Students with Social, Emotional or Mental Health Needs



If a student is suspected of having social, emotional, or mental health needs, staff members will refer that student to the building-level service team (for elementary schools) or the student support team (at junior high). The team will review information about a referred student, including prior interventions, and suggest appropriate steps for referral and follow-up. The Team may offer strategies to a referred student’s classroom teachers and parents/guardians about ways they can manage, address, and/or enhance the student’s social and emotional development and mental health. In addition, the Team may recommend coordinated educational, social work, school counseling, student assistance services, and/or a case study evaluation, as well as referrals to outside agencies.

School Counseling, School Social Work, School Psychological, and School Nursing Services 

The team may request school counselors, school social workers, school psychologists, and/or school nurses to provide support and consultation to teachers and school staff about strategies to promote the social and emotional development and mental health of all students. They may also be requested to provide screening and early detection approaches to identify students with social, emotional, and mental health needs.

School counselors, school social workers, school psychologists, and school nurses will inform parents/guardians of all issues that pose a health and/or safety risk; they will inform the building principal of any health or safety risks that are present in the school.

Psycho-Educational Groups 

As appropriate, the team may recommend that a student participate in a variety of psycho-educational groups. These groups are typically led by school counselors, social workers, or psychologists, but are not structured as therapeutic services. Groups are designed to help students better understand issues and develop strategies to manage issues of concern to them that may, if not addressed, interfere significantly with the students’ educational progress or school adjustment. Groups have a written curriculum that guides discussion over a set period of time, generally five weeks. A student may participate in a group without parent/guardian permission for one such time period; subsequent enrollment in the same group requires parent/guardian permission.

Students in a group who present significant concern and for whom therapeutic services must be considered will be referred to the social workers, psychologists, or school counselors for individual consultation. (See above description of these services.)

Erin’s Law Counseling Options, Assistance, and Intervention

District social workers and counelors shall identify district and community-based counseling options for students who are affected by sexual abuse and grooming behaviors, along with options for victims of sexual abuse to obtain assistance and intervention. Community-based options must include a Children’s Advocacy Center and sexual assault crisis center(s).