It’s the period before lunch in the tiny office of Christina Taveras, student advisor for the 9th grade academy at West Philadelphia High.
A girl enters quietly. “Miss, I need to talk to you. That girl called my house and wants to fight me.”
Taveras goes to work. Over the next 45 minutes, she establishes a truce of sorts by speaking with the two antagonists and getting them to promise to keep talking to each other. It isn’t easy.
A child’s emotional state can have a profound impact on his or her ability to learn, as any classroom teacher knows. Emotional issues often lead to problem behaviors.
With many of the District’s 167,000 students coming from stress-filled environments, the District and the city Department of Behavioral Health have been collaborating to increase access to school-based behavioral health programs for District students.
Today, almost 100 schools have teams of behavioral health staff, and more than 11,000 students received school-based services last year.