Tagged “Mental Health”

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Teaching Students, Not Subjects

Magnolia Elementary serves 497 students from grades preK–five in suburban Baltimore, Md. The school is classified as Title I and 90 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch. A staff of three administrators, three school counselors, 44 teachers, and 10 support personnel ensure a well-rounded learning environment is established for each child.

The school is committed to improving the physical and social-emotional health of each student. Since many of the students' home neighborhoods are not considered safe for outside play, the school has reworked its master schedule to allow for increased physical education periods and additional free play time connected to lunch periods. Magnolia Elementary also conducts movement sessions via its after-school intervention program.

The school has a mental health cohort that meets six times per year to evaluate the support the school is providing to teachers, staff, and students. As a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (or PBIS, as it's often known) school, Magnolia Elementary believes in emphasizing positive behaviors and teaching character. To build a greater sense of school community, the school has created five "houses" on campus, and each house aligns with a specific character trait: responsibility, respect, cooperation, encouragement, and perseverance.

For this tremendous dedication and its many accomplishments, Magnolia Elementary is the 2015 winner of the Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award. On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, you’ll hear from Principal Patricia Mason, Assistant Principal Stacey McCord, Title 1 Teacher Specialist Tara Sample, and teachers Kimberly Wheeler and Lauren Donnelly.

Listen to the episode below or download here.

How are you creating a culture and climate of support and success in your school? How do you know that you're succeeding?

Magnolia Elementary School is the sixth recipient of the Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award. Listen to previous award-winning schools as they share their stories and explain how they ensure that each child in their community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged:

 

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

What Does It Take for Children to Be Mentally Healthy?

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A child's mental health is influenced by her biology, social and physical environment, and behavior, as well as the availability of services. Good emotional and behavioral health enhances a child's sense of well-being, supports satisfying social relationships at home and with peers, and facilitates achievement of full academic potential. Research shows that one of five children and adolescents aged 9 to 17 experience symptoms of mental health problems that cause some level of impairment in a given year. However, fewer than 20 percent who need mental health service receive them.

But, being mentally healthy is not just about 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. In a nationally representative survey of 12- to 17-year-old youths and their trauma experiences, 39 percent reported witnessing violence, 17 percent reported physical assault, and 8 percent reported a lifetime prevalence of sexual assault.

Just as one can be physically healthy or unhealthy, one can also be mentally healthy or unhealthy. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we discuss the importance of each child, in each school and in each community, being socially, emotionally, and mentally healthy. You'll hear from

  • Erica Ahmed, director of public education for Mental Health America, formerly the National Mental Health Association.
  • Jo Mason, acting national business manager and national professional product development manager for whole child partner Principals Australia Institute and MindMatters, Australia.
  • Philip C. Rodkin, associate professor of child development in the Departments of Educational Psychology and Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

How does your school and community promote good mental health, build resiliency, and facilitate wellness for your children?

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