NCS3 Cohort 1 Greatest Hits
Tali Raviv, PhD
NCS3 Co-PI and Midwest Regional Site Co-Director
Greatest Hits Playlist
1. Changes – David Bowie
2. I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty
3. Just Keep Swimming – Finding Nemo
4. Takin’ Care of Business – Bachman-Turner Overdrive
5. With a Little Help from My Friends – The Beatles
6. We Are the World – USA for Africa
7. Never Too Late – Three Days Grace
8. Don’t Stop Believin’ - Journey
9. Let’s Get it Started – Black Eyed Peas
The list of songs above is not only a great start on your summer playlist, but it also captures the experiences of our colleagues and partners from the NCS3. On May 17, 2023, the NCS3 team gathered to celebrate the journeys of our inaugural cohort of districts. As part of the celebration, we asked our districts to choose a song that encapsulated their teams’ experiences over the past two years. Song titles such as Changes evoke the realities of many communities as educators and administrators left their positions or even left the field during the last few tumultuous and trying years. More prominent were themes of determination and focus, as embodied by I Won’t Back Down, Just Keep Swimming, and Takin’ Care of Business. With a Little Help from My Friends and We are the World spoke to the importance of strong relationships and a team approach to the hard work of school improvement. And our district teams continue to hold on to hope for a healthier future for our students and school staff, as evidenced by song selections such as Never too Late and Don’t Stop Believin’.
Through our two-year learning collaborative, our participating districts have focused on the integration of trauma-informed and culturally responsive practices within their comprehensive school mental health systems, learning from our faculty and from one another through a monthly virtual professional learning community. NCS3 had the privilege of training over 1500 educators from our participating districts in school-wide and classroom strategies to enhance student and staff well-being and 299 school- and community-based mental health professionals in cutting-edge evidence-based interventions for trauma. Collectively, our Cohort 1 districts serve over 120,000 students and we believe that the time and effort invested by their educators and leaders in NCS3 activities will positively benefit those young people for years to come.
While we are gratified to be able to provide critical training and technical assistance through NCS3, we feel even more proud and humbled by the opportunity to support the dedicated professionals in our district teams to identify and advance their own goals. Districts chose their areas of focus and need and charted their own roadmaps to success. Some districts focused on building the foundation: training staff, caring for staff, and creating new district trauma-informed policies. Consistent with national trends, several districts piloted or expanded universal social-emotional or mental health screening. Recognizing the need for and importance of working with community resources, we saw increases in the breadth, depth, and quality of community partnerships. Several savvy district leaders took advantage of new federal and state funding opportunities for school mental health and were successful in grant applications that funded workforce capacity building, university partnerships, and additional mental health services for students. Finally, youth and families were centered in the work, as districts increased their outreach and collaboration to ensure that services were accessible and relevant to their most critical stakeholders.
On behalf of NCS3, we wish all our partners a restful and restorative summer ahead. We know we will stay in touch and hear more about your successes and advice for our incoming cohort of schools. Cohort 2: Let’s Get it Started!
To hear more from this year’s participating district leads, watch their tribute video!