Grant takes aim at social-emotional, behavior supports
Public school districts are encouraged to apply for a grant that is aimed at providing the social-emotional and behavioral supports that some students need.
The grant enables districts to establish therapeutic classrooms for learners whose social-emotional or behavioral needs interfere with their ability to be successful in their current educational environment. Despite its name, the therapeutic classrooms are not intended to be separate classrooms. Rather, it’s intended to ensure that educators are equipped to handle the individual needs of students who may need extra supports.
The grant can be used in many ways, including contracting with mental health providers to provide expertise, professional learning for educational staff, materials for assessment or instruction of social-emotional competencies to name a few.
“We recommend that it is team-based in which they develop classroom supports and make decisions,” said Kathy Bertsch, an administrative consultant at the Iowa Department of Education. “The team should consist to a minimum of the teacher, leadership as well as any staff who have expertise in assessments and mental health supports.”
Bertsch said the goal is to make providing the supports a proactive rather than reactive measure.
“It’s meant to support students who need mental health supports as a prevention effort so that they have a positive education experience,” she said. “It’s intended to support students to cope, to adapt, to learn new skills and to function in a variety of typical age-appropriate settings.”