<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> National Initiative
for Transforming Student
and Learning Supports
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>Equity of opportunity is fundamental to enabling civil rights;
transforming student and learning supports is fundamental to
enabling equity of opportunity, promoting whole child development,
and enhancing school climate
About the Pioneering Work, go to
Commentaries Related to the National Initiative Since 2015
For additional Commentaries click here
9/28/23 -- Mental Health in Schools: Why is Federal Support Focused so Narrowly?
9/14/23 -- Child Poverty is Increasing:
That's Another Reason Schools Need to Transform Student/Learning Supports
9/7/23 -- Addressing Attendance Problems
8/31/23 -- Are Teachers Already Feeling the Pain?
8/17/23 -- About the Current State of Student Support and Future Directions
8/10/23 -- About Teacher Survival
8/3/23 -- Thinking Outside the Box to Enhance Mental Health in Schools
7/27/23 -- About Leadership Considerations for Responding to Student Misconduct
7/20/23 -- About Opportunities to Prevent Child Maltreatment
7/13/23 -- Districts are laying off student support staff -- time to rethink how schools provide student/learning supports
7/7/23 -- A Focus on Improving the Role of Schools in Providing Student/Learning Supports for Homeless Students
6/29/23 -- Moving Beyond the Mental Health and Learning Loss Crises
6/22/23 -- The Mental Health Crisis and Schools: Don't Limit the Focus to MTSS
6/8/23 -- About shifting the framework for improving schools
6/1/23 -- Want to Make the Next School Year Better?
Then this summer is the time to plan for transforming how student/learning supports are provided at schools.
5/25/23 -- What's Missing in the New Report on The State of School Diversity in the United States?
5/18/23 -- Mental Health in Schools: Moving Beyond the Emergency
5/11/23 -- Screening Students for Problems: Testing Often is Not Needed
5/4/23 -- How schools can play a much more proactive role in reducing the opportunity gap
4/20/23 -- About Addressing the Growing Discipline Problems
4/20/23 -- Yet another initiative meant to enhance Mental Health in Schools: It needs some more thought
4/13/23 -- Students sad, distressed?
3/30/23 -- About How Schools can Best Play their role in Addressing Mental Health Concerns
3/23/23 -- School System Challenges that SEL Must Address
3/9/23 -- What did Scholastic, Inc. have to do with Introducing Educators to a Unified, Comprehensive, and Equitable System of Learning Supports?
3/2/23 -- Community Schools and MTSS Provide a Platform for Transforming Student/Learning Supports
2/24/23 -- Mental Health in Schools: We Never Argue Against the Need for Additional Federal Support, BUT ...
2/2/23 -- A host of free and readily accessible resources from the Center for MH in Schools & Student/Learning Supports at UCLA
1/19/23 -- Is current advocacy for more and more student support professionals interfering with efforts to transform student/learning supports?
1/12/23 -- About the Student Mental Health Crisis
1/5/23 -- Myths Schools Live By and are Suffering from Related to Addressing Learning, Behavior, and Emotional Problems
12/15/22 -- Resources for Improving How Schools Address Barriers to Learning & Teaching
12/8/22 -- A New Year's Resolution for All Who Want to Improve How Schools Address Learning, Behavior, and Emotional Problems
12/1/22 -- About the Daily Supports Teachers Need
11/17/22 -- How federal agencies contribute to fragmenting the role schools play in addressing the problems of children and youth
11/10/22 -- Concerned about the backlash to student support services?
11/3/22 -- Everyone's Talking About Students' Mental Health: Schools Need to Avoid Five Potential Pitfalls
10/27/22 -- Learning Loss: What Needs to be Done?
10/13/22 -- About Safe and SUPPORTIVE Schools
10/7/22 -- Backlash to Prevailing Support Services: Change is Coming -- Time for Leadership to Guide it in a Better Direction
10/6/22 -- Right Now Many Students are Doing Poorly and Aren't Being Helped
9/29/22 -- What you can do right now to encourage improving student/learning supports
9/8/22 -- What are Community Schools Doing to Help Transform Student/Learning Supports?
9/1/22 -- NEW: A Brief Guide for Moving Student/Learning Supports in New Directions
8/25/22 -- Helping New Teachers Succeed
8/18/22 -- Increased Attention to Mental Health in Schools is an Opportunity to do More than Address the Immediate Needs of a Few Students
8/11/22 -- Enhancing Equity of Opportunity at Schools: Not likely without schools developing a Unified, Comprehensive, and Equitable System of Student/Learning Supports
8/4/22 -- More Federal Funding for Safety and Mental Health in Schools
7/28/22 -- About Anxiety, Resilience, and Schools
7/21/22 -- What do recent reports tell us about student well-being at this stage in the pandemic?
7/14/22 -- Just Adopting Buzzwords and Tinkering with Student/Learning Supports is a Recipe for Maintaining an Unsatisfactory Status Quo (or Worse)
7/7/22 -- Growing numbers of students labeled with disabilities: Why is anyone surprised?
6/30/22 -- Helping School Boards Move Forward in Addressing Barriers to Learning
6/23/22 -- Is it a Community School OR is it a School with a Community School Initiative?
6/9/22 -- Are You Experiencing Pooh's Dilemma?
6/2/22 -- This School Year Ends with Mixed Emotions: Moving Ahead with a Focus on Enhancing Equity of Opportunity
5/26/22 -- A Caution About How the Feds Think About Student/Learning Supports and Mental Health
5/19/22 -- Enhancing How Schools Address Barriers to Learning and Teaching is a Critical Step in Improving Support for Public Education
5/12/22 -- Mental Health in Schools: Taking Stock, Moving Ahead
5/5/22 -- Time for Schools to Remind the Community: "Here's the Positive Contribution We are Making"
4/28/22 -- Mental Health in Schools: An Opportunity Gained! An Opportunity Lost?
4/21/22 -- Is public education in a state of crisis?
4/13/22 -- A cautionary note about how schools focus on students' mental health
4/6/22 -- Embed School-based Services into a Unified, Comprehensive, and Equitable System of Student/Learning Supports
3/31/22 -- Mental Health in Schools: More than Providing School-Based Services
3/24/22 -- How School Boards Can Pursue New Directions to Help Schools Address Barriers to Learning and Teaching
3/17/22 -- Transforming Student/Learning Supports: What We've Learned so Far
3/10/22 -- Integrated SERVICES, MTSS, SEL, COMMUNITY SCHOOLS, and???
What is Widely Advocated is Too Limited but Can Be Built on in ways that Fundamentally Transform How Schools Address Barriers to Learning & Teaching
3/3/22 -- Schools already have good sources for screening a student's problems; they don't need to waste resources by adopting another screening instrument
2/28/22 -- We must transform how schools address barriers to learning
2/24/22 -- Don't Limit Thinking about How Schools Can Best Help Address Students' Mental Health
2/17/22 -- Planning to Apply for a Full Service Community Schools' grant?
2/10/22 -- Improving Student/Learning Supports Requires Reworking the Operational Infrastructure
1/27/22 -- ACTION STEPS for Improving How Schools Address Barriers to Learning and Teaching - including mental health concerns
1/18/22 -- Mental Health in Schools: We won't Argue Against Adding More Counselors, BUT ...
12/30/21 -- Teachers seeking supports stress that the sheer number of students needing help is overwhelming
12/23/21 -- Addressing Social and Emotional Well-Being: Beyond the Pandemic
12/16/21 -- A Major Lesson from School Shootings
12/9/21 -- Too Many Students Are Not Doing Well: What Schools Need to Do to Help Them Succeed This Year
12/1/21 -- Crisis Response, Recovery, and Prevention
11/26/21 -- Broadly Addressing What Students Have Lost as a Result of the COVID 19 Pandemic
10/21/21 -- Enhancing Tiered Systems of Support & Student/Learning Supports
10/6/21 -- Why Schools Need to Transform Student/Learning Supports and How to Move Forward
9/23/21 -- What Can Schools Do to Counter Unnecessary Referrals for Special Services and Over-Pathological Labeling of Students?
9/21/21 -- Schools and Mental Health: A Position Statement
9/9/21 -- More (Temporary) Money to Improve Behavioral Health: The Good and the Bad for Schools
9/1/21 -- Concerned about Mental Health in Schools? Then Focus on Improving How Schools Control and Socialize Students . . . see Misbehavior, Social Control, and Student Engagement
8/26/21 -- What's Being Done to Improve Efforts to Address Learning, Behavior, and Emotional Problems?
8/19/21 -- 2021-22: Addressing Learning, Behavior, and Emotional Problems Through Better Use of Student and Learning Support Staff
8/12/21 -- About the Growing Demand for Mental Health in Schools
7/29/21 -- What's Wrong with Current State Approaches to Addressing Student Mental Health Need?
7/22/21 -- Evolving Community Schools and Transforming Student/Learning Supports
7/15/21 -- Many Calls for Improving Schools; Too Little Attention to the Problem of Making Complex and Sustainable System Changes
7/8/21 -- Open Letter to Chief School Officers, District Superintendents, School Board Members, Principals, and All Other Education Leaders
7/2/21 -- Mental Health in Schools is Not Just about More Services: It is part of a Comprehensive Approach to Student and Learning Supports
7/1/21 -- Don't Leave Improving Mental Health in Schools Up to Proposed Legislation
6/11/21 -- Everyone's Talking About Students' Mental Health: Schools Need to Avoid Five Potential Pitfalls
6/9/21 -- How are federal stimulus funds being used to address barriers to learning and teaching?
5/28/21 -- About Temporary Relief Funds and Mental Health in Schools
4/26/21 -- Students and Families Not Returning to School? Organize and Mobilize Outreach From Those Who Have
4/23/21 -- About How Temporary Relief Funds for Schools are Used
4/15/21 -- Mental health Concerns are Becoming a School Priority: But How Best to Address the Priority Remains Controversial
3/24/21 -- Here We Go Again: In the Rush to Spend Federal Stimulus Funds Schools are Attending to Immediate Individual Needs Without Addressing the Opportunity to Make Necessary Systemic Improvements
2/18/21 -- Mental Health in Schools: Good! Advocacy for Separate Agenda – Not So Good!
2/11/21 --About Improving Student and Learning Supports: New Directions and New Roles for Student Support Staff
2/4/21 -- W hat is Personalized Instruction and What’s Needed to Make it Work?
1/28/21 -- Have districts and schools established a leadership team to meet the challenge of the increased number of students manifesting learning, behavior, and emotional problems?
1/21/21 -- About budget cuts and the need to transform student/learning supports
1/7/21 -- Finding and Reengaging Students who Went Missing During the COVID Pandemic
12/23/20 -- Mental Health in Schools: Much More than Part of the System of Care Delivery System
12/17/20 -- About trauma-informed, ACES, SEL, disengaged students, etc. etc.: Increased Concern, Misdirected Action
12/10/20 -- As Students Return to School ... focusing on mental health concerns
11/12/20 --The Biden education transition team has been formed
11/11/20 --Outsourcing, Contracting Out – PRIVATIZATION OF EDUCATION
9/24/20 --Student Success Requires a Unified, Comprehensive, and Equitable System of Learning Supports
9/2/20 --Increased Numbers of Students with Learning, Behavior, and Emotional Problems: What will Schools Do?
8/5/20 --Online and At School: Teachers Alone Can’t and Shouldn’t Be Expected to Address the Wide Range of Student Mental
7/30/20 -- Re-engaging Disconnected Students Online and at School: Focus on Intrinsic Motivation
7/22/20 -- What is (and isn’t) in Place to Address Barriers to Learning and Teaching for the New School Year?
7/19/20 --Watch out!
Much Discussion of MTSS, Little Discussion of Student/Learning Support Staff and Developing MTSS into a Unified, Comprehensive, and Equitable System
7/16/20 --Hypersensitivity to a Student’s Emotional Reactions Can Be Harmful
7/9/20 --CALL TO ACTION: Ensuring that mental health is a high priority as schools reopen
7/2/20 --NEW BOOK JUST PUT ONLINE FOR FREE ACCESS Embedding Mental Health as Schools Change
As of 3/11/20, the National Initiative has focused on the changes necessary for addressing the immediate and future challenges caused by COVID-19. For updates, click here
3/4/20 --OPEN LETTER TO SUPERINTENDENTS & SCHOOL BOARDS about budget cuts and layoffs 2/23/20 -- Major talking points for transforming student/learning supports 2/19/20 -- Are gap analyses of student/learning supports being taken to school improvement planning tables? 2/13/20 -- Who’s at the table working toward next year’s school improvements?7/12/19 --What Really is a COMPREHENSIVE Approach to Mental Health in Schools? 2/5/20 -- MTSS: It’s just a starting point for transforming student/learning supports 1/29/20 --The Role of Schools in Promoting Whole Child Development and Learning 1/23/20 --Transforming Schools to Better Address Barriers to Learning and Teaching: While Some Schools Don’t Need to Do It, Most Do! 1/16/20 -- Improving State Legislation to Address Barriers to Learning and Teaching
10/24/19 -- About Legislation for Mental Health in Schools 10/17/19 -- Why Aren't the Leading Advocates for School Improvement Talking About Transforming Student and Learning Supports? 10/10/19 -- Why Aren’t Schools Doing More to Improve Student and Learning Supports? 9/12/19 -- Are you concerned about how to improve student and learning supports?7/25/19 -- Enhanced School Climate Emerges from Whole School Improvements 9/5/19 -- There seems to be no end to what teachers are expected to learn 8/29/19 --First Concern in Improving Mental Health in Schools: Above All Do No Harm 8/15/19 -- Some Steps and Resources for Encouraging Policy Changes to Improve How Schools Address Barriers to Learnng 8/8/19 -- New School Year, New Opportunities to Move Forward in Addressing Barriers to Learning & Teaching 8/1/19 -- Improving Schools: Why is it so hard? 7/11/19 -- Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child: More Buzzwords? 6/20/19 --How Well Do State Legislatures Focus on Improving School Efforts to Address Barriers to Learning and Teaching & Re engage Disconnected Students? 4/24/19 --Follow-up to legislators re. Legislation to move school improvement policy to a three component approach 4/24/19 -- Follow-up re. Legislation to move school improvement policy to a three component approach 4/4/19 -- Improving How Schools Address Barriers to Learning & Teaching: Escaping Old Ideas and Moving Beyond Current Trends 3/9/19 -- --Informing other stakeholders about efforts with state legislatures 2/21/19 -- Legislation for moving school improvement policy to a three component approach 2/7/19 -- --What are States Doing to Help Schools Address Barriers to
Learning and Teaching?
1/31/19 -- --Update re. our emails to state legislators re. moving to a three component
approach to school improvement
1/23/19 -- -- About the Legislation to move school improvement policy to a three component approach
1/16/19 -- -- More about Legislation to move school improvement policy to a three component approach 1/10/19 -- -- Legislation to move school improvement policy to a three component approach
12/20/19 -- -- Controversies About School Improvement Efforts
12/19/19 -- More Than a Quarter of Schools Could Be Flagged as in Need of Improvement Under ESSA-- What Does it Take to Make Fundamental and Sustainable School Improvements? 12/9/19 -- 12/7/19 ---- Reframing Accountability for Whole Child Development and Addressing Barriers
to Learning and Teaching
12/3/19 -- -- Managing Behavior at School: Beyond Overrelying on Behavior Control Strategies 11/25/19 ---- School-Community Collaboration: What’s Going Wrong? 11/18/19 ---- Meeting learners where they are! Personalized Instruction 11/14/19 ---- About MTSS and Addressing Barriers to Learning and Teaching 11/9/19 ---- About School Choice 11/1/19 ---- School Improvement, School Transformation – Some Straight Talk 10/19/19 -- Did you find this free book helpful?-- 9/9/18-- Safe Schools and Mental Health: More of the Same or an Opportunity to Really Improve Schools 9/5/18-- Moving Forward with School Improvement this Year 8/26/18 -- Center Resources you may have missed if you were away during the summer6/11/18 -- ANNOUNCING NEW BOOK: Improving School Improvement 4/3/18-- About School Response to School Shooting 3/9/18--Agenda for Workgroups Focused on Enhancing School Safety As 3/2/18 -- About Threat Assessment 2/16/18 -- About School Shootings2 /12/18 -- How well are schools addressing barriers to learning and teaching? 2/5/18 -- ESSA and new directions for addressing barriers to learning and teaching 1/14/18 -- Equity of opportunity: A pressing concern for school improvement 1/7/18 -- So much has changed; so little has changed --Where do schools go from here?
- 1/23/17 --Summit Agenda
- 1/24/17 --Next Steps 1/26/17 -- Summit Report 2/7/17 -- Why is there so little attention in ESSA planning with respect to transforming student and learning supports? 3/4/17 - Revitalizing Local Control: Transforming Student/Learning Supports and Enhancing Equity of Opportunity- 3/11/17 -- QUERY: About Improving student and learning supports 3/15/17 --US Dept. of Education's streamlined ESSA planning template 3/22/17 --Response to queries about help for moving in new directions for student/learning supports 3/30/17 --Are you moving toward personalizing learning? 4/5/17 --ESSA -- Why are we wasting the opportunity of the Every Student Succeeds Act by continuing to marginalize student/learning supports? 5/10/17 -- Escaping Old Ideas to More Effectively Address Barriers to Learning and Teaching: Some New Resources
- 5/22/17 -- Announcement About New Books
- June, 2017 -- Message to School Boards Á administrators
- June, 2017 -- How are you enhancing equity of opportunity for all students?
- June, 2017 --Priority: Enhancing the School’s Role in Addressing Barriers to Learning and Teaching
- July 9, 2017 --Which Schools are Taking Equity Seriously?
- July 14, 2017 --Brief Report on Responses to an Inquiry about Which Schools are Taking Equity Seriously?
- July 24, 2017 --How are you working to end the costly fragmentation of student/learning supports?
- July 29, 2017 -- School Choice Discussions are Masking What’s Really Involved in Enhancing Equity of Opportunity at School
- August 7, 2017 -- Vague planning continues re. addressing educational problems
- August 14, 2017 -- Time for Straight Talk about Mental Health Services and MH in Schools
- August 25, 2017 -- Evolving School Improvement Planning for Addressing Barriers to Learning and Teaching
- September 7, 2017 -- More schools developing learning supports into a unified system
- September 15, 2017 --Call to action to end the marginalization and fragmentation of student/learning supports --
- September 24, 2017 -- ESSA Stakeholder Engagement -- Get to the Planning Table --
- October 1, 2017 -- Where are the school improvement discussions about student/learning supports? --
- October 15, 2017 --An easy step in making student/learning supports a higher priority in school improvement planning
- October 22, 2017 -- About the Gates Foundation focus on networks of schools
- October 29, 2017 -- School Improvement, ESSA, and Addressing Barriers to Learning and Teaching
- November 12, 2017 -- Is MTSS becoming another buzzword?
- November 13, 2017 -- As a Buzzword, MTSS will be Counterproductive
- November 19, 2017 -- Scholastic, Inc. is working on transforming student/learning supports
- December 2, 2017 -- More Information about Improving Student/Learning Supports
- December 8, 2017 -- Integrated Student Supports (ISS) initiatives need to be embedded into a Unified, Comprehensive, and Equitable System of Learning Supports: Don’t Stop with an Integrated Student Supports (ISS) Initiative!
- 1/13/16 --Summary of First Responses to the Jan. 11 Survey on ESSA and the Additional Accountability Indicator
- 1/19/16 --ESSA: Will Adding a Nonacademic Accountability Indicator Enhance Student and Learning Supports?
- 1/26/16 --ESSA and Equity of Opportunity
- 2/3/16 --We Need a School Board Policy to Address Barriers to Learning and Teaching
- 2/23/16 -- ESSA, Equity of Opportunity, and Addressing Barriers to Learning
- 5/6/16 -- Using ESSA to Transform Student and Learning Supports
- 5/25/16-- Starting to Plan for ESSA? Have You had a Critical Dialogue About Advancing Equity of Opportunity?
- 6/10/16-- Piecemeal Policy Advocacy for Improving Schools Amounts to Tinkering and Works Against Fundamental System Transformation
- 7/21/16-- Supports for Students Deemed At-Risk
- 8/2/16-- The Case for Making Student/Learning Supports a Primary Component of School Improvement 8/17/16 -- A New School Year; Opportunities to Anticipate and Address Problems -- As school starts, are staff waiting to react rather than working to prevent problems?
- 8/24/16 --Preparing for ESSA? -- Start by Reviewing the Analyses of What’s been Wrong with School Improvement Efforts
- 9/13/16 -- Using ESSA to EMBED Mental Health into School Improvement
- 9/26/16 -- A Concerned Analysis of Arizona’s ESSA Draft Plan for Supporting All Students
- 10/5/16 -- Why aren’t Student and Learning Support Staff Seen as School Leaders?
- 10/10/16 -- About ESSA Planning
- 10/19/16 -- ESSA State Consolidated Plans: Rethinking MTSS to Better Address Barriers to Learning
- 10/26/16 -- Is bullying a symptom of the need for systemic school changes?
- 11/2/16 -- Improving ESSA Planning for Student and Learning Supports
- 12/11/16 --•SPECIAL PRE-SUMMIT Every Student Succeeds Act: Planning is an Immediate Task, But . . . Addressing Barriers to Learning is the Pressing Imperative
- 1/21/15 -- Opportunity to focus ESEA reauthorization on transforming student and learning supports
- 1/28/15 -- About the Senate's full committee hearing on Fixing No Child Left Behind: Supporting Teacher and School Leaders (1/27/15)
- 2/3/15 -- About Tuesday's (2/3/15) Senate's Committee Hearing: Innovation
- 2/11/15 -- Building Momentum for Ending the Marginalization of Student and Learning Supports
- 2/18/15 -- Moving Forward NOW!
- 2/25/15 -- The Disconnect Between School Improvement Politics and What Schools Need to Succeed
- 3/25/15 -- About the Personalized learning initiative in New England
- 3/31/15 -- Eight Points to Consider about Why Schools Need To Transform Student and Learning Supports
- 4/6/15 -- Do you know anyone who is not in favor of having high standards for students?
- 4/15/15 -- Test Scores Plateauing? Consider Transforming Student & Learning Supports
- 4/22/15 -- School Improvement: Who’s Mapping and Analyzing Student and Learning Supports?
- 4/28/15 -- Student & Learning Supports: Getting Credit for all that is being done
- 5/4/15 -- You want higher achievement test scores – Transform Student and Learning Supports!
- 5/13/15 -- Rethinking Websites in Conveying School Improvement Efforts
- 5/19/15 -- Trend toward School Funding Formulas that Address Barriers to Equity of Opportunity?
- 5/27/15 -- Is Planning for Transforming Student and Learning Supports on the Summer Agenda?
- 6/3/15 -- 2015 State Teachers of the Year Identify Barriers to Learning & Teaching
- 6/18/15 -- Keeping Public Education Viable
- 6/24/15 -- Equity of Opportunity at School: A Civil Right
- 7/8/15 -- Principals Tell Us Efforts to Address Learning, Behavior, and Emotional Problems are Consuming a Large Portion of the Budget without Returning Enough on the Investment
- 7/22/15 -- Kicking off the School Year with a Sense of Exciting Renewal: Generating Hope, Not Ho Hum
- 8/5/15 -- What we are hearing about transforming student and learning supports...
- 8/19/15 -- Focus on School Adjustment Problems: INVEST NOW . . . OR PAY LATER!
- 8/15/15 -- Relaunching Students & Learning Supports
- 9/1/15 -- Follow-up on Relaunching Students & Learning Supports
- 9/22/15 -- Transformation Requires Unifying – Not just Integrating Student/Learning Supports
- 10/1/15 -- More about Integrating Student and Learning Supports "Integrating Supports, a Useful Step, but Not the Main Point"
- 10/14/15 -- Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child – The Implementation Problem
- 10/28/15 -- Farmers have a saying: Weighing the Pig, Doesn’t Fatten it.
- 11/10/15 -- Engagaing and Re-engaging Students and Families
- 12/17/15 -- About Expanding School Accountability: Rather than One Additional Measure, Add Real Accountability for Addressing Barriers to Learning and Teaching
- 12/29/15 -- How Will Every Student Succeed? (Blog for Education Post)
CENTER FOR MENTAL HEALTH IN SCHOOLS
UCLA Department of Psychology
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563