Safe@School is a provincial project launched in 2007 led by the Ontario Teachers’ Federation (OTF) and the Centre ontarien de prévention des agressions (COPA). The project is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education. As we are all aware, real change requires a concerted, long-term multi-pronged approach. Those who work with and provide care for students are more likely to be successful in creating and sustaining a respectful, safe, and healthy environment for students in a visionary and collaborative environment.
The goal of the Safe@School project is to foster just such innovation and cooperation, highlighting best practices that feature COPA’s unique and constructive approach to violence prevention and the creation of safe, strong and free schools and communities.
All components of the Safe@School project are also available in French at Bien être à l'école.
For more information about how to access training or consultation, contact COPA. For further information about the Safe@School project, contact OTF. To order our Safe@School resources, visit COPA's eBoutique.
The Safe@School website offers teachers and the educational community a repertoire of relevant resources, as well as three different Professional Learning Modules.
These interactive modules were developed using COPA’s unique and inspirational approach to prevention education and are based on the latest research and best practices for creating healthy and safe school environments.
- Bullying Prevention
- Equity and Inclusive Education (focus on homophobia, racism and sexism)
- Parents and Caregivers: Partners in Prevention
Safe@School provides a number of strategies for teachers to acquire knowledge and skills – through our Professional Learning Training Modules, our videos: Taking Bullying Seriously and Hear Me Out, and our hands-on workshops: Power to Change and Allies in Action.
Power to Change for Teachers/School Staff
The issue of bullying has become a major concern in the education sector. Teachers are expected to intervene effectively to prevent and respond to many types of bullying behaviours. Many teachers are concerned about the best way to address the problem and would like more information so as to better understand the issue, along with practical strategies and tools to guide them.
Power to Change is a 1-day workshop for teachers and school staff offered by COPA. The program has been offered (in English and French) around the province since 2007 and has been uniformly rated very highly by participants.
In the workshop, participants explore the issue of bullying at school, including the scope and impact of the problem and learning to distinguish between daily conflict and bullying. They also have an opportunity to learn more about, and practice, our unique approach to intervention with students and peers. They participate in guided exercises designed to enhance their ability to identify bullying situations and to respond constructively. This sharing of experiences and practical strategies in Power to Change enhances capacity and confidence and allows for immediate and positive application in the classroom, lunchroom and playground.
Allies in Action for Teachers/School Staff
Equity issues, such as homophobia, racism, and sexism, are now recognized as having a major impact on the safety and well-being of students and the whole-school community. Teachers are expected to prevent and respond effectively to the many types of discriminatory gestures and comments that compromise student and teacher safety. Many teachers are concerned about the best way to address inequity and would like more information so as to better understand the issue, along with practical strategies and tools to guide them.
Allies in Action is a unique 1-day workshop for teachers offered by COPA. The program has been offered (in English and French) around the province since 2009 and has been uniformly rated very highly by participants.
In the workshop participants have an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the nature and impact of equity issues at school. They also have an opportunity to participate in our guided exercises designed to enhance their ability to respond constructively to inequity and support others in doing so as well. The engaging and experiential format of the Allies in Action workshop results in teachers gaining practical skills that can be applied in their daily work lives.
Allies in Action was developed by COPA in collaboration with La Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne (FESFO), Ontario’s premier Francophone youth leadership agency, and The 519 Church Street Community Centre in Toronto.
To bring the Allies in Action Workshop for Teachers/School Staff to leaders in your school community, contact COPA.
Safe@School provides an opportunity for senior level students to develop their leadership skills regarding equity and inclusion through participation in the Allies in Action for Students.
Allies in Action for Students
Equity issues (specifically, homophobia, racism, and sexism) are now recognized as having a major impact on the safety and well-being of students and the whole school community. Through participation in the Allies in Action workshop, students learn to identify, and respond constructively to, discriminatory gestures and comments that compromise the well-being of their peers. The course is designed to build the capacity of ‘allies’ who wish to exercise their courage and creativity in advocating for other students. Allies in Action gives students the opportunity to share experiences and practical strategies in an engaging and experiential format designed to enhance their leadership skills in the area of equity and inclusive education.
Allies in Action was developed by COPA in collaboration with FESFO, Ontario’s premier Francophone youth leadership agency, and The 519 Church Street Community Centre in Toronto.
To bring the Allies in Action for Students to leaders in your school community, contact COPA.
COPA's wide range of whole-school prevention education programs are components of the Safe@School project.
These tested programs are designed to support all members of the school community, so that they are better able to identify and respond constructively to difficult and dangerous situations. Each of the programs include the following workshop components:
Student workshops are engaging and interactive. A team of certified facilitators lead each classroom in guided discussions, using role play and hands-on activities, to help students learn how to problem-solve and develop constructive violence prevention skills. Following each workshop students can meet one-on-one with the facilitators to ask questions, identify challenges and develop strategies.
Adult Workshops – School Staff
Information, practical strategies and tools are provided during professional development workshops for school staff. The sessions help guide participants in learning how to effectively intervene and proactively prevent the many types of bullying and other forms of aggression that affect their school community.
Adult Workshops – Parents and Caregivers
These sessions emphasize parenting strategies that foster effective communication with children and encourage collaboration with teachers and other school staff in responding to bullying and other violence concerns.
As part of the Safe@School initiative, short educational films have been created to help sensitize and generate stronger commitment to creating safe, strong and free schools and communities in Ontario.
On bullying… Taking Bullying Seriously documents the short- and long-term impact of bullying on young people highlighting student and adult perspectives in this unscripted, moving testimonial.
L’intimidation, c‘est du sérieux! is the title of our original French-language film on bullying and prevention.
On equity and inclusive education… Hear Me Out documents the short- and long-term impact of social inequity (particularly, racism, homophobia and sexism) when played out in the school milieu. Older youth and adults with professional expertise share experiences and perspectives on the importance of fostering healthy and equitable learning environments.
(A video with testimonials by Francophone youth and adults in Ontario is also available called J’ai quelque chose à dire.)
NOTE: A new film and guide is currently being created (Voices for Leadership) with a focus on youth engagement in school settings. Look for the new film and guide in the 2015/2016 school year!
Change Our World (COW) – Website for Youth
The COW site was designed to foster dialogue and listen to the stories, thoughts, and suggestions by youth, as well as those who are working to create healthy, inclusive learning environments. COW provides a number of thought-provoking tools (buttons, posters, and a youth-friendly site: changeourworld.ca) designed to stimulate reflection on the issues of equity, diversity and inclusion among students, teachers and educators in Ontario schools in Ontario.
ONLINE COURSE FOR STUDENTS (EARN COMMUNITY SERVICE CREDITS): COW also hosts COW Cred - providing students in Grades 7-12 with an opportunity to participate in an online course on equity and inclusion. Students in Ontario can earn community service credits toward graduation by participating in this 7-module interactive creative process. Contact COPA for more information about credits, as needed.