Outline of the state of Louisiana

School-based or School-linked Mental Health Services

School-based or School-linked Mental Health Services

State law encourages districts to establish school-based or school-linked mental health promotion and intervention programs.

Louisiana Administrative Code 28 CI 1511. School Psychological Services

A. Definition. School Psychological Services include but are not limited to:

  1. administering psychological and educational tests, and other assessment procedures;
  2. interpreting assessment results;
  3. obtaining, integrating, and interpreting information about student behavior and conditions relating to learning (which may also include assisting in the development of academic intervention strategies, progress monitoring, evaluating intervention and service delivery outcomes, conducting functional behavior assessments, and conducting program evaluations);
  4. consulting with other staff members in planning school programs to meet the special educational needs of students as indicated by psychological tests, interviews, direct observation, and behavioral evaluations;
  5. planning and managing a program of psychological services, including psychological counseling for students and parents (which may also include implementing and/or monitoring interventions, conducting social skills training, anger management/conflict resolution training, study skills training, substance abuse prevention, crisis prevention and intervention, parent skills training, and coordinating services with other community agencies.); and
  6. assisting in developing positive behavioral intervention strategies.
Policy Type

Louisiana Administrative Code 28 CI 1513. School Social Work Services

A. Definition. Social Work Services in schools include but are not limited to:

  1. preparing a social or developmental history on a student with a disability;
  2. providing group and individual counseling with the student and the family. (This may include linking them to community resources, helping them to actively participate in the student's educational process, and providing crisis intervention services in the event of a death, illness, or community trauma. The school social worker shall maintain adequate safeguards for the privacy and confidentiality of information, and maintain data that is relevant to planning management and evaluation of school social work services.);
  3. working in partnership with parents and others on those problems in a student's living situation (home, school, and community) that affect the student's adjustment in school. (The school social worker will advocate for services to be provided in the context of multicultural understanding and competence, as well as work collaboratively as a part of an interdisciplinary team that will enhance the student's academic performance.);
  4. mobilizing school and community resources to enable the student to learn as effectively as possible in his or her educational program; and
  5. assisting in developing positive behavioral intervention strategies to address behaviors of concern that will enhance the student's ability to benefit from his or her educational experience. B. Criteria for Eligibility
  6. Evidence of criteria listed in Subparagraphs a and b below must be met. a. The student is classified and eligible for special education services. b. There is documented, observable and measurable evidence that school social work services are necessary for the student to benefit from special education. C. Procedures for Evaluation
  7. The assessment shall be conducted by a qualified school social worker and shall include the supporting documentation of the psycho-social stressors (see Appendix) being experienced by the student and/or his family and will include at a minimum the following procedures: a. a review, analysis and determination of the appropriateness of evidence documenting the specific referral concern; b. a family interview; c. an interview with the student; d. interview(s) with the students teacher(s); and e. review of available mental health and/or health records.
  8. The assessment should be designed to provide recommendations for interventions, strategies and/or services necessary to improve the student's educational performance. Such recommendations should take into account the diverse activities involving direct and indirect service provision that comprise the delivery system described in Subsection A above. These activities complement one another and therefore are most accurately viewed as being integrated and coordinated rather than discrete services. The provision of services shall be determined at the IEP Team meeting, using the results and recommendations of the assessment. The continuation of services will be determined at the annual IEP review using input from the school social worker.
Policy Type

Louisiana Revised Statutes 17:173. Behavioral health services for students

A. (1) A public school governing authority shall not prohibit a behavioral health provider from providing behavioral health services to a student at school during school hours if the student’s parent or legal guardian requests such services from the provider. (2) Each public school governing authority shall adopt and make available to the public a policy to implement the provisions of this Section and such policy, at a minimum, shall provide that: (a) A behavioral health provider who provides services pursuant to this Section shall maintain general liability insurance coverage in an amount not less than one million dollars per occurrence and one million dollars per aggregate and provide a certificate of insurance naming the public school as the certificate holder. (b) A behavioral health provider shall complete a criminal background check conducted by the Louisiana State Police and shall pay all related costs. (c) Behavioral health services shall be permitted during school hours if the student’s parent or legal guardian presents a behavioral health evaluation performed by an evaluator chosen by the parent or legal guardian and the evaluation indicates that the services are necessary during school hours to assist the student with behavioral health impairments that the evaluator determines are interfering with the student’s ability to thrive in the educational setting. A behavioral health evaluation presented by the parent or legal guardian of a student shall not be construed as an independent educational evaluation for purposes of determining if a student meets the criteria established for eligibility for special education and related services. (d) Behavioral health services may be provided during instructional time in English, reading, mathematics, and science if the public school governing authority and the behavioral health provider agree that it is in the best interest of the student. (e) A public school governing authority shall not enter into a contract or an exclusive agreement with a behavioral health provider that prohibits the parent or legal guardian from choosing the behavioral health provider for the student. However the provisions of this Subparagraph shall not impair any extant contract on the effective date of this Section, or the renewal thereof. (f) The cost of all behavioral health services provided to a student shall be the sole responsibility of the parent or legal guardian, individually or through an applicable health insurance policy, Medicaid, or other third-party payor, other than the public school governing authority, that has made funds available for the payment for the services provided. (g) While on a school campus, a behavioral service provider shall comply with, and abide by, the terms of any Individualized Education Plan, Individualized Accommodation Plan, Section 504 Plan, Behavior Management Plan, or Individualized Health Plan applicable to a student who is a patient of the provider. The services furnished by a provider shall be incorporated into a written treatment plan applicable to a student. (h) The parent or legal guardian of a student receiving services from a behavioral service provider shall be required to execute a “consent to release information form” between the provider and the public school governing authority. (i) A public school governing authority shall establish reporting requirements for a behavioral health provider related to the student’s progress and student and school safety concerns as related to the student’s educational program. (j) A public school governing authority may establish sanctions, including termination of a provider’s authorization to provide services on any school campus, against a behavioral health provider for failure to comply with the governing authority’s policy. (3) The failure of a public school governing authority to adopt a policy shall not be cause to prohibit the provision of behavioral health services to a student as provided in this Section. B. For purposes of this Section, the following terms shall have the following meanings: (1) “Applied behavior analysis provider” shall mean a provider who is licensed, certified, or registered by the Louisiana Behavior Analyst Board and is in good standing to provide applied behavior analysis services. (2) “Applied behavior analysis services” shall include the design, implementation, and evaluation of systematic instructional and environmental modifications by an applied behavior analysis provider to produce socially significant improvements in behavior as described in the Behavior Analyst Practice Act. (3) “Behavioral health evaluation” shall include but not be limited to the following criteria: (a) Diagnosis. (b) Type of intervention. (c) Length of intervention. (d) Identification of a student’s goals. (e) Identification of impact of student behavior on a student’s educational program. (f) Recommendations for applied behavior analysis services. (4) “Behavioral health provider” shall mean a provider who is licensed by the Louisiana Department of Health or a health profession licensing board and is in good standing to provide behavioral health services in Louisiana including but not limited to a psychiatrist, psychologist, medical psychologist, licensed specialist in school psychology, marriage and family therapist, professional counselor, clinical social worker, applied behavior analysis provider, or a behavioral health provider organization licensed to provide behavioral health services in Louisiana. (5) “Behavioral health services” shall include but not be limited to individual psychotherapy, family psychotherapy, psychotropic medication management, community psychiatric support and treatment, crisis intervention, and medically necessary applied behavior analysis services. (6) “Evaluator” shall mean a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, medical psychologist, licensed specialist in school psychology, professional counselor, marriage and family therapist, clinical social worker, or applied behavior analysis provider who is certified by the respective board of examiners in Louisiana to provide necessary evaluations and who is not an employee of the public school governing authority or the state Department of Education. C. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to supersede any of the following: (1) The authority of a student’s Individualized Education Program team or Section 504 committee to determine appropriate services for a student pursuant to applicable federal and state law. (2) The provisions of the Behavioral Health Services Provider Licensing Law or any regulation promulgated by the Louisiana Department of Health pursuant to that law. (3) The provisions of the Behavior Analyst Practice Act.

Policy Type

Louisiana Revised Statutes 17:252. School master plans for supporting student behavior and discipline.

A. (1)  The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, in collaboration with the Louisiana Juvenile Justice Planning and Coordination Board, shall formulate, develop, and recommend to the Juvenile Justice Reform Act Implementation Commission by March 1, 2004, a model master plan for improving behavior and discipline within schools.

  • (2)  The model master plan may include but need not be limited to guidelines for accomplishing the following:
  • (a)  Improving communication, coordination, and collaboration between the schools and juvenile justice agencies.
  • (b)  Improving safe school planning.
  • (c)  Revising school zero tolerance policies to ensure compliance with all applicable provisions of law to ensure that schools do not make inappropriate referrals to juvenile justice agencies.
  • (d)  Providing improved mental health services in or through the schools.
  • (e)  Providing better assistance to parents in knowing about and accessing family strengthening programs.
  • (f)  Improving the coordination of special education and juvenile justice services.
  • (g)  Improving classroom management using positive behavioral supports and other effective disciplinary tools.
  • (h)  Improving methods and procedures for the handling of school suspensions, the referral of students to alternative schools, and the use of seclusion and physical restraint in addressing challenging student behavior.
  • (i)  Providing for better and more useful reporting on an annual basis of school behavioral and disciplinary problems.

B.  Each city, parish, and other local public school board shall cause to be developed and shall submit by October 1, 2004, a master plan for each school under the board’s jurisdiction for improving behavior and discipline in each such school based on the model master plan developed and approved by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

C.  The model master plan for improving behavior and discipline within the schools and the school master plans required of city, parish, and other local public school boards by this Section shall not prohibit a teacher from removing a pupil from the classroom for disciplinary reasons in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 17:416.

D. (1)  The school master plans required of city, parish, and other local public school boards by this Section shall make provision for pre-service and ongoing grade appropriate classroom management training for teachers, principals, and other appropriate school personnel regarding positive behavioral supports and reinforcement, conflict resolution, mediation, cultural competence, restorative practices, guidance and discipline, and adolescent development.

Policy Type

Louisiana Revised Statutes 17:416.17. Youth development and assistance programs.

B.  A school may, upon approval of its governing authority, develop and offer youth development and assistance programs that employ violence prevention and intervention initiatives for students in kindergarten and the elementary grades. Such programs shall provide for early identification of and support for students who are at risk before their behavior escalates into aggression or disruption, disciplinary problems, or juvenile delinquency.

C. (1)  A youth development and assistance program may consist of age- or grade-appropriate alternative classrooms during school or special intervention or prevention programs before, after, or during the school day.

  • (2)  Such programs may include but shall not be limited to the following components:

  • (a)  Provision of services for students including behavioral training and intervention techniques that promote cooperation and enhance interpersonal and conflict resolution skills, peer mediation, anger management, bullying prevention, life skills training, mentoring, counseling, and tutoring programs that improve academic achievement.

  • (b)(i)  Provision of services which support the parents of students identified with behavioral needs that may need intervention or support. Such parent services may include literacy services or parental training.

  • (ii)  Required participation of any parent of a student so identified in such intervention at the school or other designated facility.

  • (c)  Collaboration with community-based organizations, including but not limited to youth services, civic, social services, mental health, volunteer services, and juvenile justice agencies.

D.  The provisions of this Section shall be implemented upon the approval of each city, parish, or other local public school board of any program submitted by a school and the availability of funds to a school for such purpose.

Policy Type

Louisiana Revised Statutes 17:416.2. Supervision of suspended or expelled students; alternative education programs.

(3) Rules and regulations pursuant to Paragraph (2) of this Subsection shall include all of the following: (a) Such services shall be provided to the school governing authority at the actual costs incurred by the provider, not to exceed for each student the pro rata share of the combined state and local per pupil amount of the minimum foundation program for such governing authority. (b) In an effort to support the on-time graduation of students who are suspended, expelled, or at high risk for dropping out or entry into the juvenile justice system, academic, behavioral, and mental health interventions must be provided. Interventions offered shall include but not be limited to the following: (i) Academic interventions and supports: (aa) Targeted academic interventions focused on assessed needs in math and reading using an evidence-based and research-supported curriculum. (bb) Use of validated monthly assessments to monitor individual student academic progress. (cc) Implementation of research-supported instructional strategies such as differentiated instruction, experiential education, project-based learning, and computer-assisted instruction to support assessed needs and content mastery. (dd) Opportunities to participate in credit recovery to support progression towards on-time graduation. (ee) On-site access to at least one career or vocational certification option. (ii) Behavioral interventions and supports: (aa) Positive behavioral supports with a high ratio of positive reinforcement over punishment. (bb) Behavioral shaping steps aligned to assessed behavioral needs and goals. (cc) Mentoring and frequent behavioral feedback focused on individualized shaping steps for students enrolled. (dd) Successive approximations and reinforcements to develop more complex social behaviors. (iii) Mental health interventions and supports: (aa) Evidence-based cognitive behavioral interventions to address, anger, impulsivity, and aggression. (bb) Interventions to address past childhood traumas, including forms of abuse and neglect, being a victim of or a witness to violence, and involvement in natural disasters. (cc) Interventions to address substance use and to prevent substance abuse. (dd) Interventions to build life skills and social skills in order to increase employability and success in the community.

Policy Type