Submitted by Councilor Connolly’s office
On Tuesday, December 4th Boston City Councilors John Connolly and Ayanna Pressley held a hearing on access to social and emotional support services and curricula in the Boston Public Schools. The hearing, which will explore strategies to ensure equitable access to such services and curricula in all schools.
There is growing evidence that fostering social and emotional learning skills and providing mental health, social work and nursing services to students in school improves academic performance and long-term success for all students, particularly those at highest-risk.
Councilors Connolly and Pressley are pushing for access to full support services and social and emotional learning curricula in all Boston Public Schools. The hearing will explore the different avenues to full staffing, which include partnering with community-based organizations and non-profits that focus on social, emotional, behavioral and mental health services for children and their families.
"This is about making sure our children are healthy, learning, and achieving in school," said Councilor Connolly. "Quality schools demonstrate academic excellence, but also must provide programs for the whole child, including comprehensive social and emotional health services."
"This isn’t just the nice thing to do. It is necessary," Councilor Pressley said. "We know that social and emotional health and skills are critical to academic achievement and essential for success in the 21st century workforce."
Councilor Connolly is Chair of the City Council’s Committee on Education and Councilor Pressley is Chair of the Committee on Women & Healthy Communities.
Scheduled to appear: Boston Public Schools and Boston Public Health Commission
Hubie Jones, Dean Emeritus, BU School of Social Work
Cherie Craft, Smart from the Start
Steve Gross, Life is Good: Playmakers
Novo Biro, Open Circle
Natalia Uturbey, Boston Youth Service Network
Suzanne Costello and John Riordan, Boston Children’s Hospital Neighborhood Partnerships
Juma Crawford, Friends of the Children
Dr. Ben Siegel, Boston Medical Center
Bette Bohlke-O’Gara, KeySteps
Dr. Bob Lichtenstein, MA School of Professional Psychology