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Bullying prevention program starts at school Jan. 14

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All schools deal with the issue of bullying.  The Gettysburg School District is taking proactive steps to stop and prevent bullying by adopting the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.  This research-based school wide “systems-change” program has been used successfully in schools all over the country and around the world with positive results.
This program is not a curriculum that students participate in for only a few weeks. Rather, it is a coordinated effort by all the adults in the school to supervise and intervene when any bullying happens. As part of the program students participate in regularly scheduled meetings to learn about the effects of bullying, what they can do about it, and how they can work with adults at school to put a stop to it even as bystanders.
This type of program is about changing the whole school climate to make it a safer, more positive place to learn. One change that many schools have noticed after using this program for a year or two is that students actually like school better. It makes sense – it’s hard to learn if you’re afraid or if other students are mean to you.  Implementing the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is a long-term commitment to making the Gettysburg School District a safer, more positive place to be.
Much work has already been completed to successfully implement the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. A coordinating committee was trained last school year and met last school year, throughout the summer, and this school year – to work on the bullying policy, staff training and preparation for introducing and implementing the program with students and parents.  School staff and employees were trained at the Oct. 18 in-service.
Students will be introduced to the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program during a kick-off event to be held during the school day on Monday, Jan. 14.  The Parent Kick-Off Event will be held that night at 6:30 p.m. in the school gym.  Members of the community are welcome to attend this event!  There is no need to RSVP.
The FCCLA Chapter will be providing free childcare so all parents can attend the kick-off event!  Fun games and activities will be provided for students/children of all ages.  For childcare, please RSVP to Mrs. Mikkelsen by Thursday, Jan. 10 by calling the office or emailing her at amber.mikkelsen@k12.sd.us.   Children may be dropped off in the multi-purpose room (lunchroom) beginning at 6:15 p.m.  Parents and other members of the community may contact  Kim Goebel (School Counselor), Wendy Smith (JH/HS Principal) or Tim Hagedorn (Superintendent/Elementary Principal) for further information.
–Kim Goebel, School Counselor

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