Mental Health and Safety in Jeffco Schools

My Goal: Provide more effective mental health supports for students and staff.

Multiple reports have found that the COVID pandemic had a substantial negative impact on the mental health of too many students. It is critical that we provide the supports they need as part of an integrated plan to help them recover their learning losses and graduate able to proficiently read and write, and do math and science.

Another sad reality in our society today is the amount of time and money that schools and districts must spend to protect students from violence. We are fortunate that Jeffco is recognized as a national leader in this area.

However, not all of the causes of safety risks are under the district’s control. The Jeffco School Board should focus its efforts on those that are. For example, continuous learning and improvement in the areas of securing our schools and, just as important, identifying and mitigating the factors that motivate individuals who commit violent acts in schools.

For those areas that are not the District’s competencies, we can work more closely with Jefferson County organizations that deal with families suffering from trauma and stress. These real life issues are brought to school every day and are impactful not only on the child dealing with trauma but also their classmates that must navigate the stresses with them, impacting their learning as well.

Additionally, Jeffco must ensure privacy and security of student and staff data. A recent data breach of a school vendor, Pearson, impacted a number of Colorado school districts. This breach happened in 2018 and families are
only just now learning that their children’s private information was compromised. As a district we must stay vigilant and aware of data privacy threats and learn how to better enhance our systems to avoid them.

My areas of focus:
  • Ensure Jeffco partners effectively with outside organizations to provide the mental health supports that students need
  • Ensure students’ and staff physical safety and security are always top priorities
  • Limit access to Jeffco Student and Staff's private data