The information below is from the UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools. Please share it in your community.
2013 -- The Year for Schools to Accelerate Development of a Unified & Comprehensive System to Address Barriers to Learning and Teaching
This is the year to end the myth that teachers can do it all alone.
School improvement requires ensuring that teachers have collaborative supports for addressing barriers to learning and teaching and re-engaging disconnected students.
Such supports need to be developed for each school in the form of a unified and comprehensive system of in-classroom and school-wide learning supports.
Developing such a system at a school requires moving learning supports out of the margins of school improvement policy and practice during 2013.
Fortunately, a good foundation for accelerating the work has been built.
Besides the published books and articles, the Center has put many works online for free and easy access. See, for example:
>Toward Next Steps in School Improvement: Addressing Barriers to Learning and Teaching – http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/systemic/towardnextstep.pdf
>Frameworks for Systemic Transformation of Student and Learning Supports-- http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/systemic/frameworksforsystemictransformation.pdf
>Rebuilding for Learning: Addressing Barriers to Learning and Teaching and Re‑engaging Students -- http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/commcore.pdf
>Policy Prototype – a model of policy for learning supports to strengthen implementation and sustainability -- http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/policyproto2012.pdf
>Examples from Across the Country
>>Brochures from Districts and State Departments-- http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/toolkita1a.htm
>>Examples of State and District Design Documents-- http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/toolkitb1a.htm
>Developing a Unified and Comprehensive System of Learning Supports: First Steps for Superintendents Who Want to Get Started --
>About Demonstration Sites – What would observers find at the best school in the district with respect to a unified and comprehensive system of learning supports? --
>Rebuilding Student Supports into a Comprehensive System for Addressing Barriers to Learning and Teaching – a toolkit (includes webinar & power point presentations) -- http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/summit2002/resourceaids.htm
What to do right away.
The process of acceleration starts with engaging colleagues in a discussion about developing a unified and comprehensive system of learning supports. Below are some first steps that outline how such a discussion might be initiated.
(1) Circulate a brief introductory document to the district leadership team – see for example,
(Note: if this document doesn’t seem to fit the local situation, there are others to choose from Section A of the Rebuilding Toolkit –
(2) Follow-up with by providing information about a few of the other places that have pursued development of a unified and comprehensive system of learning supports.
Specifically, refer to the following:
>Brochures from Districts and State Departments
>Examples of State and District Design Documents
(3) To answer typical questions raised in the process, see and share as needed material from
>Q & A Talking Points (in Section A of the Center’s Rebuilding Toolkit)
(4) Review the documents:
>Developing a Unified and Comprehensive System of Learning Supports: First Steps for Superintendents Who Want to Get Started –
>Establishing a Comprehensive System of Learning Supports at a School: Seven Steps for Principals and Their Staff
If you are interested in unifying student and learning supports and developing them into a comprehensive system,
let’s discuss how we can assist in the process. Contact Ltaylor@ucla.edu or Adelman@psych.ucla.edu
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