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Leading for Equity: Supporting Student and Staff Mental Health Through a Community of Wellness
Thursday, January 21, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST
Presented by Dr. Diana Greene, Superintendent, Duval County Public Schools (FL); Dr. Gregory Bostic, Principal, Jean Ribault High School, Duval County Public Schools (FL); Katrina Taylor, Director, School Behavioral Health and Full Service Schools Program, Duval County Public Schools (FL); and Charis Scurry, Community Partnership Coordinator, Wolfson Children’s School Based Health Centers at Ribault Senior High School
Moderated by Dr. Valerie Truesdale, Assistant Executive Director, AASA, The School Superintendents Association
Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation.
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Since COVID-19 disrupted schools in March 2020, access to mental health services is more essential than ever for students and staff. As a result of the global pandemic and a mission to meet the needs of each student, Duval County Public Schools has developed an “organic” rising of community support systems to address mental health needs.
Join the 2021 Florida Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Diana L. Greene, as she and her colleagues share insights into mental health curriculums, advocacy and policies to ensure mental health services for ALL students. Community support has been pivotal to designing behavioral and mental health supports in a blended environment. Dr. Greene will discuss intentional steps the district is taking to address disparities with mental health access and service delivery. Dr. Gregory Bostic, Principal of Jean Ribault High School, Katrina Taylor, Duval County Public School’s Director of School Behavioral Health and Full Service Schools Program, and Charis Scurry, Community Partnership Coordinator for the Wolfson Children’s School Based Health Centers at Ribault Senior High School, will share how they are applying the system’s design in mental health advocacy within the schoolhouse gates.
Essential questions include:
- What are the basic elements of a district’s strong mental health program before, during and after a worldwide pandemic?
- How do district leaders work with community partners to meet the needs of a growing mental health crisis for students and staff?
- What are the next steps for district leaders who are finding themselves needing to develop social and emotional learning and support systems for staff and students?
Participants will learn about strategies to address systemic disparities and inequities in order to benefit all students. This presentation will be of particular value to school superintendents, K-12 school and district leaders, and aspiring leaders.
About the Presenters
Dr. Diana L. Greene became Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools (DCPS), the 20th largest school district in the nation, on July 1, 2018, and serves 130,000 students within 200 schools and manages a $1.7 billion budget. Dr. Greene’s tenure as Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools has already been marked with significant accomplishments. District academic performance has continued to improve. DCPS is now within one percentage point of becoming an “A” district under Florida’s rigorous school grade accountability system. The district also achieved another historically high graduation rate. In less than one week, Dr. Greene and her leadership team converted more than 120,000 children, 13,000 teachers and staff, and 160 schools to an online virtual learning environment—Duval HomeRoom—in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020.
In August of 2020, the district reopened in the pandemic, providing families the choice of a traditional on-campus learning option or two options for remote learning. Most notably, Dr. Greene unified community support for schools, orchestrating the passage of a voluntary surtax to renovate and replace the district’s crumbling school infrastructure with a $1.9 billion master facilities plan. These accomplishments and more led the Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS) to select Dr. Greene as the 2021 Florida Superintendent of the Year, making her the 33rd superintendent and the second African-American woman to receive this honor.
Prior to her work in DCPS, she was the superintendent of the School District of Manatee County, where she made significant strides forward academically, financially and in terms of its public perception. Known for her positive nature and engaging personality, Dr. Greene initiated her time as Superintendent in Manatee County by putting forward a leadership plan that consisted of what she named the Five Cs: Calmness, Consistency, Civility, Confidence and Community. Leading by example, Dr. Greene has overseen a district that has improved academically to the point that it received a B grade from the state two of the last three years (2015, 2017), after receiving a C grade the previous three years, even in the face of more rigorous standards. In addition, the Manatee District’s graduation rate rose 5.6% during the 2015-2016 school year, and was 2.8% higher than the statewide graduation rate.
Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Dr. Gregory D. Bostic epitomizes these words. He began his tenure as an educator in Duval County Public Schools in 1991. He started his educational and leadership journey as a teacher at Andrew Jackson High School and during his tenure served in the exceptional student and business education departments while also serving as the activities director. During his 29 years as an educator, he spent nine years as a teacher, two years as an assistant principal, five years as a vice principal and 13 years as a principal.
Dr. Bostic has a passion for developing people, with a strong desire to build relationships that help individuals reach their fullest potential. John C. Maxwell stated, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” and Dr. Bostic wholeheartedly personifies that philosophy. His ability to help underserved students become graduation and college ready exemplifies this. In his capacity as a principal at two urban high schools, he raised the graduation rate in both schools to over 95%.
As a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Dr. Bostic enjoys volunteering and supporting various educational initiatives.
One of his favored mottos that he sincerely embraces and shares with all students, colleagues, friends, and associates: “Education is a great equalizer…We cannot choose who we are, but through education, we choose who we become.” He encourages his students daily to choose their futures. “Make it a great day or not—the choice is always yours.”
Katrina Taylor is the Director of School Behavioral Health and Full Service Schools for Duval County Public Schools. As the School Behavioral Health Director, she manages and oversees all aspects of behavioral health in the district and schools. Mrs. Taylor also leads and coordinates all of the district’s school behavioral health initiatives and programs, manages and collaborates with community partners, providers, DCPS administration, staff, and stakeholders. Under Ms. Taylor’s leadership, she manages the district’s multi-million-dollar budget to ensure the implementation of the Duval County Public Schools behavioral health model.
Ms. Taylor has over 15 years of experience in school and community based mental health. Prior to her work as the School Behavioral Health Director, Ms. Taylor fulfilled the following social services roles: Mental Health Grant Manager, School Counselor, Parent Educator and Social Worker. Ms. Taylor is a national trainer and presenter and has presented nationally at multiple conferences to increase mental health literacy and has trained hundreds of educators, support services employees, and leaders to improve mental health access.
Ms. Taylor is very passionate about school based mental health and believes that school districts must focus on the social, emotional wellness of all students to ensure academic success.
Charis is the Community Partnership Coordinator for the Wolfson Children’s Health Centers located on the campus of Ribault Senior High School. As the Community Partnership Coordinator, Charis’ primary goals are to ensure children and youth are healthy and to bring awareness of this resource to the community. Previously, Charis held the position of Manager of Education Strategies for the United Way of Northeast Florida. There she managed the Achievers For Life Program, an Early Warning & Response System for middle school students.
About the Host
Dr. Valerie Truesdale joined AASA early in 2019 as the assistant executive director responsible for guiding leadership development services and programs. With years of experience in the superintendency and roles in instructional technology, she knows that AASA’s Leadership Network can be a substantial resource for school leaders trying to keep pace with the rapidly changing delivery of K-12 education.
Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation.
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The AASA Leadership Network drives superintendent success, innovation, and growth, shaping the future of public education while preparing students for what’s next. We are the largest, most diverse network of superintendents in America. Passionate and committed, we connect educational leaders to the professional learning, leadership development, relationships, and partnerships they need to ensure a long career of impact.