ERIC Number: EJ901471
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Reference Count: 7
School Psychologists as Grant Writers: Getting Response Ability Pathways into Our School Programs
Milstein, Mindy R.; Shields, Julie S.
Communique, v38 n8 p18-19 Jun 2010
What are school staff to do when inspiration strikes but the funding to carry out a vision is lacking? This was the dilemma faced by the staff of the Emotional Disability Services Unit (ED Unit) in the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) in Maryland. The ED Unit serves 350 students who experience significant emotional challenges that impair their ability to adequately access their educational programs. Despite receiving special education services and supports, these children continue to be at a significantly heightened risk for experiencing negative outcomes such as substance abuse, lower graduation rates, repeated psychiatric hospitalizations, and teenage pregnancy. Services for MCPS students with ED are delivered at six elementary schools, nine middle schools, and nine high schools. In addition to special education teachers and paraprofessionals, the unit employs 9 behavior support teachers, 10 social workers, and 8 school psychologists to provide a full continuum of services. Despite the increased number of staff members that MCPS has hired since 2003 to provide additional mental health and academic support, the graduation rate of students with ED has continued to decline significantly, while behavior referrals, crisis events, and hospitalizations--all impediments to academic progress--have persisted. The supervisor of the ED Unit recognized the compelling need within the program to improve upon all measures of school success. The supervisor felt strongly that the "Response Ability Pathways" (RAP) program could increase the capacity of staff members to develop more nurturing and trusting relationships with students, which would, in turn, improve the students' school performance. RAP uses a philosophy of restorative intervention grounded in research about resilience and positive youth development. The underlying concepts of belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity are considered vital components that every student needs for personal and academic success. RAP also incorporates lessons learned from research in the areas of conflict, emotional intelligence, and pain-based behavior. Finally, RAP training enables staff to create an atmosphere of mutual respect with students that promotes learning. While it was clear that the poor school performance of the ED population was a significant problem, the MCPS did not have the money to purchase the RAP program because of the effects of the budget crisis in the county. Within the context of a poor economic climate, there were few external sources of funding for the program as well. In this article, the authors describe how MCPS got RAP into their school programs through writing a grant proposal.
Descriptors: Student Needs, Emotional Intelligence, Middle Schools, Substance Abuse, Graduation Rate, School Psychologists, Economically Disadvantaged, Graduation, Academic Achievement, Pregnancy, Public Schools, At Risk Students, Elementary Secondary Education, Special Education, Program Implementation, Student Behavior, Grants
National Association of School Psychologists. 4340 East West Highway Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814. Tel: 301-657-0270; Fax: 301-657-0275; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.nasponline.org/publications/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maryland