Understanding the impact of the pandemic on students’ wellbeing, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) partnered with Lurie Children’s Hospital to launch the Resilience Education to Advance Community Healing (REACH) Statewide Initiative in December 2020. Using federal pandemic relief dollars, ISBE established regional hubs to implement REACH and train educators, school mental health professionals and community members to recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma and address students’ social-emotional and mental health needs. In addition, ISBE used federal pandemic relief funding to create community partnership grants to strengthen the relationships between communities and schools in support of addressing mental health needs.
This panel from CCSSO’s Legislative Conference in March 2023 illustrates how the state agency partnered with Lurie Children’s Hospital to help build relationships, a key part of the cultivating trusting relationships element of the Coherence Lab Framework, with local communities and schools to increase aligned supports available to educators to support student wellbeing. The speakers on the panel discussed building an ecosystem that helps connect resources from the state to schools. As Illinois Superintendent Tony Sanders said in the video, this work is, “changing the way we do business in Illinois.”