School Mental Health Project

National Initiative:
New Directions for Student Support

To advance the field by increasing the attention of school improvement policy makers
to rethinking student and learning supports

Brief Backround on the National Initiative:
New Directions for Student Support

In 2002, our Center at UCLA launched the National Initiative: New Directions for Student Support. We began with a national Summit and followed this (in 2003) with several regional Summits to raise awareness and create readiness for change. In 2003 we also began a targeted set of state Summits (these have occurred in 13 states to date). Then, in 2005, we added strategies not only to enhance dissemination but to encourage and support diffusion as we provide indepth follow up for those places indicating readiness to move forward in developing a comprehensive new directions approach. This includes providing (1) Leadership Institutes for district teams and (2) onsite capacity building with specific state departments of education and districts.

In 2006, encouraged by the growing success of the New Directions initiative, the Center at UCLA established a public-private collaboration with Scholastic, Inc. and one product of that collaboration is an online leadership institute -- click here .

Each year we increase our outreach to district superintendents/leaders, community agents who work with schools, and to those involved in personnel preparation. For example, see:

Superintendents Initiative. With respect to district leaders, widespread outreach mailings are regularly sent including a range of brief resources and with follow up materials sent to those who responded. As part of this initiative, data were gathered and distributed nationally in a Center report entitled: Transforming School Improvement to Develop a Comprehensive System of Learning Supports: What District Superintendents Say They Need to Move Forward.

Higher Education Initiative. With respect to higher education's role in personnel preparation for educators, we continue to explore a Higher Education Initiative. We already convened a Leadership Institute for Higher Education Personnel Preparation and distributed nationally a report entitled: Preparing All Education Personnel to Address Barriers to Learning and Teaching. In addition to policy makers, this report was sent to deans, department chairs, and faculty in personnel preparation and leadership programs, district personnel responsible orientation/induction, inservice, and continuing education.

Each year, the Center has continued to produce resources and tools for those ready to move in New Directions for Student Support (e.g., see the online toolkit at

In 2015, this initiative was morphed into the

2015 National Initiative to Transform Student and Learning Supports

Interested in learning more?
Contact: Linda Taylor at:

Back to National Initiative

More About New Directions

Transforming Student and Learning Supports:
Trailblazing Initiatives!

Summer Issue of Center's Quarterly e-journal/newsletter

Also see 15 minute Introduction to New Directions for Student and Learning Supports

***News Releases & News Article  

  • About New Directions for Student & Learning Supports Initiative
  • the Gainesville Times
  • the Journal  



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