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Mission, Vision, Goals & Activities

What are Safe Supportive Schools?

How are states and districts creating safe supportive schools?

Children on a school bus

What's New at NCS3?

“Students must feel safe and supported in school

so that they can thrive in academics and life.”  

- Dr. Sharon Hoover, NCS3 Director

Safe Supportive Schools Defined

Safe Supportive Schools promote well-being and equity for all school staff and students by implementing comprehensive school mental health systems with policies and practices that are trauma-informed and culturally responsive. 
Image of a 3 Tiered School Mental Health Support system (from Universal Supports to high intensity individual student support)

Comprehensive School Mental Health Systems (CSMHS)

CSMHSs provide a full array of supports and services that promote positive school climate, social emotional learning, mental health and well-being, while reducing the prevalence and severity of mental illness. CSMHSs are built on a strong foundation of district and school professionals, including administrators and educators and specialized instructional support personnel in strategic partnership with students, families, and community health and mental health partners. CSMHSs assess and address the social and environmental factors that influence education and mental health.

Culturally Responsive and Equitable Schools

In a culturally responsive school, students’, families’, and educators’ cultural references are included in all aspects of schooling, including supports and services that promote well-being and mental health. Policies and practices promote equity and oppose racism and other forms of oppression. Equitable schools provide the climate and resources that enable all students and educators to perform at their highest level. Culturally responsive and equitable schools embrace cultural differences and assets, use cultural knowledge to promote wellness and academic success, mediate power imbalances based on cultural identities, and work to dismantle systems of injustice.  

Trauma-Informed Schools

In a trauma-informed school, the school community cultivates a healing-centered environment that recognizes and responds to the individual and collective causes and impact of adversity, stress, and trauma. Adults are prepared to recognize and respond to those who have been impacted by traumatic stress. Students are provided with clear expectations and strategies to guide them through stressful situations. Trauma-informed schools leverage individual and community strengths to foster healing.

25486582_diverse kids hug circle school.
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