Serving the Whole Person: Safety Through Collaboration – Ohio’s Comprehensive Approach to Student Well-Being
Shaun Ali; WestEd
This piece summarizes the experience of an Ohio-based team in using Serving the Whole Person: An Alignment and Coherence Guide for State Education Agencies and shares key insights that may benefit other SEA leaders as they consider their own efforts to improve the alignment and coherence of their whole-person or whole-child initiatives.
In 2019, in response to a mass shooting in the state, Ohio governor Mike DeWine issued an executive order to establish the Ohio School Safety Center (OSSC). This Center’s charge is to assist educators and law enforcement in preventing, preparing for, and responding to threats and acts of violence, including self-harm. To inform the OSSC’s work, the governor also created a cross-disciplinary School Safety Working Group to help the OSSC develop an efficient, effective, and comprehensive approach for school safety; the working group included more than 40 experts from across the state, led by the Ohio Departments of Public Safety (DPS), Education (DOE), and Mental Health and Addiction Services (MHAS). These agencies are together responsible for the full spectrum of violence prevention, intervention, response, and recovery.
This brief shares their experience in working together to support the whole child.