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Results in the Schools

PIPY Program at Jimmy Carter Middle School

PIPY: Prevention/Intervention Program for Youth
The Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative is about systems change. That's a term that gets thrown around quite a bit, but SS/HS has found ways to make it more than a buzzword. The Prevention/Intervention Program for Youth (PIPY) is proof of that.

PIPY is a program at Jimmy Carter Middle School that brings together administrators, teachers, the School Resource Officer, counselors, case managers from Bernalillo County Youth Services Center (Juvenile Detention), and Juvenile Probation. The program has different organizations all talking to each other and working toward the common goal of helping students overcome challenges and succeed in their education.

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School Resource Officers: A Different Kind Of Policing

Acting Sergeant Ginger Walker of the Albuquerque Public Schools Police spent 20 years as a Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department officer. She is now finishing her first year as a school resource officer (SRO) at Eldorado High School. It has been a big change from her previous work. "It's totally different policing. It's been very enlightening for me and very enjoyable," she says.

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SSA Spotlight: Jimmy Carter Middle School

Deborah McCabe is one of 1200 students at Jimmy Carter Middle School. The 8th grader is also one of 60 Safe Schools Ambassadors that step up to stop bullying throughout the day. "The teachers don't hear everything. They can't see everything and be everywhere at the same time. You have to have everybody looking out for each other," says McCabe.

Safe Schools Ambassadors are students that have gone through intensive training on how to recognize and deal with bullying in all its forms. They commit to speaking up against bullying, including students that have been excluded, and bringing in adults to help when necessary. "They are good skills to use when you see a bad situation going on with bullying at school," says Jonathan Orozco, an 8th grade ambassador. "I've solved a lot of different situations with kids. Usually, it's about a fight and I talk one of the kids out of it."

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SSA Spotlight: Ernie Pyle Middle School


Rachel Ochoa-Tafoya (school counselor and SSA program
adviser), Sabrina Giron (7th grader), Michelle Armijo
(instructional math coach and SSA family group facilitator).

When Ernie Pyle Middle School 7th grader Sabrina Giron hears or sees bullying, she knows exactly what to do. If a friend puts someone down, she counteracts it with something positive. If she hears about a fight, she brings in a teacher to help.

Giron is one of 57 Safe Schools Ambassadors at Ernie Pyle in Albuquerque. She has been an ambassador since the program started late last school year. "There have been less fights this year than last year. A lot of people are more friendly to each other when they are walking down the hall," says Giron.

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SSA Spotlight: Polk Middle School

There are 475 students at Polk Middle School in Albuquerque's South Valley. Sixty of them are trained as Safe Schools Ambassadors. Funded through the Safe Schools/Healthy Students initiative, the ambassadors program gives students skills for dealing with bullying. Polk is one of three schools that are using the program before rolling it out to more locations around the district.

Polk already had anti-bullying measures in place when the school first adopted the Safe Schools Ambassadors program last school year. Bullying often takes place where adults can't see it. That's where the ambassadors come in. "It's about stopping something when it is small and giving kids the tools to know how to do that on their own without always having to get adult help," says Polk counselor Debbie Abrams-Burroughs.

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The Heart of the Matter

Helen Cordero Primary School shines a light on positive behaviors with Nurtured Heart.

At Helen Cordero Primary School in Southwest Albuquerque, the secret ingredient really is love. The school has embraced the Nurtured Heart Approach, a way of relating to and working with children to bring out their best qualities. Helen Cordero principal Ellen Griffiths sums up the approach as, "Don't give energy to the negative. Give attention to the positive." Children want attention from adults. Nurtured Heart shows them that they can get positive attention for good behaviors. There are still clear rules and consequences at Helen Cordero, but there isn't a huge fuss about enforcing them. It's handled quietly and firmly, much like a time out for a foul in a sports game.

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Don't Just Stop Bullying, Start Peace


Peace Crew 10 List

The Peace Crew is in the house. 8th graders at Tony Hillerman Middle School are going class to class to spread the message about bullying. These students are turning bullying on its head with a positive message. Bullying can't thrive in a peaceful environment. Follow these 10 steps to start peace and stop bullying.

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John Baker Elementary Shares Anti-Bullying Success

Barbara Smith teaches an anti-bullying lesson.

Barbara Smith isn't your grandma's school counselor.

Do you remember your school counselor? Maybe you had to go to the counselor's office if you got in trouble. Maybe you kept your nose clean and never saw your counselor. That's not the way things are done at John Baker, an Albuquerque Public Schools kindergarten through 5th elementary in the Northeast Heights. Counselor Barbara Smith knows every single kid and they all know her. It's not because they're in trouble. It's because she's committed to preventing trouble. "Teachers, parents and community members all have different ideas of what counselors do, based on when they were back in school. It's very different. We are part of the educational process now," she says.

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