NORTHAMPTON, MA – William Diehl, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Educational Services (CES) in Northampton has been selected to serve on the Massachusetts Safe and Supportive Schools Commission.
Diehl will be representing the Massachusetts Organization of Educational Collaboratives, and will be joining Commission members representing teachers, administrators, superintendents, special educators, counselors, and psychologists from across the Commonwealth, as well as the Office of the Secretary of Education.
With the enactment of the Safe and Supportive Schools provisions in August of 2014, Massachusetts becomes a national leader in supporting schools and districts to create the whole-school safe and supportive environments that can help to reduce school violence and serve as the foundation for all students, including those who have endured traumatic experiences, to learn and succeed. As a part of the required implementation for the provision, the Safe and Supportive Schools Commission has been convened to investigate and make recommendations to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Massachusetts legislature about updating, improving, and refining the Safe and Supportive Schools framework and self-assessment.
Dr. Diehl commented, “It is an honor to be appointed to this important commission. Creating the conditions for positive student engagement with learning is as critical as a rigorous curriculum if we hope to be successful in educating all children and youth in Massachusetts.” Diehl, and the Collaborative, have experience in building or supporting asset-based, safe, and culturally responsive school environments in urban, suburban and rural schools.
In a time of increasing concerns over suspension and drop-out rates and pervasive achievement and opportunity gaps, as well as concerns related to gun violence in schools across the nation, the Commission will work to strengthen Massachusetts schools’ ability to create safe and supportive learning environments. This includes a focus on ways to increase schools’ capacity to address administrative functions identified around the issue; improve school access to clinically, culturally and linguistically appropriate services; recommend training and professional development for school staff on addressing students’ behavioral health and creating safe and supportive learning environments; identify funding sources for the work; and recommend best practices for collaborating with families, including families of children with behavioral health needs.