The New Hampshire Department of Education (NHDOE), Bureau of Special Education was awarded an $8.6 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) to implement a four-year Safe Schools and Healthy Students State Planning Project. The NHDOE, in conjunction with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services' Bureau of Behavioral Health (BBH) will be the oversight and coordinating entities responsible for project implementation.
The project, entitled NH Communities for Children, will be implemented in three NH school districts and communities: Concord, Laconia, and Rochester. In addition, NHDHHS' Division for Children, Youth and Families, Juvenile Justice Services, Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services, Office of Minority Health and Refugee Affairs, NH Parent and Family Organizations, Regional Mental Health Centers, and other various partners will be working closely over the four-year period to complete the following goals in each of the three communities:
(1) Develop and sustain a formal state-level collaborative cross-agency structure for identifying needs, implementing evidence-based practices, sharing and targeting data and resources, changing policy, and implementing cross-discipline professional development,
(2) Substantially improve the social and emotional skills and preparedness for long-term educational success of young children, birth through five years,
(3) Substantially improve the mental, emotional, and behavioral health of children and youth and reduce school violence, bullying, behavior problems, suspensions, substance abuse, and punitive/exclusionary discipline practices,
(4) Substantially improve the behavioral health outcomes of the highest-need children, youth, and their families/caregivers,
(5) Substantially improve the engagement of families and youth in decision-making at all levels, and
(6) Substantially reduce risk factors and strengthen protective factors at the individual, family, and community level to reduce the prevalence of alcohol and other drug misuse among school aged children.
These goals will be accomplished by:
(1) implementing a structured and proven planning and implementation framework at the state and local levels to ensure cross-agency and cross-discipline partnerships,
(2) implementing the evidence-based Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework in early childhood programs and schools, and
(3) using the Interconnected Systems Framework.
For more information on the Safe Schools and Healthy Students State Planning Grant, please contact:
Mary Steady, M.Ed., Administrator
Terry Stafford, Program Assistant
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