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Hanover Heights Community School
Home of the Foxes
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Dear Parents/Guardians & School Community Members:

As we enter our second month together we have quickly begun to establish routines, develop expectations in our classrooms and as a school unit. We have reconnected with friends from last year and for many, we have made new ones!

The Fox Den is a wonderfully positive, enriching and caring place to learn, explore and grow. One of the ways we continue to foster positive growth in our school community is to help our foxes, young and old, to understand and implement appropriate ways to communicate, respect one another and problem-solve.

Included in this newsletter you will once again, find our  “Hanover Heights School Code Of Conduct For ALL”. This  code outlines the foundation of our school philosophy, a mantra that is consistent and expected for all of our members- students and adults!  Foxes are responsible; Foxes are respectful; Foxes are reasonable; Foxes are resilient!

Please take a moment to review this Code of Conduct at home, and to help our students to  understand that the most important people in their lives, you their parents and guardians, not only understand these principles, but that you apply them when communicating with others, when solving problems and… that you model them for our youngest and most important members!
One of the ways that we are working to help our students and school community members grow is to help all of us to learn the difference between conflict and bullying. Often the term bullying is overused or misused, and this is confusing to children and a disservice to those who are experiencing true bullying behaviours. Conflict is a normal part of life and can be a healthy thing (although emotions can definitely be heightened and feelings truly hurt) as “it teaches children to learn to how to give and take, how to come to an agreement, and most importantly... how to solve a problem”.

Conflict is characterized by the fact that it generally happens in the heat of the moment. It is often a difference of opinion and most of the time both parties involved are equally upset although the type of emotion may differ for each side. It is not something that happens all the time nor is it usually planned; it tends to be every now and then and most of the time those involved want to see it sorted out and resolved and those involved equally have the power to change the situation. Conflict in the Fox Den will be resolved with communication and positive problem-solving skills.

Bullying is more of a deliberate act and there is the intention to hurt, insult or threaten the other person. In the case of bullying there is a definite power imbalance where the bully seeks to manipulate the situation so that the target has no power. This makes it very difficult for the student being bullied. They want to see the bullying stopped; however, often there is no willingness on the bully’s side to change. Bullying is usually a repeated activity. Bullying will not be tolerated in the Fox Den.

At the Fox Den, we are working hard to educate our students about the differences between conflict and bullying. Just as importantly, we are working on providing our students with strong strategies to cope and problem-solve. By giving your children the tools to become effective  and respectful communicators, sensitive, caring listeners and  accountable & honest participants in solving the problem, we are creating a group of children who will be independent mediators, facilitators and above all, individuals who are resilient, and truly empathetic.

It’s easy to jump in and fix the problem, but coaching children on their conflict resolution skills is a more useful strategy with a bevy of long-term benefits. Helping children to listen to each other, to see another point of view, and to problem-solve so everyone's happy, promotes equality, fairness and avoids an unhelpful ‘win-lose’ mentality.

This year our school will be implementing and instructing all of our students in “Mindfulness”– teaching them how to be aware of the parts of their brain that regulate impulse, anger, sadness, reaction. Our Foxes will learn how their brain processes information and how they can actually help it to slow down their reactory systems– that impulse to fight or act without thinking.  
As we begin to focus on “Mindfulness” in the Fox Den, we ask you to continue to be our partners in education by taking time to talk to your children about what they are learning in this area and to use it at home as well. Afterall, you are the ones they look up to the most!  

What you say, matters; what you do, models!  

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Last Modified: Jul 29, 2016 Visitor Count:page counter image