End-of-Year Report
Please provide a description of how the BSF Funds were used to make a substantial, measurable and
positive impact on student achievement.
Project Title/Area: Circle of Friends
Grade Level/Subject Area Targeted: 4th grade -12th grade
Number of Staff Impacted: 17
Number of Students Impacted: 250+
Goal/Purpose of Project:
Circle of Friends is an inclusion program that aims to build friendships between students with disabilities
and their peers throughout their school community. The goal is to raise awareness, understanding and
acceptance of differences within the school and larger community. Circle of Friends works to decrease
bullying, build relationships and make a significant social impact among our students.
Description of the Activities Completed:
At the elementary level, Circle of Friends occur during 1-2 recesses a week where trained non-disabled
students identify other students, both with and without disabilities, who are playing alone and invite
them to join in on various structured activities. These activities consist of ball games, rope jumping, hula
hopping and other activities such as board games and beading.
At the intermediate, middle and high school levels, students with disabilities are paired with trained
non-disabled peers who meet together for lunches a couple of days a week. Throughout the year other
organized activities occur such as lunch parties, group games and afterschool community outings.
Describe how the BSF Funds made a substantial, measurable and positive impact on student
achievement:
BSF funds have allowed for the Circle of Friends Director and consultant to come to BISD to conduct
workshops and trainings, for more than 15 staff on 3 different occasions this 2014/2015 school year.
The funding has allowed for the teachers to be paid for their time or for a substitute to be provided
when needed in order to attend these workshops. In addition the funds were used to purchase
games/activities for the elementary programs (board games, scooters, cards and other organized
student led activities) as well as to purchase t-shirts for all members and advisors involved with Circle of
Friends.
Please include pictures or other artifacts that can be shared with the BSF Board.
Circle of Friends Members; Blakely Elementary School
Circle of Friends Members; Blakely Elementary School
Paired Circle of Friends group enjoying lunch together: BHS
Quotes from BISD students about Circle of Friends:
“It has been awesome to break down barriers…” - BHS student
“It has taught me to view life from a different perspective” – BHS student
“Just hanging with my friends” – BHS student
“…For me it has been a time to relax and hang out while also making really great friends
through common interests and fun stories.” -BHS student
“I enjoyed CoF because it has enriched my friend group, made a positive difference, and it was
enlightening” - Woodward Student
“Because it is really fun and I feel like this is making me a better person” – Woodward student
“Being able to meet someone who you may have thought was “different” when they’re just like
you” – Woodward student
"This year was our daughter's transition to middle school. When her birthday rolled around, we realized that
party planning wasn't so simple as it had been in elementary when one can sometimes send out an invite to the
whole class. Social dynamics change quickly at this age and the fact that she's had some developmental
challenges complicates things even further. To put it bluntly, she wanted a birthday party that would include
class friends but she really didn't have any yet. So I got in touch with her school's Circle of Friends coordinator
and asked if I could invite the students in my daughter's CoF peer group. Thanks to these truly wonderful
children who are genuinely interested in cultivating friendships with my daughter, we pulled together a very fun
birthday celebration. More than that, it felt like we created an experience for all the kids that will be a building
block for lasting relationships continuing on to the high school and as they become part of this closely knit
community we have on Bainbridge." -Parent of Circle of Friends student
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Circle of Friends