BEST PRACTICES INCUBATOR
The Center has contributed to the improvement of behavioral health processes in school districts since 2013 through the Best Practices Incubator. Each year, the Center issues a request for proposals and selects 2-4 school districts to receive a grant. School district grant recipients use funds (up to $50,000) to implement unique pilot projects addressing one or more of the School Behavioral Health recommendations. The Center provides the school district with technical assistance, support, and evaluation. These projects are also used to develop best practices that are shared the School Behavioral Health Collaborative and Learning Community.
CURRENT BEST PRACTICES PROJECTS (2016-2017)
- Alief ISD (AISD) – providing mental health services and integrated student support to all arriving Newcomer high school students in the district, with a focus on increasing cultural fluency and coping skills through trauma-informed practices.
- Pasadena ISD (PISD) – improving PISD’s existing school behavioral health framework by 1) increasing the number of secondary teachers trained in behavioral health strategies; 2) certifying district staff as Level 1 trauma instructors; and 3) contracting with Licensed Professional Counselor interns to provide individual trauma therapy and school-based counselors to provide group counseling sessions.
- Spring Branch ISD (SBISD) – maximizing trauma and bereavement-informed therapies to better support affected students by improving school climate. The long-term goal is to disseminate the most effective methods district-wide through staff capacity building.
- YES, Prep Public Schools (YES Prep) – implementing a universal prevention program aimed at improving student outcomes by strengthening the teacher-student relationship through integrating educator social and emotional training and support into teacher preparation practices district-wide.
PAST PILOT PROJECTS (2015-2016)
- Spring Branch ISD (SBISD) – partnering with Monarch School to train and mentor designated SBISD elementary school personnel in evidence-based strategies for teaching children with serious mental health disorders.
- Goose Creek ISD (GCCISD) –providing Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training for 150 school administrators, counselors, nurses, and alternative school faculty. The grant also enhances YMHFA sustainability in the district through covering the costs of YMHFA facilitator training for a GCCISD professional, who, once trained, will be able to continue providing the course for teachers and other district personnel.
- Channelview Independent School District (CISD) – extending “navigation” and case management services to students and their families throughout all grade levels
- Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District (GCCISD) – expanding the evidence-based Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports framework to all 25 of its campuses
- Spring Branch Independent School District (SBISD) – developing transition service plans to help students returning from alternative schools and juvenile justice placements reintegrate back into the classroom setting.