Happy 2019 from your friends at NYSASCD!
I hope this message finds you healthy and well, with batteries recharged and ready to tackle the challenges of 2019! As an organization, we began the 2018-2019 school year focused on mental health and school safety, and this focus will continue into 2019.
In the majority of school districts in New York, the increasing needs (including mental health) among our public school students are growing at a faster rate than improvements in financial condition. In a recent survey of school superintendents, the leaders of our public school districts cited “improving mental health services” as the highest priority.
Additionally, we know from the current research of Souers and Hall (ASCD, 2016) in the area of mental health, that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are linked to trauma and mental health issues later in life. In their book entitled, Fostering Resilient Learners, they stress that our students bring ACEs to school with them every day. These experiences are much more prevalent than originally thought. Nearly half of all children in the U.S. have experienced at least one type of childhood trauma. Trauma affects readiness to learn, and if children are not ready to learn, they will not learn.
Both our Fall Conference and Fall IMPACT e-journal focused on the mental health epidemic in our state.
If you were not able to attend our fall conference this past November in the Albany area, you can access all of the conference materials on the Events page on our website at: https://nysascd.wildapricot.org/Events
The Fall 2018 IMPACT e-journal can be accessed at:
Our spring resources will continue to focus on the important area of mental health. We are planning both a winter book talk and spring blended learning conference. More details will be forthcoming shortly.
In our schools, we often use a team approach [instructional support team (IST) or child study team (CST)] to address student issues. As in the medical field, a team approach is important so that we can look at the challenges that individual children face from multiple perspectives. Partnerships serve a similar function on a more global scale. NYSASCD will be weaving the concept of partnerships into our work this coming spring.
All the best for a healthy and happy 2019!
Timothy T. Eagen, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Kings Park Central School District