September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10-19. Awareness of this public health problem is the key to preventing further suffering and loss of life. The SJCSD has partnered with Flagler Health+ to provide crisis support information on the back of high school ID cards. Students can text CARE4U to 741741 for free, 24/7, confidential support.
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Student Services News
Team ASSIST has kicked off their annual fundraising campaign to help support our homeless education program. These dedicated district employees raise money throughout the school year to provide assistance for students in need. Funds are used to pay for school supplies, field studies, P.E. uniforms, athletic and academic fees, senior activities and emergency assistance. Last year, 787 SJCSD students were identified as homeless per the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which ensures that each homeless child and youth has equal access to the same appropriate, free, public education as other children and youth.
During the 2018-2019 school year over 500 school district employees were trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) with an additional 611 trained last month during teacher pre-planning. This training introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in our youth, builds an understanding of their impact, with overviews of common responses and intensive guidance for both crisis and non-crisis situations. Mental health topics include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders. YMHFA trainings will continue to be offered throughout the 2019-2020 school year.
Student Services is pleased to announce the addition of three new social workers to better serve our schools. The district now employees a total of seven school social workers who work to enhance the social and emotional growth and academic outcomes of all students by connecting schools, families and communities.
Youth Mental Health First Aid training has begun for all district employees. This training is designed to teach adults who interact with youth how to help a child who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a five-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders.
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in Florida for youth ages 10-19. Awareness of this public health problem is the key to preventing further suffering and loss of life.
Early kindergarten registrations have resulted in more than 1,000 registrations for the 2018-2019 school year. Please visit http://www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/student/enrollment/ for kindergarten enrollment requirements or contact your zoned school.
April was proclaimed Child Abuse Prevention Month by the City of St. Augustine, St. Johns County, and the St. Johns County School Board. By working together as a nurturing community, we all can play a role in preventing child abuse and neglect and promote child and family well-being.
The SJCSB will also be recognizing May 10 as National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, raising awareness about the importance of children’s mental health and to show that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development. This year’s national observance focuses on the importance of an integrated health approach to supporting children, youth, and young adults with serious emotional disturbance who have experienced trauma.
The St. Johns County School Board proclaimed February 5-9 as Student Services Week during their February School Meeting. Student Services Week provides an opportunity to focus attention on the services provided by school counselors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers whose work at schools supports the social, emotional, behavioral, mental, physical health, and safety of all students.
While many of these efforts are often not at the forefront when thinking of education, they are integral to student success both in and out of the classroom. Student Services professionals work directly and indirectly with students, parents, teachers, school and district administrators, and community stakeholders. Some examples of their work include increasing student attendance, providing mental health support and health education, developing and implementing positive behavior supports, promoting problem-solving, connecting community resources, addressing graduation and dropout rates, suicide prevention, crisis response and college and career planning.
The annual Uplift with A.S.S.I.S.T. Dinner and Silent Auction was held on October 19 in the First Coast Technical Center’s Character Counts Conference Center. The master of ceremonies was Michael Israel, St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) Homeless Liaison, and the keynote speaker was Richard Hardy of The Hardy Group. More than $7,000 was raised which will benefit SJCSD homeless students and unaccompanied youth. Funds will be used to assist with school supplies, field trips, school, athletic and club fees, senior/graduation fees, transportation and more.
Holiday food baskets and gifts will soon be distributed to SJCSD families in need. Please contact Jan Caban, Family Services Facilitator, or Mitch Moody, Family Advocate, to donate or request services at (904) 547-7598 or visit http://www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/homeless/donate/