Thursday, November 3, 2016

MASC/MASS General Session: social emotional learning

speaking today: Nicholas Covino, president of William James College; Shella Dennery, Program Director, Boston Children's Hospital; Nadja Reilly, Psychologist & Author

updating as we go
Covino: suggest that this won't be new information for many, but reconfirm importance
4 in 20 kids has a diagnosable mental illness
2 more have problems serious enough to interfere with home or school
"What does it mean that 1/5 of kids have" those difficulties?
"We don't have a Jimmy Fund in mental health; we're not thinking about this that way."
32% of kids in military families are at high risk: having a parent deployed increases risk by 5 fives
untreated anxiety and depression is the #1 cause of high school dropout

80% of kids who need care will not receive it: there aren't enough people
transportation, travel, treatment take time: something many cannot afford
"that's half a day's work for someone who can't afford to miss it"
language and culture: 90% of mental health providers are white

all kids have questions about themselves that need answers
questions get asked in the school environment: answers come
it happens "whether we're focusing on it or not"
people "are wicked busy"
We also "think feelings aren't my job"
relationships are unfamiliar "even though we all have relationships"
people are afraid they'll make it worse

"our lack of action inhibits students across the country from fully realizing their potential as knowledgeable"

Dennery: Boston Children's Hospital Neighborhood Partnerships: in 16 schools, 20 staff
not labelling kids, part of school culture
in 7 schools last year, handled 200 crisis situations "which were not small"
"our motto is 'we do whatever it takes'"
8-10 year is average delay for a child needing services
teachers are often the first person a child in need turns to
teachers report that "woefully underprepared to ID students' behavioral health"
"really failing our teachers the most"
"I don't think teachers should be asked to become behavoral health counselors" but need to have

training to provide support and connection to needed services
PD "is easy to do"
people often do a one time thing and think "they have checked off that box"
50% of kids who do get services end services early

Principals are saying "we have so much else to do, but this is THAT important"
one shot training doesn't work, so what DOES work?
"if you can't walk out of here and take something with you, we are not doing our jobs"
"no outside provider can do what your internal people can do in your schools"

building school capacity, with self-monitoring
currently developing a free online course designed to build capacity of educators and administrators
hoping by summertime to have four workshops developed for FREE
educators are seeking training in this area
teachers need sufficient training in basics and a solid foundation

Reilly: the broader perspective, systemic approach
Bronfenbrenner's ecological model of child development
look at macro level: advocacy and policy changes outside the schools
cultivating motivation to change
"how do we motivate this system to move forward?"
leadership commitment: organizational implementation after preparation
"how can we build on the capacity of people that we have inside" in making changes that are needed
strong commitment to leadership around SEL: translates to new hires, PD, how people stay on. commitment and support given to staff
importance of integrating school and family partnership; school can't work in isolation
communication is bidirectional

Covino: "we don't teach part kids"
all of the kids are there all of the time

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