Teaming Best Practices

Teams are critical in implementing school health policies, programs, and practices. Teams that include representation from all components of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model (inclusive of social, emotional, and behavioral health) can address health holistically while breaking down silos that so often exist within school structures. Teams that are high performing:

  1. are diverse and inclusive;
  2. include youth, family, and community engagement;
  3. have clear operating procedures;
  4. run effective meetings; and
  5. have a clear vision that all members are working toward. 

Developed by North Carolina Healthy Schools 

This document provides step-by-step guidance to school district staff seeking to start or enhance district-level school health advisory councils that support policy implementation.

Developed by the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE)

The third module of the ten-module WSCC Team Training series highlights what it takes to develop and convene a successful, productive team supporting children’s health and well-being. 

Developed by RMC Health

This tool helps teams review and establish processes to ensure high functioning and performance.

Developed by the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) 

This playbook summarizes best practices and tips for creating an effective school mental health team. 

Building a Social-Emotional Learning Team (developed by CASEL) 

  • The SEL team is a dedicated, representative group whose task is to lead a coordinated approach and continuous improvement of schoolwide SEL implementation. Visit this resource to learn more about forming this type of team.

Building Representative School Health Teams (developed by Action for Healthy Kids)

  • Building representative school health teams helps to ensure your team is supporting the whole child. This tip sheet lets you think about who should be on your team.

District Leadership Team Toolkit (developed by Healthier Generation) (login required)

  • This guide provides step-by-step support to district leadership teams implementing health-promoting policies for staff and students.

Inclusive Meeting Guide (developed by Harvard)

  • This guide highlights actions that can make meetings more inclusive to all, especially those from marginalized groups.

Wellness Committees that Work (developed by Healthier Generation) 

  • Watch this short video for an introduction to wellness committees and tips to start or sustain one.

Engaging Youth as Leaders

As we work toward supporting the health and well-being of youth, who better to engage than young people themselves? It’s a win for everyone involved: Young people can develop skills and exhibit leadership, and adults grow their competencies to ensure that policies, programs, and practices are responsive to youth needs. The key to successful youth engagement includes:

  • Treating youth as equal partners;
  • Acknowledging power dynamics and sharing that power with youth;
  • Being vulnerable;
  • Maintaining transparent, regular communication; and
  • Listening and valuing youth contributions. 

Developed by Youth.Gov

There are various effective ways to engage youth, including youth councils and youth advocacy. Learn about eight youth engagement strategies and associated resources to apply to your work.

Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

This webpage highlights the value of Youth Advisory Councils and provides guides and resources to starting one in your district or school.

Developed by Mental Health America

This report summarizes Mental Health America’s Young Mental Health Leaders Council recommendations regarding advancing youth leadership by building power among young people.

A Framework for Effectively Partnering with Young People (developed by The Annie E. Casey Foundation)

  • This short, four-step framework outlines how to engage with youth and support them in their leadership development. 

Guide to Authentic Youth Leadership and Collaboration (developed by Youth Collaboratory) 

  • This tool identifies best practices for working with youth on teams, including resources that support team culture, compensation, planning meetings/events with youth, etc.

Youth Engagement in Practice (developed by AIR) 

  • This brief outlines five strategies for engaging youth based on practices shared by youth-serving organizations. 

Cross-Sector Partnerships and Collaboration

Partnerships are essential to expanding the capacity of school systems to support student well-being, particularly when it comes to providing comprehensive school mental health services. These may be formal partnerships, with an MOU in place, or informal, where each partner has agreed on what they’ll contribute. 

Developed by National Center for School Mental Health and National Association of School Psychologists

This document provides an overview of the key elements of school-community partnerships and specific action steps for states, districts, and communities to foster effective collaboration between schools and community health and behavioral health partners.

Developed by the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory 

This guide highlights the Dual Capacity-Building Framework for family-school partnerships and includes several case studies to see the framework in action.

Developed by the Institute for Educational Leadership and the National Association of School Psychologists

This list highlights essential elements of school–community partnerships that anyone can apply at any stage of a school-community partnership.

Collaborating for Healthy Schools: Building an Effective School-Family Partnership (developed by Action for Healthy Kids)

  • This guide provides best practice recommendations for effective family-school partnerships and ready-to-use activities and templates to strengthen relationships between families and school/district staff.

Careers at NACDD

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