District of Columbia School Discipline Laws & Regulations: School-based Behavioral Health Programs

Discipline Compendium

District of Columbia School Discipline Laws & Regulations: School-based Behavioral Health Programs

Category: Prevention, Behavioral Interventions, and Supports
Subcategory: School-based Behavioral Health Programs
State: District of Columbia

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LAWS

§ 2-1517.31. Definitions.

For the purposes of this part, the term:

(1) "Behavioral health" means a person's overall social, emotional, and psychological well-being and development.

§ 2-1517.32. Early childhood and school-based behavioral health comprehensive plan.

(a) By March 30, 2013, the Mayor shall submit a comprehensive plan to the Council for the expansion of early childhood and school-based behavioral health programs and services by the 2016-2017 school year. At minimum, the plan shall:

(1) Establish a strategy to enhance behavioral health services in all public schools and public charter schools, including:

(A) The implementation of programs that:

(i) Include interventions for families of students with behavioral health needs;

(ii) Reduce aggressive and impulsive behavior; and

(iii) Promote social and emotional competency in students; and

(B) The expansion of school-based mental health services as follows:

(i) By the 2014-2015 school year, services are available to at least 50% of all public and public charter school students;

(ii) By the 2015-2016 school year, services are available to at least 75% of all public and public charter school students; and

(iii) By the 2016-2017 school year, services are available to all public and public charter school students;

(2) Include an analysis of whether current health education standards align with actual behavioral health needs of youth and any recommendations for proposed changes; and

(3) Provide recommendations for the expansion of behavioral health programs and services at child development facilities.

(b)(1) The Mayor shall not alter the school-based behavioral health programs and services model for the 2017-2018 school year.

(2) There is established a Task Force on School Mental Health ("Task Force") to steer the creation of a comprehensive plan to expand school-based behavioral health programs and services. The Task Force shall consist of the following:

(A) The Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services or his or her designee, to co-chair the task force;

(B) The Deputy Mayor for Education or his or her designee;

(C) The Director of the Department of Behavioral Health or his or her designee;

(D) The State Superintendent of Education or his or her designee;

(E) A Department of Behavioral Health school mental health program clinician appointed by the Chairperson of the Committee on Health, in consultation with committee members;

(F) The Chairperson of the Committee on Health or his or her designee;

(G) The Chairperson of the Committee on Education or his or her designee;

(H) A Department of Behavioral Health school mental health program clinician appointed by the Mayor;

(I) A representative of a core service agency appointed by the Mayor;

(J) A non-core service agency school mental health provider appointed by the Mayor;

(K) A District of Columbia Public Schools representative appointed by the Mayor;

(L) A parent of a District of Columbia Public Schools student and a parent of a District of Columbia public charter school student appointed by the Chairperson of the Committee on Education, in consultation with committee members;

(M) A non-core service agency school mental health provider appointed by the Chairperson of the Committee on Education, in consultation with committee members;

(N) A District of Columbia public charter school representative appointed by the Chairperson of the Committee on Education, in consultation with committee members;

(O) A representative of a core service agency appointed by the Chairperson of the Committee on Health, in consultation with committee members; and

(P) A school mental health expert appointed by the Chairperson of the Committee on Health, in consultation with committee members, to co-chair the task force.

(3) The Task Force shall review the comprehensive plan submitted to the Committee on Health and the Committee on Education on May 9, 2017, by the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services ("Deputy Mayor").

(4) By February 9, 2018, the Task Force shall provide a report to the Council and the Mayor that includes the following:

(A) An evaluation of the comprehensive plan submitted under paragraph (3) of this subsection, including the following:

(i) Any shortcomings or defects in the plan;

(ii) An analysis of healthcare provider interest in participating in the plan;

(iii) An analysis of healthcare provider capacity to participate in the plan; and

(iv) District of Columbia Public Schools and District of Columbia public charter schools interest in participating in the plan;

(B) An analysis of the school mental health programs and providers currently operating in District of Columbia Public Schools and District of Columbia public charter schools, including best practices;

(C) An analysis of the Department of Behavioral Health's current school mental health program ("SMHP") to determine what schools participate in the SMHP and what activities occur across the schools, including an analysis of available Department of Behavioral health data, such as the following:

(i) The number of psychiatric admits for children by school;

(ii) The number of children with an individualized education plan; and

(iii) Existing SMHP data for the number of sessions and number of clients per school;

(D) A comprehensive plan to expand school-based behavioral health programs and services, which shall include:

(i) The Task Force's proposed changes to the Deputy Mayor's comprehensive plan under paragraph (3) of this subsection;

(ii) A timeline for implementation of the Task Force's comprehensive plan;

(iii) A funding source for the Task Force's comprehensive plan;

(iv) A workforce development strategy;

(v) The District-wide need for school-based behavioral health programs and services; and

(vi) Evaluation criteria to determine the common metrics all school mental health providers should collect so indicators of success may be reported across providers.

§ 7-1131.17. Youth behavioral health program.

(a) As of October 1, 2012, there is established within the Department, and shall be made available to all child development facilities, public schools, and public charter schools, a program that, at a minimum, provides participants with the tools needed to:

(1) Identify students who may have unmet behavioral health needs;

(2) Refer identified students to appropriate services for behavioral health screenings and behavioral health assessments;

(3) Recognize the warning signs and risk factors for youth suicide and implement best practices for suicide prevention, suicide intervention, and suicide postvention.

§ 38-236.06. Support for positive school climate and trauma-informed educational settings.

(c-1) Beginning October 1, 2019, and consistent with the recommendations in the Report of the Task Force on School Mental Health submitted March 26, 2018, the Department of Behavioral Health shall provide local education agencies and schools with non-instructional personnel who have specialized expertise in behavioral health and trauma-informed educational settings to provide local education agencies and schools with broader mental health services, including reducing the use of exclusion by addressing the causes of student misconduct and being available for consultation regarding the development and revision of disciplinary plans.

§ 38-754.03. Administration of community schools incentive initiative.

(a) The Mayor shall establish and administer the multiyear Community Schools Incentive Initiative ("Incentive Initiative") to award multiyear grants to incentivize the establishment of no fewer than 5 new community schools within one year of June 19, 2012, with priority given to schools that have:

(1) A focus on mental health prevention and treatment services.

§ 38-827.01. Establishment of the Healthy Youth and Schools Commission.

(a) There is established the Healthy Youth and Schools Commission with the purpose of advising the Mayor and the Council on health, wellness, and nutritional issues concerning youth and schools in the District, including:

(9) Emotional, social, and mental health services.

§ 38-2602. Responsibilities.

(b) The OSSE shall:

(26)(A) Develop and publish online written guidance to assist LEAs in developing and adopting policies and procedures for handling aspects of student mental and behavioral health. The written guidance shall include model policies for identifying, appropriately supporting, and referring to behavioral health service providers students with mental and behavioral health concerns, and model policies for suicide prevention, suicide intervention, and suicide postvention, especially for at-risk youth sub-groups.

(B) OSSE shall examine its guidance on mental and behavioral health in schools at least every 5 years and update its guidance as needed. Within 30 days of updating its guidance, OSSE shall notify LEAs of the update.

REGULATIONS

5-B2413. School-based health centers.

2413.1 The Chancellor may accept health services, including primary health, behavioral health, and oral health, from the Director of the Department of Health, the Director of the Department of Mental Health, or from a public or non-profit healthcare organization. The health services shall be provided to D.C. Public Schools students in a school setting in accordance with the provisions of this section, standards as established by the Department of Health, and an agreement concerning school-based health centers (SHCs) executed by the D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) and the healthcare organization.

2413.2 Health services provided to D.C. Public Schools pursuant to this section shall be provided to students in accordance with:

(a) The provisions of this section; and

(b) An agreement concerning SHCs executed by DCPS and the healthcare organization.

2413.3 Health services provided in a SHC located in DCPS shall be subject to the following limitations:

(a) Services shall augment, supplement, or complement DCPS services in the areas of the physical, social, mental, and emotional well-being of students, or fulfill an unmet health need within the general student population;

(b) A practitioner shall obtain informed consent for all health care services provided.

(c) Services shall be provided to:

(1) Students enrolled in the school in which the SHC is located;

(2) Additional schools named as part of the agreement executed between D.C. Public Schools and the healthcare organization;

(3) To students previously enrolled within those schools during the current school year, upon approval of the school principal;

(4) To prospective students of the schools as part of an enrollment process;

(5) To the students' minor family members, upon approval by DCPS; and

(6) To other members of the community during before- or after-school hours, upon approval by DCPS.

(d) Services shall be provided regardless of ability to pay unless an agreement between DCPS and the healthcare organization provides otherwise. This section shall not be construed to relieve any insurer, Medicaid, or similar third party from an otherwise valid obligation to pay for these health services;

(e) Services shall be provided to minors pursuant to the consent requirements of sections 600 and 603 of Title 22 of the D.C. Municipal Regulations, and pursuant to D.C. Code § 7-1231.14 for mental health treatment;

(f) Services shall be provided only during the hours between eight o'clock ( 8:00 ) a.m. and five o'clock ( 5:00 ) p.m., unless otherwise provided in an agreement between DCPS and the healthcare organization; and

(g) A notification system shall be established to inform students where to receive after-hours health care inclusive of non-school days, summer breaks, and during hours when the school-based health center can not be accessed.

(h) A practitioner in a school health center may dispense prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including contraceptive drugs and devices when medically indicated.

2413.4 Health care organizations providing services in a school health center shall be subject to the following requirements:

(a) Services shall be provided only by certified and licensed health professionals, acting under proper supervision, as appropriate;

(b) Services shall be provided only by government agencies or organizations that are licensed to provide primary health, behavioral health, or oral health services, as appropriate;

(c) Healthcare organization staff shall be subject to and shall pass the DC Public Schools background check and screening requirements required by the Criminal Background Checks for the Protection of Children Act of 2004, effective April 13, 2005 (D.C. Law 15-353); D.C. Official Code § 4-1 501.01 et seq.);

(d) The healthcare organization shall comply with the students' health and personal confidentiality requirements of this chapter; the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) approved (110 Stat 197) 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, and the regulations promulgated under FERPA, including 34 CFR Part 99; the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) approved (110 Stat 2021) 42 U.S.C. § 1320d et seq., and the regulations promulgated under HIPAA, including 45 CFR Part 164; and the District of Columbia Mental Health Information Act of 1978, effective March 3, 1979 (D.C. Law 2-136; D.C. Official Code § 7-1201.01 et seq.); and

(e) The healthcare organization shall have insurance coverage for bodily injury and property damage, errors and omissions, officer's liability and professional liability of no less than five million dollars ($5,000,000) per claim and ten million dollars ($10,000,000) per accident.

2413.5 A Local School Health Center Advisory Council (LSHCAC) shall be established at a school with a SHC. The school leadership may convene the LSHCAC as part of the school's existing wellness council or committee. The LSHCAC shall serve in an advisory capacity to each SHC. The Chancellor shall make all decisions. The principal of each school with a SHC shall convene the initial meeting of that school's LSHCAC. At the first meeting, the members present shall select the leadership of the council.

2413.6 Each LSHCAC shall be comprised of representatives from the local school staff, community leaders, health professionals, behavioral health and social work professionals, parents, and students. Each LSHCAC may also include representatives from the Office of the Chancellor and the Department of Health or the Department of Mental Health, as appropriate. The exact composition of each LSHCAC shall be determined by agreement executed among the school, DCPS, the Department of Health, the Department of Mental Health, and the healthcare organization.

2413.7 The LSHCAC shall provide advice to the local school administration, the Directors of the Departments of Health and Mental Health, and the Chancellor on matters related to the operation of the school health center as it considers appropriate. It shall specifically advise on the following:

(a) The standard format and procedures used to inform parents of the school health center and to gain their consent for utilization of the center by their children;

(b) The scope of services provided at the health center;

(c) The adequacy of the health education material used to promote preventive health care and general health promotion;

(d) The adequacy of any school health center's provisions to enhance and encourage parents' ability to counsel their own children with competence and confidence;

(e) The consistency of the health education materials regarding human sexuality, preventive health care, and general health promotion with materials used in the classroom; and

(f) The adequacy of a SHC's provisions for addressing the emotional and social support needs of students.

5-B2500. General policy.

2500.6 Options for prevention, intervention, and remediation shall include, but not be limited to:

(m) Intervention by guidance counselor or mental health professional.

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