TRACK is our Character Education Program using components of Safe Schools and Responsive School Curriculums
Resource for Parents:
Being Your Best: Bullying Prevention Program
The program began during the 2005-2006 school year
Bullying is a complex issue. Research documents such behavior occurring as young as preschool. The school environment is one of the primary places children experience bullying behavior. In elementary schools, social conflicts are new and students encounter difficulty in how to handle bullying behavior since such experiences have not occurred outside of the school environment. Going to school is their first experience with many peers and conditions where interaction is inevitable. While children's social and emotional development is evolving, interactions may occur with responses from peers that are mean and hurtful. Sometimes the return response is in the same format and confusion of how to act happens. While the thought is to provide academics in school, the truth is that teachable moments happen with every interaction. It is also necessary to provide positive ways to respond to the daily conflicts we can encounter when we work with and relate with others.
The series of lessons are introduced and taught by the classroom teacher to promote positive attitudes in students. The process of teaching the lessons consistently from kindergarten to fifth grade provides reinforcement and higher levels of application of the concepts as the children developmentally grow. There are five to six lessons for each grade level. The lessons were researched and developed with the use of the following evidence based* resources:
New Jersey Law/Bar Foundation*
Social Decision Making Program: Dr. Elias-Rutgers University*
Sunburst Communications Materials
Youthlight Inc. Materials
Additional Cooperative Games Resources from:
Power Play by Kathy Cooper M.S.W. & Marianne Vandawalker, M.Ed. (Youthlight, Inc.)
When do the teachers begin the lessons?
Classroom teachers teach the lessons beginning in September and concluding in December. Teachers plan when they will teach the lessons which are usually during a social studies time. Teachers also review and reinforce the skills during the monthly character theme events further connecting the TRACK program to the Be Your Best program. This also provides the school community ways to use the concepts in the everyday language and communication in our school.
What are the lessons?
September: What is teasing and bullying?
October: Ways we act in conflict (passive, aggressive assertive)
October: Keep Calm & I Messages
November: Telling vs. Tattling
November/December: Win/Win Guidelines - The ABCs of Problem Solving
December: We Messages (Being an Upstander) for grades 3, 4, 5
All other staff such as specialists, assistants, and lunch aides are to use the strategies taught in the program. Like the TRACK program, this will allow for a unified vocabulary so that the children are given the teachable life lessons in a consistent manner. The strategies are also part of the discussions and activities at the weekly school Community Campfire Assemblies.
It is our goal to instill in the children a sense of responsibility and empowerment in handling bullying behavior. The lessons will provide the students with the life skills they need to be successful in their own personal life in and out of the school environment.