100 Schools Project, Back-to-School Checkups, Promote Classroom Wellness

Whether kids are adjusting to a new grade or a whole a new school, the first few weeks back in school have the potential to be both physically and mentally challenging. However, initiatives from both OneCity Health and NYC Health + Hospitals can help alleviate the stress, keep kids healthy and in school, and ensure they are able to excel.

100 Schools Project Promotes Mental Health
Through the 100 Schools Project – which, we’re proud to share, was recently featured in the New York Times! – Mental Health Coaches are now in place at 43 schools across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. While they don’t work directly with students, these Coaches are training staff to identify the early signs of mental illness and substance abuse, and to promote wellness and prevention in the classroom.

For example, to help students feel more comfortable utilizing community resources, Coaches are training school staff in methods to reduce the stigma around mental health. Teachers are also learning motivational interviewing, which is a counseling technique to better engage students with positive behavior change.

Students aren’t the only focus though. School staff and teachers are also learning self-care practices to reduce classroom turnover and promote professional development.

Launched in September 2016 with a ten-school pilot, 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 100 Schools Project while the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services (The Jewish Board) coordinates the initiative and leads the trainings. Participating schools are also learning how to connect students who have emotional, behavioral, or substance-use challenges with top-tier local mental health providers while enabling the students to remain in school.

The project will continue to expand throughout the remainder of 2017, as the Jewish Board has identified the next 58 schools for project implementation.

Visit the Exam Room Prior to the Classroom
From vision and hearings tests to advice on proper eating, a clean bill of health can help kids stay and strive in the classroom. To help, NYC Health + Hospitals offers pediatric and adolescent health services at little or no cost. Click the borough name below for a flyer detailing the locations where families can receive immunizations, physicals and other back-to-school check-ups.

OneCity Health partners can feel free to download and share the flyers as needed.

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.

100 Schools Project to Begin in September

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 incidents and high rates of absenteeism can disrupt the classroom.

Through the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program, we can bring 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.

Beginning in September, OneCity Health’s collaboration with three other New York City-based Performing Provider Systems (PPSs) – Community Care of Brooklyn, Bronx Health Access and Bronx Partners for Healthy Communities – will officially launch the 100 Schools Project. The PPSs are funding and overseeing the project, while the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services (The Jewish Board) is coordinating the initiative and will teach schools how to connect students who have emotional, behavioral and substance-abuse challenges with top-tier local mental health providers while enabling the students to remain in school.

At each school, local mental health and substance abuse providers from the four PPS networks who have been trained by experts from The Jewish Board will teach educators, administrators and guidance counselors how to recognize signs of distress, how to approach students and, where appropriate, their families, how to access local behavioral and mental health providers and how to handle behavioral crises.

The program will kick off with a pilot that starts this September in 10 schools — five in Brooklyn and five in the Bronx. In January 2017, the program will move into an additional 40 schools, adding Queens and Manhattan to the mix. The remaining 50 schools will be added in the fall of 2017.

RFI for Behavioral Health in Schools Project

The Jewish Board, on behalf of OneCity Health and three other Performing Provider Systems, has announced a Request for Information (RFI) for Behavioral Health Agencies to help implement our new Behavioral Health in Schools project. This program seeks to put mental health and substance abuse prevention and early identification into 100 middle and high schools throughout New York City.

The attached RFI (with cover letter and budget spreadsheet one and budget spreadsheet two) is to provide services to either a cluster of five schools in the fall (then 10 schools in the spring) in Brooklyn or to five schools in the fall (and 10 in the spring) in the Bronx. An agency is permitted to apply for both the Brooklyn and the Bronx clusters. Additional RFI’s will be released later in the year to expand the number of school clusters and expand the region to include clusters in Queens and Manhattan.

In addition to OneCity Health, The Jewish Board is also coordinating on behalf of Bronx Health Access, Bronx Partners for Healthy Communities and Community Care of Brooklyn. This solicitation seeks to identify appropriately qualified contractors to provide quality work in one or more school clusters.

A pre-proposal conference is scheduled for June 8 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. at 135 West 50th Street, sixth floor, NY, NY 10020.

Proposals are due on June 20, 2016 at 12:00 p.m.

Please direct any questions to Marilyn Jacob at mjacob@jbfcs.org .