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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
November 29, 2018

Dear County Superintendents:

2019 Project Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education State Educational Agency Grant

The California Department of Education (CDE) intends to apply for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s fiscal year (FY) 2019 Project Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education (AWARE) State Educational Agency (SEA) Grant and seeks, through the attached Request for Consideration (RFC), three county offices of education with which to partner for this project.

The purpose of the AWARE-SEA project is to expand partnerships and collaboration between state and local educational systems to promote the healthy development of school-aged youth and prevent youth violence. The FY 2018 AWARE-SEA Request for Proposal is available at https://www.samhsa.gov/grants/grant-announcements-2019.

To build on the current Project AWARE-SEA Grant, also known as Project Cal-Well, the CDE is seeking funding from the 2019 AWARE-SEA Grant to expand Project Cal-Well activities. The 2019 AWARE-SEA Grant requires the CDE to work with three new partners. More information about Project Cal-Well is available at https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/cg/mh/projectcalwell.asp.

I encourage you to consider partnering with the CDE to improve student mental health in California. Please submit the RFC by 12 p.m. PST on Thursday, December 6, 2018, to Hilva Chan at hchan@cde.ca.gov. Please note that this is a short timeframe for submission that must be handled expeditiously to allow the CDE to meet the December 24, 2018, deadline.

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact Hilva Chan, Education Programs Consultant, Coordinated School Health and Safety Office, by phone at 916-319-0194 or by email at hchan@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

Tom Torlakson

TT:mn
2018-07647

Attachment A (PDF) [http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/el/le/documents/attprojcal-well.pdf]

Coordinated School Health and Safety Office

Project Cal-Well Request for Consideration

The California Department of Education (CDE) intends to apply for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Project Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education (AWARE) State Educational Agency (SEA) Grant.

The purpose of the AWARE-SEA program is to build or expand the capacity of SEAs in partnership with state mental health agencies overseeing school-aged youth and local educational agencies (LEAs) to: (1) increase awareness of mental health issues among students; (2) provide training for school staff and other adults who interact with students to detect and respond to mental health issues; and (3) connect students, who may have behavioral health issues (including serious emotional disturbance [SED] or serious mental illness [SMI]), and their families to needed services. SAMHSA’s expectations are that this program will focus on partnerships and collaboration between state and local systems to promote the healthy development of school-aged youth and prevent youth violence. The FY 2019 AWARE-SEA Request for Proposal is available at https://www.samhsa.gov/grants/grant-announcements-2019.

The CDE is currently implementing Project Cal-Well, a five year program funded by SAMHSA’s FY 2014 AWARE-SEA Grant. Project Cal-Well is a partnership between the CDE and three LEAs in Southern California. More information about Project Cal-Well is available at https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/cg/mh/projectcalwell.asp.

The CDE is seeking funding from the 2019 AWARE-SEA grant to expand Project Cal-Well activities to other parts of the state. The 2019 AWARE-SEA Grant requires the CDE to work with three new LEAs.

Under this Request for Consideration (RFC), the CDE is seeks to fund three county offices of education (COEs). Each COE will identify and select one or two school districts in which they will implement required activities to address the mental health needs of school-aged youth in educational settings.

The CDE is seeking COEs that can demonstrate readiness and capacity to collaborate with the CDE on improving or expanding mental health awareness, and mental health services across school-aged youth and family-serving systems.

The CDE must submit the application by December 24, 2018, therefore, the three COEs will be selected via this RFC process in an expeditious manner.

1. Background

The AWARE-SEA Program supports the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan of activities, services, and strategies to decrease youth violence and support the healthy development of school-aged youth. This program builds upon the successful strategies of the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative that has been effective in creating safe and secure schools and promoting the mental health of students in communities across the country. These strategies include facilitating a closer relationship between state and local agencies in the implementation of policies and programs, supporting the development of integrated systems that create safe and respectful environments for learning, and promoting the mental health of school-aged youth.

The goals of AWARE-SEA are to:

  • Increase and improve access to culturally competent and developmentally appropriate school- and community-based mental health services, particularly for children and youth with SED or SMI.
  • Develop school-based mental health programs staffed by behavioral health specialists (psychologists, advance practice nurses, counselors, clinical social workers) for screening, providing early intervention, and addressing any ongoing mental health needs of children with symptoms consistent with a mental health disorder(s) or SED.
  • Conduct outreach and engagement with school-aged youth and their families to increase awareness and identification of mental health issues and to promote positive mental health.
  • Connect families, schools, and communities to increase engagement and involvement in planning and implementing school and community programs for school-aged youth.
  • Help school-aged youth develop skills that will promote resilience and promote pro-social behaviors; avert development of mental and behavioral health disorders; and prevent youth violence.
  • Equip schools with the ability to immediately respond to the needs of youth who may be exhibiting behavioral/psychological signs of a severity indicating the need for clinical intervention.
  • Develop an infrastructure that will sustain and expand mental health and behavioral health services and supports for school-aged youth when federal funding ends.

AWARE-SEA Grant is also aligned with the following recommendations from the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee.

  • 2.6 Prioritize early identification and intervention for children.
  • 2.7 Use telehealth and other technologies to increase access to care.
  • 2.9 Support family members and caregivers.
  • 3.2 Make screening and early intervention among children and youth a national expectation.
  • 3.5 Implement effective systems of care for children and youth throughout the nation.
2. Required Activities of the AWARE-SEA Grant
  • Select three LEAs in three different communities with which to partner and to develop plans to integrate educational and community-based promotion, prevention, and treatment programs for school-aged youth and their families.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive plan of evidence-based culturally competent and developmentally appropriate school- and community-based mental health services.
  • Implement the ability to respond immediately on-site, through the employment of at least one mental health professional in each grant-funded school, if a school-aged youth exhibits behavioral signs warranting the need for clinical attention.
  • Provide coordinated referral, services, and follow-up to school-aged youth and their families for evidence-based school- and community-based mental health practices and services.
  • Develop and implement a workforce development training plan to increase the mental health awareness and literacy of school staff, administrators, parents, and others who interact with school-aged youth to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness and link them to appropriate services.
  • Engage in local and state programs and process development to support improvements in school-aged youth and family-serving systems through the coordination and integration of funding streams to support programs with similar goals. This would include, but not be limited to, improving the quality of school based services, use of trauma-informed approaches, and social-emotional learning.
  • Develop and implement meaningful ways to engage students and their families by involving them in the design and implementation of education and community initiatives.
  • Establish relationships with local businesses, families, and community groups to broaden and link all community resources available to school-aged youth and their families.
3. County Office of Education Expectations

The CDE has the following expectations for each selected COE:

  • Identify a minimum 0.5 full-time equivalent Community Project Manager to manage the project at the local level and serve as a liaison with the CDE Project Director. It is expected that the three COE Community Project Managers will be identified prior to or upon award.
  • Identify and select, at a minimum, one or two school districts to work with and implement, expand, or improve mental health awareness, and mental health interventions and services across school-aged youth and family-serving systems.

Demonstrate readiness and capacity to implement or expand student mental health services at the selected school district(s) using Project Cal-Well’s three component model. For more information on the Project Cal-Well model, please see https://healthpolicy.ucsf.edu/school-health-services-evaluation.

    • Component 1: Prevents and reduces the development of student mental health needs by creating positive school climates that promote healthy social-emotional development and well-being for all students through implementation of evidence-based programs, which include Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), Restorative Practices, Trauma Informed Practices, and Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA). Project Cal-Well will also utilize the National Alliance on Mental Illness On Campus High School workshops to train students as mental health advocates and leaders to improve school climate and promote student wellness and resiliency.
    • Component 2: Provides school-based mental health services to students who do not respond to primary schoolwide intervention services. These would include exploring and pilot testing on universal screening, and through hiring or contracting with at least one mental health professional in each grant-funded school to meet the mental health needs of students.
    • Component 3: Focuses on providing intensive mental health interventions to students with mental health needs through strong community collaborations. These would include coordinating, tracking, and improving the referral pathways to community-based mental health services. Each COE must identify at least one local licensed mental health treatment provider organization that will support the selected school district(s) in the referral and provision of community-based mental health services to students and their families.
  • Ensure the project can be implemented and service delivery can begin as soon as possible and no later than four months after grant award.
  • Collect performance assessment data as required by SAMHSA and the Project Cal-Well Project Evaluators. These would include administering the California Healthy Kids Survey at least every other year.
  • Submit quarterly performance measures as required by SAMHSA and an annual report on the progress achieved, barriers encountered, and efforts to overcome these barriers.
  • Submit fiscal reports to the CDE quarterly.
  • Participate in monthly conference calls and quarterly in-person meetings to discuss implementation progress.
  • Designate the Community Project Manager as agency representative to the State Mental Health Policy Workgroup and participate in quarterly meetings in Sacramento. See Section 6 Letter of Commitment for more information.
4. Funding

The total grant award is $1.8 million per year for up to five years from 2019 through 2023. The CDE proposed to allocate $1.18 million to fund the three COEs. Each COE will receive a base grant of $250,000 and the remaining funds will be pro-rated based on the total student populations intended to be served by each of the three COEs. The selected three COEs will be notified of the budget amount by December 7, 2018. The selected COEs must submit a budget and budget narrative to the CDE within a week of notification.

Annual continuation awards will depend on the availability of funds, recipient progress in meeting project goals and objectives, timely submission of required data and reports, and compliance with all terms and conditions of award.

It is expected that SAMHSA will make grant awards to eight SEAs. The estimated project start date is March 31, 2019.

5. Application Submission

To meet SAMHSA’s application deadline of December 24, 2018, the CDE requires interested COEs to submit an RFC which includes a signed Project Cal-Well RFC Statement of Assurance (Attachment A) and a narrative response (Section 6) by 12 p.m. PST on Thursday, December 6, 2018. Please submit completed RFC package by email at hchan@cde.ca.gov. The CDE expects to announce the results via email by Friday, December 7, 2018. Please direct any questions regarding this RFC to Hilva Chan by email at hchan@cde.ca.gov.

6. Narrative

Please submit a narrative statement about the COE’s willingness and readiness to partner with the CDE on this funding application. The response must be limited to no more than eight (8) single-spaced pages with Arial 12-point font and 1” inch margins.

  • Describe the geographical catchment area of the county and the selected school district(s) chosen as partners. Describe the demographic characteristics of school-aged youth in each LEA in terms of race, ethnicity, language, gender, socioeconomic status, and sexual identity.
  • Describe the extent to which there is a need to increase awareness of mental health issues among school-aged youth and connect school-aged youth who have mental disorders and their families to school- and community-based mental health services in each of the three LEAs/communities. Identify service gaps and document the extent of the need with current prevalence rates or incidence data. Identify the source of the data, including data from the California Healthy Kids Survey, if applicable.
  • Describe the goals and measurable objectives of the proposed project which reflects the needs described above. Align the goals and measurable objectives under the three components of Project Cal-Well.
  • Describe your plan to implement mental health services using the three-component Project Cal-Well model. Ensure that Section 2. Required Services and Section 3. COE Expectations are addressed within the three components of Project Cal-Well. Include how you will be able to begin implementation by July 31, 2019, for the 2019–20 school year. Include a separate Project Timeline for the entire five years showing dates, key activities, and responsible staff. The timeline will be limited to one page, single-spaced, and will count towards the page limit.
  • Describe the experience of your organization and proposed staff in supporting and scaling up local school districts on PBIS, Restorative Practices, and Trauma-Informed Practices. Describe your experience in addressing student mental health and suicide prevention in your county.
  • Provide a complete list of staff positions for the project, including the Community Project Manager, and any other significant personnel.  Describe the role of each, their level of effort, and qualifications, to include their experience providing services to school-aged youth and familiarity with their culture(s) and language(s).
  • Describe the experience, if any, on delivering YMHFA Training in your county.  Specify the number of YMHFA Instructors you have, if any. If not, specify your plan to train county staff to be YMHFA Instructors, and a training plan for prioritizing and scheduling the YMHFA trainings for all school staff and parents in your selected district(s) so they can recognize signs and symptoms of mental illness and link them to appropriate services. Specify your commitment and plan to collaborate with the CDE, the other two partners, and respective local community agencies to deliver YMHFA Training in your county.
  • Describe the current community mental health partners for each targeted school district(s). Describe the student referral pathway and how it will be strengthened by Project Cal-Well. Describe your crisis response protocol for student suicides, natural disasters, and other crises.
Last Reviewed: Friday, November 30, 2018

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