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Compassionate School Practices - Book Cover

Compassionate School Practices

Fostering Children's Mental Health and Well-Being

Establish a compassionate cultural foundation for strong relationships and holistic skills to weather stress, trauma, and promote well-being for your school population.

Full description

Compassionate School Practices - Book Cover
Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781071820490
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2021
  • Page Count: 296
  • Publication date: January 27, 2021

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
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Already Ready For What Will Come - SEL For A Culture Of Care

Is your school prepared to care for all of the students, staff, and families in your community? Sadly, your school might be the only point of care for many. Be already ready--Establish a compassionate cultural foundation for strong relationships and holistic skills to weather stress, trauma, and promote well-being for your entire school population.

Help your school or district use available resources to create a compassionate culture of justice and care for all by leaning into this book’s approach to leadership and social emotional learning. Discover a collaborative visioning process to elevate compassion through dialogue, policies, and protocol. Readers will find:
  • Practical strategies for working with parents and communities
  • Activities for the whole school
  • An implementation framework for elementary, middle, and high school
  • Deeper understanding of trauma, ACEs, and mental health concerns
  • Support for teachers’ mental health
  • What not to do – practices that don’t work, and why
  • In-depth case studies and vignettes

Read this and usher in transformational and compassionate change that may be the difference in whatever today, tomorrow, or the next day may bring.

Key features

Readers will find:

· Practical strategies for working with parents and communities

· Activities for the whole school

· Framework for implementing with fidelity in elementary, middle, and high school

· Deeper understanding of trauma, ACEs, and mental health concerns

· Support for teachers’ mental health

· What not to do – common practices that don’t work, and why

· In-depth case studies and vignettes from the authors’ experience implementing these practices in schools across New England, with takeaways that apply across the country



Christine Mason photo

Christine Mason

Christine Mason, PhD, an educational psychologist, is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of educational reform, visioning, trauma and mindfulness, teacher and principal mentoring, and special education. She is also a yoga, mindfulness, meditation instructor who was trained in New Mexico and certified in 2001, with a Level II yoga certification in Conscious Communication in 2005. From 2005-2009, she was chair of the Education Committee for Miri Piri Academy, an international yoga boarding school in Amritsar, India. In 2009, she served for 5 months as the interim principal at Miri Piri. Since being certified to teach yoga, Christine has taught 2-5 yoga and meditation classes weekly in local community centers and for the Fairfax County Parks and Recreation program. She is a member of the International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association and is also certified in Radiant Child Yoga.

Christine is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Educational Improvement, an intentional collaborative of educators and researchers actively engaging to create a transformational system of education focused on collective healing and holistic learning. We identify, curate, develop, and scale-up sustainable practices, such as Heart Centered Learning and Leadership and student-led reform, that nurture family and community connectedness, well-being, equity, and justice.

Christine is also the Chief Advisor to the Childhood-Trauma Learning Collaborative, with Yale University’s New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center. Her time as chair of Miri Piri’s education committee and her multiple visits to India, as well as her experiences networking for transformative educational change and researching exemplary educational programs, serve as the foundation for her beliefs and efforts to bring compassionate practices to all aspects of education.

Early in her career, Christine also was a classroom teacher and a professor, teaching courses in curriculum, inclusion, social emotional learning, educational assessment, and educational research. She has also served as Associate Executive Director of Research and Professional Development at the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP); Director of Professional Development for the Student Support Center in Washington, D.C.; and the Senior Director for Research and Development with the Council for Exceptional Children. Christine is lead author of several books and articles, including Mindfulness Practices: Cultivating Heart Centered Communities Where Children Focus and Flourish, Mindful School Communities: The 5 Cs of Nurturing Heart Centered Learning, Visioning Onward: A Guide for ALL Schools, and Compassionate School Practices: Fostering Children’s Mental Health and Well-Being. She is also the primary author and developer of an innovative process for developing compassionate school cultures: The School Compassionate Culture Analytical Tool for Educators (S-CCATE).

Dana Asby photo

Dana Asby

Dana Asby, M.A., M.Ed., is the Director of Innovation and Research Support for the Center for Educational Improvement where she conducts research and writing, oversees management of the School Compassionate Culture Analytical Tool for Educators (S-CCATE) assessment, and is the copy editor of the Compassion Action newsletter. She is also Education Coordinator at the New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center where she helps manage several projects including the Childhood-Trauma Learning Collaborative. She is co-founder of Parent in the Moment, where she teaches families how to use mindfulness to reduce stress and increase the bond of love. She studied child development and neuroscience under Dr. Kimberly Noble in the Neurocognition, Early Experience, and Development lab, as well as early childhood and family policy under Drs. Jeanne Brooks-Gunn and Lynn Kagan at Teachers College, Columbia University and educational psychology and creativity under Dr. Bonnie Cramond at the University of Georgia. She was a preschool, early elementary, and junior high school classroom teacher in Missouri, Georgia, New York, and Japan. She is also a trauma-informed yoga teacher, trained at Shaktibarre and Exhale to Inhale.

Meghan Wenzel photo

Meghan Wenzel

Meghan Wenzel, M.A., is a Researcher and Writer with the Center for Educational Improvement. With a background in developmental cognitive neuroscience and education, Meghan is interested in early brain development and its implications for learning. She studied Cognitive Neuroscience at Brown University, as well as Neuroscience and Education during her Masters at Teachers College, where she worked in Professor Kimberly Noble’s lab on Neurocognition, Early Experience, and Development investigating how socioeconomic inequality impacts brain development. Meghan has worked in a policy and advocacy non-profit focused on improving the health, safety, education, and economic well-being of Rhode Island's children and an edtech company building an adaptive learning platform to provide more personalized learning experiences. Currently, she infuses positive psychology into performance management software in order to unlock the potential of every member of the global workforce.

Katherine T. Volk photo

Katherine T. Volk

Katie Volk, M.A., is a child development specialist with a particular focus on early childhood and families living in poverty. She has worked with hundreds of community organizations to provide training and technical assistance in the United States and Australia, particularly focused on implementing trauma-informed practices. Katie understands the multidimensional needs of vulnerable children and families, the needs of the paraprofessionals who serve them, and the systems and contexts in which they live and work. Katie is currently a Site Director with C4 Innovations at the New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center.

Martha Staeheli photo

Martha Staeheli

Martha Staeheli, Ph.D., is a faculty member at the Program for Recovery and Community Health in the Yale School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and the Director of the School Mental Health Initiative for the New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Trained as a secondary English teacher, and with a PhD in Public Health, she has extensive experience in population health and epidemiology; qualitative and mixed methods research design, analysis, and evaluation; and community and clinical intervention implementation. Her research interests are focused on recovery within substance use and mental health disorders, issues of health disparity and equity, and the health and wellness of under-resourced community, clinical and educational environments.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Online Resources



Why Is This Book Important Now?

Who Should Read This Book?

What Will I Be Able to Do Once I Finish This Book?

Acronym Guide

Why Is This Book Important Outside of New England and the United States?

A Framework for Cultivating Well-Being in Schools

Key Principles


About the Authors

Part 1: Needs and Approaches

Chapter 1. The Why? What? and How?

I. WHY Is a Focus on Children’s Mental Health and Well-Being So Critical Right Now?

Educators as Protective Factors

Why Are Teachers and Schools Not Better Prepared?

Risk Factors Influencing the Increase in Behavioral and Emotional Challenges

The Influence of Trauma on Mental Health

Equity Issues in Access to Mental Health Support and Advocacy

When a Crisis Strikes

II. WHAT Do We Need?

III. HOW Can We Approach Mental Health in Schools?

Partnerships for Building Student Mental Health and Well-Being

Implementation of Heart Centered Learning (HCL) in New England

The Power of Community-Based Approaches

Chapter 2. Best Practices for a Healthy School Climate and School Culture

How Can Schools Improve Children’s Well-Being?

A Model for School Cultures That Foster Mental Health

The Five Cs of Heart Centered Learning: Strategies to Take a Schoolwide Approach to Supporting Staff and Student Well-Being

The Five Cs

Using Heart Centered Learning to Build Compassionate School Communities in New England Through Visioning

Chapter 3. Tiered Systems and Mental Health Screening

Learning From History

ACES and Social Emotional Learning

The Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports

Universal Screening in Schools

How Are We Screening and Why?

Potential Issues in Screening

More on the Tiers of Systems of Supports

Following Up and Fostering a Support System

Chapter 4. Considerations for Staff Mental Health and Well-Being

Uncertainty and Isolation

Staff Stress and Trauma Are at an All-Time High

What Stressors Are Unique to Educators?

Teacher Attrition Is at an All-Time High

The Relationship Between Student Trauma and Teacher Stress

Understanding Current Needs and Concerns

Practical Solutions to Improve Educator Mental Health and Well-Being

A Schoolwide Approach to Foster Well-Being

Part 2: Leadership

Chapter 5. Adaptive Leadership Within the Childhood-Trauma Learning Collaborative

Resiliency and Finding Hope

Leading in a Time of Fear and Uncertainty

Action Informed by Assessment

The Importance of Professional Development

What Is Effective School Leadership?

Characteristics of Transformational School Leaders

School Leaders as Change Agents

Evolving Leadership: Being Inclusive and Visionary

Transactional School Leadership Management Practices

Balancing Transformational and Transactional Leadership

Adaptive Leadership

Chapter 6. Caring and Competent Leadership for Children’s Mental Health and Well-Being

Understanding Our Vulnerabilities: Leading With Care, Love, and Acceptance

Three Overlapping Lenses to Develop Positive School Leadership and Improve Children’s Well-Being

Caring School Leadership

Heart Centered Mindful School Leadership

Addressing Mental Health Concerns With the Compassionate School Mental Health Model

School Safety

Principals Set Policies and Protocols

Self-Care Exercises

Part 3: Child and Family Supports

Chapter 7. Belonging and Building Community

The Drive to Belong

Belonging: A Psychological Need

Finding that One Caring Adult

School and Agency Collaboration

Key Players

Wraparound Services

Strategies for Getting Started

Chapter 8. How Schools Can Help Families

A Sense of Urgency

Communication Is a Two-Way Street

Increasing Mental Health Literacy

Cultural Considerations

When a Mental Health Diagnosis Is Part of the Equation

Home School Collaboration

The Transmission of Trauma

Working to Heal Intergenerational Trauma by Cultivating Compassionate School Communities

Offering Parent Education to Foster Compassionate Parenting

Parent Teacher Associations: A Network Made to Partner With Schools

Reflections on Strengthening Mental Health and Well-Being: Leverage Parent Resources to Fulfill Needs, Wants, and Dreams

Part 4: The Future

Chapter 9. Reaching Our Destiny—Overcoming Challenges and Moving Forward

Our Encounter With Destiny

Time for Reflection Allows for Visioning





Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.

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