State law requires districts to establish school-based or school-linked mental health promotion and intervention programs.
Code of the District of Columbia 2–1517.32. Early childhood and school-based behavioral health comprehensive plan.
(a) By March 30, 2013, the Mayor shall submit a comprehensive plan to the Council for the expansion of early childhood and school-based behavioral health programs and services by the 2016-2017 school year. At minimum, the plan shall:
- (1) Establish a strategy to enhance behavioral health services in all public schools and public charter schools, including:
- (A) The implementation of programs that:
- (i) Include interventions for families of students with behavioral health needs;
- (ii) Reduce aggressive and impulsive behavior; and
- (iii) Promote social and emotional competency in students; and
- (B) The expansion of school-based mental health services as follows:
- (i) By the 2014-2015 school year, services are available to at least 50% of all public and public charter school students;
- (ii) By the 2015-2016 school year, services are available to at least 75% of all public and public charter school students; and
- (iii) By the 2016-2017 school year, services are available to all public and public charter school students;
- (A) The implementation of programs that:
- (2) Include an analysis of whether current health education Standard align with actual behavioral health needs of youth and any recommendations for proposed changes; and
- (3) Provide recommendations for the expansion of behavioral health programs and services at child development facilities. (b)
- (1) The Mayor shall not alter the school-based behavioral health programs and services model for the 2017-2018 school year.
- (2) There is established a Task Force on School Mental Health (“Task Force”) to steer the creation of a comprehensive plan to expand school-based behavioral health programs and services. The Task Force shall consist of the following:
- (A) The Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services or his or her designee, to co-chair the task force;
- (B) The Deputy Mayor for Education or his or her designee;
- (C) The Director of the Department of Behavioral Health or his or her designee;
- (D) The State Superintendent of Education or his or her designee;
- (E) A Department of Behavioral Health school mental health program clinician appointed by the Chairperson of the Committee on Health, in consultation with committee members;
- (F) The Chairperson of the Committee on Health or his or her designee;
- (G) The Chairperson of the Committee on Education or his or her designee;
- (H) A Department of Behavioral Health school mental health program clinician appointed by the Mayor;
- (I) A representative of a core service agency appointed by the Mayor;
- (J) A non-core service agency school mental health provider appointed by the Mayor;
- (K) A District of Columbia Public Schools representative appointed by the Mayor;
- (L) A parent of a District of Columbia Public Schools student and a parent of a District of Columbia public charter school student appointed by the Chairperson of the Committee on Education, in consultation with committee members;
- (M) A non-core service agency school mental health provider appointed by the Chairperson of the Committee on Education, in consultation with committee members;
- (N) A District of Columbia public charter school representative appointed by the Chairperson of the Committee on Education, in consultation with committee members;
- (O) A representative of a core service agency appointed by the Chairperson of the Committee on Health, in consultation with committee members; and
- (P) A school mental health expert appointed by the Chairperson of the Committee on Health, in consultation with committee members, to co-chair the task force.
- (3) The Task Force shall review the comprehensive plan submitted to the Committee on Health and the Committee on Education on May 9, 2017, by the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services (“Deputy Mayor”).
- (4) No later than March 31, 2018, the Task Force shall provide a report to the Council and the Mayor that includes the following:
- (A) An evaluation of the comprehensive plan submitted under paragraph (3) of this subsection, including the following:
- (i) Any shortcomings or defects in the plan;
- (ii) An analysis of healthcare provider interest in participating in the plan;
- (iii) An analysis of healthcare provider capacity to participate in the plan; and
- (iv) District of Columbia Public Schools and District of Columbia public charter schools interest in participating in the plan;
- (B) An analysis of the school mental health programs and providers currently operating in District of Columbia Public Schools and District of Columbia public charter schools, including best practices;
- (C) An analysis of the Department of Behavioral Health’s current school mental health program (“SMHP”) to determine what schools participate in the SMHP and what activities occur across the schools, including an analysis of available Department of Behavioral health data, such as the following:
- (i) The number of psychiatric admits for children by school;
- (ii) The number of children with an individualized education plan; and
- (iii) Existing SMHP data for the number of sessions and number of clients per school;
- (D) A comprehensive plan to expand school-based behavioral health programs and services, which shall include:
- (i) The Task Force’s proposed changes to the Deputy Mayor’s comprehensive plan under paragraph (3) of this subsection;
- (ii) A timeline for implementation of the Task Force’s comprehensive plan;
- (iii) A funding source for the Task Force’s comprehensive plan;
- (iv) A workforce development strategy;
- (v) The District-wide need for school-based behavioral health programs and services; and
- (vi) Evaluation criteria to determine the common metrics all school mental health providers should collect so indicators of success may be reported across providers.
- (A) An evaluation of the comprehensive plan submitted under paragraph (3) of this subsection, including the following:
Code of the District of Columbia 38-671.02. School Health Innovations Grant Program.
(a) There is established the School Health Innovations Grant Program to expand access to comprehensive behavioral health care services by providing grants to health care providers that partner with District of Columbia public schools and public charter schools to give students, and the communities that surround the schools, opportunities to access behavioral health care services, including through the incorporation of remote computer access. (b) The Department shall administer the Program and shall award innovation grants of up to $400,000 each, to up to 8 health care providers that participate in the Program. (c) Each health care provider that participates in the Program shall partner with a D.C. School and establish a school-based health care clinic within the D.C. School that offers the following:
- (1) Screenings for behavioral health and social determinants of health needs;
- (2) Referrals to health care and social services providers;
- (3) Community health care navigation services; and
- (4) On-demand access to health care provider services via real time computer access. (d) The school-based clinic shall coordinate student care with the students’ parents and the students’ primary care providers regarding follow-up care, including care plans and plans for continued care made by the participating health care provider and for in-person appointments with social service providers. (e) A health care provider that receives a grant under the Program and the partnering D.C. School may agree to extend the services of the school-based clinic to include a community-based clinic that provides services to D.C. School employees, family members of the students, and the local neighborhood community that surrounds the D.C. School. If the grant recipient and the partnering D.C. School elect to establish a community-based clinic, the clinic shall be available to the residents of the surrounding community only after regular school hours of the D.C. School and shall be staffed with health professionals capable of providing patient centered primary health care.
Code of the District of Columbia 38-671.03. Application process.
To participate in the Program, a health care provider shall file an application with the Department on a form to be prescribed by the Department. The application prescribed by the Department shall require the following information: (1) A memorandum of understanding executed between the health care provider and the principal of the participating D.C. School; (2) The health care provider’s plans to:
- (A) Operate the school-based clinic, including clinical staff and other health services to be offered;
- (B) Promote health literacy;
- (C) Coordinate care with parents and the students’ primary care providers regarding any follow-up care including, treatment plans, plans for continued care made by the health care provider, or for in-person appointments with social services providers;
- (D) Obtain consent from parents to allow student participation;
- (E) Engage parents to ensure utilization of the school-based clinic;
- (F) Engage school administrators in integrating existing health-related services offered by the school;
- (G) Obtain reimbursement for the health care services provided; and
- (H) Engage the surrounding community; (3) Funds needed to implement the health care provider’s plans listed in paragraph (2) of this section; (4) Projected number of schools to which the health care provider could extend the proposed model, and the incremental cost estimates for each additional school, if applicable; and (5) Other information as determined by the Department.
Code of the District of Columbia 38–236.06. Support for positive school climate and trauma-informed educational settings.
(c-1) Beginning October 1, 2019, and consistent with the recommendations in the Report of the Task Force on School Mental Health submitted March 26, 2018, the Department of Behavioral Health shall provide local education agencies and schools with non-instructional personnel who have specialized expertise in behavioral health and trauma-informed educational settings to provide local education agencies and schools with broader mental health services, including reducing the use of exclusion by addressing the causes of student misconduct and being available for consultation regarding the development and revision of disciplinary plans.
Code of the District of Columbia 38–2602. Responsibilities.
(a) Within one year of the Officer’s appointment, but not later than October 2001, and except as provided in § 38-2604, the OSSE shall assume the responsibilities listed in subsection (b) of this section. The transfer and assumption of responsibilities shall take place in accordance with the short-term plan to be submitted by the Officer to the Mayor for approval by February 15, 2001, or 5 weeks from the establishment of the OSSE, whichever is later. (b) The OSSE shall: (19) By August 1, 2013, create a truancy prevention resource guide for parents and legal guardians who have children who attend a District public school, which shall be updated and made available upon request and, at minimum, include: (C) A comprehensive list of resources that are available to a parent or legal guardian, and the student, that address the common causes of truancy and the prevention of it, such as: (i) Hotlines that provide assistance to parents, legal guardians, and youth; (ii) Counseling for the parent (or legal guardian) or the youth, or both; (iii) Parenting classes; (iv) Parent-support groups; (v) Family psycho-education programs; (vi) Parent-resource libraries; (vii) Risk prevention education; (viii) Neighborhood family support organizations and collaboratives that provide assistance to families experiencing hardship; (ix) Behavioral health resources and programs in schools; (x) The Behavioral Health Ombudsman Program; and (xi) The resources at each public school for at-risk students and their parents or legal guardians.
Code of the District of Columbia 38–754.02. Definitions.
For the purposes of this subchapter, the term: (1) “Community partner” means a provider of one or more eligible services. (2) “Community school” means a public and private partnership to coordinate educational, developmental, family, health, and after-school-care programs during school and non-school hours for students, families, and local communities at a public school or public charter school with the objectives of improving academic achievement, reducing absenteeism, building stronger relationships between students, parents, and communities, and improving the skills, capacity, and well-being of the surrounding community residents. (3) “Eligible consortium” means a partnership established between a local education agency and one or more community partners for purposes of establishing, operating, and sustaining a community school. (4) “Eligible services” means:
- (A) Primary medical and dental care that will be available to students and community residents;
- (B) Mental health prevention and treatment services that will be available to students and community residents;
- (C) Academic-enrichment activities designed to promote a student’s cognitive development and provide opportunities to practice and apply academic skills;
- (D) Programs designed to increase attendance, including reducing early chronic absenteeism rates;
- (E) Youth development programs designed to promote young people’s social, emotional, physical, and moral development, including arts, sports, physical fitness, youth leadership, community service, and service-learning opportunities;
- (F) Early childhood education, including Head Start and Early Head Start programs;
- (G) Programs designed to:
- (i) Facilitate parental involvement in, and engagement with, their children’s education, including parental activities that involve supporting, monitoring, and advocating for their children’s education;
- (ii) Promote parental leadership in the life of the school; and
- (iii) Build parenting skills;
- (H) School-age child-care services, including before-school and after-school services and full-day programming that operates during school holidays, summers, vacations, and weekends;
- (I) Programs that provide assistance to students who have been truant, suspended, or expelled and that offer multiple pathways to high school graduation or General Educational Development completion;
- (J) Youth and adult job-training services and career-counseling services;
- (K) Nutrition-education services;
- (L) Adult education, including instruction in English as a second language, adult literacy, computer literacy, financial literacy, and hard-skills training;
- (M) Programs that provide remedial education and enrichment activities; or
- (N) Programs that provide a full continuum of school-based, early literacy intervention services for all grades pre-K through 3, consisting of developmentally appropriate components for each grade, through a comprehensive intervention model.
Code of the District of Columbia 38–754.03. Administration of Community Schools Incentive Initiative.
(a) The Mayor shall establish and administer the multiyear Community Schools Incentive Initiative (“Incentive Initiative”) to award multiyear grants to incentivize the establishment of no fewer than 5 new community schools within one year of June 19, 2012, with priority given to schools that have:
- (1) A focus on mental health prevention and treatment services;
District of Columbia Municipal Regulations 2413 School-Based Health Centers
2413.1 The Chancellor may accept health services, including primary health, behavioral health, and oral health, from the Director of the Department of Health, the Director of the Department of Mental Health, or from a public or non-profit healthcare organization. The health services shall be provided to D.C. Public Schools students in a school setting in accordance with the provisions of this section, Standard as established by the Department of Health, and an agreement concerning school-based health centers (SHCs) executed by the D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) and the healthcare organization.
2413.2 Health services provided to D.C. Public Schools pursuant to this section shall be provided to students in accordance with:
- (a) The provisions of this section; and
- (b) An agreement concerning SHCs executed by DCPS and the healthcare organization.
2413.3 Health services provided in a SHC located in DCPS shall be subject to the following limitations:
- (a) Services shall augment, supplement, or complement DCPS services in the areas of the physical, social, mental, and emotional well-being of students, or fulfill an unmet health need within the general student population;
Mental Health Guidelines
The mental health guidelines provide guidance for schools and LEAs developing mental and behavioral health policies and procedures, including guidance and protocols for school-based mental and behavioral health services.