Safe, Supportive Conditions for Learning: Making Connections for Student Success

NASP Congressional Briefing, November 17, 2011

On November 17, 2011, NASP hosted a Congressional briefing in cooperation with U.S. Representative David Loebsack (IA-2) and Representative Edolphus Towns (NY-10) on how schools can create safe, supportive conditions for learning. This briefing and a bipartisan Congressional Resolution cosponsored by Representative Loebsack and Representative Tom Petri (WI-6-R) were sponsored in recognition of National School Psychology Week.

Expert panelists discussed the key components necessary to creating positive conditions for learning. They shared the strong view that student wellness (social, emotional, behavioral, and psychological) is critical to academic achievement, and that schools must emphasize both equally if all students are going to learn to their fullest potential. They urged Congress to provide the national leadership to make comprehensive learning supports an equal priority with high quality instruction and school management in ESEA reauthorization. Representative Loebsack also addressed participants, expressing his concern that schools need more learning support services and personnel to meet student needs.

Key Components of Effective School Discipline

  • School-wide programs and services that prevent negative behaviors such as bullying, violence, gang involvement, substance abuse, and truancy.
  • Comprehensive and coordinated learning supports, such as effective discipline and positive behavior supports that directly contribute to student social-emotional wellness, mental health, and positive behavior.
  • Positive school climates that promote student connectedness and family engagement.
  • Effective use of data to identify and address the most critical issues related to school safety and engagement.
  • School-based specialized instructional support personnel who are integrally involved in development, delivery, and evaluation of these services.

Briefing Agenda

Legislative Priorities and Selected Research

Speaker Bios

Panelist Statements

June Zillich, School psychologist, Montgomert County MD Public Schools

Alison L. Serino, Principal, Montgomery County MD Public Schools

Kevin Dwyer, School psychologis, mental health advocate, a past president of NASP

Athena Elliott, Parent representative

Kelly Vaillancourt, Director of Government Relations, NASP