ERIC Number: ED476220
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Mar
Strengthening Rural Schools: Training Paraprofessionals in Crisis Prevention and Intervention.
Allen, Melissa; Ashbaker, Betty Y.; Stott, Kathryn A.
The long-term effects of crisis and tragedy can be improved significantly by immediate intervention and emergency mental health services. Providing crisis intervention in rural schools poses challenges related to lack of financial resources, community resources, and trained personnel; isolation of rural schools; and long distances between school and students' homes. The major responsibility for crisis intervention falls upon local and district school leadership. Logically, rural schools should train and prepare all adults in the school to support students and offer emotional first aid in crisis situations. Paraprofessionals typically live in the community and provide linguistic and cultural continuity between the school and community. Training paraprofessionals to participate in crisis prevention and intervention will increase the number of adults who can assist, will improve communication and teamwork, and will create a sense of community and ownership in the school's crisis intervention plan. This paper outlines elements and issues in such training, including developing a crisis plan tailored to the individual school, organizing a crisis team, personal characteristics needed in a crisis and potential "red flags" that might preclude individuals from helping, tailoring the training to trainees' skills and level of confidence, teaching methods and role playing, and basic topics to include in training. Suicide prevention and preventing student violence and aggression should be emphasized. (Contains 23 references) (SV)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Rural Survival. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the American Council on Rural Special Education (ACRES) (23rd, Salt Lake City, UT, March 20-22, 2003); see RC 024 044.