NEW YORK, Feb. 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- It was Martin Luther King Jr. who said, "Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education." Never has this ideal been more important than now, with the escalation of social and mental health issues among children in school reaching near crisis levels.
With the large increase in the number of children with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues, New York passed a groundbreaking law requiring public schools statewide to help students understand more about their own emotional and mental health. The law, which went in effect just last year, requires all public schools to teach mental health in the classroom. What it doesn't do, however, is tell schools how to implement social and mental health instruction.
Rethink Ed and the New York State Council of School Superintendents (The Council) have stepped up to support New York school superintendents and their district teams in addressing, adopting and advocating student social and mental health wellness. Together, with The Council's foundation, the Leadership for Educational Achievement Foundation, Inc., they are hosting an important two-day event, Whole Child, Whole School and Whole Community: New York State Social and Mental Wellness Symposium.
On August 15-16, 2019 in Lake Placid, New York, Rethink Ed, The Council and LEAF, Inc. are bringing social and mental health experts together with New York state school superintendents and their district teams to:
- Take a mindful look at the state mandate
- Equip them to help their schools meet student needs for social and emotional development
As creators of the first comprehensive social and emotional learning (SEL) solution, Rethink Ed is on a mission to empower school districts to transform their school climates through cutting-edge social emotional learning (SEL) programming specifically designed and clinically proven to enhance student well-being.
"Our survey showed that superintendents are increasingly concerned about the well-being of their students," says Council Executive Director Charles Dedrick. "But because the law is an 'unfunded mandate,' they're equally concerned about the capacity of their schools to give children this much-needed help."
Dedrick also says that 56 percent of superintendents surveyed cited improving mental health services as one of their top three local funding priorities, noting that just two years ago that same figure was only 35 percent. "Clearly, there's been a significant uptick in both concern and necessity to tackle social and mental health education at all grade levels," says Dedrick.
Throughout the two-day symposium, district teams will hear from experts like McLean Hospital's Medical Director, Blaise Aguirre, MD on "Adolescent Mental Health and Pragmatism in School-Based Supports" and Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D. from the Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab on "Practical Strategies for Implementation and Sustainability of SEL at the District Level."
"It's crucial to teach educators how to help their students learn the essential skills that affect every area of life," says Rethink Ed Senior Vice President of Education Diana Frezza. "The 'how' of teaching SEL, which includes helping students understand their emotions, manage them and form positive relationships, is most definitely different than academic classroom instruction."
That's where Rethink Ed plays a pivotal role, bringing evidence-based solutions developed by a team of clinical and educational experts to help school districts give all students the opportunity to achieve social and emotional success.
Not only will participants in the Whole Child, Whole School and Whole Community: New York State Social and Mental Wellness Symposium have access to a variety of printed guides and supports, they'll also be well-prepared to:
- Adopt practical skills from the leading voices in social and mental health
- Promote wellness for students, educators and the entire community
- Implement changes that foster a more positive, system-wide school climate
- Address social-emotional barriers to increase student learning
Registration and more detailed information will be available spring 2019 at www.nyscoss.org.
About Rethink Ed
Rethink Ed believes learning should bring out the best in everyone and is transforming the way teachers and students learn, grow, develop, and succeed – in school and in life. With evidence-based, technology-driven solutions developed by leading experts in Social and Emotional Learning, Behavior Management and Special Education, Rethink Ed supports effective, high-quality education of the whole child.
About The Council
The New York State Council of School Superintendents, The Council, is a professional and advocacy organization with over a century of service to school superintendents and assistant superintendents in New York State. The Council provides more than 800 members with professional development opportunities, publications and personal support while advocating for public education and the superintendency.
SOURCE Rethink Ed