Valley Stream schools take proactive approach to mental health

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“We didn’t want to cut any kinds of services to the students,” she said, “so we had to be absolutely sure those services were being met. The social emotional well being of the students is as important as the academics.”

Schimpf is currently heading up a social and emotional task force to analyze the school climate, and is seeking input from parents, teachers and students. Data from that survey, which will be presented to board later this month, will be used to enhance District 30’s emotional literacy curriculum.

School officials say the desire to continue with strong social and emotional support programs is two-fold — it creates a climate that is conducive to learning and it promotes safety. “Typically,” Gruen said, “a nurturing school environment is one that is also safe.”

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