Sandy Hook Remembered

Sandy Hook Remembered

The tragedy that traumatized our country, the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, left us overwhelmed. As many of us have said – ENOUGH! We recently experienced the tragedy at Chardon and just this week there was another shooting. The list goes on and keeps growing! Seeing continued school violence, abuse, and death is a call to action. It is important to remember the critical part we play. No program or approach can claim to be the answer to this problem, but based on my research and experience, I am convinced that there is a great deal more that can and needs to be done. I CHALLENGE YOU TO JOIN ME NOW TO DO IT!

Sandy Hook Remembered [.pdf] 61.0KB
Check Yourself Out [.pdf] 41.0KB
Checklist for Assessment [.pdf] 104.5KB

Sandy Hook Remembered

Are you relieved that we are finally having the broader conversation about this challenge as a country? Many factors contribute to this multilayered and complex issue. Instead of listing what needs to be done by other, my choice is to contribute to the dialogue while working to support change within my profession.

Meeting this challenge needs to be more than a crisis plan, crisis counseling, and memorial services. They are essential, but not enough to realistically meet this issue head-on. I am convinced that we need to focus on what Grow With Guidance offers now more than ever.

The Grow With Guidance System offers over 24 formulas to address dynamics at play in the layers of this crisis including:

  1. General Challenges
  2. Student Skill Development
  3. Student Self-Destructive Behaviors
  4. Student Destructive Behaviors Toward Others

The foundation of each formula includes the Grow With Guidance System. This System focuses on teaching and developing the personal, emotional, behavioral, and social skills (PEBS) in an inviting environment with positive relationships. Accountability, assessment, and evaluation are woven throughout based on specific standards, benchmarks, and indicators. When a comprehensive, developmental guidance system is in place, we are proactive in laying the components necessary for prevention while establishing our ability to respond and not just react when a tragedy occurs.

Check Yourself Out. See how many YES responses you have. The greater number or YES responses, the greater your level of pro-action and prevention.

  1. Do you teach basic personal, emotional, behavioral, and social skills (PEBS) to all students K-12?
  2. Do your students learn the 21st Century Skill scaffolding developmentally, K-12.
  3. Does staff support, participate, and implement those skills taught?
  4. Do you include self-talk, self-picture, relaxation, brain integration, and sensory activities for all students?
  5. Do you have a positive behavior plan for all students?
  6. Does your staff participate in personal and professional growth plans?
  7. Do you include family involvement in the process?
  8. Do you have an inviting school climate plan?
  9. Do you evaluate and use diagnostic assessments to guide your student (PEBS) skill progress every year?
  10. Do you prioritize working with the Whole student?
  11. Do you avoid being focused on academics and testing to the detriment of empowering the whole student?
  12. Do you prioritize your professional time working with all students, staff, and families?
  13. Do you have a reasonable ratio of school ADM to professional in your school district and school?
  14. Do you have an identified resource network for community connections and support?

Check Yourself Out. The Classroom Group Guidance System Checklist is another way you can assess and evaluate your program for pro-action and prevention.

Checklist for Assessment [.pdf] 104.5KB


Personal, social, emotional and behavioral skills are the only constant in every situation. The level of development of those skills determines if one will respond or react over time. —Tommie R. Radd, PhD

Reference: Teaching and Counseling for Today’s World