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Compassionate School Practices
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Compassionate School Practices
Fostering Children's Mental Health and Well-Being

  • Christine Mason - Founder and Executive Director, Center for Educational Improvement
  • Dana Asby - Director of Innovation & Research Support, Center for Educational Improvement
  • Meghan Wenzel - Researcher, Center for Educational Improvement
  • Katherine T. Volk - Senior Advisor, C4 Innovates
  • Martha Staeheli - Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry
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January 2021 | 296 pages | Corwin
Already Ready For What Will Come - SEL For A Culture Of Care

Is your school prepared to care for all of the students, staff, and families in your community? Sadly, your school might be the only point of care for many. Be already ready--Establish a compassionate cultural foundation for strong relationships and holistic skills to weather stress, trauma, and promote well-being for your entire school population.

Help your school or district use available resources to create a compassionate culture of justice and care for all by leaning into this book’s approach to leadership and social emotional learning. Discover a collaborative visioning process to elevate compassion through dialogue, policies, and protocol. Readers will find:
  • Practical strategies for working with parents and communities
  • Activities for the whole school
  • An implementation framework for elementary, middle, and high school
  • Deeper understanding of trauma, ACEs, and mental health concerns
  • Support for teachers’ mental health
  • What not to do – practices that don’t work, and why
  • In-depth case studies and vignettes

Read this and usher in transformational and compassionate change that may be the difference in whatever today, tomorrow, or the next day may bring.
 

 
Online Resources
 
Foreword
 
Preface
Why Is This Book Important Now?

 
Who Should Read This Book?

 
What Will I Be Able to Do Once I Finish This Book?

 
Acronym Guide

 
Why Is This Book Important Outside of New England and the United States?

 
A Framework for Cultivating Well-Being in Schools

 
Key Principles

 
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Part 1: Needs and Approaches
 
Chapter 1. The Why? What? and How?
I. WHY Is a Focus on Children’s Mental Health and Well-Being So Critical Right Now?

 
Educators as Protective Factors

 
Why Are Teachers and Schools Not Better Prepared?

 
Risk Factors Influencing the Increase in Behavioral and Emotional Challenges

 
The Influence of Trauma on Mental Health

 
Equity Issues in Access to Mental Health Support and Advocacy

 
When a Crisis Strikes

 
II. WHAT Do We Need?

 
III. HOW Can We Approach Mental Health in Schools?

 
Partnerships for Building Student Mental Health and Well-Being

 
Implementation of Heart Centered Learning (HCL) in New England

 
The Power of Community-Based Approaches

 
 
Chapter 2. Best Practices for a Healthy School Climate and School Culture
How Can Schools Improve Children’s Well-Being?

 
A Model for School Cultures That Foster Mental Health

 
The Five Cs of Heart Centered Learning: Strategies to Take a Schoolwide Approach to Supporting Staff and Student Well-Being

 
The Five Cs

 
Using Heart Centered Learning to Build Compassionate School Communities in New England Through Visioning

 
 
Chapter 3. Tiered Systems and Mental Health Screening
Learning From History

 
ACES and Social Emotional Learning

 
The Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports

 
Universal Screening in Schools

 
How Are We Screening and Why?

 
Potential Issues in Screening

 
More on the Tiers of Systems of Supports

 
Following Up and Fostering a Support System

 
 
Chapter 4. Considerations for Staff Mental Health and Well-Being
Uncertainty and Isolation

 
Staff Stress and Trauma Are at an All-Time High

 
What Stressors Are Unique to Educators?

 
Teacher Attrition Is at an All-Time High

 
The Relationship Between Student Trauma and Teacher Stress

 
Understanding Current Needs and Concerns

 
Practical Solutions to Improve Educator Mental Health and Well-Being

 
A Schoolwide Approach to Foster Well-Being

 
 
Part 2: Leadership
 
Chapter 5. Adaptive Leadership Within the Childhood-Trauma Learning Collaborative
Resiliency and Finding Hope

 
Leading in a Time of Fear and Uncertainty

 
Action Informed by Assessment

 
The Importance of Professional Development

 
What Is Effective School Leadership?

 
Characteristics of Transformational School Leaders

 
School Leaders as Change Agents

 
Evolving Leadership: Being Inclusive and Visionary

 
Transactional School Leadership Management Practices

 
Balancing Transformational and Transactional Leadership

 
Adaptive Leadership

 
 
Chapter 6. Caring and Competent Leadership for Children’s Mental Health and Well-Being
Understanding Our Vulnerabilities: Leading With Care, Love, and Acceptance

 
Three Overlapping Lenses to Develop Positive School Leadership and Improve Children’s Well-Being

 
Caring School Leadership

 
Heart Centered Mindful School Leadership

 
Addressing Mental Health Concerns With the Compassionate School Mental Health Model

 
School Safety

 
Principals Set Policies and Protocols

 
Self-Care Exercises

 
 
Part 3: Child and Family Supports
 
Chapter 7. Belonging and Building Community
The Drive to Belong

 
Belonging: A Psychological Need

 
Finding that One Caring Adult

 
School and Agency Collaboration

 
Key Players

 
Wraparound Services

 
Strategies for Getting Started

 
 
Chapter 8. How Schools Can Help Families
A Sense of Urgency

 
Communication Is a Two-Way Street

 
Increasing Mental Health Literacy

 
Cultural Considerations

 
When a Mental Health Diagnosis Is Part of the Equation

 
Home School Collaboration

 
The Transmission of Trauma

 
Working to Heal Intergenerational Trauma by Cultivating Compassionate School Communities

 
Offering Parent Education to Foster Compassionate Parenting

 
Parent Teacher Associations: A Network Made to Partner With Schools

 
Reflections on Strengthening Mental Health and Well-Being: Leverage Parent Resources to Fulfill Needs, Wants, and Dreams

 
 
Part 4: The Future
 
Chapter 9. Reaching Our Destiny—Overcoming Challenges and Moving Forward
Our Encounter With Destiny

 
Time for Reflection Allows for Visioning

 
 
References
 
Index

Supplements

Key features

Readers will find:

·       Practical strategies for working with parents and communities

·       Activities for the whole school

·       Framework for implementing with fidelity in elementary, middle, and high school

·       Deeper understanding of trauma, ACEs, and mental health concerns

·       Support for teachers’ mental health

·       What not to do – common practices that don’t work, and why

·       In-depth case studies and vignettes from the authors’ experience implementing these practices in schools across New England, with takeaways that apply across the country

For instructors

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