Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,000,000)
Through this project, Communities In Schools of Central Texas (CIS) will implement Integrated Student Supports to Address Youth Violence in San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) with the purpose to proactively address youth violence and victimization through a multi-layered, integrated approach of behavioral and mental health support for students and schoolwide efforts to promote a positive school climate. The project centers on the strengths and needs of students at San Marcos High School (SMHS) and Rebound Disciplinary Alternative Education Program for SMCISD. Project activities include providing students with individualized case management services and additional layered supports to include individual clinical mental health services supportive group services from master's level social work interns, and the Male Student Achievement Program (MSAP) for male-identifying students of color to help address disparities in disciplinary referrals and disrupt the school to prison pipeline. In addition, CIS staff will offer professional learning opportunities to school staff on trauma-informed and restorative practices. Finally, CIS and other community based organizations will provide meaningful family engagement opportunities to address risk factors and increase protective factors of students. To improve medium- and long-term planning to prevent youth violence, CIS will lead a school safety strategic planning process, inviting a variety of stakeholders to come together to analyze data and review evidence-based practices. These stakeholders will develop a school safety strategic plan, to be updated annually. CIS will also perform partnership asset mapping annually in an effort to identify the needs for external support among students at SMHS and Rebound, highlighting gaps and opportunities for capacity building. Expected outcomes include creating an evidence-based, integrated, multi-tiered system of supports on the two project campuses, as well as improving student attendance, behavior, and academic outcomes through the provision of services to students and families. Because SMHS is the only public high school that serve the city of San Marcos, improved school safety and climate will have an important influence on preventing youth violence, delinquency, and victimization in the San Marcos community.