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Students & Parents

Social Emotional Learning SCS Kids

Social emotional learning starts at home, so our principals and teachers make it an important priority to develop strong connections between school and home. Building trust and keeping clear lines of communication can ensure a process where students feel supported and geared for success both in and out of the classroom. This section outlines the critical services and resources our schools provide for students and families. 


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events that can have negative, lasting effects on brain development, health and behavior. ACEs include being physically, emotionally or sexually abused as a child and growing up in a house with domestic violence, mental illness, alcohol and drug abuse or criminal problems. Students exposed to such traumatic events are at increased risk for declines in attendance and grade point averages and more prone to negative assessments in their school records than other students. Some research has shown that having a higher incidence of traumatic or adverse childhood experiences is associated with a greater risk of repeating a grade and lower school engagement. Trauma exposure may also lead to children having increased difficulties concentrating and learning at school, as well as reckless or aggressive behavior.


Attendance/Chronic Absenteeism

When developing instructional environments that are truly restorative and effective, positive school climates and cultures must first be established. Students must be attentive and in attendance in order to be taught, and school leaders must be equipped with supports in order to teach. Because of this, it is extremely important to ensure a culture and climate that implements restorative practices. A truly restorative school environment is the result of a school district’s ability to strategically plan for the “whole child.”

Per SCS policy, reasoned discipline is necessary to maintain safe, orderly environments that are conducive for education and to create a stable foundation of expectations, responsibility and consistency. However, ongoing assessment of progressive discipline strategies are necessary to ensure that exclusionary consequences are not excessively or carelessly given. “Progressive discipline” does not equate to different variations of exclusionary consequences, but instead represents multiple creative methods taken prior to suspension.

We assess and evaluate discipline processes and create standardized discipline documents to ensure that all schools remain compliant with state and federal law. Our goal is to ensure that schools have the flexibility to create interventions that address their specific challenges, while promoting consistency and uniformity that allows for district-wide accountability. We must detach from the mindset of defaulting to OSS and embrace the mindset of developing interventions at every level. The District’s expectation for intervention, progressive discipline and restorative practices includes:

  • Identification of at-risk students
  • Development of strategic programs and resources
  • Aligning students’ needs with appropriate resources
  • Progressive discipline (i.e., age-appropriate, policy-supported consequences, BIP development)

Schools routinely monitor and assess the effectiveness of their 3-tiered school-wide intervention plans. Data is used to identify trends that reveal areas of need, strengths, effectiveness of professional development and to ensure that implementation is meaningful and effective. Necessary revisions of the plan must occur through ongoing assessment.


Behavior/Discipline- Restorative Practices

When developing instructional environments that are truly restorative and effective, positive school climates and cultures must first be established. Students must be attentive and in attendance in order to be taught, and school leaders must be equipped with supports in order to teach. Because of this, it is extremely important to ensure a culture and climate that implements restorative practices. A truly restorative school environment is the result of a school district’s ability to strategically plan for the “whole child.”

Per SCS policy, reasoned discipline is necessary to maintain safe, orderly environments that are conducive for education and to create a stable foundation of expectations, responsibility and consistency. However, ongoing assessment of progressive discipline strategies are necessary to ensure that exclusionary consequences are not excessively or carelessly given. “Progressive discipline” does not equate to different variations of exclusionary consequences, but instead represents multiple creative methods taken prior to suspension.

We assess and evaluate discipline processes and create standardized discipline documents to ensure that all schools remain compliant with state and federal law. Our goal is to ensure that schools have the flexibility to create interventions that address their specific challenges, while promoting consistency and uniformity that allows for district-wide accountability. We must detach from the mindset of defaulting to OSS and embrace the mindset of developing interventions at every level. The District’s expectation for intervention, progressive discipline and restorative practices includes:

  • Identification of at-risk students
  • Development of strategic programs and resources
  • Aligning students’ needs with appropriate resources
  • Progressive discipline (i.e., age-appropriate, policy-supported consequences, BIP development)

Schools routinely monitor and assess the effectiveness of their 3-tiered school-wide intervention plans. Data is used to identify trends that reveal areas of need, strengths, effectiveness of professional development and to ensure that implementation is meaningful and effective. Necessary revisions of the plan must occur through ongoing assessment.


Bullying/Harassment


Homebound Services

The educational staff of the Homebound Program is dedicated to instructional support of students confined to the home, in accordance with state standards. Working closely with families, schools and the medical community, homebound teachers provide high quality general education instruction through a variety of flexible methods. Our goal is to provide continuity of instruction and facilitate the student’s return to the regular school setting as soon as possible.

A team of 10 homebound teachers serve students throughout the District. Each homebound teacher provides instruction on a wide range of courses at multiple grade levels. Parents, schools and medical professionals receive guidance on the homebound process and support to ensure a positive and meaningful experience for students.

Homebound teachers schedule all services with the parent. Services are two times per week at 1.5 hours each (3 hours total). All instruction is follows the student’s IEP.


Illnesses/504

Individual healthcare plans (IHPs) are a tool that school nurses use to facilitate the well-being and academic success of all learners.

The general purpose and requirements of 504 is to provide equal opportunity and access to participation for students with disabilities (SWDs). Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is a civil rights law. A 504 plan is a formal plan that schools develop to give children with disabilities the support they need to learn alongside their peers. It covers any condition that limits daily activities in a major way. These plans prevent discrimination and protect the rights of students with disabilities in school. The 504 Plan covers any condition that limits daily activities in a major way.


Mental Health Services

The Shelby County Schools Mental Health Center (SCSMHC) is licensed through the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) to provide outpatient mental health services, including adolescent alcohol and drug treatment and prevention services.

Founded in 1969 as a state-chartered program, SCSMHC offers a range of services free of charge to students of all ages and abilities designed to nurture emotional well-being and academic achievement and promote safe and supportive schools. The center strives to enrich the understanding of youth mental health in all its various forms — psychological, emotional, social and cultural — and utilizes a multi-tiered approach to intervention that emphasizes assessment, progress monitoring and ethical, evidence-based practice.

SCSMHC operates under the direction of the Office of Student Equity, Enrollment and Discipline (S.E.E.D.) to provide treatment and support for students who are struggling with behavioral and emotional challenges. Our work creates a vital link between home, school and community and helps remove psychosocial barriers to academic success. SCSMHC deploys school social workers, school psychologists and licensed alcohol and drug counselors in all schools. Our staff hold a master’s degree or higher in social work or psychology and are licensed through the Tennessee Department of Education and/or Tennessee Department of Health. We adhere to the ethical principles and code of conduct of the American Psychological Association (APA) and National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and are bound by state and federal laws governing mental health professionals, including data privacy and security laws.


School Counselor Supports

Professional school counselors work with students, families, communities, faculties and staff to create an environment that promotes student achievement. As an active member of the educational team, school counselors help address issues that have substantial impact on student academic development, social and emotional development and college and career readiness. The school counselor’s primary role is to ensure all students have access to a Comprehensive School Counseling Program, including direct and student support services. Direct student services include school core curriculum individual student planning and responsive services. Student support services include referrals, consultation and collaboration.

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