CCSA to Host Facebook LIVE Event on Thursday, December 9, at 4:00 Pacific with Educators to Discuss Report Findings and Effective Practices and Strategies They are Implementing
SACRAMENTO, CA – A new study by the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) focuses on an analysis of CA Department of Public Health (CDPH) data which finds 93% of charter public schools used their COVID relief funds to make “significant new investments” in their social-emotional and mental health supports for the 2021-22 school year.
Furthermore, of these schools, about three quarters (74%) have “completely transformed” their mental health supports or undergone a “major” or “substantial” expansion of their services, according to the CDPH data.
The CCSA report, Are the Kids OK? How Charter Public Schools Support Social-Emotional Wellbeing Schoolwide, indicates most charter public schools are spending COVID relief funds to hire additional social workers and/or social-emotional counselors, provide professional development for staff on social-emotional learning, create family engagement/wellness centers, and/or increase students’ and families’ access to mental health counseling services.
In addition, the study highlights best practices and strategies at four exceptional charter public schools in California that are working to ensure their campuses are positive, nurturing environments where every student can learn, grow, and heal from the pandemic.
“’Are the kids OK?’ is a question every school leader and educator should be asking themselves, and the reality is that for many kids, they are not doing well,” said Myrna Castrejón, CCSA President and CEO. “When it comes to the wellbeing of our kids, there is no room for error. We encourage educators, parents and local elected officials to come together, learn about best practices and implement strategies that will best help their students and community.”
The four charter public schools highlighted in the report are:
· SOAR Charter Academy (San Bernardino)
· Vibrant Minds Charter School (Anaheim)
· Edison-Bethune Charter Academy (Fresno)
· Libertas College Preparatory Charter (Los Angeles)
Common best practices which emerged at these schools include building and fostering trusting relationships with each student; tailoring supports to the individual student; partnering with families, caregivers, and communities; and focusing on growth and celebrating progress.
“The strategies detailed in this report require passion, commitment, and collaboration between students, educators, and families,” said Jennie Kress, CCSA Managing Director, School Performance, Accountability and Research. “In this moment of unprecedented focus on, and investment in, social-emotional wellbeing, it is imperative that we learn from educators on the front lines, like those featured in this report, and leverage their experiences to provide more support for all students.”
In CCSA’s Are the Kids OK? How Charter Public Schools Support Social-Emotional Wellbeing Schoolwide, Kress also synthesizes data which shows there has been a spike in mental health-related hospital visits nationwide for five- to 17-year-olds. In California, suicide rates for 10-18 year-olds increased by 20% between 2019 and 2020.
To download a PDF of the full report, Are the Kids OK? How Charter Public Schools Support Social-Emotional Wellbeing Schoolwide, click here.
MEDIA AVAILABILITY: CCSA President and CEO Myrna Castrejón discuss the findings during a Facebook Live event on Thursday, December 9th at 4-4:30pm Pacific Time at https://www.facebook.com/calcharters. Ms. Castrejón will be joined by the report’s author Jennie Kress, CCSA Managing Director, School Performance, Accountability and Research. Two charter school leaders will also discuss best practices at SOAR Charter Academy in San Bernardino and Vibrant Minds Charter School in Anaheim. Reporters interested in interviewing any of the panelists should contact Ana Tintocalis, Senior Director of Media Relations and Editorial Content Strategy: email@example.com.