Health and Social Emotional Wellness
Students exposed to trauma especially need appropriate services and supports to ensure that nothing limits their ability to succeed. BPS strives to ensure that each school has at least three behavioral health touchpoints to provide a continuum of high quality services to students.
Thanks to Mayor Walsh, the FY19 BPS budget includes a $2.4 million investment to add 8 nurses, 7 psychologists, 4 social workers, and a Director of social work services. This comprehensive investment in Social Emotional Learning and Wellness will make transformative impacts on the social emotional wellbeing of students at BPS.
Supporting the wellbeing of Students
8 new nurses to will bring the number of schools with at least one full-time nurse to 74. The investment will decrease the student to nurse ratio from 438:1 to 405:1, which is 40% lower than the ratio recommended by the CDC and National Association of School Nurses of 750:1.
The addition of 7 new psychologists, including 5 bilingual school psychologists and 2 district-wide psychologists will lower the student to psychologist ratio by 10% and significantly increase the level of culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
The addition of 4 bilingual trauma and resiliency support specialists or social workers will enhance schools' capacity to deliver trauma-sensitive services to students and families.
BPS will examine best practices around identifying need and determining capacity. The outcome of this process will be used to assign these new positions to schools, with the goal of increasing the number of schools with at least three behavioral health touchpoints from 71 to 100.
To support these additional front-line staff, BPS will also add a Director of Social Work Services, who will coordinate professional development, technical assistance, and formal supervision for school-based social workers, along with developing partnerships with mental health organizations and higher education institutions.