Empowering Youth, Engaging Schools
In 2018 New Hanover County Schools began partnering with the National School Climate Center (NSCC) on a school climate improvement and anti-bullying project titled Empowering Youth, Engaging Schools (EYES) for five middle schools. This $1.5 million project is funded through The Harvey L. Miller Family Foundation. Facing History and Ourselves provides curriculum and professional development for the EYES initiative. Murray, Myrtle Grove, Trask, Holly Shelter, and Williston have each spent the past two years of the 3.5-year initiative working to improve school climate. Being chosen by the National School Climate Center has allowed these five district middle schools unlimited access to NSCC’s and Facing History’s extensive resources for staff professional development on bullying prevention, social-emotional learning, youth, and family engagement, and reducing bias. During years two, three, and four of the fully-funded initiative students will have the opportunity to participate in three Youth Summits.
The five middle schools are currently in year two of the EYES Grant and are seeking feedback from stakeholders. On January 27, 2020, each of the participating schools will release the Comprehensive School Climate Inventory (CSCI). Not only will students and staff take this survey, but parents/guardians will be asked to engage, further fostering their involvement in the EYES Grant. Students will also take the Bias-based Bullying Assessment (BBA).
“Myrtle Grove staff and students have been working diligently to improve school climate. We have created action plans that have included more student voice, more active supervision in "hot spot" areas, and a focus of our morning meetings is working to build empathy around the impact of our words. The results of the CSCI and BBA surveys will allow us to measure our impact and see if the work we are doing is being felt by our staff, students, and families,” stated Myrtle Grove Principal Cyndy Bliss.
The surveys will run through February 14, 2020. The staff, as well as parents and guardians of students at Murray, Myrtle Grove, Trask, Holly Shelter, and Williston, can expect a Connect Five call on January 27, 2020, with instructions on how to participate and access the survey.