Series: Series5000     Sub Series: 5000     Policy Number: 5405
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The Rhinebeck Central School District recognizes that mental health is a state of well-being in which every individual realizes one's potential, can cope with normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to contribute to one's community.  It is a dimension of overall health.  As part of overall health and wellness, mental health includes:  a sense of self-esteem and self-confidence; the ability to identify, express and regulate emotions; the ability to set and achieve goals; recognition of one's creative skills; the ability to expand knowledge and skills; the ability to feel and show empathy for others; and the ability to create and maintain satisfying relationships.  Schools play a key role in promoting mental health in all children and young people, recognizing that student's learning and development is supported by environments that promote mental health.

The impact is the greatest when all staff is involved in mental health promotion as it relates to every area of the school - the culture, policies, curriculum and activities.  This policy is intended as guidance to all staff, including non-teaching staff and volunteers.  It should be read in conjunction with the medical policy in cases where a student's mental health overlaps with or is linked to a medical issue, district confidentiality policies , policies for students with identified special education needs, and other related mental health policies (e.g., wellness, student support and discipline, including alternatives).

This policy affirms the Board of Education's commitment to providing a safe, welcoming and supportive environment that promotes a culture of respect and equity; embeds social and emotional learning into the curriculum, including mental health instruction in Health Education programs; ensures families, students and staff are key partners in mental health and well-being initiatives; and works collaboratively with local health professionals and the community.

Mental Health Education goals of the Rhinebeck Central School District:

Teaching and Supporting Mental Health

The mental health component of the health education curriculum will be developed by the appropriate school instructional staff and district mental health support staff to ensure that school staff has appropriate knowledge and support to address mental health challenges, both preventively and responsively.  When appropriate, staff will be encouraged to collaborate with qualified community mental health professionals.  This policy and related supports and curriculum wil be consistent with the principles of the whole child and whole school approaches, including multi-tiered support frameworks, and will be offered within a safe and culturally-sensitive environment. 

The Rhinebeck Central School District's approaches will reflect an understanding that mental health literacy includes four key components:

Elements of positive mental health include:

Staff will receive regular trainign about supporting mental health, recognizing, and responding to mental health needs in a developmentally (to include students with special needs) appropriate and culturally sensitve way.  The school district will support district-wide professional development on integrating mental health education into the curriculum, and in accessing resources, tools and professional learning to enhance their knowledge and capactiy to integrate mental health and well-being content across the curriculum.  The Integrating Mental Health Policy will be distributed through all schools in the district and posted online. 

Implementing and Evaluating the Policy on Mental Health

The Rhinebeck Central School District will establish an implementation and evaluation plan for this policy to monitor its efffectiveness and the possible need for modification over time.  Towards this end, the District designates the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, the Director of Special Services, and the District's Building Principals to have operational responsibility for ensuring that the District meets the goals and mandates of this policy.  These designated staff, in collaboration with school mental health support staff, will also serve as liasions with communtiy agencies that may help with providing resources.  The District will annually report on the progress toward meeting the goals of the policy to the Board of Education, the District Health and Wellness Committee, the District's Building Principals and District school health services personnel. 

The Rhinebeck Central School District recognizes that every school district employee has an impact on student health and contributes to creating an environment that promotes positive mental health and well-being.  All members of our school community - including students, teachers, support staff, school related professionals, administrators, school board, families and volunteers, will be supported in their efforst to provide an environment that promotes mental health. 

The District curriculum will integrate the multiple dimensions of health by including mental health and the relation of physical and mental health so as to enhance student understanding, attitudes and behaviors that promote health, well-beign and human dignity throughout K-12. 

The School District will:

District Reference:

General Reference:

New York State Education Law § 804

Adoption Date:

Last Revised:

Last Reviewed: