Student Support

Critical Events Response Team (CERT)

It is important that at critical times in their lives, staff, students and their families feel God's love by receiving the gift of 'gentle healing hands' during times of pain and grief to assist them in dealing with loss.

In response to this need, a Critical Events Response Team (CERT) was formed and a manual developed to provide support to school communities and assist or empower them to respond to a death or critical event in their community.

This initiative began in the 1999-2000 school year and in-service training was provided to volunteers from every school staff during the 2000-2001 school year.

The CERT manual provides information about establishing school teams, the grief journey, the developmental stages of children's understanding of death, suicide, communication, helpful guidelines for dealing with the media, liturgical and memorial celebrations, activities for professional development and a list of resources.

Resources have also been purchased to provide support to Critical Events Response Teams and staff and are available at the Instructional Resource Centre.

"Know that I am with you always. Yes, to the end of time." -Matt 28:20

Rainbows

"Rainbows" for All God's Children

When a child experiences a significant loss in his/her life, whether through death, divorce or other long term circumstance, the impact can be devastating.

Since the early 1990s, children in our Catholic schools have received support when needed from the Rainbows program. This volunteer program is facilitated by a variety of teachers and educational assistants who are trained Rainbows facilitators. These people seek to provide grieving students with a peer support process that generally lasts three to four months in a compassionate school-based setting.

The viability of Rainbows in any particular school is always dependent upon parental cooperation, a minimum enrolment of three children and a maximum enrolment of five participants, and the availability of a trained facilitator.

For more information, contact your local school or Board office.

Risk Watch

This program is under the Partners in Trauma Prevention for Nipissing and East Parry Sound Committee. It is a comprehensive injury prevention curriculum for children in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8. Lessons are provided to address fire and burn prevention, choking and suffocation prevention, poisoning prevention, falls prevention, bike and pedestrian safety and water safety. The North Bay 'Risk Watch' Coalition which is comprised of representatives from police, fire departments, health unit and school boards will be providing the resources and training to schools for this safety program that supports the Ontario Curriculum.

Second Step

The growth of violence among youth is a disturbing reality for many educators and community members. In addition to the obvious examples of violence, such as murder, rape, and assault, a range of other behaviors (including extreme impulsivity, interrupting, name calling, bullying, and threats) serve as warning signs of later violence and aggression. Second Step helps reduce these behaviors, and gives children lifelong skills to interact pro-socially in all settings.

Second Step is a school-based social skills curriculum for preschool through junior high that teaches children to change the attitudes and behaviors that contribute to violence. The curriculum teaches social skills to reduce impulsive and aggressive behavior in children and increase their level of social competence. Second Step school and family components are important parts of any comprehensive plan to reduce violence.

Second Step teaches the same three skill units at each grade level: Empathy, Impulse Control, and Anger Management. The content of the lessons varies according to the grade level, and the skills targeted for practice are designed to be developmentally appropriate. At all grade levels, Second Step provides opportunities for modeling, practice, and reinforcement of the new skills.

The Second Step curricula for preschool and elementary students consist of three kits: Preschool/Kindergarten, Grades 1-3, and Grades 4-5. In these kits, the main lesson format is the use of an 11" by 17" photo lesson card. The teacher shows the photograph to the class and follows the lesson outline on the reverse of the card. The lesson techniques include discussion, teacher modeling of the skills, and role plays.

The lessons in the middle school/junior high curriculum are divided into three levels: Level 1: Foundation Lessons and Levels 2 and 3: Skill building Lessons. Each level includes discussion lessons, overhead transparencies, reproducible homework sheets, and a live-action video. The three levels of lessons allow students to receive comprehensive, multi-year training in pro-social skills.

At each grade level (preschool through grade 9), the lessons build sequentially, and should be taught in the order intended. The lessons vary in length from 20 minutes at the preschool level to 50 minutes in middle school/junior high. There are approximately 20 lessons for each grade level.

Visions

Under a school-based services grant funded by the Ontario Women's Directorate through the Ministry of Education, the Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board received funds for a program to support child witnesses of wife assault. Workers from the Nipissing Transition House have implemented the VISION program in all schools. This program focuses on anger management, conflict resolution and self-esteem issues. The workers from the Nipissing Transition House also provide seminars to students in grades seven and eight related to violence in dating and developing healthy personal relationships.