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Goal 4: Progress Updates

Goal 4

February 12, 2024 • Strategy 4 Update

The Strategy 4 Student and Staff Mental Health & Wellness Supports committee has met this year three times so far this year, with the last committee meeting on November 14, 2023. The fourth meeting was scheduled for January 9, 2024; however, the meeting was canceled due to inclement weather and the agenda was moved to the February 6, 2024 meeting. Committee goals and accountability measures for year two are reviewed prior to each committee meeting to guide efforts towards the goals established for the year.

The focus of the November meeting was on the Panther Learning Center (PLC). The committee learned that the program originated out of the 2017-2022 Strategic Plan through the subcommittee of Academic Achievement. The committee recommended that an alternative program/school be established to provide increased support for students who were at risk. Support services that were recommended were credit recovery, credit/diploma acceleration, modified programming to address student needs, college and career guidance, referrals for community-based services and programs through an individualized format. The process for recommendations and timeline were shared. Several PLC students participated in a student panel in which they shared their needs and how the PLC supported them in getting back on track and engaging in their high school education. Students and PLC staff answered questions about the program regarding strengths of the program as well as needs. The committee is currently working on building out the foundation of the program, and making recommendations for the next phase of development for expanding in person and online learning options in this program. The committee will continue to examine suggestions made through the committee and advisory committees regarding the development of recommendations.

The second area of focus has been on collaborating and working with the EC-12+ Academic Achievement Committee and the Curriculum Department regarding the evaluation and selection of social-emotional curricula to recommend any changes to the social-emotional learning curricula. Several members of the committee have participated in the Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum process which has involved multiple meetings per month to learn about standards, examine student and staff needs, view presentations from various curriculum representatives, and evaluate curriculum in a meaningful process to assist with meeting student needs in the district. Committee members have been vital partners in this entire process, including the selection and piloting of selected curriculum and continue to be involved in this process to support a recommendation for district wide SEL curriculum.

A third area of focus emerged with the opportunity to collaborate with the Strategic Plan committee Student and Staff Support for Special Services as crisis intervention programs for staff training are being reviewed. This lends support to evaluating and making improvements to social emotional health curriculum that align with best practices, referral pathways and provide professional development to staff. In January, several committee members joined this committee to learn about four different programs that focused on crisis prevention and intervention.

The next step for the Strategy 4 committee is to continue to collaborate and make recommendations through the SEL curriculum selection process and crisis prevention-intervention curriculum for staff training. The committee will also follow up with reviewing recommendations for the expansion of the Panther Learning Center through discussion and determine further tasks to address suggestions to address the goal of expanding in person and online learning options for the Panther Learning Center.

November 27, 2023 • Strategy 4 Update

The Strategy 4: Student and Staff Mental Health & Wellness Supports committee has met this year on August 29, 2023 and October 3, 2023, with the next scheduled meeting scheduled on November 14, 2023. During the first meeting the committee established committee protocols (norms) and reviewed the efforts of the committee from year one. The goals and accountability measures for year two were reviewed for the upcoming year. Dr. Holly Putnam-Jackson provided the committee with information about the district curriculum selection process, along with timelines for curriculum selection, evaluation, review, and recommendations. The Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum process will include multiple reviews during the process with the inclusion of internal, public, and educator reviews prior to presentation to the Board of Education. The curriculum selection committee will consist of members representing all grade levels, instructional areas, and positions, including parents. Committee members were encouraged to reach out and ask questions as needed during the process.

During the second meeting in October, committee members reviewed documents regarding the measurement of social emotional character development. Due to the diverse membership of this committee, commonly used vocabulary, definitions, and acronyms were reviewed with all committee members. The committee participated in an activity by separating into teams of four members and each team worked on defining what a successful Derby High School student/graduate should look like to each group. Each committee shared desired traits and skills that they believed a graduate should possess. Discussion and connection to social emotional learning and how these could tie into a new curriculum was shared. Several committee members shared information regarding the Social Emotional Learning Curriculum committee meetings.

The next step for the strategy 4 committee is to learn about the Panther Learning Center (PLC). The presentation will provide history, goals, and demonstrate how it is supporting students with removing and mitigating barriers that prevent students from having success in traditional high school programs. The presentation will also provide information to answer key questions that were shared at the last committee meeting. The committee will follow up with discussion and determine further tasks to address suggestions to address the goal of expanding in person and online learning options for the Panther Learning Center.

June 12, 2023 • Strategy 4 Update (Final Year 1 Report)

The Strategy 4 committee met a total of five times during the school year, with the final meeting being on April 11, 2023. The mental health committee has completed committee tasks through dividing into three smaller committees to address year one goals.

  • The Staffing Ratios Sub Committee has been focused on collecting and reviewing data from the Derby Public School district, area school districts, similar-sized districts, with the inclusion of state and national recommendations for school counselors, social workers, and school psychologists. Key findings determined that Derby Public Schools has 728 students per counselor, with the state of Kansas recommending a ratio of 373 students per counselor. It was determined that Derby has 404 students per social worker, with the state of Kansas recommending a ratio of 614 per social worker. Derby Public Schools has 1039 students to each school psychologist, with the state of Kansas recommending 890 students. Derby Public Schools does not currently have elementary counselors on staff, only at middle and high school which led to number of students being higher per counselor position. Derby Public Schools has a lower student to social worker ratio due to social workers being present in all buildings which led to a decreased ratio of students. The school psychologist ratio is elevated due to staff shortages in getting the position filled. This has been a critical shortage in education on local, state, and national levels.
  • The Mental Health Resources and Supports Sub Committee has compiled a comprehensive listing of over 100 community, county, state, and national resources collected and categorized into the following resource categories: Crisis, Children and Youth, Dental, Food, Medical, Mental Health and Parenting services available in the community and surrounding areas for staff and parent use. This document has been created through committee collaboration to provide a readily accessible resource to support students in need. This information will be included on the new website that is expected to be launched in July 2023.
  • The State of Mental Health Supports, Services, and Curriculum Sub Committee has met with social workers, administrators, and teachers to compile a snapshot through the lens of curriculum, education, school supports and services for students and staff in the district. The committee has aligned this information through a tiered model of mental health services and supports that includes various curricula and programs that support mental health wellness.

The Student and Staff Mental Health & Wellness Supports Committee has requested the following recommendations/suggestions:

  1. Consider a long-term plan on adding eight elementary counselors to support Tier 1 mental wellness and related student support services.

  2. Continue to seek qualified applicants to fill the school psychologist positions open in the district.

  3. Consult with legal counsel regarding the drafting of a “disclaimer” on the website for agencies that are shared on the resource website.

  4. Determine the criteria and procedures for moving forward for determining parameters in which names/agencies/businesses will be added to the district listing.

  5. Consider members from the Student & Staff Mental Health Wellness and Supports Committee to work with Curriculum and Instruction on reviewing and selecting Social Emotional Learning Curriculum for Derby students, preschool through high school.

March 6, 2023 • Strategy 4 Update

The Strategy 4 committee has 48 individuals that have met three times to focus on the goals of the Mental Health & Wellness Supports. The large group committee established that this group will work towards the final recommendations with group consensus, with three subcommittees focused on the actual tasks at hand. The Staffing Ratios subcommittee is focused on collecting data from the district, area districts, similar sized districts, with the inclusion of state and national recommendations for school counselors, social workers, and school psychologists. The Mental Health Resources and Supports subcommittee is focused on learning about local resources, mental health supports, providers, and services available in the community and surrounding areas for district and parent use. The State of Mental Health Supports, Services, and Curriculum subcommittee is working on defining the current state of mental health supports through the lens of curriculum, education, school supports and services for students and staff in the district. The committee is working on applying information and data through a tiered model of mental health services and supports that will be inclusive of curriculum, services, support services onsite, and resources. The tiered model will provide a breakdown by elementary, middle and high school levels. All of the committees are actively collecting information, creating frameworks for putting information together and sharing out as a whole group for input, questions, clarification, and communication.

November 28, 2022 • Strategy 4 Update

Strategy 4 convened for the first meeting with robust attendance as 30 individuals reviewed the Strategic Plan for 2022-2027. Following a brief overview of the six subcommittees, the committee dissected Strategy 4-Student and Staff Mental Health & Wellness Supports through reviewing the Belief Statement, Goal, Action Steps, and Accountability/Success measures. The committee split into smaller groups for discussion of the Year 1 goals of establishing a Mental Health Committee to collect, review and submit a report on the current ratios of staff who provide mental health supports in comparison to state and national staffing standards, identify potential supplemental mental health support and support providers for students and staff, create a report on current social emotional curriculum being used in the district and methods for evaluating stakeholder satisfaction in the area of mental health.