Oct. 13, 2021
Dear San Benito High School Parents, Students and Community:
San Benito High School District’s MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Support) program “helps us redefine what it is to educate -- focusing on the whole child, wellness, support, health and safety,” said Director of Student Support Services Emmanuel Nelson at this week’s Board of Trustees’ meeting. “Scholarship,” he noted, “requires relationships.”
At the meeting, Mr. Nelson was joined by Director of Specialized Student Services and Special Education Dr. Paulette Cobb and Assistant Principals Deborah Armstrong, Laurie Chavez and Claire Grissom to present an update to the MTSS offerings that help support all students.
The report addressed roles of team members, coordination with community-based organizations and supports based on student needs, how data informs intervention in academics, social-emotional learning and behavior, and how Haybaler Support Time is positively impacting student achievement.
The MTSS team’s vision is to empower all students to learn through systemic, schoolwide supports and ongoing collaboration between teachers, administrators, families, specialists and community partners.
The Pillars of MTSS
The three pillars of MTSS include academics, behavioral supports and social-emotional wellness.
The Counseling Department, Mrs. Grissom said, is focusing on academic advising, Student Support Team meetings, ensuring students are attending the appropriate Haybaler Support Time sessions, and working with teachers to support students.
Behavioral supports, according to Mrs. Chavez, have included a focus on continuously improving the campus intervention system to reduce student misconducts and increase instructional time. Behavioral interventions now can involve the wellness team and all students receive schoolwide lessons and learn campus safety protocols through positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS).
A Focus on Wellness
Mrs. Armstrong said the Baler Wellness Center, which held its grand opening on campus at the start of this school year after having operated online during the first year of the pandemic, “has been a fantastic resource for our kids.”
Wellness Center student check-ins have exceeded 100 over each of the past three weeks, a nearly 60 percent increase from the start of school through the end of the first grading period. The Baler Wellness Team has offered schoolwide lessons and includes on-campus school social workers who can respond to student needs throughout the school day.
Staff wellness is another focus of the team, as they work to create a culture of wellness for all Balers. This includes monthly staff connection activities and on-demand “Character STRONG” professional development to support teacher learning.
An Analytical Approach
The District’s analytics team manages a platform that quantifies students’ at-risk behaviors in order to best identify the effectiveness of interventions. The data-driven approach will help the team improve its Haybaler Support Time strategies and provide more targeted academic, behavioral and social-emotional supports.
Tuesday’s report to the Board also addressed roles of team members, coordination with community-based organizations and supports based on student needs, and how Haybaler Support Time is positively impacting student achievement. Through Haybaler Support, students are systematically evaluated so the school can identify who needs interventions and supports.
Systems of Support
I am proud of our counseling, wellness and student support teams, who continue to put the needs of every student first. The expansion of our on-campus programs and the investment in programs and personnel who support them are a reminder that every day is a great day to be a Baler!
San Benito High School District Superintendent Dr. Shawn Tennenbaum