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Dignity for All Students

Dignity for All Students Act

The Vestal Central School District is committed to providing a safe and caring environment to all members of our community. Through active character education programs in every building, our principals and teachers work together to promote a climate of respect, acceptance and understanding for our students. In addition to these initiatives, we have implemented the Olweus anti-bullying program at Vestal Middle School and Vestal Hills Elementary and also created a student-led mentoring program and principal’s advisory team at Vestal High School. This year, the Olweus program will be expanded to all elementary schools. The Olweus program trains faculty and staff to educate students on how to identify, prevent and respond to acts of intimidation.

Code of Conduct
The Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) establishes guidelines “to promote civility in public schools and to prevent and prohibit conduct which is inconsistent with a school’s educational mission.” To this end, DASA requires that all students receive a “plain-language”Code of Conduct.

Dignity Act Coordinators
The district has appointed the building principal at each school as a Dignity Act Coordinator. They will make sure that reports of harassment, intimidation and bullying are investigated by school personnel. While principals have always attended to these concerns, DASA will require more systematic documentation and reporting of these incidents. DASA recognizes that actions which make a student feel unsafe or unwelcome in schools can take many forms. It encourages schools to look closely at incidents of harassment and intimidation and to use the label of “bully” with care. Here the DASA guidelines explain, “The same child in different circumstances may take the role of the bully, the target or a bystander… while a student may not readily admit to being a ‘bully,’ they may acknowledge engaging in harmful behaviors toward another.” The Olweus program will help students understand these different roles and support the goal of DASA to promote schools where students treat each other with dignity and respect.
 
Please report all incidences of intimidation, harassment or acts of bullying to your building's DASA Coordinator immediately. 

Vestal Central School District Dignity Act Coordinators:
 
African Road ElementaryClayton Avenue Elementary
Mrs. Meghan Stenta, PrincipalMrs. Donna Halbert, Principal
607-757-2311607-757-2271
mbstenta@vestal.k12.ny.usdphalbert@vestal.k12.ny.us
 
Glenwood ElementaryTioga Hills Elementary
Ms. Doreen McSain, PrincipalMs. Jane Hashey, Principal
607-757-2391607-757-2366
djmcsain@vestal.k12.ny.usjmhashey@vestal.k12.ny.us
 
Vestal Hills ElementaryVestal Middle School
Mrs. Therese Mastro, PrincipalMiss Ann Marie Loose, Principal
607-757-2357607-757-2333
tamastro@vestal.k12.ny.usamloose@vestal.k12.ny.us
 
Vestal High School 
Mr. Clifford Kasson, Assistant Principal 
607-757-2279 
crkasson@vestal.k12.ny.us 

While our district faculty and staff make every effort to ensure the well-being and happiness of our students at school, we seek the support of students and families in communicating with our principals. The District encourages students who feel they have been harassed or intimidated to report incidents to their school’s Dignity Act Coordinator. In addition, we continue to ask that parents and guardians communicate concerns about harassment and intimidation to our principals so that all students can come to school feeling safe and welcome.

For more information on the Dignity for All Students Act, visit the NYS Education Department website at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/dignityact/.