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Posts Tagged ‘OLWEUS’

We officially kicked off our Van Tighem Virtues with our student retreat and guest speaker Alvin Law on September 21. It was an amazing day where students made pledges to put their best foot forward, talked about our Virtues, and participated in two sessions with Alvin. Thank you to all the families who stayed after the BBQ and listened to Alvin’s inspirational message. This day was the culmination of a year of planning by our committee in working towards revising our code of conduct.  We also received student input through the Tell Them From Me Survey, parent input at parent council meetings, and central office input from Joann Bartley our Director of Religious Education.

Our Faith Theme for this school year is “Rooted in Christ” with a focus on Scripture.  As our Van Tighem Virtues will guide our code of conduct, we have rooted it in Jesus’ words to us: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” John 13:34.  With Joann’s help, we also tied each Van Tighem Virtue to the cardinal and theological virtues of the Catholic Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that a virtue is a habitual and firm disposition to do good. It allows the person to not only perform good acts, but to give the best of himself (1803). To help remember our Virtues we have used our HAWKS name as an acronym. The following is a list of virtues, a description, and the linked Catholic virtue:

Honest – I am sincere, truthful and trustworthy.  (Tied to Prudence)

Accepting – I accept that everyone is unique and made in the image and likeness of God (Tied to Fortitude)

Wise – I speak up for myself and others even when it may not be popular (Tied to Justice)

Kind – I treat people with dignity and respect all rights and property.   (Tied to Justice)

Spiritual – I follow the example Jesus taught us in the way I think, speak, and act.  (Tied to Charity)

These virtues will permeate the culture of the school and we will be working towards developing a deeper understanding of them and how they will guide our conduct. Throughout the year at class meetings and assemblies, students will be discussing each Virtue. They will be also be articulating behaviour expectations for all areas of the school and a variety of areas that came up as areas of concerns in our surveys:  classroom, hallway, outside, and gym.  By the end of the year we will have completed common expectations for each virtue.  We are also working on developing student conduct guidelines, consequences, and procedures. To find out more about our progress with our virtues, I invite you to come to parent council meetings as we look to parents to advise us on their perspective.

To read more about the Virtues in the Catechism click the following link: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a7.htm

hawks-perspective-002

 

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As we approach the season of advent, I’d like to highlight a couple of programs to illustrate this years theme, Horizon of Hope. It’s important that we all are beacons of hope and we are letting our students shine through focusing on conduct and celebrating their cultures and stories.

OLWEUS  Program

On Thursday November 12, the entire staff was trained on the program components: individual, classroom, school, and community. The goals of the program are to reduce bullying problems among students, to prevent the development of new problems, to achieve better peer relations at school, and to provide students with skills needed to be leaders. A key component from the training forward is that our community have a shared understanding of what bullying is.  Three components of bullying behaviour are that is involves an aggressive behaviour, typically involves a pattern of behaviour repeated over time, and involves an imbalance of power or strength.

Currently we are working on putting together the school-level components.  We have established a Coordinating Committee with the following representatives:

Mrs. Kobza – Coordinator

Mr. Pollio and Mrs. Kremenik – Co-chairs

Kevin Verberk – Secretary and Divisional Rep

Mrs. Ponomar, Ms. Pilsner, Mr. Parr, Mrs. Hay, Mrs. Jans – Staff Reps

Mrs. Rocca and Mrs. Shore – Counsellors

Leroy CrazyBoy – FNMI Program Leader

Karen Kondor – Trainer

On Friday the 13th the committee met for the first time and decided to administer the Olweus Bullying Questionnaire before Christmas. The survey asks the students forty questions about their life at the school. The committee and staff will analyze the results of the survey and make changes to our supervisory system as needed. We will be moving forward with implementation oat our January PD Day.

Artist in Residence Showcase

We are excited to have John ChiefCalf, Blackfoot teacher at CCH, offer an Art Visualization and Writing Program to our junior high First Nations students.  John has had 6 sessions with our students where they worked on the following elements:

  1. Identifying how students create relationships with nature and how this impacts their identity and sense of belonging
  2. Writing about a shared experience and sharing emotion
  3. Responding with art, beading, or dancing

We will be showcasing our students’ work in a couple of ways this month.  First, our students will have a session at our Christmas Family Fun Night on Wednesday, December 9th from 5:30 – 7:30.  Come out and enjoy some frybread and berry soup!

fnmi_v2

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In the Alberta Education Business Plan the Minister of Education articulated goals for the province. Our Holy Spirit board then set strategic priorities that aligned with the Business Plan. At FLVT, we chose two priorities to focus on that aligns with the Board’s direction: 1. Catholic Identity and 2. Preparing Students for their Future

Within those priorities, we created goals to move the school forward. This month I would like to highlight what we are doing to enhance our Catholic Identity. Our theme for this year is a Horizon of Hope. We are using Pope Francis’ statement as a guide where he challenged us to be lights in the darkness:

“Today too, amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and to
be men and women who bring hope to others. To protect creation, to protect
every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love,
is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy
clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope” Pope Francis

With this in mind we have two main areas of focus under Catholic Identity. We are asking our community to be beacons of hope by focusing on an attitude of Gratitude. The staff was given gratitude journals to start the year and teachers have chosen to incorporate journals, compliments, trees, and chains into their classrooms. When you walk around the school you will see bulletin boards in the halls and classrooms expressing the attitude of gratitude. Every morning we gather as a staff for a meeting and prayer, and this year, our staff prayer is taken from Joyce Meyer’s devotional The Power of Being Thankful. During advent we will be creating an advent calendar for the school that does not contain chocolate, but does contain gratitude activities.

The second area of focus came as a result of analyzing our junior high Bullying and School Safety Tell Them From Me Survey results, and feedback from staff and parents. A safe school environment is critical for students’ learning and well-being. As a result, we will be focusing on implementing the OLWEUS Bullying Prevention Program at the school. The program is backed up with over 35 years of research and is designed to improve peer relations and make school safer, more positive places. Goals of the program are to reduce existing bullying problems, prevent the development of new problems, and create better peer relations at school. On November 12 and 13 the whole staff will be in serviced on the program by Karen Kondor who runs Find Your Voice Consulting. Schools are safer when school staff, students, parents, and communities work together.

We are looking for a parent to be a member of our Coordinating Committee. Information on the duties are included in the newsletter and we would require that you attend the training on the 12 and 13. Please contact me if you are interested in being a part of this exciting program.

Coordinating Committee Responsibilities

Find Your Voice Consulting

OLWEUS Program Information

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