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Updated: August 1st, 2013

Prepared by: Noel Roberts Student Welfare Coordinator

Prepared by: Noel Roberts Student Welfare Coordinator

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Table of Contents Meet the Team


Your Role in Assisting Students


How to Seek Consultation on Student Concerns


How Alerts are Made


_General Guidelines for LOA1 Intervention & Alert


_General Guidelines for LOA2 Intervention & Alert


How to Handle Bullying Incidents


How to Use the Assessment Framework


How to Help Students in Crisis


_The Depressed Student


_The Suicidal Student


_The Anxious Student


_The Delusional or Confused Student


_The Verbally Aggressive/Disruptive Student


_The Violent Student


_The Passively Demanding Student


_The Intoxicated Student


_The Paranoid Student


_The Sexually Harassed Student


How to Respond to Offensive and Disturbing Expression (Art/Writing/Speech)

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Dear Colleagues, As a rule our daily contact with students is a satisfying, productive and rewarding experience. However, at times teachers may experience student behavior which causes concern for their well-being, and interferes with their learning. When these situations occur, we encourage you to know and use the services available. This guide provides concrete advice on how to aid distressed students and offer steps on how to refer them to the Student Support Center for help. Students learn much more than academics at Utahloy International School; they learn about life and about themselves. Inevitably, some students will face difficulties and struggle during their tenure with us, but we have the opportunity to contribute to their success through our willingness to notice and respond to their difficulties in a supportive and helpful fashion. By offering assistance, we teach that problems are best resolved by directly addressing them, and that hiding distress unnecessarily reduces the quality of life. This is a “Guide� and offering it, by no means suggests that it is exhaustive of all the interventions that may be necessary and/or possible. Use it with an open mind knowing that there is always more that can be done even if we do not have all the answers. Sincerely, Noel Roberts Student Welfare Coordinator

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Jerilea Jones School Counselor

Aileen Wright ESL Teacher/College Counselor

Noel Roberts School Counselor/SMT

Alexandra Binney Secondary SEN Coordinator

Chad Wood Primary SEN Coordinator

Andrew Miller College Counselor

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Your Role in Assisting Students As a teacher or staff member interacting daily with students, you are in an excellent position to recognize behavior changes that characterizes students in need. A student's behavior, especially if it is inconsistent with your previous observations, could well constitute an attempt to draw attention to his/her plight"cry for help." A change in an individual's behavior could also be caused by a change in his/her home circumstances, medication or failure to take medication. While asking about a student's emotional well being or confronting problematic behavior can sometimes be tricky, it is better to find ways to craft a thoughtful intervention than fail to respond to the behavior. Students often perceive teacher and student Supports staff as the first point of contact in obtaining advice and support, so an early alert online Alert is the first step, and the best way to draw attention to students in need.

How to Seek Consultation on Student Concerns Consultation with the staff in the Student Support Center is available on an as-needed basis. We encourage you to involve your Head of Year, Year-Level Coordinator or Department Head if you are ever unsure of how to proceed with a student concern or whether to consider the behavior a discipline, special needs, or a mental health problem. In Primary, the teacher should immediately submit an online Alert on the UISGZ “Early Alert” E-Alert System when they are troubled by a student's behavior or academic progress. In Secondary, the Heads of Year and Department Heads will make the Alert to the Student Support Center after early intervention attempts are unsuccessful. In a crisis situation, calling the Student Support Center (or the counselors directly) and asking for assistance is the fastest way to obtain a consultation. If appropriate, a plan can be developed to intervene with the student. Heads of Year, Year-Level Coordinators, Heads of Departments, or others can be involved in this process as needed.

How Alerts are Made The UISGZ “Student Concerns Early Alert” System ( is designed to identify students of concern with academic, social/emotional, SEN/learning support or crisis issues. It allows all staff and faculty to alert the Student Support Centre of any student who is not making satisfactory progress and/or is exhibiting behaviors (e.g., non-attendance, bullying, etc.) that may lead to academic or emotional difficulty. All Alerts to the Student Support Center should go through the Student Concerns Early Alert” System. During the process of submitting an alert, the teacher or appropriate secondary administrative head completes a checklist of tasks and makes a detailed comment so that all who are alerted will know exactly what has already been done prior to the Alert. The Primary “Student Concerns Early Alert” System” alerts on two levels of intervention; Level of Adjustment One (LOA1), and Level of Adjustment Two (LOA2). The Secondary “Student Concerns Early Alert” System” alerts only on Level of Adjustment Two (LOA2).

Assessment and Progress Monitoring Timeline: Level of Adjustment One (LOA1) - includes everything that can and should be done to remedy the student’s social-emotional concerns, attention difficulties and academic needs with in the classroom. Most initial Alerts will fall in this category and the online system will forward the Alert directly to the relevant grade-level supervisor, heads of department and student Support center staff. Once an Alert is received by the pastoral team they initiate a resolution forming a “Team around the Child” that will meet to Prepared by: Noel Roberts Student Welfare Coordinator

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discuss the case and implement LOA1 interventions. These interventions consist of programs and/or strategies designed and employed to supplement, enhance, and support LOA 1. The timeline for action at this stage is approximately 6-8 weeks and involves the teacher implementing regular and timely assessment points (on average approximately 1 assessment every 2 weeks). Some sample data points can be, Running record, 1 minute fluency assessment, Behavior check list, Math assessment, Observation; anecdotal records, Informal assessments. *After 6-8 weeks, if the student is making progress then the classroom intervention is successful. If the student is not making progress, they will proceed to LOA2 interventions. Aside from the signs or symptoms that may suggest the need for behavior modification, counseling or learning enhancement, an Alert to LOA1 can also be made in the following situations:

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A student presents a problem or requests information that is outside your range of knowledge. You feel that personality differences that cannot be resolved between you and the student will interfere with your helping the student.

The problem is personal, and you know the student on other than a professional basis (friend, neighbor, relative, etc.).

 

A student is reluctant to discuss a problem with you for some reason; or You believe your advisement or intervention with the student has not been effective.

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General Guidelines for LOA1 Intervention & Alert 

Openly acknowledge to a student that he/she appears to be distressed, that you are sincerely concerned about his/her welfare, and that you are willing to help. Exploring alternatives can have a profound effect on the student's morale and hopefulness. We encourage you, whenever possible, to speak directly and honestly to a student when you sense that he/she is in academic and/or personal distress.

Request to see the student in private. This may help minimize embarrassment and defensiveness. "Private" might be your office, a quiet corner after class or an empty classroom. However, be mindful not to isolate yourself with a student who may be hostile, or volatile or (for obvious reasons) of the opposite sex.

Briefly describe your observations and perceptions of the student's situation and express your concerns directly and honestly. "I'm concerned about the changes I've seen in your work." "Your attendance is inconsistent and you seem down and tired when you're in class." "During lab last week, your speech was slurred and rambled without making sense - you looked (high) intoxicated."

Listen carefully to what the student is troubled about and try to see the issues from his/her point of view without necessarily agreeing or disagreeing.

Attempt to identify the student's problem or concern as well as your own concerns or uneasiness. You can help by exploring alternatives to deal with the problem.

Strange and inappropriate behavior should not be ignored. Comment directly on what you have observed.

Some reasonable flexibility with strict procedures may allow an alienated student to respond more effectively to your concerns. However, if a student is being manipulative, matter-of-factly sticking to the guidelines is preferable.

Involve yourself only as far as you want to or are comfortable to go. At times, in an attempt to reach or help a troubled student, you may become more involved than time or skill permits. When in doubt, consult and refer. You can always bring an LOA1 case to the Student Support Center if you have engaged the student and need to turn her/him over to someone but your grade-level supervisor is not available. You can say, "I would like you to talk with some folks who know more about this than I do. Let's walk over to the Student Support Center and see if someone can help us. It's completely private and nothing shows up on your academic record."

You might tell the student a few facts about the services provided by Student Support Center, and let them know that all discussions are held confidential except when the student presents a danger to self or others or when child/elder abuse is involved or suspected. The Student Support Center does not share information about a student with other school departments without the student's consent unless it is in the best interest of the child’s or someone else’s safety. - to do so would be illegal; nothing shows up on the academic record

Extending yourself to others always involves some risk-taking, but it can be a gratifying experience

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when kept within realistic limits. After a while you will get a feel for what constitutes a LOA1 Alert, and what may require an immediate LOA2 designation. However, always consult to be sure.

Level of Adjustment Two (LOA2) - comprises of persistent or more severe student concerns, and an Alert can be submitted to the Student Support Center either directly by a teacher (if it is severe enough, say in a case of self-harm, etc.), or when the pastoral team meets and decide that a particular student concern has persisted or has escalated in severity. These are students identified with marked difficulties and who have not successfully responded to LOA1 interventions. Teachers will be asked to complete a “Student Profile Questionnaire� to help Student Support Staff further investigate and identify specific issues ( Interventions will consist of programs and/or strategies designed and employed to supplement, enhance, and support LOA 2 status such as small group and/or individual counseling and instruction. Progress Monitoring will be documented on the school’s student concern form every 2 weeks after the pastoral concerns meetings. LOA1 data points will continue to be collected which could be in the form of, Running record, 1 minute fluency assessment, Behavior check list (adjusted maybe), Math assessment, Observation; anecdotal records, Informal assessments. *After 6-8 weeks, the pastoral staff will determine whether to continue LOA2 services, return to LOA1 or proceed to request a educational assessment and evaluation.

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General Guidelines for LOA2 Intervention & Alert Academic and/or emotional distress sometimes manifests itself with multiple signs and symptoms. To avoid over-interpretation of a single or isolated behavior, it is advisable to look for clusters of signs that appear around the same time, make use of the UISGZ Assessment Framework, and always consult with the pastoral team (grade-level pastoral supervisors and student Support staff). Listed below are some general areas where a LOA2 Alert would be warranted. Stated Need for Help: A student’s desire for assistance with a problem may be stated directly or indirectly. For this reason, it is important not only to attend to the content of what a student may say, but also to understand the intentions and feelings underlying behavior out of the norm. Active listening involves hearing what is being said, noticing the tone used, and observing the expressions and gestures employed. In fact, having someone listen attentively to an expression of a problematic feeling or thought is often a cathartic experience for the speaker which, in and of itself, can result in the individual feeling somewhat better. When submitting the online Alert please be sure to indicate all the above observations in the comments s section References to Suicide: It is often necessary to distinguish between a theoretical or hypothetical discussion of suicide and a statement indicating true personal anguish. However if a student talks about, alludes to details of how, when, or where he or she may be contemplating suicide, then an immediate Alert is necessary. Regardless of the circumstances or context, any reference to committing suicide should be considered serious. To conclude that a student's suicidal talk is Simply a bid for attention is extremely risky. A judgment about the seriousness and possible lethality of the suicidal thought or gesture should not be made without consultation with a mental health professional Changes in Mood or Behavior: Actions which are inconsistent with a person's normal behavior may indicate that he or she is experiencing psychological distress. The behavior change may also be due to a medication problem. A student who withdraws from usual social interaction, demonstrates an unwillingness to communicate, commits anti-social acts, has spells of unexplained crying or outbursts of anger, or demonstrates unusual irritability may be suffering from symptoms associated with a more serious problem Anxiety and Depression: Anxiety and depression are two of the more common disturbances that can present significant problems for students. When a student's ability to function in a normal manner becomes impaired because of anxiety or depression, some kind of professional assistance is recommended. Psycho-Somatic Symptoms: Students who experience tension-induced headaches, nausea, or other physical pains which have no apparent physical cause may be experiencing psycho- somatic symptoms. Such symptoms are real for that individual, and so is the pain. Other physical symptoms may include a loss of appetite, excessive sleeping, or gastrointestinal distress. Traumatic Changes in Personal Relationships: Personal problems often result when an individual experiences traumatic changes in personal relationships. The death of a family member or a close friend, the breakup of relationships, parental divorce, culture shock and transition issues, changes in family responsibilities, or difficulties with finances can all result in increased stress, behavior and/or learning problems Drug, Alcohol Abuse, and Tobacco: Indications of student use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco or other substances are almost always indicative of underlying social or emotional problems. Frequent absences, tardiness, missed assignments, sleepiness, poor concentration, and spotty performance are all core concerns of which substance abuse may be at the root. In many cases students live without parental supervision which may leave them vulnerable to negative influences. Prepared by: Noel Roberts Student Welfare Coordinator

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Career Choice Problems: It is rather common for college-bound students to go through periods of career indecision and uncertainty. Such experiences are often characterized by dissatisfaction with academics, unrealistic career aspirations, or confusion with regard to interests, abilities, or values. However, chronic indecisiveness can be a debilitating experience and many students need assistance in developing alternative goals when previous decisions prove to be in need of revision. The Student Support Center has a university counselor who is always willing to help students with college applications, IB Diploma subject choices, and career path planning. Learning Problems: Teachers sometimes identify students who for one reason or another are not learning at the same rate or in the same way as their peers. In addition, many students as they move up the grades find the demands of an International Baccalaureate education to be greater than they anticipated. While it is expected that all students will go through some adjustment period in this regard, those who demonstrate a consistent discrepancy between their performance and their potential or grade-level norm may be in need of assistance. Poor study habits, incapacitating test anxiety, work avoidance behavior or repeated absences from class are all indicators that the student might benefit from a Alert to the Student Support Center. All Student Support staff collaborates on each referred student regardless of which service (Student Welfare, Learning Enhancement or College Counseling) a student is initially referred to. Failure to Thrive: Counseling services can be an effective tool in re-engaging students who are considering dropping out of school or worrying about possible academic failure. Students who have given up on school are especially at risk for substance abuse and criminal mischief.

How to Handle Bullying Incidents An excerpt form The UISGZ Staff handbook states: The school defines ‘bullying’ as any variations of the following:        

Emotional – being unfriendly, excluding, teasing Physical – pushing, kicking, hitting Racist Sexist Sexual Homophobic Verbal – name calling, sarcasm, spreading rumors Cyber-bullying – (abusive text messages, emails, social networking, etc.)

The UISG Anti-Bullying Program is designed to be most effective from P6 - Y12; however it raises awareness in all grades. Once a bullying incident is identified it is reported as a Alert in the “Bullying Section” of the E-Alert System after which a four phase intervention is immediately activated: Phase 1 – Establishing the Facts Initially a series of questionnaires and/or personal accounts, are used to conduct in class or in group surveys where the alleged bullying occurred. Phase 2 – Interviewing all Alleged Perpetrators Then the student/s identified by the questionnaires are interviewed separately and their behaviors are explored and explained together with the counselor. This approach is necessary as many students do not Prepared by: Noel Roberts Student Welfare Coordinator

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realize that their actions are wrong and some parents even encourage violence as a solution to interpersonal differences. Phase 3 – Resolution The student/s is asked to sign a promise which if abided by will be the end of the issue. However if the promise is broken then consequences will follow, and may also handed out simultaneously at any stage of the process if school rules are broken. Phase 4 – Rehabilitation Before the end of the school year an Impact Statement Form is used to help students reflect more objectively on the bullying. It helps to express rather than suppress anger about the incident/s and helps them to recognize that they have survived and can survive bullying. In addition, it helps students to reflect on the bullying situation and analyze it rather than deny that it ever happened. It is a necessary process of healing as the impact of bullying can be life-long. The school’s Anti-Bullying Program slogan is, “Bullying…Recognize It...Reject It…Report It!” This slogan is printed on orange awareness-raising wristbands with the web-address ( where students and parents can report incidents, and be offered ongoing relevant information on bullying and other related topics. You can come to Student Support Center any time to ask about these issues.

How to Use the Assessment Framework The UISGZ Assessment Framework is adapted from the “The Assessment Triangle” described by The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services. The Student Support Center uses this assessment framework of questions to guide all the stakeholders involved in crafting a student intervention. Utilizing the questions generated in the three domains, teachers, grade-level supervisors and student Support staff can thoroughly probe, identify and address the underlying root causes of many student concerns. We encourage intervention staff at all levels to make use of this framework at every stage of addressing and implementing interventions for LOA1 and LOA2 cases.

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The diagram below shows the seven categories of inquiry under each or the three domains, “How the Child Grows and Develops”, “What the Child needs From Caretakers”, and “The Child’s Wider World”. Each of these seven categories are further broken down into specific “Guiding Assessment Questions” that can be applied a specific student incident or concern. Assessment is an ongoing process even after an intervention has been put in place. It is important that this assessment framework be integral at every level from Alert to intervention, to follow-up and beyond. The child, their parents/guardians, teachers and other significant people will be involved and constantly sharing information in the process. Assessment takes place for different reasons. In making an assessment it is important to seek consultation be clear about its purpose, since this will influence content, the emphasis attributed to various factors, the subsequent analysis of the information gathered and the action planned. Teachers, staff and administrators are continuously engaged in assessment in their interactions with students. They are always drawing on information to judge the most appropriate responses to needs and Prepared by: Noel Roberts Student Welfare Coordinator

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behaviour. Every conscious action should be supported by assessment that suits the situation, however brief, simple or informal. These assessments will vary widely in style, focus and objectives. We want them to contribute to a coherent argument for effective intervention.

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Guiding Assessment Questions HOW THE CHILD GROWS AND DEVELOPS 

Becoming independent and looking after self

This includes the gradual acquisition of skills and confidence needed to move from dependence to independence.

Does the child have the skills and confidence needed to move from dependence to independence? (Early practical skills of feeding, dressing etc.) Is the child engaging with learning and other tasks, acquiring skills and competence in social problem solving, getting on well with others, moving to independent living skills and autonomy? What are the effects of any impairment or disability or of social circumstances and how might these be compensated for?

Enjoying family and friends This includes Relationships that support, value, encourage and guide the child.

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Learning to be responsible

This includes learning appropriate social skills and behavior.

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Being able to communicate This includes development of language and communication. Being in touch with others. Ability to express thoughts, feelings and needs.

      

Learning and achieving This includes cognitive development from birth, learning achievements and the skills and interests which can be nurtured.

Does the child have relationships that support, value, encourage and guide them? (Family and wider social networks) Does the child have opportunities to make and sustain lasting significant relationships? Is the child encouraged to develop skills in making friends, to take account of the feelings and needs of others (empathy), and to behave responsibly? Is the child learning appropriate social skills and behavior? (Values; sense of right and wrong, Consideration for others, etc.) Does the child have the ability to understand what is expected of her/him and act on it? Who/What are the key influences on the child's social development at different ages and stages? What is the child's preferred language or method of communication? Are there particular people with whom the child communicates? Are aids to communication required? Does the child need additional supports? Does the child have leisure time, hobbies, and sport? Who takes account of the unique abilities and needs of this child?

*Learning plans and other educational records (IEP’s, Behavior plans, etc.) will connect here.

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Confidence in who they are This includes the child's temperament and characteristics

What is the nature and quality of early and current attachments? How is the child’s emotional and behavioral development? (Resilience, self esteem, etc.)  Does the child have the ability to take pride in achievements?  Does the child have confidence in managing challenges, opportunities, difficulties appropriate to the age and stage of development?  Does the child have appreciation of the ethnic and cultural backgrounds of him/herself and others?  Does the child have a sense of identity which is comfortable with gender, sexuality, religious belief?  Does the child have skills in social presentation?  Are there any developmental milestones, major illnesses, hospital admissions, impairments, disabilities, conditions affecting the child’s development and health?  Are there any health care concerns, including nutrition, exercise, physical and mental health issues, sexual health, or substance abuse? *Information routinely collected by health services will connect with this . 

Being healthy This includes full information about all aspects of a child's health and development, relevant to age and stage.

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Guidance, supporting the child to make the right choices

This includes values, guidance and boundaries, making clear to the child what is expected and why.

Are household roles and rules of behavior appropriate to the age and understanding of the child? Are sanctions constructive and consistent? Are responses to behavior appropriate? (Modeling behavior that represents autonomous, responsible adult expectations)?

Is the child treated with consideration and respect, encouraged to take social responsibility within a safe and protective environment? 

Understanding the child’s family background and beliefs This includes issues of family and cultural history; spirituality and faith.

  

Does the child have a good understanding of their own background – their family and extended family relationships and their origins? Is the child’s cultural heritage given due prominence? Do those around the child person respect and value diversity? 

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Knowing what is going to happen and when This includes stability (object constancy) of home and school life

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Is the child's life stable and predictable? Are routines and expectations appropriate and helpful to age and stage of development? Are the child's needs given priority within an environment that expects mutual consideration? Who are the family members and others important to the child? Can the people who look after her or him be relied on to be open and honest about family and household relationships, about wider influences, needs, decisions and to involve the child in matters which affect him or her? Are transition issues fully explored for the child during times of change? 

Play, encouragement and fun This includes stimulation and encouragement for the child to learn and to enjoy life.

Everyday care and help This includes day-to-day physical and emotional care, food, clothing and housing.

     

Being available This involves love, emotional warmth, attentiveness and engagement.

Keeping the child safe This involves keeping the child safe within the home and exercising appropriate guidance and protection outside. Practical care through home safety such as fireguards and stair gates, hygiene. Protecting from physical, social and emotional dangers such as bullying, anxieties about friendships, domestic problems such as mental health needs, violence, and offending behavior.

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Is there someone to act as the child's mentor and champion? Is the child's progress encouraged by sensitive responses to interests and achievements, involvement in school activities? Who spends time with the child, communicating, interacting, responding to the child's curiosity, providing an educationally rich environment? Who is responsible for providing healthcare and educational opportunities? Who is responsible for meeting the child's changing needs over time, encouraging growth of responsibility and independence? Who are the people who can be relied on to recognize and respond to the child's emotional needs? Who are the people with whom the child has a particular bond? Who is of particular significance? Who does the child trust? Is there sufficient emotional security and responsiveness in the child's current caring environment? Who takes responsible interest in the child's friends and associates, use of internet, exposure to situations where sexual exploitation or substance misuse may present risks, staying out late or staying away from home? Are there identifiable risk factors? Is the child knowledgeable about risks and confident about keeping safe?

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Guiding Assessment Questions THE CHILD’S WIDER WORLD  

Support from family, friends and other people This includes networks of family and social support. Relationships with grandparents, aunts and uncles, extended family and friends.

  

What supports can family and friends provide? Are there tensions involved in or negative aspects of the family's social networks or cultural group? Are there problems of lost contact or isolation? Are there reliable, long term networks of support which the child or family can reliably draw on? Who are the significant people in the child's wider environment? 

School This includes the key role that the school environment plays from pre-school and nursery onwards.

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What are the experiences of school and peer networks and relationships? What aspects of the learning environment and opportunities for learning are important to the child? Is there any out of school study/learning support, and special interests? Has the family adequate income to meet day to day needs and any special needs? Have problems of poverty and disadvantage affected opportunities? Is household income managed for the benefit of all? Are there problems of debts? Do benefit entitlements need to be explored? Is income adequate to ensure the child can take part in school and leisure activities and pursue special interests and skills? Are there local opportunities for training and rewarding work? What are the cultural and family expectations of work and employment? Are there supports for the young person's career aspirations and opportunities? Is there support and guidance at times of stress or transition? Is there access to and local information about health, childcare, care in the community, specialist services? Is the accommodation suitable for the needs of the child and family - including adaptations needed to meet special needs? Is it in a safe, well maintained and Supportd and child friendly neighborhood? Have there been frequent moves? What are the opportunities for taking part in activities which support social contact and inclusion e.g. playgroups, after school clubs, youth clubs, environmental improvements, parents' and residents' groups, faith groups? Are there local prejudices and tensions affecting the child's or young person's ability to fit in? 

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Enough money This involves family financial stability.

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Work and career opportunities

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This involves family’s expectations and attitudes of work and career issues.

Local Supports

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This includes any Supports which the child and family can access for leisure, faith, sport, active lifestyle.

Comfortable and safe housing This involves suitability of living arrangements.

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Belonging This includes being accepted in the community, feeling included and valued.

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How to Help Students in Crisis TEACHER AND STAFF CRISIS INTERVENTION GUIDELINES All crisis incidents should be immediately reported to the Student Support Center. Crisis situations occur when the student feels unable to cope with the circumstances of his/her life. The more helpless the student feels, the greater the crisis. Typically, a student may be temporarily overwhelmed and unable to carry on, but is not in any immediate physical danger. Crisis intervention helps a person cope with the immediate situation and make a plan to address any ongoing problems. A crisis may be triggered by a traumatic event such as an accident, a loss of a family member or loved one, or some kind of assault, or it may be related to anxiety, exhaustion or severe stress. A crisis is can be when a student is: Suicidal or self-harming Aggressive towards others Gravely impaired: confused, agitated, disoriented, having tantrums, hallucinations or delusions The Student Support Center provides crisis intervention as needed and as available, and should ALWAYS be called in a crisis situation. PROCEDURE The procedure for crisis intervention is as follows: Contact the Student Support Center for an assessment or assistance. In addition, if the student is acting aggressively or threatening to harm someone, call a teacher and or TA in the nearest classroom, the Head of School and if necessary the school security guards. In cases where you are in the playground and you don’t want to leave the student, you can enlist the help of another student to go and get help - don't try to handle a crisis alone. Until help arrives:

1. Listen. Avoid any physical contact and allow the student to talk. 2. Assist. Provide a quiet atmosphere; minimize environmental stimulation. Give the student some space. It may be necessary for the other students to leave the room. Ask the student what or who might be helpful. Invite the student to walk out with you. 3. Recognize. Know your limitations. Student Support Center staff will make an assessment and contact the student's family or guardian, if it is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other persons. If hospitalization appears warranted, staff will assist the student and his/her family in getting an assessment for admission.

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The Depressed Student International school students are at significant risk for depression due to unresolved grief of multiple moves and transitions. Some students report having gone to nine different schools in ten years, each time leaving behind things they value and hold dear. Their sense of belonging is nowhere and everywhere. They are many times victims of unhappy homes. In addition, the IB student life is demanding and the workload is challenging. Many students are not easily able to adjust to the rigors of the curriculum. Younger students are at a developmental stage marked by uncertainty, change and strong emotions, and older students are likely to be juggling an exhausting load of school, work and family obligations. Major depression differs from feeling sad or struggling with life events. It significantly impairs a student's functioning while reducing their hope for change and motivation to seek help. In major depression, a student’s appraisal of him or herself, the future and the world at large become markedly and irrationally negative and distorted. Due to the opportunities that teacher and staff have to observe and interact with students, they are often the first to recognize that a student is in distress, even when the student continues to function in class. Depressed behavior includes

          

Tearfulness/general emotionality Markedly diminished performance Dependency (a student who makes excessive requests for your time) Infrequent class attendance Lack of energy/motivation, indecisiveness Increased anxiety/test anxiety/performance anxiety Irritability Deterioration in personal hygiene Significant weight loss or gain Alcohol or drug use Agitation, hostility or angry outbursts

Students experiencing depression often respond well to a small amount of attention for a short period of time. Early intervention increases the chances of the student's return to health


    

Let the student know you're aware he/she is feeling down and you would like to help. Reach out more than halfway and encourage the student to discuss how he/she is feeling. Offer options to further investigate and manage the symptoms of the depression. Remind the student that feeling hopeless and helpless are symptoms of depression, not the objective reality - people do get better with treatment. Gently and directly ask the student if he/she has had/is having thoughts or impulses to harm or kill him/herself - both impulses for self-harm, e.g., cutting, and suicide can be present in students who don't "look that bad."

Don't:  

 

Minimize the student's feelings, e.g., "Don't worry." "Everything will be better tomorrow." Bombard the student with "fix it" solutions or advice. Chastise the student for poor or incomplete work. Be afraid to ask whether the student is suicidal - you can't cause a suicide just by asking.

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The Suicidal Student In China suicide is a major concern among college and college bound students. It is important to view all suicidal comments as serious and make appropriate Alerts. Suicidal students are irrational about how bad things are, now and in the future. High-risk indicators include:

       

Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and futility A severe loss or threat of loss (death, break up of a relationship, flunking out) Talk of ending things (quitting school, work) A detailed suicide plan with specified means (high risk of lethality) A history of a previous attempt Tearfulness, agitation, insomnia Giving away important possessions, taking care of business; saying "thank you for all you've done for me" History of alcohol or drug abuse Feelings of alienation and isolation

Do:  

  

Take the student seriously - 80 percent of suicides give warning of their intent. Be direct - ask if the student is suicidal, if he/she has a plan and if he/she has the means to carry out that plan. Exploring this with the student actually decreases the impulse to use it. Access to anything that can be used as a weapon is highly lethal, refer the student immediately. Be available to listen but refer the student to the Student Support Center The student does not need to agree to this. It's safer to offend than to overlook

Don't:      

Assure the student that you are his/her best friend; agree that you are a stranger, but even strangers can be concerned. Be overly warm and nurturing. Flatter or participate in their games; you don't know their rules. Challenge or agree with any mistaken or illogical beliefs. Be ambiguous, cute or humorous. Assume their family knows about their suicidal thoughts and feelings

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The Anxious Student Anxiety is a normal response to a perceived danger or threat to one's well being. For some students the cause of their anxiety will be clear but for others it is difficult to pinpoint the source of stress. Regardless of the cause, the resulting symptoms are similar and include: rapid heart palpitations; chest pain or discomfort; dizziness; sweating; trembling or shaking; and cold, clammy hands. The student may also complain of difficulty concentrating, always being "on the edge," having difficulty making decisions or being too fearful to take action. In rarer cases, a student may experience a panic attack in which the physical symptoms occur spontaneously and intensely in such a way that the student may fear he/she is dying. The following guidelines remain appropriate in most primary and secondary cases.


    

Let them discuss their feelings and thoughts. Often this alone relieves a great deal of pressure. Normalize where appropriate. Provide reassurance. Nobody ever died of a panic attack. However, reassurance alone, without further action, is not helpful. Remain calm. Be clear and directive. "Let's sit down and do some slow breathing." Move to a safe, quiet place until the symptoms subside. Remind them that their anxiety will eventually subside.

Don't: 

 

Trivialize the perceived threat to which the student is reacting. Take responsibility for their emotional state. Overwhelm them with information or ideas to "fix" their condition. Anxious people can't take in very much. Make sure they write down appointments and phone numbers.

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The Delusional or Confused Student A person having delusions is literally out of touch with reality for biological reasons. This can be seen as symptoms in students who have learning disorders or who may be having a "first break" episode of a thought disorder, or occasionally, in normal students who have abused stimulant drugs for an extended period. Some of the features of being out of touch with reality are disorganized speech, disorganized behavior, odd or eccentric behavior, inappropriate or no expression of emotion, expression of erroneous beliefs that usually involve a misinterpretation of reality, expression of bizarre thoughts that could involve visual or auditory hallucinations, withdrawal from social interactions, an inability to connect with people and an inability to track and process thoughts that are based in reality. While this student may elicit alarm or fear from others, they are generally not dangerous. When you encounter a student who demonstrates delusions or confusion:

Do: 

 

   

    

Call the Student Support Center to consult first, if the situation is not an immediate crisis. Respond with warmth and kindness, but with firm limits. Remove extra stimulation from the environment, (turn off the radio, and step outside of a noisy classroom). Acknowledge your concerns and state that you can see they need help. "I don't really understand what you're trying to tell me, but I see that you're upset." Acknowledge their feelings or fears without supporting the misperceptions, e.g., "I understand you think someone is following you, but I don't see anyone and I believe you're safe." Acknowledge your difficulty in understanding them and ask for clarification or restatement. "Sorry, I'm not understanding you, what I asked was" Focus on the "here and now." Tell the student the plan for getting him/her to a safe environment, and repeat the plan emphasizing the safe environment. "Ok, let's get you over to the Student Support Center to talk with the folks there, it's a safe place. They'll help you figure out what to do to be safe." Speak to their healthy side, which they have. It's OK to laugh and joke when appropriate - but not about any of their beliefs or fears. Be aware that the student may show no emotions or intense emotions. Be aware that the student may be extremely fearful to the extent of paranoia. Be aware that the student may not understand you or understand only parts of what is being said. Be aware that, on occasion, a student in this state may pose a danger to self or others

Don't:   

    

Argue or try to convince them of the irrationality of their thinking, as their brain may be literally incapable of accepting the information. Play along, e.g., "Oh yeah, I hear the voices (or see the devil)." Encourage further discussion of the delusional processes. Demand, command, or order. Expect that the student will understand you. Assume the student will be able to take care of him/herself when out of touch with reality Allow friends to take care of the student without getting a professional opinion. Assume the family knows about the student's condition.

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The Verbally Aggressive/Disruptive Student Students usually become verbally abusive when in frustrating situations (i.e. when things are beyond their control); anger and frustration become displaced from those situations onto the nearest target. Explosive outbursts or ongoing belligerent, hostile behavior become this student's way of gaining power and control in an otherwise out-of-control experience. It is important to remember that the student is generally not angry with you personally, but is angry at his/her world and you are the object of pent-up frustrations.

Do:    

   

Acknowledge their anger and frustration, e.g., "I hear how angry you are." Rephrase what they are saying and identify their emotion, e.g., "I can see how upset you are because you feel your rights are being violated and nobody will listen." Reduce stimulation; invite the person to a quieter place if this is comfortable and safe for you. Allow them to ventilate, get the feelings out, and tell you what is upsetting them. However, if the person is escalating and becoming agitated, take care of your own safety and the safety of the class first, "You are getting worked up, please control yourself or I will have to call security." Be directive and firm about the behaviors you will accept, e.g., "Please step back; you're too close." "I cannot listen to you when you yell at me." "If you want my help, you'll have to speak politely and I will do the same." Help the person problem solve and deal with the real issues when they become calmer. Keep yourself and the other children a safe distance from the student.

Don't:    

Get into an argument or shouting match. Become hostile or punitive yourself, e.g., "You can't talk to me that way!" Press for explanations for their behavior. Ignore the situation. Touch the student.

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The Violent Student Violence, because of emotional distress, is rare and typically occurs when the student's level of frustration has been so intense or of such an enduring nature as to erode all of the student's emotional controls. The adage, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," best applies here. Potentially violent students almost always exhibit warning signs prior to acting out - no one "just snaps". While no one clue indicates absolute dangerousness, any can be cause for concern and warrant a response. There are four broad categories of behaviors that might indicate a developing problem: Verbal clues: direct and indirect threats; talking about violent plans, fantasies or past behavior; expressing a wish to kill or die, harassing or abusive language. Physical clues: weapons possession, drawings or writing with violent themes; frequent listening to music with violent themes, agitated or threatening behavior, bullying, destruction of property, deteriorating appearance, isolating, inappropriate displays of anger/aggression, rebelling against school rules. Obsessive thinking: preoccupation with resentments or grudges against someone, romantic obsessions, perceived injustice, past violent events. Bizarre thoughts: persecutory delusions, paranoia, grandiose delusions involving power, control or destruction, deteriorating thought processes.

Do:       

First determine if you feel safe with the student. If not, remove yourself and the class and call security. For non-crisis situations, consult with both the Student Support Center and your gradelevel supervisor. Attempt to prevent total frustration and helplessness by quickly and calmly acknowledging the intensity of the situation, e.g., "I can see you're really upset and are ready to lash out." Explain simply, clearly and directly what behaviors are acceptable, e.g., "Sit down and lower your voice." Use brief and specific directives and questions. "What do you need?" Get necessary help (send a student for security, other staff, head of school, etc.). Stay safe: have easy access to a door (student should not be between you and the door); keep furniture between you and the student. Debrief the situation with a colleague

Don't:   

   

Assume the student can take in a normal amount of information - keep it simple. Try for five to ten words in a statement, max. Ignore warning signs that the person is escalating, e.g., raised voice, flu+-shed face, clenched fists, threats. Threaten, tease or corner the student. Make promises you can't keep. Touch the student. Be alone with the student. Overlook bizarre or irrational statements.

Prepared by: Noel Roberts Student Welfare Coordinator

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The Passively Demanding Student Typically even giving these students a tremendous amount of time and energy is not enough. They often seek to control your time and unconsciously believe the amount of time received is a reflection of their worth. You may find yourself increasingly drained and feeling responsible for this student beyond your normal involvement. It is important that this student be connected with many sources of support on- campus and in the community. Demanding students can be difficult to interact with because they can be intrusive and persistent. Demanding traits can be associated with anxiety, agitated depression and/or personality disorders. Some characteristics of demanding students are a sense of entitlement, an inability to empathize, a need to control, difficulty dealing with ambiguity, a strong drive for perfection, difficulty respecting structure, limits, and rules, persistence after hearing "no", dependency on others to take care of them and a fear of dealing with the realities of life. When dealing with a demanding student:

Do:      

Insist that they make their own decisions. You specify what you can do, then they decide. Set firm and clear limits on your time and involvement. End the conversation when it exceeds those limits, even if the student is not satisfied. It's not helpful to the student to stay engaged, despite their distress. You may feel like you're being harsh, but you're not. Offer Alerts to other Supports in and out of school. Set and enforce limits to prevent the disruption of a class, lab or study group via acting out or monopolizing the discussion. Set limits on where and when you talk with them, e.g., no home numbers (unless everybody gets it), no being cornered while you are having lunch. If excessive student demands become disruptive, you can make a Alert. Remember that your ability to be able to teach or serve other students and the other students' needs for an environment conducive to learning also must be met.

Don't: 

  

 

Avoid the student as an alternative to setting and enforcing limits. Argue with the student. Accommodate inappropriate requests, or get trapped into giving advice, special conditions, changing your schedule, etc. Feel obligated to take care of him/her, or feel guilty about not doing more. Allow the student to intimidate you. Ignore the problem and the impact that it has on you and the other students.

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The Intoxicated Student Alcohol is the most widely used psychoactive drug. Patterns of use are affected by fads and peer pressure. Currently, alcohol is the preferred drug among middle and high school students. The effects of alcohol on the user are well known to most of us. Student alcohol abuse is most often identified, by teacher, when irresponsible, unpredictable behavior affects the learning situation or when a combination of the health and social impairments associated with alcohol/drug abuse sabotages student performance. Because of the denial that exists in most substance abusers, it is important to express your concern about the student not in terms of suspicions about alcohol and other drugs but in terms of specific changes in behavior or performance. If you are uncertain about how to approach a difficult situation, please call the Student Support Center to consult.

Do:   

 

Confront the student with their behavior that is of concern. Address the substance abuse issue if the student is open and willing. Offer support and concern for the student's overall well being. Maintain contact with the student after a Alert is made. Consider informing your class at the beginning of the semester that students who appear to be intoxicated will be asked to leave. "This probably won't ever come up, but sets the ground rules if anyone even appears to be intoxicated in class"

Don't:   

Convey judgment or criticism about the student's substance abuse. Make allowances for the student's irresponsible behavior. Ignore signs of intoxication in the classroom.

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The Paranoid Student Typically, these students complain about something other than their emotional difficulties. They are tense, anxious, mistrustful, loners, and have few friends. They tend to interpret minor oversights as significant personal rejection and often overact to insignificant occurrences. They see themselves as the focal point of everyone's behavior and everything that happens has special meaning to them. They are overly concerned with fairness and being treated equally. Feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy underlie most of their behavior. They seem capable and bright.

Do:   

Express compassion without intimate friendship. Remember that suspicious students have trouble with closeness and warmth. Be firm, steady, punctual, and consistent. Be clear about the expected standards of behavior. These include requirements for academic performance, e.g., due dates, grading, expectations for classroom participation.

Don't:    

 

Assure the student that you are his/her friend; agree that you are a stranger, but even strangers can be concerned. Be overly warm and nurturing. Flatter or participate in their games; you don't know their rules. Be cute or humorous. Challenge or agree with any mistaken or illogical beliefs. Be ambiguous.

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The Sexually Harassed Student Sexual harassment involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct; it is usually found in the context of a relationship of unequal power, rank or status. It does not matter that the person's intention was not to harass; it is the effect it has that counts. If the conduct interferes with a student's academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning environment, it is considered sexual harassment Sexual harassment usually is not an isolated one-time only case but a repeated pattern of behavior that may include:

       

Comments about one's body or clothing Questions about one's sexual behavior Demeaning references to one's gender Sexually oriented jokes Conversations filled with innuendoes and double meanings Displaying of sexually suggestive pictures or objects Repeated non-reciprocated demands for dates or sex Unwanted and uninvited suggestive touches and embraces

Common reactions by students who have been harassed is to doubt their perceptions, wondering if it was a joke, did it really happen or if, in some way, they have brought it on themselves. A student may begin to participate less in the classroom, drop or avoid classes, or even change majors. Incidents can occur in quiet places on the playground, at the lockers, in the bathrooms, and even on the school buses.

Do: 

   

Separate your personal biases from your professional role. Listen carefully to the student, validate his/her experience. Encourage the student to approach the person, directly or in writing. "I am uncomfortable when you_____, please stop." Encourage the student to keep a log or find a witness. Help student seek informal advice through a department chair, supervisor or advisor. If unresolved, refer to the student to the Student Support Center for support and assistance.

Don't:  

Fail to act. Taking no action invalidates the student's already shaky perception and puts the school in a vulnerable position, should this behavior continue. Overreact. Listen, support, and guide the student to appropriate channels.

Prepared by: Noel Roberts Student Welfare Coordinator

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Responding to Offensive and Disturbing Expression (Art/Writing/Speech) Teachers can face complicated issues raised by offensive and disturbing expression. Occasionally, student expression can create an uncomfortable environment and raise questions about the student's intentions or mental state. Offensive and disturbing expression in combination with disturbing behavior will heighten concern. The teacher may feel the need to addresses these issues, however it is highly recommended that a Alert be immediately submitted. It is impossible to predict behavior on the basis of expression alone. When teachers are concerned about a student, their best service may be to first make a Alert. These guidelines are meant to help assess and respond to questionable situations. They are not absolute and cannot guarantee outcomes. Teachers should follow their own instincts and common sense when determining what constitutes offensive and disturbing expression. A standard definition may include expressions that warn of a potential harm; expresses deep desperation; threatens to harm self, others, or property; or portrays violence or gruesome details of actual or imagined events, including those of a sexual nature. In the lessons learned from tragedy, there are a series of questions teachers might find helpful in distinguishing creative and literary explorations of themes like violence, drugs, and suicide, from a threat or cry for help. These questions also provide a framework for working with the parents of these students in trying to identify and address student concerns. 

Is the expression particularly violent?

Do characters respond to everyday events with a level or kind of violence one does not expect, or may even find frightening?

If so, does the violence seem more expressive of rage and anger than it does of a literary aesthetic or thematic purpose?

Are the characters' thoughts as well as actions violent or threatening?

Do characters think about or question their violent actions?

In other words, does the expression reveal the presence of a literary sensibility mediating and making judgments about the characters' thoughts and actions, or does it suggest unmediated venting of rage and anger?

If the literary sensibility is missing, is the student receptive to adding that layer and learning how to do so?"

Is this the student's first attempt at full expression?

Was it created as part of a structured class or was it discovered or left for discovery?

Is violence at the center of everything the student has done n the past, or does other work suggests that violence is something the student is experimenting with for literary effect?

Are the violent actions in the work so disturbing or so extreme as to suggest they go beyond any possible sense of purpose in relation to the larger narrative?

Is the expression full of hostility toward other racial or ethnic groups?

Is the writing threateningly misogynistic, homophobic, racist, or in any way expressive of a mindset that may pose a threat to other students?

Prepared by: Noel Roberts Student Welfare Coordinator

Page 29

After the student has been referred, the pastoral team will cautiously intervene following the steps below: Talk Informally with the Student  Try to make the discussion as informal as possible. It may be best to do this before or after class, or in a common area, rather than having the student come by the classroom.  If the student seems at all threatening, do not meet with the student alone. Alert a supervisor or colleague about the meeting time and place.  Arrange a warning system so that help is readily available, if needed.  Set up the room or location and maintain a safe environment where the exit is not blocked and the vision in/out of the room is not obstructed.  Listen carefully and allow the student to talk as much as he or she wants.  Focus on the content of the writing rather than on the student.  Ask about the inspiration and evolution of the writing, what authors may have influenced the student, and how the imagery or action relates to the overall theme of the work Make an Outside Alert  It may be appropriate to refer the student to an outside counseling support to help the student deal with any identified issues.  Encourage the student to make use of the Alert.  The school’s health and safety policy may require the student to access outside help as a condition to return to class.  Follow-up to on the outside Alert and document meeting(s) including date, time, and location; advice give; action taken and outcomes. If there is a tangible piece of work involved, keep the student’s original on file.

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Prepared by: Noel Roberts Student Welfare Coordinator

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Assisting Students in Need  
Assisting Students in Need  

A Guide for Teachers, Staff and Administraters