The Five Star District's crisis response team was recognized in a recent training publication from the National Association of School Psychologists. The article follows:
Spotlight on Adams 12 Five Star Schools Crisis Recovery Team
By Lisa Coffey, Member, School Safety and Crisis Response Committee
Adams 12 Five Star Schools in support the short- and long-term recovery of students, staff, and schools after a crisis or traumatic event through a District Crisis Recovery Team (DCRT). Started in 2005, the DCRT is an on-call volunteer team that is staffed by 12 professional mental health employees from the Five Star District in Adams County, Colorado. The team is led by Sarah Hunter and divided into four teams. Each team is made up of social workers, school psychologists, and counselors who offer extensive experience in crisis recovery, utilizing the PREPaRE model for crisis training and response.
The purpose of the DCRT is to:
- Assist with coping and understanding of reactions to danger and traumatic stress.
- Support the emotional stabilization of students, teachers, and parents, and restore psychological security.
- Restore a safe and effective learning environment, and help schools return to learning as quickly as possible.
- Provide support to schools to help manage and address the emotional impact of a crisis.
- Provide support to a school when invited by a principal or when directed by the superintendent or executive directors.
- Coordinate response and services with the Operations Team Leader and the School Crisis Response Team (SCRT) at the school.
The DCRT members are available to:
- Consult with School Crisis Teams to develop a plan for crisis recovery.
- Provide training to School Crisis Recovery Team members.
- Triage emotional needs of students and staff.
- Assist teachers and staff in notifying students of the crisis.
- Support parents in addressing concerns about their children.
- Provide linkages to resources in the community.
- Work with individual students/groups of students when needed.
- Provide ongoing consultation to the SCRT on anniversary dates or if the crisis is ongoing.
The team trains three times a year by running scenarios to better prepare for future responses. The district has embedded a social–emotional learning curriculum at each grade level. District staff are trained in Signs of Suicide (SOS) and implement the SOS curriculum. This document outlines the structure and process of activating the DCRT. For more information contact, Sarah Hunter, LCSW, Suicide Prevention and Crisis Response Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) Adams 12 Five Star Schools (1500 E. 128th Avenue Thornton, CO 80241; 720-972-4780).
The article in its entirety can be found at nasponline.org