State law requires districts to provide professional development for school personnel on trauma-informed practices.
Oklahoma Statutes 70-6-185. Competencies and methods to be incorporated into teacher preparation system.
A. The following competencies and methods shall be incorporated into the programs approved by the Commission for Educational Quality and Accountability for the competency-based teacher preparation system provided for in the Oklahoma Teacher Preparation Act:
- The teacher preparation system shall include, but not be limited to, the following competencies: a. excellence in the arts and sciences, b. an in-depth knowledge of the subject matter to be taught, c. the ability to identify and cultivate talent and potential in students, d. an understanding of child and human development, e. teaching skills developed through a variety of learning experiences, f. the ability to interact effectively with all students, g. skills necessary for working with parents, guardians and custodians of students in the education process, h. skills necessary to involve the community in education, i. skills to foster teamwork within and among schools, j. for administrators, skills necessary to be an effective leader of a school or school district, and k. skills in effective classroom management and student discipline;
- The preservice program shall include the following methods to achieve the competencies listed in paragraph 1 of this subsection: a. require teacher candidates to study arts and sciences at the undergraduate level, b. require secondary and elementary/secondary teacher candidates to have undergraduate majors, or their equivalents, in a subject area, and require teacher candidates in early childhood, elementary, and special education to have subject area concentrations which allow qualification as a generalist, c. require teacher candidates to study the individuality of students, the capacity of students to learn and the process of learning, d. integrate curriculum from other disciplines with the education curriculum, e. require teacher candidates to have training experiences and personal contact with parents, guardians or custodians of school-age children, f. require teacher candidates to have community involvement experience, g. structure courses so as to require teamwork activities, and h. require teacher candidates to study, in existing coursework, substance abuse symptoms identification and prevention, mental illness symptoms identification and mental health issues, classroom management skills, trauma-informed responsive instruction and classroom safety and discipline techniques; and
- The Commission for Educational Quality and Accountability shall not require more than a four-year program of one hundred twenty-four (124) semester hours to complete a teacher education degree.
Oklahoma Statutes 70-6-194.3. Mental health needs of students
A. The State Department of Education and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, in consultation with school district superintendents and school district boards of education, shall develop and make available to school districts information, training and resources to help school employees recognize and address the mental health needs of students. B. The information made available to school districts shall include but not be limited to:
- Information about the services provided by community-based organizations related to mental health, substance abuse and trauma;
- Information about the impact trauma and adverse childhood experiences can have on a student’s ability to learn;
- The availability of mental health evaluation and treatment available by telemedicine; and
- Information about evidence-based strategies for prevention of at-risk behaviors.
Program of Excellence Safe and Healthy Schools
Rubric recommends providing professional development for all staff members for trauma-informed, social, emotional, behavioral, or mental health prevention and intervention.