Discipline; School Safety; Mental Health; Health Initiatives; Tobacco Use; Resilience Promotion; Life Skills; Staff Support; Graduation; California Corner; Resources & Upcoming Events
School Climate Connection Newsletter

Restorative Practices
Successful implementation of restorative justice (RJ) techniques involves creating a "culture of care" that relies on relationships among students and school staff. In a NY school board article, several educators who participated in mock circle exercises in RJ training said the experience of acting out roles as students, parents, and school staff members was eye-opening.

End of Obama-Era Discipline Guidance
A recommendation to scrap the Obama-Era discipline guidance was included in a report released by the Federal Commission on School Safety. This Education Week blog discusses what the
recommendation would mean for schools.
See also:
Washington Post article on the Federal Commission on School Safety recommendation.

Suspension Gap
Child Trend reports that schools are reporting fewer out-of-school suspensions, but gaps by race and disability persist. Read the Child Trend article.
See also:
EdSource article on suspensions and the suspension gap.
EdWeek blog on race and suspensions.
 School Safety
School Safety Resource Guide
The Federal Commission on School Safety has released a comprehensive resource guide for keeping students and teachers safe at school. The report details 93 best practices and policy recommendations for improving safety at schools, divided into three sections based on well-established phases of security planning: Prevent; Protect & Mitigate; and Respond & Recover.

School Safety Policy Recommendations
What role have school tragedies such as the Columbine, Newtown, and Parkland massacres played in state and federal policymaking? Read the insights of researchers and their recommendations to guide policymakers.

Campus Safety Industry
A Washington Post article discusses the thriving business of campus safety, an industry fueled by an overwhelmingly American form of violence: school shootings.

See additional resources in sidebar.
 Mental Health

Making Connections
An Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation initiative in four grantee communities that aimed to increase ties among schools, mental health, and primary care providers reports an increase since 2010 in children being screened from 6 percent to almost half, which in turn boosted access to mental health services. Read the report.

Trauma-Informed Practice
From noticing trauma to responding with trauma-informed practice—information in this new WestEd report from Natalie Walrond and colleagues is presented from interviews with dozens of researchers and practitioners in the fields of early childhood and K–12 education, health, mental health, and social services.

See additional resources in sidebar.
 Health Initiatives

The Prevention Institute and St. Joseph Community Partnership Fund announced the launching of the Intersections Initiative, a model for health system transformation. Funded partners will address community factors that shape health, safety, and wellbeing—and provide a model for other healthcare systems that want to go beyond the exam room and into the community to address the underlying causes of illness and injury.

 Tobacco Use and Vaping

Tobacco-Use Prevention Education Program Outcomes
According to a UCSD study of 58K students in 117 schools, schools funded by the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Tobacco-Use Prevention Education (TUPE) Office have lower rates of tobacco use than other schools. The findings were based on two statewide surveys, the 2016 California Student Tobacco Survey and the 2016 California Educator Tobacco Survey.

E-cigarettes, or vaping, are incredibly addictive and particularly appealing to teens. This abc7news article discusses the rise in use of e-cigarettes (or vaping), their appeal to teens, and how product developers are responding to research and public criticism that they are addictive and harmful. Research shows the percentage of 12th graders who reported vaping nicotine in the past 30 days has nearly doubled.

Prevention Research
The Smoke Free Schools Act of 2018, a  measure introduced this month, instructs the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to partner to "study best practices for schools to implement policies to address e-cigarette use among students.” Read more.

 Resilience Promotion

Special Education Strategies
A special education teacher has developed worksheets to help all students identify and manage their stressors. The four-step process for building resilience includes teaching students to identify their stressors; identify what students do when stressed; brainstorm alternative ways to respond to stressors; and apply and maintain the coping skills.
 Life Skills
Many high school students believe their schools aren't adequately preparing them for challenges they will face in college, career, and life, a new survey, administered on behalf of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, of current and recent students finds. The report's authors concluded that better school environments and better integration of social and emotional development into schools' core work could help address some of those factors.
 Staff Support
Staff Wellness Resource
National Association of Chronic Disease Directors released a new resource to assist school districts and schools in establishing or enhancing an employee wellness initiative. The guide includes worksheets, templates, and resources as well as real-world examples from school districts that have successfully worked to improve employee wellness.

Staff Engagement
Almost all school leaders think that teachers are involved in making important school decisions—but just over half of teachers would agree, according to a new survey from the RAND Corporation. Past research has found that when teachers have decision-making roles outside of the classroom, their students perform better on state tests.

New Teacher Priorities
An Edutopia article offers some guiding principles to help new teachers remain grounded and focused while also building confidence and professional capacity.
 Alternative Graduation Programs
Credit Recovery Courses
California’s steady rise in high school graduation rates has been a highly visible and well-publicized education success story. This LA Times article suggests some of that progress could be a sham due to low-quality “credit recovery” courses — makeup classes that let students who fail in a subject get back on track to graduate. The author notes that “since the design and delivery of the classes aren’t standardized, and they aren’t being carefully monitored or widely assessed, too little is known about their quality or how widespread low-quality programs are in California,” and expresses concerns that “credit recovery programs have turned from second chances to graduate into a second and inferior track to graduation.” Compounding the problem, the high schools with the highest credit recovery participation have far more poor and minority students than other schools.
 California Corner

2018 School Ratings Released
According to a comprehensive state report card released by the California Department of Education, the state identified 374 school districts out of roughly 1,000 that qualify for additional help based on the “school dashboard” system ratings. School districts that qualify for the “State System of Support” show such low performance or so little progress among student groups that they fall into a “red zone” on two or more educational indicators, from test scores to suspension rates and chronic absenteeism. Learn more about the dashboard.

Mental Health Training
A new $80,000 grant will be used to train San Bernardino County school staff to provide "mental health first aid" while working to connect students with services. Learn more.
CalSCHLS Helpline:  888.841.7536
CalSCHLS Helpline:

SCCN #72  12/20/18
In this issue:

 School Safety
 Mental Health
 Health Inititatives
 Tobacco Use
 Resilience Promotion
 Life Skills
 Staff Support
 California Corner
Upcoming Events


Free Training
Youth Mental Health First Aid training from CDE
Information  &  Flyer
School Health Publications

School Violence Prevention
Sandy Hook Promise video
Point of View

Homeless Training
Nation Center for Homeless Education
Self-Paced Online Training
PowerPoints, Videos, Webinars

Homeless Resources for
State Coordinators, Local Liaisons

 Upcoming Events

FREE Webinars
Webinar Series:
Homeless Youth and Schools

Paving the Way to College for Students Experiencing Homelessness
(Handouts available online)
Tue, Jan 8, 11:00 am (PT) 

Determining Eligibility for McKinney-Vento Rights and Service
(Handouts available online)
Wed, Jan 16, 11:00 am (PT)

McKinney-Vento 101: Understanding the Rights of Students Experiencing Homelessness
(Handouts available online)
Thur, Jan 24, 11:00 am (PT)
Mon,  Feb 11, 11:00 am (PT)

Understanding Doubled-Up
(Handouts available online)
Tue, Feb 5, 11:00 am (PT)

Supporting the Education of Unaccompanied Students Experiencing Homelessness
(Handouts available online)
Thur, Feb 28, 11:00 am(PT)

Information & Registration
The School Climate Connection Newsletter is provided through a partnership between the California Department of Education and WestEd. Its purpose is to disseminate current information about, and provide educators with, learning supports for school climate assessment and intervention, including up-to-date information on California's School Climate, Health, and Learning Survey System (CalSCHLS).

Find tips and resources on improving your school climate on the Safe and Supportive Schools website at
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