Lancaster school works to improve Character Education for students
Principal Peg Hopkins gave a presentation of the school's Character Education at Monday's Lancaster Central School District board meeting, which was held at Sciole.
While keeping many of the old components, the program has also implemented some new things as well.
"It's really more about blending, than reinventing, by putting all those pieces together," she said.
Much of that is based around the school's Dignity for All Students Act, which centers on the prevention of bullying. After the pledge of allegiance is recited in the morning, students say an anti-bullying pledge.
Students also were asked to sign an Anti-Bullying Pledge card, promising to treat others respectfully, try to include those who are left out, refuse to bully others, aid those in need, refuse to watch, laugh at or join in to bullying incidents and tell adults of such events.
"They were all asked to honor those bullying rules, learn them, and there will be a lot more that we do throughout the year," she said. "This was just the beginning for us."
A survey was given to third-graders at John A. Sciole Elementary last spring. Data showed that 22 percent of kids are afraid they will be bullied and nearly every kid surveyed said they had experienced being teased, called a name or felt left out.
Presentations were given information at the recent open house. Likewise, they were asked to sign the anti-bullying card given to students and asked to discuss anti-bullying rules and enforce them at home.
"One of the biggest misconceptions with parents," Hopkins said, "is a misunderstanding - not so much about harassment and discrimination - but about bullying. There often not aware that there are three components: it has to be repetitive, it has to be deliberate, and there has to be a power imbalance. "
Hopkins also talked of receiving phone calls from parents overreacting and misinterpreting an incident as bullying.
Oftentimes, she said, that can lead to the student choosing not to report future incidents to parents.
In other business at the meeting, tenure presentations were given for six teachers in the district and the second reading for the Dignity for All Students Act and Concussion Management were also approved.
The next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9 at the Central Avenue School Building.