The U.S. Department of Education (ED), Office of Safe and Healthy Students, and the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE) has provided a range of training support for Elementary and Secondary School Counseling grantees. For this webinar, Sandy Williamson ( Managing Researcher, Health and Social Development Program, American Institutes for Research), Kevin Dwyer (Associate Research Scientist, American Institutes for Research), Dr. Nancy Lever (Center for School Mental Health), and Connie Pohlgeers (Director of School Improvement and Community Education) discussed effective strategies that school counselors can use when improving school climate and connectedness.
A significant number of our nation’s schools have counselors available to help students. In fact, there were an estimated 262,300 school counselors in the United States in 2012. As school counselors (1) recognize and respond to the need for mental health and behavioral prevention, early intervention and crisis services that promote psychosocial wellness and development for all students; (2) address barriers to and assess ways to maximize students’ success in schools, communities and their family structure; and (3) offer education, prevention, and crisis and short-term intervention until the student is connected with available community resources,2 they are in a unique position to influence school climate, increase student connectedness, and improve school-based mental health services.
This webinar explored effective strategies for addressing school climate, including via school teams that can include a school counselor, and the role school counselors can play in enhancing school climate and school-based mental health.
- Describe what school climate is, its impact on student attendance and academic performance, and recent national trends in efforts to make school climate improvements;
- Identify effective team structures, including for school climate teams, that can help school counselors support school climate improvements and enhance school-based mental health supports; and
- Explore the role of community-partnered school mental health services in enhancing school climate.
School Counselors, School Climate Teams, Administrators, and others interested in improving school climate and conditions for learning.