Bringing mental health services to high-poverty schools

Some schools in the District are working to bring mental health services to low-income students whose behavioral needs can often go unmet in the midst of performance expectations in the classroom. (GGW, 6/18)

Education reformers have tended to focus on what goes on inside classrooms, saying that poverty is no excuse for low expectations. Others have countered that teachers can’t be held responsible for solving social ills that inevitably spill over into schools. Some schools, including the KIPP DC charter network, are trying to find a middle ground.

Poor families tend to experience more than their share of violence, mental illness, addiction, housing insecurity, and other challenges. That leads to a high degree of stress, which in turn can cause a host of behavioral and cognitive problems in children. While not all students in high-poverty schools have suffered trauma, the outbursts of a few can disrupt learning for all.


While many schools have social workers and even psychologists on staff, they’re often occupied with testing and compliance with special education requirements. They may have neither the time nor the training to deal with traumatized kids. Teachers usually don’t have that kind of training either.

D.C. Sets Employment Goal for Older Summer Jobs Program Participants (WCP, 6/17)

– Exponent Philanthropy‘s senior program director Ruth Masterson discusses how foundation trustees and staff can go about leading the charge for change from the inside out. (PhilanthroFiles, 6/16)

Celebrating ADA: It’s Time to Add a Disability Lens to Our Philanthropy (D5 Coalition, 6/18)

– The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Capital One have announced that their joint Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign reached its goal of helping half a million veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment at more than 2,000 businesses. (U.S. Chamber Foundation, 6/16)

– Congratulations to Booz Allen Hamilton for being a recipient of the Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles award from the National Business Group on Health. (Booz Allen, 6/17)

AGING | The Urban Institute offers some recommendations for innovative community and housing adaptations for the expanding number of aging Baby Boomers in America. (Urban Wire, 6/15)

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