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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
January 25, 2012     Hays Free Press
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January 25, 2012

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+ OPEN THIS SPRING Kyle's new public library scheduled to open in late spring. - Page 1C Hays Free Press * January 25, 2012 Page 3B District credits cam BY KIM HILSENBECK A little teasing here, an off-color comment there. When does such be- havior Cross the line into bullying? For Hays CISD, any behavior that makes another person feel unwelcome or unsafe has no place in school. The No Place for Hate campaign, now in its fourth year at Hays CISD, celebrates differences in skin color, body type, disability, income level, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or any other dissimilarity. "Instead of focusing on specific kids that might be labeled bullies, we emphasize respectful behavior by everyone," said Negley Elemen- tary School counselor Michelle Winn. "We want positive behavior when they're young so by the time they get to middle school and high school, it's just part of their life. Middle school is hard enough." The real power of No Place for Hate, according to Winn, is strength in numbers. "We teach kids to stand up as a united front and say something when they see bullying, instead of just be- ing a bystander," she said. "This sends a message to bullies and the behavior changes." District administrators say the program is working. Terry Fielder, di- rector of intervention services, said disciplinary incidents of bullying are down, based on an initial review of behavior referrals at campuses. While Fielder has not yet compiled all the data, she said she will publish an end-of-year report before retiring in May. Fielder, a former teacher, works with the district on positive behav- ior intervention services (PBIS). The PBIS philosophy involves setting clear expectations for student be- havior and then teaching students the rules. Good behavior is positively rewarded.~ Teachers call attention to bad behavior and offer specific ways to correct it. About 1,400 Hays CISD teach- ers and administrative staff went through fdrmal PBIS training two summers ago. Federal stimulus funds earmarked for special education were used to pay for the training; a portion of the money was designated for reg- ular education, according to Fielder. Both PBIS and No Place for Hate rely on establishing rules and posi- tively reinforcing good behavior. PBIS, will track behavioral changes result- ing from the No Place for Hate effort. Students and teachers at all 22 Hays CISD campuses participate in No Place for Hate. They sign a com- mitment form to be bully- and hate- free. Schools hold at least three activ- ities each year, and all have banners. signs and posters espousing the No Place for Hate mantra. Many schools also sell T-shirts to promote the cam- paign. According to Director of Counsel- ing Charlotte Winklemann, who is also the district's No Place for Hate liaison, the campaign is absolutely making a positive difference. And. says Winklemann, it comes with little or no additional cost to each campus or the district. Winn. Negley's No Place for Hate campus coordinator, was the recipi- ent of an honor last June from the Anti-Defamation League, the orga- nization that started the program 11 years ago. The award recognized Winn's excellence in administering the program at Negley. "Our counselors teach self-esteem building, goal setting, diversity, and Negley Elementary School counselor Michelle Winn conflict management, among other topics," Winn said. "These all tie into the campaign's anti-bullying mes- sage." Examples of Negley's events in- clude skits and a flash mob (a pre- arranged choreographed dance meant to appear spontaneous) by the school's student government, over- seen by teacher April Starns, which performs at public places like H-E-B and Chick-fil-A. "Our art teacher had all the kids do a self portrait along with one idea to stop bullying," Winn said. "More than 700 are hanging in our cafeteria. Our RE. teacher incorporates anti- bullying messages. For two weeks each year, we say hello in many dif- ferent languages during morning an- nouncements." With the demographic composi- tion of Negley's Plum Creek neigh- borhood changing, messages about acceptance and inclusion are even more important, according to Winn. "We now have kids that speak Chi- nese. Japanese, German, Italian and Spanish," she said. Winldemann says, '~Parents also love it because their kids are involved in something positive." Winn wants to see more parents involved. "Typically the parents who show up at events are dealing with bullying, either as a victim's family or a family of a kid who exhibits bullying behavior." she said. "We want the parents of those by- stander kids to attend events so they can have discussions with their kids and further support the message," Winn said. drop in student bullying (right) with her daughter Jadyn COURTESY PHOTO Lyric Winn, a kindergartner at Negley Elementary. PHOTO BYJIMCULLEN Kaunli Hehr, 8, (left) and Chennesy Hehr, 6, lead off a Chinese New Year parade at Blanco Vista Elementary as part of the cultural diversity awareness effort under the No Place for Hate umbrella.. Self portraits from Negley Elementary students offering ideas to stop bullying. SCHOOL BRIEFS Home schooler Jeremiah Bretches, a Kyle seventh grader who is home schooled, received the top place in the American Legion Auxilliary's Southern Division writing competi- BRETCHES tion. Unit 44 Secretary-Treasurer Lois Stuart presented Bretches with a certificate and a $50 cash prize. The essay topic was, "How can I encourage my friends to show pride in being an American?" Health software implemented Diana Hernandez, PE/ Health teacher at Simon Middle School. earned an award after implementing HealthTeacher in her class- room. HealthTeacher is a comprehensive online health curriculum paid for by a grant and partnership between Dell Children's Hospital and HealthTeacher. Read to Succeed at Hays CISD Several Hays CISD elemen- tary schools are taking part in Read to Succeed, a free pro- gram sponsored by Six Flags and Discovery Education. Every student who completes . sixhours (360minutes)-ofrec- reational reading before Feb- ruary 15, 2012 is eligible for a free admission ticket valid at participating Six Flags theme parks. Parents or guardians help keep track of the minutes their children read. Dr. AI Corley and James Malik rehearse a featurec~ solo that will highlight the firs1 scheduled per- formance of the Hill Country Com- munity Band Winter Show. Wind ensemble performs at winter concert A1 Corley and the wind ensemble of 50 talented musi- cians will perform their winter concert at the Wimbefley First Baptist Church on January 29. "This program has a variety of music that will appeal to almost everyone," says con- ductor Corley. The highlight STAFF REPORT The Hays CISD Board of Trust- ees voted Monday to not change the teacher contract renewal notification time from 45 days to 10. The proposed change had been rec- rejects ommended by district administrators not to enact provisions of the bill. the issue. but met opposition from teachers. Orosco, a fourth-grade teacher, "I am proud to work in a district According to Esperanza Orosco, collected 180 signatures on a petition that not only makes a commitment to Hays Educators Association president, to the Hays CISD board prior to the employee morale, but takes the extra the proposed change was allowed un- vote. She also said concerned teach- step to make that commitment real by der state legislation passed in 2011. but ers and local residents were filling the demonstrating a clear respect for its individual school boards could decide email boxes of board trustees about educators," Orosco said. of the performance is a solo arrangement "Rhapsody for Alto Saxophone" featuring James Malik, an accomplished saxophonist and head band director at Wallace Middle School in Kyle. The Hill Country Commu- nity Band is made up of both amateur and professional musicians from the surround- ing area. Auto, home and life insurance... Texas gob White, Agent (sl2) s0 9484 Auto. Home. Life "Moments worth covering are never accidents" 5500 FM 2770. Ste. 101 Kyle. TX 78640