This practical guide from Project Cal-Well summarizes key considerations and includes recommendations for schools and districts implementing social, emotional, and behavioral screening during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Two partnering Project Cal-Well districts share examples of how they have gathered data to identify the behavioral and mental health support needs of their students.
Supporting Students’ Social and Emotional Connectedness During Remote Learning
This practical guide from Project Cal-Well focuses on flexible and feasible approaches to supporting social and emotional connectedness during remote learning. It provides information and resources about easy to implement strategies for educators, students, and families to stay connected and foster a sense of community within a virtual classroom. The guide includes strategies for educators to:
- Promote students’ feelings of being welcomed as part of a community
- Foster peer-to-peer connections and relationships through classroom activities and independent assignments
- Regularly check in with students about their mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing
- Demonstrate flexibility, understanding, and willingness to communicate with students and their families
Practical Guide for Financing Social, Emotional, and Mental Health in Schools
The California Children’s Trust and Breaking Barriers have developed this guide for education leaders on partnering and accessing Medi-Cal (i.e., Medicaid) funding to support the social, emotional, and mental health needs of students. The guide provides:
- An overview of what school leaders need to know about Medi-Cal
- Five different models with examples of how California districts integrate Medi-Cal-funded mental health services into school settings
- Five actions school district leaders can take now to access and reinvest Medi-Cal funding to support the needs of students
- Step-by-step guidance on how to integrate Medi-Cal into a coordinated system of supports
- Additional resources on accessing MediCal to expand billable mental health services for students
To Create Safe and Healthy Schools During a Pandemic, Prioritize Educator Wellbeing
Educator wellbeing provides the foundation for the overall wellness of educators, students, and the school community. In this brief, we describe how educator wellbeing is impacted by school climate and culture, educators’ own social and emotional competencies and self-care strategies, and individual histories of trauma and crisis. The brief focuses on a wide range of strategies for educators and school leaders to promote and support educator wellbeing, provides examples of successful implementation of educator wellbeing practices in California school districts, and includes resources to bolster supports for educators.
Management Factors for Successful Program Implementation
The team tasked with evaluating the California Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) Grant created this brief document to outline what is known from research about management factors that contribute to a program’s success. Activities and mindsets that contribute to successful program implementation are organized into 4 key areas:
- Day-to-day project management
- Administrative-level support
- At-risk student referral systems
While this document was intended to guide implementation of school climate improvement programs, the key tenants can be applied to other school-based program implementation scenarios.
Three Component Model to Support Students’ Mental Health: A Guide for California Schools
Project Cal-Well is a five-year initiative intended to increase awareness of and improve mental health and wellness of California students in kindergarten through grade 12. Under the leadership of the California Department of Education (CDE), Project Cal-Well implements programs statewide and in partnership with participating districts and county offices of education using a three component model that focuses on student, school, and community needs and assets. The components of the model are:
- Improve school climate for schoolwide prevention
- Increase access to school-based behavioral health services
- Enhance community collaborations
This guide describes the three component model and provides schools and districts with resources and tips to support youth mental health.