Growing Resilient Students

In the Northgate School District, we focus on teaching and modeling prosocial behaviors for our students. Examples of prosocial behavior include kindness to each other, kindness in the community, respect for self and others, and a variety of skills designed to help each child be a successful student. While we focus on prosocial behaviors, conflicts between children is a natural part of growing up. When conflicts do occur, we work directly with the children involved to help them resolve the issue and most importantly learn from it.  

In recent years, there has been a lot of media attention on the topic of bullying. Pennsylvania defines bullying as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.” The District focuses on helping students develop behaviors that are not compatible with bullying behaviors and learn strategies for how to respond should bullying occur.

Focusing on the Positive

The best time to instill positive behaviors is when children are young and our elementary schools have a number of programs designed to support students in developing behaviors that will serve them during their school-age years as well as through adulthood.  

School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
Both Avalon and Bellevue Elementary schools use the School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) program as the foundation of their behavioral education. SWPBIS expectations include maintaining appropriate personal space, being here and being ready, attendance and punctuality, following directions, being respectful, and being safe.  Teachers then modify expectations based on students’ needs and the environment. Prosocial behaviors are explicitly taught and rewarded with a token reward system. At Avalon Elementary, Good Apple tokens are utilized and Bellevue Elementary students earn Paw Power tokens. Students can collect these tokens and use them for a monthly reward. Teachers award tokens in their classrooms to encourage positive behavior and to provide individual students with extra support.

Holy Family Institute School Based Stop Now and Respond Lessons
Through the Holy Family Institute School Based Stop Now and Respond Program, professionally trained staff members conduct classrooms lessons twice per month on a variety of social/emotional topics to assist our students in developing healthy ways to control their emotions and to make positive choices. These programs are free of charge to the district and are grant funded through the United Way.

HFI School Based SNAP® Lessons 

Lesson 1: Introduction to SNAP®
Learning the basics of Stop Now and Respond, the concepts of self-control, problem-solving and positive self-talk.

Lesson 2: Body Cues
Learn the cues your body gives you when you are experiencing different emotions

Lesson 3: Learning Log
To identify and sequence the events in a situation, what happened/triggered me.

Lesson 4: Dealing with Feelings
Learn how our body and head reacts when we have strong emotions and learn effective strategies to calm down.

Lesson 5: Joining In
To be able to join in and participate in an activity with other children.

Lesson 6: Fair Play and Sportsmanship
Playing by the rules, good sportsmanship, enjoying the game.

Lesson 7: Review-Avoiding Trouble
Children identify their most challenging triggers and proactively use Stop Now and Respond to keep their problems smaller.

Lesson 8: Dealing with Peer Pressure
To learn how to deal effectively with peer pressure.

Lesson 9: Understanding Stealing
To learn the meaning and consequences of stealing.

Lesson 10: Problem Solving and Apologizing
To learn the steps of problem-solving and how to effectively apologize.

Lesson 11: Dealing with Bullying
To learn to identify bullying and strategies for how to respond.

Lesson 12: Complimenting and Rewarding Yourself
To learn the purpose of compliments and rewarding yourself and others.

Lesson 13: Graduation/Celebration
Celebrate the gains that the children have made using the Stop Now and Respond program.


Additional Programs

We also offer a number of other programs designed to promote positive behaviors and create a warm and welcoming school culture.

Kindness Club (Grades K-3)
Through a partnership with JAM Enterprises through the Children’s Museum, both elementary buildings created Kindness Clubs who's “Be the Kind Kind Kid” projects and messages of encouragement to bring positivity to our schools and our communities. 

Compassion Project (Grades 2-4)
The Compassion Project is social and emotional curriculum designed by EVERFI that includes both online and classroom lessons that focus on having compassion for others, being kind, conflict resolution, and sticking up for others who are being picked on. 

Strong Women Strong Girls (Grades 3-5)
Strong Women Strong Girls is a national organization that is dedicated to raising the aspirations and self-esteem of pre-adolescent girls in grades 3-5. The program connects girls with college women and puts them on a path to future life success by increasing social-emotional skills, self-esteem, desire to serve the community, leadership capabilities, and aspirations to attend college or career readiness programs. 

Girls on the Run (Grades 4-6)
Girls on the Run is a national program in which girls are educated and prepared for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. In addition to participating in fun physical activities, girls develop and improve competence, feel confidence in who they are, develop strength of character, respond to themselves and others with care and compassion, create positive connections with peers and adults, and make meaningful contributions to the community and society.

Crisis Center North Coaching Boys Into Men Mentoring Program (Grades 5-6)
The Coaching Boys into Men Mentoring Program is centered around our high school students meeting with our elementary students to develop a positive relationship and to set positive examples. Our student mentors are athletes and share their experiences of how sports and other activities have helped them make positive choices in life, become team players and learn to work well with others. Student mentors also discuss who they are as individuals, their career goals, respect, conflict resolution, and making positive choices throughout life.

North Boroughs Salvation Army After School Program
The North Boroughs Salvation Army After School Program is open to any student who wants to stay after school to receive some homework help and engage in social interactions with peers through crafts and games. A permission slip must be turned in for students who would like to participate in the program. 

Targeted Supports

Beyond our district-wide programs and partnerships, we offer additional supports for students who need extra assistance to be successful. 

Holy Family Institute Core After School Program (K-6 as referred
This program is designed for students who are having difficulty managing their anger and impulses and includes extra support for families including group counseling. Student groups are formed based on gender and age to provide the most appropriate support. Parent groups are created to provide support to families regarding positive ways to communicate with their child while they are having problems dealing with anger.  

These groups meet once per week after school hours in the school setting. Holy Family Institute provides professionally trained counselors, childcare personnel and food for the families involved. Participation in this group is based on a referral from the school counselor and families can request a referral.  

Student Assistance Program (K-12 as referred)
Holy Family Institute provides a liaison to our Student Assistance Team to coordinate school-based counseling for our students and resources for our families. Referrals are based on a combination of the academic, attendance and social/emotional needs of the students.

Youth Advocacy Program (K-6 as referred)
The Youth Advocacy Program is designed to address attendance, attachment, and achievement for school students. This program engages specific individuals to work on changing student attitudes, values and behaviors as well as environmental strategies intended to support and provide resources to families, schools and communities.


In recent years, there has been a lot of media attention on the topic of bullying. Pennsylvania defines bullying as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.” The District focuses on helping students develop behaviors that are not compatible with bullying behaviors and learn strategies for how to respond should bullying occur.

What To Do When Bullying Occurs 
It is very important to report bullying immediately to school officials including your child’s teacher and building principal and include as much detailed information as possible. Once a report is received, it is immediately investigated which may include talking to your child about what occurred, interviewing other students who may have witnessed it, and reviewing video footage. Parents will receive communication from the school throughout the investigation process. If the investigation deems that bullying occurred, the administration team works directly with the students involved to ensure the situation does not continue. Interventions are put into place and may include, disciplinary action, parent conference, Substance Abuse Professional referral.  

More information about the district’s stance on bullying can be found in the Student Handbook which addresses both Bullying and Cyberbullying in conjunction with Board Policy 249 Bullying/Cyberbullying. The Student Code of Conduct includes behavior expectation and consequences for violations and is reviewed with students annually during class meetings on the first day of school.