We believe that school stakeholders, including youth and families, are experts in their own contexts and that they have the will, the ability, and often the resources to transform their schools.
What we offer is the time, expertise and connections to help fill in gaps, and, together, the objectivity to coordinate, streamline, and transform.
PSVI partners with schools and communities to create the conditions necessary for young people to thrive socially, emotionally, and academically and achieve success in all aspects of their lives, now and in the future.
Our team works to accomplish this mission in a number of ways.
We are a research-to-action organization to ensure that our work is grounded in robust research that evolves because it remains current.
We engage in community- and state-level policy development, implementation, and advocacy.
We partner with schools, districts, and communities to create a range of opportunities to engage in the transformation process, from one-day workshops to multi-year projects.
We act to connect stakeholders in school communities across Illinois, facilitating access to people, ideas, and resources.
how we got here
PSVI was convened in 2010 as a broad-based coalition of school stakeholders interested in transforming Illinois’ anti-bullying law to account for the impact of bias on bullying experiences and to provide schools with the guidance necessary to engage in effective prevention and intervention. In one legislative session, PSVI accomplished its goal when a comprehensive law that defined bullying for the first time and enumerated categories of youth and social groups most vulnerable to school bullying was signed into law. The law also created the Illinois School Bullying Prevention Task Force, whose charge was to uncover the reasons bullying happens in schools, determine how to stop it, and return a set of recommendations to the state’s legislative body. Early in that process, the task force heard from two of its members, both researchers whose work focused on the experiences of children in the K-12 setting with bullying and harassment. These researchers presented on the state of research on issues of bullying and prevention, the overarching conclusion of which was that curricular bullying prevention programs, divorced from a school’s other initiatives, showed little to no sustainable efficacy. Fortunately, the researchers also shared with the group what effective bullying prevention could look like. Thus, the task force embarked on a process of researching and writing about the main components of what it would ultimately recommend to the Illinois General Assembly and to school communities across the state: in order to effectively prevent bullying, we must create conditions for learning and development by committing to a continuous process of comprehensive school transformation.
What We've Achieved
Developed a first of its kind Bias-Based Bullying Survey to assess youth’s experiences with bias-based bullying victimization and perpetration
Hosting quarterly workshops for teachers, counselors, community organizations, and other school stakeholders to examine a particular aspect of school transformation through interactive storytelling and skill-sharing
Participating with a coalition of advocates and community organizations to develop tools and resources to support schools to implement Illinois’ new discipline laws