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Second Step Curriculum
New Boston Central School utilizes Second Step: A Violence Prevention Curriculum as a universal prevention program. The program is taught to every student in the classroom and is designed to promote social competence. The curriculum teaches students several skills central to healthy social and emotional development, including: empathy, impulse control, and problem solving. This research based program helps increase children's safety and well-being by teaching them skills that promote peaceful approaches to problem solving and increase their social competence.
The developers of the Second Step Curriculum (Committe for Children) found research that indicates that social and emotional skills are important for the successful development of thinking and learning activites that are traditionally considered cognitive. Relationships affect many elements of cognitive learning . For example, under conditions of real or imagined threat or high anxiety, there is a loss of focus on the learning process, on the task itself, and on the use of flexible problem-solving processes. If students are distracted by social conflicts they have difficulty focusing on class discussions and tasks as well. The program developers also found that two of the reasons children usually fail to act prosocially are lack of knowledge as to what the appropriate behavior is and/or lack of opportunities to practice the behavioral skills. The Second Step curriculum strives to provide children with the information and practice they need to develop and practice behavioral skills so that they will be able to use those skills across a wide variety of settings (home, school, and community). Increasing children's competence in these areas frees up teaching time in the classroom and the ability for children to focus on and work cooperatively to complete academic tasks. These skills are also key to the future success of children since the ability to work cooperatively with others, to problem solve peacefully, and to regulate emotions are key qualities sought by potential employers in the world of work.
The guidance counselor serves as one of the staff trainers for the Second Step program. Co-facilitation with classroom teachers is also available. Supplementary activities in the areas of conflict resolution and stress management are provided by the guidance counselor as well as appropriate. The Second Step problem solving and anger management steps are incorporated by guidance into small group counseling sessions and used when students need guidance assistance with resolving peer conflicts. For more information regarding the content of the program, the research basis for the program, or ways to supplement skill development at home please visit the Committe for Children website at www.cfchildren.org or contact Ms. Brown at 487-2211 ext. 339.
Kids And Company Together For Safety:
The Automobile Dealer's Association of NH graciously provides this personal safety program to NH schools free of charge. The program was developed in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Through specially designed activities, games, songs, and skill rehearsals, children learn how to protect themselves from abduction and sexual exploitation. This program was selected by NBCS because it empowers children with the information, skills, and support they need to keep safe, without frightening them. The curriculum also has the support of leading national educational organizations. The guidance counselor presents these activities in kindergarten, first grade, and readiness classrooms (usually in the fall). An introductory letter and a series of weekly handouts that provide parents with the opportunity to talk to their children about these crucial topics are sent home during the course of the program. For further safety information and resources visit the National Center's website at www.missingkids.com or contact Ms. Brown at 487-2211 ext. 339.
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS):
More than 125 NH schools and organizations have chosen to implement school-wide systems of behavioral interventions and supports. NBCS has formed an interdisciplinary team to develop teaching tools and strategies, systems of student recognition, and methods of data collection that will guide the school community in its efforts to improve students' social success. This is based on our knowledge that in order to improve the academic success of our children, we must also improve their social sucess. To meet the challenge of providing a safe, orderly, and positive school climate conducive to learning and that will produce students capable of competing within a global economy, NBCS has developed a set of behavioral expectations that are taught and recognized across all settings and aspects of the school day. The school mascot is now a tool used to help students, teachers, and staff work together to maintain a positive learning environment. BOBCAT stands for Building On Best Behaviors Creates An Atmosphere of Trust. Behavioral expectations are posted in each area of the school to help students identify and practice how to be Safe, Respectful, and Responsible in all locations of the school and aspects of their day. Giving concrete meaning to these concepts and generalizing them to all areas of daily life can be a challenge for adults, let alone our students. The efforts of the entire NBCS community (students, teachers, staff members, paraprofessionals, administrators, guidance, and parents) are needed to meet this challenge. NBCS receives support and training to guide its PBIS efforts from NH CEBIS (NH Center for Behavioral Interventions and Supports). To learn more about the Center's research findings and behavioral approaches please visit their website at www.nhcebis.seresc.net.