The Lawrence school district is embracing an effort by Kansas University researchers to translate an anti-bullying program from Finland into U.S. schools.
The project, led by KU’s Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis and the School of Social Welfare, will be analyzed by teachers in the Lawrence district this year, with a potential pilot project expected to be launched in selected fourth-grade classrooms in 2012-13.
The researchers’ goal is to implement the KiVa program in the United States. The Lawrence district offers an opportunity to gather data in a system where many schools already have existing plans of their own to ensure that students feel “welcome and safe and comfortable” in school, said Kim Bodensteiner, the district’s chief academic officer.
Other researchers already have indicated that the KiVa program, started in 2007, has reduced bullying incidents in half.
“We’re always interested in reviewing something that has been successful elsewhere,” said Kim Bodensteiner, chief academic officer for the district. “Bullying is something that we definitely are paying attention to, and want to make sure we are preventing and addressing. We are looking forward to reviewing the materials.”