Student Support & Prevention Programs
Gilbert Public Schools (GPS) believes that positive school environments that encourage social and emotional learning significantly impact the academic achievement and success of our students. Elementary and secondary students are offered opportunities to participate in classes and schoolwide activities that focus on tobacco and substance abuse education, bully prevention, life skills training, and other prevention-related activities.
The following is a list of several prevention programs implemented at Gilbert Public Schools, followed by a brief summary and links to websites with additional valuable information.
Social Workers are a vital component to Gilbert Public Schools’ prevention program. There are social workers assigned to each of the District's elementary schools, (2) social workers assigned to work with the secondary schools providing specialized services to students and their families, and a social worker assigned to the district's alternative junior/high school to work with those students and their families. School social workers bring specialized knowledge and skills to the District, and are an integral part of the student services team. The school social worker is instrumental in supporting the District’s mission for student success while collaborating with the home, school and the community to do so.
Parent University is a valuable resource offering learning opportunities for families to support their children's educational process.
Second Step is utilized at the elementary schools as the district's social/emotional learning component to help students, staff and schools foster and sustain supportive, learning environments to address the needs of the whole child. Read more about it here: http://www.secondstep.org/
Gilbert Public Schools is a CHARACTER COUNTS! district, based on basic values called the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. Read more about CC! at www.CharacterCounts.org
Behavioral Health Teams (BHT) consist of the Social Worker/Counselor, Nurse, and School Psychologist at each school site, in collaboration with building and district level administrators. Students and/or families may be referred to Behavioral Health Teams in a variety of ways, whether through self-referral, Administrator/BHT referral, teacher referral, and family or community agency referral. It is a structured approach and process to identify students at risk for school violence and suicide/self-injury. Teams work in collaboration with families, behavioral health agencies, School Resource Officers and Fire Department personnel as approrpiate.
District Crisis Team - Gilbert Public Schools supports the short and long term recovery of students, staff and schools after a traumatic event. The District Crisis Team has a priority during a crisis to provide safety and account for all students and return to learning.
For more information regarding the District’s prevention programs or related activities, please contact the Gilbert Public Schools Prevention Coordinator, Susan Cadena, at 480-545-2181.
Homeless Education Program
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act) (42 U.S.C. § 11431-11435) is federal legislation that ensures the educational rights and protections of children and youths experiencing homelessness. It requires all local educational agencies (LEAs) to ensure that homeless students have access to the same free, appropriate public education, including public preschools, as provided to other children and youths. The McKinney-Vento Act defines LEAs as public school districts, direct-funded and locally funded charter schools, and county offices of education. The McKinney-Vento Act also authorizes the funding for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program.
It provides stability, access and support for the academic success of homeless children and youth.
Contact the Gilbert Public Schools Homeless Education Liaison at (480) 545-2193 should you have any questions.
Signs of Suicide Program (SOS)
As part of our commitment to prevention education, Gilbert Public Schools (GPS) is offering depression awareness and suicide prevention training as part of the SOS (Signs of Suicide) Prevention Program.
The program has proven to be successful at increasing help-seeking by students concerned about themselves or a friend and is the only school-based suicide prevention program listed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as an evidence-based program. It helps students and adults demystify the confusion around what constitutes normal development and what may be a potentially serious issue.
All of our campus Behavioral Health Team professionals (school social workers, psychologists, nurses and counselors) in the district will support the facilitation of the curriculum.
Please review the resources listed below to learn more about the SOS program at each level. The elementary school presentation is provided for your information, and the link for the junior high and high school programs is listed below with the login information. The link will allow you to access valuable information about the presentations, as well as resources on the warning signs of suicide, anxiety, depression, and tips on how to talk to your children about mental health.
Teen Dating Abuse Prevention
Gilbert Public Schools (GPS) recognizes that teen dating violence is a complex public health and safety problem that requires a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to ensure that students and staff can learn and work in a safe and secure school climate.
As a result of the passage of Senate Bill 1308, information about teen dating abuse will be a part of the health curriculum for GPS. The “Love Is Not Abuse” Curriculum has been recommended by the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. It has been approved by the GPS Governing Board.
Instruction will be provided to 8th-grade students through physical education classes or other identified classes. The District Prevention Coordinator along with additional designated school social workers will be responsible for presenting the instructional materials. The curriculum will be covered over two days.
The curriculum provides dating abuse information that will fulfil the requirements of this legislation by including the following:
- A definition of dating abuse
- The recognition of dating abuse warning signs
- The characteristics of healthy relationships
- Resources available to parents and students