The Safe and Accepting Schools team focuses student support and staff learning on four areas which are interconnected and promote a safe, healthy and inclusive classroom for all students.
Think Kids: Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS)
Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) is used with all students as a framework to build and improve relationships by working collaboratively to solve problems/issues/concerns.
CPS adopts two core principles:
- Challenging behavior is best understood as the by-product of lagging cognitive skills.
- These challenges are best addressed by teaching children the skills they lack.
CPS training is provided for administrators and teachers to understand that “children will do well if they can", and CPS addresses the skills our children are missing so they can do well.
CPS provides a helpful framework to explore and build the skills and social scaffolding necessary to prevent bullying behavior among students, and to put in place effective solutions with students who have bullied others, who have been targeted by bullying, and those who have witnessed bullying.
Additional reading: Think Kids
Culturally Responsive Teaching
Culturally responsive teaching (CRT) is an intentional way of teaching that takes into account the visible and invisible complex social identities of each student. In the Halton District School Board, culturally responsive teaching reflects our 7 Equity Lenses (Ability, Faith, First Nation, Métis, Inuit, Gender, Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity, Socioeconomic Status, Race/Culture).
CRT is sound teaching practice that encourages understanding of differences for teachers and students. Through CRT, students and teachers have the opportunity to challenge existing stereotypes. CRT enables creation of safe places where students can express their identities without harassment or bullying.
Development Assets are the building blocks for youth development. Grounded in extensive research in youth development, resiliency, and prevention, the Developmental Assets represent the relationships, opportunities and personal qualities that young people need to avoid risks and to thrive.
Research shows that when students have more assets, they are less likely to engage in high-risk behaviours like bullying and more likely to be successful in school, relationships and the community.
Restorative practices build the capacity of the student and the school community to develop internal and external assets, and healthy relationships. They are the foundation of preventing bullying behaviour.
Restorative practices use a spectrum of proactive and responsive strategies including the use of:
- emotional expression (sharing thoughts and feelings)
- classroom circles
- small impromptu and/or formal conferences
Restorative practices support the “whole school approach" to positive school climate and bullying prevention/intervention by engaging the community to adopt a unified set of practices that enhance respectful relationships, build empathy and compassion, and strengthen acceptance of responsibility.
Additional reading: International Institute for Restorative Practices