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IN THE NEWS: Mills Middle wins statewide anti-bullying honor
Mills Middle School has been named one of the best schools in California for preventing bullying and creating a safe learning environment.
In its selection of Mills for its Premier-level award Lozano Smith Foundation called the school's two-year-old bullying prevention program "truly inspiring work that your school leaders and students have clearly shown."
Mills will receive $1,500 as part of its recognition. The Rancho Cordova middle school was honored for its creation of a Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) team, which consists of teachers, administrators, parents, and a student leader. This group is tasked with leading evidence-based strategies to create a positive school climate and take a proactive approach to discipline and bullying prevention.
The results are impressive: Mills has cut suspensions in half and dramatically reduced bullying incidents.
Just a few examples of the school's nearly 20 ongoing initiatives:
- Point Break workshops encourage students to develop character, confidence, and responsibility. Point Break addresses core relational issues and challenges young people face daily.
- Mills Bills: students can use these "dollars" - earned by positive behavior - at the student store
- Boys to Men: This program works with boys who may have a challenging home environment by providing support, mentoring, field trips, and positive role models. Students learn skills to be successful in all areas, develop character and reach goals.
- All staff members have been trained to identify symptoms of mental health problems and strategies to support students. Students facing mental health challenges are more likely to be targets of bullying.
- Young Women of Mills: staff meet weekly with girls who have reached out with feelings of depression or thoughts of suicide.