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Student and Staff Well-Being | Ohio Department of Education – Ohio Department of Education

Aug 14th, 2021

Schools and districts play an essential role in supporting the needs of the whole child. Schools have the opportunity to provide a variety of protective factors in the lives of students. This toolkit is designed to explore the social, emotional and behavioral considerations schools and districts may reflect upon.The following topics are included in the toolbox:Building and Sustaining RelationshipsPositive school climate starts with positive relationships. Taking time to build meaningful relationships with students increases feelings of student safety, sense of belonging and focus on the academic environment.

The following are ways schools can maintain connectedness and a positive school climate:

To start, here are some ideas for self-care:

Social and emotional learning teaches students skills such as self-awareness, emotional regulation, flexible thinking, relationship building and responsible decision-making. Developing these skills is an important part of meeting the needs of the whole child and supports their abilities to adapt . Many schools in Ohio are implementing social and emotional programs and curricula to teach these skills to students. OhiosBirth through Kindergarten Entry Learning and Developmental StandardsandK-12 Social and Emotional Learning Standardsprovide helpful information and resources for schools that wish to improve their existing efforts or those starting the process.

Social and emotional learning and resiliency-building initiatives are supported by Ohios Prevention Education and Student Well-being Supports. Districts have been partnering with their local educational service centers and alcohol, drug and mental health boards to assess prevention needs and provide evidence-informed prevention education services for all students in all grades. Prevention education aims to build resiliency and reduce risky behaviors, including substance use, suicide, bullying and other harmful behaviors. Social and emotional learning and prevention education initiatives help students develop coping skills and make healthy decisions. Information on Ohios prevention education initiatives can be foundhere.

The following social skill activities can help students overcome existing stressors:

It is common for individuals to compensate by demonstrating behaviors that provide an increased sense of control. For some students, this may be demonstrated through externalizing behaviors such as refusal to attend and participate in school, defiance or verbal and physical outbursts. Students may demonstrate internalizing behaviors such as withdrawal, changes in sleeping and eating patterns and increased physical complaints (headaches, stomach aches). Teachers may see changes in students abilities to focus and remain on task.

ThePositive Behavioral Interventions and Supports(PBIS) framework provides the foundation for planning and implementing activities throughout this resource. Schools implementing PBIS demonstrate improved relationships and school climate, as well as reductions in behavior disruptions, office discipline referrals and out-of-school discipline. Ohio recognizes high-quality implementation through the Ohio PBIS Recognition System. Schools are eligible to receive awards at the bronze, silver or gold level of distinction. Further information about the PBIS Recognition System and award-winning schools that are available for networking can be foundhere.

Districts and schools can receive PBIS training through state support teams (SSTs) or educational service centers (ESCs). These entities will continue to expand their current PBIS training menus as a part of Ohios School Climate Transformation Grant.

In addition to teaching the typical behavior expectations, staff can:

School staff will benefit from professional development on behavior supports, the impact of stress and trauma on behavior and learning, and how to recognize, respond and refer for mental health needs. Schools can collaborate with mental health agencies to provide services for students and consultation for staff regarding behavior supports and interventions in the classroom.

Solid trauma-informed approaches incorporate a strengths-based approach. Identifying and emphasizing a students strengths, such as the protective factors in his or her life, will assist with addressing any needs the student may have.

When challenging behaviors arise, looking at the why behind the behavior, staying proactive and addressing the students need rather than immediately reacting to behaviors with a disciplinary measure are key to creating a safe, trauma-sensitive environment.

Schools can find ways to support families in managing stress and providing safe environments for students everywhere. Providing parents and caregivers with tips or resources to practice their own self-care and wellness, while also structuring a safe space for learning, are key to helping each student.

Educators should empower families through a strengths-based approach and take preventative measures for increasing safety even when students are not with them. ThePreventing Abuse and Neglectsection on the Ohio Department of Educations website may be a helpful resource for educators to help keep students safe.

School staff should be prepared torecognizethe warning signs of suicide,respondby offering support andreferfor medical or mental health assessment and intervention when needed. The information below is a helpful reminder of these steps but should not take the place of more in-depth training.

Recognizing Warning Signs of Suicide.The following are some of the most common warning signs reflected in student behaviors:

Visit these websites for additional resources:

Last Modified: 8/13/2021 10:47:56 AM

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Student and Staff Well-Being | Ohio Department of Education - Ohio Department of Education

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