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Last Thursday, June 2, CSSN visited Mountain View Academy in Calgary Alberta to ask their grade 10 and 11 students for some help.

The Safe Schools Hackathon program uses a ground up approach to learn about social media and cyberbullying directly from those who know it best; students. The Hackathon program engages students in a discussion about cyberbullying, encouraging them to share their own insights based on what they’ve witnessed or experienced online.

We then invited students to pull out their phones. Although Mountain View Academy has a ‘no phones in class’ rule, we got an exemption for this unique learning opportunity. Students took a different look at the apps they used most, noticing commonly used features such as menus, buttons and icons. The program outlined the initial stages of app design and taught students how to develop wireframes and storyboards.  Teams of students were then given time to conceptualize their own apps that could help put an end to cyberbullying. At the end of the session 4 clever concepts were presented.

Each idea suggested offered educational tools and ways of coping with online bullying. A vote was had to determine the winning team, and we are proud to congratulate Emily, Taylor and Suweyda on their winning concept!

The curriculum for the Hackathon program was put together by safe school experts at CSSN and the team at Lighthouse Labs who provided valuable input on app design.

Over the summer CSSN will continue to develop the Safe Schools Hackathon program with the goal of visiting more cities across Canada next fall!

For more information on cyberbullying check out our resource:

https://canadiansafeschools.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Cyberbullying-resource-for-print.pdf

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In high school, the month of June means many things. Although summer is around the corner, this is one of the most stressful time periods for students and educators alike. Exams, projects, university applications, all pile up. It is estimated that 10-20% of Canadian youth (12 – 19) are affected by a mental illness or disorder. This includes anxiety, stress, and depression. The total number of 12-19 year olds in Canada at risk for developing depression is a staggering 3.2 million. The Canadian Safe School Network and YYoga want to encourage high school teachers and students to relax, breathe and restore their mental health during a month long wellness campaign.

Presenting: Crunch time!

For the month of June we’ve created tools to help students de-stress, stay focused, and engage in practices that enhance wellness. The Crunch Time Campaign includes a comprehensive educational resource (in print and online), a series of ‘how-to’ yoga videos, discounts at Yyoga studios, and crunch time yoga events specifically for educators!

The Resource

Yoga in particular is an invaluable wellness practice. Yoga offers extraordinary benefits to both mind and body and can lead to a healthier, more balanced life.  Because of its tremendous value and connection to various aspects of our lives, yoga is woven into each of the 6 main focus areas that comprise the Crunch Time resource.

1. Stress & Burn-out: Learn about how stress affects your body and tips for managing stressful situations.

2. Time Management: Determine what your biggest time wasters are, and set goals to stay on task.

3. Exercise: You know it’s good for your body, but what else can exercise do for you? Find out more.

4. Nutrition: As the old saying goes, ‘You are what you eat’.  Learn about which foods can help you to become a more focused and stress-free student.

5. Sleep: Here are some reasons you should be getting more of it, and tips for catching more Zz’s.

6. Mindfulness: What is it, and how can it change your brain? We’ll fill you in on the importance of the present moment and ways to practice getting there.

Each focus area provides explanations, key definitions, fun facts, tips, and points for reflection. Also included are insights into the advantages of yoga as well as short videos to teach you postures and poses that will help guide your practice.

The Promotions

Drop by any YYoga location and menion ‘Crunch Time’ to receive the following fantastic discounts:

Intro discount – YYoga Introductory offer of 30 days for $40.

Educator discount – 15% off of our 5 class pass, 10 class pass and annual pass

YYoga Student offer –  $99/month pass for unlimited access to all of our YYoga facilities. (Regular monthly cost for a membership is $120/month)

The Events

Stay tuned throughout the month of June as we announce events happening at YYoga studios in Toronto and Vancouver specifically for educators. Based on the Crunch Time Resource, we will present yoga classes featuring poses and techniques related to time management, stress & burn out, sleep, nutrition, and mindfulness, as well as tips on  applying yoga and breathing to the classroom setting. We will be announcing details for these summer events soon!

This month, don’t let Crunch Time get you down. Let the Canadian Safe School Network and YYoga help you feel great and perform your best!

 

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In January, CSSN received over 100 amazing stories written by students across Canada. These stories taught us lessons about kindness, friendship, acceptance, bullying and much more. It was a pleasure to read all the entries and to hear from so many exceptional young people! We want to thank you ALL for sending us your stories!

The winning stories have been selected!

Congratulations to:

1st place winner – “Danika’s PJ Incident” by Jahzara, Suddaby P.S., Waterloo Region District School Board.

TWO Runners Up:

These stories will also be published in the Safe Schools Story Book!

Peter’s Poster, by Hannah, Illustrated by Abby Osler School, Prairie Spirit School Division.

Big or Small, You Can Do It All! by Miranda, Earl Marriott Secondary, Surrey School District #36

These stories were well written, creative and shared important messages. Congratulations on a job well done! We are looking forward to working with these talented authors on publishing the Second Safe Schools Story Book.

But there’s more! We were so delighted by all of the entries we received that we’ve decided to highlight some of our favourites on our website! Once a month we will post entries from the story contest for students and teachers to read! So check back to see if your story is there!

Thank you to everyone who participated in to the teachers who incorporated this initiative into their classrooms.

 

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On Saturday September 26th, the Canadian Safe School Network, in partnership with john st. advertising and sponsored by TELUS WISE, held Canada’s first ever cyberbullying product hackathon. The day was dedicated to producing mobile applications to combat cyberbullying – an issue that every Canadian child faces, whether directly or indirectly.

There were five teams created, which were composed of technical experts (such as coders and web developers) and subject matter experts. We had an eclectic group of individuals participate, representing the following organizations, companies and school boards: TELUS WISE, Telus, Vizwik, Peel District School Board, Conseil scolaire Viamonde, the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO), the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT), PREVNet, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Queen’s University and York University.

From 8 am to 6 pm, the teams worked tirelessly to brainstorm and generate ideas for the cyberbullying apps. By the end of the day, five fantastic ideas were presented. The app ideas were intended for various stakeholders, including student, parents, teachers and administrators, and tackled various kinds of cyberbullying problems.

We want to thank our sponsor, TELUS WISE, and all of our hackathon participants for joining us for such an inspiring, creative and impactful day.

We have a live site that connects to our hackathon – the initiative is called #BullyStop and you can visit the website at http://bullystop.ca/

The purpose of the event was to generate ideas for cyberbullying apps – but we are hoping to work with these ideas to actually produce them. Stay tuned for updates!

 

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Some of our #BullyStop signs, designed by john st.

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Tom from john st. and Ryan from CSSN presenting the opening remarks for the day.

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Gathered around for the morning introduction to the day.

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All our hackathon participants brainstorming away!

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One of the hackathon teams working away!

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On Monday September 28th, the Canadian Safe School Network held its third annual Safe Schools Hockey Pool, hosted by Brian Burke with MC Nick Kypreos. We were happy to have special guests James and April Reimer join us for the evening as well!

We kicked off the evening by a special musical performance by Michael Hanson – the founder, drummer, songwriter and one of the 2 pivotal original members of the Capitol EMI Records band GLASS TIGER from 1985 to 1990. With 5 Juno Awards and a Grammy Nomination, he is considered to be among the elite as a music-hook writer/producer

Over 10 teams came together to take part in a prestigious competition of hockey wit and strategy to choose the ultimate NHL fantasy team. It was an evening full of laughter, entertainment, and delicious food. We saw some good picks and some questionable ones (which Brian Burke was not afraid to call out!) and we can’t wait to see how it all turns out. The fantasy season begins with the regular 2015/2016 NHL season, and we wish all of our teams good luck!

More important than winning the pool, of course, is the contribution you made in attending this event. With the proceeds from this fundraiser, CSSN is able to support educators and students across the country to create safer schools where all children can feel comfortable and secure in their learning environments.

Thank you to our presenting sponsor Scotiabank, and to our supporting sponsors TD and Sportsnet. We also wanted to extend a big thank you to Jack Astor’s and their incredible staff. See you all next year!

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A special musical performance by Michael Hansan

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CSSN President, Stu Auty, presenting the opening remarks

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The one and only Brian Burke, with his trademark tie-over-shoulder outfit

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Nick Kypreos and Brian Burke

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Nick Kypreos and Brian Burke

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April Reimer, CSSN President Stu Auty, and Toronto Maple Leaf goalie James Reimer

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One of the Scotiabank teams – thanks again for your support!

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President Stu Auty with Nick Kypreos and Briane Burke

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Jack Astor’s generously donating $1,000 to CSSN. Thank you!

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Nick Kypreos with the winners of one of our live auction items – two tickets to a Habs vs. Leafs game. Congrats!

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Nick Kypreos and Brian Burke with the CSSN team

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On Friday September 11, the Toronto Argonauts and the Huddle Up Program held a fun fundraiser for the Canadian Safe School Network. Loyal Argos fans and CSSN supporters were able to make donations to paint an autographed-covered Hamilton Tiger-Cats car the Argos double blue colours. Despite the grey skies and light rain showers, over 50 people participated, ranging from young children to adults. The Argos cheerleaders also made a special appearance and helped paint the car as well.

After the two-hour event, we are happy to announce that we raised $342! We wanted to take this opportunity to thank our supporters. We hope you had fun getting messy while helping CSSN – we appreciate your contributions!

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Paint the Car Double Blue sign outside of the stadium!

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The painting station all up and ready to go!

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Front view of the autographed Hamilton Tiger-Cats car.

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Side view of the autographed Hamilton Tiger-Cats car.

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Argos fans with Jason The Mascot!

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The Argos Cheer team getting in on the fun!

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Football themed activities outside of the stadium!

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The finished product. Looks great – Go Argos!

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This past Tuesday, September 8th, 2015, The Canadian Safe School Network’s founder and president, Stu Auty, was interviewed by Stephen LeDrew on CP24. 

Stu outlined a variety of ways that CSSN helps in preventing school violence as well as raising awareness about anti-bullying such as our many educational conferences, direct help supported by TD Bank, and our website that has a variety of resources.

September 8th was also Back to School day which can be an exciting day for many kids but it can also be a day that kids dread if they have been bullied in the past. This is why it is important to raise awareness about cyber bullying as this is a huge issue in this technological day and age where what gets posted online is permanent.

Stu’s advice on cyber bullying was as follows:

  • Adults should take some time to learn about the internet and how it works since it is a technology that is changing rapidly.
  • Parents should look into who their kids are spending time with.
  • Kids who are being cyber bullied should try not to react directly to what is posted online, but rather tell someone in their life like their teacher or an adult they trust.

Check out the full interview here and if you need help with cyber-bullying, you can find resources here.

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On Wednesday September 2, 2015, the Canadian Safe School Network held their first ever Twitter chat, which was part of our social media campaign #TeachTheTeacher. To reach out to parents, educators and other school community members, we facilitated a Twitter chat about how we, as adults, can help LGBTQ youth feel safer as back to school approaches.

We asked four questions:

1. How do teachers integrate LGBTQ topics into their lessons? 

2. How do/can schools create a safer/inclusive/accepting space for LGBTQ students and staff? 

3. What are issues teachers have witnessed and/or students have shared about identifying as #LGBTQ at school and how did teachers respond? 

4. How do teachers personally create a safer, inclusive and/or accepting space for LGBTQ students and staff? 

We had many insightful contributions to our discussion; interesting perspectives were shared and amazing resources were recommended. To see the full chat, check out our Storify on the LGBTQ #TeachTheTeacher Twitter chat below!

https://storify.com/CndnSafeSchools/lgtbq-twitter-chat-teachtheteacher

Given the success of this chat, we have decided to host another Twitter chat! On Wednesday September 16th from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm ETD, we will be discussing the new Ontario Sexual Health Education curricula. We hope you can join us!

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