Supporting Students’ Mental Health
The pandemic has exacerbated many students’ mental health challenges and highlighted the need for schools to support well-being. “Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Needs,” a new guide from the U.S. Department of Education, highlights seven challenges to providing mental health supports for students from early childhood through higher education (e.g., fragmented delivery systems and policy and funding gaps), along with seven corresponding recommendations. An appendix includes examples of programs around the country as well as resources from the federal government and other sources to help providers implement the recommendations. Read the full report at bit.ly/3FTFfy1.
Breathing New Life Into One School’s NHS Chapter
The year 2021 marked the centennial of National Honor Society (NHS), a program of NASSP. Since its founding in 1921, NHS has recognized and encouraged exceptional student leaders. One such chapter, established a few years after NHS was born, is now gaining new life. Sterling High School in Sterling, CO, had an active NHS chapter from 1925 through 2013. After eight years of dormancy, the school proudly reinstated its chapter this school year. “We accepted 20 students, and each of them is amazing,” says Virginia Splichal, an English teacher and NHS adviser. “They are the students who lead our school and will someday lead our community and our country.”
Meeting the Needs of Students With Disabilities
“Forward Together: Helping Educators Unlock the Power of Students Who Learn Differently,” a report by the National Center for Learning Disabilities and the organization Understood, looks at how schools in the United States are serving the 1 in 5 students with learning and attention issues. The report finds “that the majority of teachers are highly interested in learning how to reach struggling learners” and are more confident in their teaching abilities when they develop the necessary knowledge and skills. But teachers can’t do it all on their own. The report urges policymakers, teacher preparation leaders, administrators, and caregivers to work together to overcome the barriers that hinder student learning and development. Along with the report, a guide for school leaders outlines steps, such as establishing an inclusive schoolwide mission and vision and engaging families as partners, to help teachers in general education classrooms teach and reach the 1 in 5. Read the full report at bit.ly/3Iz5741.
Celebrating Student Leaders
“Trailblazing Leadership” is the theme of National Student Leadership Week, April 24–30. These past few years have pushed us all to discover new ways to keep moving forward. But nobody has demonstrated innovation and adaptability like our student leaders. They’ve navigated online learning and changing health protocols. They’ve pioneered new service project ideas and virtual spirit rallies to keep our school communities connected. And they’ve done it all by charting their own path. Today’s student leaders are the trailblazers we need, so let’s celebrate them this week and every week for all that they do. Get involved by visiting studentleadershipweek.org for activity ideas, social media graphics, and more.