Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $426,434)
The Windsor Central School District is located in Broome County, New York and serves 1,700 students in grades preK-12. The proposed project will address the district’s need to provide comprehensive, system-wide activities to address student risk factors for violence by implementing evidence-based, data-driven programming that supports students’ social emotional and mental health needs, increases their connectedness to school, and improves school climate.
The structure of the project is built on two inter-related frameworks: 1) Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS), a comprehensive approach that includes universal screening for social emotional needs and universal preventive programming; data-based, collaborative decision-making to provide increasing levels of targeted, evidence-based interventions for struggling students; and regular progress monitoring to assess interventions and facilitate necessary adjustments; 2) Trauma-informed programming, a multi-tiered approach that is endorsed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, which was established by Congress in 2000 to serve as a national resource for developing and disseminating evidence-based interventions.
Evidence-based trauma-informed programming will include Trauma-Informed Skills for Educators (TISE), Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS), and Bounce Back. Two district staff will complete train-the-trainer programs to build internal capacity to sustain the project activities. Universal social emotional learning programs will include Second Step for grades K-8 and School-Connect for grades 9-12. All students will be screened semi-annually using the Devereux Student Strength Assessment to identify students who may need more intensive (tier 2 or 3) interventions. The district will also implement two tools to facilitate data-driven decision-making: IMPACT for CBITS and Branching Minds, which integrates MTSS data from multiple platforms.
An MTSS team will select a School Climate survey to be implemented annually (for students, staff, and parents) and will complete a School Climate Improvement Self-Assessment and Action Planner annually. A Trauma-Responsive Schools team will complete Trauma-Responsive Schools Implementation self-assessments annually and will plan activities to implement additional trauma-responsive programming as indicated by the assessment.
Expected results include: training for at least 80 staff members in TISE; training for 9 district mental health professionals in CBITS; training for 6 district mental health professionals in Bounce Back; certification of 2 district mental health professionals as trainers of TISE, CBITS, and Bounce Back; achieving scores of To Some Extent or To a Great Extent in all five areas of the School Climate Improvement Assessment; reduction in student self-reported risk factors for violence below the 2018 baseline; and reduction in disciplinary referrals by 10% per year.