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Charlotte, NC: District calls for emotional/behavorial screening before students act out

Feb 13, 2019, WFAE, Charlotte, NC NPR: Emotional And Behavioral Screenings May Soon Be Part Of CMS' Student Health Policy https://www.wfae.org/post/emotional-and-behavioral-screenings-may-soon-be-part-cms-student-health-policy#stream/0 CMS officials are updating the district’s student wellness policy to include a greater focus on student mental health needs. The current policy focuses on physical health and nutrition and has not been updated since 2006. With increased violence in schools, including the October shooting at Butler high school that left a 16-year-old student dead, CMS officials have included social and mental health needs of students in their security and school safety plans. School officials say they realize they need to find ways to pinpoint the emotional needs of students early and address them before they escalate. As part of the new proposed policy for student wellness, a pilot program designed to gauge students’ emotional and social wellbeing will begin this spring. Students at up to 30 schools will answer a series of questions that focus on how they perceive themselves in terms of growth, emotional control, resilience and social awareness. Their answers will be scored, compiled and made available to school officials, says Cotrane Penn, who oversees CMS’ student support services. … Penn says the questionnaires can also help them to identify students struggling with emotional, behavioral and social issues before they act out, but implores testing is not for depression or anxiety. …