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Program Expectations

Your Role In Treatment Planning

To the family: HEC believes strongly in the practices of the Building Bridges Initiative. This means that your treatment will be based on your strengths and the strengths of your family. It also means that we will be looking to you and your family to guide your treatment in every way. We will be working with you and your family, utilizing strict standards for ensuring that you have timely and individualized treatment plan meetings and documents. Your opinions, ideas, wants, and needs are very important in this process. We want treatment to be something you find useful and something you believe will help you reach your goals for your life.

To the youth: You will be encouraged to participate in any part of your treatment planning and to attend your treatment plan meetings when appropriate. In preparing for treatment planning meetings you can help make a list of agenda items, work with staff to set up for the meeting, greet people as they arrive and even lead the meeting if you are comfortable with it. Your clinician and staff will help you with this preparation. You will have regular treatment planning meetings with staff and your family to talk about your goals and objectives, to identify which skills you think are working and which ones are not, and your plan will be adjusted to match these discussions. In addition to having your family at your meetings, you will have the opportunity to tell us which community resources and HEC staff you would like to attend your meetings with you.

To the youth & family: Throughout the treatment process, you will be asked about how well you think interventions and skills are working. We will offer a wide variety of skills and techniques based on your input, because we know not all skills and techniques work for everyone. Our goal is to help you figure out which ones work for you. We want you to leave our program feeling like you have skills and techniques that will work for you wherever you go. To that end, we won’t just be practicing these skills with you in therapy. We will be practicing them with you in school, in the dorm, in your home, and in your community. That way you can have a really good sense of which skills you want to keep in your “toolbox”. We will also be looking to you to identify specific life goals for the near and distant future and ask you to participate in important searches for resources, tours of schools and/or treatment provider locations, meetings, and interviews as you prepare to move on from our program. If you find it hard to speak up for yourself, we will work with you to find the best way to communicate your wants and needs for your treatment.

 

Human Rights

STATEMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Every student of Hillcrest has the right to voice their concerns / complaints, without fear of reprisal. There are several people on the campus who can help you with this. If you / surrogate have concerns that your rights have been violated, you were mistreated or you did not receive adequate treatment services, you may file a grievance. Your concerns must be written and submitted to your clinician. Your clinician will review the grievance and within 24 hours, will notify the appropriate individuals, who will then conduct the investigation of the allegation. These individuals may include, but are not limited to, Supervisors, Program Managers, Program Directors and the Human Rights Representative on your campus. Upon receipt of the grievance, the Human Rights representative will only be involved if it appears that the grievance involves a violation of your rights. The primary role of the individual is not of an advocate, but as an advisor to the investigative committee. You are free, at any time, to notify your agency, lawyer or guardian of your concerns.

 

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE & REPRESENTATIVE

Your Human Rights and Ethics representative is:

 

______________________________________________________________________________

(Print Name)

 

As a member of the Hillcrest Educational Centers (HEC) Human Rights and Ethics Committee, your representative will serve as a source of information on Human Rights and Ethics for students and /or staff.

If you as a student or staff member of HEC have a question or concern relating to Human Rights and /or Ethics you may speak to your representative.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grievance Policies

Grievances or Complaints

When a student or their family has a complaint or feels that their rights have been violated the first step is to contact the student’s clinician to discuss the issue. If the clinician does not respond in a timely manner the lead clinician for the program should be contacted.

If this informal process does not resolve the issue, the formal grievance process should be followed. There is a process for students and a process for parents/guardians.

PARENT/GUARDIAN GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

Informal Procedure

Parents/guardians have rights as outlined in the Parent/Guardian Handbook. The handbook is distributed to Parents/Guardians when a student is admitted and any time upon request.

In the event that a Parent/Guardian feels that the student’s rights have been violated or compromised by a specific staff member or group of staff members, or in any other way while in the program, the Parent/Guardian should follow the steps outlined below:

  • Discuss complaint/concern with the student’s Clinician.
  • Should the Clinician not respond in a timely manner or should this present unusual discomfort or appear threatening to the Parent/Guardian, the Parent/Guardian should contact the Lead Clinician

Formal Procedure

If the Parent/Guardian is not satisfied after the informal procedure listed above, they have the right to file a formal complaint/grievance. The following procedure is the mechanism provided to do so.

All parents/guardians are informed at the time of student admission that they have a right and formal method for formally filing a complaint or grievance. This information is presented verbally and is also written in the Parent/Guardian Handbook.

Step 1:

The Parent/Guardian will submit a written complaint/grievance to the Program Director. The document will state the name of the student, staff (if this is a staff issue), and date and time of the incident which led to the grievance. The Parent/Guardian will also outline the specifics of what happened which gave the Parent/Guardian cause for concern and will also list the informal steps taken before pursuing the formal procedure.

The Program Director, or designee, will meet, or have a phone conversation with the Parent/Guardian within 5 working days of receiving the written complaint. The Program Director, or designee, will communicate a response in writing to the complaint within 5 working days of the meeting or conversation.

Step 2:

If the complaint is not satisfied at Step 1, the Parent/Guardian may send a copy of the original complaint, along with the response from the Program Director, to the Executive Vice President, requesting that the matter be further investigated. The Vice President, or designee, will meet, or have a phone conversation, with the Parent/Guardian within 10 working days of receiving the written complaint. The Vice President, or designee, will communicate a response in writing to the Parent/Guardian within 10 working days of the conference.

Step 3:

If the complaint is not satisfied at Step 2, the Parent/Guardian may send a copy of the original complaint and the response from both the Program Director and the Executive Vice President, to the President/CEO requesting that the matter be further investigated. The President/CEO, or designee, will meet, or have a phone conversation with the Parent/Guardian within 10 working days of receiving the written request. The President/CEO, or designee, will communicate a response in writing to the Parent/Guardian within 10 working days of the conference.

Step 4:

If the complaint is not satisfied at Step 3, the Parent/Guardian may send a copy of the original complaint, along with the responses from the Program Director, Executive Vice President, and President/CEO, to the Department of Early Education and Care (DEEC).

At any time in the process, the Parent/Guardian has the right to communicate their concern or complaint to his/her attorney or a representative of his/her custodial or funding agency.

STUDENT GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc. has the legal and ethical responsibility to provide students with a procedure to follow in instances where they have a complaint/grievance that relates to any part of the program, it’s operation or staff or if they feel they have been subject to discrimination based on legally protected categories (race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability).

In the event that a student feels that their rights have been violated or compromised by a specific staff member or group of staff members, or in any other way while in the program, the student should do the following:

Note: Because students in the ASD program may lack the necessary communication skills, it may be necessary for the parent / guardian to act as a surrogate for the student during this process.

Communicate their complaint/grievance to their clinician in writing, if possible. The clinician will review the complaint/grievance and within 24 hours will notify the appropriate Program Manager/Director who will then conduct the investigation of the complaint/grievance.

The student’s / surrogate’s clinician will submit the written complaint/grievance to the Program Manager/Director. The document will state the name of the student, staff (if this is a staff issue), and date and time of the incident that led to the grievance. The student will also outline the specifics of what happened which gave them cause for the complaint/grievance.

The Program Manager/Director, or designee, will meet with the student / surrogate within 5 working days of receiving the written complaint/grievance. The Program Manager/Director, or designee, will communicate a response to the complaint/grievance to the student within 5 working days of the meeting or conversation.

If the student / surrogate feels that the complaint is not satisfied, the student may send a copy of the original complaint, along with the response from the Program Manager/Director, to the Vice President of Residential Programs, requesting that the matter be further investigated. The Vice President, or designee, will meet, or have a phone conversation, with the student within 10 working days of receiving the written complaint. The Vice President, or designee, will communicate a response in writing to the student within 10 working days of the conference.

At any time in the process, the student has the right to communicate their complaint/grievance to his/her custodial or funding agency.

Contact Policies

Telephone, Mail and Visitation Policy for Family Members

Hillcrest Educational Centers (HEC) believes that ongoing connection, contact, and visitation must occur between the students in our care and their family members (or substitute family members) and that in order to provide the most beneficial treatment, student’s families must be collaborative partners with HEC and the student themselves in the treatment process.

Overview

Ongoing contact with family members of students in support of treatment and permanency goals must be prioritized. Any restrictions on contacts with family members, or type of contact, must be prescribed by the student’s guardian, the court, and/or by the HEC treatment team or treatment policy, due only to therapeutic or safety concern. When restricted by HEC, the rationale and specific restriction must be discussed with the student’s guardian, documented in the student’s treatment plan (CTP) and the student’s contact sheet, and the family member(s) affected by the restriction must be notified. If it is believed that an immediate safety or treatment concern exists, an immediate restriction may be made to address it. The rational and specific restriction must then be clearly documented on a student contact sheet, and any resulting restriction of future contact must be documented according to this policy. No restrictions are allowed for the purpose of punishment or creating motivation.

  1. Mail
  • Students may send and receive mail to all approved parties as indicated on the student’s contact sheet.
  • Campus secretaries are to record all incoming and outgoing mail from/to students, including the student’s name, and whom the mail is from and/or going to.
  • Students incoming and outgoing mail must go through the student’s clinician or designee to help ensure that the proper support is provided the student upon reading it, and to be sure that the mail is according to the student’s contact sheet and contact restrictions for that child.
  • Students must open all mail in the eyesight of staff to help ensure that no contraband is enclosed.
  • Boxes and packages, or envelopes that seem to have items enclosed in them will be required to be opened in the presence of staff and may be searched by staff to ensure that no contraband items are enclosed.
  • Mail is not to be read by staff unless invited by the child to do so, or there is documentation of a restriction to support doing so.
  1. Telephone Calls
  • Students may call and receive calls from all approved parties as indicated on the student’s contact sheet.
  • Students must have the opportunity to make a minimum of three outgoing phone calls per week.
  • Campuses may continue to encourage family members to call the campus on a calling schedule in order to provide opportunity for all members to have access.
  • Staff will continue to dial all outgoing calls and ask for the receiving party for the student.
  • Students may call and receive calls at all times other than when the student or phone is unavailable. Unavailability includes times when the student is participating in required program activities, is far from a phone, other users are on the phone or need the phone, during campus quiet or bedtime, and/or due to the student’s severe behavioral problems. Efforts should be made for the student to make contact as soon as possible after a period of unavailability.
  • Student phone calls may not be conferenced (listening to both sides) or monitored (listening to one side) unless invited to by the student and the family member to do so, or there is specific documentation of the restriction to support doing so.
  • When conferencing (listening to both sides) is the restriction, the family member must be aware that their conversation is being conferenced.
  • Staff will continue to provide supervision of the student’s behavior, emotional state, voice tone, and volume during all phone calls.
  • Staff will document all phone contact including the family member contacted, the length of the call, and any observations of note (from above) on a student telephone contact sheet.
  • When the student and their family member specifically request privacy, arrangements are to be made for the student to have contact with that party in as private a setting as possible where staff eye contact with the student can still occur. This may be modified for our ASD students who require additional supervision which may require that staff remain within eyesight and or arm’s reach to ensure the safety of that particular child.
  • Due to the number of students needing to use the phone and the limited amount of time to make calls, program staff may limit the number and length of phone calls made by students. Students and family members are asked, as a general rule, to limit their telephone contact to no more than one a day and to approximately fifteen minutes, in order to allow others the opportunity to make calls as well.
  • Staff, students, and their families are encouraged to utilize problem-solving, social/interpersonal, and team work skills to negotiate the struggles inherent in sharing phone call times and resources on the campuses.

III. Visitation

  • Upon initial intake (and as necessary following intra-HEC transfer), the student, approved family members, and the treatment team should determine a visitation plan for the student with family members for the first 6 weeks (through the diagnostic period) of placement.
  • Visitation during this time is usually on-campus and supervised as a part of the assessment and acclimation process for students and family members to campus rules, expectations and procedures.
  • Visitation planning should continue at subsequent CTP and Treatment Team Meetings, and should be planned in a minimum of 6-week periods to ensure that the needs of the student, the family member(s), and the program are being met.
  • HEC provides travel for all students who are determined safe to do so and have approved family resources to visit, 6 times per year (usually on an every other month schedule).
  • Given the level of emotional and behavioral difficulty resulting in student’s placement at HEC, certain behavioral and treatment milestones, according to the campus’s treatment and visitation policies, must be met before students will be determined to be safe for off campus and/or overnight visits.
  • The specific format of all visits (on campus/off campus, supervised/unsupervised, day home visit/overnight/extended home visit) is determined by the treatment team (including the family), and based on the treatment progress and needs, safety and risk factors, and the recent emotional/behavioral and psychiatric status of the student and the family.
  • Approved family resources may visit the student if the campus can accommodate the visit. An active visitation plan detailing the type and length of visit, prior campus notification (24 hours or more is appreciated), student availability, and where applicable, supervision and/or interpretation services must be in place or able to be accessed in order for the visit to be approved. All visits must occur during regular campus awake hours.
  • All on campus visits must be planned for by the campus in advance of the family member’s arrival to ensure that a space is identified, and snacks, restrooms, and activities are available for the visitors.
  • Family members with financial and transportation obstacles to visiting the campus may be eligible for some assistance through the agency’s Family Support Fund. Requests for support to help family members get to campus should be made through the campus Lead Clinician and agency Clinical Director.
  • Family support funds will be prioritized utilizing the family support decision tree (prioritizing reunification efforts first, followed by treatment related needs).
  • Due to limited availability of family resources, if necessary, HEC will prioritize student’s reunifying or primary family member.
  • Every effort should be made to accommodate additional court ordered or referral source requests for student transports with reimbursement from the referring agency.

 

Medical Information

The Medical Department

The medical department consists of several licensed professionals who care for all students. The Medical Director is a practicing local pediatrician. Together with his nurse practitioners they are responsible for the student’s overall medical care. This includes annual and periodic examinations as well as assessment of symptoms and specialist referral when necessary. The psychiatrist examines all students on a regular basis. They receive feedback from the interdepartmental team and assess the need for medications or changes as well as consult with other members of the health care team. Nurses are available throughout the daytime hours and on-call during the night. The nursing staff oversees the general health of all students, dispenses medication, and provides treatment during illness or accident. They also guide students in understanding their individual health and well-being. In addition, there is a nutritionist on staff who consults with the agency to provide assessment and assistance as needed. This includes specialized individual guidance as well as menu planning for well-balanced daily intake. The medical department works collaboratively to ensure the general welfare of each student.

 Emergency Medical Treatment

While you are hillcrest our medical professionals will always take good care of you. If you every need medical treatment that our on-site nurses cannot take care of you will go with your staff to the local hospital to make sure you are healthy and safe. Depending on why you need to go to the hospital, you may be driven by staff in a Hillcrest car or van, or you may go in an ambulance. Your family or guardian will always be talked to so they know what is going on.

To Parents/Guardians:

If you child ever has a serious illness and/or a medical emergency include any medical problem requiring hospitalization or emergency room visit, which a student cannot be treated by the onsite nurse, the student will be taken to the nearest local hospital.

If the student’s condition clearly indicates that the student can be moved, the student will be transported in an agency vehicle or other approved vehicle. If there is a doubt about whether the student can or should be moved, or if a student falls from a height of more than fifteen feet, an ambulance is called. An ambulance may also be called if it is believed that the student’s safety requires ambulance transportation. A nurse on campus, supervisor or administrator will make the determination of need to call an ambulance.

In the event of major illness or emergency medical treatment, the you will be notified by telephone by the nurse, administrator and/or attending physician as soon as possible. In the event that you cannot be reached immediately by telephone, a nurse or administrator may send a telegram or may contact local police, DSS, etc., depending on the nature of the illness or emergency. You will be informed of the nature or circumstances of the illness or injury and the student’s medical treatment will be explained. In life-threatening situations, where no parent/guardian is available, the physician or Hillcrest administrator will take responsibility for making medical decisions. The Department of Children and Families, the Department of Education and any other agency that is responsible for the student will be informed of the emergency hospitalization by the Program Director or designee.

REMOVAL AGAINST MEDICAL / CLINICAL ADVICE

 If a guardian or adult client (own guardian) sign out of Hillcrest’s care against medical advice, they will be provided with numbers for a crisis hotline as well as their local DCF office, should they need support. The numbers and information are located on the AMA form that the guardian or adult client will be signing, a copy of that form should be provided to them during this process.

If a guardian is removing a client and the treatment team felt that it was a potentially abusive or neglectful situation due to high suicidal risk, Hillcrest will file a report with the child abuse/neglect hotline. If the client is their own guardian, Hillcrest will notify the crisis team directly.

 

Organizational Structure & Staff Positions

 

Hillcrest Educational Foundation

General Overview of the Organization

(* Senior Management Team Member)

 

Board of Directors

* President/CEO

   * Executive Director (reports to President/CEO)

     * Vice Presidents (report to Executive Director)

–   Senior VP

–   VP of Finance

–   VP of Human Resources & Workforce Learning

  • Department Heads (report to the Senior Vice President)
  • Director of Nursing
  • Director of Education & Assistant
  • Program Support /Facilities Director
  • Program Director
  • Clinical Director

 

Department Staff (report to Department Heads)

  • Supervisors & Assistants
  • Clinical Staff
  • Teachers
  • Nurses
  • Support Services
  • Youth Development Counselors
  • Teacher Aides
  • Related Service Providers

There are many different types of staff who will be working with you and your student on your treatment goals. Here is a list of staff that will be a part of your life at Hillcrest:

1) YDC (Youth Development Counselor): YDCs are staff that work directly with students on the dorm or in the classroom. YDC’s help with daily living needs, following the daily schedule, and working on your skills and treatment goals. YDC’s also help you to learn the rules and expectations of Hillcrest, and remind you of the skills to use when you are having a hard time.

2) Supervisor (and Assistant Supervisor): Supervisors are in charge of running the campus during their shift. There is a supervisor on campus at all times, and they make sure that you and all the other students and staff remain safe. Supervisors are here to help YDC’s, other staff, and students, as well as make sure that everything that is supposed to happen that day gets done.

3) Clinician: Clinicians work with the students, families and agency workers to make a plan for your treatment while you are at Hillcrest. They work with the individual, when applicable, or families to help create goals for treatment, including overcoming behavioral challenges and learning adaptive replacement skills for the future. They also talk with families and social workers, or other involved parties, to make sure that they know how their student is doing, and to assist with planning the next step in treatment after they leave Hillcrest.

4) Teacher:   Teachers at Hillcrest work to create educational goals and instruct staff in the best ways for students to achieve their specific educational goals. They also help families and school districts with understanding how their student learns best, what the student needs in school environment to be successful, and they keep track of student academic progress.

5) TA (Teacher Assistant): Teacher Assistants are assigned to a group of students and work with the classroom teachers to help you meet your educational goals. TA’s also help to give extra support to students in the classroom when they need it, and help the teacher to keep the classroom running smoothly.

6) Nurse: Nurses are on campus during daytime hours and on call during the night. Nurses oversee the general health of all students. They also give student’s their medication, and provides treatment if you are sick or hurt. They also help you to learn about your individual health and well-being.

7) Psychiatrist: The psychiatrist meets with all students on a regular basis. They receive feedback from a team of staff and assess the need for medications or changes. They also work with other members of the health care team if there are questions or concerns about the students medical needs.

8) Nutritionist: The nutritionist works with the nurses and cooks to provide a well-balanced diet for all students. They help the students who need special guidance with the food they eat to be healthy.

9) Cook: The cooks prepare nutritional meals and snacks for the staff and students on campus.

10) Speech-Language Therapist: These are specialized therapists that work with students who need extra help with speech and language skills as noted in their IEP. The Speech-Language Therapist works with students during the school day, usually in their classroom either one on one or in small groups.

11) Residential Coordinator: This individual is responsible for the residential treatment milieu and direct supervision of our residential supervisors and assistant supervisors.

12) Assistant Program Director: The Assistant Program Director is responsible for supervision of certain individual parts of the ASD program (i.e. Academic shift and academic staff ) and acts as the Program Director his or her absence.

13) Program Director: This person is responsible for the oversight and operation of the entire program. The Director ensures the security and well-being of our students and staff while operating a safe program.

 

Student Rights/Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

At intake the student and their family will be given a copy of the program handbook. The handbook covers the procedures related to the specific program and needs of the population. If at this time the individual served is disoriented or lacks capacity to understand their rights, he or she will be issued and informed again when he or she is able to understand the materials and information.

STUDENT RIGHTS

1)         The right to receive treatment

2)         The right to three meals a day and decent, appropriate clothing

3)         The right to a clean safe environment

4)         The right to be treated with dignity, respect and fairness

5)         The right not to be discriminated against

6)         The right to education that provides preparation for living

7)         The right to information about safe sex and communicable diseases

8)         The right to adequate health and medical care and the promotion of healthy and wholesome recreation

9)         The right to be informed of program rules and consequences in advance

10)       The right to confidentiality and privacy for yourself and your family regarding treatment

 

 

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES

1)         To fully participate in the treatment plan process

2)         To cooperate with medical care, medication regimens and recommendations

3)         To know all campus rules and consequences for not following them

4)         To keep yourself and others safe

5)         To make staff aware of any problems

6)         To participate in keeping the environment clean and orderly

7)         To keep yourself clean and maintain proper personal hygiene

8)         To treat others with respect, dignity and fairness

9)         To not participate in or promote discrimination against others

10)       To respect and maintain the privacy and confidentiality of other Hillcrest students and their families

Because our students on the spectrum may not fully understand their role in participating in their educational and or residential care here at Hillcrest staff, families, and guardians are expected to advocate for and assist students in this process.  

 

 

 

 

 

Our Mission

Our mission at Hillcrest Educational Centers is to facilitate the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical growth of our students through the development of new skills that will enable them to succeed in their home community.

The success we have experienced over the last two decades, in making this mission a reality, is due to the nearly 500 Hillcrest staff members who are unequaled in their commitment and performance. As we strive to develop skills with our students that will prepare them for the world beyond Hillcrest, we have come to rely on our local community to continue to provide opportunities and great support for our programs.

It is with confidence that we envision the future. As we broaden the scope of our innovative treatment programs, which will provide more comprehensive treatment options for our students, we do so secure in the knowledge that Hillcrest Educational Centers has become one of the finest treatment and special education facilities in the country. We say this proudly, not for our own benefit, but for the benefit of the children who are, after all, our reason for being and who deserve nothing less than the best.

Guiding Principles:

Every student has the potential to succeed in life

Every member of the Hillcrest community (students, families, and employees) is entitled to unconditional respect

Every student is entitled to individualized treatment and education

Students need our services because they have lacked the skills, resources, or support required to cope with their environments

Families are an integral part of our students’ success

We are committed to assuring that our students reach their full academic potential

We are committed to continuous improvement and learning

We are committed to fiscal responsibility

We are committed to teamwork

We are committed to excellence

Spirituality & Religious Practice

 

Hillcrest Educational Centers recognizes that our students and their families have a wide range of spiritual and /or religious beliefs, values and practices. HEC understands that spiritual and /or religious beliefs, values and practices may be an important source of comfort, support, strength, hope and guidance for our students and their families. HEC also recognizes the importance of trying to understand, respect and support our students’ and their family’s spiritual and /or religious beliefs, values and practices.

In order to support our students’ and their family’s spiritual/religious beliefs and growth, we conduct a spirituality assessment when a student joins one of our programs. Both the student their parent(s)/guardian may participate in the assessment process. HEC will accommodate and support students’ spiritual or religious preference and practice as much as we can within the limitations of our programs.

If a student, or parent/guardian, has any specific questions or concerns about spiritual/religious practice in our programs, please contact the student’s clinician.

 

Bullying & Anti-Hazing

BULLYING PREVENTION and INTERVENTION

 Hillcrest operates three residential treatment and one non-residential therapeutic special education programs in Berkshire County for severely emotionally disturbed and behaviorally disordered youth.

OUR MISSION

Our mission at Hillcrest Educational Centers is to facilitate the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical growth of our students through the development of new skills that will enable them to succeed in their home community.

Hillcrest Educational Centers strives to prevent and respond to bullying, harassment, or teasing. Hillcrest is different from other public and/or private schools in that its students are typically admitted because they have exhibited severely aggressive behaviors, often including bullying. Hillcrest’s treatment/intervention approach is based on the premise challenging behaviors are the result of chronic abuse/neglect and/or developmental disabilities. At Hillcrest, we strive to help our students gain an understanding into their treatment issues and provide them with the skills they need to cope with their everyday stressors in a non-violent, constructive manner.

Anti-Bullying Statement

Hillcrest understands that there are a number of factors that make our students vulnerable to bullying.   We will take specific steps to create a safe, supportive environment for all of our students, and provide them with the skills, knowledge, and strategies

We will not tolerate any unlawful or disruptive behavior, including any form of bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation, in our school buildings, on school grounds, or in school-related activities. We will investigate promptly all reports and complaints of bullying, cyber-bullying, and retaliation, and take prompt action to end that behavior and restore the target’s sense of safety. We will support this commitment in all aspects of our school community, including curricula, instructional programs, staff development, extracurricular activities, and parent or guardian involvement. Campus Administration is responsible for the implementation and oversight of the Plan.


PLAN

The program expects that all members of the school community will treat each other in a civil manner and with respect for differences

Statement of Intent

Hillcrest Educational Centers is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all our students so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our programs. If bullying does occur, all students should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING and LISTENING program. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell someone, in the knowledge that action will be taken.

 What is Bullying?

  • Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.
  • Bullying can be: Emotional; being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding others belonging or making threatening gestures).
  • Physical; pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any other use of violence.
  • Racist; racial taunts or comments, graffiti, gestures.
  • Homophobic; because of, or focusing on the issue of someone’s sexuality.
  • Verbal; name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumors or teasing.
  • Cyber; all areas of internet, such as email & internet chat room misuse, misuse of associated technology, i.e. camera & video facilities.

 Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying?

Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect. Students who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.

Schools have a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.

  Objectives of this Policy

  • All staff, pupils and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is.
  • All staff should know what the school policy is on bullying and follow it when bullying is reported.
  • All students and parents should know what the school policy is on bullying and know what they should do if bullying arises.
  • As a school we take bullying seriously. Students and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
  • Bullying in any form will not be tolerated.

Signs and Symptoms of Bullying

A child may indicate by signs or behavior that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and should investigate if a child:

  • Is frightened of walking to or from school.
  • Doesn’t want to go to school.
  • Begs to be driven to school.
  • Changes their usual routine.
  • Is unwilling to go to school (school phobic).
  • Begins to truant.
  • Becomes withdrawn, anxious or lacking in confidence.
  • Starts stammering.
  • Attempts or threatens suicide.
  • Threatens to or actually runs away from home.
  • Cries themselves to sleep at night.
  • Has persistent or repeated nightmares.
  • Complains of feeling ill in the mornings.
  • Begins to do poorly in school work.
  • Comes home with clothes torn or belongings damaged.
  • Possessions “go missing?”
  • Asks for extra money or starts stealing money (to pay bully).
  • Has dinner or other monies continually “lost?”
  • Has unexplained cuts or bruises.
  • Comes home hungry (money or lunch has been stolen).
  • Becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable.
  • Begins to bully other children or siblings.
  • Stops eating or begins to over-eat.
  • Is frightened to say what is wrong.
  • Gives improbable excuses for any of the above.
  • Is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone.
  • Is nervous & jumpy when a cyber message is received.

These signs and behavior could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered as a possibility and therefore investigated.

 

ANTI-HAZING POLICY

Hillcrest Educational Centers is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all our students so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Hazing of any kind is unacceptable at our programs. If hazing does occur, all students should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING and LISTENING program. This means that anyone who knows that hazing is happening is expected to tell someone, in the knowledge that action will be taken.

What is hazing?

“Hazing” refers to any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in a group) that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.  In years past, hazing practices were typically considered harmless pranks or comical antics associated with young men in college fraternities.

Hazing is done to a person or group of people in order to gain entrance or acceptance into a club, organization, team, workplace or formal group.