Safe Schools and Campuses

Through a three-year NEA Great Public Schools grant, MTA will be supporting and promoting Safe School Summits throughout the Commonwealth. A Safe School Summit brings together educators, elected officials, law enforcement personnel, judicial staff, social and health services providers and parents and community members to consider how to ensure that our schools are safe, healthy environments in which students can learn and educators can teach.  Summit topic can range from crisis planning to mental health issues to bullying. Under the sponsorship of local district attorneys, the summits are an opportunity for collaboration and provide educators with skills, tools and information they need to play a role in improving the climate in their school and beyond.

Participants in this conference track will share ideas and plans for bringing a Summit to their community. Please register for Safe Schools & Campuses Planning Session (#87) and any of the following to round out your Safe School experience:

Members who are interested in bringing a summit to their region and attending the planning session should contact Megan Secatore, Director of Training and Professional Learning, 617-878-8155, msecatore@massteacher.org.

Safe School Workshop Descriptions:

Monday, August 4, 9 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Bullying and Cyberbullying Training the Trainer Certification Program

Presented by the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridgewater State University. This one-day workshop will certify trainers in the MARC Train the Trainer Bullying and Cyberbullying Prevention Program. Trainers will learn background information and training techniques that will permit them to train faculty and staff at their schools. All materials will be provided.

Participants must register for the MTA Summer Conference (overnight or commuter options.) A$125 certification fee will be payable to MARC.

Elizabeth Englander, Professor of Psychology, Director, Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center Bridgewater State

Tuesday, August 5, 9 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Lifelines: A Comprehensive School-Wide Suicide Prevention Program

Schools can face many challenges when making the decision to proactively address the topic of suicide.  To assist schools in addressing these such challenges, a collaboration among the MA Department of Public Health (DPH), MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and UMass Medical School was formed, and supported by DPH under Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act federal funding. In this workshop, Dr. Feldman and Ms. Gilligan will provide an in-depth orientation to Lifelines, the evidence-based, comprehensive suicide prevention program being piloted in MA school districts under this initiative.  Attendees will learn about the Lifelines components, designed to assist schools to develop and implement policies, procedures, and strategies to prevent suicide, to effectively intervene with at-risk students when necessary, and to create appropriate postvention responses in the aftermath of suicide or other traumatic and sudden deaths that affect both the school and its local community.

Barry N. Feldman, Ph.D., Director of Psychiatry Programs in Public Safety, UMass Medical School and Anne Gilligan, M.P.H., Safe and Healthy Schools, DESE

Tuesday, August 5, 1:45 – 5 p.m.
Understanding Workplace Bullying

Workplace bullying is an issue for employees, supervisors, human resource professionals, and union representatives. This workshop will provide attendees with information on how to recognize bullying behavior, how bullying differs between adults and children, research on the nature of bullying in the workplace today, and strategies for dealing with the issue. We will also discuss the Healthy Workplace Bill, anti-workplace bullying legislation that is currently pending in the Massachusetts legislature.

Elizabeth Englander, Professor of Psychology, Director, Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center Bridgewater State; George Luse, MTA Training and Professional Learning Specialist

Wednesday, August 6, 9 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Safe Schools & Campuses Planning Session

Through a three-year NEA Great Public Schools grant, MTA will be supporting and promoting Safe School Summits throughout the Commonwealth. A Safe School Summit brings together educators, elected officials, law enforcement personnel, judicial staff, social and health services providers and parents and community members to consider how to ensure that our schools are safe, healthy environments in which students can learn and educators can teach.  Summit topic can range from crisis planning to mental health issues to bullying. Under the sponsorship of local district attorneys, the summits are an opportunity for collaboration and provide educators with skills, tools and information they need to play a role in improving the climate in their school and beyond. Members who are interested in bringing a summit to their region should contact Megan Secatore, Director of Training and Professional Learning, 617-878-8155, msecatore@massteacher.org.

Jean Fay, President, Amherst-Pelham Education Association, and Megan Secatore, MTA Training and Professional Learning

Wednesday, August 6, 1:45-3:15 p.m.
Preventing Youth Suicide: What Educators Should Know

Youth at risk for suicide are an unfortunate reality in every school at every grade level. Educators and school staff often identify students in their schools who, for one reason or another seem vulnerable or at risk. But how do you know if what you're seeing is part of the normal ups and downs of adolescence or something more severe? Your role in youth suicide prevention is critical. Teachers and staff who have been educated and have an awareness of youth suicide are a school's greatest prevention resource. In his workshop, Dr. Feldman will describe the scope of the youth suicide problem, review risk factors, warning signs, and protective factors for suicide, and provide techniques educators can use to prevent suicide. The workshop will be interactive and incorporate material to facilitate participation by attendees.

Barry N. Feldman, Ph.D., Director of Psychiatry Programs in Public Safety, UMass Medical School

Wednesday, August 6, 1:45-3:15 p.m.
School Crisis Planning

Does everyone in your school know his or her role in a crisis situation? Response should be automatic. Students might be anywhere when a crisis unfolds, so all school staff members should be aware of their own roles and the roles of others to work seamlessly as a team. This means planning ahead and building partnerships. Learn how districts show leadership by involving all school employees in their school safety planning. Learn how to engage local government, law enforcement, first responders and parents in developing and executing comprehensive plans. Resources from the NEA Health Information Network and practical insights on possible bargaining aspects will be shared.

Jean Fay, President, Amherst-Pelham Education Association, and Paul Demarco, MTA Affiliate Services

Wednesday, August 6, 3:45-5 p.m.
Safe Schools Planning: Is Your Plan Meeting All Student Needs?

In this workshop, we will outline programming and procedures that contribute to a solid Safe Schools Plan. Professionals from law enforcement, school administration and mental health will speak about important components that need to be included in safety planning for all educational levels.

Joyce Hanousek, School Adjustment Counselor, Gateway Regional School District, and a panel

Thursday, August 7, 9 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Walking the Talk: Classroom Strategies for Addressing LGBTQ Bias

Designed for K-12 classroom instructors, this action-oriented workshop examines various approaches to designing and integrating lessons and activities that raise awareness of bias and empower students to advocate for change, especially around LGBTQ-related bias.

NEA Human and Civil Rights Presenter

Thursday, August 7, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Not Everyone Cries: Strategies to Help Children Who are Victims of Violence

John frequently comes late to school without breakfast looking like he has slept in his clothes. Jane finds it impossible to focus and finds reasons to stay after school on most days. Mark has been in the middle of a fight on the playground daily for the past two weeks. Each day these children sit in our classrooms struggling with burdens beyond belief; they live in homes where violence is a common occurrence. This workshop will focus on identifying/treating children traumatized by violence and ways to reach out and help them succeed.

Joyce Hanousek, School Adjustment Counselor, Gateway Regional School District

These are some of the more than 100 workshops to be offered at the MTA Summer Conference, August 3-7 at Williams College in Williamstown. For more information, and online registration, visit http://massteacher.org/summer.

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