What is Lunch Bunch?
Lunch Bunch is held with Ms. Bragen, Social Behavior Support Specialist (SBSS). Lunch Bunch meets informally once per week during students’ lunch for approximately 6-8 weeks’ duration. Lunch Bunch is part of a school-wide prosocial skills enhancement initiative and is completely voluntary. Areas of focus may include: social skills, self-esteem, peaceful conflict-resolution, building/maintaining friendships, coping skills, understanding & expressing emotions in healthy ways and more. Students are chosen based on teacher, parent or counselor referrals & are grouped according to grade and area of focus. If you are interested in learning more about Lunch Bunch, please contact Jessica Bragen, Social Behavior Support Specialist at 732-291-1330 ext 4699 or BragenJ@middletownk12.org.
Y School-Based Counseling Services
The Community YMCA has partnered with Leonardo Grade School to offer 1:1 therapeutic counseling sessions in the convenience of the school which helps empower children to cope with difficult situations. School-based counseling services address behavioral and emotional needs. CYMCA accepts Medicaid as well as private insurance from Aetna and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield. For more information or to request a referral, contact Jessica Bragen, Social Behavior Support Specialist at 732-291-1330 ext 4699 or BragenJ@middletownk12.org.
If you are concerned that your child is the target of harassment, intimidation or bullying…
You may make a report directly to the school principal or to the SBSS/Anti-Bullying Specialist. Reports can also be made anonymously here.
It is important to remember that elementary age students are learning to cope with new social and academic demands, as well as how to navigate friendships and resolve conflicts in a peaceful manner. These challenges can lead to what is known as a conflict between students; conflict differs from harassment, intimidation and bullying. It is our role to promote prosocial strategies for engagement as well as teach & model empathy and appropriate conflict resolution skills.
The state of New Jersey defines Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying as the following:
"Harassment, intimidation or bullying" means any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, whether it be a single incident or a series of incidents, that is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory [handicap] disability, or by any other distinguishing characteristic, that takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function [or], on a school bus, or off school grounds as provided for in section 16 of P.L.2010, CHAPTER 122, that substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students and that:
- a) a reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of physically or emotionally harming a student or damaging the student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm to his person or damage to his property; [or]
- b) has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students [in such a way as to cause substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school]; or
- c) creates a hostile educational environment for the student by interfering with a student’s education or by severely or pervasively causing physical or emotional harm to the student.