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, Lighthouse Committee and principal’s advisory team at Vestal High School.
Each school conducts a rigorous character education program that teaches students the important values of tolerance, compassion, and civic responsibility. The district adheres to the IB Learner Profile to promote qualities that our academic, social, and student leadership programs inspire all students to be: inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced, reflective.
Starting in the 2016-2017 school year, the Vestal School District has adopted the Responsive Classroom program beginning in the primary grades. Responsive Classroom teaches children important social and emotional strategies to create classroom and school communities where all children feel safe, respected, and welcomed.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:
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/.