On Wednesday, October 19th, Ellis Elementary School students, and staff wore orange to promote Unity Day Against Bullying. Coordinated by Ellis’ Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports (PBIS)/C.A.R.E. Team and sponsored by the PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, Ellis teachers taught anti-bullying lessons provided by PACER, handed out orange UNITY wristbands for all of their students, and had students sign and take home an anti-bullying oath.
Ellis’ Parent/Teacher Organization also hung UNITY posters and large orange banners around the school so that students could post messages about being kind and accepting of everyone.
According to Magda Ramos, Community Outreach Coordinator at Ellis, “Celebrating Unity Day schoolwide really brought us together as a school. The students enjoyed writing on the banners and sharing stories of how to be better friends and watch after other classmates during the school day.”
According to the PACER Center, “One of every four school-aged children will be bullied this year – upwards of 13 million students,” said Julie Hertzog, director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, which sponsors Unity Day and founded National Bullying Prevention Month in 2006. “By joining together and wearing ORANGE on Unity Day, we can send the unified message that we care about student’s physical and emotional health and that bullying will no longer be accepted in this society.”
Free anti-bullying resources are available on the PACER website: http://www.pacer.org/bullying/classroom/elementary/
Using the evidence-based PBIS framework, the Sunnyvale School District has created a continuum of supports, including clear expectations, acknowledgement systems, and curricular activities to promote social-emotional growth among our student population. Each school has identified clear expectations, created ways to teach and reinforce expected behaviors, and targeted social skills for emphasis that will benefit its entire student population. With all students speaking a common language and developing an understanding of social expectations, our schools are emotionally safe and conducive to higher levels of learning achievement.
Article by Kimberly Moya, Special Day Class teacher, Chin Chin Chiu, District Clinical Manager of Behavior Intervention Services, and Alia Wilson, District Communications Coordinator.