General Instructions


This self-assessment tool for schools is designed to assess current activities and strategies that the staff and programs in your school engage in to create a supportive school environment. This tool is intended to assist with documenting current practices that support students` behavioral health at all intervention levels, ranging from creating supportive school environments, to early interventions, to responding effectively to individual students who require more intensive services. It also examines the role of various school professionals and staff in providing these supports.

This tool provides a general guideline for strategies to implement in the future. The state`s Task Force on Behavioral Health and Public Schools developed this tool and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) will be periodically updating and revising it to help schools identify what they need to create safe, supportive school environments with collaborative services. We recommend revisiting your school|s responses to this tool on a regular (e.g. quarterly, annual) basis to review progress and continually work towards full implementation on a range of practices that address and remove the barriers to learning. You can submit new responses in a new response period as well (indicated on the sign-in page), and compare your responses submitted at different time periods. If you have questions, see “For More Info” at the top of this page.

Behavioral Health and Public Schools Assessment Tool: General Instructions

Coordinate a school-based team of at least 3-10 people, which can include a variety of staff and perspectives, including but not limited to: school administrators, district administrators, guidance, teachers, nurses, students, parents/family of students with behavioral health needs, and community providers. Base your responses to this tool on the collective experiences/perspectives of the team.

The following materials from your school may be of assistance to you as you complete this tool: student handbook, school improvement plan, social skills instructional materials, behavioral incident reports, office discipline referrals, health program curriculum, and community resource map.

The assessment tool is divided into six main sections:

I) Leadership
II) Professional Development
III) Access to Resources and Services
IV) Academic and Non-Academic Activities
V) School Policies, Procedures, and Protocols
VI) Collaboration with Families

For your reference, these sections are parallel to the sections described in the Behavioral Health and Public Schools Framework. Each of the six main sections contains two parts.

Part I: Action Steps

Each section includes tables describing strategies and possible action step examples. It includes corresponding boxes, where you can indicate your current levels of implementation, as well as plans to sustain or modify your current actions.

Step 1: Current Implementation Level

To assess your school’s behavioral supports, first evaluate the current level of implementation for each action step under each strategy. Indicate the most accurate response by choosing the appropriate response in the radio buttons. Note that not all action steps will be appropriate or feasible for each school.

Step 2: Action Plan

For each action step, then indicate whether you plan to sustain or plan to modify or enhance your current plan of action for each item. Indicate the most accurate response by choosing the appropriate response in the radio buttons.

Step 3: Guidance and Training

For each action step, also indicate if your school would like to seek guidance and training on any action steps by checking the guidance and training checkbox. This information may also help inform future state level trainings.

Step 4: Optional - Indentifying Additional Action Steps

Each strategy table ends with the opportunity to add in any additional action steps you are implementing or planning related to that strategy. If you add one and save the page, the opportunity to add another will appear.

Part II: Additional Information

Each section begins with two open-ended questions asking for a description of your greatest strengths and greatest challenges related to the section topic. It then includes two or three additional open-ended general questions related to the section as a whole.

Outcomes Data and General Questions

Following the six main sections of the tool there are two brief sections: Outcomes Data and General Questions. These sections are intended to provide an opportunity to provide some overarching information in terms of addressing behavioral health issues in your school; including whether you have plans for increasing or modifying any efforts.

Sample Planning Chart

A link to a sample planning chart is also included on the home page (as a web page with some information filled in from action steps on which you indicated you wanted to modify your course of action, or as a blank word document template to fill in). This can help your internal school/team plan and track next steps. The planning chart is not submitted as a part of this assessment tool. You can find it on the Home Page under: "Step 4B.) View and print SAMPLE PLANNING CHART."

Important note -- Please be sure to notice that there is a TEAM CONTACT INFORMATION form that you should fill out to indicate who is on the team working on the self-assessment. You will also need to go back to this page to indicate when you have finished working on the self-assessment, even if not all sections or answers have been completed.