100 Schools Project Expands Across New York City

Using social media, a student recently threatened violence at his New York City school. While the incident ultimately ended up being a hoax, the police were involved, and both the parents and school staff were troubled by what had transpired. However, through the 100 Schools Project, support was quickly dispatched.

Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), who works with us to provide services in this school, sent clinical staff early the next morning to meet with the faculty and parents to provide counseling and guidance,” said Marilyn Jacob, PhD, LCSW, Senior Director, 100 Schools Project. “The school’s social worker was grateful to have this extra support, and the school is planning additional ways to involve The 100 Schools Project in its work with parents and staff around violence and crisis planning.”

As this incident illustrates, meeting the needs of students with emotional, behavioral and substance-abuse issues can often be a challenge for schools. Educators may not be properly trained to recognize or manage students’ signs of distress, and emotional episodes can disrupt the school. Through the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program and the 100 Schools Project, we are bringing together our schools and community health resources to improve students’ access to mental health services, creating a more productive learning environment for both students and teachers.

Through this program, school educators, administrators and guidance counselors are taught how to recognize signs of distress, how to approach students and, where appropriate, their families, and how to access local mental health and substance misuse providers. These trainings help strengthen the school’s capacity to respond to a student’s behavioral health concerns, improving both behavioral and academic outcomes.

OneCity Health and three other New York City-based Performing Provider Systems (PPS) —Community Care of Brooklyn, Bronx Health Access, and Bronx Partners for Healthy Communities—oversee the project and are investing $11.7 million in it over the DSRIP program, while the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services (The Jewish Board) coordinates the initiative and leads the trainings. In January and early February, the Jewish Board expanded the 100 Schools Project pilot, which launched at five schools in the Bronx in September of 2016. Already in 2017, 30 more schools (including those in The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan) have been engaged in the work, with 20 more set to start soon. The remaining schools are scheduled to be added in the fall of 2017.