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Securing Our Schools: How a Greenwood School Tackles Mental Health to Improve Safety

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From RTV6 the Indy Channel, by Lauren Casey, 10/1/18


Teacher in classroom working with a group of students


Greenwood, Ind. — The largest school system in Johnson County is no newcomer to school security. With their own police department, including school safety officers and K-9s, the Center Grove Community School System has made big investments in their students' safety over the years.

Now the district is taking a new approach and adding a layer to their system of checks to make sure students feel safe at school. They are tackling the issue of mental health head-on with a new pilot program that is currently being implemented in all of their schools across the district.

Mrs. Trammel's kindergarten class starts with a greeting. Not only does Mrs. Trammel say hello to each student by name as they walk, but the students also practice greeting one another. They work on eye contact, hand-shakes, and asking someone's name if they can't remember it.

It's just one small piece of a pilot program that first began at Pleasant Grove Elementary School last year. The program saw so much success that the district is now implementing this strategy in all schools and grade levels across the district.

It's called Trust Based Relational Intervention or TBRI. A parent first brought the idea to the school's principal and several teachers stepped up to do training sessions over their summer to learn this new approach.

Mrs. Trammel says they work on coping strategies like breathing, stretching and talking through their problems.

"We are incorporating those social-emotional issues by modeling, giving them redos and chances to learn," Trammel said.






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