Five ways we’re supporting the mental health of BVSD students and educators
Supporting the mental health of our students and educators is a critical need for our community. Impact on Education is committed to helping the Boulder Valley School District provide mental health support for students from kindergarten through graduation, and providing opportunities for educators to help both students and themselves. Having school-based support is critical to navigating mental health struggles and we’ve made five key investments in mental health so far this year:
Professional development for BVSD School Age Care staff
November 2021 and August 2022
School Age Care (SAC) supervisors and assistant supervisors serve a diverse group of students daily at 32 sites throughout Boulder Valley School District (BVSD). From grade levels to academic ability levels to emotional and behavioral health levels, SAC staff must manage each student’s needs and create a safe environment outside of school hours for students and staff.
Impact on Education worked with Calming Kids to provide targeting professional development to 72 SAC staff who work with students before and after school. Participants gained self-regulation skills and learned how to better equip themselves to provide social-emotional support for all students.
RESeT Fairview Day
January 2022 | Daily Camera article (paywall)
Fairview High School paused instruction for one day (January 7, 2022) and offered a day of conferences that focused on four areas: prevention/education, mental health, self care and leadership.
RESeT Fairview Day was a student-led conference funded by Impact on Education that allowed students to engage in a variety of training and learning activities. There were five sessions of over 40 presentations throughout the day making the content accessible to over 2,000 students.
Four new BVSD Mental Health Advocates
May 2022 | Daily Camera article (paywall)
Impact on Education provided funding for BVSD to hire four mental Health Advocate positions in the spring of 2022, a few months after the Marshall Fire. Within BVSD, Mental Health Advocates provide prevention and intervention services for students, supporting their social-emotional and behavioral development, student achievement, and crisis intervention.
Mental Health Advocates can also provide both group and individual counseling support and work directly with students, parents, and staff members. For more acute counseling needs, they help families access external resources for mental health. As a direct result of the Marshall Fire and the mental health impacts this is having on our community, we are working to immediately increase the mental health services available to BVSD students.
The four new Mental Health Advocates are assigned to the seven schools most directly impacted by the Marshall Fire, supporting 6,061 students. They’ve collectively expanded access to mental health services by 35%, providing over 130 consultations and offering direct support and services to 93 families and 359 individuals.
Professional development for BVSD educators
The mental health of educators and school staff directly impacts the students in their classrooms. Through our Academic Opportunity Fund we were able to fund two school requests to support mental health needs at their schools.
At Monarch PK-8, Beth Kelley, author of Teaching, Learning and Trauma, will conduct two professional learning sessions focused on helping teachers respond to students who are dysregulated, strategies to avoid retriggering students, and identifying where students are in their own transition, grief, or trauma. Beth also joined sessions for students dealing with trauma and worked directly with students experiencing higher levels of trauma.
We also provided funding for Centaurus High School to improve school wide behavior interventions targeted at addressing school culture, supporting psychological needs and addressing truancy through the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) lens.
All Advocates for All Youth program
Program launches in 2023
In partnership with Dr. Jill Kaar, a behavioral epidemiologist at CU-Anschutz Medical School, Impact on Education is supporting the implementation of the All Advocates for All Youth (ALLY) program in several Boulder Valley middle schools.
The ALLY program pairs community volunteers with middle school students for six 1:1 sessions. The discussions will provide students with a mental health curriculum that includes a common vocabulary around behavioral health, destigmatizing mental health intervention, and supporting emotional wellness.
BEFORE YOU GO …
Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 30,000 students and 4,000 educators in the Boulder Valley School District.