Connecticut’s SS/HS initiative, administered by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, State Department of Education, and Court Support Services Division, and with strong collaboration from Department of Children and Families, supported three SS/HS local school districts that serve more than 36,000 students and face significant disparities across indicators such as poverty levels, academic achievement, chronic absenteeism, suspensions and expulsions, and arrests. The Consolidated School District of New Britain (CSDNB) is one of three local education agencies selected to imp
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School bus drivers play an instrumental role in both promoting student mental health and reducing violence and bullying among students. To support bus drivers in these roles, leaders from Middletown, Connecticut instituted two programs: The Peaceful School Bus program aimed to decrease disruptive behavior and bullying on school buses, and Kognito aimed to help bus drivers identify and refer students experiencing mental health challenges.
To reduce the incidence of suspensions and expulsions, particularly for male students of color who are disproportionately impacted, Connecticut employed a Restorative Practices approach across its SS/HS districts. Baseline data indicated that statewide, male students were twice as likely to be suspended as female students, which was true for all racial and ethnic groups. Further, Black and Hispanic boys were 2-3 times as likely to be suspended or expelled as White boys, and Black and Hispanic girls were 4-6 times more likely to get such a sanction as their White counterparts.
National data suggests that LGBTQ youth are at greater risk than their peers for mental health challenges, including depression and suicide. To better understand and support the mental health of LGBTQ students in Bridgeport, Connecticut, school and community leaders collected quantitative data on the health risks for these students, conducted focus groups, shared findings with stakeholders, and conducted two regional conferences.