It has been an exciting first few months here at Green Hills School! We have had a number of exciting programs and events for both students and parents to start the year, and we are planning more for the near future.
I recently wrapped up my classroom lessons focusing on bullying prevention unit, and I am about to begin lessons focusing on career exploration for middle school while the elementary grades will focus on empathy and problem-solving skills! I continue to facilitate small groups during lunches on a wide range of topics, including casual conversations, healthy friendships, impulse control, and managing big emotions. If you think your child would benefit from being a part of one of my small groups, please let me know!
Please remember that I am here to support the students however I can. I am available to meet if a student needs help or just wants to talk! Don't hesitate to reach out if I can support you in any way.
Please visit my website for links to resources and additional information!
Bullying Prevention Month
October was National Bullying Prevention Month. We recognized the month in a number of ways. We celebrated the Week of Respect, which included a spirit week and activities for the students. Throughout the months of October and November, Mrs. Stiles presented Bullying Prevention lessons to students, helping them learn how to recognize, report, and refuse bullying when they see it.
On September 27th, Mr. Bollette and Mrs. Stiles presented a HIB Parent Presentation for our community. There were significant changes made to the HIB Law in the state of New Jersey that took effect last school year. Parents learned about the law, how we are working to reduce bullying, and how the recent updates could impact your family. You can view the slide deck for that presentation by clicking here.
Parents play a key role in helping to prevent and respond to bullying. For additional information about the process for addressing HIB at Green Hills, please visit our website. For more information about what you can do to be part of the solution, go to stopbullying.gov for valuable resources.
Ryan's Story Parent and Student Presentations
We were extremely fortunate to be able to invite John Halligan back to Green Hills School to offer his critically important presentation about his own personal tragedy - his 13-year-old son Ryan - who took his own life in 2003 after being an early victim of cyberbullying as a middle school student. Our 7th and 8th grade students heard Mr. Halligan’s story on October 6th, while a parent presentation was offered on October 5th.
Through powerful video clips, still pictures, and the story of Ryan's life and the factors that led to his suicide, students gained a first-hand perspective of what it means to be affected by bullying and cyberbullying, not only as a target but also as family and friends of a target. The wrap-up session educated educate students on forgiveness, suicide prevention, and the role of bystanders.
Our parent presentation focused on many topics, including what to look for and how to respond to suicidal ideation, the three critical roles in any bullying situation, an awareness of the latest suicide rates and their linkage to social media, and practical actions to take moving forward.
For more information, please visit www.RyansStory.org.
Youth Empowerment Summit
Cyber-Safety and Social Media Presentation
Green Hills offered an important program to help parents navigate the overwhelming topic of Cyber Safety for Children. Technology is changing faster than ever before, and it can be challenging to to help your child navigate social media and cell phones. Jessica Gallego, LCSW from Skylands Wellness Group presented on a range of related topics, including how to tell if your child is ready for a cell phone, tips to keep your child safe, how to talk to your child about cyberbullying, and how to monitor your child's online interactions.
Green Hills School hosted a Career Day for students in grades 5 - 8 on November 16th. We were lucky enough to have had 10 community members volunteer their time to offer presentations to our students. Students had the opportunity to visit various classrooms, each focusing on a different career. The career choices were wide-ranging, including a college professor, a live sports broadcaster, a veterinarian, a chief financial officer and more!
We were again fortunate to have representatives from both Pope John and Sussex Tech come and meet with our 8th grade students! Students learned about the various program offerings at both schools, and the school representatives were available to answer questions about the application processes.
Sussex Tech is currently accepting applications for the 2024 - 2025 school year. All application materials are due no later than January 5th, 2024. You can learn more about the admissions process for Sussex Tech by clicking here
Pope John is also currently accepting applications for potential incoming freshman. Applications must be received by December 11, 2023. You can learn more about the admissions process for Pope John by clicking here.
Our fifth grade students are spending time with officers from the Sussex County Sheriff's office for the L.E.A.D. program, which "promotes positive, pro-social attitudes and behaviors, while helping students learn about fostering healthy relationships, resistance to substance abuse and conflict, and resistance to negative peer pressure and influence." Students will have the opportunity to participate in ten weekly lessons, which will focus on the development of specific traits and skills: goal setting, decision making, effective communication, anger management, conflict resolution, and pro-social bonding. To learn more about this program, click here.