The Scotts Valley Unified School District is getting a major boost in its bid to address student social and emotional challenges in the post-lockdown learning environment.
On Nov. 8, the Scotts Valley Educational Foundation (SVEF) announced it would offer $100,000 this school year to hire two behavior intervention specialists, if the public school system can come up with matching funds.
“Developing a sound foundation to support mental health and wellness of students in the district is more important than ever,” an SVEF spokesperson said in a release. “The Scotts Valley Educational Foundation is pleased to be able to help contribute our support to this important cause.”
These new workers will train employees how to better manage students who act out and give teachers and staff additional strategies to more effectively support learners.
Working with District officials, SVEF identifies areas of greatest need, each year.
Behavior challenges have become a persistent challenge for educators, following multiple years of disruptions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2020, SVUSD ranked No.13 out of the top 100 districts in California, according to research by backgroundchecks.org.
And despite the relatively high marks District students continue to hit in standardized testing, they haven’t been immune to social and emotional problems. But it’s not a problem unique to SVUSD.
A National Center for Educational Statistics study reported 87% of public schools said the pandemic had hurt the social and emotional development of students.
“As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, the schools are finding this to be directionally true in the Scotts Valley Unified School District—where we are seeing an uptick in challenges facing our educators,” the SVEF spokesperson said, highlighting the need for more behavior workers. “This incremental resource for our schools will be a support to our students, as well as the wonderful teachers and faculty of the district.”
SVEF says the dollars will ultimately make a difference for at-risk youth and students with disabilities across Brook Knoll and Vine Hill elementary schools, Scotts Valley Middle School and Scotts Valley High School.
The volunteer-run nonprofit was founded in 1983 to enhance the curriculum and maintain a high educational standard in the District. To date, it has provided more than $1 million in funding.