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Achievement Gap; Bullying; Climate and Culture; Cultural Competence & Diversity; Discipline; Engagement; Expanded Learning Partnerships; Mental Health; Parent Involvement; Resilience & Trauma-Informed Practice; Safety; Staff Supports & Workplace Environment; Student Supports; Youth Development; California Corner; Resources & Upcoming Events
School Climate Connection Newsletter
 Achievement Gap

Socioeconomic Factors. The socioeconomic achievement gap has remained unchanged over the past 50 years, according to an examination of test scores of 13- to 17-year-olds. For students born in 2001, the achievement gap between the average of those in the top and bottom 10 percent of the socioeconomic distribution was only slightly narrower than for those born in 1954. 

 Bullying

Resources.  A special issue of Aggression and Violent Behavior is devoted to bullying and cyberbullying.  Topics include protective factors, effective interventions, and prevention program evaluation.
 
 Climate and Culture
Building Student Confidence and Campus Culture. School climate surveys lead to improvements.

Making a Student-Centered Middle School. Read about the five things administrators in one middle school in Virginia have done to make it a place where students’ needs drive every decision they make.

 Cultural Competence & Diversity

Culturally Responsive Teaching Standards. A new analysis from New America argues that only three states (Alabama, Washington, and Minnesota) require teachers to learn how institutional racism and other forms of bias can hinder some students—and only slightly more than half encourage educators to consider how their own biases can affect their work.  

Students Learn Acceptance By Teaching Home Languages. Read the positive benefits that occurred in an ethnic studies class at Castlemont High School in Oakland, CA, when students, many recent immigrants, began teaching each other their home languages.
 
 Discipline

Unseen Dimensions of Asian American Disproportionality. Researchers find that when Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) data are disaggregated by subgroups, significant variations in discipline patterns emerge. Pacific Islanders are nearly twice as likely as their White peers to be disciplined when separated from Asian Americans. The findings affirm the need to further refine the analyses of race and school discipline.
 
 Engagement
Listen to Student Voices to Improve School Culture. Read how the Iowa Department of Education strives to incorporate student voice into school improvement.
 
 Expanded Learning Partnerships
Building a Trauma Informed Care Approach. Recently, schools, afterschool programs, and community-based organizations have shared increasing numbers of disruptive and challenging youth in their programs. The Wisconsin Afterschool Network aims to be part of the solution by providing the Trauma Informed Care course.
 
 Mental Health
Rise in Youth Mental Health Problems. 
   Analysis of national data reveals that over the past decade or so, rates of depression, psychological distress, and suicidal thoughts and actions have risen significantly among people 26 and younger, with some of the highest increases among women and those at higher income levels. The number of people reporting symptoms indicative of major depression increased 52 percent among 12- to 17-year-olds.
   U.S. emergency departments are seeing a surge in the number of kids and teens seeking help for mental health problems.
   The suicide rate among Nevada children and teenagers nearly doubled between 2017 and 2018.

Mental Health and School Safety. The funding of school mental health programs has been advocated by legislators as a way to help promote school safety, prevent future mass shootings such as occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, and identify and help troubled students. Florida legislation did not specifically direct schools to consider suicide prevention efforts and only a handful of plans explicitly flagged suicide prevention programs as a central focus and one-quarter didn't mention suicide or suicide prevention at all. In Texas, advocates often cringe when legislators make the argument that mental health care is the key to preventing mass shootings and worry about stigma. 

Youth-Centered Strategies.
   A lack of counselors at a school in Colorado inspired the administration to collaborate with students on a peer counseling program to address students’ mental health needs.
   More than 450 middle and high school students and their advisers in southwestern Ohio have formed the region's first Hope Squads, a national movement to address the youth-suicide epidemic by countering the notion that teenagers don't have the maturity to handle heavy emotions.
   With teen suicide rates soaring, high school sports is becoming a central point to discuss depression, mental health, and suicide prevention. Athletes are using their prominence to lead the discussion.
 
 Parent Involvement
Promising Practices: Regional Networks. California has funded an initiative to support regional networks focused on engagement in schools. This brief shares insights from on-the-ground experiences to create the relationships needed for community stakeholder engagement to be consistent, meaningful, and productive.

Reducing Effects of Bullying. Middle school students who feel their parents are more involved in their education have fewer mental health struggles in response to being bullied, according to a study in School Psychology.

 Resilience & Trauma-Informed Practices

Differentiating Between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Trauma. Child Trends discusses the importance of differentiating Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) from other commonly used terms, including childhood adversity, trauma, and toxic stress.

See additional resources in sidebar.

 Safety

School Resource Officers. An article in the digital Journal of School Safety discusses the importance of developing an effective, comprehensive MOU to govern the work of School Resource Officers and what the major components of it should be.  

 Staff Supports & Workplace Environment
Reducing Stress. Teaching ranks among the most stressful professions, according to Gallup research from 2014. This PBS News report discusses efforts to help reduce that stress, including fostering mindfulness and resilience training.  
 
 Student Supports

Designing Effective Advisories. Reoccurring blocks of time in students' schedules—often called advisories—are being adopted as a way to strengthen relationships and help students weather the challenges that may keep them from succeeding academically. Read how problems in the way advisories are designed and carried out can keep them from being a meaningful part of a student's school experience.

 Youth Development

Adolescent Development Explained. This federal guide about how teens develop, think, and act includes tips for adults to support youth. If parents and caring adults have a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities that adolescents face, they can help provide guidance and encouragement for the young people in their lives.
 
Insights from the State Board President. Read the perspective of the new president of the California State Board of Education, Linda Darling-Hammond, on the state of California’s education.  She highlights the rise in emphasis on social-emotional development, reductions in suspension rates, improvements in school safety, and a commitment to nurturing the whole child and equity.
 
CalSCHLS Helpline:  888.841.7536
SCCN #76  04/22/19
In this issue:

 
 Achievement Gap
 Bullying
 Climate and Culture
 Cultural Competence & Diversity
 Discipline
 Engagement
 Expanded Learning Partnerships
 Mental Health
 Parent Involvement
 Resilience &
     Trauma-Informed Practice
 Safety
 Staff Supports &
     Workplace Environment
 Student Supports
 Youth Development
 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

FREE Webinars

Webinar Series:

Understanding and Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools


Part 1: Understanding Why Schools are Addressing Trauma
Wed, April 24, 11:00 am (PT)
Information & Registration

Part 2: Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools
Wed, May 8, 11:00 am (PT)
Information & Registration

Mental Health and Student Learning Outcomes
Flyer

Working Together for Wellness - A Mindful Approach to School Site Leader and Teacher Collaboration for Whole School Wellness
Thur, May 16, 3:00 pm (PT)
Information & Registration

When There is One School Counselor: Strategies to Reach All Students Nevertheless
Tues, Jun 18, 3:00 pm (PT)
Information & Registration

Homeless Youth and Schools

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

Information & Registration

Conferences

2019 California School-Based Health Conference
Hosted by CSHA & the L.A. Trust for Children’s Health.
May 9-10
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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