Eastland-Fairfield ambassadors make impact

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Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Schools "Ambassadors" are showing prospective students the way as they explore educational opportunities during their high school career.

"We had teachers select 47 students to serve as ambassadors at Fairfield," said Michelle Dille, Ambassador Program advisor, "and we utilize ambassadors in several ways. They help tremendously with our sophomore visits and conduct tours at Fairfield."

Ambassadors-career and technical students enrolled in a variety of programs-serve in various capacities, such as ushering at graduation, assisting with 10th grade visitations, conducting career center tours, and home school visits.

Jackie Argueta  said she helped answer questions about career center programs during a recent school visit and Lauren Van Dyke reported one of her key duties as an ambassador is to ensure tours taken by prospective students run efficiently.

"Part of being an ambassador is doing sophomore visitations," Van Dyke told Eastland-Fairfield School Board members at their Nov. 14 meeting. "They choose a session to preview and we’re there to make it go smoothly for them."

Josh Long, an Eastland Career Center student, combines his school day with classes, labs, service as Region 14 Leadership Team secretary, and acting as an Ambassador when needed.

"We go out and promote the career center," said Long, who is also campaigning for BPA state office. "I look forward to the visitations. They (prospective students) want to be able to relate to the career center and how they can benefit from it."

District Marketing and Recruiting specialist Angela Lehew told the board it is amazing the difference ambassadors make when interacting with prospective students and the public. She said her department appreciates the opportunity to take students along on visits. Ambassadors also assist with eighth grade career presentations in the spring, open houses, and serve as a focus group.

Bullying policy

Board members took the first step in approving a revised policy on bullying and other forms of aggressive behavior. The policy was distributed to the board and is up for approval in December.

"Our present policy was revised to meet a new state law, which requires us to approve the policy by the end of December," said Superintendent Dr. Mark Weedy. "It now contains more definitions and is expanded to things like cyber bullying. The law requires input from parents, students, the community, and board members. We subscribe to a policy service and I sent their suggestions out to all of these groups."

According to the replacement policy: harassment, intimidation, or bullying toward a student, whether by other students, staff, or third parties, is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated. The prohibition includes aggressive behavior, physical, verbal, and psychological abuse. The board will not tolerate any gestures, comments, threats, or actions which cause or threaten bodily harm or personal degradation.

Repetitive and hostile behavior with the intent to harm others through the use of a computer-such as posting slurs on Web sites, sending abusive or threatening instant messages, using camera phones to take embarrassing photographs of students and posting them online, using Web sites to circulate gossip and rumors, or excluding others from an online group by falsely reporting them for inappropriate language to Internet Service Providers-is prohibited.

The policy applies to all activities on school property, while enroute to or from school, and acts that occur off school property if the student or staff is involved in a school-sponsored, -approved, -related activity or function.

Any student or student’s guardian/parent who believes they are the victim of aggressive behavior is advised to immediately report the situation to the building director or superintendent. All complaints that may violate the policy will be promptly investigated and retaliation concerning allegations of aggressive behavior is not tolerated, as are false reports.

The superintendent is required to provide the board president with a written summary of all reported incidents and post the summary on the district’s Web site at least semi-annually. Despite the state-mandated policy, Weedy said Eastland-Fairfield has not experienced problems with bullying or other forms of aggressive behavior.

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