OCPS school board partners with Sandy Hook Promise Foundation

The partnership allows OCPS to implement programs that positively engage students and support those in crisis.

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  • | 3:08 p.m. February 13, 2019
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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Orange County Public Schools is set to begin a new partnership with the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation to help positively encourage students and support those in crisis.

During the OCPS School Board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 12, the board approved the implementation of this partnership. 

The Sandy Hook Promise Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. It was created by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary on Dec. 14, 2012, and aims to honor all victims of gun violence by providing programs and practices that protect children from it.

According to its website, more than 5.5 million educators, parents, community leaders and students have been trained on the SHP’s programs and practices.

For OCPS, the initial programs include “Start With Hello” and “Signs of Suicide.” SWH teaches children and teens how to be more socially inclusive and connected to each other by minimizing social isolation, marginalization and rejection before someone chooses to hurt themselves or others. SOS trains youth and adults on how to identify, intervene and get help for people who may be depressed or suicidal. 

The SHP, according to the meeting memorandum, will provide a school-outreach coordinator to assist the district in delivering and supporting these program; work with the district to provide one-on-one support to an “adult champion” and existing or new Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) Promise Club; and ensure that its employees, agents and volunteers within the schools undergo background checks.

The district, according to to the memorandum is responsible for providing communication and support for these programs; identifying adult champions at each school who will maintain contact with SHP; and providing SHP staff with needed supplies and materials, among other duties.

All funding for program development, implementation and sustainability will be provided by SHP. For more information on SHP, visit sandyhookpromise.org.


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