Massachusetts School Discipline Laws & Regulations: School-based Behavioral Health Programs

Discipline Compendium

Massachusetts School Discipline Laws & Regulations: School-based Behavioral Health Programs

Category: Prevention, Behavioral Interventions, and Supports
Subcategory: School-based Behavioral Health Programs
State: Massachusetts

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LAWS

ALM GL ch. 69, § 1A. Department of elementary and secondary education; commissioner; duties.

The commissioner shall consult with the commissioner of mental health prior to taking an action substantially affecting the design and implementation of behavioral health services for children under guidelines established by the commissioner and the secretary of health and human services under section 16S of chapter 6A.

ALM GL ch. 69, § 1P. Safe and supportive schools framework.

(a) As used in this section the term "safe and supportive schools" shall mean schools that foster a safe, positive, healthy and inclusive whole-school learning environment that: (i) enables students to develop positive relationships with adults and peers, regulate their emotions and behavior, achieve academic and non-academic success in school and maintain physical and psychological health and well-being; and (ii) integrates services and aligns initiatives that promote students' behavioral health, including social and emotional learning, bullying prevention, trauma sensitivity, dropout prevention, truancy reduction, children's mental health, foster care and homeless youth education, inclusion of students with disabilities, positive behavioral approaches that reduce suspensions and expulsions and other similar initiatives. [...]

(g) The commission shall: (i) investigate and make recommendations to the board on updating, improving and refining the framework and the self-assessment tool as appropriate; (ii) identify strategies for increasing schools' capacity to carry out the administrative functions identified by the behavioral health and public schools task force; (iii) propose steps for improving schools' access to clinically, culturally and linguistically appropriate services; (iv) identify and recommend evidenced-based training programs and professional development for school staff on addressing students' behavioral health and creating safe and supportive learning environments; (v) identify federal funding sources that can be leveraged to support statewide implementation of the framework; (vi) develop recommendations on best practices for collaboration with families, including families of children with behavioral health needs; and (vii) examine and recommend model approaches for integrating school action plans, required under subsection (e), with school improvement plans and for using the framework to organize other school and district improvement processes. [...]

The commission shall: (i) investigate and make recommendations to the board on updating, improving and refining the framework and the self-assessment tool as appropriate; (ii) identify strategies for increasing schools' capacity to carry out the administrative functions identified by the behavioral health and public schools task force; (iii) propose steps for improving schools' access to clinically, culturally and linguistically appropriate services; (iv) identify and recommend evidenced-based training programs and professional development for school staff on addressing students' behavioral health and creating safe and supportive learning environments; (v) identify federal funding sources that can be leveraged to support statewide implementation of the framework; (vi) develop recommendations on best practices for collaboration with families, including families of children with behavioral health needs; and (vii) examine and recommend model approaches for integrating school action plans, required under subsection (e), with school improvement plans and for using the framework to organize other school and district improvement processes.

ALM GL ch. 71, § 37Q. Mental health support plans.

(a) As used in this section the following words shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:-

"Approved private day or residential school", a school that accepts, through agreement with a school committee, a child requiring special education pursuant to section 10 of chapter 71B.

"Charter school", commonwealth charter schools and Horace Mann charter schools established pursuant to section 89.

"Collaborative school", a school operated by an educational collaborative established pursuant to section 4E of chapter 40.

"Plan", a mental health support plan established pursuant to subsection (b).

"School district", the school department of a city or town, a regional school district or a county agricultural school.

(b) Each school district, charter school, approved private day or residential school and collaborative school shall develop and adhere to a plan to address the general mental health needs of its students, including the students' families, teachers and school administrators. Each plan shall also address the potential need for emergency and acute treatment for students, including the students' families, teachers and school administrators as a result of a tragedy or crisis within the district or school. Before September 1 of each year, each school district, charter school, approved private day or residential school and collaborative school shall review and update its plan to achieve best practices.

(c) The department of elementary and secondary education shall promulgate rules or regulations necessary to carry out this section.

(d) No public employer shall be liable for injury, loss of property, personal injury or death caused by an act or omission of a public employee while acting in the scope of the public employee's employment and arising out of the implementation of this section. This section shall not be construed as creating or imposing a specific duty of care.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

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