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DASA, Dignity For All Students Act

New York State enacted the Dignity for All Student to provide students with a school environment free from harassment and discrimination by peers or employees, particularly for those "protected classes" such as race, national origin, ethnic group, religions or religious practice, weight, disability, sexual orientation, gender, etc. 

In support of DASA, Heim's No Put Downs Program is a skill-based behavior program that supports learning and practice in real situations to prevent bullying and promote positive behavior.

The two DASA coordinators for Heim Elementary are:

Heim Elementary A Caring School Community

 At Heim Elementary, we have encouraged and nurtured a caring school community through the efforts of our Wellness Team, Shared Decision Making Team, PTA and school staff. The efforts of Heim Elementary’ s school community groups have resulted in building an effective, school-wide character education program and a positive behavior program for students.

The Wellness Team has centered their efforts on specific external assets of the 40 Developmental Assets for a caring school climate, service to others, and appropriate expectations for growth. The internal assets we targeted were engagement in learning, self-responsibility, and improving interpersonal skills.

The No Putdowns Program is one of the foundations to wellness programming at Heim Elementary. This comprehensive skill building program targets the areas of bullying prevention, character education, and life skills. Annually, we have a No Putdowns Kickoff Assembly sponsored by our PTA. In conjunction with this program, we have developed and fully implemented the Heim Hero Pledge. Our school mascot, Hero, and the Heim Hero Pledge are successful initiatives to promote positive behavior. An engaging aspect of the Heim Hero Pledge is the addition of PAWS, an incentive program, to reinforce the Heim Hero Pledge. The pledge is recited daily on morning announcements:

  • Hands are for helping
  • Everyone tries their best
  • Respect for yourself and others
  • On task in your class
  • Everyone is kind
  • Smart choices
Throughout the school day, each class is able to earn a PAW when the entire class is recognized for following the positive behaviors of the pledge. PAWS can be earned in the cafeteria, hallways, on the school bus and in the Curriculum Extension classes. Posters of the Hero Pledge are in classrooms, hallways and meeting rooms as a reminder of our commitment to this initiative. This has been a motivating addition to the skill building program at Heim.

In October, Heim Elementary students participated in an anti-bullying assembly for Unity Day. The interactive assembly program helped students understand that we celebrate our similarities, differences, and are "one" in unity. This important message was presented by Cris Johnson through his age-appropriate comedy and amazing magic skills. On Unity Day, we wore the designated color of orange. Heim Elementary’s K-4 students completed many activities that focused on understanding friendship, acceptance, teasing, feelings and differences. Students wrote about "why" we are special and "why" we are different. Activities were centered on the story and film, "Spookley" and the book, Have You Filled Your Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness For Kids, by Carol McLoud. It was a great learning day about unity and caring. In addition to the day, our K-4 students signed a We Are A No PUTDOWNS School Heim Hero Poster Pledge that connects our both character education , bullying prevention and life skills program. The No PUTDOWNS and Heim Hero pledge poster is prominently displayed in Heim Elementary’s front hallway.

Heim's Shared Decision Making Team has created Character Education Activities to connect school and home while building character traits. Each month, a character trait is highlighted on the activity sheet with student-friendly quotes, a list of books that have the character trait as the central theme, and a place for students to draw a picture using the trait. The activity is designed for parents and their children to complete together. The monthly character traits are: September-Friendship; October - Responsibility; November - Citizenship; December - Respect; January - Honesty; February - Caring; March - Health & Safety; April - Humor/Happiness; May - Perseverance; June - Positive Attitude. Our students share their activity sheet with their class and teachers display them in the classroom and hallways. The school and home connection has supported our efforts to build a caring school community while developing character traits.

Heim’s Booster Spirit Club reaches out to seniors at an area nursing home, patients at Roswell Park and Veterans with cards, letters and expressions of kindness. We also collect food items for the WNY Kids Helping Kids Food Drive.   The Art Club has created murals that are prominently displayed to show our caring and understanding of community.

Heim Elementary’ s students , staff and school committees have created a caring school community through many initiatives that encourage and nurture the whole child.