Greenville City Schools News Article

GMS Article - Prevention, Awareness, and Support

How do I take care of myself? Why are people always angry with me? Why are goals important? How
can I better understand my thoughts and feelings? How can I keep myself safe? These are questions
we all have. Life can be confusing and overwhelming. Children need to be taught how to regulate
emotions and learn how to answer these questions and connect with other people. Middle School is a
difficult season in life but with the right help, guidance, and instruction in social and emotional
development, it can be one of the best times.

To achieve the mission and vision of education, it is important to teach children the skills needed to be
successful adults with academic, social, and emotional (SEL) skills. Academic and SEL skills are connected
and allow children to become the adults needed for a productive society. It is in the best interest of our
community and country to continue to develop these skills in our children. Greenville City Schools has
as its third guiding principle; “Greenville City Schools partners with stakeholders to provide support,
programs, and information to meet the social and emotional needs of students and families.” This
principle is also supported by the state of Ohio, which has integrated social-emotional learning
standards into the curriculum across all grade levels. https://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Learning-in-
Ohio/Social-and-Emotional-Learning To assist children in navigating the difficult contemporary issues
they face the state has passed laws for suicide prevention, violence prevention, social inclusion and
school safety requirements in grades 6-12. https://ohioschoolsafetycenter.ohio.gov/static/2023-School-

At Greenville Middle School we take this commitment to our students’ safety and well-being very
seriously. We have weekly Social Emotional lessons facilitated by Camfel Productions resources.
(Camfel.com) Parents are welcome to access and preview these online resources as well. This year, we
have also included specific lessons targeted to grades 6-8 on Suicide and Violence prevention and
awareness, social inclusion, child abuse awareness, and internet safety lessons in grades 5-8. Our
counselors, social studies teachers, and the school resource officer provided the instruction with state -
approved resources.

At GMS we work diligently to meet the SEL needs of our students. We would like to highlight a couple of
opportunities that have been provided this year. Mr. Levek the 6th grade Social Studies teacher taught
Suicide Awareness and Prevention to his classes using the Say Something resource provided by the
Sandy Hook Learning Center. https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/say-something-tips/ Mrs. Guillozet
our 5th and 6th grade counselor along with Officer Borowske the School Resource Officer utilized the
Fight Child Abuse resources to provide instruction on Sex Abuse and Violence Awareness and
Prevention. https://fightchildabuse.org/

Mr Levek shared that the students learned to “Identify Threats and Warning signs/Act Immediately and
Seriously/Say Something to a trusted adult”. As social isolation was addressed in the lessons, Mr. Levek
identified one benefit for the students is to “be able to identify that everyone struggles. You are not
alone in this. Everyone needs help.” He was able to see a timely result from the lessons by, “an
immediate uptick in the use of the school counselor". Additional students' takeaways from the lessons
included, “Most of the students latched on to what a trusted adult was. Who to talk to and how. What
calling 911 was and was used for. Many reported knowing people who struggled and needed help in
their lives.” Lauren Schmidt, a 6th grader reinforced, “I know now to always look for a trusted adult.”

We are lucky to partner with the Greenville Police Department with the placement of School Resource
Officers in the K-8 Facility and the High School. Officer Borowske works closely with our school
counselors to provide instruction on School Safety Issues. He believes there is a tremendous benefit of
him being included in these lessons. He stated, “As an SRO I often meet with students along with the
counselor regarding suicide and other non-criminal issues. I use my experiences from dealing with
mental health incidents to help students get the right information and their parents get in contact with
the right resources for mental health. Violence prevention and school safety are top priorities. Teaching
students how to de-escalate situations is a main skill that police officers use every day in Law
Enforcement. Teaching students to de-escalate their own situations is important.” Mrs. Guillozet
reinforced, “We can’t stress enough the importance of this developmentally appropriate information to
help protect your children. I encourage parents to familiarize themselves with the Fight Child Abuse
resources. The school staff's approach is on prevention with age-appropriate instruction to ensure
health and safety for the children of the Greenville community.” These sentiments were reinforced by
Officer Borowske, “Helping students identify and recognize situations of sex abuse or violence is very
important because most incidents of sex abuse or violence does not happen at school but is most likely
reported at school. Making students aware of signs of abuse could also help the student recognize if
another student is being abused.” 6th grader Grant Fitzgerald learned, “It’s okay to speak up for yourself
and have boundaries with people.”

Our approach at GMS is about prevention, awareness, and support. We would like parents to help their
children develop healthy relationships. “Define, model, and give good examples of what a healthy
relationship is. Explain to your child what an unhealthy relationship is. Helping the child define
boundaries in a healthy relationship is important as well.” is the advice provided by Officer Borowske.
At the conclusion of our highlighted instructional opportunities all three adults concluded that the
students could articulate what a trusted adult was, what 911 was used for, and who to go to for help.
These students have been given the opportunity to begin to answer the life questions we all struggle
with along with resources to be aware and preventative for their safety and social emotional

Written by Greenville Middle School Principal Rhonda Schaar

Print This Article
© 2024. Greenville City Schools. All Rights Reserved.