The corresponding Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act (ABR) requires each school in the state to complete a preliminary self-assessment of its implementation of the ABR. This year, the deadline was June 30.
The self-assessment identifies 75 specific requirements and ranks on a scale of 0-3 how effectively schools meet these requirements. On this scale, 0 indicates a requirement has not been met; 1 indicates the requirement has been partially met; 2 indicates the requirement has been fully met; and 3 indicates the requirement has been exceeded.
“The self-assessment is an opportunity to see how well we are complying with our own procedures,” Debora Engelfried, Morris School District Coordinator of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Prevention said in her report to the Morris School District Board of Education. “
According to Engelfried, the district met or exceeded 96% of all requirements and based on the scale provided, seven out of 10 district schools met or exceeded all 75 requirements.
One of the issues the district was working toward improving were some of the trainings that Engelfried said came in the form of unfunded mandates. One of the solutions may come in the form of a deepening relationship with the Rutgers Bullying Prevention Institute.
Throughout the past year the Morris School District has worked collaboratively with the Rutgers Bullying Prevention Institute to develop an effective and comprehensive bullying prevention program.
According to Engelfried, this program is designed to ensure that children and adults feel safe and respected in all district schools and reduce the incidence of harassment, intimidation and bullying (HIB).
“We are fortunate to be among only 12 districts in the state to partner with Rutgers in this critically important effort,” said Debora Engelfried, Morris School District Coordinator of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Prevention. “Members of the Rutgers Institute provided valuable guidance and support throughout the year to our District bullying prevention team to identify goals, gather essential baseline data, assess school climates and evaluate existing programs.”
For her part, Engelfried was pleased with the process.
“The self-assessment provides very useful information” observed Ms. Engelfried. “While we are pleased with our overall performance we know we can always do better. This assessment has helped us to more clearly identify those aspects of our bullying prevention and school climate programs that we need to strengthen. Our partnership with Rutgers has prepared us to do that effectively.”
Board of Education member Angela Rieck said that she was not concerned with the “two” scores at all.
“I am happy with the work you’ve done,” Rieck said. “And I know next year we will have all threes.”