School Climate

Ledyard Middle School School Climate Specialist:  Principal


Middle School Process to Report Acts of Bullying

Anyone (students, parents, staff, other concerned parties) should report bullying directly to the principal or an assistant principal, but there are a number of options when choosing how to report. Reports may be oral, in the form of email, or through a formal, written report. Reporting anonymously is possible by mailing or placing a written report directly in the mailbox of the principal. It should be noted that anonymous reporting, while perfectly acceptable, may make the subsequent investigation a bit more difficult. Nonetheless, any form of reporting bullying is far better than choosing not to do so. Complainants will be assisted, as necessary, in submitting the district bullying reporting form.


At Ledyard Middle School we are committed to creating and maintaining an educational environment that is physically, emotionally and intellectually safe and thus free from bullying, harassment and discrimination. This learning community is obligated to cultivate this positive and supportive school climate through: a common vision by all stakeholders, open lines of communication, positive youth development, effective teaching and learning practices, and a growth mind set for programmatic school climate improvement practices.  


Anti-bullying Strategies/Activities:

  • Transitioning to Middle School – At the beginning of the school year, our school counselors meet with all students on various topics on bullying, cyber-bullying, and sexual harassment and our school rules and expectations. Our counselors will visit the classrooms to explain what depicts bullying, cyber-bullying, and sexual harassment and how students can safely seek out support for themselves or their peers.

  • Bullying Prevention – Students will participate in an evidence-based approach, program or process that is designed to ensure a positive school climate and prevent bullying. All Students will be made aware of school rules prohibiting bullying, cyber-bullying, and harassment.  LMS will adhere to our bullying and disciplinary policies when determining appropriate consequences.  Proper documentation and records keeping of verified acts of bullying will be maintained.

  • How to Report Bullying – Students and/or parents may make verbal or written reports of suspected bullying behavior, and students are permitted to anonymously report acts of bullying to school employees. Reporting forms are available online and in the main office and school counselor’s office and in the nurse’s room of the school. Any report of suspected bullying behavior will be promptly reviewed by the Safe School Climate Specialist. If acts of bullying are verified, the school will take prompt, corrective action that is reasonably calculated to stop the bullying and prevent any recurrence of such behavior.  School Counselors and administration process with the bully and bullied.  In responding to cases of bullying we are sure to process with all parties involved.  During this time we work to help students learn from the situation and equip the students with the strategies to appropriately react to a similar situation in the future.

  • Staff Training and A Common Vision – Yearly, provide all certified school employees training on the prevention, identification and response to bullying and the prevention of and response to youth suicide via in-service training. Agree on common vision with our anti-bullying practices, school behavioral priorities and on what a positive school climate looks and feels like.

  • The monthly classroom school counselor lessons on tolerance and anti-bullying strategies – Our guidance counselors coordinate with the classroom teachers to spend the day in their classes and facilitate guidance lessons to the students. The Second Step curriculum is the curriculum used to plan their monthly lessons.  This curriculum covers topics such as:

    • Effective communication and empathy skills

    • Respectful disagreement

    • Problem solving

    • Bullying/cyber bullying/sexual harassment prevention

    • Anger and strategies for controlling emotions

    • Stress and how to appropriately cope with stress, and

    • Internet safety

  • School counselor conferences – School counselors meet with students individually to process situations as needed.  These meetings are carried out separately with the bullied and the bully.  Parents are often included in these meetings or are contacted and kept informed through the process.  This is where important learning takes place and provides the students with better tools to  react or make better choices in these types of situations in the future.

  • Student Support Data Team – Generates strategies for at risk academic and behavioral students.  Our SSDT team meets weekly to discuss, plan for and implement strategies to support at risk students.  Strategies include in class differentiation (Tier I) along with Tier II and Tier III recommendations.

  • Parent Education – Open House, our LMS CHARGE Website, and Parent Information Meetings – Parent education about bullying and promotion of parent and stakeholder involvement, participation, and feedback with regard to bullying prevention will be made available throughout the school year during designated meetings and through postings on the school website/newsletter.


Positive School Climate Strategies/Activities:

  • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) – LMS will integrate PBIS strategies into school-wide climate plan.  PBIS is a proactive strategy for defining, teaching and supporting student behavior resulting in academic and social gains and a positive school environment.   These will include, but are not limited to: School-wide monthly recognitions, classroom PBIS incentives, and creating individual systems of support through targeted behavior plans, as needed.  PowerSchool is utilized as our school’s discipline management and behavioral data collecting and reporting tool.

  • Student Leadership Group – Student leaders are coached on supporting their peers in academic and social settings to further promote a positive school environment for all members of the LMS community.  These students work in a mentoring role and with their peers as a whole to promote tolerance for all students.

  • Special Olympics Project Unify – In 2012 LMS initiated its Unified Sports program, Project Unify. Special Olympics Project UNIFY acts as an education and sports based strategy powered by our own Ledyard Middle School Leadership Group and our special education population.  Both youth groups volunteer to participate in this statewide interscholastic athletic community that increases teamwork and leadership opportunities, while promoting social and civic responsibilities, for students with and without intellectual disabilities, while creating communities of acceptance for all.

  • Assessment of School Climate/School Climate Surveys – Each Spring, a safe school climate survey is offered to the students, teachers and families.  Based on the information and data that is collected, building improvement plans and individual professional growth goals are set by school administration and certified staff.

  • Safe School Climate Committee – This committee is comprised of staff, administration, and a parent. The mission of this committee is to be proactive in building on a positive school climate for all members of the LMS community.

  • CHARGE Honor Assemblies – At the conclusion of each quarter we hold an awards ceremony to celebrate our students’ successes from the quarter.  We hand out certificates for the different levels of honors and we also distribute the Positive CHARGE awards. Awards are given to the students teachers feel best demonstrated these characteristics.

  • School Safe School Climate Theme – We Take CHARGE of Our Learning, Actions, and Success is our Safe School Climate Theme at LMS.  We refer to taking CHARGE continuously throughout the year in addition to giving Positive CHARGE Awards at our quarterly CHARGE Honor Assemblies.

  • School rule:  Be Respectful; Be Safe –This is our consistent rule from the day students walk into LMS.  We are proactive with this rule and incorporate it into our monthly school counselor lessons and CHARGE Block Lessons.  Also while processing issues with students we always refer back to our school rule, and any staff member is able to acknowledge random acts of kindness by issuing a “CHARGE” card. The student turns this into the office and the student is presented with a certificate during homeroom.

  • Advisory Program – The CHARGE Block is our bi-weekly student advisory program. The program is designed to foster relationships between the students and a supportive adult within the school community. Lessons are created and provided to the teachers by the Safe School Climate Committee.  The lessons are designed in conjunction with our monthly school themes:


The Ledyard Middle School Monthly CHARGE Climate Themes:

Months

CHARGE THEMES

August/September

Community

October

Respect

November

Responsibility

December

"Pay It Forward"

January

Courage

February

Diversity

March

School-Spirit

April

Integrity

May

Leadership - "Take CHARGE"

June

Reflect and Celebrate


  • Faculty Council – A representation of LMS faculty that plans, practices, and support students, teachers and families learn about and plan for barriers in student learning.  This group ensures that our infrastructure, building schedule, building capacity, and students are prepared to meet the challenges of the initiatives in public secondary education.

  • School to Home Communication – The LMS website, School Messenger phone calls, the student and parent PowerSchool portals and Twitter posts act as an effective communication tool for our students and families.

  • School counselors and school psychologist run student lunch groups – Based on student surveys, our guidance assesses the need among their students and then creates groups to help support these needs.

  • School dances – All students that are in good standing with behavior are able to attend our dances.  We have a dance every couple of months and our students really enjoy them.

  • Student Council – Our student council meets twice a month and they are very active in supporting or creating fundraisers or activities that support our Ledyard community along with our LMS community.

  • Ledyard Youth Services – Counselors from LYS come to LMS and work individually with our more emotional at-risk students.

  • Spirit Week – School spirit activities throughout the week.  Each day represents a different activity; however, each activity is planned around a cooperative, team building approach.

  • Adventure Days – Our PE teachers incorporate collaborative, team building activities in their classes to stress teamwork and cooperation.

  • Department and grade level meetings – To discuss strategies and or improve academic and social concerns/successes.  These meeting times are provided as a time to collaborate around strategies to help all students succeed.

  • Student Study Center – A safe place for students to take a time out to regroup.  We have a Safe Haven aide that works to process the situation as well as complete the work the student is missing while in the SSC.  We also use this program to help students with organization, work completion as well as our after school homework help program.

  • School counselor conferences – School counselors meet with students individually to process situations as needed.  These meetings carried out separately with the bullied and the bully.  Parents are many times included in these meetings or are contacted and kept informed through the process.  This is where important learning takes place to help students better react or make better choices in these types of situations in the future.

  • Naviance – A program that helps students stay focused on their self-generated academic, social and career goals.  These Student Success Plans will guide student all the way through graduation.  Our school counselors work with students monthly as they navigate their way through the year in conjunction with their SSP.  Parents are provided access to students’ SSP’s as well.

  • Incoming 7th grade visit – Our incoming seventh grade comes and visits to participate in group activities to help ease the transition into middle school and let them know we’re a safe and comfortable school.  This helps lessen anxiety come the end of summer as they enter LMS.

  • Health curriculum – Self-concept and peer interaction.  Our health teacher teaches strategies to improve one’s outlook on themselves as well as their social interactions with peers.

  • Student Support Data Team – Generates strategies for at risk academic and behavioral students.  Our SSDT team meets weekly to discuss, plan for and implement strategies to support at risk students.  Strategies include in class differentiation (Tier I) along with Tier II and Tier III recommendations.

  • Enrichment and 21st Century Classes – New programs that provide students with choice of pursuing their interests and/or applying new learning and innovation skills to prepare them for a more complex life and work environments in the 21st Century.  A focus on the “whole-child” through choice, creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration and information access and technology skills is essential to prepare students for the future.

  • Monthly classroom school counselor lessons on tolerance and anti-bullying strategies – Our school counselor department schedules time in the classrooms with all of the students to facilitate these lessons.  The Second Step curriculum is the curriculum used to plan their monthly lessons.  This curriculum covers topic such as:

    • Effective communication and empathy skills

    • Respectful disagreement

    • Problem solving

    • Bullying, cyber-bullying, sexual harassment prevention

    • Anger and strategies for controlling emotions

    • Stress and how to appropriately cope with stress

    • Internet safety

    • School counselors and administration process with the bully and bullied.  In responding to cases of bullying we are sure to process with all parties involved.  During this time we work to help students learn from the situation and equip the students with the strategies to appropriately react to a similar situation in the future.