Keystone Oaks Receives $19,500 from Highmark Foundation’s Creating a Healthy School Environment Grant Program
The Highmark Foundation’s Creating a Healthy School Environment Grant and Awards Program will support two projects in all three elementary schools in the Keystone Oaks School District next year – the Steps to Respect Bullying Program and the implementation of the FitnessGram physical fitness assessment tool. Keystone Oaks received $19,500 from the Foundation to support these two programs.
The Steps to Respect Bullying Program will allow Keystone Oaks to further implement the Olweyus Bullying Prevention program by improving the school climate throughout the District’s three elementary schools by consistently enforcing anti-bullying policies and procedures, increasing collaboration between school staff and parents, reducing the amount of office referrals for bullying behavior, and by using data-informed decision making to improve supports for students.
The District received $10,000 to support the Steps to Respect Bullying Program and will use the funds to purchase curriculum and training materials, conduct an on-line survey for all students in the District and for professional development for various staff members and administrators.
“Over the past few years, Keystone Oaks has done a lot of work to address bullying in our schools,” said Suzanne Lochie, Supervisor of Pupil Services. “This grant will allow us to further implement the Olweyus Bullying Prevention Program and ensure consistency in our approach to handling bullying incidents. By working through the guidance counselors and further training all staff members, we will be able to respond to bullying quickly and effectively which, in turn, will reduce bullying and improve student attitudes toward school,” Mrs. Lochie added. “The ultimate goal is to elevate a positive school climate district-wide.”
Additionally, Keystone Oaks received $9,500 to implement the FitnessGram program, which assesses students’ health in five areas: aerobic capacity, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition. The tool provides personalized reports, objective feedback and positive reinforcement. Teachers, parents and students will be able to see an individual student’s progress, which will allow them to develop health and fitness programs that meet that student’s needs.
“This program will help us improve our approach to physical education classes by giving teachers better insight on students’ strengths and weaknesses in a number of areas,” said Matthew Paradise, physical education teacher at Myrtle Elementary. “We’ll be able to improve students’ health by helping them focus on the areas where they need the most work.”
The FitnessGram program will be implemented during the 2016-17 school year.