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Attendance; Bullying; Climate and Culture; Discipline; Engagement; LGBTQ Youth; Mental Health; Safety; Social-Emotional Learning; Whole Child/School Strategies; California Corner; Resources & Upcoming Events
School Climate Connection Newsletter
 Attendance

Reducing Chronic Absenteeism. Policy Analysis for California Education provides examples of local efforts to improve student attendance and discusses steps to build the capacity of schools and communities to get kids to school.

Importance of Engaging Teachers. New research finds that some of a school’s best allies in combatting absences might be engaging teachers that motivate youth.

Importance of School Climate. Maurice Elias emphasizes that getting students back in the building is just step one — next comes fostering a positive school climate so that they want to stay.

 Bullying

National Statistics. Twenty percent of students (24% females & 17% males) in grades 6–12 reported being bullied during the 2016–17 school year, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey. Of these students, 20% were bullied on more than 10 days, 42% believed the bullying would happen to them again, and 33% reported being bullied by multiple students acting as a team. 

Cyberbullying Trends.  Of the 20% of secondary students reporting being bullied on the 2017 National Crime Victimization Survey, 15% were bullied online or through text messages, an 11.5% increase from the 2014-2015 school year.

 Climate and Culture

PBIS Discussion. View a video discussion of the use of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to enhance school climate and reduce student drug use and other risky behaviors.

 Discipline

Effects of Suspensions. Regardless of students' past behaviors, every school suspension weakens their connection to school and increases their odds of committing theft, assault, and other crimes, according to a new national longitudinal study.  On the school-to-prison pipeline, school suspensions may be a key shut-off valve.

Suspension Cap in NYC. New York City has instituted a suite of reforms effective next school year to limit lengthy suspensions, curtail student arrests, and train educators across the city in alternatives to strict disciplinary measures. Officials plan to limit most suspensions to 20 days.

Exclusionary Discrepancy Statistics. A comprehensive analysis of national data finds robust evidence of persistent discrepancies in disciplinary practices across ethnic/racial groups, especially in secondary schools with higher poverty rates and a greater ethnic/racial diversity. 

 Engagement

Long-Term Benefits of Connectedness. Adolescents who felt connected to their school and family as adolescents grew up safer and with better mental health 20 years later than those who were disconnected, according to the CDC. 
 
 LGBTQ Youth
National Suicide and Discrimination Rates. Nearly 2 million LGBTQ youths ages 13-24 in the US consider suicide each year, according to a new analysis of national statistics from the Trevor Project. Rates were about twice as high among those aged 13-18 than those 19-24. More than 70% experienced discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

LGBTQ Curricula. The majority of schools in 15 of 46 states and DC offer sex-ed curricula or supplementary materials that include information relevant to LGBTQ students in 2016, compared to less than half in the remaining 31 states. 

 Mental Health

Prevention Strategies. Read a discussion of the rising problem of teen suicide and depression and steps to address it.

Dearth of Counselors. A 250-to-1 ratio of students to counselors is recommended, but it's much higher in many states — Arizona peaks at 905-to-1; in California, it is 663-to-1, although that is a significant reduction from 2010-11.  Funds aren't always available to help lower the numbers.

Prevention Effort Outcomes. Learn what has occurred one year after the passage of New York State’s first-in-the-country mandate that schools incorporate mental health into K-12 health education.

Resources. The Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) National School Mental Health Curriculum is now available online covering eight key domains of comprehensive school mental health systems.

Addressing Trauma. A new brief recommends a comprehensive approach to addressing childhood trauma that prioritizes a strengths-based perspective and helps children build resilience. 

 Safety

Federal Funding Opportunities. The U.S. Department of Education is now accepting applications for three fiscal year 2019 grant competitions that support locally tailored approaches to school safety.

Needs Testimony. Five takeaways emerged from the first meeting of Colorado’s interim school safety committee, which heard from experts in public health, law enforcement and other fields, including the need to provide teachers with more help. 

New Jersey Trends. Instances of bullying, substance use, and violence in New Jersey public schools increased 26% in the past year, an analysis by the Education Law Center shows.

LAUSD Ends Random Searches. Since 2011 LAUSD has mandated daily random searches of students at every secondary school. The district has voted to eliminate the policy by July 2020, directing the superintendent to come up with a different plan to keep students safe.  

 Social-Emotional Learning
Educator Survey.  Large majorities of principals describe SEL as a top priority that can improve student outcomes and school climate.  The majority of teachers and principals report they are measuring school climate but fewer are testing how well students demonstrate actual social-emotional skills.  

Links to Morality and Religion. Read about the need for SEL and the importance of its links to traditional morality and religion.
 
 Whole Child/School Strategies
District Priorities. When district leaders are given a fair amount of discretion over federal funds, one of their main responses is on their students' welfare

Learning Supports in Houston. To combat student traumas, Houston Independent School District is implementing one of the nation’s biggest, boldest plans to address students’ non-academic needs.
 

 
Restorative Practices. Although legions of California educators have been trained in restorative justice in recent years, even in districts with well-established programs, such as Oakland USD, finding and keeping funding for it remains a challenge, leading to criticism of it as an alternative discipline policy.  

Student Abuse Protocols. Redlands Unified School District has instituted new protocols for lowering the threshold for what signs of sexual abuse of students should be reported to authorities, including "grooming behaviors" that are often a precursor to abuse.

Benefits of School-Based Health Centers. The Fresno Bee examines the ways school-based health centers in Sacramento, Los Angeles, and the Central Valley help increase the utilization of dental and preventive services by children with Medi-Cal and, by so doing, help keep kids in class.

E-Cigarette Toolkit. A new California School E-Cigarette Toolkit provides resources and suggestions for working with students, parents, and families.  For more information, contact your County Office of Education Tobacco Use and Prevention Education (TUPE) Coordinator.

Legislating Comprehensive Learning Supports. State lawmakers are keen to address narrow challenges they see but they often don't enact sweeping policy changes to comprehensively remove barriers to opportunity and learning, including addressing social-emotional needs, concludes a UCLA report.

CalSCHLS Helpline:  888.841.7536
SCCN #79  07/24/19
In this issue:

 
 Attendance
 Bullying
 Climate and Culture
 Discipline
 Engagement
 LGBTQ Youth
 Mental Health
 Safety
 Social-Emotional Learning
 Whole Child/School Strategies
 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
 
 Upcoming Events

Free Training

Youth Mental Health First Aid training from CDE
Information  &  Flyer
 


 
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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