Anti-intimidation and anti-harassment efforts in the Cherokee School District are still being developed and refined, but are already showing positive results, based on student surveys.
Joyce Bechtel and Patricia Beyer appeared before the Cherokee School Board on Sept. 17 to discuss what is being done at the high school level as part of a statewide anti-bullying campaign for K-12 school systems.
The Cherokee District is using the Olweus anti-bullying program. At the high school, the program has been adapted from Olweus, which is designed for elementary and middle school students.
Bechtel explained that about four years ago, mutual respect was a big issue in the high school, with many students expressing the feeling that they didn't feel safe.
Committees were formed to develop plans at the various levels. Teachers were brought on board in the process in the next year and students were introduced to the program the year after that. Last year, parents became part of the process and this coming year, the community will be invited to become more involved.
The high school program is now called Character, Attitude and Respect Equals Success (CARES). Among the strategies at the high school level is doing CARES projects in multi-age homerooms. This helps form connections and improve communication among the different grade levels.
A project completed last year was an assignment for each homeroom to create a video on the subject of diversity. Students primarily found their own resources and had very little technical assistance in producing 30 videos.
Bechtel and Beyer said the results were impressive. Three examples were shown to the school board members on Monday, showing a cross section of approaches, humorous, dramatic and artistic.
School board members complimented Bechtel and Beyer on an excellent presentation.
In other Board business, Laura Dawson will continue to serve as president of the Cherokee School Board after she was reelected to the position by the other Board members, following the swearing-in of her and Larry Goodrich, winners of the recent school board elections.
Kirk Sampson was elected school board vice- president.
The board also approved hiring Linda Wulf-Frangenberg as director of food services; Kari Lundy as associate at the Early Childhood Learning Center; Mike Nixon as boys' junior varsity basketball coach, Sherry Miller as girls' freshman basketball coach, and Brett Campbell as boys' freshman basketball coach.
The board approved the official depositories to be Central Bank and Cherokee State Bank.
Committee appointments were -- Curriculum and Instruction -- Deb Johnson and Terri Weaver; Policy -- Larry Goodrich and Terri Weaver; Finance -- Laura Dawson and Kirk Sampson; Buildings and Grounds -- Kirk Sampson and Deb Johnson; Transportation -- Laura Dawson and Larry Goodrich.
The board voted to continue having regular meetings on the third Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. The meetings will be held in the high school library unless prior notice is given.