School Climate Plan

Gallup Hill School School Climate Specialist:  Principal

Respect for others and respect for self is a daily lesson for our students. Focused instruction on positive behavior traits is the cornerstone of building and maintaining a positive school climate.

Gallup Hill School teachers implement Responsive Classroom techniques and build a classroom community through daily morning meetings via our Gallup Hill School news program. A whole-school community is promoted through the establishment of common expectations for student conduct and instruction provided during our morning newscasts and our monthly whole-school meetings.

The Gallup Hill School expectations for student conduct are based on the acronym C.A.R.E.S. which stands for:

  • COOPERATION – Cooperation is working together to accomplish our goals.

  • ADVOCACY – Advocacy is supporting myself and others through my words and actions.

  • RESPECT – Respect is treating others with understanding, kindness, and tolerance.

  • EFFORT – Effort is doing my best each and every day.

  • SELF-CONTROL – Self-control is choosing to control my actions.

Students at Gallup Hill School are taught and expected to follow C.A.R.E.S. expectations every day. This helps all our students have success in their social relationships with peers and adults, as well as their academics. Students, teachers, and parents are asked to sign a pledge showing their commitment to C.A.R.E.S. at the beginning of each school year. Our morning newscasts and our monthly whole-school morning meetings emphasize on an aspect of C.A.R.E.S., along with other positive character traits, each month.

The Gallup Hill School color-coded leveled behavior system exists to remind students to always work to exhibit positive behavior. This system also helps us to point out inappropriate behavior, when it occurs, and have reflective discussions with our students as to where their behavior falls on the continuum of the leveled model. Discussions regarding inappropriate behavior follow a common framework: students identify the inappropriate behavior, attempt to determine its cause, and reflect on what they could do to avoid this reaction in the future. As a staff, we are always teaching and modeling “Blue” behavior as the goal for all. “Blue” behavior is making good choices and acting appropriately with confidence that it is the right way to act, regardless of whether there is an adult present. This model aligns with our character education model based on the Gallup Hill School C.A.R.E.S Pledge.

Curriculum materials and resources are available to classroom teachers to help with direct instruction of the components of C.A.R.E.S.

  • The Connected and Respected curriculum is used (K-6) to implement social resilience lessons on a weekly basis. The program combines direct instruction of proactive strategies, role-play and corresponding mentor text, to help inform students about negative character traits and teach them how to “stand up” to negative impulses by relying on their positive character traits.

  • Within each grade level, students are taught positive social behaviors through the use of various mentor text.  Examples are: Chester and the Big Bad Bully, Hooway for Wodney Wat, One, Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon, Chrysanthemum, How Full is Your Bucket?, Billy Bully and How to Handle a Bully, The Recess Queen, What are you so Grumpy About?, When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry.

  • Grade 5 is instructed in the D.A.R.E. Program which focuses on student advocacy and resisting peer pressure regarding substance abuse.

  • Grade 6 teaches a Healthful Relationships Unit which includes lessons on cyberbullying and how students can protect themselves from the dangers of social media.

  • The following Special Education Resources are available for staff and parents:  How to Stop Bullying and Social Aggression, Cultivating Kindness in School, Lively Lessons for Classroom Sessions, All about Boundaries, I Didn’t Know I Was a Bully, Asperger’s Syndrome and Bullying, and No More Meltdowns.

Gallup Hill School adheres strictly to all laws and responsibilities related to stopping bullying at Connecticut schools. In accordance with and in addition to that law:

  • Gallup Hill School maintains a School Climate Team in unison with our Faculty Council. The committee members consist of: the principal, teachers, and a parent representative. During monthly meetings, the team reviews our school climate and related data that include discipline and bullying referrals. If patterns are evident; the Faculty Council develops an action plan to address the identified area of concern. 

  • Class lessons are provided at the beginning of each school year defining the conditions which lead to bullying, how to recognize bullying, and how each student has a responsibility to eradicate and report bullying as an active bystander.

  • All students and parents are informed of the school procedures and consequences associated with bullying.

  • All staff members are informed of the law and its implementation in accordance with Ledyard Board of Education policy.

When students struggle socially and emotionally, several programs are in place to provide support.

  • The physical education (PE) teacher includes team building exercises and skills practice during weekly PE instruction. The PE teacher facilitates grades 1-6 recess 4 days a week to monitor application of strategies taught and provides additional social and emotional coaching to students who require support.

  • Ledyard Youth Services supports our students through Lunch Bunch Groups focusing on making friends and developing appropriate social interactions; they also provide individual support as needed.

  • Therapy Dogs and their handlers work with individual students, visit classrooms, and can be used as a reward for students working toward specific goals.

  • A school Mentor Program consisting of certified staff members provides identified students an additional positive adult relationship within the school. Mentors meet with student mentees at a regularly scheduled time throughout the school year. Typically, this meeting takes place during lunchtime. Often mentors/mentees relationships remain consistent as students progress through grade levels. Parent permission is required for participation.

Gallup Hill School supports several events and activities designed to improve the overall climate of the school. These include an active Student Council comprised of elected 5th and 6th grade students, parent volunteers, and a teacher facilitator. The Student Council helps to organize events that support our Weekend Backpack Program. Food donations are collected throughout the year during whole-school meetings, PTO family nights, and from community organizations. This food is used to fill weekend backpacks; these packs go home with students on Friday afternoon and are returned on Monday morning. The Student Council helps maintain our school gardens and uses the harvest from our vegetable garden to supplement our annual Summer Reading Picnic. PTO sponsored events such as the Pumpkin Ball, Winter Wonderland, Game Nights, and our annual Celebration of Art and Science Days promote positive student-parent-school community. Other events, such as our annual Field Day and the Grade 6 Students vs. Faculty Basketball Game, are used to practice and model teamwork and positive competition.