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Annual Report Highlights Bullying, Discipline Changes
Prince Frederick, MD - 7/17/2012
By Marty Madden
Leaders of Calvert County Public Schools’ (CCPS) Department of Student Services presented a year-end report to the Calvert County Board of Education (BOE) Thursday, July 12. The department has several programs, activities and key responsibilities throughout the system. These include bullying prevention, character education, child abuse prevention, peer mediation, sexual harassment prevention, guidance and counseling, school health services and safety. The Student Services Department provides ancillary support to the school system’s academic mission.
“We are never going to want for anything to do,” said Executive Director of Administration Kimberly Roof, who along with department supervisors Molly Gearhart (guidance) and Donna Nichols (health); and school safety specialist Larry Titus presented the report for the 2011-2012 school year.
“This is not a one-person job,” said Roof about providing student services throughout the system. She identified one major “ongoing challenge” to be keeping up with the state’s “compliance issues.” One issue that could make compliance even more of a challenge is implementation of new disciplinary standards that are likely to be mandated by the Maryland State Department of Education.
Titus reported changes have been made to CCPS’ crisis response procedures. The changes include enhanced radio communications with emergency response officials, a standardization of the crisis plans format to make them more interactive from school to school and development of a unified working manual for school liaison officers.
The department has continued its efforts to increase awareness of bullying prevention and reporting. Titus stated that among the obstacles in the eradication of bullying are “misconceptions about what bullying is.” Titus told the BOE that bullying is a “repeated action” and unfortunately, “bullying is now a buzzword” for all adverse interactions among students. “Hopefully, social civility will overcome bullying,” said Titus.
In early November a “bullying summit” will be held for CCPS’ students from the fourth through 11th grades “designed to promote student involvement in school-based anti-bullying clubs and activities,” Titus reported. The summit will likely be held at the College of Southern Maryland’s Prince Frederick campus. The department also plans to provide administrators with an action plan of support to address bullying, harassment or intimidation complaints.
“We are going to continue to network with other districts,” said Titus.
“It’s Herculean what you’ve accomplished,” BOE President Rose C. Crunkleton told the department officials. “It’s impressive.
CCPS Department of Student Services Report Data for 2011-2012
Among the statistics culled from the department’s report data:
·The number one reason students visited their school’s health room last school year was illness (38,575), followed by chronic health problems (25,014), scheduled medications (20,601), procedures (19,061) and injury (15,451).
·The biggest offense leading to suspension was fighting (270) followed by disrespect (220). Only seven students were suspended for bullying.
Contact Marty Madden at email@example.com
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