Creating safe and supportive learning environments involves school personnel, leaders of community organizations, parents, and youth working together to build positive, supportive, and healthy environments that promote acceptance and respect. Safe and supportive environments are characterized by the absence of discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying. The school environment is shaped by a number of factors, including:
- district and school policies and practices;
- school structure and decision-making processes; and
- classroom factors, such as classroom management methods and nurturing relationships.
Laws and regulations affect the health and safety of students and school personnel, learning environments, and other aspects of the school community.
Sample Local Board of Education Policies
- Accommodating Transgender Students or Gender Non-Conforming Students (Middletown Public Schools)
- Gender Identity and Expression (Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Youth) (East Hartford Public Schools)
- Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Youth (Stratford Public Schools)
- Transgender Students (Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE))
- Guidelines for Connecticut Schools to Comply with Gender Identity and Expression Non-Discrimination Laws (Connecticut Safe School Coalition)
- Public Act 11-55: An Act Concerning Discrimination
- Your Right to Form a Gay Straight Alliance
Promoting Parent/Family Engagement
Parent engagement is a positive protective factor. Through meaningful parent engagement opportunities, there is greater shared responsibility for children's learning and increased communication. Parent engagement takes on many different forms, from reading with a child at night to being an active member of a Health and Wellness Council.
- Parent Engagement (CDC)
- Parent Engagement: Strategies for Engaging in Health (CDC)
- Parent Engagement: Strategies for Engaging Parents in School Health (CDC)
- Ways to Engage in Your Child's School to Support Student Health and Learning (CDC)
School Health Advisory Councils
Each partnership district has a School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) that helps oversee and inform their work. Each SHAC is a collaboration of community, school, parent and student stakeholders. Some districts integrate the SHAC into their mandated district Health and Wellness Councils. Working collaboratively, partner districts are able to make positive changes:
- Suggested Local School Wellness Policy Resource List (CSDE)
- Waterbury Public Schools Success Story