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Franklin Public Schools has been teaching Child Abuse Prevention since 1986 through a collaborative effort of the Franklin Police Department and the Franklin School District Student Services Team (School Social Workers, School Psychologists, and School Guidance Counselors). As part of the School Guidance Curriculum, classroom sessions are conducted in each elementary classroom and at the secondary level through the health curriculum in order that all children receive some instruction on safety issues and decision making in their approach to and understanding of personal safety in various environments. Franklin Police officers have presented along with the Pupil Services staff in primary-level classrooms and at the high school level in order to help students better understand their personal safety and the resources available to assist them when confronted with safety concerns.
An example of a primary grade level curriculum is as follows:
- Review personal Safety rules (Say no, Get Away, Tell Someone)
- Everyone has the right to feel safe
- Define Safety - Early warning signs (stomach, sweating, heart rate, breathing, headache, shaking, dry mouth)
- Nothing is so awful that you can't talk about it with someone
- Keep telling until you feel safe
- Clarification of personal support systems (adults you can trust and talk to)
- Who is a stranger? define/discuss
- Define physical abuse (being punished severely- usually involves injuries)
- Safe and unsafe responses to abuse
- Define sexual abuse - Touching of private parts (parts normally covered by your swimsuit), asking you to touch their private parts, showing of private parts
- Anyone could be an abuser, even someone we know or love
- The victim is never responsible for the behavior of the offender
- The offender is responsible and needs help
- Abusive behavior should never be kept a secret
Please refer to the following links for resources and updated information regarding Child Abuse Safety:
In early October each year, Franklin Public Schools holds a screening for all three year old children who reside in the district boundaries. Known as Child Development Days, the program combines a play-based observational screening of children with a "Child Fair" for parents to learn more about child and family related services in the area. Each year, a number of agencies such as the Franklin Library, Franklin Police Department and the Franklin Recreation Department send representatives to discuss their services with parents. School Psychologists, Speech & Language Pathologists, Early Childhood teachers and other district staff will be on hand to discuss screening results and answer any questions you have about your child's development. Parents of three year old children will be notified of the program in September and are instructed to contact the Student Services Department for an appointment.
Approximately 35% of adolescent girls in the United States become pregnant at least once before age 20. Evidence shows that 14% of high school- aged males report causing at least one pregnancy. FPS believes that preventive efforts to minimize risk factors for early parenthood and to promote positive parenting of children born to teen parents are important and necessary. A team approach is the best to meet the diverse and complex needs of our students.
The well being of pregnant and parenting adolescents influences the physical, cognitive, behavioral, and emotional status of their children. Teen parents are at risk for dropping out of school and more likely to have additional teen pregnancies impacting their current and future socio-economic level. The adolescent's physical, developmental, social, and economic concerns need to be considered when planning academic accommodations and connecting these students with community resources. Students are supported to maintain regular attendance through established regular contact with teachers, administrators and pupil services personnel during the school day.
The team working with the pregnant and/or school age parent collaborates with the student, family, school staff, and medical provider to plan for the care and academic success. The school nurse provides support and interventions to the student as the pregnancy progresses and recommends modifications necessary for the safety and well being of the student in the school setting. Social workers and counselors monitor academic requirements, progress and potential barriers. By developing a supportive relationship with student, the school team can positively affect the student's future by encouraging follow up with community resources and referrals. The goal for the school age parent is to return to school as soon as possible and to promote their academic success.
What is the student assistance program?
The Franklin Public Schools recognize that students and their families may experience a number of concerns that may interfere with learning and youth development. Examples are:
- emotional or behavioral difficulties
- social or peer relationship problems
- family stresses such as illness, death, divorce
- alcohol and other drug use
- physical and sexual abuse
The Student Assistance Program offers students opportunities to participate in a wide range of student assistance groups which helps to build personal social competencies and fosters resiliency.
How do students become involved in student assistance groups?
Students are identified through a referral process. Referrals may come from:
- school staff
- community agencies
At the high school level, a student may also be encouraged to participate in a group as result of a violation of school policies.
Participation in student assistance groups requires active parent permission for students in grades K - 8. Parents are asked to notify the high school administration if they do not want their son or daughter to participate in student assistance groups. All referrals are confidential and involvement in groups is voluntary. Students and their parents are referred to community resources when needed.
What types of groups are available?
The following groups provide educational experiences and practice building personal and social skills. These are not therapy or treatment groups. Pupil Services personnel refer families to community agencies when students may benefit from professional counseling services.
Assessment Group: Students will assess their alcohol and/or other drug use patterns and consequences.
Concerned Persons Group: Students will learn how chemical abuse and dependency affects families and friendships, and will learn effective coping strategies.
Aftercare Support Group: Students returning from chemical dependency treatment will receive school based aftercare support.
Family Change: Students will develop skills needed to cope with social and emotional stresses that may arise from divorce, separation, and remarriage.
Grief/Loss: Students will learn the stages of grief and loss and how to cope with social and emotional aspects of loss.
Anger Management: Students will develop skills in problem solving, communication and conflict resolution.
Peer Relationships: Students will develop skills needed to improve relationships and friendships with peers.
Social Skills: Students will learn and practice appropriate interaction with others.
Study Skills: Students will develop skills in anxiety management, goal setting, and effective study habits.
Other groups may be organized to meet specific student needs.
Who works with students?
Franklin Public Schools Student Services personnel (guidance counselors, school social workers and school psychologists) and a team of teachers at each school have been trained in the Student Assistance Program and small group facilitation. Groups may be co-facilitated between Student Services personnel and teachers.
When do student groups meet?
Groups meet for one class period or 45 minutes per week for up to eight weeks. Group meeting times change weekly, so that students and teaching staff do not regularly miss the same class.
Is there other help available?
Each school has a team of Student Services personnel (guidance counselors, school social workers, and school psychologists) that provide:
- crisis intervention
- assessment and evaluation of learning skills, social, emotional and physical development
- behavioral consultation
- home visits
- referral to community mental health and treatment agencies
The Special Education Program supports the needs of students with disabilities, including the provision of behavioral and academic intervention services.
Mrs. Christine Cody, Director