02-26-2008 Special School Board Meeting
Agenda Item #42


Title
H-4. Safe Schools/Healthy Students - PROJECT WOR2K! Working On Raising Resilient Kids!

Discussion

Since 1999, the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice (the Federal partners) have collaborated on the Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) Initiative. The SS/HS Initiative is a discretionary grant program that provides communities with Federal funding to implement a coordinated and comprehensive plan of activities, curricula, programs, and services that focus on creating safe school environments, promoting health childhood development, and preventing youth violence and alcohol and other drug abuse.  Eligible applicants are local educational agencies (LEAs) or a consortium of LEAs that partner with their local, public mental health, law enforcement and juvenile justice agencies to develop and submit a community-specific SS/HS comprehensive plan that addresses the following five elements:

·        Element 1: Safe school environments and violence prevention activities.

·        Element 2: Alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention activities.

·        Element 3: Student behavioral, social, and emotional supports.

·        Element 4: Mental health services.

·        Element 5: Early childhood social and emotional learning programs.

 

Over the past years the SS/HS Federal partners, individually and collectively, have worked diligently to improve the lives of America’s children. Unfortunate recent events of school violence and research show that more work and resources are needed.   The SS/HS Initiative allows LEAs, in partnership with their local juvenile justice agency, law enforcement, and public mental health, to submit a single application for federal funds to coordinate and strengthen existing effective programs, policies, and strategies as well as institute new programs, policies and strategies that reduce and prevent violence and promote health childhood development.

 

To date the SS/HS Federal partners have provided over $1 billion in funding and other resources to communities across the Nation as they work collaboratively to implement their SS/HS comprehensive plan.  In implementing their SS/HS comprehensive plan, SS/HS grantees have provided students, schools, families and communities with a network of effective activities, curricula, programs and services that:

-         enhanced prosocial behaviors to prevent violent behavior and drug use; 

-         increased availability of mental health services;

-         reduced incidents of violent behavior and drug use;

-         created schools and communities that are safe, disciplined and drug-free

-         engaged parents, community organizations, faith-based groups, and other agencies; and

-         developed an infrastructure that have been institutionalized and sustained after the federal funding ended.

 

Key to the SS/HS Initiative is partnership.  Issues that affect the learning environment of schools –such as bullying, fighting, alcohol and drug abuse, need for mental health services, and truancy – cannot be solved by schools alone.  These diverse and complex problems not only affect students and their families but also frequently spill out into the community.  To effectively respond to these issues a community collaboration approach can be very effective.  The community collaboration allows for combined knowledge, skill and resources of various local public, private and community agencies to respond to issues that frequently cross discipline, cultural, geographic and socio-economic lines.  The SS/HS Initiative identifies four local agencies – education, mental health, law enforcement and juvenile justice – to provide leadership and management to the community collaboration as it supports the vision of the SS/HS program:

 

“To promote the mental health of students, to enhance academic achievement, to prevent violence and substance abuse, and to create safe and respectful climates through sustainable school-family-community partnerships and the use of research-based prevention and early intervention programs, and policies and procedures.” 

 

The SS/HS Initiative draws on the best practice of education, justice, law enforcement, social and mental health services to encourage applicants to use a community-focused, collaborative approach to develop a comprehensive plan with a continuum of activities, curricula, programs, and services.  Additionally, it is our hope that the SS/HS partnership will continue beyond the life of the project, ensuring continuation of the SS/HS funded activities, curricula, programs and services as well as a continued community-focused, collaborative approach in resolving future community problems.

 

There will be no match or commitment on the part of the District at the end of the grant period. 

 



Recommendation

Approve the writing and submission of a Safe Schools/Healthy Students grant for up to the maximum allowable district award of $9,000,000 over a 48 month period beginning in 2008 and ending in 2012.  This grant is due in Washington D.C. on March 14, 2008.



Meeting Date(s)
Information - 2/26/2008
Consent after Information3/11/2008

Authority for Action
Title IV, Section 4121 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001; the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 290aa), and the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (42 U.S.C. 5614(b)(4)(

Involves Expenditure of Funds Directly in the Classroom
Yes

Source of Funding
Operating - Grant
Agenda Item will not Require the Expenditure of Funds

FY
Amount
Budgeted
Fund
Cost Center
Project
Function
Object
Program
08-129,000,000NoTBDTBDTBDVariesVariesTBD

Contact
Robin Ward