The Government of Ontario has designated the third week of November as Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week. During the week of November 19-25, we will be intentionally addressing issues of bullying and the impact that it has on the academic and socio-emotional well-being of students.
Our Board is committed to creating and maintaining caring and safe environments where students, staff, parents/guardians and others feel safe at school and at all school-related events and activities.
Here are five tips on how we can work together to prevent bullying:
- Be informed. Additional resources are available on the Caring and Safe Schools site and speak with us school about our student code of conduct policies.
- Model positive peer relationships and coping skills. Youth are observant – how do you act in the grocery line, on the roads or when in conflict with a partner, colleague or friend?
- Pause with curiosity. If your child or student is involved in a bullying situation, use those positive coping skills to remain calm, assess the situation and listen before reacting
- Advocacy instead of aggression. In the words of Bully Free Community Alliance of York Region founders Bessie Vlasis and Gwyneth Anderson, don’t be a “bear”! Effective advocacy is about appropriate and respectful communication, loud and aggressive communication is not nearly as effective when dealing with school staff or other families.
- Encourage upstanding behaviour. According to Young Canadians’ Experiences with Electronic Bullying, PREVnet/Media Smarts (2015), youth need to know that their actions would make a difference, not reward or praise, but that their concerns will be taken seriously, that adults would be helpful and that they could do so without turning themselves into targets.
We also encourage the use of the Report it! Button, a tool for students and parents to report incidents of bullying, drugs and vandalism. It is available on the YRDSB and school website homepages.
If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please contact the office.
Dear Watson Community,
From Nov. 20th-Dec. 1st, our Me to We team will be gathering items for a local organization called “Jason’s Bags for the Homeless”. Kristin Elder, the organization’s leader, fills backpacks with much needed items and delivers them herself to homeless members of our Georgina community at Christmas time.
Items needed include:
-new mitts, gloves, hats, scarves, socks
-toiletries such as travel size shampoo, conditioner, soaps, shaving cream, lotions, toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, chapstick, combs, kleenex, disposable wipes, and sanitary pads
-food items such as granola bars, juice boxes, and energy bars
-dog items, such as dry food, treats, tennis balls, and toys
If you would like to donate items to this cause, please drop them off at the office or room 206 (Mrs. Williams’ class). Thank you for your ongoing support!
The Me to We Team
York Regional Police has asked our school to share this press release with our school community. We continue to reinforce the importance of personal safety to our students and encourage you to do the same. If you have any questions or information regarding the attached press release, please contact YRP at 1-866-876-5423 ext. 7341, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to our school and student safety.
It’s important to regularly remind children about being safe in our community.
Here’s what children need to know:
- To never approach or enter a stranger’s vehicle. A responsible adult would never ask a child for directions or for their help with something like finding a lost pet.
- If they think they are being followed or are in danger they should run home, back to the school or to a public place and immediately report the incident.
- If someone grabs them, they should try to get away, yelling and screaming ‘fire’ while doing so to attract attention.
- How to contact their parents at any time, by memorizing cell or work numbers.
- How and under what circumstances to call 911.
- Make sure they know they have a right to say “no” to an adult, especially when the adult is asking them to do something they have been taught is wrong or feels uncomfortable. Reminding children of this right is important because children are taught from a young age to respect adults.
- To always tell parents where they will be and to never enter someone’s home without their parent’s permission.
- If home alone, never admit it when answering the phone. Never answer a knock at the door or speak through it. Adults can be very persuasive. Teach your child to call you if there is a knock at the door and if they fear for their safety, teach them to call 911. Make sure they know that police officers are there to help them and would not get mad if it were a false alarm.
- It is important to play in safe areas, never take shortcuts and stick with a buddy whenever possible.
- Follow the guidance that “if in doubt, check it out.”
It is never too early or too late to teach children the importance of personal safety. Common sense, communication and consistency are the keys. Remind children to alert a responsible adult if something strange happens that makes them feel uncomfortable. Remember, crime prevention is everyone’s responsibility.
For more information on this subject, visit www.yrp.ca.