Information and resources on topics of current interest
Ongoing Hot Issues
Ongoing issues relevant to MH in schools and addressing barriers to learning and teaching
Below are a sample of commentaries related to the National Initiative for Transforming Student/Learning Supports -- for more click here
Restructuring Schools to Address Barriers to Learning and Teaching
in the COVID 19 Context and Beyond
Outsourcing, Contracting Out – PRIVATIZATION OF EDUCATION
Student Success Requires a Unified, Comprehensive, and Equitable System of Learning Supports
Increased Numbers of Students with Learning, Behavior, and Emotional Problems: What will Schools Do?
Online and At School: Teachers Alone Can’t and Shouldn’t Be Expected to Address the Wide Range of Student Mental
Re-engaging Disconnected Students Online and at School: Focus on Intrinsic Motivation
What is (and isn’t) in Place to Address Barriers to Learning and Teaching for the New School Year?
Much Discussion of MTSS, Little Discussion of Student/Learning Support Staff and Developing MTSS into a Unified, Comprehensive, and Equitable System
Hypersensitivity to a Student’s Emotional Reactions Can Be Harmful
CALL TO ACTION: Ensuring that mental health is a high priority as schools reopen
OPEN LETTER TO SUPERINTENDENTS & SCHOOL BOARDS about budget cuts and layoffs
Major talking points for transforming student/learning supports
Are gap analyses of student/learning supports being taken to school improvement planning tables?
Who’s at the table working toward next year’s school improvements?
MTSS: It’s just a starting point for transforming student/learning supports
The Role of Schools in Promoting Whole Child Development and Learning
Transforming Schools to Better Address Barriers to Learning and Teaching:
While Some Schools Don't Need to Do It, Most Do!
Improving State Legislation to Address Barriers to Learning and Teaching
Are you concerned about how to improve student and learning supports?
There seems to be no end to what teachers are expected to learn
First Concern in Improving Mental Health in Schools:
Above All Do No Harm
Safe Schools and Mental Health: More of the Same or
an Opportunity to Really Improve Schools
Test Scores Plateauing? Here’s What’s Missing in School Improvement Efforts
School Reform is Failing to Address Barriers to Learning
Getting Back to Real Policy Basics:
Improving Schools? Not Another Special Initiative!
Interview discussing a strategy to bring behavioral health services to schools
More commentaries are listed as part of the National Initiative for Transforming Student/Learning Supports, click here
It is widely recognized that the pandemic has increased the number of students experiencing
emotional, learning, and behavioral problems. Schools must plan to meet the challenge.
However, as in the past, schools will make serious errors if their plans are based on false assumptions.
Here are five to avoid:
(1) the majority of students are suffering from ailments that require mental health treatment
(2) just adding a few more personnel is the best approach in addressing the many needs of students
(3) teacher and parent identification of youngsters experiencing problems is inadequate and therefore the school should develop a universal screening program
(4) referring students to a mental health provider should be the first step in helping them address mental health concerns
(5) a multi-tiered model (MTSS) is a sufficient intervention framework to improve how schools (and communities) help students.
Also relevant are the following recent Center commentaries:
And for a better understanding of the context for helping all students at school, see
Both available as free resources at https://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/improving_school_improvement.html
As schools move forward to address emotional, learning, and behavior problems, please share what’s happening to stimulate broad-based discussion of misdirections and new and better approaches.
To see previous Hot Topics, click here
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