Center for MH in Schools & Student/Learning Supports


Keep up with the National Initiative for Transforming Student and Learning Supports. For details and for free access to the new work entitled: Transforming Student and Learning Supports: Developing a Unified, Comprehensive, and Equitable System, see

The Following Recent Articles are Continuing Indicators of the Imperative for Transforming Student and Learning Supports

Recission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) The recission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will affect more than 800,000 young adults who are in school or working, and striving to make a living in this country.  In the coming months, schools will have to help students cope with the additional stress and educators will be involved with shaping Congressional policy-making.  (9/5)

Teachers band together in wake of storm Harvey -- Schools remain closed in parts of Texas, but a number of educators are supporting students in shelters through the newly formed Teachers Volunteering in Shelters group. Some educators nationwide also are raising funds online and supporting teachers in other ways. (NPR) (9/3)

More Than 1 Million Students Affected by Hurricane Harvey So Far -- More than a million students are now affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in some way, according to the Texas Education Agency, as the remnants of the storm shifted east and its devastating effects on the education community continue. That number is expected to grow as the storm, now downgraded to a tropical depression moved into Louisiana. New Orleans- area schools remained closed for the week. (Education Week, August 31)

As States Seek to Reduce Suspensions, Schools Look for Ways to Handle Discipline -- Administrators aim for balance between addressing racial disparities while still supporting teachers. (Education Dive) (8/28)

Paraeducators Eyed To Fill Special Ed Teacher VacanciesIn Washington state, one in five principals said they were in a “crisis mode” as they tried to find enough teachers to fill every classroom. The most challenging position they struggled to fill was for teachers in special-education programs. A new state law may offer principals some relief. About 27,000 paraeducators work in schools across the state and cover a wide variety of essential classroom duties. They also provide the bulk of instruction in programs that serve some of the neediest students, including children with special needs and those who are learning English or live in low-income households. After a five-year lobbying effort, lawmakers agreed to create new rules for how school districts train paraeducators. The state also will simplify what it takes for a paraeducator to become a fully certified teacher. 8/22/17 disability scoop (8/22)

Pa. district invests $1.2M in social workers -- Students in the School District of Philadelphia will have access to more than 20 new social workers when the school year begins. The $1.2 million initiative is intended to help educators meet students' behavioral needs. The Philadelphia Tribune (8/17) (For another way to go in addressing students' learning, behavior, and emotional problems, see

19 states adopt later school start times -- The start of the school day will be later for students this year in 19 states, according to the nonprofit Start School Later. Some research shows that students benefit from more sleep.U.S. News & World Report (8/11)

Sick Kids Can Take a Virtual Trip to the Doctor. Telemedicine — virtual doctor visits over video — is increasingly helping nurses do their jobs. Telemedicine programs are making inroads in schools, where a student referred to the nurse can be plopped in front of a screen and connected with a physician. (STAT News, July 19) )

WV School Board Oks Cap for Special Ed Students in General Ed Classes The West Virginia Board of Education passed policy changes last week that cap the percentage of students receiving specially designed instruction for disabilities that schools can place in general education classrooms. (Charleston Gazette-Mail, 7/16) )

OH Creates Crisis Fund to Help Kids with Behavioral IssuesFor the first time, the state is to create a “crisis stabilization fund” that can be tapped to help so-called multi-system youths — those who are in danger of entering the child-protective or juvenile-justice systems due to their disabilities, mental illnesses and dangerous behavioral problems. (Canton Rep, 7/10) )

Concerns about credit recovery programs.  Struggling students in Los Angeles, New York City and elsewhere are using credit-recovery programs to make up for classes they fail and get the credits they need to graduate. Even though the programs have succeeded in boosting graduation rates, some question whether they create lower standards. Los Angeles Times.(7/2)

>County to pay rent so children don't have to change schools. To keep 26 children from being yanked out of their Northeast Portland (OR) elementary school mid-school-year, Multnomah County will spend $48,000 to cover the steep rent increases that threatened to displace them and their families. Rigler Elementary School is in the county's SUN Community Schools program, which provides after-school activities and social services to disadvantaged students. The county-connection made reallocation of funds possible. County officials decided that, through the SUN program, they'd made an investment in Rigler children's success and wanted to support that community.

>North Carolina's School-Based Mental Health Initiativ. Requires all LEAs/charter schools to develop and implement a plan for assessing and improving the effectiveness of existing supports for addressing the mental health and substance use needs of the student population. Each plan is to address (1) universal prevention, (2) early intervention services, and (3) referral, treatment, and re-entry. In addition, state-level supports via consultation and training are described. Policy statement


Also access other news stories relevant to improving addressing barriers to learning through links at

We draw on a variety of standard sources to amass the above items (e.g., ECS e-clip at

Links to News sources  Related to the Center's Concerns

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