Creating Welcoming, Caring, Respectful and Safe Learning Environments: A Process Guide for School Leaders

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Research on school improvement and brain development, shows a direct correlation between a positive school culture and academic achievement. Evidence also shows that welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments result in increased attendance and reduced rates of bullying and early school leaving.

To improve outcomes for students, in addition to ensuring quality teaching and leadership, we must be intentional about creating welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments.

Toolkit: Supporting Social Emotional Learning

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There are many approaches schools can take to create more welcoming, safe, caring and respectful
learning environments. The documents in this toolkit can help educators, parents and other caregivers to identify the best literature, events, school materials and school-based programs to help children and youth cultivate social emotional skills and better understand life experiences.

These resources were created in partnership with WITS Programs.

Toolkit: Understanding Alberta’s School Act

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Revisions to the School Act as part of Bill 10 (in force June 1, 2015) set out responsibilities for all partners in the education system, including students, parents and school boards. All partners have a responsibility to do their part to ensure welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments.

To help all partners understand and implement these responsibilities, the Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities partnered with ASBA to develop a toolkit that includes support for all stakeholders.

The Government of Alberta provided funding for this initiative.

UPDATE: Safe and Caring is continually accepting feedback on these resources from educators, administrators and policy makers. Please feel free to forward comments or requests for future resources. Posted are the most recent and up-to-date versions of these documents.

Toolkit: Creating Safe Spaces Resources

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Safe Spaces is a joint initiative of the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) and the Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities. The Safe Spaces initiative focuses on three critical areas necessary to address discrimination and prejudice in schools: respecting human rights, respecting individuals and taking personal responsibility.

What Can I Do If I Bully Others?

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If you are always picking on other students, you have a problem. It may be hard to admit you have a problem, but we all have to own up to how we treat other people. It’s not right to want to make others feel badly. If bullying behaviour makes you feel powerful, you must realize that no one really likes … Read More

What Can I Do If I See Someone Being Bullied?

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Those who witness bullying have the power to stop it. If you see someone being bullied, show that you CARE. Care about others Ask an adult for help Reach out End it Tips: If you see someone being bullied, offer to help. Invite him or her to hang out with you and your friends (people who bully often target someone … Read More

What Can I Do If I Am Bullied?

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If you are bullied, recognize that it is not your fault, and know that you have the right to be safe. To be safe, think SAFE: Stand up for your self Ask for help Figure out your choices End it calmly. Tips: If you are bullied, stand proud and make eye contact. Use a firm voice and tell the person … Read More

If Your Child Bullies Others

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Stay calm Don’t allow your initial response to control your actions. Take action to calm yourself so that you can think rationally. Be firm Set limits and give clear messages that you love your child but don’t love his or her behaviour – all harassing and bullying must stop. Talk about how harassment affects others. Impose appropriate, non-violent, logical consequences. … Read More

If Your Child Witnesses Bullying

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Silence encourages bullying behaviour. Thank your child for having the courage to tell you about it. A warm, non-judgemental manner will set the stage for this discussion. Model caring and concern for others. This will serve your child well in the future. Stay calm and get the facts. Find out the names of those involved. Get the sequence of events … Read More

If Your Child Experiences Bullying

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Be calm Don’t allow your initial response to control your actions. Take action to stay calm so that you can think rationally. Offer comfort Let your child know you are on his or her side and will do all you can to see that he or she is safe. Tell your child that reporting bullying was the right thing to … Read More