The academic year 2022-2023, together towards a safe environment in schools
The school year officially began September 9 at San Agustin School of the Augustinian Recollects in Valladolid. It was a Friday filled with reencounters, smiles, hugs, and lots of sharing of what each experienced during summer vacations. Significantly, all the pandemic norms are now a thing of the past.
The pastoral motto of the year, "Together," was the topic explained in the first school year Holy Mass which also fell on the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, September 25. Families of students, teachers, and the religious community expressed the desire that it be an academic year full of great moments, a favorable climate, a hopeful spirit, and effective teaching and learning.
The Eucharist was presided over by the school's titular director, the Augustinian Recollect Friar Juan Luis Gonzalez, who took the opportunity to present the new community superior to the entire school community, Friar Rafael Mediavilla.
Like in the past, all the actions to keep a safe environment at San Agustin School for all the students will be of great importance. Since 2018 this Recollect school has implemented the minors' protection program of the EducAR Network, which is enforced in all the Augustinian Recollects schools worldwide.
The objective is to increase and promote a culture of promoting a safe environment that guarantees absolute safety for any vulnerable person and the protection of the rights of minors. The program is included in the Tutorial Action Plan of each group. It is carried out with the students as protagonists through workshops that provide the tools that guarantee their entire well-being and safety.
The school has made this information available to the students' families through leaflets explaining the two axes of the Child Protection Plan: internal structures, protocols, and procedures.
Concerning the structures, a commission for the protection of minors has been set up, composed of administrative staff, educators, parents, and students responsible for articulating everything necessary for everyone's awareness to prevent abuse.
In addition, the school offers a series of protocols, procedures, and documents that make up the protection system, including a public statement, a code of conduct for adults, a risk map, and a clear protocol of action. Another strong point is training through workshops for educators and awareness to the entire school community. There are eight workshops for each academic year:
- Introduction. Rights and needs of the child. Students from 5 to 17 years old, school staff, and families.
- Learning to take care of ourselves. Sexual abuse. Students from 5 to 17 years old, school staff, and families.
- Learning to take care of ourselves. Trust and secrets. Learning to ask for help. Students from 5 to 17 years old, school staff, and families.
- Learning to take care of ourselves: relationships between equals. Harassment and cyberbullying. Students from 9 to 17 years old, school staff, and families.
- Learning to take care of ourselves: responsibilities and the care for others. Relationships with teachers and staff. Students from 15 to 17 years old, school staff, and families.
- Internal systems for the protection of minors: protocols, guidelines, codes of conduct. Center staff and families.
- Resources for the performance of educators. The staff of the center.
- Detection and action outside the school environment. Families.
Finally, a complete communication system is open to students, families, and staff to collect any doubts, comments, questions, or complaints. For this, a phone number, a specific email, and an application called ConvivApp are available.
The application tries to identify as soon as possible and take immediate action in the event of any incident related to physical, sexual, psychological, cyberbullying, or any other impairment of the right of the minor.
All students and teachers who own a cellphone have this application in them. Every week a teacher manages and reviews if any incidents require any emergency response with the collaboration of the help group formed by the students themselves and other mediators that may be needed.
Intervention is carried out between equals, considering different aspects such as whether the case is recurrent, whether it is feasible to reach an agreement, and whether or not there is a possibility of mediation between those involved. In addition, guardians inform families of the entire process.