Multi-Level Systems of Support
The Oregon School District has adopted a Multi-Level System of Support Model that addresses academic, social/emotional, behavioral, and mental health wellness needs. This system of support begins with Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) which provides instruction, intervention, and supports from grades K-12.
The Multi-Level Systems of Support extends to include Alcohol and Other Drug Addiction (AODA) supports, interventions and services for students “at-risk” of not graduating, and special education instruction, support, and services. The Oregon School District began to study the mental/behavioral health needs of the school and larger community in July of 2013. The District established a Task Force to consider needs and make recommendations to the Board of Education. The Task Force identified the following Vision Statement:
The Oregon Community Mental Health Task Force will develop a comprehensive support system of mental health resources (preventive strategies and interventions) to support children and families in the Oregon School District through collaborative partnerships.
Through these collaborative partnerships, we have increased the depth and level of services to students and families. We currently have collaborative partnerships with Lake City Counseling and Oregon Mental Health. These providers have therapists who provide counseling services to students at the schools thereby reducing the barriers of transportation and time away from school. The Oregon School District Student Services personnel can assist parents in connecting with these providers.
In addition, the Oregon School District has been committed to addressing needs of students that extend beyond these traditional services and levels. To achieve this objective, the district has developed a Mental Health Committee focused on developing a comprehensive support system of mental health resources (preventive strategies and interventions) to support children and families through collaborative partnerships.
As a result of the committee’s ongoing leadership, the Oregon School District has remained focused on advancing mental health and wellness through professional development in the areas of Mindfulness, Nurtured Heart, Trauma Informed Schools, and Mental Health First Aid. Professional Development in these areas serves to better inform teachers and support staff on the experiences and challenges that our students bring with them and enables them to respond in ways that are more helpful to the students’ development.
The Oregon School District is an active member of the Children’s Mental Health Collaborative of Dane County. The group is focused on increasing the awareness and investment in social emotional wellness as a means to academic achievement and quality of life for students across the county.
In addition to the professional development for staff, supports and services have increased for the students. The Oregon School District provides services including Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS), and Building Bridges. The Oregon School District has also partnered with Oregon Mental Health and Lake City Counseling to bring counseling options to school, which reduces barriers to transportation and time away from school.
Mental Health Programs
Building Bridges Program (Grades 4K-8)
The Oregon School District collaborates with the Dane County Department of Human Services, Catholic Charities, and several Dane County School districts to offer Building Bridges. This program is a 90-day intervention program that seeks to support children’s educational experience by working with students, family, community agencies, and school staff to develop and promote emotional wellness.
Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools
Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) is a school-based, group and individual intervention. It is designed to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and behavioral problems, and to improve functioning, grades and attendance, peer and parent support, and coping skills. Traditionally, Oregon students have participated in CBITS at the 6th grade level. The District is currently exploring ways to provide CBITS at the third grade level (Bounce Back) and for some students at the high school level.
CBITS has been used with children who have witnessed or experienced traumatic life events such as community and school violence, accidents and injuries, physical abuse and domestic violence, and natural and man-made disasters.
CBITS uses cognitive-behavioral techniques (e.g., psychoeducation, relaxation, social problem solving, cognitive restructuring, and exposure).