With the 2022-2023 school year quickly approaching, the Arizona Department of Education is excited to welcome our students, families, and teachers back for another year of learning. Throughout the year, we will continue highlighting how different academic program areas support social and emotional life skills that lead to a well-rounded education.
As everyone heads back to the classroom, we have rounded up highlights from our previous blogs to help prepare for a successful year. In the coming months, we are excited to highlight opportunities to support SEL through funding and resources available through our Exceptional Student Services and Title IV-A program areas.
SEL and the Arizona School Safety Grant Program
Under the School Safety Program Grant (ARS15-154), the SSP has been able to fund 464 school counselors, school social workers, and school resource officer positions across the state of Arizona, with an additional 174 counselor and social workers funded under the ESSER grant moving Arizona closer to the recommended ratios of one counselor or one social worker for every 250 students. The work of SSP counselors and social workers in the field underscores research showing how universal, integrated, equity, and trauma-informed support frameworks have direct and long-term effects. Those effects include protective factors against emotional distress, conduct problems, and substance use while enhancing positive well-being indicators such as prosocial behaviors, positive attitudes, and improved academic performance.
In the 2022 Legislative Session, the School Safety Grant Program received an additional $50 million in ongoing funding. Learn more about how the School Safety Grant supports academic, social, and emotional learning by reading our April blog.
SEL and Career and Technical Education
The Arizona Professional Skills, an integral part of all CTE programs, are recognized by business and industry leaders as the most critical knowledge and skills necessary to obtain the job, succeed and advance in any career pathway. These skills include complex communication, collaboration, initiative, self-direction, and more. Moreover, these skills naturally connect to Arizona's five social-emotional competencies and can be woven into any academic area. Read our May blog to learn more about the connections between SEL and CTE programs.
Arizona Professional Skills Standards and SEL Competencies Crosswalk
SEL and Health and Nutrition Services
The Arizona Department of Education's Health and Nutrition Services (HNS), which administers the Child Nutrition Programs, proudly supports SEL by enhancing the health and well-being of Arizona's children and adults by providing access to these programs that offer nutritionally balanced, low-cost, or free meals and snacks to children throughout the year.
Mealtime at school provides consistency and stability before, during, and after the school day, contributing to students' safety and connection needs. School-based health and nutrition professionals have several ways to integrate the five SEL core competencies into mealtime, such as a Lunch Buddy Program, which can build students' relationship skills. Our June blog discusses how school meals support social and emotional learning.
Upcoming Professional Development
Youth Mental Health First Aid
The Arizona Department of Education's School Support and Improvement (SSI) team is excited to offer multiple upcoming Youth Mental Health First Aid learning sessions in Summer 2023 and School Year 2022-2023. The Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) course covers various common mental health challenges in both crisis and non-crisis contexts.
This live virtual learning session is approximately six (6) hours, including breaks, and requires about two (2) hours of pre-course work to be completed before the live session. Completing this training will fulfill ARS 15-120 requirements for LEA personnel.
If you are interested in attending a Youth Mental Health First Aid session, please go to https://www.azed.gov/improvement/professional-learning and find Youth Mental Health First Aid to sign up for one of the following dates:
- Tuesday, July 26, 2022
- Thursday, September 15, 2022
- Thursday, November 3, 2022
- Wednesday, February 1, 2023
On July 16th, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline launched across the United States, providing 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in a suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
The 988 lifeline will connect people to the network of more than 200 local crisis call centers around the country. People who call or text the number will be connected to a trained counselor at a crisis center closest to them. Learn more about this new lifeline.