I’ve been writing about the end of the education system as we’ve always known it. I say that from the perspective of a teacher with decades of experience and as a mother in the autism community.
I follow the news on a daily basis, and the stories I include come from the English-speaking areas of the world, including the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
(See links to previous stories at the bottom of this piece.)
It doesn’t matter where you go, the stories are all the same—schools have to adjust to children who can’t behave or learn normally, all the while pretending nothing is different, everything’s all right.
My last update included stories through October. Let me give you examples of what’s been published over the last month.
Oct 31, 2017, (Australia) Townsville Bulletin: REVEALED: Worst behaved schools in Townsville
“NAUGHTY kids at a Townsville school are being disciplined at the rate of more than one per school day
“…Figures show 674 students were enrolled at that time, meaning 57.12 per cent of the students potentially faced disciplinary action. …
“Another school high up on the naughty list was Heatley Secondary College, where 45.13 per cent of students could have been suspended or expelled.”
Oct 31, 2017, UK Daily Mail: Surge in depression among teens: Mental illness rates are rising four times faster in young people than anyone else in the US, study finds
“Depression among teens rose at quadruple the rate of the general population from 2005 to 2015, according to the new research.”
Nov 1, 2017, Oshawa Express (Ontario, Canada): Lack of funding, resources blamed for rise in classroom violence—Parents, teachers say children with special needs falling through the cracks
“With violence in the classroom purported to be on the rise, parents and teachers are pointing directly at a lack of funding and resources to children with special needs as the reason.”
Nov 1, 2017, Rochester (NY) Democrat & Chronicle: Some young learners are losing out
“The reality is costs are rising as is the number of children needing specialized services.”
Nov 1, 2017, (British Columbia) CBC: Clinic coming to school grounds of B.C. Interior high school
“A high school in Salmon Arm, B.C., will soon be the first in the Interior to have a clinic on school grounds to give students access to help for both physical and mental health issues.”
Nov 1, 2017, Grand Junction (CO) Daily Sentinel: Depression common for county’s teens
Data about emotional well-being, which was collected from 652 Mesa County teenagers for the 2015 Healthy Kids Colorado survey, showed that 40 percent of teenagers felt sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more.
Nov 2, 2017, UK Ipswich Star: Cyber-bullying, self harm and lack of sleep among issues faced by Suffolk’s schoolchildren, report reveals
“‘We have made several recommendations to local schools and commissioners within Suffolk County Council and our local clinical commissioning groups. This includes engaging secondary schools on all aspects of the EWB2020.
“‘This must start with preparing schools to better manage the emotional wellbeing needs of children and young people by increasing funding of tier one support, improved workforce development within schools and ensuring young people are more aware of the support available to them. …’ “
Nov 2, 2017, Charlottesville (VA) Tomorrow: Greenbrier Elementary piloting social-emotional learning program
Greenbrier Elementary School in Charlottesville is piloting a program for the city school division that aims to support children who struggle to control their emotions and cause disruptions in class.
Nov 2, 2017, Canada, CBC: Post-secondary groups call for beefed-up mental health services for students
“…but increasing demand and a huge gap in government funding means post-secondary institutions can't always meet the needs of those suffering from a range of psychological issues — from anxiety and depression to more serious illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.”
Nov 2, 2017, Louisville (KT) Courier-Journal: JCPS outlines progress after state demands immediate action in three key areas
“Courier Journal reported last year that JCPS had significantly underreported to the state the number of times students were physically held down or confined to a room in schools and that the district knew it had underreported those numbers.”
Nov 2, 2017, CTV (Toronto): Action needed on student mental health: report
“The group is also calling for a mandatory curriculum that would teach children and teens psychological resiliency, starting in kindergarten and continuing through high school.”
Nov 2, 2017, London, Ontario, Canada, CBC: Wait times for autism services unacceptable, says London mother
“A London mother says children with autism aren't getting the services they need, as parents face years-long waits for therapy despite the importance of early intervention.
“Jessica Ashton says her three-and-a half-year old son was diagnosed with autism last summer.
“She and her husband sought out therapy at the Thames Valley Children's Centre and were told they were number 989 on the wait list for therapy.”
Nov 2, 2017, Isthmus, Madison, WI: “Swamped” with special needs kids?
“The governance council of Badger Rock Middle School says it is “swamped” with students with disabilities which has created a “burdensome situation” for students, staff and parents. In a Sept. 20 letter to Madison school district officials, obtained by Isthmus, the council wrote that 32 students — 35 percent of the total student body — have special educational needs. As a result, the council said, ‘teachers are unable to implement the project-based curriculum’ at the small public charter school.”
Nov 2, 2017, KNWA-TV Fayetteville, AR: Demand for Mental Health Services on Campus Increasing
“One study found a thirty-percent increase of students requesting services in a five-year period for things like anxiety, depression, substance abuse and suicide prevention.
“In fact, the demand is so great, the American College Health Association said, ‘It's outstripping our nations' universities' capabilities,’ to deliver the care students need.”
Nov 2, 2017, Bay State Banner (Massachusetts): Boston public schools: an asthma-friendly school district
“School nurses see their fair share of asthma. “In 2015-16, we had 10,724 patients with a documented diagnosis of asthma,” explained Patricia Kenney, nurse liaison for Children with Special Health Care Needs in the Boston Public Schools That amounts to almost 19 percent of the student population.”
Nov 3, 2017, UK Echo: £15.5m special needs school unveiled
“The record investment, which includes £42million from the Essex Schools Forum, comes following an increase in the number of young people in the county being diagnosed with autism and amid a growing demand for special school places.”
Nov 3, 2017, UK Schools Week: 65% of special free schools are for autism
“Among the 40 new special schools with approval to open, meanwhile, 65 per cent are autism-specific.”
Nov 3, 2017, Monett (MO) Times: Special education schooling grows in Monett
The percentage of students in Monett with an IEP, from kindergarten through high school, compared to the entire student body is 15.72 percent, Fare reported. That number is higher than the state average rate of 12.89 percent. …”
Nov 3, 2017, Park City (UT) Record: Park City School District grows student wellness initiative
“Eight students that require one-on-one assistance moved into the district this school year. The district had to hire several aides to meet those needs, said Benjamin Belnap, associate superintendent of student wellness for the district.
“To meet needs for all students, the district also hired social workers for the elementary schools and another counselor for Park City High School, he said. …
“Many students are only now being identified because of the increased emphasis on early intervention.”
Nov 3, 2017, NBC6 Omaha: Lack of sleep for teens becoming a “public health epidemic”
“Brett Kuhn at UNMC tells 6 News that not only is the lack of teen sleep becoming a major health concern but it could lead to a whole new generation of mental health problems.”
Nov 3, 2017, Jamestown (NY) Post-Journal: Schools To Integrate Mental Health Into 2018-19 Curriculum
“Beginning next year, elementary, middle and high schools in the state will be required to include mental health education in the health curriculum.”
Nov 4, 2017, Eastern Arizona Courier: Special education funding gap squeezes Arizona classrooms
“Underfunding of federally mandated special education services for public school students, coupled with a growing number of students with more severe disabilities, is straining general classroom spending in Arizona’s public schools. …”
Nov 4, 2017, (New Zealand) Otago Daily Times: School Assaults Rise
“An alarming rise in the number of Otago school pupils being disciplined for physical or verbal assaults on staff and fellow pupils has the Ministry of Education concerned.
“Regional figures released by the ministry under the Official Information Act show stand-downs and suspensions for physical assaults on other pupils increased from 139 to 218 (56.8%) and 10 to 14 (40%) respectively between 2015 and 2016.
“Physical assaults on staff resulted in 64 stand-downs (52.4% increase) and 10 suspensions (66.7% increase) over the same time frame.”
Nov 4, 2017, Coon Rapids, MN, Morrison County Record: UAS adds sensory room to meet
students’ sensory needs
“As part of the program, UAS added a sensory room recently. Even though the room is located in the elementary school section, it is available to all students who need it. …”
Nov 5, 2017, UK Peterborough Telegraph: Special school to reopen at a cost of £2m
“Around 30 pupils and staff members from Heltwate in North Bretton will move across due to the increasing demand for places at the special school.
Nov 5, 2017, Belfast Live: New campaign aims to raise awareness about autism in the classroom
“One in 40 school children is diagnosed with autism, and the charity relies on the public's help to improve the lives of children affected by this hidden disability.”
Nov 5, 2017, NBC9 Denver: Mental health education required for New York students
“It is estimated that one in five people live with some sort of mental disorder or disease.
“Further, according to the state Mental Health Association, the average age of early signs of mental illness is 14. …”
Nov 5, 2017, Stamford (CT) Advocate: Wendy Lecker: Coping with trauma in the classroom
“An experienced kindergarten teacher contacted me the other day. She reported that she and teachers in her district have seen a spike in children entering kindergarten having suffered trauma. Distraught, she said that she and her colleagues are not trained to meet these children’s needs, and there are not enough services in the schools to help.
“This phenomenon is sadly not unique. The New York Council of School Superintendents recently issued the results of its annual survey. In 2017, for the first time, increasing mental health services in schools shot up to be the No. 1 priority. A majority of superintendents reported that mental health was a significant problem in schools.”
Nov 5, 2017, Lynchburg (VA) News and Advance: With more students showing signs of mental distress, Campbell County turns to training in ‘de-escalation strategies
“Lacking the financial means to bring on more counselors or social workers, Arnold said administrators and teachers in schools, likely beginning with Rustburg Elementary, soon will be trained in ‘de-escalation’ strategies for when students have outbursts in class, though there is no set date yet for this training to begin. The training will be similar to a course offered for teachers over the summer, as part of a collection of courses they can volunteer to take called the teacher learning academy. …
“Horizon counselors have seen an increase in students dealing with trauma, often from abuse — physical or verbal — in the home, either among other members of the family or directed at the student, Cabezas said. The number of students who had a history of trauma in Campbell County and were treated through Horizonjumped from 72 in 2015 to 87 in 2016. That manifests itself in anxiety and depression, Cabezas said.”
Nov 5, 2017, Coeur d’Alene (ID) Press: Survey: 1 in 4 Idaho high schoolers have seriously considered attempting suicide
“Nearly 1-in-4 Idaho high school students have seriously considered attempting suicide — the highest rate in 10 years. …”
Nov 5, 2017, White River Junction (VT) Valley News: Schools Struggling With State Testing
“The Smarter Balanced test is meant to measure reading and math proficiency for third- through eighth-graders, with 11th-graders taking the SAT. The results announced by the New Hampshire Department of Education late last month showed that scores, with the exception of slight increases in seventh-grade reading and 11th-grade math, dipped across the board.
“‘We are obviously concerned about the decline in student performance and will be working closely with schools to understand the underlying drivers,’ state Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut said in an Oct. 23 news release.”
Nov 5, 2017, Petoskey (MI) News: Taking action: Teen suicide, self-harm are rising concerns
“A study conducted by the Pediatric Health Information System earlier this year found the number of children and teens admitted to children's hospitals for thoughts of suicide or self-harm have more than doubled during the last decade.
“The study, which was headed by Dr. Gregory Plemmons, associate professor at The Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, revealed children's hospital admissions of patients 5 to 17 years old for suicidal thoughts or actions is largely related to stressful environments and unfettered access to information, mostly via the internet and social media….”
Nov 5, 2017, Topeka (KS) Capital-Journal: How many Kansas children experience trauma before age 18? Nearly half, report shows
“Forty-five percent of Kansas children under the age of 18 suffer an adverse childhood experience, according to a recent analysis by the Child & Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, putting the state in line with the national figure of 46 percent.
“Such adverse experiences, or ACEs, “include a range of experiences that can lead to trauma and toxic stress and impact children’s brain development and physical, social, mental, emotional, and behavioral health and well-being,” the report said.”
Nov 6, 2017, UK, Northants Telegraph: Work starts on new special educational needs school in Corby
Red Kite Academy will provide 100 places for children aged four to 18 with severe and profound learning difficulties and for children and young people with an autism presentation
Nov 6, 2017, ABC11, Raleigh, NC: Vote on multi-million dollar land deal draws crowd to Wake County commissioners meeting
"There are one in 58 children with autism in Wake County and they're growing up," said Erin O'Loughlin, founder of 3 Irish Jewels Farm.
Nov 6, 2017, Spokane (WA) Spokesman Review: Awareness grows around sensory processing issues
“Children with sensory processing disorders can have difficulties in response to touch, movement, sight, sound, smell and taste. Kids might overreact or underreact to what others consider mild stimuli.
“Sensory issues are common among kids who are diagnosed with autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, known as ADHD, among other conditions. Some kids shut down completely and disengage….
“‘You can have the condition without having any of the diagnoses,’ Kammerer said. The condition in children usually is identified between the ages of 2 and 7. …”
Nov 7, 2017, WKBW TV, Buffalo, NY: New York addressing mental illness in schools
“ Starting next year public school in New York will have to include mental health education in curriculums.
“New York will be the first state in the country to incorporate the topic in its health classes along with subjects like physical education. …”
Nov 7, 2017, (UK) Jersey Evening Post: School introduces programme to help improve mental health
“According to recent figures in the States Mental Health Review, an average of three children in every classroom are diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Meanwhile, a report by the UK Institute of Education shows that one in four girls and one in ten boys show signs of depression at age 14.”
Nov 7, 2017, KSTP5 St. Paul, MN: Mental Health Moves to Forefront in Stillwater Schools
“The conversation on teen suicide and mental health in schools is growing across the state. School-linked mental health services are now in 85 percent of districts. …”
Nov 7, 2017, NBC2/Fox11, North Platte, NE: Sensory rooms help students with special needs
“North Platte Schools have added six sensory rooms to accommodate students with special needs. The district has seen benefits to all students, however; as having a time to get a sensory break can be beneficial to anyone….”
Nov 7, 2017, Coon Rapids, MN, HometownSource.com: UAS adds sensory room to meet students’ needs
“The Upsala Area Schools added a sensory room to meet the needs of a wide range of the students. It’s a way to encourage positive actions and apply calming strategies that help students improve their focus and attention in the classroom.”
Nov 8, 2017, WQAD TV, Moline, IL: Area schools use specialized isolation rooms
Iowa's use of seclusion rooms is being tested.
A Coralville attorney has filed a complaint with Iowa's Education Department over the use of this seclusion room at an Iowa City school.
An Iowa City School District Task Force found that 18 students accounted for 75% of incidents involving seclusion rooms.
Iowa City Schools has a number of "seclusion rooms" that will now be phased out by the 2018-209-19 school year. ….
But other Iowa districts are using them. …
Nov 8, 2017, WBTV—Charlotte, NC: New faces coming to the Charlotte Mecklenburg School Board
“Strain also believes more support is needed for students who are battling mental illness. He also says to tackle academic achievement, school curriculums must change because all students don't learn the same.”
Nov 9, 2017, UK School Week: SEND pupils ‘pushed out’ of mainstream schools, new data shows
“As a result, more schools are saying they can’t meet the needs of those young people, prompting an “artificial push towards getting places in special schools instead”.
“At the same time, he said the data shows 17 fewer special schools are open now than there were a decade ago.
“‘We can’t have a situation where more pupils with statements are moving into schools when we have a fixed number of schools,’ he said.
“Only the expansion of existing schools, or opening more free schools, would be able to alleviate the pressure on schools, he claimed.
“Schools Week revealed last week that 40 new special needs free schools are in the pipeline.”
Nov 9, 2017, NBC12 Richmond, VA: Colleges struggle to meet demands for mental health services
“It's being called a crisis on campus - colleges and universities struggling to meet the growing demand for mental health services for their students.”
Nov 9, 2017, Deerfield Beach (FL) Sun Sentinel: Day of Awareness symposium supports students with disabilities
"‘Synagogue school directors and educators in our community told us the number of students who need behavioral interventions and different learning strategies grow each year,’ said Lynne Lieberman, senior director of CJE, in addressing the need for the day long symposium.”
Nov 9, 2017, Jacksonville, FL News 4: Universities to bolster mental health services
“The Board of Governors, which oversees the university system, has been advocating for more mental-health spending from the Legislature over the last two years, with data showing more students need the services and that many students face serious psychological challenges, including stress, anxiety, depression and thoughts of suicide.
“A March report showed 24,700 students used counseling and psychological services at the 12 universities during the 2015-2016 academic year, a 20 percent increase over the prior year. That was a 55 percent increase since the 2008-2009 academic year. …”
Nov 9, 2017, Los Angeles Daily News: California moves to curtail expelling children from preschool — yes, preschool
“After successfully reducing expulsions in its K-12 schools, California is now moving to restrict the practice with even younger children — at the preschool level.
“To that end, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation last month that bars state-subsidized preschool programs from expelling kids unless an exhaustive process aimed at supporting the child and family is followed first.”
Nov 9, 2017, Huntsville, AL, WAAY31 TV: Huntsville superintendent responds to claims 2nd graders injures teacher
“An I-Team follow up after a second grade teacher told us a second grader caused those bruises and they sent her to the hospital.
“It’s new information about students attacking teachers at Rolling Hills Elementary School in Huntsville. Teachers say changes made at the school aren’t enough.
WAAY 31 took our questions about the incident to Superintendent Matt Akin Thursday. He did confirm he is aware of the teacher's claims that she was attacked by a student but tried to pivot the conversation to the improvements at the school this year.”
Nov 10, 2017, Beloit (WI) Daily News: UW Expert: Kids bring their traumas to school
“Children who have experienced trauma face obstacles to learning that can pose deep challenges in the classroom.
“And students who have undergone a variety of traumatic events in their lives - poverty, various forms of abuse, homelessness or parents with addictions - do not respond well to traditional forms of discipline.”
Nov 10, 2017, Eugene (OR) Register-Guard: Edison Elementary in Eugene has had to call police and evacuate classrooms over student behavior problems
“Eugene police officers have been called to Edison Elementary School in south Eugene three times since Oct. 23 for reports of ‘disorderly juvenile(s).’
“Staff members who work at the school say students identified as having ‘behavioral issues’ have been breaking windows and door glass, throwing chairs, hitting teachers and other staff, yelling obscenities and becoming so violent or out of control that teachers are forced to completely clear their classrooms — sometimes as a safety precaution — requiring other students to move into a hallway or gymnasium for the duration of a student’s meltdown.”
Nov 10, 2017, (Australia) WA Today: Stressed and scared: Calls for more support in WA schools for senior students
“A study by the University of New South Wales revealed 42 per cent of year 12 students registered high levels of anxiety, severe enough to be of clinical concern.
“The ratio was nearly double the population norm and significantly larger than recorded by previous studies.”
Nov 10, 2017, New Zealand, Otago Daily Times: Some Restraint of Pupils is Necessary
“Education is hindered by pupils who command teacher attention, other pupils as well as the teachers become frustrated. …
“Increasing numbers of pupils have major underlying behavioural issues. They could well arrive at school with no experience of boundaries, unable to concentrate for any length of time or even sit still. Others are violent, and physical and sexual assaults have increased. …”
Nov 10, 2017, Beloit (WI) Daily News: Addressing the needs of troubled kids
"‘The complex child who comes to us with issues is trying to tell us something," said School District of Beloit Superintendent Tom Johnson. ‘Adults need to be willing to step back and determine what is causing the child's behavior.’…
"‘We continue to partner with almost every social service agency in the region and are thankful for the support of agencies such Community Action Inc. and Family Services,’ Johnson added.
“The school district also is increasing its number of trauma-informed classrooms and mental health resources for students to help children who may be struggling.”
Nov 10, 2017, UK News Guardian: Charity installs new sensory room after £20,000 lottery boost
“As a result of the funding boost from People’s Postcode Trust, the disability charity has been able to install a new interactive sensory room at Percy Hedley School in Killingworth. …
“The school caters for children and young people with cerebral palsy, communication impairments and sensory impairments.”
Nov 11, 2017, Clarksburg (WV) Exponent Telegram: Hats Off
“North View Elementary School officials, who have started a program with a sensory and de-escalation.”
Nov 11, 2017, (Ireland) Limerick Post: Limerick children waiting two years for autism assessments
“The Team currently has 372 children on its caseload and has an allocated resource of 1.5 psychologists. Both these posts are currently filled. There is a waiting list in this team, as well as nationally, for ASD assessments
Nov 12, 2017, Cleveland.com: 36,000 suspensions for Ohio third graders and younger could prompt ban on harsh punishments.”
“Ohio could join the growing number of states and cities to ban suspensions of young students as damaging and counterproductive, under a new bill to be released this week.
“State Sen. Peggy Lehner, who chairs the Senate education committee, says she is astounded that Ohio schools kick kids in kindergarten through third grade out of school more than 30,000 times a year.
“There were 36,000 such suspensions - removal from school for up to 10 days - of Ohio's 540,000 PreK-3 students in 2015-16 and 34,000 in 2016-17….”
Nov 12, 2017, Ann Arbor News: Peer-to-peer depression awareness program expands to middle schools
Now, the annual Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Depression Awareness Campaign has expanded to 13 Washtenaw County high schools, and the program is being piloted in nine middle schools for the first time this school year.
Nov 12, 2017, Holland (MI) Sentinel: Daniela Garcia seclusion, restraint bill passes House
“A bill by state Rep. Daniela Garcia, R-Holland, that would modify school seclusion and restraint rules unanimously passed the Michigan House on Thursday, Nov. 9.
“… The bill would allow school resource officers, who are contracted to a school district from a law enforcement department in the region, to utilize their training to resolve incidents at school that may arise. The current law calls for specific training of teachers, administrators and education personnel in regulations for seclusion and restraint in emergency situations. …”
Nov 13, 2017, Fall River (MA) News Herald: Regional summit focuses on social-emotional learning
“The summit, a day of professional training for teachers to focus on the topic of social-emotional learning, was held at the Somerset Berkley Regional High School on Oct. 28. More than 220 educators from around the region spent the day in an assortment of 40 workshops. They also garnered a new perspective on social-emotional learning from guest speakers including Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn and keynote presenter Jessica Minahan, a behavior analyst, special educator, consultant and author of the “Behavior Code” books. …
“And teachers responded to Minahan, whose experience includes working with students who struggle with mental health and behavioral issues and training staff and creating behavior intervention plans for students who demonstrate explosive behavior, according to her bio.”
Nov 13, 2017, WLWT5—TV, Cincinnati: New autism treatment center opens in Forest Park
“As more kids are being diagnosed with autism nationwide, a new treatment option in Cincinnati opened its doors.”
Nov 13, 2017, (England) Shields Gazette: Boost for specialist school with creation of new classroom
“It delivers Early Years, primary and secondary education for children with severe, profound and complex learning difficulties.
“There is also a post-16 department that provides for these pupils and additional students who have moderate learning difficulties.”
Nov 13, 2017, Albany Times Union: Schenectady schools consider childhood trauma—Effort to improve school climate shifts focus from discipline
“Over a year ago, Schenectady schoolteachers and administrators began trying something new.
“When a student acted out, instead of asking ‘What is wrong with you?’ they started asking ‘What has happened to you?’
“As soon as educators started to consider that trauma — a parent's death, a father in prison, physical or sexual abuse, homelessness, a parent with mental illness or addiction — may have something to do with a child's behavior, their response to that behavior changed.”
Nov 14, 2017, Barrie Examiner, Ontario: Students facing physical and mental health issue
“According to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, one in four students in high school feel they have fair to poor mental health, almost double the rate while they are in grades 7 and 8.”
Nov 14, 2017, Portage (WI) Daily Register: Portage schools provide trauma education for teachers
“… Students who’ve experienced trauma also may exhibit aggression and other social-emotional problems in the classroom. National research shows that kids are being exposed to more trauma than ever before, including a 2016 study conducted in Philadelphia that showed 40 percent of students had witnessed violence, Wolfe said. Portage isn't Philadelphia, of course, but research is showing ‘trauma happens across all demographic levels — to all kinds of families.’ Research suggests drugs are more prevalent today than ever before and that families move more often, she added.”
Nov 14, 2017, Greenville, NC, WNCT—TV: Kids in Crisis: A look at adolescent mental health
“New studies are showing an unforgiving rise in mental health cases involving children ages 6 to 18.
“Those cases can lead to self-harm and even suicide, and they’re happening here in the East….”
Nov 14, 2017, Cleveland.com: Bill would ban suspensions of non-violent young students to keep them in class
“Ohio's elementary schools would have to stop suspending young students for minor offenses under a bill proposed by State Sen. Peggy Lehner today, though schools can still throw kids out of the building when they pose a danger to others.
“The new bill unveiled today would ban most out-of-school suspensions for kids in preschool through third grade, except in limited cases.”
Nov 14, 2017, West Sussex, England, Crawley Observer: Consultation launched into special needs provision
“A consultation has been launched into plans to change the special needs provision at Maidenbower Junior School. …
“A council spokesman said a number of imbalances were identified in either the kind of special support centres available at schools or the need for or take up of places.
“The review highlighted the need for more places for children on the autistic spectrum.”
Nov 14, 2017, (Canada) Narcity: Half Of Ontario Post-Secondary Students Are Missing School Due To Anxiety
“Anxiety, depression and anxiety-related disorders have been on the rise for years in North America, and most alarmingly is the increased percentage of youth and children affected by mental illness and disorders in recent years.”
Nov 15, 2017, (UK) Financial Times: Pressure on UK schools to tackle mental health grows
“…According to a mental health report from the UK Department for Education (DfE) in August, an estimated three pupils in every classroom across the country have a diagnosable mental health disorder such as anxiety or depression.”
Nov 15, 2017, (Australia) Sydney Morning Herald: One in 10 five-year-olds show signs of developing mental illness: study
“One in 10 five-year-olds in NSW show early warning signs of developing mental illness later in life, according to a new study that provides a ready-made blueprint for detecting at-risk children.”
Nov 15, 2017, (Canada) CBC: 'I wasn't kept safe': Injured Ottawa teacher recounts violent attack
“Lamonica's union, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association, says students acting violently towards teachers is a growing problem across Canada and is pushing for change. …”
Nov 15, 2017, ABC 9, Cedar Rapids, IA: Districts vary in seclusion room use
“When a student breaks out in a violent outburst at school, that school can lock that student, alone, in a small room. These seclusion rooms are perfectly legal, and school districts across the state have them.”
Nov 15, 2017, Chalkbeat: Mental health crises are major cause of police interventions in New York City schools, new data show
“Last school year, nearly 29 percent of the 9,385 incidents where police or safety agents were called involved a “child in crisis,” in which the officer or agent determined the student needed to be taken to a hospital for a psychological evaluation. By contrast, 12 percent of the incidents resulted in arrests and 9 percent in summonses – a pattern that advocates say highlights a need for more mental-health professionals in schools. …”
Nov 16, 2017, UK Daily Mail: Iowa elementary school uses therapy pig to improve learning
“An elementary school in eastern Iowa is using a therapy pig to help special education students manage emotions and focus on learning. …
“The elementary school in eastern Iowa is using a therapy pig to help special education students manage emotions and focus on learning. The Muscatine Journal reports that Frankie the pig serves as a calming mechanism. “
Nov 16, 2017, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Shortage of mental health care providers hits crisis point just as more teens seek help
“Demand for mental health services is up, as USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin has explored in the Kids in Crisis series. Teachers report more kids struggling to cope with traumatic experiences while suicide rates rise. Families are becoming more comfortable seeking help. …
“The wait list to see a child psychiatrist stretches for months, Oerter said. Children's attempts to schedule a first appointment within three months of a family's' call, but that doesn't always happen.
" ‘We could probably double our workforce and still not meet the demand,’ Oerter said.”
Nov 16, 2017, WIFR-TV, Rockford: Boylan service dog helps students deal with anxiety, stress
"‘A lot of students struggle with depression, and simply being able to hug Addie and hold onto her, that really just... it dries the tears. It helps them to just breathe normally; it brings a smile to their face. I feel like she's the most popular girl in school right now,’ Olofson said.”
Nov 16, 2017, KUTV—TV, Salt Lake City: Autistic education expanding in Utah
“Last week, Spectrum Academy broke ground on a new building that will house 400 more students in a separate building for the high school. …
“The new structure will provide the trained educators and special resources they need to thrive. However, there are still more than 400 students from across the nation on the rapidly growing wait list.”
Nov 16, 2017, BBC News: School counsellors needed to tackle self-harm 'epidemic', minister told
“All young people in the UK should have access to school counsellors to tackle an ‘epidemic’ in self-harm, the government has been been told.”
Nov 17, 2017, Eugene (OR) Register-Guard: Eugene schools face lack of space, cash and trained personnel to cope with disruptive students, critics say
“But the district has few options and limited staffing available when a student has an emotional outburst serious enough to require clearing the room. Other students usually are moved to a different classroom, hallway or gymnasium during the disturbance. But parents, teachers and others say there’s not enough space to accommodate this practice.
“Public schools in Oregon already are crowded. As of Oct. 1, the Eugene School District had 16,355 enrolled students. About 14 percent of the student population requires special education, the district has determined. …”
Nov 17, 2017, Macon (GA) Telegraph: Behavior incidents drop nearly 75 percent at Bibb schools
“Jamie Cassady, assistant superintendent of student affairs, said the improvements can be attributed to several initiatives. The district has had instructors for in-school suspension at the middle and high schools for some time, and now they are also in all the elementary schools. They check on at-risk students on days when students aren’t assigned to in-school suspension, also known as ISS.
“‘(With ISS), you get an opportunity to continue the education. The teachers send the lesson plans to the ISS instructors so that the learning can still occur,’ Cassady said. ‘You have an individual in the ISS room that’s been trained in de-escalation and that works with that student as far as character ed, trying to understand what’s causing these behaviors and having those conversations with those students.’”
Nov 17, 2017, WTVM—TV, Columbus, GA: Coastal Empire colleges see rise in students battling anxiety, depression
“More and more college students are turning to their counseling centers to get help with conditions like anxiety and depression.”
Nov 17, 2017, (New Zealand) News Talk ZB: Putting autistic children in seclusion rooms not uncommon – expert
“Autism New Zealand CEO, Dane Dougan told Mike Hosking although laws have since changed, a Ministry of Education survey last year found such practices are not uncommon.
"‘Children with autism, there is certainly need for a quiet space for them but not in a locked, tiny, cupboard-sized room.’”
Nov 19, 2017, Cape Breton Post: Clifford Street Youth Centre launches Christmas initiative
“‘Over the last few years we’ve noticed a strong need in the area of mental wellness with a lot of children suffering from anxiety to the point of missing school regularly,’ she said.”
Nov 19, 2017, South China Morning Post: One in 10 Hong Kong primary pupils suffer from serious depression, survey shows
“The survey by the Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service also found that 21.7 per cent of the schoolchildren polled complained of constant stress, up 5.5 percentage points from a similar poll last year and also a three-year high. …
“Another 3.5 per cent of pupils also showed signs of milder depression and also need attention, according to the study.”
Nov 19, 2017, Sarasota Herald Tribune: Tackling children’s ‘toxic stress’
“Local organizations place mental health clinicians in three Title I elementary schools to help deal with mental health issues…
“The Florida Center for Early Childhood and the Community Foundation are each supporting most of the salary for a full-time therapist at Alta Vista and Gocio elementary schools, respectively. The Forty Carrots Family Center uses a grant from the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation to provide mental health care for six hours a week at Tuttle Elementary. …”
Nov 20, 2017, The Irish Times: State plays catch-up with spending boost for special needs
“It looks alarming on paper. Spending on higher education has climbed by almost half a billion euro since 2011, an increase of about 40 per cent.
“The number of teachers in special classes has jumped from 600 in 2011 to more than 1,700 next year.
“Over the same time frame, the number of special needs assistants has risen from just over 10,000 to almost 14,000 next year.”
Nov 20, 2017, UK Metro: Stop stressing out our kids – why children’s mental health is as important as academic achievement
“With mental illness rates among British children already on the rise, it is about time our kids were put first. The government needs to stop throwing books and start listening to the teachers and parents on the ground before it is too late.”
Nov 20, 2017, CBS10, Medford, OR: Anonymous e-mail: "uncontrollable behavior" at Roosevelt Elementary
“News 10 received the e-mail Sunday night from someone claiming to be an educator at Roosevelt Elementary School. They said students' behavioral problems are creating ‘violent and psychologically damaging conditions on a daily basis’ in a school where students are allowed to ‘assault teachers, throw chairs, scream at the top of their lungs, leave school property, and swear at adults.’”
Nov 20, 2017, Concord (MA) Wicked: Chelmsford school board backs fund requests
“…However, concerns remain about other needs, including reports from school administrators about students with behavioral and emotional problems that may disrupt other students’ learning and compromise the troubled students’ own educational experience. …
“Lang also said plans are in the works to explore ways to better help students with behavioral and emotional problems, but said those costs fall with the school operating budget rather than in capital requests. …”
Nov 21, 2017, Baltimore Sun: Baltimore County teachers protest discipline problems in schools
“Baltimore County teachers protested the lack of discipline in some schools, saying it is putting teachers at risk of being harmed by their students.
“A couple dozen teachers stood with red T-shirts before the school board on Tuesday night. The teacher’s union President Abby Beytin said five teachers had been hurt this school year in one school, including one who is still out with a concussion.”
Nov 21, 2017, (Canada) CBC: Campaign tackles effects of stress on kids as young as 6
Mental health visits to CHEO up 75 per cent since 2010
“Ottawa Public Health has launched a new campaign to raise awareness about how stress could leave young children more susceptible to depression, suicide and drug and alcohol abuse in their adolescent years.
“Harpreet Grewal, a program officer with Ottawa Public Health, said early signs of mental stress in young children can take the form of anxiety and manifest itself in meltdowns for children.”
Nov 21, 2017, KBTX—TV, Bryant, TX: CSISD hiring more teachers for growing special education enrollment
“Texas is seeing an increase in enrollment in special education classes.
“The surge comes after the state removed a policy that limited those services.
“At College Station ISD they're seeing a growth in student population and an increased number of students enrolled in special education programs.”
Nov 21, 2017, Buffalo (NY) News: Mindful of school kids’ need for solace
“The kindergartner wouldn’t walk, wouldn’t talk and wouldn’t stop screaming.
“So Greg Johnson scooped her up and brought her into his school’s new room where she let off some steam bouncing on the small trampoline in the corner. …
“The school district calls the new venue a ‘mindfulness’ room and it’s one of the new strategies that schools, like George Blackman, are rolling out to help address behavioral problems, resolve conflicts, reduce suspensions and teach kids how to cope with the stress and emotional trauma that so many bring with them into the classroom.”
Nov 21, 2017, Easton (MD) Star Democrat: QA's County Mental Health Committee awards $42K in grants
“With the help of QACMHC’s grant, the McArdle School will build a sensory room to help those with learning disabilities, developmental disabilities or sensory impairments learn to interact with the world around them. …”
Nov 21, 2017, (Canada) CBC News: Teachers call for changes to inclusion policy for classrooms—Classroom composition is a major issue for teachers across the province
“Mixing students who have intellectual disabilities with students who don't can have an impact on overall learning inside the classroom, the New Brunswick Teachers Association president says. …
“For example, he said, some classrooms have had to be evacuated because of violent outbursts by students.
"‘Unfortunately, we do have some classes in the province that probably get evacuated fairly often,’ he said. …”
Nov 22, 2017, The Missourian: Therapy Dog Brings Joy to Clark Vitt Elementary
“…Xena, Eichmeyer’s specially trained therapy dog, spends every Wednesday laying with students as they read. Eichmeyer said her presence is calming and makes reading fun for her students, who are struggling with comprehension. …
“Eichmeyer said since Xena Eichmeyer approved to be at school the students and teachers at Clark-Vitt have embraced having Xena in their halls. She said teachers especially like Xena, as she gives them a break from the stress of the school day.”
Nov 22, 2017, Fox San Diego: At least 45 Pennsylvania teachers quit citing violence, ‘unprecedented misbehavior’
“City teachers pleaded with district administrators Monday to help support them as they deal with what they are calling unprecedented misbehavior among children in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania schools, some of which is resulting in physical violence against teachers. …
“Some of the worst behavior has come from some of the district's youngest students, Barksdale said.”
Nov 22, 2017, Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette: Cedar Rapids school seclusion complaint under investigation
“The Iowa Department of Education is investigating a complaint against the Cedar Rapids Community School District for inappropriately secluding a Pierce Elementary third-grader last spring.
“The complaint filed Tuesday by Coralville attorney Mary Richard also says the Cedar Rapids Community School District did not report its seclusion statistics to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and she said the district has seen rising numbers of students secluded or r
Nov 22, 2017, Chico (CA) ER: Chapman School establishes new wellness center for students
“Chapman School’s Room 19 feels different from the rest of the school.
“The blue room is peaceful with cozy couches and dim lighting, a quiet escape from halls filled with exuberant, and loud, young elementary school students. Room 19 houses the school counselor’s office and Chapman’s newly established wellness center, a place for kids who are anxious, upset or otherwise unable to focus to come to ‘reset’ before returning to the classroom.”
Nov 22, 2017, Sunbury (PA) Daily Item: School nurses struggle to juggle high caseloads, regulations
“Murray said nurses have to have a log of students in the district with chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, allergies and more. Murray said there are 637 such students in her district.”
Nov 22, 2017, BBC: East Sussex parents in special needs school row
“Parents of children with autism and other special educational needs claim they are being forced to keep them at home as there are no suitable schools.”
Nov 22, 2017, (Northern Ireland) The Irish Post: Number of pupils suspended for assaulting staff in Northern Ireland schools trebles in one year
“LATEST figures from the Department of Education in Northern Ireland show assaults on teachers increased threefold in just one year.
“For the school year 2015/16, there were 646 suspensions for physical attacks on staff, up from 213 the previous year.
“Of the 646 attacks, 110 were carried out by girls – over six times the number in 2014/15 (18). …
“‘The NASUWT is being inundated with teachers who are reporting assaults that are happening to them on a daily basis,’ he said. …”
Nov 22, 2017, Astoria, OR, The Daily Astorian: Astoria schools granted support for at-risk learners
“John Jacob Astor Elementary School received a $422 grant for sensory materials to create a calm room, …
Nov 22, 2017, Breitbart: 45 Pennsylvania Teachers Resign over Students’ Violent Behavior
“The HEA claimed that students’ unruly behavior caused at least 45 teachers to resign between July and October, and members of the teachers’ union say that more resignations have taken place since then.
“‘Teachers and students are being hit, kicked, slapped, scratched, cussed at … and observing other students flip over tables, desks, and chairs. Teachers have had to take the rest of their class into the hallway to protect them during these outbursts,’ HEA President Jody Barksdale told the Patriot-News.”
Nov 22, 2017, Mansfield (OH) News Journal: Mansfield schools consider adding more administrators
“The district board of education on Tuesday had a first reading of job descriptions for a behavior analyst, a district assistant principal and a family resource/community engagement coordinator.
“The behavior analyst would be a specialist who would focus on a specific group of special education students in grades seven through 12, according to assistant superintendent Mark Manley. This staff member would be hired in addition to a contracted behavior analyst who already works in the district and who would remain under contract to focus on younger grades.
“Director of pupil services Jonathan Burras said the second behavior analyst is needed to identify and meet the needs of student whose inability to access the curriculum is less academic and more behavioral. “
Nov 23, 2017, (UK) Guardian: Children with mental health problems 'guaranteed' treatment in four weeks
“Many children’s mental health teams say that they are struggling to cope with demand, which has rocketed in recent years as growing numbers of young people have begun suffering with anxiety, depression and other disorders.
“Rates of self-harm, especially among teenage girls, have soared over the last decade. Social media, pressures at school, poverty and difficult backgrounds have been identified as factors underpinning the rise. …”
Nov 23, 2017, UK Ipswich Star: Interviews and decision due in New Year for sponsor of new special free school in Ipswich
“The 60-place school is going to be established in east Ipswich, on the former Holywells High School site in Lindbergh Road next to Inspire Suffolk. …
“‘The new school will bring much needed further provision for children with additional needs in this part of the county.’
“The school will cater for those aged between eight and 16 with social, emotional and mental health needs.
“County council staff said the demand for a special school in the Ipswich area was ‘high’. …”
Nov 23, 2017, (London, England) City A.M.: Tech offers a way out of the UK’s education crisis
“Rising teacher workloads, shifting regulatory goalposts, soaring student mental health issues, and schools culling pupils to skew exam results – these are just some of the challenges and scandals faced by those working in education today.”
Nov 23, 2017, (UK) Ulster Star: Take time to talk and give your child the best start in life
“Almost a third of children (32 per cent) in Lisburn have a mild to moderate speech and language problem when they start school, it has been claimed.”
Nov 23, 2017, (UK) Wadsworth Guardian: Resource base for children with autism at Balham school gets approval
“A proposal to open a resource base at a Balham primary school to accommodate children with autism disorders has received approval.”
Nov 23, 2017, Stockton, MO, Cedar Republican: R-I district enrollment down, pre-k school full
“In a report about special education in grades K-12, board members were told the district has about 130 special education students. Most of these students in K-8 are in speech and language programs,…”
Nov 24, 2017, Press of Atlantic City: New Cape May County alliance aims to reduce adverse childhood experiences
“In response to Cape May County’s poor outcomes in national childhood health and wellness reports, county experts and organizations are teaming up to address adverse childhood experiences, including neglect, abuse and other traumas. …
“Adverse childhood experiences include all types of abuse, neglect and other traumatic experiences like witnessing domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness, divorce or an incarcerated parent that involve a child under the age of 18, said Tom Piratzky, executive director of the Cape Regional Foundation, the donor arm of the health system.
“‘These traumatized children face challenges that no child deserves and damage caused by adverse childhood experiences often results in young people who develop long-lasting harmful behaviors that affect themselves, their families and their communities,’ Piratzky said.”
Nov 24, 2017, (Nova Scotia) U of King's College School of Journalism: Nova Scotians surveyed on future of education
“For example, between 2004 and 2014 school enrolment in Nova Scotia dropped by 24,605 students, but the number of Individual Program Plans for students requiring modified curricula rose from 4.1 to 5.9 per cent. …
“‘The number of specialists and supports in the school system is not keeping up with the increase in the number of students with complex needs entering the school system,’ said Garber.”
Nov 24, 2017, (Canada) Fernie (B.C.) Free Press: Study shows special needs hard to meet in B.C. public schools
“This survey found that in some districts children are being sent home when there are no EAs (Educational Assistants) available to work with them.
“In addition, 40 per cent of the parents who filled out the survey said their children with special needs were being sent home on a regular basis due to behavioural issues.”
Nov 24, 2017, (UK) Clitheroe Advertiser: School sings to support launch of children’s mental health service
“CANW hopes the new service will be help some of 19,000 children in Lancashire who experience low level mental health issues including anxiety, bullying, depression and low self-esteem.”
Nov 24, 2017, New Zealand Herald: Pupils restrained by school staff 423 times in three months, OIA release shows
“Pupils have been physically restrained at school 423 times in three months, with most incidents - 321- occurring in primary or intermediate schools.
“New rules requiring schools to report any use of physical restraint to the Ministry of Education came into force on August 15 and information released to the Herald under the OIA has revealed how often it has happened between August 1 and October 25.
“The incidents reported during that period happened at 186 schools across the country, including 79 special schools.
“More than half involved students who were on an Incident Behaviour Plan.”
Nov 25, 2017, Marion (OH) Star: What is Marion City Schools doing about student safety?
“In the 2015-2016 school year, there were at least 40 out-of-school suspensions and at least 52 in-school suspensions — suspensions that are served in a school setting — for fighting or violence in Marion City elementary schools, according to Ohio Department of Education data.
“William McKinley Elementary tallied 23 in-school suspensions for fighting or violence and William H. Taft Elementary counted 29 in-school suspensions and 40 out-of-school suspensions for fighting or violence. There was no data for Harrison, George Washington Elementary, James A. Garfield Elementary or Rutherford B. Hayes Elementary.”
Nov 25, 2017, Brainerd (MN) Dispatch: ISD 181 Viewpoint: Changes in special education mean changes for school buildings
“Since this monumental legislation was enacted, the number of students with disabilities has steadily increased. A recent study presented to the Brainerd School Board shows that in 2012 there were 1,198 students with disabilities, or 17.3 percent of the total student body, being served in Brainerd Public Schools. By 2016 there were 1,410, or 19.5 percent of students, being served. While there have been significant increases across all disability categories, the number of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder has increased by 120.65 percent in that time.”
Nov 25, 2017, Hutchinson (MN) Leader: YOU, YOUR KIDS & SCHOOL: Are the kids all right? A look at mental health
“A story in the Journal for School Nursing reported, ‘Recent estimates indicate that mental health issues affect 20 to 25 percent of children and adolescents in the United States, and of these, only 36 percent receive mental health services.’”
Nov 26, 2017, Canton (OH) Repository: Social-service offerings expanded within Massillon City Schools
“The district allows social service agencies to expand mental-health counseling and substance-abuse programs in the schools. …
“Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health’s social service team has started working in the school system’s three elementary schools.”
Nov 26, 2017, (Australia) Melbourne Herald Sun: Lilydale police forum hears shocking tales of youth violence
“VIOLENT youth gangs and teachers being attacked by primary school students are among the shocking crimes detailed at a police forum in Lilydale.
“The problem was so bad at one school that police had to set up a behavioural change program to stop teachers being assaulted daily. …”