Behavioral Health Assessment Tool Piloted in 15 School Districts, and Interim Report Submitted to the Governor, Child Advocate, and General Court in December 2009
As chair of the Behavioral Health and the Public Schools Task Force, I wish to thank all Task Force members, designees, guest participants, and presenters who contributed to the efforts of the Task Force to date. Pursuant to Section 19 of Chapter 321 of the Acts of 2008, the Task Force drafted a framework and assessment tool that was voluntarily piloted in 15 school districts this fall 2009.
The framework and assessment tool focused on increasing the capacity of schools to collaborate with behavioral health providers as well as provide supportive school environments that improve educational outcomes for children with behavioral health needs. Areas addressed included leadership; professional development for school personnel and behavioral health providers; clinically, linguistically, and culturally appropriate behavioral health services; as well as policies and protocols for referrals.
The Task Force's interim report, completed in December 2009, included data analysis of the responses received from the 15 pilot sites that submitted their completed tool by December 4, 2009. Since then, additional completed tools have been, and will be, submitted and considered by the Task Force, and a complete list of pilot sites will be included in the final report. The Task Force is grateful to all the schools and participating team members for their willingness and effort undertaken to use the tool to reflect upon and document their current strategies, action steps, and priorities for improvement. Their contributions to the work of the Task Force are extremely helpful and appreciated. The 15 schools included in the interim report are as follows:
Angelo School (Brockton Public Schools), Atlantic Middle School (Quincy Public Schools), Ayers Ryal Side School (Beverly Public Schools), Barnstable High School (Barnstable Public Schools), Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School (Upton), Boutwell School (Groton-Dunstable Regional School District), Collins Middle School (Salem Public Schools), Holyoke High School (Holyoke Public Schools), Ludlow High School (Ludlow Public Schools), McAuliffe School (Lowell Public Schools), Murdock Middle-High School (Winchendon Public Schools), New Bedford High School (New Bedford Public Schools), Randolph High School (Randolph Public Schools), Seven Hills Charter School (Worcester Public Schools), and William Seach Primary School (Weymouth Public Schools).
The next steps for the Task Force are to conduct a statewide assessment in 2010 using a revised assessment tool and then, during 2010-2011, to make recommendations for improving the capacity of schools to implement the framework. If you would like a copy of the interim report or more information about Task Force work, contact ESE staff via Jane Chang (firstname.lastname@example.org).