School officials say creating a more caring climate and building positive relationships between students and staff is critical to student success and a community event scheduled for Thursday night at Helena Middle School will focus on just that.
EXPECT RESPECT is the Helena School District’s comprehensive plan to create a caring environment and address and prevent bullying of any type. The plan focuses on creating school-wide learning environments that build caring connections and discourage bullying and aggression.
In the spirit of working together to create a learning community a free event is planned for 7 p.m. at the HMS auditorium.
Supported by the Safe Schools Healthy Students Initiative, Youth Connections and the Montana Behavioral Initiative (MBI), the approach focuses on teaching students to show respect to one another instead of focusing on telling students not to bully. It begins by establishing respect — or being respectful — as one of the school’s positive universal expectations. One of MBI’s key ideas is “if you expect it, you need to teach it.”
Recently when children were in school, all employees participated in an EXPECT RESPECT professional development session led by Michael Corso, chief academic officer, for the Quaglia Institute for Student Inspirations.
Corso shared his analysis of district student, parent and staff climate survey data with participants. He provided strategies that the entire school community should establish to ensure a caring school where everyone feels they belong and are safe.
The Helena Public Schools in partnership with Youth Connections and Optimum (formerly Bresnan) Communications will explore the roles of schools, parents and the community in addressing this issue.