Goshen Banner
District Contact Information

Daniel T. Connor
Superintendent

227 Main Street
Goshen, NY 10924
(845) 615-6720

Central School District

Safety, Health & Wellness

The New York State Dignity for All Students Act

DASA PowerPoint
View a PowerPoint about Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination in NYS Public Schools

The New York State Dignity for All Students Act (DASA or Dignity Act) went into effect on July 1, 2012, in order to further support students within a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment and bullying. Under the Dignity Act, harassment is defined as "creation of a hostile environment by conduct or verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student's educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental or physical well-being."

The Dignity Act states that no student shall be subjected to harassment or discrimination by employees or students on school property or a school function based on their actual or perceived:

  • race

  • color

  • weight

  • national origin

  • ethnic group

  • religion

  • religious practice

  • disability

  • sexual orientation

  • gender

  • sex

 

View a video for parents about the Dignity for All Students Act

 

Dignity Act Coordinators and other school requirements

The Dignity Act requires that each school within a district have at least one staff member who is trained to handle non-discriminatory instructional counseling methods and handling human relations. If you or your child has an act of bullying to report, please contact your school's Dignity Act Coordinator or designee. See right-hand side bar.

In addition, schools are required to provide training for their employees to underscore the importance of a positive school environment that is free from discrimination and harassment; to raise awareness and sensitivity about discrimination and harassment; and to discourage, prevent and respond to discrimination or harassment on school property or at a school function.

As part of the annual requirement to familiarize students with the Code of Conduct, schools are also required to inform students of behavioral expectations under the Dignity Act.

Supporting positive environment in our schools

Goshen's four schools all have character-building, positive climate and anti-bullying initiatives and programs.

Scotchtown Avenue Elementary School

Responsive Classroom: Responsive Classroom is a school-wide approach used to help children thrive academically, socially and emotionally. It has several basic principals that build character, responsibility and mutual respect. Each teacher holds a morning meeting where students greet each other, share news of interest with their peers and participates in an activity. This daily routine builds a sense of community, teaches courtesy and politeness and enforces self-confidence and respect.

School rules: Scotchtown Avenue has simple, building-wide rules. They include - listen to the speaker, keep your body safe and in control, take care of classrooms and school, treat others with kindness.

Character Education units and lessons of study: Each classroom and grade level is equipped with a character education binder and lessons/units pertaining to acceptance, tolerance, and basic character skills.

Watchful supervision: All faculty / staff members are trained in the requirements of the Dignity Act. Areas are well-staffed and well-equipped to ensure the safety of all students.

Student assemblies: A student assembly will be scheduled to review with the students who they can go to for help for incidents of harassment. The PTO also brings in performers to echo a character-building message.

General classroom instruction: Many of the early picture books involve messages of character development.

Goshen Intermediate School

Positive Behavior Interventions and Support: The Goshen Intermediate School has set three behavioral expectations: to be Respectful, to be Ready and to be Safe. These are taught in the beginning of the school year.

Peaceful Playground: Different playground areas with different activities minimizes negative behavior.

GIS Behavior All-Stars: Each Friday, students are rewarded for good behavior. The All-Stars are displayed on grade level bulletin boards and announced during morning announcements, are recognized during lunch and receive the star and sticker from the principal.

Cyberbullying awareness: Students learn about cyberbullying during computer lab.

Classroom curriculum: Health units focus on personal and mental health, stress management, suicide prevention, violence prevention and social tolerance; physical education curriculum promotes character education, cooperative learning and team building; general classroom curriculum promotes positive learning environments and appropriate behavior.

School and PTO sponsored activities: Father/Son Fitness Night addresses team work and unity; the Mother/Daughter Tea spreads a message of tolerance and acceptance; the Walking Club, held during recess, allows students to work together toward a common goal of completing laps. Studet assemblies and activities are continually held to build character and support a safe and healthy learning environment.

Watchful supervision: All faculty / staff members are trained in the requirements of the Dignity Act. Areas are well-staffed and well-equipped to ensure the safety of all students.

C. J. Hooker Middle School

Cyberbullying awareness: Students learn about cyberbullying while in the classroom and while using the computer lab. Cyberbullying Awareness week takes place in January so that students can learn more about Internet safety.

Rachel's Challenge: Rachel's Challenge is an emotionally-charged school assembly based on the life of Rachel Scott, the first victim of the Columbine High School tragedy in 1999. The program’s goal is to help schools across the country create safer learning environments by inspiring students to change the way they treat others. The assembly was offered in November 2012.

Peer mediation: This group provides students with the knowledge and skills to resolve their own problems. Students are trained to be peer mediators. Students can be referred to mediation by teachers, staff, or other students.

Mentor Program: Middle school faculty and staff serve as mentors to students in the building. Mentor programs have historically proven to be highly effective in helping students succeed in many areas of their development. The middle school program blends emotional development, social and interpersonal skills, and academic achievement through encouragement, instruction and modeling good behavior practice on a one-to-one basis.

Salvaging Sisterhood Girls Group: The purpose of the group is to teach girls to communicate efficiently and effectively with one another. It helps raise awareness, develop empathy, teach healthy conflict resolution, explore feelings, and promote positive change in female relationships. Groups run on an 8 week cycle, and a new group starts every 10 weeks.

Student assembly: Principal William Rolon and Assistant Principal John Piscitella explained the Dignity Act to students. Assemblies about DASA will be held throughout and outside resources will be offered.

Watchful supervision: All faculty and staff members are trained in the requirements of the Dignity Act. Areas are well-staffed and well-equipped to ensure the safety of all students.

Clubs and activities: Various clubs promote awareness toward positive social interaction and respect for others such as the Leo’s Club, Girl Talk, Student Government, Global Awareness, Student Activities, Newspaper and French Club.

Goshen High School

Rachel's Challenge: Rachel's Challenge is an emotionally-charged school assembly based on the life of Rachel Scott, the first victim of the Columbine High School tragedy in 1999. The program’s goal is to help schools across the country create safer learning environments by inspiring students to change the way they treat others. The assembly was offered in October 2010 for freshmen and sophomores - now juniors and seniors.

Friends of Rachel (FOR) Club: Members of the Friends of Rachel Club partner with Rachel's Challenge to continue the chain reaction of kindness and compassion in the high school and local community. The club's main goal is to help create a permanent cultural change in our school of tolerance, respect and kindness.

Peer mediation: This group provides students with the knowledge and skills to resolve their own problems. Students are referred by their teachers or apply to become mediators, who are trained to counsel students who are experiencing conflicts with peers.

Student assembly: Principal Kurtis Kotes and Student Services Coordinator Joe Palancia, who are the high school's Dignity Act Coordinator and designee, will host an assembly for the student body in order to discuss and explain the Dignity Act.

Watchful supervision: All faculty / staff members are trained in the requirements of the Dignity Act. Areas are well-staffed and well-equipped to ensure the safety of all students.

 

 

More Information

Dignity Act Coordinators

Scotchtown Avenue Elementary School
Amy Prasky, principal
(845) 615-6600
amy.prasky@gcsny.org
 

SAS Designees
Mary Kay Jankowski
615-6635
marykay.jankowski@gcsny.org

Goshen
Intermediate School

Jason Carter, principal
(845) 615-6500
jason.carter@gcsny.org

GIS Designee
Chris Haller
615-6512
chris.haller@gcsny.org

C. J. Hooker Middle School
William Rolon, principal
(845) 615-6300
william.rolon@gcsny.org

CJH Designee
Jennifer Blake
(845) 615-6630
jennifer.blake@gcsny.org

Goshen High School
Robert McKiernan, principal
(845) 615-6100
robert.mckiernan@gcsny.org

GHS Designee
Joe Palancia
(845) 615-6138
joe.palancia@gcsny.org

More information

NYSED Dignity Act Website

NYS Center for School Safety

Internet Safety and Cyber bullying Awareness

Information about gender neutral bathrooms

Parent Brochure (PDF)

Staff Brochure (PDF)

NYSED DASA Brochure (PDF)

Code of Conduct (PDF)

Code of Conduct Plain Language Summary (PDF)

Dignity for all Students Act Policy (PDF)