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Office of Children's Mental Health hones in on student challenges

Tuesday, August 18, 2020  
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August 17, Wisconsin Health News

Students facing mental health challenges are at higher risk for expulsion, lower performance on tests and decreased graduation rates, according to a Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health fact sheet released Friday. 

The office also encouraged early child and education providers to boost their understanding of trauma-informed principles and address racial and gender implicit biases.

They should also implement a curriculum that builds social and emotional skills and includes more family engagement to address challenging behaviors.

Boys, children with disabilities, black children, those from disadvantaged backgrounds and children aged 5 all had higher expulsion rates, according to the fact sheet, which noted a relationship between preschool disciplinary practices and increased risk of contact with the criminal justice system.

The fact sheet also noted that expulsion rates are lower at early child care and education settings that received a higher quality ranking through the Wisconsin Department of children and Families YoungStar database.

Those receiving five stars had an expulsion rate of five per 1,000 enrolled, compared to 13 per 1,000 enrolled for programs getting two stars through the database.