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Making mental health a priority

Lincoln Meadows school counselor Madura Deshmukh provided AA staff information and a lesson on emotional regulation.


By Julie Matuszewski; photo courtesy of American Academy

American Academy (AA) is making mental health a priority at all three of its campuses. The AA mental health team was asked to provide mental health trainings for all staff on this year’s first professional development day. The Student Support Services team designed trainings based on data collected from staff members in areas they felt were most immediate for training and development needs. The main topics of interest included emotional regulation and anxiety, attention, focus and disruptive behavior, and peer conflict strategies.

This year AA mental health staff increased from four to eight members. The goal of the training was to give teachers additional resources to supplement their “toolboxes” in order to help them with students struggling in the classroom. It was a full day of training but a day filled with accomplishment and well-equipped teachers, as they ended their day with a multitude of new resources.

(Left to right): Sarah Byrne, Stephanie McCoy, Nicole Yocom, Robin Petoia and Chris Wiese participated in a group activity sharing ideas and adding additional resources to their kindie teaching toolboxes.

AA staff was actively engaged as Motsenbocker and Castle Pines campus school social worker Sally Seiffer presented a segment on active noticing.

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