What is a safe and supportive school?
VPS is dedicated to creating a more inviting, culturally respectful and emotionally safe place for all students to learn. This safe learning environment takes work to create and maintain, and all students are learning ways to improve their school culture. Here’s some of the methods we use to achieve safe and supportive school environments:
We teach students, through lessons and modeling, how to effectively interact with other students as well as adults. This includes the capacity to understand feelings. From self-awareness to responsible decision-making, the skills that students learn are important not only in a school setting, but critical for future success.
Coaches help teachers and school staff improve learning in the classroom by providing professional development in real time, both in classrooms and team meetings.
Restorative practice is about replacing the ordinary punishment for student misbehavior with a more thoughtful response: focusing on the whys of what the student has done and how best to fix the problem. This gives the student who has wronged a way to make it right by taking responsibility for their actions and making things right with who was harmed.
Crisis Prevention Institute training is a nationally recognized standard in responding to disruptive and dangerous situations. Training provides preventative approaches and intervention techniques for the best care, welfare, safety and security for students and staff and is based on decision-making and problem solving to prevent, de-escalate and safely respond to disruptive or assaultive behavior.
Teachers use their regular Professional Learning Community meetings to discuss student learning needs, looking at student’s progress in literacy, math and behavior.
By doing this, teachers can step in early to help those students who need more support.
This effort to help students is a whole-school model. Teachers have help in providing extra resources to students who need additional support through problem-solving teams of building administrators, specialists and counselors.
We lay the groundwork for good interaction at school through a series of steps that clearly states what is expected and reinforces those expectations.
- Develop clear expectations.
- Communicate and teach these expectations.
- Reinforce and recognize when students are meeting the expectations.
- Develop responsive systems when students need extra support.
Bullying prevention allows teachers and staff to create and sustain a positive school climate and culture, while providing students with leadership opportunities that contribute to the potential of all students in their school. Our staff draw from research-based practices to teach both students and staff how to recognize, refuse and report bullying while improving the quality of our school environment.
To learn about reporting harassment, intimidation or bullying, please see the following: