Agenda Plus
School Board of Clay County
July 23, 2018 - School Board Special Meeting

In 2018, the Florida legislature responded to a crisis in our schools by acknowledging a need that has existed for decades and designated funding for schools through the Mental Health Assistance Allocation (1011.62(16), F.S.).  In doing so, it has allocated funds to be used exclusively for the development of a safe and healthy environment for students to learn, and strengthen programs designed to address mental health assessment, diagnosis, intervention, and treatment and recovery services.  Part of the statute language requires that the School Board approve a plan of services; using the FDOE provided matrix for development, that plan is submitted here for consideration.

Gap Analysis

To begin the development of a behavioral health plan for CCDS, multiple groups and state associations held meetings to discuss the current situation, interpret the new legislation, and begin coordinating the numerous state projects and agencies in support of district plans for a comprehensive system of care.  This document includes elements from many of those sessions and roundtables convened by such groups as the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Circuit 4 Governor’s Executive Order Committee, the Florida Association of District School Superintendents, the Florida Department of Education, the Clay County Board of County Commissioners, and the Clay County District Schools.  The coordination of all groups will be critical to our success.

Previous Outcomes

While there are no coordinated systems to describe the state of mental health needs in CCDS, it can be noted that approximately 19% of our students have an active Individualized Educational Plan (IEP).  In addition, the rate of Baker Acts of children and youth in Clay County ranks as one of the highest ratios in the state and needs to be a part of any planning to address concerns.  The percent of juvenile Baker Acts in Clay County for the fiscal year 2015/16 was at 27% of the total, a rise of 18% from the previous year, and an increase of almost 50% from FY11/12.  These dramatic one and five year increases were well above the population growth for this age range during that time (3% and 6% increases, respectively); law enforcement accounted for 58% of the Baker Act initiations during FY15/16.

In the Spring of 2017, CCDS staff met with local hospitals that receive juvenile Baker Acts and established a system of communication that would allow for the schools to be informed of when a child was Baker Acted in order to prepare a re-entry plan (or safety plan) when they return to class.  This has allowed the school district to more closely monitor when a student is in crisis and be better prepared to work with his or her psychiatric care provider once released from the hospital.  This also allows the district to identify patterns of juvenile Baker Acts by school so that resources can be more efficiently deployed to meet the school community need.  During the 2017-18 academic year the district was notified of 139 Baker Acts that came from almost all of the schools; the secondary schools tended to have numbers at or just above 10 incidents per school compared to the elementary schools that tended to have just a single incident.  This system will be reviewed annually for ways to improve reporting and notification, especially as it relates to students with multiple Baker Acts.

During the 2017-18 academic year, there were a total of 12 crisis events in which some portion of the District Crisis Response Team was called upon.  A majority of our crisis responses were for a student death.

Expected Outcomes

The 2018-19 academic year will allow us to establish a baseline of current conditions related to mental health referrals and interventions.  In addition, we will be able to identify those indicators that will provide us an analysis of impact.  This will include discipline referrals, suspension events, average daily attendance, social-emotional competency perceptions, and acadmic achievement.

Strategic Plan Goal

The superintendent recommends Board approval for this state-required Mental Health Assistance Allocation Plan for the 2018-19 academic year.

Michael McAuley, Assistant Superintendent, (904) 336-6513.
Financial Impact
$926,049.00 from earmarked funding for the mental health plan.
Review Comments