The Academy at Glenfield presentation

The Academy at Glenfield Middle School

Do you have a dream?

Thank you

  • Support from the MBOE
  • Current Administration
  • Glenfield Principal
  • Glenfield Staff
  • Community Members, Parents and Students
  • National Youth Recovery Foundation

The Academy
The Academy is an intensive, clinical, school-based counseling program. Its mission is to provide emotional, behavioral, and academic supports to students who require a higher level of therapeutic intervention in a school setting. The Academy aims at fostering an environment within the school that can successfully support at risk/in need students safely and effectively.

The Academy Population:
Students who participate in The Academy present with:

  • Behavioral/conduct disorders
  • Academic deficits
  • High levels of anxiety and/or depression
  • ADHD symptoms
  • Intense emotional distress
  • School refusal/phobia
  • Attendance issues
  • Legal involvement
  • Self-injurious/self-harm behaviors
  • Chronic family issues and/or peer conflicts
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Substance abuse issues

Student Services:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Drop-in counseling when needed
  • Crisis intervention services as needed
  • Alcohol and Drug Education, Prevention, & Intervention
  • Individualized behavior management plans
  • Behavioral incentive program
  • Art therapy/music therapy
  • Yoga/meditation
  • Lunch groups

Family Services:
The Academy offers school based support to students as well as home based support to families. Families of students involved in The Academy can expect a collaborative team approach with staff in order to promote a positive environment, both in and out of school, which provides the emotional supports necessary for student growth and success. Families receive regular communication with information pertaining to their child's functioning in school. Families are offered opportunities to attend family therapy sessions, as well as parent workshops. Assistance with connecting to community resources is also available.

Service Components:

  • Bi-weekly administrative meetings held with Academy Staff, School Administration, School Counselors, School Nurse and CST to discuss current student roster and pending referrals.
  • Collaboration with instructional staff on integrating and implementing effective strategies/techniques in the classroom.
  • Collaboration with all outside service providers as a way to offer a seamless network of support to the student by maintaining consistent communication with all participating professionals.
  • Student Safety Plan - Each student has a documented Student Safety Plan that is shared with select school staff in order to provide awareness of the student's needs.
  • Supervision - Academy staff receives clinical supervision twice a week by Academy Founder and District Mental Health & HIB Coordinator, Andrew Evangelista.
  • Student Data Tracking - Student data and levels of functioning are tracked regularly to assess progress and development.
  • Quote of the Week - Inspirational and motivational quotes are displayed each week to encourage positive thinking, emotional growth, and allow for opportunities of personal exploration.
  • Positive Post It Board - Students are encouraged to post compliments and positive messages that can uplift themselves and their peers.
  • Passion Board - Students outline what they love and what they are passionate about. This helps set goals, practice self-care, and develop healthy and effective coping strategies.
  • Help Desk - A space where resources, services, hotline numbers, and self-help books are displayed for student use.
  • Newsletter - The Academy issues quarterly newsletters to get the word out about recent events and informative content.

Just a Few Benefits of Counseling:
Less anxiety
Greater self-confidence
Better relationships
Regaining emotional balance
Increased assertiveness
Stress relief
Ability to set boundaries
Trauma resolution

Consultation with teachers to assist students

Program Components:

  • The Academy Awards - Behavioral Incentive Program where students' school behavior and academic performance is assessed and tracked. Students can earn points towards incentives and rewards.
  • "Waiting Room" - If students request access to their Academy counselor but cannot safely or appropriately wait in class, they are offered the opportunity to wait in the main office, which is equipped with calming de-escalation materials from The Academy while they wait.
  • Yoga - Certified yoga instructors facilitate group Yoga once a week to reinforce relaxation techniques and balance the mind, body, and soul.
  • Art Therapy - Glenfield Art Instructors facilitate group Art Therapy sessions.
  • Brag Board - Students are encouraged to post anything that makes them feel proud of themselves. Students are praised with a certificate of achievement for their accomplishments.
  • Quote of the Week - Inspirational and motivational quotes are displayed each week to encourage positive thinking, emotional growth, and allow for opportunities of personal exploration.
  • Positive Post It Board - Students are encouraged to post compliments and positive messages that can uplift themselves and their peers.
  • Passion Board - Students outline what they love and what they are passionate about. This helps set goals, practice self care, and develop healthy and effective coping strategies.
  • Help Desk - A space where resources, services, hotline numbers, and self help books are displayed for student use.
  • Newsletter - The Academy issues quarterly newsletters to get the word out about recent events and informative content.

Administrative meetings twice monthly

Yoga: A mind body experience

Referral Process

  • Students can be referred to The Academy by school staff or parents/families by filling out an Academy referral form.
  • Additional Information is gathered from Administration, Guidance, CST, and instructional staff to further assess a student's eligibility for the program.
  • If a student is deemed appropriately eligible, information is shared with the guardian and parental consent to participate is obtained.
  • A formal intake is held with the parent to gather student and family history.
  • Once all identifying intake information is obtained, a need assessment is conducted in consult during Clinical Supervision to identify what services the student could best benefit from.

The Academy at Glenfield Middle School Referral Form (sample)
The Academy at Glenfield Middle School Intake Form (sample)

Parent Engagement

  • Regular Communication - A supportive relationship is built between The Academy counselor and the parents of students in the program to promote a strong a link between home and school.
  • Family Therapy Sessions - Family sessions are offered in hopes of increasing appropriate communication and connecting families in a healthy, constructive way.
  • Parent Workshops - Parent support groups and family workshops are offered in the evenings.
  • Parent Contract - Parents pledge their commitment to bridging the gap between home and school and providing the best level of care, support and supervision at home.
  • Parent's Assessment - Parents are asked to complete an assessment scale on how they perceive their child's functioning. The student is asked to complete a student version of the same assessment about themselves.

Parent's Assessment: Social/Emotional Assessment for Education Counseling Form (sample)

Parent Feedback
Hi, Leigh Ann. Thank you for asking for feedback; I'm very happy to send my thoughts about The Academy. I am extremely grateful for the support, guidance, and comfort you've been providing to both my daughter and me.

My daughter is having such a harrowing time right now, and getting to school is an immense struggle for her every single day. I really don't think she would have been able to get herself in the door of Glenfield at all after the first day of eighth grade if you weren't there as a haven and encouragement to her. You have shown her such understanding and warmth, and you have also been a very significant resource for me as I've struggled to figure out the right approach to take with my daughter. You've so quickly shown yourself to be a trusted advocate and mental health expert who cares deeply. You have spent so much concentrated time with both of us, truly prioritizing my daughter's needs above and beyond what I could have hoped for.

And my daughter does absolutely need the resources that you're providing. I am certain that the existence of The Academy and your great skill and care are what keeps my daughter from functioning at all during the school day. The counseling combined with the ability to retreat to your office for a breather when things become too stressful in the classroom or lunchroom are hugely helpful, and I'm hopeful that future group sessions will also provide my daughter with a new belief that she's not entirely alone among her peers. The fact that you've put a basket of comfort items at the front desk for times when kids can't use your office is further proof that you understand the needs of your students and are thinking deeply about how to help.

And so, a huge thank you for your work and kindness. I am so relieved that Glenfield is the school that received the pilot program

Warmly,
Mother

Montclair Public Schools
Glenfield Middle School
Dr. Joseph A. Putrino, Jr., Principal

To Whom It May Concern:

October 30, 2017

Please allow this letter to serve as documentation of the successful implementation of the Academy at Glenfield Middle School. Middle school age students encounter a myriad of social and emotional challenges. Anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicide, and eating disorders are only a few of the serious issues facing our students. Effective and well thought out interventions coupled with therapy and ongoing resources are imperative when addressing these issues, especially when they rise to a crisis level. In many school districts these services are simply not available.

The Academy at Glenfield, which started in September of 2017, replaced Effective School Solutions. At its onset, the Academy easily exceeded ESS services for critically needy students and families and had a carefully, well-established foundation prepared to welcome new candidates. It has been my pleasure to work closely with Andrew Evangelista, Montclair Mental Health Coordinator and Leigh Ann Fossella, Academy Counselor, to ensure the success and effectiveness of the program. Together we have created a meticulous procedure for identifying students, documenting their progress and system for communicating with all stakeholders.

I am not only impressed with the Academy's design and effectiveness, but I am confident that its success can be replicated in other schools in Montclair. I see the Academy as a strong proactive measure that will support students within the school district. It serves as an intervention to promote better mental health for our students and is delivered by the people who know them best.

I look forward to assisting in the growth and development of the Academy program. As a Principal, I can honestly say that I can't imagine Glenfield Middle School without this intervention.

Please feel free to contact me at Jputrino@montclair.k12.nj.us or (973) 509-4171.

Hello - Although my son is very new to the Academy, I'm happy to share my initial feedback. So far, amazing! I am so thrilled that a service such as this is being offered at Glenfield. I feel like my son finally has the sort of emotional support in place at school that he truly needs and I'm looking forward to seeing how this support benefits him. Not just one on one with him, but also the support between he and his teachers via Ms. Fossella and the support his family has already received (I personally feel VERY supported!) We couldn't be more pleased and look forward to seeing how this benefits my son this year.

Thank you, Mother of Academy Student.

The Academy at Glenfield School has been a tremendous resource to the students, parents and families which I engage, as the McKinney Vento Education - homeless liaison for the district. The expertise of the staff is evident as counseling and outreach has, in this initial implementation, made a significant impact through the services and support that have been provided. The opportunity for a student to engage the counselor, and change spiraling negative behaviors, into positive social behaviors and emotional expressions has changed the student's engagement in school as well as the opportunity for future academic success.

Director of Operations and School Support Services

The Academy with Leigh Ann Fossella has been highly effective in picking up the ESS cases that continued from last school year, as well as meeting the needs of newly identified student in need of a therapeutic setting during the school day.

Best, Rebecca Weintraub School Counselor Glenfield Middle School

Community Feedback
The students at Glenfield are lucky to have a counselor like you to support them. The program is one that meets students where they are and helps them to function the best that they can within a public school setting.
-Psychotherapist/LCSW

Current student issues:

  • School refusal/school anxiety
  • Non-suicidal self-harm
  • Victim of sexual abuse (legal involvement)
  • Runaways
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • ADHD

Statistics & Review

  • Social/academic withdrawal
  • Homeless
  • Grief/loss/recent death of family member
  • Behavioral/conduct issues (at home and at school)
  • Chronic family issues in the home
  • Alcohol and drug use in the home

Questions and discussion

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