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Introduction
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References
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0-07: Staff training for health/safety emergencies
4-01: Student assistance teams at each site
6-20: Safe student conduct during transportation
7-02: Social services, mental health support
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National Education Foundation
"School employee health" link shares resources to help staff focus on their own health and lifestyle concerns while they continue to take care of others.
NEA Foundation
Resources for educators to become agents for change to improve teaching and learning.
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8-06 - Inter-professional collaboration, staff mentoring
 

Arrange for and encourage staff members to have opportunities to consult with and exchange information with other staff members across various disciplines. Arrange for peer mentoring.

   
Rationale
 

Consultation and open exchanges across disciplines enhance school staff members' understanding and ability to manage program-related and student-related issues. Mentoring programs can be helpful to all school professionals (e.g., teachers, school nurses, school counselors), whether they are beginners, veterans in new assignments, or in need of remedial aid to improve their skills.

   
Commentary
 

Include health, mental health, teaching, and other staff members in student assistance teams. Inter-professional activity should go beyond problem-oriented models of dealing with educational challenges of students or student behavior. The National Education Association (NEA) has resources on its Internet site to help staff members engage in multi-disciplinary exchanges that help to promote wellness, individual interventions, and systems change.

Mentoring is an essential part of staff development and a part of envisioning schools as professional learning communities. The Internet site of the NEA Foundation has various publications that describe how schools can create mentoring programs and set up professional developmental centers led by the professionals themselves. Such resources can be used to help schools create a climate for mentoring, select training materials, protect the confidentiality of those who are mentored, and evaluate their mentoring program. Although directed primarily toward mentoring of teachers, concepts and planning tools on this Internet site apply very well to the development of mentoring programs for other school staff, including health and mental health professionals.

   
REFERENCES
 

Allegrante JP. School-site health promotion for staff. In Marx E, Wooley SF, eds. Health is Academic: A Guide to Coordinated School Health Programs. New York, NY: Teacher's College Press; 1998.

Holland RW. Mentoring as a Career Development Tool. CUPA Journal. 1994 45:41-44.

Hooper K, Lawson HA. Serving Children, Youth and Families Through Interprofessional Collaboration and Service Integration: A Framework for Action. Oxford, OH: The Danforth Foundation and the Institute for Educational Renewal at Miami University; 1994.

Institute of Medicine. Schools and Health: Our Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1997.

Marx E, Wooley SF, eds. Health is Academic: A Guide to Coordinated School Health Programs. New York, NY: Teachers College Press; 1998.

Rosenfield SA, Gravois TA. Instructional Consultation Teams: Collaborating for Change. New York, NY: Guilford; 1996.

 
          
 
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