School Climate Plan and Anonymous Bullying Hotline

Anonymous Bullying Hotline

(860) 327-8093

You can call or text the above number to report an incident of bullying.

E-mail: speakup@odysseyschool.org

You can e-mail the address above to report an incident of bullying.


School Climate Plan

Anti-Bullying

 

Odyssey Community School is committed to creating a learning environment where all students are supported academically, socially, and emotionally, and where all students feel safe and welcome.

 

        I.            Odyssey Community School prohibits:

a.       any form of bullying on school grounds, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off school grounds, at a school bus stop, on a school bus or any other vehicle the school board owns, leases, or uses, through an electronic device the school board owns, leases, or uses. 

b.      any form of bullying outside the school setting if it creates a hostile environment for a student at school, infringes on a student’s rights at school, or substantially disrupts the education process or the school’s orderly operation.

c.       retaliation or discrimination against those who report or help investigate bullying.

 

      II.            Definitions

a.       Bullying- repeated written, oral, and electronic communications by one or more students directed at or referring to another student and physical acts and gestures by one or more students that are repeatedly directed against another student and that:

    i.      cause the student physical or emotional harm or damage his or her property,

   ii.      put the student in reasonable fear of harm or property damage

   iii.      create a hostile school environment for the student

   iv.      infringe on the student’s rights at school

    v.      substantially disrupt the education process or a school’s orderly operation

 

Bullying shall include, but not be limited to a written, oral, or electronic or physical gesture based on any actual or perceived possession of, or association with others possessing or perceived as possessing, any differentiating characteristic based on race; color; religion; ancestry; national origin; gender; sexual orientation; gender identity or expression; socioeconomic or academic status; physical appearance; or mental, physical, developmental, or sensory disability.

b.      Cyberbullying- acts of bullying carried out through mobile electronic devices or electronic communications, the Internet, interactive and digital technologies, or cell phones.

c.       Teen Dating Violence- any act of physical, emotional or sexual abuse, including stalking, harassing and threatening, that occurs between two students who are currently in or who have recently been in a dating relationship;

d.      Mobile Electronic Device: any hand-held or other portable electronic equipment capable of providing data communication between two or more individuals, including, but not limited to, a text messaging device, a paging device, a personal digital assistant, a laptop computer, equipment that is capable of playing a video game or a digital video disk, or equipment on which digital images are taken or transmitted.

e.      Electronic Communication- any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo-electronic or photo-optical system.

f.        Hostile environment-a situation in which bullying among students is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the school climate.

g.       Outside of the School Setting-at a location, activity or program that is not school related, or through the use of an electronic device or a mobile electronic device that is not owned, leased or used by a local or regional board of education.

h.      School Climate- the quality and character of school life with a particular focus on the quality of the relationships within the school community between and among students and adults

i.         School employee-

 i.      a teacher, substitute teacher, school administrator, school superintendent, guidance counselor, psychologist, social worker, nurse, physician, school paraprofessional or coach employed by a local or regional board of education or working in a public elementary, middle or high school

ii.      any other individual who, in the performance of his or her duties, has regular contact with students and who provides services to or on behalf of students enrolled in a public elementary, middle or high school, pursuant to a contract with the local or regional board of education

j.        School-Sponsored Activity-any activity conducted on or off school property (including school buses and other school-related vehicles) that is sponsored, recognized or authorized by the Board of Education.

 

    III.            Leadership and Administrative Responsibilities

a.       For the school year commencing July 1, 2012, and each school year thereafter, the Odyssey Administration will appoint a:


                                            i.      Safe School Climate Coordinator- The Coordinator will:

1.       be responsible for implementing the district's safe school climate plan

2.       collaborate with the Safe School Climate Specialist, Odyssey Administration, and the Board of Trustees to prevent, identify and respond to bullying in the schools of the district

3.       provide data and information to Odyssey Administration, staff, and the Board of Trustees regarding bullying

4.       meet with the Safe School Climate Specialist at least twice during the school year to discuss issues relating to bullying and teen dating violence in the school and to make recommendations concerning amendments to the safe school climate plan


                                            ii.      Safe School Climate Specialist- The Specialist will:

1.       investigate or supervise the investigation of reported acts of bullying and teen dating violence in the school in accordance with the district's safe school climate plan

2.       collect and maintain records of reports and investigations of bullying in the school

3.       act as the primary school official responsible for preventing, identifying and responding to reports of bullying in the school.

 

    IV.            Safe School Climate Plan

a.       For the school year commencing July 1, 2012, and each school year thereafter, Odyssey Administration will establish a committee or designate at least one existing committee in the school to be responsible for developing and fostering a safe school climate and addressing issues relating to bullying in the school. Such committee shall include at least one parent or guardian of a student enrolled in the school appointed by the school principal.

b.      This committee will

                     i.      receive copies of completed reports following investigations of bullying

                     ii.      identify and address patterns of bullying among students in the school

                     iii.      review and amend school policies relating to bullying

                     iv.      review and make recommendations to the district Safe School Climate Coordinator regarding the district's safe school climate plan based on issues and experiences specific to the school

                      v.      educate students, school employees and parents and guardians of students on issues relating to bullying

                      vi.      collaborate with the district Safe School Climate Coordinator in the collection of data regarding bullying

                       vii.      perform any other duties as determined by the school principal that are related to the prevention, identification and response to school bullying for the school.

c.       Any parent or guardian serving as a member of any such committee shall not participate any activity that may compromise the confidentiality of a student.

d.      Odyssey’s School Climate Plan will be available on the school’s website

e.      All school employees will be provided with an electronic or written copy of the plan at the start of each school year.

f.        Odyssey Administration is responsible for the annual training all school employees  on identifying, preventing, and responding to school bullying and preventing and responding to youth suicide

      V.            Reporting and Investigating Complaints of Bullying

a.       Any student who believes the he or she has been the victim of bullying may:    

                            i.      Report the act to a school employee

                            ii.      Anonymously report the act on a form available on the school website.  This form will be automatically submitted to the School Climate Specialist. 

                           iii.      Students and parents will be notified of the process by which such reports can be made.

b.      School employees who witness acts of bullying or receive reports of bullying are required to provide oral (or written) notification to the Safe School Climate Specialist or another school administrator if the Safe School Climate Specialist is unavailable, not later than one school day after such school employee witnesses or receives a report of bullying, and to file a written report not later than two school days after making such oral report.

c.       The Safe School Climate Specialist will investigate or supervise the investigation of all reports of bullying and ensure that such investigation is completed promptly after receipt of any written reports made under this section

d.      The Safe School Climate Specialist will review any anonymous reports.  No disciplinary action will be taken solely on the basis of an anonymous report. 

e.      The investigator will determine if, based on the information gathered, whether it is necessary to take immediate action to prevent further acts of bullying or retaliation while the investigation is pending.

f.        After this investigation, the investigator will determine whether the alleged behavior occurred, and whether this behavior is defined as bullying, based on the definition provided in this plan. 

 

    VI.            Response to Verified Acts of Bullying

a.       If act an act of bullying is verified, the Safe School Climate Specialist will:

                                                               i.      notify the parents or guardians of students who commit any verified acts of bullying and the parents or guardians of students against whom such acts were directed no later than forty-eight hours after the completion of the investigation. This notice will describe the school’s response to the incident and the consequences for further bullying.

                                                             ii.      Invite the parents or guardians of a student who commits any verified act of bullying and the parents or guardians of the student against whom such act was directed to a meeting to communicate to such parents or guardians the measures being taken by the school to ensure the safety of the student against whom such act was directed and to prevent further acts of bullying.

                                                            iii.      develop student safety support plans for students against whom acts of bullying were directed that address safety measures the school will take to protect such students against further acts of bullying.

                                                           iv.      direct the development of case-by-case interventions for addressing repeated incidents of bullying against a single individual or recurrently perpetrated bullying incidents by the same individual.

b.      If Odyssey Administration reasonably believes that an act of bullying constitutes a criminal offense, the Manchester Police Department will be notified.

 

  VII.            Documentation and Maintenance of Log

a.       The Safe School Climate Specialist will:

                                                               i.      document and maintain records relating to reports and investigations of bullying at Odyssey.

                                                             ii.      maintain a list of the number of verified acts of bullying at Odyssey and make such list available for public inspection.  This list will not contain the names of students or any information that might lead to the identification of any student.

b.      The Safe School Climate Coordinator will annually report the verified number of bullying acts at Odyssey to the Department of Education, and in such manner as prescribed by the Commissioner of Education.

 

 

 

VIII.            Other Prevention and Intervention Strategies

a.       Students will be provided with a variety of prevention and intervention strategies which may include, but are not limited to:

                                                               i.      implementation of a positive behavioral interventions and supports process or another evidence-based model approach for safe school climate or for the prevention of bullying and teen dating violence identified by the Department of Education

                                                             ii.       school rules prohibiting bullying, teen dating violence, harassment and intimidation and establishing appropriate consequences for those who engage in such acts

                                                            iii.      adequate adult supervision of outdoor areas, hallways, the lunchroom and other specific areas where bullying or teen dating violence are likely to occur

                                                           iv.      inclusion of grade-appropriate bullying education and prevention curricula in kindergarten through 8th grade

                                                             v.      individual interventions with the bully, parents and school employees, and interventions with the bullied child, parents and school employees

                                                           vi.      school-wide training related to safe school climate

                                                          vii.      student peer training, education and support

                                                        viii.       promotion of parent involvement in bullying prevention through individual or team participation in meetings, trainings and individual interventions

b.      When acts of bullying are verified and a disciplinary action is warranted, students are subject to the full range of consequences consistent with Odyssey’s discipline policy.

 

    IX.            School Climate Assessments

a.       On or after July 1, 2012, and biannually after, Odyssey will assess its school climate using assessment instruments, including surveys, approved and disseminated by the State Department of Education.

b.      Odyssey Administration will collect and report the school assessments to the State Department of Education.

c.       Results from the assessment instruments may also be used to review and make recommendations and revisions to the Safe School Climate Plan.

Legal Reference

Public Act No. 11-232, AN ACT CONCERNING THE STRENGTHENING OF SCHOOL BULLYING LAWS

Public Act No. 14-234, AN ACT CONCERNING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL  ASSAULT

 

Revised

August 7, 2014