Educational Summit: What School Boards and Community Members Should Know About Student Mental & Emotional Health and Well-Being (Face to Face)
Start Date 10/08/2019 09:00 AM
End Date 10/08/2019 04:00 PM
Address Cherokee County Ed. Services Annex, Theater Room. Cherokee County School District. 1020 Keeter Road. Canton, GA 30114


There is no doubt that student mental/emotional health is a growing challenge in our schools today. Research reflects that in today's classroom of 25 students, at least 5 of them may be quietly struggling with symptoms of mental or emotional health issues such as anxiety, depression, neglect, trauma or substance misuse.
Join a conversation on what school boards, community members and families can do to support schools in meeting the vast needs of Georgia's 1.7 million public school children. The continental breakfast begins at 8:30 AM with the program beginning at 9:00 AM. The cost is $175 per person and attendees earn 6 hours of credit. 
A block of rooms has been set aside at the Hampton Inn Atlanta-Canton. The hotel is located at 710 Transit Avenue, Canton, GA  30114. Please call the hotel to make reservations at:  770.345.7400 and tell them you are a part of the Georgia School Boards room block. Or make reservations online using the following special link:


Hampton Inn Atlanta-Canton

Group Name: GSBAArrival Date: 10/7/2019Departure Date: 10/8/2019Cut-off Date: 9/6/2019






October 8, 2019

Cherokee County Educational Services Annex, Learning Theater Room



8:30am                             Continental Breakfast/Registration 


9:00am - 9:10am             Welcome & Introductions                    Valarie Wilson, GSBA Executive Director

Dr. Brian Hightower, Superintendent

Cherokee County School District

Dr. Samuel King, GSBA Director of     

Superintendent Search Services, Training & Curriculum


9:15am - 10:15am          The Urgency of Your Role in Supporting          Olympia Della Flora,

                                         Student Mental/Emotional Health                   Stamford Public Schools, Connecticut,

           Associate Superintendent for School Development


10:15am - 10:30am           Break



10:30am - 11:30am          Student Mental Health & Wellness                   Jennifer Cardenas,

                                          Update, Achieving Positive Mental Health       Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta                                                                                                                                                                           Education Outreach Program Specialist


11:30am - 12:15pm          Lunch


Afternoon Concurrent Sessions

(12:30pm - 1:30pm and 1:45pm - 2:45pm)



12:15pm - 12:30pm         Transition to Concurrent Sessions                                        


A)  Voices for Georgia’s Children, Polly McKinney, Advocacy Director

Mental Health Policy in Schools & Appropriate Advocacy

This breakout session will look at how access to various school-based health services and mental health programs can enhance school outcomes. We discuss comprehensive school-based health programs, Apex, Mental Health First Aid, Sources of Strength, and more.



B)  Cherokee County Schools, Dr. Brian Hightower, Superintendent, & Team

Creating a Blueprint/Framework for Social and Emotional Learning: Building a Successful Plan for Students and Staff with a Mental Health Lens


Cherokee County School District (CCSD) engaged a committee to delve deeply into data and research best practices to determine a systemic strategy for addressing the needs of the whole child.  Our five Core Areas are:  Cultural Competence and Equity, Positive Behavioral Framework, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Trauma-Informed Practices and Staff Well-Being and Self-Care.  Learn more about their five Core Areas and the actions they are taking to ensure the success of all students as a community effort.  Participants will learn how CCSD utilized a collaborative process to have courageous conversations to create the processes needed to develop a district strategy.  #CCSDCares



C)  Coweta County Schools, Ruth Scott, Mental Health Support Coordinator, & Team,

Partnering with the Board, Community Members and Agencies to Provide Wraparound Services and Meet Students’ Mental, Emotional, Physical, and Educational Needs


Inevitably, children who suffer from mental health disorders struggle to succeed and miss out on opportunities for learning and building relationships. Our school board, as a governance team, has been the supportive system behind the initiative to integrate mental wellness in our schools to address these very issues. In the effort to continuously improve our ability to prepare students for life, we are partnering with community members and agencies to provide wraparound services and meet our students mental, emotional, physical, and educational needs.   



D)  Fulton County Schools, Dr. Christopher Matthews, Assistant Superintendent for Student Support Services, & Team

Leveraging Community, Fiscal and People Resources to Build a Comprehensive SEL Framework with a Focus on Student Mental Health Awareness


 With the support of their Board of Education, community partners, local and grant dollars and key district personnel, Fulton County Schools has built a comprehensive SEL Framework that consists of 6 key pillars:  Student Focused Systems and Processes, Community Partnerships, Just-In-time SEL Supports, Awareness & Education, Support Personnel and Evidence/Research Based SEL Programs.  This session will provide participants with the what and how behind this comprehensive SEL Framework pinpointing student mental health needs, one that can be scaled and replicated in other school systems. 


Panel Discussion


3:00pm - 3:45pm                 Student Mental/Emotional Health, What the Board and Community

                                                Stakeholders Must Know About Implementation and Effectiveness


                                                1.  Cherokee County Team

                                                2.  Children’s Hospital of Atlanta

                                                3.  Coweta County Team


3:45pm - 4:00pm                  Adjournment