Tuesday, December 7, 2010

District Schools Share $1 Million Grant

Ten elementary schools have won a $1 million grant to support their efforts to develop student social and emotional development. Their early intervention programs help more than 1,300 district students gain academic achievement.

The grant will be shared over its three-year term by winning schools: Alcott, Balboa, Birney, Chesterton, Chollas-Mead, Florence, Fulton, Jefferson, Jerabek and Miller.

The district received the grant award this week as part of the Early Mental Health Initiative (EMHI) grant program from the Department of Mental Health. The award notice stated, “We are confident that your efforts will help children increase their chances of school success. Enhancement of the social-emotional development of children is crucial to the learning process.”

The best news of all is that the programs are working! Data has shown statistically significant changes in overall school adjustment – and therefore achievement levels and behavior -- of participating students in kindergarten through third grade.

The Early Mental Health grant has become increasingly more competitive throughout the state, but San Diego Unified has had 100 percent application success rate with the support of district administration including the Counseling and Guidance Department.

The district’s program has grown to be the largest in California. The grant will support the district’s Elementary Counseling program, which has been so successful it has been cited by the state Legislature as model program. In the California in Assembly Bill 1650, this early intervention program highlights the key role of school counselors.

The funds are used to hire specially trained guidance assistants to aid credentialed school counselors, and cover everything from training and supplies to data collection costs.

For more information, please contact Clara Cho-Hayashigawa, EMHI Project Coordinator, at (619) 725.7321, or ccho@sandi.net.