Wondering How to Use Your ESSER II Funds - SCCI Can Help!
The School Culture and Climate Initiative provides the following:

  • School Climate Assessment (students, staff, parents) with data analysis and in-person detailed data review
  • Other assessment tools available including Equity, Social Inclusion, and Bullying Prevention
  • Student and staff surveys disaggregated by key sub-groups
  • SEL teacher coaching (all levels) and professional development in all areas of SEL
School Climate
  • Three-year all-inclusive, consultant supported, School Climate Assessment and Improvement Process with baseline and follow-up climate surveys for all in the school community
Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
  • Staff well-being PLCs/Parent PLCs 
  • PLCs available that bring schools together around similar jobs (school counselor/administrator) as well as shared professional development (School Support Network)
Professional Development
  • Trauma-informed approaches, cultural competencies, equity, team building, SEL, and many more areas - designed specifically for your school/district
An Integrated Approach to School Climate Improvement, SEL, and Equity
  • We know school climate, SEL, and equity are intertwined and to be most effective any school improvement approach needs to address all three areas in a coordinated manner. We are very pleased to be able to offer schools and districts a comprehensive, customized, three-year, data-driven approach that will build capacity within staff and ensure time and resources are used most effectively. True change is hard and takes time - this integrated approach supports your school throughout the process. 

Contact the School Culture and Climate Initiative for more information! 
Funding Opportunities
Teen Mental Health First Aid Grant
Teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) is a training program developed by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing in partnership with Born This Way Foundation. The purpose is to teach teens in grades 10-12 about common mental health and substance challenges and how to help others who are struggling. The National Council for Mental Wellbeing will provide 50 schools and/or youth-serving organizations with tMHFA training.
Application Deadline: August 20, 2021 
Safe Routes to Schools Grants
The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) offers infrastructure grant funding for the Safe Routes to School Program. Safe Routes to School grants may be used for infrastructure projects that encourage and enable students from grades K-8 to safely walk and bike to school within a two-mile radius of the school. Municipalities, counties, schools and school districts are welcome to apply. Informational sessions will be held for interested applicants on August 19 at 10:00 a.m. and September 9 at 3:00 p.m. 
Application Deadline: October 14, 2021
Funding Available for School Health Initiatives
The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) School Health NJ Project, administered by the NJ Department of Health (NJDOH), has more than 10 years of experience promoting healthy schools and utilizes a collaborative approach to learning and health. Through the WSCC School Health NJ project, the NJDOH will provide schools with up to $15,000 in funding over the course of three years, with an optional fourth year, to strengthen their school districts' capacity to support and sustain healthy schools. 

The NJDOH is recruiting all schools but needs to prioritize those with at least 40% of students eligible for free/reduced lunch. Public middle- and/or high- schools, with a grade level of six and higher, are eligible to lead this pilot in their school district. In addition to funding, the NJDOH’s school health regional agencies will provide programmatic guidance and support throughout the time the school participates in the project. For more information about the WSCC model and this funding opportunity, view the PDF flyer
SCAIP Professional Learning Community
2021-2022 School Climate Assessment and Improvement Process (SCAIP) Virtual PLCs
These PLCs are a networking opportunity designed for SCAIP schools that are just beginning; are currently in years 2, 3 or extended 4; or have completed the 3-year School Climate Assessment and Improvement Process. During the SCAIP PLCs, educators have the chance to share, learn and inspire each other.

Individual representatives or the entire Culture and Climate team are welcome to attend! Watch your email for a formal invitations to each PLC and share with your colleagues!

Save the Dates
November 16 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Register Now
February 8 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
May 10 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Resources, Webinars, and PD
Webinar: "Social and Emotional Learning and Service Learning"
August 27 from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. ET
As communities across the country prepare for the upcoming school year, a question arising is: what kinds of learning are most needed to address this moment and support young people long term? In a recent report, both parents and teachers overwhelmingly demand a holistic view of education that prepares students for life, via both social and emotional learning (SEL) and service-learning (SL). Join CASEL for a conversation with Civic and the National Association of State Boards of Education as they build the connection between these key areas. We’ll present data from the recent report and discuss practical ways that we can advance SEL and SL in school communities. Recommended for educators, community partners, and education leaders. Register here.
Article: "Key Elements of SEL Implementation"
By Pamela Randall-Garner and Jessica Bernstein
A social and emotional learning program should involve the whole school and be guided by a team of stakeholders dedicated to its success. Read more
Article: "Reprioritizing Standards for Middle and High School Students"
By Heather Wolpert-Gawron
After a challenging year, focusing on social and emotional learning and vital standards may be the way forward. The next school year will not be off and running the way normalcy allows. We’ve learned too much. Those first couple of weeks will be about building community in the school and building community in the district. Read more
Article: "How Schools Can Adapt Pandemic Protocols to Support Students’ Mental Health"
By Chris Joffe
For schools, seeking a return to normalcy is only natural, but it may actually be counterproductive. Students coming back through our doors in the fall will be carrying the stress, anxiety and trauma of the past year. Reinforcing the idea of normalcy dismisses how abnormal things may feel for students. So, what’s the alternative to getting back to normal? Ultimately, it’s being comfortable with another abnormal school year—even if that’s the last thing students, educators and parents want. And it’s building systems that ensure no students fall through the cracks and escalate to violence or self-harm. Read more

"Youth Mental Health First Aid"
The Northeast and Caribbean Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) can provide Youth Mental Health First Aid to your school or organization at no cost. "Youth Mental Health First Aid" is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders." 

If you are interested in receiving training, please email us.
The Academy for SEL in Schools, a partnership between Rutgers University and Saint Elizabeth University, offers certificate programs for educators and educational leaders in social-emotional and character development.
SEL4NJ is a state-wide coalition that promotes high-quality SEL throughout the state. Sign up now to join this effort and to stay informed about national and state SEL news!
The School Culture and Climate Initiative (SCCI) is based at the Center for Human and Social Development at Saint Elizabeth University.