SEL & Mental Health
The SEL and Mental Health team is responsible for ensuring Andover is able to provide excellent teletherapy services, parent outreach, staff support, and tiered interventions for students. The SEL and Mental Health team worked on plans under the following subtopics:
- Equity - Equity is providing students with the tools, resources, and supports that fit their individual circumstances. An example might be a hot-spot for areas that do not have reliable internet, an embedded screen reader in our new LMS for students with print disabilities, or other material or social emotional resources that students need to overcome barriers and have a successful experience in school.
- Trauma-Informed Practices - Because all students and adults have been going through an unusual amount of stress, it is important to ensure all teachers are trained in trauma-informed practices.
- Universal Screening - The District is committed to screening for mental health concerns in the same way we screen for possible reading disabilities. A robust screening and progress monitoring program will allow us to offer Tier 1 supports such as advisories and SEL curricula such as Responsive Classroom.
- Relationship Building - Students have been isolated from one another for a long time, and there may be more periods of closure. While we must all practice physical distancing, it is now more important than ever that we do not have social distance. Andover is committed to implementing strategies that foster connections between students and their peers, their families, and staff. It is important to identify students who might be more isolated. To help ensure that all students are able to connect with trusted adults from the school community, schools can use software such as Emote, surveys, or other strategies such as relationship mapping tools.
- Staff Care - Staff are also experiencing the pandemic through their own parenting, family care, and the loss of connections with students and families. The APS mental health team is committed to addressing this issue so our staff can continue to be their best selves in support of our students.
The SEL/Mental Health team has developed a comprehensive plan focusing on the following:
- Develop a trauma-informed practices course for teachers.
- Implement universal screening and progress monitoring practices. The District will introduce the BIMAS II as a universal screener. The District will also introduce the EMOTE application at the middle school level to track qualitative social emotional data and engagement across classes.
- Work with ECare Vault to design digital wraparound teams for at-risk students.
- Outreach to families by continuing to provide parent events, training, and parent coffees.
- Implement relationship mapping through the Harvard Relationship Mapping Strategy.
- Develop in a new comprehensive school wellness teams and operations guidebook and train staff in using the guidebook.
- Provide a self-care program for teachers, including workshops, a full schedule of shorter “booster” sessions and a teacher helpline.
- Implement the web version of the Second Step curriculum.
- Provide comprehensive telehealth guidelines for mental health practitioners.