Readout of Federal Commission on School Safety's Second Field Visit on Transforming School Climate and Culture to Meet the Behavioral Health Needs of Students

Readout of Federal Commission on School Safety's Second Field Visit on Transforming School Climate and Culture to Meet the Behavioral Health Needs of Students

July 24, 2018

The Federal Commission on School Safety (FCSS) held its second field visit on July 24, 2018, at Adams-Friendship Middle School in Adams County, Wisconsin. The Department of Health and Human Services facilitated the visit to learn about a rural school's implementation of Wisconsin's statewide mental health framework and how a school has transformed its climate to meet the behavioral health needs of its students.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Deputy Secretary of Education Mick Zais, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use of the Department of Health and Human Services, Elinore McCance-Katz, and other representatives from the Federal Commission on School Safety toured Adams-Friendship Middle School to see the unique spaces used for behavioral health interventions and services. Following the tour, the Commission members and Wisconsin's First Lady Tonette Walker participated in two panel presentations.

The first panel provided Commission members with the opportunity to hear from state officials on Wisconsin's statewide mental health framework. The panelists discussed trauma-sensitive schools, compassion resilience for educators, integrated behavioral health, re-entry support for students in transition, and adaptive leadership.

Presenters included:
John Bowser (Evaluation Consultant, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction)
Linda Hall (Executive Director, Wisconsin Association of Family and Children's Agencies)
Mike Thompson (Deputy State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction)
Monica Wightman (State Coordinator, Wisconsin Project AWARE)
Sue McKenzie (Director, InHealth)

The second panel of students, parents, and community partners shared details about the process and positive impact of implementing an integrated behavioral health school based model and included discussions about home visits and community navigation, cross-agency collaboration, and crisis response.

Presenters included: James Boebel (District Administrator, Adams Friendship Area School District)
Roberta Bronecki (Clinic Director, Primary Psychotherapist & Co-Founder, Pine Valley Integrated Services)
Crystal Holmes (Local Coordinator and Facilitator, Project AWARE, Adams Friendship Area School District)
Kelly Oleson (Director, Adams County Health and Human Services)
Erica Rado (Social Worker, Adams Friendship Elementary School)
Janet Kotlowski (Parent)
Tristan Kotlowski (Student)
Sam Wollin (Sheriff, Adams County)
Lisa Massen (Registered Nurse, Gundersen Moundview Hospitals & Clinics)
Ken Wagner (Corporate Counsel, Adams County)
Michelle Johnson (Middle School Principal, Adams Friendship Middle School)