family life contribute to childrens attitudes, we also sense that some disrespectful actions may be modeled on what children see in the behavior of adults. From the vantage point of educators involved in our planning group, we understand that disrespectful behavior is not only hurtful, but also a block to effective learning within the classroom.

We believe we could combine efforts to create school change with attention to violence reduction in order to create a safe and respectful learning environment for children and staff members working throughout International Falls schools. As a result of our planning efforts, we expect to implement a project which will promote the following measurable changes:

Decreases in verbal and physical violence in the schools and on the playground.

Possible means of creating these changes include creating time for instruction related to social skills, considering other changes in the classroom environment, developing good parent involvement programs, and providing positive opportunities for students to interact with elders and others who live and work in the community.

The committee decided that baseline data would be needed for future use. We wanted teachers and school staff to be aware of the violence happening in schools and on the playgrounds. Baseline data has been collected quarterly for the past year and will continue. The following are ways we have been measuring students verbal and physical violence: bus penalty tickets, detention slips, student surveys, frequency of police involvement, structured playground spot checks, teacher surveys on violence they see, and kids with hurts who visit the school nurse.

For the past year, we have been meeting monthly with dollars from the planning grant. We have been working up an action plan to submit for $20,000 to the Center for Reducing Rural Violence in order to implement the Responsive Classroom and Crisis Prevention Institute. The goals of these programs are to increase respect, increase awareness, and decrease violence. The Responsive Classroom training would take place in International Falls on August 16-20, 1999. We have 35 teachers from ISD #361 and 8 teachers from a local private school who have committed to attend. We are hopeful that other educators throughout the county will participate in this exciting opportunity.

The second component of this funding will allow educators in the area to gain valuable knowledge in the area of conflict resolution. CPI ( Crisis Prevention Institute) is a program of behavior management techniques that are used to resolve potentially violent situations. Elementary school playground spot checks show that currently there are approximately 150 violent acts occurring during noon recess per week. This number of violent accidents are of great concern to school staff.

CPI training teaches how to identify the four levels of crisis, how to react to the different levels, how to physically restrain--if necessary, and how to re-connect with the person afterwards. CPI training will result in a decrease of physical interventions needed, as well as a reduction in possible student, co-worker, and staff injuries. It will also cause an increase in staff morale and confidence, and an improvement in the overall safety of our community.

Our action plan budget consists of $20,000 from Center for Reducing Rural Violence, $750 In-Kind from ISD #361, and $15,000 from the Parent Task Force. The total action plan budget is $51,133. At this time we are writing two further grants for the remaining dollars: $5,000 from ISD#361 and $11,133 from the Northland Foundation.

At this time, I am one of three people working on the grants for the Parenting Task Force, Northland Foundation, and ISD #361. This has been a long process but will be worth all the work in the end. We will plan to implement the CPI training in February 1999 and continue with the staff being trained throughout this year as well as next year. The Responsive Classroom will have its training here in International Falls on August 16-20, 1999, and teachers will implement in their classrooms starting Fall 1999. We plan for both project to be complete by May 2000.

-- Anonymous, January 06, 1999

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