Weekly Update November 9, 2023
No school tomorrow!
📢 Calling all grown-ups who care about our school 📢
When: Tuesday, November 14th, 2023 at 6-7 pm
Let's talk about bullying
Everyone has a role to play in bullying prevention and response, and to promote a culture of respect, responsibility and resiliency. Parents and families are central to this effort. Here’s information about what parents and families can do to prevent bullying, and what happens when bullying is reported to the school.
Things you might not know about Arizona Anti-bullying Law
Arizona anti-bullying laws do not define harassment, intimidation, and bullying. Surprisingly, they also do not require schools or school districts to implement bullying prevention programs or strategies, nor to train teachers and staff on how to prevent or respond to bullying incidents.
There are no specific groups listed under Arizona anti-bullying laws or regulations, however, Arizona schools that receive federal funding are required by federal law to address discrimination based on certain personal characteristics. (Find out when bullying may be a civil rights violation).
School districts are, by law, required to include definitions of harassment, intimidation, and bullying in district policies, adopt procedures to protect the health and safety of pupils who are physically harmed as the result of incidents of harassment, intimidation, and bullying and to provide written copies of the rights, protections, and support services available to alleged victims and/or their parents.
Which Arizona laws and regulations cover bullying?
Deer Valley Policies
Guidance about bullying and harrassment can be found in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook. However, here at GP, we also talk to kids about bullying and harrassment in classes and provide multiple avenues for reporting bullying. Once an incident of bullying is reported, it is investigated comprehensively according to district policy and procedures.
How does DVUSD define bullying, cyberbullying, harrassment and intimidation?
DVUSD definitions can be found on the district website, in policy and in the student handbook.
Bullying may occur when a student or group of students engages in any form of behavior that includes such acts as intimidation and/or harassment that:
- has the effect of physically harming a student, damaging a student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm or damage to property,
- is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that the action, behavior, or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive environment,
- occurs when there is a real or perceived imbalance of power or strength, or may constitute a violation of law
Bullying of a student or group of students can be manifested through written, verbal, physical, or emotional means and may occur in a variety of forms that are further outlined in the student handbook.
Cyberbullying is, but not limited to, any act of bullying committed by use of electronic technology or electronic communication devices, including school computers and an individual’s personal electronic media and equipment.
Harassment is intentional behavior by a student or group of that is disturbing or threatening to another student or group of students. Intentional behaviors that characterize harassment include, but are not limited to, stalking, hazing, social exclusion, name calling, unwanted physical contact and unwelcome verbal or written comments, photographs and graphics. Harassment may be related, but not limited to, race, religious orientation, sexual preference, cultural background, economic status, size or personal appearance. Harassing behaviors can be direct or indirect and by use of social media.
Intimidation is intentional behavior by a student or group of students that places another student or group of students in fear of harm of person or property. Intimidation can be manifested emotionally or physically, either directly or indirectly, and by use of social media.
Does the bullying have to occur at school?
Not always. According to DVUSD policy, if bullying that occurred outside of the school and the school day resulted in a substantial physical, mental, or emotional negative effect on the victim that carries over to school grounds, school property, school buses, at school bus stops, or at school sponsored events and activities, or when such act(s) interfere with the authority of the school system to maintain order, disciplinary action will be taken. All suspected violations of law will be always be reported to local law enforcement.
What protections does a student have once they report bullying?
Students who believe they are experiencing being bullied or expect another student is bullied should report their concern to any staff member. School personnel are to maintain appropriate confidentiality of the reported information, but it should be noted that those accused of bullying have a right to know what they have been accused of (not by whom) in order to provide a response to the charge. However, confidentiality is maintained to the fullest degree possible.
Reprisal or 'revenge' by any student directed toward a student or employee related to the reporting of a case or a suspected case of bullying is not tolerated, and the individual(s) will be subject to the disciplines set out in applicable District policies and administrative regulations.
What can happen when a student is found bullying?
Bullying is an extremely serious offense and students found to be bullying others will be disciplined up to and including suspension or expulsion from school. Knowingly submitting a false report of bullying will also result in disciplinary action. This is different from a case where an investigation concludes that the report does not constitute bullying.
What isn't bullying?
Not every unkind thing a child does constitutes bullying.
- Being left out is not always bullying. It’s natural for kids to have a select group of friends. Although they should be kind towards everyone, it’s unrealistic to expect them to be close friends with every child they know, and be invited to every function or event.
- Experiencing conflict is not bullying. Learning to deal with conflict is a normal part of growing up. The key is for children to learn how to solve their problems peacefully and respectfully.
- Not playing fair is not bullying. Wanting a game to be played a certain way is not bullying. Children understand the concept of sharing, and should take turns being in charge of the game.
- Teasing or making fun of another person is not always bullying. Sometimes simple teasing can go too far. Teasing turns into bullying when kids use it to gain greater social status or when the intent of what is said or done is to harm.
Five Tips For Parents To Help Prevent Bullying
Parents and guardians are among a school’s best allies in bullying prevention:
- Talk with and listen to your children every day. Ask questions about their school day, including experiences on the way to and from school, lunch, and recess. Ask about their peers. Children who feel comfortable sharing experiences with their parents before they are involved in bullying are more likely to involve them after.
- Spend time at school, especially during recess. Schools always appreciate extra help to provide all students individualized attention, especially during “free” time, like recess. Volunteer to coordinate games and activities that encourage children to interact with their peers.
- Set a good example. Children are observing when you get angry at a waiter, another driver, etc. Model effective communication techniques, especially when they are present. Any time you speak to another person in a mean or abusive way, you’re teaching your child that bullying is okay.
- Create healthy anti-bullying habits. Starting as young as possible, coach your children on both, what not to do (push, tease, and be mean to others) and what to do (be kind, empathize, and take turns). Also coach your child on what to do if someone is mean to him or to another (get an adult, tell the bully to stop, walk away and ignore the bully).
- Make sure your child understands that bullying is not okay. Explicitly explain what it is and that it’s not normal or tolerable for them to bully, be bullied, or stand by and watch other kids be bullied.
- Make sure your child knows what bullying is and isn't. When observing the unkind behaviors your child experiences, be sure to label them correctly. This will help you know how to handle the situation appropriately so that your child can learn and grow from it.
Parents Can Help Stop Online Bullying As Well
Kids may not always recognize teasing as bullying. Some kids also may be too embarrassed or ashamed to talk to their parents about it.
That’s why it’s important to talk about online and digital behavior before your child starts interacting with others online and with devices, as this article from Common Sense Media suggests.
Holiday Help for Families in Need
If your family or a local family you know could use a helping hand this season, please fill out a questionnaire by November 10.
The pick up of items will be handled in a unique fashion in order to protect identities. When a family wish list is complete, Daisy Mountain Veterans will contact the family to a confidential pickup and the identities of families will not be shared.
Cross Country Meet Wednesday 4:30 pm
Are you ready for some TURKEY BOWLING?!
We are having our annual PE Fundraiser Nov. 14th and 15th during Specials. Parent volunteers are appreciated and can sign up here (but you have to have had the DVUSD volunteer training)
This is a fun activity where the students will pay money ($1 for 2 rolls, $5 for 12 +prize) to bowl a frozen turkey. There will also be small toys and trinkets for sale varying between $1-$5.
All turkeys are donated to Rusty's Angels.
Volunteers needed for the Day of Awesomeness!
We need your help with our Day of Awesomeness! Volunteers will be helping supervise the inflatables. All volunteers must have completed DVUSD training.
Pick your volunteer spot on our Sign Up Genius
Thanks again for registering to join us for lunch! Please don't forget that adult lunches are $4.50 (cash preferred).
The menu is a traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and pumpkin pie!
Adults, please check in at the office before lunch.
Café Serving Start Times (seating times are approximately 25 minutes)
1st 11:00: First grade is eating picnic style in their quad. Check your classroom newsletter for details.
Luminaria Night December 7
Enjoy an evening on campus with your family and friends. Get into the holiday spirit with musical performances, food and dessert trucks, art displays & more! This year we will also be hosting a toy drive for The Foster Alliance.
Purchase luminaria bags to decorate at home & have displayed at the event. (10 bags for $5)
Visit https://gavilanpeakpto.org/luminaria/ for details.
Get your Firebird Minifig!
Calling all LEGO fans! Show your school spirit and build your own GP minifig at Bricks and Minifigs (North Phoenix Location only) at 1730 W Happy Valley Rd Suite 106, Phoenix, AZ 85085
Choose from a large variety of legs, heads, hair/hats, and accessories to make it your own. GP mini figs are $15 with $5 of that coming back as a donation to your PTO.
Email a pic of your custom GP Minifig to email@example.com and we will also give you a GP drawstring backpack as a prize! Be sure to include your name, grade and homeroom!
Scenes of GP
Kindergarten is comparing the weight of an object with sets of different objects on the balance scale!
Kinder created thank you cards to be given to our local Veterans organization! What a great way to honor our heroes!
Thank you for your service, Veterans!
Battle of the Books
Five teams competed in round one of Battle of the Books. All were well prepared and will slug it out over two more rounds of book trivia to see who represents GP at the district competition!
Our Advanced ELA class had a guest speaker, author Molly McNamara Carter.
Molly's book, Before, is available on Amazon and in major booksellers.
Battle of the Books
We have been researching historical natural disasters and presenting them this week.
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GP Honors Societies represent
NEHS and NJHS members marched in the local Veteran's Day parade last weekend.
BC show choir, theater and dance companies visit GP!
The whole school got an afternoon treat and a preview of some of the performing arts programs offered at Boulder Creek High School.
Welcome Mr Ruhly
This is the Google form for nominating a teacher or staff member for our monthly award. Congratulations to Mr Weaver and Mr John for their nominations in October!