Awareness and Prevention Efforts
Charlotte County Public Schools (CCPS) collaborated with Nova Southeastern University to bring Sanford Harmony, an evidence-based social emotional learning (SEL) program, to its elementary and middle schools. CCPS school staff K-8 participated in a training and received a Sanford Harmony toolbox. Sanford Harmony SEL involves developing student competencies of self-awareness, self management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Sanford Harmony compliments classroom instruction, as the everyday practices of “Meet Up” and “Buddy Up” easily fit into daily schedules and can be integrated throughout instruction. Sanford Harmony strategies also create a positive environment to help reduce personal conflicts, like peer pressure and bullying.
The Multiagency Network for Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities (SEDNET8B) serves Charlotte County through technical assistance, and provision and dissemination of information of training, resources, and staff development which facilitate improvement in the lives of school age children with, or at-risk of, emotional disabilities or severe emotional disorders
Handle with Care
Children do not learn at their optimum when experiencing mental illness or when overwhelmed by life’s stressful events. Research demonstrates that trauma affects a child’s ability to learn and is associated with long-term physical and emotional difficulties. During the 2019-2020 school year, Charlotte County Public Schools in collaboration with Charlotte Behavioral Health Care and law enforcement implemented a safety net for a child who was present during a traumatizing incident (e.g. death, murder, arrest, assault, violence, removal, eviction). Participating agencies identify what school the child attends and files a “Handle with Care” alert with the school. The notice does not provide extensive details about what happened, however, informs the school principal that the student may need extra attention. A school does not need to know exactly what occurred, just to be aware that something happened that can potentially impact the child’s ability to learn.
LiM is an evidence-based, comprehensive-school improvement model developed in partnership with educators that empowers students with the leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st century.
PBIS is an implementation framework for maximizing the selection and use of evidence-based prevention and interventions practices along a multi-tiered continuum that supports the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral supports of all students.
A program adopted by the Punta Gorda Police Department in 1995, dubbed “Do the Right Thing,” is working to instill positive attitudes and self-esteem in local youth by publicly recognizing them for their achievements, whether their accomplishments involve academics, athletics, community service, conservation, or any other effort where a child is trying his or her best to “do the right thing”. Every month, five local Charlotte County children are selected from a pool of nominees for their outstanding efforts. The children may attend any school or be home-schooled in Charlotte County. All five students receive trophies, certificates gifts from local businesses, a certificate of recognition from the Chief of Police, and a "Do the Right Thing" T-shirt.
Traumatic stress can arise from a variety of sources: bullying at school, dramatic weather events, school shootings — even the day-to-day exposure to events such as divorce or homelessness. Children and adults can be affected by traumatic stress. Having the tools to manage traumatic stress empowers the members of the school community.
Educators across the nation recognize the importance of fostering positive, healthy school climates and helping students learn from their mistakes. Increasingly, they are partnering with parents, students, district officials, community organizations, and policymakers to move away from harmful and counter-productive zero-tolerance discipline policies and toward proven restorative approaches to addressing conflict in schools.