THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER RECOMMENDS:
That the Chicago Board of Education (“Board”) adopt a new Student Social and Emotional Health Policy.
The Illinois Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003 (the “Act”) requires that the Board establish a policy for incorporating social, emotional and mental health development into the District’s educational program. The Act also requires that the Board establish protocols for responding to children with social, emotional or mental health problems that impact learning. This policy was developed to comply with the requirements of this Act.
Since children’s social and emotional development is essential underpinnings to school readiness and academic success, the Chicago Public Schools (“CPS”) will incorporate social and emotional development into the CPS educational program. The goals for addressing these student developmental needs through an educational program are to:
- Enhance student school readiness, academic success and use of good citizenship skills;
- Foster a safe, supportive learning environment where students feel respected and valued;
- Teach social and emotional skills to all students; and
- Promote student social and emotional well-being by partnering with families and communities.
In order to promote the social and emotional development of all students, CPS will pursue program development in the following areas:
- Classroom and School-Wide Programming: Implement evidence-based, age and culturally appropriate classroom instruction and school-wide strategies that teach social and emotional skills, promote optimal mental health, and prevent risk behaviors for all students.
- Staff Development and Training: Provide staff development to all school personnel, including administrative, academic, pupil support staff ancillary staff in age-appropriate social, emotional, and academic learning and ways to promote it in the classroom.
- Parent and Family Involvement: Provide parents and families with learning opportunities related to the importance of their children’s optimal social and emotional development, and ways to enhance it.
- Community Partnerships: Establish partnerships with diverse community agencies and organizations to assure a coordinated approach to addressing children’s mental health and social and emotional development.
- Early Identification and Intervention: Utilize existing protocols to screen, assess and provide early intervention for students who have significant risk factors for social, emotional, or mental health problems that impact learning.
- Assessment and Intervention: Build and strengthen referral and follow-up mechanisms for providing effective clinical services for children with social, emotional, and mental health issues that impact learning through student and family support services, school-based Intervention, and school and community linked services and supports.
Support services provided by school nurses, school social workers, school psychologists, school counselors will be available for students with social and emotional difficulties that impact learning. Also, linkages and referrals will be available with collaborative partners when more extensive services are needed.
The Act specifies that the Illinois State Board of Education (“ISBE”) will develop a plan to incorporate social and emotional development standards as part of the Illinois Learning Standards. Upon ISBE issuing such plan and standards, CPS will modify its existing protocols for responding to children with social, emotional, or mental health problems that impact learning for consistency with new state requirements.
|405 ILCS 49/15