GUIDESHEET FOR FINAL REPORT – Advisor Summary
Please include all information listed below in your typed one-page report.
SCHOOL/ORGANIZATION NAME: St. Vincent de Paul School
GRADE LEVEL(S): 7-8
ADVISOR(S) NAME: Rachel Schank
8th graders 7th graders
1. PROBLEM STATEMENT
Describe, in specific terms, the problem you have selected. Based on your research, list at least three
facts about this problem.
The team chose the problem of vandalism, damage to property by individuals who do not
own the property, both in our school in our town of Mt. Vernon, Ohio. During their research the team
members discovered that although many acts of vandalism can be attributed to the drug community,
acts of vandalism are committed by many different kinds of people for many different reasons. They
also discovered that the best way to stop vandalism is to be proactive in taking preventative measures
in areas that are frequently vandalized. Another way they discovered to prevent vandalism is to
educate the community about vandalism and how to address it.
You should also answer the following questions:
The team came to this problem with pre-knowledge of acts of vandalism that had been
committed in and around our school. Student projects displayed in the hallway had been damaged,
and the newly renovated bathroom walls had been defaced. The school playground had equipment
sabotaged and a parking lot gate had pieces removed from it. During the course of the project new
acts of vandalism were discovered in the town’s new park, graffiti on surfaces and damage to
equipment and permanent displays.
While the problem is not life threatening, the student team felt that the problem of vandalism
gave both the school and the community a bad reputation when others viewed or heard about the
vandalism. It made students worried about displaying their work, worried about going to the
bathroom and seeing words that made them uncomfortable, worried about the safety and cleanliness
of the playground, and worried about going to the new park. The team agreed that witnessing acts of
vandalism caused stress, something they were studying in their health classes.
The team felt that those who owned the property that was vandalized were most affected by
the problem since that was who had to fix or pay for the damages most of the time. They felt that
anyone who saw the vandalism and felt uncomfortable were also affected, and that acts of vandalism
in a community affected the whole community’s views about the safety, security, and pride in their
2. POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
What possible solutions to the problem did your team identify? Who would need to be involved to
implement your recommendations? What person(s), organizations, or agencies could you contact for
help or information? To whom are recommendations directed? Provide one or two statements about
Students felt that the best way to address vandalism inside our school was to ensure all grades were
educated on what vandalism is and what to do when they see vandalism or witness the act of
vandalism. They felt that the teaching staff and school administration had to be involved in
implementing an in-school educational program, and all the students had to be involved in the
education. Students also wanted to involve the local police department in educating students, but
were unable to coordinate this help.
Recommendations were that students should be pre tested on their knowledge of vandalism ,engage
in educational activities to be educated on who is a vandal, what vandalism is, where it occurs, why it
occurs, and what to do about it. Students should then be post tested on their knowledge with
additional education to address areas where the post test showed students were still confused.
The team felt the best way to address vandalism outside the school, in the town’s new park, was to
educate the community, support those whose property was vandalized, and increase pride in the park
by hosting a community 5K event to raise cleaning supplies and funds for the Parks department. The
Parks department’s events committee and maintenance crew, as well as the school administration
needed to be contacted to get information and help for this event.
Recommendations were that students would organize a 5K course in the park with educational
information about vandalism included in the pre-race speech, around the course in the form of water
stations, and in the free t-shirts or wrist bands given out to runners. The cost for runners to participate
would include park requested cleaning supplies or monetary donations to support the park’s cleaning
and maintenance. Costs for creating the event would be offset by local business sponsors.
3. ACTION STEPS
What steps have you taken to contribute to solving this problem and/or implementing your
recommendations? Have they been (or do you believe they will be) successful? Why or why not?
List and describe as many as possible.
The team was able to implement their plan to teach the students of St. Vincent de Paul school about
vandalism. First the team gave each grade level a pre test, then they taught them about vandalism
with lesson plans. The lessons included each student creating something, a beautiful paper flower, or
a picture of something they loved, and then having it vandalized by other students. The original
student had to try to erase the damage done to their work. A follow up discussion helped the classes
understand what vandalism is, the damage vandalism causes to relationships and communities, and
what to do about it. The team then post-tested the students to see what they had learned and what
they still didn’t understand about vandalism. To follow up, the team led a new educational activity
the following school year. Teams led “families”, groups of students from different grade levels,
around the school to discover pretend acts of vandalism. When the vandalism was discovered the
teams showed their families what to do: to report what happened to the nearest authority figure and to
clean it up. After a game of “Guess the vandal” teams led their groups in a discussion with the
pretend vandal on why vandalism is committed, and how to react. I believe the education was a
success. Post tests following the first activity showed that students understood more about vandalism
after the first educational activity than before it. I felt students should be post tested again after the
second educational game, but this recommendation was not adopted by the student team. However,
acts of vandalism have not been occurring inside our school since the education began.
The team was unable to implement their recommendations for including a police officer from the
local police department. The team members relied on the school’s principal to use her connections to
contact the police department instead of doing it themselves. I believe if the students had made the
effort to call the department themselves they may have had more success securing an audience with
the department and the educational representative they wanted for educating the school.
The team was also unable to implement their recommendations for the Ariel Park 5K run. Their lack
of success in this endeavor is two fold. Again, students relied on the school principal’s community
connections too heavily to plan the event instead of making the calls themselves. However, the Parks
department is currently undergoing a major re-staffing, leaving a tricky environment for this kind of
event planning, and this was outside of the student’s control. Students did work hard to form an event
plan. Ultimately if they had been successful in securing an audience for their recommendations I
think they event could have been very successful towards their goals.
What were the results of the team’s endeavors? How did this project solve the issue or problem on
which the students concentrated? How is the school, neighborhood, community, etc better because
of the students’ project?
Incidences of vandalism in the school have not been reported since the educational strategies were
implemented.In this way the team was successful. The team’s educational events also created
further bonds between grade levelsby creating educational events that included all grade levels