Social Impacts on Adolescent Development: School Based Wellness Programme

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Final Large Scale System Design Proposal: Assignment Four

Introduction

There are numerous social issues that impact the well-being of the adolescent population including depression, anxiety, violence, high school dropout, teen pregnancy, substance abuse, bullying, suicidality, and delinquency (Hawkins, Kosterman, Catalano, Hill, & Abbott, 2008). It is estimated that 25% of youth ages 13 to 18 years old have met the criteria for an anxiety disorder in their lifetime and depression, which affects 1 in 5 youth, is associated with educational underachievement, challenging interpersonal relationships, and an increased risk for suicide (Speaks, 2015). A large number of youth who meet the criteria for major depression do not receive any mental health treatment; 63.1% or 6 out of 10 youth experiencing depression, a heightened risk of suicidal thoughts, challenges in school, and problematic relationships do not get the treatment needed to support them (Mental Health America (MHA), 2017).

Furthermore, there has traditionally been an underinvestment in the healthy development of youth (Heckman & Masterov, 2007). Therefore, not only are youth experiencing a high rate of behavioral health problems, but they also lack adequate services to both prevent and respond to the many challenges they face. Fortunately, it has been concluded that prevention efforts for addressing such problems can be effective (Hawkins et al., 2008). As Sherraden et al. (2014) indicated, the Grand Challenge Ensuring Healthy Development for all Youth offers abundant opportunity to examine and restructure efforts in pursuing the well-being of the adolescent population.

Short Summary

Youth are not educated or equipped with knowledge or essential tools to promote and empower their own well-being, including mental health (Jenko, 2018a). Yet, it is common for youth to experience many types of emotional distress during development (Costello, Mustillo, Erkanli, Keeler, & Angold 2003). In fact, half of lifetime mental illness starts by the age of 14 (Hagell, Coleman, & Brooks, 2013). The consequences of which are troublesome. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) found that 37% of students with mental health conditions age 14 and older drop out of school and 70% of youth in state and local juvenile justice systems meet criteria for a mental illness (NIMH, 2016). Therefore, well-being is fundamental to educational outcomes.

To address the endless social issues affecting youth, I am proposing a school based wellness program. The name of the school based wellness initiative I have selected is SCALE Up. S.C.A.L.E. is an acronym that stands for: S. (Self-awareness) C. (Connection) A. (Altruism) L. (Love) E. (Empathy). Through increasing these pillars of wellness the program will increase well-being in schools. The program will provide school based wellness services to students, educators, parents, and communities with the intention of creating a culture of wellness in the school setting, preventing mental health and behavioral health conditions among youth, and promoting well-being.

Grand Challenge Selection Narrative

The Grand Challenges for Social Work initiative that my proposed program will impact is Ensuring Healthy Development for all Youth. Ensuring Healthy Development for all Youth falls under the agenda of promoting individual and family well-being and is connected to the concept that through helping the individual, society as a whole is helped (Jenko, 2018a). This Grand Challenge initiative emphasizes the perspective of prevention. An action plan, “Unleashing the Power of Prevention”, identifies action steps to reduce behavioral health problems in youth by 20% over the next decade (Hawkins et al., 2016).

The large-scale system that I intend to target is the educational system. Specifically, the Clark County School District (CCSD) in Nevada will be targeted. Utilizing the power of prevention to combat mental health and behavioral issues before they emerge is what the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW) advises is the best practice in tackling this Grand Challenge (AASWSW, 2016). Therefore, promoting practices that improve the healthy development of youth by targeting adolescents in the school setting is aligned with the objectives of this Grand Challenge initiative.

The aim of the proposed program, SCALE UP, is to address all 12 Grand Challenges indirectly through fostering self-awareness, connection, altruism, love, and empathy (Jenko, 2018b). Although the topics of personal health and wellness seem clear-cut, they are also substantial and can shape the course of an individual’s life. Disappointingly, personal wellness has conventionally not been given enough priority in school settings (Weare, 2015). SCALE Up will address this by promoting the idea that well-being should be considered as important as academic attainment. Further, by implementing programs and services that promote well-being (Jenko, 2018a).

Literature Review

According toAtkins et al. (2017) schools have traditionally been the primary setting for children’s mental health services, but do not have the resources or capacity to manage the services self-sufficiently. They suggest that since the beginning of public education, US schools have showed great concern for the mental health needs of students. However, it was not until the 1980s when a school in Los Angeles County, CA was met with the fact that mental health services in the community were inadequate and inaccessible to youth, did the expansion of mental health services in schools take shape (Jenko, 2018b).

Although the mental health needs of students have been implemented in school reform initiatives, they have traditionally lacked support by external projects. Opponents of school mental health initiatives argue that mental health falls outside the mandate of public education (Armistead, 2008). Further, throughout the education field the general agreement is that academic achievement is the chief concern of education (Even & Quast, 2017). As a result, preventative efforts to improve mental health and well-being among youth are not given enough precedence. Further, non-academic factors such as school safety and school climate, which affect a student’s ability to learn and in turn influences academic achievement are often overlooked (Jenko, 2018b).

Atkins et al. (2017) report that even though schools have been shown to be the central setting for children’s mental health services since the 1990s, the expansion of mental health services in schools has not sufficiently reduced the prevalence or impact of mental health challenges, especially for the most disadvantaged youth (Jenko, 2018b). Although they propose collaborative school-based mental health partnerships, they also highlight the potential burden on schools in delivering such services due to the prioritized responsibility of schools in attaining academic achievement.

Other research points to improvements. For example, the average return on a school’s investment in social and emotional programming is reported to be 11:1 (Belfield et al. 2015). Additionally, it has been concluded that social and emotional learning in schools can be as vital, if not more important, than cognitive gains in explaining important developmental and life outcomes (Durlak et al. 2011; Heckman & Kautz 2012; Levin 2012).

Galbraith’s Star Model

As the education system is the largest system directly serving youth ranging from 5 to 18 years old, it is logical to provide direct services within the school system to youth. According to Even and Quast (2017), “Public schools may be the most accessible institution in which advances in mental healthcare reform will be realized” (p.3). Consequently, schools have an opportunity to improve health outcomes among youth. To support student well-being, schools should partake in organizing collaborative initiatives that support students, strongly engage community resources, and focus on academic achievement in combination with well-being. Through these actions schools have the ability to both advance educational attainment and promote healthy development for all students (Lewallen, Hunt, Potts-Datema, Zaza, & Giles, 2015).

Strategy

The strategy to get approval from policy makers and decision makers is to successfully communicate how crucial this program is for improving school success. Further, to effectually provide support for program implementation and to demonstrate how SCALE Up will align with CCSD’s strategic plan. SCALE Up is not intended to take focus away from academic achievement, rather it is meant to support and enhance academic success while focusing on the whole child. In essence, academic success is viewed as a measure of student well-being, which is reinforced through the wellness program (Jenko, 2018a). It is imperative to gain buy-in from specific stakeholders in order for this program to come to fruition; in order to do this, it is key that decision makers understand that the program will supplement academic instruction.

Since the School Board has direct control and power over which policies, programs, and initiatives are accepted and carried out across CCSD, promoting the program to them will be essential. In order to implement the SCALE Up wellness initiative, approval and oversight from the Board is critical. The Board not only influences and approves the program budget, they also determine the strategic objectives that guide district proposals. Parents, educators, and community partners will also be of focus for program engagement and support in addition to engaging key stakeholders.

The SCALE Up Mission is: To advocate for health and well-being in schools and to provide students with resources and tangible tools for personal wellness, enrichment, and success in school and life. The Vision is: All students, in all schools, will be empowered through healthy school environments that support individual well-being in a holistic manner and encompass all areas of school culture to educate youth to be both knowledgeable regarding wellness dimensions and competent in the practices contributing to well-being. The program model will use evidence-based practices to support trauma informed social and emotional frameworks.

Additionally, the integration of restorative justice practices, mindfulness practices, and Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) to enhance well-being, school climate, and academic progress will be encompassed in the program design. The main objectives of the SCALE Up program will be to increase wellness in schools by increasing self-awareness, connection, altruism, love, and empathy and to help change the culture of the educational system to one where all aspects of student well-being are promoted.

Structure

CCSD is the fifth-largest school district in the country, with more than 320,000 students enrolled in grades K-12 (Clark County School District (CCSD), 2016). CCSD accounts for the largest proportion of students in Nevada, servicing nearly 75% of pupils and operating 54% of public schools in the State (Nevada Education Data Book, 2017). CCSD served 322,770 students during the 2016 to 2017 school year. Of the 322,770 students served, the demographics summary was 46% Latino, 25% Caucasian, 14% African American, 6% Multi-racial, 6% Asian, 2% Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and less than 1% Native American (CCSD, 2016).

The SCALE Up program will be piloted in the public sector, through CCSD located in Clark County, Nevada. It will be implemented at one high school campus initially, Cimarron-Memorial High School (CMHS). CMHS has 2,541 students in grades 9-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 24 to 1.

During year one, all program services will begin. The main goal for the first year of implementation is to permeate the school culture of CMHS with wellness concepts and practices. During year two, the program will be expanded to include elementary and middle schools contributing to 20% of CCSD schools being served. During the third year, the program will be implemented at 45% of district schools. During year four, the program will be executed in 70% of CCSD schools. During year five, SCALE Up will be facilitated across the district in all CCSD schools. After all five years of program implementation, SCALE Up will be promoted to schools nationally and may even be promoted to other systems and agencies for implementation (Jenko, 2018a).

Processes

The school district is under the direction the Board of School Trustees. This seven-member board is responsible for establishing CCSD policy as well as selecting the Superintendent for the school district. The Board consists of elected officials, elected for four-year terms. The board includes: Deana Wright, President, Dr. Linda Young, Vice President, Carolyn Edwards, Clerk, and members, Kevin Child, Chris Garvey, Lola Brooks, and Erin Cranor (Strategic Plan, n.d.). Along with the Board of School Trustees, Pat Skorkowsky leads CCSD as the Superintendent. He has responded to the board’s vision by placing emphasis on the implementation of six key areas: increasing third grade literacy and proficiency rates, decreasing achievement gaps, increasing the graduation rate, increasing parent participation, increasing student safety and happiness, and increasing the number of students in advanced placement and career and technical courses (CCSD, 2016).

The leadership role I envision myself engaging in pertaining to leading my selected Grand Challenge initiative within CCSD involves leading the school-based wellness program I create SCALE Up. The fundamental program goal is to provide services to staff, teachers, students and parents, and the community to help change the culture of education. I hope to oversee the program in its entirety; beginning with the initial pilot program implementation through the end of the grant period. The intention will be for the school district to fund the continuation of the program, should it not be sustainable continually through grant funding. Ideally, the program will enhance academic achievement and will be recognized as effective in improving well-being, school climate, and traditional objectives of education such as attendance, discipline, and academics while promoting the fundamental values of mental and behavioral health among youth (Jenko, 2018b).

Beyond the Board of School Trustees and the Superintendent, stakeholders of CCSD include students and their families, district employees, members of the community, and local community businesses. In addition to stakeholders, followers of CCSD include lawmakers and organizations involved with education in Nevada and community programs that work collaboratively with the school district to serve youth. The same stakeholders and followers are critical to program success for SCALE Up. The more support garnered for the program, the more graceful implementation will be.

Implementation Plan

I am proposing a school based wellness program to help change the culture of the educational system to one where all aspects of student well-being are promoted. The main activities will include providing services to students, parents, teachers and staff, and community agencies. The activities will include staff development, wellness curricula, mentoring, a daily news channel and daily meditation, wellness education and evidence based wellness practices such as mindfulness, social and emotional learning (SEL), restorative justice practices, and trauma informed practices. Program services will include the following main components: leadership, advocacy, empowerment, ethics, mentoring, support, resources, connection, wellness knowledge and skills, health practices, self-awareness, and community service.

The wellness initiative will be incorporated into the school culture and will be enhanced by all staff. In addition to utilizing all school-based staff to apply this program, services will also be provided by school-based mental health professionals. The central goal is to create a school culture infiltrated with positive psychology, SEL, and other research based strategies to promote well-being. The program design will be specifically connected to empirically supported research that shows positive outcomes for youth.

Curriculum and training will be provided for parents to engage parents in the program and provide them with tools and knowledge to support their own personal well-being as well as that of their students. Professional Development (PD) for educators is another main activity; staff play a critical role in both the implementation and assimilation of the SCALE Up program and PD will assist them in improving their own wellness, which will also impact the well-being of the youth they serve. Community outreach, another crucial activity, involves meeting with public partners and community agencies to educate, engage, and gather support for the program as well as collaborate in meeting the needs of youth.

Community outreach events will be conducted twice quarterly, staff will be trained weekly, and parents will be provided bimonthly training. This will account for 8 community outreach events, 36 staff, and 18 parent trainings during the first year of program implementation. Office space will be provided through CMHS for staff and interns facilitating the wellness program, which will be located on the CMHS campus.

Along with education and curriculum, technology will be integrated. A core component of the program will be a daily news channel designed to bring awareness and knowledge to youth surrounding health and wellness, including all the different dimensions; emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual. The purpose of the daily news channel is not only to provide knowledge and inspiration, but also to engage youth in practicing skills to promote well-being and good mental and behavioral health. A highlighted feature of the news channel will be a daily meditation practice. Another form of technology that will be incorporated is an online portal to enable students, parents, and educators to access information and support.

Finally, an app will be created to compliment the daily news channel. The app will consist primarily of a daily agenda and journal combination intended to incorporate wellness, and academic, practices and planning, as well as to track progress in these areas. However, other optional features will also be encompassed to subsidize the news channel programming and enhance learning.

Reward Systems

Initially, three staff will be on salary. This includes one SCALE Up Director, one SCALE Up Specialist, and one Administrative Assistant. However, multiple Bachelor’s and Graduate level interns in the mental health field will be utilized to assist in implementation of the program. Further, teachers and other licensed staff such as counselors will play a significant role in program facilitation even though they will not be directly rewarded monetarily for their contribution. The expense of the paid positions will total $219,000 of the $288,000 budget. Benefits are proportioned at 30% of salary, which are accounted for within the total salaried amount of $219,000 (Jenko, 2018a).

People

The SCALE Up Director/Coordinator’s salary and benefits will be $108,000 ($75,600 salary and $32,400 benefits @ 30%). This position will both be a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and hold a minimum of a Master’s Degree in Social Work. The minimum experience required is 5 years. The job duties of this position include: conducting short term and long term program planning, aligning plans to the District’s Strategic Plan, consulting with Principals and staff concerning the needs of students, developing and supervising program staff, providing leadership and training for implementing the program, collaborating with community partners and district leaders, designing and monitoring evaluation processes, engaging parents and families in program objectives and activities, and promoting well-being among students, parents, educators, and communities.

The SCALE Up Specialist’s salary and benefits will be $72,000 ($50,400 salary and $21,600 benefits @ 30%). This position will hold a minimum of a Master’s Degree in Social Work and an LCSW is preferred. The minimum experience required is 3 years. The job duties of this position include: administering program activities such as mindfulness practices to students, monitoring and evaluating program efficiency, providing staff development on wellness practices, SEL, providing trauma informed and restorative justice practices, improving school climate through programming and training, parent engagement, providing parent training, performing community outreach, facilitating mentoring and leadership programs, and supervising student interns.

Student interns will range from Bachelor’s level to Master’s level professionals. The experience will vary depending on the level of education. However, interns with more experience will be given greater consideration. They will be responsible for helping to implement the many program activities including: improving school climate through programming and training, parent engagement, providing parent training, community outreach, assisting in administering program activities such as mindfulness practices to students, and tracking program effectiveness through data. They will not be compensated monetarily. However, they will gain experience and in some instances earn hours toward licensure accrual.

The Administrative Assistant’s salary and benefits will be $39,000 ($27,300 salary and $11,700 benefits). The Administrative Assistant will hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree. The experience required will be a minimum of 5 years. The duties the Administrative Assistant is responsible for include: providing support to the Program Director, Program Specialist, and interns, ordering supplies, curricular materials, and other program necessities, managing paperwork related to mileage, pay, sick leave, etc., and performing administrative tasks and budgetary expense tracking.

Innovation

Social and Emotional Learning and other frameworks that SCALE Up will incorporate do occur in other jurisdictions and schools across the country. However, often these types of interventions are targeted only at students exhibiting difficulties, they are reactive interventions rather than preventative in nature, and they are short term. SCALE Up is innovative and different for several reasons: it targets all youth in school settings, not only those identified as at risk youth, it is a preventative program, it incorporates technology, it targets youth in conjunction with educators, parents, and communities, the focus is on making well-being part of the school culture and valued as at least as important as academic attainment, it focuses on empirically supported and validated practices, both knowledge and practice are encompassed in its design, and well-being is intended to be a core component of education in schools with this model, not in addition to education (Jenko, 2018a).

Performance Measures and Evaluation

Currently, Nevada underperforms in all measures of child well-being and is classified as one of the three lowest-ranked states in overall child well-being (The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2014). Education Week’s Annual Quality Counts 2018 Report ranked Nevada 51st out of 50 states and the District of Columbia for the second year in a row providing a 65% or D rating (Editors, 2018). These results indicate a need for improved services to support well-being among youth.

The SCALE Up program will continually track data on both services provided and outcome measures. Units of service that will be measured include the number of students, staff, parents, and community partners that receive any component of our programing. All program components will be measured. For example, the number and frequency of sessions provided and the number of staff that receive training will be the units of service measured for staff development. This will also be the way community outreach is measured as well as parent engagement. The number of students provided interventions along with the number and type of interventions provided will all be tracked.

Further, beginning data will be examined and outcomes will be measured not only by the number of services provided, the frequency, or the number of people served, but also by looking at student data in the following areas: attendance, disciplinary records, and academic achievement. Ending data in these same areas will be reviewed at program completion. These outcomes along with surveys conducted at all levels including; students, staff, parents, and community partners will contribute to reporting overall program effectiveness (Jenko, 2018a).

The surveys will be conducted prior to program implementation, on an ongoing basis during implementation, and at the end of the program. Other pre-post assessments will also be incorporated with the goal of measuring the subjective well-being of students and educators. The goal is to improve well-being in schools and to support whole-child education. In measuring what services are being provided and their effectiveness in promoting well-being among youth we can measure the success of SCALE Up on school wellness.

Financial Plan

The SCALE Up Budget is a line-item budget, which was developed to construct general estimates of expenses that will be crucial for program effectiveness. Program estimates are based on models of SEL currently being implemented in other school districts, as well as in another county in the State of Nevada, Washoe County. The breakdown shows that much of the budget is apportioned to staffing, nearly 80%. The breakdown of personnel costs was discussed in the Reward and People sections of the Galbraith’s Star Model above; totaling $219,000 of the $288,000 program budget.

Another large portion of the budget is assigned to consultants. The reason for this is due to the need for assistance with fund development and technological expertise. Both areas, staff and consultants, are vital to program implementation and program effectiveness. The remainder of the budget is focused primarily on curricular materials, staff development, parent engagement, student acknowledgement, and program evaluation (Jenko, 2018a). There is a minimal surplus of $5,000 in the budget as well.

The budget cycle will align with that of CCSD. According to the Clark County School District’s Executive Summary (2017), budgeting in the District is on a July 1st through June 30th fiscal year bases and is a year-round process. The cycle begins in the fall of the prior school year and continues until a final budget is filed with the Nevada Department of Education and the Nevada Department of Taxation in the spring of the following year. After the Average Daily Enrollment (ADE) is calculated for the first quarter of the fiscal year, the District is required to adopt an amended final budget on or before January 1st reflecting any adjustments necessary as a result of the ADE (Budget Calendar, n.d.). The SCALE Up program’s budget cycle will align directly with that of CCSD.

The primary source of revenue that will be depended upon to support SCALE Up is public funding, especially state and local government funding sources and federal grants. For the first full year of operation, district funds, federal monies, and a foundation grant from NoVo Foundation will be depended upon to fund program execution. In addition, Senate Bill 178 prioritized additional per-pupil allocations to provide support for students performing in the bottom quartile of student achievement who qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL). Cimarron-Memorial High School was allocated $456,600 of the funding allocated to CCSD. Of this funding, SCALE Up will be apportioned $198,000 (Jenko, 2018a).

The projected revenue for the program’s first full year of operation is $288,000. This includes district and federal funds estimated at $258,000, which will come from funding streams under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) as well as the allocated funding under Senate Bill 178 mentioned (Jenko, 2018a). ESSA is federal legislation focused on improving equity for all children, specifically disadvantaged youth and it requires states to account for at least one measure of school quality or student success. Title I, Title II, and Title IV funding sources all fall under ESSA and will be resources tapped for revenue as they directly match the criteria for SEL programing in schools. In addition, the NoVo Foundation invests in SEL and will be depended upon for a small portion of the projected revenue. It is expected that NoVo will contribute a $30,000 grant toward program revenue.

Since the program is being implemented in a school setting office space will be provided by the school. Therefore, initial costs will be lessened as office space will not be a direct cost to SCALE Up. Funding for insurance will also not be allocated, as insurance is covered by the school district. Professional development pay, stipends, and money for substitutes will be some of the program expenditures. A large amount of money, second to the salaried positions, has been budgeted for fund development and communications. Also, communications targeting parent and community engagement will be emphasized as will staff development. Further, money has been allocated for travel, curricular materials, program evaluation, office supplies, and student recognition. The expense of “other spending plans and costs” will total $64,000 of the $288,000 budget (Jenko, 2018a).

The breakdown for services is as follows: 1) Professional development pay, stipends, substitutes; $7,000. A major part of the program relies on the engagement and direct participation of educators. Therefore, it is imperative that funding is allocated for professional development. The more involved and educated staff are about well-being, the more likely they will be able to effectively integrate wellness concepts in the school culture and within their own classes. Teachers will be provided an opportunity to earn some additional income for participating in certain professional development provided by the program. Funds to pay for substitutes when teachers are attending training will also be built into the budget.  2) Consultants (fund development, communications, etc.); $38,000. The intention is to be able to hire service providers to assist with the technological components of the program, as well as to provide grant writing assistance. Eventually, both of these positions will likely be written directly into the program budget, as both roles are crucial to program development and program design. 3) Program evaluation; $2,000. It is critical that we monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the program interventions throughout program implementation. The goal is to show that the program model is evidence based and can be re-created in other school districts successfully. In order to show this we must evaluate and measure program success and focus on areas to improve continually. As the program evolves it would be ideal to have an analyst to assist in program evaluation. 4) Travel; $1,500. Minimal travel will be required initially. We will match the school districts mileage and reimburse employees for travel to and from local training as well as to monthly meetings held at a central office location. The estimated mileage per employee should remain relatively low since the mileage is pre-calculated based on scheduled meetings and training. This cost is expected to grow as the program continues. Over time the goal will be to enable staff to travel for conferences and professional development related to program objectives. 5) Evidence Based Program Materials & Curriculum Resources; $9,500. This area is a large expense and covers the cost of initial curricular materials. This is one area that should decrease slightly after the first year of program operation. The materials will be used for services provided to students and staff. Evidence based curriculum will be utilized to enhance learning and to support program outcomes. 6) Supplies/Materials/Equipment; $3,000. Most of the supplies will be covered directly from the CMHS budget. Funding will be available for additional necessary items including printers, ink, paper, pens, pencils, and other office supplies. However, the school will provide computers though.  7) Other (Student field trips, student recognition, parent engagement); $3,000. Incentives, including field trips as well as student and parent dinners will be included as a way to acknowledge progress and participation. This is another area that will be built up to provide further opportunities to support student success and engagement in the SCALE Up program.

Conclusion

According to the NIMH (2016), nearly one in five school-aged youth experience symptoms of a diagnosable mental health disorder. Of these youth only one in four actually receive treatment (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2016). The education system is the ideal setting to provide preventative practices and programs for youth. The goal of Ensuring the Healthy Development of all Youth can be accomplished by mobilizing across multiple sectors impacting the adolescent population (Jenko, 2018b). The education system, being one of the most populated and frequented systems by youth, should be utilized to contribute to the mission of decreasing behavioral health problems among youth by 20% over the next decade. Creating a school culture where wellness is both promoted and practiced as part of the education system will reduce poor outcomes across the life course for many youth (Jenko, 2018a).

Studies find that children are more successful academically when they are taught skills to improve their overall mental health, character, and resiliency levels (CASEL, 2013). Evidence-based programs focusing on improving personal well-being and the positive development of youth have been correlated with improved academic achievement and lower disciplinary, dropout, and truancy rates (Durlak et al., 2011). With the clear data that student well-being and mental health influence academic achievement, it is crucial to enhance school based practices to promote wellness and prevent countless mental health conditions and other negative consequences. The knowledge base about mental health programming for student well-being and academic achievement must move from isolated to integrated (Even & Quast, 2017). As Desrochers (2015) articulated, reinforcing student’s mental wellness produces considerable improvements in school climate, student behavior, and academic performance. SCALE Up will contribute to these improvements, while increasing well-being among the adolescent population.

 

 

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