Dear Folsom Cordova families,
In December, when I called on the community to join our schools in taking a stand against bullying, I never could have imagined such an overwhelming response: more than 100 people stepped forward. This passionate and dedicated group of students, staff members, parents, and community leaders would soon make up our Character Education and Bullying Prevention Task Force.
In the five months since first convening, this group has committed itself to establishing consistency, accountability, effectiveness and sustainability in bullying prevention efforts across all schools. Not only have its members made an immediate impact, but they also have helped us map out vital, sustainable, and long-term steps to support positive school climate.
As this school year comes to a close, I want to take a moment to share with you some examples of the important work this task force has spearheaded:
Bullying reporting forms:
All of our school websites now have bullying reporting forms
that allow anyone to report a possible incident directly to administration. While filling out this form is not required to report a problem - students and families may still notify staff in other ways - this process does help us better track incidents, identify patterns and intervene more quickly.
In April, we launched www.fcusd.org/character
, a website designed to provide resources that help us all foster safe school communities. Here, you will find a clearer definition of bullying; our bullying policies
, which clearly spell out the process and responses required of staff; tips for how to identify and respond to suspected bullying; links to mental health and suicide prevention resources; and much more. We look forward to building on this resource in the months and years ahead.
Initiatives in progress: The task force used feedback from all stakeholders to identify challenges, opportunities, and solutions, which include:
- more training for teachers, staff and administrators on character education programs and reporting, investigating, and tracking both bullying perpetrators and victims.
- character and ethics contracts for all community athletic coaches, players and parents who use our school sports fields, gyms and facilities.
- the consistent and Districtwide implementation of character education initiatives that help prevent bullying, including Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports, the Safe and Caring Schools program, Steps to Respect, Second Step, and student leadership opportunities such as Link Crew.
- Districtwide expansion of the Schools Unity Project, high school ambassador program that is designed to mentor and support middle school students during their difficult transitions.
It will take an ongoing commitment - and all of us working together - to ensure our students are provided a safe, caring, and supportive learning environment free from bullying and harassment. At Folsom Cordova, we look forward to helping lead that effort.