Resiliency and School Culture

Overview

There is a shift in the way we implement student supports. The shift is from risk to resilience that comes from scientific, evidence-based research and data. To support educational leaders in their efforts as resiliency practitioners in the field of education and to achieve the ultimate goal of supporting the health and well-being of the whole student, we offer key components of support in resiliency and school culture. Those concerned with the well-being of the whole student have come to a consensus that schools need to incorporate as part of their structure of goals, curriculum, and instruction systematic effort to promote students' social-emotional competencies and positive character development. A resilient school culture can be a vehicle for the development of success for students.

Absenteeism

Ensuring success in school is helping students get into the habit of attending school every day. Improving school attendance improves success in school. If schools are to improve educational achievement, they will need to address chronic absenteeism. 

Attendance
Utah Education Network (UEN)

Bullying Prevention

Bullying is commonly understood as aggressive behavior that (a) is intended to cause distress and harm, (b) exists in a relationship in which there is an imbalance of power and strength, and (c) is repeated over time.

Bullying may involve physical actions, words, gestures and social isolation. Although bullying may involve direct, relatively open attacks against a victim, bullying is frequently indirect, or subtle in nature (spreading rumors, enlisting a friends to assault a child). The classic definition of bullying in Utah Schools was expanded by the Utah Legislature. Changes are reflected in the Utah Office of Administrative Rules R277-613: Local Education Agency (LEA) Bullying, Cyber-bullying, Hazing and Harassment Policies and Training

The overall goal of bullying prevention and intervention is to provide every student with a safe and supportive school and social environment. For more information on how to prevent bullying, who is at risk, how to respond, and how to get help now, please visit stopbullying.gov.

Bullying

Bullying Statistics

Child Sexual Abuse

Utah State Legislature's House Bill (H.B.) 286: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention, implemented in schools in 2016, requires the following actions:

  • requires that the Board, in partnership with the Department of Human Services, approve instructional materials for child sexual abuse prevention.
  • requires Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to use the instructional materials approved by the Board to provide child sexual abuse prevention and awareness training and instruction of school personnel and the parents/guardians of elementary school students.
  • provides that a school district or charter school may provide child sexual abuse prevention and awareness instruction to elementary school students, subject to certain requirements.
  • the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) approved the guidelines for instructional materials for child sexual abuse prevention. Those minimum guidelines were developed with help from multiple state agencies, prevention advocates, and other experts in the field.
  • USBE has approved instructional materials from the following providers for child sexual abuse prevention.

Training

Frequently Asked Questions

Implementation Frequently Asked Questions for Utah Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training

Resources
Providers

Youth

  1. Evidence-based Sexual Prevention Curricula: Think First and Stay Safe
  2. Family Support and Treatment Center
    Utah Valley Family Support and Treatment Center
  3. Lauren's Kids
  4. Prevent Child Abuse: Utah
  5. Prevention Education Programs
    Monique Burr Foundation (MBF) for Children, Inc.
  6. The Family Place: Building Stronger Families

Youth Serving Adults

  1. Darkness to Light: End Child Sexual Abuse
  2. Evidence-based Sexual Prevention Curricula: Think First and Stay Safe
  3. Family Support and Treatment Center
    Utah Valley Family Support and Treatment Center
  4. Prevent Child Abuse: Utah
  5. Prevention Education Programs
    Monique Burr Foundation (MBF) for Children, Inc.
  6. Safe Schools
    Vector Solutions
  7. The Younique Foundation

Parents and Guardians

  1. Darkness to Light: End Child Sexual Abuse
  2. Evidence-based Sexual Prevention Curricula: Think First and Stay Safe
  3. Family Support and Treatment Center
    Utah Valley Family Support and Treatment Center
  4. Prevent Child Abuse: Utah
  5. Prevention Education Programs
    Monique Burr Foundation (MBF) for Children, Inc.
  6. The Younique Foundation

Dropout Prevention

Dropout Prevention is a collective effort of the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to implement strategies and practices with key components of interventions to reduce dropout rates. The guide provides support to improve access to educational opportunities for each student and offer a wide range of resources to increase graduation rates.

Regulation

Utah State Legislature:

Utah Office of Administrative Rules:

Resources

Dropout Prevention in Utah: Strategies and Resources
Highlights schools and programs in Utah that are implementing interventions consistent with the six recommendations from the Institute for Education Sciences (IES) Practice Guide: Dropout Prevention

Student Discipline: Prosocial Connections

When children fail to succeed, the whole community is harmed. Keeping students engaged in the classroom is fundamental to academic success. The use of punitive discipline practices that rely on suspension, expulsion, and other harsh consequences—often applied disproportionately to minority students—undermine the goal of success for all.

Positive School Discipline is a comprehensive approach that uses discipline to teach rather than punish and, as a result, helps students succeed and thrive in school. Schools that take this approach promote positive student behavior while preventing negative and risky behaviors.

Positive School Discipline is integrated into the policies, programs, and practices of a school and is applied system-wide—in the classroom, school, and community—to create a safe, supportive learning environment for all students.

Least Restrictive Behavioral Interventions (LRBI)

LRBI provides guidance and information in creating successful behavioral systems and supports for both general and special education students. The manual covers additional resources and provides specific examples or step-by-step instructions for designing and implementing particular behavioral supports across multiple levels of both school systems and students' needs. Supportive school discipline is a systemic constellation of programs and practices that promote positive behaviors while preventing negative or risky behaviors.

Training

Technical Assistance Manual
Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Special Education Services (SES)

Regulation

Utah Office of Administrative Rules:

Utah State Legislature:

Restorative Practices

Restorative practices focus on repairing the distressed individual by rebuilding connectiveness through collaboration and communication. Restorative practices allow educators to advocate for change on a social justice framework. Student competencies in restorative practices help build character traits and meta-cognitive skills, and form relationships within the school community. Professional competencies include social justice, advocacy, and systemic change. Techniques include circle processes, peer mediation, and restitution. Positive changes can be presented to administrators or school boards as a way to advocate for the use of restorative practice. Griffin and Steen (2011) call for several concepts to be present for educators to advance their role in a social justice framework, including developing cultural competencies, using data, gaining allies, advocating for student needs, educating and empowering families, and staying politically active and persistent. Advocating for a systemic change to restorative practice contains components of promoting school counseling programs and practices that keep students in school and involve families and the community.

Resources

Policy, Law and Professional Practices
Utah State Board of Education (USBE)

Trauma Sensitive Schools

Trauma can affect school performance, increase dropout rates, and lead to more suspensions and expulsions (National Child Traumatic Stress Network, 2008). Embracing a trauma-informed school culture requires an understanding of how trauma affects the individual and the behaviors related to negative coping skills. Trauma-informed practices promote resiliency.

Contact

Corby Eason
Education Specialist
Phone: (801) 538-7863 | E-mail