Tagged “Mental Health”

Walter McKenzie

Connected Community

The hallmark of this brave new Information Age is the interconnectedness of everything: ideas, information, and people. Relationships are key. It's no longer what you know or how much you know, it's who you know and how to connect with them. Interactions are more immediate, fluid, and dynamic.

On an individual basis, it is happening as I write. But what about on an institutional scale? Don't we eventually have to affect change in our public institutions so that they will morph from their successful Industrial Age mind-set to this new way of living and working? This is the biggest challenge of making the shift: finding institutional incentive for becoming more interconnected, agile, and responsive.

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Klea Scharberg

Today Is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, May 9, 2013

What does it take for children to be mentally healthy? Being mentally healthy is not just about being free from serious emotional and behavioral difficulties. It's also about being mentally strong and resilient and having the skills and supports to deal with stressful issues when they arise. Today is National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, established and promoted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Awareness Day national event seeks to raise awareness about the importance of children's mental health and that positive mental health is essential to a child's healthy development from birth.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Student Voice: How a Community School Became an Oasis in South Central Los Angeles

Post written by Martin J. Blank and Ryan Fox, Coalition for Community Schools

Kevin Valiencia

Walking through the halls of John C. Fremont High School in South Central Los Angeles with senior Kevin Valiencia, one finds an unexpected inner city public school in one of the most maligned neighborhoods in the country.

A climate of cooperation, enthusiasm, unity, and endless possibilities permeate throughout school. A strong juxtaposition with the surrounding community in which neighborhoods blocks apart from each other are often at war. Kevin himself has seen a friend stabbed, drive-by shootings, and police raids near his home.

It's not that the troubles found in other schools don't exist inside Fremont. Less than 40 percent of its students graduate in four years and test scores still lag behind state averages. But the angst and conflict found in many other struggling urban schools is minimal at Fremont. The suspension rate at Fremont is far below the rates at other high schools in the district. While the dropout rate is still very high, those numbers are gradually improving. Nearly 85 percent of those that did graduate in 2009 and 2010 continued on to a postsecondary education.

"There's unity (at Fremont)," Kevin said. "We're all in this together."

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Melissa Mellor

Relationships Key to School Safety

Fostering trusting relationships between adults and students is the most effective way to improve school safety, a panel of experts told members of Congress during a recent House Education Committee hearing convened in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

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Stephen Sroka

School Safety Lessons Learned: From Cleveland to Newtown

I dealt with school violence before it was fashionable and funded. To me, any child killed anywhere, anytime, is a huge tragedy. But decades ago, when children were killed in the inner city of Cleveland, you probably never heard about them. When the killings moved to suburbs such as Columbine, they became national news. The Newtown shootings shocked the United States like no other school violence. Now, school violence prevention is front-page news. Working with school safety for more than 30 years, I have tried to help schools and communities keep our youth safe and healthy so that they can learn more and live better. Here are several lessons that I have learned.

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Sam Chaltain

Making Schools Safer in the Wake of Sandy Hook

As policymakers search for the best way to respond to the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., educators and parents across the country are left to wonder—what can we do to make our schools safe?

The lessons of Sandy Hook Elementary School can help us answer that question in two ways: one that is uncomfortable, and one that is essential.

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Stephen Sroka

Tips from the Trenches: Teaching

During the last few months, I have had the chance to talk with several speakers who strongly affected their audiences. I started to think about the remarkable leaders with whom I have worked over the years and how they have made huge differences with their incredible wisdom, insight, and actions. I contacted some of them and asked them to comment on working in education in these difficult times. I asked them to share some take-away messages, so that, if they were speaking, what would they want their audience to remember? Read the other installments in the series: school safety, student services, and administration.

The bottom line in education takes place when the teacher shuts the door with the classroom full of students. Some say that teaching is a science and some say it is an art. Many educators know that students do not care what you teach, if you do not teach that you care. Here are some "Tips from the Trenches" from those who are or have been in the classroom.

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Elizabeth Pfiffner

Common Core Standards Will Benefit At-Risk Students

As part of the school team, school social workers share the goal of ensuring that all students receive a high-quality education. We work with students and their families to address personal, family, and societal issues that create obstacles for learning. The adoption of the Common Core State Standards will create a strong foundation for school social workers in our mission to improve academic and behavioral outcomes for all students.

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Stephen Sroka

Tips from the Trenches: Student Services

During the last few months, I have had the chance to talk with several speakers who strongly affected their audiences. I started to think about the remarkable leaders with whom I have worked over the years and how they have made huge differences with their incredible wisdom, insight, and actions. I contacted some of them and asked them to comment on working in education in these difficult times. I asked them to share some take-away messages, so that, if they were speaking, what would they want their audience to remember? Read the other installments in the series: school safety, administration, and teaching.

Students are more than grade-point averages. Often they are faced with many barriers to effective education. Dealing with the whole child, and not just the academic child, can help facilitate learning. Safe and healthy students learn more. Here are some "Tips from the Trenches" about the value of supporting students.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Our Top 10 Blog Posts in 2012

In the past year, experts and practitioners in the field, whole child partners, and ASCD staff have shared their stories, ideas, and resources to help you ensure that each child, in each school, in each community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged and prepared for success in higher education, employment, and civic life. These are the top 10 posts you read in 2012.

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