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Attendance; Bullying; Discipline; Engagement; Mental Health; Parent Involvement; Physical Health; Safety; School Climate; SEL; Staff Climate; Student Supports; California Corner; Resources & Upcoming Events
School Climate Connection Newsletter
 Attendance

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.

Using Data. 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
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.
 
 Discipline

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. 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.

 Engagement

Learning Engagement. 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."

 Mental Health

Grief Support. 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.
 
 Parent Involvement
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.
 
 Physical Health
Virtual Healthy School Resource. 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. 

Service Partnerships. 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.
 
 Safety
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).

Another review 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. 

 Social-Emotional Learning
Resource Guide. 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.
 
 Staff Climate
Strategies. Read how some districts are creating positive environments where employees always feel valued, respected, and connected, including new hiring practices and customer service training.
 
 Student Supports
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 Corner
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."

Training Needs. 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
SCCN #73  01/30/19
In this issue:

 
 Attendance
 Bullying
 Discipline
 Engagement
 Mental Health
 Parent Involvement
 Physical Health
 Safety
 School Climate
 Social-Emotional Learning
 Staff Climate
 Student Supports
 California Corner
Resources
Upcoming Events


Resources

SCCN updates and other resources are posted on CDE's School Climate Website by Topic Category
CaliforniaS3.wested.org/tools/school-climate-connection-resources

Trauma & Resilience
Voices from the Field: The Importance of Trauma-Informed Practices
Video

Trauma, Resilience, and Cross-Sector Approaches to Supporting Kids
Presentation slides

Archived Webinars

Family Reunification Process at Schools
View webinar

Archived Webinar Series
Addressing the Effects of Trauma in Schools webinar series

Trauma and Resilience 101
Webinar

Fostering Positive Youth Development: Opportunities to Reframe the Conversation about Trauma
Webinar

Self and Collective Care of Youth-Serving Adults
Webinar
 
 Upcoming Events

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

FREE Webinars
 
Webinar Series:
Homeless Youth and Schools


Understanding Doubled-Up
(Handouts available online)
Tue, Feb 5, 11:00 am (PT)
Thu, Apr 25, 11:00 am (PT)

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

Supporting the Education of Unaccompanied Students Experiencing Homelessness
(Handouts available online)
Thu, Feb 28, 11:00 am (PT)
Wed, Apr 17, 11:00 am (PT)

Paving the Way to College for Students Experiencing Homelessness
(Handouts available online)
Wed, Mar 6, 11:00 am (PT) 

Determining Eligibility for McKinney-Vento Rights and Service
(Handouts available online)
Thu, Mar 14, 11:00 am (PT)

McKinney-Vento 101: Understanding the Rights of Students Experiencing Homelessness
(Handouts available online)
Thu, Mar 28, 11:00 am (PT)

McKinney-Vento School Selection Rights
(Handouts available online)
Tue, Apr 9, 11:00 am (PT)

Information & Registration
The School Climate Connection Newsletter is provided monthly by WestEd under contract from the California Department of Education (CDE). Its purpose is to disseminate current information on school climate practices, policies, and resources to empower schools on improving school safety, conditions for learning, and pupil engagement and well-being. It includes up-to-date information on California's School Climate, Health, and Learning Survey (CalSCHLS) System (see http://calschls.org).

Find more tips and resources on improving your school climate on CDE's Safe and Supportive Schools website at  http://californiaS3.wested.org/  Subscribe to the e-newsletter at calschls.org or californiaS3.wested.org, or click on the link below.
 
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