Strategies Implemented Nationally.
Read how districts
are focusing on outreach, improving school climate, and addressing students’ life challenges to cut chronic absenteeism, reflecting increased awareness of its adverse effect on learning and ESSA reporting requirements.
The Regional Educational Laboratory West reports on how it works with partners to develop strategies for building a “culture of attendance
,” including using data to better understand and identify ways to reduce chronic absenteeism and its negative consequences. Resources are also provided.
Bullying May Alter Brain and Increase Mental Health Risks. Researchers report
that teens who are regularly bullied by their peers may be left with shrinkage in key parts of their brain, increasing their risk for mental illness. Early peer victimization interventions could prevent such pathological changes.
Resources. Campus Safety
has published important bullying statistics and what you can do to address bullying both in school and at home.
School Climate Linked to Suspensions.
When teachers and administrators work to create a more positive school climate, including clear rules and positive teacher-student relationships, student suspensions can drop
by as much as 10%, according to new research.
Dress Code Policy.
Students reacted positively to a trial easing of dress code
rules in Alameda, CA, which now largely leaves it up to students and their families to determine appropriate attire for school.
Steps to Positive Discipline.
Edutopia lists steps to take
for proactive, supportive, responsive, and restorative discipline that creates an environment in which problem behavior is less likely to occur.
California Suspension Rates Higher in Rural Schools.
Virtual Healthy School Resource.
While California has made substantial progress in reducing school suspensions, it faces a challenge in often overlooked rural regions of the state, where student suspension
rates are significantly higher than those of urban areas.
Education Week has released its second annual "Big Ideas" report
. One of them, “The Kids Are Right: School Is Boring,” emphasizes the importance of connecting "with the rapidly changing world beyond the school walls to solve problems, explore ideas, rally for a cause, or learn a new technical skill."
Schools often fall short in helping students in grief. Read a summary of helping strategies and resources
. Strategies include recognition by trusted adults of their loss, a genuine expression of sympathy, and an offer of assistance.
Review of MTSS Approach.
The winter issue of Addressing Barriers to Learning
includes an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) framework, as well as guidance and resources on school mental health.
School Mental Health Staffing Report.
A new federal report
describes the level of school mental health staffing by student body racial and ethnic composition, using data from the 2015-16 National Teacher and Principal Survey.
See additional Mental Health content in California Corner.
A new NECS report
focuses on barriers to parent-school involvement for early elementary students, using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study. The four most commonly reported barriers were getting time off work, inconvenient meeting times, no child care, and not hearing about things they might want to be involved in.
The U.S. CDC Virtual Healthy School
is an online, interactive school that provides innovative learning experiences to help make schools healthier, including nutrition, physical education and activity, and the management of chronic health conditions (e.g., asthma, diabetes) in schools.
As student health needs far outpace resources, California districts are increasingly turning to outside partnerships
to provide services that they see as crucial to a student's success.
School Nutrition Programs Reduce Obesity.
A Yale School of Public Health study
reveals school policies and programs promoting healthy eating can limit obesity. Policies include making sure all school-based meals met federal guidelines, providing nutrition newsletters to students and their families, and school-wide campaigns to encourage drinking water.
Role of School Police and Social Workers.
In this video
, social workers discuss how issues like hunger and mental health impact school security, and how social workers and campus police can work together to improve student safety.
Lockdowns and Mental Health.
A Washington Post analysis
found that more than 4 million children endured school lockdowns last school year. While most kids won’t suffer long-term consequences, experts who specialize in childhood trauma suspect that a meaningful percentage will.
School Climate (General)
Review of Trends.
Education Week reviews trends and policy changes
that may affect school climate in 2019, noting students' ability to engage and succeed in the classroom is influenced by how safe, supported, and connected they feel at school. Four issues highlighted are chronic absenteeism, teacher stress and supports, discipline policies, and safety (school police).
of educational research trends highlights meeting the needs of the students, staff, and parents, and fostering positive, engaging school climates.
School Climate Linked to Effective Early Learning.
A new study
says programs with strong organizational structures hold the key to effective early-childhood education, and lists exceptional administrators and collaborative teachers as the two most important components of those structures.
The California Department of Education has released “Social Emotional Learning in California: A Guide to Resources
,” developed by a multi-agency team that included national experts in the field.
Aspen National Commission Report.
The final report of the Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope
, calls for an acceleration of efforts to ensure that all U.S. students have access to quality SEL and providing recommendations to advance these efforts.
Read how some districts are creating positive environments
where employees always feel valued, respected, and connected, including new hiring practices and customer service training.
Addressing LGBTQ Needs.
Edutopia provides guidance and resources for establishing a Gay Strait Alliance in middle school
as a means to prevent bullying based around students’ perceived sexuality or identities.
LGBTQ Youth Research.
An analysis of CDC YRBS data
reveals that transgender youths were more likely to report experiencing violence victimization, substance use, suicide risk, and sexual risk compared with their peers whose gender identity aligns with their sex. These findings indicate a need for intervention efforts to improve health outcomes among transgender youths.
California Student Mental Health Report Card.
Data from the 2015-17 Biennial Statewide California Healthy Kids Survey of secondary students show that respondents have significant unmet needs that could benefit from intervention and supports. The California Student Mental Health Report Card
shows how these unmet needs can be addressed using a Multi-Tiered System of Supports.
Local Mental Health Report Card Template. Project Cal-Well Mental Health downloads
include a report template for LEAs to highlight their own data on student mental health.
Student Mental Health Guide.
To improve mental health awareness and mental wellness of students, check out the Project Cal-Well model, Three Component Model to Support Students' Mental Health: A Guide for California Schools
Rural School Resources.
The California Rural Ed Network
has launched a new online resource bank to provide rural school-focused research-based information and professional development articles. The Network is also exploring ways to elevate student voices from rural schools and to bring attention to "inequalities that disproportionately affect rural education systems."
Retired State Board President Michael Kirst expressed worry that a failure to sufficiently fund training for teachers and principals
in the new academic standards, school climate, and other supports for students could undermine expectations for achievement.
CalSCHLS Helpline: 888.841.7536