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Learning opportunities for student social-emotional and mental-health support

Editor’s note: Special to School News Network, Special Education Director Kirsten Myers shared the following list of Kent ISD resources that was sent out to special-education and other administrators throughout Kent County following last week’s mass shooting at Oxford High School.  

All Districts — In reflecting on the heartbreaking tragedy at Oxford High School and the impact it is having on staff and school communities, Kent ISD continues to promote and provide the following resources and professional development opportunities available to support district staff. These programs are helpful in implementing a multi-tiered system of support which promotes programming and intensifying intervention for students with complex behavioral health needs and for the prevention of risk and potential school safety issues.     

  • Mental Health Professional Learning Community  – This Professional Learning Community is for any staff providing mental health support/intervention to collaborate and share ideas to strengthen practice in support of school based mental health. Offered Dec. 7, Feb. 8 and April 13. Sign up on the Kent ISD PD hub
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid – This training introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews adolescent development and teaches a five-step action plan to help young people in crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics include: anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders. YMHFA is offered for educators, staff and community partners including administrators, teachers, counselors, nurses, custodians, secretaries, security staff, lunch personnel, recess staff, bus drivers, youth program directors and youth leaders or workers. Offered Dec. 13 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration can be found on the Kent ISD PD Hub
  • Supporting Student Behavior Professional Development – This NEW Professional Learning Community series, titled “Problem Behavior: Finding the Function and Determining Effective Strategies,” dives into understanding the four functions of behavior and provides strategies to assist staff in developing Positive Behavior Support Plans.  Offered Dec. 14, Jan, 14, March 11 and April 22 from 8 to 10 a.m. Sign up on the Kent ISD PD Hub.
  • Social and Emotional Learning Curriculum – We continue to strongly advocate the importance and need to prioritize the implementation of an SEL curriculum for all students and at all grades at the Tier I level. This Kent ISD SEL Curriculum Resource provides many SEL curriculums that promote self-management, responsible decision making, relationship skills, social awareness and self-awareness. 
  • Restorative Practices Professional Learning Community – This Professional Learning Community is for Restorative Practices Trainers to collaborate around the fidelity of proactive Restorative Practices and how this fits into Tier I social-emotional learning instruction and provides connectivity to current SEL curriculums.  Winter of 2022. Registration coming soon on Kent ISD PD Hub. 
  • TRAILS To Wellness Tier II Implementer Training – This training will provide school counselors, social workers, psychologists and/or others who are responsible for providing emotional and behavioral intervention the tools needed in supporting mental wellness.  Winter for 2022. Registration coming soon on Kent ISD PD Hub. 
  • Safe and Supportive Schools Training – This training explores a variety of topics around LGBTQ+ student safety and inclusion in the classroom. Teachers and other participants will leave with concrete strategies they can immediately implement in the classroom.  Winter of 2022. Registration coming soon on Kent ISD PD Hub.
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