Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $857,911)
The County of Hudson, New Jersey – Department of Health and Human Services (Hudson County HHS) is requesting $857,912 in funding from the BJA FY 2022 Stop School Violence Grant Program to continue and expand our school violence prevention and mental health continuum program. Through this program, Hudson County HHS will provide guidance, training, technical support, and professional development opportunities to students, teachers, and other school staff utilizing a more individualized, school-driven approach. Participating districts during Year 1, which have demonstrated their commitment to this project (see attached letters) include the Union City School District (serving 13,101 students, pre-K through 12th grade), Harrison School District (serving 2,295 students, pre-K through 12th grade), and the Hudson County Schools of Technology (serving 2,494 students, grades 6 through 12). During Year 2, a second cohort of schools will be established. Training and technical assistance through this cohort will be available to schools countywide.
The goals of this program are to help schools incorporate evidence-based Social Emotional Learning (SEL) practices and to foster a more positive school climate, resulting in improved student, teacher, and parent/caregiver mental health and wellness. Enhancing school climate is linked to better academic, social, and emotional outcomes for students, therefore reducing incidence of violence and other risky behaviors. The Hudson County STOP School Violence initiative will continue to be operated in partnership with the Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care Academy of SEL and Social Decision-Making (SDM). Primary activities will include (1) Creating and Enhancing School Climate/SEL Teams, (2) Creating Student School Climate Teams/Student Leadership Teams, (3) Developing Community Partnerships, and (4) Achieving Rutgers UBHC SEL Instruction and SEL Leadership Badges. These activities will equip students, teachers, and other school staff with the knowledge, tools, and resources they need to sustainably build a positive school climate in which all feel safe and that they are able to thrive socially, emotionally, and academically/professionally.