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Riverside School District STOP School Violence

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $749,379)

This STOP School Violence proposal focuses on school safety strategies for Riverside School District (“RSD” or “District”) to ensure that all students are safe when they are in school. Riverside’s enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year was 1,520 across two elementary schools and one junior-senior high school. Riverside Elementary School East serves grades 3-6 with 456 students; Riverside Elementary West serves grades K-2 for 341 students; and Riverside Junior/Senior High School serves 710 students in grades 7-12. The race/ethnicity of Riverside is white (90%) followed by Hispanic or Latino (5%), Asian (2%), Black (2%), and two or more races (1%). Based on RSD 2021 data, over one-third (34.27%) of the student population exhibited mental health problems to the point of receiving a referral for additional help. The greatest need is having Licensed Professional Counselors on staff to address the growing problem of students struggling with mental health challenges. Riverside's program areas are #3 and 5 under Category 2. Riverside School District’s Project is to improve school security by providing students and teachers with the tools they need to recognize, respond quickly to, and help prevent acts of violence to ensure a positive and safe school climate. This goal will be addressed through the activities to achieve the following Project objectives: Objective 1: At least 90% of school staff members, at least 15 local police officers, and 75% of District students in grades 6-12 will increase understanding and knowledge to identify students who are at-risk of mental health problems and a trauma-informed approach to mitigate and respond to potential school violence incidences. Four LPCs will be hired to work with the Project Director and RSD's Crisis Counselor using the evidence-based Mental Health First Aid train-the-trainer model to address the targets for this objective. Objective 2: The number of referrals to outside agencies will be reduced by 10% as measured by comparison to the number of referrals made for the past 12 months. The District will implement an initiative appropriate to RSD needs to address the excessive number of referrals through staffing and implementation of a trauma-based approach addressing mental health and the direct connection to school safety.  LPCs will be fully-aware of best practices when applying trauma-informed strategies to reduce referrals and help students at school. Resources are limited yet the need is overwhelming for training and mental health services for our District, schools, staff, and students to ensure safe schools.

Date Created: September 30, 2022